Cesar Chavez

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It is quintessential, for the sake of humanity to inform ourselves of the history of our fellow man. Though the world and it’s development has ensued the lives of many, in the recent years we can somewhat rely on the film industry to share the messages of past heroes and heroines.

Cesar Chavez became an migrant farm worker just after completing 8th grade. Having learned very little english as a child you could imagine the level of difficult he experienced in what they considered the Anglo mans world. In 1948 Chavez enlisted in the U.S. Navy, two years later marrying Helen Fabela. They soon after gave birth to eight children, the oldest being Fernando.

Pena

Fast-forward 17 years and Diego Luna’s tribe to the life and works of Chavez (Michael Pena) begins. Relocating his wife (America Ferrara) and children to Delano, California, the uprising of farm workers seeking the simplicities of life, fair wages and safe working environments, marked the start of a peaceful revolution.

Rosairo Dawson

As farmers were barely able to feed their families Chavez along with the helpful partnership of Dolores Huerta (Rosario Dawson) opened a Credit Union, rationing out money to those in need. Strikes and protest were quickly deemed unacceptable and protection from authorities was offered in the form of a blind eye. The need to establish something greater was unparalleled and soon sparked the creation of the UFW, United Farm Workers.

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Although Chavez’s history as an activist is much bigger then that portrayed in this film, it’s focus was to inform audiences of its beginning. The inclusion of women in this movement was also monumental, while Dolores Huerta was he’s right hand man – we also see Helen Fabela just as involved, although raising the children was her number one priority. There is a notable scene in which she insist on becoming a bigger part of the movement, persisting she be arrested by the authorities, Chavez disapproves almost immediately but Helen pushes back not only by using Chavez’s own words against him but in seeking the support of Dolores. This incident takes place in the presents of friends and family and counters the idealistic status that existed in the Mexican culture between a man and wife.

Centered on the the Delano Grape Strike, including some historical actions of Chavez’s time in leadership, the 1965 walk to Sacramento, the spawning of the word “Huelga” (strike) and his first 26 day fast, the film delivers and step by step outline from the year 1965 to 1970. But what is missing most is a script that truly elects the spirit and persona of Chavez, and how his choices effected his personal life. In any film you are bound to experience at least the tidbits of the latter but in a biopic it is our hope that a few scenes would allow the audience to build an emotional connection with, so to speak, the man behind the mask, or in Chavez’s case the man behind the cause. Looking for a more exclusively defined relationship between he and his wife, there was not a moment that relays how deeply the relationship between Chavez and their son effected her, granted we do see her run out into the street after a few bullying children with a bat but the scene pretty much ends there. While including Chavez’s handwritten letter to Fernando in the film, there is no aftermath that shows whether a reconciliation occurred. Additionally a twist was thrown in the trailer as it gives the impression that Chavez and Huerta at some point have an affair, a concept excluded from the film completely. In the opinion of many the screenplay itself seemed to be lacking, and I would have to agree.

Coming from the background of a person whose only familiarity of Chavez was once getting an extra day off from school, the film is overall informative. I was touched by various moments, and the actors breathed life into the characters as much as the script could handle. Although it was not meant to be epic or a grandiose presentation of Chavez’s life, it was a little step forward for mankind – a way for us connect.

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Top 4 Marriage Proposals That Went Viral

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It’s the twenty first century, but whoever said chivalry is dead … is wrong. These four wedding proposals prove that romance is still alive and well – well at least for some of us it is. Given the advancements of modern technology each of these proposals take popping the question to a whole new level. Get out your popcorn and tissue because these videos are made for Hollywood.

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When a model arrives on a photo shoot, she thinks it’s business as usual. Hair, make-up, and wardrobe and she’s set in front of the camera to make magic happen. Little did she know that her physician boyfriend – and soon to be fiance – had some magic up his own sleeve. You might call him the love doctor because this beau put on a full production to make sure his lover had no idea that a day on the job would actually be the day she said “I do.” Check out her unbelievable response to her on set wedding proposal!

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Going to a movie theater will never be the same for this bride. She thought she was going to see a movie with friends – little did she know that she was the movie! Unbeknownst to her she watched on screen as her soon to be fiance set up the marriage proposal. Sharing his love for his soon to be fiancé, he asks her father for her hand in marriage. It soon becomes apparent to her that this is no film but her actual marriage proposal and the anticipation builds as her lover runs across town to pop the question. From the screen into the theater he drops down onto one knee, commencing an in person proposal. Amidst cheers from the crowd she happily accepts her wedding ring! “Every true love story isn’t in the movies” for this one, it just took place in one!

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This proposal takes listening to music in the car to a whole new level. But what would music be without visuals? Instead of a music video, this suitor took to the street for a live lip dubbed version of Bruno Mars, “I think I want to marry you.” This drive by and live video included cameo performances by the bride to be’s most important family and friends who all danced in the street in the name of love! And those who couldn’t make it were even video conferenced in! Finally, the crowd parts as her prince arrives to ask her hand in marriage. “It takes a village to raise a child,” and in this case a whole community to propose!

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Technology, song and dance is a new aged way to propose, but other forms of artistry can be equally magical! What would happen if the inconspicuous wall you passed by each day suddenly marked one of the most incredible moments of your life? That’s what happened when this boyfriend had a mural painted to ask for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage. If art is an expression of the heart, it’s clear that this husband to be loves his bride so much so that he wanted the whole world to see – or at least a busy street in New York City.

Black Hollywood History

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Celebrities in Black Hollywood are on fire! This talented class of artists continue to perfect their craft and fight for recognition among their peers.  African Americans undoubtedly contribute their creativity to the entertainment of the world. But, before modern day superstars there were great musicians and actors that paved the way – making it possible for us to enjoy the sensations we all know as household names. Cheers to African American entertainment greats in music, television, and film!

Music

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Music

Before musical icons such as Beyonce, Whitney Houston, and Michael Jackson topped the charts there were a host of African American artists who paved the way with their music talents. We may be used to these aformentioned artists toping the charts but when Rock & Roll, Jazz, and Blues were king artists such as The Platters broke racial barriers as the first to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for their song “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” in 1958.  Proceeding them were the Mills Brothers “Paper Doll” in 1943 as the first African AMerican artists to hit #1 on the Billboard charts and in 1950 Nat King Cole become the first African American solo singer to have a #1 hit on the Billboard charts for his song, “Mona Lisa.”
Perhaps the biggest accolade of any musician, is a Grammy win. Though modern day couple Beyonce and hubby Jay Z are two of the leading African Americans with the most Grammy wins, in 1959 Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie became the first African-American Grammy Award winners. Ella won Best Female Vocal Performance for “But Not For Me” and Best Individual Jazz Performance for “Ella Swings Lightly.” For his role as a musical composer in the film Duke won two Grammys for Best Sound Track Album – Background Score from a motion picture and Best Musical Composition.
Ethel Waters

Television

Many of us love leading ladies such as Kerry Washington and Gabrielle Union of Scandal and Being Mary Jane respectively. Their shows and talent have won accolades during this award season but before HD, DVR, and Internet television, African American actors paved the way for these lovelies to shine on the silver screen.  In 1939, Ethel Waters became the first African to star in her own television show, The Ethel Waters Show which aired on NBC.  Bob Howard was the first African American to star in a regularly scheduled network television series, The Bob Howard Show in 1948. That same year Amanda Randolph starred in the television show, The Laytons. Several years later, before his widely known success on The Cosby Show, Bill Cosby became the first African American to star in a network drama, I Spy, for which he would later be the first African American male to be nominated for and win a Primetime Emmy Award.

As a television actor, winning an Emmy is a golden moment where you are recognized by peers for your talent and artistry. Before Halle Berry, Lauretta Divine, and even Bill Cosby won their awards, African American actors proceeding them paved the way. Notably, Diahann Carroll was the first African American to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series in 1969. She was nominated for her role in Julia in which she became the first African American to play lead in a role outside of being a domestic. She won a Golden Globe for this same performance. Later, in 1979 Ester Rolle became the first African American and person to win an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries.

Film

2013 marked an incredible year for Black films such as Fruitvale Station, 12 Years a Slave, and Mandella. Before big time actors such as Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Idris Elba, and Halle Berry commanded millions of dollars for their Blockbuster and award winning films, African American cinema stars years before led the way. Ethel Waters was a prominent actress with roles in such films as Pinky. Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee led the way for power couple movie stars like Will and Jada with their decades of film success. Remarkably, not only have African American actors blazed trails in their roles in front of the camera but also behind the scene. Before independent directors such as newcomer Ryan Coogler, or veterans such as John Singleton, and Spike Lee there was Oscar Micheaux. Widely credited as the first African American director, Micheaux made his cinematic debut with the silent film production of his famed book, Homesteaders in 1919. Before there was Tyler Perry Studios, Oscar founded the  Micheaux Film and Book Company to independently produce his own feature films and books.

The success of a movie star is crystalized by recognition from the Academy Award. Denzel Washington and Halle Berry  both made history with their 2001 Oscar wins. Before these greats were African American actors whose performances demanded the attention and recognition of the Academy.  In 1940, Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in her role in the 1939 classic film, Gone with the Wind. In 1954 Dorothy Dandridge became the first African American women to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Carmen Jones. Halle Berry would later win an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award for her role as Dorothy Dandridge. Sidney Poitier won an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964 for his role in Lilies of the Field. During Denzel Washington’s own Oscar acceptance speech he stated about Poitier, “I’ll always be following in your footsteps, there is nothing I would rather do.”

Dunnie B. Onasanya, Miss Dunnie O.

White Dress Miss Dunnie O

Ms. Dunnie B. Onasanya has blossomed into what Maya Angelo has deemed a “Phenomenal Woman.” Born to Nigerian immigrants, Dunnie’s parents had high expectations for her future, a college degree being one of them. After a spending a summer in high school exploring the luxuries and unanimity of historically black colleges, Tuskegee University seemed to be the perfect fit.

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Exploring every opportunity available, Dunnie was an active student on campus. In 2008 she joined Delta Sigma Theta, a not-for profit Greek-letter sorority of college-educated women dedicated to public service. During her senior year she was elected President of the Student Government Association, a position that exposed her natural affinity for event planning.

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Following graduation, Dunnie relocated to the Golden State of California where she began her career in Corporate America. The looming dissatisfaction of working from a cubicle drove her to search for new inspiring opportunities. Volunteering on various productions with event planning extraordinaire, Diane Valentine and William P. Miller proved to be her life changing experience. Seeking advice from her mentors, Dunnie found that the only way to the next level was to “get up, do your own thing and figure it out,” step-by-step. The learning was in the doing.

Miss Dunnie O.

By fate Dunnie met the love of her life while standing in line at a local Trader Joe’s. Soon after the two found their dreams of entrepreneurship a commonality, leading them to relinquish their fears, and dive in head first. As a result, Dunnie launched her very own special event production company, Miss Dunnie O.!

Dunnie and Fiance

As Dunnie is an amazing woman, she pays tribute to her fiance, Ibrahim Hasan, for his support. Last year, Dunnie and her beau, put on their first ever Facet Fashion Show: Swimwear and Lingerie and the Facet Fashion Show: Fall edition, events that gave rising fashion designers and models a platform to showcase their talents.

Patise Girl Launch Miss Dunnie O

From prior trail and error Dunnie discovered that event planning is a hands on gig, requiring vast organizational skills, patience, and persuasiveness. “Events are all about consistency and not getting caught up in your last project. Consistency is a determining factor in your success.” With teamwork and communication as the cornerstone of her methodology, working with a small yet strong team has become Dunnie’s winning combination. Utilizing a tool as simple as “group-chat” adds an accountability factor, which has positively influenced team dynamics. Bonding with her team outside of the work environment is an additional factor. Her tight knit team has become more than a company but a sisterhood, whereby four of her six assistants will be in her bridal party.

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The embodiment of a U Blush Woman, Dunnie believes you can do anything you set your mind to and in the spirit of such gave us quick breakdown of “Event Planning 101”:

a. Creating timelines and a schedule with attainable goals are important for business to run smoothly.

b. Having a clear and organized communication system is necessary for a team to be on the same page.

c. Budget – have one!

d. Location is of the utmost importance, your event depends on it.

e. And lastly, flexibility. There are so many things you do not have control over, to thrive you must be able to adapt.

Curly Cartel Holiday

“When you are a visionary you are robbing society when you stay in a role that you are not passionate about.”  After experiening success with her own company, Miss Dunnie O decided to partner with Ms. JGray of Image Is Everything PR, to launch The Curly Cartel movement! The Curly Cartel was a simple concept turned movement for the everyday woman to empower and support her along this journey we call life.

FFS Opening Miss Dunnie O

Described by friends as a passionate, driven visionary, while Dunnie enjoys watching a good romantic comedy and listening to neosoul funk, she maintains a focus on her future by continuing to do what she loves  while being open to exciting new opportunity!

“Reign” Over Television

First

Romance, drama, history, and intrigue. While many television stations nowadays have taken the route of sitcoms about everyday life and living, the CW has taken the path less traveled and premiered a historical drama centered on Mary, Queen of Scots that seeks to bring to a modern audience the history of the sixteenth century with the aesthetics and drama of the twenty-first century. Even though you might think watching a TV show about history—events that have already occurred—might be boring and already spoiled, think again. Once you get caught up in the whirling skirts and burrowing tunnels behind the castle’s walls, Reign will have crowned itself king of your heart. Why?

The Cast

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Reign stars the beautiful Adelaide Kane as Queen Mary who does a spectacular job of telling a story that makes us fall in love with her. If you go into the show thinking that it’ll be a boring history lesson about the sixteenth century, you couldn’t be more wrong. As you watch Kane interact with Toby Regbo playing Prince Francis, her betrothed and love interest, you forget about all the courtly politics of the time and become enchanted with their love affair and what stands in their way. Kane has an especially great dynamic with her ladies-in-waiting, played by Anna Popplewell, Caitlin Stasey, Celina Sinden, and Jenessa Grant. Even though the plot centers on Mary’s relationship with Francis, the many subplots her ladies are involved in only highlight the strengths of Mary’s character without detracting from the story.

The Mysteries

Mysteries

Reign does an amazing job of showing the viewers that history doesn’t have to be boring. The pilot begins centered on Mary’s return to the French court from the monasteries, where a plot to poison her was discovered. Brought back under the royal court for protection, Mary discovers that there are far more mysteries than she could have ever imagined. With the soothsayer and mystic Nostradamus (Rossif Sutherland) giving advice to the queen and making prophecies, there’s a great deal of mysticism and tension underlying every plotline on the show. Even as pagans in the woods and foreign invaders try to break down the castle, Mary finds a mysterious guardian in Clarissa, an unknown figure who shows up mysteriously whenever Mary is in danger. Aside from wondering about whether Mary and Francis will live happily ever after, you’re also left thinking about Nostradamus’ prophecies and Clarissa’s mysterious appearances.

The Music

Music

The producers and directors of Reign did a spectacularly tasteful job in picking the music that accompanied the various scenes throughout the show. The opening, Scotland by The Lumineers (pictured left) begins with a quick drum riff and continues with hoarse, husky singing accompanied solely by instruments without any electronic accompaniment. It’s a nice, simple touch that really draws you into the settings of the French castles and into the Scottish world of Mary and her ladies. Aside from the opening, songs like Back To You by Twin Forks (pictured right) frame every scene and provide the perfect tone. The upbeat Back To You plays at a moment when Francis and Mary look into each other’s eyes after dancing and think back to their childhood, hinting at the potential for them to find each other again. The quick Follow by Crystal Fighters plays when Mary and her ladies are on the run, and gives a serious yet childish spin to the entire scene. This show is a great way to discover some amazing music that you might not have known about.

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Unlike many other shows now on television, Reign is fresh and lively. The show doesn’t center solely on one romantic interest at the expense of other subplots, nor does it overwhelm the viewer with characters and backgrounds that are quickly forgotten. It finds the perfect balance between the historical setting and our modern tastes, and fits in character development alongside a rich and beautiful woven plot. The twists and turns in this show are unexpected and delightful, and is a great way to become interested in history to learn about the reality versus the fiction.

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