Monae ‘really disappointed’ by lack of Oscars diversity

While actress and musician Janelle Monae celebrated Cynthia Erivo’s Oscar nomination for “Harriet,” she was “really disappointed” about the lack of overall nominations for black artists and female directors. (Jan. 15)

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Nominations for best actress Oscar announced | AFP

The Academy of Motion Pictures of Arts and Sciences announces the nominees for the best actress Oscar, which will be handed out on February 9 in Hollywood. The nominees are Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”); Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”); Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”); Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”); and Renee Zellweger (“Judy”). SOUNDBITE

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Cynthia Erivo says ‘Harriet’ film is about ‘a universal hero’

Cynthia Erivo stars in the new film, “Harriet,” a biopic on Harriet Tubman, the famed abolitionist who escaped slaverly to then risk her freedom by helping other slaves escape using routes and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. Erivo says the script was written two decades ago, and she’s glad the movie is finally making it to the big screen. (Oct. 31)

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Erivo’s ‘sense of urgency and duty’ over ‘Harriet’

At a Washington D.C. screening for historical drama “Harriet,” stars Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr. and Jennifer Nettles talk about taking the story of political activist Harriet Tubman to the big screen. (Oct. 23)

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‘Harriet’, a film on abolitionist Harriet Tubman, premieres in Toronto | AFP

The cast and director of ‘Harriet,’ a biopic about renowned American abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and risked her life to lead others to freedom through the network of safehouses known as the Underground Railroad, hit the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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The Mafia And A Nigerian Gang Are Targeting Refugees In Sicily (HBO)

They’ve fled violence, poverty, and terrorism – and made the often perilous journey across the Mediterranean from Africa and the Middle East. But for the more than 100,000 migrants who’ve arrived in Italy so far this year, the life that awaits them can be almost as dangerous as the one they left behind.

This is particularly true for economic migrants, who don’t have the same legal status as refugees, and aren’t given the same work permits or financial aid to help them survive. Barred from the legal workforce, and with few financial options, many are targeted by criminal gangs — supported by the Italian mafia — and thrust into a life of sex slavery and drug trafficking.

That’s what VICE News discovered after visiting Ballarò, a small market area, and traditional mafia stronghold near Palermo, Sicily, where the infamous Cosa Nostra mafia syndicate continues to wield power.

VICE News went to Sicily, to hear from migrants who’ve been caught in the crosshairs.

Thumbnail image credit: Harriet Dedman/VICE News

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