Alex Hibbert and Jacob Piner, Youth Stars of Oscar-winning “Moonlight,” to Receive Keys to City of Miami Gardens

Alex Hibbert and Jaden Piner of “Moonlight” (photo via thegrio.com)

article by Kimberly Wilson via thegrio.com

The boys of “Moonlight” will be getting their moment.

Both 13-year-old Alex Hibbert and 12-year-old Jaden Piner, are slated to receive keys to the city of Miami Gardens, FL at this year’s Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival. The two students from Norland Middle School in Miami Gardens had starring roles in the Oscar-winning film “Moonlight,” with Alex playing young Chiron and Jaden playing Kevin, Chiron’s best friend.

“We think it’s a great opportunity for us to acknowledge what they’ve done at a young age, and tell them how proud we are of them,” shares Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert III. “Because so often when you hear about young black kids, people don’t want to tell you the stories of these kids and areas that they excel in,” continues Mayor Gilbert. “We aren’t talking about them most times. Most times we’re talking about young black boys in a negative context, so anytime we get an opportunity to tell them how extraordinary they are, we will do it. And ‘Jazz In The Gardens’ is the biggest stage that we can offer in the city.”

The key ceremony will be just one highlight of the highly-anticipated weekend. As the staple event each year in the city of Miami Gardens, Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival is back for its 12th year, and is quickly growing beyond its borders. Hosted again by veteran comedian Rickey Smiley, the city can expect more than 70,000 music lovers from all over the United States and Caribbean Islands.

The festival will take place this upcoming weekend, March 17-19 at Hard Rock Stadium, featuring performances by Jill Scott, Esperanza Spalding, Common, and LLCoolJ.

To read more, go to: Young stars of Oscar-winning “Moonlight” to receive keys to the city of Miami Gardens | theGrio

TECH: Five STEM Programs Geared Towards Girls

(photo via blackenterprise.com)

article by Samara Lynn via blackenterprise.com

In honor of International Women’s Day, let’s focus on tomorrow’s women—today’s girls. It’s no secret; future success requires well-balanced literacy in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Girls are in danger of being left behind in a technology-first world, and this disadvantage starts in the classroom.

Studies show that, after the age of six, girls think boys are naturally smarter.That has to change, and this change can start by giving girls a head start in science and mathematics at as young an age as possible. While grown women continue the fight to equalize opportunity and advancement on the career battlefield, here are some great programs you can get your girl involved with now to make her STEM-strong.

GOALS for Girls Summer Intensive

The GOALS (Greater Opportunities Advancing Leadership and Science) for Girls Summer Intensive is a free, six-week program for eighth and ninth grade girls. Fifty girls are selected to participate in hands-on experiences, field trips, and conversations with influential women currently in STEM fields. The program focuses on aerospace science, Earth science, and engineering; providing a range of studies appealing to different interests.

Google’s MadeWithCode

Girls can jump right in online and start learning to program with MadeWithCode. The site offers an online community where girls support and learn from one another. There are also actual community MadeWithCode events listed, and parents can host a MadeWithCode party IRL, by downloading the party kit.

New York STEAM Girls Collaborative 

The NGCP (National Girls Collaborative Project)is an effort to bring together those who teach STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) courses and programs that seek to engage girls in STEAM. It publishes reports and delves into the topic of diversity in STEM. On the NGCP website, there is a drop-down menu that lets you search in all states and countries for a wide assortment of STEM/STEAM programs targeted toward girls.

Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is 40,000 members strong. It is an international effort, with Girls Who Code groups in several countries. Parents can look for already established Girls Who Code clubs in their area, or start their own. There is also a yearly Summer Immersion Program open to girls in tenth and eleventh grade that introduces them to computer science and provides insight into the hottest tech careers.

Black Girls Code 

Black Girls Code has become synonymous with diversifying and leveling the STEM fields. It’s one of the better known STEM programs for girls, and that is, without a doubt, due to the persistence and dedication of founder Kimberly Bryant. From hackathons to events around the country, girls are sure to find instruction, access, and leadership by joining Black Girls Code.

To read original article, go to: 5 Programs to Make Your Girl STEM-Strong

Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to Headline Saturdays and Sundays at Coachella 2017

Beyoncé, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar (photo via Variety.com)

article by  via Variety.com

Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, and Radiohead will headline the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this year. The 18th annual fest will once again take place over two weekends — April 14 to 16 and April 21 to 23 — at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif.

Aside from a brief surprise cameo during husband Jay Z’s headlining set in 2010, and again for little sister Solange’s appearance in 2014, Beyoncé has never played the desert festival. She will headline the second night, with returning veterans Radiohead on Friday and Lamar (who first played the fest in 2012) closing out the proceedings on Sunday.

All three artists released highly acclaimed new music in 2016.

To read more, go to: Coachella 2017 Lineup: Beyonce, Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar to Headline | Variety

Chris Rock Announces “The Total Blackout” Comedy Tour – His 1st in 9 Years

The Hannibal Montanabal Experience

Chris Rock (Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty)

article by Stephanie Long via blackamericaweb.com

After inking a deal with Netflix for two stand-up specials, Chris Rock is going on his first comedy tour in nine years. The announcement came via a Facebook Live video posted to the comedian’s timeline on Monday (December 5).

“Tonight, I am announcing that I, Chris Rock, am going on tour,” he shared while standing outside of Los Angeles’ Comedy Store. “The Total Blackout tour is coming to your town in 2017… First time in nine years, haven’t done it in a while. Been a little busy, You know, writing Pootie Tang 3 and everything. But hey, it’s time.”

As VIBE points out, Rock’s last tour, Kill The Messenger, aired on HBO in 2008.

Tickets go on sale via Live Nation on December 7.

“I can’t wait to see you b*****s!” — Chris Rock

Chris Rock Total Blackout Tour Dates:

February 14 – Durham, NC @ DPAC

February 16 – Cincinnati, OH @ Aronoff Center for the Arts

February 18 – Columbus, OH @ Palace Theatre Continue reading

Actor/Director Denzel Washington to be Honored by Santa Barbara Film Festival

Denzel Washington Fences

Denzel Washington (UNIMEDIA IMAGES/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

Denzel Washington has been selected to receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at the 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Feb. 2, 2017 at the Arlington Theatre.

Washington will be honored for his longstanding contributions to the film industry, culminating with Paramount’s upcoming movie “Fences,” which he directs, produces, and stars in.

The award is named for film critic Leonard Maltin, who will return for his 26th year to moderate the evening.  Roger Durling, the festival’s executive director, said, “Denzel Washington directing, producing and acting in ‘Fences’ defines the Modern Master for the 21st Century.”

Washington portrays a mid-century Pittsburgh sanitation worker who once dreamed of a baseball career, but was too old when the major leagues began admitting black players. He tries to be a good husband and father, but his lost dream of glory eats at him, and causes him to make a decision that threatens to tear his family apart.

The screenplay is written August Wilson, adapted from Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The film also stars Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson and Saniyya Sidney. Paramount opens “Fences” on Dec. 25.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/festivals/denzel-washington-santa-barbara-film-festival-1201928237/

Hip-Hop Legends Eric B. & Rakim to Reunite for 2017 Tour, Album Reissues

Eric B. & Rakim will reunite for the first time in 24 years when the legendary hip-hop duo embark on a 2017 tour. (Waring Abbott/Michael Ochs Archives)

Eric B. & Rakim will reunite for the first time in 24 years when the legendary hip-hop duo embark on a 2017 tour, Eric B.’s representative, Louis “Uncle Louie” Gregory, confirmed to Rolling Stone Saturday. “Back by popular demand,” Eric B. adds.

In addition to the tour, Gregory says the duo will look to remaster all four of their albums alongside filming new videos for classic tracks like “I Ain’t No Joke” and “Paid in Full.” While there are currently no plans to record new material, Gregory says the legendary group is taking it one step at a time.

“All too often we embrace our icons only after it’s too late,” Gregory tells Rolling Stone. “By having such an important group come together now, it’s an opportunity for parents and their kids to go to a show together and see music that created the foundation for what many of today’s artists were built upon.”

The genesis of the reunion began in July when Eric B. attended Rakim’s headlining benefit set for the Universal Hip Hop Museum in Newark, New Jersey. It was the first time the duo was in the same place for years. “They just started talking and organically reconnecting over time and realizing that they needed to do this,” Gregory says.

The surprise announcement seeped out earlier this week when the verified Eric B. & Rakim Twitter teased, “It’s official. You heard it here first. We are back.”

On Saturday morning, the Twitter feed brought news of the reunion tour, with the duo tweeting “Preparations are under way for #EricBandRakim’s return. It’s been a long time…” and asking where the Eric B. & Rakim tour should “jump off”; New York, Las Vegas, London and Australia were the options provided.

Gregory said that the current plan is a worldwide tour to start next year. He admits it’s too early to ascertain venue sizes, but the duo are looking into playing select festivals as part of the tour.

Eric B. & Rakim recorded four classic albums together – including their influential 1987 LP Paid in Full and its 1988 follow-up Follow the Leader – before splitting up in 1993. Rakim, who inspired an entire generation of rappers, including Nas and Jay Z, embarked on a solo career without reconnecting with his former DJ and partner.

To read full article, go to: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/eric-b-rakim-to-reunite-for-2017-tour-album-reissues-w446291

Additional reporting by Jason Newman

Ava DuVernay’s Mass Incarceration Documentary “13th” Opens to Standing Ovation at New York Film Festival

New York Film Festival 2016 opening

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay (GREGORY PACE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Gordon Cox via Variety.com

Ava DuVernay’s “13th” opened the 54th New York Film Festival with a jolt of topical urgency, shaking up tradition as the first documentary to kick off the festival and addressing head-on the issue of mass incarceration and its historical roots. The crowd at the premiere screening rose to its feet when the credits rolled — and then did it a couple more times after that: once when the lights came up on the filmmakers, activists and academics involved in the film, and again when DuVernay appeared for a brief talkback after the movie.

Heightened security measures, a reaction to the Sept. 17 bombing in Chelsea, made the opening the first in recent memory to involve bomb-sniffing dogs and security wands. Famous faces including Oprah WinfreyCommon and Don Lemon turned out for the film, which confronts issues at the forefront of the current political conversation: race, inequality, the fallout of slavery, police brutality and Black Lives Matter.

“This moment, this Black Lives Matter moment, it’s not a moment. It’s a movement,” said DuVernay on the red carpet before the film’s world premiere (in words she would later echo when she addressed the crowd in the theater). “People thought, ‘Oh, will it last?’ Well, it has lasted. It’s changed things. It’s forced candidates to talk about things that they did not talk about in previous elections. It’s opened people’s minds. It’s changed art-making. It’s changed music. People are seeing things through a different filter now.”

To read full article, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/new-york-film-festival-2016-opening-13th-ava-duvernay-1201875308/