Posts tagged with "Black experience"

Film Premiere illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Twenty Pearls Premiere

COMCAST ANNOUNCES EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE OF
TWENTY PEARLS – A DOCUMENTARY EXAMINING THE STORIED HISTORY OF ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY, INCORPORATED – ON ITS NEWLY LAUNCHED BLACK EXPERIENCE ON XFINITY CHANNEL

Comcast NBCUniversal is excited to announce the exclusive premiere of the documentary film “Twenty Pearls: The Story of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated”, arriving Friday, March 26 on its newly launched Black Experience on Xfinity Channel, available on X1, Flex, and on-the-go with the Xfinity Stream app.

From award-winning filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper, produced by Coffee Bluff Pictures, and narrated by Phylicia Rashād, Twenty Pearls closely examines the founding and legacy of the first Black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, which is now regarded as one of the most significant and influential Black organizations in historyThe documentary tells a powerful story of sisterhood. In 1908, nine Black women enrolled at Howard University made one decision that would change the course of history. These college students created Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. For over 113 years, the sorority has influenced many of the most famous watershed moments in history.

Through narration, interviews, and rarely seen archival materials, the audience will see the sorority’s impact on World War II, NASA, Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) culminating in the historic election of America’s first Black and South Asian woman Vice President. Twenty Pearls features interviews with members of the sorority including Vice President Kamala HarrisMiss Universe Ireland 2019 Fionnghuala O’ReillySmithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch III, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Fierst, great-granddaughter of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, International President and CEO of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Dr. Glenda Glover and many more.

 
Watch the Twenty Pearls trailer hereTrailer
 

“This is an extraordinary time to look back at our past to serve our future,” added filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper. “A future where Black women are centered. Helming this documentary love letter to the founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the generations of women that followed in their footsteps, and to all Black women everywhere is an honor. This is an important history for all of us to know and understand.”

“We’re thrilled to work with award-winning filmmaker, Deborah Riley Draper, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority to bring this exclusive premiere to the Black Experience on Xfinity channel, furthering our company-wide mission of investing in and showcasing authentic Black stories and culture,” said Keesha Boyd, Executive Director, Multicultural Video & Entertainment, Xfinity Consumer Services. “We launched this channel to help facilitate the discovery of stories like Twenty Pearls while providing a platform for emerging Black content creators.”

“Telling our own story is essential to preserving our history and uplifting the culture,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha International President and CEO Dr. Glenda Glover. “Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated’s remarkable 113-year journey which began on the campus of Howard University is punctuated by stories of history makers, ceiling breakers, public servants, and ordinary women who have changed the course of American history.  Through this beautifully written and narrated odyssey, this film highlights in undeniable ways the vision, courage, tenacity, determination, and power of Black women while putting to bed the age-old questions about the relevance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Divine Nine sororities and fraternities.”

Black Experience on Xfinity is a first-of-its-kind destination of Black entertainment, movies, TV shows, news, and more. It features high-quality content from many of Xfinity’s existing network partners, at no additional cost, while investing millions of dollars in fostering and showcasing emerging Black content creators. The channel is the only one of its kind endorsed by the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), the world’s largest group of Black film critics that gives annual awards for excellence in film and television. Available at home on Xfinity X1 and Flex, and on-the-go with the Xfinity Stream app, the Black Experience on Xfinity will entertain, educate and uplift, featuring Black actors, writers, producers and directors. At home, Xfinity subscribers can visit channel 1622 or simply say “Black Experience” into the Voice Remote to instantly enjoy the ultimate in Black storytelling.

Visit Xfinity to learn more about the Black Experience on Xfinity and other Black programming available on X1, Flex, and the Xfinity Stream app. Visit Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated to learn more about Twenty Pearls, which premieres on March 26 on Xfinity and is free for subscribers, and will be available nationwide, on-demand, starting on March 30, 2021.

Beyoncé - Black is King illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

A Gift From Beyoncé

‘Superb. Reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s Remember The Time!’Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

By Mina Tocalini

Beyoncé’s new film “Black is King,” a celebration of the “breadth and beauty of Black ancestry”, released on Disney+ today. Similar to Beyoncé’s 2016 film, “Lemonade,” “Black is King” acts as a visual album to her soundtrack, “The Lion King: The Gift.” Black Is King” explores the “timeless lessons” from Lion King in a visually rich modern journey of Black empowerment and resilience.

Beyoncé announced her excitement for the film’s release via Instagram, while further acknowledging the impact of its release and message: “The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey… I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history.”

Beyoncé’s prideful film explores the Black experience and history through a young king’s story of “betrayal, love and self-identity.” Additionally, given the timing of its release, the film presents the necessity of honoring and telling stories from the Black perspective and that of any underrepresented community.

Simply put, the film is a celebratory visual journey of the Black experience. Initially the flow of the story seems interrupted and fast paced, but further on, it becomes clear that instead of following a linear narrative, it challenges the audience to find the connections within the short moments that frame each message.

Reiterating the same story we know and love is unnecessary, so rather, “Black is King” reinvents the Lion King through thematic experimentation intended to ignite pride in the Black identity. In a stunning collage of Afro-Soul music, narrative driven reflections and strikingly beautiful imagery, the film successfully expresses inspirational messages of hope, growth, love and community.

Some have critiqued the lavish presentation of Blackness via art, dance and fashion to be excessive and fast paced. Yet, this film’s message is focused on individuality and self love derived from the appreciation of Black culture. A culture of an entire continent and of Black communities around the world, it is anything but simple.

The immense detail in this film celebrates the complexity of Black beauty and the fast paced editing can not only be considered a reference to music video styles. It may originate from there, but can we not interpret it as being part of the overwhelming journey of defining your identity while struggling with the racial tensions in society.

Beyoncé did not create this to simply further enhance her image in a display of wealth, popular culture already associates her persona this way, we expect it and should not disregard the artistry for embracing it. She is simply using her power as a superstar to lead the unifying celebration, as should be done by those who can.

Additionally, Beyoncé is not the only star in “Black is King”, although American audiences may mainly recognize her. Emerging African artists such as Wizkid, Busiswa, Shatta Wale, Salatiel, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy, Tekno, Moonchild Sanelly and Lord Afrixana were part of the album and in some in the film. Black American artists also include Kelly Rowland, 070 Shake, Childish Gambino, Jessie Reyez, Pharrell Williams, Nija, and Tierra Whack. The presence of these Black American legends establishes the familiarity necessary to create an alliance between both Black cultures and induce a movement of African diaspora celebration.

Follow Beyoncé: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Graffiti illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

The Fabric of America: Artists in Protest

In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the Museum of Graffiti will open a new exhibition titled The Fabric of America: Artists in Protest. Over 30 South Florida graffiti artists and illustrators were invited to create protest themed art on denim jackets in the tradition of the protest signs seen at marches.

“Providing a platform for artists to contribute to the national discussion is important to the Museum and a way for local artists to join the conversation,” states the Museum’s curator Alan Ket, he adds, “These artists work in the streets but we have invited them indoors to engage in a dialogue of resistance with our audience.”

“These wearable artworks articulate what you believe in at all times, without you having to say a word” said Allison Freidin, co-founder of the Museum of Graffiti.

Included in the show will be an audio/visual installation that counts down to 0 from 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the time a Minneapolis police officer had his knee on George Floyd’s neck and video works by Chintz and Alan Ket.

Internationally recognized artists Futura 2000, Tristan Eaton, and Cey Adams will contribute new posters and prints that are in line with their staunch dissatisfaction with what has become our country’s status quo.

The new exhibit ties in with the recently created large-scale mural titled AMERICAN HISTORY on the walls of two adjacent buildings at NW 25th Street and 3rd Avenue. Focusing on the Black experience in US history starting in the early 1800s through current day, the giant mural, curated by the Museum of Graffiti, tackles the subjects of police brutality, racial injustice, and resistance.

The local artists taking part in the exhibit include: Chillski, Crome, Tackz, Disem, Ahol Sniffs Glue, Cash4, Rasterms, Klass, Cyst, Grab, Tragek, Delvs, Quake, Ticoe, View2, Chnk, Jel Martinez, Etone, Rage, Krave, June, Keds, Junk, Meta4, Drums Brown, Santiago Rubino, Cale K2S, Ruth, Faves, Blackbrain, Emerald, and Tierra Armstrong.

The exhibition also presents the photographic works of Pablo Allison, a human rights worker and documentarian who since 2017, has been following the migrant trail from Central America to the USA. Each photograph depicts powerful instances of protest graffiti that Allison captured on the trains used by migrants to escape inhumane conditions.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Empowered Youth, a Miami based not-for-profit dedicated to enhancing the lives of inner-city, at-risk youth. Their programs teach career skills that help to eradicate poverty and violence. They serve young men between the ages of 12-21, most of whom have been referred by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

The Museum of Graffiti is open to the public with safety-first procedures, including an admission system that only allows for 6 people to enter the premises every 15 minutes. Guests must purchase tickets in advance online or from their mobile devices as they approach the Museum in order to avoid on-site transactions.

TICKETS & HOURS

General Admission tickets are $16, Children 13 and under are free. Tickets are available online and include access to all museum exhibitions. 

The Museum of Graffiti is open from 11 AM – 5 PM on Wednesdays through Mondays and it is closed on Tuesdays. Please check www.museumofgraffiti.com for special holidays, extended hours and unexpected closings.

Follow Museum of Graffiti: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter