Misty Copeland- ‘A Ballerina’s Tale’

October 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

This is not just any ballerina’s tale! This is a tale of perseverance.

Put yourself in the ballerina pointe shoes (if even for just one second), of the first African American female principle dancer in a major international company, Misty Copeland.

As hard as this is to imagine, up until 2015, there had never been an African American principle dancer at the legendary American Ballet Theater, as many ballet companies believed that dancers of color would be distracting. Up until THIS year, there had never been a black principle ballerina at the Royal Palace Opera and Ballet, the Royal Opera House, or even the NYC Ballet.

Ballerina sensation, Misty Copeland, changed all that.

Making it as a top tiered ballerina is difficult enough as it is, as only 1% of ALL ballerinas make it into elite companies, and an even smaller fraction, are black. Misty made sacrifices, overcame injuries, and battled prejudice. Amazing story.

This 88 minute documentary, directed by Nelson George, hits movie theaters and Video On Demand on October 14, 2015.

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Human- A film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

September 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

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“He Named Me Malala”- A movie that every daughter takes their father to see.

September 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

Who is Malala Yousafzai?


Born on July 12, 1997, in Mingora, Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai, was a proponent for girls’ education, and demanded that girls in Pakistan be able to receive an education. As a result, she was issued a death threat, targeted, and ultimately, shot by the Taliban in Pakistan’s Swat Valley on October 9, 2012 while she was traveling home from school. Having survived the bullet, the documentary illustrates her hospitalization, rehabilitation, recovery, and forgiveness process.

Ironically, Malala Yousafzai, was named after Malalai of Maiwand, a national folk hero of Afghanistan, who encouraged and fought alongside with local Pashtun fighters that revolted against the British troops at the 1880 Battle of Maiwand. She was responsible for the Afghan’s victory on July 27, 1880. Many schools, hospitals, and other institutions are named after Malalai of Maiwand in Afghanistan, and she is known as the “the Afghan Joan of Arc.”

Malala Yousafzai’s father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, explained, “That name was so inspirational to me that I thought that if I had a daughter, I will name her after the Malalai of Maiwand. There was a real deep passion in my heart when I was naming my daughter after her, that she will have a role. She will have a life. She will have a recognition. She will have an identity, which Malalai of Maiwand had.”

Director, Davis Guggenheim (‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and ‘Waiting For Superman’), stated, “Malala’s is an incredible story of a girl who risked her life to speak out for what is right.”

Malala Yousafzia, “They thought that the bullet would silence us. But nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear, and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.”

Malala Yousafzia is a hero because she spoke out. She is just an ordinary girl who has found her sense of purpose. She is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund. https://www.malala.org/

Directed by Davis Guggenheim
Fox Searchlight Pictures

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American Heart Association Heart and Stroke Walk-Brooklyn 2015

September 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

 Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States!!!

Heart disease and strokes are more prevalent in Brooklyn than ANYWHERE else in the nation!


High cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes ALSO affect Brooklynites in disproportionately higher numbers than people living anywhere else in the US, which also contributes heavily to deaths from heart disease and stroke.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four Americans is debilitated by these diseases. Each year, approximately 6 million Americans (nearly 50,000 of them Brooklynites), are hospitalized for cardiovascular disease. Many are permanently disabled.

A large majority of these deaths can be prevented. Numerous studies have documented that good nutrition, exercise, and smoking cessation can substantially reduce the risk.

-SUNY Downstate Medical Center.edu

Enjoy my photos from the American Heart Association’s Heart and Stroke Walk-Brooklyn September 2015 and think about joining in on one of their events! It was a lot of fun and an absolutely beautiful route.

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Asbury Park-‘The Lovin’ Spoonful’ and ‘The Rascals’

August 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

‘The Lovin’ Spoonful’~ ‘Summer in the City,’ and ‘Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals’ rocked the Jersey Shore!

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‘Straight Outta Compton’- Compton, CA 1986

August 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

“You are about to witness the strength of street knowledge.”

“Our art is a reflection of our reality.”

“I’m a journalist, the only difference is, I’m brutally honest.”   imgres-1

“Straight Outta Compton” illustrates how emerging rap artists from the ’80’s, like Dre, E, and Cube, took risks, met, taught, and collaborated with one another, faced and overcame financial, familial, and artistic differences and obstacles together, were discovered and signed by music managers under a small label, formed NWA, went on tour, threw wild house parties, met many women, fought for their first amendment rights to sing about what they wanted without censorship, were victims and witnesses to police brutality, ie. Rodney King, broke apart due to artistic differences and pursued solo careers, and introduced newcomers like Snoop Dogg to their scene.  Must See!

As an East Coast vs. West Coast sort of thang, I took the Hush Tours, Hip Hop Site Seeing Tour of Northern Manhattan (Upper East Side, Spanish Harlem and Harlem), and the South and West Bronx, http://hushtours.com/.  The term ‘hip hop’ defines the subculture as a whole.  It is often used along with the term rap music, although rapping is not a requirement in hip hop music, and can be done on it’s own without the use of a DJ, turntable, or beatbox.

Grand Master Caz guides you in an air conditioned mini coach as you groove to the best of the best hip hop and rap songs (Wu Tang Clan), while teaching you where the birthplace of hip hop began on August 11, 1973, where, when, and who played at which venue(s), like Harlem World, the breakdancing movement with live performances, National Historic Landmarks, film locations for major motion pictures (ie. ‘American Gangster’/’New Jack City’), celebrity homes, an amazing photo exhibit of the Hip Hop Revolution from the 1980’s by photographers, Joe Conzo, Janette Beckmann, and Martha Cooper, famous theaters, churches, mosques, sporting venues of past and current baseball and basketball teams, graffiti walls and art murals of past and present artists (DJ Kool Herc), and video clips and music videos highlighting the most fascinating and the best of times during the 80’s and 90’s.

“Hip Hop didn’t invent anything. Hip Hop reinvented everything.”


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“We Come As Friends” -South Sudan / Oil and Natural Gas

August 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

In 2011, the majority of people living in South Sudan voted to secede, gaining independence from the predominantly Muslim population of Sudan, following traditional religions, Christianity, and Jesus Christ.

In 2013, when the South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, fired his entire cabinet and his deputy president, confrontations with the former Civil War foe, Sudan, over oil and corruption ensued, violence between government troops and rebel factions broke out, hundreds of thousands fled their homes, were killed, and oil production fell.

Berlin Film Festival 29th Peace Film Prize 2014

Sundance World Documentary 2014 Special Jury Award,

In “We Come As Friends,” Hubert Sauper of “Darwin’s Nightmare,”
flies his small F-JRIX airplane to remote villages in South Sudan documenting the local villagers daily routines, their feelings towards the secession from the North, genocide in Darfur, Omar al-Bashir, colonialism, Chinese, British and American interests in Sudan’s natural resources, oil production, corruption, and being exploited for the land’s oil, gas, and hydrocarbons.


IFC Center | New York, NY
August 14, 2015

Laemmle Royal | Los Angeles, CA
August 21, 2015

AFI Silver Theater | Washington D.C.
August 21, 2015

Bloor Hot Docs Cinema | Toronto, Ontario, CA
August 23, 2015

Boston MFA | Boston, MA
August 26, 2015

Facets Cinemathque | Chicago, IL
August 28, 2015

Roxie Cinema | San Francisco, CA
August 28, 2015

Rialto Elmwood | Berkeley, CA
August 28, 2015

SIFF Film Center | Seattle, WA
September 11, 2015

Center for Contemporary Art | Santa Fe, NM
September 11, 2015

Gateway Film Center | Columbus, OH
September 11, 2015

Sie Film Center | Denver, CO
September 11, 2015

Austin Film Society | Austin, TX
September 16, 2015

Walker Art Center | Minneapolis, MN
September 17, 2015

Real Art Ways | Hartford, CT
October 2, 2015

Museum of Fine Arts | Houston, TX
October 16, 2015

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