Insight News

Tuesday
Sep 16th

Singing From the Heart

Singing From the HeartWhen it comes to mental health struggles, African Americans too often avoid conversation of a paralyzing issue such as depression. As natural as it for many of us to be plagued by the blues, for some it’s easier to try and ignore the fire, than it is to find a way out of the flames.

For mega star Jennifer Holliday, famed for her Tony Award winning portrayal of Effie in the Broadway musical Dream Girls, depression was a 10-year reality that refused to simmer out softy under the planks of her career.

“I suffered for many years from chronic depression,” Holliday shared with Insight News. “I was diagnosed with clinical depression after I tried to commit suicide in 1990. Many years before I was diagnosed, I had gone without help; suffering in silence, and mainly because back in the early 80s people in the entertainment industry didn’t talk about depression. It just wasn’t sexy to talk about mental health problems.”
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2010 Minnesota Black Music Awards

2010 Minnesota Black Music AwardsThe Minneapolis Sound rocketed into music stardom with Prince and a secession of artists that created a unique style of rock and soul. The Minnesota Black Music Awards program returns July 16 with a salute to the 30th anniversary of the famed Minneapolis Sound 8 pm at the Pantages Theatre.

Launched in 1982, the Minnesota Black Music Awards has been the stage that showcased the best of the Minneapolis sound. Performing artists included: Prince, The Time, Mint Condition, Cherrelle, Alexander O’Neal, The Sounds of Blackness, Bobby Lyle, Lo Key, Next and other local and national artists.
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Shallow Sirens Venture to Abu Dhabi for Another Vapid Adventure

Shallow Sirens Venture to Abu Dhabi for Another Vapid AdventureSex and the City 2

Perhaps not being female or not being privy to the original HBO series seriously limits one’s ability to appreciate the adaptations of Sex and the City. Regardless, this critic came away feeling the same about the sequel as I did about the original screen version. This installment is set a couple of years after the end of their first adventure, and again revolves around the camaraderie, carnality and conspicuous consumption of the shallowest quartet of spoiled, matronly New Yorkers you ever could hope to meet.

The story is narrated by Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) whose marriage to John James Preston (Chris Noth), aka Mr. Big, brought down the curtain on the previous episode. This time, the fun starts at the same-sex wedding of her relatively-elegant pal Stanford (Willie Garson) to a flamboyant queen (Mario Cantone) who crudely announces at the reception that he plans to cheat on his spouse.
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Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture

Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture“Since the dawn of the hip-hop era in the 1970s, Black people have become increasingly freer and freer as individuals, with a wider range of possibilities spread out before us now than at any time in our past. Yet the circumstances of our collective life have degenerated in direct contrast to this fact, with a more impoverished vision of what it means to be Black today than ever before. If these exciting new circumstances we now find ourselves in, of which our president is the apotheosis, are to mean anything of lasting value, the zeitgeist… is going to have to change, too—permanently…

Will we, at long last, allow ourselves to abandon the instinct to self-sabotage and the narcissistic glorification of our own failure? Will the fact of daily exposure to a Black president in turn expose once and for all the lie that is and always has been keeping it real?
-- Excerpted from the Epilogue (pgs. 213-214i)
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Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film FunKam's Kapsules:
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

For movies opening June 4, 2010

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Get Him to the Greek (R for graphic sexuality, and pervasive sexuality and drug use) Intercontinental road comedy about the hijinks which ensue when an ambitious intern (Jonah Hill) is assigned to escort an over-imbibing, womanizing rock star (Russell Brand) from London to L.A. for a comeback concert. Spinoff of Forgetting Sarah Marshall features Rose Byrne and Sean Diddy Combs, with cameos by Christina Aguilera, Pink, Pharrell, Meredith Viera and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.
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Amtrak's National Train Day blues connection

Amtrak's National Train Day blues connectionFor National Train Day 2010 Amtrak celebrated the connection between the history of blues music and America's railroads. To commemorate, Amtrak took the sons of Muddy Waters, "Big Bill" and Mud Morganfield on a musical tour through the Mississippi Delta, the birthplace of the blues, and the birthplace of their father. The tour started in New Orleans, toured Blues Markers in Mississippi, picked up blues great Bobby Rush in Memphis and ended at National Train Day festivities at Union Station in Chicago May 6-8.

Discover your African roots

Discover your African rootsThis Spring, a television series called, “Who Do You Think You Are?” which is based on a popular BBC Television series of the same name in the United Kingdom, aired in the US further fueling the unquenchable thirst for knowledge about personal identity and family history.

The American version was the work of producers Sarah Jessica Parker and Lisa Kudrow.

An African American firm that specializes in DNA-based genetic research participated in the television series enabling Emmitt Smith, the football player and “Dancing with the Stars” contestant to trace his ancestry. Using DNA, AfricanAncestry.com was able to determine Smith’s family origins in a present day country on the continent of Africa.

Gina Paige is vice president and co-founder for AfricanAncestry.com and was my guest via telephone interview on “Conversations with Al McFarlane” on KFAI FM90.3.
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