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This is an email from Keepin' It 💯, a newsletter by ZORA.

Guess we’re shopping on Instagram this year

ZORA Fam,

’Tis the season for shopping. Or so we tell ourselves. Though some of us have been shopping all year long due to a pandemic that has given way to increased screen time and an uptick to “virtual window shopping.” I like to think I’m disciplined with my money, but I do have my moments. You know, those times when you’re scrolling Instagram and an ad catches your eye? Perhaps it’s the ring light you tell yourself you need for better lighting during online meetings and events. Or maybe it’s another notebook (or two), though you’re not done with the three you’re already writing in. I’ve made these purchases in the past few months. I also spotted these items mentioned in a recent ZORA essay by Roxane Gay, where she candidly describes how unnecessary purchases help her in uncertain times:

“The near future is an endless stretch of virtual events, social isolation, mask-wearing, and hand-washing until the skin threatens to crack. These are ridiculous complaints, I know, but I am struggling. Every day my depression deepens, and shopping for ridiculous things, even simply browsing without buying ridiculous things, helps. Or it numbs.”

➡️ READ: Pandemic Dread Has Me Instagram-Shopping Nonstop

The pandemic illuminates our shopping behaviors, but capitalism is the most enduring and influential force. Capitalism ushers us directly to checkout lines with fiftyleven notebooks, gadgets, and throw pillows (the latter of which I almost bought on sale — I love a discount — before discipline kicked in and I closed the tab). Capitalism warps our mentality to make us believe that we aren’t enough, aren’t doing enough, and don’t have enough.

“It’s amazing how much useless stuff there is in this world and how easily we can convince ourselves that we need it. Actually, it’s disheartening. It’s a problem. There is too much stuff in the world and so much of it is overpriced and unnecessary,” Gay writes.

These days I’m more focused on buying the necessary. I continue to support Black-owned businesses to satisfy those needs: tea (Brooklyn Tea) and books (The Lit Bar). Stuff that heals, and are great gifts. In addition, I’ve earmarked money for monthly donations to my neighborhood food pantry in East Harlem, and made contributions to media startups founded by Black women: MLK50 and Capital B.

And right now, on this day of deep discounts and holiday spending, I’m avoiding social media apps and email deals ’cause Lord knows I don’t need another notebook or throw pillow.

Wishing you strength as you shop,
Christina M. Tapper, deputy editor

Illustration: Dani Pendergast

Black Friday Astrology Brings Transformation: Your Horoscope Today

As Sagittarius season begins and the upcoming eclipse season looms on the horizon, ZORA’s resident astrologer Ashleigh D. Jay offers specific recommendations and ideas surrounding the astrology of November 27–29. Read more here.

Zero to 💯

Who kept it 100 this week? Let’s take a look.

Megan Thee Stallion is serving body-ody-ody! 💯/💯
Last Friday, Meg dropped the music video for her new single “Body.” Good timing, too. Let’s move our body-ody-odies to work off that Thanksgiving food.

Janet Hubert sets the record straight on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion: 💯/💯
For the first time in 27 years, the original Aunt Viv sat down with former co-star Will Smith and unpacked their feud and the impact it’s had on her career. “Calling a Black woman difficult in Hollywood, is the kiss of death. And it’s hard enough being a dark-skinned Black woman in this business,” she said during the convo. We love to see openness, healing, and growth.

Black women snubbed in Grammy award category: 50/💯
Beyoncé leads with nine nominations. Jhené Aiko and Megan thee Stallion are also among the nominees. The Recording Academy, however, didn’t nominate a single Black woman in the Best R&B album category, a perceived snub of artists like Teyana Taylor, Summer Walker, and Kehlani. What gives?

Chloe x Halle cover Zhané’s “Sending My Love” 💯/💯
The duo’s cover of Zhané’s beloved ballad is a rendition we didn’t know we needed. The sisters put their own stamp on it, while maintaining the spirit of the song. We can’t stop playing it.

Jemele Hill, Gabrielle Union, and Kelly Carter team up for new TV show 💯/💯
Based on a story from best friends Hill and Carter, New Money, a half-hour comedy series about Black women with financial independence, is in development at Showtime. Hill, Union, and Carter will serve as executive producers of the show. We’re excited to see more Black women helming big TV projects. Let’s keep this going!

The Best of Us

ICYMI, here are some of our favorite ZORA stories

Write Your Way to Healing with These 4 Journaling Tips by Jolie A. Doggett

Crown Royal on Ice: All the Ways to Love the Purple Bag by afrobella

A Compassionate Guide to Travel During a Pandemic by Nneka M. Okona

Setting Self-Care Intentions: A Guide for Black Women by Dr. Bernasha Anderson

What No One Tells Black Women About Period Pain by Diana Modupe

🗣️ The Last Word 🗣️

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” ― Maya Angelou

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A publication from Medium that centers the stories, poetry, essays and thoughts of women of color.

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Christina M. Tapper

Christina M. Tapper

Rule breaker, champion of women and education, and recovering sports journalist.

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