A Message from Karyn

As Sweet Blackberry is dedicated to sharing lesser-known stories of African American triumph, we cannot avoid speaking up about the injustices that we're currently working to change. This month's newsletter focuses heavily on the Black Lives Matter movement. 

This is an opportune time to not only educate yourselves but have open conversations with your loved ones who may not understand why this movement is important. Sometimes, all it takes is a conversation to open someone's eyes to what you find important. We hope that this newsletter helps you accomplish this. As you scroll, you'll find a wide range of resources to view and educate yourself and share with your loved ones. You'll be reminded that while your working to digest this news, your children are soaking up what's going on. You can also read up on the history of Juneteeth, a celebration of freedom that many companies are now making a national holiday. Also, be sure to check out the articles in the "What We're Reading" section. Read them. Share them. 

We hope you're all being safe during this time. The pandemic is still ongoing. If you or your loved ones do plan on going out to protest, please be sure to take the proper precautions -- wear a mask, try to social distance and use hand sanitizer. 

All the best,
Kids Perspective: Black Lives Matter Movement

Black Lives Matter is an international human rights movement that campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards Black people. After the murder of George Floyd was captured on camera and shared with the masses, the world erupted. Many who have been quiet around the unjust deaths of Black Americans found their voices. Companies spoke up for the first time showing their support in varied ways -- some even made corporate changes to make Juneteeth a company-wide holiday. While we see these adults working to make these changes, we often forget children are also very aware of everything that's happening. Here is a video of TODAY Host Hoda Kotb speaking with kids about the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement: 

Hoda Kotb Talks To Kids About Black Lives Matter And Racism | TODAY
Hoda Kotb Talks To Kids About Black Lives Matter And Racism | TODAY

The significance of 
June 19th  

June 19th also known as Juneteenth marks the annual observation to commemorate the end of slavery in America. While slavery ended on January 1, 1863, news didn't travel and slaves in Texas continued to serve their masters following both the Emancipation Proclamation and the Union's Civil War victory in 1865. 

It took Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and 2,000 troops to impart the news that year presenting an order of freedom to any remaining slaves in The Lone Star State. 

Check out this video from the ABC series "black-ish," explaining this historical event. 

"I Am A Slave" - The Roots Meet Schoolhouse Rock - black-ish
Su mmer Movie List

Everywhere you look, news outlets are providing tips to their audiences on how to learn about the racial injustices African Americans have faced throughout history. Amid protests, criticism grew around The Help, becoming one of the most-watched movies on Netflix. If you're loved ones are interested in film recommendations, consider the following: 

When They See Us (Netflix)- This series follows the lives of five teens from Harlem after they become trapped in a nightmare when they're falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park.  

Do The Right Thing (available to rent)- Inspired by the racially-motivated killings of a black man named Michael Griffith and an elderly black woman named Eleanor Bumpurs, Spike Lee's opus serves as a window into a country that has historically devalued the lives of African Americans.

13th (Netflix) -   This documentary is about how the Thirteenth Amendment led to mass incarceration in the United States. 

Just Mercy (Amazon Prime) - This film about civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson chronicles justice reform in Alabama. 

Do The Right Thing

Selma (Amazon Prime) - This historical drama follows the civil rights demonstrators in 1965 as they marched from Selma to Montgomery. 

The Black Power Mixtape (Amazon Prime) - This documentary examines the evolution of the Black Power movement in American society from 1967 to 1975, as viewed through Swedish journalists and filmmakers.

4 Little Girls (HBO) - This historical documentary film about the September 15, 1963 murder of four African-American girls (Addie May Collins, Carol Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Rosamond Robertson) in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama.

If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu): Based on the James Baldwin novel, this film centers on the love between an African American couple whose lives are torn apart when one of them is falsely accused of a crime. 

The Hate You Give

Stranger Fruit (Amazon Prime) - This 2017 American documentary film gives insight to the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer.

LA 92 (Netflix) - Stark footage traces decades of police brutality and public uprising leading up to the 1992 acquittal of four LAPD officers filmed beating Rodney King.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (available to rent) - Inspired by a true story, a young Black man dreams of reclaiming his childhood home in a now-gentrified neighborhood in San Francisco. 

What Happened Miss Simone? (Netflix) - Using never-before-heard recordings, rare archival footage and her best-known songs, this is the story of legendary singer and activist Nina Simone.

The Hate You Give (Cinemax) -  Based on the young adult novel by Angie Thomas, this film follows a young woman's struggle to find balance after witnessing a police officer killing her best friend. 

Brian Banks (Amazon Prime) - This biographical drama shared the story of Brian Banks, a high school football player who is falsely accused of rape. 

Fruitvale Station (available to rent) - This biographical film tells the story of Oscar Grant III, who was killed by a police officer in 2009. 
What We're Reading!

African Americans on Broadway 

From James Earl Jones to Viola Davis, African Americans have been able to make their mark alongside their colleagues on the stage! 

This month Sweet Blackberry would like to recognize the talented men and women who paved the way for people of color choosing to pursue a career on the stage. 

Here an activity sharing the stories of many Broadway actors and shows with amazing African American actors. 
Book of the Month
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
By: Mildred Taylor

Set in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this is the story of one family's struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice. And it is also Cassie's story-Cassie Logan, an independent girl who discovers over the course of an important year why having land of their own is so crucial to the Logan family, even as she learns to draw strength from her own sense of dignity and self-respect.

Check it out on Amazon Smile here. 
I originated the role of Angelica Schuyler Church in Broadway's Hamilton. 
I was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress for my work in One Life to Live.
My other broadway credits include The Color Purple, Rent, and The Lion King. 

Who am I? 
Tweet your answer to  @SwtBlackberry for a shout out in next month's newsletter!