In recent years, soul food has gotten a bad rap, basically because many folks have come to think of it as unhealthy. Some have even gone so far as to indict it as the leading cause of chronic diseases and early death among African-American men over 40.
But Adrian Miller would be more inclined to blame it on a shift in the black diet's away from traditional cuisine in favor of processed and fast food. Miller, a certified barbecue judge from Denver, Colo., does concede, however, that soul food dishes were originally higher in sugar and fat than their southern food counterparts, since these ingredients were needed to spice up what were the master's leftovers which were generally starchier, blander and bonier.
In this highly-informative opus, the author not only relates the history of soul food in intimate fashion, one plate at a time, but he includes 22 recipes for such scrumptious staples as Macaroni and Cheese, Catfish Curry, Deep-Fried Chitlins, Fried Chicken, Cornbread, Candied Yams, Black-Eyed Peas, Banana Pudding and Peach Crisp.
She's conquered hip-hop, Hollywood and Broadway; but now Queen Latifah is out to conquer daytime television with a new talk show. "The Queen Latifah Show" debuts nationally on Sept. 16. For Latifah, the latest venture is just another feather in her already impressive cap.
"My show is going to be an entertaining and eclectic mix of interviews with real people as well as celebrities – people who are fun and fascinating," said Latifah in a released statement. "It will be a program you can tune into to feel good every day. I also think it will inspire people who watch it. I know I've certainly been inspired by a lot of the stories we plan to share."
The show comes with some weighty names attached to it. Along with Oscar nominee, Latifah, the show is executively produced by power couple, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Rosa Parks' (1913-2005) contribution to the civil rights movement has been conveniently reduced by most historians to that fateful day in December of 1955 on which she inspired the Montgomery bus boycott by refusing to surrender her seat to a white person.
According to legend, the revered heroine's act of civil disobedience came as a consequence of her just being tired rather than as a result of any political strategy or sense of social conscious.
Truth be told, Rosa Parks had already been involved in the African-American struggle for equality for over a decade. Even as a child, she picked up a brick to defend herself when a racist boy tried to bully her. And as a teenager, she fought back against a white man who was sexually assaulting her, explaining, "If he wanted to kill me and rape a dead body, he was welcome, but he'd have to kill me first."
The circus with a purpose – UniverSoul Circus – was back in Memphis on Tuesday, with some new acts and the same agenda.
The only African-American Circus in the world, UniverSoul Circus always makes a point to tell the children to tell their parents that they love them and that they thank them for bringing them to the circus.
Tuesday's opening-night performance started with a local flavor, featuring The Millennium Madness Fancy Trick Drill Team that many have seen do their thing at the Southern Heritage Classic, area high schools and other Memphis venues.
For movies opening Aug. 30, 2013
"Closed Circuit" (R for profanity and brief violence) Legal thriller about a couple of ex-lover lawyers (Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall) whose lives are threatened when they decide to defend the prime suspect (Dennis Moschitto) in the terrorist bombing of a bustling London market. With Jim Broadbent, Ciaran Hinds and Claudia Simmons-Howe.
One of the most fun things in life is reminiscing, and this Friday (Aug. 30) the New Daisy Theatre, 330 Beale Street, will feel like the inside of a way-back machine, with a special musical performance by Home Grown Funk.
Quite a few Memphians have connection to the band that became a household name but never made it over the national hump.
"I've met so many people over the years who have come up to me and told me how they will never forget Home Grown Funk," said Jerry "Big Jerry" Jones, who formed the band in 1972, along with John Harris and Alvin Potts (keyboards). The trio then expanded to include Lee Chastain (bass) and James Lewis (guitar).