It is officially Gemini SZN and ya girl just celebrated her 27th birthday. While in the past, I may have wished for shoes or a pair of AirPods or money or some other frivolous thing, this year, I realize that it's a gift just to be alive.
It's a gift that George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor were unable to receive today. The thought of what their lives could have and should have been is sobering and quite frankly, I am not okay. I've cried so many tears over the past two weeks that my ducts are literally exhausted and it's safe to say that a mental health check-in is much-needed.
During this turbulent time, understand that there is a time to protest and a time to recover and one of the best ways to do that is setting aside a few hours to do absolutely nothing. Self-care isn't selfish, sis, and if you need some binge-worthy content to inspire you to sit down and recharge, as always, xoNecole is coming thru with the come thru.
Here's a list of Black AF titles you can stream right now:
Clueless (June 1)
Before Stacey Dash voluntarily traded in her Black card, she was Dionne Marie Davenport, a wealthy fashionista from Beverly Hills whose wardrobe showed no mercy. Starring a young Alicia Silverstone, Donald Faison, and Brittany Murphy, this nostalgic classic is available for streaming right now.
Cook Off (June 1)
This Zimbabwean rom-com tells the story of a struggling single mother with a passion for culinary arts who enters a cooking competition that leads her to love. The film, which was originally filmed in 2017, was shot with only a budget of $8,000 but has won a number of international awards since its release.
Juwanna Mann (June 1)
Featuring an all-star cast of Black celebrity icons like Lil' Kim, Ginuwine, Vivica A. Fox, Jenifer Lewis, Kim Wayans, and Miguel A. Núñez Jr., this 2002 comedy is the throwback dose of laughter we didn't know we needed this month.
The Help (June 1)
If 2020 was a food, it would be sh*t pie, and Netflix just came through with the 2011 historical drama, The Help, that reminds us that more than 60 years after the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, not much has changed.
Inside Man (June 1)
Denzel Washington can do no wrong and his 2006 Spike Lee-directed bank heist crime thriller, Inside Man is no exception.
Hannibal (June 5)Hannibal - Season 3
Based on the character from the 1991 psychological horror film, Silence of the Lambs, all three seasons of the NBC television series, Hannibal will be available to stream June 5.
Queer Eye: Season 5 (June 5)
The Fab Five are finally back and after watching the trailer, I just need to know who is cutting onions in here. For season five, the crew heads to Philly to help a gay priest, single mother, and a Black woman who struggles with her height get their look and their self-esteem all the way together and I have my box of tissues ready, honey.
Pose: Season 2 (June 11)
Two years ago, Ryan Murphy teamed up with entertainers like Billy Porter, MJ Rodriguez, and Indya Moore to release an LGBTQ+-led series that went viral. Today, these stars are still slaying the internet one episode at a time. The second season of the series, which picks up in the early 1990s as the crew finds their footing in the mainstream world, will be available on Netflix on June 11.
Dating Around: Season 2 (June 12)
It seems like Netflix debuts a new dating show that helps people from all walks of life find love every other week––meanwhile, my DMs are full of chain messages from my 35+ and up Facebook family. Luckily, we can ditch the dating apps and live vicariously through a group of optimistic strangers on season two of Netflix's reality show, Dating Around.
Da 5 Bloods (June 12)
If you or someone you love is feeling Black as f*ck these days, Netflix has all the tools you need to Spike Lee and chill. From School Daze and Malcolm X to his first original film with the streaming platform, Da 5 Bloods, which tells the story of five Black Vietnam veterans and the trauma that the war inflicted on their lives at home, you can create the perfect Black AF playlist to get you through this time.
How to Get Away with Murder: Season 6 (June 13)
It's so hard to say goodbye to Annalise Keating, but the time has come and I'm not crying, you are. You can see how it all ends when How to Get Away with Murder's sixth and final season begins streaming on June 13.
Baby Mama (June 16)
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Name a better duo… I'll wait.
OK, I may be exaggerating but you're truly cold if you can sit through this entire movie without cracking a smile. While this movie may not be Black AF and includes a lot of white people white-peopling, Romany Malco is in it and you deserve the laugh.
Crazy Delicious (June 24)
Starring Tennesse-born chef Carla Hall, Crazy Delicious is a British Netflix original competition show that challenges chefs to make extraordinary creations out of everyday dishes.
Featured image by The Help.
Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
Take Our 2-Minute Wellness Quiz To Up Your Self-Care Game!
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood. We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Westend61/Getty Images