The Oscars Allegedly Snubbed Selma Over the Cast and Crew’s Police Brutality Protest

Selma actor David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay say the film was snubbed by Academy voters after the cast and crew protested the death of Eric Garner. Garner was a victim of police brutality who died after a cop placed him in a chokehold in 2014.

Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King Jr., recently told Screen Daily that members of the Academy threatened to shut out Selma from Oscar nominations after the cast and crew wore T-shirts with Garner’s last words, “I Can’t Breathe,” to the movie’s premiere in New York City. This interview was published amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other victims of police violence and systemic racism.

“Six years ago, Selma coincided with Eric Garner being murdered,” Oyelowo said. “That was the last time we were in a place of ‘I Can’t Breathe.’ I remember at the premiere of Selma us wearing ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirts in protest.”

He continued, “Members of the Academy called into the studio and our producers saying, ‘How dare they do that? Why are they stirring shit?’ and ‘We are not going to vote for that film, because we do not think it is their place to be doing that.'”

The critically acclaimed movie was nominated for Best Picture at the 2015 Oscars and won Best Original Song for Common and John Legend’s “Glory,” but DuVernay was overlooked for Best Director. Oyelowo was also shut out of the Best Actor category when the Academy nominated all white men. That same year, the #OscarsSoWhite social media campaign was born.

“It’s part of why that film didn’t get everything that people think it should’ve got and it birthed #OscarsSoWhite,” Oyelowo explained. “They used their privilege to deny a film on the basis of what they valued in the world.”

On Twitter, DuVernay backed up Oyelowo’s claims. “True story,” she tweeted.

A day later, on June 5, the Academy issued a response. “Ava & David, we hear you. Unacceptable. We’re committed to progress,” they tweeted from the official account.

The organization previously tweeted about their commitment to “do [their] part” to support Black Lives Matter.

Only time will tell if the Oscars keep their promise.

The Help Is Trending on Netflix. Here’s Why Twitter Users Are Begging You to Watch Something Else

A lot of people are watching The Help right now. In fact, according to Entertainment Weekly, the 2011 film is the most-viewed movie on Netflix amid nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.

It’s not hard to see why that may be. The Help, based on Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel of the same name, is an Oscar-winner starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, Anna Camp, and Octavia Spencer! It follows a privileged young Southern woman (Stone) in the early 1960s who interviews the maids working for white families during the civil rights movement. How could such a film possibly be problematic?

Well, the film was written and directed by a white man, based on a novel by a white woman, and centers the story around white people—particularly Stone’s character, who is a prime example of a white savior. It’s understandable that many Twitter users have slammed The Help as a tool to educate yourself about systemic racism in this country, especially when the streaming service and other platforms offer better options by black filmmakers.

“I beg of you: stop watching The Help, it will not make you better at facing your privilege or whatever,” Elamin Abdelmahmoud wrote on Twitter.

“I’m so sorry but the last thing folx need to be watching are bootleg ‘racial reconciliation’ movies like The Help,” film critic Rebecca Theodore-Vachon also tweeted. “If you need a list of Black films, Black film critics are on here happy to suggest some really good ones.”

In fact, even Davis, who played Aibileen, has spoken out against the film. “Have I ever done roles that I’ve regretted? I have, and The Help is on that list,” Davis told The New York Times in 2018.

While the actor made it very clear her experience was positive and the people involved in the movie were great, the problem was that the plot focused more on white voices than black ones. “I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard,” Davis explained. “I know Aibileen. I know Minny [played by Octavia Spencer]. They’re my grandma. They’re my mom. And I know that if you do a movie where the whole premise is, I want to know what it feels like to work for white people and to bring up children in 1963, I want to hear how you really feel about it. I never heard that in the course of the movie.”

It’s precisely why members of the black community and allies have come forward to explain that there are better anti-racist movies and television worth viewing. If you have a Netflix subscription and you’re really looking to delve deeper, Moonlight, 13th, When They See Us, and Dear White People are good places to start.

The #PullUpOrShutUp Challenge Asks Brands How Many Black Employees They Have in Leadership

For years, we’ve seen shoppers, influencers, and celebrities call for much-needed racial equality in the beauty industry. Equal representation in marketing, more inclusive product offerings, more diverse celebrity spokespeople—these aren’t unreasonable requests. But the beauty industry has offered only incremental change to people of color while continuing to profit off of us. In recent years, it seems as though the few brands willing to meet the needs of Black people are the brands run by Black people: Think lines like Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and Chuter’s Uoma. The solution to this, Chuter says, is equal representation within beauty brands so that Black folks can effect change from within.

“For 14 years I was traumatized [as a professional in the beauty industry],” she says. “My name was Sharon Jemedafe, but I had to change it because I couldn’t get jobs with it. I was told by a boss that I couldn’t wear braids because it was ‘ghetto’ and ‘career-limiting.’ They said, ‘I feel like you have potential, but you have to drop that because it’s not going to help you.’ I had to change my accent. I’m Nigerian and I cannot even talk like a Nigerian anymore because it’s been so long. I had to fully assimilate so when I had an interview on the phone, they didn’t realize I was ethnic because my name was Anglo-Saxon and my accent didn’t not reflect anything ethnic.”

Now, as CEO of her own company, Chuter is trying to ensure her employees don’t have the same experience she did. The diversity breakdown at the leadership level of Uoma Beauty is 50% Black, 75% people of color, and only 15% caucasian. While Chuter doesn’t expect all beauty brands to match her own in terms of diversity, she’s looking for other brands to make a commitment beyond a one-time cash donation. She points to Milk Makeup as an example of a brand that took this week to reflect and say, This is our diversity breakdown, we need to do better.

By the end of the day today, the 72 hours of #PullUpOrShutUp challenge will expire. So far, only a handful brands have responded to the call to #PullUpOrShutUp—e.l.f. Cosmetics, Milk, and Crayon Case Cosmetics were among the first—despite heavy hitter beauty influencers Jackie Aina and Patrick Starrr joining Chuter’s call to arms. But as the deadline draws nearer, the list of participants keeps growing longer.

“We’re being nice now,” says Chuter. “After 72 hours, we’re moving to a full-on assault. We’ll target a new brand every week and our entire following is going to descend into their comments section. They aren’t going to be selling anything because we’re going to be commenting non-stop, 24/7. We’re going to choose a brand until that brand responds. We’re not going anywhere.”

Amber Rambharose is beauty writer in Philadelphia. Follow her on Instagram @amberdeexterous.

27 Revolution Songs and Speeches to Revitalize Your Weary Spirit

One could argue that the soundtrack to America is Black music. For hundreds of years (401 years, to be exact), protest, resistance, and art have intermingled to produce revolution songs that give voice to the disenfranchised. In America, pop music is inextricably linked to the Black experience in this country—from the field caller music sung by enslaved Africans to accompany their backbreaking (and nation-making) labor, to the sounds from #BlackLivesMatter protests trending on TikTok right this moment, there’s no denying the fact that America’s social, artistic, and political landscapes owe a huge debt to the Black artists who gave voice to generations.

There’s a place for art in the revolution, and in order for the revolution to continue, critical art is essential. These revolution songs and speeches have the power to soothe our souls, challenge our beliefs, and inject hard truths in between heavenly melodies. Just think: The atmosphere and energy of protest, movements, and marches picks up as soon as someone introduces a drum, a beat, or a bell. Music revitalizes the spirit, gives us something to look forward to, and literally guides our steps as we push and protest.

One thing you’ll notice in this list of revolution songs is the generational reverberations of demands for justice, and a refusal to conciliate any calls for Black people to “go slow” in our fight to reclaiming what has been stolen. Heartbreakingly, so many of these songs have aged too well and are as spot-on today in 2020 as they were when written years ago. Behold, your go-to playlist filled with songs that capture the rage, pain, anxiety, hopefulness, perseverance and encouragement you’re feeling right now. —Brionna Jimerson, social media manager

“U.N.I.T.Y,” Queen Latifah

Queen of music! Queen of TV! Queen of movies! Queen of hip-hop! Queen Latifah is an OG of feminist activism in hip-hop. Queen Latifah walked so that Megan Thee Stallion could gallop, and I mean that. In the 80s and 90s, mainstream rap was much more casually misogynistic than it is today (can you imagine?), and Queen Latifah’s 1995 phenomenon “U.N.I.T.Y,” a call for women to own their bodies, sexuality, and humanity, earned her a Grammy. Latifah’s insistence that Black women take up space in all areas of life, unencumbered by racism and sexism, is a rallying cry we can all get behind. ⁠—BJ

“This Is America,” Childish Gambino

Childish Gambino (a.k.a Donald Glover)’s video for “This Is America” went viral when it hit the internet in June 2018. Watch one minute, and you’ll see why. It’s an unflinching, necessary portrait of how the United States continues to destroy the lives of Black people while still profiting off their culture and art. —Christopher Rosa, entertainment writer

“Freedom,” Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar

Glee star Amber Riley recently sang this classic Bey track at a Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angeles. Its lyrics are poignant, and say all you need to know about the song. “Freedom, freedom—I can’t move,” she sings. “Freedom, cut me loose. Singin’, freedom! Freedom! Where are you?” —CR

“Say It Loud,” James Brown

I don’t have many memories of my maternal grandfather, but one that will always shine in my mind’s eye: my grandfather, Lewis, shuffling and dancing à la James Brown in the basement of my grandmother’s home, singing James Brown’s “I’m Black and Im Proud!” at the top of his lungs. I remember squealing with delight when he “passed me the mic” (a.k.a the TV remote) while we took turns repeating, “Say It Loud! I’m Black and I’m proud” into our faux microphone. I had no idea that what felt more like a fun game in the moment was actually seeds of affirmation being planted in my soul, to bloom 20+ years later. Hearing this song now, I have no choice but to say it loud, be proud, and show up for my people. ⁠—BJ

“Strange Fruit,” Billie Holiday

Time magazine named “Strange Fruit” the best song of the century, and for good reason. You can hear the emotion in Holiday’s voice as she sings about the lynchings that happened to Black Americans at the beginning of the 1900s. —CR

“Sad News,” Swizz Beatz feat. Scarface

Swizz Beatz and Scarface tackle police violence directly on their 2016 collaboration. “A little boy got shot down today. I hope his family is okay. Is it our race that pay. I hope the whole world be okay,” read the lyrics. — CR

“Optimistic,” Sounds of Blackness

BRB, dancing to this song for the rest of my life. It’s definitely one of those songs you grew up hearing on the radio but never learned the name of. Well, it’s from a 1991 album by Sounds of Blackness, a music group that hails from Minneapolis, MN. Not only is the music video a flaw-free ode to ‘90s black art and dance, it’s an eternal bop with the most inspiring message: “As long as you keep your head to the sky, you will win.” I don’t know a song that can jolt me out of a funk quite like this one does. As protests over the death of George Floyd continue to gain momentum in Minneapolis and beyond, this song is a perfect companion piece to the civil unrest we’re all experiencing. ⁠—BJ

“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” Gil Scott-Heron

Perhaps the most popular protest song on this list, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron has transcended generations with its spoken-word lyrics that pack a powerful punch. “The revolution will not be right back after a message about a white tornado,” he says. “White lightning, or white people. You will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom. The tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl. The revolution will not go better with Coke The revolution will not fight germs that may cause bad breath. The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.” — CR

“Fuck Tha Police,” N.W.A.

A very straightforward song—but effective. — CR

“spiritual,” Jay-Z

Jay-Z pleads for police not to shoot on this haunting track, released in July 2016. “I am not poison, no I am not poison,” he says. “Just a boy from the hood that. Got my hands in the air. In despair, don’t shoot. I just wanna do good, ah.” — CR

“Fight the Power,” Public Enemy

Another straightforward song, but the energy on it is relentless—and timeless. — CR

“Alright,” Kendrick Lamar

To call this song iconic would be an understatement. Not only did it win Grammy Awards for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song, it became one of the central songs of youth-led police brutality protests in 2015. And its message still resonates today. “Alls my life I has to fight,” Lamar says. “But if God got us then we gon’ be alright.” — CR

“Don’t Touch My Hair,” Solange

“Don’t Touch My Hair” by Solange is one of the most moving tracks about female black identity to come in recent years. It’s a highlight off her 2016 album A Seat at the Table, which is saying something⁠—because every song on that album is phenomenal. “Don’t touch my hair when it’s the feelings I wear,” she sings. “Don’t touch my soul when it’s the rhythm I know. Don’t touch my crown. They say the vision I’ve found.” — CR

“A.D. 2000,” Erykah Badu

Badu wrote this track after the 1999 murder of Amadou Diallo by New York City police, and the pain on it is palpable. “This world done changed, so much yeah yeah,” she says. “This world done changed, since I been conscious.” — CR

“Hang on in There,” John Legend and The Roots

A song with a simple message: Keep holding on. Persist. “There ain’t no time, no time for sorrow,” the lyrics read. “And we ain’t got time no time. Ah, time to be sad. And maybe the world ain’t what it could be. But to understand why is to know reality. Ah, don’t give in (hang on in there). Ah, I said hang on (hang on in there).” — CR

“Bloody Sunday,” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Miss me with that white-washed, Disneyfied version of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. King was way more radical than we remember and give his memory credit for. If the only words of Dr. King’s that you can state by heart are “I have a dream,” it’s time to get out of the sandbox and into the heart of King’s activism. The opening lines will send chills down your spine, over 65 years after they were originally uttered: “We have no alternative but to keep moving with determination. We’ve gone too far now to turn back. And in a real sense, we are moving and we cannot afford to stop because, Alabama, and because our nation has a date with destiny.” Some crucial context: On Sunday, March 7, 1965, a series of marches from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama were organized by activists from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SCLC and SNCC). As the first march took place, State troopers attacked unarmed and nonviolent marchers/ protestors with tear gas and weapons as they crossed the county line via the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The violence of “Bloody Sunday” is echoed with chilling clarity in Dr. King’s remarks in Selma, Alabama at Brown Chapel. Listen here. ⁠— BJ

“What’s Going On,” Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye, asking the real questions! This song, released in 1971, was inspired by police brutality witnessed by Mowtown legend Renaldo ‘Obie’ Benson. The wandering melody of this song perfectly captures the search for consciousness-raising in the midst of the Vietnam War and poverty. It has an almost hymnal quality to it, and instantly centers you in the (cyclical) national conversation that hasn’t turned the page just yet. ⁠— BJ

“Wake Up Everybody,” Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes

Again, another song with a direct message: Start paying attention to the world around. Just look to your left or right or read an article online—you’ll see the injustices that need to be fixed. “Wake up everybody; no more sleepin’ in bed. No more backward thinkin’ time for thinkin’ ahead,” the lyrics read. “The world has changed so very much from what it used to be. There is so much hatred war an’ poverty. Wake up all the teachers time to teach a new way.” — CR

“Hell You Talmbout,” Janelle Monáe

Monáe says by name on this song black people who were killed senselessly in racially-charged acts, including, Emmett Till, Walter Scott, Kimani Gray, Amadou Diallo, Trayvon Martin, Jerame Reid, Phillip White, Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Freddie Gray, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Sandra Bland, John Crawford III, Michael Brown, Miriam Carey, Sharonda Singleton, Tommy Yancy, and Jordan Baker. The pre-chorus specifically is powerful: just the words “say his name” and “say her name” over and over. — CR

“Mississippi Goddamn,” Nina Simone

The tempo of this 1964 classic Nina Simone song is disconcertedly upbeat (almost like a musical or showtune), lending to the menacing nature of the message. In this song, Nina recounts how heartbroken and enraged she is over the murder of Medgar Evers in Mississippi, and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama. It’s hard not to remix the song to include references to Minneapolis, Ferguson, and too many other sites of murder. Almost 60 years later, each word of this song still applies. — BJ

“Keep Ya Head Up,” 2Pac

2Pac dedicated this 1993 song to Latasha Harlins, a Black girl who was fatally shot in 1991. Her death was captured on security footage just days after the videotaped beating of Rodney King. The chorus of the song is as soothing as it is heartbreaking: “Oooh child, things are gonna get easier, oooh child, things will get brighter.” — BJ

“Black Rage,” Lauryn Hill

Hill dedicated this 2014 song to the people fighting for racial equality in Ferguson, Missouri. “Black Rage is founded on two-thirds a person. Rapings and beatings and suffering that worsens,” she says. “Black human packages tied up in strings. Black rage can come from all these kinds of things.” — CR

“No Justice No Peace,” Z-Ro feat. Mike Dean

The title of this song is a common cry heard at racial injustice and police brutality protests. And the lyrics chillingly match up: “No justice, no peace. It’s us against police. Every time I turn around they shoot another brother down in these cold, cold streets.” — CR

“Hands Up,” Daye Jack

Similarly to “No justice, no peace,” “hands up, don’t shoot,” is another chant you’ll hear at a protest. It’s specifically talking about police officers who fire their guns prematurely at black civilians. “Living with my head down,” the lyrics go. “Hands up. No, no. Don’t shoot. Don’t shoot.” — CR

“Get Up, Stand Up,” Bob Marley & The Wailers

This may be the most essential song on this list, next to “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” The lyrics imploring individuals to stand up and fight for their rights are relevant to every generation, but this one especially. — CR

“Sandra’s Smile,” Blood Orange

Dev Hynes’s “Sandra’s Smile” is an ode to Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old woman who committed suicide in a jail cell, where she was being detained for a minor traffic violation. “Who taught you to breathe, then took away your speech? Made you feel so loved, then shook your hand with gloves?” Hynes muses on this deeply affecting track. — CR

“Prison Industrial Complex,” Angela Davis

Honestly, everyone needs to memorize this five-minute-long speech. Hey, if you can learn the words to the iconic tongue twister “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” you can internalize Davis’s measured take on how the prison industrial complex, a system that replicates poverty, violence and economic/ political disenfranchisement, directly relates to white Americans’s ability to feel “protected” by the police and law enforcement. At every turn, Davis views the prison industrial complex through an international lease, and asks us to question who exactly is being protected by law enforcement and the government, and who is being extracted from? As Davis expertly puts it in this speech, “Whatever people are convicted of, does it make sense to house hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people together or separately in isolation cells, deprive them of contact with their families, deprive them of education, deprive them of healthcare, deprive them of home, and then assume this was going to be rehabilitation?” Listen here.BJ

Serena Williams Says Their Daughter Will Be ‘Proud’ of Alexis Ohanian for Stepping Down from the Reddit Board

Serena Williams supports her husband Alexis Ohanian’s decision to step down from the Reddit board. The co-founder of the social content platform announced on June 5 that he is making room for black voices amid protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers.

Ohanian, who married the tennis icon in 2017, made the announcement via Twitter, Instagram, and his personal website in order to urge the company to fill his seat with a black candidate.

“I co-founded Reddit 15 years ago to help people find community and a sense of belonging,” he began his Twitter thread. “It is long overdue to do the right thing. I’m doing this for me, for my family, and for my country.”

Ohanian specifically points to his two-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. as a catalyst for making this decision. He continued, “I’m writing this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: ‘What did you do?'”

Not only is he removing himself from the board, but he’s pledging $1 Million to Colin Kapernick’s Know Your Rights Camp. “I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate, and I’m starting with a pledge of $1M to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp,” he wrote. Ohanian is currently the co-founder and managing partner of Initialized Capital, an early-stage venture firm based in San Francisco with more than 200 companies in its portfolio. According to Forbes, Ohanian’s net worth is estimated at $70 million as of last year.

“I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now,” he concluded. “To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop.”

Serena Williams quickly responded in support of her husband’s actions. “Having diverse views on any boards is important,” she tweeted. “So proud of you Alexis. I know Olympia will be too.”

13 Books About Racism That Are Essential Reading, According to Black Women

There are many young radical thinkers and leaders that I take my cues from, and Charlene Carruthers is one of them. Simply put, she is doing the work. As a Black lesbian feminist and the founding national director of the Black Youth Project 100, she is an activist and organizer at the forefront of today’s liberation movement, and in this book, her voice and her story are a clarion call for the power of collective thinking, radical imagining, and community building. Real change starts small, from individual to individual, and grows exponentially as we learn and work together. This book can serve as either an entry point or familiar touchstone; regardless of experience level, Unapologetic is an invaluable North Star and resource for anyone committed to helping create a better, brighter world. —Carla Bruce-Eddings, Senior Publicist at Catapult, Counterpoint Press, and Soft Skull Press, and freelance writer

This is a guidebook for radical social justice movements (as the title suggests). Using personal and historical organizing efforts, Charlene Carruthers challenges readers, including would-be and active activists, to be more radical in their understanding of race, class, gender, and sexuality when agitating for our collective liberation. I love this book because of how unapologetically it confronts patriarchy and other beliefs and practices that holds us back from doing truly, deeply liberatory work. —G.F.

$23 at Mahogany Books

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michelle Alexander

The New Press

This book addresses the crisis of mass incarceration in what was formally thought to be a post-racial America. Michelle Alexander takes a deep dive to raise awareness of the disparities in this country regarding the criminalization of Black people. This book is a primary tool in showing the “systemic” racism people fighting for justice often mention. My hope is that white audiences read this and no longer exclaim, “but I’m not racist” or “my grandparents didn’t own slaves”. It doesn’t matter if your family didn’t own slaves, racism is an institution. An institution handing out benefits to white people whether they themselves are racist or not. Institutions and systems must be dismantled. In order to dismantle or break down a system you must first understand how it was built. —Shannon Bland, founder of Black Librarians

$19 at Mahogany Books

When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip Hop Feminist Breaks It Down

By Joan Morgan

Cornbread Recipe: The Perfectly Creamy, One-Bowl Cornbread Recipe That Lifts My Spirits

Full disclosure: I spent the first weeks of quarantine baking bread. That run on yeast? My bad. The millennial in me jumped out. In those early days of quarantine, I found a sense of accomplishment in the kitchen at the end of a long work day. First, there was focaccia bread. Next, peasant bread. The classic no-knead bread recipe followed, and then a misguided attempt at a mille-feuille that ended in tears and an argument with my partner.

After baking (and eating) my way through around 12 weeks under lockdown, binging on Disney recipes and tossing out more sourdough starters than I care to admit, I returned to this staple of my childhood: What I call Brionna’s Dumb-Easy Creamy Cornbread. At the risk of sounding like Kevin from The Office, it’s probably the thing I do best.

Baking became a reliable stress reliever, and in the week between May 25 and June 1, I made three loaves of cornbread as I turned to the kitchen to deal with the absolute onslaught of news, and the subsequent protests and actions that ignited around the world in a global call for justice in the face of institutional racism. I parceled half-loaves and gifted them (at a social distance, of course) to friends and protestors, alongside bottles of water and hand sanitizer, as a minuscule token of gratitude and a gentle reminder that we all need to care for and nourish ourselves, no matter the circumstances.

This recipe has its roots in my passive-aggressive adolescence in Missouri. Growing up, kitchen duty was my chore of choice. Yes, it meant busting suds after each family meal, but it also meant getting to be the resident taste tester during our Sunday dinners. One evening at age 15, as I looked around the kitchen at my aunt and cousin whipping up dish after dish, I realized that no one ever asked me to cook for them—even in the most dire situations. Turns out, my family wasn’t impressed with my personal menu of boxed Stove Top and cranberry sauce for dinner four nights a week, accompanied by a side of Pillsbury flaky layer biscuits and frozen spinach. What can I say, they’re bougie like that.

In 2006, the week before Thanksgiving dinner, my aunt Marilyn sat me down and placed in my hands a yellowing sheet of paper with faded ink: it was a recipe she’d perfected years before, and she was ready to share with me. In that moment, I found my thing.

From the first time I prepared this cornbread (my aunt was very impressed, thank you), I knew this recipe would last a lifetime. The entire prep process takes less than five minutes from pantry to oven, making it the perfect companion piece for a week’s worth of at-home meals.

Over the years, I’ve adapted the recipe to fit my lifestyle. When I went to college, it became the ultimate homesickness comfort food. I’d bake cornbread muffins in my sub-par dorm oven on a weekly basis, feeling one step closer to home with each bite. I turned it into the centerpiece of my early 20-something dinner parties in New York City, complete with star-shaped cornbread cut-outs with a pat of butter on top. These days, I keep at least three loaves worth of raw ingredients on hand any time.

What really makes this cornbread stand out is the addition of cream-style corn and coconut milk. The moist corn kernels lend a heartiness to the cornbread and help the loaf maintain its shape, while the coconut milk provides a dairy-free twist and adds an unexpected lightness and silky texture. Trust me, these two secret ingredients will change the way you experience cornbread.

Rachel Lindsay No Longer Wants to be Affiliated With the Bachelor Franchise

Former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay has been reevaluating her relationship with The Bachelor franchise as protests continue around the country in support of the Black Lives Matter movement after the killing of George Floyd by police officers.

“We have now casted for 40 seasons — even though they haven’t started Clare [Crawley’s],” she said in a new interview with Page Six. “There’s been one person of color in 40 seasons. We have 45 presidents. There has been one person of color. We are literally on par to saying that you are more likely to become the president of the United States than you are to be the lead of this franchise. That is insane.”

“How can I sit back and be quiet, when I am a part of something that isn’t as supportive or doesn’t reflect who I am? I just feel like if anybody is in my position, you couldn’t sit quiet about that,” Lindsay continued. “I don’t think that anyone would fault me — a higher up in the franchise — for saying that.” One would definitely hope not.

That being said, Lindsay told the publication that she feels like she must hold herself accountable as well. “I feel like I’ve been a little bit a part of the problem,” Lindsay said. “We continue to make excuses as to why we haven’t seen this change. You continue to say, ‘Oh, well it’s just because the lead hasn’t picked a person of color that’s gone far enough. Oh, this person was more qualified for this person. Oh, the audience liked this person more.’ But that’s not true.”

“Once I saw what they did in Bachelor in Paradise, bringing in somebody who is not even a cast member in Kristian [Haggerty] to facilitate this relationship between Demi [Burnett] and Kristian, I know that that franchise has the power to do whatever they want, including having a lead of color, and it’s time to stop making excuses,” Lindsay explained.

When asked about this by SiriusXM host Bevy Smith earlier this May, Chris Harrison said the show is trying to catch up. “What we realized is if you don’t see yourself represented—no matter if it is on TV or in a club or whatever—you’re probably not going to want to attend. You’re not going to feel comfortable,” he said at the time. “So we had to take that first step, and we have done better at casting and putting more diverse people on the show, therefore you see yourself represented more. Again, I think it takes a long time to turn around a big boat. We needed to take that step and I think we’ve done much better in the last few seasons for sure. We’ll continue to do that.”

At this point, Lindsay said it’s “embarrassing” to be associated with The Bachelor. “When I look at what’s happening in our country, and then I look at the franchise, I can’t continue to be affiliated—it’s embarrassing honestly at this point—to be affiliated with a franchise who is not on the right side of this,” she told Page Six.

Kanye West Donates $2 Million to Families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery

Kanye West has donated $2 million to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, his rep confirmed to Us Weekly on June 5. Floyd, Arbery, and Taylor were all killed this year in senseless acts that have led to national outrage and protests surrounding police brutality and systemic racism.

West also created a 529 college savings plan, according to People, for Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna, and offered to help with legal costs for the Arbery and Taylor families. West’s rep told People that he has donated to Black-owned businesses in crisis in Chicago and nationwide.

West was also spotted demonstrating yesterday (June 4) in his hometown of Chicago.

While many praised the rapper’s generous donation, it also caused online discussion given his relationship with President Donald Trump and the fact that he has worn a red MAGA (Make America Great Again) hat on several occasions. “We brought the city out yesterday and I didn’t even have to tell them Kanye was coming lol,” Black Lives Matter activist Ja’Mal Green tweeted. “He just wanted to march, no talking, no cameras.. This not political when you have been brutalized in your communities growing up! Thank you guys for coming ✊🏽✊🏽”

See more reactions to West’s donation, below:

Kanye West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, has also been speaking out about racial justice and white privilege amid the protests—and offered to help pay the medical costs of a protestor injured by a rubber bullet.

“For years, with every horrific murder of an innocent Black man, woman, or child, I have always tried to find the right words to express my condolences and outrage, but the privilege I am afforded by the color of my skin has often left me feeling like this is not a fight that I can truly take on my own,” she wrote on Instagram. “Not today, not anymore. Like so many of you, I am angry. I am more than angry. I am infuriated and I am disgusted. I am exhausted by the heartbreak I feel seeing mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children suffering because their loved one was murdered or locked away unjustly for being Black.”

I May Destroy You: Everything We Know About the New HBO Show

HBO‘s next incredible show, I May Destroy You, debuts on Sunday, June 7.

The project is the latest creative endeavor from Michaela Cole, who you may be familiar with from her show Chewing Gum, which originally aired in the United Kingdom and is currently streaming on Netflix. This new series is a deeply personal one about consent, based in part on Coel’s own experience with sexual assault.

The New York Times calls I May Destroy you “a coming-of-age story, a generational snapshot and a tart, tender salute to the primal value of friendship when you’re young and underemployed. Its plot is built around a hazily remembered rape (based on Coel’s own experience), and the processes of recovery and investigation that follow. But the show is never just about that.”

Here’s everything we now about this show so far:

The premiere date. I May Destroy You‘s 12 episodes begin airing on Sunday, June 7 at 10:30 P.M. ET.

The premise. Coel’s character, Arabella, is a young writer living her best life in London with a vibrant social circle and a boyfriend who lives in Italy. But during a night out, her drink is spiked with a date rape drug and she is assaulted. Over the course of the show, she has to put the pieces of the night back together, along with rebuilding her life after such a violation. It’s a drama series but, as you can see in the trailer, there is some humor:

The creator. Coel is an award-winning writer, director, and actor who won the BAFTA for Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme and Breakthrough Talent for her show, Chewing Gum. She directs many of the episodes of I May Destroy You.

The cast. Coel is joined by Weruche Opia, Paapa Essiedu, Harriet Webb, Ann Akin, and Aml Ameen.

This post may be updated as new information becomes available about the show.