Sign in

Celebrating and centering the experiences of women of color.


In ZORA. More on Medium.

Happy Friday ZORA fam,

Let’s get right into it. Juneteenth is officially a federal holiday but… is that a good thing? It’s a nice gesture to have national recognition for a day with incredible significance to Black folks but is that all this is, a gesture?

(Did a friend forward this email to you? Sign up here. 📩)

Will the meaning of the Juneteenth be lost now that all of America observes it? Right now, it’s a special day to celebrate Blackness and freedom and push for equality. …

Black mom and daughter hugging next to Christmas tree.
Photo: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

While many of us are abandoning holiday traditions this year, ZORA writer Elisabeth Ovesen has decided to celebrate for the first time:

There’s a lot I have never celebrated or experienced. I have missed out on most of the memories many people have because of my disdain for holidays and fetes. I still remember what it’s like to be so excited and hopeful for a moment in time, only to have the moment dashed and my guts wrenched.

You know, the way 2020 has felt.

Surprisingly, now that my 42nd Christmas is just around the corner, I’ve been thinking. In…

Two Black woman decorating the Christmas tree with smiles.
Photo: Caiaimage/Sam Edwards/Getty Images

If you’re feeling worn out from the pandemic, the winter nights, or the stress of the holidays, ZORA writer Jennifer Farmer is sharing six ways to bring some cheer into your life.

“While some may call it the most wonderful time of the year, many people experience melancholy moods and feelings of isolation during the holiday season,” she writes. “If you have ever battled depression, you know that happiness and feeling good are not to be taken for granted. …

We have finally achieved Christmas classic status with ‘Jingle Jangle’ and ‘Dance Dreams’

“Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” Photo: Gareth Gatrell/Netflix

For a long time, Lifetime and Hallmark Christmas films were a last frontier for us. With Kelly Rowland, Holly Robinson Peete, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Kat Graham, and Amber Stevens West helming a bunch of them this season, that’s no longer the case. What’s been even more elusive, however, is the quintessential Black Christmas classic. Through the soul-singing, fantasy pop of Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey to the entertaining documentary Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, Netflix puts up a mirror to this enduring reality, underscoring — especially with the latter — why Black Christmas classics matter.

The Shondaland-produced Dance Dreams is…

The holiday season looks and feels different this year. For many of us, the traditional family gatherings and friendsgivings aren’t happening. We have to consider safety first, while navigating a raging pandemic. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up tradition altogether. As ZORA contributing writer Nneka Okona reminds us, “living during a pandemic has stretched most of us to reimagine how we connect with those we love.” She suggests that we remix traditions and get inventive.

Okona writes:

“Tap into that same creative will to think about how you can make the holidays special and safe. Amaris Acosta…

The saddest Christmas ever turned me against the holiday; the hardest year ever has made me look forward to it

Black mom and daughter hugging next to Christmas tree.
Photo: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

I must have been 12 the year I decided to hate Christmas for the rest of my life. I awoke that particular Christmas morning to the sound of my two younger sisters already ripping the wrapping paper from their gifts. They shouted with delight and awe upon seeing what Santa had brought them that year. They still believed in Claus, with one being just five and the other four. But by 12 years old, I knew where our presents came from — the uncles. …

Holiday travel jitters? Don’t worry. Read this.

Black woman looking out the window of her car from the driver seat.
Photo: wundervisuals/Getty Images

As the proverbial saying goes, the “most wonderful time of year” has once again arrived. Though this year, the holidays underscore poignant and painful realities — chiefly, how this year has been one of devastation, grief, and loss due to a pandemic that continues to take Black and Brown lives. The depth of the collective loss and grief we are all feeling from the happenings of this year is yet to be fully known. As we all hold a multitude of emotions, some of us are hoping to reach for the familiarity of holiday traditions as a healing balm. …

She stars in two Hallmark films as the ‘Countdown to Christmas’ begins

Holly Robinson Peete. Photos: Kim Murphy

Dr. Zoey is running from the memories of being a war medic, and now, as a traveling physician, she barely stays anywhere long enough to grow roots, let alone fall in love. Holly Robinson Peete brings the good doctor to life in a new Hallmark Channel film, The Christmas Doctor, which showcases traditional holiday cheer and frontline workers but was created under the shroud of Covid-19.

Robinson Peete, who pitched, wrote, produced, and stars in the film, is proud of this moment.

People who regularly watch Hallmark’s “Miracles of Christmas” movies already know that Robinson Peete has starred in at…

Remember the back porch, garage, or basement freezer? Yeah, us too.

Illustration: Chelsea Charles

Before March 13 of this year, I was relatively comfortable in my home. I thought we had everything we needed. City life was the life for me. I was all about taking public transportation to get around. My family and I loved all the pleasures of downtown — restaurants, bars, live music, random festivals, Chicago’s general beauty and awesomeness. I miss those carefree days.

Time under quarantine has revealed some essential truths about my life and my choices, what I enjoyed versus what I needed. And what I need right now is additional fridge and freezer space. I literally dream…


Celebrating and centering the experiences of women of color.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store