I remember the first time I knew I was black - I was five years old and a group of kids in my kindergarten class were going to play Power Rangers. I called Pink Ranger and another little girl looked me in the face and said I couldn't be Pink Ranger, because Kimberly was white and I was black. The next year I couldn't go spend the night at my best friend's house, because her father didn't want a black person in his home. I had a complicated relationship with my blackness for years. I spent years not understanding or accepting my blackness because I wasn’t sure where it left me in the world.I wasn’t black enough to be black and I wasn’t white enough to be white. For years, I identified with white culture, and I wanted to fit in with whiteness - I was a baby goth and a complete nerd, things heavily identified with whiteness. I didn’t identify with black culture - I hated church, I didn’t like Tyler Perry movies, and I wasn’t into hip-hop music. However, Black culture is so much deeper than that, andthe media didn't/doesn't want people to know that. Unfortunately that superficial glance was all that was fed through the media for years and, that’s what people saw, that's what I saw. Blackness is bad. Blackness is sad slave movies. Blackness is ghetto and loud and harsh and less than. I thought I could not succeed and be the person I wanted to be and be black. No skinny ass emo goth boy would ever date me, love me, because of my blackness. I was always told that I was smart for a black girl, pretty for a black girl, talented for a black girl...and that clearly meant my intelligence, beauty, and talent would never measure up. But then I got older and I read books by Zora Neale Hurston and bell hooks. I took Sociology and Black Studies and Theater classes with professors who understood blackness. I listened to A Tribe Called Quest and watched films with Sidney Poitier, and really listened to, not just heard Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. I voted for Barack Obama. I began to de-colonize myself. I reclaimed my blackness. I am the great-grandaughter of a man who was born a slave and died the owner of the largest farm in Louisinana. I am the grandaughter of a man who only had an eighth grade education, the man who laid the blueprint that Century City Mall still sits in, the man who was awarded five metals in World War II. I am the grandaughter of one of the Rosie the Riveter's and COGIC royalty. I am the daughter of Acquanetta - top of her class in law scool, an ordained minister (who was ordained when women just didn't do that) and biblical scholar, mother to three brilliant successful children. I am black. We are in a golden age of black media - positive and deverse portrayals of black people abound. And when I walked out of the theater after seeing Black Panther the first time - my god, how I cried. I didn't just cry for me - I cried for the little girls who get to go to kindergarten this year and get to be Nakia, Okoye, or Shuri on the playground and no one gets to say a damned thing to them about who they can be and what they can do. Wakanda Forever!
so, you might’ve noticed there were no new albums released yesterday. or maybe you didn’t. but here i am to tell you, there were no new albums released yesterday.
why not? album release day has been moved to friday. starting last friday, july 10th, albums will now be released on fridays in the majority of the world. the international federation of phonographic industry made the call citing piracy, social media, and generating excitement as the main reasons for the decision.
i don’t think i’m a fan of this decision so far…i like new music coming out on tuesday. it perks up the middle of my drab week. it gets me through to the weekend. movies come out on friday! do i go see a movie or listen to this album i’ve been waiting for all week long? does it really matter with the internet? how is this really going to stop piracy? ugh, i hate change. seriously though, what am i supposed to do now to get me through the week? new music tuesday has been new music tuesday all of my life and i used it to break up the monotony of the school and later work week. beyonce and drake certainly shook things up and made me happy with their surprise! friday albums, but i don’t want to wait until the end of the week for everyone, especially considering i most likely won’t get around to listening to these albums until after the weekend is over anyway. let’s be real, i’m so behind on listening to new albums anyway, this just makes it that much worse.
you can continue to look toward my twitter for micro music reviews, and if i feel an album is life changing and need to wax poetic about it, then check me out here.
ps. go cop that new hilary duff and thank me later.
Got caught up in a very intelligent dialogue yesterday about music videos and visual literacy. I replied to a comment with the following and was so happy to be reminded of why do what I do; As a practitioner of media I think it would be irresponsible to stop creating and responding to media just because people choose to read it at a surface level. Visual media is immediate, and that's one of the reasons it has the capacity to be so powerful; anyone can have access to it. That doesn't mean everyone will understand it; the same way that when "Their Eyes Were Watching God" was assigned reading in my high school English class most people tuned out and didn't get it. It's a tomato/tomahto thing. Some people will write it off, someone else will be inspired.
I’m always so humbled when people believe in my voice and my writing, and so stoked when I get to share it. So this is a BIG MOMENT for me. Shout out to my main, Annelisa from HOFisbetter, for making this happen!