Since the Oscar nominations were announced back in January, the Oscars So White controversy has really taken off. Covered by the La Times, CNN, Fox News, The Hollywood Reporter, etc., the lack of diversity in Hollywood has been an ongoing point of contention. And now, Black actors, producers, singers and filmmakers are taking their talents elsewhere on Oscar night-Flint, Michigan.
I thought it was common knowledge that people…ESPECIALLY strangers aren’t allowed to touch Black women’s hair. Well that’s not entirely true…mainly strangers. But the point is, Black people don’t like being petted by people who are obviously fascinated with their hair. It’s weird. And apparently the other day, talented filmmaker Ava Duvernay had to set the record straight.
Ava Duvernay, an award winning screen-writer and director best known for her box office hit, Selma has always spoken very openly about the lack of diversity in film. Today, the talented director turned Twitter, the popular social platform into her own personal forum, calling for change in the film industry.
When unarmed teen Mike Brown was gunned down by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., there was an international outcry demanding justice for Mike, and people like him. After the unjustified fatal shootings of Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, etc etc, people everywhere were looking for a way to express their hurt, to express their pain, and to show their solidarity. Ray Mills and his good friend Londrelle Hall found a particularly unique and admirable way to channel their feelings about the death of Mike Brown. These two Atlanta natives and founders of “Run For Justice” made the decision to run from Atlanta, GA to Ferguson, Mo., until they reached the destination where Mike Brown had been slain.
In light of the recent findings by the Department of Justice, deeming the Ferguson Police Department corrupt, as well as the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday”, which many know as the March on Selma, I thought it appropriate to talk to one of our generation’s Freedom Fighters. Though, during our interview, he didn’t give me the impression that he thought of himself in that way, in my mind, and in the minds of many others, he has certainly made a major contribution to our nation’s history, and our continued struggle for equality and social justice.
In case you didn’t know, The Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards will air on OWN on February 21st at 10 PM EST.
Via Essence President Michelle Ebanks:
“Together with OWN, we are proud to extend the reach of the ‘Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards’ and share this important recognition of our leading ladies who are creating, performing and calling the shots. Over the past seven years, Essence has celebrated the power of our presence in Hollywood, and this first-time television special is certain to broaden the conversation around images in media, personal inspiration and empowerment for women around the world.”
Today, these phenomenal women gathered together to walk the red carpet, do interviews, and of course, enjoy the Awards and each other! Check out this EPIC selfie. Look at all this Black woman EXCELLENCE! See any faces you recognize? I can’t wait to tune in and give you guys a recap!
In case you missed it, Beyonce performed at the Grammys Sunday night. It wasn’t her usual “big to do.” There was no leotard or flashing lights..no booty poppin or sequins. If I remember correctly, she even kept the fan blowing to a minimum. But what Beyonce DID do was take us to church. Bey sang “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”, a song featured in the Blockbuster film “Selma.” And she sang it WELL. But I gotta say-the performance was underwhelming. This performance was a prime example of why sometimes, Beyonce just needs to take a backseat and let Jesus take the wheel.