blackboysneedmentors

 

My purpose as a mentor is to focus not just on academics, but also on emotional support. I have a deep respect for the youth I mentor, and in return, they respect me. For most of the youth I work with, I am the only man they trust to open up to about their emotions, and it makes a difference.

For the full story, visit EducationPost.org.

President Donald Trump wants NASA to go to Mars, but his Treasury secretary can't figure out how to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill?

We recently learned that the planned Harriet Tubman currency — which was slated to replace the $20 Andrew Jackson bill in time for the 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment — can't be rolled out until 2028. This, even though the engraving plate for it was completed "as recently as May 2018" a Treasury Department employee told the New York Times. The employee also said the design "appeared to be far along in the process," according to the Times. Apparently so — as we all saw a picture of it leaked to the press.

For the full story, visit CNN.com/Opinions.

It took every fiber of my being to keep from going into the ugly cry as Vanzant and I chatted, hours before the tour’s Phoenix kick off.  During our talk, the legend reminded me that quite a lot has changed since Act Of Faith’s initial publication. 

Click here for the full MPC feature.

Click here to connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or click here to follow him on Twitter.  

Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace (2019) - A Film Review

Photo Credit Amazing Grace LLC
 

By Michael P Coleman

Just a few minutes into the phenomenal new documentary Amazing Grace, I put my near-full bag of popcorn down. 

Grandma Coleman always admonished me about eating in church. 

There could be no greater swan song by the legendary Aretha Franklin than this energizing film.  Recorded almost 50 years ago, Franklin’s double album of the same title is her greatest artistic accomplishment.  Technical glitches kept the movie from being released decades ago, but with those problems solved, the world gets to see the step-by-step recording of the landmark project.

When a singer can reduce gospel legends like the Rev James Cleveland, with whom Franklin recorded Amazing Grace, and Clara Ward to tears, you know she’s singing.  Franklin had a similar effect on The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger, who can be seen throughout the film clapping, singing, swaying, and caught up in Franklin’s rapturous performance, as was everyone else who was lucky enough — who was blessed enough —to have been at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church. 

Click here to read MPC's full review of Amazing Grace.

EXCLUSIVE! Diana Ross Dominates Dance Floors With Remix Of Classic HitBy Michael P Coleman

Diana Ross dominates dance floors nationwide this week, as the Eric Kupper remix of her classic “The Boss” sits atop Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart.  The song’s resurgence comes 40 years after it topped the same chart in the spring of 1979. 

It is the third consecutive #1 Dance song for Ross, with this new streak having begun last year with another Kupper remix, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”  Both tunes were written by the legendary duo Ashford & Simpson. 

During our EXCLUSIVE interview, Valerie Simpson said she and her husband, the late Nickolas Ashford, wrote “The Boss” specifically for music’s greatest diva. 

“ ‘The Boss’ was about Diana doing her own thing,” Simpson shared by phone. “She was taking charge of her career, and she told us that. She was in charge.  She was the boss!”

“People call her ‘the boss’ as a result of that song,” Simpson continued.  “It’s nice when you, as a songwriter, kinda worm your way into what a person is about at a particular moment, because we’re different things at different points in our lives. At that point, Diana was stepping into her own.”

CLICK HERE for MPC's full interview with Valerie Simpson.

dianaross centralpark slider

By Michael P Coleman

Most of the documentary is comprised of footage from Diana Ross’ legendary Central Park concerts from the summer of 1983.  Even if you’ve seen the footage before, you haven’t seen it like this: on an enormous screen, with newly remastered picture and sound.  For the new documentary, the concert footage is prefaced by heartfelt, new interviews with four of her five adult children, singing their mom’s praises.

After that opening act, the real show begins.

Diana Ross: Her Life, Love And Legacy features a dramatic montage from the legendary first, rained out concert.   Mother Nature hijacked Ross’ best efforts after about 45 minutes, but before ultimately giving in, she powered through: singing, dancing, and almost maternally taking care to make sure 800,000 fans safely exited Central Park’s Great Lawn.

Only Ross could turn a torrential thunderstorm into a concert’s special effect, transforming herself into a sepia Moses leading her people to safety.  Of this first show, diva-in-training Mariah Carey once said that she’s still waiting for her “Central Park moment!”

And the Motown legend was in fine voice throughout,  Anyone who’s questioned her vocal power need only watch her performances of “Endless Love” and “All For One” at the end of the film.  As she once sang, it’s her house, she lives here…and she brought that house down in Central Park that hot summer night. 

Click here to read MPC’s full review. 

Connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman at michaelpcoleman.com, or follow him on Twitter: @ColemanMichaelP.

By Michael P Coleman 

Grandma Coleman used to admonish me about making mountains out of molehills, or creating unnecessary drama.  That’s what I told myself the media were doing way back in Michael Jackson’s post-Off The Wall days, when he still had an afro and beautiful, dark brown skin, and initial reports of his eccentricities began to emerge.  

In the early 80s, Jackson rocked a Gheri Curl LONG after they had played out.  After I saw it, in the “Beat It” video, I believe, I marched my black ass into the campus Walgreens and bought the first of many S Curls kits.  I talked my girlfriend into applying that lye in my dorm room, and I couldn’t wait to fling some of my new, liberally applied curl activator off of my head while I shook that aforementioned black ass to Jackson’s music.  

I wore much-too-short black Levi 501s, just to show off my ivory sox and ebony loafers.  I Slim Fast-ed myself down to a 29 inch waist and shaved the peach fuzz from my upper lip.  I installed contact lenses for the first time just so I could wear a pair of aviator sunglasses…inside.  If I had been man enough, I’d have sported mascara beneath those shades.  

Just in case you didn’t figure it out, let me be clear:  I loved Michael Jackson.  But dude was weird.  But just because he was weird doesn’t mean he was a child molester. 

And if he was a child molester, I can still dance with him.  

Click here to read the full Michael’s Mind’s Eye column.  

 Connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman at michaelpcoleman.com or follow him on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP.

HUB contributor Michael P Coleman shares his take on the Jussie Smollett and R Kelly cases, his thoughts about the Robert Kraft bust & why prostitutes need love, too — and the Virginia public elementary school gym class that had kids pretending to be runaway slaves. 

Yeah. For real. 

Click here to read this week’s Michael’s Mind’s Eye! 

Connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman at michaelpcoleman.com or follow him on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP.