The Trials of Muhammad Ali (In Select Theatres Nationwide) is a documentary that tells the story of Ali’s court battle to overturn his five year sentence for refusing to serve the US Military in Vietnam. The documentary is directed by Bill Siegel and produced by Kartemquin Films, the non profit film company behind critically acclaimed documentaries like Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, and No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson. The film also deals with Muhammad Ali’s relationship with the National of Islam and his image during the period that the undefeated champion and Gold Medalist was away from the ring. Be Sure to check out the film when it’s in a theatre near you. For listings visit: www.thetrialsofali.com.
Levi’s, the brand synonymous with heritage and denim, has just released a video that highlights the history of their 501 jean. The short catalogues the inception of the original pants and their use and function throughout history by the general public and other facets of society ranging from railroad workers to punk rockers.
New York City’s outdated payphones have found new life via a project that connects callers to the city’s infamous history. The initiative, dubbed Recalling 1993, is part of the New Museum’s current exhibition, NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, which highlights the social matrix of the 90’s according to artists and storytellers. Callers can dial up from over 5000 designated city payphones and hear personal accounts of what was going on in that particular neighborhood over three decades ago!
Renowned soul songstress Nina Simone is probably singlehandedly one of the most sampled and referenced ladies of song according to modern contemporaries. Even after more than six decades her timeless music continues to inspire many a generation. And now it just so happens that an unreleased track meant for a Dutchonly project has journeyed its way out into the public. Recorded in 1966 in her Mount Vernon home, we present to you The Time Is Now.
Unbeknownst to many, before the allure of HipHop culture, New York City’s Bronx County borough was full of gang culture. It was a time when The Big Apple was bankrupt and districts like The Bronx were left for dead with little to no resources to compensate for the rubble of abandoned architecture and streets. But like the rose that grew from concrete HipHop became the culture that flourished from the gang truce, as the fulllength documentary, Rubble Kings, shows. Although finished, the movie’s director, Shan Nicholson, is seeking out public support to help get the film more attention and exposure. So if you can dig it you can pledge to the Kickstarter campaign.
Harlemborn Dominican/American author, Raquel Cepeda, traces the roots of her biogenetic makeup in her latest work, Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina. The autobiographic piece follows Cepeda’s chaotic family upbringing and her yearning to literally identify who she was and where she came from. Embracing both HipHop and the New York City streets of Uptown Manhattan the once “lost” child of the inner city manages to pick herself up and put together the puzzle that is her DNA and history. The book drops March 5, 2012 and can be preordered here. Oh, and there’s even a coupon for 10% off of an ancestral DNA kit of your choice so readers can trace their history as well!
Atlantabased streetwear boutique, Wish, simultaneously hits the books and the streets with their Black History Month capsule collection. The line features jerseystyle tees highlighting black heroes like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Tommie Smith and John Carlos. There’s also a short video to highlight the designs. Respect!