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Chuck Berry

Jae Alan



By Frederick H. Lowe

Chuck Berry, who died Saturday, was held in such high esteem as the father of rock n roll that rock royalty often played backup in his bands.

At Berry’s 60th birthday celebration in St. Louis, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, huge stars in their own right, backed Berry as he sang and duck walked across the stage while the audience danced in the aisles or in their seats.

The late John Lennon, co-founder of the Beatles, who sang from time to time with Berry, paid him the ultimate tribute when he said, “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.”

The 90 year-old Berry died Saturday at his home in St. Charles, Mo.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Chuck Berry, beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away at his home today (Saturday) at the age of 90. Though his health had deteriorated recently, he spent his last days at home surrounded by the love of his family and friends,” according to his website.

On October 18th, his 90th birthday was supposed to be a celebration. He said he would release in 2017 his first album in 38 years. The album consists of new songs he had written and produced. He planned to dedicate the album to Thelmetta, his wife of 68 years. The release date for the new album, simply titled “Chuck,” has not yet been announced.

A signature guitarist and a prolific songwriter, Berry wrote songs about fast cars, women and the gifted, like the subject of one of his greatest hits, “Johnnie B. Goode.”  The song’s lyrics said Johnnie B. Goode never learned to read or write so well, but he played the guitar like “ringing a bell.” In the song “Nadine,” she drove a coffee-colored Cadillac.

During Berry’s long career, he was imprisoned twice for income tax evasion and a conviction for violating the Mann Act, which involved taking a 14-year-old girl across state lines for illicit purposes. The Mann Act also was used against heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson in 1912 and architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1926. The charges were dropped against Wright but Johnson was convicted.

Charles Edward Anderson “Chuck” Berry was born October 18, 1926, in St. Louis. His parents were grandchildren of slaves.

Read more @ Northstar News

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Chadwick Boseman Talks Black Panther, Turning Down Famous Biopics, Marvel Myths + More

Jae Alan



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‘A different kind of superhero’: Why ‘Black Panther’ will mean so much to so many

Jae Alan



The crown for the world’s greatest black superhero has always been worn by the Black Panther.

He was also the world’s first. And for more than 50 years, Marvel Comics’ African legend has been hurling a black-gloved fist to the stereotypical notion that superheroes of color only work as side characters.

T’Challa, the man under the mask, is a king who rules an African nation that has never been invaded, one that’s the most technologically advanced society in the Marvel universe. He’s been an Avenger, married and divorced a member of the X-Men, and helped fend off aliens. Few Marvel characters come close to matching his intelligence, and he’s traded punches with some of the greatest heroes and villains around and stood tall in the end. Heck, even his grandfather punched Captain America once.

Speaking of the Captain, that indestructible star-spangled shield? It’s made of vibranium, a metal mined only in T’Challa’s Wakanda.

The Black Panther has allowed comic book fans of color to look past the medium’s lack of diversity and take solace in an undeniable fact: He’s simply one of the coolest superheroes around. The rest of the world will probably catch up next Friday, when Marvel Studios releases the hotly anticipated, ecstatically reviewed “Black Panther” movie, which is expected to make at least $120 million over its opening four-day weekend.

Read full story at The Washington Post

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‘Black Panther’ costume designer Ruth E. Carter on creating the wardrobe for Wakanda

Jae Alan



These aren’t your mama’s dashikis.

The colorfully printed garments, which are most commonly worn in and associated with western Africa, have been co-opted as the uniform de rigueur for Hollywood depictions of the entire continent of Africa. “Black Panther,” which hits theaters Feb. 16 and is based on the longstanding Marvel comic book series, takes a much more thoughtful approach to its wardrobe.

Wakanda, the fictional land where “Black Panther” takes place, is located, according to Marvel lore “in equatorial Africa.” Costume designer Ruth E. Carter wanted the film adaptation of the comic book series to reflect the true diversity of Africa. Carter, who earned Oscar nominations as best costume designer for her work on “Malcolm X” (1993) and “Amistad” (1998), also wanted the superhero flick to “respect” and “preserve the culture” of Africa through costume.

Therefore, when creating the costumes for T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the Black Panther, and his mother, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Carter was thoughtful about paying “homage” and respecting the various cultures of the continent.

W talked to Carter about the many worlds of Wakanda and creating costumes that allowed for mobility during action scenes.

espnW: What was your top-line vision for bringing “Black Panther” from beloved comic book series to film?

Ruth E. Carter: Hannah Beachler, the production designer, and the director, Ryan Coogler (“Creed,” 2015), had already come up with what Wakanda would look like. I also reviewed Reginald Hudlin and Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ versions of the comic. I wanted to ensure I was up on legend. It was like cramming for a test. However, the production team had already laid out a nice framework of what Wakanda would look like, so it was easy for me to make some fast decisions.

I had to create looks for each district in the film’s road map. For example, I wanted to incorporate forward-thinking and simple shapes from Japanese designers like Issey Miyake and Mitsuhiro Matsuda in the medical district. Then there was Steptown, a neighborhood in Wakanda, where you’ll see an Afropunk influence. For the business district, you’ll see the more formal suiting, which features African-inspired looks by designers like Ozwald Boateng and Ikiré Jones. There was also the military, royal palace and palace guards — all of those scenes needed to be broken down as well.

Read entire feature at ESPN

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