Issa Rae

The Hate U Give Is 2018's Most Powerful Movie Of The Year

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When I first heard that Angie Thomas’ heartbreaking book, The Hate U Give was being turned into a movie with an all star cast I was far from surprised. A New York Times best seller with a timely book on such current events was not only a page turner, but a movie in the making. I walked in the early screening of the movie at National Geographic in Washington D.C. knowing exactly what to expect or so I thought. Like many people around the world I was a huge fan of the book, but what I did not expect was to fall in love with the on screen portrayal of the characters and the movie adaption so quickly.

Amandla Stenberg who scored the starring role as sixteen year old Star gave a breakout performance as her first lead role in a huge movie. She captivated the screen with her infectious smile and commanded your attention every time she spoke. Stenberg’s character lives in a predominantly black neighborhood in Garden Heights, the same neighborhood where both of her parents were raised (Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby). Starr is constantly caught between two worlds at her fancy majority white private school and her neighborhood where she lives with her friends and family. She’s doing a great job of balancing the two until her worlds collide when her childhood best friend, Kahlil (Algee Smith) is shot and killed by a police officer right in front of her.

Starr is instantly scarred and goes into a shell until her amazing father snaps her out of it. She leads a bit of a revolution in Garden Heights with the help of April Ofrah (Issa Rae) when she decides to speak up on her friends shooting to change not only her neighborhood, but the world.

It was impossible not to go through every emotion while watching the film. I found myself laughing out loud, shedding tears and relating so much to what each character was feeling. I left the movie heavy heart-ed because if you know the story line of the movie at all, you know it’s not just “another movie,” it’s real life. It was hard not to feel helpless while watching and also tired. Tired of hashtags, tired of protesting and tired of nothing changing. Still, thankful that Angie Thomas used her voice and platform to tell a story to a world who often chooses to ignore instead of doing what they know is right. Go see The Hate U Give in theaters everywhere October 19th.

Five Lessons We Learned From Insecure's Season 3 Finale

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Our favorite besties in our head Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji just wrapped another phenomenal season of HBO’s Insecure. The season overall felt very different from its past drama heavy seasons. This time around Rae and the rest of her writing team focused on Issa’s growth and her making better choices over all. We have to say the first half of the season felt a little awkward without Lawrence’s (Jay Ellis) story line, however that’s what made the show authentic. Although we never want to stop knowing what Lawrence is up too, the show is after all centered around Issa as the main character and ex boyfriends aren’t always in your life. Still, it was nearly impossible not to be excited when Lawrence’s big smile flashed across our screen. The season finale left us wanting more and with lots of questions. Here’s five lessons we took away:

1.) Friendships Change: Tiffany’s pregnancy this season was a big revelation that as life changes happen so do friendships unfortunately. However, just because your friend is going through a big life change doesn’t mean you stop being a great friend, especially when they need you more than ever.

2.) Don’t Settle: It took Issa a few seasons, but she realized she finally realized how much she was settling in a job that just wasn’t meant for her. As the saying goes; “if you don’t like your life, change it.”

3.) Not every one you’re attracted too, is good for you: There is no denying that Daniel and Issa have a strong chemistry, but their relationship/friendship wasn’t a healthy one. It’s a lesson that’s often learned in your 20’s, “everyone that you date isn’t supposed to be your happily ever after.”

4.) Growth happens when you let go: Lawrence and Issa both held so much resentment towards each other for so long, but once they both let the pain go they started to become genuine friends again.

5.) Embrace rejection and failure: Issa wanted to run for the hills when she got a bunch of no’s for her block party event, but a new friend told her not to accept no as the first answer. Sometimes embracing rejection is needed to make things happen. Just because it may seem to hard, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pursue it. Dream big!

What did you takeaway from this season?