Motivation Monday: Jharrel Jerome Wins Emmy

Good Morning! I was so excited to post about the Emmys because the person I was rooting for most won. If you haven’t figured out from the title who that is, let me type in all caps so you don’t miss the memo: JHARREL JEROME!!! Many of you first became aware of him from his role in Moonlight and although I though he did a good job in that particular role, I didn’t really pay attention to him until June 1st 2019. I remember that day vividly because it was the day after my birthday but also the day where I watched a cinematic masterpiece “When They See Us” (directed by the genius filmmaker Ava Duvernay) with Jharrel’s heartbreaking performance in the forefront of my mind.

Even though “When They See Us” premiered on May 31st, I had birthday plans so I decided to watch it the following evening in the  comfort of my home. There were 4 episodes that felt like mini movies and while each episode touched my heart, the 4th episode is the one that made me break down and sob hysterically. The 4th episode featured Jharrel Jerome’s performance as Korey Wise, one of the 5 men previously known as the Central Park 5 who were tried and convicted of a crime that they didn’t commit. Since Korey was 16 at the time, he was tried and convicted as an adult and served time in a maximum security prison. Because of this, his experiences differed from the the other boys and Jharrel’s gut wrenching portrayal of Korey touched my soul. I was blown away by his commitment to the character and the fact that he was able to give the viewers a glimpse into what Korey went through (his solitary scenes and the scenes with his mom are the highlights of the 4th episode) gave me a better understand of how unjust the criminal justice system really is especially for people of color.

I knew he would be nominated for an Emmy and I was pretty confident that he would win but sometimes award shows become popularity contests instead of focusing on pure talent. Fortunately, Jharrel won and received a standing ovation so I believe it was a mixture of both, I loved his speech because it showed his humility, shock and appreciation. Even though he was more than deserving, he did not expect to win and I feel that he brought back the excitement and joy that award shows have been missing. He is a perfect example of when you give your all for someone you believe in, your hard work will pay off.  I can’t wait to see what is next for him and I know that he is definitely on his way to an Oscar. He’s only 21 years old so I can see it happening for him in another 5-10 years for sure! Gotta shout out Ava and the rest of the cast because even though they didn’t win, they showed the world the ugly truth about racism and prejudice from the past that people of color still deal with today. Hopefully the Golden Globes get it right 🤞🏽

Check out Jharrel’s acceptance speech below and let me know what you thought of “When They See Us” and the bigger conversation we need to have as it relates to race. New post will be up on Wednesday.  Until then, I hope everyone has a great week and remember to love and live luxuriously!

Selma Movie Review

Good Morning! I wanted to wait until “Selma” was released nationwide tomorrow (January 9th) but after seeing a preview for it for the millionth time on tv, I took it as a sign to give an early review so I could persuade everyone to go out and see it on Friday. I had the opportunity to see the movie right before Christmas at an advanced screening of it in NYC courtesy of http://www.gofobo.com. I knew I was going to love the movie because I am a Civil Rights History buff. When I was younger, I used to read  anything related to the Civil Rights Movement so I was familiar with “Bloody Sunday” and the importance of that moment in history but I didn’t realize how strategic the “non-violent” approach really was in the grand scheme of things. In “Selma”  the viewer is able to see how being non-violent played into the hearts and minds of the public by way of the media. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was able to show the pain and suffering of African-Americans in Selma and the south by showing that voting isn’t a privilege but a basic human right and being denied those rights is not only illegal but immoral.

I also loved how the director, Ava DuVernay (who is the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe award and hopefully Oscar) approached many of the scenes, in particular, the “Bloody Sunday” scene. The phrase that comes to mind after viewing that scene  is “tragically beautiful” because of all the emotions that occurred in those brutal moments. You could feel hate from their oppressors and mental strength and resilience from the marchers. It is so crazy to realize that all of this actually happened only 50 years ago. We have come a long way but as recent  event such as Ferguson and Eric Garner have  shown, we still have a very long way ago. “Selma” is coming out at an ideal time because we all can learn from the past to make sure that we handle current racial issues in a strategic way to see real progress.

I think that David Oyelowo (the actor who played MLK Jr.) did an amazing job showing the different facets of MLK.  He showed MLK as a funny, down to earth person who even in his greatest moments had imperfections and indiscretions like everyone else. I was really impressed with the fact that he was British because being able to capture the voice and overall essence of someone as well-known as Martin Luther King Jr. is not an easy task. I am sure he will be nominated for an Oscar for his role as well!

Make sure you go out and see “Selma” in theaters tomorrow and come back to the comments section and let me know what you thought of it! Can’t wait to read your replies!

 

Love and live luxuriously!