A Message from Karyn

Schools out for summer! With the academic year coming to a close, many of us are wondering what we should do with the ever appreciated extra family time and amazing weather. 

Whether you're queuing up for summer camps or family road trips, we hope this month's newsletter provides you with a few cool ideas to occupy your time such as key films to go see and June's book of the month! You can even submit fun ideas and DIY activities to Sweet Blackberry by emailing them to admin@sweetblackberry.org

Additionally, we are excited to share that we have received a new shipment of t-shirts and tote bags for our Kickstarter supporters that you should be receiving in the mail soon! If you ever have any questions, feel free to contact us at admin@sweetblackberry.org. 

All the best,
African Americans on Broadway 

Did you get a chance to tune into this year's Tony Award ceremony? From James Earl Jones to Viola Davis, African Americans have been able to make their mark alongside their fellow colleagues on the stage! 

This year's ceremony recognized many current Broadway greats  with predominately Black cast members such as "Once on This Island" and "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical." 

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 is this month's activity sharing the stories of many Broadway actors and shows with amazing African American actors. 
Find Sweet Blackberry Films @ Your Local Library! 

You will soon be able to find Sweet Blackberry titles at a library near you!  Kanopy, an on-demand streaming video service for public libraries and educational institutions provides library patrons, students and faculty access to our films and all you need is a library card. To look up if your library grants you streaming access to Kanopy, click here.  
Exciting News: 
Sweet Blackberry Films Now On AfroLife! 

There's a new streaming service in town Sweet Blackberry is proud to be a part of! AfroLife.TV has partnered with Sweet Blackberry to bring animated content for children on important African American historical figures to its streaming platform.

AfroLife.TV offers streaming access to a world of curated African American, Afro-Latino, Afro-European, and African content. Their integrated, streaming media destination is designed to connect the African diaspora through premium content. Using a unique blend of digital streaming, social media, and curated storytelling, AfroLife.TV offers classic, popular, emerging, and independent content to educate, inform, and entertain subscribers.

To learn more about this streaming platform, click here
What We're Reading!

Juneteenth? What is it? 

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 The Lone Star State. 

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

Summer Movie List

Summer Blockbuster season is here! With school out and family fun days hitting us at any day of the week, here are a few films Sweet Blackberry is looking forward to seeing this summer -- 

Sorry To Bother You (July 6) - In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, a telemarketer (Lakeith Standfield) discovers a magical key to professional success. 

Whitney (July 10) - This documentary provides an in-depth look at the life and music of Whitney Houston. 

Equalizer 2 - Watch Denzel Washington reprise his role as Robert McCall in this action thriller. 

Kin (August 31) - Chased by a vengeful criminal and a gang of otherworldly soldiers, an adopted teenage boy is forced to go on the run with his brother and a weapon of mysterious origin. 

SuperFly (Now Playing) - This remake of the 1972 classic stars Grown-ish's Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchel and Big Boi! 

Ocean's 8 (Now Playing) - Rihanna hits the big screen again but this time as a part of a crew attempting to pull off the biggest heist of the century. 

Fahrenheit 451 (HBO On Demand) - Watch Michael B. Jordan take on the role as Guy Montag, a fire fighter who's job is to start fires and not put them out. 

Deadpool 2 (Now Playing) - FX Atlanta's Zazie Beetz joins the Deadpool cast as Domino -- a super hero that's oddly lucky. 

The Gospel According to Andre (Now Playing) - Kate Novack's intimate portrait, The Gospel According to André takes viewers on an emotional journey from André Leon Talley's roots growing up in the segregated Jim Crow South to become one of the most influential tastemakers and fashion curators of our times.
Bessie Update

Shirts are in! Totes are in! Sweet Blackberry is in the midst of fulfilling every remaining Kickstarter request and we thank you for your patience! 

Earlier this month, we had the please of meeting Bessie Coleman's great niece, Gigi, who was able to give her take on her aunt's legacy at the Intrepid Museum in New York City! Gigi also has her own aviation nonprofit,  B.Coleman Allstars Aviation.  It's a program that introduces students the basic of aviation and provides them with the information needed to obtain their pilots license or other fields in aviation. 

As we continue to make our way through the production process, we will be sure to keep you up-to-date on the timing of our project and when your rewards are expected to arrive. If you have any questions, feel free to contact admin@sweetblackberry.org. 
Book of the Month
One Crazy Summer 
By: Rita Williams-Garcia

Eleven-year-old Delphine is like a mother to her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern. She's had to be, ever since their mother, Cecile, left them seven years ago for a radical new life in California. But when the sisters arrive from Brooklyn to spend the summer with their mother, Cecile is nothing like they imagined.
While the girls hope to go to Disneyland and meet Tinker Bell, their mother sends them to a day camp run by the Black Panthers. Unexpectedly, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern learn much about their family, their country, and themselves during one truly crazy summer.
This moving, funny novel won the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction and the Coretta Scott King Award and was a National Book Award Finalist. Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern's story continues in  P.S. Be Eleven and  Gone Crazy in Alabama.

Check it out on Amazon Smile here. 
I was introduced to audiences as the runner up on the 2011 season of The Glee Project.
I currently star in the Broadway musical "Once on this Island"
In 2015, I received a special recognition award at the GLAAD Media Awards. 

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

The answer to last month's trivia question was Deshauna Barber!