Fahamu Pecou: Furthering Black Consciousness

Fahamu Pecou: Furthering Black Consciousness

Visual Artist, Fahamu Pecou, visits Morehouse College

Getting to know the work of visual artist Fahamu Pecou takes more than glancing at his seemingly hip paintings in hit TV shows such as Empire and Black-ish, or in galleries around the world. Pecou entices his audience by using facets of contemporary Black culture that are popularized and hyped. Although his audience may initially believe Pecou is romanticizing negative aspects of Black culture, he is in fact addressing issues of Black masculinity and hip-hop culture through the vehicle of his artwork.

This past week Morehouse College had the opportunity to have Fahamu Pecou share his artwork and his journey. Many Morehouse students and administrators discovered that the purpose of his work was extremely pertinent to a value which Morehouse prides itself on, Black consciousness.

Through parody and satire, Pecou exposes how stereotypes of Black men shape Black consciousness. One of his most famous collections, “Hard 2 Death”, exemplifies Pecou’s efforts surrounding black consciousness. This collection plays out the stereotype of Black men who sag their pants, as well as Black men who attain their style from a younger and more hip generation. Pecou shows the absurdness of the act of sagging by depicting himself in layers of underwear with his pants hanging down to his knees. In some of his other works, he portrays himself in children wear to show the twistedness of how older generations bite off the style and culture of younger generations. Another one of Pecou’s famous collection that surrounds Black consciousness is “All Dat Glitters Aint Goals”. In this collection, Pecou paints himself in an exaggerated manner, wearing chains and flexing his tattoos. He calls into question the way hip-hop culture measures one’s self-worth and long term goals. In one of his paintings, “Heir Conditioning”, Pecou depicts himself with tattoos of the words “What Next”. Pecou is questioning the values that hip-hop culture deploys to the Black community and our society as a whole. Paintings like these are staples of what Pecou stands for.

Stereotypes of Black men continue to perpetuate the negative perception that society has about them, as well as influence the youth. Because of this, it appears that the Black consciousness lacks a centralized promising identity. Pecou continues to utilize his work to draw attention to issues surrounding black consciousness, as well as question the way society perceives Black masculinity and hip-hop culture.

Fahamu Pecou’s visit with Morehouse students was an affirming connection between the two sides. Pecou and Morehouse are both striving for the similar end goal, which is to strengthen the Black consciousness, but they are using different avenues to arrive there. Morehouse is furthering the cause through education, as Pecou is doing the same through visual art.

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A Wrinkle In Time, Flop Or Not?

A Wrinkle In Time may not be a masterpiece, but it has a galaxy-sized heart.

Tuesday night, March 13th for anyone who wants specifics, the family and I decided to break our weekly norm and check out the newest film to grace our rural town’s local theater. The choice turned out to be simple as it was between "Black Panther" and "A Wrinkle in Time." It was my step-daughters choice and as neither film had Superman or was a teen-drama interest piece, she gracefully chose "A Wrinkle in Time." (I plan to go see "Black Panther" by myself) Now, before I get any farther, heed my warning that there be spoilers ahead!

"A Wrinkle In Time," as directed by Ava DuVernay, is an adaptation of the author Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved 1962 Newbery Medal-winning fantasy novel. The film follows Meg Murry (Storm Reid) whose life has been seemingly on a downhill spiral of anti-social behavior and poor school performance after her father mysteriously disappears 4 years earlier. Meg’s father Dr. Alex Murry (Chris Pine) is a renowned physicist, who was working on something big. Exploring the possibilities of rapid transit between stars, galaxies, who knows the limitations!

Through a means of a tesseract, a so-called “wrinkle in time” where space itself folds. After Meg causes some trouble by fighting back against the bullying at school, her life begins to change. The sudden, and the much-unexpected arrival of Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) add a new mystery to Meg’s life as they explain they have come to help her find her father. Along with one of Meg’s classmates, Calvin O’Keefe (Levi Miller) and her little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), they set off with the three Mrs. to follow their father’s galactic breadcrumbs as they trek across the universe.

Mrs. Which reveals to Meg a great evil, and encroaching darkness upon the universe known as The It, and it threatens each step they take and ultimately the entire universe. With the assistance of an oracle type character known as the Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis) Meg discovers her father is trapped by the It on the world Camazotz. Facing the It won’t be easy for the three young kids while Meg is dealing with issues of identity and self-doubt. It is uncertain if they will be able to save Dr. Murry or even themselves.

The overall storyline was simplistic with its concentration on the conflict of good versus evil/light versus dark. With the main character filled with self-doubt and fear – who is pressed forward by companions and the assistance of a magical being, or three in this case. Set out on a mysterious adventure fraught with danger and life alerting lessons in the pursuit to rescue the damsel in distress, in this case, Dr. Alex Murry, Meg’s father.

While some sequences are aesthetically beautiful and captivating others come across as bland. The overall story blends scientific theories with whimsical, star-studded, cast and interesting settings but doesn’t quite pull it all together in the end. The cast feels underused, and more often than not, just standing there in the foreground as a pretty face. There are often eye-rolling pieces of over-explained scenes and simplistic dialogue. The overall main character is Meg, the star of the film, and for the most part, she is the most developed character arc.

In the end, "A Wrinkle in Time" had the potential to be a compelling, well-rounded, character piece, but fell short. Often the characters take a back seat while the story remains frustratingly simple. The largely stared cast is captivatingly talented, delivering exception dialogue and performances. It is important to note, the film is aimed towards a younger audience.

Overall, the films theme target self-identity, a film of inspiration, inspiring young teens to be true to themselves and love themselves in spite of bullying or what terrible things may happen. Though the film has its eye-rolling clichés, it touches on relevant modern issues affecting our youth. This is a must-see film for families with younger kids, and don’t worry, it will still hold the interest of adults.

Despite a Rotten Tomatoes score of 42%, and a general audiences score of 36%. I would give this film a 3 out of 5 stars – and recommend it as a film for families with younger kids, possibly 13 years old and younger.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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5 Real Hacks To Being The Coolest Cat In College

These tips and tricks will help you rule the school, no doubt about it.

Did you come to college and not instantly become the hippest scholar on the block? Are you a prospective college student and worried about not fitting in with the cool kids? Are you a fifth year and trying to leave a legacy of having unprecedented levels of finesse? Have no fear. Here I present you with the most important hacks to coolness that I've learned in my first year of college.

1. Fill your room with plants

Not because they smell nice, but because photosynthesis rocks.

2. Introduce yourself by your middle name

First names are for squares. Everyone knows your first name is just what ~The Man~ wants you to go by. And don’t even get me started on surnames.

3. Throw your iPhone out and buy a new one

Consumerism is back in, baby.

4. Use a satchel

Backpacks are for wannabes. Plus, references to The Hangover are neat and ironic now. Show ‘em who’s boss with a functional crossbody bag!

5. Declare your Major right away

Because changing your mind is capital L Lame!

In conclusion, your college years will be a blast no matter what. They will be filled with stickers, Snackables, and shower sandals (my personal favorite part). Take risks! Fight some people about the Oxford comma, this is a little-known shortcut to a loving and lasting friendship! You can't do college wrong, but you can do college right! Follow these hacks and I promise, you won't remember your four years in college as the good old days, you'll remember them as the ~great~ old days.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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