Tag Archives: Social Justice

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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Black Lives Matter organizers set to post Mother’s Day bail for black mothers across the nation

This week dozens of black mothers who are currently awaiting trial and cannot pay their bonds will be released just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day. The movement entitled, Mama’s Bail Out Day, was organized by many groups including Black Lives Matter Atlanta, Healing Hearts of Families, Southerners on New Ground, Color of Change, and local churches and businesses. Joining forces, the groups raised $250,000 to pay bail for black mothers in 16 cities. These women have not been convicted of any crimes and have been jailed for low level offenses like loitering and small drug possession. 62% of people in jail are there because they cannot afford bail. The system has negatively affected women of color and poor women across the nation with black women making up 44 percent of women in jails.

Arissa Hall, an organizer for the event and project manager at the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, told The Nation that Mother’s Day, with its idealized notions of family and womanhood, is the right moment to force an examination of women in jails.

“All mothers are not celebrated, this is especially true of women who struggle with poverty, addiction and mental-health issues—in other words, the women who fill our jails.”

“Black moms especially have not been granted that title of motherhood,” Hall added going on to describe how slavery shredded kinship bonds. Black women, have historically taken on caretaker roles that have put them in charge of other people’s children and away from their own.

Mary Hooks, co-director of the Atlanta-based LGBTQ organizing project SONG, was one of the first people to brainstorm an idea with other activists on how to combat against the money bail and jail-related fine issues specifically for the LGBTQ community. The activist and organizers understood the ways race, class, and gender identity all play a role in criminalization so they decided to expand on who qualifies as a mother. “When we talk about black mamas, we know that mothering happens in a variety of ways,” Hooks said. “Whether it’s the mothers in the clubs who teach the young kids how to vogue, or the church mothers who took care of me.” Women who are birth mothers and chosen mothers are eligible to be bailed out.

The organizers are still raising money so they can release more women and are planning on possibly having a similar bail out for black fathers for Father’s Day.

To support the Mama’s Bail Out Day movements visit:

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New Social Justice Podcast in the works from Activist DeRay McKesson

Former professor turned activist, DeRay McKesson can add podcasting to his many important ventures. McKesson will host his own podcast entitled, A Word with DeRay. The platform will provide much needed info on activism, organization, and how individuals can contribute to movements fighting against racism, policing, and other important topics. McKesson signed with Crooked Media, the new liberal political network founded last year by former Obama aides Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor. In an interview with BuzzFeed News, McKesson said, “I’m trying to figure out how we give people language that they can repeat. I think a lot of the media, not just podcasts, are doing a lot of the ‘Let me explain the world to you’ [format], but not in a way listeners can actually keep explaining the world to people.” He continued saying, “I want to be intentional about how I use platforms to amplify this work. I think a podcast will be a great opportunity to do that.”

The premier date for the podcast is to be determined. For now McKesson can be found on Twitter (@deray), Instagram (@iamderay), and Facebook.

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

17 Films and Series to Watch in Honor of Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, check out my list of films and television series celebrating and exploring black life throughout history including captivating documentaries, quality biopics, and recent theatrical releases. Remember to celebrate Black History beyond these short 28 days!

 

I am not your Negro (2017)

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The potent words of writer, activist, and playwright James Baldwin on race still rings true decades later. This 2017 documentary, directed by Raoul Peck and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, explores race throughout the years and visualizes Baldwin’s words about close friends, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers. Look for this film in your local theaters or local art house.

African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr (2013)

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Follow scholar, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as he ventures back in time to discuss the history of African-Americans from the Transatlantic Slave Trade to the Civil Rights era to the Nations first black president.

Black in Latin America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2011)

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Henry Louis Gates Jr. travels south to explore the largely hidden history of black Latin Americans. Through interviews and discussions in countries, Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico and Peru, Gates tackles issues of race, colorism, and the slave trade that still affects the black community in the present.

Paris is Burning (1990)

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The birthplace of, “throwing shade” and O-P-U-L-E-N-C-E. Paris is Burning is an early look at the underground LGBT scene centered on fashion, sex appeal, and voguing. Created by people of color, this film delves into the energetic scene and how class, family, and illness affected young gay people of color in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Hidden Figures (2016)

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This blockbuster hit was deserving of its $100 million earnings at the box office. The film tells the seldom heard story of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson, the three black women who were the brains and strength behind the US sending a man to space.

The New Edition Story (2017)

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BET and the creators of The New Edition Story took their time with this amazing biopic. The 3 part miniseries follows the iconic group from their humble beginnings in Orchard Park projects to their most successful sold out tours. The series doesn’t sugar coat the intense drama that went on behind the scenes, detailing financial rip-offs, drugs, and physical altercations between the members. The acting, story, and of course the music are all on point.

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011)

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A cultivation of found footage and interviews of Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael, Louis Farrakhan and others associated with the black power and anti-war movements, all from the perspective of Swedish journalist and filmmakers.

The 13th (2016)

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Ava Duvernay explores America’s exploitation of the 13th amendment and how policies throughout time have disproportionately targeted black men and women in America.

Dark Girls (2011)

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A discussion and stories about colorism and how it immensely affects the lives of black women across the nation.

Barry (2016)

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Follow Barack Obama as he enters Columbia University to world of self discovery, love, and perseverance.

What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

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Unapologetic, talented, and beautiful describes Nina Simone. Through vintage interviews, performances, and stories from her family and friends, you’ll learn the vibrant yet dark story of the legendary artist.

Queen of Katwe (2016)

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Based on a true story, Queen of Katwe follows 10 year old Phiona as she overcomes huge hurdles to become a world chess champion.

Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed (2004)

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Shirley Chilsom was not only the first black woman elected to Congress but the first African American and first woman to run a high profile campaign in the US! Watch as she challenges sexism, racism, and patriarchy in this untimely piece.

 

Unsung and Unsung: Hollywood (2008-present)

Unsung opens the door to all the trials and tribulations of some of America’s most talented but underrated black artist. Debarge, Xscape, Big Daddy Kane, The Whispers, Yo-Yo, David Ruffin, and Al B Sure are just some of the artist who have been documented on the show. Also, check out Unsung: Hollywood for stories on black actors, films, and series who were deserving of more recognition.

Madiba (2017)

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This six hour mini-series chronicles Nelson Mandela, played by Laurence Fishburne, and other leaders of the African National Congress who fought to end apartheid in South Africa.

Fresh Dressed (2015)

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Remember Kangol hats and gold rope chains? What about Cross Colours? FUBU, anyone? Fresh Dressed digs up the influential contributions of black style throughout the years and the ups and downs of clothing brands that were for us and by us.

Race (2016)

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Race, the story of American track star Jesse Owens, exemplifies courage and strength in the face of white supremacy. Not only did Owens battle racism in the US but he challenged and then crushed Hitler’s Aryan supremacy fantasy in 1930’s Berlin.

Black&Sexy TV debuts web series, Dope Deconstruction

The online streaming network, Black&Sexy TV, premiered their new web-series, Dope Deconstruction this past Sunday with host Shanika (@ShanikaPowell) and Sam (@Slamriddb) who together make Slam Pow Productions. The two have a current podcast entitled, Inner Hoe Uprising, which as they quote is about “Sex, love, and dating from two black polyamorous 20 something’s in NYC. Sounds pretty cool.

Their web series will be a part of Black&Sexy’s #BlackGirlMagicSundays along with the series, Dear Miller. The first episode of Dope Deconstruction features Nigerian artist, activist, and musician Lalou Senbanjo (@laolunyc). Sebanjo’s work, Sacred Art of Ori, originates from Yoruba rituals and some of his clients have been Ibeyi, Alicia Keys, Jidenna, and Beyonce. Tune in every Sunday for new episodes of Deconstruction!

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