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Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

nialong 600For movies opening March 14, 2014

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"Need for Speed" (PG-13 for nudity, crude humor, reckless driving and disturbing crashes) High-octane revenge thriller, inspired by the video game of the same name, revolving around a recently-paroled street racer's (Aaron Paul) attempt to even the score with the wealthy business partner (Dominic Cooper) who'd framed him for manslaughter. With Imogen Poots, Michael Keaton and Scott Mescudi.

"The Single Moms Club" (PG-13 for sexuality and mature themes) Tyler Perry wrote, directed and co-stars in this tale of female empowerment about a support group created by five, frazzled single moms (Nia Long, Zulay Henao, Amy Smart, Cocoa Brown and Wendi McLendon-Covey) whose kids attend the same private school. Supporting cast includes Terry Crews, Eddie Cibrian and William Levy.

"Veronica Mars" (PG-13 for sexuality, violence, profanity and drug use) Kristen Bell reprises the title role in this screen version of the TV mystery series which finds the super sleuth returning home from New York to attend her high school reunion and to assist an ex-boyfriend (Jason Dohring) suspected of murder. With Krysten Ritter, Ryan Hansen and Francis Capra.

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Civilian oversight of law enforcement needed more than ever in Memphis

civilian 600In 1994, the controversial shooting of Jesse Bogand – a 68 year old resident of Orange Mound – outraged the citizens of Memphis. This and other similar incidents pushed the Memphis City Council to create a Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB), which according to the City Of Memphis website would be "an independent, non-police Mayoral Agency with...the power to receive, investigate, hear cases, make findings and recommend action on complaints."

Though seemingly a positive step forward for our city, many have lamented that CLERB has insufficient power to accomplish its assigned tasks. For instance, CLERB can only hear a case after the Memphis Police Department's Internal Affairs has completed their investigation. Moreover, CLERB has no subpoena powers, and as such MPD officers' presence at a hearing is purely voluntary.

More troubling is the fact that the extent of CLERB's disciplinary power is a non-binding recommendation to MPD.

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Memphis parent backs HB190 and the value of school choice

porter-ed-600There are few things more important to me than the quality of my children's schools. After all, I know that a great education is crucial to their success as adults.

I also believe that parents know their kids better than anyone else, and should be able to decide what is best for them.

Fortunately for me, I happen to live in a neighborhood with schools that meet the needs of my kids. But many families across Tennessee are not as lucky. Thousands of students across the state are forced to attend schools that are failing or otherwise inadequate.

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Funk, R&B and soul icons, Bar-Kays, celebrate 50 years by giving back

barkays 600

The Bar-Kays are donating a portion of the proceeds raised during their 50-year celebration to support their "fab-five charities."

Throughout 2014, the iconic band will observe their golden anniversary in the music business. The year-long observation will culminate with the Bar-Kays 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala Dec. 4 at the Cook Convention Center and Canon Center of the Performing Arts.

During the gala, a special presentation will be made to what that the Bar-Kays call their "fab-five charities" – the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis, United Way of the Midsouth, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Stax Music Academy and the Allen Jones/Marjorie Barringer/Bar-Kays Scholarship Fund.

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From Mammy to Michelle Obama:

mammytomichelle 600Mammy and first lady Michelle Obama may seem like an odd pairing – two figures that couldn't be more different, some might say. One being a Princeton University and Harvard Law School alumna; the other a symbol of joyful servility, a stereotype used to justify slavery.

At first blush, just the consideration of the two might seem to indicate that perceptions of African-American women have come a long way and evolved for the better. But how much progress has actually been made relative to perceptions about African-American women?

March annually is observed as Women's History Month. And with scholars such as syndicated columnist Julianne Malveaux noting that, "It pains me to watch Black Women's History so swallowed that we are almost invisible," The New Tri-State Defender decided to probe the stereotypes and perceptions.

 

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