Happy Black History Month!

To celebrate Black History Month this year, I decided that I would make a list of some of black owned brands, products, musicians, content creators, etc which I am loving. The black community has always been so creative and innovative, and I’m so excited to share with you all some of the amazing people who have inspired me and continue to do so. Enjoy!

Youtube:

Arianna Elizabeth: 

I watch a lot of Yoga with Adriene and I love her and Benji, but I had been feeling like I wanted to see more of what the yoga section of youtube had to offer. Specifically, I wanted to find yoga instructors who were black. After a quick search I found Arianna Elizabeth (@brightxsalted.yoga) and I knew she was the one for me. I really love her approach to yoga and the energy that comes off of her videos. She comes across very grounded and confident and that kind of energy is wonderful to see first thing in the morning.

Tee Noir:

I found this youtuber over the summer and I binged almost all of her videos in a day. Her channel mainly focuses on social/cultural commentary and what it means to be a black woman in today’s world. I think her views and opinions on issues are incredibly interesting and well thought out as well as very entertaining to listen to. I highly recommend her videos to anyone who is trying to become a better ally and educate themselves on current issues in the black community. 

Hair:

Briogeo:

Briogeo is owned by CEO and founder Nancy Twine who is the youngest African American to launch a line at Sephora. In December I asked my ig followers what some of their favorite black-owned hair care lines were, and Briogeo was one that I knew I had to try. I bought the Don’t Despair, Repair! Hair Mask and I have been loving it. My hair feels so soft and hydrated every time I use it and the smell is lovely and far form overwhelming. Their stuff is a bit expensive, so I’m just sticking to this one product right now, but truuuuuuust me when I say it will not be my last purchase from this brand!

Music:

Ari Lennox: 

My most listened to artist in 2020 had to get a spot on this list. I am seriously in love with this woman’s music. No other artist out right now has the same effect on me as she does. Her music is soulful, confident, youthful, happy and it makes me feel like I’m constantly wrapped in a summer breeze. Ugh, can you tell I’m obsessed? Let’s just say that I wouldn’t be surprised if she makes it into my top artists again in 2021.

Steve Lacy: 

My #4 most listened to artist in 2020 also had to get a spot on this list. I think I love Steve Lacy so much because something about him reminds me so much of Prince. The amount of talent this man has is insane and it blows me away to think he’s still only at the beginning of his career. Songs like “N Side”, “Playground”, “Basement Jack”, and “Like Me” are some of my favorites. To put it simply, if you haven’t already checked out his music, this is your sign from the universe that you need to do so. You’re welcome.

Literature:

Between the World and Me by Ta’Nehisi Coates

I’ll be honest and say that I have not finished reading this book yet, but I think one of the marks of a great book is being hooked right from the beginning. Within the first 10 pages of this book, I knew that I was in for something special. So much so in fact, that I knew that I wanted to wait to finish reading it so that I could fully absorb the importance of what Coates has to say. Because of this book, I already have plans to read more of his books (next on my list is “The Water Dancer”). It is too soon so consider myself a lifelong fan? I’m going to say it isn’t.

Amanda Gorman:

I mean, come on. I think all of America has been in love with this young lady since the inauguration and it’s obvious why. Her recitation of “The Hill We Climb” was moving for many reasons and it’s because of people like her that I still have faith in our country. She is nothing short of a Queen and I can’t wait to see what else she does in her sure to be stunning career.

Film:

Ava Duvernay:

Every now and then, there comes along a piece of filmmaking that strikes me to my core and never really leaves me. When They See Us is one of those series for me and I’m sure that I will be talking about this mini-series until the day I die. The first time I saw it, I had trouble sleeping for the next few days thinking about how poorly those young men were treated. Putting that aside for a second, I was also amazed at the story that Duvernay told and how beautifully it all came together. She is a force to be reckoned with and I’ve yet to be disappointed by any film or series that has been touched by Ava Duvernay. Consider me a fan for life!

Spike Lee:

Spike Lee is the first person I think of when someone asks me who my favorite director is. He is probably the only director whose work I am consistently floored by. His work is so different and I love to see how he plays with the limits of what can and can’t be done on film. What I love most about him is that to me it feels like Lee decided a long time ago that he was going to create his projects on his terms only. He gets idea in his head and then he goes for it unapologetically. As I’ve grown up I have come to really appreciate people who don’t try and alter their gifts in the fear that they may not be understood or liked. Spike Lee is the perfect example of that.

Trust me, I could go on but this post has to end some day haha! I’d love to hear some of your favorites in the comments. Let me know!

Until next time…

Gianna

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