Seiko Tachibana artwork
Seiko Tachibana 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.

Build Bridges, Not Barriers: Black Panther and the Enduring Chasm between Africans and African Americans

By Stephanie Shonekan, Art, Music, and Pop Culture Contributing Editor

“The wise build bridges, the foolish build barriers,” King T’Challah tells the United Nations at the end of Black Panther. This sentiment resonated with me throughout the film. I was not thinking of the different world powers coming together on an equal footing to help each other and share resources. This is improbable and untenable in a hierarchical world where we still consider some countries third world and some first world. In this light, T’Challah’s statement is simplistic and cheesy. But as I thought about the relevance of this statement for the chasm between Africans and African Americans, it grew in profundity.  (more…)

Black Panther and Unforgivable Radicalism

By Christian Rozier “Without an image of tomorrow, one is trapped by blind history, economics, and politics beyond our control…Only by having clear and vital images of the many alternatives, good and bad, of where one can go, will we … Continue reading

Afrofuturism

Course Description: Afrofuturism is a black aesthetic practice that combines elements of African mythology, science fiction, African Diaspora history, magic realism and political fantasy in black expressive texts across multiple media and artistic forms. Rooted in the generalized practice of … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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

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