I would estimate that about 85-90% of my wardrobe is thrifted. What started out as an outlet to dress creatively at age 15 became the perfect match for my frugal lifestyle. In this next installment of How to Fleurish, I will walk you through my guide to thrifting!
While we are celebrating the great glorious highlights of black history, we still have a long way to black liberation. One of our biggest highlights: Mass incarceration. The United States of America has more prisoners than any other country in the world per capita and it is a direct result of racism. The criminalization of black and brown people, which started during slavery, is so ingrained in American culture, it is enumerated in the Constitution’s amendments. There may not be an end in sight to racism but we can beat its systems to get to liberation. In order to beat the systems, we must arm ourselves against the knowledge of how it works. Here are some resources we think could help you get acquainted on the subject.
Happy Black History Month!
Music soundtracks the struggles and triumphs of black life. From gospel to blues to what is dubbed “reality rap,” black musicians bare their souls to create art that relates to our daily experiences. I started out making a playlist about hope but couldn’t stay away from the protest songs we’ve accumulated over the decades: songs about lynchings, police brutality, and life in impoverished conditions. As a student of music, I saw fit to cover a narrative that wades through these emotions and accepts them without judgement. The hope, the satire, the vulgarity*, the anger – all valid here. We are policed enough by others for expressing our blackness so why do it to ourselves? The playlist begins in 1939 with Billie Holiday singing about the Jim Crow era, travels to the 70s in hopes of some interplanetary relief with Parliament, and rests in the present day knowing “this ish is for us.”
Other songs in rotation this month: “VRY BLK” by Jamila Woods, “Say It Loud I’m Black and I’m Proud” by James Brown, “Everyday People” and “Don’t Call Me N***er, Whitey” by Sly and the Family Stone, “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar, Motown everything
*I’ve opted not to censor these songs so listener discretion is advised; some of the language may be uncomfortable. “They Don’t Care About Us” was censored by the artist himself after he faced backlash for Antisemitism*
In 2018, we would like to introduce a new monthly column: How To Fleurish. We want everyone to live their best lives and How To Fleurish is here to help. Wanna learn how to survive music festivals or get better at thrifting? Would you like to become more mindful during meditation or how to start a small garden in your apartment? We understand and in the spirit of thriving, we are here to help. First up: A New Year’s vision board to keep you on track for your goals.
Saying goodbye to our beloved Sapphire Blue hasn’t been easy. We really fell for this color and enjoyed integrating it into the site. But alas, all good things must come to an end and we’re excited to welcome a new color to the family.
Considering the failed expectations of 2017, a color like malachite green signals hope that better is on the horizon. Malachite is one of our favorite stones, as it represents transformation. It is associated with the heart chakra, imagination, and decision making. Green is a healing color, one that is tied to renewal, growth, and harmony.
We know that growth is not always pretty or even easy. With the power of healing green on our side, we are keeping our hearts open to new and enriching experiences. Grow and go green in 2018!
(Photos are not ours; credits can be found by hovering over each picture)
Music has the power to transcend all barriers and connect your heart with the sentiments of the artists. The albums this year did just that for us. With reflections, introspection and pure artistry, each album on this list was a well thought out, well executed masterpiece which reminded us why musicians are called artists. Here’s our list of the best and brightest artists of 2017, in alphabetical order.
So, you must have noticed that we have been gone for a while. There’s a reason for that. I (Dream) have been on vacation. Not just any vacation, the Welcome to JamRock cruise. Before I get into this, I want to thank TIDAL for this trip of a lifetime. If you were trying to buy my loyalty, it worked because I will never pay for any other service ever. Y’all lit.
So the story about how I won the cruise was a bit sorted. While listening to BAM, TIDAL had a pop-up that said those who listened to Bam enough times would be invited to an album listening party for Damian Marley. I was going to listen to Bam anyway. A few days later, while in DC, I got an email I won tickets to the 40/40 club for the party. I tried to rush home from DC to get to the party on time but I only arrived in the city after 9. Despite everyone telling me I was being stubborn, I still made a mad dash to the party and I barely made it. I had pretty much missed Damian Marley and the whole party but I took photos to post under a hashtag because hell, at least I was in the 40/40 club. I wasn’t really thinking about the cruise promotion because who the hell wins a cruise? But a TIDAL rep reached out to me to enter me in the contest and bing bang boom, I won! So now, the story begins.
This cruise was designed for reggae lovers. And basically, I had the time of my life.
It’s the season for giving and we are counting down to gifting time. Here are some things on our list that we are excited to give (and receive!) this holiday season.
Clockwise from top left: “You Got the Whole Wide World” ASATT sweatshirt, $70, available on Saint Heron until Dec 22; Fenty Beauty Stunna lip paint, $24, Sephora; Tsubota Pearl Latitude lighter, $35, Maimoun; The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, $16.20 on Amazon; Plum Cast Iron Kettle, $17, on sale at Cost Plus World Market; Talkspace giftcard, $156/1 mo; $420/3 mo via Talkspace ; Girls Trip, $19.99 on Best Buy ; How To Make Lemonade box set, $299.99 (sold out, but we can dream)
Feminism is currently more popular than ever. While there’s no one way to be a feminist, here’s where I stand: if it’s not intersectional, we can’t talk. Considering the pervasiveness of white feminism and how it’s not just employed by white women, it’s important to give props and distinction to black feminism/womanism. These terms are not necessarily interchangeable but their usefulness as a way of life predates them as identity markers. Black women have long been pioneers of justice because of our lived experience, being simultaneously oppressed as both black people and women – thus the concept of intersectionality. Today, I’m concerned with how the phrase intersectionality and similar terms are thrown around without proper credit or context. I’d like to provide a space for people to learn, as well as context on the misuse I’m talking about. Enter the black feminism glossary*. I don’t intend to invent the wheel but rather give folks a toolbox for encountering feminism in modern social spaces**. In no way is this glossary extensive; it will be updated as necessary.
- Anti-blackness – a mindset that devalues black people and our beliefs, values, and traditions (as varied as they are) solely because of their association with blackness
- Black feminism – historically, black women have been asked to “pick sides” in liberation causes. White feminists have asked black women to align over gender (but not race) whereas black men have asked them to align over race (and not gender). Black feminism emphasizes that sexism and racism are linked, therefore the liberation of black women must consider both factors equally.
- “Colorism—in my definition, prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color” —Alice Walker, In Search of our Mothers’ Gardens. Coined in 1982, this term refers to discrimination faced by darker-skinned people. I’ve seen colorism used to refer to discrimination faced by light skin people and it should be noted that colorism is ultimately about power dynamics. Light skin people do face discrimination, but most times, colorism works in their favor. Common social -isms give attention to the more oppressed of any given group: sexism – women; racism – people of color. People with lighter skin hold more social power than those with dark skin, so implying reverse colorism doesn’t really add up. I won’t deny that the context can change, but use this term in reverse at your own discretion.
- Intersectionality – coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, theorized by countless others. Refers to the ways in which multiple aspects of one’s identity affect their livelihood. This is a prime example of a term predating its coinage. The Combahee River Collective statement, a seminal black feminist text, was so influential because it highlighted how members not only faced oppressions as black people and women, but as lesbians too (don’t get me started on the hetero-/cis- washing of liberation causes). Intersectionality is a great starting point for thinking about how privilege is not a zero-sum game. You can be privileged in one way but not in others. Areas to consider: race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, etc
- Internalization – as in internalized racism, sexism, transphobia, etc. When a person accepts prevailing (often negative) beliefs about a group that they belong to. Often, this is an unconscious process that happens through socialization, media exposure, and more. For example, women who slut shame likely have internalized the sexism of the culture they were socialized in.
- Misogynoir – discrimination against black women where both gender and race are factors; an intersection of misogyny and anti-blackness; Moya Bailey is the originator of this term.
- People of color (POC) – this is a term that doesn’t really have a clear origin but is used to refer to non-white people. It has nothing to do with skin color; if you are a non-white person (white in the way it’s used in an American context), then you might be considered a person of color.
- Transmisogynoir – also coined by Moya Bailey, this term refers to discrimination faced by trans feminine black people; an intersection of transphobia, misogyny, and antiblackness.
- White Feminism – a concept as old as feminism itself; a mainstream type of women’s liberation that prioritizes the concerns of white women and simultaneously ignores that those of women of color may differ.
- White supremacist capitalist patriarchy – how bell hooks defines America as a system (sometimes as “imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy”). Like many of the phrases defined here, this one serves to remind us how systems of oppression work together. This country was founded on white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy; therefore the effects of these tools in the present-day can rarely be removed from one another.
- Womanism – another term by Alice Walker, womanism centers all aspects of black womanhood and fosters respect for how black women inhabit the world. Furthermore, womanism emphasizes the liberation of all black people while combating gender oppression.
*It should be noted that these are terms that black female theorists came up with, but that it doesn’t necessarily mean that each theorist self-identifies as a black feminist or womanist. Furthermore, you don’t have to take on the identity of a black feminist to employ black feminism. The reasons why black women don’t always self-identify as feminist, well that’s a story that’s important and been written plenty times before.
**While priority was given to terms that were conceptualized by black women, not all of the terms listed fit this criteria. The goal is to arm people with terms that they may encounter in black feminist spaces.
We’re not really the lovey-dovey types but even we have to admit, fallen leaves and falling temperatures make us feel like falling in love or at least, listening to music that makes us feel loved. Here’s a playlist for the lover in you to help you fall in love with this week, Fleurish femmes.