Rest in Peace, Concrete Rose

As this is my first blog as a senior, I think that it’s only fair that I dedicate it to one of my favorite lyrical artists of all time: Tupac Amru Shakur. He is a world renowned rapper, having recorded twelve albums, nine of which went platinum or gold. Also being a talented actor, he landed roles in Poetic JusticeBulletGridlock’d, and more. Not many knew, however, of his poetry writing. After his untimely death in 1996, his mother, Afeni Shakur Davis, and his manager, Leila Steinberg, gathered his poems and got them published. That is how The Rose That Grew From Concrete came to be. 

Now, the first piece that I want to talk about is one of my absolute favorites:  The Mutual Heartache.

2pac rose that grew from concrete poems - beautiful..... | Tupac poems,  Tupac quotes, Tupac lyrics 

I am a sucker for love poems, so this one automatically caught my eye. With lines like, “U Talk as I Do But yet you don’t/ understand when I mumble/ u c as I Do but your vision is/ blurred by naivity”. When I tell you I GASPED!! Like, this piece is so beautiful and melodious. The reader can genuinely empathize with Tupac here. I also like this piece because it truly captures the stark difference between his rapping style and his writing style. His songs, for the most part, are fast-paced and quick fire. But his poems are much more vulnerable, and you can see his mind while he explores his emotions and I think that that duality is *chef’s kiss* top notch. 

The next poem I want to show you guys is Life Through My Eyes. 

Life Through My Eyes – Tupac's Handwritten Poem | Tupac quotes, Tupac  lyrics, Tupac poems 

Now, I not only wanted to show this poem because I like it, but I feel as if it’s very important to shed light the struggles of black people in impoverished areas. In this poem, when he says a square, I’m pretty sure we can all agree that he isn’t talking about a literal, 2 dimensional square. He’s talking about people that haven’t had to deal with the things he’s seen, heard, or experienced. Personally, the best/most powerful lines in this poems are the last few, “But mock my word when I say/ My heart will not not exist/unless my destiny comes through/ and puts and end 2 all of this”. He was so dead set on getting himself out of this tricky situation that he built up an entire empire.

Next is So I Say Goodbye.

A beautiful farewell letter, I can’t help but hurt for Tupac. There’s always pros and cons to moving on to bigger things, and I think this poem perfectly captures that one con. The genuine sadness that comes with growing up and having to leave all of the things you loved behind is so strong that I know exactly how he feels, even though I’ve never been in his situation. 

Lastly, I present to you Tears From A Star.  

2Pac – Tears from a Star: 4 Me & April | Genius 

As stated above, I am an absolute SUCKER for romantic poems, so the second I read the first line, I was done for. “My tears they fall w/ passion/ like tears conceived from stars…./tonight these tears are full of pain but also I can feel/relief from my heart”. So beautiful, so heartfelt. It’s a true lament but it ends with positive ending (depending on your point of view), “So I cannot bear to let this be/ So I must be pure/ 2 only Her for eternity”. Ahhhh!! He really redefined the term “star-crossed lover”. 

Overall, I highly recommend this book! It’s beautiful and poetic and is extremely diverse in topic. I didn’t get into any deep conversations out of respect for other political beliefs, but I genuinely urge you to read this book and witness the eye-opening experience that comes with really paying attention to the words.


Anyways, that’s all I have for this month.

I hope you have an amazing day <3


I don’t know what to say. The school year came to a screeching halt and everyone on the bus was left reeling. It’s weird not knowing to say or how to react when the people you’ve spent everyday with now become like distant memories. I guess that’s what happens when all of life comes to a stand-still. What is your last memory of being at school? Is it good? Why? What emotion does the thought leave in you? For me, I remember sitting in the Phoenix and playing Monopoly with some pals and arguing with them about whether or not one of them should trade with another friend. It was my first time playing monopoly in years. Despite losing, I remember feeling complete in the moment, content in the most subtle way. Grades and homework and stress honestly melted away as we sat there, trapped in a frame of mortality, arguing about fake money.

There’s a movie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, that I adore. Although it portrays mental illness in an odd way, I still say that it is one of my favorite movies. A specific line in the movie is “We were infinite.” It’s a very popular line, everyone knows it. Every edgy teen girl on Tumblr had it in their bio in 2012. It’s a very well-known line. And I think that’s because everyone wants to feel infinite. Everyone wants to do something that makes them so happy, so fulfilled, that the expanse of time seems to slow down and the enjoyable stay so for a little bit longer. Well, in our little world of MSA, every person, every moment, is infinite. The smell of grits, the lack of salt, the echoing warm-ups of the theatres and vocals alike. The hallway in JI at night, the stairs after lunch, the nonstop chatter of the dinner crowd, the wait for the elevator as it stops in every. single. floor. That is MSA, in all of it’s glory and downfall. In all of it’s neverendingness.

I say all of that to come to this: Thank you. Thank you to the literaries for always making the struggles a lot less of a struggle. Thank you to the seniors for being honest and patient. Thank you to the teachers for sometimes believing in us more than we believe in ourselves. Thank you to the administration for giving us the room to be ourselves in a world that mutes those with which it does not agree. And finally, thank you to MSA as a whole for making our little chunk of land infinite.

Class of 2020

Dear Class of 2020,

Thank you for welcoming us into MSA with open arms and bright smiles. Thank you for helping us adjust to this huge change and for giving us trade secrets. Thank you for all of your stories and experiences and opinions. Thank you for never letting the Phoenix be quiet for more than a second and for always making us laugh harder than necessary. Thank you for the late nights spent talking or dancing or trying not to cry and for the stupid conversations held on ruby red booths. And thank you for always being honest with us, even when it hurt to hear it.

Honestly, it’s crazy to think that you won’t be here next year and that we’ll stand where you stood for all of nine months. And the fact that quite a lot of you are going out of state for college makes it even harder to say goodbye. There is no way that we are gonna be exactly like you, that’s impossible. But we are gonna be the best seniors we can be, and we will think of you while we do so. You guys have genuinely influenced us in ways we couldn’t have possibly dreamed of. Again, thank you.

We’re extremely proud of you guys. You’ve been accepted to amazing schools, given amazing opportunities, made best friends. Your hard work and late nights have paid off. You’re all gonna go far and do amazing, beautiful things and I can’t wait to see what they are.

To My Senior/Mentor,

You have easily become one of my favorite people on this Earth. You’re hilarious, beautiful, an amazing friend, and a phenomenal writer. Thank you for always having my back, for being brutally honest, for letting me sleep in your room. Thank you for the laughter and the tears and the train rides home. Thank you for the movie nights and the bathroom talks and avocados, even if I never ate them. Thank you for truly being one of the best friends I’ve ever had, despite the fact that you forced me to do your hair and makeup.

I love and am so inexplicably proud of you. You’ve accomplished so much thus far and it’s going to be absolutely crazy seeing what you accomplish when college takes hold of you. You have a tendency to be harsh on yourself, so please treat yourself kindly. Take care of yourself and know that you are loved, no matter where you are or what you do. You aren’t perfect and you make mistakes, just as we all do. It’s okay. You can’t change the past, but you can change how it affects the future.

Well, this is the end. This is the end of an era for you and for all our friends. Y’all are so talented and powerful and I love y’all. Please stay safe.


Sincerely yours,
Azya <3

Political Perspectives

Normally, ’tis Maleigh that does the interviews and the “journalistic” types of blog posts. But, an assignment that Mrs. Sibley gave us this week has really had me thinking. “Beings that everyone comes from completely different backgrounds, what do other people think about this whole thing called Politics?” So, I talked to 5 people, 2 seniors,  2 juniors, and a Boomer, and asked them all the same series of questions. 

Brianna Cox

What would you say your political affiliation is? Why?
– I don’t really have one. I just believe in human rights for everyone because I agree with both parties and I disagree with both. I also don’t know enough to really have an opinion.

What do you think about the generational divide between Boomers and Gen. Z?
– I think that times have changed and there is still a lot of boomers stuck in their ways and refuse to accept the way things are now.

Do you think that our perspective on the world reflects on our person? Why?
– Yes; I think if you’re an optimistic person, the world will seem like a better place, but if you’re a pessimistic person, it won’t. I’ve noticed that people who try to keep an optimistic view tend to be happier.

What is your opinion on the state of the world right now?
– I think that if everyone showed kindness, it would be a lot better. But right now, there are  too many people that are just hateful.

What part do you think race plays in our society?
– For some people, it doesn’t play a part at all. But for other, it decides whether they like a person or not. There’s so much prejudice against poc (people of color). They get little to no justice no matter where they are. White people have privilege regardless of whether they accept it or not. The faster we accept that, the faster we can use it to help everyone.

What part do you think gender plays in our society?
– Oh, women get stomped all over whether people realize it or not. Men make rules regarding women’s bodies. The wage gap between men and women is huge, women making 79 cents for every man’s dollar. Men can get vasectomies whenever, while women have to have to meet all sorts of criteria in order for them to get their tubes tied. Almost everything negatively affects women.

Stephyne Weathersby

What would you say your political affiliation is? Why?
– My political affiliation is a democrat because I believe that the government should provide assistance to those who need it. The world is hard and sometimes people need a helping hand.

What do you think about the generational divide between Boomers and Gen. Z?
– I understand that we are going to have different opinions. I mean that’s expected. However, I do not support when people wish death on the Boomers. I do feel like that [is] extreme and you shouldn’t wish death on anyone. But I do understand certain things the boomers say are problematic but [they] aren’t all like that. For instance my grandmother is a part of the boomer generation and me and her have intellectual conversations all the time. No we don’t agree with each other all the time but that doesn’t mean I stop talking to her. People love to exile someone who believe the same thing as them instead of trying to learn why they believe that way. We don’t have to agree with what they believe but we can come to a mutual understanding to say, “Hey, I don’t support that, but I do understand that is your opinion.” I think that if we talk more about things, we can close the gate on hate.

Do you think that our perspective on the world reflects on our person? Why?
– Yes because how you view the world reflects your opinions on the world. Also, it affects your choices as well. For instance, if you believe that the health of the world isn’t important, then you have no problem with littering. So [how] you view the world is really important and it mirrors who you are as a person.

What is your opinion on the state of the world right now?
– I think that the world is lost and it has been for a very long time now. We are lost and we need to learn new ways to function so we can have [a] better, accepting society. After quarantine, the world is never going to be the same, and I hope it’s for the better. I do believe that if everyone actively plays a positive part in helping the world and people, that it could be for the better. We need to use COVID-19 as a sign to become a better, united world.

What part do you think race plays in our society?
– Unfortunately, because [of] how this world was developed, race plays in every part in our society. Often, people think that it’s not racism to not acknowledge race and to “not see color” but that’s only doing more damage. To just ignore race would be to ignore someone’s culture, someone’s struggle of life. Because how someone was raised and who that person is has to do with their race, we have to pay attention to race in this society because if we don’t, we are accepting to ignore the racial issues in this world. We have to talk about it and discuss race and not be afraid.

What part do you think gender plays in our society?
– Gender plays whatever part and how much you allow it to play in our society. I believe that a woman can do anything a man can do. I believe certain people let their gender limit them because society tells them that they can’t. But if you believe that you can do something that you can do it regardless of your gender, race, anything.

Kathy Nguyen

What would you say your political affiliation is? Why?
-I don’t have one. I care more for the qualities in that candidate. I am not a democrat or a republican or anything really. I care more for policies and honesty. So basically I’m not affiliated with anything. I keep my options open.

What do you think about the generational divide between Boomers and Gen. Z?
-I think there needs to be a safe space where we can find common ground. Our values are way different because of the time. This always applies to the political parties because democrats no weren’t considered democrats back then. Like, they had different beliefs.

Do you think that our perspective on the world reflects on our person? Why?
– I think it reflects on how we react to situations. You can have many perspective on things, but really how you use that to affect your actions reflect on you as a person

What is your opinion on the state of the world right now?
– People are very scared right now. When you’re scared, you get paranoid and do stupid things. Right now, it really shows who we are as a society. Our actions now are reflecting on our society. I feel like there are so many negatives but we forget the good things are going on. We are also distracted because of this virus.

What part do you think race plays in our society?
– Bro, yes. I think it’s good that have different groups of people. Because we have diversity, we can come together. This time has made me more sympathetic towards other ethnic groups. I am now thinking more of other minorities when bad situations blow up and how they were alienated. Because I’m not the only [one] going through this.

What part do you think gender plays in our society?
– Gender identity is very empowering for a lot of people. It’s something that can make us confident and give us comfort. There is a divide in genders, but everyday the line is just being blurred. People just need to be respectful. There’s so much confusion about gender identity, but if you take the time to understand then things would go more smoothly. I see a lot of inferior feelings between men and women, and this goes both ways. People forget that feminism is about equality. No gender is superior [over] another.

Dion Ruiz

What would you say your political affiliation is? Why?
– I would say for the most part I’m pretty liberal, but I wouldn’t call myself a Democrat. The Democratic Politicians like to dangle change in the face of black people without really delivering, so I can’t really prescribe to them. The Republican Party strictly serves the interest of cis, straight, white males. Therefore, I have no business on that side of the fence either. So, all in all, I would describe myself as a intermediate liberal.

What do you think about the generational divide between Boomers and Gen. Z?
– I feel an inability to progress mentally causes it. The human brain matures at 25. So, relatively speaking, at that age, political, social, and economical standpoints are solidified inside a persons mind for the most part. Ever hear the phrase, “Can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” That little saying really summarizes why the generational divide is inevitable. It’s a hard pill to swallow when everything you’ve thought to be right is proven to be wrong. However, this is the reality of evolutionary thought. I think of myself as fairly progressive or “woke” in my thinkings, but I’m pretty sure my standpoints will be proven, through sensible reasoning, to be wrong. While I seem to have a good grasp on that reality, I’m sure I will struggle with it just as the “Boomers” are. It’s never easy being told your wrong.

Do you think that our perspective on the world reflects on our person? Why?
– Forgive me if I’m misunderstanding the question, but I feel it’s backwards. I think our person reflects our perspective of the world. Take the confederate flag, for example. A lot of Caucasians can’t fathom why a piece of fabric could hold so much negative meaning. That’s because people who look like them were not targeted by people flying that flag. However, they can and will detest the swastika as a negative sign because people who looked like them were targeted by people wearing that symbol. It’s the fact that your quality of life is completely indicative on how you look that makes me believe this statement to be true. If I live out my entire life eating nothing but broccoli, a person who has never tasted broccoli could never tell me what it is to eat it. Therefore, I will have a view that is not shared by them. We will have completely different outlooks on food or “life”.

What is your opinion on the state of the world right now?
– That’s probably the hardest you’ve asked me so far. To be honest, I don’t really have an opinion. I haven’t really taken the time to form an opinion on the world because it’s depressing when you think about it. If I had to give an opinion, I would just say “bad”.  The world is going downhill at a rapid pace, and the people with the power to do anything about [it] won’t be alive long enough to deal with their lack of problem solving. So, yeah, I would just say “bad”.

What part do you think race plays in our society?
– Every part. From the day I was born to the day I die, I will be an “African American”.  That is a box that was already checked for me when I was born. A box I have to check when I’m in school, when applying for jobs, when getting any piece of identification for myself given by the state. It would be ludicrous to suggest that race doesn’t play a part in every aspect of life because if that were so, I wouldn’t have to constantly disclose mine. And I say that as if you couldn’t tell with one look that I was black. Everything, to the way you’re treated in a store, at school, in the legal system, etc. is based off your race. The only people that would disagree as a majority would be white people. What do you call white person? I’m “African American” and that Asian girl is “Asian American” and that Cherokee boy is “Native American”. The fact that they don’t have to be hyphenated to be identified shows you why they’d disagree. Race is present in every aspect of life.

What part do you think gender plays in our society?
– At a risk of sounding repetitive, every part. Based off your sex, you are assigned a gender (which is not derivative of your reproductive organs, or at least shouldn’t be). The gender you are perceived as has many expectations tied to it. Being a man, you are expected to prescribe to masculinity, in all its toxicity. Being a woman, however, you are expected to prescribe to the standards of femininity, but you have no say in said standard. Society favors men in many ways. In my opinion, one of the most important ways they are favored is when it comes to being heard. A man’s place is defined by men, and a woman’s place is ALSO defined by men. Due to this, women have to fight much harder to push pass boundaries. Being a man, I have little knowledge on the experience of being treated differently based of my gender, however the difference is most definitely present. I just can’t go into as much detail as I would like because I can’t describe disadvantages that I don’t experience.

Now, I thought it completely unfair that I only spoke to teenagers around my age. So, I interviewed the most home-grown boomer I know: My Dad. 

Tim Sullivan

(I will not be including a picture for familial reasons)

What would you say your political affiliation is? Why?
-I’m a Conservative, because I believe in smaller government and more individual freedom.

What do you think about the generational divide between Boomers and Gen. Z?
-Most of Generation Z are being raised without traditional values of respect, working for your income, and self-sufficiency.

Do you think that our perspective on the world reflects on our person? Why?
-Yeah, because I think your outlook on the world determines how you interact with other people.

What is your opinion on the state of the world right now?
-The world is unsettled, unstable, and there is a lot of distrust among people. And as a result, if you can’t trust people, it makes it hard to get alone with people.

What part do you think race plays in our society?
-People of all different races have predetermined opinions about other people of other races.

What part do you think gender plays in our society?
-I think there’ll always be a different way that men and women approach problems. They generally will solve problems different ways. Men tend to be more logical, women tend to be more emotional. It’s not true across the board, but it is a tendency.

There it is. I hope you enjoyed reading this and that you can agree with at least a few things that were said. Now, I know that some of the topics brought up could be considered controversial, but if you found something different from your own personal views, please don’t respond with animosity. Instead, I ask that you try to understand where they are coming from. It never hurts to listen. 

Well, I apologize if this post was way too long, but I hope you have an amazing rest of your week. See you soon. 🙂

beautiful words

I am still surviving,
but I hope
someday, someday soon,
I will again
begin to live”

-Edward Lee

I’m not gonna lie to you, I’ve been writing and rewriting a lot lately. These are two of my favorite pieces that I’ve written thus far, so please enjoy these poems. Thank you. Have a nice day.

“Unsent Letter”
This is piece was inspired by “If By Chance” by Ruth B. and The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo.

Hello, Old Friend. Do you remember me? 
You seem to have captured my thoughts recently.
Do you ever think of me?
Do you ever think of the nights spent dreaming and
Planning for a tomorrow?
Do you remember the songs we sang as the rain broke 
Through the window pane and kissed our cheeks?
I do.

You know, some nights I dream about you.
It’s nothing too crazy or wild, but I’ll dream of you.
We’ll be somewhere that I don’t remember but
Can’t forget and we’ll be doing something minute,
But there would be this free wind, this whisper of
The past, blowing through your hair. Your eyes would
Have that look in them that conveyed so much but
Said practically nothing. And you’d emit such a laugh
That could bring the world to a knee. 

But then I’d wake up. Those are the saddest, I think. 
The nights when everything you wanted visits
You with a resounding disappointment. 
We were so young and dumb and willing to forget
Our futures for something so fleeting.
If you could go back in time, would you?
Would you come with me to a time where our
Only concern was each other?

This might sound a bit selfish, but I see you every once
In a while. You’ll be with your wife and your daughter and
You’ll look so genuinely happy. And my heart shatters
With the thought that I, once upon a time, was the only
Person that knew how beautiful your smile truly was.
Now, she knows our secret. She knows the innermost
Parts of your soul that only revealed themselves after
Nights spent on rooftops and in quiet retreats into the night.
Now, she knows our secrets.

I’m sorry. I’ve bombarded you with overanalyzed
emotional secrets. How is your life going, Old Friend?
Are you happy? With her? Are you satisfied with the
Life that has chosen you? 

I hope you are.

And the last one is just a poem about birds on a power line.


Pretty little birdie
how beautiful it
must feel to have
the wind rush through
you and have the 
shivering chill  reach 
through to your bones
The freedom you
must face every 
single day
How beautiful it
must be

Pretty little birdie
how sweet it must be
to be one with the sky
and to sing her to sleep
 and awaken her with
your sweet melodies
How so very sweet

I wish I could be like you
I wish I could fly
into the morning sky
and chirp my thanks 
to her in every intonation

How lovely it should be
to fall in love with the 
world below you
How lovely it certainly
must be

How absolutely beautiful
it must be to be a 
pretty little birdie

Again, have an amazing day, and hopefully I’ll see you soon.

s l o w m o

Okay. Y’all, I’ve been listening to S O M U C H music lately. Like, it is honestly ridiculous. And I’ve fallen into a hole of listening to songs, but slowed down. And it’s a certified vibe. An every song is different. Every song has a different energy and it’s so nice and refreshing. So, I thought I’d introduce y’all to some slowed down songs in hopes that you like them! So, without further ado, here we go.


First off, Drama by Roy Woods ft. Drake

This song does have profanity, so listen cautiously. But it takes an already amazing song and adds a little spice. Honestly, listening to this song, it reminds me of a movie score. Like, it’s not that boujee where there’s an entire orchestra in the background, but I feel like it would be in a modern rendition of a Bluford Heights book or The Wood. Something like that.

Next, Trust- Brent Faiyaz

This version of the song is IMMACULATE!!!!!! The flavor is beyond sensational.  Ugh, Brent is almost perfect before the edit. But after??? It’s a whole new world. This version really reminds me of the summer in the bottom of a pool. Like, you’re just chilling with your friends and this song is blaring through speakers but it’s muffled through the water. It’s just gorgeous. I love this song.

After that is Die For You by The Weeknd

This is probably one of my favorite songs in the world. The original is gorgeous and this version just amps that up. Now, the best part of this version is the chorus. It’s absolutely a m a z i n g. The slowness of the song mixed with the depth of the voice really just makes this perfect. This song was MADE for 3 A.M. drives with no cars on the road and street lamps on the both sides. That mental image mixed with this song is just *chef’s kiss*

Next to last is Big Poppa by Notorious B.I.G.

This song does have some profanity and suggestive lyrics, so, again, listen cautiously. HOWEVER, Biggie is such a monumental rapper so I felt obligated to share this absolute masterpiece. Now, the original version of this song is amazing and I will always love it. But the slow version??? It adds more emotion to the words and the voice. Ugh, I think this is one of my favorites that I’ve discovered.

And lastly, Everybody Wants to Rule The World by Tears for Fears

This song is specifically for Callie. I know she adores Tear for Fears so I wanted to give her this. The original of this song is amazing. It’s kinda retro and gives you a good sense of the alternative scene back in the 80’s. The slowed version takes that and amplifies it. When I listen to this, I feel like I’m driving in the dessert in Nevada and there’s only me, my ’83 Lincoln, and the clothes in my back seat. Just beautiful.


I hope you enjoy these songs and if you have any suggestions, I’d love them! I love you all and hope to see you soon.

Netflix Recommendations.

Okay, so in light of the terrible, terrible social afflictions brought about by some chick named Corona, a l o t of time has been spent on Netflix. And sometimes, it’s hard to find something to watch when it feels as if you’ve already watched everything.  So, here I am to put you on some dope shows and a movie that I love and that I hope you’d love.

So, first. American Horror Story.

So, there is no secret that this is one of my absolute favorite shows in the entire world. And there’s so much diversity in this show. Like, honestly. Every season is something new and they all coincide. It is a horror show, though, so there are many different situations where it can get much. But if you aren’t faint of heart, then I genuinely recommend it. But do your research before watching it.

Second, Total Drama Island.

Now, Total Drama is a show for the ages. Originally Canadian, this animated series is a hilarious spoof of survival reality tv. It follows the 22 campers that have to endure insane and dangerous challenges weekly. It isn’t really rated for a younger audience, but a good recommendation for anyone 14+.

Up next, One Day At A Time (2017-)

One Day At A Time is a sitcom that follows the life of Penelope, a newly single Army Vet. and her Cuban-American family. Y’all…this show is so good. It kind of reminds me of the show Mom, but it’s different because, although it doesn’t cater to younger audiences, they can still learn communication skills and things of the such. Besides that, though, this show is so good at reeling you into the story so that you feel like a part of the family. Such a good show.

My third recommendation is Self Made.

Now, I haven’t finished Self Made and that is due to it being new to Netflix. But, from what I have seen, Nicole Jefferson Asher really popped off. This limited series chronicles the incredible story of Madam C.J. Walker, the first black, self-made millionare. With a cast that includes Octavia Spencer, Tiffany Haddish, and Carmen Ejogo, you already know the acting was top-notch. Overall, an amazing show thus far.

Last, but certainly not least, is Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower.

Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower is a 2017 documentary about a teen rallying thousands of kids our age to occupy the streets when China’s Communist Party breaks it’s promise of autonomy is Hong Kong. I personally really liked this one, not only because it documented a shift in history, but it shows what we, teens and preteens, can do. We are extremely powerful and Joshua is a testament to that.


I hope you watch these and get inspired to create, to evolve, or to change the world. Are there any movies/ shows that you really like? I’d love to hear them! Until next week. 🙂

Hard Hold

If I’m going to be completely honest, although this blog has nothing to do with the song, the title was inspired by a gorgeous song by Jaala. You should totally listen to it!

I don’t really know what to say. These past few weeks have been absolute h-e-double hockey sticks. I have seen insanity run rampant in the eyes of loved ones. I have heard the cries of friends that I cannot comfort. And I have resisted the temptation to mutilate my hair out of pure anger and boredom. And the classes aren’t helping whatsoever. Honestly, it drives the isolation even deeper. Imagine having to do the one thing that guarantees human interaction by yourself. If you ask all the students how they feel right now, it’d be angry. Lonely. Useless. And for good reason.

For the juniors, we’re missing out on memories, experiences, time we’ll never get back with people we may never see again. We miss our seniors and we miss our dorm. A lot of us don’t have the best home-life. So, school is a safe haven for us.  And it breaks your heart when you can’t even enter your sweet retreat due to a lethal virus.

And I can’t even imagine what it’s like for the seniors. Everything they’ve worked for, everything they’ve been praying for is being ripped away from them. Their last prom, their senior pranks, their showcases, their last moments with the people they love before they go different directions forever. It weighs heavy on their minds and souls. And I’m so sorry, you guys. We love and support you. You deserve everything sweet in this world for the sacrifice you’ve made. But, beings that I can’t give that to you, I hope my feeble Thank You would suffice.

I get that this is for safety purposes, that everything that’s happening is for the greater good, and with new cases coming up every single day, I understand why it’s necessary, but those of us that aren’t immuno-sensitive are scratching at the seams, ready to emerge from the shadow of our duvets.  Hope and faith are hard to hold, now more than ever.

Everything being said, here’s the silver lining: this is time for us to do the stuff we never had time to do. Get closer to God, lose weight, redefine yourself. Do whatever makes you your better self. And in doing so, maybe we can find solace in isolation. Maybe faith won’t be such a hard hold.

Women You Need To Know

You wanted to keep
the milk and the blood hidden
as if the womb and breast
never fed you. 
-rupi kaur

It’s March of 2020, meaning it’s Women’s History Month and I think the best way to celebrate this beautiful milestone is to educate people on the women that no one ever hears about, so I will be focusing on women of color and queer women.  So, without further adieu, enjoy!

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Wilma Mankiller: the first woman to serve as chief of the Cherokee Nation. She fought for the rights of women and Native Americans. She led Cherokee Nation from 1985 to 1995 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton in 1998. “She understood that great leadership begins with the women — that’s our long, cultural tradition,” said Chad Smith, who was chief when she died in 2010. “If I had one word to frame her, it would be patriot. A patriot is one who gives her all for her people.” Gloria Steinem spoke at her memorial service.

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Janet Mock: is an American writer, television host, director, producer and transgender rights activist. Her debut book, the memoir Redefining Realness, became a New York Times bestseller. She is a contributing editor for Marie Claire and a former staff editor of People magazine’s website.

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Sylvia Rivera (left) and Marsha P. Johnson (right): Sylvia and Marsha were both instigators for the Stonewall Riots, a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. They were also activists for the LGBTQ+ community.

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Linda Sarsour: Linda Sarsour is an American political activist. She was co-chair of the 2017 Women’s March, the 2017 Day Without a Woman, and the 2019 Women’s March. She is also a former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. Sarsour has advocated for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories and expressed criticism of Zionism and support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. Sarsour also helped organize Black Lives Matter protests. Sarsour helped form “Muslims for Ferguson”, and she traveled to Ferguson with other activists in 2014. She has continued to work extensively with BLM ever since. Sarsour became a regular attendee at Black Lives Matter demonstrations as well as a frequent television commentator on feminism.

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Angela Davis: Angela Davis rose to prominence during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement due to her involvement with the Communist party. She was targeted by the FBI and later imprisoned but then acquitted on murder and kidnapping charges in association with a courtroom attack during the trial of the Soledad Brothers, three African-American inmates charged with the murder of a white prison guard. She has been a professor and author and today focuses on battling the “industrial prison complex” in the U.S. as well as the role of black women and the rise of intersectionality in feminism.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: is serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district. Taking office at age 29, Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress. She has been noted for her substantial social media presence relative to her fellow members of Congress. Ocasio-Cortez majored in international relations and economics at Boston University, graduating cum laude in 2011. She was previously an activist and worked part-time as a waitress and bartender before running for Congress in 2018.

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Maria A. Ressa : is a Filipino journalist and author, best known for co-founding Rappler, an online news website based in the Philippines, as its chief executive officer. She previously spent nearly two decades working as a lead investigative reporter in Southeast Asia for CNN. She was included in Times Person of the Year 2018 as one of a collection of journalists from around the world combating fake news.

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Sadako Ogata:  was a Japanese academic, diplomat, author, administrator, and professor emeritus at the Roman Catholic Sophia University. She was widely known as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) from 1991 to 2000, as well as in her capacities as Chair of the UNICEF Executive Board from 1978 to 1979 and as President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) from 2003 to 2012. She also served as Advisor of the Executive Committee of the Japan Model United Nations (JMUN).

There are many, many more women that don’t get their names in the media as often as they should. I highly encourage you to do your own research and learn who they are and what they do/did. To help, here’s a list of women of color that deserve to have their name spoken:

Have an amazing day and I hope to see you soon!!

Letters to my Fellow Literaries

These past 6 months have been a whirlwind, and I don’t think I’d be able to get through it without my amazing group of beauties. So, before spring break takes us our different ways for a few days, I want y’all to know and understand how I feel about y’all.

Hannah (Maple)- I love you. So much. You’ve become one of my best friends and I couldn’t thank you enough for that. You’re so sweet and loving and you’re always willing to listen, even when you know you have other things to do. You’ve just become one of my favorite people ever and I can’t express how much I love you.

Callie (Carlie)- You’re so amazing. You’re always willing to spread positivity and love and I genuinely don’t think I’d have made it to December without you, nevertheless March. You’re just such a beautiful person and I appreciate you so much.

Maleigh (Maleigha)- Oh my goodness, I absolutely adore you. It took me a very long time to get used to your exuberance, but I’m so glad I did. You’re a literal beam of sunshine and positivity. You’re smile lights up every room you enter and I just can’t tell you how many times you’re good energy has helped me.

Morgan (Mo)- Although I’ve known you the longest, I feel as if this is the first time I’ve gotten to know the real Morgan Love, and I love her. You’re so funny and amazing and I love your energy and how you always carry good vibes with you, even if you aren’t having the best day. I love you so much and I’m so proud of you.

Stephyne (Step)- I’m in love with you. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better person to share my junior year with. You have opened my eyes to so many things in so many ways. I love your perspective on life and I really appreciate the 3 A.M. rants when we’re supposed to be studying. Ugh, I love you.

Katie (atieKay)- God Almighty, I adore you. You’re such a vibe and I love your energy and I love your style. You’re so funny and nice to just be around and spend time with. You’re so sweet and loving and caring. You’re such a sweetheart and I genuinely can’t wait to spend this upcoming school year with you and our friends.

Brianna (Bri)- Brianna Cox, you have very quickly become my very best friend. I love you so much and I’m appreciative of you and your energy and your willingness to love. You’re so open-minded and willing to learn, I feel as I can tell you anything and I thank you so much. I love, love, love you.

Mrs. Sibley- I will never be able to thank you enough for the kindness you have extended to me. You’ve helped me expand my mind to wonders still unknown to me and you’ve helped me expand my writing vernacular. You’re such an amazing teacher and I thank you for always taking the time out of your day to answer my questions. I can never repay you for helping me be my best self, both as a writer and as a person. I appreciate you so much, Mrs. Sibley.

Azya (me)- I’m proud of you. You’ve grown a lot since August as a person, as a writer, as a friend. You’ve learned your own boundaries, you’ve learned how to be creative, not profound. And I’m just so…proud of you. You’ve got a lot to learn, still, but you’ve grown nonetheless. Here’s to the future.