*Netflix is now streaming “Burning Sands,” a new original movie directed by Gerard McMurray that movie critics are calling a “must-see,” as it takes a disturbing look into the fraternity culture at historically black colleges and universities.
McMurray is making his feature film debut after serving as an associate producer on Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station.” “Burning Sands” features “American Crime’s” Trevor Jackson and Academy Award-nominated Alfre Woodard. According to mic.com, the story takes place during the Lambda Lambda Phi fraternity’s “hell week,” culminating in “hell night,” the last hurdle for the pledges at the fictional Frederick Douglass University.
Jackson portrays Zurich, a young man who has to juggle his relationships, schoolwork and responsibilities as a fraternity pledge, all while attempting to discover his own reasons for wanting to a fraternity. He is unable to answer that simple question when confronted by a big brother, per mic.com.
Watch the trailer above.
While much of the film highlights illegal hazing in fraternities, director McMurray says “Burning Sands” is so much more deeper than that. He told Mic that his film “was not meant to be a national outcry,” stating that the story is “merely a tale about brotherhood and also the complicated path to manhood for black men.”
“Burning Sands” themes of brotherhood, family and unity are what drew Jackson to the lead role. He told Mic that he wanted be a part of this film to highlight the “unity between black men.”
“A lot of black men have a hard time showing affection and love to one another,” Jackson elaborated. “I think this film really shows the importance of unity and togetherness.” The actor was also drawn to McMurray “and his passion for the project,” as well as seeing the film as “a great opportunity acting-wise to grow and learn.”
Woodard’s Professor Hughes character tries to “save” Zurich, and at one point quotes Frederick Douglass, stating, “it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
“It was an honor [working with Woodard],” Jackson explained. “She is a beautiful spirit and so encouraging and kind.”
He added that “it is amazing to meet someone that you looked up to and have wanted to work with,” commenting that “it is easy to act when you’re acting with someone like that.”
Jackson is hoping that his performance in “Burning Sands” leads to even more diverse roles that allow him to grow personally as well as professionally.
“I want to continue to unravel myself and experience different parts of myself to be able to tap into different characters,” he explained. “I love film; I love watching movies; I love great actors. I love seeing someone transform on screen.”
Is Pres. Elect Biden Obama’s 3rd Term? & What 44 Said About Black America’s Progress Under His Watch on ‘Breakfast Club’ (VIDEO)
*Attorney Antonio Moore discusses the recent Obama Breakfast Club interview during his Book tour.
Moore harshly critiques the interview of Pres. Obama performed by Charlamagne, DJ Envy and Angela Yee.
He also looks closer at President Elect Joe Biden’s cabinet picks and measures them again Barack Obama & Bill Clinton’s prior administrations.
The Virtual United Negro College Fund Tour Heads to NY, DC & NJ on Fri & Sat-Nov. 20 & 21 (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)
*African American students interested in going to college can attend the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Fall 2020 virtual Empower Me Tour. Set for this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21, 2020), New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey will be repped. (This year’s tour kicked off earlier this month in Wisconsin and Illinois). To register, go here.
The Empower Me Tour is an extension of the goals of the UNCF. Founded in 1944, the UNCF, a non-profit, has raised more than $5 billion and helped more than 500,000 students attend 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The EUR caught up with Stacey Lee, the tour’s director for four years, who discussed the importance of the event.
“The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of education support to minority students,” said Lee. “The Empowerment Tour has been executed for the past 12 years and last year along we offered over $12 million dollars in scholarships.”
Lee continued, “I think the great thing is that during these times, even with COVID-19, is that a number of corporations (Wells Fargo/P&/FedEx/Disney/Goldman Sachs) and donors have really been providing opportunity and financial access to our schools and students.”
The tour is packed with information and resources so that students and parents have the right tools to make informed decisions.
“It’s a free event that provides educational support, scholarships, interviews with colleges, empowerment, and information on how to get to and through college. We also provide this information for parents as well. We have a parent section that focuses on financial aid and the things you need to get your students to college.”
Lee continued, “Sometimes we have students that don’t realize that they can attend college. They can receive scholarships. Some of them don’t even know what an HBCU is. So, it’s inspirational for me to see these students receive this information and the excitement that’s around this tour.”
In addition to college information, panel sessions on issues affecting the community will also take place. Legendary rapper Bun B will be part of a special My Black Is Beautiful panel. The panel will have discussions with girls and boys and the MC will lead the male portion.
“It’s about empowerment,” Bun B told the EUR. “It’s vital for us to lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices. We just talk about now what that role is in this COVID world. And with everything that we are seeing with young Black men on television, we want to keep them motivated and centered. We want to make sure that they are not discouraged in this moment.”
Ever since Kamala Harris threw her hat into the presidential race and elected vice president of the United States, a spotlight has shined on the fact that she’s an HBCU grad (Howard University) and member of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. These facts are not lost on the UNCF.
“Kamala has really boosted people’s awareness about HBCUs and (African American sororities) and the type of people that come out of HBCUs. HBCUS have also provided so many people from science, mathematics, and engineering programs (STEM).”
Bun B added, “We have more than enough examples to show you how beneficial an education from an HBCU can be. So, there is no reason to not be a part of an HBCU because the world is just as available to you as it is for anyone else attending any other type of university.”
New Music Buzz: Jazzy Rita Shelby’s ‘Goodbye 2020’
*SB Music presents “Goodbye 2020” a new single for the times we are in.
“Goodbye 2020” is performed by Jazzy Rita Shelby and written by Miss Shelby (ASCAP) and Eddie Lawrence Miller (BMI).
It’s the perfect anthem to end a year that has impacted the globe.
EURweb’s Jazzy Rita is also a prolific lyricist who has teamed up with Eddie Miller for “Goodbye 2020” because it was timely and convenient for the birth of a song such as this.
Eddie Miller is a coveted keyboardist & vocalist who performs regularly with Brian Culbertson and he’s the Rhodes Festival musical director. Jazzy Rita rose to notoriety as host & performer at The Starlight Jazz Serenade, an annual benefit concert in North Hollywood with an A list of stars. As a teen Miss Shelby was inspired to write songs by the legendary David Porter.
This year has been a year like no other. “Goodbye 2020” is an ode to the world for the year that we have seen and the hope that lies ahead. Radio Programmers click here for adds.
“Goodbye 2020” is released on the SB Music label and was recorded at Wishing Wells Studio in Canoga Park, CA. Willie Daniels and Mildred Black perform background vocals along with Jazzy Rita. The video is produced & directed by Jazzy Rita (LaRita Shelby), filmed & edited by Reggie Simon of Simon Vision Media, with wardrobe styling by Jazzy Rita and Poet Roni Girl’s Army Couture. “Goodbye 2020” is available on most digital platforms. Click here to listen on Spotify.
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