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Fri04182014

Entertainment

‘Buy Black’ – an economic empowerment strategy

buyblack 600Margarita "Maggie" Anderson wants to transform "Buy Black" from a leftover 1960s slogan to a modern economic empowerment strategy. And because she has lived it, there is no person better qualified to lead the charge.

Anderson and her family spent all of 2009 purchasing goods and services exclusively from black merchants. She is author of a book cataloguing her experience titled, "Our Black Year." She also authored an essay in the State of Black America report issued Thursday by the National Urban League titled, "Facts vs. Fiction: Buying Black as an Economic Empowerment Strategy."

Like the farmer trying to get his mule's attention, Anderson whacks us across the head in the National Urban League report with two disturbing facts.

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Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

captainamerica 600For movies opening April 4, 2014

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"Afflicted" (R for profanity and gory violence) Horror flick revolving around a couple of BFFS (Clif Prowse and Derek Lee) whose vacation of a lifetime far from home morphs into a neverending nightmare when one becomes infected with a mysterious disease which slowly starts to consume his entire being. Co-starring Baya Rehaz.

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (PG-13 for gunplay, pervasive action and intense violence) Cold War Era sequel pits the Marvel Comics superhero (Chris Evans) against a new nemesis, a Russian assassin (Sebastian Stan) wreaking havoc around Washington, DC. Cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie and series creator Stan Lee.

"Dom Hemingway" (R for nudity, sexuality, violence, drug use and pervasive profanity) Jude Law plays the titular character of this crime comedy as a just-paroled safe cracker who's determined to collect a bonus from his mob boss (Demian Bichir) for not snitching on him while behind bars. With Richard E. Grant, Emilia Grant and Kerry Condon.

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Remembering Marvin Gaye

marvingay 600Twenty years ago this week R&B music suffered a great loss as singer Marvin Gaye was killed by his father in April of 1984. Never has one artist had such a profound influence on R&B music and the other artists who created it.

Amazingly, when I hear Marvin's music today, it still strikes a chord. Not only with me, but with a lot of us. It's totally mind-blowing that "What's Going On" has the same meaning and impact for me as if it was written today. Although years past and time changes, things really remain the same.

News flash: the world was not perfect back in 1971. The issues of that day have not been resolved. There's still mothers crying and senseless killings all over our country. Somewhere in the world there are still senseless wars in progress as we speak. But it took a special person to be able to put those kinds of issues in the form of a song and create something that would make a person really pay attention some 30 years later.

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Task Force of ministers to address Stand Your Ground laws

RBHolmes 600WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Rev. R.B. Holmes, a civil rights leader and pastor of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Fla., is heading up a task force of 40 ministers to undertake a 12-point action plan to revitalize the black community, taking on issues ranging from the repeal of controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws to supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Holmes made the announcement here last week at a news conference at the National Press Club.

“In our 12 Point Action Plan, we will take the leadership to save our boys and girls, to build schools in our own neighborhoods, to repeal and repair ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws across America, to support historically Black colleges and universities, and the importance of business ownership and the significance of marriage and the family,” said Holmes.

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CFPB turns its attention to payday lending

CharleneCrowell 600Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) focused on those little loans that come with triple-digit lending rates – payday loans.

The CFPB's public forum in Nashville coincided with the Bureau's release of a new research report. After analyzing 11 months of borrowing at 12 million storefront locations, CFPB's findings again confirm that the industry relies not on individual borrowers' ability to quickly repay, but on their inability to repay, resulting in individual borrowers taking out many loans each year.

In other words, the business model for payday lending is a debt trap. With numerous storefronts often concentrated in communities of color, many consumers are drawn in by convenient locations and promises of quick cash with no credit checks. All too often, borrowers discover that the terms of the small dollar loan cause even more financial stress and deepening debt.

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‘The Myth of Race, The Reality of Racism’

racemyth 600"From today's perspective in a media-soaked world all too familiar with the genomic footprints of human DNA and the tracings of the double-helix back to an African origin, it has become considerably easier to accept the notion that, like nations, 'races' are what Benedict Anderson calls 'imagined communities' – social constructs, fabrications made in history by historical forces, and which acquire meaning only in relation to identifiable others.

"But it is also easy to forget that just 20 years ago, the explanatory power of race had not yet been deconstructed thoroughly enough to prevent the best-selling publication of... Charles Murray's "The Bell Curve," wherein the ancient logics of racial inferiority and domination were reconfigured in full display, with all the illusory trappings of authoritative social science."
– From the Introduction by Professor John S. Wright (page 2)

The Genome Project has proven scientifically that there's only one race, the human race. But despite definitive proof that race is purely a fabrication of man's imagination, racism continues to persist.

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Tishuan Scott: ‘The Retrieval’ Interview

TheRetrieval 600Tishuan Scott was born on October 27, 1979 in Shreveport, La. He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta as an Oprah Scholar, where he matriculated towards earning his Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Psychology in 2002. He then attended the University of California at Los Angeles' School of Theater, Film & Television as a Lloyd Bridges MGM/Outer Limits Fellow, where he received his Master of Fine Arts in Acting in 2006.

Tishuan was recently seen as "Kenieloe," a Ghanian guru, in Andrew Bujalski's 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Sundance Award-winning film "Computer Chess" and as "Moses Washington" in the Lifetime Network TV movie "Deliverance Creek."

Here, he talks about playing "Nate," a freedman gravedigger for the Federal Union Army, in "The Retrieval." He landed the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) 2013 Special Jury Prize for Acting ­ Breakthrough Performance in that Civil War Era adventure.

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Hollywood can’t figure out what to do with ‘exotic’ Lupita

LupitaNyongo 600Now that Hollywood's award season has come to a close, perhaps it was inevitable that the fawning over media darling and Academy Award winner for best supporting actress Lupita Nyong'o would come to an end as well. The Hollywood Reporter put the official nail in the cliched coffin with its latest print issue, which asks on its cover, "What Happens to Lupita Now? How to Turn an 'Exotic' Actress A-List."

The question may sound odd to those of us who don't consider Nyong'o "exotic." She's not some rare bird with colorful, fluffy feathers that no one's ever seen outside the Amazon; she's a dark-skinned black woman, who exist everywhere, even if there aren't enough women who fit that description in Hollywood.

That cover line is also eyebrow-raising because for months now, we've all watched Nyong'o grace red carpets, rack up awards big and small and collect magazine covers and feature stories that highlight her remarkable beauty, delightful personality and impeccable fashion. But, as the Hollywood Reporter points out, it takes more than great press (or clothes) to make a star.

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THE RATCHET FILES!

mcdonaldstat 600Cops: Man freed after 15 years robs same store

(Newser) – Christopher Miller robbed the Stride Rite shoe store in Toms River, NJ, in 1999, got caught, and served 15 years in state prison. Police say he became a free man on Friday and celebrated by catching a bus to Toms River and, yes, robbing the same Stride Rite shoe store, reports the Star-Ledger. Though he had 15 years to stew over what went wrong the first time, authorities say this robbery didn't go so well, either. Two employees were so slow in handing over cash that the "agitated" robber grabbed the register drawer himself and fled on foot, reports the Ocean County Signal. (The employees refused to hand over their keys, scotching any hopes for a getaway vehicle.)

They called the cops—the apparent plan was to tie them up in a storage room, as happened in the 1999 robbery, but the employees refused to go—and within minutes, a police K-9 unit tracked down Williams and recovered the stolen $389, reports the Daily Record. Miller is charged with robbery and is being held on $100,000 bond. The 40-year-old is from Tulsa, Okla., and police aren't sure what his connection is to Toms River, besides maybe nostalgia.

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‘Stokely: A Life’

Stokely 600"It was Thursday, June 16, 1966... Less than a year before, President Lyndon Johnson had signed the Voting Rights Act... Stokely Carmichael was now in Mississippi to ensure that the federal laws... would apply to black sharecroppers living in plantation communities...

"(Just) released from his latest stay in jail... Stokely's voice broke through the humid Mississippi night... 'This is the 27th time that I've been arrested,' he shouted, 'and I ain't going to jail no more... We want black power!'

"Carmichael made a case for political revolution. 'We have begged the president. We've begged the federal government... Every courthouse in Mississippi ought to be burned down tomorrow!'

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The duo at LiveTone Studios

livestudio 600It was close to midnight when I finally made it to LiveTone studios located in what Urban Memphis calls "Blackhaven." The term of endearment echoes the rich pride of the people who live in this part of town and would love nothing less than you knowing that they do.

I came in with a puzzled look on my face after passing by a couple of Memphis famous strip clubs in full swing. Kevin "Sleepy" Plunkett and Tazz Fields were inside taking a break from stirring up music magic and were awaiting my arrival. I kicked back on a couch, ink pen and paper in hand ready to do an interview. I quickly intertwined in a discussion about the state of the music world.

"I like a lot of things about music right now," said Sleepy. "I like the different techniques used now. You can really tell that the people making the beats are giving them a lot of thought. I really do like a lot of the songs that come out. I don't like them all, but I do like some.

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Did ‘Scandal’ success propel Alfre Woodard into presidential role on ‘State of Affairs?’

AlfreWoodard 600Numerous black actors have played the president of the United States over the years on film and television, including Morgan Freeman, Dennis Haysbert, Richard Pryor and Jamie Foxx. But with a new pilot called "State of Affairs," NBC is offering up the first black woman POTUS.

Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning actress Alfre Woodward will play President Roberta Payton in the drama that is being billed as a cross between "Scandal" and "The West Wing." Woodard is joined by Katherine Heigl, whose character is a CIA operative who does daily debriefings with the president. Heigl's character is also the ex-girlfriend of President Payton's late son.

No further details about the pilot are available, but just the fact that a major network's drama will star a black woman as the leader of the free world is a significant milestone in how black women are depicted in pop culture.

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