10 Black Movie Classics You Must See or Re-watch for Black History Month

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Black History Month is here and while the month is short and will be over before you know it, it’s a month where African-Americans of times past and present are honored for their sacrifices, achievements and accomplishments marked throughout history. It’s a time for us to reflect on that rich history and celebrate the lives of the ones lost and present whom paved the way for generations of other African Americans to walk in freedom and while this movement is still a “work in progress” for the most part, we’re proud that they stood fearlessly in the face of adversity to make sure we have some of the luxuries we have today such as the right to vote.

One way to honor and look back on African-American culture, history, activists and the actors that played them or played parts representing such troubling times is by way of a movie. I personally love watching movies, especially the ones that portray the African-American men and women whom did so much for us. So, if you just happen to have a down day this month and want to celebrate the occasion, listed below are 10 Classic movies portrayed by African-Americans that you should watch in honor of Black History Month. In no particular order they are:

‘Purple Rain’

pURPLE RAIN

What better way to celebrate black history and the life of late-great music legend Prince. The musical drama features some of Prince’s most iconic songs and killer outfits.

‘Malcolm X’

Malcolm X

‘Malcolm X’ is was Spike Lee classic, portrayed by Denzel Washington. The movie chronicled the life of the civil rights hero.

‘Selma’

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Ava DuVernay made history with ‘Selma’ in 2014, becoming the first black woman to have her film nominated for “Best Picture” at the Oscars. ‘Selma’ is a portrait piece of Dr. Martin Luther King as he led the march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights.

‘Glory’

Glory

Free black men were conscripted to fight in the Union Army during the Civil War, but as this 1989 period drama shows, not even their willingness to sacrifice their lives for their country was enough to shield them from racism and segregation. Denzel Washington stars in the role that would nab him his first Oscar.

‘Barry’

Barry

‘Barry’ is one of two drama films (of what will surely be many) that take a glimpse at the life of a younger former President Barack Obama, the man who would one day become the first black president of the United States.

‘The Princess & the Frog’

Princess and Frog

In 2009, Disney made history by featuring its first ever African-American princess. Anika Noni-Rose portrayed princess Tiana in this film. It’s a beautiful film in which is sure to inspire little girls of all diverse backgrounds that she too can be “A Princess”

‘The Color Purple’

Color Purple

Okay, so there’s really nothing to say about this one but – CLASSIC!!! – No matter how many times I’ve seen this movie – I always need my tissues….

‘The Wiz’

The Wiz

‘The Wiz’ in which stars Diana Ross and a very young Michael Jackson is the black version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ story.

‘Carmen Jones’

Carmen Jones

Dorothy Dandridge became the first black woman to be nominated for a Best Actress award at the 1954 Oscars for her role in this epic musical, based on Bizet’s tragic opera ‘Carmen.’

‘A Raisin in the Sun’

Raisin in Sun

Starring Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier, this 1961 adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry‘s play is a film about an African-American family search for the American Dream and what happens when that dream is derailed. While the older version is a true classic, the newer 2008 version in which stars Sean Combs (a.k.a P. Diddy), Sanaa Lathan, Audra McDonald & Phylicia Rashad are performances in which you wouldn’t want to miss.

These movies are sure to give you a dose of the richness of the African-American culture and a sense of why we should celebrate this month each year. We’re not just celebrating the culture but we’re acknowledging the people whom broke barriers in every arena which makes us glad to be a part of such an amazing history. You can find other classics listed here. Did your favorite make the list? If not, then what African American movie(s) are your favorite classics? Let me know in the comments.

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

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Beware of Coupling Season! Are you a Victim?

picture above courtesy of bing

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If you don’t know what coupling season is, then let me ask you a question – Do those sappy movies for Christmas such as “A Husband for Christmas”, ” A Kiss for Christmas,” “Getting Married for Christmas” make you sad or angry? Do you find yourself feeling utterly alone and disappointment with your “single” status when other specific holidays roll around, such as Thanksgiving, your birthday and let’s not forget the one day in which everyone shows love – V-DAY! also known as Valentines Day! ❤️

If a month or a week before these holidays hit surface; you find yourself feeling like you want or need to be booed up with someone special or these holidays put you in a somber mood, because either your friends are booed up or married and there you are all alone with no one under your arms to even chat with…PLEASE DON’T LET IT! 🙄

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Coupling season as I call it, is the desire to only want to be with someone when a special holiday or event rolls around and with such movies named above playing for Christmas and the millions of candy and balloons displayed for V-Day – it’s like the world is sending us a signal saying “We’re terrible people for being alone or not paired up with someone special for these very sporadic and short seasons” all those images can make us uneasy with being single and satisfied and put us in a place of being destitute and desperate and because we really desire someone to fulfill this ONE DAY event, we break down our walls and begin to settle for anything – including the guy or woman we “purposely” let go  because they didn’t have any goals or anything to bring to the table. Coupling season can  suddenly make their previous conversations begin to sound good and the guard you put up towards their behavior is justified by “Well, maybe they didn’t really mean it that way.” WRONG!! 😲

They did mean it that way and NO!, they’re still not the “perfect” person you so desire them to be in a relationship either…..so…..WAKE UP! 😴

I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve fell victim to the coupling season, I mean I would get downright depressed; in which would lead me on a desperate search through my phone contacts for “past” relationships that I purposely cut off, only because I didn’t want to be alone. And NO, I was not about to send myself flowers, chocolates nor balloons on V-Day…..Really,???? Like for some reason, that gesture always made me feel weird. And yes, I do know some people that have actually done it and still do it…..smh….😕

Listen, if you’re not booed up, then just because Valentines Day is days away, doesn’t mean that you have to lower your standards just to get hooked up for one day. Girl Please and Boy Bye! Why settle for one day; the one thing you have to realize is this:

 It’s only one Day – Not a Lifetime! ❤️

Valentines Day comes once a year, do you really want to get depressed over that? Yes, I know it may seem sad to go in the store and see all the balloons, bears, cards and boxes of chocolate or the men and women in there whom are shopping for “special loved ones” a.k.a boos that is, but don’t let that get to you. It’s a Day, Not a Lifetime and if I can really be honest?, half of those people are going to go back to being who they truly are the following day.  If you really want to know what love is, just look in the mirror at yourself. True Love starts with you – the candy, balloons, bears and chocolates is not a necessity and do not guarantee love.

❤️ Know who you are and stick to your guns 

As stated above, when those holidays would hit – I would run to the nearest person I axed just so I wouldn’t be alone. In doing that, I soon realized that there was a disconnection in me that I still hadn’t worked out yet because if I had, I would’ve been content and complete with not having anyone on V-Day or any other holiday! Don’t allow a simple holiday knock you off course for waiting for what you really want. Trust me, your time and energy is valuable – don’t exhaust it on something or someone that isn’t worth it, stick to your guns.

Society fills our egos, hearts and heads up with what should happen at a particular time in our lives and if we hadn’t done that BIG thing by a certain age or if we don’t have someone special by the holidays, especially valentines day – then there’s something majorly wrong with you. But I’m here to tell you, there’s nothing wrong with you; you are absolutely fine and no, you’re not the only one celebrating V-Day alone – open your eyes and look around you, there are plenty of people whom are doing it and wilding it out with just a party of one.

So, enjoy being you and being content and satisfied with who you are. I can’t tell you when your “prince or princess” will appear but I will tell you this – good things always come when you least expect it too. Enjoy life, don’t rush or put unnecessary people in places that they don’t belong. You got this all by yourself, I do it all the time and I can’t tell you how happy I am about it. I realize my worth and I also realize the price my worth cost, in which can’t be bought for just one night. Grab your worth by the horns and stick to it – even through coupling season. ❤️

VALENTINES TO ME

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

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Preparing For The New Year — Sharon Simons

If you haven’t done it or thought about it by now, then I know it’ll be coming soon and that’s “Goals and Preparations for the new year. Whether mentally, physically or spiritually; with each coming year, we all get our minds set on moving forward in each, however; if we don’t really sit down and plan out how that move forward is going to take place, then we’ll find ourselves taking “junk” from the previous year into the new year, in which doesn’t make it so new, right?

I loved this post “Preparing for the New Year” by blogger – Sharon Simons. It’s a blueprint of questions as well as reflections of things that we all should be thinking about as we move forward into 2018. “What do you wish to leave behind this year”, “What goals didn’t you accomplish this year that’s on the top of your list next year.” Sharon shares her triumphs as well as her downfalls for 2017 and gives us all a mental look of what we should be thinking about as we all prepare to move forward. This post will not only give you something to think about but will get you geared up into moving forward with a new mindset as well. So, check out her post and grab your notebooks to take notes!!

Follow the highlighted link Below to read more of this thought provoking post…

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I love taking the time to reflect and think deeply about all my experiences over the past 12 months, harnessing the rare and fresh energy of a new year and using it to refocus myself. 2017 is coming to an end soon and I’m really grateful to God for his grace and love, this year […]

via Preparing For The New Year — Sharon Simons

Holiday Family Survival 101

photo above courtesy of bing

Okay, so Christmas is a little over a week away and I’m sure if you’re like me and millions of other people, you’re going to be getting your bags packed to travel to the parents and/or in-laws house and depending on your relationship with either – it could be a dreaded day of pretending to like the current situation but in your mind, you’re on some deserted island with a margarita, a TV and your feet up (or maybe that’s my wish..lol), but anyways wherever your mind is taking you, I know it’s far far far away from where you want to be.

And, I get it because all families aren’t created equal, however it’s the holidays and you have to deal with the shenanigans and get through it especially when you have nosy or “busy” I guess I should say, family members whom ask you the same ole questions every year such as “So when are you going to get married?” or “When are you going to settle down?” or how about this one “So what happened to your last relationship?” andddddd…..”When are you going to get a real job, why did you quit the last one?” “You know you’re getting older right, so when are you going to give me a grand-baby” and the list of questions go on and on and on and on and on and, well you get my drift.

So, while I can’t provide you a magic wand ….magic-wandto make you disappear when that annoying uncle comes to you with another sob story of why he wants to borrow money, knowing good and well he’s not EVER going to pay you back…I provided a couple of tips that hopefully will help you sail through the day until you get back to your “normal” life.

1. Get Those Positive Vibes Cooking Before You Head Out!

You know the environments we encounter can really be changed, if we change our outlook on the environment. When you have what I call “stinking thinking” it causes everything around you to stink! Suddenly, instead of looking at the situation with a positive view, the only thing we allow ourselves to see is the negativity of everything and soon everything everyone does begins to get on your nerves and while the situation may not be the best one, we can only control our actions within it; for our actions are the only ones we have control over. If you change your outlook, you just may see things differently than what you’ve seen before.

2. Don’t Be Rude

Yes, I know you’re saying “That’s easier said than done” and while I truly understand; you have to understand that people will be people (family or not) and you have to take them with a grain of salt, It’s nothing wrong with speaking and holding a light conversation, if you have busy bodies for family members (as we all do) and if a conversation turns south or makes you feel uncomfortable, just let them know “Hey, you know what?, I’d rather not talk about that right now but what I do want to talk about is Aunt Rubies sweet potato pie, she put her foot in that pie” this way you’ve dodged them getting into your business and turned the conversation onto something else. Hey, they may be family but your life is your life and no one needs access to that unless you give them a ticket to sit in the front row of it.

3. Be A Team Player

Ever heard the saying “There’s no “I” in T.E.A.M” well that statement is very true, if your family is anything like mine, usually (it hasn’t always been) but it’s the time of year where people put old feelings to the back-burner for the day and everyone “pretends” to get along so well. Whether it’s just a show or not, take glory in the fact that for one day your family is actually deciding to get along. Join in on the conversations, games, laughs or whatever is going on – don’t just sit on the couch with your mouth poked out looking at people as if to say “If you say one word to me, I’m going to go off” Remember, someone out there wishes they had a family and our minor situations could always be worse off than what it really is. Enjoy your family for this special time, because we never know whom will or won’t be with us the following year. Life is short, enjoy the small moments even if they are only for a second….

4. Shift your Focus

It’s so easy to recognize the faults in people, we can pick those characteristics out like popcorn but when it comes to seeing a positive attribute, we struggle because in our minds we only want to see the worse. Each of our family members, including us are not perfect – someone may have said something to you that really scarred you, so much so until you don’t think you can forgive them. We’ve all suffered “family scars and hurt” unfortunately it’s more common than need be. My family is dysfunctional, they all have issues and I’ve had times in which I’ve said “They’re Crazy, I ain’t got time for that” and have distanced myself from them and while that little grudge lasted a little while, if they were to call me now, I would talk to them as if nothing happened. Every one of us have a little crazy in us, but someone still puts up with us regardless; someone took a chance on us, knowing we weren’t lovable or easy to get along with. Your family members may not be perfect but each of them have a special quality about them, choose to find and see that quality in them, instead of the worse side of them.

This will personally be my last blog post until January 2018. I pray your holiday season is filled with love, joy, happiness and PEACE!  Spend time with your family, you never know how special they are until you lose them.

Wishing you and yours a Very Merry Christmas & a Very Happy, Prosperous New Year!

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Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Until Next Year!

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Inspire More & Love Harder!

How To Get Through Loss During The Holidays…

photo credit above courtesy of bing

I used to feel really sad for people whom went through the holidays without a loved one or someone to spend the holidays with because let’s face it, who really wants to be alone when the holidays roll around – no one. (I don’t care what they say..) but I always said a special prayer for people who lost a loved one, whether husband, wife, child, friend, pet – it didn’t matter, I prayed for them. At the time I had no clue as to what they were actually feeling but I tried to place my feet in their shoes for just a moment to imagine the pain they must’ve been feeling, although I never had….at least until last year.

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I mentioned briefly in this past Sunday’s Thought message of the difficult circumstances concerning my mom and what happened. I lost her five days after Thanksgiving and we funeralized her the first week of December, so needless to say Christmas went straight down the drain last year, it was also the first time since starting this blog that I didn’t write anything that whole month. Once January 2017 rolled in, I knew that it would be a really tough year – the only thing I kept thinking as each day and month passed by was the fact that “This time last year, mama was here.” which honestly has played in mind up until recently, when I could actually say, “This time last year, mama wasn’t here” – When January 2018 comes in, that will pretty much be a fresh start for me, the beginning of truly leaving the year behind and all the pain it held in it. It’ll also be a year in which, I can finally let mama go and begin to move forward and live my life as she would have wanted me too.

While the holidays bring their own type of vibe and it may be a little hard to celebrate the season because you’ve suffered a loss, rest assured that even though your special loved one isn’t here, doesn’t mean that you have to exclude them or yourself from still having a special holiday. Listed below are a couple of tips that I’ve learned and have done since loosing my mom and maybe they’ll help you or even a friend whom may be experiencing the “blues” this season due to a special loss.

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1. Talk About It, Get It Out of Your System…

Keeping my feelings to myself in regards to my mom dying suddenly would have been a train wreck had I not had a good support group. If you don’t have one, then talk to someone in whom you trust such as a pastor, good neighbor, co-worker or counselor. Trust me, keeping your emotions locked up only breeds fire – you have to get it out, so you can begin the process of moving forward and having a peace of mind in regards to the loss.

2. Keep the Traditions Alive!

My mom was a game player, she loved coming up with unique games in which people could win prizes. Now, don’t get me wrong; my mom didn’t make a lot of money, in fact she only received a disability check once a month but you wouldn’t have known that with the gifts she gave out. Every year for Christmas we pulled names as a family to exchange gifts and mama would invite people over for a unique Christmas game (I never knew how she could come up with such thoughtful games) afterwards, she would award the winner and the losers as well with some amazing gifts. She always made people feel good, no matter where she went and she always had some little trinket to give them, to make their day a little brighter. It’s good to keep memories/traditions alive when you lose a loved one, we’re so quick to want to forget everything once their gone, but we have to realize when we keep their memory open, their spirit will always be alive.

3. Time really does HEAL…

I can and will say that it will take time for you to heal, and you do that as often and as much as you need to, don’t let anyone define to you when you need to let go or stop crying…you do what you need to do to deal with your loss. Remember all the good times because those are the memories that are going to get you thru your toughest days and with the holidays now here, this time of year makes those tough days harder. Remember, healing also occurs when you surround yourself with positive, caring people. I’m still healing every single day.

4. Get Involved In Activities…

There’s a scripture in the bible that says, “An idle mind is the devils workshop” and boy that scripture couldn’t be further from the truth, the enemy works and toils with our emotions and when we’re down, feeling blue or even sad – he pounces on those emotions, his goal is to take you deeper into a “blue” place, so deep until it’s hard for your to come up to breathe. Find something that you like doing that will help take your mind off of your current situation, focusing on other things does not mean that you’re forgetting about your loved one. It’s just you letting your brain and body know that you have to keep them sharp and moving forward. You’ll have your moments and that’s totally okay, but when that moment is happening every day? It’s time to get up and find a hobby or get involved in a charity….maybe even one your loved one preferred. Just don’t sit and let yourself go because at the end of the day, “Would your loved one really want you to do that?”

5. Signs and Wonders…

I was in the break room at work a little shy over a month ago eating lunch, I always sit at the table in which has a window by it, once you sit down at it; the only thing you can see are the clouds. Suddenly, I thought to myself – “I wonder if my mom know how much, I loved her?” and no joke, it seemed like as soon as I said that my head immediately turned to look at the sky and I promise you – there was a heart shaped cloud there. I was sooooo amazed that I hurried and tried to get my camera up on my phone but when I looked back up, it had faded away. I know that sounds crazy, but I wanted to share that to let you know that even though our loved ones may be gone from this side, their on the other side watching over us and if you look around closely, you just may see little signs of them still wondering around, letting you know that they’re okay. So, be encouraged!

I hope this post was a little help and offer some comfort as you go on through Christmas and the rest of this month. God bless you and know that I am praying for you and while you’re on your knees, please say a little prayer for me too.

 

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Carolyn Blackmon-Greene 10/22/1961 – 11/29/2016

You’re forever in my heart Mama!

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Inspire More & Love Harder!