Ayana Mathis, Guernica
This exquisite piece begins with a story about the time Oprah called Ayana Mathis to tell her she'd been inducted into Oprah's Book Club. Amazing. But the whole thing is about how Mathis became a writer, and how we think about how race is involved with the "cult of success," and how she herself understands her own ambition.
Melissa Segura, BuzzFeed
This is one of those wild police corruption stories you almost can't believe is true: "It had been four years, Mary began, since Guevara took the stand and helped send Roberto Almodovar — the nephew she and her sisters had helped raise — to prison for life, for a double murder that she along with a litany of other witnesses, neighbors, coworkers and stacks of documents could prove he did not commit," wrote Segura. "The agony she’d felt when the jury forewoman read aloud the verdict — guilty — hadn’t subsided. Roberto heard it in her voice each time he called from prison, which is why he encouraged Mary and her sisters to attend a support group he’d heard about on his cellblock, for the families of convicted killers."
Noam Scheiber, The New York Times
There have been a number of Uber-related exposes recently, but this report has to be one of the most chilling: "To keep drivers on the road, the company has exploited some people’s tendency to set earnings goals — alerting them that they are ever so close to hitting a precious target when they try to log off," Scheiber wrote. "It has even concocted an algorithm similar to a Netflix feature that automatically loads the next program, which many experts believe encourages binge-watching. In Uber’s case, this means sending drivers their next fare opportunity before their current ride is even over."
Owen Myers, The FADER
On his third album, Alejandro Ghersi is more upfront about his identity than ever before. Myers examines Arca and its nuances and juicy tidbits, with a tender lens.
Sarah Posner, New Republic
Ever wonder why religious extremists are way into Donald Trump and think he's a great person despite the fact that he's been married three times and is an admitted sexual offender? Same. Posner explores what that's all about.