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7 Personal Essays You Need To Read This Week: "Asian Accents," Microaggressions, And Rihanna

This week, BuzzFeed Ideas shared a series of essays from actors of color on their casting experiences. Read those stories and others from Medium, Jezebel, Pitchfork, The Atlantic, and more.

Posted on April 3, 2015, at 6:29 p.m. ET

1. "How Hollywood Is Slowly Accepting Natural Hair on Black Women" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Kelsey Mcneal / ABC

Chelsea Harris, who plays a recurring character on the CBS police drama Stalker, wrote about "leaving the Weave Protection Program." Her essay touches on diversity in television and the acting industry's changing ideas about beauty. Read it at BuzzFeed Ideas.

2. "I’m an Asian-American Actor but I Can’t Do the Accent" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Michael Ansell / ABC

Grace Su is a Taiwanese-American actress who can't do an "Asian accent." But what is an "Asian accent" anyway? In her essay, Su writes about being more selective about potential roles and avoiding stereotypical characters. Read it at BuzzFeed Ideas.

3. "Against Chill" — Medium

Ana Benaroya

For many people, to be “chill” is to be desirable in the world of modern dating. According to Alana Massey, however, "it is a garbage virtue that will destroy the species." Read her piece against "chill" at Medium.

4. "Self-Portrait of the Artist as Ungrateful Black Writer" — BuzzFeed LGBT

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Racism doesn’t vanish the moment one sets foot into the ivory towers and glittering soirees of the literati. Saeed Jones writes about being black in the literary world and the microaggressions he has experienced. Read it at BuzzFeed LGBT.

5. "The Unsung Legacy of Black Characters on Soap Operas"The Atlantic

The Online Network / Via Wikimedia

Before Empire and How to Get Away With Murder, there were shows like As the World Turns and Sunset Beach. Writer Aaron Foley remembers the daytime soap operas of yesteryear and the many complex black characters whose storylines have become lost to history. Read it at The Atlantic.

6. "The Prosperity Gospel of Rihanna"Pitchfork

Frederick Brown / NBC / Via

Doreen St. Felix analyzes Rihanna's love of money and how the pop singer's wealth actually symbolizes material liberation. In the writer's own words, "The tower of cash is ... an expression of a bad bitch’s increasing girth against social enclosure. Cash collapses her image, her life, and her music in one." Read it at Pitchfork.

7. "Why I Stopped Trying to Be a Supermom and Started Being Myself Again"Jezebel


Jane Marie writes about motherhood, how she felt compelled to be a "Supermom," and how she realized that maintaining her own identity ultimately makes her a better mother. Read it at Jezebel.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.