Latest Entries »

 

misty-copeland

I’m late to the party on this one but glad I eventually found it…

Nelson George’s ‘A Ballerina’s Tale’ is a roughly 90 minute documentary that introduces many of us to the story of Misty Copeland, the first black woman to be cast as the lead ballerina by many international ballet troupes.  Born in Kansas City(!), the film picks up when Misty is already well respected and known in the inner circles of that world, but before the outside world asks ‘Why hasn’t there been any people of color headlining Swan Lake or the Nutcracker or any of these stories that aren’t pure historical re-enactments?’

My personal favorite part of Nelson’s film was seeing how Misty was assigned a ‘consigliere’ that she could confide in and look to as ‘the first black…’ in her path.  Dihanne Carroll, Victoria Rowell, Veronica Webb, I’m pretty sure I saw Cheryl Boone Isaac in some of those pictures.  That part of what we all do that’s not so directly about your talents or gifts but just having a support system; I love that.

When Misty starts to become a name and the little girls really start coming through and the brothers who never had any interest in ballet start coming through, and Under Armour…the tracks were laid for her to be a star and she’s handling it well.

Fun, really quick watch and very inspiring.  Now streaming on Netflix.

 

Picture 2 (2)

First, Kaepernick.  Don’t have much to add here.  My father, uncles, cousins, good friends are all veterans so I’ve always stood for the national anthem out of respect for them.  But if the man doesn’t want to do it, and he’s expressed why he doesn’t want to do it, I’ve been there too.  And I’m the last person to tell someone to do something they don’t want to do for the sake of appearances.

My original topic for this Sunday was going to be ‘black masculinity’, and how everyone from Nate Parker to Jaden Smith are making us think about what that’s meant, historically and what it means right now. As I sit here, my thoughts feel like a work in progress and not a fully formed idea.  Not yet anyway.

So today is as good of a Sunday as any to say ‘Thank You.’  The more personal impetus behind the masculinity idea I’ve been thinking about this week is I had to ask someone for help.  Out of all the demons I’ve beaten, my ego and my pride are the last two I haven’t yet fully conquered.  Everyone has that problem to a degree, but there’s a deeper complex black men are given at birth about not looking ‘weak’.  A lot of brothers with much more serious problems than I’ve ever had never ask or seek out the help they need because they don’t want to look like a ‘punk’.  I promise I’ll come back to this topic (on a large scale) before the year is out.

A lot of trial and error, but swallowing my pride is easier for me now because I’ve spent a significant part of my life surrounding myself with quality people and attracting like minds.  Ali passing at the beginning of Ramadan and the rise of Trumpism took me from year 4 of my 5 year plan to be a more vocal advocate for my community to year…11; but the pieces of my life had already fallen into place before things beyond my control happened.

So thank you to all of you who contribute to, support, and encourage me to be ‘MALIK AZIZ.’  The Wyandotte folks, the Jayhawks, the Trojans, the Ummah, the Frat; the music geeks, the film geeks, the nerds, the artists, the activists, the politicos; the Romantics who work for true love and friendship over notches on an imaginary belt or friend list, the old heads who worry for the kids coming up behind us and are determined to do what you can to make it easier for them than it was for us.

You all matter to me and I appreciate you.  I carry the public image of a loner, but I’m reminded daily how many people have my back.

 

Silk

It’s the weekend baby…

Let’s do this…

Have a good one everybody!

 

adamwest-arkhamorigins

Warner Brothers, you mischievous studio…

I’ve long believed that after Nolan, it was time to go back to the interpretation of the Prince of Gotham that’s more silly and light hearted.

We’re not getting Lego Batman til next year, but this feels right on time…

 

 

 

kobe8

8/24.  Kobe Bryant Day in the City of Angels.

Whoever came up with this concept initially, Kobe Inc., the Lakers, the City Council, take a bow.  That’s a good marketing idea.

Enjoy!

 

 

Roger-Troutman-Portrait-1

Nothing too complicated to start the week.  Just sticking with a pleasant old school slow jam.

Enjoy!

 

 

Nate Parker of 'The Birth of a Nation' poses for a portrait at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival Getty Images Portrait Studio Hosted By Eddie Bauer At Village At The Lift on January 25, 2016 in Park City, Utah

Man…

So, we have mutual friends (who all speak highly of him) but I’ve never met Nate.  I’ve been tracking ‘Birth of a Nation’ since Sundance and I’ve been on board with every new bit of marketing that has perfectly touched the right nerves.

Then, the skeletons started re-emerging in this case, out of the closet.  Am I still planning on seeing Birth in the theatre opening weekend? Yes.  Am I going to be a man who tells the women in his life, “I appreciate you confiding in me, trusting me, and supporting me personally and professionally every step of the way. But having said that, you need to get over it.  That happened years ago.  Stop buying into the conspiracy.’

No. HELL NO.

In this specific case, it just isn’t that simple.  Not for Nate certainly, not for the studio (who professionally speaking seems shockingly unprepared since they’ve been setting this film up for the awards season politics), not for those of us who just love seeing films and filmmakers of color succeed.

With all the different layers here, I’ve been especially interested in how black women have been processing this.  So this Sunday, I’m cutting my time on the Soapbox short to link you to the piece Morgan Jerkins wrote in the Atlantic.  It doesn’t come across as a personal vendetta against Nate or the film, but addresses a lot of the feelings that are on the table right now.

Enjoy.

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/08/why-the-debate-over-nate-parker-is-so-complex/496700/

 

natedogg

Happy Birthday Nate Dogg.  We still miss you.

And this song is probably my favorite of Fiddy’s.

Enjoy and have a good weekend!

 

 

holiday-billie-5377d1e3426ff

In a Lady Day mood.  Nuff said.

Enjoy.

 

 

Moonlight-Web_72dpi

You all know part of being a People’s Champion for me is also getting hyped and spreading the word when I see or hear about something that can potentially introduce a new voice or expand the conversation.

So yeah, this trailer does it.  Bonus points since I recognize the Wyandotte homegirl has a part in this film too.

Really looking forward to this one…

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,259 other followers