Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Scrapping my original plan in favor of amplifying Black voices

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Friends.

It may seem like this newsletter’s coming in a day late, but I’d like to think it’s right on time.

As we honor one of the most beloved civil rights leaders in American history, I feel more drawn to his calls for justice, action, and respect for my fellow humans than ever before.

Not only because we’re grasping for hope (at least I am!), but because I remembered that Martin Luther King, Jr. improvised the most memorable parts of his famed “I Have a Dream” speech.

Full disclosure - last night, I wrote a different piece that I intended to share.

But, as I was finishing up, we had a minor emergency at home. Sam, our 125-pound, anti-social guard dog, had an unfortunate encounter with a porcupine. This was the second time Sam was quilled and the fourth time for our fur-family overall. That didn’t make it any less stressful.

Instead of forcing myself to push out a newsletter on a schedule I created myself and have already deviated from more than once, I decided to put my laptop away and focus on more pressing matters.

Then, I had a dream last night.

I woke up thinking about how the iconic mantra “I have a dream” wasn’t included in MLK’s prepared speech. It came from his heart. When abandoned the writing on the page, his message rang out loud and clear to reverberate throughout history.

So, today I’m ditching the notes and speaking from my heart.

But my heart’s telling me that the most powerful voices on racism and injustice are not my own, and it’s not up to me to repeat their words.

Instead, my heart is asking you to spend the time you would’ve devoted to this newsletter and read or listen to Black voices.

Here are a few of my personal favorites:

  1. Monique Melton’s Shine Brighter Together podcast has a two-part episode on anti-racism I recommend starting with

  2. The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor - This is the second time I’m mentioning this book and it won’t be the last! SRT has taught me so much about radical self-love and opened my eyes to the generations of discrimination that contribute to modern-day body shaming. I’m sure I’ll re-read it at least thrice. I’m also excited to see there’s a revised and expanded second edition coming out!

  3. And, if you haven’t already, 13TH, a film by Ava DuVernay, available on Netflix. Watching a great movie on Netflix is the very least you can do to educate yourself on racism in our country.

Please reply to this email, or leave a public comment, to share more Black voices you love.

Thanks a million! I love you!

xoxoxo

Lauren