The Bl@ck List: A Growing List of Black Musicians, Artists, Writers, And Then Some
The Second Wave – Soul, Summer Reading, and Sun Signs – Oh My!
written by Alicia Lynn
It is no secret that the summer break of 2020 has been lacking the luster of its predecessors. From plague to murder hornets, it seems a fresh batch of stress greets us each morning before we can even get our coffee. In avoidance of rabbit holes, I’ll opt to draw your focus to the one pressing matter that is not new. Briefly. I’ll sum up to say that Black Americans do not feel safe in America, have not felt safe in America, evidence (a lot of evidence) has been provided, and we have been relieved to be heard and supported by our allies.
And there is still so much work to do. Presently, as I’m writing this, it is Blackout Day 2020; a call to action. For one whole day, participants (Black Americans and allies) will only be spending money on Black-owned businesses; a cunning form of peaceful protest in a capitalist society. Thanks to the internet, this is also a safe form or protest amidst the Covid-19 pandemic (because that’s still a thing!).
Reports have been showing a trending uptick of support for Black businesses since May as more and more consumers seek to raise up the Black block of the American community through spending. Across the internet’s great expanse and throughout App-topia, lists and resources are springing forth to do their part. First Angel Media is no different! So welcome back to The Bl@ck List; an all-inclusive, bi-monthly growing roster of Black artists and where to buy Black!
Also, if you missed the news about Blackout Day, don’t beat yourself up! Feel encouraged. It’s one day. Welcome to the rest of your life where you can still participate in building equality, bridge racial divides, and usher some incredible art, music, and entertainment into your life. In this edition of The Bl@ck List we’re centering on some summer essentials to help regain a note of normalcy in this rocky reality we’re living in. Get ready for a sweet melody, summer reading, podcasts, and your fate in the stars!
The Songstress : Clara Kent (photo credit: Sarah “Huney” Young)
Social Credentials: https://www.facebook.com/iamclarakent
Bandcamp Support links: “AURA” – http://bounceclarabounce.bandcamp.com/album/a-u-r-a-the-mixtape
The 4 Winds: EAST – http://bounceclarabounce.bandcamp.com/album/the-4-winds-east-mixtape
Track: Souled (Live at WPTS) – https://youtu.be/o4X9C1VQL84
When you cue up this track, a gentle, sleepy strumming greets you like a summer sunrise. Dewy depths like dawn herald in the milky-sweet songbird, Clara Kent. Immediately, Kent’s voice commits a nifty trick; clear as a bell, but soft like a whisper that brings the listener in close establishing a furtive intimacy between singer and listener. She had me hooked. While the opening bears a somber note, Kent’s strength is revealed in her honest, vulnerable lyrics. Purging the yolk of an ill-fated (and ill-fitting) union, we join the journey through a dark night of the soul. Where she ultimately embraces her freedom in this new day’s light of revelations, the song achieves a sort of weightlessness. Post-catharsis, Kent becomes unburdened in ownership of her worth, and we float on in her dulcet refusal to settle for anything less than.
Bryan Tann brings an exciting bounty to the table for science fiction, fantasy, and horror fans this summer. Vampire enthusiasts will enjoy The Enforcer, the first novel of his literary series titled “Path of Redemption.” The reader follows Bryce Kreed, an African prince stolen away to America where he would be made a slave. After enslavement, our protagonist is born anew into an undeadly, eternal battle for his soul. The narrative travels over centuries to explore the all-to human themes of rage, rebellion, and self-discovery on the long, hard, bloodied road to Kreed’s conflict-laden quest for salvation.
Tann also co-hosts the Plotaholics podcast where he shares banter and perspectives with Shane Wilson (a fellow novelist and frontman of Sequoia Rising whom I assume is to thank for the show’s MST3K-reminiscent theme). Currently presenting their “Shitty Movie Summer” series, this pair trades blow for blow reviewing some of the best of the worst achievements in full-length features. Witty and informative, I recommend catching up with this warm-hearted duo for the fun they share in covering unequivocal classics like “Samurai Cop,” and taking their shot-rating seriously. Listeners will surely enjoy gaining insight, backstory, and drinking game ideas to bring to their next Zoom watch party!
Author and Astrologer, Olive Honey
Social Credentials: https://www.facebook.com/loveolivehoney
Mystery lovers will enjoy pulling back the layers of discovery Olive Honey lays out in Beautifully Complicated. Honey constructs a constellation for the reader to connect as we meet the young and exuberant Hazel Yuri Donato whose dreams come crashing down almost just as soon as they came together amidst divorce and a shocking discovery. Today, as we face the reality of prominent, well-connected predators like Jeffrey Epstein, this fictional tale of a Hollywood florist thrust into a circle of elite prostitution drips with relevancy.
Make sure to check out Honey’s website for all available novels and poetry collections!
For those who are craving a little love and introspection this summer, I suggest Olive Honey’s YouTube channel, The Faith in Our Stars. Exploring the answers written in the cosmos, subscribers gain insight into themselves, their relationships, and how to stick it out through tough times in Honey’s study of the zodiac. While facing these uncertain times, go ahead and get you some clarity, tips, and tricks on how best to overcome with love. Olive Honey is serving up fresh advice and sweet wisdom with a tall glass of sass on the monthly!