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Niecy Nash to host ‘Black Girls Rock’ honoring Angela Bassett, Ciara, Regina King + more

BET Networks and Beverly Bond, CEO, Executive Producer and Creator of BLACK GIRLS ROCK!® are excited to announce Emmy-nominated actress and CLAWS star, Niecy Nash as host of The 2019 BLACK GIRLS ROCK!® Awards on BET. This year’s celebration will tape this weekend on Sunday, August 25 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, NJ. The broadcast will premiere on Sunday, September 8 at 8:00 P.M. ET/PT on BET.

The 2019 star-studded line up of celebrants include Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominated actress, director, and producer Angela Bassett (Icon Award), Oscar, Golden Globe, and Emmy-winning actress and director and former BLACK GIRLS ROCK!® Awards co-host Regina King (Star Power Award), GRAMMY-Award  winning singer/songwriter Ciara (Rock Star Award), Academy Award and Emmy Award-nominated producer and industry trailblazer Debra Martin Chase (Shot Caller Award) two-time GRAMMY Award-winning musician H.E.R. (Young Gifted and Black Award), and activists The Mothers of The Movement Sybrina Fulton, Geneva Reed Veal, Gwen Carr, Lucy McBath, Maria Hamilton and Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley (Community Change Agent Award).

“I am thrilled to host this year’s BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards, said 2019 host, Niecy Nash. “We are celebrating Black women who serve the world with style, grace, class and sass! Our honorees are truly shining bright. In a room full of Black girl magic anything could happen! This is going to be an amazing event!”

“Multifaceted actress Niecy Nash brings her own unique flavor of black girl magic as our host and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Our lineup from host to honorees, performers and M.A.D. Girls all rock and I’m looking forward to presenting another empowering and dynamic show,” said Bond.

Will you be watching?

PHOTO CREDIT: RayCornelius.com

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Angela Bassett, Ava DuVernay, Ryan Murphy and more recognized at ‘AAFCA TV Honors’ [PHOTOS]

Check out photos from this past weekend’s First Annual AAFCA TV Honors. The exclusive awards luncheon, presented by the African American Film Critics Association, was held at the Fireside Room at the California Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey and recognized some of the biggest stars on television.

Ava DuVernay and the cast of When They See Us
AAFCA’s Gil Robertson along with Ava DuVernay and the cast of When They See Us

Awards were handed out to Emmy nominee Ava DuVernay and her cast of When They See UsNiecy Nash, Aunjanue Ellis, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Jharrel Jerome and Asante Blackk. She picked up the award for “Best Limited Series” and the actors picked up “Best Ensemble” as well as “Breakthrough Performance” for Jharrel.

Gil Roberston with Sterling K. Brown and Ryan Michelle Bathe

CBS’s The Neighborhood featuring Cedric the Entertainer and Tichina Arnold picked up “Best TV Comedy.” Emmy winner and This is Us star Sterling K. Brown won for “Best TV Performance – Male” along with iconic film actress Angela Bassett for “Best TV Performance – Female.”

Janet Mock, Ryan Murphy, Angela Bassett and MJ Rodriguez

POSE and 9-1-1 producer Ryan Murphy also earned the AAFCA TV Honors first Icon Award for his outstanding contributions to television.

Special invited guests included Chaz EbertSheryl Lee Ralph, Janet Mock, Richard BrooksMj Rodriguez, among many others.  The event was presided over by AAFCA President Gil Robertson.

See the full list of winners below:

Best TV Comedy: “The Neighborhood” (CBS)

A comedy series, limited series, television movie or special that stands out for its quality and cultural significance presented to the series creator Jim Reynolds and cast members Cedric the Entertainer,  Tichina Arnold, Max Greenfield, Marcel Spears, Beth Behrs, and Sheaun McKinney.

Best TV Drama: “Power” (Starz)

A drama series, limited series, documentary series, television movie or otherwise that stands out for its quality and cultural significance presented to show writer Eric Haywood and director Anthony Hemingway.

Best Limited Series: “When They See Us” (Netflix)

A limited series, television movie or special that stands out for its quality and cultural significance presented to creator, co-writer and director Ava DuVernay.

Best Ensemble: “When They See Us” (Netflix)

This award may be given to an ensemble in a drama series, limited series, documentary series, television movie or otherwise that stands out as a groundbreaker or gamechanger in the television landscape. Presented to cast members Niecy Nash, Aunjanue Ellis, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Jharrel Jerome and Asante Blackk.

Breakthrough Performance: Jharrel Jerome “When They See Us”

This award may be given to an actor, creator or project that stands out as a groundbreaker or gamechanger in the television landscape

Best Writing: “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Writing for a drama series, comedy series, limited series, documentary series, television movie

or otherwise that stands out for its quality and cultural significance. Presented to writer Attica Locke.

Best TV Performance – Female: Angela Bassett

An actress whose work during the calendar year has been extraordinary.

Best TV Performance – Male: Sterling K. Brown

An actor whose work during the calendar year has been extraordinary.

Inclusion Award: CBS

Recognizes a network or production entity that demonstrates a powerful commitment to diversity and inclusion presented to Kelly Kahl President, CBS Entertainment.

PHOTO CREDITS: Brook Benjamin for AAFCA

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‘AAFCA TV Honors’ salutes ‘When They See Us,’ ‘Power,’ Ryan Murphy and more

Ava DuVernay’s riveting Netflix project When They See Us earned four wins from the African American Film Critics Association Tuesday as part of the upcoming AAFCA TV Honors. The highly popular limited series about the infamous Central Park rape case that resulted in the arrest and false imprisonment of five black youths, received the group’s Best Limited Series, Best Ensemble, Best Writing and Breakout Performance for Jharrel Jerome who plays Korey Wise in the series.

Other big wins went to the popular Starz drama Power, which begins its sixth and final season August 25th, and the CBS freshman comedy, The Neighborhood, starring Cedric the Entertainer and Tichina Arnold. Angela Bassett and Sterling K. Brown earned Best Acting Honors for their respective performances in the series 9-1-1 on Fox and This Is Us on NBC.

In all, the sixteen-year-old association will give out ten awards, including honoring mega-producer Ryan Murphy with the AAFCATV Icon Award and big three network, CBS, with the AAFCA Inclusion Award for its diverse programming and talent.     

“It is impossible to ignore TV’s popularity and remarkable influence on America’s pop culture landscape today,” says AAFCA president Gil Robertson IV. “As the stature of the small screen continues to expand, it has become increasingly more diverse and inclusive, a movement that we at AAFCA wholeheartedly embrace and champion. The honorees for our first AAFCA TV Honors represent the very best of television programming. They all successfully put a mirror up to our world to tell stories that are refreshingly diverse and authentic. We feel that this new wave of innovative, thought-provoking storytelling is inspiring and deserving of celebration.”

The honorees will be feted at AAFCA TV Honors during a private brunch on Sunday, August 11, 2019 at the California Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey, CA.

See all of the winners below:

Best Drama – “Power” (Starz)

Best Comedy – “The Neighborhood” (CBS)

Best Limited Series – “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Best Performance Female – Angela Bassett (9-1-1) FOX

Best Performance Male – Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”) NBC

Best Ensemble – “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Best Writing – “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Breakthrough Performance – Jharrel Jerome, “When They See Us” (Netflix)

AAFCA TV Honors Inclusion Award – CBS

AAFCA TV Honors ICON Award – Ryan Murphy  

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Cicely Tyson, Ledisi, Angela Bassett + more attend ‘Ailey 60’ Opening Night Gala [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Last night, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre‘s 60th Anniversary holiday season at New York City Center kicked off with a star-studded Opening Night Gala Benefit performance and party led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, with iconic film stars Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson as honorary chairs.

Robert Battle with Cicely Tyson

Prudential Financial received the Ailey Legacy Honor for their generous support and commitment to Ailey, especially its education and community programs. The award was presented by Battle and Christopher Taylor, an alumnus of the inaugural Ailey Camp Newark (2011) and a current scholarship student at The Ailey School, and accepted by Lata Reddy, Senior Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Impact at Prudential Financial.

Hope Boykin + Angela Bassett

 The one-night-only program featured tributes to the Company’s legendary founder with a specially staged excerpt of Memoria, a work he choreographed as an elegy for a dear friend; a piece d’occasion entitled For Alvin by Robert Battle, set to Nina Simone’s Black is the Color; and culminated with Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations, performed with live musicians and special guest singers Ledisi (12-time Grammy-nominated R&B artist), Kenny Lattimore (Grammy-nominated R&B singer), Erica Campbell (Grammy-winning gospel singer), and Brandie Sutton (critically-acclaimed Metropolitan Opera soprano).  Becoming Ailey, a multimedia piece that celebrates Ailey and brings his voice and presence back to the stage (created in collaboration with Bob Bonniol and Caryl Glabb of MODE Studios, Inc.), also premiered.

Robert Battle + Kenny Lattimore + Judith Jamison + Jussie Smollett

“Alvin Ailey said ‘I’m trying to hold up a mirror to society so that people can see how beautiful they are.’  In 1958, before the Civil Rights Movement, he “Made a Way Out of No Way” on a trailblazing journey to becoming one of the groundbreaking greats in African American history,” stated Robert Battle. “His celebration of the human spirit has lifted us up and brought us together, and his spirit still runs through the veins of this organization.”

Lucinda Martinez, Honorary Chairs Angela Bassett, Cicely Tyson , Artistic Director Robert Battle, Sidra Smith, B.Michael and guests

Special guests from the worlds of business, politics, entertainment, and philanthropy included Carmen de LavalladeSusan Fales-Hill, Jane Krakowski, Naturi Naughton, Soledad O’Brien, Amanda Seales, Bevy Smith, Jussie Smollett, Susan L. Taylor, Ben Vereen, Elaine Wynn, B. Michael, George Faison and many more. After the performance, the celebration continued at the New York Midtown Hilton’s Grand Ballroom where approximately 900 guests joined Battle, Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison, and the stars ofAlvin Ailey American Dance Theater for dinner and dancing with live music by the premier band Élan Artists.

Ailey Dancers performing “Revelations”

In addition, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill DeBlasio and the City of New York, and New York State Assembly member Linda Rosenthal joined in celebration by sending written proclamations recognizing Ailey’s many achievements over the last 60 years.

Throughout December, Ailey’s 32 remarkable dancers will unveil four premieres, two new productions, and a variety of returning favorites, classics, and special programs. The Company will continue to inspire audiences across North America with a 21-city tour beginning in January 2019. For more information, visit alvinailey.org.

See more pics below:

Carmen de Lavallade + George Faison + Sidra Smith +

Ailey II Artistic Director Emerita Sylvia Waters

Ailey Board Member Lucinda Martinez +

Amanda Seales + Bevy Smith + Beverly Bond

Jussie Smollett + Angela Bassett

Naturi Naughton

Gala Co-Chair and Ailey Board President Debra Lee + Artistic Director Robert Battle

Amanda Seales + Sidra Smith + Jacque Reid

Erica Campbell + Kenny Lattimore + Ledisi + Brandie Inez

The Legendary Cicely Tyson

Photo Credits: Christopher Duggan and Donna Ward

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TONIGHT: Fox’s ‘9-1-1’ returns with a 2-Night Premiere (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

FOX is about to shake things up (literally) with a special two-night season 2 premiere of it’s hit series 9-1-1. It airs tonight at 8 p.m. EST.

Creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear reimagine the procedural drama with 9-1-1, exploring the high-pressure experiences of police officers, firefighters and dispatchers who are thrust into the most frightening, shocking and heart-stopping situations. These emergency responders must try to balance saving those who are at their most vulnerable with solving the problems in their own lives.

The provocative series stars Angela Bassett, Peter Krause and Golden Globe nominee Jennifer Love Hewitt. Additionally, Oliver Stark, Aisha Hinds, Kenneth Choi, Rockmond Dunbar and Ryan Guzman are featured in series regular roles.

Will you be watching?

https://youtu.be/8yTjAdeXN3o

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Watch Trailer for Ava DuVernay’s ‘August 28: Day in The Life of a People’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

If you watched the season finale of Queen Sugar Wednesday night you may have noticed that star studded trailer for Ava DuVernay‘s August 28: A Day in the Life of a People. The short film will debut on Tuesday, August 28 at 7 p.m. EST.

According to the press release, August 28 is a 22-minute scripted film that was written, produced and directed by DuVernay, and traverses a century of black progress, protest, passion and perseverance of African-American people. The project gives historical perspective within the creative framework of one date that has had a profound effect on America including: the passing of The Slavery Abolition Act on August 28, 1833, the lynching of Emmett Till on August 28, 1956, the first radio airplay from Motown Records on August 28, 1961 with The Marvelettes “Please Mr Postman,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech during the massive March on Washington on August 28, 1965, Hurricane Katrina making its tragic landfall on August 28, 2005 and then-Senator Barack Obama’s acceptance of the Democratic nomination for the presidency on August 28, 2008.

August 28 features an all-star cast including Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, Regina King, David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, André Holland, Michael Ealy and Glynn Turman.

The film was lensed by cinematographer Malik Sayeed and edited by Oscar nominee Spencer Averick. Ten-time Grammy nominee Meshell Ndegeocello composed the score. Paul Garnes produced, with co-producers Tilane Jones and Tammy Garnes.

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Take a Look at New ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ Poster (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Paramount Pictures has released a new poster for the upcoming Mission: Impossible – Fallout starring the one and only Tom Cruise. It arrives in theaters July 27.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout finds Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his IMF team (Alec BaldwinSimon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca FergusonMichelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong.

Angela BassettHenry Cavill and Vanessa Kirby also join the dynamic cast with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie returning to the helm.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is directed by Christopher McQuarrie.

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‘A Wrinkle in Time’ stars attend L.A. Premiere [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

“All the stars were closer” on Monday night for the mystical L.A. premiere of Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time. The lavish screening took place at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.

The film’s stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Zach Galifianakis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Storm Reid, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Rowan Blanchard were joined by director Ava DuVernay for a walk down the blue carpet where they greeted enthusiastic fans and press. 

Mindy Kaling + Reese Witherspoon + Oprah Winfrey

Other special invited guests included Viola Davis, Rosario Dawson, Laura Dern, Angela Bassett, Kerry Washington, Kobe Bryant, America Ferrera, Tracee Ellis Ross, Janelle Monáe, Jay Hernandez, Don Cheadle, Eva Longoria, Tessa Thompson, Constance Wu, J.J. Abrams, Niki Caro, Ryan CooglerIssa Rae and many more. 

Ava DuVernay with Tracee Ellis Ross + Tessa Thompson

Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, is an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic, which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light.

Check out more photos below:

Winston Duke + Anthony AndersonYara Shahidi + Ava DuVernay

Tiffany Johnson + Lena Waithe

Emayatzy Corinealdi

Gugu Mbatha-Raw + Jim Whitaker

Omar Dorsey 

Lalah Hathaway

Dewanda Wise + Alano Miller 

Yvette Nicole Brown 

Chloe X Halle

Bellamy Young 

Angela Bassett + Slater Vance + Bronwyn Vance 

Ryan Coogler

Tarana Burke + Ava DuVernay

Timon Kyle Durrett

Kobe Bryant

Dre Terrell Whitfield + Dondre Whitfield + Parker Richardson Whitfield

Bridgid Coulter + Don Cheadle

Ava DuVernay + Issa Rae 

Aisha Hinds

Marsai Martin

Deric McCabe + Chris Pine + Storm Reid

Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time arrives in

theaters on Friday, March 9.

Photo Credits: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

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‘Black Panther’ Cast covers new issues of ESSENCE [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

WAKANDA FOREVER!

The amazing cast of Marvel’s Black Panther rocks several covers for ESSENCE Magazine.  The film’s star—Chadwick Boseman—truly embodies King T’Challa on a solo cover and then appears on another one with his brothers – Forest Whitaker, Michael B. Jordan and Daniel Kaluuya. The last cover features the divas of the movie – Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright and Danai Gurira. They all look absolutely stunning in these beautifully shot images by Dennis Leupold.

“The idea of creating a scenario where you’re seeing very powerful, empowered Africans is really thrilling to me, something my heart, soul, and spirit yearned to see,” said actress Danai Gurira, who plays Okoye, head of the Dora Milaje, a powerful all-female army of bodyguards.

See all of the fabulous covers below:

ESSENCE featuring the cast of Black Panther hits newsstands on February 23.

Black Panther opens in theaters this Friday, February 16.

Photo Credits: Dennis Leupold

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Watch Trailer for ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ feat. Tom Cruise + Angela Bassett (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Academy Award nominated actress Angela Bassett is having an amazing 2018 so far. She has a kick-ass role on FOX’s new hit series, “9-1-1” and will also appear as “Queen Ramando” in the highly anticipated “Black Panther.”  In addition to that, she  is also starring in the new “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” with Tom Cruise.  Check out the new trailer below which aired Sunday evening during Super Bowl 52:

“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” finds Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his IMF team (Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. Bassett, Henry Cavill and Vanessa Kirby also join the dynamic cast with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie returning to the helm.

“Mission: Impossible – Fallout”

debuts in theaters July 27, 2018.

Photo Credit: Instagram/Angela Bassett

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WATCH the ‘Black Panther’ World Premiere Red Carpet Special (VIDEO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Marvel teamed up with YouTube Monday night for the World Premiere Red Carpet Special for “Black Panther.” The video streamed live beginning in the 9 p.m. hour and features interviews with the film’s leading actors Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Danai Gurira, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, Winston Duke and director Ryan Coogler. Other stars of the film in attendance included Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Atandwa Kani, and Florence Kasumba.

The special also features interviews with Jordan’s “Creed” co-star Tessa Thompson, “Black-ish” star Miles Brown, and recent Grammy winner Donald Glover.

Other celebrities spotted on the “Purple Carpet” include Usher, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar (who worked on the film’s soundtrack), Issa Rae, Janelle Monáe and “Black-Ish” star Yara Shahidi.

The highlight of the video was Joh Kani breaking down the cultural relevance of the film and how it will change people’s perceptions of the African continent. Kani plays King T’Chaka in the movie.

“This movie will prove that we built the pyramids in Egypt! Will prove the Timbuktu libraries of the history of mankind is in Africa. Will prove that the Zimbabwe ruins were built by us. Will prove that the cradle of humankind is in Southern Africa. So this is one time whereAfrican people are shown the fullest potential, when they’re able to travel from space and back with incredible technology. We’re all Africans anyway,” said Kani boldly.

Check out the full video below + photos of the stars:

Photo Credits: Instgram/Marvel

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FOX renews ‘9-1-1’ feat. Angela Bassett + Rockmond Dunbar (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

YAY!!!

My favorite new Wednesday night obsession “9-1-1” has been renewed for a second season after just two episodes.The Ryan Murphy project features Angela Bassett, Connie Britton and Peter Krause.

Each week, “9-1-1” explores the high-pressure experiences of police, paramedics and firefighters who are thrust into the most frightening, shocking and heart-stopping situations. They must try to balance saving people with solving problems in their own lives.  The one-hour drama also stars Rockmond DunbarAisha Hinds, and Oliver Stark.

“With a bold concept, award-winning stars and a flawless execution, Ryan, Brad and Tim have done it again,” said Gary Newman and Dana Walden, Chairmen & CEOs, Fox Television Group. “They have tapped into the cultural zeitgeist and reimagined the procedural as only they could, bringing it to life with a dream team of actors led by Angela, Peter and Connie. This is storytelling at its best and we’re so pleased that it’s resonated with our audience. We’d like to thank everyone involved with this production for their stellar work, and we look forward to another thrilling season of 9-1-1.”

“9-1-1” airs tomorrow at 9 p.m.  Check out a sneak peek below…

https://youtu.be/gyiSqRzObP0

Photo Credit: HiddenRemote.com

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Take a Look at new character posters for ‘Black Panther’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out these amazing new character posters for the highly anticipated “Black Panther” movie starring Chadwick Boseman.

The stunning new images were released by Marvel and Disney on Thursday and features all of the film’s major players—Angela Bassett, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker, Daniel KaluyaDanai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya and Winston Duke.

“Wakanda Forever. #Black Panther,” said Bozeman on Instagram.

As previously reported, “Black Panther” follows T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda. He returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. However, he is met with opposition from Erik Killmonger.

The film also stars “This Is Us” actor Sterling K. BrownFlorence Kasumba, Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis.  “Black Panther” is directed by Ryan Coogler and opens in theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.

See all the images below:

Photo Credits: Marvel

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Watch New ‘Black Panther’ Trailer featuring Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the new poster for Marvel’s “Black Panther” starring Chadwick Boseman. The NAACP Image Entertainer of the Year nominee posted it on Monday along with a new trailer that features the late Gil Scott-Heron‘s classic tune, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”

The film’s synopsis reads as follows: T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.

“Black Panther” features a who’s who of Black Hollywood actors including Boseman in the lead role along with Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’oMichael B. Jordan, Sterling K. BrownDanai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Florence Kasumba, Letitia Walker and Winston Duke!

Take a look below. “Black Panther” claws its way into theaters February 16, 2018!