#InTheseTweets: Second Edition

In These Tweets is a weekly cultural dive into trending topics on Twitter. A collection of snapshot analyses on a variety of moments impacting our world. Sometimes serious, sometimes light, always substantive. We outchea, #InTheseTweets.

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If you would have told any basketball enthusiast a year ago that the 2020 NBA All-Star weekend would double as an unofficial memorial for basketball icon, Kobe Bryant, no hoops enthusiast could not fathom that reality. But as the world has spent the past few weeks mourning, critiquing or neutral about the life and legacy of Kobe Bean Bryant, one irrefutable truth is that the tragedy of the helicopter crash that claimed his life and eight others, including his daughter Gianna, is a definitive reality. That reality was certainly punctuated by Grammy-award winning singer Jennifer Hudson’s soul resurrecting rendition of Donny Hathaway’s classic For All We Know. Kobe’s untimely passing has brought on a multitude of cultural conversations. From the “Nigger vs Naker” controversy to the #GirDad hashtag, to the Snoop Dogg/Gayle King firestorm that rehashed the discussion surrounding Kobe’s sexual assault case, the Black Mamba’s transition has been the centerpiece of much.

But what Hudson did on the All-Star stage was bring the tragedy a much needed renewed levity. As she sang the line “tomorrow may never come,” images of Kobe and Gianna flashed across the big screen, an emotional reminder that despite our feelings towards Kobe, there is still the fact that a 13-year-old child pursuing the game she loved was instantly taken from her family. Her departure was accompanied by some of her teammates and their family. What Jennifer Hudson did (at least for me), was an allowance of a re-centering on the very incident that polarized us. She sang for Kobe, but she also sang for every soul aboard that helicopter. It was an iconic moment.

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In perhaps the worst example of a political Jeopardy question, Democratic presidential candidates Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer could not name the president of Mexico ON AN INTERVIEW AIRED ON TELEMUNDO. Considering America’s proximity to Mexico, its trade economy and the testy relationship President Donald Trump has cultivated with the country, it might have been a good look for two high profile Dem candidates to at least know the name of the president they could potentially end up working with. But alas, they had no idea.

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I am a fan of Rev. Dr. William Barber’s commentary. His eloquence, use of moral compass and conviction makes me feel privy to what living amongst Martin Luther King might have been like. What he says here about Donald Trump is no exception to his usual poignant analysis. It’s a simple truth about Trump, one that many media outlets have had difficulty navigating over the last four years. His Twitter feed and freewheeling press conferences are fodder for the political circus we have all found ourselves center-seated at. An overwhelming number of us against our own will.

Blessed be the uncompromising truth tellers like Rev. Barber, and may this circus leave town quickly.

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Two years ago, the late Nipsey Hussle released what would be his magnum opus, Victory Lap, as gun violence would not allow him to continue his extremely bright journey. After years of releasing mixtapes independently, Nip’s mainstream full album offering was met with a Grammy nomination and the respect of his peers. We can only imagine what his maturing voice could have become as well as his social advocacy and what his life as Lauren’s husband and Imani and Kross’ dad would have evolved to. Nip dropped a West Coast classic before he exited the world’s stage. I’m gonna play “Hussle and Motivate” a few times today in memory of a megawatt dimmed just as it was glowing brightest.

About the Author

Donney Rose is a poet, educator, essayist and Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow from Baton Rouge, La.