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I.C.Y.M.I.: 'Rolling Stone' Shares Inspiring Messages Behind The Signs Protesters Carry

MoPOP ICYMI - Protesters Carrying Black Lives Matter Signs (photo via Eva Woolridge for Rolling Stone)
(photo via Eva Woolridge for Rolling Stone)

Greetings, fellow pop culture aficionados, and welcome to week 18 of our I.C.Y.M.I. (In Case You Missed It) blog series. Our museum may be temporarily closed to visitors based on guidance from public health officials to slow the spread of coronavirus, but we're still here to recap a handful of trending tidbits from the past week(s) in popular culture, in case you missed them.

Last Friday, as MoPOP stands in solidarity with those here in Seattle and around the country speaking out against violence perpetrated against Black and Brown people, we offered a look at movies, books, music, and more that focus on racial justice. This week, we begin with a Rolling Stone piece that calls attention to the powerful messages displayed on the signs Black Lives Matter protesters hold high.

Spotlighting The Signs Protesters Carry

After seeing a lot of inspirational messages on signs throughout the past couple weeks of protests, the staff at Rolling Stone ventured to New York's city streets in Times Square and Brooklyn to touch base with demonstrators and find out what their signs mean to them.

"Seeing people from all walks of life, regardless of race, sexuality, gender, they all just rallied around for one cause and that is justice and Black liberation," says Nupol Kiazolu of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. "I am just so inspired."

Here's a couple more stories from protesters Chad Douglas and Nicole Beauchaine, who explain the message and meaning behind the signs they're carrying.

Chad: “I put the Black Power fist because it’s a strong symbol. Ever since the first civil-rights movement it’s stayed constant with the message that we’re united, we’re strong, we’re powerful. I also wrote, ‘If Black America scares you, then go inside and hide.’ We’re in America and black people are part of America. It’s always going to be that way, so get progressive with it or go inside and hide.”

Nicole: “It’s my responsibility as a white person to do everything I possibly can to call out what I see wrong with our system. I’m an educator, I’m a teacher, and every single one of my students is a person of color. How can I possibly educate them if I don’t educate myself? I’m an educator in the south Bronx and they deserve better. If I am going to be lucky enough to teach them, then I need to be the kind of person that can do something to make a difference, even if it’s cutting up some cardboard and writing on a sign. I can’t look them in the eyes if I can’t stand up for them.”

How Pop Culture Portrays Police

The way police are represented in popular film and television has been widely discussed in recent weeks, as outlets like the Washington Post and Vox examine the ways pop culture impacts public perception of police, and shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Paw Patrol face questions as new seasons are planned. For a bit of insight, an interview with a cast member from the former show says moving forward the series won't ignore the Black Lives Matter movement or calls to end police brutality.

"Definitely. We actually all got on a Zoom call just the other day because of what's happening in this country," Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews tells the Late Night with Seth Meyers. "We were witnessing so many abuses of power. We had some somber talks and some really, really eye-opening conversation about how to handle this new season."

Watch The Wiz Live!

Beginning at 11 a.m. PT on Friday, June 12, The Wiz Live! will be available to stream for 48 hours. As part of a fundraiser for the NAACP, The Wiz Live! features an all-black musical via Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Shows Must Go On. Learn more about this weekend's showing + check out our Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibition for even more from the wonderful world of Oz. 

Be Excellent To Each Other And Party On, Dudes

The Bill and Ted we know and love from 1989's Excellent Adventure—a film we screened at MoPOP just last December (we're big Keanu Reeves fans)—are set to return to the big screen more than 30 years since the original movie's release. The first trailer for Bill & Ted Face the Music was unveiled this past week, marking the third film in the series and the first flick since 1991's Bogus Journey.

In Bill & Ted Face the Music, Keanu Reeves (Bill) and Alex Winter (Ted) play two now middle-aged time-traveling best friends out to fulfill their rock and roll destiny. A visitor from the future warns the pair that only their song can save life as we know it, opening up an entirely new adventure aimed at seeking out a tune to bring harmony to the universe. 

Bill & Ted Face the Music is scheduled for a release date of August 21, 2020.

The Simpsons Congratulates the Class of 2020

With traditional graduation ceremonies on hold or canceled entirely as educational institutions deal with the impact of COVID-19, the class of 2020 may feel a little forgotten as they take the next step in their lives. Virtual commencement speeches have been surfacing as summer approaches, though, including from names like Barack and Michelle Obama. This past week, The Simpsons family also got in on some online recognition for the class of 2020, which you can check out in the video above.

"As graduates, you have a world of possibilities," Homer explains. "You can go from living in your parents' basement, to working in your parents' basement!"

What Else To Watch, Read, Listen To or Catch Up On This Weekend

  • Here at MoPOP, we wrapped up our POP+ Write Out of This World blog series celebrating some of science fiction and fantasy's greatest storytellers
  • In our latest MoPOP Mailbag, our curatorial team took time to answer questions from you, including one on if there's any new information about our Heroes and Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume exhibition coming this fall
  • Our POP+ Pride virtual programming is going strong (be sure to check out our next Instagram Live takeover by a local drag artist at 7 p.m. PT on Thursday, June 18)
  • Registration is open for many of our summer camps, several of which have moved to be entirely online
  • And we hope you'll join us for our final Good Planets Are Hard to Find film this Monday, June 15, as we host an online watchalong and virtual discussion of Planet of the Apes (1968)

What'd We Miss?

Now that we've filled you in on a few things, what do you feel we failed to mention? Let us know in the comments, or hit us up with a suggestion on social media. We'll look to include your ideas in our next edition of I.C.Y.M.I.

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I.C.Y.M.I., MoPOP Don't Stop

About the author

Tony Drovetto is MoPOP's Content Marketing Manager.