Last month, I’d hoped that by this time in November we’d be feeling more hopeful about the future. After a grueling Election Week, I am elated to say that our biggest battle of 2020 has been won. We have a new president-elect, as well as the first Black and Indian woman to ascend to the vice presidency.
There is more work to be done (which I’ll get to in the first section), but for a few moments, I’d like to bask in the planting of this new seed for our future. Thank you to everyone that voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Thank you to the Black and Indigenous grassroots organizers in key swing states that handed Democrats this victory. Thank you to phone and text bankers, and people at political orgs who worked around the clock. Thank you to the postal carriers and ballot counters whose service saved our country. Thank you all.
On a lighter note, I also want to extend gratitude to any person who made a Biden victory meme online. After a week of stress, it was exhilarating to see celebratory comedic content online rather than rage posting. Things are looking up, but don’t forget, there’s still a plague going on outside.
This month, containing a Thanksgiving none of us are sure to forget, we’ll take a look at the flowers blossoming, and those that have yet to sprout.
Georgia has two runoff Senate races in early January that are crucial in deciding the majority in the Senate. Taking this chamber of Congress means that the Democrats will have the entire legislative branch in their control, which is imperative to Biden being able to act on any positive policy changes during his presidency. As Georgia ended up being a deciding state that flipped blue in the general, we know winning these seats are within reach. We have to keep the same momentum that drove the Peach state to the blue side for Biden.
Once again, Vote Save America is running a campaign to help in this cause. Check their website to learn more about how you can help. Also, Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight organization played an integral role in turning Georgia blue by registering almost a million Black voters. A donation to this organization can help them register even more ahead of this runoff race. Oh, and an important note: if you turn 18 between now and the runoffs, you can vote in that election! Be sure to register right away if this applies to you — your vote could make all the difference!
November is Native American Heritage Month. Although you should pay attention to Native and Indigenous folks in all months of the year, if you don’t, take this month as an invitation to do so. Here are a couple of accounts I follow for Indigenous fitness, wellness, and activism. Here’s a non-fiction book an acquaintance of mine recently read by an Indigenous author. One of my favorite shows of the year, Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, included an episode on Native food and sovereignty that I found powerful and comforting. Lastly, here’s a podcast by an indigenous foodie you can listen to while cooking dinner.
But of course, I am no expert. Seek out Native public figures to follow in your free time — they’re everywhere!
Also, this week is Trans Awareness Week, and there are so many resources floating round about how to be a better ally to trans folks. Indya Moore’s entire social media presence is ecompasses the rage and love of the trans experience, particularly for trans women of color. As far as actions, though, I did discover a rather troubling thing online this week. Enby, a sex toy brand owned by three trans, non-binary Black folks, is being sued for their use of the word “enby” by a cis-owned brand, Wildflower Sex. (“Enby” is the stylized slang term for “nb,” which is shorthand for nonbinary.) Being already a disenfranchised group of business owners, they do not have the legal fees to fight this lawsuit to maintain ownership of the term for their brand. They have started a GoFundMe for the cost of their legal fees. Please donate to this!!! The most immediate and tangible way you can help trans and gender nonconforming folks is to give them money directly. If you have it to spare, I’m sure it will go a long way in keeping this trans-owned business alive.
Megan Thee Stallion’s first studio album dropped today! I’m probably listening to it as you read this, twerking to my heart’s content. I’m so proud of her!
Speaking of albums, Ariana Grande dropped her latest album “Positions” this month, which I’m loving. Some folks don’t vibe with it because it isn’t a single-heavy album like we’re used to from Ari. Others, like me, fuck with it because it leans more R&B while still keeping the singer’s pop sensibilities. It’s her grown up album about love and lots of boning. Glad to see her maturing as an artist and also staying true to her sound.
In TV land, I finally finished Euphoria and, omg, that ending! I won’t embed it here from YouTube, because it will spoil the end of the first season, but it was one of the most beautifully produced pieces of TV I’ve ever seen. Zendaya absolutely deserved that Emmy for her performance. Being transparent, Euphoria is a pretty rough watch. It is the most XXX teen show I’ve ever seen and that is definitely because it is on a prestige network like HBO. Remembering that the drama centers teenagers makes a lot of the violence tough. At the same time, the show did a wonderful job of depicting a drug addict as a fully human being, rather than a despicable second-class citizen to blame for their own misfortunes. This is likely because Euphoria is based on the showrunner’s own history with drug addiction.
I’m right now in the process of watching The Crown. It’s so good thus far, eight episodes in; I continue to be amazed at how well the show moves through the monarchy’s history and progress various characters’ stories in only 10 episodes every season. I also commend the show for balancing the dichotomy of Princess Diana’s life in the monarchy — immensely mistreated and struggling mentally, and beloved by people the world over. Here’s a great article I read years ago about older Black American women’s near-unanimous love of Princess Diana, and a recent investigation on this phenomenon in England.
In movie news, Lashana Lynch has been chosen as the next 007 in the Bond series! She’s the first Black (gay!) woman to ever take the mantle of James Bond (although that obviously isn’t her name n the franchise) and white fanboys are probably mad about it. I say “probably” because I don’t pay those fools any mind! Here’s an article about why Bond purists should leave the actress alone.
We have a fun mix of spooky, political, and standard art for the month.
Wishing you all a safe and solitary (!) Thanksgiving.