Amanda Gorman made history as the first National Youth Poet Laureate. As we ushered in the 46th President of the United States on Jan. 20, there were many appearances that had everyone floored, including Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, but the performance that no one can stop talking about is that of Amanda Gorman. The 22-year-old Harvard graduate read an original poem titled “The Hill We Climb.” As she read, Gorman called for unity, peace, and healing.
Inside Tayarisha Poe's cinematic masterpiece
Last Spring, Amazon Studios released “Selah and the Spades” starring Lovie Simone (“Greenleaf”), Oscar Winner Jharrel Jermone (Moonlight, When they see us), and Celeste O’Connor (Ghostbusters). From casting a dark-skinned actress in a leading role to showcasing the intricacies of Black adolescence, there was a lot that filmmaker Tayarisha Poe got right with this quirky teen drama.
Really, the story was not just told through the dialogue. It was also told through the cinematography. Poe noted that a visual inspiration for the film was Rihanna, whose music videos incorporate cinematic elements. When Selah and her Spades walk away at the end, I saw parallels to Rihanna grabbing the gun at the end of the “Man Down” video.
In an interview with the American Film Institute, Poe calls Rihanna an “impossibly cool, seemingly approachable bad bitch.” We see these qualities in Selah Summers.
Javanna Plummer, on college
A Q&A about South Africa ft. Dr. Beatrice Akala
In 2002, Dr. Beatrice Akala and her family moved to South Africa as a family assignment. Now, almost 17 years later, they live in a beautiful property in Johannesburg, South Africa.
While riding with Charlie, Dr. Akala’s son, he referred to Buccleuch, the area they live in, as “Buck Town.” During this brief trip, he took my team to KFC, but the menu of Buccleuch's KFC was filled with myriad food options. Really, this moment summarized my reporting trip to South Africa: trying new food, meeting new people, and making new memories.
As I was spending time with Dr. Akala's family, I was taking in the atmosphere, the sounds, the views, and everything around me. In wanting to be receptive (again), I will bring you into Dr. Akala’s African home.
To hear my analysis of the interview, listen to Episode 4 of Rwebel Radio. If you’ve already heard this episode and want to leave a comment, click here.
A Q&A about modern Black activism ft. Pierce Cruz
On Nov. 2, 2018, Pierce Cruz debuted six pieces at the Stony Island Arts Bank in their "ICONIC: Black Panther Exhibit" commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. After Cruz made this feat, Javanna invited him as a guest on Rwebel Radio.
In the 50-minute interview, Javanna and Cruz talked Black activism, art, and social consciousness. To hear Javanna's analysis on the interview and the exhibit, listen to Episode 1 of Rwebel Radio. Below is an excerpted transcript.
If you're already heard this episode and want to leave a comment, click here.
Rwebel Mag publishes stories across the journalistic spectrum that give a thoughtful glance at culture and difference.