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Gregg Reese

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PAFF celebrates 25 years of ethnic imagery

This year’s iteration of the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) is especially memorable, because it marks the 25th year of this showcase for cinema by and about people of African descent. For a quarter century, the event has expanded upon its stated goal to promote racial tolerance and “reinforce positive images and help destroy negative stereotypes.”

Cashing in on ‘the green rush’

Economic opportunities abound in the wake of Proposition 64

It’s official. With the passage of Proposition 64, adults 21 and over may now possess small amounts of the (previously) controlled substance called marijuana or cannabis sativa, a privilege previously reserved for patients whose health requirements mandated a physician’s prescription for the medicinal consumption of this controversial plant.

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A perfect political storm

Political scientists attempt to explain the November election surprise

It was all but inevitable. An upstart candidate, a celebrity to be sure, but with no track record in political office or other tangible experience to speak of, up against former first lady, senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a marquee figure with international name recognition for the highest office in the land. Just a year ago, reputable media onlookers considered investment tycoon Donald J. Trump a long shot, even among the 17 challengers vying for the Republican presidential nomination, which included a cluster of distinguished senators (Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania) and numerous ex-governors (Jeb Bush of Florida, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Jim Gilmore of Virginia, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, and John Kasich of Ohio.)

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A perfect political storm

Political scientists attempt to explain the November election surprise

It was all but inevitable. An upstart candidate, a celebrity to be sure, but with no track record in political office or other tangible experience to speak of, up against former first lady, senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a marquee figure with international name recognition for the highest office in the land. Just a year ago, reputable media onlookers considered investment tycoon Donald J. Trump a long shot, even among the 17 challengers vying for the Republican presidential nomination, which included a cluster of distinguished senators (Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania) and numerous ex-governors (Jeb Bush of Florida, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Jim Gilmore of Virginia, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, and John Kasich of Ohio.)

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‘The Simpsons’ ventures into the realm of hip hop with ‘The Great Phatsby’

Since its inception in 1989, “The Simpsons” has gone on to become the longest running scripted primetime series in American television history. During the last three decades, it has picked up scores of accolades including 31 Emmy Awards (for excellence in primetime television programming), 30 Annie Awards (for excellence in the medium of animation), and one Peabody Award (for distinguished public service achievement in radio, television, and the World Wide Web media).

Author E.R. Braithwaite dead at 104

By any standards Guyana born E.R. Braithwaite’s accomplishments during the course of his 104 year life time were considerable. By turns an educator, diplomat, social worker and Royal Air Force pilot, his most notable accolade came with the publication of the 1959 autobiographical novel “To Sir, with Love,” which later became a major motion picture starring Sidney Poitier. The author and Cambridge University graduate died on Dec. 12, in Rockville, Md., of cardiac related disorders.

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Easy Rawlings tumbles through the mean streets of L.A. in ‘Charcoal Joe’

“… all the Black men and women I knew who woke up angry and went to bed in the same state of mind. Life was a bruise for us back then, and today too. We examine every action for potential threats, insults, and cheats. And if you look hard enough, you will find what you’re looking for—whether it’s there or not.” —From “Charcoal Joe,” 2016 by Walter Mosley.

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A scholarly chat on our racial heritage

Ibram Kendi chronicles the beginning of racism

Racism, an intricate component of the American saga since colonial times, is arguably the most contradictory element of the ideals upon which the country was founded, and a provocative rebuttal brought up whenever the United States seeks to point fingers at the human rights violations of its neighbors, in its self-appointed role as global policeman. Now, in a new millennium and well into our second century as a republic, this scar across the conscience of our nation is ever prominent as we embark upon the start of a new, polarizing Presidential administration.

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The American Film Institute presents its 30th iteration

festivals can be a welcome departure from the formula driven blockbusters that dominate the movie industry. This year’s 30th annual American Film Institute Festival, held Nov. 10-17, offers up a platform for emerging talents to showcase their wares, along with tributes to established stars and the festival’s yearly Legacy lineup of cinema classics.

Vaino Spencer, First Black female judge, dead at 96

Vaino Hassan Spencer, the first Black female judge in California, passed away in her Los Angeles home at 96 of natural causes, her family reported.

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