Tony Futura

Recently, I visited my cousin Jimmy in Atlanta, and within my first day out at a local shopping center, I became quickly aware of the curvy shape of many of Atlanta’s women. Every so often, I would walk past a woman with a perfect, Coke-shaped body, complete with thick thighs, full round bottom, and flatter than flat stomach. In fact, the more I observed, the more I realized that most of the women around me seemed to have perfect figures, and massive, perfectly shaped behinds that made me glance back at my own with slight concern.

“Wow,” I breathed to…

Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, Nicolaus Copernicus. Four very different men, with one thing in common. They were contrarians.

Contrarians are known for going against the grain. They are society’s forces of change, constantly challenging tradition for unconventional thinking. They are admired for swimming against the current, for setting themselves apart from everyone else, simply by thinking differently. Contrarian thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Jeff Bezos, and Isaac Newton are seen in a positive light — courageous, unconventional, counterintuitive — but most of all, they are visionaries.

Being contrarian makes us feel special. It’s difficult to outperform your…

Why Barack Obama was the Worst Thing to Happen to Black Radicalism, and the Increasing Dangers of Black Neoliberalism

Benny Andrews, Did the Bear Sit Under the Tree, 1969

For as long as I can remember, Barack Obama’s ascent to the White House has been described as revolutionary. The day of the inauguration, Black people all over America cried, laughed, danced, at the reality of a Black man, the first ever, sitting in the White House seat where 43 white men previously sat. I danced too. I was in the fourth grade, and we celebrated with an Obama party. …

I was born in 1998, right on the cusp of Gen Z. I’m old enough to remember the exciting scramble of dial up, or the deep tenor of the “You’ve got mail!” AOL notification. Things like Motorola Razrs and Tamagotchis and MP3 players, or when the Nintendo Wii came out that one Christmas, or having to hit a button three times to get one letter to text. Things like being indoctrinated with a love for the fallacy of the nearly-impossible-to-achieve Black American dream.

Born on the sunrise of a new generation, my peers and I grew up ingesting the stories…

Anti-Blackness and racism are not the same

Image: Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

In ninth grade, my best friend at my primarily White, all-girls Catholic high school was a bubbly Latina with an unmatched, sarcastic tit-for-tat, a raucous laugh, and a flexible tongue that switched from her recognizable New York lilt into Spanish at will. In my 14-year-old Afro-Guyanese eyes, we were very alike, and we spent every free moment we had in school together. For four years, we took the bus home together, painted our nails the same colors, and filmed video diaries of our adventures to show our future kids. We took classes together. Ate breakfast together. Ate lunch together. Studied…

Alissa Semple

I’m from New York and I have a lot to say about a lot. Email:

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