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Film & Television

5 GREAT MOVIES/DOCUMENTARIES TO WATCH ON MLK DAY

SELMA (2014)

Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

THE BUTLER (2013)

After leaving the South as a young man and finding employment at an elite hotel in Washington, D.C., Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he is hired as a butler at the White House. Over the course of three decades, Cecil has a front-row seat to history and the inner workings of the Oval Office. However, his commitment to his “First Family” leads to tension at home, alienating his wife (Oprah Winfrey) and causing conflict with his anti-establishment son.

THE ROSA PARKS STORY (2002)

This biopic tells the story of civil rights activist Rosa Parks (Angela Bassett) from her days as a private-school student to her public battle against racism and segregation. As a secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Parks defends local children who have been victimized by racism. But when she is arrested after refusing to give up her bus seat for a white passenger, Parks inspires the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott.

KING IN THE WILDERNESS (2018)

This HBO’s documentary follows Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the last few years of his life, from the vital role he played in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to his assassination in 1968.

THE LONG WALK HOME (1990)

Odessa Carter (Whoopi Goldberg) needs to get to work as a nanny in the home of the affluent Miriam Thompson (Sissy Spacek), but she refuses to take the bus. Odessa is participating in the Montgomery bus boycott, protesting against the inequality between blacks and whites, so Miriam decides to offer Odessa a ride to work every day. Though the community and Miriam’s husband (Dwight Schultz) insist she not get involved, the relationship between Miriam and Odessa has already changed for the better.

Film & Television

‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’: Sneak Peek

The release of highly anticipated Space Jam sequel is nearing, and today, fans got a tiny peek at what is coming thanks to HBO’s newly released promo video that included this short visual of Lebron James and Bugs Bunny.

Space Jam: A New Legacy is scheduled for a July release.

Starring in the live-action/animated sports comedy, alongside James are Don Cheadle and Sonequa Martin-Green. Returning are the Looney Tunes characters – Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny, and Daffy Duck. Basketball stars including Anthony DavisChris PaulDamian Lillard, Diana Taurasi, Cheney Ogwumike, and Nneka Ogwumike are also featured in the movie.

 Malcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip, The Best Man) is directing. Black Panther‘s Ryan Coogler is producing.

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Film & Television

‘One Night In Miami’: Regina King on her decision to cast non-U.S. actors to portray American characters

While speaking at a BAFTA Masterclass in London on Tuesday (Jan 12), in reference to British actor Kingsley Ben-Adir portraying Malcolm X and Canadian actor Eli Goree playing a young Muhammad Ali, director Regina King said: “If I was moved by a performance, I really don’t care where a person’s from.” She also stated, “As an audience member, to me they truly understood what they were doing, what they were embodying. After Kingsley’s first audition, I wanted to give him some notes. I wanted to just talk to him and get to know him and get to know what his relationship was to Malcolm. He said all the things that I needed to hear him say and I think it’s unfortunate that this is where we are.”

She continued, “One of the things that I’ve truly understood or discovered throughout this process of One Night in Miami, is that upon first receiving this and reading it, I thought, ‘Wow, Kemp, this is just a love letter to the black man’s experience in America.’ But then taking that step back and really taking in marginalized people across the world. There are feelings and experiences that black people in the UK, in Brazil feel that are the same as in America. While the history of how a country came to be may be different, the marginalization of a black man is the same, colorism is the same in all of those places.

“Kingsley was the best actor for that role and Eli was the best actor for that role. Sure, neither one of them are American. But can they relate to the experience and the pain felt by a black person for being disregarded just because of the color of your skin? Absolutely, they can. Can they take it upon themselves to make sure they educate themselves on the ways it’s specific to America in the history of how black Americans had built this country, it was built on the bodies of Black Americans? They can definitely educate themselves on that and they did. I wouldn’t change my choices for anyone.”

The debate about British actors being chosen over American talent has intensified in recent years with actors David Oyelowo, Cynthia Erivo and Daniel Kaluuya portraying civil rights icons Martin Luther King Jr, Harriet Tubman and Fred Hampton, respectively. Some argue that non-American actors should not get these roles. Others find no issue in it whatsoever. What side of the argument are you on? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

King’s directorial debut, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival last year, will launch on Amazon Prime January 15.

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Film & Television

Chadwick Boseman’s Widow Taylor Simone Ledward Accepts Gotham Awards Tribute in His Honor

The late actor Chadwick Boseman was posthumously honored at the Gotham Awards with the Actor Tribute award on Monday night (Jan. 11). Boseman’s widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award on his behalf and spoke out for the first time since the actor’s death.

“He is the most honest person I’d ever met,” she said during her tearful speech. “He actively searched for it, in himself, those around him, and the moment. The truth can be a very easy thing for the self to avoid. But if one does not live in truth, then it’s impossible to live life.”

“So it became how he lived his life, day in and day out, imperfect but determined. He was blessed to live many lives within his concentrated one. He developed his understanding of what it meant to be the one, the none and the all. ‘A vessel to be poured into and out of,’ he’d said.”

“He harnessed the power of letting go and letting God’s love shine through. He realized that when one is able to recognize that when their strength does not come from themself, they rarely mess up. That’s what he was doing when he was acting. Modeling for us a path to true fulfillment.”

“May we not let his conviction be in vain. May our spirits be fertile soil for God’s wisdom to fall upon. So thank you. Praise God,” Ledward Boseman added.

She concluded, “It’s my honor to receive this award on behalf of my husband. An acknowledgment of not only his profound work but of his impact on this industry and this world.

Chad, thank you. I love you. I am so proud of you. Keep shining your light on us. Thank you.”

The Black Panther star died in August at the age of 43 from stage III colon cancer.

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