Happy Sunday folks. We hope you are taking care and listening to the voices that need to be heard right now. As a company we are continuing our commitment to amplify Black voices not just for right now, but indefinitely. We thank you for keeping us accountable and choosing to go on this journey with us.
From Emily: My daily motivation the last two weeks (thank you Sonya Renee Taylor – you can read more in this post I wrote) is “Glad you woke up, now get to work”. Like a lot of us right now I’m learning/unlearning so much and trying to consume everything I can to get educated enough to be a permanent anti-racist ally. I know we recommended information before and you might know of SO MANY OTHERS, but the following list (from me) is what I’ve actually listened to, watched, and read (or am in the middle of reading) during these last two weeks to get more educated on both our history and what is happening currently in our country (and our industry). If you are having a hard time understanding what is happening right now, or if you’re just searching for more information, these are great resources to help open all our eyes:
1. 1619 is a podcast that I’m sure you’ve heard of, but if you haven’t given it a listen yet and you want to get more informed on how slavery shaped our country in so many ways, listen to this. It’s informative, educational, gripping, personal and you guys, we NEED to learn our real history in order to be able to take responsibility and enact real change. Not only does it touch on history, but also topics like cultural appropriation. It is VERY, VERY GOOD.
2. This Armchair Expert episode with Heather McGhee explains the history of police brutality, and how they have both over-policed and under-policed Black communities. And I really appreciated how Dax and Monica asked the questions that I would have wanted to ask.
3. Listen to the Armchair Expert episode with Ibram X. Kendi if you want to better understand the difference between non-racist and anti-racist ideas, before you read his book How To Be Antiracist. (I’m very excited to get his new book Antiracist Baby that I pre-ordered today).
4. Designer Gail Davis hosts a podcast called Design Perspectives, where she normally discusses design and interviews others in the design industry. But over the past week, she’s released three episodes specifically about racism (episodes 16, 17, and 18). The episodes are very personal and honest, and only about 20 minutes long each. I really recommend giving them a listen.
5. This past Thursday, Gail also moderated a panel of Black designers on everything from what their own experiences have been to how they want to see the design industry change. Spoiler alert: There need to be some big shifts in the interior design industry. But there were a lot of good lessons for us as a blog, too. A big thank you to Mikel Welch, Breegan Jane, Laura Hodges, and Carmeon Hamilton for speaking on the panel.
6. Oprah recently hosted a 2-part special, called Where Do We Go From Here? A Conversation Led By Oprah, to discuss this movement in a very frank and off the cuff way. I took so many notes while watching. Also, Oprah for president.
7. I watched Ava DuVernay’s 13th, which is a powerful and gripping documentary. It’s an hour and 45 minutes of your life that will open your eyes big and fast. If you are wondering why we need a revolution, watch this asap. Our mass incarceration of Black men is criminal. I had no idea how culpable liberal democrats were, and are, in that system.
8. If you want to better understand systemic racism, or don’t believe in the fact that we have systemically oppressed Black people, read The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It’s a 6-year-old article that I just read, but it’s still relevant today. As many others are saying “the system isn’t failing, it’s doing exactly what it was built to do.” Therefore yes, the system HAS to be dismantled and rebuilt in order for our country to ever reach true racial equity and justice.
9. I’ve started Me And White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad, and I’m currently working through the 28-days of journal prompts outlined in the book. I’m starting to get more comfortable in my discomfort thanks to this book.
10. I also started The People’s History of the United States, which I read in college as a history major, but it’s an incredible reminder of the ugly history of our country. If you were on the fence about celebrating Columbus Day, you won’t be after reading the first chapter. This book reminded me of another major blindspot of mine – our indigenous population. Stay tuned for more conversations about this and cultural appropriation in the design world.
If you are disagreeing at all with the current revolution, are upset about the looting, or are continuing to say “All Lives Matter” I really urge you to read, watch, and listen to any or all of the above. And please! Let me know what YOU have read, listened, and watched this week to help continue opening your eyes to our country’s (and our own) systemic racism. I have a big list for this weekend and next week. And as a reminder to myself and anyone else working to be an effective ally – Educating ourselves is an important step! But it needs to be followed by action (like calling and emailing representatives, donating when possible, and VOTING) to truly make change possible. xx
And now we have just a few more Sunday link up links for your clicking pleasure . . .
From Jess: We should all be aware of Cristina Martinez’s art because it’s both beautiful and impactful. And speaking of impactful, this print that she made in support of Black Lives Matter will help to support both Campaign Zero and New Leaders. Yep, 100% of the proceeds will go between these two amazing organizations. It’s a win-win. Incredible art that looks great in your home and is great for the world.
From Julie: My Instagram friend and fellow PCT thru-hiker, Mike (@fraudfix), is an amazing LA-based photographer who recently took some drone photos of the BLM protests here in LA. Last Friday we did a story on Emily’s Instagram sharing that he is selling 11″x14″ prints of this amazing photograph for $100. It’s a good amount of money that is going to an even greater cause. He will be donating all of the proceeds (after printing + shipping costs) to @blmlosangeles, which will be a total of $24k. The prints are limited, and 200 out of 300 copies have already sold. But he said that if more orders keep coming in he wants to up it to 350 prints! If you would like to get on the list to buy a print please email him at [email protected]. Emily bought one on Friday!
From Mallory: Someone DM’ed us this AWESOME earring company last week called Bobbi Made This and I’m officially obsessed. I bought these blue speckled earrings (I AM SO EXCITED FOR THEM TO ARRIVE). But you should also know it was a tough decision between these and these . . . they’re all lightweight, handmade, and they’re pretty affordable. Enjoy!
From Ryann: In addition to watching the documentary 13th, I implore every single White person to watch The Kalief Browder Story on Netflix. It is a heartbreaking true story that unveils the horrors and injustices that occur throughout every part of our criminal justice system. To put it simply, everything that is wrong with the system is in his story and all Americans need to listen.
From Sara: Transgender people face horrifying violence in our country, both from police and civilians in their own communities. Black transgender women specifically are disproportionately affected by violence. In the past two weeks alone, two Black transgender women (Riah Milton and Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells) were killed. And this past week, on the anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting, the president revoked healthcare protections for Trans Americans. If you’re financially able, one of the best ways you can directly support the Trans community right now is to donate. Two trans organization doing really great work is G.L.I.T.S. and the Transgender Law Center. And if you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, I highly suggest The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson or binging seasons 1 and 2 of POSE – all three available on Netflix.
From Caitlin: I love reading and this week I discovered bookshop.org, which lets you buy online from local bookstores. (I’m sorry if you’re also an avid reader and like, “hey dummy, way to be late to the party!!!” — I am a little late to the party but I’m super excited to finally have a resource to buy books online from small businesses!) ANYWAY — last week, my copy of The Vanishing Half arrived and BOY, it is TIMELY. I’m not a huge fiction person but I loved Brit Bennett’s last book, The Mothers, and had arbitrarily pre-ordered this one without knowing what it was about, just because I love the way she writes. GUYS. I haven’t been able to put it down — it follows two twins, Desiree and Stella, born in a Louisiana town of light-skinned Black people. After fleeing their home, one sister marries a Black man and returns to her small town, while one begins passing for white as she starts a new life with a wealthy white husband in Los Angeles. Y’ALL, I cannot believe that this book came out LAST WEEK. It couldn’t be more relevant. IT’S SO GOOD, please read it so we can talk about it!!! Is it time for an EHD book club???
That is all for today! Thanks for joining us, and we hope you have a safe Sunday.