Sunday, 25 February 2018

Black Panther Costumier Got it Right Her Designs Are Unique

In this post I invite you to relish the beautifully abd powerful artistic work of Ruth E. Carter. 
Few people have as storied a history in creating powerful onscreen images of black people than Ruth E. Carter. Malcolm XB.A.P.S., Love & Basketball—she's literally the woman behind the looks of some of the most iconic movies of all time. Though many of us grew up watching her work without knowing who she was, thanks to the social media, the internet, and the worldwide phenomenon that is Black Panther, a whole new set of film and fashion lovers are falling in love with  Ruth, her groundbreaking, soul-stirring work in Black Panther. We love it.

Ruth E. Carter "It’s made me even more proud to be part of this dynamic because it’s a real connection."

© Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

© Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

© Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

© Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

© Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

© Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

© Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

© Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

© Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

© Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

© Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

© Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection
© Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

The Exceptional life of Rev Billy Graham is Honoured by All.

The funeral procession of Billy Graham made its way through North Carolina to his hometown of Charlotte as thousands came out to say goodbye to “America’s Pastor.”

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Admirers took photos on their phones, fire trucks parked on freeway overpasses and police officers saluted as a motorcade carrying the body of the Rev. Billy Graham crossed the evangelist's beloved home state of North Carolina for four hours Saturday from his mountain chapel to namesake library in the state's largest city.
Residents in some of Graham's most cherished places paid tribute to "America's Pastor," starting at the training centre operated by his evangelistic association in Asheville. The motorcade rolled through Black Mountain, where he shopped and caught trains, and Montreat, where he lived.
Well-wishers lined sidewalks and medians as the motorcade reached Charlotte. Pallbearers, followed by family, carried the coffin into the Billy Graham Library, which will serve as a backdrop for the funeral.
Franklin Graham said he was fulfilling a promise to his father to bring the body to Charlotte. He said he was overwhelmed by "the outpouring of love."
Leighton Ford, the evangelist's brother-in-law, said the procession brought gratitude and tinge of sadness.
"I think he'd say, 'It's not about me. It's about the Lord,'" said Ford. "I remember at his last stadium meeting here in Charlotte, the mayor of Charlotte told us he was riding out on the platform with Billy, and everybody was cheering, and Billy said, 'Wait a minute. It's not about us. It's about Him.'"
Graham, who died Wednesday at his home in North Carolina's mountains at age 99, reached hundreds of millions of listeners around the world with his rallies and his pioneering use of television.
A viewing will be held at the library in Charlotte on Monday and Tuesday. Graham will also lie in honour in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday and Thursday, the first time a private citizen has been accorded such recognition since civil rights hero Rosa Parks in 2005.
The procession was part of more than a week of mourning that culminates with his burial Friday.
Adults and children stood behind wooden barricades and yellow tape along a route that included parts of Interstate 40. A man played bagpipes at a highway rest area near Marion, where an overpass was draped with flags from about 15 nations. In Black Mountain, a group sang "Amazing Grace."
"He has never really revelled in all of the celebrity. It's come with the territory," said Joe Tyson, a family friend who runs a furniture store in Black Mountain, where he watched the procession.
The library in Charlotte was closed but admirers came to watch and lay flowers.
"He was so bold, he so boldly confessed the word of God," said Madeline Reid. "And I believe because of his service to humanity, that he's truly gonna be great in the kingdom of heaven."
Ruby Sparks, 85, attended a Graham youth ministry meeting in 1951, when she was a college student in Greensboro, North Carolina, and met him in 1970.
"He was such a wonderful man of God, and a messenger of God," she said.
Asked if there would ever be another force like his, she replied: "I doubt it. Perhaps, in my next, in another lifetime. Not in my lifetime."
Graham will be laid to rest at the foot of a cross-shaped walkway at the library, buried in a simple prison-made plywood coffin next to his wife, Ruth, who died in 2007. His coffin was built by inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, who typically construct caskets for fellow prisoners who cannot afford one.
The funeral will be held in a tent in the main parking lot of Graham's library in tribute to the 1949 Los Angeles tent revivals that propelled him to international fame, family spokesman Mark DeMoss said. About 2,000 people are expected at the private, invitation-only funeral.
This story has been edited to correct the quote from Ford.
Associated Press writers Elliot Spagat in San Diego and Tom Foreman Jr. in Charlotte contributed to this report.
Post was first published in Yahoo Finance -


Ryan Coogler, the director of Black Panther is so overwhelmed by the excellent reception the film has received so far, the film was released this month to a massive reception at the box office, he is so thankful and not taking for granted the reception, he has taken out time to say "Thank You" on Twitter.

He Wrote:
"I am struggling to find the words to express my gratitude at this moment, but I will try," he began. "Film-making is a team sport. And our team was made up [of] amazing people from all over the world who believed in this story. Deep down we all hoped that people would come to see a film about a fictional country on the continent of Africa, made up of a cast of people of African descent.

"Never in a million years did we imagine that you all would come out this strong," he continued. "It still humbles me to think that people care enough to spend their money and time watching our film. But to see people of all backgrounds wearing clothing that celebrates their heritage, taking pictures next to our posters with their friends and family, and sometimes dancing in the lobbies of theaters, often moved me and my wife to tears."

He thanked every single person up and down the totem pole who made Black Panther's success happen — and not just the ticket-holders infiltrating theaters all across the world. "For the people who bought out theaters, who posted on social about how lit the film would be, bragged about our awesome cast," he wrote, "picked out outfits to wear, and who stood in line in theaters all over the world, all before seeing the film...To the press who wrote about the film for folks who hadn't seen it, and encouraged audiences to come out...And to the young ones, who came out with their parents, with their mentors, and with their friends...Thank you for giving our team of filmmakers the great gift. The opportunity to share this film, that we poured our hearts and souls into, with you."

Dahomey Amazons are some of the fiercest Women Warriors in history - Black Panther

I personally did not know about this set of warriors until I saw this post in Teen Vogue, although I am Africa born and bred. I am relishing in this very good side of our history, we have always been very strong and I know that our strength will only increase judging by how far we have come.

Composite. Courtesy of Getty Images, ©Marvel Studios 2018.

In Black Panther, the Dora Milaje are the personal bodyguards to the King of Wakanda: T’Challa, otherwise known as Black Panther himself. They are fierce warriors, handy with a lethal spear, and unlike most armies, are comprised entirely of women. Translated to “The Adored Ones” in English, they’re repped in the movie by Okoye (Danai Gurira), the general of the group. They are also entrusted as the gatekeepers of their country, which has famously never been colonized.

The Dora Milaje may sound like a fable or an imaginary group concocted by comics writers. But they actually resemble a group of lesser-known women from West African history. Dating back to possibly as early as the 17th century, there was a group of women warriors in Africa dubbed the Dahomey Amazons, a name [coined] by European explorers in reference to the mythical female soldiers. However, these great warrior women were known amongst their people as the Ahosi (“king’s wives”) or Mino (“our mothers”). The Dahomey women were among the only all-female documented in modern military history. And these warriors were no myth —they were the real deal and the ones entrusted with protecting the king on a daily basis.

Residing in the present-day Republic of Benin, the Dahomey were of the Fon, a large ethnic group in West Africa. According to Stanley Alpern, author of the only full-length Engish-language study about the Dahomey, they were first drafted to guard the palace doors. According to the royal dictate during King Agaja's reign (1708-1740), “No man [shall] sleeps within the walls of any of [my palaces] after sunset but myself.” Man were banned from living in the palace, so guards had to be women. A letter written by an English trader named William Snelgrave made mention of four women with muskets behind his throne.

Not exactly a feminist utopia, every Dahomey warrior woman was considered married to the king, although he rarely took up sexual relations with them. Instead, the women were seen as his sisters, daughters, and soldiers. It is said any man who saw it fit to inappropriately touch one of the women faced imprisonment or death.

The Dahomean female soldiers were known for their decapitation. They went through fierce and rigorous physical training, which consisted of arms exercises, making use of prisoner enemies as their targets for executions. The women wrestled one another, climbed walls, underwent vicious physically painful tasks, and were sent to fend for themselves for up to nine days with small rations to build and test their endurance. They were even more applauded for how their clothes stayed clean and tailored, their tools kept sharp, and their marches crisp and quiet.

Sure sounds familiar to the Dora Milaje, right? And people highly anticipating Black Panther made the comparison long before the movie even premiered in theaters. Fans pointed out similarities between T'Challa's army and the Dahomey Amazons back when all we had was a peek at the Marvel film.

The Dahomey Amazons were originally recruited from foreign captives and prisoners. Between the middle of the 18th and 19th century, the Dahomey army's numbers swelled from about 600 to about 6,000, with some estimates putting the total at about 8,000. Many observers at the time counted thousands of female warriors among the army's ranks.

The Dahomey kingdom, with the help of the Amazons, conquered neighboring nations, taking thousands as captives of war, and the land grew greatly in size up until the latter half of the 19th-century.

And what became of the Dahomey warriors? It appears that as the French began colonizing parts of Africa, the warriors fought back. But they were no match for the sheer force of the French and their firearms. According to most sources, the last of Dahomey’s women warriors passed in the 1940s. But other accounts allude that there may have been some of these soldiers alive into the ‘60s and ‘70s.
The Dora Milaje first appeared in Black Panther Vol. 3 #1 by Christopher Priest, the first widely known African-American comics writer. He helped further build the fantastic world of Wakanda, the Black Panther, Dora Milaje, and more. His imagination was largely responsible for its success, but it’s not too far-fetched to believe his inspiration was rooted in the beautiful wonders of warrior women from ancient African history.

Story was first published in Teen's Vogue -

Michelle Obama Congratulates the Black Panther Crew

Getty Images/Marvel/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Everett Collection

Black Panther continued to shatter recordschange lives, and receive rave reviews over the weekend, with one such review from none other than Michelle Obama. On Presidents' Day, the former First Lady of the United States took to Twitter with high praise for the acclaimed masterpiece, congratulating the filmmakers for its groundbreaking effect on superhero movies.

"Congrats to the entire #blackpanther team!" she tweeted. "Because of you, young people will finally see superheroes that look like them on the big screen. I loved this movie and I know it will inspire people of all backgrounds to dig deep and find the courage to be heroes of their own stories."

The former First Lady makes a very important point about just how much representation matters in media. As she points out, getting to see heroes who look like you on the big screen goes a long way in breaking barriers. Plus, the success of inclusive films like Black Panther and Wonder Woman make the case for studios to fund even more films like them, instead of ones with questionable representation and whitewashing.

Obama's tweet has since (obviously) gone viral, and even caught the attention of Wakandan royalty themselves. Lupita Nyong'o, who plays Nakia in the film, retweeted the praise, adding, "Humbled by the real queen 🙅🏿."

Aside from the fact that this obviously means the Obamas need cameos in Black Panther 2, it's amazing to see the ode to black excellence continue to get the recognition it deserves — and from someone as monumental as Michelle Obama, no less. Meanwhile, former President of the United States Barack Obama hasn't yet shared his thoughts on Black Panther, but considering his lifelong interest in superhero comics, it wouldn't be surprising if he loved it just as much as his wife.

Congrats to the entire #blackpanther team! Because of you, young people will finally see superheroes that look like them on the big screen. I loved this movie and I know it will inspire people of all backgrounds to dig deep and find the courage to be heroes of their own stories. 6:37 PM - Feb 19, 2018            612K

·       106K

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Mansa Musa was a Real King in Africa and The Real Black Panther.

          Mansa-Musa-mecca-1518808606 More Credit: Getty Images

When Marvel announced in 2014 that they would begin production on a Black Panther movie, the news was met with the same kind of hype as an Air Jordan release. Not only would black people get a taste of the positive representation they deserve, Stan Lee (who along with author, Jack Kirby, created The Black Panther comics) would be bringing to “life” the richest and one of the most powerful protagonists in the Marvel Universe: the Wakandan warrior-king, T’Challa.

The excitement surrounding the film can be credited to the unprecedented nature of the Black Panther’s storyline. In the comics, T’Challa is known as the wealthiest man in the world with a fortune that makes Ironman look rusty. He’s also the leader of an advanced African nation. This power, coming from where America’s 45th president once called one of its countries a “sh**hole,” strikes some as more fantasy-like than people with laser swords. Yet, this is only because American exceptionalism deprives its citizens of worldly history, as the story of T’Challa is eerily similar to the legend of a historic African ruler. While it would be wrong to discredit the creativity of the author, when informed, one can’t help but insist that the talents of Black Panther’s main character aren’t as original as they seem.
“Everything that’s out here for kings like us – the reason why we like this jewelry and this diamond and this stuff – they don’t understand is because we really from Africa. We originated from Kings… it’s in our genes. We just don’t know our history.” – Pimp C
In fact, long before Wakanda was imagined, the real Black Panther once ruled the lands of Western Africa and his name was Mansa Musa.
Musa I (known more commonly as Mansa Musa) was the tenth Mansa (a Mandinka word for “emperor”) of the Mali Empire. He ruled the nation for nearly 25 years until his death in 1337 and is considered by many comic book gurus to be the muse for T’Challa and the Black Panther. Although neither Kirby nor Lee have proven these hypotheses, fans would be hard-pressed to ignore the similarities between the two.
Like his fictional counterpart, Musa was loaded. With an estimated net worth close to $400 billion, TIME states that Mansa Musa was “richer than anyone could describe.” It was actually these riches that brought the world’s attention to his power, as it was his 1324 pilgrimage to Mecca that made Musa a household name.
Mansa Musa treated this trip like a Puff Daddy video shoot. He and 60,000 of his guys wore nothing but silk and traveled from Western Africa to Mecca. They spent more money along the way than the world had ever seen. Yet, it was almost as if the ruler’s ethos blended JAY-Z’s “Money Ain’t A Thing’” with “The Story of O.J.” as he donated as much as he splurged. As a matter of fact, according to Britannica, Musa gave the poor so much gold that his charitable actions caused the world a massive inflation. He crashed the world market in such a monsterous way that it took the city of Cairo 12 years to recover.
However, wealth isn’t the only place where Musa and T’Challa correlate. When comparing their kingdoms, it is clear that Wakanda is a magnified, majestic version of Musa’s Mali empire.
Like Wakanda, Mali and Timbuktu were known for their advanced knowledge and technology. During his reign, Mansa Musa urbanized the city of Timbuktu, making it the blueprint of intellect and infrastructure that it’s known today. This intelligence aided in the country’s military success, which Musa sustained by recapturing the rebellious trading city of Goa. Musa even built the Djinguereber Mosque, one of the three structures making up what is believed to be one of Africa’s oldest learning centers.

This legendary rule is something Mansa Musa couldn’t solely take credit for. As reported by the Gale Database, when asked how he amassed this intellect and success, Musa always referred to his deeply rooted spiritual connections. Being a devout Muslim, Musa was played a major role in the spread of Islam into Africa and southern Spain. He also bigged up his vastly popular cabinet of warriors and scholars, both of which are paralleled by T’Challa’s Black Panther storyline.
“Imma say this then Imma end mines; If you not down for the Africans here in the United States… if you ain’t down with the ones that suffered in South Africa from apartheid and sh*t, you need to step your punk a** to the side…” –Protestor Audio (Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic”)
By projecting the fictional story of T’Challa, people of color are now given the medium to inform others about the real-life greatness of African kings of the past, like Musa I, the Black Panther’s muse. Relating the story of Mansa Musa through this popularized context gives the black posterity an avenue to indirectly identify with not only a comic book character, but also a historical, non-fictional king.
When the connections between Mansa and T’Challa are combined with Black Panther’s box office-breaking record, the economic power of the people, especially black people, is emphasized. From social media festivities to dressing up in traditional African garb for the premiere, it’s safe to say that the Black Panther movie has become a cultural phenomenon. People of color are using monetary support and displaying the modern existence of the economic powers possessed by Mansa Musa and his fictional counterpart.
“Like it or not, you from Africa.” – Tre Styles (Boyz N The Hood)
When this notion is internalized, it will allow the few opponents of the movie to accept the film for what it is, and see that –  like Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage – Black Panther has begun to create the inflation needed to showcase the Black Diaspora in a positive light.
Story also appeared on Yahoo Entertainment 

There is a Special Heaven for Women that help other Women.

When a young mother boarded a packed plane with her 4-month-old daughter en route to surprise her military husband, she never realized what an impact her flight would have on other people. In fact, Rebekka Garvison was so trepidatious about flying alone with her young daughter, she asked the flight attendant to let her change seats when she saw exasperated looks on the faces of the older couple seated beside her. That seat switch made all the difference.
As Rebekka shared on Facebook, she moved to a row with two empty seats, but despite the extra room, baby Rylee wouldn't stop crying. That's when a stranger sitting next to her offered to try to calm the baby — and that woman was nothing short of a baby whisperer. Not only did Rylee stop crying, but she also fell asleep in the woman's arms and remained there for the entire flight.
Rebekka's post has gone viral with more than 65,000 people sharing it. But it is the response of the woman who held little Rylee that struck me. Nyfesha Miller shared the post and thanked everyone for posting such kinds words about her, saying:
Extra special thanks to new mommy & military wife, Rebekka Garvison, who I had the honor, privilege & blessing to meet and assist. She's truly a sweet, loving mommy & wife, who deserves all the accolades. God Bless you all!!

Proof that there are still good in the world — you just have to find it!

Snapchat Respond to Soothe the Protesters of their New Features

Snapchat logo

More than 1.2 million people have signed a petition on pleading with Snapchat to remove some of the new features added to the site, it is said that some of the new features are making the user experience very difficult, prompting Snapchat to respond, find Snapchat response below  
Snap Inc.’s response

20 FEB 2018 — To Nic and all of the Snapchatters who signed this petition,

We hear you, and appreciate that you took the time to let us know how you feel. We completely understand the new Snapchat has felt uncomfortable for many.

By putting everything from your friends in one place, our goal was to make it easier to connect with the people you care about most. The new Friends page will adapt to you and get smarter over time, reflecting who you’re most likely to be Snapping with at that moment. This same personalization is also true of the new Discover, which will adapt to you the more that you use it.

Beginning soon on iOS, and with Android in the coming weeks, we are introducing tabs in Friends and Discover, which will make it easier to find the Stories that you want, when you want them. Once you receive the update, you’ll be able to sort things like Stories, Group Chats, and Subscriptions, allowing you to further customize your own experience on the app.

This new foundation is just the beginning, and we will always listen closely to find new ways to make the service better for everyone. We are grateful for your enthusiasm and creativity. We are very excited for what’s ahead.

Team Snapchat

story first appeared in -

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher used a Smart Crib to soothe their baby to sleep.

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher used a smart crib to soothe their baby to sleep. (Photo: Getty Images)
More - Parents Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have nailed their bedtime routine: They used a smart sleeper to rock their youngest baby to sleep.

During the February 14th podcast “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard,” Kutcher shared how parenting 3-year-old Wyatt and 1-year-old Dimitri with Kunis, has changed their lives, particularly in the area of sleep.
“For kid number two we got one of those Snoos,” said Kutcher. “It’s an oscillating bed…it has a sensor in it so the louder the kid cries, the faster it goes and puts the kid back to sleep.” The actor added that the bed helped their youngest sleep a full six hours on the third day of life.
The Snoo Smart Sleeper — sold for $1,160 — was invented by Santa Monica pediatrician Harvey Karp, M.D., and designed to mimic his famous infant sleep strategy called “The 5 S’s” outlined in his 2002 book, The Happiest Baby on the Block. The method has become a cult classic for sleep-deprived parents and involves five steps to calm babies and lull them to sleep.
 Based on the premise that newborns need a “fourth trimester” to acclimate to the world, the method evokes two of the cozy sensations experienced in the womb: Gentle jiggling and white noise.
The Snoo comes with a “5-second swaddle” which clips into the sides of the bed, securing the baby on its back, (the safest position for infants to sleep) and jiggles and emits white noise at the sound of a baby’s cry. If the baby is not calm within one minute, the machine stops, signaling stronger needs like hunger or pain.
Other celebrities such as Molly Sims and Zoe Saldana are fans and Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are Snoo investors.
Still, the bed has received criticism for its luxury price point and the idea of a machine responding to infant distress. Some on Facebook commented that the rocking sensation interfered with their babies’ ability to self-soothe and that the attached swaddle presents a potential safety issue if the baby needs to be retrieved quickly. Another wrote it was for “lazy parents.”
“Up until 100 years ago, parents had so much support raising their children — but we’ve walked back on that concept and its creating havoc,” Karp tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Sleep deprivation for parents is the main trigger for postpartum depression, obesity, stress, lowered breastfeeding rates, and SIDS, in the case of parents falling asleep in bed with their infants.”
Karp maintains that Snoo is not designed to be a “replacement parent” but rather an aid, not unlike a baby swing, a night nurse, or a family member. “Parents use it at night but also during the day when they need to place their baby in a safe environment while showering, for example,” he says.
The Snoo’s draw is both physical and psychological. “Babies transition from sleeping in a noisy, busy womb to a silent still bed and that can feel like sensory deprivation,” says Karp. “But babies whose needs are met in a timely manner develop a sense of attachment and trust, whether that comes from a parent, a swing, or Snoo.”
While he acknowledges the high price tag, Karp reasons, “It factors into about five dollars per day, not unlike the cost of a cup of coffee or a Red Bull.”
According to Andy J. Bernstein, M.D. a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and a physician at North Suburban Pediatrics in Chicago, while there’s nothing inherently unsafe about Snoo, parents should be cautious toward expensive baby gear marketed as necessities.
“These types of items can provide a false sense of security allowing parents to let their guards down when they otherwise wouldn’t,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “They can also provoke anxiety if the device stops working and parents then have to learn other methods for helping their babies.”
Parents who enjoy the hands-on experience of soothing their children may not opt for the crib, he says, “but for some working parents, especially those with multiple kids to care for, it could be useful.”

Amazon. Com - Star Wars