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Brazilians Are Occupying White Spaces During 'Black Panther' Reign

The diaspora is not playing. 

Many have debated the claim that Black Panther is making any waves for its black audience, whether politically or socially. The argument is that a single film with a crew 90 percent black won’t change any conditions or necessarily mobilize a people. Many say the representation is still limited, which is true. Nevertheless, we would be remiss to dismiss the power behind strong and dignified black imagery.

Take Brazil for instance, where a myriad of protests have risen, proving that the movie is no ground for complacency. It lends, instead, to a global resurgence of black unity. The film is not an embodiment of general change, but of change we can start with.

After the release of the reasonably decorated film, black Brazilians have assembled, traveling hours outside of favelas or working-class neighborhoods to protest their exclusion from "elite" venues and defy their cloak of invisibility through participation in the rolezinho pretoi or “black stroll.”

On Monday (Feb. 19), the Coletivo Preto (Black Collective) and Grupo Emú began occupying predominately white spaces – such as malls where the upper-class visit – to continue their escape from the segregation and rampant impoverishment that surrounds them, though never stated overtly.

The group started at Shopping Leblon, one of Rio de Janeiro’s most luxurious malls. They simply came together and decided to see the movie — all black, all together. As a people, their presence posed a threat to the “safety” of shoppers and fellow movie-goers. The group dressed in traditional African garb, accompanied by accessories such as kofias, headwraps and the oft-threatening afro.

In addition to presence, the protests call for representation in media. A national cinema agency, Ancine found that only seven percent of professionals in the field of entertainment are black when the majority of Brazilians have African ancestry, The Intercept reports.

The protest is much larger than a response to Black Panther’s representation. It also stands as a response to the attempts to stop young black boys and men from visiting beaches in wealthy neighborhoods back in 2015, with earlier protests turned violent as motivators, too. The fear of the "invasion" has caused white elites and their businesses to close malls and call on law enforcement agents, who have resorted to breaking up the groups with tear gas and rubber bullets, according to The Intercept.

Organizers, however, will continue to work for their people, as no motion for civil rights has ever been easy. They’re pushing for blackness in film and elsewhere in media to become the norm.

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Jeezy speaks onstage during day 1 of REVOLT Summit x AT&T Summit on September 12, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Jeezy Lands 'Worth A Conversation' Talk Show On Fox Soul

Rapper and entrepreneur Jay “Jeezy” Jenkins has teamed up with FOX Soul for his very own talk show, Worth A Conversation with Jay “Jeezy” Jenkins. Set to premiere next month on the live and interactive streaming channel, Worth A Conversation aims to hold conversations on topics that resonate within the Black community and intersect entertainment, politics, social justice, sports, and more.

“It has been my passion and my drive to inspire, motivate, and educate my culture," said Jenkins in the official press release. "Every song I’ve ever written, every word I’ve uttered came from a real place and this is no different. Worth A Conversation is self-explanatory. I will talk about issues that directly affect my culture and it’s people. From the front porch conversations to real-life situations, Worth A Conversation is bridging the gap. I’m excited to be a part of the FOX Soul family and can’t wait to introduce you to Jay “Jeezy” Jenkins.”

It's no surprise that Jeezy is taking the hosting route. His fiancée Jeannie Mai serves as a co-host on the daytime syndicated talk show, The Real, which began it's run on the FOX network. Guess it's safe to say talk show hosting will soon be family business.

On the production end, Jeezy will serve as the show's executive producer alongside Solomon Fornie and Travis Garrett, and Jill King will serve as showrunner and executive producer.

Debuting October 14th at 7 pm PT / 10 pm ET, Worth A Conversation will be streamable on the FOX Soul app (on your mobile app or smart TV) or on foxsoul.tv.

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Yara Shahidi Cast As Tinker Bell In Live-Action ‘Peter Pan’

Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi will portray Tinker Bell in Disney's forthcoming live-action version of Peter Pan, Deadline reports. The cast of Peter Pan and Wendy, directed by David Lowery, includes Oscar-nominated actor, Jude Law, as Captain Hook.

The casting of Shahidi, who is Black and Iranian, marks the first time that a person of color has portrayed the character, previously played on the big screen by Julia Roberts in Hook, a 1991 live-action reimagining of the classic fairytale.

Peter Pan & Wendy will be Shahidi’s second major feature film behind 2019’s The Sun is Also a Star. The 20-year-old actress scored her breakout role in ABC's Black-ish prioer to landing the spin-off Grown-ish. Additionally, Shahidi has appeared on several other hits TV shows such as Scandal, Family Guy, and Wizards of Waverly Place.

The release date for Peter Pan and Wendy is unclear but the film will reportedly debut in movies theaters versus an on-demand release.

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Chris Rock, Megan Thee Stallion Sign On For ‘SNL’ Season Premiere

Chris Rock is returning to Saturday Night Live as host of the upcoming 46th season. The 55-year-old comedian will helm the season premiere next week with Meghan Thee Stallion as the musical guest, NBC announced on Thursday (Sept. 24).

Airing on Oct. 3, the season premiere marks SNL’s return to its headquarters at Rockefeller Center since March. The long-running sketch comedy show went virtual last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The show will also be Megan’s first time performing solo on the SNL stage (she previously made a guest appearance with Chance the Rapper last November).

October. [email protected] @theestallion pic.twitter.com/J8KUYWngaL

— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) September 24, 2020

Rock, who has hosted the SNL three times, was a cast member from 1990 until 1993. After SNL, Rock joined the cast of In Living Color, and embarked on a successful career in stand-up comedy.

But he's not  the only In Living Color alum heading back to SNL this season. Jim Carrey has signed on to play former Vice President and presidential hopeful, Joe Biden, on the show.

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