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Wendell Pierce on Filming 'Selma' and Why It's One of the Highlights of His Life

Ava DuVernay's "Selma" is a wonderful film, a moving and powerful tribute to the American civil rights pioneers who helped bring about tremendous changes to their nation. Along with the likes of Nobel Laureate Martin Luther King Jr., a large number of equally committed individuals fought for the rights of their community against injustice.

One of the key participants of that Bloody Sunday that occurred on the Edmund Pettus Bridge was the Reverend Hosea Williams, member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and close associate with Dr. King. In the film he is played by Wendell Pierce, himself a vocal champion for justice and a tremendous talent to boot. As one of the backbone players on shows such as "The Wire" and "Treme," with "Selma" Pierce brings out some of his trademark wit and that exquisite baritone voice.

Moviefone Canada spoke with Pierce about his involvement in the film,
See full article at Moviefone »

President Barack Obama's Inauguration: Beyoncé Rocks the (White) House, Star-Studded Appearances & More!

President Barack Obama's Inauguration: Beyoncé Rocks the (White) House, Star-Studded Appearances & More!
To kick off his second term as Potus, President Barack Obama took the oath of office on the steps of the nation's Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Martin Luther King Day. The star-studded historic event featured performances from Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor and touching words from the likes of civil rights activist Myrlie Evers and the president himself. So, what were the big moments from the president's inauguration? And which stars braved the chilly weather to see it? We've got all the details, right here! • President Obama's Speech: With more than 700,000 people in attendance, according to the Chicago Tribune, the president called for national unity...
See full article at E! Online »

President Barack Obama Sworn In For Second Term

President Barack Obama Sworn In For Second Term
After being sworn into office during a private ceremony on Sunday, President Barack Obama publicly began his second term during Monday's presidential inauguration on the Capitol Steps. With the crowd - which was estimated at roughly 800,000 people - chanting "O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!" the President began his address. "My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment," he said, "and we will seize it - so long as we seize it together." Beyoncé closed out the 57th inaugural ceremony with an a powerful rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner." And Kelly Clarkson performed a stirring "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" accompanied by the United States Marine Band.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Michelle Obama’s Shiny Strands For Inauguration: Get The Look

The First Lady looked more beautiful than ever with her hair worn down, showcasing her brand new bangs for the 57th Presidential Inauguration January 21, 2013. Do You love her hair & makeup? Sound off!

Michelle Obama, 49, was nothing short of perfection for the swearing-in of her husband’s second presidential inauguration. The First Lady debuted brand new bangs a few days before the event and is wearing the full fringe so well! President Obama used the first public remarks of his second term to address what he called the “most significant” event of this weekend: his wife’s much-talked-about new haircut. “I love her bangs,” Obama told supporters at an inaugural reception at the National Building Museum. “She looks good. She always looks good.”

First lady Michelle Obama unveiled her new haircut in a White House photo released last Thursday for her 49th birthday. Michelle bangs have been the hottest topic of the inaugural celebration.
See full article at HollywoodLife »

Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson to Perform at Inauguration

Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson to Perform at Inauguration
President Barack Obama will have a Miss Independent and an Independent Women performer helping him celebrate the 57th Presidential Inauguration. Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Clarkson are scheduled to perform along with another music icon.

James Taylor will join the ladies on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21, 2013 for the big event. "Vice President [Joe] Biden and I are honored to have these wonderfully talented musical artists perform at the Inaugural ceremony,” the president said in a statement on Wednesday. "Their music is often at the heart of the American story and speaks to folks across the country."

Related: Actors Who've Played Presidents

So, what will these ladies and gentleman be performing? Beyonce will take on the National Anthem, Clarkson will belt out My Country Tis of Thee while Taylor will sing America the Beautiful.

Related: Who Did the Stars Vote For?

According to the White House press statement, Obama was involved
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson to perform at Barack Obama inauguration

Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson to perform at Barack Obama inauguration
Beyoncé will perform at Barack Obama's inauguration later this month. The singer, who campaigned for Obama alongside her husband Jay-z, will perform the National Anthem at the ceremony on January 21, People reports. The singer will be joined by Kelly Clarkson, who offered support for Obama before the election despite being a "Republican at heart" and will sing 'My Country 'Tis of Thee' at the event. Meanwhile, James Taylor will appear to sing 'America The Beautiful'. The invocation will be given by journalist Myrlie Evers-Williams, (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Beyoncé & Kelly Clarkson to Sing for the Obamas at Presidential Inauguration

Beyoncé & Kelly Clarkson to Sing for the Obamas at Presidential Inauguration
Michelle Obama works out to her music - plus, she's no stranger to the White House - so it's only fitting this year that Beyoncé will be front and center at President Barack Obama's inauguration. The R&B superstar will be performing the National Anthem at the Jan. 21 ceremony, which will take place at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, the Presidential Inaugural Committee tells People. And she will be joined by an equally auspicious roster of singers: Kelly Clarkson will perform "My Country 'Tis of Thee" this year (that honor went to Aretha Franklin ... and her
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Medgar Evers' widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, will speak at Obama's inauguration

  • Pop2it
The widow of civil rights activist Medgar Evers, Myrlie Evers-Williams will make history on January 21 when she becomes the first woman and the first lay person to deliver the invocation at President Obama's swearing-in for a second term as President.

Evers-Williams will be joined in the ceremony by Reverend Louie Giglio of Atlanta's Passion City Church. Giglio, a conservative evangelical pastor, will deliver the benediction at the end of the public ceremony.

President Obama will take the oath of office for his second term in a private ceremony on Jan. 20. Evers-Williams and Giglio will the participate in the public ceremony on the next day. Jan. 21 also marks the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Myrlie Evers-Williams came to prominence in 1963 when her husband (who had been the Mississippi field secretary of the NAACP) was shot in his driveway. She spent three decades fighting for justice in his case
See full article at Pop2it »

President Obama announces inauguration speakers

President Obama has selected Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights icon Medgar Evers, to deliver the invocation at his public swearing-in on Jan. 21, which also happens to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Evers-Williams is a former chair of the NAACP and has written several books about her and her husband’s civil rights work. Medgar Evers was shot and killed at his Mississippi home in 1963 by a white supremacist, sparking national outcry. His murderer was finally convicted in 1994, after new evidence was brought to trial. The story was also turned into the 1996 film Ghosts of Mississippi, with Whoopi Goldberg portraying Myrlie Evers.
See full article at EW.com - PopWatch »

Civil Rights Activist Myrlie Evers-Williams Pens Letter in Support of 'The Help'

Civil Rights Activist Myrlie Evers-Williams Pens Letter in Support of 'The Help'
Myrlie Evers-Williams released an essay today championing Best Picture Academy Award nominee The Help as “this year’s most outstanding and socially relevant motion picture." Entitled “The Help, a Cultural Touchstone,” Evers-Williams celebrated the film’s accomplishment of “challenging viewers to walk the journey” of “African-American maids in the then-staunchly segregated Mississippi." Photo And Video Gallery: Academy Awards 2012: The Nominees Evers-Williams is a longtime civil rights journalist and activist who recently presented actress Viola Davis with an Outstanding Performer of the Year award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for her performance

read more
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Santa Barbara Performer of the Year and Oscar Front-Runner Viola Davis Seeks Roles "You Can Sink Your Teeth Into"

At the height of awards season, at the 27th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers, presented actress Viola Davis with the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award Friday, celebrating her performance as African American housemaid Aibileen Clark in Tate Taylor’s adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's bestselling portrait of 1963 Mississippi, "The Help." (Evers' murder is depicted in the film.) "The Help" "reminded me of the personal sorrows from a painful time in my life," Evers-Williams said. "I was an eyewitness to the abominations that occurred in that time and...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Black Women Historians come out against 'The Help'

Black Women Historians come out against 'The Help'
The Association of Black Women Historians released a statement today, urging fans of both the best-selling novel and the new movie The Help to reconsider the popular tale of African American maids in 1960s Jackson, Miss., who risk sharing their experiences with a young white journalist. “Despite efforts to market the book and the film as a progressive story of triumph over racial injustice, The Help distorts, ignores, and trivializes the experiences of black domestic workers,” the statement read.

The group of scholars took issue with novelist Kathryn Stockett’s use of “black” dialect, her nearly uniform portrayal of black men as cruel or absent,
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

Interviews: ‘The Help’ Director Tate Taylor, Star Octavia Spencer

Chicago – The search for the right actress to portray the pivotal role of Minny in the new film “The Help” ended with Octavia Spencer. The veteran performer was key in expressing the particulars of the character, which was enhanced by director Tate Taylor.

Both Spencer and Tate were in town recently to promote The Help, each expressing their path to the film. Octavia Spencer has been working since the 1990s, best known for playing Constance Grady on the TV series “Ugly Betty.” Tate Taylor is also an actor, and had previously directed only one other feature (”Pretty Ugly People”) before landing the job of adapting Kathryn Stockett’s bestselling novel into a screenplay, and then directing the stellar cast.

Jessica Chastain as Celia and Octavia Spencer as Minny in ‘The Help

Photo credit: ‘Uncle Dale’ Robinette for DreamWorks Pictures

HollywoodChicago talked to Octavia Spencer and Tate Taylor together, and each
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Bhm: Wives of Iconic Black Leaders

Wives of Iconic Black LeadersBehind Every Great Man......There is a great woman. These are women who have sometimes sacrificed their personal ambitions not only for their husbands, but for the greater good of us all. As we celebrate Black History Month, we take a look at the women behind some of our most iconic leaders, from Coretta Scott King to Michelle Obama.Betty ShabazzAlso known as Betty X, Betty Shabazz was married to prominent civil rights activist Malcolm X. The two met at a dinner party and Betty was instantly impressed with her future husband. They had six daughters together -- Attallah, Qubilah, Ilyasah, Gamilah, Malikah and Malaak.Betty Shabazzfter her husband's assassination in 1965, Shabazz made a life-changing pilgrimage to Mecca. She earned her doctorate in 1975 and became an associate professor of health sciences at Medgar Evers College in 1976. Throughout her life, Shabazz was an active volunteer with the
See full article at Essence »

Brave, Beautiful New Worlds

Allison Strong, Union City, N.J.I remember my first print audition like it was yesterday: I was 11 and thought I was so cool for leaving class early to go into the city. I wore my favorite outfit: a cute orange tank top with a sparkly new pair of jeans from Kids R'Us. I would have to walk into the studio alone because the odds of finding parking in Manhattan were about as good as the odds for winning the Mega Millions jackpot. Terrified, I walked in to see the tan, blue-eyed model I envied from the Limited Too catalogs waiting on line. She had a huge color portfolio, an agent logo on her résumé, and all the confidence in the world. I had one black-and-white headshot, no agent logo, and, suddenly, a lot of doubt. I never felt more uncomfortable in my body than in that moment. No matter
See full article at Backstage »

Anika Noni Rose and Hill Harper to Host 41st NAACP Image Awards, 2/26

NAACP Image Award nominee and Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose and bestselling author and actor Hill Harper will host the 41St NAACP Image Awards, broadcast live from Los Angeles' historic Shrine Auditorium, Friday, Feb. 26 (8:00-10:00 Pm Et live/Pt tape- delayed) on Fox. Additionally, Jamie Foxx, Lenny Kravitz, Regina King, Taraji P. Henson, Myrlie Evers Williams, Adam Rodriguez, Sherri Shepherd, Mo'Nique, Morgan Freeman, Sandra Bullock, Gabourey Sidibe, Alfre Woodard, Mariah Carey, Mekhi Phifer and Tatyana Ali, among others, are scheduled to appear on the special. Previously announced honorees include Tyler Perry, who will receive the Chairman's Award, and Wyclef Jean, who will receive the Vanguard Award.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Anika Noni Rose and Hill Harper host 41St NAACP Image Awards

Jamie Foxx, Lenny Kravitz, Regina King, Taraji P. Henson, Myrlie Evers Williams, Adam Rodriguez, Sherri Shepherd, Mo.Nique, Morgan Freeman, Sandra Bullock, Gabourey Sidibe, Alfre Woodard, Mariah Carey, Mekhi Phifer and Tatyana Ali will join Hill Harper and Anika Noni Rose for the 41st NAACP Image Awards. NAACP Image Award nominee and Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose and bestselling author and actor Hill Harper will host the awards, broadcast live from Los Angeles. historic Shrine Auditorium, Friday, Feb. 26 (8:00-10:00 Pm Et live/Pt tape-delayed) on Fox. Previously announced honorees include Tyler Perry, who will receive the Chairman.s Award, and Wyclef Jean, who will receive the Vanguard Award. .Anika Noni Rose and Hill Harper are a part of a
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Film review: 'Ghosts of Mississippi'

In February 1994, justice was finally served for Myrlie Evers -- a mere three decades after the fatal shooting of her husband, civil-rights activist Medgar Evers, and the two mistrials that left his killer, Byron De La Beckwith, a free man.

Faithfully documenting the events leading up to the white supremacist's ultimate conviction, Rob Reiner's "Ghosts of Mississippi" is a well-intentioned but dramatically unsatisfying motion picture experience.

There is certainly an intriguing story to be told here, but unfortunately it isn't the one Reiner and screenwriter Lewis Colick ("Unlawful Entry") have chosen to tell. By focusing almost entirely on the trials and tribulations of Bobby DeLaughter -- the white assistant district attorney who took on the Evers case -- and the toll it took on DeLaughter's family, while relegating the Myrlie Evers angle to the sidelines, the film resonates a been-there, done-that familiarity, particularly in light of the summer's "A Time to Kill".

The result is a finely acted, technically proficient piece that falls frustratingly short of the Oscar caliber to which it obviously aspires -- James Woods' scenery-nibbling portrayal of De La Beckwith being the sure-fire exception. In boxoffice terms, the "Ghosts" verdict will likely be delivered in favor of a respectful but not overwhelming audience response.

After a prologue set in 1964 during the minutes leading up to Evers' murder as his wife (Whoopi Goldberg) and children watched a televised civil rights speech by President Kennedy, the story fast-forwards to the late 1980s, when DeLaughter (Alec Baldwin) is assigned to the Evers case. After initially little to go on, DeLaughter is able to reconstruct the events of the past.

At the same time, his progressive immersion in the case costs him his marriage to Dixie (Virginia Madsen), whose father was the presiding judge in an earlier De La Beckwith trial, while leaving his family open to terrorist threats. Shaken but remaining undeterred, DeLaughter sees the case through to its courtroom finale, closing an unpleasant chapter of the South's checkered history.

Handed his most heroic lead since originating the Jack Ryan character in "The Hunt for Red October", Baldwin seizes the opportunity, playing DeLaughter with an earnest, sympathetic conviction. Still, his closing courtroom arguments never reach the emotional crescendo required, but the blame could also be shouldered by Colick's script, which opts for accuracy over dramatic license.

Likewise Goldberg, as Myrlie Evers, is solemnly passionate in what amounts to a series of extended cameos instead of what should have been a more evenly represented story. By keeping the spotlight on DeLaughter, we're robbed of getting a glimpse of the motivation that kept Evers' fight alive for more than 30 years.

Only Woods is able to completely transcend the staid material and layers of latex (masterfully applied by make-up artists Matthew Mungle and Deborah La Mia Denaver) as 73-year-old De La Beckwith.

Bill Cobbs also does some standout work as Evers' DJ brother, Charlie; the Evers' sons, Darrell and Van, play themselves in the film, while Yolanda King, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., plays their sister, Reena.

As has come to be expected in Rob Reiner pictures, production values are pristine, with director of photography John Seale, production designer Lilly Kilvert, costume designer Gloria Gresham and composer Marc Shaiman lending their superb talents.

GHOSTS OF MISSISSIPPI

Sony Pictures Releasing

Columbia Pictures

Castle Rock Entertainment

A Frederick Zollo Production

A Rob Reiner Film

Producer-director Rob Reiner

Screenplay Lewis Colick

Producers Frederick Zollo,

Nicholas Paleologos, Andrew Scheinman

Executive producers Jeffrey Stott,

Charles Newirth

Director of photography John Seale

Production designer Lilly Kilvert

Editor Robert Leighton

Costume designer Gloria Gresham

Music Marc Shaiman

Casting Jane Jenkins, Janet Hirshenson

Color/stereo

Cast:

Bobby DeLaughter Alec Baldwin

Myrlie Evers Whoopi Goldberg

Byron De La Beckwith James Woods

Ed Peters Craig T. Nelson

Charlie Crisco William H. Macy

Peggy Lloyd DeLaughter Susanna Thompson

Merrida Coxwell Michael O'Keefe

Jim Kitchens Bill Smitrovich

Morris Dees Wayne Rogers

Caroline Moore Diane Ladd

Dixie Moore DeLaughter Virginia Madsen

Running time -- 123 minutes

MPAA rating: PG-13

See also

Credited With | External Sites