P.J. Rickards's posts - English uPOST

Queen Maxine Still Ain't Scared and She Expects Voters Not to Be Either

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who won’t allow bomb threats to intimidate her, is encouraging voters to “step up to the plate” on Election Day. The Root caught up with Auntie Maxine at this year’s Women in Media Awards in New York City.

What Black Voters Want in the 2018 Midterm Elections

The Root’s Video Producer Felice Leon and I went to Harlem to ask black voters what issues they want to see addressed. We found people who were more than ready to get to the polls but, as important as these upcoming elections are, we still found some folks were not motivated to vote.

Painting Black Men to Be Seen and Respected as Powerful Figures in the Art World

Jordan Casteel wants to change the staleness of the high art world and how it views black men. The Denver artist has been painting portraits of people in her community before she was an art student at Yale and it evolved as she made a home in Harlem, N.Y.

Watch: Inside the Mind of a Random Fly Director

Terence Nance is the lead visionary behind HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness and was recently named as the director for Space Jam 2. His first film, 2012's An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, won rave reviews at Sundance and put Nance on the map in the indie film world. The film even impressed Jay-Z, who became an…

Watch: Teenager Turns Bullying Into Booming Brow Beauty Business

At only 17 years old, Tania Speaks turned her pain into a huge profit after classmates bullied her for her bushy eyebrows. She is now the founder of the successful beauty product, Brow Boost—as well as the recent men’s grooming line, Beard Boost.

Watch: Joe Morton Takes Us Through His Iconic Film and TV Appearances

Joe Morton is widely known for his Emmy-winning role as Elijah Pope on ABC’s Scandal, but don’t get it twisted, Morton has been Forrest Gump’ing through a lot of iconic shows and films including What’s Happening, Sanford & Son, Terminator 2 and even M.A.S.H. “Papa Pope” walks us through some of his roles over the…

Spike Lee Compares David Duke’s Favorite President’s Administration to the KKK

BlacKkKlansman director Spike Lee sees a lot of similarities between the Ku Klux Klan and today’s administration, specifically around fear-mongering and coded rhetoric (see: the origins of Trump’s popular slogan- “America first.”)

Watch: Stars on the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards’ Red Carpet Put Some R-E-S-P-E-C-T on Aretha’s Name

MTV, I’mma let you finish—but Aretha Franklin was one of the greatest singers of all time, so I would expect the Video Music Awards to go above and beyond to pay her proper respect.

Broadway Star Uses His Platform to Bring the Arts to At-Risk Students

It’s back-to-school season, but not all students have access to art programs especially under the current administration. Actor, singer and activist Bryan Terrell Clark wants to change that.

11-Year-Old Nigerian Artist Creates Stunning Portraits of Figures in His Community

The youngest professional artist in Nigeria is gaining international exposure for his stunning lifelike portraits. Eleven-year-old Kareem Waris Olamilekan draws family members, friends and other community members from his makeshift art studio in Lagos. He also recently caught the attention of French President Emmanuel…

A Look at the Superfly Soundtrack, Then and Now

Superfly, the remake of the classic flick Super Fly, hits theaters today. The film’s soundtrack is executive-produced by Future.

Why Everyone Needs to Know About Alice Marie Johnson, the Great-Grandmother Who Is Serving a Life Sentence [Update: Johnson’s Sentence Commuted]

Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 3:53 p.m. EDT: President Donald Trump commuted Alice Marie Johnson’s sentence on Wednesday, and she will be released from prison after spending 21 years behind bars for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. Trump didn’t give Johnson a full pardon, which would have cleared her record.…

Artist Hank Willis Thomas Shines Spotlight on the Power of Protest

America’s No. 1 protest artist? Forget Banksy—meet Hank Willis Thomas. The African-American conceptual artist challenges ideas and oppression through themes of pop culture. He’s gained a huge following in the art and celebrity community, among them art lover Swizz Beats. Whether it’s photography, sculptures,…

Watch: Kerry James Marshall Just Sold the Most Expensive Painting by a Living African-American Artist [Updated]

Updated: Friday, May 18, 2018, 11:14 a.m. EDT: Plot twist—turns out, none other than Sean “Diddy” Combs was the mystery buyer of the Kerry James Marshall painting. The mogul made his bid through another buyer via phone. Marshall’s dealer told the New York Times that Combs was introduced to the artist’s work by fellow…

Watch: Teens March 50 Miles in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

A group of teens began a 50-mile march in Mississippi on March 31 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and to mark the 50th anniversary of his assassination. The group, which includes adult mentors, will finish its march on April 4 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., where King was killed on April 4, 1968.

Watch: Strange Case Has Michael Bennett Facing Up to 10 Years in Prison

The Root 100 honoree and NFL star Michael Bennett posted bail after turning himself in Monday in Houston. He was indicted last week on a felony charge of causing injury to the elderly during the 2017 Super Bowl. The Philadelphia Eagles defensive end allegedly injured the shoulder of a 66-year-old paraplegic woman at…

Watch: Snoop Is Making Millions in Green With His New Cannabis Investment Firm

Calvin Broadus, aka Snoop Dogg, has became a major player in the ancillary cannabis industry after co-founding Casa Verde Capital and acquiring $45 million from investors. The ancillary business involves companies that never touch the actual product—from tech startups to weed-focused attorneys.

Watch: The Role of Teenage-Brain Science in Juvenile-Justice Reform

In 2005 the United States became the last country to end the death penalty for offenders under 18 years old. Adolescent neuroscience research played a huge part in changing this policy. However, there are still approximately 2,500 prison inmates in the United States serving life sentences without the possibility of…

Watch: Ava DuVernay’s Magical Journey to A Wrinkle in Time

The self-proclaimed “film geek” Ava DuVernay spoke to The Root about her transition from film publicist to director and her love for making documentaries, and she shares strong advice for African-American filmmakers:

Watch: Issa Rae Is Still Rooting for Everybody Black (and Female)

Issa Rae spoke at the LinkedIn panel discussion held at the Art of Elysium Center on Wednesday in Los Angeles. The Insecure star and creator discussed the importance of creating opportunities for people of color, as well as the importance of women demanding their worth in the workplace.

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