Insight News

Wednesday
Jul 23rd

The Grace Card: Faith-based tale of reconciliation and redemption

The Grace Card: Faith-based tale of reconciliation and redemptionSeventeen years ago, Mac (Michael Joiner) and Sara McDonald (Joy Parmer Moore) were left devastated by the loss of a child who died while a crime was being committed. But where Sara’s grief led her to focus on the needs of their surviving son (Robert Erickson), her embittered husband lost his faith and gradually grew emotionally estranged from his family.

Furthermore, because the man who killed their little boy was Black, Mac developed some prejudices about minorities, attitudes which only ended up sabotaging his career as a member of the Memphis Police Department. Recently, the veteran cop’s resentment turned to rage when he was passed over for a promotion in favor of an African American with less seniority.
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Book review: True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself

Book review: True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself“Writing my first book was an adventure [which] comes from my heart with love… This is not an autobiography. It’s a journey that I am still taking to love and accept myself just as I am. I want you to walk this road with me. You can never be happy until you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. If this book helps people find those answers, it has succeeded.” - Excerpted from the Acknowledgements (pgs. v-vi)

Whenever I’ve interviewed Janet Jackson, I’ve always had the sense that I was speaking with a very grounded individual for someone who was born inside the bubble of celebrity and who has lived her whole life in the limelight. Thus, I am not surprised to discover that she would seem as real and equally accessible in her autobiography.
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Martin Lawrence back in drag for cross-dressing crime comedy

Martin Lawrence back in drag for cross-dressing crime comedy  Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

It’s been said that there comes a critical moment in every African American comedian’s career when he's asked to put on a dress. Among those who’ve succumbed to that subtle pressure over the years are Flip Wilson (TV’s Geraldine), Jaime Foxx (TV’s Wanda), Marlon and Shawn Wayans (“White Chicks”), Eddie Murphy (“Norbit” and “The Nutty Professor” 1 & 2), Tyler Perry (Madea), and of course, Martin Lawrence (The Big Momma trilogy).

Paradoxically, this controversial sub-genre has frequently been the subject of debate, with pundits disagreeing on whether or not the films are politically-incorrect. On the one hand, you hear blowback from naysayers complaining about the stereotypical portrayal of Black women as overweight and obnoxious. On the other, the proponents point out the fact that many of these mistaken identity adventures feature Black-on-Black romance, a rarity in Hollywood, even if between a chocolate chubby chaser and a terrified transvestite trying to fend off advances while keeping up appearances.
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Sumlin headlines Robert Johnson Tribute

Sumlin headlines Robert Johnson TributeIn a century’s time it has been said that American Delta Blues legend Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for becoming a master guitar player. While this exchange has been debunked as a myth, Johnson’s legendary song, voice and style have captivated musicians ranging in generations and culture. The 100th anniversary of Robert Johnson’s birth will be celebrated on stage at Minnesota Orchestra Hall, Sunday, March 6, 8 pm, with the special presentation of the nationwide tour, “Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concert” featuring: Big Head Todd & The Monsters, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Hubert Sumlin, and Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm.
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Stellar cast delivers Rainey


Stellar cast delivers Rainey
It’s inevitable that “life” happens, but sometimes what’s going on underneath the surface is where our real attention should lie when there’s still a chance to purge our problems. For Cutler, Toledo, Slow Drag, and Levee of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” a play written by the late August Wilson, the veil of unconscious hurts becomes as harkening a reality as an overcast sky, especially while trying to exist in the 1920s.

It’s no surprise that Penumbra Theater’s production of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is being presented at the Guthrie Theater; bypassing the walls of their cozy St. Paul home altogether. The bravado of this piece sweeps audiences up into the internal prison that is the struggles within these characters. Even in as large a room as the Guthrie boasts, you can still feel the claustrophobia; you're pinned against the corner of your seat— dying inside, as you suffer the struggles of these characters in the plays journey, as told through the brilliant direction of Lou Bellamy, and from the mouths of an extraordinary cast.
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“Fierce Love” returns


“Fierce Love” returns
Last July, “a few good men” took the stage by storm at the Pillsbury House Theater with a play entitled “Fierce Love: Stories of Gay Black Life.” The production was put on by Twin Cities Black Pride (TCBP) and directed by Harry Waters Jr.

“Twin Cities Black Pride exists to create space for the Black LGBT community, because currently there is none. The production of Fierce Love was a way in which we could, for a limited time, bring the LGBT community to a space free of alcohol in order to meet each other and learn along the way,” TCBP committee member and Fierce Love cast member Jason Jackson shared.
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Celebrating the work of J. California Cooper

Celebrating the work of J. California CooperThe Givens Foundation for African American Literature has launched Givens Black Books, a community reading campaign celebrating the work of acclaimed African American playwright and author, J. California Cooper. On Thursday, February 17, 2011 7:00pm, Givens Black Books, in partnership with The Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, will host a Black History Month celebration at Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461 N. Dale Street, Saint Paul, MN 55103.
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  • July 15, 2014
    Pippi Ardenia, jazz vocalist, singer/songwriter and Andre Fischer, executive director for Twin Cities Mobile Jazz Project.

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