7 Essays To Read This Weekend: Baltimore, Bruce Jenner, And Black Exhaustion

This week, BuzzFeed News editor Adam Serwer asks how a city with black representation in power erupted in riots not seen since Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. Read that and others from Medium, the New York Times, and The Nation.

1. "The Biggest Mystery of Baltimore’s Riots" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Chip Somodevilla / Via Getty Images

BuzzFeed News editor Adam Serwer looked back to April 1968, when Baltimore burned shortly after Martin Luther King Jr.'s death. Fifty years later, the city has erupted into riots again. Even with blacks in city government and on the police force, inequality persists. "Instead of a beacon of hope, black representation has become a bitterly ironic symbol of how little has changed," he writes. Read it at BuzzFeed Ideas.

2. "Black Exhaustion" — Medium

Pilot Viruet / Via medium.com

Pilot Viruet wrote a poignant piece on what it's like to be black. "Increasingly, I am learning, remaining alive while black is a radical act," she writes. At the same time, however, it is exhausting constantly having to worry about her own existence and the lives of her black brothers and sisters. Read it at Medium.

3. "Mormon, Childless, and Constantly Condescended To" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

It's no secret that more women are delaying marriage and childbirth in order to pursue higher education and to establish their careers, but Jennifer Purdie doesn't want to have children at all. Purdie, who is a 38-year-old Mormon, wrote about what it's like to reject motherhood as a woman whose religious identity is tied so closely to homemaking. Read it at BuzzFeed Ideas.

4. "No Labels, No Drama, Right?" — New York Times

Brian Rea / Via nytimes.com

Jordana Narin wrote an essay on that one person you never had, the one whom you semi-dated but never told how you really felt. In it, she explains what it's like being steeped in the past and longing for a relationship that never truly began. Read it at the New York Times.

5. "How I Made a Career Out of Showing People My Cervix" — BuzzFeed Life

Alice Monkongllite / BuzzFeed Life

Alexandra Duncan is a gynecological teaching associate who uses her own body to teach medical students how to perform breast and pelvic exams. And though she's in a position that ought to be so vulnerable, Duncan feels empowered and liberated. Read her essay at BuzzFeed Life.

6. "Toward a New 'Broken Windows' Theory" — The Nation

Evan Vucci / AP / Via thenation.com

This week, writer Mychal Denzel Smith reminds us that the civil rights movement found success when nonviolent protests provoked white violence. "Images of black death are proliferating beyond our capacity to tell each story, yet there remains no tipping point in sight," he writes. "What change will a 'peaceful' protest spark if a 'peaceful' protest is so easy to ignore?" he asks. Read it at The Nation.

7. "From a Symbol of Athletic Power to a Symbol of Gender Transition" — BuzzFeed LGBT

Bob Child / AP

Following Bruce Jenner's highly publicized interview with Diane Sawyer, Meredith Talusan wrote an essay on what Jenner's transition means for America. In it, Talusan remembers Jenner as the Olympic decathlon champion and ruminates on what Jenner's body represents. "In 2015, like in 1976, the public’s relationship with Jenner’s body will reflect American values, and it’s up to each of us to determine whether those values will include a fundamental respect for all transgender people," she writes. Read it at BuzzFeed LGBT.