A Defender Special

These are the stories that captured our interests all year long.

Managing Editor


Boy, what a year! As a news junkie who absorbs politics like it’s water, I was disheartened by the state of political division in our country. Over the last few years, it seems as if decency, respect, morals, and values have evaporated not just from politics, but so many aspects of our lives in general. But as a glass-half-full type of woman, I’m hopeful about 2023. 

As 2022 began, I was hopeful that things were about to turn around. After all, we’d just off two of the hardest years of most of our lifetime with the pandemic. We had to adjust to our new normal. And that’s just what we did. And so I have no doubt, that’s what we will do again. There is a reason the front mirror is bigger than the rearview mirror. Because while we need to be cognizant of what’s behind us, our true vision lies in what’s ahead. 

One thing I know is that we grew stronger through this challenging time. We dug deep inside ourselves and uncovered that hidden wellspring of resilience — that ability to rise in the face of an obstacle. To find meaning in a year of challenge and change, it is essential to pause and reflect on the lessons we have learned and how we have grown. Take this time to do just that and you’ll be amazed at what you uncover. 

Hopefully, 2023 will bring a better, brighter and less-politically divisive year for us all. Let’s look forward, and know that no matter how long it takes to turn around (and even if it doesn’t) we gon’ be alright. Resilience is in our DNA. 

Peace and Blessings,


Associate Editor

In 2008, when then-candidate Barack Obama first won the US presidency, a mentor/friend of mine said that as the US continues to experience its demographic shift (getting darker, younger and more progressive by the day with Black and Brown numbers increasing and white numbers decreasing) folk who believe in the myth of white supremacy will lose their minds and do absolutely anything and everything to maintain power. For me, 2022 showed that prediction to be absolute fact. 

The Jan. 6 Insurrection Hearings showed the world the lengths those forces went to protect their power—throw out Black votes, overturn a presidential election, storm the US Capitol and kill police. But they didn’t stop there. They criminalized Black history and Black voices by painting critical race theory as some bogeyman coming to eat the souls of white children. They also ran the largest lineup of crazies nationwide for every conceivable political office, especially those with the power to oversee elections. 

And yes, “The Slap” was huge. Surely, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and imprisonment of Brittney Griner were colossal. Certainly, Uvadle and the ongoing killing of unarmed Blackfolk were tragic. And without a doubt, the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the SCOTUS and the end of Roe v. Wade were monumental. But I was struck by how many different ways the worshippers of the myth of white supremacy showed their azz in 2022. Trump stole US security secrets and called for an end to the US Constitution, and they were cool with that; signaling more madness to come. But our resolve to fight back and overcome allowed us to rise in spite of. And it’s that spirit of resistance we carry in our DNA that will allow us to make 2023 our year. Amandla (Power)!  


Education Reporter

And just like that we have concluded 2022. It felt like ages ago when we are were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Two year later, we are adapting to our new normal, harvesting the seeds we’ve planted for our dreams and goals that we’ve planted in 2020, all while chartering the challenges 2022 has brought us from inflation, student debt crisis, mass layoffs, and many more. On a positive note, this isn’t anything that we haven’t passed through before. No matter the situation, we still manage to rebound, remain optimistic, and stand ten toes down. Remember, there is no testimony without the TEST. That is the energy I hope we all continue to bring as we usher into the new year.