Weekend Reads #124

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How to Help

Our communities are being inundated with painful stories and images of Black people targeted, harassed, arrested, and killed by police and racist vigilantes. As Black people all across the country grapple with the aftermath of an unprecedented global pandemic, somehow Black people also have to figure how to stay alive while jogging, buying groceries, and yes — even while sleeping.

Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. As a national online force driven by 1.7 million members, Color of Change moves decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Color of Change leads campaigns that build real power for Black communities. This organization challenges injustice, holds corporate and political leaders accountable, commissions game-changing research on systems of inequality, and advances solutions for racial justice that can transform our world. History teaches us that people-powered movements are critical to transforming our communities. Wardrobe Oxygen made a donation to Color of Change this week.

“We know there’s a lot of uncertainty in the world around how to move forward, given that pleas for justice and for change in this system mostly have not been met. We’re going to have to continue the fight, to organize ourselves, to find ways to make change. I think a lot this is going to happen at the local level, but of course there’s an election coming up as well. This should motivate people to make sure that our voices are heard. For Black people, it’s about showing up and showing our power. As an organization, our aim is to build power for Black communities,” says Scott Roberts, Senior Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns for Color of Change per this interview on theGrio.

A donation was also made to the Louisville Bail Project.

Weekend Reads

We want more justice for Breonna Taylor than the system that killed her can deliver. (Essence)

The political power of Asian American voters in 2020. (Zora for Medium)

He fought wildfires while imprisoned. California reported him to ICE for deportation. (The Guardian)

How to track your ballot like a UPS package. (Washington Post)

‘I Hope That We Are on the Cusp of an Awakening.’ Isabel Wilkerson, best-selling author of the new book Caste, in conversation with the groundbreaking playwright Lynn Nottage. (Glamour)

My friend Carletta was wearing a sweatshirt from Dressed in Joy that was so cool, I went to visit the brand's site and now am obsessed and want half the collection. Next paycheck… 

The end of the booming mask industry is near. (Maker for Medium)

Weeks before lockdown, I made a whirlwind tour of Istanbul’s public baths. It was a crash course in pleasure that helped me understand what we’ve lost since. (New York Times Magazine)

I've mentioned in many Weekend Reads how much I am enjoying watching the HBO show, Lovecraft Country. One big reason is Jurnee Smollett, who is phenomenal in the role of Leti.  I really enjoyed this interview with her. (Vogue)

Thick thighs really do save lives. (The Times)

In the Wardrobe Oxygen community, we were discussing cruelty-free mascaras that aren't pricey and are effective. Desiring the same thing I ordered a tube of this $4.99 mascara and it arrived Thursday night. I of COURSE had to try it yesterday! So far I like it. No flaking or raccoon eyes, not as volumizing as Thrive Causemetics (my go-to mascara) but more of a day look. My eyes are a bit itchy, can't tell if it's the mascara or having the windows open. I'll do a full review after I've tried it more and put it up to some situations (crying, shower, exercise, removal, that kind of thing). 

BTS fans are donating to public radio stations. (Washingtonian)

73 questions (most that were dumb) with Lizzo (who killed it with the responses). (Vogue)

Maybe you're a rock climber, maybe you like chic jewelry that is also tongue in cheek. Maybe you're me, and you would really dig these elegant carabiner earrings (never expected to see those words together did you?). And if you like silver jewelry, NIKAO has you covered

In random things I never considered… astronaut influencers. (Space.com)

Are you aging correctly? (The Cut)

How to deal with a friendship ‘quiet season'. (New York Times)

Uncle Ben's will now be known as Ben's Original. (NPR)

How to have an actually enjoyable staycation. (Vice)

I seriously can't think of anything more stylish to wear this season than this shirt.  If you like the idea but don't think the shirt fits with the rest of your wardrobe, consider trying this on insteadThis is another stylish choice

And thank you to Elizabeth who sent this my way: Find yourself a tailor. It's not fancy, it's freeing. (New York Times)


This was a tough week, one where I consumed television like I've consumed the options at a 7-Eleven at 2 am in 2002. I watched The Real Housewives of New York reunion showS and I don't even watch this series. However, I do watch the Real Housewives of Potomac (how can you resist when it's filmed like 20 miles from when you live?) and also caught up on the season. I watched Tosh.0 and The Masked Singer. And I watched press conferences and more than one news channel. It wasn't pretty, but I doubt I am alone in wanting to be numbed for a moment. I watched The Emmy's and think they did a damn good job for a virtual awards show. 

I did watch the latest episode of Lovecraft Country and am still incredibly obsessed with this show.  

I also am on my second episode of the podcast, Nice White Parents. I don't have many opportunities in the day to listen to podcasts; I've started doing it when putting on makeup for shoots and video calls.  This serial is easy to consume in bites and as someone who left her neighborhood school in 5th grade to attend a magnet in a primarily Black neighborhood a half-hour away with parents who were very active in the school system and the new school's PTA, I find this series especially interesting.  

For Your Entertainment

Thank you to Big Brother, the YouTube algorithm that sent me KAMAUU. I heard of KAMAUU before, but not this song, and I was transfixed by the video and in love with the lyrics. Enjoy.

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. This feels like sitting with a friend over coffee and discussing all that is going on in life and the world. Thank you for it.
    This past week felt surreal and scary indeed.
    Here is to a better one ahead.

  2. Alison, thanks as always for your wide-ranging and informative round-up. I wanted to let you and your readers know that if they are concerned about the coming election, one thing I’ve been doing is volunteering to text-bank with https://www.fieldteam6.org/ to help register Democrats in battleground states. I am a phone introvert so this seemed less initimidating to me. Prior to your 2 hour session you are trained in their platforms, you have access to voter information for various regions and there is a live Slack session going on where you can touch base with moderators on the fly on any issue or questions. I’ve texted 500 Florida college students–a lot get ignored (totally fine!), several are already registered and planning on voting for Biden/Harris and some are voting for our current president. If they ask us to stop texting we remove them from our lists. It’s all done via your computer and takes about 2.5 hours including a 30 minute training session. I have been very encouraged by the kindness I’ve seen and aside from one raunchy proposition that made me laugh our loud, most people have been pretty polite, too. We are all told to be very polite no matter what! 🙂 Field Team 6 text banks Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in case anyone wants to volunteer. 🙂

  3. I absolutely agree about everything you have written about the issues facing Black Americans. But I’d like to make you and your readers aware of what is facing Native Americans. Right now the COVID rate among the Navajo is higher than what happened in New York and New Jersey in the spring. Health care workers are trying to help people without access to running water, electricity or nearby food supplies. The federal Indian Health Services is totally inadequate, and for several months Doctors without Borders operated their first domestic health program in the US in the Navajo nation. Because they are rural and isolated this has received little media coverage, but it is a human rights crisis that deserves attention.

  4. DId you know that Essence has a new tubing mascara? I think it’s called Bye Bye Panda Eyes. Thrive is a tubing mascara too, i think, so maybe they would be a more direct comparison! 🙂

  5. Alison, I love your roundups and everything you do on this site. Just wanted to send you a note of appreciation—the articles you find are always relevant and interesting, your reviews are completely reliable and your writing is fun to read. Thanks to you, I discovered my HG mascara, which wasn’t Thrive—I like a very natural look, and after trying Glossier (almost perfect but flaked on bottom lashes) and Boots (too much for me) I ended up with DHC. Your descriptions were so thorough that they helped me decide which ones to try. Can’t wait to read your review of Essence! And did you know they have a tubing mascara too? It’s called Bye Bye Panda Eyes—terrible name but if it works for $4.99 I’m in. Thanks for all the wonderful work!

  6. Real Housewives of Potomac is so good this season!!! I am obsessed with that show and I had never even heard of Potomac before watching season 1 a few years ago.

  7. Loved the NYT article on tailors. When I lived in Va Beach, our local Talbots referred customers to a nearby tailor, a woman who was a genius at taking off-the-rack clothing and fitting it to your body. As a tall person, I was amazed by the way she could lengthen pants that didn’t appear lengthen-able, and let out darts over bustlines so blouses and jackets fit better. At the time, it seemed ridiculous to buy a new item of clothing and then have it changed before I even wore it, but those were the best fitting, longest lasting items in my closet.

    On the flip side, the DC tailor who operates out of the first floor of my apartment building ruined several great items with her very poor sewing skills. No guarantees! Proceed with caution!

    1. What a great tip!

      I have a couple of pairs of pants & jeans that need hemming. I was thinking of just going to a tailor close by. But I have a Talbots close by too. Now I know where to get a recommendation.

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