EXCLUSIVE! Dionne Warwick Talks Whitney Hologram Tour

During freelance writer Michael P Coleman’s May 2019 interview with Houston’s cousin, the legendary Dionne Warwick, conducted just after plans for the upcoming Whitney Houston Hologram Tour were announced, Warwick shared her initial thoughts on the hologram tour. 

Brace yourself. Warwick’s thoughts are markedly different from Houston estate executor and hologram promoter Pat Houston’s. 

Brace yourself, and click here to read MPC’s full feature.

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Click here to connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or follow him on Instagram and Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP

Let’s Return To Segregated Theaters

I’m all for social change, and I’m the first to say that we’ve come a long way in this country, just during my lifetime. But for every inauguration of a black president or same sex wedding that I attend, or for every time I read about a woman CEO, I sometimes think we’ve missed the mark with what we’ve called progress.

One of those examples is the desegregation of public accommodations — specifically, movie theaters and performance houses. I’m making a case to return to segregation there. You heard me correctly: to hell with Brown v Board of Education.

We got it wrong the first time around: black folks shouldn’t be relegated to the balcony. Folks who insist on using their cell phones during shows should be, and black screens that are politely and appropriately ensconced in pockets and purses should be allowed on the main floor, right down front.

For the youngsters…er, millennials reading this, there was a time in this country, not all that long ago, when the majority of kindly white people didn’t want to interact with black folks at all, let alone at the theatre or movie house, so they passed laws that allowed for racially segregated public spaces. These laws weren’t abolished until 1954 with the aforementioned Supreme Court ruling — and it took another decade for folks to get serious about enforcing it.

But if we can put another white supremacist in the Oval Office, we can return to the days of separate accommodations. But this time, let’s let the need to use your cell phone in public be the line of demarcation.

And this time around, in our best effort to truly make America great again, the throw back Jim Crow Era-like signs could read:

IDIOTS WHO USE CELL PHONES DURING THE SHOW MUST SIT IN BALCONY…NO MATTER WHAT COLOR THEY ARE

Let’s banish habitual electronics users to the balcony, where they can interact with each other as they post their illegally-recorded, bootleg videos on Instagram. And let’s charge those offenders premium ticket prices to do it. That’s right: you should have to pay extra to be an asshole in a movie theatre or concert hall.

Click here to read MPC’s full article. 

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Click here to connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or follow him on Instagram and Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP

Hurricane Lewis Roars Into Sacramento: A Preview of This Year’s Exceptional Women Of Color Event

by Michael P Coleman

On October 19th, Jenifer Lewis take the stage at the 11th annual Exceptional Women Of Color event, to be held at UC-Davis’ Mondavi Center. Lewis has been a Tinseltown staple for over 30 years, earning the moniker The Mother Of Black Hollywood. 

Brilliantly, that’s also the title of her 2017 best-selling memoir, an honest, detailed book that’s just been released in paperback. The Mother Of Black Hollywood’s overarching message? If Lewis can make it through the formidable challenges she’s faced — SPOILER ALERT! There have been MANY — so can we. 

Lewis’ memoir is a mostly hysterical, at times searing NSFW tome that describes the journey that a little girl from St. Louis took to becoming, as she loves to call herself: 
"Jenifer Muthafucking Lewis.” 

Our early morning conversation was peppered with that kind of “real talk.” Lewis’ book, like the legend herself, is not for the faint of heart…or for the very young. Only the mother of black Hollywood could get away with it! 

“You’ve got to understand, darling, that I’ve been an entertainer for my entire existence,” Lewis, 62, EXCLUSIVELY told me, during a chat that left me feeling quite good about being called “darling.” 

“It’s a huge responsibility to say ‘come see me after your 9 to 5’, which for most people is a job that they don’t love. I, on the other hand, have gotten to do what I loved to do. So when people come see me, they leave entertained. It is what I do!”

“I was the Beyoncé of my time!”

In a rare retreat, and almost as if to provide a salve to the Beyhive, Lewis hilariously amended that last declaration. 

CLICK HERE for information and tickets to see Jenifer Lewis at the 2019 Exceptional Women Of Color event.

Go to michaelpcoleman.Wordpress.com for more of MPC’s EXCLUSIVE interview with Jenifer Lewis.

 Connect with freelance writer and “darling” to Jenifer Lewis, Michael P Coleman (yes, he has told himself that he is the only one she calls “Darling”) at michaelpcoleman.com or follow him on Instagram and Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP 

Image result for Black Professor Tells White Woman “I have no respect for your ancestors”

Paul Butler, Professor at Georgetown University Law Center responds to an NPR white female caller who “honors” her confederate heritage :

I have no respect for your ancestors. As far as your ancestors are concerned, I shouldn’t be a law professor at Georgetown. I should be a slave. That’s why they fought that war. I don’t understand what it meant to be proud of a legacy of terrorism and violence. Last week at this time, I was in Israel. The idea that a German would say, you know, that thing we did called the Holocaust, that was wrong, but I respect the courage of the Nazi ancestors. That wouldn’t happen. The reason people can say what you said, in the United States, is because, again, black life just doesn’t matter to a lot of people.

This is something many caucasians, especially in America, can’t seem to come to grips with. Their heritage is based on the subjugation of our ancestors. The parts of their history that brought them the most joy bring us the most pain. Nobody is telling anybody what they should or shouldn’t be proud of, the point is, don’t expect black people to accept or respect a culture that promotes the idea of us (melanated people) being less than human and deserving of inhumane treatment. To us, that confederate flag is a symbol of terrorism and inhumanity.

Butler spoke about the call during an appearance on MSNBC’s ‘All In With Chris Hayes’.

For the full story, visit trudreadz.com/news.

A few years ago, I read slave narratives to explore the lives of black agricultural workers after the end of the Civil War. The narratives came from the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration, a program that employed researchers from 1936 to 1938 to interview former enslaved people, producing more than 2,300 narratives that, thankfully, reside online and are fully searchable.

Those whom the law defined as property recounted various unique human experiences — their daily horrors and monotonies, how they freed themselves or learned of their emancipation, the surge of exhilaration upon securing freedom, and how they endured life on the edges of a white supremacist society in the decades thereafter.

As I pored over the narratives, I was struck less by their experiences, as heartrending as they were, than by how their experiences sculpted their self-perceptions. The best explanation of what I gleaned, what social scientists called internalized oppression, describes the psychological trauma that ensues when a person from a stigmatized group believes those negative stigmas.

White folk indoctrinated them into accepting their supposed inferiority. These narratives illustrate the success of this campaign of mental terrorism, and no word conveyed the depth of this internalized oppression more than “nigger.” Now, whenever I hear the epithet, a visual and emotional representation of the heinous process by which a people — my people — were induced to think they were less than trespasses into my thoughts. After years of habitual use of “nigger,” I banished it from my speech to honor the humanity that many never saw in themselves.

For the full story, visit TheUndefeated.com/Features.

Goodnight, Reeses

By Michael P Coleman

That headline is not an ode to a bygone candy bar binge. It’s how you say goodbye to a dog that was named by a nine year old. She was a black and brown German Shepherd mix whose coat was the colors of that little girl’s — and her dad’s — beloved peanut butter cup.

Reeses was also the best watch dog I ever had. And other than my current marriage, my relationship with her was the longest term relationship I’d ever had.

We had to put Reeses down just over a week ago. On a Saturday. At 4:41pm.

Sixteen years ago this September, my husband, Rob and youngest daughter, Kristina tricked me into an outing at the Detroit Zoo. What I’d thought would be a fairly innocuous Saturday would actually be an ambush: the Zoo was hosting an event sponsored by the Michigan Humane Society.

I knew I was doomed the moment I saw the event’s banner hanging over the side of the Zoo’s parking garage:

“Meet Your Best Friend At The Zoo”

For years, I’d resisted letting Kristina have a dog. I’d told her that she wasn’t ready to handle the responsibility, and that I certainly wasn’t going to take it on. Neither turned out to be true, but that was only a part of the story. I’d wanted to make sure that Kristina was old enough to to be ready to deal with the inevitable death of a pet. As dogs dig up your garden, they find a way of burrowing their way into your heart. They also live painfully short lives.

reesesKristina fell in love with six weeks old Reeses the minute they laid eyes on each other. Another family had planned to adopt Reeses, who’d been found with the rest of her litter in an abandoned house in Detroit. That adoption fell through — and I still don’t know how that happens! — and the Humane Society staffer who searched for and found us in the crowd knew it was a done deal when Kristina pleaded “Please, Daddy, let me take her home.”

Kristina held that puppy in her palmed hands in the back seat of our Jeep Wrangler, on our way to start our chapter together. Once home, I gave Kristina just one edict: Reeses was not to sleep in the bed with her.

But Kristina, much like her dad, was always fond of breaking rules. Rob and I found dog hair in her bed the next and every morning, even as that kid insisted that she had to have been the one who was shedding.

The stories I could tell you.

Click here to read MPC's tribute to the world's best watchdog.

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Click here to connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or follow him on Instagram and Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP

impssible whopper 700

by Michael P Coleman

Burger King locations nationwide launched the fast food chain’s new plant-based Impossible Whopper today. I stopped in this afternoon for lunch so I could let you know how it is.

The last time I walked into a Burger King lobby that was that crowded was…

never. If that lobby’s any indication of what’s to come, Ronald McDonald is in DEEP trouble.

To be fair, I hadn’t been in a Burger King lobby in over seven years. I got a little healthier, lately, largely by avoiding restaurants with drive-thru windows. But the lure of the new lower fat, MUCH lower cholesterol Impossible Whopper drew me in.

Click here to read MPC’s full feature, including details on how the new Impossible Whopper crashed BK’s payment system! 

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Click here to connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or follow him on Instagram and Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP

HUB Preview: The Wiz At Sacramento’s Wells Fargo Pavilion Aug 6-11

By Michael P Coleman

When Universal Pictures released a big budget adaption of Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical The Wiz in 1978, then 34-year-old superstar Diana Ross took a lot of flack for playing a 24-year-old Dorothy.

Over four decades later, 30 year old musical theatre phenom Adrianna Hicks has no problem playing a 15 year old Dorothy in Broadway At Music Circus’ production of the play, opening Tuesday, August 6 at the Wells Fargo Pavilion in Sacramento and running through August 11.

And astonishingly, Hicks feels no pressure to fill Ross’ silver slippers. 

“Nobody is able to do what those legendary women did,” Hicks EXCLUSIVELY told me, of the challenge of following Ross and Stephanie Mills, who originated the role on Broadway.  “I have to do justice to this wonderful girl’s story.  Dorothy is growing up, and trying to understand what living is about — and trying to figure herself out.” 

"So the challenge isn’t filling Ross’ shoes or Mills’ shoes.  It’s doing justice to Dorothy and filling her shoes.”

Click here to read MPC’s full feature, with more from Adrianna Hicks...including why Psalm 23 is her “go-to” scripture! 

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.