Posts tagged with "Black Culture"

What's Your Black? by Nyame Brown for use by 360 Magazine

Nyame Brown Featured at Oakland Museum of California

Nyame Brown Large-scale Blackboard Painting What’s Your Black? in Mothership: Voyage Into Afrofuturism at the Oakland Museum of California

Exhibition Opening Saturday, August 7, 2021

Nyame Brown will be featured in Mothership: Voyage Into Afrofuturism at the Oakland Museum of California, opening August 7, 2021 and on view through February 27, 2022. The exhibition explores Afrofuturism as a strategy that imagines the world through a Black cultural lens and strives for a more just present and future. Curated by OMCA Curator Rhonda Pagnozzi and Consulting Curator Essence Harden, the exhibition celebrates Black imagination and includes the work of over 50 artists—including Wangechi MutuDavid Huffman, and Chelle Barbour, among others—historians, musicians, and collaborators. The show highlights the key role that the fantasy and science fiction of Afrofuturism has, as a strategy for Black community building by envisioning the African Diaspora and Black culture as central in a technically advanced and culturally rich civilization.

Brown—an Afrofuturist installation artist working in the media of painting, drawing, cut paper, blackboards, augmented reality, gaming, and fashion—addresses the Black imagination as a site for new ways to perceive the Diaspora as trans-Atlantic, psychic, and imagined—not just through unity and similarity, but by looking at the dynamics of difference. What’s Your Black?, part of his larger series of blackboard paintings, is envisioned as a tool to combat racial oppression, using a cultural production of the Black community to offer a space to create a new Black mythology. Building narratives like scaffolding around art historical references, hip hop, and personal history, he draws on these precedents as a fluid source of reference, rather than a fixed and linear projection. Reimagining contemporary notions of Blackness in visual culture, he challenges traditional representation and subverts it for a richer surreal language found in folklore and African American hyperbole. His depictions provide different ways to access African American culture through an approach that seeks social transformation and community revolution.

About Nyame Brown

Nyame Oulynji Brown received his BFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and MFA from Yale School of Art and Architecture. He has been the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Award, and the Richard Dreihaus Foundation Individual Artist Award, as well as a site-specific public commission for the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation, for which he executed a double portrait of Malcolm X and the artist Jack Whitten. His participation in Theaster Gates’ Black Artist Retreat in Chicago was followed by residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts (for work on his project The Mapping of Aaron, a model for radical Blackness), Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, and the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans. Brown was honored with a solo exhibition at The Museum of the African Diaspora, and has held solo exhibitions across the U.S., notably at the Hearst Museum at St. Mary’s College (John Henry’s adventures in a Post Black world) and the West Virginia University Art Museum. He has actively participated in group exhibitions in a variety of spaces in California, Illinois, Michigan and New York, and his work has been curated for inclusion at the Museum of Harlem, NY, and the Prizm Art Fair at the Mana Contemporary in Miami. He also took part with Carrie Mae Weems in the symposium The Interrogation of Forms: The Changing Culture in America at The Armory in New York. Brown was selected as the 2020 Tosa Studio Award recipient and was awarded a studio at Minnesota Street Project through 2021.

Pyer Moss Show Bottle Cap illustration by Alex Bogdan

Pyer Moss

Pyer Moss First Couture Show WAT U IZ: Historic Tribute To Black Inventors

By: Kai Yeo

“We are an invention inside of an invention. Inside of the creation of race, we made blackness. Uprooted from home and put in a foreign land, we made culture. And when they tried to strip our humanity, we made freedom so tethered to each other that it still shapes the world today.” – Pyer Moss show notes.

Kerby-Jean Raymond’s Pyer Moss label has unveiled his first-ever couture collection. The award-winning designer and creative director is the first Black American designer to be invited to present during Haute Couture Week, a historical achievement made even more successful by making his collection a tribute to Black inventors. All Pyer Moss shows attract interest, but this show had more buzz because of his exclusive invite by France’s Chambre Syndicale to show a collection, with officials in Paris extending the length of Couture Week to accommodate the rescheduled show due to Hurricane Elsa.

The Pyer Moss Couture 1 couture show, WAT U IZ, was opened by the last surviving member of Black Panther leadership and civil rights champion Elaine Brown. The setting was deeply significant: Villa Lewaro, an early 20th century mansion in Irvington, NY, built by Madam CJ Walker. Madam CJ Walker was American’s first self-made female millionaire and her estate served as a gathering place for leaders of the renaissance (her story is also on Netflix). Now, Elaine Brown’s words herald another landmark moment for black culture while celebrating the Black Panther’s 55th Anniversary.

The 28,000-square-foot estate, designed by Vertner Woodson Tandy (the first licensed black architect in New York State, and one of the seven founders of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Cornell University), was recently purchased by the New Voices Foundation for an undisclosed amount. The foundation is the nonprofit branch of the New Voices Fund, a $100 million investment fund dedicated to entrepreneurs following in Walker’s footsteps. Both the fund and the foundation were created by Richelieu Dennis, who was seated at the front row at Pyer Moss.

“Where do we go from here? Where does the freedom movement go from here?” activist Elaine Brown opens the show quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but she also seemed to be reflecting on the history being made at the very moment. Jean Raymond, whose shows always entwine his ideas about fashion with those about culture, race, and society, said in an interview that his goal was “to highlight inventions by Black people and show them in a non-traditional way,” involving 3D construction and sculpture.

And so, there was the peanut butter dress, literally a huge, soft sculpted jar honoring George Washington Carver. The stunning roller cape that took two weeks to create, featuring hot rollers from head to toe. Each one wound round and round with strands of fake hair. An air-conditioning unit, a kitchen mop, an old-fashioned mobile phone he remembers his father carrying, a childhood ice cream cone. There was a pastel pink lampshade dress with beaded fringes, a metal folding chair, every single costume a sophisticated work of culture. And there was a refrigerator with magnets that spelled out, “But who invented Black trauma?” Each soft sculpture in the Pyer Moss couture show correlated to an invention on a list that designer Jean-Raymond had seen at the Library of Congress attributed to a Black individual. All the inventions Jean-Raymond chose from to celebrate spoke to his lived experiences, a beautiful show reminiscent of a masquerade ball or art installation.

Jean Raymond talks about paying homage to his Black culture, “I want people to experience Black wealth in not a dirty thing. It is one of several means to an end – this house, inventions, creativity, ingenuity, all of those things are pathways to that sort of economic independence. I’ve said a lot of things at my shows. I’ve talked about mental health, multiple prong approaches to liberation, and this is just one of them.” Richelieu Dennis will help oversee the transition of restoring the villa and making it an incubator and center for Black women artists and women-run businesses. Just as once upon a time the villa was a center for the artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance, the sculptured garments of Pyer Moss will eventually be part of an exhibit inside Villa Lewaro.

Watch the replay of Pyer Moss Couture 1 here.

NOLA Has Wiiings illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

NOLA Has Wiiings

Red Bull has teamed up with the New Orleans Pelicans and renowned visual artist Brandan “Bmike” Odums for NOLA Has Wiiings, a project dedicated to replacing backboards at basketball courts throughout New Orleans.

Bmike selected eight local creatives to transform old local backboards into works of art, which will be on display starting this month at the New Orleans Pelicans’ Smoothie King Center and online at RedBull.com.

New Orleans locals can vote for their favorite backboard starting today via the Pelicans Mobile App or website. The artist with the most votes will have the opportunity to conceptualize and design a full art court that serves the New Orleans community. 

Bmike’s custom backboard, for exhibit only, will be on display at Studio BE for the duration of the project.

NOLA Has Wiiings brings artists from around the city together to celebrate, brighten and educate communities through colorful displays of art that showcase NOLA’s unrivaled ability to rebound. 

NOLA Has Wiiings Artists

  • Ceaux, a New Orleans-born multidisciplinary artist, has created a backboard inspired by Harrell Park – located on the “Pigeon Town” side of Carrollton – and the color and playfulness that’s felt at playgrounds. 
  • Ayo Scott, painter and son of nationally recognized artist John T. Scott, has created “Big Ol’ Lil Big Chief” in collaboration with Big Chief Terrence “T” Williams of the Black Hawk Hunters, which is inspired by the resilient spirit of the people of New Orleans. 
  • Kara Crowley – Visual Artist, an artist who embraces black culture and positive representation in her own artistic interpretations, has created a backboard which showcases multiple hands expressing the message of unity. 
  • Jessica Strahan, a self-taught painter and muralist native to and based in New Orleans, has created a backboard inspired by dance and its ability to take people through vibrant moments in time. 
  • Marc Verrett / MarcFreshArt, a Baton Rouge based muralist, has created a backboard that illustrates a positive rise to overcome obstacles through imagery of a skull paired with colorful butterfly wings to represent the eternal drive to fly above. 
  • Jade Meyers/THEARTISTJADE, Art director and founder of the art-based company, “J A D E 1 9 9 1,” has created a piece inspired by liberation, growing up in New Orleans, power, nature, Black culture and sports culture. 
  • Bryan Brown, an artist whose work focuses on New Orleans culture, random but beautiful moments, and philosophy, has created “The Big Brain,” a representation of getting mentally healthy to unlock one’s true full potential. 
  • 1985 Poet; Artist: Monique Lorden, an artist and author and co-illustrator of “I Wish for Freedom,” a poetic picture book, was inspired by her memories of hooping at the park to create “Hoops Dreams and Poetry,” a visual story of childhood hope and community.
Empowered Women Illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

CÎROC × COMBS ENTERPRISES EMPOWERED WOMEN

The first cohort of the 2021 Empowered Women honorees, including Iman, Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, and Fadia Kader, are announced in celebration of International Women’s Day.

 

Ciroc and Combs Enterprises are proud to announce the continuation of its Empowered Women platform. Empowered Women, first launched in 2016 by Combs Enterprises women-led executive team, uplifts, spotlights, and honors an eclectic and dynamic group of entrepreneurs, creatives, and businesswomen.

This year, Ciroc and Combs Enterprises partnered with Culture Creators, a cultural connectivity organization that aims to spotlight the contributions of individuals who have shaped the global view of Black culture. To further amplify the initiative, fittingly launched during Women’s History Month, Empowered Women will honor 50 successful women and share the narratives that formed them. Championing discussions around the value of mentorship, allyship, and leadership, Empowered Women highlights the importance of celebrating the current and uplifting the next generation of fearless leaders. Honorees represent five categories including social impact, technology, entertainment, art and style, and business.

Ciroc, Combs Enterprises, and Culture Creators will spotlight the honorees beginning in March and culminating this spring. The series will include custom digital content and exclusive honoree interviews shared via Culture Creators’ platforms, curated vodka cocktails, and an exclusive media partnership with women’s lifestyle publication, Elle Magazine.

It is an honor to continue to build and strengthen the Empowered Women platform alongside Culture Creators and Elle Magazine”, says Ingrid Best, Vice President of Global Marketing, Spirits, Combs Enterprises. “As a Black woman, it is my personal and professional mission to honor those who are breaking boundaries, while also providing a platform for us to continue to do the important work of mentoring and showing up for the next generation. We hope this program encourages young, budding professionals to push boundaries and redefine the status quo in their respective industries.”.

The first round of March 2021 honorees is below, representing the industry leaders paving the way for future generations.

 

Empowered Women Honorees – March:

  • Adrienne Lofton
  • Alencia Johnson
  • Brianna Agyemang
  • Caroline Yim
  • Dawn Dickson
  • Donna Stewart
  • Fadia Kadar
  • Heather Lowery
  • IMAN
  • Jamila Thomas
  • Morgan DeBaun
  • Sarah Jakes Roberts
  • Stephanie L. Young
  • Morgan Dixon
  • Valeshia Butterfield-Jones
  • Vanessa Garrison
  • Yvette Noel Schure

Joi Brown, Founder, and CEO of Culture Creators commented, “I started Culture Creators because I envisioned a platform that gives individuals who push the culture forward and strive for inclusion that flowers while they are still here while continuing to develop the next generation of leaders. Partnering with like-minded visionaries at Ciroc to bring Empowered Women to life marries the spirit of celebration and mentorship.”.

As part of its mission to propel Black culture, Culture Creators has consistently celebrated the accomplishments of key luminaries across a broad spectrum of industries, including entertainment, fashion, finance, technology, business, and more. The Innovators & Leaders Awards Brunch, Culture Creators’ annual signature event, exemplifies this mission and has previously honored Sylvia Rhone, Byron Allen, Marsai Martin, Jemele Hill, Kenya Barris, Charles D. King, and the late Andre Harrell, to name a few. In 2019, Culture Creators launched the first-ever C2 Summit, a platform that targets students of color across all universities and provides interactive educational experiences, employment opportunities, and creates access to leaders across various career paths. Today, Culture Creators further advances its mission with the launch of the Empowered Women platform.

Gabrielle Archuleta illustrates Black History Month for 360 MAGAZINE

Black History Month

By Hannah DiPilato

February is Black History Month and 360 Magazine would like to recognize some historic people of color who have become a positive influence on society. In 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement skyrocketed and brought attention to the diversity that still exists within our community. Although society has come a long way from the early 1900s when segregation ran rampant, the movement for equality has a long way to go. From inventors to musicians, there are a number of successful people we would like to acknowledge in honor of Black History Month.

Martin Luther King Jr.
Arguably one of the most important leaders in the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King spent his time preaching for equality in a peaceful way. He will always be remembered for his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and his ability to lead others in this historical movement. Dr. King is one of the most influential

Joseph E. Lowery
Joseph E. Lowery is the grandfather of 360 Magazine’s President Vaughn Lowery and founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference alongside Dr. King. Throughout his life, Lowery served as vice president, chairman of the board and president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as well as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement.

George Washington Carver
Many people are familiar with George Washington Carver for his inventive skills. He made over 300 products from peanuts and as an agricultural scientist promoted methods to prevent soil depletion.

Garrett Morgan
Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. is to thank for the invention of traffic lights as well as gas masks. Every time you stop at a red light, take a moment to think of Morgan for this essential technology.

Barack Obama
As the first black president of the United States, Barack Obama made an impact as the 44th president and showed young people of color they have representation in politics. He continues to use his voice to connect with the American people.

Kamala Harris
Keeping in the theme of politics, Vice President Kamala Harris is the first woman vice president, the first African American vice president and the first Asian American vice president. She’s giving young women of color everywhere a sense of representation.

Madam C.J. Walker
As the first recorded female self-made millionaire in America, Madam C.J. Walker was an influential entrepreneur, philanthropist and activist of her time.

Frederick McKinley Jones
Frederick McKinley Jones was the co-founder of Thermo King and he brought incredible improvement to long-haul transportation of perishable goods. Jones also won the National Medal of Technology.

Stevie Wonder
Stevland Hardaway Morris, better known as Stevie Wonder, is a musical prodigy that became blind after birth and learned to play the harmonica, piano and drums by age nine. He is now a notable singer, songwriter, musician and record producer.

Lonnie Johnson
Lonnie Johnson is known for his success as an aerospace engineer. He has worked on the U.S. Air Force term of service and has also worked at NASA for twelve years including in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Patricia Bath
As an ophthalmologist, Patricia Bath was an early innovator of laser cataract surgery. She was also the first woman, African American physician to receive a patent for a medical invention.

Oprah Winfrey
One TV personality almost everyone is familiar with is Oprah. Known for her television show The Oprah Winfrey Show, she has made waves in the world of entertainment. She is also known for co-producing a Broadway musical version of The Color Purple, establishing O, The Oprah Magazine, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) as well as creating Oprah.com.

Harriet Tubman
After being born into slavery, Harriet Tubman was a conductor of the Underground Railroad and helped many enslaved men and women escape. She led many people to freedom with her bravery and connection with antislavery activists.

Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks gained her notoriety as an activist in the Civil Rights Movement and is known for starting the Montgomery bus boycott after refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. She has been called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement” by the United States Congress.

John Lewis
John Lewis was chairman Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) as well as one of the “Big Six” leaders who organized the 1963 March on Washington. He was an essential part of the Civil Rights Movement and ending legalized racial segregation.

Alexander Miles
If you’ve ever ridden in an elevator, you can thank Alexander Miles for the automatic opening doors; he was awarded the patent for this invention in 1887. Mills was riding in an elevator with his daughter and he deemed an elevator shaft door left open could be dangerous.

Mary Kenner
Mary Kenner was an inventor famous for her development of the sanitary belt, the precursor to the self-adhesive maxi pad. However, due to racial discrimination, the idea wasn’t adopted for thirty years. She has five patents for various household items.

Maya Angelou
Known for her many famous pieces of writing, Maya Angelou was a poet, memoirist and civil rights activist. Over fifty years, she wrote a number of autobiographies, essays, poems, plays, movies and television shows. She also received over 50 honorary degrees as well as awards for her writing.

LeBron James
Along with being considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time, LeBron James also started the LeBron James Family Foundation to help create generational change for the children and families of LeBron’s hometown in Akron, Ohio.

Malcolm X
As a popular spokesperson at the time of the Civil Rights Movement, Malcolm X encouraged Black Americans to protect themselves against racism. He preached a much different lesson than Martin Luther King Jr. who preached nonviolence.

Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall was the Supreme Court’s first African American justice as well as a prominent civil rights activist. He served on the court for 24 years and helped with influential rulings at the time of the Civil Rights Movement such as the case of Brown v. Board of Education.

Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the United States during the 20th century. He broke the color barrier of the MLB when he played for the National League Brooklyn Dodgers as second baseman with the jersey number 42.

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