This Week in Black Art and Culture: Christie’s Say It Loud Returns, New Fenty Fragrance and more

Above: MALIKE SIDIBE (B. 1997)
Please Stop the Violence, 2020
39 x 49 in.
C-print on Luster surface paper, printed 2021 Sheet:39x49in
This work is number four from an edition of ten.

This week in
Black art and culture, Till, Chinonye Chukwu’s forthcoming film casts two major leads. Marla Gibbs is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Destinee Ross-Sutton is partnering with Christie’s for a second selling show highlighting the work of Black artists.  Rihanna is introducing Fenty fragrance, a new addition to her empire. 

Upcoming Film Till Casts Two Major Leads

Chinonye Chukwu’s forthcoming film Till, on Mamie Till-Mobley’s struggle for justice for her 14-year-old son Emmett Till, will feature EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winner Whoopi Goldberg and Danielle Deadwyler.

Mamie Till-Mobley will be played by Deadwyler (Watchmen),while Alma Carthan will be played by Goldberg. Along with Keith Beauchamp, Barbara Broccoli, Thomas K. Levine, Michael JP Reilly, and Frederick Zollo, Goldberg will serve as aproducer on the film for MGM’s Orion Pictures.

Mamie’s choice to have an open casket at Emmett’s burial and to allow Jet magazine to publish David Jackson’s funeral pictures to ensure that everyone witnessed the full horrors of her son’s death is chronicled in Till.

Chukwu authored the script based on a previous draft by Beauchamp. (Till is based in part on the original research for his award-winning 2005 documentary, The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till.) Till is Chukwu’s follow-up to the highly praised film,Clemency, which won the Sundance grand jury award and starred Alfre Woodard and Aldis Hodge.

In September, principal filming for Till will begin in Atlanta.

Above: Marla Gibbs .

Marla Gibbs Achieves Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Marla Gibbs, a five-time Emmy nominee, best remembered for her role as spunky maid Florence Johnston on The Jeffersons,was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 20 in a ceremony that was cut short because Gibbs appeared to be suffering from heat exhaustion.

Gibbs, 90, was about to begin speaking at the Hollywood Boulevard event when she appeared to fall faint. Her son went to her side and assisted her in sitting down, prompting the crowd to erupt in applause for Gibbs.

Tisha Campbell and TV producer Norman Lear, who created The Jeffersons as a spinoff from All in the Family, were among others who spoke during the celebration. In a 1995 episode of the Fox sitcom Martin, Gibbs guest-appeared as a stern new maid alongside Campbell.

Her career peaked when she was cast in CBS’s The Jeffersons,which aired from 1975 to 1985 and earned her five straight Emmy awards for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series. Following the discontinuation of The Jeffersons, Gibbs appeared in 227, for which she performed, playing a sharp-tongued housewife living in a Washington, D.C. apartment building, and co-wrote the theme music.


A Lucky Man
acrylic, charcoal, pen, soil and mixed media on canvas 42x 317/8in. Executed in 2021

Curator Destinee Ross-Sutton Again Teams with Christie’s To Highlight Black Artists

Curator Destinee Ross-Sutton is teaming up with Christie’s for a second selling show highlighting the work of Black artists from around the world. Say it Loud: Visionaries of Self expands on a virtual selling exhibition Ross- Sutton co-curated with Christie’s last summer called Say it Loud (I’m Black and Proud), by bringing together a diverse group of established and rising artists with a focus on amplifying their point of view.

The show will feature 32 pieces that will be presented both physically and virtually at Christie’s New York galleries, with revenues going to the artists and agents as well as Ross-Sutton’snonprofit, the Black Artist Collective.

The Love Child, Nelson Makamo, Khari Turner, Joshua Michael Adokuru, and Isshaq Ismail are among the returning artists, along with a new group of 17 rising and renowned mid-career artists including Gherdai Hassell, Sarah Dahir, Hebru Brantley and celebrated artist Zanele Muholi. Through excitingrepresentations of the human form, this carefully chosen grouping brings together a vast diversity of individual voices, creative methods, and a wide range of cultural and social experiences. The show will be supported by a full calendar ofeducational events, including a Christie’s Education-hosted paid course on commercial skills for artists.


Growing a Fashion Empire: Rihanna Introduces New Fragrance

Rihanna is introducing her own fragrance, Fenty, and while fans wait for new music, the Fenty empire is expanding rapidly.

Fenty Parfum, the singer’s latest product, has been unveiled. She has used social media to publish two black-and-white pictures from the promotional campaign. Although no release date has been set, free samples of Fenty Parfum are available with every order of $40 or more on

Rihanna already has dabbled in the fragrance industry. In addition to her Rogue Man cologne, she had 11 fragrances with Parlux, with names including Nude, Reb’l Fleur, and Riri.Beginning this year, Rihanna also will launch Fenty Skin, Fenty Beauty, and her joint fashion company with LVMH.


-Compiled by Sumaiyah E.Wade

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