Film ‘Legacy Lives On’ Premieres At ABFF, Follows Financial Journey of Three Black Women

Prudential, in partnership with Urban One, screened Legacy Lives On at the American Black Film Festival on June 15 in Miami, and it will air publicly on TV One at 9 p.m. ET on June 19, and again on CLEO TV on June 20, 2019. The 45-minute film follows the financial journey of three black women and highlights the relationship African Americans have with money, particularly when debt, financial literacy, and systematic challenges are at play.

African American households lag sorely in wealth compared to white households. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), black households receive an underwhelming 61.6% of the yearly income earned by an average white household. This disparity is due in part to the racial income gap in which black employees bring home 82.5 cents for every dollar white workers earn; substantially contributing to black poverty. It should come as no surprise, then, that the most recent data suggests black people are more than twice as likely to experience poverty than whites. Therefore, the timing of such a documentary is ideal.



Legacy—this type of film talks about all the things we don’t talk about,” Salene Hitchcock-Gear told BLACK ENTERPRISE. Hitchcock-Gear, the president of Prudential Individual Life Insurance, continued: “For women, especially women who are trying to move forward, we don’t have a lot of good tools to start with. It’s not normal to talk to people about savings, investments, how to get financing for anything, or just deal with budgets, or getting out of debt. This effort starts to put language in people’s hands and try to break through that environment where we don’t talk.”

Talking candidly to an entire nation about the state of their finances and the history of how they each handled money wasn’t an easy thing to do for Onikah Asamoa-Caesar, Jewel Burks-Solomon, and Audrey Hurst. However, doing so proved to be beneficial for each woman who participated in the film.

Legacy Lives On: One Solution and Prudential Documentary Highlights New Pathways to Financial Freedom and Financial Wellness for Black Americans, Private screening and VIP reception at Regal Cinema South Beach on Saturday, June 15, 2019 in Miami. (Jesus Aranguren/AP Images for Prudential Financial, Inc.)

“My experience was very interesting because it gave me an opportunity to reflect about the legacy I want to build,” Burks-Solomon shared with BE. “I had a chance to have a conversation with my mother and talk about the things she instilled in me at an early age and thank her for the things she taught me along the way and have that dialogue we haven’t had before.”

Hurst expressed her initial hesitation on disclosing her financial secrets: “I was definitely scared for people to know what I was going through financially because we don’t have those conversations as black people, but I had someone in my ear telling me to step out on faith so that’s what I did and said, ‘I’m gonna tell my story.”‘

A documentary like Legacy Lives On would not be complete without Tiffany Aliche, “The Budgetnista’s” two cents—which is nothing short of the financial wisdom she is known to impart. “It’s important to teach black women about money,” Aliche stated. “Prudential had a study where they show that black women make up to 70% of the financial decisions in the household.”

Aliche added: “That means if you want to shift the black family, community, and culture forward, then you have to do it through black women. We are essential. Without us, there would be no strong community, family, or culture. We have been left out of the conversation for too long. You see that in Legacy Lives On.”

Actor Laz Alonzo contributed to the conversation, addressing generational poverty that affects people of color: “Black and brown people are learning their worth,” Alonzo told BE. “Up until now, everyone knew our worth except us. We have the talent, we have the ability to bring crowds, and have a community to support us and bring their dollars, but where was the money going? Now we see a lot of artists buying back their materials, their intellectual property, their block—and they’re also diversifying [their earning potential]. There are so many ways to make money. It was important for Prudential to be on the leading end of that conversation.”

legacy lives on

(Dr. DeForest B. Soaries Jr., Salene Hitchcock-Gear, Laz Alonso, Tiffany Aliche; Edelman)

Other contributors include Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, motivational speaker Lisa Nichols, Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries Jr., producer Ma’at Zachary, and Prudential’s vice president of Corporate Giving Shané Harris. And while a film initiative on dialogue about money and finance may seem unlikely to screen at ABFF, it’s actually more aligned with the event than not.

“For Prudential as a financial institution, we don’t always have the right connects, through the community to actually get the message out,” Hitchcock-Gears said. “This particular festival is so much grassroots, people on the ground, that we feel like that’s the audience we’re trying to reach; the very group that needs to hear this. It includes the people here at this event. When you think about it, so many creative people don’t have consistent income. So you have to think about ‘how do I deal with that as a creative person? How do I continue my craft, but take care of myself financially?’ This is for the attendees and the creators. We think [ABFF] is a real home run and a great place for us to showcase.”

Alonzo agreed, stating “To have that film here is where a lot of people need it the most because they are the ones actually self-financing their dreams. They’re the ones trying to figure out ‘I want to make this happen, but I got a 9-to-5. How can I juggle this?’ This movie is the movie that will show you others who have done it and inspire you to not waste any more time and want to do it.”

Legacy Lives On: One Solution and Prudential Documentary Highlights New Pathways to Financial Freedom and Financial Wellness for Black Americans, Private screening and VIP reception at Regal Cinema South Beach on Saturday, June 15, 2019 in Miami. (Jesus Aranguren/AP Images for Prudential Financial, Inc.)

American Black Film Festival was founded by Jeff Friday to provide a platform for black filmmakers to showcase their work. In its 23rd year, the festival continues to amplify black creative talent. Learn more about the ABFF legacy, at abff.com and catch ’em on social:

Twitter: @ABFF
Facebook: American Black Film Festival
Instagram: @AmericanBlackFilmFestival
YouTube: American Black Film Festival
Hashtags: #ABFF19, #WeAreABFF

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Black Enterprise 2009 Woman of Power Legacy Award Honoree Leah Chase Passes Away

Chef, entrepreneur, and civil rights icon Leah Chase passed away on Saturday at 96-years-old. Chase was executive chef of Dooky Chase’s—a New Orleans landmark restaurant where many black leaders including Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King Jr., Hank Aaron, Ernest Gaines, Quincy Jones, and Barack Obama dined, and strategized during the Civil Rights era.

The restaurant opened its doors in 1941, founded by Emily and Dooky Chase, Sr. Their son, Edgar Dooky Chase, Jr. married Leah Lange Chase in 1946. Leah Chase helped propel the restaurant into the national spotlight with her Creole cuisine cooking and emphasis on showcasing black art and music in the establishment.

Dooky Chase’s was shuttered for two years in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. After a rebuild and assistance from the community, the restaurant re-opened and emerged even stronger.

Several notable black celebrities took to social media to pay respects to Chase. Chef Marcus Samuelsson called her a “true mentor, friend and inspiration” in a post on Facebook:



 


 


 

In 2009, Chase was honored as a BLACK ENTERPRISE Woman of Power Legacy Award. In an interview with BE she said, “My father taught us to live by three rules: Pray, work, and do for others.” Watch the entire video interview with Leah Chase below:

 

 

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Keanu cements legacy in Hollywood

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Today in Movie Culture: ‘Detective Pikachu’ Easter Eggs, the Legacy of the ‘X-Men’ Movie Franchise and More

Today in Movie Culture: ‘Detective Pikachu’ Easter Eggs, the Legacy of the ‘X-Men’ Movie Franchise and More

Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture:

 

Easter Eggs of the Day:

Millions of moviegoers went to see Pokémon: Detective Pikachu over the weekend, and the many fans among them were surely taking count of all the movie’s included Pokémon species and other references that only they would get. For those who couldn’t catch ‘em all, though, here’s Mr. Sunday Movies highlighting all the Pokémon, Easter eggs…

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Remembering the Legacy of Legendary Director John Singleton and his Classic Film “Boyz n the Hood”

Update: 4:45 p.m. EST

According to CNN, John Singleton died on April 29 at 51 years old. His family released the following statement:

“We are sad to relay that John Singleton has died. John passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends. We want to thank the amazing doctors at Cedars-Sinai Hospital for their expert care and kindness and we again want thank all of John’s fans, friends and colleagues for all of the love and support they showed him during this difficult time.”


Hollywood trailblazer John Singleton, who suffered from a stroke and fell into a coma earlier this month, made history when he was just 24 years old with his iconic 1991 film Boyz n the Hood. The groundbreaking movie explored the plight of childhood friends growing up in an inner-city neighborhood stricken by gang violence in South Los Angeles. The film received two Academy Award nominations in 1992, making Singleton both the first African American and youngest person ever to be nominated for Best Director. It also received the nod for Best Original Screenplay. In addition, the film also helped launch the careers of stars like Angela Bassett, Morris Chestnut, and Cuba Gooding, Jr.

At the 2015 American Black Film Festival, Singleton revealed that he had hired a predominantly black crew to make the film as well as a mix of actors and non-actors, some from South LA. “Everyone from the neighborhood was invested in the film. The crew was 97% black,” said the USC School of Cinematic Arts graduate. He described making the film — which was inspired by his real-life friends and the challenges that they experienced in South Central — as “cathartic.” “I wanted to make a film that was quintessentially black American. I think we’ve gotten away from that as filmmakers. We’re too concerned with what others think, not about what’s culturally astute.”

Today, Boyz n the Hood is recognized as one of the most definitive movies of the 90s and an urban classic that continues to resonate with audiences almost 30 years later. “Everything that we dealt with in Boyz n the Hood is still relevant today,” Singleton said. “Black men still feel like they have to prove their masculinity. There’s so much pressure black women and men have to deal with. We’ve become time bombs.” Boyz n the Hood was added to the United States Library of Congress in 2002.

The screenwriter went on to direct a number of other notable films and television series throughout his career, including Poetic JusticeBaby Boy, 2 Fast 2 Furious, the FX crime drama Snowfall, and several episodes of Empire.

Back in 2011, Singleton told BLACK ENTERPRISE that there are fewer opportunities for black directors today to make big-picture films than there were at the start of his career. “I think there is less opportunity now in making big mainstream pictures [for] black filmmakers making films for black audiences,” he said. “It’s harder for us to get a movie made in that vein because they kind of compartmentalized and made it open for just a few people to make pictures.”

Tragically, Singleton suffered from a stroke on April 17 and was placed in intensive care. His mother and business manager, Shelia Ward, filed papers in court requesting conservatorship, stating that Singleton was “unable to provide for his personal needs” or “manage his financial resources,” according to The Associated Press. The court papers also claim that at the time of his stroke, Singleton was “engaged in several business deals” and in the process of signing “a lucrative settlement agreement.” Ward’s claims, however, were publicly refuted by Singleton’s daughter, Cleopatra Singleton, who also opposed the idea of giving her grandmother control over her father’s estate.

At the time of publishing, Singleton was reportedly still on life support and scheduled to be taken off April 29. In a statement, a family spokesperson revealed he had suffered from hypertension. “Like many African Americans, Singleton quietly struggled with hypertension. More than 40% of African American men and women have high blood pressure, which also develops earlier in life and is usually more severe.”

The post Remembering the Legacy of Legendary Director John Singleton and his Classic Film “Boyz n the Hood” appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Hurricane Maria’s Legacy: Thousands Of Puerto Rican Students Show PTSD Symptoms

Food shortages, damaged homes, fear of death, loved ones leaving. The cumulative stresses of Hurricane Maria contributed to thousands of schoolchildren developing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, in Puerto Rico, according to a study published Friday.

The study in JAMA Network Open found that 7.2% of the students reported “clinically significant” symptoms of PTSD. More girls tended to show signs of PTSD than boys.

Researchers surveyed 96,108 public school students five to nine months after the 2017 hurricane. The cohort included youth in third through 12th grades across different regions of the island.

The Puerto Rico Department of Education — which partnered with the Medical University of South Carolina for this study — is using the data to target areas with the greatest need for mental health services, the study said.

Maria, which struck the island as a Category 4 hurricane in September 2017, killed an estimated 2,975 people within the American commonwealth. Residents struggled to access clean water and some remained without electricity nearly a year after the storm.

It had dramatic effects on the students. Nearly 46% said their home was damaged. More than 32% experienced shortages of food and water. And roughly 58% reported they had a friend or family member leave the island. The effects did not vary based on where the students lived or their families’ income.

Rosaura Orengo-Aguayo, a clinical psychologist at the Medical University of South Carolina and the study’s lead author, said the findings show the breadth and indiscriminate nature of the devastation.

“That just speaks to how big Maria was, how destructive Maria was island-wide,” she said. “And it didn’t matter what your income was or your location was on the island — you were affected.”

Similar problems have been reported among children in other parts of the Caribbean also affected by hurricanes in 2017.

Congress is at a stalemate in passing an aid bill that would send more resources to Puerto Rico and other areas affected by natural disasters. President Donald Trump has expressed his reluctance to provide more money to the island.

The trauma caused by a natural disaster can manifest itself in a variety of ways, said Frank Zenere, district coordinator of the crisis management program at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, who was not associated with the study. Family units can break down through divorce or domestic violence, he said. Young children can revert to thumb-sucking or wetting the bed. Teens sometimes try to exert control by acting out or turning to drugs to self-medicate.

To be sure, Zenere said, most people who survive a natural disaster do not develop long-term mental health conditions.

“They’re distressed by it. It has impact on their life — yes,” said Zenere, who helped coordinate mental health efforts in Puerto Rico in Maria’s aftermath. “But the great majority are not going to develop psychiatric illness.”

Zenere said the differences by gender found among students reporting symptoms of PTSD align with existing literature — boys are more likely to act out, while girls are most likely to show depression and anxiety.

The study’s authors said the loss and disruption caused by Maria contributed about 20% toward the youth’s symptoms of PTSD. While the researchers did not measure what other circumstances played a role, Orengo-Aguayo said, other “protective factors” — like eventually securing basic needs and community support — influence resiliency.

Notably, Orengo-Aguayo said, the level of PTSD symptoms reported in the study is lower than what was expected. Some studies show up to a third of children will develop chronic symptoms after surviving a natural disaster, the authors wrote.

Familial ties or the fact that the study was conducted several months after the storm could have played a role in the children’s resilience, she said. Or the children might still be attuned to trying to survive.

“What we might be seeing is that children at that stage were still focused on getting access to basic needs,” she said.

Regan Stewart, a clinical psychologist at the Medical University of South Carolina and a study co-author, said the team has secured two grants from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to continue work on the island for at least three more years. It plans to use telehealth to expand access to mental health services and train school staff and mental health professionals on trauma-focused interventions.

However, public schools in Puerto Rico are burdened by economic constraints. The island — already facing a budget crisis — closed 300 schools over the past two years due to a lack of enrollment exacerbated by Hurricane Maria.

Zenere said school staff members are among those who need to be cared for first, “because they’re going to be the glue that keeps it together for that classroom of 20 children or so.”

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Helen Gurley Brown’s ‘Daughter’ on the Cosmo Editor’s Legacy, #MeToo, and Anita Hill

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Just two years before she died at the age of 90, Helen Gurley Brown was tap-dancing in her New York penthouse, waiting for the elevator.

Brown’s husband, Jaws producer and former Cosmopolitan managing editor David Brown, had just died. And she didn’t want to be alone.

“As we’re waiting for the elevator, she starts singing and tap-dancing to ‘I love you, a bushel and a peck,’” her longtime friend, writer Lois Cahall, told The Daily Beast. “She doesn’t want me to go, so she’s trying to stay humorous and adorable. We stepped in, and this very handsome guy in workout clothes comes onto the elevator.”

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Jackie Robinson’s Daughter on Carrying on Her Father’s Legacy and Working With Budweiser

Years before integration was legal in the United States, Jackie Robinson, at 28 years old, changed history by stepping onto Ebbets Field in 1947 and breaking Major League Baseball’s more than 50-year color barrier. The baseball legend also used his platform to advocate for the civil rights of African Americans well after his retirement.

In honor of the 100-year anniversary of Robinson’s life, Budweiser partnered with the Jackie Robinson Foundation to create a short film called Impact, produced by Oscar Award-winning director Spike Lee and narrated by Robinson’s daughter, Sharon Robinson. According to Budweiser reps, the film was inspired by Robinson’s quote, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” The beer company has also raised funds in support of the Jackie Robinson Museum, which is scheduled to open in New York City in December. [Watch Budweiser’s Impact film below.]



 

Black Enterprise spoke with Sharon Robinson about her father’s impact, working with Budweiser, and being the daughter of an American hero.

BE: How was your experience working with Budweiser on this film?

Robinson: It was an incredible experience working with Spike Lee and his team and the Budweiser Group. Everybody was very enthusiastic and creative in finding ways to keep the campaign contemporary while celebrating the accomplishments of Jackie Robinson and the breakthrough from 1947. We are thrilled they partnered with us; they are providing us great support with our museum. Spike was just a dream to work with. I was very honored that he asked me to do the voice for the Impact film.

BE: What was it like growing up in a baseball household?

Robinson: Well, I wouldn’t say I grew up in a baseball household. I was actually 7 when my father retired. My younger brother was about 4-and-a-half, and my older brother was about 9-and-a-half. We grew up more in a civil rights household. We knew our dad had played baseball, we had a trophy room, and people told us stories wherever we went. We really focused, as a family, on social changes during a time when so much was happening and eventually found our role as a family in the civil rights movement.

BE: Aside from being a trailblazer in the world of sports, what were some of Jackie’s contributions off the field?

Robinson: My dad retired in 1957 after 10 years. He was a vice president at Chock Full O’ Nuts but he had a deal with them that he can work in the civil rights movement and he was free to travel, he was able to have the time off to have a dual role. So, initially, he was fundraising for the NAACP and he would travel across the country raising money. He would travel south and we, as a family, intergraded [the] neighborhood we lived in; my brothers and I integrated our schools in Stanford, Connecticut. He would come home and share stories with us at the dining room table, and we would watch the news together as the civil rights movement was unfolding. In 1962, my dad would go on marches, he marched with Dr. King, he marched around jobs, he did a lot of that kind of activism.

Another key role my dad had played was [after] the bombing of the churches. My dad would go down and visit and help raise money to rebuild these churches. In fact, Dr. King had given him the entailment to raise money for the bombings across the country. He visited dad in Albany, Georgia, where there have been a couple of bombings and Dr. King had asked him if he would take that on as one of his fundraisers.

In 1963, things sort of changed in our family. Dad came home and said, ‘We’re going to have a family mission in finding work that you love.’ That’s when we started doing jazz concerts at our home to raise money for the civil right movements. Our very first jazz concert came after the work in Birmingham, Alabama; we raised bail money for the marchers who have been jailed. We had our second jazz concert in September right after the March on Washington. That’s when we, as a family, started doing activism, it became a family mission. That’s why it was so easy after dad died, we moved from our work in the civil rights movement to starting the Jackie Robinson Foundation and gearing our efforts toward education and leadership development.

Jackie Robinson Budweiser

Jackie Robinson and his daughter Sharon Robinson

BE: What are some of the recent activities going on at the Jackie Robinson Foundation?

Robinson: Currently we have almost 240 scholars who receive financial support for college and have mentorship support throughout their college years. We bring them all to New York for about four days in March; they take mentoring to another level, they attend workshops, go to cultural activities throughout NYC, and it cumulates at our annual Gala, where they dress up and play a role in the program itself and the leadership component. We just completed that networking weekend, it was great. Our alumni also participate in that conference, they also help with mentoring with scholars during that time.

BE: What should we expect to see at the Jackie Robinson Museum once it opens?

Robinson: We will we certainly see his baseball career in the museum; none of this would have happened if he did not have this tremendous career that created change within the sport and within the country. That part of the legacy was definitely not lost as we were children, it was very much there. In the museum, there will be a section on baseball accomplishments and ways kids can interact and learn how to slide, steal a home run, [along with] educational activities around baseball. What we are really hoping is to challenge young people to think about issues of race, diversity, globalization, finding your voice, all of that will be a large part of what we are going to be doing at the museum. So it’s really helping them move from Jackie Robinson in the past to what is happening in their lives, which is exactly what impact does: It doesn’t just stay in 1947, it shows what happened in 1947, continues to impact America today.

BE: What is the impact you want the Jackie Robinson Museum to have on the public?

Robinson: The impact we are hoping is that we will help children lift their voice against discrimination of all kinds and we will support that in that effort and show them our father was an activist as well as a baseball player and how he used his fame to impact others.

 


Sharon Robinson’s answers were edited for brevity and clarity.

The post Jackie Robinson’s Daughter on Carrying on Her Father’s Legacy and Working With Budweiser appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Nipsey Hussle Reflected on His Legacy a Year Before His Death [VIDEO]

It may be the millennial generation’s Tupac moment—the untimely death of rap star Nipsey Hussle. While the 33-year-old rapper, whose real name was Ermias Davidson Asghedom, did not live long enough to achieve the legendary musical catalog of Tupac Shakur—his death, as with Shakur’s—will mark a sad milestone in the lives of younger hip-hop fans and the music industry.

There are parallels between the two artists. Both used their fame as platforms to fight injustice. Both rose from hard street lives to become stars in the entertainment industry. And both would become victims of the type of gun violence from which their fame and success could not serve as shields.

Yet, as with many of his generation, Nipsey Hussle saw the value of entrepreneurship and legacy wealth-building as a way of empowering the black community.

[Watch Nipsey Hussle’s interview with BE in April 2018]



How Nipsey Hussle Left a Legacy of Wealth-Building

A technology enthusiast, Hussle was intent on disrupting both the music and technology industries, one venture at a time.

“In our culture, there’s a narrative that says, ‘Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers,’” he said in an interview with The LA Times. “And that’s cool, but there should be something that says, ‘Follow Elon Musk, follow [Mark] Zuckerberg.”

That keen understanding of the power of technology to build wealth and enact change sparked the idea for his retail store and brand, The Marathon Clothing. The first “smart store” of its kind, it offers customers an enhanced online as well as physical shopping experience through a custom app.

“This is just taking the retail space to the next level and also, offering a different experience when you come here as opposed to buying it online,” he said in an interview last year with Black Enterprise.

Iddris Sandu was a partner of Nipsey Hussle’s in The Marathon Clothing store venture. He spoke about the vision he and Hussle had for the store and why technology was so important to both of them.

“Tech companies don’t allow the culture to thrive by thinking that they have the best service and that culture benefits from the technology. The culture doesn’t work for the tech, the tech works for the culture. By honoring and respecting this, one can achieve a high level of success in arbitrating both of these fields to create unparalleled experiences,” said Sandu at the time.

The Marathon Clothing is located in the heart of the Crenshaw District, where Hussle grew up. The store would also, unfortunately, become the location where his life abruptly ended.

The Grammy-nominated artist also invested in cryptocurrency, real estate, and had recently opened Vector 90, a co-working space and incubator that also served as a STEM center for youth.

What He Meant to Millennials and the Urban Community

Several millennials at Black Enterprise weighed in on what Nipsey Hussle meant to them and their generation.

For me, Nipsey as he often described himself, “a well-groomed gangster lumberjack” was the epitome of what rap culture requires these days—an authentic character that fans can relate to ( he talked famously about being a member of the Rolling 60’s Crips) and a figure corporate America could embrace and sell. His business acumen is well documented and his interests varied beyond the recording booth. I was in awe when he conceived the idea to sell his CD, Crenshaw for $ 100 , a limited edition of 1,000, in which Jay Z purchased 100 copies. His mixtape series Bullets Ain’t Got No Name proved tragically prophetic. — Ed Stokes, Videographer; Content Producer

 

I actually do listen to Nipsey Hussle’s music and he is one of my favorite artists. One thing I can say about him is that although none of his projects sounded the same, he always had one underlying theme in all of them and that was ownership. For most of Nipsey’s career, he was independent and paid for marketing and distribution himself. He constantly rapped about owning 100% of the masters to all of his music recording which is a big deal since most artists relinquish a percentage of the rights to their music once they sign to a major record label. He was not just a rapper but an example to other rappers by showing them they can be self-sufficient and successful at the same time. —Roland Michel, Researcher

 

Although I’ve never listened to Nipsey Hussle’s music, I admired the impact he made in his community and the example he set as a former gang-member-turned-entrepreneur and rapper from South L.A. Despite growing up in a community plagued by drug and gang activity, he was determined to beat the odds and used his platform to invest in underrepresented ​neighborhoods. For example, last year his foundation financed the development of a co-working space, STEM center, and incubator geared toward children of color. He also founded his own record label and opened his own smart store, where he was tragically gunned down. Nipsey Hussle gave hope to ​inner-city youth and will be recognized as a hometown hero. —Selena Hill, Digital Editor

 

Nipsey Hussle preached the gospel of business and ownership from day one. That is what drew me to his work. Beyond his artistry, he set the standard for how black men from the community should give back; set up shop in their communities; and be for the people. Nipsey always reminded me of who Tupac could have become. Thirty-three is such a powerful age for black men biblically speaking. He taught others how to have multiple streams of revenue, made people believe in the power of ownership, and left a legacy. —Lydia T. Blanco, Digital Community Specialist

In the end, his main focus was leaving a positive legacy.

“10 years from now, I would like to have laid a blueprint down that other people can follow who came from the same situation,” he said in his interview with BE. 

– Editors’ Note: Sequoia Blodgett and Mia N. Hall contributed to this article. 

The post Nipsey Hussle Reflected on His Legacy a Year Before His Death [VIDEO] appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Exclusive, Bruising ‘Master Z: Ip Man Legacy’ Clip: Tin Chi vs. Kwan Fight

Exclusive, Bruising 'Master Z: Ip Man Legacy' Clip: Tin Chi vs. Kwan Fight

Tin Chi (Max Zhang, Pacific Rim: Uprising) must face off against the fearsome Kwan (Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians) in an exciting clip from Master Z: Ip Man Legacy. The potential for deadly violence increases exponentially once Kwan grabs a sword that is lethal in her hands. What's going on?

Retired to a quiet life as a grocery store owner and father to an adorable little boy, Tin Chi comes out of retirement to help two women threatened by criminals. It's not long before he's…

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Watch Thrilling, Exclusive ‘Master Z: Ip Man Legacy’ Teaser Trailer

Watch Thrilling, Exclusive 'Master Z: Ip Man Legacy' Teaser Trailer

Defeated by legendary Chinese martial arts champion Ip Man, the humbled Cheung Tin-chi (Max Zhang, Pacific Rim: Uprising) has retired to a quiet life as a grocery store owner and father to an adorable little boy. The new action movie Master Z: Ip Man Legacy tells what happens after that, as he comes out of retirement to help two women threatened by criminals.

As showcased in our exclusive teaser trailer, the all-new adventure is filled with elaborate and electrifying action sequences….

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Business Titan Ken Chenault Opens Up About His Legacy and Career [VIDEO]

Kenneth I. Chenault, one of the most dynamic business leaders in modern times, opens up about his journey to the top of the corporate ladder in a televised interview produced by The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history archives.

The former CEO of American Express retired in February 2018 after 16 years of leading the financial company’s innovation, transformation, and growth as chief executive. Under his leadership, American Express earned global recognition as a leader in customer service while its signature Membership Rewards program grew into one of the largest customer loyalty programs in the world. BLACK ENTERPRISE first discovered and profiled Chenault in the December 1985 issue and has followed his ascent and career milestones ever since.

Since announcing his resignation, Chenault has extended his business savvy expertise to the boards of corporate giants like Airbnb and Facebook. He also joined venture capital firm General Catalyst as chairman and a managing director last year.

An Evening With Ken Chenault

In November, Chenault spoke openly about his career and legacy with CBS sportscaster James “J.B.” Brown during a live taping at The New York Times Center in New York City. The program, titled An Evening with Ken Chenault, provides a rare inside look into his life and rise to the head of one of the world’s most successful companies. “My most important legacy that I can leave is that I made a meaningful difference in people’s lives. I hope I have been a catalytic agent for change,” he said. “I firmly believe that none of us should be satisfied by the status quo—you should always try to change the status quo.”

The hourlong program also includes exclusive interviews with business luminaries who’ve been directly inspired by Chenault’s leadership, including Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, Merck CEO Kenneth C. Frazier, and Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr.

“He is a leader, he is competitive, and he is smart,” said Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, while describing Chenault. “The real test of leadership is when you go up the mountain and your troops follow you. They follow you because they believe in you and they believe you do see the value over the top mountain. If they don’t see it, they will still follow.”

Julieanna Richardson, the founder and president of The HistoryMakers, said in a statement that Chenault’s story has been “overlooked for far too long and deserves to be highlighted.” She added, “it is critical to show the world that African Americans have had an active role to play in both entrepreneurship and in corporate America.”

An Evening with Ken Chenault airs on PBS local station WNET on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. EST. It can also be viewed online. Watch below.



The post Business Titan Ken Chenault Opens Up About His Legacy and Career [VIDEO] appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Tony Cornelius Opens Up About His Father’s Suicide and Keeping the ‘Soul Train’ Legacy Alive

Love, peace, and soul

“I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace, and soul!”

That was the signature line that Donald “Don” Cornelius recited when closing out Soul Train, a groundbreaking weekly broadcast that revolutionized television. For black folks in the ’70s, “love, peace, and soul” became a mantra that personified their hopes and dreams for true freedom, while the iconic musical showcase introduced a mainstream audience to the rhythm, creativity, and talent within the African American community. It also served as a vehicle for economic empowerment for Cornelius, the show’s creator, executive producer, and original host.

After serving in the U.S. Marines, working a variety of odd jobs, and getting a gig as a local radio host in Chicago, Cornelius launched Soul Train in Chicago in 1970. By 1971, the show moved to Los Angeles and became a nationally syndicated sensation that ran up until 2006. In addition to highlighting famed African American singers and local teenage dancers, Soul Train became a brand that spawned Soul Train Records in 1975, The Soul Train Music Awards, and the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards.

Tragically, Cornelius committed suicide in 2012 at the age of 75. Now, his son, Anthony “Tony” Cornelius, is helping to shed light on his father’s journey in creating one of the longest-running shows in TV history through a new series called American Soul. The 10-episode series, which premieres on BET Feb. 5, offers viewers who grew up watching Soul Train a captivating dose of nostalgia while introducing a new generation to a program that changed the course of black history.

Don’s Soul 

Soul Train

Actor Sinqua Walls as Don Cornelius from BET’s “American Soul” (Photo: Daniel McFadden/BET)

“Little known fact: my father always wanted to do a Soul Train movie,” said Anthony, who serves as one of the executive producers on the series, to BLACK ENTERPRISE.

According to the show’s description, American Soul unfolds the trials and tribulations that his father encountered while creating Soul Train “against the backdrop of an unforgiving Hollywood in the 1970s.” It also chronicles the “rise and fall” that he took in his personal life.

The series opens with a chilling scene of Cornelius’ last moments on earth on Feb. 1, 2012. That day changed Anthony’s life and outlook on mental illness. “I always thought suicide was for people who could not handle life—never even imagining that one day I would actually be talking about it…and experience someone in my family who committed suicide.”

The tragedy and a subsequent conversation he had with Stevie Wonder moved him to launch The Don Cornelius Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization that works to identify and support programs that provide awareness, prevention, and support for those contemplating suicide along with support to those who have lost loved ones from suicide. “I spoke to him days after my father’s death and he gave me some inspiration to stand up and talk about it,” he recalled of his conversation with the legendary singer.

Anthony was also appointed last year to sit on the board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, where he advocates for mental health. According to the American Psychiatric Association, only one-third of black Americans who need mental healthcare receive it, while lack of culturally competent counseling deters many from seeking care.

“Many times, a lot of black men don’t have anywhere to turn. We struggle with our feelings,” said Anthony. “A lot of black folks go to the church for their soothing of their mental capacity, which is fine, but many times it gets even more complicated,” he added. “There are professionals out there who can diagnose the problem. It’s about education.”

American Soul gives viewers a look at some of the warning signs of someone in mental distress by presenting a different side of Cornelius and the empire he built.

“My father’s legacy will continue to live on—it’s living right now,” he said.

American Soul

Kelly Price

Still of Kelly Price as Brianne Clarke from BET’s “American Soul” (Annette Brown/BET)

Grammy-nominated R&B singer Kelly Price says starring in American Soul is a full circle moment for her. After releasing her debut album in 1998, she made her television debut on Soul Train. At the time, her hit single “Friend of Mine” had charted as No. 1 on the U.S. R&B chart, however, her label was apprehensive to reveal her appearance due to her weight and dark complexion. “I had a No. 1 record in the country and nobody had seen what I looked like,” Price told BE. “The first time everybody got a chance to see me was on Soul Train on a Saturday morning,” she says. “Don Cornelius was the first person to present me to the world on a national stage.”

Price also received her first award as a singer and songwriter at the 1999 Soul Train Music Awards. “Now, the first time that people will actually see me take on a chunky acting role will be a part of the telling of the Don Cornelius story.”

Sinqua Walls, who portrays Cornelius in American Soul, says he is carrying the Soul Train legacy “with a tremendous amount of pride.” He recognizes Cornelius as more than just an iconic TV host, but also as an entrepreneur and a visionary. “We always say, when you have a dream, follow it and don’t let anyone detract from it. And Don is a testament to that. Not only did he do it as a man creating a TV show, but he did it as a black man in 1970s trying to pitch a show that no one had ever done before to an audience that didn’t always want to see him. And he stayed steadfast in his dreams.”

American Soul kicks off on Tuesday, February 5 at 9 p.m. ET on BET.



 


Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Feb. 5, 2019, for clarity.

The post Tony Cornelius Opens Up About His Father’s Suicide and Keeping the ‘Soul Train’ Legacy Alive appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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A Day On to Celebrate Martin Luther King’s Legacy

For the 15th consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente physicians, dentists and staff are celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day by making it a “day on” rather than a day off in Oregon and Southern Washington. They’re rolling up their sleeves in remembrance of Dr. King’s commitment to community service.

From January 15th through January 25, more than 1,200 Kaiser Permanente Northwest employees, friends, and family members will volunteer at 50 events throughout the Pacific Northwest.

“Our employees are actively involved in the community all year round, and they come out in full force to make a difference on this special day of service,” said Ruth Williams-Brinkley, regional president for Kaiser Permanente of the Northwest.

“I’m proud that so many members of our team have chosen to celebrate the legacy and spirit of Dr. King as we continue to recognize the importance of living his principles every day.”

Kaiser Permanente’s largest event will take place at Harold Oliver and Parklane elementary schools in Gresham, Oregon. More than 350 volunteers will work together to create a bright and welcoming place for students to learn. Building beautification projects will include maintenance, painting and repairs.

As part of the event, Kaiser Permanente will make a $ 180,000 to support the Rosewood Initiative, a community-building effort that supports wellness, education and economic opportunity in Gresham’s Rosewood neighborhood.

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Led Zeppelin’s Controversial Legacy: Thievery, Underage Groupies and the ‘Mud-Shark Incident’

Robert Knight Archive via Getty

Led Zeppelin released their earth-shattering debut album on Jan. 12, 1969, announcing the quartet as the harbingers of the sort of epic hard rock that would become a force unto itself in the decade to come. The band was famously derided as obnoxious music for lunkheads by many critics during its early peak, but proved to be extraordinarily popular and unforeseeably enduring. For many, Led Zeppelin is the greatest hard rock band of all time—maybe the greatest rock band in any discipline. But this band, born out of the Yardbirds and bolstered by the blues, has a legacy that can’t easily be reduced to just Page’s big riffs and Bonham’s drums and Plant’s wail. Fifty years later, what Led Zeppelin represented is something more damning than most of us would like to admit.

The band’s musical heritage, its public image and its extensive influence are all indissolubly connected to some of the most damning clichés of classic rock: a pilfering of the blues, a penchant for hedonistic excess, the romanticizing of a ‘70s “groupie” culture that preyed on naïve, sometimes-underage girls—its all a part of what Zeppelin was. And it all makes their legacy continuously and increasingly polarizing.

Rock music was rapidly changing in 1969. A decade that had begun with several of rock & roll’s stars of the ‘50s suddenly and unceremoniously removed from the forefront of popular music (Little Richard a minister, Chuck Berry in prison, Buddy Holly dead at 22), was ending with an entire generation of artists who’d been elevated to a level of cultural import that landed them at the center of national dialogues on everything from long hair to Vietnam. Charles Manson and Woodstock would both become flashpoints that summer, but early in the year, a loud self-titled debut by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham provided as clear an indication as any as to where rock was going.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Enduring Legacy of Frank Miller’s ‘Batman: Year One’

Questionable directorial ventures aside (he directed a poorly received version of Will Eisner’s comic book, The Spiritand the big-screen follow-up to Sin City), nobody can dispute the huge mark left by legendary writer Frank Miller on the world of pop culture. Not only did he bring Marvel’s Daredevil back from the brink when he created Elektra, and go on to define his noir style of comic-book storytelling through series such as Sin City, The Spirit, and Ronin, but he is also the man largely responsible for transforming DC’s Caped Crusader into the stoic, Kevin Conroy-voiced defender that’s become so iconic today.

You see, throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Batman had started to drift away from stark vigilantism into more colourful territory. It wasn’t until 1986 that he finally returned to his darker, more serious roots in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, a four-issue miniseries. Centring on an alternate-universe Batman who is much older and closer to losing his sense of honour and morality, this grim tale proved so successful that one year later, Frank Miller treated readers to another run — one that is now considered a classic.

Batman: Year One is the story that soft-rebooted the world’s greatest detective for a whole new generation of comic book fans. Many were familiar with the events of Crime Alley and Bruce Wayne’s general reasons for donning the cowl, sure — but we were yet to see those early, difficult years of his career as Batman. Miller wanted to take the character in a new, grounded direction. This gritty tone has proven so influential, it continues to inspire the Batman mythos across multiple media today.

The Dark Knight Trilogy – the Gordon/Batman Relationship


You could almost rename Nolan’s first movie ‘Bromance Begins’.

Part of what made Batman: Year One so revolutionary was Frank Miller’s decision to explore Batman’s beginnings in parallel to James Gordon‘s origins. A relocated detective who’s yet to become the police commissioner dedicated to uprooting the city’s deeply ingrained crime epidemic, Jim Gordon’s bond with Wayne develops across a period of 12 months as the duo learns that Gotham needs a special kind of approach if it is to be saved.

This dynamic is central to Christopher Nolan’s entire Dark Knight trilogy, but is perhaps most prevalent in 2005’s Batman Begins. Screenwriter David S. Goyer lifted the story of Bruce Wayne’s long absence from Gotham following his parents’ death directly from Batman: Year One, allowing the film to explore just how corrupt the police force becomes during this time. The eye-to-eye relationship between Gordon and Batman subtly bubbles to the surface as the fearsome twosome begin their crusade against crime. It comes to fruition during the emotional conclusion of The Dark Knight Riseswhere Gordon’s influence on Batman in his pursuit of justice is deliberately and calculatedly reinforced.

Batman: Zero Year – Vigilantism in the Early Years


Scott Snyder’s Zero Year featured a younger Batman that looked and moved differently than ever before.

Scott Snyder’s tenure writing Batman – epically brought to life by Greg Capullo’s illustrative efforts – is full of memorable storylines and deconstructs the character’s history. How do you follow up the game-changing Court of Owls storyline, though? Seemingly, by doing as Frank Miller did, and going back to the time when The Dark Knight was first starting out. Zero Year is a clear nod to Year One’s title and treatment of Batman. This 2013 comic book arc has since replaced Year One as Batman’s in-continuity origin, but respectfully so by flipping specific elements on their heads.

Spread across three specific segments in Secret City, Dark City, and Savage City, Batman: Zero Year follows the Caped Crusader during his time without the cape – where he was more ‘rough and tumble’ in his fight against ground-level criminals like the Red Hood gang and a pre-riddle obsessed Edward Nygma. Contradictory to Miller’s original series, however, is how Gotham itself is depicted. Far from the dank, gothic structures we’re so used to seeing in Batman media, in Zero Year, Capullo envisions it as a bright and vibrant metropolis worth saving.

From here we get to see plenty of quiet, introspective moments in which Bruce is forced — convincingly — to consider the risks in taking up the Batman mantle, as well as come to terms with the trauma of his parents’ death for the first time since his return to Gotham. Zero Year is a smart retelling of the Batman origin story that heightens almost every event that happens thereafter. So much so that certain elements are set to be adapted for the forthcoming fifth season of Gotham.

Batman: Arkham Origins – First Encounters with Notable Villains


Arkham Origins let Batman wreak havoc on enemies who were unaware he existed.

Faced with the tough task of developing a follow-up to Rocksteady’s acclaimed 2011 video game Batman: Arkham City, the new team at WB Games Montreal saw the sense in going back to Batman’s early timeline to progress the series. Set several years prior to the events of the original Batman: Arkham Asylum, the aptly named Arkham Origins was proposed as a “year two” game that would centre on The Dark Knight’s early days, acting almost as a companion piece to Batman: Year One, despite being set in the game-specific Arkham-verse continuity.

Batman: Arkham Origins never directly references Frank Miller’s run, but its presence is most definitely felt; whether it’s in the initial mistrust between Batman and James Gordon, or how it uses the opportunity to depict Batman’s first interactions with some of the most celebrated comic book villains in Bane, Deathstroke, and The Joker. The developers also took the chance to shed light on some of the lesser-known members of the Bat’s rogues’ gallery, those that would never dare get the chance to shine on the big screen — like Firefly, Copperhead, and Black Mask.

While certainly capable of thwarting the eight assassins chasing him down for the bounty placed on his head throughout the game’s main campaign, Arkham Origins’ younger, inexperienced, and slightly more vulnerable Batman can be traced back to Frank Miller’s classic comic book tale.

5 Times Dystopian TV and Film Fiction Became Real-Life Dystopian Fact

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Photo Flashback: Broadway Gypsies Take Center Stage at 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!

The gifts have been opened, the feasts have been eaten and the merriment has been had. As the holiday season comes to a close and we countdown the final days of the year, we’re getting ready to ring in 2019 by looking back. Relive the magic of the Broadway Legacy Robe with photos from the 2018 ceremonies below
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Harry Winston jeweler buys ‘Pink Legacy’ diamond for record $50 million: Christie’s

The “Pink Legacy”, a diamond weighing just under 19 carats, fetched a record 50.375 million Swiss francs ($ 50 million), purchased by U.S.-based luxury jeweler Harry Winston, Christie’s said on Tuesday.


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Your Money, Your Life: Episode 1 – “Achieving Financial Freedom and Leaving A Financial Legacy”

“Your Money, Your Life” is our new money podcast sponsored by Prudential. Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. hosts this special series with a lineup of great guests including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., Founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, President & CEO, Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance.

Episode 1

“Achieving Financial Freedom and Leaving A Financial Legacy”

Learn how gaining freedom from debt and controlling your spending forms the foundation for your financial wellness and wealth-creation potential, with Guest DeForest B. Soaries Jr, Founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement.

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The Business of Entertainment: Reflecting on Janet Jackson’s Almost 30-Year Legacy

The year was 1989. Janet Jackson, the youngest member of the multi-platinum selling, globally known, Jackson tribe, was on her way to attaining the legendary status of her brother, and releasing her now-classic fourth album Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814. It was a year ripe with many other albums that would go on to become classics. Madonna’s Like A Prayer album was burning up the charts alongside the likes of George Michael’s Faith, Bobby Brown’s Don’t Be Cruel, Milli Vanilli’s All or Nothing (pre lip-sync scandal), Soul II Soul’s Keep on Moving, and Prince’s contributions to the soundtrack of Tim Burton’s Batman film, among others. But in August of 1989, a month before Rhythm Nation was released, Janet released the lead single to the album, “Miss You Much.” The track quickly ascended the charts, becoming her second No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and sitting at the throne for four weeks—longer than any other single that year. The song also has the distinction of being the second-biggest selling song of 1989. 

In Brooklyn, during 1989, I was a very precocious boy. Though, still a child at the time, I lived and breathed pop culture in all of it 80’s loveliness. I watched the teenagers in my neighborhood dance in the streets to Janet’s music, doing their best to mimic her precise movements; often falling far short of her grace. Nonetheless, there we were, black and brown boys and girls, men and women, dancing to “Miss Jackson, if ya nasty.” We spent so many days trying to emulate her dance moves, and nearly breaking our teeth in the process. At the end of the “Miss You Much” video, when Janet calls “That’s the end?” followed by a deep and throaty collective, “No!” Janet does a chair routine, leading two other male dancers, with the ease and skills of the pro she is. We were riveted by her every move, in awe that she moved as well as Michael; possessing an energy, conviction, and fluidity that was distinctly her own.

The Background

Janet’s “Miss You Much” video was the first of three songs that made up the Rhythm Nation long-form video. The other two were “The Knowledge” and another of Janet’s classic songs and videos, “Rhythm Nation,” the single. With this album, Janet continued to prove to her naysayers— the critics and some of her jealous and insecure rivals who insisted she was a studio star and didn’t have the talents of her brother— they were wrong and that she was a bona fide star here to stay.

Rhythm Nation proved to be an excellent follow up to her breakthrough album, Control. Control is a black “womanist” manifesto that not only put Janet on the map, but it also gave young black women an assertive voice in music that many of Janet’s peers—Anita Baker, Sade, Whitney Houston, to name a few—weren’t doing at the time. She was a tough-talking, streetwise sistah who wasn’t asking for respect from men, she was demanding it. It was early in her career as a songwriter, but the elements of who Janet was showed through perfectly. 

In Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits (2002), Jimmy Jam explained that the label desperately wanted a Control II. They wanted Janet, Jimmy, and Terry (the creative hive mind) to repeat the same concept a second time while also throwing in some salacious gossip about her family. Jackson vehemently opposed the idea of a direct sequel to Control, stating in a Jet magazine interview in 1989: “That’s what I didn’t want to do. I wanted to do something that I really believed in and that I really felt strong about.” And that’s exactly what she did.

Rhythm Nation took on a slightly different narrative. It was Janet still taking control, but it was her way of also talking about things prevalent at the time like drugs, crime, and violence in the inner city that deeply affected young black and brown youth. However, never once did she forsake her sexuality or the need for a person to have fun. The album cohesively contains it all: The feel-good tracks (“Escapade,” “Alright”), the socio-political songs (“State of the World,” “Living in A World,” “The Knowledge”) and what Janet album would be complete without her sexy songs (“Waiting For Tonight”).

The Stats and Legacy

Rhythm Nation proved to be a global smash, reaching the top five, or top 10 of many worldwide charts. The album reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 in America and stayed there for four weeks. It also reached No. 1 in Australia, the top five in Canada and the UK, and the top 10 in Japan and New Zealand. All seven of the released singles charted in all of the major markets of the world with the massive success in Japan, Australia, and the UK. But it was in America that the singles had their greatest successes. All seven reached the top five of the Billboard charts, with the lowest charting song, “Alright” charting at No. 4. Four of the singles reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts: Miss You Much,” “Escapade,” “Black Cat,” and “Love Will Never Do (Without You).”

The Rhythm Nation tour was a trek for nine months that made stops in North America, Europe, and Asia and is still the highest grossing debut tour of all time. The Telegram and Gazette reported that over 2 million patrons attended the tour with many of the dates becoming instant sell outs. No artist has yet to beat her touring record. It was the only tour from a female artist in 1990 that made the top 10 of Pollstars touring numbers, eclipsing her rival Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour.  When numbers are adjusted for inflation, there is still no debut tour that has toppled Rhythm Nation from this long-standing record

Rhythm Nation stands the test of time. Without Rhythm Nation and what has come forth from it—the songs, videos, choreography, tour—many of today’s artist wouldn’t have anything to inspire them. Watch any music video from male and female artist and you will see how they incorporate moves, rhythms, and even themes into their work that Janet mastered decades before, and in most cases—better. So the next time you want to know why Janet is so lauded, listen to the Rhythm Nation album and find out. Tune into her videos. Watch the precise choreography that she and her dancers expertly execute.

 

 

 

The post The Business of Entertainment: Reflecting on Janet Jackson’s Almost 30-Year Legacy appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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