The life of Dapper Dan — the godfather of hip-hop fashion, who dressed everyone from LL Cool J to Jay Z — is coming to the big screen.
Sony is developing a biopic based on Dapper Dan’s upcoming memoir (due out in 2019 via Random House), which will be adapted by Jerrod Carmichael. Set in Harlem, the feature is described as a “high-stakes coming-of-age story.”
Carmichael, who is best known as the creator and star of the NBC critical darling The Carmichael Show, will also produce alongside Josh Bratman of Immersive Pictures. Dapper Dan and Jelani Day, his son and brand manager, are set to executive produce.
Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day is a streetwear pioneer that outfitted some of the biggest New York City-based stars of the ’80s and ’90s out of his iconic store on 125th Street in Harlem. His clientele included Eric B. & Rakim, Salt-N-Pepa, P. Diddy, Mike Tyson, Aaliyah and Floyd Mayweather.
His style of remixing high-end logos from the likes of Gucci and Louis Vuitton into his designs led to litigation that eventually prompted the closure of his store. Over two decades later, in September of last year, Dapper Dan struck a partnership with Gucci to relaunch his exclusive Harlem atelier that includes a Dapper Dan x Gucci capsule that will be available along with the fall 2018 collection.
A GoFundMe campaign launched to helping Harlem kids seeBlack Panthernext month has already raised more than its $10,000 goal.
Black Panther, the highly anticipated Marvel film about a superhero with the same name, is the first Black-led superhero movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and already, people are celebrating the milestone by purchasing tickets in advance.
With the biggest, Blackest movie of 2018 set to hit theaters in February, some people want to make sure those that may not be able to afford to go to the movies have an opportunity to see a hero who looks like them fighting crime and looking fabulous. So, one man started a campaign to make sure kids in Harlem could see the movie.
“The release of Marvel’s film the Black Panther is a rare opportunity for young students (primarily of color) to see a black major cinematic and comic book character come to life,” Frederick Joseph, who started the campaign, wrote on Twitter. “This representation is truly fundamental for young people, especially those who are often underserved, unprivileged, and marginalized both nationally and globally.”
“I want these children to be able to see that people who look like them can be superheroes, royalty, and more. All proceeds will go to paying for the private screening tickets for children and chaperones, as well as refreshments. The release of the film is February 16th, 2018, and the screenings will take place the following week between February 19th and 22nd.”
Making the goal
Within three days of Joseph posting his GoFundMe challenge, the account raised over $13,000. As of today, it stands at over $26,000.
Joseph told The Rootthat he initially wanted the funds to go to the Harlem’s Children Zone, but when the organization couldn’t take the money, he approached the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem.
The funds will be used to pay for tickets and concessions for the kids and their guardians. Anything left over will go to the Boys & Girls Club.
“We want to thank the organizers of this great fundraiser. Your commitment will help our kids see how powerful they can be!” a representative of Boys & Girls club wrote on Facebook.
NEW YORK — Major League Baseball has named its World Series Most Valuable Player Award after Willie Mays. The decision was announced Friday, the 63rd anniversary of Mays’ over-the-shoulder catch in deep center field at the Polo Grounds for the New York Giants against Cleveland’s Vic Wertz in Game 1 of the World Series.
The Giants went on to sweep the Indians. The Series MVP award was given out for the first time the following year, when it was won by Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Johnny Podres.”I’d like to thank Commissioner Rob Manfred and his team at Major League Baseball for honoring me with this recognition,” Mays said in a statement. “Baseball has always taken care of me, and for that I am grateful. I think it’s just a wonderful thing to know that at 86 years of age, I can still give something back to the game. I am proud to lend my name to this important award. What a day this has been!”
Now 86, Mays played in 24 All-Star Games during a 22-year career with the New York and San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets.”Once again, it’s going to remind people of who Willie is and how great a player he was,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Phase one, which is set to begin in February 2018, of the museum’s development plan will include, among other things, a multimedia film production studio and a television content production center for students “that will be training for careers in tech and media, while producing real-life content for the museum, and the hip hop television channel network,” the museum’s founder, JT Thompson, said in a release.
Eventually the 20-story building will include 5-star hotel, retail mall, an arcade, restaurant and concert lounge. The organization has also launched a $150 million fundraising campaign to help complete funding for the entertainment complex.
Last year, Thompson ― who’s also an Army veteran ― told the New York Post that the museum’s progress has been a “labor of love.”
“Hip hop is about empowering yourself, moving beyond the music,” he said. “The HHHOF and I have a duty and responsibility to preserve this rich history of music and culture. [You need to] pull yourself up by your bootstraps to pursue your dreams.”
“This has been a labor of love. It’s had its valleys, mountains, peaks and falloffs. In the Army, I had leaders, mentors and brothers like teammates working to achieve something special. In life and in business, be disciplined and finish strong without quitting.”
“Between the World and Me,”Ta-Nehisi Coates’s award-winning book exploring racial injustice in America, will be brought to the Apollo stage next April.
Mr. Coates’s fiery work — which made him the National Book Award winner and a Pulitzer Prize finalist — will be adapted into a multimedia performance, with excerpted monologues, video projections, and a score by the jazz musician Jason Moran.
Portions of Mr. Coates’s letters to his son would be read aloud, while narratives of his experiences at Howard University and in New York City could be performed by actors. Kamilah Forbes, the Apollo’s executive producer, will direct the production.
The coming Apollo season will be Ms. Forbes’s first full season in the role; she previously was the associate director of “Raisin in the Sun” on Broadway.
The home occupied by one of the great leaders of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes, still stands on 127th Street in Harlem today. Hughes used the top floor of the home as his workroom from 1947 to his death in 1967; it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
The current owner, who remains anonymous, listed the unoccupied dwelling for $1 million (which still has his typerwriter on a shelf) a few years ago, but it did not sell. CNN Money reports that in a rapidly gentrifying New York, the home is now worth over $3 million.
Now that it’s on the market, writer Renee Watson has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise $150,000 to rent the home and turn it into a cultural center.
Over 250 people, many of them black writers, have given money in support and so far, the initiative to save Hughes’ house has raised almost $34,000. “Hughes is deeply influential and important not only to me, but many writers of color,” says author Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the National Book Award for Brown Girl Dreaming, which opens with a Hughes poem.
Watson says she has spoken to the owner, who says she would definitely sell it, but “like me, she doesn’t want it to become condos or a coffee shop.”
After 67 years, two prison stints and so many arrests he’s lost count, David Norman, a former Harlem drug dealer, graduated from Columbia University as the oldest member of his class.
Norman shed his dark past for a cap and gown Wednesday after earning his long-awaited bachelor’s degree in philosophy. “It’s always possible to pursue your dreams,” Norman told the Daily News.
Norman’s extraordinary journey from the gritty streets of Harlem to the gleaming lawns at Columbia was studded with obstacles. His decades-old battle with substance abuse began early. Norman was drinking by age 11 and using heroin before his 15th birthday. His high school education lasted all of one day. Norman turned into a street hustler, slinging dope to satisfy his drug cravings. “I had a 35-year run with addiction,” he said.
Norman racked up a mile-long rap sheet filled with arrests for robbery and drug trafficking. His first stint upstate came in 1967. Nearly three decades later, he was charged with manslaughter after fatally stabbing a man in a street fight. The six years he spent in Mohawk Correctional Facility in upstate Rome proved life-changing.
He found joy in books. He started learning Hebrew. And he helped run a program that taught life skills to inmates preparing to return to society. “I had a moment of clarity in which I was able to recognize everything I had done at that point was fairly counter-productive and I needed to engage in some new activities and some new behaviors,” Norman said.
He walked out of prison in 2000 a changed man, eager to devote the second half of his life to raising up the most vulnerable.
Under Fields-Cruz, NBPC has expanded its mission to serve not only documentary filmmakers but media-makers of all types in a new media environment, from broadcast to Web to mobile. Launched in October 2014, NBPC 360, the organization’s incubator and fund, identified and selected both broadcast and Web documentary series and a short narrative Web series. Producers were awarded between $50,000 and $100,000 to develop their pilots. The group is launching year two of its 360 Incubator and Fund as they are looking for the next innovative stories about black people. The deadline is March 28 and the 360 guidelines and applications are available at www.bit.ly/NBPC360-2016. NBPC also produces the television documentary series AfroPop,hosted this year by FOX’s Empire breakout star Jussie Smollett.
Fields-Cruz is working to expand the organization’s mission to serve artists in all types of media from traditional broadcast to Web to mobile platforms.For the first time last year, NBC hosted ahackathon focusing on gamification in partnership with Silicon Harlem. Teams of student coders were paired up with eight producers from NBPC 360, bringing together storytellers from the program with technologists over 48 hours to create games around content from their TV and Web series. NBPC also conducted Webinar Wednesdays where they train new producers on key aspects of pulling together a film or Web series and developing an outreach campaign beyond just having screenings around the country.
Also in the works is a succession of new funding priorities. Over the next two years, NBPC will primarily fund documentary and Web content exploring issues of race and around social justice, with an emphasis on black male achievement, the international black woman, blacks and the environment and economic inequity. The group will award productions with seed money as well as finishing funds.
With current headlines turning the spotlight on the perception of and plight of blacks in this country, the role our media-makers play in providing the American public with stories of the varied black experience is as important as ever.
BlackEnterprise.com caught up Fields-Cruz to discuss her role in stewarding black content to public television and beyond.
BlackEnterprise.com: How did the NBPC 360 incubator and fund come about, what was the catalyst?
Fields-Cruz: In 2013, the board and staff embarked on a strategic planning session. We needed to re-evaluate our mission and look at the programs we are offering black filmmakers. We needed think innovatively about what we can offer. We thought that an incubator would be a great opportunity. We have always done professional development but let’s figure out a way we can combine that with substantial rewards so that producers can walk away with money and a much stronger support system. We wanted to help them get the funding or financing to be closer to completion of their projects.
What type of artists or filmmakers do you seek to participate in the incubator?
We had about 160 applications last year and that was whittled down to 25 after the first round and out of that group we selected eight projects for the incubator. Usually we have 10 but last year we chose eight. We are not looking for those filmmakers who have just finished school and who don’t have too many credits to their name. [Rather], we are looking for the emerging producer or mid-career producer who has completed a film and it has had a broadcast or has had a very successful festival run. And they are looking to expand and build upon their career; they need additional support and to expand their network in the industry. We always had independent producers contacting NBPC and seeking funding. But we had not had an open call for about five years. So a lot of this year was me meeting and speaking to independent producers and letting them know what was coming down the pike. We are actively trying to bring new talent to work in the PBS system. We know that public television is very interested in [hiring] the next generation of talent and producing content that reflects the changing demographics.
The organization is seeking programs that explore issues of race and around social justice. Does that include such movements as Black Lives Matter and black transgender women’s rights?
That is one of the beauties of the work that we do at NBPC. We have a broad category in terms of race and social justice. There are independent producers out there who are making all types of programming, whether it is for broadcast or the Web, documentaries or narrative shorts. We are seeking all of those stories under the banner of race and social justice. It could be a piece focusing on events in Ferguson [Missouri] or what is happening in Alabama around voter rights and DMVs being closed in black neighborhoods. Those broad categories allow us to navigate through a wealth of stories to identify the ones that we think work best for us.
The retired home health aide used to pay $300 at Jackson Hewitt to file but she began using the free service two years ago.
Now she keeps her refund without paying a dime for help filing paperwork.
“They charge you $300 to give you your own money,” said German Tejeda, who runs the program. “When that money runs out you are going to want those $300. That’s someone’s grocery bill.”
The average income of clients using the free service is $17,000. Anyone who makes less than $54,000 and can claim dependents or makes less than $30,000 and is a single filer is eligible to receive free tax assistance, he added.
IRS-certified volunteers are trained to get eligible tax payers claim the Earn Income Tax Credit, which is a poverty-reduction program that helped more than 4.8 million people get and average of $2,000.
The Food Bank has been running a tax program since 2002. They have 20 centers throughout the five boroughs and dozens of drop off centers where you can submit paperwork and file with your cellphone.
In their 14 years of providing this service they have put more than $900 million back into people’s pockets, they said.
“This year we are going to reach $1 billion,” Tejeda said.