Playing “Political” Hoops

Recently, celebrity couple Jay-Z and Beyonce–who often traipse around awards ceremonies and other events as if they are the emperor and empress of a nation to which all young rappers and other wannabes are begging for citizenship–were criticized by civil rights leader and entertainer Harry Belafonte for their lack of political involvement. Beyonce’s camp. who is generally mum when criticisms are lobbed at the star, responded in part by publishing a list of her philanthropic efforts, consequently expressing either a lack of comprehension or attempting to conflate philanthropy and political activism to inattentive yet interested parties.

During the same time period, ESPN published LZ Granderson’s article about the “political” Michael Jordan, which discusses Jordan’s reluctance to express any political affiliation during (the prime of) his career. Granderson cites Jordan’s most infamous effort to remain apolitical: His Airness’ “Republican’s buy sneakers, too,” retort when Harvey Gantt’s campaign asked him for an endorsement. Granderson speculates about why Jordan chose to participate in the Obama Classic, a fundraiser for the POTUS’ campaign that featured several current NBA stars and up-and-comers. Granderson considers Jordan’s nearly unshakable wealth, his friendship with NBA commissioner David Stern, who co-hosted the event, or simply regret for that earlier gaffe for Jordan’s recent political “activism.” Although Granderson omits that Jordan’s first political endorsement was in support of the presidential candidate, then-Senator Bill Bradley, a former basketball player, the point is well taken. After all, although the Obama Classic is a fundraiser for the campaign of a basketball crazy Chicago Bulls-loving president, Jordan’s refusal to say anything negative about a blatant racist for the sake of sneaker sales makes nearly any political endeavor seem radical–or does it?

Top News Stories About Black Youth from Across the Nation: August 20-26

Every week, the Black Youth Project collects the top news stories about black youth from across the country. Click here to check out our archive of weekly news round-ups, and check back every Monday for a new roundup of headlines about young black America.

Churches can aid black community
Reflector, Staff Writer, 8/20/12


The High Price of Obama’s Amnesty
Morgan Brittany, Finanace News, 8/21/12


Leaders urge blacks to register to vote
The Daily Commercial, Millard Ives, 8/21/12


Our Youth Must Stop Protesting and Start Studying Says Top Businessman
FRANCIS HWESHE, All African News, 8/22/12


A new collection examines the particular trials of gay men of color.
Lewis Whittington, City Paper, 8/23/12


Discipline disparities still a problem
Sun-Sentinel, Staff Writer, 8/23/12


Obama ignores plight of legal jobless
Staff Writer, The Baltimore Sun, 8/24/12


Maryland County Sees Drop in Suspensions of Black Students
Naeesa Aziz, BET News, 8/24/12


American parent, youth march in Highland Park
Click On, Staff Writer, 8/25/12


Public Works: Fighting Gangs, Guns, and Youth Violence
PATRICK METZGER, Torontoist, 8/26/12



Hampton University Business School Dean Bans Cornrows and Dreadlocks

According to a report from Virginia’s ABC news station, Hampton University has banned some of it’s male business students from wearing dreadlocks or cornrows.

Though it only applies to a specific group of students enrolled in a leadership course, it has still caused a great deal of controversy.

But Sid Credle, dean of Hampton’s business school, maintains that such hairstyles prevent students from securing employment once they graduate.

Music is an Instrument for Movements

Music is an instrument for movements. It is an apparatus strategically utilized by those who fight in the name of the struggle. It is a means to an end that places final solutions in the context of what is only a hope of achieving genuine equality. Music is voice, and voices, and collectives who speak truth to a power that never intended to share the advantage. Music is best played by those who use wounded feet to march down streets that whole populations for several generations, were not allowed to walk onto. Streets paved historically that played music to the beat of delicate tensions between those who once oppressed and those who were found to be the oppressor. Music is the songs that come from those who resisted, those who were intimidated but still chose to fight, and those who stood up not only for themselves but also for those who would be singing after them. Music is a tune played by equalizers who organize for the future of babies currently in the wombs on their mothers. It is the rhythm of two steps forward, one step back, but progress detained as the inevitable, as long as those musicians and activist decide to never remain stagnant.

Lupe Fiasco Premieres ‘B*tch Bad” Music Video

Lupe Fiasco recently premiered a music video for his much talked about track “Bitch Bad.”

The video – rife with stark, symbolic imagery – perfectly underscores the track’s examination of  the impact of our cultural obsession with “positive” and “negative” uses of the word bitch.

Speaking with MTVNews, Lupe explained that his goal with “Bitch Bad” was simply to spark much needed conversation.

Have You Seen Gabrielle Swainson?: 15 Year-old SC Cheerleader Has Been Missing for 5 Days

South Carolina police are looking for 15 year-old Gabrielle Swainson.

Swainson was last seen at her home at 3:30am, just before her mother left for work. When her mother returned around 7:15am, she heard the teen’s alarm clock going off, but Gabrielle was gone.

Nothing was taken from the home. The only missing items were Gabrielle’s cell phone, the clothing she was wearing, and Gabrielle herself.