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Voter Outreach

Voter Outreach

Concepts, strategies and objectives to move voters to action

Written by Peter Grear Educate, Organize and Mobilize: Each week over the past several months I’ve written about various aspects of voter suppression with the purpose of explaining its concepts,…

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Keatts A Keeper For New-Look Seahawks

Keatts A Keeper For New-Look Seahawks

New Head Men’s Basketball Coach was all smiles

New Head Men’s Basketball Coach was all smiles at Trask Coliseum. WILMINGTON, NC – Boldly proclaiming, “I’m a winner,” and promising “an exciting brand of basketball” newly-christened UNCW head men’s basketball coach Kevin Keatts said Tuesday that a new day in Seahawk basketball has arrived.

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Lied-to Children More Likely to Cheat and Lie

Lied-to Children More Likely to Cheat and Lie

The study tested 186 children ages 3 to 7

The study tested 186 children ages 3 to 7 in a temptation-resistance paradigm. Approximately half of the children were lied to by an experimenter, who said there was “a huge bowl of candy in the next room” but quickly confessed this was just a ruse to get the child to come play a game. 

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Unconscious Mind Can Detect a Liar When Conscious Mind Fails

Unconscious Mind Can Detect a Liar When Conscious Mind Fails

The unconscious mind could catch a liar

“We set out to test whether the unconscious mind could catch a liar – even when the conscious mind failed,” says ten Brinke. Along with Berkeley-Haas Assistant Professor Dana R. Carney, lead author ten Brinke and Dayna Stimson (BS 2013, Psychology), hypothesized that these seemingly paradoxical findings may be accounted for by unconscious mental processes.

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Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials: Educate, Organize, and Mobilize

Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials: Educate, Organize, and Mobilize

North Carolina Alliance of Black Elected Officials

Written by Peter Grear, Esq.  Since August 2013 I've continued to ask myself "what would an effective campaign to defeat voter suppression look like?” Well, on Friday, February 14, 2014, Valentine's Day, I got my answer from Richard Hooker, President of the…

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Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website

The FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website. No paper, no hasel, read on your laptop or mobile devices. 

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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2011 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

“The Under Shepherd” Takes A Controversial Look at the Black Church

Written by Tene’ Croom Special to the NNPA on 09 April 2012.

The latest foray into movie making by nationally syndicated morning DJ Russ Parr is astounding.  He wrote and directed his fifth movie entitled, The Under Shepherd. It’s sure to have people, particularly those deep in the Black church, saying a lot more than amen. For example, this one scene from the movie illustrates what I mean. “You’re a fraud and an insult to this church (First Baptist Church) and God.” Deaconess Carter, with controlled anger, deftly portrayed by Vanessa Bell Calloway, said to the Rev. Lawrence “LC” Case. He’s played by Isaiah Washington, whose character was a doctor in the ABC network drama, Grey’s Anatomy.  Looking at her straight in the eye, with an air of self righteousness, Rev. Case replied, “I am God.”

It seems Parr was destined to write this story. His mother took him to the Black church as a young child. However, it was not a good experience he said. “I was really invested into the church and the church I was going to. Then I started seeing things that didn’t make sense. My mom, who was a very religious woman, pulled me out of the church. She thought I was losing myself.”

Politics also had something to do with why he felt the need to make this movie explaining, “It was the 2004 election and I had a Republican friend of mine say, hey I’ll tell you a little secret when the election is over. We’re going into a lot of swing states and buying off the Black ministers and giving them talking points.”

Parr said he did research and found something out six months after George Bush won the presidential election. “I saw evidence of what he said. A lot of these pastors would donate money to their church. A lot of these pastors would put it in their pockets. Then he started to see a lot of the pastors were under federal indictment.”

Parr was quick to point out the pastors were not all Black. There were White pastors involved in corruption too. After looking at the situation he said, “That encouraged me. There’s a story here.”

But he says he held back when he wrote the script. “I didn’t want to go too far with it. I didn’t want to get into the Bishop Eddie Long stuff. (Long was accused of sexually abusing several teenaged male members of his church.) I wanted just enough on this man’s plate that it was real and honest and very believable.”

Being Rev. Case wasn’t easy especially when he was extremely verbally abusive to his wife Cassandra, played by Malinda Williams. So much so that Washington said he needed to take a break after filming one intense scene. “I stormed out after every take. I think I maybe did two takes. I almost walked back to my trailer. I think the wardrobe person asked me where was I going. I said I hate Russ Parr. (laughing) I told them I’m not being difficult. But, if you don’t get it in this take, I’m not doing this again.”

Williams, perhaps best known as the hair stylist Tracy “Bird” Van Adams in the Showtime acclaimed drama series, Soul Food, came into this film during an extraordinary year last year. She made five other films in 2011.

She heaped much praise on her co-star husband. “Isaiah was so incredibly powerful in this role, as he is in all of his roles. For me it really was somewhat of a dream come true when Russ told me that Isaiah would be playing LC. Because once he said that I said, of course, there is no one else who can do that. I don’t think there’s anyone else who could have brought the emotion from that type of pain that was to be in the film inflicted who could bring it out in such a true filet that Isaiah did. And I tell you every time I went back to my trailer; I had to say to myself quietly, I forgive you Isaiah.”

Williams said she wanted to show the face of abuse for personal reasons. “I’ve lived it. I’ve had friends who have lived it. I’ve had family members who have lived it. Various levels of abuse. And, initially when Russ approached me to be a part of the film, he approached me about playing Deaconess Carter. So, I took a look at the script. But, immediately Cassandra resonated with me. Part of the reason why she resonated with me is because I do understand certain levels of abuse. I understand them on a personal level and I understand them on a level, you know, just watching someone else go through a situation.”

However, The Under Shepherd is not a single issue movie, about a pastor abusing his wife. Williams, when asked to describe the movie said. “The character is representative of many ills that we have to address, particularly in our community when it comes to power and how one abuses it, misuses it or underuses it or undervalues it. There have been many of our leaders that have been put in situations of power and for some reason it’s been corrupted. Probably, historically for very simple reasons, maybe it’s just different philosophy, ideology, maybe money. I think what Russ was able to do or trying to do is create a character that would put a face on how one has to be accountable for every action that they do. ”

A number of other top-notch actors are in the film, including Lou Gossett Jr., Lamman Rucker and Keith David.

Net proceeds from The Under Shepherd will be going to The Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts in DC.

Tene’ Croom is President of Tene’ Croom Communications. Reach her at tene.croom.tc@gmail.com or www.tenecroom.com •