A legacy of growth and inclusiveness

My Mother’s Story of the Girl Scouts My mother told me stories from when she was a little girl and was kept out of the local Girl Scout troop because she’s black. I never knew the particulars until I asked her more questions about it. She said a friend of hers at school invited her [...]

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Let me hear you say, “Yeah!”

When I was in high school, I had a lady friend who had a car before I got my driver’s license. This puts me at about age 15. She used to take naps in the middle of the day. So did I. She was really into drama class and club, just like me. We even [...]

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How not to be a racist…

Check out this video I found online. You might be thinking, “But Stephanie, you picked a video narrated by a white woman to talk about race.” Yes, I did. I picked her video because I think she covered a lot of very fertile material that could be thoughtfully researched and discussed by lots of humans. [...]

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Off to see NYC, but the yellow brick road was not for me

As I left The Voice, I assured the enthroned famous people that I wasn’t going to quit, and that I wasn’t deterred. Basically, that shit wasn’t over for me. I said it mostly because I needed to hear it at that moment. I needed to be reassured that my career (the thing I knew I [...]

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Collaboration in music (art) offers its own beauty

The Grass is Always Yellower by Randy Robbins I don’t remember whether we went to the studio in February or March. At any rate, it was early spring or late fall in the Northwest, which means it was raining. I do remember that I left home early to make it to the studio at around [...]

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My Body, My Choice, My Love

Every tattoo that I have I got in an attempt to love myself more. To love my body and make peace with the way it is and the experiences I’ve had. I grew up slightly bookish and in my own world most of the time. I don’t remember feeling really “cool” or “in” or “popular.” [...]

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What am I getting out of music, teaching and living life?

I enjoy music more because I sometimes have to listen to bad music, like the music of a kid who is not in tune, who is not counting, who cannot count or who is too afraid to sing and is mumbling into the microphone. Sometimes, I have to listen to music like that, and I [...]

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Black Mystique, Part 2

“Same hair!” Imagine it’s the first year of your 30s. You’ve traveled a bit. You’ve chased your dreams. You’ve jumped out of perfectly good air planes, and now you’re taking the ultimate adventure and working on your fitness. You stand in the gym next to your trainer, and her son walks up, who you met [...]

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Crave the life you want

After I came off The Voice and into 2014, I was really down on myself. All I saw in my past was glaring errors and failure artistically (read: professionally). My depression was bad. I was constantly making lists in my head of all the things I had tried that hadn’t worked out. I was always [...]

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Black Mystique, Part 1

“You’re already Black!” Picture yourself as a kid. You’re 14, and it’s your first year in high school. You’re sitting in a Spanish class full of upperclassmen, because you’re not an idiot, and you tested into this section. These kids have cars and facial hair. These kids have fake nails and go to keggers on [...]

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