"PSA of the day ... If you spit in a man's face, you deserve to get knocked out. Man, woman or child. Period!"
This was a friend's Facebook status on the day the news broke that Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and his fiancee, Janay Palmer, had both been charged with simple assault after they were involved in a domestic dispute while visiting an Atlantic City casino over Valentine's Day weekend. Rumor had it that Palmer had spit on Rice, and Rice had reacted. To what degree he reacted was anyone's guess, at that time. Rice's lawyer initially—and in hindsight, bafflingly—described the event as a "very minor physical altercation," as if there were some way for a couple to lay hands on each other that wasn't bad.
Good ole TMZ came through with footage of the aftermath to that dispute. "Very minor?" Hardly. Grainy video showed Rice dragging his unconscious fiancee from the elevator and discarding her facedown on a carpeted hallway. He seems not to want to be bothered, and even more so when he is approached by hotel security. As the woman comes to, he drags her around some more, seemingly annoyed. The first thing I wondered is, what happened to her?
Although he's won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, it's always been about the craft for the veteran actor. So repeated comments that he deserved a nomination for his leading role in "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and for "Fruitvale Station," which he co-produced, just roll right off.
"I've been doing this for years and my goal is purely to expand the human experience, to expand myself and connection with other people," he said in a recent phone interview to promote his new film "Repentance." "That's my real goal. It's always nice when people celebrate me or my work. But that's not my real marker. It's seems to be more of a marker for others."
Sure, Whitaker was disappointed that "Fruitvale Station" wasn't among the nine Oscar nominees for Best Picture. But he ultimately felt the film didn't need a nomination or an award to validate its success. It was "beautifully done," he says.
The best way to recognize and celebrate African American History Month is make more history. I am writing this series on the Civil Rights Movement and Hip-Hop to encourage a new generation of young, committed and talented freedom fighters to take their rightful place in creating African American history.
There are valid and urgent reasons why we need both a revitalized civil rights movement as well as a vibrant cadre of skillful and productive hip-hop artists who are using their God-given gifts and talents to arouse the consciousness of millions of young people to take action in the interests of freedom, justice, equality and empowerment.
With the systematic right-wing attack on voting rights, growing income inequality, persistent poverty and unemployment and the critical need to rebuild and refortify a sustainable economic development of the African-American community, we must advance and support an intergenerational freedom and economic equality struggle that will be effective in meeting the challenges of the next century. No one should be exempt from being an active supporter and participant in today's ongoing freedom and empowerment movement.
Local filmmaker George Tillman 's Creative Arts film company will screen its second completed documentary tonight (Feb. 26th) at Studio On The Square at 2105 Court St.
"True Blue – Memphis Lawmen of 1948" explores the impact of the historic 1948 hiring of the city's first African-American policemen, including their influence on the African-American directors that would later run the department.
Along with Tillman's earlier Cinematic Arts release, "True Blue – Memphis Lawmen of 1948" is being prepared for presentation at Langston University in Oklahoma and Chicago State University in March. Arrangements also are being finalized for presentations in Waukegan, Ill. and New York before submission on the independent film festival circuit.
WASHINGTON, DC — The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and three of its member organizations announced Tuesday (Feb. 25th) that they have filed a federal housing discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development against Deutsche Bank.
The civil rights organizations allege that Deutsche Bank maintains and markets foreclosed homes in majority white neighborhoods in a strikingly better manner than it does in majority African-American and Latino neighborhoods. Failing to maintain and market homes based on the racial or ethnic composition of the neighborhood violates the federal Fair Housing Act.
The metropolitan areas named in the complaint are: Chicago, Memphis and Washington, D.C., including Prince George's and Montgomery Counties in Maryland. The three member organizations that conducted investigations with NFHA are the South Suburban Housing Center (Homewood, Ill.), Open Communities (Winnetka, Ill.), and HOPE Fair Housing Center (West Chicago, Ill.).
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