All Articles Tagged "angela davis"
We hear so much about Black History Month icons and what they’ve done in the past around this time of year, but we were wondering, what are they up to presently? Many people don’t know that some of the people we’ve read about and watched films on are still living and thriving in different ways. Here are 10 examples of women I’ve looked up to who are still doing amazing things all these years later, and are still being honored for opening the doors for so many.
Bridges was the first black student to attend an all-white school in the South after her parents volunteered her, through the NAACP, to participate in integrating schools in New Orleans. Now 60, Bridges still resides in New Orleans and is married with four sons. She was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton in 2001, and in 2006, an elementary school was dedicated to her. She continues to speak out against racism as an inspirational speaker. In 2014, a statue of Bridges was erected in her honor in front of William Frantz Elementary, the same school she was berated and threatened for integrating as a young girl in 1960.
It’s the end of Pride Month, which in New York City is known as Gay Pride Weekend and where the Gay Rights Movement started on June 28, 1969 with the Stonewall Riots. MadameNoire has a list of more black women who have helped paved the way for being gay, black and woman.
These famous black women are out and proud and some are major LGBTQ advocates and activists.
Like 15 previous famous and prominent black women MN covered who have broke down barriers, these black women are part of a growing list of out and proud celebrities, gay celebrities of color and celesbians.
To fro or not to fro? That is the question. The afro, which was once a somewhat political statement proudly worn by the likes of Angela Davis and members of the black pride movement, now sits comfortably in hipster culture as a signifier of being cool and stylish and current. Just look at celebrities like Solange and Questlove whose hairstyles are almost as famous as they are. As such, our next question goes out to the current pro-fro community: Is your hair a statement, an expression of self, or is your hair just simply your hair?
The New York Times today reports a variety of answers to that question. It seems that today’s young afro wearers are thinking less critically about their what their hair means, and instead considering more rational reasons for going au naturale. The affect hair products have on the environment, for example, is what worries one 16-year-old in Brooklyn who claimed ““I’m an environmentalist. That’s where the locks come in. It’s like all natural.”
Another girl in Brooklyn doesn’t see the big deal with hair anyway, and just wants to stay true to herself. She says “This is just how my hair grows out of my head. I’m not trying to make a statement. I’m just more comfortable being who I am.”
Others still just enjoy the aesthetic. One girl told the author of Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair, “I don’t wear my hair natural because I’m strictly Afrocentric or don’t believe in the white man’s perm. I wear my hair this way because I truly think I look adorable with natural hair.”
Sidra Smith, also known as actress Tasha Smith’s equally ebullient twin sister, is the producer behind the thrilling new documentary on political activist Angela Davis.Free Angela and All Political Prisoners explores the explosive months Davis spent on trial for murder, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy charges in 1972.
We spoke with Smith about her involvement in the Shola Lynch-directed project, finally getting to meet Davis in Toronto, and how she got Jada Pinkett Smith (with Will Smith and Jay-Z through their entertainment companies, Overbook Entertainment and Roc Nation respectively) involved.
ESSENCE: Did Shola Lynch come to you with this project?
Read what Sidra Smith had to say on Essence.com.
March is women’s month, and because it follows on the heels of Black History Month, there’s no better time to talk about a topic that is very important to Black Women — hair care. Here are our top eleven moments in Black Hair care History.
Self-Styled Entrepreneur Madam CJ Walker Makes Her Mark With Black Hair Care Products (1905)
Combining both beauty sensibility and business savvy, Madam CJ Walker (née Sarah Breedlove) built a wildly successful hair empire, around, among other things, the innovation of the pressing comb, which made it more user-friendly for Afro-textured hair (she had the teeth widened for her target market). Ambitious, driven, and dedicated to her company, Madam CJ Walker became the first female self-made millionaire in the United States.
Just in time for Black History Month, Codeblack Films, a Lionsgate company, has announced that it is releasing Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, presented by BET Networks at select AMC locations in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Oakland, Philadelphia and Atlanta on April 5, 2013.
This documentary of Angela Davis was directed and written by Shola Lynch, whose previous work includes Chisholm ’72- Unbought & Unbossed. According to a press release for this film, Davis was inspired by Chisholm ’72 to “speak to young people in the 21st century and to give them a sense of what it means to feel collectively powerful and capable of changing the world.”
Jada Pinkett Smith also worked on Free Angela as an executive producer, with Overbrook Entertainment and Jay Z for Roc Nation and a number of other names in the entertainment industry. The film was a hit at the Toronto Film Festival a few months ago.
Angela Davis has been hailed as a political symbol and prominent activist in the 1960s for her involvement in the Civil Rights movement and affiliation with the Black Panthers. This film features Angela Davis’ own personal account of what led to her imprisonment. The story focuses on Davis as a young professor and social justice activist who is somehow implicated in a kidnapping attempt and a shootout that leaves four people dead. Davis ultimately lands on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list. She also became a global cause, with people around the world calling her a “political prisoner” and demanding her release. The documentary coincides with the 40th anniversary of Davis’ acquittal on charges of murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy.
Fun fact: Davis became such a celebrated cause that she was the inspiration for a song by John Lennon and Yoko Ono — “Angela” — and another by The Rolling Stones — “Sweet Black Angel.” IMDB also reminds us that Davis ran for VP of the US in 1980 and 1984 under the Communist Party umbrella.
After the jump, we’ve got the trailer. Will you watch this movie?
Michaela Angela Davis Is Coming For Reality TV Producers: Activist Launches ‘Bury The Ratchet’ Campaign
We’re living in an era where ratchet seems to be selling more than sex in the entertainment industry, which is ironic since “sex sells” has been the industry’s motto for as long as most of us can remember. Urban culture writer and activist Michaela Angela Davis wants us all to know that she isn’t blind to how the ratchet is plaguing the image of Black women in entertainment and that she is taking a stand against it. In a recent interview with Jacque Reid, she announced the launch of her latest campaign, “Bury The Ratchet,” which is intended to clean up the image of Black women that is currently at the forefront of mainstream media.
As a result of reality shows such as “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta,” and the fact that television seems to have deemed the city as the mecca of all things ratchet, Davis’s campaign will be specifically honing in on the women of Atlanta.
“The goal is to get the spotlight off the ratchetness and on the successful women in Atlanta,” Davis expressed.
She also stated that shows such as the aforementioned cause people to stereotypically group all African-American women from Atlanta into a single category.
“The first image that comes to mind is mean, gold-digging women. It has become completely evident that there has been a brand of women from Atlanta that are adverse to what most of these women are like.”
In an effort to raise awareness surrounding the campaign, Davis is said to be hosting a conference in March of 2012 at Spellman College in Atlanta where she will join forces with other African American leaders and advocates to explore, expose and analyze the negatives affects that reality television is having on Black America.
The team behind “Bury The Ratchet” is also reported to be getting together to produce a public service announcement that will expose how Black women sincerely feel about reality television and that manner in which they are portrayed by the media. It seems that her goal is to reach the young women.
“We want to change the mind of young women who absorb these images,” she expressed.
This is most definitely an admirable step being taken by Davis and we know that her motives are not self-serving unlike others who have tried to tackle reality television and its stars such as Star Jones.
What do you think of the “Bury The Ratchet” campaign? Are we victims of mainstream media or are they simply giving us what we want?
Halle Berry might be sipping on some of that Aretha Franklin right now — but not in a way that’s beneficial to the Queen of Soul. You know Re-Re has been going hardcore to get Halle to play her in a biopic, to which the actress basically said, thanks but no thanks. Turns out, Halle has a girl crush of her own who she’s thirsty to play and appears to be getting nowhere with: Angela Davis.
In the latest issue of In Style, which Halle Berry covers, she tells the magazine it’s her dream to play the civil rights activist in a major Hollywood picture.
“Her story is so fascinating,” she said. “I would love to bring it to the screen. I would pick her brain to have a better understanding of her affiliation with the Black Panthers and that period from the 1960s.”
Shadow and Act pointed out that this isn’t the first time Halle has been vocal about her dream role. In January 2011, she told JET:
“I’ll probably never get to play it in my life and I am going to be sad until the day I die, but I really want to play Angela Davis-badly,” she said. “So badly. I just think she’s fascinating and I think I would love to tell a story from her perspective about that time in our history and what it was all about with the black panthers.”
Answering the obvious question of why this biopic hasn’t happened, S&A added that there had been unconfirmed rumors that Halle actually met with Angela Davis before her JET interview but the ’60s and ’70s activist wasn’t interested in signing over the rights to her life. Whether that’s true or not is unknown.
It’s been a hot minute since Halle took on a serious role, and though the 46-year-old looks amazing, time is running out for her to play a mid-20-something, afro-wearing revolutionary. She might have to hang this one up just like Aretha.
Do you think Halle could pull off playing Angela Davis?
PBS’s “Independent Lens” is gearing up for Black History Month by premiering a series of new documentaries shedding an interesting light on African American History.
The film first in the series, debuting Feb. 2, is “Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock,. The documentary tells the story of filmmaker Sharon La Cruise’s seven-year journey to get to know civil rights activist Daisy Bates. Bates became a household name in 1957 when she fought for the right of nine black students to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, AK, but she became mostly forgotten after that.
The following week, “Independent Lens” will show “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975.” The film features contrasting interviews with Black Power leaders of the time like Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis, and Eldridge Cleaver with contemporary audio interviews from leading African American artists, activists, musicians, and scholars. Chronicling the Black Power movement’s evolution, the footage includes shots from the streets of Harlem, Brooklyn, and Oakland.
During the final week, the network will show “More than a Month,” the story of Shukree Hassan Tilghman’s cross-country campaign to end Black History Month
Check out the trailers for the Black Power Mixtape and the Story of Daisy Bates below. Will you tune in?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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