The holiday, which celebrates the emancipation of slaves in the US, has been celebrated more widely than usual this year - inviting black joy to share center stage in the nation's consciousness and headlines alongside the black suffering that's been in the spotlight these past few weeks.
And while that might feel full of tension or even downright contradictory, we're reminded of the wise words of Carl Jung:
"Only the paradox comes anywhere near to comprehending the fullness of life."
"Despite the numerous ways to honor Juneteenth, one thing about the holiday endures throughout generations: the paradox of black people’s lived experiences. How could they at once celebrate freedom and acknowledge that the residue of slavery continues to influence their lives?"
So, while the work of education, advocacy, and anti-racism is far from over, black joy is what we'd like to amplify andgive thanks fortoday.
Black joy, specifically as expressed in musical form, is one of America's greatest cultural gifts to the world, and it's made a huge impact in our lives personally. BBMD is run primarily by a husband/wife duo, and if our relationship had a soundtrack it would be comprised of at least 80% motown and soul - specifically Sam Cooke (seriously - Carlton actually sangNothing Can Change This Lovefor Jess at their wedding).
And while we're not really church-going folk ourselves, we createdthis gospel-adjacent playlist- which we listen to almost every Sunday morning - to help replace the sense of joy, transcendence, and gratefulness that worship music is so uniquely good at cultivating.
The playlist is short, features only a few artists, focuses primarily on gospel and hip-hop, and varies from songs that bring us to our knees to ones that make us wanna get up and dance. We hope that you enjoy it, and that it brings even half as much joy to your day as it does to ours :)
Who we're following
Speaking of black joy & black music, today we're using this section to highlight LaShyra "Lash" Nolen (@LashNolen), who is, in her own words, "a jubilant young woman on a mission to fight injustice through healing and education." She's also:
The Harvard Med class of 2023 president
A Fulbright scholar
Got flows (i.e. can rap really well)
She's clearly on the path to do great things and make a massive positive impact - give her a follow if you haven't already so that you can watch and support her journey as it unfolds!
BBMD tip of the week
Above, we highlighted the power that worship music can have to cultivate states of awe, transcendence, and gratefulness.
So our tip of the week is simple. Make 2 playlists for yourself:
One to pump you up if you're feeling self-doubt or low energy - think upbeat, powerful drums and bright sounds, anything to get you into a confident, powerful, self-actualized state
One to calm down you if you're feeling anxious or jittery - think andante (walking-pace), soothing, not exactly put-you-to-sleep but something to make you feel centered and single-minded
And then USE THEM, depending on what you need, before going into your next meeting!
Quote we're contemplating
"I'm at war with my wrongs
I'm writin' 4 different songs I never forged it or forfeited
I'm a force to be reconciled They want 4 minute songs You need a 4 hour praise dance
Performed every morn I'm feeling shortness of breath
So Nico grab you a horn Hit Jericho with the buzzer beater
To end the quarter Watch brick and mortar fall
Like dripping water ugh!"
- Chance The Rapper
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PPS - As always, please let us know your requests and suggestions by replying to this email (we read 'em all) or getting at us via Twitter. Which section above is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Just send a tweet to @BossB_MD and put #SaturdayMorningRounds in there so we can find it.