Sun04202014

Entertainment

Have soul, will travel!

ToniGreen 600Toni Green is a living proof that the soul of Memphis music still travels well.

In Poretta Terme, Italy, excitement already is mounting for the 27th Porretta Soul Festival, which will be a tribute to Otis Redding. The festival will take place July 17-20 in Rufus Thomas Park.

Green, who has been performing at the festival since 2005, graces the cover of the poster promoting the festival for the first time. She recalls crying for a week after getting that news.

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Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

Diddy 600For movies opening April 11, 2014

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"Draft Day" (PG-13 for brief profanity and sexual references) Kevin Costner stars in this gridiron saga as the Cleveland Browns' general manager determined to turn the franchise around after 13 years of bad luck with the help of this year's #1 draft pick. Ensemble includes Jennifer Garner, Terry Crews, Frank Langella, Sam Elliott, Chadwick Boseman, Denis Leary, Ellen Burstyn, Rosanna Arquette and Sean "Puffy" Combs.

"Oculus" (R for terror, violence, disturbing images and brief profanity) Supernatural thriller about a woman's (Karen Gillan) effort to exonerate her brother (Brenton Thwaites) of their father's (Rory Cochrane) killing by proving that the perpetrator was actually an evil spirit that had inhabited their home. With Katee Sackhoff, James Lafferty and Garrett Ryan.

 

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An attention span beyond Flight 370

Julianne-malveaux-160If you missed the news about the disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370 over the Indian Ocean, you must have been buried in sand. For three weeks, we have been bombarded with theories – was it terrorism? Pilot error? Something else? Now the story has evolved. Were pieces of the plane found? Is everyone dead? How do the families of the presumed dead feel? (This is a really stupid question. How does the clueless reporter asking such a question think the people feel?)

CNN may well have been called MPN – the Missing Plane Network. An evening of watching covered the same angle with a different host and guests. Some of the focus was certainly understandable, but other networks managed to find news of things going on that did not involve Flight 370. Still, the prevalent and relentless emphasis on the missing plane was excessive.

Couldn't some of the airtime granted Flight 370 have been used for equally critical matter? There were 239 people on that plane, and there were more than 300 killed in 2013. I'm not suggesting an equivalency in the two types of tragedies, but I am suggesting that the media might focus more on gun violence, its sources and possible solutions to end senseless violence. Of course, that might anger the National Rifle Association whose specious slogan – guns don't kill, people do – ignores the harm done by the proliferation of guns in our nation.

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‘They Killed A King’

WillieMitchell 600(BLACK PR WIRE) – Grammy-winning Sam Moore – best known for lending his unmistakable lead vocals to the historic soul duo Sam & Dave – hailed from Miami but found fame tied to the Memphis-based Stax Records. His latest work has him returning to Memphis to record a piece of history.

"They Killed A King," is Sam's latest musical endeavor. It was recorded at Willie Mitchell's Royal Studios, where Anne Peebles and Al Green cut their hit records back in the day, during the 2014 MLK Holiday weekend. It was released officially on Friday, April 4th, the 46th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination in Memphis at the Lorraine Motel.

Moore knew and traveled with Dr. King, performing with duo partner Dave at many of Dr. King's speeches and rallies in both the north and south. "Sam and Dave" actually served as an opening act, setting the crowds up for Dr. King to take the pulpit or stage and preach his message.

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Catching up with Spike

spikelee 600At the premiere of the Broadway revival of "A Raisin in the Sun" Spike Lee showed up to support the play's star, Denzel Washington, who he's previously collaborated with on four films.

Lee candidly expressed his desire for his fifth film with Washington to be a sequel to 1998's "He Got Game."

"He Got Game 2 (should be my fifth film with Washington). I hope so." Lee said. "I want to do it, Rosario (Dawson) wants to do it, Ray Allen wants to do it..."

 

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‘Buy Black’ – an economic empowerment strategy

buyblack 600Margarita "Maggie" Anderson wants to transform "Buy Black" from a leftover 1960s slogan to a modern economic empowerment strategy. And because she has lived it, there is no person better qualified to lead the charge.

Anderson and her family spent all of 2009 purchasing goods and services exclusively from black merchants. She is author of a book cataloguing her experience titled, "Our Black Year." She also authored an essay in the State of Black America report issued Thursday by the National Urban League titled, "Facts vs. Fiction: Buying Black as an Economic Empowerment Strategy."

Like the farmer trying to get his mule's attention, Anderson whacks us across the head in the National Urban League report with two disturbing facts.

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Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

captainamerica 600For movies opening April 4, 2014

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"Afflicted" (R for profanity and gory violence) Horror flick revolving around a couple of BFFS (Clif Prowse and Derek Lee) whose vacation of a lifetime far from home morphs into a neverending nightmare when one becomes infected with a mysterious disease which slowly starts to consume his entire being. Co-starring Baya Rehaz.

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (PG-13 for gunplay, pervasive action and intense violence) Cold War Era sequel pits the Marvel Comics superhero (Chris Evans) against a new nemesis, a Russian assassin (Sebastian Stan) wreaking havoc around Washington, DC. Cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie and series creator Stan Lee.

"Dom Hemingway" (R for nudity, sexuality, violence, drug use and pervasive profanity) Jude Law plays the titular character of this crime comedy as a just-paroled safe cracker who's determined to collect a bonus from his mob boss (Demian Bichir) for not snitching on him while behind bars. With Richard E. Grant, Emilia Grant and Kerry Condon.

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Remembering Marvin Gaye

marvingay 600Twenty years ago this week R&B music suffered a great loss as singer Marvin Gaye was killed by his father in April of 1984. Never has one artist had such a profound influence on R&B music and the other artists who created it.

Amazingly, when I hear Marvin's music today, it still strikes a chord. Not only with me, but with a lot of us. It's totally mind-blowing that "What's Going On" has the same meaning and impact for me as if it was written today. Although years past and time changes, things really remain the same.

News flash: the world was not perfect back in 1971. The issues of that day have not been resolved. There's still mothers crying and senseless killings all over our country. Somewhere in the world there are still senseless wars in progress as we speak. But it took a special person to be able to put those kinds of issues in the form of a song and create something that would make a person really pay attention some 30 years later.

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Task Force of ministers to address Stand Your Ground laws

RBHolmes 600WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Rev. R.B. Holmes, a civil rights leader and pastor of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Fla., is heading up a task force of 40 ministers to undertake a 12-point action plan to revitalize the black community, taking on issues ranging from the repeal of controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws to supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Holmes made the announcement here last week at a news conference at the National Press Club.

“In our 12 Point Action Plan, we will take the leadership to save our boys and girls, to build schools in our own neighborhoods, to repeal and repair ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws across America, to support historically Black colleges and universities, and the importance of business ownership and the significance of marriage and the family,” said Holmes.

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CFPB turns its attention to payday lending

CharleneCrowell 600Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) focused on those little loans that come with triple-digit lending rates – payday loans.

The CFPB's public forum in Nashville coincided with the Bureau's release of a new research report. After analyzing 11 months of borrowing at 12 million storefront locations, CFPB's findings again confirm that the industry relies not on individual borrowers' ability to quickly repay, but on their inability to repay, resulting in individual borrowers taking out many loans each year.

In other words, the business model for payday lending is a debt trap. With numerous storefronts often concentrated in communities of color, many consumers are drawn in by convenient locations and promises of quick cash with no credit checks. All too often, borrowers discover that the terms of the small dollar loan cause even more financial stress and deepening debt.

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‘The Myth of Race, The Reality of Racism’

racemyth 600"From today's perspective in a media-soaked world all too familiar with the genomic footprints of human DNA and the tracings of the double-helix back to an African origin, it has become considerably easier to accept the notion that, like nations, 'races' are what Benedict Anderson calls 'imagined communities' – social constructs, fabrications made in history by historical forces, and which acquire meaning only in relation to identifiable others.

"But it is also easy to forget that just 20 years ago, the explanatory power of race had not yet been deconstructed thoroughly enough to prevent the best-selling publication of... Charles Murray's "The Bell Curve," wherein the ancient logics of racial inferiority and domination were reconfigured in full display, with all the illusory trappings of authoritative social science."
– From the Introduction by Professor John S. Wright (page 2)

The Genome Project has proven scientifically that there's only one race, the human race. But despite definitive proof that race is purely a fabrication of man's imagination, racism continues to persist.

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Tishuan Scott: ‘The Retrieval’ Interview

TheRetrieval 600Tishuan Scott was born on October 27, 1979 in Shreveport, La. He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta as an Oprah Scholar, where he matriculated towards earning his Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Psychology in 2002. He then attended the University of California at Los Angeles' School of Theater, Film & Television as a Lloyd Bridges MGM/Outer Limits Fellow, where he received his Master of Fine Arts in Acting in 2006.

Tishuan was recently seen as "Kenieloe," a Ghanian guru, in Andrew Bujalski's 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Sundance Award-winning film "Computer Chess" and as "Moses Washington" in the Lifetime Network TV movie "Deliverance Creek."

Here, he talks about playing "Nate," a freedman gravedigger for the Federal Union Army, in "The Retrieval." He landed the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) 2013 Special Jury Prize for Acting ­ Breakthrough Performance in that Civil War Era adventure.

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