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This year has been a fucking shit show (and honestly that’s an understatement). I ushered in the new year with fresh grief over my uncle’s death, lingering grief over my popa’s death, an incomplete research paper, and a lot of work to do leading a volunteer trip to Philly with my best friend. The first half of the year was full of sadness and anxiety. I cried myself to sleep every night for 3 or 4 months after my uncle died and experienced panic attacks for the first time in my life. I had no interest in anything and really had to push myself to follow through on all my commitments. I survived the semester even when my nana had a severe stroke at the end of April. I had a powerful experience at the end of May, going on another volunteer trip, this time to the Pine Ridge reservation, where I learned a lot about persevering through grief. I traveled a lot this summer- to Chicago, Wisconsin, and Minneapolis. It was my first time being in the Midwest. I was not a fan of Chicago, but Wisconsin and Minneapolis were amazing. I’m still trying to figure out why I had a panic attack the whole time I was at the conference in Chicago- maybe it was the city, or spending a couple days in a small hotel with lots of strangers? I don’t know. But being in the Wisconsin northwoods definitely put me at ease. I also spent lots of time this summer with my family in upstate NY. I got to spend time in July with both my FL and NY cousins. I also got to see my nana who had the stroke. It turned out to be the last time I saw her before she suffered another stroke and passed away in August. The bright side to her memorial service was seeing my Michigan family, and getting to meet some of my nana’s adult nieces from Pittsburgh. Because my nana’s death wasn’t sudden, and because she was such a spiritual person, I actually feel like I’ve been able to deal with her death the best, in a way. She was such an amazing woman and accomplished so much. I’ve always known it but I guess now that she’s gone I recognize it more. As an African American woman who grew up working class in Pittsburgh, she accomplished a lot in her 78 years. She was very active in organizations around Binghamton and always remembered the importance of helping her community. That’s definitely something for me to remember. After my nana died, weirdly I felt a renewed sense of hope. I need to keep on moving forward and figure out what it is I want to do with my life. I want to go out and make a change, in whatever way that happens. I want to make my family proud, especially those who aren’t here to see it.
Elaine Saunders, 77, enjoys wearing hats, a style that is fading among younger black women in Washington.
View this year’s best work by Washington Post photographers and videographers.
Photo by Linda Davidson (The Washington Post)
I need to start wearing hats!
Photos from MAG Qualifications - Part II
(Photo Credit: Thomas Schreyer, Tencent Sports, and Xihua News)
R.I.P. // Chuck Brown
(August 22, 1936 – May 16, 2012)
Guitarist and singer Chuck Brown, who was affectionately called “the Godfather of Go-go” has passed away @ age 75.
Click here to read the full story.
Photo Source: WashingtonPost.com