Thanks to Ms. Rona, we're all trapped at home with nothing to do. Even Netflix is getting boring! But never fear. While they're technically out of work, our favorite entertainers are still out here bravely making virtual content in a scary new world. Going to the club or the theater is out of the question right now (self isolate! Ariana Grande says so) but here's PAPER's ongoing guide to the latest livestreams — featuring comedians, actors, musicians and more.
Who? Native Son, named after James Baldwin's seminal 1955 work, is a movement aimed at connecting Black gay men to each other, whether online or IRL. Its intent is to inspire, empower and bridge inter-generational gaps between them. Since its inception, the organization, founded by veteran magazine editor, content curator and LGBTQ activist Emil Wilbekin, has hosted weekly live talks in major cities, featuring special guests across disciplines, from art and activism to literature and entertainment. In light of quarantine, Native Son has gone totally virtual, launching weekly, original online programming, called "Quarantine Moments." So far this week, the platform has hosted lifestyle expert Raub Welch, who spoke about Black art and collecting, and chef Kenny Minor gave a lunchtime cooking demo. Just last weekend, sessions included a poetry reading by Josh Rivers and a movement and meditation course led by Gabriel Christian.
When? Seven days a week, every week, on Instagram Live @nativesonnow. Times vary in the afternoon, perfect for a midday pick-me-up if you're a Black gay man working remotely or just needing a bit of inspiration to make it through another long day indoors. Except Friday Quarantine Moments: those wrap up the week in the evening, like a pre-weekend Happy Hour. What remains this week: today (Wednesday) at 3 PM EST, gay matchmaker Prince Amari will chat about Black gay love and relationships, tomorrow at 4 PM EST, Wilbekin will host a Native Son conversation (similar to the IRL live chats he hosts) with comedian Sampson McCormick and on Friday at 7 PM EST, DJ Courtney M. Anderson will provide a "Native Son #Mood Mix" to those tuning in.
Why watch? While the need for finding common ground is perhaps greater than ever, as a Black gay man, Wilbekin also understands how important it is for people to bond with the communities they most closely identify with. "Curating the Native Son Quarantine Moments seemed purposeful during this time of isolation," Wilbekin tells PAPER. "I didn't see any platforms speaking directly to Black gay men at all of our intersections. It really spoke to my own desires and what I needed during this quarantine moment. What to cook for lunch, how to find balance with work and self-care, and how to find love. These are real questions and the IG Live streams are a great distraction to the anxiety of COVID-19, plus I get to engage with other Black gay men in my community."
Photos courtesy of Native Son