‘(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.

Read more

Kam’s Kapsules: Opening This Week

movie 600For movies opening Dec. 6, 2013


"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.


Read more

ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: Business tax pitfalls

CarleeMcCullough-160Too many times pride stands in the way of folks asking for help. But if you are a small business, asking for help is the only way to stay above the fray. One area that business owners tend to run from is tax preparation.

Whether the business is fledgling or experienced, tax preparation is always dreaded. It is a necessary evil that cannot be avoided under any circumstance.

Here's a snapshot of the tax issues that can arise and detrimentally affect a business:

Read more

‘Black Nativity,’ ‘Best Man Holiday,’ Madea and parties galore

scene black_nativity_600In the midst of what is turning out to be a very busy holiday season, I have somehow found time to catch a couple of movies! As far as the African-American moviegoer is concerned, this holiday season has been very nice. We have at least three major films that are geared toward "us" that will be in theatres by Christmas day.

Of course, the first was "Best Man Holiday," which was a great film that I'd go see again and you should see at least once. Then there was "Black Nativity," which opened this past weekend and stars Jennifer Hudson, Tyrese, Angela Bassett and Forrest Whitaker. Not quite the blockbuster that I hoped for, however, it still was a really good film.

"Black Nativity" had a lot of good moments, most of which came with music. If you watched the trailers, it should have come as no surprise that this film was actually a musical. If you get to check it out, be sure to pay close attention to Mary J. Blige's scene where she sings. That had to have been the most soulful Christmas music I have heard in a long time. I'm not sure if this was actually lip-synced, but both Bassett and Whitaker's characters sang as well. If it wasn't actually them, it was at least great acting.

Read more

Kasi on call

29884 pro_160A proven talent as an actress, writer and director, Kasi Lemmons continues to tantalize creatively with her thought provoking body of work. Her work as an actress includes roles in :Silence of the Lambs" opposite Jodie Foster, and Spike Lee's "School Daze," as well as "Hard Target," "Fear of a Black Hat," "Candyman" and "Vampire's Kiss."

Kasi's magical directorial debut, "Eve's Bayou," was the highest-grossing independent film of 1997. The film won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and received seven NAACP Image Award nominations, including Best Picture.

Her sophomore offering, "The Caveman's Valentine," opened the 2002 Sundance Film Festival to audience and critical acclaim. And, in 2008, she received an NAACP Image Award for directing "Talk to Me."


Read more