69th Emmy Awards: Black history in the making
The 2017, 69th annual Emmy Awards may have had the lowest ratings in their televised history, but it didn't stop the production from making history.
2017-2018 fall season in Black
Here's a quick look at what’s coming this fall starring Black performers of all ages.
“Back in the Day” we used to ask, “Is it Black enough for you?” For the first time in Hollywood history we can again ask that question referring to the 2017 Emmy Nominations which boasts the largest number of people of color nominees in television history.
Ava DuVernay - “A Wrinkle in Time”
Hollywood is all abuzz about Disney’s latest trailer that was recently released online featuring writer/producer/director Ava DuVernay’s most anticipated film project to date, “A Wrinkle in Time.” The 1963 classic children’s fantasy written by Madeleine L’Engle follows a little girl’s search across dimensions of time and space to rescue her scientist father.
The 69th Emmy Awards nominations
The 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were recently announced. As always, I like to highlight Black performers who are nominated along with their competition.
Idris Elba: From gunslinger to Bond?
On Aug. 4, Stephen King’s long awaited novel series “Dark Tower” will finally hit the silver screen. The movie tells the story of gunslinger Roland Deschain. Set in a world woven together with magic, Deschain is tracking an evil magician known only as the man in black (Matthew McConaughey). Sharing an ancient vendetta, the two men must fight to the death in this epic battle over the fate of the All-World Universe.
Hollywood: Diversity at last?
Whoopie Goldberg recently made headlines when she was among 10 First-Time Victors in the Historic Academy Board of Governors Elections. Not one to bite her tongue, Goldberg who currently hosts ABC the “View;” will surely use her voice for change.
BET Awards full of surprises
The incredibly talented Bruno Mars kicked off the 2017 BET Awards with a performance that immediately had the audience on their feet. A perfect set-up for a memorable night for more reasons than one. It was a night of honor, promise, hope and a very heartfelt call to action. Faith, social justice, racial pride and giving back were the themes of the night.
OWN’s “Queen Sugar” opening doors
OWN’s “Queen Sugar” is now in its second season and it promises to be impactful, tantalizing, and well worth watching. This tender, sophisticated drama tells the story of the Bordelon family, young adults trying to make sense of their lives and the directions they hope to take while fighting to maintain the family unit as a whole. Family members are striving to honor the legacy of their father who died without warning, leaving them a sugar cane plantation and the hope that despite all the set-backs it will prove to be the legacy he hoped for his children.
TV One’s “Rickey Smiley For Real” reality show kicked off its fourth season last week, setting the tone for what promises to be an exciting, funny, outrageous and thought provoking year for this record-breaking show. Smiley is a comedian, television host, and movie star. He’s also a top-rated syndicated radio personality. “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show” is heard across the nation in 60 cities. From political, celebrity and entertainment interviews to rearing six young adults on his own, this funny man has a lot to say and share.
James Earl Jones is awarded
The 71st annual Tony Awards were held Sunday night in New York. The night’s big winners included “Dear Evan Hansen” as Best Musical, “Oslo” as Best Play, August Wilson’s “Jitney” as Best Revival of a Play and “Hello, Dolly!” as Best Revival of a Musical.
“#Flexin’ in my Complexion”
Imagine a 10-year old Southern California Black girl being traumatized by classmates because of the color of her skin. It was believed that the first elementary school she was enrolled in had only four Black girls in her class, which they believed attributed to the teasing. So much so that her family actually changed schools hoping that the teasing and bullying would stop. However, thanks to her big sister, the little girl has become a source of inspiration, and a game changer.
Wonder Woman’s Black sister Nubia
To say that DC’s “Wonder Woman” starring Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman is a box office success is beyond an understatement. Directed by Patty Jenkins, “Wonder Woman” grossed a whopping $103 million in its domestic debut over the weekend—the biggest opening ever for a female director (and for good reason). The film was outstanding. Gadot as Wonder Woman thoroughly convinced the audience that she was able to handle and prevail over any obstacle that got in her way. Amazingly, I walked out of the theater feeling incredibly empowered not only because of Wonder Woman and her ‘kick-butt’ style, but because I saw powerful Black women displaying those same attributes, and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen Black Amazonian warriors depicted on the silver screen.
TV’s sizzling summer viewing
This summer, TV fare is going to be hot, hot, hot! A variety of new summer programming will be competing for your attention. Look for new takes on old themes and storylines that just may shock you.
ABC’s ‘The Bachelorette’ makes history
It looks like ABC’s “The Bachelorette” made history when the network premiered last week introducing Rachel Lindsay, the first Black Bachelorette. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The Bachelorette” made a strong return to ABC on Monday night, tying with “Dancing with the Stars” as the night’s No. 2 telecast. Black viewers are more than likely saying, “It’s about time.”
According to the African American Registry, a non-profit educational organization, the n-word endures because it is used over and over again, even by the people it insults. The question is how do we go about eradicating, deflating, or taking power from that word which is so ingrained in American culture? Or should we simply let it be and deal with it in our own individual way?
Cheryl Boone Isaacs: Forging a legacy of change and diversity
Cheryl Boone Isaacs is perhaps one of the best known Academy Board of Governors member ever in the history of that prestigious organization. She is the Academy’s third female and first Black president. But she’s not seeking re-election to the board.
Is Black programming here to stay?
There was a time in America that no one cared about what Black people watched on TV. Television viewership has always been about revenue, but for years Black viewership simply didn’t matter,
Hollywood by Choice
“People never talk about race until something bad happens. I want to provide a conversation.” —Charles Barkley
Hollywood by Choice
The name Henrietta Lacks may not be familiar to most Americans, let alone to the world.
Hollywood by Choice
I suppose you’re wondering who is John Gray and what is his book about? If you’re not familiar with Gray, you soon will be. On Saturday, April 15 at 10 p.m.
Hollywood by Choice
Mark your calendars for April 12, at 8 p.m. ET/PT for WGN’s series “Underground” when actress Aisha Hinds (“Shots Fired,” “Under the Dome,” “Star Trek Into Darkness”) stars as abolitionist Harriet Tubman in an unprecedented look at the life and legend of the woman who believed her task was a God-given mission.
The Oscars: A night to remember
Oh, what a night! If you missed the 88th Annual Academy Awards ceremony, you missed a lot. To begin with, Viola Davis took home the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for “Fences”, making her the fourth Black actress to win the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. And the first Black Actress to win the Oscar, Emmy, and Tony awards.
The 48th NAACP Image Awards
The 48th annual NAACP Image Awards was recently held in Pasadena, and aired on TV One. If you missed it, don’t fret, TV One will air the show in syndication through the end of March. Check your local listings for show times. Thank you, NAACP for keeping our dream alive. Right now things are looking good for Blacks working in Hollywood in front of and behind the camera. But if you know anything about Hollywood history, you know it is cyclical, and things have a way of changing just when you think you’ve arrived.
Oscar nominations recognize diversity
The 89th annual Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Oscar nominations were recently announced, and Hollywood is all abuzz about the record number of Blacks in front of and behind the camera who are nominated for their work in outstanding films and documentaries.
Hollywood by Choice
The holiday season is that time of year when Hollywood features its best and brightest films, not only for your pleasure, but for the ultimate Hollywood ‘nod’—the Oscar.
Awards season recognizes more people of color
’Tis the season when ‘nail biting’ begins. Film critics, guilds and prestigious organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), The Academy of Motion Pictures and The Hollywood Foreign Press announce their lists of hopefuls for a coveted award.
Fox on fire with mid-season programming
Okay, you might think I’m jumping the gun, but I will say right now Fox is debuting two new mid-season shows, “Star” and “24: Legacy” that are bound to be big hits. Although the storylines are not new, the telling of the stories are. From fresh new faces and hot music, to action-packed moves that boggle your mind, “Star” and “24: Legacy” will most assuredly follow in the footsteps of Fox’s “Empire,” the unexpected drama that challenged the networks and their programming practices and reflected a higher visibility of Black performers and Black-themed productions.
Steve Harvey at the Apollo and coming to Los Angeles
Emmy Award-winning comedian and talk show host Steve Harvey is on the move. Mark your calendars for Monday, Dec. 5 when Harvey hosts “Showtime at the Apollo” on the Fox Network. The show will repeat Saturday, Dec. 31 from 8 to 10pm; and he’s moving to Los Angeles with a whole new show and new look. But first, join Harvey for an unforgettable homecoming at the Legendary Apollo Theater.
TV One: ‘TV Winter Onederland’
TV ONE is on fire! Keeping its promise to “Represent,” TV ONE presents its “TV Winter ONEDERLAND” of holiday programming. Get ready for original movies, an “Unsung Thanksgiving Day” marathon,“Rickey Smiley For Real” marathon, and a three-day, 100+ “A Very Unsung Christmas” marathon and much more.
Holiday Movie Countdown
Okay, get ready to mark your calendars because here are the upcoming holiday movies you don’t want to miss. As always my focus is on those movies that star and or feature Black performers, and this year we’ve got some heavy hitters, hidden history, powerful dramas and outrageous comedies from the major studios.
Celia Cruz—Queen of Salsa
Cuban-American singer Celia Cruz goes down in history as one of the most popular salsa performers of all time. Known as the “Queen of Salsa” Cruz has made more than 75 albums including 23 that went gold, and won several Grammys and Latin Grammys.
Theresa Harris—‘The Beautiful Maid’
When it comes to Black entertainment history in Hollywood, you should always be prepared to learn something new. A good place to start is the Turner Classic Movie Channel. TCM sometimes features those pioneering Black stars that you may or may not have heard of, opening you up to a whole new era of Black stars, who despite the odds, made an imprint on Hollywood and then got lost in the racial divide.
Viceland: A new window to the world
There is so much on TV that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all the channels and what they offer. I channel surf on a regular basis, and if something catches my attention I check it out.
Now on DVD and Netflix
For those of you who like to collect DVDs, be it for entertainment or for historic purposes, there are several out this month worth purchasing for your library.
The T.D. Jakes Show on OWN
Have you checked out Bishop T.D. Jakes’ new talk show on OWN? It is a powerful heartwarming and interesting look at the human condition and how we learn to cope, fight, and get past the darkness.
‘Films with a Purpose’ leads to ‘Forgiveness’
Films with a Purpose” (FWAP) Innovative Fund, is Sandra Evers-Manley’s latest groundbreaking non-profit project that opens channels of opportunity to diverse independent and student filmmakers, giving them the opportunity to tell their stories their way, straight from the heart.
The Merge Summit—Hallelujah!
Hearing The Good Word framed in a Hollywood perspective is simply life altering and amazingly uplifting. That’s exactly what you walked away with at The Merge Summit held recently in Downtown Los Angeles at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
Hollywood by Choice
This is a cautionary tale about how your past can come back to haunt you. It’s the stuff Hollywood films are made of, only this is real life. Nate Parker (“Beyond the Lights” 2014), (“The Great Debaters” 2007) wrote, directed, produced and stars in the film
TV One: Represent
Founder and owner of TV One, Cathy Hughes is taking on the ‘big boys’ — the networks. TV One is coming out with more outstanding programming that plays right into the heart of her target audience, Black Americans who know what they like and what they want to see.
Edna Sims ESP PR-In Demand
It’s not very common for a public rrelations firm to share the headlines with their client, but in this case it makes perfect sense. Edna Sims, owner of ESP Public Relations, recently became the first African American publicist to represent Hollywood’s The Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors.
Emmy nominations taking on diversity
The 2016 Emmy Nominations are in and Black performers have something to shout about. Twenty-one Black actors and actresses have been nominated in a total of 16 acting categories, from comedies to dramas.
Is “The Great White Way” seeing things in color these days? If you watched the 70th Annual Tony Awards you’d think so. To begin with, “Hamilton” led the race with 11 awards out of an historic 16 nominations.
Things change only to remain the same. Is that what’s taking place today in the world of Network TV?
Salute! Black women in Hollywood
In honor of Women’s History Month, I’m taking the opportunity to recognize and salute actresses that have helped pave the way for today’s television and film stars.
Underground: A new telling of the Old South
On Wednesday, WGN America premiered the first episode of the 10-part series “Underground.”
”Black is beautiful.” “Black power,” and “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”—for this writer, these
NAACP Image Awards—rock steady
Live Feb. 5, the 47th annual NAACP Image Awards will celebrate and honor Black performers
Black Dolls: A Renaissance?
Parents of Black children have a particular challenge when it comes
T & T white hot holidays
So, who or what is “T & T,” and what do I mean by white hot holidays?