Rose Water Magazine

I am black-ish
Nah I am black
Everything else is just liner notes.

I am a writer
Since age 10  I decided this
was my true passion in my life.

Shy girls must find their place

I wrote because I couldn’t speak
Afraid of my own voice
Ink against paper just seemed quite right.

So if I am black
and if I am a writer,
does that make me
a “black writer”?

I write about race,
My race writes
are the two always the same?

Throw in gender,
I become your token to say,
“Yes we care about diversity”
“Our black female writer
writes about race AND gender”

This little black girl started to write
Because it felt good.
It felt good not to feel invisible
Even if those words were just
written in notebooks no one opened up.

Race was discussed, but mere questions

To be black and to…

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Rose Water Magazine

Getting a voicemail from my mother explaining that she had found topless photos I took from nearly three years ago was the last thing I needed to hear. My mother is a devout Christian and fairly conservative black woman. She’s conservative in that she doesn’t oppose Planned Parenthood, but believes sex before marriage is a sin.

This is what Hester Prynne, from ‘The Scarlet Letter’, must have felt like when she was branded with a scarlet “A” on her chest.

My mother didn’t respond to my calls for a couple of days. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to say. This moment has reminded me of another horrifying one from my early 20s, when my mother found out I wasn’t a virgin anymore. It brought me back to the shame, the anxiety, and disappointment of embracing who I really am. But it happened and the question I ask myself is, ‘Now what?’


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Rose Water Magazine

CREDIT: Clint Smith III CREDIT: Clint Smith III

Black students at the University of Missouri have been protesting over a series of racial incidents. Over the course of the last few weeks, numerous students have shared their own personal stories of racial episodes on campus.The student government president recounted having racial slurs shouted at him from a passing pickup truck. Another graduate student went on a hunger strike to protest the president on the university, Tim Wolfe, handling of complaints regarding racial bias and racist slurs.

Then two weeks ago 32 members of the football team, majority black, went on a strike demanding the president to step down. This eventually lead to the president of the university, along with another school official, to resign.

Missouri isn’t the only college gaining media attention. All of course the country, students are standing in solidarity with Missouri and even sharing their own accounts of racism on…

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Rose Water Magazine

Artist, yogi, self-proclaimed bibliophile, and avid biker, Olaronke Akinmowo plans to bring black women literature to the forefront this summer in New York City.

The born and bred Brooklynite, Akinmowo is promoting a mobile library in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn called The Free Black Woman’s Library.The purpose of the library is to promote black women writers. Ola was inspired to shed a light on a lack of racial and gender diversity in the literature world, especially when it comes to black women writers.

Artist Olaronke Akinmowo at her The Free Black Woman's Library  Photo Credit: Bianca Clendenin Artist Olaronke Akinmowo at her The Free Black Woman’s Library
Photo Credit: Bianca Clendenin

“Our stories need attention…I’m interested in showing we’re not a monolithic…Whether it’s working 9-5 or being a stay at home mom or having a perm or being bald, or being light or being dark. Whatever. We all just have that spark that connects us. I’m interested in exploring that idea. Wouldn’t it be cool if…

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Rose Water Magazine

Nose deep in twitter feeds, scribbling notes in terrible but understandable short hand, and trying to determine which stories are worth reporting. It’s 9:30am at a pitch meeting where news nerds chirp over the day’s biggest stories.

Sitting in on a pitch meeting is a thrilling experience for someone like myself: a news junkie and social media enthusiast. It’s my first time in a newsroom without intern or student attached to my name. My early experiences pitching stories for “The Purchase Brick” brought me into a world I so desperately wanted to fit into and it only took me four years.

Now I’m here, working for a major news outlet.

It has only been a couple of weeks and I’m starting to get a handle of how it all works. I am still trying to break out of my shell and meet my fellow writers.

For many, this dream is long…

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Rose Water Magazine

“Am I a self hating black woman if I put this weave back in?”

As she’s waiting in the chair at her sister’s house, with her head feeling like it was on fire from the tight set of cornrows her sister had just completed, her older sister, who has locs down pass her shoulder, is prepping for a sewn in weave. Before even braiding her hair, she had to shampoo and moisturize first. Once that was all done, she was ready for her transformation from a short fro to a long Remi weave style. The entire process takes about two hours.

“Am I a self hating black woman if I put this weave back in?” she asks while showing the two packs of Remi Eve weave costing her $35 a pack just a few days before she had it put in. Compared to the $200 to $400 weaves some women…

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Hi guys! Sorry for the delay!

Since I’ve been busy the last two weeks with work, editing for another video project for a program I’m applying too, as well as traveling to Colorado last week. I won’t be posting Part 2 to the Love in the Digital Age series till this weekend. Don’t fret, the video should be up as early as this Friday, if not by next Monday

Thanks for watching and supporting!