We Still Here (day 15 of 28)

The queen of neo soul, Erykah Badu, was born Erica Abi Wright on February 26, 1971. She was raised by a single mother in #Dallas, #Texas. 1/

#BHM #HERstory #ShareBlackStories #threadstorytime
Badu started her training in the arts at age 4 and was a cast member at The Black Academy of Arts and Letters in her youth. By 14, she was freestyling for a local radio station. 2/
Believing her original name was a “slave name”, Badu decided to spell it as “Erykah” early in life, incorporating the term “kah” which means “inner self”. Her adopted surname, “Badu”, refers to the 10th born child in the native language of Akan people from Ghana. 3/
Badu pursued a degree in theater at the historically Black Grambling State University, but left before graduating to fully focus on music. To support herself, she took several jobs including teaching dance and drama to kids at the South Dallas Cultural Center. 4/
During this time, Badu recorded a 19-song demo, “Country Cousins”, which led to her being discovered by record executive Kedar Massenburg, who termed Badu’s distinct style as Neo Soul. 5/
Badu was influenced by R&B, 1970s soul, and 1980s hip hop. Her Afro-centric artistry made her one of the most recognizable icons. 6/

With a voice reminiscent of Billie Holiday, Badu uses her music to articulate a wide range of themes including institutional racism, love, religion, poverty, urban violence, and cultural identity. 7/
She drew inspirations widely, from her beliefs in the Nation of Gods and Earths, her African heritage, to her roots in the American South. 8/
Badu’s hometown Dallas and its surrounding area is home to a large middle-upper class Black community today and has a proud history of barrier-breaking Black achievements. 9/
However, not too long ago between the late 1800s to as recent as 1922, brutal assaults at the hands of whites, including several lynchings, took place throughout the region. In the era of Jim Crow, Blacks were offered poor access to public services. 10/
Despite being denied many opportunities, Black talents including physicians, surgeons, and entrepreneurs thrived in the region. In recent years, large inward migration into the Dallas metro made it the 2nd-largest Black community west of Mississippi River. 11/
We embody where we come from and the places we live. We are our history. And we still here.

Artwork provided courtesy of Greg Edwards @GregtheGrouch.

@ApaPbcd @SoCalNOMA

#BlackHistoryMonth #Art #History #Inspiration #Housing #DopeBlackArt #ShareBlackStories #BlackExcellence
If you would like to bid on a 24 x 36 version of today's artwork or any piece that we have/will be sharing, please head over to app.galabid.com/abundanthousing. Greg is generously donating all proceeds to our work de-segregating Los Angeles. Thank you!

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More from @AbundantHousing

14 Feb
We Still Here (day 14 of 28)

Wishing you all a day full of love! Today's entry is a bit long, as we pay tribute to Prince's dazzling legacy, and commemorate the many Black struggles that took place in his hometown #Minneapolis, #Minnesota.

#BHM #ShareBlackStories #ShareTheLove
Prince Rogers Nelson was born June 7, 1958. A well-rounded entertainer, Prince was a singer-songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, guitar virtuoso, & professional dancer. His eclectic, genre-bending music & flamboyant and androgynous persona forever imprinted on the world.
Born to musician parents with familial roots in Louisiana, Prince Rogers was given his father’s stage & band name and encouraged to explore interests in music. At 7, he wrote his first song, “Funk Machine”, with his father’s piano.
Read 23 tweets
13 Feb
Good morning and welcome to the weekend! Day 13 of our collab with artist Greg Edwards (@GregtheGrouch) features Amanda Gorman, who at 22 is the youngest entry of this series. Her story demonstrates the empowerment that comes with having a voice & creative outlet.

#BHM #thread Image
Poet and activist Amanda Gorman was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1998. She grew up with a speech impediment and has an auditory condition making her hypersensitive to sound.

Facing these conditions, Amanda did not despair. Writing in 2018, she said,

“I always saw it as a strength because since I was experiencing these obstacles in terms of my auditory and vocal skills, I became really good at reading and writing."

Read 12 tweets
11 Feb

Under state law, LA has to plan for 456,000 more homes by 2029. In October, @Planning4LA will finalize a plan (the “housing element”) explaining how they’ll achieve this ambitious goal.

Of course, *how* we plan for more homes is key. Together with 19 other civic orgs, @AbundantHousing has called for an Equitable Distribution of housing, where *every* neighborhood, particularly high-resource areas, plans for strong housing growth.

This aligns with the FAIR Plan that we developed with @PacificUrbanism, which estimates each neighborhood’s housing need, based on factors like median income, access to jobs, and access to transit.

Read 12 tweets

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