Category Archives: Culture

New “The Color Is” Exhibit by Nick Cave and Jack Cave Now Open at DuSable Museum Historic Roundhouse

Artists and brothers Nick Cave and Jack Cave’s exhibit entitled, “The Color Is” will be hosted by the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois. The collection boasts avant-garde and haute couture pieces. It opened August 27, 2022, and will run through November 27, 2022.

“The Color Is” will consist of 40-45 couture looks and fashion objects created by Nick Cave and Jack Cave and a number of specialty collaborators. All works including head-to-toe garments have been constructed from a wide variety of materials including beads, wire, sequins, recycled textiles and custom prints.  The ensembles feature intricate layering that is emblematic of human universality, highlighting intricacy, complexity, color, and uniqueness. According to both Nick and Jack Cave the clothing is genderless, and the more than 400 individual items can be composed into limitless looks, all designed and crafted by the artists (The Chicago Defender).

“The Color Is” also contains an education component that highlights the exhibition themes, references, and history through digital animation, film montages, extensive explanatory text and high-resolution still images. There will be some surprise audio-visual elements featured in the exhibition as well as on the DuSable Museum website and the Bloomberg Connects app. All objects in the exhibition were created for both “The Color Is” live performance and “The Color Is” exhibition as a companion exhibition of NICK CAVE FOROTHERMORE and are Nick Cave’s most recent body of created work, often referencing work of his retrospective contemporary art archive. The pieces have been created within the past 9 to 12 months (The Chicago Defender).

Read more here.

Culture News: Solange Knowles Makes History as the First Black Woman to Compose A Score for the New York City Ballet

Congrats are in order for Solange Knowles as she will be the first Black woman to compose an original score for the New York City Ballet. She made the announce via her Instagram. The score will be performed by the City Ballet Orchestra with soloist from her ensemble.

Show Dates For 2022 at the Lincoln Center in New York City.

October 1, 8,11, 16

Show Dates for 2023:

May 2, 11, 13, 17, 18

Cover Image Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Here’s Why Bath and Body Works Missed the Mark with Their Black History Month Collection

Many retail outlets are showing their support for Black culture and history this Black History Month. One of those outlets is Bath and Body Works. The retailer has a cult following who lines up for hours to grab their candles and wall flowers when they have their big yearly sales. This year, BBW released a limited edition collection in honor or Black History Month as well as made donations to the National Urban League and the Columbus Urban League.

Image Credit: Bath and Body Works

Social media was in an uproar over the roll out. The packaging was said to be inspired by “handmade African mud cloth designs,”but no mention of what country, tribe, or the meaning of said designs. Also, they simply repackaged their signature scents and did not create new ones for collection. It gives very much “ How can we spend the least amount of money, show our “allyship”, while also making the most profit?”

While, Black designers for the packaging, here is how Bath and Body Works really could taken it a step further and made an bigger impact.

1. Collaborate with Black Candle Makers

Black candle makers are making waves in the streets. From Lit Bklyn, Harlem Candle Company, Forvr Mood, The Black Home, to name a few of many. Curating a limited edition collection and shining a light on a Black owned business by giving them shelf space for the month would have been well received.

2. Create New Scents

The body spray entitled “Empowered” is teakwood scented. Teakwood originates from Asia, not Africa. Next up is the coconut sandalwood “Unity” candle. While there are Black people in the diaspora from Caribbean nations where coconuts are plentiful, it doesn’t match the African themed packaging. In addition, sandalwood fragrance originates from India.

Image Credit: Bath and Body Works
Image Credit: Bath and Body Works

Absolutely_Arii wrote an amazing breakdown on the fragrances profiles they could have used:

3. Honor Actual Historical Figures

Trendy phrases like “unity” and “empowered” sound nice, but they don’t put a face to those who spent their lives fighting for Black people to be united and empowered. It takes away the profound impact the month can really have on one’s educational experience.

Companies who have never acknowledged Black history or culture have begun to do so within the last two years. In doing so, many did not hit the mark and I hope they are open to constructive criticism. To those within the Black community who think “we should just be happy” to be acknowledged, bare minimum is never enough. Our history is just as rich as any others and it deserves the respect of time and commitment to get it right. That means acknowledging your shorting and hiring consultants, partnering with creatives and small businesses. Cutting corners just to say you did something is not showing allyship nor respect for our culture.

Bath and Body Works missed the mark with this one, but next year (let’s see if they even try again) I hope they do better after receiving their community’s feedback.

Dove Releases Data That Black Girls Become Victims of Hair Discrimination as Young as 5 Years Old

Black women and young girls have been the victims of hair discrimination for centuries. Yes, centuries, just look up the Tignon Laws. When women were enslaved, they were required to cover their hair to reinforce their status as slaves, and once freed, they were restricted to covering their hair once again. They were accused of flaunting their freedom and stealing the attention of white men with their adorned tresses. As time passed, black women were plagued with submitting to White standards of beauty for survival. The 19070’s saw the emergence of the re-affirmation of the beauty of natural hair, most notable that afro, a style often associated with rebellion because it was often worn by the Black Panthers and other activists such as Angela Davis and Assata Shakur. That trend has come and gone in the decades since. There was another natural hair movement in the 2010’s that has been going strong and more women have returned to sport their kinks and coils and reaffirm the beauty in our hair to their children, especially young girls. However, that does not mean they don’t face obstacles at work and school.

There are still bosses and teachers of the “old guard” who believe perfectly fine kinks, coils, and curls, regardless of how they’re styled are distracting, unkempt, unclean, and unprofessional. There are plenty of stories like this one where a teacher has humiliated a little Black girl by cutting her hair because it was “distracting”. It was even reported here on Diva Chronicles how adult women still have worries about wearing their natural hair or protective hairstyles in the workplace. So while I am happy Dove is using their platform to raise awareness about how Black women and girls are treated because of their hair, just know we’ve been speaking up and pushing back about this for generations. Maybe one day a research study won’t have to be conducted to get people to listen to our plight.

Video Credit: Dove

Here are some statistics to note from the Study:

  1. Black girls as young as five experience hair discrimination.
  2. 86% of black teenagers started experiencing discrimination based on their hair by the age of 12.
  3. A previous study by Dove found that black women were 1.5 times more likely to be sent home or know of a black woman sent home from the workplace because of her hair.
  4.  80% more likely to change their hair from its natural state to fit in at the office.

“Now, this new body of research illuminates the pervasive nature and deep impact hair discrimination has on black girls highlighting the horrific multi-generational impact of narrow beauty standards in America.” Essi Eggleston Bracey, Executive Vice President and COO of Unilever North America to Cosmetics Business

These findings were the result of the 2021 Dove CROWN Research for Girls in collaboration with JOY Collective.

Article Credit: Cosmetics Business

DC Kids: Mattel Announces Launch of the Ida B. Wells Barbie

Image Credit: Barbie

Barbie has announced that the latest Barbie in their Inspiriting Women series is Ida B. Wells. Born into slavery in 1862, and would later spend her years as a free woman renowned journalist, suffragist, and activist. She risked her safety writing newspaper articles and traveling to give speeches highlighting the injustices faced by Black people. Wells founded several organizations such as the National Associate for Colored Women and co-founded what would later become the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Alpha Suffrage Club based in Chicago (National Park Service).

Image Credit: Barbie

Ida. B Wells was born into slavery and would later become a renowned journalist, suffragist, and activists.

Image Credit: Barbie

Fun Fact: Ida B. Wells’s home in Chicago is considered a historic landmark. Unfortunately, it is not open to the public as it is a private residence.

Ida B. Wells Barbie will be available in retailers on January 17, 2022.

Food & Drinks: Pur Noire, the First Black-Owned Urban Winery in Houston, Texas, Has its Grand Opening

If you’re in Houston and looking for something to satiate your wine palate, head on over to Pur Noire, a new urban winery and tasting room who is celebrating their grand opening! Pur Noire was founded by wine loving couple Kenneth and Carissa Stephens. The name was inspired by Carissa’s French Creole heritage. The Pur Collection features a “complex Petite Sirah based blend, Pinot Gris & Sauv Blanc blend, and Tempranillo Rosé.” ( PurNoireWines)

Image Credit: PurNoireWines

Description:

We are proud to be the city of Houston’s first and only Black-owned winery and tasting room. Our goal is to bring a traditional tasting room experience to downtown Houston. You will be able to select from different tasting options and experience four to five different wines from our portfolio. One of our Ambassadors will guide you through the tasting and tell you all about our wine and the Pur Noire brand. After the tasting, you can buy bottles of wine or if you taste something that you love, join our wine club! We will also have special ticketed events for guests to attend and enjoy! We look forward to bringing you a great experience. (PurNoireWines)

Image Credit: PurNoireWines

Hours of  Operation
Sunday – 12pm to 6pm
Monday – Closed
Tuesday – 12pm to 9pm
Wednesday – 12pm to 9pm
Thursday – 12pm to 9pm
Friday – 12pm to 10pm
Saturday – 12pm to 10pm

For more information, head to PurNoireWines.com.

San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art Unveils “Say Their Names” Memorial Exhibit

The “Say Their Names” Memorial Exhibit honors individuals who’ve died at the hands of those perpetuating injustice and systemic racism. It is a grassroots exhibit that began in Portland, Oregon as a result of the nationwide protests in 2020. The “Say Their Names Memorial” organization was birthed from that nationwide outcry. Its goal is to ensure we never forget the victims and that we are able to place a name with a face. The San Diego exhibit at the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Arts also recognizes 16 local Civil Rights advocates.

The “Say Their Names” exhibit has been shown in over 25 cities since its inception. This is the first exhibition south of Los Angeles county.

Memorial Description:

The “Say Their Name Memorial” is a nationwide initiative to honor Black lives taken by systemic racism and racial injustice.  The memorial was started in Portland, Oregon on Juneteenth 2020 and has been put up in over 25 locations nationwide since then.  We manage an ongoing submission driven database that includes names, photos and bios.  We produce traveling memorials for public exhibition as well as providing support for communities looking to create grassroots memorials in their own neighborhoods.  Our aim is to facilitate conversation around systemic racism while honoring those whose lives have been taken by it. (SDAAMFA)

Gaidi Finnie, executive director of SDAAMFA, called the opening “a teachable moment for all of us. We invite you to come, reflect and think about what you can do to make a difference.” ( KPBS.org )

The memorial is a nationwide, grass-roots initiative intended to honor Black lives lost in the struggle against systemic racism. The memorial began in Portland, Oregon, and is an outgrowth of the protests that began nationwide in 2020 after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

San Diego will specifically remember the life of Demetrius DuBose, a former NFL player who was shot 12 times, five in the back, and killed by two San Diego Police Department officers in Pacific Beach on July 24, 1999, after an attempted arrest.

The New Children’s Museum will host art activities designed to help children process their thoughts about the exhibit. =

The “Say Their Names” exhibit is free to the public and will be open and accessible daily through July 25. ( KPBS.org )

Article Credit: KPBS.org, SDAAMFA

Cover Photo Credit: SDAAMFA

3 Ways to Enjoy Valentine’s Day if You’re Single

Valentine’s Day is marketed as a couples holiday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show yourself love if you’re single. As the artist Teyonna Taylor said, “Self love is the best love.” Don’t be down, use the day to indulge in a little self-care, especially since Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year. Have a relaxing evening to kick start your work week.

  1. Make a Nice Dinner

If you like to cook (or have been meaning to get better at cooking), now is the time to try that delicious looking recipe you have pinned for forever. Don’t stop there, add dessert into the mix. Go all out too. Pull out the real plates and cutlery as well as the wine glasses. Set the table and create an ambiance.

2. Take a Bath and Read a Book

Complete the evening with a nice warm and relaxing bubble bath. Turn on some soothing jams, light some candles and relax. Pull out those bath bombs and scrubs you got as Christmas gifts that you’ve been meaning to try.

3. Have a Solo Movie Night

Acquire your favorite movie snacks and your softest blanket and curl up and watch all movies or shows you’ve been meaning to binge but never got around to them.

The 6 Best Wigs Worn by Queen Charlotte in Netflix’s ‘Bridgerton’

Queen Charlotte, played by Golda Rosheuvel, in Netflix’s hit series Bridgerton served lewks in every scene she was in. As a matter of fact, the actress said in every scene that she was in she wore a different wig and gown (Glamour.com). The Queen, who is based off a real-life monarch of the same name and has been long speculated to have African ancestry, which makes Golda a perfect fit for the role.

Bridgerton Wigs Ranked
Image Credit: Netflix

The wigs worn by Queen Charlotte were definitely a moment and deserved more attention as one loyal reader pointed out and I couldn’t agree more.

A few notable headpieces paid homage to her African ancestry. Such as the elegant jewel adorned updo above comprised of white blonde microbraids and textured edges.

Bridgerton Wigs Ranked
Image Credit: Netflix

Perhaps the one of the most notable wigs of the series was the white blond loc wig the Queen Charlotte wore that spiraled to the heavens. The finishing touch were the two bird cages and birds that literally nested at the top of the elegant coif.

Bridgerton Wigs Ranked
Image Credit: Netflix

Ahh, the afro wig! This has to be my most favorite wig worn by Queen Charlotte. She effortlessly showcases how afro textured hair can be elegant. Two jewel encrusted golden afro pick combs complete the look.

Bridgerton Wigs Ranked
Image Credit: Netflix

Other fun wigs included this cotton candy pink one adorned with an oversized diamond barrette to give a finishing touch of regalness.

Bridgerton Wigs Ranked
Image Credit: Netflix

The wigs seemed to get higher and higher with every scene. A jet black spiral of braided curls with several gold and ruby crowns interwoven into the hair amplified this sultry garnet look. Notice how the background has the same color scheme.

Bridgerton Wigs Ranked
Image Credit: Netflix

Even a grey tower of loose curls cannot age the Queen Charlotte! Serve!

Golda Rosheuvel really embodied the role of Queen Charlotte, from the pursed lips to the piercing sneer. In her role, she wore such extravagant wigs (as well as gowns and jewels) effortlessly really conveying the message that opulence was an everyday occurrence for Her Majesty, the Queen.

Award Winning Costume Designer, Ruth E. Carter, to have Fashion Exhibit at SCAD

Image Credit: SCAD

Veteran costume designer, Ruth E. Carter, known for her work in Spike Lee’s Malcom X, Ava DuVernay’s Selma, and Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, among others will have some of her most notable designs on display in an exhibit entitles “Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costumer Design.” It is open for viewing at the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum in Atlanta, Ga. More than 60 costumes will be on display including the ones she designed for Denzel Washington for Malcom X, Oprah Winfrey for Selma, and the late Chadwick Boseman for Black Panther.

Image Credit: SCAD
Image Credit: SCAD
Image Credit: SCAD
Image Credit: SCAD

Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design is open for viewing now through September 12, 2021.