It’s been an interesting year at Makiah-isms! From struggling to finish my thesis to starting a relationship and landing a full-time job, it’s been a long and surprising journey. In an effort to reflect on all that has transpired, I’ve compiled a list of my 2015 highlights!
On Jan.10, I celebrated my 23rd birthday w/ my loved ones! This was a landmark birthday for me. Instead of inviting the usual 20-25 guests to an aimlessly large birthday dinner, I decided to have an intimate day-long celebration with people who played a significant role in my life. Scaling down and cherishing those who had demonstrated immense care and concern for me the previous year helped me to focus on a few friendships, which proved to be very fruitful.
I don’t remember much from February other than observing Black History Month and struggling to stay on my thesis schedule. In retrospect, my last year of grad school seems like a big blur, but in the moment, the fear of not finishing permeated my every move and thought.
After discussing everything from The Revolution to the role of the church in society, TyreeBP and I decided to start recording our conversations, and #TheCut Podcast was born! We discussed everything regarding race, faith, and pop culture. Although the podcast was relatively short lived due to time constraints, we learned a lot from the experience and can’t wait to bring it back!
On Mar. 26, I published TV Diversity Is Not Reverse Racism on Makiahisms
In April, I shut down my entire life to finish my thesis. In early April, I remember crying profusely and telling my mother that I was going to drop out because the workload was too much. (Who needs a master’s degree in professional writing anyway?) I had changed my thesis idea way too many times and was far behind my classmates. I was legitimately struggling and did not see how 120 pages of pure gold was going to come out of me in a mere, ever-encroaching 4 weeks. But somehow, by the grace of God and the support of my family and friends, I made it happen and survived the most intense month of my academic existence!
May was the culmination of so much hard work and diligence. On May 1st, I submitted my thesis (all 130 pages), and unfortunately lost one of my most beloved earrings in the process. (If you’ve seen this beauty roaming the streets, please call 1-800-Gimme-My-Earrang)
On May 15, I received the Trojan Service Award at the CBCSA African American Cultural Celebration. This award meant a lot to me because it reminded me that the work I had put in for Black students at USC was not in vain. From the BSA Next Generation Committee to the #USChangeMovement, I dedicated a lot of time to improving and enhancing the conditions of Black students at USC, in addition to recruiting more. At times, it felt like I was wasting my time, but despite the pervasive backlash from university administrators (and the lying, terrorist LAPD), we prevailed and will continue to fight until our people get free.
On May 16, I performed my hit single, “That Degree,” w/ Monyia Singleton at Black Grad. We wrote the song together when I was a senior in undergrad, struggling to finish the year strong. Two years later, my dreams came true as we turned Black Grad ALL THE WAY UP!!!
On May 17, I graduated from the University of Southern California for the second time with my master’s degree in Professional Writing. I have no words other than: yaaaaasss!!!
On May 27, I met my filmmaker activist role model, Ava DuVernay, at Cal State LA. I connect with her on so many levels, and it was an absolute joy to hear her speak about her films in relation to the larger movement!
In June, I published The Silent Graduation: Depression & The Weight of Success on Makiahisms and started interning at MACRO, a premiere production company focused on the multicultural market. In late June, I participated in NPR’s Michel Martin’s #StreetsAndBeats Twitter Forum on Cops & Communities, where I engaged (debated) cops on what our communities need.
On July 4, I met Michael Bae Jordan at the MACRO BBQ! (This was before he tried to claim he didn’t need Black women or Black audiences.)
In late July, I attended a free screening of MTV’s White People documentary and published White-on-White Activism: MTV’s White People is a Must See…For White People on Makiahisms.
After watching the much anticipated film, Straight Outta Compton, I published NWA: No Women Allowed – A Review of Straight Outta Compton on Makiahisms. This piece inspired much debate (and misogyny) on Facebook, leading to multiple unfollows. In August, MyPWI reached 1,000 followers on Twitter — a huge milestone for me as I had never reached 1,000 followers on anything.
After a successful summer internship, MACRO decided to hire me part-time. (Whooop!)
In late September, I went to the LA County Fair for the first time with the crew! I had an ABSOLUTE blast & lowkey got addicted to fried Oreos. I also did my first radio interview with 89.3 KPCC on the very real student loan debt crisis that I’m all too familiar with. Check it out here: 89.3 KPCC Student Loan Debt Interview w/ Adolfo Guzman-Lopez
In October, I supported my boyfriend with his inaugural book club, #BarnesAndNobleAndChill. In an effort to make the books we were reading relevant in real time, we assembled a group of woke folks using social media and dissected Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. Later that month, I spoke on a panel at the White House Summit on Educational Excellence for African Americans at LMU.
On Oct. 29, I spoke with Refinery29 regarding a viral post that surfaced at SMU regarding why an undisclosed white sorority didn’t admit Black women. A day later, I met Ta-Nehisi Coates and covered his Book Signing at the California African American Museum. Then, I channeled my inner Black Panther for Halloween!
In early November, I began a relationship w/ my bestfriend, Tyree. After building and growing as friends for over a year, we decided to call a spade a spade and embark on a beautiful journey together. I’m sure that I’ll be writing more on this in coming months, but in short, he is the Baldwin to my Maya.
On Nov. 10, I was featured on Huffington Post Black Voices for my work on #MyPWI, a platform for students of color at predominantly white universities. In the midst of protests and resistance at colleges across the nation, we had a timely discussion about what Black students need during this pivotal time. Check out the piece here: Black College Students Can Find Solace in this Social Media Movement.
About a week later, NPR reached out to me to discuss the protests happening in Southern California, alongside a few student activists from UCLA and the Pomona Colleges. You can check it out here: SoCal Students Talk Race & Discrimination on Campus
In early December, my amazing boyfriend featured me on his blog, TyreeBP.com, to talk about how my activism informs my Hollywood aspirations in The Tikisa Series: Disrupting Hollywood w/ Makiah Green.
On Dec. 10, I met another one of my favorite filmmakers, Ryan Coogler, at Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Film Screening of Paris Blues!
And last, but certainly not least, on Dec. 16, MACRO offered me a full-time job. Beginning in January, I’ll be working there as a Creative Assistant, where I will provide input on film, TV, and digital projects, manage all of the social media accounts, and assist the executive homies with their day-to-day duties. This job is truly a dream come true. Before I graduated, my prayer was to be able to work for a media company that produced quality content for and about my people. I cannot wait to work alongside some of the best to ever do it!
And that’s all folks! As amazing as this year has been, I know that I couldn’t have made it through without my family & friends who have supported me every step of the way. Thank you for holding me down! Here’s to a new year of health, love, joy, & growth!
Happy New Year!