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Soundtrack

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My theme music, my score, my soundtrack
Full of beautiful black people like you and me
Singing about who they are, spitting about who they want to be
So excuse me, if you catch me in my zone with my headphones
I’m probably listening to Whitney’s vibrato asking “how will I know?”
Or getting mental with my boys Bell Biv Devoe
They stay bringing the noise and
I’m getting one on one lessons on how to be poison
But keep up, you need to pay attention
When it comes to records, I always got that New Edition
But I got to cool it now with some Teddy P.
Nodding my head as he tells me to wake up the world
So we get a new understanding you see
Then we got Tammi and Marvin starvin for affection
That my friends was a true love connection
And here come Smokey making miracles with his magic pen
That man will have you cruisin down the track of his tears
If there ever was one he was a true balladeer
Though when I’m feeling proud
I got to say it loud
I’m black, and that’s a natural fact
So while you grooving and getting down
You got to give it up and thank James Brown
But hold up, wait, I’m getting choked up
Thinking about how Sam Cooke spoke up
Talking about a change gone come
Yet we still waiting, so until then I’m gonna get me some of them smooth r&b remedies, that on the wings of love
That L.T.D
And you might just catch me falling
For those tall, talented, and tempting Temptations
As they sing about the innate beauty that lies within us all
Beauty is only skin deep
But love runs straight to the bone
Sticks and Stones may take a toll
But the rumpapumpum of drum roll can soothe my soul
Now I know I may joke and kid, but I definitely don’t play when it comes to my main man MJ
Forget the fortune, forget the fame
He had a catalogue to put the industry to shame
Off the Wall made me rock and sway
Thriller made me jump up and say mamasemamasamamakusa
But then I had to woosah because your boy turned bad and made the picture clearer
Had everybody in the world staring down the man in the mirror
Alright, let me step back, start speaking in all caps because I have to talk about rap
Fire spitting, switches hitting, inspiring lyricism that way too often took a back seat to harsh criticism
It started off cool and fun to the hip hip hop we didn’t stop
With LL Cool J, the bells we rocked
We also rocked steady with the diddly diddly d that was heavy
Alas, life got real, everybody on our back
So Ice Cube and the crew had to clap back
NWA, didn’t NW play, and they are NW here to stay
By the way R.I.P to the Eazy
One of the few to make this rap thing look way to easy
Rapping about switches and 8 ball sipping
Man I’m still tripping off the dope rhymes
I wish I had more time to talk about the past, the future, the present
Our music is so much more than rapping about dead presidents
So to God be the glory for this glorious stockpile, this musical inventory
Make sure to catch me vibing as Patti is wailing
Kid N Play misbehavin
You’ve entered my safe haven
And now that you know what makes me rattle, shake, and shiver
Just remember this one thing
It’s our music, signed, sealed, delivered.

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For The Culture

High School Students Stage Sit-In Protest Against Racism

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Students Protest

In response to how school faculty have handled a racist video, students of Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx have staged an overnight-sit-in protest. Dissatisfied with faculty’s response to demands to address racism on the school’s campus, students have rallied and locked staff out of the administration building until they reached an agreement.

Outrage Lead to Action

More than 200 high school students of the K-12 academy occupied the building to demand action. They were outraged by the response to a video which featured White students counting down before blurting racist, homophobic, and misogynistic slurs. The video gained attention after circulating Twitter and eventually being reported on by The New York Times. However, school administrative officials did the bare minimum by only condemning the video without stating a plan for disciplinary action. Knowing only one of the students involved had withdrawn from the exclusive academy, students developed a plan to hold staff accountable. Thus, Students of Color Matter was born.

The standoff between students and staff lasted for 72 hours before an agreement was met. Each day the students, who developed a Twitter, Instagram, and petition, posted demands to their accounts. March 11th, the students began with a statement on Instagram:

“We are here today in light of recent events imploring those who desire to see out institution more forward to stand in solidarity with the students of color and white allies of the Ethical Culture Fieldston Community. Today a lockout will take place in the administration building (the 200s) as a means to force our administration to acknowledge the concerns we’ve been bringing to their attention over the past several years”

After outlining the reason for their cause, Students of Color Matter organizers detailed updates as well as their demands.

All or Nothing

The administration was sent an email by students which resulted in the head of the school, Jessica Bagby, alerting parents and students that “Fieldston campus will operate on a normal schedule.” The students also integrated a hashtag, which added pressure due to its discovery by major media sources. Despite the non-violent protest, there were two physical altercations which involved a history teacher and a parent attempting to enter the closed facility. Jessica Bagby’s inadequate response to the students’ demands and inability to commit to change is what ultimately caused the 72-hour standoff.

As of March13th, the students had roughly 3,000 signatures on their petition. Housed on their Students of Color Matter website, the organization calls for the following:

The use of racist and bigoted language are symptoms of systemic and institutional racism that plague educational institutions across the country. For this reason, we command the implementation of structural reform, such as long term curriculum changes, the admittance of more students and faculty of color, and racial sensitivity training for all community members.”

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Jaden Smith Brings Mobile Water Filtration System to Flint

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Jaden Smith Water Box

Flint, Michigan has been ravaged by a bad city-wide deal that resulted in tainted water for nearly five years. Now, Jaden Smith’s startup may provide a solution to the city’s needs water needs.

Called “The Water Box”, Jaden’s mobile water filtration device was unveiled in Flint at First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church. Able to produce 10 gallons of clean drinking water per minute, the actor-rapper turned philanthropist hopes the invention will help the community. Housed within the church, which previously distributed over 5 million bottles of water to the community, residents will be able to fill any container of their choice with clean water. However, they are required to do so during distribution times.

After Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder ended the free bottled water program initiated by the state, Jaden and crew stepped up through JUST Water. JUST Water is a company that Jaden Smith became a partner of at just 12 years old. The company, which “combines for-profit energy and non-profit motives,” began from a desire to develop a filtration system to benefit poorer areas and nations. Making clean water more accessible, the company first launched in August 2018 in the UK.

Speaking about his community effort, Jaded remarked, “This has been one of the most rewarding and educational experiences for me personally. He added,” Working together with people in the community experiencing the problems and designing something to help them has been a journey I will never forget.” Jaden Smith plans to continue deploying more filtration systems across the city to benefit those in need and looks forward to aiding more places experiencing similar issues.

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Jussie Smollett | In The Middle

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