Play It Cool This Weekend Reading List

Featuring: Kendrick Lamar and the Hotep nation, a magical black woman that wrote about a magical black woman, the obliteration of R*chel Dolez*l, Gucci being awkward again, magazines are lit as fuck and more people should enjoy reading, and why we have to protect Bresha Meadows. #freebresha

By Wallace Mack

Gucci’s Diversity Drag

R. Eric Thomas, New York Times 

"The fact is, putting a group of black people wearing vibrant clothing in a room and asking them to dance does not a revolution make. Especially when it has to be framed in the look of revolution 50 years past in order to be acceptable." If you're like me and thought the new "soulful" Gucci campaign was a little... odd, check out this piece. "It’s just drag. This is soul as drag."

These Bronx Gardeners Are Fighting The System By Growing Food

Amara Thomas, The Fader

Black women are the fruit of this earth. This has never been more literally or figuratively true than in this piece about "three women of color working out of gardens in the Bronx and how they are mobilizing against the system and uplifting their communities in the process."

The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black

Ijeoma Oluo, The Stranger

There is nothing left to say about Rachel Dolezal. She's done. She's finished. Ijeoma Oluo blows her to smithereens in this interview for The Stranger. She is now nothing more than a myth— a mere memory of the past. I couldn't be more grateful. 

Kara Walker's Next Act

Doreen St. Félix, Vulture

My first encounter with the work of the infamous Kara Walker was during the opening of her Brooklyn exhibit A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby. Ever since I peeped game, I knew but I didn't know-know like I should have. Let me make one thing clear— if you're interested in reading one of the most brilliant and poetic interviews with and about one of the most brilliant and polarizing figures of the contemporary art world, get into this. Doreen St. Félix uses her words here in a melodic tribute, from one black woman to another, and she really is every #journalismgoal I could ever imagine. 

How We Can Work Together To Keep Our Nation’s Youth Out Of The Prison System

    Lakin Starling, The Fader

    Our little girls are living in a world where they are being imprisoned for fighting back against their abusers. We all need to get angry and we all need to get active. If you know anything of 15-year-old Bresha Meadows, then this piece is for you and subsequently, if you know nothing of 15-year-old Bresha Meadows, then this piece is for you. Lakin Starling, a staff writer for The Fader, interviews Mariam Kaba (@prisonculture on Twitter) an informative and outspoken online persona. Mariam is a real-life prison abolitionist, community organizer, and all about action personality that we can all learn from. #freebresha

    Kendrick Lamar, Israel and Being Damned

    Myles Johnson, OKAYPLAYER

    Myles Johnson just so happens to be one of my favorite writers (ever) and this week, he wrote about one of my favorite rappers (ever). In this piece, Johnson addresses the elephant in the room regarding Kendrick Lamar's third studio album— the black Israelite references. Myles tackles what it's like to be an artist that's "learning in public" and reconciles his own learning and development with Kendrick's. 

    All Eyez On Vibe Magazine's 1996 Death Row Cover

    Justin Tinsley, The Undefeated

    Vibe Magazine was one of my first loves. Seriously though. While my adolescent peers spent time exploring the things that fulfilled them, I was finding myself getting lost in worlds of words. I've always loved books, but magazines held a special place in my heart. One of the very first mags I remember begging my mom to buy at the grocery store checkout counter was Vibe— the July 2006 issue with Outkast on the cover. I'm pretty sure it was with that issue in my hands (along with an adoration for all things BET and MTV), that I started to develop a love and appreciation for the intersection of music and culture.. In this piece for The Undefeated, Justin Tinsley explores the magazine as an influencer of popular culture, more than a mere depository for celebrity gossip. Some things make the blogs, and others the blog does make... 

    btw, James Fauntleroy put this out on 4/20. Enjoy!