Hood Cinema: Hipsters and Cameras

There’s nothing cooler than a snap-back wearing sneaker pimp (Black hipsters) and anyone that wants to keep up with the cool will need to add a camera around their neck. Remember how Chris Brown’s video for “Beautiful People” made you want to create a cinematic collage of your greatest nights while you imagined that your friends were all celebrities? Now that I think about it, one of the coolest videos employed a visual style that was first dissed by Banksy in “Exit Through the Gift Shop”; describing such a piece as the creation of “someone with mental problems who just happen to have a camera.” Hipsters, Black ones in particular, are developing an aesthetic appreciation for randomly jig-sawed, but thematic, video clips. These hipsters—that end up contributing films to this breaking genre—are packaging young Black consciousness into art. In other words, they are expanding the space in which Blackness can be nurtured.


Weekly News Round-Up: Aug 22nd – 28th, 2011

Aug 22nd – 28th


Racist curfew instituted in Philadelphia
Walter Smolarek, Liberation News, 8/20/11


Blacks and Latinos Will Suffer When the Student Debt Bubble Bursts
David A. Love, Huffington Post, 8/24/11


Millenials still searching for racial equality, diversity
Megan Bannister, Times-Delphic, 8/22/11


A tale of two schools: Who’s to blame for the differences?
Valerie Strauss, Washinton Post, 8/23/11


The black church must respond to disaffected youth
Marcia Dixon, The Voice, 8/24/11


Do Flash Mobs that Rob Reflect Poorly on Blacks?
Jeneba Ghatt, Politics 365, 8/22/11


Bullying Should Not Be Part of Back-to-School
Heidi Renner, Burr Ridge Patch, 8/23/11


Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn has put his finger on a problem that the Legislature should address when it returns.
Staff Writer, JS Online, 8/23/11


More than 90% of black and Latino students pass California high school exam
Sharon Noguchi, Mercury News, 8/24/11


Burden of Diversity Yields Benefit of Attention for HBCUs
Jarrett L. Carter, Huffington post, 8/24/11


Latinos now outnumber African Americans at college
Staff Writer, News Desk, 8/25/11


Federal Grant Funds Study of Black Students’ Learning in Algebra
Staff Writer, News Wise, 8/25/11


Expense May Be Causing Fewer Young Blacks to Smoke
Staff Writer, US News, 8/27/11



Tha Carter IV, And Why LIL WAYNE vs. JAY-Z Needs To Happen…

So Lil Wayne’s highly anticipated (and routinely delayed) Tha Carter IV leaked onto the internets earlier this week. And it’s pretty damn good. But thus far, all anyone can talk about is that Jay-Z diss.

Confused? Well, it all started in a 2009 interview where Birdman declared that Lil Wayne is a better rapper than Jay-Z because he “do the most and make the most money.” Perhaps you’ll recall Jigga’s response earlier this year on the song “H.A.M.”:

“Like these rappers rap about all the shit that I do daily/I’m like really, half a billi, nigga, really you got Baby money/ Keep it real with niggas, niggas ain’t got my lady money.”

Clearly, Wayne was not impressed with Jay’s not-so-sublte double entrendre. And that brings us to C4’s most controversial track, “It’s Good.” “It’s Good” is essentially a traditional, solid slab of hardcore Hip Hop, opening with a flawless verse from Jadakiss. Drake does his best to keep up before Wayne hits the ground running with a closing verse.

Then he says this:

“Talkin’ bout baby money?/I got your baby money/Kidnap your bitch, get that ‘how much you love your lady’ money”

This is a clear and direct jab at Jay-Z (and Beyonce, technically haha).

The Viral Video, EBT: We Have Failed You, Chapter . . . An Open Letter


Dear Chapter,

Once upon a time when I was a little brown girl and the economy was really bad because of Reganomics, my “employed” and single black mother received food assistance to help feed her two daughters because her minimal wage check could not fully cover rent and the daily luxuries of milk, eggs, meat, beans, and rice. Yes, we were the working class poor. Yes, we were on food stamps. Yes, we needed help. And, yes, we received the EBT though I prefer to call it the Electronic Benefit Transfer because EBT sounds like some viral disease that must be stopped instead of something that has helped to feed many families including a large majority of white families.

To say the least, I found your video deeply troubling. And, not necessarily for the reasons people have listed in your YouTube’s comment section about displaying stereotypical images of black people. Chapter, I found your video troubling because it shows how we as a community of black women have failed to educate you. We have failed to tell you about your history, dearest. We have failed to tell you about National Welfare Rights Organization which was founded in the 1960s and lead by poor Black women who understood the interconnections between food justice, a living wage, racism, and poverty. You see, Chapter, our foremothers, as my grandmother would say, “fought tooth and nail,” to ensure that we would have access to federal assistance because it was our right not only because we were citizens, but because we were human. And, based on our god-given humanity, we deserved the option of being able to seek help when needed.

Five Years Natural

A couple weeks ago marked my fifth year with fully natural hair. Five years of split ends, single strand knots, tangles, detangling, home remedies, expensive conditioners, cheap conditioners, no-pooing, pre-pooing, more detangling, oil rinses, tea rinses, moisturizing, sealing, baggying and reading every blog, forum and article about natural hair I could find.

And here I am today, almost five years into this journey and I still don’t fully understand my hair and what it takes to make her happy.

Nostalgia for Activist

Over the past couple of months I have been working for an Organization called Equal Education, more commonly known as the movement of and for learners, parents, teachers and community members working for quality and equality in education, through analysis and activism.

I humbly declare that the activism and community leadership that I’ve seen over the course of my time here has conjured up, inside of me, nostalgia for historical movements that I was not alive to see. I figuratively look back into movements that literally set legal and social precedents of where I am presently allowed to walk, or buy a house, or eat in public restaurant, or use a public restroom. These were movements that declared their humanity and the rights that come with it, regardless of whatever discriminatory factor society would want to pull that day. This summer I am reminded of those elementary days in class when I would learn of those movements and where I would hear the echoes of Martin, Sojourner, Malcolm, Zora, Bayard, Corretta, Langston and many countless others. I have pondered the names that those activists my generation will hear 50 years from now. Possibly, Lwando, Nokubonga, Nthutuzo, Thoko, Cettu, Ngawethu, Afika, and countless others. This summer I have humbly dined with activist and tried to learn everything I could from them, before their names are entered into a history book.

Christine O'Donnell Vs. Piers Morgan

In my 21 years of existence there have been many things that have perplexed me: Mike Tyson’s face tattoo, why Trix are for kids, and who framed Roger Rabbit. However, Christine O’Donnell’s interview on the Piers Morgan show may take the cake as one of the weirdest things I’ve seen. O’Donnell, already known as a political hack, witch doctor, and all around crazy lady went on the Piers Morgan Show to promote her new book ‘Trouble Maker’. With a title like that, you think she’d be accustomed to fielding hardball questions. After last week’s interview she proved that she can’t even field a slow pitch softball question hit off of a tee.

This bizarre reaction from O’Donnell was sparked by a simple question from Morgan: “Right now I’m curious about whether you support gay marriage or not. After he asked the questioned all hell broke loose. O’Donnell evaded questions about as good as O.J. Simpson evaded the LA Police in the white Bronco.  What seemed so interesting to me was that she seemed clueless that [she] ghostwriter wrote about gay marriage in her book. maybe she needs to get a new communications team