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Recent Articles

A Fierce Green Fire details the history of the environmental movement

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

 

A toxic waste landfill in Warren County, North Carolina, a predominantly Black community that “galvanized the nation to talk about environmental racism,” was among the toxic dump sites featured in a recent PBS documentary on the environmental movement, which started in the 1960s. “A Fierce Green Fire” premiered nationally on April 22 on PBS as part of the network’s American Masters series. The one-hour film was inspired by the book of the same name by environmental journalist Philip Shabecoff, who’s also featured in the documentary. “You could say this was the biggest movement the world has ever seen,” said Oscar-nominated director Mark Kitchell, who wrote, produced and directed the film, in a recent MSR phone interview. “I really wanted to be the first to put it all together” on film, he added. Continue Reading →

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Royal Red Hat Sabathanettes celebrate sisterhood and bonding

Local society chapter is 10 years strong and growing
 

By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer

 

The Royal Red Hat Sabathanettes’ April 18 induction ceremony and celebration was a simple, yet elegant affair conducted with winning grace at Sabathani Community Center in South Minneapolis, with the characteristic lavender and crimson color scheme displayed in attire and reflected in table settings. Eleven new members were welcomed into the ranks. “We love, cherish and care for each other, help each, support each other,” said a brightly smiling Clara Tims, who also goes by the nickname “Cake Lady” (she sells cakes and pies). It’s an elementary concept and a powerful one. Red Hat Society is a worldwide sisterhood whose principle purpose is as basic as it is profound — social interaction and bonding between women. Continue Reading →

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Web series addresses stereotypes about African Americans

 

 

By Charles Hallman
Staff writer

 

Angela Tucker two years ago pitched her series idea on challenging racial stereotypes of Blacks. The third season of Black Folk Don’t premiered December 2 on BlackPublicMedia.org, the National Black Programming Coalition (NBPC) website. “Season three is going to spark conversations in homes and offices around the country as well as online,” predicts Black Public Media Digital Media Director Nonso Christian Ugbode. “People take sides and even question the audacity of the assertions that are raised in the show.”

A writer, director and producer, Tucker wrote on her blog a couple of years ago that she prefer “[regular Black] people that had original points of views and were articulate” rather using “being Black” experts. “At first, we were going to reach out to people via social networks… Continue Reading →

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Twin Cities Black Film Festival 2013 local filmmakers

 

(Part one in a series of articles about the Twin Cities Black Film Festival)

By Charles Hallman

Staff writer

 

Local filmmakers were featured at this year’s Twin Cities Black Film Festival (TCBFF).  The MSR was in attendance at the four-day event held September 26-29 at St. Louis Park’s Showplace Icon Theaters. “We had 11 [local] filmmakers, and his was the only one that sold out,” proclaimed TCBFF Founder-Director Natalie Morrow on Ménages, a two-hour film directed by Edith Rene Tchuichoui.  It was part of her “Celebration of Minnesota Filmmakers.”   The movie’s main characters are Samantha, a U.S. citizen and Joseph, a Cameroon immigrant are brought together who are forced to make choices based on emotions or interests. “I started working on this movie in ’09,” said the filmmaker, who added that it was originally filmed as a short, but later lengthened it after audience reactions that saw it were positive. Continue Reading →

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Wu-Tang Clan founder’s new film a ‘dream come true’

RZA becomes a director with The Man with the Iron Fists

 

By Demetairs Bell

Contributing Writer

 

Wearing the triple crown in his feature film debut as a director, co-writer and leading man, RZA, the founder of the Wu-Tang Clan, gives you The Man with the Iron Fists, a movie he describes as “an action-packed adventure about brotherhood and loyalty.” He also says, “There’s humor and drama in the film.”

Those that have followed RZA and the Wu-Tang Clan know he’s a fan of kung fu films, he told me some of his favorites include Godfather of Hong Kong, Fists of Double K and Five Deadly Venoms. As a music producer for the Wu-Tang Clan he mixed in sound effects from kung fu films creating his groundbreaking signature sound. The Man with the Iron Fists is a story of warriors, assassins and a lone hero whose paths collide in a village in China where they battle for a fortune in gold and to win the heart of a love interest. Calling this project “a dream come true,” RZA stated this was something he has been determined to get out to moviegoers for quite a while. He began his film career acting in the 1999 cult classic Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. RZA has had a number of supporting roles over the years, most notably as a detective in American Gangster opposite Denzel Washington. Continue Reading →

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