You are now being logged in using your Facebook credentials
Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Charlotte, NC (BlackPR.com)

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a business executive, was installed as the 2014-2018 International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA)

Read More...
Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

New York (BlackPR.com)

New York (BlackPR.com) -- Nielsen today announced that Andrew McCaskill has joined Nielsen as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications. He will report to Chief Communications Officer Laura Nelson.

Read More...
Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Written by Peter Grear

With this article we will start detailing the ingredients of a revisable action plan that needs comments and revisions as we move toward the Tuesday, November 4, 2014 General Election.  

Read More...
Las Vegas Comedian James Bean's Candid Account Of His Struggle With Suicide

Las Vegas Comedian James Bean's Candid Account Of His Struggle With Suicide

WHEN THE HUMOR IS GONE

James Bean has shown insight and understanding of the darkest moments of many people’s lives as well as ideas on how one could begin to create a life worth living even out of the depths of despair.” -– Rhonda Duncombe, LMFT, LADC

Read More...
Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I confess that I’m amazed. The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of North Carolina announced last week that they have launched theNorth Carolina Black Advisory Board (BRAB) 

Read More...
Tips for Managing Stress in Your Life

Tips for Managing Stress in Your Life

Written by State Point

Stress is not only unpleasant; it can be overwhelming, ultimately preventing you from solving the problems that caused the stress in the first place. But getting focused can help you feel happier and be more successful professionally, financially and in your relationships, say experts.

Read More...
Voter Suppression: Defeating it requires two massive efforts

Voter Suppression: Defeating it requires two massive efforts

Written by Peter Grear

For black voters, Benjamin Jealous expressed what I believe to be the critical message for black voters when he said that the best way to overcome massive voter suppression is through a massive wave of voter registration.  Thankfully, the NAACP is putting this theory into action through the Youth Organizing…

Read More...
Black Women are Taking Care of Business

Black Women are Taking Care of Business

Written by Freddie Allen

Instead of breaking the glass ceiling, Black women have increasingly started making their own. According to the Center for American Progress, an independent, nonpartisan progressive institute, Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the country.

Read More...
Voter Suppression: Is it partisan?

Voter Suppression: Is it partisan?

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I’ve been doing commentaries on our Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression since November, 2013.  Because the right to vote is fundamental to our democracy, I’ve tried to promote a non-partisan theory of voter enfranchisement. 

Read More...
Why vote? ALEC and the Doctrine of Exclusion

Why vote? ALEC and the Doctrine of Exclusion

By Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: Frequently, in going forward it is imperative to examine your history.  In 1638 the Maryland Colony issued a public edict encouraging the separation of the races that became the public policy of America. 

Read More...
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. 

Read More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2011 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Home Page

“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 •

GDN Link Exchange