The plight of the black actress in Hollywood is one that I’ve heard expressed time and time again from some of my favorite actresses. Just this past week, Essence hosted it’s 8th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. The luncheon which uplifts black women in Hollywood is necessary because far too often black actresses are not given the lead roles that they seek. The sentiment is that the playing field in Hollywood is not leveled. Tatyana Ali, Essence Atkins and Andrea Lewis have teamed up to shed more light on the issue with web series “Black Actress”. The series created by and starring Andrea Lewis is a mockumentary style series following the life of actress Kori Bailey while she pursues her next big acting role and making a name for herself in the entertainment industry.
As expected, Selma, the film starring David Oyelowo and Oprah, didn’t win big at this year’s Academy Awards. The award winners clearly lacked diversity but the show’s attendees and performers didn’t let that make the film’s message null and void. During the show there were several moments that highlighted the need for equality and end of racism. In fact, the night’s most powerful moment came when the leading song from the film’s soundtrack was performed.
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.
How would you feel as a parent to learn that your child witnessed the firing of his/her teacher in the middle of class? Well that’s exactly what happened at Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science. And it get worse. The reason behind the firings? The social studies teachers were fired because they were teaching the students African American history. According to parents, after the school’s three social studies teachers gave their two weeks’ notice last week, the new principal, Angelicque Blackmon, gave them all pink slips on Tuesday during class and in front of students.
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.
With a history of covering issues in the African American community since the 1970’s, it’s no surprise that ESSENCE magazine is making history again at the climax of what some are calling the “new civil rights movement”. Vanessa K. DeLuca, Editor-in-Chief of the ground breaking magazine, shared the February 2015 cover with an open letter detailing the process behind the creation of the very first cover to not boast a photo and the significance of it’s subject matter.
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.
If you are one of 1.1 million people who tuned in to VH1‘s Sorority Sisters and were appalled by what you saw, VH1 has news for you. The controversial show which follows the lives of 9 women who belong to black sororities will continue to air all because you tuned in. Detractors of the new reality show have called for the show to be cancelled because it reflects sorority life in negative light. As a result, some advertisers are even considering pulling their ads from the network until the show is canned. But VH1 says it will NOT cancel the show because in the words of Beyonce, they know you care.
One thing for sure and two things for certain, if you hire Tracee Ellis Ross you are hiring ALL OF HER. According to the actress, her hair, her ass and everything else is a package deal. In her recent chat with Entertainment Weekly, the star of ABC’s Black-ish dished on how exciting it has been for her to see hair that looks like hers on the small screen this year and what it means for women in today’s culture.
After last week’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown, millions of people were left confused, angered and disappointed. Some of those people were disappointed yet again when the officer who caused the death of another black man was not indicted. Yesterday it was announced that the police officer who choked and killed Eric Garner would not be charged. During a press conference after the decision, Rev. Al Sharpton announced the plan for a march to protest police violence and excessive force in the . The march is scheduled to take place on December 13, 2014. “It’s time for a national march for a national crisis,” Sharpton said.
After months of waiting in angst, the decision of the grand jury on whether or not police officer Darren Wilson would be indicted in the shooting death of Michael Brown was rendered. Last night St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced that Wilson would not be indicted. During the press conference McCullough, who came off as being in defense of Wilson, inappropriately lashed out at media and the internet, blaming both for the unrest in Ferguson. He can’t think that his speech, the drawn out process and the delivery of the decision didn’t play a role in the unavoidable tension. It almost seems as though the choice to deliver the decision at night , hours after announcing that it would be made “soon”,
“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
Since her Disney says Raven Symone has been quite private only revealing tidbits of her life via social media. However, during her sit down with Oprah on her OWN series “Where Are They Now?” which aired last night, The Cosby Show and That’s So Raven star shared her views on sexuality and ethnicity making it very clear she is against being labeled anything but human. Check out a few excerpts from the interview below.