Dui Jarrod’s ‘Unholy War’ Showcases Great Performances and Unapologetic Blackness

A Man Named Yves 

Playwright Dui Jarrod’s “Unholy War” is an incredible melodrama exploring the psyche of an emotionally damaged man as he tries to marry the woman of his dreams. Yves– portrayed by Cario George— is a man who has been through a lot.

As a young boy, he was abandoned by his mother and had run-ins with many of her male suitors. However, as he aged, the wounds never healed and the pain lingered on. As a man, Yves became an emotional whirlwind with a strong love for vice.

Read more here.


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Afropunk Atlanta 2016 Photos – The Flyest Attendees on Display

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FanBoy Directors to Watch for In 2015

2015 will be the beginning of a new age of cinema.  I say this because there will be new Star Wars, Ant-Man, The Avengers, Jupiter Ascending , Mad Max: Fury Road , Jurassic World , Poltergeist , Terminator: Genesis, Crimson Peak, Fantastic Four and many more big budget films that scream CGI.  The reality is that Geek Culture is pop culture now and 2015 is the final nail in the coffin. There will be 23 super hero films slated from 2015-2022, so you will be seeing a lot of Joss Whedon and J.J Abrams. Hate them or love them, their movies will be some the highest grossing films around in 2015.

Let’s get into the meat of the article. With all of these geeky films coming to theaters, here are five directors you will get tired of seeing.

Honorable Mentions

Kevin Smith

Here’s the thing about Kevin Smith: he has a special place in my heart. I love the man because he is what every geek should aspire to be. Since the very beginning of his career, he has inspired geeks to stay true to their loves and passions by showing the world that geek culture can be accessed by the mainstream.  He has written comics, produced TV shows, directed movies, podcasted and just been the ultimate fan-boy. He does not give a damn if Marvel or D.C. comics make the movies; he is just happy that they are made. He is a de facto hype man. Give the man some respect !

Number 5

Guillermo del Toro

Del Toro has been making comic book movies before they were the go- to- summer blockbuster even though he is a horror director at heart. He directed the best Blade film and the brought Darkhorse Comics to the theaters. Personally, Pacific Rim is one of his masterpieces and has set the bar high for blockbusters with story and action.

Number 4

Josh Trank and Jon Chu

These three men are on this list for the simple fact that everyone wants to see them fail. Their projects are more interesting than Crimson Peak mainly for the fact that Guillermo del Toro is a better director that these two men. The Fantastic Four reboot does not set the bar very high and has the possibility of bombing and sinking Josh Trank’s career. Jon Chu has made a splash with G.I Joe and Step Up. I am curious see if Jem and the Holograms is worth seeing.

Number 3

George Miller and Sam Mendes

Mad Max is a hit already. Case closed. However, Spectre is the film I want to see. Mendes is a director who made my favorite Bond movie. So, I’m fine with him continuing. It is possible that he is a true fan and real lover of this character and this universe.


Number 2

Joss Whedon

Age of Ultron is a hit… Marvel is King ….Sigh

Number 1

J.J. Abrams

I like Abrams and I can’t wait to see Star Wars. He is a director that has a distinctive style that manages to captivate me. It is mind-boggling that this one man controls two of the most important sci-fi franchises in history. He wins at life.

Arrested Development’s Speech Thomas Shares His Hopes for Black People, Dishes on Band’s Latest Projects


Changing The Narrative Album Cover

The revolutionary hip-hop band Arrested Development broke down barriers 30 years ago by releasing positive albums dedicated to Black self-love, Afro-centric themes and the end to white supremacy across the diaspora.


Co-founder and leader of the hit-making conscious rap group, Todd “Speech” Thomas, spoke to Atlanta Black Star about the group’s current projects and its upcoming 30th anniversary. During this exclusive sit-down, Thomas revealed his personal beliefs on topics ranging from the current state of the rap world to systemic white supremacy.

Beginning in 2012, the band worked on its most recent projects “Changing The Narrative” and “This Was Never Home,” which were both completed and released February 2016.

The albums have distinct sounds that appeal to die-hard fans and newcomers alike. “Changing the Narrative” is a sample-based album that has “raw hip-hop mixed with uplifting content” and it is free to listen to on the band’s website.

Both projects feature tracks discussing the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, violence in Chicago and the march on Selma.“This Was Never Home” utilizes the synthesizer and drum machine and focuses on how popular rap music changes the psychology of Black youths. It also tackles how marriage has been “torn down and dismantled in popular culture.”

Read more here.

Legendary Artist Synthia Saint James Dishes About Her Career and USPS 50th Anniversary Kwanzaa Stamp

Screenshot via Facebook. Original Photo by Leroy Hamilton

In 1966, pan-African scholar and activist Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga created Kwanzaa as a way to reconnect African-Americans with their West African roots.

The term “Kwanzaa” derives from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanzaa” which translates to “first fruits of the harvest.” From Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, families adhere to seven core principles such as Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility) and more. They typically create art and music, celebrate Black history, and wear traditional West African clothes like Kente cloth during the week-long holiday.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Kwanzaa, the United States Postal service released a new stamp on Oct. 1.

“I was commissioned by the Postal Service to paint the first Kwanzaa stamp in 1996, which was released as a 32-cents stamp on Oct. 22, 1997,” painter Dr. Synthia Saint James told Atlanta Black Star in an exclusive sit-down. “Nearly 19 years later in 2015, I was commissioned again by the USPS. This time to create/paint a Kwanzaa Forever Stamp.”

Read more here.

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Homeschooled 8-Year-Old Starts a Baking Business After Mother Teaches Him the Basics of Entrepreneurship

untitled-1-minAfter 8-year-old Jalen Bailey expressed a desire to buy his mother a house, Sharhonda Mahan took the proper channels to get her son’s bakery business running.

In July, the Fresno, California residents applied for the necessary licenses and signed the legal documents to make Jalen’s Bakery a reality.

Within a week, young Jalen was making, selling and shipping off his baked masterpieces to lucky customers.

Jalen’s popularity grew instantly, and local media outlets wanted to share his inspiring story.

Mahan spoke to Atlanta Black Star about how Jalen started his own company before the age of 10 and how homeschooling affected his drive in life.

Around 2014, 6-year-old Jalen was baking on his own and baked his first peanut butter cookie without the help of his mother.

“I look at cooking as one of those things — like a basic thing for me,” Mahan told ABS. “I taught him to read when he was very young, to clean up and cook … Those were essential things he would need to know … I tried to make sure everything was fun — especially the things I knew he would need when he was older.”

Read more here.

Detroit Engineer Develops Coding Program to Teach Teens Tech Skills in a Gutted Out School Bus

2016-09-04_1910_001-minIn recent years, Detroit’s fledgling school system and constant infighting between teachers and governmental officials has dominated national headlines.

That infighting and bitterness came to a head in May when teachers staged a sickout.

The protest addressed the uninhabitable classroom conditions — mold, inoperable restrooms, and broken air conditioner/heating units — that contributed to health issues.

It also brought the school system’s inability to pay teachers’ salaries to the forefront of the news cycle.

Atlanta Black Star reported earlier this year that lawmakers passed a $715 million education reform plan in March to bail out Detroit Public Schools’ $515 million operating debt.

It appears that the city of Detroit is in constant instability.

However, one man sees the light before the dawn and has grown tired of the political circus.

Amazon engineer and Detroit native Thomas Phillips hopes to provide an alternative — a positive educational environment — with his Aspire Tech Bus project.

Read more here.

Self-Made 26-Year-Old Tech Entrepreneur Creates Multi-Million Dollar Telecommunications Company

At only 26-years-old, Freddie Figgers is the CEO of a $2.2 million Florida telecommunications company.

According to a 2014 study by Insight Research Corp, telecommunications services revenue worldwide will grow from $2.1 trillion in 2014 to $2.4 trillion in 2019.

This great news means there is money to be made in this industry. However, African-Americans are not the ones making it.

Figgers Communication hopes to change that.

In addition to being a successful business mogul, Figgers is an inventor, patent holder for four inventions and a software designer who strives for perfection.

The 26-year-old even achieved all of this without finishing college.

This real-life Tony Stark (Marvel’s Iron Man) spoke to Atlanta Black Star about his tremendous foray into the tech industry and how he plans to inspire others.

How a Young Talented Artist Turned Social Media Success into a Booming Business

2016-08-20_1223-minMiami, Florida-based artist Yashiva Robinson has become a viral sensation by creating art depicting Black music icons such as Tupac Shakur and Erykah Badu.

Since kindergarten, the 26-year-old painter has been drawing and creating masterpieces in various mediums.

Now, the artist, tattooist, singer, beautician and model has turned her online success into a thriving business.

Robinson, commonly known as Sheeeves, has acquired more than 17,000 Instagram followers and a booming Tumblr blog because of these various talents.

While many strive to turn their passion for art into a money-making venture, Robinson has done so in spite of detractors.

The artist extraordinaire spoke to Atlanta Black Star about her consciousness, emerging business and her life.

Read the interview here.