A Political and Literary Forum
Through online fan communities and digital platforms like TikTok, popular music is finding powerful new ways to shape everyday activism, protest, and resistance.
Robin D. G. Kelley talks with musician Vijay Iyer about systems of oppression, the responsibility of artists, and how jazz sells proximity to blackness to white people.
Robin D. G. Kelley, Vijay Iyer
Prosecutors use defendants’ rap lyrics to win cases despite the flimsiest evidence. Behind this rests a unique paranoia around hip hop and a long history of criminalizing black art.
Erik Nielson, Andrea L. Dennis
30 years after the Wall, the story of Berlin's anarchist utopia.
Grammy winner David Ritz, who cowrote Marvin Gaye’s legendary “Sexual Healing,” recalls how the song emerged from Gaye’s struggles with faith, drug addiction, and childhood abuse.
‘Amazing Grace,’ the long-lost film of Franklin’s gospel album, offers a lesson in the deep connections between gospel and soul music.
Kanye represents what happens when the liberties of artistic genius are confused for political insight.
A personal essay on family, death, and the healing power of music.
Peter E. Gordon
What Afrofuturism can teach us about surviving Trump.
Mentorship is how the humanities justify themselves.
Overestimating the counterculture of the 1960s
A new collection of Lead Belly's recordings.
Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox
Robin Dembroff, Dee Payton
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