Art is a medium in which a person, through creative means, can delve into to find his or herself and cultivate an identity that may have been unexpected. In fact, the late Thomas Merton has blessed us with a thoughtful statement: “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” This was the case for Atlanta-based painter, Muhammad Yungai.
As an Atlanta native, reading Lil Nas X’s hilarious tweets and witnessing the success he has enjoyed as a result of his country-rap hit single “Old Town Road,” fills me with an unexpected feeling of kinship and satisfaction. Here in Atlanta it can feel as if wanting to be a rapper is some sort of rite of passage for black men—especially for creatives from low-income backgrounds. I personally know more black men independently pursuing music than I can count on both hands, and it’s a really beautiful form of artistic expression to be surrounded by.
“I think that it only has ever been radicals that have changed this country. Abraham Lincoln made the radical decision to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the radical decision to embark on establishing programs like Social Security, if that’s what radical means, call me a radical,” said Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes. Ocasio-Cortez, who made headlines during her candidacy for congress and now as a congresswoman, continues to shake up Washington.
If you’ve never heard of Aleksander Siradekian, that is completely understandable. As a designer on the come-up, his brand is not as widely retailed as some other luxury shoe manufacturers. Nevertheless, you have been missing out! With a focus on creating original shoe designs with maximum comfort and wearability, ALEKSANDERSIRADEKIAN is a brand luxury shoe collectors and admirers will want to keep on their radar for years to come.
Thornton Dial is a man of truth – unclaimed by the pretentions of high art, the Alabama-native creates pieces constructed out of everyday objects strewn throughout the home. The truth lies in the message behind his work – simplicity in metaphor, a reconstruction of the civil rights-era racism through the placing of mop strings or scavenged tin. Dial utilizes commonplace, intricately Southern scraps to often depict America’s most glaring realities: racism, war, bigotry and homelessness.
Steven Victor sees the music industry as more than just a numbers game. In the world of Spotify streams and YouTube views, he needs to see the artist as more than just their statistics. As Def Jam’s executive vice president and head of A&R (Artists and Repertoire), Victor is always on the lookout for new talent. He oversees a staff of 20 people responsible for A&R. Together, they’re in charge of the task of finding each new breakout artist the label signs.
‘When They See Us,” has been the topic of nearly everyone’s conversation over the course of the last two weeks. The Netflix miniseries directed by Ava Duvernay touched on so many important subtopics, it’ll make your head spin. I know that not everyone has had the chance to see it, and some have even chosen not to because of how difficult it is to process the emotions that will be triggered. The story is about five teenage African American and Hispanic boys who were sent to prison after being wrongfully accused and ultimately convicted for a rape and sexual assault of a white woman that they did not commit. As a journalist, one thing that was troubling to watch was the media’s biased coverage of the events. While that part of the series was just a mere subplot, I couldn’t help but think how unfortunate it was that there was really no fair representation of those young men in the media. That probably wouldn’t have been the case had the North Star been around to speak truth to power. Giving the young men a fair representation in the media, rather than prematurely concluding that they were guilty.