Bystander testimonies in the Chauvin murder trial

“Cup Foods” by chaddavis.photography via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A child; three high school students; a 33-year old MMA fighter; a 61-year old man and a 27-year old off-duty firefighter all stood in a haunted cluster at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, in front of Cup Foods in Minneapolis, watching in livid horror as a man was murdered by a police officer in front of their very eyes. They were witnesses to what millions around the world in the coming days would only see through a video filmed on a phone by one of them.

As they took to the witness stand in the ongoing murder…


A few tips I find most helpful

Photo by Cristina Estanislao (United Nations COVID-19 Response) on Unsplash

In our increasingly online and digital world, it is essential to identify and stop the spread of misinformation as much as possible. First Draft, an organization dedicated to combatting misinformation worldwide, defines misinformation as “the inadvertent sharing of false information.” Over the past few years, I have been interested in taking note of some of the best advice and practices when it comes to navigating this exigent issue. Here are three simple ways that you can protect yourself from misinformation online:

1. Be wary of the ‘rabbit hole of algorithms’

In a recent interview for Amanpour &Co., journalist Ronan Farrow highlighted the role that social media algorithms played in…


A deeply consequential interview about racism and a sorely missed opportunity

Photo by: Mark Jones via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

To be living in the same time as Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, would be to live in a time when the British Royal Family had the opportunity to fully and openly embrace the first woman of colour in their inner circle, and all that that would represent for so many around the world, but decide against it. …


James Baldwin’s writing was deeply evocative — and resolute

“James Baldwin” by AK Rockefeller is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

“It is the innocence which constitutes the crime,” James Baldwin wrote so chillingly in his 1962 essay titled “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One-Hundredth Anniversary of Emancipation” in The Fire Next Time.

Written by one of America’s greatest writers during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Baldwin wrote this letter to his nephew in the form of an essay. Throughout the essay, Baldwin speaks to the intergenerational trauma of racism that Baldwin connects from the 100th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation to his own family. …


Streaming service Netflix will not add a fiction disclaimer for ‘The Crown’ and neither should it have to

“Street decorations, London, to celebrate the Marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, 1981.” — Annie Spratt. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

From the beginning, writer and creator of The Crown, Peter Morgan, has stressed the series is an interplay of both facts and dramatization. In fact, the Netflix series already lists “Dramas” as one of its genres, along with “British” and “Political TV.”

Season 4 of The Crown focuses on the period of the late 1970s to 1990. What seems to have struck a nerve for some is the portrayal of the marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

However, it would be a mistake to say that the royal marriage is the only subject that the series covers. The fourth…


A new Netflix series shines light on the singer’s life

“Selena Quintanilla Memorial Banner” by sanity_94 via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The U.S. census bureau found that Selena rapidly grew in popularity as a name for newborn babies in the year 1995. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, Selena was among the top 200 names of the 1990s.

A film about singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez’s life was made in1997, and the first part of a Netflix series titled Selena: The Series, starring actress Christian Serratos as Selena, was released on the streaming service on December 4th.

Upon its release, the series was one of the most popular shows on Netflix and proves, once again, how Selena’s legacy continues to live on…


A look back at political predictions from The Economist’s “The World in 2020” issue and Fortune’s “2020 Crystal Ball”

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

As the cliché goes “hindsight is 20/20.” However, despite a global pandemic, top magazines were surprisingly accurate when it came to their predictions about politics of the world in 2020. The Economist’s “The World in 2020” correctly predicted the increasingly fractured global response to Chinese telecommunications company, Huawei, as well as Donald Trump losing his bid for re-election. Fortune’s “2020 Crystal Ball” correctly forecasted the continuation of anti-government protests across the Middle East, such as the protests that took place this…


The first volume of A Promised Land is a lucid and worldly memoir about his presidency

Author’s photo. Book Cover: The Crown Publishing House

On December 8th, PEN America will present the Voice of Influence award to the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, to highlight the impact of his writings — which will undoubtedly include the first volume of his most recent presidential memoir. Published on November 17th, in A Promised Land, Obama provides a look into his presidency from the beginning of his political career to his first two years in office.

What stands out about this memoir is the was they way in…


The Meaning of Mariah Carey highlights the power of writing— its ability to capture difficult moments, enigmas and the authenticity of experience.

Mariah Carey filming the “I Still Believe” music video in 1998. Photo Credit: Edwards Air Force Base (Image: Public Domain)

I hurriedly walked into the bookstore on a crisp October day, in the middle of a pandemic. With my mask fogging up my glasses as I entered the store, I made a beeline straight for the book as soon as I saw it. Barely able to see the woman behind the cash register, I quickly made the purchase and walked out with a copy of The Meaning of Mariah Carey in my hands.

There’s an article in the…


Kamala Harris is the first woman and the first Black and South Asian American to become U.S. Vice President-Elect

Photo by Gage Skidmore on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

How do you properly convey what it feels like to live in truly historic moment? Even though a few days have passed since then, I’ll try my best to write about it because it deserves to be written about. On November 7th, it felt as if much of the world let out a collective sigh of relief when former vice president Joe Biden became the 46th president-elect of the United States, unseating the incumbent.

Senator Kamala Harris became the first woman and the first Black and South Asian American vice president-elect of the United States — a truly notable moment…

Sana Hashmi

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