Published in


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

Waiting to exhale.

ZORA fam,

Close your eyes. Relax your shoulders. Unclench your jaw. Take a deep breath. Hold it. Let it out.

Feel better?

We all need reminders to exhale every now and then. To pause, unwind and feel fully present and appreciative of the life you’re living. 2020 has been a year when so many of us have felt like we’ve been holding our breath and holding onto a lot of stress, fear and uncertainty. I’m here to remind you that it’s okay to let it all go.

Queen Angela Bassett, star of the hit film Waiting to Exhale, recently spoke with ZORA about how she and her co stars found time to let go and be themselves while shooting the movie that would be a staple for Black women for years to come.

“The scene at the end of the movie with the women listening to the radio and singing in the car was not scripted,” she says. “It was organic moments like these in which we found comfort with one another.”

➡️ READ: Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon on ‘that scene” from ‘Waiting To Exhale’

The movie is a reminder to Black women everywhere that we deserve moments of comfort, joy and freedom. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the film and commemorate the end of a very intense year, the ZORA staff is sharing what it feels like to finally exhale.

Exhaling is that moment (however brief) of complete peace of mind. I’m looking forward to exhaling when my work week is over and all I have to worry about is me and my plants until the new year.” — Jolie A. Doggett, senior platform editor

Exhaling, for me, means letting go. The last time I did that was yesterday in therapy, where I was affirmed and given the clarity I needed to close out the year.” — Christina M. Tapper, deputy editor

For me, exhaling means everyone is at peace if only for the moment — the holy trinity of family, friends, and work family is important to me. The last time I exhaled was when we decorated for the holidays, put up the tree and drank some eggnog in front of the fire. There was such a sense of normalcy that 2020 hasn’t really been keen on.” — Vanessa De Luca, editor-in-chief

Exhaling means to release whatever is pent up. I was about to exhale Tuesday during the meditative part of an Advent Bible study group.” — Morgan Jerkins, senior editor

I exhale when I’m finally at peace with something or a decision that I’ve made. When my grandmother died this past fall I exhaled and when I did? I’d had no idea I had been holding my breath for so long.” — Adrienne Gibbs, deputy editor

Don’t be afraid to let loose and let go. We all deserve to truly exhale.

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

Heads up! The ZORA team will be taking a break for the rest of 2020 so this will be the last newsletter until the new year. See y’all in 2021! Keep it 💯 in the meantime.


Jolie A. Doggett, senior platform editor.

🎉 Happy Holidays and Happy New Year all of Team ZORA! 🎉

Gather the girls! We’re watching Waiting to Exhale!

Our book club is currently reading Waiting To Exhale so we thought it would be fun to watch the film together. Cue up the movie and join us tonight on Twitter at 7 PM EST as Senior editor Morgan Jerkins will live tweet during the movie.

Zero to 💯

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

Dionne Warwick has entered the chat 💯/💯

Auntie Dionne is the best thing to happen to Twitter since the 250 characters increase. Between trolling Chance the Rapper and The Weeknd, refusing to buy a fan a PS5, and casting her own biopic, her presence has made the app 100-times more entertaining.

Lizzo’s goes on a diet and the whole world gets mad 50/💯

Singer, songwriter and beautiful, fat, Black woman Lizzo recently revealed on Instagram that she went on a 10-day juice cleanse to detox. Fans immediately called Lizzo a failure to the body positivity movement. Let’s be clear about one thing yet again: What Lizzo does with her body is NOBODY’S BUSINESS! Yes, diet culture can be dangerous but so is this weird need to control everything celebs do. Leave Lizzo alone.

The Today Show’s Jenna Bush Hager to host a celebration of Toni Morrison 20/💯

A head scratcher, right? For anyone who has read Morrison or heard her speak about race knows that this decision for Hager to host is both laughable and wrong. But it’s 2020, so it’s on brand for this wild year. The upside? Our faves Glory Edim and Nicole Dennis-Benn will participate in the hourlong special.

Blue Ivy Carter becomes one of the youngest nominees in Grammy history 💯/💯

Lil sis is nominated for her role in “Brown Skin Girl.” Blue is staying booked, busy, and blessed. Bey and Jay’s firstborn, who will be nine in January, won a BET Award for the song in June. She also narrated the audio version of the children’s book Hair Love.

Meghan Thee Stallion teamed up with James Cordon for a Christmas remix 90/💯

Meg got “Savage” with this holiday bop, rapping with Cordon to introduce a new Santa Clause that will “make your North Pole tingle.” It’s catchy and fun. But may not be family friendly! So blast this jingle when the kids are in bed.

The Best of Us

ICYMI, here are some of our favorite ZORA stories

Viola Davis on Finding Time for Self-Care

Healing From My Miscarriage in a Year That Took So Much

Meet the Black Women Electors Who’ll Cast Their Electoral Votes

Descendants of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study Survivors Speak Out on the Covid-19 Vaccine

What Happens to People of Color After Weed Is Legal?

Racism Informs the Lies of American Exceptionalism

🗣️ The Last Word 🗣️

“I am black alive and looking back at you.” ― June Jordan

You’re subscribed to receive emails from ZORA. You can adjust your settings via the link at the bottom of this email.



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