Doing Something Different
Vol. 1, No. 1, January 5th, 2021
Happy New Year! Hopefully everyone had an amazing and restful holiday season. We’ve all been through so much in 2020 and I’m hoping for better days ahead.
Thank you all for your support over the last two years. All your comments, emails, texts, and conversations have been humbling and continue to stoke the fire in my soul to continue honing my craft. There’s been plenty of times when I just wanted to withdraw from writing, yet you all have pushed me forward.
This new year, I’m taking a new approach with this platform and pray you all will walk with me on this journey. Over the last year, I've pondered how to further elevate the global image of Black men around the world. Unfortunately, the Black male demographic is often unfavorably represented in media outlets and popular culture. I believe these negative depictions and narratives are a result of us not abundantly creating our own narratives via media outlets. I am dedicated to changing this plight. Going forward this space will highlight the excellence of black men, but not shy away from the tough conversations and subject matters relating to Black men.
I haven’t titled this space yet, but a name for this platform is forthcoming. With your continued feedback, we’ll work on that task together. What is solidified now is my mission to tell our own stories from our perspective. My goal is to produce content showcasing the diversity of Black men globally. This platform will provide current news for and about Black men, curated by Black men.
There are plenty of platforms out there like Very Smart Brothas, Context Media, and The Undefeated that provide voices for black men and tell our stories, yet I’m looking to forge my own path in this field. I'm glad you're all on this journey with me and hopefully along the way others will join us on the mission.
Without further rambling, let's get into it.
Master P and Baron Davis looking to acquire Reebok
Gen Xers and Millennials in hip hop culture more than likely have some fond memories of wearing “soldiers”, the workout sneakers from Reebok that reached national prominence by record labels Cash Money and No Limit. Founder and artist of No Limit Records, Master P, is teaming with former NBA player Baron Davis to purchase the company that called the “soldiers” home. Currently owned by Adidas, Reebok is in search of new proprietors to bring the brand back to some of its early standing in the footwear market. With a brand that released signature sneakers from Jay Z and 50 Cent, I’m optimistic in where the company can go with individuals that understand hip hop culture intimately at the helm.
Former NBA player purchasing Ebony
According to the Chicago Tribune and reported by Black Enterprise, former NBA player Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman has petitioned to purchase the famed Ebony magazine. Bridgeman has seen success with his holding company, Manna Inc. and is looking to replicate some of that magic by resurrecting Ebony to its former prominence. Ebony was forced into bankruptcy in 2020 due to unpaid debts to lenders. Best of luck to Mr. Bridgeman and his company on their endeavors.
Nigerian scientist helping battle the spread of COVID-19 in Africa’s most populous country
Virologist Sunday Omilabu has been gathering information on a potential variant of COVID-19 that is different from the variants found in other parts of the world. Omilabu hopes to understand if the variant is what is causing the surge of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, which has swelled to 89,163 cases.
Kyrie Irving pays college tuition for HBCU students
NBA player Kyrie Irving has made headlines from his former belief in a flat Earth and comments on LeBron James amongst other things, yet rarely receives publicity for his charitable work. Irving, through his KAI Family Foundation, will be paying for the tuition of nine Lincoln University students for the 2021 school year. Lincoln is a HBCU (historically Black college or university) located in Pennsylvania. The Brooklyn Nets guard also donated $1.5 million to WNBA players who chose to sit out the 2020 season from playing to protest the murders of unarmed Black people.
Russell Okung being paid in bitcoin
In 1969, Curt Flood changed sports contracts in the U.S. forever by requesting free agency. Flood refused to play for the Philadelphia Phillies due to their decaying stadium and racist fans. In a similar fashion to Flood, NFL player Russell Okung is doing something that may change sports contracts once more. In late December of 2020, Okung announced that half of his $13 million base salary would be paid in bitcoin. As digital currency is beginning to surge globally, the NFL player is pioneering how athletes are taking ownership in how they are compensated.
What I’m Listening To
There hasn’t been too much new music that was released this early in 2021, so I’ve had my favorite rap album from 2020 on heavy repeat. A Written Testimony, the Grammy-nominated debut album from Jay Electronica has many hidden gems in the lyrics and a production style that takes a few listens to warm up to. With numerous guest appearances from Jay Z, the album allows both artists to deliver messages of empowerment, grief, and ambition. Some of my favorite tracks are “Ghost of Soulja Slim”, “Universal Soldier”, “Flux Capacitor”, and “A.P.I.D.T.A.”. Listen to the album here.
On this day in 1911, the second Greek-lettered fraternity for black men was founded. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. has produced prominent members such as Mark Lamont Hill, John Singleton, and Robert L. Johnson.
Thanks again for reading and supporting. Please continue to send me your feedback. Also, tell a friend to tell a friend to subscribe to this newsletter.