If you’re anything like me, then R&B is your favorite genre of music, and it simply cannot be beaten. But I want to talk about the shift in sound, especially within the last 5-10 years. It’s been leaving me unsatisfied.
Historically, the sounds that we know and can easily identify as RnB stem from jazz, the blues, and swing. The music from those eras honored what initially brought its listeners together while re-inventing itself at the same time. RnB from the late 90s to early 2000s still managed to hold onto its true essence.
So why has R&B lost its way?
For starters, many of the artists we’ve grown up listening to had their beginnings in their respective churches. Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Jazmine Sullivan. If you take some time to listen to their discography and compare their early projects to their latest ones, you’ll find that the soul and heart of R&B has never left them. Instead, RnB has evolved.
R&B typically puts our emotions into words, Ones that we sometimes cannot express on our own. This is why everyone is brought together when listening to the verse “telling my whole life,” sung by Lauryn Hill on “Killing Me Softly.” This is a comforting melody that is familiar to our ears, and it is that richness that is found in numerous artists. They are called (or have labeled themselves as) R&B singers. But nowadays, most artists are substandard to the acts of the ’90s and of the early 2000s.
Crossing the waters into the U.K, there is notably a lot of (North) American influence in their sound, specifically instrumentation and beat selection, yet those influences do not stop there.
In an interview dating back to 2019 with Hot97, songstress and songwriter Jorja Smith gave praise to pop culture’s most stunning voices in the industry, listing Amy Winehouse and political powerhouse Nina Simone as some of her influences. Reputably, Winehouse and Simone, both American women, were adored by fans from the moment they emerged onto the scene all the way to present-day for their voices and how true they kept to their respective sounds of soul-filled rhythm and blues. The U.K. artists have adapted such qualities so well that when we discover that they are from Europe and not American, it not only is shocking on most occasions but makes it unambiguously clear that it is lacking in the art of R&B on our side.
Moreover, as it seems as though R&B is becoming its own subgenre and not so much a stand alone there are those like Giveon, Lucky Daye and Teyana Taylor who have solidified their spot in the true essence of the genre.
Although it is not mutually exclusive for the worlds of R&B and Hip-Hop to be apart of one and other, the rap influence has made its presence in lyrical content, beat selection and cadence style. The current climate of the genre is moreso “savage” anthems than love songs which personally I have typically associated it with and knowing this, a lot of upcoming artists are rarely breaking that mold or simply conforming to what is trendy. It took a couple decades before pop culture fully embraced hip-hop due to the prejudice and biases that surrounded it which also affected the state of rap or what a “real” rapper is to say on their records. With that in mind I can’t help but wonder what it may take to bring back R&B to its roots. Blending and playing with sounds is what music is truly about at the end of the day furthermore a great record will stand the test of time. “Only real music is gonna last. All that other bullsh*t is here today and gone tomorrow!” – Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2 (Drake feat. Jay-Z)
Honestly, it wouldn’t feel right without at least giving a couple artists (UK/US/CAN) that reflect what I think true R&B is. Have a listen to this playlist I curated of some of the 2020s most authentic RnB artists.
Meet The Contributor
Hey! My name is Shakeem, who also goes by ‘Badbwoymack,’ so get familiar ;). My alias solely encompasses a lot of who I am and what I represent from my style, the music I listen to, the vibe I like to be surrounded by as well as the growth in my confidence, that I work on daily. As a contributor for NobodyAsked, I plan on sharing stories about things that vary from all the music genres that I divulge in, black beauty/art to the latest fashion trends. I want to inspire and give our readers stories that are trending as well deserve more exposure while keeping true to myself.
I’ve been having a hard time with intimate relationships, blame it on past trauma, bad experiences, or just not mastering the art of being understood. I think that it is easy to fall into the void of loneliness. It’s easy to feel abnormal when you’re constantly being reminded by society that you are only worthy if you fit the traditional roles. It’s easy to feel abnormal when you are dissociating from reality. It’s easy to feel abnormal when you can’t picture the future. The pandemic is forcing us to reconsider what intimacy is and how it exists in these circumstances. How can you find intimacy in the midst of an apocalypse?
Intimacy starts with vulnerability. Vulnerability is how humans connect with others; it is about being filled with compassion and being brave enough to show your wounds. I know that vulnerability isn’t a concept that everyone has mastered. It’s not easy but I find it necessary. Being vulnerable exists in the little things: letting someone know how you feel about them is vulnerability, letting people know that you’re not doing okay is vulnerability, holding space for yourself and your feelings is vulnerability. I think that being vulnerable is about being open, authentic, and honest.
I’ve been connecting with people online and keeping up with my old friends. I feel like I’m having a long-distance relationship with them but I hold them dear in my heart. Sometimes, I try to do a quick phone call. Sometimes, it’s a quick text saying hey I miss you, you’ve been on my mind. I hope you’re well.
Recently I’ve been leaning towards playing a game called “we’re not really strangers”. I bought the game thinking I’d be able to play it in real life and bond with the people in my life more. I eventually decided not to waste it and give it a shot with my online and in real life friends.
According to the We’re Not Really Strangers website, the game is “a purpose driven card game and movement all about empowering meaningful connections.”
There are three levels of questions and wildcards that will deepen your existing relationships and create new ones.
Depending on the emotional connection that you have with the other person, you can pick which level you want to explore.
It really does deepen your relationship with others and forces you to avoid small-talk. I hate small talk so I’m really happy with this game. Yes, I cried like a baby when I played it the first time with two of my closest friends but it made me feel seen, seen for I am really at the core. It’s such a privilege to be able to navigate through someone’s else soul.
Intimacy exists in little things. It’s being able to say that you’re not doing okay and that you feel overwhelmed when people ask “how are you doing?” It’s being able to reply “I bawled my eyes out for 2 hours yesterday and I don’t know how I’m feeling.” I want you to understand that it’s okay. Intimacy isn’t about perfection, it’s about acceptance for yourself that reflects on others.There will be times when it hurts to be vulnerable, there will be times when you find it difficult to open up. Showing up as yourself every single day isn’t an easy task. It gives me a certain serenity knowing that I’ve opened up my heart without resisting because to me that’s what unconditional love is about. I have been thinking a lot about intimacy and what it means to be emotionally available.
I remember when outside wasn’t illegal and when poetry nights were a thing. One night, I ended up walking this girl and she was explaining how emotional people like us, make a big deal out of nothing.
I replied: “I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with being emotional. I think that it’s brave to feel everything deeply because some people aren’t able to.”
The weather is getting colder but that isn’t a reason to not be stylin’ while profilin’ out there. Whether you’re the type to wear sweats and head out the door or planning an outfit, days in advance, there are in fact essentials that can make just about any outfit pop no matter your style preference as well as trends that can take your closet from meh to WOAH!
Jackets are usually the last thing we put on or put thought into because it’s another layer to just stay warm but if you take a look at your wardrobe do you have a leather jacket, a killer bomber or even a puffer jacket? If not, then those pair well with your dress-down days with your favorite adidas track pants or champion sweats and if your dressing it up for a night out with friends then think oversized a slip-on dress with a bomber jacket always catches the eye.
This season is also all about prints and textures! As I previously mentioned, leather is a staple and should not be overlooked along with faux-fur coats that look luxurious while not breaking your bank. Cowhide prints, snakeskin and wool fabrics are not only captivating to the eye but with touch as well, not to mention looking hella expensive. Go for monochromatic looks! They are all about one color, in the different shades it comes in. While that might sound difficult, it is more reason to go off and get as creative as you would like. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to mix and match your patterns, textures and prints it is quite literally was takes an everyday look into something new every time.
Overalls, Sweatpants, jeans, chinos, slacks, bellbottoms and trousers are all bottoms that you should doubtlessly have in your closet and/or drawers in like manner can elevate your entire outfit. With various designs and types of bottoms that are widely available you’re sure to find exactly what you need, notably at your local thrift stores. Now that we are in a pandemic, the restrictions on fitting your clothes before an actual purchase has made our judgements a little more difficult notably when it comes to waist fit and length of the actual pant which once more might lead you into a creative headspace and complete customize your thrift find into something completely new.
The drip is from head to toe and what’s on your feet is just as important as the rest of your outfit not to mention the first thing others actually notice before anything else, you’re wearing. A trend that I’ve been noticing is wearing cowboy style boots with just about any kind of get-up. This is a statement piece, if done right, that will just about heighten your look but the brows of your onlookers. Footwear that even in the Fall are must-haves: Air Jordans, classic Air Force 1’s, classic Adidas and Reebok classics. “Good shoes take you good places,” and should not be treated as an after-thought.
Lastly, an outfit is simply not complete without accessorizing! If you wear gold, silver, costume jewelry or customized to your liking, it’s an added bonus to any and every outfit. Ultimately, clothes are to have fun in and make who you are on the inside come to life on the outside.
For inspiration here are some influencers/Instagrfam fashionistas that may aide you on your next look:
About This Author
Hey! My name is Shakeem, who also goes by ‘Badbwoymack,’ so get familiar ;). My alias solely encompasses a lot of who I am and what I represent from my style, the music I listen to, the vibe I like to be surrounded by as well as the growth in my confidence, that I work on daily. As a contributor for NobodyAsked I plan on sharing stories about things that vary from music of all genres that I divulge in, black beauty/art to the latest fashion trends. I want to inspire and give our readers stories that are trending as well deserve more exposure, while keeping true to myself.
It’s been a decade since Nicki Minaj released her debut album Pink Friday. An influential album that would go on to be certified 3x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Yesterday marks 10 years since Nicki Minaj released her debut album, Pink Friday. An album that propelled her career and made her one of the biggest names in hip-hop. The album had features from high profile artists with already established careers, such as Kanye West, Eminem, Rihanna, Will.I.Am. However, they weren’t exactly doing her any favors. Nicki held her own on every track that featured a rap veteran and she made hits with every track that didn’t have a feature, including “Your Love”, “Right Thru Me”, “Super Bass”, and “Did it On ‘Em”. These songs accelerated Nicki Minaj to stardom she was born to claim.
Those who were familiar with Nicki Minaj from mixtapes, Playtime is Over, Sucka Free, and Beam Me Up Scotty, knew what she was capable of and that her rise to fame was inevitable.
Before her debut, Nicki secured a spot on Kanye West’s single, “Monster”, which was released about a month prior to Pink Friday. Her verse on “Monster” is arguably the best on the song and the most legendary of her career. The verse will forever be immortalized. Evidence of this is, Grammy Award winning singer Adele, rapping along to Nicki’s verse during Carpool Karaoke with James Cordon in 2016.
Nicki Minaj’s skill is apparent throughout her entire freshman album. Her flow was impeccable on every beat, she breezed through each track effortlessly and smoothly. Even on “Blazin”, where she rapped 5.8 syllables per second, the flow and delivery was seamless.
The album, Pink Friday signifies the birth of the Barbz, Nicki Minaj’s extremely loyal, diehard fanbase, who have done a significant amount of trolling and cyberbullying across all social media platforms throughout their favorite artist’s career. Pink Friday also signifies the birth of all Nicki Minaj’s sons. On the track, “Did it On ‘Em”, Nicki Minaj proclaims that “All these bitches is my sons,” a signature phrase she’d go on to use in a number of ways over many songs. Nicki also introduced her fans to Roman, her alter ego, similar to Eminem’s, Slim Shady.
The Pink Friday era of Nicki Minaj was only the beginning of her colorful and illustrious career. Known for her Barbie aesthetic, she was often adorned in pink wigs and bright outfits and makeup, expressing herself through her hair and fashions. These fashions helped her get deals with beauty companies, MAC Cosmetics and OPI.
Since releasing her debut, Nicki Minaj has won numerous awards, notably BET Award for Best Female Hip Hop Artist from 2010-2016. For a long time, she was the only female rapper releasing music and her rapping style and performance was so distinct and refreshing she was everybody’s favorite female rapper, including myself.
The influence of Pink Friday will live on forever. This project secured Nicki Minaj a place in entertainment forever. Not only did she receive acknowledgement and cosigns from her peers, she showed the world what she was capable of. She made a lane of her own and that lane became a way for the new women to enter the rap game with ease. Her talent elevated the bar, not only for female rappers but for male rappers as well. She showed that not only can women rap with the men, they could outrap the men too. If there was a list of influential rappers, Nicki Minaj would be in the Top 3 and her Pink Friday is proof of that. Don’t you agree? Nicki is the Barbie, Nicki is the Queen, Nicki is “the alpha the omega, everything in between.”
About This Author
Barbara Hall is a 24 year old writer from Harlem, New York. She has always had a love for English and pouring words onto pages. Barbara stays up-to-trend with all things pink, fashion, music and sports.
Twitter rolled out another feature that nobody asked for.. but now we are here! This new feature allows for users to create “fleets” which are basically Twitter’s version of Instagram/Snapchat Stories. Fleets give Twitter users more opportunities to engage with their following. Users responded to this new feature with a myriad of emotions:
Some are frustrated as Twitter lags on rolling out the feature to all of its 330 million and counting users as promised.
I played around with fleets today, and already have questions and discoveries:
Will Twitter users be able to use the audio recording feature on fleets?
Twitter has given us an audio recording feature, but it is unavailable for “fleets” currently.
Will Twitter users be able to create 24 hour polls on fleets?
The only current way to run a poll is with a tweet.
When viewing fleets do private twitter users remain anonymous?
When a private account interacts with a normal tweet you are not able to see their information in replies/likes/retweets
I tested this with a friend for fleets, and private twitter users CAN be seen in the “Seen by” feature.
The “capture video” feature lagged for me when trying to record directly into Twitter.
I attempted to record and post a video directly on Twitter and my app froze and the video playback did not load!
I assume this is a bug, and will be tweaked after rollout. Has anyone else has this issue?
Accounts with big followings will now be able to see more direct engagement.
It can be tough to engage followers with only tweets, fleets will allow more users to be able to connect with their following.
Can people that don’t follow you see your fleets?
Yes! If your profile is public your fleets can be viewed by anyone!
Will there be a swipe up link added to fleets?
On Instagram users with over 10,000 followers are able to use the swipe up feature. On Snapchat all users are able to add swipe-up links. Will Twitter users be afforded this same swipe-up feature in the future?
Most people like this feature because it allows for a call-to-action.
So far, I actually like the concept of “fleets” (I do think they could have picked a better name). I think this will be something that helps set it apart further from Instagram/Facebook. We get to have a chronological feed AND post 24 hour stories. As an avid Twitter user this will definitely keep me off the Instagram more.
When social media sites roll out these huge updates I know they are heavily dependent on user feedback. What are your thoughts about “fleets”? Let me know by commenting below or on Twitter!
About This Author
GEM is a 24 year old black biracial digital creator from the Metro Detroit Area (Michigan). She has a love for all things social media, technology and self-care. GEM has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Marketing + Communication and has worked in the digital marketing and graphic design community for 4+ years.
The second Monday of October in both Canada and the United States marks a day that celebrates the colonization and genocide of numerous indigenous groups in North, South, and Central America. In Canada, it’s Thanksgiving, a day to spend with family, enjoy food, and contemplate what we’re thankful for. In the United States, it’s Columbus Day, meant to honor the achievements of Christopher Columbus and his “discovery” of the Americas. While you may just see it as a time to spend with family or just a free day to have off we encourage you to instead celebrate Indigenous People’s Day.
You may be wondering exactly how to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day so have a few suggestions for you! The very first step and a small one is to find out where and on whose land you currently reside. As a Montrealer, I’ve lived my whole life on the unceded territory of both the Kanien’kehá:ka and Anishinabeg people that was originally named Tiohtià:ke. Besides acknowledging the unique people and cultures of whose land you reside on we also encourage you to also spend today (and others) amplifying voices of indigenous creators, supporting organizations created to uplift indigenous communities, and donating money to indigenous movements and fundraisers.
Read below to find some creators,organizations, and fundraisers that you can support!
Voices To Amplify:
Shina Nova is a Montreal based throat singer that has been teaching and sharing her Inuk culture on TikTok. Through engaging and funny skits Shina educates her audience on Canadian indigenous history, debunks Hollywood-made myths, and (our personal favorite) remixes trending songs with throat singing.
Allen Salway is a 22-year-old writer and community organizer from the Navajo Nation. He uses his social media to bring awareness to the lack of access to clean water and electricity in the Navajo Nation and also helps spread awareness to the struggles of other indigenous peoples/nations worldwide.
Native Montreal is a friendship center located in downtown Montreal created with the goal of promoting cultural recognition of indigenous culture. The center has many programs including (but not limited to) providing services for educational,personal and economic development.
Mikana is a francophone non profit organization founded in Montreal engaged with changing negative stereotypes about indigenous people as well as providing awareness of indigenous perspectives and experiences.
The Oki Language Project is an initiative engaged with bringing awareness to the importance of preseving indigenous languages. Led by Gene Brave Rock and inspired by the Blackfoot Language Revival Group, The Oki Language Project is raising funds in order to travel across Turtle Island(North America) to document every tribe’s ‘hello” through the sharing of stories by aging elders.
On September 28th, 2020, Joyce Echaquan, was murdered by two nurses working at the CISSS de Lanaudiere in Joliette, Quebec. She was someone’s daughter, a partner, sister, friend and a mother to 7 kids who she never got the chance to go home to. We encourage you to sign the petition to put pressure on government officials to give Joyce the justice she deserves as well as donated to her Go Fund Me campaign to help her family with funeral costs and help support her children.
There are SO many great indigenous creators and organizations to follow as well as fundraisers to support. We’ve only provided y’all with a few but make sure to keep an eye out for all the others doing work their communities. Especially when it comes to environmentalism since we didn’t touch on any of that today! Happy Indigenous People’s Day!
Yesterday, August 26, marked the 100 year anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment in the United States that banned women from having the right to vote. Although this did not grant Indigenous or Asian people the right to vote and African-Americans for decades still struggled with openly exercising their right to vote, this day was still momentous and a step towards equality. August 26th is also known as Women’s Equality Day and although there has been enourmous strides towards equality between the sexes in the last century, there is still so much work to be done. Sexism is alive and well still today. Many people fail to fully understand the complexities of sexism and the ways it intersects through race, sexuality, class and ableness. We reached out to a few woman and asked them to shared their experiences of sexism from their everyday lives. Below are some thoughful reflections that in reality only shows a small part of the many ways in which sexism presents itself.
I know that I’ve been privileged in my life because I benefit from being a lighter skinned, cis-gendered woman. One thing I’ve been thinking about recently was from my time working at a major bookstore. They’re supposed to give raises every year, but to get it you have to undergo an evaluation. My evaluation was good and I was given a raise. However, my colleague, who is a dark skinned black woman and had worked at the bookstore longer than I had, was not. She was given a more negative review and I found out that she hadn’t been given a raise since starting there. Having worked with her closely nearly every day, I know she’s an incredibly hard worker who gave amazing service and often went above and beyond for a client. I naturally questioned what the problem with her work ethic could have been and to this day I feel sick thinking about management writing her off based on her skin color and stereotypical preconceptions. It was a moment that really put workplace inequalities into a different, very jarring light for me and has now made me even more conscious of my own position in society and consider more closely the ways that I benefit from lightskin privilege. -P
There’s so many double standards that exists where it’s acceptable for a man to do certain things that a woman cannot do without being seen a certain way. What comes to mind right now is this uncomfortable conversation I had with this guy who was trying to tell me that it was perfectly ok for men to speak and sleep with more than one person at a time, because they were men. On the other hand, he kept saying that women just couldn’t do the same thing and that it, “just wasn’t right”. He truly believed this too. I never spoke with him after that. -J
When I was 18, I got a job as a waitress at a restaurant where I worked among 4 other (male) waiters. My manager often asked me to do things my male counterparts were never asked to do, like extra cleaning tasks or staying longer than I was scheduled to “help him with closing”; which was just time he spent making inappropriate comments. My coworkers and I all worked the same position and the only thing setting us apart was gender. Being the only woman in the staff was insanely unnerving and it didn’t take more than a month or so before I quit. -SG
[TW//mentions of sexual harassment, assault] Having grown up in what could be categorized as an ‘inner-city’ environment, I can recognize my experiences with inequality can be understood by where I stood at the intersects of race, class and gender. As a working class, black, pansexual femme, being subject to the harms of sexism began as early as school age for me. I recall having my body weaponized before knowing what sex, or seduction even was, and being taught that how to keep a lover (specifically a man) was through his stomach, and cleaning. Being the most progressive out of my family subjected me to criticism as I often loudly rejected these harmful ideals, or better yet myths. From being catcalled at thirteen, to a victim of sexual manipulation in my early adult years, it is highly important to me that young black girls are protected. These experiences shouldn’t be our normal, we have to redefine normal and teach our girls agency, instead of censorship. -Kiyanta
As a dark-skinned black woman I’ve struggled internally with my identity and trying to discern what truly is me and what is streotypical beliefs that others have projected onto me. I’ve experienced being painted as violent and aggressive, sometimes this is diguised as jokes. I actually fear having any type of confrontation with men due because black women being seen as more masculine. I feel like my skin color makes people consciously or subconciously brush off the abuses I’ve gone through since black woman are constantly stereotyped as being strong and able to withstand any and everything. -NC
In my work place, i’m the youngest woman so I get treated with less respect sometimes and get micro aggressions spewed at me on the daily. I’ve even had someone be openly racist in my face! -G
One night a while back, at work our supervisor was out for the day so the manager put me, and another employee in charge. The other person was white and male, we were near the same age. This person had been working there a bit longer than me and made it obvious they didn’t like sharing authority. That night they made it their mission to give me a hard time. They had a connection with the manager who was there and used it to their advantage. The person went to our manager that night and told them I didn’t help out how I was suppose to and that I was lazy. In reality it was me and two others that pulled the weight that entire night. But the manager believed them, so they sent me home early. Nothing I said to defend myself mattered to them at all. -JJ
I basically study and work in a field that is mostly men (finance/investments), women barely represent 20%. Over the last year, I have witnessed a lot of my female coworkers and friends, including myself, not being taken seriously. For years, people like to act like women can’t manage money or make some, even though we know how to chase the bag. -Désirée
Years ago I was elected onto an all-white board of directors at a local organization. There was one other woman on the board besides myself, and she was treated as sort of a token as well. Since the organization was in the inner-city and the board consisted heavily of charitable individuals from wealthier areas, me being a black woman from the community, I feel, was good for optics. The other woman and I during things like organization of an event, would be relegated to tasks such as being in charge of the refreshments or other “womanly” type duties. As I am not only a woman but also black, I also associated these tasks as being ones of the help. -C
As a young black woman, I either feel super exposed (not necessarily seen or understood) or hidden. Simple activities like walks down the street in the daytime, metro rides at any hour, grocery runs, a night out on the town can all be terrifying experiences on the inside just wondering if you will make it to and from your destination safely. It’s horrible to say because I do not want to make light of the gravity of the situation at hand, but staying 2 meters away from each other may be one of my favourite rules introduced into our society. I finally feel like I have a bit of a personal bubble. I just want to know who protects and supports black women in this big and scary world? -JP
I studied cinema and I mean, that alone can really give you an idea of the shit I had to go through. It was a lot of: my ideas get tossed to the side because my male peers thought theirs was better, only to have the teacher come around and suggest (you guessed it) my idea and OF COURSE that would be the only time said peers even considered it. I had been looking for a 2nd job & got hired somewhere. Day 1 I had them breathing down my neck, showing me how to use literally the most important program in my field. I couldn’t do my job without said program, like didn’t you JUST hire me based off my portfolio, you know I know what I’m doing so what is with the baby lessons?
I’m so grateful for all the female led business (like NobodyAsked aha) and classrooms that are popping up all around the country because it is definitely tiring constantly being around people who subconsciously or consciously think, speak & act like they know better than you; whether its intentional or not. –MJ
I would definitely say that being a black woman navigating through social life can be more than unequal at times. People just don’t ever seem to see me for me; like I’m not my own person with my own complexities. People meet me and often treat me according to some harsh stereotypical trope that they’ve projected on to me.
I’m a black woman, so I’m initially coined as a bitch because I don’t smile every five minutes. This somehow grants people the right to interact with me aggressively, because for whatever reason, they see a sign that reads ‘loud’, ‘mean’, and ‘dramatic’ across my forehead. Before I’ve even gotten the chance to open my mouth, I’ve been told that I “seem ghetto”, so I look unapproachable (yes! An old coworker actually told me that).
On the other hand when I do finally get a chance to say anything, those stereotypes are traded in for new ones. Now it’s that I’m soft spoken, so people want to tell me that I’m nicer than they expected. They feel more entitled to my time and personal space. Men and women cross boundaries with me all the time because they don’t think I’ll defend myself. I can’t even count the amount of times people have inappropriately touched or spoken to me in both public and private settings because they understand the privilege they hold over me. They feel comfortable enough to do these things because they understand that the black female body has always fallen under the category of subhuman; people don’t care about black women. They don’t see me as their equal, therefore don’t feel the need to treat me as such. -Rambo
We’d like to thank all the wonderful women who were comfortable enough to share their experiences of sexism with us, we’re extremely grateful. Sexism happens everywhere from the workplace to school and on the street when strangers catcall. It happens in our personal relationships and in our homes, during our childhood. There’s so many ways in which woman and girls can experience inequality without even having to consider the added discrimination of being a racial minority, a queer or transgender individual, or a woman of a lower economic class. We all have a responsibility to lend a hand in shifting these negative ideals and ways of being into ones that reflect the world in which we want to live.
More than 15 years ago, Mya and I met after peaking at each other across the curtains that divided her dad’s basketball camp, and the summer camp camp next door that I attended. I honestly don’t remember much from back then, I couldn’t even tell you what we bonded over, but that was the summer I met a friend i’d have for life. We spoke to each other all summer and by the next year had conviced Mya’s dad to let her switch camps, effectively ruining any dreams he might have had for her joining the WNBA. Luckily, his loss has been my gain.
A whole lot has changed since the first time we met, we’ve essentially become new people dozens of time over. We even had a stint of time in high school where we “grew apart”, yet somehow we have always found our way back. Mya and I are different in SO many ways (no really we’re so different). Though we aren’t much alike in personality, where you can find the most similarities are in our values and beliefs. The values and beliefs that we hold is what we’d like NobodyAsked. to stand for, not only to be seen in terms of brand identity, but also in action.
A couple of months ago, just before we’d know how drastically our lives and routines would change due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Mya approched me about starting a shared blog. Weirdly enough I had been thinking the same exact thing for weeks, so I of course agreed. I will admit that I was a bit naive to the level of work that actually goes into blogging before even publishing a post. Since our initial meetings our ideas have grown and become bigger than we originally intended. What started out as a casual shared creative venture between two friends has blossomed into a start up magazine tasked with the job of making media more diverse in every which way possible.
Popular/mainstream media in Montreal and mostly everywhere isn’t diverse, isn’t intersectional and only very recently (after all our brainstroming on the subject)has tried to start appealing to different audiences and presenting alternate point of views. Our goal is to become a media platform that gives a voice to people who haven’t traditionally had one. We want to be a platform that rejects the constrictions of post-secondary education, because we know you don’t have a master’s in journalism to write quality content. We want NobodyAsked. to be platform where we uplift creatives, activists and the community as a whole.
I’m extremely happy to be embarking on this new chapter with Mya, and honestly probably couldn’t even find it in me to team up with anyone else. I’m so excited for everything we have in store and can’t wait until all our hopes and dreams come into fruition. Until then we’ll live by the expression, “success is a journey not a destination”. A journey that I am ever so grateful to be taking with my best friend.