In celebration of Black History Month I’m paying tribute to 28 contemporary history makers. These people have inspired me throughout my life, as well as today, and are making a positive impact on our world.
Forty years ago this February, President Gerald Ford, was the first to recognize “Black History Month.” This period of acknowledgement evolved from “Negro History Week,” that was created by historian Carter G. Woodson, and other prominent African-Americans. This installment of the FUNKALICIOUS blog, is a retrospective of some American and Internatinal “Black” History accomplishments and occurrences, throughout 2015…
“The Color Purple” opens on Broadway tomorrow night! Starring Jennifer Hudson as “Shug Avery,” the all around female entertainer performed a segment of the show, on “The Late Show” after taking the couch with Stephen Colbert on Monday night.
Taraji’s “trending”… Why? Apart from Ms. Henson’s “Empire” success, she’ll soon grace the cover of W magazine, and she’s giving the flavor of “The Boss.” The Inquisiter, People, US Weekly, Extra, Yahoo and Facebook, are all talking about her look.
I’m always impressed when intellect and wealth meet humanity. The initiatives and efforts of Bill and Melinda Gates in the realms of education, health, hunger and global economics are astounding. Oprah Winfrey’s school in Africa for girls; how she’s put young men through college here in the United States; and her “Legends Ball” where she honored Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou and Ruby Dee, among others, before they left this earth will forever amaze me.
As I was prepping the blog that will follow this one, it occurred to me that I had yet to create this list. Although I’ve done items on a few of them, as this outlet and website continues to grow, I wanted to pay homage to those that have shaped, inspired and influenced my view and love for film.
President Barack Obama pays homage to the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors Recipients.
President Barack Obama awarded sixteen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 20, 2013.
Michael Jackson would be 55 today (8/29) if he were still among us. Michael’s mom Katherine Jackson and his two eldest children Prince (16) and Paris (15), are currently in the midst of a lawsuit against concert promoters AEG Live, charging them with “Wrongful Death.” AEG’s position is, Jackson was already using drugs that took his life when they began their contractual agreement. On August 14, Jackson’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe took the stand in the pending case. Rowe was called as a defense witness for AEG, and testified as her former mother-in-law Katherine sat in the front row.
Went to see “The Butler” last night, Loved It! Part of me was just gonna “write something” on FB, but I had to write more, and GIVE IT UP to the filmmaking genius of Lee Daniels. Starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo and an impeccable ensemble cast, Lee has another future classic on his hands.
The City of Chicago honored ten-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan this past weekend by naming a street after her. A ceremony took place on Saturday, July 27th, christening “Chaka Khan Way”, and Sunday, July 28th, has now been declared “Chaka Khan Day” in Chicago, which is the FUNKY singer’s hometown. Born Yvette Marie Stevens on March 23, 1953, Chaka made her presence known during the 1970s.
Tina Turner had an official wedding last Sunday to celebrate her civil ceremony to her long-time beau music producer Erwin Bach. The couple have been together for 27 years, and had the celebration at their home on the banks of Lake Zurich in Switzerland. Among the guests were Oprah Winfrey and Bryan Adams.
Denzel Washington stars in the new movie “2 Guns”. A crime-drama, Mark Walberg co-stars, in this tale of two cops on a mission. As posted on imdb, “A DEA agent and an undercover Naval Intelligence officer who have been tasked with investigating one another find they have been set up by the mob — the very organization the two men believe they have been stealing money from.”
BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL! That used to be a popular phrase. One that still holds true for me, it doesn’t for a multitude of people… from the land where the black man — the first man — began. Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry are the directors of “Dark Girls.” Airing on OWN, it premiered last night, I don’t see any future air dates — but you can get all the details and see portions of the film on it’s official site: http://officialdarkgirlsmovie.com
The FUNKIEST moment is being there, in the moment, not recording it. I watched Oprah Winfrey’s address to Harvard University online last night. One being able to have the opportunity to hear a person of her caliber, success and expertise in a private setting speak, is rare. When moments like this occur, you should really be in tune and focused, not recording it.
Oscar Award winning actor, producer and director Forest Whitaker has several projects on deck right now. Soon to be seen as the lead in Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” opposite Oprah Winfrey, he has current and upcoming roles in six other films.
Over the years I’ve heard many words that have impressed, inspired and stuck with me. A couple I remember hearing fondly from my mother Ronna Waller and always recycle are “Better safe than sorry” and “Be careful what you wish for.” The first time I heard the phrase “People in hell want ice water – that don’t mean they get it,” was a brilliantly delivered line from Jessica Lange as Patsy Cline in the movie “Sweet Dreams.” Here’s another bakers dozen…
It’s hard to fathom that The Color Purple is 30 years old already. I read the book in my Black literature class in college. I have watched the movie so many times that I can recite all of the lines by heart…like many Black women can and do every time. I saw the broadway play three times. I can’t think of another piece of work that has made me cry, over and over again, across multiple formats. Here are some comments from Alice Walker on the 30th anniversary of The Color Purple.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Sean “P-Diddy” Combs have entered in to the world of television. My initial reaction was “Great”, but we’ve been here before. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy, ecstatic, overjoyed that two of our most successful moguls in entertainment are about to grow their existing respective empires – good for them. However, we’ve had such a poor showing on a very short list of accomplishments thus far with Black Television.
The nominees are in… this past Tuesday the annual Oscar nominations were announced. A lover of movies, I was always impressed by a show that honored the best of the best in film as a youth.