Her “Blaccent” needs to go, but should I cancel her?

Image courtesy of cnbc.com.

When I watched Awkwafina, aka Nora Lum, in the film Crazy Rich Asians, I laughed and thought the outlandish character she played using a New York-style “Blaccent” was a lot of fun as long as it was for that character alone.

Surely, she wouldn’t continue playing roles as an Asian talking with a stereotypically Black accent. Man, was I wrong?

She played a similar role as Constance in the movie Ocean’s 8. She’s a rapper who dresses up in hip-hop clothing and jumps around in her videos on YouTube, caricaturing Black rappers.

Her upcoming role in the Marvel action flick…


Taking risks that make sense to you may look crazy to others.

Photo by Kim Carpenter on Unsplash

Two years ago, I quit my secure art teaching job for a position as a copywriter at a large medical device company. In the middle of the school year, no less—not a wise move in education.

Most teachers wait to leave until June, when they’ve completed a full school year. A great idea if you’re moving to another teaching job. Unfortunately, the corporate world isn’t on the same schedule.

I was scared about what this might do to my teaching career but ready to tackle a new challenge in a different profession.

I worked as a freelance copywriter for more…


Make it all or nothing when supporting writers on Medium

Photo by sporlab on Unsplash

Did you know you can clap up to fifty times for an article on Medium? So, why give less?

I bet I know what you’re thinking. “Well, it all depends on how much I enjoyed the article. If it sucked, there’s no way I’m giving fifty claps.”

Seriously?

Step off that extremely high horse you’re on for a second and think about what you’re saying. A writer spent their valuable time working on an article to teach and inspire you, and you can’t even hold down the clap button for a few seconds to thank them?

This is exactly what…


And could help you reach your goals.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Walking into the art studio with my finished clay project in hand, I knew it was the best work I’d done in a long time. With other classes and homework to complete that week, I didn’t put much time into this one. Still, I was sure its creativity and energy would impress my professor.

Compared with sculptures from other students in class that day, I could tell theirs looked technically better. Mine had all the vitality, though!

I might have finished it quickly, but it was eye-catching.

The professor was surely going to give me a high grade and plenty…


Science says yes, but it’s all in how you look at it.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

We’re getting less creative. The scientific studies say so.

According to the article, “Research Suggests We’re All Getting Less Creative and Scientists Think They Know Why” by Jessica Stillman in Inc. magazine, studies have shown creativity is on the decline.

People could care less about creativity.

From the article:

“A researcher at the University of William and Mary analyzed 300,000 Torrance Test scores since the ’50s. She found that creativity scores began to nosedive in 1990. She concluded that we’re now facing a ‘creativity crisis,” reported author Michael Easter on Medium recently.

Scores on standard tests of creativity have been…


And why you should buy a pair.

Image courtesy of dax-sports.com.

When you see those black split-toe shoes, called Tabi, they’re normally in movies where ninja are climbing walls and spying on important people to gain information.

Or, maybe you think about the Foot Clan in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Either way, these shoes are, and were, real.

And still used today.

Nothing in Japan is designed without a purpose.

After reading more about the function of these crazy cool shoes, maybe you’ll see why you should own a pair.

Were Tabi shoes made for ninja, though? We’ll answer that later too.

One thing I do know, the rubber-soled Jika-Tabi is…


Illustrated by the author.

Are your ideas all dried up? Maybe you’re feeling like someone who can’t come up with anything exceptional anymore. Looking for new ways to express yourself and breakthrough a creative slump?

I’ve been there. More often than I’d like to admit.

As a teacher, writer, and cartoonist, I’m always in need of ideas, not only to start creating something new but to enhance what I’m already working on.

Let’s imagine we climbed the mountain of the creative block together. As we reach the top, standing majestically in front of us is a massive rock. On it are inscribed seven words…


You are who you decide to be.

Photo by ABDULLA M on Unsplash

Three years of freelance writing on the side while teaching full-time finally got me noticed by recruiters and hired as a copywriter for a major tech company in silicon valley. I was considered a contractor, though, not a salaried employee.

And it was only for three months — with a possibility of extension.

I’m embarrassed to admit; this messed with my self-worth and confidence as a writer. Even though I’ve been out in the world of work for over twenty years, my positions have either been as a salaried teacher or freelancer.

Being a contractor felt like a weird in-between…


How I think a conversation with the birthday boy would go

Photo courtesy of mywhatsappimages.com

“I’m 57…Whoa.”

But you look 30, Keanu. You’re aging like fine wine.

“…………….”

“……………………..”

“….Yeah.”

So, September 2nd is your big day.

What are you doing to celebrate? Having friends over for a party? Wait, let me guess. It’s a John Wick theme with multiple cakes shaped like dead bodies scattered around the room.

“I don’t eat cake. We’ll have oatmeal with cinnamon and blueberries.”

Oh, okay. Will you invite over any famous friends?

“………………Hollywood types get on my nerves. Maybe just a few close friends who haven’t pissed me off yet.”

I can understand that. Is that how you…

Khalid Birdsong

Cartoonist, art teacher, humor and personal growth writer. Join my creativity newsletter here- https://astounding-speaker-7629.ck.page/76573e6bdc

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store