icymi: january 2023
news and pop culture updates from last month
congrats! you’ve made it through the first month of the year!
i originally planned to share this newsletter during the first week of the month, but i just finished a wholesome trip to colorado with my friends, so we’re a little late for january’s roundup!
did you happen to miss any pop culture news from this month? perhaps, you missed something in national or regional news? i’ve created a roundup of things that occurred this month, along with some things that i read/listened to.
disclaimer: these are not in chronological order. also, there will be a mention about the murder of tyre nichols, shooting at monterey park, and death of manuel teran in this month’s edition in case you need to click off this post.
on january 2, nfl player damar hamlin collapsed from an injury during the cincinnati bengals game, which led to a discussion about the nfl exploiting their black football players and cte. the latest update about his recovery was posted on his instagram on january 28
other week-long discourse occurred: white women have colonized mielle rosemary mint oil off the shelf/buccal fat removal is the new bbl/mindy kaling was compared to kenya barris… a lot
benedict cumberbatch could be forced to pay reparations to barbados for his family’s plantation on the island. tiktok user @kuhdeejuh_ claimed to be a direct descendant of the enslaved people and detailed her family history on her account. perhaps… you shouldn’t accept the role of a slave master if it’s quite literally in your family’s history?
ice spice, also known as my generation’s princess diana, released her first ep, like..?she was also spotted in the nyc subway with pinkpantheress and confirmed a remix to “boy’s a liar”
avan jogia’s directorial debut, door mouse, was released in select theaters. the neo-noir thriller follows a comic book creator (hayley law) that works night shifts at a burlesque club and the search for her missing coworker
the first three episodes of the last of us were released, and the third episode is a lovely depiction of queer love and brilliantly showcased love during a zombie apocalypse. tears were shed!
u.s. representative george santos, an openly gay congressman who has publicly supported florida’s ‘don’t say gay’ bill, was revealed to have a history as a drag queen. this is a real headline: george santos finally admits to drag queen past: ‘sue me for having a life’
m3gan, the honorable gay representation of the month (second to sunday’s episode of the last of us), was released in theaters on january 6
manuel esteban paez terán, also referred to as tortuguita, was killed in their encampment by a georgia state patrol officer during a raid at atlanta’s stop cop city movement. i had the privilege of organizing with manny in tallahassee, florida, and their work in the community involved food not bombs, international workers of the world, and several community gardens. (in my what i read this month section below, there’s a heartfelt essay about manny from the bitter southerner)
governor ron desantis has rejected an ap african-american studies course, demanded that florida universities essentially rat out their transgender students and their healthcare history, cracked down on teachers’ unions, and vowed to ban vaccine and mask mandates. all…in the span of a month. and there’s more.
on the evening of lunar new year, a shooting occurred at monterey park, a chinese community located in southern california. the l.a. times created a tribute to the eleven victims here
in memphis, tennessee, tyre nichols died in the hospital following a confrontation with five memphis police officers. seven cops involved in his death have been relieved of their duty, and three employees at the fire department were fired
abbott elementary has been renewed for a third season and furthered their slow burn of gregory and janine’s love story
the oscars announced their nominations for this year’s awards show, and this is a biased opinion but the woman king, till, and honk for jesus. save your soul were snubbed. thrilled for everything everywhere all at once and wakanda forever!
beyoncé invited special guests (not that special because i didn’t receive my invitation) to dubai for a somewhat secret performance. i say somewhat because most of the performance was leaked on tiktok in less than 24 hoursTiktok failed to load.
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hbo max canceled titans, gossip girl, and doom patrol. anna diop, you will always be famous!
the m&ms are out, and maya rudolph is in. (somehow… this is tucker carlson’s fault)
loewe is releasing their final studio ghibli collection, and it’s inspired by howl’s moving castle
pfizer vaccine distrust resulted in “thanks pfizer” memes, and zachary levi is attempting to ruin the potential success of shazam 2 with his anti-vax rhetoric
massive layoffs occurred in tech and media, including google, washington post, and paypal
the trader joe’s in louisville, kentucky, voted to unionize their store, which makes it the third store in the grocery chain with a victory
you people, kenya barris’ latest addition to the interracial rom-com genre, was released on netflix, but i fear that it has done more harm than good
what i loved reading this month:
little turtle’s war by david peisner
i dressed like bella hadid for a week to find the best plus size alternatives by aiyana ishmael
‘i don’t want to die’: fighting maternal mortality among black women by erica l. green
commentary: it’s not just the oscars that fail black women. it’s the entire awards ecosystem by robert daniels
this is what having an incarcerated mother can rob you of by sierra lyons
this entire bookstore is dedicated to black food writing by kayla stewart
avan jogia is tired of being left out of the nerd conversation by leo rocha
in brooklyn, america’s gentrification epicenter, building on a model for community care by frances nguyen
angelus turns 25: the devastating twist that changed buffy the vampire slayer & tv forever by david odyssey
a taste of home: how ethnic grocery stores create community by michelle chen
“that's so raven” costume designer on the show's sartorial significance 20 years later by aiyana ishmael
the courts screwed gunna, now he’s being shunned by his peers by andre gee
what i loved watching this month:
the last of us (episodes 1-3)
what i loved listening to this month:
no thank you by little simz
the best of sade by sade
contact by kelela