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.”

A conversation on allyship with one of the masterminds behind the Safety Pin Box

There are a number of things in this world we cannot measure with metrics, time, or money making it difficult to account for their effectiveness or worth – allyship has always been one of those things. When it comes to allies, there are more questions around their purpose and usefulness than there are answers. Enter the Safety Pin Box, countering everything allies thought their role actually was.

Tyler Perry Says “Reverse Racism” Is Real And Lee Daniels Wants Black Hollywood To “Stop Complaining”

Just a couple of weeks after Denzel Washington threw down the gauntlet of controversial responses to #OscarsSoWhite and later made controversial comments on the topic of colorism, two more titans of black Hollywood have seemingly accepted the challenge to outdo him. 

Singer Will Perform At Trump’s Inauguration If She Can Sing “Strange Fruit”

A still-growing list of performers have backed out of or completely rejected invitations to appear at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20th. Many of them have cited personal conflict given his proven history of supporting racism, sexism and other forms of oppression.

However, Rebecca Ferguson, a British singer and X-Factor alum, has taken a new and interesting approach after being invited to sing at the inauguration. She shared her proposal in a tweet.

‘For the People’: The Radical Artists Collective Repping Chicago Movements [INTERVIEW]

For the People Artists Collective (FTP) is entering a new season. This past year, their actions and art supported the successful #ByeAnita campaign, which advocated against the re-election of former State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, for her role in the Laquan McDonald video cover-up. The video showed the young black man being shot 16 times by Chicago Police.

I chatted with Monica Trinidad, an artist and organizer living in Chicago, and a co-founder of the FTP collective. She reflected on where FTP has been and where the group hopes to go in the future. She emphasized to me that FTP has a message: that art is an essential component of organizing and that organizing is, itself, an art.