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Nothing Short Of Greatness with Trent Shelton (Event)

On a stop in the ‘Nothing Short Of Greatness’ Tour, Motivational Speaker Trent Shelton, NSOG founder Rondell Anderson, and others rocked Atlanta, GA. The event was held at Midtown Art Theatre. Empowerment filled the atmosphere as Shelton addressed the crowd, and the audience shared their insight and questions. The discourse was lively, engaging, and extremely motivational. Nothing Short Of Greatness held up to it’s name, by delivering greatness and beyond!

The event brought out the best members in the Atlanta community, highlighting and engaging more inspirational media outlets. Professional Speaker and Blogger Ashley Poptodorova set the stage for Trent by sharing a positive testimony. Breath Of Life Daily captured a bit of the event. 


The next stop on the ‘Nothing Short Of Greatness’ Tour’ was Phoenix, Arizona. The complete list of event times and dates are posted at nsogreatness.ticketbud.com  For more updates and info about ‘Nothing Short Of Greatness’ connect with the founder Rondell Anderson on Twitter and Instagram:  @rondellaa. Follow the hashtag #nsogATL for more “touch down” times in Atlanta.

Check out Trent Shelton’s Interview with Clifton Davis on “Praise The Lord”. (below)



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Remembering Karyn: For Brown Girls Everywhere


The blog titles on tumblr, can range from edgy and flamboyant to outright explicit, and the content is sure to follow. When I found For Brown Girls on tumblr I knew I had came across something special, not just on a natural level, but on some deeply cosmic, spiritual wave that transcended the confines of the internet. For Brown Girls was a movement living in my soul and Karyn Washington had manifested it into everything I could have ever dreamed. It didn’t matter that it was after 1’o clock in the morning. I didn’t hesitate to track For Brown Girls down on every social media account that it was active and let them know what it meant to me to have that kind of space and encouragement on the web.  As I followed, “them” turned out to be Karyn…and we connected.



Correspondence and digital smiley faces transferred like nothing through E-mails, Facebook and Twitter, We we’re “friends”. It was easy. We got each other. I fell in line with regularly posting for FBG. Our genius seemed to be in synch, because the topics Karyn conceived for FBG were exactly what I wanted to write about. I raved about the brilliance of Tika Sumpter in the “Chocolate Spotted” series, and reflected on the depth of lyrics from artists like Keke Palmer, Lauryn Hill, and Erykah Badu in “Motivational Melody” pieces. Karyn was the first to publish my rant about black women no longer being aliens before Blogher picked it up. The Gabrielle Impact highlighted the positive support for Gabby Douglas in the “hair” nonsense and celebrated the rise of Black women in American Society. Karyn reblogged a similar post of mine on tumblr through FBG and it became a hit! Even though I won a contest with it, I never will forget what it felt like, to feel like my voice was getting out to the masses. Karyn…through FBG, made me feel celebrated on so many levels.



Karyn not only helped me she helped a community of women, by providing a community for women…Brown women. In the beginning when the For Brown Girls movement was catching on and gaining more notoriety, FBG re-tweeted appreciation tweets from women and girls alike, there were a lot! For so many women it was a source of hope and motivation, and in the end, courage. The thought that Karyn took her life to me is so unthinkable, that honestly I still don’t believe it. She was MY friend, so full of inspiration and intellect. I find it hard to believe that she did it, but for the same reason I can’t believe, I consider the culprit: Intellect. Somewhere in the entanglement of the internet and the wealth of information, geniuses are susceptible to madness. I avoided reading all posts about Karyn until I could fully express how I felt, but in the process thought back to Newsweek‘s cover story that covered the fate of Jason Russell and the effects of the internet on our brain.

The risk of  i-Disorder is especially high for bloggers and content creators. Working in new media can give us a sense of having to stay “connected” all the time, running the risk of real mental health issues. Seems the world wide web is now buzzing about the importance of mental health, but, my main concern is: How was her support system? That was a goal, and a value that Karyn truly expressed through FBG. The nature of For Brown Girls was to truly build a support system. To quote Dr. Maya Angelou: “Nobody, but nobody can make it out here alone.”, a truth that knows no race, no color. In the very sense that Karyn was just a social media acquaintance, I didn’t know exactly how to feel when I heard the news. For a few seconds I cried real tears, and wanted to bury myself in pain, but something in the great impact that Karyn’s life made wouldn’t let me. Karyn had determination, and she had grit, the things I most admired about her. I just knew that one day we would meet in person and become the best of friends, but I’m all the more grateful our souls got to meet, even if it was through the web.


The very last e-mail I got to share with Karyn was a piece I wrote wanting to share with Brown Girls that the play “Da Kink In My Hair” by Trey Anthony had made it’s U.S. debut. I got a chance to see the play and thought it was phenomenal. Karyn was excited with me, her last text in the e-mail was a smiley face. I knew we had a spiritual connection from the jump. Within the supernatural that I discovered as I wrote this, was that Karyn sent me a connection request on LinkedIn, before she passed. I was dismayed at first that maybe it was something I could have done to, but in a new light the omen is good because I can. It’s a sign to continue to carry the torch. #ForBrownGirls will forever live on! I could feel Karyn’s spirit through our interactions, but I could feel Karyn’s spirit mostly because of the spirit of her creativity. All in one word Karyn’s short autobiography exclaims that “Creativity fueled her being”. A few words from my genius friend that exclaims the key of life for all the races and sexes of the world: Stay Creative! Stay Innovative, Stay Cutting edge! and For the sake of  Brown Girls everywhere, be bold, be fierce, and be fearless.

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Good Bread Alley Launches KickStarter Campaign

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Good Bread Alley Created by Actor/Writer/Producer April Yvette Thompson Is an epic period play with Afro Cuban and Gullah music, dance and myth exploring the most fundamental truths about a mother’s love and the struggle to become better than what was promised.

The Team behind the production recently launched a KickStarter campaign to back funding. Below are some links to the campaign video, words from the playwright as well as a fantastic article on IndieWire about the work of the producers, SimonSays Entertainment.  The goal is to have supporters of the arts be a part of making the magic that is Good Bread.

How Does the Good Bread Alley KickStarter Work? http://kck.st/OaeuLq

Why Did April Write Good Bread Alley? http://goodbreadalley.weebly.com/blog.html

Who is SimonSays Entertaiment and Why Are They Producing Good Bread Alley? http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/simonsays-entertainment-the-enterprising-artists-who-would-become-discerning-producers

Find out more about the project by connecting with Good Bread Alley on Twitter and Instagram: @GoodBreadAlley

Best,

April D. Byrd

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Infographic Highlights Racial Success and Inequality in Hollywood

African-Americans have 1,038 Billion dollars worth of buying power 12 Years A Slave pulled the same ROI as The Hunger Games with a significantly smaller budget, and Black Film Festivals are on the rise, so what’s going on? Will we keep up the good trend? A new Info-graphic created by the New York Film Academy has nearly everything we could ever love to know about the progress and status of black people in the film industry.

The graphic includes a timeline of success and innovation in black film, as well as many ways African-Americans lag behind in media. Last year was really good for Black Hollywood, but are our stories being handled correctly? Producer Will Packer had some “Powerful” advice regarding that front as listed in the graphic:

“It’s imperative that the next generation of young black film makers realize that their power is in their unique perspectives, unique skill sets, and unique stories. Standing out is a good thing in Hollywood.”

That is highly agreed, director Malcolm D. Lee also advised quite simply to “Just keep making quality movies.” How far have we come and How far do we intend to go? The info-graphic definitely stands as a good compass and resource. Check it out for yourself (below):

Click to See Full Graphic

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Click to See Full Graphic

How are you feeling about the state of Black Film and entertainment? Do you think Black Hollywood needs to up the ante? More Genres? More diversity? or are we feeling fine with where it’s at? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Petition Urges Record Labels To ‘Stop Degradation Of Black People’

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A petition has been circulating that has become very popular. The change.org document created by Kenneth Paulk is making big headlines around the web. The creator is serving notice to Artists and big record companies to end the disrespect of black culture, mostly through black artists. The petition is detail oriented and lists all the “dirty” companies clearly by name.
Time will tell if the petition will make a difference in the music and entertainment industry, but the writer is very direct on his intentions. He claims that companies and artists can stop valuing money over quality of content. Digital Media has definitely been given a new platform to Social Justice. The request may be a big leap of faith, but it might not be such a hard bargain. The mission holds good reason and merit, but will merit be enough? check out the details (below):

“This petition is for our future children and grandchildren. This petition is for our ancestors that sacrificed and died to make things better for us.We have to let our ancestors know that we will not allow our legacy to be destroyed by corporate America, and we will not allow our legacy to be destroyed by a few greedy music artist that value money more than they value their own people.

When you see bad things happening and don’t say anything it will continue forever. Bad things will only stop when good people take a stand against it.

 


Record companies the rappers are your EMPLOYEES and you would never allow your EMPLOYEES to make songs that disrespect or degrade the Jewish people, and you would never allow your employees to make songs that disrespect Gays, but you allow your employees to make songs that disrespect and degrade black people.

Record companies you make a profit by allowing rappers to call black people n!gger and n!gga in their songs. Record companies you would never allow rappers to make songs that glorify the killing of Jews or Gays, but you allow rappers to make songs that glorify the killing of blacks, and you profit from it.

The negative rappers value money and material things more than they value the betterment of their own people, they don’t even care about the damage that their music is doing to us as a people. We would never allow whites or any other groups to make songs against us, and we shouldn’t allow blacks to do it either.

 

People will only do what you allow them to do, and as black people we are at fault to a large degree because for the last 20 years we have allowed record companies and rappers to degrade us as a people and get a way with it.

Just like other groups of people would never allowed themselves to be disrespected it’s time for black people to show the world that we love ourselves as well.

We must send a clear message to those that have exploited us and harmed us as a people. The best way is through legal action or class action lawsuit against any record company, record distributor or music artist that continues to put out those kind of songs.

Stevie Wonder has sold over 100 million records and he never called us n!ggers in his songs. He always called us brothers and sisters in his songs.

Black people we gave the world great music, we gave the world Soul music, Jazz and other forms of music. I refused to stand by and watch our great music legacy be trashed and destroyed before the whole world.

99% of rappers are signed to these record companies and distributors below, this petition is against these companies and their rap artist. These are the names of the executives that run these record companies that degrade blacks.”:

Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Charles GraingeSony Music Entertainment CEO Doug Morris

Warner Music Group CEO Stephen F Cooper

Island Def Jam CEO Barry Weiss

Island Def Jam President Steve Bartels

Interscope Geffen A&M Records President John Janick

RCA Records CEO Peter Edge

Virgin EMI Records President Ted Cockle

Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman

Young Money President, Dwayne Michael Carter Jr

Cash Money Records CEO’S,  Bryan and Ronald Williams

Capitol Music Group CEO Steve Barnett

The FCC is going to be asked to play a major role in this.

Federal Communication Commission (FCC) president, Tom Wheeler
Will you be signing the petition? Do you think it will make a difference? Leave a comment in the section below.