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

The next four years are here. Have you exhaled yet?

Woo Sah. Have you exhaled yet?

The most contentious election of our lifetimes finally culminated with an inauguration that was stark yet beautiful. President Joe Biden, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, took their oaths of office followed by a private presidential parade viewed by millions on television while flanked by 25,000 American troops. The event itself was largely uneventful, as it should be.

To start the new presidency in an uneventful manner under a watchful eye is a good thing. Biden was able to sign several executive orders that reversed dangerous EOs enacted by the previous president and in so doing, he placed racial equity squarely back into the realm of civil conversation. However, this changing of the guard doesn’t mean the guard is no longer needed.

After all, as columnist Keith Reed points out, we’re not yet done rounding up the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021. They have court cases pending and data shows that more nonviolent protestors were arrested during Black Lives Matter marches than during the violent Capitol riots, which left people dead and injured. And Dave Gershgorn writes that the Capitol police department is coming clean about the racism that Black officers have had to endure over the years.

READ: White Violence, Black Protests, and the Militarized Inauguration

Culture is shifting. People are wearing chucks and pearls in honor of Harris. A Black woman is now an NFL coach. Democracy was assaulted and nations around the world recoiled in horror as they saw our cognitive dissonance and what happens when you don’t deal with racism.

As youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman reminded us last week, we can be the light if only we choose that path. ✨

If you are choosing to be that light and you are illuminating all those hidden corners of the realm, please send us your stories. We would love to read and highlight them.

—Adrienne Samuels Gibbs, Managing Editor, MOMENTUM

Other stories to keep in the conversation

Black mermaids have always existed but this story delves into the IG version. The rest in the revolution is possible if you deliberately build in a mental respite, as suggested by this piece: The Soothing Power of Jigsaw Puzzles.” And while the expectation of violence impacted our celebrations last week and it wasn’t the inauguration we wanted, we still celebrate Biden and Harris. Last, as we prep for Trump’s trial, impeachment trial manager Rep. Stacey Plaskett tells us what to expect next.

Celebrate the wins but keep your ear to the ground; you are now Up to Speed.




Momentum is a blog that captures and reflects the moment we find ourselves in, one where rampant anti-Black racism is leading to violence, trauma, protest, reflection, sorrow, and more. Momentum doesn’t look away when the news cycle shifts.

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Adrienne Gibbs

Adrienne Gibbs

Director, Creator Growth @Medium. Editor. Writer. Mother. Proud recipient of an official Beyoncé shout out.

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