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*Dreamworks (I just saw their film, Rio 2, by the way and I did enjoy it. I also saw the preview short for this upcoming movie) is producing a movie, Home, that will feature a black female character, Tip, in the lead and she will be voiced by Rihanna. So, I will definitely be seeing this and I guess it is safe to say the character is Afro-Caribbean! Yay! Here is the synopsis:
“When Earth is taken over by the overly-confident Boov, an alien race in search of a new place to call home, all humans are promptly relocated, while the Boov get busy efficiently reorganizing the planet. But when one resourceful girl, Tip, (Rihanna) manages to avoid capture, she finds herself the accidental accomplice of a banished Boov by the name of Oh (Jim Parsons). Equally stubborn and set in their ways, these two fugitives realize there’s a lot more at stake than intergalactic relations as they embark on the road trip of a lifetime. Good thing they have a flying car.”
*Tonight Black Girl Nerds featured The Afrofuturist Affair‘s Rasheedah Phillips on their podcast.
*Kiplyn Primus and The Local Take on WCLK deidcated their program to The Octavia Butler Celebration of Fantastic Arts Symposium on Art and Activism event on April 16th. Tananarive Due, Adrienne Maree Brown and Dream Hampton join the “discussion about Afro Futurism, science fiction and fantasy, and the role of African Americans in fiction and in art.” Here is the broadcast. Also, you can watch some videos from the event here.
*Daniel Jose Older’s post, “Diversity Is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing:” ““The publishing industry looks a lot like these best-selling teenage dystopias: white and full of people destroying each other to survive.”
*Time’s “The Rapture of The Nerds:” “A new religion [Terasem] has set out to store memories for centuries and deliver its believers into a world where our souls can outlive our selves.”
*Starting next week, New York Live Arts presents a festival in honor of writer and cultural critic James Baldwin, called This Time. Some events include, “Baldwin’s Capacious Imagination & Influence,”After “Giovanni’s Room”: Baldwin and Queer Futurity,” and “Carl Hancock Rux: Stranger On Earth.”
*Jeffrey B. Leak recently released his biography of poet and writer, Henry Dumas, Visible Man: The Life of Henry Dumas.
*Check out The Studio Museum’s new exhibition, When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and The American South: “…queries the category of “outsider” art in relation to contemporary art and black life. Situating itself within current art historical and political debates, the exhibition considers work by self-taught, spiritually inspired and incarcerated artists, alongside other projects based in performance, socially engaged practice and the archive, as well as painting, drawing, sculpture and assemblage, that make insistent reference to place.”
*Michelle Lhooq’s “Black to the Future: Electronic Music’s Sci-Fi Roots,” featuring the two events that King Britt was part of, OmniPresent and Moondance. Also, take a look at Hank Shocklee’s photo recap.
*Artist Jaszmine Asha Hawkins is raising money for a solo show. Please consider supporting!
*Mind Glow Media’s “The Theatric Rise of the Orisha” Interview with Nosa Igbinedion: “We have such a rich culture that the world doesn’t really know about. It’s kind of like we’ve taken the images that Hollywood has presented to the world about us, and we reenact these destructive stories which only work against us. We live in the 21st century where just about everyone has a social media platform, but many of us are still reenacting the propaganda that others have spread, yet we have the platforms to say something different.”
*Shadow and Act’s “Interview Video Series Launch w/ Director Hawa Essuman As She Develops Her Supernatural Drama ‘Djin:'” “During the course of 2013, after the award was assigned, lettera27 followed the progress on Djin and offered its author the opportunity to talk about the project in a series of videos. The videos were produced by Istituto Micropunta, a duo of filmmakers based in Milan – who are amongst the most original players of the Italian audiovisual scene – with the help of Vanessa Lanari, the curator of the Director’s Eye, and Claudia D’Alonzo, a writer and scholar in audiovisual studies. This resulting series of 6 videos document the words, perspectives and gestures of Hawa Essuman as she leads us through the phases of conception, writing and re-writing of the film project, as well as the difficult process of approaching and distancing herself from ‘her’ characters that every author must face in the lengthy preparatory period that each film requires”
*Polymic’s “This 3-Minute Video Reveals the Surprising Link Between Hip-Hop and Better Schools:” takes a look at GZA and Dr. Christopher Emdin‘s work at combining hip-hop and other black-derived cultural forms and education to create magic again in schools.
*Jia Tolentino’s “Cancel “What Americans Will Look Like in 2050“ critiquing the article “National Geographic Concludes What Americans Will Look Like in 2050, and It’s Beautiful:” “It’s the rhetoric that matters here, the unplumbed fetish for these faces and what they can be forced to represent. I admit that I am sensitized on the basis of my everyday life. I sometimes read as biracial (which, if these photos are any indication, many still envision as “white” + “person of color”) and sometimes people sort of act disappointed to find out that I’m just plain whatever, and much more often are quite ready to express an interest in the somewhat inevitable byproduct of my long-standing habit of contributing to the “mega-race” (boning white guys). God, those kids would be good-looking! Here we go, riding the swirl into a fully equal future, in which all of our faces will glow like one giant Instagram and the filter is white, white, white!”
*Okay Africa’s Interview with artist Paul Sika about influence of cinema, video games, and manga comics with Pret-A-Poundo.
*Christopher Carbone’s post, “What I Learned From Tweeting With A Black Woman’s Avatar For #RaceSwapExp,” addresses the vitriol black women tend to receive in social media: “Mikki Kendall—who launched #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, among others—inspired other women of color and black women to offer up photographs of themselves for white people who wanted to participate in #RaceSwapExp for the week. Shortly thereafter, I expressed my interest in participating and Feminista Jones was gracious enough to allow me to use a picture of her for the next five days. I’ll admit I was hesitant: How would people respond? Would the content of my tweets change or be received differently? The basic requirement for #RaceSwapExp was that you couldn’t change how or what you tweeted—and you had to obtain permission from the person whose avatar you used. I learned a few lessons about white supremacy and misogyny while tweeting as “Christine” with a picture of Feminista Jones as my avi.”
*Aja Monet will be premiering her show Inner City Chants and Cyborg Ciphers on May 30th and 31st at Kraine Theatre in NYC. In the meantime, watch her recent video for “Nomads.”
*Terence Nance and Marco Williams were named Guggenheim Fellows!
*Atlanta Black Star’s “6 Black Savants Who Will Amaze You.”
*Vibe Vixen’s review of SZA‘s album, Z, “‘Z’ Is An Otherworldly Venture Into SZA’s Psyche.”
*Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses race and gender in response to a question asked about comments made by Harvard University President Lawrence Summers. Also, have you heard about the protesters in Oklahoma against Tyson and threatening to secede if his show Cosmos is not cancelled because they feel it is anti-creationist.
*Noel Clarke (Doctor Who) will be in and directed a new film, Anomaly, which follows “a former soldier who finds himself captive in the back of a van, and time not on his side to work out what’s going on” and involves the theme of mind control. Here is the trailer:
*Fantastic Man documentary about the mysterious Nigerian psychedelic/electro-funk musician William Onyeabor. BAM will be presenting Atomic Bomb: The Music of WIlliam Onyeabor on May 2nd and 3rd and is having a contest for tickets.
*Film is set to be made about the real life exorcism of Latoya Ammons. Psychics told her she had over 200 ghosts haunting her house, and “she witnessed her children walking up walls, levitating and speaking in different voices” amongst other things. Hopefully they will not whitewash the film.
*I’m getting tired of Pharrell for a few reasons and here’s one: “25 Alternatives to Pharrell (or Any Other Celeb) for Insights Into ‘the New Black.’”
–CasaCosmica’s “Dark Arts” featuring Josiah Wise and Spoek Mathambo
–Spoek Mathambo and other’s remix of Pegasus Warning’s “The Mountain”
-Listen to Mick’s mixtape, GREETINGS EARTHLING: Outkast Rarities And Remixes