Early in 2018, we saw the unimaginable success of the movie The Black Panther. The film wasn't just one featuring a majority black cast with a positive black role model. it was much more. The Black Panther, through the setting of the fictional country of Wakanda, showed the world what black excellence is all about. A strong leader, strong family values, strong and smart women, a focus on education, and a desire to make the world a better place. It is with this in mind that Wakandacon was born.
What is Wakandacon? It is a celebration of black creativity, technology, business, culture, entertainment and more. Wakandacon is something new! It's an inclusive place where you can be a nerd about anything – pop culture, gaming, tech, womanhood, politics, or your own beautiful Blackness.
The creators imagined a place free and unshackled from the ravages of racism; of exploitation; of discrimination; of emotional, physical, and sexual violence. With that in mind, they hope to create a space for people of all types to come together, educate each other, and celebrate all of our passions. It's an event where anyone can dress up, dance, connect, support each other, and celebrate the entire diaspora looking past the present and into our future.
The show kicks off this weekend, going from August 3rd to the 5th. It will take place at the Hilton Downtown Chicago.
Tickets are still available for the weekend festivities. Tickets cost $35 for the weekend. To join the fun, sign up for your passport to Wakanda here.
Ving Rhames is a huge movie star. He has starred in all kinds of big time movies from Pulp Fiction to the recently released Mission: Impossible - Fallout. He is even famous for his voice, doing voice-overs for countless video games and of course the Arby's commercials. You would think that with all this fame and notoriety the 59 year old actor could enter his house in a nice neighborhood with having the cops called on him. Sadly that just isn't the case.
Rhames shared a racial profiling experience that falls in the category of “relaxing at home while black.” The actor was asked about dealing with racism during an interview with Sirius XM’s Clay Cane show on Friday (July 27) where he revealed that police held him at gunpoint after a neighbor called 911 to accuse him of breaking into his own home.
Rhames said that the police encounter took place at his house in Santa Monica, Calif. sometime this year. The Mission: Impossible – Fallout star was kicking back in his boxers one afternoon when he heard commotion around the house.
Rhames assumed that the noise came from his puppies running around the backyard, until he heard a knock on the door. “I opened the door [and] it’s a red dot pointed on my face from a 9 mm,” he recalled of the cops storming the house.
“My hands are up and they have me outside, ” said Rhames. “It was a police officer with a 9 mm pointed at me, one officer behind him and two…to the left of me was the captain of police [department], and another officer with a police dog. I get out and [one of the officers] recognized me.”
The officer who recognized Rhames has a son who plays sports with Rhames' son.
After a little investigating, Rhames found out that his neighbor called 911 to report a “large black man” breaking into the house. Not surprisingly, the neighbor denied calling cops when confronted by Rhames and the officers.
Listen to Rhames recount his experience below.
Annually during Labor Day Weekend, the Festival grounds in Chicago’s Washington Park come alive in a simulated African village. Attendees are transported across the Diaspora with interactive engagements, vibrant drumming, museum quality and collectible artifacts, colorful and rich handwoven fabric and textile, and other program spaces.
Interactive spaces include: Drum & Afro-folk Village, Children and Family, African Heritage, African Spirituality, Wellness (Health) Village, Books and Authors, Fine Art, Film and Video, Food Court, Seniors and Quilting, and the African Marketplace.
ENTRANCE TO THE FESTIVAL INCLUDES THE CONCERT
ON SALE NOW
TICKETS OPTIONS - TICKETS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE:
GENERAL ADMISSION - (AGES 13-64)
$15 PRE-FESTIVAL PRICE
$20 AT THE GATE
SENIOR - (AGE 65+) $10
CHILD* - (AGES 5 - 12) $5
*Children under 5 are free.
FAMILY PASS - (2 ADULTS AND UP TO 4 CHILDREN UNDER13) $40
WEEKEND PASS - (ONE ADULT ADMISSION FOR ALL 4 DAYS) $40
Chicago Talent is a new Chicago reality show that showcases the lives and endeavors of several Illinois artists and entrepreneurs. It is taking a new angle to the idea of creatives being successful in business. As so many people envision LA or NYC with this subject, we want to make sure that Chicago is represented as well. It will show them at work, at play and even some emotional moments that occur behind the scenes of such hardworking, ambitious talents. What you normally wouldn’t see when browsing their social media, websites or even interviews, you will see on this show.
The series is set to air between 5 and 6 episodes in its premiere season online to an audience of at least 50,000 viewers. The first episode is scheduled to air August 19th via their Facebook episodes platform. Think Jada Pinkett-Smith’s “Red Table Talk” broadcasting set up. The premiere party for the show will be held August 16th downtown Chicago. The first season being their test run, the cast and its producers are taking a leap of faith. It is being produced, edited and filmed by the same team who released The Fresh Faces Project documentary, having gained over 30,000 Facebook views within its first month of release.
The creator of the show and executive producer, Calynn M Lawrence, is a 22-year-old seven time award winning publicist and magazine editor with a specialty in the fashion and entertainment industry. She is using this new platform, Chicago Talent, as an extension of her nonprofit campaign The Fresh Faces Project to continue in her overall career mission of bringing the exposure and promotion that underrated talents deserve. Having invested much of her own personal money into the release of the show, she earnestly hopes that viewers will fall in love with the concept and support the talents she believes in so much.
Like Their Pages!
Follow the Creator On Social Media!
Meet the Cast at The Premiere Celebration!
Every summer, President Barack Obama reveals his list of great summer reads. This year's list was just released on Friday (July 13) and features a heavy helping of African authors.
“Over the years since, I’ve often drawn inspiration from Africa’s extraordinary literary tradition,” our former (but forever in our hearts) President wrote on his Facebook page. This is his first time back to Africa since leaving office. “As I prepare for this trip, I wanted to share a list of books that I’d recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa’s best writers and thinkers – each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways.
The recommendations include Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Things Fall Apart by China Achebe, The Return by Hisham Matar, Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela, A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes. While the last author is not African, Obama says that his memoir was both a “smart” and “compelling” reflection of the world.
Hopefully, his highly-anticipated summer music playlist also makes an appearance into public consciousness soon.
We now know the next project Ava DuVernay is bring to Netflix. She is teaming up with the stream company to produce a limited series on the Central Park Five.
The series, which is written and directed by DuVernay, will focus on the lives of the five New York teens, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise, who were wrongfully convicted of the brutal rape that occurred in 1989.
DuVernay will keep the series true-to-life and chronicle the entirety of the 25-year court process, beginning in the spring of ’89 when the strangers were first questions, and coming to close in 2014 when the Harlem men were exonerated and reached a $41 million settlement with the city of New York.
Featured actors will include the highly acclaimed John Leguizamo (who will play Raymond Santana Sr., the father of 14-year-old Raymond Santana Jr.), Michael K. Williams (who will play Bobby McCray, the devoted father of 15-year-old Antron McCray Williams), and Vera Farmiga (who will portray Elizabeth Lederer, the Manhattan Assistant District Attorney and lead prosecutor on the case).
The Netflix Original is set to make its global premiere to the service in 2019.