International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. This year’s 2023 theme is about how we can #EmbraceEquity!!
How will you forge women’s equality and #EmbraceEquity? Check out some available resources and things you can do to celebrate!!
Challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion
See the Google Doodle for the day…The vignettes within each “GOOGLE” letter highlight just a few of the many areas in which women around the world support each other to progress and improve each other’s quality of life. In honor of women across the globe who are supporting each other across all aspects of life — Happy International Women’s Day!
So much goodness, I had to share! Check out this weeks “HOT Topics”!!
On this coming Super Bowl Sunday history will be made through Autumn Lockwood!! Feb. 12 Philadelphia Eagles assistant performance coach Autumn Lockwood will stand on the sidelines as the first Black woman to coach in the event’s history.
For all my gamers, check out this Humble Gaming Bundle! Humble has created a bundle of games by Black creators as well games featuring Black lead characters. By purchasing this bundle you are helping to support a new generation of game developers and tech talent.
The gaming bundle includes Mafia III and Shadow Man, along with the work of Black developers like Interabang Entertainment’s Jay & Silent Bob: Mall Brawl, Strange Scaffold’s An Airport for Aliens Currently Run By Dogs, and much more. Making a purchase will also help support Gameheads, an organization that “envisions a world where low income youth and youth of color are equipped to thrive and succeed in any field they choose, including the tech and video game industries.” To make a purchase see here!
If you want to know more about how Humble is celebrating Black History Month, check them out on their blog.
Also, in honor of Black History Month-AMC Theaters is doing a $5 Movie Ticket special for select films and participating theaters. Some of the films include:
Till (February 3-9)
The Woman King (February 17-23)
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (February 24-March 2)
As noted by AMC Theaters, “AMC Theaters is giving moviegoers the opportunity to revisit some of the most recent biographical dramas, military epics, and dramatic action movies created by or starring outstanding Black filmmakers and actors.”The offer begins on Feb. 3 and ends on March 2, with each film being shown in theaters for $5 for one week only.
Need to up your wine game, check out this list of Black-owned Wine Brands that you can purchase online:
Theopolis Vineyards: “Theopolis Vineyards is a small lot vineyard and hand-crafted winery located in California’s prestigious Yorkville Highlands of the Anderson Valley.”
Kai-Simone: “Bringing elegance and sophistication to the rustic Texas Hill Country, Kai-Simone promises a wonderful experience for everyone who visits.”
Edelheiss : “By the cultivation of traditional, precious materials, the team at Edelheiss works closely and cooperatively with well respected local winegrowers and suppliers to ensure that it makes the most of its long-term relationships.”
Flo: “FLO represents the journey through which we discover those things in life that fulfill us and make each experience a little better; for the love of life, self, happiness, passion, joy…love itself.”
Publishing Company to offer free Black History e-books!!Haymarket Books will offer 40% off of books centered around the Black Liberation struggle and the following e-books for free to download: “From Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation” by Keeanga Yamahtta, which explores why the Black Lives Matter movement is necessary; “Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice,” edited by Jesse Hagopian and Denisha Jones, which details how the Black Lives Matter movement has challenged institutional racism; and “1919” by Eve L. Ewing, a collection of poems depicting the Chicago race riots of 1919.
Viola Davis is now a part of the EGOT club!! At the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, Davis would secure her status with a Grammy Award for the audiobook recording of her memoir, Finding Me. The exclusive [E]mmy-[G]rammy-[O]scar-[T]ony winner list only has 18 names on it. Viola is the fourth Black artist to accomplish the feat, following in the footsteps of Whoopi Goldberg, John Legend, and Jennifer Hudson. Davis’ previous awards are Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2017 for Fences, an Emmy for Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2015 for How to Get Away With Murder and two Tonys, one for Featured Actress in a Play in 2001 for King Hedley II and for Lead Actress in a Play in 2010 for Fences.
Another week, another set of HOT TOPICS!! Let’s see what I got for you this week. Check it out below:
Fresh off of a huge night, Abbott Elementary fans can breathe a sigh of relief know that there WILL be a Season 3!! This news comes after the show and several actors winning big, Tyler James Williams (Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Television Series-Musical or Comedy), Quinta Brunson (Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series-Musical or Comedy), and the show winning Best Television Series-Musical or Comedy.
Looking to change up your meal plan or simply add a little flavor and spice you are in luck! Tabitha Brown has a new limited-edition collection that just launched at Target on January 8th. This is her third collection which includes cookware and vegan/plant-based food options. Brown’s food items feature vegan cream cheese spreads, pastas and plant-based patties and the cookware includes cast iron skillets, utensils and towels.
#BlackWomenMakingMoves … Angela Bassett made history at this year’s Golden Globes!! Bassett won “Best Supporting Actress-Motion Picture” for her as ‘Queen Ramonda’ in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever making her the first to win a Golden Globe for a Marvel movie. If this is in preparation for Bassett winning a long-overdue Oscar, I’m all in!! See her acceptance speech below:
There’s a new “American Girl”-2023 Girl of the Year doll in town and her name is Kavika “Kavi” Sharma. The first South Asian American Girl Doll. As noted by the AG company, “Kavi joins the company’s long line of contemporary characters, introduced more than 20 years ago, that represent a wide range of backgrounds to reflect what it means to be an American girl today.” Here is a tangible product that represents progression and hope!! In addition to the doll to purchasing the doll, various accessories can be purchased alongside the doll: the “Song & Dance Bundle,” that includes a red, blue, and gold lehenga (a traditional form of South Asian clothing), matching South Asian jewelry including a tikka (head piece), necklace, and a pair of bangles. Other accessories also include backstage wardrobe essentials and various sparkly outfits. The doll is available for purchase now!
For all my MCU fans, Phase 5 is going to be a pretty exciting time!! I know I am looking forward to the upcoming line-up!! And just in case you have not seen the latest news, check out what is coming in 2023:
We have come to another day of Kwanzaa…The second principle of the Nguzo Saba is Kujichagulia which means Self-Determination!! To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.”
“In a time in which occupation and oppression of countries and peoples are immorally presented as necessary and even salvational, the principle of Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) rejects this and reaffirms the right of persons and peoples to determine their own destiny and daily lives; to live in peace and security; and to flourish in freedom everywhere.”-Dr. Maulana Karenga
Consider these three questions as you embody Kujichaguilia:
1. Who am I? 2. Am I really who I say I am? 3. Am I all that I ought to be?
Have a conversation (with yourself, or with another person) about what truths you want to live into in this coming year. In addition, check out thisvideo reflection from Dr. David Goode-Cross, as he shares the importance of making life decisions from a place of being grounded in our most authentic selves.
Once you begin to process and internalize the above questions/thoughts consider these few actions that you can do to celebrate Kujichaguilia:
Make the celebration focus on your family
Make the celebration festive and joyous
Try to have a special meal- at home or away
What I like about Kujichagulia is that it also has a personal meaning. As you reflect over this past year, can you identify ways that your self-determination paid off? How did you take more control over your life?
During this holiday, families and communities “organize activities around the Nguzo Saba” (The Seven Principles):
Ujima (Collective Work & Responsibility)
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
In addition to the seven principles there are a total of nine symbols (in Swahili and English) that make up Kwanzaa:
Mazao (The Crops): These are symbolic of African harvest celebrations and of the rewards of productive and collective labor.
Mkeka (The Mat): This is symbolic of our tradition and history and therefore, the foundation on which we build.
Kinara (The Candle Holder): This is symbolic of our roots, our parent people — continental Africans.
Muhindi (The Corn): This is symbolic of our children and our future which they embody.
Kikombe cha Umoja (The Unity Cup):This is symbolic of the foundational principle and practice of unity which makes all else possible.
Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles): These are symbolic of the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, the matrix and minimum set of values which African people are urged to live by in order to rescue and reconstruct their lives in their own image and according to their own needs.
Zawadi (The Gifts): These are symbolic of the labor and love of parents and the commitments made and kept by the children.
Bendera (The Flag): The colors of the Kwanzaa flag are colors of the Organization Us, black, red and green – black for the people, red for their struggle, and green for the future that comes from their struggle. The Bendera is based on the national flag given to us by the Hon. Marcus Garvey, with slight adjustments in order and interpretation of the colors made in the 1960s along with many African countries.
Nguzo Saba Poster: The Nguzo Saba poster or some form of the written Nguzo Saba should always be a part of the Kwanzaa set. For it is these Seven Principles which give Kwanzaa its core and seven days of cultural focus.
Each symbol “represents values and concepts reflective of African culture and contributive to community building and reinforcement.”
This year’s theme is “Kwanzaa, Culture and the Practice of Freedom:A Message and Model For Our Times”!
During this Kwanzaa celebration I will share a little knowledge on each principle and what you can do to take part in this welcoming tradition!! So make sure you stay tuned!!
Today’s principle is UMOJA which means UNITY!! What are you doing today to strive and maintain unity in our families, communities, nations, and the world!! #UMOJA#Celebration#Affirmation
How you can embody UMOJA today is by being kind to your sisters and brothers in order to help keep your family and community strong and happy.
Ahhhh another one of my favorite times of the year!!
For more information check out the following links:
And we are back with some new hot features!! A lot is happening in the world, and I’m all for sharing with you!! Check out this week’s new hot topics!!
History Being Made!! An E-Sports degree is coming to a South Carolina HBCU!! With the popularity of gaming and e-sports on the rise, as a billion dollar industry, it is only fitting that HBCU’s pick up the baton and make their mark in this arena. Two years in the making Benedict College is offering a major in E-Sports (to go along with their already existing esports gaming room), making it the first HBCU to do so.
Looking for a southern-inspired meal on your next Delta flight, starting September 1st Delta Airlines travelers leaving out of Atlanta will be able to enjoy a variety of dishes curated by a Black Woman Chef, Mashama Bailey. Chef Bailey is a James Beard Foundation award-winning chef and also serves as the co-founder and Executive Chef of The Grey in Savannah, Georgia.
Making your way to DC anytime soon?? Well make sure you visit the 15 new murals that are part of DC’s 15th anniversary celebration of MuralsDC art program. The first mural (seen below) can be found on the parking lot of the Chik-fil-A on Maryland Ave. in NE DC. More of the installations will be housed in the “Art Allery” an art gallery in an alley on H Street.
Gospel singer and civil rights activist Mahalia Jackson now has a dedicated public plaza named in here honor. Mahalia Jackson Court is an 8,500-square foot space housed on 1 E. 79th St. in Chatham, IL that will feature daily food trucks, music, curated art and a playscape for children. Visitors will also be able to check out a history display, which will feature various artifacts.
This past week it was announced that a prequel series revolving around the high profile Netflix show Bridgerton will showcase the glamorous and fierce Queen Charlotte just wrapped up production!! The show’s director Tom Verica announced it on his Twitter…
Imagining a Utopian Future for Queer Nigerians is a new idea being portrayed in Nigerian photographer Daniel Obasi’s latest book “Beautiful Resistance” an artistic collaboration with Louis Vuitton, which chronicles the LGBTQ+ experience in Lagos.
As we prepare to celebrate the now federal holiday, Juneteenth, it is important that is not simply a day-off but a day of remembrance and liberation. And to get you in the spirit, I have compiled a few things to get you started!
Check it out below:
Film & Television/Podcasts
A Dream Delivered: The Lost Letters of Hawkins Wilson (Streaming on Paramount+ and PlutoTV)
‘Sound of Freedom: A Juneteenth Celebration’ (ABC/Hulu) Friday-June 17th at 8 pm/ET
‘Something in the Water Festival’ (Amazon Prime Video and Twitch) Friday-Sunday 3 pm/ET
‘After Jackie’ (History Channel) Saturday-June 18 at 8 pm/ET
‘Juneteenth: A Global Celebration’ (CNN) Sunday-June 19th at 8 pm/ET
‘Omitted : The Black Cowboy’ (ESPN 2) Sunday-June 19th at 2 pm/ET
Emergency (2022) [Amazon Prime Video]
High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America- Episode #4-“Freedom” (2021) [Netflix]
Miss Juneteenth (2020)
Juneteenth Jamboree: A Place For Families (2016) [PBS]
So we are almost half way through 2022, but the reading doesn’t stop. Before I get you ready for your summer reading, just want to finish out the spring with some breezy balcony and patio reading. This month’s list is all over the globe…literally, I figured I would share a few treats by giving you some historical references, a little bit of self-preservation and cultural identity, mixed with a dash of U.S. midwest and Caribbean roots, and topping you off with some sassy satire.
Jameela Green Ruins Everything ~Zarqa Nawaz
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations ~Mira Jacob
Olga Dies Dreaming: A Novel ~Xochitl Gonzalez
The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family ~Bettye Kearse
American Street ~Ibi Zoboi
And remember you can always go back and check out the previous month’s list and past recommendations in the “Resource” section of the website!!
We write because we believe the human spirit cannot be tamed and should not be trained. ~Nikki Giovanni
To All My Chefs & Mixologists (novice and professional) out there, this is for you!
Who doesn’t love a mouth-watering, soulful meal or a delightful spirit to cap off the night?!! Well I wanted to add to your “must-see and must-try” lists by highlighting the spirit and culinary world with a few cookbooks, wineries, breweries, creators and organizations that are making Black History!!
Not surprisingly, Black Americans have contributed significantly (and still do) to the culinary world and cocktail/wine/brewery culture. We have been tastemakers and drink-makers since the beginning of time :-). Cooking and feeding the soul is in the DNA of African Americans (check out Netflix’s High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America if you don’t believe me)!
As it relates to the spirit world, I recently learned that there was a Black Mixology Club that was founded in 1898 by R. R. Bowie and J. Burke Edelin that was a “marquee professional association,” and a gathering place for African Americans who were trying to move up the ladder of social mobility within professional bartending [Check out these pioneers as well: Cato Alexander, John Dabney, Tom Bullock, and Dick “Uncle Dick” Francis].
Now let me say this…. the following below is by no means the only folks that have been and are in the game just a few to wet your palette (literally and figuratively), because I know there are tons of Black folks making history!!
So get ready to pop some bottles, plan your next couple or friends getaway, pull out those pots and pans, turn on your ovens, and make some magical memories!!