Nikes Up in Flames

Furious rage spreads like wildfire among former Nike consumers following the multinational brand’s 30th anniversary ad campaign featuring, former 49ers Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick on Monday, Sept. 3.

As people across the nation relaxed from a day off work: indulging in festive barbecues and parades; the fate of the nations political stance relied on (Kaepernick) who yet again broke the internet-not by taking a knee this time, but standing in alliance with the iconic brand, inevitably sending social media users into an enraged frenzy.  Which led most to raid their closets and rid their wardrobe of Nike apparel. Supporters, applaud Nike for its act of morality in commending Kaepernick rather than condemning.  

Since the announcement, social media uncontrollably buzzes with supporters reposting Kaepernick’s controversial Nike ad.

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Along with celebrities and ordinary civilians, alike, creating their own variation Kaepernick’s photograph.

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The country now in divides as Nike supporters take a celebratory stance on this decision versus the opposing side igniting flames to their Nike gear.

When did freedom of speech and protest represent disloyalty?  Athletes and public figures, who have an established platform are entitled to exercise their personal beliefs and advocate for unresolved social injustices (i.e, routined police brutality).  When did protesting for basic human rights and equality become a symbolism of national hatred or deemed as unpatriotic?  

Even with all this heat Nike faces from protestors, the brand seems to have its laces tied tight, in preparation to walk through the fire, refusing to kneel to the status quo. Even if it means jeopardizing the global brand.

According to Edison Trend most recent sales report, mentioned on MarketWatch, Nike has witnessed a 31% increase, in opposition of the anticipated decline influenced by national protests.

We are not too sure what the national divide in consumership means for the future of Nike sales performance. Evidently, Nike is unwavered by the protests and threats.The company remains optimistic about their choice and refueled to extinguish any flames set in their path.

“Are your Dreams Crazy Enough? If they seem impossible right now, you’re doing it right.” (Quote featured on Nike’s official website page.)

Feel free to indulge in some hilarious and controversial memes featuring familiar faces. Enjoy!

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The AfroPunk Experience: Live in your truth

IMG_2464Leikeli47 performing at AfroPunk17

This post is long overdue, but it’s better now than never, right?

When it comes to AfroPunk, a few things come to mind:

Eclectic fashion

Black culture

Music

Afros

Natural hair/braids

Unity

Platfroms

Free spirits

Diversity

Punk rockers

& Of course a whole lot of “BK love”

Personally,  after experiencing AfroPunk for myself what comes to mind is love for ALL people. Yes, white supremacists you read correctly, I said all people. So that includes your Negro lovin’ white brethren.

Amidst all the hatred that has occurred and is transpiring, it warmed my heart to see people of different cultures, ages, and various backgrounds congregate together. Events like AfroPunk show that no matter how disparate, inferior or superior, society attempts to make us feel, in the grand scheme of things we’re actually all just human beings.  AfroPunk is more than just a fashion runway for attendees , a concert lineup of dope artists (both mainstream and upcoming) it’s an open forum for individuals to freely be their self in their most truest and purest form. In this space of Afrocentric love and appreciation; people are able to be Black and proud + say it out loud! With no discrimination to any other cultures.

Is it fake of me for initially wanting to see three main performers: The sultry Solange, fearless Willow Smith, and carefree SZA.

Yea, I guess it is a little fake of me for wanting to support only three artists among the array of talented acts. Well guess what AfroPunk organizers caught the drift and I was swindled into paying for a weekend pass. Yup they got me. Oh and By the way, Solange, SZA and Willow you’re welcome.

All in all, the AfroPunk experience is one of the major highlights of summer 2017 and it’s also my first official summer returning home to reclaim my place as a New Yorker after years of traveling to and from Buffalo, residing there for a year as a post-graduate (Phew) that was a mouth full. Let me just say it’s bittersweet readjusting to living in NYC with my parents in my childhood home. any who, that’s another story for a different day.

Back to the main topic, AfroPunk! There isn’t a more satisfying feeling in the world than having the opportunity to wholeheartedly live in an experience you’ve always wanted to do. Most of us (yes, i’m including myself) pile a ton of things on our to-do lists, but never actually live to see the day that particular seeded dream manifests into a living breathing reality.

The feelings of love and good vibes immersed me, almost suffocated me both physically and emotionally. I felt a sense of relief being in a place where people weren’t overtly judging others for their clothes, hairstyle or musical choice. We embraced and celebrated all of our differences and similarities through the love of music.

For those New Yorkers who have not gone to AfroPunk, I say this you should be ashamed of yourself and even if it’s not your thing you shouldn’t knock it before you try it. Check out the line up and give it a shot, you might just discover some new music to add to your playlistI, I know I did. Besides my three must-see artists, I’m now feeling the Afrocentric, feminist vibe of the HWIC Princess Nokia, the fast paced, get-up-outyour-seat hip hop dance music of Leikeli 47 and hardcore, British rapper Little Simz made Nicki Minaj and Remy Martin look like mere nursery rhymes.

Looking back at the AfroPunk Saturday lineup, there was some serious female empowerment vibes.

The most important aspect of AfroPunk is that it’s not a place to proliferate ideologies of sexism, racism, xenophobia and/or cruel intentions. Leave your violence and negativity at the door, as the great, rap trio Migos once said “Yea that way”—> For those of you who don’t know what that means let me clarify: Leave. The. BS. At the door. It’s not welcome in this space.

Self expression comes in multiple forms, love of music, fashion, and artistry. Thank you AfroPunk for allowing us to freely incorporate all three.

And my Amigos here a few fun pictures for you to scroll through. Enjoy!

IMG_2489What can I say, I have a thing for murals.

IMG_2472 .    Little Simz

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“Hoping my 20-somethings don’t end, hoping to keep the rest of my friends” -SZA

 

 

 -S.Yolee

According to America, not all are created equally 

I woke up this morning with a prayer in my heart and rapid thoughts running through my mind
My black People this oppressive society was not made for us
This society was not made to love us

No matter how good we do and who we strive to be, we are always perceived as the public’s enemy.

I fear for my brothers; they go to work everyday, pay their bills on time, pay their taxes and strive to be better each day

But of course when you’re black the world doesn’t see all the good you do, 

When you’re black only negativity and racial stigmas surround you.

When you’re black that’s all people see 

Your skin complexion and not the person you are or strive to be

Truthfully I’m tired and afraid

I fear one day I’ll become yet another helpless and unprotected victim to this mass racial genocide. 

They want us to hide! 

But we won’t 

Black people, my beautiful people.

 We are divided within our own and they see that. They know that no matter how much of us they kill, they won’t get convicted, instead they’ll walk off free. Walk freely as if no harm was done and a human being whose life was valuable became invaluable in a split second. 

They’re killing us based on centuries of normalization to brutalize, terrorize and assassinate “negroes” & “niggers”.

They’ve made a career out of hunting us down and terminating us like innocent, helpless prey. 

Yet, we’re the savages!

I’m so tired of this! I’m scared! I don’t want to live in fear, but just like Eric Garner, Emmett till, trayvon Martin, not one of my fellow black ppl knew their end was near! 

We need help! This is a cry for justice! 

We’re not equal.

My black people don’t believe their lies and hypocrisy 

Please don’t allow them to make Alton Sterling yet another police brutality  account.

 We deserve change

we deserve justice. 

These persecutors need to be punished

I don’t know who else to go to or where to complain. Our voices, our protests, and our poetry are only heard in vain

No one takes us seriously 

No one wants to  feel our pain.