MY PEN IS MIGHTY

Dressed to the nines or not, some restaurants just don’t want Black folk to show up. Let’s discuss.

Some dress codes at restaurants only materialize after Black patrons show up en masse. Photo: Getty Images

Whenever I go over to my mom’s house, one of my favorite activities is to look through all the family photos. The most exciting album dates back to the 1960s, when she and my father used to throw glamorous dinner and cocktail parties at their Nashville apartment.

I always thought they looked impossibly chic in these photos. The women wore brightly colored brocade or silk cocktail dresses with pearls while the men were decked out in dark, slim suits with skinny ties. …


SPIRIT MEDICINE

Amber the Alchemist reminds us to set up boundaries but also, to give freely. Yes, it’s a balance.

6 of Cowrie reminds us that reciprocity is everything. You give. You get. Akamara tarot.

The energy surrounding the collective is an extension of last week’s message, with the 6 of Cowrie reminding us that reciprocity is every damn thing! The medicine asks us to extend our wisdom and knowledge to our respected communities, but with that action comes the necessity of exploring the balance between service and protecting our energy. This week, part of your responsibility will be enforcing clear boundaries to ensure your needs are met and that you are prioritizing what’s most valuable to you — be it your time, finances, knowledge, resources or mental health.

My biggest challenge since stepping into…


WOMANISM

Where has the loyalty gone?

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Last summer, Megan Thee Stallion named Tory Lanez as the man responsible for shooting her. Shooting an unarmed Black woman who was “trying to leave the vehicle” is shameful. However, what’s even more disturbing than this one-off incident is how Black men responded to it.

I can already hear the “not all Black men” roaring in the background. So, yes, let’s go there. Rick Ross provided a perfect example of what that support looks like. For some, calling Lanez out may have broken the bro code, but I’m glad Ross didn’t buy into that. As reported in Billboard:

“Tory Lanez…


5 O’Clock Somewhere

My favorite bottles, some new brands to check out and a few cocktail ideas for you to get your tequila on!

Discover new ways to enjoy a super polarizing beverage. Cheers! 🍹

Mark your calendar and get ready — July 24th is National Tequila Day!

I’d love to know how you feel about this potent agave-based spirit — I get a polarizing response when I ask people about it. Perhaps for you, tequila brings up fond memories of margaritas enjoyed during a sunny vacation. For me, for too many years, the very thought of tequila brought unpleasant memories to mind. Blame it on too many collegiate nights of pungent tequila shots rimmed with salt, conversations about “the worm” and whether or not to eat it if one were to be discovered, all…


4 Ways to recover.

A couple sitting on a couch look at their laptop and are in shock at what is being shown. Picture: Getty Images

Despite heightened awareness, Black Lives Matter, multiple marches, protests and even Derek Chauvin’s conviction, scores of Black people still died in the year after George Floyd’s death at the brutal hands of reckless, misguided police officers and other hate-motivated people.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations reports that anti-Black crimes continue to be the single largest category of hate crime incidents. The latest information is for 2019, but with more people emerging from Covid-19’s cover post-vaccine, it’s reasonable to think that the number and intensity of hate crimes and so-called ‘casual racism” attacks against people of color could escalate.

Experiencing racial…


A few months ago I suffered a cervical spine injury and had to undergo surgery to correct it. Scared out of my mind and absolutely terrified of being put to sleep and under a knife for the first time, I prepared my nerves to accept the fact that I needed to get through one of the hardest feats of my life. I was ready to be cut in a sensitive place. I was ready to deal with a long recovery. I was ready to heal. The only thing I forgot to prepare for was the scar it would leave behind.


Poetry

In “The Monster I am Today: Leontyne Price and a Life in Verse,” Author Kevin Simmonds pens an ode of poetry and prose to the operatic grand dame.

Soprano Leontyne Price as Cleopatra in “Antony and Cleopatra” at the Met in New York City. September 1966. (Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

“What struck me most was her fleeting comment about ‘the monster that I am today.’”

I first saw her in a 1984 United Negro College Fund commercial. Instead of Black educational promise portrayed through the familiar visuals of a young Black actor and his respectable, hard-working parents―reliably fortified by the voiceovers of James Earl Jones, Adolph Caesar or Ossie Davis―there she was

her face & chest / low-lit / black gown /

square-necked & sequined / sleeves / of beaded fringe

I just about burst when her 60-second apparition materialized on our kitchen TV and she sang

We’re not asking…


Ever since I’ve made the Olympic team I’ve had multiple interviews with various magazines, news stations, etc. Eventually, they all come around to the same question.

Interviewers Everywhere: “So, Black person in America, how does it feel to be representing the United States in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics?”

Me, a black person: *Stares as a million thoughts rush through my mind about social injustice, racism, and representing a country where a portion of the people still wants to see me hanged*

Interviewers Everywhere: *Smiles with excitement*

What DOES it mean to me to represent the “great” country of America? The…


Spirit Medicine

Amber the Alchemist has solid advice on how to focus your intentions and actions this week

Knowledge card from the Awakened Soul oracle deck

When I pulled Knowledge this week, I was immediately directed to the pursuit of childhood curiosity. As a part of my inner child healing, I’m continuing to be led by my natural curiosity, the part of me that investigates first and trusts late. Spirit encourages you to do the same this week by falling into an inquisitive state of being. Be led by a new world of information and knowledge; new books await to inspire your next artistic creations, healing journeys, and academic careers.

With so much to learn and be brought into perspective, we can learn from anyone to…


5 O’Clock Somewhere

Why spend the cash on something you can make at home?

You probably already have all the ingredients for your next great drink. Photo: Getty Images

This past year taught me so much about myself and even taught me new techniques in at-home cocktail and beverage making. Intentional quarantine gave me an ingenuity I never tapped into before. Instead of running out to the supermarket or liquor store for a key ingredient, I had to see what I had in my kitchen first. When I ran out of something, I may not have been able to replenish my supply right away, and that led me to start making my own products of all kinds.

One of the easiest things to make yourself — that you truly…

ZORA

Bold, yet refined. A publication from Medium for Black women.

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