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Entertainment

Meet Augusta Savage’s ‘Gamin’

Meet Augusta Savage’s ‘Gamin’

The Dixon Gallery and Gardens welcomes Augusta Savage's 'Gamin' on January 19 through March 23. Celebrating the Dixon's recent acquisition of the landmark sculpture, the exhibition looks at Savage and

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  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom

Breakthrough year for black-themed films get mixed reception from Oscars

Breakthrough year for black-themed films get mixed reception from Oscars

Hollywood honored black performers that lit up the silver screen in 2013 with this morning's Academy Award nominations, although some beloved African-American themed films were largely overlooked.

"12 Years a Slave," the acclaimed drama which retells the story of Solomon Northup, an educated, Northern black man kidnapped and sold into slavery, had the strongest showing of any "black" film scoring 9 nominations including the top categories of best picture, director (Steve McQueen), actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and supporting actress (Lupita Nyong'o).

African-American writer John Ridley, who hasn't received as much publicity as he deserves for his stellar screenplay adapted from Northup's memoir, was also nominated. If he were to win on Oscar night he'd only be the second black writer to take home an award. If McQueen were to be victorious he would be the first black director to ever take home an Academy Award (outside of the documentary category).

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  • Written by theGrio

‘Speed: Facing Our Addiction to Fast and Faster – and Overcoming Our Fear of Slowing Down’

‘Speed: Facing Our Addiction to Fast and Faster – and Overcoming Our Fear of Slowing Down’

There's a lot more to life than accelerating its pace, but you wouldn't know it judging by the everyday behavior of most folks lately. People have become so hopelessly dependent on smart phones, computer tablets and the like, that they can't go for more than a few minutes without texting, checking their messages or looking something up online, however trivial.

I first recognized this phenomenon a few years ago when I was invited to a friend's house for Passover. During the Seder, while his family and friends were taking turns reading from the holy Haggadah, he was secretly texting away under the table. Despite being contrite and embarrassed when I pointed out to everybody that our host was ignoring the sacred ritual, he was right back at it less than five minutes later.

Back then, I had no words for such behavior besides rudeness, but thanks to Dr. Stephanie Brown we now have a diagnosis of addiction to speed. In her groundbreaking book, "Speed: Facing Our Addiction to Fast and Faster – and Overcoming Our Fear of Slowing Down," she bemoans the fact that the culture has morphed into a ramped-up dystopia where machines lead and humans follow.

 

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Beyoncé sharpens her feminist voice in new essay

Beyoncé sharpens her feminist voice in new essay

Beyoncé has sharpened her feminist voice in a new essay she contributed to The Shriver Report, a new, multimedia initiative gaining attention created by journalist and former first lady of California Maria Shriver.

The 2014 report, A Woman's Nation Pushes Back From The Brink, is comprised of data, analysis and essays that aim to change the way American society relates to women, improving their outcomes in various sectors leading to social empowerment.

Perhaps as an extension of the discussion of feminism in a song from her latest album, "***Flawless," Beyoncé has contributed an essay to the report that enumerates the ways in which American women lag behind in terms of equal pay.

 

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  • Written by Alexis Garrett Stodghill/theGrio

‘12 Years a Slave Won,’ but Black Hollywood was snubbed at Golden Globes

‘12 Years a Slave Won,’ but Black Hollywood was snubbed at Golden Globes

Last night's Golden Globes may be considered a big night for the slavery epic "12 Years a Slave," which took home the award for best motion picture, drama. But it was not a big night for the film's stars, director or frankly anyone else who happened to be black and in the room that evening.

Despite nominations in a number of major categories, black artists were shut out through the awards show. Making it particularly disappointing for many viewers is the fact that thanks to the box office and critical success of films like "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and "12 Years a Slave," many were heralding 2013 as a banner year for black cinema.

Actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba were both nominated in the best actor category for their lead roles in "12 Years a Slave" and "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." Lupita Nyong'o was nominated in the best supporting actress category for her role in "12 Years a Slave," and Barkhad Abdi was nominated in the best supporting actor category for his performance in "Captain Phillips." Kerry Washington was nominated for her role as Olivia Pope in "Scandal," while Don Cheadle was nominated for his role in the series "House of Lies." Steve McQueen was nominated for best director for "12 Years a Slave," while John Ridley, who penned the film's screenplay, also received a nomination.

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  • Written by by Keli Goff/The Root

2014’s Golden Globes spotlight the spectrum of black films

2014’s Golden Globes spotlight the spectrum of black films

The critically lauded "12 Years a Slave" has been nominated in several prestigious categories in this Sunday's Golden Globe Awards – and the conspicuous presence of black directors, actors and films this awards season offers a chance to reflect on Hollywood's tortured racial past and hopeful future.

The Golden Globes, which are dominated by the more liberal foreign press, unofficially begin an awards season that will formally conclude at the Academy Awards ceremony on March 2.

While in past years African Americans have rightfully complained about the lack of recognition in major awards categories, 2014 promises to be different. In addition to "12 Years a Slave," other major black films in the running for awards include the independently made "Fruitvale Station," "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." Black men directed all except "Mandela," and black screenwriter John Ridley penned the screenplay for "12 Years a Slave."

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  • Written by Peniel E. Joseph/The Root

Kam’s Kapsules

Kam’s Kapsules

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"Her" (R for profanity, sexuality and brief nudity) Oscar-nominee Spike Jonze (for Being John Malkovich) directed this romance drama revolving around a lonely letter writer (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with the voice (Scarlett Johansson) on his computer's operating system. With Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Bill Hader and Olivia Wilde.

"The Legend of Hercules" (PG-13 for sensuality and intense violence) Mythological saga, set in ancient Greece, revolving around a demigod (Kellan Lutz) torn between pursuing true love and fulfilling his destiny by toppling a tyrannical king (Scott Adkins). With Gaia Weiss, Roxanne McKee, Liam Garrigan and Luke Newberry.

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