For more than a year, visitors at the Smithsonian National Museum of Art have had the opportunity to talk about the connection between African and African-American history. They’ve done so through “Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue,” an exhibit that highlights various interpretations of African and African-American culture. Spirituality counts among those topics that bridges the gap between the two groups. [read more…]
Singer and songwriter Kelela is one of R&B’s new rising stars. Two years after releasing her critically acclaimed EP “Cut 4 Me,” she’s back with “Hallucinogen.” In half a dozen tracks, she lets her personal tastes and that of her collaborators distance herself from the mainstream contemporary R&B pack all the while rooting herself in the tradition. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, she said that she focuses more on “resonance than on sound [unlike others]” to balance out her own individuality with that of the feature artists. Her rhythms, melodies, and lyrics cause us to hallucinate, as great R&B has always done. [read more…]
For two years, the Swaliga Foundation has partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington (BGCGW) to give students an education that integrates science, technology, engineering, and math curricula with the arts. This collaboration has become part of the national STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) movement, which aims to help children adapt and function in modern-day America by coupling what have been considered vastly different subjects.
By his 11th birthday, Tony Lewis Jr.’s father, alleged head of a D.C. drug syndicate, had served nearly two years of a life sentence in a federal penitentiary on the other side of the country. HIs mother also developed what would later be diagnosed as schizophrenia. Even with the guidance of a loving grandmother, Lewis said he navigated life in the District with his street smarts during a time when the city gained a reputation as the “murder capital.” [read more…]
“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity,” said Viola Davis in her Emmy acceptance speech last month. Since 1982, five black women have been nominated for best actress in a drama series but Davis is the first to win an Emmy for her lead role on ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” (HTGAWM). “Many of our artists could win these awards, but the opportunity is lacking for black actors and actresses. We are in some ways being oppressed,” said Kyris Brown, 32, director of International Affairs and Admission at Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana.