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Celebrating Juneteenth: 13 Stories from Black Vocal Creators
In a world often starved for good news, one headline on Thursday offered cause for celebration. After passing through the U.S. Congress earlier in the week, a bill was signed into law by President Biden making June 19th, colloquially referred to as "Juneteenth," a federal holiday.
Generally speaking, April is a month with a good reputation. It represents the spring holidays, the weather getting nicer, and calculating your tax refund. April is featured in soft ballads evocative of springtime warmth like “April Come She Will” and “April in Paris.” April is even the name of the most hallowed of pop culture figures, a beloved sitcom character.
Listen, Learn, Grow
This edition of Verified finds us on the cusp of April, and in the Greater New York area where we are, Spring has certainly sprung. As much as we would love to take the optimistic tone of the chirping birds, crocus buds, and increased accessibility to the vaccine, that would be disingenuous of us. The fact that a gradual return to "normal life" in the U.S. has lead to the return of mass shootings is impossible to ignore, as is the frighteningly pervasive problem of anti-Asian violence.
Celebrating Women’s Voices
We try to be topical with each new Verified, referencing current events with which our global community of creators can relate. For this edition, we were influenced by a particular moment from a recent interview you may have heard about…
Where We Are Going, Where We Have Been
The title of this edition of Verified may have been inspired by a Joyce Carol Oates story that has traumatized us since tenth grade, but we promise the theme will be very different.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true, that even as we grieved, we grew, that even as we hurt, we hoped, that even as we tired, we tried, that we'll forever be tied together, victorious.
"We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live"
As we waved goodbye to 2020, we will be very honest: We hoped there would be way more chill in 2021. With news of multiple COVID-19 vaccines being distributed worldwide, we certainly had reason to believe we were turning the page on dark days. And as we waltzed confidently into a new year, we were cruelly reminded that the stroke of midnight on January 1st was not the "magic wand" that a lot of us were hoping that it would be.
"Home" For the Holidays
The "Holiday Season," as it is often defined, has looked very different for us in 2020. Usually, this time of year is marked by a frenzy of holiday parties and drinks and gatherings spent with crowds of friends and family.
Friedrich Nietzsche once said: "we must have chaos within to give birth to a dancing star." As the chaos rages on, the Moderation Team at Vocal has continued to see an influx of creative ideas from our talented community, proving that chaos does, in fact, inspire.
Through Chaos, We Create
What a week it's been. Between election anxiety, the unnecessary presidential drama, and another spike in Covid-19 cases, it's been hard to focus on anything else, but we managed to round up yet another awesome collection of stories to share with you today.
"What day is it?" we used to ask every morning. Now we ask, "What year is it?" and the answer, sadly, hasn't changed in a very long time.
If Letters Were People
Time for another roundup from the Moderation Team! Reading your stories continues to be the highlight of our days, as it brings us closer to the creators and voices that fuel Vocal. As always, we've been hard at work giving ♥️s and tips to all our favorites. From penguin photography to the dreaded and ongoing "War on Tomatoes," the stories featured below are a few of the best. Let's get to it.