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Lupita Nyong’o Award-Winning Children’s Book “Sulwe” Becomes Animated Musical on Netflix

by Betti Halsell

Netflix announced a new animated musical production that focuses on different shades of beauty. The movie, “Sulwe” is coming to life from its original paperback form. Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o created the children’s book to bring awareness to the judgment of skin color happening an early age and to “encourage children to love the skin they are in and see the beauty that radiates from within.”

The bestselling children’s book by Nyong’o includes illustrations by Vashti Harrison, the story is about a young child who has skin that is darker than anyone else’s. According to Deadline, the book begins with “Sulwe was born the color of midnight,” the reader follows Sulwe’s adventure to self discovery and finding her own beauty. 

Rendering information from Entertainment Weekly, the story follows a 5-year-old Kenyen girl struggling to love the skin she’s in, she wants to be like her friends at school and family at home who are lighter-skinned. The young girl is swept into an adventure in the night skies, which helps her see the beauty in darker shades. Sulwe in Swahili means “star.” 

This book is an ode Nyong’o personal challenge of seeing her own beauty within her shade of skin, the publication captured her struggle. However, this book-turned-movie speaks volumes about the change that is happening on a larger scale. Nyong’o’s voice harmonizes with the illustrations; creating a unique perspective. 

A statement found on Kirkus reviews stated Nyong’o shared with Netflix, she said, “The story of Sulwe is one that is very close to my heart. Growing up, I was uncomfortable in my dark skin. I rarely saw anyone who looked like me in the aspirational pages of books and magazines, or even on TV. It was a long journey for me to arrive at self-love.” The book is looking to foster the journey to self beauty for young minds. 

There is a revolutionary change with each turn of the page, “Sulwe” carries a message with gentleness; designing a safe space for all ages to self-reflect. The subject of colorism can be easily talked about in a family setting; either by reading the book or watching the movie, these are the conversations that every household needs to have with the future generation. 

The picture book was released in 2019 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, making its way to New York’s Times Bestseller list. Nyong’o will be working with Netflix to produce an animated musical based on her original tale of the story. Emphasizing information from the news source listed above, “Sulwe” is an award-winning book; It received the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Children Last year and Nyong’o also is recorded reading the book, which is available on Netflix’s “Bookmarks.” The musical will sure to reach thousands of young hearts that share a similar story. 

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‘The Man From Toronto’ Trailer: Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson Star In Action-Packed Comedy

Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson star in Netflix’s upcoming action-packed comedy dropping on Netflix on June 24.

A case of mistaken identity arises after a screw-up sales consultant and the world’s deadliest assassin—known only as The Man from Toronto— run into each other at a holiday rental.

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‘Bid For Love’: BET Announces Premiere Date and Releases Official Trailer

BET debuted the trailer for its upcoming original drama Bid For Love, set for a June release.

The cast includes Blue Kimble (Ruthless), Dawn Halfkenny (Saints & Sinners), Adrian Lockett (The Oval), Jermel Howard (BMF), Tami Roman (The Family Business), Nikki Dixon (First Christmas), Ptosha Storey (The Oval), Jayda Cheaves and Kwaylon Rogers.

‘Bid For Love’ cast

Directed by Arthur Muhammad (Carter High), the story follows Sasha (Halfkenny) as she navigates life following a prison release. After serving time for her former drug trafficking boyfriend Memphis (Kimble), Sasha falls in love with Malik (Lockett), a generous and successful real estate entrepreneur. The man’s motives for Sasha, however, are far from good. Malik slowly attempts to alienate her from family and friends as he secretly plots against her.

Bid For Love is produced by Lawainna Patterson, London Williams, Shauna D. Balfour, and Christina Cooper. The film will air on BET Her and BET+ on June 23. Watch the official trailer below.

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Martin Reunion First Look Trailer

Martin reunion

BET+ debuted the first look trailer for its highly-anticipated Martin reunion. Three decades later, the cast is reuniting for a special episode dropping on June 16.

Participating stars include Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold, and Carl Anthony Payne II.

The trailer opens with a dedication to Thomas Mikal Ford, who played Tommy in the series. The actor sadly passed away in 2016 from an operation complication. He was 52.

Hosted by comedian Affion Crockett, the special will focus on the show’s origin and evolution. In addition, it will feature interviews with the surviving cast, original directors, special musical performances, and behind-the-scenes must-sees.

Martin, which premiered in 1992, starred Lawrence – who played various characters, Campbell as Martin’s girlfriend and later his wife, Gina; Arnold as Gina’s best friend, Pam; and Martin’s two best friends, Cole (Payne) and Tommy (played by the late Thomas Ford). The series concluded with season five due to the tensions between the two main cast members. People reported that Campbell sued Lawrence for “repeated and escalating sexual harassment, sexual battery, verbal abuse, and related threats” in 1997. The two later reconciled, with Campbell announcing in 2020 that she was “so glad that we’re in a good place right now.”

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