BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: HBO Max puts spotlight on ‘The Beauty of Blackness’

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By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

As part of the Women’s History Month curated programming on HBO Max, the streaming service has acquired “The Beauty of Blackness,” a documentary chronicling the evolution of Black beauty through the rise, fall and rebirth of Fashion Fair — the first cosmetics brand created exclusively for Black women in 1973 by Eunice Johnson, the co-founder of Ebony and Jet Magazines.

Co-directed By Tiffany Johnson (“Black Monday,” “Dear White People” and “Twenties”) and Kiana Moore; and produced by Vox Media and Sephora, the film examines Fashion Fair’s rapid rise to icon status and how the brand surpassed cultural obstacles to overcome beauty standards that previously excluded people of color.

Despite revolutionizing the beauty industry and becoming a household name for every Black and brown woman in the 1970s, the brand faced a rocky media landscape and encountered challenges due to emerging competitors.

The documentary follows the brand’s journey to present day where, amidst an evolving industry with a new focus on inclusivity, Fashion Fair Cosmetics has been revived under the helm of two entrepreneurs, Desiree Rogers (formerly of the Obama presidential administration) and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack.

“The Beauty of Blackness” features interviews with renowned experts, models, makeup artists, performers and other prominent figures who have witnessed firsthand the evolution of the category and who are celebrating and continuing to redefine beauty standards for people of color.

It can be viewed through March on HBO Max.

TASTY QUIP: “For the longest time, it was assumed that I was African American and no one ever really asked me how I identified. And then when I did ask to be seen for Hispanic roles, even English-speaking Hispanic roles — whether on Broadway or in the film and television realm — nine times out of 10, I was told I was too Black to be considered Hispanic. So honestly ‘West Side Story’ is the first time I’ve ever been considered for a role that is something I actually am.” – Puerto Rican Oscar nominee ARIANA DeBOSE to The Envelope

CLIPPETTES: The Grammy Museum hosts a special evening March 4 celebrating the life of legendary superstar Mary Wilson with a panel discussion featuring her daughter Turkessa Babich, Claudette Robinson, and other family, friends and celebrities. The event will be held in celebration of Mary’s birthday March 6 and the release date of “Mary Wilson: The Motown Anthology,” a deluxe two-CD set that marks the first-ever comprehensive overview of her label discography

Also that evening, the rescheduled Robert Glasper LIVE show is happening at The Vermont Hollywood; and Cautious Clay performs at the Fonda Theatre

Debbie Allen, Aunjanue Ellis, Andy Garcia, Chloe Zhao, Emilio Estevez and director Reinaldo Marcus Green (“King Richard”) are just some of the presenters for the 72nd Annual ACE Eddie Awards March 5 at The Theater at the ACE Hotel. The ceremony recognizing outstanding editing in film and television will be hosted by musician, DJ and actor Lance Robertson AKA DJ Lance Rock (“Yo Gabba Gabba!”)

While over at Royce Hall, Ronald K. Brown: The Equality of Night and Day + Upside Down promises an evening of dance thrills

Comcast NBCUniversal celebrates the one-year anniversary of Black Experience on Xfinity by announcing plans to offer $1 million in the form of 10 $100,000 grants to emerging Black filmmakers. Visit xfinityblackexperience.com to learn more and to sign up for info on applying for a grant

Justin Bieber’s rescheduled Justice Tour with special guests Jaden, Eddie Benjamin and more is on for March and 8 at Crypto.com Arena

The Grammy Museum L.A. Live will screen Act I of the new Kanye West documentary, “jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy,” followed by an intimate conversation with directors Coodie & Chike (the creative forces behind West’s “Though The Wire” and “Jesus Walks”) moderated by J. Ivy …

Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber, the improvisational ensemble founded by the late Greg Tate in 1999, makes a special concert appearance on March 8 at the Hammer Museum

Jazz giants Terence Blanchard, Kenny Garrett, Brian Blade, Danilo Perez and more celebrate Wayne Shorter March 9 at Walt Disney Concert Hall in a show also featuring Oakland trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire.

TASTY QUIP: “I am thrilled to be producing the four-part documentary series with A&E delving into the fascinating life of James Brown. He was a brilliant performer who inspired me from the beginning and was deeply committed to the civil rights movement.” – MICK JAGGER about “James Brown: Say It Loud,” a 2023 docu-series he is working on with The RootsAhmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter to be directed by Deborah Riley Draper

TC ON TV: March 4 – “Dear…“ (AppleTV+): A second season of letters to icons from those they have inspired. Participants include Viola Davis, Ava DuVernay, Jane Fonda, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sandra Oh, Billy Porter and the late Andre Leon Talley. “The Shop” (YouTube): The fifth season of LeBron James/Maverick Carter led talker opens on a new service with guests Donald Glover, J Balvin, Quinta Brunson and Lamar Jackson. “The Boys Presents: Diabolical” (Prime Video): An eight-episode animated anthology series set in the universe of the Emmy-nominated hit featuring the voices of Awkwafina, Seth Rogen and Aisha Tyler. “This Joka” (Roku): Will Smith invites a diverse lineup of comics to explore the nature of comedy and its unique ability to bring people together. “Ellen” (Syn): Ciara hosts with guests Russell Wilson and La La Anthony. “You Can Never Go Home Again” (LMN): Omar Gooding stars in this Mississippi-set drama.

March 5 – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC): Oscar Isaac (who stars in “Marvel’s Moon Knight” March 30 on Disney+) and musical guest Charli XCX

March 6 – “Film Independent Spirit Awards (IFC): Pulling for Frankie Faison (“The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain”), Colman Domingo (“Zola”) and Brittany S. Hall (“Test Pattern”). “The Courtship” (NBC): This reality premise finds a Black woman playing “The Bachelorette” in a “Bridgerton” like setting. “Someone They Knew … with Tamron Hall” (Court): This new weekly true-crime series exploring how when it comes to murder, it is rare for there to be no prior connection between the killer and the deceased. “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” (HBO): A 10-episode series about the 1980s team that defined an era. With an all-star cast including John C. Reilly, Adrien Brody, Sally Field, Wood Harris, Mike Epps (as Richard Pryor), Quincy Isaiah (as Magic Johnson), Solomon Hughes (as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), and DeVaughn Nixon (as his father Norm Nixon). “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” (CNN): The Morgan Neville directed documentary premieres as part of the network’s “Parts Unknown” marathon airing in tribute to the late writer, chef and cultural philosopher. “Kandi & The Gang” (Bravo): Follows Kandi Burruss and husband Todd Tucker as they run their Southern-eatery, Old Lady Gang (OLG) consisting of Kandi’s mom, Mama Joyce and Aunts Nora and Bertha. “Unsung” (TV1): Soul For Real “Uncensored” (TV1): Keyshia Cole

March 8 – “Legacy: In The Shadow of Greatness” (Disc+): A six-part docuseries following the athletic pursuits of the children of sports icons Dwyane Wade, Evander Holyfield and Randall Cunningham as they attempt to make their own mark on the world. “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out” (VH1): LisaRaye, Dave East “To Tell The Truth” (ABC): George Lopez, D.L. Hughley

March 9 – “The Masked Singer” (Fox): TV’s favorite guessing game returns with an all-new twist — each new costume will be categorized in one of three groups: The Good, The Bad or The Cuddly. “Survivor” (CBS): Eighteen new castaways begin their battle for $1 million on the special two-hour season premiere of the 42nd edition.

March 10 – “Bust Down” (Peacock): Stars Chris Redd, Sam Jay, Jak Knight and Langston as four casino employees living dead-end lives with dead-end jobs in middle America, and the massive mess they manage to make out of it. “Tyler Perry’s Ruthless” (BET+): The third season is here.

END QUOTE: “I’ve had the opportunity to use my body to fight for things that were right, from civil rights to the Vietnam War, to a lot of other things that needed fixing and changing. We got it done. The most important thing being the Voting Rights Act. We can put our legs, our bodies, and our voices to work to make sure people do get out and vote … no matter what they do to keep us from doing it. And I hope you all will do that.” – SAMUEL L. JACKSON after accepting the Chairman’s Award at the 53rd Annual NAACP Image Awards

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at tastyclips@yahoo.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.

 

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