Sarah Nakintu

Sarah Nakintu...

This gorgeous beauty is Sarah Nakintu. She has her own line of luxury handbags.

Here’s an interview she recently did:

Who is Sarah Nakintu?

Sarah Nakintu: I moved to the U.S. in 2005 for higher education and to explore something a little bit outside Kampala, where I’d been born and raised. When you grow up with African parents, it can be a challenge to do what you want. I always loved fashion and I wanted to do fashion from when I was really young, but my parents were all about school. You know, go to school, get an education, and be like a lawyer or something.

I think New York just opened my eyes so much to people doing what they love and people hustling and trying to get things done. With time, I just thought maybe I can really do what I love as opposed to doing something that my parents wanted me to do.

What drew you to fashion?

With fashion, you’re really able to bring out your imagination. I travel so much these days and every time I go to a place, I’m very inspired. I can see what New York looks like and look at cities like Milan. How do people there dress? I’m really interested in seeing how it all trickles down. How can something be a painting today and tomorrow it’s fully interpreted into a dress or a bag?

What was it like growing up in Uganda?

I grew up in boarding school, so I was very sheltered. Uganda is a religious country. You’re kind of expected to be a good person and go to church—do what your parents are telling you to do kind of thing. A lot of judgment as well, so you can’t disgrace your parents.

I remember my aunties and my sisters and my whole family would be like, ‘You know you’re too loud. You really need to tone it down.’ The only person, really, that was appreciative of me and who I was was my dad who encouraged me to be myself.

Yeah, I have definitely always been very interested in fashion. With or without money, it’s always been my thing.

What was the moment like when you told your family that you wanted to pursue fashion full-time?

I didn’t really tell them. With things like this, it’s really better to go and do it and then once you’re successful or you’ve moved the needle a little bit, you can tell them. I think I’ve tried to tell them like, ‘Hey, I’m doing this handbag thing,’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, okay. Sure. Whatever.’ I have a lot of ideas, so I’m sure they were thinking, ‘Oh, that’s one of her crazy ideas.’ I didn’t get their blessing—I just went ahead and did it. That moment was scary for me because I had a full-time job and I was earning really well and in New York it’s hard to just give up a full-time job to go and do something where you have no idea if it’s going to succeed.

Sarah Nakintu2...

How is Kintu African-inspired?

Often when you tell people that you’re doing something African-inspired, they’re expecting African pattern or African material or something like that—this is not necessarily what I wanted to do. I represent modern Africa and the different types of people that come out of our continent. There are so many ways to do African inspiration.

A lot of brands do African-inspired in a way that’s a bit overwhelming. I wanted to do a bag that you can take from morning to day to night. We wanted to do a luxury line that’s African-inspired. You know, very subtle but still there. The closure is the shape of a cow horn. If you’re East African or know about East African culture, the cow is very central to our subsistence. Animal print is actually completely African-inspired. We worked with African animals and we did it in a very modern manner, which it’s really, really interesting to a lot of buyers. It’s something that they’ve not seen before and they love it.

Why is sustainability important to you?

Our bags are made really well with long-lasting materials. You can pass them on to your children. I think that’s really important. There’s also sustainability in terms of where we make our bags and who we make them with. When we worked in India and Kenya, we’re paying a living wage. We pay artisans what they deserved as opposed to just saying just because you’re based in Kenya, we’re not going to pay you well.

That’s also important to me because remember, I’m African. Just being there and remembering the women in the market working really hard or the farmers that I grew up seeing or the tailor, that’s sewing. They work really hard. They groom and they grow and they hone their craft. We need to start paying them really well and recognizing their talent and taking it global. I feel really passionate about being able to bring those skills and then also create the next generation of artisans.

Khaneshia Smith

khaneshia-smith1

Khaneshia Smith was born in Tallahassee, Florida to an entrepreneur and a refined College Administrator. The self proclaimed girly tomboy found a safe place in becoming involved in softball, cheerleading and SGA as she fast tracked her way to the top.

As the co-creator of Black & Sexy TV’S Cheap Chicks, she has earned popular acclaim for her roles as the star in the dramedy Friends: a Depression Story and has proven that she can disappear into a role and mesmerize audiences.

As a guest star on Lebron James’ Survivors Remorse on Starz, co-star on Kevin Hart’s hit show Husbands of Hollywood on BET, and All My children, actress KJ Smith has successfully made the crossover from the corporate treadmill to feature film work, several national commercials, book covers and hair care print campaigns. Her resume secured her a spot as a guest star on Starz’s survivor’s remorse.

KJ is currently filming recurring roles on the popular series shows “The Therapist” and “Blackboots”.

She has one sibling who is a well known news reporter; her sister inspired her to stand in front of the camera with confidence and to tap into her penchant for acting.

KJ studied Business Marketing at The Florida State University. After a series of sleepless nights and denouncing her fears, KJ relocated to the “city of angels” where she has made acting her business. She uses the principals that she learned in B school to present herself as a brand and walking business. The former Seminole is a highly emancipated actress, turned Hollywood’s next “It Girl” and Hollywood is taking note.

KJ hopes that one day she will be invited to return to her alma mater to speak to those who aspire to enter the acting world.

She is an enthusiastic supporter of the cerebral palsy foundation as a nod to her father.

Nardia Boodoo

Nardia Boodoo1....

Born in Baltimore, MD, Nardia Boodoo attended the Baltimore School for The Arts from 2005-2009, the North Carolina School for The Arts 2009-2010, and was a Professional Training Program (PTP) program dancer at Dance Theatre of Harlem from 2010-2011 on full scholarship.

The 26 year old beauty has danced at Jacob’s Pillow in 2011 on a full scholarship. During that time she was part of a select group chosen to work with Stanton Welch on performing an original piece. Ms. Boodoo was asked by Ashley Wheater to attend the Joffrey Academy of Dance as a trainee on a full scholarship with stipend under the direction of Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik, where she performed the lead in Choreographers of Color winner Jeremy McQueen’s Black Iris, as well as various works by Alexei Kremnev.

Nardia....

While at the Academy Ms. Boodoo performed Don Quixote and The Nutcracker with the Joffrey Ballet. In 2014, she was invited into The Washington Ballet’s Studio Company. While with The Washington Ballet, Ms. Boodoo performed many full length ballets such a Ewaard Liang’s Dancing in the Streets, Giselle, Cinderella, Coppelia, Don Quixote, Paquita, Swan Lake, George Balanchine’s Serenade, Theme and Variations, and Septime Webre’s Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Nutcracker, Carmen in Havana, Carmina Burana, Sleepy Hollow and his Juanita y Alicia.
 
Ms. Boodoo joined Pennsylvania Ballet as an Apprentice for the 2016/2017 Season.

Danella Sealock(BET Hostess edition)

danella-sealock1

Danella has always had a natural wit and instinctive timing that captivates. Her voice has been heard on airwaves in New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Miami. While on television, she has hosted shows viewed both nationally and internationally all while never losing focus of the importance of giving back to her community.

After graduating from New York University, Danella started her career in radio spending the first few years honing her craft. While on air at Radio One, in Washington, D.C., she caught the eye of an executive at Viacom and launched her television career with BET Networks.

Danella began her TV career with a live-to-tape, spirited battle-of-the-sexes game show entitled, The Road Show, which aired daily. She later transitioned into entertainment news as the co-host of The Black Carpet, quickly becoming a popular fixture on the network. BET soon realized that she was a natural at bringing viewers the latest entertainment news and notable one-on-one celebrity interviews.  Her expertise in handling high profile events made her an ideal interviewer for red carpets ranging from the Grammys to blockbuster movie premiers.  Danella’s appeal, charm and professionalism made BET decide to utilize her talent on various shows on the network including BET International’s Welcome to America, which aired in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Africa and the Middle East.

In 2010, Danella was highly sought after to co-host The Big Tigger Morning Show on WPGC-FM in Washington, D.C. This opportunity led her to return to radio. She had amazing chemistry with Big Tigger and they took mornings in the nation’s capitol by storm.  Danella began her affiliation with NBC4 soon after her WPGC arrival as a weekly entertainment news contributor. Danella Dishes the Dirt, gave viewers a taste of the latest celebrity news and gossip.

danella-sealock2

Danella did double duty on both television and radio with ease, until she made the transition to news, full-time, as NBC4’s morning traffic reporter.  In addition to guiding the nation’s capitol through its infamous gridlock, she also covered community-focused segments and various news specials enabling her to further grow her talents as a writer and producer.   With her style and knowledge, she seamlessly moved through her various roles.  In a town known for their loyalty to their media personalities, almost as much as their political party affiliations, Danella quickly won her audience over and became a fan favorite.

In 2014, Danella launched her own media relations company enabling her to share her vast experience with other media talents and public figures.  Currently, she represents clients in both Washington D.C. and Nairobi, Kenya.

Throughout her career, Danella has always been passionate about her community involvement.  Utilizing both personal and professional affiliations, she strives to be the voice for children, women and those in underserved communities.  When Danella is not on-air or representing her clients, she enjoys traveling and spending quality time with her husband, Kyle and their one-year-old son, Kyle Jace.

Tiffany Withers(BET Hostess edition)

tiffany-withers1

Amidst television celebrities and new faces adorning the Silver Screen, one name has grown to be recognized and revered by teens and Internet fans nationwide: Tiffany. Tiffany Withers has spent the last five years as the face of BET hosting some of the network’s hottest shows.

Growing up in New York City, Tiffany’s magnetic personality and charm caught the attention of Ebony Magazine who put her in the magazines’ print ads; but, she had her sights set on television and movies.

Tiffany’s big break came at age 19 when she was cast as Jay-Z’s childhood sweetheart in his first film, The Streets Is Watching. She made such an impression that he cast her as a lead character in his next project, Paper Soldiers as comedian Kevin Hart’s girlfriend.

tiffany-withers2

When not hosting shows, Tiffany lends her distinctive voice to Westwood One Radio’s celebrity news updates. Tiffany is a sought-after product endorser, appearing in commercials for Scion and Snapple. Along with endorsements, Tiffany also has a world-class sense of style which has landed her on the pages of numerous magazines.

Tiffany Withers: a powerhouse of on-air charisma, a bankable spokeswoman and a radio host who gives spark and excitement to any project she is associated with. As her star continues to rise; the future looks bright for Tiffany’s Life.

Get Out- Interracial/Horror Film(Hidden truths)

get-out-poster

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out proves a fascinating engagement with the racial truths of the contemporary world. The film centers on interracial couple Chris and Rose who are traveling to meet Rose’s parents in a New York City Suburb.

Prior to their visit, Chris asks Rose if she told her parents that he is black. Rose makes a mockery of this query, a query that encompasses the film’s many acts of foreshadow and dramatic irony. Get Out proceeds to illustrate that it is Chris’ blackness that makes him Rose’s prey. The couple’s visit to meet Rose’s parents proves a sick and calculated effort to abduct black bodies and re-appropriate them as a means to enhance the lives of a white counterpart. In short, the film’s resonance lies not in the images themselves but what lies beneath.

1.White Liberal

One of the most demonstrative illustrations in the film is its portrayal of the “white liberal.” Rose, Chris’s girlfriend not only dates a black man but defends him in the face of overt discrimination. Chris is racially profiled by a police officer on the way to meet Rose’s parents. The policeman asks Chris for his identification, to which they receive Rose’s wrath. After the incident, she states that she won’t let anyone “F%ck with her man.” But little does Chris know, Rose is merely protecting Chris the object and not Chris the person. This objectification becomes clear in the silent auction that takes place in Rose’s parent’s garden. What they disguise as “Bingo” is an auction where interested white buyers place bids for the black body Rose brings home. So questions like “Is it better?” referencing black male sexual performance, is the query of a prospective buyer desiring a worthy investment.

Rose portrays a physical embodiment to the phrase “every shut eye ain’t sleep and every goodbye ain’t gone.” An assumed ally can very well bear oppressive feelings towards a marginalized body. Assumed allies often veil self-interest in seemingly supportive gestures. Namely, Rose does not verbalize her prejudices yet is not any different or better than her parents or their “garden party” guests.

2. The Poisonous Apple

Get Out depicts Chris, a black man,  as an Eve-like figure and Rose, a white woman, as the poisonous apple that exploits his vulnerabilities and renders a series of irreversible consequences. The film intertwines physical hypnosis to induce black acquiescence to a  new identity. Rose acts as a form of hypnosis in her pursuit and pseudo-love for the black male. In seeking to consummate white acceptance and assimilation in his romantic relations with white women,  the black male body enters a vulnerable state exploited by his “prize.” Thus, Rose uses her external appeal to sink her thorns deep into the black male psyche. Just as their love seems to bloom, it is not Rose who dies, but her black lover–illustrating the measure of a rose’s beauty is the ability to distract admirers from its thorns sinking into their flesh.

get-out3

3. Science and black experimentation

The Armitage family abducts blacks, hypnotizes them, and uses the black body to improve white quality of life. The procedure leaves a small portion of the black brain but replaces the majority with a white brain. Thus, the black person becomes “a passenger” in his own body. This procedure seems synonymous to the abduction of African bodies and displacing them onto indigenous soil. This displacement renders the black body a passenger in the western experience as each generation proves more distant relationship to their African origins. While the African brain may not be physically extracted, it becomes westernized so that descendants of abducted Africans feel more American than African–making the black body a commuter in their own oppression.

Interestingly, upon first meeting, Chris and Rose disclose that they hit a deer on their way up. In response, Rose’s father remarks that they “did a service” by hitting and ultimately killing the deer. It is this same ideology that prompts the white conservative to seek out black bodies to dismember for their own personal benefit. In their minds, the Armitage family does a service to blacks abducted for their procedure, as their procedure affords the black body a purpose believed to not exist outside of serving whites. Prior to preparing Chris for the procedure, Mr. Armitage asks him “What is your purpose, Chris?” To pose this question prior to their intended procedure suggests that their use of his body incites a purpose otherwise non-existent.

It is this same ideology that prompted white doctors and scientists to use black bodies to test out medical procedures. Henrietta Lacks’ doctor felt entitled to the contents of her vagina, so much so that he did not even consult her next of kin prior to abducting her cells. The pearl-like substances that killed her would acquire purpose in the lives Lacks would come to save following her death. Thus, just as the Armitage family deems the black body purposeful in servicing whites,  Henrietta Lacks’ story similarly illustrates the black body as purposeful solely when appropriated for western motives.

Slavery and the contemporary world implement a similar ideology as the most celebrated black figures: athletes, entertainers, and actresses all serve whites. Thus, the television, radio and even the education system all act as an informal hypnosis implemented as a means to control black bodies and place them on a dead end path to white servitude.

Film Review Get Out

4. The unassumed intellect

Get Out channels Charles Chestnut’s “The Goophered Grapevine” and “Dave’s Neckliss” in illustrating the unassumed intellect in Chris’ TSA friend, Rod Williams. For those unfamiliar with Chestnut or these stories, a prevalent style of Chestnut is to implement a character who due to their vernacular speech prompts most to assume that he is intellectually deficient. The unassumed intellect uses these preconceived notions to his advantage and deceives his “intelligent” counterparts by the story’s conclusion.

Similarly, Williams provides comedic relief to audiences in his delivery. Yet the dramatic irony evokes laughter from some and frustration from others as audiences know that Williams is the sole party in the film that knows the truth. This depiction functions positively, as it evokes a caricatured black image as a means to exploit presumed western conceptualizing of black intellect. In a perfect world, caricatured imaging of blacks would disappear completely. However, it is an act of advancement to include stereotypes in a way that prompts contemplation, or that performs in a way to challenge western predilection for the compartmentalized black body.

The Final Verdict

The most resounding part of the film for me is when the black male body reappropriated as the Artimage grandfather, snaps out of his hypnosis and not only shoots Rose but shoots himself. This depiction illustrates black detachment from a controlled identity as a necessary component to disabling mental enslavement. Furthermore,  blacks not only have to rid themselves from physical obstacles but the part of ourselves that encompasses these harmful ideologies.

My least favorite component of the film was the means in which the hypnotized black body reverts back to semi-consciousness. Although the black body is held hostage by a white brain, it a flash or white light that snaps them back into consciousness. Thus, although it is a black man who physically saves himself from his pending imprisonment–it is a stroke of white light that enables his escape.

Thus, while seemingly a cautionary tale to interracial dating, or to the black body trusting whites in any capacity–the film evokes a white savior in representation rather than form. At surface level, the film seems to evoke the separatist ideology implemented by civil rights leaders like the late Malcolm X. However, the authorship of said movie makes this close reading impossible to take seriously. For this reason, Get Out reminds me a lot of Birth of Nation.

After viewing both Birth of a Nation and Get Out, I left the theater somewhat content. These feelings faded almost instantaneously as I realized that these movies while depicting the complexities of the historical and contemporary black experience can only resonate but so deeply. Namely, both Peele and Parker write and produce movies that should be revolutionary, but are not.

Jordan Peele and Nate Parker both conclude their films in the same manner. Specifically,   Birth of a Nation and Get Out end with all central white characters are murdered by blacks. While fatalities at the hands of blacks substantiate black bestiality, it also functions to depict white bodies as factors that must be eliminated to free blacks from an oppressive state. Like Birth of a Nation, Get Out is authored and directed by a black male married to a white woman. This dynamic casts said black authors as significantly less harmful and least likely to actually eliminate the white demographic because to do so would be to not only murder their wives but the mother of their children. Furthermore, with their interracial unions, the black male writer and director assumes a non-threatening stance in which the murder of fictive white characters seems an artistic choice rather than a means to uplift the black collective.

While the western world attaches a taboo labeling to interracial unions, these unions function favorably to foment white supremacy. The strongest black leaders are strong not because of what they say but because of what they do. Thus, these films are noteworthy, not revolutionary, as it is not enough to implement images that suggest an ideology disconnected from the thought and action of the author.

Writer and producer Jordan Peele also complicates the ability to take Get Out seriously with his comedic background. Thus, his depiction of a white family who abducts blacks and uses their bodies for their own benefit—becomes a well-executed joke rather than reflective of a past and present horror not limited to a New York City suburb.

Article by C.C. Saunders