For the first time since January 12, 2010 when the Pittsburgh Police brutally beat innocent and unarmed honor student Jordan Miles until he looked like this:
Jordan Miles publicly speaks about the brutality he suffered and his pursuit of justice
Note: I was so concerned about the rapture on May 21, that I failed to post last Monday. Now I realize that when they said “rapture” all they really meant was that Oprah was ending her show and Chicago’s mayor is no longer named Daley. You can totally interpret such events as the end of the world. Anyway, I finished what should have been last week’s blog and posted it here.)
True story: Although the maternal side of my family knew, I didn’t tell my biological father that I was gay until (quite literally) the day of my sister’s wedding nearly year ago, just before he was about to walk her down the aisle. What began as an incredibly awkward moment involving me in
drag a dress and makeup and weird conversation before the wedding, resulted in an embrace and my father’s loving (for him) utterance of “We deuces,” to let me know that we were still cool by the time we were taking post-nuptial photos; he even took the time to tell my girlfriend she was welcome to visit anytime. It was a tremendous relief. Sure, I probably should have done it much sooner, but procrastination is a tough drug to kick. Besides, I had never hidden anything from my dad or ever talked to him about relationships, so the idea of me sitting him down and telling him that he could add dating women to the list of things he and I had in common seemed really forced and inauthentic. Although it has always felt as if coming out was a ritual reserved for privileged white folks and Logo series, once I figured out that my dad inquiring, “So you cut your hair again, hunh?” wasn’t a euphemism for “Are you gay?” I knew I had to say something.
Gabriel Perna, International Business Times | May 17, 2011
A recent study says Twitter is more popular for African American college students than whites due to the former’s interest in celebrity and entertainment news.
The study, from Northwestern University, focused on first-year college students attending the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). It found those who used Twitter were more likely to be interested in celebrity and entertainment news than not. It also said a higher percentage of black students were using Twitter in 2010 compared to white students, 37 percent to 21 percent.
The study was published online by New Media And Society in May 2011. Respondents were asked about their awareness and use of Twitter as well as their gender, race, Internet skill level, interest in topics such as international news, politics, entertainment and celebrity news.
“Students with higher Internet skills were more likely to start using Twitter and so were African Americans, who we found report more interest in celebrity and entertainment news than their peers of other races,” Eszter Hargittai, associate professor of communication studies at Northwestern and lead author of the study, said in a statement. (Read more)
‘Woke Up Black’ June 8th Screening
About the film:
“Woke Up Black” followed five black youth for two years. During this time we witnessed interactions with family members, educational institutions, and the legal and judicial system. We saw the social networking that is critical to the successful development of these youth and we provided a rare opportunity to hear youth speak out on some of the important and potentially life- altering topics of the day. The film underscores the humanity that we all share with each other regardless of race or age. For some of the youth profiled, despite extraordinary circumstances, they remain hopeful.
Lady Gaga’s second full-length album Born This Way opens with “Marry The Night,” one of the most epic pop songs you will ever hear. Clearly aimed to kickstart the album with the kind of massive statement MJ nailed with Thiller‘s ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Something,” “Marry The Night” opens with somber church organ and decidedly pensive vocals before erupting into a blast of synths, and never lets up. It sounds like classic Whitney Houston produced by Max Martin, and it is arguably the best song Lady Gaga has ever released. It’s that good.
Born This Way should crumble under the weight of such a masterful opening salvo (not to mention unbelievable hype), but it doesn’t. Not by a long shot.
“The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” follows the title character and friends as she navigates through life, love and awkward situations. I love this show. It reminds me of myself. I think I am going to have to find a way to interview her for the Black Youth Project. Let me know what you think.
Kristen Clarke, The Grio | May 19, 2011
There are few figures in the black freedom struggle as dynamic and complex as Malcolm X who would have celebrated his 86th birthday if he were still alive today. Dr. Manning Marable‘s recently released book, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, has helped spark new debate and renewed popular interest in this iconoclastic and central figure of the civil rights era.
Before his life was taken by the bullets of assassins, some of whom may have never been brought to justice for their crimes, Malcolm X was on a breathtaking journey building new organizations and planting the seeds of a global Pan-African movement to help address the crisis faced by blacks in urban America. Dr. Marable’s new work methodically peels back the layers and helps shed light on the real Malcolm X, who, though imperfect and flawed as the rest of us, was steadily undergoing personal transformation and evolving politically. But just as powerful as his actions were his words which struck chords, ignited debates and roused audiences all over the globe.
Here, theGrio presents Malcolm X’s top ten most provocative and powerful quotes:
If you’re not ready to die for it, take the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.
— Chicago Defender (November 28, 1962)
Huffington Post | May 19, 2011
For many, the “Jersey Shore” is a guilty pleasure, but for University of Chicago student and reality television enthusiast David Showalter, it is a social experiment worthy of critical analysis.
Earlier this month, Showalter used JoinStart to raise money for the one-day conference, saying it “should be of interest to scholars in the fields of media and cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, race, ethnicity, and gender studies, and the social sciences more generally.” The funding came through, and the conference will be held on October 28 at the University of Chicago.
Showalter, an Oklahoma native and third year undergraduate student at U of C, told HuffPost Chicago he has been an “avid and unabashed Jersey Shore fan since the beginning of Season 1,” and explained why he decided to organize the conference.
“I think it’s very important for academics not to restrict their work to so-called “high culture,” but to seriously engage with popular culture as well,” Showalter said via email. “The images and sounds of pop culture surround us and entertain us, and for those reasons alone they are deserving of study. With regards to ‘Jersey Shore’ specifically, I believe the show is both a fascinating and innovative example of reality television, as well as a useful lens through which to examine many of the issues that animate contemporary life: problems around gender roles, ethnic identity, celebrity, the influence of mass media, the notion of ‘reality’ itself, and so on.” (Read more)
Film Website | May 19, 2011
Louder Than a Bomb tells the story of four Chicago high school poetry teams as they prepare to compete in the world’s largest youth slam. By turns hopeful and heartbreaking, the film captures the turbulent lives of these unforgettable kids, exploring the ways writing shapes their world, and vice versa. Louder Than a Bomb is not about “high school poetry” as we often think of it. It’s about language as a joyful release, irrepressibly talented teenagers obsessed with making words dance. While the topics they tackle are often deeply personal, what they put into their poems—and what they get out of them—is universal: the defining work of finding one’s voice.
Be sure to check out Keantre’s blog on the Louder than a Bomb poetry slam here.
The word around Chicago whispers about those young cats in LA, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, and it supposes that OFWGKTA probably bumped some Chicago tracks on their iPods. Crowd hoppers of the last decade, from Wicker Park to Lakeview, can immediately see the similarities between OFWGKTA and the “Windy City’s” own Tomorrow Kings. Unfortunately, I don’t have the proper info to confirm influence by older Tomorrow Kings on Odd Future, but I do have enough to attribute Chi-pride to this collective of emcees that pioneered a new culture of Hip Hop. After the “video hoe” and “ice” age of Hip Hop, emcees started emerging out of a love for literature; even Jay Electronica drops lyrics like, “Spit that Kurt Vonnegut/That blow yo brain/Kurt Cobain, that Nirvana sh#t.” Sure, cats have been experimenting with rhyme scheme and making allusions to high school classics since the days of Tupac, however the 90’s did not facilitate the complete revolution that we have seen with Tomorrow Kings and OFWGKTA.
Head of IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and presidential favorite in Paris’ upcoming elections jailed for attempted sexual assault on a black immigrant hotel worker. Damn! That’s a lot. Would he go to jail? No.
Fast forward to today and he sits in Riker’s Island waiting to appeal yet again to a judge for release from his larger than normal jail cell. The woman in the case, a 32 year old Guinean immigrant was swift in her accusation and has already testified in front of a grand jury and will continue answering questions today. Speculation has already begun to pull eyes away from the rape allegation and to her visa status, whether or not she is HIV+, and if she is doing this for financial gain. After all, she is a single mother working in the service industry. What are the odds she’s poor? But the underlying question is, what are the odds she is lying?
Chris, O’Leary, SLAM | May 18, 2011
Maya Moore isn’t that much different from any other fresh-out-the-collegiate-box graduate. After kicking a lot of ass in college, she landed the job she’s best suited for. Then she signed an endorsement deal with Jordan Brand, becoming the brand’s first female basketball signee.
The first overall pick in the 2011 WNBA draft, Moore was the face of UConn demolishing teams for basically all of her four years at the school. The Huskies won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010, went 150-4 over four years and put together an NCAA record 90-game win streak. She was a two-time national player of the year, a three-time academic All-American and four-time All-American on the court. She was then grabbed by the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA draft.
The move makes sense for JB, who has bumped up its production of women’s shoes in recent years. Whether Moore rocks the Jordan 2011, retro Jordans or hits the court in women’s versions of MJ’s shoes, having an on-court game changer in the most popular basketball sneaker in the world is a good move for the brand.
The WNBA pre-season gets underway tomorrow. (Read more)
My Fox Detroit | May 16, 2011
DETROIT (WJBK) – The family of Aiyana Jones is demanding justice.
“I’m going to fight for my baby. I’m going to get justice for Aiyana,” said Mertilla Jones, Aiyana’s grandmother.
She said that’s what keeps her going through the pain and grief of losing her seven-year-old granddaughter. Aiyana was shot and killed on May 16, 2010 during a police raid at her family’s home on Lillibridge. She was asleep on a sofa when a bullet from a police officer’s gun ended her life. (Read more)
Okay, let me start by saying fuck Psychology Today. Now that I have that off of my chest, I’ll tell you why the respected publication has quickly tumbled from the ranks of respected publication to bona fide shit rag with just one misguided, misinformed post. Maybe I shouldn’t condemn the entire publication for the article posted by an obviously disturbed individual, but I will.
Who left the gates open and allowed this codswallop to even hit the internet?!
Leslie Pitterson, Clutch Magazine | May 17, 2011
As the graduation season is in full swing, we’re reminded that nearly half of black college students were never taught by a professor of their own race.
According to a survey, from YourBlackWorld.com:
42 percent of African Americans who attended a predominantly white university never had a single black professor during four years of college.
Nearly three-quarters of these students (74 percent) had only one black professor in a field outside of African American studies.
In a recent piece for ThyBlackMan.com, Dr. Boyce Watkins, professor at Syracuse University commented on the survey’s results, writing:
There are various theories regarding why black professors are missing in many of America’s universities. To hear the story told by many campus administrators, black professors are missing because they simply don’t exist or are all unqualified to teach at predominantly white institutions. “We can’t find qualified minorities” is the typical comment made on many campuses who claim to seek diversity. In my experience teaching at the college level over the past 17 years, I cannot agree with this assessment. My in-box is full of stories from black professors all over the country who either cannot get academic jobs, or who were released from their campuses because they “didn’t fit” with the culture of the faculty in their departments.
The Black Youth Project examines the attitudes, resources and culture of the young black millennials.