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[Dutch] – De KROON – Behind the scenes

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Waarom moet de hele wereld weten van jullie filmpje?

Voor zwarte mensen is het erg leerzaam en bemoedigend om deze film te zien, omdat zij vervreemd zijn geraakt van hun roots door kolonialisme en door deze film te zien ervaar je de rijke geschiedenis die het afro haar kent en voel je je niet vervreemd van je natuurlijke haar. Daarnaast is de film voor de hele wereld interessant, omdat het een ode is aan de zwarte vrouw. De schepper van de mensheid. Een vrouw die door de geschiedenis heen hoogte punten, maar sinds het westers kolonialisme tot nu toe uit de westerse geschiedenis boeken wordt gelaten omdat ze een gevaar zou zijn voor de westerse samenleving. Wij willen die liefde voor haar en voor deze rijke (haar)geschiedenis delen met de wereld.

Hoe lang duurde het om dit te creeeren?

De film kent geen starttijd, omdat er veel voorkennis is opgedaan die bewust in de film geïmplementeerd is, maar sinds de racistische uitspraken die zijn gedaan bij het programma Bubbels&Gloss op 6 mei 2018 zijn we het concept van de film gaan uitwerken. Het is een organisch proces geweest, waarbij we niet verbonden waren aan harde deadline, omdat we dit als een belangrijk project zagen dat we wilde maken op onze eigen voorwaarden. 

Behind the scenes – short movie de KROON

Wat moet men vinden, doen of denken nadat zij het filmpje hebben gezien.

De onvoorwaardelijke kracht, liefde en geluk voelen die zwarte mensen uit hun haar en elkaar halen. Geconfronteerd raken door de hoeveelheid representatie van zwarte mensen en tegelijkertijd geïntrigeerd zijn om meer over deze wereld werkelijkheid te komen. 

Voor wie is dit filmpje voornamelijk?

Dit filmpje is voornamelijk gericht op de Afro-Nederlander, omdat we hen willen bemoedigen meer van hun natuurlijke haar te houden en die met trots te dragen, maar ook meer kennis op te doen over de rijke geschiedenis van de zwarte mens. 

Komt er een deel 2? 

Er staat geen deel 2 op de planning, maar haar is een onlosmakelijk deel van onze (culturele)identiteit waardoor dit zeker terug zal komen in de toekomstige films die we maken. Vooralsnog zijn we filmstudenten aan de HKU in Utrecht, maar hebben we beiden een eigen YouTube kanaal: ROBIN RAMOS en KYMANI CEDER.

Zie hoofdartikel en video [klik hier]

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Melanin Excellence from Politics to Disney – our 2019 so far

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We are in the home stretch of 2019 and 2020 is fast approaching! What a year it has been! Black Excellence is truly on the rise! Personally, I have never been this proud to see our culture represented in such a positive light. – Tiesha

In the Political News – The United States has a black woman on the ballot for President of the United States!

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Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris, United States Senator from California, is really making her mark in the presidential race. She is the first black woman that has run of the office for president in over 9 years. The US has had 11 black women to run for President of the United States over the years. 

Her campaign slogan “For the People” is not just a slogan but a true testament for the changes she has initiated in her political career. From introducing tax cuts to the middle class, proposals of tuition-free higher education, protecting the rights of refugees and immigrants, and so much more. Her work showcases her commitment to the advancement of the United States. These are perfect qualities of a President!

But Kamala Harris is not the only Black presidential candidate. Wayne Messam, a Florida Mayor, is also in the running for the election. His parents came to Florida from Jamaica with only a 5th-grade education to build a better life. The work ethics that were instilled in their son drove him and his wife Angela in building several highly profitable minority construction businesses.

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Wayne Messam

In the career of Wayne Messam, he has been an advocate of higher wages, job security for US workers, leading the cause of protection of immigrants to come to the US for a better life, and many other contributions to the country. His campaign slogan “For America” shows that he has what it takes to bring wealth and prosperity to the US.

In Entertainment News – Disney has not one but two new remakes that have featured lead black cast members. This is a major accomplishment and advancement for Disney. The last black lead role in Disney pictures was The Princess and The Frog released in 2009.

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Halle Bailey the new Ariel

The Little Mermaid Reboot featuring Halle Bailey as Ariel is a beautiful addition to the Disney family. Halle Bailey is a part of the R&B Group Chloe x Halle who rose to fame after their rendition of Beyoncé’ Pretty Hurts. This led to the group to be an opening act for Beyoncé’ Formation World Tour in 2016.

Halle being the starting role unfortunately suffered major backlash from critics.  Hashtags #NotMyAriel were trending on Twitter causing an uproar of negativity to the star due to the changing of the skin color by Disney from fair to a melanin complexion.

Even through the criticism, an outpouring of support on social media came forth for Halle. Fellow celebrities Willow Smith, Mariah Carey, Donald Glover, Jordan Sparks, and many others came to showcase support for her as well for the upcoming remake of the Disney film.

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Donald Glover as Simba in the Lion King live-action movie

The Lion King remake has a host of black excellence in the cast. Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, Chance the Rapper as Bush Baby, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari, Eric Andre’ as Azizi, John Kani as Rafiki, Florence Kasumba as Kamari, Phil Lamar and J. Lee offering voice supporting roles, and legendary artists Alfre Woodard as Sabri and James Earl Jones as Mufasa.

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Beyonce as Nala in the Lion King live-action movie

The Lion King remake has made over 540 million dollars to date. It was reported by Forbes magazine to be the top-grossing live-action remake! Hats off to the cast!

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The movie “Little” features youngest executive producer 14-year-old Marsai Martin from the ABC hit show Black-ish.

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Marsai Martin – Youngest producer ever

This was a great breakthrough for the youth in film. Working alongside Regina Hall, Preston L. Holmes, and Josh Martin who also executive produced this film, offered support and guidance as she embarked on this journey. This movie opened more doors of opportunities for Marsai to produce a film adaptation of B.B. Alston’s debut novel Amari and the Night Brothers and another film Step Monster with future release dates coming soon.

In Beauty News -The US has three major Black pageant winners!

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Miss USA 2019 Chelsie Kryst
Miss USA 2019 Chelsie Kryst

Miss USA 2019 Chelsie Kryst from North Carolina, Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin from New York, and Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaleigh Garris from Connecticut.

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Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaleigh Garris

This is a record-breaking history-making victory to have such representation at one time in this space. For years black beauty has been commercialized and society unaccepted.

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Nia Franklin – Miss America 2019

As a black woman being born and raised in Mississippi, I have seen firsthand many accounts of racial injustice and heard countless stories from my elders. To see Black people, rise above the pressures of opposition and move into their appointed victory in black excellence inspires me to do the same.

I truly believe that James Brown says it best “Say it Loud! I’m Black and I’m Proud!”

Blogger: Tiesha (Latiesha Olive) is a beauty blogger with her own blog beautifulnaturalcurls.com. You can also follow her on Youtube- ‘Beautiful Natural Curls’ and Instagram @Bnaturalcurls. Tiesha is our USA correspondent for your Melanin Wonder News!

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De KROON

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On the sixth of May, 2019 something horrifying happened. The Dutch lifestyle and fashion TV show allowed one of the cast members to make racist comments about Afro and kinky curly hair.

This exploded in a negative in all the news platforms and many if not all black and brown men and women were grossly offended. Robin Ramos (20) and Kymani Ceder (19) wrote a poem as a response. They used the poem as a positive representation by, from and for the Afro-Dutch community. The goal is to use the movie “The Crown” (De kroon) created by Robin and Kymani to create awareness and free the Black community from the chains of stereotyping of Afro hair.

Footage from the short film – de KROON

Robin and Kymani chose to form the video as a school assignment with a theme family.

Robin Ramos

Kymani Ceder

Using ‘Black hairstyles’ as a point gave them the inspiration to show different historical and tribal connotations involving Afro hair. In many cultures, it is still a way to be in contact with the ancestors. Besides braiding, is doing hair an activity done throughout time and has it has been a signature activity in black families.

The short film portrays a paradox time-machine with precolonial impressions. It takes you on a journey back to the age of where the traditional braids were used to connect the past with the present.

The movie is a re-enactment of history acted out by present-day Dutch Africans. How do Dutch Africans experience their African identity after the physical alienation that has taken place after slavery? How do they feel about their hair now? How do we feel during and after watching the short film?

Around 80 people were involved by the making of the short film: De Kroon. Some well-known artists and actors from the Dutch entertainment such as Sylvana Simons, Veronica van Hoogdalem, Digitzz, Clarice Gargard and Guillermo Babel.

Sylvana Simons & Robin Ramos

“De Kroon” is a poetic storyline about the relationship Afro Dutch citizens have with their natural hair and hairstyles. The Natural Hair movement is becoming more and more visible in the world. And we are loving it.

For all readers from the Netherlands: Want to read more about the backstory and behind the scenes, straight from the creator/inspirator of this video? click here

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Melanin Wonder

10 questions for the NEW male face of Melanin Wonder 2019

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Two months ago melanin wonder had the coronation of the new male face of melanin wonder. The 1st runner up stepped in the shoes of Terence Munzemba, who unfortunately had to step down from his title, due to personal circumstances. We now proudly introduce the new male face of Melanin Wonder, Lester Wilson!

1. Who are you if u had to describe yourself? 

Who am I?! I think this is one of the hardest questions alive…. Hmm, I am someone who is growing and learning a lot, trying to find my balance, while I am exploring my talents as I go. I am a student of life, very conscious of myself and trying to be of everything around me. I am someone who has a lot of curiosity (which can be my biggest problem sometimes) but yeah, I love to get inspired by people and hope to inspire someone one day as well.

2. What is your heritage and age and where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Rotterdam, but my parents are from the Caribbean. My mom is from St. Lucia and my dad is from Curacao. I am now 25 years old.

3. What are some of your biggest passions?

Good question… to start I have unconditional love for basketball, it is a sport where I fell in love with since watching the movie Space Jam for the first time, I think I was 6 or 7 years old at that time. But I started playing it when I was 16. To me it was an outlet, it was a way to express myself as an art form. The sport helped me a lot to grow as a person and it improved my health a lot, ball is life. Another great passion to me, besides basketball, is architecture, sometimes spaces and buildings can make you feel a certain way, some buildings somehow inspires me and architecture literally shapes the world, that´s what I like the most about it. I love creating or designing in general, whether its really making something out of nothing or writing, creating art or doing something with technology and innovation. I just love the respected fields of fine arts trying to find my fit.

4. Why did you apply for the face of Melanin Wonder?

Well, as I am exploring my talents, Melanin Wonder seemed like an amazing opportunity to grow as a model and to find other ways to express myself. It was an opportunity to expand my modeling portfolio and to gain more experience. I wanted to connect with more people, with more creatives to see where we can make some changes or make a difference.

5. What does the term melanin wonder mean to you personally?

Melanin Wonder, hmmm… When I think about it, to me it means, if I had to dissect both words, Melanin to me means directly, people with a bit of color, no matter what shade or tint they just got IT. And wonder I translate it to literally a wonder, a miracle, a unicorn or one of a kind. Just really WONDER-full and lovely.

6. How would your friends describe you?

I really don’t know haha but I think they would say that I will bring positive calm energy or very aware. But I don’t really know for sure.  

7. What are some of your favorite songs at the moment? 

Pfooeee. though one, at this moment I listen to a lot of underground/ up and coming artists, from rap to Hip Hop, R&B, etc. most of them in English, as long as it vibes I can listen to it. I listen to Dani Deleigh and Chris Brown easy, to Ty Dolla $ign and J.cole with purple emoji and just a whole lot more to name.

8. You have a startup, tell us more about it.

Yes, thank you for asking. The company name is Purpose. I want to create/develop smart mirrors to really add value to peoples lives. To help them focus on their Purpose in life and to provide them with tools which remind them of it. We focus on the people, the next leaders of today. We believe in changing the world starts with changing ourselves

9. How will Purpose impact the world?

We are going to change the world, we are not only developing a new tech product, a smart mirror, but we are building a movement around it. This is going to be a revolution in our daily lives and we will have an impact by directly trying to change the way we think about and view ourselves and the world around us. Follow us to understand the movement. With every step closer, everything will become clear.

10. What tips do you have for those who want to start a business in tech?

If you have a great idea that will benefit the people/world and/or, the earth or other living beings, go for it. Now tech is becoming and already is a big part of our daily lives, I find, that it should be an extension of our greater self, where we as humans are limited, technology and innovation take its place, but it should be in harmony with our existence. It must have a positive impact and it should suit/have a Purpose, (pun intended) 😛

Where can people find you? Social media handles! Linkedin?

People can find me on:

We are starting a new movement and where we want to create some changes starting with ourselves and I want everyone to join me

Lester Wilson
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