Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can’t remember how you go from where you were to where you are now. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.”
— Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried.
Donald Glover is set to create and star in a new music-centric comedy series on FX. The show is set in Glover’s Atlanta hometown (and is tentatively called Atlanta), and will center on the Southern city’s ever-thriving music scene.
The East Village and the broader Lower East Side make up one of the most economically integrated parts of the city. It is one of the last places where the fairly rich and the very poor live on the same blocks and shop in the same bodegas. But the area is steadily becoming more like most of Manhattan: dominated by those with high incomes paying seemingly absurd rents, while the poor either leave or stay in government housing on the periphery…
Each year, when the new model of Air Jordans was introduced, every Black kid I knew, rich or poor, was trying to get those “sneaks.” A crisp, clean pair of brand-spanking-new Air Jordan sneakers was a supreme status symbol for anyone who wanted to be cool and “down with the streets.”
One kid could be heard saying to another, “Yo! Did you see the new Jordans? Them joints is fly, yo!” A typical response would be “Yeah, man, I got them on layaway” or “They’re fresh, but I still like last year’s better!” The latter was code for “my mom can’t afford them.”
The average outsider looking around the projects or a dilapidated inner-city neighborhood might not even have imagined that teenagers were wearing shoes that cost nearly the equivalent of an entire month’s rent. The visitor might have wondered, Why not trade the shoes in and move to a better neighborhood? But that would have defeated the purpose of buying the shoes. The point was to be in the concrete jungle and dress like a million bucks. That defiance was the essence of Black cool. It was one way for poor youth to defy the weight and gravity of their social class.
artist Hank Willis Thomas, Soul from Black Cool edited by Rebecca Walker.
Major League Ultimate, the second professional Ultimate Frisbee league in the U.S., finished its first season on Sunday. But some in the Ultimate Frisbee community say the league’s new rules deviate too far from the game’s roots.
Photo: Chloe Coleman/NPR
Tanya B. note: This story was written by NPR digital news intern Tyler Greenawalt. The photos (there’s a slideshow on the page) were taken by an intern. Find out more about our internships and get your application in for the fall now.
Bucket List Item #1
Attend (in no specific order): Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Sundance, SXSW, Comic-Con and New York Fashion Week… And hopefully for free. Like, with a press pass. That’d be swell.
For many students, high school and college are years for experimentation. For this Memory Byte, a young woman talks to us about her lack of memory—the blackout, and night she could have lost her life.
ASR has a policy to always name sources, except in cases where sources may face legal jeopardy or loss of livelihood. The young woman who told this story did not want to be named, for fear of losing her chance to go to medical school. We decided to honor our source’s decision to only speak “off the record”, because her story is relevant and familiar to so many young high school and college students today.
This piece was reported & produced by Leah Johnson, edited by Lauren Glapa, with final production assistance from Jacqui Doyle.