Black History Month: Skin Deep

Seven ideas to help Boston become a more welcoming place to all

Bring Black History Month to the classroom by teaching your students about the work and lives of influential African-Americans

Presbyterian Church USA resources to understand and combat racism

The arc of history bends towards justice quote originally came from Theodore Parker

Celebrating the Afro-Puerto Rican ‘Father of Black History’ Arturo Schomburg

Jimmy Durham, Victoria soldier

In 1887, African-American cane workers in Louisiana attempted to organize—and many paid with their lives

Fredi Washington negotiated bigotry and made her way in the movies; the black celebrity from Hollywood’s Golden Age who revealed the complexities of passing for white

When cops raided a hip 1970s London cafe, Britain’s Black Power movement rose up

AND EVEN TODAY

From online troll to white supremacist leader: exposing the lie behind one man’s rise

Cheap White Whine: Racism, Affirmative Action, and the Myth of White Victimhood

Racism, fundamentalism, fear and propaganda: An insider explains why rural, white Christian America will never change

Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV Statement on Leaving His Church after Speaking Out against White Supremacy at MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS

Defiance In The Cold Sunshine: The Martin Luther King March overshadowed by racist profanity

Banned – Reports of Voter Suppression Tactics Pour In From Alabama Election

I used to lead tours at a plantation; you won’t believe the questions I got about slavery

Owning My Racism: a sermon given at First Parish Church in Billerica, MA on January 14, 2018

Boston. Racism. Image. Reality. A better Boston? The choice is ours; the final installment of The Boston Globe Spotlight Team’s series on race showcases seven ideas to help the city become a more welcoming place to all

MUSIC

Skin Deep – Playing For Change and Buddy Guy; the song includes over 50 musicians from coast to coast featuring Tom Morello, Billy Branch, Chicago Children’s Choir, and Roots Gospel Voices of Mississippi

Shakedown – Valerie June

Jumpin Jive – Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers; from the movie “Stormy Weather” (1943)

Black Pearl – Sonny Charles and Checkmates, Ltd.

Quincy Jones Has a Story About That

Music Throwback Saturday: I’ll Be Good To You

I was in a doctor’s office back in October 2015 which played surprisingly good, and eclectic, music.

Quincy_Jones_-_Back_On_The_Block-frontBack in 1989, I picked up this album produced by Quincy Jones, called Back on the Block. “The album features legendary musicians and singers from across three generations, including Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul, Ice-T, Big Daddy Kane, Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Luther Vandross, Dionne Warwick, Barry White, Take 6, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Al B. Sure!, James Ingram, and El DeBarge.”

The album went to #9 on the Billboard album charts, and was so eclectic that it hit #1 on both the Top Contemporary Jazz Albums and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.

The first single off the collection was I’ll Be Good To You, featuring Ray Charles and Chaka Khan. Continue reading “Music Throwback Saturday: I’ll Be Good To You”

October Rambling: Enough with Dystopia; the Conservati​ve-to-Engl​ish Lexicon

from KUBE 93 Seattle Facebook page
from KUBE 93 Seattle Facebook page

My favorite website these days is The Weekly Sift. Sam Harris and the Orientalization of Islam and 7 Liberal Lessons of Ebola.

Sexual Assault in the Bakken Shale “Man Camps”.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Civil Forfeiture. “Oliver references a September report from The Washington Post, which states that, since 9/11, police have seized $2.5 billion in 61,998 cash seizures from people ‘who were not charged with a crime.’ ‘Under civil forfeiture laws, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent.'” Continue reading “October Rambling: Enough with Dystopia; the Conservati​ve-to-Engl​ish Lexicon”

From TV Show to Movie

This is just not a subgenre I inherently trust. These films get made because of their familiarity…

The A-Team picture is opening this weekend. I hardly ever watched the TV show, so the only reason that I’d even consider seeing the film is that it features Liam Neeson in the George Peppard role. On the other hand, it was not made available to critics, which is usually a sign that it will suck, though the early Rotten Tomatoes score was 53, not great, but not awful. The “Consensus: For better and for worse, Joe Carnahan’s big-screen version of The A-Team captures the superficial, noisy spirit of the TV series.”

It got me to wondering: how have movies made from TV shows fared? I’m not thinking of movies such as the X-Files or Sex in the City, which are essentially continuations of the TV series, generally with the same actors. I was thinking more of the reimaginings, with new actors and directors. I limited the list to the 21st Century, because, my goodness, there are a LOT of them! BTW, I ignored animation to live action (George of the Jungle) or things that went back and forth from movies to TV to movies (Robin Hood) or anything I never heard of, but if you think I’ve missed something, by all means, let me know.

Bewitched (2005)
RT score-24
Production Budget: $85 million
Total Lifetime Grosses
Domestic: $63,313,159 48.2%
+ Foreign: $68,113,010 51.8%
= Worldwide: $131,426,169
The foreign box office salvaged this one. Will Ferrell starred in this; he had a cameo in Starsky & Hutch. Steve Carrell, star of Get Smart, has a cameo here.

Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
RT score-43
Production Budget: $120 million
Total Lifetime Grosses
Domestic: $100,830,111 38.9%
+ Foreign: $158,345,677 61.1%
= Worldwide: $259,175,788
the huge foreign b.o made this sequel successful. The initial 2000 film cost less, made more money and reviewed better (RT-67)
Continue reading “From TV Show to Movie”

The Apollo Party I’m Missing

The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a star-studded red carpet, followed by the Benefit concert and awards ceremony at 7:00 p.m. and culminating with a grand tented after-party, the Apollo Supper Club.


I’ve never been to the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City, although it’s only about 160 miles from where I live. “Legendary” gets thrown around too often, but the Harlem venue with a somewhat muddled history prior to 1934, when it became “Where Stars are Born and Legends are Made” from Ella Fitzgerald to Stevie Wonder, James Brown and Lauryn Hill.

So somehow I get this printed invitation in the mail to go to this event honoring The Queen of Soul, and the late King of Pop. Seems like a once-in-a-lifetime thing. And I haven’t been to Manhattan in quite a while.

Wait: what’s that? $1000 a head! Guess I WON’T be going after all. But what would I have gotten for my money?

Marc Anthony and JLo getting some award named for the great acting couple? Chase bank getting an award? Jamie Foxx hosting? Meh.

The invitation was a great piece of information for me.

The Chairman of the Board for the Apollo is Richard Parsons, former head of Time Warner, since mid-2009 head of Citigroup.
The board includes familiar names such as music producer Quincy Jones and historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the latter probably better known by most of America for getting arrested at his own home last year. Then there’s business tycoon Ron Perelman, honorary co-chair with Quincy of the benefit committee, who seems to court controversy wherever he goes; I know him best as the guy who almost destroyed Marvel Comics.

Some acting couples on the benefit committee, such as Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance and Kyra Sedgwick & Kevin Bacon; Baconologists, please note. Also, Bill Cosby and his wife Camille; director Spike Lee, and his wife Tonya Lewis; Denzel Washington, and his wife Pauletta; Marcia Gay Harden; and a musician who’s played at the Apollo, Smokey Robinson.

But what if I had MORE money to spend? What would be my options?
Continue reading “The Apollo Party I’m Missing”