Friday, December 18, 2009
Princess Tiana and her story about the frog prince topped this past weekend's box office receipts at $25 million.
I personally liked the look of the movie as I accompanied a group of 3 & 4 year olds on a field trip to see this Disney civil rights milestone. I waited 51 years to see an animated black princess. The storyline is kinda 'dark' with voodoo as the cause of many of the mishaps and occurances. Overall, I gave it a B+ and kudos for the effort. Princess Tiana is beautiful.
"Man, they loved us (the troops), and they do so much for us while over there. They were just so happy to see us."
Also on the tour was comic David Raibon and actress Elise Perry (Everybody Hates Chris). The group entertained troops on five military bases in Iraq and one base in Kuwait.
"I've got so many stories to tell, we take so many of our simple freedoms for granted."
D'Lai most recently appeared as a grand finalist on season four of Bill Bellamy's "Who's got Jokes" airing on TV-One.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I had the privilege and honor of meeting he and his wife in person in 2005, while on a speaking tour in Southern California along with Princess Zulu. We were introduced by a mutual friend, Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Orange County, CA.
Rev. Roberts honored us by saying he'd come to church that day to hear Princess Zulu speak and share her incredible story. He had a marvelous sense of humor and we took a picture with him.
I also recall visiting his namesake university in Tulsa, Okla., the first Pentecostal university in the world, ironically built by a man who never finished college. As I was driving down the road at nightime in Tulsa, I remember how frightened I was when I approached Oral Roberts University campus and the 60 foot bronze statue of praying hands lit up by a series of flood lights. I wasn't sure what they were at first, but I drove back during the daytime and was so awestruck by the structure's grandeur and the peaceful way I felt walking on the campus.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Who woulda thunk it?
Comedienne Mo'Nique has garnered several highly prestigious honors associated with her performance in the movie "Precious."
She has been named best supporting actress of 2009 by: The Boston Society of Film Critics; The African-American Film Critics; and the Los Angeles Film Critics which all made their announcements this week.
The late night talk show host has also been nominated for a Golden Globe Award--Best Supporting Actress.
Pundits are predicting that Mo'Nique will be an unstoppable force in the Oscars.
I guess the public really goes for over the top mothers ala "Mommie Dearest."
Saturday, December 12, 2009
His bowing out of professional golf indefinitely to concentrate on family, finally gives a way for other marginally talented professional golfers to shine from under his shadow. Tiger Woods is already the greatest golfer ever to play the sport.
Since Tiger removed himself from the competition, the mediocrity of the other players can look like awesome talents. With Tiger Woods in the game, everyone--no matter what skill level, looked amateurish.
Society would have Tiger believe that he needs public forgiveness--he really doesn't, but it is politically incorrect not to display some sort of remorse for being publicly exposed for marital infidelity. He has asked for privacy--he won't get it because his story is hot right now and sells ads in all media outlets.
There have been many men to be publicly humiliated by the press for bad choices...somehow very few have remained in the news indefinitely. Tiger won't either. Stop hating, you haters!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Oprah Winfrey uninvited a famous Gospel singer because his ex-wife alerted her that he was pending charges of domestic violence. The famous talk show host also recently featured Rhianna talking about the violence in her relationship. The pity is that there are thousands of incidents daily, but it is cloaked in secrecy. Nobody wants to talk about domestic violence.
Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.
Examples of abuse include:
Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence.
- name-calling or putdowns
- keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends
- withholding money
- stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job
- actual or threatened physical harm
- sexual assault
The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. An important step to help yourself or someone you know in preventing or stopping violence is recognizing the warning signs listed on the "Violence Wheel."
ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems.
If you are being abused, REMEMBER
- You are not alone
- It is not your fault
- Help is available
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Last Thursday, the tallest building in the United States, Chicago's Sears Tower disappeared from existance. Well, sorta. Willis Tower was introduced to Chicago by Mayor Richard M. Daley and others during a public renaming ceremony hosted by Willis Group Holdings, a British Company.
"It's always going to be the Sears Tower to me. I watched it being built from the ground up. I remember the feeling I had in the pit of my stomach the very first time I rode the elevator to the observation deck."
The 110-story skyscraper has been known as Sears Tower since it opened in 1973. Sears Roebuck and Co., moved out in 1992 but the name stayed.
The only way I could foresee calling this iconic landmark "Willis Tower" is it were named after my childhood friend, Jocelyn Willis or one of my favorite actors, Bruce Willis. In that case "Willis Tower" would be cool. Named after some anonymous British company makes the name change lame. hey, that rhymes!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who posted a video on YouTube calling Michael Jackson a "pervert" and a "pedophile," has pledged to do all he could to block the resolution.
Monday, July 6, 2009
"Some problems are so big you have to team tackle them," evangelical megachurch pastor Rick Warren addressed the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America.
Warren said Muslims and Christians should be partners in working to end what he calls "the five global giants" of war, poverty, corruption, disease and illiteracy.
Warren is the founder of Saddleback Community Church in Orange County, California and the author of "The Purpose Driven Life." His willingness to show support for U.S. Muslims is a huge gain for the community, which has endured intense scrutiny since 9/11.
"It's easier to be an extremist of any kind because then you only have one group of people mad at you," he said. "But if you actually try to build relationships — like invite an evangelical pastor to your gathering — you'll get criticized for it. So will I."
The animals escaped from 'Chimp Island' and found their way into a keeper area where their food is prepared, the zoo said.
More than 5,000 visitors were asked to leave Chester Zoo, near Liverpool, shortly after the break-out as keepers rounded up the chimps.
"We have never seen the chimps react with such public disregard and abandonment. Some of them were personal friends of Bubbles, the chimpanzee who was a longtime companion to Michael Jackson. Many of the chimps had planned to attend the London premier of the Michael Jackson concert as special guests.
"In the interests of public safety Chester Zoo was evacuated today, Sunday 5th July, as a precautionary measure," the zoo said.
In a prepared statement, the chimps apologized for the disappointment caused to guests and offered to provide a refund or free future visit to the zoo. The zoo has more than 7,000 animals.
Friday, July 3, 2009
The former Republican vice presidential candidate made the surprise announcement from her home in suburban Wasilla on Friday morning. She said she would step down July 26 but didn't announce her plans.
"Once I decided not to run for re-election, I also felt that to embrace the conventional Lame Duck status in this particular climate would just be another dose of politics as usual, something I campaigned against and will always oppose," Palin said in a statement released by her office. "With that in mind, my family and I determined that it is best to make a difference this summer, and I am willing to change things, so that this administration, with its positive agenda, its accomplishments, and its successful road to an incredible future, can continue without interruption and with great administrative and legislative success," she said.
With childcare costs looming, I am convinced that her new grandson was sooo adorable and her own underaged minor children needed her presence in the home to a greater degree, til Gov. Palin had no choice but to do the logical thing--resign from her job. You go, Sarah!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Prince’s Purple Rain, turns 25 this summer. In the summer and fall of 1984, Prince was King. “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy” were everywhere. The title track was also quite popular. And then of course there was “Darling Nikki,” a celebration of sex and seduction that spurred Tipper Gore to form the Parents Resource Music Center. So the farcical hearings, the parental advisory stickers, all of that goes back to a single track on Purple Rain. If that’s not cultural importance, what is?
Today, Prince reportedly needs a double hip replacement surgery. He is said to be in chronic pain, and using a diamond encrusted walking stick and lotsa pain killers rather than submit to surgery. Prince is a practicing Jehovah's Witness and does not believe in the use of blood transfusions that a surgical procedure might necessitate.
The 25th Anniversary of the album Purple Rain was June 25th, the same day MJ died and the news got caught up in the sensationalism of this event. Diehard Prince fans remember and the movie debuted in July 1984.
--Sir Elton John
Michael Jackson is dead. The world is in a state of shock, grief and disbelief. I am having mixed emotions. Mostly I'm sad because we never hooked up as adults.
I wanted to do a feature story on him to show his real persona--in order to clear up any fantasy or misconception on who the world thought he was.
I wanted to be his wife when I was 12. I wanted to be a friend. I wanted to be more than just a screaming fan on the 22nd row who saw him as the "King of Pop." I had high hopes and dreams for Michael Jackson. I prayed that one day he would grow to love the "man in the mirror." I prayed that he would see himself as the world viewed him--someone who was already perfect just the way he was. I wanted to find out his world views and how he felt about Barack Obama's presidency. I wanted to know how fatherhood was treating him. I wanted him to turn 51 years old in August just as I hope to do.
Good bye Michael Jackson, tho I never knew you at all you had the grace to hold yourself while those around you fall. Even when you died the press still hounded you--and it seems to me, you lived your life like a candle in the wind...
Monday, June 8, 2009
North Korea convicted two American journalists and sentenced them Monday to 12 years of hard labor. Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for former Vice President Al Gore's San Francisco-based Current TV media venture, were found guilty of committing a "grave crime" against North Korea and of illegally entering the country, state-run media said.The ruling came nearly three months after their arrest. North Korea's penal code calls for transferring them to prison within 10 days.
The United States, which does not have diplomatic ties with Pyongyang, was "deeply concerned" about the reported verdict. North Korean guards arrested Ling and Lee near the China-North Korean border on March 17. The two were reporting about the trafficking of North Korean women at the time of their arrest, and it's unclear if they strayed into the North or were grabbed by aggressive border guards who crossed into China. A cameraman and their local guide escaped.
Lisa Ling, sister to Laura Ling in a blog entry described "the feeling of utter isolation" she experienced during a 2005 trip to North Korea, had pleaded for leniency. She said neither journalist intended to cross into North Korea and her younger sister suffered from an ulcer requiring medical treatment, while Lee was the mother of a 4-year-old, Hannah.
The sentence is "a terrible shock for all those who have repeatedly insisted on their innocence," Reporters Without Borders said in a statement, noting that North Korea is ranked as Asia's worst country for press freedom.
As a journalist and American citizen, I am deeply saddened by this development in this unjust case of two American journalists. What is most disheartening is the fact that our country has strained diplomatic ties with North Korea thus almost guaranteeing that this situation was not handled fairly based on the individuals' criminal intent, but rather as a slap in the face to Pres. Obama and the U.S. government. I fear if they had not been writing about a subject matter that showed the atrocities women and girls face all over the world, the outcomes would have been different. It is high time for the media to rally around these reporters, but even more importantly, the issue of female trafficking for sex and slavery needs to stay in the forefront where it belongs.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
He began his speech with the greeting of peace--As Salaam Alaikum. He referenced the fact that the United States and Muslim countries have a history of working together since President John Adams. He made reference from the Quran, the Torah and The Bible.
It is apparent that our President is committed to peace--I am convinced of this. For your convenience I've included the ending text of his speech which shows that all of us are aiming for the same target--Muslims, Christians and Jews alike--we all want peace.
"This truth transcends nations and peoples, a belief that isn't new, that isn't black or white or brown, that isn't Christian or Muslim or Jew. It's a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization and that still beats in the hearts of billions around the world. It's a faith in other people. And it's what brought me here today.
We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written. The Holy Quran tells us, Mankind, we have created you male and a female. And we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.
The Talmud tells us, The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace.
The Holy Bible tells us, Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God's vision. Now that must be our work here on Earth.
Thank you. And may God's peace be upon you."
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Public fighting, arguing and jealousy related to text messaging are great fodder for episodes of The Game, and Cops--but not for accomplished, goodlookn, rich, and famous young adults who care about each other.
Now because your fight has gone public you will both appear to be idiots if you make up--even if thats what you both want. Chris you are making it very difficult for the people who made you to continue to sell you as the "clean cut boy next door." Rhianna, you are making it hard for people to believe you to be an innocent victim. Somewhere you both learned that violence was a way to solve relational issues. You are both wrong. Perhaps this can be fixed. This might be even too big for the most talented publicists to play down.
Can anybody explain to me how that has anything to do with placing 5 or 6 artists in a category—usually friends or folks who have a great deal of regard and respect for each others’ talents in the same industry; and deciding that one of them is the winner over the others? I’m sorry folks—but this awards process sucks which is why I hate award shows.
So I’m sure folks are asking themselves, “then why watch them if you hate them?” Good question. I’m not sure I understand why I do; suffice to say I am a glutton for self-inflicted pain. I believe also that it is a habit that I emotionally find hard to break since I am a closet actress and recording artist. I did manage to break my beauty pageant addiction when after my sixth child I stopped viewing myself as a possible audience winner. Movie stars, stage actors, TV stars and recording artists awards shows still draw me in—sucker that I am, hoping for the best but knowing that at the end I’m going to be disappointed and annoyed at the results in most categories.
Sure enough I tuned in to watch the NAACP Image Awards show and I started to get annoyed right away. Why was Jennifer Hudson given the award for Outstanding New Artist? Am I the only one who’s noticed that she is an Oscar winning actress and Grammy award winning professional singer for at least 2 years? I was under the impression that a new artist was just that—new. Also, why did she have to win three Image Awards in the same show? Why does anyone have to win two?
Three time heavy-weight champion, Muhammad Ali received the President’s Award. His song The Greatest Love of All recorded by Whitney Houston would have been an appropriate choice to dedicate to him instead of the song chosen for J-Hud to sing (which I can’t even remember the title). And to top off the segment, his wife rambled on and on about nothing of significance regarding him while his daughters looked pained in the audience watching this spectacle. I thought putting him in a big over-sized chair in the middle of a huge stage brought attention to the deterioration that is happening to him as a result of his medical affliction; and made him look old and feeble instead of like “the greatest.” The same love could have been accomplished with him sitting in the audience being serenaded or saluted instead of exploited like I feel he was. Everything that appears to be a good idea isn’t--period. I thought that segment was in very poor taste.
As far a the program hosts—Tyler Perry and Halle Berry (their names rhymed and that was cool) I thought they did okay but had no chemistry or magic between each other. That used to be the point of pairing people up, wasn’t it? Or it could be me just thinking there was ever a point in creating a duo to host a TV show or awards program? At any rate, I thought they lent nothing to the program together as hosts. By the way, I did like all five of the dresses Halle modeled. And his black on black ensemble was pretty nice too.
My favorite part of the show was the presentation of the Vanguard Award to music and business mogul, Russell Simmons. He was upstaged by his two precocious daughters. I laughed my head off at how distracting they were—especially the little one. It was sorta like how President Obama is regularly upstaged in formal and informal settings by the adorability of his two daughters, especially the little one. And I also like the poetry presentation. That segment was the highlight of the entire NAACP Image Awards show.
Before I start to appear to be a hater of the highest magnitude I’d like to explain my position and offer a simple solution to the “suckiness” of awards shows as they are currently formatted and segmented.
Since a group of people form a committee to decide who have been the top performers in every category, why can’t every artist, director, or writer who was in the top five receive an award? This would eliminate the award winning performances of the category losers having to clap extra hard and smile extra wide to fake happiness over the winner of the category. Come on people—who can be that happy that someone beat them out for an award?
Another solution would be just to gather together annually at an awards show to acknowledge excellence to specific artists in the same kinds of categories without having to insinuate that they were better than their peers or friends and colleagues who were working on totally different projects. Wouldn’t it be just as awesome a celebration of achievement without the air of competition injected in to it? The implied competition is what makes the whole process suck, in my opinion. I believe as an artist that I would derive just as much pleasure receiving recognition for my unique art or talent in a performance without having to be told that I was better than another artist who couldn’t possibly be a better me than I am, therefore should not be compared to me.
Perhaps by 2010 the NAACP Image Awards and all award shows will abandon this totally antiquated method of talent recognition so that award show fans like me will not feel nauseated and cheated to the max when the award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series does not go to one of my two personal favorite comedy writers James Hannah or Ali LeRoi, but to some lesser known comedy writers whose shows aren’t funny and that I don’t even watch!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I am not trying to say that his use of marijuana should go unaddressed but are we delving just a wee bit too far into everybody's lives? This wasn't steroids--it was pot, people.
Many young adults and old heads too, smoke it occasionally or regularly--or used to.
Why did he need to be suspended from swimming for this indescretion?
Society and the media created this squeaky clean image of Phelps. We have no clue just how long he's been smoking pot. Isn't he the same World Champ?
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
"Well, I'm looking for work," Blagojevich replied. "Are you hiring?"
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
On April 3, 1968, Dr. King told a crowd at the Mason Temple Church of God in Christ:
“It really doesn’t matter what happens now…some began to talk of threats that were out—what would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers…Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place, but I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. And so I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”