Amidst all the chaos, sorrow, grief, and existential moments of crisis, we can find moments in our daily lives to center us in our purpose and keep us moving on. With Jake Troth, that purpose is the creation of music that matters...Progress and inclusivity are core principles seen at work in not only his music, but in Troth’s character as well. It’s a spiraling journey, one that may lead you astray every once in a while as you wind through and around the overwhelming information and politics of everyday life in America. But it’s also a journey of finding purpose and uplifting others around you in the combined aspiration for a better future—one where everyone can be valued and loved.
I sat down with the creators of Gumbo Magazine in the middle of June. I had never felt such an immense connection in the affirmation that the work I do as a Black creative is important, other than my daily conversations with icon and visual artist extraordinaire Felton Kizer. Matthew Manning, Courtney Phillips, and Aja Van Buren were like a slice of heavenly creation, beautiful not only in their collective mission to create authentic spaces for Black folk and allow for unaltered Black narratives to be told, but also in their existence.
Today, Black people are hanging from trees, shot dead in their own homes, and suffocated on the street in front of crowds. We are assaulted on the daily, with our very lives being snatched away from us and captured in the pixels and drives of smartphones. That is why it is important we understand the resources we have to protect ourselves in the wake of this revolution.
This is how I came to know Javaron Buckley, a Chicago lawyer from a small town called Bassfield in Mississippi.
Meeting Sunny was like getting swept into an emotional current so intense it left you breathless. Laughter chimed through the social club as she visualized the fruition of her pop star dream. Her T-shirt’s shoulder pads were soaked in the tears that trickled down her smooth skin while she recounted the fight to survive amidst everything crashing down around her. A theatre of emotion exploded from her very being to teach us, to remind us what it meant to be human.
What to the Black American is your Fourth of July, America? While on that day we may have become independent from one oppressor, America was certainly not free—not when 3.95 million people in America were still enslaved by 7.4 percent of all American families five years after Douglass made this statement. Those numbers could even be low, since it was common for a White Southerner to be a slave master but not technically a slave owner.
You might see the headline of this story and think oh finally, a story about attractive young women who love to ski or a young child who is learning how to ski. If you roll with a different crowd, you might know this term as it relates to people, typically women, who are addicted to cocaine. If so, you’re in for a different kind of adventure, because this isn’t a story about skiing or cocaine. This is an expose of snow bunnies in the context of White women who explicitly fetishize their preference for relationships with Black men and vice versa.