July 10, 2020

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Oh, hi! Let’s breezily ignore the fact that I skipped last Friday and say it was for the holiday. How are you holding up? I’ve felt two primary emotions this week: anger and weariness. Tired of the endless mental calculations of risk and necessary activities during a pandemic, and so angry that it feels like I’m on fire under my skin. If you touched me right now, you’d burn yourself. There have been just so many preventable losses and despicable sins at the hands of the powerful. Cruelty and ignorance have stunned me: protesters against police violence being bombarded by excessive police violence; indignant refusal to wear a mask as if to say, “This strategy might help people and won’t hurt me, but I’m not doing it!” And somehow these two phenomena are linked, twined around each other like barbed wire. I am sharing things this week that feel like a respite from that.

  1. Jasmine Guillory on the Importance of Reading Black Fiction, Time. “Racism is not the only thing to know about what it means to be Black. Our joys, our sorrows, our love, our grief, our struggles to fit in, our families, our accomplishments and our triumphs—these things also matter. Black children matter, and not only the ones killed before their time. You may think you already know that, but history has proved otherwise. Black lives are not a problem to be solved or an academic text that can be studied. To recognize Black lives as ones to celebrate, empathize with and care about, here’s your antiracism work: read more fiction by and about Black people.” My fave, Captain Awkward, has historically given this advice when straight men write in asking for help dating women: Learn to empathize with women by reading and consuming media by them. Listen to women-led podcasts, women-directed movies, and access your understanding for the complexity of their lives. And I think this is a good practice for white folks wanting to do anti-racist work too, but also what a great reason to indulge in some pleasure reading!
  2. A love story about best friends, Vox. Ohhh! The last panel of this comic is so lovely. Yay to dear, dear friends.
  3. Hugs to look forward to after the pandemic, Eleanor Davis. This one was touching. I want to hug my friends and everyone again!
  4. Toward a Racially Just Workplace, HBR. “We can’t simply ask, “What’s the most lucrative thing to do?” We must also ask, “What’s the right thing to do?”
  5. Things to Do When You’re Bored, MentalFloss. A surprisingly solid variety of options here! Might actually try to memorize the prologue of the first LOTR movie….

Donation station:

  • The Loveland Foundation, a national organization dedicated to helping fund therapy for Black women and girls. I highlighted this one a few weeks ago, but this time I’m donating $5 and inviting you to match it with me on this Friday5! I’ve been stressed lately, but I realize how traumatic and stressful these times must be for Black women, and I really want to support this mission.

Bonus feature:

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