Russell Simmons provides a particularly interesting personality within the space of hip-hop and modern popular culture. As co-founder of Def Jam Records – the kick-and-push for the placement of hip-hop within the everyday – Simmons has not only seen, but has helmed much of the growth of rap music and rap music culture to the juggernaut it is today. From the first record pressing for L.L. Cool J. to the interconnected industry he has helped build, Simmons has served as a statesman of hip-hop through example.
A new edition of Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" is being published in February, replacing the "n-word," which shows up 219 times in the original edition. Instead the publisher, New South Books, uses the word "slave." New South's editor-in-chief, Randall Williams, told The Takeaway that removing the racial slur isn’t censorship.
White people used to own black people in the United States. And it was profitable to own black people because they performed labor that white people couldn’t or didn’t want to perform. And it was legal to own black people in the same way that it is now legal to own a cow, or a horse, or a dog.
McChrystal spoke out of turn – again – was figuratively chin checked, and provides an interesting cultural marker concerning issues of race within the United States.
It could be argued that the “loose cannon” and former Commander of U.S. and NATO Coalition Forces in Afghanistan would have talked slick about any administration and civilian leadership that he disagreed with, black president or no. There has been made the easy parallel between the present situation and that of President Truman and MacArthur during the Korean War. And the comparison fits, but for the fact that they typify two powerful white men going at it and this is a white four star general pushing at a black president within a hyper-media sphere.
Surely many might suggest this a reach, going in on the issue of race – but it’s there.
Like others on this show, Morehouse psychology professor — and Takeaway contributor — David Wall Rice bought into the hype surrounding Apple's new iPad this week. But on Earth Day, he put his new device away and got insight from a day without technology.
President Obama's State of the Union Address last night prompted a wide range of comments on style and policy. But maybe the most surprising came from MSNBC Chris Matthews, who said he "forgot that he was black tonight for an hour." We ask Morehouse College professor David Wall Rice.