Category Archives: Creative

17Jan/18
Black Lightning

Black Lightning Lights Up DC in DC 2018

This past weekend Warner Brothers hosted DC Comics in D.C. highlighting the upcoming tv show Black Lightning. It featured four different panels and premiered the first episode of Black Lightning. All of the panels were great and featured a lot of great talent and artists, but the panel that was most representative of the MLK weekend was the panel titled “The Many Shades of Heroism: DC Heroes Through the African American Lens”. This panel explained the creation of many of the popular Black characters of the DC television series world. The panel consisted of the show’s producers, Salim and Mara Akil, as well as actors Cress Williams (Black Lightning), Candice Patton (The Flash), Chris Chalk (Gotham), David Harewood (Supergirl), comic artist and producer Denys Cowan, writer John Ridley, and author and songwriter Alice Randall.

Black Characters on DC TV Series

Candice Patton portrays Iris West on the popular show The Flash. She discussed the importance of portraying an outstanding version of the character on television and how doing so has influenced creators to change the race of the character in the comics. Originally Iris West is portrayed as a white woman in DC comics. “I feel extremely honored first of all to be put in this position,” Patton explained.

“I am happy that a black woman is carrying the torch so generations after this will remember that Iris West was a black woman .” – Candice Patton on portraying Iris West.

Chris Chalk plays the intelligent and brilliant minded Lucius Fox on the show, Gotham. The show is based on a young Commissioner Gordon fighting crime against many of the developing iconic villains in the city of Gotham from the Batman series. “This character is great! I went to this STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) program for Black youths and the kids would tell me they knew how I solved a problem on the show and I was like well tell me, ’cause I don’t know…” He emphasized the joy in playing a character that breaks racial stereotypes in television, saying “It is cool to have a Black character that is the smartest person in the series and he doesn’t fight.”

David Harewood plays Martian Manhunter on the show Supergirl. Being a native of London, he explained how important it is to have a Black lead character on a television show because, where he is from, there aren’t really any characters that look like him. He smiled as he proudly displayed his Black Lightning t-shirt. Harewood also discussed how happy he was to represent a person in of color in the media, making the audience aware that there are opportunities for all races and backgrounds to be represented.

Black Lightning: The Series For The Time

Black Lightning takes place in an urban, poverty and violence-stricken community where our hero, Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), lives as a high school principal and family man. He has hung up the mantle of Black Lighting for 15 years because of the stress it was placing on his family but is forced to return to crime fighting when the local gang, The One Hundred, starts wreaking havoc on the neighborhood.

“It is a dream come true! After I put on the costume I was ready to run into the wall! I was ready to fight!” – Cress Williams on portraying Black Lighting

The show is produced by the power couple Salim and Mara Akil. They both have a successful history of producing great shows like the Soul Food TV series, Girlfriends, and Being Mary Jane. When asked about Black Lightning, they expressed the importance of the project and how great of a story it can tell about love, family, and community. “We are led by a vision and clearly this is Salim’s,” Mara explained about choosing the project to bring to life in television form. She explained the importance of giving people the perspective of a Black man that is positive, stating “July 2016, two Black men were killed after the long list of other Black men and we were in that moment of what was happening in our communities. When you look on television there were no Black men in the center of a television show, speaking on the issues that were about his life.” Salim Akil explored his vision of the project in-depth when quoting:

“We use that authenticity when it comes to other cultures but really we are talking about the nuance and Black folks are an integral part of American culture. What we will see with Black Lightning is that yes, we are getting culturally specific nuances of what it is going to be like being an African American man in the United States, but you will also see a man that loves his family and his community and wants what is best for his community. You can take the African American off that (character) and you have just a man that wants the best for his family. I hope everybody can identify wanting the best for their families and their community.”

DC Comics is continuing to evolve its characters that people from different backgrounds can relate to. Black Lightning debuted tonight, January 16th at 9pm, how’d you like it?

04Jan/18
Distinct And Curvy Models

Distinct And Curvy Models are Serving SlayBells

Distinct And Curvy Models are Serving SlayBells. Distinct Eye Photography Captures Every Magical Moment!

Distinct And Curvy ModelsDistinct And Curvy Models Distinct And Curvy Models

www.distincteyephotography.com | www.facebook.com/distincteye

IG | @Distinct_eye_photography @distinctandcurvymodels

02Jan/18
Designer Chuks Collins

Designer Chuks Collins Combines Fashion & Philanthropy

Designer Chuks Collins has combined social causes and bold fashion on the runway during New York Fashion Week. After a second lease on life, the designer founded a nonprofit and for the past several years has presented his latest collections within a fundraising event. Last year’s soiree, The Dream: Fall 2017 Benefit Fashion Show and Silent Auction was in collaboration with Oando Foundation U.S. held at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in the Lower East Side.

Event hosts Claudia Jordan (RHOA, celebrity apprentice) and Hadiiya Barbel (celebrity wigologist and transformation artist) welcomed attendees and introduced Sony music artist SUMMER Williams who performed new music from her EP.

Designer Chuks CollinsThe Chuks Collins collection offers ready to wear fashions for men and women that appreciate sophisticated style and last season the ensembles ranged from modern elegance to casual chic in a handsome array of bold colors. The presentation also included sharing with guests how funds raised would be used in the Adopt-A-School initiative for children in Collins’ home country of Nigeria. The silent auction, courtesy of Charity Grow, provided an opportunity for making a tax-deductible donation in addition to a portion of proceeds from tickets.

Special guest attendees included rapper Peter Gunz, Orange Is the New Black actress Adrienne Moore, Kim Mastroddi, Taneka Bowles, Actor Marc John Jefferies, pop singer Chelley, celebrity stylists TY Hunter and Kidear Youmans.

Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins Designer Chuks Collins

01Jan/18
Black White Beautiful

Black & White and Beautiful All Over

Black White Beautiful | Black and white fashion has never left the style scene, but the powerful combination has been thrust back in the spotlight in a major way with graphic houndstooth. Virlé Cole, an online vintage fashion boutique, takes a bite out of the trend with retro clothing and accessories featuring a bold, oversize version of the unisex print splayed on distinctly ladylike pieces and silhouettes.

Discover the intrigue of the two-tone print in this photo series featuring a powerful trio of stunning black models showcasing the diverse ways to wear houndstooth. The young women in the images prove a vintage garment can produce a lifetime of glamour. Although some articles were designed before the models were born, they worked the designs in a way that appears modern, relevant and at their peak of chic.

You too can wear houndstooth or simply black and white in a number of ways. Don’t be afraid to layer monochrome pieces or top one print with another like print. As told by the runways, matchy-matchy styles and co-ords are back—just Google 2018 daytime pajama sets, matching bags and shoes, and bodysuits that fit like puzzle pieces to matching bottoms. For a quaint touch, try a houndstooth headband or bow, or pick a mod shift, polished suit, striking coat, or even sexy bustier. Any style you choose, don’t be afraid to own it and walk tall. For more vintage fashion inspiration follow @virlecole on Instagram or visit www.virlecole.com.

Black White BeautifulBettina Coleman is credited as the photo shoot stylist and owner of Virlé Cole. She selected the styles and models to inspire young women to wear the clothes of generations before them. She wants everyone to value the rich history and story that vintage clothing offers—not to mention its charm. The one-of-a-kind pieces she sells cannot be replaced by fast fashion chains or even today’s top designers. Her advice to fashionistas: Fall in love with vintage and make it yours forever.

Models | Kanae Branch, Naila Carter, Alycia Luciano
IG: @kanaezb, @theweavewhisperer, @Alycia_the_model

Wardrobe | Virlé Cole – IG @virlecole

Photographer | Adam Jackson  – IG @Adamj.photo

Makeup Artists | Doshia Kelly & Daija Smith
IG @Doshia_monae_artisty & @daijaaaaa

Stylist
Bettina Coleman

Black White Beautiful Black White Beautiful

Black White Beautiful

Black White Beautiful

31Dec/17
101Clothing

Resonance SS18 Collection by 101Clothing

101Clothing

Resonance SS18 Collection

Photographer | Aklass Photography

Wardrobe | 101Clothing

Hair & Makeup | Queen Kay

Location Manager & Assistant | Maxwell Sarpong

Models | Florence Mamtey, Danielle Atakora, Edward Carter Kyremah

Website | www.101clothinggh.com

Instagram | @iam_101clothing

101Clothing

11Dec/17
Alvin Ailey

Art Affecting Humanity: Alvin Ailey ‘Shelter’ to address Homelessness

Affected. Something that we, as citizens of the globe, often feel that we must be less of in order to survive. However, Alvin Ailey is reviving ‘Shelter,’ a piece choreographed by Urban Bush Women’s Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and aims to make us feel just that; affected. Originally performed in 1992, ‘Shelter’ is a “work that frankly addresses the pain and isolation of homelessness,” says the choreographer. The all-female piece reflects not only the struggle but the resiliency of those who are chronically homeless, she notes. Resiliency that, I feel, is part and parcel of the human spirit that we all share. Just as homelessness affects us one and all.

‘Shelter’ is set to debut for the renown dance troupe’s current season in NYC, a place where blatant homelessness is rampant and it is customary to turn a blind eye. As per inspiration for the piece, Zollar remarked that upon settling into NYC in the 80’s she “realized that as a coping mechanism [she] had stopped seeing the people who were homeless… that was [more] dangerous because it was a loss of humanity.” Humanity being all facets of experience, whoever and wherever you may be. I am currently in Barbados, and homelessness is too. While in the city, I had a stranger point out a characteristically homeless man, explain that they went to University together and that he used to be a lawyer. Perhaps knowing the man forced the strangers conscious to acknowledge him, whereas the other people on the street simply passed him by without a glance. I would then ask: must it directly affect us for us to take part in affecting it? A resident New Yorker myself, I have found that turning a blind eye requires us to repress our Souls. To repress the constant call for sympathy as well as the underlying fear of relating. However, the issue and relevance of homelessness cannot be ignored into non-existence. Whether through dance, art, outreach or otherwise, it begs of us to be constantly addressed through awareness and action.

I send energy to the notion that we are not powerless in this matter. Not in aiding those who are afflicted nor in preventing it for ourselves. But our power lies in our ability to give. Not speaking solely of our money or our time, but of our attention as well. In giving our attention to and, therefore, shining a light on the very things that we wish to push into the darkness, the threat of darkness itself disappears. As opposed to our hearts having to do so instead. Especially if Ms. Zollar and the Alvin Ailey Dancers have anything to do with it. So as audiences pack into the plush seats of City Center’s theater, they will be reminded of the transiency of ‘having’. It is indefatigably important to foster contact with our humanity as often as possible; especially to the experiences that we may feel are not applicable to us at the moment. This is exactly what will be accomplished, yet again, with ‘Shelter’. As James Baldwin said ‘…the Artist knows, and must let us know, that there is nothing stable under heaven.”. So yes, it could happen to you. Perhaps it has happened to you already. May there be continuous attention given and inspiration found to address such a prevalent affliction. May we be led to fostering a future where it does not exist. It is possible.

Alvin Ailey 2017 Season happening now.

31Oct/17
Vol13 Virility

Taji Vol13: Virility

Release Dec 7 2017 | Vol13 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Virility! This volume’s cover feature is musician, actor, and model Daniel Jones. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick: StockOnyx, premier royalty-free stock content from Black creatives; the Community Spotlight on the elegant soaps, scrubs, and body butters of The Celestine Collection; Sankofa Community Empowerment; our highlighted Hair Feature; “Solo Travel: The Step Before Step One” by D. Carrie; “Spiritual Teknowledge: Intersource” by Jashua Sa’Ra; New Panther: A Call for Action; The Nola D. Collective; “#BlackLoveConvo: “AJ Andrews: Lady With a Golden Glove and Heart” by Dapper Dr. Feel; “Clarifying Credit… the Quick Fix” by NayMarie, our Health & Fitness Advice Column with Trainer Clint & Vegan Fun with Delliz the Chef; Featured art piece by Will Focus; Must Have Graphic Novel: Ayanmo Stigmata by Tyrone Jackson of Sovereign Comics; Black Business Highlights; Taji Mag Model Contest Winners; and more!!

Purchase your copy now at ‘Purchase Taji’!

Vol13

Purchase Taji Mag | Vol 13

Taji Mag is the epitome of the positive Black experience. Our brand embodies the traditional and modern royalty of Pan-African people via our quarterly digital and print publication and live events.

28Oct/17
K is for Kahlo

New Children’s Book ‘K is for Kahlo’ Spells Out Excellence: Taji Mag Book Club

Making Art as easy as ABC’s: Literally.

Can you name 26 influential international Artists? Well, thanks to the new children’s book, K is for Kahlo by Dr. Tamara Pizzoli, we’ll all have the chance to learn.

Presenting artists from different disciplines, each is introduced within the pages of the book as a placeholder for a corresponding letter of the alphabet. Depicted in the bright color and simplicity typical of a children’s book, the illustrations done by Howell Edwards Creative are anything but typical. See for yourself. Available in hardcover and paperback from Amazon (and paperback on her website),  the book is described as ‘An artistic tour of the alphabet featuring notable artists from all around the world’. No stranger to accolades, author Dr. Pizzoli is best known for her critically acclaimed previous book, ‘The Ghanaian Goldilocks’, which received several awards. Recently released, her new book is already receiving praises, including a nod from the likes of Afropunk, which is known for lauding black excellence.

K is for Kahlo(image sourced from Afropunk)

This book is definitely going to be in quite a few of my holiday gifts this year. (Insert Oprah GIF here) You get a book. YOU get a book! EVERYBODY GETS A BOOOOOK!!!! Here’s why.

As essential as it is to teach our children the fundamentals of learning, such as the ABC’s, it is also our responsibility to inspire them. Dr. Pizzoli has dedicated herself to enriching the lives of children for years as a teacher and, now, also as an author. It is said that creativity fosters creativity and I believe this applies to life, not just art. The system in charge of educating our children outlines an overwhelmingly narrow path to success that often does not foster individuality nor artistic gifts as a mainstay. So efforts that successfully bring these elements together are worth noting. Talk about #Winning. This book puts into form the notion that we should be encouraging our children to take stock of their abilities and use them to create a life that is rich in texture and depth. It is never too early to show a young mind that it can dream in its own color.

Actually, all of her books encourage kids to live out loud. As an artist and someone who also works with children, I am so here for this! Using what we know to capture their bright-eyed attention, we can begin to mold together their emerging sense of self with their imagination. Not to mention the bonding that comes with reading to a child (cuddles. am I right?) and the fulfillment we get from knowing we are giving them wonderful tools for life. Honestly, I’ll be buying one for myself as well, just as much for myself as to share with the children I care for. You’re never too young, or too old, to be captivated and inspired by Art. Besides, you never know: you might just find out you’ve got a Baby Basquiat on your hands. You’re welcome.

Check out this book and 8 other titles from the Author here.

Social Media Links for the Author:

Instagram: @tamarapizzoli | @theenglishschoolhouse

Facebook: The English Schoolhouse

Twitter: @engschoolhouse

Until next time, keep reading ya’ll.

07Oct/17
Beauty is Melanin

Black Beauty | Beauty is Melanin with Tifany & Sherrod

Beauty is Melanin

Beauty is Melanin

Beauty is Melanin

Beauty is Melanin

Photographer: Kim Roseberry
Model: Sherrod Bolden
Model: Tifany Ozieah

07Oct/17
Love Afrique

Love Afrique Launches, Offering Unique African-Inspired Accessories

Love AfriqueNew company Love Afrique launches their line of African-inspired head wraps, handbags, and jewelry. The new brand works to help women feel great and express their culture through their collection. “We aim to have women of color glamorously and unapologetically reflect their roots,” said the Love Afrique team. Via their website, customers can peruse and purchase the full range of Love Afrique items. Customers can receive an exclusive discount on their first order when they sign up for the Love Afrique newsletter.

Visit their website for more information!
Love Afrique
Instagram: @love.Afrique

Love Afrique