When I interviewed activist and photographer Eunique Jones Gibson last year, I knew that her campaign, Because of Them, We Can™, would add to the landscape of social change in a major way. The campaign has hit another milestone with it’s partnership with Nickelodeon. The two have teamed up to commemorate Black History Month through a campaign launching today across Nickelodeon’s numerous on-air, digital and social platforms. The network will air three original 30-second public service announcements, produced by Because of Them, We Can™, that feature kids portraying distinguished African Americans, including Maya Angelou, Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X. The PSAs will air throughout February and will also be shown on a dedicated website that provides kids and families with additional information about Black History Month.
There are a lot of people who are not pleased with the way black women are portrayed in Hollywood. When you think of who those people might be, rappers are NOT the first to come to mind. As a matter of fact, rappers are often the very ones we are upset with for how black women are depicted in their music videos. The DMV’s own Wale decided to break the mold with his recent video for his single with Jeremih “The Body”. The video shows the rapper serenading a “regular girl”. And there were no “booty” in sight. Wale shared with Necole Bitchie the concept behind the video as well as his frustrations with black women only being depicted as “hyper-sexualized objects created by doctors with the sole intent to take pictures”. Read his exclusive blog penned for Necole Bitchie below.
Back in December, we told you that VH1 was adamant about not cancelling it’s show Sorority Sisters amid backlash about it’s unsavory depiction of greek life. After more negative press, the loss of several sponsors and 2 cast members being suspended from their sororities, the network has changed it’s tune. Although, VH1 has not made a formal announcement of the cancellation, their treatment of the final three episodes is indicative of the outcome.
Oprah has decided that producing Selma and portraying Annie Lee Cooper, a 54-year-old woman who tried to register to vote, in the film was just not enough. She is also using her platform to promote the movie and honor those who were apart of the historic marches from Selma to Montgomery 50 years ago. For one month beginning on January 1, 2015, OWN will feature exclusive programs, specials and movies in commemoration of the 50th anniversary.
“We are not the sum of our worst moment” — Katy Parson
In the wee hours of the morning yesterday, the world lost one of its many heroes, Marion Barry, Jr. Barry came to national prominence as mayor of the nation’s capital. The first prominent civil rights activist to become chief executive of a major American city, Barry was a savvy politician. After moving from Mississippi to Washington, DC in 1965 to manage it’s local Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee office, he became heavily involved in coordinating peaceful street demonstrations as well as a boycott to protest bus fare increases. At the time, over half of the population of Washington D.C. was black, and they had no political representation. Barry wanted to change that. He made an immediate impact in the community organizing a “mancott” of the bus system when the owner decided to raise prices from 20 to 25 cents and serving as the leader of the Free D.C. Movement.
Dozens of films about the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s have made it to the cinema. Movies centered around the stories of key figures like Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Nelson Mandela, and The Black Panther Party have been viewed in theaters nationwide. However, a film centered on the man who many consider to be the patriarch of the movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has never made it to the big screen…until now. Selma, directed by Ava DuVerney and written by DuVerney and Paul Webb, is the story of
Nicki Minaj’s climb to success has been a colorful one (pun intended). Now choosing to take a more natural approach to her look and career, the head barb in charge wants to talk less about butts and more about her brand. And she did just that in her GQ cover story. Check out a few excerpts from the story below.
Activist Cornel West was among the 49 people arrested during yesterday’s protests in Ferguson, Missouri in honor of “Ferguson October”, a culmination of activism and protests in response to the killing of Mike Brown back in August.
West and others were arrested for disturbing the peace and trying to push through a police line while demanding the arrest of Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. According to
Every year the Congressional Black Caucus takes over DC during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference. From receptions to social mixers, CBC Week is filled with so many events that it’s hard to choose which ones to attend. This year I kept it a bit low key, popping into a few mixers and networking events. But there was one event that I couldn’t miss. The Inaugural Congressional Black Caucus Closing Brunch presented by Let’s Do Brunch NYC, Digital Divas and DC’s Akil Waite at the ever so chic Barcode Restaurant & bar in downtown DC was a must-go.
Entrepreneurs Dominique Broadway and Jessica Echols remember how much energy it took to start their own businesses from scratch, each doing the footwork by their lonesome. They want to give the next wave of entrepreneurs a head start and they are doing just that with the launch of Millennial Entrepreneurs Changemakers. Jessica, a premier event planner in the Washington DC area and Dominique, an award winning financial manager, have teamed up to breathe fresh air into the networking and entrepreneurial landscape of Washington, DC and beyond.
Being a twenty-something with a bright future can be a blast, but it’s also a time when the decisions you make directly affect your future. Danielle Stradford, the creator of lifestyle brand, Purity W/ Style, decided that being young didn’t mean being irresponsible and that being responsible isn’t always popular. Danielle shared with me how she made the decision to make purity a part of her lifestyle and how she balances having fun while staying true to herself. Check out my interview with her below.
This past weekend marked the one year anniversary of the acquittal of George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was found not-guilty of the murder of Trayvon Martin who he shot and killed on a suburban block in Florida on February 26, 2012. Future NBA hall of famer Kobe Bryant sparked a bit of controversy earlier this year when voicing his opinion on the response of the black community in the wake of last summer’s verdict.
To support a cause that helps others is gratifying, but imagine how gratifying it must be to get behind a cause that directly affected your life. That’s exactly what Robert Jackson did. The seasoned production veteran combined his decades of experience with his personal challenges and triumphs to create B-Roll Media & Arts, a non-profit organization geared towards addressing the educational deficiencies of children with learning disabilities. Find out why Robert started B-Roll, how his connections are helping him help his students and all about B-Roll’s upcoming media expo.
Educator, poet, literary writer, actress and so much more, Maya Angelou has passed away at the age of 86. The “Phenomenal Woman” published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years. She received dozens of awards and over thirty honorary doctoral degrees. She is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. Among her most popular works were her poem “Still I Rise” and book “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” which has been used in educational settings around the world for decades. Maya Angelou was also active in the civil rights movements and had no qualms about voicing her opinion and expressing her views on African American culture as well as politics. She recited her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993. Maya Angelou’s accomplishments, accolades and gifts to this world are too many name. She lived a full life and gave of herself everyday through service to humanity. She will be missed but the mark she left on the world will never be tarnished.
My favorite poem by Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman”
Well Commissioner Adam Silver has spoken…Donald Sterling has been fined $2.5 Million dollars and is banned for life from the National Basketball Association for his racially charged comments.
“Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA” said during a press conference held this afternoon.
The ban is the highest disciplinary action allowed