"For many people, chitlins (or chitterlings) are a tasty (or, for some, nasty) soul food dish made out of pig intestines. If you can get past what they are (or how badly they stank when cleaned and cooked), then you can shake some hot sauce or sprinkle some cha-cha relish on top and dig in. There's even an annual chitlin' festival in South Carolina.
Chitlins "became a traditional winter food of the American Deep South during Colonial times when, before refrigeration, hogs were slaughtered in December," according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. According to the Department's website, "Those not living 'high on the hog' were given the less desirable parts of the animal.""
"“This is the story of a woman who is loved.”
Those are the words black British director Amma Asante used to describe her marvelous sophomore feature Belle at the Athena Film Festival this past weekend, and they had a palpable emotional impact when Asante uttered them at the film’s post-screening Q&A.
That’s because it’s still all-too-maddeningly rare to see a gentle romance about the loveliness or adorableness or winsome sweetness of black women. Asante’s intention to make exactly that — her version of Jane Austen, based on the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle, an 18th-century half-African, half-British historical noblewoman — feels radical, even though the film is in many ways a comfortably familiar period piece primarily concerned with courtship and marriage."
"“About Last Night” writer Leslye Headland opened up recently about how she refused to plug racial stereotypes and racist jokes into her rewrite for the romantic comedy after a Black crew was cast. Headland was given the responsibility of rewriting the script after Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall and Joy Bryant were cast as the lead characters.
In an article she wrote for The Hollywood Reporter, Headland said she was instructed to change only the dynamics in the relationships between characters but she was soon bombarded with racist jokes."
"Defining what, exactly, a movement is can be problematic. It is not a political party or interest group, which are stable political entities that have regular access to political power and political elites; nor is it a mass fad or trend, which are unorganized, fleeting and without goals. Instead a movement is somewhere in between. Movements, then, can be thought of as organized, yet informal, social entities that are oriented towards a goal. These goals can be either aimed at a specific and narrow policy or be more broadly aimed at cultural change."
"Over the past few years, there has been a noticeable trend on the streets of urban landscapes in metropolitan areas all over the map – the rise of the global Black dandy. I found myself immersed in this alternative world of fine and flyyyyy Black men and when I say fly I mean from head to toe, when I curated the first iteration of my Dandy Lion exhibit. Launched at Society’s HAE’s Pop Up Gallery in Harlem in November 2010 during the nascent years of the resurgence of the Black dandy movement, in terms of imagery, Dandy Lion read like a breath of fresh air."
"Every day, we walk in the very places where history was made years ago. Sometimes that location is marked by a plaque or a statue, but other times we walk in the very same places where the footsteps of iconic men and women changed the world without even knowing it.
In honor of Black History Month, The Huffington Post created these images of iconic Civil Rights locations and what they looked like then and now."
"Danai Gurira, star of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” opened up about how moving to Zimbabwe sparked her passion for the arts. Gurira has taken the small screen by storm, but many of her fans might not know that she’s also a playwright. When she was only 5 years old, Gurira moved from her home state of Iowa to live with her parents in Zimbabwe. It was there that she found her love for the arts after her parents surrounded her with literature."
"The heyday of soul and classic R&B is full of socially conscious empowerment anthems: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” “People Get Ready,” “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.” But the stars didn’t get involved in radical politics. (James Brown, rather infamously, supported Richard Nixon and performed at his inaugural ball.) So when Emory Douglas, the Black Panther Party’s Minister of Culture, heard Bill Calhoun and his friends singing harmony, he had an idea: a revolutionary black power singing group, complete with dance routines and costumes. "
"More than a week after Arizona State University suspended a fraternity for a Martin Luther King Jr. weekend party mocking black people, the local chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon apologized on social media – on the orders of the fraternity's international headquarters.
In a letter addressed to ASU and the Tempe community, the Beta-Xi chapter wrote on its Facebook page Thursday afternoon that it was sorry for "the offensive and racially insensitive conduct in which a few members of our chapter recently engaged.""
"South African DJ Mandla Maseko describes himself as a “typical township boy.” The former civil engineering student, who dropped out of school because he could no longer afford the fees, still lives at home with his parents and four siblings, but recently won a contest that will take him on a trip of a lifetime.
The 25-year-old beat out a million entrants to win a seat on an hour-long sub-orbital trip that will make Maseko the first Black African person to travel into space."
"Every year, without fail, a report will show that the American entertainment industry has consistently underrepresented people of color on screen, both in character and by actor. Even when studies show that it is actually in the best interest of Hollywood to have more equitable representation, we do not see equitable representation on screen. This is true for film, network television, and cable television and not only in front of the camera at all levels, from leading roles to background actors, but also behind the camera, from the writers, to the directors, the producers, and all over the corporate structures that run the studios and networks to even the big money interests that fund them."
"Condola Rashad, coming off her starring turn opposite Orlando Bloom in “Romeo and Juliet” on Broadway, has been tapped to co-star in Fox’s 13-episode series “Hieroglyph”.
Produced by 20th Century Fox TV and Chernin Entertainment, “Hieroglyph”, which is eyed for next season, is set in ancient Egypt, where fantasy and reality intertwined. It follows a notorious thief who is plucked from prison to serve the Pharoah (Reece Ritchie), navigating palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and even a few divine sorcerers."
"YouTube favorite The Couple is headed to HBO. The Black and Sexy TV web series follows the laugh out loud and thought provoking ups and downs of a young black couple.
Created by Jeanine Daniels and Dennis Dortch and starring Numa Pierrer and Desmond Faison, The Couple debuted in 2012 and has a steady fan base. The Washington Post reports that Spike Lee will be executive producing the HBO deal.
This news comes on the heels of several other black women making power moves in entertainment in 2014. Hopefully, this is not a trend, but the beginning having real diversity amongst the decision makers and content creators of Hollywood."
"A group of black students at the University of Michigan are making sure their voices are being heard. Last fall, the students started Being Black at University of Michigan (#BBUM) to air their grievances about the university’s lack of diversity and they’re desire for more inclusion.
Yesterday, after a speech by civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, the students amped up their protests and compiled a list of demands they want the university to follow through on."
"Hide your wives, hide your kids! The Boondocks are officially coming back.
After a 4-year absence from the airwaves, Aaron McGruder’s subversive and satirical take on race, politics and culture in returning for a fourth season on April 21.
The show will air on Adult Swim and all your favorite characters — Riley, Huey, Grandad and Uncle Ruckus — should all be back from more outrageous laughs."
"The X-Men comic franchise has proven remarkably sturdy in the half-century since its launch. They've spawned dozens of animated series and four major Hollywood films with a fifth due out this summer. A big part of that is due to its central premise — a minority of superpowered humans called mutants are discriminated against by their government and fellow citizens — which has functioned as a sci-fi allegory for everything from the civil rights movement to the AIDS crisis.
"The X-Men are hated, feared and despised collectively by humanity for no other reason than that they are mutants," Chris Claremont, a longtime X-Men writer once said. "So what we have here, intended or not, is a book that is about racism, bigotry and prejudice.""
"So, it’s January and with both the holidays and the new series of Sherlock already over (sob!), it’s time to turn our attention to the brave new world of 2014. I’m not making any New Year’s Resolutions this year, since I’m now of an age when I realise the folly of trying anything that requires willpower at the most miserable time of the year. But I would quite like to see some resolutions from other people – particularly in the world of entertainment. So here’s my wish list for what I hope to see in the coming year…"
"Blackwashed is a podcast featuring four unapologetic black ladies talking about any and everything.
In our first episode of the new year, we navigate issues of classism and antiblackness. We delve into respectability politics, the white gaze, AAVE, soft ratchetry, and more. "
"Catherine Samba-Panza became the first female president of the Central African Republic (CAR) on Monday when she was voted into office by the interim parliament. Ms. Samba-Panza previously served as the mayor of Bangui and became the embattled nation’s interim president after beating rival Desire Kolingba, son of the ousted president. President Samba-Panza is tasked with ending the sectarian violence that has been ripping through CAR for nearly a year."
"H. E. Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique and the current co-chair of the High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), recently wrote an open letter to Africa’s leaders imploring them to take a stand in the fight for human rights.
Chissano urged leaders across the continent to focus on three areas that will result in sustainable development: “the empowerment of women and gender equality; the rights and empowerment of adolescents and youth; and the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all people.”"