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:
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.
“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!!
The one great thing about scrolling through my Apple News app on my phone is finding jewels and nuggets regarding exciting new projects that showcase voices often not heard. And today was one of the many days where I scrolled up on an upcoming collaborative multi-faceted art project When We Gather.
Envisioned by Campos-Pons, she notes, “When We Gather offers an empowering moment to heal and unite the country through creative energy.” As she brought the artists together, their performance provides something of an awakening. “The circle shows us how we can remain connected even while we are separated due to this pandemic or due to the state of the nation. All of these factors have informed the collaborative choreography and spoken word of this global collective experience.”
Narrated by award-winning actress Alfre Woodard, the film highlights literary and choreographed dance movements from various backgrounds and traditions as it pays homage to Black women heroines. Now as a result of the pandemic, the performances were woven together from three different cities/locations (Brooklyn, Nashville, and Houston).
Before it launches on January 27th (7 pm/ET), starting today viewers can check out the interactive platform When We Gather, which shares behind-the-scenes stories of Black women heroines from the past, present, and future.
After hearing Vice President Kamala Harris, during her nomination acceptance, call forth the memory of her mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris, while also invoking a moment that acknowledges generations of all women creates a moment of unity and empowerment!! In essence, magic in the making!! When We Gather accepts the call from Harris to celebrate all “mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, girls; cis and trans and serves as a “collective answer to her invitation.”
Streaming of the film will be available free until February 15th, 2021.
Such a shining a moment that I look forward to watching!!