“You hear whites talk about “Well, [slavery] was back there. We don’t have anything to do with that anymore.” And it’s an amazing situation because you have to remind them that you are still living off the interest of the wealth that your forefathers earned from slavery. You are still enjoying the accumulated wealth that began with the enslavement of our people. And if you are going to enjoy the wealth that was generated by evil, then you must take the curse that comes along with it. And therefore, because you have received stolen goods you must pay the price as well; because you fight and struggle to protect those stolen goods, and you defend them, and you organize your society and your relationship to our people to maintain them and to continue to enhance them.”—Dr. Amos N. Wilson (via disciplesofmalcolm)
Richard Brodydiscusses “The Panic in Needle Park,” Jerry Schatzberg’s 1971 feature film:
“Schatzberg, a native New Yorker, doesn’t romanticize the tough lives and grimy surroundings of the drama’s mainly young heroin addicts. He observes the neon-lit hallways and uninviting coffee shops with a rueful fascination; he reveals the economic, legal, and moral pincers in which addicts get caught; and he doesn’t leaven his view of his characters’ dilemmas with amateur sociologizing.”
"The NFL culture, the sports culture, has decided that they are more valuable than women," Crews believes. "I’ve heard people laugh about keeping their pimp hand strong and keeping her in control so that she knows her place. But think about how evil that is for one man to think that he’s actually more valuable than a woman, because as a human being you’re worth is immeasurable."
Inspired by scenes from the cult classic film Paid in Full, the folks over at Dealers have decided to pay homage to the story with a series of sharp tees. Featuring four minimalistic pieces depicting scenes from the movie, the line is not only endearing, it provokes urban folklore into flirting…
I know that Black creativity has saved your life many times before. I know, because I’ve seen it happen. I’ve listened as non-Black people in my communities raised on Hip Hop talked about how it was the only relatable, empowering culture they found that also educated and radicalized them as a youth. It was formational. I’ve watched people become politicized, shaping their new political identities after bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Assata Shakur, Angela Davis and Frantz Fanon. I’ve watched as folks become activist celebrities using radical ideas from Black Power and Civil Rights movements to shape programs that do not benefit Black people. I’ve watched as people make livings and loads of social capital off of DJing Black music, dancing, walking and dressing like Black people, selling the Black aesthetic to others. I’ve heard that friends use Nina Simone and Sade to sing them back from depression, Rihanna and D’Angelo to get them in the mood. So many people in my communities, lately, have been using Octavia Butler to renew their hope for radical futures. Without Black people, what would your lives be? You might be thinking, you know, it’s so much more complicated than all this, race is complex, we’re all part of the human family, etc., etc…
Black art is not free for all damaged souls. When Nina sang about strange fruit, she was talking about a lynching…of Black people. When Black rappers say Fuck the Police, they speak to a state system of lynching…Black people. Your pain and isolation, however real it may be, is not the same as being Black. Your self-adoption into hip hop and djembe drumming and spoken word, makes our art forms all about you. You, however well meaning, have stolen Black labour and invention and used it for your own purpose. It warps the medium and changes the message, the magic, the healing. From now on, consider how the cost of consuming, appropriating, regurgitating, and getting your life in multiple ways from Black art, Black culture, and Black peoples’ creative genius detrimentally impacts our lives. Being Black in an anti-black world means experiencing daily attacks that threaten our dignity, our happiness, our freedom, and often our lives; and in order to enjoy Black culture, you’re going to have to take action to help get these back.
But because Black people’s labour, language, intelligence, creativity, and survival arts have always been considered free for the taking, you probably didn’t feel ways about using it. You probably didn’t think twice. Black culture is the most pilfered, the most ‘borrowed,’ the most thieved culture, and we’ve seen this happen time and tie again.
Quote is from her essay Black Art Is Not A Free For All on Black Girl Dangerous. Read it all. Truly exquisite writing, especially as non-Black people continue to use, consume, pilfer, plagiarize and be appropriative of Black cultural production and art while simultaneously suggesting that Black culture, especially that Black American culture, does not exist.
I’ve also watched non-Black people suggest Black people contribute “nothing” to anti-oppression theory or praxis while their ENTIRE FRAMEWORK for approaching it is via Black cultural production or Black women’s epistemology.
Like…the cognitive dissonance proffered via perspectives shaped by anti-Blackness is astounding.
“Watch out for intellect,
because it knows so much it knows nothing
and leaves you hanging upside down,
mouthing knowledge as your heart
falls out of your mouth.”—Anne Sexton, The Complete Poems (via kushandwizdom)
To celebrate our newly unlocked archive, we’ve compiled themed collections of New Yorker classics. Fiction editor Deborah Treismanintroduces this week’s collection, which includes crime-and-punishment stories by Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Daniel Alarcón, and more.