All posts filed under: Black

Transcending America: How Russell Westbrook, Odell Beckham and Cameron Newton Have Changed Black Masculinity

Originally posted on Joshua Lawrence Lazard:
It’s time for a new black male aesthetic.   Especially one that captures decolonized postmodern black masculinity as well as one that has ontologically transcendent capabilities.  In simpler terms, an aesthetic that allows for black masculinity to not be defined by archaic norms in the realm of fashion, black male-to-male relationships and how one images themselves for the sake of respectability politics. The year 2012 was significant for black male masculinity on several fronts, far too many to discuss here, many of which were around how black men were entering public conversations about black women and black male privilege in social media spheres, to the way that black urban fashion had shed much of its nascent hip hop bagginess trading it in for fitted and skinny jeans, Obama was running for re-election, same-sex marriage in black religious circles was a hot-button topic as the president came out in favor of it, more and more young people were freer to talk about sex and sexuality and at the same time the demographic remained woefully…

Here’s What I Mean When I Say “Pro Black Doesn’t Mean Anti-White”

Originally posted on Black Millennials:
To be pro-Black does not mean to be anti-white. To be pro-Black means to be anti-white supremacy. I wrote these words in a piece about interracial dating some months ago. The piece argues that being pro-Black means to affirm Black bodies, spirit, and culture while denouncing the evils of white supremacy as unnatural, deadly, and unsustainable. Pro-Blackness is a value system that demands the centering of Black people in a structural world designed by the white ruling corporatist class. Some elements of pro-Blackness posit the belief that white supremacy must be thoroughly destroyed for everlasting Black survival. Upon writing that piece, I’ve seen and heard many — mostly Black folk — similarly express that the pro-Black value system does not ultimately condemn “all” white people, just the omnipotent network of institutions, structures, systems, and constructs derived from white supremacist ideology, and the individual agents that empower them. From social media feeds to think pieces, I’ve seen these expressions manifested in digital space. In the physical realm, I’ve seen nonprofit professionals try to embed the sentiment in grant proposals.…

Selective Outrage Won’t Get Us Free

Originally posted on Black Millennials:
Jamar Clark was killed execution-style while handcuffed in Minneapolis. Black activists most notably affiliated with the local Black Lives Matter chapter and the local NAACP shut down highways and occupied the 4th police precinct. National media is starting to pick up on the local unrest, especially after white supremacist terrorists shot five Black Lives Matter protestors. In Chicago, video released shows LaQuan McDonald being shot some sixteen times by a white police officer. His murderer has been charged, and thousands are mobilizing. Traditional media is focusing on the clashes between protesters and police, while social media is aflame. The gruesome video (which I admittedly haven’t watched) lives on the pages of many. Heated debate about the discomfiting consumption of Black death and pain is — once again — underway. Not one to homogenize Black murder and resulting unrest, I can’t help but draw striking parallels to Ferguson and Baltimore. From the expansive number of mass mobilizations and frontline energies, to the tweets of solidarity, frenetic live-streaming, and the viciously heavy-handed responses…

The Rise and Fall of Iggy Azalea

Originally posted on Black Millennials:
T.I. has finally parted ways?with his breakout star.?What took him so long? In 2011, when radio and television personality Charlamagne Tha God said that Iggy Azalea — then a fresh off the success of “Pussy” — was gonna be a star, I scoffed. Where he saw potential, I saw an explicit marketing ploy with little sustainability or long term success. Iggy Azalea featured on the venerable XXL Freshman cover (2012) I saw the gentrification of hip hop where white artists with some edge would be pushed before audiences before the audience pushed back. I saw cultural appropriation and cooptation, inauthenticity, and an obvious — if not desperate — attempt to turn a quick profit. While I was clear in my interpretation of the Australian born rapper, others were not. “Fancy,” her record breaking single, dominated airwaves in 2014. Clear Channel, the biggest radio outlet in the country, included her in their “On The Verge” program, an initiative designed to give emerging artists optimal exposure to some 245 million monthly listeners.…

We’re Black in Havana, and Still Can’t Breathe

Originally posted on Black Millennials:
By Jasmine Hall and Moriah Ray Displaced: to force someone to leave their home, typically because of war, persecution, or natural disasters. This war being waged on black bodies is resulting in our persecution, and there is nothing natural about this disaster. It is methodological, institutionalized and heavily funded.   As we entered our embassy, which is supposed to serve as our “safe haven,” we found ourselves displaced. As we nervously walked through a barrage of bulletproof doors and body scanners, the face of a black man on the wall – our Commander in Chief – provided us momentary relief before we entered the main lobby. There, we were reminded of the threat that black women pose to the system. Posted on the edifice walls, we saw nothing more than a freedom fighting black women labeled a “TERRORIST.” She fought – and continues to fight – against the system so we can breathe. One million dollar reward for anyone who could return the women in “traditional African clothing” who was…

An Open Letter to Everyone

Originally posted on Black Millennials:
I am deeply in Love with Black People. And that makes me dangerous. My Love for Black People is not like regular love. My Love isn’t like the love I have for Harry Potter, hot sauce, or beer. My Love for Black People is something else entirely — rooted in an ancestral well of cultural traditions and decentralized mythologies that I will never have the capacity to holistically understand. My Love for Black People is a Love that I can’t, in this moment, explore with brevity, thoroughness, or accuracy. My Love for Black People comes from my Love of Blackness. Where whiteness is a system of destruction, Blackness is a celestial spirit of Connection, Resiliency, Resistance, Majesty, Artistry, and overall Cultural Craftsmanship. Blackness does not need whiteness for its ethereal existence, and thrives in spite of it. Whiteness relies on Blackness for its survival. Ironically, as Blackness thrives in its innovation and adaptation, whiteness adapts to encroach upon it. Whiteness takes the parts of Blackness that can be manufactured and…

Asia Newson | Super Business Girl

If you haven’t already heard, Asia Newson is the CEO of Super Business Girl and one of Detroit’s youngest entrepreneurs. She sells her own homemade candles and products on the company website. Funds go towards the purchase of clothing and and food for children in need as well as her own school and business supplies. Check her out in her interview with Ellen. G.U.M Team