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the Tiny Desk @NPRMusic

     Formally known as National Public Radio Inc., NPR formed a physical presence on the East and West Coast as the syndicator of more than 1,000 public radio stations that reached 27.3 million weekly listeners. (Kuypers, 2012 p.1) National Public Radio has served the community as a member-supported entity with its operation centers located in Washington D.C. and Culver City California. (Kuypers, 2012 p.1) By 2023, NPR, the public radio network of the United States, reached an audience of approximately 44 million supporters by way of their app, website, radio, social media, podcasts, and live events. (NPR, n.d. p.1) The “Full NPR Strategic Plan” documented that NPR was originally founded in 1970 by ninety determined public radio stations that served their communities with the content of each of their markets in mind. (National Public Radio, n.d. p.1) Bill Siemering, one of the founders, believed that the above-mentioned approach celebrated “…the human experience as infinitely varied, rather than vacuous and banal…” (National Public Radio, n.d. p.1)

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The Blueberry Benefit

     A few years ago, I hosted a quaint dinner party for my father with some family. It was his birthday, and that year, one of the gifts we decided to surprise him with was a budding blueberry plant.  Dad is quite the outdoorsman, among other things, but one of his great hobbies is gardening. Well, I should probably mention that he's become passionate about planting edible trees. He is undoubtedly well on his way to becoming an Arborist at the rate he's going. To say the least, we have benefitted from several summers of delicious Bartlett and Keefer Pears over the years, thanks to my dad's green thumb! But let's get back to the blueberries.

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Try this Cheesecake for your Summer Cook Outs!

    Click the red recipe button to get this Recipe and others.

DuVernay's Origins is a must see...

     If you haven’t heard the name Ava DuVernay by now, you must be hiding under a rock in an alternate universe.  Ava DuVernay is a woman of inspiration who gives many individuals hope.  She has truly been taking the entertainment world by storm. Not only is she a highly accomplished African American woman, but were you aware that Duverney had an early career in Public Relations long before she picked up her director's cap?  She once told interviewers, “…my story's also really about age because I didn't pick up a camera until I was 32…" (Farley, 2018). Surprisingly, DuVernay’s work as a director began with her first narrative feature film titled “I Will Follow.” 

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Are people going back to the movie theaters?

by Julia Yancey 

     When was the last time you went out to the theater to see a movie? Do you even remember the name of the last movie you saw in theaters? Was it a grand event that you put real effort into? Did you actually put an outfit together and plan to see the movie with a date, friends, or family?
     In 2023, 14% of American Gen Z reported increased movie theater attendance post-pandemic, while 27% were less interested in watching movies in theaters. On the other hand, Millennials and Gen X, who trail behind with 18% and 10%, respectively, have been going to the cinema more frequently than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the pandemic has significantly impacted moviegoing habits. In 2020, only 36.3% of moviegoers frequented theaters between one and three times, indicating decreased attendance due to health and safety concerns.

     So, while some people are returning to movie theaters, others are still cautious and prefer viewing from home. The landscape is evolving, and it will be interesting to see how moviegoing habits continue to change in the coming years!

Top 5 Movies Directed by a Woman in Theaters or Streaming:

Updated March 1, 2024

  1. Captain Marvel” (2019) - Co-directed by Anna Boden, this Marvel Cinematic Universe film soared to a global box office total of $1.128 billion.
  2. Wonder Woman” (2017) - Directed by Patty Jenkins, this superhero film grossed an impressive $821.8 million worldwide.
  3. “Mamma Mia!” (2008) - Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, this musical comedy based on ABBA songs danced its way to a global gross of $609.9 million.
  4. “Brave” (2012) - Directed by Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews, this Pixar film earned $538.9 million worldwide.
  5. “Frozen II” (2019) - Co-directed by Jennifer Lee, this animated sequel enchanted audiences and raked in $477.4 million domestically.

Top 10 Movies in Box Office  

Updated 05/27/2024 Based on Highest Total Box Office Gross

  1. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

  2. The Garfield Movie

  3. IF

  4. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

  5. The Fall Guy

  6. The Strangers: Chapter 1

  7. Sight

  8. Challengers

  9. Back to Black

  10. Babes

Top 5 Movies Directed by Black Females in Theaters or Streaming:

Updated March 1, 2024

  • “A Wrinkle In Time (Directed by Ava DuVernay): Based on one of the highest-selling children’s books of all time, this visually stunning film stars a young girl (played by Storm Reid) on an adventure through time and space to find her father. Backed by Hollywood powerhouses Disney and Oprah, it grossed an incredible $132.7 million.


  • Selma (Directed by Ava DuVernay): This powerful film tells the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s campaign for equal voting rights, culminating in the iconic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965. It received critical acclaim, multiple award nominations, and a worldwide gross of $66.8 million


  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (Directed by Sanaa Hamri): The sequel to a breakout teen comedy, this film follows four college freshmen and best friends trying to stay connected as their lives take different paths, all with the help of a sentimental pair of shared jeans. It grossed $44 million.

  • The Secret Life of Bees (Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood): Set in 1964, this tale follows a 14-year-old girl seeking answers about her mother’s past. Taken in by the intelligent and independent Boatwright sisters (played by Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, and Sophie Okonedo), the girl finds solace in their mesmerizing world of beekeeping. The film grossed an impressive $39.9 million.


  • Everything, Everything (Directed by Stella Meghie): This 2017 romantic drama revolves around a teenage girl (played by Amandla Stenberg) with a rare disease that forces her to stay indoors 24/7. She falls in love with her next-door neighbor. Based on a best-selling young adult novel by black author Nicola Yoon, the film helmed by Stella Meghie grossed $34 million worldwide.

Top 10 Movies by Black Directors in Theaters or Streaming

Updated 02/17/2024 Based on Highest Total Box Office Gross

  1. Soul - Pete Docter and Kemp Powers ($309.9 million)
  2. Judas and the Black Messiah - Shaka King ($50.6 million)
  3. One Night in Miami - Regina King ($16.6 million)
  4. Bob Marley: One Love - Reinaldo Marcus Green Paramount ($14 million)
  5. Da 5 Bloods - Spike Lee ($10.6 million)
  6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom - George C. Wolfe ($5.4 million)
  7. The Book of Clarence – Jeymes Samuel ($3.2 million)
  8. The Color Purple – Blitz Bazawule ($2.8 million)
  9. Origin - by Ava Duvernay ($1.5 million)
  10. All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt - Raven Jackson ($0.8 million)

Book Titles and Black Authors

About the Authors

  •  Ndaba Mandela (1982 -  ) An author, mentor, spokesperson, entrepreneur, political consultant, and the co-founder and chairman of the Mandela Institute for Humanity. He was born in Soweto, South Africa, in 1982, and spent his childhood in poverty and under apartheid. Some of his works include Going to the Moutain, and 11 Life Lessons from Nelson Mandela.
  • Isabella Wilkerson (1962 -  ) A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of two best-selling books. She has also received numerous honors and awards for her contributions to journalism and literature and has taught at several universities.  She is known for her nonfiction narrative that explores the history and impact of racial inequality in the United States and beyond. Some of her works include The Warmth of Other Suns and Caste.
  • James Baldwin (1924-1987): A prolific and influential writer, Baldwin was a novelist, essayist, and activist who explored the themes of race, sexuality, and identity in America and abroad. He also spoke out against injustice and oppression and became a leading voice of the civil rights movement. Some of his works include Go Tell It on the Mountain, The Fire Next Time, and If Beale Street Could Talk.
  • Toni Morrison (1931-2019): A Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, Morrison was a novelist, editor, and professor who enriched the American literature with her powerful and poetic novels that explored the history and legacy of slavery, racism, and black womanhood. She also mentored and supported many other writers of color. Some of her works include Beloved, Song of Solomon, and The Bluest Eye.
  • Alice Walker (1944-): A feminist and activist, Walker is a novelist, poet, and essayist who championed the rights and dignity of women, especially black women, in her writings. She also coined the term “womanism” to describe a black feminist perspective. She won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for her novel, The Color Purple, which was later adapted into a film and a musical.


Top 10 Resolutions for 2024

  1. Exercise more
  2. Get a better job
  3. Get organized
  4. Learn a new skill or hobby
  5. Live life to the fullest
  6. Save more money / Invest
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Spend more time with family and friends
  9. Travel more
  10. Worry less / Improve mental health


the Special Plant & its Key Benefits

     While many of us look forward to the smells of fresh pine during the winter months, I have found that my go-to plant to have throughout the entire house is the Eucalyptus.  To be quite honest, eucalyptus is a must-have essential for my household during the whole year. When I can find it fresh, I normally try to acquire it in large bunches because I know it's something that I like to keep in vases throughout each room of the house not only for its fragrance but also its other unique properties. Read More

Written By M. Harris

Edited Tuesday 11:13 PM January 2024

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June - African American Music Month

African American Music Month, also known as Black Music Month, is an annual celebration in the United States that honors the rich musical heritage of African Americans. President Jimmy Carter initially declared June as Black Music Month in 1979, recognizing the significant impact of African American music on American culture. However, it wasn’t until 2000 that the bill officially passed, thanks to the tireless efforts of activist Dyana Williams. During the era of slavery, African Americans maintained their cultural traditions through tribal chants, language, and emotional expression, laying the foundation for genres like gospel, blues, jazz, soul, funk, and hip-hop. Notable figures such as Dyana Williams, Kenneth Gamble, and Ed Wright have contributed significantly to the industry. In 2009, President Barack Obama renamed the celebration African American Music Appreciation Month, emphasizing its impact on American society. However, in 2023, President Joseph Biden Jr. returned to the original name, Black Music Month, honoring its roots and significance. Throughout June, music enthusiasts nationwide celebrate the contributions of legendary African American artists, past and present, recognizing their enduring influence on music and culture. 

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May - National Mental Health Month

by M. J. Harris


    Did you know that National Minority Health Month is celebrated every April? Even more interesting, its roots formed in the 1915 establishment of National Negro Health Week by Booker T. Washington.  That's deep! Mental Health Month, on the other hand, is observed in May every year in the United States, and it has only been recognized since 1949. The month is dedicated to raising awareness about mental health issues, reducing stigma, and supporting those living with mental health conditions. Various organizations participate in both of these observances by providing resources, organizing events, and fostering public education.  Each observance also reflects a commitment to improving the nation’s public health by addressing the needs of vulnerable populations and promoting equitable health care for all. They serve as a reminder of the ongoing efforts required to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to achieve optimal health and wellbeing.

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