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Lauryn Hill & The Misunderstanding of Memphis Fans

Lauryn Hill & The Misunderstanding of Memphis Fans
Hundreds of Memphis-area residents were incredibly eager and excited about attending the sold-out concert of living legend Lauryn Hill last Saturday (July 18th) at Minglewood Hall in Midtown. Althoug

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  • Written by Ashley Grandberry-Special to The New Tri-State Defender

‘Nine Lives of a Black Panther: A Story of Survival’

‘Nine Lives of a Black Panther: A Story of Survival’
“In the early morning hours of December 8, 1969, 300 officers of the newly-created, elite paramilitary unit known as SWAT initiated a violent battle with a handful of Los Angeles-based members of the Black Panther Party (BPP)… 5 hours and 5,000 rounds of ammunition later, 3 SWAT team members and 3 Panthers lay wounded. 
 
“The LAPD considered the encounter a disaster. For the Panthers and community that supported them, the shootout symbolized a victory. A key contributor to that victory was 19-year-old Wayne Pharr. (This book) tells Wayne’s riveting story of the L.A. branch of the BPP, and gives a blow-by-blow account of how it prepared for and survived the massive, military-style attack.” 
– Excerpted from the dust jacket
 

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Here’s to you, Mr. Robinson!

Here’s to you, Mr. Robinson!
In a world where talent takes you far, Keith Robinson is ahead of the game.
 
He’s a true triple threat – having already mastered acting and songwriting, he’s now positioning himself to take over the music world with a velvety voice.
 
Before he made his way to Tinseltown, the Kentucky native set his sights on music, and attended the University of Georgia. Upon coming to Los Angeles, Keith had a chance meeting with a talent manager who jumpstarted his acting career. Since then, he’s thrived, landing an incredible 50+ projects in television and film while continuing to pursue his musical career-- often placing songs in the acting projects he stars in.

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Really, NY Magazine? Couldn’t find a black rom-com for Top 25?

Really, NY Magazine? Couldn’t find a black rom-com for Top 25?
I’m a big fan of New York magazine, in large part because of its cultural coverage and willingness to give a platform to artists, institutions and subjects that other mainstream publications might not. A case in point is the slide show the site just devoted to the upcoming coffee table book “Vintage Black Glamour,” which showcases rarely seen photos of black leading ladies, many from Hollywood’s golden age. (I also once wrote about the first black supermodel, Donyale Luna, for www.nymag.com.) But even publications with the best intentions can make editorial missteps fueled by lack of diversity, and I was reminded of this when taking a look at the site’s recent list of the 25 Best Romantic Comedies Since “When Harry Met Sally.”
 
To say the list lacks diversity would be an understatement. There is only one film that made the cut that does not star white casts, the Taiwanese film
“The Wedding Banquet.” I wouldn’t have a problem with this if the rest of the list comprised films that were better than some of the ones omitted. But in what universe is “Knocked Up” better than “Boomerang,” which boasts one of the best comedic ensemble casts in film history? Of course there is a catch. “Boomerang’s” cast is predominantly black and New York magazine, for all of its strengths, does not have a track record to be proud of in its treatment of black romantic comedies.

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  • Written by Keli Goff-The Root

Memphis playwright puts twist on the ‘Prodigal Son’ story

 Memphis playwright puts twist on the ‘Prodigal Son’ story
In the parable of the Prodigal Son, a man seeks his inheritance, wastes it, returns home, and is welcomed back with open arms. A Memphis playwright added a twist to this story and turned it into a gospel stage play, which debuted July 12th at the West Memphis Civic Auditorium.
 
T.L. Gathen, a business applications advisor at FedEx and president of Majestic Kingdom Melodies (MKM) Productions, wrote “From a Mess to a Miracle.” It follows A.J. Clarkesdale (Jarvis Taylor), who returns home after hitting rock bottom, hoping to be welcomed back into his father’s house and TV station.  However, his stepmother, Gertrude Clarkesdale (Jennifer Gomez), is not happy about him interrupting the life she and her son, Reggie (Malik Walker), have with A.J.’ s father, Andrew (Rodney Burns), and A.J. has to move in with his church-going Aunt Maxine (Joann Bell).  

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

A serving of comedy, with D. L. Hughley as the main course

A serving of comedy, with D. L. Hughley as the main course
 
In full spectator mode, I showed up at the new Chuckles Comedy House in Cordova hungry for comedy and braced for long lines and lagged show times from a new business. My downside expectations were completely wrong.
 
The entire staff was on point. There was an ample wait crew, efficient cashiers and prompt show times. Serve up the comedy!

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  • Written by Ashley Grandberry-Special to The New Tri-State Defender

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK
BIG BUDGET FILMS    
 
“Planes: Fire & Rescue” (PG for action and peril) Animated sequel finds crop duster-turned-air racer Dusty (Dane Cook) joining forces with a team of smoke-jumping helicopters and all-terrain vehicles to fight a massive forest fire. Voice cast features Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Cedric the Entertainer, Ed Harris, Teri Hatcher, Regina King, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. 
 
“The Purge: Anarchy” (R for profanity and graphic violence) Serendipitous horror sequel follows a quintet’s (Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez and Zoe Soul) struggle to survive on the annual national holiday during which crime is legal, even murder. Cast includes John Beasley, Michael K. Williams, Justina Machado and Jack Conley.    

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