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Van Lathan’s Response to Kanye West Was Spot On

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Dear Van Lathan,

Let me first say that I spent the majority of my college years listening to Kanye West. “The College Dropout” was literally everything. Even now at 35-years-old, I have a playlist dedicated to his music not only from that album but “Late Registration” and “Graduation”.

Even back then Kanye would go off on his little rants and tantrums which I excused as someone who, like myself, had growing to do. I watched the Hurricane Katrina telethon when Kanye said the now infamous line, “President Bush does not care about black people!”.

via GIPHY

I was happy that he voiced what many of us African-Americans was feeling at that time. It was kitchen table and barbershop conversation that Kanye was bold enough to say. As time went on his outspoken nature changed into outlandish antics. His antics were starting to muffle his voice and could not support it. Kanye seemed to have gone a hiatus and we were given a poor imitation to replace him.

When he started his Twitter tirade last week praising Donald Trump and sporting a MAGA hat I thought that “old Kanye” might be lost for good. It wasn’t until today after I saw his TMZ interview where he stated that slavery was a choice that I realized that “old Kanye” is dead and gone and what we have now is a shell of a man.

I had in my head all the things I would have said to him if I was there. All the things I would have said to this man who rapped about his grandfather taking his mother to sit-ins when she was 6-years-old saying, ‘With that in my blood I was born to be different’.

It wasn’t until after I saw his TMZ interview where he stated that slavery was a choice that I realized that “old Kanye” is dead and gone and what we have now is a shell of a man. Click To Tweet

This man that said, ‘Racism still alive they just be concealing it’.

This man that waxed poetic on tracks like ‘Heard Em Say’, ‘Crack Music’, ‘Diamonds From Sierra Leone’ remix.

But before I could even step outside of my disgust to form a clear thought you got up and spoke my heart. Everything I have felt towards this man throughout the years you spoke out on. You stepped outside your role, stepped from behind your desk and delivered the address that it would appear no one has had the courage to give Kanye to his face. It was a much-needed reality check.

You spoke to the fact that he, along with other entertainers, celebrities, and athletes, can escape into the privilege that their money and fame have earned them, while the rest of us have to deal with reality.

With sound. My bad

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A reality that at times can be dark, painful, terrifying and stifling when you are trying to flourish or just plain survive as a black person living in America. A reality that many of us became used to at a very young age. A reality that our non-black counterparts could never understand or relate to.

Whether Kanye took anything from what you were saying at all is honestly not important but the fact that you went out on the limb to speak up made me proud. You could have sat back in that room of your majority non-black colleagues and pretended not to hear any of this but instead, you spoke out. For that my dear Mr. Lathan, you have my respect.

 

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LeBron James Opened an $8 Million School?!

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TIME

LeBron James just opened an $8 million public school called I Promise, where kids will have access to free bikes, free meals, free uniforms, free transportation within 2 miles, and much more! The school is for at-risk students in Akron, Ohio who are usually overlooked.

Twitter loved this news. A few even called for LeBron to replace Betsy Devos, the current Secretary of Education.

While many celebrated the opening of this school, many also rightfully noted that no one person should have access to that much money or be in control of the lives of that many students. This led to many discussing socialism and what this type of school could look like if not funded by a private citizen.

 

What are your thoughts on the school? This is overall a great thing, but do you think celebrities, or any rich person, should be able to hoard enough money to do this on their own?

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Huffington Post’s ‘Black Voices’ Gets Called Out For Having White Writers

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Lara Witt-Twitter

Lara Witt—editor of the feminist publication, Wear Your Voice Magazine—pointed out on Twitter that majority of the writers for the Huffington Post’s Black Voices editorial are…white.

The editor for Black Voices, Taryn Finley, is a Black woman, a Delta, and a Howard University graduate. How is it that the company felt comfortable enough hiring what seems like a token Black person to run the site, but did not feel the need to pay other Black writers to be a contributor? Black Voices claims to be sharing “our news” and “our voices,” but this cannot be true when it is non-Black people who are writing the stories. No matter how much Taryn edits for them, the stories are still not ours.

We have seen time and time again how white people will slap the word “Black” on a source of entertainment and feel justified in keeping their voices centered in that space. We’ve seen it with Viacom through BET and now we see it through Black Voices, which is owned and, apparently, operated by white people. If Huffington Post wants to fix this, they need to hire Black writers. There is nothing else to it.

 

Thoughts?

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A Black President Before A Black Photographer: Vogue, This Ain’t It

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126 years and Vogue has never had a black cover photographer… The United States of America and all of its racism elected a Black president before Vogue allowed a Black photographer to shoot for their cover.

I’m not sure if this is even something we should celebrate. Congratulations to Beyoncé for getting on the cover of the September issue of US Vogue and reportedly having “unprecedented access” to create whatever she wants apparently. But had it not been for this, when would Vogue have decided it was time for a Black photographer?

The United States of America and all of its racism elected a black president before Vogue allowed a black photographer for their cover. Click To Tweet

Come to find out this may be Anna Wintour’s last cover as CEO, according to Huffington Post. Beyoncé has hired Tyler Mitchell, a 23-year-old from Atlanta, GA. He will be the first Black photographer to shoot a cover in Vogue’s 126-year history. The photographer and filmmaker has worked with several known brands from Mercedes Benz to Marc Jacobs and Givenchy. This is an amazing opportunity for Mitchell and I’m confident that he will shake the f*ck out of the table in September.

To learn that he will be the first is a proud and sad moment for me. When first hearing the news and the details, I was ecstatic and wanted to know what Bey would be cooking up for the girls this fall, but then I sat in my bed and read some of the titles again and “first Black” and “126 years” kept coming up. I sent a quick text to Taryn Myers—an editor and writer for KingofReads.com—and told her how I felt. It didn’t come to her at first, but the wheels started to turn and she shared something important: “Vogue has been one of the primary messengers about what beauty, wealth, fashion and culture is right?” So to know that they’ve been pushing what is beauty for many years, even in this supposedly “progressive” state we’re in now, and we’re just now getting a Black photographer cover in 2018 speaks volumes.

“The First Black” I expect when we’re talking about government, since America has been ran and founded by white men. I shouldn’t be surprised since most of the publications are ran by those who are for Black and Brown people when capitalism calls them to it. These companies don’t truly care about us because and I don’t think they all of the sudden got it or it hit them. The beautiful Beverly Ann Johnson was the first Black woman to appear on the cover of Vogue in 1974 and even she probably wasn’t allowed to hire a Black photographer.

Nonetheless, Beyoncé and Tyler will create some Black magic for the September cover and Vogue will think that they have done something “progressive” to help them sleep in their white sheets at night not realizing that given tardiness is about as damaging as white sheets with two holes in it.

 

 

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