LucasFilm’s Tuskegee Airmen Flick ‘Red Tails’ Gets a Landing Date

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The true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all African-American aerial unit, will land in theaters on January 20, 2012, Lucasfilms announced today.

Directed by Anthony Hemingway (“Treme,” “The Wire”) from a script by John Ridley, “Red Tails” stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard and Bryan Cranston. It will be released by Twentieth Century Fox, which shepherded Lucas’ “Star Wars” films to the big screen.

Up-and-comers Nate Parker (“The Secret Life of Bees” ), David Oyelowo (“The Last King of Scotland”) Cliff Smith aka Method Man (“The Wire”), and Kevin Phillips (“Pride”), co-star.

The plot is as follows:

“1944. World War II rages and the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. Meanwhile the black pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program are courageously waging two wars at once — one against enemies overseas, and the other against discrimination within the military and back home. Racial prejudices have long held ace airman Martin “Easy” Julian (Nate Parker) and his black pilots back at base — leaving them with little to do but further hone their flying skills — while their white counterparts are shipped out to combat after a mere three months of training. Mistakenly deemed inferior and assigned only second-rate planes and missions, the pilots of Tuskegee have mastered the skies with ease but have not been granted the opportunity to truly spread their wings. Until now.

As the war in Europe continues to take its dire toll on Allied forces, Pentagon brass has no recourse but to reconsider these under-utilized pilots for combat duty. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) awards them the ultimate chance to prove their mettle high above. Undaunted by the prospect of providing safe escort to bombers in broad daylight — a mission so dangerous that the RAF has refused it and the white fighter groups have sustained substantial losses — Easy’s pilots at last join the fiery aerial fray. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies in a heroic endeavor to combat the enemy — and the discrimination that has kept them down for so long.”

Phone Conversation with Kelly Rowland

Interviewed Originally by: Billy Johnson, Jr. in Hip-Hop Media Training

Kelly Rowland 'Here I Am': Hip Hop Media Training Interview by BillyJJr1969

BET Puts Mo’Nique’s Talk Show on ‘Production Hiatus’

BET has responded to reports by Media Take Out and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that “The Mo’Nique Show” has been cancelled. The network is choosing to go with another term for the sudden move: “production hiatus.”

“’The Mo’Nique Show’ will be on production hiatus beginning in the Fall,” BET spokesperson Kobe Swanson tells EURweb. “However, new episodes of the show will continue to air throughout the summer. Mo’Nique Hicks and ‘The Mo’Nique Show’ are important to the BET Networks family and we look forward to continuing our relationship with her.”

Earlier today, The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Radio and TV Talk blogger Rodney Ho contacted Mo’Nique’s sidekick Rodney Perry and reported the following…

At about 1:30 p.m., I called Rodney Perry, who was Mo’Nique’s sidekick on the show. He said he was running into a meeting and didn’t answer my question. While I was at lunch over at the mall court, at 1:40 p.m. EST, he texted me: “I was told indefinite hiatus.”

That’s a euphemism for canceled.

In an interview I did at 2:40 p.m., the stand-up comic said he enjoyed the experience working with Mo’Nique. “I’m selling out shows now,” he said. “That’s a win.” He heard the news from Mo’Nique’s husband but hasn’t spoken to the Oscar-winning actress yet. (He wouldn’t say when he knew about this, implying he has known for awhile.)

“We did some good work,” Perry said. “And I think the show is significant. There hasn’t been an outlet for people of color late night since Arsenio.”

The talk show, which Mo’Nique compared to a high-energy nightly party, lasted two seasons and had been taped in Turner Studios, which are now being used for BET’s show “Reed Between the Lines” through October. When I heard that earlier today, I wondered if that meant “Mo’Nique” was not coming back or had been moved to another studio. If her show were coming back, she would be taping by August. (Like many shows, it does not tape original episodes during the summer.)

This didn’t appear to be an issue of ratings. I didn’t have time to do an entire season’s check on ratings so I sampled four weeks in April, 2011 vs. April 2010. Ratings from April 5 to April 29, 2010 averaged 615,000 viewers a night. From April 4 to April 28, 2011, her show averaged 586,000. That’s only a five percent drop.

Mediatakeout, which broke the story, said there were conflicts between BET management and Mo’Nique. Was it creative and/or financial? The story does not say. It also doesn’t say if BET will seek another talk-show host or just drop the concept.

Perry isn’t sure why the show was cut but thinks it might have been a financial decision. “They haven’t had this type of investment ever,” he said. “We did 300 shows over two seasons. That’s a huge investment.”

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‘Dear Daddy’ Documentary Gives Voice to Black Women Without Fathers (Video)

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Almost everyone you talk to has their story about Daddy and most of us know someone who grew up without one. They wonder where he is, why he treated them so bad, does he think about us, but most of all, why did he leave? Some saw the relationship he had with their mother up close and personal, so they know why he left. But the question still remains, “Why didn’t he at least see about me?”

These questions and the emotional trauma left behind from daddy’s absence are depicted in a new documentary entitled “Dear Daddy”. Eight women from Washington, D.C., talk about the effects of daddy’s absence on their lives. The documentary is directed by Janks Morton, who tries to reunite the girls with their fathers and give them a chance to voice the real struggle that occurs without daddy.

Go here to find out more about the outreach media organization, iYAGO Entertainment Group, that have dedicated their works to “familial reconciliation and healing.”

Check out the trailer.

-J.C. Brooks

EMF Recap: The Braxton Sisters, PZI Jeans and official Festival merch!

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