The Importance of Now

Hey there Music Movie family!  How has 2013 been treating you so far?  Did anyone watch the Grammys or BET Honors earlier this month?  How about the Oscars last Sunday night?  I managed to catch all three, and a few of the other award shows, although this month has been extremely hectic for me.  In addition to travelling out-of-town to finish up a book edit,  I loss a very dear friend, and learned of the deaths of two others, earlier this month.  Coping with the deaths of loved ones is something we all must face at some point and, while it seems quite tragic when they leave at a young age or without warning, is a reminder of the precious importance of now.  What are those things in life you are passionate about but keep putting on the back burner?  What is that one thing you want to do but haven’t yet stepped out on faith to attain?

blackfilmavatar-300x300Local filmmaker, Reelblack founder, and friend Mike D. (Philly Boy and Ladies and Gentleman, Jordan Rock)  recently stepped out on faith and started an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds towards completion of a feature-length documentary on the state of African-American film called Black Film Now.   Let me further clarify – Black Film Now will be the FIRST full length documentary on this subject, and will include rare interview footage including chats with Spike Lee, Kimberly Elise, Kevin Hart,  Kerry Washington, Lee Daniels, Ava Duvernay, and Haile Gerima just to name a few.  I’m excited for Mike and the making of this film and I encourage everyone reading to share and support this campaign.  You can watch the video below and go to http://www.indiegogo.com/blackfilmnow  to donate.  Every amount counts, and for just $10 your name will be added to the end credits as a thank you for your support.   How cool is that?  There are 13 days left in the Indiegogo campaign, but after that you can check my blog roll (to the right) and click on the Reelblack link to get info on how to support.

Although it’s hard to understand the losses, I’m grateful for the reminder that I must appreciate now more.  Thank you Mike D. for being a current example of the power of now, and for the passion you exude to bring good Black film to the masses.  To Bridgette and her family, and to the memory of Karen and my dear friend Shelice, I simply say God is still in control.

Until next thought family, Thomasena

The Voice Silenced – Whitney Houston (1963 – 2012)

For weeks I have been making references to this year’s Grammy award show.  Never could I have imagined that many would be tuning in this evening to pay collective homage to one of the greatest singers of our time – the one, the only, THE VOICE, Ms. Whitney Houston, who passed away yesterday at age 48.  Like other people to whom I’ve spoken, I am still in shock from the news of her untimely passing.  I literally watched CNN for hours last night, trying to make sense of it all by listening to the video tributes, the breaking reports, and remarks from colleagues and friends.  But none of it helped to settle the unease I was feeling.

That unease, very much like if not equal to that which I’d felt when Michael Jackson passed, comes from losing yet another music legend I’ve adored since I was a child.  You see, there is a Whitney song I can reference for mostly every major period in my life.  And though I’ve never met, or even seen Whitney Houston live in concert, her music and voice are so comfortably familiar it is quite hard to imagine a life without her.  Even more disheartening, I was anxiously awaiting the première of the Sparkle remake,  which I anticipated to be a huge vehicle for her return to film; and if early reports of Whitney’s phenomenal performance are accurate it most certainly would have been.  And speaking of film, Terry McMillan can just stop the press as far as bringing Getting to Happy, the sequel to Waiting to Exhale, to the big screen.  I mean, how can we accept anyone else but Whitney Houston returning as Savannah?

Ken Erlich, Grammy’s executive producer, reported to CNN last night that Jennifer Hudson would be performing the tribute to Whitney Houston on tonight’s show.  Like many of her contemporaries, Jennifer cites Whitney as one of her biggest influences and I remember how excited she was when Whitney presented her with the Grammy back in 2009.  I’ve also read that Chaka Khan will be doing a tribute, but am not certain how accurate those reports are.  It would make sense that Chaka Khan would be allowed to do so, considering Whitney sang backup for her as a teen and paid tribute to Chaka at the end of her cover of I’m Every Woman.

I cannot even begin to touch all that Whitney Houston accomplished in this post and do it fair justice.  I really cannot believe that I am writing this about her at all.  My prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to the Houston family, especially to her daughter and mother.  I share the You Tube link below for Whitney’s My Love is Your Love video in which she boldly sings “if I should die this very day, don’t cry, ’cause on earth we wasn’t meant to stay. And no matter what the people say, I’ll be waiting for you after the Judgement Day.”  I will miss you Ms. Houston.  Rest in Peace.

Until next thought family, Thomasena.

My Love is Your Love (Whitney Houston, 1998 Arista): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxZD0VQvfqU&ob=av2e