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Why We Need Boundaries, Online and Offline

2014 October 19

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When I log on to Tumblr or Twitter nowadays, useful, fun and inspiring content is being replaced by venting gone viral. I see responses to people who say things like “You’re cute for a black girl, are you mixed?” or any other example of plain social ineptitude, tinged with colonized non-thinking and poor manners. While the shares and retweets abound, I find myself unable to relate.

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Michael Jackson, Holograms and Capitalism

2014 May 19
by Chakka Reeves
Michael Wept

Michael Wept.

Sunday night, I was watching TV at my mom’s house when she came in, demanding that I change the channel.

“Turn it to the Billboard Music Awards! I want to see Michael Jackson’s performance.”

I paused. Michael Jackson died in 2009. I heard that there would be a Michael Jackson tribute, but I assumed that it would be done by other artists. I soon realized that even the King of Pop was not excluded from the Tupac at Coachella/Jem and the Holograms treatment.

We sat there, speechless, as an image of something resembling Michael Jackson bounced across the stage like a Windows screensaver.

The performance ended, the cameras panned to non-celebrity members of the audience (The celebs were hopefully as horrified as any other person watching at home), and my mom, the same woman who has every Michael Jackson performance recorded on VHS, got up and said, “You can change it now.” read more…

Three Reasons I Wrote About Suicide For TheRoot.com

2014 April 29
by Chakka Reeves

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When blogger Karyn Washington died of depression (I put it this way because depression is a disease that can kill, suicide is just the way it happens), the sadness I felt was stifling. The tragedy created an opportunity to talk about how depression affects young women of color, but I was overwhelmed by the inaccurate and potentially harmful information and opinions about suicide and depression that were being spread. I had reservations about exposing my personal struggle with depression in TheRoot.com, but I decided to for three reasons: read more…

The Corners and Classrooms of Chicago-#FreedomTeaches

2014 April 9

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This post is a part of the “Freedom Teaches” series, where I post my reflections on teaching video production in the alternative schools of Chicago. 

“The Corner” is a recently restored documentary about the early days of Chicago’s Vice Lords street gang. Filmed in 1963, it is astonishing in both what has changed since that time for many young black men that get involved in gang life, and what has not.

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Five Success Lessons I’ve Learned From Beyonce

2013 December 18
by Chakka Reeves

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The last few weeks of 2013 have been a serious time of reflection for me, and I’ve had plenty of material to reflect on. First, Susan Miller’s Astrology Zone December 2013 forecast for Scorpio says that from December 7 2013 to July 25 2014, I will benefit from working on a semi-secret project (which I do have in progress :)) . Then, Shelley Prevost wrote an amazing article on Inc.com about how to distinguish your calling from your ego.

Then, on Friday, December 13th, Beyoncé releases an album with no marketing and almost no warning. The sheer genius of having no marketing be your marketing is compelling, but Beyoncé has taken various steps in her career to get to the very top of not just pop music, but global pop culture. I’ve been thinking about these steps all week, and I’m happy to report that they are steps we can all take. read more…

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