Blurred Lines: Filmmaker Nadia Sasso explores the challenges of being African and American in her new film ‘AM I’

DMV native of West African origin, Nadia Sasso is an independent filmmaker, writer, director, social entrepreneur, and award winning community leader. This 24-year-old luminary is currently a graduate student at LeHigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; pursuing a master’s degree in American Studies with a concentration in African Studies and a certification in Documentary Film .

As apart of her thesis documentary she has crafted a phenomenal film (alongside cinematographer, Corey Packer) highlighting the struggle of truly being an African and American. In the film ‘Am I’, Sasso and Packer embark on a journey to bring the African diaspora to the forefront, by sharing the stories of 6 different women treading the thin lines between their American ethnicity and African cultures.

We’re looking forward to the official release coming soon later this spring [or summer] and will keep you all updated on the dates and screening locations. In the meantime preview the ‘AM I’ trailer below:

In a brief phone interview with this emerging filmmaker we received a bit of insight on what impact she feels the film will leave with her audiences. Sasso expressed that she hopes the film will enlighten people by shining light on the complexities of being caught between two different worlds. Through this film she also hopes to build more understanding of African cultures in Americans and migrating immigrants by opening up the dialogue. No matter if you’re from West Africa or Washington, DC Sasso wants to cultivate better African relations. Everyone will take away something different but Sasso hopes that her film will leave a lasting impression and impact the lives of Africans in a positive and inspiring way. If you wish to support Nadia’s efforts you can contribute to the film’s campaign by donating here.

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The DC metro area welcomes a new unisex salon & spa: The Ivy Lounge

On January 18th, we had the pleasure of attending an exclusive VIP and Media preview for the new unisex salon and spa.  The Ivy lounge is a full service multicultural establishment that welcomes the diversity of clientele it is sure to receive being nestled in the heart of downtown Hyattsville, Maryland. As a welcomed addition to the PG county corridor you can see the vivacity that this upscale salon and spa has already brought to the area.

The event was hosted by WPGC 95.5’s Guy Lambert and CBS Big Brother season 15 contestant, Candice Stewart.

Upon arrival guests were greeted and checked in by event curators from Dash Coordinating & Marketing, LLC. The afternoons’ affairs were beautifully orchestrated as everyone mixed and mingled taking in the ambiance of the luxurious space. Throughout the event guest were treated to passed hour’derves from Paris Catering company; they were also welcomed to partake in wine from the complimentary open wine bar.

In addition to beautiful wood bamboo-style painted cabinets; framing an assortment of top of the line hair care products, the Ivy lounge is equipped with state of the art appliances and furnishings housed in the manicure bar, message lounge, and dryer saloon.  The spa offers reasonably priced services including salon styling, facial grooming, waxing, nail care, Deep Tissue and Swedish massage therapy [just to name a few]. As mentioned at the event, in the near future Ivy Lounge plans to offer additional medi-spa services to include body sculpting and Botox.

Ivy Lounge’s team of talented stylists treated guest to an amazing hair show featuring signature salon styles.

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Ivy Lounge owner Dr. Fadayomi hosted a series of giveaways and door prizes during the evening including his most noteworthy giveaway to a mother and daughter who were  victims of a second homicide. He gifted Mrs. Weathers and her daughter (China) a complimentary makeover including hair, makeup and nail spa services. He also made a special charitable contribution by donating hair care products and other items to the Enchanting Women Foundation in support of their mission to help disadvantaged teens, battered women, homeless women and women-owned businesses.

The Media preview and VIP reception was a fun-filled event with many beautiful people in attendance including a few local and national beauty queens. If you’re looking for a one stop shop in the heart of the Hyattsville community Ivy Lounge is the place to go!

IVY Lounge  | 6205 Baltimore Avenue , Hyattsville, MD

www.IvyLoungeSalon.com

Preservation of Culture: Saving the Katherine Dunham Center for Arts & Humanities in East, St. Louis #STL #StreetIntell

photo credit:http://kdcah.org/
“The Katherine Dunham Museum houses Miss Dunham’s outstanding collection of symbolic and functional art, including more than 250 African and Caribbean art objects from more than 50 countries. Tapestries, paintings, sculpture, musical instruments and ceremonial costumes from around the world celebrate the human spirit of the Museum. The museum displays costumes, photographs, programs, letters, awards and mementos from Miss Dunham’s career as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, writer and dance company owner.”
 
 
Katherine Dunham.jpg
image source: wikipedia

If you aren’t familiar Katherine Dunham is a world renowned dancer, choreographer, social activist and recognized cultural anthropologist; she is the mother of Afro-Caribbean modern dance. She set the tone for many of the performers we know and love today; there would be no Janet Jackson, Beyoncé or Ciara if not for the dance contributions and choreography style of Katherine Dunham.

Through her anthropological studies and life, Miss Dunham helped guide Afro-Caribbean dance to the forefront of the dance world through out much of the 1930s to late 50s. Katherine Dunham was one of the most gifted dancers of her generation, she stood against the odds and made a name [all over the world] not only for herself but countless other African-American dancers. Dunham wasn’t just a superb dancer but an educator who used dance as a tool to bring about change in the hard streets of East, St. Louis. For many years she taught students ‘movements with meaning’ and built the Katherine Dunham Center for Arts and Humanities as a place that every child, young adult and person could receive exposure to not only dance but an experience in cultural education.

The center is  in fear of closing and looking for assistance. You can help by donating online here or mailing a check made out to

 “Katherine Dunham Centers for Arts & Humanities”

and address it to:

PO Box #6

East St. Louis, IL 62202

For more information on how you can preserve the legacy of Katherine Dunham email kdcah@gmail.com or call Leverne Backstrom 618-795-5970 or Ruby Streate at 618-671-2332

Conncet with the Katherine Dunham Center for Arts and Humanities  on facebook.

@EvaMarcille hosts new TV series ‘African Inspired’, which is set to premiere in the new year!

If you are like most people following popular culture you have probably noticed the countless “tribal” trends popping up on the scene. From ankara printed pants and dresses, turbans, kente cloth shoes, and more … every designer seems to be influenced to make garments and accessories that resemble traditional African garb. Have you ever wonder where these trends come from? Well wonder no more. Fashion model, tv host and actress Eva Marcille is bringing us a new series  focused on tracking down these trends and their origins.

The new series entitled African inspired will be reaching out to designers that create African inspired pieces and unlocking the history behind the various trends we enjoy today. We are looking forward to seeing all that will be showcased. It’s seldom that Africans are acknowledge and saluted for their contributions to fashion.  We’re interested in seeing who all will be potential featured designers and even hope to have our favorite New York designers Darlene and Lizzy of William Okpo on the series. Although the Okpo sisters garments are modern they consist of many common elements of the African design aesthetic which we believe would be a great addition to the show.  We applaud Eva and crew for bringing forward such positive imagery of African (read: black) culture in the media.

If you are an African brand or African Inspired designer send your portfolio and look book to AfricanInspired@r-ajwa.com and then keep us posted if you get selected. We’d love to share in your excitement! Remember to send all looks before Dec. 20th.

@TheRealDavidBanner Drops New Short Film Series, Walking with Gods

dbMississippi rapper/producer/activist/writer David Banner unveiled a short film series a few weeks ago. We’re excited for the action packed super-hero series called, WALKING WITH GODS.

We’ve seen the likes of every super hero imaginable from homer’s odyssey and tons of other mythological adaptations of the same story, from all points of the world. However no one has ever tried to tell a story from an African perspective. David Banner has struck a positive cord by creating not only a black super hero but one that draws directly from the ancient African view point.

It’s rare to see any African centered points of view in the media so it is refreshing to get a dose of history infused folklore. Simply clever how Banner incorporates African history into modern setting to create an intriguing web series. Undoubtedly, Banner understands the importance of media and it’s influences on the people. We appreciate this bold representation of positive black imagery and look forward to supporting the movement.

Check out the first installments of the series below:


WANT TO SEE MORE VISIT DAVIDBANNER.COM AND SUPPORT THE 2M1 MOVEMENT

Find out more on David Banner below:

The ‘Natural Hair’ revival has made its way to the DMV

For decades, African-Americans (and other races) have struggled with the unanswered questions and frustration of managing their natural textured tresses. From the days of hot combs and texturizers to modern Dominican blow outs and harsh chemical relaxers the challenge of taming the curl has been something sought after by many people. In the past 6 or 7 years there has been a growing desire for many African-Americans in becoming more conscious and self-aware. The beauty that blossomed from that is the push to learn how to take better care and maintain basic beauty and health regimens in organic and holistic manners. Out of that birthed what many know as the “Natural Hair movement” or what we refer to it as the “Natural Hair revival.” Spreading  across the US, in major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Houston and Atlanta, natural hair enthusiasts have been popping up all over the place. Coincidentally, it is certainly nice to see that the natural hair revival has made its way back into the nations capital..

Just about every where you go now you can see aisles and shelves of hair care products lined in stores dedicated to helping grow, enhance or straighten natural hair. Now the importance of having these products is good but knowing how to use them is the real challenge. However not to worry there are certified brave souls (natural hair bloggers/vloggers) that are kind enough to test out these products and provide a review. That however can be tricky but to take it a step further there are certified natural hair stylists, yes we said it, stylists that specialize in treating your kinky, coiled, and curly tresses. What a beautiful thing to have options!

Speaking of options it is nice to see more people taking note to the importance of hair and health education for people of color who choose to wear their hair in its natural state. The District’s Natural hair community is budding, with tons of different natural hair shows, expos, and events popping up; it is easily becoming a black woman’s [and man’s] dream. Being born with kinky, coiled, or even curly hair doesn’t come with an instruction manual so it’s comforting to know that many people are committed to writing up that Draft.

Current Vibes: Love Hate Thing

DMV’s own Wale is at it again giving off what some might classify as a hip-hip love ballad. LOL nah we’re playing. But he certainly is serving us major rhythm and blues on the track featuring Sam Dew. We see and feel young Folarin’s plight. As seen countless times there’s an adverse reaction to artist that have “made it” out the city. There seems to be no love found when one returns from the quest for success. But that’s fame for you. Over here we’re still rocking with Wale and it’s nice to see a little BOA love from his tour mate, Black Cobain. We respect the movement and support the DMV’s own.