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7 Essays To Read: Onscreen Black Love, Dementia, And Hooking Up As A Millennial

This week, Bim Adewunmi asks why black women so rarely find love on the big screen. Read that and other pieces from xoJane, VICE, The New York Times, and more.

Posted on August 7, 2015, at 4:32 p.m. ET

1. "Why Is Onscreen Romance So Rarely on the Cards for Black Women?" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Getty / Rebecca Hendin / BuzzFeed / Via

It's time for black women to fall in love at the movies — because they do in real life. For BuzzFeed Ideas, Bim Adewunmi asks why black women so rarely find love on the big screen. "Needless 'romance' being foisted on to female characters is clearly a problem that too many movies reach for," she writes. "But here’s another problem: never having romance on the cards." Read it here.

2. "Homme de Plume: What I Learned Sending My Novel Out Under a Male Name" — Jezebel

Joohee Yoon / Via

When Catherine Nichols pitched her novel to agents under her own name, hardly anyone replied. But when she did so using a male alias "George," agents were much more responsive. "The problem reached into every part of my mind — not only that I had written the wrong book, but that I was the wrong person," she wrote of her frustrating experience. Read her essay at Jezebel.

3. "What Watching My Granddad Spiral into Dementia Has Taught Me About Life and Love" — VICE

Dan Evans / Via

Watching a loved one succumb to dementia is a heart-rending experience. For VICE, Lauren O'Neill remembers the man her grandfather was before he got sick and how dementia has stripped him of his ego. An excerpt: "It's a disease that forces us to confront our most basic, human fears — like losing your dignity, or becoming a burden to the people you love ... Because fundamentally, ego is what makes us human, and dementia takes that very human self-interest away, drip by drip." Read it at VICE.

4. "Most Zimbabweans Have Never Seen a Lion" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Eric Miller / Reuters / Via

Although Americans are outraged over the killing of Cecil the lion, many don't realize that most Zimbabweans have never even seen a lion. It turns out, Cecil is not so much a symbol of Zimbabwe as it is of the privileged. "Cecil is a victim of a blood industry that unites foes across countries — but within the confines of wealth and power," Alex Magaisa explains in a piece for BuzzFeed Ideas. Read it here.

5. "Growing into My Racial Identity" — The Toast

Victor_tongdee / Via Thinkstock

Growing up black in white suburbia, Kaylen Sanders never felt like she fit in. "My body became a site of betrayal. I thought that if I only ironed out the kinks in my clothes and my hair and my speech enough, I could recast what was written all over me into hues of pale peach," she writes in an essay for The Toast. In it, she reflects on black identity and recalls her confusing high school years and how she tried to pass as white. Read it at The Toast.

6. "A Millennial’s Guide to Kissing" — The New York Times

Brian Rea / Via

Remembering a kiss she shared with a stranger on a flight from Tel Aviv, Emma Court explains kissing (and hooking up) as a millennial. "Mass media has a fascination with hookup culture among people around my age ... But they often miss a simple fact: There’s nothing particularly new about trying to avoid getting hurt," she writes in a piece for The New York Times. Read the highly relatable essay at The New York Times.

7. "My Indian Parents Are Huge Fans of Cultural Appropriation, Even While My Generation Finds it Appalling" — xoJane

Although her parents see nothing wrong with the mainstream's appropriation of Indian culture, Nikita Redkar considers it thievery. For xoJane, Redkar explains why her generation of Indian-Americans clashes with that of her immigrant parents. "Our parents, on the other hand, never came to this country for assimilation; they came here for survival," she writes. "They knew from the onset they weren’t going to be accepted." Read the entire essay at xoJane.

Want to read more?

Gideon Jacobs, who played Aaron on Wet Hot American Summer, recalls surviving fake summer camp and a career as a child actor. Catie Disabato explains why it's hard for her to talk about being bisexual. Ana Saldamando writes about having Lyme disease and what it's like when no one believes you're sick. Aaron Foley praises Lebron James in Trainwreck. Isaac Oliver remembers a steamy night spent with a dolphin furry. Kathleen Alcott reflects on her journey to "find home" in a life riddled by poverty and temporary homes. And finally, Naomi Jackson details the vulnerability of black women's lives and coping with racial violence through faith.

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.