What's Going On
WHAT’S GOING ON
Read Essence Magazine essay, 20 BEST FILMS 2010-2019, by Candace Frederick, a well- researched piece with spot-on analysis, about films by Black writers, directors, producers.
The 20 Best Films are 1)PARIAH ¸2011; 2) 20 FEET FROM STARDOM about Black music stars like Merry Clayton and Patti Austin 3) BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, 2012, about 6- year- old Quvenveshane Wallis and her survival narrative about saving her dad, their home and the end of the world. 4)
BELLE, 2013, a period drama about a mixed- race aristocrat and her struggle for love and dignity. 5) FRUITVALE STATION, 2013, a story about a young Black man shot by Oakland police. 6) STRAIGHT OUT OF
COMPTON, about the rise of NWA, Niggaz Wit Attitudes and the influence of HIPHOP on American pop culture. Today NWA alum like Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, of BEATS head phones fame are among American millionaire/billionaire elites. 7) I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, 2016, a tour de force, directed by Raoul Peck, which deals with and resurrects the words of James Baldwin. 8) FENCES, adapted from the August Wilson play, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. 9) HIDDEN FIGURES 2016, starring Tariji Henson and Octavia Spenser, about the storied Black women, all NASA mathematicians , the key players in the USA Space program. Spenser’s production company is getting ready to produce Madame Walker, the cosmetics doyenne, imminently.
10) QUEEN OF KATWE, 2016, starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o in a true life story about an Uganda girl who became a chess master. 11) MOONLIGHT, the film by writer-director Barry Jenkins, Oscar winner film, an industry shifting archetype of Blac k love , self identity and gay Black male narratives. 12) GET OUT, by writer/director Jordan Peele’ s “meet- the- parents nightmare in the horror genre,” starring Daniel Kaluuya.13) MUDHOUND, 2017, Black male mental health issues, particulars among veterans who had to fight racism afte returning home from WWII, 14) STRONG ISLAND 2017. Documentary directed by Vance Ford about how race impacts the criminal justice system 15) WIDOWS, starring Viola Davis is and Cynthia Erivo, aggrieved “ women who got justice after the death of their criminal husbands.” 16) IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, 2018, an adaptation of the James Baldwin novel of the same name about a Black man sentenced to murder which he didn’t commit. 17) SORRY TO BOTHER YOU. 2018. Film shines a light on what it is like “ to be Black and have to constantly choose between your own principles and the white man who pays you.” 18) BLACK PANTHERS. It’s about Wakanda and its $1+billion worldwide boxoffice grosses. Hollywood will never be the same. However, it did invest over $100 million for CATS, a colossal boxoffice $100 million failure last week
19) BLINDSPOTTING, 2018, a story about “ Black and white male friendship, race the lies we tell ourselves” and 20) LUCE, 2019 about a young Black teen male, accused of bringing explosives to school
What happened to QUEEN AND SLIM? Ms. Frederick?
2020 BOOK NOTES
Amistad publishes Zora Neale Hurston’s HITTING A STRAIGHT LICK WITH A CROOKED STICK on January 14. Book is a collection of short story and includes eight selections that were recently discovers in archives and periodicals. Story content headl with race, class migrations and love and is an invaluable window into Hurston’ experience during the Harlem Renaissance.” Hurston wrote the ageless classic about May/December love THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD.
THE SELECTED LETTERS OF RALPH ELLISON, author of American literary classic, THE INVISIBLE MAN, is the subject of a 12/29/19 NY Times Book Review cover story. It is more commentary on what seems like a splendid read for lovers of literature.
Harlem, New York born , Patricia Bath, 76, MD, was a pioneer in ophthalmology was the first Black woman doctor to hold patents for her development of precise instruments for cataracts treatment.
Diahann Carroll, triple threat, actress of TV stage and screen. She makes history in prime time TV as Julia an RN, not a stereotypical Black role.
Rep from Detroit, John Conyers, 90, longest serving Black Congressman who was a civil rights champion African American in Congress
Rep from Baltimore, Elijah Cummings, 68, a 12-term congressman, who chaired the House Oversight Committee which held pre Donald Trump impeachment hearings. The son of sharecroppers, Cummings was a lawyer and advocate for the poor before going to DC. He was the first African American Congressman to lie in state in the dome of the Capitol. Former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton spoke at his funeral. His widow. Maya Rockeymoore announced plans to run for his vacated seat.
Ken Gibson, 86, was first African American to become a mayor in a major USA northeastern city. . Elected in 1970, Mayor Gibson served four terms.
Richard Hatcher passed last month. He became mayor of Gary Indiana in 1967 and served five terms. He was one of the nation’s first Black mayors of a major city. He organized the 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary and was the chair of Jesse Jackson’s 1984 Democratic Presidential campaign.
Toni Morrison,, 88, internationally acclaimed American literary icon, first African- American woman to win Nobel Prize in Literature. Prominent titles in her bibliography are BELOVED, SONG OF SOLOMAN, THE BLUEST EYE She is getting the lion/s share of year- end coverage in memoriam columns.
Robert Mugabe, 95, revolutionary who became Zimbabwe Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987 before his ascension to the Presidency from 1987 to 2017. Mugabe returned land to Black local Black farmers who lands wee confiscated during the colonial period. Action is question as curse or blessing.
Jessye Norman, soprano opera diva extraordinaire, is a minion of the NY Metropolitan Opera and European opera houses. The Met hosted her memorial. Her sendoff in her native Augusta Georgia last four days.
Frank Robinson, 83, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, who became and the first Black manager in MLB. He was the only player to win MVP status in both leagues.
The celebration of the 215th Independence to Haiti from France will be held on January 1, 2020. Declaring its independence from France in 1894, Haiti also achieved its freedom from slavery in 1795. H aiti celebrates its independence from France on January 1, 1804 about 9 years after declaring its freedom from slavery, Haiti is known is the second oldest republic in the New World. Birthday greetings are in order for the oldest Black republic in the New World. ~
A Harlem-based media and branding consultant, Victoria can be contacted at Victoria.email@example.com