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Heroes and Villains: Is Hip-Hop a Cancer or a Cure?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFas9cd8ZZ8 When we prostitute things like misogyny and violence for the sake of entertainment, we perpetuate villainous ideas as heroic. Hip hop is one of our generation’s perpetrators, but is also the art form that can turn this ship around. Lecrae is quickly developing into one of the biggest music stories of the year and his Cinderella rise has been noted everywhere from RollingStone, XXL Magazine, Vibe Magazine, The New York Times, The Atlantic, the cover of The Huffington Post to industry trades such as Billboard Magazine, Variety and Vulture. His performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, perfectly timed with his album’s release, had fans buzzing as he performed multiple hit records from Anomaly. He’s performed at the BET Experience, co­hosted The Dove Awards, co-­headlined the highest ticketed tour in the country (Winter Jam) and received a nomination for Best Impact Track at this year’s BET Hip Hop…

Naming Gendered and Sexual Identities within Blackness

An excerpt from As Black as Resistance: Finding the Conditions for Liberation, AK Press, released June 5, 2018

By William C. Anderson and Zoe Samudzi

Any truly liberatory politics must speak to the unique needs and vulnerability of Black women and girls, particularly Black queer and transgender women and girls. There are ongoing murders of Black trans women across the country (and trans women around the world) because women’s safety is a non-priority of the state and because patriarchal gender structures are ultimately grounded in transmisogyny. Black women are also being hunted, but this hunting season (unlike the open season on Black men) is grossly under-addressed because of the frequent de-gendering of antiracist politics, the invisibilization of Black women through diversity language like “women and people of color” that overlooks the intersections of race and gender, the erasure of Black women within “women of color,” and understandings of how state violence against Black people focuses on the humiliation and emasculation and almost sole targeting of cisgender black men. A politics of self-defense cannot ignore the intersections of white supremacist state violence and its manifestations of intra-communal violence against Black women (trans and cis), as well as multiply marginalized members of Black communities more widely.

On the Assassination of Afro-Brazilian Activist Marielle Franco

By Scholars for Social Justice

We, Scholars for Social Justice (SSJ) express our outrage over the political assassination of Marielle Franco and Anderson Pedro Gomes, both killed on March 14, 2018 with bullets proven to belong to Brazil’s Military Police. The loss of Marielle Franco is a singular, immense and painful loss for her family, for the black community and for those interested in social justice in Brazil, and around the world. It is also a solemn reminder of the systemic nature of anti-black state violence and genocide.

The Tea Project Fasts, Reflects and Imagines

By Amber Ginsburg and Aaron Hughes

Course One: Sweet Hot Tea

In a recent conversation with one of his lawyers, Mohamedou said that he holds no grudges against any of the people he mentions in this book, that he appeals to them to read it and correct it if they think it contains any errors, and that he dreams to one day sit with all of them around a cup of tea, after having learned so much from one another.—Author’s Note from Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi[1] 

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?

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 is why I gave the playlist the name I did. At the time, I did not think I would be making another, and I made it pretty long so it would have longevity without growing repetitive too quickly. But after an enthusiastic response from many people, I decided to make another playlist for the New Year ahead.

The Cause That Is Care

By William C. Anderson

During the intense final moments of my mother’s life, I learned the intricate truths of the cause that is care. Dedicating myself to my mom’s caretaking helped me develop my own understanding of praxis. How we choose to live our lives is a reflection of our everyday politics. Care, simply put, is how we meet the needs of those we cherish in our families, communities, and the greater world we live in. Being tied to someone for the sake of helping them maintain their life, safety, and security is something many people may avoid doing. Others often feel compelled to care for loved ones, sometimes because we have no other choice but to do so, but also because we want to be there for for our loved ones in times of hardship and sickness.

Can stories create justice?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3yzmTWA3Bw For the past 40 years, the United States has shipped far more of its citizens off to jail than any other country, and the nation is now paying the price with a corrupt and bloated prison system, broken families, and the permanent alienation of large chunks of society. Piper Anderson is working to reverse the culture of punishment by facilitating community storytelling. Although the problem may seem overwhelming, we can start to solve it by simply listening.

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