This is an email from Up to Speed, a newsletter by Momentum.

Black people are not your neighborhood superheroes

Up to Speed is a biweekly newsletter brought to you by Momentum, a Medium blog dedicated to the fight against anti-Black racism. Did a friend forward this your way? Sign up here so you don’t miss the next one.

Hey Momentum readers,

We’re still in the throes of winter — a snowy one for many — but I can’t help but feel like a new season is upon us. With a new administration and a vaccine rollout underway, I personally haven’t felt such hope in a long time.

But as we embrace that promising feeling, we must remember that the work of anti-racism continues, and it’s more insidious than many think. For one, we can celebrate Black people without them having to physically lay their lives on the line for recognition.

In his piece, “Eugene Goodman Is Our Accidental Captain America,” writer David Dennis, Jr. reminds us that the Capitol police officer shouldn’t have almost lost his life in a white supremacist riot to be honored. We all couldn’t take her eyes off Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in history, but we can celebrate her brilliance without being weird about it.

READ: Eugene Goodman Is Our Accidental Captain America

Although it feels like a time of new beginnings, we also experienced some bittersweet sunsets. We lost baseball great Hank Aaron, who died at 86 years old. The legend famously broke Babe Ruth’s record and inspired millions of Black athletes to take the field. We also saluted the extraordinary actress Cicely Tyson. Luckily for us, Tyson had released Just As I Am: A Memoir, days before her death. Treat yourself to her incredible journey, and find inspiration of your own from the phenom, who passed away at 96.

READ: Cicely Tyson Wants You to Keep Going

And speaking of extraordinary Black pioneers, the Momentum editorial team celebrates Black History Month right along with you! Check back often for our Hidden Histories — and Herstories — series on the Black men and women who influenced American history but hardly get the recognition they deserve. And stay tuned, as writer Demetria Wambia will share her second thoughts on Harriet Tubman gracing the $20 bill.

READ: The Cost of Putting Harriet Tubman on American Money

With Covid-19 vaccine rollouts starting across the country, it’s more important than ever that we stay informed. Dana G. Smith, senior staff writer at Elemental, reports on the racial inequities in the vaccine rollout resulting in limited access for communities of color. What can you do to help? Make sure that Black and Brown elders in your life have access to the most up-to-date vaccine information, whether you help them log on for an appointment or accompany them to one.

Like my favorite Peloton instructors say: Together, we go far!

Jada Gomez
— Editor, Momentum

Mermaids: I can’t get enough of them. Learn how Black women are transforming the world of Instagram mermaids, one gorgeously melanated photo at a time. A Wakanda series is coming to Disney+, thanks to Ryan Coogler’s five-year deal with the House of Mouse. And a 10-year-old strikes gold in GameStop stocks thanks to his Kwanzaa gift turned a profit. And finally, Dolly Parton shares why she won’t skip the vaccine line to ensure that the nation’s most vulnerable have access first.

How are you advocating for justice at home, at school, or at work? Drop us a line and let us know, and tell your friends to follow us and see what we’re up to.

Senior Platform Editor at Medium. Girl with the long last name from the Empire State. NYU Alum. Runner. Puppy Mommy. Smiler.