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Christmas cards were never a tradition we had in my family. In fact, after the early 2000s, as polaroid cameras and camcorders began to fade out of style, new Christmas pictures and home movies mostly vanished from our photo albums and VHS tapes. The tradition of catching holiday moments on camera continued, however, through my friends.
Twitter has never been short of diaspora wars within the Black community. The most common being disagreements between native Africans and African Americans (Black Americans whose ancestors have resided in the U.S. for several generations, most likely tracing back to slavery). Recently, the diaspora war has spread between African Americans and Black British people and all because of a comment made by actor LaKeith Stanfield. Stanfield made a comment about his upcoming movie, Judas and the Black Messiah, in which he stars alongside British actor, Daniel Kaluuya. Stanfield said in a Clubhouse chat that he was initially supposed to play Fred Hampton in the movie, not Kaluuya, but their roles were changed at the last minute. This sparked a discussion about Black British actors getting roles as African American characters in movies, specifically as African American historical figures (i.e. Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup, etc.) via the hashtag #NotMyFredHampton. And because healthy discourse is often hard to maintain on social media, things spiraled into a lot of finger pointing.
Many people spend their lives searching for their Jerusalem or their Mecca. A place that all roads seem to lead back to. A destination that makes the journey of life worthwhile. I began a similar search a year ago, but rather than searching for my Mecca, I was searching for my Edinburgh. Edinburgh, Scotland hardly has the same cultural significance that Mecca or Jerusalem have, but its importance in the life of author J.K. Rowling was like a pilgrimage in some ways. Rowling has said before that the majority of the Harry Potter series was written in the city of Edinburgh. A place that, for her, yielded inspiration in a way that she had never experienced previously. As a writer, this is what I long for. A place where a masterpiece can almost be written just from the sights and sounds itself.
My favorite type of literature is hands down Young Adult or YA fiction. Even at 22 years old, books about teenagers and pre-teens coming of age and going on quests in an adult-dominated world are exciting to me. YA books bring out the kid in all of us and present the world in a way that is more optimistic than adult fiction while still forcing us to confront the harsh realities of it. In a way, it shows us the way that the world is, while also showing us the way that the world could be.
Over the course of its nine seasons, The Office gave us several iconic Christmas moments. Despite going off the air in 2013, Christmas at Dunder-Mifflin still has a place in the hearts of the show's fans. With all of the diverse and interesting characters on the show, they all inspired very different Christmas traditions in the office. So to keep the Christmas spirit of Dunder-Mifflin alive, here is a playlist full of songs that are based on the wonderful characters from The Office.
If you have read some of my other stories I've posted on here, you probably know that I am a big Glee fan. My love for Glee, however, does not absolve the show of some of the problematic behaviors it exhibited during its run. One of the most problematic being the show's bias and outright aversion to Black men. During its six season run, the show only managed to feature two Black male characters as part of the main cast and even then, there were many problems surrounding their characterization. From my perspective, Glee had three overarching problems when it came to their approach to portraying Black men.
Disclaimer: This is not me endorsing or ignoring the very problematic situations that have come out of Glee or its cast (i.e. ableism, racism, etc). These articles are for fun and nostalgia and are based solely on what the show was and my love for the characters, not the actors who play them.
About twice a year, I re-watch Glee, purely out of nostalgia and, despite the criticisms of the show, I actually enjoy it. Glee was one of those feel good teen shows that gave many of us unrealistic expectations for what high school was supposed to be like and made us want to sing and dance even if we couldn't. Despite not actually watching Glee until season 6 aired (because that was when it was put on Netflix), Glee has been a part of my life since middle school. The show aired in 2009 when I was in the sixth grade and I remember the cultural frenzy it caused. My teacher's assistant for English would often play songs from Glee while we worked on essays or read to ourselves and I ended up becoming a fan of the songs from the show before ever watching an episode of it.