“Just Mercy” Movie Will Bring You to Tears

Over the weekend, the story of Walter “Johnny D” McMillian was told in theaters starring Jamie Foxx and Michael B Jordan. Based on a true story, Johnny D was wrongfully accused and charged with killing an 18 year old white woman in 1986 in Monroeville, Alabama. The judge urged the death penalty on Johnny before a jury of white people urged a life sentence. A judge overrode the jury’s sentence and sentenced Johnny to the death penalty.

Johnny’s lawyer, the incredible Bryan Stevenson, was determined to not only prove that Johnny was innocent but other inmates as well. With Bryan being a fresh Harvard graduate, he had a lot of knowledge and determination. He quickly learned that the south was nothing to play with. They threatened him and tried to scare him away but he was bent on proving Johnny’s innocence, as well as Herbert Richardson.

Herbert was a Vietnam veteran who fought for his country but he was discharged due to psychological issues. He was from Brooklyn but eventually moved to Alabama and was still suffering trauma from the war. Due to his trauma and mental issues, he placed a bomb on a front porch that killed a young girl. He was charged with capital murder. Bryan tried to stop Herbert’s execution due to the fact that his previous lawyer did not attempt to appeal his case due to his psychological issues during and after the war. The jury failed to acknowledge that, not only was he an army vet but he suffered a mental illness and that should’ve been considered when they gave him the death penalty. He should’ve been placed in a mental ward for life versus getting the death penalty. One of the saddest scenes is the moments leading up to his execution. Herbert stated that more people had asked him if he needed any help in his last 14 hours of living, than they did his entire years that he battled with his mental illness and trauma. A tearful moment is when Johnny and the other inmates said goodbye to Herbert, told him that he wasn’t alone and that they were all there with him in spirit. They rattled their pans as the execution was going on, so Herbert could hear them and know that they were present with him.

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USAToday.com

 

Bryan took initiative to meet Johnny’s family to learn more about him and the day the young woman was murdered. Johnny was at home that day cooking fish for a fish fry that his family was hosting at his house. So, how was he miles away at a murder scene if he was truly at home? I’ll tell you how…bribery. The sheriff bribed a white felon named Ralph Myers to say that he was with Johnny when he committed the crime. The sheriff had bribed him by taking him off death row. As time went on and after further investigation, Bryan not only got the truth out of Myers but he found recordings of his initial statement saying he didn’t want to lie on an innocent man.

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fastcompany.com
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Ralph Myers, played by Tim Blake Nelson- icantunseenthatmovie.com

 

The case was told on 60 minutes and they even took the case to the supreme court to overturn Johnny’s conviction and exonerate him. The district attorney, who initially wasn’t for Johnny getting released, went in favor of getting his charges being dismissed. It was definitely a cheerful moment for the Johnny, his family and Bryan. Walter Johnny D McMillian went from being on death row for 6 years to being one of the first people in the state of Alabama to be released from death row.

Walter “Johnny D” McMillian—eji.org

This was definitely a miracle story but it still brings sadness due to the fact that…this happened in the late 1980’s to early 90’s. Racial injustice should have never been a thing in the first place but it was and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr fought for equality and much more in the 60’s so there shouldn’t have been any reason that this unjustness was still happening. A few takeaways from this film:

  • Shit like this still happens…as of 2020
  • We should reconsider giving army vets who have trauma psychological help instead of the death penalty
  • I hope white people really dissect the film and see that black people aren’t making this shit up when we say that we are wrongfully accused for crimes.
  • Bryan Stevenson did all this work for pro bono
  • GO SEE IT!!

IF you’ve seen the film already. What are your thoughts?

Walter Johnny D McMillian & Bryan Stevenson–eji.org

 

It’s that time of year again, checking out who had a great year, as far as entertainment goes. Let’s start with:

Ella Mai

thesource.com

She first got noticed by big-time producer Dj Mustard through her singing covers on Instagram. She dropped three EPs before this year but REALLY got noticed to the world, with her “Boo’d Up” single.  The radio PLAYED OUT that single but it worked out her Ella’s favor because it was No. 1 on the  Billboard Charts for R&B/Hip Hop Airplay. She has became the first female R&B singer of the 2010’s to have the longest running No. 1 single, which was 13 weeks. BTW, it’s STILL on the charts. Then there’s “Trip”, another No. 1 single, that’ still on charts (not No. 1) and NOW she just released her newest single “Shot Clock.” Ella Mai is on fire and definitely had a great year. Her album Ella Mai went gold just a week after it was released. I’m excited to see what she comes out with next year.

Tiffany Haddish

variety.com

She is a talented comedian who literally started from the bottom, to being in foster care, to sleeping in her car, to doing stand up to finally getting into movies. Last year she became the New York Times Best Seller with her book The Last Black Unicorn and just this year she’s starred in three films. Uncle Drew, which came out in July, Night School in September and Nobody’s Fool in November; not to mention she has a show with Tracey Morgan, that came out in March called the The Last OG.  I love her story and I love to see her win.

Meek Mill

rap-up.com

Meek was locked up in November 2017 due to a probation violation. He was sentenced to 2-4 years in prison. He was released in April due to a judge order. Less than three months later, he dropped a successful EP titled Legends of the Summer and he just released Championship on November, which has been successful. The album has peaked at No. 1 on the Rap Album category on Billboard.  His single “Going Bad” with Drake has peaked at No. 2 on the Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales Billboard charts. “What’s Free” featuring Rick Ross and Jay-Z peaked at number No. 3 on the Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales Billboard charts. He’s still fighting the case but in the mean time, he’s using his time wisely and getting his coins. 

Cardi B

thatgrapejuice.net

It’s no surprise that this woman has had a great year BUT if ya forgot, let me remind you. Her album Invasion of Privacy debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart. When “Bodak Yellow” first came out, it was No. 1 on the charts for three weeks and stayed on the charts for 35 weeks. “I Like It” peaked at No. 1 as week and remained on the charts on 36 weeks (and counting). Her WHOLE album charted and was part of the top 100 rap songs. AND every song on her album has been certified, ranging from gold to 7x Platinum. GON HEAD CARDI! Not to mention her current song “Money” has peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard chart and has been on the charts for 8 weeks. I’m not doubting that 2019 will be a great year for her. Keep going sis! 

Michael B.  Jordan

thestar.com

It’s no secret that Michael B. Jordan has been on his shit this year. With Black Panther dropping in February to Creed 2 recently dropping in November, he’s had a busy year. Both roles required a lot of working out, fighting and mindet changing. In Black Panther, he played Killmonger, a misunderstood bad guy, but he had to switch to his mindset to match the revenge seeking villian. He even said that after shooting the film, he had to take a break before shooting Creed 2 but playing Killmonger, drained him. With Creed 2, his character had to train to fight his father’s killer, son. In the film he suffered from rib injuries and even though those injuries weren’t real, playing a boxing role takes a lot of energy and dedication. I commend him on knocking out these two tough roles this year. His hard work paid off because Black Panther grossed over $1 Billion in ticket sales. Creed 2 grossed $55 million it’s opening weekend. It seems like every movie that he’s starred in has had major success minus one. Clearly he’s on the roll, and I can’t wait to see his next films, preferably some sequels.

Travis Scott

celebsnetworthtoday.com

Travis’ album Astroworld went number 1 on the charts and stayed there for 8 weeks. He’s also gone on tour already. He’s had a busy year, and has gotten recognized more than what he has in the past. His song “Sicko Mode” featuring has been number 1 on the Hip Hop charts as well. He also welcomed his first child this year with Kylie Jenner. I’m proud of his success and respect his craft. Any artist who’s good at their craft, stays out of drama, he doesn’t appear cocky and minds his business deserves to win.

Ariana Grande

 

onstageweb.com

This young lady has had a rough but successful year. Her album Sweetener was released in August of this year, which debuted on the Billboard Top 200 in it’s first week and charted internationally. Ariana and her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller broke up in May and he ended up dying of a suicide in September. In June of this year, she became exclusive with Pete Davidson and got engaged. Just one month after Mac’s death, she and Pete broke up. With her having a rough year just within a few months, she found a way to channel her pain. In November, she released her single “thank u, next,” a song dedicated to her exes. The song charted immediately to No. 1 on Billboard and the video became the biggest music video debut in YouTube History. The “thank u, next” video earned over 55 million views in just 24 hours. Four days later, it received 100 million views, making it the fastest video to earn that amount of views in such a short time. She also performed “Natural Woman” at Aretha Franklin’s funeral in August and she did really good! To top it off, she’s been nominated for two Grammys, one for Best Pop Solo Performance for “God is a Woman” and Best Pop Vocal Album. Gon head Ariana! 

These are MY top 7, comment below and tell me who you think had a great year.

 

Danii Gold out!

Met Gala 2018 Fashion Looks

featured image: spin.com

This year the celebrities came out and showed out on their Met Gala fits. For some reason,  head pieces and face pieces were the trend this year.

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Gabrielle Union Came through with poppin yellow. This color always looks good on black skin. Go Gabby!!

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The men were looking real Zaddy-ish too. Gotta love a man in a suit.

Donald Glover in the light purple suit. He’s been poppin lately. Check out my last post on his This Is America video  

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Mr. Wakanda himself still dressed in character lowkey and looking good per usual! I see you Chadwick!

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Michael B could’ve done better but he’s still fine tho.

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Imma let you shine Ferg but your Bae has on a lovely fur dress. I see y’all doing THAT!

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Wiz looking good in this brown suit. I see you Wiz! 8975C5BA-FF09-4EDA-B2A3-99BF8CBC04DF

Even Travis Scott nice looking nice! 

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Here are some of the other looks from last night.

Come through Ashley Graham with the glowing skin and poppin thighs

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Janelle Monae with the head piece jewelry and hat, with a cap shirt

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Mary J ALWAYS look good in white, Earlier this year, she wore all white to the Oscars and this gold makes her hair pop and skin pop. I see you Aunt Mary

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J. Lo came to slay and always showing some leg. I’m here for this look!

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Kate Perry tryna fly off on us with this huge wings lol, but I love the uniqueness of it.

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Zendaya is giving me medieval time with this dress. The neck and shoulders look like it’s made of metal and the bottom part of the gown is fabric of course. Then her orange hair makes the whole thing pop.

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Issa Rae Bae is looking good in her gold and black. She usually keeps it simple but elegant where ever she goes.

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Okay…I’ll give Kim her props. She was stunning last night. Her eye make up, makes her eyes look exotic and her gold gown is simple but glowing. I see you Kim!

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Shout out to 2Chainz for proposing to his wife, (I thought he was already married). She looked so happy. I love black love!

 

Last but not least, shout out to Lena Waithe for rocking a rainbow cape, signifying her gay pride. To me, it speaks “I’m gay and I’m proud.” I love it!

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Who’s look did you love the most this year?? Comment below!

 

Black Panther Greatness

Featured image credit: qz.com

Talk about GREATNESS! Did you know that Black Panther made $218 MILLION over the weekend all over the country? Andddd it’s Black History Month! That some Black Excellence. I’m so proud of the movie’s debut success!

I went to see Black Panther on Friday, just like every other black person did this weekend and I enjoyed it of course. I will be the first to say that I’m not a Marvel fan….at all!! I’m not into superhero movies like that but I just HAD to see this film because:

  • Black director, Ryan Coogler
  •  Black film
  • Dope cast; Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’O, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett
  • And last but not least–Michael B Jordan.

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Spoiler Alert: I LOVED the story line and it made me think—maybe there is a whole different galaxy or planet or even a different country that has the advancements of technology that Wakanda had. The movie seemed more present day, especially with the settings of being in South Korea and London. I LOVED that there was a family tie between T’Challa (Boseman) and Killmonger (M.B. Jordan) and fighting for the throw because of a bad grudge being held.

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credit: collider.com

Also, I loved that Black Women played a significant part in the movie, from his sister being helpful with her technology knowledge by helping him drive a car while she was still stationed in Wakanda, to T’Challa being in South Korea. Also, Okoye being his right hand (wo)-man by helping him fight and using her sword power (like she did in Walking Dead). Also, Nakia was his eye candy but also a great spy working along to save others lives before T’Challa walked back into her life.

You hear a lot of one-man band superheroes but never a lot of black women superheros. There are Black Women Superheroes from the Marvel series like Storm from X-Men, Misty Knight, and Monica Rambeau, and maybe this movie will be the start of trying to make movies about them.

I’m just sooooo excited that black people mainly, but all races in general came out to A) support a Black Film, B) a Black director, C) a Marvel film that brings people from all races out…to support a black film–Black Panther.

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credit: entertainmentweekly.com

Fun Facts about the director: Ryan Coogler:

  • He directed his first film at age 27, which was Fruitvale Station
  • He directed his second film at age 29, which was Creed
  • Third film he directed was Black Panther, at age 31.

 

If you haven’t seen the movie….see it! If you have seen it…see it just ONE MORE TIME lol–for the culture–for the young directors like Ryan Coogler making a come up!!

Danii Gold out!

#OscarsWhiteout Nominations 2016

  The list of Oscar Nominations came out yesterday and as person could notice, there was something missing from the categories—black actors/actresses. I understand that the year 2015 wasn’t a big year for us, Blacks people to star in a lot of movies. A few movies that came out last year starring Black people were:

  • Selma

  • Focus

  • Straight Outta Compton

  • The Perfect Guy

  • Beast Of No Nation

  • Concussion

  • Creed

Maybe a few more, but anyhow, Selma already received “some” recognition by, at least, getting a nomination for “Best Motion Picture” and won the award for “Best Original Song” created by John Legend and Common.

As far as the other movies, there should have been a nomination for at least Will Smith in either movie he starred in;  O’Shea Jackson Jr, Jason Mitchell, and or Corey Hawkins for playing Ice Cube, Eazy E and Dr. Dre; Sanaa Lathan, Morris Chestnut and Michael Ealy for The Perfect Guy; Idris Elba in “Beasts of No Nation”; and finally Michael B Jordan for playing in “Creed.”

  

 

Speaking of the movie “Creed”, actor Sylvester Stallone was able to get a nomination for his supporting role as Rocky Balboa. Even a few days ago he won the Best Supporting Actor Award at the Golden Globe Awards. How is it that, he was able to get  two nominations, and one that turned into a win–for a SUPPORTING role, which is okay, BUT how come the leading actor Michael B Jordan wasn’t able to snag at least one nomination? That’s not right at all. One reason why I think that Sylvester Stallone was able to get a nomination and win, is because he’s gotten some recognition in the past for his roles playing Rocky Balboa in the Rocky movies. The movies as a whole were nominated for four awards and the First Rocky Movie won the Best Picture Award. Stallone was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Rocky IV movie. So, I feel that the executives think they owe at least a nomination to the man, since he’s gotten nominations in the past–BULL SHIT right, but that’s my opinion.

 

According to Marc Malkin, from E News, he says that this is the second year in a row where all 20 actors and actresses nominated are white and he says sarcastically that you can guarantee that the hash tag for the night of the show will be #OscarWhiteOut

On the brighter side, Chris Rock is hosting the awards (the least they can do, right?) and I’m sure he’ll have the crowd laughing and cracking a few jokes about the obvious snugs.

photo credit: hngn.com

 

I don’t think I will be watching this year. Only because I believe boycotting, along with other black celebrities, will show white America that this acknowledge is in order and once their ratings show a decline, the executives will get it together.

 

DANII GOLD—OUT!

 

Photo credit Focus: movieposters2.com

Photo Credit Concussion: thereelcritic.com

Photo Credit Straight Outta Compton: popoptiq.com

Photo Credit The Perfect Guy: rollingout.com

Photo Credit Beats of No Nations: omgmagazinepics.com

Photo Credit Creed: http://www.youtube.com