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Wonder delights in concert with timeless ‘Songs in the Key of Life’

Stevie Wonder on keyboard at the Songs in the  Key of Life, March 29.

Steve Wonder’s masterpiece Songs in the Key of Life proved every bit worthy of a tour some 39 years after its release at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Sunday, March 29. It wasn’t on my bucket list, but if I had one, Sunday’s experience would easily qualify for check-off status.

Wonder pretty much stuck to the iconic album’s original song order during the Twin Cities’ tour stop, his first time performing here since 1988. The show kicked off about 20 minutes after the 8 pm scheduled start, and concluded with a standing ovation around midnight. It’s hard to imagine anyone leaving unsatisfied. Continue Reading →

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Are we seeing Black feminism on prime time TV?

(l-r) Joan Morgan and Dr. Treva Lindsay

She said she didn’t see herself as a feminist until after she read Morgan’s When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: My Life as A Hip Hop Feminist (2000) while attending Temple University. “For me it’s about reclaiming a type of humanity that we’ve been not given access to. We need permission [as Black females] to be human.”

Story says she “declared” herself a feminist while in college at DePaul. “I was the only Black girl women’s studies major for my first three years.” But because she refused to act and dress like fellow feminists, “Somehow I was doing feminism wrong,” recalled the professor. “I was much more hard core” than the young White feminists at the time, she added.

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K-Jay the Comedian, finding the funny in the mundane

K-Jay the Comedian

K-Jay the Comedian is a natural born cut-up. He’s the kind of guy you’ll be sitting around, hear the name come up, and somebody in the room will say with the proverbial quickness, “Oh, that man is a mess,” or “He’s a fool.” And they’re not even talking about when he’s on-stage. He could walk into an empty room and a good time would break out Continue Reading →

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Lesli gone, Keith makes new plans

Keith-&-Lesli

This situation — with or without Lesli — was going to have to see itself through. Much as it had turned his world topsy-turvy, he was still a professional and had a responsibility to uphold. To himself, sure. But Helen and the others had a lot at stake too, and he was not going to let this be a monkey wrench thrown in the works. Continue Reading →

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Sisters talk TV: ‘Empire,’ ‘Scandal,’ more than guilty pleasures

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Soapy, salacious and scandalous are just some of the words that describe the current crop of popular TV shows featuring African American women. And it’s not just teens or twentysomethings turning key phrases and dialogue from the shows into trending topics on social media. The Black female academics who gathered for March 12 at Macaslester College proudly admitted to joining in the virtual viewing party on Twitter each week. Continue Reading →

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‘Black Male Frames,’ chronicles Hollywood’s narrow vision

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“Black Male Frames charts the development and shifting popularity of two stereotypes of black male masculinity in popular American film: The shaman and the scoundrel… [The book] identifies the origins of these roles in an America where Black men were forced either to defer or to defy their White masters. Continue Reading →

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‘Fate’s Destiny': A fresh take on God vs. Satan

Kyle S. Taylor

First-time novelist Kyle S. Taylor strikes an interesting note right out of the gate with Fate’s Destiny, a new twist on the prospect of God and Satan coming to Earth in mortal form to war over the souls of humankind. We’ve seen the theme before with classic tales like Damn Yankees and The Devil and Daniel Webster as well as more recent turns such as Bruce Almighty and Bedazzled. Taylor, though, takes things to soulville. Continue Reading →

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Telling a simple story well

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MSR “contributing writer” Dwight Hobbes has contributed to just about every category of story the newspaper runs: news, features, reviews, profiles and opinion. Over a year ago he added a new category to his output, an ongoing fiction series in weekly installments. That story has now taken form as a novel, Black & Single Blues, to be published by Indie Gypsy this month along with another collection of his essays. Continue Reading →

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