'Toward Freedom' exhibit celebrates Ethiopians in L.A. and Israel

Timkat

Curated by photojournalist Irene Fertik, “Toward Freedom” 40 image collection features Ethiopian communities in Los Angeles and Jewish Ethiopians in Israel. The exhibition will be on view from October 1, 2015 through January 3, 2016 at the California African American Museum (CAAM).

Focusing on Jewish Ethiopians in Israel and the Ethiopian community in Los Angeles, the collection features images dating from 1992 through 2012 that depict the settlement of these groups to unfamiliar new homelands. Known as the Beta Israel, Ethiopian Jewish communities inhabited isolated mountain villages in northern Ethiopia (especially Gondor and Tigray provinces) since around 1400 A.D. Beginning in 1980, however, the Israeli government conducted two large-scale resettlements of the Beta Israel: Operation Moses (1980-84) and Operation Solomon (1991).

With whole communities migrating to their new homeland, Fertik, who first traveled to Israel in 1992, had wondered if, “Israelis would be any more welcoming, as a nation, than any other country in the world, to Africans settling in their midst?”   As part of her research, Fertik began engaging with the growing Ethiopian community in Los Angeles, immersing herself in its culture and traditions, stating, “To know it (Ethiopian culture) is to greatly admire it! Moreover, Fertik was interested in how these two groups were integrating into their respective new societies: technologically, culturally, and socially.

In 2000, the Ethiopian leadership and business community in Los Angeles organized together to designate a four-block area of Fairfax Ave., from Olympic down to Pico Blvd., as Little Ethiopia. The city of Los Angeles officially recognized this area on the Westside as Little Ethiopia in 2002. Historically, Little Ethiopia became the first African country to have an area within a city named after it.

Ethiopians in Los Angeles celebrate the annual “Little Ethiopia Day” as part of their New Year’s celebration, which officially occurs on Sept. 11. The celebration includes live bands, traditional dancing, speakers, children’s rides, vendor booths and much more. This year, the all-day event was held on September 13 and stretched from Olympic Blvd. to Whitworth Dr.

CAAM exhibitions and events are free and open to the public. CAAM is located at 600 State Drive, Exposition Park. Parking is $10 and located at 39th and Figueroa Streets. Take Los Angeles Metro’s Expo Line and exit the Expo Park/USC station. For more information on CAAM visit www.caamuseum.org or call 213.744.7432.

Artist Reception and Exhibition Walkthrough

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Exhibition Walkthrough 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Artist Reception 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Join photographer Irene Fertik as she walks guests through the Toward Freedom exhibition and discusses her time spent documenting Ethiopians in Los Angeles and Jewish Ethiopians in Israel.

 

 


DuSable Museum’s ‘Freedom Resistance’ exhibit highlights Black achievement artistically

Photo by Steed Media Service
Photo by Steed Media Service

The DuSable Museum has a phenomenal exhibit called “FREEDOM, RESISTANCE and The Journey Toward Equality.”

As part of the DuSable’s permanent collection, “FREEDOM, RESISTANCE …” is an example of how we’ve come to be the people we are. The artifacts illustrate our journey from slavery, and our progress as a people.

Included are images of President Obama and his family, the most contemporary example of the journey. It exemplifies Black pride. It was less than a decade ago that we cast our votes and proudly elected the first African American president of the United States.

The DuSable Museum highlights our accomplishments through the artistic approach that protest took through the Black Panthers. The Black Panthers were more than just a revolutionary group. It showcases the value of their service to the community.

There are even aspects of the attacks from outside the community, including government attacks, shootouts and the like. It is here that we feel connected to the community in a real sense.

Other artifacts include “colored-only” signs posted above water fountains. Remember there was a time when we weren’t welcome to drink out of the same water fountain as Whites?

There are so many artifacts in such a small space that showcase our progress, it seems instant to some but to those whose hair has been gray for over two decades, it points to the accomplishments and the trials that their eyes and soul have seen. It’s a must see. To experience this exhibit is a reminder that Black lives matter and it commands we move forward and remember exactly what it was to have a movement.


5 Black professional female tennis players not named Serena

PARIS, FRANCE- MAY 30, 2015: (Then) Nineteen times Grand Slam champion Serena Willams during third round match at Roland Garros 2015 in Paris, France (Photo  Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com)
PARIS, FRANCE- MAY 30, 2015: (Then) Nineteen times Grand Slam champion Serena Willams during third round match at Roland Garros 2015 in Paris, France (Photo Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com)

Serena Williams has dominated the women’s circuit over the past year, and is aiming for her first Grand Slam if she can win the 2015 US Open and sweep all four 2015 Grand Slam events. As much attention as Serena gets (and she is generating more with her possible relationship with hip-hop artist Drake), there are other black female tennis players making noise. Here is a list of five black female tennis players not named Serena Williams.

To see the list in it's entirety, visit rollingout.com.

 


London boast of Black culture and pride

Photo courtesy: Sandra Jackson-Opoku
Photo courtesy: Sandra Jackson-Opoku

The fact that London has a distinctive Black presence should come as a surprise to no one. After all, we’re in the midst of a latter day British invasion. There’s supermodel Naomi Campbell, actors Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, and that magnificent hunk of maleness, Idris Elba. And who among us who came through the ’80s and ’90s can forget Sade, Soul II Soul and Floetry?
Searching out Black London on the ground takes a bit of effort. Don’t go looking for the ‘hood on Black Boy Lane, okay? It’s named for a horse, not a human being.

“Now, if you huff and puff and finally save enough money/you can take your family on a trip across the sea.”

My hidden inner black girl geek may be showing when I admit to drifting through this 2000-year-old city with British-themed melodies playing in my head. I date it to the times before I started traveling, when my exposure to the world came through books and movies and songs: “A Foggy Day in London Town”, “England Swings”, “London Bridge is Falling Down.”

“On The Street Where You Live” is quintessentially London, though the city’s name is never mentioned. It’s about that fierce, almost stalkerish delight that comes from nearing the vicinity of a loved-one’s dwelling. “And oh, the towering feeling/just to know somehow you are near.” We’ll let that song be our signpost in finding our way to some choice spots on the Black London roadmap.

Where “does enchantment pour out of every door?” When you’re in hip and happening Soho. Once a notorious red light district, this central London entertainment district is now known for its nightclubs, bars, and restaurants.

For more, visit rollingout.com.


Rihanna wows fans in adorable pink mini dress during Macy's launch

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Rihanna is posh and pretty in pink at the RiRi by Rihanna fragrance unveiling at Macy's Downtown Brooklyn on Monday (August 31) in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media Service)

There’s no question Rihanna is a huge pop star. Today, in Downtown Brooklyn, NY, fans slept overnight on the sidewalk in anticipation of the debut of her new fragrance, RiRi by RIhanna, at Macy’s.

“I know I made a great decision coming to Brooklyn because Brooklyn fans are on another level,” says the 27-year-old star who looked amazing wearing Vivienne Westwood, glammed in Alison Lou jewelry, a Mikimoto pearl necklace and complete with matching Christian Louboutin heels.

The first 400 people to buy her perfume were to be given VIP passes to meet her at the event. RiRi is the first in the trilogy of fragrances separate from the dozen other past fragrances the Baja star has launched.

The scent is a crisp floral – fruity and it comes in a pink bottle of the new design compared to the rest of the collection.

The top notes include accords of mandarin, cassis, rum and passion fruit. Its floral heart captures flowers of pink freesia, jasmine, orange blossom and honeysuckle. The base notes are Indonesian sandalwood, skin musk, Siam benzoin and vanilla.


W Chicago Lakeshore offers travelers star treatment

CHICAGO - APRIL 26: Hancock Tower, W Hotel and other buildings near Lake Michigan on April 26, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Hancock Tower has USA's highest indoor swimming pool on the 44th floor. (Photo credit: Ffooter / Shutterstock.com)
CHICAGO - APRIL 26: Hancock Tower, W Hotel and other buildings near Lake Michigan on April 26, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Hancock Tower has USA's highest indoor swimming pool on the 44th floor. (Photo credit: Ffooter / Shutterstock.com)

As you step inside the W Chicago Lakeshore hotel, the black-and-white motif peaked my interest in seeing more. The W Chicago Lakeshore hotel is filled with beautiful plants. Nestled in the coastal city, near Lake Michigan, it's reminiscent of Italy and seaside towns near the Mediterranean.

The marble floor boasts of streaks of gray and black and leads you around this palatial venue that has the architecture of a church. Meyer Davis Design didn’t miss a beat when they unveiled the $38 million renovation last summer. Ahh! So European.

You simply can’t ignore the sounds streaming from the DJ’s tracks curated to spur you to move energetically. There are moments when you feel quite Parisian and as if you’re walking a fashion runway. Tummys in, chests out … your posture changes as does your swagger and sway as you feel your inner celebrity come forth. Even the most ordinary understand that this something special taking place in the environment.

The décor is so charming. The white glows. The gray and black ooze status and power.

Photo by Steed Media Service
Photo by Steed Media Service

Upon opening the door and walking through having walked through a black, totally black hallway one will see more chrome and more black conveyed in an artistic manner. The chandelier will be clear with the chrome base. And the walls and the comforter will once again reunite the attitude of success and design and a special moment in the bedroom. This is continued throughout the dining room at the W it continues throughout the entire field walk-through steel can be felt.

That is a classic field that doesn’t delve into necessarily a ’60s or ’70s vibe, but instead uses the presence of color simplistically to elongate the value of the color, which ranges from grays to black silvers, to grays almost black to purple hues that are found within the room.

The W Lakeshore is classic. From top to bottom but it isn’t edge of classic that robot requires an interpretation of cool and I do request for balance and understanding of it that’s action taking place. Not boring and still but with movement inside the wallpaper that can be seen. Everything is giving directions heading someplace, whether it is the marble in the floor the movement of the walls the placement of the chandeliers leading toward the beautiful view looking outside at the lake Lake Michigan.

The W Chicago Lakeshore is an exhibition of classic monotones that are crisp, cool and relaxing.


LVL XIII Luxury shoe collection launch at Westside Cultural Arts Center

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 20:  Antonio Brown, LVL XIII CEO and recording artist Melanie Fiona attend LVL XIII Luxury Footwear Unveiling: The World Is Not Enough on August 20, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for LVL XIII Luxury Footwear)
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 20: Antonio Brown, LVL XIII CEO and recording artist Melanie Fiona attend LVL XIII Luxury Footwear Unveiling: The World Is Not Enough on August 20, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for LVL XIII Luxury Footwear)

Antonio Brown stepped out in style to host the unveiling of his fall 2015 LVL XIII luxury shoe collection Thursday night at Atlanta’s Westside Cultural Arts Center.

“LVL XIII Unveiling: The World Is Not Enough” was filmed by VH1 and definitely maintained a grown and sexy vibe, similar to the style of LVL XIII footwear. Celebrity DJ Jay Marz was in charge of music, and hors d’oeuvres catered by celebrity chef DePhon Robinson were served. The gala began right after the viewing of Brown’s fashion-forward shoes for fall.

Entertainers well-known around town showed up to support Brown, including “It Kills Me” singer Melanie Fiona, who also co-hosted. Others who attended in their best fashionably chic attire were reality stars Shay Johnson and Bambi, LaKenya Morris of “Cutting It in the ATL,” and actors Chrystale Wilson and Julian Walker. Fiona also treated the gathering to a very special musical performance.

The event donated 20 percent of funds collected to MetroKidz Atlanta and The Atlanta Dream Center to purchase backpacks for underprivileged children for the new school year.

Brown launched LVL XIII Brands, Inc. two years ago in New York and eventually relocated his business to Atlanta. He began selling luxury sneakers and is now in the process of offering apparel, oxfords, loafers, and sandals, as well.

Check out a gallery from the event below.


W Chicago Lakeshore hotel is the perfect place for beach, fireworks and Lake Michigan

W Chicago Lakeshore
Photos by Munson Steed for Steed Media Service

The W Chicago - Lakeshore underwent a $38 million makeover, and it's the best restyle effort to date in the area. The only Chicago hotel overlooking Lake Michigan, it's complete with all the amenities sophisticated travelers desire. From the very moment you walk in the lobby's atrium, it's cool factor flows through your veins.

For those families who thought they were just going to the local hotel when they booked the Lakeshore property, they realize they are steps from iconic attractions like Navy Pier and The Magnificent Mile. There's nothing ordinary or boring about this hotel. Spray-painted bottles adorn the walls, the marble floors are illustrious, notable jazz and house music are jumping through the speakers.

Check-in is easy. And there's a silver tray filled with Granny Smith apples for the famished traveler who needs something to nosh on before their dinner reservation at Current.

The colors, decor and magnetism at this high style hotel define the mood and is just what the soul seeking respite needs. Agua? You have so many choices: the over-the-lake fireworks display at the beautiful Navy Pier, the beautiful beach, and the seventh floor pool. There's nothing like a great stay and customer service to match. The staff from the bar to the rooms are there to serve.

There seems to be some synergistic relationship between this hotel and the city. For the romantic, it is the ideal accommodation. The ambiance is one that compels the poet to pen a special love letter, the writer to conclude his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, and the romantics to cuddle.


'When you look this clean:' The classic car

Classic car owners invade Harlem Week's Summer in the City 2015.

HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media
HARLEM, NY - AUGUST 15: Over 75 cars were on display at Harlem Week! 2015 Car Show on August 15, 2015 in Harlem, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media

Natalie Cole’s greatest hits

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Natalie Cole (Facebook)

On Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, “Sophisticated Lady” Natalie Cole died of congestive heart failure. She was 65.

“Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived … with dignity, strength and honor. Our beloved Mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever,” said son Robert Yancy and twin sisters Timolin and Casey Cole in a statement.

As the death of Cole slowly begins to sit with fans, people across the globe are remembering the songbird for her incredible talent on-and-off stage. Much like her father, late jazz singer Nat King Cole, the vocal powerhouse leaves behind a rich body of work providing fans, old and new, with a point of reference to her artistry, mastery of the craft and showmanship.

For a look back at some of the Grammy Award winner’s greatest hits including “Pink Cadillac,” “This Will Be,” a rendition of “Say a Little Prayer” and many more, click here: a look back.