Black Lives Matter // A note about covid-19 // Free us and canada shipping for orders $95+

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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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#PTO2GOTV

We're collaborating with Block Shop Textiles, another women-led business that we absolutely love to launch a small business pledge to commit to giving our teams PTO (paid time off) to GOTV (get out the VOTE)! We've compiled an action-oriented resource guide with clear steps that we can each take to empower our teams and communities.

With only TWO weeks left until Election Day, we're doing all we can to encourage you, our community to vote, and our broader community of small businesses to take action! We hope that you'll join us! 

PS If you’d like to share these slides on your own channels, feel free to reshare or email us and we’ll send them to you!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // In The Thick with Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela

Award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela host this podcast where they talk about race, politics and identity. Diving deep into current events through conversations with activists, politicians and academics, this podcast is engaging, informative and brings an essential perspective to the broader political narrative.

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // In Florida, the Gutting of a Landmark Law Leaves Few Felons Likely to Vote

As we cast our ballots over the next few weeks, let's take some time to remember our fellow Americans who will not be voting because of unjust laws and restrictions preventing them from exercising one of our most fundamental rights in our democracy. Florida's Amendment 4 is a glaring example of voter disenfranchisement instituting a poll tax on felons, what a US District Judge ruled an illegal “pay-to-vote” system that disproportionately impacts Black Floridians. We encourage you to read this article that details the impact of Amendment 4 and we hope that if you are eligible to vote but weren't planning to, it might change your mind!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Mulatu's New Album!

For those of you who haven't yet listened to the Addis Ababa legend, Mulatu Astatke, this is not necessarily the quintessential place to start. But if you have, this brand new collaborative album with Melbourne-based Black Jesus Experience brings an inspired spin to his classic 60's style of Ethio-jazz, which I think you'll really love!

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100% Made in Kenya

A little more than three years ago, Ashleigh and I were blasting down Mombasa Road, driving back from our first visit to our ethical manufacturing partner in southern Kenya and it was around hour four (of an unexpected 10!) back to Nairobi that I remember looking out the window as 18-wheelers flew by (Ashleigh is a VERY good driver), musing about how amazing it would be if someday, we got big enough that instead of buying prints in the market, we could actually produce our own. We could give a platform to emerging designers, and we could create textiles that were original, whose origins we could trace completely, and whose stories would encompass our contemporary world. As is wont to happen on long delirious drives, we set the conversation aside as a road trip pipe-dream, and went back to more practical conversations like what we should eat for our next snack break, but this fantasy stayed with us. 

Now, three plus years and many dresses later, we couldn't be prouder or more excited that this dream is becoming reality and that it's even better than what we imagined thanks to your support! Not only do we get to collaborate with emerging designers and share their talent with you, we have partnered with a textile manufacturer in Nairobi that sources cotton grown in western Kenya giving us not only total traceability, but a 100% KENYAN supply chain. This means that from seed, to fabric, to dress, our new prints will be 100% Kenyan from farm to shop.

We couldn't do this without your support and we are so grateful to be a part of this community that has encouraged us and enabled us to keep growing and finding ways to continually do better. 

And so a new journey begins! Meet our newest prints, 100% made in Kenya! Twende!

GIVING UPDATE // Voter Participation Center

For the month of September we committed to donating proceeds from the sales of our masks to the Voter Participation Center. As we near Nov 3rd, it is evermore important to register potential voters and get them to the polls so that on Election Day, ALL our voices are heard and counted. We're really proud that thanks to your purchases, we were able to donate $3,700 in September, which combined with our contribution from mask sales in August totals $8,700 for the Voter Participation Center!

This month, we'll be donating our mask proceeds to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund to support their work fighting for racial justice and in litigating voting rights and protecting the election. With voter suppression in full force across the country, we all have to do what we can to ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote does vote, and that every vote gets counted.

WHAT WE'RE READING // In North Carolina, Black Voters’ Mail-In Ballots Much More Likely to Be Rejected Than Those From Any Other Race

Early voting has started in many states and for those who are mailing in ballots, this story illustrates the importance of make sure that every vote gets counted! Analysis of data from the 2018 midterms in North Carolina shows that ballots mailed by Black voters were more than twice as likely as those sent in by white voters to be rejected, and this pattern seems to be holding true already in 2020 and to varying degrees across the country. 

We recommend reading through this voting guide for information on how to make sure that your vote gets counted!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // How to Citizen with Baratunde

We love this podcast by writer and activist Baratunde Thurston! In each episode he discusses aspects of what it means to be a citizen with activists and academics and provides tangible actions that listeners can take to become better, more participatory citizens.

 

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Chiwoniso

Chiwoniso was a Zimbabwean singer and songwriter, whose use of the Mbira is at once warm, beautiful and familiar in a totally original way. Caveat: this song will make you feel all kinds of things the first time you hear it, and it's recommended *(by me, who cries easily) that you listen to it when you're ready to let things flow!

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BLEECKERVERSARY!

Three years at Bleecker St! <3 <3 <3

We're celebrating three years on Bleecker Street! It feels like only yesterday that we were visiting NYC from Kenya for our first big pop-up, and in a hasty whirlwind of excitement, decided to take a stroll down Bleecker Street "just to see" (and dream a little). We called all the FOR RENT signs one Sunday and were lucky enough that Nick, the broker for #363 answered our call! A few days later, we had a signed lease, a new shop and a much bigger family. We never could've imagined our incredible luck in stumbling upon the greatest landlords ever to have graced NYC.  We'll always remember when we met them that first year over Cuban food at our favorite spot on Christopher St. and they said to us, "We have one daughter, Katie, and now two more--you!" As if we hadn't already felt like part of the family, that first week when Arthur came downstairs with warm pork buns from his mom to welcome us, we knew we were home.

Many of you have met Paloma, who has worked with us since day one, after we interviewed her while all sitting on boxes in our empty store. We're so proud of her and the many other wonderful women who have passed through our doors and who we have the joy to continue to see grow.

Three years later, through snowstorms, countless tacos from Pedro at the Little Taco Shop around the corner, hosting so many of you who've traveled far and wide to visit, in the midst of a pandemic, we still can't think of where we would be, what we would be, without the family we've had the pleasure and honor to be a part of at 363 Bleecker. It's because of you that we get to keep our doors open, and we're so grateful for the opportunity. While we can never know what the future will bring, we're proud to be able to share it with you from our little perch on Bleecker Street!

WHAT WE'RE READING // Michaela Coel's Pressure Points by Durga Chew-Bose

If you haven't seen Michaela Coel's new show I May Destroy You, getting a subscription to HBO just to watch it is completely worth it. Deeply felt, brilliantly written and strikingly thoughtful this show is everything. This article and interview takes you into the mind of the show's creator, director and star and gives you a glimpse into the genius that is Michaela Coel.

 

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Come Through with Rebecca Carroll

 

Join Rebecca Carroll, culture critic for WNYC, on this podcast where she hosts conversations about race, culture and identity with thinkers, artists, writer and politicians. We especially recommend listening to episode 9 with author Bassey Ikpi where they discuss the stigma that black women face when talking about mental health.

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Baaba Maal

We love Baaba Maal, and this 2009 collaboration with New York-based Brazilian Girls brings a fresh sound to both of their work.  Each song on the album is totally different than the one before it, so it can be a little disorienting to listen to, but every one truly deserves to be heard.  (Hint--if you like Manu Chao, you might love this album!

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Voter Registration Drive ✨

Voter registration drive!

With less than two months until the elections and so much at stake, we decided that in addition to donating to voter registration efforts, we would like to step up and start a voter registration drive at our stores! 

If you're already registered, GREAT! If you're not sure about your registration, you can find out here! If you're not sure if you're going to vote, register anyways, so that you CAN!

While it's super easy to register online, sometimes it takes a nudge (socially distanced, of course), so pop by our shops and we'll help you get registered!

Your vote matters, and together we can take action to protect our democracy and create a humane, generous and equitable place for all of us!

WHAT WE'RE READING // A Litany for Survival: Giving birth as a black woman in America by Naomi Jackson

American women are more likely to die in childbirth than women in the rest of the developed world, and black women are three to four times more likely to die than white women, regardless of income or education. In New York City, black women are nearly twelve times as likely as white women to die during childbirth or in the postpartum months. In this essay, writer Naomi Jackson shares her experience and illuminates systemic biases in our healthcare system.

WHAT WE'RE READING // Read a Book! with Kara

This is not exactly a reading recommendation, but more of a book club recommendation! Kara Brown is a writer, pop culture critic, podcast host and reader. She just launched a book club where she selects a book each month, and at the end of the month hosts a conversation along with really cool writers! We just joined and hope you will, too!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Ethio-jazz

 

Best known for his nostalgic, smooth sound, Mahamoud Ahmed got his start in 1962 at the Arizona Club in Addis Ababa. When one of the singers for Haile Selassie's Imperial Bodyguard Band didn't show up, he offered to sub-in and has since become one of the most influential musicians within the Tizita tradition of Ethio-jazz.

 

 

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