TSD Memphis



Amanda Berry hits stage with Nelly at concert

29amandaberryNelly-600(CNN) – One of the three women held captive for nearly a decade in a Cleveland, Ohio, home, made a public appearance Saturday at a concert.

Amanda Berry, along with members of her family, got onstage, surprising concertgoers at the daylong music festival Roverfest. Berry didn't speak onstage, but she smiled and waved to the crowd.

"I told her she had a little bit of time to make up on the partying and you guys would help her out tonight," radio personality Shane "Roker" French told concertgoers.


Kanye West starts music program in Chicago

kanye-music-program-400Kanye West is arguably the biggest music star to have ever come out of Chicago, but sometimes people forget about his roots in the Second City. West himself has made it no easier for fans to remember, rapping almost exclusively about trips to Paris and other worldwide travels, but recently he made a grand gesture toward his hometown, reminding all of us he hasn't forgotten where he comes from.

According to VIBE, West has started a music program called Got Bars. The program will be launched through West's nonprofit organization Donda House and teach music writing and production.


Crouching Viper, Hidden Wolverine!

wolverine-400("As the only film opening in wide release, James Mangold's dark take on the clawed mutant opened strong and walked away with about $21 million on Friday, which includes the $4 million it made in theaters that began showing the movie at 10 p.m. on Thursday night." EW.com via CNN)

Logan, aka Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), is a mutant with retractable claws and a self-healing, metal skeleton. As a member of Marvel Comics' X-Men, he has appeared in all five of the franchise's prior screen adaptations, most notably, the eponymous installment exploring his origin.

At this episode's point of departure, we find him in Alaska and awaking from the clever cinematic contrivance of a nightmare within a nightmare. In the haunting dream, he'd been confronted by Jean Grey, aka Phoenix (Famke Janssen), the lover/colleague gone bad he'd been forced to stab to death in "X-Men: The Last Stand."


‘Fruitvale Station’ Opens in Theaters Nationwide Today

fruitvalestation-400"Fruitvale Station" will not be one of the top 10 titles listed in the weekend's box office, but when looked at on its own, the independent film, which debuted in seven theaters nationwide, had a remarkable opening. Deadline reports that the film, about the 2009 killing of 22-year-old Oscar Grant III by a transit cop, is a bona fide hit if judged upon what it brought on a per-screen average. They also suggest the strong opening is due in part to this past weekend's Trayvon Martin news.

Deadline excerpt:


Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly previews - 07/25/2013

film-160For movies opening July 26, 2013


"The Wolverine" (PG-13 for sexuality, profanity and intense violence) Sixth installment in Marvel Comics' X-Men franchise, set in Japan, finds Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) stripped of his invincibility and locked in a life or death battle with a mysterious figure from his past (Hiroyuki Sanada) whose daughter (Tao Okamoto) is his current love interest. With Famke Janssen, Will Yun Lee and Brian Tee.


Takeisha Berry-Brooks: Moving forward naturally!

tberrybrooks-hair-400tDon't be surprised if Takeisha Berry-Brooks sheds a tear or two at some point during the 2nd Annual Naturals in the City Hair and Wellness Expo. They'll be expressions of joy.

Approximately 5,000 attendees are expected at the 2-day event that unfolds this weekend at the Cook Convention Center after debuting at the Esplanade last year. For Berry-Brooks, it's all a part of an ongoing labor of love on a natural journey that she travels which is powered by faith.

"I still trust Him! I'm still being tested. I'm not worried about the outcome," said Berry-Brooks, wiping away tears.


On the go with Essandoh!

24ato-400tHypnotizing audiences as D'Artagnan, the slave who was mauled to death by dogs in "Django Unchained," Ato Essandoh stars as Dr. Matthew Freeman in the 2nd season of BBC America's highest-rated series premiere ever, "Copper." Born in Schenectady, New York on July 29, 1972, Ato also returns as the fan-favorite former carjacker and Watson's (Lucy Liu) possible replacement, Alfredo Llamosa, in CBS' "Elementary."

Here, he talks about life, career and the good fortune of currently having two hit TV shows.

Kam Williams: Hi Ato, thanks for the interview.

Ato Essandoh: My pleasure, Kam.


Summer list of best-selling African-American books

23summerbooks-400tThe Power List, the quarterly compilation of best-selling books written or read by African Americans, released its Summer 2013 list Tuesday (July 23).

Ashley & Jaquavis, the urban fiction duo whose Cartel series has collectively sold more than a million copies, continue to dominate the paperback fiction bestsellers list with four titles among the top ten: "Cartel 4," "Murderville 2," "The Prada Plan 2" and "Murderville." Urban fiction author Wahida Clark also had two titles among the paperback fiction bestsellers, "Payback Ain't Enough" and "Justify My Thug," as well as one, "Honor Thy Thug," among the hardcover fiction bestsellers.

A number of authors who have consistently released best-selling books for at least a decade also had one or more titles on the Summer 2013 list. Those authors include: Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Walter Mosley, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Eric Jerome Dickey, Carl Weber, Sister Souljah, Mary B. Morrison and Mary Monroe.


Lauryn Hill, O.J. and tales from the cells

Myron-Mays-160WHAT'S HAPPENING MYRON If you were wondering how Lauryn Hill is holding up, I guess there is Internet access in the part of the Danbury, Conn. facility where she is serving out her three-month jail sentence for tax evasion. In a letter posted to her Tumblr page, she lets loose with some info on her experience and lets everyone know how she is doing.

While she lists some of the many people who have written her, Hill said there is no way to write back to all of them. Each of letters, however, has been received, read and appreciated, she said.

The 38-year-old singer, songwriter, rapper, producer and actress began serving her sentence on July for failing to pay about a million dollars in taxes over the past decade. She is due to be released in October.


This week’s DVD releases - July 23, 2013

NewWorlddvd-200Top Ten DVD list for July 23, 2013


"New World"

"Ginger & Rosa"

"Home Run"

"God Don't Make the Laws"


Fantasia returns to Broadway for ‘After Midnight’

fantasia-600"American Idol" champ Fantasia Barrino is warming her pipes for a jazzy production this fall.

The season three "Idol" winner has been confirmed as the first guest star to be featured in the Broadway musical "After Midnight."

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the musical revue celebrates Duke Ellington's days at Harlem's legendary Cotton Club, and will have a rotation of headliners to mimic the big names that graced the Cotton Club's stage at its peak.


TSD Health Fair and Family Fun Day makes Orange Mound splash

healthfair-1-600The grill was smoking. The music was pumping. The kids were playing. The New Tri-State Defender's Let's Move Memphis Summer Health Fair and Family Fun Day was off to a terrific start.

This year's event returned to the Orange Mound Community Center, and the citizens of Orange Mound were glad about it.

Co-hosted by State Rep. G.A. Hardaway, the event also drew other politicians and concerned community activists. Congressman Steve Cohen was on hand to help pass out hot dogs, hamburgers and cold sodas to the community. Event sponsor Methodist HealthCare provided free health screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose testing for the very grateful attendees.


Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly previews - 07/18/2013

iceberg slim-400tFor movies opening July 17, 2013


"The Conjuring" (R for disturbing violence and scenes of terror) Fact-based horror flick about a couple of paranormal investigators (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) hired to help a family terrorized by an evil force inside their secluded farmhouse. Cast includes Lily Taylor, Joey King and Ron Livingston.

"Red 2" (PG-13 for profanity, drug use and pervasive violence) Espionage thriller finds former, CIA Agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) coaxed back out of retirement and reunited with his elite team of spies to track down a portable nuclear bomb that's landed in the hands of terrorists. With Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, Mary- Louise Parker and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

"R.I.P.D." (PG-13 for violence, profanity, sensuality and sexual references) Fantasy comedy about a recently deceased cop (Ryan Reynolds) who tries to solve his own murder with the help of a new partner (Jeff Bridges) after joining a police department for the undead. Support cast includes Kevin Bacon, James Hong and Mary-Louise Parker.