Category Archives: Entertainment

Pan African Film Festival to Screen Aretha Franklin’s ‘Amazing Grace’ Concert Opening Night Feb. 7

aretha franklin - amazing grace

*The Pan African Film & Arts Festival announced that it will celebrate its 27th Annual Opening Night with a screening of Aretha Franklin’s cherished Amazing Grace concert documentary at the Directors Guild of America.

The festival, which presents an impressive slate of over 170 new Black films from the US and around the world and exhibits more than 100 fine artists and unique craftspeople, starts on Thursday, February 7 through Monday, February 18 at the Cinemark Rave 15 Theatres (3650 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd) and the adjacent Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza    in Los Angeles, California.

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Trump Won’t Join Nike Boycott ‘Cause He’s Scared: Company is A Tennant That ‘Pays A Lot of Rent’

trump - nike

*Welp, if you’re one of those tRumpers that expected the orange a-hole in the White House to go in on Nike and join the boycott against the company for putting Colin Kaepernick at the center of it’s “Just Do It” 30th anniversary campaing, guess what, it ain’t happening.

Why is that you ask?  Well, like everything else with Trump, it’s all about the money.  Read on for the full story via Newsweek.

nike - kaepernick - ad on building

Nike unveiled Colin Kaepernick as one of the faces of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, prompting harsh criticism from a number of political commentators and Nike customers, who have accused the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback of showing disrespect to the flag when he chose to kneel during the national anthem in 2016.

While Trump criticized the campaign, he also said the company was one of his main tenants. “I think it’s a terrible message and a message that shouldn’t be sent,” he told The Daily Caller when asked about the campaign. “There’s no reason for it.” But, the president explained, Nike was a tenant of his, and “they pay a lot of rent.” 

Nike’s flagship store was located on a site owned by Trump next to Trump Tower in New York City. But the location has since closed, and in 2017 Nike, which is based in Oregon, announced it would open a new shop on Fifth Avenue by the end of this year.

The advertising campaign—which features a picture of Kaepernick with a message reading “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything”—sparked a furious backlash, which even saw people burning their Nike sneakers in protest.

Calls for a boycott of the company quickly spread on social media, but Trump defended Nike, suggesting the company was perfectly within its rights to choose Kaepernick—who has been a Nike athlete since 2011—to promote its campaign.

“As much as I disagree with the Colin Kaepernick endorsement, in another way—I mean, I wouldn’t have done it. In another way, it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do, but I personally am on a different side of it.”

This artice continues at Newsweek.

Mark Burnett’s ‘The Contender’ with Andre Ward Sets Premiere Date/Announces Fighters

12-Episode Boxing Competition Series Set to Premiere on August 24

andre ward - the contender

*LOS ANGELES – Premium pay television network EPIX® has announced the 16 fighters who will be facing off with one another for the championship belt on the revival of boxing franchise series The Contender this fall.

The highly anticipated 12-episode season, from MGM Television and Paramount Television, will premiere on EPIX on Aug. 24, 2018 at 10 PM ET/PT.

Hosted by undefeated boxing champion Andre “Son of God” Ward, the first-of-its-kind competitive documentary series for the network will feature 16 fighters pushing their limits in grueling elimination-style fights and testing their grit and determination to achieve their boxing dreams. The fighters will be overseen by legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach, and renowned Philadelphia trainer Naazim Richardson.

“The Contender takes unscripted TV to its grittiest.  It has incredible professional fighters and real professional fights.  The edge of your seat drama and true stories sets a tone that our audiences will be expecting and I love it,” said Mark Burnett, President of MGM Television.

 “With this new iteration of The Contender, the focus is on the gritty, personal stories of the fighters battling for boxing glory,” said Michael Wright, President, EPIX. “It was important for us to find individuals who not only displayed the boxing chops and resilience in the ring, but who also showed a depth of heart and humor outside of it. Our 16 fighters are vivacious, tough, funny, sensitive, driven and inspiring, and we are excited for our fans to get to know their stories and root for them inside the ring and out.”

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Toni Morrison – Unapologetic Black Brilliance

toni morrison

*A mention of America’s literary giants would be incomplete with the mention of one Miss Toni Morrison. This daughter of a steel worker and a homemaker has rightfully earned her laurels for creating works centered on African American life when its erasure from culture was commonplace.

Her poetic and bittersweet writing has earned her a Nobel Prize for Literature, a Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Truly, she is our Black intellectual.

To understand Toni Morrison’s significance, one needs to understand her work’s specialness. Her writing not only captures the pain and anguish of the countless nameless souls that were snatched away from their home and treated with cruelty but also shows their complexity, their unique link to their heritage and most importantly their humanity.

Through her books, Toni Morrison reinforces black people’s place in America history and society.

In the foreword of her book Beloved, Morrison wrote “I wanted the reader to be kidnapped, thrown ruthlessly into an alien environment as the first step into a shared experience with the book’s population.”

Morrison understands that the role of her writing isn’t just confrontational. It serves a higher purpose. It reconstructs dark chapters of America’s past so that roads leading into empathy and light can be built.

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‘The Color Purple’ Strikes Gold at the Pantages in Hollywood

color purple

*It did not matter that there were more famous names in the audience on opening night of The Color Purple at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood than there were on stage. The tour of the Tony-winning hit Broadway musical, based on the novel by Alice Walker and the movie of the same name, is without name recognition or elaborate scenery.

In fact, the scenery is nothing more than three wooden panels and some chairs. At first, I wondered how it would work, but it did not take long for me to stop focusing on the insignificant. My attention was quickly diverted to the actors and their ability to belt out songs like nobody’s business.

The musical, like the book and movie, tells the coming of age and the enlightenment of Celie (Adrianna Hicks), a young African American girl who had her two babies, both sired by her own father (J.D. Webster), stripped away from her and who was subsequently forced to marry Mister (Gavin Gregory), only to become nothing more than an abused servant and semen repository.

With the help of two strong women, Sophia (Carrie Compere) and Shug Avery (Carla R. Stewart), Celie learns self-love, gains strength, finds self-esteem and becomes a woman who proclaims, “I’m Here!”

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