Design

Have a Safe Weekend.

black lives matter mural washington D.C.

What are you up to this weekend? Sesame Street is airing a 60-minute special called “Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism” on Saturday at 10 a.m., and we’ll be watching that with our boys. Have a good weekend — take care of yourselves — and here are a few links from around the web…

A Black Lives Matter mural was painted on the street leading up to the White House.

A cartoon about systemic racism.

Black parents talk to their children about how to talk to the police.

Great new stamps.

Would love to visit these Black-owned restaurants around the country.

12 documentaries about racism and police brutality. We started 13th last night, and it’s so well done.

Ella Jones was elected the first black mayor of Ferguson, Missouri.

A colorful home in Jersey City.

21 Black-authored cookbooks to add to your shelf.

Plus, a reader comment:

Says Eleanor on five Instagram accounts to follow: “Please please please, if you are able, COMPENSATE THESE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS FOR THEIR WORK. Educating other (mostly white) people about anti-racism is LABOR and should be PAID as such. If any accounts that you follow have linked PayPal, Venmo, or other payment platforms available, consider giving what you can if you are consuming the resources they are providing you for free.”

(Photo by Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser.)

  1. Maya says...

    Thank you Cup of Jo team for leaning into this important topic, being in the arena and not being afraid to join so many on this journey of learning and seeing.

  2. Abesha1 says...

    CoJ,

    On this post, I had a weird pic/ad pop up on my screen of a scary-looking white dude smoking a cigarette… and then it disappeared.
    I know you’ve recently asked people to tell you about the ads that are problematic.

    Thanks- you can delete this comment after you read it.

  3. jane says...

    Of course there are so many excellent documentaries surfacing now but this one is essential for everyone particularly if you have children!!

    A Class Divided (full film) | FRONTLINE:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mcCLm_LwpE&feature=emb_title

    I went on a deep dive watching every related video and interview about the amazing Jane Elliot. How could the US Dept of Edu have missed this huge key??

    Here are two other video’s featuring her project:

    How Racist Are You? – Jane Elliott’s Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nqv9k3jbtYU

    brown eye blue eye, Jane Elliott
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPZEJHJPwIw

  4. Claire says...

    Great resources. thank you for all the work you are putting into this.
    I would like to recommend Krista Tippett’s On Being interview with Resmaa Menakem, “Notice the Rage, Notice the Silence”. I’ve never heard anybody else talk about racial trauma this way and I found it profound.

    • Ivy says...

      Agreed! I am looking forward to reading his book.
      I’ve passed it along to my boyfriend and friends :)

  5. L says...

    Through all of this, I think it’s important to look at all sides. Someone sent me the YouTube video below and I was not expecting it. This shouldn’t change your plans for inclusivity, education, support, etc. It’s just another perspective to share — whether you agree or not, it’s still thought provoking.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-2N2w4d0N0w&feature=youtu.be

    • Sasha L says...

      There are lists, all over the internet, of what’s been accomplished. Google it.

      About sides. I heard someone respond to the idea that “all this is just creating divisiveness, stop dividing us…….”. Dividing us how? Into the righteous and the complacent? The racists and the anti racists? Into those that believe in justice and those that don’t? These seem like very good divisions to me. Unlike the president, I do not believe there are good people on both sides.

    • Abesha1 says...

      Any time someone tells me to look at “all sides” of racial injustice, I’m out. And I notice, you didn’t say what the video was actually about.

    • Jean Livingston says...

      This was eye opening. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Krystal Graybeal says...

    Again, just saying it is great to see COJ using its platform for the greater good. Resource sharing is a wonderful first step, and I can’t wait to see what steps / action items COJ staff are taking. One tangible way to bring your readers into the action would be hiring a trained POC facilitator to lead a reading group on something like White Fragility. Keep up the good work!

    • Mollie Whalen says...

      I second the idea of a book club! However, rather than choose White Fragility which is written by a white author, I would recomend Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad or How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi. ❤️

  7. Ansley Clark says...

    Thanks for being the best, always listening and doing the research, and standing up for justice, Cup of Jo. <3

  8. Emma says...

    I typically only ever read comments on Cup of Jo (as opposed to other blogs) because I always get new insights and information. This is no exception. The point about the DC mural and art washing is something I may never have come to know had it not been for these comments. So thank you everyone that pointed that out. Again proving the comments are always worthwhile on CoJ. ❤️

  9. Agnès says...

    Just watched “13th”, it is powerful. Every body must watch it! 25% of the people incarcerated, in the world, are in the USA. It’s very interesting to understand that there is a business going on around jails. Also, that the vast majority of accused people accept a deal instead of a trial. That was so eye-opening. Thank you for the reference.

  10. KP says...

    Saw 13th come up on my Netflix yesterday, will have to watch!

  11. Abbey says...

    Your content this week has been really bolstering to see, and really thoughtful. Please keep it up! Also, the donation-matching you did was so inspiring I decided to do that with my friends and family. We donated $2000 to black-led organizations supporting black communities in 3 days. And it doesn’t stop here.

  12. Naseem says...

    Joanna and team, thank you so much for all that you’ve done this past week to show solidarity and also educate yourselves and your readers. I’m one of your black readers, and this place is such a haven on the internet.

    This has been such a hard few weeks. And seeing the unrest has given me hope, but it’s also all so triggering. My boyfriend (a beautiful black man) has had insomnia, and I’ve been struggling to eat. We both see therapists for the race related weight we carry, so we are fortunate enough to be taken care of. But my gosh, this has just been so much harder than we thought it would be. We’ve been staying inside because we don’t feel safe outside, ordering our groceries in, sewing a lot (we are working on a clothing line together), and loving each other lots.

    Thank you for being a big voice in advocating on our behalf. You’re doing your best and I can see it.

    It means a lot.

    • kgeo says...

      Let us know about your clothing line!

  13. Denise says...

    I listened to an interview with DeRay McKesson this week, and want to share his platform #8cantwait from Campaign Zero, which researches ways to end police brutality: https://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision. And thank you everyone for your comments. I hadn’t thought about the mural in that way.

  14. Colleen says...

    I also want to highly recommend the documentary “Say Her Name” The Life and Death of Sandra Bland. Tragic, so frightening and so unbelievably wrong what happened to her, her family and loved ones and all POC and their interactions with our justice system or better said lack of a justice system.

  15. Kate says...

    I appreciate you using your platform for this.

    I do also hope in sharing that comment, CoJ has been paying for their Instagram education.

  16. CS says...

    Well done on providing a week’s focus on such an important issue.

  17. Christine says...

    I appreciate that you have long lifted up the voices of people of color. I recommend you take a look at the thoughtful commentary of my friend, the artist Jen Hewett, who has had a large and faithful Instagram following for some years. She saw an uptick in followers over the past couple weeks, and has some nuanced, complex thoughts about why it makes her uneasy to be on the receiving end of “positive” social activism through Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/CBDxxv_JJwh/

    • Carrie Chan says...

      Thank you for sharing this, Christine. I’ve read Jen’s message three times now and appreciate her sharing her thoughts and experience. I am also left feeling a little confused.

      I have been blindly using IG’s explore page to find new artists, and recently realized/learned that it has led to a very non-diverse (read: white) list. So, I went on a mission to start to diversify that list, starting by looking for Black artists whose art I connect with. And as a result, have become one of those people that Jen talks about, sharing some of the new artists to my followers in hope that others who might also want follow more diverse artists, could do their own searching too.

      My understanding is that many Black artists, as a result of being underrepresented, have a hard time getting their work known and seen (according to posts from Black artists I have read as well as a conversation I had recently with a Black artist friend). Jen seems to indicate the opposite.

      What am I missing? I genuinely thought that sharing these new voices could help collectively amplify the work of Black artists in our everyday lives moving forward in a positive way, but maybe I am very wrong about how I am approaching this.

  18. Laura says...

    I just appreciate this blog so much. Thank you for embracing these really heartbreaking times with so much care.

  19. Charlotte says...

    In regards to cookbooks: I LOVE “Vegan Soul Kitchen” by Bryant Terry and had been waiting for “Vegetable Kingdom” to be released, I’m excited that it’s now available! Terry’s recipes are delicious and unique and his writing style is so comforting. On top of that, he’s just an all around awesome human being who is an active advocate for food justice and sustainability. I highly recommend!

  20. This Beautiful Mural reminds me of “The Floating Piers” by Christo & Jean Claude. The bold yellow color, over-sized scale and clear destination. And also the message. “Like all our projects,The Floating Piers was absolutely free and open to the public,” said Christo. “There were no tickets, no openings, no reservations and no owners.The Floating Piers were an extension of the street and belonged to everyone.” (From their website)
    I’ve written about it in my latest post: https://www.brokendesign.com/post/black-lives-matter
    Art is a powerful way to convey a message!

  21. Melissa says...

    The systemic racism video is helpful, but limited. It could lead one to believe that education spending alone is the solution when, for example in Georgia, per pupil spending is not correlated to test scores. Instead, we must start to think about whole neighborhoods being the unit of change. Neighborhoods are the very places where the racists policies and other public and private actions of the last 100+ years have resulted in concentrations of poverty, disinvestment, and sources of toxic stress that affect the developing brains of young children (yes, all this racism shows up in the genetic expression of children). (For an exhaustive list of these policies, see Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law.) Long-term affordability must be preserved (and there are ways to do this), but if you change the conditions in a neighborhood, you can change the life trajectory for the children who are born into it.

    • Melissa says...

      I forgot to add – there are amazing, transformative efforts to do just this going on around the country right now. One model is at http://www.purposebuiltcommunities.org. There are others.

    • katie says...

      Absolutely this!

      Over the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about the inequity that persists across urban areas from work my company is doing. It ranges from food access to streetlights to to air quality and everything in between. Did you know asthma rates are higher in poorer neighborhoods? So is rat density. First and last mile is also a real issue in poorer neighborhoods. Streets and sanitation, parks, the lists goes on.

      Local governments have to divert funds from the nice cocoon of rich, mostly white neighborhoods and invest in poorer neighborhoods.

      What’s happening this week is not enough, the protests and the one time donations. Do the work. Be uncomfortable. Real change is needed. Be an advocate.

    • Leah says...

      Melissa,
      Thank you for sharing. Pouring into communities and reinventing/revitalizing neighborhoods (ESPECIALLY in the inner-city) is necessary. I will be checking this out!

    • Leah says...

      Oops — please disregard “reinventing”!

  22. Omaya says...

    Furthering the annotation on the “13th” documentary: the film’s value has more to do with its content on social inequities perpetuated by the American prison system rather than its production value. Also, it’s directed by Ava DuVernay, a critically acclaimed, Black, female director. Let’s make sure we check to see who is producing the information we are hungrily digesting in this space!

    Cup of Jo, thank you choosing to disseminate this information.

  23. b says...

    This is a great roundup! I hope we hear more from other BIPOC voices in the coming weeks. It would be wonderful to see Ashley Ford around these parts again, but also to hear from other new voices.

  24. Emma says...

    Thanks so much, Joanna. You have such a warm, caring, open tone when talking about really difficult issues. It’s something I try to emulate and think (at least, hope!) I’m getting a bit better at over time, through years of reading your blog.

    • Anna says...

      Agreed:) she’s an amazing writer and a true ally

  25. Catherine says...

    My family lives in the suburbs outside Austin, and a small group of teenagers and young adults started a peaceful protest at the entrance to our neighborhood Sunday evening. It grew from one person, to four, to dozens, to over a hundred. Each night at 6 pm, neighbors meet to hold up signs as people drive by. It’s been incredibly moving and I’m grateful that my family is able to participate in some small way. The plan is to continue as long at the nation-wide protests do.

  26. allison says...

    Agreed Natalie. I get that it can be confusing for people. Sometimes something as seemingly innocuous there is more than meets the eye for some. The DC chapter of BLM posted this statement on their twitter regarding it:

    “This is a performative distraction from real policy changes. Bowser has consistently been on the wrong side of BLMDC history. This is to appease white liberals while ignoring our demands. Black Lives Matter means defund the police. ”

    source: https://twitter.com/DMVBlackLives/status/1268903712581464066?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1268903712581464066&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nbcnews.com%2Fpolitics%2Fpolitics-news%2Fd-c-mayor-bowser-has-black-lives-matter-painted-street-n1225746

  27. Natalie says...

    There is another take on the BLM mural in DC. From Erik Martínez Resly: “This is ‘artwashing.’ Typically, we use that term to describe the manipulation of art to advance gentrification and displacement. Here, art is being instrumentalized by the city to distract us from Mayor Bowser’s persistent actions that directly harm Black communities and protest. In the words of our local Black organizers, she has ‘consistently been on the wrong side of BLMDC history.'”

    • Kristen says...

      Yes to this. While I love having this message rubbed in Trump’s face, without policy action, this is just another empty symbol from our mayor.

    • Marie says...

      As a DC resident I want so much to like this. But as @DMVBlackLives (the DC chapter of BLM) noted on twitter: “ This is performative and a distraction from her active counter organizing to our demands to decrease the police budget and invest in the community. Black Lives Matter means Defund the police.“ [The “her” being DC Mayer Muriel Bowser]

    • b says...

      Thank you for sharing the term artwashing, Natalie. I’ve never heard it before, but will make an effort to read about it.

    • Omaya says...

      Important. Time we critically consider if any action goes far enough. This stunt is meaningless if protester’s police reformation demands are not heeded. Let’s push Bowser further rather than stop at applauding her for this.

    • Ellen says...

      Another DC resident chiming in to days thank you for commenting about this. If no one had then I would’ve. The painting is a powerful symbol, but I agree I think it’s just a PR stunt after a really messy week from Bowser, not to mention the proposed $18.5 MILLION increase to the Metropolitan Police Dept. the DC City Council will be voting on soon. While the rest of the country thinks this is an act of defiance from a local leader, many of us are over Mayor Bowser’s stunts.

    • Abbey says...

      Thanks for sharing this, Natalie.

    • Magdalena says...

      Strong agree on the criticism of the BLM mural as artwashing! Thanks to those who posted about it here in the comments.

    • Dorothy says...

      It’s a symbolic gesture, I get it. But symbols are important too. If they weren’t , we wouldn’t be so thrilled to see Confederate statues being taken down. We wouldn’t be so moved at the sight of thousands of protesters taking a knee. I’m a DC resident who is not a huge fan of Bowser but she has my full support for THIS particular act because it’s a powerful one, especially in a city which is currently occupied by hundreds of troops. A city where Trump only got FOUR PERCENT of the POPULAR vote. Am I still going to hold her accountable for promises given but not delivered, especially to people of color in a rapidly gentrifying city? Absolutely. But I’m so tired of being told why I shouldn’t appreciate a particular gesture or symbol because it doesn’t go far enough. Of course it doesn’t. No ONE act can accomplish everything we need right now. We should be using all of the tools in our belt- art, symbolism, policy, advocacy- in order to effect real, systemic change.

    • Christina says...

      Totally agree with Marie and Natalie, as a DC resident.

    • Meg says...

      Yes! We keep seeing performance art and symbols. Murals going up, statues coming down. Congresspeople taking a knee and wearing Kente cloths. All of this is well-meaning theatrics if the laws, public policy, policing, etc. etc. don’t change.
      “Look over here!” to distract us from noticing that they aren’t actually changing anything… in the hope that people get tired or find something new to concern ourselves with in a few weeks.
      So, good reminder to stay focused, rest up, stay hydrated and keep at it.

  28. Agnès says...

    Your posts are serious, thoughtful and strong. Thank you, you are hope. You ve become quite a reference in my world.

  29. Lena says...

    Great roundup!