If you read our articles often, you know that we are huge advocates of mental health, taking those breaks, and championing our self-care habits. But the fact of the matter is, doing so is damn near impossible with the continuous access to the reality of inequality, the death of our brothers and sisters at the hands of so many variants, and blatant disregard from those who are put in positions to have our best interest at heart.
Add these elements on top of our personal life's challenges, and we can find ourselves in a place where we all suffer from a string of PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, just from being black. According to the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD is defined as:
"...a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault."
Basically, every time we turn on the television, or open our social media accounts, or even while having conversation with friends, we are adding a little brick to our mental barrier.
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But what if instead, we root for as many positive turnarounds as we can and find joy in someone else's triumphs (including your own)? Maybe this means hitting the pavement to march for a cause, or maybe this means organizing a community initiative. Maybe contacting your local legislators and taking them head-on.
Or maybe, you donate.
In comes GoFundMe, the country's most trusted free online fundraising and donation platform that eliminates a third party, securing funds directly to a cause. Some of the most amazing stories rest here, a world where people just hope for the best, and people can directly provide some help for those in need.
So, whether you can donate $1 or $1000, here's a list of a few captivating campaigns that could use some attention during these unsure, but enouraging times.
Beneficiary: Zahalea Anderson
Cause: Rebuild Zahalea Anderson's Urban School of Self-Defense.
Since the time Zahalea Anderson was inducted into the Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame and built her "dojo" (a Japanese word for a place of learning or meditation), she has been working to build upon the popular martial arts training center.
Unfortunately, Anderson's business was caught in the cross-hairs of the Long Beach, CA riots, and her business was burned down on May 31st, the day protests erupted. Her martial arts school, which was located at 120 W. 7th St., had been closed since March due to COVID-19, but was scheduled to re-open the very day it was burned down.
And although she can no longer stay in its original location, Anderson plans to relocate somewhere even bigger and better.
Beneficiary: Bianca Austin
Cause: Justice and support for Breonna Taylor's family, fight, and expenses because she still has no arrests made on her case.
Breonna Taylor was sleeping in her home when it was raided by three officers who barged in and shot her eight times.
Eight times. Eight times.
The officers were at the wrong home. She was killed immediately.
The backstory disgustingly gets worse, but the other real tragedy is that there has yet to be an arrest, or even a mere attempt at one, holding her killers accountable despite the internet's efforts to call for justice.
We will never give up on this one. Rest in peace, sweet girl.
Beneficiary: Debra Mahone
Cause: Support Jessica on her road to recovery.
On February 21, Jessica Mahone was driving with her son, Quest, when they were hit head-on by a drunk driver. Jessica suffered a spinal cord injury to her C-3, C-4 and C-5 vertebrae, which are part of the cervical spinal column that controls the central nervous system, which affects breathing, chest, arms and legs. Although it is miracle that Jessica is alive, she is paralyzed from her neck down.
She is now showing major progress, thanks to around-the-clock care, rehabbing, and the highly infectious spirit of her amazing mother, who hasn't left her side.
Jessica has a long road ahead, but we have no doubt that Jessica will conquer this whole-heartedly.
Beneficiary: The Brock Family, Shawnniece Brock
Cause: Help the Brock family find a new home and support their family.
During a time where we are suffering a pandemic, riots, and civil unrest, one thing that a family never hopes to deal with is an electrical fire taking everything they own.
Well, that's what happened to the Brock family of Birmingham, AL, when on June 4, they were awaken by screams and flames that engulfed their home and belongings.
The Brock Family is currently residing in a hotel until they can find new living arrangements. All proceeds are going towards continuing caring for their family's needs.
Beneficiary: Bridgette Brantley
Cause: Bri Confronts Racism Across America
After she wasn't offered a teaching contract for the 2020-2021 school year, Bridgette Brantley decided to hit the streets and answer the call for activism instead. And with the current state of the country, Brantley is looking to visit five cities across the United States (Richmond, VA; Washington D.C.; Minneapolis, MN; Seattle, WA; and Houston, TX) to examine racism and its aftermath in America.
Her campaign surpassed its goal FIVE TIMES in less than a week, which clearly makes a statement that she is both good at what she does, and the people want to hear what she has to say.
A true passion project from a queen who could use all the support we could offer.
Beneficiary: The Marcus Books Family
Cause: Support the oldest black-owned bookstore in America.
Marcus Books is the oldest independent Black-owned bookstore in the country.
Sixty years since its opening, the bookstore has become a literary and cultural hallmark, hosting an archive that is comprised of literary royalty and iconic authors such as Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Angela Davis, Terry McMillan, Michael Eric Dyson, Iyanla Vanzant, Nikki Giovanni and so many more of our treasured voices. Just as important are the book clubs, intimate poetry readings, and countless customer conversations that unfold at Marcus.
The Marcus Books Fundraiser will go toward reclaiming a future where Marcus Books doesn't just survive but thrives, evolves, and gives back.
Beneficiary: Melba Ayco | Northwest Tap Connection
Cause: Support this team as they wait to reopen.
The Northwest Tap Connection is a close-knit creative space community of extremely talented black tap enthusiasts based in the south end of Seattle. Like so many, when COVID hit, they were forced to close and somehow sustain business operations to stay afloat.
Since closing, their campaign has raised half of its goal, which they are so adorably grateful for, but they still have a little bit more of a push to go. Regardless, their passionate, eager, and palpable energy will have this group in session for a long time.
Beneficiary: Danita Dani Constable
Cause: Create a farm community in Decatur.
We never received our 40 acres and mule, but our good sis, Danita, doesn't care. She's out here to take it.
Danita, of Decatur, GA is looking to quite literally create a farming community for black women, a skill so incredibly important considering the direction this country is going. Her plans include: purchasing land, buying livestock, farming her land, building housing for those seeking asylum, making a donation to the Farmer's Alliance of Black Farmers, and so. much. more.
Needless to say, she is on a mission--a beautiful mission--and could use our support. She plans to build out this project over the next two to three years.
Beneficiary: Tiffany Lee of Stewart Trial Attorneys on behalf of Roxie Washington
Cause: The support of Giana Floyd.
Yes he did, baby girl.
For the rest of her life, Gianna Floyd will have access to seeing the death of her father. She will always have access to how the country tried to villainize him for his own murder. Despite this, most of us have taken on a ring of protection to ensure that because of this, she will have the best opportunities afforded to her. It takes a village to take care of all of ours, and nothing is enough.
From Barbara Streisand making her a Disney shareholder, to Kanye West paying for her already competitive college education, hopefully these big gestures can size up to an ounce of the fact that her father was stolen from her.
But at least she knows her daddy changed the world.
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Featured image by stockelements / Shutterstock.com
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
2023 has become the year of celebrity breakups with headlines breaking left and right about celebs filing for divorce or ending high-profile relationships. The latest couple to announce their dissolution? British actress Jodie Turner-Smith. TMZ reported that Jodie has filed for a divorce from her husband, Dawson Creek alum Joshua Jackson.
As far as her reason for calling it quits, Jodie cited "irreconcilable differences," according to TMZ, and has requested joint custody of the couple's daughter, Juno Rose Diana Jackson. Late last year there were rumblings of there being "trouble in paradise" for the couple after the media realized they were no longer following each other on Instagram.
Those rumors were more than laid to rest when Jodie and Joshua went to the 2023 Oscars together earlier this year, and even more recently, when they celebrated her birthday together last month during the September unveiling of the Lotus Emeya.
Jodie Turner-Smith celebrates her birthday with husband Joshua Jackson at the unveiling of the new fully-electric Lotus Emeya on September 07, 2023 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Lotus
Despite seeming particularly happy and in love, perhaps the writing was already written on the wall even then. In the past, Jodie has been very celebratory publicly about her love for her estranged husband, even boldly recounting their love story for the books in a 2021 interview with Seth Meyers.
When Jodie and Joshua met, it was while at his birthday party in 2018. Their relationship was hot and heavy from the start, with Jodie openly noting that they began as a "one-night stand." During her 2021 interview with Seth Meyers, she jokingly referred to their love story as a "three-year one-night stand." She shared:
"First of all, I saw him before he saw me and when I saw him, I was like, 'I want that.' And then when he saw me, I just pretended like I didn't see him. He had to yell across the room to me, and I was wearing this T-shirt from a movie called Sorry to Bother You and [actress] Tessa Thompson plays a character called Detroit, and she has this T-shirt that says, 'The Future Is Female Ejaculation.'
"And so, he shouts across the room, 'Detroit!' He comes over and… does this really cute, charming thing that he does and just all night -- he just basically followed me around the party."
The couple were together from that moment forth, and even made things "Instagram official" less than two weeks later while on a dinner date. Joshua would later clarify to Insider that the night they met in 2018 was not a 'one-night stand' or a 'three-year one-night stand' like his then-wife joked but instead, it was "technically a three-night stand."
"It was sealed with a kiss that night and then we didn't leave each other's sides for, well, three years now," Joshua continued at the time.
In a July 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Joshua dropped more details about the why behind getting married. He revealed that he didn't know he wanted to get married to Jodie until "the moment she asked me."
"She asked me on New Year's Eve. We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach and she asked me to marry her."
He added, "I did not know [she would propose], but she was quite adamant and she was right. This is the best choice I ever made."
Joshua Jackson Reveals Jodie Turner-Smith Proposed To Him
Jodie received quite a bit of flack for proposing to Joshua because it goes against tradition and what society sees as acceptable for a woman to do to a man, and proposing isn't one of them. No matter how much time has passed, the viewpoints around who should do the proposing and who should be proposed to are still very traditional.
After being on the receiving end of such backlash, Joshua would later clarify to the media in a separate interview that it wasn't just Jodie's proposal to him that sealed the deal of them getting married, he proposed to her too. She might have initiated it, but Joshua followed through.
"I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn't give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist," he explained to Refinery29 that same year. "We were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic."
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
He continued, "And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn't say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I'm still old school enough that I said, 'This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].'"
"She has a biological father and a stepdad, who's the man who raised her. [I said], 'You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.' And then, 'I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old-fashioned way down on bended knee.' So, that's actually how the story ended up."
Joshua and Jodie would eventually marry in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Jodie gave birth to the couple's first child, Janie, in 2020.
In a recent interview with Elle UK, Jodie shared the ways becoming a mother to Juno helped to heal her of her wounds from colorism she experienced in the past. "It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world," Jodie shared with the outlet.
She continued, "Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. I did have this mini pause, where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have, but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by.' Now that I've got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I've been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism."
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Featured image by Amy Sussman/Getty Images