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Wednesday 29 March 2023 Dublin: 12°C
Woman with Afro via Shutterstock
# up to speed
Catch-up Wednesday: 3 midweek longreads
Get up to speed with the latest news, opinions and insights with our hand-picked indepth reads.

IT’S MIDWAY THROUGH the week and you want to get up to speed on the latest news topics and catch up on opinions and insights.

We’re here to help you do just that, with our three midweek longreads:

1. Life with Bell’s palsy

In 2012, BBC’s Shanghai correspondent, John Sudworth, woke up with Bell’s palsy, which left one half of his face frozen and unable to move. A year on from his diagnosis, he writes about his journey back to full health.

BBC, approximately 6 minutes reading time, 1326 words

Shortly after the onset of my Bell’s palsy, in October last year, I wrote about my decision to carry on working as a BBC TV reporter. The response was overwhelming, with many, many fellow sufferers writing to tell me about their experience coping with this facially disfiguring and deeply distressing condition.

2. History of the Afro

The history of the Afro is laced with personal and political stories, heavy with the weight of history and revolution. Steven Thrasher looks at how the Afro worn by the son of a New York City mayoral candidate shows the different approach to hair taken by the Obamas, and takes us on a journey through the political history of the ‘fro.

Buzzfeed, approximately 19 minutes reading time, 3800 words

But by the ’60s, young black activists deemed King’s techniques too slow and too accommodating. And just as with white hippies, hair length became a way for black youth to rebel against their elders. The youth-led Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Stokely Carmichael started to strain against the ways of King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In wanting action, they increasingly rejected their predecessors’ strategy of respectability

3. Boycott Russia or not

There has been much talk about the Sochi Winter Olympics, and they fact they are due to be held in Russia, where LGBT communities are under increased pressure. While some have advocated that the games be boycotted to express opposition to Russia’s stance on gay ‘propaganda’, Igor Yassin argues that a boycott would make things more difficult for LGBT people., approximately 5 minutes reading time, 1044 words

Unfortunately, as LGBT people become more visible and more vocal about challenging discrimination and seeking equal rights, there has been an increase in attacks on LGBT people by far-right groups –violence that the police often fail to investigate. I myself was attacked by a homophobic gang while protesting outside the Duma with a group of other LGBT campaigners, and my nose was broken. Even though the police caught the men who attacked me, they were released without any charge.

Want some more longreads? Then check out Sitdown Sunday>