Cover art for The Last Poets' Self-titled 1970 debut album

Remembering #TheLastPoets for #NationalPoetryMonth

April marks National Poetry Month across the globe. So, it’s only right for #BrooklynGirlCode to take a little time out to remember one of the seminal groups responsible for the evolution of modern day poetry and what would later become Hip-Hop music. The Last Poets formed in Harlem, New York in 1969. But, little did they know that after forming, they would have a mega influence on many generations of music to follow and many of today’s biggest Hip-Hop stars including Common, Kanye West, Mos Def and others.

Salute to The Last Poets for all their contributions to music and American culture as a whole! Below is a recent Instagram post from The National Museum of African-American History and Culture paying homage to the legendary Last Poets.  ❤

View this post on Instagram

Long before records were spun at park jams and parties across New York City, spoken-word artists paired the natural rhythm of their works with music. From the Harlem Renaissance through the 1960s, artists relied on the spoken-word for powerful political and social commentary. Initially formed in 1968, over the years members of The Last Poets have included Gylan Kain, David Nelson, Abiodun Oyowele, Felipe Luciano, Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, Umar Bin Hassan, Sulaiman El-Hadi, and Nijala Obabi. The Last Poets is the debut spoken word album by The Last Poets, released in 1970. The Last Poets are considered one of the godfathers of Hip-Hop. Their politically charged Black nationalist poems, infused with drums and jazz, continue to inspire generations of poets and lyricists. This collective of The Last Poets was founded by Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, Umar Bin Hassan, Abiodun Oyewole, and percussionist Nilaja. #NationalPoetryMonth 📸: Gift of Umar Bin Hassan, © 1970 Douglas Records, Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

A post shared by NMAAHC (@nmaahc) on

Advertisements
Oprah in her younger days. Women's History Month 2018

Happy #WomensHistoryMonth 2018!

Oprah in her younger days. Women's History Month 2018
Media mogul and entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey in her younger days.

 

It’s the first day of March and you know what that means… it’s Women’s History Month! This is the month on the calendar year where all women are celebrated and acknowledged for all that we do for ourselves and others. It aint easy being a woman in this world today. But, we all get the job done! This month it’s all about the ladies. Sorry fellas… but March belongs to us! We’ll see you all again in April. 🙂 So, on behalf of #BKGC, we’d like to salute all the strong women near and far. Trust us, your strength never goes unnoticed! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode ❤

#HappyBirthday #JamesBaldwin !

Today is a real American Icon’s birthday! American essayist, playwright and novelist James Baldwin who was born in 1924 in Harlem, New York City would’ve turned ninety-three years old today. For writers everywhere, Baldwin was a saint. However, during his sixty-three years on this earth, he was a friend to many. In honor of the icon’s birthday, #BrooklynGirlCode has collected some of Baldwin’s best photos with his friends via the internet! No need to write a huge paragraph about how great James Baldwin was. All I’ll say is… if you’re over thirty years old and have never read a piece of Baldwin’s literature (i.e. The Devil Finds Work; The Fire Next Time, Remember This House, etc.!!) then you’re just missing out on life my friend! Check out some of Baldwin’s coolest photos with his friends below and Happy Born Day again to a great one!

James Baldwin and Brother David Baldwin
James Baldwin and his Brother David Baldwin in the 80’s. Photo courtesy of the bostonreview.net.
James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry
James Baldwin getting down with famed Playwright Lorraine Hansberry. Photo courtesy of kentakepage.com.
James Baldwin holding an abandoned young boy in Durham, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Steve Schapiro.
James Baldwin holding an abandoned young boy in Durham, North Carolina circa 1957. Photo courtesy of Steve Schapiro.
James Baldwin with good friend Medgar Evers reading the news. Photo Courtesy of Steve Schapiro via the New York Times.
James Baldwin with good friend Medgar Evers reading the news. Photo Courtesy of Steve Schapiro via The New York Times.
Screenshot 2017-08-02 17.26.48
James Baldwin sharing a moment with Maya Angelou. Photo courtesy of Maya Angelou’s Wikipedia page.
Nina Simone and James Baldwin bumpinh heads! Photo courtesy of blogs.baruch.cuny.edu.
Nina Simone and James Baldwin bumping heads! Photo courtesy of blogs.baruch.cuny.edu.
Medgar Evers at home with James Baldwin and his two sons.
Medgar Evers at home with James Baldwin and his two sons. Photo courtesy of scoopnest.com.
James Baldwin with his younger Paula in 1953
James Baldwin with his younger sister Paula in 1953. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com.
James Baldwin and Lena Horne embracing during a meeting in New York in 1963.
James Baldwin and Lena Horne embracing during a meeting in New York in 1963. Photo courtesy of abagond.wordpress.com.
James Baldwin talking with friends in Chicago, Illinois 1984. Photo taken by Michelle Agins and courtesy of MFON.
James Baldwin talking with friends in Chicago, Illinois 1984. Photo taken by Michelle Agins and courtesy of MFON.
James Baldwin pictured with friends Odetta, Ralph Ellison, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com.
James Baldwin pictured with friends, singer Odetta Holmes, American novelist Ralph Ellison and actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Photo courtesy of peakblackness.tumblr.com.

#JackieRobinson on Breaking the #ColorBarrier in Major League Sports

Screenshot 2017-04-15 13.33.56
Photo courtesy of ESPN Instagram (@espn).

“Feels so good to be a Crooklyn Dodger!” – Masta Ace “Crooklyn Dodgers

The day was April 15th, 1947. Seventy years ago today, to be exact. It was Opening Day for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the historic Ebbets Field stadium which was conveniently located in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. However, this Opening Day was way different than the Dodgers’ previous ones. Today, a young man by the name of Jackie Robinson who wore the number “42” on his jersey would be taking the field as the starting first baseman, batting second. On this day, seventy years ago, Jackie Robinson single-handedly broke the color barrier in Major League Sports.

Although there were rumors that people would be boycotting the game due to their disapproval of Robinson’s integration, the game actually went very well. The Dodgers would go on to win 5-3 against the Boston Braves (now known as the Atlanta Braves). When Robinson’s number was called on the P.A. system as the Brooklyn Dodgers’ starting first baseman, the crowd applauded “politely” according to sports editor Ed Silverman who was at Ebbets Field on this historic day in 1947 to witness history. In a new article for The New Yorker which commemorates the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Ed Silverman revisits April 15th, 1947 and talks about what the day was like:

“I deliberately sat in the bleachers, which were predominantly filled with black attendees. The women were all well coifed. Many wore lovely dresses and light coats. The men were all nicely attired. It was more like going to church than to a ballgame.”

Jackie Robinson would go on to have a stellar first season in his Major League Baseball career and became the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947. Robinson also served as a Major League Baseball All-Star for six consecutive seasons from 1949 through 1954 and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949, becoming the first Black player to do so. All in a day’s work for a legendary sports giant like Mr. Robinson. All in a day’s work!

Check out some cool footage via MLB.com of Jackie Robinson’s opening day, here.

The #Artistry of #ChuckBerry

Today’s #TBT has to go to a true musical genius. R.est I.n M.usic P.aradise to legendary Rock ‘N’ Roll artist Chuck Berry! The music most certainly lives on!!! Check out Chuck Berry doing his famous “Duck Walk” via YouTube here.

Screenshot 2017-03-23 19.02.25
Photo of the late Chuck Berry doing his famous “Duck Walk” courtesy of @genius Instagram via @rashidaaz Instagram

#InMemoriam The Notorious B.I.G. Twenty Years Later

Mural in Brooklyn, New York depicting The Notorious B.I.G. as Che Guevara

Check it/ I grew up a fuckin’ screw-up/ Got introduced to the game/ Got an ounce/ and fuckin’ blew up – The Notorious B.I.G., “Runnin'”

What a difference twenty years can make. Or, in this case, what a difference twenty years can not make! It’s been two decades since The Notorious B.I.G. was tragically gunned down in Los Angeles on March 9th, 1997. However, the hip-hop template that B.I.G. set prior to his passing has yet to be altered. Christopher Wallace was 24-years-old when he passed. Looking back to that year, it seems like he was way older than he was because of his mature demeanor. B.I.G. was definitely one of the coolest and just a real lyricist at heart. He put words together like no other lyricist in hip-hop had done before him. Although we’ve seen a few eras of hip-hop come and go since 1997, there is still this obvious void that has yet to be filled. Why is this?

Shortly after B.I.G.’s passing, Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) rose to stardom and did an excellent job of continuing the legacy his predecessor began. But, as far as talent and skills on the mic, no one has yet to surpass the young Brooklyn boy with the crisp Coogi sweater and the fancy Versace shades.

It’s 2017 and Emo Rap is what sells records. Long gone are the days of “rags to riches,” “made it from the bottom” hip-hop fairytales. Still, we all get a thrill out of dreaming about B.I.G.’s imaginary replacement and hoping that they could possibly be waiting on the sideline somewhere for their chance at fame. Until then… B.I.G. reigns supreme! Rest in peace Comandante Biggie!

The Notorious B.I.G. in his element! Photo courtesy of Aziza Hassan’s instagram @rashidaaz via @trace_urban Instagram

 

#TigerTiger #TigerWoodsYall!

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-7-15-47-pm
Tiger Woods and his father, Earl Woods sharing a moment. Photo courtesy of Tiger Woods official Instagram account @tigerwoods

“Tiger Woods y’all! Tiger Woods y’all! Tiger-Tiger-Tiger-Tiger-Tiger-Woods y’all! Heeeey Tiger Woods y’all.” – Actor Chris Rock in Paramount Picture’s Down to Earth (2001)

The man with the golden club is back! Golfing legend, Tiger Woods was back in his glory this week when he returned to the golf course at the Hero World Challenge currently taking place in NASSAU, Bahamas. Woods had been on hiatus from competition due to a back injury that required two major surgeries. However, this past Thursday, the golf legend was in great shape and ready to go! Tiger Woods is actually wearing double hats at the tournament as he is competing as well as hosting the unofficial PGA Tour which benefits his Tiger Woods Foundation. So far, so good. Woods is currently tied for ninth at the Hero World Challenge and has the rest of the weekend to get back to his favorite number one spot as the challenge concludes on Sunday, December 4th. Let’s see if he can pull it off. You can follow the Hero World Challenge here for updates and adjusted scores. Let’s get it! Yaaaay Tiger!:)