Tag Archives: black history month

New Los Angeles Exhibition Celebrates The Black History of Memes

alim smith

Los Angeles Instagram exhibit to showcase Black History of Memes.

From the evolution of photos and GIFs, to short videos, the Black meme community has become a pivotal part of pop culture on social media. Over the last decade, the way Black people share memes is an expression of ourselves — of who we are, and how we feel at a certain moment in time.

Afro Surrealist, artist Alim Smith is debuting a collection of meme portraits at a Instagram pop-up exhibit, titled Family Reunion. 

“I feel like the emotions that I chose really capture pandemic energy. They capture how the world feels right now to me, at least, or what the world looks like to me right now,” Smith shared.

To honor our evolution and cultural impact, the new exhibit celebrating Black memes is slated to open on February 23 in Los Angeles.

The gallery will pay homage to the hall of famers of Black meme culture including Kayla Nicole Jones, Kalin Elisa, Sweet Brown, Soulja Boy, Viola Davis, and more.

Check out  some of the images featured in the Black History of Memes exhibit below. For more info visit the website here.

alim smith
Kalin Elisa “Squat and Squint”
alim smith
Quenlin Blackwell “Me Explaining To…”
alim smith black history of memes exhibit
Colin aka “Side-Eyes”
alim smith
Sweet Brown “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That”
alim smith
Soulja Boy “Draaaaake”

Continue the conversation and share your  thoughts with us on social media.

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NIKE Drops 2022 Black History Month Collection

Nike x Black History Month

As of Monday, Nike dropped some new Black History Month merch collection that is part of their “17-year tradition of  driving conversations about justice, education, and innovation.”  The collection includes three new Air Force 1 Low FM sneaker colorways created by Black designers who seek to provide visibility for Black History, heritage, and momentum to […]

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Entertainment Roundup: What To Watch This Week In Celebration Of Black History Month

Black History

February is celebrated as Black History Month and we want to take the time out to run down what will and what won’t be on your TV screen this week. The Proud Family Reboots Gets A Release Date The Proud Family is getting an official reboot and 90s babies couldn’t be happier. The Proud Family: […]

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T-Pain Thinks We Should Stop Celebrating Black History for Just One Month

T Pain Collaborators

T-Pain is among many celebrities showing their criticisms of Black History Month. Kanye and other stars declared on his Instagram earlier this week that this month is “Black Future Month.” Recently, T-Pain was caught giving his two cents about BHM, believing that people should stop celebrating Black History for just one month.

TMZ caught up with T-Pain while in the airport, where he was asked about BHM and the recent bomb threats at HBCUs.

“[White people should] stop celebrating it. I don’t think we should celebrate Black History Month. I think we should just have history,” he said. T-Pain went on, saying: “You [are] separating us again! We want to be part of history, not just one month of it. I’d rather everybody stop celebrating that s**t and just let us be part of history. And if you haven’t paid attention, it’s the shortest month of the year.”

When addressing the recent HBCU bomb threats, T-Pain said that he’s not surprised that they happened, but the only way things like that will stop happening is if “we [Black people] make our own sh*t.” He added that just because a school is considered an HBCU doesn’t mean Black people own it.

You can watch the full clip below.

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5 Reasons to Watch: ESPN The Undefeated “Black History Always” Collection

ESPN Black History Always

ESPN The Undefeated “Black History Always” Collection.  Through Black History, We All Win.

In a world where there are many content offerings to choose from, the issue of “relevance” serves as a critical factor in determining whether viewers will tune in and stay tuned in. To many, Black history has been and remains misunderstood because Black history is more than stories and rituals shared by Black people for Black people during specific periods of the year. Black history is always — it remains relevant for all people.

Fortunately, the value and importance of Black history and culture are understood and appreciated by certain programmers, networks, publishers, and advertisers. As the premier television network in sports, ESPN understands the fact that true history, inclusive of Black history, is undefeated. Hence, ESPN+ brings multiplatform content via the Undefeated “Black History Always” initiative to explore the intersections of sports, race, and culture. Celebrating themes of the everyday acts of bravery and sacrifice that have always been the engine of Black progress, and highlighting the unsung role of Black women in the struggle for full equality, The Source supports and salutes ESPN in their efforts to sharpen and strengthen the cultural ties that brings us all together. We, too, believe that Black History is not limited to only one month a year.

Peep our 5 REASONS TO WATCH:  ESPN+ The Undefeated “Black History Always” Collection. 

  1. One month is not enough.

Black history is not only important during the month of February (coincidentally, the shortest month of the year). It’s important each and every day. Black history is a monumental part of world history and American history that impacts almost every aspect of human society, and it cannot be erased. From the origins of humanity, kingdoms and civilizations formed, the scientific innovations, heroic explorations, human suffrages, protests for humanity, advancements in the arts, culture, health, technology, sports, and more. Every day, Black history is being made as we live through it and shape it directly. Understanding the profound challenges and successes of Black people will impact future generations’ attitudes and value systems. It will also lead to respect and kindness that is much needed today and in the future

2. Cultural Empowerment. 

For people of African ancestry, Back History is a celebration of our success stories. Success and leadership are not limited to the entertainment and sports industries, as many misunderstand. To dive into the traditions and journey through Black History, awakens and empowers many with the cultural understanding and light on those innovators and history makers who helped shaped the world for generations. Throughout history, countless men and women have created, contributed, and inspired culture, from Africa to Europe and here in America, in ways that uplifts and radiates yet these stories and historical facts, big and small, have been covered or mitigated. Celebrating and sharing these stories are inspiring to people from all walks of life and show the cultural connection that empowers us throughout human history.  

3.  Black History is More Than Slavery. 

The Transatlantic Slave Trade and other slave trade missions were indeed an important and tragic part of Black and human history. However, Black History’s extraordinary depth and scope call for a much more expansive presentation of it. From the 1600s to now, there is much more to discuss and cover beyond the slave narratives in America. While it should not be ignored, slavery should not be the sole or primary focus of Black History, as the culture is always creating new stories, achievements, challenges and contributions to society. New history-makers are created daily and Black History must cover more than just slavery and the civil rights periods in America. Our lives wouldn’t be the same if our ancestors did not protest and take risks to disrupt the system and effect change; likewise, our lives would not be the same now if modern day leaders and innovators do not continue to advance the struggle for freedom, justice equity and inclusion. Black History is more than slavery and Black culture is more than just sports and entertainment. 

4. Knowledge is power. 

Throughout history in America, Black people have had to fight for the right to learn. Years ago, there were strong and violent prohibitions for Blacks to obtain knowledge and share it with their children and community at large. Blacks were also prohibited from attending certain schools. Likewise, non-Black people were fed misinformation on the heroic journey of Black people. The ability to have an education is one of the most powerful gifts in life, no matter what color of your skin. In today’s multi-media society, people are gaining knowledge from many platforms beyond books of scholarship such as television, radio, websites, podcasts, social media, etc. Influencers are now using these platforms to share their knowledge, especially in the wide world of sports. Whether exploring the key locations in Black History, celebrating the legendary moments and milestones in history, or simply appreciating the inspirational works of Black athletes, artists, and influencers, knowledge is powerful. Celebrating powerful Black people that have impacted and made a difference in our world brings awareness and promotes diversity to show that anyone regardless of race or age can contribute and do something impactful for the culture and can be recognized for it. 

5. Darnella Frazier.

The courageous young lady who filmed the murder of George Floyd is the focus of the latest addition to the Black History Always collection in a film called “I Bear Witness”. It was just a walk to the store with her cousin on May 25, 2020, that put her on the scene to witness and capture cell phone footage that sparked a charge all over the world in the fight for truth and justice. The 30-minute program will be seen through the eyes of Frazier’s community and people around the country, including the sports world that was impacted by her video. Tune-in. 

Explore ESPN+’s The Undefeated “BLACK HISTORY ALWAYS” initiative expanding on Black History month and deepening Black History all year long across all ESPN+’s and The Undefeated platforms. “This initiative will highlight moments and stories on and off the field that empower and inspire; moments of athletic heroism and moral heroism; moments that signify change and progress, and moments that show us how much work is still to be done. We want to show Black fans that we are always there for them, we represent and reflect them, and we celebrate and appreciate them.” stated Raina Kelley, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of The Undefeated, ESPN’s multimedia content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture. 

This post is a sponsored partnership with ESPN+. For more stories around mental health in sports, visit the Black History Always collection on The Undefeated on ESPN+

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Black GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Vows to Cancel Black History Month if Elected

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Yep, you read the headline right.

Michigan’s 2022 gubernatorial hopeful, Austin Chenge, announced that if elected, he would cancel Black History Month in the state. Instead, he would have “American History Month.”

On Monday, the army veteran tweeted, “I will cancel #BlackHistoryMonth in #Michigan. It’s offensive, unfair, maybe illegal… Americans from all backgrounds deserve a revered history. I’ll declare American History Month,” he added.

Chenge is the first person to challenge the incumbent Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer. In the past, he has called Whitmer a “dictator” on multiple occasions because of her COVID-19 restrictions. Chenge has taken a lot of heat for his “deeply conservative”‘ views as well as his defense of Donald Trump. He has also vowed to cancel the state’s contract with Dominion Voting Systems, the voting machine manufacturer who Donald Trump claimed was behind “stealing” the election from him. He has also come in support of the insurrectionists at last month’s storming of the U.S. Capitol Building.

If elected, he would be Michigan’s first Black governor.

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NBA Launches Leaguewide Celebration of Black History Month

Nike BHM Warm up 2

The NBA has tipped off its leaguewide celebration of Black History Month. Through the month of February and going forward, the league and each team will honor Black history and support the ongoing pursuit of racial justice by elevating the voices, experiences, and perspectives of Black players, coaches, employees, and fans through various activations across the league and teams.

During February all NBA teams will wear cusom NBA Black History Month warm-ups that feature “BUILT BY BLACK HISTORY.” The “BUILT BY” letters, designed by Nike, were inspired by African quilt patterns while the words “BLACK HISTORY” feature significant years in NBA history when the league’s Black trailblazers broke barriers and stood up for the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion.

Those moments and players include:

1950: Chuck Cooper, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, Harold Hunter and Earl Lloyd became the first Black players in the NBA.

1958: Bill Russell was the first Black player to be voted NBA MVP.

1965: Oscar Robertson became the first Black president of the NBPA.

1966: Bill Russell was hired by the Celtics as the NBA’s first Black head coach.  The next season he became the first Black coach to win an NBA championship (1968), winning again in 1969.

1972: The Milwaukee Bucks hired Wayne Embry as the NBA’s first Black general manager and team president.

2004: Robert Johnson became the first Black majority owner in U.S. professional sports, purchasing the Charlotte Bobcats expansion team.

2020: A pivotal year for sports and society, the NBA and NBPA agreed that advancing social justice was a shared goal of the 2019-20 season restart.  Players, coaches and teams took daily action to confront systemic racism and mobilize record participation in the civic process.  The NBA family also came together to form the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition and the first-ever NBA Foundation to address issues of racial injustice and invest in economic empowerment in the Black community.

You can learn more about the league’s celebrations of Black History Month by visiting NBA.com/BHM.

Nike BHM Warm up

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Before & After Michael Jordan: Sports Endorsements In The 1980 vs. Today

Michael Jordan Nike jersey

Source: Nike / NIke

In 2020, a star professional athlete will probably make more money off of his endorsements than his actual salary. The days of an NFL player driving a cab in the off-season are long gone, but it’s not exactly ancient history.

Part of the reason athletes are able to flourish off their talents financially more so now is thanks to Black athletes taking control of their influence. Michael Jordan is easily the first person who comes to mind, but there were a myriad of Black athletes from the 1980’s (think: Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Flo Jo) whose exploits on the field made them millions in endorsements, which was surely a fraction of the boatloads of cash they surely made the brands they pushed.

But fast-forward to today, the current crop of athletes saw the template set by Air Jordan, and improved on it. The result; more of a say in what their images will be, more opportunities beyond athletic apparel and sports drinks, and exponentially healthier bank accounts thanks to equity in what they are ultimately pushing, themselves.

If we take Michael Jordan signing with Nike as the beginning, let’s use that jump off point to compare the effect it had on today’s generation of financially woke and business savvy athletes.

Michael Jordan Air Jordan 1

Source: Nike / Jordan Brand

 

Nike Becomes King, Thanks To The Black Guy

To think, Michael Jordan initially was interested in signing with adidas. However, the three stripes brand wasn’t too keen on the University of North Carolina star. Oops.

Nike, which back then was not the ubiquitous worldwide brand it is now, was also on the come up and inclined to sign a fresh talent. Jordan proceeds to win Rookie of the Year and become everyone’s favorite new player, while wearing his own signature shoe, the Air Jordan 1. A legend begins.

Black Star Power

Sneaker ads before Michael Jordan may have included the athlete handling their business on the court while wearing the product they endorsed. Nike then brilliantly brought in a rising Black filmmaker with tons of personality named Spike Lee. Using his Mars Blackmon character from She’s Gotta Have It for the comedy (finessed by Wieden & Kennedy) while Air Jordan played it straight only bolstered Jordan’s signature shoes as the must have sneaker.

Recently, Kyrie Irving portrayed his own hilarious character, an OG version of himself called Uncle Drew, for a series of funny ads for Pepsi. Not just limited to commercials, he starred in an entire movie called Uncle Drew.

Like Mike

Speaking of beverages, you’re not really about that endorsement life if you’re not pushing a drink. See the aforementioned Kyrie with Pepsi or LeBron James and Sprite. In 1991—hey, that’s close enough to the 80’s—Jordan was brought on to endorse Gatorade. It’s not like they weren’t already the thirst quencher of choice, but those Like Mike ads with the catchy jingle brought the brand to a new level of awareness. Add to the mix Michael wearing his own signature kicks in the commercials…cha-ching!

Air Jordan IV Bred

Source: Jordan Brand / Jordan Brand

Ownership

All great things come to an end, and Michael Jordan’s final retirement stuck in 2003. But, his Air Jordan shoes continue to be best sellers. Kids born after he even signed with Nike in 1984 continue to covet his signature sneakers. Now, Jordan Brand is its own distinct brand in the Nike family, and Michael Jordan himself is the owner. So every time a Jordan shoe is sold, Michael Jordan is getting paid, as he should.

LeBron James

Source: Nike / NIke

Next Level

Despite all his power moves Michael Jordan was probably way underpaid in the grand scheme of things. Today’s athletes, and the teams behind them, are keenly aware of their profitability as a marketing entity. Let’s take the next GOAT, LeBron James. King James has endorsement deals with Beats headphones, Coca-Cola (Sprite), Beats, 2K Sports, to name a few, and a lifetime deal with Nike. James also owns a film production company, SpringHill Entertainment, and had gotten props for his acting chops—and will star in the forthcoming Space Jam sequel.

Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James: How can you choose a winner?

Source: Charlotte Observer / Getty

Whether blatantly or subtly, what has Michael Jordan taught his disciples in sports and business? Know your worth—and accept no less.

Source: HipHopWired.com

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‘Hidden Figures’ Inspiration & NASA Pioneer Katherine Johnson Has Died

Katherine Johnson, Nasa Mathematician Depicted In 'hidden Figures,' Dead At 101

Source: WENN/Cover / WENN

Katherine Johnson, a pioneering mathematician and NASA employee who helped usher in a new era of space travel, has died. Johnson was one of a trio of women that inspired the book and film Hidden Figures, and many on Twitter are gathered in honoring her contributions to science.

Johnson was born August 26, 1918 in West Sulphur Springs, W.V., and raised primarily in the town of Institute, which is the town that HBCU West Virginia State University is located. As a young girl, Johnson showed a talent for numbers and was strong overall academically, graduating from high school at 14. Johnson enrolled at West Virginia State University and graduated from college with degrees in French and mathematics. A professor, Dr. W.w. W.W. Schiefflin Claytor constructed an analytic geometry course tailored specifically for Johnson during her time in school.

After graduating from college at 18, Johnson became a schoolteacher at an all-Black school, and then later married her first husband, James Goble. The couple had three daughters, but the husband died in 1956 from a brain tumor. Johnson remarried in 1959 to James Johnson, a U.S. Army officer.

Johnson was selected by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a mathematician for its Guidance and Navigation Department in Hampton, Va. Johnson was part of a pool of women known as “computers” who all performed complex mathematical equations and projections that were used to aid calculations for space travel.

Hidden Figures was first a book from author Margot Lee Shetterly that depicted the lives of Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson. In the film adaptation, Johnson is played by Taraji P. Henson. Octavia Spencer players the role of Vaughn, who became the first Black supervisor at NACA. Janelle Monae took on the role of Jackson, who was NASA’s first Black woman aerospace engineer.

Johnson’s equations were used to assist in the first manned American flight and also the Apollo 11 moon flight among other notable space missions. She worked with NASA until 1986 and has shared her extraordinary story with audiences as a speaker and expert. In 2015, President Barack Obama presented Johnson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

NASA has shared tributes to Johnson and listed her achievements via social media, sparking other publications and observers to share how Johnson’s story has inspired them. We’ve collected those reactions below.

Johnson was 101. May she rest powerfully in peace.

Photo: WENN

Source: HipHopWired.com

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#BHM: 7 Facts That You May Not Know About The Founder Of The 5% Nation

Many people may have heard of the “Five Percenters” or the teachings that stem from this cultural phenomenon born in the ghettos of America, but there are very few who are familiar with the origins of the 5% Nation(also known as the Nation Of Gods and Earths) or that of the founder of the Five Percent, who is best known as Allah. Artists and athletes such as Jay-Z and Carmelo Anthony have shown either their allegiance or alliance to Allah’s 56 year old Nation. Of all of the religious and nationalist movements of the revolutionary 1960s, his story is always left out of Black History Month recognition, even though Allah met the same treacherous fate as many of the Black leaders of that era.

Born on this date in 1928, the man known as Allah was born Clarence Edward Smith to Louis and Mary Smith in Danville, Virginia. He moved to Harlem, New York as a young adult and it was from there that he began his lifelong journey in establishing a legacy of pride, righteousness and all-inclusivity among the youth that has expanded all over the globe.

In commemoration of Black History Month, TheSource.com brings you seven facts about Allah and what his 5% Nation has brought to the Black, Latino, Asian and white youth in the United States and around the world.

  1. Allah fought in the Korean War; won several medals including the Silver Star and Purple Heart.
  2. He was a member of Nation Of Islam’s Temple No. 7 under Minister Malcolm X, however, left the NOI in 1963 shortly before Malcolm’s departure.
  3. Allah was given the “Street Academy” at 2122 7th Avenue(now known as Allah School In Mecca) by NYC Mayor John Lindsay in 1967.
  4. Allah was proficient at martial arts, which he learned in Korea and was an instructor to the members of NOI security, Fruit Of Islam.
  5. Allah was not anti-white and taught white 5%ers, including Mayor Lindsay’s assistant Barry Gotterher.
  6. Allah was killed by unknown assailants on June 13, 1969, however, it was revealed in a document de-classified by the FBI in 1981 that he was a target of J.Edgar Hoover‘s COINTELPRO initiative aimed at Black leaders.
  7. The message of the 5% is not a thing of Hip Hop’s past. Artists such as NYC’s Fame Labs, Detroit’s(D-Mecca) Njeri Earth and Allah Magnetic aka Mullah Don who carry on Allah’s tradition through their music.

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