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Stephanie Shonekan

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; Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, and their fiercely political statement; Adele and her beautifully vulnerable moment when she bravely revised her tribute to George Michael on live TV; Chance the Rapper and Kirk Franklin merging hip hop and gospel like never before; and then, of course, Beyoncé’s highly anticipated appearance satisfied our collective curiosity about her ability to perform while pregnant. She killed it. (more…)

The Healing Powers of American Roots Music

By Stephanie Shonekan, Art, Music, and Pop Culture Contributing Editor During this year’s Grammy Awards Stevie Wonder reminded viewers to appreciate the “healing powers” of music. This lovely sentiment, as well as the well-loved adage that “music is a universal … Continue reading

Lioness of Lisabi: A Black Girl Power Story

by Stephanie Shonekan, Art, Music, and Pop Culture, Contributing Editor Reverberations of the assertion that Black Lives Matter have been heard and felt across the nation, on our street corners and in our communities, on college campuses, and in media … Continue reading

Confronting Anti-Blackness at Mizzou

By William C. Anderson, Race, Class and Immigration, Contributing Editor Around the country, Black students on college campuses have captured the nation’s attention and imagination with their determined protests against institutional racism. The University of Missouri, or Mizzou, has been … Continue reading

Why Selma Matters: A Mother’s Perspective

By Stephanie Shonekan, Art, Music, and Pop Culture On MLK day, I took our three teenage children to watch Selma. I worried about the film’s effect on them because I knew it would provide another heavy layer of heart-wrenching historical … Continue reading

Hip-hop and Ferguson: Black Rage, Don’t Shoot, Be Free

By Stephanie Shonekan In recent years, there has been a growing fear among some black music scholars, critics, practitioners, and partakers that its power as a significant expressive outlet for the community has been eroded. Commercialization, globalization, capitalism, media mania, … Continue reading

Lupita: One Small Step for Dark Girls?

By Stephanie Shonekan, Contributing Editor, Art, Music & Pop Culture In the week of April 21, 2014 People Magazine announced their long anticipated choice of “Most Beautiful Woman” Lupita Nyongo. It was not unexpected because the Kenyan actress had become … Continue reading