Today in Black History

Today in Black History, I honor us.

Yes, yes, y’all. It’s Black History month.

If you’re like me, you got the same vanilla ass explanation of black history that most public schools have locked and loaded for the month of February.

Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, (maybe) Malcolm X, the usual suspects. All of these people were remarkable in their own way, of course. This is not to downplay the people who made their name fighting for Civil Rights.

But Google is well and alive and if you search anyone of those names you’ll probably get a million or so hits with their biographies and activism and speeches and such. So, we won’t rehash that here.

This month, it’s about the beautiful black people that are making history in the here and now. We’ll take a look at what’s happening in film, music, and popular culture. The looks, the lessons, the living examples of black excellence that are making the world a better place a little bit at a time.

Today in Black History we’re blind to the bullshit. This series is for us. Agent Orange and his goons have no place here for the next 28 days.

The goal is to post for all 28 days this month. Every day, we’ll look at the newest latest in black culture. Film, television, music, media, literature, activism – it’s all fair game. Black history is everyday so let’s celebrate.

Grab your tea and a spare moment and join me in a month-long homage to the culture.

 

I Can’t Live Without My Radio

Let’s kick off the first post of 2018 with some culture.

I was scrolling through IG and Charlemagne the God posted this.

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As spicy as Charlemagne can be, he has his moments.

Every now and then I write about some of my favorite artists making their way through the radio circuit promoting their newest latest… or trying to save face… or just deciding to drop in. A lot of great artists have been interviewed on The Breakfast Club.

In the context of hip hop, DJs have mythological status. They have a special place in the culture.

I feel like disk jockeys are always portrayed as being “that nigga.” They get respect, they have clout, they usually have a way with words.

They are some of the most memorable characters in television and movies. Of course, Martin and Senior Love Daddy are fictional, but it’s plenty of very real DJs that live and breath this same air that pushed the culture of hip hop.

From people like Stretch and Bobbito who were pioneers of the “urban radio” movement to the vets like Angie Martinez, Ebro, Sway, Heather B, Big Boy, and DJ Envy and Angela Yee, and Charlemagne and allem at the Breakfast Club, they get my respect. The culture owes a lot to them.

Moral of the story: It’s so dope to watch hip hop grow and evolve. DJs were the first foot soldiers of the genre. Somebody had to spin those records, right? Somebody had to play those records at the block parties and the basketball parks.

And even though Charlemagne says some spicy shit from time to time, you can’t knock his influence. He’s been working a long time to afford to be that inflammatory and for that, he gets all my respect.

Living on the Edge

This weekend I finally got to go to Afropunk and… bitch.

The line up was fire.

The melanin was fire.

The atmosphere was on fire – it was hot af but myself and my main man Reuben (@fromthedeskofreuben) kept it fresh and funky and had a blast.

Not only was it my first time at Afropunk, it was my first time in NYC, which was double my trouble.

I’ve been debating on whether or not I want to continue grad school up there and after this weekend… whew! It would definitely be an adjustment but I think I could accept the challenge.

It was a ton of people! Usually crowds make my ass itch but luckily we had a few joints rolled and ready to calm my nerves. In the midst of the sea of people, I actually ran into Dustin Ross from The Friend Zone!! *fan girls*

I’m gay as fuck but that is a beautiful man. Our interactions only lasted seconds before he was carried away in the crowd, but that was enough time for me to yell “Hey Dustin” and him to acknowledge my existence and say “Hey” back.

Honestly, I feel liberated. I’ve never seen so many carefree black folk in one place all smoking, dancing, and living in the moment.

I loved every second.

Here’s to next year!

Brain on Drugs #3

Classes have started again. 

Being a black face in white places has been a constant in my life. 

Classes at a PWI for someone who’s black used to be quite anxiety inducing. My neurosis goes back to elementary, a place where I was also a minority. 

I can never shake the feeling that I’ve got something to prove. And though I prove time and time again that being an intellectual isn’t just a “white thing,” there is still a pressure – a sort of performance anxiety. 

Perhaps none of these white folks actually consider me to be in some way inferior to them. Perhaps this paranoia is all in my head. It’s my senior year, and throughout my time here, in many of my classes, I have cemented myself as the smart, quiet girl in the back of the room. 

Yet still, there is the thought that I’m still competing.

How’s that for double consciousness?