Turning lemons into unapologetically Black cartoon characters

Photo; Jean-Marc Zaorski

Anyone who watches Dragon Ball Z knows that Piccolo is Black. Yes, he’s green. Yes, he was born from an egg. And yes, I know that technically he comes from Planet Namek. But to me, and to millions of other Black viewers, Piccolo is Black.

It’s not just Piccolo. It’s Raven from Teen Titans. Knuckles from Sonic the Hedgehog. Skeeter from Doug. Whenever there isn’t a Black character on a beloved animated show, Black people say to hell with it and just create our own.

Why is that? Well, first of all, representation matters. For children, in particular, not seeing…

The rampant instability of our nation has caused some to face some cold, hard truths about their happiness

Photo: Grace Cary/Getty Images

Last year, roughly five months into the pandemic, I considered quitting my job. To be frank, I just wasn’t happy there but I was deeply conflicted. I felt a profound sense of guilt. How could I be contemplating quitting my decent-paying, full-time job when millions were struggling, losing their jobs as the government allowed them to further descend into poverty and turmoil?

But the thing is, realizing that I wasn’t happy with my job is a “squeezing-the-toothpaste-out-of-tube” situation. I couldn’t go back. …

We want peace, not safety

Walking down the street as a woman can sometimes be a perilous task. Honestly, most of the time, I’m chill. I’m listening to music or a podcast, I’m pretending I’m in a music video or fantasizing about being in a dope action sequence, just normal, walking-down-the-street thoughts.

But then something will happen. A man will call for my attention. Someone will yell at me through their open car window. I notice that I am about to walk through a crowd of men and brace myself for the comments that may or may not come. It sucks. …

Life doesn’t end at 30

Youth activism has always been central to social movements. It seems more now than ever (thanks to social media) that young people are not only out on the streets, but becoming the voices of movements, leading marches, protests, and strategic campaigns.

And I’m fucking jealous.

You don’t have to lecture me, twenty-somethings. I know that being the biggest personality does not a great activist make. …

Let’s talk about sex, baby

When I discuss my sex life with the people (read: women) that I trust the most, it’s more than just orgasm (or lack thereof). We’ve spent hundreds of hours talking about what positions we like, what positions we hate, the things we love, sexual maneuvers to take with us in the future, and — most importantly — if we actually had a good time.

And it’s not just us talking about sex. There’s a host of Cosmopolitan staff writers that make a living from penning a broad range of sex tips. And even though reading about putting cold coins on…

Wealth is a delusion

Late last year, Bill Gates reclaimed his spot as the richest man in the world, overtaking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos by reporting wealth at a whopping $110 billion. Jeff Bezos has taken it back. In spades.

The fact that two mega billionaires passing the baton is considered newsworthy is evidence of our obsession with extreme wealth — and our weird belief that rich people deserve all of that money. I think it’s because we fantasize about a time in the future when we too will become filthy fucking rich. Maybe if we just put in a little elbow grease and…

Whether it’s Zoom or Slack, Black women can be who we are and get work done

Photo: Tim Robberts/Getty Images

I’ve long been a believer that professionalism is just a synonym for obedience. The less social capital you have, the more you are tethered to professionalism. It’s why Mark Zuckerberg can wear the same T-shirt to work while Black women are punished for wearing braids. The rules are different for different people depending on wealth, race, or class. Professionalism is often used as an amorphous term designed to uphold a single (read: White) standard. So, while it may seem objective to expect people to look, act and, work a particular way, enforcing these standards can be an undue burden on…

Chika Ekemezie

Chika is a freelance writer who writes about the politics of life. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter (she’s on both way too much).

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