The Hunger Games actress, and QUEEN lAmandla Stenberg made a video titled “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows: A Crash Discourse on Black Culture,” which she posted to her tumblr. The video, which Amandla made with a classmate for history class, is an easy to digest, funny overview of the ways that mainstream U.S. culture appropriates the work and styles of African Americans, while continuing to treat actual black people like crap. Amandla references police brutality, cuts away to music videos that use black women like props, and shouts out Azealia Banks, who memorably spoke to Hot 97 about “cultural smudging.” I want to transcribe the entirety of this beaut and paste it all over things.
April 16 would have been Selena‘s 44th birthday. To celebrate her life and to mourn her loss, fans of the legendary Mexican-American singer posted love-missives and pictures of her all over social media. This roundup of some of the sweetest tributes to Selena, is so much love in one place that it’s kinda overwhelming. On April 30, Jennifer Lopez will pay tribute to Selena at the Billboard Latin Music Awards.
It’s been an entire year since over 200 girls were kidnapped from Chibok, Nigeria. Since then, some of the girls escaped Boko Haram and have returned home and gone back to school. But the majority are still missing. The founder of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign group, Obiageli Ezekwesili, spoke to the BBC World Service, and expressed her hope that the girls are alive: “Hope is everything. It’s only the dead who cannot hope. And so, it makes us feel terrible, but we can’t exhaust hope.”
South Africa has once again been engulfed by afrophobic and anti-immigrant attacks. The attacks started in the city of Durban after the amaZulu King Zwelithini’s speech in which he said, “We ask foreign nationals to pack their bags and go.” The intersection of nationalistic patriotism to the monarch (I really don’t get it!), hypermasculinity, the harsh realities of working class life, the government’s failure to provide social support, and a high unemployment rate has resulted in this recent wave of attacks.
The violence has spread to Johannesburg, where anyone even vaguely suspected of being a “foreigner” has been intimidated, beaten, driven out of their home, and their stores looted and set alight. In some instances people have been burned alive. Many of the attacks seem to be directed by colorism. Even South Africans are being attacked—anyone of a dark complexion is. Do you know how many family members and friends I have who are dark in complexion? I can’t even fathom this.
One good thing to counter the madness is that South Africans against xenophobia organised a peace bus and a march in Durban to protest and show solidarity with the victims of attacks. I feel distraught and helpless, but I’m joining other South Africans to collect clothes and food to donate to shelters. I hope that other African states sanction the hell out of South Africa to force the government to take more decisive measures against this kind of violence. A strong message needs to be sent about how intolerable it is that people are being senselessly killed.
Kim Taylor Bennett at Noisey did an amazing long interview with the Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas, a cult leader worshipped by leather jacket-clad youngs across the globe. They discuss Casablancas’ career from start to present: the Strokes of the early 2000s, his alternative label Cult Records founded in 2009, his current project Julian Casablancas + the Voidz, and the Strokes’ future plans to record new music! The interview is paired with great visuals that make the piece pop off the screen.
The godmother of punk, Patti Smith announced that she’s publishing a memoir titled M Train, which will be published this October. Her previous memoir Just Kids, described her experiences living in New York in the ’70s with her partner Robert Mapplethorpe. According to the article, M Train will chronicle her life—her daily habits as well as larger milestones. Added bonus: The book will also include original Polaroid images by Smith.
Last Sunday, Chance the Rapper and his music group The Social Experiment released a short film for the song “Sunday Candy.” I watched it eight times till my heart was so filled with flutters that I had to chuck my laptop across the room and run outside and dance in the street.
NEW STAR WARS TRAILER. OMG. I must have watched this thing about 15 times in a row. Is that a fallen Star Destroyer in the middle of a desert planet? There is also an X-WING, and TIE FIGHTERS, and NEW CHARACTERS, and most importantly, CHEWBACCA! As a kid, I remember watching the end of Return of the Jedi and wondering what comes next? I wanted to know more about the future in the galaxy far, far away after the Rebellion succeeded, and see what the lives were like for Han, Leia, and Luke. It’s so thrilling that after all these years, their stories will be told. Christmas cannot come soon enough!
Bookstores are some of my favorite places in the world: They’re where I go to recharge, check out new books and authors, and just soak up the general literary vibe. So I love that Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, plans to open a bookstore called Unlikely Story in his hometown of Plainville, Massachusetts. Not only is Unlikely Story a place where you can leaf through and buy rad stuff to read, it’s also home to Kinney’s writing studio, where visitors can see where the Wimpy Kid magic happens. Built on the site of an old general store, the new shop will serve Plainville residents for “at least seven generations more,” according to Kinney. ♦