Everyone needs a second to breathe and take care of their mental health. Staying in a constant state of heightened emotion isn’t good for anyone, so make sure to do things that help you recenter yourself. A great way to do this and still be supportive is to support black artists, whether they be musicians, writers, actors, directors ,etc… There is a ton of wonderful content out there, so here’s just a few recommendations we have.
Most people are familiar with talented artists like Kendrick Lamar, Lizzo, Childish Gambino, and Beyonce (and if you aren’t, you’re missing out!). There are plenty of other black artists out there, including right here in Arkansas. Check out this Only In Arkansas list of local black musicians and discover a new favorite artist.
Curling up with a comfy blanket and a bowl of popcorn is an excellent way to destress for a little while. There are a ton of amazing movies in all genres and subject matters that star talented black actors and actresses and are directed by visionary black directors. Check out Rotten Tomatoes 100 Best Black Movies of the 21st Century or The Oprah Magazine's list of the Best Black Movies on Netflix. I have it on good authority that Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse is an excellent choice.
You knew there was no way people who work in a library weren’t going to recommend some excellent reads to help unwind. While we do have a list of books to educate yourself on the issues and history of racism, these books are fictional and more for pleasure than education (but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something anyway). Check out Buzzfeed's 31 YA Books Black Authors or Epic Reads' 20 YA Books You Need to Read. Why YA books? Because they are amazing, are pretty quick reads, and tend to be more uplifting and positive (in general) while still remaining authentic. Check your local library to find some of these or support black authors by buying your favorites!
For some people, cooking and baking can be a great way to unwind and make some delicious food. Instead of reaching for the same recipes you’ve tried, mix it up and check out these black culinary artists for inspiration for your next meal. UCA’s own Marvin Williams has a YouTube channel where he shows you how to cook some of his favorites (and has a ton of other entertaining videos as well) as well as having a cookbook available at several local businesses (check out his Facebook page for more info).