Friday, February 29, 2008

Tim'm-Front Porch Oakland

The rumors are true. I have a crush on Tim'm West. He knows about it so maybe it's not so much a rumor. But this message is not to burden you with that information. It's to let you know he is in the bay area and is co hosting his Front Porch event while here. Tim'm has successfully hosted this event around the country but it started here. Here are the details...

Thursday, March 6, 2008
8pm - 11pm
Tim’m and Bushmama present The Front Porch Oakland

family, friends, flow, funk
AK Press, 674-A 23rd Street (between MLK and San Pablo), Oakland, CA 94612
Join Tim’m and friends in this rare BayArea performance by a brotha who made
his stamp on the scene and has moved on to spread the luv elsewhere.
Performing works from his new book, "Flirting", and the album "Blakkboy Blues", you
will all be in for a treat.
8pm open mic, 8:45pm features set
Cost: $5.00
also featurinalso featuring Valarie Troutt, Deep Dicko
co-hosted by Tim’m and Bushmama
(un-official afterparty at Luka's)
Please spread the word about this wonderful event that has been a smash in
DC, Brooklyn, Chicago, and Atlanta.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rev. Charles Lanier

The first time I went to Unity Fellowship Church in Los Angeles the first person I met was Deacon (at that time) Charles Lanier. He welcomed me with a hug and warm greeting and has been wonderful to me every since. I call him "Rev Auntie" because like any good Auntie he always kept an eye on me and my well being. He will be remembered for his dedication to liberating people, his soprano singing voice, his willingness to share his personal testimony, his sincerity, and genuine love

The UFCM National Communications Team has received the following update on the missing persons case tied to Rev. Charles Lanier, Pastor of UFC-San Diego.

A few hours ago the body of Rev Charles Lanier was located in an apartment in Tijuana, Mexico. Pastor Lanier's family is on their way to Mexico to identify and bring his body back home. No other details are available at this time in reference to the actual cause of death. The Archbishop and Western Jurisdiction are working very closely with the family and will share information about funeral arrangements as soon as they are complete.

Archbishop has issued the following statement to the Membership of Unity Fellowship Churches around the country: "This is truly a sad day for us all. We have been praying for a favorable outcome and what we know is that while our loved one is absent from the body, he is fully present with the Lord. The song writer said ' I am free…praise the Lord I'm free…no longer bound…no more chains holding me…my soul is resting…it's just a blessing…praise the Lord…Hallelujah I'm FREE'. Pastor Lanier is free! Let us take this moment to reevaluate our lives and purpose to live more boldly, more dedicated, more committed to God, to self, to family, to community and to the call of God that is upon each of us. Right now your prayers are the most powerful source of support you can offer -- in particular for his family, the UFC San Diego church and The Minority AIDS Project, where he served as the Chief Financial Officer."

The National Communications Team will forward any additional details as we receive them.

Thank you and God Bless

Bishop-Elect Tonyia M. Rawls, Chair, National Communications Team

Elder Kevin E. Taylor, Coordinator, National Communications Team

Saturday, February 23, 2008

"A Raisin In The Sun" on ABC 02/25

I have already expressed that I feel Phylicia Rashad is one of the most underrated and under appreciated actresses of our time. Monday evening she will be appearing in a television production of "A Raisin in the Sun" by Lorraine Hannesberry. The cast also features Audra MacDonald, Sanaa Lathan, Sean Combs all of whom appeared in the broadway production that garnered Tony's for Rashad and McDonald (Rashad becoming the first black woman ever to win as Lead Actress in a Drama). Check this movie out if you can. This will be my 3rd production of this play. I saw the movie with Sidney Poitier and the PBS version with Danny Glover and Ester Rolle....

Three women shine in powerful 'Raisin in the Sun'
By Matthew Gilbert
Globe Staff / February 23, 2008

On Monday night, ABC is bringing the big, rich performances of the 2004 stage revival of ‘‘A Raisin in the Sun’’ to the small screen. More accurately, ABC is bringing the big, rich performances of Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, and Sanaa Lathan through the small screen, into our homes and hearts and minds. This knockout adaptation of the Lorraine Hansberry play is a model of both the pure power of stage acting and TV’s potential to bring us up close to that acting without deadening it. The movie shows us every facial expression and eye flicker, and yet the camerawork, with its probing intimacy, never distracts from the story.
more stories like this.

Both Rashad and McDonald won Tony Awards for their performances in the Broadway play, and the ABC film, premiering Monday night at 8 on Channel 5, showcases exactly why. Surely they will go on to collect a few TV acting prizes when the season is over. Along with Lathan, Rashad and McDonald mightily embody the female strength and survival instinct that drive this play to great heights of inspiration. Sean ‘‘Diddy’’ Combs may be the best-known name on the marquee, and his performance is solid enough; but the women, so fully realized and emotionally evocative, are the thing.

Written by Hansberry on the eve of the 1960s civil rights movement, ‘‘A Raisin in the Sun’’ once again proves its durability as both a period piece about African- American identity and a statement for the ages. Set in 1959 Chicago, the action follows the financially struggling Younger family through a series of crises hinging on a forthcoming insurance check for $10,000. While Walter Lee (Combs) plans to gamble the money on a liquor-store venture, his widowed mother, Lena (Rashad), and his wife, Ruth (McDonald), want to buy a home in a white neighborhood. His sister, Beneatha (Lathan), hopes the windfall will pay for her medical school. The play is a wonderfully balanced work, as it reaches into social and racial issues, family dynamics, and spiritual conflict without losing its dramatic center.

Both McDonald and Lathan deliver revealing, visceral performances. As McDonald’s Ruth considers aborting her second child, with no resistance from Walter Lee, her face is twisted with grief and exhaustion. Lathan’s Beneatha is an extroverted free spirit unwilling to stop expressing her creativity, her African heritage, her joy, and her ambition. She is open-hearted and stubborn at once. She is drawn to assimilate, as a black American, and yet she snaps, ‘‘I am not an assimilationist’’ at her Nigerian boyfriend, pronouncing the word like an expletive. She embodies an internal divide.

But Rashad is as restrained as the other actresses aren’t. She pulls back from every possible chance of turning Lena into a self-consciously noble heroine. Lena is a tower of faith, but Rashad doesn’t telegraph that fact or veer into sanctimony. Lena is truly saintly: She doesn’t lose hope that her son will grow up, telling Beneatha, ‘‘There’s always something left to love.’’ She sees the good in him, even when she is disgusted with his irresponsibility and his claim that ‘‘Money is life.’’ But Rashad never makes her heroine into anything more self-consciously dramatic than an ordinary woman who has learned from life. She projects pride, but not in cloying amounts.

Combs’s presence runs the risk of prying us out of the movie, as he doesn’t quite disappear behind his portrayal of Walter Lee, as sincere as his effort may be. Combs remains undeniably Diddy. And yet that contemporary flavor adds a new currency to the play, a sense that it still has something relevant to say about black men trying to get a foothold in adulthood, trying to dream against the odds. Combs doesn’t draw every inch of the poetry from the script, nicely adapted from the play by Paris Qualles, but his sullen presence adds weight to his scenes.

Qualles and director Kenny Leon open up the play with a few external shots, but only slightly. And yet this made for TV movie, whose producers include Combs and the team of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron from ‘‘Chicago,’’ never feels claustrophobic or overly stagy. Wisely, the people behind the scenes step back and let the actors and Hansberry tell the story.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at For more on TV, visit

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

DVD Release: TONGUES UNTIED - "Black Men Loving Black Men Is A Revolutionary Act"

Tongues Untied (1990)

Dir. Marlon T. Riggs 1989 55 min USA

The stories are fierce examples of homophobia and racism: the man refused entry to a homosexual bar because of his color; the college student left bleeding on the sidewalk after a homosexual-bashing; the loneliness and isolation of the drag queen. Yet they also affirm the Black SGL male experience: protest marches, smoky bars, "snap diva," humorous "musicology" and vogue dancers.

Bonus Features Include:

-Newly Released Deleted Scenes & Outtakes

- 1991 Interview with Director Marlon T. Riggs

Interviews with:
Isaac Julien, Filmmaker
Phill Wilson, AIDS Activist
Juba Kalamka, Spoken Word Artist
Herman Gray, Cultural Critic

"A Black male warrior fighting for the right to love other Black men,
Marlon Riggs affirms what was nearly lost, newly found: the certainty
that Black male lives are utterly precious."
—Alice Walker, Author, The Color Purple

"My struggle has allowed me to transcend that sense of shame and
stigma identified with my being a Black gay man. Having come through
that fire, they can't touch me."
—Marlon T. Riggs

* Los Angeles Film Critics Award * *Best Documentary, Berlin Film Festival *

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Robin Roberts

My work schedule has me starting at 9:30am during the week which gives me time to watch Good Morning America. I am not sure why I watch that show. Probably because of all the morning shows I like Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer the best.

I've always liked Robin although I feel like there is alot about her life that she is not sharing. Which is her right. I just think she'd reach even more people if she did. Last year she was diagnosed with cancer and they have covered her trials with it. Even getting her head shaved for chemotherapy. Once I saw her bald I thought she looked beautiful. But then I think black women with features like hers always look great with short of no hair. Since she is on air they have had her using a wig which does resemble what her hair was like before she went bald but recently the hosts have been participating in a segment called "I Dare You...." and hers was to walk in a fashion show. She got tips on walking from no other than Tyra Banks and walked during Fashion Week today at Isaac Mizrahi show. Nina Garcia from Elle magazine and Project Runway was in the audience. The show also featured one of my favorite girls from "America's Next Top Model" Dani.

The picture of Robin is in a dress I don't particularly like but she did a wonderful job and considering it's out of her comfort zone and her living through cancer treatment it was wonderful. Dani's picture is from "Top Model" when they did a bald photo shoot...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Church Outings...

There are parts of this story that are completely funny and some that are very tragic. I encourage all people who are in this situation to get to know God for yourself. The love of Jesus The Christ has nothing to do with this situation...

Choir Member on Outing Spree Hits DC Baptist Church

A female choir member at the D.C. Greater Mount
Calvary Holy Church has sent a letter to its pastor,
outing over 100 church members, mostly male members of
the choir, the Washington Blade reports:

Outing"The outings added to the inner turmoil
experienced by a large number of gays who attend
services at the 7,000-member Greater Mount Calvary
Holy Church, located on Rhode Island Ave., N.E.,
according to a gay former member who provided copies
of the e-mails to the Blade. 'I will be leaving the
choir at the top of the year because 80 percent of the
tenors are homosexuals and act more like a female in
choir rehearsal than I do,' the church choir member
said in one of her e-mails to Bishop Alfred Owens Jr.,
the church pastor. The e-mail, sent in December,
identifies about 45 fellow church members as gay. She
sent a second e-mail to Owens on Jan. 2 identifying
another 62 church members as gay. 'The following
people I am asking you to monitor very closely and my
prayer is that you will sit them down from their
ministries,' she told Owens in the December e-mail.
'Because they are ushering in the presence of sin,
lies, a spirit of homosexuality and sexual spirits.'"

The female choir member also copied the email to over
300 additional church members on a Yahoo group.

The pastor would likely be sympathetic to her
concerns, given his past: "Owens became the subject of
media attention in April 2006 when he used the word
'fag' in a sermon on Palm Sunday. 'It takes real men
to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior,' Owens said in
the sermon, which was recorded by the church. 'I’m not
talking about no faggot or no sissy,' he said. 'Let
the real men come down here and take a bow — all the
real men. I’m talking about straight men … praise God
that you’re straight.' The church’s web site includes
a listing of twice-monthly sessions of a ministry
called 'Breaking the Chains of Homosexuality,' which
it says helps gays change their sexual orientation
through counseling and prayer. Minister Dennis
Sawyers, an expert in 'ex-gay' ministries, is listed
as the leader of the church’s efforts to counsel

Sylvia Rhue, director of the National Black Justice
Coalition’s religious affairs program said that many
gays attend that church because they like the
"traditional setting" they find there. A setting,
which, at this particular church, is now in turmoil.

{The Choir Pictured Above Is Not Affiliated With The Church In The Story}