The Power of the Youth Vote in the 2020 Presidential Election

I can speak for myself and many other millennials and Gen-Z that the past presidential elections have been historical and monumental.

It started with the 2008 presidential election, where the first black president, Barack Obama, was elected. However, after his two wonderful terms, another monumental presidential race came to surface. The candidates were first woman presidential elect, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump. Donald Trump represented a hard conservative who wasn’t respectful to minorities or women. When the time came to vote, Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, and America is still recovering from the affects of this race.

For many young voters, their first time voting has been a time where there were increased pressure. Imagine the victory of having a black president, then being faced with the possibility of having a female president, and then being stuck with a conservative and racist president. This is why it’s important now more than ever for the youth to vote and be the change we want to see in the country.

Voter Turnout

Voter turnout amongst young voters have been historically low, but it’s evident that people are fired up more than ever to play their parts in the 2020 presidential race. I believe the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase of voter information on social media will be the cause of a higher voter turn out amongst the youth. The Black Lives Matter movement has been instrumental in conveying the importance of voting and letting the minority voice be heard.

Early voting amongst people aged 18-29 has increased across the 14 critical voting states, according to data from Catalist. In Florida, the youth vote has nearly doubled from the last presidential election. Even within a CNN election poll, it showed that 51% of registered voters aged 18-34 are extremely excited to vote in 2020. In 2016, that number was only 30%.

Higher Stakes

I believe youth voters are more motivated with the issues and less with the candidates themselves. Many youth have racial equality along with defeating Donald Trump as their top voting motives. With the increased race-motivated police brutality cases, it’s important to the youth more than ever to fix racial injustice in America. Donald Trump continuously undermines and doesn’t identify race as a problem in America.While Joe Biden may have his fair share of ignorance on racial injustice, he at least acknowledges it as an issue and is willing to take the steps to be an ally.

Meeting Youth Voters in the Middle

The best way to get the youth to vote has been social media. Joe Biden’s team has been successful in joining Versuz battles, connecting with entertainers/celebrities, and even using the gaming industry for marketing materials. There are also register to vote widgets on all social media platforms.

In the age of the new digital world, 2020 could be the year of the youth vote.

Dating in your 20’s: Communication Struggles

I think almost everyone has been at a point in their dating life, where they felt they were on a merry go round that never stopped. Im sure we all have had intentions that we set for a new person that we were dating that wasn’t always met. But why is that?

Communicating Intentions:

Often times, people aren’t communicating their intentions properly upon meeting someone new. In my opinion, your intentions should be communicated before the first date. But, as long as it’s communicated in the early stages there shouldn’t be room for confusion or any miscommunication.

A major reason for people failing to communicate is usually because they’re assuming that their intentions would be opposite of the person they’re dating. We have to understand that we must always be on the same page and have the same intentions as people we choose to date. If you personally want something casual then SAY THAT. Who’s to say that your partner/friend doesn’t want the same thing. And if they don’t want the same thing, give them that freedom to make the decision if they want to continue or bounce.

Our feelings shouldn’t be hurt if a person communicates intentions that are indifferent of our personal intentions. But it all depends on the timing. It’s okay to communicate your intentions in the early stages. However, when we wait till months, and even sometimes years, to communicate intentions it’s nearly heartbreaking for some people. The biggest policy is honesty, and if you can’t give your partner the decency of honesty in the early stages, the relationship will most likely be unstable.

Communicating in Relationships:

When it comes to relationships, communication can make or break your relationship. Communication along with trust needs to be the foundation. It’s not just letting your partner know your daily routine, but its learning how to communicate your feelings and emotions. You have to pay close attention to what types of things upset your partner. You also need to observe and determine the sensitivity and emotional levels of your partner. You have to understand that just because some things aren’t a big deal to you, it may be hurtful for your partner. All in all, you have to be considerate of your partner’s feelings.

You should feel comfortable expressing your feelings to your partner. The biggest mistake a person can make is bottling it in, because when it finally comes out its not pretty. I understand it’s easier said than done, but it’s something that we all could work towards. It can be extremely hard to have a romantic partner who isn’t emotionally available.

Communicating Love Languages:

Communicating your love language with your partner can help with your overall communication. The five love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Everyone has a distinct way in which they receive love. You want to find ways to make your partner happy and ways to love more effectively.

Communication isn’t something that can be fixed over night. But I challenge those that are single/dating and those in relationships to evaluate ways they can communicate better to their partner/friend. I also recommend everyone take the love language test online, to see the proper way they receive love.

The Beginner’s Guide to Maintaining Your Protective Styles

With many Americans stuck in the house with the early months of quarantine, more women have experimented with protective styles. Whether it was rocking knotless braids, passion twists, or even a new lace front wig, more women were open to trying new things.

The most vital part of wearing protective styles is the maintenance. Often times people tend to forget about making sure your hair is healthy while rocking their new styles. This beginner’s guide will drop some gems for wearing protective styles:

1.Knotless/Box Braids/Twists

Knotless or box braids are in my opinion the easiest option for protective styles. Besides the installation that can take anywhere from 3-7 hours, it doesn’t require a whole bunch of extra styling. Also, you don’t have to worry about your hair sweating out in the hot summer months. However, since it doesn’t require extra styling, people forget the most important step to moisturize your scalp!

Keep your scalp moist

You should be moisturizing your hair at least 2-3 times a week. You can use essential hair oils like coconut oil, castor oil, and peppermint oil because they promote hair growth and gets the blood circulated in your scalp. Do keep in mind that too much oil in this style can cause product buildup and we don’t want a dirty/messy scalp.

Keep your hair clean

The biggest myth with braids is that you can’t wash your hair. In my journey with braids washing my hair didn’t cause any damage to the style. I usually wash it with the African Pride Black Castor Miracle Scalp Cleansing Rinse after the two week mark. It’s essential to wash your hair especially if your scalp is sweaty or you start to get product buildup. You also can co wash your hair and always apply an oil to seal the moisture after washing.

Protect your hair at night

This tip is a common rule that applies to all hair styles for black women. Just like you would sleep with a bonnet or scarf with your natural hair or weave/wig, you should do the same for braids. While it’s synthetic braiding hair, your real hair can’t stand to sleep on cotton pillowcases with no silk or satin bonnet/scarf. There are braid bonnets or extra large bonnets available at the local beauty store.

2. Lace Front/Full Lace Wigs

Reginae Carter

The lace front and full lace wigs have to be the most popular style amongst the black community. Wigs give you the fullness that you desire and even extra length. But with wigs it can be extremely hard to keep up your hair underneath. It’s not as easy as tossing a wig on and expecting your hair to grow, you have to put in the work to reach your hair growth goal.

Be aware of the type of hair you’re purchasing

Ladies, we have to make sure we are buying quality hair. Often times hair companies will sell hair that is described as virgin hair, but have the same hair grade as human/synthetic. Your virgin hair should feel, curl, and dye like REAL hair. While it may be a little more costly, it’s essential to get quality hair that will last from several months up to a year. My favorite virgin hair is Brazilian hair

Trim your hair regularly to reach your hair length goal

In order for your hair to grow with this protective style, you must trim your hair before you install the wig. Also, if you plan on wearing the wig for several months you should aim to get your hair trimmed once or twice a month.

Make sure your cornrows/twists underneath are installed correctly and moisturized

It’s extremely important that your cornrows or twists underneath your wig, is as neat as possible. If they are messy not only will your wig not lay flat, but your hair will be prone to tangling and matting underneath the wig. If you’re not the best braider, I recommend asking a family member or friend to hook you up. Many hairstylists even will braid your hair down for wig installation.

The biggest mistake that many wig wearers make is they forget to moisturize and oil their braids/twists underneath their wigs. The same rules of the knotless/box braids apply to this protective style. You should at least be applying oil 2-3 times a week if not everyday. Also you should dedicate a wash day every two weeks to take your braids out, wash your hair, and re-braid. It may sound like an all day thing, but its extremely important.

Protect your hair at night

Similar to box braids its important to take proper care of your hair at night. When I’m wearing wigs, they usually aren’t sewn down so I take them off at night and sleep with a silk bonnet. I don’t prefer for people to sleep with their wig or wig caps on at night because their braids don’t get that TLC moisture that satin and silk materials provide.

Comment Below Your Favorite Protective Style:

How to Make the Most out of Your Dating Life During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic forced a worldwide lockdown. Many countries required citizens to quarantine to slow the spread of the coronavirus. There was no longer any common human interactions. When people weren’t allowed to see people physically, the only source of “dating” was virtually. While it’s hard, I discovered some tips to make the most of your dating life during the pandemic.

While the pandemic is very much so still present, many states eased up on the social distancing restrictions. There are more safe ways to date than in the previous months. I recommend more creative dates, now that the basic movie and dinner date can be harder to arrange.

Creative Dating

A great date idea is setting up a picnic, depending on the weather. Romantic picnics are a great way to enjoy nature, have intimate chats, and show your creative sides. Choosing a location with a nice view, by the water, or even in a local park would make for a great picnic. I suggest brining a card game, or come up with some creative talking points to get to know your partner better.

One activity that’s gotten more popular since the pandemic is hiking. This date is for people looking to do something fun and adventurous. There are quite a few hiking trails within the DMV area, and I’m sure there are some in surrounding states. Not only is it adventurous, but hiking with a partner can be a team building exercise.

Stay Safe and Be Realisitc

At the end of the day your safety comes first. I know sometimes we have the urge for social gatherings and interactions, but we must be realistic. If you plan to see your partner for a date, and you just went to a pool party with 50+ people, maybe it’s not the smartest idea. Not only is it selfish but it’s inconsiderate to spread those germs unto a partner. If you plan to be physical please make sure this is also done in a safe manner. If need be, you and your partner can regularly get COVID tests.

Be Patient

We all have to adjust to the new social norms, but my biggest piece of advice is to remain patient. Everyone has different comfortability levels of social distancing and their overall safety. Some may feel comfortable eating at restaurants, while others may not. It’s important to be respectful to your partner’s comfortability level surrounding the virus. I would recommend meeting in the middle and finding a way to date whether that be virtual or in person. You have to decide which form of dating works best for you and your partner.

The Presence of Homophobic Ideals Within the Black Community

Your community, family, and close friends can play a huge part in your values and ideals. It’s not uncommon to allow the people closest to you to have an effect on your views on certain people and lifestyles. For myself and many other people within the black community, I have witnessed homophobic slurs or overall uncomfortability with the LGBTQIA community by my relatives and close friends. But why is this so prominent amongst a marginalized group of people?

The Religion Justification

When I’ve asked some relatives or close friends why they don’t support the LGBTQIA community, their first response was religion. They usually would quote bible verses and explain to me that “God made Adam and Eve to procreate” or “Gay people will not be accepted into the gates of heaven.” But I always wondered why this so called “sin” of being gay outweighs the other sins of lust, greed, wrath, envy, and pride.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a Christian my whole life and have a great relationship with God, but this justification seems morally wrong. God wouldn’t want us bearing hate within our hearts to anyone, gay or straight. This dislike is something that is taught and passed down to the coming generations. We need to leave it up to God to decide whats morally wrong, and not speak for him by justifying personal uncomfortability with the bible.

Hypocrisy of Anti-Discriminatory Views

In the current times of Black Lives Matter and overall civil unrest in the protesting of police brutality, we as a community shouldn’t be discriminating amongst another community of people. After the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Oluwatoyin Salau, and many other African Americans, the Black Lives Matter hashtag and motto has developed increased attention. The hypocrisy in that is we say that black lives matter, but don’t believe that queer black lives matter too.

The black community sometimes has a habit of forgetting about the LGBTQIA community. We can’t preach about police, racists, and white conservatives treating us with the utmost respect, and not putting stereotypes on us, if we have similar behavior towards the LGBTQIA community. Not only do black queer people have to face the discrimination of their race, but some have to struggle with the discrimination of their sexuality amongst the black community which they also belong.

Rejection of Queerness in the Media

The presence of queerness within the media simply can’t be ignored. There have been people on social media protesting queer people in major roles in tv shows or movies because it’s “inappropriate for children”. We cant censor a community that is prevalent and has been around for years. Just like we never thought we would see the day that a black person would be in a major TV role, that accomplishment is life changing for members of the queer community. The black community and the queer community are both underrepresented, and we must join forces and fight for the same mainstream recognition that the majority receives.

Educating Ourselves

The best thing we as a black community can do is to educate ourselves and have the utmost respect for the community. I’m not saying everyone has to be an ally or attend the next pride parade, but we can do more to show our support. We can’t tolerate or participate in the homophobic slurs or be a bystander for the senseless murders and beatings of members of the LGBTQIA community. We simply cannot continue to ignore it, because their community isn’t going anywhere. We must acknowledge and give their community the respect they deserve.

Steps To Control and Manage Your Post Grad Depression

For many recent graduates getting a job straight out of college can be a struggle. For the graduating class of 2020, it’s even harder finding a job after the COVID-19 pandemic left many employers hesitant to take on new hires. Now months after graduating, there are many recent graduates who are beginning to feel discouraged about not having a job.

Post grad depression is a common phase for recent graduates who are struggling to find jobs, and lose a sense of purpose in one of their biggest life transitions. Many college students have the idea they’ll get their full-time offer straight out of college and their new apartment, but sometimes life and even a pandemic can get in the way.

As a recent graduate who also found herself slipping into a post-grad depression with the trying job search, I wanted to share some ways to overcome the feelings of self-doubt and how to gain motivation:

1. Stop comparing yourself to your peers, what’s for you will BE for you

I know with social media it’s easy to see your followers getting their full-time offers and moving into their brand new apartments. However, the worst thing you can do is compare yourself. Everyone has a different purpose in life, and different paths to get to their goal. We should celebrate the accomplishments of those closest to us.

2. Make better use of your time

If you really want a job, it should be your top priority. So as much as we love our sleep, we have to wake up earlier so that we can get more things accomplished in a day. Remember we are sleeping to live not living to sleep.

3. Revamp your Linkedin and professional portfolios/resume

Now is the perfect time to revamp your resume, and make yourself more marketable on Linkedin. You now have the free time to connect with recruiters and build connections virtually. You should come out of this pandemic with your profile up to date and letting recruiters know you are a force to be reckoned with.

4. Find a new hobby/skill that brings you joy

A big mistake that many recent graduates do in their job search is wake up, eat, apply to jobs, eat, apply to more jobs, eat, and sleep. We often forget that we must also do the things that make us happy. Whether that be trying a new DIY home project, trying a new hairstyle, or even learning a new language. We have to maintain some normalcy especially during this pandemic.

5. Manifest and pray for your life goals

Prayer and manifestation goes a long way in reaching your goals. Not only do we have to believe it, but we must speak it into existence in order for it to come true. We have to have faith and rely on God’s timing. I know it may feel like you’re applying to jobs everyday and not getting the results you would hope for, but I strongly believe that we will all get through this accomplishing our career goals.

Progressives Express Mixed Feelings After Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris for VP

Last Tuesday, Joe Biden selected Senator Kamala Harris as his VP pick. Biden announced the selection via text-message and an e-mail sent to his supporters. Once the news was shared via social media, it left some progressives with conflicting opinions.

Ms. Harris is the first black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office. Many Democrats and especially African-Americans see it as a celebratory history-making moment. While many Black Americans are thankful for the representation of color and gender, some question Ms. Harris’ motives.

In her presidential campaign, she definitely rubbed many African-Americans the wrong way. Her past far right stances on criminal justice issues as a prosecutor and attorney general, makes some people feel very uneasy. Some of her stances included, opposing the legalization of marijuana, and opposing a statewide police body camera mandate.

It seems that once again the theme of the upcoming presidential primary election is choosing the lesser of two evils. Many Democrats have more resentment for President Trump/ Mike Pence than they have for Joe Biden/ Kamala Harris, so many Democrats are put in a box.

However, this doesn’t excuse Kamala Harris from critique of the Democratic party. I believe she has to do a lot of media attention and convincing that she has learned from her past right-wing prosecutions. She has to get more progressives to believe in her, to ensure their comfortability in voting this Fall.

While Democrats are faced with conflicting views on Biden’s pick, In the grand scheme of things to have a black woman as a VP elect is “her-story” in the making.

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s New Single W.A.P. Raises New Ideas of Woman Sexual Liberation

Last Friday, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion released a well anticipated single entitled, W.A.P. This single was their first collaboration, in which they also released a music video which featured some female entertainers and social media personalities. Social media has been buzzing especially on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, as people reacted to the sexy song of the summer.

What made this single so big was it’s representation of a modern day form of sexual liberation. As of today, the song has garnered about 70 million views on Youtube in less than a week. Everything down to the lyrics, costuming, and even the choreography fought against the conservative ideas of a “well-kept woman”.

In their verses and throughout the chorus, both hip-hop stars described their sexual acts and the particular ways they are pleased in the bedroom. They truly represented a role-reversal by changing their sexual narratives that aren’t as common within the female rap game, as their male rapper counterparts. Artists like Lil Kim, Trina, and Khia were some of the first few female rappers to include their sexual desires in their music. Often times when female rappers create a testimony around sex, there are people who create strong critique.

Many conservatives didn’t like the idea of two black women appreciating their sexuality through music. Some of the negative backlash was saying that it was too sexual and/or raunchy. Conservative political commentator, Ben Shapiro, read the lyrics on his radio show, mocking the song by saying “This is what feminists fought for … This is what the feminist movement was all about, and if you say anything differently it’s ’cause you’re a misogynist”.

Many conservatives and some males who believe the lyrics were too raunchy, but listen to male rappers who talk about those same sexual desires in their music, seem to be contradicting themselves. If we are aiming to break gender social norms and stereotypes, we should hold both genders to the same standard. Many male rappers have been using sexual and suggestive verbiage in their singles/albums for decades, and they usually don’t experience the same critique.

Despite the critique, many people are in support of the new single and see it as a new wave of feminism. Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion both defended their song on Twitter:

Lol dudes will scream “slob on my knob” word for word and crying abt WAP 😂 bye lil boy

Originally tweeted by HOT GIRL MEG (@theestallion) on August 11, 2020.

I can’t believe conservatives soo mad about WAP.

Originally tweeted by iamcardib (@iamcardib) on August 10, 2020.