& Entertainment

Underground

Over the past few years, we have been inundated with stories about slavery. Many of them often somber and demoralizing. If there were more of a balance, and we saw stories about the successful contributions black people have had and built for America, then maybe content like this wold be more digestible.  At Sundance this year, when I got a chance to meet many of the cast members of Underground, and with show ep, John Legend;I had no idea what to expect. Needless to say, my expectations weren’t very high. However, I decided to give it a shot and tune in to watch. From the very first episode, I was hooked. Literally, week after week, I was on the edge of my seat.

Of course, the show is very heartbreaking and sad, as it tells the story of a time in American history, where black people were treated like animals and property. Honestly, we’ve made some progress but still have a ways to go in terms of economic equality. Nonetheless, the show goes beyond the plight of slavery and exposes viewers to the inner workings of the underground system. Each character on the show has a very distinct voice and although many share the same goal, they all approach it in a different manner. Ernestine, is by far, one of the best fictional characters I have ever watched. I absolutely was enthralled by the genius that she is. She is so dark, yet shines like a diamond in the same beat. Absolutely, a beautifully written character.

Moreover, even though the show has garnered a record number of viewers for the WGN network, season 2 will not return until 2017! Power, takes forever to release a season, and it drives the fans insane.

It doesn’t take that long to flesh out the stories and film.

If you haven’t seen the show, I would recommend you checking it out. It’s gritty, but very palatable once you get into it.

 

 

World No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka Wins The Australian Open

1390736953010-GTY-465148473Wawrinka defeated an injured Rafael Nadal to win the Australian Open and his first Grand Slam championship.  Wawrinka’s road to victory was no easy feat as he needed to take out two of the world’s top tier players, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to win. This has solidified Wawrinka as an emerging player and has also halted the reign of the Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, whom each won the last 34 of 35 Grand Slam tournaments.

Congratulations to Wawrinka for never surrendering and proving to the world that the underdog can be victorious.

Breaking News: Justin Beiber Arrested On Drunken Driving Charges & Resisting Arrest

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Will someone please come and save Justin Beiber? Seriously, Superman needs to dust off his cape and come out to help this young superstar. Sarcasm aside, it’s pitiful to see such a young and talented young man, yes he actually can sing-I think, go to waste. Not only is Justin Beiber spiraling out of control but no one around  his camp seems to care or have any concerns. Shouldn’t there come a point and time when your loyalty to your friend or idol be swept aside for the greater good of humanity? I don’t personally know Justin, but it appears from a far that he is surrounded by people who are unable to help him get the help he needs. It’s apparent that he uses drugs from his Instagram posts and vine videos but it now appears to be catching up with him.

Today, the 19 year old singer was arrested for drinking and driving and for also resisting arrest. As much as people may hate to read this, he needs the same help and tough love as Chris Brown. Someone’s life could have been taken away while he in his drunken stupor and behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. I wish no malice or evil towards anyone. However, I do believe in grabbing the bull by the horns and got damn it that bull needs to be lassoed and brought in.

Hopefully, someone one will send an SOS his way before his ship sinks and the damage is undo-able.

Boycott Over? Serena enters into the Indian Wells Tournament After 12 year hiatus

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Serena Williams has not competed at the tournament since the horrific booing incident of 2001. Her and Venus were expected to play each other during the semifinals match. However, at the last minute Venus withdrew, citing injury to her wrist. Serena received a bye to the next round. When she walked on the court to take on Kim Clijsters, the crowd erupted in loud bantering and booing. As she warmed up and throughout the match, fans taunted her. Cheering when she missed a shot or hit a ball into the next. During change overs Serena would throw her towel over her head and cry. Determined not to lose, Serena stuck it out and was able to win the match in three sets 4-6 6-4 6-2. Fans booed as she walked onto the court to collect her prize money and hold her winning trophy. Serena was 19 at the time and still very impressionable. She could not understand why the fans had been giving her such a hard time. Venus was injured and was in no shape to perform. Why would they be upset over that?

For some fans it was enough to warrant bad behavior. They threw out all sorts of racial slurs and epithets to the Williams family. Claiming that the family staged their matches and Venus dropping out of the tournament at the last minute was all a ploy to advance Serena’s career. Venus had been more dominant on the tour even though Serena had won the family their first grand slam.

I could understand how her dropping out of the tournament last minute could have made fans angry. If I was expecting to see the Williams sisters play and at the last minute the match up was changed, I too would be upset. Especially given the prices I would have to pay for a ticket. However, racial slurs and epithets are no remedy for the situation. Regardless of whether Venus was faking or not.

Serena expressed her desire to reconcile her differences with the Indian Wells Open, now titled BNP Paribas, during a press conference early last week in Australia. Serena stated that the life and legacy of the late Nelson Mandela was a contributing factor in her decision to enter the tournament.

Serena Williams has already been dubbed as an overreacting player who allows her emotions to get the best of her. Why would she willingly put herself in that position again? She would practically be giving people the forum to jeer her back into an angry place. We have seen her passions erupt at the US Open twice, once in ’09 and again in ’11. The media had a field day with her. She became the laughing stock of the sports and entertainment world. Fans across the world took to social media to share their opinions. Some opinions were meant to soothe the frustrations that some people had with her outburst. Other comments were racially tinged and used purposefully to fuel the fire.

Serena will go down in history as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, women’s tennis player in history. Williams has 17 grand slam titles and Olympic gold medals in both singles and doubles with sister Venus. Her competing in this tournament again will not make or break her career.

The Indian Wells tournament is a top tier event in which many of the world’s best tennis players compete. But, Serena going back to play at that tournament would be like a foodie going back to a four star restaurant after experiencing prejudicial service, solely because it’s a four star restaurant. Why would you willingly subject yourself to that situation again when there are plenty of other restaurants to patronize? Serena could opt out of this tournament as she has done the past 12 years and still come out a champion. This one tournament will not make or break her ranking or hurt her bank account. Sure the extra prize money would be nice. But why risk your dignity and self worth over a coin? Sure some people may argue that the past is the past, and that she should just get over it and move on but it is not as easy as many would like to believe.

Only time will tell if Serena will actually end her boycott of the  \tournament when it kicks off March 3, 2014. If Serena does compete, her sweetest vindication will not come from just competing but from winning. Hoisting that shiny trophy above her head and smiling at the sea of fans in the crowd will be the icing on the cake.

Music, Sports, & Entertainment: Floyd Mayweather to Retire?

ImageWorld renowned boxer, Floyd Mayweather recently announced his plans to retire from the sport. During his trip to South Africa, the 45-0 undisputed champion stated to the press that his final fight would be in September 2015. Whether or not Mayweather actually intends to retire is still up for question. Only time will reveal what is next for this 26 knockouts and counting fighter.
Currently, his focus is on continuing his dominance in the ring as he prepares to fight Amir Khan or Marcos Maidana in May 2014.

Film News: Ride Along Starring Kevin Hart & Ice Cube Makes History

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Director, Tim Story

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Ride Along Starring Kevin Hart & Ice Cube

The lighthearted comedy starring rappers Ice Cube and Chocolate Drizzle, better known as comedian Kevin Hart, made history this past weekend. The Tim Story directed film grossed $48.6 million dollars at the box office. Not only did this film garner the top spot at the box office, it is the highest earning for any movie release in January. This amazing opening weekend number is no surprise to those familiar with his previous films. His work includes: Fantastic 4, Barbershop, and Think Like A Man just to name a few.
His current film centers on Kevin Hart’s character Ben, desiring to win the affection of APD detective James, played by Ice Cube. Although Ben’s job title reads high school security job, his level of professionalism and brute force should not be taken lightly. Desiring to marry James younger sister played by the talented Tika Sumpter, Ben volunteers to go on a ride along with James. The well bedecked APD detective obliges and takes Ben on the ride of his life, hoping to scare him away and dismiss his proposal for his sister’s hand in marriage. However, things quickly go left as these two knuckleheads find themselves stranded in the most dangerous neighborhood in their city.
This movie marks Kevin Hart’s arrival as a full-fledged movie star.  Although he usually steals the spotlight with his gregarious sense of humor, this is his first film role in which he co-stars. In his past roles he has been touted as a supporting character. Kevin, Ice Cube, and Tika and director Tim Story have once again proven that films starring actors of color can and do fare well at the box office.
If you are looking for a movie that will get you laughing, be sure to check out Ride Along, in theaters everywhere.

Taking it Too Far…Confidence or Just Plain Cockiness

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For some 49er fans, Richard Sherman still embodies the “Straight Outta Compton,” mentality popularized by Hardcore rappers in the early 90’s. Sherman appears to be a straight to the point, no holds bar person. This leaves fans with the sentiments of either enjoyment or disdain. Publicly, he is been vocal about situations which he feels are wrong. Most recently, he had an outburst on field during a post game interview. He went on a vocal tirade and slammed 49ers player, Michael Crabtree.

Apparently Crabtree is just as vocal as Sherman and expressed some words regarding Sherman’s lack of athletic prowess earlier during the game. Sherman took those words to heart and made it his personal responsibility to prove himself. His vindication came during the 4th quarter of the Seahawks and 49ers game in which Sherman deflected a pass intended for Crabtree. But that wonderful display of athleticism wasn’t enough to suffice Sherman. His personal enjoyment and vindication were demonstrated through an on air tirade against Crabtree. His words left the interviewer and sports fans across the world confused. Many found his sharp tongue too much for television and unsportsmanlike.

Sherman soon after recanted his statements and soothe public opinion of him. “I apologize for attacking an individual and taking the attention away from the fantastic game by my teammates … That was not my intent,” Sherman said Monday in a text message to ESPN’s Ed Werder.

His apology for some may be enough to throw caution to the wind and proclaim it as part of the competitive energy that comes with professional sports. While others may never forget what he said or did. Either way, Sherman will surely have more eyes on him than ever before during the February 2 Super bowl game against the Denver Broncos. Hopefully, he will live up to the hype surrounding his name that he has caused. If not, maybe Crabtree will end up with the last laugh.1353587061_straight_outta_compton-oo