Happy birthday Malcolm X! Top 10 quotes from an icon

Happy birthday Malcolm X! Top 10 quotes from an icon

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)

(Read more)

BYP Researcher Raises Money for Academic Conference on ‘Jersey Shore’ at the University of Chicago

BYP Researcher Raises Money for Academic Conference on ‘Jersey Shore’ at the University of Chicago

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)




"Louder Than a Bomb" Premieres This Week

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.

Distant Relatives: Tomorrow Kings and OFWGKTA

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.

Attacking the IMF guy

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?

Jordan Brand Signs Maya Moore

Jordan Brand Signs Maya Moore

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)

Family Wants Justice for Aiyana Jones

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)


Family Wants Justice for Aiyana Jones: MyFoxDETROIT.com


Thanks, Psychology Today.

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?!

Sorry, Lauryn Hill. Your beauty isn't appreciated around here.

Nearly Half of All Black College Graduates Never Had A Black Professor: Did You?

Nearly Half of All Black College Graduates Never Had A Black Professor: Did You?

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.

(Read more)