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Oscar Grant Movie in the Works, Starring Octavia Spencer

Oscar Grant Movie in the Works, Starring Octavia Spencer

Oscar winner Octavia Spencer and “Chronicle” actor Michael B. Jordan are in various stages of negotiations to star in “Fruitvale,” an indie drama being produced by Forest Whitaker, according to the Hollywood Reporter

The movie is believed to center around Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old father from Hayward, Calif. who was killed by former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle on New Year’s Day 2009 after he and several friends were detained. Grant, who was unarmed, was lying face down on the train platform when Mehserle pulled out his gun and shot him in the back.

If the deal goes through Spencer would play Grant’s “tough and protective” mother. Jordan would play a 22-year-old Grant.

Grant was killed at the Fruitvale Bart station.

Mitt Romney: Not Winning Latino Vote “Spells Doom for Us”

Mitt Romney: Not Winning Latino Vote

In conversation with donors in the backyard of a private home in Palm Beach GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney offered a glimpse of how he thinks his party can win more Latino voters: he plans on reminding Latinos Obama didn’t get immigration reform for them like he promised.

But Romney also says he has high hopes that by November Latinos will care more about the economy than immigration. Seems contradictory, no?

Swedish Culture Minister Caught in Racist Cake-Cutting Scandal

Swedish Culture Minister Caught in Racist Cake-Cutting Scandal

On Sunday the Swedish minister of culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth cut in to a large cake shaped like a black woman as part of an art installation which was reportedly meant to highlight the issue of female circumcision. The event took place at Moderna Museet which reports say is partly funded with public tax dollars.

Makode Aj Linde, the artist who created the installation and whose head is part of the cake cut by the minister, wrote about the “genital mutilation cake” on his Facebook page: “Documentation from my female genital mutilation cake performance earlier today at stockholm moma. This is After getting my vagaga mutilated by the minister of culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth. Before cutting me up she whispered “Your life will be better after this” in my ear,” the artist wrote on Facebook.

“According to sources Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth was invited to declare festivities open by performing a clitoridectomy on the cake, which she did by removing the cake woman’s labiums,” reports Swedish news site Friatider.Se.

The 31-year old artist uses mass cultural icons which he revamps into a new historically manipulated narrative. “Contemporary western ideas of paradise and the romanticizing of exotica and the ‘simple life’ collide with history’s gruesome facts of slavery, apartheid and racism,” the artist’s website proclaims.

“In our view, this simply adds to the mockery of racism in Sweden,” Kitimbwa Sabuni, spokesperson for the National Afro-Swedish Association (Afrosvenskarnas riksförbund) told The Local.

“The objectification of the black female body via the cartoonish color scheme distances the viewers from the victim’s humanity,” said Akiba Solomon, who blogs about gender matters on Colorlines.com. “I can’t imagine that any victim of female genital mutilation or sexual exploitation would feel the least bit empowered or represented by this—more like mocked and exploited.”

Report: Banks Let Black and Latino Foreclosed Homes Waste Away

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On Monday, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) filed a formal complaint to the Department of Housing and Urban Development alleging that foreclosed properties in white areas are much better maintained and marketed by U.S. Bank than those in neighborhoods of color. The week before the same group filed a similar complaint against Wells Fargo.

Earlier this month the NFHA announced the results of an undercover investigation into the ways the nation’s financial institutions are failing to maintain and market Real Estate Owned (REO) properties in black and Latino neighborhoods. A report of the investigation, “The Banks Are Back, Our Neighborhoods Are Not: Discrimination in the Maintenance and Marketing of REO Properties,” (PDF) includes incidents of discrimination in the care and maintenance of properties in Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Oakland, Calif., and Dayton, Ohio.

The Late Manning Marable Wins History Pulitzer for Malcolm X Biography

malcolmxcover2012.jpgThe late Manning Marable won the Pulitzer Prize for history Monday, honored for a Malcolm X book he worked on for decades but did not live to see published.

Marable, a longtime professor at Columbia University, died last year at age 60 just as “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” was being released. The Pulitzer Prize committee called Marables’s book “an exploration of the legendary life and provocative views of one of the most significant African-Americans in U.S. history, a work that separates fact from fiction and blends the heroic and tragic.” (The board moved the book from the Biography category to the history category.)

Tupac’s Mom ‘Positively Thrilled’ About Coachella Hologram

Tupac's Mom 'Positively Thrilled' About Coachella Hologram

TMZ reports that Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, was “positively thrilled” with her late son’s holographic “performance” at Coachella. Afeni Shakur says she watched a live stream of the performance online.

A representative for Shakur also told TMZ Dr. Dre asked Afeni for approval to incorporate Pac into his performance — and she said yes. As a thank you, Dr Dre made a donation to the rapper’s charity The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation.

Remembering Selena Quintanilla: Murals, Statues and Tattoos

Remembering Selena Quintanilla: Murals, Statues and Tattoos

Although there had been Latino pop stars to cross-over to American mainstream culture before Selena Quintanilla-Perez was different. She was a Chicana who spoke English at home first that first-and-second generation Latino immigrants alike could relate to. 

She also rose to fame at time when it was clear that the country was seeing changing demographics and anti-immigrant laws began to pop up. And still made the tops of both english and spanish pop charts.

So today we remember Selena. Take a look at the images below of how others remember the pop star that passed away on March 31, 1995.

Selena Quintanilla-Perez would have turned 41 today.


Selena!
Mural in Cypress Park, California. Photo by waltarrrrr.




Pleasant Valley Pylon | Selena tribute (side 2) Austin, Texas (Photo by That Other Paper)

Caine’s Arcade Gets a Block Party, Video Raises 166k for College

Caine's Arcade Gets a Block Party, Video Raises 166k for College

After school today (and after his dentist appointment) Caine has appointments with the NY Times and TIME Magazine, according to updates on his Facebook page. On Saturday, he also had a line around the block of people trying to get a fun pass.

Donations for Caine’s scholarship fund have ballooned up to $166,172 and still counting. The film has more than 4 million views in just over a week.

TAGS: Caine Monroy

Associated Press Wins Pulitzer for Reporting on NYPD’s Spying on Muslim Neighborhoods

Associated Press Wins Pulitzer for Reporting on NYPD's Spying on Muslim Neighborhoods

On Monday The Pulitzer Prize Board announced The Associated Press has won a Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting for a series of stories on a secret New York Police Department program that spied on Muslims.

The prize was awarded to Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley for “their spotlighting of the New York Police Department’s clandestine spying program that monitored daily life in Muslim communities, resulting in congressional calls for a federal investigation, and a debate over the proper role of domestic intelligence gathering.”

Seth Freed Wessler, Colorlines.com’s investigative reporter, has been following the AP’s coverage as it has unraveled since 2011. You can read more of Colorlines and Wessler’s coverage by visiting the Colorlines.com/nypd-spying page.

Eva Longoria Defends New TV Series She’s Producing on Latina Maids

Eva Longoria Defends New TV Series She's Producing on Latina Maids

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Eva Longoria defended the upcoming ABC pilot “Devious Maids” that she’s executive producing. The show centers around four Latina maids in Beverly Hills with stories that Longoria says are worth telling.

Written by “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry and based on the Mexican format, “Devious Maids” follows four maids with ambition and dreams of their own while they work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. Ana Ortiz (“Ugly Betty”), Roselyn Sanchez (“Without A Trace”), Dania Ramirez (“Heroes”), and Judy Reyes (“Scrubs”) have signed on to star in the four leading roles.

“They are the leads of the show, and they are playing maids, which is a realistic reflection of our society today in America,” Longoria told the Huffington Post.

“When we get any sort of backlash like that-“Oh, they’re just playing the stereotypical maids”-my immediate response is, ‘So you’re telling me those stories aren’t worth telling. That those people are lesser than. That their stories aren’t worth exploring. That they have no complexity in their life because they’re a maid?’” Longoria went on to say.

Kai Wright Talks LGBT Housing Bias on MSNBC

Kai Wright Talks LGBT Housing Bias on MSNBC

Earlier this year, the Obama administration issued a rule for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to end discrimination against LGBT Americans. Kai Wright, Editorial Director of Colorlines.com, joined the Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC to discuss the Obama administration’s recent updates to non-discrimination policies that now encompass sexual orientation and gender identity.

Tupac Takes Coachella Stage via Hologram With Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg

Tupac Takes Coachella Stage via Hologram With Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg

Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg brought Tupac Shakur on the main stage of the music festival Coachella late Sunday night. Shakur was shot dead in Las Vegas in 1996.

Dre and Snoop Dogg both come out Compton, about 130 miles away from the Coachella Valley. The pair brought a live band with them along with an 3D unexpected hologram of Shakur and a real life Eminem, 50 Cent, Warren G and newcomer Kendrick Lamar.

Earlier reports predicted Snoop Dogg, who headlined Coachella on Sunday, would perform with a hologram of long-time collaborator Nate Dogg, who died last year from a series of strokes.

And yes, Hologram Tupac is already on Twitter.

Obama Promises Immigration Reform in First Year of Second Term

Obama Promises Immigration Reform in First Year of Second Term

On Friday evening, Univision News’ new anchor anchor Enrique Acevedo spoke with President Barack Obama about some of the country’s most pressing issues at the moment.

Below is a transcripts on Obama’s comments on immigration reform and the Trayvon Martin case.

Enrique Acevedo: Mr. President, excuse the personal note, but I grew up in a generation that has lived with the unfulfilled promise of immigration reform, and I’m not that young. And do you think if you are reelected you will be the President that gets it done? And can you promise you’ll do it within the first year of your second term?

President Barack Obama: I can promise that I will try to do it in the first year of my second term. I want to try this year. The challenge we’ve got on immigration reform is very simple. I’ve got a majority of Democrats who are prepared to vote for it, and I’ve got no Republicans who are prepared to vote for it. It’s worse than that. We now have a Republican nominee who said that the Arizona laws are a model for the country; that — and these are laws that potentially would allow someone to be stopped and picked up and asked where their citizenship papers are based on an assumption.

‘Mad Men’ Actress Who Plays Firm’s First Black Employee Says She Has ‘A Lot of Responsibility’

The LA Times has an interview with Teyonnah Parris, the actress who plays Don Draper’s new secretary and Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s first black employee on the hit television series “Mad Men.”

It’s a big deal because Mad Men is one of TV’s most popular shows and hasn’t really dealt with race explicitly yet. Parris says there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with the role too.

man-men-dawn-2.jpg Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC

From the LA Times:

LA Times: A lot of people were concerned that Dawn was simply window dressing, like, ‘look, the token black character that will signal the changing times.’ And we sort of got to know a little bit more about her in last week’s episode, but it was mostly through the eyes of Peggy. What are your thoughts on that? 

Parris: Um, I think Peggy is the perfect person for us to learn about Dawn. She’s the woman on the show who is more open-minded, feminist — she doesn’t even know she’s a feminist, but that kind of air about herself. I thought it was pretty cool to see her mind-set and her beliefs and these things that she stands for sort of tested and see how that plays out for Peggy — because, you know, we hear her talk about how her boyfriend is covering the riots in Chicago and all kinds of things. And then we have this heart-to-heart and at the end there’s the purse thing. The subconscious judgments that her character harbors and probably didn’t even realize it.

I realize a lot of responsibility comes with this role. it’s the first time the show has had an African American in the office, but I try not to let it overwhelm me.

TAGS: Mad Men TV

U.S. Says Sorry for Holding Up ‘King of Bollywood’ at NY Airport

U.S. Says Sorry for Holding Up 'King of Bollywood' at NY Airport

A U.S. Embassy spokesman apologized Friday to Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan for being detained for an hour and a half by Homeland Security agents at a New York airport.

Khan landed at the airport in White Plains, New York, on Thursday en route to deliver a lecture at Yale University when he was stopped. Sources told PTI, while everybody else were cleared by the immigration immediately, Khan was stopped for over two hours before being cleared by the immigration officials.

“Khan was very very upset at the episode. Yale University officials had to contact the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Department at Washington, when they come to know about his detention,” sources tell Ibnlive.in.com.

“Whenever I start feeling too arrogant about myself, I always make a trip to America. The immigration guys kick the star out of stardom,” Khan said at the lecture at Yale, which was delayed for several hours. (Video above.)

“They always ask me how tall I am and I always like and get away [with it] and say 5’10”, Khan told the audience at Yale. But he says next time he’s going to be more adventurous when they ask him ‘what color’ he is.

“I’m going to say, white,” Khan said jokingly.

According to the AP, U.S. Embassy spokesman Peter Vrooman apologized “for any inconvenience that Mr. Shah Rukh Khan may have experienced.”

This is the second time Khan has been detained by Homeland Security in the U.S. Khan was stopped for two hours at Newark airport in 2009—the same year he was declared amongst the 500 most influential Muslims worldwide by Georgetown University.

National Poll Shows U.S. Divided by Race in Trayvon Martin Case

National Poll Shows U.S. Divided by Race in Trayvon Martin Case

In a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted earlier this week, 91% of black Americans surveyed said that the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin was unjustified. Among whites, that number was 35%; among Latinos, 59%.

“This incident is one of the clearest splits we’ve seen between whites and blacks,” Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson told Reuters.

“African Americans have a significantly different perspective on the whole incident than white Americans or Hispanic Americans,” Jackson said.

The fact that whites and blacks have such starkly differing views on whether Trayvon Martin was unjustly killed is a sad reflection on the state of race relations in this country, says Terry Keleher, Director of the Racial Justice Leadership Action Network at the Applied Research Center, Colorlines.com’ publisher.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker Boosts Superhero Credentials by Saving Neighbor From Fire

Newark Mayor Cory Booker Boosts Superhero Credentials by Saving Neighbor From Fire

Newark Mayor Cory Booker arrived home last night just in time to save his next-door neighbor from her burning home. The mayor was a guest on CBS’ “This Morning” to describe his heroic efforts.

From CBS “This Morning” > Booker said that as he jumped through the kitchen on the second floor, “I actually wasn’t > thinking. When I got there and couldn’t find her in all the smoke, looked behind me and saw the kitchen really erupting with flames all over the ceiling, that’s when I had very clear thoughts that I’m not going to get out of this place alive and got … very religious. >

“It is a very, very scary thing. And I’d like to say that I, at that point I was feeling so courageous, but honestly, it was terrifying, and to look back, you can see nothing but flames. Look in front of you see nothing but blackness.

“Thankfully she started yelling out to me and I was able to find her through all the smoke. At that point I grabbed her.”

He admitted he was “not gentle” with her - “I just sort of threw her over my shoulder and dragged her through the kitchen.”

Booker told the hosts now that he’s been through this experience he’s ill-equipped to do firefighter union negotiations - ‘These guys, give them everything!’”

Ice T’s ‘The Art of Rap’ Documentary Gets a Release Date

SomethingFromNothingTheArtOfRap_poster.jpgIce-T’s “Art of Rap” documentary that premiered at Sundance earlier finally has an official release date. The film is set to hit theaters nationwide on June 15th.

Below is the description of the film from the filmmakers:

SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP is a feature length performance documentary film about the runaway juggernaut that is Rap music. At the wheel of this unstoppable beast is the film’s director and interviewer Ice-T. Ice-T takes us on a deeply personal journey to uncover how this music of the street has grown to dominate the world. Along the way Ice-T meets some of the remarkable superstars of Rap, from Eminem to Dr Dre, to Snoop Dogg and Kanye West. He exposes the roots and history of Rap and then, through meeting most of it’s most famous protagonists studies the living mechanism of the music to reveal The Art Of Rap. This film features unique performances from it’s entire cast and does not use any archive material.

Ice T may not know too many female emcees because by the looks of it there are only a handful of them in the film. Cheryl ‘Salt’ James, MC Lyte and Queen Latifah make appearances but they’re not readily featured in the film’s promo materials—I had to dig through IMDB and reviews to get those three names.

‘Caine’s Arcade’ Video Raises Over 135K for Boy’s College Fund

'Caine's Arcade' Video Raises Over 135K for Boy's College Fund

Remember Caine Monroy? Caine is the 9-year-old star of the short film “Caine’s Arcade” that’s been seen more than three-million times in just under two days.

As of the time this story was published, Caine’s internet fame has gotten him $135,913.16 for his college fun.

The website for Caine’s arcade includes a small donation box on bottom right hand corner of the site and apparently people have been donating!

Forbes Magazine just went ahead and beat everyone to the story. They’ve declared Caine “will be a billionaire in 30-years.” Let’s hope that’s true. We need more Latino billionaires under 40.

“He doesn’t really understand how big this is,” Caine’s dad, George Monroy, told ABC News on Thursday. “He sees himself on the screen and he laughs. He doesn’t understand how everyone is just pouring their hearts out to him.”

BET Launching New Daily Show-Style Satire Starring Former CNN Anchor T.J. Holmes

BET Launching New Daily Show-Style Satire Starring Former CNN Anchor T.J. Holmes

Former CNN weekend anchor T.J. Holmes will host a late night comedic news show on BET later this year.

Here’s how BET describes “Don’t Sleep:”

A fresh new voice joins the ranks of Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert and Bill Maher. T.J. Holmes gives you a good reason to stay up late with Don’t Sleep. With hilarious “correspondents,” T.J.’s sure to have viewers rolling with laughter over the absurdity of today’s hot-button issues. Speaking through a unique and smart African-American filter, T.J. invites the community to wake up on the issues that affect them, so don’t sleep on the stories that mainstream news outlets won’t cover. The show will also open ears with captivating, unexpected musical performances. Don’t Sleep reports with keen focus to keep Black America engaged and in the know. T.J. takes off his tie and rolls up his sleeves — this is not your mama’s late-night talk show.

TAGS: BET TV
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