Each day OZY gives you a fresh and forward-looking take on the world that you won’t find anywhere else — and in this unusual, unforgettable year, we reinvented how we did it. Our new and improved Daily Dose newsletter better meets the moment, giving you added context on the issues that matter. We also rededicated our editorial mission toward advancing racial justice, published groundbreaking investigations, developed hit podcasts and, oh right, launched a hit daily TV show. Perhaps you missed some of it. That’s why today we’re giving you the best of the best.
Daniel Malloy, Senior Editor
1. 86 Angelic Troublemakers
Civil rights legend Bayard Rustin once wrote that for the movement to succeed, “we need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.” With the arrival of America’s racial reckoning this summer, our CEO and Editor-in-Chief Carlos Watson wrote his own call to action to “Reset America.” We set out to find the leaders who could do just that, and we launched our innovative Sunday Magazine with a deep look at 86 of them from the worlds of politics, sports, academia and activism. Some names will be familiar, others won’t, but all are playing a role in bringing about positive change in America.
When you bring together voices like NBA star–turned–philanthropist Jalen Rose, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, TV host Megyn Kelly, comedian Aida Rodriguez and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, you know you’re going to get surprising and valuable insights. The topic? The American Dream and how we can positively reset it. This scintillating discussion is just the first of many, as we set out to make #RealChange happen in 2021.
The worst episode of Election Day violence in America’s history happened a century ago in the town of Ocoee, Florida, when a white lynch mob killed dozens of Black residents, including children, and chased hundreds out of town. All because some brave souls dared to cast a ballot. A three-part special edition of Flashback, OZY’s hit history podcast, reveals a past that’s been intentionally hidden from today’s residents of Ocoee.
From the vice president-elect to the hit show I May Destroy You to the “WAP” music video, Black women were in the driver’s seat of American culture this year. This deep dive explores the women of the moment, from musicians to politicians to scientists, the pathbreakers who got us here and the roadblocks that remain in the face of progress.
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The debate over whether and how to reopen America’s schools continues as the pandemic is getting worse this winter. Back in August, we explored the ramifications of keeping kids out of the classroom for an extended period, the coming crisis for higher education, new models such as microschools and outdoor schooling, and much more, for this special Sunday Magazine.
The rule of 2020 was if something can be done remotely, it probably will be. For millions, that meant their jobs, as entire industries shifted nearly overnight to being run from kitchen tables, spare bedrooms and even closets. This OZY original series dishes out tips for working from home without losing your mind, explores the implications for housing markets, discovers how athletes are reengaging fans and more.
OZY’s Emmy-winning — yeah, that happened this year too — show on the Oprah Winfrey Network turned its attention to the COVID-19 crisis this spring, by gathering leaders, experts and everyday women for a raw discussion on how Black women are coping. They discussed the unique challenges facing Black women and how their communities are rallying in surprising ways, while expressing raw emotion about the toll the pandemic has taken.
Ever checked the ingredients in your dog’s food? It might scare you. Thankfully, our friends at Spot & Tango have sworn off mysterious ingredients and powdered meats for good. Their personalized UnKibble will provide your dog with the exact nutrients they need to live their best life. With free shipping and vet-developed recipes, could it get any better? Oh yeah, their meal plans start at only $6.99 per week. Check out Spot & Tango’s UnKibble now, and use code OZY30 for 30 percent off!
Today, we’re bringing you a deep dive into different perspectives on feminism from some of our favorite episodes of The Carlos Watson Show. Whether you explore the philosophies of OGs like Gloria Steinem and Donna Brazile, or new takes on gender and power from Jameela Jamil, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Isabel Sandoval, find it all here.
1. ‘Defining Moments’
From John Legend to Mark Cuban to Dominique Jackson, OZY’s hit show on Hulu dives below the surface to explore the lives of some of the most compelling people in the public eye today. You’ll hear about how Cuban’s life was shaped by his biggest failures. Watch Amy Purdy’s remarkable comeback from losing both her legs to stepping back on the snowboard. Learn what made the NBA’s Jason Collins finally come out publicly as gay. It’s emotional, it’s jarring, it’s heartwarming and it’s definitely worth a holiday binge.
In the West, everything from shampoo to cookies to frozen desserts are made with coconut products. It’s meant to be an environmentally friendly and healthier alternative to palm oil. But an OZY investigation reveals the ugly secret on the ground in the Philippines and Indonesia: desperate, exploited farmers and laborers who face a yawning gap between the value of their products in the West and what they earn.
There’s no need to whistle past the graveyard, but our relationship with death is changing rapidly. Even as the pandemic has forced us to grapple with our own mortality, we’re living longer and becoming more open to “death-positive” approaches. This Daily Dose is a fun — yes, really — look at the world of death. What comes after is another question entirely.
Deride them as self-obsessed phone addicts all you want, but Generation Z is taking over. They are activists leading the charge for social justice, employees unafraid to demand a new kind of workplace and also disproportionately stressed by the pandemic — which will shape their outlook on life. This Daily Dose gets to the bottom of it all.
Monarchies are about more than The Crown. Learn about the king of Thailand who took control of $40 billion, the German royals who want their stuff back, the monarchy of Eswatini that’s ruled by a playboy, how royals are becoming climate crusaders and who’s the queen of the United States (hint: she’s irreplaceable).
Is now the perfect time to get married? Research shows that those who tie the knot during economic downturns fare better in the long run. So do those who prioritize respect, and you might be surprised at the benefits of separate beds. This Daily Dose explores the do’s (be thankful), don’ts (spend a lot of money on the wedding) and inspiring model couples (Harry and Meghan, speaking of royals) you need to pave the way to wedded bliss.
Bitcoin is booming so much that no less an authority than JPMorgan Chase has declared it the new gold, a secure asset that’s expected to rise in value over the long term. Borderless cryptocurrencies, verified by blockchain technology, will profoundly shape our financial futures amid the economic wreckage of 2020. This Daily Dose newsletter breaks down cutting-edge cryptocurrency trends and key players while explaining, for the uninitiated, what the hell cryptocurrency is.
The uncut heroin of social media apps, TikTok delivers straight pleasure to the brain with its endless scroll of 1-minute videos expertly curated by an algorithm to suit your tastes based on what it thinks you will enjoy rather than whom you follow. The Chinese-born app has become a source of global fascination and controversy, with India banning it and the Trump administration trying (and so far failing) to put it on ice. What gives? You’ve got this Sunday Magazine to get you up to speed on the TikTok stars and trends to know, but be careful: They could be as short-lived as their videos.
What does cutlery made of avocado stones, a $400 university-level class, the LinkedIn for farmers and an app where you pay celebrities to leave your mom a birthday message have in common? They’re on OZY’s list of the 28 startups you need to know in this topsy-turvy year. They’re changing the world, in ways big and small.
This OZY investigation got results. Just days after we exposed the shadowy network of advertisers that were leaping through loopholes to spend big bucks to prop up Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Facebook, the social network tightened some of its rules, requiring its advertisers to provide contact info. But it did not address the full scope of the problem that’s allowed these groups to proliferate.
This accessible, insightful political podcast will actually make you smarter. OZY co-founder and CEO Carlos Watson joins BBC host Katty Kay, of World News America, to take on a new issue each week that’s burning across the U.S. Most recently, Carlos and Katty share a fresh perspective on the future of the Republican Party as Donald Trump leaves the White House — though it’s clear he will continue to dominate the political headspace of his party.
As this tumultuous year helped make QAnon and antifa into household names, OZY dedicated a special series to exploring the roots of American extremism and how it’s gone mainstream. Spend some time in the Intellectual Dark Web, get to know the founder of the Proud Boys and learn how a stolen horse led to the microchip conspiracy. These fringes will become the America of tomorrow if we don’t confront them today.
The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg immediately became a fiery debate over her successor, who ended up being the conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett. But it’s worth reflecting on RBG’s remarkable life, the impact she’s had on American law and the rising generation of RBGs. Our Sunday Magazine produced in the hours after Ginsburg’s death did just that.
It seems inevitable in retrospect, but the ascension of Joe Biden to the presidency is remarkable. Biden lost presidential races twice before and was declared dead in this year’s race in February but is now set to become the oldest-ever commander in chief at his Jan. 20 inauguration. How did he make it? With helping hands, from primary rival Elizabeth Warren (viciously knocking out Mike Bloomberg) to media mogul Rupert Murdoch (whose Fox News called Arizona for Biden early) to organizer nonpareil Stacey Abrams in Georgia.
Talk about the climate impact of food tends to focus on how red meat is bad (eat your veggies) and the importance of sustainable farming. Yes, what we eat changes the climate. But the changing climate is in turn going to determine which of our food staples and favorite snacks survive, and the alternatives we’ll need to turn to next. This OZY original series explores the future of the humble potato, zero-waste chocolate and the ancient grains that could feed the world.
When you think of climate change, the image that tends to come to mind is more water: rising seas, melted ice caps, flooding metropolises, megastorms. But for much of the world, the warming climate means less life-sustaining H2O. What’s humanity to do? This OZY original series gets to the bottom of how we’re approaching water in new and intriguing ways to quench a parched world. Journey to Peru to learn about an ancient water-distribution technology, to southern India for a model on reviving wells and to Belgium to meet a water-saving DJ. Thirsting for more?
You might have missed it in the early days of the pandemic lockdowns, but we hit a major milestone of a half-century of Earth Day. We celebrated as only OZY can, with tales of the weirdo conspiracy theory connecting Earth Day to Vladimir Lenin, a look at giant pots saving our shorelines, an introduction to a former cheerleader getting kids into STEM fields and a look at Greta Thunberg, protest musician.