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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.

Should we celebrate or feel like it’s bittersweet progress?

Chicago is a weird place to brag about. This weekend, CNN reports that at least 53 people were shot in 41 separate shootings from Friday evening to Sunday evening. Although Illinois is in the top 30 states to be vaccinated, some folks clearly felt like they wanted to tag themselves in as COVID-19 tags its way out. It’s embarrassing. But we have had some odd flexes this year that I cannot decide whether to celebrate or mutter “it’s about time.”

Evanston is first city to get reparations for black folks

One Illinois “first” came in March, with Evanston’s black residents getting reparations for discriminatory practices from 1900 to 1960, which…


Florida vs Italy in a battle for invisible artwork

Oh hell no! If I say I’m agnostic on Twitter (or pretty much any other social media platform), I’ll get flooded with responses from churchgoers trying to change my mind. But not enough of you are coming for Italian artist Salvatore Garau, who sold an invisible statue for $18K in June. And how did he rationalize selling an “air and spirit” sculpture? According to the NY Post, he said, “After all, don’t we shape a God we’ve never seen?”

I’m linking this post to every single relative who tried to convince me to go to church with them every Sunday…


If your new beau is asking for money, swipe left and keep it moving

Whenever people ask me do I speak another language, I usually confirm that I’m bilingual. I took eight years of Spanish classes from eighth grade to college, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I speak English. I also speak Money. Part of it is being raised by a credit union manager mother and a bank customer service rep father. Then there’s the CD- and stock-investing grandfather. That bled over to my view of money in general.

But really, it’s just a deal-breaker for me. No topic can gain my interest more and make me distance myself from you quicker…


Why identifying your crossbreed can help you understand your dog

When you get a dog from an animal shelter, more often than not, crossbreeds are not identified. One worker told me that when they used to try to guess the breeds and document them on adoption papers, dog adopters would later tell them the puppy grew up to look like a completely different breed. I didn’t know much about Dachshunds when I adopted my dog Junee, but random men kept yelling, “Is that a hot dog?” at me whenever I walk her. So I settled on Dachshund Mix.

I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something about her was…


Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher and the sustainable jeans debate

“Don’t drop the soap.” I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before. It’s something people say to those who are entering correctional facilities — those who plan to bathe and want to do it in peace. In prison. Voluntarily.

Meanwhile, Ashton Kutcher (worth $140 million), Mila Kunis (worth $75 million) and Dax Shepherd (worth $40 million) are telling the public that they’re all “meh” about daily washing. In fact, Shepherd demanded that his co-host “stop washing her body with soap.” According to him, “You should not be getting rid of all the natural oil in your skin with a bar of…


Should non-celebs have verified accounts to control trolls?

“It’s just Twitter.” This is a comment I read nonstop from trolls on social media. Their featured images are usually celebrities or random objects. Sometimes they follow hundreds of people but have no tweets. Most of the time their sole goal is to talk trash about politics, celebrities or reality TV. They have no websites linked, no personal info like a website or real name, and very rarely is the username anything you’d repeat to your grandmother. But they’re definitely online and causing chaos.

I’m no angel. I’ve been to Twitter Jail (twice) for debating with other users and dealing…


If you want us to have work friends, don’t criticize the friends we make

“Oh, we hired someone new,” my boss said to me before one of the new employees arrived for her first day. “I’m sure you’ll like her.”

I raised an eyebrow, wondering what was so special about this new hire. Shrugging, I figured I’d find out in time. When I first met her, I didn’t really get why I was supposed to like her so much. We briefly chatted, but she seemed like any other woman I’d worked with. Then it hit me — this was like the time a prior boss (also a white woman) emphasized how I would be…


Keeping your home smelling and looking clean with your new dog

When you’ve walked into the homes of 84 different dogs — and that’s not including cancellations for a handful of irate pets that just wouldn’t let me put the leash on — you see a lot of different setups. Sometimes I walk into people’s homes, and it just looks like they own a dog. You can smell or see the fur on a pet owner’s clothes (especially cats). There are baby gates everywhere, fur all over the furniture, blankets torn to shreds, that wet dog smell is apparent, and toys and leftover food are all over the place. Then I…


Tirades about how much you hate (wo)men will not get you into relationships

Imagine walking into a job interview and complaining about what an asshole your last boss was. Talk about every single time he got on your nerves. Then get on social media and leave public tweets complaining about how these folks had the audacity to not give you the job, after you called them all kinds of names and criticized the entire industry. Would you recommend doing this? Would you consider it “invasive” if the hiring manager and/or industry paid attention to your public tweets and saw you doing it? Would they be wrong? My answer: No. …

Shamontiel L. Vaughn

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