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Reviews

New book revisits assassination of Malcolm X, names alleged triggerman

Forty-six years after Malcolm X predicted his own assassination, the question of who pulled the trigger remains unanswered among many scholars who study his life. A book out Monday resurrects the long-standing mystery and suggests that some of those responsible for the activist minister’s death have never been prosecuted.

The exhaustive biography by historian Manning Marable, who died Friday after a long illness, offers a theory about Malcolm X’s assassination and tells a fuller story of the man who at various points was a street hustler, a minister who preached racial separatism and a civil rights icon.

After Malcolm X was gunned down in 1965 at Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom, three men — who viewed him as an enemy and hypocrite for renouncing the Nation of Islam — were quickly arrested and prosecuted. The case was closed for law enforcement, but many have doubted that police captured the right men.

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Reviews

High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America

Jessica B. Harris’s absorbing new book, “High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America” zeroes in on what she sees as the two divergent strands of African-American cooking. The first reveres homey staples like corn pone, fried chicken and chitterlings (a pig’s small intestines), and embraces those cooks who can, as she writes, “put a hurtin’ on a mess of greens.”

The second strand is aspirational and omnivorous. Historically, it includes recipes from, she says, “Big House cooks who prepared lavish banquets, caterers who created a culinary cooperative in Philadelphia in the 19th century, a legion of black hoteliers and culinary moguls and a growing black middle and upper class.”

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Family Reviews

Dad from a Distance

“Dad from a Distance” offers powerful perspectives on how non-custodial fathers can and should still be fantastic Dads, but it goes even further by providing dozens of specific strategies that can help any man in this role forge a more involved and meaning relationship with his children. Whether you’ve just become a non-custodial father or have been in the role for years, this book is a must read and will be sure to help you move your relationship with your children to a higher and more engaged level. Every child wants, needs, and deserves a great Dad – even if he’s a “Dad from a Distance”!

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Reviews

“Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America” Book Review

His story starts in America’s historically black neighborhoods, where segregation brought people of different economic classes together. Robinson says that began to change during the civil rights era.

“People who had the means and had the education started moving out of what had been the historic black neighborhoods,” Robinson explains.

He cites Washington, D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood as a prime example of this because of how Shaw was home to a vibrant black community and a thriving entertainment scene in the 1930s through the 1950s. By the ’70s, Shaw had become a desolate, drug-ridden area.

“In city after city, African-American neighborhoods, that …once had been vibrant and in a sense whole — disintegrated,” Robinson says.

He attributes that change to African-Americans taking advantage of new opportunities, resulting in a more economically segregated community.

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Movies Reviews

“Takers” Movie Review (2010)



Starring: Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Jay Hernandez, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Michael Ealy, Chris Brown, Hayden Christensen, Zoe Saldana, Johnathon Schaech

Director: John Luessenhop

Synopsis: A notorious group of criminals continue to baffle police by pulling off perfectly executed bank robberies. They are in and out like clockwork, leaving no evidence behind and laying low in between heists. But when they attempt to pull off one last job with more money at stake than ever before, the crew may find their plans interrupted by a hardened detective who is hell-bent on solving the case.

Our Take: I already know what you’re thinking… with a diverse cast of seasoned actors and criminal musicians this movie will probably be the next BET Movie of the week. Don’t judge this movie by its cast…

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Music Reviews

Nas and Damian Marley: Distant Relatives



Whether it was divine intervention, commercial interest or something else entirely that brought them together, God’s son and the son of a musical god have joined forces for their new collaborative album Distant Relatives and the results are nothing short of a revelation. With Marley tampering down Nas’ tendency towards self-obsession, and Nas giving Marley’s island-tinged sound a hip-hop edge, Distant Relatives proves that great music can still be made about important issues. Distant Relatives isn’t afraid to think big. The album’s overarching theme is the global connection of black people, and by extension, all people. Admirably, part of the proceeds will go towards building a school in Africa, and the other part of the proceeds will go towards buying Kelis new shoes. Sorry, was that an inappropriate time for a child support joke?

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Reviews

Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-hop Culture

As a teenager in suburban New Jersey with a black father and white mother, Thomas Chatterton Williams, who was named after an 18th-century English poet, thugged up and dumbed down his speech. He was “keeping it real,” as he saw it, in the hip-hop era. But thanks to his scholarly father, Williams, now 29, came to see hip-hop as self-destructive: “petty, limited, money-hoes-and-clothes obsessed.” Losing My Cool is a provocative, intellectual memoir. It ends with a plea “to stop confusing the shoes on our feet or the songs in our ears for ourselves.” — Bob Minzesheimer of USA Today

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Reviews

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho Book Review

alchemist

The Alchemist was originally written in Portuguese and has since been translated into 67 languages, winning the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author. It has sold more than 65 million copies in more than 150 countries, becoming one of the best-selling books in history.