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  • Writer's pictureAshley Gray

21 Things I think... Putting 2021 to Bed Edition

1. We got to live long enough to see all that shit come back in Dani Leigh’s direction. Dani Leigh went on a lightskinned rampage of talking about how her ex turned child's father preferred a "red-bone" and uh she learned that he didn't have much loyalty for red-bones either. And it still wasn’t fair or easy to watch her be treated like that. I do hope she learns to unroot the colorism/anti-Blackness in her. In conclusion, Da Baby wasn't worth the lotion on his back for either dark skinned women or her.

2. Meghan Good and that church got divorced. I mean were she and Devon ever really just a couple? It seemed like from day one, Meghan was subjected to the thoughts of the saints. From what she wears to her roles... everything. Here's the reality- I'm not sure she ever got to bring her full self into that union. I'm also not sure the good rev wasn't looking for a power couple situation so they could write abstinence books and make money. We can talk about abstinence later.

3. Wypipo were wypipoing to the max. The January 6th insurrection [as they call it] was no surprise for anyone else but wypipo. We've seen wy violence before. Hearing language like "unpatriotic" was interesting to me because that word has taken on several different applications in my lifetime. And most of the folks got a slap on the rest and two bologna sandwiches in the county jail. The orange man planner got nothing. We learned (again) there are very few consequences for wy violence in the USA.

4. Issa still gave us 30 minutes of content that we spent 8 hours discussing. She gave us love, lust, sisterhood, problematic branding, excellent fashions and complicated narratives. She won 2021.

5. Joe lied to us then moonwalked back into not caring about student loan debt. He definitely owes us all three books but that was the ultimate renege. Good luck if you try running again. Better run on that peloton and leave us out of it.

6. A few new strains of COVID emerged- and black folk still remixed the name. Omarion has never gotten so much attention. Well, there was that one picture that hit the interwebs and I swear it did better than his latest music. Speaking of, have y'all ever heard that song where he says he like his women like he likes his chicken? Not a great time in American history.

7. AND Omarion’s little dance number. That's worth mentioning. It was awkward in nature, stiff and underdeveloped BUT it took the interweb by storm. Enjoy your trench coat and timbs, sir. Enjoy.

8. Men were still making decisions about women’s bodies that wasn’t their business. I feel like this one could stay permanently in my annual recap.

9. None of us felt real Christmasy but we all bought matching pajamas. I mean ALL. We were trying really hard this year and I'm sure the creator of buffalo print thanks us. We saw more free Old Navy ads than we ever needed. Well, I kinda needed them.

10. The Blacks took over the game industry between culture tags, out of bounds, aux god, and a few others… Chile we had a funky good time and didn't give a damn who didn't understand. "IDGAFWTCDCS"

11. We gave up hope that Michael B Jordan would ever date us. And by “us” I mean me. Instead he got caught in the Lori lure trap. Same eyes her momma gave Steve. Marjorie still owes us a playbook.

12. Life became a lot more fragile. We lost a lot of folks. Our garden of ancestors grew and that’s hard as hell. Some of the flowers in the garden felt like they were planted prematurely. bell hooks in particular.

13. I accepted that I needed to learn how to be in honest relationship with others. Like telling the truth even when it’s hard. Or creating some distance from relationships that make me feel hard to love.

14. I’m at that point where I want to make space for the things I’m asking for. I’ve been so worried about missing certain life events. Like, am I behind? Folks’ my age have kids are teens at this point. Time has been whooping my ass for years and I’m trying to learn how to reimagine things. So, I’m going to ask for what I want and make space for it to happen.

15. Bitterness is easy. Graduation, well the lack thereof, dissolving relationship with certain folk and more- baby, I went through it. And I spent a lot of time mad as hell. Mad about it all. And if you let anger sit long enough, you forget that hurt is the root. So I’m getting to the roots. And that’s hard work.

16. Love always deserves a 3rd, 5th and 25th try. I almost threw in the "tile" [Tyrese refence].

17. We ate enough birria tacos for a lifetime. And Black folks still call them the “dip tacos” among other things… remixing them with collards and ish.

18. Jeff "plain face" Bezos and others rode to space on a giant penis shaped rocket. His ex wife donated money to causes like Bernie when she had that $1 yard sale! It is TRASH! That just writes itself.

19. Honey pot products are tangy. Ever had too much wasabi? Well...

20. Verzuz went from the higlight to the lowlight. Jeezy and Gucci Mane had us ducking in our living rooms. Wouldn't be the first dive under a table I've taken. Then Jada came in HOT. I couldn't even watch because it wouldn't have lasted in STL. Then Stephanie "Capin' for Cosby" Mills and Chaka Khan taught us that perhaps Circoc doesn't need to sponsor all the sessions.

21. On a serious note... we survived this year. I mean barely. Many of us fought through the worst depression aand anxiety we've ever had. Many of us learned that our work places value capitalism and not the folks doing the work. So, here's what I leave you with as a few points of hope for our 2021-


-You've never lost anything that was yours to keep

-You are enough, always have been

-F*#% that job- I mean this with everything in me. Leave unhealthy relationships, work included.

-Don't leave anything unsaid or undone that would make a situation better

-Get some damn rest. Immune system in shambles because you have subscribed to grind culture. Grinding literally leaves a something in pieces.

-Grind some herbs if you need to- sorry momma.

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