Watch Georgia Anne Muldrow’s Time Lapse Visual for New Album

Watch Georgia Anne Muldrow's Time Lapse Visual for New Album Play

Georgia Anne Muldrow is getting ready to reintroduce herself to the world as an emcee with her new EP, “Ms. One.” The jazz and funk vocalist actually released a different album in 2009 under the same title, but this shorter version will feature her rapping most of the tracks. To get fans hyped about the project, Muldrow recently dropped a time lapse video of the project’s cover art featuring the track “Personal.”

Muldrow became the first woman signed to Los Angeles indie record label Stones Throw, whose roster once included Aloe Blacc and Mayor Hawthorne. And she comes from a musical family: her father is the late jazz guitarist Robert Muldrow and her mother, Rickie Byers-Beckwith, is the current musical director at Los Angeles’ Agape Spiritual Center. 

It’s nice to hear Muldrow doing more than singing the hooks these days. The project’s official release date hasn’t been released, but stay tuned. 

Film Adaptation of Edwidge Danticat’s ‘Caroline’s Wedding’ in Works

Film Adaptation of Edwidge Danticat's 'Caroline's Wedding' in Works Play

Edwidge Danticat has lent the rights to her short story “Caroline’s Wedding” to be adapted into a feature-length film. The project is currently in its developmental phase, and writer/director Easmanie Michel is trying to raise money on Kickstarter to get it started.

The story is the last piece in the author’s 1995 collection “Krik? Krak!” and focuses on the cross-generational conflicts that arise in a Haitian family when the narrator’s sister marries a non-Haitian man. 

This is the second time that there’s been talk of Danticat’s work hitting the big screen. A film adaptation of her novel “The Dew Breaker” was previously in the works with HBO, and talk had it that Danny Glover and Chiwetel Edjiofor were lined up for the project. But there’s been no update on that project in a while. 

Here’s Michel’s pitch on Kickstarter:

(Shadow and Act)

You Can Own a Pair of Brooks Brothers Chopsticks for $245

You Can Own a Pair of Brooks Brothers Chopsticks for $245

If you’re looking to waste some money, Angry Asian Man has the perfect suggestion:

Designed to grace the homes of connoisseurs, collectors and dumbasses, these chopsticks are 9½” long and accented with Brooks Brothers’ Golden Fleece® logo for an elegant finishing touch. For those who want to eat their noodles like an asshole. You can also get a matching chopstick holder for $105.

Yeah. That’s $122.50 per stick.


Chipotle Tries to Explain Why Its ‘Curated Thought’ Series Doesn’t Include Latino Authors

Chipotle Tries to Explain Why Its 'Curated Thought' Series Doesn't Include Latino Authors

Last week, Chipotle revealed its “Curated Thought” series, which will feature 10 well-known authors whose commissioned short stories will appear on the company’s bags and cups for customers’ reading pleasure. While the series includes well-known authors like Toni Morrison and Malcolm Gladwell, it doesn’t feature any Latino writers, a noticeable omission for a restaraunt that sells quasi-Mexican food.

Calling the initial campaign a “learning process,” company representatives say that they reached out to 40 authors - including a number of Latino writers - before narrowing down its “Cultivating Thought” series to 10 authors, including such celebrated scribes as Morrison, Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Lewis.

“To get the slate of 10 authors we currently have, we reached out to a diverse pool of more than 40 writers that included Latino authors,” Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold told Fox News Latino in an email. “Many more authors declined our request to submit a piece than accepted, including well known Latino writers.”

OC Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano blasted the company, writing, “In [author Jonathan] Foer’s world, Latino authors simply don’t exist and simply don’t appeal to his Chipotle worldview of what the chain is advertising as ‘Cultivating Thought’ — the only Mexican cultivation the two approve for their beloved burritos is the tomatoes harvested by Florida pickers.”

Others question the company’s claim that it really reached out to Latino writers in the first place. “Chipotle’s response that they ‘reached out’ to “more than 40 writers that included Latino authors” is suspect,” author Michele Serros told Fox News Latino. “Our literary community has heard nothing of this so-called outreach to Latino authors.”

Arnold, the Chipotle representative, said that if the series continues, the company will make changes. “If we move forward with this program, we will certainly look to add to the diversity of contributors, and believe we will be in a better position to attract a wider cross-section of writers with something to point to and given how well this program has been received.”

The African-American Flag is Flying Atop a School in Upstate New York

The African-American Flag is Flying Atop a School in Upstate New York

Artist David Hammons’s African-American flag is flying atop a renovated schoolhouse in Kinderhook, N.Y. a small town of 8,500 that’s about two and a half hours north of New York City. The space was redone by the Jack Shainman Gallery and the current exhibits are a sort of celebration of the region’s unique and ethnically diverse history, starting with the Mohican Indians who lived in the region in the 17th century.

There were also smaller installations featuring other Jack Shainman Gallery artists in two small galleries, including works by Michael Snow, Hank Willis Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, Richard Mosse.

smallerflag.jpgHammons’s African-American flag was created in 1990, the year in which David Dinkins was elected the first black mayor of New York City and America was deep into its decades’ long culture wars. The flag is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. 

(Hyper Allergic)

Yasiin Bey Cancels U.S. Tour Amid Unspecified Legal Issues

Yasiin Bey Cancels U.S. Tour Amid Unspecified Legal Issues

The rapper formerly known as Mos Def has canceled an upcoming summer tour of the United States due to unspecified legal reasons. Now known as Yasiin Bey, the Brooklyn native recently moved to South Africa and isn’t coming back to the States any time soon.

The Together Music Festival in Boston posted the following message on its website“We regret to inform you that due to immigration/legal issues Yasiin Bey is unable to enter back into the United States and his upcoming US tour has been canceled.”

Earlier this year, he told Rolling Stone about the move:

I lived in Brooklyn 33 years of my life. I thought I’d be buried in that place. And around seven years ago, I was like, you know, ‘I gotta go, I gotta leave.’ It’s very hard to leave. And I lived in a lot of places: Central America, North America, Europe for a while. And I came to Cape Town in 2009 and it just hit me. I was like, ‘Yeah.’ I know when a good vibe gets to you. And, you know, I thought about this place every day from when I left.

“I’m not here just for like middle-class comfort, you know. Sure, it’s a beautiful place, you got the ocean, the mountain, the botanical garden, the beautiful people, the history, the culture, the struggle and everything — maaan, let me tell you something, for a guy like me, who had five or six generations not just in America but in one town in America, to leave America, things gotta be not so good with America.”

lThe Guardian cites the rapper’s politically charged work as a possible reason, including a 2013 video in which Bey mimics the force feeding procedures endured by prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. But the rapper has also dealt publicly with problems paying child support. In 2006, his former wife Maria Yepes-Smith, took him to court for failing to make his $10,000 a month payments for two daughters from their 10-year marriage. It’s all speculation at this point, since we don’t know any details about what’s really keeping him out of the U.S.

‘Just Me and Allah’: Photographs of Queer Muslims in Toronto

'Just Me and Allah': Photographs of Queer Muslims in Toronto

Photographer Samra Habib is launching a new series on queer Muslims for World Pride in June. Habib describes a relationship with Islam that’s been tumultuous. Mainstream Islam isn’t always welcoming of LGBTQ Muslims,” Habib said on Tumblr. “Yet a lot of the Muslim traditions and rituals bring queer Muslims comfort and provide a sense of belonging.”

Here’s more:

Why did you decide to participate in this photography project? 

I had made a conscious decision about a decade ago to live my life out loud. By that I mean, to not shy away from any of my identifications; be they sexual, political, cultural and/or religious. Naturally, I felt it necessary to do so because I had met so many youth who were quite conflicted and closeted and in fear of living their lives. This is a small token or gesture on my part to let them know that they should not underestimate their families or their communities.

Read more about the project.

TAGS: LGBT Muslim Queer

Forrest Whitaker Joins Scripted Drama on Hazing at HBCU’s

Forrest Whitaker Joins Scripted Drama on Hazing at HBCU's

Hazing at historically black colleges and universities is getting a lot of attention in the wake of the 2011 death of Roebrt Champion, a drum major at Florida A&M University. Forrest Whitaker recently announced that he’s partnering with Reginald Hudlin to produce a scripted drama on the subject of hazing on HBCU campses. 

(Shadow & Act)


NYC Names Chinatown Street for Bullied Pvt. Danny Chen

NYC Names Chinatown Street for Bullied Pvt. Danny Chen

Danny Chen, a 19-year-old Chinese-American solider who was relentlessly bullied and ultimately committed suicide in 2011, has been immortalized in New York City’s Chinatown. City officials unveiled Private Danny Chen Way this week.

New York Magazine detailed the racist bullying that Chen endured:

When he arrived, Chen was at the bottom of the social hierarchy: a newcomer to his unit, a lowly private, still just a teenager, in a combat zone for the first time. And the only Chinese-American in his platoon. In a meeting with Chen’s parents on January 4, Army officials said that his superiors had considered him not fit enough when he arrived, and singled him out for excessive physical exercise: push-ups, flutter-kicks, sit-ups, sprints done while carrying a sandbag. Such punishments resemble the “smokings” that drill sergeants mete out at basic training to correct mistakes. But, in Chen’s case, it wasn’t long before this campaign of “corrective training” escalated into sheer brutality.

The eight men later charged in connection with his death are all white and range in age from 24 to 35; they include one lieutenant, two staff sergeants, three sergeants, and two specialists. Members of this group allegedly harassed and humiliated Chen from almost the day he arrived at The Palace. They belittled him with racial slurs. They forced him to do push-ups with a mouthful of water, refusing to let him swallow or spit any out. And, on September 27, a sergeant allegedly yanked him out of bed and dragged him across about 50 yards of gravel toward a shower trailer as punishment for supposedly breaking the hot-water pump. He endured bruises and cuts on his back. Army officials told Chen’s family that although the leader of his platoon found out about this incident, he never reported it as he was required to.

Chen’s mother was joined by family, friends and community members at the unveiling. 

(Angry Asian Man)

Watch Kara Walker Talk Live About Her Epic Sugar Sculpture

Watch Kara Walker Talk Live About Her Epic Sugar Sculpture

Whether you’ve seen Kara Walker’s new exhibit at Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar Factory in person or only heard about it, you know that it’s epic. The work features a 35-foot-tall sugar sphinx that is probably one of the most moving indictments of the historical legacy of sugar production. And while the exhibit — called “A Subtlety” — certainly speaks for itself, it helps to have the artist say a few words about it. 

On Tuesday, May 20 at 7pm Walker will be in conversation with Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad at the New York Public Library. The conversation will be livestreamed so be sure to tune in. Here’s more. 

NPR to End ‘Tell Me More,” Eliminate 28 Positions

NPR to End 'Tell Me More,

NPR is saying goodbye to “Tell Me More” on August 1. According to NPR, it’s the third for programs targeting African-Americans and other people of color. From NPR:

Michel Martin, the host of Tell Me More, will remain at the network, as will the program’s executive editor, Carline Watson. They will be part of an initiative to incorporate the kind of coverage of issues of race, identity, faith, gender and family that appear on the show. Martin will appear on the network’s primary news magazines, online and in public events.

Additionally, NPR maintains two related but separate efforts: the Race Card Project, a multi-platform effort created by host and special correspondent Michele Norris, and Code Switch, a digital vertical that looks at how an increasingly multi-ethnic America understands itself. Lynette Clemetson will oversee all three groups and will hire a handful of other reporters; those who have lost their jobs will be able to reapply for those jobs.

Read more over at NPR

Lupita Nyong’o Teaches Kids How to Laugh on Mexico’s ‘Sesame Street’

Lupita Nyong'o Teaches Kids How to Laugh on Mexico's 'Sesame Street' Play

Lupita Nyong’o was born in Mexico and is fluent is four languages including Spanish, so it makes sense that she recently appeared on the Mexican version of “Seasame Street” in a short segment that teaches kids how to laugh. It’s adorable!

Here’s the translation:

“Hello, I’m Lupita, today I want us to celebrate smile day,” Nyong’o says in Spanish. “Do you know how laugh? Why don’t we laugh together? Ready, 1, 2, 3!”


M.I.A.’s Label is Not Happy About Her New Music Video

M.I.A.'s Label is Not Happy About Her New Music Video Play

On Monday, M.I.A. dropped the music video for her track “Double Bubble Trouble.” The politically charged video features 3-D weapons, parrots and lots of neon. It’s also another sign of tension between the musician and her label, Universal Music Group, according to Slate:

After claiming Universal Music Group held the self-directed video for four days, she uploaded it herself this morning on YouTube. But, immediately, UMG blocked the video from being played, citing “copyright grounds.” M.I.A. then retaliated, going on a Twitter rampage in which she re-tweeted disgruntled fans’ demands to see the video. 

Slate’s calling it her best video since 2011’s “Bad Girls.”


TAGS: MIA music video

Angela Davis Says We’re in the Middle of an ‘Epidemic of Police Violence’

Angela Davis Says We're in the Middle of an 'Epidemic of Police Violence'

Angela Davis spoke at the Trinity United Church of Christ over the weekend as part of the National Forum on Police Crimes, hosted by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Oppression. “We are experiencing an epidemic of police violence and police shootings,” Davis said. 

Read more at the Chicago Reporter

TAGS: Angela Davis

Sam Greenlee, Author of ‘The Spook Who Sat By the Door,’ Has Died

Sam Greenlee, Author of 'The Spook Who Sat By the Door,' Has Died

Writer and filmmaker Sam Greenlee, best known for his 1969 novel “The Spook Who Sat by the Door,” passed away on Monday. He was 83. The novel tells the story of a CIA agent who uses his training to turn a Chicago street gang into a Black guerrilla army was made into a film in 1973. Watch the above interview with Greenlee in which he discusses black filmmaking. 


TAGS: Sam Greenlee

Eddie Huang on ‘Fresh Off the Boat’: It’s a Phrase ‘Worn With Pride’

Eddie Huang on 'Fresh Off the Boat': It's a Phrase 'Worn With Pride'

Ever since it was announced earlier this month that a sitcom inspired by celebrity chef Eddie Huang’s memior “Fresh Off the Boat” got the greenlight for its first season, there have been two big reactions. The first: finally, a sitcom focused on an Asian-American family! And the second: What’s up with the name?

Huang spoke with Buzzfeed about that name, which Huang reportedly chose for the sitcom and has historically been a derogatory phrase used against Asian immigrants. Tanya Chen and Rega Jha call it “a ballsy cultural subversion” that the words “fresh off the boat” are voluntarily entering the most mainstream space in the United States.

A source close to the upcoming comedy series said the title of show was Huang’s choosing (and was one he fought hard for) as a nod to both the way his family was perceived when they arrived in America in the ’90s, and how they saw themselves.

Fresh Off the Boat’s creator and executive producer Nahnatchka Khan, herself a child of immigrant parents from Iran, was happy to support that fight. “The title certainly isn’t meant to be offensive, but Eddie is who he is and he’s not going to apologize for it,” she told BuzzFeed. “We just took his lead.”

Huang, however, disagreed with those targeting [his use of the phrase] on Twitter. “These people are bigots,” he said. “There are people in every race who try to speak for everybody and try to legislate what you can think and what you can’t think, with no understanding of what it means to interpret an experience. It’s ‘fresh off the boat.’ That’s a term that Asians call each other and we claim it and it’s worn with pride.”

Read more over at Buzzfeed


Shoppers Can ‘Get the Slave Look’ With ‘12 Years a Slave’ Mannequin

Shoppers Can 'Get the Slave Look' With '12 Years a Slave' Mannequin

If you happen to be shopping at the Oxford branch of the British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s anytime soon, you might come across a display featuring DVD’s of “12 Years a Slave” — and an accompanying mannequin dressed up like the film’s main character, Solomon Northup:

For reasons unknown, an Oxford branch of the supermarket embellished its DVD and Blu-ray stand for Steve McQueen’s film about the horrors of slavery with a mannequin wearing a similar outfit to that of protagonist Solomon Northup.

Looking defiantly summer-ready, the mannequin wears a loose-fitting, holey beige shirt and black trousers, completing the look with a twig in the front pocket.

Backed by spindly branches and standing next to a plaque that shouts ‘NEW’, it wears a tag around its neck bearing the price of the recently-released DVD, suggesting the clothes themselves aren’t for sale, though the juxtaposition is a strange one nonetheless.

(The Independent)

Maya Rudolph Opens Up About Being a Working Mom

Maya Rudolph Opens Up About Being a Working Mom Play

In the lead up to the Monday-night premiere of her new comedy special, Maya Rudolph, 41, sat down with USA Today to talk about her return to NBC. Rudolph spent seven years as a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” before leaving the show in 2007. What’s she been doing in all that time? Mostly being a mom.

Rudolph has four children with her partner Paul Thomas Anderson: Pearl Minnie, 9, Lucille, 5, Jack, 3, and a baby born in the summer of 2013. At least some of Rudolph’s new comedy series will tackle life as a working parent, including a skit about famous parents who voice the Garmin GPS navigation system. 

“I needed to do what I liked doing, workwise, and do what feels right and natural to me. It gets everything else feeling healthy. It (stinks) to be away from your kids, but when you’re working on something that makes you feel good and nourished, that’s good for your kids too,” she told USA Today.

Rudolph is working in New York City while her children and partner are back home in Los Angeles. “This is a luxury,” she says of her time in New York. “I hope to [move back to New York] at some point. You gotta really make it here. It’s a grind. I grew up in Los Angeles with a backyard and a pool, and it has been really (nice) to see my kids enjoying their tire swing and running around naked. I would love to live here again, no question.”

Oh, and if you love her Beyoncé impressions on SNL, you’ll probably also like her renditions of the theme songs from “The Lego Movie” and “Frozen,” which she revealed she has singalongs to with her kids. Sounds like an awesome mom. 

Here she is answering five questions from USA Today: 

SNL Has the Last Word on Solange, Jay Z and Beyoncé Elevator Fight

SNL Has the Last Word on Solange, Jay Z and Beyoncé Elevator Fight

Even though Beyoncé, Jay Z and Solange released a statement late last week that addressed the epic elevator fight that was caught on video and released by TMZ, leave it to “Saturday Night Live” to really have the last word. SNL alum Maya Rudolph, who’s made Beyoncé one of her most beloved characters, returned to the show for a short skit that addressed the matter. It’s as much of a lighthearted take on the situation as you could probably get, and it’s hilarious. 


Michael Sam Teams Up With Oprah for Reality TV Show

Michael Sam Teams Up With Oprah for Reality TV Show

Yes, you read that headline correctly. Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay player, has agreed to shoot a multi-part documentary series that follows him as he tries to make the final roster cut for the St. Louis Rams.

Sam, of course, made history this year. First, he came out to the New York Times before the NFL draft, and then when the Rams chose him in the seventh round, he and his boyfriend celebrated with the kiss seen ‘round the sports world.

But not everyone’s happy about Sam’s TV plans, according to The Wire:

Now that Sam appears to be parlaying that genuine moment into the very not-genuine world of reality TV, some football watchers are souring on this feel good story. “A few months ago, Sam asked fans to let their guards down and invest in him in a very different way than they do in, say, Johnny Football or RGIII,” Deadspin’s Drew Magary writes. “Now he’s chosen the favored path of every D-list asshole in America.” 

Others, like NFL Network’s Albert Breer, noted that this doesn’t jibe with Sam’s constant exhortations to be treated like any other player and judged on his football skills. 

But Sam has reiterated his desire to be known first and foremost as a football player. “Like every player out there working to make a team right now, my focus is on playing football to the very best of my ability,” said Sam. “I am determined.” 

(The Wire)

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