Play It Cool This Weekend Reading List

Featuring: a necessary conversation about HIV/AIDS in the south, Lebron James— the man, why we need to stop hating on sex workers and video girls, revisiting Zora Neal Hurston's gift to the world, and an ode to the mother of reality TV. 

By Wallace Mack

What I Learned About Love from Rereading ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’

Eve Dunbar, PBS

I know so many people that like myself, cite Their Eyes Were Watching God as their favorite piece of American literature. When you fall in love with a work, it's important to revisit it from time to time. 

The Loneliness of Lebron James 

Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker 

I'm not necessarily a sports fan and haven't been diehard about any athletic program since basketball season in high school. But I have a pretty enduring love of culture, and sports culture is no less interesting. Vinson Cunningham does an awesome job of discussing the ways in which various aspects of culture interact with sports— Rihanna to politics to race to fashion. 

Magic City, Uncut, & How 'Take Back the Music' Took Our Agency

Toi Bly, The Neue

Just going to leave you with this quote from the essay, "Protecting women means that we let them live by their own standards, even if they don't align with our own.  It means not projecting our insecurities on women who are comfortable with their own sexuality.  It means educating women on their sexual rights and allowing (and trusting) them to make informed decisions.  It means recognizing their contributions to the arts that we choose to engage with."

We’re Still Living in A World Crafted by Tiffany ‘New York’ Pollard

Myles Johnson, OkayPlayer

Because Tiffany Pollard is the Queen of reality TV, but also because she represents something much larger than herself. 

America’s Hidden H.I.V. Epidemic

Linda Villarosa, New York Times Magazine

Linda Villarosa is absolutely brilliant and in this extremely well-researched profile of the ongoing HIV-AIDS epidemic in the American South, she extends compassion and nuance. These are both things that are missing from the way we talk about the disease and the black and brown gay and bisexual men who have contracted it. 

I'm over the moon excited about the new SZA album CTRL, but please let's acknowledge the beautiful songwriter that is Jhene Aiko as well.

Last thought: this weekend, and every weekend, please be sure to use condoms!