Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

A Best Man Reunion-Getting you ready for the Holidays!!

The wait is finally over…we finally get to see the final chapter(s) of “The Best Man” franchise.

How many folks have been hanging in since 1999 (raises hand)???!! Well instead of another film we are getting a 8-episode limited series. Set to premiere as a Peacock Original, The Best Man: The Final Chapters will “catch up with Harper, Robyn, Jordan, Lance, Quentin, Shelby, Candace, and Murch as relationships evolve and past grievances resurface in the unpredictable stages of midlife crisis meets midlife renaissance.”

The cast includes Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long and Harold Perrineau. Malcolm Lee serves as co-showrunner, executive producer, and director of four episodes.

All episodes will premiere on December 22nd.

Check out the trailer below:

Posted in Feature Spotlight, On the Desk...

For All My ATL Folks! “Our Friend Jean: HBCU Tour” at Clark Atlanta University Art Museum

For my ATL peeps!! This might be something of interest for you!! As part of the HBCU Exhibition Tour, Our Friend Jean is a one-week Pop up Exhibition Featuring 20+ of Jean-Michel Basquiat “Early Works“.

Our Friend, Jean is a sampling of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s earliest works on loan from several collectors who knew him intimately, as friends, collaborators, and lovers. Featuring 20+ artworks including drawings, writings, apparel, mixed media collages, and ephemera. The group of collectors consists of Jane Diaz, Hilary Jaeger, Katie Taylor, Lucy Sante, Al Diaz, and photographer Alexis Adler who also served as a co-curator with Erwin John and Stevenson Dunn, Jr.. Through this exhibition each collector shares uniquely intimate stories of their friend Jean.

The exhibition lends a voice to the unsung collectors of the world, those who offer an artist critical early support out of genuine friendship. It is precisely this type of support that can spring board an artist’s career to unimaginable heights. Friendship is what distinguishes the group of collectors who are lending their works to the “Our Friend, Jean” exhibition.

This exhibition was curated by The Bishop Gallery and supported by the Hennessey, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and The Black Group.

The exhibition is free and will be housed at the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum from October 28-November 4.

For more information and to register to attend, see here!!

Posted in Conversations with Beloved & Kindred, Feature Spotlight

“Summertime Conversations” with Beloved & Kindred-“Nope”

Tune in on this Thursday August 18th at 3 pm/ET as Dr. Robinson and I bring you a special #SummertimeConversation on the 2022 summer film from Jordan Peele Nope!! While we wrapped up Season 2 with our discussion on Blackness and horror, we could not help but offer a few thoughts on this compelling film!!

Check it out on Auburn Avenue Research Library Facebook Live and YouTube !!

This discussion explores the newest Jordan Peele film Nope. The residents of a lonely gulch in inland California bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery. After random objects falling from the sky result in the death of their father, ranch-owning siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood attempt to capture video evidence of an unidentified flying object with the help of tech salesman Angel Torres and documentarian Antlers Holst.

And just in case you want to refresh your memory of the movie, check out the trailer below AND go see it in a theater near you:

Posted in Monthly Book Recommendations, On The Radar

Dr. G’s Monthly Book Recommendations-March 2022

Keeping it short and sweet for you all this month, I want to let the books shine!! This month is in honor of Women’s History Month!! Seven books that will capture a wide range of experiences all written by women!

Check them out below:

  • Black Cake ~Charmaine Wilkerson
  • Carolina Built ~Kianna Alexander
  • The School for Good Mothers ~Jessamine Chan
  • Julián is a Mermaid ~Jessica Love
  • We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World ~Malala Yousafzai
  • Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time ~Tanya Lee Stone
  • Memphis ~Tara M. Stringfellow

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!!

“Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” 

– Toni Morrison

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, Uncategorized

Black Joy is the Future!!

#SuchAVibe…

On this past Saturday afternoon, I had the opportunity to participate in some real life “Black Girl Magic”!! As part of the “Black Feminist Future Series” put on by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, myself and four other AMAZING Black Afrofuturist women (Susana Morris , Tiffany E. Barber, Esther L. Jones, and Kinitra D. Brooks [moderator]) took part in a very fulfilling conversation about Black women and theories of the future!!

Nothing like sharing the “virtual” stage with a group of brilliant minds such as these Black women!! My mind, body, and soul were overflowing with Black joy and hope!!

Check it out below:

For more upcoming “Black Feminist Futures” events at the Schomburg check out the following link here!!

Posted in New Trailer Alerts!!, On The Radar

Weekly Trailer Alerts!!

Many of these trailers were featured on Sunday during Super Bowl LVI, but just in case you need a reminder…

Check out these jaw-dropping trailers below:

The Endgame (Streaming on NBC February 21st)

A Madea Homecoming (Streaming on Netflix February 25th)

Cherry (In theaters February 26th on Apple TV+ March 12th)

The Adam Project (Streaming on Netflix March 11th)

Alice (In theaters March 18th)

Jurassic World Dominion (In theaters June 20th)

Nope (In theaters July 22nd)

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Streaming on Amazon Prime September 2nd)

Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Holiday Celebration!!, On The Radar, Resources

“You Get Me!!” Corporate Businesses Nailing Black History Month!!

Going into Black History Month every year I’m always mixed with emotions. On one hand it’s an exciting time to highlight the experiences of Black people, but then I am suddenly on edge seeing what things are specifically set to come out in February because its Black History Month. As I have said many times before this celebratory effort is one that happens 365-24/7, especially considering I am a professor in an African American Studies department.

Nevertheless, I must say things are getting better and the efforts made from various organizations/corporations are evolving (despite ones who still miss the mark). And because “sharing is caring” I wanted to make sure I highlighted a few businesses that are putting in the work and who really get me!! Check them out below:

  • Target: One of my favorite brands and a place where I do not mind spending my coins is Target. They have been consistently spotlighting black talent and not just in February!! In its eighth year, Target presents “Black Beyond Measure,” which includes a limited-time assortment of apparel, accessories and home goods designed by Black creators along with highlighting Black-owned brands sold at the retailer.
NEW @ TARGET * BLACK HISTORY MONTH - YouTube
Photo credit: Target YouTube
  • Old Navy: The clothing brand has partnered with three talented Black artists — Temi Coker, Lo Harris and Destiny Darcel — to create Project WE t-shirts centered around their love for the Black community and culture. Project WE is a collaboration between diverse artists and includes a donation of $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in support of youth arts programs. They are also donating $50,000 to support the 15% Pledge, a growing platform that calls on major retailers to commit a minimum of 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses.
Check Out Old Navy's Black History Month Tees | POPSUGAR Fashion
Black creatives (l-r) Temi Coker, Lo Harris and Destiny Darcel
  • Amazon Launchpad: This program is celebrating Black innovators and the stories behind their businesses throughout Black History Month by highlighting an array of brands on its various platforms.
Amazon.com: Amazon Launchpad: Celebrate Black History Month
  • Nordstrom: For 2022, Nordstrom is celebrating Black History Month through a variety of initiatives everything from spotlighting Black-founded brands to celebrating culture through personal stories. They will also honor Black food culture by featuring recipes by Spice Suite founder Angel Gregorio at the store’s specialty coffee bars. Additionally, the retailer has committed to increasing Black and Latino representation among its managers by at least 50%, delivering $500 million in retail sales from Black and/or Latino-owned brands and increasing charitable donations to organizations that promote anti-racism to $1 million every year by 2025.
Nordstrom Rack: Shop Clothes, Shoes, Jewelry, Beauty and Home
  • Peloton: Through uplift, celebration and empowerment Peloton is highlighting the “magnetic energy of the Black diaspora that breaks boundaries and moves us forward.” This is done through themed classes, special artist series, and for a third year they launched a special apparel line featuring the work of designer Erwin Hines. Peloton will also mark Black History Month with a charitable contribution of $100,000 – to support the development of a community wellness center in Chicago’s South Side. They are partnering with Claretian Associates, an organization with deep ties to the neighborhood.
Peloton Has Released A New Apparel Collection In Celebration Of Black  History Month - 29Secrets
Peloton’s new Black History Month apparel line
  • Victoria’s Secret PINK: The beauty and fashion brand has partnered with We The Urban founder Willie Greene to release an exclusive “Pink x We The Urban” gender-free one-size tee (this has been an annual effort). In addition, PINK is donating $50,000 to the Black and Pink organization that is dedicated to transforming the lives of system-impacted LGBTQIA2S+ people and people living with HIV/AIDS.
WE THE URBAN
  • Apple: The tech giant is spotlighting Black business and innovation while also amplifying Black voices through a multitude of its platforms and specially curated collections. Some of these include, Apple Maps where users can learn about Black history or discover Black-owned businesses through curated Guides; their Shot on iPhone campaign, “Our Stories,” features portraits and video of four pioneers who are at the nexus of Black history The company also launched a special edition Apple Watch “Black Unity Braided Solo Loop” watch that features matching unity lights on the face of the watch. It gets its inspiration from the “Afrofuturism,” framework, which explores the Black and African diasporic experience through a narrative of science, technology and self-empowerment.
Apple spotlights Black voices during Black History Month - Apple
Apple’s 2022 Black History Month theme

These businesses get me!!

What I can also really appreciate about these businesses is that many if not all have year-round efforts, and are making sure Black creatives and talents are getting their shine!! It’s really important that you do more than just sign a check (no complaints here), but that you make a full on investment of the talent!!

Posted in On the Desk..., On The Radar

Black History Month Spotlight!!

You know me I love an opportunity to spotlight actions, programs, and moments of significance, especially those of the Black experience. So I wanted to share something that came across my “virtual” desk on yesterday, Disney Parks celebrating Black History Month with a new campaign…Reimagine Tomorrow !

Reimagine Tomorrow is meant to showcase Disney Black cast members and other workers for their role in making the parks run. First up is Lanny Smoot, Research Fellow at Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) Research & Development who helped bring “The Haunted Mansion” attraction to life. Throughout his career he has obtained more than 100 patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office associated with his work (which is the most of anyone in the Walt Disney Company). Talk about a wealth of innovation!!

Check him out below as he talks about his experiences:

According to Smoot he explains, “My mindset is to create things that are fun, entertaining, often surprising and, hopefully, a bit ahead of their time.” He further notes, “At Disney, I can work on cutting edge technologies that are designed to make people happy. What’s not to like?!”

Another thing that really stuck out for me was how he continues to think about the future. Smoot shares, “We need to give young students – especially Black students and people of color – experience in these fields. The Walt Disney Company is digging deeply into this by making sure that we mentor diverse young people, and I’ve done that many times myself.”

Nothing like seeing one’s imagination play out LIVE and in LIVING COLOR!!

Photo by Charlotte May on Pexels.com
Posted in Conversations with Beloved & Kindred, On The Radar

Guess Who’s Back…Season 2 of “Conversations With Beloved and Kindred”

“Sit back and wait to hear a slammin track…Rockin jams by popular demand, I’m back” ~Rakim, ‘Guess Who’s Back’

WE ARE BACK for another season of “Conversations with Beloved and Kindred!” And we are hyped and excited to get back to it!! Did you miss us?!! Well we missed you!!

Kicking off Black History Month, in this second season Dr. Robinson and I are looking forward to bringing you more intellectual commentary as we dive into the Horror and Thriller film genre!

In the past five years since Jordan Peele’s 2017 film Get Out debut on Hollywood screens the genre horror has really picked up steam and garnered new audiences. But what about Black horror and thrillers specifically?? Although not a new genre it has not received the same amount of attention as other horror films. So Dr. Robinson and I want to shed light on some seminal, classic Black horror and thriller films as well as some newcomers that are worthy of your viewing!!

As noted by horror writer and educator Tananarive Due “We’ve always loved horror, it’s just that, unfortunately, horror has not always loved us”. Well we hope that with each episode we can bring to you this season we share some love and appreciation to the Blackness in horror!!

And just in case you need a little refresher or you are new to the series, Conversations with Beloved & Kindred  is a web series in collaboration with the Program & Outreach Division at Auburn Avenue Research Library (Atlanta, GA) hosted by two Black feminist creatives myself Dr. Grace D. Gipson (Virginia Commonwealth University) and Dr. Kaniqua Robinson (Furman University). Through each episode, we talk about creative works (i.e. literature, film, television, and art) that are grounded in the Black experience. Following in the footsteps of two legendary women Toni Morrison and Octavia Butler, Gipson and Robinson seek to fill in the gaps of Black history by reimagining a supernatural Black past and present, while giving voice to the silenced narratives.

So stay tuned!! Mark your calendars and save the date, February 10th will be here before you know it!!

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Pexels.com