Paula Dofat, director of college counseling at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, is one of the subjects of “Step,” the uplifting and feel-good movie of the summer. Dofat considers her own unconventional path of attending six different colleges — including community college, state and Ivy League schools — as a blessing in disguise. Her personal college setbacks and successes enable her to better relate to her students and to understand what they’re going through financially, academically and emotionally.
There’s drama, action, comedy, conflict and suspense. It has all the elements of a great movie but here’s the thing: It’s not just a movie. It’s a true story based on a year in the lives of real people that will leave you wanting more.
The dramatic follow-up on “An Inconvenient Truth” follows former Vice President Al Gore as he crisscrosses the globe, training an army of climate champions.
Melissa Etheridge, Joss Stone electrify audience at 38th annual Montreal International Jazz Festival
Etheridge, who hadn’t performed at the Montreal International Jazz festival in 28 years, more than made up for the lost time during her electrifying nearly two-hour performance.
At the age of 45, Taggett was cast as Oliver Warbucks in the national touring production of the musical “Annie,” and according to him, it was worth the wait. Despite taking place during the Great Depression,"Annie" continues to resonate with audiences today “because the story is truthful. It is honest,” says Taggett.
Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson as the voice of James Baldwin, the documentary uses the words, images and interviews of the influential author, playwright and social critic to explore and analyze the issues of race in America.
Author Margot Lee Shetterly, whose book is the basis for the film “Hidden Figures,” sat down with the Banner to talk about Dorothy Vaughan and the legacy of these pioneering women.
“Fences” is the story of Troy Maxson, a married sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh, who once dreamed of being a professional baseball player, but was too old when the major leagues began admitting black players. Frustrated by the lack of opportunities and regulated to the role of garbage man, Maxson lashes out at those closest to him, and makes a decision that threatens to tear his family apart.
What began three years ago as the blog Brown & Coconut, has since morphed into a natural skin care company of the same name. Created by sisters Letisha and Zeena Brown, the 100% plant-based, non-GMO, cruelty-free and unisex skin care line, Brown & Coconut, was officially launched after three years of research and development in May of 2016 at the Mall Street Market at the Natick Mall. It’s an indoor market featuring artisans and foodies from the New England area.
Jeff Kaufman came to Boston recently to screen his documentary “Father Joseph” at The Boston Foundation in conjunction with The Haiti Development Institute, The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, and the Raising Haiti initiative on October 7.
Rose’s album explores the struggles and the ups and downs of being an artist.
Comedian Loni Love’s Café Mocha was created exclusively by and for women of color.
Lane, who relishes in letting life take its course and in being free to think and feel, was able to channel that into her character, Star, who is also on her own path of figuring out her life and who she is.
Opening this Friday in theaters nationwide, “Denial” is a film based on true events in the life of author, historian and scholar Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta.
The RISE music series kicks off its second season with a sold out show featuring Grammy-nominated singer Amel Larrieux on Thursday, October 13 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Calderwood Hall.
LaMarr plays Barry Belson in a musical that tells the true story of four blue-collar guys from Newark, New Jersey, who became one of the biggest musical acts of all time.
Ms. Pat to play Laugh Boston
Ms. Pat creates visually compelling and engrossing stories that cross gender, ethnicity and economic status through her stand up and uses comedy to bring audiences into her world.
The film examines the concept of identity and reinvention through the life of one woman who takes on a new name, career and life every few years.
Morris Chestnut, Regina Hall reunite in psychological thriller
Morris chestnut and Regina Hall star as John and Laura Taylor, who, after many years of desperately trying for a baby, decide to go the surrogate route. But they soon learn that the woman they hire is not what she appears to be and become entangled in a web of lies and an obsession that endangers them all.
Los Angeles native Markees Christmas, making his film debut, gets to live out his dream as a rapper (albeit in a small way) in Hartigan’s feel-good coming-of-age tale “Morris From America.” In a breakout performance, Christmas stars as 13-year-old Morris Gentry who relocates to Heidelberg, Germany with his widowed dad, Curtis, played by Craig Robinson.
Named earlier this year by Variety magazine as one of their “Top 10 Documakers to Watch,” Deborah Riley Draper is driven by passion to tell the stories of the numerous unsung African American trailblazers and heroes whose achievements and lives have been either ignored or buried in our collective history.
Set in New York City, Don’t Think Twice is a warm, funny, engaging and insightful look into the lives of six improv performers — Jack (Keegan-Michael Key of “Key & Peele”), Sam (Gillian Jacobs from HBO’s “Girls”), Allison (Kate Micucci of the comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates); Lindsay (Tami Sagher, writer/producer on “Inside Amy Schumer”); Bill (Chris Gethard, host and star of Fusion’s "The Chris Gethard Show”); and Miles (Mike Birbiglia, “Trainwreck” and “Orange is the New Black”) — who after 11 years of hitting the stage together nightly in hopes of making it big, are faced with the realization that not all of them will be able to make their dreams come true.
Gray spoke to the Banner about her role as elementary school teacher Kate in If/Then, being on American Idol and how discovering Prince helped her grow up.
Yoba spoke with the Banner about “Bad Dad Rehab,” his entrepreneurial spirit, and the lifestyle company and innovation studio he co-founded called iconic 32.
Kurios is a magical universe set in the Victorian era where the imagination has no boundaries, and all is possible.
RIFF will screen approximately 54 films, shorts and documentaries from across the globe in a wide array of genres. The current slate of films reflect and explore a broad range of topics from racism and diversity, to bullying, family dramas and relationships, to living one’s dream and fatherless homes.
The actress tackles the title role of Miki Howard in TV One’s first ever bio-pic “Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story” airing this Sunday and starred in Spike Lee’s film “Chi-Raq” last October. She spoke to the Banner about prepping to play Howard, filming Chi-Raq in Chicago and what #BlackGirlMagic means to her.
‘Matilda The Musical’ comes to the Boston Opera House
Esther M. Antoine spoke to the Banner about her path to musical theater and her role in “Matilda the Musical,” a production based on a book from popular children’s writer Roald Dahl.
Josh Kriegman talks about the making of his documentary
Josh Kriegman, who served as Anthony Weiner’s chief of staff for two years when he was in Congress, knew that the former U.S. Representative would be a great subject for a documentary.
In a career that includes print, radio, television, and digital, Roland S. Martin has continually pushed the envelope for excellence in journalism by asking the tough questions and pushing for answers, doing the research, and challenging those who simply throw out facts without being able to back them up. Named Journalist of the Year in 2013 by the National Association of Black Journalists, Martin is host and managing editor of TV One’s first national daily news program, News One Now. The program presents issues and stories from the world of politics, entertainment, sports and culture that have an impact on the African American community.
Jensen Jacobs was in Boston for the screening of “TRI,” the drama she stars in, at the Boston International Film Festival. She spoke to the Banner about tackling the role of Natalie, training for the film and why she’s inspired by The Rock.
Shot in Dublin, Ireland and inspired by Carney’s life and love of music, “Sing Street” tells the story of 14 year-old Conor in 1980s Dublin who’s looking for a way to break free of his strained family life, while trying to adjust to a new and tough inner-city public school.
Exhibit depicts South and Fannie Lou Hamer
Painter and collage artist, Ekua Holmes has long championed the beauty, the uniqueness, and the history of Roxbury and its residents through her collages and paintings. In her latest exhibit titled, “Deeply Rooted,” the Roxbury native includes collages of civil rights activist/leader Fannie Lou Hamer, her grandfather, Comado Hendrix, as well as her father’s family members.
Urban Improv’s major fundraiser “Banned in Boston” was a resounding success, with laughter taking place both on and off the stage.
Authenticity and owning your power were two of the central messages at this year’s 37th Annual Simmons Leadership Conference. The conference’s official theme was Women Leading Change.
Hailing from Milton, Mass., actor Elimu Nelson has been steadily making his mark in Hollywood for the past 10 years. He spoke with the banner on his latest film projects.
Since the fall of 2015, Blanchard has been a visiting scholar at Berklee College of Music; he took time to speak to the Banner about the progress of the students and what he’s learned from them over the course of the year.
Carla Harris to speak at Simmons Women’s Leadership Conference
Named to Fortune Magazine’s list of “The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America,” Carla Harris has been blazing trails for more than 30 years. The financial powerhouse is the vice chairman of Wealth Management and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley.
Artist blends R&B, soul, jazz and hip-hop
Once called the “spiritual love child of Sade and D’Angelo” by Rolling Stone magazine, singer and songwriter Goapele (pronounced gwa-puh-lay) brings her smooth blend of R&B, soul, and jazz and hip hop music to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on March 31 as part of the RISE Music Series.
The film, out now in theaters nationwide, stars Fey, Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina, Margot Robbie and Billy Bob Thornton, and is based on Barker’s autobiography “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” The memoir chronicles her experiences as a first-time foreign correspondent reporting on the war in Afghanistan, beginning in 2002 for The Chicago Tribune, “shuffling” between Afghanistan and Pakistan, navigating the politics of both countries and the U.S. military — all the while learning to understand the culture and figuring out her life and her place in this new and unpredictable world.
Ron Funches stars as the loveable, sweet and happy-go-lucky character Shelly on the NBC sitcom “Undateable,” about a group of friends trying to figure out life, love and relationship. The actor, comedian and writer brings his unique delivery, quick wit and laid-back demeanor to Laugh Boston tonight through Saturday.
Pereyra, who began her formal dance training at the Boston Arts Academy, joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2011, and is a featured dancer in all of the Ailey premieres this season. She is set to perform in several works when the world-renowned dance troupe returns to Boston March 17-20 at the Citi Performing Arts Center — as part of the 45th presentation by the Celebrity Series of Boston.
The Prelude connects communities to local artists and musicians
New arts and cultural organization the Boston Arts & Music Soul Collective aims to bring more visibility to the local music and arts scene for people of color. To further this, the BAMS Collective is hosting the Prelude, a traveling art and music series held around the Greater Boston area six times this year and six times in 2017.
In just three years, actress Jasmine Carmichael has gone from ensemble player in the Kwame Kwei-Armah-directed play “Dance of The Holy Ghosts” at Center Stage in Baltimore to lead actress in playwright Kirsten Greenidge’s “Milk Like Sugar” at the Calderwood Pavilion in the South End.
Fredi Walker-Browne originated the role of ‘JoAnne Jefferson’ in Jonathan Larson’s 1996 Tony Award-winning musical “Rent.” Twenty years later, Rent’s anniversary is celebrated with Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production of the iconic musical and a free seminar called “Storytelling for Actors” presented by Walker-Browne.
This Saturday former Saturday Night Live cast member Ana Gasteyer performs in concert at Sanders Theatre as part of the Celebrity Series of Boston. Her upcoming performance is described as “evoking the swagger of an era when a lady ruled a nightclub and an audience knew they were in for a good time.”
Known for giving a real, oftentimes raw, and a “no-holds barred” perspective on relationships in his standup, Corey Holcomb brings the truth in the battle between the sexes in his latest comedy special taping “Book Of Coreythians” on Friday at The Wilbur.
One of Gabrielle McClinton’s biggest dreams — appearing on Broadway — materialized in 2013 when McClinton starred as the Leading Player in the Tony® Award-winning musical revival “Pippin” under the direction of Tony® Award-winning director Diane Paulus. “Pippin,” which originally premiered on Broadway in 1972 with Ben Vereen as the Leading Player, tells the story of Pippin, a young prince, who’s on a journey to find meaning in his life.
In Kirsten Greenidge’s Obie Award-winning play ‘Milk Like Sugar,’ which is set to premiere on January 29 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, she once again touches upon the intersection of race and class through three teenage girls — Annie (Jasmine Carmichael), Talisha (Shazi Raja) and Margie (Carolina Sanchez) — who enter into a “pregnancy pact.”
Winner of the Europa Cinemas Prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and a 2015 Golden Globe nominee in the category of Best Foreign-Language Film (it lost to Hungary’s “Son of Saul” this past Monday), “Mustang” is a captivating and beautifully written and directed film that tells the story of five modern-day teenage sisters living with their grandmother in the remote village of Inebolu in northern Turkey, who are imprisoned by their family for what they believe is sexually-illicit behavior on the part of the girls.