Leila Abdelrazaq artwork
Leila Abdelrazaq artwork
Leila Abdelrazaq artwork
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Art, Music, & Pop Culture

The role of artists in society has always been important. Artists raise awareness about social issues and are often the register of the times. They can reinforce the status quo or they can serve as a catalyst for change. Popular Culture often illuminates where we are all are as a people and a species. We invite critical essays and thinking on art of all types today in the US and abroad.

The Funke Wisdom of Chocolate Cities

By Mary F. Corey 

A Review of Chocolate Cities: the Black Map of American Life by Marcus A. Hunter & Zandria F. Robinson, University of California Press

Mathematically it all adds up
All people are equal, but equal to what?
Once you understand theres a spiritual math
Add soul to the science and subtract the riffraff
Knowledge aint enough, you need funke funke wisdom
—Kool Moe Dee, Funke Wisdom (1991)   

Imagine a giant map of the United States with just two words inscribed across it: THE SOUTH. There are no blue states and no red states. Instead, sprinkled across its surface are many clusters of tiny lights marked by names of people, places and events that represent the Black map of America. How, you might ask, can we connect the dots between these points representing James Brown, Sickle Cell Anemia, Ida B. Wells, Mos Def, Zora Neale Hurston, Aretha Franklin, Katrina (the hurricane), Dionne Warwick, Yellow Fever, the Blues, and W.E.B. DuBois, among others? (more…)

Songs for Survival: A 2018 Playlist

By William C. Anderson A little over a year ago when I made the first Songs For Survival playlist I was trying to help people feel a little better. I thought music would help people through the times ahead, which … Continue reading

Yoga and the Roots of Cultural Appropriation

By Shreena Gandhi and Lillie Wolff To the so many white people who practice yoga, please don’t stop, but please do take a moment to look outside of yourself and understand how the history of yoga practice in the United States is … Continue reading

Rethink Shinola

By Rebekah Modrak RETHINK SHINOLA is a multi-part, Internet-based artwork analyzing and critiquing the branding messages publicized by the company Shinola, founded in 2011. Shinola’s name is “a nod” to the former Shinola, a shoe polish company that promoted its … Continue reading

Free All the Political Prisoners

By Zolo Agono Azania I was introduced to Zolo Azania some twenty years ago through his artwork – striking portraits of Harriet Tubman, Malcom X and Emmet Till, artwork that reflected Zolo’s deep commitment to the Black freedom struggle – … Continue reading

Love and Theft: Why Get Out Matters

By Mary F. Corey “A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ASTONISHMENTS” —Kendrick Lamar, The Heart Part 4 In 1962, James Baldwin hurled a smart bomb into the liberal white community when the New Yorker published his incendiary “Letter from a Region in … Continue reading

Lemonade: Our Album of the Year

By Stephanie Shonekan, Contributing Editor, Art, Music, and Pop Culture This year’s Grammy Awards show was one of the best I have seen in the last few years. Almost every performance was spectacular–Bruno Mars as himself and then as Prince; … Continue reading

Luke Cage: An Exploration of Black Identity

By Marquise Griffin “Man, it is what it is. You can’t understand a man if you ain’t live what he lived.”             -Method Man “Bulletproof Love” I have a vivid memory of being in the Chicago Union Amtrak station in … Continue reading

One Week of Poems on Love and Terror

By adrienne maree brown In this moment, when the future is so uncertain, Praxis Center turns to poetic offerings by adrienne maree brown. As she wrote on her blog, “i still believe it is the core work of our species – to … Continue reading

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