“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 …

“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 …

“Reverse Racism.” Come again?

Typically, “reverse racism” is used by a white person when they feel threatened or uncomfortable by a racialized term or reference. Many folks argue that this phenomenon doesn’t even exist, citing that discrimination against members of a dominant racial group cannot occur because of the imbalance of power between the majority and the minority. This article lays out the argument pretty …

A Well-Deserved Honor

Viola Davis secures a well-deserved spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This week, Davis, who has graced the screen in “Fences,” “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Hidden Figures” (to name a few) was recognized for her achievements with one of the most iconic honors of all time. Bravo, sister. Bravo. But while a vast majority of our …

August Wilson’s Fences: from playwright to silver screen

Fences premiered this week to crowds of Black families who hit the theaters over the holiday. With a star-studded cast including Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, the film adaption of August Wilson’s original play has already garnered nods for two Golden Globes and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. Though based on August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same title, much …

Black Joy Matters

Because the news – and reality – can sometimes be daunting on our psyches and a burst of positivity is needed to start the weekend right. In this TED talk, Shonda Rhimes discusses how committing to a “Year of Yes” fueled her life with positivity, reconnected her to her family and reenergized her historic career. [Read here]   Via Ozy

What does it mean to be a Black superhero?

On the cusp of Netflix’s announcement that a second-season of Marvel’s Luke Cage is in the works, and after filing through the pages of Ta-Nehisi Coates “Black Panther,” it’s a safe bet to assume that Black superheroes are what’s hot. It’s no surprise that art is a reflection of the times – and series like Luke Cage and “Black Panther” …

The personal and professional are oh so political.

Robeson paved the way for contemporary black entertainers who now have a larger platform than ever before. Who do you want speaking for you? Which celebrities are informed enough to use their platform to speak out? Who should just shut the heck up? Some get it, others completely miss the mark. Check out this article on why it’s important for …

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Black films are dope.

Two films on our summer watch list are Dope and Straight Outta Compton. While some celebrities go to social media and news outlets to voice their concerns, these filmmakers are letting their art do the talking. Dope is in theaters now, and director Rick Famuyiwa (Brown Sugar, The Wood) promises that it will bust stereotypes of black masculinity. While trailers …