A Newsletter from Whoop Jenny!

June 23, 2020

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Thank you for following Whoop Jenny!, a blog where I write about the things I’m noticing. Here are some things worth sharing:


I wrote a series of blogs about my attempt to expand the number of Black ideas and voices in the things I like: reading, birding, philosophy, making art, connecting to history and community. 

I added two new posts in the series: What’s on your Reading List, examining my approach to increasing Black authors on my booklist; and Napping After Woke Week. If you liked the featured image on “Napping,” check out the painting’s interesting history here


A couple of readers shared what they’re reading, and now I've added them to my own to-read list:


The blog about Pathfinding as a Political Act got the most views in the series. One reader shared this article from The Washington Post. It’s a poignant example of how walking can be a means of engagement, as well as resistance. 


There’s still another post I’m working on for this series, about the 1619 Podcast, the Pulitzer Prize-Winning commentary about slavery’s influence on American politics, economy, and culture. The 1619 Prodcast is thought-provoking, particularly in light of the current Black Lives Matter movement. It is taking me a while to figure out what I want to say about it and how to say it. In the meantime, I’d be interested in hearing from those of you who have listened to it already. Let’s have a discussion!   



Here is something feeding my mind this week:


Trung T. Phan’s article about  Sarah Cooper’s 10,000 Hours. It is an inspiring and well-constructed piece about a remarkable artist’s journey. Sarah Cooper is the comedian who has blown up the internet with her lip-synching snippets of President Trump’s press conferences. If you’re not familiar with her, Phan’s article is a great survey of her work. 

HERE’S A SECRET….I can get perversely disheartened when I read good writing.


In her memoir, Composed, Rosanne Cash describes the moment she heard Rodney Crowell perform a song he just wrote:

“I thought it was just about the best song I had ever heard, and perversely my heart sank. Writing that good seemed so far out of my reach that I felt like giving up my dream.” 


Boy howdy, do I know that feeling. It happened to me twice this week when a couple of Whoop Jenny! readers introduced me to blogs they thought I’d like:   

  • Mis.Steps, a blog tracking one woman's “endeavor to visit all of the 739 city stairs listed in Bob Reagan’s book, Pittsburgh Steps.”

    Urban wayfaring? Groovy polaroids? Beautiful writing? Damn, I wish I could do that.

    Check out this post to feel like you’re sitting on the steps with her on a summer day in Pittsburgh.

  • Delancey Place, a daily email with noteworthy excerpts and quotes offered with commentary.

    Read this Letter to Our Subscribers explaining their format. Damn, I didn’t know you could do it that way. Gonna have to try it out on Whoop Jenny!




Trung T. Phan, summarizing Sarah Cooper’s art process, (see also: Austin Kleon:) 

1. Keep experimenting. 

2. Work in public.  


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