Is freedom merely enough? That was a wonder for most of the black people in the United States in 19th and 20th centuries. Harlem had become the destination for most African Americans in the early 1900s. They were looking to find a way to achieve equality and civil rights. With a stronger black community, Harlem Renaissance had started its movement in 1910 to fight for their Americans’ rights. Uniquely, the inspiration of this movement is based on the play, “Three plays for a negro theater”, the essay for Claude McKay, “If We Must Die” , poems of Langston Hughes and other great artists who came from across the country to ask for a recognition of their works. (more…)
All posts for the month June, 2014
Posted by Progressive Pupil on June 28, 2014
Editor’s Note: While we like to keep profanity, violence and misogyny to a minimum on our blog, Kanye West’s Yeezus is explicit in nature. Please be aware that the lyrics re-printed here may be very offensive to some people.
The self-proclaimed Michael Jordan of rap is gearing up to work on the “second half” of last summer’s critically confusing Yeezus, so we’re going to take a look back at our feminist deconstruction of the blasphemous collection of songs.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on June 24, 2014
I recently listened to an interview about Eliot Elisofon’s exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. Elisofon was a photojournalist for LIFE Magazine and major influence on America’s view of life in Africa. Contrary to much of the reporting on Africa, during his time, Elisofon chose to photograph a more positive reality of the life of Africans. He again came to mind when I was considering how discouraging it can be to discover that many internet search results for activists for LGBT rights in Africa end up being biographies about fearless leaders whose lives have ended in brutal murder, such as Ugandan activist and teacher, David Kato Kisule. As did Elisofon with his photography, I am hoping to highlight a few activists who, despite the risk of being ostracized, attacked and jailed, continue to be vocal in the fight for LGBT rights in Africa.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on June 21, 2014
Out of a woman-formed and led artists movement in Cuba comes Las Krudas – a rap trio, formed of 3 Cuban women.
Krudas is a derivation of the Spanish word “cruda” meaning crude, raw, unrefined, real; Cubensis is a Latin word for those of native Cuban descent. Cruda is precisely what these women are: they are raw, unrefined, and real. They celebrate and defend diversity, while actively engaging in a counter culture. Las Krudas practices what they preach.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on June 19, 2014
Can you hear the similarity? Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and Clifford “T.I.” Harris are under fire, because their song “Blurred Lines” could illegally infringe on Marvin Gaye’s classic, “Got to Give it Up.” Gaye’s family and estate have decided to say enough is enough after the conversation over how much Gaye’s music has influenced the music industry’s current soulful icon, Robin Thicke. (more…)
Posted by Progressive Pupil on June 17, 2014
‘Porgy and Bess’ was one of the first movies every made to feature a fully black cast. The movie musical in 1959 was based on the 1935 Broadway production by George Gershwin. This was a major reason why George’s brother Ira sold the rights to Samuel Goldwyn.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on June 14, 2014
Are artists obligated to be activists? To Amiri Baraka, born Everett LeRoi Jones in 1934, the answer was “Yes!”. Baraka first became known for establishing the Black Arts Movement in the mid 1960s and described the movement as an attempt to be Black in form, accessible to Black people, and so effective it could be used as a weapon against racism. In further support of this movement he set up the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School (BARTS) in Harlem with an aim at advancing the Cultural Revolution. (more…)
Posted by Progressive Pupil on June 12, 2014
The issue of gay marriage and more broadly – LGBTQ rights – has been strongly debated in state and federal politics. And though this has been a hot topic at the White House, it is even more controversial in our churches, mosques, synagogues, and places of worship.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on June 10, 2014
Progressive Pupil is looking forward to celebrating Independence and Sovereignty (Against Colonialism) month and we need your help!
Posted by Progressive Pupil on June 7, 2014
Editor’s Note: We like to keep profanity, violence, and misogyny to a minimum at Progressive Pupil, but ‘Yonce said some things that need address. There is some strong language to follow.
“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller
We say to girls “You can have ambition, but not too much
You should aim to be successful, but not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man”
These powerful words from feminist and author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie have become an anthem for women’s liberation and empowerment in Beyonce’s song Flawless. The I woke up like this anthem started a short-lived craze of women posting selfies in online forums like tumblr as a showing of self-love. These women appear to feel empowered by the pride, inspiration and permission Beyonce has given them to be themselves. This selfie phenomenon would have more clout if Beyonce’s pictures were less than perfect – we see enough images in the media of unattainably perfect looking women.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on June 5, 2014