Your favorite podcast is coming back with new episodes starting January 7. In the meantime, we wanted to continue our annual tradition of sharing some of our favorite inspirational quotes of the year. Here we go!
- When you vibrate on the level of the thing that you want the only thing that can happen is that you will get it. It’s not philosophy, it’s physics. -Richard Lawson
- To be rendered powerless does not destroy your humanity. Your resilience is your humanity. To yield and not break–that is incredible strength. -Hannah Gadsby
- Self-destructive behaviors are useful to a writing career only in the movies. In actual experience I’ve never known a manuscript to be moved forward by a reckless affair, drinking binge, or tangle with the law. -Barbara Kingsolver
- You have to be happy in your regular life otherwise you’ll never survive the journey toward a goal. -Retta
- Clutter is not just the stuff on your floor—it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living. -Peter Walsh
- Art is not a hobby. Art is not extra. Art is the fabric by which we build bridges, by which we learn, by which we challenge our beliefs. -Ann-Carol Pence
- The idea that you must be perfect in order to be good is an obstacle to being the best version of yourself. -Jay Smooth
- What one person calls a flood another person calls a baptism. -John Gray
- People might say I couldn’t sing, but they’ll never say I didn’t sing. -Florence Foster Jenkins
- This beautiful amazing thing called life can take you through hell and back. But, I have seen the lights at the end of so many tunnels that my soul is full to the brim. -Jenifer Lewis
You’re off of work and out of school with more time than you know what to do with. Now that’s joy to the world. Before you press play on whatever cable or streaming service you subscribe to, we thought we’d share some of our favorite shows from this year. Here’s what we’re watching:
Ashlee Haze recommends
- Netflix: On My Block “It’s a look into the lives, the layered experiences, of black and Latinx youth in Brentwood. It’s funny, clever and dramatic.”
- Starz: Vida “It’s like the Latin Queen Sugar— dramatic and heart-wrenching, but also witty. I love seeing more Latinx stories in the media that are not just about crossing the border. It places them in the American Dream.”
- TNT: Claws “There’s a character named Uncle Daddy. There are few reasons not to watch.”
- OWN: Queen Sugar “It’s wonderful amazing. It offers a layered look at black masculinity, black love, sibling relationships. It hits all of the intersections. It’s such good drama.”
- Netflix: Salt Fat Acid Heat “If you like a good cooking show, know that this is not your average cooking show. It helps you understand the mechanics of those factors and how they play into the food you eat every single day.”
- AmazonPrime: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel “As a former Gilmore Girls fan, the Palladinos (the creators of the show) just get me. This show is so well-written and brilliantly acted. It’ll surely sweep the awards again.”
- Netflix: Cable Girls “This is a program from Netflix in Espana and it’s about female telephone operators in the 1920s and it is full of murder, sex, lies and scandal. The cast is beautiful and the fashion is to die for. Do yourself a favor and sink in.”
- HBO: Big Little Lies “All you have to do is say Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman and you’ve got me. This is show is more white woman than a Lifetime movie and I enjoy every minute of it.”
- NBC: Good Girls “It’s like Weeds but less weird and more funny. I can’t wait for next season.”
- CBS: God Friended Me “CBS went into its vault and updated the storyline and technology of its 90s hit Early Edition for this show. I was happy to see Branden Michael Hall land here after ABC canceled The Mayor. This show is heart-warming, smart and introspective.”
We’re always quoting our favorite books in episodes, so we decided to make a list of books we recommend giving as gifts. We’ve all got enough Fenty Beauty and gift cards to stores we’ll never see the inside of. Give something that’s going to enrich the soul and open up the imagination. Nothing does that like a good book. Here’s a list:
- Unbasic recommends: Becoming by Michelle Obama “All we have to say is that it’s not what you think.”
- Haze’s pick: This is Just My Face by Gabourey Sidibe “It’s a good commentary on being plus-size and in the entertainment industry, plus it’s a raw story. She’s been through a lot and come out on the other side.”
- Kelundra’s pick: The Mother of Black Hollywood by Jenifer Lewis “What I love about this book is that it’s as much a history of Black Broadway as it is about Lewis’ life and journey from troubled “gypsy” to “becoming the sun.” I highly recommend the audio version for dramatic effect.”
- Unbasic recommends: Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver “Because of this quote from her book Animal Dreams: ‘The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.’ “
- Haze’s pick: This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz “I picked up this book because of a title– it’s written by a guy and it seemed accountable to me. For him to be a man of color writing about love,
- Kelundra’s pick: The 12 Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis “I read this book a couple of years ago and it was the first time I read a book and immediately started adapting it into a screenplay in my head.”
- Unbasic recommends: Calling in the One by Katherine Woodward Thomas “Book your therapy appointment before you start reading. This book will change you.”
- Haze’s pick: All About Love by bell hooks “It is a good book to define what love looks like through the lens of the African American experience. She delves into the murky waters of defining masculinity, femininity and how fear often shapes relationships. When I finished the book, I was still hopeful that love exists and I am capable of manifesting it.”
- Kelundra’s pick: The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey “As a Super Soul Sunday fan, I was thrilled when by bestie gifted me this book last year. It the daily affirmation we all need and the stunning photography makes it a great coffee table book.”
- Unbasic recommends: Wild Beauty by Ntzoke Shange “In honor of a legend, how could we not?”
- Haze’s pick: Insert Boy by Danez Smith “His poetry is profound, living at the intersection of black, queer and male. He puts intention into his work. He does not hold back when it comes to bravery in his commentary about the state of Black American and the treatment of African Americans in this country.”
- Kelundra’s pick: The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson “My love affair with Dickinson started when I was a freshman in high school and my teacher assigned us to read “The Soul Selects Her Own Society.” From there, I dove into her poetry and was so enamored by the beauty in the language and the connection she had to all things. Plus, there’s humor– you can’t read ‘I heard a fly buzz in my ear when I died’ and not smirk.”
We’re back with another installment in the Unleashed series where we talk all about creative careers and entrepreneurship. Blossom digital network co-founder Diamonde Williamson joins us to talk about taking a leap of faith and starting a content platform for women of color. Diamonde worked as a production assistant for USA, VH1, and OWN television networks before anchoring in Atlanta where she worked at Georgia Tech and started building Blossom. Now, with more than 10,000 subscribers, she is building a media empire that has representation as its foundation.
We know you’re going to love what you hear, so checkout her workshop for women entrepreneurs, and follow Diamonde and Blossom on social media.
We’re saying the words left unsaid about defining love, creating connection, and leaning into vulnerability. We’ve invited spoken word poet Harlem’s Own Lyric and her best friend Bridgette DePay to join us for a two-part girl talk episode where we discuss dating and relationships.
Home buyer education expert Tawny Powell joins us for this episode where we’re saying the words left unsaid about the realities of home ownership, how to prepare to purchase a home, and leveraging real estate investment to build wealth in communities of color. Tawny is a team member at Committed To Communities where she helps people with financial readiness for long-term goal-setting. Hear her personal stories of home ownership and real estate investment as well as her three tips for everyone preparing to purchase a home.
We know after you listen to this episode, you’re going to want more Tawny, so we’ve included her links below:
For this episode, we called on writer, poet, spiritual seeker and black women’s advocate, Pam Iverson, to help us examine perceptions of womanhood and tradition, how to form healthy relationships and the journey to being a complete person. Take a listen and share with us how you set boundaries and what loving relationships look like for you.
To kickoff season three, we’re saying the words left unsaid about the culture of shame and judgement that is bred by social media. Over the past 90 days we’ve been told to cancel Kanye West, Childish Gambino, Fabolous, R. Kelly, Bill Cosby, Starbucks, Waffle House, and the list goes on and on. But, what’s with this culture of disposability and cancellation? Why are we expected not to show each other mercy for our public blunders? And, what happens when someone’s bad behavior crosses out boundaries in a way that is not worthy of our continuing to engage with them. Take this journey through shaking shame and judgment with us, while setting healthy boundaries and articulating reconciliation. It’s time to get unjudged.
Resources for getting unjudged
- A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman
- All About Love by bell hooks
- Black Privilege by Charlamagne tha God
- Calling in the One by Katherine Woodward Thomas
- Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
- The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey
Videos and podcasts
“Mercy is like a mirror. I think mercy is what you give to others with the hope that it will come back to you. It’s what you give to people who don’t deserve it. It’s what you give to people who haven’t asked for it. It’s what you give and it will come back.” -Bryan Stevenson
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt
My rights, my wrongs; I write ’til I’m right with God/Wouldn’t you know/We been hurt, been down before/Nigga, when our pride was low/Lookin’ at the world like, “Where do we go?”/Nigga, and we hate po-po/Wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho’/Nigga, I’m at the preacher’s door/My knees gettin’ weak, and my gun might blow/But we gon’ be alright/Nigga, we gon’ be alright/Nigga, we gon’ be alright/We gon’ be alright/Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright -Kendrick Lamar
The year of our Lord 2017 has been a trying one for many, namely because like the Book of Luke told us would happen, the hearts of men have been unearthed. It seems like every commentator, reporter, and pundit has been peddling existential dread and the energy in the air, even during the holidays, seems heavier and thicker than normal. However, no hater can block a blessing and no bigot can impede upon a purpose. Joy always shows up and achievement is simply a result of trying. So, we decided to do an unranked roundup of 20 awesome unapologetically black achievements of 2017. This is by no means a complete list and we invite you to share more by commenting on this post or via Twitter @unbasicpodcast. Here we go!
- Moonlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture
- Beyonce, Janet, Rihanna, Solange, Zendaya, Yara, and Amandala, just GP
- Seven cities elected their first Black mayors: Cairo, GA, Georgetown, SC, Helena, MT, Milledgeville, GA, St. Paul, MN, and Statesboro, GA
- Two cities elected their first black female mayors– Charlotte, NC and Framingham, MS
- Get Out and Girls Trip were two of the highest grossing movies of the year, both with Black directors.
- Cardi B became the first Black female rapper to have three singles in the Billboard Top 10 at the same time and have a single with no features go triple platinum
- Tiffany Haddish became the first Black woman stand-up comedian to host Saturday Night Live
- Neil deGrasse Tyson made science cool with his New York Times bestseller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (which has been on the list 34 weeks and counting)
- There were more television shows with African American leads than ever before: Blackish, The Mayor, Scandal, How To Get Away with Murder, Claws, Insecure, Snowfall, Queen Sugar, Greenleaf, and The Carmichael Show
- Rihanna’s make-up line Fenty Beauty shook the cosmetics industry with over $70 million in earned media value in less than six months
- 2Chainz turned the concept of a trap house on its head and created a place of community, cultural exchange. and understanding by painting a home in midtown Atlanta pink and staging it as a “trap house.”
- Jay Z’s album 4:44
- The “Moonlight” music video/Friends spoof that came out as a result of 4:44
- Black women in Alabama saved the Democratic party
- Keisha Lance Bottoms continued the legacy of Black mayors in Atlanta
- NFL players took a knee proving that football has a remarkable impact on public opinion (and Papa John’s Pizza)
- A black investment group purchased a park in Memphis, TN and has vowed to remove the Confederate statues in that park.
- Meghan Markle found her prince
- Dr. Carla Hayden completed her first year as the first woman and the first African American as Librarian of Congress.
- Andrea Jenkins became the first openly trans black woman to be elected to public office, taking her seat on the Minneapolis City Council. YAAASSSS!
“You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.
And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
is not easily done.”
In the latest episode, Unstuck, we’re saying the words left unsaid about getting unsaid about getting out of a slump in career, familial relationships, friendships, and romantic relationships. We dig into how to set healthy boundaries, letting go of fear and making bold moves to live your best life. Listen and let us know your thoughts on Twitter @unbasicpodcast.