BOOK Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall "Through her prose, Mikki Kendall exposes the egregious blind spots of the feminist movement and gave me a better understanding of how to fight for the rights of all women, not just the ones who look like me. To gain equality for all, some of us, myself included, will have to swallow some difficult truths—this may be inconvenient and uncomfortable, but this is precisely what it takes to stand in solidarity and to listen to the voices of the women who have been oppressed by a movement that should’ve been helping them all along.” — excerpt from Kirsten Miller in Idun’s recent journal post of must-reads. Order Hood Feminism from Semicolon, Chicago’s only black woman-owned bookstore HERE.
ART Artist, Kenesha Sneed L.A.-based designer, art director, painter, and ceramicist. Working between two worlds; the digital and the natural Kenesha Sneed's art is one of form, function, and expressive colors. Discover her work HERE.
ORGANIZATION BlackFem Inc. A feminist organization that focuses on giving girls of color the confidence, skills, and resources to build and sustain wealth. Utilizing an integrative educational model, school partnerships, and with a focus on intersectional feminism BlackFem empowers underserved communities. Donate and learn more about BlackFem HERE. FILMS Le Cinema Club Rather than one film here is a list of films featured on Le Cinema Club by a young British-Nigerian filmmaker and artist Ayo Akingbade. The list of films she loves engage with the history of race, protest, and political struggle. Find the list of films HERE.
SHOP Sincerely Tommy This Brooklyn-based concept store focuses on emerging women's wear and art. Owned by Kai Avent-deLeon, the shop is a constant source of inspiration and community empowerment. Discover more HERE.
Idun’s Mission: "Inspiring and empowering women to wear what they find here with confidence.”
We haven’t done everything we can to fulfill this promise. As a shop in St. Paul committed to bringing interesting and talented independent designers to you, we sorely missed the mark in bringing BIPOC designers and artists into our store.
We're focused on changing this.
The past two weeks have been focused on the needs of our local community, specifically donating and volunteering with organizations fighting systemic racial injustice and rebuilding our city. We will continue these efforts here at home, and work as a team to continue our education, specifically reading through Rachel Cargle’s book list https://bookshop.org/shop/Elizabeths.
Long-term, Idun has signed pledge15, meaning at least 15% of our shelf space will come from Black designers and makers. We have missed so many talented and artistic designers that we would be honored to carry and be a part of the Idun family.
This shift in our offering will be reflected in our upcoming collections.
Art inspires everything we do at Idun. We are committed to collaborating with Black artists, within design, photography, content, dance, poetry, film, and more. We have a growing list of artists in mind that we are beginning to reach out to for future collaboration opportunities.
Lastly, we are investing in fighting wealth inequality. We are giving monthly to Black Fem Inc., which focuses on financial literacy, designed to serve BIPOC girls as young as three, all the way through to adulthood. We believe empowering women starts with equal opportunities within education and financial literacy, and we are committed to supporting these efforts through recurring donations.
The opportunity to reassess where we have fallen short only shows me how much more we can do to create a more interesting and diverse expression of our vision at Idun. Please email me with any comments or concerns at Dahlia@shopidun.com.
Books have this magical ability to transport us into worlds that are not our own. They have the power to move us from the mundane desk job to a spellbinding forest or a quaint village outside of a city we’ve never traversed. They allow us to feel seen, heard, and understood. They let us know that we are not alone—even in this.
Reading has always been a powerful form of escapism, but it feels even more relevant in the age of quarantine. As I sit alone in my apartment, yes, there are feelings of loneliness, but I’m also reminded that I can easily move into another world by merely flipping a page. So, during these unprecedented times, I’ve found myself turning page after page, escaping to worlds that are not my own, engaging in the principles and knowledge of writers who are thousands of miles away or hundreds of years apart, but whose words are no less poignant.
Maybe you too are hoping to find solace in a world that is not your own, or perhaps you’re hoping to be immersed in a conversation that makes you see the world in a different way, or maybe you’re longing to feel seen through the enigmatic words of a poem. I have felt each of these as I’ve waded through the hours, days, and weeks of quarantine, and this is what I’m reading to feed my soul.
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi This book had me spellbound from the first sentence, “Nobody ever warned me about mirrors, so for many years I was fond of them, and believed them to be trustworthy.” From there, I became absorbed by Oyeyemi’s magical retelling of the fairytale “Snow White,” which hinges on the structure of race in America, the politics of passing, and the cultural idea of beauty. The story of Boy Novak gripped me until the very end—if you’re looking for a book to get lost in, this is it.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky Through a series of letters addressed to an anonymous reader, I became intimately acquainted with the ups and downs of 15-year-old Charlie as he tries to navigate the throes of high school. Not only did the book leave me reminiscing about high school, but it also brought me into deep thought about mental health and how our bodies protect us at certain times and open us up to heal at others. Perks reminded me that we all struggle with painful or traumatic things, but we don’t have to go through them alone.
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall I picked up this book knowing that it would forever change me and the way I think—not unlike Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me (side note: if you haven’t read this one, you should!). Through her prose, Mikki Kendall exposes the egregious blind spots of the feminist movement and gave me a better understanding of how to fight for the rights of all women, not just the ones who look like me. To gain equality for all, some of us, myself included, will have to swallow some difficult truths—this may be inconvenient and uncomfortable, but this is precisely what it takes to stand in solidarity and to listen to the voices of the women who have been oppressed by a movement that should’ve been helping them all along.
Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott I feel like I dogeared nearly every page of this book. It was exactly what I needed in the moments of despair and uncertainty that sometimes feel like they might swallow me whole. Anne Lamott gets it, and instead of running from it or sugarcoating it, she embraces it. Like when she says, “Every day we’re in the grip of the impossible conundrum: the truth that it’s over in a blink, and we may be near the end, and that we have to live as if it’s going to be okay, no matter what.” Lamott reminded me that life is hard and it will inevitably be filled with things that cause us immense anguish, but joy will surprise us, even in the midst of this.
It sort of goes without saying that those of us who live in places with questionable winters live for spring, Minnesotans perhaps at the top of the list. Hence, I am a sucker for cocktails that match that mood - specifically the much maligned spritz. Despite all the love/hate for specifically the Aperol Spritz (most notably that *one* NYT article), I think spritzes are a perfect cocktail (sue me!) and honestly, the possibilities in composition are endless. They're fun, effervescent, not overly high proof so you can drink a bunch (preferably outdoors), and delicious. My personal general rule for spritzes is one type of alcohol, one type of aperitif, a whisper of citrus, a little sugar (cocktails gotta have booty!), and some bubble (sparkling wine! la croix! both!). Use what you have at home or buy things that are enjoyable AND versatile - we don't have to make it fancy, it just has to taste good. Here is a springy template for all your future spritzing endeavors!
The 'What Have You' Spritz 1 ounce white rum (or gin! or vodka! maybe tequila!) 1 ounce Lillet Blanc (Cocchi Americano! Blanc Vermouth! Aperitif wine!) .5 ounce strawberry cordial* (or any kind of simple syrup you feel like!) squeeze of lemon (roughly .25-.5 ounces)
2-3 ounces dry sparkling wine *Strawberry cordial: 1 cup quartered strawberries 1 cup sugar 1 cup water Simmer all ingredients on the stove until the sugar is dissolved and the strawberries begin to break down. Strain and chill. Use in all your favorite summer drinks!
Shake ingredients minus the bubbles on ice (or stir vigorously on ice if you don't have a shaker!) and strain into your fanciest stemware (I'm personally using my mother's wedding crystal because what else is it for anyway!) and top with a generous pour of sparkling wine.
This is a rich, rustic, melt in the mouth banana bread good for any time of day. Most important for a deep banana flavor is to use extremely ripe, black bananas. To further deepen the flavor and break down the banana starch, throw your ripe bananas in the freezer overnight, pull them out in the morning and let sit out for a couple more days.
Ingredients: 3 super ripe bananas 3 eggs 1/2 cup coconut sugar 1/2 cup raw sugar 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 1/4 cup coconut oil 1/2 cup vegetable oil 3/4 cup almond flour 1 cup ap flour 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325°. Coat loaf pan with oil. Combine flours, baking soda, and salt. Add in a few pinches of cardamom, cinnamon, and/or nutmeg if you want a bit of that spice flavor.
Roughly mash bananas in a separate bowl. Whisk in eggs followed by all sugar and vanilla paste. Add coconut and vegetable oil and whisk until smooth.
Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over mix. Pour batter into pan and smooth the top. For unnecessary aesthetics, slice a sheet of banana lengthwise and lay on top of batter.
Bake until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, 50-60 min. The top will be quite dark, but don’t fret. That gives it that caramelized banana flavor. Let it cool in the pan.
For max enjoyment, toast a thick slice in a cast iron skillet with a little butter and top with almond butter and maldon salt.
Variations: 1. Easily make gluten-free by upping almond flour to 1 1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup coconut flour. 2. To healthify and up the coconut flavor, reduce sugar and replace vegetable oil fully using coconut oil.