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Check out her six Medium pubs: BlackTechLogy, Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.
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When people blame “the media” for everything wrong with the world, my initial impulse is to defend. Why? I worked in traditional newsrooms for several years before joining the online journalism world as both a full-time writer and editor. Blaming “the media” can be too broad of a stroke; there are members of the media who care about what the same complaining readers do. Don’t blame all of us for some of us. …


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I’ll never be anti-marriage. It’s a wonderful thing when it works. My parents will be married 41 years this coming summer. My grandparents were married for 49 years. My brother married his high school sweetheart, and they’ve been together for 22 years. And that’s just a handful of people in my family who are married.

But sometimes I hear some marriage advice that makes me think you guys need a better public relations team. I’ll never forget the day I got into the back of an Uber car with my headphones blasting. I took them off long enough to identify…


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Your vacuum is programmed to start at 8 a.m. The electric kettle timer turns on at 8:15 a.m. for your morning tea, and the coffee pot already has hot coffee inside from the 7:30 a.m. scheduled start time. The motorized blinds are opened just enough to let sunlight into your bedroom and living room after the alarm goes off.

You glance over at the smart home security camera to make sure there was no funny business overnight — after all, one of the neighbors has guests who always mix up your home with theirs even though your video doorbell and…


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You’ve moved into a new home or you’re ready to redecorate. You’ve found the perfect set of custom blinds that match your couches and your accent shelf. You’ve paid a handyman to put those blinds up, and you smile at the sight of them from inside and outside of your window. A few days later, you come home to find that your dog has other plans — she’s chewed a hole right through one set and twisted the others in the opposite direction. It looks like you’ve let the Tasmanian Devil use your home as an Airbnb.

Whether you choose…


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Do you have $7,565-$19,060 available? No? Well, that’s the average lifetime cost of a dog. Bunny rabbits are about half that price ($9,670) with cats trailing behind them ($9,150). While this pricing may seem mind-boggling, keep in mind we’re talking about a pet that can be around anywhere from 10–18 years, so it’s not all at once. While it’s commonly believed that the bigger the breed, the shorter the life, I had a 50–60 lb Lab/German Shepherd mix who lived for 13 years while my purebred German Shepherd only lived for nine years. …


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I was sitting in a newsroom brainstorm meeting when a Features Editor made that comment. Up until that moment, I’d been pretty neutral on her. She would’ve been classified as the “white woke” type, who loved Common and was from the LGBTQ+ community. I expected her to know better before the words came flying out of her mouth, especially at work. However, someone made a suggestion about a feature article (on either home decor or fashion), and she snickered and said, “That’s kinda ghetto.”

Blonde-haired, in her 20s, dressed like Ellen DeGeneres and definitely not from the hood, I looked…


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When my Creative Writing teacher decided we should all head to the computer lab instead of free writing in our notebooks, my first thought was “Why?” She insisted we needed to learn about the Internet. When my sixth grade computer lab teacher organized an after-school program to teach us to type professionally, he also prioritized software programs to make us better at computer navigation. Then when I graduated from college, my mother bought me a laptop. I stared at it, and I told her I would’ve preferred the money she paid for a computer to pay back student loans. …


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There is an upside and a downside to being on a condo board and not living in the building. Condo board members are not required to live in the building (depending on your bylaws, but usually unit owners cannot ban those who live outside of the property from joining), and it certainly makes it easier to maintain a level of privacy.

If you’re living in the building, don’t be surprised when other condo unit owners (or tenants who ignore their landlords) will ring your (a board member’s) doorbell or knock on your door unannounced. If you give out your personal…


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Imagine strolling through the middle of the mall when someone tells you there’s a shooter on the loose. He’s spraying bullets at every store. He doesn’t give a damn what race you are, what religion you are, what culture you identify with or what gender box you check. He’s trying to kill everybody.

But instead of heading toward a nearby exit door to get away from the shooter, you head toward the shooter. Instead of heading to an empty store with the lights out, a place where you may be able to hide, you walk right into the full-lit lobby.


In a work-from-home environment, are we forgetting the basics of job interviews?

Shamontiel L. Vaughn

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