Entertainment

The Passion of Nicki Minaj – The New York Times

This is the Nikki Minaj I understand. This the flavor that coated glass covered hills African Diasporan immigrants climbed in the past, present, and future if needed.

“She pointed my way, her extended arm all I could see other than the diamonds glinting in her ears. This wasn’t over yet. ‘‘That’s the typical thing that women do. What did you putting me down right there do for you?’’ she asked. ‘‘Women blame women for things that have nothing to do with them. I really want to know why — as a matter of fact, I don’t. Can we move on, do you have anything else to ask?’’ she continued. ‘‘To put down a woman for something that men do, as if they’re children and I’m responsible, has nothing to do with you asking stupid questions, because you know that’s not just a stupid question. That’s a premeditated thing you just did.’’ She called me ‘‘rude’’ and ‘‘a troublemaker,’’ said ‘‘Do not speak to me like I’m stupid or beneath you in any way’’ and, at last, declared, ‘‘I don’t care to speak to you anymore.’’”

Source: The Passion of Nicki Minaj – The New York Times

Trevor Noah, The Daily Show, Salon Reviewer Gets It Right | Habari Gani, America!

Salon published a spot on critique of The Daily Show’s new host, Trevor Noah, written by Matt Carotenuto. The article, “Trevor Noah schools racists: “The Daily Show” has an essential new mission and comic voice” should not be taken lightly by any reader. Carotenuto explains the relevance of one who is African and in a power-filled American position. Noah has the ability to have a far-reaching impact on our culture with his comedic voice.

Noah, a South African native, now holds one of the most powerful seats – American main media. He cued his audience in the video advertisement previous to his first show. Social media posted various comments to this video, but the actual symbolism seemed to be lost on the average viewer.

Trevor Noah’s first week as host of the Daily Show showed the promise of someone who will educate America, not only about Africa – but about who we are as Americans beyond the punchlines. I pictured some avid Daily Show viewer in their living room shouting, “Who does he think he is?” This was most evident in Noah’s interview with Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie.

In Daily Show style, Noah began to interview Christie about the politics of his state. Christie tried the “Be careful, I can get to you Black Boy,” inference only to be met with the “Annndd???” gaze. So Noah is the man to maintain his static professionalism and self-awareness in the face of what we in America denote as White Privilege and political might, characteristics he might pass on to the American viewer.

As a Daily Show correspondent, Noah’s brief segments on Africa were palatable only because those who were not culturally educated could yawn their way through it. As the host, Noah sits center stage formulating material for a culture starved and resistant American audience as well as the culturally aware. This tight high profile comedic balance was first achieved by Bert Williams in the early 1900’s, where Williams’ crafty monologues and scenes with his partner George Walker spoke to white and black audiences simultaneous and apart. It was said that at some shows, it was noticeable that whites would roar with laughter in some instances, while Blacks at others; each drawing their own coded messages from the verse. Noah would be smart to study this design.

In reading this article, I found a kindred spirit in Matt Carotenuto. We will both sit on the edge of our seats each night pulling threads, shaking our fist, and hopefully formulating more articles – Noah worthy.


Excerpt:

As a teacher/scholar of African studies, I was delighted when South African Trevor Noah was announced as the replacement for Jon Stewart. Drawing from his complex mixed-race heritage and experience growing up in apartheid era South Africa, Noah is a great candidate to critique America’s single stereotypical story of Africa as a place of merely violence, disease and poverty.

Source: Trevor Noah schools racists: “The Daily Show” has an essential new mission and comic voice – Salon.com

Yinka Shonibare, MBE (RA) | May 30 – Oct 18, 2015

WILDERNESS INTO A GARDEN, DAEGU ART MUSEUM, SOUTH KOREA

30th May – 18th October 2015

In 2015 the Daegu Art Museum will present a solo show of Yinka Shonibare, a British-Nigerian artist.

Approximately 80 of his pieces including sculptures, two-dimensional works, installations, and video works will be on display, showcasing his extensive range of art. The exhibition will be comprised of six sub-themes: money, play, empire, conflict, environment, and love.

 

Shonibare employs an adaption of individual elements upon which our common impressions of African people have been predicated in his own artistic idioms. His mannequins wearing traditional African costumes in bright, loud colors are a symbol, metaphor, and implication of the violent imperialism Western powers have committed in the past century toward the “black continent”. Hidden behind the mannequins’ humorous, hilarious actions is the artist’s criticism of the “monster of outrageous capitalism” dominating the spirits of people around the world. The Daegu Art Museum has paid special attention to his works since the topics he raises such as colonialism, post-colonialism, globalization, and cultural identity are inextricably bound up withKorea’s historical and cultural contexts… More

Yinka Shonibare, British/African Artist

via Yinka Shonibare, MBE (RA) | Present.

Dear White People and the Myth of the Post-Race College Campus | NewBlackMan in Exile | #OYRchallenge

Dear White People and the Myth of the Post-Race College Campus | NewBlackMan in Exile

In this comprehensive review of Justin Simien’s first film “Dear White People,” published in “NewBlackMan (in Exile)”, Stephane Dunn teases out the academic and cultural notations guiding this redress on post-racialism. The film’s production and acceptance by the viewing public stands as a step forward in the overt race conversation. The title alone, in earlier years and still today, would have whites and fearful Blacks running the other way. Yet, “Dear White People” is making its rounds in theaters across the United States. Progress at least among some populations.

Excerpt:

Dear White People doesn’t merely copy or recycle still relevant cultural critiques about the racist imagery that infuses film and American culture though Simien certainly traverses some familiar ground – racialized representations in pop culture and warring notions of black authenticity, brought up to date with Aaron McGruder-like Boondock boldness. Dear White People adds its own chapter taking on ‘post-racial’ – ‘post-black’ contemporary discourses. However, that and title aside, its concern is with a range of competing social identities, particularly class and sexuality and the intersection of these with race. Race is as much a device as key theme.- Stephane Dunn

Similar to Ferguson, Missouri’s recent protest in the murder of Michael Brown, among other young Black men and women, some in the African American community sit astraddle the discussion of race. Our scholars and young are eager for the discussion to expand beyond academic discourse. The older and fearful or ‘conservative’ wait to mingle among the crowds that gather or recline – if a spark is not ignited. The mixed bag is historic and similar to any community. Still this historic step forward does not require the total capitulation of the African American community. The mere progress of this film speaks for itself.

Read this review. See the film. Then, bring this conversation of race and identity to your dinner table, clubs, and communities.


via Dear White People and the Myth of the Post-Race College Campus | NewBlackMan in Exile.

Black Violin | Wil Baptiste & Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester | #OYRchallenge

Classical Music meets Hip Hop: Kev Marcus of Black Violin at TEDxFIU

Black Violin is the blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B, and bluegrass music. Live, they are accompanied by their crack band, featuring ace turntable whiz DJTK Dwayne Dayal and a drummer. Named one of the hottest bands at SXSW in 2013, Black Violin was invited to perform at Bonnaroo and returned to SXSW this year to SRO crowds.“Black Violin works hard, but makes it all look like play… Sometimes they play with the intense seriousness of orchestral soloists; at others they fiddle as if at a hoedown; at still others they strum the violin and viola like guitars.” New York Times

Black Violin performing “Stay With Me”

Since starting Black Violin a decade ago Wil Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester have performed an average of 200 shows a year in 49 states and 36 countries as far away as Dubai, Prague and South Africa, while appearing at official NFL celebrations for three Super Bowls and last year’s U.S. Open in Forest Hills with Jordin Sparks. Their groundbreaking collaboration has seen them play their music for everybody from the troops in Iraq to both the official President’s Inaugural Ball and the Kids Inaugural in Washington, DC, where Barack Obama himself gave each a hearty hand-shake. Individually and together, Black Violin has collaborated with the likes of P. Diddy, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin and The Eagles.”

Black Violin COVER: Bruno Mars “Locked Outta Heaven” + MJ “Beat It” [MASHUP]

via 15 WPMT FOX43.

Great Explorers – Harlem! | Indiegogo | #OYRchallenge

Middle Passage, New York is running a program, Great Explorers Cultural Arts and Literacy Program , engaging students to research their history in America. This research will be utilized by students to create scripts, dance, and other art & performance medium under the guidance of professional artist, writers, and choreographers.

How can you help? Simple donation in support of this program allows you to aid this progressive program, purchase materials, create strong minds, and attend performances and cast party. A win win! #OYRchallenge

The Great Explorers Cultural Arts and Literacy Program  is run by Middle Passage, Inc., a nonprofit organization working to educate children of color in New York City,  in particular, students who feel alienated in traditional schools with their emphasis on high-stakes testing, a foreign cultural environment and a curriculum that fails to meet the needs of a diverse group of students. 

In all our programs, we emphasize Project Based Learning so that families, teachers and community members can work together to help children develop both critical thinking and problem-solving skills — skills that set them up for a lifetime of success and achievement!

via Great Explorers – Harlem! | Indiegogo.

Africa Straight Up – Official Film | #OYRchallenge

With more than a billion people spread across 54 countries speaking more than 3,000 languages, Africa cannot — and should not — be limited to a single narrative. Africa Straight Up is a more complete story about Africa and its diaspora.

Share your personal story about Africa at Africa.com or on Twitter @Africa_com with the hashtag #AfricaStraightUp. #OYRchallenge

Official Trailer for ‘Dear White People’ Movie – Urban Cusp

The film, written and directed by Justin Simien, is a satirical film about being a black face in a white place.  According to the official Facebook page for the film, “Dear White People follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over a popular “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film will explore racial identity in ‘post-racial’ America, while weaving a universal story of forging one’s unique path in the world.” #OYRchallenge

via Official Trailer for ‘Dear White People’ Movie – Urban Cusp.#OYRchallenge

Lupita Nyong’o To Produce And Star In ‘Americanah’

Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong’o will star and produce the feature adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah together with D2 Productions, Plan B and Potboiler Productions.  A winner of the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award, Americanah tells the epic love story of two young immigrant Nigerians, Ifemelu and Obinze, as their lives span various continents. Americanah was also listed as one of the “Ten Best Books of the Year” by The New York Times Book Review, the BBC, and Newsday. Adichie is the MacArthur Fellowship winning author of such novels Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun.

via Lupita Nyong’o To Produce And Star In ‘Americanah’.