Because it’s Friday (Flash Back Friday) and we made it through another terrible work week and because it just wouldn’t be #BrooklynGirlCode™ without the Brooklyn Bad Boy himself… Eddie Murphy!
Hit the link below to watch Murphy’s 1982 critically acclaimed stand-up comedy Delirious that many say was the pivotal film of his legendary career. It’s a blast from the past that is sure to make you laugh!!
***Spoiler Alert*** Content in this film is strictly for adults! Sorry kids! Enjoy the weekend! -xoxo ❣️
“In the whole world you know, there’s a million boys and girls who are young, gifted and Black. And that’s a fact!” -Nina Simone
It was the summer of 1969. Singer/songwriter Nina Simone was at the height of her career. Simone was performing at the Harlem Cultural Festival in New York City and decided to introduce her new song, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”to the world. The song which was inspired by Simone’s late friend and famous playwright,Lorraine Hansberryturned out to be the ultimate ode to Black Excellence! The song would later be featured on Nina Simone’s live studio album Black Goldand would also become an unofficial anthem for the American Civil Rights Movement.
In honor of Black History Month, #BrooklynGirlCode is taking a trip back in time to the summer of 1969! Young gifted and black…oh what a lovely precious dream! Check out an exclusive throwback interview of Nina Simone speaking about the song below and enjoy! -xoxo <3
According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word “Murraya” is defined as a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees (family Rutaceae) having pinnate leaves and flowers with imbricated petals. However, to a young 14-year-old girl from New Orleans, Louisiana by the name of Zaila Avant-garde, the word “Murraya” means a whole lot more than that!
On July 8th, 2021 Zaila Avant-garde made history by becoming the first African-American (Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica was the first Black contestant to win the title in 1998) to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the competition’s 96 year history. The event which was televised live on ESPN on Thursday evening drew a VIP crowd including First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden who was there to witness Avant-garde become a national champion! In addition to her spelling talents, Avant-garde also enjoys playing basketball and holds three Guinness World Records for dribbling the most basketballs at one time. She’s amazing! With everything going on in the world right now, it’s little victories like these that are so special.
Congrats to Zaila Avant-garde and all the contestants of this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. Watch the video of Avante-garde becoming a national champion by spelling the word “Murraya” below. It was the twirl at the end for us! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3
“This is a lily white sport. Make no bones about it.” – Peter Westbrook
Peter Westbrook knows all about the sport of fencing. The six-time Olympic bronze medalist has been sending African-American fencers to the Olympic Games for the past two decades. I, myself started fencing at the Peter Westbrook Foundation when I was eleven-years-old and I’ve had the opportunity to know Peter Westbrook not just as an Olympian but as a human being. And trust me — they don’t make them like him anymore!
Next month for the Tokyo 2020 games, the Peter Westbrook Foundation will be sending a quarter of Team USA’s men’s fencing team to compete. This is something no other organization has done to date. Check out the cool news special CBS New York recently did highlighting the Peter Westbrook Foundation below. Good luck to my PWF fencing family at the Tokyo 2020 games next month. I’ve been knowing these Good Men all my life!! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3
Today marks the 84th birthday of Black Panther Party founder, political activist Bobby Seale. Bobby Seale was born in Liberty, Texas on October 22nd, 1936. The oldest of three children, Bobby Seale moved to Oakland, California with his family when he was eight years old. Seale would later go on to form the very controversial, but very important Black Panther Party along with Dr. Huey P. Newton in Oakland in 1966. The party which eventually dissolved in 1982 aimed to inform and educate African-Americans on their civil rights and provide free food to residents in inner-city communities.
In his later years, Seale wrote a few books, starred in popular television documentaries and became a college professor teaching Black Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA (where my Temple Owls at?!). At 84 years old, Bobby Seale is still on the move educating and empowering. Happy Birthday to a true American Legend! And thank you for coming together with Dr. Huey P. Newton to form the Black Panther Party because two intelligent Black men are better than one! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode.🖤
It was “Ladies Night” this past Monday, August 31st, when music legends Brandy and Monica put their differences aside and came together for one night only to perform their classic R&B hits for Verzuz. The battle which was streamed live on Instagram and Apple Music broke the internet with more than one million viewers tuning in to watch the two superstars battle it out classic for classic! Of course these two divas came dressed to impress! Brandy played it cool and casual in an eccentric Libertine “Prince of Chintz” blazer while Monica stunned in an adorable retro-style Fendi oufit designed by fashion designer Baba Jagne. However, the best part of the night had to be the official check-in from Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris who called in to wish the ladies well while rocking her own alma mater Howard University on a relaxed-fit sweatshirt. The only thing that would’ve made the night complete for us is if Mekhi Phifer would have came out and made a special appearance for the duo’s Grammy award-winning single, “The Boy Is Mine.” It never happened, but it was still a very memorable event!
Check out some cool footage from the Verzuz battle below. Looking forward to the world tour ladies! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3
The ABC network will be honoring the life of actor Chadwick Boseman tonight in a special Sunday evening presentation. The network will be playing the Black Panther movie in its entirety on Sunday night beginning at 8pm EST. The Black Panther will be followed by a special presentation on the actor’s life. The presentation will begin tonight at 8pm EST. Chadwick Boseman who passed away on August 28th from complications due to colon cancer was a native of Anderson, South Carolina. Boseman was only 43 years old but in his short time here, he starred in several feature-length films including 42 (2013); Message from the King (2016); Captain America: Civil War (2016) and 2018’s blockbuster hit Black Panther where he immortalized the character of T’Challa, King of Wakanda. Make sure to tune in to ABC tonight. Rest In Power to Chadwick Boseman!
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On February 26th, The Big Apple elected a new Public Advocate into office. The young Brooklyn native who goes by the name of Jumaane Williams is also a self-proclaimed “Hip-Hop Head” and as far as we’re concerned, Mr. Williams has already started off his term on two good notes!
Congrats to Jumaane Williams on winning the election and all the best to him on his new position in office! Brooklyn wins again! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ 😎
Read the original article about Mr. Williams’ big win published in the New York Times on February 27th, 2019 here.
Today is the centennial birthday of American jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk. So, you know Brooklyn Girl Code had to write about it! Thelonious (Sphere) Monk (named after his maternal grandfather) was born in Rocky Point, North Carolina on October 10th, 1917. To many, Monk is considered to be one of the forefathers of modern jazz. And today on his 100th birthday, Thelonious Monk is still one of the most-recorded jazz composers in history falling second to Duke Ellington. This record is one that we may not see broken for a long time to come. Monk who stood out from the crowd for his unique sense of fashion, was a true genius on the piano and could woo his audience even if he played wearing only shorts. Monk started playing piano at the young age of six after moving from North Carolina to the Big Apple in 1922 with his family. As a youth, Monk played the church organ and later began taking his musical career more seriously serving as the house pianist at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem. A world-renowned venue that is known as the birthplace of Bebop music. Monk’s noted influences included Duke Ellington, James P. Johnson and his mentor Mary Lou Williams. After an incident with the New York City Police involving Monk and his friend Bud Powell in 1951, Monk had his New York City Cabaret Card revoked and couldn’t play at many N.Y.C. venues for several years. This forced the jazz legend to take his musical talents over to Europe.
Later in his life, Thelonious Monk became more introverted and performed less for sold out crowds. But, thank goodness his music career spanned over thirty years (1940s- 1973) because otherwise, we would have never been blessed with Monk’s musical genius and prowess. Long after his death, Thelonious Monk is still influencing American music and culture and will continue to do so. Happy 100th Birthday to a real American jazz legend! Watch footage of Thelonious Monk playing with his band in Norway and Denmark in 1966 below via YouTube.
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