Next year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration for many will probably include a visit to the movie theater. FOX 2000 Pictures is set to release “Hidden Figures”, a film about a group of black women in the 1960’s who provided NASA with important data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions. The film that will star Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, follows Katherine Johnson (Henson), a brilliant black mathematician who, along with her colleagues Dorothy Vaughn (Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Monae), collectively known as “human computers” as they assist in the successful launch and safe return of astronaut John Glenn into space.
Believe it or not, there are people (even some Black people), who don’t understand how and why racism still exists in 2016. Just as many are confused with its origins and are out of touch with the history of the physical enslavement of Black people. Misha Green and Joe Pokaski have created an original drama about slavery; chronicling the efforts of blacksmith, Noah, as he organizes a small group of his fellow slaves and crafts a plan of escape and freedom. Underground, executive produced by John Legend, will premier on Wednesday, March 9th at 10:00pm ET/PT on WGN.
When it comes to adding to the landscape of black history, it’s one thing to talk the talk and another to walk the walk. Jurnee Smollett-Bell is doing both. Yesterday the actress kicked off her month long national tour with Macy’s in celebration of Black History Month. Jurnee, personality/actor Terrance J and singer Monica Brown hit up Macy’s Herald Square in New York. The trio participated in a panel hosted by Fashion Editor of Essence Magazine, Joio Thorpe, to chat about the next wave of African American cultural luminaries and tastemakers.
As the mother of a young child, I am always worrying about what he’s exposed to and how he sees himself. The television programming that we allow him to watch (other than the occasional episode of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lol) is always educational. If at all possible, we prefer the images he sees to be relatable to him in some way. In that regard, Sprout is already one of our favorite networks for him to watch, but learning that the 24-hour preschool TV network teamed up with NBC News’ Peacock Productions to produce a series of vignettes that celebrate Black History Month made me love it even more.
Who would have thought that in 2016 we would still be fighting against racism, classicism and the continued disregard for the talents and contributions of black people to the world. In fact, the fight for equality seems just as prevalent in 2016 as it was in 1968 when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was slain on a balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. Yesterday was a day to honor him. It was a day to refocus on his dream and what needs to be done to keep it alive. It was a day where entertainers including comedian Chris Rock, actors Harry Belafonte, Octavia Spencer, Michael B. Jordan, musical artists India Arie, J. Cole, Jussie Smollett and numerous others joined hundreds of people to pay tribute to Dr. King and other civil rights leaders. The event touted as “#MLKNOW” was sponsored by Blackout for Human Rights and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement and was held last night at the Riverside Church in Manhattan where Dr. King delivered his historical sermon opposing the Vietnam War in 1967.
I was not prepared to see what I saw when I did my usual evening scroll on Twitter last night. I wish my social media romp did not include a clip of an officer flipping, choking and throwing a female high school student across a classroom before arresting her. The officer identified as Ben Fields, ordered 18 year old female student to stand up and leave the room. When she refused, Officer Fields stood over her desk and tells her, “either you’re coming with me or I’ll make you.” Then without hesitation, he grabs her, flips her over, and slams her onto the ground before tossing her across the room in front of a class full of other students and cuffing her.
Ebony magazine released the cover of their November 2015 issue amid both praise and criticism. The controversial cover and accompanying cover story compares the fictional and lovable husband and father,”Heathcliff Huxtable” of The Cosby Show to Bill Cosby, the comedian accused of drugging and raping more than 40 women over a span of four decades. It took me some time to sort through how I felt about the strong cover story and even had a few debates on the subject. I have now decided that I abhor the concept and am disappointed in the historical magazine for addressing this issue in this way.
Taraji P. Henson isn’t the only black woman serving power in November 2015’s issue of Essence. Next month’s issue of the magazine also features 29 incredible black women who contribute to the success of President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and the Obama administration.
The ladies who gathered for a photo shoot in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building include young staffers 23 year old Jordan Metoyer, Assistant to the Deputy Director and Senior Advisor to the Office of Management & Budget Director, 27 year old Desiree Barnes, Press Assistant and Senior Wrangler and 27 year old Chynna Clayton, Michelle Obama’s Special Assistant and Trip Director. They all share a common trait, says Clayton, “The White House is composed of people who are passionate about the country.”
At 21 a lot of young ladies are having college fun and chasing guys…not Maya Milan. The young starlet has bigger fish to fry, like selling out arenas and setting an example for young girls everywhere. Marriage, kids and a white picket fence are definitely in the plans, but not yet. Maya’s dream is to perform in front of thousands of fans as they sing every word of her songs. I chatted with the young songtress with big plans and she shared all about her musical journey, her surprise performance wit K.Michelle and more. Check out our chat below.
It seems as if Mielle Organics emerged out of the darkness overnight. The natural hair care product line has resonated with naturalistas all over the world since it’s creation in 2014. However, it’s founder, Monique Rodriguez says that although it’s been a whirlwind, her journey to creating Mielle Organics was far from a overnight success. I spoke to the hair care guru and she dished on how the idea to create Mielle Organics came to be, the amazing reception from the natural hair community, hair texture shaming and more. Check out our chat below.