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.


Stevie Wonder to boycott ‘stand your ground’ states

StevieWonder-500Musician Stevie Wonder has vowed to stay out of Florida until the state repeals its "stand your ground" law.

The law allows people to meet "force with force" if they believe they or someone else is in danger of being seriously harmed by an assailant.

"I decided today that until the 'stand your ground' law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again," Wonder told the audience at a concert in Quebec on Sunday night. "As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world."


Denzel & Pauletta: Enduring union nets Ebony cover

Denzel-and-Pauletta-500In an industry where love and marriage is as inconstant as the latest box office or Billboard ratings, Denzel and Pauletta Washington have defied the odds.

The power couple graces the cover of Ebony magazine's August issue. And, in a cover story celebrating black love, the couple discusses the ingredients for their successful marriage: The Washingtons celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary on June 25.

"There's no magical mystery to (staying together). ... We go through up and downs like any couple," Denzel told Ebony writer Shirley Henderson, as quoted by the Huffington Post.


This week’s DVD releases - July 16, 2013

42-movie-600Top Ten DVD list for July 16, 2013.


"Arthur C. Clarke Collection"

"Blood and Sand"

"Wild Bill"

"Bullet to the Head"


Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly previews - 07/11/2013

Pacific Rim-600For movies opening July 12, 2013


"Grown Ups 2" (PG-13 profanity, crude humor, partial male nudity and suggestive content) Adam Sandler and the rest of the principal cast reprise their roles as childhood pals now reuniting in their hometown for another round of nostalgia and middle-age mischief. Ensemble includes Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Maya Rudolph and Salma Hayek.

"Pacific Rim" (PG-13 for pervasive violence and brief profanity) Sci-fi adventure about the team of pilot-controlled robots called upon to save the day when the Earth's surface is suddenly invaded by a hostile race of subterranean monsters. Starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kinkuchi and Ron Perlman.


We remember Cool DJ Soni D

Sonny-D-600Nearly every DJ from nearly every radio station and the club scene in Memphis came out to the Hard Rock Café on Beale Street Monday night to pay homage to the late Cool DJ Soni D, who died in a traffic accident in California on July 1. It was kind of a "who's who" of Memphis radio.

From past to present, almost every station had a presence in the room. People meters weren't important and neither was competition.

In what had the feel of a historic night, more than music set the tone. Heartfelt sentiments filled the room as some of Soni's closest friends and colleagues shared stories of how they met, of how he gave them their names and how he influenced their careers. I looked at all of the legends in attendance and thought to myself, "This was Memphis."


Seeking Maxwell: Landers Center crowd finds its man

Maxwell-5085-600"Where is he? Where is he?" The question bounced around the Landers Center in Southaven, Miss., as Maxwell seekers could hardly contain their desire to see the multi-talented singer-songwriter, record producer and instrumentalist in concert last week (July 3).

Thirty-minutes after a crowd-pleasing performance by Marsha Ambrosius, music blasted and then the lights dimmed as Maxell's slender silhouette pierced through a cloud of smoke. The crowd screamed.


Marsha Ambrosius hitting the high notes with ease

Marsha-Ambrosius-4887-600Marsha Ambrosius – formerly of Floetry – has been a consistent figure at the top of the charts since she went solo. As the opening act for Maxwell (July 3), she stepped right into a warm welcome at the Landers Center in Southaven, Miss.

The image? Stilettos and a black short-set suit, with her natural hair pinned up in a bun unlike her normal over-the-top big hair frizzy look.

In full control of her falsetto skills, she crooned hits from her latest album, "Late Nights and Early Mornings." Halfway through her 45-minute live-band set, Ambrosis belted out high notes from her chart busters, the "Late Nights & Early Mornings" title track, "Say Yes" and "Hope She Cheats on You (With A Basketball Player," which drew cheers from a mostly-female audience.