Urban Comedy Explores Korean Domination of Black Haircare Industry

 

Brazilian Wavy,  Film Review, African-American, Chris Rock, Korean, Aron Ranen, Kirk Henriquest, wacky comedyBrazilian Wavy

Film Review by Kam Williams

Urban Comedy Explores Korean Domination of Black Haircare Industry

In recent years, a couple of groundbreaking documentaries addressed some serious issues pertaining to African-American hair. The first, Aron Ranen’s Black Hair, chronicled the Korean takeover of the black haircare industry. The second, Chris Rock’s Good Hair, was an eye-opening expose about the dangers and costs associated with sisters’ straightening hair and purchasing wigs in capitulation to a European definition of beauty.

Now we have Brazilian Wavy, a wacky comedy which takes a lighter look at the same two themes. Directed by Kirk Henriques the thought-provoking film packs a wealth of information before delivering an emotional punch, despite lasting a mere 21 minutes. Much like your typical TV sitcom, the entertaining short manages to entertain while sending you away with a worthwhile message to reflect upon.

The picture’s plot is straightforward enough. At the point of departure, we meet Remy (Barry Floyd), a nerdy brother who just had his heartbroken by his two-timing girlfriend, Jin (Celeste Seda). To add insult to injury, word gets around that she left him for an undocumented midget driving a garish, pumpkin-looking jalopy.

More importantly, she’s also Korean and the daughter of the owner of the only beauty supply store in this neck of the ‘hood. Brazilian Wavy, Film Review, African-American, hair industry, Korean, Aron Ranen, Kirk Henriquest, wacky comedyThat conveniently dovetails with the fact that Remy’s something of a scientist and has just invented a new styling gel called Brazilian Wavy which he’d like her father to carry.

But after being turned down, he hatches an elaborate plan to burglarize the store in the middle of the night  with the help of his brother Mavo (Lamont King) and roommate Zakia (Jasmine Burke). Of course, things don’t go as planned, and the ensuing developments are best left unspoiled.

Suffice to say that Brazilian Wavy is a fun way to learn that the chemicals black folks use in their hair can cause serious harm, like baldness and blindness. Nevertheless, many are willing to assume the risk and “Live by the perm, die by the perm, and go out in style.”

Very Good (3 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 21 minutes

Studio: Maroon Work

To see a trailer for Brazilian Wavy, visit: https://vimeo.com/174867558

 

Source:  Baret News

Oscar-Nominated Civil Rights Docudrama Released on DVD

 

Hidden Figures,  DVD Review by Kam Williams, NASA, African-American, female mathematicians, Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, Janelle MonaeHidden Figures

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Oscar-Nominated Civil Rights Docudrama Released on DVD 

All of the astronauts picked by NASA to participate in its maiden manned space programs, Mercury and Gemini, were white males. However, behind the scenes, there was a dedicated team of African-American, female mathematicians who played a pivotal role in ensuring that they launched and returned safely, whether from orbiting the Earth or a mission to the moon. 

  Equipped only with pencils and slide rules, these so-called “human computers” were among the best and the brightest minds recruited by NASA to do the critical calculations needed to win the space race with Russia. Author Margot Lee Shetterly gave these unsung heroines their due in “Hidden Figures,” a best seller belatedly crediting their quantitative contributions to the cause.

Besides chronicling their considerable accomplishments, the book also recounted the indignities these brilliant black women simultaneously suffered, simply because they had the misfortune to be living in Virginia during the dark days of Jim Crow. Back then, African-American brainiacs employed by NASA were automatically assigned to work in its segregated West Computing Group.

Directed by Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent), the overlooked icons’ story has now been adapted to the big screen as an uplifting, overcoming-the-odds docudrama. Nominated for a trio of Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer) The picture recounts the trials and tribulations of three members of the aforementioned West Computing Group: Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae).

We are flies on the wall when, without complaining, Katherine routinely has to run to a distant “Colored” ladies room despite the presence of one for whites right nearby. On another occasion, we witness Mary’s frustration in furthering her education on account of the fact that blacks aren’t allowed to matriculate at the local college offering the courses she needs.

By film’s end, both the bathroom and school are indeed integrated, albeit after an emotional intervention by NASA administrator Al Harrison (Kevin Costner). A worthwhile, teachable moment correcting a shameful chapter in American history.

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG for mature themes and mild epithets

Running time: 127 minutes

Distributor: Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: It All Adds Up – The Making of Hidden Figures;  Audio Commentary by director Theodore Melfi and Taraji P. Henson; deleted scenes; Hidden Figures: Filming in Georgia; and a stills gallery.

To order a copy of Hidden Figures on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTI1RHQ/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Original Source:  GIG News

Concerned Father Creates Children’s Book Series To Help Make Learning About Valuable Black History Information Fun Again

 

Concerned Father Creates Children’s Book Series To Help Make Learning About Valuable Black History Information Fun Again

 

Orlando, FL (January 16, 2017) – EOTO Books & Publishing announced today the immediate release of “The Christopher OluFela Series of Books for Kids” written by father and creative children’s picture book author Lee Chavous. The books take a unique approach to inform young readers of a rich African American history books for kids, Christopher OluFela, heritage, American history, freedom, African American, ancestry, young readersand their critical stories played throughout American History. Chavous said “The level of information in the books and the attention to details for young learners is often missed and too often not taught.”

The full set is comprised of four (4) titles thus far with the next currently in the writing process. Volume 1: “A Journey to Freedom” an easy-to-read, very informative book that gives kids a great overview of the African American ancestors’ journey when they first arrived in the Americas; Volume 2: “The Wonders of Africa” introduces young readers to why the African continent is such an important and interesting place in our world; Volume 3: “Dreams of My Ancestors” gives young readers a long-overdue look at who the African American ancestors were before they came to the Americas; Volume 4: “100 Roses” turns a bright spotlight on the many extraordinary African American women who displayed enormous bravery, courage, intelligence, and enterprise to overcome the tremendous odds against her to help African Americans gain civil rights and fair treatment in America. The book series is recommended for young readers and use by storytellers of every age.

 

The Christopher OluFela Series of Books for Kids:

A children’s book series to point out, not only were the African American ancestors multi-faceted human beings, but also they had a human history! They fought extremely hard to restore their human rights from the beginning against great obstacles, and paved the way for us to enjoy the many freedoms and liberties we enjoy today. Website: EOTOBOOKS.com

 

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Source:  GIG News

Gay Ghetto Kid Struggles with His Sexual Awakening in Homoerotic Coming of Age Flick

 

Moonlight,  Film Review by Kam Williams, African-American, ghetto culture, gay, abuseMoonlight

Film Review by Kam Williams

Gay Ghetto Kid Struggles with His Sexual Awakening in Homoerotic Coming of Age Flick

It isn’t bad enough that Chiron (Alex R. Hibbert/Ashton Sanders/Trevante Rhodes) is being raised by an emotionally-unavailable, drug-addicted, single-mom (Naomie Harris). The shy youngster also has the misfortune of having to hide the fact that he’s gay, since he’s experiencing pangs of sexual awakening in the midst of an African-American, ghetto culture which is homophobic to the point of violence.

Consequently, he finds himself not only being teased for being a “faggot” by a school bully (Patrick Decile) but sadistically beaten to a pulp by his best friend and secret lover, Kevin (Jaden Piner/Jharrel Jerome/Andre Holland). This sorry state of affairs has understandably left the closeted kid terribly confused.   

Fortunately, Chiron’s mom’s dealer, Juan (Mahershala Ali), and his wife, Teresa (Janelle Monae), have taken a personal interest in his welfare. They let Chiron crash at their crib whenever things get crazy at his dysfunctional mom’s apartment. So, at least he has a father figure, even if it’s the person pushing the poison that turned his mother into an irresponsible crack whore.

Such are the dire circumstances collaborating to torpedo the troubled protagonist’s potential in Moonlight, a homoerotic coming of age flick written and directed by Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy). The introspective mood piece follows the lead character’s evolution from age 9 into adulthood, with Chiron and Kevin each being played by a trio of different actors.

Moonlight,  Film Review by Kam Williams, African-American, ghetto culture, gay, abuse

The picture convincingly conveys the sheer desperation of an abandoned street urchin searching for an oasis of sanity in a hostile world without refuge. Though this picture never offers any easy answers, it certainly will nevertheless resonate with countless black gays who’ve survived similar abuse during formative years spent negotiating their way through a merciless, macho, inner-city gauntlet    

A decidedly-dystopic, African-American answer to the relatively-sedate, suburban bildungsromanserved up by Boyhood!

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for sexuality, drug use, pervasive profanity, ethnic slurs and graphic violence

Running time: 110 minutes

Studio: Plan B Entertainment

Distributor: A24

Source:  Baret News