Controversial film producer Nate Parker talks with “GMA” co-anchor Robin Roberts about his film’s significance and addresses allegations from his past.
When some people talk about the effects of slavery in this country, they like to argue that it was a long time ago. And Black folk should get over it. The argument is flawed. Not only are we still dealing with the remnants of slavery; but the way the prison industrial complex is set up, slavery just took on a different form in this country. It is this topic that filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores in her new documentary 13th.
The new film will be screened at the upcoming New York Film Festival and will have a limited theatrical release. It will have a home on Netflix.
In the trailer alone different experts talk about how after the 13th amendment abolished slavery, with the exception of those sentenced to serve jail or prison time, the narrative that Black men were inherently dangerous and criminal became pervasive in this country. And now, today, 1 of four imprisoned people in the world are living in the United States. They specifically mention Kalief Browder, the 16-year-old who was thrown into Riker’s after he was wrongly accused of stealing a backpack. He spent three years in prison waiting for a trial, two of them in solitary confinement. Even after he was acquitted and released, he had a hard time adjusting afterward and eventually took his life.
The trailer also shows clips of both presidential candidates, Clinton, Trump and former president Bill Clinton using rhetoric that played right into this billion dollar system.
New York Film Festival Director Kent Jones hailed the film as an act of “true patriotism.”
DuVernay herself said, “This film was made as an answer to my own questions about how and why we have become the most incarcerated nation in the world, how and why we regard some of our citizens as innately criminal, and how and why good people allow this injustice to happen generation after generation. I thank Kent Jones and the selection committee for inviting me to share what I’ve learned.”
13th will be streaming on Netflix on October 7.
Originally posted on Madame Noire
Lucious, Cookie & the rest of the Lyons are back for more “Empire” realness tonight.
Check out a few spoilers from ibtimes.com before the season premieres.
“Empire” has lined up some big names to make appearances on Season 3. Probably the most buzzed-about guest star is Mariah Carey, who was tapped to play Kitty. The character is described as a friend of Cookie’s (Taraji P. Henson). She will also help Jamal (Jussie Smollett) overcome some challenges and make a musical breakthrough before collaborating on a song with him. Carey’s episode will air Oct. 5.
French Montana is also joining “Empire” in a guest starring role as Vaughn, a music mogul who has ties to Lucious (Terrence Howard). Fans will also see Taye Diggs on Season 3, playing a character named Angelo Dubois. Angelo sounds like he’s going to be an interesting character. Not only is he said to be a rumored love interest for Cookie, Angelo comes from a wealthy African-American family and forgoes making millions working in the private sector to focus on local politics and community organizing. Angelo is said to be similar to President Barack Obama. Former “The Cosby Show” star Phylicia Rashad will play Angelo’s mother, Diana Dubois. Variety previously reported that Diana is the matriarch of her family and is determined to see that her son works in higher office.
Other guest stars include Birdman as himself, “Daddy’s Little Girls” star Sierra McClain as singer Nessa and Romeo Miller as Gram. The role of Gram first went to Kid Cudi but the rapper left the series over “creative differences,” Entertainment Weekly reported. Gram will be a rival to Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) and the new boyfriend of Tiana (Serayah McNeil).
A Major Character Death
Season 2 of “Empire” ended with Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) and Anika (Grace Gealey) fighting each other outside on a roof. Andre (Trai Byers) came up to the roof to get a pregnant Anika, but witnessed one of them falling over the edge. The episode ended with Andre staring at what just happened in horror and disbelief.
Even though it’s not clear what exactly happened on that roof, it was revealed that either Anika or Rhonda dies. During an interview with “Extra” last month, Henson confirmed that one of the ladies doesn’t survive the fall. “They send us the script and then everybody’s calling each other like, ‘What? What? What?’” Henson teased. Thankfully, fans won’t have to wait long to find out whether Anika or Rhonda met a grim death. “Empire” showrunner Ilene Chaiken told Variety it will be addressed in a “fabulous and heart-stopping way” early in Season 3.
Episode 1 Synopsis
As mentioned, the Season 3 premiere will pick up immediately following the events in last season. The synopsis (via TV Guide) states: “Season 3 picks up with Hakeem left at the altar, Lucious and Anika newly married, and someone falling off a roof during a fight.” Fans will also see Lucious trying to make his streaming service a “huge success,” but running into complications with his half-brother Tariq (Morocco Omari).
Young Lucious and Cookie
Up-and-coming stars Jeremy Carver and Ajiona Alexus have been added to the Season 3 cast as a young Lucious and Cookie, respectively. According to Deadline, flashbacks will reveal how Lucious and Cookie first met when they were teenagers. A young Cookie is described as a “beautiful” and “innocent” teenager attending Catholic school. Even though Cookie is young, she still has that “spark.” Teenage Lucious is said to have a “bad-boy edge” that catches Cookie’s attention. Joining Alexus and Carver is newcomer Ezri Walker, who plays a nerdy 16-year-old aspiring rapper named Zeah.
Timbaland Leaves Music Team
Timbaland led the music team for Seasons 1 and 2, but he won’t be leading it for the third season. Shawn Holiday, senior VP of A&R for Columbia Records, which releases the show’s music, told Billboard that Timbaland is leaving because the show is going in a different direction for Season 3. “We dealt with a lot of family drama in the first season,” he said. “So we’re going for the same success with upcoming songs like ‘Mama,’ about Cookie being the backbone of the family, and a duet with Mariah Carey and Jussie Smollett.” Songwriter Rodney Jerkins is taking over as supervising music producer. Singer/songwriter Ester Dean also joined the music team, along with songwriters Johntá Austin, Makeba Riddick and Jesse St. John. Ne-Yo and J.R. Rotem are returning for Season 3.
I must admit I was never an avid “Empire” watcher, but after seeing the 3rd season previews, this season looks packed full of salacious industry drama — just like we love it! I might have to catch up on the past 2 seasons.
Empire Season 3 Premieres TONIGHT on FOX – 9pm EST
Will YOU be watching?
Check out this scathing eye opening short documentary in which Hov addresses the war on drugs in the U.S.
Why are white men poised to get rich doing the same thing African-Americans have been going to prison for?
New York Times:
This short film, narrated by Jay Z (Shawn Carter) and featuring the artwork of Molly Crabapple, is part history lesson about the war on drugs and part vision statement. As Ms. Crabapple’s haunting images flash by, the film takes us from the Nixon administration and the Rockefeller drug laws — the draconian 1973 statutes enacted in New York that exploded the state’s prison population and ushered in a period of similar sentencing schemes for other states — through the extraordinary growth in our nation’s prison population to the emerging aboveground marijuana market of today.
We learn how African-Americans can make up around 13 percent of the United States population — yet 31 percent of those arrested for drug law violations, even though they use and sell drugs at the same rate as whites.
Do you agree with Jay Z or nah?
Join the discussion.