BECOMING – OFFICIAL TRAILER

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BECOMING is an intimate look into the life of former First Lady Michelle Obama during a moment of profound change, not only for her personally but also for the country she and her husband served over eight impactful years in the White House.

The film offers a rare and up-close look at her life, taking viewers behind the scenes as she embarks on a 34-city tour that highlights the power of community to bridge our divides and the spirit of connection that comes when we openly and honestly share our stories.

Film Release Date: May 6, 2020
Format: Original Documentary Feature

Directed by: Nadia Hallgren
Produced by: Katy Chevigny,
Marilyn Ness, & Lauren Cioffi
Co-Producer: Maureen A. Ryan
Executive Producers:
Priya Swaminathan & Tonia Davis

A NOTE FROM MICHELLE
I’m excited to let you know that on May 6, Netflix will release BECOMING, a documentary film directed by Nadia Hallgren that looks at my life and the experiences I had while touring following the release of my memoir. Those months I spent traveling—meeting and connecting with people in cities across the globe—drove home the idea that what we share in common is deep and real and can’t be messed with.

In groups large and small, young and old, unique and united, we came together and shared stories, filling those spaces with our joys, worries, and dreams.

*BECOMING is the third release from Higher Ground Productions and Netflix*

To view the documentary now available on Netflix visit, netflix.com/Becoming.

#IAmBecoming

Watchmen: An HBO Limited Series

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Watchmen movie poster

Set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, WATCHMEN, from executive producer Damon Lindelof embraces nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel, while attempting to break new ground of its own.  Regina King leads a cast that includes Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Jean Smart and more.

ownhbo.com/watchmen

#WatchmenHBO

The Original Broadway Showing of Hamilton is Coming to a TV Near You

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Lin Manuel Miranda on stage as Alexander Hamilton

By Natalie Rodgers

A fully taped production of the Broadway hit, Hamilton, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is being released to Disney+ in its entirety on July 3, 2020, just in time for Independence Day.

Originally due to premiere as a theatrical release on October 21, 2021, the movie has been moved up to provide a sense of hope and comfort due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of the cultural and historical impact that Hamilton has had since its Broadway debut in 2015, Disney plans to make the experience more captivating and to include as Disney quoted, “the best elements of live theater, film, and streaming.”

Creating this kind of atmosphere will not be a difficult task, due to how the filmmakers have already produced it. The production was filmed from various camera angles from the show’s original Richard Rodgers Theatre home and filmed across three different performances in in 2016.

The production will include all of the original Broadway cast members, including Leslie Odom Jr., Renee Elise Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo, Jonathan Groff, Daveed Diggs, upcoming In the Heights star Anthony Ramos, and of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton.

 

Photo: Getty Images 

LA Pride Festival Cancels In-Person Celebration, Will Go Digital

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On its 50th anniversary, the iconic Los Angeles Pride Festival and Parade, which normally draw hundreds of thousands of people to West Hollywood in June, will be going digital because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers recently announced that the festival will instead be held virtually on several digital platforms over a period of months and spanning into 2021.

Back in mid-March, Christopher Street West – the nonprofit group in charge of putting on the festival, announced that it would be postponed. However, it was confirmed that the festival has been canceled the in-person celebrations, and will instead return in 2021.

“Due to the evolving effects surrounding COVID-19, CSW has made the responsible decision to forgo in-person LA Pride celebrations for the remainder of the year,” the group said in a statement. “The organization will instead re-imagine how it will celebrate its 50th anniversary through new and exciting initiatives hosted on its digital platforms, with the hope of returning to a physical celebration in 2021. More details will be announced soon on how Los Angeles will celebrate its 50th Anniversary through exciting digital initiatives.”

The three-day festival is one of the largest LGBTQ celebrations in the nation.

CSW said it would roll out its digital initiatives in the coming months.

Continue on to CBS Los Angeles to read the complete article.

Unique Ways to Thank your Essential Workers

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Thank You to Essential Workers in Fight Against Covid-19

From doctors and nurses to grocery store clerks and pharmacists, our essential workers are showing up every day to keep us safe and healthy during this time.

We are so thankful for each and every one of these workers, but how can we better show our gratitude and encourage them along the way? Here are four unique ways you can thank our essential workers.

1) Make a Sign

This is a relatively easy one that can be done by the whole family. Create a sign to hang from your window, car, or front yard that can be easily seen by essential workers driving or walking by your home. This little sign of encouragement shows they are being appreciated, even when we cannot personally thank every single one of them.

2) Support Their Families

During this time, essential workers are often working longer hours, and many are unable to be fully present for their families during this time. Check up on the families of essential workers in your life, and see what you can do to help. Delivering groceries, making a meal, or simply being a good listener can help ease the stress of the families who are struggling with the new lifestyle of their essential loved one.

3) Feed the Frontlines

Especially for medical professionals working long hours, getting a proper meal may be the last thing on their mind while trying to help others. Ordering food to be delivered to local hospitals, firehouses, grocery stores, and other essential businesses will not only show them your appreciation but could also ease their especially stressful work day. Ordering food will also help restaurants stay in business!

4) Stay at Home

The best way to show respect for those who are working so hard to keep us safe is to adhere to their wishes and stay inside. Washing our hands, keeping ourselves healthy, and social distancing are just a few of the ways that we can all slow the spread of the virus and speed up the process of bringing our essential workers home sooner.

LeBron James, Bad Bunny, Jonas Brothers to throw class of 2020 a virtual graduation

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LebRon James speaking in front of large audience

The LeBron James Family Foundation recently announced that it will celebrate seniors in a special event called “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020″ at 5 p.m. Pacific on May 16 with help from superstar guests.

The Los Angeles Lakers star has drafted Bad Bunny, Pharrell Williams, the Jonas Brothers, Chika, YBN Cordae, H.E.R., Ben Platt, Megan Rapinoe, Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe and Malala Yousafzai for the hourlong special. It will air simultaneously on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and the streaming platforms Complex Networks, Facebook app, Instagram, People TV, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube.

We learned early on in our work with students and families in Akron that education is so much more than academics. It’s about a shared experience, a journey we’re all on together — students, parents, educators, community members and everyone around them. With that not being possible right now, we’ve been working to find ways to help families get through this really difficult time,” James said in a release.

“These students have worked incredibly hard for this and there’s no way we can let that go unrecognized. While this won’t be the graduation experience they were supposed to get, we hope we can still give them something special because they deserve it,” the basketball great added.

The commercial-free, multimedia event — which will be curated by high school students and educators across the country with support from the American Federation of Teachers — will feature a collection of vignettes, commencement speeches and celebrity performances.

Students, families and teachers will be encouraged to submit photos and videos using #GraduateTogether for a chance to have them included in the telecast. Don’t know what to do with your senior portrait? Artist JR is inviting seniors to share them for the virtual yearbook celebrating the nation’s 2020 high school graduates. Local TV stations also will feature shout-outs to high school students in their communities.

Continue on to the LA Times to read the complete article.

Former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume Wins Seat Held By Late Congressman Elijah Cummings

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Kweisi Mfume headshot

It’s finally official. Former NAACP president Kweisi Mfume will finish the term of the late Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings after winning an election for his Maryland seat Tuesday.

In a special election structured around a largely mail-in vote, Mfume, who led the NAACP from 1996 to 2004, beat Republican Kimberly Klacik for the heavily Democratic 7th Congressional District, which Cummings had held from 1996 until his death last October.

Mfume had held the seat for a decade prior to Cummings being elected, but resigned to lead the NAACP.

Mfume, 71, acknowledged that voters cast their ballots in the shadow of the gripping coronavirus pandemic which has sharply affected the district, including much of Baltimore.

“To them, to their families and to the families of so many others who have lost lives prematurely to this disease,” Mfume said in his address after winning, according to the Associated Press. “I want all of you to know that from day one, all of my attention, all of my energy and all of my focus in the United States Congress will be on using science, data and common sense to help get our nation through this dark hour in our history.”

Only three polling stations were open to voters because of social distancing measures. Ballots were otherwise sent weeks in advance for mail-in voting. The strategy was an alternative to voting practices a few weeks ago in the Wisconsin primary several weeks ago when voters were forced to stand in lines for hours to cast ballots, putting them at higher risk for coronavirus spread.

Continue on to BET to read the complete article.

5 Tips to Keep Your Hair Zoom Meeting Ready

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Black professional woman with hands up and excited looking at computer monitor while in Zoom meeting

Linda Husser is no stranger to caring for her natural hair during challenging times. While stationed in England as Senior Airman in the Airforce, she had to learn to care for her natural hair without access to the biweekly trip to the hair salon that she was accustomed to before enlisting. 

“I would basically just put my hair into four or five cornrows because our hair had to always comply with service regulations and be above the neck,” she explains. From there, Husser began to use different products to style her hair from the limited options available for black hair at the PBX in England. As she got creative with hairstyles, others began asking her to do their hair and her new career as hairstylist was born. Thirty years later, she owns one of the most successful hair salons specializing in Black Hair in Orange County, California – Linda’s Hair Affair.  

Before the salon closures, the majority of Husser’s clients would schedule every two weeks for their hair to be washed, blow-dried, straightened and styled in a ponytail or loose curls. “A lot of them didn’t think that staying at home still meant they had to look Zoom Meeting Ready’, and have been reaching out to me for advice,” she shares.   

Here are her top tips to keep your hair healthy and Zoom ready during quarantine –  

  1. Do your hair as if you were going to the salon.  Wash and deep condition every two weeks. 
  1. Don’t worry about straightening your hair.  The new growth that’s coming in will be a different texture and your hair is more prone to breakage as a result.  Blowing it out with a blow dryer or putting it in two cornrows is best.  
  1. Moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize.  Use this time to love your hair with oils and butters and conditioners.  Use a silk or cloth scarf to seal it in on your braided hair. 
  1. Use YouTube as a resource to learn how to flat twist, corn row, or experiment with other natural hair styles.   
  1. Wigs are a stylish, easy, and quick protective hairstyle option that actually gives your hair a break if it is thinning from weaves or braids. 

Ultimately, life will go back to face to face meetings and twice a month salon visits. Until then, use these time-tested tips from a former Airman turned Hair Stylist to get by in style. 

Tracy Yassini
Black EOE Journal contributing writer

JUST MERCY

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JUST MERCY is a powerful true story that follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his battle for justice as he defends a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence.

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#JustMercy

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Truth, Lessons, & Love of all things #BLACKGIRLSROCK

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everly Bond stands in front of large Black Girls Rock red promo background Black Girls Rock

By Tracy Yasinni

Beverly Bond is a woman who takes on massive responsibility in proving that Black Girls Rock! She is a social entrepreneur, model, mentor, DJ and now an author. Gifted with the ability to know what people want, Bond has worked to reshape the narrative of the Black woman and continues to celebrate the importance of #BlackGirlMagic.

This passion comes to life in her book Black Girls Rock, Owning Our Magic & Rocking Our Truth.

Bond views the book as a continuation of the movement and the mission of Black Girls Rock!

She elaborates, “I wanted something that people could have as a takeaway they could refer to at all times. With the awards show, we could only honor so many women at a time, whereas with the book we can share the magic, survival and achievements of Black women in this one space.”

Black Girls Rock, Owning Our Magic & Rocking Our Truth is dedicated to a close friend of the author who passed away from cancer. “I wanted to show that I had her presence in the books and her mantra, her affirmation, was something that I adopted in the book. It was contagious, it was to live true and dance free.

It resonated so much with me because she stood in her truth. She stood for her art. And I think that that’s something that I do as well. I believe in a truth and a justice in us as a people.

So I think that to live true and dance free, which I’m borrowing from Marjorie, who the book is dedicated to, I would say that that would be one of my mantras,” Bond shares.

About Black Girls Rock, Owning Our Magic & Rocking Our TruthBlack Girls Rock promotional book cover
From the founder of the mentoring organization and awards show Black Girls Rock! comes an inspiring and beautifully-designed tribute to the achievements and contributions of black women around the world, featuring moving entries from icons like Kerry Washington, Angela Davis, Misty Copeland, Serena Williams, Shonda Rhimes, Erykah Badu, Tracee Ellis Ross, and more! Discover the beautiful complexity, rich cultural traditions, and bountiful contributions of some of today’s most powerful black women with this one-of-a-kind celebration of their diversity, power, fortitude, spirituality, and tenacity!

Packed with anecdotes, affirmations, and inspirational essays from women of diverse backgrounds, Black Girls Rock! will empower and inspire you to be your best self.

Netflix Premieres First Ever Documentary About Black Women CEOs

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multiple images of the stars of She Did That Netflix series

Black women CEOs and entrepreneurs are the stars of the newest Netflix documentary called She Did That. Filmmaker and blogger Renae L. Bluitt created the documentary to promote a more accurate representation in the media of Black female business owners.

She Did That is Bluitt’s first cinematic project, and as a digital content creator and PR consultant, she has been writing about the entrepreneurial pursuits of Black women on her blog, In Her Shoes, for nearly a decade. But now the topic is being brought to the world’s attention via the world’s most popular streaming service.

The film revolves around the lives of four Black women entrepreneurs, their journeys, and how they face issues such as the funding gap for Black women. Inspired by #BlackGirlMagic, Bluitt wanted to show how Black women turn challenges into opportunities and become an inspiration to the next generation.

“As the fastest group of entrepreneurs in this country, [Black women] are literally turning water into wine in spite of the many obstacles we face on our entrepreneurial journeys. This film was created to let the world know what it really takes to be a successful Black woman entrepreneur in this world. Platforms like social media only show us the results and the highlights, but “She Did That” pulls back the curtain to reveal how and why we do it,” Bluitt told Forbes.

She Did That highlights the perseverance and determination of Lisa Price, the founder of hair care brand Carol’s Daughter; Melissa Butler, the founder of beauty brand The Lip Bar; Tonya Rapley, the founder of My Fab Finance; and Luvvie Ajayi, a New York Times best-selling author, speaker and digital strategist.

For the project, Bluitt intentionally hired a camera crew of Black women as well as production staff, assistants, and researchers for filming locations. In addition, after almost 2 years of filming, the documentary premiered at a sold-out screening event at ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans. It has since been screened at several HBCUs and other cities in partnership with organizations that cater to Black women.

Bluitt said she is overwhelmed with the opportunity to partner with Netflix. Now with a wider audience, she hopes that the film willl touch more Black women’s lives.

“I want women to know that even the most successful women in business have experienced the challenges and obstacles they face while building their brands. We all make mistakes, learn from them, and stop to refuel or keep going even stronger. I want women to know they are not alone in their fears and the biggest takeaway is this – if the women in this film can do it, you can do it, too!”

Stream it now on Netflix by visiting netflix.com/title/81194454

Continue on to Black Business to read the complete article.

Four-Star General Nominated To Become First African American Chief Of The Air Force

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Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. in uniform speaking into microphone to an audience

Nominated by the Trump administration, Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. could be the first African-American chief of staff for the United States Air Force. “I am truly honored and humbled by the nomination to serve as the Air Force’s 22nd Chief of Staff,” he said. “If confirmed, Sharene and I look forward to building upon the legacy of Gen. Dave and Dawn Goldfein and the many airpower giants before who have served our Air Force and our nation with such dedication.”

Brown would also reportedly become the first African American to lead any military branch and hold the title as the first African American Pentagon leader since the 1993 retirement of Army General, Colin Powell, according to the Daily Mail.

Brown is a four-star F-16 pilot who served in combat tours in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

“[Brown] will take command of an Air Force in transition, one moving from a decades-long priority on combating and containing terrorism to a new era of Great Power Competition,” said the Air Force.

Brown will be the highest-ranking officer in the Air Force, responsible for overseeing all units in the military branch.

He will sit alongside the Joint Chief of Staff in the Department of Defense that counsels the secretary of defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council, and the President on military affairs.

Continue on to BET to read the complete article.

NAACP Announced the Winners of the 51st NAACP Image Awards Hosted by Anthony Anderson on Saturday, February 22nd

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Rihanna, dresed in a floy purple dress, accepts her award on stage at the NAACP Image Awards ceremony

Rihanna Received the President’s Award and U.S. Congressman and Civil Rights Leader John Lewis was Honored with the NAACP Chairman’s Award during the Live Ceremony.

The Star Studded Evening Featured Appearances from Angela Bassett, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jamie Foxx, Tiffany Haddish, Deon Cole, Janelle Monae, Jill Scott, Lena Waithe, Leslie Odom Jr., Lizzo, Lynn Whitfield, Marsai Martin, Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Sterling K. Brown, Tamron Hall, Tichina Arnold, Winston Duke, Yara Shahidi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Robin Thede, Brie Larson, Chloe Bailey and Harold Perrineau, with powerful Performances by Jill Scott and H.E.R. with Skip Marley.

The NAACP celebrated the stellar achievements of the 51st NAACP Image Awards winners during a special ceremony which was broadcasted live on BET Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 8 p.m./7 p.m. CT from the Pasadena Civic Center Auditorium. Winners of the night included Lizzo (Entertainer of the Year), Angela Bassett (Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series – “9-1-1”), Jamie Foxx (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture – “Just Mercy”), Lupita Nyong’o (Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture – “Us”), Marsai Martin (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture – “Little”), Tracee Ellis Ross (Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – “black-ish”) and “Just Mercy” (Outstanding Motion Picture).

During the ceremony, NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, presented global music and fashion icon, business entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Rihanna, with the President’s Award which is presented in recognition of a special achievement and distinguished public service.

Rihanna accepted the award saying “Thank you to the NAACP for all of your efforts to ensure equality for our communities. Thank you for celebrating our strength and tenacity. We’ve been denied opportunities since the beginning of time. Still, we prevail. so I’m honored. Imagine what we can do together. Thank you for this honor.”

U.S. Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis (D-GA), was recognized with the NAACP Chairman’s Award during the ceremony and sent in a special video accepting the award.

Jill Scott took to the stage with an electric performance of “Do You Remember” and “Is It The Way” and Skip Marley joined H.E.R for a medley of “Slide”, “Slow Down” and “Turn THe Lights Down Low”.

Additional guests in attendance included Brie Larson, Chloe Bailey, Deon Cole, Elaine Welteroth, Harold Perrineau, Janelle Monae, Lena Waithe, Leslie Odom Jr., Logan Browning, Lukka Sabbatt, Lynn Whitfield, Octavia Spencer, Robin Thede, Shahidi Wright Joseph, Sterling K. Brown, Tamron Hall, Tichina Arnold, Tiffany Haddish, Winston Dukes, Yara Shahidi, Yvette Nicole Brown.

See the full list of winners from the 51st NAACP Image Awards telecast below:

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series

Tracee Ellis Ross – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series

Angela Bassett – “9-1-1” (FOX)

MOTION PICTURE CATEGORIES

Outstanding Motion Picture

“Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

Michael B. Jordan – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

Lupita Nyong’o – “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Jamie Foxx – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Marsai Martin – “Little” (Universal Pictures)

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

Lizzo

Previously announced winners

TELEVISION CATEGORIES

Outstanding Comedy Series

“black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Deon Cole – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Marsai Martin – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Drama Series

“Greenleaf” (OWN)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series

Omari Hardwick – “Power” (Starz)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Harold Perrineau – “Claws” (TNT)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Lynn Whitfield – “Greenleaf” (OWN)

Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

When They See Us (Netflix)

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

Jharrel Jerome – “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

Niecy Nash – “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special)

“Unsung” (TV One)

Outstanding Talk Series

“Red Table Talk” (Facebook Watch)

Outstanding Reality Program/Reality Competition Series/Game Show

“Rhythm + Flow” (Netflix)

Outstanding Variety (Series or Special)

“Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” (Netflix)

Outstanding Children’s Program

“Family Reunion” (Netflix)

Continue on to NAACP to read the complete announcement.

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