Roundup Week 27 – Our Readers’ Gift Guide Suggestions


Before we forget, here’s our website of past newsletters, here’s a link to subscribe to our Patreon, here’s an anonymous question bank for anyone who wants to keep their questions private, here’s a fund tracker that breaks down how we spend our money, and here’s the link to sign up to receive these newsletters if someone forwarded them to you. 

Hi friends,

We had so much fun making our gift guide and sharing it with all of you via email that we took it to instagram! Here’s a post with all of our featured items (including some bonus content) and an instagram shopping guide (for items listed in the stores themselves). Follow along if you’re on instagram.

We promised we’d send out your recommendations for other great BIPOC-owned businesses to support this holiday season, too! Here’s what you sent us:

Beautiful custom wooden keepsakes, including Christmas tree ornaments, keepsake boxes, cards, and journals. Follow on instagram at

Coffee, books, audiobooks, merch – based in Philly! Scroll their options at @unclebobbies.

Matching pajamas for the whole family! For every pajama set you buy, they partner with a shelter for survivors of domestic violence and a shelter for people experiencing homelessness to provide comfortable PJs for their residents, too! Scroll their options at @pajamasforpeace.

Jewelry company that makes products out of reclaimed gold and every piece is so very cool (and customizable). Scroll their feed at @automicgold.

Handcrafted skincare and CBD products from a licensed esthetician. Check them out on instagram at @gigi_naturally.

CBD-infused goods including honey, bath bombs, and tinctures. Scroll though or shop at @brwnbx.

Self-care products for at-home facials, body balms, and all your skin’s wellness needs. Focused on being a community space for Black women and women of color as much as they are on making high quality products. Scroll their (extremely aesthetically pleasing) feed at @freedomapothecary

The most gorgeous paper goods – greeting cards, calendars, stationary, etc. Scroll away at

Prints, clothing, cards, etc. Artisan collab by childhood friends and everything they make is a perfect card for your best friend’s birthday, art for your home office, or t-shirt when you want to be slouchy but also actually look stylish in your ~zoom mullet~ (cute top and spandex shorts – Emily’s preferred quarantine apparel). Scroll @sacree_frangine.

A shoot with a lifestyle photographer could be a *great* gift this year. Carmen was recommended to us as an option for anyone in the Atlanta area! You can book a giftcard for Atlanta friends or family who need a new headshot, graduation pics, family photos, etc. Check out her instagram at @carmennicolephotography.

Okay unsure how we didn’t put any potters in the first newsletter but W-O-W this is an excellent choice. Not only is every mug, creamer, pot, spoonrest, etc. absolutely beautiful, but also they literally brand themselves as “pottery against injustice” – can we get an amen?! Follow along at @utilityobjects

Some of the recommendations y’all sent us included: Ta-Nehisi CoatesElaine WelterothChimamanda Ngozi AdichieMichelle ObamaRupi KaurKeeanga-Yamahtta TaylorRobin Wall KimmererIbram X. KendiJericho BrownAminatou Sow and Ann Friedman (okay that’s our recommendation because Big Friendship is the best book Emily read this year), Ijeoma OluoAkwaeke EmeziIsabel WilkersonSandra Cisneros, and so many more.

AND, our recommendation for a brand new book this holiday season: The Black Friend by Frederick Joseph. We just ordered our copies on (Fred is Emily’s friend Davaughn’s best friend and we are so, so excited to support him as he releases his first book this week). 


  • launched! And we recommend you bookmark this a massive dataset that uses opensource information to track and reconstruct the lives of individuals who were enslaved, owned slaves, or participated in the historical trade.
  • Racial Microaggressions Take a Major Toll on Black Americans – “White people gawking at or complimenting Black people for doing ordinary things is literally harming their health, research shows.”
  • This Hyper-Seasonal Eating Strategy Helps Prevent My Winter Colds – we didn’t (and still don’t) know much about Traditional Chinese Medicine but this was an excellent primer in the ancient practice of eating seasonally (told by a woman embracing her grandmother’s teachings) that might be useful as we enter another week of flu season, common cold season, and pandemic season all at once.
  • The Coronavirus Has Sparked Another Epidemic in Prison: Anti-Asian Racism
  • LISTENCrew No. 7 – Ear Hustle interviews some of the individuals who have been fighting fires in California this summer/fall. Per usual, the team at Ear Hustle, including men who are currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, do a fantastic job explaining the wildfires, the ways incarcerated people are trained to fight fires, and the humanity of all involved. 
  • WATCHThis Video (from Cartoon Network’s twitter, of all places!) about how our textbooks teach students about Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb when the filament within it was more likely invented by Lewis Latimer, who demanded a better standard of living for formerly enslaved people and how this connects to the broader story of systemic racism

We hope you’re staying healthy this week. It’s so strange to be writing to you so regularly in the midst of a global catastrophe, not knowing how many of you may be closely affected by the pandemic or the economic toll it’s taken on many families across the nation. Writing this newsletter each week feels like a constant exercise of “it can all be true at once.” Existing during a pandemic, frankly, feels like an exercise of “it can all be true at once.” It’s a constant maelstrom of stories of suffering and joy alike, especially as we head into the holidays. We never really planned to have 7 months of newsletters written and dialogues hosted in the midst of historical event after historical event but what a weird gift it is to have this burgeoning (virtual) community to share with all of you. Know that we are cheering for you, thinking of you, wishing you well from our respective corners of the world in this strange season. 

We’ll chat with you Monday!

In solidarity,
Ellie, Emily, and Hayden

PS – Tis the season for Spotify/Apple Music end-of-the-year playlists! Emily looooves when people share them, Ellie thinks it’s just a little bit corny. However! If you have a favorite tune that keeps you grounded in the movement, reminds you of a commitment to be a better accomplice, or is just that kind of serotonin boost we all need right now, please send them our way! We’re putting together a playlist of our best “hope is a discipline”-feeling jams and we want your favorites to be on there.

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