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Annie’s black now. Get over it

Annie’s black now. Get over it

"The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun."

The words and the tune are familiar, but the decidedly hip-hop twist belies a completely different story: that of the orphan Annie, who, in 2014, just happens to be black.

On Wednesday the world was given a sneak peek at the new "Annie" – starring Oscar-nominated child star Quvenzhané Wallis and the ever talented Jamie Foxx – as the first trailer hit the Internet. The 2:30-minute clip shows a modern spin on the beloved tale of the mistreated orphan who went on to be adopted by one of the world's richest men. Featured are the streets of Harlem and a mayoral campaign, as well as revamped versions of the classic songs.

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  • Written by Breanna Edwards/The Root

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

For movies opening March 7, 2014:

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"300: Rise of an Empire" (R for sexuality, nudity, profanity and pervasive violence) High body-count sequel, set in 480 BC, finds triumphant King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) now leading the Persian army against forces led by Greek General Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) in an epic naval showdown over Athens. With Eva Green, Lena Headey and Hans Matheson.

"Mr. Peabody & Sherman" (PG for mild action and rude humor) Animated adventure about a brilliant beagle inventor (Ty Burrell) who makes his mark on iconic moments in history when he travels back in time via Wayback Machine with his pet boy (Max Charles). Voice cast includes Ariel Winter, Mel Brooks, Stephen Colbert, Dennis Haysbert, Leslie Mann, Allison Janney and Stanley Tucci.

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The beef between ‘12 Years’ writer and director

The beef between ‘12 Years’ writer and director

A bitter feud brewing between "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen and writer John Ridley came to frosty head during the Oscars Sunday. Ridley won for best adapted screenplay, and in accepting his award, he bypassed the director to hug director David O. Russell. Ridley did not mention McQueen in his acceptance speech, and McQueen's empty applause at Ridley's win would have barely disturbed the most anxious golfer.

Later that evening, when "12 Years a Slave" took home the award for best picture, McQueen returned the shun, making no mention of Ridley during his acceptance speech.

How did the relationship between writer and director of one of the greatest period pieces in history turn so cold? According to rumors, the two have been at odds for quite some time over screenplay credit, and the feud has bubbled to the threshold of public rudeness and caused producer Brad Pitt to play Switzerland, but even he has proved an unsuccessful peacemaker.

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  • Written by Stephen A. Crockett Jr./The Root

Lupita Nyong’o takes Oscar for ‘12 Years a Slave’

Lupita Nyong’o takes Oscar for ‘12 Years a Slave’

(The Root) – The "It Girl" is really "It." Lupita Nyong'o won an Oscar Sunday night for best supporting actress for her role as Patsey in "12 Years a Slave," which also won the Academy Award for best picture of the year.

After hugging director Steve McQueen, her co-star Chiwetel Ejiofor (Solomon Northup) and (oddly) Liza Minelli, the stunning star took the stage to give an emotional and heartfelt acceptance speech.

"It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's, so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance and for Solomon—thank you for telling her story and your own.

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  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom

No Oscar nod, no problem: Forest Whitaker works on craft

No Oscar nod, no problem: Forest Whitaker works on craft

Although he's won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, it's always been about the craft for the veteran actor. So repeated comments that he deserved a nomination for his leading role in "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and for "Fruitvale Station," which he co-produced, just roll right off.

"I've been doing this for years and my goal is purely to expand the human experience, to expand myself and connection with other people," he said in a recent phone interview to promote his new film "Repentance." "That's my real goal. It's always nice when people celebrate me or my work. But that's not my real marker. It's seems to be more of a marker for others."

Sure, Whitaker was disappointed that "Fruitvale Station" wasn't among the nine Oscar nominees for Best Picture. But he ultimately felt the film didn't need a nomination or an award to validate its success. It was "beautifully done," he says.

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  • Written by Jonathan Landrum Jr/theGrio

The Civil Rights Movement and Hip-Hop – Part II

The Civil Rights Movement and Hip-Hop – Part II

The best way to recognize and celebrate African American History Month is make more history. I am writing this series on the Civil Rights Movement and Hip-Hop to encourage a new generation of young, committed and talented freedom fighters to take their rightful place in creating African American history.

There are valid and urgent reasons why we need both a revitalized civil rights movement as well as a vibrant cadre of skillful and productive hip-hop artists who are using their God-given gifts and talents to arouse the consciousness of millions of young people to take action in the interests of freedom, justice, equality and empowerment.

With the systematic right-wing attack on voting rights, growing income inequality, persistent poverty and unemployment and the critical need to rebuild and refortify a sustainable economic development of the African-American community, we must advance and support an intergenerational freedom and economic equality struggle that will be effective in meeting the challenges of the next century. No one should be exempt from being an active supporter and participant in today's ongoing freedom and empowerment movement.

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  • Written by Benjamin F. Chavis Jr./NNPA News Service

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