What a week it has been! I’ve missed sharing these little listicle updates with you and this week felt perfect to catch you up to speed.
It was my birthday
I turned 32 earlier this week and I LOVE birthdays. I love the hoopla and singing (but not in public restaurants) and celebrating. Not just my birthday, but everyone’s birthdays. Give me party and cakes every day of the week because I love to celebrate.
And speaking of celebrating, my most recent book review was Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, a book about celebrating YOU. She wants you to get up and dance and sing and be the BADASS you can be. If you missed it, you can read up on my thoughts in Reading Year of Yes.
And badassery is exactly what these guys are serving up. In a recent NPR story, Choose A Book And Read To Your Barber, He’ll Take A Little Money Off The Top, barbers of Fuller Cut Barbershop will give you a discount if your child reads to them. But they don’t leave it at just a story. “Kids, Griffin explains, get quizzed by their barber to make sure they understand what they read.” It gets the kids reading and saves a few dollars for the parents.
Netflix is serving up DIVERSITY
Netflix released a new documentary directed my Ava DuVernay (director of Selma and upcoming a Wrinkle in Time) titled The 13th. It chronicles the connection a clause in the 13th amendment (which abolishes slavery) has to mass incarceration of black people within the United States. It is powerful and sometimes painful to watch, but I feel it is completely necessary to see how past policies have influenced generations of black men and women.
And you’re watching Luke Cage, right? You should be. I’m pretty sure you’re way ahead of me and finished it days (or weeks) ago. If not, you’re missing out. What is Luke Cage? Marvel Studio’s newest tv series, streaming only on Netflix about an indestructible black man living in Harlem. Saving Harlem. What’s better than Cage’s story? How BLACK it is. Black Nerd Problems compiled a list of books featured in the show and others to understand being black in America, which they are calling the Luke Cage Syllabus. In addition, the music created and arrange for this show is so electrifying, it’s almost a character itself. The Luke Cage Musical Score Is (Finally) Available for Download–And on Vinyl, Too (!!!) give you the information on how to score the Luke Cage score. I have already pre-ordered my copy.
Black American Women and Our Country
You may have heard that black women are now the most educated group in the U.S. That is probably not news to any of you. What you might have missed this week was two distinct cases of discrimination against two women, each denied something because they were assumed to be lying about their background. Tamika Cross had to watch a man almost suffer because a flight attendant didn’t believe she was a doctor. Trish Doolin is an architect who was questioned unnecessarily about a paycheck she tried to deposit at her bank.
But, despite all of that, one woman left us all speechless. In a rebuttal to presidential Nominee Donald Trump, Michelle Obama made very clear the kind of person she was not willing to have as president. Below is her moving speech from Thursday in full.
I am currently reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and I AM FLOORED. I’m not even done yet. I’ve carried this book with me everywhere and if it were a only 250 pages, I would be finished reading. It’s a massive 500+ pages, one of the longest books I’ve read in a long time. The commentary on race, black women, and politics is something many of us talk about and discuss. If you’re catching up on the Lemonade Syllabus, this is a good place to start. I see a book club pick in our future!
And I have been jammin’ out to A Seat At The Table, the new album by Solange. It is autobiographical, containing the essence of being a black woman in America. It is magical.
Anything I miss? Comment below with what you’re reading, listening to, or watching that would make your Top Ten!