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adrienne-mack-davis 02



adrienne-mack-davis 01

released December 31, 2013 

Produced by MIke Fresh unless otherwise noted. 
Guitar by Tim Shipman 
Executive Production by feleciacruz 
Artwork by ArtForSkins and AMD
Adrienne Mack-Davis is a classically trained soul/ hiphop artist. Her sound is compiled of her struggles and triumphs weaving together gut wrenching melodies and poignant positive hard hitting lyrics. She believes in each person being the change in their own lives and writes music to inspire that.











photo by Alex Lear

photo by Alex Lear





even as this world goes mad

let us always remember to remember

we can always choose, always choose life

always choose to love

and to treat other humans

with respect and compassion


to defend ourselves certainly

if and when attacked, but

also, and more importantly,

to extend ourselves to help others


and always, in every way, every 

creative way we can conceive, always

to demonstrate with the example

of our every breathing motion

the inspiring power of the positive


positive in our projections

of love

& struggle, love for each

other & creative struggles

to help one another

struggles to make this world

better and more beautiful


even as the world continues

to go mad

we must continue, we must remember


—kalamu ya salaam








maroons - schomburg





Secluded in the forests, the swamps and the mountains, or hidden at the borders of plantations, maroons all over the Americas led secret lives, while fiercely maintaining their independence.

Omar H. Ali (“Benkos Bioho: African Maroon Leadership in New Grenada”;) Sylviane A. Diouf (Slavery’s Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons;) and Richard Price (author, notably, of Travels with Tooy: History, Memory, and the African American Imagination and Rainforest Warriors: Human Rights on Trial) will trace the Maroons’ history and stories from 16th century Colombia to 18th and 19th century North America, and 21st century Surinam. Book signing will follow.

Presented by the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery.












29 October 2015

29 October 2015




South African

Mmabatho Montsho’s

“Women on Sex”

Web Series

Mmabatho Montsho

Mmabatho Montsho

Mmabatho Montsho’s “Women on Sex” social media project explores the many issues around female sexuality that are often only discussed privately or are considered taboo.

The YouTube-based web series features celebrities,
doctors, pastors and everyday women as they challenge
perceptions and norms about sex. (Text: Facebook). In
addition to the YouTube platform, “Women on Sex”
provides updates and newsfeeds on Facebook and
Twitter, which encourage dialogue with followers about
the web series content and related issues.
In an interview with Mmabatho
Montsho had this to say about her reason for producing
the series:
One of our duties as filmmakers is to hold a
mirror up to society and as one who navigates
the world in a black female body, it’s my duty
to create progressive black female-centered
content that disturbs the status quo.

YouTube Series : Women on Sex






culture cypher








By John Morrison


In the wake of the recent release of Saboteur Media’s masterful film Stretch And Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives the interest in the visual documentation of some of the lesser known corners of Hip Hop history and culture is evident. I’ve put together a list of 10 relatively obscure Hip Hop documentaries and films that you may not be familiar with.

10. Big Fun In The Big Town

Originally produced for broadcast on Dutch television in 1986, Big Fun In The Big Town has proven to be highly influential, inspiring an entire generation of European Hip Hop fans. Big Fun In The Big Town is beautifully shot and feature performances and interviews with a who’s who of the 80’s Rap scene; LL Cool J, RUN-DMC, Schoolly D, Doug E. Fresh, The Last Poets, Roxanne Shante and Biz Markie.

9. X-ERCIZE #1

Directed by John Carluccio, the filmmaker behind the classic DJ/Turntablism documentary Battle Sounds,  X-ERCIZE #1 is probably the most intimate and raw look at the burgeoning Turntablist movement of the mid 90’s, starring one it’s most innovative crews: The X-Ecutioners (Formerly known as The X-Men). Unlike other flashier DJing documentaries, Carluccio gives you an uncut, fly-on-the-wall look into the X-Ecutioners practice sessions. As Mista Sinista, Rob Swift and Roc Raida (R.I.P.) rip through routines complete with expert scratching and beat juggling, they make mistakes and discuss their craft deeply, shedding light on the very Jazz-like tension that exists between rigorous and intentional practice and spontaneous improvisation.

8. 100% Galsen:

Hip Hop In Senegal

Directed by pioneering Senegalese MC Keyti (Cheikh Sene) 100% Galsen is one of the best documentaries on Hip Hop culture on the African continent. Featuring a host of Senegalese MCs, DJs and Producers discussing the sociopolitical conditions and challenges that shape their country’s Hip Hop scene all while backed by an impressive soundtrack of local heroes. 

7. J Dilla – Still Shining

Directed by Philadelphia based  filmmaker Brian “B. Kyle” Atkins, Still Shining compiles interview footage of Dilla’s mother Maureen Yancy and a host of collaborators. Filmed in the immediate aftermath of Dilla’s death, “Still Shining”succeeds as a warmer, more raw counterpart to the Stussy X Stones Throw Dilla documentary.

6. Reck’N Shop:

Live From Bklyn

Probably the rawest film on the list, Reck’N Shop is an unfiltered look into the Freestyle dance style that emerged in the wake of the commercialization of B-Boying. Centered around the Mop Top dance crew, who’s members would later form notable underground Rap groups Ten Thieves and Mystidious Misfits, the film is powerful, bubbling with life and energy.

5. Founding Fathers:

The Untold Story of Hip Hop

Arguably the most controversial Hip Hop documentary that has been released in recent memory, Founding Fathers…. challenges Hip Hop’s well documented South Bronx origins. Shedding light on the work of DJ’s outside of the Bronx like Grandmaster Flowers, Pete DJ Jones, Disco Twins, DJ Hollywood, King Charles and more who played Disco, Soul and Reggae records at outdoor jams, predating Hip Hop’s acknowledged founders, Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa .Utilizing interviews with lesser knowns and living legends alike, this extremely thorough and informative film provides a fuller portrait of New York’s incredibly diverse DJ/Soundsystem culture as it existed throughout the late 60s/early 70’s. Even if it doesn’t convince you that Hip Hop itself didn’t originate in the South Bronx, Founding Fathers… is a must see for anyone seeking to deepen their knowledge of the history of Hip Hop and DJ culture.

4. Midwest Femceez

More often than not, the stories in Hip Hop culture are filtered through the perspectives of men. Midwest Femceez is unique because it focuses on up and coming women MCs. Raw and DIY the film’s subjects address sexuality, touring, motherhood and the challenges they face as independent artists trying to make it in the Rap industry.

3. Pete Rock

– Soul Survivor Documentary

Essentially and EPK-style film shot in order to promote Pete Rock’s classic 1998 album of the same name Soul Survivor is a true gem. Fans are treated to candid footage of Pete a heavy cast of guest stars working in the studio creating Beats and recording vocals. Necessary viewing for anyone interested in seeing how Hip Hop classics were made.

2. Zoo York Mixtape

In the early 90’s a group of NYC skaters and graphic designs sought to create a skateboard company that could capture the raw energy of the city’s Hip Hop influenced Skate culture. Originally released in 1997, the Zoo York Mixtape epitomizes this marriage of Skateboarding and Hip Hop. Fusing amazing street skating footage intercut with footage of freestyles from the legendary stretch and bobbito radio show the Zoo York Mixtape perfectly captures the look and spirit of pre-911 New York.

1. Stolen Moments

– Red Hot + Cool

Originally broadcast on public television at the height of the AIDS epidemic Stolen Moments…. is hands down one of the most powerful and socially relevant Hip Hop films ever made. Much like the 1994 compilation of the same name Stolen Moments… pairs 90’s Hip Hop mainstays (GURU, The Pharcyde, Digable Planets, The Roots etc.) with living Jazz legends (Lester Bowie,  Ron Carter, Pharaoh Sanders, Joe Sample etc.) The fiery Hip Hop/Jazz performances are intercut with interviews from the artists and AIDS survivors discussing the personal and political implications of the disease and it’s impact on the community.

Honorable Mentions:

We Are One:

Street Music In New Orleans

The Pioneers

– British Hip Hop Documentary

Hali Halisi

(Rap As an Alternative Medium

in Tanzania)





November 24, 2015

November 24, 2015




Watch Episode 1 of

Upcoming New Syfy

Space Opera

‘The Expanse’

(Chad Coleman,

Dominique Tipper

Are Cast Members)


By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act


SyfyChad Coleman and Dominique Tipper in THE EXPANSE

SyfyChad Coleman and Dominique Tipper in THE EXPANSE

Dominique Tipper & Chad Coleman are part of an ensemble cast in Syfy’s new space opera “The Expanse,” which centers on the crew of a space ship, who discover a derelict vessel which holds a secret that may be devastating to human existence.

This hour-long, ten episode series is based on the New York Times bestselling book series collectively known as “The Expanse,” written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (under the pen name James S. A. Corey). 

Synopsis: Hundreds of years in the future, humans have colonized the solar system. The U.N. controls Earth. Mars is an independent military power. The planets rely on the resources of the Asteroid Belt, where air and water are more precious than gold. For decades, tensions have been rising between these three places. Earth, Mars and the Belt are now on the brink of war. And all it will take is a single spark. It is within this future that “The Expanse” begins. The series follows the case of a missing young woman that brings a hardened detective and a rogue ship’s captain together in a race across the solar system that will expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.

Tipper is a series regular, playing a character named Naomi Nagata. Her character’s bio reads: Growing up on poor Belter mining ships meant that Naomi’s early life was lived on a knife’s edge: nearly suffocating, starving, and becoming marooned were regular occurrences throughout her childhood. Self-educated with multiple advanced degrees, and having risen to the rank of Chief Engineer aboard the ice hauler Canterbury (which supplies water for the Asteroid Belt’s residents), she appears to be a model Belter success story, though she carries with her a secret pain. She is cagey about her past, even with her closest friends. She abhors violence, but has witnessed enough injustice to understand the necessity of it. Her complicated relationship with violence and her troubled history have lead to an unlikely friendship with the Canterbury’s mechanic, Amos Burton

Meanwhile, Coleman has a recurring role, playing Fred Lucius Johnson. His character’s bio reads: The Chief of Operations at Tycho Station’s colossal mobile construction platform, Frederick Lucius Johnson oversees the construction of space stations, the spinning up of asteroids, and in recent years the construction of mankind’s first generation starship: the Nauvoo. A retired Colonel with the UN Marines, Fred is notorious for his involvement in a UN military action that will live on in infamy. Since his disgrace he has sought solace and penance working to better the life of Belters all over the system. Fred is an outspoken advocate for the Outer Planets Alliance, a Belter advocacy group who seek legitimacy, but are often accused of terrorism.

The hour-long series debuts on December 14 at 10 PM on Syfy. But the network has released the first episode online, which I’ve embedded below. I haven’t watched it yet, so I can’t offer any informed commentary on its merits. But I’ll check it out later this week. Feel free to get ahead of me, watch it, and share your thoughts.:










gumbo 01 gumbo 02


This Is The Earliest Known Reference To “Gumbo” And Is Found In The Interrogation Records Of A Slave,  New Orleans, September 1764

GUMBO- The Creole Cookery Book, published by the Christian Woman’s Exchange of New Orleans in 1885, calls gumbo making an “occult science” that “should be allowed its proper place in the gastronomical world.”

A dish that originated in southern Louisiana from the Louisiana Creole people during the 18th century. It typically consists primarily of a strongly flavored stock, okra, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and seasoning vegetables, which can include celery, bell peppers and onions.

According to one suggestion, gumbo is a reinterpretation of traditional African cooking. West Africans used the vegetable okra as a base for many dishes, including soups, often pairing okra with meat and shrimp, with salt and pepper as seasonings. In Louisiana, the dish was modified to include ingredients introduced by other cultural groups. Surviving records indicate that by 1764, African slaves in New Orleans mixed cooked okra with rice to make a meal.  

A more familiar version of the dish was described in an 1879 cookbook by Marion Cabell Tyree. Her Housekeeping in Old Virginia described “Gumbo Filit A La Creole”, a filé-based gumbo with chicken and oysters and spiced with allspice, cloves, red and black pepper, parsley, and thyme. The 1881 cookbook What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, dictated by former slave Abby Fisher, contained three gumbo recipes. “Oyster Gumbo Soup” used a filé base, while “Ochra Gumbo” and “Chicken Gumbo” used okra as a base. Four years later, the cookbook La Cuisine Creole documented eight varieties of gumbo. None used sausage, but almost all of them contained ham.
















cave canem


“There is no place on this planet, no ground, no air, no sanctuary, no wharf, no hermitage, no refuge, no time, like the one week each summer when Black poets descend on an unsuspecting space and it becomes Cave Canem.”
—Nikky Finney, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South

Cave Canem’s week-long retreat is held annually at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Adult African American poets, ages 21 and over, are eligible to apply. Once accepted, poets become “fellows.” Most are invited to attend two additional retreats within a four-year period. Fellows who complete three years are considered “graduate fellows.”

A retreat residency offers an unparalleled opportunity to study with a world-class faculty and join a community of peers. Some fellows hail from the spoken word tradition, others focus on the text. Some are formalists, others work at the cutting edge of experimentation. All are united by a common purpose to improve their craft and find safe space “where black poets, individually and collectively, can inspire and be inspired by others, relieved of any obligation to explain or defend their blackness.” (Harryette Mullen)

Tuition, valued at $1,500, is provided free of charge. Participants are asked to pay a $560 room-and-board fee. Limited financial assistance for room and board is available on the basis of need. Participants are encouraged to seek alternative sources of support— for example, scholarships and grants.

Cave Canem’s fiscal health and long-term sustainability depend on the philanthropy of its fellowship. Graduate fellows who give back to Cave Canem play a critical role in ensuring that the next generation of poets enjoys the same opportunities they did. A recent graduate wrote, “I choose to donate to this organization because not giving to Cave Canem is like not giving to myself.” Fellows are strongly encouraged to make an annual gift to sustain the program that nurtured their own professional and creative growth.

View video highlights from past Cave Canem retreats.

Retreat FAQS

Apply for a Retreat Internship


When: June 12-19, 2016
Where: University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, PA, & City of Asylum/Pittsburgh
Faculty: As of October 20, 2015: Cornelius Eady, Willie Perdomo, Amber Flora Thomas & Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon.

Application Period: October 6 — December 4, 2015, 11:59 pm.

Application Guidelines | Apply Online

Returning Fellows: Registration due January 8, 2016, 11:59 pm.
Fellows eligible to return  will be contacted in November 2015 with registration guidelines. (Do not apply on line using the link above.) Questions? Call Programs Director Nicole Sealey at 718.858.0000.












battle ground

Call for Commentaries


the AMSJ Blog

The American Studies Department of the University of Kansas is co-sponsoring the Mid-America American Studies Association (MAASA)Biennial Conference in March 4-5, 2016 titled #BattleGroundMidwest. In preparation for, and continuing throughout and after the conference itself, the blog of the American Studies Journal seeks commentaries and social analysis by faculty members located in MAASA’s region and nationally focused on the conference theme. The maximum entry for each commentary is 800 words. Each entry should judiciously discuss salient issues around the various social justice concerns in the region. For example, Oklahoma’s death penalty, the national movement spurred by the events in Ferguson, Missouri, Voter I.D. laws in Kansas, pro-choice success of Minnesota activists amid cutbacks on women’s reproductive rights in every other Midwestern state, effects of the Koch brothers’ political empire on labor, immigration policy, healthcare, and presidential campaigns, etc. Commentary should be submitted to The editors of AMSJ for sake of fact checking and grammar will review these commentaries.


Twitter: @AmericanStJourn

WordPress (Blog):

Find MAASA (Mid-America ASA) on Twitter here: