Millions of people can’t wait for this historic event!!! I’m so excited that it’s the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” during the March on Washington. The speech is enough for me, but I hear tell there will be some entertainment.
Colorado jam-rock group Yonder Mountain String Band is scheduled to play sometime before the opening gavel at about 3 p.m. MDT. Academy Award winning actress and “American Idol” finalist Jennifer Hudson is slated to sing the national anthem.
Between 5 and 6 p.m. MDT, will.i.am — member of the hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas — will perform, accompanied by John Legend on piano, the official schedule shows. Singer Sheryl Crow is also scheduled for that hour. Then, between 6 and 7 p.m. MDT, soul legend Stevie Wonder will perform. Between 7 and 8 p.m., singer Michael McDonald is on the bill.
As for the surprise, rumors have been circulating for days that rocker Bruce Springsteen — who has endorsed Obama — would perform Thursday night shortly before or after the candidate’s speech. Continue reading
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Keep it real, Dollar Bill.
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The LA Times is reporting that shortly before Christmas 2002, Ray Charles called a meeting of his 12 children at a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport. Ten of them, ranging in age from 16 to 50 — with 10 mothers among them — listened as their father told them he was mortally ill and outlined what they could expect from his fortune. Most of Charles’ assets would be left to his charitable foundation. But $500,000 had been placed in trusts for each of the children to be paid out over the next five years, according to people at the meeting and a trust document.
Yet Charles’ description left so much to the imagination that some of the children came away with the impression that he meant to leave them $1 million each. Charles also hinted that there would be more for them “down the line,” which some interpreted to mean they would inherit the right to license his name and likeness for profit.
The confusion and contention that resulted from that family gathering, the only time so many of the children met with their father as a group, helps explain what has happened since. Charles exercised iron control over his music and recordings, but his legacy is in disarray, knotted up in legal disputes between the estate’s management and his family members, according to interviews, court documents and correspondence from the California attorney general’s office.
Charles died at 73 in Beverly Hills on June 10, 2004, after a long battle with cancer. In lawsuits filed against Charles’ former manager, several of his children have asserted that their father’s legacy has been mishandled by the manager and others associated with Ray Charles Enterprises, which holds the rights to his music, and the Ray Charles Foundation.
At issue are not only money and the family’s standing but also the fate of thousands of musical recordings, videotapes and other artifacts produced during Charles’ long career. Professional estimates place the value of Charles’ original masters at about $25 million — on top of the $50 million he held in securities, real estate and other assets.
Charles’ children are hoping to win control of the marketing of their father’s name and image, and a greater voice in foundation affairs.
“No one is as committed to RC as his family,” said Mary Anne Den Bok, an attorney who is the mother of Charles’ youngest child, Corey Robinson Den Bok. Continue reading
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Tavis Smiley appeared in his regular twice-a-week slot on the Tom Joyner Morning Show yesterday and avoided any mention of the dust-up sparked by the host’s open letter questioning his reason for leaving at the end of June.
He said that his departure would clear more time to develop future projects under his Tavis Smiley Group. As we reported a few days ago, Joyner had alleged in an open letter that Smiley was really leaving because of massive fan backlash surrounding his guarded stance on Barack Obama. Smiley alluded to the notion briefly, but neither confirmed nor denied the accusation.
“I realized a long time ago that you’re never rewarded for virtue, so, I’ve just tried to tell the truth as I see it, even when you didn’t agree. I can almost guarantee that between now and the end of June, you’re going to fall out with me again,” he said while expressing his appreciation for Joyner’s listeners. “That said, I always prefer light, but you better believe that I can take the heat.” Continue reading
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The Defamer is reporting that racism has reared it’s head at Sundance. This year’s award-winning (but undistributed) documentary Trouble the Water — about the odyssey of African-American survivors of Hurricane Katrina — might be off buyers’ radar because its “too black”. In the film an aspiring rap artist and her streetwise husband, armed with a video camera, show what survival is all about when they are trapped in New Orleans by deadly floodwaters, and seize a chance for a new beginning.
Eugene Hernandez (indieWIRE) relays an anecdote
“”Why aren’t more white people in the film?,” an exec apparently asked back in Park City. I’ve heard similar versions of this story from a few different people connected to the movie.”
“But, those involved with the film have hesitated to say much more about the film’s distribution prospects. After Sunday’s New Directors/New Films screening [in New York], filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal told me that they are hoping for a late summer release of their film, while another insider specified that an August opening is to be expected.”
Sources close to Water tell The Defamer that a primary sticking point for buyers is the producers’ grassroots marketing plan, which, like Wedding‘s, could take months to build in African-American communities across the country. (It’s worth noting that this is proven experience they have as former associates of Michael Moore.)
If we African-Americans can get behind Tyler Perry and some of the neo “shucking and jiving” we’ve seen on big and small screen lately, we can support this film too.
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How the hell does she look this good at 42 years old?? How? I know black doesn’t crack…but it does age. I swear she much have a deal, a covenant agreement with Satan himself. You know I wouldn’t usually post a backshot, black men’s magazine picture like this, but dag. Can someone just bottle her DNA and sell it? I’d buy.