Creed

LXXV: My Black Is... Creative?

It is thanks to so many African Americans that we get to enjoy MANY of the things that we enjoy today. And let me tell you, no one celebrates Us like we celebrate Us. So this post is me just shining light and celebrating my people who continue to trail-blaze, kill the game, and completely snatch all of the wigs off of consumers.


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Let’s start with Bay Area’s own, Ryan Coogler - Marvel’s youngest filmmaker, with record-setting highs in the box office for Black Panther & phenomenal works like Creed (original story), & Fruitvale Station.

Oakland bred and Sacramento State Alum (like myself), Ryan Coogler!


Beyoncé - Icon, Mogul, Queen of Everything. I really don’t need to say more, but I will: activist, humanitarian, mother, wife, ever-enduring, passionate, compassionate, giving, Queen Beyoncé.

She literally has people begging that she pass the torch (i.e. stop putting out music, doing tours, etc.) so that these other girls can catch up. When you reach this level, it means that you’re not done, it means that you’ve got them shook, and it means that you are the greatest of all time!

She is the most Grammy-nominated and second-most Grammy awarded woman in Grammy history as well as the only artist to have ALL of her studio albums debut at Number 1.


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Marsai Martin - World’s youngest producer and first to ink first look deal with Universal!

Comedic cuteness, and such a huge heart. It’s like we’ve watched her grow up on Black•Ish over the years but now she’s blossomed into the beautiful woman who we KNOW cannot be stopped.

I am excited to see what’s to come from her because I know it will not be anything light! Keep your foot on our necks, Sis! You’re killing it.


Tracee Ellis Ross - Motha! Actress, motivator, #bodygoals, director, comedian and television host.

Young Ms. Ross who I know best for her role as Joan Clayton on Girlfriends. I literally grew up wanting to be the crazy friend that Joan Clayton was. I watched her become a lawyer, decide that that was not for her and then start a whole new career in her 40’s!

If anything, over the years, Tracee Ellis Ross has given me hope in many areas of my life. And the part that I love most is that she’s done it for YEARS without the need to have a man by her side. I don’t know how but I simply aspire to not feel as though I need a teammate, a partner or someone to battle this cruel cruel world with.

Tracee you are, remain, and will always be GOALS.


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Dr. Shirley Jackson - A top woman in science and invention. Inventor of the touch-tone phone, caller ID and fiber optic cable. A leader in telecommunication inventions, Dr. Shirley Jackson!

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Philip Emeagwali - Creator of the world’s fastest computer.

A Nigerian native who has made tremendous advances in computer science. Winner of the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize for high-performance computing applications.

LXVIII: Movie Theater Etiquette 101

I go to the movies a lot which means that I see and experience a lot in that setting. I wish I could say that all (or most) of my experiences were pleasant, but the great majority of them are not.

But, have no fear! I’ve written out a couple of tips to help those who struggle when emerging from their homes and traveling to the cinemas:

PARENTS, THE MOVIE THEATER IS NOT THE PLACE FOR YOUR NEWBORN!

I’ve been to the movies too many times and had my experience negatively altered by the family who decided to bring either a newborn or a toddler to an R rated movie.

Now, it is completely up to you to decide how you will parent and what content you will allow your children to see and indulge in, but please keep in mind the fact that you did not pay for every seat in the theater. Other people paid to be there as well, so when your newborn screams, we all hear it and when your toddler decides that the movie is boring and that he/she should instead start a conversation about Bubble Guppies, we hear that too.

Please be considerate of other movie-goers.

TWEENS, DRINK LESS AND HOLD OFF ON THE BATHROOM SELFIES!

It never fails, if i go to the movies at night on a weekend, it is inevitably filled with high school students. Now, as a sheltered teen, I am all for y’alls liberation, but when it infringes on my good time is when I start to have a problem with it.

The movie will legitimately be an hour and thirty minutes and y’all get up to leave the theater 4 times. You’re either sipping too hard on that Coke or you’re busy sending selfies from the movie theater rest room. I promise the lighting is better at home in your bathroom so just wait until you’re there.

Thanks.

CHILDREN & ADULTS, I DID NOT PAY TO SEE YOUR PHONE SCREEN!

I have now been in a theater with both children and adults who cannot sit for two hours without being on their phones!

When I’m lucky, they are completely out of my view, but, I recently went to watch Aquaman and there was this middle-aged/old-enough-to-know-better aged man who was there with a woman but constantly checking his dating app! Like, come on you thirsty old man, get it together and find some respect! If not for me, then maybe for the girl next to you whose popcorn you keep stealing.

Either wait until after the movie, or just excuse yourself. We shouldn’t all have to suffer just because you’re obsessed with your phones.

OBNOXIOUS PERSON WHO NEVER LEAVES THE HOUSE, DON’T BOTHER ME!

I know that leaving the house can be such an exciting thing, but each and every time that I left my house to watch Creed II, my experience was ruined by that one person who couldn’t keep their comments, thoughts, guesses, and alternate plot theories to themselves.

I know that you think your ideas are great and that they should be heard, but save that for your blog or your mama, and not for the movie theater where we all paid to watch what the director and writer decide what would happen… not you!

LVIII: So, Creed II...

The long-awaited reveal of the work-in-progress Creed II finally hit the theaters and it did not disappoint. 

Now, call this whole post biased if you want based on my love for all involved in the making of the film, but the film was great!  

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The film follows the storyline that was set up in Creed, created by none other than Ryan Coogler, wherein Adonis “Donnie”/“Hollywood” Johnson leaves his day job in Los Angeles to train with Rocky Balboa, and fight full time.

Along the way, he helps the infamous, Rocky Balboa fight a couple of battles of his own and falls in love creating the perfect teaming of beings.

DONNIE & ROCKY

One of my favorite things about these movies is how respectful a man that Adonis is. 

From the beginning, he approached the situation with Rocky as humbly and respectfully as can be. Even when they had a disagreement, Adonis would always come back, acknowledge his wrong and apologize.

The writers could have chosen to make Adonis’ character a mean, resentful man for his father’s infidelity and for “leaving him” (which was a theme throughout both films), but they instead made him the vision of what a man should be.

He was hardworking, focused, respectful, loyal, faithful, loving, friendly and didn’t take his chances for granted. He had the will to fight for what he wanted and he worked hard despite other’s disbelief in him. 

I love the man that they chose to make Adonis Johnson in this film. 

I especially loved watching him in Creed II because, in this film, we get to see what happens when Adonis is shaken. When he isn’t just the strong, fighting, loving man that I love to see… He was feeling down based on a fear that he wasn’t good enough (something we have all experienced), so this Donnie was refreshing for me. It was realistic.

Him needing Rocky (and Bianca) to get through this was so good to see.

Boys these days put up this wall and act as though they don’t need people (men don’t, they know they need people), so the result is them carrying that resentment, being angry, and treating the next batch of people in their lives horribly. 

Watching these characters on screen and the relationship between Rocky and Adonis should definitely open the eyes of many men and women. The bond, the respect, the relationship — phenomenal. And, given the selfish character of people today, it’s not a bond you see much.

I hope that these two on screen help shape a change in this regard.

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TESSA THOMPSON 

Am I the only one who didn’t know that she could sing?  

Honestly, I knew nothing about Tessa Thompson before the Creed movies, but I love her role in it all. 

Throughout the Creed movies, we hear original songs performed by Tessa Thompson which, I personally, LOVE. These songs are not what I typically listen to because of the trip-hoppy feel that they have but I love each of the songs she performs for these movies! Shoutout to her!

BIANCA & DONNIE

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Speaking of  the beautiful Tessa Thompson, her character Bianca finally gets the recognition as the strong female counterpart to Adonis Creed in the new Creed movie. 

She is acknowledged for standing by his side in situations that must be difficult. Dealing with the punches, the beatings, the wins, the losses, etc, she was right by his side — the perfect team.

Their relationship was cute from the start. They were patient with each other and although Bianca's character was guarded initially, she let that guard down to team up with someone worth the risk!

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In Creed II, we see the couple go through more. We see them struggle with each other and in their lives separately.

I like that because, again, it’s real.

Adonis becomes so far removed from his relationship with both Rocky and Bianca leaving Bianca to hold it together while he figures it all out. She turns to Adonis’ mom for advice because she’s been through it before and we get to hear the tale of another woman having to be strong for herself and her man while her man figures out his crap. I’m all for being there for the team, but I would never pass up the opportunity to acknowledge how strong women have to be to love even a good man… It’s not easy.

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So, I just love the love and appreciation that Adonis shows Bianca. I loved how he made it clear that he needed her and she made it clear that she needed him. It was a perfect balance to a dope team.

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Bianca | Donnie

This was one of the best scenes to me.

It was the complete embodiment of teamwork and standing by each other.

MICHAEL B. JORDAN

While we’re here, can we talk about the amount of work that MBJ put in to become Adonis Creed for this film?  

Now, there are people walking around talking about hating the film entirely and I cannot see why!

First off, the training! I’m sure we cannot even fathom the amount of work that Michael B. Jordan put in to (1) learn how to box and (2) look that good.

If you can’t look at the movie and see that the work is real then I have no clue what’s wrong with you. If you can’t appreciate just the amount of work that they all put in on a boxing and working out front, then you’re insane for sure.

I see the work ethic, MBJ! I admire it.

PREDICTIONS

After the final fight of the film, Rocky mentioned to Adonis that it was his time now. He then took a seat next to the ring, took off his hat and just stared in.

I feel that this moment symbolizes the end of the Donnie-Rocky trainor-trainee relationship and it kills me. They really made each other better. They were good friends/family and an even greater team. After a match, if Donnie wasn’t looking for Bianca, then he was looking for Rocky and that just shows how deep their bonds were.

But, I am super convinced that Rocky will leave Adonis after this film and work on his relationship with his family. He may be a call away, but I honestly don’t see Rocky being in the next (hopeful that there will be a next) film.

As for Bianca and Donnie, I know that they can weather any storm and I love it, but I am thinking that Bianca’s career will take off and, of course, Donnie won’t want to stay away from the ring, so there will be some difficulties there with their relationship and their baby.

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