MTV is 40 years old, found its fortune with Gen X, and has reinvented itself for every generation since

Just after midnight on August 1, 1981, MTV debuted on cable television with the Buggles’ prescient music video, “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Like many groundbreaking innovations, its emergence was the result of an amalgamation of simultaneous events including the growing popularity of cable television and TV executives’ aspirations to…

The roots of name discrimination are an extension of the harms caused by slavery and colonialism

For the Urhobo people of southern Nigeria, like many Africans across the continent, names are a serious matter. Traditionally, an Urhobo child is given a name according to their family’s desire for who they might become, the hope being that a child will live up to the likeness of what…

A look at the crises impacting people of color in Miami, Oakland, and Brooklyn, where residents fight to protect their communities

A group of housing activists in Brooklyn with a “cancel rent” sign. A Black woman stands in the front wearing a mask.

Kerbie Joseph has lived in the same Crown Heights apartment her entire life. A first-generation American of Haitian descent, she has also watched the historically Caribbean and Hasidic New York City neighborhood become engulfed in recent years by mostly, but certainly not only, the White, professional yuppie class.

“I am…

She has often said she became Black in the United States, but what does this really mean?

InIn a recent interview about identity and feminism with the Economist, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie remarked on how she began to identify as Black only when she came to the United States for university. It’s a story she’s told many times before, referring to how “Blackness” becomes a marker…

When you consider the heightened ethno-nationalism sweeping the West currently, Brexit isn’t surprising. On a personal level however, I must admit I am disappointed in the UK. While part of the identity of the UK has always been its separation and symbolic distance from the rest of Europe, one cannot…

Privileging Loudness at the Expense of Moderation

Our culture — that is the dominant culture that exists in the United States and that is exported to all corners of the globe — is one that is loud. We love loud things and loud people. People who take absolute and almost vulgarly strong positions on things, are the…

Kovie Biakolo

Culture writer and multiculturalism scholar. Find my best stuff here: www.koviebiakolo.com

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