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:


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

New “The Color Is” Exhibit by Nick Cave and Jack Cave Now Open at DuSable Museum Historic Roundhouse

Artists and brothers Nick Cave and Jack Cave’s exhibit entitled, “The Color Is” will be hosted by the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois. The collection boasts avant-garde and haute couture pieces. It opened August 27, 2022, and will run through November 27, 2022.

“The Color Is” will consist of 40-45 couture looks and fashion objects created by Nick Cave and Jack Cave and a number of specialty collaborators. All works including head-to-toe garments have been constructed from a wide variety of materials including beads, wire, sequins, recycled textiles and custom prints.  The ensembles feature intricate layering that is emblematic of human universality, highlighting intricacy, complexity, color, and uniqueness. According to both Nick and Jack Cave the clothing is genderless, and the more than 400 individual items can be composed into limitless looks, all designed and crafted by the artists (The Chicago Defender).

“The Color Is” also contains an education component that highlights the exhibition themes, references, and history through digital animation, film montages, extensive explanatory text and high-resolution still images. There will be some surprise audio-visual elements featured in the exhibition as well as on the DuSable Museum website and the Bloomberg Connects app. All objects in the exhibition were created for both “The Color Is” live performance and “The Color Is” exhibition as a companion exhibition of NICK CAVE FOROTHERMORE and are Nick Cave’s most recent body of created work, often referencing work of his retrospective contemporary art archive. The pieces have been created within the past 9 to 12 months (The Chicago Defender).

Read more here.

Culture News: Solange Knowles Makes History as the First Black Woman to Compose A Score for the New York City Ballet

Congrats are in order for Solange Knowles as she will be the first Black woman to compose an original score for the New York City Ballet. She made the announce via her Instagram. The score will be performed by the City Ballet Orchestra with soloist from her ensemble.

Show Dates For 2022 at the Lincoln Center in New York City.

October 1, 8,11, 16

Show Dates for 2023:

May 2, 11, 13, 17, 18

Cover Image Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Here’s Why Bath and Body Works Missed the Mark with Their Black History Month Collection

Many retail outlets are showing their support for Black culture and history this Black History Month. One of those outlets is Bath and Body Works. The retailer has a cult following who lines up for hours to grab their candles and wall flowers when they have their big yearly sales. This year, BBW released a limited edition collection in honor or Black History Month as well as made donations to the National Urban League and the Columbus Urban League.

Image Credit: Bath and Body Works

Social media was in an uproar over the roll out. The packaging was said to be inspired by “handmade African mud cloth designs,”but no mention of what country, tribe, or the meaning of said designs. Also, they simply repackaged their signature scents and did not create new ones for collection. It gives very much “ How can we spend the least amount of money, show our “allyship”, while also making the most profit?”

While, Black designers for the packaging, here is how Bath and Body Works really could taken it a step further and made an bigger impact.

1. Collaborate with Black Candle Makers

Black candle makers are making waves in the streets. From Lit Bklyn, Harlem Candle Company, Forvr Mood, The Black Home, to name a few of many. Curating a limited edition collection and shining a light on a Black owned business by giving them shelf space for the month would have been well received.

2. Create New Scents

The body spray entitled “Empowered” is teakwood scented. Teakwood originates from Asia, not Africa. Next up is the coconut sandalwood “Unity” candle. While there are Black people in the diaspora from Caribbean nations where coconuts are plentiful, it doesn’t match the African themed packaging. In addition, sandalwood fragrance originates from India.

Image Credit: Bath and Body Works
Image Credit: Bath and Body Works

Absolutely_Arii wrote an amazing breakdown on the fragrances profiles they could have used:

3. Honor Actual Historical Figures

Trendy phrases like “unity” and “empowered” sound nice, but they don’t put a face to those who spent their lives fighting for Black people to be united and empowered. It takes away the profound impact the month can really have on one’s educational experience.

Companies who have never acknowledged Black history or culture have begun to do so within the last two years. In doing so, many did not hit the mark and I hope they are open to constructive criticism. To those within the Black community who think “we should just be happy” to be acknowledged, bare minimum is never enough. Our history is just as rich as any others and it deserves the respect of time and commitment to get it right. That means acknowledging your shorting and hiring consultants, partnering with creatives and small businesses. Cutting corners just to say you did something is not showing allyship nor respect for our culture.

Bath and Body Works missed the mark with this one, but next year (let’s see if they even try again) I hope they do better after receiving their community’s feedback.

DC Kids: Mattel Announces Launch of the Ida B. Wells Barbie

Image Credit: Barbie

Barbie has announced that the latest Barbie in their Inspiriting Women series is Ida B. Wells. Born into slavery in 1862, and would later spend her years as a free woman renowned journalist, suffragist, and activist. She risked her safety writing newspaper articles and traveling to give speeches highlighting the injustices faced by Black people. Wells founded several organizations such as the National Associate for Colored Women and co-founded what would later become the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Alpha Suffrage Club based in Chicago (National Park Service).

Image Credit: Barbie

Ida. B Wells was born into slavery and would later become a renowned journalist, suffragist, and activists.

Image Credit: Barbie

Fun Fact: Ida B. Wells’s home in Chicago is considered a historic landmark. Unfortunately, it is not open to the public as it is a private residence.

Ida B. Wells Barbie will be available in retailers on January 17, 2022.

Food & Drinks: Pur Noire, the First Black-Owned Urban Winery in Houston, Texas, Has its Grand Opening

If you’re in Houston and looking for something to satiate your wine palate, head on over to Pur Noire, a new urban winery and tasting room who is celebrating their grand opening! Pur Noire was founded by wine loving couple Kenneth and Carissa Stephens. The name was inspired by Carissa’s French Creole heritage. The Pur Collection features a “complex Petite Sirah based blend, Pinot Gris & Sauv Blanc blend, and Tempranillo Rosé.” ( PurNoireWines)

Image Credit: PurNoireWines


We are proud to be the city of Houston’s first and only Black-owned winery and tasting room. Our goal is to bring a traditional tasting room experience to downtown Houston. You will be able to select from different tasting options and experience four to five different wines from our portfolio. One of our Ambassadors will guide you through the tasting and tell you all about our wine and the Pur Noire brand. After the tasting, you can buy bottles of wine or if you taste something that you love, join our wine club! We will also have special ticketed events for guests to attend and enjoy! We look forward to bringing you a great experience. (PurNoireWines)

Image Credit: PurNoireWines

Hours of  Operation
Sunday – 12pm to 6pm
Monday – Closed
Tuesday – 12pm to 9pm
Wednesday – 12pm to 9pm
Thursday – 12pm to 9pm
Friday – 12pm to 10pm
Saturday – 12pm to 10pm

For more information, head to

The 6 Best Wigs Worn by Queen Charlotte in Netflix’s ‘Bridgerton’

Queen Charlotte, played by Golda Rosheuvel, in Netflix’s hit series Bridgerton served lewks in every scene she was in. As a matter of fact, the actress said in every scene that she was in she wore a different wig and gown ( The Queen, who is based off a real-life monarch of the same name and has been long speculated to have African ancestry, which makes Golda a perfect fit for the role.

Bridgerton Wigs Ranked
Image Credit: Netflix

The wigs worn by Queen Charlotte were definitely a moment and deserved more attention as one loyal reader pointed out and I couldn’t agree more.

A few notable headpieces paid homage to her African ancestry. Such as the elegant jewel adorned updo above comprised of white blonde microbraids and textured edges.

Bridgerton Wigs Ranked
Image Credit: Netflix

Perhaps the one of the most notable wigs of the series was the white blond loc wig the Queen Charlotte wore that spiraled to the heavens. The finishing touch were the two bird cages and birds that literally nested at the top of the elegant coif.

Bridgerton Wigs Ranked
Image Credit: Netflix

Ahh, the afro wig! This has to be my most favorite wig worn by Queen Charlotte. She effortlessly showcases how afro textured hair can be elegant. Two jewel encrusted golden afro pick combs complete the look.

Bridgerton Wigs Ranked
Image Credit: Netflix

Other fun wigs included this cotton candy pink one adorned with an oversized diamond barrette to give a finishing touch of regalness.

Bridgerton Wigs Ranked
Image Credit: Netflix

The wigs seemed to get higher and higher with every scene. A jet black spiral of braided curls with several gold and ruby crowns interwoven into the hair amplified this sultry garnet look. Notice how the background has the same color scheme.

Bridgerton Wigs Ranked
Image Credit: Netflix

Even a grey tower of loose curls cannot age the Queen Charlotte! Serve!

Golda Rosheuvel really embodied the role of Queen Charlotte, from the pursed lips to the piercing sneer. In her role, she wore such extravagant wigs (as well as gowns and jewels) effortlessly really conveying the message that opulence was an everyday occurrence for Her Majesty, the Queen.

Award Winning Costume Designer, Ruth E. Carter, to have Fashion Exhibit at SCAD

Image Credit: SCAD

Veteran costume designer, Ruth E. Carter, known for her work in Spike Lee’s Malcom X, Ava DuVernay’s Selma, and Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, among others will have some of her most notable designs on display in an exhibit entitles “Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costumer Design.” It is open for viewing at the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum in Atlanta, Ga. More than 60 costumes will be on display including the ones she designed for Denzel Washington for Malcom X, Oprah Winfrey for Selma, and the late Chadwick Boseman for Black Panther.

Image Credit: SCAD
Image Credit: SCAD
Image Credit: SCAD
Image Credit: SCAD

Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design is open for viewing now through September 12, 2021.

DC Kids: Barbie and Nikki Talk About Racism

Great message for Little Divas and their siblings and  friends about racism from @barbie. It’s a lot going on in the world right now, all at the same time, and the kiddos notice. They have questions and are worried. They see what is going on and hear whar is said. Great way to break it down without being too heavy.

Video ans Cover Image Credit: Barbie

Product Highlight: Brandon Blackwood’s ESR (End Systemic Racism) Mini Tote

Many would argue we have entered into another civil rights era. With social media being so prolific, we unfortunately have front row seats to the horrific situations that often lead to the deaths of many Black Americans across the country. For every Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, there are many more that don’t make the news. For example, we learned about Elijah’s McClain’s death almost a year later. People have been stepping up and speaking up by using the platforms they have in their respective industries to envoke change. Brandon Blackwood is doing it with fashion.

Image Credit: Kim Kardashian Instagram

The ESR (End Systemic Racism) Mini Tote was created to be “functional, practical, and make a statement” (Brandon Blackwood). A portion of the proceeds for this tote will go toward Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, a non-profit that offers pro bono services for African Americans and other ethnic minorities.

Image Credit:Brandon Blackwood.

“The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure equal justice for all through the rule of law, targeting in particular the inequities confronting African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities. The Lawyers’ Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 to enlist the private bar’s leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity – work that continues to be vital today”Brandon Blackwood.

The ESR Mini Tote is on pre-sale for $50 and purchased made after August 27, 2020 will begin shipping at the end of September.

Image Credit:Brandon Blackwood.