February 14, 2013

 

LAWT News Service

This Black History Month, Macy’s, The Gordon Parks Foun­dation, American Black Film Festival and American Airlines celebrated the life, the legacy and the 100th birthday of Gordon Parks - visionary and artistic master who defined a generation and inspires artists today.

Macy’s Baldwin Hills welcomed guests to the “Soul Jam” dance party hosted in the MSTYLE LAB Department from 2 – 4pm featuring soul/funk music from the movie Shaft and live dance performances. Customers boogied to tunes from the 70s and took photos in the photo booth.

The celebration continued as Macy’s hosted “In Conversation” with actor/director Eric La Salle, founder of the American Black Film Festival; Jeff Friday, director/writer and Dave Baptist for a spirited discussion about Parks’ influence on film and the future of African American cinema. The moderator for the discussion was Vanessa Barnett, journalist for HipHollywood.com. The 300 plus crowd was in “awe” as actor Richard Roundtree made a special appearance paying homage to Parks.

Roundtree played the lead role in Shaft – the first Hollywood film, written, directed and scored by an African American. Roundtree joined the panel and shared personal stories and fond memories of Parks. Some of the discussion points included: who was Gordon Parks; how did his work tell the story about the black experience in America; the social responsibility of film makers to depict positive images of African Americans and how has Parks influenced a generation of film makers.

Following the discussion, customers enjoyed light refreshments by Post and Beam and wine provided by Estelline Vineyard. With “$50 or more” purchases made during the event, customers received a commemorative Gordon Parks journal and a copy of Eric La Salle’s new book, Laws of Depravity.

From February 1 – 28, visitors to macys.com/celebrate will be offered the opportunity to enter for the chance to win a trip for two to the American Black Film Festival in Miami and a $1000 Macy’s Shopping spree courtesy of American Airlines.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

February 07, 2013

Special to the NNPA from the Tri-State Defender

 

Legendary social activist, comedian and author, Dick Gregory, has weighed in on the controversial Quentin Tarantino film, “Django Unchained,” and he did so in explosive fashion.

In an interview posted to YouTube, Gregory says that the movie spoke to him in ways that no film had in all his years on earth. He then calls out Director Spike Lee for criticizing a film that he’s never seen, saying that if anyone has created movies that are disrespectful to our ancestors, it’s Lee himself:

“I’ve seen ‘Django Unchained’ 12 times. Never in the history of Hollywood, have they ever made anything that freed the inside of me. The inside of me. I’m 80-years-old, I saw cowboy movies, wasn’t no black folks in cowboy movies. I’m looking at a western, plus a love story. To those of you all that see it, you’ll never see a love story about a black man and a black woman where it wasn’t some foul sex and foul language, huh. And Spike Lee can’t appreciate that. The little thug ain’t even seen the movie; he’s acting like he white.

“So it must be something personal. And all them black entertainers that know Spike Lee, how you gone attack this man and don’t be attacking them … and then say everyone’s a fool but me. (Talking about) ‘it offended my ancestors,’ but when you did ‘She’s Got To Have It’ and some of those other thug movies you did…you took Malcolm X and put a Zoot suit on him…did that offend your ancestors, punk?

“It’s a game, man. So whatever he’s mad about is something that happened way, way a long ago. Thank God it didn’t work (to stop the movie from being successful).”

When the interviewer asks Gregory if he has a problem with Tarantino’s excessive use of the word “n*gger,” he said that he absolutely did not and that no other culture insists on the white-washing of their painful past in this country like black people:

“We talking about history, man. It happened. Nigger happened.”

Gregory goes on to talk about the history of “the dozens,” slave rebellion and racism in Hollywood.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

February 07, 2013

The highly anticipated half-hour African American comedy series –Belle’s, co-created and produced by legendary Emmy Award-Winning Producer Ed. Weinberger airs each Friday at 7pm on TV One.

The all star African American cast features Keith David, Elise Neal, Tami Roman, Ella Joyce and Miguel Núñez and introduces Nadja Alaya is an emerging young talent, brings back to television a positive Black family sitcom.

This  TV One original scripted series “Belle’s,” a comedy centered around widower William “Big Bill” Cooper  (Keith David) who owns and operates his family’s upscale soul food restaurant.

The half-hour series is co-created by Ed. Weinberger who created “The Cosby Show,” “Good News,” and “Sparks” Black sitcoms that revealed positive experiences of African Americans.

In “Belle’s,” Bill must deal with his two headstrong daughters: Jill (Elise Neal), the sensible hardworking manager of Belle’s who also juggles being a single mom; and Loreta (Tami Roman), a stylish, self-absorbed prima donna whose ambitions alternate between a career in the music business and finding a rich husband. And if working with his daughters isn't challenging enough, Bill must deal with the temperamental chef at Belle's who also happens to be his - thorn-in-the-side sister-in-law, Gladys (Ella Joyce).

Rounding out the family is cousin Maurice (Miguel Núñez), the irresponsible bartender and self-proclaimed ladies’ man who is always in hot water; and Jill's savvy tween daughter Pam (Nadja Alaya), who seems to be the only one who has a handle on everyone and everything that happens in the family, and at Belle’s. Ultimately she could be the star of the series.

“Belle’s” takes a page from sitcoms of an earlier era by tackling hard hitting cultural issues through the prism of comedy and laughter.

In the premiere episode, Jill rents out the restaurant to the Crawford family to host their annual family reunion. Just as the Coopers get ready to celebrate their sudden windfall, Big Bill is tormented to discover the Crawfords’ once owned his wife’s family during slavery.

Veteran comedic actor Miguel Núñez is executive producer of the series.

“TV One is honored to work with Ed. Weinberger and Miguel Núñez on this new comedy series,” said TV One Executive Vice President of Original Programming and Production, Toni Judkins. “Audiences love family comedies, and ‘Belle’s’ has all the perfect ingredients for success, from its award-winning creators, to its amazing and versatile cast, to its relevant, witty storylines.”

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

February 07, 2013

ARIES

Your mind is busy this week with thoughts of new projects and the things you want to get done. Best course of action is to clear up pending and overdue items. You’ll have a clean desk in no time and will feel genuinely content and relaxed for the week. Soul Affirmation: I will actually write a love letter to the universe this week.

 

TAURUS

Lots of opportunities are swirling around you, and it will require some diligence on your part to make the most of some of them. You’ll be happy you put in some extra effort this week! Soul Affirmation: I open up to the universe. The universe opens up to me.

 

GEMINI

Stay focused on the tasks before you this week and find a way to do your work with love. The pace will pick up soon enough, and the vibrations will be more to your liking. Enjoy a sociable week. Soul Affirmation: I let imagination light up my work.

 

CANCER

A quiet week will work wonders for you. Make an effort to slow your pace, both physically and mentally this week. Use your imagination to think of quiet ways to entertain yourself. Soul Affirmation: Knowing I can do it is the biggest preparation for getting it done.

 

LEO

While you may have much work facing you in the beginning of the week, a steady, patient attitude will help you accomplish a great deal this week. Be good to yourself and take things nice and slow. You’ll finish what you need to. Soul Affirmation: What life has given me is sufficient to any task.

 

VIRGO

While you may have much work facing you in the beginning of the week, a steady, patient attitude will help you accomplish a great deal this week. Be good to yourself and take things nice and slow. You’ll finish what you need to. Soul Affirmation: The sunlight of my spirit shines in the land beyond the horizon.

 

LIBRA

This week is another week when your intuition and insights are remarkable. A lesson you learned in the past may suddenly reveal itself as more this week; you’ll have plenty of food for thought. Soul Affirmation: I paint my world in colors of the rainbow.

 

SCORPIO

Someone whose values are different than yours may annoy you this week if you let them. Let your most tolerant mind-set rule, and enjoy being able to listen to others’ points of view. You’ll feel very blessed by the end of the week. Soul Affirmation: Change is my middle name.

 

SAGITTARIUS

You learn something this week that makes you very happy. One of your most wonderful gifts is your ability to be delighted with all forms of learning and education. This is a terrific week for personal delight. Soul Affirmation: Trust gives me a deep sense of peace and joy.

 

CAPRICORN

Shopping has its appeals this week, and you’ll want to check your bankbook balance before indulging in anything that is whimsical and expensive. Give yourself hours to think about what’s important to you. Control impulses this week. Soul Affirmation: I change the way I look at business this week.

 

AQUARIUS

A road trip might be in the offing; grab a friend and go dutch-treat. You’ll enjoy yourself more if you are sharing costs this week. Mutual generosity in all things will make your week perfect. Soul Affirmation: As chances come around again. I take advantage of them.

 

PISCES

This week is likely to make you feel young again. You’ll want to play jokes and tricks on people around you.  Make sure they are ready to deal with your playful mood. Enjoy yourself, you fabulous being! Soul Affirmation: Superficiality is often the best route to clarity.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

February 07, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Next stop for Alicia Keys? NBA All-Star weekend.

The superstar, fresh off her national anthem performance at the Super Bowl, is set to be the halftime entertainment at the Feb. 17 game in Houston.

She's just one of several musicians on tap for the big game. Ne-Yo will sing during the player introductions, while John Legend will sing the national anthem. Singer and "Lincoln" actress Gloria Reuben will sing the Canadian anthem.

The day before, Nick Cannon is set to host that evening's festivities, which will include performances by "American Idol" Phillip Phillips, Ellie Goulding and the first live TV performance in three years by a reunited Fall Out Boy.

The All-Star game, set to feature superstars like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, will air live on TNT.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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