A Midweek Meditation on Raja Kumari’s Brand of Hip Hop, Toni Morrison’s Beginnings and Emily Doe’s Powerful Letter

Midweek Meditations is a weekly column written by Julia-Elise Childs where she rounds up her favorite happenings in fashion, art, culture, and beyond. We figure that despite living fast, we should probably catch our breath every now and again.

Whenever I write, I circle back to the concept of creating my own space for my voice. This isn’t to say that I identify as fatally unique – instead, this is me understanding that if I long for dialogue between my existence and my intellect, I must create a place for such a dialogue to occur.

This week, I’m taking a moment to meditate on how others build out their own space. Raja Kumari is building her empire, doling out her expertly crafted brand of hip-hop that honors her Indian roots. Toni Morrison shares how she began to build her space, eloquently stating, “… At some point, I realized that there was a book I wanted to read, that nobody had written” as the reason why she wrote her first novel. Emily Doe, the Stanford sexual assault survivor, pens a follow-up to her poignant open letter, expanding the space within which she exists.

We belong. It’s up to us to create the spaces where we fit.

Beat by Beat, Raja Kumari is Changing Hip Hop

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You may recognize Raja Kumari as one of the wordsmiths Vivianne met during a songwriters camp in Bali. Maybe you caught her Complex interview earlier this week – or perhaps you’re already privy to her “Bollyhood” tracks. Regardless of the acquaintanceship, count yourself lucky to be in the know. Influenced by her Indian heritage, the Southern California native began making her own music when she realized that it was up to her to build her own niche in the music industry. While she has proven success as a songwriter for some of our generation’s most influential pop stars, her desire to create music shifted to an absolute need to create music. Watch her latest, “Believe in You” here and stay tuned for her EP “The Come Up” to drop November 17th.

In Conversation With Toni Morrison 

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An interview with Toni Morrison is as intimate and revealing as her writing. At 85 years old, she is still in the practice of revealing new pieces of herself with each body of work she releases. Similarly, every interview casts her in a new light. Despite knowing her personal story, I am endlessly enthralled by her history. In this week’s conversation with LitHub, Morrison shared that she didn’t consider writing until she was 39 years old. As an avid reader her whole life, she was perturbed by the fact that she had yet to read the one story that she truly wanted to read. And thus, The Bluest Eye was written…

Stanford Sexual Assault Case Survivor Stands Strong

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Emily Doe, the anonymous Stanford sexual assault case survivor, penned a follow up to her much-applauded open letter. By sharing with the prying world how her life has changed since initially sharing her story, she expands the world she exists in and shapes her own narrative. Emily Doe is so much more than an anonymous victim struggling through a horrid, unjust, and high publicized trial. She could be anyone reading this article. She is a survivor. And, as she put it, “Victims are survivors, and survivors are going to be doing a hell of a lot more than surviving.”

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