Black Book, TV Show, and Movie Recommendations #BlackOutTuesday

There have been a lot of posts with anti-racist reading lists, which is great, and I appreciate people doing this work. In fact, my local independent bookstore posted such a list, and I wrote this response to their FB post since I have been thinking about this issue quite a lot.

I really appreciate this list, and I appreciate the inclusion of fiction, especially for young people here. I would like to remind you and your readers, though, that Black people think about things other than race and police/state violence and that adding in some fiction and nonfiction that show Black people just existing are also important. One of the issues Black people face is that we’re expected to constantly educate people about race and to exist as Black first, people second. Fiction books that don’t center race as the primary narrative are essential to building empathy in readers. Perhaps you can create a list that centers those fiction and nonfiction narratives–written by Black authors–as well.

Books by Brandy Colbert, Varian Johnson, Samantha Irby, Liara Tamani, and others would nicely fill a list of that sort. I also created a Twitter thread during Black History Month that has several of the types of books I’m thinking of. Black lives matter not just to address racism but also as fully lived lives.

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It’s Monday and I’m weary #IMWAYR

I have gotten a couple of text messages from friends–white friends–asking me how I’m doing or how I’m holding up, and the answer is the same for all.

I’m angry and I’m weary. I’m angry and I’m weary and I’m tired of talking about being angry and weary. If you want to know the depths of my anger and weariness, I’ve found that the following three Instagram posts pretty well encapsulate where I am. The first one is a short video (three minutes) and a transcription has been helpfully provided here. The other two speak for themselves.

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C is for Closed Captioning #PandemicAlphabet

I don’t really use closed captioning–except when I’m watching The Great British Baking Show or some other British show. That’s just because I don’t speak British, so the subtitles are necessary. I mean, honestly, what are they saying? I do not know.

My daughter, on the other hand, always has the closed captioning on when she watches TV. It helps her focus, she says. Without it, she won’t really know what’s going on.

But, for me, it’s hard for me to focus when closed captions are on. I read instead of watching. It is very distracting.

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A is for Anger #PandemicAlphabet

I keep putting off writing this post. At first I thought it was regular-grade procrastination, but now I realize it’s because I’m tired of being angry.

It’s exhausting.

But also, I realize, if I don’t write this post, then I can’t talk about any of the other things I want to talk about. So, the anger is a distraction.

Here’s the thing: I’m used to being angry. As I’ve said before–more than once–I’m like the Incredible Hulk: I’m always angry.

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It’s Wednesday and I made lasagna #IMWAYR

That’s it. That’s the post.

Kidding!

I did make lasagna, though. I can’t remember the last time I did. Between the IBS and the lactose intolerance and the no wheat thing, it seemed like a pipe dream, but a friend of mine posted a picture of her lasagna, and I remembered seeing gluten-free no-boil lasagna noodles at the store (and I’m stocked up on Lactaid), so I thought, “Eh, why not?” and so a lasagna was born.

I almost burnt it, but that’s neither here nor there.

You know what’s sad? How poorly I do without external motivation. The A to Z Challenge is over, so I haven’t posted anything since last Monday, but ALSO I had to force myself to post this today, so I wouldn’t go one more day without not posting it. I mean, it’s fine because I do this for me, but I had stuff to talk about on Monday! I just didn’t.

So here’s that stuff.

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It’s Monday and I’m Reflecting on the 2020 #AtoZChallenge

Okay, I’m going to pontificate a bit on the High School Musical movie franchise and then reflect on the A to Z Challenge and then get into the books so scroll accordingly.

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Z is for Zoom #AtoZChallenge

Okay, I don’t really care about the Zoom platform itself, but I’m sure everyone has been hearing about it since it has been the go-to video chat service, especially for meetings. I personally much prefer FaceTime, but maybe I just don’t have that many friends. Or I prefer a more intimate gathering of friends? I mean, whatever, you all know I just needed something for Z.

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Y is for You #AtoZChallenge

You, meaning all my friends and readers.

Listen, this pandemic sucks. The worst part is that people are actually dying, which is why we’re in self-isolation in the first place. It’s sometimes easy for me to lose sight of that when I’m sitting in my air-conditioned apartment, sad because I’m limited in my movements. (I mean, it goes deeper than that, of course, but you get what I’m saying here.)

But here’s the thing, and you know it’s coming:

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X is for Xbox #AtoZChallenge

I bought an Xbox 360.

When I bought it, my one friend said, “Oh, Lord. Now I know we’re not going back to work any time soon.”

My other friend said, “Why do YOU have an Xbox?”

There are two reasons:

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W is for White Noise Machine #AtoZChallenge

I was going to write a post extolling the virtues of my white noise machine before the pandemic started. My best friend and her (now) ex-husband got it for me for Christmas. I wanted it to help me sleep on the nights the silence was too loud, and it is pretty good for that alone.

My daughter and I are in a one-bedroom apartment and having a white noise machine pre-pandemic was a godsend. For one thing, we’re on opposite schedules, which meant she and her friend would be hanging out here in the middle of the night when I was headed to bed. The white noise machine would drown out their late night TV and movie watching as well as their loud conversations about said TV and movie watching.

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