Ava Duvernay is First Black Female to Win Best Director at Sundance

Great news out of Utah!

Ava Duvernay is now the first black women to win best director at the Sundance Film Festival.

Her film Middle Of Nowhere won the prize, beating out some very stiff competition. It is Duvernay’s second film; her first, entitled I Will Follow, was released last year to rave reviews.

From the Huffington Post:

In her acceptance speech, Duvernay said that it was important that Nowhere be seen beyond the film festival and for ‘filmmakers of color to see one another’s films and have them seen.’

VIDEO: New Documentary ‘The Loving Story’ Trailer

Check out the trailer for HBO’s upcoming documentary “The Loving Story,” about the landmark Loving v. Virginia case that ended interracial marriage bans in the United States in 1967.

Richard Perry Loving, a white man, and Mildred Loving, a black woman, married in Washington DC in 1958 (where interracial marriage was legal at the time), but were arrested as soon as they returned to their native Virginia, where interracial marriage was still illegal.

They were given a one year suspended jail sentence, on the condition that the couple leave Virginia for 25 years.

The judge wrote:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

BYP Blogger Edward James III Delivers Keynote Address at MLK Breakfast


Our very own Edward James III was the keynote speaker at the 19th annual MLK Day Breakfast in Sarasota this past week.

Delivering a speech entitled “Writing Our Own Narrative,” Edward spoke eloquently and passionately about the plight of today’s Black youth, and the importance of enterprise, civic engagement and community support to stem the tide of violence and self-destruction in our communities.

‘Shit White Girls Say…To Black Girls” Creator Speaks Out, Releases Part 2

“Shit White Girls Say—To Black Girls” creator Franchesca Ramsey has returned with a sequel to her highly controversial contribution to the relentless “Shit People Say” meme.

And it is absolutely hilarious. Check it out below!


And Ramsey hasn’t taken the crticism from naysayers lying down.

VIDEO: Obama Campaign Calls Out Koch Brothers In New TV Ad

The Obama Reelection Capmaign has unleashed their first television ad of the 2012 election season.

Check it out below.

Dealing largely with Obama’s record on clean energy and ethics, the 30-second spot is also notable for calling out the Koch Brothers, “the wealthy conservative industrialists who have funded the Tea Party and anti-gay, anti-labor politicians such as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.” The ad does not mention them by name, instead referring to “secretive oil billionaires” who attack the President with nonfactual ads.

New TV One Series Aims To Help Find Black Missing Persons


Early last month, we told you about Kalisha Madden, a 26 year-old Black women from Detroit who’d been missing since November 28th. To our knowledge, Kalisha has yet to be found.

The conversation regarding Kalisha expanded into a larger discussion on the lack of mainstream media attention for missing persons of color. We wondered why there continues to be such finite media attention paid to missing Black people? Are our lives somehow less valuable?

Well, TV One hopes to counteract this with their brand new show, “Find Our Missing,” set to premiere tonight at 10pm ET. Check out a preview above.

The Daily Beast’s Allison Samuels has written a wonderful piece on the concept, significance, and unique strategies to be employed by this groundbreaking new show.

VIDEO: Celebrities Discuss Growing Up Black and Latino

Check out this fascinating video about growing up Black and Latino.

The clip features remarks from celebrities like Javier Colon, Christina Milian, Soledad O’Brien and Tatyana Ali; all share reflections on the unique and sometimes maddening experience of being both Black and Latino in America.

Among the topics discussed are stereotypes and prejudices, bilingualism, straddling two cultural identities, and discrimination in Hollywood (and society at large).

It’s a very interesting and vital conversation. Check it out below:

STUDY: Black Boys Receive Less Attention, Harsher Punishments, and Lower Grades In School

According to a recent study conducted by the Yale University Child Study Center, Black boys recieve less attention, harsher punishments, and lower grades in school than their White counterparts.

This trend persists from kindergarten all the way through college, regardless of socioeconomic status.

And a recent article in the Washington Post asserts that Black children in the D.C. area are suspended or expelled two to five times more often than White students.

This really shouldn’t surprise anyone; we’ve always known that our young Black men face an uphill battle in this society, practically from birth. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take action to counteract the systemic oppression of young Black men in America.

Check out Roland Martin’s interview with Judith Brown Dianis, the co-director of the Advancement Project, about these disturbing trends below.

VIDEO: Police Officer Punches Special Needs Woman in the Face!

Another day, another shocking case of police brutality.

In Bellflower, California, a special needs woman boarded a city bus with a stroller filled with some pillows. After a stop or two, two police officers boarded and demanded that she exit the bus.

When she refused, the male officer reared back and punched her in the face.

The entire incident was caught on tape.

How can this kind of force ever be justified on an unarmed, special needs woman?

VIDEO: Interview with PARIAH director Dee Rees and actress Kim Wayans!

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard something about “Pariah,” the much-hyped new film from director Dee Rees.

Pariah tells the powerful “coming of age” story of a young, Black lesbian. The film is slowly garnering more and more screens, and more and more praise and acclaim, with each passing day. Do yourself a big favor, and check this film out when it comes to a theater near you.

And in the meantime, check out this fascinating interview with Dee Rees and Kim Wayans, courtesy of Colorlines.

“‘We knew that if we could just get the film done, that regardless of sexuality, race and identity, people would be able to see themselves in different parts of the story,’ Rees told Colorlines.com last month, as she awaited the release of her feature directorial debut ‘Pariah.’

‘We’d go to pitch meetings and the moment we said ‘black, lesbian, coming of age,’ they would turn around, validate our parking and hand us a bottle of water.'”