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.
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!!
Ahhhhh it’s that time of the year again! It’s a Saturday morning 8:30 am in Richmond, VA on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. The fall/winter season of graduation is upon us!! One thing I do like about VCU is that we have graduation twice a year, for those who finish in May and those that finish in December. December graduation this year was my first time participating in the entire school celebration at the Siegel Center here on the VCU campus. And this year was extra special as I had the awesome opportunity of hooding my former student and sister friend Dr. Lisa Winn Bryan!! Participating in this joyous moment is one that I will treasure for a lifetime. I remember when she asked me to take part in this incredible moment I had to make sure I was not dreaming, causing this is a serious thing. And what really got me was that morning as all the graduates are preparing for the big moment, Lisa walks in and sees me and she immediately begins to tear up and I had to fight back tears. That was the beginning of what would be one of the most rewarding days in my professorial career.
Graduation is ALWAYS one of my favorite times of the year here at VCU and I get to celebrate it twice once in the spring and also in the fall. This momentous occasion is one that with each year will become more and more special. This is what happens when you become invested in your craft and the students who play a role in its shaping.
This semester has been about self-determination and perseverance for not just myself, but especially for my students. Each one of them in their own unique way has charted a path to success on their own terms. I say this every semester, but it warrants being mentioned being a professor/teacher is way more than providing weekly/daily lessons and educating the future…it’s about being a listening ear, parting growing wisdom/advice, showing support in-person and via Zoom, creating platforms for stories to be told, and as my Soror and the first president of National Association of Colored Women (NACW) Mary Church Terrell once said “lifting as we climb, onward and upward we go.” Graduation is the culmination of all the hard work that students take part in during their academic matriculation, and we as professors get to see the fruits of their labor flourish. I am always grateful that I get to change lives regardless of how big or small.
This change was specifically seen in my Capstone Senior Seminar course! I had the opportunity to mentor 7 AFAM seniors as they completed their senior thesis research projects. The topics ranged from the importance of Black motorcycle clubs in the Hampton Roads, to the issue of colorism for Black men, to the need for academic safe spaces, to better representation in comic books, to healing and processing Black mental health in Black matriarchal figures. And if their oral presentations were just an appetizer to their research papers….I cannot wait till the main course!! I am so proud of each of them and the work that they have done. Overcoming fears, sharing their personal stories, being vulnerable, and taking risks that will make them better scholars and people!!
Look out world, there’s a new set scholars entering and they have something to say!!
“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your eardrums” ~Andre 3000, “Black Ice (Sky High)”
Let me hit you all with the last episode of the Spring Season for Conversations with Beloved and Kindred!! To close out the season, Dr. Robinson and I dived into the 1995 film, Vampire in Brooklyn. And what a time we had!! Don’t believe us, check it out below:
This was an awesome inaugural season and we hoped you enjoyed it as much as we loved having the conversations. Nothing like digging into those classic movies and tv shows and finding so many jewels. Each episode and film, definitely pushed our thinking, provided some entertainment, and on many occasions made us look beyond the surface!
Now although the Spring Season has come to a close, make sure you check us out for our Special Summertime Conversations later this month!!
Also, if you have any suggestions for the Fall season, make sure to hit us up!! And remember if you missed any previous episodes you can catch them all here!!
Before March ends I had to make sure you got your monthly feature from Black Future Feminist Intern Jaya!! Not only do we have a new feature, but it will be housed under a new name, Jaya’s Pop Culture Minute!!
This month Jaya is offering a commentary on the Amazon Studios film, One Night in Miami (2020). Check it out below:
Although One Night in Miami is based on various moments (with fictional dialogue) between singer Sam Cooke, civil rights activist Malcolm X, boxer Cassius Clay, and football star Jim Brown, during an actual event the film somehow balanced out these large historical figures so that audiences can visualize them as real people. Most times when discussing Malcom X we only see him as a huge pivotal figure, but rarely as confidant, friend, or father. In this movie, each figure is presented in a more digestible manner. Additionally, this movie has an inviting feel that draws you into this filmic story. Simply put, this movie gives new meaning to the bonds of friendship, and how one night together can open new wounds, while mending old ones. Through the many conversations, we see how each of these men bring us into their deep dialogue, while also exposing audiences to the struggles of that time. While each of the men saw themselves as brothers and friends, like family and friends they had their disagreements, mainly around civil rights, but managed to understand and ultimately respect their differences. Even though the film delivers a lighthearted feel, it also shows moments when you are snapped back into reality. In particular, we see this in Malcolm’s uneasiness and concern with being followed and the constant feeling that a wave of death is in the air.
Overall, this movie shined a fresh new light and a more human side to these important, complex historical figures. Even the performances from the actors were spot on from their dialect to small details, which only enhanced the movie. The conflicts between characters are perfectly done. Additionally, the cinematography adds another layer of greatness from the bird’s eye view of the boxing match, to seeing Sam pull you in with his melodic voice, and Jim Brown in the viewfinder.
For a directorial debut, from Regina King, this is an amazing movie! Moreover, the idea of seeing these figures act normal and interact with each other during their last days is something that will leave your heart hurting. In the end, each actor’s performance will leave you breathless and wanting more!!
You will be able to find Jaya’s monthly features as well as other engaging and fun content in the “Resources” section of the site!!
Looks like fans we will be able to revisit the Kingdom of Wakanda!
Check out what crossed my desk…just got word that acclaimed director Ryan Coogler (Black Panther, Fruitvale Station, Creed) is set to create a new Wakanda series for Disney+!!
As reported by Marvel.com, Ryan Coogler is set to develop a new drama for Disney+ that is based on the fictional society of Wakanda. The upcoming series is set to be a part of The Walt Disney Company’s five-year exclusive television deal in collaboration with Coogler’s multi-media company Proximity*.
So not only do we get to see the work of Coogler in film through the Black Panther sequel, but we will also get to see his magic play out on our television screens!! According to Bob Iger, Executive Chairman-The Walt Disney Company,
“Ryan Coogler is a singular storyteller whose vision and range have made him one of the standout filmmakers of his generation…With Black Panther, Ryan brought a groundbreaking story and iconic characters to life in a real, meaningful and memorable way, creating a watershed cultural moment. We’re thrilled to strengthen our relationship and look forward to telling more great stories with Ryan and his team.”
This is very exciting news, as viewers will get a chance to see Wakanda’s story continue to unfold, and in many ways create another branch that picks up from where we stopped in the 2018 Black Panther film. As a huge fan of Coogler’s work (directing, producing, writing), I can only imagine what he along with his Proximity team have in store for us! Through this television series and other potential projects, audiences will get the opportunity to dive deeper into the fantastical world and people of Wakanda. In addition, the creation of this series will also provide another platform to elevate and amplify Black diasporic talent and voices in front and behind the camera and television screen.
“We look forward to learning, growing, and building a relationship with audiences all over the world through the Disney platforms. We are especially excited that we will be taking our first leap with Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and their partners at Marvel Studios where we will be working closely with them on select MCU shows for Disney+. We’re already in the mix on some projects that we can’t wait to share,” as stated by Coogler.
Nothing like watching the unveiling of Black Excellence!!
*Proximity is a multi-media company founded by Ryan Coogler, Zinzi Coogler, Sev Ohanian, Ludwig Göransson, Archie Davis and Peter Nicks with a mission to create event-driven feature films, television, soundtracks and podcasts that look to bring audiences closer together through stories involving often-overlooked subject matters. Proximity is committed to developing a wide variety of projects across all budget levels.