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Status Updates posted by richardmurray

  1. now0.jpg

    Title: Scourged back by McPherson & Oliver, 1863, retouched
    Description: Scars of a whipped Mississippi slave, photo taken April 2, 1863, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. Original caption: "Overseer Artayou Carrier whipped me. I was two months in bed sore from the whipping. My master come after I was whipped; he discharged the overseer. The very words of poor Peter, taken as he sat for his picture."
    NOTE: The New York Times writer Joan Paulson Gage, noted, "The images of Wilson Chinn in chains, like the one of Gordon and his scarred back, are as disturbing today as they were in 1863. They serve as two of the earliest and most dramatic examples of how the newborn medium of photography could change the course of history." [ read the second article below ] 

    Will Smith Responds to People Who Reject His Comeback So Soon After Oscars Slap: ‘I Completely Understand’

    By Zack Sharf

    Will Smith’s press tour for “Emancipation” has begun, with the actor directly addressing moviegoers who are not yet ready to embrace his work following the Oscars slap earlier this year. “Emancipation,” a slavery drama directed by Antoine Fuqua, is Smith’s first major film release since the 2022 Oscars, where he took the stage and slapped presenter Chris Rock across the face over a joke made at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

    “I completely understand — if someone is not ready, I would absolutely respect that and allow them their space to not be ready,” Smith told journalist Kevin McCarthy when asked what he would say to moviegoers who aren’t ready for his comeback. “My deepest concern is my team – Antoine has done what I think is the greatest work of his entire career. The people on this team have done some of the best work of their entire careers, and my deepest hope is that my actions don’t penalize my team. At this point, that’s what I’m working for.”

    Smith added, “I’m hoping that the material — the power of the film, the timeliness of the story — I’m hoping that the good that can be done would open people’s hearts at a minimum to see and recognize and support the incredible artists in and around this film.”

    “Emancipation” is based on a true story and stars Smith as a runaway slave named Peter, known better to the world as “Whipped Peter” after photographs of keloid scarring on his back were distributed to show the brutality of slavery. The film follows Peter as he navigates the swamps of Louisiana to escape the plantation owners that nearly killed him.

    In an interview earlier this month with Vanity Fair, director Antoine Fuqua defended releasing “Emancipation” in the same year as Smith’s Oscars slap.

    “The film to me is bigger than that moment,” Fuqua said. “Four hundred years of slavery is bigger than one moment. My hope is that people will see it that way and watch the movie and be swept away with the great performance by Will and all the real hard work that the whole crew did.”

    According to Fuqua, committing to release the movie in 2022 was “a full conversation with Apple” but “there was never a conversation with me and Apple or my producers about the movie not coming out.”

    “Of course I wanted people to see the film,” Fuqua said. “My conversation was always, ‘Isn’t 400 years of slavery, of brutality, more important than one bad moment?’ We were in Hollywood, and there’s been some really ugly things that have taken place, and we’ve seen a lot of people get awards that have done some really nasty things. So I think Apple considered all those things, and we discussed a lot of those things. Then a decision was made by the people in charge of distribution and the money at Apple — and I’m grateful, I’m really grateful.”

    “Emancipation” premieres in theaters on Dec. 2 and will stream on Apple TV+ starting Dec. 9.



    "Wilson. Branded Slave from New Orleans," 1863, taken by Charles Praxson.Credit Private Collection, Courtesy William L. Schaeffer

    Icons of Cruelty

    Two iconic photographs of former slaves documenting the torture inflicted on them by their owners were widely circulated during the Civil War as anti-slavery propaganda, and both appear in the current exhibit “Photography and the American Civil War” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Although the images were extensively reproduced and helped to turn public opinion against slavery, the stories of the two men in these shocking photographs are little known today.

    Perhaps the most famous anti-slavery image ever made is “The Scourged Back,” in which an escaped slave named Gordon poses to reveal the web of raised scars covering his body. An engraving of this photograph, attributed to McPherson and Oliver of New Orleans, was published on July 4, 1863, in Harper’s Weekly, along with the explanation that Gordon had escaped his master in Mississippi and threw the pursuing bloodhounds off his scent by rubbing himself with onions. After an arduous journey, he managed to reach the Union Army stationed at Baton Rouge, La., 80 miles away.

    Gordon decided to enlist in the Union Army — something that President Lincoln had legalized only months earlier — and during the required medical examination, the officers saw his back “furrowed and scarred with the traces of a whipping administered on Christmas Day last.” They called for a photographer to document it. On April 16, 1863, S. K. Towle, surgeon, 30th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, sent a C.D.V. (carte de visite) photograph of Gordon’s back with a letter to W. J. Dale, surgeon general of the state of Massachusetts. He wrote: “Few sensation writers ever depicted worse punishment than this man must have received, though nothing in his appearance indicates any unusual viciousness — but on the contrary he seems INTELLIGENT AND WELL BEHAVED.”

    The Harper’s article also included an engraving of “Gordon in his uniform as a U.S. Soldier,” holding his musket. Little is known of Gordon’s military career. One published report said that he served as a sergeant in a black regiment that fought bravely at the siege of Port Hudson on May 27, 1863 — the first time that African-American soldiers played a leading role in an assault.

    Meanwhile, the photograph of Gordon’s scars took on a life of its own as a weapon of the abolitionists. It was reproduced and sold in the carte-de-visite form by C. Seaver of Boston; by McAllister of Philadelphia, who first titled it “The Scourged Back”; and by other American photographers, including Mathew Brady. Another version was issued by a British publisher, titled “The ‘Peculiar Institution’ Illustrated”; an ironic reference to the euphemism for slavery used by Southerners.

    On the back of the British version were printed remarks from newspapers, including this from The New York Independent: “This Card Photograph should be multiplied by the 100,000, and scattered over the States. It tells the story in a way that even Mrs. [Harriet Beecher] Stowe [author of ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’] cannot approach, because it tells the story to the eye.”

    While the photograph of Gordon’s back may first have been made as a clinical document and then turned into propaganda, the C.D.V. photograph of Wilson Chinn with chains and torture instruments was from the start meant to excite anti-slavery emotion.

    In December of 1863, eight former slaves were brought north from New Orleans, sponsored by the American Missionary Association and the National Freedman’s Relief Association. They were taken to photographers’ studios in New York and Philadelphia and posed in dramatic scenes for photographs, which were sold for 25 cents each to raise money for the education of former slaves in Louisiana. The other purpose of these photographs was to increase abolitionist sentiment in the North by using the fledgling science of photography to dramatize the evils of slavery.

    Five members of the group were children aged from 6 to 11 — three girls and two boys — and four of them were so fair-skinned that they appeared entirely Caucasian, although all five had been born as slaves. The only adult in the series of photos, which were made by Myron H. Kimball and Charles Paxson of New York and J. E. McClees of Philadelphia, was Wilson Chinn, identified on most of the photographs as “a branded slave.”

    On Jan. 30, 1864, Harper’s Weekly published a large engraving of the group portrait. In an article titled “Emancipated Slaves White and Colored,” Harper’s introduced each individual. Here’s the paragraph about Chinn:

    “Wilson Chinn is about 60 years old. He was ‘raised’ by Isaac Howard of Woodford Country, Kentucky. When 21 years old he was taken down the river and sold to Volsey B. Marmillion, a sugar planter about 45 miles above New Orleans. This man was accustomed to brand his negroes, and Wilson has on his forehead the letters ‘V.B.M.’ Of the 210 slaves on this plantation 105 left at one time and came into the Union camp. Thirty of them had been branded like cattle with a hot iron, four of them on the forehead, and the others on the breast or arm.”

    (The letters branded on Wilson’s forehead were not clear in the photograph, and the photographer, Kimball, had to retouch the negative to make them visible.)

    The Northern photographers posed the children in fine clothes and sentimental poses with titles like “Oh! How I Love the Old Flag” and “Our Protection.” Wilson Chinn was posed in one scene, “Learning Is Wealth,” apparently reading a book to three of the fair-skinned children. But his other photos were meant to illustrate the savagery of the treatment of slaves. He was posed by Paxson in profile in the C.D.V. from the Met’s exhibit wearing a spiked collar and leg irons and holding a nail-studded paddle. (There exist at least two other versions — a frontal view by Kimball with the paddle on the floor and a third, also by Kimball, in which the instruments of torture are all on the floor. Wilson stands with his left foot atop the paddle — no doubt symbolizing that he is now free.)

    The grisly images of Wilson wearing the spiked collar are the rarest and most valuable. In 2002 one of the Kimball C.D.V.’s sold on eBay for $1,846.

    Jeff L. Rosenheim, the Met’s curator of photographs, wrote in the catalog for “Photography and the American Civil War” that he found the Wilson Chinn photo especially puzzling: “Paxson No. 8, Wilson Branded Slave from New Orleans … is a bewildering instance of Civil War photographic marketing that asks as many questions about the individuals who commissioned the portraits as it does about those who would purchase or collect these images.”

    Undoubtedly Wilson Chinn, and even the children who traveled with him from New Orleans, knew that their role in coming North was to dramatize the evils of the “peculiar institution” from which they had recently escaped.

    The images of Wilson Chinn in chains, like the one of Gordon and his scarred back, are as disturbing today as they were in 1863. They serve as two of the earliest and most dramatic examples of how the newborn medium of photography could change the course of history.



  2. now1.png
    My Reply


    Bill T Jones once said, on Bill Maher's show, he was chided in the 1960s for a performance by other black people, and he said he thought the movement was about individual liberty. 
    But, what many Black people or other population minorities in the USA don't see/comprehend/know/admit is that the majority in all minority groups are not fighting to get individual liberties for all, but they are fighting to get majority liberties in their minority. 
    When the war between the states ended, the Black community was courted by white christian protestant groups for various reasons. But it made a hard space for Black agnostics or atheist or traditionalist <spiritual or religious beliefs brewed in the Black community during enslavement before the war between the states ended that are not christian ,ala Daughters of the Dust grandmother> . Frederick Douglass , a mulatto< a person with a phenotypically white parent plus black parent>, I feel was opposed to publicly supporting other options for Black DOS, <descendend of enslaved> who represented over ninety percent of the black populace in the usa at that time, largely in part because he knew all other options: a state in the union/leaving to canada or africa or haiti went against individual liberty growing in the black community. Which he himself needed as he had a white mistress and many Black people at that time, a recently completely enslaved people to whites , frowned on that. 
    Many Black people felt and some feel the Black community was used in the 1960s. The civil rights act was never meant to be an individual liberties act, which is what it is. It was meant to  be a leveller for Black DOSers originally. But, the party of Andrew Jackson saw an opportunity to gain many votes by expanding the civil rights act to women/jews/asians or all non white european male christians, not merely Black DOSers, who sadly did die more than many others minorities for that civil rights act to be. 
    So, Olayemi's point is correct save one thing. It isn't internalized anti-Blackness as much as anti-minority. In USA history, Black used to mean , DOSers, over ninety percent. But, USA immigration policy with the immigration act of 1965 had a tremendous effect on the majority in all communities in the USA. The white communities Anglo Saxon Protestant majority already dealt with catholics or italy/ireland plus eastern european jews before joining the white community. But now, white latinos/whites of africa are coming in droves into the white community of the USA in such numbers they don't just merge into the WASP, they are their own. MArcus Garvey was from the english imperial island of Jamaica but now, the Black DOS community has to deal with Nigerians/Jamaicans/Haitians/Trinidadians/Ghanians/South Africans/Siddi of India plus other Black Asians of South East Asia in such numbers they don't merely absorb in the DOS community , they are on their own. The Asian community was once majority Han Chinese, white asians, by far, but now you have Bangladeshi/Indonesians/filipinos/iranians/pakistani in large numbers that being asian american can not be synonymous with the chinese anymore and the chinese american tradition of governmental non involvement is no longer the standard. LAtin American used to be Mexican , mostly mestizo, in the west coast and Puerto Rican, mostly blanco, in the east coast but now it is colombian/venezuelan/ecuadorian/chilean/ bolivian and not all blanco but also mulatto also negra also indio , meaning native american, so the complexity has risen and thus latino voting patterns seem all over the place. 
    All majorities in pen-population the USA, the native american in the usa is unique, before the 1960s have been reduced in potency by the individual liberties set in by the 1960s civil rights act and the immigration policy of the 1960s immigration act. So much so that the entire usa population as well as its parts: blacks/whites/women/latinos/christians/muslims plus all others are dealing with a plurality majority future that the former majorities didn't want, have not embraced for the most part, and thus the frictions in social media.
    Bill T Jones a black man, legendary dancer, who is a member of one in the LGBTQ+ was fighting for Black empowerment as a subset of human empowerment. I paraphrase Sidney Poitier's character in guess whose coming to dinner: "you see yourself as a black human, I see myself as a human"
    This is why MLK jr was so beloved by so many outside the Black community or so many minorities in the Black community. He was a Black christian preacher whose position was individual liberty. So he can get Black people who might not listen to a muslim- malcolm-  or a jamaican- garvey - or a woman- fannie lou hamer- to march with him. But it is also why Black Militants/Segregationist had huge issues with MLK because they tend to not accept individual liberties. In the same way the KKK , while for white power, wasn't interested in white women voting or white members of the lgbtq+ having any protection or say or rights or white asians or white latinos being considered equals to anglo saxon protestants. 
    The issue isn't anti -yourself. The issue is anti- minority,which minority groups have within themselves. 
    Olayemi's prose closes with the fundamental idea of individual liberty. The only community that matters is the human. Those who support individual liberty fight for communities, like Olayemi or Bill T Jones in the context of greater individual liberty or freedom or protection. Unfortunately, in the Black community in the USA , this is not full explained or comprehended by many Black people. 
    I am not suggesting I support individual liberty universally, because I don't. But I comprehend it. And I don't have a problem with Black people whose actions reflect it. 

    [ https://twitter.com/msolurin/status/1596202896399687680  ]


    1. richardmurray


      my sharing
      The majority of the Black populace in the USA or elsewhere have a problem accepting/supporting minorities in the Black community having equal rights or powers to the Black majority. If you support universal individual rights or liberties then said supremacy by majorities is deemed a self hating thing, ala anti black. But, most people in majorities like the power in being in the bigger group, and despise potency in minorities whether real or unreal. 
      #rmaalbc #Olayemi #olurin #dos #ados #majority #minority 


      comment on the original post
      The Black majority in the USA has never dealt with Black minorities to well https://aalbc.com/tc/profile/6477-richardmurray/?status=2168&type=status


      Historically that is the way in the USA. The KKK would and will kill a gay white man. Most movements or groups in the USA didn't or don't accept universal rights in their community , but a large populace in the USA , maybe the majority, crossing all racial lines, accepts this. 
      exactly, but from a historical view, the black communities agendas in the usa, for the most part , never supported black minorities specific causes. Black lesbians/black gays/black muslims historically were not accepted by the majority for their lifestyle. Now in 2022 things are what they are but historically not true

  3. Giving Thanks



    “One year, [we] gave a boy about 8 years old a coat, tried it on made sure it fit him, he took it off and gave it back to me and I asked, ‘Why are you giving it back?’ and he said, ‘You mean I can keep this?’ and I said, ‘Yes,it’s for you,’” Richard Mantell, vice president of Middle Schools with the United Federation of Teachers, said. “And he came up to me and hugged me and it was hard to fight back tears.” 
    Article Link 
    [ https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2022/11/20/hundreds-of-children-from-shelters-participate-in-thanksgiving-giveaway



    Jon Stewart: "Penalizing someone for having a thought I don't think is the way to change their minds or gain understanding. This is a grown ass man and the idea that you would say to him, we're going to put you in a time out. You have to sit in the corner and stare at the wall until you no longer believe that the jews control the international banking system. Like, we have to get passed this, in the country, the ability to... Look, people think this.  People think jews control Hollywood. People think jews control the banks. and to pretend that they don't, and to not deal with it in a straight forward manner. We will never gain any kind of understanding with each other. "

    Colbert:"what do you imagine the right manner to be....what is the response"

    Stewart:"First, I think reflexively naming things anti semitism is reductive as some of the things they might be saying, it immediately shuts down a conversation. ... Comedy is reductive, and I think part of what it is, is we play with tropes, because everyone has prejudices in their lives, and in the way they view things. And comics rely on those prejudices as a short hand for our material. Even the wokest of comics plays with tropes, to a certain extent. But my point is the most interesting thing to come out of this in my mind is something Kanye said. On his tour that he was doing after he said that, and then he got interviewed by five different people because the media model is arson and conflict. He said something fascinating in my mind. HE said hurt people hurt people and if the point of all this is then to heal people, the only way to heal a wound is to open it up and cleanse it. and that stings. that hurts. But you have to expose it to air. and I'm afraid the general tenor of conversation in this country is to cover it up, bury it, put it to the outskirts and don't deal with it and what I would say is, look at it from, a black perspective. Its, a culture that feels its wealth has been extracted by different groups, whites, jews, things, whether it is true or not isn't the issue. That's the feeling in that community. And if you don't understand that's where it is coming from, then you can't deal with it. and you can't sit down with them and explain that ... being in an industry isn't the same as having a nefarious and controlling interest in that industry and intention, right. And that has been the anti semitic trope. But you need to be able to meet people from what their community is feeling as well."

    Colbert:"so you saying the way is to deconstruct it and tell them why it isn't with facts"

    Stewart:"that's right, but if your not allowed to say it. You know dave said something in the snl monologue that I thought was constructive, as well. He said it shouldn't be this hard to talk about things. And that is what we're talking about. Look I can't pretend that there aren't a [expletive] ton of people in this country and this world who believe that the jews have an unreasonable amount of control over the systems. and they wield it as puppet masters. I've been called anti-semitic because I'm against Israel's treatment of Palestinians. I'm called other things from other people based on other opinions that I have. But those shut down debates. They're used as a cudgel, and whether it be comedy or discussion or anything else. If we don't have the wherewithal to meet each other with what is reality then how do we move forward is my question. I don't enjoy it. Don't get me wrong. When people i admire or whose music I like come out and say how many of you are in show business, you know... here is the deal... we have our own tropes. Like a white person's success is because of privilege, a minority's success is empowerment, a jew's success, that's conspiracy. You feel that. I feel that. But I have to be able to express that to people. If I can't say, that is Bull shit and explain why, then where do we go? and if we all just shut it down then we retreat to our little corners of misinformation and it metastasizes. And the whole point of all this is to not let it metastasize. And to get it out in the air and talk about it."
    Video link 
    [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V_sEqfIL9Q




    Title: Sableye and Palmon Plushies for Charity
    Artist: Tamarinfrog
    [ https://www.deviantart.com/tamarinfrog/art/Sableye-and-Palmon-Plushies-for-Charity-938117299

    Hello everyone, it's time for a new Charity Project!

    A Charity-Guild Project!

    This time we will be drawing or crafting Digimon/Pokemon as PLUSHIES!! 

    This project will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation [ https://makeawish.ca/

    Each submission received will add $2.50 to the charity pool.

    If you are looking to sponsor this project, please send a note or email charityguild@tommyspuppetlab.com

    How to Submit:

    You can submit to your gallery and submit to this folder [ https://www.deviantart.com/charity-guild/gallery/85373471/plushiemon-collab ] (Please tag me and mention this journal too please) 

    You may add your submission to sta.sh [ http://sta.sh/ ] or dropbox/drive and note me your submission if you wish to refrain from contributing to Deviant"Art" 

    We have a channel on our Discord server where you can submit

    You can also email to charityguild@tommyspuppetlab.com

    Submission rules:

    All Deviant"Art" submission rules apply [ https://www.deviantart.com/about/policy/submission/

    Artificial Intelligence (AI "art") is strictly prohibited from any of these projects. All submissions will be checked.

    In order to enter, please comment on the posted journal which character(s) you are drawing. First come first serve, and reservations will be held for 2 weeks. After that, anyone can claim that character again.

    All gens (1-9) and Digimon forms allowed. Even Wailord. 

    Do not add a background to your submission. I prefer transparent backgrounds, no big deal if you don't know how, just submit it on plain white background.

    Anyone can enter regardless of skill. I will judge your art by your effort however. No quick doodles. Art from the heart is what matters most! Again, NO AI IS ALLOWED

    If drawing on paper, please use UNLINED paper or it will be turned down!

     NO BASES!!

    No stock is allowed with exception of brushes, textures, pallets, etc... The work must be 100% yours at the end! No lazy work please!

    Minimum canvas size 1200x1200. However you are welcome to use a bigger canvas if needed.

    To submit, please see above

    No work older than the launch date! November 21st

    Deadline: January 5th, 2023

    INVITATIONAL - for all information
    [ https://www.deviantart.com/tommygk/journal/Draw-Craft-Pokemon-Digimon-as-Plushies-for-Charity-937980393 ]



    Port Richmond High School students whip up Thanksgiving feast
    By Jillian Jorgensen Staten Island
    PUBLISHED 2:45 PM ET Nov. 23, 2022
    Preparing a Thanksgiving dinner is always a production. But it is extra crazy when you’re preparing to feed hundreds of hungry teenagers who happen to be your classmates.

    “In this oven, we have some stuffing and turkey waiting to go out. In the other room we have some mac and cheese and more turkey,” James Ryan, a culinary arts teacher at Port Richmond High School, said. “Some of the students in my eighth period class [are] plating up the pumpkin pies for desserts.”

    What You Need To Know
    Hundreds of students in Port Richmond High School's culinary arts program worked together to create a Thanksgiving feast for their classmates

    They cooked about 300 pounds of turkey, along with sides like mashed potatoes and stuffing

    The feast gave them an opportunity to show off the skills they are learning
    It was something principal Andrew Greenfield is proud of
    Led by their teachers, every student in Port Richmond High School’s culinary arts program helped put together a massive Thanksgiving feast. It featured about 300 pounds of turkey, 75 pounds of potatoes 100 pounds of yas and 32 pumpkin pies, Ryan said.

    “We're preparing here for probably about 400-500 students,” Ryan said.

    It's a highlight for students in the culinary arts program, who spend all four years getting hands-on cooking experience. They're taught national food safety courses and have the opportunity to get their city food handling license. The popular program serves about 350 students a year.

    All of them work on the Thanksgiving meal, with each class tackling a different dish.

    “All 12 of our classes have had their hands in it. Not literally, but yeah, almost literally,” Ryan said.

    And when the bell rang, the crowds arrived to grab their meals. For students who had worked hard on the feast, it was a moment to savor.

    “It honestly feels amazing. I really love how we were able to come together and [prepare] such a big feast for the whole high school and it's just, I'm happy that all the work paid off,” junior Madison Gigliello said.

    The meal initially started out smaller, with culinary students just cooking for one another. Over time it grew.

    “Then last year after COVID, Mr. Greenfield and Ms. Woodman decided we need everyone together. We're serving a whole school. And it was a hit,” Ryan said.

    It’s something principal Andrew Greenfield is proud of.

    “What I love about this day is that we don't do a Thanksgiving feast for some students or families. But we do it for our entire school community,” Greenfield said.

    And it’s part of what it makes so special for the culinary arts students.

    “Every Port Richmond student comes here to try our food and take time out of their day to come try it,” junior Robert Eckman said.

    The line stretched down the hallway. After grabbing a plate, students could sit down in the school’s cafe and enjoy a performance by the jazz band.

    “You know, everybody’s Thanksgiving at home looks a little bit different, so we try to have a traditional Thanksgiving feast here at school, so everybody can get a taste of that,” assistant principal Suzanne Woodman said.




    Families spend hours in the cold waiting for ICE appointments
    By Eric Feldman New York City
    PUBLISHED 11:00 PM ET Nov. 22, 2022
    It was just after 2:30 a.m. on a crisp, cold New York City night. The temperature read 34 degrees, but it felt colder. It was the first truly cold day of autumn.

    “It’s pretty cold, even my foot falls asleep, even I can’t move my whole hand,” said Edi Kiste, who was bundled up in a line outside immigration offices in downtown Manhattan.

    She spoke with NY1 as she held her two-year-old daughter, who spent the entire night outside with her.

    “I bundled her up with three pants, a jacket, and like two polo shirts inside,” she said.

    She said they were still cold.

    On Lafayette Street, there are many strollers and children at this very early hour, all bundled up, all waiting.

    One mom appeared to breastfeed her daughter on the curb.

    These families are here for the long haul, bringing out cardboard boxes, backpacks and blankets to create makeshift beds.

    They are choosing to spend the night on concrete.

    Laura Godoi said she arrived outside 26 Federal Plaza at 7 p.m., which was 13 hours before her appointment with immigration officials.

    “It gives hypothermia,” she said, describing the wait and the cold weather.

    There’s a reason why so many people are lining up on a cold November night with their children.

    They are waiting for their appointments with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE.

    Many of those NY1 met said they are required to report to ICE after crossing the southern border in recent months.

    By 3:38 a.m., the line has only grown.

    “We got like 174 people,” said Carlos Estevez, looking at a manila folder he brought to organize everyone in line.

    Estevez is not a community organizer. He himself was in line for his own ICE appointment.

    He brought the folder because of his past experience lining up for his appointment — and could help explain why so many people are out here overnight.

    “They say you can’t enter,” he said.

    In a statement to NY1, an ICE spokesperson said the agency is “working to address current processing delays at some ICE offices,” attributing the delays being exacerbated by COVID-19 in recent years.

    ICE only lets in however many people the agency can see in one day, no matter how many have appointments set up or how long the line is overnight.

    On this night, it’s Estevez’s third overnight trip. Same for Angel Gomez, who said the night before, he got in line at 2 a.m. But that was too late.

    Nancy Angeles had a friend waiting in line. Just before 4:30 a.m., she opened her car door, allowing a new group of the people in line to get inside her warm car.

    “Whether they’re immigrants or not, they’re people,” she said.

    By this time, the line wrapped not only around the block, but continued across the street.

    At 5 a.m., the makeshift beds were folded up, because there was an effort to organize the lines.

    Estevez led the charge, even though it’s not his job.

    Within an hour, ICE started checking people in from two lines, one for families and the other for everyone else.

    People got through past the sunrise until 7:48 a.m.

    There were still what looked like at least 100 people in line.

    “That’s it for the day,” said an ICE agent to the crowd.

    The crowd stood there, wondering what to do next. Some talked to ICE agents. Others took pictures of a QR code provided by ICE to follow-up.

    People in line, who spoke with NY1, were frustrated. Leonardo Caso showed up at 5 a.m. Edi Fernandez arrived at 4:30 a.m.

    Both said they were too late for their scheduled appointments.

    “You get up early, and well, they don’t give you a solution,” said Fernandez.

    ICE officials said people who miss appointments should also reach out by email.

    “When I send them, they didn’t answer me,” said Hamida Al-Hassam, who added that he also missed his appointment, despite getting in line around 3 a.m.

    NY1’s video of the overnight experience outside 26 Federal Plaza is generating a response in Washington, D.C.

    “There needs to be a more efficient and humane way for ICE to schedule and process people for check-ins and other appearances,” said a spokesperson for Sen. Chuck Schumer. “We are in touch with ICE and advocacy organizations to urge prompt improvements.”

    Adrian Pandev is an immigration lawyer based in New York City. NY1 showed him the scene outside 26 Federal Plaza.

    “It just shows that the system is not at capacity. It’s over capacity,” he said. “What a mess.”

    He thinks most are trying to check in with ICE, as required, within 60 days of crossing the southern border.

    “These people are waiting in the streets to comply with the rules,” he said.

    He said each day they’re denied their appointments, it pushes them closer to missing their deadline, possibly complicating their status in the U.S.

    “Noncitizens would not be deemed a no-show for their appointments if they utilize the QR code,” an ICE spokesperson said to NY1. “ICE would reschedule them.”

    An ICE spokesperson said missed appointments do not have to be counted against people in line if they take the proper action.



  4. adastra- character from omari malik of blacktooth publishing- from shawn alleyne.jpg

    Title: adastra <character from omari malik of blacktooth publishing>
    Artist: shawn alleyne  < Pyroglyphics Studio > OR < https://www.deviantart.com/pyroglyphics1 >  
    Prior post
    Shawn Alleyne post


  5. now0.jpg

    The photo above refers to the idea of Hip Hop turning 50 in the Bronx. A museum will be erected and celebrations across the city will be made.


    well in my view, what people call hip hop is merely a continuation of the Black poetic culture in the 1950s and 1960s which spoke more to black empowerment/africa that itself was born from earlier decades like langston hughes which you see in harlem's last poets. Mixed with the experimentation that black disk jockey's had started significantly earlier. And even the global exposure is merely continuation. If you look at Gospel then the Blues, then Jazz and then the Motown Sound<itself a version of rhythm and blues> you can see how each became more and more profitable in foreign shores. Hip Hop merely continued the long tradition in the music industry of the USA of exporting a style of Black music. .... For me, one of the tragedies of musical history is how it is presented by those in power more segmented than it is. Again, Rock & Roll is merely a variation of Rhythm and Blues which itself is a variation of the Blues. In the same way that Baroque/Classical/Oriental music in European Music is merely just versions of European Orchestral music. What I find changes more than music is the culture of people. And that is where the Bronx comes in. All the parts of hip hop were in harlem in the 1960s, but Harlem has a long musical tradition whereas the bronx was mostly white. So when the Black people from the south combined with the black folk from the carribean , immigration act in the 1960s who also combined with the white/mulatto/negra latinos, you created a multiphenotypical while also multicultural group of people who represented the future of NYC and regions of the USA. A plurality majority culturally is what Hip Hop allowed the USA to present to the humanity outside and it stunned the humanity outside who was used to Black music, but it was never attached to a culturally fluid identity like the hip hopers. Country music, which is merely white versions of the Blues mixed with european peasant music. or JAzz music which is secular southern Black music with metal instruments , ala the new orleans connection, are  both very popular outside the USA but are culturally more rigid. While the Hip hoppers have an everybody's welcome attitude for the most part, that connects to the USA's reality after the immigration act of the 1960s. When Jennifer Lopez a child of the Bronx in the era of hip hoppers wanted to headline a motown show. Black people booed her and the show . why? back to my point. The key to Hip Hopers isn't their music. Everything Hip Hopers did musically you can find in Black music or music by Black people in the USA before the 1970s. Phyllis Wheatley through the last poets is the poetry. The Ragtimers through to the experimental jazz is the extreme improvisation. The Blues or its derivatives: rhythm and blues and rock and roll make up the rest.  But culturally, the Hip Hoppers at their core were welcoming to all. All they wanted in return was respect. Whereas the last poets were against inviting blancos <white latinos> or white asians or white jews the Hip Hoppers welcomed all. And even that ties to the History of those whose appearance is given the text label black. Frederick Douglass to MLK jr's philosophies is embedded in Hip Hoppers aracial view. If you give the hip hopper respect, they give it to you. Content of character not color of skin.  And to that end, I wonder... but anyway, congratulations to the black folk involved. 



    Jacinda Townsend Wins 16th Annual Ernest Gaines Book Award for Mother Country
    Read more details in the post immediately below





    Alvin Bragg, now Manhattan District Attorney, speaks with supporters on election night, in New York, Nov. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)


    Bragg to toss 188 convictions due to NYPD misconduct

    Dean Meminger reported
    Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Thursday said he will toss nearly 200 convictions that were secured by eight NYPD officers found guilty of work-related criminal conduct.  

    Bragg on Thursday morning began the process of vacating 188 misdemeanor convictions stemming from arrests that took place between 2001 and 2016, his office said in a press release. 

    Eight officers tied to the 188 convictions were convicted themselves, of crimes ranging from bribe-receiving and official misconduct to falsifying business records and perjury, the release said. More than 94 of the convictions led to prison sentences or fines. 

    What You Need To Know
    Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Thursday said he will toss nearly 200 convictions that were secured by eight NYPD officers found guilty of work-related criminal conduct

    Bragg on Thursday morning began the process of vacating 188 misdemeanor convictions stemming from arrests that took place between 2001 and 2016

    Eight officers tied to the 188 convictions were convicted themselves, of crimes ranging from bribe-receiving and official misconduct to falsifying business records and perjury
    “While most law enforcement officials and police officers are dedicated public servants, these eight officers, who played a material role in hundreds of arrests, criminally abused their positions of power,” Bragg said in a statement. 

    “These illegal actions irrevocably taint these convictions and represent a significant violation of due process rights — the foundational principle of our legal system,” he added. 

    In a statement NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said there was "zero tolerance in the NYPD for corruption or criminal activity of any kind by any member of the service." 

    “Those who betray their sworn oath to serve and protect the public have no place in the NYPD — and it is important to note that the involved officers are no longer employed by New York City Police Department," Sewell said. 

    One of the eight former NYPD officers tied to the convictions, Jason Arbeeny, was found guilty of charges that included official misconduct for planting drugs on two people, the DA’s office said. 

    A second officer, William Eiseman, was convicted of first-degree perjury and official misconduct for carrying out illegal searches and falsely testifying, while a third officer, Michael Foder, was found guilty of lying under oath during a federal hearing, the release said.

    A fourth officer, Richard Hall, received five years’ probation after he and another NYPD detective had sex with a woman they took into custody in exchange for her release, according to the DA’s office. 

    The four other officers were Michael Arenella, who was found guilty of petty larceny, official misconduct and falsifying business records; Michael Carsey, who was convicted of first-degree perjury and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing; Johnny Diaz, who was convicted on charges including second-degree bribe receiving; and Nicholas Mina, who was found guilty of charges including criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal sale of a firearm. 

    In a statement, Elizabeth Felber, the director of the Wrongful Conviction Unit at The Legal Aid Society, praised Bragg’s push to vacate the convictions.

    “While this moment delivers some justice and closure to these New Yorkers, they were forced to endure hardships that should have never been allowed to happen,” Felber said. “This includes incarceration, hefty legal fees, loss of employment, housing instability, severed access to critical benefits and other collateral consequences.” 

    “Going forward, we urge DA Bragg and all of the other New York City District Attorneys to conduct these reviews on an ongoing basis and with full transparency,” Felber said. 



    Every single law enforcer in the history of the NEw York Police Department has committed the crime or aiding or abetting another NYPD member. This is a simple fact.
    The reality is the quantity of NYPD members plus their saturation in every community in New YOrk  City means many will put up a wall of denial to the stated fact for a relative or friend who is in the nypd ranks.


    This combo image shows Democratic candidate for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District Adam Frisch, left, and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., right. Associated Press, File

    Lauren Boebert's Democratic challenger conceded after she declared victory, even as the unexpectedly tight race has not been called and likely heads to an automatic recount
    Story by hgetahun@insider.com

    Democratic candidate Adam Frisch conceded to his opponent, GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert, in an extremely close race to represent Colorado's Third Congressional District. 

    Boebert was leading by about 554 votes with more than 99% of votes counted as of Friday evening, according to Insider's election partner Decision Desk HQ. No major media network has yet called the race, which was not expected to be competitive until the surprisingly close results began rolling in on election night.

    Under Colorado state law, a recount will automatically ensue if a candidate wins by a margin that is 0.5% or less of their total vote count. Boebert's current lead of 554 out of her total 163,832 votes falls within that threshold, at about 0.34%.

    Despite the results not being called yet, Frisch said on Facebook live Friday that he called Boebert to concede the race to her, adding that the chances of him winning were "very small."

    "The likelihood of this recount changing more than a handful of votes is very small. Very, very small. It'd be disingenuous and unethical for us or any other group to continue to raise false hope and encourage fundraising for a recount," Frisch said during his concession speech. "Colorado elections are safe, accurate, and secure. Please save your money for your groceries, your rent, your children, and for other important causes and organizations."

    Frisch did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

    Boebert also acknowledged the call in a Tweet on Friday, saying: "I look forward to getting past election season and focusing on conservative governance in the House majority."

    —Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) November 18, 2022 [ https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/1593675506712338432 ]
    The conservative firebrand had already declared victory in the race. On Thursday evening, Boebert announced on social media: "We won!"

    In the accompanying video, she said there were "less than 200 votes outstanding" and that she was "certain" that she would win the race, even with the recount. Insider could not confirm the amount of outstanding votes.

    "Past recounts in Colorado have resulted in far fewer votes being adjusted than anything that could affect the current outcome we're seeing tonight in this race," she added.

    Meanwhile, a Thursday FEC filing showed that Frisch had already submitted a statement of candidacy for 2024, potentially setting the stage for another Boebert-Frisch showdown.




    I requote Frisch: The likelihood of this recount changing more than a handful of votes is very small. Very, very small. It'd be disingenuous and unethical for us or any other group to continue to raise false hope and encourage fundraising for a recount," Frisch said during his concession speech. "Colorado elections are safe, accurate, and secure. Please save your money for your groceries, your rent, your children, and for other important causes and organizations.



    Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Rome on Nov. 10. (Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters)


    Rising tide of immigration to Europe pushing continent's politics to the right, experts say
    Story by Melissa Rossi • Yesterday 7:44 PM

    After 16 days of the ship’s ignored distress calls to the Italian government asking to dock, France allowed the Ocean Viking safe harbor in Toulon on Nov. 11. According to the French interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, the vessel was Italy’s responsibility since it had been in Italian search and rescue waters, and ignoring the pleas “lacked humanity,” was “a nasty gesture” and was “incomprehensible.”

    In a statement, Meloni’s interior minister, Matteo Piantedosi, fired back that “Italy has taken in 90,000 [migrants] just this year” and that it was the actions of France, which according to French broadcaster France 24 had never before received a migrant-filled rescue ship, that were “totally incomprehensible.” France, which in August took in 38 of the migrants that arrived in Italy this year, according to the European Commission, had pledged to accept 3,500 more later in 2022. But, said Darmanin, Italy’s behavior had forced France to retract that offer.

    Such skirmishes between countries are becoming more common across Europe, where an increase in “irregular” migrants — as those who’ve entered illegally are called here — is pushing European politics in a rightward direction.

    “There’s a relationship between the demographic change through immigration and the rise of the populist right in Western Europe,” Eric Kaufmann, author of “Whiteshift” and professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London, told Yahoo News. “The number of Europeans saying immigration is a top issue really rises along with rising migration numbers, and then the populist right rises along with that.”

    Of late, the numbers of migrants, both legal and illegal, crossing into Europe are soaring.

    This week Frontex, as the European border control and coast guard agency is called, released a new report showing that the number of illegal entries into Europe has risen by 77% since last year and is the highest since 2016.

    Migrants have been illegally entering not only from across the Mediterranean but via land from non-EU Balkan countries, and tens of thousands have entered the United Kingdom by crossing the English Channel. And from Britain to Germany, Spain to Greece, countries are trying to figure out how to secure the continent, which has over 42,000 miles of coastline and 30 borders with non-EU countries, making external border security challenging.

    According to Frontex, over 132,000 “detections” of entries to Mediterranean countries via sea were made from January to September of this year. However, an increasingly popular route for those trying to enter Europe illegally — whether to seek asylum or better economic opportunities — is to enter from non-EU countries such as Serbia and Albania, toward Hungary and from there to Austria and Germany. Over the past year, Frontex has made over 128,000 detections of illegal border entries of migrants, largely from Burundi, Afghanistan and Iraq, from that corner of southeastern Europe. According to the Associated Press, by September of this year state police had registered over 57,000 unauthorized entries into Germany, where the government in October met with EU officials to discuss how to seal borders, crack down on smuggling and speed up deportations.

    “Annually, 2 to 3 million nationals from non-EU countries come to the EU legally, in contrast to 125,000 to 200,000 irregular arrivals,” EU Commission spokesperson for home affairs Anitta Hipper told Yahoo News. But, she added, “irregular migration is still a challenge.”

    What’s more, the number of irregular migrants popping up in England is suddenly spiking even higher. This week the British department of defense announced that more than 40,000 people had crossed the English Channel from France and illegally entered England so far in 2022, while four years ago the number was a mere 299. On Wednesday the U.K. government also announced it is paying $75 million to France to bolster border security along the channel. Spain, meanwhile, is paying millions to Morocco to increase its security and prevent would-be migrants from crossing the Mediterranean to Spain. The EU has also spent billions on programs from economic development to job training to try to address the root causes behind illegal migration.

    “There’s a concern that EU development funding is increasingly being used to finance projects aiming to curb migration towards Europe, rather than fulfilling their stated purpose, namely development in these countries — reducing poverty and inequality and improving livelihoods,” Stephanie Pope, EU migration policy adviser of human rights organization Oxfam International, told Yahoo News. “And we consider this to be a very dangerous development.”

    To Rainer Münz, a senior research associate at the Martens Centre who specializes in migration, Europe’s media and policymakers are looking at the wrong issues — the recent attention given to the Ocean Viking saga being a case in point. “When 0.2% of migrants to Europe are dominating the headlines for weeks, it clearly shows that people are not looking at what’s going on.”

    The biggest issue for him is that Europe’s population is declining, with the death rate exceeding the birth rate since 2015 — and the EU needs to bring in more skilled migrants “to stabilize the workforce.” But that’s not happening, he said. Legal immigrants “are not selected according to the talent and skills,” he said. “Politically, that’s not feasible, when 60 or 70% of your immigration is humanitarian, being either marriage or family reunion or asylum.”

    And this year, with Europe taking in 5 million Ukrainians, who can legally live and work in the EU, the figure of humanitarian-motivated immigration in Europe is far higher, he added. “When 90% of your immigration is humanitarian, it’s not easy to convince the general public that we need to recruit another million people,” Münz said. “But if the aim is to bring more talented people here, you would have to reduce the inflow of people who do not fit European labor market needs. You would have to reduce the humanitarian flow in order to open up capacity for skilled worker admissions.”

    Such talk is anathema to Pope. “Europe is a very, very wealthy region. If we look at it globally, and particularly the EU, by the end of 2021, for example, less than 10% of the world’s refugees were living in the EU. So if we look at it globally, [taking in more refugees] is very much something that the EU could manage effectively and humanely.”

    However, Anna Knoll, head of migration and mobility at the European Centre for Development Policy Management, is concerned that humanitarian efforts are giving life to right-wing movements across the continent.

    “You see countries like Sweden or Italy flipping more to the right side of the political spectrum,” Knoll told Yahoo News. “I think states are realizing they cannot afford having more refugees situated there or more irregular migrants coming in, because it does potentially push the voters more to the right. Obviously we try to balance this — we have principles, we have values and we are also a sanctuary for refugees. But we cannot allow everyone in.”

    Knoll is especially worried about this winter, when more Ukrainian refugees are expected to come to Europe since Russia keeps attacking electrical and heating infrastructure. “If everything comes together — more migrants, super-high energy prices, inflation hitting the roof — at some point I wonder how much the system can take before people say, ‘No, we don’t want this.’”

    In the meantime, France has already rejected the applications of 123 of the asylum seekers aboard the Ocean Viking, and on Friday, the Le Figaro newspaper reported that 26 of the minors on board had gone missing.




    Most in humanity don't like strangers in their town. Maybe they are violent, maybe they are not, but few are happy. The newcomers want and the only way they get is if someone else doesn't have. The USA is a prime example. 
    People will say, Immigrants do jobs people in the usa don't want but that is untrue. the Native American, the Black DOS, the WASP <white anglo saxon protestants>  are willing to do jobs with a better wage. The reality is, the fiscally wealthy in the usa setup the environment for immigration to get as near to slave labor as they could get and it worked. The price was laborers who already existed in the usa. 
    Europe doesn't want its workers to suffer the fate of workers in the usa, who between firms sending jobs overseas for lower wage or setting up domestic jobs under the salary standard, the immigrant or their kin overseas are the labor winners.
    Europe enjoyed the USA being the haven but now upon  being challenged to do it themselves, they are displaying the truth that they Europe, especially western Europe, chastized Russia/China or many other countries outside the USA or WEstern Europe for doing.


  7. Any writers in here with zero or near zero drawing capability want a chance to have a complex logical process, commonly called, an Artificial Intelligence, compose a work of art for them?

    I am considering making a group in deviantart for you writers. Writers who also draw, like me, your not welcome for now. For now, just the writers who can't draw




    Its funny, in the history of the usa, the midwestern or southern states at one time were the financial engines of the usa. The midwest + the southern states and to be blunt, the rural areas of the western or northeastern states all started on this trajectory in the 1900s. Rich white people in the USA needed two things, cheaper labor and a way to get the global populace to side with the usa. You achieve both by sending jobs from rural white usa to china/mexico/et cetera. The reality is, the USA bought the allegiance of countries with its actions. Remember, at the end of world war II, Europe or western asia were totally destroyed, physically. So, when the soviets said, screw capitalism, that was a compelling message. The USA couldn't philosophically better Russia , but it could financially do it. Remake European Industry, remake Japanese industry, make chinese industry, and all those countries will side with the usa more often than not. Get all the college graduate populace of the countries in africa/asia/south america/eastern europe to live in nyc or other big cities of the usa, and those countries will always be swayed or manipulated by the usa, cause most of their rich kids live at madison avenue. And they did, and russia lost the cold war. Russia was terrible at financial competition or racial 1 percenting. The USA realized the nigerian oil baron's son needs to have nice cushy job in a law firm. Soviet Russia didn't have the nuance for that. Soviet Russia taught non whites en masse before the usa, but they didn't offer them a job, the idea was they will go back to their countires. the USA realized these people don't want to go back, they want to eat a frankfurter on broadway. Now what does this have to do with the south + midwestern states. as I always say with fiscal capitalism, someone has to lose for another to win. the question is who losses or who wins. For Europa to be rebuilt + Asia be rebuilt + the one percent of all the countries of the world to have a cushy safe life away from their countries, the southern or midwestern states had to lose. All that money could had done to them, many of them still argue it should had went to them.


  9. now1.png

    photo by imani perry

    Searching for America, South of the Mason-Dixon
    By Tayari Jones
    Jan. 25, 2022


    Imani Perry has won the 2022 National Book Award for Nonfiction for "South To America: A Journey below the mason-dixon to understand the soul of a nation"


    review of
    A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation
    By Imani Perry

    At the start of “South to America,” Imani Perry implores the reader: “Please remember, while this book is not a history, it is a true story.” I tried to keep these instructions in mind — not always easy with a narrative so scrupulously researched and teeming with facts and citations — but ultimately, I discarded them. After all, Perry addresses everything from hip-hop to the United Fruit Company and her own grandmother. Any attempt to classify this ambitious work, which straddles genre, kicks down the fourth wall, dances with poetry, engages with literary criticism and flits from journalism to memoir to academic writing — well, that’s a fool’s errand and only undermines this insightful, ambitious and moving project.

    This is no “both sides” affair: Perry is an unabashed “movement” baby, raised by intellectual freedom-fighter parents. The conviction of this book is that race and racism are fundamental values of the South, that “the creation of racial slavery in the colonies was a gateway to habits and dispositions that ultimately became the commonplace ways of doing things in this country.” In other words, the South is America, and its history and influence cannot be dismissed as an embarrassing relative at the nation’s holiday dinner table.

    Inspired by Albert Murray’s 1971 memoir-cum-travelogue “South to a Very Old Place,” Perry travels to over a dozen Southern cities and towns, excavating both histories and modern realities. She begins at Harpers Ferry, W.Va. We meet Shields Green, a Black South Carolinian known as the “Emperor of New York” who was executed along with John Brown. His heroism has been nearly lost to history, and to compound the tragedy, after he was hanged his body was given to Winchester Medical College for dissection. In telling his story, Perry reveals the first of many patterns in the quilt stitched on these pages: At each stop, she recounts an atrocity, but also resistance. And she does not flinch when documenting the consequences.

    From the three essays that examine Alabama it’s clear that despite a childhood in New England, Perry’s heart belongs to the idiosyncratic Yellowhammer State. Her tone grows tender as she recalls her dancing cousins or the foot-washing Baptists. Her portraits of her grandmother combine elegiac longing and the rigor of a historian setting the record straight. Equally moving are the dispatches from her mother’s native Louisiana.


    The theme of unmarked graves and untold stories permeates this work. As remediation, Perry names scores of Southerners: some famous, some unknown. As Andre 3000 declared, “The South got something to say.” And it’s a breathtaking something — from fine arts to reality television, internationally traded corporations to roadside rib-shacks whose flavors inform the American palate.

    Perry vowed to visit and contemplate as much of the South as possible for this project; this ambition is both gift and obstacle. The benefit of such a large canvas is that patterns are easily identified. Historical injustice such as the Wilmington Massacre cannot be dismissed as a one-off, nor can the contemporary violence of Dylann Roof, or the storied resistance of Rosa Parks. Perry finds that one “hidden virtue of an unsure genealogy is a vast archive of ways of being learned from birth.”

    It is inevitable, though, that all sites will not receive equal care and attention — and clearly her loyalty is to Alabama. An acolyte of Toni Morrison, Perry nevertheless takes pointed issue with the Nobel laureate’s characterization of the women of Mobile. I understand her pain, for it is the same feeling conjured in me as I read the chapter on Atlanta, my hometown. While in some places, Perry has the benefit of a guide, here she doesn’t cite the personal conversations that led to her insights, and the resulting observations feel a bit chilly. Perry declares that “the major metropolis of the South doesn’t have a sufficient mass transit system or a polyglot culture....” but goes on to suggest that survivors of dirt roads take comfort, instead, in the shiny baubles hawked in Lenox Mall. Well, that hurt my feelings.

    Wounded pride aside, it must be said that this work, though sometimes uneven, is an essential meditation on the South, its relationship to American culture — even Americanness itself. This is, as Perry puts it, “not a preservation. This is intervention.” For too long, the South has been scapegoated and reduced to a backward land on the other side of some translucent, but impenetrable, barrier.

    Beyond the literal divide of the Mason-Dixon, Perry is fixated on the line that divides past and present. On her travels she encounters a Confederate re-enactor celebrating a birthday. Though he is nostalgia and revisionism made flesh, Perry finds him surprisingly pleasant. Assuming he’ll speak about “Northern aggression,” Perry chooses not to question him, and this, too, is the legacy of the intimacy of slavery — we have lived together so long that we believe we can read each other’s minds.

    During her visit to Maryland, Perry sees people wearing muslin shirts and straw hats while laboring in a field. Her insides clench, fearing that she is witnessing some cruel antebellum cosplay. As she gets closer, Perry hears the men speaking Spanish. She was “sad, and also relieved. Workers, not re-enactors.” But of course, this underscores the refrain of this immersion in Southern (American) life and history — to what extent are we all re-enactors of the nation’s brutal history? This work — and I use the term for both Perry’s labor and its fruit — is determined to provoke a return to the other legacy of the South, the ever-urgent struggle toward freedom.

    Tayari Jones is the Charles Howard Candler professor of English at Emory University.

    A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation
    By Imani Perry
    433 pp. Ecco. $28.99.



    Harlem debuts African Jazz Art Society & Studio (AJASS) documentary

    May 12, 2022

    African Jazz Art Society & Studio Credit: Kwame Brath photo
    It’s taken several decades, but it’s finally happening: a documentary about the African Jazz Art Society & Studio (AJASS), who have the earliest documented contributions as an organization to what people now recognize as the Black Arts Movement. The artist collective formed in 1956 on Kelly Street in the South Bronx, with the agenda of preserving jazz music as an African art form, at a time that many saw it being wrestled away by white interlopers.

    Filmmaker Louise Dente, of Cultural Caravan, will debut her documentary on AJASS at the Dwyer Cultural Center on Sunday, May 15. It is very appropriate timing since May 15 has been declared AJASS Day by New York State Sen. Cordell Cleare. She will provide proclamations recognizing members of the historical organization at the intermission of the film.

    It’s the first, but surely not the last, film to focus on AJASS. There are other documentaries that have mentioned significant contributions by AJASS, with the most notable being the EPIX four-part series that was successful enough to garner the NAACP Image award for its director, Keith McQuirter in 2021. McQuirter included some significant highlights about AJASS in his four-part docuseries entitled “By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of Godfather of Harlem.”
    The documentary focused on the music and cultural activism during the life and times of Bumpy Johnson, the Godfather of Harlem. Filmmaker Louise Dente’s documentary will look at the birth of the Black is Beautiful Movement and celebrate 66 years, from AJASS’s 1956 founding date to the present day.

    Last year, Community Board 2 in the South Bronx voted to recognize and honor the historical organization with a street co-naming recognizing its Kelly Street birth and contributions to the cultural development of the Bronx. Unfortunately, this honor has been delayed as City Councilman Rafael Salamanca’s office was slowed by COVID restrictions and delays, so paperwork was delayed. Now the honor should happen this year. New Yorkers will continue to hear more about the AJASS organization and its terrific members as an exhibit by the New York Historical Society hits town on Aug. 23. The exhibit focusing on the photography of AJASS co-founder Kwame Brathwaite is entitled “Kwame Brathwaite: Black is Beautiful.” The exhibit will run for six months down the museum mile on 5th Avenue, and New Yorkers will get a chance to see and learn about AJASS global contributions through the photographic lens of one of its founders.

    VIP ticket buyers will begin festivities at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, and general ticket holders will commence at 3:50 p.m. for this highly anticipated film documenting an important history that some are just beginning to understand the impact of. For tickets go to Eventbrite and type in AJASS.




    Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite

    August 19, 2022 - January 15, 2023

    One of the minds behind the "Black Is Beautiful" movement, Kwame Brathwaite has long deployed his photography as an agent of social change. This exploration of his work features 40 stunning studio portraits and behind-the-scenes images of Harlem's artistic community.

    2nd floor, Luman Reed Galleries

    Known as the “keeper of the images,” Kwame Brathwaite deployed his photography from the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s as an agent of social change. Born in Brooklyn to a Caribbean American family and raised in the Bronx, Brathwaite traces his artistic and political sensibilities to his youth. After seeing the horrific images of Emmett Till published in Jet magazine in 1955, Brathwaite and his brother Elombe Brath turned to art and political activism, absorbing the ideas of the Jamaican-born activist Marcus Garvey, who promoted a Pan-Africanist vision for Black economic liberation and freedom. Kwame and Elombe founded the African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS), a collective of artists and creatives that organized jazz concerts in clubs around Harlem and the Bronx. The group also advanced a message of economic empowerment and political consciousness in the Harlem community, with “Think Black, Buy Black” emphasizing the power of self-presentation and style. In the 1960s, Brathwaite and his collective also sought to address how white conceptions of beauty and body image affected Black women. To do so, they popularized the transformative idea “Black Is Beautiful” and founded the Grandassa Models, a modeling troupe of locally cast women who appeared in annual fashion shows at Harlem’s Apollo Theater.

    Organized by Aperture, New York and Kwame S. Brathwaite, the exhibition features 40 stunning studio portraits and behind-the-scenes images of Harlem’s artistic community, including Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln, as well as dresses worn by the Grandassa Models, offering a long-overdue exploration of Brathwaite’s life and work. The exhibition is coordinated at New-York Historical by Marilyn Satin Kushner, curator of prints, photographs, and architectural collections.

    Audio Tour

    The accompanying audio tour for Black Is Beautiful—available on our Bloomberg Connects digital guide—explores some of the exhibition's key themes and stories. From the origins of the Black Is Beautiful movement to the birth of AJASS to the rise of Black activism in the 1960s to a reflection on natural beauty, you'll hear about photography as an agent of social change. This illustrated tour, narrated by Kwame S. Brathwaite, Sikolo Brathwaite, photography historian Deborah Willis, and curator Marilyn Satin Kushner, reflects on the photographs and fashions in the exhibition.
    Download the Bloomberg Connects app now > [ https://www.bloombergconnects.org/?_branch_match_id=1062812982689049197&utm_medium=marketing&_branch_referrer=H4sIAAAAAAAAA8soKSkottLXTywo0EvKyc%2FPTUotSk%2FOz8tLTS4p1ssvStc3d%2FfPzXLLC%2FfNSgIAOxlOuC0AAAA%3D
    Spotify Playlist

    Music plays a vital and central role in this exhibition. Enjoy a curated playlist selected by the photographer Kwame Brathwaite and his son, Kwame S. Brathwaite, director of the Kwame Brathwaite Archive.
    Listen on Spotify now > [ https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6SnR3uHeBF7pXSR3vVxGuY?si=cSyCxAsRQcGim-yXX2mK9A&nd=1


    Major support for Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite at New-York Historical is provided by Bank of America and Agnes Gund. The exhibition and the accompanying Aperture publication are made possible, in part, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Photographic Arts Council Los Angeles.




    New-York Historical Society Showcases Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite

    On View August 19, 2022 – January 15, 2023, the Acclaimed Traveling Exhibition Comes to New York City Featuring the Life and Work of a Key Figure in the Black Arts Movement

    NEW YORK, NY (July 12, 2022) – Beginning August 19, 2022, the New-York Historical Society is the exclusive New York City venue for the traveling exhibition Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite, the first major show dedicated to this pivotal figure who helped launch and popularize the “Black Is Beautiful” movement of the 1960s. On view through January 15, 2023, the exhibition features 40 large-scale color and black-and-white photographs that document how Brathwaite helped change America’s political and cultural landscape during the so-called Second Harlem Renaissance, using his art to affirm Black physical beauty, celebrate African American community and identity, and reflect the vibrancy of Harlem’s jazz scene, local businesses, and events.

    “We are thrilled to bring this exhibition to New York City, Kwame Brathwaite’s hometown and the location of many of his most powerful images,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of New-York Historical. “His work is a testament to the power of a visual medium to impact the movement towards racial equity. We hope Kwame Brathwaite’s photographs inspire a deeper understanding of the Black empowerment movement and how its legacy resonates today.”

    “This stop on the touring exhibition is especially meaningful because this is a New York story,” said Kwame S. Brathwaite. “My father was born in Brooklyn, raised in the Bronx and resides in Manhattan. These images introduce us to the origin of the Black is Beautiful movement that started in Harlem and show us how art, politics, music, and fashion combined to inspire, empower and change the status quo.”

    Exhibition Highlights
    The exhibition chronicles Brathwaite’s evolution as an activist and artist. Born in Brooklyn in 1938, and raised in the Bronx, Brathwaite was still a teenager when he saw the horrific photographs of Emmett Till in his open casket published in Jet magazine in 1955. For Brathwaite, as for so many people, the impact of those photographs was decisive. As the son of a Caribbean American family, Brathwaite was also greatly influenced by the ongoing Pan-Africanist legacy of the Jamaican-born activist Marcus Garvey.

    With his brother Elombe, Brathwaite founded the African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS) and organized concerts featuring jazz luminaries such as Miles Davis, Abbey Lincoln, and Max Roach. In addition to promoting musical events, the group advanced a message of economic empowerment and political consciousness in the Harlem community, emphasizing the power of self-presentation and style. “Think Black, Buy Black” became a rallying cry.

    In the 1960s, Brathwaite and his collective also sought to address how white conceptions of beauty and body image affected Black women and culture. To do so they popularized the transformative idea “Black Is Beautiful” and founded Grandassa Models, a group of Black women of varying backgrounds from the community who embraced natural hairstyles and their African ancestry. The modeling troupe sought to counter both the slight, androgynous figure made famous by 1960s British supermodels Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy and the ubiquity of lighter-complexioned, straight-haired Black models in Black-owned publications such as Ebony. Alongside striking photographs of Grandassa models, the exhibition features several dresses and pieces of jewelry worn by the women.

    Special to New-York Historical’s display of the exhibition is a new audio guide available on the Bloomberg Connects app. The audio provides context about the “Black Is Beautiful” movement, the African Jazz-Art Society & Studios, and the Grandassa Models. The audio guide also explores other topics explored in the exhibition including jazz, Black activism, natural beauty, fashion, and Harlem during the time period depicted in Brathwaite’s photographs.

    Organized by Aperture in partnership with Kwame S. Brathwaite, Brathwaite’s son and director of the Kwame Brathwaite Archive, the photographs—mostly shot in Harlem and the Bronx—tell a story of a movement and a time. Following its presentation at New-York Historical, the exhibition travels to the University of Alabama at Birmingham for the Abroms‐Engel Institute for the Visual Arts in February 2023.

    The exhibition is accompanied by the first monograph dedicated to Kwame Brathwaite. Featuring essays by Tanisha C. Ford and Deborah Willis and more than 80 images, Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019) offers a long-overdue exploration of Brathwaite’s life and work and is available from the NYHistory Store.

    About Kwame Brathwaite
    Kwame Brathwaite (b. Brooklyn, New York, 1938) lives and works in New York. His photographs have been included in solo and group exhibitions at Philip Martin Gallery, Los Angeles; David Nolan Gallery, New York; and the Museum of the City of New York; and published in Aperture, the New Yorker, New York Times, and New York magazine. Brathwaite’s photography is held in public and private collections, including those of the Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois; Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Museum of the City of New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Organized by Aperture, Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite was first presented at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, in 2019.

    On Wednesday, October 19, photographer Kwame Brathwaite Jr. and historian Tanisha Ford with moderator Khalil Gibran Muhammad discuss the exhibition and legacy of the photographs on view. Special family programs related to the exhibition will take place during Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Private group tours can also be arranged throughout the exhibition’s run.

    Major support for Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite at New-York Historical is provided by Bank of America and Agnes Gund. The exhibition and the accompanying Aperture publication are made possible, in part, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Photographic Arts Council Los Angeles. Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Evelyn & Seymour Neuman Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.

    About the New-York Historical Society
    Experience 400 years of history through groundbreaking exhibitions, immersive films, and thought-provoking conversations among renowned historians and public figures at the New-York Historical Society, New York’s first museum. A great destination for history since 1804, the Museum and the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library convey the stories of the city and nation’s diverse populations, expanding our understanding of who we are as Americans and how we came to be. Ever-rising to the challenge of bringing little or unknown histories to light, New-York Historical will soon inaugurate a new annex housing its Academy for American Democracy as well as the American LGBTQ+ Museum. These latest efforts to help forge the future by documenting the past join New-York Historical’s DiMenna Children’s History Museum and Center for Women’s History. Digital exhibitions, apps, and our For the Ages podcast make it possible for visitors everywhere to dive more deeply into history. Connect with us at nyhistory.org or at @nyhistory on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Tumblr.

    Press Contacts
    Marybeth Ihle
    New-York Historical Society | 212-873-3400 ext. 326 | marybeth.ihle@nyhistory.org

    Julia Esposito
    Polskin Arts & Communications Counselors | 212-715-1643 | Julia.Esposito@finnpartners.com


    PDF Link




    Kwame Braithwaite short gallery





















  10. now0.jpg

    The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has announced Endea Owens as its 2023 MAC Music Innovator. Owens is an award-winning bassist known for her vibrancy and international array of musical projects and collaborations. Endea is the bassist for singer Jon Batiste’s band Stay Human, house bassist for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and creator of The Community Cookout initiative, which brings hot meals and free music to communities in need.

    Learn more about Endea and the MAC Music Innovator residency with the following article


    Announcing Endea Owens as our 2023 MAC Music Innovator


    CINCINNATI, OH (November 10, 2022)—The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announced Endea Owens as its 2023 MAC Music Innovator. Owens is an award-winning bassist known for her vibrancy and international array of musical projects and collaborations. Endea is the bassist for singer Jon Batiste’s band Stay Human, house bassist for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and creator of The Community Cookout initiative, which brings hot meals and free music to communities in need.

    The Orchestra’s MAC Music Innovator is a year-long music residency that works to showcase and highlight Black leaders of classical music. Selected musicians embody artistic innovation and a passion for community engagement and education. With support from the Multicultural Awareness Council (MAC), a volunteer group that supports audience engagement initiatives with the CSO, the MAC Music Innovator will collaborate closely with the CSO’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) and Learning departments to create a distinctive residency with educational and community engagement programs. During her time as the MAC Music Innovator, Owens will engage with area students, community partnerships, chamber performance opportunities, and a culminating orchestra performance with the CSO.  

    “We are excited to have Endea Owens as our 2023 MAC Music Innovator,” said Jonathan Martin, President and CEO of the CSO. “Her musicianship and heart for community, as evidenced by her work as the founder of The Community Cookout, are admirable. She is already a role model to young people who dream of carving a path for themselves in music, and we look forward to seeing the impact that Endea will bring to students in our schools and the greater community.”

    “I am deeply honored to be chosen as the 2023 MAC Music Innovator by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,” said Owens. “The CSO's dedication towards both music and community is nothing short of amazing, and being selected as a MAC Music Innovator is something that I hold very dear to my heart. Growing up, I rarely had the opportunity to see live performances of any kind due to many variables. Now with the help of the CSO, I can be a part of the change that I've always wanted to see. I am excited to perform alongside so many incredible musicians and bring classical music, jazz, free meals, and joy to people from so many communities. The true spirit of music always begins with the people.”

    Endea Owens is the 6th MAC Music Innovator since the residency’s creation in 2018, following violinist Kelly Hall-Thompkins (2018), pianist Michelle Cann (2019), composer and drummer Mark Lomax (2020), composer and pianist William Menefield (2021), and conductor Antoine Clark (2022). 




    Known as one of jazz’s most vibrant emerging artists, Endea Owens is a Detroit-raised recording artist, bassist, and composer. She has been mentored by jazz icons such as Marcus Belgrave, Rodney Whitaker, and Ron Carter. She has toured and performed with Wynton Marsalis, Jennifer Holliday, Diana Ross, Rhonda Ross, Solange, Jon Batiste, Jazzmeia Horn, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Steve Turre, and many others.

    In 2018, Endea graduated from The Juilliard School, and joined The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as a member of the house band, Stay Human. Since then, Endea has won an Emmy, Grammy Award, and a George Foster Peabody Award. Endea’s work has appeared on Jon Batiste’s Grammy Award-winning album We Are, the Oscar-nominated film Judas and the Black Messiah, and H.E.R’s widely acclaimed Super Bowl LV performance.

    Endea has a true passion for philanthropy and teaching. She has taught students across the United States, South America, and Europe. In 2020, Endea founded the Community Cookout, a non-profit organization birthed out of the Covid-19 pandemic, that provides meals and music to underserved neighborhoods in New York City. To date, Endea’s organization has helped feed close to 3,000 New Yorkers, and has hosted over a dozen free music concerts.

    In 2022, Endea composed an original piece about the life of Ida B. Wells entitled “Ida’s Crusade” for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, which was also performed by the NYO Carnegie Hall Orchestra. Endea has also written for brands such as Pyer Moss and Glossier. Endea is set to premiere a newly commissioned work with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and will serve as the 2023 MAC Music Innovator with the organization. In addition to her work with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Endea is the curator for the National Arts Club and also a fellow for Jazz is Now! with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, where she presents original compositions, curates series, and headlines performances for the 2022-2023 season. Endea’s debut album “Feel Good Music” is set for release in early 2023.





    Endea Owens and The Cookout: Tiny Desk Concert from NPR videos



  11. The Honey

    Wakanda- yes, do I have artistic issues... I have artistic issues with everything in art. But, I am overhjoyed of this financial news. Happy for all the Black folk involved first, but everybody else as well. 


    The Pot
    When I look at it, barring SChrumpf's death. Biden has the most important role in Schrumpf not making a comeback to the White House. 
    Can Biden succeed in two years?


  12. now1.png

    Elvis Mitchell on the set of Is That Black Enough For You?!? Hannah Kozak/Netflix

    Hollywood’s Black film problem, explained by Elvis Mitchell
    The venerated film critic on the unheralded Black influence on everything from soundtracks to Don’t Worry Darling.

    By Alissa Wilkinson@alissamariealissa@vox.com  Nov 11, 2022, 7:30am EST

    Over the past few years, movies like Black Panther and Get Out have raked in both accolades and box office returns, and the Oscar nominations hit new diversity records. To the casual observer, it may seem like Hollywood has made massive strides in moving from being overwhelmingly dominated by white actors, directors, and writers and toward a more inclusive environment. But from the standpoint of history, it’s startling how little has changed — and what that tells us about the industry.

    That’s why Elvis Mitchell’s documentary Is That Black Enough For You?!?, which starts streaming on Netflix on November 11, is so revealing. The veteran critic and journalist, a former New York Times film critic, has, among many other pursuits, hosted KCRW’s phenomenal interview show The Treatment since 1996. He brings a wry and curious lens to the history of Black film in Hollywood, weaving interviews with renowned Black actors and filmmakers from Harry Belafonte to Zendaya into his own story. In so doing, he challenges many of the settled ideas about the film canon, Hollywood history, and what it’s meant to be a Black artist on screen.

    I met Mitchell at a hotel on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to talk about those matters and a lot more. I wanted to ask him about Hollywood’s claims to inclusivity, about the still-common axiom that “Black films don’t travel,” and about why all of this history is really not so different from today. Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

    Alissa Wilkinson side Elvis Mitchell interview BEGIN

    Alissa Wilkinson

    You say in the film that Hollywood appointed itself “the myth-maker” for the world. Early studio heads saw themselves as the guardians of America’s morality and morale, and the exporters of a message about America to the world.

    But as you demonstrate, the story Hollywood told about Black people was often demeaning, and very far from the truth. What kind of an effect does that have on the myth that the country and the world internalize?

    Elvis Mitchell

    I think [Hollywood] was unique to film culture, different from any place else in the world. American movies were made by people who fled [their home countries] under enormous persecution, and then decided to create out of whole cloth this ideal of what America was — this America that they wanted to come to. And the America that they created is still being seen — it’s something popular culture is still responding to.

    We noticed as we were putting the movie together that so many of the people on camera — Samuel L. Jackson, Suzanne de Passe, Charles Burnett, Laurence Fishburne — talked about Westerns. The myth became that there was never a Black person on a horse. That would have been empowerment; as soon as you put a Black person on a horse, you’re saying that they have some control over where they’re going, literally, within their lives. We can’t do that.

    Back when Paul Thomas Anderson was talking about his film Boogie Nights, he talked about how absurd the idea of a Black cowboy is. So even Paul Thomas Anderson has been kind of rolled under by the idea the movies have created about what cowboys are supposed to be, rather than what they actually were.

    So much of Black culture has been about responding to myths created about Black people through various forms of media. That response came from actors as much as filmmakers, because so many of these movies are not directed by Black people. Actors took some claim over [reclaiming the truth about being Black], and that confidence and that brio becomes this really transfixing quality.

    Alissa Wilkinson

    But it’s not just about telling America what it is, or what its own history is, but also exporting an idea of America and its history to people who aren’t American. My sense as a film critic is that we still see the reverberations of world perceptions of American Black culture through that influence.

    Elvis Mitchell

    That gets to this message that’s constantly pushed in Hollywood — that Black film won’t sell overseas.

    Alissa Wilkinson


    Elvis Mitchell

    This shibboleth that exists to this very day, one that was constantly fed and cared for, that Black movies “don’t travel.” But think about [renowned Senegalese filmmaker] Ousmane Sembène in Africa, seeing what Ossie Davis is doing [in America], or seeing 1972’s Sounder, and being inspired by that, and creating his own ... I’m not going to say mythology, but his own worldview about Black masculinity. When that’s missing, what does that do to the culture?

    It’s very convenient to say, “This stuff doesn’t travel.” Because it’s still this peculiar view of Black culture, even though it seeps in and subsumes everything. When you hear somebody on Fox say “24/7” — that’s hip-hop. They’re terrified by the “fist bump,” but they’ll say something is happening “24/7,” and thus they’re missing the entire point of their argument.

    Alissa Wilkinson

    Yes — here Ossie Davis is making films like Cotton Comes to Harlem and Black Girl, with roles in which Black characters can exercise self-determination, and it sparks something for filmmakers because their imaginations are expanded.

    At the same time, though, you bring up that Sidney Poitier was, at one point, the number one box office draw, and yet Hollywood executives couldn’t imagine that any other Black actor could also be popular with a broader audience. The thinking is that it’s just Poitier; it’s an exception, it’s an anomaly, it’s just this one guy.

    It reminded me of how people talk about huge, massive hits like Black Panther or Get Out today. There’s still a reluctance to greenlight big-budget Black films, because the thinking is, “Oh, well, that was a fluke.”

    Elvis Mitchell

    And what happens? We get a white remake of Get Out, called Don’t Worry Darling.

    Alissa Wilkinson

    You said it.

    Elvis Mitchell

    So at the same time, we have to be careful about the way we deal with Black film, because [Hollywood doesn’t think there are] “genres” in Black film; it’s just “Black film.” So when any Black film fails, it is a “Black film” that is failing, not that movie.

    I remember when Black Panther came out, I talked to so many people, including Oprah, who said, “This is going to bring in a whole new way of [making] film.” No, it’s not. Because what happens when a film succeeds in a major way? It’s imitated. How many Jurassic World [imitations] have there been since the first Black Panther movie? And now, how many imitations of Black Panther have we seen? The answer is none, because they’re still treated as if lightning struck.

    Alissa Wilkinson

    Absolutely. Hollywood loves to make big creature movies, even if none of them hit quite like Jurassic Park. And this goes to something I think about a lot, which is that Hollywood is fundamentally conservative. Often people think of Hollywood as a very progressive, forward-looking industry, but it’s risk-averse and prone to sticking with whatever they know — which becomes a problem when what you know is stuck in some false idea of reality.

    Do you think the reluctance to mainstream Black film in the industry is due to failure of imagination, built-in biases that they’d be horrified to be accused of, or what?

    Elvis Mitchell

    How much time do you have? Let’s send out for lunch.

    To your point, Hollywood is a community that thinks of itself as being incredibly liberal, except when it comes to exercising that liberal impulse. Maybe they think their liberalism and commerce are two different things, but no, they’re not.

    While we were trying to get [Is That Black Enough For You?!?] going, it got shut down by Covid; this was all happening at the same time that the country was reeling from the George Floyd attack, and the responses to that.

    Back then, I would get these calls, saying, “So we want to put together this blue ribbon panel to figure out what we can do to make things [in Hollywood] different.” Look, we don’t need a panel. I don’t have time for this. I have three words for you: Hire Black people. It’s as simple as that. And not just one [Black person], but several, so the one person doesn’t have to labor under the burden of having to explain all of Black culture.

    Alissa Wilkinson

    Your film feels a little bit like a story about all the people who have been told that something “simply isn’t done” or “just can’t be done.” But when it is done, it’s a wild success — like Melvin van Peebles self-financing Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song because no studio would make it, and then it being a huge, era-defining hit. I sort of feel like that might apply to your own film — am I right? I can imagine people saying, “We can’t do this, nobody’s going to watch it, nobody’s going to be interested.”

    Elvis Mitchell

    People in effect said that when they turned down this same material in a book pitch. I thought, oh, this is the kind of thing that could go on a bookshelf next to Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, or Pictures at a Revolution. This isn’t esoterica. I’m not talking about a wave of art films.

    In fact, these movies are not only enormous successes as movies, but they also created these soundtracks that were enormous successes, and then were imitated in ways that were enormous successes.

    People who know and understand film history say, “Why hasn’t this documentary happened before?” I say, “I don’t know. If a tree falls in the forest, and there’s nobody to hear it, is that a legacy?” I mean, this is what this comes down to. I hate to torture a metaphor like that, but if it’s not reported on, then it’s not a legacy — if it’s not examined, if there’s not context offered.

    Alissa Wilkinson

    I think a problem is that people get very emotional and defensive when you threaten their canon, their idea of who did what first.

    Why do you think this is?

    Elvis Mitchell

    There is this consistent boxing up of Black film culture. It’s this. It’s solely this. It is only this. It is Sidney Poitier. It is Black filmmakers finally getting a chance to work in the 1960s. It’s this thing that Melvin van Peebles has tried to fight his way, and then after that Spike Lee, and Robert Townsend, and so many filmmakers.

    One of the reasons I wanted to present the idea of the dangers of canonical thought is that nobody tends to think about blackface in Alfred Hitchcock, in the 1937 film Young and Innocent. I remember seeing that as a kid, and thinking, “Oh my god, there’s blackface in an Alfred Hitchcock movie?” Or there is this idea in canonical thought that 1939 is the greatest movie era in American movie history. Some of us disagree with that.

    Alissa Wilkinson

    But it’s accepted as fact, along with the idea that a set of white filmmakers changed film in the early 1970s. There’s truth to it, but there’s more to the story.

    Elvis Mitchell

    They end up feeding into that river of myth. “These filmmakers came and changed everything” — well, they did sometimes, but they didn’t exist in a vacuum.

    Alissa Wilkinson

    Getting a chance to see these things on screen, in front of me, might be what’s good about doing this in film form instead of a book. I had honestly never really been struck by the similarities between depictions of Mickey Mouse and minstrelsy, but of course, it was obvious once you showed it to me in the film.

    Elvis Mitchell

    This feels like this innocent thing. In fact, it is not. Or, I’m not going to say it’s not innocent, but certainly there are layers to this that need to be pulled away, so we can see the entirety of it.

    Mickey wasn’t keeping on gloves so he doesn’t leave any clues for a CSI team or something. “These are Mickey Mouse’s fingerprints, now we know who killed him.”

    Alissa Wilkinson

    Music is really important to this film, and it’s especially interesting to hear about how releasing a soundtrack before the movie’s release — pretty common now — was virtually unheard of before Super Fly.

    Elvis Mitchell

    By releasing the soundtrack [before the movie], and having it be such an immediate success, it created a must-see feeling around the movie. And it was constantly being played. If you drove around LA, you heard the commercial for the release of Super Fly. People respond to these songs, and then go out and buy the soundtrack. It is that rare case where you had people listen to the soundtrack before they saw the movie. So they created their own movie in their head through Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack. And the movie, in some ways, couldn’t live up to that movie they created in their head.

    Let’s be honest, those songs are better than the movie. There’s great stuff in the movie, but as a dramatic creation, as a narrative with its own life, that soundtrack is extraordinary. The soundtrack was a huge artistic and commercial success, and every song was released as a single. This isn’t like you’re making A Hard Day’s Night, and the Beatles are already a hit; this is something that becomes a mainstream hit that then propels the movie to enormous success. Shaft followed its example, and it started to happen so much that by the time Saturday Night Fever was coming out, they had the soundtrack out two months before the movie.

    Then music videos also started coming out before the movie, and that became the coin of the realm for the ’80s, that the soundtrack was as important, if not more so, than the film. Super Fly did that.

    Alissa Wilkinson

    Now that’s all TikTok, 10-second clips. This summer the music from Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis started circulating on TikTok before the movie came out. I’m not even sure people knew what it was from, or that the “Hound Dog” remix was based on an Elvis song.

    Every year I’ve been doing this job, and especially when Oscar season arrives, the industry starts touting how far they’ve come in terms of inclusivity — the whole #OscarsSoWhite issue having pushed it recently. That is, frankly, embarrassing, when you actually look at who gets jobs and who wins awards.

    Elvis Mitchell

    Here’s the example. Suzanne de Passe was nominated for Best Original Screenplay in 1973 [for co-writing Lady Sings the Blues]. How many other Black women have been nominated since that, in that category? None.

    So when people would say to me, “Are you afraid this documentary’s going to seem dated?” No.

    My fear is that it will never seem dated. In the film, Zendaya says, “It’d be great to see Black kids playing together on camera, or to see more Black people in a sci-fi fantasy.” Was that going to seem like old hat by the time this movie came out? No.

    It’s weird to show this history to young people and have them go, “God, nothing has changed.” This is the thing that I wanted to try to find a way to deal with, too: Every decade we hear about this “resurgence in Black film.” But where did it go? It didn’t go anywhere; it just wasn’t being covered.

    To your question, maybe in some fundamental way things have changed, but it’s still about trying to wrest some control of this narrative. Certainly, the visibility of the phenomenon may change, but Black women aren’t getting opportunities to write movies. It’s as simple as that.

    It would be fun to say, “Well, god, in the three years since I’ve started working on this, so much has changed.” No.

    Alissa Wilkinson side Elvis Mitchell interview END

    Is That Black Enough For You?!? premieres on Netflix on November 11.




    Unknown photographer

    Betty Gabriel: The Unsung Black Scream Queen

    When the term “scream queen” is brought up annually around this time, images of white women narrowly escaping the clutches of a crazed killer or evil entity across film franchises or pivotal genre entries come to mind. Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, locked in a 45-year-long battle against Michael Myers. Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott, opposing the various murderers donning the famed Ghostface mask in the Scream franchise. Naomi Watts as the longsuffering mother fighting supernatural forces in The Ring and Shut-In, or scratching for survival in Funny Games or Goodnight Mommy.

    Less often mentioned are the contributions that Black women have made to the genre. Marlene Clark’s conflicted bloodthirst in 1973’s Ganja & Hess. Rachel True‘s vengeful teenage witch in 1996’s The Craft. Naomie Harris as a post-Apocalyptic warrior in 2002’s 28 Days Later.

    But perhaps the most prolific yet often overlooked of these in the current era of horror is Betty Gabriel.

    Starring in titles like violence thriller The Purge: Election Year, futuristic sci-fi/horror Upgrade, Screenlife slasher Unfriended: Dark Web, cybercrime horror-thriller limited series Clickbait, and of course, Jordan Peele’s innovatively genre-pushing racial horror, Get Out, Gabriel has broken the mold of the disposable Black friend of the protagonist or the film’s first victim.

    Gabriel’s performance as “Georgina,” the white grandmother of villain Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), inhabiting the body of an unnamed Black woman, is one of the most iconic in the genre’s history, hands down. Though she had only a handful of lines in the film, her spine-tingling, smiling-yet-tearful monologue about the kindness of the Armitage family is one of the most recognizable frames of the film. Subtle yet chilling, it’s the strongest clue of the horror at the root of the story before the hand is revealed in the film’s third act. And it helped set the tone for a renaissance of Black horror that has begun over the last 6 years.

    “I hadn’t really been aware that my contribution to the horror genre was significant in any way,” Gabriel says in conversation with ESSENCE about her status as a staple of modern horror. “I take it with gratitude.”

    Ironically not much of a horror film watcher herself – “I will get nightmares,” she says laughing – Gabriel fell into starring in a string of scaries by pure happenstance.

    “Starting out, you don’t really have much of a choice. You just take whatever work you can get,” the actress says. “Blumhouse, which was the main producer behind a lot of these films, kept hiring me, and I kept on saying yes to them. It wasn’t like I had a choice between this and a rom-com. It was a choice between this and not working.”

    “But I think perhaps on a subconscious, universal level, there is something about me that is drawn to these films, or they’re drawn to me.”

    Her first foray into chills and thrills came in 2016, for the second sequel in the wildly popular dystopian action horror franchise, The Purge: Election Year. Playing on societal fears over the turn the nation would take during the election cycle taking place in the real world just months later (and preluding some real-life political horrors that came about during the next Presidential term), the film tackled topics of politics and policy through the lenses of race, class, and religion – with a healthy dose of violence and mayhem, of course.

    Gabriel portrayed Laney Rucker, an ex-purger known as “La Pequeña Muerta” in her youth, now an EMT assisting victims of violence each purge night, fighting to keep a peaceful senator in line for presidency alive for the night with the hope of Purge eradication on the horizon.

    “It’s something I don’t really like to consume as an audience member, but as an individual, these are things that I definitely am haunted by,” she says of her connection to the material. “Just complete and utter chaos, the breakdown of our system, the guns constantly being a part of our everyday reality, and oppression.”

    “It’s one of those movies where it’s like, ‘Is this horror? Or is this just a really messed up version of reality that might come true, that kind of [already] is true?'”

    But her true big break into horror icon status came after a pretty harrowing audition process for Blumhouse’s new horror feature, written by that one comedian from Key & Peele.

    “I was backpacking through the mountains of Peru, as one does when you’re soul-searching and single,” she reveals. “So, I didn’t have any technology, no smartphone, no wifi, nothing. I was going to an internet cafe once or twice a week, paying 10 cents for an hour for internet, and I got the email audition notice.”

    Initially inclined to pass the process up, with no access to camera equipment, internet access, or even too many other people around who knew English, Gabriel tried to let this one go and move on. But something about the opportunity wouldn’t let her rest.

    “I went to the hostel, and went to bed, and just couldn’t sleep. So, I just woke up and went, ‘Ugh…I’ve got to figure this out. I’ve got to figure out how to get that tape in. I can’t pass this up.'”

    That realization led to a 24-hour bus ride to the next village over to visit a documentary filmmaker she stumbled across through a referral on Facebook, who not only had access to all the equipment she needed to film and upload her audition for the role but was from Chicago and knew English.

    “We actually shot it outside. There were birds chirping throughout the whole thing,” she laughs. “12 hours later, it was uploaded and submitted.”

    The rest, of course, is horror movie history. Get Out led to a renewed interest in horror films centering Black protagonists in authentically Black experiences, making way for films like Spell, His House, 2021 reboot sequel Candyman and shows like Lovecraft Country and Them.

    “I think that ultimately, we’re being more inclusive, and we’re being a bit more aware in how we don’t fully invite people to the table,” Gabriel says of the increased space that’s been made for Black people in the horror genre. “And I do mean certain ‘we’s.’ The ‘we’s’ in power. We pat ourselves on the back for issuing crumbs. In any genre, I hope it isn’t a trend. Hopefully, we see more beautiful Black women on screen.”

    Beyond the expression of horror in front of the screen, Gabriel is hopeful that the trend toward stories told by Black creators and about Black experiences continues, with increase.

    “I think with the horror genre in particular, there’s so much to be mined there, because there is a lot of horror within the Black female experience in this country,” she says. “I look forward to that being conveyed, and in a way that’s profound, and not necessarily [gratuitous].”

    Like many modern film watchers, Gabriel has a hard time viewing “Black struggle” and racialized violence against Black bodies committed to screen, though she sees the horrific stories they portray as valuable expressions.

    “I do find myself not able to watch certain stories that really focus on slavery. I just find it challenging and retraumatizing. But that’s not to say that they’re not important and that I don’t try,” she said. “And, there’s always an audience for any story.”

    “Personally, I think there’s something [special] to striking a balance between horrifying images, and transcendent nuances that we don’t always think about or see. Or things maybe we know on some level, but we haven’t quite seen [conveyed].”

    “I look forward to seeing horror evolve in general. I personally am drawn to subtlety, with lots of layers and complexities about the human experience,” she continues. “I think that’s what made Get Out so wildly successful was that everyone related to this protagonist. Even though a white person will never know what it is to be a Black person, something about that journey was relatable and universal. So, I hope that is the future of horror, with Black stories and Black people behind and in front of the camera.”

    Indeed, as Get Out opened Hollywood’s eyes to the bankability of Black horror, it opened doors personally for Gabriel, who has gone on to star in 17 more projects since the film’s release, 4 of which fall into the horror genre. The actress revealed that her role as Sophie Brewer in Netflix’s cyber-kidnapping thriller Clickbait, was the most pivotal on her journey through the genre.

    “For me, that was the most personal, because it was the most extensive journey that I had been on playing a character,” she says. “It was my first time playing a lead, and though it wasn’t my first time playing a mom, I was a mother who had to really be the mother and keep the family together, while also having all these secrets and all this shame that she was processing and dealing with.”

    Though the actress was considering stepping away from horror altogether in an effort to avoid typecasting, another horror project from a director of color recently came her way that was simply too good to pass up. Now presented with a choice, she chose horror once again – this time from another BIPOC perspective not often seen in American theaters.

    The as-yet-untitled horror slated for a 2023/24 release comes from Indian director Bishal Dutta and centers on ancient Indian legends and personal immigrant experiences, subject matter which is likely to resonate with Black viewers just as much as our South Asian brothers and sisters. She also joins season 3 of Prime Video’s action drama Jack Ryan this November, and Discovery’s Manhunt, dramatizing the search for John Wilkes Booth in the days after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

    “I think we’re in such an anxious place collectively that [horror is] really manifesting itself in a lot of stories,” Gabriel says. “So, yeah, I don’t think you can escape it.”



    West Coast Blues Society Caravan of All Stars - soundcheck
    Videographer: Ronald Reed

    West Coast Blues Society Caravan of All Stars




  13. now0.png

    Black Women, how many times in your life has a husband/boyfriend/kind male stranger massaged you in a memorable way? 

    The following guy makes his living giving massages.


    starlitoo side mremmanuellustin

    @mremmanuellustin All I want is you #emmanuellustin  @itsstarlito ♬ All I Want Is You - Miguel





    ti3rratravels side mremmanuellustin

    part 1 

    @mremmanuellustin I’ll be waiting for you #emmanuellustin @ti3rratravels ♬ Soon as I Get Home - Faith Evans


    part 2

    @mremmanuellustin How do you feel ? Let me know @ti3rratravels #emmanuellustin ♬ At Your Best (You Are Love) - Aaliyah


  14. now1.jpg

    Wakanda and Talokanil have a singular problem. Both represent a group of people who evaded what the entirety of their kin in the real world did not. While everyone else Black in all humanity in the last five centuries had to deal with being oppressed by white europeans, wakandans didn't. While all indigenous people in humanity in the last five centuries had to deal with being oppressed by white europeans, the Talokanil didn't. 


    So the question is, what will a native american people potent enough to defend themselves from the descendants of white europeans or white european descended powers look like? same question what will a black people's <phenotypical race> potent enough to defend themselves from the descendants of white europeans or white european descended powers look like?


    The answers are infinite. None are right or wrong. This is fiction. But, from some, not all, whom I spoke to offline who are Black or descended of enslaved or from the motherland to the black enslaved, Wakanda is at the least problematic, at most a cruel joke. And while I have not communicated to any indigenous americans <modern day canada to argentina> about the Talokanil,  I am certain they have similar ranges of negative or positive responses as the aforementioned to Wakanda. 


    The problem is the delicacy of such stories. The audience may not admit it, but it knows history well enough to know human beings various groups do not have a positive relationship. And while looking at each person individually has been championed larger and larger since the nineteen hundreds , most human beings are still  of a group first over an individual, for better or worse, and thus, the history of groups in modern humanity, the past five hundred years, is simply negative, and not condoning any positive unions. 

    Sequentially, if a writer decides to display fortunate isolated communities from the oppression all their neighbors have survived, if the isolated communities are displayed vengeful while everdistant to the outsiders, the contrast will yield to characters or plots who are unstable. As wanting revenge to all others while also wanting to never be near all others are to incompatible desires. To get revenge one must at some point be near. one must be integrated to get revenge even if the field of integration is the battlefield.




    My thoughts to Black Fiction and its modern highlighted forms


    My Issue with the isolationism of Wakanda


    The travels of Michael B Jordan


    Wakanda Forever Reviewed by Three White men of Australia- I concur that wakanda forever has plot imbalances. But I oppose their view that the plot or characters are stupid. I think their erratic behavior makes sense. When the british empire fired cannons off the coast of japan and ended their pen-total isolation, the effect on Nippon was huge. Isolated communities historically have a very hard time handling the powerful stranger. In the case of wakanda or talokanil, their problem is restraint. These are two communities that by raw militaristic power could had split the world into two spheres of influence. 500 years ago, Talokanil had the ability to take over all of the american continent, conquistadors first, their fellow indigenous second. 500 years ago Wakanda had the ability to take over all of europe, from london to istanbul, their fellow africans second.  So these are two communities , that are minorities in their region, that have held back empire for centuries, or longer. That is what the hosts don't see. The execution may be a little sloppy at times ...  I would had loved a chance to write the screenplay, but I get what the writers are going for. Killmonger, seeking revenge for the Black people who were not able to evade white european power. Wanted Wakanda to use its power. His argument is that inaction was a betrayal to they black neighbor. What Tchalla and his branch of wakandan monarchy believe in is that, inaction was being respectful to all humans. As Martin Luther King jr said, content of character, not color of skin. Killmonger sees Whites = bad, but Tchalla's forebears see humans outside Wakanda =bad. But TChalla see's the middle ground. Wakandan lacking responsibility =bad. His father not taking his nephew to wakanda is equivalent to wakandan's not guiding blacks or whites anywhere, humans anywhere to positive resolution. Ala the end of Black Panther 1. In Black Panther 2, Namor, a 500 year old individual, has a different problem. He has lived long enough to know white power, white european power, control nearly all of humanity save talokanil side wakanda and a few other hidden spots on the map. While he has also lived long enough to see after centuries of white european rule , the oppressed adopt the way of the rulers, while he is still indigenous, under the water. It is the bitterness as he still feels the hate to the conquistador, to the white european community of the conquistador. But, said community, for better or worse, and in his mind worse, has led to new cultures created all throughout humanity, that are not the old ones before the white europeans arrived, but are not totally absent the indigenous heritages from before the white man came. Yes, Native Americans sit in the USA Congress. Yes, MAndela became president of South africa and preached ubuntu. YEs, the leadership of the Chinese government dresses in WEstern European Garb while being a proven/known nuclear power. Namor hates these hybrid cultures, in my interpretation to the story, and the irony is, he himself, is a hybrid:) 

    The review beneath me is very negative towards wakanda forever, so I advise you not listen to it , if you can't handle such things, though it makes some great plot points about the film, that I agree, were lazy from the writers. 



    In my opinion a video that is a great reply to the review above. The key is perspective. The reviewers above, in their judeo christian mentality can't comprehend the revenge narrative in either Black Panther films that reflects a well known in Black or Indigenous circles story view. In the indigenous or Black communities, it is common to live disliking whites, live whole lives disliking whites, sometimes hating whites. But, not doing much of anything. The historical figures of NAt Turner or Tecumseh prove that the two communities in question have important differences to most whites. I will argue, that some in the irish community comprehend this mentality. The point is, communities have their own perspectives which flow into fiction and if people from other communities don't comprehend those perspectives they may deem the said fiction silly or dysfunctional, as the reviewers above.



    A small review of the book , one title in in english being, Water Margin

    water Margin's series summarized


    In Ode to Jet Li.  I truly think he , barring Brandon Lee , is the heir to Bruce Lee in Chinese Cinema. 


    Written By Victor Qunnuell Vaughns,Jr. 


    The following is an entry

    now4 Vogue Fashion Market Editor Naomi Elizée -Christian Vierig for Getty Images Editor in Chief of The Cut at New York Magazine- 11092022.png

    Vogue Fashion Market Editor Naomi Elizée -Christian Vierig for Getty Images Editor in Chief of The Cut at New York Magazine



  16. now6.jpg

    The Red Wave (That Wasn't)
    The day after Election Day
    Dan Rather
    Elliot Kirschner
    3 hr ago

    Democrat John Fetterman won the Pennsylvania Senate race. (Photo: Angela Weiss)
    And so we wait. 

    Control of the U.S. Senate, and even, improbably, the House of Representatives, is unknown the day after Election Day and will likely remain so for days and possibly weeks to come. It is a stunning turn of events that should force a reckoning across both parties about old assumptions around voting patterns, the choice of candidates, and messaging. Perhaps the political press and the pundit class should engage in some introspection about why so many could have gotten so much so wrong. 

    As we stand now, there are some things we can say with certainty. 

    There was no red wave. Not by a long shot. When you consider the political and economic context for this election, Democrats over-performed at a historic scale. As we and others noted many times, the party that doesn’t control the presidency almost always wins, and usually big, in midterm elections. Not this time. And when you add in President Biden’s relatively low popularity, inflation, and the general unease of the nation and the world, it makes the results we are witnessing even more stunning. 

    It is clear that the Supreme Court tossing away the right for women to have control over their own reproductive choices was rejected by a lot of Americans. Exit polls showed that abortion was a big issue for voters. And abortion rights measures won in several states, including Kentucky, Montana, and Michigan. As a highly partisan and reactionary Supreme Court continues to rule more as politicians than as justices, it will be interesting to see how, or whether, this shapes the electorate. Also, most Republicans who did win election favor severe abortion restrictions. This issue is not going away. 

    Donald Trump had hoped to take a victory lap this week as his candidates swept into office, culminating with an announcement he is running for president. He may yet make that announcement, but Trumpism by and large fared poorly on Tuesday. In a number of high-profile races, voters recoiled at the chaos of MAGA America, the outrageousness of the Big Lie, and the nihilism of candidates who would destroy our democracy. Heck, even the toxic Lauren Boebert lost her House seat in Colorado. 

    To be sure, many Republicans who won at all levels of government have pledged their fealty to Trump and his destructive politics. The dangers to our democratic order remain. But we have a clearer sense of the battlefield. Millions and millions of Americans went to the polls and said, “Enough.” It is fair to guess that if Republicans had run more mainstream candidates, they could have had a better night. 

    One notable exception to this narrative comes from Florida. The state was once a battleground. It now appears to be ruby red under Governor Ron DeSantis. He emerges as a major power in the Republican Party, and it is clear he wants to be president. Many party leaders would love for him to be the standard bearer, but one person who is not on board is Trump. 

    This dynamic could lead to an intra-party fight the likes of which we have not seen in a long time, if ever. At stake are a few big unknowns: How loyal will the MAGA crowds be to Trump? What about right-wing media? Trump may be wounded and facing major legal jeopardy, but he has always put his personal interests first. If he goes down, he will try to pull others with him, and he doesn’t care a whit about splitting the Republican Party. Dare we say Republicans in disarray?

    It is also striking how different the election results are from the way the races were covered. We heard that voter anxiety over inflation, crime, and even immigration would lead to a red wave. We heard that the Democrats were flailing in finding a message that would resonate with the electorate. We heard about major momentum swings. It was considered a given that Democrats would lose the House. And while that might still happen, it is at least going to be close. 

    We should be reminded anew to take all political prognostications with caution. And the political press perhaps should focus a bit less on the horse race, especially because they aren’t very good handicappers, and a little more on covering the issues that matter. If you want to know what Americans think, you can’t go only to rural diners. As we saw last night, the voters who are shaping this country can also be found in college dorms, Black barber shops, and suburban book clubs. The “average American” isn’t who it was in the 1950s. A diverse, young, and multiethnic United States made a statement this election. 

    At the same time, Trumpism is not vanquished. The structural challenges to our democracy, such as partisan gerrymandering, the Electoral College, and courts packed with ideological judges, remain. The fight for the soul of this nation continues, but there is a strong constituency for democracy and normalcy. 

    There is a lot more to say about individual races and broader trends. We will continue to follow the story of American democracy at Steady. For now, however, we can say that there is reason for hope and optimism about the future of this country. Maybe a fever is starting to break. There were Republicans who won last night who are trying to forge a different path forward for their party. We want to have elections between people who differ on policy, not on whether they believe in a constitutional republic based on the principles of freedom and democracy. 

    So we return to the notion of steady. We can breathe deep, take a moment to reflect on all that is good about our country, and continue the hard work of forging a more perfect union.


    My thoughts

    My only legal issue with Rather side Kirchner is they don't state with the supreme court how it got to this. In the USA if you want a law to be undeniable, you need the amendment process. But, affirmative action/abortion in any form/open immigration during the 1960s and 1970s wasn't going to get through an amendment process. I daresay absent any statistical proof, it will not now. So, what could the POAJ - party of andrew jackson- do? The supreme court. I am not certain but many or most of the supreme court in the 1960s was placed by POAL presidents .  But the Kennedy and LBJ administrations pushed these situations and the supreme court decided. And that decisions making is my one point to the article. 
    The Supreme court makes decisions not laws. Decisions can change. I concur to the writers that the multiracial/urban population has grown to contain/control/counter/oppose the monoracial/rural population. 
    But a sad truth is the supreme court's decisions had a large part to play in that in the 1960s, 1970s. and to be blunt those were decisions, not laws. And media need to treat them as decisions.
    The question is, why hasn't the Party of Andrew Jackson pushed immigration/abortion/affirmative actions laws to the amendment process? We all know why. They are dead on arrival. So with the Surpreme Court no longer around to be a legal instrument for the POAJ , now that it is a legal instrument for the POAL :) . It is time to see how the two parts of the USA will end up.
    One last point, few people in the USA are against freedom or the rule of the people, or a legal framework making the guidelines for rule, ala the constitution.
    The issues are, are you willing to accept sharing freedom to a stanger, ala immigration
    are you willing to accept opportunity will not be merely for your own , ala affirmative action
    are you willing to accept equality in working environment to another who has a physicality different than you or shares a different philosophy, ala abortion.
    Many people say , of course, but what happens when your town or city only has so much money for welfare and now thousands of immigrants need welfare too, and the city gives less to all?
    What happens when you want your children and nieces and nephews to have jobs but the jobs are allocated to provide greater width of opportunity?
    What happens when you accept a pregnancy and the extra financial challenge of it as a lifestyle choice while another doesn't. 
    I concur, the red wave wasn't, but the United States of America doesn't have a majority strong enough for any waves.  The problem is, what happens when people want policy that goes to their heritage or culture, their desires for the fiscal betterment of their family or themselves. 
    Rural Whites from legal slavery to Jim Crow, to the automotive industrial boom to the jail boom have always benefited by government supporting them. 
    Do they want that to change? no. Is that opposing freedom? of others, yes. Is it right or wrong? I don't know. 
    But, no human group wants less, no human group. And no one has the ability to convince a person to cut their opportunity or advantages for another. Opportunities or advantages is why non whites want affirmative action. why women want federally protected abortion. Why immigrants want federally supported immigration. 
    But why will whites not want those advantages or opportunities to, or want to share them?  




  17. now1.png

    My thoughts to the concept of Unspoken

    The video starts off with, and I quote
    "Church membership among Black Americans has decreased by 19% over the past two decades. Departures led by Genz and Millennials"
    Then the first speaker ask a question. Is Christianity the white man's religion?
    A speaker said it is unfortunate the black christian church is pushed to the margins of the black community in the usa. 
    But he is wrong, it was inevitable. Like Black Colleges first financed by whites or the National association for the advancement of colored people first financed by whites, the black churches, first financed by whites spent most of the time since the end of the war between the states preaching to black people , individual accountability. 
    Again, many , and I say an unproven most , Black churches opposed the panthers/opposed Black violence against whites or blacks scheming/supported white initiatives like the war on drugs which was clearly a scheme to harm the black community. 
    The Black Church failed, that is why its numbers are low. It the same problem with people voting. 
    People don't mind supporting a church or some religion. They don't mind voting. But they want to see something in return. Don't tell the people the return on investment is the investment itself. 
    That is why Black people are disinterested in the Black Church or Parties of Governance. They want something and these institutions don't offer anything and have proven they will not give anything the people value even with the greatest participation by the people. 
    Circa 1:53 one of the documentaries creators, a black woman states, many people go by here and say is christianity a white man's religion? 
    The problem I have is the question are incorrect. Two better questions are, is there a black version of christianity, or can one make their own version of christianity? the answer to the first is yes, the answer to the second is yes. 
    First, The ethiopian Tewahedo church is christian, made by blacks in africa after christianity was introduced to the emperor of ethiopia by christians from europe, I think they were white. IT started, I looked it up, in the 4th century.
    Second, all versions of christianity today are variants. No version of christianity reflects what jesus was doing? why? Jesus had no bible. Jesus had no mancraft church. Jesus had no restrictive memberships, meaning all could follow him regardless of their belief or disbelief.  If you want the christianity of jesus you better start with yourself, as a denomination with one member.
    2:47 the sister after an interlude continues and says, some black man spoke about being harassed by his friends constantly that christianity is a white man's religion. Again, the problem is comprehending how religions work. Like the roman emperor constantine, manipulated and made the modern european christian churches, any individual has the ability to make their own christian church. This is where excommunicado comes from. It came from after Nicea when the selected christian groups by Constantine, were forced to make a bible, which was not official before and then they excommunicated any one who called themselves christian who didn't convert to their form of christianity. This is very simple.
    Haitian Voodoo is similar but not Dahomey Vodun. Faiths , Spiritualities, Religions have versions. It is that simple. They are made more often than not. Sometimes they bicker amongst themselves, ala the reformations of europe. But anyone is free to make one.
    In Conclusion, the problem isn't people leaving a religions or spirituality or faith <for the record those three things are not the same> . The problem is, near history saw a swelling of membership to some religions: christianity/islam/buddhism. But those swellings were based on military power of human groups against other human groups, it wasn't willing conversions. But, the religions accepted the selling without preaching how they swelled. So in modernity, the devout of these religions, feel an angst , an isolation, a confusion, but they are wrong to be confused. The christianity of jesus, islam of muhammed, buddhism or siddharta have one thing in common. Each started a faith that was deemed during the time their spirit was inside a living body, a radical minority. 
    The people producing this are proselytizing a selling point. That christianity is black, christianity is african, and so Black people of African descent need to flock back to christianity. But the problem is most in humanity are distancing themselves from the religions forced on their forebears. Just remember, Christianity or islam or buddhism were all imperial religions over large portions of humanity at some point in the recent past. 
    The modern christians need to accept they are or are becoming a minority populace across humanity as a whole or in parts and focus on improving their community and learning to be happy amongst the majority non christian community.

    To the question of Christianity being a white man's religion...well... I have studied a little about the origins of christianity side other religions. One of the problems when we talk of religions or spiritualities or faiths is that the versions they become throughout time have influences. for example. the islam of muhammed didn't have arabic as a standardized language, didn't have a literary quran.  The christianity of jesus, didn't have a bible, didn't use latin as a liturgical language. A modern example is the nation of islam today , it isn't what malcolm built. So, is christianity a white man's religion? If by white you mean white european, then no. Was jesus white? was jesus mulatto? was jesus colored? was jesus black? Does anyone know for sure? Jean Jacques dessalines, first emperor of haiti wouldn't call the people in modern day palestine in jesus's home town , negro. mulatto, ok. Is Christianity a european religion? no. It was born in africa, like islam, like judaism. The fertile crescent isn't in asia, that is africa. 
    I remember telling a Black person who was very angry at the abuses the black community in the usa had to deal with that, few to no black people, including myself,  in the usa will join any call to all out violence. But I also told him, to find those who are like minded and then practice what you preach. What is the point ? 
    Being in a minority means based on a category/race/rank/order/some factor or measure, you are part of a smaller group of people than another in a given space. But, sometimes, one is part of a minority in a minority. Black Christians in the usa find themselves in that place. This documentary isn't trying to help Black Christians settle into their future. It's base message is to preach to the non Black Christian how Christianity is at the root.


    The Explanation

    if the video above doesn't appear, use the folloiwng link https://fb.watch/gGrEOH4nmL/


    The Trailer

    The Gospel of Joseph

    consider making your own gospel as a starting point, if you are interested in a new christian path




    'Kindred' Trailer: Shocking Preview For FX's Octavia Butler Adaptation On Hulu Sees Mallori Johnson Violently Traverse Time

    Monique Jones

    November 07, 2022

    The FX/Hulu’s upcoming series based on Octavia Butler’s Kindred has dropped its first trailer, which shows fear and anguish amid mysterious time travel.

    The eight-episode series stars Mallori Johnson as a woman and writer who gets forcibly ping-ponged in between the present and America’s past of slavery. All the while, she is navigating an interracial relationship, which becomes even more complicated as she reckons with the racial violence embedded in her family.

    According to the official description:

    Adapted from the celebrated novel Kindred, by Hugo Award-winner Octavia E. Butler, the FX series centers on “Dana James” (Mallori Johnson), a young Black woman and aspiring writer who has uprooted her life of familial obligation and relocated to Los Angeles, ready to claim a future that, for once, feels all her own. But, before she can settle into her new home, she finds herself being violently pulled back and forth in time. She emerges at a nineteenth-century plantation, a place remarkably and intimately linked with Dana and her family. An interracial romance threads through Dana’s past and present, and the clock is ticking as she struggles to confront secrets she never knew ran through her blood, in this genre-breaking exploration of the ties that bind.

    The series also stars Micah Stock, Ryan Kwanten, Gayle Rankin, Austin Smith, David Alexander Kaplan, Sophina Brown and Sheria Irving.


    Kindred is Johnson’s breakout debut role; as Shadow and Act reported in 2021, this marks Johnson’s first role since graduating from Julliard that year.

    The series is written by Watchmen writer/producer and playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who also serves as showrunner and executive producer. Joining him as executive producers are Protozoa Pictures’ Joe Wisberg, Joel Fields, Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel. Courtney Lee-Mitchell and Jules Jackson also executive produce with Janicza Bravo, who directs the pilot.

    Bravo talked about what it was like to sign on to 'Kindred' in 2021, saying in a statement that she felt represented when she read the book in college.

    “I first read Kindred 20 years ago. I was in college. I hadn’t ever seen myself in a world like that. And certainly not at its center,” she said, as reported by Deadline. “What might seem like only a portrait of an invisible woman is also a potent embrace of our relationship to history and how it can bring us closer to our future. After what felt like losing over a year of the life I had come to know so well, an opportunity to direct an adaptation of this specific text was a win. On top of that getting to partner with Branden is something I’d been wanting for quite some time.”

    Kindred will air exclusively on Hulu starting Dec. 13.






    Chevalier film


    Above is the chevalier film trailer, based on the life of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges 

    The following is some of his music
    source 1 

    source 2


    My Thoughts

    ... Support Black people whether they be negra/mulatto/yella/christian/Atheist or otherwise. I didn't say agree or concur to everybody else Black, but support. It helps at the least.

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    Photo by Cedric Letsch <  https://unsplash.com/@cedricletsch?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText >  on Unsplash

    A Primer on TV & Film Adaptation for Writers (Where the Rules Change Often)
    November 2, 2022 by Jeanne Veillette Bowerman 7 Comments

    Today’s post is by Jeanne Veillette Bowerman < https://jeannevb.com/ >  (@jeannevb < https://twitter.com/jeannevb >) of Pipeline Artists < https://pipelineartists.com/ > . 



    Hollywood is an odd place and ever-changing. If your literary agent or publisher wants to pitch your book to producers, managers or networks, they need to know the rules—or at least, the rules of the day.

    But don’t get too stuck on them, because … you guessed it … they’ll change. Often.

    Back in the day, an agent or publisher could pitch your book over the phone or mail a copy off for consideration. Now, the execs prefer a little more detail and insight before considering your story for an adaptation.

    The million-dollar question: What does Hollywood want in a story?

    Truth is, sometimes they don’t even know until they hear it. It’s a gut check of something that’s not only marketable, but also gives them tingles when they read the logline.

    The elements of a great pitch package
    Unless your rep has a personal relationship with a Hollywood executive, they’ll need a formal pitch package, which includes a logline, short synopsis, treatment, and possibly a pitch deck.

    By no means is this list a rigid formula. As noted above, the rules change constantly, and each executive and company have different preferences. I know many who decide just on the logline alone.

    Unlike the literary world, submission requirements are not always listed on the company’s site. One size definitely does not fit all, but if you have the following materials, your team will be ready for any question thrown at them.

    This is the most important part of your pitch and the hardest to write. A compelling logline alone will make or break your chances. Oftentimes, an exec will read the two-to-three sentence logline and decide from there, regardless of the pitch package you’ve spent countless hours creating. I know. A lot of work for potentially no gain, so spend the time to create a standout logline.

    A synopsis tests the concept’s strength, so don’t just use the blurb on the back of the book. Boil it down for them, without getting into the weeds. Keep it high level, showing complex characters, lots of potential for conflict, and a strong ending.

    These used to be more commonplace for both selling a feature screenplay or a book for adaptation. A treatment is just a lengthy synopsis of the book, usually 5 to 25 pages long, depending on the complexities of the story and the type of adaptation you’re pitching (feature film, TV series, limited series). Basically, it’s a well-written outline of the book. Even though they are not always needed, it’s helpful to have one in your back pocket.

    The Book
    The goal is always to get them to read the book, but don’t expect a high-level exec to read it. They won’t. They’ll pass it onto an assistant or someone in their coverage department to read and give them the bottom-line notes—pass or recommend.

    Pitch Deck
    Rather than craft a video to pitch an adaptation, it’s common to use a pitch deck (slideshow). Canva is a fantastic resource, full of free images and tools. The purpose of the pitch deck is simply to make it easier for the execs to get a feel for the tone of the book. These execs are visual people and pictures grab them. A slide deck can do the job of a video pitch for a lot less money, time, and aggravation.

    Do you need the screenplay written in advance?
    Yes and no.

    Unless the author understands screenwriting, they shouldn’t write the script, especially when pitching a TV series. A pilot script (the screenplay for the very first episode) requires deep understanding of screenwriting, as you’re building the entire world, introducing characters, plus telling a compelling story in just 60 pages. That requires great understanding of the craft.

    But … yes, you can write the script, even if it’s not great.

    I know that seems counterintuitive, but developing a story costs a lot of money. If the execs have even a bad script for a great book, pre-approved by the author, the cost savings are astronomical. They already know what the author is willing to cut without a battle. Then, they simply hire a professional screenwriter to finish the job. In the ideal world, it’s not about control. It’s about a great story being told in a different medium that the author loves, too. If the author hates the adaptation, they’re less likely to promote it to their fan base—a fan base Hollywood is counting on to purchase movie tickets.

    So, if you have a solid screenplay, it can greatly improve your odds of selling the rights. Plus, you then get at least a “Written by” credit, which means more money. That’s one of the reasons my company helps the novelist craft a solid script for submission to executives. (See the Book Pipeline Adaptation Contest.) Writers learning how to crossover into other mediums—whether it’s poetry, short stories, novels or scripts—only makes them more valuable as an artist. It never hurts to have as many tools in your toolbox as possible.

    If your book isn’t a best seller or overflowing with glowing reviews, don’t panic. Of course it’s definitely worth mentioning if you have a robust amount of positive reviews. Strong book sales would definitely help, too. But if the producer doesn’t like the concept, they won’t care how many reviews or sales it has.

    Parting advice
    Like many industries, Hollywood is built on connections. You often hear, “It’s who you know.” While every author needs assistance connecting with a decision maker, be wary of any small press claiming they can help pitch the books they publish via a “sister” arm of their business. This possibly comes with a fee. Some of these operations require lots of book reviews, an angle to get the authors to encourage friends to buy and review the book that they themselves published and profit from. So take a deep research dive into anything that feels off to you. Trust your gut. There are a lot of scams out there.

    Selling a story to Hollywood is much harder than getting a book published. After all, it costs millions of dollars to produce a TV show or feature film. But it only takes one “yes.” Do your research, surround yourself with a great team, find people who understand the industry and craft who have a track record and solid reputation, and you’ll dramatically increase your odds of success.


    great post, question Ms/Mrs Bowerman, is Nollywood/the Various Woods in India/The European cinemas's have the same rules. Something tells me they don't, but do you know?
    if any who read this is interested, I have a screenplay free to read online, please tell me what you think at my blog below







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    Former Racial Justice Task Force chair explains ballot questions
    By Deanna Garcia New York City
    PUBLISHED 8:40 PM ET Oct. 27, 2022
    With voters hitting the polls this weekend for early voting, New Yorkers will also have the chance to weigh in on four ballot proposals.

    Three of the proposals are for city voters only. They explore how to create a statement of values for the government to form a racial equity office and define how the cost of living is calculated in the city.

    The Racial Justice Task Force, formed under former Mayor Bill de Blasio in the wake of the 2020 protests after George Floyd’s murder, recommended these citywide questions.

    Jennifer Jones Austin, former chair of the city’s Racial Justice Commission, joined Bobby Cuza on “Inside City Hall” Thursday to explain these proposals.

    “We can’t policy our way out of racism, we can’t program our way out of racism,” she said. “But what we can do is look at the structures that have birthed it and perpetuate it and when we look at the laws, the New York City, the charter, is our Constitution.”

    Trying to get equality financially between parties who started unevenly is the question. i ask, have any two peoples in one country repaired one being the oppressed with the other the oppressor to become equal kin? does anyone know?



    Democrats block Latina Republican from joining Congressional Hispanic Caucus
    Opinion by Brad Polumbo - Oct 27

    Rep. Mayra Flores, a Texas Republican, made history after taking office as the first female member of Congress who was born in Mexico. You’d think that partisanship aside, the Latina Republican would be considered a win for diversity in Congress.

    You’d be wrong. The Democrat-controlled Congressional Hispanic Caucus is reportedly blocking Flores after she requested to join it.

    “Flores requested to join CHC in early October and was rejected shortly thereafter,” Townhall’s Julio Rosas reports. “Flores is not only first Mexican-born woman to serve in Congress, but she also represents a district along the U.S.-Mexico border that is overwhelmingly Latino. CHC used to have [Republican] members but they went on to create the Congressional Hispanic Conference as their own version of the CHC in the 2000s.”

    At first glance, this doesn’t make much sense. Flores is indeed Hispanic, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is not supposed to be a partisan entity.

    Per its website, the group exists to address “national and international issues” and “craft policies that impact the Hispanic community,” and “serve as a forum for the Hispanic Members of Congress to coalesce around a collective legislative agenda.” There’s nothing on its about page about only being open to progressives or members of a certain political party. Yet the group denied Flores membership in what’s clearly a partisan snub.

    Flores isn’t having it.

    “As the first Mexican-born American Congresswoman, I thought the Hispanic Caucus would be open in working together,” Flores remarked of the snub. “This denial once again proves a bias towards conservative Latinas that don’t fit their narrative or ideology.”

    It’s hard to see any other explanation.

    The situation is eerily reminiscent of similar snubs from ostensibly neutral (but Democrat-controlled) diversity caucuses. As Rosas notes, Rep. Byron Donalds, a black Florida Republican, was similarly denied admission to the Congressional Black Caucus.

    “The Congressional Black Caucus has a stated commitment to ensuring Black Americans have the opportunity to achieve the American dream,” Donalds said after his snub. “As a newly elected Black Member of Congress, my political party should not exempt me from a seat at the table dedicated to achieving this goal.”

    Whether you politically agree with Flores and Donalds, this is deeply wrong. These partisan acts of discrimination reveal the contempt many Democratic elites actually have for diversity. One is not any more or less black or Hispanic because of how one thinks or how one votes — and these decisions implicitly suggest otherwise.

    That’s bigoted. There’s simply no other word for it.

    If they have any integrity at all, these groups should open up their ranks and actually represent their respective minority communities, which are not partisan or ideological monoliths. If they’re not willing to do that, they should at least rename themselves and reorient their groups’ values to reflect their partisan nature. Anything less is an insult to the diverse Americans they claim to represent and, frankly, pretty racist.

    Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a co-founder of Based-Politics.com, a co-host of the Based Politics podcast, and a Washington Examiner contributor.


    Polumbo's argument has a great flaw. The flaw is in all the parties of governance that exist in the USA, especially the largest two. I call the largest two parties of governance in the United States of America, the POAL <party of abraham lincoln, commonly called the republicans> side POAJ <party of andrew jackson , commonly called the democrats>
    Both of those parties, like all the littler ones,  are on racial lines. The problem here is race isn't restricted to phenotype or gender or religion or age. Race/classification/order/ranking are based on any factor. Philosophical races are ... races.
    Functionally while Unfortunately, the populace in the USA likes to not consider philosophical races... races? Why? the populace in the usa doesn't have a physical/financial/geographic/religious binder. The only binder the USA populace can have is philosophical.
    The populace in the USA has majorities in various racial categories, mostly white, mostly christian, mostly hetero, mostly fiscally poor, but none of the majorities are large enough in modernity to say the USA is explicitly any specific category. It is mostly white but not all white. It is mostly of immigrants but humanity outside the usa is even more multiracial so immigration doesn't yield to cohesion in thinking. 
    So all the USA populace has in modernity to bind itself is like mindedness in philosophy as the one racial element that can survive the ever growing multiracial composition.
    But, philosophy can be more fracturing than any other racial category, as the war between the states proved in USA history. 
    And, this is the problem  with the caucasus. The parties of governance each governing official is a part of is racists, based on philosophy on how to govern, sequentially, how can the caucasus be absent a similar racial reality.
    The question going forward is, why not have a latino party of governance, why not have a negro party of governance?
    A caucus is designed to represent a union across parties but what about making parties for those agendas? 




    NOVEMBER 02, 2022 AT 6:30 PM

    Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer and historian Jon Meacham takes fresh look at Abraham Lincoln in a new book “And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle.” Meacham describes how a president who governed a divided country has much to teach us in a twenty-first-century moment of polarization and political crisis. Tonight, Meacham opens up on the former president’s leadership and explains why he chose to dissect his legacy now.

    TRanscript or Video 



    Lincoln was challenged harder than any other president in terms of domestic issues. I argue, that his murder conveniently didn't allow him to shape his success. People forget Lincoln never got to be president in internal peace. and that is important cause the peace after the war between the states needed great management and didn't get it. 


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    Chaka Khan Reveals Why She Turned Down Steven Spielberg For 'The Color Purple'
    The iconic singer shared who she could have played in the award-winning film.
    Jazmin Tolliver
    Jazmin Tolliver
    Nov 4, 2022, 09:10 PM EDT

    Chaka Khan wasn’t too keen on the opportunity to star in “The Color Purple.”

    The iconic singer, who appeared on “The Jennifer Hudson Show” Friday, said she turned down Steven Spielberg’s offer for a lead role in the beloved 1985 film.

    “Funny you should ask that,” Khan said after Hudson asked her about projects she had declined during her long career. “Well, you know I turned down ‘The Color Purple,’ the movie.”

    Hudson, who appeared shocked, replied, “What?”

    Khan said Spielberg approached her about being in the movie when she was “20, 22 tops,” but nervousness and an aversion to studying kept her from jumping on the opportunity.

    “I was like, trying to run [from] that because I was afraid,” the Grammy-winning singer said. ”I was like, ‘Oh God, a movie, oh my God.’”

    “I like detested school and tests and studying, you know, I said, ‘Oh, that means I’d have to learn the script,’” Khan added.

    The “Through the Fire” singer said that the Oscar-winning director asked her to play Celie, the role that Whoopi Goldberg ultimately portrayed in the critically acclaimed film.

    After Khan revealed who Spielberg asked her to play, Hudson told her audience: “Imagine Chaka Khan as Celie, y’all?”

    “Woulda been hot,” Khan replied.

    “That would have been a whole other Color Purple,” Hudson quipped.

    “The Color Purple”, which starred Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover and Goldberg, was produced by Spielberg and Quincy Jones.

    Based on Alice Walker’s classic 1982 novel, the film centers on Black women from the rural South during the early part of the last century, trying to survive and thrive under cruel conditions.

    The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Goldberg and Best Supporting Actress for both Winfrey and Margaret Avery.

    A new movie musical adaptation of “The Color Purple,” produced by Spielberg and directed by Blitz Bazawule, is currently in the works.

    The upcoming musical is set to star Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, Fantasia Taylor as Celie, Colman Domingo as Mister, Danielle Brooks as Sofia, Halle Bailey as Nettie, Corey Hawkins as Harpo and singer H.E.R. as Speak.



    well, I think she lied on herself. she said "“I was like, trying to run [from] that because I was afraid ....I like detested school and tests and studying, you know, I said, ‘Oh, that means I’d have to learn the script,’ ""  But Chaka your uncle is quincy jones and you have learned tons of songs, and how to sing them. no,she mischaracterized herself. She likes studying and tests in terms of music, not literature. Chaka khan knows how many songs now? learning the script is hard:) The truth is revealed in the blues brothers. Chaka khan played the head of james browns chorus. She played herself. James brown played the head of the church, himself. the only musicians in blues brothers that some can argue had to act was aretha franklin, but aretha franklin does like to cook and has a strong temperament. Chaka khan is comfortable playing herself. In modernity so many artists push being the multimedia agent and many fail at it. But in the role spielberg wanted for her in the color purple, chaka khan who is very independent minded or strongwilled, former black panther of self defense member, would have to play, small/weak/little/abused Celie who does turn around but I don't think chaka khan felt comfortable with celie. and in defense a better thespian in whoopie goldberg got it. As a comedian who did one person shows, whoopie goldberg had experience shifting in character on stage.  I want to end with , Speilberg wasn't wrong. The man danny glover played would choose a woman that look like chaka khan over whoopie goldberg. He is a wife beater, a black land owner in the usa when it wasn't... common:) <meaning whitey kill black landowners> so.. he want a trophy woman, and i apologize to any woman who may read this and feel insulted, but a trophy woman has physical requirements. Chaka khan in her 20s large or firm breast/buttocks/hourglass shape, natural hair, is what you want over whoopie goldberg if you are looking for a trophy wife. 



    ..Someone pointed out Chaka khan couldn't had been asked about the color purple in 1975 when she was 20 or 22 so... . I don't know anything about chaka khan's age. The color purple was published in 1982, so spielberg couldn't had asked anyone to be in the movie in 1981 or earlier. And I checked , the blues brothers was made in 1980. I wonder her experience on set



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    Former presidents of Gabon and France, Omar Bongo (L) and Jacques Chirac (R)


    Why ex-French colonies are joining the Commonwealth
    29 June

    Gabon and Togo have moved to strengthen their diplomatic armoury in a bid to ease their reliance on France.

    They have been admitted to what was originally founded as a club of former British colonies but has been steadily diversifying its composition. These two small francophone African nations are now the Commonwealth's 55th and 56th members.

    Rwanda joined in 2009 and Mozambique came into the group in 1995. None of these states had particular past historical ties to the UK.

    The fact that they have opted to join the Commonwealth suggests that they see the organisation as a useful network of diplomatic and cultural influence, and for exercising "soft power" on the world stage.

    It also testifies to the importance of English as a language of business, science and international politics and the necessity of building a range of connections to support economic development and get diplomatic messages heard.

    For Gabon and Togo, Rwanda offers an encouraging precedent: just 13 years after joining, it has now hosted the organisation's summit meeting, attended by heads of state and government from all over the world, though there were some notable absentees, including South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa.

    Youth appeal
    Gabon and Togo's entry to the Commonwealth also comes at a time when the relationship between Africa and France has become so contentious.

    A growing number of younger urban citizens demand an end to the CFA franc currency which is pegged to the euro under an arrangement guaranteed by the government in Paris. The French military presence in the Sahel is also controversial.

    So joining the world's largest anglophone bloc is likely be popular among many young Togolese and Gabonese.

    That helps to modernise the image of two regimes that were for many years perceived as particularly emblematic of the traditionally close relationships between leaders in Africa and in France - "la françafrique".

    There was a time when such a development would have provoked angst among Paris policymakers fearing an erosion of influence south of the Sahara. But today's French governments take a much more relaxed view of such trends.

    For the same arguments about diversifying contacts and building up new vehicles of international connection have also fuelled the steady expansion of the Commonwealth's francophone sister, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).

    It actually claims 88 member states and governments - including Rwanda, whose former Foreign Minister Louis Mushikiwabo is its secretary general. Its regional offices for West and central Africa are in fact hosted by Togo and Gabon, and it too is growing.

    In March Ghana's Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey announced that her country, a former British colony which has been an associate member of the OIF since 2006, would complete the transition to full membership of the organisation.

    Ghana, with strong democratic institutions and a dynamic economy, will be one of a growing number of countries that are full and active members of both the Commonwealth and the Francophonie - for solid diplomatic and practical reasons.

    Most of its neighbours in West Africa are French-speaking and the government has been taking steps to equip its young people to make the most of this economic, cultural and political reality - for example, there are now 50 bilingual schools.

    Nor should one forget the significant development of the small but still influential Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) - most of whose members are African.

    Democracy tests
    But all three groupings - the CPLP, the Francophonie and the Commonwealth - face the delicate challenge of how to promote good governance, democracy and human rights - an issue with which the African Union and some of the continent's regional blocs, notably the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), are also wrestling.

    Both the Commonwealth and the OIF send experts to help member states improve their electoral systems, but when it comes to membership conditions they tend to opt for inclusion and gentle encouragement rather than the assertion of a strict line.

    Togo was ruled by the notoriously brutal dictator President Gnassingbé Eyadéma from 1967 to 2005, and has since then been led by his son, Faure Gnassingbé.

    Gabon's President, Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba, is the son of Omar Bongo, head of state from 1967 to 2009, who swam with the trend towards multi-party politics in the 1990s but took care to maintain the predominance of his ruling party and the role of his family in government. Before succeeding to the presidency, Ali Bongo was defence minister.

    The Commonwealth's official press release announcing the admission of Togo and Gabon stated: "The eligibility criteria for Commonwealth membership, amongst other things, state that an applicant country should demonstrate commitment to democracy and democratic processes, including free and fair elections and representative legislatures."

    Yet Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, although lauded for overseeing undoubted social and economic development progress, is accused by rights groups of being uncompromisingly authoritarian in the exercise of power. Critics say the opposition is cowed and marginalised.

    Mr Kagame claims his government upholds human rights, and there is "nobody in Rwanda who is in prison that should not be there".

    Gabon will face a key barometer of governance with next year's presidential elections. But for Togo, there is a fairly immediate test.

    The very day of the Commonwealth announcement, the authorities banned a planned demonstration by the opposition Dynamique Monseigneur Kpodzro (DMK) movement to protest against the rising cost of living, and what it called bad governance and injustice.

    The DMK has rescheduled the protest for 16 July. It will be interesting to see whether Togo's new status as a Commonwealth member prods the government into taking a more lenient line.

    Paul Melly is a consulting fellow with the Africa Programme at Chatham House in London.





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