Summer ’22 is nearing the end and while it wasn’t one for the books, it wasn’t too bad either. Sure, you’ve gotten an email reminding you that student loan payments will return soon, Monkeypox is outshining COVID-19, Polio is back, and Murder Inc.’s legendary producer Irv Gotti is oversharing details about Ashanti from over 20 years ago, but things are mostly going as expected. A president not keeping his campaign promises, an annoying ex popping back up, and viruses overtaking society, is normal now.
So, here’s a few things you might have missed this week while you were accepting the inevitable.
1. Guess Who’s Coming Back To The Screen
The first trailer for Sidney, Apple TV+’s upcoming documentary on legendary film icon Sidney Poitier, has been released. Produced by Oprah Winfrey and directed by Reginald Hudlin (House Party, Boomerang), the documentary reveals and honors the legacy of Poitier, who died earlier this year at 94. In the trailer, it begins with Poitier having a strong sense of self growing up, humbly in The Bahamas. However, his perceptions quickly change once he arrives in the U.S. in the 1940s. Poitier’s career as a leading Black actor blossomed in the late ’50 to mid ’60s, while America’s race relations boiled over in the foreground. He expanded the lens of who Black men were and could be in era-defining films including The Blackboard Jungle (1955), The Defiant Ones (1958), A Raisin in the Sun (1961), Lilies of the Field (1963), and three major films in 1967 alone: To Sir, with Love, In the Heat of the Night, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.
Not only was he an iconic actor and filmmaker, he was also an activist at the center of the Civil Rights Movement, alongside friend Harry Belafonte. The documentary features candid interviews with Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Robert Redford, Lenny Kravitz, Barbra Streisand, Spike Lee and many more.
Sidney premieres September 23 in theaters and on Apple TV+.
Article continues after video.
2. The NBA is Not Playing Around With Voting
The National Basketball Association announced that there will be no games scheduled on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022. The league’s schedule for the coming season will have all 30 teams playing on Nov. 7, the night before the midterm elections. Normally, the NBA blocks off just two days with no games: Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Also, the league doesn’t schedule any games during the NCAA men’s basketball championship game.
“The scheduling decision came out of the NBA family’s focus on promoting nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during midterm elections,” the league tweeted.
In a statement released by the NBA, CEO of Vote.org Andrea Hailey said, “The NBA is creating a culture of political participation, which extends not only to its athletes but to fans as well.”
Much of the NBA’s social and cultural awareness was mobilized by actual players, which is made up of 73 percent Black men. During the racial uprising of 2020, the league announced it was converting several arenas into polling locations for the presidential election. The decision was part of an agreement to resume games after players staged a walkout in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a police officer in Kenosha, Wis. The move is a long distance from the belief that players should just “shut up in dribble.”
The regular season begins on Oct. 18.
3. Kinky’s Dessert Bar, A New Naughty Pleasure
Article continues after video.
Back on Valentine’s day, the city that never sleeps welcomed its first adult bakery. And of course, it is Black-owned. According to owners, married couple and food entrepreneurs, August and John DeWindt, the purpose of Kinky’s is “cheekily celebrating two of America’s favorite things and bringing them under one roof: desserts and sex.” The fun, sex-positive, and gender-inclusive space is only for the 18 and over crowd. Between the bombastic sex-fueled tunes playing and the vintage X-rated posters plastered on the walls, this storefront is truly for the grown and sexy. Inspired by erotic waffles popping up on the streets of Bangkok, Taiwan, Paris, London, and Spain.
Kinky’s signature waffles, are shaped in both reproductive parts: “Dicky” and “Vajayjay” and are filled with an array of homemade creams in different flavors, such as Beg For More Banana (banana pudding) and Freak Like Me Apple, (cinnamon apple pie). All ok Kinky’s cookies are topped with fondant images of varying explicitness and expressions like “Eat Me” and “Lick Me.” The cupcakes are also topped with fondant sculpted into either a “Vajayjay” or “Boobie” and appear in flavors like I Like It Rough (red velvet) and Do It Anywhere (chocolate)—one of the few vegan options. As the weather heats up, whether you’re boo’d up, happily single, or still in that talkin‘ phase, you have to treat yourself to one (or more) of Kinky’s tantalizing treats.
4. Black Youths Run The Internet
A recent 2022 study revealed that Black parents are slightly correct: kids do always be on them phones. According to Pew Research Center, Black (and Hispanic) teens stand out for being on the internet more frequently than white teens. Some 56 percent of Black teens say they are online almost constantly compared to 37 percent of white teens.
The study explores the frequency with which teens are on each of the top five online platforms: YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, as well as how they access the platforms. Lower income households are less likely to have desktop computers and gaming consoles. The study also found notable demographic differences by teens’ genders in social media choices. For example, teen boys are more likely than teen girls to use YouTube, Twitch and Reddit. However, teen girls are more likely than teen boys to use TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat. The study found YouTube is the number one platform amongst teens at 95 percent. Facebook has officially become the Aunties and Uncles platform, as usage amongst teens has dropped from 71 percent to 32 percent. TikTok sits as the second most used platform amongst teens. While Instagram and Snapchat sit a third and fourth place respectively, with an over 10 percent increase in teen usage since 2014. However, platforms like Twitter and Tumblr are on the decline.
What the study doesn’t capture though, is the racial disparities amongst online influencers. So, while Black youths are spending the most time on the TikTok, creating and setting trends, pushing millions of dollars in revenue, and defining popular American culture, the biggest faces the platform are white.
5. AFRO Celebrates Its 130th Birthday
Earlier this week, on Aug. 13, AFRO American Newspaper turned 130 years old. According to Philadelphia Printworks, AFRO’s first issue was published in Baltimore, Maryland in 1892. It was a four-page tabloid. The periodical advocated for legislation for Black people, a state supported university for Black people and the hiring of Black people, by the city’s police and fire departments. The business when up for auction five years later after struggling to stay afloat. John H. Murphy, a publisher and print foreman, decided to buy both the name and press with money borrowed from his wife, Martha. Five generations later, their descendants still own the press. It is the oldest Black business in Maryland, and the third oldest in the country.
To celebrate such a momentous occasion, AFRO teamed up with PPW, is an independent Black woman-owned clothing brand, to create a capsule collection. The five-piece collection consisting of tees, a poster, and a tote bag, archives the history and the impact of AFRO’s dedication to capturing Black life; as well as to fundraise to develop a permanent home and research center for the collection. Proceeds would allow AFRO to full its hopes to digitize its three million images, thousands of letters, back issues, personal audio recordings between publisher Carl Murphy and Thurgood Marshall, and collected ephemera from a century’s worth of social, professional, and political events.
6. Brooklyn Teen Wins Gold At U.S. Fencing National Championship
A 14-year-old from Brooklyn won a gold medal at the U.S. Fencing National Championships in Minnesota, according to Bronx News 12.
Nazir Primus began fencing just four years ago, purely off the interest of “whacking people.”
“I just started as just a casual thing,” Primus told the local news outlet. “But as I started doing it more I thought this could be something I’m good at and something I wanted to do.” Now, he holds his first national win.
While fencing is not the first activity one would think of for a Black youth, the sport is in his bloodline. He was introduced to fencing by his uncle, who is an internationally ranked fencer. Primus says he made his biggest improvements during the pandemic while working with Daryl Homer and Columbia University fencing coach, Aki Spencer-El. Both of which are former Olympians. Primus’ father, Latir, told Because Of Them We Can, that Nazir aspired to follow in the footsteps of Black fencers before him like Homer, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Peter Westbrook, and Keeth Smart.
Primus says he’s looking at the 2028 Olympic games in Los Angeles for his own Olympic dreams.