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‘My own man’ treats Memphis to ‘Mrs. Independent’

Mrs Independent

Some may wonder what can transpire in a relationship were the woman earns more money than the man. The play “Mrs. Independent,” which ran Nov. 8-9 at the Cannon Center, examined just that topic.

Bringing the storyline to life was an acting crew that featured Robin Givens, Dottie Peoples, Christopher Williams, Tony Grant, Trisha Mann-Grant and playwright Priest Tyaire.

  • Written by Brittney Gathen-Special to The New Tri-State Defender

‘The Big Baby Live Experience Volume 1’

Big Baby

If you have ever found yourself downtown at Memphis Sounds Lounge listening to the A440 Band then you might be familiar with a strong-voice performer known to many as “Big Baby.”

No, she’s not a baby! She’s not even a kid. She’s a full-grown woman with a voice that really makes you feel the pulse of what the Memphis sound is all about.

‘Dynamic duo’ builds on what keeps on working


Soprano soloist Valetta Brinson, an assistant professor of communications, graphic and fine arts at Southwest Tennessee Community College, recently joined poet and musician Kevin Simmonds in a performance before a packed house at the College of Charleston for the Crazyhorse Reading Series.

Brinson accompanied Simmonds with songs as he read poems centered on issues of identity, sexuality, family dynamics, and history.

  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom

First lady: ‘…you look like a ballet dancer’


So, just imagine it. Some project you’re involved in captures the nation’s top honor in creative youth development. Hundreds of after-school programs across America compete for the coveted prize. Only 12 are chosen. And yours makes the cut.

 You are chosen to accept that award from the first lady at the White House.  As you share center stage with Michelle Obama, she opens her arms to embrace you and speaks life-giving words that only the two of you share.
This was 17-year-old Briana Brown’s reality as she jetted to Washington D.C. to accept an award on behalf of the New Ballet Ensemble & School. By her side was New Ballet’s founder and CEO Katie Smythe.

  • Written by Dr. Sybill C. Mitchell

Benefit gala to cap Bar-Kays 50th anniversary


The Bar-Kays will celebrate five decades in the music industry with a 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 4th.

The black tie gala will be hosted by Elise Neal of TV One’s “Hollywood Divas” and actor Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs ,who starred in “The Jacksons: An American Dream.”

  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom


Kams Kaps

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun   


“Big Hero 6” (PG for action, peril, crude humor and mature themes) Animated family comedy inspired by the Marvel Comics series about a 14-year-old inventor (Ryan Potter) who teams with his inflatable robot (Scott Adsit) and his close friends to solve a string of crimes. Voice cast includes Jamie Chung, T.J. Miller, Genesis Rodriguez, Damon Wayans Jr., Maya Rudolph and James Crowell.   

“Interstellar” (PG-13 for intense action and brief profanity) Post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller about an outer space expedition undertaken through a wormhole by scientists searching for a habitable planet in the wake of climate change that has left Earth devastated by drought and famine. Ensemble cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow, Casey Affleck, David Oyelowo, Topher Grace, Bill Irwin and William Devane.