Black Excellence Evolution…Thoughts on The BET Awards

 

ctr

I usually could care less about watching the BET Awards, but I’m glad I caught it this year. It was inspirational, and shifting more toward substantial. There was a noticeable difference in what exactly black excellence is, beyond the flashy lifestyle and the glam.

A few things I picked up were some artists primary honor of the most high beyond the cliche. Some of the S/O’s to God may have been generic, but I could tell a few of them were hard learned and sincere This time around the enlightened, efficient use of platforms to glorify more than the next project, but call for revolution and bring awareness to pressing cultural issues was also inspiring. There was a noticeable difference between which artist are more intrinsically liberated and naturally gifted. but instead of getting into the politics of it all, I’ll just share a few of my favorite moments, because we all just came here to have fun anyway.

Big Sean’s tech powered performance with the digital background highlighted to me the importance of “Black Excellence” aka “us” in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) I was really feeling the multiple Big Seans and the automated pixelation he had going on. The lit part about it is not Sean by himself, but the engineers and scientist who know how to do all that. S/O to the people who we don’t see working behind the scenes. STEM, not necessarily “cash” plays a major part in ruling everything around us, It’s S.T.E.A.M. especially in this digital age, it’s imperative to be familiar with it. STEM knowledge can help one “magically” manipulate the game in there favor, see “Sleight” but Big Sean had a pretty good STEM reference…” I’m all charged up and God is my source”…deep.

The elevation of Black Girl Magic is a game changer. The glow of Chloe and Halle, Yara Shahidi, and Egypt Ufule, the 12 year old fashion designer featured in the Ford ad is the fruit of self-confidence and empowerment that’s been sewn by the conscious matriarchs of our culture.

From Michelle Obama’s tribute to chance the rapper to Chance the rapper… being Chance the rapper. Yes, let’s “gas him up”!! I was for the most part unaware of his humanitarian work in the community. It was great to see the work being highlighted and him intentionally honoring the call to action in his path. It was reminiscent of Jesse Williams who adamantly used his platform to speak up at the previous BET Awards. Those dreamy eyes were looking up in respect as chance spoke. Solid!

Initially the aspect of Leslie Jones hosting the show drew my respect for this year’s show. I caught it mid-way to find that yes she was loud, but had skits to emphasize what it’s means to work hard, not give up and go from zero to shero. Refreshingly, Leslie Jones is not the typical “Hollywood beauty” but owns her skin and knows how to be terrific in it. We saw, let’s market that dynamic more, and “Lil Yachty in the yacht”!!! Very impressive.

Another thing is that as controversial as it sometimes is, in my coming of age is my recognition that weaves and lashes are a flyy girl rite of passage in some sense. “It takes money and time to be fly as a mutha” word to Daya. Who are we not to be flyy? As expected Lashes were everywhere even Michelle Obama was in on the action. Apparently blonde hair is trending everyone from Karrueche, to tiny, to tamar had platinum strands? Whether we’re embracing our own beauty or trying on different ones, were just fly. Shout out to “My Black Is Beautiful” for giving all that grant money to worthy causes.

To overcome and excel, was the sentiment I walked away with from the show this year!

A vision black excellence peaking through and showing the ability to evolve in to something even more momentous is something I can be here for.

What was your favorite part of the BET Awards? Hit me up on twitter @aprilinspired and let’s talk!!

Advertisements

Da Kink In My Hair Debuts In The U.S.

                                If You want to know about a black woman, touch her hair.– Novelette, Da’ Kink In My Hair

dakinkinmyhair

Rejuvenating, Refreshing, Inspirational…hard to believe i’m talking about a stage play, but “Da Kink In My Hair” by Trey Anthony and directed by Andrea Frye is all of these. In melody and in monologue Da Kink In My Hair is a winner. Atlanta, Georgia got to find out why, as the production finally made it’s United States debut. Da Kink In My Hair is a winner because it’s magical and marvelous, while also being meaningful as it deals with a variety of topics.

dakink1

The for colored girls-esque dramedy covers everything from self-esteem, to color-ism, racism, child molestation and homosexuality. Unlike the other “colored girls” play, Da Kink In My Hair has an enlivening flair and a modern day edge. In a series of character monologues and musical numbers that hold their own and give life to the story. Da Kink In My Hair manages to give a voice to the many “black girl problems”, new ones and the age old ones. As much as the play details the problems, it also highlights the solutions. In a wave of sisterhood, encouragement, humor, and foul language, Da Kink In My Hair takes the audience to church. Being a type of women’s sanctuary, the Jamaican hair salon set in Canada empowers through it’s plot. The performances are stellar and the headliners are worth their salt.

trey

Trey Anthony’s talent graciously pulls everything together, not only being the shows sole writer and producer, but also carrying a Jamaican accent on stage as the salon owner Novelette. The accents were on point with the culture and idiosyncrasies of Jamaican dialect, but the content of the show is even better. I love Da Kink In My Hair because it celebrates inner strength and the freedom to make the decisions that are right for you. Da Kink In My Hair is a phenomenal must-see not only for colored girls, but for all races.

The “Da Kink In My Hair” showcase is running in Atlanta September 6-8 at Cobb Galleria Performing Arts Center. Tickets are being sold through Ticketmaster, and more info can be found on the play’s website dakinkinmyhair.com

dakinkfly

The Powerful Documentary “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” Available On DVD

freeangela

The story is just as explosive as the previews, if not more. The profound documentary “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” is available today. Angela Davis and her story are revolutionary. The docudrama which features actual scenes and clips from Davis’s case, recounts the story from Angela Davis herself and those who were apart of the movement that helped land her freedom. The story tells the Journey of young Angela growing up in the turmoil of the south, but making her way to New York and eventually Germany because of her academic prowess.

When Davis lands the job as a Professor at UCLA she comes under scrutiny. On the base of her radical views and communist beliefs Davis was apprehended as a threat to standard American culture, she received death threats and hate mail, but to some she was a hero. As Davis stood her ground, raised her voice, and acted in academic freedom, she also fell in love. In a love affair that would later be exploited and come to tragedy, Angela and her supporters remained calm.

Eventually accused for conspiracy to murder and becoming the top on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. The Angela Davis case set off a cultural firestorm heard around the world. The story took precedence in the media and graduated to being a political phenomenon.angie

Angela Davis was a hero for actively using her voice, and the story is a reminder that the voices that spoke up for Angela’s defense were also the heroes. In the age of series like “Orange Is The New Black” and social media’s divine impact in the Tragedy of Trayvon, The Free Angela story affirms the poignancy and power of educated thought.

Angela Davis was a “Thought Leader” before the term truly came to office. What is truly to be celebrated is not rebellion or resistance, but what the spirit of hope in united and inspired voices can do. It can produce liberty and freedom for positive empowerment.

April D. Byrd PR is giving away a free DVD Copy of the film in honor of the new release. Enter the Giveaway here: https://www.facebook.com/TheAprilImpact/app_228910107186452