The first The Arts of 2011 – how fantastic! Off to a great start, which would be a better start if I just cut the chit chat (and some not-so-subliminal advertising: send in Ask Black Witch questions) and just start with the features.

Fried Chicken and Sushi
I was suggested to this webcomic by my friend Kalen as she knew I wanted to teach in Japan and really want to see webcomics that are by and showcase Blacks that aren’t monolithic but not detached from their Blackness either. So when she brought up Fried Chicken and Sushi, I thought it was a wonderful webcomic!

Fried Chicken and Sushi is a webcomic loosely based on the creator Khalid Birdsong experiences teaching overseas in Japan. It runs very much like a story so the best place to actually start is the beginning (or read the latest and work your way back like I sometimes do) but here are some strips:

The very first strip

Karl's inital Japanese experience in full color!

Karl often chats with his friend, J, back in hometown Atlanta

Karl even wound up getting spirit statue haunting him!

Interested? Fried Chicken and Sushi updates every Tuesday and Thursday.

Sweatshop Union
Oh my, I really don’t keep track of how much music I feature on this column but this hip hop group from Canada is completely outstanding! I tripped over their music on Pandora (which I haven’t listened to as of lately) and really liked it. Now I’m usually one for socially conscious music and I personally believe that’s what hip hop is at its core, the poor man’s newspaper and a venue to sound off on contemporary happenings – not the minstrel show charades that dominates the airwaves today. Sweatshop Union resembles that. Also, Sweatshop Union exemplifies the diversity that hip hop truly has, it’s not all Black, it’s a myriad of voices cobbled together to make one unit.

Here’s Kyprios of Sweatshop Union giving a very good analogy of the music industry and how hard it is to actually make it:

“Hit the Wall”

A very favorite video of mine! Why? Watch.

“High Grade”

Ok, this is also another favorite of mine.


Remember, I like Sweatshop Union for its wonderful political insight:

“Human Race”

And living life and dealing with it just like everyone else

“Oh My”

I recommend Sweatshop Union, they’re really ace! Here’s their websites:
Myspace (great place to check out their music)
Sweatshop Union’s Blog (I think something is up with their site)

Angry Asian Man
Race is always a popular topic of mine. I feel that A) we are not living in a post-racial society and B) if we’re going to figure out anything about race, we have to talk about it and explore it, not view it “safely” from the watered-down, it-wasn’t-that-bad White perspective. I love seeing how races develop their own culture, sustain (or lose) them as well as interact with other races. The Asian-American perspective is one that isn’t often expressed and pretty misunderstood. Blacks have gone quite a ways (and slipped back quite a ways too) but often deemed “the model minority” and other nonsense labels. That’s why I’m glad I have Angry Asian Man to read and serve as a great gateway portal to many other happenings  in the Asian American community.

I had happened upon Angry Asian Man back in late ’09 when I was doing research for a university course about Chinese literature and my subject was on the classic book, Journey to the West (I highly recommend it! It’s amazing) and they had a short film of the same name a modified theme.

I still visit the site to this very day and always find good stuff from important to funny, such as this Chinese 7-Up commercial

Since I like great writing and upbeat and figured I could learn a thing or two, I stuck on the site and learned about what’s going on in the Asian American community as well as learned about other sites in regards to the Asian American community such as Disgrasian and Secret Asian Man

Because his insights are very prevalent about race issues and I never believed that the race issue was ever White and Black, he’s in the Links of Interest because I think it’s interesting to learn about a different variation of the same American existence than the ones often heard.

Angry Asian Man
AAM Twitter

That’s all The Arts for now! – Wait, no, no it’s not. I found this adorable video on my friend’s Angelica tumblr (I featured her on The Arts! in November). It’s cuteness sliding about!

Now we’re done! Next week is Ask Black Witch! Send in your questions, send ‘em in! Ask Black Witch is when you get to talk back and I respond! Email, tweet, use the submission form or comment (here or on the fan page), and it’ll be up here!