Posted on 1 Comment

Audrey Jackson Is Making Sure the Legacy of #PopSmoke Continues Through His #ShootForTheStars Foundation!

#BrooklynGirlCode creator, Aziza Hassan (left) with Audrey Jackson, mother of rapper Pop Smoke in Brooklyn on April 10th, 2021. Photo courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode.

It’s hard to believe it’s been one whole year since Brooklyn rap phenomenon Pop Smoke (born Bashar Barakah Jackson) passed away. The young, talented rapper was just getting his feet wet and becoming a huge force to be reckoned with in the music world when he was taken away from us during a home invasion in Los Angeles, California on February 19th, 2020. Popular for his slick dance moves and unique rap voice, Pop Smoke was gaining traction and fame all over the world and he wasn’t letting his foot off the brakes. Although his passing was a huge loss to Hip-Hop and his family and friends, of course, Pop Smoke’s mother Audrey Jackson is making sure that her son’s legacy lives on through his Shoot For The Stars Foundation. The foundation created by the late rapper is a non-profit foundation that aims to inspire inner-city youth to reach their goals despite living in difficult circumstances.

Audrey Jackson, mother of rapper Pop Smoke poses in front of a portrait of her son in Brooklyn on April 10th, 2021. Photo courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode.

On April 10, 2021 #BrooklynGirlCode along with Renayssance Entertainment got the opportunity to speak with Pop Smoke‘s mother Audrey Jackson and discuss her plans for her son’s foundation. The event held at popular Brooklyn spot, The Brooklyn Estates was apart of a full spa weekend hosted by Miss Jackson for mothers of hip-hop artists who lost their children to violence. The private event turned out to be a huge success drawing popular media outlets like News 12 Brooklyn and Fox News. Audrey Jackson is a very kind woman on a serious mission to keep her son’s legacy alive and she won’t stop until her mission is complete! Check out the full exclusive interview with Jamel Oakman of Renayssance Entertainment below.

For more information on the Shoot for the Stars Foundation visit shootforthestars.org. Long Live Pop Smoke!

Jamel Oakman for Renayssance Entertainment interviewing Audrey Jackson at The Brooklyn Estates in Brooklyn on April 10th, 2021. Photo courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode.
Audrey Jackson, mother of rapper Pop Smoke getting ready to speak with the media in Brooklyn on April 10th, 2020. Photo courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode.
Fun times in Brooklyn with friends! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3
At this year’s 2021 Billboard Music Awards, Pop Smoke won several awards for his posthumous album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. Pictured above is Pop Smoke’s mother Audrey Jackson at the BBMA’s on May 23rd, 2021 along with a family member holding all her son’s trophies.
Posted on 2 Comments

#ShirleyChisholm, A #BrooklynGirl With A Vision!

November 30th, 2020 marked the 96th birthday of politician, teacher, author and activist Shirley Chisholm. Although she is not mentioned as much as she should be when discussing American politics, Chisholm was an extremely important figure in the American political system.

Shirley Chisholm (born Shirley Anita St. Hill.) began her decorated career as a teacher’s aide in Harlem, N.Y. in 1946. Seven years later in 1953, Chisholm officially entered the world of American politics advocating for Lewis Flagg Jr. who became the first Black judge elected in Brooklyn.

Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress where she served seven terms (1969-1983). In 1972, Chisholm became the first African-American candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America. As well as the first woman ever to run for the Democratic Party as a presidential nominee.

However, in 2005 (only 15 years ago) when Shirley Chisholm passed, there were no national memorial services or even a nationally-televised special to honor her. Why? Chisholm single-handedly paved the way for all of today’s top political figures including fellow Brooklynite Ruth Bader Ginsburg who recently passed in September 2020.

In 2015, ten years after her death, Chisholm was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2019, Shirley Chisholm State Park opened to the public in East New York, Brooklyn . The state park created to honor Chisholm in her hometown is the largest state park in New York City stretching 407 acres. Now all we need is a giant-sized statue erected in Washington D.C. to honor Chisholm who was a giant-sized figure herself.

Let’s start celebrating our heroes while they are still here living and breathing! Shirley Chisholm was a true Brooklyn girl with a vision! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

“Our confrontation must be against an all-time vision of America. Our confrontation must be against Blacks in the cotton and tobacco fields. Our confrontation must be against women in the kitchen. Our confrontation must be against Blacks at the back door and women at the bedroom door. Those bad, old days are dead.” – Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm x United States Vice President Kamala Harris courtesy of Shirley Chisholm Institute.
New York City’s first Black Mayor, David N. Dinkins standing in front of a portrait of Shirley Chisholm.
Shirley Chisholm teaching early in her career.
Shirley Chisholm teaching early in her career.
Shirley Chisholm at work.
Shirley Chisholm seated with the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971.
Political Activist Rosa Parks and Shirley Chisholm together at an event.
Image of Shirley Chisholm State Park in Brooklyn, New York.
Posted on Leave a comment

The World 🌍 (and #Coachella) Before Social Distancing!

#TBT’s to #Coachella 2018 when social distancing was an unknown verb… 😢 It was the best of times and what a time to be alive! Who would’ve thought that just two short years later the whole world would be a different place? Thank goodness for pictures to help us hold on to all the special memories for a while. Check out some of our best photos from Coachella 2018 aka “Beychella.” While we quarantine, we’ll just close our eyes and imagine we’re there. Better days ahead! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Posted on Leave a comment

#BrooklynGirlCode’s #NewConnectionsMixer #EventRecap!

A huge and unexpected snow storm hit NYC this past Thursday. It was messy and caused record breaking traffic jams in the tri-state area. But that didn’t stop E.K.O. Event Group from hosting a great event at the swanky Yotel hotel located right in the heart of Times Square, New York.

The event aptly titled “New Connections Mixer” had a great turn out despite the storm. The building was packed with intelligent, smart and successful young professionals doing their thing in the media, fashion and beauty industries. Young millennial representatives from conglomerates like beauty house Estée Lauder and media powerhouse BET came out to give good advice and share their stories of success with the next up-and-coming corporate executives. So, you already know #BrooklynGirlCode was in the building and we had a wonderful time making new connections at the “New Connection Mixer!”

Check out pics from this past Thursday’s event below and make sure to enjoy your weekend! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ 💜

Making new connections at the #NewConnectionsMixer at Yotel in #NYC.
Posted on Leave a comment

#HappyMemorialDay 🇺🇸 from #BrooklynGirlCode! 🖤

Photo of the Provost Guard of the 107th Colored Infantry, Fort Corcoran, Washington D.C., 1863 courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Photo of the Provost Guard of the 107th Colored Infantry, Fort Corcoran, Washington D.C., 1863 courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Photo of the Provost Guard of the 107th Colored Infantry, Fort Corcoran, Washington D.C., 1863 courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Another Memorial Day is upon us! And with all the events going on in the world, it’s hard to take a moment to relax and reflect on what Memorial Day really means to us as American citizens. For some, it’s (paid) time off of work and a well deserved break. For others, it’s all about the family gatherings and cookouts and celebrating another season of summer. All of these traditions are well accepted. However, many might not know that the origin of Memorial Day actually started in Charleston, S.C. (a place where most of my family is from) in the 1800’s and the holiday began to commemorate 200+ Union soldiers that died due to the result of poor conditions at the Confederate Prison Camps in Charleston during the Civil War. The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture posted a great photo on Instagram of a group of African-American soldiers from the war to educate readers on the origin of Memorial Day. NMAAHC stated in their caption:

“Today is the day that our nation takes pause to celebrate the service and sacrifice of our military heroes that gave their lives to secure our freedoms. The earliest commemoration of what would later become Memorial Day, was organized in a former Confederate Prison Camp in Charleston, S.C. on May 1, 1865. The celebration was established by over 1,000 newly freed African Americans, in addition to U.S. Colored Troops regiments and a small group of white Charlestonians. This group came together to honor the 257 Union soldiers that died as a result of the poor conditions of the Confederate Prison Camp during the war. They removed the soldiers from a mass grave that the Confederates made and created proper burial grounds for Union soldiers. Together they sang hymns, set flowers, and gave readings in honor of the soldiers’ sacrifice. #MemorialDay #MilitaryAppreciationMonth #APeoplesJourney #ANationsStory”

Author Sewell Chan also wrote a great piece for the New York Times titled The Unofficial History of Memorial Day. In the article, Chan gets more in depth about the holiday. A great article to check out when you get a free moment from stuffing your face with cheeseburgers. Salute to all of the soldiers who lost their lives fighting to keep us free so that we can all have the opportunity to celebrate these holidays in peace! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

The Unofficial History of Memorial Day via The New York Times

Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 2.45.10 PM

Posted on 1 Comment

#TheAudacityOfHope: Obama’s Best White House Photos

President Obama on the White House lawn watching Olympian Fencer Tim Morehouse and U.S. National Team Fencer Daria Schneider fence. Photo courtesy of AP

The votes are all in and it’s official! Our beloved President Barack Obama is on his way out of the White House and Donald Trump is on his way in! *Takes 5 minute break to digest what I just typed.* Still, with that being said, nothing can take away from the two great terms that President Barack Obama gave us as the 44th President of the United States of America. He was a President of many firsts. Including the first to visit the island of Cuba since President Calvin Coolidge in 1928. President Obama also became the first president to visit a federal prison in 2015, the first time for any sitting president in the history of the United States. So, in honor of Obama exiting, I’ve compiled a list of some of his best photos taken by Chief Official White House photographer Pete Souza over the last eight years via his awesome and eloquent Instagram account. So, no tears today, please! Because life will most definitely go on! Just sit back and check out the awesome photos below and remember all the good times that we had while Obama was here!

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-56-11

screenshot-2016-11-09-19-00-20
Only right that President Obama and former President Abraham Lincoln meet face-to-face.

President Obama on the White House lawn watching Olympian Fencer Tim Morehouse and U.S. National Team Fencer Daria Schneider fence. Photo courtesy of AP
President Obama on The White House lawn watching Olympian Fencer Tim Morehouse and U.S. National Team Fencer Daria Schneider fence. Photo courtesy of Associated Press.

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-57-22

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-54-22

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-54-47

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-54-00

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-00-33
President Obama became the first sitting president in the history of the United States to visit inmates at a federal prison in 2015. Photo via okwassap.com.

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-53-34

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-53-19

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-53-00

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-52-35

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-51-09

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-50-50

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-50-27
Because we all need a beer break sometimes, right?

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-48-27
And a coconut water break, too!

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-49-01

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-48-00

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-47-20

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-43-14

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-46-12

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-45-56

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-45-21

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-42-41

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-46-53

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-42-05

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-41-33

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-41-14

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-40-54

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-47-06

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-29-43
2016 Olympic Fencer and my friend, Ibtihaj Muhammad with President Barack Obama at the White House.

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-59-32
Syrian Refugee Olympian, Yusra Mardini poses with Barack Obama photo via NBC Sports.

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-44-05

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-43-53

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-44-46

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-55-10

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-51-10

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-51-01

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-55-55

screenshot-2016-11-09-17-50-27

screenshot-2016-11-09-18-05-19

screenshot-2016-11-09-18-06-05

screenshot-2016-11-09-18-05-43

screenshot-2016-11-09-16-56-10

screenshot-2016-11-09-18-06-26

Posted on Leave a comment

The Hip-Hop Culture, Jordan Sneakers and Globalization

Photographed by Goran Tomasevic in Sirte, Libya for TIME Magazine
Photographed by Goran Tomasevic in Sirte, Libya for TIME Magazine

This is definitely the craziest photo that I’ve seen online all week. I had to repost this one. This photo was taken in Sirte, Libya for TIME Magazine by photographer Goran Tomasevic. If you look closer, the young man holding the machine gun is also wearing a fresh new pair of Michael Jordan (Air Jordan) sneakers and they even match his khakis! This photo speaks volumes about globalization and the huge affect that urban and Hip-Hop culture has had on the youth worldwide! So crazy but still very interesting! Your thoughts?!

(Images shared in this post were taken from TIME Magazine’s Instagram page: @time and Aziza Hassan’s Instagram page: @rashidaaz)