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Essays

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A crew from Mural Arts Philadelphia paints over the Frank Rizzo mural on Ninth Street in June 2020. (Photo by Steve Weinik.)
A crew from Mural Arts Philadelphia paints over the Frank Rizzo mural on Ninth Street in June 2020. (Photo by Steve Weinik.)

I grew up in South Philly. Here’s what heritage means to me.

What happens to cultures that stand like statues?

Is it Delaware Avenue or Columbus Boulevard? Dan Gold grew up in South Philly, and with the Rizzo statue gone and Columbus in a box, he wonders what his neighbors are defending.
Daniel Gold

Daniel Gold

Essays 4 minute read
Josh Herren, left, with his husband and Seymour T.D. Steinberren, is on a whole new journey. (Photo courtesy of the author.)
Josh Herren, left, with his husband and Seymour T.D. Steinberren, is on a whole new journey. (Photo courtesy of the author.)

When a pandemic means having time to change your mind

The contrarian in quarantine

Stay-at-home orders could be an excuse to become even more set in our ways, but when Joshua Herren decided to do the opposite, he surprised himself.
Josh Herren

Josh Herren

Essays 4 minute read
Maybe Deborah Birx could try giving the president a different line of advice. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons.)
Maybe Deborah Birx could try giving the president a different line of advice. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons.)

Understanding Donald Trump (continued)

So you want Trump to wear a mask?

When germophobes were perceived as neurotic, Trump celebrated his own germophobia. What has changed?
Dan Rottenberg

Dan Rottenberg

Essays 3 minute read
‘Moore Scouts’ invites players to a digital corner of the Philadelphia arts. (Image by Laura Howard and Noelle Baniowski.)
‘Moore Scouts’ invites players to a digital corner of the Philadelphia arts. (Image by Laura Howard and Noelle Baniowski.)

Do video games have potential for social impact?

‘Moore Scouts’ and the near future of gaming

Moore College of Art & Design’s Animation & Game Arts students talk with Kyle V. Hiller about gaming’s impact on their lives, and how the medium can be a platform for marginalized voices.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Essays 4 minute read
Sometimes words on their own aren’t enough to encompass LGBTQIA+ identities. (Photo by Alaina Johns.)
Sometimes words on their own aren’t enough to encompass LGBTQIA+ identities. (Photo by Alaina Johns.)

I date people of different genders, but let's skip the labels about sexuality

I’m comfortable with myself. Are you?

Daralyse Lyons wishes the people she’s dated were comfortable enough with themselves to accept all of her, including her fluid sexuality.

Daralyse Lyons

Essays 4 minute read
Why does Philadelphia get a zero in the arts and culture column? (Image courtesy of Philly Culture United.)
Why does Philadelphia get a zero in the arts and culture column? (Image courtesy of Philly Culture United.)

Philly Culture United urges City Council not to defund the arts

Philly artists rally against defunding

Suzanne Cloud spotlights Philly Culture United, an action campaign to save the city’s funding for arts and culture.
Suzanne Cloud

Suzanne Cloud

Essays 4 minute read
Before Penn, Villanova, and Cornell: An Nichols at summer camp. (Image courtesy of the author.)
Before Penn, Villanova, and Cornell: An Nichols at summer camp. (Image courtesy of the author.)

Racism is a lifetime of tiny cuts. They won’t stop unless we all speak up.

“The Good Black”

The George Floyd protests helped An Nichols to reflect on her past in a white-dominated culture.
An Nichols

An Nichols

Essays 4 minute read
Capturing the magical moment: it took three performances for the photographer to land the ending of ‘Serenade.’ (Photo by Alexander Izilieav.)
Capturing the magical moment: it took three performances for the photographer to land the ending of ‘Serenade.’ (Photo by Alexander Izilieav.)

How Alexander Iziliaev went from dancer to photographer at the PA Ballet

After dancing, another shot at ballet

Photographer Alexander Iziliaev put one passion aside when he became a dancer. Now that he’s stepped off the stage, he can bring something to his art form that others behind the camera cannot. He talks with Camille Bacon-Smith.
Camille Bacon-Smith

Camille Bacon-Smith

Essays 5 minute read
A class of distance-learning youngsters enjoy a virtual session with Mighty Writers. (Image courtesy of Mighty Writers.)
A class of distance-learning youngsters enjoy a virtual session with Mighty Writers. (Image courtesy of Mighty Writers.)

When conspiracies aren’t theories: what is COVID teaching the next generation?

Living conspiracies, teaching truth

In a class on combatting conspiracy theories and misinformation in the era of COVID-19, I teach teenagers to recognize dangerous distractions from reality. But what about the conspiracies that materially affect their lives?
Michelle Chikaonda

Michelle Chikaonda

Essays 5 minute read
More and more people across the country are saying it: Black lives matter. (Photo by Frankie Cordoba via Unsplash.)
More and more people across the country are saying it: Black lives matter. (Photo by Frankie Cordoba via Unsplash.)

As protests against police brutality ignite, what can Black officers tell us?

Protests are not enough

America is reckoning with its racist institutions, including police forces that disproportionately target Black people and people of color. But what about the officers working inside this system while also experiencing systemic racism? Daralyse Lyons considers.

Daralyse Lyons

Essays 7 minute read