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Selma’s Director and Star on Bringing MLK to Life

MLK

One of the most pivotal periods in civil rights history is finally coming to the big screen. Selma, depicting Martin Luther King Jr.’s voting-rights campaign and the weeks of bloody protests in Selma, Ala., opens Christmas Day. The movie could not be timelier, with current civil rights leaders steeped in a continuing fight over voting rights.

Oprah Winfrey is one of the producers, British actor David Oyelowo stars as King and Ava DuVernay directs.The director told The Root on the red carpet at the Urbanworld Film Festival, “We made it with an elevated sense of responsibility.” The film was more than seven years in the making, with several big Hollywood directors and stars circling around it at one point or another.

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Michael Brown memorial burns down

Ferguson

A makeshift memorial dedicated to slain teen Michael Brown burned down in Ferguson Tuesday morning.

Cell phone footage of the fire surfaced on YouTube, and photos of the incident have been circulating on social media.

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THIS WEEKEND IN MEMPHIS!

memphis
Your source of information for where to go and what to do each weekend in the Greater Memphis area.
 
FRIDAY
 
* Mid-South Fair
4pm-12am | Landers Center
 
Tavis Smiley Book Signing
6pm | National Civil Rights Museum
 
Free Friday Flicks at Beale Street Landing
7pm-10pm | Beale Street Landing 

Black Woman Researching Racial Bias In Criminal Justice Wins Prestigious ‘Genius Grant’

grant
CHICAGO (AP) — A professor whose research is helping a California police department improve its strained relationship with the black community and a lawyer who advocates for victims of domestic abuse are among the 21 winners of this year’s MacArthur Foundation “genius grants.”
 
The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced on Wednesday the 2014 recipients, who will each receive $625,000 to spend any way they like.

Black churches are becoming more gay-friendly

black-church
For years, there has been an unspoken but deeply prevalent “don’t ask, don’t” tell policy in the black church. But today, Duke University released data that show those days may be coming to an end.
 
Their research has found:
 
 “Acceptance of homosexual members in black protestant churches has surged of late. The percentage of churches accepting of gay and lesbian members has risen from 44 percent in 2006 to 62 percent in 2012.