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WHAT?! THAT'S RIGHT: A ZURI HOLIDAY PARTY!

Have you ever found yourself chatting in one of our shops or noticed a fellow Zurista (™ pending) on Instagram and thought: "Now this is someone I'd love to know!" Well, now's the chance! Since social distancing has leveled our digital playing field, we thought: what a fabulous opportunity to connect with other women whose work or spirit we admire, even from afar! So whether you were curious what new mixed-media piece Soad Kader might be unveiling, which Soulpreneurship course Dr. Shelley Best is leading this month, or EVEN what sort of wild and crazy socks Ginger decided to pair with her "Make It Rain" dress today (which trust me, is on ALL of our minds), this is our chance for all of you free radicals to collide; let's create some energy...over say, mimosas? 

We'll be hosting a 40 minute Zoom call THIS SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19TH AT 11AM PST, 2PM EST here! Our team will be joining from all over and can't WAIT to meet you! Drop in, drop out, feel free! 

For those of you who would like to connect with others on a more permanent basis, please feel free to request that we share your email address with this limited group for this discrete purpose. Might even be a fun book club, no?

INSTA CORNER! WHO WE'RE FOLLOWING: @PLANTKWEEN

We all have plants (some more alive than others 🙄), and we could all use a little cheer this holiday season! Christopher, aka Plantkween, aka the most delightful voice on Instagram these days, is chock full of humor, fashion and the best tips for plant nurturing you're likely to come across in these hallowed interwebs. Hop on, and ENJOY!

 

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Otile Brown

Originally from western Kenya, Otile Brown's kunidzia music (meaning, "crossing the boundaries" and which Tanzanians refer to as Bongo), is just the sweet, melodic thing we all need right now.  His track, Dusuma (Doucement) is one of the most played songs on Nairobi radio right now--next time you're in the car, turn it up! 

 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

Originally from Zimbabwe, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma's story is told through the lens of an enigmatic lodger who "knows that the one who controls the narrative inherits the future". Written with dark humor, wit, and seduction, House of Stone is a sweeping epic that spans the fall of Rhodesia through Zimbabwe’s turbulent beginnings, exploring the persistence of the oppressed in a nation seeking an identity.

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders

Each week, Sam Sanders interviews people in our culture who deserve your attention. His recent episode, "How to Have Better Conversations" was especially fun (not to mention timely!) as he gains advice from the owner of a hair salon, whose job has taught her how to be a good conversationalist. We've spent a LOT of time alone this year; let's tune-in and brush-up!

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PROUDLY INTRODUCING: HAND-LOOMED LINENS YOU'LL LOVE!

This June, we were thrilled to release our first line of solid-colored hand-loomed linens, produced in collaboration with team Sasha (pictured above)!  Woven by India's oldest certified fair-trade artisanal weaving cooperative, these textiles turned out so beautifully, we decided to expand this partnership with new colors, textures and techniques!

Over the last several months, we've been working together on some gorgeous textiles, starting with the colorfully rich (and super cozy) beauties below.  Each of these fabrics is a hand-loomed blend of cotton and linen, and takes about 4 months to complete. (While the fabric was produced in India, the dresses were all proudly stitched in Kenya by our team.) This fabulous 70% linen/30% cotton blend both creates subtle texture and movement within the weave, and also ensures that your dresses will be super easy to wash and wear -- they're wrinkle resistant, durable, and as an added bonus, will drape a bit more gracefully when worn.

We hope that you will love them as much as we do, and that they'll bring both joy and color to your world!

Holiday Reading List

 

We're book lovers here at Zuri, and we love that so many of you in our community are, too! This holiday season, what better gift to share than a really good read? We've compiled a list of Zuri writers that we'd love you to join us in supporting and celebrating, and we're highlighting local women and/or BIPOC owned bookstores, where you can find these books and many more!  We'd also love your recommendations, so if you're an author or have a bookstore that you'd love us to include, drop us a line at heyzuri@shopzuri.com.  (Pictured above, clockwise from top left: Edwidge Danticat, Monique Truong, Tracy K. Smith and Zadie Smith.)

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque in Upper Volta

Started in Burkina Faso in 1964 by Kone Idrissa, Volta Jazz became a symbol of global inspriation, fusing Cuban influences with west African funk. This all-star compilation album is a nostalgic must-listen--it's an especially perfect soundtrack for an evening spent cooking, as it will definitely turn up the heat! 

 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // Deacon King Kong by James McBride

Set in Red Hook, Brooklyn in 1969, Deacon King Kong reminds us what we love about New York, and about humanity itself.  The story details the tailspin of Deacon Cuffy ("Sportcoat") after the loss of his wife, through his interactions with an ensemble cast of truly memorable characters, and is told in way that is quick, witty and humorous. It is absolutely worth the read! 

 

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING // An Interview with Edwidge Danticat

We're going deep in the archives for this interview with one of our favorite authors, Edwidge Danticat. If you're a fan of her novels, you'll love watching this conversation with Marlene Racine-Toussaint, the founder of the Multicultural Women's Press.

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Customer Spotlight: Authors!

The incredible women in our Zuri community never cease to inspire us, and we wanted to highlight a few of you today who are using the power of the written word to change our lives and world for the better. 

We're just one week away from an election where our values and democracy are on the ballot. We can't emphasize enough how important it is to vote, encourage those around you to vote, and to think of women like Tricia, Gina and LaNitra and so many in our community who are taking action to fight for social justice, equity and inclusivity for all of us.

Tricia Elam Walker is an award-winning author, attorney and educator. Her first children’s book, Nana Akua Goes to School, was published in June and it's fabulous! If you're looking for a new read for a little one or yourself, look no further!

 

 

 

Every time Gina Apostol stops by Bleecker St, we all drop what we're doing to admire her wild in the best way outfits. She's a celebrated author and a true style inspiration! Gina's fourth novel, Insurrecto, was named by Publishers' Weekly one of the Ten Best Books of 2018. Her third book, Gun Dealers' Daughter, won the 2013 PEN/Open Book Award. Her first two novels, Bibliolepsy and The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata, both won the Juan Laya Prize for the Novel (Philippine National Book Award). Confronting colonialism and colliding histories, Gina is a fearless, powerful storyteller.

LaNitra Berger is an academic, social justice advocate, and inclusive excellence professional. She recently edited a book on Social Justice and International Education, and her monograph, Irma Stern and the Racial Paradox of South African Modern Art, is coming out next month. We encourage you to check out her work!

 

 

 

Let's VOTE // Share your pics!

With Election Day one week away and early voting already started, little makes us more proud than the thought of our sisterhood turning out at the polls in force to VOTE!

Follow these steps for a 10% off code on any upcoming order!

1) Throw on your favorite Zuri.
2) VOTE! (at home or at the polls)
3) Take a selfie of yourself at the polls or with an "I VOTED" sticker on your dress.
4) Post the pic on Instagram + tag @zurikenya.
5) Check your Instagram DMs for a code for 10% off any purchase!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Our Body Politic with Farai Chideya

Our Body Politic is hosted by journalist Farai Chideya and explores the impact that Black women and women of color have had on the election and politics today. Through in-depth conversations with activists, politicians, and academics Chideya brings us insightful analysis and perspectives on today's most pressing issues.

 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING// How to Spot (and Fight) Election Misinformation from ProPublica

Misinformation (incorrect information shared by people who believe it to be true) and disinformation (deliberately created with the intent to cause harm) are playing a huge role in this year's election, and this article from Propublica breaks down what this means, how to spot it and what you can do about it.

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Bembeya Jazz National

In the aftermath of Guinean Independence in 1958 and the encouragement of national pride, several bands sprang up, one of the best known of which is Bembeya Jazz National.  A rich sound with 7 original musicians, give yourself some space to get wrapped up and whisked away!

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Weekly Newsletter Aug 4, 2020

Community Spotlight: Zuri writes!

We're big readers and it is an endless delight that we get to fill our libraries with the thoughtful, inspiring work of authors from within our Zuri community! If you're a writer, send us a message so we can be sure to add your work to our library!

Grace Talusan's first book, The Body Papers,  is a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection, a Must-Read for the Massachusetts Book Awards, a Foreword INDIES Finalist, and winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing. It recently came out in paperback, and we can't recommend it enough!

Edwidge Danticat is the author of many books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection and Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist. Her memoir, Brother, I'm Dying, was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2008 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. Her most recent book, Everything Inside, is a stunning must-read!

Audrey Ferber is fixture at the Writer's Grotto in SF, and her short stories have appeared in Fiction International, The Cimarron Review, The AWP Writer’s Chronicle, Literary Mama, the anthologies VIRTUALLY NOW, Eating Our Hearts Out, The Intricate Weave, and elsewhere. She was also one of our earliest supporters in SF, where she modeled our dresses in the SF Chronicle, and we're excited to share her newest work, here!

 

 

 

JULY GIVING UPDATE // Equal Justice Initiative

Thanks to your mask purchases, we are so proud that we were able to make a donation of $7,200 to the Equal Justice Initiative for the month of July. That brings the total contribution that we've made to EJI in the last two months to $15,930! We couldn't be prouder that we have been able to make this impact together, as a community! 

As we near the elections in November, we would like to direct our focus towards voter registration. For the month of August, we will be donating to the Voter Participation Center, which has a really smart and effective approach for getting the Rising American Electorate (young people, people of color, and single women) registered and voting through methodically tested mail programs, which are particularly important in the context of the pandemic. Voter registrations are way down in 2020 due to COVID-19, and now, more than ever, we are committed to making sure that all voices are heard and represented in our government.

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Richard II at the Public Theater

Whether you're a Shakespeare fan or just love live performance, this radio broadcast is for you! Starring Andre Holland and developed in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, this performance feels contemporary and resonant.

WHAT WE'RE READING // So Brutal a Death by Edwidge Danticat

In this essay reflecting on George Floyd's killing, Edwidge Danticat writes about the immigrant experience and global solidarity. "In the agony of his final moments, while crying out for his mama, water, and breath, George Floyd reached out to and became all of us. He has joined a vast community of people, across the globe, who see echoes of the injustices and the inequalities of their own societies in his American story, and recognize their own torment in his suffering."

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE

Ambrose Akinmusire is a trumpeter, composer and bandleader whose music both transcends and redefines his instrument's place in jazz.  He's been known for pitting contemporary classical music against deconstructed hip-hop, finding beauty in the fusing of two extremes. The next time you need to clear your mind, think of this album as your reset button; it'll change the course of your day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekly Newsletter July 28, 2020

Market Days

We usually travel monthly to the markets to source fabric for our clothing, and throughout the month are in touch with vendors to see what's new (in the market and in their lives!). While we aren't able to go to the markets now, we're revisiting photos from a recent trip to Dar es Salaam, and some of the fabrics may look familiar!

Meet Emmy! She always has the most wonderful prints, especially in the crackle batik style, and we're so excited to share Verdant and Cornucopia with you, both sourced from her!

 

 

 

Lunch is a pretty big deal for us in life and in work, and it's hard to express in words the feeling of relief and excitement when we sit down to a heaping plate of rice, veggies, fried tilapia and a bowl of beans!

The fabric section of the market is a mere fraction of the entire, much larger market, and it's always fun to wander through the other areas, especially where produce is being sold, to see what's in season and new! How amazing do these little peaches, tree tomatoes and passion fruits look?

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Les Filles de Illighadad

 

These filles ROCK!  Based in Niger, the lead vocalist and performer, Fatou Seidi Ghali, is one of the only female Tuareg guitarists in the region, and is completely self-taught. They have a beautifully rich sound and I promise you will keep this album cycling through your "favorites" for years to come.

 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell

 

 

 

This multi-generational epic weaves together four generations of families whose lives have sprouted from the fertile Zambezi delta. Serpell's evocative storytelling amplifies reality and gives us a lesson in history and a deep exploration of relationships and family.

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING // Zenele Muholi at the Seattle Art Museum 

South African Zanele Muholi is a visual activist and photographer, and in this video, they talk about their work and while it's not a substitute for seeing their powerful, moving work in person, it's pretty close!

 

 

 

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