Welcome to Minority Report, a weekly newsletter from the LEVEL team that packs an entire week into a single email. From moving on from this weekend’s shameful boxing debacle to the week in racism, from pop-culture picks to a must-read LEVEL story, it’s everything you need and nothing you don’t. If you’re loving what you’re reading, tell a friend to tell a friend.

Ay Nate,

First of all, fam, you good? Like, I know your pride is all messed up and we’ll get to that in a second but, like, physically. Are you awake right now? I really hope so because, man, you got knocked TF out Saturday night. By a White Trump supporter who got famous off YouTube! …


Welcome to Minority Report, a weekly newsletter from the LEVEL team that packs an entire week into a single email. From our the new rules for a Black Zoom Thanksgiving to the week in racism, from pop-culture picks to a must-read LEVEL story, it’s everything you need and nothing you don’t. If you’re loving what you’re reading, tell a friend to tell a friend.

For many of us, Thanksgiving will likely be a bit different this year. The ’vid (yeah, we said it — “rona” is out) continues to wreak havoc on American lives, with rates of coronavirus cases climbing steeply from coast to coast.


Welcome to Minority Report, a weekly newsletter from the LEVEL team that packs an entire week into a single email. From our president’s continued brushes with respectability politics to the week in racism, from pop-culture picks to a must-read LEVEL story, it’s everything you need and nothing you don’t. If you’re loving what you’re reading, tell a friend to tell a friend.

President Obama — our president — is back on the scene. And it sure does feel good. After stumping for his former vice president (and now president-elect) in the fourth quarter of Joe Biden’s campaign, Barack began making media rounds for his new memoir, A Promised Land (out now!). And after nearly four full years of Trump in office, it can’t be overstated how refreshing it is to hear a leader speak coherently about everything from the coronavirus to George Floyd to marital issues with truth, wisdom, and emotion. …


Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Atlanta resident, was shot and killed by a police officer on the city’s south side on Friday; on Saturday night, the Wendy’s where the incident began was engulfed in flames.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), which opened an investigation into the shooting today:

Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 10:33 p.m., APD was dispatched to the Wendy’s located at 125 University Ave, Atlanta, GA. Officers were responding to a complaint of a male in a vehicle parked in the drive-through asleep, causing other customers to drive around the vehicle. A field sobriety test was performed on the male subject. After failing the test, the officers attempted to place the male subject into custody. During the arrest, the male subject resisted and a struggle ensued. The officer deployed a Taser. …


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The Ultimate Guide to Black Men’s Hair

A note from LEVEL’s editor-in-chief

You were supposed to be reading this at the end of March with a fresh cut. Your hair was supposed to be unmatched like Snoop seconds after a deep conditioner. Then Covid-19 hit, and our collection of stories celebrating hair didn’t feel all that appropriate. How do you celebrate hair when the barbers and shops can’t operate for the foreseeable future?

Then an incredible thing started to happen. You started leaning into your hair journeys. Puff gave into his gray beard. Ray Allen proudly showed off his George Jefferson natural state. And DJ Khaled, a man who certainly doesn’t skimp on self-care, rocked a grizzly look with salt-and-pepper accents. …


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I’m not trying to be a buzzkill. It’s 4/20 and some consider that a national holiday. You may be stressed and still searching for answers in isolation, so cannabis might be helping you push through.

I was going to tell you about the time Puff passed me a blunt while watching an early screening of Training Day. Although that story is high on the humor meter it’s trivial right now. Instead, I’d rather tell you about a guy named Corvain Cooper. Mr. …


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Dear LEVEL Reader,

Hope your Passover and Easter family time was filled with love, a delicious meal, and some appointment dancing via IG Live. (RZA vs. Preemo: who won?) Having a seder over BlueJeans was as strange as the group was large, but the “Dayenu” sing-along still had peak participation. Sunday’s Easter brunch with my mother was more manageable and natural, even though it was missing her signature macaroni and cheese.

Over the past 31 days, I’ve had way more communication with family than usual. You can probably relate. I spoke to my father about a week ago. It doesn’t happen often; although our quarterly 10-minute catchups don’t really have the foundation to support deep discussion that can help bring us closer, I do enjoy them. …


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Illustration: Chris Kindred

Dear Level Readers,

We know there are many issues you don’t have the bandwidth to fix. You’re adapting to life in a pandemic, teaching your children between Zoom conference calls, and struggling to find time to take in all the content that comes up in your feeds and streaming service queues.

What if I told you LEVEL has a guy who can research your problems and get back to you with clear, well-researched answers? Would that be useful? I’m going to be presumptuous and say you’re checking the YES box.

The column is called Lemme Get Back to You. If you have things that need an urgent solve shoot us an email: lemmegetbacktoyou@gmail.com. If you have things that don’t need an urgent solve, drop us a line anyway. There’s no dumb questions (well, except who had the hottest verse on Noreaga’s “Banned From TV,” and the other non-pressing discussions we explore every day in our recurring feature Just Rankin’ Sh!t). …


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Dear Level Readers,

In a gorgeous town called Reggiana, people are dying. Many people. It’s probably not that much different from your town. It’s lost its bustle, yes. But there’s a shit-ton going on in all that quiet. Reggiana is at the mercy of a terrible disease called the Visitation. A traveler stops through and experiences this town where people wake up and run to the obit section of the newspaper. I’ll stop there as I feel like I’ve already told you too much.

Teju Cole’s short story “City of Pain” might be fiction, but it gets to the heart of what we’re feeling in the face of Covid-19. The messenger delivers this narrative from a glass half full viewpoint. We can all use that perspective right now. In all the chaos that you will experience today, tomorrow, for the foreseeable future, take some time to read this gentle story. …


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Photo Credit: Kevin Spence

Dear Level Readers,

Another Monday in quarantine. How are you feeling this week? I hope you’re settling into an effective routine, and that you’ve got some distractions when needed. This week is heavy on my end because it’s a reminder of how unpredictable life is. New York hospitals are overflowing with Coronavirus patients and the first responders aren’t sufficiently armed with the protection they need to safely save lives. Then there’s past lives lost. Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of Nipsey Hussle’s passing.

Some people have a standup pedigree. Nipsey, from what I understand, was one of those fine men. He believed in his product the way you’re supposed to. Why wouldn’t you think your album is worthy of a $100 price tag? Seems like simple mathematics with a built-in marketing strategy to me. Shawn Carter was so impressed with the move he purchased 100 copies of Crenshaw. To say that $10,000 is inconsequential for a billionaire is a short-sighted take — that’s just good business recognizing good business. …

About

Jermaine Hall

Jermaine Hall is the editor in chief of LEVEL. When he’s not running his two sons and wife from place to place he’s watching a Lakers game and drinking seltzer.

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