#BlackLivesMatter ?

Hey Chatters,

I know its been a while since we’ve chatted, I have had a lot going on but I am back! So you can guess what today’s topic is after reading the title. If not today I want to talk about the Black Lives Matter Movement and why is has been so significant recently.

For a few weeks now there has been a trending picture on Instagram with a graduation robe laid over an empty seat in honor of a student that was killed. Bowie State University honored the loss of Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old student that was recognized as a U.S. Army lieutenant. Somewhat ironic because he was killed in the country he was sworn to protect by a civilian he would have died to protect. Collins was stabbed to death by Sean Christopher Urbanski, while waiting for his Uber to arrive on May 20th, three days before his graduation.

Before Collins it was 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, who was shot and killed by police officer Roy Oliver in Balch Springs, Texas. On April 29, Edwards a freshman in high school was coming home from a party when Oliver shot through the passenger window.

The list goes on and on, sadly. These two unjust killings are one in the same, both boys were said to have good character, good students in school, and were not portrayed as “thugs.” Like we’ve seen in the past, some will justify the killing of  innocent black males because of they were labeled as “thugs”. If you feel that justifying these recent killings is the right thing to do then you are part of the problem.

These recent killings of African Americans, as some of you may know has created an uproar not only among African Americans but also people apart of other ethnic and racial groups. In the midst of this uproar a movement was created the Black Lives Matter Movement. The movement was labeled as controversial because of its name. Many argued that BLM excluded other minorities that deal with the same issues. However the many people behind this argument did not identify with any minority group at all, in fact they are part of the majority. After the killing of Collins and Edwards I took a step back to evaluate BLM and its significance. This movement’s purpose was not to make people angry and exclude people it was a call for help.

The BLM Movement was a response from African Americans, telling the nation to look we matter. Although slavery has been over, for years blacks have been considered as being second class and having to work twice as hard to only get half as much. BLM in its prime made the Nation stop and take a second look at things. Some may say BLM has developed a protest culture in the United States but is that a problem? A place where individuals are inclined to freedom of speech, yet when exercising this right they are accused of always playing the victim.

I make these statements because I am tired.

Tired of seeing the same things on the News.

Tired of the apologies.

Tired of the fake remarks.

Tired of people not caring.

Tired of  it all.

I am simply TIRED.

Sincerely,

Mizani Ball

‘Damn.’ Kendrick

How’s it going Chatter?

In today’s blog I would like to discuss my opinion of Kendrick Lamar’s most recent album . Since his first debut in 2011 on the interlude ‘Buried Alive’ on Drake’s Take Care album, Lamar got the attention of everyone. On April 14, 2017, Lamar dropped his fourth album ‘DAMN.’ claiming his spot in the rap game.

I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine about  Lamar and the quality of his music. In the midst of this conversation we examined the Compton rappers ability to fit into popular culture. The time Lamar used to construct his album many people did not consider him as a top tier rapper. Although his lyrical quickness was the same if not better than the best in the game.

On this particular album ‘DAMN.’ Lamar decided to incorporate his feeling for the media, other rappers all the while embracing his hometown. After receiving negative attention from the media about a line in his song ‘Alright,’ Lamar  place a sound bite of news reporters discussing this line. This response to the media made it clear that the opinion of these people are irrelevant to him. Other than his message to the media Lamar also indirectly addressed the issued he has with other rappers. Many people speculate that the song ‘HUMBLE’ is a direct response to East Coast rapper Big Sean. These two rappers are said to have beef with each other after Lamar’s verse in ‘Control’ that shook the nation. To say the least Kendrick Lamar has claimed the throne by calling out everyone that ever questioned his skill.

Although Lamar has stood on the stage of the Grammy’s and worked with big name artist like Beyoncé, Drake, and Jay-Z, some would still look at him as a mainstream artist. Similar to Common, J. Cole and Chance the Rapper, Kendrick has been able to have a rhythmic pattern with his lyric, while incorporating a conscious message. One can infer that this style of rap is not favored by the main stream audience.But why is conscious rap not considered main stream? Some say because it does not sale, others may say its just not entertaining. Now I do not have the answer to this question but I would like to leave you with a question.

Links:

Five Takeaways from “Damn.”

NPR: Basking In Sin

Does music shape the world around us, or does the world around us shape our music?

XULA Spring fest was one for the Culture

Wassup Chatters,

This weekend was pretty lit here on Xavier University of Louisiana’s campus, because it was Spring fest. Xavier’s Spring fest is an annual event that consist of events such as a Fashion Show, Block party and a Concert. This year’s Spring fest I decided to be more involved by utilizing my Videography skills. Along with the help of my partner I was able to produce the theme release video, and Fashion show video for the festivities.

However, the most talked about element of this year’s Spring Fest was the many aspects of Black culture that was incorporated. At majority of the event from the food to the music all correlated to black culture. Xavierites also participated in the by the clothing they wore.

At this year’s Fashion show the theme was ‘C U L T U R E’. Where the night started off with clothing that resembled the Earth’s element: Earth, Wind, Water and Fire. The night continued with other eccentric clothing that highlighted Black culture from the bold colors and the use of African prints. Later during the evening, Edna Karr High School Band performed as the entertainment. Band’s at Historically Black Colleges or Universities are well known for their performances. Schools like Southern University of Louisana, Jackson State University and Prairie View A & M are Nationally known for their band.  Although Xavier does not have an official Band, the Fashion show incorporated that aspect of an HBCU. Moreover, the outfits that students wore to the show was one for the books. For the student that wore the best outfit got to walk the runway. To say the least, the overall aesthetic of the night was centered around the beliefs and culture of the black community.

LINKS:

Black Culture in 2015

Black Culture Connection

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