Stay steady

The original print for the picture above lives in the Spelman College Women’s Center and my head exploded a little the first time I saw it. Louise Meriwether, Pinkie Gordon Lane, Johnnetta Cole, Pearl Cleage, Paula Giddings, Gwendolyn Brooks, Toni Cade Bambara, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni and Mari Evans all in one photograph! The power that has. If you know you know. And if you don’t know maybe this is your future reading list. Speaking of reading, let’s get into it.

I’m reading

  • Luke Mogelson, who as a war correspondent has covered conflicts abroad, was embedded with the insurrectionists in the Capitol. His remarkable and remarkably disturbing account of January 6 and the events leading up to it deserves all your attention. More foreign correspondents and war photojournalists who are American should turn their focus towards this country right now.

I’m watching

Arsène Lupin, a household name in Francophone homes is a fictional gentleman thief and master of disguise created in 1905 by French writer Maurice Leblanc. If you had asked baby Aminatou to name her personal idols, Arsène Lupin would have been in the top 3 so I am thrilled about the Netflix adaptation. The plot is basically jewelry heist, but make it fashion. Omar Sy is charismatic and winsome and the whole thing is great. Less great is France congratulating itself for having one black lead (if you’re paying attention, you already know it’s always Omar Sy as the black lead in any French movie or show ) but that’s for another newsletter.

I don’t even like cake but wow Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles on Hulu is so...pleasant. Definitely hits that same need Great British Bakeoff normally satisfies for gentle, low-stakes food programming filled with earnest people just trying to do their best.

I’m listening

Hammer Museum curator Ikechúkwú Onyewuenyi has compiled Chez Baldwin, a playlist that features records James Baldwin owned into a 478-track celebration of what the author enjoyed listening to while living in France. It’s very good and there’s 32 hours of music. SO MUCH MUSIC H/T Open Culture

The Blacks have logged into the sea shanty chat and I regret to inform you that sea shanties go hard now.

This Patty x Dolly historic event lives rent free in my head

Hang in there

Don't get too precious, don't get too fearful, stay steady.

Toni Morrison

Stay steady y’all. Maybe even make some bold choices. See you Wednesday.