Chance the Rapper serves as model for #thankUObama clothing line.

Designer Joe Freshgoods on the line:
"with this project i wanted to timestamp a period in my life where i felt like i can do whatever i wanted to do and be whatever i wanted to be. The night obama won his first term gave me so much hope, especially & most importantly as a black man. I decided to make a collection saying "thank you" and give me something to smile at every now and then when i look in the closet."

Documentary: Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Florida State Normal College for Colored Students later known as Florida A&M University 

Florida State Normal College for Colored Students later known as Florida A&M University 

Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities spans 170 years of American history. The two- hour film and multi-platform project by award-winning documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson, explores the pivotal role HBCUs have played in the ascent of African- Americans and their families – from slavery to the present day. The film also examines the impact HBCUs have had on American history, culture, and national identity.

Tell Them We are Rising is produced and directed by Stanley Nelson (The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution) and slated to premiere on PBS October of 2017.

For more on this project, please visit HBCURising.com

Art Film: Fair Use Vol. 1 + ALL THIS TROUBLE by Mark Anthony Green

mark_anthony_green_fair_Use

Artist and GQ’s Style Guy, Mark Anthony Green released an art film for Art Basel Miami and it can only be described as a visual celebration of "black awesomeness".

Fair Use is a collection of classic interviews, memorable movie/television/music video moments, and other iconic pop culture moments that showcase the African American impact on modern society. It also contains many references to the victimization of black people and it’s all strung together with a continuous loop of the famous James Brown interview where a reporter asks him the cause his recent troubles and he replied by singing the chorus of his 1985 hit “Living in America”.

Watch here:

For more on this artist, please visit www.markanthonygreen.com 

Film Festival: Daughters - Celebrating Emerging Female Filmmakers of Color

Nickelodeon Theatre Celebrates Emerging Female Filmmakers of Color with “Daughters” Festival, Nov. 11-13

COLUMBIA, S.C. (September 21, 2016) – The Nickelodeon Theatre, South Carolina's only non-profit art house cinema, will host “Daughters: Celebrating Emerging Female Filmmakers of Color,” a festival celebrating and exploring the legacy of Daughters of the Dust, a 1991 film by Julie Dash. Daughters, which will take place at the Nickelodeon Theatre and other venues in Columbia Nov. 11-13, 2016, will feature works and appearances by a select group of contemporary female filmmakers of color.

This landmark festival is made possible by support from Nikky Finney and the African American Studies Program in the College of Art and Sciences at the University of South Carolina. Daughtersis co-curated by the Nickelodeon’s managing director, Seth Gadsden, and Columbia filmmaker and artist, Roni Nicole Henderson. The festival will feature nine women of color in different stages of their filmmaking careers to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of the groundbreaking Daughters of the Dust, which was the first feature-length film directed by an African-American woman to receive national theatrical distribution.

“Julie Dash, in offering this trans-generational narrative, amplifies the magic of memory and matriarchal lineage,” said Henderson. “In spite of the horrors of the Transatlantic slave trade, the memory and therefore, the magic, of Africa survived. That image of a beautiful little black girl, a blue ribbon and plaits bouncing, was the Peazant family’s future, but she was also my own.”

The Nick has invited nine emerging female filmmakers of color from around the United States to screen their work and participate in conversations about the field. Daughters will include feature films, shorts and documentaries, including three celebratory screenings of Daughters of the Dust, which is set in the early 1900s and offers a portrait of Gullah Geechee culture. Festival screenings will include introductions, talk-backs and panel discussions with the nine filmmakers.

“As movements like #OscarsSoWhite have made apparent, filmmakers of color continue to face significant barriers to participation and success in the film industry,” says Andy Smith, executive director of the Nickelodeon Theatre. “We are hosting this festival to both mark this anniversary but also draw attention to some of the most interesting women working in the field right now.”

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For more information about the filmmakers and the festival, visit the official Daughters festival website at daughters.nickelodeon.org.

For more information on the festival and the Nickelodeon Theatre, please visit www.nickelodeon.org or follow the Nick on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Short Film: Vibrations by Jaison BlackWater

Filmmaker Jaison BlackWater and the good folks at RedSydney are back with another short film, Vibrations, a story a young guy devises a plan to ruin the life of a girl who previously rejected him but he soon realizes pursuing revenge could possibly ruin his.  

Vibrations stars Vincent Washington, Veronica Mejia, and Ricky Vitucci. The short was written and directed by BlackWater

Short Film: Against the Wall - PSA on Police Brutality

Harry Belafonte’s organization Sankofa.org teamed up with Christopher Renz and Gerard Bush, the duo behind the innovative creative agency, BushRenz, to direct Against the Wall, a short film depicting the current issues with police brutality.

Against the Wall serves as public service announcement featuring celebrities and other notable features such as Michael B. Jordan, Danny Glover, Michael K. Williams, Van Jones and Marc Lamont Hill.

“By using the faces of those we recognize, familiar faces, we look to re-sensitize the community to really see the problem. The artistic community is responding to the plight of our disenfranchised. We are shining a light and calling out to all to take a look, listen and feel within your heart to take action,” - Belafonte

Against the Wall is executive-produced by Raoul Roach, Gina Belafonte and Marvin Bing.

 

 

*Belanfonte statement courtesy of THE ROOT.com 

Stunning Looks of AFROPUNK - BROOKLYN

@africanized_b

@africanized_b

Thousands of chic urban alternatives and fashionistas traveled to Brooklyn this past weekend for the annual music and arts festival AFROPUNK. Defining itself as a community, AFROPUNK has become a cultural movement celebrating the creativity and freedom of spirit in alternative black culture. 

Check out some of our favorite photos: 

TV News: Tika Sumpter and John Legend join to produce BLACK WALLSTREET TV Project

The company run by John Legend, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorious has inked a deal for early development on Black Wall Street, I’ve learned. Added to the mix is Get Lifted alum and Obamas first-date pic Southside with You actress-producer Tika Sumpter as an exec producer.

"We’re so excited to continue to grow our relationship with WGN America,” Get Lifted’s Jackson told Deadline today. “Our experience working with them on Underground has been fantastic. Additionally, we’re looking forward to working with our friend Tika Sumpter to help tell this incredible story that many people know nothing about.”

 

 

From Deadline.com

LISTEN: THE GREY DISTRICT is featured on new podcast UNREASONABLE DOUBT

Site Creator and Content Strategist, Antonio Rainey talks about all things THE GREY DISTRICT on the Unreasonable Doubt podcast with Uncle Joe and Alphonso.

 

 

 

For more on this podcast, please visit Unreasonable Doubt podcast on itunes and soundcloud.

SUPPORT Short Film: RIVERMENT- A movement that isn't evolving, isn't moving.

RIverment

RIVERMENT is a compelling short film that focuses on the dynamic relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter. The film is set present day during the brink of a new age revolution against police brutality. Though many millennials are confident in the changes the new revolution will bring, the movement has received a lot of its criticism from those who participated, or are first line children of those who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

RIVERMENT is written and directed by Shayla Racquel (Quarter Century Series)

To donate to this project, please visit RIVERMENT FILM KICKSTARTER and follow on social media @rivermentfilm

LA Production Team RED SYDNEY Releases Short Film TIL IT'S GONE

SYNOPSIS: Anna, an edgy but insecure college girl secludes herself after a falling out with her mother and boyfriend. She realizes their worth when she finds herself all alone in a dark crisis.

TIL IT’S GONE is written and directed by Jaison Blackwater and executive produced by Cito Blanko.

Watch Part I here:

For more information on this project, please visit RED SYDNEY FILMS

Wilmington On Fire: White Supremacy and the Democratic Party’s Dark Past

 Christopher Everett’s new film Wilmington On Fire

 By Dennis LeRoy Kangalee

 "Wilmington on Fire" is a stunning movie about the racist massacre that took place in Wilmington, North Carolina when in 1898 a mob of whites burned down Black businesses in downtown Wilmington and either killed or exiled its Black citizens, threatening death to some of the Black property owners if they even thought about returning.

With a passionate cast of interviewees (including actual descendants of victims of the atrocity) Wolly McNair’s intermittent arresting visual reproductions of some of the events, a stellar soundtrack produced by Sean ‘Oneson’ Washington, and a jam-packed history and humanities lesson in a sobering 90 minutes, this is a wholly personal and consciousness-expanding documentary told in a direct and moving way about a genocidal act whose impact still reverberates today…

Christopher Everett’s directorial debut is an un-pretentious, direct, and minimalist portrait of the terrifying coup d’état created by the white North Carolina Democratic Party in an attempt to broker the lives and future of Wilmington and eventually the entire state on November 10, 1898-- ensuring the legacy and rebirth of a rekindled and acknowledged form of legally sanctioned racism, 35 years after the civil war and the USA’s official outlaw of slavery.   As Dr. Umar Johnson fluently explains, after the Civil War in 1865 – a cloud hung over the Ex-Confederate Southern white men who couldn’t bring themselves to accept the fact that they had lost a war – not to President Lincoln or the Yankees up North but to their own former slaves! The Union never would have won the Civil War had it not been for the Black soldiers who fought for themselves and on behalf of the Union.

In retaliation and exasperation, white supremacists who governed the Democratic Party in North Carolina sough to retaliate and officially instill a racist system that had been supposedly eradicated some 30 years’ prior as a result of the Emancipation Proclamation.  The confederates’ dream to restore White unity and Black servitude reached such a grizzled mania that an impassioned yet calculated plot to excise the Black businesses and citizens of Wilmington completely.  Independent researcher Kent Chatfield shows us copies of WB McKoy’s pamphlet of 1897 of The White Government Union constitution and bylaws created by the North Carolina Democratic Party whose sole aim was to instill white supremacy government. 

 We learn in Wilmington On Fire that the White Government Union was a more urbane and far more treacherous terrorist organization than its backyard cousin the Ku Klux Klan for example.  These were men who were out for blood, had serious connections and money, and were not going to stop until they removed all Black powerbrokers, cultural influence, and existence in Wilmington, North Carolina. The White Government Union’s de-facto militias – known as the “redshirts” – once again, unlike the Klan did not hide their faces and acted like savage storm-troopers upon the African-American community and, as the Nazis did, acted in accordance with some of the most strategic and wicked propaganda put forth by white racists in Wilmington in order to stir up hate and fear against the Blacks. 

 The film opens with Ness Lee’s powerful track, “Voice of The Regular People” produced by Illastrate with sampled echoes of Curtis Mayfield’s inimitable falsetto heard wailing, “I’m going to war to find my brother!” is well used here and the closing number of the film has one of the best uses of anthemic protest music that I can think of in any movie since Children of Men’s closing with John Lennon’s “Free The People.”  The closing number by James Diallo (produced by Michael ‘Sarkastix’ Harris) in this case is the original and haunting, “It’s a Massacre” – an atmospheric hip hop tune that is as defiant and soulful as the film itself. Matthew Head sparsely and confidently scores the rest of the music. 

 Wilmington On Fire was made to enlighten, inform, and arouse interest in not only a slice of American history, but also a deeply troubling event that has been swept under the carpet and seldom mentioned.  

 

 “Outsider Artist” and independent art advocate Dennis LeRoy Kangalee is a screenwriter, poet, and human rights activist. He is best known as the director of the cult film as an Act of Protest.  His recent short avant-garde films include Endless Shards of Jazz for a Brutal World and Timbre of The Hour. 

He can be reached at www.dennisleroykangalee.wordpress.com

 

ATLien Duo Helping to Break New Ground With Horror Film

Film Producers Anthony J. Davis, Mshon Pulliam Bringing “Paralysis” to Screen

A pair of Atlanta residents have joined forces to help produce a unique horror film, drawing on their own experiences in the entertainment industry to shepherd the film through its creation and arrival on the film festival circuit.

Anthony J. Davis is the producer of Paralysis through the Vision 75/80 shingle that he shares with award –winning writer/director R. Shanea Williams. It’s Davis’ third film as a producer, on the heels of the successful film Contamination, which was nominated for Best Short Film at the 2014 HBO/BET Urban World Film Festival.

In addition to his work through Vision 75/80, Davis, who has lived in Atlanta for eight years, is an assistant production accountant who has plied his trade on several major Hollywood pictures filming in the Atlanta area, including Ant-Man, Lincoln, Prisoners and the upcoming Captain America 3: Civil War.

For Paralysis, Davis decided to reach out to Mshon Pulliam and bring him on as one of the co-producers of the film. Pulliam, who works as a freelance creative director and producer, has developed creative campaigns for an array of clients, including Atlanta’s own Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, as part of his “Ludaverses” promo campaign.

Pulliam certainly knows about the entertainment industry, as his sister, actress/philanthropist Keshia Knight-Pulliam, of the Cosby Show and House of Payne has been acting ever since her childhood.

“I took notice of Mshon’s interest in the film industry as he persistently asked me questions about different areas of the business, from producing to camera work,” Davis says. “I knew he was really serious about this when one day we literally talked on the phone for 90 minutes straight about film-related issues. I knew since we were starting Paralysis soon that this would be a great opportunity for Mshon to get even more hands-on in the industry.”

Pulliam was able to use his connections to help raise funds for the project and also provided creative insight during the pre-production phase. Paralysis centers around an emotionally fragile woman (Jessica Sulloway played by Nia Fairweather) who moves into a new apartment. As she is plagued by a sleep disorder, she fears that she may be haunted by a supernatural entity.

It’s rare for a horror movie to feature an African-American woman as its lead character, and this unique twist on a familiar genre helped Paralysis raise $20,000 during its Indiegogo campaign. Principal photography on the film took place in October 2015 in New York City and now the movie is beginning its run on the festival circuit having already screened in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Black film festival. The BlackStar film festival in Philadelphia just announced that Paralysis will screen at their 5th annual event in August 2016.

“We are so thankful for our many supporters, who expressed to us how much they were looking forward to seeing a classic horror film on the screen that features people from all walks of life and not just the stereotypical Hollywood faces,” Davis says.

Pulliam and Davis are planning to continue their collaboration after Paralysis, with some upcoming, top-secret projects in and around the Atlanta area. Davis’ Instagram account is @davis61375 while Pulliam’s is @mrpulliam.

Check out trailer for PARALYSIS here:

 

 

STAY DREAMIN Art Exhibit + Jermaine Clark

 

"Will Work for Dreams"

Atlanta based artist, Jermaine Clark's solo art exhibit STAY DREAMIN is currently showing at Gallery L1 from April 16th to May 14th . The bright and vibrant pieces express ideals of hope and the work that it takes to get to one's dream.  I briefly spoke with Clark on opening night to get some insight behind the collection.

What was the inspiration for the STAY DREAMIN collection?

Life. I like to welcome people to my world. I have dreams, I have goals, and I feel like everyone else does as well. I want to use my gift, talents and platform to inspire others. The whole branding of STAY DREAMIN is “You can do it too.”

Who are the models in this collection?

Cool characters I find on the internet and friends. I'm lucky to have a lot of dope photographers as friends. I take a lot of their photos, break them down and recreate them into something that inspires me.

My favorite piece is the depiction of you are dropping a crown in a homeless man’s hat. What is the significance behind this piece?

We all have dreams even when we are at our lowest point. Some of us may not have the drive (or resources) to (bring them fruition). Handing off the crown is me saying “You can do it too”. Life happens to everyone but we all have to persevere and get through it.

For more on this artist, please visit StayDreamin.com and follow on instagram at @Xmaine

#HUes of Blackness

Photographer Ra’Sontai Watson, a freshman, Psychology student at Howard University and founder of Terres Noir Photography, shot a collection of color block images that explores the many beautiful shades of blackness at HU.

What was the inspiration behind the #HUes project?

I came across the idea color blocking thanks to another photographer who goes by Cherry Collab. I thought this would be a beautiful thing to do with the students from Howard, hence the capital “HU” in Hues, and a great chance to display the beauty of black skin.

 How did you find the models for the project?

Whenever I want to shoot I put out open requests for volunteers on Twitter.  So for the #HUes shoot I tweeted saying that I wanted a group of Howard University students, men and women, who would be willing to pose topless. The first to respond and show interest were casted to be a part of the project.

 What has been the response to #HUes so far?

The responses that I have gotten have all been great.  Everyone is telling me how much they love the idea and concept behind the shoot and how they wish they could have been a part of it.  I’m really glad to have been able to do something that touched this many people, especially with me being so early in my photography career.  This assures me that there are only bigger and better things to come.

For more on this artist, please visit www.terresnoir.com and follow on social media @terresnoir