Today is the second day of Kwanzaa. The principle we celebrate is Kujichagulia which means Self-Determination. To define ourselves, to name ourselves, speak for ourselves and create for ourselves.
Kujichagulia is a commitment to building our lives in our own images and interests. If we, as a people, are to achieve our goals we must take the responsibility for that achievement. Self-determination is the essence of freedom. This day calls for a reaffirmation of our commitment to work together for Black people everywhere, particularly here in America, to build more meaningful and fulfilling lives.
MIAMI, FL - A South Florida photographer known for documenting Florida’s historically black neighborhoods is bringing her work back to the people she photographed with a mobile photography installation. Johanne Rahaman, creator of BlackFlorida, will unveil her latest exhibit, ‘From the South to the Southernmost- Liberty City to Little Haiti’ on a visible mobile LED screen truck that will tour these neighborhoods on Saturday, October 13,from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. Inspired by the relationships and familiarity to the people and the areas, Rahaman chooses to bring the exhibit to the streets instead of showing at an art gallery which can be considered to be “white spaces” and too “exclusive” for many. This show is one of several more similar shows to follow in different neighborhoods.
The exhibition will feature images of community events Rahaman documented between 2015 and 2016 such as: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parades in Liberty City and the monthly ‘Big Night in Little Haiti’ community festival along with the popular Rara processions. The mobile show will also incorporate a musical score using music Rahaman curated while photographing inside the homes, churches, businesses and streets. “While the visual show engages, the music will entertain and drive the pace of the exhibit”, says Rahaman. “I prefer to collaborate with a DJ from the communities that I'm featuring, who will curate a playlist that compliments the story of that community.” ‘From the South to the Southernmost’ will begin at NW 7th Avenue and NW 79th Street, criss-crossing the streets and avenues to 54th Street, then across 54 Street to Little Haiti.
‘BlackFlorida’ is a photographic archive showcasing the nuances of rural towns and inner cities throughout Florida. BlackFlorida is also one of 43 projects awarded The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Knight Arts Challenge 2017.
Bethune-Cookman University Marching Wildcats are the subject of a 12-episode docu-series on Netflix.
“Marching Orders,” an original unscripted series, takes viewers inside the Marching Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. The band’s rich history includes being showcased at major sports events from the Super Bowl to NFL games and was featured in the popular film “Drumline” starring Nick Cannon and Zoe Saldana. This 12-episode series, Marching Orders, premiered on Friday, August 3 on Netflix and was produced by Stage 13/Gigantic Productions.
For students, becoming a member of the Marching Wildcats will be one of their most significant life achievements. The legacy, history, and honor of earning a spot in the 300-member plus band is a pivotal moment that is often rooted in the students’ own familial histories. Expectations run high for the new generation of Marching Wildcats.
It’s difficult to convey just how important marching bands have become in the culture and climate of HBCUs unless one has lived it as an undergraduate student. While many rival institutions will take issue with the Marching Wildcats being touted as the nation’s best, that is par for the course. Let the trash-talking continue.
“Nobody works as hard as we do,” says Band Director Donovan Wells, in the series opener. “Nobody pays attention to the details as much as we do.”
Remember her name. Florida A&M University's Cori Renee Bostic, an Atlanta native, has made history as the first female drum major of its world renown, incomparable Marching 100 band. This move is so major. The Marching 100 tradition didn’t allow women in the band until 1974. Carmena Fennell, Carla Wilson and Debra Hines were the trailblazers.
Bostic is a junior in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Tau Beta Sigma Sorority. The FAMU half-time performances just got more interesting. Who knew that was possible? Homecoming 2018 will be LIT!
Congratulations to Melissa Mitchell, winner of the SPANX Illuminate-Her™️ Art Contest! Melissa is an Atlanta-based, self-taught artist, who has a love of vibrant colors, unique shapes, and bold dark lines. Born and raised in Miami, she attributes her Bahamian heritage, melodic sounds and the colorful world around her as her greatest inspirations. Her art has been featured around the world. Her unique head wraps, Abeille Creations, have adorned the likes of Lupita N’yongo featured in Vogue magazine. Melissa is a proud graduate of Florida A&M University and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Her art will debut on SPANX styles next Spring. Stay tuned!
EBONY magazine released its June issue, showcasing DANAI GURIRA on the cover. In the accompanying exclusive interview, EBONY sits down with the award-winning actress for an intimate conversation in which Gurira dishes on her climb in Hollywood, her activism and paying it forward.
“I feel called. … I feel like everything I do, everything—the blessings that I’ve received—are not necessarily for me. They’re for me to sturdy up my shoulders for other girls to stand on like I stand on other people’s shoulders,” says Gurira.
The June issue also features a celebration of Black music and a very special ’90s hip-hop beauty retrospective. In addition, readers will learn about Letoya Luckett’s new destiny; GOOD Music’s leading lady, Teyana Taylor, dishes on her beauty tips; and offers suggestions for the best swimsuits and Father’s Day gifts, via an exclusive gift guide.
“The June issue of EBONY is one to get very excited about. Music has always played—and continues to play—an integral role in Black culture. We hope this edition will deliver a robust celebration of music and get everyone involved,” says Linda Johnson Rice, CEO of EBONY Media Operations. “The June issue also aims to celebrate Black fathers and fatherhood. We take a deep dive into honoring the male role models in all of our lives through heart-touching stories and ideas for purchasing the man in your life the perfect gift for Father’s Day.”
Get the June 2018 digital edition of EBONY via Texture, Google Play, Apple iTunes and Kindle and on newsstands May 24. For more with Gurira and behind-the-scenes content, be sure to visit ebony.com/InsideEbony.
Florida A&M University president Dr. Larry Robinson, the University’s performing troupe, the FAMU Connection, various FAMU staff and student leaders will make their Miami stop of the 2018 President’s Recruitment Tour at 6:30 p.m., Monday, March 12, 2018, at Miami Jackson Senior High School Auditorium, 1751 NW 36th Street, Miami, FL 33142.
All interested high school students and their parents are invited to attend. Attendees will have an opportunity to chat one-on-one with University academic representatives, student leaders and alumni. Scholarships will be awarded on the spot to graduating seniors contingent upon qualifying GPA and test scores.
Don’t miss a festive evening of cocktails, food, and music at the Art + Soul Fifth Anniversary Celebration of the PAMM Fund for African American Art. This celebratory event will offer three unique opportunities to support PAMM’s efforts to build a diverse collection. Proceeds from the evening benefit the Fund. The Knight Foundation has generously agreed to match the event’s fundraising efforts dollar for dollar. She-J Hercules of 99 Jamz will join patrons as the DJ for "The Celebration" portion of the evening.
Miami's Alex Hibbert graces the advertisement for the Showtime drama, THE CHI.
If you enjoy watching quality television, you owe it to yourself to check out Showtime’s THE CHI. It airs Sundays at 10 PM EST. Subscribers can also view episodes on demand on the Showtime app.
THE CHI chronicles the lives of residents of the South Side of Chicago. It humanizes people who have been dehumanized because of the numerous reports of death due to gun violence. As in many, urban, predominantly-black neighborhoods demonized by crime statistics and poverty, there is a beautiful side that is rarely shown. As one-sided as the South Side of Chicago is typically portrayed, THE CHI doesn’t shy away from its ugly side of crime, drugs and poverty.
Award-winning Chicago natives Lena Waithe (Emmy - Master of None) and Common (Academy Award - Selma) have presented a cinematically beautiful well-acted and well-written drama. Waithe made history as the first Black woman to win an Emmy for Comedy Writing. It’s 2018 and we’re still celebrating Black “firsts” but let us not digress. The Chi cast includes Jason Mitchell (Brandon); Tiffany Boone (Jerrika); Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine (Ronnie); Jacob Latimore (Emmett); Yolanda Ross (Jada); Sonja Sohn (Laverne); and Miami’s own Alex Hibbert (Kevin).
You might remember Alex from his award-winning film debut as “Little” in the Miami-based and Miami-focused movie Moonlight which won multiple awards including the Academy Award for Best Picture. In Moonlight, Alex was incredibly expressive just using his eyes and body language. That same compelling quiet energy is evident as he portrays Kevin in THE CHI.
Since THE CHI has been renewed for a second season, we look forward to seeing more of Alex Hibbert on THE CHI next year. Episode 5 is scheduled to air on February 11 so you have plenty of time to binge watch the first four episodes to catch up with the storyline.
From Episode 1: Alex Hibbert (left) as Kevin in scene with Jason Mitchell as Brandon, in hit Showtime series --- The Chi.
Zoetic Stage and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County present
TOPDOG/UNDERDOG By Suzan-Lori Parks
A Pulitzer Prize-winning dark comedy about brotherhood and family identity
Opens the 2017-2018 season for Zoetic Stage and the Arsht Center’s Theater Up Close Series
Zoetic Stage and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County are proud to present TOPDOG/UNDERDOG, a Pulitzer Prize-winning dark comedy by Suzan-Lori Parks. Playing November 2 – November 19, 2017 in the intimate Carnival Studio Theater (Ziff Ballet Opera House), TOPDOG/UNDERDOG launches Zoetic Stage’s 2017-2018 season at the Arsht Center as part of the Center’s highly-acclaimed Theater Up Close Series.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, TOPDOG/UNDERDOG is a darkly comic tale of brotherhood and family identity. The play tells the story of Lincoln (Eddie Brown) and Booth (Marckenson Charles), two African-American brothers (whose names were given to them as a joke) coping with women, work, poverty, gambling, racism, and their troubled upbringings. Haunted by the past, the brothers are forced to confront the shattering reality of their future.
Zoetic Stage was founded in 2010 to create fresh, bold interpretations of contemporary plays and musicals, and is dedicated to enhancing South Florida’s national artistic profile by producing regional premieres and developing new works to become part of the American stage repertoire. The company will co-present three more exciting productions with the Arsht Center in the 2017-2018 season. Zoetic Stage’s 7th anniversary season will continue with the world premiere of Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts (January 18 – February 4, 2018), the latest work by Christopher Demos-Brown, award-winning writer of Stripped, American Son and Fear Up Harsh; the South Florida premiere of Dancing Lessons (March 8 – March 25, 2018), Mark St. Germain’s poignant and hilarious romantic comedy; and the South Florida premiere of the five-time Tony Award-winning musical, Fun Home (April 12 – May 13, 2018).
Tickets to TOPDOG/UNDERDOG may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at www.arshtcenter.org.