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.
It’s been about a week since the 2016 Academy Award nominations were announced and actress Jada Pinkett Smith expressed her disappointment with the lack of diversity and shared her and her husband Will Smith’s plans to boycott this year’s show. “Maybe it’s time we pull back our resources and we put them back into our communities, and we make programs for ourselves that acknowledge us in ways that we see fit, that are just as good as the so-called mainstream,” she said in a video on Facebook. Since then other notable entertainers such Spike Lee, Lupita N’yongo, Tyrese, and George Clooney have expressed their disappointment as well. Those in support of the boycott are even calling for the show’s black host, comedian Chris Rock, to relinquish his hosting duties.
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.
It’s been said that having and maintaining healthy hair is directly connected to other aspects of health, like healthy diet and healthy skin. The founder of No’Kyem Naturals, Earashea Knight-Stephenson, has made the same connection and is adding skin care products to the already successful line of hair care products created by No’Kyem. The new line, Ah’Sarae, released TODAY at NoKyem.com. I spoke with Earashae about the new line, texture shaming and what set No’Kyem apart from the rest. Check out our chat below.
It looks like hard work continues to pay off for the cast, crew and producers of FOX’s musical drama Empire and ABC’s family comedy Black-ish. The popular shows have both raked in double digit nominations for the 2016 NAACP Image Awards with Empire snagging 12 and Black-ish grabbing 10. I must admit that I kind of lost interest in Empire but the show’s stars, Taraji P. Henson, Terrance Howard, Jussie Smollett, Bryshere Y. Gray and Grace Gealey are doing something right as the drama continues to bring in millions of viewers each week and each are in the running for individual performance awards.
Tonight NBC will add a musical classic to its holiday line-up. A 3-hour live production of the Broadway musical that followed Dorothy, Oz and friends on their song-filled journey down the yellow brick road, “The Wiz”, will air tonight at 8pm ET/7pm CT.
The 1975 Broadway adaptation of “The Wiz” boasted an all-black cast including singer Stephanie Mills as Dorothy and won 7 Tony Awards including Best Musical. The Broadway stint was followed by a tour in 1976 which was just as successful. In 1978 the show’s continued popularity gave rise to a feature film by the same name starring musical icons Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.
Now the historical, award winning stage play is being re-birthed once again with a new cast of the who’s who of black music and film including Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier, Ne-Yo, Common, Uzo Abuda, Amber Riley, Elijah Kelly, Stephanie Mills and introducing Shanice Williams as Dorothy.
Will you be tuning in tonight? Here’s some behind the scenes footage to hold you off until then.
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.”
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.
In a time where blacks are being killed at the hands of authorities at an astronomical rate and the hashtag #blacklivesmatters reigns supreme, it’s impossible not to feel the discord between America and black people….but not our culture. Also moving at an astronomical rate is what some are calling “cultural rape” and the rise of culture vultures who only look to take from black culture while failing to appreciate or credit it for the trends that white America grab ahold of every day. From hair styles to facial features, it’s impossible not to notice America’s obsession with black culture. But that isn’t the problem. What bothers most of us is the misappropriation and lack of attribution.
FOX has its hands full with the second season of their hit show, Empire premiering this Fall. Terrance Howard, Taraji P. Henson and more are set to begin heating up the small screen again on September 23rd. However, the network is gearing to premiere another series on September 23rd with a cast that includes a few more of black Hollywood’s most notable actors. Morris Chestnut and Nicole Ari Parker have been cast in the new dramatic series, Rosewood. Morris will star as famous Miami private pathologist Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr. Nicole Ari Parker will play Rosewood’s attractive and successful new girlfriend, Kat Crawford, a highly sought-after psychologist specializing in PTSD who often counsels police, soldiers and others who regularly encounter violence.
We’re still in the midst of our “Chatworthy Summer Give-A-Way Series” and one of our sponsors is Mielle Organics. The good people over at Mielle sent more than enough product for our give-a-way so I thought why not use the extra product myself and share my results so the other Mielle newbies like me can get a taste of their amazing line. I wanted to try something that would be universal to all naturals from those rocking TWA’s to us gals rocking funky twistouts and wash ‘n go’s. What’s more universal that moisture? So I decided to try their Avocado Moisturizing Hair Milk. I added this product to my wash day LOC process and was super happy with the results.
It’s about to do down! If you’re not sitting in front of the tube June 28th you will be missing what BET is describing as one of the network’s best awards shows yet. The 2015 BET Awards buzz is already building as today’s hottest stars touch down in Los Angeles in preparation for Sunday night. If you wanna know who will be front and center at this year’s show, you can just set up shop at LAX and watch all the celebs arrive lol. If you can’t do that, here’s the scoop.
**Scroll down to the bottom for the update!
An all out manhunt is underway for a white male who entered the historic and predominantly black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina and killed 9 people last night. According to reports, the man actually attended the bible study that was taking place for almost an hour before opening fire on the other attendees.