HIGHLY ANTICIPATED: BLACK CREATIVITY IN 2019

 

2019 is looking very promising! We wanted to commemorate that feeling and BHM with a list of Black creatives that are going to bring memorable cultural moments our way. You can look forward to new music, perspective shifting films, thoughtful art exhibits and once in a lifetime performances. Mark your calendars.

Rihanna

Release: TBD

Medium: Music

Name: TBD

Not much to say, besides FINALLY RIRI! What we’ve all been waiting for: her 9th album is said to be finished and with no release date confirmed, at least we know it’s coming…which is said to have more experimental tracks and could be a double-disc album.

Chance the Rapper

Release: July 2019

Medium: Music

Name: TBD

From his poetic rhythm to fast-rapping verses, a Chance album is highly anticipated by many. Afterall Coloring Book has become a favorite. And while we know Chance really puts his soul into his art, we can assume this album will be full of surprises as he has promised something different than what he’s already made. We’re ready Chance!

Londrelle

Release: February 2019

Medium: Book + Music

Name: Floral Escape

If you’re not already familiar with Londrelle, he came to light with his poetry book Eternal Sunshine which had snippets featured on GT’s Kombucha bottles. Londrelle explains Eternal Sunshine as a poetic journey into self love and divine realization and now his latest work has dropped this month. He released an R&B album called Floral Escape which features soft, poetic melodies all about love and DEFINITELY worth the listen.

Reyna Biddy

Release: Already streaming so jump on it!

Medium: Music/Podcast

Name: Sunday Gems

Most of us already know and adore Kehlani, but in case you’re not familiar with Reyna Biddy, she is an amazing poet who preaches about self love and is bestfriends with Kehlani. So what do you get when these two souls merge? A podcast called Sunday Gems! They present choice music selections and talk all about life and love!

Lauren Wilkinson

Medium: Book

Name: American Spy

Release: February 2019 (YES Black History Month)

Lauren Wilkinson is an American Author from NYC and has taught writing at Columbia and the Fashion Institute of Technology. This month, she releases American Spy - a fictional thriller full of drama set around the Cold War with a woman having to decide between her honor in sense of duty or her heart in betraying the man she loves.

Agnes Gomillion

Medium: Book

Name: The Record Keeper

Release: June 2019

Agnes Gomillion is an American Author from Atlanta, Georgia and in June she will be releasing The Record Keeper - a dystopian novel taking place after World War III that examines past and present race relations.

Rivers Solomon

Medium: Book

Name: The Deep

Release: June 2019

Rivers Solomon is an American Author born in California, known for her Sci-fi novel An Unkindness of Ghosts. Her newest book is a dystopian novel named The Deep. A story about a woman named Yetu, who struggles with holding the memories for her people - the water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slaves. It is about the journey of Yetu learning more about her own past and the future of her people.

Clark Johnson

Medium: Film

Genre: Drama/Romance

Name: Juanita

Release: March 2019; Netflix

Clark Johnson is an American Actor and Director who has directed Netflix’s upcoming original film, Juanita, based on Sheila Williams’ book Dancing on the Edge of the Roof. Juanita is about a forty-one year old woman who buys a one-way ticket and runs away from home and her grown children. She finds herself at a new job and in the mix of a new romance, but what difficulties lay ahead for her?

Numa Perrier

Medium: Film

Genre: Drama/LGBTQ

Name: Jezebel

Release: March 2019; SXSW Film Festival

Numa Perrier is an American Actress, Writer, and Filmmaker born in Haiti. Her upcoming film, Jezebel, is about a true story that revolves around 19 year old Tiffany who tries to make ends meet with her sister in the world of “internet fetish cam girls” after their mother’s death. This film covers many large topics such as sex, sisterhood, coming of age, and the dark web.

BET

Medium: TV Show

Genre: Drama

Name: American Soul

Release: On now!

Whether you grew up with Soul Train at home or not, American Soul on BET feels like a must watch. Per the show’s description it tells the story of Don Cornelius, "his Soul Train dancers, crew and musicians in a cutthroat Hollywood in the 1970s and how they work, play, rise and fall against the backdrop of the show most responsible for the way African-American culture was perceived by the world”. Plus you have Kelly Rowland playing Gladys Knight and Michelle Williams as Diana Ross.

The Shed, Hudson Yards, NYC

Medium: Live Show

Name: Soundtrack of America

Date: April 5-14

The Shed is a brand new arts center located in Hudson Yards NYC. It has spectacular views over the High Line and promises to feed all of your senses. It’s first-ever presentation is a five-night concert series created and directed by artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen, with the support of Quincy Jones. Soundtrack of America celebrates the “unrivaled impact of African American music on contemporary culture”. We’re assuming this will have a ticket price attached, but anything Quincy Jones is involved with turns to gold, so expectations are high!

Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia

Medium: Exhibition

Name: Colored People Time

Date: February 1 - December 22

Props to Philly for confronting a challenging topic with real consequences. This year ICA is focusing on the “ways in which the history of slavery and colonialism permeates the present and impacts the future.” The purpose of this exhibit is to create public discourse and center the realities of Black people.


Honorable Mentions

Missy Elliot eluded to dropping a new album in 2019, and we will be creating choreography in front of the mirror if it happens. Jordan Peele is giving us, Us, a thriller that we’ve only seen the trailer to but already plan to peek through our fingers because we still need to sleep at night. Jordan is also starring in the remake of The Twilight Zone. Hi hello he’s taking over and we’re here for that coup. Little with Marsai Martin at the helm and Issa Rae by her side — yes please take our money. The Last Black Man in San Francisco — we read the description and we’ll just say bring your kleenex, we feel you Jimmie (main characters name). Lastly if you loved Black Panther (obviously you did, you’ve got a pulse) then you’ll want to support Shuri: The Search for Black Panther by Nnedi Okorafor, a whole comic book experience about the smartest youngest sister we’d all want as a best friend. Okay MOB, spend your dollars where they matter!

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Alyssa Jara

is a TGM Contributor from Los Angeles. Find her here