For those who grew up in the 1980s, Public Enemy was one of a handful of nationally-known hip-hop acts that created socially-conscious rap almost exclusively. From “Don’t Believe The Hype” to “Fight The Power” (from Spike Lee‘s still-all-too-relevant movie about racism and police brutality Do The Right Thing) to “By The Time I Get To Arizona”, Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Terminator X and the crew were on the forefront of calling out media manipulation, systemic racism and bigotry, and the widespread mistreatment of black people in America.
Now, over 30 years after they’ve formed and three years since their last album, Public Enemy has released Man Plans God Laughs, offering much-needed and necessary protest music once again. The video for the single “No Sympathy From The Devil” was just released today, and it packs a chilling punch. It ties historical acts of racism with the racism of today – and so much of it looks the same (at the 1:56 mark, Sandra Bland‘s mug shot appears and has the effect of a gut punch).
The entire album, which was released a few weeks ago on July 15, can be heard on Spotify:
Will Smith and Jay Z found success when they signed on as producers for the Broadway musical Fela, and now the two will team up again to produce an HBO mini series about Emmett Till.
Entertainment Weekly reports the two, along with Jay Brown, James Lassiter, and Aaron Kaplan are executive producing the untitled mini series. Till was a 14 year-old from Chicago sent to spend the summer in Mississippi. One evening, Till was kidnapped from his bedroom and savagely beaten by white men because he whistled at a white woman. At Till’s funeral, his mother Mamie had an open casket to showcase the brutality of her son’s death.
Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, the men responsible for Till murder, were found not guilty of their crimes, but later publicly admitted their involvment. Currently there are no writers for the mini series or an expected release date.
Earlier this year, famed film critic Roger Ebert‘s widow, Chaz Ebert, announced her own Emmett Till project. We are not sure if both these Till projects will see the light of day, but we certainly hope so. The more the history of African Americans is explored, and this particular turning point in the early struggle for racial justice and civil rights, the better.
original article by Shenequa Golding via vibe.com; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson
Last Tuesday, GBN announced its first-ever giveaway contest– a chance for three lucky readers to email in to win free copies of award-winning author Jeff Chang‘s most recent work,“Who We Be: The Colorization of America.” As promised, today we are announcing the names of those who entered and prevailed in the random drawing, and here they are: Julia S. Butler, Charles Terrell Franklin and Pam Curry!
Congratulations to you three and many thanks to everyone who wrote in. It was great to receive such positive response, interest and feedback, and GBN will definitely have more giveaways in the future. Also, sincere thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing the free copies of “Who We Be” and for publishing such insightful, provocative work. Winners, check your email for further details!
Good Black News is getting into the holiday spirit early — by giving away three copies of acclaimed author Jeff Chang‘s latest book, “Who We Be: The Colorization of America.”
In this follow-up to the classic “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation,” which garnered Chang an American Book Award, “Who We Be” remixes comic strips and contemporary art, campus protests and corporate marketing campaigns, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Trayvon Martin into a powerful, unusual, and timely cultural history of the idea of racial progress.
I am currently reading this impressive, comprehensive work (the section on African-American comic strip artist Morrie Turner alone is worth the read) and can’t wait to share more about it once I’m finished, but why wait for a GBN review and recommendation when you can get the book for free right away?
To enter, simply send your name and email address with the subject heading “Who We Be Giveaway” to firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday, November 8. We will choose three winners at random and announce their names on Monday.