Essence to Honor Issa Rae, Janelle Monae, Aja Naomi King and Yara Shahidi at Black Women in Hollywood Awards

(photo via shadowandact.com)

(Issa Rae, Aja Naomi King, Janelle Monae, Yara Shahidi (photo via shadowandact.com)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Essence, the nation’s preeminent brand for African-American women, will commemorate the 10th anniversary of its “Black Women in Hollywood Awards” by shifting from a daytime luncheon to an evening gala for the first time.

The Awards & Gala will honor Hollywood’s “Next Generation”— young women who are excelling and elevating their crafts—including actress/musician Janelle Monáe (Breakthrough Award); groundbreaking “Insecure” actress/writer/producer Issa Rae (Vanguard Award); “How To Get Away With Murder” Yale-educated actress Aja Naomi King (Lincoln Shining Star Award); and “Black-ish” actress Yara Shahidi (Generation Next).

Actress/Producer Gabrielle Union will serve as the program’s host and the red carpet ceremony will be held at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA, on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

“For the past decade, the “Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards” have paid homage to our modern image-makers—both in front of the camera and behind the scenes,” said Essence Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. De Luca. “This past year has been an exceptional one for diversity in film and television, and with the incredible contributions of Janelle, Issa, Aja and Yara, it is fitting that our 10th anniversary will honor the future of Hollywood and its continued steps on the path to inclusion.”

Also for the first time, internationally acclaimed visual artist and filmmaker Mickalene Thomas will be infusing the event with her elaborate imagery celebrating the power of female beauty as a facet of women’s empowerment.

To check out highlights and behind-the-scenes access to the “Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards & Gala,” go to Essence.comFacebookTwitter or Instagram @essence #BlackWomeninHollywood.

LIFESTYLE: GBN Picks for August 2015

by Lesa Lakin, GBN Lifestyle Editor

by Lesa Lakin, GBN Lifestyle Editor

It’s August, and summer is almost over, but I’m always on the hunt for fun entertaining things to do, read, watch and… enjoy! Here’s a few listed below:

IN ART

August 25th October 27th

Muse by artist Mickalene Thomas

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This gorgeous book is at the top of my list. It explores Mickalene’s inspiration of African American female beauty and identity through her photographs. We get lots of inspiring 70’s-themed shots. http://mickalenethomas.com
UPDATE: The release date of this book has been pushed to October 27.  To pre-order via Amazon, click here: http://www.amazon.com/Muse-Mickalene-Thomas-Photographs/dp/159711314X
IN SPORTS
August 31st

U.S. Open

serena

Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Serena will compete in the U.S. Open and may just make make tennis history.
IN TELEVISION
August 5th
Mr. Robinson
NBC premieres Mr. Robinson starring Craig Robinson as a musician (lead singer and keyboardist of the funk band Nasty Delicious) who takes a job as a high school substitute teacher to pay the bills. Craig is moved to inspire the kids.  This sounds like a pretty cool premise promising lots of laughter. http://www.nbc.com/mr-robinson

July 30

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L.A. Hair star Kim Kimble

Thursdays, catch the new season L.A. Hair on WE tv with celebrity stylist Kim Kimble and her staff. Famed hair stylist Jonathan Antin reappears this season looking to break into the lucrative world of wigs and extensions. http://www.wetv.com/shows/la-hair http://kimblehairstudio.com

IN CINEMA
August 7th

Fantastic Four
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Michael B. Jordan joins Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell as four young outsiders who acquire superhuman abilities after a trip to an alternative universe. Check out the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAgnQdiZFsQ

August 14th

Straight Outta Compton

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. The F. Gary Gray-directed film about the revolutionary rap legends N.W.A. is steadily gaining rave reviews. Click here for the trailer: http://www.straightouttacompton.com/#/

IN MUSIC

August brings us Erykah Badu!

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Click for tour dates: http://www.livenation.com/artists/41646/erykah-badu

August 10th

Future

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Future at the Observatory, Santa Ana CA http://www.observatoryoc.com/event/future-aug-10

August 12th

Earl Sweatshirt

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Odd Future member and solo artist and all-around talented guy begins his second leg of the U.S. world tour this month and I can’t wait to see him! http://earlsweatshirt.com

He will also be appearing at the Low End Theory Festival with Flying Lotus on August 8: http://www.shrineauditorium.com/events/detail/275496

August 21st

Method ManThe Meth Lab

Method Man

It’s been a minute since Method Man has released a solo effort. He’s done tons of collaborations but this will be the first album he has put out in a decade. This 5th solo effort proves to be worth the wait.

August 22 -23rd
FYF Festival
FYF fest
Los Angeles-based annual festival featuring music performances from indie and alternative bands. Frank Ocean, Morrissey and Solange are among the many premiere acts.
August 28th
The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness
Finally! The highly-anticipated album is coming out this month.
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August 30th – September 7th
Burning Man
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Explore the annual festival in the Nevada desert…features great d.j.’s, parties and communal harmony. http://burningman.org

Artist Mickalene Thomas Debuts Her First Film on HBO

Artist Mickalene Thomas

Artist and Director Mickalene Thomas (Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO)

When Mickalene Thomas, 42, describes her short film, Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Girl, as a “moving portrait of my mother,” it’s meant both literally and figuratively. The 30-minute feature on Thomas’s mother, Sandra Bush, a beautiful statuesque preacher’s daughter from Camden, New Jersey, who has appeared in many of Thomas’s paintings, is rich in detail, provocative and endearing. It chronicles Bush’s life in her own words as she becomes a young mother and wife, a survivor of abuse and addiction, the reigning “mother of the art-world” and ultimately a warrior for her waning health.

“What I love about my mother is that she had a never give up spirit. Even when she was really sick and dying, you can see in the film that she didn’t want to die. She had hope and faith that she was going to survive,” says Thomas. Sandra Bush passed on November 7, 2012, shortly after Thomas’ first solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, where the Happy Birthday film debuted.

“The reason why I say this is a portrait of my mother is because for me it’s like looking at a painting—you don’t always have all of the answers, instead there’s lots of questions. It’s very open ended and that’s what makes life beautiful and mysterious and exhilirating and exciting and adventurous because it’s so tangible and intangible at the same time.”

Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Girl airs starting today on HBO.

article by Norell Giancana via bet.com

 

“Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe” Exhibit Opens at Brooklyn Museum

Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe Portraits by this artist in this Brooklyn Museum show. (Librado Romero/The New York Times)

Mickalene Thomas’s brash, exuberant paintings don’t care what you think of them; they are much too busy simply — or not so simply — being themselves. Their sense of independence is driven home by this artist’s invigorating exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, along with the realization that the museum’s populist program sometimes hits the nail on the head.

Organized by the Santa Monica Museum of Art in California, and substantially expanded in Brooklyn, “Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe” is a show of broad appeal, free of dumbing down. It has examples of the large, color photo-portraits and clusters of the small, truculent collages that function as studies for Ms. Thomas’s paintings while being works of art themselves. Continue reading