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This Artist Collective In Philadelphia Is Documenting Gentrification In The Community

The Black Quantum Futurism Collective is documenting a gentrifying community to empower its residents. 

In Philadelphia, a community that is rapidly gentrifying, one artist collective is taking steps to empower its residents by re-imagining black futures within the city landscape.

The Black Quantum Physics Futurism Collective is defined as "an artistic and literary collaboration between Camae Dennis and Rasheedah Phillips which explores the intersections of imagination, futurism, literature, art, DIY-aesthetics, and activism in marginalized communities." Dennis and Philips aim to collect stories from the Sharswood/Blumberg neighborhood, an area known for its community organizations, businesses, and young folks:

"Essentially, Phillips, along with her fellow artists in the Black Quantum Futurism Collective, plus six Community Futures Lab interns, will document the redevelopment of the neighborhood to empower its residents. They'll do this by facilitating workshops where residents from the area are invited to share their memories, hopes and dreams for their rapidly changing community, through various visual, vocal and written mediums. They’ll also be armed with recording devices in case residents are unable to make their way to the space. These written and verbal accounts will be on display at the Community Futures Lab. "

Philadelphia's re-development is drastically changing the landscape of the city: new real estate projects that aim to attract a "new clientele" to The Gallery at Market East, where young black residents from different areas of the city could have safe places to socialize and gather with friends. With the new development, the mood at The Gallery has dramatically changed, with a decline in black shoppers. Along with The Gallery, residents of Philadelphia who are effected by gentrification are uprooted from their communities and experience lack of stability in housing, resulting in a "loss of inter-generational wealth."

The Collective contends that Afrofuturism, a term coined in the mid-90s by Mark Derry, will serve as a liberation practice for black communities world-wide:

“The Afrofuturist landscape lends itself well to exploring notions of institutional liberation, unearthing our true histories, mapping our futures, understanding our present conditions in the flow of time and through a speculative lens,” Phillips says. “Because it provides a perpetual bridge between the past, present and future, Afrofuturism, and the black speculative imagination, can be used as liberation technologies to build future worlds.”

The final project will be on display in the Community Futures Lab, which is described as "quantum time capsule" and will feature art and soundscapes. It will host its opening reception on June 18.

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If You Haven't Heard, Beyonce And Peloton Have Partnered Up For The Culture

Beyoncé and  Peloton are uniting for the culture. To spotlight the annual Homecoming season celebrated at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the nation, the Grammy award-winning entertainer has signed a multi-year partnership with the global interactive fitness platform.

“Peloton and I both believe that the power of music can help uplift, motivate and inspire those on their fitness journeys,” said the Ivy Park founder in the official press release. “I’ve been a Peloton member for several years, and I’m excited to partner with a company that helps people, young and old, be the best versions of themselves, in an innovative and adaptable way."

To add to the unprecedented moment, students of select HBCUs (Bennett College, Clark Atlanta University, Grambling State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman College, Texas Southern University, and Wilberforce University) will be gifted with a 2-year Peloton Digital membership by the end of this month. "I’m proud to celebrate the students at HBCUs with this donation, to encourage them to find and embrace their own wellness regimens,” added Queen Bey in her statement.

The two brands have worked closely on the creation of themed workout experiences for Peloton's streamed fitness classes. The "Beyoncé Artist Series" class schedule kicked off this week with the On Demand cycling class "Beyoncé Two for One Ride" taught by the platform's two of Peloton's prominent Black instructors, Alex Toussaint and Tunde Oyeneyin. Other exercise classes include "Beyoncé Yoga Flow," "Beyoncé Full Body Strength," "Beyoncé Bootcamp," and more on the Peloton App —all taught by instructors of color. The last class will take place on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 10 am ET.

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Artist Hebru Brantley Collabs With Bombay Sapphire To Support Black Lives Matter Chicago

The front lines of various movements can be filled with not only the physical presence of people but also the creative spaces that support the way. Visual artist Hebru Brantley is adding to the Black Lives Matter Chicago organization with the help of spirits brand Bombay Sapphire. Brantley, a Chicago native, is world-renowned for his artistry. His images and symbolism of blackness gives colorful scenes of spirited aviation and flash worthy stylishness with his young Fly Boy and Lil Mama characters.

For his link up with the Gin brand, Brantley drew on more universal themes as stated in the press release for the union, it's "an extension of Stir Creativity, the global platform from Bombay Sapphire, the Hebru Brantley Limited Edition embodies the brand’s mission to inspire and awaken the creative potential within everyone." The 750 ML bottle went on sale on July 1st and retails for $26.99. A portion of the proceeds will help BLM Chicago in their efforts against racism.

Brantley spoke to VIBE on the collaboration, raising Black children and his place of inspiration. To purchase the collab bottle click here at Reserve Bar.

VIBE: How did this Bombay collaboration come about? 

Hebru Brantley: It all started with me being a part of the Artisan Series back in the day. I had a very successful Miami Art Week experience as a result, which was a turning point in my career. Since then, the brand has been a big supporter of my various creative ventures, like sponsoring the opening night of Nevermore Park, immersive art experience, and one of my most ambitious projects to date. Meanwhile, Bombay Sapphire approached me about doing a very special project, which was designing their first-ever artist-designed limited-edition bottle. I want it to inspire hope for a better future and shine a light on the courage and resilience of Black people in America. It felt only right that Bombay Sapphire and I were able to do this together to benefit Black Lives Matter Chicago, to support the critical work they do in fighting for racial justice in my hometown.

Despite COVID-19 and the country confronting systemic racial injustices, where you are drawing your inspiration from these days?

I've always drawn inspiration from film, TV, comic books, my culture, and history, so not much has changed there. What feels different is my motivation to get out what I create, there is an even greater sense of urgency for me now then there was before. I am grateful for the opportunity to uplift and inspire and I feel that my message really resonates with people now more than ever.

Speaking of racial injustice, we saw your Harper’s Bazaar editorial and as a father raising Black children, what are some conversations you're having with them that you didn't have growing up?

A lot of the conversations are the same or similar to the ones I had with my parents growing up. The only difference is that I was taught to be aware of racism and certain incidents felt historic. For my kids they're living in a racial justice movement, we are living part of history. The conversations and relevance to those conversations are true and current. They're on TV, on social media for my kids to see and experience firsthand.

Besides Bombay, what other projects are you working on?

I'm working towards a few exhibitions in 2021, brand collaborations, etc. We have some exciting things coming up, so stay tuned.

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DJ Snoopadelic, aka Snoop Dogg, performs at the Rookie of the Year Party during Pepsi Zero Sugar presents Neon Beach at Clevelander at the Clevelander South Beach on January 30, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida.
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Snoop Dogg Is Dropping His Very Own Wine Bottle

Snoop Dogg will soon release his very own wine blend, thanks to his multi-year deal with Australian winery 19 Crimes owned by Treasury Wine Estates. The name of his first bottle? Snoop Cali Red.

"I've been a fan of this wine, and I'm excited to unveil my Snoop Cali Red this summer and share the experience with all my fans," said Snoopzilla in a press release. "It's one of the most successful brands in the market, so I'm more than eager to bring this collaboration to the world!"

TWE marketing vice president John Wardley added: "Snoop embodies the spirit of 19 Crimes – rule-breaking, culture creating and overcoming adversity. We are truly excited to partner with Snoop and welcome him to the 19 Crimes family. Snoop Dogg, an entertainment and California icon, is the perfect partner for 19 Crimes Snoop Cali Red."

The actual bottle's label is set to feature a photo of a hooded Snoop while the actual blend consists of 65% Petite Syrah, 30% Zinfandel, and 5% Merlot. As for how much a bottle will cost? $12 USD. "Snoop Cali Red" hits shelves in Summer 2020 at select wine stores. For more information or to locate a store near you, visit 19crimes.com.

Bonus: Earlier this month, a comedic rendition of Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" made rounds on social media platforms. Watch it below.

 

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