CHADWICK BOSEMAN TAKES COP TO A NEW LEVEL IN ’21 BRIDGES’

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

Chadick Boseman follows up his iconic role in Black Panther with 21 Bridges, an action thriller where he plays a New York cop in search for justice after 8 cops were killed in a  robbery heist gone wrong.

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21 Bridges shows the lengths that a cop will go to to in order to find the killers. He shuts down all 21 bridges into Manhattan, stops trains, and cuts off the island from the rest of the world as he oversees a massive citywide manhunt. It’s personal for him, who had to deal with the trauma of having his police officer father murdered when he was a child.

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This is going to be one hell of a ride and excited to see Chadwick in this new role.

Check out the trailer below. 21 Bridges opens nationwide on July 12.

‘WHEN THEY SEE US’ Drops Official Trailer

 BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

30 years ago, today a woman was raped in Central Park and five teenagers of color were framed for it.

Netflix has just release the full trailer for Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us” a four-part series about the wrongly convicted Central Park Five.

Based on the true case of five teenagers of color, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit, the show follows the young men (Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise) in the spring of 1989 when they are first questioned about the brutal assault of a Caucasian female jogger in New York’s Central Park. The later part of the series will also see them as men, spanning 25 years and highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement they reached with the city of New York in 2014.

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The series stars Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Blair Underwood, Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar J. Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Dascha Polanco, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez and Asante Blackk.

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“When They See Us” launches on Netflix on May 31.

FILM REVIEW: THE BEST OF ENEMIES

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

So, went to an advanced screening of The Best of Enemies. After the screening, there was a conversation with one of the stars of the film, Taraji P. Henson and the writer/director/producer Robin Bissell.

The true story of the unlikely relationship between Ann Atwater, an outspoken civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis, a local Ku Klux Klan leader. During the racially charged summer of 1971, Atwater and Ellis come together to co-chair a community summit on the desegregation of schools in Durham, N.C. The ensuing debate and battle soon lead to surprising revelations that change both of their lives forever.

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Let me start off and say that Taraji did a good job on this film and in this role. But, to be honest this was yet another “White Savior” film and it is clear that it was written by a White man. The movie was longer than it should have and spent too much time telling a one-sided story. The character arc was never developed for Ann Atwater, unless you read the back story on your own for her you did not know she was an activist. She was painted as a poor Black woman who just spoke up for her community. The only thing that you knew about her family is that she had a daughter that we didn’t see her interact with a lot. No back story or anything. But what you did get a lot of was C.P. Ellis and his back story. They spent a lot of time building his character, his family, and how he ticked. We knew that he had kids and a wife, the classic American family, while they painted Ann as a Black woman with a broken family because we didn’t know where her daughter’s father was. His wife, played by Anne Heche was instrumental in showing the human side of this KKK President and what led him to join. Showing that he had a bad, sad life and he was just looking to belong to something. Way to humanize a white supremacist and diminish what Ann was trying to do in the community back then. Thanks, but we don’t need a savior.

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Why do White writers always tell these stories from one point of view, it would be helpful to have a Black person during the writing process to have it balanced. The problem with Hollywood is they think these types of movies support the Black community when it does the exact opposite. But let me step off my soapbox and hope that in the future these stories are told from both perspectives and not just the one. But shout out to them for at least bring awareness to the story that people did not know that much about.

The Best of Enemies stars Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell and premieres in theaters on April 5.

WHEN THEY SEE US – NETFLIX

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

Ava DuVernay’s upcoming limited series on the brutal crime and false accusations of five teenagers that shocked NYC and the nation 30 years ago will be available to stream on Netflix on May 31. The four-part series formerly known as The Central Park Five will now be called When They See Us released an explosive trailer this morning. Just the title alone is powerful. For the many Black deaths that has spawned the Black Lives Matter movement, for the many false accusations of people of color over the years, When They See Us is a very fitting title.

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With this series Korey, Antron, Raymond, Kevin and Yusef get to tell their story of young people of color unjustly handled by the criminal justice system.

For those that are unfamiliar with the case, these five teens, four Black and one Hispanic were apprehended in connection to the assault and brutal rape of Trisha Meili, a White female jogger on the night of April 19, 1989. Before the trial began, the FBI tested the DNA of the rape kit and found that it did not match any of the boys but as fitting as the title suggests they were in the park so they must have done it, right? Regardless of the evidence to clear them the teens were convicted in 1990. In 2002, Matias Reyes, a convicted murder and serial rapist serving a life sentence in prison confessed to the crime and DNA evidence confirmed that he was indeed the attacker on the night in question. However, Reyes was not prosecuted for the rape and murder due to statute of limitations expiring by the time of his confession.

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The teens now men convictions were overturned in 2002. In 2003, they sued the City of New York for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination, and emotional distress. The city refused to settle for over a decade until new Mayor Bill de Blasio took office and supported the settlement, the city settled the case for $41 million in 2014 and their names were finally cleared.

This whole case and what’s happening in society has me singing the old Michael Jackson song “They Don’t Care About Us”.

Written and Directed by Ava DuVernay. This series will go beyond 1989 and what happened after.

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The series stars Emmy Award® Nominee Michael K. Williams, Academy Award® Nominee Vera Farmiga, Emmy Award® Winner John Leguizamo, Academy Award® Nominee and Emmy Award® Winner Felicity Huffman, Emmy Award® Nominee Niecy Nash, Emmy Award® Winner and two-time Golden Globe Nominee Blair Underwood, Emmy Award® and Grammy Award® Winner and Tony Award® Nominee Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez, and Asante Blackk.

Thank you Ava for continuing to expose the injustice of people of color.

THE HATE YOU GIVE Q&A

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

Had the opportunity to attend the screening of The Hate You Give to celebrate the film’s release on DVD, Blu-Ray and all digital platforms. This film gives an opportunity to start the conversation on race with those in your family, community and your friends. This film had me laughing and crying, but it also provoked feelings on how this could be changed and what we as a community can do to change the narrative. After the screening there was a great Q&A with Russell Hornsby and moderated by CNN commentator Symone Sanders. In these Trump days it is important to have this conversation and show your kids how to conduct themselves out on these streets because it will get real, real quick and then what.

If you have not seen this amazing film directed by George Tillman Jr. make sure you buy it or stream it wherever you get your movies.

NANCY VUU S/S ’19

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

On Saturday, October 13 Nancy Vuu, a luxury fashion designer and The House of Vuu Foundation hosted an exclusive fashion show during Fashion Week in LA.

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The exquisite affair was held at a Beverly Hills mansion owned by Zac Eglit of The Address. Several of LA’s elite and out of town guests flocked to the estate to view Nancy Vuu, latest collection for the Spring/Summer ’19. The intricate details of each garment left you wanting more. From flowers to frill it is a definite must see collection.

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Nancy Vuu decided that she would use her fashion platform to uplift for a good cause. As a mother of four, Nancy had a vision while she was at church to raise awareness and to encourage the fight against child sex trafficking. It is of the utmost importance for Nancy to use her fashion shows for good. For her everyone can appreciate some form of fashion, the expression, individuality, style or just all over beauty and she tries to capture all types of support through fashion and the causes that she believes in.

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ABOUT NANCY VUU:
Nancy is a designer that hails from the Bay Area of California. Her first show for LA Fashion Week 2014 was an instant success and landed Nancy many high-profile clients including royalty. She has dressed celebrities and athletes for many shows and red carpets. Vuu has also been featured in Glamour Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE Magazine, and VOGUE Italia, as well as many notable fashion blogs.

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“We believe that every person is Fashioned for LOVE & GREATNESS. “
– Nancy Vuu

ABOUT THE HOUSE OF VUU FOUNDATION:
To empower both women & children to recognize that every individual, regardless of their circumstance, is unique, beautiful and wonderfully fashioned. By doing so, we believe that this will create a culture shift that will enable them to embrace and walk into their full identity.

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Please visit The House of Vuu Foundation at https://www.nancyvuu.com /house-of-vuu-foundation for more information.

Also, visit Unicef to find out how you can help end the child sex trafficking. https://www.unicef.org/

THE HATE YOU GIVE

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

The Hate You Give is based on the New York Times Best Selling Novel by Angie Thomas. The story focuses on Starr (Amandla Stenberg) who witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a nervous White police officer that mistakes a hairbrush for a gun. Now, Starr faces pressures from all sides of the community urging her to step up. She must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.

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As protests around the killing mount, Starr slowly embraces activism. Enrolled at a predominately white private school, Starr tells the audience early on that she’s used to essentially splitting her personality in two, playing the non-threatening black girl around her white friends and then code-switching, with some awkwardness, back home in Garden Heights. Khalil’s death puts those two selves into conflict, and Stenberg beautifully plays that evolution, a girl whose carefully constructed notion of “normal” has been upended.

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This story comes at a time where we are in a place where senseless killings at the hands of the police are so relevant. This teen is faced with a huge responsibility, what do you do when you know that you need to fight for the rights of your friend? What do you do when your parents and those close to you don’t want you to stand up because of the climate and you can be a statistic yourself? So many decisions for Starr to contemplate. What would you do in this situation? This powerful movie takes us on an emotional journey of finding your voice and standing for what is right regardless of what people may say.

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Amandla Stenberg who people were not sure she was right for the role due to her light skin. The cover of the book shows a dark-skinned girl, so that is what everyone was envisioning in casting. But, she gives a breakout performance and proves them all wrong.

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“Over the past year I’ve heard concerns from my community around my casting as Starr in The Hate U Give and I want those who are worried to know they are seen and heard. Something that I love most about the black community is the accountability and expectation for greatness and consciousness that we maintain. I hope Angie’s perspective can alleviate those concerns, though I don’t expect it to address the age-old conundrum of colorism and I’m glad this conversation is being opened up. The lack of diversity within the black girl representation we’re finally getting is apparent and it’s NOT ENOUGH, and I understand my role in the quest for onscreen diversity and the sensitivity I must have towards the colorism that I do not experience. Do I aim to represent all black girls? Hell nah! Do I expect all black girls to feel represented by me? Absolutely not. We encompass a beautiful and expansive plethora of experiences, identities, and shades and it would be ridiculous to assume that I should or could represent all of us. I want my sisters to know I navigate my industry with an acute awareness of how my accessibility contributes to the representation I am granted. I do so with a vigilance concerning the commodification of blackness and not taking up space that doesn’t belong to me. My biggest hope is that this precarious game of give and take we play with the historically white institution of Hollywood for the sake of representation can only lead to the diversity we want and deserve. I want to see my mama on screen. And my niece. I want to see my friends, my peers… and all those who have given me the blessing of their support. Let’s continue to demand depictions that don’t placate European beauty standards. And after all, this if you still don’t mess with the casting, hey, that’s your prerogative! B​ut let’s show up to THUG for BLM, for rich and profound portrayals of contemporary black experience, for exploration of the nuance of bias, for black girl realness , for family, for gun control, for speaking up and out, for Philando, Tamir, Eric, Michael, Sandra and all the black lives that have been taken for no reason.” –Amandla Stenberg

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In select theatres on October 5 and nationwide on October 19. Check your area for showtimes.

BREAKING IN ATLANTA PREMIERE

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

Last night, Producer Will Packer and BREAKING IN star Gabrielle Union held a special advanced private screening at the Regal Theatre at Atlantic Station in Atlanta.

Attendees included local celebrities, friends and family, and influencers including new Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, GA governor candidate Stacey Abrams, The Dream, Sister Circle Live’s Syleena Johnson and Kiana Dancie among others.

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ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 22: Producer Will Packer speaks onstage at “Breaking In” Atlanta Private Screening at Regal Atlantic Station on April 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Universal Studios)

Before the screening began, Atlanta radio personality Frank Ski (V103) greeted the crowd and introduced BREAKING IN producer, Will Packer. Packer introduced Atlanta Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, who expressed excitement about the film. They were then joined by BREAKING IN star Gabrielle Union who addressed the 407-seat auditorium with gratitude.

BREAKING IN Star and Producer Gabrielle Union, & Producer Will Packer Attend Private Screening at Regal Atlantic Station in Atlanta
ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 22: Actress Gabrielle Union attends “Breaking In” Atlanta Private Screening at Regal Atlantic Station on April 22, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Universal Studios)

In BREAKING IN, Gabrielle Union stars as a woman who will stop at nothing to rescue her children from being held hostage within a house designed with impenetrable security. Nothing can match a determined mother on a mission.

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Producers Will Packer and Gabrielle Union reunite for this thriller directed by James McTeigue and written by Ryan Engle. Along with Union and Packer, Will Packer Productions’ James Lopez and Practical Pictures’ Craig Perry and Shelia Hanahan Taylor join in on producing this new thriller.

BREAKING IN co-stars Billy Burke (Twlight), Richard Cabral (End of Watch), Ajiona Alexus (Empire), Levi Meaden (Pacific Rim), Jason George (Grey’s Anatomy), Seth Carr (Black Panther) and Christa Miller (Cougar Town).

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BREAKING IN hits theatres just in time for Mother’s Day on May 11. Tickets are available now. Get yours today and learn why “Payback is a Mother.”

 

UNSOLVED HISTORY: LIFE OF A KING

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

I had the opportunity and extreme honor to attend the private screening of the Unsolved History: Life of A King at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Visitor Center Theater on Sunday, March 25.

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I learned so much during the screening. I had no idea that Dr. King had a younger brother that was marching and fighting alongside him. So, this was all brand-new information for me while watching.

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UNSOLVED HISTORY: Life of A King, is the untold story of Alfred Daniel (A.D.) King, the younger brother of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This documentary explores the unanswered questions of A.D. King’s accidental drowning fifteen months after his brother Dr. King was assassinated​. You will hear exclusive interviews with King family members, including A.D. King’s oldest daughter and his wife as well as the people from the Civil Rights Movement that will speak first-hand about A.D. King.

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“Life of A King reveals the untold, undistorted truth at a time when people need to know authentic historical information.” ~Josetta Shrospshire, Co-Executive Producer and CEO of Positive Promotions Ltd.

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It was definitely emotional watching the documentary as his kids and wife talk about the man that ended up coming to the same demise as his brother. His son was the one that found him dead in the pool at their home in Atlanta. He remembers the police telling him that there was no water in his father’s lungs, which means he was dead before he entered the water. That in itself is traumatizing but eventually calling it an “accidental drowning” had to be devastating.

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Presented by Sunwise Media and Postive Promotions, the one-hour documentary narrated by Emmy-winning news reporter, Ed Gordon will air on WATL-TV, Channel 36 on Thursday, April 5 at 11pm and again on Saturday, April 7 at 5 pm.

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For additional air dates in your area visit sunwisemedia.com/unsolvedhistory.
Follow the movement: Facebook/Instagram: @unsolvedhistory

BEHIND THE MOVEMENT

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

I had the opportunity to dial into a teleconference with the cast of TV One’s latest movie Behind the Movement. Behind the Movement will premiere during Black History Month on February, 11 at 7 pm.

Behind the Movement is the story of how Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This movie honors the contributions of those untold heroes of the civil rights movement. It will tell the behind the scenes preparation that took place during the three days between the eventful evening when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Behind the Movement was written by Katrina O’Glivie and directed by Aric Avelino.

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THE CAST:

Rosa Parks – Meta Golding (The Hunger Games)
Edgar “E.D.” Nixon – Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy, The 100)
Jo Ann Robinson – Loretta Devine (Waiting to Exhale)
Raymond Parks – Roger Guenveur Smith (American Gangster)

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Meta Golding

There is a lot of audio and video available of Rosa Parks, she says but she read everything that she could get her hands on.

“Rosa Parks was a very prolific writer, so I read everything she wrote. Some of her family members wrote about Rosa, about what she was like from a family perspective.”

Meta tried her best to stay true to Rosa Parks, to embody her and not imitate her.

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“Even though she’s an icon, I didn’t really know very much about her personally, I didn’t know her voice.”

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“I think that sexism did not discriminate and was very much a part of the civil rights movement, and so we didn’t get to hear or see the in-depth stories of the women who fought alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.”

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Isaiah Washington

E.D. Nixon was a Pullman Porter and Civil Rights leader who worked with Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. to initiate the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He was key in bailing Rosa Parks out of jail and positioning her case to spark the boycott.

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Like Isaiah Washington, I didn’t know who E.D. Nixon was and what he did until this movie came about.

“I thought I was pretty up on my American History and my African-American and Woman Studies.”

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Loretta Devine

Joann Robinson was one of the unrecognized women of the movement. After a verbally abusive encounter on a segregated city bus, she was instrumental during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Joann became an advocate for equal rights for African-Americans.

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“This was very special to me. I was very excited to do this because I don’t get to do this very often. I do a lot of comedy, and creating characters. So, this had to be basically from her perspective.”

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“When you are a voice for something, if you believe in something and decide to support something, you have to support that belief and that voice of action, with preparation, with giving your energy to making something work. And so, I think that is why this is really important for people to see now.”

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Behind the Movement taught me so much personally, I learned more than I ever learned in school while watching.

Make sure you tune in on February 11 at 7 pm on TV ONE for this phenomenal film that tells a part of history that a lot of people don’t know anything about.