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I’m only a couple of weeks into my third quarter-life crisis. I quit my stable job, again, at the end of June, with the hopes of creating a life of uncertainty and adventure. (Insert upside-down smiling emoji here.) When I make big changes like this, I tend to want to overhaul as much as I can around me, to reflect the change I’m seeking. In other words--it’s the perfect excuse to go shopping. The Tuesday...
Mychal Denzel Smith’s vital debut memoir Invisible Man, Got The Whole World Watching adopts its title from a song on Mos Def’s 1999 debut album Black On Both Sides. It’s the perfect metaphor for Smith to stand upon as a soapbox to speak on the duality of how black male identity is flattened, commodified, and consumed voraciously by the American masses. Check the ratings on this week’s NBA Finals or that ever-growing number below...
As a Knobler Fellow at The Nation Institute, Mychal Denzel Smith has become a crucial voice writing about politics, social justice and pop culture through the lens of black male identity. His highly-anticipated, forthcoming book Invisible Man: Got The Whole World Watching (Nation Books, 6/14) grapples with what it has meant for Smith, personally, to come of age as a black man during the presidency of Barack Obama. When did you realize you first wanted...
In recent weeks, a handful of businesses in Bed-Stuy and Fort Greene have put signs in their windows warning that anyone entering wearing a "hoodie or mask" will be considered a trespasser. The debate over whether this constitutes racial profiling or a reasonable crime deterrent has to do with the way we frame community issues like gang violence and robbery: either as an act perpetrated at a certain type of business, or one perpetrated...

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