“The Help” Reflects the Racial Divide, Then and Now

the help

Sharon Kyle: In a culture where “whiteness” is rarely mentioned and hardly ever critically examined it is not surprising that the women in my church saw the story as heartwarming and uplifting. I, on the other hand, saw this as just another story of the black experience as viewed through the white lens.

Author Spotlight: Diane Lefer

Diane visiting friend Duc Ta in prison.

Dick Price: Aside from writing nine published books, Diane Lefer has picked potatoes, typed autopsy reports, surveyed parolees and drug addicts about their sex lives, and taught creative writing to gang-bangers.

Il Postino: Going Postal

il postino

Ed Rampell: Going postal: A rare work of art with working class heroes who are Communists, luminously, imaginatively brought to life onstage by a creative collective of talents worthy of Neruda’s poetry.

Wall Street: Oliver Stone’s Das Kapital-ist

oliver stone

Ed Rampell: Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a bold, visually stunning movie and the best critique of the capitalist system and its 2008 financial meltdown since Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story.

Two Civil Rights Movies Find the Cost of Freedom

Ernie Dingo and Missy Higgins in Bran Nue Dae

Ed Rampell: The documentary Neshoba and musical Bran Nue Dae remind us of how far we’ve come – and, like Willie en route from Perth to Broome – how far we still have to go before we overcome and that Brand New Day of equality dawns.

Richard Schickel’s Clint: A Retrospective

clint eastwood

Jim Cullen: Clint Eastwood is, finally, an inspiring figure in his demonstration of the value of hard work for its own sake, and the hope, whether realized or not, that it might also have value for others.

In the Shadow of the Dreamers

Shirlley Jones and Burt Lancaster in "Elmer Gantry"

Brad Parker: It is only fitting that the avatar of the extreme right-wing political, cultural and economic prevaricators should stand in the shadow of the Dreamers nearly a half century since the eclipsing call to peace delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Where better to expose the Elmer Gantry of all things hateful, angry and victimized?

Lena Horne Dies at 92

Lena Horne

The legendary actress, singer, and activist, Lena Horne passed away at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She was 92 years old. Ms. Horne gained stardom more than a half a century ago when blacks were rarely seen on stage and screen. For more than 60 years Lena Horne entertained in film, on the radio, on television, in nightclubs, concert halls and on Broadway.

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