June 13, 2024

DCP EP. 96: Onward and Upward: Reflecting on 2021

Transcribed by: Sydney Henriques-Payne

Completion date: Dec 21, 2021

Shana Pinnock: [00:00:03] Welcome to Dear Culture, the podcast that gives you news you can trust for the culture, I’m your co-host, Shana Pinnock, Social Media Director here at theGrio [00:00:09][6.3]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:00:10] and I’m your co-host Gerren Keith Gaynor, Managing Editor of Politics and Washington Correspondent here at theGrio. And this week we’re asking “Dear Culture, How do we keep moving onward and upward?” We can’t believe we reached the end of twenty twenty one, but here we are. We’ve lived through some deeply political moments, like the inauguration of a new president and first Black and South Asian Vice President of the United States, an attempted coup on the US Capitol and finally getting a federal response to the COVID 19 pandemic, just to name a few. We also had major milestone moments in popular culture. We said goodbye to Insecure — Goodbye, Molly and Issa. We we love you. We miss you. —We watched the foolishness of some of our most talked about celebs, and a host of must see means that Black Twitter curated for our collective enjoyment and we have found them to be hilarious. Today, we’ll recap the top moments of twenty twenty one and reflect on what this year has meant for Black culture, as well as prepare for the New Year, New You and Twenty-twentyt wo. So without further adieu, let’s get into it. [00:01:23][73.1]

Shana Pinnock: [00:01:32] All right, G let’s go. All right. The end of the year of twenty twenty two. Oh, wait a minute. Hold on. I’m messing stuff up. See, the pandemic messing stuff up. The end of the year. of twenty twenty one is almost upon us and some well-deserved break time is, you know, right around the corner. I am truly excited. I know you are too. And as you know, you know, we are a truly dynamic duo, OK? The Yin and the yang. And I love having you as our managing editor especially of Politics. And you know, I’m here for all things pop culture. You know, the resident social media expert. But I wanted to before we even get into all of the cultures, 20 21 top moments. Tell me what was your biggest personal highlight in 2021? Or, you know, maybe you can give us some of give me, give me two to three. I don’t know if you have a whole lot. You are… [00:02:24][52.1]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:02:25] Yeah, you know, Shana, I really can’t believe that every year at the end of the year, I’m like, Wow. A year has gone by already, and I have to say at twenty twenty one has been my best year yet. I have to say. I think I I made some pivotal moves in my career and my personal life. I moved here to Washington, D.C. I was one of those New Yorkers who said I would never leave New York. I was like, “Why would I leave New York? What is what is there to ever do outside of New York?” And here I am, living in an entire entirely different city, and it was scary at first. I didn’t think. I didn’t always believe that I could thrive or or create a new a new life in a new city. And I proved that I can do it all by myself. I didn’t move with a significant other. I don’t have family in Washington, D.C., so I have to say moving has been not only one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life, but obviously one of the best decisions of twenty twenty one. And then obviously, on the career end, I get the remarkable opportunity to work with a legend, april Ryan, who is almost twenty five years in as a White House correspondent who is now our White House correspondent here at theGrio, and I’ve learned so much from April as a journalist, and I can now call her not just a mentor, but a friend in leading the politics team here in the D.C. bureau. I got to go to the White House and now I’m a member of the White House Correspondents Association, and I just feel like everything on the career end has been upgraded. And for me, it means a lot because being a Black queer boy growing up in Brooklyn, I didn’t really dream a lot. I didn’t have big dreams. I remember I remember when I was a student at Morehouse, and I couldn’t even envision what myself graduating because I just was always, you know, not to get too down, but like I, I was always obsessed over death, you know, for some reason, and I didn’t have a lot of hope. And I think it had a lot to do with just not feeling, not loving myself. And so 2020 was the year when I was awakened to who I who I truly am. And twenty twenty one was the year I just allowed myself to just be and not care as much about what people think of me and not be so hard on myself. And more importantly, I believe in myself and I bet on myself, and now I’m reaping the benefits of betting on myself. And so twenty twenty one has been reflective, as most of years are for me. But it’s been deeply rewarding as a journalist to be able to be doing work that’s impactful to be covering news that is really important to cover, especially for Black culture. And I’m just I’m proud of myself, I have to say. But Shana, what were some of your biggest personal highlights? I know it’s been a big year for you as well. [00:05:18][172.7]

Shana Pinnock: [00:05:19] Yes, it has definitely one, which was one of the scariest moments of my life. You know, my dad had major spinal surgery, was in considerable amounts of pain for months and months and months, and we couldn’t figure out like what was going on with him going to doctor after doctor. And no one could, you know, actually pinpoint what was going on until really just by happenstance and a miracle. Like my mother’s podiatrist, you know, ended up like seeing my dad and I just happened to see the kind of the pain and the struggles that he was going through and kind of advocated for him. And we were able to get my dad, you know, the right doctors who knew what his issue was. And you know, there’s still some things my dad is kind of a medical mystery in certain ways, like he has some symptoms of M.S., but not really. It’s the whole thing. But, you know, to know that he went through that he was in the hospital for about 12 13 days. Again, terrifying. But my dad, he made it out. You know what I’m saying? And. He’s he’s he’s not as he’s not a hundred percent, you know, prior to all of this, but he’s getting stronger every day and I am incredibly proud of him and all of the things that he’s just managed to battle and get through. So I mean, how this because this kind of his personal highlight, what is definitely mine as well, you know, my dad celebrates his 60th birthday in February. Like, I’m just I’m incredibly blessed. [00:06:55][95.8]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:06:56] I just want to chime in real quick, Shana, because and I’m so happy that your dad is doing better and and I’m continuing to lift him up in prayer on his journey to healing. But I really want to shout you out because not only were you going through personal things at home with your parents and your father’s health, but you were holding down theGrio’s entire social media department and you did it with grace. And I know that it’s not hard to balance life and work, and you did this so well, and I just want to say that I commend you. I actually was very inspired by how you navigated through that. [00:07:25][29.3]

Shana Pinnock: [00:07:26] Oh, thank you, G. Lord.You gonna make me cry up in here. Um, definitely another one was reconnecting with someone who you know now has basically become my person, and that has been a just mind blowing journey. The amount of growth that both me and him have managed to have, like in the times that in the time that we were apart and being able to again, like I say, like reconnect and I, I hope it lasts. You might, you know, just in general, I am so grateful to actually know that love and a nontoxic love exists and that one that is, you know, constant work. But it doesn’t feel like work because we are we are consistently like making sure that we’re working for one another. You know, who knows if this will go the distance? Who knows if this is my, you know, future husband or anything like that, we’ll see. But I am incredibly grateful like it is. It is an amazing thing to go from an incredible cynic. And as my friends have called me a savage to, you know, I’m out here painting my nails with this man’s, you know, football teams like it’s you know, that love you, I’m saying. And it’s it’s something that is it’s so beautiful and it’s so healthy, and I’m so just so glad to be a part of it. And I think maybe the final one low key is our DCP photoshoot, Gerren. Like, listen, first off, that was so much fun. That’s one and two. It was the first time that we’d seen each other since the pandemic. And I, I was trying so hard, like not to tear up like while we were taking pictures because I’m like, “I finally get to see my brother again.” Like it. It was pretty. It was pretty amazing. And so I’m just I’m just I’m I am infinitely blessed and grateful. Actually, I do have a bonus and I mean, knock on wood for this one. My family has been relatively untouched by the COVID 19 pandemic. We’ve had a lot of friends of family who have lost people, a lot of friends, family and family, you know, extended family who have lost people. But my unit, my parents, my brother, my uncle, my grandmother. And maybe because I’ve been on their behinds about protocols and distancing and vaccines and boosters and everything else. I am again incredibly blessed and incredibly grateful. But you know, we, you know, we got to talk about twenty twenty two. All right. We leave it 2021 behind. So G…. So G, do you have any New Year’s rituals or are you setting up for any like resolutions? [00:10:23][177.1]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:10:24] So I don’t do resolutions because I think that they’re like a gimmicky and cliché. But every year at the end of the year, I just try to kind of slow down and I like to just kind of reset; set new intentions, which I guess to some degree, could be a resolution setting intentions for the new year. And so I even this morning, I don’t. I used to do like yoga and meditation daily in the mornings before starting work. But because it’s been a crazy year, as we know in the news and being a managing editor, I often like don’t have a lot of time to do that. In the mornings, I try to work it into the evenings and so I want, I… This morning I had like just couldn’t go to sleep and I woke up early and I was able to catch up on work. But I also took that time to to do yoga and to meditate and reflect. And that’s something that I’m very passionate about because it helps me find my center, you know, as someone who has navigated through anxiety. It really helps me, like, get my breath control together. It helps me get my mind right into the kind of block out the noise and when I say noise. I mean, that voice in your head, that’s like saying, “Oh my gosh, woe is me, oh my gosh, the world is on fire,” and then you remind yourself that no, the world is not on fire, you are in control. Your day and your life can be exactly how you want it. And so and the one thing I end going back to what I was saying earlier about my move to D.C. and and in my career, you know, opening up in the way that it has, it’s been largely largely because I was able to decide that this is what I want. And then it happened. And when the when the universe conspires on your behalf in that way, it changes how you look at life. And so I’m forever changed by by some of what happened this year in twenty twenty one for me and so for twenty twenty two. I want to obviously continue that, but I want to go further by not allowing not believing in limitations and really being more ambitious, also just opening and creating more loving spaces to connect better with my friends and my family, my coworkers. You know, I think sometimes us millennials working so hard, we forget to smell the roses, and we forget that the point of life is relationship. And so in twenty twenty two, I’m going to deepen in my relationship with my loved ones and my coworkers, myself and with God. And you know, I also know that there’s been a lot of new beginnings that you’re leaning into in twenty twenty two with this new move to Atlanta. We see the boxes behind you, so we know that the move is imminent. [00:13:01][156.6]

Shana Pinnock: [00:13:02] Yes. [00:13:02][0.0]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:13:03] So how are you preparing for this upcoming year? [00:13:06][3.5]

Shana Pinnock: [00:13:08] You know, it’s so funny, and I think it actually ties into like the whole idea of rituals and setting intentions for the new year. All together is I have said to myself, like this year has been one of surprise in a lot of ways. And a lot of a lot of self advocacy, I’ll say so. I think for me for this upcoming year and just preparing for it has been I intend to live louder, live happier and live healthier, live prouder. So, you know, fighting for what I believe is mine and what belongs to me. So whether that is, you know, let me not tell too much of my business, but you know, you know, whether that is something in terms of career wise and changes that I feel that need to happen in terms of my career, whether that is, you know, compensation, whether that is what are my tasks and what are my duties, whether that is my team. Being able to live happier. You know, this move to Atlanta is part of that. I will finally be with I mean, granted, I’m leaving my mom and my dad, which sucks, although I have been dropping gems for them to move to Georgia and we’ll see when that happens. I have been dropping gems, but you know, even the idea of kind of like leaving them here… I know that I’m not. I know that they’ll be OK. And I know that their goal for me is to be happy and where I am happiest, you know, is where I’m not spending my money every two to three weeks to fly down to Atlanta, to go see my girls and see my line sisters and see my boo. And you know, all of these things and I it’s so crazy. I’ve had so many of my friends who are like, Yo, like, you’re from New York, like you’re a New Yorker, I guess, but your home is in Atlanta and I’m like, It’s always been like that since my Spelman College days. So, you know, just really excited to be able to be around my friends and kind of especially in a in a in a time and in a year of not being able to have such connections with these people, being able to do so is is going to be pretty awesome. But yeah, I, I, I there’s there’s a lot, there’s a lot, man. Stay tuned for twenty twenty two. But I kind of want to shift a little bit G, because, you know, I’ve mentioned at the top of the episode, you’re our political expert here. So what do you think are some of the biggest political moments from this year that have stood out to you? [00:15:54][166.1]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:15:55] Wow. It’s been a crazy year in politics. I mean, let’s first acknowledge that six days into twenty twenty one, we had the insurrection at the Capitol on the day in which Congress was to officially name Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the new president and vice president. We saw thousands and thousands of Trump supporters attack the Capitol. I mean, there’s no other way to put it. A deadly attack. And I’ll never forget that day. I think that America will never forget that day. We should never forget that day. And and we’re still seeing the repercussions of. That, you know, there’s still an open investigation into what happened that day. There’s a lot coming out in terms of text messages between the Trump camp and and and the whole fallout as to why it took them hours to to respond to it. But then we also had a wonderful pomp and circumstance inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. So despite what we saw in the in the attack on our democracy, we were able to, at least for a moment, celebrate a new administration and celebrate history. When we had Kamala Harris as the first Black and South Asian vice president of the United States of America and woman. And it was. It’s still inspiring to see those moments happen in America, even though we are still very divided. And we saw Juneteenth become a national holiday. I didn’t see that coming in 2021. I think Black people will still feel indifferent about that because in terms of the Black Agenda, there’s still so much left to be done, and there’s so much left to the imagination as to what the administration can and will do. Voting rights has been under assault this year after Donald Trump lost him, and his minions have done everything they could to not only have Trump-like figures in Congress like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, but they’re now running for office, is and for secretary of state and Election Board positions. So that in the event that Trump runs in 2024, there are easier ways for in these battleground states to overturn elections because the only reason why the coup did not work and because these lawsuits to overturn the election did not work was because they were local officials who who had better sense and pushed back against Trump and his supporters and his and his team of lawyers and and whatnot. And so we are up against a lot in terms of democracy. But in twenty twenty one, we kind of saw voting rights stalled, you know, because of what the Supreme Court did and eliminating preclearance in the in the Civil Rights Act of 1965. We now have a very faulty democracy, right now, a voting system. And so we saw a mass protest this year. We saw members of Congress be arrested protesting for voting rights to to get Congress to finally pass this and because we know that these bills cannot be passed because of Republican opposition. And so it’s been a very tough year and we have a pandemic on top of that and recurring variants and trying to get people to be vaccinated. And so while the Biden-Harris administration certainly deserves to be criticized for things that have not been done, we have to acknowledge that they inherited a mess, a mess in terms of a pandemic. The economy is getting better, but now we’re having inflation, so there’s a lot that happened this year. But more importantly, doesn’t it feel good to not have Donald Trump as president? So I think that that was the big moment for the year in politics, and I’m still watching. We have a lot to cover next year in the election year. We have the midterms. And so the Republicans might get control of Congress, either in the House or in the Senate. And so it’s going to be a very busy year for me and my colleagues covering politics. But but yeah, I think that there’s progress being made in terms of equity and and I hope that the Biden-Harris administration continues that work. And Shana, there are moments that happen in pop culture outside of politics. And I know that you are obviously the guru when it comes to that. So what are you thinking about now in terms of the year’s almost over– what were some of like the standout moments for you? [00:20:21][266.3]

Shana Pinnock: [00:20:22] Um, I think one of the big and it’s it’s a it’s an amalgamation of moments, actually, but definitely overall the fact that cancel culture does not exist. And and seeing like clear examples of that. So, you know, some people who are brought to mind almost really three who are brought to mind almost instantaneously. So one you have Kanye, I thought we weren’t talking to Kanye in a more like Kanye was out here running for president, trying to split votes. Kanye was out here talking about slavery was a choice. Kanye was out here with MAGA hats, and yet y’all are still buying them. Then bum ass shoes like, yeah, like y’all still going up for free Larry Hoover concerts, which is just asinine in and of itself. Like, y’all are still going up for DONDA albums and I’m I’m just. My goodness. Like, Wow, the the the memory is is short. Clearly, you know, the same thing with Dave Chappelle, for instance. Who? Dave Chappelle from his platform of making millions of dollars on comedy specials and, you know, on Netflix and listening, they’re talking about how, oh, you know, a certain demographic was trying to cancel him in self-identifying himself as a TERF, which if you don’t know, audience TERFis a trans exclusionary, trans exclusionary, radical feminist, which is basically anti-trans. And it’s it’s a disgusting, it’s a disgusting I overall ideology and it’s punching down and watching Dave Chappelle’s for me personally, his fall from grace, from being like this amazing comedic god in a sense who has now turned his his career into this weirdo like thing of of of of punching down on other marginalized communities is so strange to me. It’s strange. It’s it’s giving, it’s giving obsessed at this point. And, you know, and he keeps talking about, you know, being canceled and “oh yeah, this is what’s happening and blah blah blah blah blah.” And it’s like nothing. I don’t understand, how are you canceled, sir? Netflix is still giving you money like any way. Like, what are you talking about? And then even DaBaby, who I mean, aside from just being a trash individual and being like a gaslighter extraordinaire, you know, treating DaniLeigh, his his baby mom second. Third, I don’t even know the Yellow Bone girl, the cheating, his baby mama like absolute trash on Instagram Live, you know, throwing her out, her and her baby or their baby out in the street, you know, but then every time, baby throughout his baby? Yes. And you know, and every time when Dani is posting, you know, videos of their adorable little girl, here goes the baby with his own video of, like, Oh, see, here I am being a father. Instagram videos don’t make you a good daddy, but OK. But, you know, and there was a point in time where the baby was considered to be canceled because of his rolling, loud, homophobic and misogynistic comments where he’s over there spreading misinformation about HIV aids. You know, talking about HIV aids and you know, these STDs that that’ll make you die in two to three weeks, which first off, you moron. This is not the 80s, but fine. You know, “Fellas, if you’re not, second, be in the parking lot, put yourself on lighter up” like, why are you so concerned, baby? Like, want to stand? [00:24:04][221.5]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:24:04] But there’s nothing wrong with oral sex [00:24:06][1.2]

Shana Pinnock: [00:24:07] There’s nothing wrong with it. But you know, everyone’s saying, Oh, he got canceled because he kept losing out on, you know, all of these festivals and et cetera, et cetera. And then what is he doing? He’s right back at the festivals. He went back to rolling loud. So what are we talking about, guys? What are we talking about? And then I think. You know, he had talked about the pandemic, Gerren, and I think we have to have to have to talk about one of the most pivotal moments this year from the pandemic. And that is silly behind Nicki Minaj and her husband. And everyone needs a nice little refresh. Let’s remember because Nicki, I believe her fans were asking, like why she wasn’t at the Met Gala or something to that effect. And she, you know, and the mentality it was required that you had to be vaccinated. Nicki did apparently did not want to be vaccinated at the time and then ended up tweeting, “My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine because his friend got it and became impotent. His test, his testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married. Now the girl called off the wedding, so just pray on it and make sure you’re comfortable with your decision and not bullied.” Nicholas, and see, I’ve already I’ve already dragged you through the streets on this subject, so I won’t even rehash that. Y’all go back and listen to that, but you know her just yeah, just her spreading misinformation, the stupidity of it all. And then like weeks later, while she’s claiming that she wasn’t getting the vaccine or anything like that and didn’t want to be outside because she wasn’t going to put her child at risk and yet had her baby –Papa Bear —her adorable baby, at a concert, which I mean, I suppose, you know, because it’s not like she could leave the baby at home with her, you know, with his father because, you know, his father has him rape charges and such, You know, there’s there’s all of those things, but also hard doubling down on her ignorance and Joy-Ann Reid trying to hold her accountable and saying that she’s using her platform in a really irresponsible way and her turning around and calling joy. You know, Uncle Tommy-ana and, you know, all all of this nonsense and just and just watching Nicki Minaj, all of a sudden having people like Tucker Carlson going up for you and you know, Candace Owens and you don’t see this as a… Girl. The moment that any info will start agreeing with me. I know. I mean, I know I made the wrong choice, but you know, I know you. You G, have never, never, never, not been busy because there was never a shortage of headlines. Can you recap some of your like big original reporting moments for us? [00:27:07][179.9]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:27:07] Yeah, absolutely. Honestly, like the biggest story for me this year I made like national news. I I was I happened to see that Maxine Waters was. She was in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Brooklyn Center. This was after the police shooting of Daunte Wright. And she said, you know, she encouraged protesters to get confrontational to speak out against police brutality. And her words were twisted by Fox News and other right wing media. And I saw because I used to work at Fox News, I know how they they kind of twist things to make things, you know, enticing headlines, enticing to get their readers riled up. I mean, their audience riled up. And so I happen to know her communications director at the time and that text and I was like, “Hey, I know this thing, this making some traction in right wing media. Do you want to provide a comment to theGrio?” And I ended up getting an interview with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and it was great. Like, I just simply asked her about, you know, about her use of the word confrontational. And she and to quote, she said, We’ve got to get on the streets. We’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. And the right wingers were just saying that, Oh, Maxine Waters is calling for violence, which we know she was not. And so she clarified her comments to me as she said, I am nonviolent. Republicans will jump on any word, any line and try to make it fit their message and their cause for denouncing us and denying us basically calling us violent. Any time they see an opportunity to seize on the word, they do it and they send a message to all the white supremacists they take the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys and all of that. How this is a time for for Republicans to raise money on Democrats backs. And that story ended up taking off because what happened was the the noise around her using the word confrontational got louder and she decided not to give any more press interviews. And so they left it up to my reporting on my story to be the her response and so CNN, NBC News, Washington Post. Every, pretty much every major news outlet picked up theGrio reporting. And so it was very rewarding to look on the television screen and see my reporting being being sourced, especially as not just as a Black journalist but working for a Black owned media outlet. It was. It was a very great moment for me and for The Grio. Another big story for me. [00:29:42][154.8]

Shana Pinnock: [00:29:42] Real quick not to cut you, but I just wanted to say I’m. Listen, OK, I am so proud of you, and like you, I would say expletives, but we’re not supposed to curse on this show. So but you know what it is, and I’m incredibly proud of you. [00:29:59][16.3]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:29:59] Thank you, sis. Thank you. And another big story. Obviously, we all saw what happened with the Haitian migrants at the US-Mexico border, and we saw those really graphic images of of Border Police Patrol whipping Haitian migrants with the rains, the horse race using them as whips before what happened at the border. I did the original story about advocates for Black migrants and immigrants sending a letter to the Department of Homeland Security on abuses that migrants had has suffered. And when that happened at the border, they came back to me and said, Hey, we have this other story about these these restraints, these restraints that are being used on African migrants by Homeland Security and border by ICE, actually. And that story was in the original report, but it really exposed not just what happened at the border, but what happens to Black and African migrants every single day. And oftentimes, immigration is a topic that is not touched on, especially as it relates to Black people. We often think about immigration as being those who are from Mexico or from or from, you know, south of the border, but really is it’s a Black issue as well. And I was very proud to highlight those abuses because here are the grill we want to report. Things are not just Black American issues, but globally as well because we are a diaspora, so. But my favorite, I think reporting this year has definitely been sitting down with my dear friend, Congressman Mondaire Jones and Congressman Ritchie Torres, who both made history this year as the first openly gay Black men to serve in Congress and for Pride we sat down, we talked about then coming out of the closet and the struggles of coming out of the closet as Black queer men and what inspired them to to run for office and believing that they could run for office. I think that Mondaire and Richie are such inspirations for Black queer men and just for the Black LGBTQ plus community at large, because it shows that visibility matters and that you can ascend to some of the highest offices of the land. You can be whoever you want to be, and don’t let your sexuality or your gender identity convince you that you are not deserving of of all your dreams being met. And that was very proud to sit with them and talk about what pride means. But more importantly, what needs to be done on the policy on the policy side to address issues that are facing the community still and including hate crimes, where we saw a record number of trans murders this year. Majority of them being Black and brown. We know that is not still not safe to be a part of the community. And so any time that I can use my platform and my work as a journalist to uplift my community, whether it’s the Black community or the LGBTQ plus community, it’s always an honor. And so I’ve been it’s been really an honor to do this reporting this year for the area, and I look forward to doing more because these stories really do matter. But Shana, you are the queen of Black Twitter streets. I mean, whenever I need to know what’s going on, I know you’re the perfect person to call. What were some of the social media moments that had like really a big impact on the culture this year? [00:33:22][202.3]

Shana Pinnock: [00:33:22] You know, it’s so crazy is like there’s so much that happened and everything feels like a blur, right? So something that did happen this year that we we’ve got to address is a gorilla glue lady. The gorilla or Gorilla Glue girl, Miss Teskia Brown, who, unfortunately, she thought she was, you know, looking for a a viable replacement for her Got2b hair glue like, which is a hairspray. She did not. She put gorilla glue spray on her hair and that, you know, created first off. I mean, there was a song remix to “My hair. It don’t move” — like it’s a whole, the whole thing. And you know, and we I think we as a culture were so one baffled by the the the sheer I don’t want to call. I don’t want to say stupidity or ignorance, but you know, just the negativity, the absurdity, the absurdity of it right of putting Gorilla Glue in your hair and then watching people, you know, who then had to do like who who were then like doing the same thing. And it was just why, like, why y’all like, come on, you know, there was definitely that. And then we became so invested in her journey of, like her health. It hurt her the health of her hair and actually seeing like, you know, her get. Her hair back, although now it’s fallen out, is a whole…. I don’t know what that girl is doing, just stop touching part to the right. There is definitely that stupid crate challenge that was put in in the hospital. I don’t understand why y’all was climbing on crates in the hood, falling on concrete. It was so dumb. It was so dumb. And we saw people in heels going up these crates. Some, you know, a lot of people making it, but just just dumb. But it kept on getting shared and I’m like, I’m so glad that it died down in the way that it did because they were way too many people who were, like getting seriously hurt. You know, there’s definitely Will and Jada. I don’t know. You know what’s so funny? We as a culture, I think at one point in time, we speculated so much about Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith relationship that we were just coming up with with anything right there. And we’re like, they’re swingers. Or, you know, although they are relationship goals and blah blah blah. And Jada came out with that red table talk. And, you know, August was out here telling people business and you will is out here writing books and, you know, telling us that he there was at one point in time he was having so much sex that an orgasm would like make him physically vomit. We don’t need to know this much about y’all anymore. Like, honestly, I want to give us some of the mystery back. I would like that. Can we go back to that? [00:36:15][172.7]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:36:16] And then not to mention, I feel like I can’t even read the book anymore, because everything about the book has been has been disseminated across the media. So it’s he’s been spilling a lot of tea. [00:36:25][9.2]

Shana Pinnock: [00:36:26] Yes, all the tea. We got to rehash that how he was so jealous at, to pocket the whole thing. And then like right now, as of recently, this was not on my 2021 bingo card. And that is Nancy Reagan. OK. Whew. So I think it was one of those things that I think was a it was a not. It wasn’t a well-kept secret. Apparently, like Nancy Reagan, former first lady was apparently very popular in Hollywood. You know, for her oral skills and of course, Black Twitter got a handle on that. And you know, we started finding like, Nancy Reagan is a throat goat. What language is allegedly this? Allegedly, allegedly, allegedly. You know, Nancy Reagan allegedly out here, replacing super head you like, OK? You know, and and one of the most funny things that I heard was we started referencing Nancy Reagan as Throatis. I mean, I’m just saying like, Yeah, oh, [00:37:31][64.9]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:37:33] that’s a new one for me. Wow. [00:37:34][1.1]

Shana Pinnock: [00:37:34] Wow, wow. But, you know, definitely a lot of hilarious moments. But you know, speaking of not even hilarious, but let’s talk about incredible moments because I think we’ve had so many on the show this year. What are some of your like favorite guests or conversations from this year? [00:37:51][16.5]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:37:51] Oh, this is a easy one, because the most recent one of our most recent episodes was with Tim’m West, who came on to talk about biphobia and and what it means to be bisexual and pansexual. And I just love having conversations and creating spaces that allow Black men to explore their sexuality. As I mentioned on that episode, please feel free to listen to that episode. You know, I went to Morehouse College. I know what it feels like to navigate spaces where Black men with Black men and just the curiosity about around their sexuality. And we have to give them the the same freedom and space that women are often allowed to to see what they are attracted to. And also, we don’t talk enough about bisexual people and people who are pansexual as a part of the larger LGBTQ plus community. Another favorite guest was Tarana Burke. I mean, she was so powerful, like it was my favorite episode, I think hands down of Dear Culture ever. And you know, not only is she just like just a crazy intelligent, but she’s her heart is always open and what she’s done with the MeToo movement. It wasn’t. It wasn’t just a hashtag, it was an actual movement and that empowered men and women to tell their stories of abuse. And as of her, as a Black man who suffer child molestation, as I told her, I thanked her for creating space for people like me to feel to have the courage to talk about what we’ve endured. Because if we don’t address our traumas, we can never heal our traumas. And so those are my two favorite episodes. But what about you? [00:39:33][101.3]

Shana Pinnock: [00:39:33] So there’s so many, but definitely one with our Black Daddies episode. So we had Francis Garner, who is the father of three. Adorable little babies. You got Jade, you got Avery and Kali. Or Bubba. Boogie and Beanie and just watching. I’ve been such a huge fan of Francis and his wife, Kerry. I’ve been such a huge fan of their family for years and being able to, you know, just talk to him about what is being a Black father. What does that entail? We also on that show we had Roderick Bradford Jr. as a guest. Another phenomenal Black dad. And I think it was just one of those amazing episodes in which we were breaking the the stereotypes of, you know, of absent Black dads, which I mean, we know statistically Black dads are the most involved, you know, in terms of all of the demographics of fatherhood. But just being able to talk to them about the love for their children, how do they survive, you know, being Black fathers, whether they’re raising little Black girls who again, Malcolm X quote, you know, the most disrespected person in America is a Black woman. And seeing especially like from Francis is from Francis’ perspective, you know, what does that mean and how do you prepare your three little Black girls to traverse this? This world, this country? You know, that was that was amazing. Rodrick has sons and it’s, you know, I mean, in a time in which, you know, we see police brutality in a time in which we see, you know, Black men getting, if not, if you know, it’s a sad thing when we’re like hoping that the worst that can happen is that maybe that they’re, you know, just a little physically hurt. You know, you’re you’re praying that that you’re your Black sons and your Black dads and brothers and uncles and grandfathers are making it home. So what does that look like being a Black father, watching your heart live outside of your body, you know, so that was so amazing. I think in terms of even just granting me the grace and learning more about compassion was our battling drug addiction episode with Deanna King. You know, I have a couple of family members who are battling drug addiction and just even shifting my language of how I speak about those family members. You know, I can I can be honest, they really wasn’t that empathetic initially until I had that conversation with Deanna. You know, I was out here. I’m like, “No, such as such as a crackhead such as, I just can’t come in this house that doesn’t can’t do XYZ” and her teaching us how to talk about drug addiction as well as, you know, just overall understanding. You know this, this is a mental health issue. It is a public health issue, you know, and and treating it as such. I think that those are some things that were just incredibly beautiful for us to explore on this show. And audience, y’all need to be watching me like or watching or listening to these episodes. Go ahead, I promise you. They’re a good time. [00:43:07][213.2]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:43:09] Yeah, we’ve had some really great guests this year. I mean, like it’s been it’s been phenomenal and very rich and twenty twenty one, which is why I’m really looking forward to our line up for twenty twenty two. I think we’re going to really blow up. [00:43:20][11.4]

Shana Pinnock: [00:43:20] We gonna kill the game and we gonna kill the game. So as always, I’ve truly enjoyed our conversation today. You know, G is always good talking to. I’m probably going to end up hollering at you over the week anyway. So it’s all of our listeners and viewers tuning in. Happy holidays from the DCP team. We are always grateful for you and wish you a very happy new year. We want to remind our listeners to support your local Black businesses and donate to your local organizations and religious institutions. The business that we will highlight this week is the William Malcolm Luxe Collection, known as the style artist, founder and creative director. William Malcolm launched the Luxe Collection as a classic menswear fashion label in 2009. The Detroit based brand approaches men’s suiting by pairing classic English tailoring with modern silhouettes. Their bespoke suits and accessories are handmade, and they also offer eyewear, lapel candy and custom footwear. In addition to providing luxury suiting and accessories, the brand focuses on giving back to the community, sponsoring the annual Man of Style and Substance Scholarship Contest, awarding $40,000 in cash and prizes to Detroit students. To learn more about the William Malcolm Luxe Collection, visit their website at William Malcolm Collection .com. That’s W I L L I am M A L C O L M Collection dot com. The group has published a list of 50 plus Black businesses to support during the coronavirus pandemic. If you’d like your business to be featured. Email us at info at theGrio dot com, that’s G R I O, dot com. [00:45:07][106.2]

Gerren Keith Gaynor: [00:45:08] Thank you for listening to Dear Culture, if you like what you hear, please give us a five star review and subscribe to the show wherever you listen to your podcast and share it with everyone you know. [00:45:17][8.6]

Shana Pinnock: [00:45:17] And please email all questions, suggestions and compliments. — We love those — two podcasts at theGrio dot com. The Dear Culture podcast is brought to you by theGrio and co-produced by Taji Senior Sydney Henriques-Payne and Abdul-Quddas. [00:45:17][0.0]


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