Some Inspiration to Keep You Moving

Maybe it’s because I have yet to fully come to terms with everything that’s happened that I continue to speak of the past. It’s crazy, how life works. We’re not getting any younger and life’s not getting any easier. While 2016 was rough for most of us, and I’m not about to delve into why it was for me, there are some quotes and some lessons I picked up along the way that I thought were worth sharing. 

#1 | Show Up

You might be going through a rough time and may want to stay put in bed, in the comfort of your sheets with maybe your cat to cozy up to, but if there’s someplace you rather need to be, just make the effort of showing up, so you don’t have to deal with the option of skipping your class, your meeting, or even a job interview. Don’t let your dreams be dreams. 

#2 | Don’t Be Late 

If you want to leave an impression, don’t even show up on time. One cool professor of mine whose name I could never pronounce (Mr. Esterhuizen) told me this, “If you’re on time, you’re already late.”

#3 | The Right Attitude 

I’m interning with this rad multimedia producer named Paul and as he helped me explore career opportunities, he talked to me about what a difference the right attitude can make. He defined it as being friendly and enthusiastic, and I couldn’t agree more. What does the right attitude look like to you?

#4 | You Never Lose 

This is pretty cliché, but I’m all about seeing bad experiences as lessons. Actually, if you make the same mistake twice, then, yes, it’s a loss- a loss of your precious time and energy, so learn from your mistakes as well as from other people’s. 

#5 | But Love Fearlessly 

There are times the people we love will hurt us, disappoint us, even betray us to the point that we feel disgusted with the idea of ever falling in love again (whatever that looks like). As long as you’re not looking for perfection and keep an open heart & mind, you’ll find happiness. 

Unless of course you’re an independent woman who needs no man. J-Kay.. kind of.. THE POINT IS: love’s worth it. 

#6 | Friends Come and Go 

Except for best friends. They stay. They’re the type of people who will be there for you when you seriously need them to be- P.M. or A.M. They’re the type of people you can pick up where you left off with. They’re the type of people who treat your house as their own, and they’re especially the type of people to give your mother a place to stay the night if she needs one. 

#7 | Cut Out What’s Toxic 

And whoever’s toxic. #thefirststeptofindinghappiness

#8 | Let Go of Your Ego

And make room for soul food. It’s not healthy nor does it help with any relationship at all- personal or professional. 

#9 | It’s OK to be Selfish

As long as it’s not at the expense of another, be absolutely selfish. You’re not obligated to live in another’s shadow. We’re made to feel like we’re being selfish for wanting to live life the way we want to and coming from a collectivistic family structure and background doesn’t really help. Instead, it feels wrong to chase after our dreams. That will not change till you change the way you think. You can only hope others around you will change the way they think once they see that you’re happy and healthy. 

#10 | Find Encouragement in Everything

I can’t remember who told me this, but it’s stuck with me since. Enjoy the little things, celebrate each and every achievement- big or small, let a traffic ticket lead you to learning about the law and your rights more, let rain be the reason for you to share your umbrella with a stranger and sun be the reason you stop by a crowded restaurant to admire and smell the pretty roses. 

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Where to from here?

Junior year of college can be the best as you make the transition from core classes to more targeted classes, and basically start majoring in what majorly interests you. What’s it like to be done with your third year? 

 HA! I’m actually not quite sure myself. It’s not like I didn’t see it coming, yet it took me by surprise and here I sit, still trying to digest the fact that I have a year, one year of college life keeping me from being an “adult”. This is mind-blowing to me because I honestly still feel like I’m in my teen years. 

So where to from here?

I’m assuming next year will go by even faster just because it’s the final year. Every minute and every move is going to matter now more than ever and if I’ve been terrible at texting back, I can almost promise you it will get worse. 

As some of you are already aware, my goal is to one day become a News Anchor. That’s why this summer I’m concentrating especially on putting myself out there and on screen more, learning the ins and the outs of video production, taking the time to understand programs like Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, After Effects, etc etc.

Specifically, I’m interning at my university this summer under a pretty rad multimedia producer, I’m working on a documentary on the side, making YouTube videos, reading and writing more, but the biggest, coolest, maybe most exciting part of it all-

I’m moving into a place of my own later this summer along with two gorgeous, very talented women! 


Thankful for all these people making junior year one to remember! 

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Devon Lee on Black Lives Matter

The impression that the Black Lives Matter movement puts black lives above all other lives is a distorted perspective that a group of people tend to hold. Adjunct professor for Sociology, Devon Lee, talks about why black lives matter in the era of white supremacy on April 04.

The message Devon Lee was trying to get across was that all lives do matter. However, we live in a world where Black lives seem to matter less when we consider police violence, educational, health, and income disparities. He argued that in order for all lives to matter, Black lives must matter more in American society. He noted that movements like “All Lives” or “Blue Lives” matter only deflect from a real. He said that “these movements tend to interrupt a valid ethical claim” which is that racial profiling (and discrimination) still plays a major role in the lives of black folks. 

“For example, blacks are subjected to more discipline compared to other races,” he said. Media coverage, despite its responsibility to fair representation, has become an avid promoter of a narrative that perpetuates a history of violent black people as well other minorities. That “creates this cycle that stereotypes children by creating disparities [between people].” He noted how when innocent Black children are murdered by police, media usually features a criminal background check, however, are less likely to do so for the assailant. 

Mr. Lee even went further in referring to the constitution as being used as a veil that limits our ability to see what happens behind the scenes. People tend to believe that constitutional rights are universal and applies to all and/or protects all, but the truth of the matter is that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is cut short when state sanctioned violence and disparity shapes the life of an entire community.

Justice is often depicted as a blindfolded woman weighing scales of truth. Mr. Lee points out, that goes to show that justice fears none nor favors none. But what is justice really?

“Ethics are interesting because of its subjectivity,” he said. “Racial profiling has not been removed from policing. Is that ethical? From a legal standpoint, Yes, because it’s legal, but in terms of human impact, it’s unethical. [Therefore] law is inconsiderate of human impact. We’re at a historical low of police officers getting killed on the job. Even so, the majority are attacked by whites, not blacks. However, many people see the Movement for Black lives as an attack on law enforcement and replace fact with fiction. This perverts justice in a way where it is difficult for “rational” people to see Black people as victims. [And] research shows us that the more black you look, the more strict your sentence is going to be even if the same crime was committed by a white man.” Justice is neither unbiased or blind.

Lee finds today’s events to resemble the Plessy vs. Ferguson case of 1896, a day where an important historical decision was made on the basis of “separate but equal” and set back civil rights in the United States for decades to come. The Black community is portrayed as a threat to the freedoms and liberties that have been designed by and protected for whites. With economic instability alongside anti-black sentiment, legislation like stand your ground and Blue lives matter laws are implicitly designed to undermine the freedoms of Black America.

The assumption that the movement is about how black lives matter more than others is an inaccurate claim because it’s about the way they’re treated and how “blacks have fought for liberty in a way that whites have refused to acknowledge. Women [for example] are said to have the same rights but it’s the way that they’re treated that “devalue” their rights. It’s the same case for racism- simply people’s devaluation of others undermine their ability to live a quality of life. It is this struggle that has defined our democracy and that is now at stake if we fail to recognize the impact of white supremacy.

So all lives matter once blacks lives start to matter.”


Devon Lee currently teaches Sociology at Radford University and is excited about also becoming an instructor Peace Studies as well next year. He is a Doctoral Candidate in Virginia Tech Sociology Department, specializing in Africana Studies and holds a Bachelors in Sociology, African American Studies as well as a Master’s degree in African American Studies. After leading a march against racial profiling during his early days as a college student, Mr. Lee decided he wanted to put his labor and his energy into actively influencing people’s lives for the better through activism and education.


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