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If you are anything like me, you’ve been researching, strategizing, & gathering in community offline to learn more about the specific ACTIONS to take right now in order to enact change. Because you know that posting on social media barely scratches the surface of the kind of collective action we need to create the real, sustainable change we want to see. . And if you’re like me, you’ve been fielding questions from friends & colleagues, like, “I’ve donated. I’ve contacted my lawmakers. I’ve bought anti-racist books. I’m talking to my racist family. What more can I do that will actually help? I don’t want to do another post. I want to actually do something real.” . Well, the very first place I looked for answers & concrete action steps is the organizers & organizations that have been active on the front lines of this fight day in and day out. Like my friends at @campaignzero. Good news is: They have an ACTION PLAN called #8cantwait that invites all of us to get to work TODAY. . For anyone who has been waiting for specific directions for how you can get involved, listen up: This is a collective push for specific policy reform —based on the most comprehensive data in the field— we can all demand today that has the power to effect immediate change in police departments across the country. These are all common sense policies that can be implemented overnight (literally) by mayors and police chiefs if the collective will of the people is strong enough and consistent enough. . I encourage you to read this thoroughly and to download the deck on 8CantWait.org for a deeper understanding of the issue and the data that supports this approach. . Please share this with your networks. Let’s all be a part of working towards making immediate change that keeps us all safer, especially our Black community, which is the most vulnerable among us. . This is what love in action looks like, fam 🖤
As expected, I woke up to a feed full of black posts. While I respect and deeply appreciate this show of solidarity, and while there is no one “right” way to protest, the leaders of this movement that you desire to support are asking that you stop using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter because it is wiping out the Black voices that need to be amplified—today and EVERY day. It is also blocking important and necessary pathways for communication and activism to continue. . It is also distracting from driving people to the polls—today is the #SUPERTUESDAY of postponed elections in many states. Elections for the Presidential primaries race are taking place right now in: . New Mexico . South Dakota . Washington, D.C. . Montana . Indiana . Maryland . Pennsylvania . Rhode Island . So, if you choose to Black out your grid (the lowest of low hanging fruit in a time like this), I would love for you to also share in your captions what your activism looks like in real life, offline? What you are dedicated to doing, reading, donating, and organizing today? If you or someone you love lives in one of these states, have you/they voted today? Who are you talking to about this issue? How are those conversations going? . This is not an indictment on anyone. This is a call to action. When we know better, we do better. Let’s do better, fam. 💌 Here are hashtags for allies to use in solidarity: #BlackLIFEmatters #elevatemelanatedvoices
*This is it. My 2am spiral post protesting protest content.* . Instead of posting footage from the (mostly peaceful) protest I attended in Brooklyn this weekend, instead of showing you triggering images of looting and shooting, and cars on fire, and Black bodies being tackled to the ground, and cop cars mowing down crowds like weeds, and our allies misunderstanding their role on the front lines and posting protest content for clout, and a President who is more focused on stoking your fear than feeding your faith in this country’s ability to build a better way forward—what feels more important, more necessary, more powerful in this moment to share with you are reminders of WHAT WE ARE FIGHTING FOR: Black life. Black love. Black Joy. Black resilience. This is what we are working to preserve. . So, this is what I will commit to sharing with you this week. Because this, to me, is the most beautiful form of resistance right now. And it is more powerful than what we are fighting against: more Black pain, trauma, and anguish. . When I wake up in the morning to a timeline full of blacked-out posts for #blackouttuesday, let this #messagefromMaya be more than a reminder to Black people to keep feeding our light in dark times. And to keep finding ways to love our lives while we fight on behalf of the many lives lost. . Let this also be a call to everyone on my timeline to find ways to LOVE the Black people in your life better. To see and to honor us in your actions and in your words—online but, more importantly, offline. In the conversations you have with us, but also the ones you have with each other—the ones we will never hear. And when it becomes uncomfortable or unpopular, let love motivate your fight. . And while you’re living and while you’re fighting, please never lose sight of the answer to this question: What and who are you fighting FOR? . Video clip via @artsyandblack: A Conversation with Maya Angelou by Bill Moyers, November 21, 1973 #BlackLivesMatter #BlackLIFEMatters #BlackJoyMatters
Do not condemn what you do not understand. Do not condemn a people’s response to pain you’ve never had to feel. Do not condemn a fight that you are not a part of. . The question right now is not whether or not you or I condone violence and mayhem. The question to ask is what you and I have done to actively prevent this outcome? . A war has been waged on Black life in America. And it’s been building over time right in front of our eyes. Now that we’ve reached a tipping point, a different kind of Time’s Up movement is underway. Black people all over this country are demanding that our white and non-Black colleagues, friends, and neighbors step up, speak up, and join the fight. If you are unsure what part to play in times of protest, one place to begin: try NOT appointing yourself judge of a people whose constant pain you’ve had the privilege to ignore. Instead of criticizing the response to terror, consider how far you would have to be pushed to do the exact same thing? . In times of war, people only ever utilize the tools available to them. The very nature of protest is that it represents an active rejection of what someone has said or done. Until you have actively and consistently objected the oppressor, you cannot righteously object the outcry of the oppressed. Until you have survived generations of inequality without relief or retribution, you may not lead the conversation on what an appropriate response to inequality looks like. . Until your son or husband or father has been brutally murdered by an authority you pay for his protection. Until you’ve watched a cop car ram into a crowd that includes your child. Until you have fought alongside them fruitlessly, you may not offer your critiques from anywhere other than the battle lines. . Right now, we are at an inflection point in this country. What you say and do in this moment will be remembered as a reflection of the value you place on human life. Let the energy and focus of your fight be directed at a system that has enabled terrorism against Black people on our soil for generations. . Time’s Up. This is a war for human life. Which side are you on?
It’s been hard to be on the Internet lately. But last night my brother asked me to say something about the death of #GeorgeFloyd—when I find the words—because he thinks people will listen to me and respect what I have to say. Well, I still don’t have the words. And if I’m honest, I’m tired of searching for them every time we have to watch another Black body slain in plain sight. But because my brother asked me to, I’m going to write what’s on my heart—this time without editing, without perfecting, without worrying about whether or not this will make you care enough to do something. Because if you’ve seen the video of a man gasping for air, begging for his life, being suffocated for six whole minutes by a police officer and you have done nothing about it, then my words don’t matter to you anyway. . I love my brother. And my uncles. And my husband. And there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to keep them alive. Yours too. And because I can’t think of a single Black man in my life who has not been threatened at the hands of police, this is more than a news story—this personal. It’s personal every single time. . But I’m tired of crying as I cobble together resources, tired of putting my work aside to edit, sharpen, hone, and rewrite another caption to make sure you feel this like I feel this. I’m tired of my words feeling futile as I watch my non-Black friends post about everything but these crimes against our humanity. . What Black people in this country need more than me or any other grieving Black person who is expected to broadcast our pain and speak out again and again on this same issue is for our WHITE FRIENDS to SPEAK UP and TAKE ACTION. . My friend @lupitanyongo called for the only kind of Internet challenge I care to see right now; it’s called the #WhiteAlliesChallenge. It goes like this: If you love me, if you love our culture, our music, our TikTok dances, our movies, our style, our bodies, then it’s time for you to find a way to FIGHT with us when we are under siege. Stop waiting for us to say something you can RT, and start digging into your own soul. Find a way to put yourself (& your TL) on the line. With us. For us. NOW is the time.
Today’s front page. “They Were Us.” A sobering snapshot of the lives we’ve lost. My heart aches. My soul mourns. Each name had a heartbeat, a love story, a set of dreams. I stand in solidarity with each one of you who have lost someone you love but who will live to tell the stories behind each one of these names. Please keep their stories alive. @nytimes
Stoop wedding squad 💐No words could ever express the gratitude in our hearts for these real-life angels who held us down and lifted us up in small and big ways through every step of this process. Who each became portals that projected our wedding to our parents, grandparents, and friends from afar that sit front row in our lives. Who physically formed the “soul train” aisle of my stoop wedding dreams. I can never repay you. But we will always have 5.10.20 #LoveLockdown . Photographed by @micaiahcarter
On cloud 9 ☁️ mini-mooning in my favorite quarantine cozies designed by my favorite girls @melodyehsani & @aurorajames (swipe for @brothervellies “cloud socks.” Not pictured: Matching tie-dye cloud mask that comes with this cute sweatsuit.) . To give my people the cozy fill we all need and to support small businesses that rely on our support now more than ever, I teamed up with @Pinterest as guest editor. So excited to take my mood boarding obsession to the next level and to spotlight talented designers I love, from @pyermoss to @brandonmaxwell & @csiriano. . My first board, “Quarantine Cozies,” is live and 100% shoppable––highlighting some of my favorite small, POC-run businesses, plus brands giving back to Covid-19 relief efforts.
“Wherever you are today, you won’t be three years from today. You are going to change, physically—the hairline will go, the bustline will drop, the waistline will spread out. But you will also change emotionally—your values, your perspectives…The challenge will be to continuously make adjustments to this person, who will not be the person you are married to today. . Self understanding will make self disclosure less threatening, and self disclosure is what makes good marriages work. We call it friendship. Disclosure so deep, until there is nothing left to disclose. When there is nothing left to disclose, we have intimacy. . It’s hard for a marriage not to work when a couple is so intimate, that they communicate their feelings, their fears, their hopes, their dreams, their joys, their sorrows. Communication at that level, will navigate you through anything this world throws at your marriage. . You will be tempted to avoid areas that produce heat. May I encourage you, not to resist those. I want to encourage you to make a commitment to use conflict creatively. Conflict is like a smoke alarm, a squeaking sound in a car. It says: “Something needs attention.” Not to fight over, not to run away from, not to suppress, but to work at, until there is a resolution. . And then we can creatively make conflict serve us in making our marriage a factory where creativity occurs in the moments of conflict.” - Dr. Pastor Stanley Long, 5.10.20 . Words to live and love you by forever @jonathansingletary 🙏🏽💫❤️ #LoveLockdown . Photo 1/2: @belathee Photo 3/4: @micaiahcarter
Hearts on FULL. Spirits still on a HIGH. Heading into our future keeping this same energy(💫!!) and the kind of friends who will show up just to get down and wobble with you in the middle of the street—masks on and all. THANK YOU to our dearest friends near and far for making this one of the most special days of our entire lives! Swipe to the end bc what’s a Bay Area turned Brooklyn wedding without the #Wobble and a stank face?! . Photographs by the wonderful Annabel of @belathee and @micaiahcarter. . Video by our stoop wedding angel @irini_arakas #LoveLockdown
Just a little teaser from @voguemagazine @vogueweddings . Short film: #LoveLockdown by @better_call_sacredpact . Music: “Find Someone Like You,” by our wedding song angel @snohaalegra whose music will forever be the soundtrack of our love in the age of #quarantine ❤️
5.10.20 ❤️💫 Some things only come around once in a lifetime. This love. That day. Our moment. Too divinely aligned to let it pass us by. Let this be remembered as the day LOVE. COULD. NOT. BE. CANCELLED. #LoveLockdown Photo by @micaiahcarter . Thank you to our BELOVED community for helping us transform an otherwise disappointing reality into the virtual stoop wedding of our dreams. And for helping us bring some light into otherwise dark times. The gratitude in our hearts is endless. We DID it, fam!!! Officiated via Zoom by our childhood Pastor, Dr. Stanley Long Most whimsical #flowerflash of our dreams by @lewismillerdesign @irini_arakas Photography by @micaiahcarter Photography by Annabel Braithwaite of @belathee Video by @better_call_sacredpact DJ’d by our sister-friend @Adeline Live strings by @rootstock.republic Violin by @JanninaN Cello by @mparsoncello Speech of the century “live in the streets of Brooklyn!” by my dad via Zoom Veil (my “something borrowed”) mailed in by my mom @tita.dee Custom @brothervellies shoes by my boo @aurorajames Wedding hair direction via FT by @vernonfrancois Production + styling support by @SinclairBolden of @everydayppl Zoom Emcee + Video by @redisdancing Zoom Motherboard Managed by @swim_bike_di Broom design by @chloe_dulce Block secured by @BrookeCHall Zoom bonding exercise by @feibz First married meal by @risboBK First dance song by @snohaalegra Creative thought partnership by @priyaparker Everything above and beyond and in-between by @Melana.joy.freelove @ggggavin @makeenz . Story by @voguemagazine @vogueweddings in bio
As my mom would say, I’m “a day late and a dollar short” on this #MothersDay message lol but I still had to get this up because I wouldn’t be who I am without her joy, her faith, her smile, her resilience, her integrity, her humor, her depth, her friendship, her counsel, and her discipline, which have given me the framework and tools to navigate womanhood. (I should add that I get my tardy-to-the-party gene from her as well, so 🤣.) I tell her all the time that I wrote my book #morethanenough to multiply her mothering because she (and her one-liners) are truly ONE IN A MILLION. I love you the most, mamacita!! Sending so much love to all the mamas and the grandmas who are separated from their babies during this quarantine. We can’t wait to hug you down as soon as this is behind us!! ❤️
This #StayAtHome order has me slowing down and reflecting on all aspects of my routine. Delineating between the essential and the non-essential. Shedding the “more is more” mentality in the pursuit of feeling ENOUGH. Editing out anything that isn’t truly additive. That goes for my beauty routine, too. If I could go back and give my younger self a few lessons in beauty, I’d say this: When you feel good in your skin, there isn’t anything you can’t do. But keep it simple, because life is complex—skincare shouldn’t be. And guess what? Acne happens (yep, even well beyond your teen years). When it does, it just means your skin’s microbiome is out of whack, so it’s time to do some homework on the products you’re using to weed out what isn’t working for you. I genuinely wish someone told me about the power of prebiotics and @PerriconeMD Acne Relief sooner. It basically rebalances your skin by targeting the bad bacteria and keeping the good. I recently converted and tbh my skin has never looked better. . Listen, there are bigger things to worry about than beauty but when there is so much uncertainty in the world, it feels good to know you have the little things in your life under control. #ad bit.ly/PerrMD_IG2
When enough is enough and I find myself swimming in overwhelm, I practice this re-centering ritual. Filling this out helps me redirect my attention to the power I have to set a new intention. And I find it so helpful to name whatever it is that is holding me back (real or imagined, internal or external, tangible or intangible) from from consistently acting from that place of intention. . Operating from a place of clear intention is one of the most powerful things we can do in times like these. There is so much that feels out of our control right now. And much of it is. But our communities, our systems, and our mindsets are ours to fix. As individuals, we are all part of the problem and the solution. To solve any problem, small or structural, it starts with setting the intention. . If you’re like me and experiencing moments of spinning out right now, I invite you to join me in this little practice that can have a big impact on your mindset, your actions, your interactions—your life. Day by day. Breath by breath. We can change the world. Stay in the light, fam. 💫 . To DIY: Screen shot. Fill it out. Keep it for yourself. Share it with your accountability partners. Share it with me. Whatever helps. Let’s do this together. #morethanenough
What do you say when there aren’t any words? When you’ve searched your heart, racked your mind, laid awake at night stirring—again—and all that’s left are unrelenting waves of loss. Loss of another innocent black life. Loss of an unknown future. Loss that will forever stain the lives of those who knew and loved him personally. Loss that MUST incite us all into action. . By now, you know the story. And if you do not, I have words for that but will hold them for another day... . Today, I hold space for collective rage and actionable anger. For those among us who are capable of standing in the gap for his loved ones who cannot fight for justice alone. For those with a heavy heart that will not allow them to sit idly by as another black man in America is slain in clear sight and laid to rest while his white male murderers walk freely, protected by our system. . This is the moment when allyship requires us to show up. Whether you have a public platform or not, we all have a horn to blow. We all have a community that we are responsible for informing into action. . Here are some ways to put our pain to work today for #AhmaudArbery because he deserved a life, not a hashtag: . 1. Contact Governor Kemp’s office (404) 656-1776 & the Liberty County District Attorney (912)-876-4151 & push for: - The ARREST of Greg & Travis McMichael as well as William Bryan & any other accomplices. -The launch of a complete investigation into police and prosecutorial misconduct within the Glynn County Police Department and the Waycross District Attorney’s Office. . 2. Text Justice to 55156 or sign the petition (link in bio) to demand the resignation of District Attorney’s George Barnhill and Jackie Johnson https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/demand-justice-ahmaud/ . 3. Please do not share the video of Ahmaud’s execution. The facts alone are more than sufficient to spur any thinking, feeling human into action. It shouldn’t take seeing another black body killed on camera to make you care, especially at the cost of perpetuating pain and trauma within the Black community. . Art by @nikkolas_smith via @cynthiaerivo