Happy Black Herstory Month! (or Women’s History Month, as it’s also known.) We’re back with another edition of virtual events, this time spanning across various genres in arts, entrepreneurship and entertainment. I know we’re nothing but four days in, but this month feels like it’s gonna be a good one. How do I know? Honestly, I don’t. But I’d like to think that one of the traits of being a woman—and specifically a Black woman—is resiliency, and the ability to make the best out of any situation. Even though March of 2020 came in and showed her WHOLE BEHIND last year, we have to have faith that this March will hopefully come in, sit down, and not touch anything. *deep, heavy, Negro spiritual sigh*
Anyway, let’s go ahead and get into this week’s litany of events, shall we?
First things first: Grab some McDowell’s and dust off your crown because we’re going-going, back-back to Zamunda. Coming 2 America premieres globally on Prime Video on March 5 and Amazon is hosting a virtual watch party to celebrate the momentous occasion. We’re pressing play at 8 p.m. ET, so make sure you dress to impress.
Join Wa Na Wari for an online viewing party of Cosmic Slop: Space Traders, a 1994 science fiction anthology series that aired on HBO. Directed by Reginald Hudlin, Warrington Hudlin and Kevin Rodney Sullivan, Cosmic Slop was hosted by Parliament lead singer George Clinton and also starred Casey Kasem, Robert Guillaume, and Anthony Anderson. Cosmic Slop is a three-part anthology combining fantasy and topical social issues in Twilight Zone-style stories from a black perspective. Part I: Space Traders tells the tale of a conservative African American politician who must choose between his people’s survival and appeasing his white colleagues when space aliens propose to share their profound knowledge in exchange for all Black people on Earth.
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Following the viewing, producer and director Reginald Hudlin and longtime collaborator, author Charles Johnson will sit down in conversation to discuss the series. The event is free and will take place via Zoom. Be sure to use the passcode: Cosmic.
As an extension of their study exploring the Black diva as a historical figure, vocation, and archetype, 2019–20 artist-in-residence at The Studio Museum of Harlem E. Jane invites filmmaker Ja’Tovia Gary and scholar Claudrena Harold to consider the interior world of Whitney Houston. “Holding (Space for) Nippy” is presented as part of This Longing Vessel: Studio Museum Artists in Residence 2019–20, held at MoMA PS1, a multiyear partnership between The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum of Modern Art, and MoMA PS1. This discussion seeks to examine Houston’s legacy through a queer, Black feminist lens and will feature live CART captioning for accommodation. To RSVP, make sure to visit here.
White Hall Arts Academy (WHAA)’s popular Songwriter Series returns today featuring special music industry guests like fellow White Hall student and Grammy-nominee Ant Clemons. Students ages 13 and up can enroll for an entire month for $85. The program, which teaches basic songwriting concepts and music theory, has featured celebrity guests and executives from Atlantic Records, Sony/ATV, Universal Music Publishing Group and many more. Clemons is one of White Hall Arts Academy’s biggest student success stories, recently performing his single “Better Days,” alongside Justin Timberlake during President Joe Biden’s 2021 Presidential Inauguration Day TV Special.
The Queens Drive-In is officially back for the spring season, running from March-June 2021 on the grounds behind the New York Hall of Science. Join them for an extra special free double-feature screening of Shaka King’s awards season favorite Judas and the Black Messiah, starring LaKeith Stanfield & Daniel Kaluuya at the top of their game, and Sam Pollard’s critically-acclaimed, Oscar-shortlisted new documentary from IFC Films, MLK/FBI. Pollard will be in attendance for a socially distant intro and King will join him virtually for a live Q&A. Doors Open & the pre-Show begins at 5:30 p.m. ET. For specific movie times, be sure to visit here.
Nikki Walton, founder of CurlyNikki.com, is hosting her inaugural BeHer Summit focusing on developing the inner and outer beauty of the multicultural, millennial woman who chooses—in every moment—to be the best version of herself. Focusing on five main pillars of growth: Wellness, Beauty, Entrepreneurship, Spirituality, Creativity, the virtual event will offer a morning meditation, 20+ digital breakout rooms, a virtual happy hour, DJ sets, and more all led by all women of color. Featured speakers include Founder & CEO of Femme It Forward Heather Lowery, Keri Shahidi of 7th Sun Productions, Fashion and Beauty Director for Teen Vogue Tahirah Hairston, and more. The BeHer Summit, which is sponsored by This event, sponsored by Innersense Organic Beauty, Rémy Martin, and Cointreau starts at 10 a.m. ET; be sure to get your tickets here.
The Root love da kids and so does Rebel Girls, the global entertainment brand best known for its bestselling Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls book and podcast series. And that’s exactly why they’re hosting an interactive event in recognition of International Women’s Day. The virtual experience will feature activist Marley Dias, This is Us actress Eris Baker, inventor Ann Makosinski and surfer Maya Gabeira, global dance sensation Let it Happen and special guest Melinda Gates. The event, titled Rebel Girls Fest: Adventure Awaits is free for girls everywhere to attend and includes fun activities for families all around the world. Inspiring Rebel omen will lead arts & crafts, give a dance performance, build a science experiment, and show us how to surf in our living room. The event will kick-off at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT. For more details, be sure to visit here.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents Duchess! Duchess! Duchess! by emerging playwright Vivian J.O. Barnes, the fourth of six productions debuting on its Steppenwolf NOW virtual stage. Directed by Weyni Mengesha, who serves as artistic director of Soulpepper Theatre in Toronto, this world premiere filmed play begins streaming March 10, 2021. Noted Chicago artist Sydney Charles (Wally World, The Color Purple, “The Chi”) plays a Duchess meeting the young soon-to-be-Duchess, portrayed by ensemble member Celeste M. Cooper (BLKS, The Doppelgänger…, “Range Runners”) for the first time. A virtual membership grants access to all six productions on the Steppenwolf NOW virtual stage, steppenwolf.org/now. All six productions are available to stream with the purchase of a Virtual Membership ($75; discounted $50 for essential workers, artists, students, teachers) visit steppenwolf.org/now.
Steven Banks, an African-American saxophonist on a mission to bring diversity to classical music will be performing at a major streamed event in tandem with Young Concert Artists. The program includes world premiere works by Carlos Simon and Saad Hadid, as well as a large-scale piece, entitled “Come as You Are,” composed by Banks himself that is heavily influenced by his upbringing in the African Methodist Episcopal church. Each of the movements in this piece is dedicated to a different member of Banks’s family and takes inspiration from their favorite spiritual or sacred song. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be available to watch on the Young Concert Artist Facebook and YouTube page.
The International African Arts Festival (IAAFestival), in conjunction with the National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO), will host a virtual book talk featuring Author Gloria Browne-Marshall’s new book, She Took Justice: The Black Woman, Law, and Power 1619-1969. The hour-long virtual event takes place at 7:30 p.m. ET and will take the reader on a journey of The Black woman’s fight against racist and misogynist laws and her road to becoming an organizer, leader, activist, and fighter in her own advancement. The IAAFestival and NAKO are extending their observation of Black History Month into March to dedicate recognition of the pivotal movements that Black women have made. The virtual event will be streamed on IAAFestival’s official website, Facebook and YouTube page.
Pandora will be hosting their Pandora LIVE Countdown to the GRAMMY Awards, featuring Haim, Brittany Howard and CHIKA starting at 9 p.m. ET. Pandora LIVE is the continuation of the popular live event turned virtual series that features top artists from all genres, including country, rock, pop, R&B, and more. Chair & Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy Harvey Mason Jr. will host the evening and lead a roundtable discussion with all of the evening’s performers. Listeners can RSVP for the free event here.