Thursday, April 26, 2018

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Teens Continue To Fight

Make sure you all check out #GoodKidsMadCity ; the name was of course inspired by Kendrick Lamar’s album. This group of teens created an advocacy group after the shooting at Parkland in Florida, and they stand in support of the students of color at Parkland, who they believe were underrepresented. #GKMC are comprised of students in Chicago, DC and Baltimore, and they’ve gotten together to organize against gun violence within their communities and across the country.  These students also speak out and stand up against any unfair decisions being made by city and government officials within their local communities.  #GKMC have been very vocal, speaking out against Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, for closing public schools in Black and Latino neighborhoods, affecting over 12,000 students mainly in low income neighborhoods of color.

In Chicago, students are fighting against the city closing many of their schools, not providing adequate services to students, and not being given the necessary resources for their inner city schools.  For example, in December the school board closed five additional schools.  Because the city lacks resources, they also let students out early because the school lacked heat – in Chicago!  Students were coming to school with additional layers of clothing on in order to stay warm while trying to get an education.  Really, how is a student supposed to learn properly within these conditions?

This is just one of the many problems that are plaguing some of these students in larger inner cities.  We haven’t even gotten into the gun and gang violence that affects Chicago, DC, and Baltimore.  The city  should be grateful that there are a number of youth who have decided to speak out and demand action.  These students are now raising money through GoFundMe, the students are demanding: Investment in youth employment, Investments in wrap-around services in schools (Trauma-Informed Schools- health), Equitable School funding, and Investment in mental health.  You can log on to the GoFundMe page and read the details of their demands.  #GKMC is trying to raise $10,000 in order to continue their fight against the people in power, violence prevention methods, and support of the local youth who have decided to take a stand and fight for their future.  Click Here To Support #GKMC


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Every year Columbia University hands out Pulitzer Price awards to those they consider the best and elite in various forms of writing.  Writers from Newspapers, Magazines, Music, Online Journalism and Literature are honored for their talent, creative expression, and timeless work. This year, many are excited hear about two of these award winners; Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah and Kendrick Lamar.

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah is receiving a Pulitzer for writing about something that still affects many of us til this day.  She wrote the piece: “A Most American Terrorist: The Making Of Dylann Roof”.   She spent month right here in South researching Roof’s family members, teachers, friends, and the victims’ family and associates, to find out more about one of the most evil people this country has ever seen. This is the first Pulitzer win for any journalist from GQ magazine.  According to the New York Times, 36-year-old Ghansah stated she first thought her piece would be centered around the family of the victims but that “it felt inappropriate to keep probing them while allowing Dylann Roof to have the sanctity of silence we often afford white domestic terrorists.”  

On yesterday, Ghansah even had Ava Duvernay shout her out on Twitter, where she described her as “a mighty mind and a vital voice.”

The Pulitzer committee chose Ghansah for the “Feature Writer” award because they felt her piece was a,  “unique and powerful mix of reportage, first-person reflection and analysis of the historical and cultural forces.” 

Read Ghansah work here

Kendrick Lamar

Source: DAMN video

Kendrick Lamar is also being honored for the album DAMN and is making history; this is the first hip-hop work to earn a Pulitzer Prize Award.  This is a win for the culture!  The Pulitzer committee described DAMN as:

“a virtuostic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African American life.”

Hank Williams, Bob Dylan and Kendrick Lamar are the only non-classical or jazz musicians to be recognized for this honor.

This year, the Pulitzer Prize committee chose some epic pieces, including photography and and breaking news, for these awards.  You can review the entire list here.


Source: New York Times

Syllabus Magazine, the Carolina’s source for Music, Culture and Fashion

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Where In The World Is Murderer Dan Hiers

We all know Chris Hanson from “How To Catch A Predator”, but Chris is also the host of Emmy award winning “Crime Watch Daily”, a syndicated investigative news magazine series. “Crime Watch Daily” explores unsolved murders and shocking crimes, and takes viewers on a brief journey in the lives of the victims and their perpetrators.  This week, CWD featured Dan Hiers, a former Charleston County police officer and one of the most sought after fugitives on the U.S. Marshall’s Most Wanted list.

Before his disappearance, Dan had been accused of molesting an 8 year-old girl and had been turned in by her mother to the police.  On the morning he went to resign, his wife was found in her bed with a gun shot wound to the head.  Dan 10 years ago and the police claim they have searching for him ever since. The question that CWD asked was “is he a kind-hearted cop, or a cold-blooded killer who shot his wife in the head?”

Below you can watch parts 1 and 2 of Crime Watch Daily’s video “Cop Accused of Murder, Molestation”
Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2




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Fake Activism

Facebook is the land of fake stunting, fake fronting, fake rich lifestyles, fake love, and fake news – but fake activism?  Yes, fake activism!  Now that so much is being released about the ties that Facebook, Russian bots, and the 2016 election has had on our democracy, Facebook has been slowly informing us of how much of our personal information, the pages we love, and even some of the people we follow have all been tainted on the most powerful media platform in the world.  Today we learned that the biggest Black Lives Matter movement page on Facebook is a scam.

The page was titled Black Lives Matter and was run by a middle-aged white man living in Australia.  CNN investigated this page that had over 700,000 followers – which is more than the “official” Black Lives Matter page.  Not only is this page fake, but they managed to help raise at least $100,000 that they said were going to Black Lives Matter causes around the United States.  In a CNN investigation, they learned that some of this money was transferred to Australian bank accounts.

Of course the page has been cancelled, but this is yet another black eye for Facebook who has been struggling for the last month to explain personal information being released to private entities, Russian spies and bots, and Facebook’s ties to Trump and his researchers.  Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress and discussed some of the changes Facebook is making to combat so much of the fake representation that’s been plaguing the platform.  Zuckerberg now says that Facebook will make people who run large pages, identify themselves and their location.

Facebook Knew

But, it’s not like Facebook wasn’t aware of the fake BLM page.  According to CNN, Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of BLM, informed Facebook that the page was fake “some time ago”, and asked for it to be removed. Not only did the Australians have the fake page and a Like page, but they also had a very large Facebook group called “Black Lives Matter” with 40,000 members.

Ian Mackay, is the person suspected of setting up this fake page, along with other pages tied to black issues. Mackay also registered,, etc.; the person(s) behind these accounts asked people to donate money for their “causes”.  When CNN reached out Mackay, he denied ever owning these pages, he stated: “I once bought the domain name only and sold it.”

Yesterday, Facebook disabled some of Mackay’s other Facebook profiles he used to run some of the BLM pages.  The Donorbox and Paypal accounts they used to raise funds were also suspended.

This is unfortunate for so many hardworking Black Lives Matter members.  Many of them actually have boots on the ground, and are in communities doing real work.  Many articles lately have described the real struggles that go on behind the scenes for some of these activists and what they have endured.  Barely making it, many of these community activists are trying to fight for causes, pay bills, maintain a healthy lifestyle – while simultaneously putting their lives and health at risk.  These organizers depend on donations in order to barely survive.

Deray McKesson had this to say to CNN:

“It’s important to remember the movement was organic and no organization started the protests that spread across the country.  The consequences of that is it hasn’t been easy to think about authenticity in the digital space.”

Also, the fact that Facebook is only releasing this information and shutting down pages, AFTER they had to testify in front of Congress is disturbing. Every week we are receiving more and more details about some of the things they knew about, but simply let go on without caring about the consequences.

Source: CNN

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Crown, probably made in Gondar, Ethiopia, around 1740. Museum no. M.27-2005. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Killmonger would not be proud!

150 years ago, Ethiopia had hundreds of artifacts stolen during the 1868 capture of Maqdala.  These artifacts, which include a solid gold crown and a royal wedding dress, are currently a part of a beautifully sad display, featured in a UK museum.  In 2007, Ethiopia filed a claim to take back the artifacts that had been stolen from the capital of Emperor Tewoodros II, which was called Abyssinia at the time.  Of course, in pure COLONIZER fashion, Ethiopia’s claim was rejected, however the head of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, suggested a compromise.

The director of the UK museum, Tristam Hunt said, “the speediest way, if Ethiopia wanted to have these items on display, is a long-term loan…that would be the easiest way to manage it.”

Maqdala 1868

The UK museum has already started promoting an event that will display 20 of the stolen Ethiopian artifacts, which will commemorate the battle at Maqdala. In this so-called battle, there were several British residents being held hostage in Abyssinia because they were on, what they call – a “British Expedition” (basically, they were scoping out the land).  General Sir Robert Napier gathered his troops, and by troops there were: 13,000 British and Indian troops, 26,000 camp followers, and 40,000 animals, in order to take on Ethiopian Emporer Tewodros II.  They stormed the fortress, released the hostages, and recorded the Emperor’s death as a suicide.  They took with them anything that could be sold in order to raise funds for their military.

“Tewodros’s son, Prince Alemayehu. Terunesh’s death left the prince an orphan at just seven years old. He was placed under the guardianship of a British army officer, Captain Tristram Charles Sawyer Speedy.” Photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, July 1868, Isle of Wight, Britain. Museum no. RPS.707-2017. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

You can read the full statement from Tristam Hunt on the museum’s website about how they are “working” with the Ethiopian and Rastafarian communities in London.

“As custodians of these Ethiopian treasures, we have a responsibility to celebrate the beauty of their craftsmanship, shine a light on their cultural and religious significance and reflect on their living meaning, while being open about how they came to Britain. Maqdala 1868 marks the beginning of what we hope will be an ongoing dialogue about the history of these objects and their place in our national collection today.

The display has been organised in consultation with the Ethiopian community here in London, and is the result of strong collaboration, generous support and valued advice. I’d specifically like to thank His Excellency Dr Hailemichael Aberra Afework and the Ethiopian Embassy in London; members of the Ethiopian Heritage Fund and the Anglo-Ethiopian Society; members of the Orthodox Tewahedo Church; and members of the display’s advisory group.

I think this close collaboration really underscores the continuing significance of these objects to communities in Britain and beyond, whilst enabling a vital new understanding of the collection’s significance. With this important free display, we are pleased to share these objects with a new V&A audience, to encourage a better – and a wider – understanding about these objects’ difficult past and their rich Ethiopian cultural heritage.” –Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A

Maqdala 1868 runs from April 5th – July 2019 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, in the Silver Galleries, Room 66. Admission is free.  2018 also marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Emperor Tewodros. SIGH!!


Source: Victoria and Albert Museum

Syllabus Magazine, the Carolina’s source for Music, Culture and Fashion



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