facebook-icotwitter-icogoogle-icorss-ico
connectsubscribearchives
Log in

No Oscar nod, no problem: Forest Whitaker works on craft

ForestW 600Although he's won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, it's always been about the craft for the veteran actor. So repeated comments that he deserved a nomination for his leading role in "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and for "Fruitvale Station," which he co-produced, just roll right off.

"I've been doing this for years and my goal is purely to expand the human experience, to expand myself and connection with other people," he said in a recent phone interview to promote his new film "Repentance." "That's my real goal. It's always nice when people celebrate me or my work. But that's not my real marker. It's seems to be more of a marker for others."

Sure, Whitaker was disappointed that "Fruitvale Station" wasn't among the nine Oscar nominees for Best Picture. But he ultimately felt the film didn't need a nomination or an award to validate its success. It was "beautifully done," he says.

Read more

The Civil Rights Movement and Hip-Hop – Part II

CivilRightHipHop 600The best way to recognize and celebrate African American History Month is make more history. I am writing this series on the Civil Rights Movement and Hip-Hop to encourage a new generation of young, committed and talented freedom fighters to take their rightful place in creating African American history.

There are valid and urgent reasons why we need both a revitalized civil rights movement as well as a vibrant cadre of skillful and productive hip-hop artists who are using their God-given gifts and talents to arouse the consciousness of millions of young people to take action in the interests of freedom, justice, equality and empowerment.

With the systematic right-wing attack on voting rights, growing income inequality, persistent poverty and unemployment and the critical need to rebuild and refortify a sustainable economic development of the African-American community, we must advance and support an intergenerational freedom and economic equality struggle that will be effective in meeting the challenges of the next century. No one should be exempt from being an active supporter and participant in today's ongoing freedom and empowerment movement.

Read more

‘True Blue – Memphis Lawmen of 1948’

TrueBlue 600Local filmmaker George Tillman 's Creative Arts film company will screen its second completed documentary tonight (Feb. 26th) at Studio On The Square at 2105 Court St.

"True Blue – Memphis Lawmen of 1948" explores the impact of the historic 1948 hiring of the city's first African-American policemen, including their influence on the African-American directors that would later run the department.

Along with Tillman's earlier Cinematic Arts release, "True Blue – Memphis Lawmen of 1948" is being prepared for presentation at Langston University in Oklahoma and Chicago State University in March. Arrangements also are being finalized for presentations in Waukegan, Ill. and New York before submission on the independent film festival circuit.

Read more

Civil rights groups charge Deutsche Bank with housing discrimination

NFHA 600WASHINGTON, DC — The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and three of its member organizations announced Tuesday (Feb. 25th) that they have filed a federal housing discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development against Deutsche Bank.

The civil rights organizations allege that Deutsche Bank maintains and markets foreclosed homes in majority white neighborhoods in a strikingly better manner than it does in majority African-American and Latino neighborhoods. Failing to maintain and market homes based on the racial or ethnic composition of the neighborhood violates the federal Fair Housing Act.

The metropolitan areas named in the complaint are: Chicago, Memphis and Washington, D.C., including Prince George's and Montgomery Counties in Maryland. The three member organizations that conducted investigations with NFHA are the South Suburban Housing Center (Homewood, Ill.), Open Communities (Winnetka, Ill.), and HOPE Fair Housing Center (West Chicago, Ill.).

Read more

Taxes: Making the most of refunds

TaxRefunds 600With W-2s and 1099s in hand, most folks expecting a refund are lining up to file those returns. The doors are open to the many tax preparers who have waited patiently for the season to arrive. Once the money arrives there are many things that can be done with those much-anticipated dollars. Plan to get the most out of the money and improve your financial position. So, let's discuss a few of the many options of spending the refund checks.

Checking, savings or money market account

One option is to save your refund check for a rainy day or emergency. Experts advise that savings should equal between three and six months of expenses for cushion in the event of layoffs or cutbacks. This rainy day or emergency fund is separate from other accounts to make sure that it is not spent or mingled with the rest of the funds. It is to be used for the mortgage, rent, car repairs and such in times of need.

Instead of spending every cent received, try placing some in a checking, savings or money market account. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through direct deposit will place your money electronically into your account as instructed. The IRS will even divide your refund over multiple accounts with the completion of Form 8888, which is the Allocation of Refund Form.

Read more