Friday Media Prep: Forward, Ho!

Every Friday we will feature the inspiring books, movies, TV shows, and other works of art you have to check out. Please share your suggestions below!

The month of November is already coming to a close a little sooner than I would like, but there is so much to look forward to in December. New books, new experiences and new discoveries lay just around the corner. To finish out the month I’ve got a few suggestions that I think will be particularly interesting and help foster the kind of forward momentum we all need before the end of the year. Happy Friday!

Books

Negroland by Margo Jefferson

Jesse Kadjo gifted this memoir by Margo Jefferson to me earlier in the week when I went to help her move, and I cannot wait to dive into it! Margo’s work details how her life as a member of the Black elite separated her from many African Americans and how discrimination and privilege play out in the Black community. It’s a work of art worth paying attention to, to say the least.

 

Articles

  • Them.
A darkened figure with her earrings, lipstick and ring highlighted.
Image via Them. by Tallulah Fontaine

Crimes against members of the Trans community are higher than any other group, particularly when you are a Trans person of color. The article I’m sharing, entitled “The Gap Between Glamour and Death For Trans Women of Color”, is a personal essay detailing the war between being out and proud in your beauty as a Trans person and staying alive.

You can read it [here]

  • BookFox

I’ve been reading BookFox, the superb blog of writer and editor John Fox, as I continue to develop my understanding of the writing world. In the post “The Power of Quitting: Why Every Writer Should Learn To Quit”, he gives advice that I desperately needed to to hear – that sometimes it’s not only ok, but best, for you to walk away from projects. There are times I feel so bad that I haven’t accomplished a goal, but then I remember how important it is to know when you’ve given it all you’ve got. I think it’s an important philosophy to apply to all aspects of life.

You can read it [here]

Music

Last, but not least, is this soothing and positively enchanting song by Johann Johannsson “Flight From The City”. I’ve been obsessed with it for days and I hope it brings you the kind of calming warmth it provided me.

Friday Media Prep: We Deserve A Break

Happy Friday, my friends! If you’re living in the US, or happen to been a masochist who likes to follow our news, I’m guessing you’re just as in need of some positive diversions as I am. It’s good to be involved in the world around you, and I think it’s great to allow yourself to get mad as hell – but today I’m championing things that make us feel light.

Wotd GIF
Me, all week

So, in honor of surviving the week, enduring horrendous displays of human indecency (cough*Kavanaugh* cough), and getting through anything that made you want to scream, I’ve got some music, videos, and articles that helped me get through it all. Enjoy!

The Jezebel Staff Tried CBD Gummies and Made My Life Whole

I stumbled upon this video, released one month ago, when I was angrily scrolling through Jezebel looking for someone who got my rage. They did, but better yet, they also provided a hilarious salve. The staff approached the trial very professionally, which was half the fun of it all, so I couldn’t pass up sharing this one. You can watch it [here]

Self-Care Strategies for the Freelancer

Freelancers Union popped up on my Twitter account a few years back and I have been so happy with my choice to follow them. I’ve recently decided to actively pursue freelancing once again, so their job posts and advice have done wonders for my confidence. This article lists some great suggestions for not only freelancers, but anyone who works in a “creative” field. I’ll definitely be applying these tips. You can read them [here]

Plug in a (Bad) Movie

In my humble opinion, there’s no better way to spend a Friday night than with a movie, good or bad. Tonight, I’ve opted for the particularly bad: J-Lo’s treasure trove of corny Anaconda. It’s one of those movies I will always watch when it comes on TV or if someone wants to see it, because it’s so ridiculous that I can’t help but forget the world around me. What’s better than that?

Image result for jlo anaconda

MUUUUUUUUUUSIC!!!!

The salve that has transcended time, my truest love, the one my heart beats for: good tunes. Lately, I’ve been jamming to the Active Child playlist on Pandora, which led me to these songs that I can’t get out of my head! When movies fail, music is always there to inspire tears or twerking, whichever you need. Here are my faves right now:

That’s it from me this week, folks! I hope you are inspired to take good care of yourselves and relax over the weekend. Take care!

My (Current) ‘Get Shit Done’ Playlist

“Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.” – George Eliot

As a recovering loud kid, I can’t stand silence. Empty spaces make me sweat, and I absolutely detest the quiet game.  My parents often reflect on the day I started talking in the same grim tones you would expect to hear from a retired detective. I was never quiet, and just when I was old enough to stop crying for recognition I started talking. Then, the music started. I was singing all over the place, my voice shamelessly bouncing off our walls and into the world. Music transported me to new planes of existence long before I had the words to describe my sense of fealty, and it more often than not helped me to calm down when my emotions spiraled. Music – singing it, listening to it, learning about it – has been a life-long form of love that I show to myself.

I’ve finally discovered enough self-control to not bellow every chance I get, however my no silence affliction is compounded exponentially when I’m supposed to be working (or eating). Working simply feels like work when you have to do it without sound. You would think music wouldn’t calm a wayward mind, but it somehow creates a level of focus I can’t harness without it. Just as the quote above states: music simply helps me float through the sludge.

This list is not referring to bops you can sway to absentmindedly at a red light. I’m talking about the songs that inspire the laser focus of a falcon. Whether it be due to genetics, or an intrinsic level of rage , these songs get me authentically and indomitably HYPED to create. I’m able to quell my restlessness, ignore my insecurities about writing and put myself out there at least once a day. The music I’m going to share isn’t necessarily a list of club-bangers; in reality, most of the tunes are relatively subdued. However, the singer in me is inspired to focus by the sounds, beats, and wordplay of each song listed below. I’m not sure which gene they tickle, but I’ve been looking to these songs for the last few months when I need to buckle down.

So, without further ado, the playlist designed to help me get shit done!

 

Dance GIF

 

“Help Me Lose My Mind” – Disclosure feat. London Grammar (SOHN Remix)

“Rusty Nails” – Moderat

“Insane”- Flume feat. Moon Holiday

“Level Up” -Ciara

“Passionfruit” – Paramore  performing a cover of the song by Drake

“You Are All I See” – Active Child

“Django Jane” – Janelle Monae

“On The Nature Of Daylight” – Max Richter

Friday Media Prep : Long Live the Queen

Every Friday we will feature the inspiring books, movies, TV shows, and other works of art you have to check out. Please share your suggestions below!

The passing of Aretha Franklin, the eternally-reigning goddess of music, has sent a ripple of sorrow around the world. You didn’t have to know her to be shaken by the beauty of her voice, nor the incomparable stature of her career. Beyond her music, Aretha Franklin was an outspoken champion of civil rights who wasn’t afraid to assert her worth as a black woman. She knew she was a queen and would be damned if we didn’t as well. Today’s Media Prep is in honor of the everlasting mark Aretha left on the world; it’s a rundown of some of the ways I’ve seen the spirit of her life reflected in media recently. I hope you’re inspired to assert your worth as well. Enjoy!
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via GIPHY

Articles

  • First up, The Cut profiled women in Appalachia working tirelessly to secure women’s healthcare, with the fate of Roe v. Wade hanging in the balance. I highly recommend this piece. [ The Cut ]
  • Oftentimes, when we talk about the Suffrage Movement of the late 19th to early 20th century we conveniently gloss over the truth of how the movement was rooted in segregation. This article from Bust explores how black women were forced to fight for their place in the discussion. [Bust]
  • Beyonce. Normally I wouldn’t have to say more, but I want to hit home how important this interview really is. She tackles generational trauma, body image, and emotional wellness in women and men. This piece means the world to me. [Vogue]

Libby VanderPloeg GIF

via GIPHY

Books

  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker is one I wish I could hand out on the streets. Alas, I’m not brave enough to implore strangers in person, which is why I’m hawking it on the internet instead. You have to read this book at least once in your life. Watching the movie is a good start, but you really must give the book a go. Set in the deep South of the early 20th century, the story is the life of a young black woman named Celie. After having two children by her father, then having those children taken away, Celie is sold as a bride to the abusive “Mister”. Through literacy and empowering female relationshios, Celie begins to find herself. It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking, necessary work.

Movies

  • “Crazy Rich Asians” is out this weekend, a film that,  in addition to being super enjoyable, is a huge deal historically. It’s the first time in 25 years that an all- Asian cast has led a film. But, I’m not just supporting the movie for the historical weight. I shamelessly champion movies about love, humor and taking chances, so this one is a must-watch for me. Some might call it melodrama, I call it my sustenance. The movie follows the relationship of Rachel and Nick as they travel to Singapore to meet Nick’s wealthy, traditional family. Tears, abs, love, pretty sights? I’M THERE.

GIF by Crazy Rich Asians

via GIPHY

Music

Finally, the only music you need today is the voice that inspired the post. This video comes from the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors, where Aretha Franklin honored Carole King with her rendition of “(You Make Me Feel) Like A Natural Woman”. It’ll give you chills.

Friday Media Prep

Every Friday we will feature the inspiring books, movies, TV shows, and other works of art you have to check out. Please share your suggestions below!

This week’s Media Prep is particularly exciting, because it will be my last one written as a Kansan. My husband and I are currently deep into the process of packing up our lives to head across the country to settle near the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, which has been an invigorating and exciting experience. It’s a huge move, a huge step forward for both of us, and I’m excited to see how And then I lived will grow along with me. Today, in honor of this adventure, I’ve put together some media for you to engage with that reminds me of home. While a little light on content today (packing is hard!), what you get still packs a punch. Ideally, you’ll be inspired to face each new horizon with more joy than fear. Enjoy!

Music

“Kansas” by Talos from the album Wild Alee

Reading

  • “Mars to track blood moon in double celestial treat on Friday” [ The Guardian ]

You can watch the lunar eclipse live tonight [here]

  • “Sorry racist nerds, but Starfire is a black woman” [ i09 ] 
  • “The heartbreak of raising a black daughter in a red state [ NYT ]

As always, thank you for joining this space and stay safe out there!