by Amanda Smera
Few things make me angrier than when people read something I’ve written and point out my talent. The intentions, of course, always come from a good place and they mean no harm. And yet the bitter taste in my mouth never fails to feel discrediting. I want to scream from the top of my lungs: “I’VE BEEN WORKING ON THIS FOR A MONTH STRAIGHT, FOR YOU TO DARE AND ASSUME IT WAS JUST ‘MY TALENT’?!”
It feels like an outdated myth that talent is a bigger force, that either you’ve got it, or you don’t. I have hundreds of thousands of school essays, Harry Potter fan fictions, and journal entries that prove that I was no Jane Austen at the age of five or fifteen.
by Emily Nolan
The old saying attributed to Lucille Ball that “comedy can’t be taught, you either got it or you don’t” is outdated, to say the least. It’s clear that a lot has changed since the I Love Lucy era. In the past decade, comedy has started to creep its way into the world of research and academia. There has been extensive research on the benefits of comedy, the reasons comedy makes people laugh, and the most effective structure of jokes, and comedic storytelling.
Comedy or the act of laughing has been proven to stimulate your organs due to an increase of oxygen-rich air coming into your body, improve your immune system, and lessen feelings of anxiety or depression. While humor may not cure every ailment, the idea that laughter is the best medicine is not too far-fetched. Comedy can also be looked at as a vital tool in the classroom, as it can act as a key instrument in explaining complicated issues and ideas, it can lead to further retention from students.
by Garret Castle
The amount I write varies from week to week. Despite my attempts to form a routine, my writing is still left to necessity and whim. But there is one consistent means of writing in my life: social media. The scope of my social media usage is primarily limited to Reddit and occasionally Twitter. While there are times when the discussions I get involved in make me regret writing the original post or comment, I have found that social media has been a positive boon to my writing and has helped me grow as a writer. While social media can be used to reinforce unhealthy habits, I believe it helps promote literacy more than it hinders it.
by Amanda Smera
Not once in my life have I had to wonder what it is like to not know how to read or write. And I am guessing that, if you are reading this right now, neither have you.
But what if I told you that in some countries, reading and writing are not as reachable as they seem to be? That for some people, reading and writing is seen as a privilege and not as a common practice?
by Ariana Tucker
Go onto any major book-selling website and you’ll probably find a section dedicated to Black authors in the list of genres and subcategories. Amazon calls theirs “Amplify Black Voices” and lists it among other popular keywords like “Award Winners” and “Celebrity Picks.” Barnes and Noble calls theirs “Black Voices” and lists it among other browsing options such as “Large Print Books” and “Trend Shop.” Click on either link and you’ll see popular books written by Black authors, most of which are the same books we’ve been talking about for the last five years.
Barnes and Noble is the worst offender of this. On their featured page of “Fiction: Black Voices,” only four were published between 2020 and 2021 (Colson Whitehead’s Harlem Shuffle is their featured book from 2021). The rest are classics by Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, and Ralph Ellison and books by authors like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Sister Souljah, which were published in the 2000s and 2010s. Amazon at least offers a more up-to-date list of recently released books by month and recommendations from editors and Black icons like Billy Porter and Rick Ross. You can find almost any genre and any subject here, the only difference is that the authors are all BIPOC.