We Know You’ve Been Thirsty, So Now Here’s Nola Darling, The Thirst Quencher!

This Memorial Day Weekend is gonna be hot AF!
She’s Gotta Have It Season 2 drops everywhere on Netflix May 24th.

A Netflix original series, A SPIKE LEE Joint

CHECK OUT DA NEW SPOT HERE

A seriously sexy comedy and rousing celebration of female empowerment, She’s Gotta Have It Season 2 offers a timely and topical portrait of rising talents, with free-spirited artist Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise) at the center. Struggling with newfound success this season, against a backdrop of black art and culture, Nola must decide if she will remain true to her creative ideals or give in to the corporate world. Her journey of self-discovery helps transform the lives of those around her, including friend and sometimes lover Mars Blackmon (Anthony Ramos), who sets out to pursue his true passion of music as well as her inner circle of Opal (Ilfenesh Hadera), Greer Childs (Cleo Anthony), Jamie Overstreet (Lyriq Bent), Clorinda Bradford (Margot Bingham), Shemekka Epps (Chyna Layne) and Winnie Win (Fat Joe). Their journey expands to new destinations this season beyond their home base of Fort Greene, the vibrant Brooklyn enclave, that continues to evolve and change as gentrification remakes the neighborhood.

She’s Gotta Have It was SPIKE’s landmark film which he shot in 12 days during the long hot summer of 1986. The film signaled a change of how African Americans are portrayed in movies.

Created by Spike Lee who also executive produces the series alongside Tonya Lewis Lee, all nine episodes of Season 2 will be released on May 24, 2019.

Please visit the official social pages:
Twitter: @ShesGottaHaveIt
FB: /ShesGottaHaveItNetflix
Instagram: @ShesGottaHave

SPIKE’s Joints:
BLACKkKlansman, School Daze, Do The Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, Malcolm X, He Got Game, Inside Man, Jungle Fever, Bamboozled, Crooklyn, Chiraq, She Hate Me, 25th Hour, Clockers, and such outstanding documentary work as the double Emmy Award winning If God Is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise and the Peabody Award winning A Huey P Newton Story, and the Netflix Original Film Rodney King. SPIKE is a 2-time Oscar nominee (Do The Right Thing and 4 Little Girls) and was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 2015 for his lifetime achievement and contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences.

HIP-HOP’S SUGA-T REVEALS THE “YOUR PERFUME” BOOK AND ALBUM SET

Longtime West Coast hip-hop artist, record executive and entrepreneur Suga-T unveils her latest project, based on her life’s experiences. Based on Suga’s successful cosmetics business, the book and album, “YOUR PERFUME”, outlines survival tips for women on how to navigate through tough times in order for one to find a new “scent” for success and achieve their goals.

Suga-T. Stevens was a founding member of The Click, a hip-hop group led by her brother, rapper E-40. The Click scored many best-selling albums, including the certified gold record, “Game Related”. During this run, Suga-T enjoyed her own hit albums “It’s All Good” and “Paper Chasin’” while serving as an executive for the family-run label, SWI (Sick Wid It) Records. Together, Suga-T and E-40 enjoyed a hit with the duet, “Sprinkle Me”, from the latter’s #1 platinum album, “In A Major Way.” Overall, the label sold millions of records worldwide and had many albums make their way to Billboard’s Top 10 charts.

While enjoying success in the music world, things weren’t as rosy for Suga-T personally as she dealt with domestic violence within two marriages, Also the constant focus on the music business meant Suga’s relationship with her children was suffering. As a result, she walked away from the recording industry to start a new journey.
After working in the real estate world for a few years, Suga-T went back to school and has since earned a bachelor’s diploma and a double master’s degree. Along the way, she launched her fragrance production company, which is now part of the Sprinkle Me Boutique, offering wellness and beauty lines. Since then, Suga-T has expanded her enterprise to include a charity that helps parents of children with autism, a network for young grandmothers and to empower women as well as leadership and entrepreneurial workshops.

All of these life/career lessons and roadmaps to success have resulted in Suga-T’s book and album set, “YOUR PERFUME”. With the book, she outlines what it took to reinvent her own self to become a successful mother, grandmother and businesswoman. The album features songs for many musical tastes from Hip-Hop (“My Best-Worst”, “Work”) to R&B (“They Go”, “Sprung”, “Keep Pushin’”) – each related to Suga-T’s life story.

Suga-T is the 1st Lady of Successful Family Group The Click selling over 20 million. She & her Brother E40 Has The Biggest Brother & Sister Hip Hop Duo In History Titled “Sprinkle Me.

Empower yourself or someone else to win, re-invent themselves and better navigate through challenging times. The book also has an complimenting fragrance collection, cardio playlist www.SprinkleMe.biz and course www.SprinkleMeSchoolofMusic.online . Bulk Prices for Organizations are also available.

Check out her website,

SUGA-T’S WORLD website

Suga-T First Lady
Official Social Media Pages

https://www.youtube.com/user/SugaTOfficial

@Suga-T FB-> https://www.facebook.com/SugaTFirstLady/

Twitter-> https://twitter.com/Suga_T_

IG-> https://www.instagram.com/suga_t_

Facebook ‌ Twitter ‌ Instagram ‌ LinkedIn ‌

STARZ ANNOUNCES THE SIXTH SEASON OF “POWER” WILL BE THE FINAL BETRAYAL

EXPANDED 15-EPISODE SEASON OF
COURTNEY A. KEMP’S SERIES TO PREMIERE
SUNDAY, AUGUST 25

CURTIS “50 CENT” JACKSON MAKES HIS DIRECTORIAL DEBUT; AWARD-WINNING DIRECTOR ANTHONY HEMINGWAY RETURNS TO HELM THE FINALE

Network Reveals Season 6 Teaser Art and Hints at More to Come in the “Power” Universe

Santa Monica, Calif. – May 9, 2019 – Starz, a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), today announced that the first chapter of its #1 hit series “Power,” created by Courtney A. Kemp, will close with The Final Betrayal. A heightened and unpredictable journey that raises the stakes yet again, Season 6 will play out over a super-sized, 15-episode season, premiering Sunday, August 25, 2019 on STARZ, the STARZ app and STARZ ON DEMAND.

“Season 6 brings us to the end of what we know is just the first chapter of the ’Power’ story. However, as one chapter comes to an end, another will begin,” said Carmi Zlotnik, President of Programming for Starz. “Courtney Kemp and 50 Cent have created a world rich with complex and dynamic characters and there are a number of stories we plan to tell as we continue to explore and expand the ‘Power’ universe.”

“We will follow some of your beloved ‘Power’ characters beyond the scope of the initial series,” said Courtney A. Kemp, “Power” Executive Producer. “But we will play with your expectations of which characters, where, and the master timeline of it all, creating a ‘Power’ universe as unpredictable as the original.”

Season 6 will also feature the directorial debut of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson with episode 603 as well as the return of Emmy® award-winning director Anthony Hemingway (“The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story,” “Underground”), who helmed the first two episodes of the series when it debuted in 2014, to take the reins for the finale.

“The last 5 seasons of ‘Power’ have been an incredible ride for me and all of our supportive fans.  We are far from over and I am excited to bring you more from the ‘Power’ brand,” said Curtis ‘50 Cent’ Jackson, “Power” Executive Producer. “I am proud that I was able to put a lasting stamp on this chapter with my directorial debut in an episode that features one of the wildest scenes ever on the show.”

Under Kemp’s leadership, the two-time NAACP Image Award-winning drama, which premiered on the premium cable network in 2014, garnered over 10 million multiplatform views in its fifth season and is the most-watched franchise for Starz.  “Power” currently airs in over 120 countries around the world, including in Spain on Starz’ premium international streaming platform STARZPLAY.

Joining Omari Hardwick, Lela Loren, Naturi Naughton, Joseph Sikora, Rotimi, Alani “La La” Anthony, Jerry Ferrara, Shane Johnson, Michael Rainey Jr. and Larenz Tate as series regulars for its final season are the previously announced Evan Handler, Michael J. Ferguson, Monique Gabriela Curnen and Mike Dopud.

Season 6 Synopsis
“Power” Season 6 picks up with James “Ghost” St. Patrick seeking vengeance. His former drug partner and brother in arms must pay for the ultimate betrayal. Rocked to his core by the perfidiousness and cruelties of those he once called his family, Ghost devotes himself to one notion: Success is the best revenge, with all intentions of getting both. Ghost aims to get even with Tommy, get the Queens Child Project built to consecrate Raina’s legacy, and finally achieve a thriving legitimate lifestyle with no criminal strings attached. Ghost’s need to wrest satisfaction and happiness from this world by any means necessary – is the most dangerous he’s ever faced. As the Feds grow closer to convicting him, Ghost must remain vigilant toward those wanting to take him down for his past criminal enterprises.

About “Power”
“Power” is a visionary drama that straddles the glamorous Manhattan lifestyles of the rich and infamous and the underworld of the international drug trade. The cast is led by Omari Hardwick as James “Ghost” St. Patrick, a man trying to escape his role as a drug kingpin for a legitimized life in the elite of NYC; Joseph Sikora as his brother in arms in the drug business, Tommy Egan; Naturi Naughton plays Ghost’s fierce wife Tasha St. Patrick; and Lela Loren is his first love, Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Valdes.

“Power” was created by Courtney A. Kemp, who serves as co-showrunner and executive producer alongside Gary Lennon. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson executive produces the series through his production company G-Unit Film and Television, as does Mark Canton through his production company Atmosphere Entertainment MM. Randall Emmett, Shana Stein and Bart Wenrich also serve as executive producers.

Check out “Power” online Facebook Page<https://www.facebook.com/Power.Starz/and follow @Power_STARZ<https://twitter.com/Power_STARZ?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthoron Twitter and @Power_Starz<https://www.instagram.com/power_starz/?hl=enon Instagram. Join the conversation with #PowerTV and #STARZ.
Website: https://www.starz.com/series/power/episodes

ABOUT STARZ
Starz (www.starz.com<http://www.starz.com), a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), is a leading global media and entertainment company that produces and distributes premium streaming content to worldwide audiences across subscription television platforms. Starz is home to the flagship domestic STARZ® brand, STARZ ENCORE, 17 premium pay TV channels and the associated on-demand and online services, including the highly rated STARZ app. With the launch of the STARZPLAY international premium streaming platform and STARZ PLAY Arabia, Starz is expanding its global footprint in a growing number of territories. Sold through multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, telecommunications companies, and other online and digital platforms, Starz offers subscribers more than 7,500 distinct premium television episodes and feature films, including STARZ Original series, first-run movies and other popular programming.

Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Premieres on Bounce Mon. May 6 at 9:00 p.m. ET

Download promo art here [credit: Bounce]

ATLANTA (May 3, 2019) – Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud premieres on Bounce this
Monday, May 6 at 9:00 p.m. ET with episodes every Monday night through the summer.

Each episode of the program will feature a curated collection of the award-winning content from Hart’s popular and celebrated Laugh Out Loud digital service. The 10-episode season is executive produced by Hart and hosted by comedian Jasmin “Jazzy” Brown who will introduce the funny and highly-entertaining segments. The series is being produced in partnership between Bounce and Lionsgate Television.

Click to watch the promo

“Kevin Hart is a one of the most-popular, talented and funniest people on the planet,” commented David Hudson, Executive Vice President of Original Programming for Bounce and Katz Networks. “We are thrilled to be in business with him.” 

“We’re very excited to work with Bounce and bring our all-star lineup of comedy to linear audiences,” said Jeff Clanagan, Laugh Out Loud’s President. “Partnering with Bounce allows us to further expand on the rapid growth of the network and shine a spotlight on some of the best emerging talent in the comedy scene.” 

Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud joins the line-up of Bounce original comedy series that includes the popular sitcoms Family Time, In The Cut and Last Call. Bounce is also the home of the hit original drama series Saints & Sinners whose fourth season premieres this summer.Visit BounceTV.com for more information.

ABOUT BOUNCE
Bounce is the first and only multi-platform entertainment network targeting African Americans, with programming seen over-the-air, on cable, on DISH channel 359, over-the-air, over-the-top on Roku®, on mobile devices via the Bounce and Brown Sugar apps and on the web via BounceTV.com. Bounce features a programming mix of original series and movies, off-network series, theatrical motion pictures, specials, live sports and events and more. Bounce is part of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).
 

ABOUT LAUGH OUT LOUD
Laugh Out Loud is a comedy brand and multi-platform network founded by the world’s top comedian Kevin Hart. Through his network, Hart delivers his vision for the future of comedy: social, mobile, multicultural and seriously funny. From stand-up legends to globally-recognized digital influencers, Hart and LOL curate comedy’s boldest voices to produce original scripted and unscripted series, stand-up specials, live broadcasts and special events. Hart brings the groundbreaking social-first strategy that earned him 100 million+ followers to Laugh Out Loud, with one core mission: keep the world laughing. Dope Comedy. Delivered Daily. Always On. Always Loud. Directly from Kevin Hart and his hand-picked crew of comedic rockstars.

 

ABOUT LIONSGATE
The first major new studio in decades, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) is a global content leader whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world. In addition to its filmed entertainment leadership, Lionsgate content drives a growing presence in interactive and location-based entertainment, video games, esports and other new entertainment technologies. Lionsgate’s content initiatives are backed by a nearly 17,000-title film and television library and delivered through a global sales and distribution infrastructure. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring and ground-breaking content created with special emphasis on the evolving patterns and diverse composition of the Company’s worldwide consumer base.

For John Singleton By Kevin Powell

The last time I saw my friend and brother John Singleton was last year, the year 2018, what month exactly I cannot recall. But the meet-up was for me to spend several hours with him to interview John for the book I am still writing on the life and times of Tupac Shakur. John asked me to visit his production office in Los Angeles, where I got to sit in with his team of writers, including famed novelist Walter Mosley (one of John’s mentors and heroes). John was very proud of his FX Network tv show “Snowfall,” and how it was like a prequel to his most famous movie, his first, “Boyz n The Hood.” During my interview with John he mentioned several times he rarely did interviews, but that he trusted me. Little did I know it would be the final time I would ever see him in person. I first met John Singleton in 1992, when we were both 20-something upstarts, him as the creator of a critically-acclaimed and Oscar-nominated film (when John was only 23, 24), and me a staff writer for Quincy Jones’ Vibe magazine. I do not think John even remembered our first encounter, in New York City, where he simply asked myself and some other heads if we dug “Boyz n The Hood,” being East Coast folks. Dug it? Heck, it was and is a classic of American and world cinema. What also connected John Singleton and I through all these years was our relationships with Tupac Shakur. In one of my early Vibe cover stories on ‘Pac John said he wanted Tupac to be Robert DeNiro to his Martin Scorsese. Sadly they only did one film together, “Poetic Justice.” I’ve long imagined what they could have manifested, two racially proud Black sons of two strong Black mothers. In that interview last year for my Tupac book John cried on several occasions: about the lost potential of Tupac’s life and art, of the many lost Black male lives. I also noticed that John sweated quite a bit. Little did I know he was suffering from the high-blood pressure that would lead to the stroke that just took his life. John gave me a lot of information he has never shared with anyone, and asked me to do the right thing, over and over, with this Tupac book, especially given his great disappointment that he did not get to direct the biopic on ‘Pac.

Like me, John was a fighter, to the very end, and what they called back in the day, a race man: his life and work were for Black people, largely, to correct all the racist wrongs we have seen across American pop culture from the beginning to now. John was not afraid to speak his mind, to challenge, even if it cost him many career opportunities, which I feel it did. He understood he had to speak for all of us, not just himself; that he had to sacrifice himself, his art, for the greater good of real diversity and real inclusion; that Hollywood, or America, would never change without being pushed, nonstop. John was our cinematic resister, our cinematic revolutionary. He was a USC-trained filmmaker with the independent spirit of a Melvin Van Peebles and our beloved hip-hop culture. John was high art and he was also games of spades at a fish fry in the ghetto on a Friday night.

And John was not afraid of looking himself in the mirror. In that interview I did with him for the Tupac book, he and I spoke at length about the pitfalls of fame, especially when it comes mad young, mad early. John spoke to me about how he carried guns then, how he became something he was not, and how it could have ended his life before 30, the recklessness of it all. But because we had outlived famous and not-famous Black males around us, both John and I also shared this thing called survivor’s guilt. Like why me God, why am I still here? This is the question virtually every Black male in America will ask himself as he sees those around him, including those more gifted, smarter, fall, one by one. John was determined not to fall. That is what I felt in my bones when I left his office that day from what turned out to be one of the best interviews I’ve gotten for the Tupac book. John and I always stayed in touch, usually by text, but John also liked to pick up the phone and just kick it voice to voice. He was accessible in a way many in the entertainment industry are not. John did not, to me, believe his own hype. He was always about the next tv show, the next film, the next thing he had to do, and he always thought of helping others.

When I first heard John Singleton had had a stroke, all the conflicting information made me think he would pull through. But today, ironically, as I flew from my city of New York to John’s city of Los Angeles, I learned it was over, that he was being taken off life support. I cried on that plane ride, I cry in my heart as I write this now. Another Black man gone too soon, from something that was preventable. But given the many challenges we face in America, the ugliness of racism, the constant need to prove ourselves, over and over, it is little wonder that so many of us are sick, are walking wounded, are working ourselves, quite literally at times, to death. I am sad because I never got on that boat of John’s for a ride he was always offering. Sailing was one of the great joys of John’s life, and I spoke with him many a day when he was on his boat. I am extremely sad because just this past Saturday, I directed and produced and wrote my very first short film, about Black men and Black boys, and I thought about John Singleton the entire time, how I wanted to create something with him. And how I was going to ask him to support my short film entitled “Brotha Man.”

Indeed, we had kicked around some ideas the past year or so, he had quietly supported financially my wife Jinah Parker’s theater production, SHE, a Choreoplay, and John stood by me when I filed a lawsuit against the producers of the Tupac biopic, even as I was being ridiculed by some due to false media information. John, in a word, was a friend, to me, to many, a supporter to me, to many; and because he is of my generation, of my race, of my gender identity, he also spoke for me and to me, through his films. So a part of me has died, too, with him, and you wonder every single time you see one of your peers gone how much time you have yourself before God, the ancestors, the universe, some spirit force, calls on you next. I have no idea, I am not afraid, I am stunned, yes, but I have done everything I can to prepare myself for how long or how short the rest of my life will be. And it is my humble hope that like John Singleton, when I am gone, I will have left something behind for all time. Because he did, he truly did.

SHOWTIME® PICKS UP COMMON’S HIT DRAMA SERIES THE CHI FOR A THIRD SEASON

LOS ANGELES – April 30, 2019 – SHOWTIME has picked up the hit drama series THE CHI for a third season. Created and executive produced by Emmy® winner Lena Waithe (Boomerang, Master of None) and executive produced by Academy Award®, Emmy and Golden Globe® winner Common (Selma), THE CHI is a timely coming-of-age story centering on a group of residents who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption. The cast includes Jason Mitchell (Mudbound, Straight Outta Compton), Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine (Queen of Katwe), Jacob Latimore (Sleight), Alex Hibbert (Moonlight), Yolonda Ross (Treme) and Armando Riesco (Bull). The second season is currently airing Sundays at 10 p.m. PT/ET.

“THE CHI revels in revealing the beating heart of the South Side of Chicago,” said Gary Levine, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.  “We, like our viewers, have fallen in love with these characters and we remain eager to see where Lena and her fellow artists will take them in season three.”

Produced entirely in its namesake city, season two of THE CHI spotlights Brandon’s (Mitchell) ambitious plan for his food truck business. Emmett (Latimore) makes an effort to grow up and get custody of his son, while his mother Jada (Ross) discovers a new life of her own. Kevin (Hibbert) reckons with trauma as he strengthens bonds with his buddies. Ronnie (Mwine) attempts to reclaim his life, while Detective Cruz (Riesco) launches a new investigation. In addition to Waithe and Common, Ayanna Floyd Davis (Empire, Hannibal), Aaron Kaplan (Santa Clarita Diet, Divorce), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), and Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone of Freedom Road Productions served as executive producers on season two. THE CHI is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios. To learn more about THE CHI, visit SHO.com and follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Join the conversation using #TheChi.

SHOWTIME is currently available to subscribers via cable, DBS, and telco providers, and as a stand-alone streaming service through Amazon, Apple®, Google, LG Smart TVs, Oculus Go, Roku®, Samsung Smart TVs and Xbox One. Consumers can also subscribe to SHOWTIME via Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, DirecTV Now, FuboTV, Hulu, The Roku Channel, Sling TV, Sony PlayStation™ Vue, and YouTube TV or directly at www.showtime.com.

Brown Sugar Celebrates Pam Grier’s 70th Birthday in May With Cult Classics Coffy, Sheba, Baby, Friday Foster and More; Honors Mother’s Day with “Brown Sugar Mamas” Collection

ATLANTA (April 30, 2019) – Brown Sugar, the popular subscription video on demand service from Bounce, is honoring both Moms and the “Mother of Badass” – the legendary Pam Grier – in May.

“Foxy Brown” herself turns 70 this month and Brown Sugar is celebrating with a curated collection of Grier cult classics including Coffy, Sheba, Baby and Friday Foster, along with newer Grier titles such as The Big Bird Cage, The Big Doll House and Women in Cages.

For Mother’s Day, Brown Sugar offers “Brown Sugar Mamas,” a collection of films featuring strong Mother figures, including: My Other Mother (Lynn Whitfield, Jasmine Guy), Grandma’s House (Wendy Raquel Robinson, Loretta Devine), Down in the Delta (Loretta Devine, Wesley Snipes) and Holiday Heart (Alfre Woodard, Ving Rhames).

More exciting new titles coming to Brown Sugar this month include Lilies of the Field (Sidney Poitier); Bojangles (Gregory Hines, Kimberly Elise); Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (Ice-T) and The Arena (Pam Grier).

Popular movies returning in May include Bucktown (Pam Grier, Carl Weathers); Five on the Black Hand Side (Glynn Turman, Ja’Net DuBois); Black Caesar(Fred Williamson); Hell Up in Harlem (Margaret Avery); Original Gangstas(Richard Roundtree and Jim Brown), Posse (Big Daddy Kane, Blair Underwood) and A Rage in Harlem (Forest Whitaker, Gregory Hines, and Danny Glover).

Subscribers can watch these films and countless others on Brown Sugar along with complete seasons of top-rated Bounce originals such as Saints & Sinners, Family TimeIn The Cut and Last Call.

Brown Sugar is available on Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Comcast Xfinity X1, Amazon Channels, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Kindle, Android and Apple smartphones and tablets and web browsers via BrownSugar.com. There is a free 7-day initial trial period for subscribers with a retail price of $3.99/month thereafter. Visit www.BrownSugar.com for more information.

STATEMENT FROM THE AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION (AAFCA) ON THE PASSING OF JOHN SINGLETON


John Singleton at the 2017 AAFCA Awards in Hollywood, CA (credit: AAFCA)

John Singleton was, without question, one of the most important filmmakers of our generation. With his groundbreaking 1991 debut film, Boyz N the Hood, he brought a sensitivity to urban Black life that was unprecedented for the time. With that film — which he wrote and directed — he painted the challenges as well as joys of growing up Black in Los Angeles during one of its most tumultuous times. That film earned him a Best Director Oscar nomination, making him the youngest and first-ever Black nominee, as well as one for Best Screenplay.


John Singleton, Gil Robertson, Ava DuVernay, Robert “RZA” Diggs in 2015 in Hollywood, CA

John would continue to flex his versatility throughout his career, helming 2 Fast 2 Furious, the second installment of the big budget franchise and the biggest grossing film of his career in 2003. However, Singleton was most passionate about films about his community, particularly his native South Central Los Angeles. He immediately followed Boyz N the Hood with two other films set primarily in Los Angeles: Poetic Justice (1993), Higher Learning (1995) and Baby Boy (2001) gave a refreshing and personal lens to the identity of urban Black males that was multi-dimensional and spanned a wide variety of viewpoints.

John was a great friend to the Black press and to AAFCA in particular. To me, he was not only an advocate and treasured ally, but also a personal friend. I began covering his work with his second film, Poetic Justice, and feel privileged to have had a front row seat to his amazing journey. Just last year, AAFCA had the tremendous honor of celebrating the 25th anniversary of that very film with him as part of our annual Summer Screening Series.

Over the years, John never shunned the Black press and personally made sure that African American journalists always got ample opportunity to cover his work. When we started the AAFCA Awards a decade ago, John was one of our first presenters. Filmmaking, they say, is very personal and communal and John embodied that. There are countless members of this community that he helped. He championed Craig Brewer in his debut film Hustle & Flow and introduced such actors as Morris Chestnut, Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tyrese, Taraji P. Hensonand Angela Bassett to the big screen in leading roles.

Even though he ventured out to do the historic drama Rosewood, telling the hidden story of an all-Black town in Florida that was massacred in 1923, Los Angeles was his forever muse. His most recent co-creation, Snowfall, the FX show chronicling the advent of crack to the city, will premiere its third season in July.

I and AAFCA are not alone in saying that, while our dear friend will be missed, his legacy as a visionary filmmaker and unapologetically Black storyteller will live on forever. We send prayers and continued strength to his mother, his five children and the rest of his family, biological and cinematic, who loved and cherished him. Although we are heartbroken, we are beyond grateful for all that he has given us and the legacy with which he leaves us.

Dear friend, we salute you and we love you.”

– Gil Robertson IV, President/CoFounder, African American Film Critics Association

****************************************************

ABOUT AAFCA
The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) actively reviews cinema at-large, with a particular emphasis on films which include the Black experience. The organization creates a platform for movies with universal appeal to the African-American community, while highlighting films produced, written, directed and starring, persons from the African Diaspora. Our members are also involved in our advocacy work that includes programming for students interested in film criticism and journalism.

AAFCA members are a geographically diverse cross-section of journalists, covering all genres of the cinematic arts, while representing multiple mediums – including print, TV, radio broadcast and online. Collectively, they have reached a worldwide audience in excess of 100 million.

Follow AAFCA online!
Instagram: @aafca
Twitter: @theaafca
Website: aafca.com

Days Of Summer Cruise Fest Announces Star-Studded Lineup, Headlined by Post Malone, Hosted by DJ Khaled, and With Performances from Cardi B, City Girls, and More

Embarking Miami on June 28th and Returning on July 1st After a Stop in the Bahamas, the Cruise Promises the Opportunity For Fans to See and Interact With Some of Hip-Hop’s Biggest Names

The Announcement:
Promising an all-star array of musical talent coupled with a luxury cruise experience, Days of Summer Cruise 2019 is the rap event of the summer. Today, Days Of Summer announces its full lineup, gathering artists from all over the hip-hop spectrum for a weekend-long sub-tropical extravaganza. The festival promises headlining performances from Post Malone and Cardi B, along with sets by City Girls, Soulja Boy, DaBaby, Flipp Dinero, Dej Loaf, Waka Flocka Flame, Lil Nas X and more, plus special guests to be announced. Hosted by DJ Khaled, who will infuse the festival with a healthy dose of positive energy, Days Of Summer is the ultimate summer getaway for hip-hop heads and late-spring breakers alike

Embarking from Miami on June 28th, the cruise offers fans the chance to get up-close-and-personal with their favorite artists, and will offer a variety of parties and activities, including meet-n-greets, comedy shows, panels, and nightlife. The cruise will make a stop in Nassau, Bahamas on Saturday June 29th, before heading to Half Moon Cay, a private island where the Beach Festival will take place. The cruise returns to Miami on July 1st. With only 70 days until the action-packed weekend of partying and great music, Days Of Summer is a unique event that you don’t want to miss.

Reserve your cabin here.

Check out the recap video from 2017 here.

Check back at the Days Of Summer 2019 official website for up-to-date information about cruise amenities and guidelines: https://daysofsummercruise.com/

Please contact MichelleScott, or Kierra for more info.

Links:
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Buy tickets to Days Of Summer 2019: https://daysofsummercruise.com/

AMAZING GRACE – THE ALBUM

Atlantic Records was the pioneering home of Ray Charles, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Otis Redding, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Roberta Flack, John Coltrane, and scores of other great Jazz, R&B and Pop artists. The Coasters, The Drifters, Ruth Brown, Ray Charles, Solomon Burke, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett head the list of African-American stars that the label marketed during the 1950s and 1960s.
Aretha Franklin had originally been signed to Columbia Records by John Hammond, who also signed Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen. When her Columbia career failed to ignite, Atlantic Records signed her, and under the guidance of Jerry Wexler, Franklin’s career was transformed.
Starting in 1967, her string of hits – “I Never Loved A Man”, “Respect”, “Baby I Love You”, “Chain of Fools”, “Think”, “Don’t Play That Song” – kept Atlantic Records at the top of both the Pop and R&B charts. Franklin’s success disguised the fact that the label was losing touch with its R&B heritage following the death of Otis Redding and Ray Charles’ defection to a rival company.

Love of Soul Music, from the Supremes to Al Green, had united Americans across racial lines. However, by the early 1970s, the Civil Rights movement had fractured coupled with the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. This led to the growth of the Black Power movement and a growing alienation of African Americans – and their music – from the white mainstream culture. Labels, like Atlantic Records (which became part of Warner Communications by 1970), saw their future more and more in the exploding market for white rock groups and singer-songwriters.

By 1971, Aretha Franklin was known as the Queen of Soul. In the culmination of five years of chart-topping hits, she and her producer, Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records, decided her next recording would take her back to the music of her youth, to the world of American Gospel music.

Amazing Grace was not intended as a swan song, but it would turn out to be an elegiac moment in American musical history as well as a salute to the gospel heritage that had transformed American music in the 1960s.

AMAZING GRACE – THE FILM

When Franklin was planning her album, Warner Brothers agreed to film the session in 1972.
Warner Communications, the parent company of Warner Brothers Films and the Warner, Reprise, Elektra and Atlantic labels, had reaped the rewards of that new buzz-word, “corporate synergy” with the success of the 1970 Michael Wadleigh film and album of Woodstock. Warner had paid $100,000 for the rights and the film grossed $17 million and the album sold three million copies. Warner Communications hoped for Amazing Grace to have that same success.
Warner Brothers’ Director of Music Services, Joe Boyd (Nick Drake, Pink Floyd Producer), proposed hiring Jim Signorelli, a documentary filmmaker and his team of 16mm cameramen. However, before Signorelli’s deal could be signed, Warner Brothers’ CEO, Ted Ashley, mentioned the project during a meeting with Sydney Pollack. At the time, Pollack was recently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director for his film, They Shoot Horses Don’t They. Pollack immediately signed up for the project upon hearing Franklin’s name.
Recorded live at Rev James Cleveland’s church in Watts, California in front of a lively audience/congregation, Amazing Grace would become the highest selling album of Franklin’s career and the most popular Gospel album of all time.

However, the film was never released publicly.
Sydney Pollack was a feature-film director. When recording, sound is usually post-synched on the back-lot. After the remarkable two days of recording, the editors threw up their hands. There were no clappers, no marks to guide the sound into synch with the picture. Pollack hired lip readers and specialist editors but received no luck.

The film languished for almost 40 years before former Atlantic staff producer/Wexler protégé Alan Elliott came to Wexler and ultimately to Pollack. Together, Elliott, Wexler, and Pollack approached Warner Brothers about using new digital technology to match sound to picture and make a film out of the raw footage.
Forty-seven years later, this film is a testimony to the greatness of Aretha Franklin and a time- machine window into a moment in American musical and social history.

PRODUCER ALAN ELLIOTT INTERVIEW

How was the process of purchasing the film from Warner Bros like?

Elliott: It was easy! Sydney Pollack and I had been having conversations about the film and then he unfortunately got sick. He called me one day to tell me he wanted me to finish the film and that he told Warner Films the same. So, my agent, Ari Emanuel, made the deal with Warner Films and we were off and running.

How long have you been working on this film?

Elliott: Since 1990

What were the technical difficulties that arose with the film?

Elliott: The film and audio shot in 1972 had no synchronization.

Did you know about the audio issue prior to purchasing the film?

Elliott: No, I did not!

What was it that ultimately fixed the audio?

Elliott: Digital technology from Deluxe Entertainment services and my great friends, Gray Ainsworth and Beverly Wood, helped fix the audio.

Was there anything you had to leave out of the film? What made you decide what to leave out?

Elliott: Yes. My first cut was 3 and 1⁄2 hours. I was in a first screening with a friend who had just had prostate cancer…and so that informed editing choices (we needed to go faster!).

Was there anyone from the film that helped with the post-edit?

Elliott: Many choir members and Alexander Hamilton came to screenings and in all, just having them in the screenings informed my choices.

What is your favorite Aretha Franklin song from the album “Amazing Grace”?

Elliott: That would be “God Will Take Care of You”, and I had to edit it out of the film because it didn’t fit!

ARETHA FRANKLIN

More Than Six Decades of Artistry
Aretha Franklin was a giant of popular music and a global cultural icon. One of the best-selling musical artists of all time, with more than 75 million records sold worldwide, the undisputed “Queen of Soul” created an amazing legacy of more than six decades. She had sung before heads of state and foreign royals and gained admiration from fans, colleagues, and fellow artists across all genres. She is known all over the world simply by her first name: Aretha.
Her vocal mastery and artistic excellence have been recognized numerous times throughout her distinguished career. Twice voted as the number one Greatest Singer of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine, Franklin is the recipient of the U.S.A.’s highest civilian honor, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as an 18-time Grammy Award winner, and a recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement and a Grammy Living Legend honor. Aretha was the youngest individual ever to receive the coveted Kennedy Center Honor; the first female inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; the second female inductee into the US Music Hall of Fame; and an inductee into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Aretha’s gospel album, Amazing Grace is the biggest-selling album and the best-selling live gospel album of all time. The album, Amazing Grace is enjoying a revival nearly 50 years after it was recorded, which follows the long-awaited documentary about the making of that legendary double live album, which opened to stellar reviews. CBS honored Aretha’s career on March 10th, 2019 with Aretha: A Grammy Tribute for the Queen of Soul.
Aretha has been proclaimed internationally as “the voice of the civil rights movement, the voice of black America,” and a “symbol of black equality.” In 1968, her spiritually uplifting voice was heard around the world singing at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and in 1972 at the funeral of the Queen of Gospel Mahalia Jackson. Aretha’s acclaimed voice was declared a “natural resource of the state” in 1985 by the Department of Natural Resources of the State of Michigan. Aretha would later reach a milestone in her historic career by singing at the first inauguration of President Barack Obama.

AMAZING GRACE – THE FILM SONG LIST
Night #1
“On Our Way”
“Wholy Holy”
“What a Friend We Have In Jesus” “How I Got Over” “Precious Memories” “You’ve Got A Friend” “Precious Lord Take My Hand” “Amazing Grace”
“My Sweet Lord” (Instrumental)
Night #2
“Mary Don’t You Weep” “Climbing Higher Mountains” “Old Landmark” “Never Grow Old”
“Old Landmark” (End Credits)