“They say our people were born on the water,” said award-winning journalist and host Nikole Hannah-Jones as she began narrating The New York Times’s audio component of its 1619 Project. In this print and digital series, which runs throughout the fall, HannahJones unpacks how enslaving Africans shaped American democracy then and now.
During Spotify’s House of Are & Be in New Orleans last July, I had a front-row seat to Raphael Saadiq’s musical genius. That night he previewed tracks from his latest album, a soulful love letter to his brother, who lost his battle with drugs. Bonus: The Oscar-nominated composer (receipt!) really made my day when he stopped by our Yes, Girl! podcast for a chat.
TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL
Three years ago I saw Adrienne Warren perform in a supporting but standout role in Shuffle Along. I walked away thinking, That girl needs her own musical. On November 7 she’ll be doing just that when she leads this new show’s Broadway run as the iconic Tina Turner.
THE LITTLE BOOK OF BIG LIES
Long before Aunt Vi reminded us on Queen Sugar that love after 40 is mighty real, Tina Lifford was balancing the demands of being a working actress and a fully present human. She did not always succeed but had a willingness to learn from her mistakes. She started The Inner Fitness Project, a movement that supports mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Now she’s turned those lessons into a self-care book, available November 19.
85 TO AFRICA TOUR
My appetite for African-infused bops has spiked, thanks to Jidenna’s sophomore effort. From start to finish, I’m transported between the rapper and singer’s Dirty South swag and his PanAfrican hot stew of West African beats. And the whole album jams, especially on tracks “Worth the Wait” featuring Seun Kuti and “Sou Sou.” But it’s the highlife-dipped “Vaporiza” and “Pretty & Afraid” I hope he performs live on tour (now through November 16).