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Yolo Akili
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Yolo Akili is the author of Dear Universe: Letters of Affirmation and Empowerment for All of Us (Micheal Todd Books, 2013) He has worked as an anti-violence and emotional wellness counselor for marginalized youth and men for almost a decade.

Akili’s writings have appeared in many publications, including The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, & Everyday Feminisms. He has appeared on HuffPost Live and The Derek & Romaine Show (Sirius Radio) and his work has been featured on BET.Com, The Feminist Wire, The Daily Princetonian and much more. He is a 200-level certified yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. Akili has delivered keynotes and presentations at Vanderbilt University, Columbia University, Fordham University and much more.

Entries by Yolo Akili

On Leaving the Prison of Tops and Bottoms

(2) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 1:41 AM

Language can quickly become a prison. It can entrap your imagination. Hold your subconscious hostage. Hide your true face from yourself, prevent you from seeing the authentic face of others...

For so long, top and bottom as terms, have been a prison for the sexuality of gay men.

Within...

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We Are The Work Chronicles 30 Years of Men Working To End Violence

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2014 | 11:22 AM

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We Are The Work: The Making of Men Stopping Violence, a new book by therapist and long-time activist Dick Bathrick, chronicles the 30-year legacy of Men Stopping Violence, an organization that has worked tirelessly to end violence against women by engaging...

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Brilliant Black Fiction: Mia McKenzie's The Summer We Got Free

(0) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 11:40 AM

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I read a lot of books. a lot. And I get frustrated. Frustrated because in much of the fiction I see the same narratives recycled about black life. Angry because I know there is more to who we are as black people --...

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Notes From the Universe: When the God You Favor Doesn't Favor You

(126) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 1:17 PM

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Every letter I wrote in Dear Universe has a story behind it. Some of those stories are funny. Some of those stories are heartbreaking. And some of those stories enrage me. So much that every time I open the book...

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New Documentary Explores Relationships Between Black Gay Men and Their Fathers

(10) Comments | Posted September 10, 2013 | 9:13 PM

Every once in a while a project comes along that invites us to openly acknowledge our need for healing. I believe that Dear Dad: Letters From Same-Gender-Loving Sons is such a project. Created by Chase Simmons, the documentary shares the stories of eight black gay/same-gender-loving men writing open...

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Why I Love the Universe More Than I Love God

(8) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 2:59 PM

I love the Universe more than I love God.

I love identifying the divine source as the "Universe" because it implicates you and me, inherently.

It does not conjure thoughts of one person or entity. It does not invoke a man, a prophet or a hierarchy. It invokes us,...

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Black, Female and Super Powered: An Interview With Grace Gipson on Black Comic Book Super Heroines

(8) Comments | Posted February 14, 2013 | 5:23 PM

When it comes to female comic book superheroes of any race, Wonder Woman and Supergirl are by far the world's most recognized. Yet even with their international popularity, both have failed commercially in major films and television adaptations. This...

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The History of the Black Male Superhero in Comic Books: An Interview With Dr. Jonathan Gayles

(2) Comments | Posted January 24, 2013 | 11:22 AM

Superman, Batman and the Flash -- you know those superheroes, right? You probably know their stories too, don't you? You might even know their weaknesses and secret identities. But do you know Power Man? The Black Panther? Icon? The Falcon? Ever heard...

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Two Narratives the Black Community Needs to Give Up in the New Year

(30) Comments | Posted January 3, 2013 | 10:56 AM

2013 is here, and it's time folks.

It's time to leave behind the tired stories and unhealthy narratives that hurt our communities.

It's time to re-commit our focus to the brilliance, beauty and resilience we possess, so that these things can grow exponentially and overshadow the death, gloom and...

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