Last Saturday at Galleria Dallas, Dr. Bernice King [lawyer, minister and youngest daughter of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King] and Dr. Kimberly P. Johnson [a children’s book author and motivational speaker] did a reading for It Starts With Me, a children’s book that teaches the important of pushing for change through love.
The book focuses on protagonist Amora [who is inspired by Dr.King herself] as she shows us her Beloved Community. The book was co-authored by Drs. King and Johnson respectively, and features the “Be Love,” pledge for kids to take. The book also featured dedications to Dr. Bernice Kings mother Coretta Scott King and one from Dr. Johnson to young people who are continuing to push forward, to Dr. Bernice King and to the books illustrator Zoe Ranucci.
According to Dr. Bernice King,the inspiration behind the book, began with the King Centers BeLove campaign, which began last year, and was based off of her father’s words.
“Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love,” she said.
Dr.King stated that she wanted to implement in a divided climate that the power of love can lead to change and ultimately be transformative. Her and Dr.Johnson wanted to include children in their message, and they found the best way to do so was through a children’s book. The theme for the King Center, the center for nonviolent social change for that year was also “It Starts With Me.”
ESSENCE CHATS WITH WALKER'S GREAT-GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER A'LEILA BUNDLES WHO SAYS, “THIS DOLL ISN’T JUST FOR LITTLE GIRLS, IT’S FOR BIG GIRLS TOO.”
Madam C.J. Walker, the first documented self-made woman millionaire, will soon have a doll in her honor as part of the Barbie Signature Inspiring Women collection. She is the latest historical figure to be recognized by Mattel, the toy company that manufactures Barbie.
Walker is known for creating a successful line of hair care products and cosmetics for Black women and using the fortune she created to do significant philanthropic work. Her story inspired a Netflix original movie, Self Made, that showed her transformation from a farm laborer and laundress into one of the twentieth century’s most successful women entrepreneurs.
Walker’s great-great granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles, is hopeful that the doll (with its adorable mini hair products) will introduce the story of the historical figure to an expanded audience.
“It means a lot that now little girls everywhere will get to play with a Madam C.J. Walker doll and learn more about her organically,” Bundles tells ESSENCE. “The image and symbolism of this doll will carry Madam Walker’s story out into the world in another way.”
The author’s latest book is a coming-of-age memoir about growing up in North Texas and her relationship with her mother.
It’s a warm Sunday morning in August, and I’m driving outside Terminal E at DFW Airport, looking for Kendra Allen, a rising literary star from Dallas. She’s on her way to San Antonio from a writer’s residency in the Berkshires, where she worked in a cabin named after Henry David Thoreau. Before leaving Dallas, she needs to pick up her Jeep at her mom’s house. I spot her near Gate 15.
She’s wearing a black tank-top, cuffed jeans, fleecy slip-ons and cheetah-embossed spectacles. After putting her bags in the trunk, I ask where to go first. Start at the Dallas VA, she says, and we’ll go from there. About thirty minutes later, we’re parked near the entrance that she went through all the time to the Dallas VA Medical Center, in Oak Cliff. She hasn’t been here since high school, but it looks the same.
“It has a very distinct smell,” says the 27-year-old author, born and raised in Dallas. “Not a hospital smell, but like an old sandwich smell. It’s disgusting.” Her mom, or her “momma,” as Kendra calls her, worked at this VA for nearly three decades as a clerk in the women’s health clinic.
Kendra was often there, before and after school, with her mom and her coworkers. One of them, Richard, thought he was Elvis. He wore a big belt buckle and cowboy boots and was Kendra’s first crush.
THE ARTIFACTS DETAILING THE HISTORY OF BLACK CINEMA FROM 1898-1971 WILL BE ON DISPLAY AUGUST 21, 2022-APRIL 9, 2023.
The Academy Museum Of Motion Pictures is paying homage to the contributions of African Americans on film from eras past with Regeneration: Black Cinema:1898-1971. The exhibition which explores that history from Hollywood’s infancy in the late 1800s through the 1970s, will open to the public August 21 and run through April 9, 2023.
On Wednesday, The Academy Museum held a special event giving press a preview of the gallery. In attendance were the Academy’s Director and President Jacqueline Stewart; Doris Berger and Rhea Combs, co-curators of Regeneraton; and Regeneration Advisory Board members Charles Burnett and Ava DuVernay.
Regenration is The AcademyMuseum’s second exhibition and takes place in the 11,000-square-foot Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Gallery. On display is rare film footage from movies, documentaries, and news reels along with historical photographs, costumes and props, as well as posters and other promotional materials of the times.