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Afro-Brazilian Hair Stories – Parts 1 & 2 (Video)

All jabs and jokes at the Chris Rock ‘Hair’ Movie aside, Black women’s hair is serious biz – monetary and cultural. This docu-miniseries from Essence mag is focusing on the cultural side. The women are beautiful; Afro-Brizilian beautiful. But some of the stories and struggles they share… not so.

While producing our August global issue in Rio de Janeiro, we interviewed women who are celebrating the “Afro” in Afro-Brazilian. However, their hair journey has been a battle of personal, family and social acceptance because of Brazil’s complicated history with race and identity.
– Essence

Start with Part 1 above, and continue with Part 2 after the jump.

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Prison Fighters (Showtime Documentary Trailer)

‘Prisoners turn Muy Thai fighters to fight for their freedom’ definitely reads like a logline for a hit series. We assure you, it is not. Think more like ring announcer Jimmy Lennon shouting, “It’s SHOWTIME!” And you will be much closer to truth.

PRISON FIGHTERS: 5 Rounds To Freedom uncovers a shocking practice of liberation in the criminal justice system of Thailand. The SHOWTIME Sports original production examines a fully sanctioned and accredited rehabilitation program called Prison Fight through which convicted criminals can train and compete in fights that lead to early release. Premieres on Friday, Feb. 24 at 8:30PM ET/PT on SHOWTIME.

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Africa’s Great Civilizations (Documentary Series Trailer)

It’s February. Black History Month to those who want to celebrate it as that. But since we make history every month, and we predate history, let’s go with the LOVE theme (not even waiting until the 14th *wink*).

So, on everything we LOVE, the late author & renaissance man Dr. Henry Louis Gates is at bringing us this POWERFUL docu-series on “Africa’s Great Civilizations.” Stirring, speaking truth for the ages… A must-watch when it drops Monday, February 27th on PBS. Peep the trailer above.

(And don’t let “them”… any “them” tell you YOUR history. “They” should not determine YOUR place in the universe. YOU should!)

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NYFF: ’13th’ Documentary Film Panel Discussion (Video)

The day after Ava DuVernay’s new film, 13TH, opened the 54th New York Film Festival, subjects interviewed in the film came together for an extended conversation exploring the many issues explored in this powerful documentary about race and criminal justice.

From the portrayal of black men in popular culture, dating back to D. W. Griffith’s 1915 Birth of a Nation, to the progression from slavery to mass incarceration and the persistent demonization and killing of black men by police in our cities today, the discussion will consider how the past connects with our present reality. Participants will include Ashley Clark (BFI), Jelani Cobb (The New Yorker, The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress), Malkia Cyril (Center for Media Justice), Kevin Gannon (Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning), and Khalil Gibran Muhammad (Harvard Kennedy School; former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture). 13TH is a Netflix original documentary.

PREVIOUS: 13TH DOCUMENTARY TRAILER (VIDEO)
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ESPN’s 30 For 30: Nature Boy (Teaser Trailer)

Finally… The R… oh wait, that’s another pro wrestler’s schtick. Ha!

But wrestling fans might be feeling like “finally” when the kiss-stealing, wheeling-dealing, limousine-riding, jet-flying son of a gun gets his 30 For 30 shine on ESPN. Watch the teaser above for the ESPN documentary for The Nature Boy Ric Flair. Wooooooooo!

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The World’s First Male Sex Doll (Video)

Ooookay. VICE’s Karley Sciortino is taking girls “playing with dolls” to a whole other level! Getting mighty cozy with the concept in this documentary episode exploring the making of male sex dolls for women.

Because, you know, gender equality.

(Hahaa! Karley, though. Got an undeniable sexy about her, right? Just saying, she probably does not need to go the doll route. Surely there is a real ‘plaything’ out here that will gladly play with her… Errr… Just watch.)

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The Boyfriend Experience: In Japan, A Woman Can Even Rent A Man That Will Come Sit & Cry With Her (Video)

So the ‘Boyfriends For Hire’ business is still strong in Japan. We hipped y’all to it over three years ago on here. This is a next step. Sure, you can rent a boyfriend in Japan, but what about the elements expected of a longer-term bond? What if Japanese women could experience feelings usually borne of deeper bonds… without the being bound to a partner part? And do it a la carte? Would that be worth something?

Yeah, about $65 per hour. Yep, at least that’s what a ‘Handsome Weeping Boy’ will cost in Japan.

Watch.

(Full disclosure: VICE finds some cute correspondents. Like this Karley Sciortino. Them legs, too. Just saying.)

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The Birth of Saké (Documentary)

The award-winning documentary “The Birth of Saké” balances the physical labors of saké-making with the brewery workers’ personal stories and private sacrifices.

Incredible! This documentary is about a tradition, an art, craftsmanship, a lifestyle, a family business, a journey of self-discovery and appreciation and so much more brought to us by Japanese-American documentarian Erik Shirai. Turns out that Saké is waaaay more than fancy rice wine. The story’s telling – in “The Birth of Saké” – does involve a lot of cups of it though. The best!

In Japan, it’s such a normal thing to be an artisan, to dedicate your entire life to one craft and to be really good at it, so much so that Japanese people don’t find it interesting. But I was able to understand the culture, but also see it from a different perspective and really appreciate it. Hanging out [at the Tedorigawa brewery] for such a long period of time helped me realize that the Japanese culture is very embedded in who I am, in my aesthetics, my values, and how I see the world.- Erik Shirai

Check out the trailer above. Catch it on Netflix. More on the documentary at NBC News online.

MORE: THE BIRTH OF SAKE (NBCNEWS.COM)

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The Step Team Building an Unbeatable Legacy (Mini-Documentary)

Wow. The brother said he and his team destroy their bodies preparing for a show they’ve won 11 years running! Wow… No let up, no chill! You can see why this is part of ‘The Greatest Homecoming On Earth.’ And you can see the rest of the ‘Great Big Story’ above.

The art of stepping—choreographed stomping and clapping—has been practiced by historically Black fraternities and sororities for decades. It’s a performance of skill and precision. And every year at North Carolina A&T’s “Greatest Homecoming On Earth,” Greek organizations hit the stage to compete for a coveted title. The brothers of Phi Beta Sigma have won the step show 11 years in a row. This year, as pressure to maintain their legacy mounts, step master Byron Hannah tries to lead his brothers to another victory.

@ojones1

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Gentrified – Ethnic Cleansing: American Style (Film Trailer)

“Is it ‘redevelopment’ . . . or ethnic cleansing?

‘Gentrified’ is the first documentary ever to take an in-depth look at the effects of gentrification and provide statistical and social evidence that it targets the Black community in particular. When big business and big govt conspire to create so-called “redevelopment” it always leaves a richer, all white neighborhood in its wake. The old, Black residents are left to their own devices which include poverty and homelessness.

In ‘Gentrified’, we travel across the United States and interview activists, entrepreneurs and academics to give a brutally honest look at the way the entire country, and even the world, is being reshaped by the process of gentrification. In the 21st century the ‘haves’ are removing the ‘have-nots’ and it’s time we saw who they were.

They’re rich. They’re white . . . and they’re coming for everything you’ve got.

A special UK screening will be followed by a panel discussion in London on February 18th at 6pm at the Hackney Attic.

GentrifiedTheMovie.com

FACEBOOK

PREVIOUS: BLACK CHANNEL FILMS PRESENTS ‘GENTRIFIED – POLICE, MONEY, & ETHNIC CLEANSING’ (VIDEO)

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Facebook Isn’t “Free” (Video)

If you’re not paying, you’re not the customer–you’re the product.

You gotta know this. Whether you know already, or not, you GOTTA know this. So, since College Humor put together a palatable way to tell you so, I’m gonna share and let you know…

FACEBOOK ISN’T FREE!

Watch and see how you ‘pay’ for it, because you are not willing to pay for it otherwise. Hey, everything has it’s price. How do you think Zucks got so damned rich? And you could quit Facebook, but good luck escaping Google!

@ojones1

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Haiti & ‘The Forgotten Occupation’ (Trailer)

Damn. Just damn. When we look at ‘poor Haiti’ from America, we should hold more rage in our hearts than pity. The U.S. have just done wrong by that Black nation. WRONG!

In 1915, more than a century after having eradicated slavery from their country, the people of Haiti suddenly find themselves the victims of a brutal American occupation, reigniting an all too familiar past for the proud, independent nation.

Watch the trailer for “The Forgotten Occupation” above. Shout to Radio Rebel Tayla Andrè for sharing. For more info, check out TheForgottenOccupation.com.

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Victims Of Misfortune (Extended Trailer)

The American criminal justice system is more about addressing the ‘criminal’ part rather than the ‘justice’ part of its moniker. A quick search on ‘prison’ on here will tell you that. But this “Victims Of Misfortune” shows how deep the dung is; addressing what happens to the imprisoned after they have served their time. Facts and nearly two decades of research folks. Don’t argue with folks who disagree, as this is no longer a debate. This is a documentary that exposes truths and shares knowledge.

Victims Of Misfortune is a feature-length, social change documentary that will give a historical and current look at America’s criminal justice system and the discriminatory policies that people with a criminal background face, post conviction/release. Victims Of Misfortune will also take a closer look at America’s system of indentured servitude putting the practice in proper historical context. The United States has 5 percent of the world population, with around 25 percent of the world’s prisoners (over 2.4 million people behind bars). Nearly $70 billion is spent annually on probation/parole, prison and detention centers for immigration detainees. Once these people are released from prison or have a criminal record, they are then discriminated against for employment, housing, education, governmental benefits and some even deported.

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ESPN’s 30 For 30: This Was The XFL (Trailer)

This trailer is intriguing. Check it out.

ESPN, the world’s sports leader, is going to do a documentary on the XFL, the failed football league borne of and bearing more than a slight resemblance to Vince McMahon’s leading sports entertainment franchise, World Wrestling Entertainment. Any televised sport has to be entertaining enough to bring eyeballs and ad revenue, right? So maybe Vince thought he could put out an entertaining football program with no sweat. Whatever the motivations and machinations behind the result and resulting demise, we should learn something watching this 30 For 30.

(Speaking of learning something… Do you know what XFL stood for? Answer: It was NOT Xtreme Football League! It was not an acronym at all. Learned something already, huh?)

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History Of Social Dance (Video)

You know, we really ought to be smiling (at least on the inside) when the babies are going hard with the dances they do. May not be WHAT we used to do, but you KNOW we used to go just as HARD with the moves.

Turns out that there is a reasoning and history behind it all. And it’s all good. Now, excuse me while I get my Whip-Nae-Dab on!

@ojones1

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Cuba’s Generational Divide (Documentary Short Film)

Incredible video expo… and incredibly short. Maybe ongoing interest will drive development of a fuller doc or short. The impact of the life, and recent passing, of Cuban revolutionary dictator Fidel Castro can be debated from various angles including regional vs. global and overall positive vs. overall negative. But we do know there was an impact, and it apparently resonates throughout the ages.

Case in point: Above you see three generations of Black Cubans – Esperanza Caridad Martinez (Grandmother), Margarita Beatriz Nicholas (Daughter), and Leyssy O’Farrill Nicholas (Granddaughter) speak on three views of Cuba; in effect, Castro’s legacy. Thing about it is that while the views could have (and maybe has already) sparked fiery discourse among them, the discourse is very calm and deliberate. Each generation speaking on what they know and feel about living in Cuba and prospects for Black Cubans like them moving forward there and abroad. But what’ll really get you at the end… is that one tear Grandma shed for her Leyssy. Whether or not Leyssy has what it takes to eat off her art (caution: NOT a given, anywhere) by leaving, she ought to know she has LOVE in Cuba. 100,000%.

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Dutch Christmas Celebrations Still Include Blackface (Video)

With minor cultural considerations, Christmas is the same worldwide right? Well, that depends on what you call ‘minor’ (or translated… HELL NO)! Especially not in the Dutch tradition. Watch the Zox expose on Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) in the Netherlands. Blackface! They are still pushing the use of blackface and human caricature as a part of the Winter holidays; dissing Black people over there in the worst ways while totally oblivious (yeah, right). But the times, they are a-changing…slowly.

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Turkeys Have Doubled In Size Since The 1940s (Video)

Okay, if you are planning on eating a big azz turkey for the holidays, you may not want to watch this. But, of course, now you feel like you HAVE to watch, right?

The Thanksgiving turkey on your table looks nothing like the one your grandparents ate as kids.

But bigger does not always mean better. When it comes to turkeys nowadays, it’s probably rarely going to mean better; especially when you learn the how and why your holiday turkey is so huge. Maybe spend a bit more to get a turkey raised the old-fashioned way. Maybe…

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Science: Why Don’t Ants Get Stuck In Traffic? (Video)

More smart programming produced by PBS Digital Studios. Brilliant insights in this vid on what ants have to teach us about building efficient traffic networks. Such simple solutions, but many seem impossible. Because they are? NO.

Because…us!

Just watch, and maybe remember this the next time you’re stuck in that road jam downtown.

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13TH (Trailer)

Historical hooray for the 13th Amendment, right? Because it freed the slaves…right? But wait. Hold the Constitution a minute. What if the passage of the 13th Amendment actually gave way to 150 years of oppression of Black people? That’s what Ava DuVernay’s documentary “13TH” posits. And it’s not ‘what if’ rather ‘what it is.’ Watch the Netflix trailer above. Wow…

The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary “13TH” refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.
– Netflix US & Canada

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