"Lately, the Internet has been unsettling. There has been a dark frenzy. I am questioning everything but not in the way you might think. When you write online, when you put yourself out there, people make assumptions. They think they know more than they know. I know very little but I know what I feel. I write what I feel. Nothing can take that from me. If I can't trust what I feel, I have nothing. No matter what happens, I will be absolutely okay with my choices because at least I have tried. At least I am fighting. At least I am standing up for what I want."
"People try to take Black America so much out of context; I wanted to fill in that context."
—Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah
Recently I had a conversation with a friend who works in finance. I tried to explain to him what it was like writing on the internet but found myself struggling to explain the torrent of backlash I encounter daily from people I will never meet. I searched for words to properly describe the growing tide of cynicism that is becoming harder and harder to wade through, but came up short. Three drinks in, all I could muster was: "Writing on the internet is hard. And exhausting. But it's important. And I think I'm going to keep doing it until it's not."
Here are eight things (four stories, three roundtables, and a recurring series) that I am particularly proud to have published this year.
- The Man Behind the Web's Most Controversial Video Site
- Am I Black Enough for You?
- OutKast, Contextually
- Ferguson and the Fight for Recognition
- Blood in the Streets: A Conversation About Gun Violence in Chicago
- It Is Time We Treat Police Brutality as a National Crisis
- The Curious Case of the "New Black": A Conversation
- The Awl Weather Reviews Minus Context
[Image by Alisha B. Wormsley]