Category Archives: Music

Chance the Rapper will be honored with the BET Humanitarian Award

Muhammad Ali, Alicia Keys, and Dwayne Wade are just a few of the celebrities who have received the BET Humanitarian Award. Now, 24 year old Chicago artist, Chance the Rapper will be added to this list of artist who have used their platform to bring change within the black community.

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Chance has been very adamant about helping out the city he was raised in. In March, he donated a million dollars to Chicago public schools and then raised 2 million dollars for the schools in the following months. Back in November, Chance led thousands of people to the polls to cast their vote, he frequently helps with solutions for violence in Chicago and he even started his own non-profit for the youth entitled SocialWorks. He’s shown that he’s more than a photo-op and is very deserving of this prestigious award.

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BET also announced that New Edition will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The awards are set to air on Sunday, 25 June.

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Will Nicki Minaj’s 7 Year Winning Streak Break at this Year’s BET Awards?

In the past, the BET Awards have had predictable winners in the Best Female R&B/Pop Artist, Best Male R&B/Pop Artist, and Best Female Hip Hop Artist categories. This year’s nominations include some tough competition for past champions Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, and Drake. Beyoncé is nominated for 7 awards including Best Female R&B/Pop Artist, Best Video, and Best Album. She’ll be competing against sister Solange who garnered 4 nominations for her unique and potent album, A Seat at the Table with accompany visuals to Cranes in the Sky. This year brings some stiff competition in the Male R&B/Pop category with both the Weeknd and Bruno Mars’ stellar year of chart topping singles. With a combination of viral memes and shout-outs, Rae Sremmurd’s, Black Beetles and Migos, Bad and Bougie are tough choices in the Best Collaboration category. The Best Male Hip Hop category has always included the biggest and best mainstream male rappers like J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Drake so it should be up in the air on who takes the award.

The most interesting category will be the Best Female Hip Hop Artist winner. Nicki Minaj has been the reigning champ for the past 7 years with last year being the first time she was not present at the awards. At one point, I felt the category should have been replaced with Best Hip Hop Artist and just include female and male rappers until a bigger pool of female M.C.s charted. This year, Minaj will be up against some talented rappers for the first time in years including Remy Ma, who most deemed the winner in their very public beef, newcomer Young M.A., legendary M.C. Missy Elliott and popular reality star, Cardi B. I’m thinking it’s between Minaj, Remy and Young M.A. Both Remy and Young M.A. had at least a couple of hits last year over Minaj but Nicki dropped at least 3 singles in March of 2017. Missy’s awaited comeback was a little underwhelming while Cardi B gained some surprising support for her music compared to other members of the Love & Hip Hop cast. With Remy Ma and Fat Joe’s hit, All the Way Up mixed in with her diss record, shETHER, I think Remy will finally break Nicki’s winning streak this year.

Below are the rest of the nominees including the Film, International and the Gospel/Inspirational categories. The awards will take place on 25 June at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist
BEYONCÉ
KEHLANI
MARY J. BLIGE
RIHANNA
SOLANGE

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist
BRUNO MARS
CHRIS BROWN
THE WEEKND
TREY SONGZ
USHER

Best Group
2 CHAINZ & LIL WAYNE
A TRIBE CALLED QUEST
FAT JOE & REMY MA
MIGOS
RAE SREMMURD

Best Collaboration
BEYONCÉ FT. KENDRICK LAMAR – FREEDOM
CHANCE THE RAPPER FT. 2 CHAINZ & LIL WAYNE – NO PROBLEM
CHRIS BROWN FT. GUCCI MANE & USHER – PARTY
DJ KHALED FT. BEYONCÉ & JAY Z – SHINING
MIGOS FT. LIL UZI VERT – BAD AND BOUJEE
RAE SREMMURD FT. GUCCI MANE – BLACK BEATLES

Best Male Hip-Hop Artist
BIG SEAN
CHANCE THE RAPPER
DRAKE
FUTURE
J. COLE
KENDRICK LAMAR

Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
CARDI B
MISSY ELLIOTT
NICKI MINAJ
REMY MA
YOUNG M.A.

Video of the Year
BEYONCÉ – SORRY
BIG SEAN – BOUNCE BACK
BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC
MIGOS FT. LIL UZI VERT – BAD AND BOUJEE
SOLANGE – CRANES IN THE SKY

Video Director of the Year
BENNY BOOM – KEHLANI “CRZY”
BRUNO MARS & JONATHAN LIA – BRUNO MARS “THAT’S WHAT I LIKE”
DIRECTOR X – ZAYN MALIK “LIKE I WOULD”
HYPE WILLIAMS – TYGA “GUCCI SNAKES FT. DESIIGNER”
KAHLIL JOSEPH & BEYONCÉ KNOWLES-CARTER – BEYONCÉ “SORRY”

Best New Artist
21 SAVAGE
CARDI B
CHANCE THE RAPPER
KHALID
YOUNG M.A.

Album of the Year
24K MAGIC – BRUNO MARS
4 YOUR EYEZ ONLY – J. COLE
A SEAT AT THE TABLE – SOLANGE
COLORING BOOK – CHANCE THE RAPPER
LEMONADE – BEYONCÉ

Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award
CECE WINANS – NEVER HAVE TO BE ALONE
FANTASIA FT. TYE TRIBBETT – I MADE IT
KIRK FRANKLIN FT. SARAH REEVES, TASHA COBBS & TAMELA MANN – MY WORLD NEEDS YOU
LECRAE – CAN’T STOP ME NOW (DESTINATION)
TAMELA MANN – GOD PROVIDES

Best Actress
GABRIELLE UNION
ISSA RAE
JANELLE MONÁE
TARAJI P. HENSON
VIOLA DAVIS

Best Actor
BRYSHERE Y. GRAY
DENZEL WASHINGTON
DONALD GLOVER
MAHERSHALA ALI
OMARI HARDWICK

YoungStars Award
ACE HUNTER
CALEB MCLAUGHLIN
JADEN SMITH
MARSAI MARTIN
YARA SHAHIDI

Best Movie
FENCES
GET OUT
HIDDEN FIGURES
MOONLIGHT
THE BIRTH OF A NATION

Sportswoman of the Year Award
GABBY DOUGLAS
SERENA WILLIAMS
SIMONE BILES
SKYLAR DIGGINS
VENUS WILLIAMS

Sportsman of the Year Award
CAM NEWTON
LEBRON JAMES
ODELL BECKHAM JR.
RUSSELL WESTBROOK
STEPHEN CURRY

Centric Award
FANTASIA – SLEEPING WITH THE ONE I LOVE
KEHLANI – DISTRACTION
MARY J. BLIGE – THICK OF IT
SOLANGE – CRANES IN THE SKY
SYD – ALL ABOUT ME
YUNA – CRUSH FT. USHER

Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award
BEYONCÉ – SORRY
BRUNO MARS – 24K MAGIC
DRAKE – FAKE LOVE
MIGOS FT. LIL UZI VERT – BAD AND BOUJEE
RAE SREMMURD FT. GUCCI MANE – BLACK BEATLES
THE WEEKND FT. DAFT PUNK – STARBOY

Best International Act: Europe
BOOBA (France)
MHD (France)
CRAIG DAVID (UK)
EMELI SANDÉ (UK)
GIGGS (UK)
SKEPTA (UK)
STORMZY (UK)
WILEY (UK)

Best International Act: Africa
AKA (South Africa)
BABES WODUMO (South Africa)
DAVIDO (Nigeria)
NASTY C (South Africa)
STONEBWOY (Ghana)
TEKNO (Nigeria)
WIZKID (Nigeria)
MR EAZI (Nigeria)

Dear White People Review: Episode 2

Chapter 2

We start off with some of the Winchester’s past racially insensitive parties including a “Cowboys and Injuns” party, a “Wetback Cinco de Mayo” party, and the current blackface party all thrown by the campus magazine, Pastiche. Before Lionel Higgins and the crew crash the party scene we rewind back to some of Lionel’s less fortunate moments in life. One, is his awkward experience with the barbershop. When he arrives at a white barbershop he’s met with stares and when he visits a black barbershop he’s met with intimidating characters including a guy who states, “ya’ll know I don’t cut fags”, in response to another gay man. The homophobic incidents continue with a high school Halloween party. The boys insult Lionel’s costume with homophobic phrases like the played out “pause” and tell him that his Geordi La Forge outfit is gay. I actually thought this was supposed to be some rival gay group that had it in for Lionel but then I realized they were supposed to be the straight guys bullying him. These type of phrases are still being used in everyday conversations. It says a lot about how ingrained homophobia is in our society and how insecure “straight” boys/men are with their sexuality.

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Lionel receives the, “Dear Black People” party invite and proceeds to let Reggie and the group know about the event. They lead an epic crash of the event and soon after Lionel writes his article entitled, “Ebony and Ivory: Total Disharmony”. The next day, the black students in Armstrong Parker seem to dig the article; Lionel is even invited to sit with Reggie’s crew. Instead Lionel sits with Troy and his two passive black friends. In response to Sam’s radio show, one states, “Do we have to listen to this race baiting dribble?” (really nigga?) I guess his short term memory blanked out the actual racist party the night before. Anyway, the two friends argue about their conservative ways including one having a “framed picture of Reagan” and the other having a photo of Stacey Dash which he replies is “Deon; nothing after Clueless matters!” Then, a table with what seems to be a group of gay students exchange glances with Lionel. This was a minor hole in the chapter; the interaction between Lionel and other black gay students would have been interesting. Troy assures Lionel that he will attract a lot of girls from the article and his two friends begin to throw around the same gay slurs Lionel heard when he was younger.

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Troy is heard getting it in in the next room. Lionel starts to put his headphones on but takes this opportunity to get it in in his own way. The lights dim, the walls fall and Troy is seen doing his thing; Lionel pictures Troy speaking straight to him but before he can finish his visualization, Troy concludes. Poor Lionel. The Winchester Independent group and the head journalist in charge, Silvio, are introduced. He tells Lionel that even though his story on the blackface party is front news it’s not hard news or well written. He also asks Lionel about his inclusion of intersectionalities with him being black and gay; this throws Lionel off. “Gay?” he says. Silvio advises Lionel to find his label and that he, himself identifies as a Mexican, Italian, gay, verse top, otter, pup. Similar to Lionel’s statement; I know what all of those words mean individually but not together. Silvio invites Lionel to a speakeasy that the theater kids are throwing. At the party, Lionel meets Connor and his friend with benefits, Becca. They invite him back to their place. Childish Gambino’s, “Red Bone”, plays in the background. “Stay Woke!” Lionel listen up! Connor talks about the white students’ inability to know and understand the country’s history with minstrel shows. “White people are the fucking worse”, Becca responds. Then some freaky shit pops off. I could tell by the nod from Connor that something was up. This scene demonstrates how some white people can acknowledge racism but still play a part in it i.e., fetishizing black bodies and touching black hair without permission. So things are getting steamy until Lionel exposes their little game. It’s revealed that Connor is using Becca to not look full on gay and Becca is not really into their freaky experiment that’s been going on for TWO years; she storms out without any underwear on and Connor reassures she’s off her meds.

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Lionel leaves to the newspaper office where Silvio reveals the blackface party invite had been sent by someone other than Pastiche. Lionel goes through the secret transcripts of interviews where he figures out Sam was the one behind the hacking. Lionel does not want to break the news but Silvio insists, “We can’t control what people do with the news we can only report it.” Messy. This is basically Lionel’s perspective of the blackface revelation. His conflicted feelings show that his career in journalism might be a little rocky down the road.

 

Lionel finally asks Troy to cut his rising fro. Troy asks about his hair setting which Lionel knows nothing about. I can relate because my barber never told me my setting, he just fades the back and the sides low so I have no idea what my settings are either. Lionel reveals that he is gay as Troy walks out of the room; Troy doesn’t hear Lionel. It seems Lionel will hush up about the reveal but he repeats himself and Troy exhales a little, says, “cool” and returns to Lionel’s hair. A slow motion scene of Troy cutting Lionel’s hair without a shirt on is a beautiful sight to Lionel and the viewers watching. Lionel now has new, up close, and personal visuals to do his private dirty deed which he does and afterward stares back at the audience. End scene!

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Overall:

I love how the topic of homophobia is explored within the black community and how it occurs at different levels. You had the black adult men in the barbershop, the black high school students, and the conservative black students who all used gay slurs like it was second nature. This, added with physical assault and neglect affect the LGBT community immensely. I’m wondering how Lionel’s journalism career will play out in the future. He has a level of integrity and ethics that seem to conflict with the position. His intersectionality does not only include his sexuality but his race as well. He’s showing that the lives of the black students are more important than a campus article. Like I stated earlier, the scene with Connor and Becca symbolizes the sexualization of the black body; later on we see the couple target another black victim. That scene also highlights another issue with men denying their sexuality as a whole. Troy’s acceptance of Lionel’s sexuality was great; I feel like there are many Troy’s out there. In the past decade or so there’s been a shift in acceptance of the LGBT community so Troy’s reaction is not so farfetched. That’s not to say that there aren’t still many instances of rejection and abuse towards the community in this day and age.

Joey Bada$$ Releases All-Amerikkan Badass

It’s here! All-Amerikkkan Badass from one of hip hops young lyric driven and passionate artist, Joey Badass. Joey teased us with his radio friendly single, Devastated back in May 2016 then he dropped, Land of the Free the beginning of this year. The visuals and lyrics for Land of the Free, the three k’s in Amerikkka, and the red, white, and blue bandana patterned cover art symbolizes Joey’s unapologetic stance on race and politics in America. He’s unafraid to speak on the ill-wills of this country and use his platform to speak the truth. The album should hit these dark but truthful issues with features from ScHoolboy Q, J. Cole, Chronixx, and more.

Check out the visuals for Land of the Free below and buy the album to support Joey!

SZA, Kaytranada, Soul II Soul, and more announced in the 2017 AfroPunk lineup

The 2017 lineup for AfroPunk has been released. The unique and unapologetic festival will be held on August 26th-27th in its annual location of Fort Greene’s Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, New York. So far, the fest will include SZA, Sampha, Willow Smith, Thundercat, Gary Clark Jr., Dizzee Rascal, and more along with veteran artist like Macy Gray and Soul II Soul. Rising producer and DJ, Kaytranada will have his own stage, “Kaytranada and Friends”, which will include performances from Sango, Nao, and Jrocc & Karriem Riggins.

The festivals theme for this year will be, “WE THE PEOPLE”, which includes the following words from the fest:

WE THE PEOPLE:

We, the people built this land. Our flesh and blood is present in its buildings, its roads and its bridges. Our souls are its spiritual cornerstone. Our culture is its foundation. Our being nourishes this land — as our ancestors’ beings nourished it before us — yet the land has not always reimbursed us. We, the people recognize the bullshit of the powerful. The injustices they committed in the past have never disappeared from view. The inequalities they perpetrate are there for all but the blind. The inadequacies they’ve paid forward to a future age are appearing over the horizon. Unless…

We, the people have a code:

  • No Sexism
  • No Racism
  • No Ableism
  • No Ageism
  • No Homophobia
  • No Fatphobia
  • No Transphobia

We, the people commit ourselves to uphold and fight for the rights enshrined in our code. Let us honour those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, and hold accountable those who curtail our liberties. Let us walk in the footsteps of warriors who came before us, and strive to create a society based on fundamental human rights. Let us rewrite the universal laws and educate the errant minds. We, the people have the will to heal the divisions that threaten to reduce our dreams to ashes. We believe in resurrecting the creative power of our diversity. We open our hearts and minds, and dance to the rhythm of a brand-new future. Together. Brave and compassionate. And beautiful. May the Goddess protect we, the people.

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Check out the rest of the lineup below and visit www.afropunkfest.com for more info:

AFROPUNK BROOKLYN LINEUP (MORE HEADLINERS TBA)

ST HERON STAGE

FEAT SPECIAL GUEST

SAMPHA

THUNDERCAT

SINKANE

KING

& more

 

KAYTRANADA & FRIENDS STAGE

KAYTRANADA

NAO

SANGO

J ROCC & KARRIEM RIGGINS (LIVE)

& more

GARY CLARK JR

MACY GRAY

MICHAEL KIWANUKA

SOUL II SOUL

SZA

WILLOW SMITH

DIZZEE RASCAL

LITTLE SIMZ

BLITZ THE AMBASSADOR

THE COOL KIDS

PRINCESS NOKIA

PROTOJE

LEIKELI47

THE COOL KIDS

THE SKINS

KEVIN ABSTRACT

SERPENTWITHFEET

SAM DEW

SHABAKA AND THE ANCESTORS

SON LITTLE

PURE DISGUST

QUIÑ

LOUDER THAN QUIET

& more

10 Quotes from 10 Unapologetic Women in Honor of Women’s History Month 

Check out some of my favorite quotes from 10 unapologetic women of different ethnicities, professions, and generations!  Happy Women’s History Month.

 

Nina Simone

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To me, we are the most beautiful creatures in the world—black people. So, my job is to make them more curious about where they came from and their own identity and pride in that identity.

Angela Davis

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The roots of sexism and homophobia are found in the same economic and political institutions that serve as the foundation of racism in this country and, more often than not, the same extremist circles that inflict violence on people of color are responsible for the eruptions of violence inspired by sexist and homophobic biases. Our political activism must clearly manifest our understanding of these connections.

Jane Elliot

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We are still conditioning people in this country and, indeed, all over the globe to the myth of white superiority. We are constantly being told that we don’t have racism in this country anymore, but most of the people who are saying that are white. White people think it isn’t happening because it isn’t happening to them.

Linda Sarsour

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Women are intersectional human beings who live multi-issued lives, when we are protected, when we are respected, when we are able to thrive and given the same opportunities as our male counterparts, when we are given space to lead and rise — our nation will rise.

Cree Summer

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I don’t know a single black girl who’s carefree because it ain’t easy being a girl of color, period. God, I wish we were carefree. A lot of political things would have to dramatically change in this planet for a woman of color to be carefree. But I think what they mean by that is more of an aware black girl, a conscious black girl.

Issa Rae

Premiere Of HBO's "Insecure" - Arrivals

It’s a bit cliché, but you can’t go wrong by writing what you know. Even if you’re a horrible writer, your own knowledge and experience is unrivaled. Nobody knows what you know like you know what you know. The way you see things is pretty unique.

Reina Gossett

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Historical amnesia is starvation of the imagination; nostalgia is the imagination’s sugar rush, leaving depression and emptiness in its wake.  Breaking silences, telling our tales, is not enough. . . Historical responsibility has, after all, to do with action – where we place the weight of our existences on the line, cast our lot with others, move from an individual consciousness to a collective one.

Sojourner Truth

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Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

Winona LaDuke

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I wanted to get out of Ashland, and I thought it would be pretty cool to go to school in the East. So I asked my guidance counselor what Ivy League schools were. And I applied to Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth – that was it. My guidance counselor told me I wouldn’t get into an Ivy League school. So as my act of resistance, that’s all I applied to.

Betty White

Betty White - Interview

Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive! If you really wanna get tough, grow a vagina! Those things take a pounding!

 

7 Black Cultural Events in Baltimore to Attend this Black History Month

Check out these great events in Baltimore to attend in honor of Black History Month!

Asante Celebration

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Who: The Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle

What: A Celebration for supporters of the grassroots organization LBS and newcomers alike.

Where: The Living Well – 235 Holliday St, Baltimore, MD 21202

When: February 20th at 6pm

Notes from the organization:

The LBS Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (LBS) is a grassroots think-tank which advances the public policy interest of Black people, in Baltimore, through: youth leadership development, political advocacy, and autonomous intellectual innovation.

The Asante Celebration will be hosted by The Living Well on February 20th at 6pm. There will be free food, and open bar, performances and music by DJ Sundiata. All the proceeds from the event will directly support our grassroots work in Baltimore.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and the dress code is casual attire.

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Buy Black Ujamaa Marketplace

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Who: NSAA African Creations By Majorie Nicole

What: A Marketplace for Black Owned Businesses 

Where: St. Frances Academy Community Center – 501 E. Chase Street Baltimore MD 21202

When: February 19th at 12-4pm (Grand Opening)
3/19 Marketplace
4/16 Soul Sunday (spoken word & soul food)
5/21 Marketplace

Notes from the Organization:

Come out and connect with the communuty in a family friendly environment infused with culture including a drum circle, ujamaa education, musical performance, kids activity, qigong health demonstration, a DJ, food, dessert and more. This community event is free to the public and all are welcome.

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7th Annual Johns Hopkins Black History Month Student Competition

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Who: The Creative Alliance and John Hopkins

What Art Competition by Baltimore Public School Students 

Where: The Creative Alliance at the Patterson: 3134 Eastern Ave, Baltimore MD 21224.

When: February 25 through March 11, 2017

Notes form the Organization:

Students from kindergarten through twelfth grades create mixed-media works to depict the history of African Americans specific to Baltimore City. All entries are awarded cash prizes in support of their school’s arts programs, courtesy of the Johns Hopkins East Baltimore Community Affairs Office. Young people, families, teachers, and community members are invited to view exhibition together at Creative Alliance’s Amalie Rothschild Gallery from February 25 through March 11, 2017.

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I Am Not Your Negro

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Who: The words and interviews of James Baldwin, directed by Raoul Peck 

What: Documentary entitled, I Am Not Your Negro

Where: The Charles Theater – 1711 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

When: How ever long it’s showing

Frederick Douglas-Isaac Myers

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Who: The history of Frederick Douglas and Isaac Myers

What: An educational and national heritage site that highlights African American maritime history.

Where: 1417 Thames St. Baltimore, MD 21231

When: All Day, Everyday

Notes from the Organization:

Come and share with us as we chronicle the saga of Frederick Douglass’ life in Baltimore as an enslaved child and young man. We also take a look at the life of Isaac Myers, a free born African American who became a national leader. As a visitor, you will also learn about the founding of the Chesapeake Marine Railway and Dry Dock Company and the establishment of the African American Community in Baltimore during the 1800’s.

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VERIZON BLACK HISTORY MONTH OPEN HOUSE 2017

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Who: Reginald F. Lewis Museum

What: Museum of Maryland African-American History and Culture

Where: Reginald F. Lewis Museum, 830 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD

When: February 25, 2017

Notes from the Organization:

Celebrate Black History Month with an open house at the museum. Visit the galleries for free. In addition, enjoy craft workshops, live performances, and more. Sponsored by Verizon.

NAMYANKA BLACK HISTORY MONTH PROGRAM

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Who: Namyanka Performing Arts Training Center

What: A Tribute to Black Broadway Musicals

Where: Coppin State University, Johnson Auditorium – 2500 W. North Ave, Baltimore Md 21216

When: February 26, 2017

Cost: $15.00