I took a step back from writing my newsletter last week as I muted my Instagram account in order to reshare content from Black creators and black author books. It didn’t seem right to write a newsletter in my own words, so I decided to use the time to research and educate myself. This week’s newsletter will feature Black-owned brands and Black author books.
I feel like I’ve been pretty good at having a diverse bookshelf (not amazing or perfect by any means, but I definitely have a lot of books written by BIPOC.) but I’ve been pretty lackluster in terms of buying from Black-owned businesses. In fact, I can’t think of a time where I made a conscious effort to buy from a Black brand. But I’ve been doing a lot of research this past week and found some amazing ones which I love, and I can’t wait to buy from them.
I hope all is well wherever you are and I look forward to hearing about your week.
What I’ve Been up to This Week
I’ve been taking on a lot of information this past couple of weeks. And to be honest, I’m exhausted. I think we all are. But it’s important work to be doing.
I think what happened is that I took on too much information at once because my brain went “OMG I haven’t done enough before and now I feel guilty so I have to do as much as I can right now to make up for it.” Which isn’t feasible in the long run, it will lead to burn out.
So this week I’ve given myself a pep talk to slow it down. Because anti-racism and being more inclusive is life long work, and I’ll be no use if I’ve burnt myself out leaving my brain unable to take on more information. Now, for me anyway, It’s about showing up when the community needs us to and quietly educating ourselves in the background.
So these couple of weeks have been about education. I’ve been signing petitions, following Black creators and businesses, listening to what they have to say, paying educators for their time, and ordering books for my reading list. I’m currently working my way through Me and White Supremacy and while it’s been challenging, it’s a real eye-opener and I encourage you all to read it and do the journaling. Because anti-racism has to start from within us.
Oh the new website is all up and running now so you can take a peek.
Here are some articles I wrote this week.
How was your week?
This one is a bit strange and I’m not sure where it’s come from, but recently with my edits, I’ve been applying colour overlays over them in Photoshop to amplify and saturate the colours a little more in a way that lightroom can’t.
Basically what I did is complete my edit in Lightroom, then open up the image in Photoshop. I then create a new layer, choose a colour I want (It’s usually pink as this adds a rosy look to the photos) and use the paint bucket tool on the new layer. I then turn the opacity of the layer right down to about 10-15%.
I then usually take the eraser and erase the colour from my face and any part of my skin showing so I don’t look like my skin is super pink. I used this technique on my most recent post (the photo of me holding on the phone against the green wall) and it added a pretty rosey dreamy feel to it. I also used it on my pink milk bath photo and my bubblegum photo. To me, it just sort of adds a finishing touch to my photos.
Bee Good: A Brand that is Doing Good Things
This week I’m going to spotlight a UK fashion brand called Nyla Rei. The brand is owned by Vanessa all of the pieces are manufactured ethically in the UK in limited runs on a made to order basis. And of course, they are plastic-free!
The fabrics used are sourced locally, biodegradable, and use industry offcuts or deadstock. On their site at the time of writing this, they have some great loungewear pieces for the summer (and considering we’re all in lockdown, I suspect that most of the things we’re wearing are comfy loungewear!)
The Hot List: What I’ve Been Loving This Week and Black Author Books
I absolutely adore everything from this store. I could pick a product at random and still be obsessed with it! I love the silhouettes of her pieces and the timeless, chic look that they all have.
This top literally gives me goosebumps. The colour is absolutely gorgeous and the sleeves are just stunning. I can imagine wearing this all the time in the colder months, as it would go with everything I own for A/W season.
I love how the Aff and Jam brand is all about reworking older pieces and every piece is hand printed themselves. I’m obsessed with their designs and would wear everything in their collections.
I’m having a bit of an earrings moment right now, and pretty much have my eye on every single piece from Foaki. They’re affordable, stylish and gold which I love.
I LOVE clay earrings and the colours on these are absolutely gorgeous! I only really have hoop earrings, so I’m excited to get more dangle, statement earrings.
Black Author Books
Here are some black author books that you might like.
Me and White Supremacy:
This is such an amazing way to start your anti-racism journey as it requires you to journal and really look inside yourself. It’s a 28 day challenge but you can work through it at a pace that suits you.
Girl, Woman, Other
This has rave reviews from everyone in my online community and I’m super excited to read it. It’s been on my list for a super long time, but I decided to fast track it because of all the positive reviews.
Superior: The Return of Race Science
This is my next non-fiction educational book to read after I’ve finished Me and White Supremacy. It sounds incredibly interesting and I’m looking forward to further educating myself about the science behind racism.
The Vanishing Half
I was very kindly sent this book from the publisher, and I’m really looking forward to reading it. The premise sounds really interesting, as well as Brit’s other book, The Mothers. Can we also just appreciate the cover art!?
The Good Immigrant
Whilst the things that happen in America are awful, Britain is often regarded as being ‘so much better and more forward-thinking’ when it’s clear that it isn’t necessarily the case. I’m excited to read and listen to the stories of minority groups living in the UK to find out what it’s actually like for them, not what the media wants us to think.
Opposite of Always
Admittedly, I’ve had this on my bookshelf for a while and haven’t given it much attention. But I’ve always heard really great reviews from this one so I’m super excited to give it a try.
There you have it! I think we (and when I say we I’m talking to all you fellow white people) can all agree that it’s been a pretty transformative couple of weeks for us, and personally, I’m excited to see where the future goes. I’m feeling pretty good about it.
If you know any other black author books that you like please let me know.