Black Lives Matter: Google It.

Black Lives Matter Doodle Google Akilah Johnson DC Blaque Coffee Blog

Because art is supposed to make you feel.

I’m sure if you’re reading this article then you’ve seen the piece already on Google’s site today. I saw it from the Google app on my phone during my morning commute and casually thought, wow, that’s dope. I made a mental note to investigate further when I was logged onto my laptop and see where the design came from. Moving on with my the piece began to slip my mind.

Fast forward 7 hours later.

Being the procrastinator that I am, once returning home from work and logging on my computer to start homework, I instead began viewing today’s doodle even more closely. The detail in the design and the different symbols once again grabbed my attention. Subsequently, I clicked the artwork and read an inspiring article about a young, Black, girl, from D.C. who created the piece. She won a national contest with over 100,000 applicants from all over the 53 different U.S. states/territories. I was shocked.

Needless to say, her story inspired me, only a sophomore in high school yet wise beyond her years. I couldn’t help but share. You go Akilah. You Go.

Be strong. Be haute. Be you.

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Colorism, Slave Mentality, & Profanity; 2015 Rap Culture

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Older generations often scoff at the rap genre for its audacious lyrics, gaudy music videos, and affinity for exploiting and degrading women. For years, money, women, and material things have bombarded the radio waves connecting both minorities and Whites to the struggles of inner city artists. These artists put pen to pad and boast in the booths about their trials, tribulations, and uprisings to fame (often flaunting record label money that doesn’t really belong to them). But within the flashy pool of Soulja Boys and Waka Flockas swim a few true lyricists who make a conscious decision to stand for something. These rappers step out of the box, offering the occasional introspective, culturally sensitive and socially conscious verse to wake us up and bring us back to the here and now.

So what about the here and now? Monday J. Cole released the music video to G.O.M.D., a popular track from his most recent release, 2015 Forest Hills Drive. Lyrically, the song flaunts a pretty typical rap song skeleton. But between the crude language Cole pokes fun at the Lil Jon throwback Get Low and addresses the lack of substance within the most popular lyrics these days.

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Abuse or Misuse?: Celebrity Platform for Change

If you haven’t seen the above video, I suggest you watch it, ASAP. No really, stop reading and watch it. Then come back. I’ll be here I promise.

You watch it? Okay, now let’s talk.

I am a young, Black woman who tries to stay as socially conscious as possible. I don’t really like to watch the news often because it depresses me, but I make the time to stay aware, even if it’s through word of mouth or my iPhone’s CNN app. My point is that while I have a full plate of daily responsibility and no degree of fame, I make the time to keep my ear to the streets and fulfill my duty to be an informed citizen. But this is not the case for many of those who we give our money to in the form of television ratings, album purchases, and movie ticket sales. These celebrities who have media tools that their ancestors lacked and the world wide web at their disposal are failing miserably at doing what I think is their civic responsibility to stand for what’s right. Why? Because I’m a firm believer in the quote:

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

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