Barbie Gets A Nigerian Wedding

London based photographer Obi Nwokedi posed Black barbies and Ken dolls into 54 ornate frames detailing a Nigerian wedding! The 5 month project is painstakingly detailed and simply beautiful.

Check out Photography by Obi for the entire album.

Visit our African Recipes section  and Culture & History

5 Great Things to Do in South Africa

Tavaris Peele is a world traveler, Multi Cultural Cooking Network fan at FBsharing with us five great things to do while visiting South Africa.

Table Mountain in South Africa

Table Mountain in South Africa – photo by Tavaris Peele

1. Table Mountain- is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa.

2. Robben Island- Since the end of the 17th century, Robben Island has been used for the isolation of mainly political prisoners. The Dutch settlers were the first to use Robben Island as a prison. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned there. The photo below is of one of Nelson Mandela’s cellmates telling us about Robben Island.

3. Camp’s Bay Beach-Camps Bay beach is Cape Town’s answer to St Tropez and one of the many Camps Bay attractions. It offers spectacular views of Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles and its fine white sand is packed with beautiful people, especially over weekends and during holidays. Camps Bay’s long stretch of beach is perfect for sunbathing and its open flatness means that team activities like Frisbee and social beach volleyball can also be enjoyed by the more active visitors.

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4. Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope-Cape Point is a promontory at the southeast corner of the Cape Peninsula, which is a mountainous and scenic landform that runs north-south for about thirty kilometres at the extreme southwestern tip of the African continent in the Republic of South Africa.

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5. Safari in Kruger National Park.

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Bonus Tip! Make sure you eat at Nelson’s Eye Restaurant in Cape Town. It is a steakhouse, open since the 1960’s. http://www.nelsons-eye.co.za/menu_light.htm

Baboons

 

Where to Stay in South Africa for Wine Regions

Seinfeld’s Super Bowl Acura sought “not too dark” Black actor

The ad for the new Acura NSX featuring Jerry Seinfeld was one of the biggest hits of this year’s Super Bowl ad parade — but according to a tipster to TMZ, the company that cast the ad sought a black actor for the role of a dealer by specifying someone “not too dark.” Moments ago, Acura issued an apology, saying it was unaware of the restriction.

TMZ says the call sheet for the ad was provided by another actor who was passed over for the role and angered by the casting company’s description. In the sheet, the firm says the role of a dealer who tells Seinfeld the first Acura NSX has already been sold should be “nice looking, friendly. Not too dark.”

The ad was created by an ad firm called “rp&,” a division of the RPA firm that creates ads for Acura’s parent Honda. (One might suggest updating their news page, which currently features several angry tweets about the racial choices of its Acura ad).

The real question: Why would the commercial specify a race for any of its minor characters? READ MORE

The Multi-Cultural Story of Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Acclaimed Chef Marcus Samuelsson has been on the scene for years but his star just seems to be getting brighter and brighter while giving credit to his unique international upbringing in Ethiopia, Sweden and Harlem, NY.

His birth name is Kassahun Tsegie.  After his birth mother died in a tuberculosis epidemic when he was three years old, Kassahun Tsegie and his elder sister, Fantaye,were adopted by Ann Marie and Lennart Samuelsson, a homemaker and a geologist, who lived in Gothenburg, Sweden. The siblings’ names were changed to Marcus and Linda Samuelsson. They also have an adopted sister, Anna Samuelsson. Samuelsson’s biological father, Tsegie, is a priest and father of eight of the chef’s half-siblings; he still lives in the Ethiopian village where Samuelsson was born.

Samuelsson studied at the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, where he grew up, apprenticed in Switzerland and Austria, and came to the United States in 1991 as an apprentice at Restaurant Aquavit. At 24, Marcus became executive chef of Aquavit, and soon after that became theyoungest ever to receive a three-star restaurant review from The New York Times.

Samuelsson has restaurants in Harlem(The Red Rooster) Gothenburg,Sweden(Norda) Costa Mesa and Chicago (MarcBurger) and more.  See Review of Red Rooster.

Click here to see Chef Samuelsson’s Honey Roasted Duck Recipe

Check out his Grandma Helga’s Swedish Meatball Recipe

Samuelson talks about the influence of Ethiopia, Sweden and United States on his Life.

Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to 3 Women

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded jointly to three women – Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman of Yemen.

They were recognised for their “non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”.  READ MORE

The Evolving Face of Latino

The old cigarette slogan said, “You’ve come a long way baby.” This is an appropriate statement for the influx of Afro-Latinos in Hollywood.  Although culturally in the hearts of many an “Afro”- Latino there is no divide between being a Latino.  In fact many would never call themselves Afro-Latino no matter how dark they may be,  and even though  a great deal of people both non-Latino and Latino alike simply see them as Black.  It is like somehow you are diminished as of Latin descent the more apparent your African blood may be. 

What is interesting about the increasing successful amount of Latinos in Hollywood including Zoe Saldana, Maxwell(Puerto Rican), Soledad O’Brien(Cuban), Lloyd Banks(Puerto Rican), Rosario Dawson(Cuban and Puerto Rican), Tatayana Ali(Panamanian),  Laz Alonso(Cuban) and more is their desire to bring a  social understanding by vocalizing  they are both Latino and proud in addition to being “Black and proud.”  Probably because of an awareness of the historical discrimination including a marginalization of culture due to color.  

 In the 90’s it was rare as it is today for visibly Afro-Latinas such as Lauren Vélez would be cast as the leading lady as a Latina character on a television show (New York Undercover) but her look made her pefect for a on play romantic chemistry between both  Latin and African American leading men.  She also starred in the classic film, “I like it Like That.”

 

According to Wikipedia

Black Hispanics are often overlooked in the U.S. mass media and in general American social perceptions, where being “Hispanic” is often incorrectly given a racial value.   The situation is also the same in the U.S. Hispanic media and the Latin American media through their telenovelas.

Since the early days of the movie industry in the U.S., when Black Hispanic actors were given roles, they would usually be cast as African Americans (as in, NON-Hispanic black).For those with Spanish-speaking accents that betrayed an otherwise presumed non-Hispanic African American origin, they may seldom have been given roles as Hispanics.

Hence, this is what makes Zoe Saldana lead role in Colombiana triamphant.   She clearly is a light skinnned Black.  She clearly has a Spanish name.  She is both Dominican and Puerto Rican.  Although not Latino, Blair Underwood was proud to play the role of an American President of Afro-Cuban descent.  (See Interview).  The hope is that Univision, telenovelas and more forms of media will embrace all that makes up the image of Latino.

MCCN’s Erika L. Holmes talks about her Latin Comfort Foods:

Written by MCCN Editor Crystal Johnson

Discuss this Topic on our Forum Page(Click Here)

Wine Riot Tour 2011: The Wino Memoirs

Ahhhh! Sunshine and great weather….the perfect time for wine aficionados to check out the local Wine Tasting Scene here in L.A. I recently had the opportunity to visit the first “Wine Riot Tour”, March 25-26th., held at Santa Monica Place on the third level. This might have been their first Riot Tour in the U.S., but there were enough wines to please even the fussiest pallet. Wines were featured from all over the world including South Africa, Portugal, France, and Germany just to name a few, with California amply represented.

The principal here is simple, you don’t need a ton of cash to drink awesome wines, and that a small amount of knowledge can go a long way, which is just one of the many ideas behind Second Glass President, Founder Tyler Baillet & CEO, Co-Founder Morgan First, the company that brings you and sponsors Wine Riot. Wine Riot has consecutively sold out for the last two years in Boston. Both Baillet and First have deemed their U.S. tour their Launch Event for Los Angeles. The company not only helps people discover their favorite wines, but remember the ones they like forever. READ MORE

Written by Syd Levy

Find out Dates for Upcoming Event Cities

Black History Movie List

Although Black History Month takes place during the shortest month of the year, it is still a time to take pause to celebrate Black History.  At MCCN we celebrate culture all year round.  The Black Diaspora is wide-reaching.    Our list tells of stories from countries including Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa, Gambia and the United States.  It celebrates leaders such as Stephen Biko, Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela to the unsung hero.  It acknowledges the so-called “dirty little secret of race mixing” which is prominent in the American story.  Almost every Black American has European ancestry.  Conversely, many caucasian Americans have no idea  their lineage may include an African-American light enough to pass to begin a new life as a White person.  The book “One Drop” also addresses this issue.  Without further ado, MCCN’s Black History Movie List.

Roots Written by Alex Haley,  Roots was the TV movie that shocked America.  Never, had the imagery of slavery in America been depicted onscreen.  It made people angry.  It made people sad and apologetic but most importantly it brought enlightenment to millions of people.  Every parent regardless of race should educate and share this film with their children.  The story begins with Kunte Kinte being abducted from the shores of Gambia.

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Roots – Film Originated 1977

Amistad Directed by Stephen Spielberg and starring an unknown actor back in 1997, Djimon Hounsou, Amistad  is a story of About a 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship that is traveling towards the northeastern coast of America. Much of the story involves a court-room drama about the free man who led the revolt.  Matthew McConaughey, Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins star.

Invictus Many films have produced about Nelson Mandela but this story tells of his political life intertwined with the world of Rugby.  As a former athlete, Mandela understood the power and influence of sports.  He identified its ability to unify people.  Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon star.

 

Harriet – Harriet manages to layer a well known historical figure. From her escape from slavery through the dangerous missions she led to liberate hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad, the story of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman is told.  Leading actress Cynthia Erivo earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal.

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Loving –  Interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving fell in love and were married in p12854971_v_v8_aa1958. They grew up in Central Point, a small town in Virginia that was more integrated than surrounding areas in the American South. Yet it was the state of Virginia, where they were making their home and starting a family, that first jailed and then banished them. Richard and Mildred relocated with their children to the inner city of Washington, D.C., but the family ultimately tries to find a way back to Virginia.

 

 

Sally Hemings: An American Scandal or Jefferson in Paris:  This is the story of former President Thomas Jefferson and his slave/mistress Sally Hemings.  Thomas Jefferson is still one the most celebrated presidents in American history so the story of his mistress, his descendants with Black skin living in a America is a hard pill to swallow for some.  Visit Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia.  They have accepted incorporating some discussion of Hemings in the tours.    Thandie Newton stars in the 1995 Jefferson in Paris but the more popular forbidden love story of Jefferson and Hemings is the TV movie, Sally Hemings, An American Scandal.

Malcolm X- When this movie was in theaters I didn’t love it but I did appreciate.  I did read Alex Hailey’s biography of Malcolm X and like people who appreciate a book the movie don’t quite appeal in the same way.   But over the years, it has been a classic with moving performances by Angela Basset and Oscar worthy performance by Denzel Washington.   And we even have the famous quote, “We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock.  Plymouth Rock landed on us.”

Hidden Figures- Three brilliant African-American women at NASA — Katherine Johnson DVD Wrap with UPC Position(Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) — serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.

 

 

 

Selma– A very humanizing and layering picture of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  thSelma is a moving story and unsettling story about the true uphill battle over true voting rights for African Americans without hindrance.

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel Rwanda – Starring and produced by Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda is a film which reminds us of Holocausts repeating its cycle throughout the world.  How long do super power countries turn a blind eye toward crimes against humanity? It also recognizes sometimes we do not want to be heroes but we need to be heroes.

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42– In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, p9491271_v_v8_ahdefies major league baseball’s notorious color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to the team. The heroic act puts both Rickey and Robinson in the firing line of the public, the press and other players. Facing open racism from all sides, Robinson demonstrates true courage and admirable restraint by not reacting in kind and lets his undeniable talent silence the critics for him.

 

1566b50ef7ac7f9e9e08d3e942217578When They See Us – In 1989 a jogger was assaulted and raped in New York’s Central Park, and five young people were subsequently charged with the crime. The quintet, labeled the Central Park Five, maintained its innocence and spent years fighting the convictions, hoping to be exonerated. This limited series spans a quarter of a century, from when the teens are first questioned about the incident in the spring of 1989, going through their exoneration in 2002 and ultimately the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014. The cast is full of Emmy nominees and winners, including Michael K. Williams, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, and Blair Underwood. Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Ava DuVernay co-wrote and directed the four episodes.

 

Skin – Sandra Laing (Sophie Okonedo) is markedly different from her parents. Born in p190834_v_v8_aq1950s South Africa during the height of apartheid, Sandra, who looks like a light-skinned black girl, has been confirmed as the biological daughter of her mother (Alice Krige) and father (Sam Neill) — who are both white. But in her racially divided homeland, where the government does not know how to identify her, she faces racism at school and struggles to be accepted and understood by her own family.

This list is  composed by Crystal A. Johnson, MCCN & Colorstream Media Editor, a former film critic with a masters in English/ Screenwriting. Her undergraduate minor is in history from  Historically Black University, Morgan State University.  She is also teaching artist of Media and Theatre Arts in Los Angeles. 

African: History of Cape Verde

The islands of the Cape Verde archipelago were discovered by Italian and Portuguese navigators around 1456. According to Portuguese official records [6] the first discoveries were made by Genoese born Antonio de Noli, who was afterwards appointed governor of Cape Verde by Portuguese King Afonso V. Other navigators mentioned as contributing with discoveries in the Cape Verde archipelago are Diogo Gomes, Diogo Dias, Diogo Afonso and the Italian Alvise Cadamosto.

Before the arrival of Europeans, the Cape Verde Islands were uninhabited. In 1462, Portuguese settlers arrived at Santiago and founded a settlement they called Ribeira Grande (now called Cidade Velha, to avoid being confused with the town of Ribeira Grande on the Santo Antão island). Ribeira Grande was the first permanent European settlement in the tropics.

The Portuguese named the islands Cabo Verde (from which the English Cape Verde derives), after the nearby Cap Vert on the Senegalese coast. In the 16th century, the archipelago prospered from the transatlantic slave trade. Pirates occasionally attacked the Portuguese settlements. Sir Francis Drake sacked Ribeira Grande in 1585.  After a French attack in 1712, the town declined in importance relative to nearby Praia, which became the capital in 1770.

*Read More at Wikepedia

African American News Anchor Opts to Rock Fro

Rochelle Ritchie of WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach, Florida decided to let her hair go ‘natural’ and let viewers see the transformation. During the process, the ratings of Ritchie’s show increased. When she first told the idea to the news director, a white man, he had no idea about the process. The news director said,” I had no clue this was an issue. I never heard about it, and I had African American friends. I instantly bought into this story. I had not seen this story done. It brings up a safety concern.” His only concern was that the viewing audience wouldn’t care but the feedback proved positive.

READ MORE and SEE VIDEO