24 HRS Of Peace: An Emcee’s Plea

Originally posted on AllHipHop:

On the average day in Newark, New Jersey, the corner of Clinton and Bergen Streets is a war zone, a violent hotbed. The heat comes from the bullets that sometimes whiz by, and from the block being “hot” from the drug trade and the police’s (overly) watchful eye. But then there’s one day each year on that same corner that is anything but average.

24 HRS Of Peace is Hip-Hop’s offering to a world where young people have an opportunity to truly discover their individual intrinsic value to self and their connection to community. To that end, the Hip-Hop Culture’s core ethos of “peace, love, unity and safely having fun” is the back drop for the 5th annual gathering we produce each year with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

The Baraka name comes with a legacy of strength and action. 24 HRS Of Peace is privileged to have his support…

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If All Lives Matter, Why Is My Shirt Bothering You?

Originally posted on Never Allowed To Conclude:

never
trust anyone
who says
they do not see color.
this means
to them,
you are invisible. Nayyirah Waheed

Since the death of Michael Brown, our country has been embroiled in one of the most sustained national debates about race and racism since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.  This debate seems to have crystallized into two mantras.  One side insists “Black Lives Matter” while the other side retorts, “All Lives Matter.”  I can’t help but notice that both sides of the debate believe not only that they are on the side of justice and equity, but that their opponents are not.

A few weeks ago, while visiting some college friends in Richmond, VA, I set out to try and provide some clarity to this debate. I packed my “Black Kids Matter” t-shirt and prepared for a social experiment.

Click here for site to purchase shirt

The Saturday that I chose to wear the…

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Happy Birthday, James Baldwin! An Inside Look At The Life Of One Of America’s Greatest Wordsmiths

Originally posted on News One:

baldwin-rustin

Novelist, essayist, and playwright James Baldwin (pictured) stands out as one of America’s most-treasured wordsmiths, notable for his bold ruminations on race, sexuality, and other subjects considered too controversial for the time of his creative peak.

As a homosexual man, some of Baldwin’s work focused on not only the complexities of the role of Blacks in America, but also that of gay men who faced atrocious criticism and prejudice during his climb in to the literary ranks.

Baldwin and his mother, Emma, moved to Harlem, leaving behind his father who
struggled with drug abuse. She would marry preacher David Baldwin and the family lived under harsh conditions.

Baldwin’s stepfather was said to be abusive to both him and his siblings, and when he died in 1943 while James was a teen, Harlem rioted on the day of his funeral – an event that shaped much of Baldwin’s writing style.

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Questlove & Black Thought Discuss Broadway Hip Hop Musical “Hamilton” (VIDEO)

Originally posted on AllHipHop:

(AllHipHop News) The Roots’ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotterr were tapped to produce the album for the Broadway production Hamilton. The Philadelphia natives, along with play creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, spoke with Billboard about the Hip Hop musical.

[ALSO READ: Russell Simmons To Debut Hip-Hop Musical ‘The Scenario’ On Broadway In 2016]

“This is like definitely one of the first authentic Hip Hop head approved projects I’ve ever seen on this part of Broadway,” says Questlove. “Just to be associated with it is amazing.”

Hamilton is inspired by the Ron Chernow biography of the first United States Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. The show got a huge endorsement when President Barack Obama and first Daughters Sasha and Malia viewed the play earlier this month.

[ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Ms. Lauryn Hill, A$AP Rocky, Raekwon, Ghostface, The Roots & More To Play ONE Musicfest 2015]

Watch Questlove, Black Thought, and Lin-Manuel Miranda discuss Hamilton below.

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Emmett Till HBO Miniseries From Jay-Z, Will Smith & Aaron Kaplan In the Works

Originally posted on Deadline:

EXCLUSIVE: Emmett Till was only 14 when the black teen was brutally murdered after allegedly flirting with a white woman in Mississippi in 1955. The tragic story that galvanized the emerging Civil Rights Movement is the subject of an HBO miniseries from a A-list producing team that includes Jay-Z, Will Smith and Aaron Kaplan. 

The untitled mini, now in active development, is described as an immersive and in depth exploration of the Emmett Till story. Search is underway for a writer to pen the project, likely a six-hour miniseries, executive produced by Jay-Z and his partner Jay Brown of Roc Nation, Smith and James Lassiter of Overbrook Entertainment and Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment.

willsmithjayzChicago native Till was visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi in August 1955 when he spoke and possibly flirted with Carolyn Bryant, the 21-year-old White co-owner of a local grocery store, reportedly asking her on a date. Several nights later, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam…

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Education & Hip Hop Youth: “The Souls of Crack Smoke”

Originally posted on AllHipHop:

The LATH Cover (SE)In the American literary classic, “The Souls of Black Folk,” W.E.B. DuBois eloquently describes the twoness the African American population feels living as both an American and also as a Negro: “…two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body…” I’m sure if Mr. DuBois was a prophet, in his brilliant analysis, he would have warned us about the “Threeness,” a third personality that would arise in many of us in days to come – the crack cultured 70’s & 80’s baby.

In discussions of education and youth engagement, the havoc the crack cocaine epidemic brought to inner cities and American society as a whole has been greatly underemphasized. Quietly behind the stories of drug addiction and family destruction, heart wrenching statistics of mass incarceration, and high numbers of chemically imbalanced babies born addicted to a narcotic they never chose for themselves, stands another compelling story. It…

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‘Kids Behind Bars’ Documentary Gives An Exclusive Look At The Lives Of Incarcerated Juveniles

Originally posted on News One:

[ione_embed src=http://player.theplatform.com/p/BCY3OC/Ha5BggifMuHL/select/media/25wrph1QEZqu?form=html service=tvone.com width=612 height=467]

The school-t0-prison pipeline is alive and well in America.

There are currently more than 60,000 individuals under the age of 21 locked behind bars in the United States.

On Sunday, April 12 at 10PM, Al Jazeera American will give us an exclusive look at the lives of incarcerated juveniles through the lens of Soledad O’Brien’s latest documentary, “Kids Behind Bars: A Soledad O’Brien Special Report.

According to a press release, “Al Jazeera America was given extensive access inside a once-notorious juvenile lock-up, the J. Paul Taylor Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where the state is now trying something new: offering education, counseling, and maybe even a second chance for juvenile offenders.”

“In “Kids Behind Bars: A Soledad O’Brien Special Report,” Al Jazeera America examines the human impact of CAMBIAR, modeled after a similar program in Missouri with one of the lowest…

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