Shayema Rahim’s art encompasses several Egyptian and Asian techniques | Image courtesy of Shayema Rahim

The art that has emerged following the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of thought-provoking. Although galleries, museums and showcases were shut down for much of the past year, artists still continued to express themselves through their work. Dallas-based artist Shayema Rahim took strict approaches to quarantine, and although the isolation was depressing to her, she channeled those emotions and let them reflect into her artwork.

Like all of us, the time spent alone forced Rahim to reevaluate her priorities and change her perspective on what she finds important. To her, time is the most important thing.

“We tend to…


From Left to Right: Bridgette (left) and Valese Jones of The Queendom Beauty Box want to put Black and brown women at the forefront of the beauty industry | Photo credit: Annie Cortes

Subscription services have seen a rise in popularity amid the pandemic, as people can choose to have items like food, groceries, house supplies and beauty products delivered to their doors. For the latter, a duo of Dallas-based best friends is catering to Black women and other women of color, while simultaneously shining light on women-owned businesses.

This past February Valese and Bridgette Jones launched the Queendom Beauty Box, a subscription box with products catering to the skin and haircare of women of color. In each box are sample-size products from different women of color-owned businesses.

“It gets so expensive when…


Before LGBTQ+ people formed online communities via Tumblr and Twitter hashtags, like #growingupgay, we spent much time searching for answers to our queer questions via forums and message boards. While the fact that people peruse Yahoo! Answers to see if anyone answered questions they were too embarrassed to ask has become a running joke on the internet, the people who asked those questions can be hailed as martyrs for LGBTQ+ people.

Yahoo! Answers will officially shut down on May 4, and while we still have sites like Quora to ask all of life’s burning questions anonymously (or openly via Twitter…


Director and screenwriter Iver William Jallah (left) and producer Jesse Porter will collaborate again on the upcoming feature film, ‘Blood Orange Moon’ | Image courtesy of Film Keyz Productions

Last year proved to be grand for Fort Worth-native filmmaker Iver William Jallah. Upon its premiere at Fort Worth, Texas’ Lone Star Film Festival last November, Grand Isle, on which Jallah was a screenwriter, received a Spotlight Award. Jallah’s feature film debut also received an honorable mention at the San Diego Black Film Festival.

Now, Jallah is set to return to the screen with his next film, Blood Orange Moon.

Blood Orange Moon incorporates elements of dystopia and surrealism, while providing an allegory on American culture and society.

“This is the type of film where I got to really explore…


Since coronavirus struck, many restaurants have implemented safety measures in order to comply with social distancing orders | Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez

Pre-pandemic, I would frequently attend media dinners for new restaurants opening in the city. I am a food writer (not a food critic) in Dallas and I often write first-look articles on restaurants, as well as backstories on notable chefs and articles on where to find good deals in the metroplex. Prior to COVID-19, if I weren’t visiting a restaurant anonymously, I would be invited to a tasting in which myself and several other journalists, bloggers, photographers and influencers would sample various food and drinks. …


Protestors and police face off at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, TX | Photo credit: Lee Daugherty

This year, it’s been hard to celebrate the victories of the LGBTQ community, given that many of our trans brothers, sisters and non-binary siblings have died by acts of violence. Many cities have opted not to have official Pride celebrations, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this has not impeded activists from launching impromptu Pride and Black Lives Matter protests. …


Houston-based author Jenny Block released her latest book “Be That Unicorn” this past February | Photo credit: Terri Glanger

During this time of uncertainty, artists and creators are working to bring joy and happiness into people’s lives. While it may seem that there is no end in sight for COVID-19 and government-ordered quarantine, those who are creating art want us to be conscious of how we are spending our time. Houston-based author Jenny Block insists that while we are in quarantine, we make more time for what makes us happy and distance ourselves from what doesn’t.

This past February, Block released Be That Unicorn, a book she describes as an “anti-self-help book.” …


Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer

Since quarantine orders began, I’ve spent a lot of time catching up on movies — many of which are considered classics, yet I somehow hadn’t gotten around to seeing them. Watching these movies has prompted invigorating conversations with those around me; what lines and quotes aged well? Were these movies premonitions of what was to come? What happened to some of these actors and actresses who seemed very promising at the time?

All politics, morbidity, and existential uncertainty aside, one question I’ve asked the cinephiles around me remains constant: “Would you consider [x film] [y actor/actress’] breakout?”

While sometimes an…


Via Shutterstock

When sex workers’ work is put on such a large platform, they become celebrities within the realm of erotica and pornography. Although porn actors and actresses are the subjects of fantasy for viewers, viewers often forget that these people are human beings. Even adult film actors who choose to leave the industry have a hard time shaking off the stigma they faced while working in pornography.

Dallas-based porn actress Rachel Starr has been making adult films for almost 13 years. She credits her ability to operate her work as a proprietorship as the reason she’s been able to stay afloat…


‘Daybreak’, which premiered on Netflix last year, was canceled after only one season. | Netflix

Last week’s cancellation of HBO’s Watchmen sent many fans into shock. The dystopian drama series was a huge hit for the network, pulling in nominations for Critics’ Choice Television Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards and more. After showrunner Damon Lindelof stepped down from Watchmen, HBO announced that they would not pursue a second season. Watchmen was among several hit television shows that were canceled after one season over the course of the past year, including Netflix’s Daybreak and CBS’ Happy Together.

In an age where television consumers can simply binge multiple episodes in one sitting, it’s not difficult to see…

Alex Gonzalez

UNT Alumnus | 26 | Lover of music, food, baseball, dogs and world cultures | Curator of incredibly dope playlists

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