BN-W eNewsletter #87




The monitor of the film(s) listed above is farther down in this eNewsletter.  As most of you probably already know, this has been a very slow and very dull beginning to the 2008 film season and the BN-W monitor of seven films for January and February are, unfortunately, no standouts.   We’re still transitioning, but we wanted to get this rather short but substantial eNewsletter out to you on this Leap Year day!   What’s been much more interesting, however, are the claws, knuckles, fists, daggers – and even the meow – that are starting to come out in this presidential race, which are unlike any other.   And it’s only just begun…

Remember that the BN-W eNewsletters and the Resource Directory always have a wealth of information that can be accessed anytime day or night at your convenience and for your convenience at   The BN-W film and music monitors are just ways to keep the communication going on a regular basis on a current topic involving the medium of entertainment because that’s a global and common theme that everyone participates in at some level.   But the crux of this site is the diversity of the contents of the BN-W eNewsletters and the information in the BN-W Resource Directory.   If we never did another film or music monitor, we feel you can and should always use our site to learn and explore what’s overwhelmingly not taught in schools or on the job or told through the media.  That’s BN-W’s primary mission, which is why we don’t sell anything on our site.   Individuals from all around the world and with diverse life experiences visit the BN-W site, so we want the focus to be on learning and self-educating for everyone and anyone whether you visit the site intentionally or just stumble upon it.

In BN-W #86, we gave you the Ptah figure from which the Academy Award statuette was copied.   For those few who watched the low-rated 80th annual Oscars show, the copy was in full view with – of course – no references made to its African origins.


The Black version of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is doing a limited run Broadway in New York City.   It’s directed by Debbie Allen and stars Terrence Howard, Anika Noni Rose, James Earl Jones, and Phylicia Rashad.   Although the N-word is used minimally, we recommend checking it out if you’re in the New York City area.   For discount tickets go   You can also get more general theatre information and additional discount information sites from BN-W – Entertainment – Theatre.

National Geographic recently ran a cover story called “The Black Pharaohs:   Conquerors of Ancient Egypt” by Robert Draper on its February 2008 cover.   It’s gotten some praise for being an “accurate” portrayal of history and we also received some emails and phone calls about it.   Since we started our self-education journey through BN-W, we’ve learned to become very skeptical of these kinds of so-called breakthroughs of fairness that publications like National Geographic put out because their past leaves a long trail of lies and deception that have perpetuated false stereotypes as well as ruined the education of millions for years and years.   Anthony T. Browder, author of Exploding the Myths Vol 1:   Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization, gives his perspective on the article in “Lies That Won’t Go Away,” in which he cites three falsehoods in the article.   One thing we found disheartening in the photos selection (which he also references in his article) is a picture of Queen Tiye with a caption that’s described as “made of wood that has darkened with age.”   Enough already!   Here are links to both stories – Browder:   Lies That Won’t Go Awayand National Geographic:   The Black Pharaohs.

Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary, who wrote Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, did an interview on Like It Is with Gil Noble in November 2007 entitled the “Pathology of Racism.”   Here are video links to this excellent interview:   Part 1:  Pathology and Part 2:   Pathology

If there was ever any sincere meaning behind the term “hot mess,” then rapper Nas and his wife Kelis truly represented the definition of that term when they spoke live about the N-word and his upcoming album on CNN at the 50th annual Grammy Awards ceremony in January.   View the story and video link here:   Nas on the N-word.

As we mentioned in BN-W #54 the conclusion of Part II:   Black-Jewish Relations will be included with our new bi-monthly Music Monitor.   As we also stated, we’ve got a lot of information, and, for that reason, until Part II comes out, we’ll be filtering stuff to you so it won’t be too overwhelming in the buildup to Part II’s conclusions.   Refer toBN-W #53/54 if you need a repeat of our feelings on the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Democracy Now! Headline:   Activists Call for Boycott of Diamond Giant [Lev] Leviev for Support of Israeli Settlements and Links to Human Rights Abuses in Africa.   Read transcript, listen to audio or view video here:  Democracy Now! – Boycott of Diamond Giant Leviev.   In 2007, Leviev also purchased the former Times Building onWest 43rd Street in Manhattan for $525 million.   New York magazine had this write-up about him in its Intelligencer: Meet the Mogul section in May 2007.

Previous BN-W eNewsletters referenced the very long history of serious links between Israel, South Africa, the United States, and the diamond trade – and the mistreatment of Africans, whether in America or elsewhere.   There’s also a complicity with apartheid behavior that’s just despicable.    We shared this with you before but the need to connect the dots continues.   Following is a link to the transcript and video of the 1994 PBS Frontline Special entitled The Diamond Empire.   There’s also an essay – All Diamonds are Blood Diamonds – The Truth About the Diamond Trade – that details some very important facts.   Here’s the link:   BN-W Diamonds

If you missed any other BN-W monitors, just send an e-mail to and request that it be sent to you.   As always, we highly encourage you to see these films for yourself and, if applicable, make your own judgment call on the N-word usage – appropriate/inappropriate? necessary/unnecessary? sensible/nonsensical? does it add to or take away from the film’s concept? does the N-word have to be used at all? is there a valid reason for doing so? is it mandatory for the scene(s) to be effective? what are the circumstances/situation that necessitate any use of the word? is it just thrown in for humor, fear, crime, insult? are other culturally insulting slang terms used as much as the N-word in the film?   Lots of questions and a whole lot of reasons to wonder what’s the real purpose and thought process behind why these entertainers, writers, directors, producers, executive producers, distributors, and studios/studio heads and executives give the “greenlight” for these crews to liberally use (or allow to be used) the N-word.


T H E   B U C K E T   L I S T

[Release Date:   1/11/08]

Starring Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson, Sean Hayes, Beverly Todd; screenplay written by Justin Zackham; directed by Rob Reiner; produced by Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Alan Greisman, Rob Reiner; executive produced by Travis Knox, Justin Zackham, Jeffrey Stott; studio – Warner Bros. Pictures



NOTE :   Morgan Freeman in two of his usual modes – supportive and in voiceover.   Although subtle, there’s an association of Africa with the jungle and while the pyramids were built by the ancient Africans, Kemet ( Egypt) is associated with Arabs in this film.   Also, in comparison to countries shown in Africa, Hong Kong is shown as modern, contemporary, high tech, and sophisticated.   What’s interesting with this scenario is that like most Asian countries, Hong Kong has no or very little natural resources whereas Africa has an abundance, which is why many Asians are trying to do business with African nations.   Despite the usual discrepancies, this film does try to tell a sad story about dealing with death from an upbeat point of view.

F I R S T   S U N D A Y

[Release Date:   1/11/08]

Starring Ice Cube, Katt Williams, Tracy Morgan, Loretta Devine, Michael Beach, Keith David, Regina Hall, Malinda Williams; screenplay written by David E. Talbert; directed by David E. Talbert; produced by David E. Talbert, David McIlvain, Tim Story, Ice Cube, Matt Alvarez; executive produced by Stacy Kolker Cramer, Neil Machlis, Ronald Muhammad, Julie Yorn; studio – Screen Gems



NOTE :   This film grossed $17.7 million in 2213 theatres its opening weekend and $37.9 million to date.   Why people support this film and, as told to a BN-W representative, are “not ready to see” films like The Great Debaters($30 million gross to date) tells a lot about our state of consciousness.   Writer/director David E. Talbert as well as actors Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan, Katt Williams, and many others are choosing to do what our ancestors had no choice in doing by continuing to develop stories and take roles that play primarily to stereotypes.   It’s really time to step up the so-called comedy.   Lines like “your hair looks like an SOS pad” quite simply reflect stupidity.   Tifffany “ New York” Pollard even has a cameo.

M A D   M O N E Y

[Release Date:   1/18/08]

Starring Queen Latifah, Diane Keaton, Katie Holmes, Ted Danson, Roger R. Cross; screenplay written by Glenn Gers; directed by Callie Khouri; produced by Jay Cohen, Frank DeMartini, James Acheson; executive produced by Avi Lerner, Boaz Davidson, Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short, Robert Green, Wendy Kram, Michael Flannigan; studio – Overture Films/Millennium Films



NOTE :   Another dull film that nevertheless makes you wonder “what if?” and “what would I do?” if given access to unlimited cash.   You also have to give Diane Keaton credit for allowing herself to age naturally on screen – not many actresses, especially Caucasian ones, have the guts to do that.   One major stereotype in this film is having a Black man use the word “bitches” to describe women.

H O W   S H E   M O V E

[Release Date:   1/25/08]

Starring Rutina Wesley, Tracey Armstrong, Dwain Murphy; screenplay written by Annmarie Morais; directed by Ian Iqbal Rashid; produced by Brent Barclay, Jennifer Kawaja, Julia Sereny; executive produced by [Not Listed]; studio – MTV Films/Paramount Vantage



NOTE :   While this film didn’t do well – $3.9 million its opening weekend in 1531 theatres and $7.0 million to date – overall it’s an okay movie because it showed a young person with drive and determination who, in the end, stays true to herself.   It did, however, have a theme of material success and everything worthwhile – education, beautiful homes, cars, nice, bright, and sunny neighborhoods, and the like associated with White people; while everything unworthy – dreary, no sun, run down buildings with graffiti, smoking weed, drinking, and the like associated with Black people.   It’s time to change the concept of so many of these type of films from let’s get as far away from here (“the hood”) as we can to let’s get the proper education and build up our communities and economic base.  Also, why the writer and/or director felt the need to have the N-word tossed in there referencing the White character still doesn’t make that word inclusive of everybody.   When will these writers process that fact?   In conclusion, if getting an education is the primary motive for this film, then at least start with getting the title right – How She Move[s].


W E L C O M E   H O M E   R O S C O E   J E N K I N S

[Release Date:   2/8/08]

Starring Martin Lawrence, Mo’Nique, Cedric the Entertainer, Joy Bryant, Mike Epps, Louis C.K., Margaret Avery, James Earl Jones, Michael Clarke Duncan, Nicole Ari Parker; screenplay written by Malcolm D. Lee; directed by Malcolm D. Lee; produced by Scott Stuber, Mary Parent, Charles Castaldi; executive produced by Malcolm D. Lee, Timothy M. Bourne, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum; studio – Universal Pictures



NOTE :   The Best Man writer/director Malcolm D. Lee also wrote/directed this film.   While The Best Man used the N-word unnecessarily (as does this film), that was a much better film.   Lee also directed 2005’s Roll Bounce, in which the N-word was used as well.   Lee has not gotten better with time.   In fact, his films have gotten consistently worse.    Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins is a pure waste of time.   As with Roll Bounce, references to hair texture continue (“you must got some Indian in you, all that long pretty hair”) and making slavery trivial (“faster than a runaway slave”).


[Release Date:   2/15/08]

Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Hayden Christensen; screenplay written by David S. Goyer, Simon Kinberg, Jim Uhls; directed by Doug Liman; produced by Jay Sanders, Lucas Foster, Simon Kinberg; executive produced by Ralph Vicinanza, Vince Gerardis; studio – 20th Century Fox



NOTE :   Again, another dull, predictable film but based on its ending there will probably be a sequel.   Also, Samuel L. Jackson has a small role in which he does a good job.

V A N T A G E   P O I N T

[Release Date:   2/22/08]

Starring Forest Whitaker, Dennis Quaid, William Hurt, Richard T. Jones, Sigourney Weaver; screenplay written by Barry L. Levy; directed by Pete Travis; produced by Neal H. Moritz; executive produced by Callum Greene, Tania Landau, Lynwood Spinks; studio – Columbia Pictures



NOTE :   With more plot development, this film may have had some traction.   Unfortunately, however, someone decided to take the Groundhogs Day approach and the movie is on for about an hour going back to the same time and giving the “vantage point” of about five scenarios from different individuals’ perspective.   What’s wrong with that you may wonder.   Well, the film is about an hour and a half long, which means most of the movie was spent in rewind – and with each new “vantage point,” the audience’s frustration grew.


BN-W Monitor Coming Soon :  “Semi-Pro” [Andre Benjamin, Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson]; “Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns” [Angela Bassett, Rick Fox, Jenifer Lewis]; “21” [Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth]; “Street Kings” [Forest Whitaker, Keanu Reeves]; “Run, Fatboy, Run” [Thandie Newton, Hank Azaria]; and more…

Also Coming :   Part II:   Black-Jewish Relations; Bi-Monthly Music Monitors


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