Crews | Day 14 | Bad Boy

Yeah! Today’s walk is dedicated to all the teachers that told us we’d never amount to nothin'. To all the people that lived above the buildings that we were hustlin' in front of. Called the police on us when we was just tryin' to make some money to feed our daughter. And all the n*** […]

Crews | Day 13 | Grace Jones and the First Black Supermodels

People will tell you she doesn’t make the cut.  She wasn’t a true supermodel. Too androgynous. Too loud. Not pretty enough. Her own boyfriend said she had a grotesque beauty. Boy bye.  Yet, Grace Jones somehow made it from the pews of a holiness church in Jamaica to bearing her gorgeous body on the cover […]

Crews | Day 12 | The Buffalo Soldiers

“In thinking of America, I sometimes find myself admiring her bright blue sky — her grand old woods — her fertile fields — her beautiful rivers — her mighty lakes, and star-crowned mountains. But my rapture is soon checked, my joy is soon turned to mourning. When I remember that all is cursed with the […]

Crews | Day 11 | Fela Kuti and the Birth of AfroBeat

The year is 1971.  You are standing outside of the New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.  Waiting.  The line is long. The air is thick with a tenor of brassy soul and a gut-churning rhythm that makes you drop into your own hips.  The jolt of the familiar.  You are here.  There.  The birth […]

Crews | Day 10 | Toni Morrison and Angela Davis

“I'm no longer accepting the things I cannot change…I'm changing the things I cannot accept.”  – Angela Davis  In a memo to her boss at Random House Publishing, where Toni Morrison worked as an Editor, she wrote of Angela Davis, “she is the fiercest woman I know. And I come from a long line of fierce […]

Crews | Day 9 | Gordon Parks

A different kind of click.  More powerful than a gun.  He pointed and shot.  In his crosshairs – the lies told by the American media about Black men, women, and children. Lies that we were savage, dangerous, ugly.  Photographer Gordon Parks bodied that plot with a portfolio for the people. Thousands of crystal clear images of perfect Blackness.  Telling the […]

Crews | Day 8 | Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, and the Freedom Summer Movement

“There is one thing you have got to learn about our movement. Three people are better than no people.”– Fannie Lou Hamer By November of 1963, activists in Mississippi were exhausted and discouraged. Their efforts and strategies had inspired a movement, but not increased the number of Black voters. Refusing to back down from their fight for […]

Crews | Day 7 | Bass Reeves and the U.S. Marshals

There is a rumor that the Lone Ranger was a Black man.  His name was Bass Reeves.  One legend says he won a card game.  …against his slave “master.” …during the Civil War.  And when the white man got mad (we BEEN knowing how to play Spades!) and started an altercation, Bass opened a can of […]

Crews | Day 6 | Roc Nation

This is the story of the most famous crew in the rap game.  This is the story of a dynasty.  Of hood legends.  The story of Black men who knew their worth and were willing to go to battle in any arena, from the block to the boardroom.  This is the story of money, power, […]

Crews | Day 5 | P-Funk and AfroFuturism

Listen, the P is for parliament and Funk for Funkadelic. Two bands united.   Under a groove.  Getting down  (for what?) …just fooooor the funk of it.  We ready.  Today’s conversation will explore the father of Black futurism as he convened a crew of bands (with a dash of Bootsy Collins), to inspire a new generation’s imagination […]