Fifteen days ago, October 15th, marked the 48th anniversary of the Black Panther Party (BPP). This is the second installment of my reflections on the revolutionary black nationalist and socialist organization. The BPP was able to flourish in urban cities like Baltimore, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Winston-Salem.
“Bad, Black and Bountiful: The Museum Of UnCut Funk Looks Back at the Blaxploitation Film Genre”. At one time the images were omnipresent: on TV, in movies, on billboards and in magazines. Young African-American men and women in anti establishment starring film roles, wearing bell-bottoms, platforms and Afro hairstyles, and determined to get even—or “get over.” The time was the early 1970s, and the film genre was Blaxploitation—action oriented pictures that, for the most part, told stories culled from America’s crime-ridden inner-cities.
Not too long ago, Laurence Fishburne played “Dr. Raymond Langston” in CBS’ CSI series, but first he was Dr. Joshua “Josh” Hall (#1) on “One Life to Live” on ABC TV from ’73 to ’76; he did a television movie, then began a career in film. He took on a role with Pee Wee’s Playhouse as “Cowboy Curtis” from 86 to 90; and most recently was “Jack Crawford” in the small screen version of “Hannibal,” that was based on the character made famous in the Oscar award winning film, “The Silence of the Lambs.”
Let’s reminisce a little… I’m an O.G. (older gentleman) and as I recollect, I remember the 70s being my favorite decade, and I will tell you why. The music, the club scene, the dances, and so on – and I could just go on, and on. Why this particular time, rather than some others was more enjoyable to me personally, is easy to explain.
Greetings Friends, Funk-A-Teers and Lovers of R&B… Take a trip with me as we STEP INTO THE FUNK, acknowledging the genius of my musical hero and namesake, Stevie Wonder.
In October 1966 in Oakland, California, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale established the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Membership in the original Black Panther Party reached 10,000 by early 1969.
It looks like the Hawkins Brothers are on their way. The team of Zeke and Simon Hawkins have wrapped their first film. Featured at the Toronto Film Festival as “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” “Bad Turn Worse,” hits theaters on November 14th.
New York Comic Con has done it again and the Museum Of UnCut Funk was there to witness all the fun filled action of COSPLAY, a Women of Color in Comics panel discussion and the latest contributions from comic book artists, writers and the world of video gaming.
During the 1970’s Black filmmakers found their voices by making films that spoke to urban audiences in a way that had never been done before. Films like Sugar Hill, Abby, The Zebra Killers and so many more packed theaters with audiences hungry for Horror Movies where the Black Guy didn’t die first. 40 years later, Black horror films have made a lasting impact within the Black community. These films are national treasures and should be a part of any film collection. The Museum of UnCut Funk pays homage to the Blaxpolitation Horror films of 1974.
Stevie Wonder is taking “Songs in the Key of Life” on the road! He initially announced the tour about a year ago, but dates for the road trip, hit the Internet just last month. I got the news via http://insideplaya.wordpress.com about a week or so ago! I didn’t recall having heard about it before – then I spoke to a fellow Wonder lovers, and they too said they hadn’t heard yet either. I am generally the one to hear about major music events among my immediate family and friends — then our cousin Stevie told us that he wanted to write something for The Museum of UnCut Funk. His inspiration, to talk about his memories connected to the album, made me begin to think of mine…
Benjamin Booker is a raw new talent out of New Orleans! He recently made his network television debut on “The Late Show w/ David Letterman,” and his self-titled debut album is in stores now – performance on Letterman here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8VyRO2iqeg
One of entertainment’s true black cultural icons has passed away. Ever since childhood, my life was touched by the presence, of Geoffrey Holder. From commercials to film to actually meeting him, Holder has unquestionably influenced, encouraged and inspired dynamics of my life, that led me to choose pursuing the world of entertainment and writing as a career. A true giant in stature and in life, I am honored to have been in his presence and humbled, by the advice he rendered.
At it’s inception, Netflix was a cool idea, despite it’s analog entry into the mainstream. Digital was at the onset of the brand, however a solid cyber foundation was required to couple strategic timing and marketing. The evolutionary medium recently acquired the rights to air the NBC hit, “The Black List” that stars James Spader, for two-million dollars per episode recently. Now they’ll enable subscribers to see brand new films simultaneously as they’re released in theaters! It begins with the sequel to the Ang Lee hit “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand and Smokey Robinson all have new music out. Streisand and Robinson’s CDs are duet projects, and Franklin’s release is an album of covers, including classics from Etta James to Adele.