How To Continue To Support BLM

We stand in solidarity with the incredible Black community. We recognize that words can be meaningless without action. Change is extremely necessary right now, so we promise to continually contribute in more ways than one, whether it be educating, listening, raising awareness, donating or supporting Black-owned businesses. Here are some resources that will help you learn ways to fight against racism and injustice that has been pervasive in this country for too long.  

Donate:

Educate: 

Petitions:

Compilations of Resources: 

Black-Owned Businesses To Support:

Black Vintage Sellers & Upcycled Brands

Summer Skincare With Derma E

During summer my beauty routine changes. I embrace no makeup, natural hair, and avoid makeup as much as possible. In the past year I have become very into my skin care routine and look for products that are great for my skin and the environment. I was so excited to come across Derma E skin care. All of their products are GMO-free, cruelty-free, 100% vegan, gluten free, soy free, and recyclable!

 

Because I am out in the Texas heat so much, a good sunscreen is a must for me. I now use Derma E sun protection products religiously.

Sunscreen on your face is a necessity every day. Based on what my day is like, I either use the Sun Defense Mineral Oil-Free Sunscreen or the All Sport Performance Face Sunscreen on my face. If I am in a rush and forget to put sunscreen on my face, I use the Sun Protection Mineral Powder. This stuff is a game changer and I just keep it with me in my purse at all times. I just powder it on my face before I am exposed to the sun and ta-da, I have sunscreen on! When I lay by the pool or go on the lake, I use the All Sport Performance Sunscreen Spray. This stuff smells so good and doesn’t feel greasy like other sunscreen products. It is also loaded with awesome ingredients such as aloe, cucumber, Vitamin C & E, and Chamomile.  

For my morning and night routine I use these Derma E products: 

Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser: A skin-brightening, sulfate-free facial cleanser that helps promote skin clarity and glow. 

I use this to wash my face before I put on the other products on. 

Anti-Blemish Clarifying BiPhase Toner: This lightweight, yet powerful bi-phase anti-blemish toner reduces redness and balances the skin’s natural moisture levels after cleansing. 

What I love about this product is that it contains Tea Tree oil which helps clarify and purify skin. It also contains chamomile and rosewater to nourish the skin. 

Vitamin C No Dark Circles Perfecting Eye Cream: This Vitamin C eye cream is infused with antioxidant-rich Vitamin C, brightening Turmeric, Mica, and de-puffing Caffeine to instantly color-correct for brighter eyes.

This product has been life changing. I can already see a huge difference in my under eye bags.

Vitamin C Concentrated Serum: This fast-absorbing, high-potency serum penetrates deeply to deliver antioxidant protection and essential hydration. Benefits: Brightens skin and boosts collagen health.

This serum brightens my skin and makes it glow. It is It also helps with my uneven skin tone.

Vitamin C Intense Night Repair: This luxurious, antioxidant-rich moisturizer delivers restoring overnight protection and supports natural rejuvenation of environmentally stressed skin. Benefit: Overnight natural rejuvenation.

I put on a generous amount before I go to bed and my skin feels rejuvenated and restored when I wake up. 

Microdermabrasion Scrub: This award-winning, salon treatment alternative buffs skin, helping to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and acne scars. Benefit: Smooths wrinkles, roughness and acne scars.

I use this scrub twice a week and I can already see a difference in my dark spots. This has also been great to remove dead skin from being in the sun. 

These products have been amazing for my summer skincare routine. They are very reasonably priced, very high quality, and are eco-ethical. Within a week I have seen a drastic improvement in my skin and I cannot wait to continue using Derma E products! 

To purchase your very own Derma E products head to https://dermae.com/collections/vitamin-c or you can find them at Sprouts , Ulta , Target and WholeFoods.  

 

The Beauty Benefits of Becoming a Vegan!

The Beauty Benefits of Becoming a Vegan! 

Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. These are my personal results of becoming vegan. 

Have you ever wondered what would change if you completely cut out processed foods? I had always imagined the amazing physical benefits of being one of those “healthy girls”, but I never thought I could do it. However, one day I realized that I was the only thing stopping me from becoming who I had always wanted to be. After doing some research, I started to follow a Vegan diet, or in better terms, a Whole Foods Plant Based diet. This means that I do not eat processed foods, and I meet my nutritional needs by focusing on natural, minimally-processed plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, and legumes. Becoming vegan not only transformed me physically, but mentally. 

  1. Becoming Vegan Healed My Relationship With Food! I have always struggled with my weight. Before going vegan, I had tried every diet under the sun! All of the calorie counting and restriction left me feeling like my body was failing me. However, I had managed to lose a good amount of weight when I did an online program my senior year of high school. Though the program worked, It was not sustainable for me; I was focused on calories and portion sizes rather than the nutritional value of my food. After being diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder this year, I was put on a medication that altered my weight, and I gained everything back. My anxiety was gone, but so was my confidence. One day, I came upon the movie Game Changers on Netflix. The movie showed people healing miraculously by going on a Vegan diet. I had nothing to lose, and felt like if these people in the documentary could heal physically and mentally from a Plant Based Diet, so could I! After only 3 weeks on a Vegan Diet, I felt amazing, I did not have to count calories, and I could eat big portions of vegetables, beans, legumes, and fruits. I began to love eating again instead of fearing it. I was losing weight, but I did not even care about that anymore. Eating a Plant Based Diet allowed me to trust and nourish my body again. I currently feel free from diet culture, and the most confident I have ever felt in my life. 
  2. My Hair and Nails Grew and Became Healthier! After adopting a plant based lifestyle, my hair and nails began to thrive! Vegetables and fruits are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that can boost hair and nail growth. For example, cucumbers and radishes contain silica which is a mineral that promotes strength in your nails and hair. Plant based fat sources such as avocado, chia seeds, kale, and almonds also help hair growth and strength. Before becoming vegan, my hair and nails always had breakage. Now, with the increase of essential vitamins and minerals like iron, vitamin E, and calcium, my hair is the longest it has ever been, and acrylic nails are a distant memory.
  3. My Skin Flourished! Becoming vegan helped me realize the impact that dieting has on our skin. I had never struggled with acne, but my skin was always textured and dull. In order to meet my nutritional needs, my vegan diet requires me to consume a lot of vegetables and fruits. Plant based foods are loaded with antioxidants which can help your skin flourish. After becoming vegan, I have a brighter complexion and less texture. In addition, my occasional breakouts became non-existent. Following a whole foods plant based diet has positively affected my skin, and in turn, I feel much more confident rocking my bare face! 

By replacing meat and dairy with plant sources, I have seen huge improvements in the health of my body and my mind. If you want to cut inflammation and heal trust in your body, I would highly recommend giving it a try! 

Advice Column #2: BS by B.S.

Welcome back to BS by B.S.! This week is all about becoming exclusive, red flags, and dealing with hate. Keep reading to find out more.

How do you have the let’s be exclusive talk?

Ugh, the dreaded DTR: defining the relationship. How do you know if the time is right? How do you even bring it up? My thing with “the talk” is that often times we put it off until it’s too late. Our pride stops us from asking the hard question because we’re scared of rejection.  The “let’s be exclusive” talk is the first major step in any relationship. If you’re considering having this conversation, that probably means you’ve come to a point with someone and you’re ready to take the next step.

The first thing you need to do is consider what kind of relationship you have with this person. Are you a starter or a bench player? Let me explain. Every person in the dating game, whether they know it or not, has their own lineup. Your line up consists of all the people you are talking to, seeing, flirting with, or hanging out with. Your line up is broken up into two groups. First, you have your starters. These are the people that usually come to mind first. They’re the people you hang out with often, text frequently, and maybe if you’re feeling crazy, facetime. Then, you then have your bench. These are the people you keep on the back burner, but you still keep them around just in case. You may Snapchat them sporadically, and texting will usually occur every once in a while, or consistently after midnight. Before you ask the person you’re seeing if they want to be exclusive, think about whether you start the game, or if you only play in the fourth quarter when your team is up by 30 points. Once you do the mental math and conclude that you’re their starter, my best advice is to do it in person. Sending a text message that says, “Hey, be my boyfriend,” can come off harsh. 

What you want to do is find a moment where there’s a gap in the conversation. Bring up a funny memory the two of you share or recall something the two of you have done together. This gives you some foundation for the big question because now you have brought up something you’ve done together. From there, the first question can be posed, “Are you seeing anyone else?” Then, he or she will give you their answer. The secret is their answer doesn’t really matter, because they will usually follow by reciprocating the question.  Since you are the one wanting to be exclusive, I’ll assume your reply will, “Actually, I’m only talking to you.” Here’s where the magic happens. Your next step is to pose the question in a nonthreatening way and almost blow it off. Exhibit A: “I really like what we have going on, we have so much fun. I’m not really into titles at least at the moment, let’s just keep doing what we’re doing, you know, just with each other.” Of course, the opportunity for rejection is there, but you’ve just set yourself up for a slam dunk. Whether they’re seeing other people, it now doesn’t matter now because you were vulnerable and put yourself out there. More often then not, the other person will let their guard down because you did first. If your gut is right about the connection, and it usually is, they will be more comfortable with “exclusive noncommittal,” as opposed to “let’s date.” As things go on, then you can talk about titles, but for now, continue to enjoy getting to know each other.

What is your opinion on red flags? How many should I look past before I call it quits?

Red flags are different for everyone, so it’s important to keep in mind that your partner may have a habit that you identify as a red flag, but for him or her, it’s just who they are. I think it’s never right to change someone. You should love your partner for who they are, but also sometimes two people just aren’t compatible. With that being said, I like to keep in mind a three-strike rule when it comes to red flags. The first time there is an issue, give them a chance to explain themselves. Maybe they had a bad day at work or fought with a friend. Take a mental note, but move forward. You don’t want to be too rash in ending your relationship. If it happens again, it needs to be a much longer conversation. It has to be made clear that certain behavior won’t be tolerated, and if it continues, there will be serious repercussions. This is where most people stop the conversation, and I’m here to tell you, you’re not done yet. Following the agreement to stop the particular action, there needs to be some kind of resolution. By just saying sorry and moving on a second time, the root of the real problem is being dismissed, and the issue will most likely continue. You need to work with your partner on how you can avoid this issue again. For example, let’s say when you and your boyfriend are in a fight, he has a tendency to raise his voice. For him, it’s a learned pattern and he may not even notice that he progressively gets louder as the two of you disagree. Maybe you come to the resolution that when things get heated, he steps away for an hour before the two of you continue the conversation. Maybe you have a word you say during the discussion to remind him of the bad habit. Whatever it is, there needs to be a plan of action that you both agree on. If the red flag occurs a third time, then it’s time to reevaluate your relationship. You need to identify what your needs and boundaries are, and if they’re being met. Everyone has a different tolerance for red flags and it’s important you identify your breaking point. As I said before, trust your gut. Sure, an old dog can learn new tricks, but you have to decide if the dog is willing to learn them.

How do you deal with people not liking you?

I learned very early that not everyone will like you. I, in particular, am a very polarizing person. People either think I’m super funny and a great friend, or they think I’m annoying and over the top. I don’t often find people that are indifferent about me, so I’ve experienced my fair share of people disliking me. What might shock you is most people are polarizing in one way or another. Everyone will always have an opinion. Even if you’re the nicest person in the world, there will always be someone in the woodworks calling you a name or discrediting something you’ve accomplished. It’s easy to get caught up in the negativity and start to question your own self-worth. What we so often forget, is for that one person tearing us down, there are ten more lifting us up. The older I’ve become, the more I understand that opinions are not yours to change. It’s easy to lose who we truly are because we’re trying to appease people that don’t actually matter. The best way to deal with someone who doesn’t like you is to just not deal with them at all. It is not your job to make people like you. It is not your responsibility to cater to someone else’s standards. Love the people around you, take pride in your accomplishments, and never let someone make your feel lesser than what you truly are: Amazing.

And that’s on not taking any BS!

P.S, B.S.

HOW TO GET STARTED ON RUNNING A SMALL BUSINESS:

HOW TO GET STARTED ON RUNNING A SMALL BUSINESS:

Disclaimer: I am by no means a professional, and honestly please take my words with a grain of salt! These are just things that I have found to help me learn through my own process.

One of the most important things to do is get comfortable with your product, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Once I started to build up a bit of a clientele, my business started to spread by word of mouth. I decided to make a separate business page for my jewelry on Instagram! I also use Twitter (my handle is @jenneyyxd) because I think it’s easier to increase engagement based on my experiences.

As my business really started to take off, I decided to make a website. I currently use Bigcartel, which I have found is a very user friendly domain. I pay $10 a month to list 50 items on my site at a time, and it also keeps track of all my inventory and sales. Additionally, all of the profits that I make go directly to me! 

I like to announce my website updates a week in advance. I also find that engaging directly with my clientele makes everything more fun and exciting for all of us involved. I like to ask what items people liked, or what they’d like to see restocked, etc. 

My business is built on the foundation of me being able to make beautiful pieces that allow my clients to feel most like themselves. No matter how my business manifests, I always try to remind myself of why I do what I do. Remembering to stay true to myself and my business visions is what I find helps me the most. If you’re planning on starting a small business, I hope that my experiences may have helped you at least a bit! 

9 Books for Reclaiming Your Power

Recommended by Jalyn Cox 


  1. Radical Acceptance
    by Tara Brach: “Believing that something is wrong with us is a deep and tenacious suffering. This suffering emerges in crippling self-judgements and conflicts in our relationships, in addictions and perfectionism, in loneliness and overwork— all the forces that keep our lives constricted and unfulfilled.” I have recommended this illuminating book to so many people because it seriously had an amazing impact on me. Brach is a psychiatrist who implements meditation within her therapy practices. This book helped me not only realize, but break down and work on a lot of my own toxic thought patterns. Each chapter tackles a topic and ends with a guided meditation that can be found on her website. In all honesty, when I first began reading the book, I ignored the meditations of the first half of the book. Once I began to grasp the concepts from the reading, I began to give the meditations a try; I’ve been meditating daily ever since.
  1. Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by Adrienne Maree Brown: “Inspired by Octavia Butler’s explorations of our human relationship to change, Emergent Strategy is radical, self-help, society-help, and planet-help designed to shape the futures we want to live. Change is constant. The world is in a continual state of flux. It is a stream of ever-mutating, emergent patterns.” Adrienne Maree Brown is hands down my favorite author of today. This book helps put in perspective the world in which we live in. It also teaches us how to live in a way that helps us grow, change and evolve to a better collective and loving future. 
  1. Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation by Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams, Lama Rod Ownes, with Jasmine Syedullah, PhD: “With national attention focused on the recent killings of unarmed Black citizens and the response of the Black-centered liberation groups such as Black Lives Matter, Radical Dharma demonstrates how social transformation and personal, spiritual liberation must be articulated and inextricably linked.” This book is written by three incredibly brilliant individuals who offer their own experiences as queer, Black dharma paractioers and teachers. They question how teachings transcended color, class, and sexual orientation, and how they have been hindered by discrimintation and the dynamics of power, shame, and ignorance. Their three different perspectives contribute to the conversation about healing, social justice, and liberation. This book is beautifully written, and it weaves multiple perspectives and conversations together.
  1. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine: “You take in things you don’t want all the time. The second you hear or see some ordinary moment, all its intended targets, all the meanings behind the retreating seconds, as far as you are able to see, come into focus. Hold up, did you just hear, did you just say, did you just see, did you just do that? Then the voice in your head silently tells you to take your foot off your throat because just getting along shouldn’t be an ambition.” Claudia Rankine, where do I begin? This book is incredible, and I was fortunate enough to see Rankine’s play, The White Card, which “organically grew” from Citizen. This book opens a conversation about the collective portrait of racial relations within the U.S. 
  1. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay: “A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.” Roxane Gay is just an incredibly powerful author that just made me feel valid. Her book is filled with essays commenting on feminism and culture today.
  1. Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler: “When global climate change and economic crisis leads to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day.” I just couldn’t make a book list without adding our QUEEN, Octavia Butler. She is the first African American woman to gain popularity and critical acclaim as a science fiction writer! This book is all too relevant now seeing she wrote this book in 1993 about 2020, but it holds so many topics worth discussion. Along with Butler’s other books, this inspired many of the books on this reading list. 
  1. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “I would like to ask that we begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: we must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently…” Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie is both an amazing speaker and author. Within her feminist manifesto, she creates a modified version of her TEDx talk that focused on Africa and the danger of a single story. This book discusses how feminism, the word and the idea, are both limited by stereotypes.  
  1. Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by Adrienne Maree Brown: “How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience? How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than fulfilling life?” I love Adrienne Maree Brown so much, I had to add two of her books to this list. If you are thinking about this book, and you need a little more of a push to read it, check out Man Repeller’s article about it! 
  1. You Were Born For This by Chani Nicholas: “Your weekly horoscope is merely one crumb of astrology’s cake.” In her first book, Nicholas shows how your birth chart— a snapshot of the sky at the moment you took your first breath— reveals your unique talents, challenges, and opportunities. Fortified with this knowledge, you can live out the life you were born. Marrying the historic traditions of astrology with a modern approach, this book explains the key components of your birth chart in an easy-to-use manner. Nicholas takes each reader on an adventure to discover their own chart and the deeper meaning behind it. I have always been super interested in astrology, but I always felt a disconnect behind the why and how; how do you even read your Costar chart? This book teaches you how to read your own chart, and then takes you on a journey to learn more about yourself!

Let’s Feel GOOD

Let’s FEEL GOOD

By: Zeiana Andrade

I’ve struggled so much with self confidence and feeling good about myself for years. I’ve come to realize taking better care of my body and my stress is what helps me the most. It can be hard to maintain self care during quarantine, so here are some things you can do to help you feel like a better version of yourself!

  1. Get some sun! The weather has been getting warmer, so I’ve been trying my best to sit outside and eat my breakfast or just read a book. Getting sun has made me feel so much better on long and boring days.
  2. You are what you eat. I’ve been vegan for over 2 years now, and it’s one of the best decisions that I’ve made. I feel such a difference in the way my body feels. Putting good food in my body makes me feel like I have tons of energy and keeps me motivated. Going vegan isn’t easy for everyone. To gradually introduce veganism, some people I know eat at least one vegan meal a day, or even switch out some of their favorite foods for healthier alternatives. I recommend cutting dairy from your diet first, and trying almond milk or oat milk as an alternative.
  3. Get some exercise. I’ve been one to always avoid exercising and being fit. It can take a lot of time to get the motivation, but even 15 minutes a day will make you feel super refreshed.
  4. Make a schedule. If you plan out your day with specific times dedicated to meals, exercising, watching your favorite show, etc., you will get so much more done. You will feel super accomplished by the end of the day. 
  5. Clean! Cleaning the space you’re in will make you feel so much better. It can be easy to live in a mess of a room or a house when you’re feeling down. I like to schedule a day once a week where I clean my room and other areas of my apartment. After cleaning, I recommend getting an oil diffuser because that air will hit differently once you’re in a clean space.
  6. Use good products! I like to use products that make my skin and hair feel good. Having healthy hair and skin makes me feel like a better version of myself. Some great brands for skin are The Ordinary, CeraVe and any natural oils! For my curly hair, I use Shea moisture hair masks once a week and Carol’s Daughter shampoo and conditioner.

P.S. Treat yo self!

Love Yourself Pt. 1

I wrote this poem for every girl who feels stuck in their body, which many of us have most likely experienced. Dancing, swaying, and jumping around my room to my favorite songs is my go-to way of feeling instantly invincible. I wanted to take this action and meld it into a weapon against the negativity we all face in ourselves. When we zone in on the insecurities we have, it can start to feel like an uphill battle. For some of us, convincing ourselves that we are worth it can feel like a daily chore. I just want you to know: you deserve to be happy. 

I wanted to instill the feeling of almost being buried that comes from the weight of self-hate and nitpicking. Despite the consistent challenges we face every day, we continue to climb. When I say to “climb your hips no matter how jagged or soft”, I bring to life one of the main insecurities. No matter what shape or size you are, being satisfied with how you see your body can feel impossible. I harness this difficult reality in the line, “it will hurt so bad”. It is imperative that we fight these feelings and continue to climb and dance our way out of fear. This is essentially a fight against yourself, and only you can conquer your doubts. This poem is meant to remind us that we are in fact made of the stars, and we are just as amazing as they are. 

Always love yourself. Always dance HARD.

Love,

Sofeeyah

My Daily Skincare Routine

By: Emma Cox

Miss Corona has changed a lot in all of our lives, including our academic and creative endeavours. Up until March, I was working on a photography project examining beauty through makeup, and I was using models and shooting on location. Once the quarantine came into effect in Boston, one of the cities that was hit hard the earliest, I had to pivot. I changed my entire project to self portraiture and began doing those makeup looks on myself. I really enjoyed the challenge of this project but it isn’t something that I would have ever done if I hadn’t been pushed to by isolation. But as much as I love makeup, between shooting and wearing a mask every time I leave the house my skin has been needing some extra love. 

I have had acne problems throughout highschool and college, I am no stranger to just about every method in the book. I have been to dermatologists, spent hours in drugstore skincare aisles, and even visited facialists and what I have learned is that what works for someone might not work for the next person. I have combination skin and used to have cystic acne that I eventually conquered with prescription solutions. Although eventually, it did clear up I still have some scarring left behind.

This is my skin care routine, it’s what works for me and it took me a long time to get here. 

  1. Makeup Remover

For this step I generally use Micellar Water for my eyes and if my makeup is super caked on I use alcohol free makeup wipes. (It is important to use alcohol free wipes, otherwise your skin can get dried out and irritated)

  1. Face Wash

I use CereVe Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily skin, this was recommended to me by my dermatologist. It also has niacinamide which helps reduce redness, always a plus!

  1. Toner

I use Glossier’s The Solution. This is my front line against my acne scars and remaining breakouts. It has a bunch of skincare acids including salicylic acid that encourage cell turnover and help my face heal. This doesn’t work for everybody and can be too intense for those with sensitive skin.

  1. Moisturizer

Again, I use CerVe here! It is just an all around gentle brand that is fragrance free and decently priced. For daytime, I use their AM Facial Moisturizer with SPF 30 (super important to wear spf everyday, your face is some of your most sensitive skin). For night time, I use their PM facial moisturizing lotion super lightweight.

  1. Spot Treatment

I use the ever so popular Mario Bedescu drying lotion. There’s a reason for the hype! I’ve been using this stuff for years and can swear by it. 

  1. Bonus: Face Scrub

I use Acure Sea Kelp and French Green Clay Brightening Facial Scrub, a vegan face scrub. I only use this once or twice a week in the shower! It is important not to use a facial scrub as your main face wash, it can microtear your skin and do more harm than good. Using it a few times a week though, can help you clear out dead skin and pigmentation. 

This is my skincare routine! I am not a skincare expert but this is what works for me. 

Stephanie’s Quaranreads

Stephanie’s Quaranreads

As a kid, I could never stop reading. I would binge read Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Nicholas Sparks novels, or basically any young adult fiction novel I could find. Any trip to the bookstore was the sweetest treat. For the past few years, reading for fun didn’t seem feasible. However, this past summer I spent my free time in a bubbly independent book store near Soho in New York City called McNally Jackson. They hosted poetry readings and book signings, with the greatest assortment of books from international best-sellers to niche topics such as dissecting screenplays. Walking through the teetering bookshelves there reminded me that there is never a limit on learning something new or embarking on an adventure, even now from your couch in quarantine. 

For many of us, our world has been operating at a slower pace. While for some, this period is a blissful reprieve, I often find myself itching for something to do to stay productive. Although it is easy for me to dwell on the many activities and friends that I’m missing, I have been looking at this time as a unique opportunity for self-improvement, and reading is my medium of choice. 

With summer here, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve been reading (or the books on my list), and ideas to keep learning for all those that are interested!

Books:

  1. The Library Book by Susan Orlean: This book may seem as boring as a library, but similarly, there are bountiful riches beneath the surface. Orlean, a journalist and author, investigates the tragic 1986 Los Angeles Public Library fire, thought to be the work of an arsonist. As she investigates, Orlean weaves in the history of the institutions of libraries, book burning, and what it means to be a librarian. Especially during this time, it’s been interesting to read about how the institution of a library has adapted to meet community needs during crises: from the gold rush and the Great Depression to world wars. This book is warm and personal, never forcefully shoving information at you, and a book I’ve been recommending to all my friends, especially those that were book-loving children. 
  2. The Deep State: Trump, the FBI, and the Rule of Law by James B. Stewart: If you’re confused about the political events that occurred during and following the 2016 election, I highly recommend this book. Stewart gives a fairly objective look at the Clinton email investigation and subsequent Russia investigation, incorporating the accounts of former FBI Director James Comey, former deputy director Andrew McCabe, and other central figures during this time. At the center of Stewart’s reporting is the question of if the Deep State exists, and whether it is plotting the take down of outsider president Donald Trump. With many competing political forces at work, this book gives insight into the complex power dynamics, negotiations, and values at work in the nation’s capital. 
  3. Garden City by John Mark Comer: This book was highly recommended by many of my friends, and I’ve just started it. Comer, a pastor at Bridgetown Church in Portland, explores the biblical basis for work. As someone that struggles to balance work and rest, I’m excited to read this book and reflect on the greater purpose God created for work, especially entering the job market in the near future. 
  4. Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino: This book is a collection of nine essays from Tolentino, a current staff writer at The New Yorker. An excerpt from the book’s description reads, “In each essay, Tolentino writes about a cultural prism: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the advent of scamming as the definitive millennial ethos; the literary heroine’s journey from brave to blank to bitter; the punitive dream of optimization, which insists that everything, including our bodies should become more efficient and beautiful until we die.” I am excited to read Tolentino’s essays, and take a hard look at the ways I, and my generation, have interacted with and subscribed to many of these narratives. 
  5. White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue… and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation by Lauren Michele Jackson: This book is on my list because it addresses many of the issues that should be talked about in fashion and other creative industries, and more importantly, an area I am not familiar with. According to the book’s description, “American culture loves blackness. From music and fashion to activism and language, black culture constantly achieves worldwide influence. Yet, when it comes to who is allowed to thrive from black hipness, the pioneers are usually left behind as black aesthetics are converted into mainstream success—and white profit.” I’m excited to read this book and be challenged while doing it. 

Magazines:

  1. FORM Magazine: FORM is the magazine I am a part of at Duke University, and it is our undergraduate arts and lifestyle publication, with a mission to be a space for ideas, culture, and aesthetics. Our latest volume, XXIV, was released online and features interviews with Howardena Pindell, the first black woman to curate at the MoMA; textile artist Sofia Salazar; and Victor Vines, the founder of Raleigh architecture firm, Vines Architecture.  
  2. Cereal Magazine: Support independent magazines! This independent magazine is based in Bath, England and has some of the most visually beautiful images and thoughtful pieces of writing. For those interested in the arts, design, and photography, I highly recommend checking out their online work, and if possible, their print magazine.