Producer Jahaan Sweet Speaks Black Art and the Joke that Helped Him Graduate from Julliard

By: Imani J. Jackson

Asking people how they self-identify is more instructive than presumptively assigning them labels. So I asked Jahaan Sweet, during a recent hour-long, sit-down interview in an artsy enclave, who he is. “I consider myself a music maker.” He added that he is a burgeoning businessman, “I just like to create shit.” That spirit of Black creation, whether during the Depression Era Harlem Renaissance or Reagan Era rap movement, continues to thrive despite our oppressive conditions.

The Bigots Are Right: The HIV Epidemic Among Black, Gay Men is from Immorality

By: Marq Montgomery

**This article was originally posted at AngryBlackHoemo.com and has been republished with permission**

 

It’s Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, so it’s a good of a time as any to dive into this topic.

When we talk about the HIV/AIDS epidemic among Gay men, in general, there’s often an air of judgement and condescension, dripping with implications that any of us who contract the virus “deserve it” for our “immoral” behavior. And when you add in the racism of addressing Black, Gay men, that attitude only grows…even from other Gay men.

If Betsy DeVos’ Nomination Tells Us Anything, It’s That We Can’t Wait To Educate Our Own Youth

By: Imani J. Jackson

“Make America Think Again,” several protestors’ signs read at a Jacksonville, Florida Sister March to the historic Women’s March on Washington. So far, 673 solidarity marches have been recorded and nearly five million people participated worldwide. The signs, a play on President Donald Trump’s co-opted Ronald Reagan catchphrase, and several Plural-led speeches against Trump’s lengthy “isms” history, reminded me that American anti-intellectualism breeds high human costs. I also remembered that teenagers of color care about and deserve to learn about the history, present and future of their nation.

Teen View: Voices from Women’s March Chicago

Last week, six students from blackyouthproject.com’s high school journalism program traveled downtown to Columbus Drive and Congress for the Women’s March. Their goal: Talk to as many protesters as possible about why they joined the demonstration and what issues were important to them. Here’s what students learned …

REVIEW: ‘Hidden Figures’ Amplifies Black Female Brilliance and Community

By: Imani J. Jackson

When a movie theatre packed with people of varied races, ethnicities, ages and genders erupts into simultaneous applause and cheers during a film’s closing credits, it’s safe to say the story resonated. That human happiness is exactly what manifested on Saturday when my mother, a grandmotherly elder, my younger sister and I attended a Hidden Figures showing.

Cinematically, Hidden Figures demonstrates creative power and how to sensitively wield it. Theodore Melfi directed the film and co-wrote the script with Allison Schroeder, which is based on the non-fiction book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.

Why I can’t hold onto the gospel of Pastor Kim Burrell

By: Kelvin L. Easiley, Jr.

Where does one seek solace when faith fails? Where do the lost find shelter when the leaders that claim to love them preach “death and hell fire” for the simple act of existing? When the music that once soothed and brought peace only sounds like a cacophony of chaos and the choir’s chorus rings a melody that you and your kind are not welcome?

This past week, two major influencers in gospel music openly spat venomous vitriol from the pulpit to the raucous amens from their respective audiences.

On Kim Burrell and why ‘theological violence’ has no place in Black Liberation

By: George M. Johnson

No one is free unless the black Trans woman is free.

I imagine these are the words that will ring out of the mouths of every preacher and Black person in this nation when we finally reach the day of liberation.  A day that will likely never come in my lifetime, as the battle between the “Church” and “State of the LGBTQ” continue to be at odds over who is acceptable in the eyes of man and God.  This week, has brought out the some of the worst in people, as two pivotal leaders of the Black church and gospel music community have continued theological warfare on a community that is “tired, weak and worn” – to quote the classic hymn “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.”

This is what happens when political resistance goes digital

By: Imani J. Jackson

To many millennials’ chagrin and not of our own doing, American capitalism continues to operate despite its negative impact on Black and Brown communities. Confronted with this economic system and sustained government violence against Black and Brown people, activists are increasingly combining traditional civil rights tactics, like protests and economic boycotts, with digital resistance.

Why ‘Taking the High Road’ Won’t Save Us and Maybe a Little Shade Will

By Jasmine Banks

“Taking the high road” is a myth and a distraction from revolution. It wasn’t even two days after the United States of America established Donald Trump as president that calls to “take the high road” started. The calls came from white folks who did and didn’t vote for Trump and Black folks who were seemingly embarrassed that the nation, yet again, held a referendum on Black folks and their humanity and confirmed that they could not vote for our wellbeing.

In fact, the ‘high road’ is covertly coded language that leads Black folks to believe that if they act in a way that others deem respectable, that we can elevate ourselves above our own oppression. Taking the high road applies pressure on the victims of oppression to modify their anger and rage in order to package their experiences and reactions for consumption and judgment. The fact is: how Black folks choose to express themselves should never be a measurement of their worthiness to live lives free of harm and domination.

Black Lives Matter, Taiwan’s ‘228 Incident,’ and the Transnational Struggle For Liberation

By: Chanda Hsu Prescod-Weinstein

Someone was selling cigarettes illegally. The State didn’t need the money, but it did want to be in control of how everyday citizens made money. When the authorities showed up, the enforcers could have let the sale of contraband cigarettes go, but they didn’t. Instead, they used force and the cigarette seller ended up on the ground. Not long after, a man was dead.

On first thought, this sounds like it’s just the story of Eric Garner’s death on July 17, 2014 in New York City, USA.

But Eric Garner’s story resonates across the continents and the decades. The story above could have been describing not his death but instead an incident that occurred decades earlier in another hemisphere, with the death of an unnamed man in a crowd that gathered when the cigarette seller was attacked by police on February 27, 1947 in Taipei, Taiwan.