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‘Judas and The Black Messiah’ Review: Exploring the Intricate Parts of the Black Panther Movement

By Betti Halsell

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There is a preconceived notion about the Black Panther Party in the 1960s. They are shown as being aggressive, mass media has labeled them as radical and domestic terrorists. In the prime of their revolutionary movement, they are seen holding guns with a stoic look of no remorse, and hatred in their eyes.

Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah explores the intricate parts of the organization, painting a picture of the day-to-day lifestyle of an activist. King focused on Chairman Fred Hampton played by Daniel Kaluuya, and how he balanced radical change while supporting an underrepresented community. He also uncovers a story of betrayal among the ranks in the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party.

Lakeith Stanfield plays William O’Neal, a man who seemed to have a deep fear of anyone having too much power. Heavily invested in the movement, O’Neal worked his way up to being the Black Panther security captain, but his alliance begins to fade as he became an FBI informant. His actions disrupted the Black Panther movement in the Illinois chapter, as O’Neal provided intel to FBI agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons).

O’Neal is tasked with getting close to the Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton. What becomes apparent is the internal battle O’Neal suffered, knowing that life as a Black man is unfair, is the very reason he may be inclined to join forces with federal organizations to cover himself. It’s a paradox he never escapes from. 

King included all angles of being an activist in the film, highlighting the human side. There are scenes in the trailer, showing panthers not wearing black or holding guns, but in bright colors, feeding the community and teaching the youth about their power. The director also follows Chairman Fred Hampton, as he falls in love with fellow revolutionary mind, Deborah Johnson (Dominique Fishback).

The Black Panther organization grew out of the Bay area and spread throughout the nation. There were parts of the Black Panther Movement that were unearthed in the film that included: administration, housing and education, and community building.

If one did not dig deeper into their history, mass media would depict a picture that leaves one to fear this organization. King broke through the negative mold of who the Black Panther members were and showed them in a different light. 

The Judas And the Black Messiah press summit dissected the narration of this story, hosted by entertainment journalist, Gia Peppers, explored parts of the Black Panther narrative from the eyes of the Hampton household. Viewers heard from the original Deborah Johnson, who went by Mother Akua.

 She confirmed that Fishback captured her essence as a fighter, but also as a strong woman that stood behind a great man. In reflection of Fishback’s portrayal of her, Mother Akua stated, “When I saw Daniel and Dominique in that movie, I hadn’t realized how much I missed the love and camaraderie. They had real chemistry …”

This two-hour historical drama and biography was written by Will Berson and produced by Ryan Coogler and Charles D. King. In addition to directing the film, Shaka King was a part of writing and producing as well. The streaming release is set for February 12, depicting the authentic story of the Black Panther Movement. Showing that even within the fight for equality as a group, the misguided representation will live in the crevasses of the collective community. One can watch the unfiltered truth of the revolution on HBO Max. 

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Film

Eddie Murphy’s daughter Bria Murphy Makes a Cameo in ‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.’

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Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

Eddie Murphy’s daughter Bria Murphy has made a memorable cameo in the latest installment of the Beverly Hills Cop franchise, ‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.’ Bria, who is the oldest daughter of the iconic comedian and actor, plays a police officer who arrests her father’s character, Axel Foley, in the film.

‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F’ marks the return of Murphy as the wisecracking Detroit detective Axel Foley, 30 years after the release of Beverly Hills Cop III. The film, directed by Mark Molloy, sees Foley back in Beverly Hills to help his estranged daughter, played by Taylour Paige, who is in trouble with some dangerous individuals.

Bria’s appearance in the film is a family affair, as her husband, Michael Xavier, also stars in the movie as a police officer.

Eddie Murphy, Bria Murphy, Michael Xavier, Nicole Murphy/ Photo: John Solano Photography

Eddie Murphy said his daughter’s role in the film was a surreal experience. In an interview, he shared that the scene where his son-in-law tases him in the neck was particularly memorable, especially since it happened shortly after his daughter’s wedding.

The movie, released on Netflix on July 3, 2024, has received mixed reviews. However, Eddie Murphy’s performance and his daughter’s cameo have been highlighted as some of the film’s most enjoyable moments.

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Halle Bailey and DDG Share First Photos of Son Halo

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On July 3, 2024, Halle Bailey and her boyfriend DDG delighted fans by sharing the first photos of their son, Halo. The couple, who welcomed their baby boy in December 2023, had kept him out of the public eye until now.

In the series of photos posted on Instagram, the family of three can be seen enjoying a trip to Italy. The first image shows Halle and DDG smiling as they hold Halo up in the air. The second photo captures a close-up of Halo, revealing his adorable face for the first time. The third picture features the couple walking hand-in-hand with their son, who is dressed in a white onesie and sneakers.

“Halo’s first time in Italy,” Halle captioned the post, which quickly garnered thousands of likes and comments from fans expressing their excitement and admiration.

DDG also shared the photos on his Instagram account, asking fans to weigh in on who Halo looks like more – him or Halle. “Who Halo look like more?,” he captioned the post, which sparked a lively debate among followers.

The couple’s decision to keep Halo’s face hidden until now was likely an attempt to protect their son’s privacy and shield him from the public eye.

Halle and DDG have been dating since 2022.

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Fashion

2024 BET Awards: Taraji P. Henson’s Hosting Outfits – Ranked!

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2024 BEt awards

Taraji P. Henson brought it once again! The Oscar-nominated actress, author, and producer returned to host the 2024 BET Awards for the third time, bringing her signature charm and charisma to culture’s biggest night.

The event featured a star-studded lineup of performers, including Usher, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Will Smith, who debuted a new song live. The show also highlighted the achievements of women in the industry, including Victoria Monét, who took home the BET HER award for her song “On My Mama,” and Tyla, who won in the Best New Artist category. Regina King

Henson, who previously hosted the show in 2021 and 2022, entertained the audience with many outfit changes while performing her hosting gig. Her award ceremony wardrobe featured a number of Black designers. “Representation and recognition is vital,” Henson told Vogue Magazine. “The BET Awards is our night, and talented Black designers deserve the opportunity to have visibility and the platform they deserve. It’s all about celebrating our heritage, our creativity, and our unique perspectives through the art of fashion.”

Here are the ten looks Henson rocked at this year’s ceremony, ranked.

#10

An Off-White dress paired with over-the-elbow satin red gloves

Taraji P. Henson at the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Dalvin Adams

#9

A red snakeskin bustier paired with brown snakeskin pants by Theophilio 

Taraji P. Henson at the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Johnny Nunez/ Getty

#8

A long-sleeved Rahul Mishra sequin bodysuit with paired with a sheer cape

2024 BET Awards
Taraji P. Henson hosts the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty

#7

A Kendrick Lamar inspired outfit for Henson’s opening performance ‘It’s About Us,’ a parody of the rapper’s hit song ‘They Not Like Us’

Taraji P. Henson hosts the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty

#6

A metallic green strapless tube dress by LaQuan Smith

2024 BET Awards
Taraji P. Henson hosts the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty

#5

A custom denim romper paired with a denim fringe floor-length coat by Bishme Cromartie

2024 BET Awards
Taraji P. Henson hosts the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Dalvin Adams

#4

The custom gold Balmain gown she wore on the Blue carpet

2024 BET Awards
Taraji P. Henson hosts the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Gilbert Florez/ Getty

#3

A Lever Couture silver-blue gown

2024 BET Awards
Taraji P. Henson hosts the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Dalvin Adams

#2

A sequin yellow two-piece by Sergio Hudson

2024 BET Awards
Taraji P. Henson at the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Dalvin Adams

#1

A Retrofete white beaded mini dress accessorized with pearls and a choker necklace.

2024 BET Awards
Taraji P. Henson hosts the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty

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