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  • The Ludacris Foundation Backs the inspirED Summer Program with Atlanta Public Schools

    In the lives of children, their educational upbringing is very important. When parents send their children to school, they want to make sure they get the best care that the school can offer them. Unfortunately, that learning pauses during the summer break. Now, of course, summer break, winter break, and spring break are much-needed times off that children deserve but learning should never stop. To add to that, the struggle of online learning has been very high during the COVID-19 pandemic. With students having to switch to 100 percent remote learning, it has been a toll on them and their parents. In fact, one struggle is not having access to online learning at all. To provide relief and support to students, the Atlanta Public Schools system announces their inspirED Summer program. inspirED Summer is celebrating its inaugural campaign to encourage students to attend summer school and work through the struggles and adversities brought on by COVID-19. They are promoting and encouraging students and teachers to be involved by inviting them to invite-only performances. I don’t know about you, but a free concert is right up my alley! Also, students get to continue to learn! According to statistics from inspirED, over 1.3 million students stopped engaging in school by the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Also, 1 in 3 Black, Latino, or American Indian/Alaska Native families did not have access to high-speed home internet and are more likely than their white peers to be disconnected from online learning. Talk about a crack in the educational system! The program will offer classroom check-in, reading exercises, interactive lessons, and much more The inspiring thing about this program is the support it has received. Artist, parent, and founder of The Ludacris Foundation, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, has supported this initiative 100 percent. "I've seen firsthand the impact of online classes on students, not only academically but emotionally. Encouraging our students to attend summer school will help them to refocus and readjust academically in the classroom setting for the school year ahead. The Ludacris Foundation is proud to support inspirED Summer. inspired Summer is a first-of-its-kind initiative to get Atlanta students enrolled in and parents and teachers excited about summer school,” Ludacris shares. Registration for inspirED Summer ends on May 15th, and the program takes place between June 1st and 30th. You can visit www.inspiredsummer.org and inspirED Summer’s Instagram, Tik Tok, and Facebook pages to learn more.

  • Actor William Jackson Harper Talks "The Underground Railroad" and America's Dark History

    When news first broke about Barry Jenkins' 10-part adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead, many rolled their eyes at yet another Black film that would have us walk away traumatized. Another film that shows the darkest moments of America's history. The Black trauma topic, in the way we consume content, has most recently taken over Twitter with each new release. From the latest Amazon original series Them to the 2021 Oscar-winning short film Two Distant Strangers, Twitter critics have been relentless, crying for Hollywood to showcase more Black joy content. Now with the premiere of The Underground Railroad this Friday, those critics are fired up! What many may come to realize is that Jenkins' latest is a beautifully shot tale that takes us on a gut-wrenching journey that shows resilience and strength. Barry's art flourishes and he does not shy away from the uneasiness and horror of the history that America was built on. The Underground Railroad is told in an alternate timeline within the reality of a network of abolitionists, hidden routes, and safe houses that help enslaved African-Americans escape to freedom in the early to mid-1800s. The series shows an actual railroad complete with engineers, conductors, tracks, and tunnels. Cora, an enslaved Black person in Georgia, joins newcomer Caesar in an effort to ride the subterranean train to freedom. Through their harrowing journey, Cora soon realizes what comes with living in America. We caught up with actor William Jackson Harper, who plays Royal, in the series. We discussed his hope for the series, the backlash he knows will come, and why it was important for him to take on this role. Check it out.

  • J. Cole Talks About Being Present with Yourself and Your Career in the Off-season in New Documentary

    Hailing from North Carolina, successful rapper J. Cole has made a name for himself as one of the hottest rappers in the industry. J Cole has worked with so many artists such as Missy Elliott, 21 Savage, Miguel, Ari Lennox, and the list goes on. Recently, J. Cole dropped a documentary on YouTube entitled Applying Pressure: The Off-Season. The documentary has a level of elements that exude inspiration, hard work, and how being relaxed can affect not only your career but your mental health as well. He speaks on how he had nothing after college and struggled to make ends meet. He speaks on how all he did was party, drink and smoke. One night in particular, Cole’s friends had an intervention with him and it literally woke him up! From then on, every day he woke up and wrote verses and made beats. Being the sports player he is, he created what he calls a 7-minute drill to work on his craft to reach new heights and push himself. The creativity that stood out about this documentary is the chapters he goes through to break down every area of his “Off-Season”. Each section gives a different meaning and a different outlook on how he feels his life made various turns. Starting with Chapter One: Comfort is the Enemy; Cole talks about how rappers get comfortable after meeting certain goals in their career. There are rappers that allow the fruits of their labor to work against them because they get too comfortable. You ask yourself, “am I okay with waiting on inspiration?” “Did I leave any stone unturned creatively?” One thing that Cole said that I feel people should follow is having a routine in your life. It provides structure and it pushes you to continue to reach those goals time after time. In Chapter Two: Father Time, Cole visits a place in his life where he found inspiration and his dedication to his craft. While in NYC, Cole stayed at home called Mohammad’s Crib. This is where he found structure and stability in working to develop his career. All the while, he’s a father. He set limits for himself as far as studio time to accommodate his family. Yet at the same time, he accommodated his career to get it to where he wanted it. Chapter Three: The Climb Back talks all about remaining inspired. The message here is a statement Cole made. “When you don’t write for a while and you wait around for inspiration, it’ll never come”. This often resonates with individuals who want to work in the industry but wait around for someone to help inspire them and push them into it. If you want something bad enough, you’ll get to it. For example, Cole at times did not trust himself when he would write. That first line he’d write down, he would second guess it. You have to trust yourself and trust that the first line will lead you to the second line. In Chapter Four: Applying Pressure, the main message is, when you put yourself in comfortable moments, you find out a lot about yourself. You find out that you're capable of rising. Check out the documentary below. J. Cole’s new album The Off-Season will be available on May 14th.

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