Hello. I’m Aminatou Sow, a writer and interviewer.
Chances are you found your way here because you like my impeccably curated IG stories. Maybe you’ve read my book or listened to my podcast? If so thank you and welcome. And if not, welcome to you too! The book is resonating with a lot of people and the podcast seems to also be resonating with a lot of people. You might enjoy one or the other or both but zero pressure.
Welcome to Crème de la Crème, the best of the best in your inbox, every week.
What am I signing up for?
Wow you’re in for a real treat. This newsletter will feature thoughtful cultural commentary as well as my observations on politics, tech, capitalism, skincare, scams…basically anything that delights or infuriates me. There will also be occasional, tasteful product recommendations because I buy a lot of things and I have strong opinions about anything I spend my money on.
How much does it cost?
Good question! It’s free. Yes, free.99! Anyone who knows me knows that I am really vocal about paying people and that I love money. So why is it free? One answer is just privilege. I want to focus on writing and growing this newsletter and I can afford to not charge for it. Another answer is that I am genuinely curious how many people would pay for something they can get for free and I also wonder if there are enough generous readers to keep the newsletter free for everyone? So consider this an experiment. It might fail spectacularly. But who knows?
If you would like to support my work and you can afford it, there are 3 options available to you: you can chip in $7/month or $70/year if you want a discount. If you are very rich and $70 doesn’t break the bank for you, congratulations! You can give however much you like.
Your money makes it possible for me to do my best work every single week. It pays for all the hours I spend writing, researching, curating and thinking. It also pays for the hours I spend on the phone or hunched over my computer doing admin. It means I can start dreaming about hiring an editor and justify the hours I will spend getting the podcast off the ground next year. Your money also helps offset my ridiculously expensive health insurance.
More importantly, your support also means that many more people get to read this for free every week. That is very kind and generous. You’re the real crème de la crème around here. I do not take it for granted that anyone is willing to spend even a penny in a pandemic so thank you for even considering it.
If the dollar amount numbers are making your head spin, giving you agita or making you feel some type of way, don’t worry we are going to talk about it! Like I said, this is an experiment and I am choosing to believe that people are good and generous. Ideally, I would like to not run ads or sponsorships in this space and I believe that with your support we can make that happen. Stay tuned because I will periodically be sharing insights. We love transparency about money!
Truth in advertising
Speaking of transparency, let’s talk about a couple of things:
Affiliate links: from to time, I will make use of these and will always disclose when that is the case.
Free stuff: from time to time, I get sent free stuff but I am committed to only recommending books or products I have purchased with my own money. Sometimes though the free thing is actually very good and I just have to talk about it. Again, I will always disclose when that is the case.
Thank you to the good people at the FTC.
Terms and Conditions apply
Dear reader, we are most likely strangers to each other. I don’t know the details of your life but I suspect that like me you have your challenges and your life has its ups and downs. This newsletter binds us together for a few fleeting moments every week but all we owe each other on the internet is kindness and respect.
I say all of this because I am enabling comments on these Substack posts and I have to admit, I am a little reticent to do so. My reservation isn’t because I’m a fragile snowflake from the language police who can’t handle dissent or robust conversations (LOL) In fact, I welcome thoughtful critique and disagreement but I do not suffer assholes or any kind of boorish online behavior. You’re in my house now and as the host of this party, I feel a sense of responsibility for your decorum or lack of it.
My only real ask is that when commenting, we would all assume good intentions on the part of everyone else here. Please always ask for clarity on someone's position rather than jumping to conclusions. That’s it. My hope is that we will create a thoughtful and generous community here together.
I need to speak to a manager!
If you find yourself bored or annoyed by this newsletter, please unsubscribe—life is way too short, but feel free to complain about it in your group chats. It’s so much more satisfying. If however you find yourself enjoying this newsletter, please forward it to a friend. That is the highest compliment you can give me.
What else? If it’s an absolute emergency and you must get in touch, I guess you can drop me a line || firstname.lastname@example.org. Real emergencies only!
It really means a lot to me that you’ve read this far. Thanks for coming along.