Things That Matter

Latino Bookstore In North Carolina Faces Very Uncertain Future Just 6 Months After Opening

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews is a relatively new bookstore in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that is facing a very uncertain future. The Latino-owned bookstore opened its doors to the Chapel Hill community six months ago and now COVID-19 is putting their future at risk.

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews is a Latino-owned bookstore in North Carolina that is fighting to survive COVID-19.

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews came from a need that the owners saw in downtown Chapel Hill. A bookshop had recently closed in the area so Jamie and Miranda Sanchez knew that it was time for them to help fill that sudden loss.

“We felt like there was a big hole in downtown,” Jaime told The Daily Tar Heel. “A bookshop creates this whole sense of community for the town so we decided to go forward and try to open our own bookstore.”

The bookstore was serving a community that needed a place to gather and discuss ideas after a former bookstore closed its doors.

“The core of our idea began years ago as the union of Jaime’s heritage and Miranda’s passion for writing and the transportive nature of reading. Wanderers and wonderers, our idea continued to grow in the plazuelas of Mexico and the chocolaterías of Spain, in the plazas of every country where such spaces form quasi-families for both the briefest of moments and the longest stretches of time,” reads the bookstore’s website. “In these spaces, people share everything from decadent chocolate to fried street food, to myth-like tales, to the memories of our own childhood selves chasing pigeons and sucking the sticky droplets from paletas off our hands.”

While the bookstore was well received by the community, the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans.

COVID-19 has swept through the U.S. and the number of cases continues to climb. While New York might be seeing fewer cases, the rest of the U.S. is in an uptick. The virus has forced businesses across the country to close or retool to be online only. That is what Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews did to make sure they can weather the storm.

The owners of the bookstore realized they needed to retool their business strategy when students stopped coming back from Spring Break.

“We started adjusting our plans in early March to accommodate for the new lack of traffic,” Jaime told NBC News. “Students weren’t coming back from spring break, so we had originally thought the locals would come out like they did during winter break to take advantage of the lack of downtown traffic, but that obviously didn’t happen because of coronavirus, so we started getting ready to adjust and pivot online for when we’d no longer be able to sustain brick and mortar operations.”

The Sanchezes are keeping their literary dream alive through the pandemic.

“Jaime’s always wanted to open a business and bring a piece of home to it,” Miranda, who is originally from Tijuana, told NBC News. “We felt that continuing that tradition of having a bookstore in the area would be a good mesh, not just of who we are as people but how we want to engage with our community. A community that works to sustain an independent bookshop has certain values.”

Independent bookstores are one of the hardest-hit businesses since readings and events in the spaces have been canceled.

Bookshop started to help struggling independent bookstores weather the storm. COVID-19 has left millions of people without jobs and businesses are having to close permanently because of the virus. Bookshop is giving independent bookstores a chance to survive the closures and social distancing.

Bookstores serve a vital role in communities. They give people a place to gather and share ideas. The easy access to literature can change the lives of children in underprivileged communities but allowing them to see themselves reflected in new lights. They also serve as a place to explore the world around you by flipping open a book cover.

If you have time on your hands and enjoy reading, check out Bookshop and build up that 2020 reading list.

READ: Celebrities Are Reading Children’s Books To Help Parents And Children Cope With COVID-19

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Disney Just Announced That We Won’t Have To Wait For The Pandemic To End In Order To Watch Mulan— Thank The Ancestors!

Entertainment

Disney Just Announced That We Won’t Have To Wait For The Pandemic To End In Order To Watch Mulan— Thank The Ancestors!

Rich Fury / Getty

After months of delays and waiting, Disney has announced that Mulan fans will no longer have to wait for a major theatrical release to see the live-action version of the animated classic. On Tuesday the Walt Disney Company revealed that the film will no longer seek a major theatrical release and that the blockbuster’s debut will take place on the subscription streaming service, Disney+.

To see the movie, customers will need to pay an additional $29.99 on top of the cost of the monthly subscription for Disney+

“In order to meet the needs of consumers during this unpredictable period, we thought it was important to find alternative ways to bring this exceptional family-friendly film to them in a timely manner,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek explained in a statement according to Variety. “We see this as an opportunity to bring this incredible film to a broad audience currently unable to go to movie theaters.”

The company has said that it plans to release Mulan in theaters in areas where Disney+ is not available to audiences.

According to Variety, “The decision to put Mulan on premium video-on-demand further emphasizes the studio’s increased reliance on Disney Plus at a time when most of their business — from theme parks and cruises to movie theaters and retail stores — have been crippled by the pandemic. Research, Chapek says, suggests that bringing a high-profile release like Mulan to homes “will act as a fairly large stimulus to sign up for Disney Plus.”

Mulan had been originally scheduled for a theatrical debut on March 27 and was meant to be Disney’s biggest theatrical release for the year.

Disney shelled out a $200 million budget and in early March the studio set up a lavish red carpet premiere at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Days later, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Disney to postpone the movie’s release. The movie’s debut was then pushed back several times before Disney announced last week that they would indefinitely remove it from the release calendar. Fortunately, they’ve changed their mind and Mulan will debut on the streamer’s new platform on September 4, 2020.

Disney’s latest version of Mulan stars actress Yifei Liu as the titular character based on the legend of a female Chinese warrior who disguises herself and takes her father’s place as a soldier.

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Here Are Some Key Take-Aways From President Trump’s Disastrous Axios Interview

Things That Matter

Here Are Some Key Take-Aways From President Trump’s Disastrous Axios Interview

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

President Donald Trump recently did an interview with journalist Jonathan Swan for Axios and it was very bizarre. From bragging that the U.S. has a death rate lower than the world’s to claiming to have done more for African-Americans than John Lewis, the interview went off the rails from the beginning.

President Donald Trump’s latest interview is a wild ride in the worst way.

The president of the United States used an interview with Axios to try to push his narratives. From Covid to Ghislaine Maxwell to John Lewis to Russia, President Trump managed to spout a series of conspiracy theories and questionable statements. The interview has left many scratching their heads in disbelief.

One of the most bizarre moments is when Trump produced incoherent charts trying to change the Covid response narrative.

First, President Trump tells Jonathan Swan that the average 1,000 daily deaths and daily 65,000 infections “is what it is.” The president further argued that the country was doing everything it could to get it as under control as possible.

President Trump also tried to continue pushing the false narrative that the U.S. is doing the best with testing. As it stands, it takes days for some people to get their test results back, which makes contact tracing difficult. Contact tracing is one of the most important tools to control the virus that has already killed more than 155,000 people in the U.S.

On Representative John Lewis, President Trump was less than kind.

When asked how history would remember him for not attending Rep. John Lewis’ funeral, Trump began about how Rep. Lewis didn’t attend his inauguration. In fact, Trump called is a “big mistake.” He continued by saying Rep. Lewis should have attended his State of the Union speeches as well.

The truly stunning moment was President Trump diminishing the important contributions Rep. Lewis made to this country. Instead of acknowledging Rep. Lewis’ hard-won victories for African-Americans.

“I did more for the Black community than anybody with the possible exemption of Abraham Lincoln,” President Trump claimed. “Whether you like it or not.”

“You believe that you did more than Lyndon Johnson who passed the Civil Rights Act,” Swan asked in disbelief.

“Yeah because I got prison reform,” Trump shot back. He then continued asking Swan how the Civil Rights Acts has worked out.

He also doubled down on his comments wishing Ghislaine Maxwell well.

Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested for her role in the Jeffery Epstein child sex ring. When first asked by reporters, President Trump wished her well and acknowledged that he knew her and met her several times when living in Florida. When Swan told him that she had been arrested on charges of child sex trafficking, Trump acted obliviously.

President Trump said he wasn’t sure about that fact almost trying to ignore the facts. Swan pushed back reminding Trump that Maxwell was indeed in prison for child sex trafficking. Ignoring Swan Trump says he wishes her well because of Epstein’s death.

You can watch the full 37-minute interview below.

Get comfy. It’s a wild ride, y’all.

READ: The Trump Administration Raised Fees For Immigration Cases Including For Refugees

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