“My grandfather made up the name Carey when he came to America to be more accepted, I guess.”
That’s right. In case you didn’t know, Mariah Carey is totally one of us. Old interview footage was recently posted by a Mariah Carey YouTube fan page, MariahRaw. The interview revealed that the world-renowned singer, with the highest high note ever heard (not really), isn’t really who we think she is.
Carey let us in on a little known secret, her real last name would’ve been Nuñez BUT her grandfather, out of fear of discrimination, changed his last name to Carey. Interestingly, as she points out, Carey is an Irish last name and during that time the Irish were facing their own discrimination problems. Seems like Mariah’s grandfather should have done a little more research before picking his new, last name.
Netflix’s “Becoming” is one documentary everyone is talking about. The documentary, which follows former First Lady Michelle Obama on her 34-city book tour, was directed by Afro-Latina, Puerto Rican cinematographer Nadia Hallgren. It’s the excellence we all love to see.
Nadia Hallgren is the directing powerhouse behind Netflix’s documentary “Becoming.”
“Becoming” is Hallgren’s first feature-lengthed film and what a way to make a debut. The documentary follows Michelle Obama during her sold-out book tour promoting a book of the same name.
“I think the biggest thing was that it was a tremendous responsibility,” Hallgren told BlackFilm. “This is going to happen one time with Mrs. Obama. I wanted to make the thing and just whatever responsibility that was probably the thing that weighed the most on me.
Higher Ground Productions approached Hallgren to create the documentary.
“I was sitting at my kitchen table the way that I am now, and I got a call from Priya Swaminathan, who is one of the heads of Higher Ground,” Hallgren told Essence Magazine. “And she tells me that Mrs. Obama is getting ready to go out on this book tour and that they were kind of floating the idea of documenting it. Not being certain yet where that footage would live or if it would go anywhere other than her archives, but they were thinking about it. So, after a couple of phone calls, I get an email that says you have an appointment at the Office of Michelle and Barack Obama on this day.”
While filming Obama for the documentary, there was only one rule.
Hallgren says that she was given unprecedented access to the former first lady. She was backstage at every book tour stop, rode with Obama in her motorcades, and spent time at her home. The only thing Obama requested about the footage was that Hallgren not shoot footage of her and her daughters at home. Hallgren agreed because it seemed like a fair request.
However, we did still get footage of Sasha and Malia but one moment really stands out.
During the documentary, Malia comes on to the screen to congratulate her mom on another book tour stop. It was a rare and honest look into Malia and Michelle’s relationship.
“On tours, the same things happen over and over again—you travel, you do the thing, you move on,” Hallgren told Vanity Fair. “So it was pretty much any other shoot, and Mrs. Obama was signing books…And so I’m filming Mrs. Obama, and Malia—I didn’t even see her coming—must’ve walked behind me. She came around to talk to her mom, and just said this amazingly thoughtful reflection that she had in that moment.”
You can watch “Becoming” on Netflix now.
Congratulations, Nadia! What a special moment to be a part of.
The 43rd stamp in the Black Heritage series honors the late Afro-Latina boss woman, Gwen Ifill (1955–2016), one of America’s most esteemed journalists. The US Postal service stamp features a photo taken of the PBS News Hour co-anchor who sadly died in 2016.
The stamp was unveiled just last week.
The stamp, which was unveiled last Tuesday, features a 2008 photo of Ifill with the words “BLACK HERITAGE” at the top and Ifill’s name at the bottom. It’s the 43rd stamp in the Black Heritage series and one of several new designs that will be issued next year.
Ifill was a pioneer for women and African Americans in journalism.
She become the first African American woman to host a major political talk show when she took the helm at PBS’s “Washington Week in Review.” “Gwen Ifill was a remarkable trailblazer who broke through gender and racial barriers,” shared Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman at a dedication ceremony held for her at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.
The Deputy Postmaster went on to say,
“The Postal Service is proud to celebrate Gwen’s contribution as a remarkable journalist with this beautiful commemorative Forever stamp. Gwen was truly a national treasure, and so richly deserving of today’s honor.” Gwen was a New York native of Panamanian and Barbadian descent who left behind an indelible journalistic legacy. Not only did she break down barriers on TV but she also worked for The New York Times and The Washington Post. Apart from her journalistic achievements, she also wrote the book The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.
Ifill worked at the NewsHour for 17 years.
The anchor covered eight presidential campaigns and moderated two vice-presidential debates. She was also the moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week.”
Her brother shared a statement
“The Ifill family is thrilled that our sister, cousin, and aunt has received this signal tribute to her legacy as a truth-teller, pioneer and exemplar,” said Bert Ifill, Gwen’s brother and spokesperson for the family. “As a reporter and moderator, Gwen was dedicated to two principles: getting the story right and getting the right stories out. As a mentor, supportive friend, and family member, she was determined, not only to open doors for those of us previously locked out of opportunity but also to provide floor plans to help us find our way through. She is forever in our hearts, and we are forever in her debt.”
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