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Rap: The Voice of the Minority

By: Krystal Temple

Verse One:

I see no changes. Wake up in the morning and I ask myself,

“Is life worth living? Should I blast myself?”

I’m tired of bein’ poor and even worse I’m black.

My stomach hurts, so I’m lookin’ for a purse to snatch.

Cops give a damn about a negro? Pull the trigger, kill a nigga, he’s a hero.

Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares? One less hungry mouth on the welfare.

First ship ’em dope and let ’em deal to brothers.

Give ’em guns, step back, and watch ’em kill each other.

“It’s time to fight back”, that’s what Huey said.

2 shots in the dark now Huey’s dead.
-Tupac Shakur (1971-1996)

Verse Two:

I wanted to start this with some fancy line that lives up to ‘the preceding rap lyrics’ – but I couldn’t. My grandmother doesn’t like rap. In fact she absolutely despises it.
 “I’m going to cut off MTV and VH1 and BET! I can’t believe they show such foolishness on TV!”
 I’m sure her opinion is a popular one. If I asked you to describe rap, what words would you use? It’s a popular misconception that all rappers do is talk about money, sex and drugs. However, even if this were true, wouldn’t you delve deeper into the topic and analyze the reasons why?

As I was utilizing, I clicked on rap music: a style of popular music, developed by disc jockeys and urban blacks in the late 1970s, in which an insistent, recurring beat pattern provides the background and counterpoint for rapid, slangy, and often boastful rhyming pattern glibly intoned by a vocalist or vocalists. (I apologize for this side note, but the definition of glibly is ‘readily fluent, often thoughtlessly, superficially, or insincerely so.’ I wonder why this adjective was chosen. Aside from other problems I have with this definition, why should one conclude that rap is done in a ‘boastful’ and ‘thoughtless’ manner? The generalization seems almost detrimental to the word’s reputation.) After I looked up rap, I looked up slang which was defined as: very informal usage in vocabulary and idiom that is characteristically more metaphorical, playful, elliptical, vivid, and ephemeral than ordinary language. I don’t know about you, but I think the definition of those two words (glibly and slang) just contradicted each other. How can something be thoughtless and metaphorical? I don’t think it’s thoughtless, I think it’s brilliance – incapable of being measured. It’s an innate brilliance that a chosen few posses. I think I’ve made my point… but hey, that’s what happens when you try to define indefinable words… Anyway, that’s the story of how I looked up rap and ended up on elliptical. “Pretty accurate, huh?”

If I were to define the concept of rap by comparing it another form of art, I would compare it to Virginia Wolf’s stream of consciousness. When you hear a person speak slang, do you think of how intelligent they are? ‘Obviously, not’. When someone speaks slang, we all make an assumption that the person is uneducated, or doesn’t know any better. Is this true? If a person chooses to switch between two different “language codes”, is it wrong? Are teenagers who speak slang communicating in a dialect, or are they simply a group of ignorant people consistently making grammatical errors (according to the ‘standard English language’, of course).

Rap music breaks convention and this is what makes people scared. What happens when a minority group actually creates a form of art? What happens when this art form happens to be beautiful because it encompasses the pain and sweat brought upon its’ creators by oppression? What happens when people listen? What happens when the minorities influence popular culture?

Tupac Shakur was not only a rap artist, but he’s a person with a story. He is credited with being one of the very first hip-hop legends along with Notorious B.I.G. He was a Black man that grew up in poverty and in his raps, he often told the story of a person who had been oppressed by society. The above Tupac verse comes from a song called “Changes” from his album “Greatest Hits” released in 1998, after his death. When some people hear this song, they only hear the violence, the drugs, and the curses instead of the ‘ugly picture of reality’ it paints. I hope I helped to place this paintbrush on the canvas…The person in “Changes” is advocating for justice. He ponders upon his existence, and is tired of living in a society where his racial group has no power. One of the most influential lines in this song, is “Cops give a damn about a negro? Pull the trigger, kill a nigga, he’s a hero.” This line addresses many social issues that are relatable today – and therefore it’s quite ironic that Tupac was rapping about this before 1998.

One way I can relate this line to today, is with the widely controversial case of Trayvon Martin. The outcome of the case had the Black community angered because George Zimmerman was not punished for shooting a young black male. This is essentially what Tupac is discussing in “Changes”. According to Tupac, society’s justice system is failing miserably and the Black community is unprotected by the very same people that are employed to protect us. This line also brings up another controversial topic: the use of the word “nigga”. This issue has been repeatedly brought up and debated over by the Black community and society as a whole. People often believe that the word “nigga” is a term of degradation, and Blacks who use the word are ignorant. I definitely do not believe that you can call every Black person who uses the word ignorant. The word has transformed itself over the years, and whether or not this is acceptable is definitely debatable. However, it would be false to say that Tupac was an ignorant individual, because of his use of the word “nigga”. In this context, he uses it as a term of endearment, to address his fellow “brothers” in the Black community. I do believe that when one uses the word “nigga” he has to be aware of its’ context. The word carries both negative and positive connotations. I think it’s unfair for people to generalize the users of this word as ignorant. This generalization has also helped to discredit the validity of hip-hop as an art form, because of the heavy usage of the word in rap lyrics. When examining the usage of the word, I think it’s important for people to study the hip-hop culture and understand the people who use it.

Rap music is the voice of the minority, and it needs to be heard. I think that when examining rap music, one has to understand that every form of art has two sides of the spectrum. Therefore, I am not going to propose to you that every rap song addresses social issues. There are rap songs that are created for pure enjoyment, just as there are songs of every other genre that are created for pure enjoyment. Some rap songs do glorify money, cars, clothing and materialistic images – but aren’t these the very images of popular culture? Aren’t these the images that all children and teenagers watch on television? I think that the glorification of materialistic images by rap artists, illustrates something even broader than an ignorant group of boasting minorities. I believe this is a direct reflection of popular culture. I think rap artists may glorify these images because minorities as a whole have been oppressed, and kept excluded from “popular culture”. Therefore these ‘materialistic’ videos are displaying our (Blacks/ minorities) newfound role/ contribution in popular culture.

Verse Three:

When people speak out against an oppressive force, they are often shunned and discredited, which is the case for rap music. This year at City College, there was a huge controversy over the Guillermo Morales/ Assata Shakur center. Ironically, Assata Shakur is Tupac Shakur’s step aunt. She is a Black activist, who was a member of the Black Panther Party. She was accused and convicted of several false crimes, and escaped. Therefore she is the subject of a man-hunt. The Guillermo Morales/ Assata Shakur was shut down, after controversy about the center’s name. The center was a place on City College’s campus, where students advocated for rights, and fought against various social issues such as tuition hikes.

It’s quite ironic how the United States government, and institutions work in unison to maintain power and silence the voice of the minority. It is important to notice and identify this problem, when examining art created by minority/oppressed groups.  Notorious B.I.G and Tupac were two of the greatest hip-hop legends of all time, who addressed important social issues and openly spoke out against U.S government and oppressive structures.


Ironically they were both shot and killed. . .

“It’s time to fight back”, that’s what Huey said.

2 shots in the dark now Huey’s dead.
-Tupac Shakur (1971-1996)


To the girl I once knew…

(I was proud of my revisions lol && I see people posting absence notes? lol so I’m posting my revisions, in case anyone is bored enough to read them)

By: Krystal Temple (Revision of Avenue I)

To the girl I once knew…
By: Krystal Temple

Nay struggled into her tight blue jeans, as she stood in front of the mirror.
I watched her squeeze her swollen coconuts into a small, white, lace push-up bra in anticipation.
“Come on! We’re going to be late! We’re just going to school”
Nay continued to apply her red lipstick and blue mascara. She formed two medium sized emerald green circles above both eyes with a small brush, as she struggled to blink her eyes comfortably with her long, artificial lashes.
“Ughh” I grunted.
Turning over on her unmade bed, I noticed my curvaceous figure in her wardrobe mirror.
“You’re gaining weight missy”
“Um. I guess. Come on, put on some red eye shadow to match that burgundy top you’re wearing!”
“Trust me! I’m good”
I wasn’t a fan of wearing colored eye shadow to school. I mean – we were only in the seventh grade. After removing her headscarf, Nay’s long black and red extensions fell comfortably right above her small buttocks. Moving her head in slow, exaggerated movements she began to curl her hair with a curling wand.
“Can’t you do anything with all that hair you have? If I had your hair, and your body…”
“Ughh. Fine Nay – just curl my bangs for me!”
I was tired of her complaining, and I noticed that I had basically thrown my long thick hair into a sloppy bun once again. Nay grinned, as she removed the beige rubber band from my hair.
“Ouch! Be careful!”
“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Come on, sit here”
She led me to her bathroom, because of it’s bright yellow lights, and large mirrors. It was the perfect location to curl hair. As I sat on the toilet seat, I heard the doorbell ring. It was probably Ki – our other best friend. She didn’t live near, but sometimes her mother would drop her to Nay’s house before school. As Nay plunged her comb through my scalp, I immediately began to regret my decision.
“Geesh! Could you be any rougher?” I complained.
“Comb your hair sometimes” she snapped back.
Grabbing a small portion of my hair, she began to apply heat. As she made her way to the front of my hair, Ki came climbing up the stairs. Her petite frame entered the bathroom doorway.
“You guys still aren’t ready huh?”
“It was definitely Nay. She basically insisted on curling my hair”
“Well – hurry up then”
Nay grabbed a patch of my bang hair in the center of my head, and placed it into the large iron curling iron. Then she placed her hand directly on the front of the iron, and pressed it directly against my forehead. I began to hear a faint hissing noise, as the iron sunk deeper and deeper into my skin. I began frantically moving my arms in defense, but it took a second for the words to escape from my mouth.
“Ouch! Nay… what the – ”
“Oh” Nay laughed. She began hysterically giggling, as she released the steaming iron from my forehead. I was immediately overtaken by a large pounding noise inside of my head.
“Ugh! Make it stop burning!” I cried
Nay fell to floor full in laughter, meanwhile Ki ran to the kitchen and returned with baking powder. Rolling her eyes at Nay, she handed me a damp paper towel with baking soda.
“Here, press it against your head. It will extract the heat from the burn”
“Where’s your antibiotic ointment?” Ki asked.
“In the cabinet right above her big ass head”
As I looked into the bathroom mirror, I noticed a faint brown mark had begun to appear in the center of my forehead. My forehead began to look increasingly large, and I had never noticed this before. In a panic, I frantically began placing my bang hairs in front of the burn.
“No one will see it” Ki assured me, as she rubbed the ointment on my forehead.
“Ki, you sure you don’t want me to curl your hair too?” Nay giggled.
“Don’t play those ratid games with me. Ya bun off the girl hair, and a laugh?” Ki snapped back in her strong Jamaican accent.

This was a typical morning at Nay’s house… gone wrong. I used to visit her house on weekends, weekdays… you name it. You could always find me there. Nay lived down the block from me. I guess you could say she’s my ex best friend. I don’t exactly know what went wrong with her. I mean – she has a mother and a father, and although they’re currently separated, they lived under one rooftop. They always spoiled her (to the best of their abilities). She could always hit up her mom for cash and then turn to her dad for some more. To me, it seemed like the best of both worlds. I say this because I grew up with my grandmother. Because my grandmother already lost two children (my uncle to a violent gunshot, and my mom to cancer) she was definitely emotionally unavailable. I was often emotionally unavailable too; I was always quiet and I stayed to myself. I never quite knew how to defend myself, which is why it was so easy for Nay to get away with constantly betraying me throughout our friendship. Sometimes, I envied the stability of Nay’s home because she was the only one out of the three of us – “the three amigos” that had that family cushion to fall back upon.

When Nay was about sixteen she became addicted to pot. I don’t know if one can actually become addicted to pot, because it’s a common defense for weed smokers to claim: “it’s not an addictive drug.” So I guess I’ll rephrase that: Nay became dependent on weed at about the age of sixteen. Luckily, I dogged that bullet until I got older. Then again – I don’t know how lucky that makes me.

Nay was always cooking up some kind of scheme to get money.  There was the time that we were in about the twelfth grade, that she told me that she was going to deposit a fraudulent check into her account to get the money. I was always the more logical type. Although I absolutely despise philosophy (all of that Plato and Socrates bullshit reasoning that talk in circles – trying to come up with answers to things that just cannot be answered), I can always devise my own long logical reason for or against something. When Nay came to me with her plans, I gave her a long speech about why it was absolutely absurd and I informed her that she would surely get caught. Sure enough, she did. She was actually arrested and taken to bookings… you know the whole nine. I remember when she called me sobbing on the precinct phone.
“Krissy?” she sobbed over the phone.
“Yea” (sniff)
“Where are you?”
“You’ll never believe this. I’m at bookings right now. Handcuffed to a damn seat, in the same room with prostitutes and who knows who else” Unfortunately, I did believe her.
“Ughh. The money thing huh?”
“You know, I told you right?”
“Yea” she whispered in between sobs.
She was eventually charged with some kind of money misdemeanor in exchange for community service.

I never quite understood the weird dynamic of our friendship. Besides participating in increasingly mischievous behavior – she always found a way to betray me. There was this one time when she came to my house with my other best friend Ki and filled up my new Juicy Couture velour purse with shirts, jeans and jewelry and left. I was distracted because I had other friends over, so I didn’t notice her until I saw her leaving the house with my belongings. There was also the time that she took my brand new pair of grey and orange-stripped air max 95’s to borrow (still in the box I may add), and then claimed that she lost them.

When I first met her, I admired her because I was so shy and quiet while she was so loud and daring. She knew what to wear to get attention, and she hung out with some of the most popular girls in junior high school. She even managed to always have a “boyfriend” when we were younger. She was cool and even knew how to talk to boys. But somewhere along the way, my definition of cool changed. I don’t think hers ever did.

It must have been two or three years ago, when Nay, Ki and I were driving to McDonalds. I had noticed a rift in our friendship that had slowly begun to get bigger. We had all begun college – although Nay had failed out her first semester and Ki decided to take a semester off for financial reasons. I always understood this intellectual division between us, but disregarded it. We were cool since junior high school and that wasn’t about to change for me. Ki had recently obtained her mom’s old car and we decided to spend the weekend cruising through the city together, like old times. Ki was blasting the newest Drake song, and as the wind whipped through our hair we began to enjoy a night on the town.

“O.M.G, we’re finally getting older”

“I know – and you’re driving now. You finally got your own whip” Nay cried.

Of course, Nay already had the privilege of driving her dad’s car. He would have given it to her, but she was always in the middle of something, so he was hesitant.

“Remember, when we were younger how we used to be jealous of Krystal’s hair?”

The statement kind of came from left field. When we were younger, Ki and I had long hair, and Nay did not. Now that I was older, I cut all of my hair off and began to wear hair extensions similar to Nay.

“Um… no that was just you” Ki sighed.

Nay wasn’t the prettiest or brightest of the bunch. She never really cared about school – she was more interested her social life and physical appearance. Throughout our friendship, she would often make comments about me being tall and awkward, or about my feet being too big, because she was shorter than I with smaller feet. I remember desperately trying to squeeze into shoes that were a size smaller, because of her. When Nay made her jealousy comment to me that night, it kind of marked the start of the decline of our friendship. She simplemindedly laughed it off, and if I was younger I might have done the same. But now that I was older, I thought it explained too much that had happened between us and I couldn’t understand why my friend of so many years felt this way.

As we became more and more distant, Nay never ceased to surprise me. Shortly after the car incident she broke some shocking news to me over the phone.
“Krys – you should definitely come work at this club I’m workin’ at”
“Huh? Don’t you work at H&M?”
“Yea, but some nights I dance at this club”
“Um… like strip dance”
“Yea. It pays good money. You should definitely try it. You have the body and all… Well you’d prolly have to tone up” she snickered.
“You’re kidding right? Do you see me dancing naked in front of people. Trust me I wouldn’t make ANY money” I laughed it off – but this wasn’t even the worst thing Nay could tell me. After this, she began to tell me more and more things about herself (that I couldn’t even confront in my own mind) that made us more and more estranged.

Our friendship finally came to a ‘sad’ conclusion during my third year of college. She had begun to make up malicious stories about me, and tell a mutual acquaintance. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I never explained to her how I felt – I just kept it inside. I never answered her calls or texts again.

Sometimes I wonder how two people who grew up in the same neighborhood, with the same values could turn out so different. I mean – the first time I went back to church in my teenage years was with her! Her mother was an active member of the Christian church that was about two blocks from our houses. It was actually her that encouraged me to go to the prayer group with her. Until today, everything that transpired between us seems to be a mystery that’s not worth solving.

I resent a lot of my childhood days, and she played a humongous part in them. When I look back on everything that happened when we were younger, I often find myself angered about how heavy of an influence she was to me and how my grandmother was not able to be emotionally available for me. I know it’s not healthy for one to blame anything or anyone for their past actions, but damn it… someone’s got to take part of the blame. My grandmother always said, “Show me your company, and I’ll tell you who you are” – which has left me wondering maybe Nay and I are more alike than I think. Maybe I resent her because she represents parts of me that I don’t like – parts of me that I have grown to become estranged with as well.

Sometimes I wish I never met Nay and then other times I appreciate her friendship because it helped my growth into adulthood. I don’t think I will ever understand our friendship, or why Nay secretly resented me and always intentionally tried to hurt me – but I’m not sure that’s important to me anymore. All I can do is hope for the best in the future… for the both of us.


Absence Paper– 24h

Tired is the least you can say. Exhausted does not quite match it. Drained out is probably a bit closer. However, I would like to say I was completely dead for 24 hours. Pulling three all nigthers in a row does that to your body. Not only is it school load that is killing me but also work load. I really thought I could balance work and school, but shit is hard when you go above and beyond to stay on top of things. Things such as bills, bills and more bills.

This one particular day I just couldn’t get out of bed. I tried to go to the bathroom but I couldn’t. My body made it clear to my mind that I just had to put everything on hold for 24 hours. My body convinced my mind that the coming 24 hours would make me whole again and make me function as a wonder woman afterwards. My head was way too heavy to lift to check the time. First I blamed the prose workshop classes, however I found those classes entertaining despite the fact that the class starts at 8am, so I couldn’t really blame them.

Not only is the pressure coming from school and work, it is coming from friends and family. I have been receiving a lot of complaints from my loved ones. I try to stay in touch, I try to call now and then, I show that I care, but they have no clue the shit I have to go through. Not many know that I pay out-of-state tuition, that’s like $6300 a semester for 12 credits.

I don’t have the luxury like most CCNY students to live with family members and not worry about rent. Instead I live in a crappie NYC apartment that barely has any hot water and I am stuck paying $900 for one single room.  Had I known that this was what I was getting myself into before moving to NYC, I would have probably had stayed in Washinton D.C.

Absence Paper– Group Work

I have no idea why some professor would torture some students like this. Group work is pointless if you can’t choose your own group members. Some are just in college without a purpose, which is just a waste of time and money.


I had the unfortunate to have knuckle heads in my group.  Everyone knows that communication is the key in any group; if there is no communication between group members the mission has already failed from day one.


The first group member, A, is the type that rides along the work process without actually doing shit. Apparently he is one of those type of kids who had others doing things for him. He was pretty much the type who was born with a silver spoon. First time I met him he seemed alright, he would say some impressive things in class. This group member also happens to be the kind of student that plagiarizes. Our group was assigned to put together a twelve pages of literature review. We all agreed on doing three pages each and have our part done two days before it was due. I voluntarily took upon the leadership role and made sure everyone did their part. Our paper was due on a Monday, and we agreed to have our part done and uploaded to google doc by Saturday. To my surprise one two group members uploaded their part, including me of course. One of them, group member B was the type of person that does thing last minute so he didn’t upload his part until Sunday night, mad late. Group member also submitted his part late Sunday night, however his three  pages were all plagiarized. This dude also left the footnotes highlighted in blue, which made it clear to me that he pulled it all out from Wikipedia. I was furious. What kind of dumbass expects me to put my name on plagiarized paper. I had no choice but to pull an all nighter. I had to read three different articles, and connect them all up to three pages. In other words, I had to skip Prose workshop, call in sick at work to finish this paper because the other students didn’t have the time to do it. So much for team effort.


Lonely Love

As soon as she heard the intercom buzz, she rushed to finish setting everything up, then she quickly ran to the bathroom to check her reflection in the mirror to see if her hair and makeup were still intact. She stood five feet, seven inches tall. Her curvaceous medium weight body was tightly wrapped in a colorful shear body wrap with only a beige brassiere and a pink and purple colored thong underneath.

She opened the medicine cabinet and reached for her glittery Sephora lip gloss. She proceeded to put a light coat of the gloss on her perfect shaped plump lips to give them a radiant shine and a shimmer.

The intercom buzzed again, and as soon as she heard it, she placed the gloss back into the cabinet and made her way to the front room of the apartment where the intercom was situated. She buzzed the downstairs door, then jetted back to the bathroom to take one last glance in the mirror. Just as she stepped foot out of the bathroom, the front doorbell rang. She took a deep breath and slowly released it.

 “Here we go,” she said to herself in a quiet tone as she tiptoed towards the front door. She slipped on her black five-inch stiletto heels, which were positioned a few feet away from the door, right before taking a look through the peephole. It was him. She opened the door.

“Hi,” she said as she gestured for him to enter the apartment.

 “Hey,” he replied in a seemingly nervous manner. She closed the door behind him, and then locked it before leading him towards the back of the apartment to the bedroom closest to the bathroom.

He was much taller than she thought, and he looked even better in person. He stood six feet, two inches tall, and had a medium muscular build. He wore an oversized long-sleeved black Ralph Lauren Polo t-shirt, a pair of baggy blue jeans, black and white Air Jordan sneakers, and a black fitted cap with the letters “LA” in white. She thought him to be sexy and just what she needed for the night. She began to think that he could be a potential boyfriend. She barely knew the guy and she already was falling for him because he turned her on immensely. While she fantasized, she began to get turned on.

“How you doing?” she asked.

“Better now that I’m here,” he responded.

 She giggled then looked up into his eyes and said, “Same here.”

“So what’s up with all that kid stuff out there? This a daycare or something?”

“Yea, this is my moms place. I just stay here for now.”

“She isn’t coming anytime soon, is she?”

“No, she lives in New Jersey.” She smiles.

“Oh okay, good. So you stay here by yourself?”

“Yup, just me, myself, and these four walls,” she said. She instantly thought of why being alone was so important to him. She knew he was a discreet guy, but did he want her there alone for another reason? She thought of where she had placed her pepper spray, just incase of an emergency, then she resumed her engagement.

“Relax, make yourself at home,” she reassured him.

He began to take off his sneakers and blue jeans. He stopped for a second, then reached into his pocket. He pulled out a wad of cash and said, “I almost forgot.” He pulled apart five 20 dollar bills and set them on the dresser top.

“I’ll be right back,” she said before making her way to the room door. She smiled from ear to ear while closing the door behind her, and then stepping next door into the bathroom. She closed the door behind her, then proceeded above the toilet to pass the translucent liquid from her body to the commode. Her body tingled a bit and she got a sense of chill that ran through her body. She was ready. She cleaned her genital area with toilet paper, and then washed her hands with antibacterial soap before returning to the bedroom.

At this point he was lying on her bed completely naked. He had the body of Hercules and the dick of a horse. She felt that tingle come over her body again. She glanced at the money on top of the dresser and thought about counting it, but she looked back over at him stroking his member and rejected the thought of the money. She untied her colorful body wrap as he watched it dropped to the floor. His eyes lit up and his member grew larger. She stepped out of the thong while smiling at him and gazing into his eyes. She then unstrapped her bra to reveal her developing perky breasts. He watched the entire scene unfold while grinning slyly and biting his lips.

The scene to follow revealed her sexual talents and raging passion to be loved. The young black sex machine gave himself to her and made her feel like a woman. After 42 minutes, he climaxed and shouted, “Damn baby, that was amazing!” She smiled then got out of the bed to make her way to the bathroom. She spat into the sink, rinsed her mouth out, then hopped into the shower for about five minutes. When she had finished, she returned to the bedroom to find her companion fast asleep. She eased onto the bed and pulled the covers over her naked body. She laid her head on his chest and let out a quiet sigh. She closed her eyes in an attempt to join him in sleep.

She couldn’t sleep. It was silent and the room was dark. With her head still on his chest, she began to think, and as she thought, she began to get emotional. She was lonely inside and she knew that this comfort of a male companion in her bed was only temporary, and that once he was gone, she would be there all alone, in the silent darkness of the apartment. She hoped he would stay the night, so that she wouldn’t have to be alone for another night. She wept hopelessly, and gasped for air from time to time. Her tears ran down his abdomen. He slept too deeply to come to her rescue, and she didn’t want to disturb him. She longed for permanent companionship from a guy like him. From someone who she thought loved her and would accept her for the special girl she was. She was blind to the fact that these men only thought of her as a fantasy, a “try me” product. She thought these men loved her but each time when they would leave her to the emptiness and loneliness of the dark and quiet apartment, she felt that pain of loneliness all over again.

Previously, she had been dealing with lots of things in her life that forced her into a state of depression. She had lost her job three months ago, and she noticed that her family started to treat her differently around the time that her name change was final. Her mom did, however, allow her to remain in the apartment. She thought of the apartment as a prison, a place where she had no choice but to reside under the reign of her authoritative mother who began to treat her worse and worse. She wished that her mother wasn’t too far-gone when she went to inquire about the abortion she was to have with her, but she knew that for some reason she had a purpose to be here. She worked only over night once the daycare was closed for the evening, and she kept her work a secret.

As she cried, she thought of how depressed she was and how badly she missed her family. All she ever wanted was to be loved and respected, but she felt love and sympathy from no one. She was weak and lost. Since her life took a drastic change, she knew she could only depend upon herself to get out of the rut she had fallen into.

She wanted to feel that love and consideration so badly that she often invited men to her bed free of charge, just so she could feel that warm satisfaction of male companionship. The root of her desire not only came from her family’s rejection, but also from the fact that she never had a boyfriend growing up. She spent her early years living life as someone else, which was just a character that she played to prevent herself from dealing with societal bullying. She used to be a he, and the life that she lived was a life of hiding her feelings and pretending to be someone she was not. She was afraid even though some people knew her true agenda. She hated herself because she tried to hide the very person who she was destined to become. She became scared of boys in her teens. She knew it wasn’t right for her to like boys and because she did, she tried to limit her male interaction as much as possible to prevent herself from falling in love or being exposed.

The young client stirred a little bit, which broke her chain of thought. He turned to his side with his back facing her. She knew his mission was accomplished, and she got out of the bed and walked towards the living room. She made her way to the slightly ajar window in the left hand corner of the living room and stared aimlessly into the night.

Moments later, she collapsed to the floor and wept heavily. She was so confused and didn’t want to live the life she was living anymore. She hated having to sleep with men for money, but she loved the companionship of some of her more attractive clients. Many of her clients were weird and dirty, but she knew she had to deal with it if she wanted to have money in her pockets. She always feared being murdered by one of her clients. In the past she tried to look for another job so that she wouldn’t have to continue selling her body but she failed at finding work. Employers could see right through to her soul and turned her away each time. They knew what she was, they knew she wasn’t a “real” woman. She gave up hope and often felt like an outcast, or a lonely waste of life. The only comfort she received from people was from her some of her clients. She was a fool for love, a hopeless romantic, an individual who was lost and lonely in the world. She sought to find love and appreciation from the people in the world, but she knew she had been looking in all the wrong places.



I’ve heard at an early age one of my friends say to me that “the first child is always the sacrificial lamb.” Jin being the second son of two children in his family, he had every incentive to tell others that. I thought he was passing verbal wind. This was when we were in middle school. He always liked to speak to his own advantage. And so I never took him seriously until just the past few years.


I somehow managed to get my hands on a PS4 for William the night before launch day without pre-ordering. I guess I was lucky. But looking at the bigger picture I was even luckier to have a brother like him.

William was born on January 19, 2001 in a hospital in downtown Manhattan. Before him, I was the heir of the Huang family. I was told that he only cried briefly after delivery before quieting to a hush. I was born in 1990, 10 1/2 years older than William. I watched him grow up, and matured not only as an older brother but as an individual over the years. William was never the nagging, annoying type of a sibling. He always kept to himself. Whenever mom would take him to the doctor to get a shot, he never panicked at the notion or sight of having the needle stuck in him. He would cry for about half a minute after the shot was given and then resort back to his usual calm demeanor. I remember him the day that he arrived home with my mother with great joy. He was bundled in a stack of clothing and blankets since it was still winter. I remember family members taking turns posing for pictures with William in our arms. Whenever I held infant William in my arms he would either writhe uncomfortably in my arms or vomit all over me. As a child William was always merry. He never displayed any signs of pessimistic attitude and kept his chin at high altitude.

As a child in elementary school William loved to read and would resort to it whenever he could. He was always the intelligent type. He loved the game of chess with a passion and even joined the school chess club. He always wanted to play chess with me in his elementary school days and I would always beat him. But William wasn’t the type that stayed on the ground after being put down. He knew that the only way to improve at something was through practice and defeat. And so he wanted the challenge of a worthy adversary in chess so that he could get better at it. By the end of fifth grade I still beat him at the game but it took more and more mental strain for me to do so, and the games wound up being played at a slower and slower pace. William was accelerating at it with great haste.

William graduated elementary school with all ‘E’s,’ the highest letter grade and all ‘4’s,’ the highest number grade. During his last year of P.S. 60 he applied to and was accepted to ScholarsAcademy, a very prestigious school that ran from the sixth to twelfth grades. William wanted to go to Scholar’s Academy. He knew that an excellent quality middle school would grant him better entrance opportunities to high school, high school to college, and college to a fulfilling career. The males in the Huang family hit puberty/reached adolescence earlier than average and so by the middle of sixth grade William was feeling the effects of manhood. Unlike my father and me William matured very quickly. He has great command of countenance and possessed great posture. He already has a blueprint mapped out for what he wants to be in life. His goal is to be an engineer that deals with the auto, computer or aero industry. He has middle school under his belt with his attendance to Scholar’s Academy, ranked #7 in NYC’s top 10 middle schools for the 2012-2013 school year. He wants to nail Stuyvesant in the specialized high school exam. After that he wants to satiate himself with a college education at MIT (though I told him that Princeton is the better choice but he was adamant that MIT is more suitable for engineers). William is the definition of a man who knows what he wants.

Right now it’s been all talk but no credentials to back it up. After completing the sixth grade in an academically competitive environment, William emerged with a flat 98.0 average over the course of two terms, with three marking periods per term. Having just completed the first marking period of the seventh grade, William speaks softly while carrying the big stick of a 98.83 average. Over the course of his 12 years of life, I have rewarded William with video game console after video game console and game after game for his academic excellence. William is more of the reserved type though, and even told me to save up money for the future instead of buying him all these games. Indeed that’s what he does. From what our parents and relatives gave us over the course of previous Lunar New Years, William has saved up $300 plus worth of red envelope money. One day I asked him “William, what are you going to do with all that money? Are you going to buy candy with it? Maybe a brand new pair of Jordan sneakers?” He said “no, that would be a waste. I’m going to save up for college with it.” I’m glad I asked my parents to give me a brother in fourth grade. I’m glad that he turned out not only fine, but mighty promising. That is something I can never live up to.

I was never the academically-oriented or socially tuned person. I almost failed the second grade and struggled immensely throughout middle and high school. Whereas William gets his high nineties grades fairly easily, I struggled to get 85’s in middle school and 80’s in high school. I just wasn’t built the way I wanted to be built. William has begun his puberty stage in life. At the age of 12 he stands at a modest 5’6” while I only stand 5’7 1/2” fully erect. He is not as skinny as I am. His hands can not fit in my largest gloves. I am a perfect size 8 U.S. sneaker. William often times shifts uncomfortably in his size 10 1/2 Adidas, as if a big toe wanted to burst out.

Between family members and relatives, Li Huang is the failure and William Huang is the model child for a successful life. I am the lesser of the two. A part of me is happy and a part of me is ashamed. My brother will one day surpass me in life as he already has in the game of chess. That’s right. Ever since the middle of the sixth grade, I can no longer defeat him in the game of great wits. I am left wondering why I was put together this way, why I am not more like my little brother. But I am also happy. Happy that my brother didn’t turn out like me and that he has a very bright future ahead of him. Happy that in my family there is finally some compensation.

Stop, question, and Frisk

In a patrol car, a pair of officers receive a call from the dispatcher about a shooting in Brownsville that took place. The officers make way into Brownsville, Brooklyn at 4 A.M. When they arrive they notice a dead body and 2 witnesses. The officers call the ambulance and question the witnesses while it arrives. Both witnesses saw that the suspect is a black male, around the ages of 30 in which he was wearing a red shirt and blue jeans. The officers on their radio’s report to the other officers to be on the look out for such suspect. A few blocks away an officer notices a man walking down the street, and is described to fit the description of the suspect. The officer thinks briefly about the man fitting the illustration of the suspect and begins to questions himself. The officer believes that if the man is the suspect he must have a gun on him. He then introduces other possibilities such as an average New Yorker coming out of a bar after a good beer with his buddies, or a man just wanting to walk at 4 A.M. for pleasure. If the Police Officer doesn’t approach the man he would be abandoning his shield and going against his oath, that wouldn’t be a choice. The Officer knows that if the man is the suspect he has a gun on him. The Officer chooses the politically incorrect way and approaches the man aggressively, since Officer safety is paramount.

The Officer tells the man to lean up against the wall so he could be searched after telling him that he fits the description of a suspect involved in shooting someone. The embarrassed man begins to feel persecuted and tells the white Officer that he is racially profiling him. The Officer begins to frisk the man but finds no firearm on him, the man is detained and showed to the two witnesses. Both witnesses tell the Officer that the man is not the suspect. The Officer apologizes to the man in which he lets him free. The man grows a hatred to the police because he was mistreated. From an outside perspective the man was ill-treated, however, from an Officer’s point of view, the need to mistreat is essential because of the nature of their job. From an outside perspective, if the police told the man that he fits the description of a recent murderer, the man will think that it is just another reason for a “250” and that he is being stopped and frisked because the NYPD seeks numbers.

Anyone in the mans position would be upset especially with the way he was treated by the Officer, however, because law enforcement is solely based on suspicions, all suspicions must be investigated even if an individual is innocent. Most individuals who are stopped and frisked are often found innocent and a handful are found carrying an illegal firearm. There should be no relationship between stop and frisk and arrest records being utilized to deter and measure the stop and frisk policy. A Police Officer’s job is to protect and serve, as well as entailing the need to have suspicions of individuals; either innocent or guilty. If a Police Officer didn’t suspect and investigate he/she would be doing his/her job.

The stop and frisk policy is not only used in New York, rather, in other states as well. The U.S. Supreme court ruled that police have the right to search anyone who is about to commit a crime or already has committed the crime. New Yorkers refer to the “250” as a racist policy and believes that the chances of being in a “250” are solely based on an individuals skin color. The stop, question, and possible frisk policy doesn’t always have to end with an Officer frisking a suspect, the media only exaggerates it, just like the stop and kiss program which the Onion News (a satire organization) created. An Officer tells the suspect to shut his mouth and that he/she will kiss the suspect after reasonable cause for searching him/her. After the Police Academy, Officers are deployed into impact zones (high crime areas) in which they are demanded to keep crime at low levels. Stopping and frisking in these impact zones begins the argument of minorities being stopped and frisked. If there are people residing in impact zones they must be stopped and frisked, if the minorities live in impact zones they will be stopped and frisked to lower crime.

Police Officers go where the descriptions of suspects lead them. The dispatcher announces to the Officers on the radio that a white male has committed a robbery, the male is found to be wearing purple shirt, blue jeans, and orange socks. The Officer will not go up to a black male to stop, question, and frisk him because he fits the white males description. The police are not racially profiling individuals, they are just doing their jobs. Law enforcement is mostly based upon suspicions.

12-4-13 (Absence Paper)

I am tired and exhausted. I do take my vitamins- the gummy and the chewy version- people have told me you should take your vitamins to make your immune system stronger. I definitely do take them, but that does not help. I don’t like to be sick, but I have no control over that. –Cough, cough-

Typing a paper and studying for finals and reading books, is not an easy task while being sick. While other people tell me drink a lot of juice, green tea, cranberry juice. I have tried that already! Nothing works I still keep getting sick. Others tell me that is because I am always occupied and don’t rest. I work 40 hrs. a week and take 6 college courses. I really don’t sleep. People tell me I should not work as much, but If I don’t who will pay my bills? With that said, I am tired, exhausted and sick. This asthma is not easy to control. –Cough, cough-

I have a headache and this sinus is too much to handle. I know I am not the only person that becomes sick during this season, but I hate this. – Cough, cough-

I have taken too much medicine and I just don’t get better. I want to be well again. What should I do? I guessed on one of my finals because I was coughing a lot. The feeling of not being able to breathe is horrible. Who could have imagined the importance of air would be so valuable to a human being.  Being able to breath properly without the need of an inhaler. To me what would be great is not being absent to none of my classes because of being sick. Waking up without having to take medicine again. I am so used to taking cold medicine that the taste doesn’t bother me anymore. Before the taste of taking the cold medicine was not bearable, but now I am used to the smell and taste. –Cough, cough-

I hate to be sick. My chest hurts all the time; I have a sore throat, my body is in pain. The night medicine makes me really sleepy. I want to sleep all the time. I have to make myself stay awake to do homework and to study. I don’t like to be sick. -cough, cough-

“I’m Gay. I just don’t like dick”

People around me know better than to take me seriously. I am the kind of guy that loves to make people laugh and gives them a reason to come to work and have fun. That fun usually revolves around my actions. I tend to do things that can be considered flamboyant. When meeting me for the first time, some people have thought of me of being a homosexual. Once they get to know me, they kind of realize that I am not… Kind of. And that is the thing, I’m gay, I just don’t like dick.

I can say that this all started around my high school years. I remember back in 2007 when I first saw ‘Brokeback Mountain.’ I absolutely loved that movie. Ang Lee did a great job and the actors, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, were astounding. I was afraid to watch that movie because I had a fear that my dad would walk in while the two men would go at it in the tent. I did not get turned on though. I’m not gay. Another movie that I remember around that time was ‘Not Another Gay Movie;’ hilarious movie, but very gay, nonetheless. But it contained an exaggerated, stereotypical idea of the homosexual lifestyle.

This began to surface more once my senior year of high school rolled around in 2009. Lady Gaga was an obsession of mine and I enjoyed what she did around that time. She got ruined after that year. Now she is just plain overrated and over the top. Except for her song “Judas.” That was a good song. Other kinds of music that get me excited are typical white girl songs that are played on Z100. I dare you to play Carly Rae’s “Call Me Maybe”… I dare you.

Another thing that happened senior year was my comment about Justin Bieber’s lips. I was talking to my friend and I was telling her that Bieber’s lips were small and pinkish and I doubt that it can create any satisfaction. She immediately felt the need to ask me if I was gay or bisexual. She said that she did not care if I was; she just wanted me to be honest. I denied those accusations. I know that. I’m not gay.

I loved watching the CW’s ‘Gossip Girl’ and Fox’s ‘The OC.’ I would see its new episodes every week and loved the drama that ensued. On the contrary, my friends would always try to get me to watch ABC Family’s ‘Pretty Little Liars’ because they thought that I would enjoy it. Especially because they know my taste in entertainment, but that was not the case. It may have some similar themes to ‘The OC,’ but its not like ‘The OC.’ Yet, I still could not care to be invested in the characters.

I used to constantly go to Perez Hiltons blog to get my daily dose of celebrity gossip. I only did this because there was not much to do back in the Dominican Republic. I would just use that as a way to entertain myself and kill time. Don’t get me started on Titanic. Titanic is my absolute favorite film. It was the first film I ever saw in theaters. And that is the only reason I have ever cried other than soldiers that surprised their children back home. But in that movie, I always cry in the same three parts: the moment Jack and Rose first kiss, the one where Jack draws Rose and the final scene where Rose goes to “sleep” and finds Jack waiting for her atop the grand staircase. And Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” doesn’t help either. Making me weep like a little girl. When it came out in 3D, I went with my ex and she was the one holding me because I couldn’t contain myself. I’m not gay, I promise.

Most girls that I have hooked up with, at one time or another, have mentioned to me that they thought I was gay when they first met me. This was once brought up when the situation didn’t call for it. Just saying.

At work is when I pretty much let my gayness come out. I work at retail and I put up a front about me being gay. I have noticed, that for some reason, people take more kindly to gay people. They tend to respond positively and more easygoing when being around a gay guy. The front that I put is that I speak in a more effeminate voice and I clean up my vocabulary. I have a more welcoming presence when I am in that mode. I would always make random, stupid comments with my coworkers. One example of this is that I would say that if I were gay I would be the best boyfriend because I know what men want. Men only have one erogenous zone, unlike women. I love eating pussy though. It is too good. I’m not gay.

There is this one guy at work in which I jokingly make comments that I would try to get with him if I was gay. His name is Jay; he is such an angel and precious being. Every time I see him, I just get butterflies in my stomach. He is the perfect representation of a fictional character in all those love novels that have been written. The only thing that I hate about him is his boyfriend. But I don’t hate him because of his appearance, he looks hot, I hate him because he is with my Jay.  But I’m not gay. I promise.

Of course, all of these things that may be considered gay are really just a stereotypical interpretation of what gay men enjoy. Yes, they do love maintaining their appearance and dramatic television series, but just like heterosexuals, they don’t always fit in that category. There are many different kinds of gay; some are just more prominent than others.

I am not gay. I am just very comfortable with my sexuality. I find it so repulsive and disrespectful when men act homophobic towards gay people. They act as if every gay person that they meet wants to have sex with them. That is not the case. They are just being rude and ignorant. I am just very comfortable with my sexuality. I know I love pussy and I do not find men appealing. My friend tells me that it’s more than physical, its emotional too. My response to that was “I know, I don’t have any emotional attachment to any man. Except for Hugh Jackman. I would do him in a second.”

What should be worshipped?

“Who is the God whom we should worship with the oblation?” – The Rig Veda

For what reason should we worship this God or so called deity? Just because someone tells us that a certain thing or person created the universe, this does not mean we should believe in that of what we are told. How can we believe something, which we cannot see? I am not trying to be a skeptical, but I consider myself a realistic. How can a human being allow their world to revolve around those values? The values, which they have to follow because their God said they should. Or matter of fact set their life based on some rules that they have been told that the so-called God has set up for them. The reward for following those rules will set a spot after they die. Indeed there are two hypothesis of how the world was created. Those two hypothesis do not apply to every person, everyone has their own opinion towards the beliefs of how life was created.


The first hypothesis involves religion. One of these beliefs is that there is a higher power. A higher power is something that is greater than humans. A greater power entails that should be consider as the creator of life. Something that is conceivable is that something greater created the world. Is impossible for a simple human being to have created the universe. Humans do not have such a super power to create the universe.  This so-called god is the Supreme Being that created the two footed and four-footed creatures. He is also the creator of the mountains, sky, earth, and the waters that exist in this world. Is he so marvelous for creating those things?


The second hypothesis of how the world was created has a scientific answer. Life began in the water.  The scientific answer seems to explain how the universe was created as well as the reason how humans exist. It all began with the big bang theory; this theory mentions that the life of human beings began with water. The sequence of life started with a combination of ammonia and methane and energy, next to amino acids, and then proteins, to DNA, and then to Nuclei, to cells, to Multi-cellular organism, to worms and sea weed, to fish, to reptiles to amphibians and then to what we have become now.  This complicated theory seems to explain how life began according to scientist. – I learned this in my astronomy class with my professor Michiau Kaku he is a brilliant man-

Some people believe that is right to praise the creator of life. If following the first hypothesis were true, we should worship the so-called God. But what happens if we see it in another perspective and believe that there is no creator and things just happened. The scientific hypothesis seemed to explain a theory of how life was created. This theory seems to be more believable since scientists have to use facts to prove their hypothesis. To me the scientific hypothesis seems more realistic; the facts seemed to proof their point.

“People tend to believe in some kind of creator because they have been raised to do so. Throughout life people will learn new ideas and become convinced by them, but will fall back to those believes. This is similar to what I have experienced. I was raised a catholic, but learning new ideas, I became convinced about the creation of life. Some information made me change my mind of the origins of life, but I will always fall back to the belief I grew up with”

So if a human being believes in the science theory, such as some people do. Does this mean we have to praise the big bang? Does an individual who believes in Gods or a deity, how are they convince of whom they should worship? Who is the Supreme Being? These type of questions stay in my mind because we cannot say we believe in a god without thinking or asking to ourselves who is god? And why did he create mankind?