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I have spent more time in the Bronx wandering it and thinking about it in the past year than I have since I was a teenager. I am wondering, or have been wondering about why, exactly, I am obsessed with the place, given its history as a site of ill-repute and disrepair, disinvestment; as a symbol of poverty, urban blight and what it means to hide immigrants and poor people in plain sight within an empire.

Reflecting on the domestic terrorism that has bubbled up to the surface again this month made it more urgent to consider this territoriality anew…


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Photo by Louis Velazquez on Unsplash

Most of us did not need last week’s domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol to know that white supremacy is an emergency. What is perhaps less considered more of the time is the fact that white supremacy is an emergency for all of us, especially white people. White supremacy is obviously directly damaging and hurtful to BIPOC because it attempts to erase us and render our lives inferior and insignificant. …


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A new addition to the pack.

A new puppy is an extraordinary teacher, especially for these times. I’ve recently been claimed by a little one, which I’ll get to, and that’s made me think about having been a somewhat reluctant pet owner at various stages of my life.

As a child, I moved far too much with my mother for us to have a pet for long, but that didn’t keep me from trying to rescue stray kittens I found on the street. I remember those strays as mangy but cute, frightened and brave. …


This is the story of staying home without going outside except for necessities for most of 2012. There’s a section of my memoir, The Beautiful Darkness: A Handbook for Orphans (2016), where I talk about self-isolating voluntarily to deal with grief. A couple of writers have mentioned this might be helpful for others as we all have to deal now with spending a good deal more time indoors, to stay safe and keep one another healthy. Understanding that everyone will experience this time differently and with various complications, I hope that it is valuable for you.

“The very first thing…


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One view from my window (Joshunda Sanders)

“Stay safe,” the white man who is new to my South Bronx neighborhood said to me. He works at a restaurant nearby which had the definition of bad timing by opening up right as the pandemic paused New York State to a standstill. When he said it, I muttered something back, something like, “You, too.” But the weird feeling lingered all day, into the coming weeks, all the days shaped like one endless year.

I cannot remember a time during my entire life when someone has wished me safety, certainly not a white man who probably does not live here…


A Black woman writes with a pen in a notebook at a desk
A Black woman writes with a pen in a notebook at a desk
Photo by Retha Ferguson via Pexels

I came to writing through fear. A recurring feature of my childhood was going without the basic necessities we need, especially as children, to make us feel safe: food, attention and shelter. What many people are experiencing as we shelter in place, and worry about what the unknown, infinite-possibility-laden future holds, I taught myself to tame 30 years ago when I first put pen to looseleaf paper to move my anxiety and despair out of my body and onto paper. Here are a few ways to begin and/or consider:

Write with paper & pen, preferably: Get a writing instrument of…


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I almost didn’t see Harriet in theaters, and that would have been a mistake. The film is inspirational, perhaps especially moving in these times — a reminder that even when you can’t see your way out of oppression of any kind, there is still, in fact, a way out.

There are also, in some corners of the Internet and beyond, compelling and true statements about the way that Black American actors are passed over in favor of Black actors from other parts of the African Diaspora. …


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@burst via Nappy.co

The irony of the worst workday of my life is that I never made it into the office.

At the time, I was working as a speechwriter for a health agency headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. On paper, my job and career trajectory looked amazing — in the span of two years following the deaths of both of my parents, I had transitioned from working in newspapers for eleven years to a series of communications roles in Austin, freelancing full-time in Texas then in Washington D.C., …


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I know most people remember Anthony Bourdain as a bad ass, world-traveling accidental journalist, but I had a different relationship to his celebrity.

I knew he was a fellow Vassar alum, though he left the school on not-quite-friendly terms. I read this 2017 New Yorker profile of him that landed Kitchen Confidential on my TBR list, but I never got around to it, since I feel like I learned most of what I needed to know about how amazing he was from reading that profile.

I mean, this description alone:

“Bourdain, who is sixty, is imposingly tall — six feet…


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Spoilers follow! Don’t be mad if you haven’t seen the movie and you read this!

I went to see Jordan Peele’s previous foray into inclusive horror, “Get Out,” twice in theaters and I watched the version with the alternative ending with my sister at home. I thought about that experience with his work and what he had done before going to see “Us” last weekend with a predominately Black audience for a few reasons.

I prefer psychological thrillers and horror to blood and guts — but all of it freaks me out, honestly. Still, I love that Peele’s brilliance extends…

Joshunda Sanders

Writer, Journalist & Educator. Author of I Can Write The World & a few other books. joshundasanders.com

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