American Conversation

Painfully, I did not know what to say. Death tied my tongue and disabled one of my greatest strengths, words. I felt disgusted thinking about Michael Brown’s final plea for his life: “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting.” I was instantly reminded of Emmett Till and his last words, “Bye, Baby,” which resulted in more sickness. What had other unarmed black men said before their untimely deaths? Thanks to Shirin Barghi for compiling a list that answered my grave question.

 

My best friend and I created the following design, American Conversation, as a response to our collective shock, pain and disbelief at the current and not so current events of young, unarmed black men being murdered. The shirt’s colors are red, white and blue (navy) to mimic the American flag. The words, written in white, are the last known words from eleven black men who died prematurely, each forming a part of a disturbing national narrative. On the sleeve, their ages are written in white, surrounded by their names, which are written in red. The last number, 22, is their average age and enveloped in red to symbolize their collective death.

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You can pre-order this shirt, which costs $22 as a tribute to their age. Proceeds from this limited design will be donated to the Michael Brown Memorial Fund.

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A Trip to the Dentist

As a little kid, who watched way too much tv, the dentist was easily the scariest professional. Dentists were always portrayed as crazed men, who took out their frustration and deep seated insecurities on others via metal tools that buzzed. They hacked and sawed teeth, and seemingly rejoiced while their patients squirmed in pain. With this on my mind, coupled with my last trip to the dentist in which the doctor shaved off part of a tooth or something like that, I went to the dentist today. Below are some notes that I jotted down:

  • In order to take x-rays, I had to bite down on some contraption over and over again–ouch!
  • When’s the last time you been to the dentist? I was asked this question numerous times and apologized for my lack of recent appointments. I’m too embarrassed to say how long it has been. Ironically, my favorite attribute is my smile.
  • Maxine was my dental hygienist; she had a wonderful attitude, and put me at ease with her conversation inducing questions
  • Maxine pointed out to me that I have a slight overbite–I jokingly remarked that it adds to my personality (plus it is not noticeable…at least no one, other than my dentist, has ever pointed it out to me before)
  • I need to brush the inside of my upper/lower teeth–Maxine took the time to show me how I should position my toothbrush for the optimum cleaning of the other side of my teeth; she handed me a mirror so that I could see what she was talking about–very helpful.
  • The lone bright light was really bright; the metal tools were cold; the sucker (not sure of its proper medical term) got the majority of the blood and drool/saliva.
  • Both Maxine and the awarding winning doctor, according to the plaque (no pun intended) in his room, both commented on the lose of my bone structure, which will require me to see a ___-ologist
  • The doctor had a little doctor gremlin-esque statue that held two metal sharp tools. I would have taken a picture with my iphone, but I could not because I was living the under 5% battery struggle life
  • Lastly, the doctor showed me my dental x-rays on a flatscreen HD television. He transformed into a sports anaylst and did some color commentary on my teeth, circling the area where I had some tartar build-up

Overall, it was a good experience and now I have a better understanding of the inner-working of my mouth. And after the cleaning, I have a better smile!