Spirits

DIDDY × REVOLT

Comcast and REVOLT, the unapologetically Hip Hop content platform from Sean “Diddy” Combs dedicated to the creators of this generation, have reached an agreement to significantly expand its availability to Xfinity TV customers across the country in new and existing markets.

On September 29, REVOLT will be added in HD to the Xfinity Digital Starter package in Philadelphia, Northern New Jersey, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, Tampa, Knoxville, Indianapolis, Charleston, and Augusta, making the network available to millions more Xfinity customers. Additionally, in markets where REVOLT has been available in standard definition as part of the Xfinity Digital Premier package, the network will be moved to Digital Starter in HD, beginning September 29.

“REVOLT exists to tell our stories and empower our community,” said Sean “Diddy” Combs, Chairman, REVOLT Media & TV. “As one of very few Black-owned media platforms, it is important that we can reach our audiences wherever they are. We are excited to continue to grow with Comcast and deliver our content to millions of additional homes.”

“Comcast was one of the first television distributors to carry REVOLT to millions of its customers when it launched in 2013, and we are very pleased to bring its creative music- and social justice-focused content to even more Xfinity TV customers across the country,” said Dana Strong, President, Xfinity Consumer Services. 

As part of the new agreement, the companies will collaborate to create impactful cultural content. The first program, “Black Voices on Mute,” will feature original content that bridges the past with the present to illuminate the importance of voting and the history of voter suppression in the Black community. This short form content will amplify narratives around social justice, empowerment, and voter turnout leading up to the November 3rd national election.

This original content will also be featured in Black Voices. Black Stories, a specially curated content collection on Xfinity X1, Stream and Flex featuring a wide variety of movies, documentaries, TV series and more. Designed to educate and drive awareness, the collection of curated content specifically reflects the country’s long history of racial discrimination and injustice along with bold movies and specials featuring some of the most recent efforts by the Black community to attain social justice and create inclusive movements towards equality.   

“There is no better time than now to amplify Black stories and content, and we are excited to bring new programming from Revolt to our platform and recently launched content collection, Black Voices. Black Stories,” said Keesha Boyd, Executive Director, Multicultural Video & Entertainment, Xfinity Consumer Services. 

The broader relationship with Comcast also comes on the heels of REVOLT’s expanded commitment to social justice. In the past few months, the network aired a live and urgent town hall, “State of Emergency,” hosted by Combs, with notable guests exposing the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on Black communities; partnered with NAACP, Sankofa, March for Our Lives, and Hip-Hop Week MKE for notable social justice livestream events; and launched “REVOLT Black News,” a weekly news show hosted by Eboni K. Williams that presents an unfiltered conversation about current events with the leaders of Black culture, including artists, activists, politicians, experts, and more. REVOLT has remained steadfast as an unfiltered platform and home for content by artists including its recently launched “The Fat Joe Show” and Guapdad 4000’s “The Valentino Vlog,” as well as “The Breakfast Club,” “Drink Champs: Happy Hour,” and series partnerships like “Anatomy of…”  and “What’s Good Africa.”  

With just weeks until the November election, REVOLT will air its second “State of Emergency” virtual town hall on Thursday, September 24th at 9pm EDT/6pm PDT with confirmed guests Dr. Cornel West, Kerry Washington, Tamika Mallory, Jeff Johnson, Cordae, Vic Mensa and others in a Vote or Die discussion.

Sam Smith – Diamonds

Capitol Records will release Sam Smith’s new album, Love Goes, on October 30th. Today, as the album pre-order launched, they shared their new single, “Diamonds,” a dazzling dancefloor anthem that showcases Sam’s unforgettable vocals in a defiant tale of love lived without regret. Smith wrote the track with Shellback (Adele, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift) and Oscar Holter (The Weeknd, Tove Lo). Shellback and Oscar Görres (MARINA, Allie X) produced. Download/stream “Diamonds” HERE.

In the official video, Smith dances alone with abandon, reveling in their newfound freedom and emerging from a stormy night to greet the morning sun. The clip was directed by Emmy award winning filmmaker Luke Monaghan, who also teamed up with Smith on such videos as “Too Good At Goodbyes” “Writing’s on the Wall” and “I’m Not the Only One.” Their work together has amassed over 2.5 billion streams. Watch the “Diamonds” video HERE.

The album’s 17 songs were written over the course of the past two years. The pandemic gave Smith a fresh perspective on the album and impacted both its title and the recording of tracks such as the recently released “My Oasis,” a cross-continental collaboration with Burna Boy. As Smith details in this announcement, posted today, “Every time I went into the studio I promised myself I would shoot for the stars and have no limitations…I am sorry it’s taken a while. But these unprecedented times gave me the room and space to fall in love with these songs all over again…After it all I still believe love is the answer. And with love in our hearts and kindness in our words and actions, we sing on.” The new album builds on the 30 billion career streams Smith has amassed and the global success of their multi-Platinum debut and sophomore albums, In the Lonely Hour and The Thrill of It All. For the artwork for Love Goes, Smith worked with world-renowned British fashion photographer/filmmaker Alasdair McLellan (Vogue, Kim Jones, Louis Vuitton) to bring their vision to life. Love Goes is available for pre-order HERE. Fans who pre-order the digital album will instantly receive “Diamonds” plus “My Oasis,”“Dancing with a Stranger,” the chart-topping collaboration with Normani that has sold more than 13 million units and racked up over 2.5 billion streams worldwide, “To Die For” and “How Do You Sleep?” The new album also features collaborations with Labrinth (“Love Goes”) and Calvin Harris (“Promises”). See below for track listing. Love Goes follows 2017’s The Thrill Of It All, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and also topped the charts in the U.K., Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium. Awarded four stars by Rolling Stone, the album included the hit single “Too Good At Goodbyes,” which recently became Smith’s second song to receive over a billion streams on Spotify, after “Stay With Me.” Smith, who has won GRAMMY, BRIT, Golden Globe and Oscar awards, recently featured on Tiwa Savage’s new song, “Temptation.”

TRACK LISTING – LOVE GOES

  1. Young
  2. Diamonds
  3. Another One
  4. My Oasis (feat. Burna Boy)
  5. So Serious
  6. Dance (‘Til You Love Someone Else)
  7. For The Lover That I Lost
  8. Breaking Hearts
  9. Forgive Myself
  10. Love Goes (feat. Labrinth)
  11. Kids Again

 BONUS TRACKS

  1. Dancing With A Stranger (Sam Smith & Normani)
  2. How Do You Sleep?
  3. To Die For
  4. I’m Ready (Sam Smith & Demi Lovato)
  5. Fire On Fire
  6. Promises (Calvin Harris & Sam Smith)

Netflix – Cuties

By Cassandra Yany

One of Netflix’s newest films, Cuties, has garnered much attention and backlash since its Sep. 9 release on the streaming platform. The coming-of-age film depicts a young girl as she tries to navigate her life as a pre-teen growing up in a Muslim family living in Paris.

Many critics have spoken out against the film, which currently holds the no. 7 spot in Netflix’s ‘Top 10,’ for its depiction of 11-year-old girls dancing and behaving in an indecent manner. According to the New York Times, the movie was first deemed controversial in the U.S. in August when Netflix released the promotional artwork. The original marketing for the film displayed an image of four young girls in skimpy dance costumes posing provocatively.

This, along with the trailer, prompted opposers to start petitions online and call for the removal of the film from Netflix’s catalog. Netflix apologized and changed the artwork for the film to a more innocent photo of the same four characters walking down the street with shopping bags, donning bras and underwear over their clothes.

Last week’s release of the film has sparked conversation once again amongst parents, politicians and others, causing #CancelNetflix to trend on Twitter. Lina Nealon, the Director of Corporate and Strategic Initiatives at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has spoken out against the film saying “While we commend Director Maïmouna Doucouré for exposing the very real threats to young girls having unfettered access to social media and the internet, we cannot condone the hypersexualization and exploitation of the young actresses themselves in order to make her point.” She called for Netflix to cut the “sexually-exploitive” scenes from the film, or remove the film from the platform altogether.

On Friday, Hawaii Rep. Tulse Gabbard tweeted, “@Netflix child porn ‘Cuties’ will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children… Netflix you are now complicit.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz penned a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr Friday calling for the Department of Justice to start an investigation into the production and distribution of the film to “determine whether Netflix, any of its executives, or anyone involved in the making of ‘Cuties’ violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography.”

Cruz wrote that “the film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing, including at least one scene with partial nudity” falsely claiming that there’s a scene exposing a “minor’s bare breast.” The Associated Press reported that one of Cruz’s representatives, Lauren Aronson, said that the senator has not seen the film.

According to the Washington Times, some critics are even calling on the Obama’s— who have a production deal with Netflix— to take action against the film. Deadline stated that “The reality appears to have been lost in the storm, and the truth is very few of the people reacting so strongly will have actually seen the film.”

Netflix told USA TODAY “‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. It’s an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up— and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”

Director Maïmouna Doucouré defends the film, saying that it works to shed light on these issues so they can be fixed. Cuties first premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23, where it won the Directing Jury Award for the dramatic film category. According to the New York Times, the movie did not stir up much conversation in France after its theatrical release (as Mignnonnes in French) in August.

Deadline reports that Doucouré did not see the promotional material prior to when it was circulated on the internet. She said that she received death threats as the outrage grew over these images. She told the news site that the film is not apologetic about the hypersexualization of children, but instead is her “…personal story as well as the story of many children who have to navigate between a liberal western culture and a conservative culture at home.”

Cuties was Doucouré’s feature directorial debut. Similar to the film’s main character, Amy, Doucouré is of Senegalese descent and grew up in a Muslim culture in Paris. In an interview at Sundance, she said she first had the idea for the movie after attending a neighborhood gathering in Paris where she saw a group of 11-year-old girls doing a stage performance of a “sensual” dance. She was shocked to see girls that age dance like that in short clothing. “We can’t continue to close our eyes about that,” she told the interviewer.

Doucouré researched for a year and a half, meeting with hundreds of pre-teens who told her their stories. She learned about their ideas of femininity, and how their self image is affected by the emphasis of social media in today’s society. According to IndieWire, the young actresses’ parents were on board with the project to spread awareness of the issue, and there was a psychologist working with the girls throughout filming who is still helping them throughout the release process.

The film is centered around Amy, an 11-year-old girl who has recently moved to a housing development in a poor suburb of Paris with her Senegalese, observant Muslim family. She looks out for her brothers, takes care of responsibilities around the house, and is in the process of being taught how to ‘be a woman’ by  her aunt.

One day after prayer, Amy walks by the laundry room and sees a girl her age dancing to music playing from her phone. In a subsequent scene, Amy is seen trying to straighten her hair with a clothing iron, burning part of it off as a result. 

Amy learns that her father, who is still in Senegal, has taken a second wife and will be coming to Paris soon to have the wedding. Her mother, Mariam, tries to hide her reaction to the news, but Amy sees her grow upset and take her frustrations out on herself. This is where Amy’s behavior begins to shift; she starts to reject her culture and identity, and instead tries to conform to fit in with the other girls at school. 

At school, Amy is teased for her clothes and lack of fashion sense, so she begins to wear her younger brother’s t-shirt to match the crop tops that her classmates wear. After seeing a group of girls her age dancing after school, Amy steals her cousin’s iPhone to learn how to dance, herself. She comes across their social media accounts and begins taking selfies, imitating what she sees on their profiles. 

Amy finds herself a spot in the girls’ friend group and dance troupe, and as a result, begins to neglect her responsibilities at home. Amy starts to show more self expression, wearing her hair natural rather than pulling it back. She also begins to explore the internet more, finding videos of almost-naked women dancing rather suggestively and moving their bodies in ways that an 11-year-old probably shouldn’t be watching. 

Taking what she found online, Amy practices dancing with her friends and teaches them how to twerk. This is where the movie begins to make viewers slightly uneasy. It was jarring to see these young, innocent girls tainted by this inappropriate content and doing dance moves that they didn’t understand the implications of. It appears that this was the intention of director Doucouré, as she stated in an interview with Netflix that the film is “…a mirror of today’s society; a mirror sometimes difficult to look into and accept but still so true.”

Some of the scenes, frankly, are very disturbing to watch. These include the girls dancing provocatively for two older male workers at a laser tag facility so that they wouldn’t get in trouble for sneaking in, as well as Amy beginning to undress for her cousin once he found she had stolen his iPhone in an attempt to smooth over the situation. Perhaps the most disturbing scene is when Amy takes a picture of her genitals to post on her social media profile so that people at school would think she’s mature. While there was no nudity shown in this scene, the implied action was horrifying to watch. 

At the end of the film, Amy performs with her dance troupe at a local competition. Dressed in revealing outfits, they dance immodestly in front of a crowd of people who quickly seem unsettled. (This is the scene from which the original promotional photos were taken.) Toward the end of the song, Amy freezes as she begins to think about her mom, then runs off the stage crying. She goes home where she asks her mom not to attend her father’s wedding. Her mom continues to get ready for the event, but tells Amy that she doesn’t have to go.

Instead of going to the wedding, Amy steps outside and begins jumping rope. This scene depicts a mixture of her two identities: she is wearing jeans and a crop top with her hair down, but is surrounded by people of her culture dressed in traditional garments. After suppressing her family’s background for a majority of the movie, Amy is finally able to find the balance where her multiple cultures intersect in order to be her honest self. 

After watching Cuties, it is evident that it is not meant to promote this behavior among young girls, but instead provide commentary on what is happening today and warn the adults who see the movie. The harsh reality is that more pre-adolescents are exposed to this type of content than we think. Any child who has access to a smart device and social platforms have the potential to see a video not meant for them. Take TikTok for example: racy dances to Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” as well as a recent trend where women make “thirst traps” to Beyoncé’s “Rocket” are some of the most popular videos on the app right now. Young TikTok users can easily see creators on their For You Page enjoying themselves while engaging in these trends, causing the young viewer to want to do the same.

When speaking to Deadline, Doucouré said, “What happens is young girls see images of women being objectified, and the more the woman becomes an object, the more followers and like she has— they see that as a role model and try to imitate these women, but they’re not old enough to know what they’re doing.” In a separate interview, she posed the question, “Isn’t the objectification of a woman’s body that we often see in our Western culture not another kind of oppression?”

Overall, Cuties shows the dangers of uncensored media for young children and displays how impressionable they can be. It also shows the journey of Amy’s self-discovery and learning how to blend her multiple cultures in order to shape her identity. Unfortunately, the risqué nature of the film overshadows the storyline and the message is lost for a number of audience members.

In various articles, Doucouré is quoted discussing the meaning of the film in the broad context of femininity and what it means for young girls to enter womanhood in this digital age. During her aforementioned interview with Netflix, she stated “The real question of Cuties is can we, as women, truly choose who we want to be, beyond the role models that are imposed upon us by society?”

Kaelen Felix draws Snoop Dogg for 360 Magazine

Snoop Dogg × COVID-19

On September 12th 2020, Snoop Dogg will be streaming live from his Compound in LA to millions of homes around the world to raise funds for the International Medical Corps, which is helping to fight the global pandemic and provide life-saving care around the world.

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11th 2020, cases have continued to increase rapidly. The International Medical Corps works closely with international, national and local charities and health organizations, providing medical expertise, equipment, training and triage & treatment services. Its goal is to ensure that at-risk countries and regions can prepare for and respond to outbreaks of coronavirus quickly and safely.

This will be the first of many shows created by Couch Concerts Live, a new streaming platform that presents major artists’ performances in support of those suffering from the effects of global crises, from COVID-19 to climate change and more.

The partnership between TARI Global, American Artist Company, The Temple Company and Jam Management Group brings together a team with the reach, experience and expertise that will enable them to support International Medical Corps on a global level.

Nathan Tari, CEO of TARI Global, and Founder of the event, comments: “The entertainment industry has been hard hit by the pandemic. While we were staying safely at home, we put our heads together and decided to use our talent and experience to do something in support of those suffering from the outbreak of this terrible virus. We are looking to bring some fun, excitement as well as a special experience with some of the world’s most celebrated stars. This concert will be the first of many, and we are excited to have Snoop Dogg to help us launch.”

Tickets for Couch Concerts Live presenting ‘Snoopadelic in da Pandemic’ are now available to purchase on TicketcoSeeTickets or Couch Concerts Facebook. Join Snoop Dogg as he entertains us live from his Compound, with his infamous Snoopadelic Live DJ Show, expect some hits whilst hanging out with Snoop from the comfort of your own home, staying safe and raising funds for COVID-19 causes.

Travis Scott and McDonald's collaboration illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE.

Travis Scott x McDonald’s

By Hannah DiPilato

Hip Hop fans everywhere have been buzzing about Travis Scott’s recent collaboration with McDonald’s that includes both a meal and special merchandise.

The “Travis Scott Meal” is the artist’s go-to McDonald’s order: a quarter pounder with lettuce and bacon, a medium fry, a sprite, and barbecue sauce. The meal costs $6 and is available for dine-in, carry-out, and at the drive-thru. Although this is not an unusual order, fans have been rushing to get the superstars meal of choice.

For those that want the McDonald’s kick without the calories, Scott released an extensive line of McDonald’s x Cactus Jack merchandise. The merch, available on Scott’s website, channels the energy of Scott’s hip hop culture and the classic love for McDonald’s that fans everywhere have in common.

Fans can choose from a variety of clothing such as t-shirts, hoodies, and pants, all of which have a unique Cactus Jack and McDonald’s design. Some clothing pieces display a more subtle love for McDonald’s like a simple McDonald’s logo, while others illustrate a Travis Scott figurine reining over a quarter pounder meal.

For fans that want to display their love for Cactus Jack and McDonald’s in other ways, Scott also dropped accessories and decorations. This includes a variety of rugs, a Cactus Pack blanket, and the McNugget body pillow that has gained a lot of popularity on social media.

This is the first celebrity collaboration McDonald’s has done since 1992 when the company partnered with Michael Jordan. McDonald’s is hoping this celebrity collaboration will boost their sales that are down from the previous year by thirty percent. McDonald’s CEO, Chris Kempczinski, brushed this loss off as a result of the pandemic.

In the announcement of the collaboration made by McDonald’s, Scott explained he “couldn’t be more excited to bring the collaboration to life.” He also expressed how the collaboration is “bringing together two iconic worlds.”

In the same announcement, McDonald’s U.S. Chief Marketing officer Morgan Flatley said “everyone has a favorite McDonald’s meal, no matter who you are.” He also mentioned that the company is “excited to bring the Travis Scott Meal to a McDonald’s near you.”

Scott promoted the collaboration on both his Instagram and Twitter accounts. He included a photo in the drive-thru window flashing a McDonald’s bag and a bedazzled chain, as well as a promotional video featuring an explanation of his order with his classic Travis Scott autotune.

The excitement began on September third when McDonald’s tweeted a cactus and hamburger emoji hinting at a collaboration. Travis then retweeted this tweet with “CACTUS JACK FOR MCDONALD’S” and stimulated excitement within his fanbase.

This promotion will be available until October 4th, but merchandise could be gone sooner. This merchandise channels the nostalgia of McDonald’s from the past while still including the bold energy that is Travis Scott. Whether you’re more of a hip-hop fan or a McDonald’s regular, the extensive merchandise page will give everyone something to choose from. To put it simply, and in the words of Travis Scott, “It’s Lit.”

Rita Azar illustrates adult beverages and popsicles in 360 Magazine

Drake’s Organic Spiked Ice Pops

Drake’s Organic Spirits announced today that its Drake’s Organic Spiked Ice freeze-and-eat adult pops are outselling established national vodka and tequila brands in California, according to sales numbers from Southern Glazer Wine & Spirits, the largest wine and spirits distributor in the United States.

Drake’s Organic Spiked Ice are handheld ice pops that feature 15% ABV and only 80 calories each. Spiked Ice is available in four flavors: Mango Rum Punch, Vodka Lemonade, Watermelon Martini and Classic Mojito. Award-winning all-organic, ultra-premium vodka and white rum makes up Drake’s Organic Spirits. As a result, they contain no artificial colors or flavors and freeze with twice the ABV as other brands.

“We know consumers care about the ingredients that go into the products they’re eating and drinking.”  No state is as committed to organic products and sustainability than California. In California, 90% of households buy organic on a regular basis. Drake’s Organic Spirits commits to producing spirits made with the highest quality organic, non-GMO ingredients. These are better for the body and planet,” said Drake’s Founder and CEO Mark Anderson.

Drake’s Organic Spirits is the first and only spirit line in the world to be certified USDA organic, non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, vegan and kosher. As a result, the five certifications ensure a cleaner drinking option that comes only from the highest quality organic ingredients.

Drake’s Organic Premium Vodka was awarded Double Gold and Drake’s Organic White Rum received Gold at the most recent Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) Convention & Exposition in Orlando, FL. The judges are industry experts who blind taste-test each spirit. Therefore, the most prestigious in the industry recognizes and respects Drake’s Organic White Rum.

Drake’s Organic Spiked Ice, Organic Vodka, Organic White Rum, Organic Spiced Rum and Organic Mixes are available at hundreds of locations throughout California including select Ralphs, Save Mart, Lucky, FoodMaxx, Albertsons, Vons and Target stores. However, if you would like a complete list of locations offering Drake’s products, click HERE.

About Drake’s Organic Spirits

In 2017 Minneapolis-based Drake’s Organic Spirits launched.  Drake’s sources the highest quality USDA organic and non-GMO Project Verified ingredients to create a line of ultra-premium spirits and mixers. The Drake’s spirit line currently consists of Drake’s Organic Vodka, Drake’s Organic White Rum and Drake’s Organic Spiced Rum. Organic cane sugar, rather than grain, which produces a smooth, clean aftertaste, makes up Drake’s Organic Spirits.  Drake’s Spirits are all 12-times distilled, creating an ultra-premium hand-crafted spirit at a price that beats the leading premium brands.  Drake’s recently began producing bulk sanitizer to meet the need for cleaner, safer environments.

Follow Drake’s Organic Sprits

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Computer Scams illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

No Pandemic Shutdown for Scammers

COVID-19 may have shut down portions of the economy and put restrictions on Americans’ daily lives, but cyber scams and other efforts to defraud people continue to thrive.
“Scammers are tapping into the uncertainty related to the global pandemic,” says Chris Orestis, the president of LifeCare Xchange who is known as the “Retirement Genius.”
“They are using social engineering to target people with tactics that take advantage of today’s technology. Seniors need to be especially mindful of the mechanisms that have been explicitly designed to target people in retirement.”
Some scams to be on the lookout for include:
  • Dishonest retailers. Many dishonest retailers and fake products are popping up, Orestis says. “The shortage of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, soap, and masks at the beginning of the quarantine resulted from people’s panic,” he says. “The fear of scarcity created a gateway for scammers. Fraudulent online retailers are showcasing these items as bait, especially medical supplies.” But they don’t have any inventory, so stick with reputable stores, Orestis says. Scammers also try to sell products to prevent or cure COVID-19, even though they do not exist. “Anyone who receives a message from someone selling any of these items should not respond,” Orestis says.
  • Phony advertisements. Scammers also try to advertise hard-to-find products through social media, email or ads that pop up on certain sites. Avoid clicking on anything unfamiliar because cyber criminals may be trying to steal your personal information or infect your computer with a virus, Orestis says. “Be cautious of people who try to contact you under odd usernames and do not have a profile picture,” he says. “If anyone asks for your personal information or invites you to click on a link, block them immediately or report them as spam.”
  • Government or organization disguises. Is a government official or someone from the CDC or from the World Health Organization trying to contact you? Maybe, but probably not. Scammers often try to convince potential victims that they are with a legitimate agency or group, Oresitis says. “For example, an email might claim that there have been new COVID-19 cases in your area and ask for your personal information to see if you have been in contact with anyone infected,” he says. “Be suspicious of any COVID-19 related emails and use only official government websites to get information about the virus.”
  • Fake charities and crowdfunding. Criminals have also created counterfeit charities and crowdfunding sites. They ask for money in the form of cash, gift cards, and wire transfers. “Real charities will never use these resources,” Orestis says. “Be sure to use reputable sites and research the charities you want to donate to for coronavirus relief.”
  • Phone scams. Phones are still the No. 1 way scammers target seniors, both through calls and text messages. The Federal Communications Commission warns about these methods being used by people who claim to be the IRS or have coronavirus treatments, at-home testing kits, and vaccinations. “If you receive a robotic voice call, do not press any buttons or return any calls,” Orestis says. “Hang up immediately. If you receive text messages regarding this information, do not respond or click on any links.”
“It’s important to be wary of these and other scams, both off and online,” Orestis says. “The more conscious people are of how scammers are trying to trick them, the less likely they are to fall for one of those tricks.”
Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Independence Day Drink

2020 Labor Day Celebrations

By Cassandra Yany

In the face of COVID-19, Labor Day weekend looked very different his year. Absent were the large family cookouts and pool parties, or the big end-of-summer beach crowds. Many cities even had to omit public fireworks to prevent mass gatherings. Though the long weekend did not bring the celebrations we’re used to, there were still plenty of safe ways to enjoy the holiday.

Virtual events allow you to take part in more activities in different locations than you would have been able to physically. Made in America, a festival started by Jay-Z in 2012, was set to take place in Philadelphia this past weekend. On July 1, festival organizers announced that it would be rescheduled to Labor Day weekend 2021. They said in a statement “Collectively, we are fighting parallel pandemics, COVID-19, systemic racism and police brutality. Now is the time to protect the health of our artists, fans, partners and community as well as focus on our support for organizations and individuals fighting for social justice and equality in our country.”

This year’s lineup went unannounced, but last year’s festival was headlined by Travis Scott and Cardi B. Since the physical festival was canceled, a livestream showcasing the best performances took place on the music streaming service TIDAL throughout the weekend. The virtual festival included sets from Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Lizzo, Coldplay, Rihanna and many other chart-topping artists.

Nationally, a Labor Day virtual race was held by The Best Races for runners to run anywhere on their own time and submit their results. Participants who registered for the full package received a personal coach who was available Monday through Friday to provide help and answer questions during training, and provided encouragement and support on the day of the race.

Runners across the country were able to choose the distance of the race they wanted to participate in. Depending on what package they signed up for, they received a certificate of completion and digital medal, a 3-inch medal sent to their homes, a printable custom bib, a custom digital photo card that contains the race results, a digital running journal, a t-shirt, optional course maps and an optional pen pal program. 

Based in Portland, the Oregon Labor Movement held a statewide virtual Labor Day celebration and call to action on Monday. The organizers brought light to issues taking place in the state saying, “Working Oregonians are facing three crises at once: a deadly global pandemic, an economic free fall, and long-standing institutional racism.”

The event began at noon and featured talks from Oregon’s labor leaders, elected officials, and working Oregon citizens regarding their desire for change and their pursuit toward justice for workers. This event came after Portland’s rise to national prominence for their Black Lives Matter demonstrations and federal agents entering the city in recent months.

A number of virtual events were held in Los Angeles this past weekend, as well. HomeState, the LA-based Texas Kitchen, held its first Margarita Showdown in 2019, but had to move it online this year due to the pandemic and social distancing measures. The virtual event took place Saturday via livestream. Margarita makers in the area competed to see whose drink was the best.

Voters received eight bottled margaritas, along with limes and garnishing salt to try the different submissions from the safety of their homes. The winner chosen was El Compadre, a local Mexcian restaurant. The event was hosted by comedian Cristela Alonzo, and featured musical performances by Chicano Batman, Spoon, Questlove, Fred Armisen, Local Natives and Angela Muñoz. All proceeds from the event benefit the organization No Us Without You! and the Watts Empowerment Center.

The Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories in Santa Monica hosted a virtual Labor Day Pies class on Sunday. In the class, participants were taught how to make a s’mores pie and key lime pie. Registration for the class included access to the Zoom video meeting, as well as the recipe and shopping list. Recipes can also be found on Gourmandise’s Instagram.

Some cities were able to hold in-person events following social distancing guidelines. Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, located in the Seaport District, upheld its tradition of free admission on Labor Day. The museum is typically closed on Mondays, but was open from 10 am to 5 pm for guests who reserved tickets. 

Monday was the last day for guests to see the exhibits Tschabalala Self: Out of Body and Carolina Caycedo: Cosmotarrayas. Also on display were the Sterling Ruby, Nina Chanel Abney and Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama exhibits. The ICA has increased cleaning and follows Massachusetts COVID guidelines by requiring all staff and visitors to wear face coverings, and allowing a restricted number of guests each hour. Spaces that don’t allow physical distancing are temporarily closed, and exhibition labels and printed materials have been made available online to reduce touch surfaces.


In New York City, a Labor Day Paint in the Park event was held in Central Park. The two-hour socially distant class was led by a master artist who gave step-by-step painting instructions. Participants were required to wear masks and sit six feet apart. Admission included a pre-sketched canvas and painting supplies, and parties were encouraged to bring food and drinks to snack on during the class.

For those who wanted to enjoy the holiday by relaxing at home with their favorite movie or TV show, a number of stores had sales to mark the end of summer. There were countless deals that shoppers could take advantage of to celebrate their work.
Many workers have faced great adversity within the past eight months, some losing their positions and having to move quickly to find a new one, and others doing their job in a way they never thought they would have to. Whether you stayed in or got out of the house for some socially-distant fun, Monday was definitely a day worth celebrating.

Maria Soloman illustration for Labor Day inside 360 magazine.

LABOR DAY: A TIME TO MOURN

By Althea Champion

While others spend the day with their families outside, grilling kabobs, taking advantage of the last inklings of warm weather, or swarming flash retail sales, others will spend it inside either on the clock on site, from home, or in isolation.

This Labor Day, 28 million Americans are out of work. Those who are, chiefly nurses, grocery store workers, custodial staff, and essential workers alike, are risking their health to stay employed. And, these are the people who, most likely, will not actually be permitted a day off to celebrate the federal holiday.

Created by the labor movement, Labor Day is meant to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of American workers. More than a century ago, when it was celebrated in New York City for the first time, a parade ran through the streets, made complete by waving workers wearing smiling faces and flying flags, proud to be members of the new and progressive labor party. 

But, its establishment as a federal holiday came at a steep price. It was only after a massive boycott and the bloodshed of 13 and injuries of 53 did President Grover Cleveland recognize the first Monday of each and every September, which was already being observed in 23 other states, as a federal holiday.

Today, a great proportion (43%) of the essential working men and women of this country are people of color. And the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting them the hardest.

“According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native people had an age-adjusted COVID-19 hospitalization rate about 5.3 times that of non-Hispanic white people,” reported William F. Marshall, III M.D. “COVID-19 hospitalization rates among non-Hispanic Black people and Hispanic or Latino people were both about 4.7 times the rate of non-Hispanic white people.”

For the 1 in 5 people in the workforce receiving unemployment compensation, the day is similarly solemn. Benefits are in high demand. And, some of those who applied for it have either not received it because they were denied, or are still waiting.  The extension of their benefits, some of which have not even been delivered yet to applicants, are a hot spot of contention amongst congress, and job opportunities are few and far in between.

According to Aimee Pichee of CBS News, the unemployment rate fell below 10% for the first time since March. Despite this promising piece of news, she also reminds us that, “the hiring rate has slowed each month this summer, a signal that the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic may be losing steam.” 

Today, instead of going to a party or participating in a parade, we will acknowledge the impact of our workers, and mourn those who lost their lives fighting on the front lines against a pandemic that our country’s unit of government could not contain. Many are still fighting, punching a clock day-in and day-out, and will do so today despite the holiday.

Symara Briel Wilson illustrates Black Panther for 360 MAGAZINE.

Chadwick Boseman

On Friday, August 28, 2020, actor Chadwick Boseman passed after a four year battle with colon cancer. In 2016, Boseman was diagnosed with stage three cancer which had progressed to stage four. Boseman was able to pass at home surrounded by family.

Boseman’s passing, whose struggle with cancer was not often in the public eye, came as a shock to a majority. Even Sarah Halley Finn, who casted Boseman for the role of King T’Challa in “Black Panther” did not know he was battling cancer.
According to Vulture, “Finn had no idea the actor had been diagnosed with stage three cancer when cameras rolled on Black Panther in 2017.”

Chadwick Boseman not only was an actor, but a pillar in the black community often playing roles of historical black men, such as Jackie Robinison in “42”. His latest role as King T’Challa in “Black Panther” and the Avengers series was a historical role itself.

The black community had never seen a super hero represent them before and Chadwick Boseman’s adaptation of T’Challa provided many young boys and girls a super hero that looked just like them.

Boseman’s humble spirit was always felt throughout Hollywood. CNN entertainment shared the story of Boseman praising fellow actor, Denzel Washington, for his charity that allowed Boseman to pursue acting.

From pulled quotes from Boseman’s speech at the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019, the story of how Washington paid for Boseman’s tuition at the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer program after Boseman was accepted but could not attend because he could not afford it. Washington not only helped pay for this program, but helped pay for Boseman to attend Howard University.

 Boseman recounted how the sponsorship was “an offering from a sage and a king is more than silver and gold. It is a seed of hope, a bud of faith.”

“There is no Black Panther without Denzel Washington,” Boseman said. “And not just because of me, but my whole cast — that generation — stands on your shoulders.”

Boseman’s role as T’Challa was much more than that, a role. This role became a national symbol of black power and strength. The “Wakanda Forever” gesture of arms crossed over the chest, became a symbol itself of perseverance and pride. 

CBS New York spoke to people in New York about how Blank Panther made them feel. “Thirteen-year-old Brehima Gueye says watching Boseman in the 2018 Marvel film “Black Panther” gave him purpose and a sense of pride.”

According to CBS, “Family members say Boseman was a true fighter who continued to work while undergoing surgeries and chemotherapy for colon cancer that progressed to stage four.” 

On August 29, 2020 fans in Los Angeles attended a vigil at Leimert Park where they remembered the impact Boseman had within the black community. The Los Angeles Times stated, “Boseman’s death in the midst of so much racial tension in the country serves as reminder to keep fighting for racial justice like he did.”

Fans of the franchise worry about how it will continue on without Boseman but are hopeful that Wakanda and King T’Challa’s legacy will live on.

Boseman’s role in not only Hollywood, but within the black community and as a symbol of black strength will not be forgotten. While his role for the Avengers franchise brought monetary achievements, it brought much more than that. It brought a symbol of power, endurance and hope that will forever be immortalized on screen.