Author: A. Haqq Islam

Learning Curve

“I don’t know what we could have done for God to have given us a fag as a child’, her mother said before hanging up.” -Morris, Alex “The For-Saken” (Rolling Stone) A year ago, I lost my middle daughter; she was gay. When our children are born we promise them unconditional love. Once she came out to the family, my love for her became conditional. It was a very confusing period for me and caused a severe strain in our relationship. To overcome this state of confusion, I took inventory of my life and thought of all the gay...

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Capitalism, Race & The Plight of Black Music

  The lack of a single Black artists being nominated in the categories of Best New Artist, Song of the Year or Record of the Year at the 2015 Grammy’s was simultaneously interesting, troubling and unsurprising. Black artists have been pioneers in the entertainment industry for decades, yet many of those same artists have been snubbed with a lack of mainstream acceptance and accolades. It hard to believe, but no major record label wanted to sign Jay Z or Kanye West; even The Beatles were first turned away by major American record labels. Black-owned labels gave all of them...

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Beyond The Lights: Critical Highs But Box Office Wows

  Despite the disappointing box office receipts for opening weekend, grossing only $6.5 million, Beyond The Lights did manage to win over critics earning the prestigious “A” grade from box office aggregator CinemaScore, which is well deserved. Rarely does Hollywood place it’s money on a romantic drama with Black actors as it’s stars. For that reason alone, “Beyond the Lights” is special. Go see it!  However, what takes this movie to the level of extraordinary is the way the story is written and told by writer/director Gina Price-Bythewood.  The story centers around Noni Jean, magnificently played by Hollywood new...

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