Support the BlackStar Film Festival | Donate Now

Please support our friends at the BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL, who are currently running a fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding site RAZOO.

No amount is to large or too small.  CLICK HERE for details and to donate.

In the three years since its founding, BlackStar has screened 160 films and has increased its audience from 1,500 to over 3,000. The diversity and talent of the featured filmmakers and panelists has been remarkable: Ava DuVernay, Byron Hurt, and Nelson George. Spike Lee, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Haile Gerima, Greg Tate, and Lisa Cortés. Arthur Jafa, DJ Spooky, Terence Nance, Kahlil Joseph, Darius Clark Monroe, Lacey Schwartz, and Michael K. Williams. And so many more. In fact, at the most recent festival, three-quarters of the filmmakers were in attendance, making BlackStar as much about the creative process of film-making and film-watching, as about the screening of the films themselves.

Help make it happen for BlackStar 2015.

Mike’s Top 10 African-American Holiday Movies

Mike’s Top 10 African-American Holiday Movies

1. Trading Places

2. Best Man Holiday

3. The Preacher’s Wife

4. Friday After Next

5. Holiday Heart (2000)

6. J.T. (1969)

7. A Fat Albert Christmas (1977)

8. The Black Candle

9. Martin – “I Saw Gina Kissing Santa Claus”

10. A Cool Like That Christmas (1993)

Notable Movies/TV Specials

Roots: The Gift (1988)

The Kid Who Loved Christmas (1990)

A Dream For Christmas (1973)

A Cleveland Brown Christmas (2009)

Santa Baby (2001)

Ms. Scrooge (1997)

A Diva’s Christmas Carol (2000)

A Christmas Blessing (2013)

Timepiece (1996)

Christmas Lillies of the Field (1979)

Black Nativity (2013)

A Madea Christmas (2013)

Perfect Holiday (2007)

Last Holiday (2006)

TV Episodes

Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Family Matters

Sanford And Son

What’s Happening

The Jeffersons

Amos and Andy

Maori Holmes on Reelblack Radio

Tune in today at 4pm to 900AMWURD for Reelblack Radio.  BlackStar Film Festival Founder MAORI KARMAEL HOLMES will be calling in to discuss her current crowdfunding campaign in support of the 2015 fest.  Mike and Steph will also discuss ANNIE, The Sony Hack  and Chris Rock’s recent article in the Hollywood Reporter where he proclaims Hollywood “is a White industry.”

You can join the Conversation at 866-361-0900 or 215-634-8065 and listen online at

Also, The Community Jazz Project & PhillyAmplified are honored to have The Maestro (Babyface,Micheal Jackson, Aaliyah, Stevie Wonder,TLC, Teddy Pendergrass, Johnnie Hil, and so many more) Johnnie Croom accompany and direct this night of super talent.
Our ‘Crooners” for the evening are Damon K Williams (the voice), (Can do it all) Keni Jackson, and Mr Soulman Dwight K Smith.
There will be many more surprise guest as well!!

Please arrive early for a good seat!!! Cover for the fantastic night is just $10 so bring a friend or two.

At Reuben’s Marc, Stenton & Mt. Pleasant Avenue in Mt. Airy 8:30pm -11:30pm.

Ava DuVernay & Cast Support Eric Garner at ‘Selma’ Movie Premiere

#SelmaMovie #BlackLivesMatter


What: Two Films by Skye Dennis

When: Friday December 12, 2014 at 7pm

Where: The United Bank Building, 3750 Lancaster Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19104

Cost: $5.00 (Includes refreshments)

Fresh off its debut at the American Black Film Festival, Reelblack and PEC are proud to host this special screening of Myra’s Angel, from area filmmakers SKYE DENNIS (The Underground Kings) and HAKIM HUDSON. An added bonus will be the premiere of THE HAMILTON CHRONICLES, directed by Skye Dennis and written by LUIS WHITE.

The filmmakers and members of the cast will be on hand for a post-film Q&A.

A film about a man’s journey for redemption, as he tries to clear his name of robbery he didn’t commit.

Principal Subject(s): Tobi Gadison, Christopher Mann, Brian Anthony Wilson, John Canada Terrell, Omilio Sparks, Franklin Ojeda Smith, Antonio Lambertis and Skye Dennis.


Chris Rock has an excellent new movie called TOP FIVE that opens next Friday.  I’ve seen it.  I urge you to see it opening weekend (after checking out our showcase at the United Bank Building, of course).  The cool thing about a new Chris Rock Project is that he’s been doing tons of interviews and op-ed pieces.  Two of the best are the interview he did for NEW YORK MAGAZINE, where he touches on Ferguson, Cosby and Race.  An excellent read that will open your mind.

The other must-read is the op-ed piece he did for the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER where he discusses BLACK FILM and the changes he’s seen since he first came to LA back in 1987.  It is important to note that TOP FIVE is Chris’ first narrative film to be made completely outside of the Hollywood Studio System (both GOOD HAIR and TOP FIVE were made independently then sold to a distributor).  Essential reading.

Reelblack Recommends - LIFE’S ESSENTIALS WITH RUBY DEE 12/18

On Monday, September 29th, I saw the film “Life’s Essentials With Ruby Dee” produced by Ms. Dee’s grandson Muta’ Ali Muhammad at Hunter College and since then I truly wanted to bring it to Philadelphia because of my knowledge of the Paul Robeson House here on 50th & Walnut.

Join me on Thursday, December 18th to see this film at the Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square for a night of reflection on the legacy of Ruby Dee & Paul Robeson, whom Ms. Dee supported in 1950 when the U.S. State Department seized his passport for refusing to perform before racially segregated audiences, and for saying in 1949 that “it is unthinkable that American Negroes would go to war on behalf of those [United States] who have oppressed us for generations against a country [Soviet Union] which in one generation has raised our people to full dignity of humankind.” I knew Ruby Dee and her husband Ossie Davis supported Paul Robeson’s uncompromising stand for truth and justice that cost him his career dearly. In their memoir, With Ossie & Ruby: In this Life Together, Ossie Davis said: “the harder they fought to keep Paul quiet, the harder we fought to magnify his voice” (205). I am trying to magnify his voice as well.

On Thursday, December 18th, before the film screening, I am inviting theater producers to speak, such as Al Simpkins of Bushfire Theater, and Bruce Robinson whose student Indiya will be performing work inspired by Ms. Dee and Mr. Robeson. I am also inviting artists whose mentors were persecuted by the oppressive 1950s McCarthyist Blacklist that Ms. Dee and Mr. Robeson lived through. This screening will be catered by Sweet Nina’s LLC.  We are also having Muta Ali Muhammad talk about the film in a post-screening talkback. I hope you can join me. Tickets to this dinner and screening are $25 and all proceeds go to the Paul Robeson House’s docent training program. To teach young people how to give tours at the Paul Robeson House. You can purchase tickets at

Instead of spending money to support businesses that sanction the Grand Jury Decision in Ferguson, support a cause to educate our young people about Paul Robeson.

Beyond the admission cost, I also need financial help in paying for this event. I have personally spent over $1,000 in planning this event. All because I believe in bringing awareness of Paul Robeson to our city. You can send me any payment via PayPal at or, you can send a tax-deductible contribution to a sponsoring 501(c)3 organization, Caribbean Alliance For Equality, via PayPal when you click “Make A Contribution” on their website

I would appreciate any support to help educate our young people about Paul Robeson.

In Solidarity and Love,

Rhone Fraser, Ph.D.

Event Producer”

PHL Live Tonight at the Troc 12/5

Community Jazz Project Tonight 12/5 in Mt. Airy

FOUR QUEENS, NO TRUMP | A Play By TED LANGE 12/5 in W. Philly

click to enlarge

African Arts Theatrical Productions
Endurance Theatrical Productions
Four Queens – No Trump
written & directed by Ted Lange
co-directed by Oceana James
Meryl Lynn Brown
Bill Egan
TS Hawkins
Baset Sat-Ra
Tamara Woods
Join us for the staged reading of Ted Lange’s comedic play  Four Queens – No Trump
followed by a discussion with playwright.
An invitation to listen in on the bawdy and brazen conversations
of four women during their weekly card meet.
These dynamic, vivacious and “down home” women
candidly discuss their loves, wins and losses
with outrageous humor as they play the hands dealt
at the table and in life.
Date: December 5th 2014
Time: 7pm
Admission: Adults $15 | Students $10 |Seniors $5
(cash only)
Location: Overbrook Environmental & Arts Education Center
6134 Lancaster Avenue  Philadelphia, PA 19151
To Reserve Your Seat:

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