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Jonathan L.

…I am no one, and at the same time I have to be someone. I am a nameless faceless generation rising up from the depths of “teenage complacency.” I am the rich man sipping his wine on a summer afternoon in the Bahamas, and I also am the poor homeless women that gets passed by millions of people each year who don’t want to know that she exist. I am all the mistakes from the past, the franticness of the present, and the beauty of potential in the future. I am intelligence wrapped up into a cocoon of stupidness. I am stupidness surrounded by an uncountable amount of peers with more wisdom than this world can handle at one time. I am justice when unfairness is the only thing available, I am unfair. I am contradiction, hypocrisy, and redundancy. I am what people say I shouldn’t be. I am an agape lover, a helpless romantic, a passionate leader. I am no one, and at the same time I have to be someone. I am Jonathan Lykes…

Follow on Twitter: @jonathanlykes

Follow Jonathan L. on Twitter: @jonathanlykes

Posts by Jonathan L.

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“I Make HIV Look Soo Good”: The Politics of Disease, Stigma, and Self-Worth

This past week I became the facebook user that monotonously began searching through the lives, thoughts, and ideas of my fb friends through the convenience of my fb wall. I came upon a status update from a person that will remain nameless, that said “I make HIV look soo good.” A few thoughts cross my […]

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The Oblivion of Privilege

Privilege is the reality of having one less thing to think about. When one is privileged they have the luxury of not having to be conscious about their every day actions. We all have various levels of privilege, some more than others. But I often, even as a young black gay male that deals with […]

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Tales From a Black Filled Childhood: How I Became an Upstander

 I faced history one day and found myself. I was once a 14 year old boy introduced into a program that would change my life forever. My first experience was with a Holocaust survivor named Max Edelman back when I was in 9th grade. I can still hear his voice ringing in my ear as […]

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Tales from a Black Filled Childhood: Who Will Lead My Black Generation…No One?

When I was a little kid everyone would tell me “you are called” or “you have a calling on your life” (mostly older church folks who were overly excited to see an articulate church going black boy). Essentially what they meant was that I would be one of the next “leaders in the black community.” […]

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Tales from a Black Filled Childhood: The Power of Social Capital

The act of preferential treatment historically ends up bad for marginalized communities. We are the ones with little social capital, not a lot of presubscribed privilege, and even less access to upward mobility.  Yet, this doesn’t mean preferential treatment will ever go away, thus, it seems to me that it is pertinent for black youth […]

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Tales from a Black Filled Childhood: The Importance of a Mentor

Having a mentor is crucial. It was as important for my life as my grades in school, my extra curricular activities, and my exposure to the world at large. I believe these are all things that young people need to break cycles of oppression and poverty, however, without having someone to guide you in the […]

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The Belief in a Thing Makes it Happen

This past week I was asked by a group of middle school students “what do you believe in”? Even though the question was light hearted and blameless, I think as a black male twenty-two year old constantly challenged by the power and privilege dynamics of this society, it is important to rigorously interrogate my own […]

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Why Little Black Children Will Spend Yet Another Generation Dealing With Private Companies to Access Healthcare

Even though the ACA and healthcare is not a “hot button” issue this week, it is still a crucial issue that we must continue to think about for the ones that will come after us. This is an issue that will literally impact our lives and longevity of life. Let’s not let time, space, and […]

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What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black?: A New Black Arts Movement for a New Generation

“What shall I tell my children who are black, Of what it means to be a captive in this dark skin? What shall I tell my dear one, fruit of my womb, of how beautiful they are when everywhere they turn they are faced with abhorrence of everything that is black. The night is black and so is the boogyman. Villains […]

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Creating Space: Why Mentoring Will Change a Generation Experiencing Trauma & Violence

Now all the teachers couldn’t reach me And my momma couldn’t beat me Hard enough to match the pain of my pop not seeing me (Jay-Z) I was speaking to a middle school student that I am mentoring through a non-profit in Chicago, and the student explained to me an event in his life growing […]

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