While the Heal The Hood Foundation-sponsored concert at American Way Middle School (April 20) was what urban youth would call "off the chains," there were multiple panel discussions that were just as "cool" – particularly the one about hip hop and its following.
The words Hot 107.1 FM'S DJ Lomax spoke were not a remix, nor were they commercialized. Every child and adult in the room knew that this was an original perception because there was far too much knowledge in the message for it to have been recycled or sampled.
Dressed in army fatigues, his words carried the weight of a drill sergeant.
Three leading African-American literature web sites have launched the Power List, a quarterly compilation of best-selling books written or read by African Americans.
The Power List is a joint project of AALBC.com, Cushcity.com and Mosaicbooks.com. The founders of the companies see a need for a comprehensive list of best-selling African-American books.
"Currently, the data is dispersed over a wide variety of sources," said Gwen Richardson, co-founder of Cushcity.com. "We wanted to compile and analyze the data across the board and present those findings to the public."
This week TSD had an opportunity to sit down with the visionary producers of the upcoming April 20th Designs and Punchlines (D/P) Comedy and Fashion Show. Comedian Eugene “Spankie” Broyls (ESB) and entrepreneur and event promoter extraordinaire, Niki Smith-Brown (NSB) have teamed up to bring a unique concept in entertainment to the Memphis community. This week they shared the background and a few inside thoughts about D/P with the New Tri-State Defender.
TSD: So how did Designs and Punchlines (D/P) come to be? Whose vision was it?
Ken Burns has been making films for more than 30 years, with 10 Emmy Awards and two Oscar nominations to his credit. Here he talks about his latest film, "The Central Park Five," which premiered on PBS on Tuesday.
Kam Williams: Children's book author Irene Smalls asks: "What interested you in this story? Was there a personal connection?"
Ken Burns: The personal connection, simply, was my daughter, Sarah. She was too young to have heard about the actual crime, but learned about it in the summer of 2003. She then just began obsessing about the case to the point that she had to write a book about it. And she had two people around her, her husband, David, and her father who were saying, "Hey, it's also a film." And that's how it got made.
For movies opening April 19, 2013
"Oblivion" (PG-13 for violence, nudity, sexuality and brief profanity) Post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller about an ex-Marine (Tom Cruise) with the fate of humanity in his hands in the wake of a war with extraterrestrials which devastated the planet. Cast includes Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko and Melissa Leo.
"Ain't in It for My Health" (Unrated) Reverential rockumentary about Levon Helm, the late drummer, lead singer and founding member of The Band. Featuring appearances by Billy Bob Thornton, Libby Titus and Larry Campbell.
I have a friend who looks similar to Tyrese. He has the same complexion and chiseled features, and a fondness for wearing plaid shirts, which Ty wore in a pivotal scene as Jody in John Singleton's "Baby Boy."
Last year, that friend and I were standing backstage at a music festival when a group of "mature" black women approached us to ask my friend for an autograph. He laughed, explained that he was not Tyrese and apologized for the confusion. One woman responded, "We should have known it wasn't him as soon as you were polite. Tyrese is an a--hole."
I wondered, "So why did you want his autograph, then?" But I didn't say that, of course, because who in their younger right mind talks slick to a "mature" black woman?