Tulle & Fury // Tis the Season

Tulle & Fury // Tis the Season

Look y’all. LOOK! 2018 is here, and I’m glad to say that my body is still intact, the zombie apocalypse didn’t happen, and we avoided WWIII... for now. After the Rapture of 2016 when everyone and their mama was beamed up into the ether, we were left wondering what foolishness 2017 had in store for us. Did it pack a wallop or what?! I uninstalled my news and social media apps so many times to avoid having to hear another doomsday headline or read another think piece I almost forgot my passwords. From mass shooting to mass shooting to mass shooting to marches to nazis to Sean Spicer’s mismatched shoes to meltdowns to bans to dreams deferred to investigations to more nazis to protests to confederate statues to the toppling of sexual abusers to black women snatching political wigs, it was almost like Quentin Tarantino directed our entire year. We’ve been through some shit. We’ve weathered plenty of storms on every end — politically, socially, historically, literally, mentally, and financially to the point where we’re pretty much over it. But I didn’t want to write about the complete suckage of the past 365 days. Let’s look at our year with fresh eyes, shall we?

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Tulle & Fury // Deteriorating Mental Health and Entrepeneurship

Tulle & Fury // Deteriorating Mental Health and Entrepeneurship

Three months ago I started to feel depressed; you know the kind of slow dread that works its ways into your bones? That was me. I finally recognized the culprits, so I stopped checking the headlines first thing in the morning, I took Facebook and other social media apps off of my phone, and something spectacular happened because of it. I felt better. I liked getting up in the morning. I didn’t feel the creeping anxiety of wondering who else was going to lose rights, livelihoods, or lives that day. Ignorance was freaking bliss. The world didn’t stop. Shitty things kept happening, but I stopped finding out about them.

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Register for Social Justice // Fundraising for a Nonprofit on your Wedding Day

Register for Social Justice // Fundraising for a Nonprofit on your Wedding Day

One year ago, my now-husband and I chose our wedding venue. A month later, a man who ran a presidential campaign on a platform of hate won by a wide margin in that town. Like many others, we wanted to mobilize resources for social issues put at risk by the election. Our wedding would be the largest set of consumer decisions that we would influence in a turbulent 2017, so we first set our sights on how to design a wedding day that celebrated our commitment, while also making a statement about what we stand for.

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Kin Aesthetics // Love, Communication, and Relationship as Responses to the Church of Social Justice

Kin Aesthetics // Love, Communication, and Relationship as Responses to the Church of Social Justice

I recently released a personal essay on my experiences being within American leftist activist culture that went viral, reaching over half a million people worldwide. In it, I expanded upon the ways in which social justice culture, with its rich and enduring legacy of resistance to oppression, has largely devolved into operating on dogmatic terms. After I wrote it, I almost did not publish it or share it within my circles. I felt preemptively queasy when considering the backlash that inevitably comes after voicing an unpopular view or pushing back on the status quo in leftist spaces. How could I disrupt knee-jerk hypercriticality by placing myself squarely in front of its firing squad? Wouldn’t that be a social suicide mission? But based on the overwhelming, emotional responses from readers about the essay’s resonance, this internal struggle appears to be a widespread issue in leftist and progressive communities that desperately needs be addressed.

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Black BeauTEA Talk // Celebrated, Not Tolerated: Woke AF Wedding Vendors List

Black BeauTEA Talk // Celebrated, Not Tolerated: Woke AF Wedding Vendors List

One part that really seemed to stand out last month according to the feedback was the story about none of the vendors posting photos of the black bride's wedding. Her story really drove home why I push the phrase, “Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated,” so much. It's very important that on top of realizing these issues, we do our part to support those who truly support us! How many times have you been online and come across a new viral post about yet another business owner coming out as having been racist?! How many of these business owners had you supported in the past? Yea, I know girl, me too, and the worst part is there is no way for us to be able to tell, right?! Well of course there isn't, but we can damn sure look for the businesses that SHOW us that they are here for us. It's really easy to do; if you go to their website and don't see anything close to a representation of you, peace out! You'd be taking a chance with giving this business your support, or in other words, your coins!!

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Kin Aesthetics // Excommunicate Me from the Church of Social Justice

Kin Aesthetics // Excommunicate Me from the Church of Social Justice

There is a particularly aggressive strand of social justice activism weaving in and out of my Seattle community that has troubled me, silenced my loved ones, and turned away potential allies. I believe in justice. I believe in liberation. I believe it is our duty to obliterate white supremacy, anti-blackness, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, and imperialism. And I also believe there should be openness around the tactics we use and ways our commitments are manifested. Beliefs and actions are too often conflated with each other, yet questioning the latter does not renege the former. As a Cultural Studies scholar, I am interested in the ways that culture does the work of power. What then, is the culture of activism, and in what ways are activists restrained by it? To be clear, I’m only one person who doesn’t know everything, and I’m open to revisions and learning. But as someone who has spent the last decade recovering from a forced conversion to evangelical Christianity, I’m seeing a disturbing parallel between religion and activism in the presence of dogma:

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Tulle & Fury // People Are Politics

Tulle & Fury // People Are Politics

Why does a wedding planner want to talk about politics and identity? As a Texas-based business owner, you can imagine how often I get asked that question. But the answer is always the same: because politics and identity affect everything I do: my choice of hairstyle, who I work with, the very fact that I’m a black-owned business that loves working with same-sex couples in a state that makes its position on that very well-known. I could go on. But ultimately, do you know why? Because people are politics.

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Real Couples // Love and Activism: Bianca + Christina

Real Couples // Love and Activism: Bianca + Christina

Going to a protest as a first date was fitting for these two Chicago land activists who are planting seeds of change all around their community. Bianca and Christina are passionate about making this world we live in a better and equal place for all. Love just happened naturally and sprouted fast for these two. They may even admit that it was L-O-V-E at first sight for the both of them. As they approach two years of being together, it still feels like fireworks and butterflies to them.

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Woke Wednesday // Meet Jordan Maney of All the Days Event Co.

Woke Wednesday // Meet Jordan Maney of All the Days Event Co.

I was definitely sipping the Kool-Aid growing up, thinking somehow I was an exception to the rule. That changed a few years ago after a horrible experience with some police officers. It was the October before the Mike Brown shooting. I thought a middle class upbringing, pearls, and dresses were going to save me. But I learned that to some people, all I ever will be is black and a problem. I hated it. I hated the microaggressions I denied were problems. It was really an unlearning of a bunch of different things. It was being honest about how I felt as a black woman in a world that hates black women. It grew into advocating for everyone else who gets sidelined into the margins. I learned to listen and I learned to speak up and out.

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Woke Wednesday // Meet Richmond Photographer Nadiya Nacorda of Imani Fine Art Photography

Woke Wednesday // Meet Richmond Photographer Nadiya Nacorda of Imani Fine Art Photography

If you find yourself questioning something that feels inappropriate or abusive, then it probably is. Do not "use" an interracial couple in a shoot just to make your portfolio more diverse so you can start seeming more inclusive to the industry. Start first with yourself. Take a step back, and look at the inner circle of people you see every month. Who are they? What do you all talk about? Are you discussing issues related to populations you have no experience with? Do you participate in tokenizing? Overall, if you share these values and want to start out in the industry, double and then triple-check yourself and your own life. Because if you're still participating in social practices that are damaging or harmful toward marginalized groups in this country, whether it be consciously or subconsciously, then frankly you haven't done the work.

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Woke Wednesday // Meet Erika Swift

Woke Wednesday // Meet Erika Swift

We spoke with Erika Swift, the owner of J&E Designs and The Bridal Loft in Phoenix, Arizona, about her experience growing up in a predominantly white community and finding her voice in the wedding industry to advocate for couples of color. 

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Let Me Ruin This For You // How PepsiCo Failed to Properly Exploit a Movement for Money

Let Me Ruin This For You // How PepsiCo Failed to Properly Exploit a Movement for Money

There’s probably a Pepsi executive out there right now, shaking his head over a half-full decanter, wondering how such a dependable method of advertising failed him. Maybe he’s sitting in a dark room, projecting a YouTube compilation of the 2017 Super Bowl commercials onto the wall, thinking to himself, “What about Budweiser’s pro-immigration commercial? What about Coke’s anti-wall spot? Have we not made it clear that we too stand with the youths? We also believe in music and conversations and hijabs!”

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