Happy (belated) Birthday, JB!

Hello my wonderful Troublemakers!

How y’all doing? I have family coming in to town this week, including my 90 year old grandmother! When I think about legends, she is at the tip-top of that list. She has traveled the world and held a sense of dignity for herself I have come to recognize as nothing short of miraculous.

Another legend amongst us would be celebrating his 97th birthday if he were alive today - Happy (one day late) Birthday, to the incomparable James Baldwin. I include Baldwin often in my list of influences - a person so truthful with his words that they have stood the test of time. Sometimes I read a quote of his and shake my head in awe of his ability to capture the nuance and absolutes of being Black in this country. I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes, but do yourself a favor and scroll through this post and watch I Am Not Your Negro and read “The Fire Next Time.”

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”

“I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.”

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” 🔥🔥🔥


August’s Article of the Month Black Americans And The Racist Architecture Of Homeownership "The market is a reflection of that which we hold to be valuable — that which we see as desirable, that which we see as undesirable. And it's impossible to measure that without factoring in race in the United States," says writer Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.

Question Time - What is your own relationship to housing? How have you seen race factor in to your own decisions as to where to live? What do you see when you hear a neighborhood described as “desirable” and who dwells inside those communities?

YES to Black girls saying no. So proud of @Simone_Biles and @naomiosaka. We are way over due for prioritizing ourselves. Thank you for doing it so publicly. You’re leading the way.

August is #BlackBusinessMonth and I am here for it! Make sure to follow Luvvie and buy from the businesses she highlights over the next month. Her team’s goal is to infuse 💰1 MILLION DOLLARS 💰 into Black-owned businesses!

Women & Children First—a queer- and disabled-owned bookstore in Chicago, Illinois—curated a quiz to help you find audiobooks by authors with disabilities.


“To accept one’s past—one’s history—is not the same thing as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it. An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.” - Jame Baldwin

Stay wild and holy and free!

- Austin

PS Save the Date for my next Troublemaker’s Zoom Q + A next Tuesday, August 10 at 8:30pm EST. This is only available to the paid subscribers of the newsletter so if that’s not you and you would like to see me IRL on the zoom and more frequently in your email (weekly vs monthly) SIGN UP! It’s just $7/month and our monthly zoom has become one of my most favorite things. 💜