"The Noshing with Nina Show" Nominated for 2020 B Free Award
The 7th annual B Free Awards were held last Saturday in a Virtual/ Zoom format presented by BRIC Arts Media. Last year, the B Free Awards took place in May, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's awards ceremony was postponed to October. Also in 2019, The Noshing with Nina Show's producer April Gibson was nominated as best director in the First Amendment category. The episode on "The People's State of the Union" and our coverage of "The Poetic Address to the Nation" won the award.
April Gibson accepting her B Free Award in 2019
This year, the episode with special guest Kimberly Nichole was nominated in the B Harmonious category. Kimberly Nichole, also known as "The Rock Ballerina," was the star of NBC's The Voice for several episodes. Her voice incorporates the elements of soaring gospel and R&B, over a distinctive foundation of Rock & Roll. Kimberly came into the studio for an hour-long interview, and even gave us an impromptu live performance.
We did not win the B Free Award this year, and unfortunately, the phrase "Oscars So White" comes to mind, or, rather, "B Free Awards So White" in this case. Out of fifteen categories, only one African-American man was a winner (Demetrius Hollman in the B Hilarious category). Three white women and one Asian woman were winners. But there was NOT ONE African-American female winner. Come on, BRIC! Ten white male winners out of fifteen? Where is the diversity? Black women are the most oppressed people in the world. Have some consideration for our plight. Our show that was nominated featured a soulful black woman singer, and was produced by a black woman-owned production company. We talked about the history of Kimberly's Harlem neighborhood, the history of black music in the South, and the racism she encounters every day. It is an excellent show - informative, educational, and entertaining. How can it be that BRIC - located in Brooklyn, no less - does not appreciate the value of our work?
The winner in our category was another white male producer, promoting another boring white boy band. What's new about this? What makes this innovative and award-winning? I think the pandemic is causing white men to revert back to the selfishness that they are famous for. Generosity cannot flourish when times are hard.
It has been hinted that gentrification is affecting Brooklyn as well as other formerly predominantly African-American areas of New York City. Has the personnel at BRIC also been affected?
Live performances were given during the broadcast by singer/songwriter Madison McFerrin, and singer Jenn Mundia with her band. Maybe the producers of the awards show felt there were enough black female performers to compensate for the total absence of black female winners. We were grateful to the Virtual Red Carpet interviewers Jessica Mason and Shaun Lilly, who gave us ample opportunity to promote our production company (INFEMNITY Productions LLC) and my new book (Practicing for Love: A Memoir) before and after the show. We even showed off our trophy from last year.
Make no mistake - we are grateful to BRIC for broadcasting our show and helping us reach a Brooklyn audience. But somebody needs to make sure that there is never another B Free Awards without a single black female winner!
Enjoy this clip from the nominated episode of The Noshing with Nina Show, "The Rock Ballerina Kimberly Nichole."