The Rose That Grew From Concrete.

Building an unbroken legacy

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40 years of ads highlight McDonald’s troubling relationship with black America

Attention, black people – McDonald’s really wants you to eat their food.

Whether you’re “gettin’ down” on some Chicken McNuggets or “lovin’” the return of the McRib, it’s important to recognize not just the tastiness of their artery-clogging delights, but how “real” and “deeply rooted” in your community the company is. They even sponsor a basketball tournament!

For many, this is no secret. The fast food giant hasn’t camouflaged its aggressive targeting of minority consumers, whether through eye roll-inducing linguistic coding or strategic community initiatives. But until NPR’s Gene Demby curated this 40-year series of Mickey D’s ads, the pattern’s long-term persistence hadn’t fully been explored – not to mention its devastating consequences.

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Jamel Shabazz: Street Photographer

Charlie Ahearn’s Film Retraces a Moment in New York Style - Video 1 / / 3

As a teenage photographer in early 80s East Flatbush, Brooklyn, Jamel Shabazz set out to document the then nascent movement of hip-hop. Through the iconic style of his MCs, neighborhood kids and gang members, the unequivocal attitude of New York’s youth was recognized as the calling card of the city’s creative renaissance. Published in 2001, Shabazz’ first book Back In The Days was celebrated as an exhilarating snapshot of the times, and his visual flair has been brought to life in a new documentary by the legendary hip-hop historian and director, Charlie Ahearn.  “On the cover of Jamel’s book were two young men on 42nd Street. They were captured posing in such strong form as a kind of respectful bulwark against all the chaos that you see around them on ‘The Deuce,’” explains Ahearn, the notable filmmaker also responsible for the classic old-school movie, Wild Style. “I immediately knew that here was an original artist for our time.” [1]

©jamel shabazz.all rights reserved

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