Stella Bennett, better known as BENEE, had an explosive arrival to the music scene. The 20-year-old singer-songwriter from New Zealand became internationally known over just a few years, following the release of a handful of singles and 2 EPs. Her 2018 single “Soaked” garnered millions of streams via Spotify and YouTube, and her 2019 single “Supalonely,” was an even bigger hit, reaching the top 100 on multiple music charts.

Perhaps more importantly, her music also became an international sensation on the social media platform TikTok. The song gained popularity on the app after a dance challenge emerged for it, leading to 12.2 million videos being posted with the track, with the most popular videos garnering upwards of 8 million likes.

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Growing up in the wide-open spaces of Denver, Colorado can be an isolating experience. For a young Black girl, though, the silence can be even more stifling. Courtney Brooks, an artist, and the first curator-in-residence for the Atlanta Beltline, as well as the first Black woman public art curator in Atlanta---took inspiration from her surroundings, like her parents’ love for Black culture magazines like Ebony and Jet and soul vinyls. Now, she is eager to share her story -- and the story of other black women -- through her three-part art exhibit Journey of A Black Girl.

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What passions do you share with your parents? Have those passions been passed down to your children? For me, my love of museums and African American history comes from my parents. It’s something that my oldest daughter hasn’t gotten too cool for yet, and my youngest daughter is growing to love as well. For me, it’s important not only to continue passing this love of history down to future generations but also to build a bond outside of the parental bond. Thomas Romain’s love for animation has been passed down to his sons, and as a result, they’ve drawn lots of attention to their Patreon page, and their dad’s YouTube channel. 

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Following the murder of George Floyd, another unarmed black man who was brutally killed by police on May 25 in Minneapolis, the #BlackLivesMatter movement once again put their boots to the ground igniting protests worldwide garnering international attention. This movement contributed to amplifying and supporting the voices and work of black entrepreneurs, leaders, and artists. One of the notable artists whose work was highlighted is Titus Kaphar, a 44-year-old painter born in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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