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Viola Davis' JuVee Productions To Adapt Shantrelle P. Lewis' Book on Black Dandyism Into Documentary Series

Curator and author Shantrelle P. Lewis' book Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style will be made into a new docu-series that sounds ah-mazing.

Shantrelle P. Lewis' vibrant book, Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style, has now gone from paper to the big screen as a new documentary series entitled, Dandy Lions, reports Deadline.

JuVee Productions, the production company led by Viola Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon, and 44 Blue Productions have partnered to bring this timely, yet long overdue series on the history of Black Dandy fashion to life on our television screens.


In her book, the curator and researcher encapsulates the empowering nature and swagger of Black Dandyism with contemporary photos of men exuding black excellence and historically rich content. She shows how dandyism is not just a style defined by popping colors and lively patterns, but a movement that originates from Enlightenment England's slave culture, when "high-styled rebel" black men decided to become walking examples of what it means to be fashionable, masculine, and black.

But, as Lewis put it in an interview with OkayAfrica last year, she also effectively shows how black masculinity transcends gender. "Black masculinity exists on a spectrum," she says, "which is why I have cisgendered men in the book, I have trans men in the book, I have masculine-of-center women and effeminate women."

These individuals of Dandy fashion, and the generations that follow, discredit the one-sided definitions put out by mainstream media. It is because of Lewis' successful book, that Davis, Tennon and Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitc, co-founder and president of 44 Blue Productions, are passionate about showing how Dandy men and women positively influence culture.

Dandy Lion will bring the themes of black masculinity, pride and self-expression to the screen. In today's culture, in the midst of discussions around black pride, equality and self-identity, Dandy Lion will be a beautiful stroke added to the repainting of what it means to be black.

Image via Sheila Afari PR.

9 Black Electronic Musicians You Should Be Listening To

Featuring DJ Lag, Spellling, Nozinja, Klein, LSDXOXO and more.

We know that Black queer DJs from the Midwest are behind the creation of house and dance music. Yet, a look at the current electronic scene will find it terribly whitewashed and gentrified, with the current prominent acts spinning tracks sung by unnamed soulful singers from time to time. Like many art forms created by Black people all over the world, the industry hasn't paid homage to its pioneers, despite the obvious influence they have. Thankfully, the independent music scene is thriving with many Black acts inspired by their forefathers and mothers who are here to revolutionize electronic music. Here are a list of the ones you should check out:

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Kwesta Slams BMW South Africa’s Latest Advert For Using His Song Without Permission

Kwesta has called out BMW South Africa for blatantly using his song without his permission.

Kwesta has called out BMW South Africa for blatantly using his song without his permission and not crediting him. In a new advert promoting the new limited edition 330iS, BMW South Africa tapped into the BMW 3 Series' heritage in South Africa by using Kwesta's mega hit "Spirit". According to the artist, he wasn't contacted about the use of his song. The hip-hop super star took to Twitter to slam the German automobile manufacturer for their ad.

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Photo by Trevor Stuurman.

Interview: Thando Hopa Never Anticipated Acceptance in the Industry—She Anticipated a Fight

We speak to the South African lawyer, model, actress and activist about her historic Vogue cover, stereotypes imposed on people living with albinism and her work with human interest stories about vulnerable groups as a WEF fellow.

Vogue Portugal's April edition was a moment that caused everyone to hold their breath collectively. For the first time ever, a woman living with albinism was featured on the cover of the magazine in a sublime and timeless manner. Thando Hopa, a South African lawyer, model, actress and activist was the woman behind this historic first. It was not just a personal win for Hopa, but a victory for a community that continues to be underrepresented, stigmatised and even harmed for a condition outside of their control, particularly in Africa.

At just 31, the multi-hyphenate Hopa is a force to be reckoned with across different spaces. Through her considerable advocacy work as an activist, Hopa has and continues to dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about people living with albinism as well as changing what complex representation looks like within mainstream media. In 2018, Hopa was named the one of the world's 100 most influential women by the BBC. After hanging up her gown as a legal prosecutor after four years of working with victims of sexual assault, Hopa is on a mission to change skewed perceptions and prejudices when it comes to standards of beauty.

As a current fellow at the World Economic Forum, she is also working towards changing editorial oversights that occur when depicting historically underrepresented and vulnerable groups. The fellowship programme prepares individuals for leadership in both public and private sectors, and to work across all spheres of global society.

OkayAfrica recently spoke to Hopa to find out about how it felt to be the first woman with albinism to be featured on Vogue, the current projects she's working on and what's in the pipeline for her.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Uzo Aduba Snags 2020 Emmy Award for Role in 'Mrs America'

Nigerian-American actress Uzo Aduba was awarded an Emmy for her stellar performance as Civil Rights icon Shirley Chisholm in 'Mrs America'.