Fifty years ago this week, a crowd filed into Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom on a Sunday afternoon. The Audubon was a multi-purpose building that hosted a variety of events, including festivals, movie screenings, and religious services. But today, however, it was being utilized for another, different type of event entirely. The crowd had gathered to attend a meeting of the newly formed Organization of African American Unity, with its keynote speaker one of the most controversial and polarizing figures in America: El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, more commonly known as Malcolm X.
First off, let me start by admitting that I’ve never seen “Ganja and Hess,” the 1973 blaxploitation landmark from which Spike Lee’s newly released “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus” is derived. That said, I’ll take as gospel all the press releases asserting that this remake sticks close to the original’s script (Lee includes writer-director Bill Gunn in the credits for this latest effort).
Already underway, this year’s Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) which ends on Feb. 16, is all the more interesting in light of the barrage of criticism due to the scarcity of nominations for people of color at the Academy Awards.
“…Sterling was not only employed by the C.I.A., but he worked as an operations officer—meaning he worked clandestinely. Thus, the factual details of the case, which would otherwise be unremarkable, (redacted) potentially, compromise the C.I.A.’s operations…”
Since the early 1980s, the shopping, entertainment, and dining Mecca along Melrose Avenue has been a go-to spot for hipsters and scene makers who frequent Los Angeles’ fashionable West Side. While it strives to project a trendy persona ranging from fancy to funky, the overall economic reality of this Hollywood adjacent enclave is decidedly upscale. Recently, a new arrival in the neighborhood has offered up an intriguing option for diversity in the area. Unofficially in business for several months, the Exact Science Gallery held its formal opening Jan. 24 to coincide with the upcoming Black History Month celebration.
Legitimate Complaint or Sour Grapes? The pros and cons of Oscar omission
“The movie industry is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher you get, the whiter it gets.” —Al Sharpton in a statement released on the afternoon after this year’s Oscar nominations.
"African Americans discover in Paris the terms by which they can define themselves. It's the freedom to work beyond the assumptions of what we can and can't do as African Americans. It's a different rhythm and pace. We can imagine ourselves in new ways in that space."
Also provide peek at works in progress
To say that narrative filmmaking dominates the local movie industry is a gross understatement. Depictions of make believe shape civilization and culture across the globe, a social manifestation that surpasses even the considerable monetary influence of the entertainment industry. Yet the medium of the documentary is well represented within the shadow of Hollywood, as manifested by the turnout for the annual holiday party for the Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers, better known as BADWest. The event was held Dec. 3 at the Writer’s Guild of America, West.
George Clinton chronicles his musical odyssey in a printed memoir
Once upon a time, there was a barbershop in a Black enclave in the wilds of deepest, darkest New Jersey, circa the 1950s. Like similar establishments, it was a hub of the cultural and social life of the neighborhood, and dispensed chemically straightened “processed” hair, and other, more conservative styles to a clientele of picturesque characters who often earned a living skirting the propriety of the legal system.
George Clinton and the road to Afrofuturism and Astro-Blackness
Not merely escapist fantasy, science fiction does in fact make positive contributions to society, albeit in an indirect way. Generations of innovators have used these yarns as sources of inspiration, and as a portal to the future.