On the "A" w/Souleo: Empire -inspired Music Video and Other 'Go Viral' Picks

Going viral has never been so competitive with the hordes of memes, videos and write-ups vying for attention on the web. This week we are highlighting several pieces of content that deserve to go viral from a theatre company's entertaining music video to a topical book about race and politics.

Empire music video by The Movement Theatre Company

From a successful soundtrack to think pieces, the hit TV show Empire has been ubiquitous in pop culture since it debuted earlier this year. So it's a smart move for a non-profit to tap into the show's popularity to raise awareness about its mission. That's exactly what The Movement Theatre Company did with an entertaining new video seen here. The Harlem-based organization uses some of the show's popular tunes with reworked lyrics to highlight the non-profit's work in providing a platform for emerging artists of color in the theater community.

The Movement Theatre Company members Eric Lockley, Taylor Reynolds, Deadria Harrington & David Itor/Credit:Alex Schaefer

A few of the mentions include their New York Times-praised production of Bintou and their program Harlem Nights, which has featured work by playwrights Harrison David Rivers (McKnight Fellow) and actors Danielle Brooks (Orange is The New Black, The Color Purple) and Xosha Roquemore (The Mindy Project). With a timely nod to pop culture, music, humor and a positive cause this one has all the elements of what it means to 'go viral.'

MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid book Fracture explores race and politics

Courtesy: Harper Collins

Impacting all aspects of the 2016 presidential race is the subject of how the U.S. addresses matters of race. It is a point of contention amplified by the voices of Black Lives Matter protesters and the controversial rhetoric of Donald Trump. But to look forward, MSNBC national correspondent, Joy-Ann Reid looks back at the long history of how race issues have proliferated throughout modern politics, especially within the Democratic Party. In Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide, Reid pays special attention to the 2008 Democratic Party nomination battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. With this moment serving as the book's nexus she combines history, statistics, insider views and pop culture references for an insightful read. Reid's work has the pulse of a thriller that is made even more intense because the stakes are so high and so real. Hence, why this book ought to go viral.

AfroPoP documentaries showcase transformative power of arts and culture

Courtesy: National Black Programming Consortium

It may be a little too early for this next project to go viral but it still deserves a highlight. On January 18 (MLK Day), AfroPoP: The Ultimate Exchange returns for its eighth season on WORLD Channel with a lineup of documentaries that span the globe from Africa to Oakland, California. Noteworthy episodes include Pan! Our Music Odyssey (January 25), which explores the history and cultural relevance of the steel drum; Tchindas (February 1), which follows its namesake (a popular transgender woman in the community of São Vicente in Cape Verde) as she and her cohorts prepare to celebrate the annual carnival, and , finally, First Fridays (February 8), which looks at how a monthly street festival aims to help revive Oakland, California, considered one of the most crime-ridden cities in America. For its ability to illuminate underrepresented stories, AfroPoP deserves to go viral.


The weekly column, On the "A" w/Souleo, covers the intersection of the arts, culture entertainment and philanthropy in Harlem and beyond and is written by Souleo, founder and president of event/media content production company Souleo Enterprises LLC.