"I was asked to do a show with the emerging African nations. At that time, I was wearing me hair straightened. I wasn’t comfortable in the woman’s skin wearing that style of hair because I knew that they didn’t wear their hair straightened in Africa. So, I went through rehearsals with the straightened hair but the night before the show, which was being done live, I went to a barbershop in Harlem called The Shalamar where Duke Ellington used to cut his hair.
I told the barber to cut my hair as close to my scalp as possible, then shampoo it so it could go back to its natural state. He then sat down. When he regained himself, he came back to me and said, ‘Are you sure that’s what you want?’ I said, ‘Yes.’
The next morning I go to the studio with my hair wrapped in a scarf. I go to makeup and costume. Then when the director said, ‘Places.’ I took the scarf off…You could hear a hair hit the floor. So finally he walked up to me and said, ‘Cicely, you cut your hair…” I sheepishly held my down and shook my head. Then he said, ‘You know, I wanted to ask you to do that but I didn’t have the nerve. [smiles]
Then there was George C. Scott who asked my agent to send me in to meet with them for East Side/West Side. I said ‘Well, what do I do about my hair?’ They said, ‘Your hair? Leave it that way.’ And that is what created the natural hair craze. That show and my wearing it that way. I got letters from hair dressers all over the country telling me that I was affecting their business because their clients were having their hair cut off so they could wear it like the girl on television.
The cornrow in Sounder, I knew during that period that women in the South cornrowed the head. So, I said that [her character] Rebeca would wear her hair in that manner. But everytime I changed the hair it had not to do with me, it had to do with authenticating the character that I was playing.”
—Cicely Tyson, Oprah’s Master Class
Strolling - Cecile Emeke
This is a BRAND NEW episode of the documentary series. I took a stroll with Michelle. We talked stolen african artifacts, the queen, religion, weed, charity, the world cup & more. Tweet your opinions with the hashtag #strollingseries
See ALL previous episodes at http://strolling.cecileemeke.com
Check it out
Jessica Estelle Huggins creates “Chi-Voices” a Poetic Film Series, a media project with six premier poets who creatively express their personal experiences with violence in their communities through Spoken Word and Film. Inspired after the death of Jonylah Watkins, the 6-month old baby in March of 2013, we aim to showcase personal stories directly from citizens of the community, not politicians, corporations, or news media. The intention is to showcase the film series to show how violence effects our environment, economy, and humanity.
With Chicago’s heavy poetry scene and using visuals will be the film’s creative platform to appeal to today’s generation that we can see and and understand. All of the poets featured in the series heavily explore violence in their work. The Chi~Voices team will target all constituents, particularly at-risk youth urging them to utilize their talents to make a positive impact in the world around them and to leave a legacy of good and not evil.
Through our partner, BRIJ Fund, Chi~Voices was able to collaborate with the Institute For Positive Living (IPL) in the Bronzeville, a southside neighborhood of Chicago. A few of the poets from Chi~Voices held poetry workshops to help increase the literacy and performance skill sets of the youth in the Youth Working For Success program at IPL. Currently, Shiri Burson (Director of Chi~Voices) is putting the pieces created by the youth at IPL together to make one solid poem. A few of those youth at IPL will also be featured in the series as well.
Our film will dig deeper into socioeconomic issues, broken homes, lack of direction, absent role models, gang warfare, and emotional distress; many of which breed violence. Each poet tackles an element of each of these factors and brings them to life.
This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly. Sponsored by BRIJ Fund, L3C.
First Official Trailer of “Finding Fela” Documentary.
To anyone familiar with Nigeria politics, Afrobeat music and revolutionary post-colonial ideologies in Africa, Fela Anikulapo Kuti needs no introduction.
Hailed as a revolutionary by some and a rebel by others, Fela Kuti was a powerful and dangerous mixture of the two. For many, his music was and still is arguably the most relevant and most poignant testimony of the corrupt state of Nigerian affairs since the oil-rich country became independent from Britain in 1960. His Afrobeat rhythms, black pride and African consciousness, mixed with his defiant attitude, as well as his charm and charisma, made Fela both a hero and a target. From the everyday person to the elite, Fela’s music struck a chord (and in some cases a nerve or two) with people all over Nigeria, and beyond.
In Finding Fela, filmmaker Alex Gibney explores Fela Kuti’s pioneering legacy painting a portrait of a man who has succeeded in achieving his self-fulfilled prophecy, highlighted through his self-appointed name ‘Anikulapo’, of living forever.
What if Superman grew up as a black boy in America?
While staring in the face of racism, this story follows a young man’s journey as he comes to terms with his identity. As we extract events from America’s history and weave them with fictional undertones, we examine the truth behind his mother’s legacy, his father’s affiliation with the movement and the makings of a black superhero.
This montage sets the climate for an upcoming Sunday Kinfolk story.
Featuring Isaac Hayes, Walk On By
Written by D.Verrtah
Marcus Smith (Behind the Lens)
Russell Hamilton (Multimedia)
King Texas (Creative Director)
Renata Cherlise (Creative Director and Creator of Sunday Kinfolk)
"What if Superman grew up as a black boy in America?"
Thank you x a million for posting and spreading the word on this project.
A short film by Creative Producer Jessica Estelle Huggins that explores violence using the voices of Chicago poets from the Black and Brown communities heavily impacted by this epidemic. In partnership with BRIJ, we were able to assist in securing a collaboration between Institute for Positive Livings second change program which resulted in the receipt of the Illinois Humanities Media Grant, spring 2014. BRIJ has also assisted the crew with fundraising, administrative support and marketing. The film will premier this fall and tour high schools and colleges shortly thereafter.
Check it out guys…