“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 …

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 …

The Truth on Crime

2016 was full of false news reports, stretched facts, and attention-seeking rhetoric. The Marshall Project sought to address these false claims by combing through 40 years of FBI data in order to set the facts straight. Their findings? Wide variation in crime rates from community to community and supporting evidence that all crime is truly local. Check out their findings presented …

Tech-Based Discrimination: Redlining Broadband Access

Redlining. The practice of denying services, either directly or through selectively raising prices, to residents of certain areas based on the racial or ethnic composition of those areas. In a recent post, the Atlanta Daily World reported that the tech-giant Google may be restricting broadband access in low-income, minority neighborhoods and, therefore, deepening the digital divide. This attempt, if proven true, …

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 …

Michigan Prisons See Benefits of Reform

Solitary confinement is a major pillar of criminal justice reform. As a punishment often outweighing the violation and impacting psyches years after it has ended, activists have held hunger strikes, filed class-action lawsuits and testified before the Senate in opposition to the practice. In order to balance against cases where solitary confinement is undue due to mental illness, or perhaps necessary …

Progress for Black Political Power

While the need for Black political power could not come at a more opportune time, we wanted to share some positivity as young millennials continue to break ground in the realm of public service. Just last month and at the age of 21, Jewell Jones became the youngest member of the Michigan state legislature as a representative for District 11. In …

Buy Black – But Not at Wal-Mart

Black Lives Matter activists once praised Walmart’s 2015 decision to remove Confederate flags from its online retail market. However, after Breitbart complained that Walmart sold “Bulletproof. Black Lives Matter” paraphernalia and the national Fraternal Order of Police wrote the retailer to ask for its removal, the multinational corporation decided to drop that merchandise, too. While the merchandise was sold through a third-party merchant …

Interrupting the Prison-Debt Cycle

While mass incarceration remains a serious problem for Black and Brown folks in this country, we’re proud of President Barack Obama for continuing to implement criminal justice reform during his final hours in office. According to the Marshall Project, the prison-debt cycle has been interrupted: “The Obama administration Tuesday unveiled a new regulation that allows incarcerated parents to reduce their …