Going into Black History Month, I reached out via social media to ask my friends, followers and lurkers what their favorite black biographies and autobiographies are. Here are 30 of their recommendations.
Literature, race, gender, fashion, love, and life! Two of the most intelligent, incisive, poised, and funny women in literature — Zadie Smith and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — sat down for about an hour to talk about every topic.
"Spottie" is inspired by vintage look of the jazz era – a speakeasy during the day, still smelling of last night’s good time. Spottie sounds like lukewarm lullabies in your left ear. "Spottie" tastes like bitches brew. "Spottie" looks like a night in Tunisia. "Spottie" is brought to you by Beau.
In 1956, photographer Gordon Parks was hired by Life magazine to follow and document the everyday life of a southern Black family. Twenty of these photos were published in Life’s September issue that year with an article titled “The Restraints: Open and Hidden.” Of course, Parks snapped many more photos than actually made it to print, but these were thought to be lost. However, in early 2012 the Gordon Parks Foundation was going through several storage boxes and came upon a taped-up paper package labeled, “Segregation Series.” In it they found 70 more color photographs from Parks’ 1956 work. Here are just a few of the pics, both the published and the rediscovered.
To combat all the sleek, powerful pass-rushers, NFL teams are increasingly turning to athletic QBs who can beat defenses through the air or on the ground. And African-American QBs – who in the 80s and 90s were frequently diverted at the high school level to play receiver or cornerback or running back, according to Whitfield – are finding immediate success: three of the top four passers in the NFL last year in yards-per-attempt – arguably the most important stat for quarterbacks – were Robert Griffin III (1st), Newton (3rd) and Russell Wilson (4th).
New research reveals a subconscious bias where educated black men are remembered as having lighter skin. The result add fervor to the implication that successful black people are thought of as exceptions to their race rather than examples of what people within that race are capable of.
1994 was a pretty unforgettable year. In fact, it was monumental year in black popular culture in history. The year that marked the beginning of NAFTA and China’s first connection to the Internet also saw the election of Nelson Mandela, Nas’ studio debut, Jason’s Lyric and CrazySexyCool. Take a look back 20 years on these other big moments from 1994.
Long before The Kid got his chipped tooth fixed, he rode through Times Square with L Boogie on a limo. The two Hip Hop legends' collaboration, "If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)," is one of the best of the 90s. It's taken to the next level with the video, directed by Hype Williams. Check it out.
He was the crown prince of the Bling Era, a Svengali who turned his friend and partner Jay-Z into a superstar, signed Kanye West, and built a business empire that extended far beyond hip-hop. Then he split with Hova, and bit by bit, the mercurial mogul began to lose it all—his label, his wife, his homes, and the figurative shirt off his back. Today, as Jay-Z towers over the culture, the 42-year-old Dash insists he's right where he wants to be: hustling and hungry.
Peak Blackness is a photo blog that's dedicated to finding the single blackest moment in American history. Was it Al Sharpton hanging with James Brown, Sam Cooke and Muhammad Ali in the studio or Harriet Tubman doing the Wobble? A team of journalists is working on narrowing it down - one image at a time.
Moment from 80s and 90s pop culture have now become iconic. One artist whose work illustrates that fact is graphic designer Xavier Payne. The 25-year-old from Nashville made a big splash throughout social media when people began sharing some of his illustrations, work he says is influenced by pop culture, contemporary and historical art, photography and typography. "People know those moments like they know any moment in their own life. I think that’s dope," Payne says.
There is still so much, however, unknown about the life behind Hurston's powerful voice. Most of what we know comes from her autobiography "Dust Tracks on a Road" and her semi-autobiographical master novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God." From those works, Hurston has left us with powerful commentary on life. Here are a few of my favorites quotes.
Where do we draw the line between “appropriate” forms of cultural exchange and more damaging patterns of cultural appropriation? To be honest, I don’t know that there is a thin, straight line between them. But even if the line between exchange and appropriation bends, twists, and loop-de-loops in ways it would take decades of academic thought to unpack, it has a definite starting point: Respect.
The Door, by Ava DuVernay, is a celebration of the transformative power of feminine bonds. It stars Gabrielle Union, Alfre Woodard, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Adepero Oduye and singer-songwriter Goapele in a symbolic story of life change.
News broke on New Year's Day that veteran actor James Avery, who loving played Philip "Uncle Phil" Banks on NBC's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, passed away at the age of 68. The cause of death was complications from open-heart surgery, said his manager told CNN. In remembering Avery and the character he created that so many came to love, one Twitter user called Feminista Jones broke down why Uncle Phil was so dope.
Before Hip Hop was a cultural landmark and industry, it was a simply a collection of ideas. With each album, music video and magazine cover, it was built from the ground up. In fact, a relatively small group of creatives are responsible for dreaming up what is now instantly recognizable to millions.