My thoughts on the documentary “Light Girls”

On Sunday, January 18, just before MLK Day, OWN aired the documentary Light Girls. The film is a follow-up to the documentary Dark Girls, which toured the indie film circuit a couple of years ago. I attended a special luncheon in 2012 where I had the opportunity to interview D. Channsin Berry, one of the directors/producers of Dark Girls, and…

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Q&A with Rain Pryor

I interviewed actress, singer, and comedian Rain Pryor, daughter of famed comedian Richard Pryor, about her one-woman show Fried Chicken and Latkes. Here's a taste of our conversation: ArtsATL: Do you remember your first school play? Rain Pryor: The first school play I ever did was Winnie the Pooh and I played the ass Eeyore, because — this should be…

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Race Reads

Millennials are less tolerant than you think "The fact of the matter is that millennials who are white — that is, members of the group that has always had the most regressive racial beliefs, and who will constitute a majority of U.S. voters for at least another couple of decades — are, on key questions involving race, no more open-minded…

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“Who killed Jimmy Lee Jackson?”

*CONTAINS SPOILERS* I went to see the movie SELMA last night, and it excelled at  serving as an agent of empathy, an educational resource, a reminder of the struggle for Civil Rights, and it put a soul to the names that history has memorialized. Much praise has been given to David Oyelowo, whose best moment is in his rendering of King's…

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The real SELMA

My father grew up in Selma, Alabama, and my extended family gathered there for Thanksgiving in 2014. There were about 100 of us at Thanksgiving dinner. Our family has very deep roots in Selma and in Gee’s Bend (famous for the quilts in the Smithsonian). My aunts and uncles marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and our family has driven across that bridge a thousand times.

It’s amazing. I have been to Selma dozens of times in my life, and it holds a place in my heart that is mostly centered around homemade food, firecrackers, cousins, gravel roads, trailer parks, poverty, and simplicity. Seeing it as an adult, I see the effects that the bad PR of racism had on the city. Selma is impoverished, lacking jobs, has a high violent crime rate, full of empty storefronts, and still segregated.

I wanted to interview SELMA director Ava DuVernay after hearing her speak at the BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta, but I was unable to interview her, because…well…she’s a Golden Globe nominee and I am not Barbara Walters or Oprah…Alas, here are some photos from my trip of the REAL Selma.

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