We check in with the lawyer — Greg Francis — who won the 2010 settlement

Black farmers have lost a lot of their land over the years. Photo: Getty Images

In 1920, there were nearly one million Black farmers in the United States representing 14% of all farmers in America. By 1997, there were barely more than 18,000, less than 1%. During that time, Black farmers accused the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) of race-based discrimination in the form of denying or delaying loans essential to all growers looking to maintain their farms and harvest each year.

While the number of Black farmers has more than doubled since 1997, Black people are still suffering from a century of disenfranchisement that has caused them to lose billions in profits.

“Once…


Black awards shows exist, yet artists never seem to hold them in the same regard

Smokey Robinson and Charlie Wilson perform during the 2020 Soul Train Awards presented by BET. Photo: Leon Bennett/STA 2020/Getty Images

The Weeknd’s never been known for seizing the spotlight. Even dating back to his mysterious early mixtapes, the R&B artist has chosen to let his music do the talking. But last November, after his Billboard-busting, Super Bowl-sized album After Hours received zero Grammy nominations, the normally reclusive artist let it fly. “The Grammys remain corrupt,” he said on Twitter. “You owe me, my fans, and the industry transparency…” His countryman Drake echoed the sentiment later that day on Instagram, comparing the Recording Academy to “a relative you keep expecting to fix up but they just can’t change their ways.”

Corruption…


Illustration: Davide Barco for LEVEL

The voice-chat social platform skyrocketed in popularity last fall, largely due to an influx of Black users. But we’ve heard this song before.

It was the night of December 8, and a group of Black users on Clubhouse were threatening a boycott.

Meezy, 21 Savage’s manager, had created a room on the voice-chat app expressly for that purpose; from its virtual “stage,” he proclaimed in his vehement rasp that he was willing to delete Clubhouse from his phone if the company didn’t act on his demand within 24 hours. Dozens of voices spoke up, pledging to follow his lead. Even legendary DJ Clue voiced his commitment to the cause, despite being in the middle of his radio show on New York’s Power 105.1…


The National Museum of African American Music sets the music record straight when it comes to U.S. history

Photo: NMAAM/353 Media Group

The official recordings of history are inherently a measure of value, a tapestry of researched stories deemed worthy of memory. But the truth is that entire religious belief systems were stripped from Africans entered into slavery, songs were stolen from Black lips to be immortalized by White faces, and some schools even allow parents to opt out of Black history even as a racial reckoning sweeps the country.

To that end, the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) in Nashville, Tennessee, is 56,000 square feet of corrective justice.

“Places like this fly in the face of — and resist—Black…


With Black and Indigenous heritage, this experimental doom music duo pushes us to consider a world without supremacy

Photos courtesy of Divide and Dissolve

If intentions are the voice of the ineffable, then the Melbourne-based music duo Divide and Dissolve is sledgehammering White supremacy with wordless defiance and ancestral support.

Multi-instrumentalists Takiaya Reed and Sylvie Nehill shape their droning guitar riffs and drums into experimental doom-filled sonic darts titled with the ideas they want to drill into listeners’ heads. “Cultural Extermination.” “Black Supremacy.” “Assimilation.” Mostly without words, the duo creates music and participates in actions as art — all to encourage the listener or viewer to contemplate how to end racism. …


‘Call of Duty’ gamer Kris ‘Swagg’ Lamberson breaks down how he battles the hate

Kris ‘Swagg’ Lamberson. Photo: FaZe Clan

Black kids spend more time playing video games than White kids, yet the free-for-all nature of online communities for games like Call of Duty and the digital anonymity it affords has emboldened many to spew racism. Black gamers of Call of Duty are harassed with racist usernames and rhetoric at such regularity that the game’s creator claimed to be banning thousands of accounts every day. For the average Black gamer, these virtual vacations from reality often include navigating through detours of real-life hate.

African American gamer Kris “Swagg” Lamberson has built his name in those same rooms through Call of…


Ilyasah Shabazz suggests we take her father’s advice and keep pushing for justice

Ilyasah Shabazz in New York, NY on February 21, 2019. Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Ilyasah Shabazz has seen enough.

The author, activist, and daughter of Malcolm X has seen some people assign more value to property than to Black lives. She’s seen George Floyd’s life ripped from the same lungs he used to call for his dead mother as the world faces a global pandemic that can only be thwarted by unity. She’s seen enough to make the connections between the present and the past, in part because she was raised within the essence of a revolutionary who fought a war we’re still waging.

“My mother kept her husband very much a part of…


George Floyd family attorney on fear, police brutality, and pushing for policy change

Photos: courtesy of L. Chris Stewart

“You have to be kind of fearless to take these cases.”

That’s what Attorney L. Chris Stewart tells Momentum regarding his storied career as a legal advisor to families of people killed by police.

Stewart specializes in taking tough cases that have a racial element to them. The public nature of these trials also square Stewart, who is Black, against White supremacists who are threatened by the challenges. It would be easy — and safer — for him to pass on these cases, but instead, he does what is right. Releasing the first raw footage of 50-year-old Walter Scott running…


With touring accounting for more than half an artist’s income, people have been forced to get creative

Guapdad 4000 performs at Rolling Loud festival at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 28, 2019 in Oakland, California. Photo: Miikka Skaffari/WireImage

Over the past few years, Blimes Brixton and Gifted Gab have watched their rap dreams blossom. As West Coast duo Blimes and Gab, the two have been co-signed by Method Man, worked with major brands such as Converse and Pandora, and graduated from small venue performances to festival stages like Austin City Limits and the Uncool Festival. And when their song “Feeling It” was featured on the season four premiere of HBO’s Insecure and their debut album, Talk About It, launched, they were poised for another, more significant upgrade.

Instead, they sat home.

Thanks to Covid-19, the duo had to…


Longtime X-Clusive barber Ricardo Benoit prepares a customer for a haircut. Photos: Sean Pressley

Crown Heights mainstay X-Clusive is back handing out fresh cuts — masked, gloved, and by appointment only

Buzz. Buzz. Door opening. Door closing. Feet shuffling. Buzz. Buzz.

Before Covid-19 became the invisible dictator of the world, the sounds of business would barely cut through the banter and movie soundtracks that filled Crown Heights mainstay barbershop X-Clusive. When I walked into X-Clusive the afternoon of June 22, the first day barbershops were allowed to reopen in New York City, they reverberated loudly — and the silence that lurked behind them spoke volumes.

Only one barber was handling cuts, a third of X-Clusive’s usual stable: Danston, known as Yes, was decked out in a face shield and gloves, tending…

Keith Nelson Jr

Writer by fate, journalist by passion. Bylines at: REVOLT, Grammys.com, Discogs, Vibe Magazine, Okayplayer, REVERB, LEVEL Mag https://linktr.ee/KeithNelsonJr

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store