Insight News

Oct 09th

Harvard Law Professor Weighs in on Everything from Profiling to Beergate to the Obamas

Harvard Law Professor Weighs in on Everything from Profiling to Beergate to the Obamas  Professor Charles Ogletree - “The Presumption of Guilt” Interview

Charles Ogletree, Jr. was born in Merced, CA, on December 31, 1952, the eldest of five children to bless the union of migrant farm workers Willie Mae and Charles Ogletree, Sr. A bright child who exhibited an intellectual curiosity from an early age, Charles credits his parents and grandparents for whetting that insatiable thirst for knowledge.

He would matriculate at Stanford University where he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Political Science before heading to Harvard Law School. Since graduating, he’s enjoyed a storybook career as a public intellectual, between teaching at Harvard and moderating a host of television shows, perhaps most notably, “The State of the Black Union” and “The Fred Friendly Seminars.”

Riveting, Real-Life, Civil Rights-Era Drama Released on DVD

Riveting, Real-Life, Civil Rights-Era Drama Released on DVDBlood Done Sign My Name

After serving his country in Vietnam, Henry Marrow (A.C. Sanford) returned to his hometown of Oxford, North Carolina only to be murdered in broad daylight for allegedly leering at a white woman. On May 11, 1970, the 23 year-old African-American veteran left behind a pregnant widow (Milauna Jemai) and two young daughters, while the perpetrators of the heinous crime were found not-guilty by an all-white jury, despite credible testimony of several eyewitnesses who identified the perpetrators as Ku Klux Klan sympathizer Robert Teel (Nick Searcy) and his son.

The outcome of the trial was no surprise, after all, black-white relations hadn’t changed that much in the tiny Southern town since it was founded during the slave days by Samuel Benton, a wealthy, politically-connected, tobacco plantation owner. But what was unexpected was the rioting which erupted in the wake of the verdict when outraged young African-Americans took to the streets in protest.

Documentary Chronicles Historic Gathering of Black Men

Documentary Chronicles Historic Gathering of Black Men  Long Live the Spirit of the Million Man March

On October 16, 1995, African-American males descended in droves on the District of Columbia for a historic gathering on the National Mall. Prophetically dubbed the Million Man March ahead of time, the gathering lived up to its billing, with anywhere between one and two million brothers attending, depending upon the news source relied upon.

Over the course of the day-long event, organized by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, the audience listened to such luminaries as Reverend Al Sharpton, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Ben Chavis, Congressman Charles Rangel, Kwanzaa creator Ron Karenga, Stevie Wonder and Los Angeles Sentinel Publisher Danny Bakewell. They also heard from female leaders, too, including Attorney Faye Williams, Poet Maya Angelou, civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, Dorothy Height and Dr. Betty Shabazz, the widow of the late Malcolm X, to name a few.

Tiffany Carter; 8 days a week music

Tiffany Carter; 8 days a week musicWhen music is your main focus, your craft doesn’t take a vacation just because the sun goes down. Nor does the impact of a song subside whenever a track has spun to a close.

For NEO-SOUL and R&B Songstress Tiffany Carter, the hustle to garner her official stripes in the Music Industry is a fete that calls her every 24 hours; a cycle that never rests as long as her art has a story to tell, and there are ears further than a whisper.

8 Days a week music.

No, she’s not a Barbie Doll in a halter dress, she’s the gimmick that is the gimmick of representing reality rather than shaping a dishonest truth inside clever packaging. She’s a smile, a voice, and an indefinable feeling of awe that reaches your soul whenever her microphone is present.

Dripping with abounds of talent from a buttery voice, pure in sensation, and profound beyond compare, she’s what the industry lacks and what our ears and hearts desire; she’s a praise in the wind, as lyrics glide over melodies and conform into triumph.

Webinars with screenwriter Michael Elliot

Webinars with screenwriter Michael ElliotScreenwriter Michael Elliot has found an unlikely miracle in a film he wrote called Brown Sugar. This was a script that reformatted his destiny and afforded him the dream that many of us screenwriters desire: to see our words immortalized by the flick of a camera, when having our ideas brought to life when thoughts are transformed into moving pictures.

Elliot, who also wrote Carmen: A Hip Hopera, and later went on to write such urban classics as Like Mike 1 &2, and this summers smash hit, Just Wright with Queen Latifah and Common, understood going into the game that the road to success wasn’t going to just offer him a front door welcome. Armed with a pen and a pad, Elliot opted to follow an old theory set forth by a Beatles song; he “came in through the bathroom window,” by taking an unconventional route to meet his destiny in an ascending stairwell.

Oedipus Wrecks Mom’s Love Life in Dysfunctional Family Dramedy

Oedipus Wrecks Mom’s Love Life in Dysfunctional Family DramedyCyrus

John (John C. Reilly) is a sad sack who has been hoping to reconcile with his wife ever since she dumped him a half-dozen years ago. But Jamie’s (Catherine Keener) announcement that she’s about to marry Tim (Matt Walsh) sends the socially-awkward loser into a tailspin that leaves him as lonely and depressed as ever. So, half out of pity, half hoping he might meet finally someone new, Jamie invites John to a party where he proceeds to drive away ever woman he meets because of his transparent display of emotional neediness.

Then, while urinating into a plant instead of a toilet, he is approached by Molly (Marisa Tomei), a fellow reveler who doesn’t hide her admiration for his endowment. Nevertheless, John still has such low self-esteem he can’t believe this gorgeous gal would even want to talk to a guy whose face favors Shrek, let alone leave with him at the end of the evening.

Jewish Angst Aplenty in Todd Solondz Take on Dystopia

Jewish Angst Aplenty in Todd Solondz Take on DystopiaLife during Wartime

Taking a page from the Coen Brothers, whose semi-autobiographical A Serious Man captured what life was like coming of age in the late Sixties, Todd Solondz, here, serves up a much more twisted take on growing up Jewish in Florida instead of the Midwest. Life during Wartime also revolves around a 12 year-old (Dylan Riley Snider) studying for his bar mitzvah, but the dystopia in which he is immersed is far more bizarre than anything in the Coen’s relatively comical adventure.

The movie is ostensibly a sequel to Solondz’ Happiness (1998), since the three adult sisters at the center of that somber suburban dramedy, Trish, Joy and Helen, are all back, although played by different actresses. In fact, the cast has been totally overhauled, so it might be best to think of this flick as sui generis instead of as an update.

Regardless, Timmy Maplewood and his two siblings (Emma Hinz and Chris Marquette) are being raised by Trish (Allison Janney), a single-mom who has tricked her kids into believing their father is deceased. Truth be told, he’s a convict serving a long prison term for child molestation. As the film unfolds, Trish has just met a nice Jewish man on a blind date that she actually could settle down with. Nebbishy Harvey (Michael Lerner) is refreshingly normal, although he comes with baggage, a highly-neurotic son (Rich Pecci) with a dark view of the world, namely, that, “In the end, China will take over.”
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