My first time participating in blackout day. Growing up mixed was always strange for me when I was younger. I didn’t know how to identify. My mom is Portuguese, Italian, and Irish and my dad is Hawaiian and African American but culturally more Hawaiian. My dad lives in Hawaii so I was mostly raised by my white mother’s side of the family in a wealthy white community. The majority of everyone around me was white. I grew up thinking it was strange I looked so unique compared to everyone in my family. My mom exposed me to as much of the missing piece of my identity as she could and I’m grateful for that.
98% of my friends growing up were Caucasian. My friends in high school always used to say, “Gianna. You’re not even black.” Because I didn’t fit into their stereotype of how someone “black” should act. I didn’t blame them for making those ignorant remarks because we all grew up in a significantly wealthy place called Alameda, CA next to Oakland, CA, where it’s hard not to notice the racial and wealth inequality between people of minorities and people of white privilege. Oakland is in a state of crisis. All they knew about black culture was from music, the media and driving from some of our 900,000+ dollar homes in alameda, locking their doors through the hood in Oakland (and seeing all the social/racial inequality, and wealth division) to go up into the Berkeley hills to our friends million dollar houses.
It took me a long time to make the effort to try and learn about the one piece of my identity that has always felt to be missing. And I’m still on that journey.
Now that I think about that part of my education, I often wondered what benefit my teachers thought I’d get from learning how to address a baroness or how to dance a late 18th century regency ball quadrille.
As it turns out, as I sit here writing a period style romance novel, quite a lot.
These are coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California. The park is home to the largest continuous block of old-growth redwood forest left on the planet- with some 10,000 acres.
The alluvial flats along its creeks and rivers are prime redwood habitats. The mix of rich soils, water, and fog rolling in from the ocean have produced the planet’s tallest forest. Of the 180 known redwoods greater than 350 feet, more than 130 grow here.
Coastal redwoods can be up to 379 feet (115.5 m) in height (without the roots) and up to 26 feet (7.9 m) in diameter at breast height.
Research now shows that the older such trees get, the more wood they put on- nice to see even trees go through a midlife spread!
Photograph by Michael Nichols, National Geographic
01. money, power, glory / lana del rey 02. cool kids / echosmith 03. gold / sir sly 04. teen idle / marina and the diamonds 05. robbers / the 1975 06. rich girls / the virgins 07. grammy / purity ring 08. fucked my way up to the top / lana del rey 09. the kids don’t stand a chance / vampire weekend 10. no grey / the neighbourhood 11. red lips / sky ferreira 12. king city / swim deep 13. bitch / plasticscines 14. m.o.n.e.y / the 1975 15. national anthem / lana del rey