where do we go?

cherry: issue #009 ✧ on Black mental health

it’s been forever and a day since i’ve shimmied into your inbox. but unlike times past, i have no apology for you. i won’t spend 300 words trying to convince you that i had a “valid” reason for retreating, that i still think you’re the bees knees, that this rapport we have going is wonderful and my absence was nothing personal.

stigma around mental health — think: the frisson at any conversation deeper than “how are you?” — is ever-present in american culture. but, as the last few months have reminded me, mental health stigma comes in different flavors. and the version reserved for Black women, Black femmes, Black queer people is extra acidic. punishingly spicy. wholeheartedly tart.

these days, i wake up and go to sleep thinking about sha’carri richardson: the way her hair fans out behind her — greek fire. a human adrenaline rush. hood sunshine. to quote kash doll, rocking ghetto ass nails like she’s flo jo. (literally.) a shot of fireball whiskey, thanks, in part, to her darling, supportive girlfriend. the way i was completely unsurprised to find out she’s an aries.

the way she followed 99% of the rules and got booted on a technicality. the human embodiment of working thrice as hard to get half as far. and “the weight of the world” on simone biles’ shoulders. and the resignation and humility and consistent re-traumatization of naomi osaka. and the way a white man tried to crush venus williams’ spirit at 14. fourteen.

and the question zeba blay asks in this installment of “carefree black girl:”

where can Black women go to find tenderness outside of ourselves?

and the question asked by solange: and i don't know where to go / no, I don't know where to stay / where do we go from here? / do you know?

how you can show up

put “carefree black girl” in your inbox (or at least follow zeba on instagram)

buy your weed from a Black-owned dispensary

invest in a Black-owned cannabis company

hold space for BIPOC mental health via saddie baddies

moodboard: black girls smoking weed (and what about it?)

follow @blackgirlssmoke

recommended reading:

sha’carri richardson can outrun everything except a broken system (lex pryor)

the biased rulebook for Black women competing at the olympics (tomi otekunrin)

house reintroduces bill to decriminalize cannabis, create social equity programs (alicia victoria lozano)

a tale of two countries: racially targeted arrests in the era of marijuana reform (aclu)

if you’ve got food for thought, deliver it via cherry’s dms @piecrustjam — i’m at a place where i’m hungry to be in community, to be in conversation with you. thanks for holding space.