©2019 by Rachel Parsons. Proudly created with Wix.com

Writing

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"My Mother's Secret Ballot"

GUERNICA

"After sitting through two and a half hours of harrowing violence, we drive home in a thunderstorm. Our nerves are raw from watching sneering white cops terrorize a group of young people, mostly black men; and from our view of the blood pooling in rooms throughout the Algiers, runoff from dead bodies. We sit in silence, the radio playing in the background almost drowned out by rain hitting the roof. The film replays in my mind: upbeat Motown music, sparkling gowns, and smooth choreography juxtaposed with taut scenes of crowded police precincts, burning streets, and the court room where the cops were found not guilty of murder. It is a reminder, really, of how little things have changed."

"The News"

Breadcrumbs Magazine

"My pregnancy changed everything. I predicted the wider hips, softer belly, and weaker pelvic floor. What I hadn’t anticipated, though, became clear just a few days in: I would no longer do anything, ever again, without first considering Baby J. I felt heavy: panicked. Fierce independence had been my survival mechanism from an early age. Who would I be now? In a time where all the external messages were you are supposed to be happy, grief settled in."

"Knapsacks"

Organizing Upgrade

'I thought back to the year prior when I took my students ice skating at Bryant Park, and Kemia, a direct and assertive young woman, was standing really close to me as we walked down the street. I tried to make a joke with her: "Honey, you live in the South Bronx. How are you walking around in Herald Square clinging to me like you're my child?" "Because, Rachel. When white people bump into you, they don't say excuse me. It gets me so pissed and I don't want to ruin my day. I paid $11 to come on this trip."'

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"Best Bars In New York City's Chinatown"

Culture Trip

"On the tiniest street in Chinatown, there hangs a small black sign with a green Erlenmeyer flask. Go through the door below to enter a posh Victorian living room, complete with velvet upholstery, candles, and loud, stylish music."

"10 Must-Read Biographies And Memoirs Of Famous New Yorkers"

Culture Trip

"Zami is a study in truth-telling. In what the publisher calls a ‘biomythography, combining elements of history, biography and myth’, the prose reflects Audre Lorde’s poetic prowess (she was New York’s Poet Laureate from 1991-1993), while her characters serve as metaphors for the truths she uncovered in her life. The stories of women who shaped her give the reader a glimpse into lesbian life in the West Village during the McCarthy Era in the 1950s – what feels like a distant past to many of us growing up less than 50 years later."

"Keepin' it Movin': Portraits from a New York City Transfer School"

Schools: Studies in Education

"Attendance is a big problem at my school. This is true for many learning institutions in New York City, but here we serve a population where many of the students have not had positive experiences in the classroom. Some have trauma around this, some struggle academically, and some have just not made school a priority in their lives and old habits are hard to break. My colleagues are dedicated. Our class sizes: small. Our pedagogy: dynamic, creative, interesting, and socially situated within the worlds they inhabit. Frankly, we work our butts off. And still, I have four."

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"The Logic of Teaching Math"

Organizing Upgrade

"There is a deeply held belief among my students (and, as stated above, many adults) that they just don't have the chromosome that allows them to appreciate the beauty of the quadratic formula. For at least the first month with every new class I teach, it feels like most of my work is to get everyone to quiet their fears, be open to the possibility of success, and question this "truth" they constructed that they are really bad at math."

"Fierce Women Directors at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival"

Culture Trip

"Who run the world? Girls! Well, not quite yet, but the women filmmakers at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival are taking on issues that will help move us in the right direction. From documentaries and feature films to virtual reality shorts, we profile just a few of the fierce female directors that will be at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival."

"Still Sippin' on Some Sizzurp: Codeine Cocktails and the Passing Moment in Youth Substance Abuse"

Bleu Magazine

"Do a YouTube search for lean or sizzurp, and many how-to videos pop up. Disembodied hands combine dark bottles of thick purple liquid, ice cubes, and soda in double stacked white foam cups."