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Entertainment

‘My own man’ treats Memphis to ‘Mrs. Independent’

‘My own man’ treats Memphis to ‘Mrs. Independent’

Some may wonder what can transpire in a relationship were the woman earns more money than the man. The play “Mrs. Independent,” which ran Nov. 8-9 at the Cannon Center, examined just that topic.

Bringing the storyline to life was an acting crew that featured Robin Givens, Dottie Peoples, Christopher Williams, Tony Grant, Trisha Mann-Grant and playwright Priest Tyaire.

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  • Written by Brittney Gathen-Special to The New Tri-State Defender

‘The Big Baby Live Experience Volume 1’

‘The Big Baby Live Experience Volume 1’

If you have ever found yourself downtown at Memphis Sounds Lounge listening to the A440 Band then you might be familiar with a strong-voice performer known to many as “Big Baby.”

No, she’s not a baby! She’s not even a kid. She’s a full-grown woman with a voice that really makes you feel the pulse of what the Memphis sound is all about.

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‘Dynamic duo’ builds on what keeps on working

‘Dynamic duo’ builds on what keeps on working

Soprano soloist Valetta Brinson, an assistant professor of communications, graphic and fine arts at Southwest Tennessee Community College, recently joined poet and musician Kevin Simmonds in a performance before a packed house at the College of Charleston for the Crazyhorse Reading Series.

Brinson accompanied Simmonds with songs as he read poems centered on issues of identity, sexuality, family dynamics, and history.

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  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom

First lady: ‘…you look like a ballet dancer’

First lady: ‘…you look like a ballet dancer’

So, just imagine it. Some project you’re involved in captures the nation’s top honor in creative youth development. Hundreds of after-school programs across America compete for the coveted prize. Only 12 are chosen. And yours makes the cut.


 You are chosen to accept that award from the first lady at the White House.  As you share center stage with Michelle Obama, she opens her arms to embrace you and speaks life-giving words that only the two of you share.
This was 17-year-old Briana Brown’s reality as she jetted to Washington D.C. to accept an award on behalf of the New Ballet Ensemble & School. By her side was New Ballet’s founder and CEO Katie Smythe.

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  • Written by Dr. Sybill C. Mitchell

Movie review: ‘Beyond the Lights’

Movie review: ‘Beyond the Lights’

Quick Rihanna, check to see if someone stole your diary. This ode to young Black chanteuses fighting personal demons feels like the story of her life. But in fact, it’s the brainchild of writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Love & Basketball”), who knows her way around a romantic drama.

Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle), a singer, has been driven to superstardom by her overbearing stage mother Macy Jean (Minnie Driver), who must have taken lessons in emotional abuse from Michael Jackson’s dad. As a kid, Macy shamed her daughter when she came in second at talent contests. She’d make her throw the runner-up trophy away. Noni, would retreat, put an emotional wall up around herself and sing her favorite song, “Blackbird,” the tortured-soul Nina Simone version.

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  • Written by Dwight Brown-NNPA News Service

Cosby’s art paired with African art at Smithsonian

Cosby’s art paired with African art at Smithsonian

WASHINGTON (AP) — Everybody knows Bill Cosby's humor, but the comedian has kept his artistic tastes close at home. Now the extensive art collection of Bill and Camille Cosby is opening to the public for the first time Sunday at the Smithsonian Institution, revealing some works by African-American artists that until now have been seen only by family and friends.

The exhibition not only celebrates African-American heritage, it also provides a glimpse at works the Cosbys have enjoyed intimately, with pieces ranging from a masterwork that had remained hidden for a half-century before Camille Cosby recognized its value, to a quilt made from their slain son's clothes. More than 60 artworks from the Cosby collection are being displayed through early 2016 alongside 100 pieces of African works at the National Museum of African Art in Washington.

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  • Written by BRETT ZONGKER-Associated Press

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