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

The feel-good nostalgia we need

Hey, ZORA Fam!

Christina and Jolie, here. We don’t know about y’all, but lately we’ve been nostalgic. We’re reminiscing about the back-in-the-day joys and habits that offered a brief escape from the real world. Right now, we’re reaching back to the stuff that made us feel good and seen; the stuff that helps us process and sustain ourselves in our current world. Stuff like:

Talking on the phone more often
Not on an actual landline, but we’re definitely putting in more voice time with our friends and family since we can’t meet up with them at a kickback or bar right now. The phone calls are something to look forward to.

Revisiting The Baby-Sitters Club
As childhood fans of the book series, we’re loving the reboot on Netflix. It’s refreshing. The show is inclusive in casting and characters (Mary Anne is Black and Dawn is Latina) and in the storylines (the LGBTQ+ community is represented). The little girls in the both of us agree this is the feel-good nostalgia we need right now.

Going on long walks
Jolie grew up in Southern Virginia where she and her friends used to walk everywhere — to the corner store to get an ice-pop, to the beauty supply, everywhere. When they got their driver’s licenses, they never looked back. Now that most gyms are closed, she’s walking around her neighborhood a lot, and it makes her feel like a kid again. I’ve been doing a lot more intentional walking too. It’s made me slow down and discover newly-installed messages around my Harlem neighborhood.

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For others, it’s a return to being surrounded by family — quarantining with parents, guardians, or siblings — and playing board games or baking childhood favorites that help them get through the times. These nostalgic pastimes give us the energy to forge ahead as we create our new normal.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have another episode of The Baby-Sitters Club to watch.

Take care,

Christina M. Tapper, deputy editor
Jolie A. Doggett, platform editor

⭐️ What pastimes have you returned to over the last few months? Let us know on Twitter. ⭐️

🎤 Having Our Say 🎤

Another nostalgic thing that we’re doing right now? Watching old music videos. Below, Garcelle Beauvais reflects on her role as Luther Vandross’ love interest in the 2001 music video for “Take You Out” in an interview with ZORA.

“I have been the biggest Luther Vandross fan all my life. I love his voice. I love his music. I would travel to see him perform. I mean, I was a groupie! I was in Monaco for the World Music Awards a week before my wedding when my agent called and said Luther wanted me for the video. My agent thought I wouldn’t want to do it because it was the week before my wedding but, I wasn’t going to miss it — I would’ve done it for free.

When I arrived home from Monaco, I had the biggest bouquet of flowers from Luther with a card saying “I can’t wait to play with you.” Let me tell you, it made my life! He was just everything I thought he would be.

Working with Luther was so great. He was just so genuine, funny, sweet, and endearing. We became fast friends. The video was shot in two days and after, Luther flew to Jamaica to see his mom. My ex-husband Mike and I were getting married on Mother’s Day and Luther told me, ‘If it wasn’t Mother’s Day, I would sing at your wedding.’ I would’ve died if that happened.”

➡️ Read the rest of the story here.

👀 Honestly, If 👀

Moments we want to see more of… or never again.

Honestly, if networks are gonna reboot childhood classics, they better keep the same energy that Netflix brought to The Baby-Sitters Club. We want diversity, we want maturity, we want all the feels!

The Best of Us

News, art, and stories worth celebrating. All by or for WOC.

ZORA contributor Alicia Wallace spoke to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry about systemic racism. Here’s how it went.

Oprah Winfrey has joined forces with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones to adapt the critically-acclaimed New York Times 1619 project into a portfolio of films, tv programming, and other multi-platform content.

It’s official! Joy Ann Reid will now anchor an evening news program on MSNBC, one of the few Black women to ever do so.

In a groundbreaking move, Javicia Leslie is poised to become TV’s first Black Batwoman. The bisexual actress says she is proud to be a part of a show that has done so much for the LGBTQ+ community.

Learn how composting food waste is an act of resistance.

Speaking of nostalgia, here’s an ode to department stores giving Black women second acts in their careers.

Mariah Carey has decided to bless us with a memoir about her life. The Meaning of Mariah Carey will hit shelves in September. We can’t wait to learn more about the supreme diva!

Mikki Kendall’s Amazons, Abolitionists and Activists made Book Authority’s 100 Best Activism Books of All Time. Brava.

Cynthia Erivo, Zendaya, Akwafina, Teyonah Parris, Constance Wu, Eva Longoria and long time Hollywood publicist Staci Collins-Jackson are part of the newest class to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This means they, along with a total of 818, now cast a vote for who wins the Oscar. Representation matters.

CeCe Peniston and Martha Wash chat with ZORA about the influence of Black women in house music.

🗣️ The Last Word 🗣️

“Faced with collective forgetting, we must fight to remember.” — Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

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