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We’re experiencing election déjà vu


Twenty years ago, we cheered on Venus Williams to her first major tennis title, rocked Kimora Lee Simmons’ blinged-out Baby Phat fashions, and freaked out over the possibility of a catastrophic computer glitch. The biggest storyline of 2000, however, was the presidential election which, at the time, seemed like the most contentious race of our lifetime.

Then came 2020, who boldly told us: You thought.

But back then, things were real messy. For more than a month, we waited to find out if George W. Bush or Al Gore would be our next president. It was a dizzying news cycle. Hanging chads entered our lexicon. The courts got involved. Bush claimed victory.

With overwhelming uncertainty around voting and what (and who) will determine the final results, this year’s election feels a bit like 20 years ago. “The elections of 2000 and 2020 have placed the U.S. in a precarious position where our government overlooks the will of the people and the co-equal branches of government and instead sets sights squarely on the courts as if they were an unmanipulated body,” ZORA contributing writer Danielle Moodie writes. “If there is anything that the year 2000 showed us, it is that justice is anything but blind.”

Looking back at the memorable moments, headlines, and events of 2000, it’s clear how so much of what happened then is reflected in what is happening now. That inspired the editors of ZORA to publish Back to the Future, a collection of essays examining how key moments 20 years ago influenced similar events in 2020.

🎾 Venus Williams’ 2000 Wimbledon Win Transformed Tennis

💻 The Computer-Generated Apocalypse That Never Happened

‘O’ Magazine Represents the Ultimate Freedom for Black Women

💥 The Influential, Everlasting Groundbreaking Power of ‘All That’

🛍️ Baby Phat Walked so That Modern-Day ‘Streetwear’ Could Fly

Coming Tomorrow: Why the 2020 Election Feels Familiar

Back to the Future demonstrates, as senior editor Morgan Jerkins writes in her introduction, “that time is a circle, and there is always a precedent for what we are experiencing today.”

Ain’t that the truth.

Take care,
Christina M. Tapper, deputy editor

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

Architect Lesley Lokko’s resignation letter: 💯/💯

She stepped down from her role as the dean of City College of New York’s architecture school citing the lack of meaningful support to usher in her vision of change and an enormous workload. Lokko explained that she was prioritizing herself: “No job is worth one’s life… I suppose I’d say in the end that my resignation was a profound act of self-preservation.” Right on, sis.

Megan Thee Stallion’s New York Times op-ed 💯/💯

The rapper tells it like it is, straight no chaser, in her piece, Why I Speak up For Black Women: “She marches for everyone else. Riots for everyone else. Dies for everyone else. She loves everyone else. Lives for everyone else. But when it comes down to her, it ain’t a motherf*cker in sight.”

Stevie Wonder releases new music 90 /💯

Talk about blasts from the past! Music legend Stevie Wonder collaborated with rappers Chika, Rhapsody, and more for “Can’t Put It In The Hands Of Fate,” a new song about political power and action.

Solange’s Harper’s Bazaar cover: 💯/💯

Nothing this singer does can ever be described as conventional and her latest cover story is no exception. Solange photographed and styled the shoot herself and wrote a series of poems and essays to give us real insight into her mind.

Phylicia Rashad’s uses Zora Neale Hurston to defend Bill Cosby: 🚮/💯

Defending Bill Cosby is bad enough, but using false accusations against Zora Neale Hurston to do so is completely misguided. We’re really disappointed.

ICYMI, here are some of our favorite ZORA stories

When a Black Woman Disappears, Who Is Trying to Find Her? by Janelle Harris Dixon

My Healing Is Undone Every Time One of Us Is Killed by the Police by Nisa Dang

This Author Infiltrated Racists Spaces Online. Then Wrote a Book About It. by Anjali Enjeti

“Instead of looking at the past, I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there then.” — Diana Ross

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Christina M. Tapper

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