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“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” to spice mind-expanding weekend

Myron-Mays-160WHAT'S HAPPENING MYRON? I always enjoy watching previews of upcoming films when I'm in the movie theatre. One I've become intrigued with is "Lee Daniels' The Butler."

The film opens Friday (Aug. 16) at the box office, with a local non-profit – Comrades N Community Inc. – holding an advance screening at the Malco Stage Cinema in Bartlett (7930 Highway 64) on Thursday at 7 p.m.

The screening honors domestic service workers and is connected to the "Those Who Labor Among Us Awards" set for Sept. 28th. Recipients at the awards show will receive the Helen King Award. King was the first African American Housekeeping Supervisor at the Peabody Hotel in 1963. The Awards Ceremony will benefit the Church Health Center.

Nationwide Insurance, located at 1985 Madison Ave., distributed passes earlier in the week. There may be more passes available on Thursday. Check with Beverly Watkins Bradshaw at 901-691-5966.

And if you have somehow avoided all media for the last few weeks, here is a rundown:
The film is based on the real life story of Eugene Allen, an African American who worked as a butler in the White House for 34 years. During his tenure, he worked under eight presidents and saw some of the most important aspects of American History unfold first hand. He served as head butler before retiring in 1986.

Forrest Whitaker plays the role of Allen, whose name has been changed to Cecil Gaines in the film. This was done to make him more of a character in the Civil Rights Movement. The cast also includes Oprah Winfrey and Mariah Carey. John Cusack and Robin Williams are among the actors who are portraying the presidents.

Lee Daniels, whose first film was "Monsters Ball" is directing what could be an Academy Award favorite in 2014. In 2009, Daniels received a Best Oscar nomination as a part of a whopping six nominations for "Precious".

Here's What's Happening

This weekend, the Memphis Urban League Young Professionals hold their first Empowerment Conference. It begins at 6 Friday evening at the Hilton Memphis at 939 Ridgelake Blvd.

The conference will offer leadership development opportunities for Memphis-area young professionals. Saturday night includes "Mixology," which will feature live music, local DJs, decadent pastries and lavish foods provided by local chefs. This part unfolds at 409 South Main in Downtown from 9 until 2am...yes, 2 a.m.

For more information on all of the events, ypempowerment2013.eventbrite.com.
Take a couple of hours and join me for the What's Happening Myron Book Club event at Memphis Nites, 3299 Kirby Parkway, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. The latest book is "Love, Honor and Betray" by Kimberla Lawson Roby. This Rev. Curtis Black Series is getting really interesting. If you've read the book, stop by.

If you haven't read the book, stop by anyway! We'd love to have you. The food at Memphis Nites is very good. There might even be some greens somewhere in the vicinity. You just never know.

Next week, the Universoul Circus makes its way back to Memphis. You know it's always fun and exciting, right? I'll be there and I will have plenty of details next week.

Parting shot

For the latest on all upcoming events, just download the What's Happening Myron App on your Android or I-Phone. Until then, that's what's happening.

(Got an event you'd like for me to cover to attend, just email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

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