“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” President Bill Clinton
Tomorrow is the 4th of July and what a time to be in America, to be an American. Despite everything going on, despite being a country literally built on pain, I believe in this quote above, although it can be very difficult sometimes. It’s frustrating to think that this “cure” seems to be incremental, but I personally think the chisels of change can be just as powerful as the big bangs of change. If that makes any sense.
This 4th of July, in keeping with my double pandemic (because let’s be honest, we’re fighting two pandemics in this country) mindset of making room for joy amongst the grief, I want to focus on the American joys. The diverse and beautiful representations of what America looks, tastes and feels like. The manifestation of American dreams and joys.
Check them out, friends. Also, I want to importantly note that all of these have listed have publicly committed to fighting for what’s right in America or have demonstrated it in their work.
Will Wilson. In a very complicated side of my family history, I learned that I had a Metis relative, but that when she married a white man, she was expected to have this side of her heritage scrubbed away. I’ve always tried to seek out as many different Native American narratives since learning this, determined that their stories not be erased or reclaimed by history. I discovered Will Wilson’s art and was drawn to them initially because I love an old tin type, but then hooked after learning about their backstory. He’s a Diné photographer and his work reclaims a blanket image of Native Americans that was imposed on by others and frozen in a specific period of time.
Lomar Farms. I’m immediately drawn in when I read in the “about us” on a company’s website that they traded in the hustle and bustle of the big city for a slower paced life in the countryside and getting back to the basics. And then I’m even more sold when I discover they create beautiful, useful things. Meet the Wright family, who run a family-run business where candle making is the name of the game. I’m currently eyeing their new moon candle because of its bergamot scent…
McBride Sisters Collection. Two sisters who are also vintners? Sign me up! But for real, sisters Robin and Andréa are behind this, the largest African-American owned wine company in the U.S. That right there is the American dream. I have a bottle of their Black Girl Magic California rosé in my cart as we speak that I plan on popping open with my own sister.
Brooklyn Delhi. I have a tradition that whenever I go to NYC without my husband, I always bring him back a “food present.” A fave repeat gift? The roasted garlic achaar from Brooklyn Delhi. We use it in everything: mixed in with roasted vegetables, added as a base to soups, eaten on a spoon, you name it. I’m looking forward to trying their coconut cashew korma sauce next.
Big Spoon Roasters. Their nut butters. Holy cow. So good. They are a small batch company from North Carolina I am hopelessly devoted to their peanut butter pecan butter with wildflower honey and sea salt. I’m kicking myself that I missed their carrot cake walnut butter and hoping they bring it back for fall, because how perfect does it sound spread over a cream biscuit or stirred into some oatmeal?
Here’s to celebrating what is right with America.