Posts tagged with "Black Culture"

John Lewis illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

HHF × JOHN LEWIS

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) today announced that the late U.S. Representative and Civil Rights Leader John Lewis will be honored with a special Recognition as an Ally for his work in fighting for justice and equality for all communities including Latinos through a tribute musical performance during the October 6th PBS broadcast of the 33rd Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards.

“The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is proud to recognize the legacy of our compadre John Lewis, a true champion of civil rights for all our communities,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, President & CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. “The Congressman was a passionate friend and champion of the Latino community through his courage, morality, decency, fire, action and collaboration for justice and human rights. He was ready to speak – no, shout – on behalf of the voiceless or the ignored including the immigrant community. The Congressman indefatigably supported Latinos by fighting for comprehensive immigration reform, denouncing family separations, and trying to ensure our right to vote. The Congressman will continue to serve as an inspiration to anyone who is in la lucha for justice and how our communities can make an even bigger impact when we work together.”

The Hispanic Heritage Awards are among the highest honors by Latinos for Latinos and are considered “America’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration” after being established in 1988 to commemorate the creation of Hispanic Heritage Month in America by the White House.  Linda Ronstadt (Legend), Bad Bunny (Vision), Selena Gomez (Arts), Jessica Alba (Business), and America’s essential farmworkers (Heroes) will be awarded.

“The Congressional Black Caucus is known as the ‘Conscience of the Congress’ but John Lewis was known as the conscience of our caucus,” said Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-CA). “One of the greatest honors of serving in Congress was that I had the possibility of serving with him. His legacy to our country is that he devoted his life fighting racism and injustice wherever he confronted it, from boycotts, sit-ins, to protests in the streets, to championing bold, progressive policies in Congress including the Voting Rights Act, and being a moral compass. Mr. Lewis also led the effort to build the African American History Museum and when we visit the museum, this is another opportunity for us to always remember him and what he stood for. Now that he is no longer with us, we have to live up to his legacy and protect the right to vote for all Americans. As we continue to face the challenges due to coronavirus, we must protect our democracy even in the midst of adversity. Most especially in this election.”

John Lewis was an iconic civil rights leader who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district from 1987 until his passing on July 17th in 2020.  He was also the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) 1963 – 1966.

Mr. Lewis was one of the “Big Six” leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington. He fulfilled many key roles in the civil rights movement and its actions to end legalized racial segregation in the United States. In 1965, Mr. Lewis led the first of three Selma to Montgomery marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. In an incident which became known as Bloody Sunday, state troopers and police attacked the marchers, including Mr. Lewis. He was a leader of the Democratic Party in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1991 as a Chief Deputy Whip and from 2003 as Senior Chief Deputy Whip. Mr. Lewis received many honorary degrees and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

The Hispanic Heritage Awards serve as a launch of HHF’s year-round, innovative, high-impact, actionable programs focused on education, workforce, leadership and culture.   HHF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  For more information, visit www.hispanicheritage.org and follow the Hispanic Heritage Foundation on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Beyoncé - Black is King illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

A Gift From Beyoncé

‘Superb. Reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s Remember The Time!’Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

By Mina Tocalini

Beyoncé’s new film “Black is King,” a celebration of the “breadth and beauty of Black ancestry”, released on Disney+ today. Similar to Beyoncé’s 2016 film, “Lemonade,” “Black is King” acts as a visual album to her soundtrack, “The Lion King: The Gift.” Black Is King” explores the “timeless lessons” from Lion King in a visually rich modern journey of Black empowerment and resilience.

Beyoncé announced her excitement for the film’s release via Instagram, while further acknowledging the impact of its release and message: “The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey… I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history.”

Beyoncé’s prideful film explores the Black experience and history through a young king’s story of “betrayal, love and self-identity.” Additionally, given the timing of its release, the film presents the necessity of honoring and telling stories from the Black perspective and that of any underrepresented community.

Simply put, the film is a celebratory visual journey of the Black experience. Initially the flow of the story seems interrupted and fast paced, but further on, it becomes clear that instead of following a linear narrative, it challenges the audience to find the connections within the short moments that frame each message.

Reiterating the same story we know and love is unnecessary, so rather, “Black is King” reinvents the Lion King through thematic experimentation intended to ignite pride in the Black identity. In a stunning collage of Afro-Soul music, narrative driven reflections and strikingly beautiful imagery, the film successfully expresses inspirational messages of hope, growth, love and community.

Some have critiqued the lavish presentation of Blackness via art, dance and fashion to be excessive and fast paced. Yet, this film’s message is focused on individuality and self love derived from the appreciation of Black culture. A culture of an entire continent and of Black communities around the world, it is anything but simple.

The immense detail in this film celebrates the complexity of Black beauty and the fast paced editing can not only be considered a reference to music video styles. It may originate from there, but can we not interpret it as being part of the overwhelming journey of defining your identity while struggling with the racial tensions in society.

Beyoncé did not create this to simply further enhance her image in a display of wealth, popular culture already associates her persona this way, we expect it and should not disregard the artistry for embracing it. She is simply using her power as a superstar to lead the unifying celebration, as should be done by those who can.

Additionally, Beyoncé is not the only star in “Black is King”, although American audiences may mainly recognize her. Emerging African artists such as Wizkid, Busiswa, Shatta Wale, Salatiel, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy, Tekno, Moonchild Sanelly and Lord Afrixana were part of the album and in some in the film. Black American artists also include Kelly Rowland, 070 Shake, Childish Gambino, Jessie Reyez, Pharrell Williams, Nija, and Tierra Whack. The presence of these Black American legends establishes the familiarity necessary to create an alliance between both Black cultures and induce a movement of African diaspora celebration.

Follow Beyoncé: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Egomeli Hormeku illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Egomeli Hormeku – Def Jam Recordings

Egomeli Hormeku – an experienced and innovative brand and content strategist – has been appointed Senior Vice President & Creative Director, Def Jam Recordings, it was announced today by Rich Isaacson, Executive Vice President/General Manager. In his new role, Mr. Hormeku will provide creative oversight in content creation, digital and social strategies, and brand identity and partnerships. Based in New York, he will report directly to Mr. Isaacson.

“A successful mover and shaker in the ultra-competitive New York City branding community for the past decade, Ego has built a portfolio and network that are second to none,” said Mr. Isaacson. “As Def Jam continues its fourth decade as the world’s number one destination for hip-hop culture, Ego will have a broad palette with which to work his magic. We’re excited to welcome him aboard.”

“There’s no better time than now,” said Mr. Hormeku, “to redefine what Def Jam means to music, cement what the label means to black culture, and ultimately swell the brand’s influence on a global scale. It’s simple. I’m at Def Jam because I owe Def Jam. It raised me. Not only is it the soundtrack to years that have molded my life and love for music, but its impact is the foundation for my creativity throughout my career.

“It’s an exciting time at the label, and with new leadership from Jeff Harleston and Rich Isaacson, there’s a renewed sense of creativity, tenacity, strategy and responsibility,” he continues. “This is why Def Jam is so important. If there was a duty to uphold the integrity of black culture, the label is uniquely positioned to do so. You know what else is important?  Breonna Taylor’s killers have still not been arrested.”

Mr. Hormeku comes to Def Jam after serving as CEO of the company he founded in 2015, Magic Creative Agency, which designed and executed the creation and strategic planning of brands and celebrities from a digital and physical lens. Overlapping with the first two years of Magic, he was Digital Strategist/Lead Social Community Manager for Nike, where he led digital strategy and social community management for Nike East (New York, Boston, DC, Atlanta, Miami) while spearheading individual category digital strategies. He later spent a year as Senior Producer, Content Development at Columbia Records, bridging strategic and creative needs by developing digital storytelling content, and liaising cross-functionally with the Digital team, Business and Legal Affairs, Marketing, Video Production, A&R, and so on to help drive a project home and deliver a finished product.

Prior to these ventures, he founded The Hormeku Group, which functioned as an umbrella for the Nothing Nice New York clothing line, the original Steel Rosé wine brand, the luxury Vida chocolate cigar line. The Group also handled a self-help book, Hope this Helps, that was a spin-off of The Nerdy McFly Manifesto, a book he wrote with friends that contained 101 rules for young men on how to create a balance between smart and cool.

Mr. Hormeku was raised in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 2008, with a Political Science and Physiological Sciences double major in Africana Studies and English Minor, while a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Between studies, he honed his craft as a DJ at campus parties. Mr. Hormeku is also a graduate of the Cornell Business Strategy Exec Program.

Follow Def Jam Recordings: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, GirlTrek

GirlTrek Finale

More than 100,000 Black women and allies have participated in GirlTrek’s #BlackHistoryBootCamp, a 21-day walking challenge that celebrates a different Black woman of historic significance each day and the podcast has been downloaded nearly 225,000 times. The finale is June 30th.

Revolutionary Black women such as Stagecoach Mary, Rosetta Tharpe, Mamie Till-Mobley, Dovey Johnson Roundtree, Ida B. Wells and Ella Baker have been among those featured by GirlTrek cofounders T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison who co-lead the #BlackHistoryBootCamp discussions. Thousands listen in live and walk in solidarity as the two not only honor these little-known champions of Black culture and womanhood with rich and lively conversation, but share reading resources, speeches and a specially-curated playlist of songs dedicated to each hero highlighted.

“For three weeks straight, you have studied Black women, walked in their footsteps, and danced in the daily celebration of their lives –all of this– in the midst of a world that says you don’t matter,” Dixon said.

The accompanying #BlackHistoryBootCamp podcast has been downloaded nearly 220,000 times across Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Buzzsprout platforms. The most listened to episode features Audre Lorde, a beloved inspiration to GirlTrek’s very mission to inspire Black women to lead healthier, happier lives through radical self-care that starts with daily walking.  

The #BlackHistoryBootCamp has been covered by outlets such as  NPR, Essence, and Parade.

Listen to the 21st and final #BlackHistoryBootCamp call on Tuesday, June 30th at noon EST. The call-in info is 1 (646) 876-9923, code: 734464325.

With nearly 800,000 members and counting, GirlTrek as profiled on CNN, is the largest health movement and nonprofit for Black women and girls in the country. GirlTrek encourages Black women to use radical self-care and walking as the first practical step to leading healthier, more fulfilled lives. GirlTrek is on a mission to inspire one million Black women to walk in the direction of their healthiest, most fulfilled lives by the end of 2020 and it all starts with taking the pledge at GirlTrek.org.

Follow GirlTrek: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Mali Music Releases New Tracks

RCA Inspiration has partnered with acclaimed three-time GRAMMY® nominated artist, songwriter, and producer Mali Music and will be releasing new music in 2020 starting with the single “Let Go.” In partnership with RCA Inspiration and Mali’s imprint, K Approved Enterprises, “Let Go” is available today on all digital music providers.

Mali Music also released a new lyric visual for “Let Go” via his YouTube channel. Written by Mali Music and produced by David “D1” Grant, Jr., “Let Go” showcases the distinctive blend of contemporary soulful R&B, hip-hop and inspirational conscious lyricism that have garnered Mali critical and widespread acclaim as one of the music industry’s most compelling creators, with Mali speaking on common temptations we face in life and being strong in spirit facing God. Reaching fans across R&B, hip-hop, gospel, and urban contemporary genres, Mali Music has garnered recognition from the GRAMMYs® with nominations in the categories of Traditional R&B Performance for his song “Still,” Urban Contemporary Album for his hit album Mali Is…, and Gospel Performance/Song for “I Believe”.

Delivering powerful performances on numerous stages from the BET Awards to American Idol, Mali Music’s musical versatility has also garnered a Dove Award win for the song “Tell the World” (with Lecrae) and an NAACP Image Award nomination for the song “Gonna Be Alright”. Ron Hill, RCAI’s VP of Artist Development says, “Mali is one of the most talented and creative artists of this era. I’m excited to partner with him and the K Approved Enterprises’ team to usher in the next phase of his career”.

About the venture with RCAI and his new music, Mali says, “The song “Let Go,” along with the opportunity to have partners who believe in me and understand my vision, is beyond a dream come true. This feels like my purpose is being fulfilled. Not only am I excited about what’s coming down the pipeline for me, I’m also proud of how it’s being prepared, and confident in the ability of each individual connected to my success”.

Stream and download “Let Go” by Mali Music:
Spotify
Apple Music
Tidal

To connect with Mali Music, please visit:
Facebook: malimusicnote
Instagram: @malimusic
Twitter: @malimusic