Tag Archives: social media

#BlackHealth365 Spring Detox Giveaway!

Rejoice, Spring is finally here!

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We want you to get excited about the fresh air, rising flowers, and yummy seaonsal fruits coming your way! #BlackHealth365 is hosting a giveaway contest, beginning Friday, March 20th through March 22nd, and everyone is invited to participate! The object is to get our bodies ready for the new season via a 3 day detox utilizing fresh smoothies, juices, and clean meals. We have beautiful prizes to give away to the most creative and active participants who follow the rules:

1. You must share pictures of your smoothie/juice/clean meal on twitter and/or Instagram telling us what it is and how long it took you to prepare using the hashtag #BlackHealth365 so that we can see your unique creation.

2. You cannot post the same smoothie/juice/meal recipe twice. Variety is the spice of life, so each detox component must be something different to share with spectators and participants!

3. You must upload at least twice a day for the 3 days.

4. All ingredients must be fresh!

5. Have fun and good luck!

There will be a total of 5 giveaway winner who we know will be more than satisfied with the fruits of their hard work! We are more than excited to be coming into the new season with you beautiful people on such a healthy start!

At the end of the contest we encourage everyone to comb through the hashtag and write down recipe’s and ideas never tried before. We also ask that you continue to use the hashtag because you never know when we may do a surprise giveaway for folks who frequently share the wealth!

Tweet @BlackHealth365 with any questions you have about the contest, beginning March 20th. 😉

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The Music & Metaphysics of Sun Ra

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Sun Ra, the “godfather” of Afrofuturism in music and pioneer of the genre “free jazz,” is in a league of his own. His large body of creative work and personal style speaks directly to the souls of Black folks everywhere, seeking to use art as a platform for Black liberation. With the help of his Intergalactic Myth-Science Solar “Arkestra” (see: band), Sun Ra used free jazz, old Egyptian symbols, and “far out” ideologies concerning the state of Black identity in his 1974 film “Space Is The Place,” which is a total embodiment of what Afrofuturism is all about. Through his eccentric costumes, Afrocentric radical thought, and almost incompressible “transmolecular” sounds, Sun Ra takes his followers on a journey of “imagining possible futures through a Black cultural lens.” (Ytasha Womack)

In the film “Space Is The Place,” what first catches the eye of viewers is Sun Ra’s stand-out appearance. This alone speaks volumes for the energy this man brings through his artistry. By looking at him dressed as the Ancient Egyptian god Ra, you’re immediately taken back to a time when Black ruled the world. Sun Ra’s alternate universal appearance brings the past and possible futures to the present in an attempt to spark both memory and possibilities into the mind of Blacks here on Earth. The film begins with Sun Ra descending from space in spaceship which unifies with the yellow cape and Sun crown worn atop his head. At first glance this is both shocking and exciting for the viewer. His style, in my own words, can be best described as ancient Egyptian Pharaoh meets futuristic space alien. He is clearly not of this planet, as he won’t let us forget throughout the remainder of the film.

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            Sun Ra totally rejects Earth as his home. In an attempt to escape the rigidness of racist white supremacist societies and the many stereotypes forced upon him and his people, he takes the form of an intergalactic god. Bound by no definition or ideology that isn’t his own, he returns to Earth to square off with his arch nemesis “the overseer,” who is an amalgamation of Black archetypes, specifically the Black man as “pimp,” which were commonplace in most Blaxploitation films during the movie’s release. Sun Ra’s god portrayal was an alternative challenge to this archetype. He rejected racist white lens of his Black being and defined himself as “the altered destiny; the presence of the living myth.”

In addition to a bold, eccentric, style and an autonomous definition of self, Sun Ra’s main goal while on Earth was to free those “ghetto” Blacks who couldn’t escape the many labels they were caged by. He teleported into a recreational room filled with “good time” Black youth in an attempt to reach them by countering their accusations of him as “unreal” by confirming:

I am not real, just like you in this society. You don’t exist. If you did your people wouldn’t be seeing equal rights…You’re not real. If you were you would have some status among the nations of the world. So we’re both myth’s…I came from a dream that the Black man dreamed long ago. I’m actually a present sent to you by your ancestors.

In this message to his people, Sun Ra forces the youth to think critically about their place in society. He challenges their ease in the identities bestowed upon them by the white man and urges them to be the natural creators they were born to be. In a sense he is saying “you don’t matter here, on this planet, anyway, so why not be whatever you want to be.” This stream of afrofuturist thought is one of the most standout scenes in the film, for it is the crux of Sun Ra’s “job” there on Earth.

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            Sun Ra’s music, much like the language he uses throughout this film, is seemingly nonsensical. He continues the traditional use of coded language Blacks have used for centuries as a tool of communication and survival in order to confuse the listening ears of slavers and government agents looking to infiltrate any plans of liberation. One could describe the sounds of his free jazz genre as purely improvisation. He seems to make up notes and sounds and compilation of the two as he goes along to make the statement that as a free Black, not bound by Earth, he can do as he pleases and present himself in his own choice. Likening himself to the wind, viewers can better grasp the radical essence of Sun Ra’s artistry when he makes the powerful statement of “I, the wind, come and go as I choose, and none can stop me.”

With such powerful messages from both past and the future, one begs the question of where an artist like Sun Ra emerges from. From my viewpoint, he is afrofuturism in the flesh, in that he lives and breathes this “kingdom of darkness and Blackness [where] none can enter except those of the Black spirit.” A kingdom where “nothingness” and boundless sound waves reign supreme in a land, similar to Kemet, where Black is free to just be.

Watch the Brilliant film below to get a better understanding of the “other world” in which Sun Ra dwells:

Who Are You Again?

How often have you introduced yourself as your twitter/instagram handle? I personally need more than two hands to count the number of times I have done this. There are people who I consider real friends who only refer to me as my online nomenclatures. 
 
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In this day and age of everything being readily available, I feel we have lost touch on what personal relationships can be when we engage in a purely reality based  interactions. Where we learn each others likes and dislikes through talking instead of timelines. Where we get out of this romanticized view of the world and actually experience what it has to offer. The fear of missing out is becoming less and less of an observance and more of an diagnosis. 
 
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We tend to see pictures of people having a good time and in ours minds we believe that their fun is way more enjoyable than anything we are currently partaking in. When the reality is that, that picture is a moment and not an event. The person smiling with the solo cup is not an accurate model for the person before nor after the shutter has closed. A picture they say is worth a thousand words but who is to say that any of these words are true. The greatest hiding place for dispare is behind a smile.
 
I implore you to seek fulfillment outside of social networks. Think about how often your experiences are diminished to nothing more than a hashtag. Is that not saddening? I live by the adage that anyone who is truly having the time of their lives is too busy in the moment to document it. Our greatest moment will always be captured with our eyes and saved in our hearts of which there are no passwords. 
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Live your life off of the computer screen. Develop a personna that extends beyond and app. Do not fear the virtuous state of mystery. Is it okay for people to ask you how your trip was, did you get that job you were excited for, etc. I challenged all the viewers to downgrade their next big adventure. Make a physical photo album for when friends come over to visit, this creates conversation. There is nothing like face to face interactions, these will never go out of style. So log off and go out into the world, go off grid and embrace the sunshine and soft kisses the earth has provided in the form of wind.
 
As Always, I love You, God loves You, Love Yourself,
Man of Madu

The Demise of the Mainstream.

It is very clear that the power of technology has been sweeping newspapers, television and radio out of the way with social networks and online publications. Along with this technological turn-around people are creating their own websites and online plug-ins to give voice to the unheard. With all of this in mind, mainstream media is the trend of yesterday and it might be detrimental to society and power structures. What can mainstream do to recover? At this point, nothing. There’s a new movement coming in and mainstream might get a run for their corporation money.

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To begin, I am using the term “mainstream” here to describe all the popular, “trendy” news outlets and traditional media that we always watch for our daily news. Not too long ago, we relied on these outlets to let us know what was happening in the world. But the spin turned viewers to wake up in the morning, check their Facebooks and Twitters and find out whats trending! Talk about news at your finger tips, its literally there. 

Daily updates on trendy crime and Obama’s social status is cool and all, but that isn’t the discussion we are planning to prove. Allowing non traditional representations of people to create profiles, gain followers, and share their experiences and opinions is probably the complete OPPOSITE of what mainstream intended to show. This institutional system that fed us information for so long and control the social norm is QUICKLY giving up the power to free media, and a place for Feminist, LBTQ citizens, the Black community, and any other marginalized group known to man, a voice to be heard. 

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Bad for this capitalistic society, but good for the masses. In this epic era of change and controversy, we are allowing the people to be our source of information and social media to be our outlets and learning the things that we have been turned from for so long. We are using this channel to find out the unknown and creating a learning community for ALL to discover. And because of this outlet of virtual learning, the traditional way of getting information is slowing coming to a close. 

Sorry traditional media, but we the people are coming together and creating news for OURSELVES. Miss us with the traditional news and bullshit information. We aren’t buying it anymore. 

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Chasing the Tweet: How Social Media Dehumanizes Tragedy

The information on tragedies that plummet the world, whether man made or natural disasters is becoming more easily accessible. The recent bombing at the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts early in the afternoon on Monday April 15th shook the nation. A friend of mine said it happened during his 2:00 pm class and there were 6 variations of suspects and victims by 4 pm. I am grateful for information that is readily available but social networks are surely making prominent appearance in crisis both local and global. Twitter caused multiple trusted sources including Fox News and CNN to make retractions because of all the false news claiming to be useful sources.

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Our adolescent communities (ages 14-20) have found a way to make profit from the tragedies. Not monetary profit but fame and recognition. They use photos of fake victims and make up false eye witness accounts just to say “That was me; I said that first”. A recent trend has been using pictures and retweets to gain popularity on Twitter. An image of an eight year old girl said to have been running for Sandy Hook victims was killed. Or maybe it was a boy? Or maybe they weren’t killed but a limb was amputated. This is the type of untrue accounts floating around on the web. My Twitter night timeline was filled was #PrayForBoston, #BostonMarathon, and #Boston, by the same people that couldn’t lift a finger to help raise money or awareness for local deaths in the community including the passing to two Rowan Students in the same weekend at separate events.

images-34Social media had become so polluted I don’t know what to believe anymore. Every wants to be a journalist but what one needs to know is that journalist are trained for this and they do it for the love of information. People are using mainstream tragedies to get there tweets up and I am sick of it. Furthermore, when a person shows genuine interest people want to call them “preachers” and assume that their concern is short lived. If I want to tweet about social inequality before after or during a tragedy, public announcement, or swearing in of the Pope that’s just what I’m going to do. I may lose followers and friends in the process but there is nothing more important than free speech. So don’t just pray for Boston pray for the world.  

Ayanna Lyons

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p.s. keep in mind this is very rough!