A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? How was your week?

We are starting to feel the wind down of the school year. Oscar and Betty finish next Friday the 26th, and Flora June’s last day of school is the 30th. The government has been phasing a return to school over the last several weeks, and part of that included keeping classrooms half full, but for the last week of school, all the students will return and they’ll have their usual class size.

In related news, borders have started reopening among European countries, and for the first time, we are starting to think about our summer travel plans. As we started planning, we’ve concluded we should try to keep our travel within France’s borders — we’ve read there are some countries where American passports are not welcome because Covid-19 is not under control in the States. And we don’t want to risk booking plane tickets to somewhere like Greece and then not being allowed in the country.

What’s summer travel looking like where you live? Are things opening up? Do you feel safe to travel? Would you prefer to stay close to home this summer?

Ready for the link list? Here are a few things I’ve wanted to share with you:

-It’s Juneteenth! An important day I was not taught about in school at all. Here is a small history of the day, by Henry Louis Gates.

-Did you hear about #BlackoutBestSellerList? The idea is for all who are able to to buy two books written by Black authors anytime this week (which means through Saturday), with the goal of “blacking out” the NYT bestseller list.

-I love this idea so much, so I decided to host an Instagram giveaway for books by Black authors. Twelve winners get to choose the books they want. You can check it out here (sorry, its Instagram-only, and you have until tonight, Friday at midnight PST, to enter).

-Related: The black women who launched the original anti-racist reading list.

-Also related, the history of Black women’s activism and organizing in the U.S..

-Need some armchair travel? The World’s Biggest Collection of Vintage Airline Posters.

Rubber bullets are still bullets. Researchers examined injuries from 1990 to 2017 and found that over 71% of all injuries from rubber bullets and similar projectiles were severe.

From the archive of The Atlantic, 163 years of writing on race and racism in America, including pieces from writers like Frederick Douglass, Julia Ward Howe, and Martin Luther King Jr.

-Some good news: good news. Dexamethasone, a cheap corticosteroid, greatly reduced death rates for people on respiratory support—35% for ventilator, 20% for O2—in a randomized trial. The first drug to improve survival.

-Six eBay Executives And Employees Charged With Sending Threats, Bloody Pig Mask To Natick Couple. This story is so bizarre.

-What was the best summer job you had as a teen?

-Were you ever taught about the 1921 Tulsa massacre? An unknown number of people died during the massacre. Six thousand newly homeless African American survivors — whose houses were destroyed in the massacre — were forced into internment camps and released weeks later.

-San Francisco police officers will be replaced with trained, unarmed professionals to respond to calls for help on noncriminal matters involving mental health, the homeless, school discipline and neighbor disputes.

-I want to get coveralls for working over at the Tall House. I was thinking Father’s Day would be a good excuse to pick some out for Ben Blair. I like this pair from Dickies. And here’s one for women.

Here are some tweets I saved for you:

-A 2-min video of Soho in 1959. A fascinating glimpse.

-Why is mask-wearing political?

-What did you think was fancy as a kid? The responses to this tweet are fantastic (and very nostaligic).

-Watchmen is available to watch for free this weekend. I haven’t seen the series yet and will be watching.

-Hahahah. Made me laugh.

-I won’t be reading Bolton’s book.

What do they think their job is?


-An interesting thread that I keep thinking about.

-Have you ever heard of “the Wide Awakes”? I hadn’t. This is a fascinating thread.

Not every company is struggling in the pandemic.

He reported officer misconduct, so they abducted him and institutionalized him.


-A radical undercount of Covid-19 deaths.

We should all be abolitionists.

-We deserve more elegant metaphors.

I hope you have a good weekend. Keep up that protesting energy! Will you be celebrating Father’s Day this weekend? (It happens on a different date in France, but we’ll still celebrate.) I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


P.S. — I’ve continued to share tons of tweets in my Instagram stories. You can see them as highlights labeled #BLM. There are currently four highlights.

23 thoughts on “A Few Things”

  1. We live in Albania and are planning to travel locally for the next year. My husband and daughter can travel on their Albanian passports to other parts of. Europe but for the first time I, the American, am stuck in country without a visa. How the tides have turned!

  2. We’ll be home all summer, because I am due with baby #3 any day now. I’m dreaming of simple local trips, but we’d already planned to stay close to home this summer pre-Covid. Things have been pretty strict in Illinois and around Chicago, so it still makes me kind of uncomfortable to see people starting to vacation like normal. I’m nervous for fall, and a resurgence! But also starting to thinking about a fall long weekend trip to a cute AirBnB somewhere, just for a change of scenery!

    Thanks for the insightful links, as always!

  3. Love your idea to support black authors, and I love your links this Friday, all of them. We’ll take a week off in july to île d’Yeu (an island on the atlantic coast, near Nantes). But then will spend the rest of the summer in Paris. We missed the city and our home and remodeling (spent the confinement in the country at my father’s: He’s 90). Have a great week-end. How are your older children doing?

  4. We are in CA, in a little beach town near the Bay Area. We have reservations to camp near home this weekend. But I’m not sure we will go. Outdoors seems best for sure! But it is just hard to know what is wise and what isn’t. Other than camping, we aren’t planning any trips

    I’m confused why people are still thinking about a fall resurgence as if it will take that long. At least in the US, many places haven’t even gotten out of a first wave, and several places are spiking now (Florida, Arizona, for instance).

  5. We also are staying in France this summer. Luckily there are lots of great options. We live in Annecy and if you haven’t been, I’d recommend it for sure. Father’s Day is the same here and in the USA this year btw. I hope you enjoy your weekend!

    1. We are in Annecy as well and I highly recommend it! We will also be staying within the borders but there is so much of France to see so I don’t think we will be bored :)

  6. A good source for work clothes is Engelbert Strauss. Super high quality and a great fit. Got some pants for my husband after he wore down all his cheap work pants from Toom and Obi (home improvement stores here in Germany)

  7. We are definitely not planning any air travel, and any travel we do would be very isolated, such as wilderness camping. I think we will be walloped with a very difficult fall and winter with the virus still running rampant. In the southeast U.S., we are only 6 weeks away from the new school year starting. If there’s not already an obvious resurgence by then, I think a few weeks of school will create one. Everyone is tired of the restrictions and growing complacent, but there’s still no vaccine and only the most basic start at finding therapies to reduce suffering and death. So I definitely don’t want tourism to pick back up and make things worse.

  8. We’re going to travel from upstate New York to Tennessee by car to visit my aging grandma (we’ve all been self-isolating, so we’re hoping it’s safe). It doesn’t really feel safe to travel in the U.S. yet, but my grandma has health issues and we lost my grandpa in March (the week lockdowns went in place, so no funeral) and we may not have another chance to see her. I feel like every decision has risks right now, and I can’t imagine living this way for another year or so, when HOPEFULLY there is a vaccine (and no guarantee of that either!). As a teacher, I both really want to be with my students in the actual classroom come fall, but also worry about the risks to many of our older teachers and those that have health issues or care for aging parents. So hard!

    1. I’m really excited for your grand-ma! so much isolation is too sad, and there is no such thing as zero risk. I’m sure your grand ma just wants to see you, above all… I’ve talked a lot with my father and aunt (90 and 93) and their friends (90ish), and they were all SO clear about the topic: they prefer to die a bit sooner (maybe) but not be isolated. Have a great stay.

      1. maybe your family traveling from NY can get tested within 3 days of departing? that way you’ll know for sure you didn’t leave NY sick. and then be extra careful during your drive. testing is pretty available now in the state.

  9. They better be protecting the girl if they are protecting the bull.

    I beg everyone to stop ordering from Amazon.

    I wish social media would disappear.

  10. Hoping everyone has an enlightened and more aware experience this Juneteenth Day!

    Thanks for SO many good links!

    Growing up in our circumstances I thought my friends were fancy because they got “seasonal wardrobes” instead of just a new set of shorts and shoes when needed. I had a friend who ate little shrimp cocktails out of prepackaged glass containers for school lunches once a week, another who did hot oil treatments on her hair every weekend, and another who had the ONLY microwave in town! (yes, I’m that old) I can still remember the smell it gave off while in use…how funny is that?

    I’ve been doing serious research on so much lately it makes me furious at how ignorant I, we have been. Yes, the schools, the prisons, the laws, the redline, yes I knew some, but seeing things, as these “Challenge Coins”, just testifies as to just how ingrained our society is in accepting racism and corruption -STILL.

  11. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens in SF with the changes they’re making. It made me realize that the times I’ve called the police it’s been for things like a homeless man starting a fire in the middle of a street, an elderly lady in nothing but pjs wandering outside on a freezing cold morning, a dog left in a car on a hot day- nothing that was criminal at all. People (or the dog) needed help and there was literally no one else to call except the police. I still feel bad about the elderly woman- she needed help but the police probably scared her too. So having on call social workers would be amazing for these situations!

    1. Hi Pamela – Yes, a way to reach social workers instead of cops sounds so helpful.

      The one time I had to call the police for an actual crime (someone pulled a gun on me and some friends and threatened us when I was a teenager), my whole experience with the police and courts was as traumatizing as the incident with the gunman itself. It has made me very averse to calling police since then.

      And even in that situation, I think de-escalation and social interventions would have been a better outcome for me, the person who pulled out a gun, and our community as a whole (my sense was he lived next door to a place where teens often hung out, he was sick of the noise and disruption, and “snapped.”)

  12. Gabrielle,

    If you are looking for ethical coveralls I HIGHLY recommend Big Bud Press. They are wonderful humans and their stuff is amazing.


  13. Can you write more about how schools have addressed social distancing? Are the desks further apart? Are masks worn in school? What do they do for lunch?

  14. I have to say again…your friday links are incredibly educational. Thank you for using your platform for the betterment of humanity! The one about the pins and the police was incredibly disturbing. Sometimes I have feel as if I have been living in a fairy world. How has society been functioning with such anger and evil for so long, and then I realize what has happened. I am just getting older, and I have children, so I have to know these things. And now that I know, I must help make changes.

  15. Wow! Let’s just think about U.S. passports being a liability to International travel during a world wide pandemic! What a clear indication of how poorly our federal “leadership” has been handling the COVID crisis.

  16. I’ve been in NYC for three weeks, returning to Portugal tonight (fingers crossed!) and I can see why the world is concerned. In Portugal, most people are very diligent about mask use and distancing. I’m staying at a hotel in Soho, and I’m probably the oldest person here – at least the oldest person that I’ve seen. The staff are wearing masks, but the young guests are all wandering in and out of the lobby, milling around, no masks, no physical distancing. The restaurants that have outside seating are PACKED, the tables are all pushed against each other, lots of people on corners having drinks and socializing. Almost everything is closed to the public, I’ve only seen restaurants open for take away and outdoor seating. One silver lining is that the city is so quiet that you see entire families on bicycles or scooters going down the streets, something that would have been very difficult with previous traffic flow.

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