A notable business icon, passionate entrepreneur, philanthropist and a firm believer in Africapitalism, Mr Tony Elumelu the founder of the TEEP initiative, designed to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs across Africa in the space of 10 years, through a fund of $100m, hosted the first 1,000 successful batch to a boot camp experience.
The Marvel cinematic universe has become a gold standard in cinematic world building. However, it isn’t perfect. For fans who waited years to see their favorite super heroes on the big screen, the MCU is perfect and can do no wrong, but for others, it is a pool of mediocrity. With all of the good there is also bad. Here are some problems that need to be addressed.
People of Color
Watching Marvel movies can be a painful experience for people of color. Actors like Idris Elba, who is a Golden Globe winner, has been relegated to a divine doorman. He may get five minutes of screen time per Thor film, even though he is a dynamic actor who starred in his own TV show.
Oscar winner Don Cheadle plays the sidekick to Robert Downey, Jr., a man who was nominated for an Oscar portraying a Black man in Black face. There has to be a reason Terence Howard jumped ship. These talented Black actors have climbed the mountain top of their craft and they get no real respect or significance in these films.
Honestly, Anthony Mackie has a decent role and some actual importance in the Captain America films. Also, Nick Fury is vital to the universe but what will happen after Infinity War? People are banking for Black Panther, but will he be relegated to a bit player in the team up films? It is possible. Marvel has a lot of diverse characters. It would be nice to see more Hispanic and Asian heroes as well.
During the 2015 Blogher Conference held in New York from July 16-18, filmmaker Ava DuVernay talked the ins and outs of the film industry. The director also dished on why she passed up Black Panther.
“For me, it was a process of trying to figure out, are these people I want to go to bed with? Because it’s really a marriage. It’d be three years of not doing other things that are important to me,” she explained. “So it was a question of, is this important enough for me to do?”
In Blerds‘ continuing coverage of DuVernay’s journey into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there had been news about the director possibly directing the Black Panther film since the last week of June. The blogosphere went bonkers with anticipation and some websites were reporting that she took the job.
However, in the first week of July it was revealed in an interview with the Huffington Post that DuVernay turned down the job over creative differences.
“This is my art,” DuVernay told the crowd of bloggers. “This is what will live on after I’m gone. So it’s important to me [to] be true to who I was in this moment. And if there’s too much compromise, it really wasn’t going to be an Ava DuVernay film.”
Many fans have worried about how X-Men: Apocalypse will look after seeing a leaked and blurry trailer of the film from San Diego Comic Con.
On July 16, Entertainment Weekly released high-resolution, behind-the-scenes images of the cast in full costume.
The film will take place in the ’80s where the ancient Egyptian mutant Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) returns to gather his four horsemen. So far, he will gather Pyslocke (Olivia Munn), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Angel (Ben Foster) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender). This gathering of powerful mutants will put Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) on high alert to defend humanity.
In addition to the regulars, there will be new mutants premiering in the franchise and younger versions of mutants who were prominent in the earlier films.
This week has been a remarkable time for astronomy after NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft reached Pluto.
The spacecraft traveled 3 billion miles in order to capture high-definition photos of the former last planet in our solar system and its moons. These photos provided new insights into the mysterious Pluto that NASA scientists have long wondered about.
According to Alan Stern, principal investigator for NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, “the steep topography means that the bedrock that makes those mountains must be made of H2O — of water ice,” said Stern. “We can be very sure that the water is there in great abundance.”
The photos also revealed that the dwarf planet did not have any craters even though it is in close proximity to the Kuiper Belt. This belt has many icy bodies that could have crashed into Pluto at some time or another.
“That lack of craters means the surface of Pluto is young, less than 100 million years old, the researchers said. That’s a small fraction of the age of the solar system — 4.5 billion years, ” reports Amanda Barnett for CNN.
As New Horizons flew by Pluto, it also captured images of Charon (Pluto’s largest moon) and four other smaller ones. The spacecraft is estimated to have about 20 years of power left, so there is more information to come.
Amazingly, the information gathered from the Pluto flyby will take 16 months to download by NASA.
In an interview with Deadline, actress Halle Berry discusses Storm and a possible solo film in the X-Men universe.
Berry has become a regular attendee to San Diego Comic Con over the years due to Fox’s X-Men franchise that has resurged in popularity in the last two years.
The studio and actress are hoping to continue that success by rolling out more films like X-Men Apocalypse, Deadpool, more Wolverine and much more. But with all of that, where are the Black superheroes in this equation?
For Berry, she wants a Storm solo film.
“In a heartbeat. In a heartbeat I would do a Storm movie. I love that character through and through. So if that ever became an opportunity for me, if it’s before I’m 65 years old, I would absolutely do that,” says Berry.
She goes on to say:
“Well, I think they should do it. If the fans want that the fans need to speak up and I’m sure it would be a possibility. If Fox felt like they could make money off of a Storm movie I’m sure they would do it.”
The sad reality is that Storm, as portrayed by Berry, is not very well received by fans. Many people have wanted the character to be darker-skinned because of issues of representation and comic continuity.
Alexandra Shipp has been chosen to play the younger Ororo Munroe/Storm.
As for Berry, the actress has ventured into the realm of TV with her summer hit Extant. The CBS show has done well and is into its second season.
In 1993, the comic book publishing company was founded as Milestone Media by a group of Black artists and writers, including the late Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis and Derek T. Dingle. From 1993 to 1997, the company produced nearly 300 comics with Black characters as leads. The titles were published through DC Comics as a separate imprint in its own universe.
Fabian Elliot has a dream to diversify tech by turning Chicago into a tech hub for Black people. Elliot is not a native of the city and he did not visit until he started his career at Google as co-chair of the Black Googler Network that serves as Google’s Black talent reservoir.
At 25 years old, Elliot has created Black Tech Mecca, an organization that wants to teach technology and attract more Black people to the city. In fact, Chicago is perfect for this initiative because of Techweek.
Every year the city vibes with tech experts, CEOs, entrepreneurs, innovators and dreamers that come to talk shop and network for a week. In addition to that, Chicago is home to a variety of Fortune 500 companies.
In an interview with Dnainfo.com, Elliot explains why he wanted Chicago to be this mecca. “I realized that less than 1 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs were black,” he said. “I started to question why there are not more people of color in influential positions. I started to develop a plan. If we’re not in positions of influence, I want to be a person of influence to help change that.”
Elliot goes on to say that he wanted to bridge three communities — Black, tech and global.
“I was thinking of how I could make Chicago a beacon for all three communities, and I thought I would merge them all and address my vision. I did my research and found out what was out there. I came to realize that we had all of the ingredients, someone just needed to come up with a nice recipe to bake the cake.”
Black Tech Mecca launched during the Techweek in the last week of June. Elliot’s team includes business people and tech experts Rachel Green, Nehemiah Bishop, Keith L. Gordon, Edward Wilkerson Jr. and Floyd Webb.
For more information on the initiative, check out blacktechmecca.org.
Two weeks ago, the Internet went on high alert with misleading news of Ava DuVernay’s apparent job offer to direct Marvel’s Black Panther flick.
However, that was not the case. DuVernay nor Marvel’s Kevin Feige confirmed the hire. “There are a lot of fans hoping that she will get the job, but at this time, there is only known information about meetings with multiple directors, not just DuVernay, ” a Blerds report said.
“It wasn’t for me. I loved exploring it. I loved the character. I love that they called me about it, but ultimately, when I delved into it, it wasn’t a good match, so I wish them luck.” DuVernay told TheHuffington Post last week at the Essence Music Festival.
Marvel’s reputation for not giving auteurs the creative breathing room necessary to work continues to grow. Director Edgar Wright was a prime example. He left the upcoming Ant-Man film, a film he pitched and wanted to work on at Marvel but left due to creative differences, opening the door for director Peyton Reed.
Joss Whedon has also reported that Avengers: Age of Ultron is his last Marvel film.
However, the Marvel machine keeps on trucking and so does DuVernay. She has two projects in the early stages of development that should appease her fans. A scripted drama for the OWN network and a Hurricane Katrina love story starring David Oyelowo are all slated for future release.
At 10 years old, Octavia Butler (June 22, 1947-Feb. 24, 2006) was dead set on becoming an author. As a young child, she had dyslexia and an unwavering love for books.
Butler started her career at Pasadena City College, where she earned an associate’s degree. She later moved on to UCLA, where she finished her education. In 1976, she wrote her first book “Patternmaster” which is part of her Patternist Series. The book focus on a group telepathic individuals in a sci-fi setting.