Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday Soul: Gloria Jones, "Heartbeat"

Saturday Soul: Gloria Jones, Heartbeat

Gloria Jones never reached the solo success of contemporaries Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner but she ripped through songs like "Heartbeat" with a throaty vigor, that was one part gospel and another part pure unadulterated soul.

Her two landmark musical achievements were the NBA equivalent of an "alley-oop:" She co-wrote Gladys Knight and The Pips' Grammy-nominated, "If I Were Your Woman;" and her 1964 original recording of "Tainted Love" would later inspire Soft Cell's 1981 cover and subsequent uber international hit.

Here's former Gospel singer turned "Northern Soul" Queen Gloria Jones performing "Hearbeat" circa 1965.

Watch Jones take 'em to church!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Cocoa Lounge NOW: The Power Hour


Move over She-Ra, by the power of grayskull, Oprah Winfrey is the mightiest woman in the wonderful world of entertainment, as so deemed by the Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment: Power 100 list.

Winfrey was chosen "based on her dizzying array of Oprah-branded media and her immense cultural influence." Not to mention her mind-boggling power to help elect a U.S. President...


In other power moves, Jazmine Sullivan (They've Got Next: Four of the Hottest New Voices of '08) racked up an impressive 5 Grammy nominations including the prized Best New Artist nod.

We're sure Jaz will take home a few golden trophies to match those golden pipes.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Coming Soon: A Good Day To Be Black & Sexy

Coming Soon: A Good Day To Be Black And Sexy

The title alone simmers.

We saw an early sneak preview of this Sundance indie burner months ago and subsequently began to question if we'd ever seen black this sexy onscreen before.

The film, a series of vignettes, explores modern-day African American relationships with a gentle homage to the 1970s. Director, Dennis Dortch, doesn't stray far from the Blaxpoitation-loving roots he so eloquently displayed in his short film debut, 1999's Honey.

With opening theatrical releases set for Los Angeles this week and screenings at the New York African Diaspora Film Festival, you could, theoretically, make any day this weekend A Good Day to be Black & Sexy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Cocoa Lounge Remembers: Miriam Makeba


If one woman could embody the hope and pride of an entire continent, South African, Miriam Makeba was that woman, and she handled the role with grace, class and a remarkable style all her own.

Today we remember the unparalleled "Mama Africa;" singer, activist and legend. She will be greatly missed.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Birth of the Obama Era

There are hundreds of words in the English language that we could use to describe our emotions on this day, the 5th of November, 2008.

Unfortunately, we are at a loss for every last one of them...


Our eyes have gladly witnessed the birth of the Obama administration.

May God bless it and keep it...for a second term...

[image design: Gausa. additional photo design: Cocoa Lounge]

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Saturday Soul: Asa, "Fire on the Mountain"

If someone combined the super musical talents of Bob Marley and India.Arie, the resulting sound would be a lot like Nigerian Soul-Pop star, Asa.

Here's the burgeoning sensation performing "Fire on the Mountain" on BBC2's Later... with Jools Holland.

Enjoy this filling Saturday Soul (on Sunday!)... All the Soul, half the saturated fat.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

NOW: THAT's What's "POP"pin...

Cocoa Lounge NOW: That's What's "POP"pin...

Lady Tigra of the 80's hip hop duo L'Trimm, certainly has the right idea about showing presidential support, by remixing Obama's iconic "Hope" poster.

And how DOPE is it that in less than 5 days, with one balllot, we have the power to CHANGE the direction of America and our perception across the globe? Now that's what's "Pop"pin!

And you know what else POP's...?

Cocoa Lounge NOW: That's What's "POP"pin...

Three aptly titled fall magazine covers featuring Super Duper Models: Oluchi, Jordan Dunn and Naomi Campbell. With winter rapidly approaching, these British mags will 'fall' off of magazine stands real soon--so grab them while you can.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Coming Soon: 'Miracles' and 'Secrets'

(l to r: Director, Spike Lee, and hotties: Derek Luke, Michael Ealy and Laz Alonso)

The cast of Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna looks more appealing than a freshly opened box of See's Chocolates... and we've got a serious sweet tooth! The film, which chronicles the African American experience during World War II, is already garnering tons of critical praise and early buzz...

And speaking of 'buzz'... the Toronto International Film Festival is the launching pad for the groundbreaking war film, as well as Gina Prince Bythewood's The Secret Life of Bees.

(l to r: Jennifer Hudson, Sophi Okenodo, Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Tristan Wilds, Gina Prince Bythewood and Nathan Parker)


Call us presumptuos but we detect the faint aroma of Academy Award consideration in the air....

Besides the running theme of Academy Award possibility, both films seem to have something else in common: Is it just us or does young Hollywood-sensation Tristan Wilds (of Secret Life of Bees), look incredibly like Michael Ealy (of Miracle of St. Anna). This is definitely an improptu Separated at Birth.

In other news...

Shout out to Serena Williams for her third U.S. Open Championship!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Saturday Soul: Mother's Finest

Saturday Soul: Mothers Finest

This Saturday Soul Session is so funky it should come with its own anti-perspirant.

In this vintage performance by little-known but legendary rock band Mother's Finest , frontwoman Joyce Kennedy is the definition of the term, "vocal power-house." Her sound is a fiery hybrid of Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, and Gladys Knight. But make no mistake about it, Kennedy's voice is remarkably original, and capable of singing quivers into your vertebrae.

From the 1977 album, Another Mother Further, here's "Baby Love":

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered... Broadway


We were on our heels.

One of the most defining pieces of literature written for the 1970's American stage was to experience a revival on Broadway, thanks largely in part to a woman who redefined Broadway in the 1980's.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf, Ntozake Shange's 1975 masterpiece of post-civil rights era black womanhood in America, at the hands of Whoopi Goldberg, starring soul songstreses India.Arie, was set to open September 8th on New York's "Great White Way." But recent news of the loss of a major financial backer has dimmed the lights on what was a highly anticipated show.

We're not sure if this production will ever see the light of Broadway but until then, there's still the the 1982 American Playhouse DVD (starring a young Lorreta Divine, Alfre Woodard and Lynn Whitfield) to hold onto.

Friday, August 29, 2008

More Than 38 Million Make History Watching 'History In The Making'

Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for president last night before 80,000 people at Invesco Field in Denver, and an estimated 38 million t.v. viewers, setting a new record for convention viewership, according to Nielsen. Final figures are expected to top 40 million people.

Talk about rising to the occasion. Rising and shining.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Limited Edition Sweetness: U.S. Postage and 'All-Black' Vogue

Vintage Black Cinema Postage, Josephine Baker
(Josephine Baker's Princess Tam Tam gets immortalized in postage)

Classic Black movie fans can now stick their own bold, new signature stamp on things with the recently released 'Vintage Black Cinema' Movie Poster postage from the U.S. Postal Service.

The series of 5 stamps include: 1921's The Sport of The Gods; Duke Ellington's 1929 film debut, Black and Tan; the short Caldonia; the Josephine Baker-helmed cult-classic, Princess Tam Tam and King Vidor's 1929 academy award-nominated Hallelujah.

Get them while their still hot (and if you don't see them, ask! The post office we visited didn't even have these colorful beauties on display. Tsk. Tsk.)


Italian Vogue's All Black Issue

(l to r: Legendary models: Gail O'Neill, Karen Alexander, Alek Wek, Iman and newcomer, Arlenis Sosa.)

Another limited edition item to get while it's still on shelves is Vogue Italia's 'All Black Issue,' available on newstands everywhere. Though the price may run you just about $20 here in the United States, $20 is a very small price to pay for equality, and green seems to be the only color any industry responds to these days. And with the amount of Italian Vogues flying off of newstands, the buying public is making itself very clear: DIVERSITY SALES.

According to the Guardian, UK, the magazine is one of the most in-demand yet:

It's nearly August, the retail fashion industry is in an uneasy slump, and summer issues of women's magazines are gaunt for want of advertising. Yet in the past four weeks, the 'black issue' of Italian Vogue has caused such a phenomenal demand at news-stands in Britain and the United States that Condé Nast, the publisher, has rushed to reprint and distribute 40,000 more copies.

You don't have to be an avid magazine buyer to appreciate this monumental issue; besides the cultural significance, the mag will enhance even the most drab of coffee tables and you may pick up an italian word or two...


Monday, July 21, 2008

Fresh Face [#018]: Bridgette Amofah

Fresh Face [#018]: Bridgette Amofah

A feather in the hat to the alternative scene, London-based, Bridgette Amofah, is picking up where the Dido's of the music world left off.

Cutting her teeth as lead vocalist for the UK's Oi Va Voi (replacing KT Tunstall), Bridgette is quickly racking up praise for her unique sound; a continental blend of pop, french and indie influences.

This is music for jet-setters.

more Amofah:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Project Runway's 5th Strut

(A design from Christian Siriano, winner of Project Runway: Season 4)

We thought Season 3 of Project Runway had seasoning, but Season 5 is already simmering with its own pot of flavor.


With the most contestants of color we've ever seen in a single episode, Bravo's last season of Runway (season 6 is saying Aufedersein and moving to Lifetime) is one of its most diverse yet. Designers, Jerell Scott, Korto Momolu and Terri Stevens are hoping a stint at "must see tv" can make them must-wear designers.

Will either of these posh hopefuls make it to New York's illustrious Fashion Week? Watch What Happens.

Season 5 premieres tonight.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sanaa Lathan and Nia Long Get Animated

Nia Long and Sanaa Lathan Get Animated

Sanaa Lathan and Nia Long are packing up and heading to 'Cleveland.'

The actresses will join Fox's Family Guy spin-off as the women in the title character, Cleveland Brown's, life. Sanaa will play Cleveland's love interest and Nia, her rebellious teenage daughter (no word yet on what will become of Cleveland's original wife, Loretta...)

We hope that the show can translate Family Guy's niche humor to a diverse audience; with the talent falling into place, it certainly has the early makings of a midseason hit.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


We didn't know if 2008 could produce a more thrill-inducing match-up than this years' NBA Final... and then Venus and Serena both raised their Wimbledon rackets and started firing...


For the seventh time in history, the Women's Wimbledon title will bear a Williams Sisters' name and, for the seventh time, Venus Ebony Starr and Serena Jameka Williams will display, before an all England Club of thousands, (to paraphrase Rapper Mims), why they're hot.


On Saturday, for the seventh time in our tennis-viewing history, we have the guilty pleasure of not really caring who wins, confident in the fact that our tennis superheroes have, once again, pronounced their tennis supremacy to the world.

So we'll pop up a fresh bag of Orville Redenbacher and thank our lucky stars that Richard and Oracene Williams made magic not once--but twice--giving us a little something extra to celebrate this Independence Day weekend. God Bless America!

Which sister are you secretly pulling for...?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday Soul: Barbara Lynn, "You'll Miss a Good Thing"

Saturday Soul: Barbara Lynn, "You'll Miss a Good Thing"

File under: Girls with guitars.

Seeing a sista rock out in formal attire had to be just as surprising to early 60's audiences as it is to us today, but for Barbara Lynn it was just another day at work.

Here she is performing her 1962 hit, "You'll Miss a Good Thing," which was later popularly covered by Soul icons Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight, and Tejano/Country legend, Freddy Fender.

If you pass this one up without a click, you might be missing a good thing...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Coming Soon: Bury Me Standing

Coming Soon: Bury Me Standing

Not only are we ecstatic that two of our favorite thespians (Kerry Washington and Mos Def) are reportedly in production on the flick, Bury Me Standing, we're equally thrilled that this indie vehicle is being driven by up-and-coming writer/director, Caran Hartsfield and super-producer in the making, Effie T. Brown.

Coming Soon: Bury Me Standing

The early synopsis of Bury Me Standing is a dramedy of a family coping with the death of a young relative. (That's all we've got, folks.)

Our hats are off to the next generation of black women filmmakers getting gems like this story told.

Be on the lookout for our profile of 10 up and coming African American Female Filmmakers in the weeks to come. If you know of deserving candidates email us @

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Haut Shots: Nefertiti Kebede

Random Haut-ness from the photographic perspective...

Haut Shots: Nefertiti Kebede

Model, Liya Kebede, as Egypt's Queen Nefertiti.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cocoa Lounge NOW: Medicine for Melancholy

Cocoa Lounge Film: Medicine for Melancholy
(Tracey Heggins and Wyatt Cenac in Medicine for Melancholy.)

Just as we were wondering if the grand old cinematic gates had closed on good black romance (it's been a whopping 11 years since Love Jones made its big screen debut) Barry Jenkins goes and drops Medicine For Melancholy on us and those gates are starting to creak again.

Medicine, an independent feature screening at this years' Los Angeles Film Festival, is "the story of two African-American twenty-somethings who wake up in bed together having no recollection of how they arrived there." The two wander the streets of San Francisco and find themselves at the Museum of African Diaspora, where they discover that they're much more intellectually and spiritually connected than their previous encounter would suggest.

'Medicine' for what's ailing the Film Industry

The film covers not only romance but tackles issues of the declining African American presence in major cities (such as San Francisco) due to growing social crises like gentrification...

...A film that's smart and sexy? Now, that's definitely a dose of medicine for what's ailing the film industry.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Black Model Museum: The First American Covergirl

Black Model Museum: The First Black Covergirl

Forty years ago, marked the first time a black woman ever appeared on the cover of a national American women's magazine. The pioneering face on the cover of the August 1968 issue belonged to Katiti Kironde, then a college student at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Though not a model, Katiti's cover was a financial success and would open the floodgates for many model firsts in the years to follow: Jolie Jones, Mademoiselle '69; Daphne Maxwell, Glamour, '69; Jane Hoffman, Cosmopolitan, '69; Elizabeth of Toro, Harper's Bazaar, '69; and Beverly Johnson's coveted, American Vogue cover of '74, struck the last blow to the long-standing tradition of exclusion.

Thanks to Katiti's historic cover and the efforts of women and men in front of, and behind the lens, we've never known a world where diversity was blatantly not welcomed to the publication party. And we think that's something worth celebrating.

Today we're gonna party like its 1968!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

P. Diddy Campaigns for Janelle Monae in Los Angeles

P. Diddy Campaigns For Janelle Monae in Los Angeles
(Photo by: J. Althaus)

Los Angeles, CA -- There was a seismic shift in the energy of the Hollywood Sunset Strip last night around 7 pm. Just as anticipation was building around the nail-biting democratic race several thousand miles away, the energy outside the Key Club was also peaking Tuesday night.

But the issue at hand was neither Obama, Clinton, or McCain. The people had spoken and they wanted a musical change they could believe in. Afro-Punk kids, Music Industry execs, Hollywood blondes, and the Grown & Sexy put aside their differences to align for one common cause--Janelle Monae.

And she delivered.

P. Diddy Presents Janelle Monae in Los Angeles

After being presented to the crowd with a heartfelt speech from two of her chief campaign backers, P. Diddy & Big Boi of Outkast, Janelle Monae unleashed on stage with a wildly energetic performance of Violet Stars Happy Hunting, and from there, was an introduction to the many faces of Janelle Monae. She followed with the achingly beautiful, Smile, a song in which she shines with the vocal depth and tenderness of a young Judy Garland. Sincerely Jane has a strong social message and a bass line to match, and Letting Go has a fun, bouncy nature, easily reminiscent of Michael Jackson's early work from Thriller. With her brief, but powerful set, Monae clearly addressed the underlying issues, key ingredients for any new artists' success: talent, versatility, and influential backers.

P. Diddy Presents Janelle Monae in Los Angeles

The crowd was appreciative, and cheers became more akin to a campaign rally than an artist showcase (see Monae "Imagination Inspires Nations" posters being hoisted in the crowd photo).

If Diddy was making the case to bring a change in the music industry, as he suggested in his opening speech, then the results from last night was resoundingly clear: Janelle Monae is definitely a musical candidate of change. And, without question, receives the endorsement of The Cocoa Lounge.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cocoa Lounge NOW: Black Lily

The city of brotherly love gives the sisters some...

Cocoa Lounge Now: Black Lily

Boasting an impressive lineup of some of our fave new artists (including Lizz Wright, Muhsinah, & Ayo) as well as some stellar films, the 2nd annual Black Lily Film & Arts Festival springs into bloom this Thursday, May 1st in Philly.

Hot on the heels of Coachella, Black Lily is inarguably the hottest--most affordable--ticket of the week.

[view full schedule here]

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Art Tart: Bayou

Art Tart: Art you can sink your teeth in....

Art Tart: Bayou

South of the Mason-Dixon Line, lies a strange land of gods and monsters. Born from centuries of slavery, civil war, innocent bloodshed, hate and strife lurks a world parallel to our own...

--From Bayou synopsis

Black girls aren't known for reading comic books, let alone being the heroines of them, but Jeremy Love's Bayou, may just help to dispel both myths.

Beautiful artwork partnered with a powerful story has drawn Bayou comparisons to the lush film, Pan's Labyrinth. If you thought you'd never pick up a comic in your life, this one may be the right kick to your cerebellum.

Read Bayou online: Bayou @ Zuda Comics

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cocoa Lounge: Role Play

Biopics are all the rage these days.

With everyone from Beyonce' (Etta James) to Jesse L. Martin (Marvin Gaye) to Rita Marley (Bob Marley) in some stage of production on a film about the life of a celebrated star, Hollywood's fascination with the biopic isn't showing any sings of distress.

So, in our own personal salute to the trend, here are a few films we'd love to see get the greenlight. Dah-ling, these casting suggestions are powdered, lit and ready for their close-ups.

Cocoa Lounge: Role Play

Queen Latifah as Pearl Bailey

Pearl Bailey climbed her way from vaudeville to starring roles in such film classics as St. Louis Blues and Carmen Jones, with a sassy performance style equivalent to that of a pared-down, black Mae West. Her long career included many fascinating anecdotes including an appointment by President Nixon as the "Ambassador of Love," and singing 'He'll Understand' at Joan Crawford's Funeral.

Only one bold, actress wtih jazz-pipes could come close to filling Bailey's shoes and Queen Latifah is just about the only woman for the job.

Cocoa Lounge: Role Play

Kelly Rowland as Donna Summer

Donna Summer remains the highest of royalty in the disco genre: The Queen. During the explosive disco scene of the late 70s and early 80s, Summer's music fueled dance clubs around the country, including the infamous Club 54. The first African American ever to win a 'Rock' award at the Grammys, Donna Summer doesn't always get the respect she deserves in black music history; partly because disco is frequently lost in the shuffle between the post-Motown era and the birth of Hip Hop music.

Kelly Rowland has the look and energy of Donna Summer in her prime--not to mention the hair.

Cocoa Lounge: Role Play

Ledisi as Dinah Washington

Dinah Tells a Joke, a rare moment recorded when Dinah Washington wasn't singing (included on the Queen: The Music of Dinah Washington compilation) is a most hilarious glimpse into the fun-loving personality that captured the hearts of jazz fans world-wide. With a voice that is one of the most distinctive in jazz music, Washington quickly skyrocketed to music success, but her life was tragically cut short, at the age of 39, from an overdoes of sleeping medication.

Married a whopping seven times, Dinah's romantic resume' could make Elizabeth Taylor blush.

Ledisi, like Washington, possesses an infectious onstage personality and her voice, like Washington's, is a very rare treasure.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Listening: Tawiah

The Listening: Tawiah

We keep 'Another One' on repeat so 'Watch Out' for Tawiah.

Is the UK the home of the next soul movement or what???

Check for Tawiah's recently released material on iTunes and we promise it'll keep your head noddin'.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Lives Up to its Name

The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Lives Up to its Name
(photo credit: Keith Bernstein)

The BBC debut of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency took the #1 slot in viewership in the UK, with 6.3 million viewers, nearly twice the audience of its closest rival.

The story centers around the adventures of Precious Ramotswe, the proprietor of a female owned detective agency. Precious investigates cases and helps people solve problems while juggling a blossoming love life of her own.

The series was one of director, Anthony Minghella's, last projects before his untimely passing last week and though some may have questioned casting singer Jill Scott as the African lead, Minghella was mesmerized by her: "She was the one person out of everyone we auditioned who had this majesty and enormous soul."

We can't wait for this one to premiere on HBO...which means adding the channel to our already ginormous cable bill. Ouch!

This is a must-see for fans of Valerie Wilson Wesley's Tamara Hayle books and anything with Idris Elba gets a thumbs up from us.

We'll be keeping the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency under close watch. Over and out.

Related Posts: Coming Soon: Films in Production From ATL to Africa

Friday, March 21, 2008

Santogold: L.E.S Artistes

London's up-and-coming directing talent, Nima Nourizadeh, who's helmed videos for Hot Chip, Lily Allen, Mark Ronson and Chromeo, lends his quirky music video style to Santogold's L.E.S Artistes.

The videos' avant garde feel may create more questions than it answers but you can't knock an artiste for trying.

Love it or hate it, Santogold pushes boundaries...hard.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Art Tart: Elizabeth Colomba

Art Tart: Art you can sink your teeth in....

Art Tart: Elizabeth Colomba

A storyboard artist by trade, Elizabeth Colomba's work is frequently only seen by the director of Hollywood films (Waist Deep, Next Friday, The Wood, Everything Is Illuminated and Romeo + Juliet to name a few).

But her work off-the-clock is equally worthy of feature-film treatment. The women in the above paintings all hint at a period piece waiting to be told.

The moody backgrounds and rooms of Colomba's Victorian imagination are just as layered as the women within them.

We dig it.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Saturday Soul: PP Arnold

Saturday Soul: PP Arnold

PP Arnold paid her soul dues as one of the original members of The Ikettes, those energetic women who were the must-see staples of nearly every Ike and Tina Turner performance.

With some pull from Mick Jagger, Arnold ventured out on her own and moved to Europe where she recorded the first released version of Cat Stevens' "The First Cut is The Deepest, " her biggest hit of 1967.

It's always a pleasure discovering little gems like this one. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

NOW: The Soul of The Southwest

The Soul of The Southwest
(clockwise: Shingai Shoniwa of the Noisettes, Miss Jack Davey, Maya Azucena and YahZarah )

South By Southwest (SXSW), one of the largest music festivals in the U.S., is scheduled to kick off this week in Austin, Texas, and though primarily known for it's huge array of rock bands, the festival has a very cool sprinkle of Alternative/Soul chicas on its roster this year:

The UK's Noisettes.
Los Angeles' J*Davey
DC's YahZarah as Purple St. James
and Brooklyn's Maya Azucena

What's that? You can't get time off work for a week-long trip to Austin, Texas? Check the artists' myspace pages for tour info because one of 'em's surely scheduled to rock a city near you.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Coming Soon: No Woman No Cry


The Weinstein Co. will produce and distribute a big-screen version of [Rita Marley's] 2004 autobiography "No Woman No Cry: My Life With Bob Marley," a chronicle of the musician's childhood and their tumultuous 15-year marriage through his death from cancer in 1981.

The untitled project from producer Rudy Langlais ("The Hurricane") is tentatively set to begin filming early next year with a projected late 2009 release date. Langlais said the film will be an "epic romance," including the Marleys' life and the assassination attempt on the couple.

-- Billboard

Rita's first choice to portray her onscreen? Lauryn Hill. Rita is reportedly vocal about Lauryn starring in the role, because "She sees my life as her life." Well, Lauryn's certainly starring in her own real-life role as the mother of a Marley clan, and wouldn't have far to go for research, but as unpredictable as she's been over the years, we're not sure this casting dream will make it past Rita's lips.

But for the love of Bob Marley we may have to Wait in Vain for the outcome.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fresh Face [#016 - #017]: Kinee Diouf and Honorine Uwera

Fresh Face #16 - #17: Kinee Diouf and Honorine Uwera

Two of the freshest new faces in modeling belong to: Honorine Uwera of Rwanda and Kinee Diouf of Senegal.

Their collective resumes include work for Moschino, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs and Jean Paul Gaultier and coveted positions in magazines from Trace to Elle.

Watch for Kinee walking for Project Runway finalist Jillian Lewis during the final episode of Season 4.

In the global world of fashion, African girls stay rockin' the runway and Haute couture is so much better for it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

NOW: 'A Raisin in The Sun' Premieres

Set your TVs! A Raisin in The Sun premieres tonight on ABC.

A landmark in black theater history, the classic tale gets a fresh new look with stars Phylicia Rashad, Sean P. Diddy Combs, Sanaa Lathan, Audra McDonald and costumes by Gersha Phillips.

Having seen and loved the 1961 version, it'll be hard not to compare the two but we're thankful ABC decided to develop this literary classic after the success of Oprah's 2005 Their Eyes Were Watching God adaptation.

If this tradition continues, we'd love to see them tackle some work of the brethren; Richard Wright's Native Son, Ralph Ellison's Invisble Man, or James Baldwins' Go Tell it on the Mountain perhaps...? Hey, we're just putting out there in the hopes that someone at ABC catches it...

Tonight at 8, be sure to pay the Younger family a visit.

related posts: A Raisin In The Sun to Hit the Small Screen, Nov. 2006

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Female MC Class of '88: Who's Who?

We're bringing '88 back! Just when you thought Black History Month ended with the Civil Rights Era...


How many female emcees can you recognize? Cheat sheet below.

Twenty years ago, pioneering female emcees sat down for this historic photo shoot captured by legendary music photographer, Janette Beckman. Beckman recently released a book of her hip-hop photography The Breaks: Stylin’ and Profilin’ 1982–1990, which includes over 100 photos from hip-hops golden era.

Can you guess who's who?

(Answer key: Monie Love, MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante, Ms. Melodie, Sweet Tee, Yvette Money, Sparky Dee, Finese, Synquis and hip-hop predecessor Millie Jackson)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Valentine Fit For A 'King'...

A Valentines Day Fit For a King
(Legendary Civil Rights Leader, Martin Luther King Jr. and wife, Coretta Scott King)

...and Queen.

Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Beyonce, Tina and 'Mary' @ The Grammys

Beyonce, Tina and 'Mary' @ The Grammys
(Beyonce & Tina Turner perform 'Proud Mary' ostage at the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards.)

We think Beyonce and Tina Turner did a phenomenal job of making Mary proud.

Did you miss the show-stopper?

Beyonce's tribute to the jazz, blues and soul singers who came before her was also a nice tip of the hat to decades of female singers, who, too often go unheralded.

The Grammy's fusion-of-the-past-and-present theme initially just looked like a crafty marketing idea, but blossomed into a sensationally memorable event.

Holy Shirley Chisholm! A Change is A' Coming!

Holy Shirley Chisholm! A Change is a' Coming

"I am, was, and always will be a catalyst for change" -- Shirley Chisholm

Few would have predicted that 36 years after New York congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm's, historic bid for presidency in 1972, Barack Obama would emerge a prime contender for Chief Executive of the U.S. with his own hopeful message of change.

Obama's compelling sweep of four states this weekend is just another sign that Americans are not only ready for change but acting on it, and fighting back with a weapon so rarely used: the ballot.

Something is in the wind on these shores and we're all for pulling off our jackets and basking in it. The fervor and creativity of Obama supporters around the country just does our heart good. Check it out:

Holy Shirley Chisholm! A Change is a' Coming

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Coming Soon: Keke Palmer makes a 'Comeback'

Fresh Facer, Akeelah and The Bee star, Keke Palmer, is currently filming Comeback, a true story about a teen female quarterback (Jasmine Plummer) who leads her team to the National Pop Warner Football Tournament. Ice Cube's Cube Vision is producing and Cube will co-star as Palmer's uncle and coach, a former high school football star.

Also onboard as Keke's mother is Tasha Smith, who first caught our eye as an abusive female pimp in the Meagan Good-produced indie, Miles From Home. And after stealing practically every scene she appeared in Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married, we've gone from casual observers to serious fans of Tasha's work.

Ice Cube's Cube Vision continues to surprise with its diverse producing choices: From the Barbershop franchise to the Are We There Yet films and an upcoming remake of Welcome Back, Kotter, Cube refuses to pidgeonholed himself. Not bad from a Boy N The Hood! O'shea Jackson is living proof that Hip Hop can (and will) mature gracefully.

Comeback is currently shooting in Shrevesport, Lousiana and is tentatively scheduled to be released later this year.