Captain Marvel PG-13 2019 ‧ Fantasy/Science Fiction ‧ 2h 12m

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Captain Marvel poster.jpgSet in 1995, Captain Marvel follows Carol Danvers, a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, as she turns into one of the galaxy’s mightiest heroes and joins Starforce, an elite Kree military team, before returning home with questions about her past and identity when Earth is caught in the center of a galactic conflict between two alien worlds.

Cover of Captain Marvel 1 - 2013.jpgCarol Danvers initially possessed superhuman strength, endurance, stamina, physical durability, a limited precognitive “seventh sense” and a perfectly amalgamated human/Kree physiology that rendered her resistant to most toxins and poisons. As Binary, the character could tap the energy of a “white hole”, allowing full control and manipulation of stellar energies, and therefore control over heat, the electromagnetic spectrum, and gravity. Light speed travel and the ability to survive in the vacuum of space were also possible. She originally only had the power of flight thanks to a contraption under her suit.

Although the link to the white hole was eventually severed, Danvers retains her Binary powers on a smaller scale, enabling her to both absorb energy and project it in photonic form. She can also still survive in space. While she lacks a constant source of energy to maintain the abilities at their previous cosmic level, she can temporarily assume her Binary form if empowered with a high enough infusion of energy.

Danvers possesses superhuman strength and durability, can fly at roughly six times the speed of sound, retains her “seventh sense,” and can discharge explosive blasts of radiant energy, which she fires from her fingertips. She also demonstrates the ability to absorb other forms of energy, such as electricity, to further magnify her strength and energy projection, up to the force of an exploding nuclear weapon. When sufficiently augmented, she can withstand the pressure from a ninety-two-ton weight, and strike with a similar level of force, although Hank Pym theorized that this likely was not her limit. Danvers cannot absorb magical energy without consequence, though she aided Dr. Stephen Strange in the defeat of the mystic menace, Sir Warren Traveler


  • Brie Larson as Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel:
    An ex-U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and member of an elite Kree military unit called Starforce whose DNA was fused with that of a Kree during an accident, imbuing her with superhuman strength, energy projection, and flight.
  •  Mckenna Grace portrays a young Carol Danvers.
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury:
    The future director of S.H.I.E.L.D., who at this time is a low level bureaucrat.
  • Ben Mendelsohn as Talos:
    The shape-shifting leader of the Skrull invasion of Earth, who is working undercover within S.H.I.E.L.D. as Fury’s boss.
  • Djimon Hounsou as Korath:
    A Kree mercenary and second-in-command of Starforce.
  • Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser:
    A high-ranking Kree official who is fanatical about their culture and practices.
  • Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau:
    One of Danvers’ oldest friends and a fellow Air Force pilot who goes by the call sign “Photon”. She is a single mother to daughter Monica. 
  • Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva:
    A Kree sniper and member of Starforce.
  • Annette Bening as a Kree scientist who rescued Danvers and made her part Kree.
  • Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson:
    A rookie agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who works closely with Fury.
  • Jude Law as the commander of Starforce and Danvers’ mentor, who trains her to use her new powers.

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After the Kree’s first encounter with humans,Captain Mar-Vell is sent to spy on Earth and decide if it is a threat to the Kree empire.He adopts the identity of a recently deceased scientist named Walter Lawson, but occasionally dons his Kree military uniform to protect the people he’s observing. The first time he does this, people hear him incorrectly pronounce his name as “Captain Marvel”. His job is made difficult by his jealous commanding officer, Colonel Yon-Rogg, his growing affection for humanity, and his fake identity’s criminal past.

After aiding humanity several times, Mar-Vell is found guilty of treason against the Kree Empire and sentenced to death by firing squad. Mar-Vell escapes in a stolen rocket, but becomes lost in space. After drifting for 112 days, he is weak and on the verge of madness. He is manipulated by Ronan the Accuser and Kree Minister Zarek into helping them overthrow the Supreme Intelligence. To better help them, Mar-Vell is given a new costume and enhanced abilities. After the conspiracy is foiled, Mar-Vell tries to return to Earth. On the way, he is hit by a blast of radiation that traps him in the Negative Zone.

The Supreme Intelligence enables Mar-Vell to telepathically contact Rick Jones, which he uses to lead Jones to a set of “nega-bands” at an abandoned Kree base. When Jones puts on the bands and strikes them together, he trades places with Mar-Vell and is encased in a protective aura in the Negative Zone. The pair discovers they are able to maintain telepathic contact. Using this method, Mar-Vell can remain in the positive universe for a period of three hours

Upon his arrival on Earth, Mar-Vell possessed no superpowers apart from being stronger and more durable than most humans due to his advanced Kree physiology; the Kree have evolved with higher physical-strength levels than humans to combat the heavier gravitations of their home planets. As a soldier, the character is equipped with a device called a “universal beam” (or “uni-beam”), at first a handheld pistol but later converted into a wrist-mounted device) that is capable of projecting energy; emitting beams of pure blackness and controlling magnetism.

When manipulated by “Zo” (actually Zarek, the Kree Imperial Minister), Mar-Vell had been greatly enhanced, having his physical abilities augmented to the point of crushing the hardest substance known to the Kree, gaining the ability to teleport to anywhere in the universe, fly under his own power at faster-than-light speeds and traverse vast interstellar and intergalactic distances, as well as the ability to mentally project illusions.Most of these abilities were lost when Mar-Vell gained the Nega-Bands, which convert Mar-Vell’s psionic energy into greater strength, durability, speed, flight and enable him to exist unprotected in deep outer space without having to breathe.

Following the photon ray treatments, Mar-Vell was able to absorb solar energy to further increase his strength. After his encounter with Eon he began to use his solar energy to fly, leaving a sparkling trail in his wake.

Once he is named the “Protector of the Universe” by Eon, Mar-Vell gains “cosmic awareness”, which (among other things) allows him to detect threats and perceive changes in the universe as long as they are important to him for some reason.This awareness can also be used internally, which alerted him to his terminal cancer even before he went to have it medically confirmed.

Mar-Vell’s Kree military training gives him mastery of all forms of unarmed combat and extensive knowledge of the technology of the Kree Empire.

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Black History History Month Authors

They are poets playwrights novelist and scholars and together they helped capture the voice of the nation. They have fearless explored racism abuse and violence as love beauty and music. They have been the voice of their generations and help inspired the generation that followed them.

Black authors who have left a mark on the literary world forever.


Maya Angelou –

Born: April 4, 1928, St. Louis, MO
Died: May 28, 2014, Winston-Salem, NC

Acclaimed American poet, author and activist Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928. Often referred to as a spokesman for African Americans and women through her many works, her gift of words connected all people who were “committed to raising the moral standards of living in the United States.”

“I want to write so that the reader … can say, ‘You know, that’s the truth. I wasn’t there, and I wasn’t a six-foot black girl, but that’s the truth.’ ”

Influenced by Black authors like Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois and Paul Lawrence Dunbar, her love of language developed at a young age. Her most famous work I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was published in 1969 and became the first in seven autobiographies of Angelou’s life.

A prolific poet, her words often depict Black beauty, the strength of women and the human spirit, and the demand for social justice. Her first collection of poems Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1972, the same year she became the first Black woman to have a screenplay produced. Writing for adults and children, Angelou was one of several African American women at the time who explored the Black female autobiographical tradition. Other female authors and contemporaries include Paule Marshall who published the novel Brown Girl, Brownstones and Illinois Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, many of whose poems lyricize the urban poor.

James Baldwin

Born: August 2, 1924, New York City, NY
Died: December 1, 1987, Saint Paul de Vence, France

Though he spent most of his life living abroad to escape the racial prejudice in the United States, James Baldwin is the quintessential American writer. Best known for his reflections on his experience as an openly gay Black man in white America, his novels, essays, and poetry make him a social critic who shared the pain and struggle of Black Americans.

Born in Harlem in 1924, Baldwin caught the attention of fellow writer Richard Wright who helped him secure a grant in order to support himself as a writer. He left to live in Paris at age 24 and went on to write Go Tell it on the Mountain which was published in 1953, a novel unlike anything written to date. Speaking with passion and depth about the Black struggle in America, it has become an American classic. Baldwin would continue to write novels, poetry and essays with a refreshingly unique perspective for the rest of his life. In 1956, Giovanni’s Room raised the issues of race and homosexuality at a time when it was taboo. And during the Civil Rights Movement, he published three of his most important  collections of essays, “Notes of a Native Son” (1955), “Nobody Knows My Name” (1961) and “The Fire Next Time” (1963)

James Baldwin provided inspiration for later generations of artists to speak out about the gay experience in Black America like Staceyann Chin and Nick Burd.


Amiri Baraka

Born: October 7, 1934, Newark, NJ
Died: January 9, 2014, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark, NJ

Born in 1934, poet, writer, and political activist Amiri Baraka used his writing as a weapon against racism and became one of the most widely published African American writers. Known for his social criticism and incendiary style, Baraka explored the anger of Black Americans and advocated scientific socialism.  Often confrontational and designed to awaken audiences to the political needs of Black Americans, Baraka was a prominent voice in American literature. His representations of race and wisdom have made him an influential part of the Black Arts Movement along with Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, and Maya Angelou. Together they have gone on to inspire younger generations like Terrence Hayes.


Octavia Butler

Born: June 22, 1947, Pasadena, CA
Died: February 24, 2006, Lake Forest Park, WA

In a genre known for being traditionally white and male, Octavia Butler broke new ground in science fiction as an African American woman. Born in California in 1947, Butler was an avid reader despite having dyslexia, was a storyteller by 4, and began writing at the age of 10. Drawn to science fiction because of its boundless possibilities for imagination, she was quickly frustrated by the lack of people she could identify with so she decided to create her own.

Butler took the science fiction world by storm. Her evocative novels featuring race, sex, power, and humanity were highly praised and attracted the audience beyond their genre. They would eventually be translated into multiple languages and sell more than a million copies. One of her best-known novels Kindred, published in 1979, tells the story of a Black woman who must travel back in time in order to save her own life by saving a white, slaveholding ancestor. Over her career, she won two Hugo Awards, two Nebula Awards and in 1995 she became the first science fiction writer to win the MacArthur fellowship. The self-described “outsider’s” legacy inspired future generations of women including Valjeanne Jeffers, Nnedi Okorafor and even singer/songwriter Janelle Monáe.


W.E.B. Du Bois

Born: February 23, 1868, Great Barrington, MA
Died: August 27, 1963, Accra, Ghana

As an activist, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, educator, historian and prolific writer, W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most influential African American thought leaders of the 20th century. Growing up in Massachusetts as part of the Black elite, it wasn’t until attending Fisk University in Tennessee that issues of racial prejudice came to his attention. He studied Black America and wrote some of the earliest scientific studies on Black communities, calling for an end to racism. His thesis, The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870 remains an authoritative work on the subject.

The horrific lynching of Sam Hose in 1899 prompted Du Bois to begin writing The Souls of Black Folk. Calling for organized action and an end to segregation, Jim Crow laws, and political disenfranchisement in America, the prophetic work was not well received at the time of its publication. Du Bois eventually went on to help to establish the NAACP where he became editor of its newspaper the Crisis, and a well-known spokesman for the cause. Many of his essays from Crisis were published in book form under the title The Emerging Thought of W. E. B. Du Bois: Essays and Editorials from “The Crisis.” 

In addition to The Souls of Black Folk and the articles and editorials for the Crisis, Du Bois wrote several books. While these attracted less attention than his scholarly works, the also focused on the Black race covering the topics of miscegenation and economic disparities in the South. Most respected for his scholarly writing, Du Bois’ concepts such as the psychology of colonization explored by Frantz Fanon continued being researched years later.


Ralph Ellison

Born: March 1, 1914, Oklahoma City, OK
Died: April 16, 1994, New York City, NY

Born Ralph Waldo Ellison after the famous journalist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ellison was known for pursuing universal truths through his writing. A literary critic, writer, and scholar, Ellison taught at a variety of colleges and spent two years overseas as a Fellow of the American Academy. In an effort to transcend the starkly defined racial categories of the 1950s, he was sometimes criticized for choosing white society over his African American identity. Identifying as an artist first, Ellison rejected the notion that one should stand for a particular ideology, refuting both Black and white stereotypes in his collection of political, social and critical essays titled Shadow and Act

However, it was Ellison’s first novel that established his place as an important literary figure in America. Published in 1952, the first lines of Invisible Manstruck a chord with hundreds of thousands of readers, “I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids – and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me . . .” Considered one of the most important works of fiction in the 20th century, Ellison was heavily influenced by Zora Neale Hurston and is often cited as an influence with many writers today such as ZZ Packer and Toni Morrison.

Alex Haley 
Born: August 11, 1921, Ithaca, NY
Died: February 10, 1992, Seattle, WA

Alex Haley’s writing on the struggle of African Americans inspired nationwide interest in genealogy and popularized Black history. Best known for The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the novel Roots, Haley began his writing career freelancing and struggled to make ends meet. Eating canned sardines for weeks at a time, his big break came when Playboy magazine assigned him to interview Miles Davis. Proving to be such a success, the magazine contracted Haley to do a series of interviews with prominent African Americans. Known as “The Playboy Interviews,” Haley would eventually meet Malcolm X and ask permission to write his biography. The Autobiography of Malcolm X would soon become an international bestseller and Haley became a literary success.

Embarking on a new ambitious project, Haley was determined to trace his ancestor’s journey from Africa to America as slaves and tell the story of their rise to freedom. After a decade of research and travel to West Africa, the epic novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family was published in 1976. The book was a national sensation and won the Pulitzer Prize, eventually becoming a television miniseries that would shatter television viewing records when 130 million viewers tuned in. If you enjoy reading Alex Haley, consider reading Jesmyn Ward and Ta-Nehisi Coates.



Langston Hughes

Born: February 1, 1902, Joplin, MO
Died: May 22, 1967, Stuyvesant Polyclinic

A primary contributor of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes was one of the first to use jazz rhythms in his works, becoming an early innovator of the literary art form jazz poetry. While many American poets during the 1920s were writing esoteric poetry to a dwindling audience, Hughes addressed people using language, themes, attitudes and ideas that they could relate to.

Influenced by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman, his poetry caught the attention of novelist, critic and prolific photographer Carl Van Vechten. With Van Vechten’s help, his first collection of poetry was published in 1926. Establishing Hughes’s poetic style and commitment to Black themes and heritage, The Weary Blues had popular appeal. When his first novel Not Without Laughter was published in 1930, it won the Harmon gold medal for literature.

A prolific writer is known for his colorful portrayals of Black life from the 1920s-1960s, Hughes wrote plays, short stories, poetry, several books, and contributed the lyrics to a Broadway musical. In addition to his extensive body of work, he inspired other artists and highlighted the power of art as a catalyst for change. Seen as a voice for their own experience, writers during the Harlem Renaissance often dedicated their work to Hughes. The play A Raisin in the Sun by playwright Lorraine Hansberry was named for a line from a Langston Hughes poem.


Zora Neale Hurston

Born: January 7, 1891, Notasulga, AL
Died: January 28, 1960, Fort Pierce, FL

In 1925 as the Harlem Renaissance gained momentum, Zora Neale Hurston headed to New York City. By the time of its height in the 1930s, Hurston was a preeminent Black female writer in the United States. It’s said that her apartment was a popular spot for social gatherings with the well-known artists of the time like Countee Cullen and Langston Hughes.

Of Hurston’s more than 50 published novels, short stories, plays, and essays, she wrote her most famous work Their Eyes Were Watching Godin 1937. Unlike the style of contemporaries Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison, Hurston did not write explicitly about Black people in the context of white America. She focused on the culture and traditions of African Americans through the poetry of their speech.

Despite her earlier literary success, Hurston would suffer later in her career. Having difficulty getting published, she died poor and alone. Years later, Alice Walker would help revive interest in Hurston’s work with her essay, “In Search of Zora Neale Hurston,” published in Ms. magazine in 1975. This essay, alongside her edits of notable works like “I Love Myself When I am Laughing and Then Again When I am Looking Mean and Impressive,” brought Hurston to the attention of a new generation of readers.


Richard Wright

Born: September 4, 1908, Roxie, MS
Died: November 28, 1960, Paris, France

Born in Mississippi in 1908, Richard Wright is best known for his novels Native Son and Black Boy, that mirrored his own struggle with poverty and coming of age journey.  A staunch critic of his literary contemporary Zora Neale Hurston, Wright’s work was overtly political, focusing on the struggle of Blacks in America for equality and economic advancement.

Wright’s dreams of becoming a writer took off when he gained employment through the Federal Writers Project and received critical attention for a collection of short stories called Uncle Tom’s Children. The fame that came with the 1940 publication of Native Son (not to be confused with James Baldwin’s titular essay: “Notes of a Native Son,” which criticized Wright’s work) made him a household name. It became the first book by an African American writer to be selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club.

His novel Black Boy was a personal account of growing up in the South and eventual move to Chicago where he became a writer and joined the Communist Party. While the book was a great success, Wright had become disillusioned with white America and the Communist Party, and moved to Paris. He spent the rest of his life living as an expatriate and he continued to write novels.


| Toni Morrison

Born: February 18, 1931 (age 87 years), Lorain, OH

Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison is considered the voice of African American women. Growing up in an integrated neighborhood, Morrison was not fully aware of racial divisions until her teenage years. Dedicated to her studies, she went on to earn her master’s degree before moving to Howard University to teach. It was in the 1960s when Morrison became an editor at Random House that she began to write.

While she had published The Bluest Eye in 1970 and Sula in 1973, The Song of Solomon was the book that set her on the course of literary success. It became the first work by an African American author since Native Son by Richard Wright to be a featured selection in the Book-of-the-Month Club. The publication of Beloved in 1987 is considered to be her greatest masterpiece and won several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Young authors Danielle Evans and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins cite Toni Morrison as one of their influences.

2019 GRAMMY Awards: Complete Nominees And Winners List

The biggest names in music came together on Sunday night for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.Image result for Winners of Grammy Awards 2019

The runtime included 18 occasionally inspired, but mostly overdone performances, few of which were the major musical moments the producers likely hoped for, with an Aretha Franklin tribute that was far too short and a Motown medley that shouldn’t have been led by Jennifer Lopez.Childish Gambino’s poignant song “This is America” cleaned up with four awards, making it the first rap song to win both Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” won best rap album, making her the first solo female artist to do so.Image result for Childish Gambino's


First-time honorees Cardi B and H.E.R. were visibly emotional and stunned as they took the stage to accept the best rap and R&B albums, respectively, both sharing amusing anecdotes about their music that were quickly curtailed. Dua Lipa saw her speech get cut short, coincidentally, after she referenced Grammys president Neil Portnow’s controversial 2018 comments that women should “step up” if they want to win more awards

Album Of The Year: “Golden Hour,” Kacey Musgraves

Record Of The Year: “This Is America,” Childish Gambino

Song Of The Year:  “This Is America,” Childish Gambino

Best New Artist: Dua Lipa

Best Pop Solo Performance: “Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?),” Lady Gaga

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:  “Shallow,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

Best Country Album: “Golden Hour,” Kacey Musgraves

Best Pop Vocal Album: “Sweetener,” Ariana Grande

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: “My Way,” Willie Nelson

Best Rap Performance: “King’s Dead,” Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future and James Blake / “Bubblin,”Anderson.Paak

Best Rap/Sung Performance:  “This Is America,” Childish Gambino

Best Rap Song: “God’s Plan,” Drake

Best Rap Album: “Invasion Of Privacy,” Cardi B

Best Rock Performance: “When Bad Does Good,” Chris Cornell

Best Metal Performance: “Electric Messiah,” High On Fire

Best Rock Song: “Masseduction,” St. Vincent

Best Alternative Music Album: “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino,” Arctic Monkeys

Best Rock Album: “From The Fires,” Greta Van Fleet

Best R&B Performance: “Best Part,” H.E.R. featuring Daniel Caesar

Best Traditional R&B Performance: “Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand,” Leon Bridges

Best R&B Song: “Boo’d Up,” Ella Mai

Best Country Song: “Space Cowboy,” Kacey Musgraves

Best Country Duo/Group Performance: “Tequila,” Dan + Shay

Best Country Solo Performance: “Butterflies,” Kacey Musgraves

Best Urban Contemporary Album: “Everything Is Love,” The Carters

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: “Steve Gadd Band,” Steve Gadd Band

Best R&B Album Winner: H.E.R.

Best Dance Recording: “Electricity,” Silk City & Dua Lipa featuring Diplo and Mark Ronson

Best Dance/Electronic Album: “Woman Worldwide,” Justice

Best New Age Album: “Opium Moon,” Opium Moon

Best Comedy Album: “Equanimity & The Bird Revelation,” Dave Chappelle

Best Remixed Recording: “Walking Away (Mura Masa Remix),” Haim

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media: “The Greatest Showman,” Hugh Jackman and various artists

Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media: “Black Panther,” Ludwig Göransson

Best Song Written For Visual Media: “Shallow,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

Best Recording Package: “Masseduction,” St. Vincent

Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package: “Squeeze Box: The Complete Works Of ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic,” Weird Al Yankovic

Best Album Notes: “Voices Of Mississippi: Artists And Musicians Documented By William Ferris”

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical:  Pharrell Williams

Best Music Video: “This Is America,” Childish Gambino

Best Music Film: “Quincy,” Quincy Jones

Best Improvised Jazz Solo: “Don’t Fence Me In,” John Daversa

Best Jazz Vocal Album: The Window, Cécile Mclorin Salvant

Best Jazz Instrumental Album: “Emanon,” The Wayne Shorter Quartet

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: “American Dreamers: Voices Of Hope, Music Of Freedom,” John Daversa Big Band featuring Daca Artists

Best Latin Jazz Album: “Back To The Sunset,” Dafnis Prieto Big Band

Best Gospel Performance/Song: “Never Alone,” Tori Kelly featuring Kirk Franklin

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: “You Say,” Lauren Daigle

Best Gospel Album: “Hiding Place,” Tori Kelly

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: “Look Up Child,” Lauren Daigle

Best Roots Gospel Album: “Unexpected,” Jason Crabb

Best Latin Pop Album: “Sincera,” Claudia Brant

Best Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album: “Aztlán,” Zoé

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano): “¡México Por Siempre!,” Luis Miguel

Best Tropical Latin Album: “Anniversary,” Spanish Harlem Orchestra

Best American Roots Performance: “The Joke,” Brandi Carlile

Best American Roots Song: “The Joke,” Brandi Carlile

Best Americana Album: “By The Way, I Forgive You,” Brandi Carlile

Best Bluegrass Album: “The Travelin’ Mccourys,” The Travelin’ Mccourys

Best Traditional Blues Album: “The Blues Is Alive And Well,” Buddy Guy

Best Contemporary Blues Album: “Please Don’t Be Dead,” Fantastic Negrito

Best Folk Album: “All Ashore,” Punch Brothers

Best Regional Roots Music Album: “No ‘Ane’I,” Kalani Pe’a

Best Reggae Album: “44/876,” Sting and Shaggy

Best World Music Album: “Freedom,” Soweto Gospel Choir

Best Children’s Album:  “All The Sounds,” Lucy Kalantari and The Jazz Cats

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling): “Faith – A Journey For All,” Jimmy Carter

Best Musical Theater Album: “The Band’s Visit,” Original Broadway Cast

Best Instrumental Composition: “Blut Und Boden (Blood And Soil),” Terence Blanchard

Best Arrangement, Instrumental Or A Cappella: “Stars And Stripes Forever,” John Daversa Big Band featuring Daca Artists

Best Arrangement, Instruments And Vocals: “Spiderman Theme,” Randy Waldman featuring Take 6 & Chris Potter

Best Historical Album: Voices Of Mississippi: “Artists And Musicians Documented By William Ferris”

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical: “Colors,” Beck

Best Immersive Audio Album: “Eye In The Sky – 35th Anniversary Edition,” The Alan Parsons Project

Best Engineered Album, Classical: “Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11,” Andris Nelsons and Boston Symphony Orchestra

Producer Of The Year, Classical: Blanton Alspaugh

Best Orchestral Performance: “Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11,” Andris Nelsons

Best Opera Recording: “Bates: The (R)Evolution Of Steve Jobs,” Michael Christie, Garrett Sorenson, Wei Wu, Sasha Cooke, Edward Parks and Jessica E. Jones

Best Choral Performance: “Mcloskey: Zealot Canticles,” Donald Nally

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: “Anderson, Laurie: Landfall,” Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet

Best Classical Instrumental Solo: “Kernis: Violin Concerto,” James Ehnes

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album: “Songs Of Orpheus” – Monteverdi, Caccini, D’india & Landi, Karim Sulayman

Best Classical Compendium: “Fuchs: Piano Concerto ‘Spiritualist’; Poems Of Life; Glacier; Rush,” Joann Falletta

Best Contemporary Classical Composition: “Kernis: Violin Concerto,” James Ehnes, Ludovic Morlot and Seattle Symphony

Super Bowl 2019: The best recipes for your party, from tacos to wings to the tastiest dessert and more

The Super Bowl has become as much a part of Americana as apple pie, baseball and rock and roll. And whether you’re a sports fan or not, it’s an excuse to go to a party, host a party, or at least pull up a seat at a bar and chow down to your heart’s content.

This year, Americans are expected to spend $14.8 billion on the game, for an average of $81.30 per person, with much of that spending on food and drink, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s down slightly from 2018, when they spent $15.3 billion — but as many as 6 million fewer people are expected to watch this year’s game, perhaps getting tired of watching the Patriots win (errr, play) so often.

(Credit: Google)
  • Alabama: White chicken chili
  • Alaska: Nachos
  • Arizona: Cake
  • Arkansas: Fried chicken wings
  • California: Baked chicken breast
  • Colorado: Broccoli cheese soup
  • Connecticut: Buffalo chicken dip
  • Delaware: Chocolate peanut butter cake
  • Washington, DC: Bagel pigs in a blanket
  • Florida: Cake
  • Georgia: Buffalo chicken dip
  • Hawaii: Football cupcakes
  • Idaho: Salads
  • Illinois: Jalapeno Poppers
  • Indiana: Fried rice
  • Iowa: Irish stew
  • Kansas: Buffalo chicken dip
  • Kentucky: Taco salad
  • Louisiana: Cupcakes
  • Maine: Paella
  • Maryland: Pizza
  • Massachusetts: Gluten-free pretzels
  • Michigan: Pizza
  • Minnesota: Tacos
  • Mississippi: Granola bars
  • Missouri: Broccoli cheese soup
  • Montana: Lentil soup
  • Nebraska: Pigs in a blanket
  • Nevada: Vegan cheesy bacon spinach dip
  • New Hampshire: Cakes and cupcakes
  • New Jersey: Buffalo chicken dip
  • New Mexico: Pea and peppercorn mash
  • New York: Spinach dip
  • North Carolina: Cobb salad
  • North Dakota: Baked nachos
  • Ohio: Buffalo chicken dip
  • Oklahoma: Chicken noodle soup
  • Oregon: Banana bread
  • Pennsylvania: Chicken wings
  • Rhode Island: 7-layer dip
  • South Carolina: Turkey Chili
  • South Dakota: Cupcakes
  • Tennessee: Cake
  • Texas: Spinach dip
  • Utah: Bacon wrapped smokies
  • Vermont: Lasagna
  • Virginia: Buffalo chicken dip
  • Washington: Cakes
  • West Virginia: Buffalo chicken dip
  • Wisconsin: Buffalo chicken dip
  • Wyoming: Cakes
Super Bowl LIII
Image result for super bowl 2019


Super Bowl LIII is an upcoming American football game between the two-time defending American Football Conference champion New England Patriots and the National Football Conference champion Los Angeles Rams to determine the champion of the National Football League for the 2018 season.

Date: Sunday, February 3, 2019
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Halftime show: Maroon 5, Travis Scott, Big Boi
National anthem: Gladys Knight
Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Announcers: Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Tony Romo (analyst), Tracy Wolfson, Evan Washburn (sideline reporters)

French Dip SlidersFrench Dip Sliders Vertical

Don’t be fooled by their size, these little guys serve major flavor.

5 tbsp. butter, divided
large onion, thinly sliced
sprigs, plus 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

12 slider buns, halved
1 lb. thinly sliced deli roast beef
12 slices provolone cheese
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. low-sodium beef broth
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion and thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Discard thyme.
  2. Place bottom halves of slider buns on a large baking sheet and top with roast beef, provolone cheese, caramelized onions, and slider bun tops.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and brush on top of buns. Sprinkle with garlic powder, coarse salt, and parsley and bake until cheese is melty and sliders are warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make au jus: Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to same skillet and melt over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute, then add beef broth, Worcestershire, and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until slightly reduced, 10 minutes.
  5. Serve sliders with au jus for dipping.
Classic Buffalo Wings

This is the only buffalo wings recipe you’ll ever need.

How To Bake Homemade Buffalo Wings

Leave fried wings to the pub. It’s messy and involved, and not what you want to be doing when the game is on. Baking the chicken is wayyy easier. Just give yourself plenty of time. Depending on the size of the wings, they’ll need between 50 to 60 minutes in the oven before they’re sauced. Once they’re crispy, they get tossed in the buffalo mixture and back into the oven, under the broiler, until caramelized.

How To Make Buffalo Sauce

What even is buffalo sauce? In most cases a simple mixture of melted butter and hot sauce. Us? We like to add a touch of honey too. To make your own, bring honey and hot sauce to a simmer in a small saucepan, then whisk in butter. Cook, until butter has melty and sauce, is slightly reduced.

How To Make Them Extra Crispy

The key to perfectly crispy is to put the wings on a wire rack inside of a rimmed baking sheet. The rack allows air to circulate underneath wings and allows for even cooking.

How Many Wings To Buy/Make

This recipe feeds about 4 hungry people. If it’s a part of a larger game day spread, 6 people could probably get in on it. However, there’s never any harm in doubling the recipe. People will always want more buffalo wings. See the chart below for exactly how much you should buy!

Feeling EXTRA lazy? Try our Slow-Cooker Buffalo Wings instead. Or, if you love buff chick but always, always need cheese, give our Buffalo Chicken Dip a go. It’s a killer.

2 lb. chicken wings
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 c. hot sauce (such as Cholula)
4 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. honey

Ranch dressing for serving

Carrot sticks, for serving

celery sticks, for serving

  1. Preheat oven to 400° and place a wire rack over a baking sheet. In a large bowl, toss chicken wings with oil and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  2. Bake until chicken is golden and skin is crispy, 50 to 60 minutes, flipping the wings halfway through.
  3. In a small saucepan, whisk together hot sauce and honey. Bring to simmer then stir in butter. Cook until melted and slightly reduced about 2 minutes. Heat broiler on low. Transfer baked wings to a bowl and toss with sauce until completely coated. Return wings to rack and broil (watching carefully!) until sauce caramelizes, 3 minutes. Serve with ranch and vegetables.
Pull-Apart Garlic Bread Pizza Dip

Ditch the pizza and make this insane dip instead.

3 c. shredded mozzarella, divided
(8-oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened
1 c. ricotta
1/3 c. plus 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan, divided
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp.  crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

3/4 c. pizza sauce
1 c. mini pepperoni
(16-oz.) cans refrigerated biscuits (such as Pillsbury Grands)
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups mozzarella, cream cheese, ricotta, ⅓ cup Parmesan, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt. Transfer mixture to a 9″-x-13″ baking dish then spread pizza sauce on top. Top with remaining 1 cup mozzarella and pepperoni.
  2. Halve biscuits and roll into balls, then place on top of dip.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, garlic, and parsley. Brush on biscuits and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
  4. Bake until biscuits are golden and cheese is melty, about 45 minutes, then cover with aluminum foil and bake until biscuits are cooked through, another 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Chicken Parm Sliders

Think chicken parm isn’t a convenient tailgating food? We fixed that.

1 1/2 lb. fresh or frozen breaded chicken
12 slider buns
2 c. marinara
2 c. shredded mozzarella
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 c. melted butter
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley


  1. Prepare chicken according to package instructions.
  2. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and cut into slider-size pieces.
  3. On a large baking sheet, lay bottom halves of slider buns. Top with a thin layer of marinara, cooked chicken, mozzarella and Parmesan. Top with remaining slider bun halves.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together melted butter, garlic powder, and parsley. Brush bun tops with butter mixture and bake until cheese is melty and sliders warmed through, 15 minutes.
Fried Chicken Wings

Here’s how to make them extra crispy.

Fried chicken wings are so easy to make and always turn out great. Be sure to let them refrigerate for at least an hour. It well helps the flavor and ensures they are extra crispy. Be sure dip them (or drown) in your favorite sauce!

Here’s some Chicken Fried Chicken if you’re REALLY craving some fried chicken.

2 lb. chicken wings

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Vegetable oil, for frying

  1. Rinse wings under cold water then pat dry with paper towels. Place wings on a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack then season wings on both sides with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. In a shallow bowl, stir together flour and spices then season with salt and pepper. Working one at a time, coat chicken in flour mixture.
  3. In a large pot over medium heat, heat 2” oil until shimmering (about 350°) Working in batches, fry chicken until deeply golden and cooked through, 8 minutes.

4Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Serve warm


Nachos Supreme

It doesn’t get better than a big, heaping plate of hot nachos.

They are the PERFECT game day food (or Oscar day… or Tuesday) and they couldn’t be any easier to make! This recipe is foolproof and sure to be delicious, but feel free to mix and match with your favorite ingredients. More questions? Check out answers below to the Internet’s most frequently asked nacho questions.

What are some toppings for nachos?

We’ve got a pretty impressive amount of toppings in this recipe! If you’re looking for more options, try some of these: guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, cotija cheese, grilled corn, pinto beans, black olives, fresh jalapeño slices, pickled red onions, cubed steak, shredded chicken, or crumbled tofu.

Can nachos be healthy?

They totally can! I wouldn’t call these particular nachos healthy, but if you’re looking for an alternative, we’ve got options! Check out these Zucchini Nachos, Bell Pepper Nachos, or Cauliflower Nachos—they’re all great substitutes! PLUS you’re getting a hefty serving of veggies. Win/win!

Are nachos fried or baked?

Nachos are baked, but the corn chips used in them are usually fried. (Unless you go the healthy route, like the recipes above.)

Do you put salsa on nachos before cooking?

We wouldn’t recommend it! Any ingredients you want to retain freshness and crunch should be added after the nachos go into the oven. We’re talking herbs, greens, tomatoes, fresh salsas, avocado, and guacamole—none of these things are good warm.

What kind of cheese is used with nachos?

We’re big fans of Monterey Jack and cheddar, but your options are limitless. Just make sure it melts! (The exception is cotija, a hard Mexican cow’s milk cheese which can be added after the nachos bake!)

YIELDS:6 – 8
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
large onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. taco seasoning

kosher salt

(15-oz.) can refried beans
1/4 c. water
large bag tortilla chips
2 c. shredded cheddar
2 c. Shredded Monterey Jack
1/2 c. pickled jalapeños
avocado, diced
large tomato, diced
1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions
1/4 c. fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Sour cream, for drizzling

Hot sauce, for drizzling

  1. Preheat oven to 425º and line a large baking sheet with foil. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes, then add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, 6 minutes more. Drain fat.
  2. Add garlic and taco seasoning and season with salt. Cook until meat is well browned and slightly crispy, 5 minutes more. Add refried beans and water to skillet and stir until combined.
  3. Add half the tortilla chips and top with beef-bean mixture, half the cheese, half the black beans, and half the pickled jalapeños. Repeat one more layer.
  4. Bake until cheese is melty, 15 minutes.
  5. Scatter with tomato, avocado, and green onions. Drizzle with sour cream and hot sauce and devour.
Giant Party Sub

The definition of a crowd-pleaser.


(11-oz.) tubes refrigerated French bread dough
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar, divided
1 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
1/4 lb. sliced provolone
1/2 lb. sliced salami
1/2 lb. deli-sliced ham
1/2 lb. thinly sliced pepperoni
1 1/2 c. shredded romaine lettuce
large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a Bundt pan with cooking spray. Place bread dough into the bottom of prepared pan and pinch together ends to form a ring.
  2. Bake until golden brown and cooked through 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Place baked bread on a serving platter and slice in half to make two layers. Drizzle bottom half with 1 tablespoon each of oil and vinegar and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Top with provolone cheese, salami, ham, pepperoni, lettuce, and tomatoes. Drizzle with another 1 tablespoon each of oil and vinegar and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning.
  4. Sandwich with top half of baked bread and brush with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and slice.
Slow-Cooker Chex Mix

When you’re super focused on the game, you need to be able to grab your food by the handful.

Make it even easier to inhale this snack by prepping a batch big enough to actually stick around for awhile.

YIELDS:8 – 10
3 c. corn chex
3 c. wheat chex
3 c. rice chex
2 c. pretzel twists
2 c. Bagel chips
1 c. Cheetos
1 1/2 sticks melted butter
1/3 c. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt
  1. In a slow-cooker over high heat, combine all Chex, pretzels, bagel chips, and Cheetos.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, Worcestershire, garlic powder, and salt. Pour mixture over Chex Mix and stir to combine.
  3. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 hour and 30 minutes. (If mixture seems too hot, reduce heat to low.)

See you never, tortilla chips.

Vegetable oil, for frying
1 lb. Frozen Tater Tots
kosher salt
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
3 tbsp. Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce
1/2 lb. Shredded Monterey Jack
4 1/2 oz. green chiles
1/4 c. heavy cream
1 c. Pico de Gallo
avocado, seeded and diced
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1/2 c. sour cream
Queso, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving
  1. In a deep cast-iron skillet, heat oil to 375°. Fry tater tots according to package instructions until golden. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef, breaking up with a spoon. Add garlic powder, cumin, hot sauce, and salt; simmer on medium-low, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover with a lid to keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, combine Monterey Jack, green chiles, and heavy cream. Stir until creamy and well combined. Turn off heat and cover with lid partially to keep warm.
  4. Spread tater tots on a large serving platter and top with spicy beef, pico de gallo, avocado, green onions and dollops of sour cream. Serve with warm queso and lime wedges.
Pull-Apart Pigs In A Blanket

Just like our classic pigs in a blanket, but in a fun shape.

 about 60 mini hot dogs; the second time, 30; the third, 45. Lesson learned: It depends on who is cutting the pizza dough! If you cut bigger pieces of pizza dough, you’ll need less hot dogs, and the dough will puff more.

Just want regular ‘ole pigs in a blanket? We’ve a gotcha.


Cooking spray

6 tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder

Pinch kosher salt

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

All-purpose flour

tube Pillsbury pizza dough
(12-oz.) packages cocktail weiners

Marinara, warmed



  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Grease inside of a 8” springform pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together butter, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper flakes.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, unroll pizza dough and cut into 1”-x-2” rectangles.
  3. Brush top of each with butter mixture, then wrap each cocktail Weiner in pizza dough and pinch seam shut.
  4. Place pigs in blanket standing upright in springform pan. They should be snug, but not too tightly packed together. (Otherwise, the dough won’t bake!) Brush top with remaining melted butter mixture.
  5. Bake until golden, 50 to 55 minutes.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
  7. Serve warm with dipping sauces.
Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

Fall-apart tender and totally irresistible.

1. You can make it ahead.

Pulled pork holds well in the fridge for 4 to 5 days, meaning if you’re able to plan ahead, you can make this the night before no problem. It also freezes well! If you double the batch, save leftover in large freezer resealable bags.

2. It makes THE BEST sandwiches. 

Seriously. This on a potato roll plus pickles and coleslaw (and potato chips, if you’re feeling crazy) = absolute perfection. It’ll make enough for at least 8 HUGE sandwiches. Having a big game day party? Buy slider buns and you’ll double the yield—at least!

3. There’s no need for searing. 

While burnt bits would be delicious, they’re not totally necessary. For simple, juicy pulled pork, you can cook the pork from start to finish in the slow cooker. (If you do want to sear it in a hot skillet first, I applaud you.)

4. It’s insanely forgiving. 

It’s pretty much impossible to mess this one up. If you go an hour longer than you’d intended, your pork will probably end up even more tender. Rushed and need to pull it an hour earlier? I bet you you’re still able to shred it just fine with a fork.

5. The sauce cooks with the pork.There’s no need to cook a separate one on the stovetop. Every element about barbecue sauce that you like—sweetness, acidity, spice—is in the slow cooker too. At the end, toss the pork with the leftover juices. (The “sauce” will be a little bit thinner, but the taste is all there.)

Into Carolina-style pulled pork? Our recipe for that is pretty amazing too.

onion, finely chopped
3/4 c. ketchup
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. mustard powder
1 tsp. cumin
(3- to 4-lb.) pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Coleslaw, for serving

Buns, for serving

  1. Combine onion, ketchup, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar and spices in the bowl of a slow cooker. Season pork shoulder all over with salt and pepper then add to slow cooker, covering it with ketchup mixture. Cover and cook until very tender (the meat should fall apart easily with a fork!), on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours or on LOW for 8 to 10 hours.
  2. Remove pork from slow cooker and transfer to bowl. Shred with two forks and toss with juices from the slow cooker. Serve on buns with coleslaw.
Chili Cheese Dog Bread

Everyone’s your BFF when you bring these to the party.


GET A BETTER KNIFE: Wustof Serrated Knife, $33;

YIELDS:6 – 8
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar, divided
can premade Chili
hot dogs, depending on the length of your baguette
2 tbsp. chives, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Down the length of the baguette, cut a small “v” and pull out some of the insides of the baguette, creating a boat.
  3. Sprinkle 1 cup cheddar on the bottom of the baguette, then place hot dogs end to end until the baguette is filled. (This might mean cutting a hot dog to fit, depending on the size of your bread.)
  4. Spoon chili over hot dogs and top with the remaining cheddar. Bake until warmed through and melty, about 25 minutes.
  5. Let cool slightly, then slice into 3-inch long segments and garnish with chives. Serve.
Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs

Burger bombs >>> sliders

slices bacon
1/2 onion, chopped
cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
tube refrigerated biscuit dough
dill pickles, chopped
1 c. shredded Cheddar
yellow mustard
4 tbsp. butter melted
sesame seeds
Ketchup, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon strips but reserve 2 tablespoons of fat in the skillet. Chop bacon.
  3. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, then add ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook until no longer pink, 5-6 minutes. Drain fat.
  4. Flatten each biscuit round to about 1/4” thickness. Top each round of dough with cooked ground beef, pickles, mustard, cooked bacon, and cheese. Pinch the edges together to create a ball. (It will look like a dumpling!)
  5. Place the burger bombs seam-side-down on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the dough with melted butter, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  6. Bake until the biscuits are golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Serve with ketchup.
Reuben Loaded Potatoes

The perfect party food.


BUY NOW Baker’s Half Sheet, $10,

medium russet potatoes, cut into wedges
1 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 lb. thinly sliced corned beef, roughly chopped
1/2 c. sauerkraut
2 c. shredded Swiss cheese
1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
3/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. ketchup
1 tsp. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. onion powder
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, toss potato wedges with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on an even layer on a medium baking sheet and roast until tender and golden, 35 to 40 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together mayo, ketchup, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Top roasted potatoes with corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese. Bake 10 to 12 minutes more, until cheese is melty and corned beef has crisped around the edges. Drizzle with Russian dressing and garnish with parsley before serving.
Pickleback Chicken Wings

This just might be the best way to use pickle juice.

This just might be the best way to use pickle juice.

BUY NEW TONGS: Heavy Duty Non-Stick Tongs, $17;

3 lb. chicken wings
1 c. pickle juice
2 tbsp. bourbon
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp. freshly chopped dill
1 c. sliced pickles
1 c. ranch dressing
  1. In a large bowl, combine wings and pickle juice. Let marinate in fridge at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Drain wings and pat dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 425° and line a large rimmed baking sheet with a metal rack. In a small bowl, whisk together bourbon, honey, brown sugar, and spices and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss the wings in bourbon-honey, then transfer to prepared baking sheet. Season wings with salt and pepper. Bake until crispy, about 50 minutes.
  4. Transfer baked wings to a serving plate and sprinkle with dill. Serve with pickles and ranch for dipping.
Pepperoni Football


BUY NOW: Marble Serving Tray, $24;

8-oz. blocks cream cheese, at room temperature
2 c. shredded mozzarella
1 c. finely grated Parmesan
1 tbsp. Freshly Chopped Parsley
cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 c. mini pepperoni
slice mozzarella, cut into thin strips
Crackers, for serving
  1. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Stir together until completely combined.
  2. Transfer cream cheese mixture onto your serving platter and form into a football shape. Smooth top and top all over with a layer of mini pepperoni. Top with mozzarella “laces” and serve with crackers.

BBQ Chicken Crust Pizza

Try our BBQ Chicken Crust Pizza—the crust IS chicken. 😱


Cooking spray

1 lb. refrigerated pizza dough, divided into 2 pieces
2 c. cooked shredded chicken
3/4 c. barbecue sauce, divided
1 c. shredded mozzarella
1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 c. shredded gouda

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

2 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro
  1. Preheat oven to 500°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together chicken and 1/4 cup barbecue sauce.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pizza dough into a large circle, then slide onto prepared baking sheet. Top each pizza with 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, then half the chicken mixture, spreading in an even layer and leaving 1″ around the edge bare. Next add an even layer of mozzarella and red onion, then top with gouda. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes if using. Bake until cheese is melty and dough is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Delivery times are crazy on Super Bowl Sunday; make your own pizza instead!

Grilled Maple-Mustard Chicken Wings


  • Difficulty: Easy |
  • Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins, plus seasoning time |
  • Makes: 6 to 8 servings


These slightly sweet and spicy wings are easy to eat with your fingers and go great with beer. The glaze, made from common ingredients, is a snap to throw together. Have lots of napkins on hand for sticky fingers.

Game plan: To prep for tailgating, season the chicken with salt, pepper, and cayenne and make the glaze before you head to the stadium.

Inspirational Strong Women Quotes

“The strongest actions for a woman is to love herself, be herself and shine amongst those who never believed she could.”

“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.” – Nancy Rathburn

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” – Mother Teresa

“The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race.” – Susan B. Anthony

“A strong woman builds her own world. She is one who is wise enough to know that it will attract the man she will gladly share it with.”

“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.” – Charlotte Whitton

“Most people who meet my wife quickly conclude that she is remarkable. They are right about this. She is smart, funny and thoroughly charming. Often, after hearing her speak at some function or working with her on a project, people will approach me and say something to the effect of, you know, I think the world of you, Barack, but your wife, wow!”

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” – Oprah Winfrey

“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” – Diane Mariechild

“Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.” – Clare Boothe Luce

“You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” – Rosalynn Carter

“Take care of yourself now that you’re old enough to know how. Drink water, sleep eight hours (I wish), and don’t go within 400 feet of a tanning booth or I’ll slap you. Hard.” – Olivia Wilde

“One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.” – Sheila Murray Bethel

“I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind learning.” – Amy Poehler

“Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.” – Hillary Clinton

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou

“Women are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weaknesses.” – Madame Marie du Deffand

“Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is.” – Anne Frank

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you will threaten the man.’ Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices, always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“Strong women need not declare they can carry all the burdens in life. They just quietly do it and survive with a smile.”

“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” – Melinda Gates

“Instead of looking at the past, I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there then.”

“The girls who were unanimously considered beautiful often rested on their beauty alone. I felt I had to do things, to be intelligent and develop a personality in order to be seen as attractive. By the time I realized maybe I wasn’t plain and might even possibly be pretty, I had already trained myself to be a little more interesting and informed.” – Diane Von Furstenberg

“Strong women wear their pain like they do stilettos. No matter how much it hurts, all you see is the beauty of it.”

“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.” – Ziad K. Abdelnour

“I am a strong woman with or without this other person, with or without this job, and with or without these tight pants.”

“Women have to work much harder to make it in this world. It really pisses me off that women don’t get the same opportunities as men do, or money for that matter. Because lets face it, money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define our values and to define what’s sexy and what’s feminine and that’s bullshit. At the end of the day, it’s not about equal rights, it’s about how we think. We have to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves.”

“Women are leaders everywhere you look—from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.” – Nancy Pelosi

“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” – Sheryl Sandberg

“Figure out who are you separate from your family, and the man or woman you’re in a relationship with. Find who you are in this world and what you need to feel good alone. I think that’s the most important thing in life. Find a sense of self. With that, you can do anything else.” – Angelina Jolie

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.” – Helen Keller

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” – Rosa Parks

“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” – Margaret Thatcher

“You don’t have to play masculine to be a strong woman.” – Mary Elizabeth Winstead

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – Marie Curie

“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.” – Albert Einstein

“Sometimes I wake up and think I look horrible. And sometimes I see a strong woman.” – Irina Shayk

“I’m lucky my wife is a strong woman. She’s one of the stronger people I’ve ever met. It’s hard for me to be away, but I know my home life is fine because my wife is there.” – Darius Rucker

“A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are determined not be done.” – Marge Piercy

“I’ve often thought it unfair that women are expected to stay at home when there’s a fight to be won. If a woman has the strength to bear a child, she can swing a sword as well as any man.” – Karen Hawkins

“I like to play a strong woman, but a strong woman can also be very fragile and vulnerable at the same time.” – Carice van Houten

“Let’s be clear, I’m a strong woman.” – Bethenny Frankel

“A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars.” – Carly Simon

“When you are a strong woman, you will attract trouble. When a man feels threatened, there is always trouble.” – Barbara Taylor Bradford


Best Strong Women Quotes

“We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.” – Kavita Ramdas

“I am a strong woman. I don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself, nor let people mistreat me. I don’t respond to people who dictate to me or try to bring me down. If I fall I will rise up even stronger because I am survivor and not a victim. I am in control of my life and there is nothing I can’t achieve.”

“A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for everybody else.”

“A strong woman is one who feels deeply and loves fiercely. Her tears flow as abundantly as her laughter. A strong woman is both soft and powerful, she is both practical and spiritual. A strong woman in her essence is a gift to the world.”

“I’m tough, ambitious and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, Okay.” – Madonna

“I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles.” – Audrey Hepburn

A strong woman loves, forgives, walks away, lets go, tries again, and perseveres… not matter what life at her.”

“Be a strong woman. So your daughter will have a role model and your son will know what to look for in a woman when he’s a man.”

“Never apologize for being a powerful woman.”

“And one day she discovered that she was fierce and strong, and full of fire and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.” – Mark Anthony

“I am proud of the woman I am today, because I went through one hell of a time becoming her.”

“Be that strong girl that everyone knew would make it through the worst. Be that fearless girl the one would dare to do anything. Be that independent girl, who doesn’t need a man. Be that girl who never backed down.”

“She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”

“Women are like teabags. We don’t know our true strength until we are in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Life has knocked me down a few times, it showed me things I never wanted to see. I experienced sadness and failures. But one thing for sure, I always get up.”

“A strong woman will automatically stop trying if she feels unwanted. She won’t fix it or beg, she’ll just walk away.”

“I am not a difficult woman at all. I am simply a strong woman and know my worth.”

“Be a first-rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of someone else.”

“Beneath every strong, independent woman lies a broken little girl who had to learn how to get back up and to never depend on anyone.”

“Doubt is a killer. You just have to know who you are and what you stand for.” – Jennifer Lopez

“The world needs strong women. Women who will lift and build others, who will love and be loved. Women who live bravely, both tender and fierce. Women of indomitable will.”

“You’re gonna be happy” said life, “but first I’ll make you strong.”

“She’s a simple woman, made to look complicated by a man who isn’t man enough to provide the things she deserves.”

“A strong woman looks a challenge dead in the eye and gives it a wink.”

“Once you figure out what respect tastes like, it tastes better than attention.” – Pink

“Some women are lost in the fire. Some women are built from it.”

“Forgive those who insult you, attack you, belittle you or take you for granted. But more than this, forgive yourself for allowing them to hurt you.”

“There’s fire in her. If loved correctly she will warm your entire home. If abused she will burn it down.”

“She wore her scars as her best attire. A stunning dress made of hellfire.”

“Some women choose to follow men, and some choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that you career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” – Lady Gaga

“Stay strong. Make them wonder how you’re still smiling.”

“You must know that you can do this. You are strong. You will make it. Just hang on and keep believing in yourself, always.”

“I am a strong woman. Everything that’s hit me in life I’ve dealt with on my own. I’ve cried myself to sleep. Picked myself back up and wiped my own tears. I have grown from things meant to break me. I get stronger by the day and I have God to thank for that.”

“If my strength intimidates you, I hope you realize that’s a weakness of yours.”

“You can tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building one another up instead of tearing each other down.”

“Sometimes it takes balls to be a woman.”

“I know what I bring to the table. So trust me when I say I’m not afraid to eat alone.”

“She’s badass with a good heart, soft but strong. Unapologetic and honest. She’s the type of women you go to war beside, the type of woman you marry.”

“I’m not someone who can be controlled. I want someone who will watch me do my thing and be like “that’s my girl”

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, I’ll always get up after I fall. And whether I run, walk or have to crawl, I’ll set my goals and achieve them all.”

“I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story – I will.” – Amy Schumer

“I am a strong woman because a strong woman raised me.”

“Strong women aren’t simply born. We are forged through the challenges of life. With each challenge we grow mentally and emotionally. We move forward with our head held high and a strength that can not be denied. A woman who’s been through the storm and survived. We are warriors.”

“Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says “Oh crap, she’s up!”

“She’s a strong cup of black coffee in a world that is drunk on the cheap wine of shallow love.”

“She was a wild one; always stomping on eggshells that everyone else tip-toed on.” – Kaitlin Foster

“Strong women don’t play the victim. Don’t make themselves look pitiful and don’t point fingers. They stand and they deal.” – Mandy Hale

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.”

“At 70 years old if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words ‘fuck off’ much more frequently.” – Helen Mirren

“A strong woman is one who is able to smile this morning like she wasn’t crying last night.”

“She was powerful not because she wasn’t scared but because she went on so strongly, despite the fear.” – Atticus

“Strong women are often misperceived as cold and mean simply because they refuse to be disrespected, mistreated or taken for granted.”

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.”



Black History Month: Black Movies You Need to See

It’s Black History Month, which means there’s really no better time to see a great film that captures the diverse narratives of black people. In theaters, movies like “Hidden Figures,” “Loving,” and “Fences” are telling little-known stories that focus on black lives.

Diary of a Mad Black WomanImage result for Diary of a Mad Black Woman

After 18 years of marriage to lawyer Charles (Steve Harris), Helen (Kimberly Elise) is shocked when he announces he’s ending their marriage and shacking up with Brenda (Lisa Marcos). Helen retreats to the house of her grandmother Madea (Tyler Perry), who helps her destroy much of Charles’ property, earning her house arrest. While Charles prepares for the trial of a corrupt client, Helen is courted by Orlando (Shemar Moore), an affectionate moving man with strong Christian values.

Sorry to Bother You

In an alternate reality of present-day Oakland, Calif., telemarketer Cassius Green finds himself in a macabre universe after he discovers a magical key that leads to material glory. As Green’s career begins to take off, his friends and co-workers organize a protest against corporate oppression. Cassius soon falls under the spell of Steve Lift, a cocaine-snorting CEO who offers him a salary beyond his wildest dreams.


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From visionary filmmaker, Spike Lee comes the incredible true story of an American hero. It’s the early 1970s, and Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Determined to make a name for himself, Stallworth bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. The young detective soon recruits a more seasoned colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), into the undercover investigation of a lifetime. Together, they team up to take down the extremist hate group as the organization aims to sanitize its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream

ack Panther

After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and as Black Panther — gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.


Queen of Katwe (2016)

The slum life of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda was all 10-year-old Phiona (Madina Nalwanga) knew. It was a constant struggle for her and her family, until she meets Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), a missionary who teaches children how to play chess. Phiona is so fascinated with the game that she was able to push her hardship aside and master a game of skill and intellect. Soon Phiona is winning tournaments that become a gateway to a better life and an amazing future for herself and her family. This film will make you laugh, cry, and shout for joy! It is based on a true story.


12 YEARS A SLAVE is based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.

“Fruitvale StationImage result for fruitvale station

Ryan Coogler’s powerful directorial debut tells the true story of the last day in the life of Oscar Grant. Grant, played by Michael B. Jordan, was a 22-year-old black man who was shot and killed by Bay Area police in 2008 in a shocking display of brutality that went viral on YouTube.


Ava DuVernay made history with “Selma” in 2014, becoming the first black woman to have her film nominated for “Best Picture” at the Oscars. “Selma” is a portrait piece of Dr. Martin Luther King as he led the march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights


Free black men were conscripted to fight in the Union Army during the Civil War, but as this 1989 period drama shows, not even their willingness to sacrifice their lives for their country was enough to shield them from racism and segregation. Denzel Washington stars in the role that would nab him his first Oscar.


British director Amma Asante, this period drama tells the real-life story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, a mixed-race woman and the daughter of a slave who grew up in the British aristocracy during the height of the slave trade.

“What Happened Miss Simone?”

One of the many nuggets of greatness from this look at the life of the complex and brilliant Nina Simone. Through the use of archival footage and interviews with the people who knew her best, the film seeks to unravel the genius that made Simone so unique, and that ultimately destroyed her

“Black Girl”Image result for “Black Girl”

Directed by legendary Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembene, “Black Girl” (or “Le Noire De…”) is a seminal moment in black cinema. Released in 1966, it tells the story of Diouana, a young Senegalese woman who travels to Europe with the hope of a better life — only to be forced into full-time servitude by her rich French employers.

”The Color Purple”Image result for ''The Color Purple”

Based on a novel by Alice Walker, starring Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg,

“Purple Rain”

To celebrate black history and the life of music legend Prince than by watching “Purple Rain”? The musical drama features some of Prince’s most iconic songs — and outfits.

 “A Raisin in the Sun”Image result for “A Raisin in the Sun”

Starring Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier, this 1961 adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s iconic play is the definitive screen version. It’s a film about one black family’s quest for the American Dream

“Malcolm X”Image result for malcolm x movie

He’ll always be remembered for the stellar “Do the Right Thing,” “Malcolm X” is in many ways Spike Lee’s masterpiece. The sweeping tale featuring an iconic performance by Denzel Washington offered an alternative, comprehensive and deeply compelling narrative of the life of the civil rights hero.

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The Art of Rap”
Common, Nas, Ice-T, KRS-One and Kanye West are among some of the hip-hop heavyweights who appear in this documentary that chronicles not only the history but the underrated artistry behind rap music.

The Loving Story

An  real story of Richard and Mildred Loving, the interracial couple who went on a legal crusade in 1958 to secure the right to be married to each other. Their legal battle resulted in the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia, which made interracial marriage legal across the United States. 



Attack the Block (2011)Image result for attack the blockImage result for attack the blockJohn Boyega is officially a movie star after fighting the dark side in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it’s time to see the other movie where he reluctantly battles a bunch of aliens. In this sci-fi actioner, Boyega plays a gang leader who is forced to defend his turf when aliens invade his South London neighborhood.

Black Dynamite (2009)Image result for Black Dynamite (2009)

 Michael Jai White as the badass title character hasn’t gotten the cult-classic status it so deserves. At least White and director Scott Sanders managed to make a cartoon-show spinoff for Adult Swim.Image result for Black Dynamite (2009) adult swim

The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 (2011)Image result for The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 (2011)

While watching this documentary, which consists of found footage shot by Swedish filmmakers during that tumultuous period when militant black men and women were getting killed or incarcerated for standing up for their rights, you will wonder why hasn’t there been biopics made about charismatic leaders Stokely Carmichael and Angela Davis by now.

Brown Sugar (2002)Image result for brown sugar 2002

Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan as lifelong friends resisting the obvious next step. It’s also a satire of the hip-hop music business, with Diggs’ A & R exec pulling a Jerry Maguire and starting a real hip-hop label, and Mos Def as his star artist.


Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (2006)Image result for Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (2006)

Before Dave Chappelle left his successful Chappelle’s Show and kind of went off the deep end for a while, he got Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry to film him as he organized a joyous, 2004 block party in Brooklyn, featuring the Roots, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Mos Def, Common and a young, “Jesus Walks”-era Kanye West.

Dear White People (2014)Image result for Dear White People (2014)

This divisive, hilarious dramedy garnered a ton of buzz when it was originally screened at Sundance, eventually winning the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent. The film features several black students dealing with pressure and tension — from white students as well as with each other — while attending a prestigious, predominantly white college.

Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

Denzel Washington movie ever made is this adaptation of Walter Mosley’s breakthrough, 1990 detective novel. Washington played his prized protagonist Easy Rawlins, while Don Cheadle did an impressive supporting turn as Mouse, his homicidal sidekick. In a perfect world, Washington would’ve starred in a bunch of Easy Rawlins movies by now.

Good Hair (2009)

Chris Rock pulls a Michael Moore in this hilarious documentary. He goes everywhere from barbershops and beauty salons to an Atlanta hair show to the weave-trading streets of India to break down black folks’obsession with making sure our hair is always on-point.

Middle of Nowhere (2012)

If you need further proof that Selma director Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who deserves a lot more respect than she’s gotten, watch her second film, an amazingly well-shot, well-acted drama about a young woman who puts her dreams on hold to support her incarcerated husband. One viewing of this film and you’ll wonder why the hell isn’t she directing everything.

Pariah (2011)

Before she directed Queen Latifah in the Emmy-winning HBO biopic Bessie last year, Dee Rees took her 2007 student film and expanded it into a full-length feature. It follows a young, teenage girl as she leads a double life, trying to keep her homosexuality from her family while still looking for someone to have some love and happiness with.


If you’ve ever seen or read an August Wilson play, you know that writing is how the late playwright processed the world around him – a magnificently black world filled with funk and nuance in which language plays a central role. As a play, Wilson’s Fences, which tells the story of a working-class black man – who was denied a baseball career in the major leagues – trying to raise his family in mid-century Pittsburgh, gives us that blunt romance and powerful meaning. As a movie, it gives us Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. Enough said.

Get Out

Jordan Peele, one half of the masterful sketch comedy series Key and Peele, which he co-created with Keegan-Michael Key. And while the potentially great Keanu, co-written by Peele and Alex Rubin, was a disappointing failure, Get Out, which Peele both wrote and directed, looks legitimately a genius. The premise is a pretty straightforward Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner setup – rich white girlfriend brings her smart, learned black boyfriend upstate for a weekend to meet the parents – what could go wrong? It’ll be awkward, parents will remark more than once on how articulate the black boyfriend is, lecture them both on how hard it will be to maintain an interracial relationship in this day and age, and then finally concede that love is all that matters.

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures, which tells the story of “colored computers” Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Johnson, who worked at Nasa in the early 1960s and played a vital role in getting John Glenn and the Friendship 7 into space. As Katherine Johnson, Taraji P Henson is on career-best form – pushing her glasses up on her nose, hustling to the coloreds bathroom carrying a stack of data research, doing mathematical equations on a chalkboard – creating a truly revelatory performance. Octavia Spencer as Dorothy and Janelle Monáe as Mary are icing on the cake. An added bonus comes in the form of Pharrell Williams, who is a producer on the film and wrote original songs for the soundtrack that give the movie a beautiful sense of joy.

I Am Not Your Negro

James Baldwin, beyond his utter brilliance and undeniable prescience as a writer and public intellectual, is that he was like the blackest man who ever lived. And he wore it like a badge of honor. In the newly Oscar-nominated documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, Haitian-born film-maker Raoul Peck mines Baldwin’s unpublished writing about the assassinations of Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr, and Malcolm X to create an intellectual and visual mosaic that somehow captures Baldwin’s own very personal and stubborn sense of blackness. It hits hard, and the film will make you long for the leadership and integrity of Evers, King, and Malcolm in these increasingly divisive times.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

The remarkable life of South African revolutionary, president and world icon Nelson Mandela (Idris Elba) takes center stage. Though he had humble beginnings as a herd boy in a rural village, Mandela became involved in the anti-apartheid movement and co-founded the African National Congress Youth League. His activities eventually led to his imprisonment on Robben Island from 1964 to 1990. In 1994, Mandela became the first president of democratic South Africa

Madiba. Now we have Madiba, starring Laurence Fishburne as Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid activist and former president of South Africa. The three-part miniseries – which premiered this week on BET as the network’s cornerstone Black History Month programming and is based on two Mandela autobiographies, Conversations with Myself and Nelson Mandela by Himself – chronicles Mandela’s life, fight for freedom and the tremendous sacrifice he made for the sake of his country.


From beginning to end, Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins and based on the play by Tarrell Alvin McCraney, is a shatteringly accurate meditation on what it means to be human. The story follows Chiron, a black boy growing up in Miami, through three stages of development, all equally layered, emotionally complex and viciously meaningful.


The 13th

If ever there was a subject that needs the Ava DuVernay treatment, it’s the United States prison system and the glaring link between it and slavery. For decades journalists, academics, researchers and historians alike have presented clear and inarguable evidence that this country has the highest rate of mass incarceration in the world, and a disproportionate number of those who are imprisoned are black. Over and over, the same studies are conducted, papers, articles, and books written (notably The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, who is interviewed in the film), initiatives launched (Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, is also featured) – and yet the US government continues to deny the obvious: the prison industrial complex is an extension of slavery. The title of the documentary refers to the 13th amendment to the US Constitution: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” Well. Ms. DuVernay did not come to play with anybody’s Alternate Facts.