Witt Of Will & The Daily Scream
with Kam Williams
AAFCA Founder Reflects upon Organization’s Start and Progress
Kam Williams: Why did you find it necessary to create the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)?
Gil Robertson: AAFCA was started to address the need to advance diversity and inclusion in cinema, both in front and behind the camera. At the time the group was formed, I was a part of a very small community of black journalists who had relative good access to film properties and the talent starring in them. It was an extremely hard network to crack, but the access proved valuable in offering us a platform as entertainment journalists. It was a very small network and those of us who were part of this network each had our grievances about the studio system. First, there was a double standard at play with regards to black talent, unless they were A-list stars, who were seldom, if ever, invited to participate in promotional activities except for “black-themed” movies. Secondly, next-generation black journalists were given a nearly impossible challenge to gain access to the elite ranks of film journalists. There was a need for advocacy on both sides of the table, and so the creation of AAFCA was essential to address these issues.
KW: How has the organization expanded over the years?
GR: It’s been a long walk, but we’ve been steady in building relationships and infrastructure. We’ve established alliances with the Screen Actors Guild, the Writers Guild and the African-American Steering Committee at DGA. Over the years, AAFCA has been instrumental in getting our members placed on influential Voting Blocs for the NAACP Image Awards and the BET Awards. We’ve also expanded our network of partners on the film festival circuit through the creation of partnerships with film events in Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville, Seattle and Los Angeles.
KW: How did the AAFCA Awards come about?
GR: One of the most visible activities executed by film critics groups is announcing their annual year-end lists of their Top 10 films and other awards in high profile categories. From day one, AAFCA’s leadership wanted to formally present our annual awards list via a live event. In 2009, that idea came to fruition with an event held at the Ebony Theatre in LA. Since then, we’ve established the show, which now includes a full dinner, as an activity with a growing presence on the Hollywood Awards Calendar. The AAFCA Awards regularly attracts key A-list talent like Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, John Singleton, Paula Patton, Forrest Whitaker and other notable in front and through the executive ranks in Hollywood. It’s been enormously hard work, but we’re getting it done.
KW: What can we expect at this year’s show?
GR: The AAFCA Awards is a really great event. We call it “A Special Evening in Cinema,” because it actually is. It’s a dressy, red carpet ceremony that attracts the upper leadership ranks in Black Hollywood and also leading celebrity talent. The program for our 6th annual live event will include special honors given to icons in the film community like producer Stephanie Allain [Hustle and Flow, Something New and Dear White People] who is also the director of the LA Film Festival; producer Debra Martin Chase who is responsible for a long list of films that includes The Cheetah Diaries, Sparkle and The Preacher’s Wife. Our other honorees are Franklin Leonard who is responsible for The Black List – a key indicator for which scripts will get
the greenlit to go into production; Donna Langley, the Chair of Universal Pictures; and LA Times reporter Susan King.
KW: What else is going with the organization?
GR: We are always looking for new opportunities to expand AAFCA’s footprint in the marketplace. The AAFCA Screening Series was recently launched, conducting film screenings across America. More and more studios have also begun to license the AAFCA Seal of Approval, which is a quality indicator for black consumers. Probably the thing the organization is most proud is the AAFCA Student Internship Program that recently completed its 2nd year at Clark Atlanta University and will launch in the fall 2015 at Howard University, Northwestern and a still undetermined college in Southern California. We have a few more projects expected to start in 2015 that will be finalized in the coming months.
KW: What are your plans for AAFCA in the future?
GR: Television definitely. We are very close to finalizing a partnership with a producing partner to televise the AAFCA Awards. We are also very interested in creating other special programs for TV audiences. The sky is literally the limit as far as opportunity and we plan to take it all the way.
For more information about the African American Film Critics Association, visit www.aafca.com
Source: Baret News Wire
Ousel Falls is a very inspiring morning hike. This hike is a very easy walk, one the whole family can do in comfort. Pack breakfast or a do a picnic lunch. The east fork of the Gallatin is also a great place to catch west slope Cutthroat as well. The trail is 1.7 miles round trip. If you are looking for a enjoyable and scenic trail to run on this is it.
Original Source: RoadTrek TV
by Kam Williams
American Experience: Ripley, Believe It or Not
Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking: Season One
Banshee: The Complete Second Season
Stephen King’s A Good Marriage
Elsa & Fred
The NFL’s Dosey Doe
~ Amy Lignor
If the San Diego Chargers lose, the Baltimore Ravens go into the post-season; if they both lose, yada, yada, yada. Seattle can clip home field advantage with a win over the Rams and a non-tie between Green Bay and Detroit. The Steelers need to hit the Bengals hard if they’re going in, as well as winning their division. The Packers and Detroit need to face-off in Green Bay (which was the best game on TV), to find out who wins that division… Boy there was a whole heck of a lot of watching TV this weekend when it came to the NFL, and most games relied on someone else winning. It was a real ‘Brother Helping Brother’ situation, aye?
Well…here’s a rundown on what games and what issues most football lovers even cared about.
Redskins did go out with a ‘duh’, much like the way they played the whole year. Adding fuel to the fire of people looking at the experts and screaming: “How ‘Bout Dem Boys!” Yes, they proved everyone wrong and let everyone know that they cannot lose on the road. However…Green Bay is a whole new world in the freezing cold temps, especially with a QB who seems to be on a mission to win this year, so the Cowboys have a long way to go. Although many fans are crossing their fingers and hoping it is the Cowboys who meet Seattle in Seattle, because they knocked their lights out there once this season, and it would be great to see them do it again.
Ravens are now ordering up the fruit baskets to send to the Kansas City Chiefs locker room. Why is that? Because this weekend the Kansas City bro helped them more than they could possibly imagine, slamming the Chargers and allowing the Ravens to gain the wild card seat.
The Packers win. Not only do they win, but boy did they do it with as much drama as humanly possible. Rodgers made sure that the world knew that no calf, and no idiot stepping on his leg with his cleats when he was down, was going to stop him from being the best in the world’s eyes – or, at least in the eyes of the major Green Bay fans. (If he’s not the MVP of the league this year…it will be incredibly wrong).
The NFC West was a huge disappointment. The Arizona Cardinals worked their behinds off this year going through major adversity to hold their heads high and knock down teams that should have beaten them. Unfortunately, Seattle came alive and got their bullying ways back and ended up clinching the division by taking down the Rams. With that, they receive home field advantage and a week off. This was the only division that seemed like highway-robbery had occurred. This is a team that looked like they had been partying too much from their Super Bowl win last year when this season first began and yet, here they are again. And it won’t be a surprise when this competition leans away from major players who play the game with style and class to a screaming match at some point. Just remember, the headlines are now in the Seattle locker room where “Thanks for askin” is being said over and over. People defend this guy, even though they called Kap of the 49ers almost treasonous because he said less than 150 words during an interview. Give fans a break, will ya?
The Houston Texans had hopes. They no longer have them. The Philadelphia Eagles as well as the New York Giants came out and played like banshees yesterday against each other, with the Eagles coming out with the win. Unfortunately, for both it was too little too late, but they certainly let everyone know that there’s always next year.
And, yes, those Dallas Cowboys are wearing smiles on their faces. They have a new Big Three in the Big D and they played their hearts out. Surprisingly, all three stayed in a game they really didn’t need to win far after they had already beaten the Redskins. If one of them had gotten hurt – if Murray’s already messed up hand or Romo’s already messed up back had been destroyed – Jerryworld would have been really unhappy. BUT…they are all just fine and heading into the post-season as the hottest ticket out there.
Detroit, seeing as that they lost the division to Green Bay yesterday, are the ones headed to that hot Big D. So The D & D Play in the Big D…and the way it looks right now, unless Romo decides ‘I’ve gone far enough this year,’ the Dallas Cowboys will be seeing more of this post-season.
In the AFC? Patriots lost…and it didn’t matter one iota. Already clinching the division, a bye, and home field, yesterday’s game was basically a no-need. They have some time off to heal, get ready, and – for AFC fans – because they look like the only AFC team that could beat the Packers or Seattle in the Super Bowl, giving the world an actual interesting Super Bowl which we haven’t had for a long time, a chance to gear up and win the AFC Championship in order to head to the Super Bowl.
Bucs lose, getting the number one overall pick in next year’s draft.
And when it comes to coaching, what a mess. The Jets (no surprise) have fired Rex Ryan, their coach AND their GM, perhaps they will become a baseball team?
Most idiotic move? Jim Harbaugh set a high bar in San Fran in only 4 seasons. Why he’s leaving is anyone’s guess. Losing Harbaugh in the 49ers organization, with all that he has achieved, seems about as dumb as possible. And Harbaugh going to a college team? That, again, seems ridiculous considering there are pro football teams desperate for a coach of his caliber: Oakland, Jets, and the list goes on. Coaching in college? For the Michigan Wolverines? Well, there is a lot of money involved then, because for Harbaugh he’s certainly not taking a step back just for the challenge of it all.
Oh…Denver, you ask? Well, of course, their game really didn’t matter either. Denver knows they will go through Brady and the Patriots if everything goes according to plan. So even though they will have a game first, they need to prepare for what most fans see as the AFC Championship game.
So people…grab your partner, dosey doe, because…HERE WE GO!
Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle
Film Review by Kam Williams
Timely Civil Rights Saga Revisits Historic Martin Luther King March
I was born in the early Fifties, which means the Civil Rights Movement unfolded over the course of my formative years. And like the average black kid growing up in that tumultuous era, I can distinctly recall having a very visceral reaction to the nightly news coverage, since I had such a personal stake in the outcome of the events.
One of the most consequential flashpoints in memory was when a trio of voting rights marches were staged in Selma, Alabama in 1965. Launched by locals with the help of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the first demonstration came to be known as Bloody Sunday because of the way the police viciously attacked the 500+ participants with teargas and billy clubs, all at the direction of a racist Sheriff named Jim Clark (Stan Houston).
Fallout from the shocking media coverage garnered the attention of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) who agreed to get involved. And after an aborted second attempt to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the controversy blossomed into a nationwide cause célèbre with 25,000 people willing to risk their life and limb descending upon tiny Selma, including cultural icons like Harry Belafonte, Nina Simone, Joan Baez, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Peter, Paul and Mary.
Three times proved a charm as the third march went off without a hitch, although participant Viola Liuzzo (Tara Ochs), a mother of five from Detroit, was murdered by a quartet of cowardly Ku Klux Klansmen just a few hours later. A couple of other martyrs also made the ultimate sacrifice in Selma, Jimmie Lee Jackson (Keith Stanfield) and Reverend James Reeb (Jeremy Strong). Fortunately, none of them died in vain because, in August, President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signed historic voting rights legislation into law.
All of the above has been evocatively reenacted in Selma, a gut-wrenching civil rights saga directed
by Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere). The picture’s release has proven to be oh so timely, given the resurgence of political activism all across the U.S. in the wake of the failure of grand juries to indict the police officers for the recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Believe it or not, this moving biopic is the first, full-length feature ever made revolving around Dr. Martin Luther King. That oversight is only apt to further enhance the film’s stock value when it goes wide in theaters right before Dr. King’s birthday and the eagerly-anticipated awards season.
An overdue tribute to a revered icon and to some unsung foot soldiers who played a critical role at a seminal moment in the courageous African-American struggle for freedom and equality.
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, and brief profanity
Running time: 127 minutes
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
The Ten Best Black Books of 2014
~by Kam Williams
and Survive the Criminal Justice System
by Robbin Shipp, Esq. and Nick Chiles
2. An Obama’s Journey: My Odyssey of Self-Discovery across Three Cultures
by Mark Obama Ndesandjo
3. Who We Be: The Colorization of America
by Jeff Chang
4. Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black
Foreword by Alfre Woodard
5. Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina
by Misty Copeland
6. One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future
by Dr. Ben Carson and Candy Carson
by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
8. What the Word Be: Why Black English Is the King’s (James) English
by Diane Proctor Reeder
9. Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Final Year
by Tavis Smiley
with David Ritz
10. Culture Worrier: Reflections on Race, Politics and Social Change
by Clarence Page
by Deborrah Cooper
The Lawyer as Leader: How to Plant People and Grow Justice
by Dr. Artika R. Tyner
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
by Bryan Stevenson
Stokely: A Life
by Peniel E. Joseph
Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson
The Light of Truth: Writings of an Anti-Lynching Crusader
by Ida B. Wells
General Editor: Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery
by Sarah Lewis
Success through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple
by Russell Simmons
The Imperfect Marriage
Help for Those Who Think It’s Over
by Darryl and Tracy Strawberry
Inside the Hotel Rwanda: The Surprising True Story… and Why It Matters Today
by Edouard Kayihura and Kerry Zukus
Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy
Mother, and Still Came out Smiling (with Great Hair)
by Rosie Perez
The Global Obama: Crossroads of Leadership in the 21st Century
Edited by Dinesh Sharma and Uwe P. Gielen
Black and White: The Way I See It
by Richard Williams
Transforming Pain to Power: Unlock Your Unlimited Potential
by Daniel Beaty
Story/Time: The Life of an Idea
by Bill T. Jones
Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America
by Sheryll Cashin
Old School Adventures from Englewood–South Side of Chicago
by Elaine Hegwood Bowen
The Man from Essence
by Edward Lewis with Audrey Edwards
Foreword by Camille O. Cosby
Nine Lives of a Black Panther: A Story of Survival
by Wayne Pharr
Rainbow in the Cloud: The Wisdom and Spirit of Maya Angelou
by Maya Angelou
Cosby: His Life and Times
by Mark Whitaker
A Black Gambler’s World of Liquor, Vice and Presidential Politics: William
Thomas Scott of Illinois, 1839-1917
by Bruce L. Mouser
Foreword by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
The Myth of Race, The Reality of Racism
by Mahmoud El-Kati
Our Ancestors, Our Stories
by Harris Bailey, Jr., Bernice Alexander Bennett, Ellen LeVonne Butler, Ethel Dailey, Vincent Sheppard and Dr. Orville Vernon Burton
Things I Should Have Told My Daughter: Lies, Lessons and Love Affairs
by Pearl Cleage
Yoga, Meditation and Spiritual Growth for the African-American Community
by Daya Devi-Doolin
How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class
by John Hope Bryant
Foreword by Ambassador Andrew Young
The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked the American Dream
by Brian E. Moran, Esq.
Not for Everyday Use: A Memoir
by Elizabeth Nunez
This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible
by Charles E. Cobb, Jr.
America’s Music: Jazz in Newark
by Barbara Kukla
240 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap: Teachers Only Workbook (Vol. 2)
by M. Donnell Tenner, Joy Gay and Dr. Marti Dryk
Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House
by Nika C. Beamon
Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights
by Robin Bernstein
Guiou: The Other Blacks – The Afro-Jamaican Presence in Guatemala
by Gloria J. Arnold
Dollar Democracy: With Liberty and Justice for Some
by Peter Mathews
Pageants, Parlors & Pretty Women: Race and Beauty in the 20th Century South
by Blain Roberts
Unbreak My Heart: A Memoir
by Toni Braxton
Thirty-Three Days of Praise: Seeing the Good in Cancer
by Karrie Marchbanks
1. To order a copy of Justice While Black, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/
2. To order a copy of An Obama’s Journey, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/
3. To order a copy of Who We Be, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/
4. To order a copy of Blessed Experiences, visit:
5. To order a copy of Life in Motion, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/
6. To order a copy of One Nation, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/
7. To order a copy of Finding Your Roots, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/
8. To order a copy of What the Word Be, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/
9. To order a copy of Death of a King, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/
10. To order a copy of Culture Worrier, visit:
~by Kam Williams
Top Ten Big Budget Black Films
2. The Equalizer
3. Top Five
5. Get on Up
6. Beyond The Lights
7. About Last Night
8. Think Like a Man Too
9. Black or White
Best Independent Black Films
1. Dear White People
2. Half of a Yellow Sun
3. The Retrieval
4. From the Rough
5. Sucka 4 Luv
Best Black Documentaries
1. The Trials of Muhammad Ali
2. America the Beautiful 3
3. The New Black
4. Vanishing Pearls
5. 25 to Life
6. Keep on Keepin’ On
7. The Barefoot Artist
8. Tanzania: A Journey Within
9. I Am Ali
10. Through a Lens Darkly
Best Actor (Lead Role)
1. Denzel Washington (The Equalizer)
2. Chris Rock (Top Five)
3. Astro (Earth to Echo)
4. David Oyelowo (Selma)
5. Chadwick Boseman (Get on Up)
6. Michael Ealy (About Last Night)
7. Nate Parker (Beyond the Lights)
8. Kevin Hart (About Last Night)
9. Tishuan Scott (The Retrieval)
10. Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Life of a King)
Best Actor (Supporting Role)
1. Jamie Foxx (Annie)
2. J.B. Smoove (Top Five)
3. Ice Cube (22 Jump Street)
4. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Half of a Yellow Sun)
5. Tyler James Williams (Dear White People)
6. Jeffrey Wright (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1)
7. Common (Selma)
8. Boris Kodjoe (Addicted)
9. Terry Crews (Blended)
10. Ashton Sanders (The Retrieval)
Best Actress (Lead Role)
1. Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle)
2. Thandie Newton (Half of a Yellow Sun)
3. Quvenzhane Wallis (Annie)
4. Regina Hall (About Last Night)
5. Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights)
6. Joy Bryant (About Last Night)
7. Xavia Omega (Sucka 4 Luv)
8. Taraji P. Henson (From the Rough)
9. Nia Long (The Single Moms Club)
10. Sharon Leal (Addicted)
Best Actress (Supporting Role)
1. Tessa Thompson (Dear White People)
2. Rosario Dawson (Top Five)
3. Carmen Ejogo (Selma)
4. Leslie Jones (Top Five)
5. Oprah Winfrey (Selma)
6. Anika Noni Rose (Half of a Yellow Sun)
7. Gabrielle Union (Top Five)
8. Amber Stevens (22 Jump Street)
9. Paula Patton (About Last Night)
10. Octavia Spencer (Black or White)
Best Director (Big Budget Film)
1. Ava DuVernay (Selma)
2. Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer)
3. Amma Asante (Belle)
4. Chris Rock (Top Five)
5. Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights)
6. Tim Story (Think Like a Man Too)
7. Tyler Perry (The Single Moms Club)
8. Tim Story (Ride Along)
9. Nick Cannon (School Dance)
10. Billie Woodruff (Addicted)
Best Director (Independent Film)
1. Justin Simien (Dear White People)
2. Biyi Bandele (Half of a Yellow Sun)
3. Pierre Bagley (From the Rough)
4. Patrick Pierre (Sucka 4 Luv)
5. Mark Harris (Black Coffee)
Best Director (Documentary Film)
1. Darryl Roberts (America the Beautiful 3)
2. Yoruba Richen (The New Black)
3. Nailah Jefferson (Vanishing Pearls)
4. Mike Brown (25 to Life)
5. Thomas Allen Harris (Through a Lens Darkly)
Source: Baret News Wire
So my wife is very excited that she can now get anything via Amazon prime. They can deliver to your doorstep in what seems to be 5 minutes. But I really think it’s because she’s ordering so much that the frequency is confusing her, I just wish Amazon had a box buy back program.
But it’s only going get worst, and I blame it all on the government, why you ask … DRONES! Amazon wants to use drones to deliver your products faster than anyone. Plus, now the government wants to use drones to make sure your kids get to school safely. What if the government and Amazon had a drone program together. I can hear the knock at the door now.
Um, Mr. Roberts, we made a little mistake. It seems as though your son was killed by one of our drones, on the way to school. Not sure how he got on the list, but the good news is here’s the package you ordered 10 minutes ago on Amazon.
I’ll tell you; I am not sure which is worst. The drones or the elimination of mom and pop small businesses. Corporate America is working on ways to make it possible for you to never leave your home. They’re working and studying on ways to get the best deals. Deals that mom and pops could never get you. Big business is turning our downtowns into ghost towns.
So next time you shop for anything, ask yourself a couple of questions:
* Am I buying local
* Am I helping my community?
* Does it help the country
Go to my website: WillSays.com