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Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/23/21


3 Up

1. Israel-Hamas Cease-Fire - It's certainly messed up what is happening over at the Gaza Strip. It has a deep-rooted history, and really, long-lasting effects that need to be ironed out - beyond the measure of what any one of us can begin to unpack without complexity. Regardless of it all, it's just nice to see some sort of cease-fire hold up for the sake of innocent lives, especially that of children. 

2. Madison Square Garden 15K - For me, the day the NBA suspended the season is when the pandemic felt as super serious as it became. It was just unfathomable to imagine what was to come, so when the NBA packed up shop, you knew this was more than the seasonal flu. More than a year later, for me, the NBA once again creates the milestone with MSG hosting 15,000 fans for Game 1 of the Knicks vs. Hawks - an indoor event record since the pandemic began. 

We're getting there...it's a new normal, but it's normal. Whatever it is, it was nice. 

3. Drake - Say what you want about Drake as a person, as an artist, or as a celebrity, but it's very hard to deny him earning Billboard Music Award's Artist of the Decade. Drake has hits, upon hits, upon hits, upon hits! Definitely, well deserved. 

3 Down

1. Hate Crimes - As we come out of this pandemic, it's fair to say that we are splintered as a society. So many groups are facing rising hate crimes as we head into the summer - many of those crimes involve innocent people carrying specific identities who are attacked for simply being affiliated with that identity. We need to be better as a human race. It's such an ugly time in our history. 

2. January 6th Commission - I don't care what your politics are - why anyone wouldn't want to dive deeper and fact-find the events of January 6th at the Capitol is beyond me. I for one do not "just want to move on". That day needs to be further investigated - one of the biggest stains on our history as it is. 

3. Nikole Hannah-Jones Tenure - Speaking of unbiased politics, it's such a shame to see Hannah-Jones denied tenure at the University of North Carolina by a board influenced by political opinion. Say what you want about the 1619 Project - I for one think it provides great insight and spurs critical thinking on the story and narratives pushed as the complete history of our country. Hannah-Jones is definitely qualified, accomplished, and is the kind of professor you would want pushing the future minds of America to think - whether you agree with her or not. That's education. 

1 Amazing

1. Simone Biles - As if Simone couldn't be any more awesome, she goes ahead and pulls off yet another are you serious? accomplishment in a Yurchenko double pike. Never been done before...until Biles. Yup. Amazing. 

1 What?

1. Kwame Brown - Yo, I was hooked on everything released by Kwame Brown this week as he decided this was the right time to get back at everyone who has clowned him and his career. The craziest part? I actually agreed with the intelligent Brown on some of his thoughts on the structure that places people in power who haven't accomplished anything in the sphere they set the narrative for. He also had other gems in between his rants and hysterical comments. 

Who knew this Kwame Brown existed? I don't agree with everything he has said or his attitude toward it, but really, it's hard not to blame him. Ya know? 

Nevertheless, he has a lot of people shook. And that alone says a lot about the system. 

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Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/22/22

3 Up 1. NY Times Investigative Series on Haiti - The history of Haiti is such a complex (and unfortunate) one. Really, it's a story that goes untold, specifically for the context of how the country is viewed. From being forced to pay operations to enslavers (yeah, you read that right), to so many other historical setbacks - including American interventions - the nation's history is so well laid out in this latest NY Times piece. I urge you to give it a read.  2. Equal Pay for US Women's Soccer Team - Kudos to US Soccer on coming around to giving the USWNT their due - equal pay for prize money from the World Cup. It's a start, and more importantly, it's a push forward for women's sports that do in fact push the needle in comparison, or more so, to their male counterparts.  3. Kate McKinnon - Random "UP" here, but I'm doing it anyway...A few SNL usuals are rumored to be walking away, including Kate McKinnon. The show obviously doesn't carry the

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 4/10/22

3 Up 1. Ketanji Brown Jackson - The new Supreme Court Justice is a win for black and brown girls everywhere. Representation matters.  2. Women's College Basketball Ratings - I'm giving the women's tournament its due as it garnered the highest television ratings ever for the national championship game in eighteen years. And that was head-to-head with the Grammys! Spare me the "women's sports don't draw" tired narrative. Invest in women's sports, period.  3. Baseball Returns - Sure, the sport bothered fans over the winter with its ugly and insulting labor spat. However, it's back, and that's cool.  3 Down 1. Ukraine Images - Unfortunately, I had to put the ongoing acts in Ukraine back in the tops spot. Have you seen some of the images coming out of the country? For me, it was the image of parents writing children's information (i.e. names, details of eating habits, etc...) on their backs - on their backs! - in anticipation of being separated

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/15/22

3 Up 1. California Church Heroes - It's soooooooo weird that the top spot is a result of something so horrific as our ongoing domestic terrorism problem of mass shootings. Still, the courage shown by the five members who stopped the shooter deserves it. Those individuals tackled the shooter and tied him up with an electric cord, while wounded.  It's so tough to fathom that those possibilities are within the realm of your Sunday worship, within the sanctity of your church.  But such is America... 2. Olivia Rodrigo & Drake - Rodrigo continues to reap rewards on an excellent album in 2021 as she topped the Billboard Music Awards with seven awards. There was also Drake who I'm beginning to sense we won't really appreciate his body of work until he's near the end of his career. But yeah, Drake poured in a few more for the legacy debates and discussions.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/1/22

3 Up 1. Harvard Statement on Enslavement Past - We're currently in a world where dealing with slavery and oppression and all that it was in the past has created further division of the present, as well as ideals to move forward. We're all still trying to figure that out, but as we do, props are given to those who do it without the trendiness of the gesture.  Harvard can be slammed for a whole lot in this arena, but they get the top spot this week for taking steps in a major way - just admitting its connection - is a great start.  2. "Out of Pandemic" Phase - The world surely feels as "normal" as it's felt in a long time. While Dr. Facui's comments were well...confusing and required some cleaning up, the gesture is very much understood - we ain't that bad anymore! Things are definitely not going to snap back to pre-2020, but it definitely feels as close to non-pandemic-ish as it ever has.