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Tejano singer Selena honored by the USPS

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I think I was in high school when Selena Quintanilla-Perez was shot and killed by her fan club president.  Her death shocked the Latino community almost in the same way Elvis’ death shocked white America – a huge loss musically. … Continue reading

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Tyler Perry and Kim Kardashian… movie match made in heaven?

*sigh*

Welp.  Where do I begin?  I’m not the biggest Tyler Perry fan.  His body of work is a little suspect to me.  His movies that are not so Meet-The-Browns-ish are the ones I can stomach but anything else I avoid like the plague.

His latest installment, “The Marriage Counselor”, has landed reality “star” Kim Kardashian a role.  Kardashian will play Ava, a friend and coworker of the titular counselor (played by Jurnee Smollett of “The Defenders”, “Eve’s Bayou” and “Friday Night Lights”), whose marriage takes a turn when she gets bored dispensing good advice and decides to sleep with a suave client, according to Deadline. But not to worry, Ava is there to give the counselor a big-city makeover when her life is in the dumps.

The one thing about Tyler’s movies that I like is most of his casting.  Getting someone like Jurnee Smollett, who’s been around for ages but never really getting the respect she deserves, is good for movies.  But I’m not feeling Kim Kardashian in ANY movie.  Just because she’s a hot commodity doesn’t mean it’s good for EVERYTHING.  I guess I’ll be waiting for the DVD *shrugs*

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide…

When the Rainbow is Enuf’s origination is a 1970’s play whose Broadway production was nominated for a Tony Award.   This play’s vicissitude over the last 20 years is now on the big screen thanks to Hollywood giant, Tyler Perry.  For Colored Girls release over the weekend came in third, grossing $19.7 million.  This is the third weakest opening of any of his films which is surprising to me since this is his BEST film. 

A whole day after seeing For Colored Girls, I’m still in awe.  The many interrelated facets of these 9 women lives was beautifully woven together.  9 women, who for the most part are not connected, are actually deeply connected through their pain, their struggles and even their joy.  The casting was nothing less than phenomenal.  Kimberly Elise, who I believe is our modern-day Ruby Dee, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge and Angela Bassett, rolled up in one, took my breath away.  But as a whole, all of their performances shined.  These are the actresses we need Hollywood to recognize.  Each lady representing a different color and a different poem, I wanted to give birth to the child actress Kerry Washington couldn’t have; I wanted to take the punches actress Kimberly Elise took just so that she could have gotten away before the unthinkable happened; I wanted to be Whoopi Goldberg so that I could hold my daughter Thandie Newton and let her know things will be ok;  I wish I was the women’s intuition inside Janet Jackson because I would have been strong enough to make her leave before accepting the sentence she was given in the guise of a husband.  

There were lines in this movie that I hope others paid close attention to because it gives a glimpse of some of the internal struggle black women are mourning over.  Yes, MOURNING.  Loretta Devine said she felt there was no room to be “sorry and colored at the same time.”  Thandie opening up to her baby sister revealed “being alive, being a woman and being colored is a metaphysical dilemma I haven’t conquered yet.”  Phylicia Rashad telling Kimberly “when are you going to take some responsibility?  You had a chance to protect them way before he got to the window.”   These are common tears that stream a lot of our faces. 

Disregard the baseless claims of “another male bashing” movie.  Hill Harper’s role was anything but that.  Yes, we do need to see more black movies where the storyline isn’t so heavy, depressing and sad but even with all that in For Colored Girls, I still saw inspiration, love, change, hope, power and forgiveness.  Tyler Perry nailed it.  Finally.

Top 10 slasher movies of all time (via The Movie Brothers)

With all my tough girl exterior I possess, I’m still a punk when it comes to a good scary movie. I jump, I’m nervous, I’m biting my nails.. I’m a COMPLETE mess. This list is the epitome of scary movie. There are some on this that I still have not been able to sit entirely through because of my nerves.

To bad they don’t make movies like this anymore. I tried to think of great slashers of today and couldn’t come up with anything. Can you?

The Movie Brothers nailed this!  Read on…

Top 10 slasher movies of all time Brian Oh how we love seeing the sexually active camp counselors getting slashed in their tent, the shaky-handed sidekick who enters a dark room they have no business going in, or a slasher raise from the dead for the 20th time. This is a fun list to do because my brother and I have always been huge fans of slasher films.  Once we were old enough, we would convince our Mom to sign us in at the R-rated screenings so we could see the newest sequels … Read More

via The Movie Brothers

Lena Horne: the quintessence of beauty

I remember many conversations about Hollywood beauty:  “Who’s the most beautiful women on stage/screen?”  The typical names come up like Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, Pam Grier, Audrey Hepburn etc etc etc.  But we haven’t seen beauty like Lena Horne in many years.  Her grace, elegance, talent, and strength all wrapped up together was something that always stood out.  Plus I always thought she reminded me of my late grandmother, a woman who I only WISH I can emulate just a fraction of.  So I was saddened to hear about her death on Mother’s Day.  Although very happy she got to live 92 years on earth, I felt like we could of used another 10 years or so of her here.

A bulk of her life’s work was done during times that most people today would probably roll over and die in.   She couldn’t stay in the hotels she performed at; she had to perform for whites only first and THEN to blacks on another day; she risked not getting any work because of her refusal to play a maid, which was basically the only character black women could play during that time; she had to sneak and marry her second husband who was white; people in her Hollywood neighborhood treated her like she was nothing and were adamant about getting her out of “their” community until Humphrey Bogart stepped in and put an end to the harassment; and her association and friendship with the likes of valiant leaders such as WEB Dubois and the great Paul Robeson almost ended her career. Born, Lena Mary Calhoun Horne in 1917, she broke racial barriers in her music and film career that some tried their hardest to keep up.  Blacks during that time were supposed to “stay in their place” and keep quiet.  They were supposed to sit by idle and do nothing as they were treated like 2nd class citizens in a country that was built off the free labor of most of our ancestors.  Her political views and activism got her blacklisted in Hollywood.  There was a time Ms. Horne couldn’t even get a part.  But her love for music didn’t stop her from standing strong in her convictions.

She was involved heavily in the Civil Rights movement.  She marched, she rallied, she refused to perform at segregated audiences during World War II.  One audience had German POW’s front and center while blacks sat in the back.  Lena worked effortlessly with Eleanor Roosevelt on the anti-lynching law.   All these things made her lose some backing in Hollywood.  But she didn’t care.  That’s commitment and strength.

Best known for her role in Panama Hattie, her performance of the title song Stormy Weather and Cabin in the Sky, Lena actually never had a leading role.  Her race prevented that.  Most, if not all, of her movies had to be re-edited for showings in states that did not allow movies with blacks in it to play in the theaters.  She went through all of this so that the Janets, Beyonces and Alicias would not have to.

Lena Horne died at the wonderful age of 92, on Sunday, May 9, 2010 in New York.  What a huge huge loss to entertainment and the world.

‘My identity is very clear to me now,’ …’I am a black woman. I’m free … I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become. I’m me, and I’m like nobody else’

Lena Horne, 1917-2010