On Thursday, President Barack Obama joined other dignitaries at a civil rights summit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's signature accomplishment as president – passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And in a nod to the shoulders that he stands on, Obama said, "I have lived out the promise of LBJ's efforts."
But some Americans, particularly those who lived through LBJ's presidency, wish that President Obama not only reaped the rewards of President Johnson's leadership but also led more like him. And to that point, I recently attended the critically acclaimed Broadway play All the Way, in which "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston portrays the president during the year in which he struggled and eventually triumphed in his efforts to pass the Civil Rights Act.
Seeing the production, two things became obvious: Cranston will get a Tony Award nomination for his performance, and the president he portrays is very different from the president we have today. After I saw the production with a family member who lived through the civil rights movement, she couldn't help remarking about how different Johnson – one of the presidents she admires most—is from the current president, whom she also admires greatly.
The Shelby County (TN) Chapter, The Links Incorporated, a service-oriented group of women representing varied backgrounds and professional expertise, presented its 2014 Orita Rites of Passage at First Baptist Church Broad on Sunday, April 6th.
The Orita is a ritual that originated in African culture and signalled the crossroads, maturity, loyalty and readiness of a young man ready to assume the responsibilities of manhood.
This year's theme – "Connecting the Dots...and Bridging the Gaps from High School to Success" – benefited The Leadership Academy, a long-term, 22-year program focused on empowering, elevating and enlightening African-American males from all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Boys and girls from throughout the Mid-South will participate in the 2nd PROMISE BALL Black Tie Oath Ceremony & Ring Presentation presented by Pinky Promise International on April 13th at 5 p.m. at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.
Middle school and high school participants, grades 6-12, will receive a charge to remain abstinent from sexual and substance abuse behaviors. The formal oath ceremony will conclude with a ring presentation and waltz dance.
Rose Jackson Flenorl, manager of Social Responsibility at FedEx Corporation, is the keynote speaker.
Jasmine Guy, whose acting career spans television, theater and film, is headed to Memphis to keynote the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis' 2014 Annual Tribute Luncheon on April 24th.
"In addition to being a talented dancer and star of the stage and screen, she champions causes that support the safety and rights of women and girls everywhere," said Ruby Bright, executive director/CAO of the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis (WFGM).
Many recognizeGuy as Whitley Gilbert on the "Cosby Show" spinoff "A Different World." She won six consecutive NAACP Image Awards for her portrayal of the pretentious but funny southern belle. Guy's most recent role, recurring as Grams on the popular series "Vampire Diaries," can be seen on the CW Network.
Toni Green is a living proof that the soul of Memphis music still travels well.
In Poretta Terme, Italy, excitement already is mounting for the 27th Porretta Soul Festival, which will be a tribute to Otis Redding. The festival will take place July 17-20 in Rufus Thomas Park.
Green, who has been performing at the festival since 2005, graces the cover of the poster promoting the festival for the first time. She recalls crying for a week after getting that news.
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