Category Archives: Culture

#ReelList: Top 7 Movies I’m Looking To See in 2016

In honor of Sundance Festival, I decided to put together the movies I’m excited to see this year. Both on the small and big screen. I’m really excited with the range of movies coming out – Biopics, comedies, documentaries, dramas. I’m here for it all. Let’s get into this list.

  • All Eyez on Me // Scheduled Release Date: November 2016 – If you are a hip hop head, you already know who this movie is about. They have been talking about a Tupac movie for a VERY LONG time so I’m that it finally got the green light! Benny Boom is the director which is interesting because he has most notably directed music videos. The movie was originally supposed to be directed by Anthony Fuqua and I honestly would’ve loved his directorial execution. Also, this is the first leading role for Demetrius Shipp, Jr., the guy that is cast as Tupac. 
    tupac, all eyez on me

    Photo Credit: Twitter

  • Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall // Airing Date: February 5, 2016 – This documentary explores the period the legend Michael Jackson went from the Jackson 5 to releasing one of the greatest albums ever made, Off the Wall. One of the producers of this project is Spike Lee so I have hope that he will do it justice. It airs February 5, 2016 at 9 pm on Showtime. 

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Black Excellence at the 2016 Golden Globes

The Golden Globes were Sunday night and #blackexcellence showed up and out that night. Starting off with the fashion, capes were the common theme. Taraji looked amazing in her white Stella McCarthy dress while Jada looked stunning in her emerald Versace number. Can we just talk about how flawless and ageless Angela Bassett looks? I just want 8 oz from the fountain of youth she’s drinking from. Just EIGHT OUNCES. Lol. Michael Bae Jordan looked so handsome as did, Will and Uncle Denzel.

I had THREE favorite moments of the night. Because they were too many to choose from. Of course Twitter makes any live shows 10 times better. Anyway on to my faves:

  • Jamie Foxx pulling a Steve Harvey by announcing Straight Outta Compton as the winner of Best Original Score. HILARIOUS! I love how comfortable he is with being his self. Even how woke he was to mention ‘ghetto’ after Quentin Tarantino used it in his acceptance speech. The most heartwarming part of it all was Jamie introducing his daughter as Miss Golden Globe. She looked gorgeous!
  • Denzel Washington accepting the Cecil B. Demille Award. First of all, this man’s body of work is PHENOMENAL and LEGENDARY. The montage created in honor  of him made me want to binge watch all the movies he’s acted in. He brings his entire family on stage. Halfway through his speech, he couldn’t read what he had written down and Auntie Pauletta was like you need your glasses. He was like nah I’m good. Still struggling, Auntie Pauletta leans to try to help him out. Then he asks her to help him read and she was like I don’t have my glasses either. LOL! It was such a cute moment because it not only reminded me of my parents trying to read something together but it made them seem so down-to-earth.
  • Taraji Henson winning for Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama. Taraji is just #blackgirlmagic. Like you can’t help but to love her. After her name is called, she immediately grabs cookies off the table and starts handing them out like Oprah, you get a cookie, you get a cookie, you get a cookie. Gets to the stage and starts her speech by being so #woke. Saying how she thought she would’ve won this award with a role like Queenie from Benjamin Button. Eluding to the fact that these awards shows only give awards to black people when they are playing subservient role. See Lupita for 12 Years a Slave. See Octavia Spencer for The Help. We are still mad about Will Smith and Denzel Washington for being snubbed for their roles in Muhammed Ali and Malcolm X respectfully. I digress.  The person working the teleprompter had the AUDACITY to wrap? Her clapback was just perfect. #yougonwait. Simple as that. Taraji you have officially become a #CMmuse.

That’s my recap! Did you watch the Golden Globes? What were your favorite moments?

PANTONE Color of the Year 2016

I always feel anticipation in December for the announcement of the following year’s color of the year. Being the design nerd I am, I couldn’t let this year roll by without talking about the 2016 Color of the Year. Last year Marsala was named as the official color of the year. And I have to say that it was one of my favorites. This year, eh. I don’t feel as strong about the shade selection but I have to admit the colors are growing on me. And I say colors because for the first time PANTONE selected two shades. Rose Quartz and Serenity. These colors remind me of a baby nursery. Very soft and tranquil.

Pantone specifically explains Rose Quartz “is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure”. While Serenity “is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”

Regardless of my feeling of the color selection, I did find some dope items to include in this year’s Color of the Year moodboard.

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How are you looking to incorporate this color this year?

National Black Arts Festival 2015

The National Black Arts Festival is an annual event in Atlanta that provides amazing programming highlighting arts disciplines such as music, visual arts, performance arts and much more. This year’s season focuses on dance! Y’all know I’m hype right?! The festival kicked off in July with a beautiful gala and continues through September with tons of events celebrating generations of dance and dancers.

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One of the events I’m super excited yet bummed about is the Step Afrika performance on August 29! I’m excited because I would love to the see the first performing company dedicated to stepping but I’ll be out of town that weekend. There are at least two events every weekend until September and I plan to attend at least two of them!

Are you going to any of the events? Let me know if the comments.

National Black Theatre Festival 2015

Prior to my new current position, I worked for a performing arts center and I loved it! I learned so much about the theatre culture and Broadway. I also learned that they were few people of color that occupied the theatre space. I came across this theatre festival and was intrigued! The National Black Theatre Festival starts today with their Opening Night Gala in Winston-Salem, NC! The festival continues through August 8th, showcasing over 120 productions performed by black theatre companies from across the country.

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Festivals attendees can also expect workshops taught by professionals for aspiring playwrights and youth activities to encourage and foster their interests. The festival was founded in 1989 by the Leon Tamlin and is produced by North Carolina Black Repertory Company.  If you are in the Winston-Salem area, get your tickets to attend this awesome festival!

BlackStar Film Festival 2015

The 2015 BlackStar FIlm Festival kicks off today in Philly! The festival celebrates and showcases work in cinema created by people of African descent, along with offering many workshops and panels for those interested in building their craft. I first learned of the festival through one of my favorite designers/bloggers, Andrea Pippins of Fly Girl Blog. She was commissioned to design all the collateral for the festival! Such a huge fan of her work!

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There will be over 60 films featured at this weekend’s film festival from short documentaries to feature narratives. Awesome, right?! It’s so important for us to continue to share our stories in varying mediums. And we all know that cinema is one of the most effective ways. If I were going (maybe next year as a social media correspondent?), my top two must see films would be August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand and Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee. If you are in Philly this weekend, you should check it out!

3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets

It seems that everyday we wake and there’s another story about police brutality against people of color. It’s disheartening and frustrating. Also scary that the ones are supposed to protect us are the ones who are doing many other things to us than protecting us. In 2012, Jordan Davis and his friends pulled up to a gas station for what seemed like a regular trip. 3 and half minutes later, shots fired and Jordan Davis was dead and his friends were injured. Michael Dunn was charged and convicted with first degree murder (among other charges) and will spend the rest of his life in prison. Ironically enough, I was in Florida during the original trial with my then boyfriend (now hubby) for Valentine’s Day. Events surrounding that horrible day was turned into a documentary called 3 1/2, Ten Bullets, directed by Marc Silver. The documentary premiered this year at the Sundance Festival and received rave reviews. The trailer is chilling and brings tears to my eyes especially when they mention that Trayvon Martin’s dad sends Jordan Davis’ dad a text saying “Welcome into a club that none of us want to be in.” My heart broke all over again. Check out the trailer below and click here to see when the movie is coming to a location near you.

 

Alvin Ailey in Atlanta!

As I’ve stated a couple posts back, I’m a former dancer. Sorry in advance if I feature more dancers in my posts, I just love seeing black dancers executing movement so effortlessly. At least it looks effortless. I already know the number of hours it takes to perfect a double pirouette or stretch to gain that perfect turn out. (All my dancers will agree.) When I see Alvin Ailey dancers, I think effortless. Their imagery for the new season screams power and iconic.

Courtesy of: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Courtesy of: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

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Solange x Puma – Wild Wonder Collection

Solange has always been one of my favorite people. Of course her style makes her an icon and her music touches my soul but more than that, she just seems like a cool chick who is very confident and very loving. About a year ago, I was excited to learn she would be an art director and creative consultant for PUMA. I thought man this is a perfect opportunity for Solange to showcase her design skills and express her hipster personality.

Image Courtesy of Saint Heron

Image Courtesy of Saint Heron

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