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Allison Gaines
Editor-in-Chief of CULTURED, AfroSaphiophile, Co-Founder WEOC with bylines @ Momentum & ZORA ♥︎ -☕️


Where has the loyalty gone?

Last summer, Megan Thee Stallion named Tory Lanez as the man responsible for shooting her. Shooting an unarmed Black woman who was “trying to leave the vehicle” is shameful. However, what’s even more disturbing than this one-off incident is how Black men responded to it.

I can already hear the “not all Black men” roaring in the background. So, yes, let’s go there. Rick Ross provided a perfect example of what that support looks like. For some, calling Lanez out may have broken the bro code, but I’m glad Ross didn’t buy into that. As reported in Billboard:

“Tory Lanez…


How the activist-scholar stared down the belly of the beast

Right now, Nikole Hannah-Jones deserves a round of applause. Whether you love her or hate her, it’s time to admit she won the culture war. While conservatives started the conflict, she ended it with poise. So, how did Hannah-Jones stare into the belly of the beast and come out triumphant? Let’s unpack this.

Ever since becoming the lead contributor for the New York Times’ 1619 Project, Hannah-Jones’ journalism has taken center stage, winning her the 2020 Pulitzer Prize. Before this, she received the MacArthur Fellowship in 2017, also known as the “Genius Grant.” …

To communicate effectively, you have to control your tone. Here’s how to do that.

A couple of months ago, I read a story about blackface. Initially, I felt relieved that someone was bringing attention to this issue.

Then, sentence after sentence, I realized my initial assumptions, based on the title, fell short. To my surprise, this article supported blackface. As a Black writer, I felt appalled that a misleading title effectively lured me into reading a story I found racist. Of course, I realize that is clickbait. But the plot thickens.

I left a comment mentioning how offensive blackface is to Black people. The writer then told me, “The article was satire. You just…

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Choosing yourself is revolutionary

First and foremost, Naomi Osaka is an amazing athlete. She is a four-time Grand Slam champion. However, as a Haitian-Japanese woman, Osaka has faced tremendous pressure on and off the court. After using her platform to speak against racial injustices, the backlash came swiftly. When athletes faced harsh critiques for branching out beyond the realm of sports, Osaka stood firm in her conviction. Some of her motivation comes from activist athletes like Muhammad Ali. Last fall, at the U.S. Open Tennis Championship, Osaka wore a Black face mask with white letters reading Tamir Rice.

“Before I am an athlete, I…



Black history has become taboo. Just this month, the Texas Senate proposed erasing Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech from its curriculum. They also want to ban any curriculum that teaches the relevance of the Civil Rights Movement. Sadly, Texas is not alone. Many states across the country run by conservative legislatures have limited students’ access to Black history.

This project aims to address the disparity by providing a monthly compilation of Black History stories, some of which include bits of hidden history. …


Hip-Hop takes one step closer to intersectionality. Black Men, are you listening?

Lil Nas X is a Grammy award-winning artist breaking all of Hip-Hop’s unspoken rules. You may be asking yourself, what rules? After all, Hip-Hop is known for raw self-expression. Nevertheless, Black men often use their bully pulpit to promote misogynoir and homophobia in their music. In this environment, Lil Nas X has become revolutionary.

Considering some recent comments, Hip-Hop could use an intersectional reality check. DaBaby, the same rapper who decided to betray Megan Thee Stallion for the all mighty dollar bill, made some disparaging misogynoiristic and homophobic comments. At a concert, he commented:

“If you didn’t show up today…


The privatized space race reveals the values of the wealthy will never change

In 1970, Gil Scott-Heron wrote a poem — “Whitey on the Moon.” His lyrics recently resurfaced, providing an evergreen depiction of how America’s space race impacts Black people. Sometimes it feels like we’re frozen in time. According to The Washington Post, the racial, economic gap remains as wide as in1968.

His poem adds to our national conversation on pride, privilege, and prejudice.

I can’t pay no doctor bill.
(but Whitey’s on the moon)
Ten years from now I’ll be payin’ still.
(while Whitey’s on the moon) — Gil Scott-Heron

Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man in the world, left Earth’s orbit…


Here’s how you accept and incorporate editorial advice

Most writers want to “be good,” but new or aspiring writers often ignore the work it takes to become “good.” That’s problematic because we do not start our writing journey as perfect messengers. I’ve heard “writers feel attached to their writing” more times than I can count. However, that over-attachment may be the very anchor holding you back. It’s much more likely that you’ll grow as a writer when you incorporate feedback from fellow writers and editors. Unfortunately, many writers struggle to accept critique. Here’s how to get past that.

The first step of accepting critique is actually understanding the…


Some moments are worth celebrating

I know some people really don’t like weddings. But you should know before reading this that I adore them. Families, friends, and colleagues come together to celebrate a couple’s decision to spend their lives together. It may sound a bit mushy, but even a skeptic has to admit that weddings are worth saving the date for.

As a Black woman married to a Black man, I feel genuine joy at seeing 36-year old actress and producer Issa Rae and her groom Louis Diame tie the knot. It’s not easy being Black, and it certainly isn’t easy finding love in the…

Allison Gaines

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