“I’m goin’ back to the South,” Beyoncé begins on her new single “Black Parade,” released last Friday to coincide with Juneteenth. With a sprawling 4:41 runtime, the song is a celebration of the singer’s black heritage, with a constellation of references from Curtis Mayfield to Yoruba culture to the ongoing movement against police brutality. Backed up by a throng of horns and a funkadelic flute, the chorus repeats: “Follow my parade, my parade.” Beyoncé’s activism is rooted in celebration, a call to action fused with the big band sounds you’d find at a second line parade in New Orleans. This Tuesday, she released an a cappella version of the song exclusively on Jay-Z’s streaming platform, Tidal.

Isaac Engelberg, editorial intern

Journaling

My own personal flavor of self-improvement during quarantine has been journaling. Inspired by Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, I’ve committed to a daily practice of three so-called morning pages—quickly dashed off, stream-of-consciousness-style written ramblings meant to empty my brain first thing in the a.m. I’ve long kept a written record of my life, but what Cameron suggests is different from a diary; she recommends a fast and loose tumbling of thoughts to the page, meant to provide insight into our interior lives and jump-start creativity. And reader, it works. Since beginning the practice two weeks ago, I’ve had more clarity of thought and less anxiety. Writing about feelings has helped me label negative emotions, which in turn helps me organize, process, and file them away—a useful and necessary thing in a time of constant uncertainty. Plus, in a few years, I’ll have an artifact of daily life in the era of the coronavirus, a badge of proof that we made it to the other side. 

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Taylor Prewitt, social media editor

Suerte’s Suadero Taco Plate

I’m no taco editor, but José Ralat, may I steal the spotlight for a second? My family is a proud Mexican one, and my mother’s cooking is exemplary, to put it simply. Thanks to her, I grew up eating homemade tortillas made with nixtamal, chile rojo prepped in a molcajete, and delicious refried beans that came directly from my grandfather’s farm in Zacatecas, Mexico. All this to say, it’s hard for me to find any Mexican food that beats my mother’s.

It’s no secret that Austin is a hot spot for good Mexican food, and since moving here from Dallas, I’ve been on the hunt for my “go-to” Mexican food spot. I’ve tried a lot of modern Mexican food joints, and one that has stood out to me is Suerte in East Austin. My favorite dish there is the suadero taco plate, which is a mix of brisket, avocado, and something called “black magic oil.” Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it well. It’s definitely a spot any newbie to Austin should try!

Kathia Ramirez, art assistant

The Parent Trap

The summer before first grade stretched on for ages. I spent endless hours reading, coloring, or out in the sun, but the days never seemed to end. Nothing fully recaptures the charm of my childhood summers, but one movie comes close. The Parent Trap, starring Lindsay Lohan, encapsulates every aspect of a classic Texan summer: sweaty days at summer camp, holing up inside during summer storms. But this film is more than an enviable showcase of summer activities—it’s a sweet, hilarious comedy filled with unforgettable moments. Watching it now, I know that “the f word” is not, in fact, father, and I have much more sympathy for the twins’ father, Nick Parker (played by Houstonian Dennis Quaid), when Annie assumes they’re adopting his girlfriend Meredith. Rewatching this movie as an adult and finding that it maintains its charm is precisely what makes The Parent Trap a staple. If you, too, are missing the innocence of summer, look no further than this 1998 classic.

Ivanka Perez, editorial intern