I have been a fan of comic books for quite some time. Seeing people use their special gifts and talents always made me feel like I could do anything. The problem, however, is that many of the characters I grew up watching (and reading about) didn't look like me. Some of them were blue, green, red, and even gray, but most of them were "white." I guess in the minds of the "powers that be," the idea of having heroes who were "black" or "brown" was just too far fetched for anyone to believe.
Fast forward to the announcement of a stand-alone Black Panther film. The anticipation quickly began to build, even among those who were not typically into "super-hero" movies. Everyone involved in the film, from the actors to those working behind the scenes, were all incredibly respected, but how would it all come together? Then, the screenings started to happen. Unlike other films, people weren't just providing their opinion on the movie, they were expressing the importance of it. I didn't really get it until I actually had the chance to see it.
From the opening scenes, my wife and I were definitely fixated on everything Wakanda (the fictional place in Africa most of the characters are from) had to offer. The film was entitled, "Black Panther," but it was about far more than the character Chadwick Boseman played. Each character was diverse, and at some level, we were able to witness some of the internal conflicts they had to deal with. All of the characters had layers, which made each of them relatable.
There were moments in the film where the conversations the characters had seemed to be lifted from my life. Those moments gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own personal battles. Generally, "comic book movies" don't cause you to have to deal with your emotions, but Black Panther certainly did that on many occasions. The emotions I had to deal with were not all sad, though. I also had to contain myself as I dealt with an almost overwhelming abundance of joy from what I was watching. Characters of color were not stereotypes in this film. Black men weren't the egotistical, dumb, non-sensitive, inarticulate brutes we are normally portrayed as. The women were nowhere near being the weak, bitter, angry, desperate people who couldn't get along with each other. They were also not the ones who always needed saving. Without giving anything away, I will say the Wakanda would not be where it is if it weren't for the women.
All of this factors into why this movie was so important; it positively speaks to people who are often not represented and overlooked. It shows that we, as people of color, should be proud of where we're from. It shows we're brilliant and impactful. It confirms it's okay for us to be expressive with our emotions as we deal with our problems. We are not second-class citizens, and our voices are not to be ignored. Our value in this world will no longer be diminished, and the excellence displayed in every aspect of this cinematic achievement of wonder, is just a sign of things to come!
1. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. First, please introduce yourself to all of the people reading this.
Hi, I’m Robert Bayless. I live in Austin, Texas. I began salsa ten years ago, some time after my wife passed away. I retired after her death, and began dancing as a way to connect with other people in a fun way.
2. There are many wonderful types of dance, what drew you to salsa?
I saw an ad in the local paper for free salsa lessons. I thought it was a cooking class. I had never seen or heard of salsa. When I walked into the class room, and saw the dancers moving to the music, I said to myself: “I want that!” and never looked back.
3. Some may be fearful of trying something new, especially something like salsa. Did you ever have that fear? If so, how did you move past it?
Fear was paramount. In order to learn salsa, you have to be able to put up with constant humiliation until you have enough practice and experience to dance reasonably well. It took me almost two years to get comfortable with the dance. Practice, classes, and social dancing are the only ways through the mountain. There is no going around. It’s only through.
4. Art and creativity gives us all different feelings. Please describe the feeling you get when you're dancing?
Now, when I dance with an accomplished partner, I feel as though I’m levitating. There’s no feeling like it. God bless salsa.
5. Lastly, here on GlobalGeniusSociety.com, we feel everyone's creativity and art makes them a genius! With that being said, we always like to end our interviews by asking, what is your creative genius?
Back when I worked, I co-founded and served as president of a pharmaceutical research firm. We raised money, did research, received patents, and did licensing deals. My best accomplishment is to synthesize what we believe to be the human antibiotic. The human body makes a non-toxic, bacterial protein synthesis inhibitor. I know what it is, and how to make it. I am now trying to raise $5 million to to patent and market my discovery. See my LinkedIn page for more information.
Thank you so much for talking with us! We look forward to hearing more about salsa, and all of your future projects!
There's a lot of negativity associated with the youth of today. In the eyes of many, people under the age of 30 are doing nothing to positively impact their community. Tarik Daniels has set out to change that opinion.
A series of personal events lead Mr. Daniels to found "What's in the Mirror" in 2015. The goal of this non-profit organization is to bring mental health awareness and suicide prevention to the black community. This is something that is very near and dear to Tarik's heart.
Additionally, Daniels finds it very important that African-Americans discover parts of their history they never knew existed. With this in mind, researched and wrote the play, "Rose University: First Semester." Daniels says this play explores the lives of five black students at a HBCU who are descendants of Greenwood, Oklahoma, which was the most successful black community in America's history."
Tarik took time out of his busy schedule to tell us more about all of the projects he has going, and what his plans are for the future. So, click the file below to listen to this up-and-coming actor/writer as he speaks about the things of importance in his life.
Visit the "What's in the Mirror?" webpage at www.whatsinthemirror.org
and their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/whatsinthemirror/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Before we continue, I know some people will read the title and say, "Kendrick never went anywhere, he can't be back!" While this may be true, let's keep it real, when you have to go an extended amount of time without hearing one of the greatest in the game, you start to lose track of time. You know the feeling; it's when 2 weeks seems like a year, and a month seems like your favorite artist may never return. Well, that's how it's been since Kendrick has released 2015's "To Pimp a Butterfly."
Yeah, I know "Untitled Unmastered" was released in 2016, and although it was pretty good, all of the K-Dot fans have been waiting on an actual new album. Well, we may be very close. Recently, the TDE star released a new song entitled,"The Heart Part 4." In a way only Kendrick can, he rode the song's tempo and beat changes like he was on Sway's "Five Fingers of Death," and I'm so happy he did.
In the almost five minute long track, Kendrick talked a little politics, sports, his place in hip-hop and he even took some time to throw subliminal jabs at other rappers. While some will say he was throwing shade at Big Sean, Drake or maybe both, none of that even matters to me because the music is good. So, go ahead and take some time to listen it, then, press rewind and listen to it again. Welcome back Kendrick! We all hope that release date you mentioned remains intact!
Warning: Explicit Lyrics
There are many people who have taken on the roles of writers in the story of the United States of America. Sadly, the lives of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson are not mentioned when we think about those who have impacted our society. The movie "Hidden Figures," based on true events (and the book by Margot Lee Shetterly) sets out to change that.
During a time when it was difficult for women, or people of color to actually be given opportunities to thrive, three African-American women would not allow anyone or anything deter them for what they wanted to do. These briilliant women were considered geniuses among geniuses at NASA. Each and every day they battled things inside of work that showed them how much further the world still needed to progress.
When I first started to hear about this movie, I became intrigued. Then, the closer we got to the movie's nationwide release date, the more I knew this was a movie I had to see. On January 6th, I had the privelege to finally see if my anticipation for this film was for a good reason, or if it would be a case of another film with great promise that ultimately let us down.
From the opening credits to end of the movie, my eyes were glue to the screen. The movie talks about the politics of the US in the 60s without being too political. We are able to see the struggle of black people in this country without being forced by the tone of the film to feel empathetic for the characters. No, this was not one of the typical films about African-Americans.
The strength and brilliance of these women did not make you feel sorry for them, it made you feel sorry for anyone who tried to stop them. To me, this was an amazing tale of triumph. Taraji P. Henson left all traces of her popular "Empire" character Cookie behind as she transformed into the quiet, yet incredibly strong Katherine G. Johsnon. Although the movie focused a lot on Katherine (Henson) and her role in helping the United States make it into space, it was very necessary to include the relationship with (and the importance of) Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae).
Without giving the story away, Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer) fought her way to get to where she deserved to be in NASA, while Jackson (Monae) had to move past her own obstacles to do what was necessary for her to get the proper credit she deserved. Johnson, Vaughan and Jackson were forces beyond anything that could have been imagined. To me, it is an absolute shame it has taken this long for the story of these incredible women to be seen by the masses. It is often said truth is greather than ficiton, "Hidden Figures" is certainly a great example of that.
I could go on and on about this movie, but I'll just say I truly am glad we are able to see the story of these women. There are so many great stories of incredible people and this is definetly one of them. This movie truly is a story of hidden greatness and I highly recommend everyone, regardless of age, gender or ethnic background, go see this movie. This story will leave you feeling like you can truly do anything you set your mind to. Please do not wait to see this film, buy your tickets and head out to the theater now. I promise, you won't regret it.
With Global Genius Society, we have been very fortunate to work and speak with many talented people all over the world. We feel our gifts and talents make us all creative geniuses. With that being said, please introduce yourself to the world and tell us what is your "genius."
Hey my name is Chris House, (Rikyo) and my genius is illustration.
How long have you been creating art?
I have been drawing as far back as I can remember. I still have some of my old scribbles and doodles from when I was about 4 years old!
What sparked your interest in painting and drawing?
Definitely growing up watching 80's cartoons all the time got me into trying draw them. Then came comics where I'd try and trace the characters from series like Archie and Calvin and Hobbes. Finally playing video games really solidified my love of drawing characters.
Who would you say are some of your influences?
I feel like I have a myriad of influences which makes it hard to pinpoint. But if I had to pick the a top one, it'd be video games which is my passion. My next influence would be from the many Japanese creators of various manga and anime. Because I eventually got into drawing in a more anime style as I got older, since I initially wanted to be a comic artist.
Along those lines, if you could work with anyone, who would it be?
I don't have any one in particular that I can think of in terms of some one famous! However, I know a lot of artist personally that I would work with in a heart beat.I have many talented friends in the art game.
Recently, you posted some artwork featuring the characters from the new show, Atlanta. As a fan of that show, it made me happy to not only see the art, but to see how popular it was on social media. Even the actor Brian Tyree Henry, who plays "Paper Boi" re-posted it. When you saw that, how did that make you feel?
Yes I did draw those characters! I was a huge fan of the show and I noticed a lack of any original fan art for out there for it. As for it being well received not only by my peers but by the actors themselves was especially exciting. Initially Keith Stanfield who plays Darius reposted it on his instagram page (before he took all his pics down) and then Bryan Tyree Henry, Paper Boi, posted the drawing of him. I was really glad to know my work reached them and they actually appreciated it. It's things like that which sometimes let you know, you're on the right track with your work.
It seems you've already accomplished a lot with your art, but what are some goals you still have?
Despite having published work such as children's books and illustrations in a couple of anthologies, I'd still have to say being a character designer or concept artist for a video game would be my next biggest goal. I've done a little bit of art for a few indie games, but to do my own game or just be apart of a team of developers would really be a great personal achievement.
If you met another artist who was struggling with the idea of continuing with their art, what words of wisdom would you give them?
I suppose it would depend on their age and their skill level. I have run into this before and one of the things I've always told some one who does art of any kind is to determine what the end game is for your work? What would they ultimately plan on doing with their art. For instance, I started off wanting to be an animator, then I realized how painstaking of an occupation that would be. I knew it wasn't for me, as much as I love animation of any kind and decided to move on. Same with comics, I decided it wasn't for me either. So I ended up doing illustrations and graphic design. I guess my point is, there are many viable ways to make money with your art but if you are just a hobbyist then I'd say never give up and always practice, especially if you love doing it.
We certainly appreciate you taking the time to speak with us. Before you go, please let your supporters know what upcoming projects you have.
I am currently in the middle of my 4th children's book for a client and should be completed by the end of the year! In the mean time people can follow me on my various social media outlets.
What do you get when you combine a creative, high-energy photographer/writer (and co-founder of Global Genius Society) together with a creative, high-energy singer for an interview? You get a very honest conversation between two women who aren’t afraid to speak about not only the art, but family, religion, racism and anything else that may cross their minds.
Recently, Korenn Grovey (aka Koko) got together with Tree G Music for a candid conversation between two artists.
Interview Part 1:
Interview Part 2:
Check our Tree G Music's Latest Video: Behind The Music!
There's a good chance Scarface is your favorite rapper's favorite rapper (or at least, one of them). He is known to all true fans of hip-hop, yet he has never veered out of his lane. He has always remained true to who he is, true to his roots. His return to rap is with a collection of songs that remind us why we respect his work so much. In 2008, Scarface released "Emeritus." In Latin, that word basically is an honor bestowed upon those who have retired to mark distinguished service. It would have been fitting for 'face to end his career with that, but obviously he loves music too much to call it quits.
If, for some reason you are not familiar with Scarface, let me explain something. He is not your average rapper. His purpose is not to create catchy hooks and dance trends. Mr. Jordan is a story teller and he creates audio movies with each track he puts a verse on. "Deeply Rooted" is no exception. From the cinematic intro, even if you've never heard any of Scarface's music before, you can feel it is something different than what plays all day on most of our radio stations. "Deeply Rooted" is the type of musical release you can just press play, close your eyes and "see" everything Scarface is talking about. It is as if he is able to give you a close and personal view of the streets of his hometown, Houston, TX.
All of the tracks on "Deeply Rooted" flow together, making a very cohesive collection. It's amazing that Scarface has always had the ability to rap hardcore lyrics over melodic tracks and it never feels out of place. It's an amazing accomplishment that most rappers wouldn't be able to pull off. As each track ends, you realize more and more Scarface doesn't do "gangster" rap, he makes life music. Life is not all moments of happiness, nor is it all negative. This is exactly how the subject matter of "Deeply Rooted" is. 'Face finds a way to rap about the pain of relationships (Keep it Movin'), his spiritual connection with the Creator (God feat. John Legend), moments of very personal reflection (You feat. Ceelo Green), battling internal battles (Voices) and somehow he's able to do this while still telling street tales (Dopeman), his view of the violence on the streets and police brutality with the bonus song/video that was not on the album (Mental Exorcism) and even showcasing the bravado only a true legend has the right to show (No Problem).
In my opinion, Scarface is a genius. He is one of the handful of rappers who has somehow remained at the top of their game since the 80's. Newer artists and veterans all understand and respect the importance of Scarface. He is more than a rapper, though. He is a legend and one of the best to ever do it. "Deeply Rooted" shows 'Face still has a lot left in the tank. So excuse me, I have to start at the beginning of "Deeply Rooted," press play and listen to the album over and over again. I advise you to do the same
Some of us will listen to music on our Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and we'll enjoy ourselves when we watch an Ice Cube movie, but some of the same people who do these things will also become a bit fearful when they see a person wearing a N.W.A. hat and t-shirt come near them. This is the dichotomy of N.W.A.
When news of the biopic about "The World's Most Dangerous Group" became official, I didn't know what to expect. Would we get a terrible movie that would make us regret the time we spent watching it, or would it be something different? I am a fan of hip-hop, so I hoped the legacy of the group wouldn't be tainted by a terrible film.
The day came for me to finally see the film and I was nervous. I felt like I had something to do with the film. In a way, I had. I was one of the millions of people who were influenced in some way or another by the group. So, this was important to me.
I sat in the seat of the theater with high hopes, but low expectations. Too many times films I looked forward to seeing have let me down. Then the movie started. No matter where you were, from the opening scene, you immediately felt like you had been transported to California. Everyone in the theater was focused. Some of us were reliving moments from our youth while others were experiencing things for the first time.
Crime in local neighborhoods and police brutality were some of the main focuses of the group. It not only gave them something to rap about, but it was a part of why they had the 'attitudes' they eventually became famous for. While not every aspect of N.W.A's life could be shown, director F. Gary Gray does a wonderful job of making us feel like we were flies on the wall watching the roller coaster ride of these legends. There's no doubt Mr. Gray's direction of the film was great, but I would be crazy not to mention the spectacular job done by the entire starring cast.
Most of the stars of the film were not well-known actors, so it was a huge risk handing a film of this magnitude over to them. To say they did a great job is an understatement. O'Shea Jackson, Jr (Ice Cube), Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre), Jason Mitchell (Eazy-E), Neil Brown, Jr. (DJ Yella) and Aldis Hodge (MC Ren) gave us Oscar-worthy performances. Together with Gray's direction, the cast told the story of N.W.A. brilliantly.
This film is a tale of the American dream. It is about rags-to-riches and it is undoubtedly a true underdog story. From the beginning, N.W.A. not only taught us about our freedom of speech, but the responsibilities that come along with it. Regardless of if you like, love or hate rap, you will enjoy the story and the emotional ride the cast takes you on as they tell it. You will get angry, you will laugh, you will shed some tears and you will walk away inspired.
This movie is not just for fans of rap, or N.W.A. It is not just for those who are from Compton or can relate closely to the lifestyles portrayed in the film. It is not just for black people or the youth who have problems with authority. No. This film is for everyone and that is why I highly recommend it!
Many of us have our favorite rap groups, but too often, the groups we like the most tend to fall victim to ego issues or they just can’t work past their creative differences. Back in the late 90s, a group called Nappy Roots entered the scene. Their sound was country and soulful. Their words made you feel good, but they also made you think. They quickly became a group I wanted to hear more from and I hoped they wouldn’t become a rap group statistic. Thankfully, this has not happened.
Recently, global genius society had the opportunity to speak with the group about their latest collection of music known as “The 40 Akerz Project.” We talked bout their place in the industry and where they are in their careers. We discussed how they find a way to navigate through the music industry differently than others. I even briefly vented some of my frustration about how they are often overlooked and underrated, even by some people who call themselves fans. All the while, the group was able to remain humble while finding silver linings while talking about negative situations.
The conversation with them helped me better understand why I like them as a group. As I mentioned before, they make undeniably great music, but that’s not it. When they speak, you can tell they are grateful to make a living off of music. They don’t take the opportunity for granted. That appreciate and humility makes it nearly impossible not to cheer for them. So, take some time to listen to the interview, then go pick up, or (legally) download “The 40 Akerz Project” and all of their other music. And like the group says, “Keep it Nappy!”