Thursday, December 3, 2020
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Michael Abels playing-it-forward in Hollywood
December 3, 2020
While reading the November issue of Forbes, I discovered a new social media app called LUNCH CLUB.  It’s an AI super-connector that makes introductions for 1:1 video meetings to advance your career. During one of the first LunchClub meetings, I met composer Matthew Wang who told me about the Composers Diversity Collective which was co-started by Michael Abels who is best known for his scores for Jordan Peele's Oscar-winning film "Get Out," and "Us," for which, Abels won the World Soundtrack Award, the Jerry Goldsmith Award, a Critics Choice nomination, an Image Award nomination, and multiple critics awards. The hip-hop-influenced score for US was short-listed for the Oscar and was even named “Score of the Decade” by online publication The Wrap. ... read more »
Us’ 55 Years of Unbudging Blackness: Africa as Our Moral Ideal
September 17, 2020
Now the interrelated moral imperative to be ourselves and to free ourselves is intimately related to our commitment as advocates of Us to the principle and practice of unbudging Blackness and the deep-rooted and irreversible embrace of Africa as our moral ideal. To talk of our Blackness, again, is to talk not simply of our color, i.e., our appearance and genetic makeup, but also and most defining in distinctiveness, our culture and our self-conscious practice of it. In a word, Blackness at its core is about culture and consciousness and commitment to constantly maintain, cultivate and expand both without dismissing or diminishing respect for our color in its various shades as identifying attributes. ... read more »
Garvey’s Whirlwind; Watts’ and Ferguson’s Fire: Signs and Obligations of Our Times – PART 2
August 27, 2020
Now, it is Min. Malcolm who said, “There are signs for those who would see,” those who look for signs of the times to understand where we are in history and “where we fit in the scheme of things” in the time in which we live, work and struggle. And if we read the signs rightly, every sign is an indication of obligation to understand and act in definitive ways. Thus, we cannot see and hear the whirlwind and not know the obligation Marcus Garvey left us as a legacy to free Africa and Africans everywhere. Nor can we see the transformative fires of today’s struggle or remember those of the past and not realize their significance as signs and obligations of fierce, righteous and relentless resistance. ... read more »
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Lifting Up Lowery, Vivian and Lewis: Living the Legacy, Freeing the People
July 23, 2020
Clearly, there are several lessons to be gleaned from the legacy of these freedom warriors and workers for a new society and world. And the first is to rightfully locate them in Black history among their people, our people in the midst of an unfinished and ongoing Black freedom struggle. Indeed, there can be no correct understanding, appropriate appreciation or honest emulation of their lives and the lives of all those who preceded them and made them and us possible and of those who were their co-combatants, unless we place them all in the context of their people, our people, Black people and our struggle. ... read more »
Grounding and Centering Ourselves: Chosen to Bring Good in the World
March 12, 2020
Meditation for March and the whole year. Sometimes it is good to stop in the midst of the hustle and bustle of every day and sit down and remember and reflect on people we’ve known and know; places we’ve been and are in now; positions we’ve taken and take now; where we’ve come from and are going; and what we’ve done and want to keep doing, regardless. ... read more »
51st Annual NAACP Image Awards Honor Rihanna with President’s Award, Lizzo Named Entertainer of the Year
February 27, 2020
During the 51st Annual NAACP Image Awards celebration, the accomplishments of the industry’s top artists and contributors were highlighted in an atmosphere of Black love and acceptance ... read more »
51st NAACP Image Awards Hosts Swanky Nominee Luncheon in Hollywood
February 6, 2020
The 51st Annual NAACP Image Awards kicked off Black History Month with a bang, hosting it’s nominee luncheon to celebrate those who’ve set the bar high in Black arts and entertainment. The swanky nominee luncheon was held at the W Hotel in Hollywood, where the preceding year’s creatives, actors, writers, producers, directors and the like gathered for a moment to celebrate each other in melanated glory. ... read more »
Africa, Our Moral Ideal: Radical Reasoning About Ourselves and Our Culture
September 12, 2019
For it is on their tall shoulders we stand and look back into our past and forward into our future, extracting and applying the instructive lessons of their legacy. And it is in their long and sheltering shadows that we continue the legacy they left in the life-affirming and liberating ways we live our lives, do our work, and wage our struggle for liberation and good in the world. Indeed, as Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune taught us, our obligation is and must be a “ceaseless striving” and struggle for the Good for ourselves, others and the world. ... read more »
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WATCH: Winston Duke Talks ‘Us’ Meanings, The Flawed American Dream, Colorism, Classism + More
March 26, 2019
Winston Duke, star of Jordan Peele’s new movie ‘Us’, dives deep into the symbolism in the film. The ‘Black Panther’ star also describes how empathy is his biggest tool to life. ... read more / watch video »
Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ shatters records with $70.3M
March 25, 2019
NEW YORK (AP) — Jordan Peele has done it again. Two years after the filmmaker’s “Get Out” became a box-office sensation, his frightening follow-up, “Us,” debuted with $70.3 million in ticket sales, ... read more »
Us, The Movement and Memory: In the Winds and Scales of History
September 6, 2018
But if there is any legacy or uplifting lessons left by the 60s, it is that we must resist these new forms of unfreedom and falsification of history and continue to wage struggles of liberation on every level of life. For these struggles are clearly the indispensable way we understand, free and fulfill ourselves and the aspirations of our ancestors.  Indeed, these are struggles demanded by our inherent right to freedom, our natural need for justice and our irrepressible longing for a liberated life. And it is a struggle for and longed for life that yields ordinary and special spaces in which the human spirit is nurtured and constantly renewed, and we and other human beings know ourselves as sacred and at the center and subject of every day and hour of history we make. ... read more »
Kenyan Leader Signs U.S. Trade Deal to Finance Wind Power Plant
September 1, 2018
Mr. Kenyatta said the 'Big Four agenda' projects – boosting manufacturing industry, promoting food security, providing affordable housing and universal healthcare coverage – present major opportunities for local and foreign investors. ... read more »
African Union to Hold Summit in ‘Slavery Hub’
June 21, 2018
According to the 2016 Global Slavery Index, Mauritania has one of the highest rates of slavery in the world, with an estimated 43,000 living in modern slavery conditions, out of a population of 4 million. The practice especially affects the Haratins, who have been caught in a cycle of servitude enforced by the Moors, the lighter-skinned descendants of Arab Berbers. ... read more »
U.S. Strike Against Syria is One More Step Toward a Lawless Presidency
April 19, 2018
“Mission accomplished,” announced President Donald Trump after the United States, France and England unleashed more than 100 missiles on Syria in reaction to the regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people. ... read more »
My Open Letter to “US”
January 26, 2017
We can no longer afford to be entertained beyond the point of accountability ... read more »
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