Taraji P. Henson
By Mwabi Kaira

When I first saw the Proud Mary trailer over the holidays I knew that this would be the movie that would take me back to the theaters. I hadn’t been to the movies since Girl’s Trip back in the summer. The trailer showed Taraji P. Henson being a badass, the poster was shaped like an afro and all I could think of was that this was going to be the updated female blaxploitation like Foxy Brown, Coffy, and Cleopatra Jones.

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I took my friend out to dinner for her birthday Friday night and the plan was to see Proud Mary after, but the drinks began to flow and we had a lot to catch up on so we decided to see the first matinee Saturday instead. We got our popcorn and drinks and settled in to our comfy seats ready to be entertained and feel like badasses too.

Taraji P. Henson is Mary, a hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston- led by Benny (Danny Glover) and his much-appreciated eye candy son Tom (Billy Brown). Her life is completely turned around when she meets Danny (Jahi Di’Allo Winston), when a professional hit goes bad. In helping Danny, Mary makes a decision that changes the entire trajectory of the crime family and her life.

Taraji & Jahi Di’Allo Winston
Proud Mary holds your attention and the entire cast commands the screen, but the clear scene stealers are the maternal scenes between Mary and Danny. If Danny looks familiar it's because he played the young Ralph Tresvant in BET’s New Edition biopic last year. Mary and the above-mentioned Tom have just broken up and the sexual chemistry has not gone anywhere. Even though this is a crime family, it is nice to see a black family running things and doing normal things (outside crime) like the beyond bourgeois 65th birthday dinner for the matriarch of the family.


I enjoyed the movie and give it a solid B. The storyline was lacking in some areas and you could fill in the blanks too easily. Taraji’s wig game was on point and it was ever changing. I was expecting more action in the form of some kick ass fighting scenes but was okay with the action I got. Any black woman toting 2 guns, assassinating bad guys and still looking fabulous in the process wins in my book. It is clear by now that no matter what role Taraji is given to play, she will shine and make it her own.

Taraji not only stars in Proud Mary but executive produces it as well. It is directed by Iranian-Swedish film director Babak Najafi who directed London Has Fallen in 2016. Proud Mary was not heavily marketed and promoted and Henson has been critical of this suggesting that the movie’s predominantly black cast played a role in the lack of promotion. Despite all of this Proud Mary still brought in $12 million in its opening weekend.

Proud Mary is not an immediate classic but it is worth your time. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Have you seen Proud Mary? Share your thoughts!
Mwabi Kaira is an African girl navigating her way in an American world.  She is of Zambian and Malawian heritage and moved to the USA in 1993.  Writing has been her passion since she could put a sentence together on the page. Mothering her sons is her pride and joy.  She has been an avid runner since 2013 and has run 10 half marathons and a full marathon.  Keep up with her at http://africanbeautifulme.blogspot.com/

Viva Viola! 
By Erickka Sy Savané

In case you missed last night's Golden Globes it was perhaps the most refreshing award shows in recent history because the focus wasn't on who wore this and that or what underrated show or movie beat out someone more deserving. This time, stars wore black in solidarity with the #metoo movement and now the #timesup movement, started by women in Hollywood to say 'the clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace.' And like actress/writer Lena Waithe added, times up on racism and homophobia too. There were many winners from last night's show, but here are 7 that are sure to make you feel all warm and fuzzy!
1) While 'This Is Us' Star Sterling K. Brown made history as the first black male to win a 'Best TV Drama Actor Award' it was his recount of unexpectedly delivering his baby at home, as told to Ryan Seacrest, that is the real winner! 




What do you think about the series headed to Aspire TV? Have you watched it online before? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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Mike "Orie" Mosley is the managing editor for CurlyNikki.com and a cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the founder of www.afrotrak.com. In his spare time, he's probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie

Looks like Issa Rae is winning again! The actress, creator of Insecure is seeing more life from one of her popular web series Butter + Brown. Yesterday, Aspire TV announced that it would air Issa Rae's culinary web series on the network at the beginning of October.

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Executive produced by Chef G. Garvin (Turn Up the Heat, Road Trip with G. Garvin) and Issa Rae (exhale, Insecure, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl), the series is created, co-executive produced and hosted by Seth Brundle and Leslie Antonoff.

Pictured left to right: Seth Brundle and Leslie Robinson

According to Vibe, the new season will feature guests such as Rick Ross, David Banner, Larenz Tate and Carla Hall. The first of nine ordered episodes (in addition to the previously aired pilot) will air on October 3 at 8 p.m. ET.

Catch up on the previously aired series on YouTube below.



What do you think about the series headed to Aspire TV? Have you watched it online before? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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Mike "Orie" Mosley is the managing editor for CurlyNikki.com and a cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the founder of www.afrotrak.com. In his spare time, he's probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie

If you haven’t heard the names “Chloe x Halle,” then allow me to introduce you! Those familiar with the young and talented duo may have seen them performing acoustic/a cappella versions of hits on social media. One super important person saw them, though: Beyoncé, herself!

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The sister pair are now signed to Bey’s management company, Parkwood Entertainment and their career has shot beyond the stars! Now, they will be joining the ABC/Freeform family and have been cast in Grown-ish, the Black-ish spinoff starring Yara Shahidi!

Chloe and Halle will be starring as twin sisters Sky and Jazz, who play on Zoey Johnson’s (Shahidi) college’s track team. How dope is that?!

The sisters expressed their excitement on their Instagram page, the home of where their fame truly began:

A post shared by chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) on


Fans of each of the girls are certainly excited about it:





Grown-ish also stars Trevor Jackson, Deon Cole, Chris Parnell, Francia Raisa, and Emily Arlook and is set to start production next week. The series will premiere with a 13 episode freshman season in 2018 on the Freeform network.

Source: Vibe

The sisters are right! This IS going to be fun! What do you think of this cool new casting?
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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook FB.com/tstidhum, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page, https://about.me/tonjareneestidhum.