Tag: National Geographic

Jay Z to Host and Produce New Docuseries on Race in America with National Geographic

Jay Z (photo via huffingtonpost.com)

article by Taryn Finlay via huffingtonpost.com

Jay Z is tackling race in the Trump era. The rap mogul is currently working on his third docuseries, “Race With Jay Z,” with National Geographic. The project, produced by Hov and The Weinstein Company, will explore systematic injustices such as incarceration and the wealth gap, social media, activism and family, Variety reported. It will look at how race became “the most pressing issue in the nation” following the election.

The six-part docuseries, hosted by Jay Z, will include documentary, animation and archival footage. It will also feature diverse voices from immigrants, first-generation Americans and others.“National Geographic and Jay Z are the world’s foremost storytellers in their own right, and we’re thrilled to be working with them on such an evocative and meaningful project,” Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, told Variety.

“By using highly cinematic storytelling techniques along with Jay Z’s singular point of view, the series will tell a dramatic, thought-provoking story on race in America.” “Race With Jay Z” is the artist’s latest reported docuseries. His first effort following the story of a teen unjustly incarcerated at Rikers Island, “Time: The Kalief Browder Story,” premiered in March. It was also recently announced that Jay Z is working on a project about the 2012 shooting and killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Source: Jay Z Is Working On A New Docuseries On Race In Trump’s America | The Huffington Post

Nat Turner’s Alleged Skull Returned to Great-Great-Great-Great Granddaughters After 185 Years

Shanna Batton Aguirre, a fourth generation descendant of Nat Turner, holds a box containing what some believe is Turner’s skull. (PHOTOGRAPH BY JED WINER, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC)

article by Justin Fornal via news.nationalgeographic.com

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 7, 2016: A small group gathered today in a hotel suite on the outskirts of Gary, Indiana. The nine formally-dressed guests joined hands while standing around a table containing only a white box. Reverend John Jackson of Trinity United Church of Christ started the prayer.  “Eternal God, we are gathered here today to honor you, and to honor the legendary liberator, emancipator of the enslaved, and revolutionary of righteous, the Reverend Nathaniel Turner.”

The gathering’s 83-year-old host, Richard Gordon Hatcher, who served as Gary’s mayor from 1968 to 1987, planned the event at which a skull alleged to be Turner’s was turned over to his descendants.   The guests of honor, Shannon Batton Aguirre and Shelly Lucas Wood, both great-great-great-great granddaughters of Turner, flew in from Washington D.C. to accept the remains.

In 1831, after receiving what he believed to be prophecies from God, Nat Turner led the bloodiest slave revolt in American history. Accompanied by a small army of his brethren, the group fought their way through the countryside of Southampton County, Virginia, with hopes of ending the scourge of slavery. When the bloodletting ended, more than 55 whites lay dead.

The local militia quelled the uprising within 48 hours, but Turner managed to elude his pursuers. After two months he was captured, tried, and on November 11th, he was hanged from a tree in the town of Jerusalem, now Courtland, Virginia. It is here that the facts surrounding Turner end and speculation and lore begin. (Read about Turner’s complex legacy.)

Many stories have circulated about the fate of Turner’s remains after his hanging. Several versions claim that he was flayed, quartered, and decapitated before his torso was finally buried in the local pauper’s cemetery. His skull and brain were then sent away for study.

During the recent filming of the National Geographic Studios documentary Rise Up: The Legacy of Nat Turnerthere were frequent discussions with descendants and historians about the fate of Turner’s remains. Several had heard reports or read newspaper articles stating that the skull had been donated to former mayor Hatcher at a 2002 charity gala for the Civil Rights Hall of Fame, a museum project Hatcher has long championed.

To read full article, go to: After 185 Years, Nat Turner’s Alleged Skull Returned to Family

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson Lands His Own Late Night TV Show, “Star Talk”

2015 Winter TCA Tour - Day 1

Well known for his penchant for delivering mainstream-friendly science teachings across platforms, Neil deGrasse Tyson is now set to bring his unique brand of popular science to a new late night TV show for National Geographic.

Tyson, who has been a frequent guest on both Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and the now-defunct Colbert Show, has been tapped as the host for the first-ever late night program for the NatGeo network and will begin filming shortly for a planned April premiere.

Based on Tyson’s popular podcast Star Talk, a small-budget side project he’s been producing since 2009, the new show will also be called Star Talk and feature the astrophysicist speaking with scientists, celebrities, and comedians about new developments in science and space specifically. The news comes just months after Tyson’s popular Cosmos reboot finished its run on both Fox and National Geographic.

Cosmos allowed us to share the awesome power of the universe with a global audience in ways that we never thought possible,” Tyson said according to Variety. “To be able to continue to spread wonder and excitement through Star Talk, which is a true passion project for me, is beyond exciting.”

Nat Geo’s Channel CEO Courteney Monroe described the new project as an “edgy, late night alternative.”

“We continue to bolster our programming with series and event specials that are brand definitional, and Star Talk is the perfect opportunity to offer our audience an edgy, latenight alternative with the credibility and authenticity that are the hallmarks of our network,” she said.

article by Jay Balfour via theurbandaily.com

Tonight, President Obama Introduces the Premiere Episode of Fox’s “Cosmos”

neil degrasse tyson
Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Earlier we told you about the reboot of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey hosted by astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, which begins airing tonight at 9p/8c on Fox and other Fox Networks Group channels including National Geographic, FX and Nat Geo Mundo.

President Obama will help launch the show with a video message at the beginning of the first broadcast tonight.  The president, according to a release, will be inviting “a new generation to embrace the spirit of discovery and inspires viewers to explore new frontiers and imagine limitless possibilities for the future.”

A screening of the series was held on February 28 at the White House as part of the first-ever White House Student Film Festival.

The launch of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a reboot of Carl Sagan’s is the first multi-network effort for Fox Networks Group, which includes Fox International Channels and National Geographic Channels International, which means that the President’s introduction and the series premiere will be available on 220 channels in 181 countries, which is more than half a billion homes, reports TheWrap.

Viewers have a second chance to catch each episode at 10pm Monday on National Geographic, with added behind-the-scenes and other bonus footage.

article via eurweb.com

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to Lead Viewers on “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey”

Neil Degrasse Tyson

NEW YORK — Bringing a long list of prepared questions to an interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson is a fool’s errand. That’s not to say a conversation with the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History isn’t illuminating — quite the opposite.  It’s just that the gregarious astrophysicist can’t help but find science lurking in every corner, turning even the most banal transaction into a teaching moment. An offer of bottled water, for instance, unexpectedly turns into a lengthy digression about the difficulty of freezing distilled water and the origins of Gatorade.

Tyson’s zeal for knowledge is intoxicating and irresistible, even if it means less time for the ostensible topic of the conversation — his starring role in the documentary series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, premiering on Fox and National Geographic in March.  “I see myself as a servant of the public appetite for the universe,” says Tyson, seated in his office overlooking the giant white sphere of the Hayden Planetarium.

Scattered among hundreds of astronomy books are, among other things, a vanity plate reading “COZMIC,” a life-sized bust of Sir Isaac Newton, a half-dozen or so globes, a quill pen collection, a can of Dole pineapples in “cosmic fun shapes” and a pink boa.

Tyson’s combination of humor, intelligence and accessibility have made him one of the most recognizable scientists in the country and put him atop many fantasy dinner-party guest lists. The author or editor of 10 books, he maintains an active social media presence (1.5 million Twitter followers) and produces a radio show and podcast, “StarTalk Radio.” He’s also become a late-night TV regular, through frequent visits to The Daily ShowThe Colbert Report and Real Time With Bill Maher.

Now he’s moving into prime time with Cosmos, a follow-up to Carl Sagan’s groundbreaking 1980 PBS series, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. In what may seem like an odd pairing, Seth MacFarlane serves as executive producer on the series. Tyson first met the Family Guy creator at a gathering of the Science and Entertainment Exchange in Los Angeles several years ago and later pitched him about getting involved in a Cosmos reboot.

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