#TOORELATEABLE: GROWN-ISH’s JAZZ AND SKY SPEAK TO MY ENTIRE PERSONALITY AS A HOOD RAT ACADEMIC

Culture

By: STEVEN UNDERWOOD

Being black and an academic is hard enough without being impossibly ghetto as well. Not to speak of my background like its a flaw, but in the world of Academia, there seems to be little to no sympathy for the loud, outlandish and often-times bare knuckle politics that come from street life. GROWN-ISH has somehow found a way to incapsulate the endeavors people like me — like Jazz and Sky (played by Chloe x Halle) — endure whilst in Academia.

People mistake my loudness for a threat, or my passion for aggression. Your words  measured for literal and your prosecuted for it, and you learn a lot of what you perceived was right was in fact, so wrong it is humiliating you thought otherwise. However, there are other moments. Moments where you rightful outrage and disgust is turned into some cartoonish outburst of a toddler, and you are outwardly disrespected as some silly hoodrat with ridiculous tendency.

Yara Shahidi’s Zoey Johnson is definitely of an upper echelon. Her family is wealthy: and often she is disconnected from the problems of others. As her friends reveal, some people aren’t in college for the fun of it or the expectation: some people are carrying the legacies of their entire families on their back and a pressure to succeed that is as alienating as it is challenging. What doesn’t help is that the few black people — if you can even relate to them — sometimes don’t share your issues and, worse, reflect the white washed narratives of wealth you often try to escape.

The pivotal scene happened in the series’ fourth episode: “Starboy” where Zoey is trying to communicate her rejection of a formal relationship with her tutee, Cash Mooney (get the joke?). Zoey goes on her typical rant to her friends, throwing all of her problems at their feet and waiting for them to help (oddly, they always seem focused on only her problems and she’s starting to seem like a very bad friend). Things comedically, and momentarily escalate when Zoey calls the twins rediculous, and created one of the best exchanges in television. Period.

Swerve.

I hate to say power moves like this aren’t attempted in College between friends. But they are. There is an atmosphere amongst first time college students to try to replicate a hierarchy that just doesn’t work amongst mutually ambitious individuals. For most people, the idea that you shouldn’t be trying such tactics doesn’t occur until, perhaps, Junior year. However, the environment gets all too real when you’re being threatened and from a background that you combat threats not with words — but with action.

Don’t call me names. Don’t try to belittle my awareness or intelligence. Don’t sit there and smile while you’re doing it: I’m not gonna throw shade. I might just throw you.

A very reasonable response to an antagonistic behavior. Yet, the impulse that you are wrong is so strong, you second guess it and then, you end up apologizing for a very logical response to someone getting an attitude with you.

I’m enjoying this depiction of the many faces of College as a millenial. I think it’s very necessary to see characters like Jazz and Sky, characters who wrestle with their personalities and upbringing, but rejecting the notion you have to be ashamed of where you come from, rather you should be qualified to embrace it.

 

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#MAKEITMAKESENSE: WANDA SYKES JOINS THE MARCH, ‘Netflix offered me less than half’

Articles, Culture

By: STEVEN UNDERWOOD

WORDS TO KNOW: Misogynoiry – misogyny directed towards black women where race and gender both play roles in bias. It was coined by queer black feminist Moya Bailey.

Following Mo’Nique’s announcement and call for boycott of Netflix, Comedienne and actor, Wanda Sykes took to twitter to reveal her own experiences with Netflix and pay disparity.

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This pay dispute reveals a mutual pay out of $750,000 for two black women who’ve circulated 50+ years in the entertainment business. This news comes just after the 2nd Annual Women’s March and in the middle of the #METOO campaign, both of which Netflix has all but expressed support of #MeToo and female rights online and in production of “progressive” programming, leading others to question if the support is either performative measures for views or just egregious misogynoiry.

Wanda Sykes was the featured entertainer for the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner, mutually the first African-American woman and first openly LGBT person to perform this task.

Mo’Nique is amongst the most awarded comedians of our time, whom following an alleged blackballing from the wider entertainment industry due to a refusal to promote Precious, cultivated a career as a seasoned comedian and actress outside the influences of wider Hollywood.

Do you agree with the issue of pay disparity in the business? Comment below and follow us for more updates!

#DOSOMETHING: MO’NIQUE CALLS COMMUNITY TO BOYCOT NETFLIX FOR WAGE GAP

Articles, Culture

By: STEVEN UNDERWOOD

This past week, the community was called into action by Queen of Comedy, Academy-Award Winning, Oscar nominee, Mo’Nique when a pay dispute was unearthed for a potential comedy special with Netflix. Where comedienne, Amy Schumer was offered around $12 Million for her special, the veteran comedian, Mo’Nique, was offered only $500,000, revealing a grave pay disparity. Amid the crisis of #MeToo and other pay disputes, including BLACK-ISH’s own Tracy Ellis Ross, there has been arguments of color and gender biases not only with the streaming service, but other production companies – particularly in the light of GIRLS TRIP’s staggering success juxtaposed to the extremely low salary for the actresses involved (Tiffany Haddish) and relative snubbing at the Golden Globes.

In the spirit of fairness, Mo’Nique has invited her audience, fans and Community to participate in a boycott against Netflix for the disparity until fairness is applied.

Associates and Friends of Mo’Nique have taken to sharing Mo’Nique’s legacy of fairness and equality and the tremendous talent showcased by Mo’Nique over 50+ years of work in the entertainment business.

It is known that Mo’Nique poses great risk to her career for challenging Netflix and inviting a sense of equality from the streaming service. Mo’Nique is no stranger to risk, following an alleged blackballing from Hollywood after refusing to promote PRECIOUS just shy of her Academy Award nomination.

Do you agree with Mo’Niques choice? Comment, like and follow us for more updates!

#TRAILBLAZER: DIDDY OFFERS YOUNG H&M BOY $1 MILLION DOLLAR MODELING DEAL

Culture

By: Steven Underwood

Following the recent H&M Controversy, many black and black-coin profiteers  have found cause to take action to adequately punish the company. Musicians such as the Weeknd and G-Eazy have since cut ties from the company, despite the apologies issues by the company.

Never out done, Diddy apparently had a different idea.

According to TVONE,  Entrepreneur and Panther Owner-hopeful, Diddy has reached out to the brilliant young king in the photo and offered a deal worth a whole guap ($1,000,000 USD). There are yet no reports if the child’s representatives have accepted the deal.

How do you feel about this development? Comment below and follow us for more updates!

SOURCE: TVOne

#LOOKOUT: ‘STRONGEST KING IN THE WORLD HOODIE’ RESPONDS TO H&M CONTROVERSY

Culture, Fashion

By: Steven Underwood

While H&Ms racially exploitive hoodies have been removed both from both stores and their website — with artists like the Weeknd expressing their dissatisfaction and removal of support — the culture of social media has capitalized on the moment for a stance.

Artists have since remade the image numerous times to include inspiring messages of hope, pride and beauty (see below).

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Further. in response to the justful criticism of H&Ms “COOLEST MONKEY IN THE JUNGLE” hoodies, which depicted a small black child, 2Strongshop has released designs of their “Strongest King in the World” hoodies. Including a reasonable discount of $5.00 with the promo code “STRONGKING” the black community’s ability to make lemonade from the bitterest of lemons remains supreme.

In other news, let’s support Black artists and their vision of a better tomorrow both spiritually, emotionally and financially. Links to each of the artists may be found below.

Which is your favorite reimagining? Comment below and follow for more updates on fashion and culture!

All rights of the artwork depicted belong to Tarajosu, Phresh Laundry (@ThatLaundry), Kervin Andre (@Akomicsart), and Folasade (@lovefola)

#LOOKOUT: @MEECHONMARS RESTOCKS ‘YOU MATTER” MERCH

Articles, Fashion

By: Steven Underwood

Monday, Actor, Poet and Activist Demetrius Harmon or @Meechonmars announced restocks for his “You Matter” hoodies, available for international shipping, are coming Friday, January 12th to his site.

The hoodies feature a personal message from Harmon on things we tend to forget when discussing mental wellness.

Demetrius Harmon is best knowns for his plentiful contributions to Vine and his BE HAPPY short seen below.

Are you excited for the new merch? Comment below and follow for more updates!

SOURCE: Meechonmars

#LOOKBOOK: CHRISTIAN COMBS AND THE GOLDEN GLOBES

Fashion

BY: STEVEN UNDERWOOD

 

Danai Gurira for ROGUE Magazine’s Winter Issue #8

 

2018 Golden Globe #TimeisUp

 

Christian Combs for DOLCE & GABBANA

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Which is your favorite look? Comment below and Follow us for more updates!