Our social media feeds were inundated this week with the smiles of brilliant Black children wearing backpacks, fresh cuts and intricately braided styles—all set for the start of what we hope is a safe, healthy and engaging new school year.
But just the day before, we took a collective gasp at yet another huge community loss—the brilliant Michael K. Williams is gone. As we remember all that he gave us, we also appreciate and reflect on the life of Carl Bean, an openly gay preacher, activist and singer who declared that God is love and love is for everyone—a critically important message for LGBTQ+ Christians.
Just in time for New York Fashion Week and the start of football season, Dapper Dan drops luxury threads “Made for Football Watching,” somebody Black is finally guaranteed to win CBS’ “Big Brother,” Chloe Bailey is snapping necks and turning men to stone and Maya Cade built a Black Film Archive—for the culture.
It’s another beautiful BLAC Friday,
-Billy and the team at BLAC Magazine
Best of the Rest is a roundup of things you may not have known that you needed to know. Yet here we are. To get the Best of the Rest in your inbox every Friday. Subscribe to BLAC Friday’s. Your inbox will thank you.
THE BEST OF REST for September 10th 2021
6Actor and choreographer Michael Kenneth Williams dies at 54
Film and TV fans across the globe have spent the week mourning the passing of Michael Kenneth Williams. The Brooklyn native catapulted to fame with his deeply human and non stereotypical portrayal of Omar Little, the quick-witted stick up man on HBO’s “The Wire.” Earlier this year, he was nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal of the deeply traumatized Montrose Freeman in “Lovecraft Country.” Long transparent about his struggles with addiction, Williams is suspected to have died of an accidental drug overdose. (Vulture, TheGrio, Roger Ebert Online)
5Carl Bean dies at 77
Carl Bean, the preacher, singer, and activist who inspired Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” has died after a long illness. In fact, Bean wrote his own song titled “I Was Born This Way” in 1977, a little more than a decade before founding the Unity Fellowship Church Movement, which is largely known as the first Black church for LGBTQ+ people. (Today Show)
4Dapper Dan brings luxury fashion to football
Just in time for New York Fashion Week, design and style icon Dapper Dan dropped The Pepsi x Dapper Dan Football Watching Capsule Collection. Like anything made by Dapper Dan, the collection is hard to get. A full overview of how to “score” items in the collaboration is available at a special site, Made for Football Watching. (The Root, Complex)
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3The Black Film Archive is live
Maya Cade’s been working overtime for the culture. Late last month, she launched the Black Film Archive, a collection of every Black film made from 1915 to 1979 that is also available on streaming. Entries include film descriptions and the necessary links for viewing to “celebrate the rich, abundant history of Black cinema.” (NPR, Vulture, Black Film Archive)
2Who is the greatest player in WNBA history?
In honor of the league’s 25th anniversary, the WNBA released an official list of its greatest 25 players. Did your fave make the list?Notably, the WNBA included outstanding game skill and community involvement into its selection process for the official list, emphasizing the importance of player’s actions on and off the court. (The Root)
1“Cookout” strategy makes TV history
For the first time ever, a Black contestant will take home the $750,000 grand prize on the CBS mega-hit “Big Brother.” In addition to ensuring a Black grand prize winner, The Cookout, an alliance of Black contestants on the reality competition show, ensured that no white male has a jury vote to determine the winner of the show. It’s a notable accomplishment, as Black contestants are typically evicted from the Big Brother house in the early episodes of the 12-week game by white male dominated alliances. Twitter has taken notice and accused The Cookout of “reverse racism,” causing host Julie Chen Moonves to respond in The Cookout’s defense. (Gold Derby, Entertainment Weekly)