The list of injustices pile up week after week in America, from the most severe cases of death in underprivileged and under resourced areas of the country, to the simplest of micro-aggressions plaguing our workplaces, universities, grocery lines, and restaurants, that circle around identity and race; two key components of society. For another week of The Mela.nin Éclat, we talk to Njeri Rutherford, a senior in the dance department at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC, about identity, and other themes surrounding black culture.
"Black music/art is always creating culture. Everything "popular" and "trendy" is the result of something that was created by black culture. Any imitations would be from something our own people did years ago in which case it's really paying homage, not imitating. Black music/art however is often imitated by other cultures, but never duplicated."
Wesley T. Jones, a senior in the theatre program at Carnegie Mellon University talks with GOODSTEPH about identity, confidence, and art in the sunny backways of San Diego, CA
"As I got older, and more mature and confident in my looks, I came to accept not only the color of my skin but it's tone in comparison to my black brothers and sisters who are lighter than me. Grant it, there were even times as a teenager when I'd wished that my skin was lighter just to be seen as a "more attractive" guy of the bunch, but those insecurities started to weigh less and less as my confidence began to build as I got older and more attractive to others."
Every Sunday, catch us in Detroit at The SoundHouse from 3-9pm. Free vibes to the public. Bring your spirit, and get down.
Something that so many people search to find, but rarely ever do. That made me interested in having a piece of it for myself and the people I care for. I'm lying in bed now fresh off the weekend; fresh off of a boring but semi interesting night at a German restaurant that hosted a Holiday Party for my bestfriends job; fresh off a couple sips of beer, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and kale salad; fresh off a couple episodes of dragon ball z; fresh off a FaceTime chat from someone so far away, but I still consider them my lover of sorts; fresh off a dream about blood, and death and then some pop star who was clearly present to upstage me at some pep rally or something...fresh off a scroll through tumblr, fresh off a scroll through Instagram - I'm brought finally to this moment where I am typing fast, and trying to condense my thoughts so that you can understand. So that YOU can get the gist, as well as me. Happiness is only something that can be defined by you and what you choose to do inside of a moment. It has nothing to do with what is out and all to do with what is in. Your environment, how much money you have, the people you know, the places you've visited are factors, if you let them be factors. I'm still on a journey to find a sustainable happiness, but sometimes I ask myself is happiness sustainable? Is it something that we can build up and keep? I'm not sure yet. I am sure that we are granted these moments in life and soooo many people waste them and loose them forever, I wasted some myself. I've been trying to be aware and conscious of the miracle it is to be alive. To be able to communicate and love and create - though it be a hard journey...I think that's the point. Life would be no fun if we had all of the answers.
so a note for myself and you if you wanna take it: be grateful. don't think about how far you have to go, think about how far you've come, all of the stuff you had to battle, and move past. You're glorious. And don't you ever forget it.
Hella surreal sometimes when I think about the travels I've embarked on in the past two/three years, and how they've contributed to my view on the world, and my crafts. Never knew there was so much colour in the world, until, well, until I went to explore. Traveling was always one thing that was always on my mind when growing up in Detroit. I always wanted to go further, past the city limits. I always wanted to see something different. When the chance finally came in college for me to travel, I took it. And ever since, I've made it my mission to go some place new every year, be it in the States, or overseas. Excited and blessed to have this home, a new home to be able to share these experiences with you. Here are some pictures from my journeys around the world.