Posts tagged with "social justice"

MLWXBF chapter 4 illustration via Alison Christenson for use by 360 Magazine

Ivy League BLM Courses

By: Emily Bunn

Ivy League Schools to Begin Teaching “Black Lives Matter” Courses

Proving their commitment to diversity and understanding, several Ivy League colleges will begin offering courses on the Black Lives Matter Movement. Whereas other Ivy League schools, such as Cornell, have created Africana Departments that focus on the centrality of Africa and the African Diaspora to the modern world, BlackLivesMatter classes are situated in a specific cultural moment. Though, of course, the Black Lives Matter falls under the umbrella of contemporary African history, it is positioned in a more concentrated, modern application. Princeton and Dartmouth are the two first schools to begin accrediting this intersectional coursework. While Princeton most recently enacted their BLM coursework, Dartmouth has been pioneering this change since 2015.

Dartmouth’s Black Lives Matter course discusses topics such as The Ivory Tower, understanding St. Louis and its racial history, race and class, racial violence, and systemic and unconscious racism, among other topics. Part of Dartmouth’s course description reads, “though the academy can never lay claim to social movements, this course seeks in part to answer the call of students and young activists around the country to take the opportunity to raise questions about, offer studied reflection upon, and allocate dedicated institutional space to the failures of democracy, capitalism, and leadership and to make #BlackLivesMatter. Developed through a group effort, this course brings to bear collective thinking, teaching, research, and focus on questions around race, structural inequality, and violence.” The course is taught by a wide variety of professors from different academic disciplines and social backgrounds. Taught for ten weeks by close to 20 different professors, Dartmouth’s Black Lives Matter coursework stands as a comprehensive example of a cross-disciplinary concentration that recognizes and situates history in a contemporary, American context.

Princeton’s #BlackLivesMatter class looks to examine the “historical roots and growth of the Black Lives Matter social movement,” and is “committed to resisting, unveiling, and undoing histories of state sanctioned violence against Black and Brown bodies.” Princeton’s #BlackLivesMatter’s course description reads as such: “This seminar traces the historical roots and growth of the Black Lives Matter social movement in the United States and comparative global contexts. The movement and course are committed to resisting, unveiling, and undoing histories of state sanctioned violence against Black and Brown bodies. The course seeks to document the forms of dispossession that Black Americans face and offers a critical examination of the prison industrial complex, police brutality, urban poverty, and white supremacy in the US.” The course’ sample reading list includes selections from Angela Davis, Claudia Rankin, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.

Princeton’s course will be taught by Professor Hanna Garth, who has previously taught “Race and Racisms,” “Postcolonial and Decolonial Theory,” and “Theories of Social Justice.” Garth’s self-defined interest in “the ways in which people struggle to overcome structural violence” and past experience has well-prepared her for teaching this class. Garth remarks, “All of my research, teaching, and mentoring is designed around my commitment to feminist methodologies and critical race theory.”

While some have aggressively asserted that Princeton’s course readings are from a former communist party leader who once made it on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, their negativity further highlights the necessity of this course. While these assertions may be true, it is telling that certain critics commonly overlook the individual’s many (more recent) accomplishments. The author in question is Angela Davis – a revered, respected, and well-educated civil rights activist, philosopher, academic, and author. By painting Davis as an unpatriotic, dangerous criminal, it distracts from the important lessons that are to be learned from this influential leader. Similarly, Fox News’ article on Princeton’s new course links their mention of the “Black Lives Matter” movement not to an explanation of what the movement is, but instead to a page on US protests. As opposed to creating an educational resource for what the BLM Movement is, conservative critics are quick to jump to claims of Black violence and riots.

Especially in 2021, as the United States grapples with the fight for racial and civil justice, discussions surround race, policing, prison reform, and politics are more pertinent than ever. It is absolutely essential that our nation’s college students are exposed to critical race theory and critical thinking. By shielding America’s youth from the necessary history of this country – which is still being experienced today – we are only putting them in a position of increased vulnerability and ignorance. Knowledge is power and educating oneself on society’s issues is the only way to efficient work towards progressive social change. Hopefully, as the most prestigious academic institutions begin to model examples of intersectional and anti-racist coursework, other colleges and universities will soon follow suit.

Headphones illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Ethernity Chain Announces Another NFT Collection

Ethernity Chain is proud to announce another unique NFT collection is coming to its ecosystem. This aNFT (Authenticated NFT) collection contains UNRELEASED and never before seen footage of Nas performing a sold-out show of Illmatic with a full orchestra in South Africa on the anniversary of the ending of Apartheid. This drop is made possible with the help of Audio Up and will occur on July 31, 2021.

The connection between NAS and the Apartheid is intriguing. Ending Apartheid in South Africa was a major milestone that coincided with releasing Illmatic in the United States. So having Nas perform on the twentieth-anniversary date of ending Apartheid makes a lot of sense in that regard. Additionally, this cross-over anniversary highlighted a crucial reason why the Apartheid needed to be abolished.

Before abolishing the Apartheid, it would not have been possible for an African-American hip-hop artist to perform in front of a wide audience like the performance that Nas did in 2014. The fact that performance was held signals a crucial change and is part of the broader narrative of how hip hop is a defining force for African-American voices globally. Additionally, it has become the definitive global music genre that tops streaming and sales charts globally, even today.

In 2013, Jared Gutstadt, Founder of Audio Up, had a wild idea to create orchestral tracks based on Illmatic–it would be legendary. Due to a chance meeting between Nas and Jared, they started working on bringing this vision to life. Jared composed the orchestral tracks, partnered with an orchestra, and Nas crushed it by performing his lyrics over the music to a live audience in 2014. This NFT collection is compiled from never-before-seen footage of that performance.

As serendipity would have it, the date of that performance in South Africa fell upon the anniversary of the WE Are end of Apartheid. Coincidentally, the anniversary of the Nas Illmatic album release also falls on this date (April 19).

The charitable beneficiary of this collection is the We Are Family Foundation, founded by legendary musician and producer, Nile Rodgers. The foundation focuses on initiatives that unite the world. These proceeds will benefit WAFF’s Youth to the Front program. Nile has personal experiences as a creator showcasing his craft in South Africa at the end of Apartheid. His song “We Are Family” gave Nelson Mandela hope when he was still imprisoned in South Africa. Nile composed the music for the movie “Coming To America” which was the first movie premier shown to an integrated audience in South Africa. The synergy of Nas and Nile’s creative talents coupled with the power of their music to unite diverse groups of people makes this collection one of great importance for fans as well as a marker for this moment in history. It’s an ode to how far we have come and a reminder of how far we have to go.

Cartooning While Black cartoon via Will Brierly for use by 360 Magazine

Cartooning While Black Gallery Exhibit

Black cartoonists from The New Yorker present their work at the Cartooning While Black Gallery Exhibit at ChaShaMa.

Chashama and Art To Ware present Cartooning While Black, a preview of the art from the upcoming One Idea Press title release, The Anti-Racism Activity Book. Art from the volume, written and illustrated by cartoonist and comedian Victor Varnado, will be shown alongside fellow black New Yorker cartoonists, Yasin OsmanAkeem S Roberts, and Jerald Lewis II. This exhibition is curated by Rebecca Mills.

LOCATION: ChaShaMa Gallery, 320 West 23rd Street, NY, NY

WHEN: Thursday, July 15, 2021, to Thursday, August 5th.

The Anti-Racism Activity Book is a social satire created in the style of a children’s puzzle and coloring book. The exhibit will feature crosswords, word finds, and other nostalgic activity book throwbacks, combined with original cartooning work from Varnado, all using humor to illustrate how dumb racism is.

“Traditionally, very few black cartoonists have appeared in the New Yorker, but recent efforts by the magazine and the cartoon editor Emma Allen have made an exhibit like this possible,” said Jason Chatfield, president of The National Cartoonists Society and New Yorker cartoonist.

“Yasin Osman, Akeem S Roberts, Jerald Lewis II, and Victor Varnado’s illustrative works shown together in the same exhibit will be the first time such a presentation has ever happened,” he added.

As a comedian, Victor Varnado has appeared on Late Night With Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live. His writing and cartooning work have been showcased in MAD magazineVICEMarvel Comics and Salon. Varnado was born legally blind and is albinistic. His New Yorker cartoon created in response to the national unrest following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police was one of the magazine’s most engaging pieces of content in 2020. Like Floyd, Victor also grew up in Minneapolis.

Emanuel Image provided by Nikki Crystal and Capitol Records for use by 360 MAGAZINE.

Emanuel × ALT THERAPY

One of the most anticipated debut R&B albums of the past year, Emanuel’s full-length project ALT THERAPY has been unveiled to the world today via Motown Records & Universal Music Canada. 

Before the world experienced moments of great upheaval and change this past year, an unknown new artist in Canada, a son of Ethiopian immigrants, had unknowingly written music that was prophetic to the times. His debut single, the emotionally stirring “Need You”, was released as the global pandemic struck, resonating with people around the world who were forced into isolation. Months later, when the brutal killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Trayvon Martin sparked a worldwide reckoning of systemic racism and racial inequality, Emanuel offered “Black Woman” to the world – his moving ode of reconciliation that honors the majesty of Black women. Last month, as vaccines were distributed and possibility began to take the shape of reality, Emanuel shared his prayer for the future with the release of “Worldwide”. Now, during the week of Juneteenth and one year after the release of his debut EP Session 1: Disillusion, Emanuel celebrates freedom, growth and love with ALT THERAPY, his full-length contribution to the “renaissance of beautiful black art in the world.”

ALT THERAPY is a journey. A narrative of discovering a deep self-awareness and celebrating personal growth, Emanuel’s debut album is the testament of a young man in the process of becoming a great man. 

“This album represents a spiritual self-discovery for me,” says Emanuel. “It’s about the nuances of the human experience. I hope ALT THERAPY inspires others to gain understanding about themselves and the world, and that it’s attached to beautiful memories in their lives the way certain music is attached my mine. That would be an honour.”

 

A collection of 12 songs, ALT THERAPY is home to Emanuel’s two EPs released in 2020, Session 1: Disillusion (nominated for the 2021 Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year JUNO Award) and Session 2: Transformation, as well as six additional songs: the manifestation mantra “Worldwide”, the revelation of new love on “Pillows”, the emotional plea of “I Need a Doctor”, the inner reckoning on “Detention”, the discovery of authentic love on “I Been”, and the rare male R&B duet on “Hindsight” featuring fellow Toronto R&B artist Dylan Sinclair. See the full tracklist below.

Also released today is the visually striking official video for “Worldwide”, a song born out of Emanuel’s deep yearning to take his music, its message and energy, to people around the world while experiencing and absorbing the wisdom of many cultures. Directed by Kit Weyman and Executively Produced by Director X, the video is a visual depiction of Emanuel’s “Worldwide”manifestation mantra.

Emanuel’s talent is indisputable. Discovered by Canadian hip-hop icon Kardinal Offishall, launched by global superstar Idris Elba, signed by legendary R&B record label Motown Records, honored with a JUNO Award nomination for his debut EP, and championed by fans, critics and industry partners alike, Emanuel is one of the most destined new voices in R&B.

LISTEN TO ALT THERAPY HERE

WATCH THE “WORLDWIDE” VIDEO HERE

chessboard image

Detroit City Chess Club × Black Goes First

Today, global creative agency Anomaly launches a new boundary-breaking initiative, Black Goes First, to raise awareness about implicit bias and to raise funds for the Detroit City Chess Club, one of the largest, longest-standing, predominantly African American competing youth chess clubs in the U.S.

In chess, there is implicit power behind the first and most consequential rule: White goes first. This means White gets a leg up on the game commonly referred to as the “first move advantage.” This rule also represents the unconscious bias and unwritten (and sometimes written) rules in society that directly oppresses and suppresses the Black community in our daily lives, restricting education, access, and opportunity.

Anomaly remains dedicated to addressing implicit bias. As such, the goal of Black Goes First is to inspire a new generation of players to fall in love with the game by building confidence in and access to chess for Black youth, in hopes that they may one day join the ranks of the most skilled players in the world and reach the pinnacle – becoming a Grandmaster. Currently, out of 1721 Grandmasters, only 4 are Black.

“Chess is a game that demands that we truly stop and think about how our minds work and how our thoughts affect reality. The idea of turning a traditional chess rule on its head to illustrate the critical issue of unconscious bias is a powerful way to initiate much needed discussions on this important topic.” Maurice Ashley, International Chess Grandmaster.

In order to help bring awareness to the cause and in support of Black Music Month, Anomaly has partnered with music industry veteran Chaka Zulu and friends, including celebrity chess enthusiasts within the hip hop community to auction a signed premium chessboard with the key new rule: Black Goes First. The predominantly black, 14″ x 14″ x 1″ board is made from a beautiful matte black composite stone. The rule change, engraved in stone, faces each player, front and center. This campaign launches today and the Auction goes live on June 17 ahead of Juneteenth via BlackGoesFirst.com. Iconic hip-hop superstars JAY-Z and RZA, NBA legend Carmelo Anthony, and chess Grandmaster Maurice Ashley have committed their signatures to further elevate the idea.

“Hip Hop Culture has a love affair with the game of chess and they’ve been intertwined for years. In my home, we’ve always played Black Goes First. The music, the game, and the culture build character and critical life skills that are required for the progress and survival of Black youth yesterday, today, and tomorrow.” Chaka Zulu, chess enthusiast and music industry veteran.

Anomaly’s Black Goes First campaign aims to awaken people to blatant unconscious bias in chess and life, while amplifying and supporting the next generation of Black chess champions by donating 100% of all funds raised to the Detroit City Chess Club and setting a new standard for equitable community campaigns.

“Radically centering equity and service, Anomalys Black Goes First campaign uniquely challenges implicit bias and inequitable campaign models that don’t work directly with and for the communities they seek to engage. BGF is a campaign designed in support of and in partnership with the Black community to support Black youth. The campaign employs 100% Black influencer/celebrity support, and 100% of profits from the auction will be donated to the Detroit City Chess Club.” Kristi Henderson, Global Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Anomaly.

Find out more about the auction and the project, and check out the film at the website: BlackGoesFirst.com.

Community illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Brotherhood Crusade Hosts Juneteenth Event

The Brotherhood Crusade invites the community to join us as we celebrate Juneteenth on June 18, 10:30 am 1:30 pm at Crete Academy.

In honor of the historic Juneteenth event, Brotherhood Crusade will host fun and exciting health and wellness activities and provide families with food baskets, backpacks, school supplies, COVID testing and COVID vaccinations to continue our support for the most vulnerable in our community.

The event is free for the whole family. Guests are requested to wear masks and practice social distancing.

For more information on activities, see flyer below or contact Otesha Mosley Bremond at omosley-bremond@brotherhoodcrusade.org or Stacy Hill Williams at 323-846-1649.

Project 21 illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Project 21 × LeBron James

­LeBron James and L.A. Lakers Help Sell Confederate Merchandise

“Hypocrite” Basketball Star Wears Logo of Retailer Marketing Confederate Flags and Robert E. Lee Lunch Bags

Despite cultivating the reputation of a social justice warrior, basketball star LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates have hit the court with the logo of online retailer Wish on their uniforms since 2017. Members of the Project 21 black leadership network criticized James, the Lakers and the NBA for political inconsistency for their relationship of a retailer that sells products honoring the Confederacy. 

“I wish LeBron wasn’t a hypocrite, but I guess it’s part of being on the woke left,” said Project 21 member Richard Holt. “But let’s be even more honest here. The NBA, LeBron and all the other social justice warriors are ultimately in it for the money. I don’t think they really care about you and me if there’s a dollar to be made. So, they can keep promoting state’s rights through Wish sales all they want maybe when the South rises again they can make money on the Robert E. Lee baseball hats.”

“We Wish LeBron Was Consistent,” a page on Project 21’s website, features images of only a few of the many Confederate and Southern pride items that can be obtained through Wish, an e-commerce platform designed to make it easier for third-party sellers to reach customers. This includes a wide array of Confederate-themed items including Confederate flag pillows, blankets, kids’ military uniforms, portraits of Confederate generals and even anti-COVID face masks featuring the rebel flag. James and the Lakers wear the Wish logo on their uniforms that the NBA promotes through the league’s own online store as “a call to action, a command for greatness.”

“Wish can sell these things if it wants to, but why have LeBron and the Lakers lent their reputation to help them sell it?” the webpage asks. “Why has the NBA allowed this to happen after claiming to be all-in on social justice?”

The team’s partnership with Wish, and its pride in these uniforms, is particularly perplexing given its loud activism supporting “woke” causes.

“Prior to the start of the 2017-2018 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers signed a three-season deal with Wish. Lakers Chief Operating Officer Tim Harris called Wish ‘a company that shares our commitment to giving back to the community.’ Of course, when that community is the Lakers, and it is getting $12-14 million every season for the label rights, I guess it overlooked some of the products sold by Wish that should be decried by the team’s star player,” said Project 21 member Martin Baker. “Amidst all of the controversy over the Confederate flag, will James now call out his employers who just extended his contract through 2023 over the products that their sponsor sells? Or is he happy just cashing his own checks? Hypocrisy, thy name is the average professional athlete.”

Project 21 suggests people ask James, Lakers management and NBA officials why they did not properly check Wish sellers’ inventories and continue monitoring them before entering into this controversial relationship. A Twitter tool has been put on Project 21’s webpage to facilitate outreach and discussion.

“Let’s face it, LeBron is a publicity hog. We all can figure LeBron hasn’t done any due diligence into the practices of Wish and probably never will,” said Project 21 member Donna Jackson. “LeBron likes to position himself as a social justice warrior, but his primary wishes are really to stay in the news cycle and to generate profits for him and his sponsors. Since his activism has almost single-handedly tanked NBA ratings over the past two years, I’m sure this wish won’t become a reality.”

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.

Founded in 1982, the National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from some 60,000 individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. Sign up for email updates here

Follow Project 21 on Twitter for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by Project 21 members, follow our media appearances Twitter account.

STUNNAMAN Image provided by Paul Thom and This is Dope for use by 360 Magazine

She Ball x STUNNAMAN

Cash Money Records and NCREDIBLE is readying the She Ball Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The music will be inspired by or featured in the forthcoming film She Ball produced by Cash Money Films and NCREDIBLE, arriving on-demand and in theaters Summer 2021.

The first single from the movie, STUNNAMAN” with BirdmanRoddy Ricch, and Lil Wayne drops today with a cinematic music video. The song will also be immediately serviced to radio. “STUNNAMAN” fuses a jagged beat to a signature melodic flow from Roddy Ricch. Meanwhile, Birdman and Lil Wayne pull up with old-school Like Father, Like Son-style interplay. Three generations of rap shine on this bold and bright banger.

The “STUNNAMAN” video will make its broadcast premiere on MTV and BET on May 21.

“If anything, the soundtrack will be a driving force of She Ball,” said Nick Cannon. “The music is truly the heartbeat of the film. To have my producing partners Birdman and Chris Brown on the album as well is an honor. We’ve got legends and all of the people who are really popping right now on the track-list. It references those soundtracks we all grew up on that meant something from a generational standpoint. When you hear the music or watch the movie, I want you to feel embedded in the culture. I saw Do the Right thingLove and Basketball, and Above The Rim as a kid. We cherish those as national treasures now. That’s our goal.”

Birdman added, “I said to Nick, if we’re going to do this, we’ve got to do it as big as possible. As important as the movie was, the Soundtrack was just as important. We were able to put together some powerful records and collaborations worthy of this film. It takes everything to the next level.”

The movie and soundtrack represent a union between Nick Cannon who wrote, produced, and directed She Ball and Multi-Platinum icons Bryan ‘Birdman’ Williams & Chris Brown. All three serve as producers and are starring alongside some of the most influential entertainers today including Cedric The Entertainer, DC Young Fly, Evan Ross, and Faizon Love in the movie.

This film is an important community-focused project dealing with race, gentrification, criminal justice and women’s empowerment.  The movie tells a story of triumph against all odds as a young female athlete played by Melody Rae Kandil faces trials, tribulations, and triumphs on and off the basketball court.

Get Single HERE

Watch the official trailer HERE

Watch the official video HERE

Film Premiere illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Small Axe Official Soundtrack

London UK; Director Steve McQueen has teamed up with Motown Records UK for the official soundtrack to the landmark five-film anthology Small Axe.

Personally curated and selected by Steve McQueen, The Small Axe Official Soundtrack, featuring original score by award-winning composer Mica Levi, will be released on Record Store Day, Saturday 12 June.

Steve McQueen: “Music is an integral part of Small Axe, especially Lovers Rock. Selecting the songs was definitely one of the most fun parts of making the anthology series, so I’m really excited about the soundtrack release, especially the legendary tracks “Silly Games” and “To Be Young, Gifted And Black” performed by the brilliant Tiana Major 9 and Michael Kiwanuka.”

Mica Levi: “I am proud and thankful to be part of the music used in Steve McQueen’s telling of a too unknown true story. It goes to show that protest is an essential democratic right it can change legislation and create visibility and equality.

The Small Axe Official Soundtrack encompasses a potent combination of original tracks, film score excerpts, music featured in the series and four powerful spoken word pieces written by the renowned poet Linton Kwesi Johnson and performed by himself alongside cast members Sheyi Cole, Rochenda Sandall and Shaun Parkes. Exclusive tracks include a rendition of “To Be Young, Gifted And Black” by Michael Kiwanuka and a rework of Janet Kay’s classic “Silly Games” by R&B songstress and Motown US artist, Tiana Major9.

Tiana Major9: ‘Silly Games by Janet Kay played a huge part in changing a generation by pushing the culture forward, as well as making the dream of creating timeless Black British Art a reality. To see the stories based on the lives of my people on a global scale, means so much to me.”

The original of “Silly Games” by Janet Kay also features on the soundtrack alongside the likes of “Got To Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye, “Pressure Drop” by Toots & The Maytals and “More Warning” by King Tubby, Augustus Pablo & The Aggrovators.

The Small Axe Official Soundtrack will be accompanied by a limited edition vinyl release with artwork direction by phenomenal creative collective; Mabdulle, Tara Ung and Wwwesh Studio

Nominated in a record 15 categories at the TV Bafta Awards on the 6 June 2021, the Small Axe anthology series comprises five original films by Academy Award, BAFTA, and Golden Globe-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame, 12 Years A Slave, Widows). Set from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, the films each tell a different story involving London’s West Indian community, whose lives have been shaped by their own force of will, despite rampant racism and discrimination. Even though this collection of films is set some decades ago, the stories are as vital and timely today as they were for the West Indian community in London at the time. Small Axe is a celebration of Black joy, beauty, love, friendship, family, music and even food; each one, in its own unique way, conveys hard-won successes, bringing hope and optimism.

The music featured on the official soundtrack is integral to the DNA of these stories, both enhancing the narrative and paying homage to the musical and cultural heritage of the times documented in the series. The Small Axe Official Soundtrack, released by Motown Records UK on 12 June, is now available to pre-order https://smallaxe.lnk.to/PreOrder