Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Universal Hip Hop Museum Fundraiser at Barclays Center March 26, 2016

c53b8558edbebe052eb181c5a988cc68If you are a lover of music, perhaps Hip Hop is a music of choice. Hip hop as music and culture formed during the 1970’s when block parties became increasingly popular in New York City, particularly among African-American youth. Since that time, Hip Hop has increasingly grown and become popular in the United States and all over the world. This genre of music has become so ingrained in our culture that it has influenced so many people.

The music has inspired fashion, movies and many young people. There are various awards shows only featuring hip hop artists and within the years, it is definitely safe to say that hip hop or what some call rap music id hear to stay.

Writer, Judith Davis and Rapper Roxane Shante at the Hip Hop Museum fundraising event. in Brooklyn.

Writer, Judith Davis and Rapper Roxane Shante at the Hip Hop Museum fundraising event. in Brooklyn.

On Saturday, March 26, 2016, the Universal Hip Hop Museum host a fundraiser and party in Brooklyn, New York at The Barclays Center. The party was host my none other than Cynthia Horner, the Editor-in-Chief of Hip Hop Weekly. Horner may also be known as former Editorial Director for the classic RightOn! Magazine.

Also, in attendance was hip hop legends Kurtis Blow and Roxanne Shante. They were on hand for press pictures, but the audience was also treated to a rare and awesome performance by Kurtis Blow. Blow is known for rap anthem such as: “The Breaks,” “Basketball,” “If I Ruled The World,” and “AJ Scratch,”just to name a few.

The performance and the house band together go the crowd in the mood to enjoy themselves and even donate to the cause. The Universal Hip Hop Museum has Kickstarter campaign for all who are interested in contributing. The purpose of the music is to preserve the proud history of hip hop, educate a worldwide audience on the five elements of Hip Hop. It is also created to honor the trailblazers who paved the way. With immersive exhibits, live events, impactful educational programs, and a powerful new expression of the art form by keeping hip hop at the forefront of our global audience.

Writer, Judith Davis and Legendary Rapper Kurtis Blow at the Hip Mop Museum Fundraising event in Brooklyn.

Writer, Judith Davis and Legendary Rapper Kurtis Blow at the Hip Mop Museum Fundraising event in Brooklyn.

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S.W.A.N. Day Screening and Reception on March 26, 2016 at SVA Theater

3140aacb7147a2c932e0297eb2de1324On Saturday, March 26, 2016, NYWIFT, SAG-AFTRA, School of Visual Arts Film department, African-American Women in Cinema, Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, Women Make Movies, andHerFlix sponsored a screening at the SVA Theatre of the documentary BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez in recognition of S.W.A.N. SWAN stands for Support Women Artists Now and is an annual event on the last Saturday of March that celebrates women artists. This screening was held as the closing event of the 18th African-American Women in Cinema (AAWIC) Festival.

The BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez documentary is produced and Directed by Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater and Sabrina Schmidt Gordon. Sabrina Schmidt Gordon was on hand after the screening to discuss the film and answer any questions from the audience.

BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez offers unprecedented access to the life, work and mesmerizing performances of renowned poet and activist Sonia Sanchez who describes herself as “a woman with razor blades between my teeth.” A leading figure in the Black Arts Movement and inspiration to today’s hip hop spoken word artists, Sanchez for over 60 years has helped to redefine American culture and politics as an activist in the Black, women’s and peace movements.

The late great Maya Angelou called Sanchez “a lion in literature’s forest” while spoken word artist Bryonn Bain credits her with paving the way for his generation, “She not only opened the door, she blew off the roof.” Sanchez revolutionized poetry by incorporating street language, a unique performance style and collaborations with jazz musicians. Sanchez’s contemporaries Ruby Dee, Amiri Baraka, John Bracey, Jr., Haki Madhubuti and Nikki Giovanni joined by such newer voices as Talib Kweli, Ayana Mathis, Jessica Care Moore, Bryonn Bain and Questlove present impassioned readings of and insightful commentary on her fearless verse, including her raw love poems.

BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez is the second documentary produced by Attie, Goldwater and Gordon. Their previous collaboration, Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter (2009), recounts a Malian mother’s fight for asylum in the U.S. to protect her two-year old daughter from female genital cutting/mutilation. Supported by ITVS and the Sundance Documentary Fund, Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter was broadcastnationally on public television’s Afropop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange series in 2011. It has been shown at film festivals throughout the world, including the Human Rights Watch Festival and Silverdocs, and was named Best Social Documentary at the Addis International Film Festival in Ethiopia.

The BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez documentary aired on PBS on March 8, 2016. For more information visit: Attie & Goldwater Productions.

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‘Sisters In Law’ series comes to WE TV

f3664b02b46ad3c8e5c04654c317023dJust when you thought there could be no new women centered reality shows around, here is another one to join the ranks. This time the story follows the lives of six intelligent female attorneys.

The show is set in Houston,Texas and the “Sisters In Law” series follows a close-knit group of elite high-powered black female lawyers as they juggle their families, busy careers, and even more demanding social calendars. The ladies may differ in their fundamental beliefs when it comes to right and wrong, but what they have in common is their passion for trying cases in a traditionally white, male-dominated profession. “Sisters In Law” documents their fascinating legal lives as well as their intricately woven personal lives. From trial prep and courtroom cross-examinations, to opposing council and opposing each other, watch as these powerful women struggle to remain civil under fierce competition and pressure.

WE tv and the Association of Black Women Attorneys (ABWA) hosted an exclusive screening of the docu-series “Sisters In Law, in New York City on March 23, 2016. The event began with a red carpet photo opps, a cocktail reception, a screening and ended with a Q&A with the cast moderated by TV/Radio personality Jacque Reid. Each of the cast member answered questions and shared some of their experiences as legal professionals. The show offers an honest look inside the lives of the very busy and successful women.

The first episode of the show is set to premiere on WE TV on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 10/9c. For more information visit, the website.

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Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete Docu-Series on OWN on March 19, 2016

05a0feccf993e13be28970a3edac8ab7Looks like there is another exciting and fun reality type show coming to the Oprah Winfrey Network, and although the show can be considered by some as a reality series, the show is really much more. The show, “For Peete’s Sake” deals with family relationships, but also includes information on Holly’s advocacy for causes like Autism and Parkinson’s disease.

For this show the talented and beautiful, Holly Robinson Peete allows camera’s into her home for the first time and joins the OWN TV Network’s popular Saturday night lineup beginning on March, 19, 2016. As the Peetes lovingly Work to balance busy careers With their hectic and always hilarious family life, fans will get a sense of feeling as the Peetes are part of their own family. The new comedic, dramatic and intimate OWN docu-series following the lives of husband and wife duo Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete.

 As fans and some of their audience will know, Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete were two of the brightest stars in their fields in the 80’s and 90’s. Holly lit up the small screen from an early she with starring roles in “21 Jump Street” and “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper,” and her husband and NFL quarterback Rodney Peete dominated the league for 16 years. Now the duo are giving viewers an intimate look at their hectic and often-times comical lives as they attempt to balance raising their four kids, running a charity (the HollyRod Foundation) and spending time with Holly’s über-manager mother

Dolores who is still wheeling and dealing even as she approaches 80 years young. In a household where constant activity and change are the norm, the series celebrates the chaotic, yet loving dynamic of life in this magnetic American family.

In its premiere season, the Peetes fully display their knack for getting the most out of life no matter what curveballs might be thrown their way. Holly and Rodney are loving parents to their 17-year-old son RJ who has autism and was told he would never speak. Today, not only can’t he stop talking, but he enjoys advocating for special needs children. Meanwhile his twin sister Ryan is trying to decide whether to go to college or jumpstart a career in music.

Thirteen-year-old son Robinson caught the athletic gene from his father and would love to follow in his footsteps, but all the latest concussion studies have Holly wishing for a less dangerous choice. Rodney is beginning to feel the aches and pains in retirement, prompting Holly to have him visit a doctor to get tested after so many years playing football. And as a self-proclaimed “black-tress” of a certain age, Holly has struggled in recent years to find acting roles suitable for her and is ready to branch out and develop a lifestyle brand of her own.

Whether they’re setting up for their next big fundraiser, coaching their kids into lives of their own, or just trying to keep that special spark alive in their marriage, there’s never a dull moment with the Peetes.

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“Being” on Centric TV with Mona Scott Young

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Photo used with permission from 135th Street Agency

The season premiere of the hit show on Centric TV started with a bang by featuring one of the baddest reality television producers around right now. For this installment of the show, Centric TV‘s “Being” featured none other than music management/producer veteran Mona Scott Young.

In New York City, on Saturday March 5, 2016, Love and Hip Hop New York star, Yandy Smith and Mona Scott Young invited the press and special guests to be among the first to view the “Being” episode. There was a packed house of friends, colleagues and some family who were there to wish the woman of the hour nothing but the best on her success.

Mona, as many fans and entertainment industry professionals know is responsible for the high octane, sexy and trendy reality show Love and Hip Hop New York. Each week, the show unveils so new music and a few issues that fan cannot get enough of talking about to their friends. Although, it began with one show, Love and Hip Hop has slowly grown into a franchise with other installments such as Love and Hip Hip Atlanta and Love and Hip Hop Hollywood to follow. Also, because of the continued success of the shows, there are additional spin off from breakout cast members such as:Stevie J. and Joseline and K.Michelle: My Life.

This success is nothing new for Scott since in her career, she has worked with some of the biggest names in hip hop such as Missy Elliot and Busta Rhymes to name a few. It is clear with her bold and nonstop work ethic, even more success is to follow. She has even partnered with rap superstar Nicki Minaj and created the Moscato drink simply called Myx. For more information on this talented lady, visit her Monami Entertainment website.

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The Metropolitan Playhouse presents “Walk Hard” by playright Abram Hill

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Photo used with permission from The Metropolitan Playhouse

Great theater can always be found on and off Broadway in New York City. Another great play currently on stage is Walk Hard. WALK HARD is an adaptation of Len Zinberg’s novel “Walk Hard-Talk Loud,” and premiered in 1944 at the American Negro Theater. After its successful run, the play was produced by Gustav Blum at the Chanin Auditorium on 42nd Street in 1946.

The work follows the story of a young man working as a shoeshine boy in 1939, The young man is nineteen-year-old Andy Whitman whose ambition is limited only by the color of his skin. He is bright, industrious, but black, and his daily struggle makes make him quick with his temper and his fists. When he catches the eye of a boxing manager in a street fight, Andy is soon a rising star in a fast-paced game. But it is a game of devil’s bargains, played with dubious partners, and some rules never change when a black man looks for respect in a white world.

 Born in Atlanta in 1910, ABRAM HILL moved to New York as a teenager and studied at City College, earned his BA at Lincoln University, and did graduate work at Columbia. He began his career as an assistant in Lincoln’s drama department in 1938, and in that same year became a consultant to the Federal Theater Project. He continued working in theater until his death in1986.

The production is directed by IMANI, Artistic Director of RACCA (Richard Allen Center for Culture and Art), recipient of an AUDELCO Award in 2010 for direction and a Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation George C. Wolfe Fellow in 2014-14. Recent work includes “Mirrors/Mississippi Goddamn,” “Snow,” and “Eartha and Me.” She is also an instructor in Black American Drama and Documentary Theater at SUNY Purchase.

The production introduces New York actor JOSHUA DAVID SCARLETT as Andy, and stars GABRIELLE ARCHER, BEETHOVAN ODEN, CRAIG ANTHONY BANNISTER, MICHAEL BASILE, CHRIS KRAUSE, KIM YANCEY MOORE (“A Raisin in the Sun,” with Danny Glover at Roundabout), JOY SUDDUTH, VANESSA SHAW (“Eartha and Me,” “Welcome Home, Marian Anderson”). SEAN MICHAEL BUCKLEY, FRANK ANDERSON (NYIT Award winner for “The Return of Peter Grimm”), PETER TEDESCHI (“Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” “The House of Mirth”). Set design is by ALEX ROE. Lighting by MELODY BEAL.

Costumes by NYIT Award winner SIDNEY FORTNER. Sound by BILL TOLES. Stage Manager is WILLIAM VANN CARLTON. Assistant Director is LAVONDA ELAM.

METROPOLITAN PLAYHOUSE, now its 24th season, devoted to Hope, explores America’s theatrical heritage through forgotten plays of the past and new plays of American historical and cultural moment. The show runs from February 19 – March 20. General admission tickets are for $25. For more information, visit the Metropolitan Playhouse website or call: 1-800-838-3006.

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