Mazel and Jackhole

Have a stood up for something good? Have you made a difference? Have you simply put smiles on others’s faces? You are my MAZEL. if you have done the opposite, you are my JACKHOLE baby! and I will fish you out and throw you under the bus. Better watch out
Anyone can be my mazel, as long as you are making a difference and doing something that others aren’t. You are a Pioneer, and I will feature you here just so others can celebrate you for your good works. #welldone

Kerry Washington’s Purse, New Weapon Against Domestic Violence

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Kerry Washington may not have ever experienced domestic violence, but that doesn’t mean she can’t use her voice or her celebrity powers to continue the conversation–especially when it’s a subject that’s been hushed for too long.

The face of Scandal has partnered up with the Allstate Foundation once again, just in time for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, to encourage women to speak up about both the abuse and the financial burdens that come about in abusive relationships. In a collaborative design effort with Dee Ocleppo, Kerry Washington assisted in creating the 2015 Purple Purse for Allstate’s campaign, where the actress has also been appointed ambassador. This is the starlet’s second take on a purse with the organization where she debuted her first chic bag last year.

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The significance of using a clutch as a conversation-starter on the topic stemmed from the impact of economic abuse on relationships and the need to put “financial control and freedom directly into [women’s] hands.” A 2009 national Allstate Foundation poll found over 75% of Americans believe the recession further strained domestic violence victims and survivors and 67% believe the poor economy caused an increase in domestic violence. They also reported “57% of cities cite domestic violence against women and children as top cause of homelessness.”

Kerry Washington spoke her involvement in the major project and the empowerment behind the purse.
“Financial abuse is prevalent in 98% of the cases of domestic violence and the number one reason why women go back to abusers. These women don’t feel like they can take care of themselves financially.”

“Purple purse assists women in becoming financially independent and saves their lives and their families. I love being able to be part of that solution.”

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On why she chose a purse, the Emmy-nominated star mentioned the symbolism behind the fashion piece.

“A purse is where your financial well being lives. All of the things that are of value to you live in your purse, so it’s kind of the perfect metaphor for this work.”

On the Purple Purse website, Allstate invites their users to experience how financial abuse keeps victims trapped through an interactive video — and it’s chilling. The beginning of the visual starts with the viewer hearing a glass shatter as she washes dishes and the screen asks:

You’re a 33-year-old, stay-at-home mom, married since the summer after college. In the past few years, financial troubles have pushed your husband’s temper from jealous to controlling to physical. You no longer feel safe in your own home.

Do you want to stay or leave?

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The user is then navigated through steps she would take if she decides to leave, and a few issues she would encounter, such as not having the financial means to get out of the relationship. Do you call a friend? Turn to a family member? Run off to a hotel?

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The video proves that although it’s easy for bystanders to ask, “Why don’t you leave?,” many women may not have the financial means to do so. That is where the Purple Purse initiative comes in as it teaches women financial tools such as saving, debt management, and credit clean up.
The $350 purse is available at Saks Fifth Avenue, with 25% of the proceeds going towards more than 160 domestic violence organizations across the nation and locally. These programs aim to provide life-changing services to survivors. And if that’s too much for your wallet, Purple Purse is also selling awareness charms for $10. The charms serve as a symbol to show victims they are not alone, with a detachable card of a survivor’s story.

Check out Kerry Washington’s purse and PSA on the making of the purple purse below and let us know ways you speak out against abuse amongst women.

Are you a domestic violence survivor? What were some of the reasons you stayed? What gave you the strength to ultimately leave?

Culled from XOnecole.com

Meet Kanya Sesser, the Lingerie Model With No Legs Who’s Inspiring Confidence in Others

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Kanya Sesser is not your average 23-year-old woman. She was born without legs and began her life deserted on the steps of a Thai Buddhist temple. It was a rough start, to be sure. But Sesser didn’t let that stop her from becoming a Los Angeles-based lingerie model with a lucrative career.

Sesser was adopted when she was 5 years old and moved from Thailand to Portland, Oregon. After she did a photoshoot for Billabong at age 15, she was approached to model lingerie, the young woman told the Daily Mail. Sesser has also modeled for Volcom, Rip Curl Girl and Nike.

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“It’s something fun and it shows my story — I’m different and that is sexy,” Sesser told the Daily Mail. “I don’t need legs to feel sexy.”

“I like expressing myself in a different way than people usually see,” she said. “This is just who I am.”

The young model is also an avid sportswoman (opting to travel around on a skateboard instead of in a wheelchair) and has excelled in a number of arenas — skateboarding, surfing and basketball, to name a few. She has her sights set on the 2018 Paralympics in South Korea, where she hopes to represent the United States in mono-skiing.
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Sesser’s career is reinforcing body-positive attitudes, redefining beauty standards in the process. “We want to challenge the unrealistic standard of beauty that’s there now,” Wendy Crawford, a disabled activist who has also modeled, told Elle.

“I think all women have a hard time with body image and self acceptance, and if we could see our assets and our qualities as opposed to looking at ourselves negatively and not let the outside world define us, we can do anything,” she added. Historically, the modeling industry has lacked diversity in a range of areas, including race, age and size.
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Sesser never planned on being a model and intends on continuing her career as a sportswoman, she told the Daily Mail. Despite not having planned for a modeling career, the young woman still finds it fun. As for why she enjoys modeling so much, Sesser simply says: “These images show my strength.”
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Follow this beauty and see some of her amazing unbelievable photos on instagram @kanyasesser
For this awesomeness and the spirit she brings to the world, Ms Sesser, you are my Mazel of the day.

Climb With Remi, Cause After My Heart

Remi Abere at Mount Kilimanjaro

Remi Abere at Mount Kilimanjaro

Climb With Remi Facebook Page

This is a public service announcement to all Nigerians at home and in Diaspora, all Africans who want to fight against poverty and sufferings, and to citizens of every country around the world who acknowledge that suffering to one is suffering to all of humanity. The Climb With Remi initiative is one that plans to show Remi Abere, alongside friends, family and supporters as they climb mountain Kilimanjaro for a cause. At 49 years of age, She first climbed the same mountain last year, risking it all (work, four kids, husband etc.) just to challenge herself and to achieve personal fulfillment.
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This year she is embarking on the journey a second time and this time it’s not just for fun, its for a cause. The #climbwithremi initiative plans to use this medium to raise awareness and funds for the various internally displaced persons (IDP)camps across Nigeria. The website launches in a few weeks but you can still be a part of the movement right now.
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Here’s how; Follow Climb With Remi on twitter @climbwithremi, like the Facebook page in link above and sign up for the newsletter on the website page www.climbwithremi.com and get updates and progress as the climb approaches.You can also make donations on the website and share updates on social media with the hashtag #climbwithremi. Let everyone know that you are part of such an amazing extravaganza. If you have ever wanted to be part of a cause that makes a real difference but somehow was unsure which organization or which cause, this might be the perfect fit for you.
For this great initiative my Mazel of the week goes to Remi Abere for coming up with such a plan and for giving back. You continue to inspire.
Tag me on instagram and twitter @jennifermairo with your post so I’ll know you are in.
Thanks
XO
Jennifer Mairo

After the Show: Catching Up with “Power” Creator Courtney Kemp Agboh

"Power" creator Courtney Kemp Agbor

“Power” creator Courtney Kemp Agbor

Let me explain the main logic behind this post but before I do I would like to make a confession. I do not actually watch the show “Power”. Here are a few things I actually know about the show. 1) 50 Cent is executive producer and he stars in the show. 2) It’s about a thug/businessman and 3) It is constantly being compared to my fave show “Empire.
Now down to business. I am only making this post because I found out that the creator of the show “Power” is not only a black woman but an actual Nigerian black woman. In order words black women are taking over television. First Shonda Rhymes, now Kemp Agbor, and then what about the stars of the shows? First Kerry Washington, then Viola Davis (who recently won an Emmy for her role in “How To Get Away With Murder’) and them Taraji P. Henson on “Empire”. I m sorry but if you are not already drooling as you read this post then you may not be as much of a happy person as I thought you were lolol.
Below is the interview that Demetria Lucas had with Agbor and I wanted to share it will with you all.

by Demetria Lucas

You know how much I love “Power”! So you can only imagine how happy I was when the show’s creator, head writer, and show runner, Courtney Kemp Agboh, agreed to an interview for ABIB. I liked her before our chat (in the same way that I like David Simon from The Wire) because she’s created a show that I obsess over. But post-interview? I’m officially in love! In addition to being all things awesome, Agboh is a former magazine girl (just like me) turned Hollywood powerhouse (um, not me… yet).

I caught up with Agboh via phone as she was sitting in the dark in her LA office, finalizing a script for a Season 3 episode of “Power”. (Hint: two characters pull guns on each other… again.) For 45 minutes we talked all things “Power”, from Black women harping on Tasha’s complexion, to Omari free-styling Jamie’s primal scream, to Shawn’s 17 extra lives— and much more.

Check out Part 1 of my interview with Agboh below!

ABIB: Where did the idea of “Power” come from? I read it was two shows kind of rolled into one?

Agboh: Mark Caton and 50 Cent had an idea for a fast paced music series. I was putting together a show about my dad. He died in 2011 and I was trying to work my way through that loss. My dad was not a drug dealer, but he was a self-made man, who was very invested in looks, and in perception being reality. Many of the building blocks for creating Ghost are based on those traits. Also, my favorite book, or one of them, is The Great Gatsby, so that figures into the show as well.

ABIB: I can totally see that. The “fake it til you make it” idea?

Agboh: That and the woman who got away that he couldn’t have, and when she comes back, only showing her the one side of him. All those things

Agboh with “Power” Executive Producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson

Agboh with “Power” Executive Producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson

ABIB: How much input does Fiddy have on the show?

Agboh: Lots! We talk about everything. We have long phone conversations. He reads everything, but he doesn’t write, per se. But he is a writer. All rappers are poets. A lot of times we’ll be on the phone and I will literally write down exactly what he says and put it in the show.

ABIB: I know that you write most of the show, in addition to being the head writer and the creator and the show runner, but some of the reads on the show…. in the finale Tommy says to Ghost, “No matter how much your suits cost or how many clubs you ever own, you just a ghetto ass corner boy from around the way with a drunk for a daddy and no mama. You ain’t changed at all.” I’m like, Oh God. Pause the show. Is that all you or is that the collection of writers?

Agboh: I’m a very angry person. Just because I didn’t grow up with guns, doesn’t mean I don’t secretly go off in my head occasionally. As a writer, you get to have characters express things that you wouldn’t say out loud, you know? I’m wearing a pencil skirt and a little cardigan while we’re talking, but I just wrote a scene where one character pulls a gun on another. It’s part of the imagination, and that’s how I talk in my head.

ABIB: I love it! I wonder what you thought about the show’s comparisons to Empire? Fiddy was very vocal about it. Are you flattered to be compared to the other show or is it unfair because they’re comparing two shows just because they’re Black and they’re really not very much alike?

Agboh: It’s tiresome and bordering on racist. Nobody compares “Breaking Bad” and “Nashville”. No one says Dynasty was the same as Hill St. Blues. Those shows are so different. So many people approach me and ask me, ‘what do you think about Empire?’ I told 50 a while ago: “show runners do not make diss records. We don’t beef publicly. It doesn’t work that way.” It’s just a show and we’re another show. I have much respect for Ilene Chaiken who is the showrunner over there. No one ever talks about her. I have respect for the actors. I think it’s an obnoxious comparison. I guess people have to make it and have to cover it but our show premiered a season prior [to Empire], so it’s at little like, “huh?”

ABIB: We hear a lot of talk about he disadvantages of being a Black woman in Hollywood, what are the advantages?

Agboh: The advantage is that people still think I’m a unicorn. So sometimes I get to have these experiences that other people don’t get to have. I get to mentor young Black women. I get to chose who I hire behind the camera. I get to say unpopular stuff out loud and have a platform. I get to say my truth.

Naturi Naughton as “Tasha St. Patrick”

Naturi Naughton as “Tasha St. Patrick”


ABIB: I know you’re very active on Twitter, but I’m not sure how closely you follow the TV recaps and blogs about the show. Has there been anything that audience latches on to and you’re just like “really, people?”

Agboh: My number one bugaboo is Black women that say Ghost is somehow dissing Black women by being with Angela. I’ve never told anyone else this, I’ll give you an exclusive. We were doing testing for the show, and when you do tests, you also do quadrants of people. There were a number of people who wrote when they first saw the pilot and said Ghost wouldn’t have been with a woman as dark as Tasha.

ABIB: Wow.

Agboh: And do you know who those people were?

ABIB: Black women.

Agboh: Black women! Why the hell do we hate ourselves so much that we would think that? Its’ so amazing what we do to each other, that we’ve internalized that much hate, and carry it around in ourselves. Ghost isn’t trading up with Angela. That’s his first love. That’s the one thing that I’m like, “Ugghhh! you’re missing something!”

The other thing is when people say Tasha is “ride or die”. If you go back to the first season, Ghost says to Tasha, “I want to be more” and she says, “What more?! We have everything!” He literally says, “Can you get on board? I want to go legit” and she says, “I don’t want to do that. I want you to be what I want you to be.”

ABIB: Sometimes I feel very sorry for Tasha. She has a man who wants more and she can’t see it. She is very limited in the way she thinks.

Agboh: Tasha is complicated. She once had ambitions of her own. She wanted to be a singer. She has half an accounting degree. But she decided to supplicate her desires and get on board with this man and she made a bad bargain with Ghost.

Tasha is one of my heroes on the show. Tasha is growing. What we see in the first episode, in the pilot, Tasha has the first line of the series. There’s a reason we start with Tasha. She says to Ghost, “Tell me I’m beautiful.” She doesn’t own her own beauty. She needs Ghost to tell her about it.

Over the course of the series what you’ll see is that she begins to figure out for herself her own worth and that her worth is beyond the outside package. At one point we talked about getting rid of the nails and the weave, then Shonda did that sh– on HTGAWM and we were like nah, we’ll go another way. But we are going to explore the idea of who is Tasha under all that. She’s trying to navigate a situation with not a full set of maturity. One of the things that’s there if you look, those twins are 10 years old in the show; she just turned 30. So how old was she when she had them? She didn’t have a lot of childhood or post adolescence. She kind of hustled into this. We’ll see her grow.

I ll bring you guys the part two of the interview as soon as its available.

Fighting Chance: How Johnetta Elzie Became a Civil Rights Crusader

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This week’s mazel goes to ms Johnetta Elzie a young African American lady who was somewhat pushed into advocacy due to the recent happenings of racial discrimination in the state of Missouri. I salute your courage. Below is a brief write up by Molly Simms about Ms Johnetta
It was more than empathy that connected Johnetta Elzie to the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. “My mother used to work on the street where Mike was killed,” says Elzie, who was then living in St. Louis. “That could have been one of my brothers.”

Brown’s death was a call to arms for the 26-year-old, who at the time was taking a break from college to care for her younger sister. The day of the shooting, she jumped on Twitter to challenge inaccurate headlines. That same night, she headed to Ferguson. “I was spreading the word about where to drop off food or care packages and gathering people to clear away tear gas canisters.”

Though Elzie wouldn’t have called her actions “organizing,” she’s now at the helm of a nonviolent civil rights campaign. This Is the Movement, the newsletter she coedits with fellow activist DeRay Mckesson, keeps its approximately 15,000 subscribers updated on police brutality cases and protests across the country. Last spring it earned the duo the Howard Zinn Freedom to Write award from the literary association PEN New England.

At first, Elzie, who now lives in Chicago, felt apprehensive about being a face of a movement—”It was hard to hear people’s stories and still have the energy to fight”—but she says she’s since embraced the role. “I want to be an inspiration and a truth teller.” Next up: a workshop with young women to teach them what she’s learned—and help them find their own causes to be passionate about.

Gabrielle Union’s Surprising Loves

Found this small clip on oprah.com and with my love for Miss U, had to share.

Gabrielle Union has transformed herself from self-proclaimed Hollywood mean girl, into a strong, caring individual who battles on behalf of all women’s issues. Her eclectic personality shines through as she examines who she is and what people would be surprised to know about her. Gabrielle stars in the new film Top Five. The series Who Am I delves into the universal idea of self-identity and what it means to look within oneself for insight to carry through one’s daily life.

Mom Saves Herself And Hostaged Kids With Pizza Order

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As a mom, when I see things like this it just gets me in some sort of rush. More like panic. I cannot imagine being in this situation. I hope I would be calm enough to think as quickly. This mom should get the award of the year for being the mom who “calms the storm”. I am so proud of you and for that you are my mazel of the week

A customer ordered a classic pie pizza with pepperoni, and included an appeal for assistance in the comments section that read: “Please help. Get 911 to me.”

“I’ve been here 28 years and never, never seen nothing like that come through,” Candy Hamilton, the restaurant’s manager, told WFLA.

According to police, the order was placed by Cheryl Treadway, of Highlands County, Florida, who was being held hostage, along with her 3 children, by her 26-year-old boyfriend, Ethan Nickerson.

Nickerson, armed with a knife, had allegedly taken Treadway’s phone and refused to allow her or the kids to leave.

Police said Treadway was able to convince Nickerson to briefly relinquish the phone and allow her to place an online Pizza Hut order.
In the comments section, Treadway wrote the plea for help.

Pizza Hut employees said they recognized Treadway’s name and address, and immediately called 911.
“I was scared for the person,” chef Alonia Hawk told WTSP.

Deputies from the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office reportedly rushed to the scene of the hostage situation and were able to rescue Treadway and her children without incident.
Nickerson, who was allegedly high on methamphetamine at the time, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill, battery, false imprisonment and obstructing justice.
In a news release, the sheriff’s office praised Treadway for her potentially life-saving “quick thinking.”

“I don’t know if I ever would have thought of it. I mean it’s just something that she did so naturally,” Lt. Curtis Ludden told WFLA of the mom’s shrewd move. “The boyfriend never knew about it until he saw us coming around the corner.”

Erykah Badu (My Soul Mate) Tyrone

I could never put my fingers on the reason why I was so in love with Ms Badu. But damn she is super talented, original, unique and then some. Check out this live performance and fall in love too. P.S we are from the same city.
Her style, her peculiarity, the African vibe she brings and for that, Ericah Badu is my Mazel of the week

BET Producer Mara Brock Akil’s Top 5 Life Lessons

Mara Brock Akil, whose hit series Being Mary Jane is back for a second season, on learning to follow her instincts, create honest TV and love her body.

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Independent woman defying the odds? Sign me up. My Mazel of the day and my long time crush shines once more as she shares her top five lessons.

1. My way is the best way.
I value other people’s opinions, but I have to follow my vision because no one is going to express a story the way I will. Even if some people don’t like it, I’m okay with saying, “This is the way I see it.”

2. My characters don’t need to be perfect.
The African American audience often asks me to portray women positively. But I can only create characters that are as real as I am; some days I’m sexy, some days I’m boring—and I think that’s much more interesting than showing only someone’s positive side.

3. My breasts are fine just the way they are.
I used to be so self-conscious about the size of my breasts that I even wore T-shirts over my bathing suits! It was a colossal waste of time. How I wish I could get back all those hours I spent obsessing….

4. Men can be feminists, too.
Just like white people fight for civil rights and straight people advocate for gay rights, men—especially those who have daughters—can be great ambassadors for feminism, and we could use their help. We need guys to join the conversation!

5. Every marriage needs sex.
When you’re dating, everything is fun. After you’re married, sex can start to feel like another item on your to-do list. But for my husband and me, it’s a way to connect and escape, so why shouldn’t it be at the top of my list?

Jenny Rossen’s Office Is the Beach—Check Out Why

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On Creating Her Dream Job

“I’ve loved sand castles since I was a kid, so even as a grown-up I’d build them on my hometown beach in Australia. At some point people started tossing money on my towel, which I found offensive. I wasn’t begging! But local malls and then car shows and festivals in other countries started commissioning me. Twenty-seven years later, it’s my main gig.”

On Laying the Floor Plan

“I draw a rough sketch of my idea on paper. Once I’m on the sand, I dive in. I start with a foundation and build up using bottomless wooden boxes and plastic buckets. When crowds gather, they want to see what clandestine chemical or spray I use. I’ll tell you: water!”

On Her Tool Kit Continue reading

Behind the Scenes of the History-Making Movie Selma

After nearly ten years, multiple directors and several rewrites, Selma, the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s crusade for voting rights in 1965, is finally marching to the big screen.
By Arianna Davis

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One sweltering afternoon last June in Selma, Alabama, the air was electric, filled with the sound of the synchronized footsteps of hundreds of marchers following Martin Luther King Jr. across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and heading straight for a barricade of state troopers with billy clubs at the ready. The scene being shot for Selma was eerily convincing, down to the Confederate flags waving in the distance, the ’60s-style clothing and actor David Oyelowo’s startling resemblance to King. “I got off the plane and had to take a step back,” says Oprah, who coproduced the film and has a small role. “Crossing the bridge, I thought, ‘Wow, I’m literally walking in footsteps that paved the way for me nearly 50 years ago.’ I knew this wasn’t just filmmaking, but the creation of a story infused with an ancestral spirit.”

On set, director Ava DuVernay—the first black woman to win the Sundance Film Festival’s best director award for drama, for her indie film Middle of Nowhere—created, as Oprah says, “an energetic force field of calm, steady direction,” key for a story so emotionally charged that the Selma crew was often in tears. “I’ve avoided biographical films because they’re usually overly glossy and perfect,” DuVernay says. “But the more I researched this story, the more I was reminded—especially as a black woman—that who we are now is based on who we were then. It was time to tell this tale, with all of its imperfections and beauty.”

On Oprah’s last day on set, just before the final take, it began to rain. DuVernay said to keep rolling, but after several minutes it was pouring—just as DuVernay got her shot: the marchers face-to-face with state troopers. She high-fived Oyelowo and Oprah, who cried out, “This is how we make movies, people!” The cast and crew, black and white, set down their batons and tear gas to shake hands, hug and call it a day.

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Long Live King
British actor David Oyelowo—who played supporting roles in The Last King of Scotland, Lincoln and Lee Daniels’ The Butler—might look a lot like King, but it took him years to nail King’s passion and demeanor. (“After I saw his audition tape,” says Oprah, “I told him, ‘You’re not quite there yet, but you’re headed in the right direction.’?”) Here’s how he did it:

Landing the Part
“I received the script for Selma in 2007, shortly after moving to the United States. Soon after, on July 24, I was sitting at home when the voice of God popped into my head and told me I was going to play MLK. I know it sounds ridiculous, but that’s what happened—I even wrote it in my journal as proof! Unfortunately, the director at the time didn’t agree with God, and I didn’t get the part—until three years later, when subsequent director Lee Daniels cast me. I was elated, but it was still another three years before Ava came on board and we got the green light.”

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Doing His Homework
“The good thing about believing you’re going to play MLK seven years before the movie starts filming? You have plenty of time to prepare. I became a student of his life, studying speeches and interviews and memorizing every detail of his accent and hand gestures. I didn’t want to portray a historical caricature known only for the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. I wanted to give him humanity, to show the world who he was.”

Man in the Mirror
“For the role, I gained 30 pounds, shaved back my hairline and grew a moustache. During the six weeks of filming, I rarely broke from speaking in King’s Southern drawl. One day while shooting in Atlanta, I looked in the bathroom mirror and could not see myself—it was King staring back at me. I freaked out!”
—Oyelowo

WOMEN

The Women of Selma
Coretta Scott King (Carmen Ejogo)
King’s wife was an activist in her own right. A classically trained vocalist, Scott King performed in Freedom Concerts and led demonstrations, including the march from Selma to Montgomery, walking with her husband at the head of thousands of protesters.

Amelia Boynton (Lorraine Toussaint)
In 1965, Boynton, a longtime voter registration leader, along with King, other local activists and members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference organized the Selma marches. On Bloody Sunday, police attacked Boynton; it was a photo of her, beaten and unconscious, on the front pages that helped draw national attention to Selma.

Diane Nash (Tessa Thompson)
A founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Nash eventually joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, campaigning for voting rights and working with King and other civil rights leaders to plan the Selma-to-Montgomery marches.

Annie Lee Cooper (Oprah Winfrey)
While standing in line to register to vote, Cooper was jabbed in the neck with a billy club by a sheriff. Cooper reacted by decking him. “I was hesitant because I’d already played two characters”—Sofia in The Color Purple and Gloria in The Butler—”who hit someone,” Oprah says. “But I decided to play Annie because of what her courage meant to this movement. She is a hero.”

march

Looking Back, Moving Forward
By 1965, there were more than 15,000 black residents of voting age in Selma—only 335 were registered to vote. The events that changed everything:

March 7: Some 600 demonstrators attempt a roughly 50-mile march from Selma to Montgomery to demand an end to voter discrimination. At Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, law enforcement officers attack in what becomes known as Bloody Sunday.

March 9: King leads a second march across Edmund Pettus Bridge. When met by state troopers, the marchers kneel, pray and turn around. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces that legislation is being drafted that will secure the right to vote for all citizens.

March 10: The U.S. Department of Justice files suit to protect civil rights demonstrators.

March 17: A federal district court judge rules in favor of marchers, allowing a third protest to take place.

March 21: Under protection of federal troops, 3,200 activists set out from Selma. Four days later, 25,000 marchers reach Montgomery.

August 6: President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Declutter for a Cause 2014: The Fundraiser That Dressed Up a Community

declutter

I just can’t see a way around giving back. We are compelled to, we must, we should, we need to. Hear Evelyn Alvarez’ story and tell me I m wrong.
In 2012, hours before Evelyn Alvarez was to attend a friend’s wedding, her babysitter cancelled. Desperate, Alvarez called the bride—”on her wedding day!” she exclaims—to ask whether her son, Sen’ari, then 6, could attend. The bride agreed. Alvarez dashed to a store near her home in the Bronx to find Sen’ari a suit and realized, “This stuff is expensive!”

Alvarez was tempted to spend her electric-bill money on a nice-looking number in Sen’ari’s size, but instead she grabbed a too-short suit from the sale rack. Sen, as Alvarez calls him, had a great time dancing and never noticed that his pant legs were grazing the tops of his socks. Continue reading

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