These Two Hometown Heroes are Taking Back Compton

Compton is one the nation’s most beloved cities, especially for hip hop fans. Though well-respected for its music, the city also has quite the reputation when it comes to gangs and violence. As a result of the crack epidemic and the United States’ malicious Drug War of the 1980s, decades of gang-related violence plagued the streets of Compton. While local …

The Only Betty Boop We Acknowledge is Esther

For generations, Black culture has been imitated, duplicated, and appropriated by the mainstream without receiving its due credit.Just look to any discussion of  Black influences on hairstyles, dance trends, music, speech patterns, or fashion, and you’ll find the root in Black culture.  Through this appropriation, our people have inspired some of America’s most iconic and enduring cultural projects. One example …

The Real Reason Why Black People “Don’t Travel”

Before #TravelNoire, the Black Travel Movement may have seemed like an upper-class privilege. But in reality, Black people have been traveling this whole time – we’ve just had to maneuver restrictions and prejudice in the process. And that hasn’t always been well-documented. During Jim Crow, it was dangerous to travel while Black. Laws mandated that public places in the South …

“Masters,” Music, and Money: Black Artists and the Record Industry

Black artists have contributed insurmountably to the music industry and popular culture alike. Though our presence and impact are undeniable, many artists have received the short end of the stick when it comes to the business side of the industry.   Historically, record companies have lured artists into recording contracts with lofty advances (more appropriately termed “loans”) that must be …

Power to the Pulitzer! Black Authors Awarded Prize

The Pulitzer Prize is one of the most revered awards in and across American journalism, literature, or music. Only thirteen are awarded each year; and since 1917, the award has signaled excellence across industries. Nominees are announced in April of ever year, with prizes awarded the following May. There are currently 21 categories of the award and this year we had …

Coltrane’s Only Live Performance

The man, the legend: John Coltrane. On the cusp of the soon-to-be released documentary, “Chasing Trane,” we’re celebrating some of his most iconic moments. “Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary” features interviews with Wynton Marsalis, Sonny Rollins, Cornel West, President Bill Clinton, and Common – with Coltrane’s own words narrated by Denzel Washington. If you’re new to the game and don’t …

Clint Smith Explores Black Joy & Black Pain in New Book

Last year, we sat down with our friend Clint Smith, renowned poet and writer whose TED talk, “How to Raise a Black Son in America” is reaching millions of folks. Smith recently published his first book, Counting Descent, and we got the chance to ask him a few questions. Pre-order the book here. In May, you became a Cave Canem …

“Masters,” Music, and Money: Black Artists and the Record Industry

Black artists have contributed insurmountably to the music industry and popular culture alike. Though our presence and impact are undeniable, many artists have received the short end of the stick when it comes to the business side of the industry.   Historically, record companies have lured artists into recording contracts with lofty advances (more appropriately termed “loans”) that must be …

#BlackAtWork – Havas Chicago Edition

Corporate America comes with its challenges — namely, being a “minority” in a “majority” environment. From cultural incompetency to downright ignorance, the stories shared amongst Black colleagues on their interactions with white colleagues are laughable, at best. But implicit bias in the boardroom has other effects – like fewer Black hires, promotions and even shading in the delegation of responsibility. These …

The Real Reason That Black People “Don’t Travel”

Before #TravelNoire, the Black Travel movement may have seemed like an upper-class privilege – limited to the few but desired by many. But a historical perspective shows that more than just money may have impacted our ability (and desire) to explore all that America has to offer. While the breadth of the African diaspora and our cross-continent connectedness demonstrates how vast …