Category: Support Our Community

The L.A. Riots

April 29th marked the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots. Sad to say even though I was one years old at the time I am not caught up on my history. I spent that week wondering why many different television networks were covering the Rodney King beating and subsequent riots. Rodney King did extensive interviews on HLN with Dr. Drew and on CNN with Piers Morgan. In both interviews, King talked about the Trayvon Martin tragedy  and discussed his new book, “The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption.” Although it was not an interview, one surprising documentary featuring King aired on VH1 entitled : “Uprising: Hip-Hop and the L.A. Riots.” It was very informative and I enjoyed the way they blended telling the story of Rodney King and the riots while still inserting hip hop culture. As far as I know, this has never been done before and they did an excellent job.

If you can, please check that out. In the meantime, here’s a video to a full CNN documentary on the Rodney King beatings, 21 years later.

White House Correspondents Dinner 2012

Barack Obama once again proves that although he isn’t the funniest, he certainly knows how to have a good time at last night’s Correspondent’s Dinner.

“In my first term I sang Al Green. In my second term, I’m going with Young Jeezy. [Laughs] Michelle said ‘Yeaaah.’ I sing that to her sometimes.”

Many celebrities were in attendance at the gala including a slew of hip-hop and R&B stars. The artists in attendance included Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, and Swizz Beatz as well as actresses Viola Davis of The Help and Kerry Washington of Scandal.

Support for Justice: Trayvon Martin

Unless you live under a rock,you have heard about the tragedy in the past few months where a Florida neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on his way back home. This tragedy has broken the nation almost significantly as the lack of bipartisanship in this country.  My main objective in writing this post is to shed light on the reactions that are leading to events in my community.

  • On March 21, 2012 a “Million Hoodies” March was held in Union Square, NYC. Both Trayvon’s parents were in attendance and shared how heartfelt they were with the crowd. Over a million people have petitioned for the arrest of Zimmerman. Hundreds up to thousands of outraged citizens came out to protest on the streets of New York.
  • There will be an 1,000 Hoodie March in Springfield, Massachusetts on Saturday, March 31st. The event is sponsored by the Springfield Youth Network and the Alliance for Black Professionals. Protestors will gather at 10 AM in front of Springfield’s City Hall. Two buses will be leaving that morning from Westfield State University, so that Owl students can readily attend.
  • One of Westfield State’s newest club/organizations, the Hip Hop Congress, is inviting everyone to its first ever discussion panel in the Campus Center starting at 7:30pm. At 8:00 there will be a moment of silence for Trayvon and they are asking you to bring your hoodies. If you support the case for Trayvon or Hip Hop in general I urge you to come out to this event. It will not be a waste of time!!!

"If Hip Hop Was A Mirror" Panelist Discussion

I Will Always Love You Whitney

Rest in Peace Whitney Houston. Your legacy will live on.

This is my own personal tribute to Whitney Houston. Some may say days late. I retort, it’s never too late to pay your respects to a great legend.

I’ve come to watch tv less and less so when I heard the news I was on twitter and R.I.P. Whitney Houston was a trending topic. At first, I thought it was just another “twitter pranker” (for lack of a better term) fooling the masses into believing this. So, I double checked on Google.

I was shocked and hurt. I grew up to her music and her films. I was always hoping for her second comeback (the successful one — similar to Britney Spear’s and Chris Brown’s experience).

Now I won’t pretend like I listened to all of her music all the time. If she did come on the radio though, no one was turning the station! But I did have one song in particular in rotation off of her last album I Look to You (2009).

Here is: “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength”
performed at the 2009 AMA awards

(Even though you can tell performing was a struggle for her, I loved that she remained a true artist with a live orchestra and chorus and no lip-syncing whatsoever).