The Arts Blog

14 Apr
Posted by Obiora N. Anekwe

As we see, the story remains the same with little regard for black lives. We may chant the motto “Black Lives Matter!” but how much do our lives really matter in a global society that devalues the significance of black people? In recent days, a cellular phone video footage surfaced showing Michael T. Slager, a white police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, shooting Walter L.Scott eight times as he fled, killing him while he ran away.

The shooting came to light after other high profile tragedies occurred where police officers used excessive lethal force in New York, Cleveland, Ferguson, and Missouri. In each of these critical cases throughout various regions and states, the black men involved were viewed as a “threat” in which police officers often stated that they “feared for their lives.” As a result, these black men were brutally killed with little to no recourse for their senseless killings.

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09 Mar
Posted by Obiora N. Anekwe

This past week, the U.S. Department of Justice publicized a 102-page investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department after a jury failed to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the August 2014 shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. The investigative report revealed the department’s consistent pattern of racial bias in policing. The report came in the light of civil unrest and protests by demonstrators in Ferguson and around the country who claimed that racial bias in policing has persisted for years in Ferguson. In another report by the justice department, it concluded that Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson did not commit any civil rights violations in the tragic shooting and death of teenager Michael Brown.

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20 Feb
Posted by Obiora Nnamdi Anekwe

The television show Empire, loosely based on William Shakespeare's King Lear and James Goldman's The Lion in Winter, is a modern day Greek tragedy with musical overtones that transposes themes centered on black male homophobia, alcoholism, and bipolar disorder into fixtures for modern public engagement. In my view, Lee Daniels' artistic vision challenges conventional means to bring these sometimes unpopular and rarely discussed themes to the forefront through the medium of musical television. These sensitive themes are often unexplored within the black community, but necessary to confront.

One universal disease that has not garnered much attention is ALS. In an effort to visually engage viewers through trendy plot lines and imagery, Daniels brings to light and exposes his audience to the debilitating effects of ALS. In Empire, Lucious Lyon, the central character and head of Empire Records, seeks to keep his music and entertainment company within the family.

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