Houston African Film Festival February 2015

Houston African Film Festival

February 6-8

HoustonAfricanFilmFestival.org

The Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC) announces the Houston African Film Festival February 6-8 at the museum. The museum has partnered with the Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF)  to bring Houston a weekend film festival that promotes an understanding and appreciation of Africa and Africans through moving images. The weekend showcase of films from various African countries will take audiences of all ages across the continent, presenting a mix of feature films, shorts, documentaries and animations from Africa’s seasoned and emerging first-voice filmmakers.

Opening night features the Ethiopian narrative film Horizon Beautiful, about a child who sets a mischievous plan in motion to become the next soccer star.  The closing night film, The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo, a Ghanaian documentary about the beloved Ghanaian playwright and author.  Sandwiched between them on Saturday, February 7, with Director Peres Owino in attendance, is BOUND: Africans versus African Americans, a hard hitting documentary that addresses the hidden tension that exists between Africans and African Americans.  An additional highlight is the Saturday Afternoon community dialogue, “Black Roots, Disparate Connections: The African Diaspora in the 21st Century.”

Schedule of Events

Cosby May Have Done It, But It Was Still a Set-Up

The War Against Positive Black Television Programs

After learning about NBC dropping Bill Cosby’s “classic family” show during development, I am starting to believe that Phylicia Rashad was right about there being an agenda against him. Considering the television shows that currently represent black culture and families, there seems to be a purposeful mission to portray Black America as negatively as possible. If Cosby’s new show was any reflection of what was portrayed on the original Cosby Show, it is not surprising that Hollywood would sabotage his efforts. It only appears to be interested in negative Black images. The current scripted and reality shows with majority Black casts and/or Black lead characters tell that story.

After the allegations of Cosby committing sex crimes resurfaced, NBC wasted little time severing ties and dropping this “classic family” show. The problem is, even if Mr. Cosby committed the crimes, it does not mean that someone did not mastermind the timing so that his new work would not see daylight. The stories have been around for over two decades. Social media may have made them more prevalent, but how likely is it that NBC had not heard these claims? Furthermore, if he committed the crimes, he was not convicted. If he had been convicted, he should still be able to work because prisoners and ex-prisoners are allowed to work. Yet, Cosby is a free man and he is having his work taken away from him. While I believe that there is some truth behind the allegations and everyone involved deserved their day in court, I also believe that people creating positive Black images on television are needed. Entertainment plays such a big role in shaping the perception of groups of people that it is disappointing the public will not have the opportunity to witness what was intended to be a positive Black family show.

For more on the representation of Black America on television, “Sorority Sisters, Scandal, and Black Women on TV.”

 

Dr. King Had More Than a Dream- #ReclaimMLK

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

“There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (March On Washington 1963) 

As I think about the recent history of America and Dr. King’s legacy, I realize that not much has has changed in the 54 years since his famous “I Have a Dream” Speech. Over the years since his death, it is unfortunate to see the whitewashing and watering down that has been done this powerful and profound civil rights figure. In honor of #Reclaim MLK day and respecting his entire legacy, the one that tells us not to “sit down,” not to get too comfortable, but to keep pressing, I would am sharing some of Dr. Kings quotes beyond “I have a dream.”

 The Birth of a New Nation (1957)

“So don’t go out this morning with any illusions. Don’t go back into your homes and around Montgomery thinking that the Montgomery City Commission and that all of the forces in the leadership of the South will eventually work out this thing for Negroes, it’s going to work out; it’s going to roll in on the wheels of inevitability. If we wait for it to work itself out, it will never be worked out. Freedom only comes through persistent revolt, through persistent agitation, through persistently rising up against the system of evil. The bus protest is just the beginning. Buses are integrated in Montgomery, but that is just the beginning. And don’t sit down and do nothing now because the buses are integrated, because, if you stop now, we will be in the dungeons of segregation and discrimination for another hundred years, and our children and our children’s children will suffer all of the bondage that we have lived under for years. It never comes voluntarily. We’ve got to keep on keeping on in order to gain freedom. It never comes like that. It would be fortunate if the people in power had sense enough to go on and give up, but they don’t do it like that. It is not done voluntarily, but it is done through the pressure that comes about from people who are oppressed.”

12 Statements by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. You Won’t See Conservatives Post on Facebook Today

Eulogy for The Martyred Children (1963) 

[Delivered at funeral service for three of the children—Addie Mae Collins, Carol Denise McNair, and Cynthia Diane Wesley—killed in the bombing. A separate service was held for the fourth victim, Carole Robertson.]

“These children—unoffending, innocent, and beautiful—were the victims of one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity.

“And yet they died nobly. They are the martyred heroines of a holy crusade for freedom and human dignity. And so this afternoon in a real sense they have something to say to each of us in their death. They have something to say to every minister of the gospel who has remained silent behind the safe security of stained-glass windows. They have something to say to every politician [Audience:] (Yeah) who has fed his constituents with the stale bread of hatred and the spoiled meat of racism. They have something to say to a federal government that has compromised with the undemocratic practices of southern Dixiecrats (Yeah) and the blatant hypocrisy of right-wing northern Republicans. (Speak) They have something to say to every Negro (Yeah) who has passively accepted the evil system of segregation and who has stood on the sidelines in a mighty struggle for justice. They say to each of us, black and white alike, that we must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers. Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American dream.”

The March on Washington (I Have a Dream) Speech (1963)

“It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.”

The nation has not changed much since 1963. True freedom has not yet been attained. Black Americans still face police brutality, unemployment, and race based discrimination at an alarmingly high rate. Just because a few of us have “made it” in the eyes of today’s lost culture, it does not mean that we truly have arrived at the place for which our forefathers such as Dr. King fought. Dr. King had a dream, his dream has not been fulfilled. In order to fulfill it, we must reflect upon his words that are often not mentioned- change comes through revolt and pressure. Now is not the time to stop. Now is not the time to sit down because we think we can sit anywhere we choose. The fact that we can have situations such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner is recent proof that we must continue the fight.

Sorority Sisters, Scandal, and Black Women on TV

Copyright of VH1

Why the On-Screen Portrayal of Black Women Matters

I am not a member of a sorority and I have no sorority aspirations. I am, however, standing in agreement with those who are boycotting VH1 and the show “Sorority Sisters. I have heard the outcry of hypocrisy from non-sorority members. They want to know why now is the degradation of Black women such a major concern. They question where was this strong, concerted effort to shut down negative reality TV shows that came before “Sorority Sisters.” Moreover, these women are crying foul and claiming that these same protestors have no problem hailing “Scandal” and Shonda Rhimes as the Second Coming and bowing down at the stilettos and wine glass of the home-wrecking mistress Olivia Pope. These non-BGLO members want to know what is the difference between Rhimes and Mona Scott Young. The answer is- there is none. There is no difference between the two and the argument that “Scandal” is scripted television and “Sorority Sisters” is a reality TV show is flimsy at best.

Listen to Now With Nicole Radio

Sorority Sisters Vs. Scandal- Why Shonda Rhimes Gets a Pass and Mona Scott Young Doesn’t

Whether it is scripted, reality, or the news, the media and television have a way of shaping perceptions of groups. If the only thing that society witnesses is a picture of Black women behaving badly, many are going to believe that is the reality. It is irrelevant from which medium comes this belief. When someone is perceived as violent, uneducated, immoral, and violent, that is often the way they are treated. The implication of the power of television to influence social issues, treatment by the criminal justice system, and economic equality in matters such as employment and supporting Black owned businesses is astounding.

It is for these reasons that I hope the efforts of the peaceful protestors go far beyond removing “Sorority Sisters” because it “disrespects” their letters. I want to see what will happen if the boycotters dig deeper and continue this fight against media and television across the board. I want to see what will happen if they continue to use their influence to petition advertisers not to support these shows. Without advertisement dollars, these shows will fail. Furthermore, if the current movement is any indication of what happens when people come together and use their economic power to influence change, it is proof that methods, such as boycotts, are still relevant.

Now With Nicole: Sorority Sisters vs. Scandal- Why Shonda Gets a Pass and Mona Scott Young Does Not

On today’s episode of Now With Nicole, we are discussing the boycott of VH1’s “Sorority Sisters;’ why start boycotting now, and how is the portrayal of Black women on reality TV any worse than that on Shonda Rhimes’s shows.

We Are Our Children’s Keepers 

On tonight’s podcast/Google Hangout simulcast of “Now With Nicole,” we will be discussing the education of our children and why we should play the most important role. We will also be doing a review of homeschool curricula and resources. For more information about “Now With Nicole,” you can find us on the web at http://NowWithNicole.com. You may view the Hangout, below, or tune-in to the live radio show here.

Now With Nicole Radio- Josh Gordan Vs. Ray Rice

On Air

Things that Do Not Make Sense

On tonight’s episode of “Now With Nicole”- Josh Gordon’s suspension for marijuana use versus Ray Rice’s 2-day suspension for domestic abuse; adults picking on children; careless, and committing fraud against your spouse or child. If video is not working, please tune- in athttp://www.toginet.com/shows/nowwithnicole.

Now With Nicole: Ferguson, President Obama’s Non-Response Response, Modern Day Apartheid, and Looting

Not This, Again!

August 20, 2014

Now With Nicole Radio Podcast

On today’s  #podcast  and  #hangout  simulcast , join us as we discuss the issue in Ferguson, why President Obama should care about being called out on his non-response, and reasons they are “rioting” and why this is bigger than Missouri. Tune-in here.

Stephen A. Smith Versus Michelle Beadle and Raising a Generation of “Bad Bitches”

On Air

Why Stephen A. Smith Was Right… Sort Of

http://www.miriamnicolehuffman.com

Recently, ESPN2’s “First Take” sportscaster- Stephen A. Smith was suspended for comments regarded as some to mean that abused women can be to blame by provoking men to violence. His colleague, Michelle Beadle took to Twitter to display her disgust and dismay by comparing Smith’s comments to someone getting sexually assaulted for wearing a skirt. As a survivor and advocate, I find Beadle’s comment emotion baiting and in extremely poor taste.

There is a difference between a woman, minding her business, walking down the street who gets accosted by a man and a woman, who decides she wants to put her hands on a man.

It is no surprise, however, that so many are outraged by Smith’s comment which was taken completely out of context. At no time did he blame a domestic violence victim for being abused. Maybe he could have chosen better wording, maybe not. The point he made, however, cannot rationally be disputed- people need to keep their hands to themselves or bad things could happen. Unfortunately, in this day and age, the BB Movement (BBM) has taken over and some believe that the “BBs” bad behavior is acceptable because of their sex.

When matters such as abuse arise, many want to end the conversation with, “Men shouldn’t hit women- period.” Where there is a period in that sentence, however, there should be a comma. The reality is that men should not hit women and women should not hit men. Domestic violence is domestic violence whether it’s the man or the woman who is the abuser. We have been sucked into the “BBM” when we teach our girls and young women that it is okay for them to behave in any unruly manner they want because of their gender. Not only is this problematic, but it is dangerous, because getting physical with the wrong person could end the girl’s life.

Listen to the Now With Nicole Podcast

“Stephen A. Smith versus Michelle Beadle and Domestic Violence in Sports”

All people need to learn not to hit others. Self-control is not just for men. The only issue I take with Smith is that provocation becomes a moot point when each person decides to control his or her own actions. As a believer in Christ, one of the major lessons I was taught was to pursue peace as much as it is up to me and to not be a stumbling block for my brother. Any person who puts their hands on another- be it man-on-woman, woman-on-man, man-on-man, or woman-on-woman, he or she has violated this principle and may face the consequences of doing so. This does not mean that abuse is right; it just means that it is a very real possibility when you act violently. Being a “bad b” can get you killed.

Photo Credit publik16 via photopin cc

Why Tony Dungy Was Right; Michael Sam Should Shut Up and Play Ball; Pam Oliver’s Demotion and Social Media, and More

On Air

The Quip Radio Show

July 23, 2014 

On this episode of the Quip questions are raised about people not being able to have a valid opinion without being persecuted by the media. Newsflash, everything is not because you are gay, black, or a white man, sometimes, you just aren’t qualified. Tony Dungy was right. Michael Sam is a distraction who is acting like a super star without having played one down in the NFL. Also I opine on whether the hate that was thrown towards Pam Oliver and her hair by some in the African American community led to her demotion at Fox. Listen to the re-play. If you prefer video, watch now.

Get in Touch

See you soon!