Month: November 2016

People Magazine actually gets it right! Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson named Sexiest Man Alive

It’s always once every decade or so that People Magazine actually gets their “Sexiest Man Alive” issue right. Turns out, we’re in one of those moments where the broken clock lands on the right time.

dwayne-the-rock-johnson-named-people-sexiest-man-alive-2016

Moana star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been on people’s personal “sexiest man alive” lists for the longest, and finally, People has officially given him that title over Eddie Redmayne, who I figured would have won this title in any other year since he’s got Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them, despite Johnson also having a holiday movie (and several other films and projects this year) and being Hollywood’s most highest paid actor.

Johnson’s title comes just at the right time in this nation, when we could all use a much-needed pick-me-up. After being bombarded with so much racism and discrimination and sexism and everything evil, it’s nice to see a well-deserving (and brown) actor get some love in these trying times. It provides a little bit of hope, however shallow, that life isn’t as bad as some people are trying to make it become, and that life doesn’t have to be bad at all if we just love each other for their own brand of uniqueness and dare I say, sexiness.

Thanks, Dwayne, for being good looking and powerfully rich in Hollywood. Now, enjoy the reigning Sexiest Man Alive talk about his super-iconic fanny pack photo.

What do you think about The Rock getting this nom? Also, what do you think about the small number of folks People has deigned to give the Sexiest Man or Woman Alive title to? Certainly, there should be more.

Fusion asks women of color for self-care tips to combat Trump’s election

"Gathering the 'Fourth' by Sodanie Chea (Flickr/Creative Commons)
“Gathering the ‘Fourth’ by Sodanie Chea (Flickr/Creative Commons)

We’re all trying to survive the news of a Trump presidency the best we can. I’m sure if you’re anything like me, you’re flailing about, trying remember what self-care looks like in the face of adversity. I say it like that because for too long, self-care gets treated as a luxury instead of the necessity that it actually is. If there’s any time to learn that lesson, it’s right now.

Fusion’s Collier Meyerson asked women of color what their self-care looked like in a Trump world, and the answers varied from listening to music, to asking folks for space, to body treatments. Some of the answers are as follows:

“When I feel hopeless like this—because of my humanity, because of what’s inside of me—I like to watch YouTube clips of black women winning awards. Ha! It’s weird. I like to pull Halle Berry winning her Oscar or Lupita [Nyong’o]. It is such a balm to see us WIN, even though now, it seems like those moments are now much fewer and far between. But for a fleeting moment, yo—I watch women, black women, my women, win and cheer and cry and stand on top of the world—and I feel like there’s room for me.”
– Jazmine Hughes, editor

“Scheduled acupuncture appointments at a low cost ($45) at Pacific College of Medicine [in New York City], playing gospel, drinking water, and giving myself gentle touch. That’s about all I can do right now.”
Lucille Songhai, community affairs director for the Manhattan Borough President

“I did not watch any media coverage of the election last night; that felt like self-care to me. It just feels like a soap opera. Today, I woke up and I’m doing a 40-day meditation practice called the ‘Oneness of Heart,’ and it’s a meditation to connect with my heart on a deep level. With all the chaos and dismay around the world, to value my heart and all connections available and around in all this division, is important. Also, taking time to breathe and to cuddle.
– Shirley Johnson, psychotherapist and yoga teacher

Take a look at Fusion’s full list of self-care tips here.

I would like to say I have some self-care tips to add to this list, but unfortunately, I’m new to the self-care practice. One thing I have suffered from, like a lot of black women and women in general, is feeling like I have to be strong at all times. So my first step towards self-care is realizing that it’s not a weakness to feel less-than-superwoman. In fact, it’s human. So maybe my tip to anyone reading this that is new to the world taking care of yourself is to just remember to take things one step at a time and to be patient with yourself; unlearning bad habits won’t happen overnight, even if you wish they would. It also helps to watch calming things on YouTube. I usually watch a ton of baking videos to help me de-stress.

What are some self-care tips you utilize all the time? Write them down in the comments section below!

Princess Nokia’s “BRUJAS” celebrates black women’s feminine power

YouTube
YouTube

While we’re still collecting ourselves from the Yoruba imagery in Beyoncé’s “Lemonade”, let’s not sleep on another artist using the religion as a basis for self-expression and family homage.

Princess Nokia paid respect to her Afro-Latinx roots by honoring her family’s Santería and Yoruba religions in “BRUJAS”, which gives a message of black sisterhood and unity. It’s a message we certainly need in these new days of Trump.

The video will certainly hit you in the feels, especially if you’re a black woman feeling downtrodden because your mind, your body, and your soul have been hit in an even greater round of political and social warfare. The overriding message of black feminine power will have you feeling uplifted and ready to take on whatever BS is coming our way because we have higher energy holding us down.

To quote Nylon Magazine:

Its so refreshing to see brown women embraced for their pure divinity. Prepare to be completely mesmerized by all the melanin on your screen. Throughout the visual, [co-director Destiny Frasqueri] and her sisters come together to pray, read, play games, and bond over their connection to a higher power.

Overall, the message is a beautiful conglomerate of feminism, sisterhood, and self-love.”

I agree. We’ve all got to be brujas to deal with the trickery that’s already been in our lives and the new trickery that’s coming. Check out “BRUJAS” below and write about how it empowered you in the comments section below.

Need help fighting back against racist taunts? Turn to #ChangeWithWords

changewithwords

We’re now living in Trump’s America, which means we’re going to be subject to folks who think they can say racist ish and get away with it. Unfortunately, it’s hard to have a good comeback when you’re stunned into silence, shocked someone would even say something racist to you for just walking down the street. But the Asian Social Network has created a hashtag called #ChangeWithWords to help us already have some good comebacks locked in our mental banks.

The hashtag was specifically created with young kids in mind. Kids today have no reference point to a time in which people willingly said racist stuff, and these kids need help the most in dealing with these uncertain times.#ChangeWithWords was designed to give people a way to defend themselves as well as give the bully something to think about and, maybe, change their mind about how they interact with people in the future.

Here are some that have already been shared online:

If you’ve got some good comebacks you want to share, leave your comments below or, better yet, supply them directly online with the hashtag #ChangeWithWords. You never know who might need your witticisms to help them get through the day.

 

Op-ed: JUST ADD COLOR in the time of Donald Trump

just-add-color-2016-screencap

Recently, I put out a podcast airing out some of my raw thoughts about this impending Donald Trump presidency. One of the biggest issues I’ve been dealing with, aside from how everything Trump might do could basically end life as we know it (only being half-sarcastic about this) is how I was going to continue the work I’m doing here on my corner of the internet, JUST ADD COLOR.

After doing a lot of thinking, soul-searching, talking, and a little “HOW AM I GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS?!”-based crying, I decided I’ve got to do what I’ve been doing, which is talk about representation in entertainment. That’s what this site is founded upon. A lot of what happens in the entertainment sphere echoes what happens in society. In fact, I just learned that in Ava DuVernay’s The 13th states that the KKK’s penchant for cross burning only happened after D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation came out. If that’s not a direct correlation between life imitating art, then I don’t know what is. So talking about entertainment’s influence on regular life is something that is going to continue and something that has to continue.

However, we all need some levity, so please think of JUST ADD COLOR as a safe space for discussion about popular TV, movies, games, comics, etc. I’m working with a lot of POC geek outlets to utilize some of their content to help fill in the gaps I might have in my entertainment coverage (because I don’t play all of the games or read all of the comics on  daily basis). I’ll also make sure to post some more articles concerning some of the recent comics and books I’ve bought recently. And, since looking back at happier times is something we all need to do from time to time, I’ll definitely pull from happier moments in history, such as analyzing the surprising pro-black woman anthem that is Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back (yeah, I know, I talked about my hatred of the aught’s obssession with big butts, but Sir Mix-a-Lot takes the butt obsession from a different perspective than today’s love of butts, I think).

I’ll also preach more about unity here. In these times, we need to deal more in unity and less in division. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’ll sugarcoat any intra-race racism, for instance, calling out non black POC discrimination or fetishizing of black people, or when black people express discriminatory/fetish thoughts against other non black POC. But on the whole, I’ll focus on how we as the marginalized can and should work together to preserve our quality of life under this new regime.

This is the current plan for JUST ADD COLOR going forward. I’m hoping you can help me flesh out my plan and coverage; if you have anything you’d want covered, let me know either via Twitter, Facebook, or by emailing me at monique@colorwebmag.com

Fireside Chat #1: Monique figures out how to address the Trump election

Photo by zehhhra (Flickr/Creative Commons)
Photo by zehhhra (Flickr/Creative Commons)

In this very off-the-cuff podcast episode, I decide to use the podcast app on my phone to get out some of my feelings about the election of Donald Trump.

There’s a lot to discuss about the ramifications of a Donald Trump presidency, so take a seat and listen to my ramblings. Please keep in mind that I currently don’t have professional podcasting equipment and I have a very loud, very old computer; if you hear a lot of noise, my computer is what’s creating it. As I state in my podcast, this is a very raw podcast and I just wanted to get my points across in as real of a way as possible.

As I state in the podcast, if you have any suggestions about what you want to read or how I can best serve you during this Trump season we’re in, let me know on Twitter, Facebook, or by emailing me at monique@colorwebmag.com

Free e-book “What Disney Doesn’t Understand” demands more inclusiveness from the Mouse House

what-disney-doesnt-understand-cover

We all love Disney, but Disney has got some explaining to do when it comes to major oversights such as:

  • No black animated prince
  • A Eurocentric focus on what constitutes a “princess”
  • No LGBT visibility
  • Hardly any major Pixar characters of color

etc., etc, etc.

My new e-book, What Disney Doesn’t Understand, however, does go into some of these issues.

What Disney Doesn’t Understand features several of my Disney-centric posts and puts them together in an easy-to-read and stylish format (if I do say so myself). The book also includes links to the original posts, which include more interactivity with tweets, Twitter moments, videos, and more. Check out some of the pages:

 

Download What Disney Doesn’t Understand from the right sidebar or click right here! If you like what you’ve read, make sure to share the e-book and this website with your family and friends! In fact, you can share What Disney Doesn’t Understand by clicking the Twitter bird:

Tweet: @COLORwebmag's e-book

I hope you enjoy the e-book!

Autograph Collection Hotels launches unprecedented cultural program focusing on independent film

Autograph Collection Hotels Launches Unprecedented Cultural Program Focusing On Independent Film. Pictured: Julius Robinson, Franklin Leonard, and Chike Okonkwo at Autograph Collection's The Black List Luncheon in London
Autograph Collection Hotels Launches Unprecedented Cultural Program Focusing On Independent Film. Pictured: Julius Robinson, Franklin Leonard, and Chike Okonkwo at Autograph Collection’s The Black List Luncheon in London

BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Autograph Collection, Marriott International’s distinctive portfolio of one-of-a-kind hotels, is launching the Independent Film Initiative.  Launching in January 2017, this dynamic, experiential cultural program will celebrate independent film – an art form that shares Autograph Collection Hotels’ goals of championing individuality and diversity. The initiative will be curated by respected names working at the forefront of independent cinema including Franklin Leonard, Founder & CEO of The Black List, and digital entertainment distributor, FilmBuff.

By collaborating with these cutting-edge industry leaders, Autograph Collection will create one-of-a-kind guest experiences in its global portfolio of more than 100 hotels, which are found in the world’s most desirable destinations.  Program highlights will include film premieres, live performances, director talks, screenwriter residencies, a signature cocktail as well as Autograph Collection Hotels’ very own indie film channel for guests.

“Aligning with independent film is a natural fit since we both celebrate creative license,” said Julius Robinson, Vice President & Global Lead, Autograph Collection Hotels.  “Independent filmmakers tell stories without the influence of a big studio – and our hotels both tell and inspire travel stories of their own in a truly unscripted way.”

The Independent Film Initiative will kick off during January 2017’s Sundance Film Festival with the launch of the Autograph Collection Hotels & The Black List Sundance Social Space (January 19 – 23, 2017). This will take shape as a vibrant networking hub at Autograph Collection’s Hotel Park City, where cutting-edge filmmakers will gather with Leonard and The Black List team.  One of the week’s focal points will be the bestowal of Autograph Collection Hotel Residencies to five screenwriters shortlisted on the 2016 Annual Black List.

The Annual Black List is a comprehensive list of screenplays which is published once a year on The Black List website. Leonard has posted it every year, since 2008, to draw attention to scripts that are “best liked” in Hollywood yet are unproduced and require financing. The posting of the Annual Black List has consistently connected screenwriters to moviemakers. For example, four of the last eight Best Picture Oscars and nine of the last 18 screenplay Oscars have gone to Annual Black List scripts. Now, Autograph Collection Hotel Residencies will lend extra support to independent screenwriters affording them the luxury of researching and writing at an Autograph Collection hotel of their choice over the course of 2017.

“We are thrilled to partner with The Black List and FilmBuff to shine a light on storytelling,” said Amanda Altree, Senior Director, Brand Marketing, Autograph Collection Hotels. “Our ‘exactly like nothing else’ hotels are products of passion that inspire stories with their unique design and unmatched guest experiences – and we look forward to sharing those stories with the independent film community.”

Through January 2017, Autograph Collection Hotels will serve as settings for other Black List events. The 2017 Black List Screenwriter Labs – weeklong, intensive workshops where promising yet non-professional screenwriters gather and enjoy one-on-one sessions with established professionals – will be staged at select Autograph Collection properties.  The brand will also co-sponsor the Black List Live staged script readings, productions that bring to life Black List scripts as talented actors animate them on stage.

“When you find another organization that shares your values, it only makes sense to work together to further them,” said Franklin Leonard, Founder & CEO, The Black List. “Both The Black List and Autograph Collection Hotels champion craftsmanship and specificity in order to leave lasting impressions, and working together, we’ll be empowered to do more of both.”

Autograph Collection Hotels will also host The Black List Happy Hour. These convivial, global gatherings happen monthly so The Black List’s community of scriptwriters can meet and exchange ideas offline. To commemorate the first Happy Hour, The Black List, a signature cocktail, created by an Autograph Collection mixologist and Mr. Leonard, will debut and henceforth be featured on hotel bar menus.

Meanwhile, FilmBuff, an established leader in digital entertainment that is recognized for championing independent film, will curate the Autograph Collection’s Independent Film Channel. This will be a dedicated, guest entertainment channel that will broadcast a range of titles from FilmBuff’s critically acclaimed library of 1500 titles. The content will include feature films, award-winning documentaries, shorts, TV shows and webisodes. Tailored to guests’ interests, the programming will focus on art, design, food and music.

Autograph Collection Hotels Premieres by FilmBuff – a series of three debuts of FilmBuff releases – will be showcased through 2017 in screening rooms and iconic spaces at Autograph Collection Hotels. Each premiere will be preceded by a pre-curtain cocktail reception and followed by a film-festival-style Q&A with the production’s director. Special and intimate, these cinematic events will make for experiences that promise to be exactly like nothing else.

For further information on Autograph Collection Hotels and the brand’s independent film initiatives, visit www.autographhotels.com

Actor Rainn Wilson’s Lidè Haiti Foundation empowers girls in the wake of Hurricane Matthew

Screencap of Lidè Haiti website
Screencap of Lidè Haiti website

As Hurricane Matthew traveled over their home, the girls of Lidè distracted their worried minds with the artistic tools taught in their Lidè workshops. The days following Hurricane Matthew they continued their artistic pursuits, creating posters and other crafts to provide vital information to isolated community members. In response to the storm’s destruction, Lidè is teaching girls how to play a vital role in the health of their communities, focusing on disease prevention, educational outreach, and isolation reduction.

With an accelerated rise in Cholera cases and a concern for increasing Zika and Malaria cases, due to contaminated waterways, the girls of Lidè have learned about causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment for these illnesses. Lidè is also planning a training series to help teachers understand possible paralyzing effects of traumatic experiences on youth and how pedagogical methods can build resiliency.

Lidè is seeking donations to assist in these initiatives and efforts. Tax-deductible donations can be made here: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/177279

The following materials are urgently needed and donations are being accepted in Los Angeles until November 20th:

* Mosquito nets
* Women’s multivitamins with iron
* Children’s chewable vitamins
* 3 iPads (used is fine)
* Art materials
* Digital cameras (must be in working condition) with 12 or more megapixel imaging

The Lidè Haiti Foundation is an educational initiative in rural Haiti that uses the arts and literacy to empower at-risk adolescent girls and help them transition into school or vocational training. It is their belief that arts education inspires personal empowerment, resilience and self-efficacy. Lidè currently serves five hundred girls in the remote Artibonite region with a staff of thirteen Haitian teachers.

Alessia Cara and Jordan Fisher featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda perform end-credit songs on the forthcoming Disney’s “Moana” animated film and soundtrack

Facebook
Facebook

BURBANK, Calif., Oct. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Set for release on November 18, the Moana original motion picture soundtrack features seven original songs and a full original score, plus two reprises as well as two end-credit versions of songs from the film.  Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.

The diverse and dynamic team behind the film’s inspired music includes Tony®- and Grammy®-winning songwriter/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who counts among his credits Broadway’s Pulitzer Prize-winning and multiple Tony-winning “Hamilton” and the Tony-winning “In the Heights.”  The creative team also includes three-time Grammy®-winning composer Mark Mancina (“Speed,” “Tarzan” and the Oscar®-winning “Training Day”) and Opetaia Foa’i, the founder and lead singer of Te Vaka, a winner of numerous world music awards.

“How Far I’ll Go” is Moana’s song written by Miranda and is performed in the film by newcomer Auli’i Cravalho.  The end-credit version of the song is performed by Canadian singer/songwriter and Def Jam recording artist Alessia Cara.  Her gold-certified album Know-It-All includes the multi-platinum singles “Here” and “Wild Things,” plus the critically-acclaimed single “Scars to Your Beautiful.”  Cara is a Juno Award winner for Breakthrough Artist of the Year and is a 2016 American Music Award nominee for New Artist of the Year.  She recently completed a tour with Coldplay.

Written by Miranda and performed by Dwayne Johnson in the film, “You’re Welcome” showcases the colorful personality of Maui.  Hollywood Records artist Jordan Fisher teams up with Miranda for the end-credit version of “You’re Welcome.”    After a breakout performance in the Emmy® Award-winning production of Grease: Live, Jordan Fisher released his debut single, “All About Us,” which soared to the top of the Billboard Pop charts.  Fisher, who recently opened for Alicia Keys at this year’s Apple Music Festival, has joined the Broadway cast of “Hamilton,” and is set to release his full-length album in 2017.

For centuries, the greatest sailors in the world masterfully navigated the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, 3,000 years ago, their voyages stopped for a millennium – and no one knows exactly why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who is inspired to leave the safety and security of her island on a daring journey to save her people. Inexplicably drawn to the ocean, Moana (voice of Auliʻi Cravalho) convinces the mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson) to join her mission, and he reluctantly helps her become a wayfinder like her ancestors who sailed before her. Together, they voyage across the open ocean on an action-packed adventure, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills her quest and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.

The Moana soundtrack can be pre-ordered today HERE and a digital pre-order will be available Friday, Oct. 28th.  The Moana original motion picture soundtrack features 14 tracks and will be available wherever music is sold and streamed on Nov. 18, 2016.  The Moana two-disc deluxe edition and the digital deluxe edition soundtrack, which are also available Nov. 18, feature additional tracks including demos, outtakes and instrumental karaoke tracks.  For more information on Walt Disney Records’ releases, like us on Facebook.com/disneymusic or follow us at Twitter.com/disneymusic and Instagram.com/disneymusic/.