It’s a new month and the HOT TOPICS are here!! As always a few goodies for you to put on your calendar, add to your grocery list, cue up in your AirPods, dig into and find some more info about, or to make your coffee table stand out!! Check out this week’s hot topics below:
For all my nature lovers or ones that aspire to be, I got a new book that might just pique your interest. Described as a 192-page visual book, author and “Outdoor Afro” founder Rue Mapp compiled various experiences to highlight “Black joy in nature” via Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors. Nature Swagger includes portraits and personal essays by Black travelers, highlighting their experiences in the outdoors—from breakthroughs had while scaling the highest mountain in Africa, to learning (and teaching) about sustainability through beekeeping, and beyond. Here is a book that is rewriting the script that Black folks not only celebrate nature, but are active participants in discovering it. For Mapp, she was very intentional “about breaking barriers, literacy, and accessibility.” Nature Swagger: Stories and Visions of Black Joy in the Outdoors hit book stands on November 1st.
Leave me a voicemail… New Exhibition to honor Black and Brown lives that were taken at the hands of police brutality. Created by Iranian-American artist, filmmaker and Even/Odd founder, Mohammad Gorjestani, in collaboration with curator Klaudia Ofwona Draber and art director Neil Hamamoto, “1-800 Happy Birthday” sets out “to transcend the subject matter to new channels both physical and digital and have it live in aesthetic and community in places born from the culture it represents”. Originally as an online voicemail project, callers could leave a message for people who were unjustly killed by law enforcement on their birthdays. Wow!! The power of a message. The exhibition will be on view at WORTHLESSSTUDIOS (7 Knickerbocker Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11237) till January 16th, 2023.
Need a morning pick me up or something for your late night study grind?? Well hip-hop artist and entrepreneur Jadakiss is teaming up with his father and son to bring you the Black-owned coffee brand, Kiss Café . Described as “created with honesty and accessibility” Kiss Café seeks to highlight a legacy of three generations that bring you premium coffee. Now this is right up my alley!! Cannot wait to make my purchase!!
A.S. degree program in Cannabis Studies….Soon students at Olive Harvey College (a predominately Black community college) will be able to get an Associate Degree in “Applied Cannabis Studies a first of its kind in the state of Illinois. The degree was designed for students to gain an advantage in the cannabis industry and offer pathways to acquire the proper licensing. As noted by the president of Olive-Harvey College, Dr. Kimberly Hollingsworth, “Olive-Harvey College has always been a leader in the study of cannabis agriculture and operations because of the exponential job growth in the industry and due to its numerous upward mobility opportunities in the mainstream economy.” For more information about the program, see here.
For all my Theater folks…Check out the 20th-anniversay of Suzan-Lori Parks Broadway revival of Topdog/Underdog starring Corey Hawkins and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Directed by Kenny Leon, Topdog/Underdog is a “play that chronicles the adult lives of two African-American brothers as they cope with poverty, racism, work, women, and their troubled upbringings. Lincoln lives with Booth, his younger brother, after being thrown out by his wife.”
As noted by Parks about the play, “I think the meaning of the play isn’t just confined to a man’s experience… I think it’s about what it means to be family and, in the biggest sense, the family of man, what it means to be connected with somebody else.”
You can see Topdog/Underdog at the John Golden Theatre (252 W 45th St. New York, NY 10036) till January 15th, 2023. Purchase tickets here.
As we prepare for the much anticipated sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is giving fans a little taste of the comic book mythos. Set to debut on November 3rd, the “Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast,” hosted by Coates, will bring fans into the making of the larger-than-life sequel.
The podcast will be a 6-episode series that features interviews with director Ryan Coogler, producer Kevin Feige, cast member Angela Bassett, and much more. The first three episodes will premiere on November 3rd (in advance of the film) with the remaining episodes dropping weekly in January 2023 connecting to the 5-year anniversary of the first film, Black Panther.
“Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast,” is a production of Proximity Media in partnership with Marvel Studios, Marvel Entertainment, and The Walt Disney Studios. The series is produced by Paola Mardo. Executive Producers are Ryan Coogler, Zinzi Coogler, Sev Ohanian, and Paola Mardo.
For a quick preview, check it out here:
You can tune into the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Pocket Casts, and Pandora!
See you on the next round!! ~Dr. G