Travis Scott’s Waymon Webster Scholarships, Now in Their Second Year, Ensures Black Students Experiencing Last-Minute Financial Adversity Graduated From College – A Foundational Component of Scott’s Project HEAL Effort, Announced Earlier This Year.
Family Effort: Scholarship is Named for Travis Scott’s Grandfather, an HBCU Educator, and Spearheaded by Scott’s Sister, Jordan Webster – Who Graduated From Howard University Herself This Past Week.
Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Foundation announced that it has awarded $1 million in scholarships for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to 100 members of the graduating class of 2022. With Scott’s support, the Waymon Webster Scholarship Fund granted $10,000 scholarships to seniors who have reached academic excellence (averaging 3.5 or higher GPA) but have faced the all-too-common last-minute challenge of financial adversity in the second semester of their senior year. The scholarships will bring 100 students over the finish line, diploma in hand. This is the second year that Scott has supported HBCUs and represents a tenfold increase.
Nisha Encarnacion, a graduate from Florida A&M University from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, received a degree in Pharmacy. While supporting her mother and caring for her daughter throughout college, Nisha paid her own way to achieve her dream. View her thank you here.
Chisom Okwor, a computer science graduate from Fisk University passionate about the technology industry, specifically the inclusive and improvement of representation in the tech space. Chisom’s goal is to use technology to transform developing countries in Africa. View her thank you here.
Jordan Massey, a mass communications graduate with a concentration in broadcast journalism from North Carolina Central University, has incurred personal debt to achieve his goal of graduating college and entering the field of communications. View his thank you here.
Travis Scott said: “Excellence abounds in every Black household, but too often opportunity does not – and Black students are left behind or counted out. So that’s what my family and I set out to change. We congratulate all 100 scholarship recipients this year. I know we will see great things from them – and we are already looking forward to increasing our work next year.”
Jordan Webster, Project Manager for the Cactus Jack Foundation’s Waymon Webster Scholarship Fund, a recent Howard University graduate, and sister to Travis Scott, said: “Last week, I received my own diploma from Howard University. I know personally how deeply important my grandfather’s academic legacy at HBCUs is to my entire family – to Travis, as well as my twin brother Josh who is at Prairie View A&M University – and now, to 100 people that Travis has been able to help out at a tough time. It means the world to me to be able to work with my brother as he creates hope and makes a real difference for our peers and their families.”
Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, said: “Black students are less than half as likely to graduate from college as white students, and financial pressure is the primary reason. We applaud Travis Scott and the Cactus Jack Foundation for investing in the next generation and congratulate the 100 Waymon Webster Scholarship recipients on their graduation.”
Daniel Moss, Executive Director of the HBCU Foundation, said: “In a warm and tremendously thoughtful gesture, Mr. Scott has made a lifelong impact on the 100 Waymon Webster Scholarship recipients. To have now eased, even slightly, the financial burden on these deserving HBCU graduates, Mr. Scott has set into motion a kind of investment that will pay infinite dividends into our communities for decades to come.”
The Chair of the Black AIDS InstituteGrazell Howard released a statement regarding the bomb threats that have recently been made to HBCUs, or historically black colleges and universities. More than a dozen threats were made to schools such as Howard University, Southern University, Morgan State University, as well as many others. The police are still investigating who issued these claims and are suggesting that these crimes may be related. Here is what Howard had to say:
“As an alumni of two prestigious Historically Black Colleges and Universities, I’m horrified to learn of the heinous threats of violence that are putting students at HBCUs under siege. The Black AIDS Institute condemns these acts. It is abhorrent that on the first day of Black History Month, more than 13 HBCUs had to lock down their campuses and postpone classes because of bomb threats. While no explosives have been found, law enforcement at the highest levels must step in and ensure that our students and communities are safe.
Domestic terrorism targeting the African American community speaks to the stain of America’s history and the current crisis of race relations in our country. We must treat Racism like the public health epidemic that it is. Many states, cities and counties have done just that, and we applaud these efforts. But we need elected officials in every state to do the same. We also need swift action from the federal government to investigate and punish those responsible for these vile acts.
For our part, BAI will continue to fight against racism, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, and the stigmas that threaten our communities. We will stand shoulder to shoulder to lift up students at HBCUs and throughout all of our communities and we will continue the important work of fighting for voting rights, social justice, education, and health equity for communities of color that have been under siege for far too long.”
Justice Faith Betty, and Nia Faith Betty are co-founders of Révolutionnaire, a new social platform aimed at social awareness and activism. Originally a dance-oriented clothing brand started by sisters Justice and Nia, it has grown into a larger movement to empower the youth via a platform for education and conversation. We got to speak with the founders and one of their Action Leaders Naheim Banks below.
We were informed that you grew up with family members in the prison system which drove you towards a life dedicated to criminal justice reform. Can you talk more about how your activism and advocacy have expanded since you began this journey?
Naheim Banks: As you said, I have had family members involved in the system, and one of the things I realized while experiencing that was that our system is not a criminal justice system, but rather a criminal legal system because justice is what so many people don’t experience or get while going through our legal process. When I first began this journey on criminal legal reform, I started something in my school district called Teen Court, which is a youth diversionary program for minors that commit misdemeanors and other infractions. Part of what drew me to this work was because I could see myself in many of these kids, many of them in high school and middle school, who have parents working long hours, parents who are incarcerated and having to grow up way too fast. These kids happened to lose the moral luck lottery and have made mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we should let those mistakes define who they are for the rest of their lives. People are more than the worst thing they’ve ever done. I was encouraged to take my activism further when I saw voters reject Affirmative Action in my home state of California, reject cash bail, and reject a piece of legislation allowing for California to decertify police officers for misconduct despite being only one of four states to not have the authority to decertify law enforcement officers. Upon witnessing this, I decided to run to be an Assembly District Delegate to the California Democratic Party with the slate ‘Organizing for Progress’. Since being elected, I have made it a point to continue pushing the party to endorse legislation that supports Black lives and allows us to reimagine our criminal legal system. One of the ways I’m also doing that is by educating the public on legal reform through Révolutionnaire and our Action Guides and Petitions.
How has attending Howard University, an HBCU, impacted your views on activism and criminal justice reform?
Naheim: Attending Howard has really encouraged me to put myself out there and take risks. Before attending Howard, I always tried to fit into what Nikole Hannah-Jones calls, white spaces that are not made for people that look like me, and impact change within the confines of what is deemed ‘acceptable’. Not anymore. I no longer sugarcoat or tone down the issues that I am passionate about. Part of this huge passion that I have for criminal legal reform and my increased activism on the issue stems from the confidence Howard has instilled in me. Being a criminology major, I have had professors like Dr. Bahiyyah M. Muhammad that have so much passion for prison reform that their passion often rolls over onto you. At Howard, we have people that have non-profits like Just Us that mentors youth involved in the juvenile legal system; we have people that have started environmental justice organizations, gun reform organizations, and so many others that it inspires you to truly get out there in your community and make lasting change.
How did you find Révolutionnaire, and what drew you to become a part of the organization?
Naheim: I had followed Révolutionnaire since its original creation as a way to revolutionize dance apparel and empower all to celebrate the skin they’re in because I had never truly seen dance apparel that actually matched Black skin. I had been an outspoken advocate for criminal legal reform and when Nia Faith, one of the founders of the organization, reached out to me, I just couldn’t say no. Seeing the impact Nia and Justice already had on their homes, their schools, and their communities is what really inspired and drew me to become a part of the organization. I distinctly remember hearing Justice’s Valedictorian speech and one of the things she said that really fueled my love for Révolutionnaire, was that ‘Dreams Fuel Revolutions’. Everyone on this team has a dream for a better world and I just love having the opportunity to be a part of it.
What exactly are your responsibilities as an Action Leader with Révolutionnaire?
Naheim: As an Action Leader, I write about specific issues related to criminal legal reform such as the death penalty, three-strikes laws, and the War on Drugs. I give information to those that want to get more involved in legal reform initiatives and facilitate knowledge sharing and member engagement through writing petitions and 101 Action Guides on the issues that plague our society’s broken legal system.
Your website mentions that Révolutionnaire began with the idea to ‘revolutionize nude apparel’. Can you talk more about how this mission came about and what work has been done thus far?
Nia Faith Betty: I started Révolutionnaire as a dancewear line catering to dancers of color after growing up as a ballerina and never having access to apparel that matched my skin tone. I was tired of constantly feeling othered and dreamed of a more inclusive dance world. Today, the Révolutionnaire Shop has a collection of apparel and accessories for dancers, athletes, and everyone to celebrate the skin they’re in.
Justice Faith Betty: I was inspired by Nia’s journey and dream of revolutionizing the dance world and asked what it would look like if more young people with a dream of improving their communities had access to the network, tools, and information necessary to scale their impact across causes. And that question laid the foundation for Révolutionnaire – the social network for changemakers.
We’ve heard about the five key causes on which Révolutionnaire is centered. Can you tell us more about what work is being done by Révolutionnaire to specifically target these issues?
Nia: We’ve started off with five pillar causes (i.e., racial equity, environmentalism, criminal justice reform, housing + food security, gun reform) with more to come. Change starts with staying informed, so we’ve made information about each of these issues accessible to our audience by breaking down topics into 101 guides. Action items are embedded at the end of each 101 guide so members can move from learning about a problem in society to taking action – whether it’s through contacting their representative, signing a petition, finding volunteer opportunities, making a donation, or participating in another mode of engagement – all from within our platform. We also have action guides across our cause hubs for members to launch their own projects in their communities.
As Révolutionnaire continues to grow, it has been really exciting to see and hear about members getting their ideas off the ground and finding a network of supporters to ideate with.
Justice: We’re committed to making this work more sustainable through leveraging the power of technology to build community among like-minded young people. We recently launched group offerings and have spoken to so many youth-focused organizations who are excited to connect with other orgs doing fantastic work, feel a little less lonely on their respective journeys and scale their collective impact. As a further commitment to sustainability, we will be launching our Recharge library to offer our members content focused on mindfulness and self-care.
How can young people, like Naheim, get involved with Révolutionnaire?
Justice: Whether you are someone who has wanted to make a difference, but perhaps doesn’t know where to start or have been doing this work for a long time, but are looking for a community and resources all in one place to take your impact to the next level – join Révolutionnaire. If, like Naheim, you are excited about contributing your voice on issues that matter to you and have ideas for how young people can take action, we welcome contributions from community members directly on Révolutionnaire through blog posts, lounge conversations, action item submissions and petitions!
Have you experienced any pushback as young women trying to influence such radical change? If so, how do you combat that?
Nia: There are oftentimes unspoken rules and gatekeeping measures that make getting involved in activism daunting and intimidating for young people. We have revolutionized and streamlined how people get involved in changemaking, service, and activism. With anything that is new or different, there are always situations where people don’t agree with it or don’t want to evolve the current ways of taking action to adapt to the changing times. At the end of the day, we always focus on the net good. If the end result is positive change and more young people getting involved with making the world a better place, then we are on the right path.
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 history. The 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.
“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.
Howard University Department of Athletics and WHOOP, the human performance company, have announced a new multi-year deal that names WHOOP the Official Performance Partner of the school. The initial launch of the partnership will bring unparalleled physiological analytics via wearable technology to nearly 150 student-athletes across five programs: Men’s & Women’s Basketball, Football, and Men’s & Women’s Golf for their inaugural season.
“We are extremely excited to partner with WHOOP,” said Howard Director of Athletics Kery Davis. “This will give our department more insight on making decisions during competition, and will create healthy habits for our student-athletes, coaches and staff that last a lifetime.”
WHOOP harnesses critical biometric data to inform student-athletes’ choices around sleep (quality, duration and regularity), workout and non-workout strain (cardiovascular load) and recovery (capacity to adapt to stimulus).
“WHOOP is an invaluable resource in providing actionable feedback to our student-athletes,” said Howard Director of Sports Medicine Lynson Willis. “The technology has been a key step in moving the Sports Medicine Department forward and has already become a real game changer.”
Howard Athletics will have access to an unprecedented amount of insights into their well-being. WHOOP will empower student-athletes to optimize all aspects of human performance, offering in-depth onboarding training and ongoing support remotely to optimize the user experience.
“The best athletes in the world use WHOOP to understand their bodies and this new partnership will help Howard University’s student-athletes take their performance to the next level,” said WHOOP Founder & CEO Will Ahmed. “As the Official Fitness Wearable of both the PGA and LPGA Tours, we are especially proud to support the Men’s & Women’s Golf teams in their first-ever season.”
Howard Athletics WHOOP members will have an exclusive view into their own data for personal analysis and the ability to opt-in to team insights with coaches, colleagues, teammates and training staff.
About Howard Athletics
The Howard University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics sponsors 21 NCAA Division I men and women varsity sports. The programs represent five conferences: The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), Northeast Conference (NEC), Sun Belt Conference (SBC), Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and Atlantic Sun (ASUN) Conference.
WHOOP, the human performance company, provides a membership for 24/7 coaching to improve health. The WHOOP membership comes with free hardware (the new Whoop Strap 3.0), a coaching platform designed to optimize your behavior, and a community of high performers. WHOOP members range from professional athletes and Fortune 500 CEOs to fitness enthusiasts and endurance competitors to executives and military personnel. Studies show WHOOP can positively change behavior, increase sleep, and improve physiological biomarkers. Founded in 2012, WHOOP is based in Boston and has raised more than $200 million in venture capital. Visitwww.whoop.com for the latest company news and connect with WHOOP on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
Rap Life, Apple Music’s industry leading hip-hop playlist, will feature an important and meaningful live event captured on the campus of Howard University – one of the most historic and prestigious HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) in the world. This special live-streamed event aims to further extend the discussion around the many important issues impacting the Black community through open dialogue, important conversations, and the power of music.
Hosted by Apple Music’s global head of Hip-Hop and R&B, Ebro Darden along with Apple Music 1 hosts Nadeska and LowKey, the event will feature intimate conversations and bespoke performances from beloved rappers Lil Baby, Nas, Rapsody and Wale. As the events of 2020 continue to reveal the broken systems within our society, these artists stand out as incredibly passionate and outspoken advocates for their community, using both their music and social influence to promote issues like police reform, racial and gender equality, social justice, and standing up to racism.
“The Rap Life team’s main objective was to use our voice and tools to show support and solidarity with students, artists and activists around the nation rising up to make sure the world knows that Black Lives Matter,” Ebro said “We plan to bring Rap Life Live to more HBCU campuses because these institutions are part of the backbone of Black communities and Hip-Hop is from the Black experience.”
When asked why he wanted to participate, Lil Baby said, “I feel like we got a long way to go. I’d be lying if I said we are getting there. Don’t get me wrong it’s a start, but it’s going to take some time for this to work out.”
Wale said, “Black people need to understand and hear each other, combine our messaging and give it to the world.”
Rapsody said, “our voice is our biggest weapon. You have to speak up for what you want. You have to be the change. Speak to each other. Speak up, let people hear you.”
Nas said, “Whatever is going on in society, affects people. People affect society. And People are going to speak and artists are going to make art.”
Additionally, Rap Life Live will feature sit down interviews with Howard University students – including student association president Rachel Howell, Miss Howard University Taylor Davis and president of the 10for10 organization Peter Lubembela – providing a global platform to empower the next generation of leaders as they discuss how they are working to inspire, educate, unite and uplift their communities.
Tune in to the very first Rap Life Live Friday September 18, at 7 pm PT only on Apple Music HERE
ABOUT RAP LIFE
Rap Life Live is an extension of Apple Music’s popular Rap Life playlist and companion radio show- both situated at the forefront of hip-hop culture, connecting and engaging the black community through music. This week, our Rap Life playlist spotlights artists who are using their music to entertain, inform, and heal during this time of ongoing uncertainty.
*Every precaution was taken during the filming of Rap Life Live to ensure the safety of the staff, crew and presenters in accordance with both national and local COVID-19 guidelines, including daily health screenings, face coverings, and regular thorough cleanings of the facilities.
ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, announced the launch of a new paid internship program for students enrolled in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the U.S. This summer, the PRO will offer five HBCU students the opportunity to join ASCAP’s team to gain real-world experience in the music industry.
Howard University (Washington, DC), Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA), Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA), and Bennett College (Greensboro, NC) will be initial partners in the program, which will run through July and August. Interns will work remotely, alongside ASCAP professionals in their field of interest.
ASCAP plans to continue and expand the initiative moving forward, offering paid internships to HBCU students each summer.
“We have a responsibility to seek to nurture talent and empower the next generation of Black leaders in the music business, just as we do on the creative side,” said ASCAP Senior Vice President, Rhythm & Soul Nicole George-Middleton. “Our goal is to provide experience within ASCAP and to help our interns connect with the larger industry as they pursue their careers.”
ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews added, “This program is a natural extension of ASCAP’s ongoing work to create and evolve a culture of inclusion and belonging that reflects and serves the incredible diversity of our ASCAP membership. By creating a new pipeline for college students to gain music industry work experience, we hope to provide meaningful mentorships and opportunities to new generations of Black leaders who will influence the future of the music business.”
“Bennett College is thrilled to be a part of the inaugural class of ASCAP’s HBCU internship program. ASCAP will provide our students with invaluable, real-world experience and expand their understanding of the music business. We are looking forward to this partnership and what the future holds for our talented students,” said Yolande Johnson, Bennett College Director of Donor Relations & Stewardship / Interim Coordinator for Career Services.
“Some of the most meaningful education takes place outside of a traditional classroom, and we are excited to have our students learn from top executives in the music industry. ASCAP is a global leader in entertainment and this internship opportunity is priceless,” added Cafabian Heard, Creative & Marketing Services Specialist University Relations, External & Community Affairs, Clark Atlanta University.
Students selected for the ASCAP HBCU internship program will have the opportunity to work within the following departments: Marketing & Communications/Events; Membership (Film & TV, R&S/Urban, Country, Pop/Rock, Symphonic/Concert and Latin); Data Strategy; International Affairs; Finance; Licensing; and Global Technology Solutions. In addition, interns will have access to ASCAP employee perks, such as Wellness Events, Employee Jam Sessions, and Online Learning tools.
Applications are available through each of the participating college and university career services offices. The deadline for submission is Monday, June 29 and internships are expected to begin the second week of July.
Netflix released Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, which presents an intimate look at her historic 2018 Coachella performance that paid homage to America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Interspersed with candid footage and interviews detailing the preparation and powerful intent behind her vision, Homecoming gives a peek into the process and emotional physical sacrifices it took to conceptualize and execute a performance of that magnitude that became a cultural movement. This stand-alone Netflix original is now available globally on Netflix.
As the first black woman to headline Coachella, Homecoming recognizes the African American visionaries who inspired Beyoncé, including HBCU alums Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, activist Marian Wright Edelman, and scholar W.E.B. Du Bois, in addition to cultural luminaries such as Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Audre Lorde. Beyoncé’s personal knowledge of the relevance and celebration of HBCUs started with her father, Mathew Knowles, an alumnus of Fisk University. Shot over eight months, the film follows the global entertainer as she returns to the stage after the birth of her twins, highlighting the comprehensive preparation involved in creating her groundbreaking performance, which included four months of band rehearsals followed by four months of dance rehearsals with over 150 musicians, dancers, and other creatives, — all of whom were hand-picked by the artist herself. In juggling dual roles as both the director of her live performance and the film that captured the process of making it, Beyoncé says, “It was one of the hardest jobs I have taken on but I knew that I had to push myself and my team to go beyond great to legendary. We knew nothing like this was ever done on a festival level before and it needed to be iconic beyond compare. The performance was an homage to an important part of African American culture. It had to be true to those who know and entertaining and enlightening to those who needed to learn. In making the film and re-telling the story, the purpose remained the same.” Many in the cast; band, singers, dancers and steppers are former HBCU students, immersed in the HBCU marching band tradition. They joined Beyoncé’s own group of performers, some who have toured with her for years. Viewers not only get to see the intense dance rehearsals and talent of these amazing artists, but hear their personal journey from HBCU student to artist and the lifelong impact that comes with performing alongside Beyoncé in this historic concert. “So many people who are culturally aware and intellectually sound are graduates from historically black colleges and universities, including my father,” she says in the film. “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.” As a treat to her fans, the film also includes, in the end credits, her remake of “Before I Let Go” by Frankie Beverly and Maze, a 1981 R&B classic that’s commonly performed at HBCU games. The single will be available on the film’s soundtrack, Homecoming: The Live Album, available today from Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records. smarturl.it/BH9102 Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé was directed and produced by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Longtime collaborator Ed Burke served as co-director. Steve Pamon and Erinn Williams are executive producers. Set List
“Crazy In Love”
“Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing”
“Sorry”/”Me, Myself and I”
“I Been On”
“Drunk In Love”
“Don’t Hurt Yourself”
“Mi Gente (Remix)”
“You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)”
“Check On It”
“Déjà Vu”(featuring JAY-Z)
“Run the World (Girls)”
“Lose My Breath” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)
“Say My Name” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)
“Soldier” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)
“Get Me Bodied” (With Solange Knowles dancing)
“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
“Love On Top”
About Netflix Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with over 148 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments. About Parkwood Entertainment Parkwood Entertainment is an entertainment and management company founded by entertainer and entrepreneur, Beyoncé in 2010. With headquarters in New York City the company houses departments in music and video production, management, marketing, digital, creative, philanthropy, fashion, publicity and a record label. Under its original name, Parkwood Pictures, in 2008, the company released the film Cadillac Records (2008), in which Beyoncé starred and co-produced. The company also released the film, Obsessed (2009), with Beyoncé as star and executive producer. Parkwood Entertainment produced The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour (2013-2014) and The Formation World Tour (2016), and co-produced the ON THE RUN TOUR (2014) and ON THE RUN II (2018).
Every once in a while pop culture encounters a rip in its continuum. The latest breach comes from one of the most effervescent entertainers of all time, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter, as the first Black female to headline one of the most prolific festivals since the iconic Woodstock. Introspective yet intimate, Homecoming is positioned to be one of the most immersive concert series in the history of music and streaming services. Beyoncé, the Director and Executive Producer of the film, creates a visually captivating story from the beginning to end. The documentary answers a plethora of questions, at which the infamous Beyhive has had about the historical moment.
With intermittent quick cuts of her family before, during and after the epic performance, Beyoncé gives herself permission to exhibit her vulnerability. After all, she planned to take the stage at Coachella in 2017 before she was pregnant with her twins. The tour was postponed and we fast forward to ‘Mrs. Carter’ having to deal with the aftermath of a complicated pregnancy, which ultimately ends in a c-section. Similar to friend, and professional tennis superstar, Serena Williams, Beyoncé bounced back harder than ever after her tough pregnancy. Throughout the piece she digs deep and pummels through some of the most difficult days she has ever encountered. She even speaks to her weighing 218 lbs and how she was only able to zip her costume up after months of hard work alongside of a dedicated clean/raw food diet – no meats, carbs, sugars. The director of photography expertly captured an extremely intimate and vulnerable side to the strong and flawless Queen Bey.
Having family members as graduates of some of the prominent HBCU (historically black colleges and universities), Beyoncé was able to tap into the most celebrated moments of their collegiate life. Her full show not only highlighted the history of these schools but also their social networks and fraternal organizations; transforming the stage into one of the most dynamic Black Southern spaces of cultural legacy and pride. Much of it was enunciated with their boot dancing, a traditional dance style for HBCU called J-Setting, in between transitions. These dance formations visually anchored the performance. Contortionists contributed an urban Cirque du Soleil vibe to the display which can be more accurately described as an infused gumbo of Chicago (the musical), Moulin Rouge! and the Off-Broadway play Stomp. To date, the pyramid stage has been persevered onsite at this year’s Coachella as an art installation.
A group of 200 people shared the stage with Queen Bey including Jay Z, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams and Solange Knowles. The expansive crew that Beyonce worked and practiced with for 8 months is featured in the documentary, as each individual had their own part in making the event a success. The dancing in her set is not technical, but emotional. The crowd, as well as audiences watching the documentary at home, are meant to feel something from just the way Beyoncé and her dancers, who she handpicked herself, move with each other. The concert experience not only exhibits the immense talent of HBCU musicians but works towards using this heightened exposure to aid these institutions that have been struggling with little resources and grants since their establishment.
After the the release of Homecoming, Netflix will more than likely notice a spike in downloads/subscriptions; Beyonce will notice an increase in her fan base and HBCU enrollment rates will most likely skyrocket. Overall, most audience members will be thrashed into a world of black honor, history and preservation. While the Pew Report notes that there is a varying “black/white digital divide” concerning internet usage, (87% whites, 80% blacks), there is little divide when it comes to mobile platforms. The growth of black presence in media, such as on social media, in streaming services and more, will only continue due to the imminent success of Beyoncé’s partnership with Netflix. Her myriad of success as a dominant Black woman breaks down barriers in the same way Jordan Peele has done for young Black filmmakers across the diaspora. This will become one of the most treasured pieces of mass media and should offer encouragement to both women and minorities to bust through the glass ceiling on all fronts especially digitization and technology.
[Los Angeles, CA, June 23] Friday, June 24, Culture Creators gathered black culture’s most impactful and inspiring voices under one roof for the third annual Innovators & Leaders Awards Brunch. This year, the event took over The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills and received the support of sponsors such as Remy Martin, The Mane Choice, Morgan Stanley, and Beats by Dre.
300+ guests witnessed the honorees receive their respective awards and share stories, memories, and gratitude. Bringing the house to its feet in a roar of applause, Sylvia Rhone garnered the Culture Creators Icon Award.
Other recipients included Jemele Hill, who received the Defiance Award, Kenya Barris, Jana Fleishman, Tunji Balogun, Shawn Gee, and more. Celebrity guests included Will.i.am, DJ Khaled, Tank, Andre Harrell, Miles Brown, Essence Atkins, Luke James, Waka Flocka, and more. Once again, Culture Creators magnified the resonance of Black Culture’s Innovators & Leaders and kicked off BET weekend in uplifting fashion.
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Images Courtesy of Getty Images
LIST OF HONOREES
Honorees: Sylvia Rhone | President, Epic Records // Jemele Hill | Chief Correspondent & Sr. Columnist, The Undefeated ESPN // Lauren Wesley Wilson | President ColorComm, Inc. // Fatima Robinson | Choreographer & Director // Brea Stinson | Owner & Fashion Designer, STINSON HAUS // Jason Bolden | Co-Founder, JSN Studio/ / Charles D. King | Founder & CEO, MACRO // Kenya Barris | Writer & Producer, Creator of “Black-ish” // Rashaun Williams | General Partner, MVP All-Star Fund // Shawn Gee | President, Live Nation Urban // Tunji Balogun | Co-Founder, Keep Cool/EVP, A&R RCA Records // Jana Fleishman | EVP Media & Strategic Development, Roc Nation // Kristi Henderson | Co-Founder, WEEN // Carlos Fleming | Partner & Head of Sports Talent Marketing, WME // Rodney Williams | CEO & Co-Founder, LISNR
ABOUT CULTURE CREATORS
Culture Creators (CC) is an organization made up of the key figures from music, technology, film, television, fashion, and much more. Culture Creators always aims to celebrate the accomplishments of minorities in various industries and how African American culture continues to thrive and impact popular culture. As part of its programming for the 2016 GRAMMY weekend, Culture Creators hosted a soiree that attracted the likes of Diplo, Chris Rock, Skrillex, Lorde, Fatima Robinson, Cory Gamble, SZA, KeKe Palmer, and many more important Hollywood trendsetters and pioneers. Culture Creators also partnered with Howard University to provide executive leadership and recruitment to aid in the diversity and inclusion recruitment of students for mass merchant retailers, advertising agencies and athletic apparel companies.
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