Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Black History Month and Beyond

I've had the privilege to meet Rosa Parks and to be in the same room with Maya Angelou as she recited poems in her soothing yet powerful lyrical voice. Those kind of moments are invigorating. It's as if those moments hug you and whisper to your soul: "remember me".

I reserved this post until the last day of Black History Month because it seems like people are all jazzed about black history come the beginning of February but by the middle of the month most of all the hype has fizzled down.

Hopefully this post will light your fire to remember that learning about black history isn't designated to one month, learning about people and cultures could never be squeezed into a day, a month or even a year. There's so much to learn about every culture that you have to make it a life pursuit to be enriched by the diversity of all the poeple God created. That's why I'll never buy into the whole, let's make our society "colorblind" rhetoric. I don't want to be colorblind, nothing about God and His creation is bland, one look at the sunset or the array of flowers is proof that God likes color. So instead of being colorblind and trying to cover peoples' obvious melanin differences, I say we should embrace them in all their cultural glory, but remember that the most important color is red, that is the heart that beats inside all of us. So I present you with my Black History and Beyond list because Black History Month symbolizes more than celebrating black history, it's one ripple in the pond for celebrating all our contributions in the American society.

Also, be sure to check out your local library for all kind of cultural events that take place year round.

Black History interests:

  • Google Jo Ann Robinson, a black civil rights activist
  • Check out Henry Hampton at PBS
  • Watch 10,000 Black Men Named George

Hispanic American interests:

  • Read some books by Isabel Allende
  • Learn about Hispanic Heritage Month

Asian American interests:

  • Check out Camy Tang's blog

Middle Eastern American interests:

"[God] causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." - Matthew 5:45

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Blast from the Past - the early 90s

YouTube is pretty great when you find some rare footage that reminds you of your youth.

Here's a snippet of what I used to think was cool back in the day:

1. Tia and Tamera Mowry in the tween R&B group: The Voices.

I'm so glad that I don't wear ruffled polka-dot dresses and like boys with "tails" anymore. The single to this song was my first CD. Remember cassette tapes?

2. Raven-Symone rapping.

Yep. That's Olivia from The Cosby Show and she could throw-down. Her rapping may seem extremely lame now but Raven is worth $400 million and she's on the cover of this month's Ebony. It looks like her sugar and spice worked out quite nice.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Thoughts on the Oscars

I don't watch the Oscars every year and I think that's a good thing. While the Academy Awards are the top honor in my industry, getting caught up the whole Hollywood reconigniton game can be dangerous, so I don't stress over who's winning what. But this year I watched them, pre-shows and all. Here are some of my thoughts as I scribbled them down on a piece of paper during all the festivities.

  • Helen Mirren and Barbara Walters make a really good interview. Mirren sounds a tad more classy because of her British accent though.
  • Eddie Murphy has the coolest mustache and underlip gotee. Jennifer Hudson described him as "shy" - I would have never pegged him as an introvert.
  • Hollywood and Highland - I lived right around the corner from that complex when I lived in Hollywood for a little under 6 months. And believe me, Hollywood Blvd. isn't so pretty when a premiere or an award show isn't happening. They only show the glamourous part of Hollywood for the Oscars. I took a tour of the Kodak Theatre and the place looks a lot bigger on TV.
  • Ellen and a "Gospel" choir - I never would have imagined that. She's not as bad as I thought she was going to be, but she's no Billy Crystal.
  • Will Smith's son, Jayden, and Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) were so cute presenting together.
  • I wanna see West Bank Story. It's a short film and the director was very charamatic as he gave his heartfelt acceptance speech.
  • Sound Effects choir (Elements & Motion) - how cool is that?
  • Humanitarian Award - Sherry Lansing. What she said about teachers being heroes was really cool.
  • MySpace mention - Ellen took a picture with Clint Eastwood for her MySpace page...LOL.
  • Google Emmanuel Lubezki from Children of Men.
  • Jennifer Hudson won - YAY!!
  • Best documentary (short and feature) are my favorite categories. I want to see them all!
  • Rent Days of Heaven and Malena.
  • Dreamgirls was slighted in best original song.
  • When will Kate Winslet win an Oscar?!?!
The Oscars serve their purpose in highlighting some of the industry's best in filmmaking but in the end, they're only awards based on peoples opinions and opinions are never abolsute truth. Although it's really cool to get awards whether you're an apiring filmmaker, scientist or high school basketball coach I think it's best to follow C.S. Lewis' advice: "Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither." So aim high!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Dwight Howard - Jumping for Jesus

How would Jesus slam dunk?

I'm not sure how that would look, but Orlando Magic center, Dwight Howard wants the world to know where his slam dunkin' abilities comes from. And it's not from Wheaties or Gatorade.

Howard wowed the crowd, but not the judges with his vertial ups and his creativity by placing a sticker of himself on the backboard. But the really cool part was that he wrote a scripture on the sticker refering to how he can do "all things through Christ."

Read these articles for more info on Howard's heavenly slam:
"Dwight Howard Stickers It To The Man"

"Howard's sticker slam wins buzz but not contest"

What Bball has to say
Since I haven't watched a NBA All-Star weekend in a few years this was a really pleasant suprise. Plus, it was really fun watching my homewtown Piston players (Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton) on the East team. It's too bad Kobe Bryant put the smackdown on us. But hopefully next year the East will stick it the West.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Why Burma Needs Our Help

Let's face it: journalists could do better. The world is bigger than the US, Iraq, The Gaza Strip and North Korean nuclear threats.

People are now. They're out there trying to have ordinary lives like the rest of us. They live, laugh, love--just like the bracelet. They have bills to pay, mouths to feed, parties to attend and family celebrations to dance badly at. They're not so different from us. They're people with hopes, dreams and hearts.

Life is fragile as an incandescent lightbulb, all it takes is one bump and we go crashing to the floor, broken forever--our light permanently extinguished. As Hilary Duff sings, "in a moment, everything can change" then it's lights out, game over, the end, adios, bye-bye.

I'm not trying to depress you or make you think about all the darkness in this world because life is beautiful. Babies are born, couples fall in love, young adults graduate from college, great music is made and there's chocolate, we've always got that.

But in this journey, let's try t keep as many lamps plugged in as we can, because we need all the light we can get in this fallen world. And that brings me to what's happening over in Burma.

The Telegraph (London) reported on Jan. 21, 2007 that "The military regime in Burma is intent on wiping out Christianity in the country." And by wiping out they don't mean fun and games, they're burning down churches, imprisoning, raping and killing. But this plan is a symptom of a bigger human rights injustice, the Telegraph explained, this regime is targeting ethnic majority tribes like the Chins and the Karens, which are mostly Christian. So it's basically a racist, anti-Christian movement and that's so not cool.

Breakpoint has a substantial response to all this madness:

The first thing we need to do, of course, is to pray. And then we need to educate ourselves about what is going on in Burma and educate other Christians, including our pastors, who should speak out from the pulpit, and, finally, our neighbors. Much of what is done in places like Burma is made possible because the world’s attention is diverted. Tyrants count on our being more interested in American Idol than in genocide when they formulate things like the Burmese “Program.”
They follow up with a how-to information sheet that lists several U.S. Representatives and other government officials that you can write and call to express your concern and protest against these monstrosities. And there's a link to a letter template to make the process easier for you.

If you feel like being a hero today then a couple of letters could be all it takes to change the world somehow.

And for all my NBC's Heroes fans, let me put it this way:
Save the Chins, save the world.
For more info visit Christians Concerned for Burma

*Hat tip to Jason at Spoiled for the Ordinary for informing me about this issue.

Friday, February 9, 2007

We are the Web

This is cool, a little scary and true.

Hat tip to Bill at achievable ends for the link.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


I couldn't help but cry when Shari Tritt used sign language to answer if she ever thought she would get married. She doubted than anyone would love and accept her without a normal speaking voice, uncontrollable drool and her body contorted. But then the interviewer asked her what about Ira? Shari responded with tears in her eyes, "He saw my heart". For that moment in time the camera caught one of the best things about the human spirit...the power of love.

Dystonia was a foreign word to me before I saw Twisted on PBS' [i]ndependent Lens. What was dystonia? Who did it effect? And how did it come to find itself on my favorite TV channel?

What is dystonia? The film's website says " dystonia is a neurological disorder that forces your muscles into abnormal, often painful, movements or postures. Dystonia can affect one muscle group, or your whole body; it can cause your body to twist. It is as though your brain has a mind of its own." Wikipedia puts it this way: "The disorder may be inherited or caused by other factors such as birth-related or other physical trauma, infection or reaction to drugs."

Who is effected by it? Shari Tritt (who was born with the genes), Pat Brogan (a basketball coach who was hit by a car) and 30,000 others in the United States.

Who produced the documentary? Laurel Chiten wrote, directed, produced and narratored this film. She was was diagnosed with dystonia when she was 17.

I can't even begin to tell you how beautiful and touching this documentary was, and the clip below doesn't do justice to the depth of this subject. Hopefully you will catch a re-run of Twisted on PBS, buy the DVD, organize a screening, or maybe even do all three. Stories like these are rare jewels in the sludge of TV programming and that's why PBS is still the best station on television. Hopefully, the rest of the country will wake-up and realize that.

For more info visit the official website for Twisted and

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Screwtape Letters

I didn't plan on blogging today but this news was too good to wait until after the weekend...they're making C.S. Lewis'The Screwtape Letters into a movie!

Lewis is the prolific writer behind The Chronicles of Narnia and is one of the most celebrated writers in Christian history. Ralph Winter, the producer of X-Men, is heading this project alongside Walden Media (Narnia). Just in case you didn't know, Winter is a professing Christian, so yay for that!

Jeffrey at Looking Closer Journal asked people to post our wish-lists for the film so here's my dream team:

Screenwriters: Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind) and Zach Braff (Garden State)

Director: Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep)

Actor: Zach Braff as "Wormwood"
It's gonna take some amazingly creative minds to pull off The Screwtape Letters as a movie, so if these people don't do it, things could go terribly wrong and that would be a shame, because who wants another another book adaptation gone bad.

Think otherwise? Who would you chose to write, direct and star in the movie?

You can read the full scoop at

And yes, that is a picture of Zach Braff's head on the bookcover. I'm just silly like that.