Friday Five: The Friday Feel-Good

There are many reasons to frown these days. The end of Westworld. Malnourished chicken wings. The arrival of Winter. The wretchitude of Fuller House. In the face of such demoralizing adversity, we must find reasons to smile, inspiration to power through the day's madness. Sure, we could be in our last days of freedom before slavery 2.0 begins in the U.S. Sure, kaleamole is still a thing. But for now? It's Friday, Iggy Azalea is missing-in-action, and Khia is out here spreading holiday cheer.

Oh, and Fences, directed by Denzel Washington and co-starring Viola Davis, comes out this weekend. Rejoice. Here are a few more reasons to smile.

1. What's not to love about a kid discovering that they own everything?

2. That time Yarnell Dorsey showed out and showed her daughter Terrylyn and everybody else how to live life: 

3. And then Madame Luvvie Ajayi, our guest on episode 7, wrote about that time she released a book, interviewed and got her head rubbed by Oprah, became a New York Times bestselling author, swag surfed on the White House lawn, moderated a panel at a women's summit hosted by Michelle Obama, and had the best year ever: "My 2016 Highlights and The Hiatus I’m Taking."

 Luvvie and her homegirl Oprah, maxin' and relaxin'. (photo: Awesomely Luvvie)

Luvvie and her homegirl Oprah, maxin' and relaxin'. (photo: Awesomely Luvvie)

4. Oh, and if trying to avoid showing up to the holiday function empty-handed, here is a classic treat from Sandra Lee that is sure to impress even the most hateful, ashy in-law. Behold the legendary Kwanzaa Cake. Dry angel food cake. Canned pie filling. "Acorns," as if we don't all know what damn corn nuts look like. And candles. Your Kwanza shindig will never be the same. You're welcome. 

5. Before the curtains fall on The Age of Obama and The Tangerine Plague begins, let us reflect on this moment in history with the help of Ta-Nehisi Coates' sprawling new essay for The Atlantic, "My President Was Black."

 Photo: Ian Allen (The Atlantic)

Photo: Ian Allen (The Atlantic)

"That night, the men were sharp in their gray or black suits and optional ties. Those who were not in suits had chosen to make a statement, like the dark-skinned young man who strolled in, sockless, with blue jeans cuffed so as to accentuate his gorgeous black-suede loafers. Everything in his ensemble seemed to say, “My fellow Americans, do not try this at home.” There were women in fur jackets and high heels; others with sculpted naturals, the sides shaved close, the tops blooming into curls; others still in gold bamboo earrings and long blond dreads. When the actor Jesse Williams took the stage, seemingly awed before such black excellence, before such black opulence, assembled just feet from where slaves had once toiled, he simply said, “Look where we are. Look where we are right now.”"

Read the rest: "My President Was Black"

BONUS: With her time in the White House coming to an end, Lady Michelle Obama sat down with Lady Oprah for a long, intimate chat about life as First Lady, what the past eight years have been like for her family, and what's next for Los Obamas. Gems, brilliance, and good skin galore, yo.