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Kelundra Recommends 09.14.2020

It’s been almost a month since I published a recommendation list. When I first set out to do these, I told myself that at the point it felt like another item on the to-do list, and not just fun, I’d pause. Now, I’m back to it, and I’m excited to share all of the delightful experiences I’ve had over the last month. Life is a constant attempt at leaning into joy, even in the midst of pain. That’s absolutely reflected in the media we consume, so here we go!

  1. TO WATCH: For this jam-packed recommendations list, I’m just going to list all of the things I’ve watched that have stuck with me over the last few months. In no particular order, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed watching any of these movies or television shows. 
    1. I May Destroy You (HBO) – Michaela Coel makes content that is challenging and tedious and dark and smart and creative and funny. In this series, she explores the ways in which we take consent from others and the ways in which it is taken from us.
    2. Vida (Starz) – One of the best dramas on TV in the last three years, period
    3. The Sapphires (Netflix) – Based on the true story of an Aboriginal girl group who performed for troops during the Vietnam War
    4. Life Without Basketball (Amazon) – Documentary about a young Muslim woman whose dream of playing professional basketball is dashed by discrimination
    5. P-Valley (Starz) – Based on the play “Pussy Valley” by Katori Hall, this new-era, Southern Gothic tale drops viewers into a rural Mississippi strip as the employees are fighting to stave off gentrification and misogyny
    6. Family Reunion (Netflix) – Light-hearted, family-friendly sitcom
    7. Ruff Ryders Chronicles (BET) – A behind-the-scenes story of the Ruff Ryders record label as told by its founders and rappers Eve, DMX and The Lox
    8. Poms – Movie about women of a certain age who find a new purpose in the world of competitive cheerleading
    9. AKA Jane Roe (FX) – Documentary about the troubled existence of the woman behind the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case
    10. Inglorious Basterds – I think I was the last person on earth to watch this movie and that final scene still has me messed up
  2. TO EAT: When I first started writing for Food & Wine Magazine a year or so ago, I loved the glossy images and aspirational recipes, but I was often intimidated by the skill they required. But cooking, like any other skill, is mastered with time. Needless to say that in quarantine, I’ve had plenty of it. That gave me the confidence to try making this delicious Summer Crab Carbonara. I used lump crab meat instead of blue crab when I made it, and it still turned out so yummy. And I stirred fast enough so the eggs didn’t scramble. Success!
  3. TO DRINK: Unless someone recommends something to me that’s particularly extraordinary, I choose wine by the pretty label. My bestie bought me a bottle of Girl and Dragon Pinot Grigio for my birthday last year, and I recently finished it off. You can truly drink this wine with anything.
  4. TO PLAY: JoJo released the deluxe edition of her album Good to Know, and I can’t stop listening to it. It’s sexy and vibey. If you don’t know who JoJo is, you might remember her 2004 single “Leave (Get Out).” If you want to know one of my favorite performances by her, it’s this mashup of Outkast and Drake.
  5. TO READ: Last year, I stood in line for two hours in order to meet Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give. Thomas is the author I needed as a teenage girl, but she was a teenager too at the time. The novel follows a teenage girl named Starr Carter who is caught between her mostly Black urban community and the mostly white suburban neighborhood where she goes to school. After her friend Khalil is killed by the police, these worlds collide; and we see the aftershock of how one tragedy impacts a family, a community and a people. Around the time I read this novel in 2018, I was still grieving a childhood friend who died from gun violence, and Thomas so vividly captured everything I was feeling. It’s a total page turner, whether you listen on Audible or read it the old-fashioned way. The book is a New York Times Bestseller and it was adapted into a movie (with a standout performance by Russell Hornsby). After you finish, check out her second novel, On the Come Up.

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