Sunday, May 15, 2011

and he never will be

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Unreleased Jazmine Sullivan

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Get in the Mix -- Become a RBMF Mentor!

mentor mixer copy

The Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund would like to invite you to join us at our first Mentor Mixer. For those who are just being introduced to our work, we’ll be providing a brief overview of our history and initiatives. For those who have supported our work over the past four years, we’ll be unveiling our fall fundraisers and announcing the winners of the 2009 scholarship award. Most importantly, we’ll use the evening to begin transforming talented folks like you from young professionals and agents of change into mentors for the next generation of scholars and activists.

At the event, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the amazing young men and women who have received the seven scholarships we’ve granted since 2006. 2007 scholarship recipient Dashana Payne and her mentor Kemi Ilesanmi will be discussing their experience with our mentoring program, and 2009 recipient Nafissatou Traore (who has not yet been paired with a mentor) will speak briefly about how she’s been inspired by Rashawn’s legacy of selfless service and academic excellence.

We do hope that you’ll join us for this exciting event. Have a drink, bring a friend and learn a little about the role YOU can play in helping us build the New York City that Rashawn wanted to see; a diverse and affirming city free of violent crime.

To RSVP, email us today by clicking here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dinners by Desire

From noon-5pm this Saturday, Rashawn Brazell's mother Desire will be selling home-cooked dinners to raise money for the Rashawn Brazell Memorial Scholarship. Meals include southern fried chicken, collard greens, baked macaroni and cheese, potato salad, curried chicken, peas and rice, oxtails and red velvet cake for desert. Chicken meals are a mere $8 and oxtail meals a mere $9. The quest for justice has never been so delicious!

1091-1103 Gates Avenue
Apartment 4D
(Between Broadway & Bushwick)
Brooklyn, NY

call 917.971.5321 for details

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

On the Dissertation Tip

Well folks, it's a watershed moment in the life of your boy LarryLy. After 4+ years of coursework, qualifying exams and teaching, I've finally arrived at the place I've been dreaming about since I decided on a career in the academy: DISSERTATION STAGE!

Because the debates and discussions on this blog have been instrumental in preparing me to think critically about the intersection of text and image as it relates to issues of race, class and gender in 20th Century America, I am excited to share with you the first portion of my dissertation research -- an ambitious engagement of the work of African-American photographer Gordon Parks alongside that of folklorist/author Zora Neale Hurston.

Gordon Parks’ rise as a documentary photographer allowed him to intervene in the revision of America’s national identity during a crucial moment in the country’s history: the advent of mass culture in the 1930s. Pursuing the Farm Services Administration’s goal of “introducing America to Americans,” Parks’ early work exposed the infringement of mass culture upon local cultures, particularly the ways in which farm mechanization signaled major changes in the profile of working-class labor.

My research explores the conversation between Zora Neale Hurston’s Mules and Men (1935) Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) and Dust Tracks on a Road (1942) and Parks’ work with the FSA. I am particularly interested in the possible relationships between black laborers’ experiences of the Farm Services Administration and the Federal Security Administration, which scholars have discussed in terms of its interventions in the town of Belle Glade, Florida (the town upon which Hurston bases her fictional accounts of “the muck”). How might these identically acronymed government programs have come to represent the heavy-handed surveillance of white capitalism for black rural laborers during the 1930s and 1940s? And how might this connection revise popular beliefs about the laborers’ relation to the white capitalist authority structure?

I argue that Hurston’s texts and Parks’ images help us discern how the economic shifts of the early 20th century impacted visual and literary interrogations of (and challenges to) white male hegemony and how that process impacted the emergence of the black middle class.

Friday, January 30, 2009

my president is

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kid Sister

Beyonce’s “I Am…Sasha Fierce” debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 482,000 copies in its first week, giving Knowles her third consecutive number one album. If you’re anything like me, and I suspect that you are, you’re bewitched, bothered and bewildered by the fact that Bey’s project pales in comparison to that of little sister Solange Knowles.

Though it’s sold just over 100,000 copies since its August 2008 release, Solange’s sophomore project is fast becoming the guilty indulgence of discriminating music lovers everywhere. It’s the album that you can’t believe you love and won’t admit you own. Whether they’ve downloaded the tracks or are simply settling to stream through, audiences are secretly pumping Sol-Angel and dumping Sasha Fierce. Who would have thought?

Who could have predicted that second-fiddle Solange would be the mastermind behind one of this year’s most exciting albums? “Not I”, says LarryLy. Now, let’s be clear: no one anywhere is arguing that Solange actually sounds good. Indeed, her voice is often so painfully shrill or downright unrefined that the listener is ashamed to have given the album any serious consideration whatsoever. “Where Beyoncé wants her vocals perfect, Solange wants them raw,” Daddy Knowles defends. The only problem is that the singer too often transgresses the line between raw and reckless, and Matthew’s We-meant-to-do-that does nothing to make the inferior vocals any more sufferable.

But then there’s the vibe. The irresistible vibe. You see, this generation has proven time and time again that we want nothing more than to return to an idealized time in history (that we never actually knew). We’re a generation in search of a vibe. The commercial successes of the film Dreamgirls and of the train wreck Amy Winehouse have whet our appetite for repackaged Motown jams and damned if Sol-Angel and the Hadley Street Dreams isn’t eagerly filling the order.

But seriously folks, if you can get past Solange’s inferiority complex (see God Given Name) and her unnecessarily abrasive persona (see This Bird), Sol-Angel is quite a treat. The 60s/70s throwback theme provides the perfect backdrop for Solange to show off her knack for innovative vocal arrangements than even her megastar sister could stand to learn from.

In my estimation, the standout tracks are as follows:

Cosmic Journey, an extended psychedelic romp through time and space with neo-soul crooner Bilal on supporting vocals.

T.O.N.Y, a deliciously coded lament about a one-night stand.

Dancing In the Dark, a lively angst-ridden tune flaunting horn arrangements borrowed from your favorite sitcom theme songs of the 60s and 70s.

Would've Been the One, half confession, half admonition, this 50s-style love song is a toe-tapper not to be missed.

But don't take my word for it. Check it out and lemme know wha chu think.