During the era of social media and digital blitz, it’s a great time for journalists, bloggers and press buffs everywhere to chime in on their viewpoints of some of our most celebrated public figures. Chicago native Kanye West has maintained to stay in the headlines for two weeks straight with his continuous tweets of ‘Brother 45th’ and now the ‘over-the-top’ outbursts at the TMZ offices.
Now, if you’ve been a Yeezy fan like myself as well as an avid supporter throughout his career because we share mutual friends—I genuinely want to find some common ground in some of these ideologies. The exclusive one-on-one interview between Ye and radio personality, Charlamagne Tha God, released on Tuesday was one of the most revealing we’ve seen of him in a long while. The questions Charlamagne posed covered a great deal of what has challenged West in the last decade since his mother’s death in 2007.
Fans, friends, and colleagues have given him the benefit of the doubt despite his twitter rants and disruptive behavior based this massive loss of losing the one person who loved him unconditionally. Does he risk continued fallout? Dr. Donda West’s reputation as a long-time educator and former faculty member at Chicago State University was beloved in her hometown of Chicago. A single mom was raising a son in one of the most segregated cities in the country—battling a system that has hidden behind a Jim Crow foundation for decades. A town which boasts some of our leading Black figures in American history from Ida B. Wells, Robert Abbott, Lorraine Hansberry, Fred Hampton, Harold Washington, Rev. Jesse Jackson and countless others who have battled through racism and sexism cutting the shackles of 400 years of slavery.
Most of us can understand his artistry, respect his musical genius and tolerate his political stance but what we will not let fly is the disillusion of saying “slavery sounded like a choice.” No sir, we are not letting this one run AT ALL. West asks the newsroom, “Do you feel that I’m thinking being free is honest?”
TMZ reporter, Van Lathan answered back, “I honestly don’t think you’re anything. Kanye, you’re entitled to your opinion. There are facts and real-world consequence to everything you just said.” Lathan, a Black journalist continued. “While you are making music, making art and being a genius—the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats in our lives. We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years slavery that you said for our people was ‘a choice’. Frankly, I’m disappointed, appalled and brother—unbelievably hurt that you have ‘morphed’ into something to me that is not real.”
There is an accountability factor with public figures who have significant influence with their young fans and admirers. Although parenting should take precedence in raising our children—music and the creators behind the music have influenced movements. From the Civil Rights movement to the Black Lives Matter movement—taking a political stance has risks but to blatantly throw Black folks ‘under the bus’ is like a Jewish person saying the holocaust was a farce.
If there was no Harriett Tubman, risking her life to lead hundreds of slaves to freedom—saving families and creating generations of new wealth—there will be no ‘Kimye’ union. Fu*k a $20 bill, put her on a $100 to remind us why we MUST NOT FORGET.
Willie Wilson Leads the Puerto Rican Parade?
Yes, you heard right. Rumor has it, mayoral candidate Willie Wilson may be leading the year’s Puerto Rican parade as the Grand Marshall. For the past 40 years, the Puerto Rican parade and festival have become the highlight for Chicago base Puerto Ricans celebrating their culture and pride. It is one of the liveliest celebrations showcasing community organizations, youth groups, media and companies held on the third Saturday in June in Humboldt Park. The Grand Marshall is traditionally a Latino whose made significant contributions through public service, arts, and activism.
During an election season, organizations take a bipartisan role allowing equal ground for various candidates and politicians to participate without favor. In this case, we don’t know why the Puerto Rican parade planning committee would consider choosing a mayoral candidate as their Grand Marshall but there’s no doubt, it may be a solid strategy for the Wilson campaign to connect with Chicago Latino voters.
The Hiplet Dancers Still Rock
The Chicago Multicultural Dance Center (CMDC) hosted #BecauseWeCan dance fundraiser this past weekend at the Museum of Science and Industry. Founded by Executive Director Homer Bryant, the recital featured the talents of the schools’ advanced ballet students. One of the main attractions included CMDC’s Hiplet dance troupe whose dance style combining classical ballet and hip-hop dance moves have become an international craze. From Vogue to their appearance in various commercials and photo shoots—their videos have gone viral, inspiring young dancers around the globe.
Illinois State Senator (D-40) and CDMC parent, Toi Hutchinson was on hand to support and encourage attendees to donate because the program has cultivated many students to attend professional dance companies and colleges. WGN’s anchorwoman and former student, Gaynor Hall grew up in the school’s ballet program and was in attendance for the evening’s program and reception. President of 100 Black Men of Chicago, Carl Tutt and Executive Director of Quad Communities Development Corp., Rhonda McFarland were among the key supporters.
Many thanks to publicist Jada Russell, the CMDC staff, and parents who contribute to the success of a wonderful dance program.
We’re in the middle of Taurus season which can be a bit rocky because they are NO JOKE. They love hard, and they fight even harder.
Happy belated wishes to 20thWard community leader, Andre Smith, and radio consultant Tony Gray on May 1. Birthday celebrations to Cook County Commissioner Deborah L. Graham and political watchdog, Joe Lake on May 2. Love my girl, brand strategist Aria Wright; Democratic Cook County Commissioner candidate, Brandon Evans and Illinois State Outreach Director for the Governor’s office, Vince Bass on May 3. Sending long distance hugs to my West Coast buddy and music industry friend, Scott Gordon; Chicago native and dope DJ, Niena Drake; Illinois Treasurer Deputy Chief of Staff for Civic Engagement, Charise Williams; DJ Nell 7, Kelli Moore and Randy Scott on May 5. High fives to Andrea Thompson, and stage momma Joyce Kelly-Brown on May 6.
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