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Entertainment

The 10 Best Black Books of 2013 (Non-Fiction)

book 6001. "(1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race"
Edited by Yaba Blay, Ph.D. with photography by Noelle Theard

2. "Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities"
by Craig Steven Wilder

AfricanAmericans51Xr5tDorfL3. "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants"
by Malcolm Gladwell

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‘The Young and Restless’ Angell

angell 600Angell Conwell was born in Orangeburg, S. Car. on August 2, 1983, but raised in nearby Columbia. At 17, she made her big screen debut in the gritty, John Singleton drama "Baby Boy" opposite Tyrese, Taraji P. Henson and Snoop Dogg.

She followed that outing with well-received supporting roles in such feature films as "The Wash," "Soul Plane" and "24 Hour Love." More recently, Angell enjoyed a starring role on the TV-One hit series "Family Time" with Omar Gooding, as well as a recurring role as Kevin Hart's ex-wife on the hit BET series "Real Husbands of Hollywood."

Her TV credits include guest starring roles on such shows as "NYPD Blue," "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," "Moesha," "That's So Raven" and "3rd Rock from the Sun." She has also appeared in the music videos "Batter Up" and "Ride Wit Me" and Usher's "Confessions."

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OPENING THIS WEEK: Kam’s Kapsules

anchorman2 600For movies opening Dec. 20, 2013

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"American Hustle" (R for sexuality, pervasive profanity and brief violence) David O. Russell wrote and directed this crime drama about a couple of con artists (Christian Bale and Amy Adams) forced by an overzealous FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to infiltrate a New Jersey underworld inhabited by mobsters protected by a crooked, big city mayor (Jeremy Renner). Support cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K. and Michael Pena.

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‘Beyoncé sho knows how to make news, don’t she?’

beyonce 600Out of nowhere I started hearing about this new self-titled Beyoncé album. Everyone kept asking me, "Myron Have you heard it?"

I dashed to my computer to see if any of it was on YouTube. I had to see what the hoopla was all about. I stumbled across a video for one of the new songs, "Drunk in Love" featuring her husband Jay-Z.

I also discover that although the album is in stores this week, she released it online last week and it moved a staggering 80,000 copies in 3 hours...yes, 3 hours. As I type these very words, it has already sold over 500,000 copies and has debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.

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Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

madea 600BIG BUDGET FILMS

"American Hustle" (R for sexuality, pervasive profanity and brief violence) David O. Russell wrote and directed this crime drama about a couple of con artists (Christian Bale and Amy Adams) forced by an overzealous FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to infiltrate a New Jersey underworld inhabited by mobsters protected by a crooked, big city mayor (Jeremy Renner). Support cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K. and Michael Pena.

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" (PG-13 for intense violence and frightening images) Second installment of the fantasy trilogy based on the J.R.R. Tolkien classic finds Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and company continuing their epic journey to Lonely Mountain for a showdown with a fearsome dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch). Cast includes Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett and Stephen Fry.

"A Madea Christmas" (PG-13 for profanity, crude humor and sexual references) Tyler Perry's back in drag in this adaptation of his holiday-themed play, set in a small Southern town, as a moralizing, motor-mouthed granny straightening out sinners while spreading Christmas cheer. Ensemble includes Tika Sumpter, Larry the Cable Guy, Anna Maria Horsford, Kathy Najimy and Chad Michael Murray.

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This week’s DVD releases

fast and_furious_6-wide_600Top Ten DVD List for December 10, 2013

"The Hunt"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00F6SHCYS/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

"Fast & Furious 6"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00FF9SKSK/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

"Despicable Me 2"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B008JFUQ3O/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

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‘(1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race’

book 600Traditionally, in America, if you were just a teeny-weeny bit black, you'd always been considered black. This arbitrary color line was even codified by the Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, an 1896 case brought by an octoroon light enough to pass who sued for the right to sit in the "white only" section of a segregated train traveling through the South.

Much to Homer Plessy's chagrin, the Court sided with the State of Louisiana, taking judicial notice of the "one-drop rule," ruling that "a Negro or black is any person with any black ancestry." In other words, you could be black without looking black.

Fast-forward to the present, the arguably post-racial age of Obama, a time when the country has a biracial president, who nevertheless refers to himself to African-American. The nation's population has more mixed ancestry than ever nowadays, which is reflected in the latest census offering over a dozen race options to check off, as well as "Other," if none of the above is to your liking.

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Kam’s Kapsules: Opening This Week


movie 600For movies opening Dec. 6, 2013

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"Inside Llewyn Davis" (R for profanity and some sexual references) Oscar Issac plays the title character in this Coen Bros musical dramedy, set in Greenwich Village in 1961, chronicling a week in the life of a struggling folk singer. With Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan and Max Casella.

"Out of the Furnace" (R for profanity, drug use and graphic violence) Vigilante crime thriller revolving around a just-paroled ex-con (Christian Bale) who ventures from the Rust Belt to the Northeast to rescue a younger brother (Case Affleck) who's gotten mixed up with mobsters. Ensemble cast includes Forest Whitaker, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Willem Dafoe and Sam Shepard.

 

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Making music in Memphis

IMG-Jaheim 600Soul balladeer Jaheim had the ladies mesmerized as he sang all of his hits at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis on Saturday night (Nov. 30).

IMG Jaheim_2199IMG CM_2014IMG CM_2053IMG Crowd_Shot_1114The opening act was Chrisette Michelle and she was – in a word – sensational.

This week’s DVD releases

518dY 160Top Ten DVD List for Dec. 3, 2013

"The Jack Ryan Collection"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000RZGIPO/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

"30 for 30 Gift Set Collection: Season Two, Volume One"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00DSQ40R2/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

"Bruce Weber: The Film Collection"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00F1BFKM6/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

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Making music in Memphis: Dana Dane, John Mayer

IMG-Dana-Dane 600Dana Dane was the star attraction Friday night at the Hard Rock Café on Beale Street during the Food Bank Bash Classic 80's Party.

IMG-John-Mayer--0687Across the street at the FedExForum, fans packed the house for John Mayer and his Born and Raised Tour.

IMG-Phillip-Phillips-1368Former "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips was the opening act for John Mayer.

Kam’s Kapsules

kamkaps 600BIG BUDGET FILMS

"Frozen" (PG for action and mild rude humor) Disney animated adventure about a fearless princess (Kristen Bell) who embarks on an epic journey with a gruff mountain man (Josh Gad) in order to reverse the curse of eternal winter accidentally inflicted upon the kingdom by her queen-to-be sister (Idina Menzel) with cryogenic powers. Voice cast includes Ciaran Hinds, Jonathan Groff and Edie McClurg.

"Homefront" (R for graphic violence, drug use, pervasive profanity and brief sexuality) Sly Stallone wrote the screenplay for this adaptation of the Chuck Logan novel of the same name about a DEA Agent (Jason Statham) who retires to a quiet town for the sake of his family only to have their lives turned upside-down by a ruthless meth dealer (James Franco). With Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, Izabela Vidovic and Omar Benson Miller.

"Oldboy" (R for nudity, profanity, graphic sexuality, brutal violence and disturbing images) Spike Lee directed this remake of the Korean revenge thriller revolving around an advertising exec's (Josh Brolin) quest for vengeance after being kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years. With Samuel L. Jackson, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley and Michael Imperioli.

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Old-school rules at pre-Thanksgiving concert

IMG-Bobby-Womack-600Music legends Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly, The Isley Brothers, featuring Ronald Isley, and Bobby Womack transformed the Landers Center in Southaven, Miss. into "Old-school Haven" on Saturday night.

Womack came out dressed in red – leather pants, jacket and a cap – and launched into his deep bag of hit songs, including "Across a 110th Street," "I Can Understand it," "That's The Way I Feel About You," "Harry Hippie" and many more. He also did a tribute to Sam Cooke, singing "A Change Is Going To Come," and introduced his daughter, who sings backup for him. He gave her an opening to sing a song and it's safe to say talent runs in the family.

Next up was the Isley Brothers and their presence triggered a surge toward the stage as they reeled off hits such as "Fight The Power," "It's Your thing," and "For the Love of You." As always, eye-grabbing dancers performing precision moves accented the performance that was punctuated by the distinctive voice of Ronald Isley and the lead-guitar prowess of Ernie Isley.

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