US President Barack Obama (R) hugs US Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, one of the original marchers at Selma, during an event marking the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, March 7, 2015. und Pettus Bridge. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

This week, we’re sharing stories from Barack Obama, Andrea Pitzer, Hannah Dreier, Ismail Muhammad, Niela Orr, Hanif Abdurraqib, Danielle A. Jackson, and Cassie Owens, and Karolina Waclawiak.

Note: the Top 5 Longreads of the week will return on August 14th, 2020.

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1. Barack Obama’s Eulogy for John Lewis

Barack Obama | The Atlantic | July 30, 2020 | 14 minutes (3,641 words)

“He, as much as anyone in our history, brought this country a little bit closer to our highest ideals.”

2. My Midlife Crisis as a Russian Sailor

Andrea Pitzer | Outside | July 27, 2020 | 28 minutes (7,025 words)

“For a book project about 16th-century polar explorer William Barents, Andrea Pitzer needed to reach the remote Arctic island where he and his men came to grief. She booked passage on an expeditionary boat out of Murmansk, then headed north on a trip marked by unforgettable scenery, unexpected loss, and wild magic that changed her life.”

3. The Worst-Case Scenario

Hannah Dreier | The Washington Post | July 24, 2020 | 16 minutes (4,240 words)

“A white police officer fresh from de-escalation training, a troubled black woman with a gun, and a crowd with cellphones ready to record.”

4. Black Talk, Black Feeling: Media Round Table

Niela Orr, Ismail Muhammad, Hanif Abdurraqib, Danielle A. Jackson, Cassie Owens
The Believer | July 29, 2020 | 37 minutes (9,261 words)

“So much of my work as a writer and editor is to make sure that Black people have the ability to write about more than just moments like the one we’re in right now, and a big disheartening thing for me has been to live through this moment and again see editors scrambling to get Black writers to write and then undoubtedly those same editors will vanish when those Black writers want to write about, I don’t know, ice cream or whatever the fuck.”

5. What My Mother Didn’t Talk About

Karolina Waclawiak | BuzzFeed | July 25, 2020 | 16 minutes (4,245 words)

“My mother and I were very close, but when she died last year there was still so much I didn’t know about her.”