My Next Door Neighbor Is The Boogeyman

Being black and America is dangerous. Check out my latest post !

The Pedestal Project

By Madalyn McKnight

I love everyone, but I am a textbook introvert who prefers solitude. I am a proud loner, who only (for the most part) enjoys a Beyoncé concert and a movie. If it was not for my best friend, I would either travel alone or not at all. As you can imagine, I mainly stay away from large crowds and gatherings with limited security. No matter where I am, I always mark my exit strategy. I work with the public, so security is always a concern, even if it comes at an inconvenience. The recent raids of Mississippi food processing plants and mass shootings at various places around the country deepen my belief that the boogeyman could be my next-door neighbor. I have more to worry about going to make groceries than I do traveling to some parts of the world. 

img_9478 Credit:

From the…

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I’m Tired Of Being a Strong Black Woman

Check out my latest post on The Pedestal Project!

The Pedestal Project

In Lizzo’s platinum single, “Truth Hurts”, the opening line states, “Why men great ‘til they gotta be great?’. Although that is a different topic, for a different post, I have a question for women. Why as a black woman do people ASSUME that I am always the strong one, and that I am ALWAYS on point?

The truth really does hurt. Sometimes I am a hot mess.

I am tired of being strong, and I am tired of carrying the weight of the world along with the baggage of others. Not too long ago, I literally had somebody approach me and say, “I know you’re under a lot of pressure and personal strain, but can I have ____?” REALLY? My godmother used to always tell me about people in life who act as graveyards. They take, take, take and never give anything but sorrow and hollow memories. Self-care is not…

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What We Saw: A Collective Reaction to “When They See Us”

A collab was required for a very dynamic, and emotional body of work! Read the pedestal’s review of “When They See Us”

The Pedestal Project

The Pedestal Project writing team was deeply moved by Ava Duvernay’s masterful interpretation of the infamous story of the Exonerated Five in Netflix series “When They See Us.” Based on the range of our reactions and the breadth of reactions that are still overwhelming our respective social media feeds, we decided to share a combined piece to reflect the feelings that seem to be plaguing our community. We recognize that it may be hard to verbalize how you might be feeling, and we hope that you resonate with one or more of the pieces below in your personal processing. May our words propel you forward in your pursuit of healing, truth, justice, and most importantly, change. – Tekita Bankhead, Creator/Editor-in-Chief of The Pedestal Project, LLC.

“Justice and Liberty for Some”- Madalyn McKnight

I speak the names of Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana Jr, Korey Wise, and Antron McCray. These…

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Black Excellence is Overrated

Read my latest post on black success and achievements!

The Pedestal Project

By Madalyn McKnight

All my life I have gotten applauded for my accomplishments. Every benchmark and triumph is a black benchmark and triumph and I do take pride in that. But lately, I have been questioning whether black excellence is actually an attainable standard, and why  this label always attaches itself to something seemingly grand and great. What is black excellence? Sure, the recent miracle that occurred at esteemed HBCU Morehouse’s Spring graduation is excellent. But so is a single mother pursuing her dreams all while attending the to the needs of her family.

Yes, I am working on my second graduate degree, but I am still stressed about my next step, naturally, because I am conditioned to wonder what’s next in an effort to keep the label I have been given. That comes with pressure and a lot of anxiety. Being told I am excellent is overrated; feeling excellent…

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Okay, Fellas; Misconstrue Information

Just becuase we want your attention does not mean we want YOU! Check out my horn take on this hot topic!

The Pedestal Project

By Madalyn McKnight

It appears that Beyoncé needed a remix for her massive 2016 hit.

Scrolling through Facebook and Twitter over the last few days and seeing commentary from men on recent Ayesha Curry comments have me rolling my eyes. I am reminded of the most quoted line from the 1998 Temptations miniseries:

“Ain’t nobody comin’ to see you Otis!” -David Ruffin

At this point, reading a fake woke thread from a man (or even a woman) on why Ayesha, or any woman for that matter, has certain thoughts and feelings men can’t fathom is literally exhausting. David Ruffin was on to something. So I’ll say…“AIN’T NOBODY COMIN’ TO HEAR YOUR INPUT”.

Photo by Pixababy via

After the latest episode of the hit Facebook show, Red Table Talk, people are choosing to attack Ayesha Curry for HER feelings about HER self, and just like after the R. Kelly…

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Damita Jo Taught Me Black Girl Magic

Check out my latest post for @pedestalproject

The Pedestal Project

By Madalyn McKnight

I feel like she is an aunt to me so I call her Damita Jo. But not just any aunt. That cool aunt that lets you call her by her given name and introduces you to style, independence, and the strength of a woman. That is how I felt growing up listening to Janet Damita Jo Jackson. Everything about Janet exudes black girl magic. I remember the first time I saw the Velvet Rope Tour on ABCFamily back in the day. I tried to mimic her moves and facial expressions.  I also remember voting daily for her to be entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her illustrious career somehow came down to the vote of regular people that have final say on whether or not she was worthy.

She is not regular, and OF COURSE, she is worthy.

Her career doesn’t even require…

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Who Are You Calling Ugly?

Check out my latest post on @pedestalproject

The Pedestal Project

By Madalyn McKnight

You are black and ugly. Words I heard as a child growing up in the south from those who looked like me and those who wished they looked like me. Reflection during Women’s History Month means taking a look at my journey to womanhood and what has changed in the world.

My thick hair is now a crown. My glasses, now an accessory. My lips sought after from a tube in Sephora. And my hips, sculpted every day by medical professionals. My blackness is now popular, my features now celebrated. Build a time machine, go back about 15 years and tell my younger self that notion. Watch me show all my teeth in laughter.

Today, my only ugliness is a result of events happening in the world around me. Now, as a woman coming from a place of confidence and not boastfulness, I have learned that ugliness…

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