Entertainment News: Color Purple Trailer

Alice Walker’s book The Color Purple is a classic. I remember it being in my mom’s personal collection as a child. When it was adapted into a film in 1985, it cemented Celie, Nettie, Mister, Sophia, Shug Avery, and Harpo into our culture, especially Black American culture. Lines from the movie are often quoted and the infamous childlike “patty-cake” scene is often imitated to signify that two people may be apart physically but never separated in their hearts.

Decades would roll by and a play would be created based on the book, starring a then fairly new R&B singer Fantasia Barrino still riding high off her time on American Idol. My mom, sister, and I went to see that too (It was awesome!). Now, The Color Purple is back. It has been reimagined into a more modern film based on the play and book before it. Fantasia reprises her role in the play as an older Celie, Halle Bailey, who also stars as Ariel in Disney’s Little Mermaid, appears as a young Nettie and more. Watch the trailer below.

Video Credit: Warner Brothers

The movie is set to release in America on December 25, 2023.

Food & Drinks: Tabitha Brown Announces McCormick Product Line Expansion

Video Credit: Tabitha Brown

America’s Auntie, better known as Tabitha Brown, took to her Instagram to announce her expanded line of seasonings with McCormick. Her debut spice, Sunshine, sold out a few times (And I have yet to score one!). Now, it has company. Two more spices and three recipe mixes have been added to the lineup.

The two spices are Very Good Garlic, a play on Tabitha’s famous phrase, “Very Good”, and Like Sweet, Like Smokey, a play on another phrase associated with Tabitha, “Like so, like that.” The recipe mixes are called Burger Business, Sautee Business, and Taco Business. They are all made without the additional salt often found in standard seasonings which how many often add more salt to their meals without realizing it. Tab said there will be no high blood pressure on her watch!

Keep an eye out on the shelves of your local grocer for the seasonings and the entire collection will launch this summer.

As Tabitha Brown would say, very good!

Diva’s Quick Tips: Shopping Luxury Smartly

There are several popular movements on social media among Black women and one, in particular, pertains to luxury. For many years, Black people as a whole have been excluded from the luxury world. The finer things in life have been associated with the Black elite such as athletes, musicians, and the demographic’s top earners. Now that more people are climbing the wealth ladder, more “common folk” have access to luxury goods. However, from what I’ve seen, many people are buying what’s popular amongst their favorite celebrities or on social media without considering if it’s practical for their everyday lives. Then they don’t get their cost per wear from the item and that’s money wasted. As with anything, we must shop smart! Here are a few tips on how to shop for luxury goods the smart way

1. Ask Yourself Why You Want the Item

Does this purchase fill a gap in your wardrobe? Does it serve a function? Do you like it for yourself?

2. Stick to Your Style

If you do not normally wear heels, will you wear a pair of designer heels more? The answer is likely not. Take what you currently wear and elevate it. For example, I don’t wear sneakers often. If an occasion calls for a flat, I usually choose a chic flat or loafer. So I will upgrade to a designer flat or loafer. That way the item still fits my aesthetic.

3. How Many Ways Can You Wear It?

Is this a one-time wear item or can you fit this into many outfits? Think about the cost per wear when shopping, especially luxury goods. Interchangeability adds versatility.

I hope these three quick tips helped! Try thinking of building a timeless wardrobe with pieces that can be worn interchangeably for years to come.

Fashion News: Pharrell Williams Named New Creative Director of Menswear at Louis Vuitton

Music industry multi-hyphenate, Pharrell Williams, has been named Louis Vuitton’s Creative Director of Menswear following the late Virgil Abloh. The position starts immediately and he will show his first collection June 2024 during Men’s Fashion Week. This is great Black History Month fashion news!

Image Credit: Getty Images

Augusta Mini Theatre Presents: “The Man, The Message, The Music”

Augusta Mini Theatre is a community arts and life skills school located in Augusta, Ga. They are gearing up for its next production dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This showcase is an annual production, but this year will highlight the work of James Brown., the late great music legend who called Augusta home. Here is what the playwright and owner of the Augusta Mini Theatre as well as two of his students had to say about the production (Karlton Clay, WJBF):

Now, you have a new production coming up called “The Man, The Message, The Music.” Can you tell us what this production is about?

Symphnie: I play the role of Johnetha, and I’m basically a friend of James Brown. And we gather at the Third World nightclub to remember him.

Monae: And I’m also a friend and supporter of James Brown. Johnetha, another character named Flash, and I go to the Third World nightclub to talk about him and remember him.

Mr. Butler, what is the importance of this production?

You heard one name there, and there’s a guy named Flash, which is named after Flash Gordon. Flash and I were very good friends, and I’m paying tribute to his name by having his name in the play. Also, Flash Gordon was a very close friend of James Brown anyway. The main thing is to pay tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s our Martin Luther King, Jr. show. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for everybody to be treated equally and fairly and to be given a fair shot. And James Brown was the same. He said, “I don’t want anybody to give me nothing. Open up the door, and I’ll get it myself.” The teaching is in that; the same as Martin Luther King, Jr. We even say in this play that James Brown should’ve gotten the Nobel Peace Prize, and we talk about why because of the life he had coming up in Augusta and South Carolina from shining shoes to collecting coal from the railroad tracks just to raise enough money to pay $7 a month for the rent for the shack they had as a kid. That was rough. Can you imagine at 7 years old having to go out there even today with it raining to shine shoes?

So, why should people come and see “The Man, The Message, The Music?”

Monae: I think they should come see it because we’re paying tribute to James Brown, which I know before this show, I really didn’t know a lot about him. And just learning about him, I‘ve learned so much about life. So, I think they should come see it because of that. And it’s also very entertaining. It’s a good outing event for the family.

Symphine: Right, and we about to put on a show!

Mr. Butler: And when she says show, the first part of the play is the history of his life and what he went through. The next part is that the cast will be dancing as James Brown. They’re all James Browns. They’re five characters. And we have the original outfits that we received from James Brown’s entourage. They are really going to be dancing. In rehearsal, they’re like dead. (Laughs) And I push them hard like James Brown would’ve. And I told Symphine the other day, “James Brown the other day because you’re slacking.” But anyway, it’s a lot of fun! (Laughs)

“The Man, The Message, The Music” Show Times:

IJanuary 13th at 8 P.M.

January 14th-16th and 21st and 22nd at 3 PM.

Ticket Information:

Web: augustaminitheatre.org 

In Person: 2548 Deans Bridge Road in Augusta, Ga 30906

Phone: (706) 722-0598

Cover Image Credit: Augusta Mini Theatre

Article Credit: Karlton Clay, WJBF

Letter from the Editor: Diva Chronicles is Now Southern Diva Magazine

Happy New Year from Southern Diva Magazine!

Diva Chronicles Magazine is now Southern Diva Magazine. The content will remain the same only with the fusion of Southern Black culture. Diva Chronicles was founded in the South, Georgia, specifically, and covered a wide range of topics with the experiences of Black people and other BIPOC people at the forefront as I thought this type of content was still lacking. What I saw was lacking, even more, was the coverage of the Black southern experience was minimal, even from southern-themed publications. I aim to fill that gap with Southern Diva.

Southern culture is rich, and it is also very diverse. There are some similarities across cultures, but everyone brings a little something different, and that is why I love my homegrown culture. I was born and raised in the South. We are known for our food, culture, and hospitality, to name a few, but I rarely see faces that look like mine positively showcasing various aspects of Southern culture as I know it. With Southern Diva, I aim to showcase Black southern tastemakers, entrepreneurs, chefs, scholars, artists, institutions, businesses, etc.

I hope you will enjoy reading Southern Diva as we embark on this new journey.




Three Southern New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day Superstitions from My Childhood

Growing up in the south, my mother was just as superstitious as she was religious. I still loosely hold on to a few I grew up with. There are three key superstitions on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day that she was serious about. Even when I lived away from home, she would call to ensure I was following the cardinal rules. So what are they, you might ask? Keep reading to find out.

1. Take Out the Trash

Take the trash out on New Year’s Eve, never New Years’ Day because if you do, you’ll “throw away your wealth.” This also included doing laundry and cleaning. Get it all done before January 1 or wait until the 2nd

2. A Man Must Cross the Threshold

A man must be the first person to enter your home on the first day of the year for good luck. This was adjusted over the years to being a male. Therefore, several male relatives have brought us good luck over the years.

3. The Feast

Both tradition and superstition, you’ll find many southerners prepare a meal of collard greens and black eyed peas along with cornbread for wealth and good health in the new year.

How will you ring in the new year? What are some traditions and/or superstitions your family practice for the new year? I will be spending a quiet cozy night in with some bubbles and caviar while watching the festivities on television.

Tik Tokker, @CamilleViviana, is Showcasing the Rich History of HBCU Queens to her Followers

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are a unique group of higher education institutions, mainly in the South, that were founded during a time Black students were not allowed to attend predominately white institutions (PWIs) solely due to their skin color. Please note, this does not mean these schools were exclusively Black, because they never were. Many other races and ethnicities have and still do attend HBCUs. They provided a safe space to receive a quality education. There are now 107 HBCUs today.

New traditions were born from these institutions and one is that of the school queen. School queens are not a new concept, but HBCU queens and the traditions surrounding them, are rarely known outside of the world of HBCUs. Mississippi native, Camille, @CamilleViviana on Tik Tok, is changing that one video at a time.

Video Credit: Camille Viviana

Camille narrates her video with such enthusiasm and doesn’t shy away from affirming and showering each of the ladies with compliments.

One of her followers asked if the queens ran campaigns, and was their voting involved and pageants. Yes, yes, and yes. The basic criteria is usually that the candidates have to be in good standing with their college or university, have the minimal required GPA, are usually expected to be involved in their campus and surrounding communities, and have a service mission they will implement if elected. Campaign season is a special time at HBCUs and I remember at my alma mater, posters were all over campus, campaign teams worked diligently on behalf of their perspective queen candidates, and the student body voted on who they wanted after hearing from the candidates. There were campus events, a town hall were each king and queen candidate got to speak and receive questions from the student body. Then we voted. Those votes were factored into the votes along with the judges votes at the pageant at the end of the campaign period. Then we got our queen! She would be crown at a coronation the following fall and her reign would kick off then. I’m sure every school is different, but much more goes into becoming a campus queen that build a pretty dress.

Video Credit: Camille Viviana