*Brought to you by the people who created “The Big Sick” and “Master of None,” “Little America” is “an anthology of funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising stories about the lives of immigrants in the United States.”
Its first season, released this month on the new Apple TV+ streaming service, is a collection of eight half-hour stories about immigrants who are trying to make it in the US.
We talked to some of the show’s creators at the Los Angeles red carpet premiere and they had a lot to say about immigration, diversity and creating this show.
Brian Savelson, writer of “The Cowboy” episode, starring Conphidance, was asked, “What is an immigrant?” He responded by saying he thinks it means someone who has a sense of home, that didn’t start here, which could encompass many people.
“What is so interesting about the idea of an immigrant, is that, you can be an immigrant in many different ways. People come here seeking opportunities, people come here fleeing bad things, people are forced to come here and [there are] many other ways in which people can arrive here.”
When asked about diversity, Savelson said …
“There are many, many stories to tell and many perspectives and many different kinds of characters and for a long time, there has been a large focus on one perspective and one kind of character and thankfully, as a writer, it’s really nice that there seems to be a broadening of what kind of stories can be told. It’s refreshing that now we can tell many different kinds of stories.”
The Cowboy is about someone who comes to America to pick something up and bring it home.
“You could look at it through a Greek lens, he’s on a quest to get something here, in this land and bring it back to his family at home. Which, in this case is knowledge. He comes here to get a Masters in Economics and bring it back home to expand their family business in Nigeria,” Salvelson explains.
While studying in Oklahoma, in the early 1980s, there was a lot of political upheaval in Nigeria and so the story of Iwegbuna Ikeji gets complicated. Does he stay in America, or does he return to his native land? The story of “The Cowboy” ensues.
We also talked to Mfoniso Udofia, the co-writer of “The Cowboy” about what an immigrant was to her and she said that, “she is a child of immigrants and that immigrants are people who come here from everything that they knew to come to another place and build another new everything and so sometimes I think they are some of our most dangerous creators. That’s an immigrant.”
In “The Cowboy,” Udofia says, it’s a story about a man that comes to this country, thinking he is going to garner an education and then be able to go home and then something happens in his home country, and he no longer can, so how do you “live, love and remain within the United States?” Before Iwegbuna realized he could not return to Nigeria, he had put on a cowboy outfit. It’s his story!
Lee Eisenberg one of the Executive Producers of “Little America” spoke to us about how this project came together; it was idea he had a few years ago. He was contemplating what was on TV and what he could get excited about. Inspired by Alan Yang & Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None” episode titled “Parents,” he was moved by their story of immigration and wondered why there wasn’t an entire series about the plight of immigrants in America. So, Eisenberg went to Epic Magazine to see if they would be interested in his idea, they said yes. He went to Alan Yang, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordan and all of a sudden, he had his dream team of producers, that were also his friends. They pitched to Apple and it was simpatico. Apple leaned into the project with no hesitation. They got it!
“When you think about Apple, it feels so world-building, it feels ambitious, you don’t know what to expect, but you expect a certain level of quality and it’s a worldwide brand and I think that a show like this, where the characters are from all around the world, it’s important [to partner with a brand that gets that],” Eisenberg says
“Little America” shares eight true stories, including …
“The Manager,” in which the protagonist, is 12-year-old, Kabir, whose parents are deported, and he must then take over the family motel, raising himself and running a business, all while writing obsessively to the government about his parents being readmitted into the country. He will not see them in person again until he is an adult.
In “The Son,” a gay Syrian man flees his family who reacted violently to discovering his sexual orientation. Rafiq, crosses the border into Jordan in the hopes that one day he will be able to claim asylum in the United States.
“The Rock” is about an Iranian father who wants to purchase a home in the US but cannot afford it. Instead, he buys a plot of land with a massive, unremovable rock on it and commits to removing it, one chunk at a time.
There is also “The Baker,” “The Grand Prize Expo Winners” and “The Jaguar.” They are all moving, inspiring and touching 30-minute stories of the average person, seeking the American Dream!
Little America is now streaming on Apple TV+ and has already been renewed for a second season.
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.
Celebrate Halloween with ‘Spell’ Starring Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine and John Beasley / WATCH
*Today/TONIGHT is Halloween and what could be a more perfect way to celebrate than with the release of SPELL? Enjoy the clips below to get you in the spooky spirit!
Omari Hardwick (“Power,” Sorry to Bother You), Loretta Devine (“Black-ish,” Crash) and John Beasley (The Sum of All Fears, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) star in the terrifying thriller SPELL, coming to Premium Video-On-Demand and Digital today October 30 from Paramount Home Entertainment.
While flying to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia, an intense storm causes Marquis (Omari Hardwick) to lose control of the plane carrying him and his family. He awakens wounded, alone and trapped in Ms. Eloise’s (Loretta Devine) attic, who claims she can nurse him back to health with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to outwit and break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.
DIRECTED BY | Mark Tonderai
SCREENPLAY BY | Kurt Wimmer
STARRING | Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine, John Beasley
AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS | Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, DirecTV, VUDU, Xfinity, FandangoNOW and more.
Rating | R – violence, disturbing/bloody images, and language
Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip6 months ago
Vanessa Bryant: Pro Athletes Sliding in DMs of Kobe Bryant’s Widow
Slider7 months ago
Clutch My Peaches!: Cynthia Bailey Reportedly Out and Offered Reduced #RHOA Role to Make Room for Phaedra Parks
Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip6 months ago
Mike Pence Invites Candace Owens to White House for Talks on Race Relations
Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip7 months ago
Trapped in the Closet? Fans Suspect Diddy’s New Girlfriend is Transgender [VIDEO]
George Floyd6 months ago
Jacob Pederson: St. Paul Police Officer Accused of Starting #GeorgeFloyd Riot [WATCH]
#BlackLivesMatter5 months ago
B(l)ack Stabbing Candace Owens Raising Funds for Cop who Killed Rayshard Brooks – Wants ATL Mayor Fired
News5 months ago
Ms. Robbie of ‘Welcome to Sweetie Pies’ Claims Son’s Ex Won’t Allow Her to See Grandson [VIDEO]
Apple News1 year ago
Inside Trump Winery Wedding of Candace Owens and Rich Brit George Farmer