‘Who Is Black in America?’

whoisblack-1Kam Williams: Hi Soledad, thanks for another interview.

Soledad O'Brien: Thank you, Kam.

KW: Let's talk about your upcoming special. Where did you come up with the idea for Who Is Black in America?

SO: We were thinking about universal themes for "Black in America" that really touch people, that really matter to people, and one of the themes that we kept coming up with was colorism, discrimination based on skin tone. It was fascinating to hear the conversations that were happening between people who were light-skinned, people who were dark-skinned, and people somewhere in between. Just the hurt, the pain and anger on all sides was very interesting.


Urban spin powers Hattiloo’s Scrooge

It's that time of year again and a community favorite has returned for another holiday season. "If Scrooge Was a Brother" is now playing at the Hattiloo Theatre through Dec. 23.

Written by Hattiloo Theatre founder and director Ekundayo Bandele, "If Scrooge Was a Brother" is an urban spin of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". The musical tells the story of Eb Scroo's ideological, ethical and emotional transformation after the supernatural visitations of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come.


Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly previews - 11/29/2012

For movies opening Nov. 30, 2012


"Killing Them Softly" (R for violence, drug use, sexual references and pervasive profanity) Screen adaptation of the George V. Higgins crime thriller of the same name about a hit man (Brad Pitt) hired to investigate the heist of a mob-protected poker game. Cast includes Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Sam Shepard and Max Casella.


Prosody: A journey into the mind of a Memphis stage band

prosodyProsody (prä-sə-dē) - noun. 1. The study of versification; especially: the systematic study of metrical structure; 2. a particular system, theory or style of versification; 3. the rhythmic and intonational aspect of language.

"Everybody from Memphis, baby," said Vick Lampkin, manager of the surging Memphis stage band, Prosody.

"Carlos (Strong) is from Whitehaven, Wallace (Walker) is from North Memphis, Johnathin (Rayborn) is from Westwood, Marcus (Malone) is from Collierville. These are good guys, church boys. Marcus isn't here now because he's in Bible study," said Lampkin, who insists that he reigns from East Memphis' legendary Kirby High School.


HBCU Classic Weekend set to sport its growth

The 2nd Annual Memphis HBCU Classics takes place this weekend, building upon excitement that has been in the air for the past few weeks. This year's events have expanded into more than just a series of games and now include an HBCU mixer, a job fair, a college fair, and an ACT study session.


Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly previews - 11/22/2012

For movies opening Thanksgiving, 2012


"Life of Pi" (PG for mature themes and scary action sequences) Oscar-winner Ang Lee (for Brokeback Mountain) directs this 3-D adaptation of Yann Martel's magical novel chronicling a shipwrecked zookeeper's (Suraj Sharma) ordeal after being stranded in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a Bengal tiger. With Irrfan Khan, Gerard Depardieu and Rafe Spall.


Dr. Steve Perry: The man behind ‘Save My Son’

Steve-Perry"Due to my lifestyle and the work that I do, I travel a lot. The two cities that I must say I travel to the most are Atlanta, Ga. – due to my CNN work – and Memphis, Tenn. – due to speaking engagements. So when I speak about Memphis, trust that I know what I'm talking about. Although I'm totally plugged in on the school merger and exact issues that came to bring it about, I do know that Memphis children are beautiful and Memphis is going to have to take a stand and have just as much pride in its children as it does its barbecue."

– Dr. Steve Perry


Rihanna: I see myself as art

Rihanna GQ cover 2012There aren't many women in Hollywood who seem as comfortable in their skin as Rihanna does.

The 24-year-old's nonchalance toward nudity, partial or otherwise, is well-documented, and she brings the same ease in a cover and photo spread for GQ's December issue.


Angie Stone, Faith Evans and Dwele

Angie Stone is making her way back to Memphis, along with Faith Evans and Dwele. Give the thanks to Dr. Derrick Payne and Marcus Dorris of Mix & Mingle Entertainment. It's all a part of Music Fest 2012 at The Cannon Center on Dec. 22.


President shows street cred in ‘Obama Talks Back’

"This collection of letters (offer) a rare glimpse into the dialogue between our nation's youth and the President of the United States...They cover a wide range of human emotions, fears and concerns, and echo President Obama's message for change as these young people make their spiritual and intellectual pilgrimage into adult citizenship...


Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly previews - 11/15/2012

For movies opening November 16, 2012


"Anna Karenina" (R for sexuality and violence) Keira Knightley plays the title character in this adaptation of Tolstoy's classic tragedy, set in 19th Century Russia, revolving around a married aristocrat who embarks on a scandalous affair with a wealthy count (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). With Jude Law, Emily Watson and Olivia Williams.


Supreme Court to hear Voting Rights challenge

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – After hearing oral arguments earlier on whether an affirmative action program at the University of Texas is constitutional, the United States Supreme Court has agreed to review a challenge to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, paving the way for the court to rule on two major civil rights issues by next summer.


Boycott ‘Flight’ – Really?

I haven't gotten a chance to see the Denzel Washington movie "Flight" just yet. So maybe I don't get the reason why the movie is being boycotted by a fellow blogger by the name of Dr. Watkins.

Still, I can't help but ask, "WHY?" Watkins has called for a boycott of the Oscars because he feels that the Academy rewards black actors only when they portray troubled characters.