The quarter life crisis is the new midlife crisis, and when I had to tell someone I was a rising junior in college the other day, it hit me—I’m getting old. I mean, I’m not actually getting old, but at this end of this year I’m going to turn twenty (?!?!), and for me, one of the largest consequences of that is that I will no longer have teenage skin. Now, some people might be glad to leave behind the pimples and drama usually associated with the teenage years, but for me, I’ve always had pretty good skin without having to do much. I blame this mostly on the fact that I have pretty dry skin, so there weren’t any oils on my face to break me out. While that sounds really great, dry skin lacks that natural preservation that leads to the black-don’t-crack phenomena that has people constantly asking my mother if she’s my sister. When I was younger, that was no big deal to me. But now, the compliment towards her feels more like a threat to my youthfulness, and I’ve decided to start taking my skincare more seriously. However, I don’t really have taking my skincare more seriously money, so it’s taken a little trial and error to find products that do the job without breaking the bank. While I go on this skincare journey, I decided I should share my successes with y’all.Read More
Michaela: We all know that right now (or anytime, really) isn’t a great time to be an American. While everyone is a fan of parades and cookouts, especially in the South, we here at 2BG aren’t fans of the nationalism and pride in the atrocities America has committed in the past and continues to perpetuate today. This has led us to make a list of things we did want to celebrate today, in the spirit of firing up the grill and spending time with friends (after all, you’re never too woke for a good hotdog).Read More
One of the beautiful things about working at a black-arts non-profit is that I get to see incredible work and learn about incredible artists every time I clock in—artists like Shawn Theodore, one of Philly’s best (and most beloved) street photographers.Read More
I once saw this meme equating natural hair to a disrespectful child—you feed it, grow it, and take care of it with your hard-earned money, and still it has the unmitigated gall to have you out here looking stupid on a constant basis. Personally, that constant basis has gotten to be enough, considering it’s been six long years since my big chop.Read More
I think of summer as my time for financial, spiritual, and emotional recovery from the school year, and a large part of this recovery involves catching up on all the media I’ve missed. With the slower pace of the season, I’m reading a lot more, and will probably review some of the books I’ve enjoyed soon. Before we get to this, though, I’m sharing what I’ve missed in terms of television.Read More
It’s fairly likely that by now, you, your mother, and your church’s mother are hooked on Greenleaf. It’s one of the shows my entire family watches, and it’s an informal way of keeping us all together. Being part of a first family myself (albeit of a thankfully smaller congregation), much of the show hits home in ways that I’m still unpacking. After a million conversations about what the show gets right and wrong, I think it’s about time to address the latter.Read More
So, as all you GRITS know, the February meeting of the Black Coalition just occurred. It was a great meeting, and though it started twenty minutes late, we got a lot done. There are a lot of minutes to go over, but I think it’s important that we get the big and controversial topic out of the way. This month’s meeting was focused on what the Black Coalition would be willing to accept in exchange for Black History Month. While we all know that Black History Month is truly invaluable, we also know we are tired of hearing white people (and other non-black people of color, to be honest) complain that we’re the only ones having all the fun, and we might as well see what we could get out of a deal. It was a long and arduous process, but we’ve narrowed the list down to five things we’d accept in place of Black History Month.
We don’t want to give y’all too much homework all this month, but we’re also committed to not exploring the same old same old with black Southern history. As you could imagine, this commitment often requires outside sources. This week, we’re actually encouraging you to leave our blog (who would’ve thought), open your podcast app of choice, and download the second-to-most recent episode of Gravy.
I didn’t grow up listening to Stevie Wonder or Marvin Gaye. My mama was raised in the church, and so was I, so most of my early musical memories are religious in nature. I can probably identify the sample of any gospel song in the background of your favorite rap battle, and recently, a friend texted me to find “an upbeat gospel song the mother of the church sings while washing greens,” and I was able to provide her with Be Ready When He Comes Again, and I think it fits pretty well. All the music I listened to (pre-Kanye West) all had a great effect on my understanding of my blackness and my history. I viewed music religiously, as the thing that differentiated my loud and interactive church services from the short and contemplative sermons I heard in my private school chapel. But I also viewed music as something political, and that’s probably due to Sweet Honey in the Rock.Read More
Harambe! What’s good? What’s really good? Happy Black History Month Y’all! We’ve come out of our South Carolina focused month to transition into the best (and shortest) month of the year, and we here at 2BG are excited to celebrate our first February with y’all. As the Negro National Anthem reminds us, our history has been a bit dark and difficult (you know, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered and all), so we decided to start off the month with a lighthearted post that will get you in the mood to celebrate our heritage and culture together.Read More
We at 2BG know how hard it is to be a black girl these days. Between facing violence, sexual assault, and general criticism from our communities, it’s amazing we’ve been able to accomplish so much and look good doing it. In celebration of our achievements, black girls have gathered around some of the things that make us so special—our creativity, intelligence, and in general, our #BlackGirlMagic.Read More
By this point in the week, we’re sure you’ve all heard that there’s finally something to be celebrated in U.S. gun control legislation. The Obama administration’s recent executive order has provided a much-needed step forward in limiting gun access and (hopefully) reducing gun violence. While many of my friends were understandably excited about these new developments, I personally felt a bit less convinced that they would put black GRITS out of harm’s way.Read More
I rarely look back fondly on the 50’s and 60’s. Historically, our people were not having a great time (you have to go way back and to a different continent to find a period to be nostalgic about). But there are things that we would be remiss to forget—the stories told and created, the lives lived, and the music made. This sound, largely comprised of soul and R&B, is having a real mainstream renaissance—supposedly being led by voices like Adele, Sam Smith, and Amy Winehouse, with occasional interjections from The Weekend and Lianne La Havas. This new soul movement (not to be confused with neo-soul) has a particular face, and that face isn’t really Leon Bridges’, but maybe it should be.Read More
Evelyn From the Internets is hands down my favorite youtuber, and if you haven't heard of her, you've honestly been missing out. Best known for her playful hair tutorials, Evelyn is a self described "storyteller," with a natural ability to make me laugh my tail off and a rather average life for a twenty something. Her channel has shifted from a platform for natural hair exploration to a treasure trove for 'magical black girls,' with comedy, diys, vlogs, reviews of black girl beauty brands (#BGBB) and general depictions of what it means to be a black millennial in the south. She's also the co-creator of Austin While Black.Read More