Recommentunde: Wakanda Forever | 1 Sep 2020
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The Recommentunde Newsletter
Sent on 1 September 2020 Edition
Hi you, It’s me.
I had to delay my mourning of Chadwick Boseman. I tried to mourn, and I found myself all cried out, all saddened out, with nothing left. I’m still mourning Breonna and Ahmaud and George and Trayvon and Emmitt. I’ve been mourning in America for quite some time now, and so I just had to compartmentalize my heart to be able to keep moving forward in the world without this beautiful human in it.
I saw Black Panther at least three times in the theatre and several more on the screens Apple made me pay for. It felt so good to see the diversity of Black skin and Black thought on display, rendered so respectfully. I joked (but not really) that I would happily play the small role of a Wakandan janitor in the sequel should the opportunity arise.
I did not know Chadwick Boseman, but I could sense his power and his grounding. What I’ve learned about how he lived with colon cancer proved to me he may actually have been the Black Panther (or as Forest Whitaker’s version of Zuri would say, “The Bleck Penther”).
Colon cancer is the disease that took my mother at only 65 years old. For it to take someone I felt like I knew, a mere one year older than my own 42, well that was just too much in the same week as Kenosha and the fascist festival that occurred under the banner of “Republican National Convention.” We are in a pandemic losing real heroes and also losing fictional heroes played by real heroes. It’s a lot.
A friend of mine shared this quote from T’Challa that helped me regain my bearings:
“We will work to be an example of how we as brothers and sisters on this earth should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.”
Our tribe is suffering right now. Some people are benefitting while they rob the great many of life, liberty, happiness, and more. We must look after one another. These are hard times, and they will get harder. These are ugly times, and they will get uglier. These are dark times, and they will get darker.
Let’s try to remember that we are beautiful and bright and filled with life. We are brilliant and brave and bursting with love. We have what we need to make the world we deserve. So, let’s make it. And when we can, when we need, let’s pause to mourn our losses. Rest in power, Chadwick.
And now, for your regularly-scheduled content.
I did a most-unfiltered Live On Lockdown last week. Here's an 8-minute clip celebrating a child in my neighborhood who helped me stomach the RNC. You can watch it on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
Join the next How To Citizen taping with chef José Andrés
I was stunned to open Apple Podcasts and see our show at the very top of the home page! It feels great to be part of something special, and I'd love you to join. Join our conversation, and bring your questions to chef José Andrés about food, community resilience, and more this Thursday September 3rd at 9am PT / Noon ET.
Campaign Ad Featuring Trump’s Violent America
Video on Twitter
It’s a remarkable feat by the current president to promise violence, mayhem, death, and chaos under a President Biden when that’s what we have under President Trump. By now we know he simply projects his worst attributes onto others. This Biden for President ad does a good job of painting the true picture.
Meet Germany’s Bizarre Anti-Lockdown Protesters
Opinion in The New York Times
We’re not alone in the U.S. Europe has its conspiracy theorists and truth-deniers, and they like to rally too. The difference is, not everyone has a gun.
Read Ryan Coogler’s moving tribute to Chadwick Boseman
Article in the Los Angeles Times
It seems like even director Ryan Coogler didn’t know of Boseman’s cancer. Check out this beautiful letter Coogler wrote about this real-life superhero.
How the DNC beat RNC ratings by putting COVID safety first
Article in the Los Angeles Times
If the Democratic Party can do for America what it did for the conventions, we have a chance. Those ingredients: throw out the old playbook; center the stories of actual Americans, not party officials; put women in prominent leadership positions; and boost the Wi-Fi. Bonus link: Facebook post of the DNC director’s home setup.
Auburn University’s first Black student Harold Franklin gets master’s degree at 86
Article in The Washington Post
Standout part of this article to me is how Auburn literally built a statue to this man to “celebrate” his integration of their racist-ass institution but never acknowledged they ran him off of campus in the first place. We have a lot of re-writing history to do.
NYC IS DEAD FOREVER. HERE’S WHY
Wildly provocative article on LinkedIn
This article has been making the rounds, and yes the headline is extremist garbage. Forever is a long time and beyond most predictive skills. But in the piece is a worthy catalog of challenges faced by NYC and any major city. I’m surprised the owner of a physical comedy club thinks Zoom comedy shows are a solid replacement, but for a more constructive and dare I say inspiring take built from the same facts, see this piece in the NY Post. Yes, I’m linking to the NY Post: No, New York City isn’t ‘dead forever’ — here’s why. Also Jerry Seinfeld offers a fine last word on this matter.
I Hope This Email Finds You Well
Actually useful article in The New York Times
This is a useful article. We have all been forced to pretend email is normal, and that perfunctory inquisitions of health can precede requests for signatures on a Docusign. This article helps.
Article by my friend Gil in That Damn Optimist
I didn’t know how much I needed to read this article until I did. It’s so well-researched and takes me back to a time when ringtones were a thing! Need a break from race wars and failed states? Enjoy this read for a few minutes.
Chadwick Boseman Tribute to Denzel Washington
Chadwick Boseman was able to attend acting school in the UK because of the generosity of Denzel Washington, and he got a chance to thank and honor him while he still lived.
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Peace and Love.