Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Global Hillary

Book Review by Kam Williams

 
The Global Hillary
Women's Political Leadership in Cultural Contexts
by Dr. Dinesh Sharma
Routledge Press
Paperback, $52.95
222 pages
ISBN: 978-1-138829749

With Hillary Clinton's political rise to the presidency, we may have seen the emergence of women's rights as central to political discourse in the U.S. and around the world. Women's rights have indeed become human rights, to paraphrase Hillary Clinton's landmark speech in Beijing more than two decades ago...
This book deals with the nexus of women, development and democracy--as a post-Enlightenment, post-modern and global feminist project of the West--by focusing on the political leadership of one of the best-known women politicians the United States has produced in recent times...
We are principally interested in examining the role Hillary Clinton--as First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State--has played as a transformational figure in bridging women's development with democratic institutions in the developing and developed societies.”
-- Excerpted from Chapter One (pg. 2)

Now that she has been nominated by the Democratic Party as its candidate, Hillary Clinton is on the verge of making history as the first woman President of the United States. And while she has been constantly scrutinized by the media over the last couple of years, the subject of the focus has been fairly superficial.
The bulk of the day-to-day talk has been about Bengazi, her email and her standing in the polls. But precious little attention has been paid to Hillary's considerable achievements, especially those realized during her tenure as Secretary of State.
Voters interested in making an informed choice based on an in-depth analysis of the Clinton agenda, need look no further than "The Global Hillary: Women's Political Leadership in Cultural Contexts." This enlightening collection of essays by leading luminaries in fields ranging from psychology to political science was edited by Dinesh Sharma, Associate Research Professor at the Institute for Global Cultural Studies, SUNY Binghamton.
After publishing a couple of timely books about President Obama, "The Global Obama" and "Barack Obama in Hawai'i and Indonesia," Dr. Sharma again proves to have his finger on the pulse with this timely opus. Foremost among the topics explored is the "Hillary Doctrine" linking the subjugation of women to the deteriorating conditions in many countries around the globe. As Secretary Clinton herself observed, "It was no coincidence that that the places where women's lives were most undervalued largely lined up with the parts of the world most plagued by instability, conflict, extremism and poverty.
A revealing peek into the mind, motivations and likely agenda of the intelligent, inveterate feminist who just might be the 45th President of the United States.

To order a copy of The Global Hillary, visit:

 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Hollywood Beauty Salon

Film Review by Kam Williams


Inspirational Documentary Chronicles Camaraderie among Mental Health Patients at Philly Beauty Parlor


The Hollywood Beauty Salon is located in Germantown, PA, an area of Northwest Philly founded by settlers from Germany back in 1683. Today, the town is predominantly African-American as are most of the folks you'd meet at this unique establishment. 
 
What makes this hairdresser different is that its patrons and staff members are all in recovery from mental illness and/or dependence on drugs or alcohol. Shot over the course of four years, the movie chronicles the camaraderie among the cosmetologists and clientele, while simultaneously telescoping on the touching life stories of seven of the shop's regulars.

There's Rachel "Hollywood" Carr, the proprietor, a single mother of three who battled anxiety, depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder before becoming a Recovery Guide and a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner. At the salon, she not only serves as a counselor but as a cosmetologist.

Rachel's protege "Butterfly," a recovering schizophrenic, exhibits considerable promise at braiding hair. The optimistic mother of three explains that she picked her nickname because she's begun to blossom after being in a cocoon marked by depression and paranoia. Still, she misses her murdered big brother and worries about an incarcerated son. 
 
65 year-old Edward, a college grad, recounts how, at 26, his life was derailed when he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. A classically-trained flautist, he nevertheless holds onto his dream of one day playing with a professional orchestra. 
 
The spa's second in command is Darlene, a survivor of child abuse who recounts how she was teased mercilessly growing up about her hair, her looks and for being in the foster care system. One of her customers is shown taking delight in being taught to read, while another proudly pronounces "I am not my symptoms, I am not my diagnosis."

The Hollywood Beauty Salon was directed by Glenn Holsten who is perhaps best known for another stellar documentary set in Philadelphia, The Barefoot Artist. He's done it again, here, with this moving collection of poignant personal portraits powerfully illustrating the utter indomitability of the human spirit.




Excellent (4 stars)
Unrated
Running time: 88 minutes
Studio: Glennfilms / FreshFly
Distributor: Paladin


To see a trailer for Hollywood Beauty Salon, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meM7-w-Xf-U


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Joan Trumpauer Mulholland

The “She Stood for Freedom” Interview

with Kam Williams





Legendary Civil Rights Icon Reflects upon the Past as Prologue 

Joan Trumpauer Mulholland was a little girl in the 1950s. When she saw that black people were being treated differently from white people, she promised herself that she would do something to change that. As a teenager, she joined the Civil Rights Movement and protested the injustice she saw around her. 
 
During the 1960s, Joan attended many demonstrations and sit-ins, she protested at a Woolworth's lunch counter, and she participated in several organized marches, including the March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
 
Though she was threatened, arrested, and mocked, she held true to her promise to make the world a better place for everyone. "Anyone can make a difference," she says. "It doesn't matter how old or young you are. Find a problem, get some friends together, and go fix it. Remember, you don't have to change the world...just change your world." 
 
Here, Joan talks about “She Stood for Freedom,” an illustrated biography about her co-written by her son Loki and Angela Fairwell.



Kam Williams: Hi Joan, thanks for the interview. I want to begin by thanking you for your commitment to the Civil Rights Movement and for the sacrifices you made, risking not only your education and career, but life and limb.
Joan Trumpauer Mulholland: Thank you, Kam.

KW: How does it feel to have your son, Loki, write a book about you?
JTM: It's his project, and I'm in a supporting role for his efforts to reach young people about what has gone before and to inspire them to shape a better future. What is past is prologue.

KW: What message do you hope people will take away from it?
JTM: That they, too, can make a difference.

KW: What first interested you in the Civil Rights Movement?
JTM: I'd realized since grade school that segregation and prejudice were wrong. This was students my age trying to peacefully change things.

KW: Do you think you might have been a little naive about how difficult it would be to change the minds of white Southerners
JTM: No. I AM a white Southerner--these were my people. I'd grown up amongst them. I knew how they felt.

KW: How hard was it for you to adhere to SNCC, Dr. King and Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence in the face of the hostility with which you were met?
JTM: Non-violence was a no-brainer, in keeping with Christianity..."Turn the other cheek," "Love thy neighbor," etcetera. And I'm a Christian. Besides, if you fought back, you were hopelessly outnumbered and could be arrested for assault and battery.

KW: How did you feel when you were imprisoned on Death Row in Mississippi?
JTM: Death Row had great intimidation value, and the guards made sure you knew you were at their mercy--no reporters, lawyers only up from Jackson once a week, and so forth. On the other hand, it was certainly roomier, cleaner, more comfortable than the Hinds County Jail, and the food was better.

KW: What was it like being white but attending a black college and pledging a black sorority?
JTM: I was always a "minority," so college was nothing new. At first, some of the students were a bit uncertain about me, but when I returned for the second, I was just one of the crowd. Had to eat that old cafeteria food and study like everyone else.

KW: Who loved you unconditionally during your formative years?
JTM: My grandmothers.

KW: AALBC.com founder Troy Johnson asks: What was the last book you read?
JTM: Almost finished Vilhalmur Stefansson's 1942 book, "Greenland."
 

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?
JTM: Red beans and rice. My five sons would ALWAYS eat it, and some still ask for it when they come to visit.

KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
JTM: Pick your issue, find a few like-minded folk, and just DO IT--non-violently.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Joan, and congratulations again on “She Stood for Freedom.”
JTM: My pleasure, Kam.


To order a copy of “She Stood for Freedom,” visit:

 

To order a copy of “She Stood for Freedom,” picture book edition for ages 4 to 8, visit:  

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Top Ten DVD List for 7-26-16

by Kam Williams


This Week’s DVD Releases

Pioneers of African-American Cinema

Killer Creature Features: 50 Movie Collection

Icons of Comedy: 50 Movie Collection

River
Barbershop: The Next Cut



Deadline-U.S.A.

Jack Irish: Season One

Baba Joon
Hardcore Henry


Honorable Mention

The Perfect Husband

Nature: Nature's Perfect Partners

Criminal

Nova: Operation Lighthouse Rescue

I Am Wrath

WordWorld: It's Time for School

The Travel Detective: Season Three

Secrets of the Dead: Teotihuacan's Lost Kings

Caillou Goes for the Gold


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Barbershop: The Next Cut

DVD Review by Kam Williams


Calvin and Company Get Real in Chicago


There's been a big change at Calvin's Barbershop since our last visit over a decade ago. The once-sacred male sanctuary has been converted to a unisex salon, and some feisty female employees have brought a new flava to the former man cave, including manager Angie (Regina Hall), flamboyant Draya (Nicki Minaj) and cynical Bree (Margot Bingham). 
 
Besides Ice Cube as Calvin, among the regulars reprising their roles are Jazmin Lewis as his wife, Eve as Terri, Cedric the Entertainer as Eddie, Anthony Anderson as J.D., Sean Patrick Harris as Jimmy, and Troy Garrity as Isaac. The cast also boasts a number of newcomers, most notably, scene-stealing J.B. Smoove as motor-mouthed One-Stop, Deon Cole as Dante, and Common whose character, Rashad, is married to Eve.

As the film unfolds, we're treated to a montage of file footage featuring Reverend Al Sharpton and Father Pfleger, as well as news stories about the uptick in drive-by shootings on the South Side of Chicago. The situation has left Calvin in a quandary about whether it might be wise to relocate the establishment to a safer section of the city. 
 
More importantly, he's worried about the safety of his adolescent son, Jalen (Michael Rainey, Jr.), despite the fact the boy is enrolled at Holy Cross Catholic School. For, on his way home, the kid has to negotiate his way through a gauntlet of gangstas pressuring him to join their ranks.

Meanwhile, street violence seems to claim another young person's life on a daily basis, with some of it hitting a little too close to home. This inspires Calvin to host a peace summit in a desperate attempt to negotiate a ceasefire between the bitter rivals, the Vice Lords and the G.D.s. 
 
Besides addressing the escalating murder rate, the picture does devote plenty of scenes to its trademark levity. One moment, we're treated to an old-fashioned battle-of-the-sexes. The next, there's a debate over President Obama's commitment to the black community. And the most comic relief comes courtesy of trash-talking One-Stop, who has an endless supply of market items for sale: nickel bags of weed to baby pit bulls to watermelon-flavored fried chicken. 
 
Directed by Malcolm Lee (The Best Man), Barbershop: The Next Cut proves to be a pleasant surprise in that it tones down the campy comedy in favor of a serious social agenda. Easily the best installment in the beloved franchise, a movie which manages to entertain while delivering a sobering message that's long overdue. 
 
Third time's a charm for Ice Cube & company!



Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity, ethnic slurs and sexuality
Running time: 112 minutes
Distributor: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Group
Blu-ray Extras: Gag reel; deleted scenes; and The Next Cut: Barbershop Bootcamp.


To see a trailer for Barbershop: The Next Cut, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2vPDGStL4k


To order a copy of Barbershop: The Next Cut on Blu-ray, visit:
 

 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Kam's Kapsule for Movies Opening 7-29-16

OPENING THIS WEEK
Kam's Kapsules
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening July 29, 2016

 
BIG BUDGET FILMS

Bad Moms (R for full frontal nudity, pervasive profanity, and drug and alcohol use) Female empowerment comedy about a trio of overstressed, burnt-out supermoms (Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell) in need of fun and freedom who embark on a self-indulgent binge of hedonistic partying. Cast includes Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jay Hernandez and Kesha.

Cafe Society (PG-13 for violence, suggestive material, smoking and a drug reference) Woody Allen romantic dramedy, set in the 1930s, revolving around a New Yorker (Jesse Eisenberg) who relocates to Los Angeles hoping to work for his uncle (Steve Carell), only to fall in love with the powerful Hollywood agent's secretary (Kristen Stewart). With Sheryl Lee, Jeannie Berlin and Richard Portnow.

Jason Bourne (PG-13 for brief profanity and intense action and violence) 5th installment in the Robert Ludlum espionage series finds the amnesia-plagued protagonist (Matt Damon) uncovering truths about his past at a time when the planet is plunged into political instability. With Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Julia Stiles and Ato Essandoh.


INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Equity (R for pervasive profanity) High finance drama about an investment banker's (Anna Gunn) attempt to untangle a web of corruption in order to avoid the scandal that threatens to derail her career. With James Purefoy, Sarah Megan Thomas and Alysia Reiner.

Gleason (R for profanity) Uplifting documentary chronicling ex-NFL star Steve Gleason's inspirational battle with Lou Gehrig's disease.

Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil (Unrated) Reverential retrospective revisiting the work of Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516), medieval artist famous for paintings illustrating the struggle between good and evil. (In Dutch, English, Spanish and Italian with subtitles)

Hollywood Beauty Salon (Unrated) Against-the-odds documentary about a beauty parlor located in Northwest Philly where both the clients and the staff are in recovery from mental illness.

Homo Sapiens (Unrated) Unplanned obsolescence documentary highlighting forgotten structures built by human beings and long since abandoned.

Indignation (R for sexuality and profanity) Adaptation of Philip Roth's coming-of-age novel, set in 1951, revolving around a Jewish kid (Logan Lerman) from Newark, New Jersey's adjustment to life on the campus of a conservative college in Ohio. With Sarah Gadon, Tracy Letts and Ben Rosenfield.

The Land (Unrated) Coming-of-age saga, set in Cleveland, unfolding over the course of a summer when four teens pursue their dream of becoming professional skateboarders. Co-starring Moises Arias, Rafi Gavron, Jorge Lendeborg., Jr. and Ezri Walker.

Nerve (PG-13 for sexuality, profanity, underage drug and alcohol use, dangerous and risky behavior and teen nudity) Crime thriller about a high school senior (Emma Roberts) who finds herself swept up into a deadly online game of "Truth or Dare." Cast includes Dave Franco, Juliette Lewis and Kimiko Glenn.

Tallulah (Unrated) Ellen Page plays the title character in this dysfunctional family drama as a homeless babysitter who, against her better judgment, impulsively abducts the neglected infant (Liliana Ellis) in her care. With Tammy Blanchard, Allison Janney, Evan Jonigkeit, Zachary Quinto and Uzo Aduba.

The Tenth Man (Unrated) Prodigal Son drama about a Jew (Alan Sabbagh) who returns to Buenos Aires to reconcile with his estranged father (Usher Barilka) while exploring the cultural traditions that originally alienated them from each other. Support cast includes Julieta Zylberberg, Elvira Onetto and Uriel Rubin. (In Yiddish, Hebrew and Spanish with subtitles)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Dr. Julianne Malveaux

The “Are We Better Off?" Interview
with Kam Williams


A Tip of the Chapeau to Dr. Malveaux!

Dr. Julianne Malveaux has long been recognized for her progressive and insightful observations. She is a labor economist, noted author and colorful commentator. Her contributions to the public dialogue on issues such as race, culture, gender and their economic impacts are shaping public opinion in 21st Century America.
Dr. Malveaux is the founder and President of Economic Education, a 501-c3 organization focused on personal finance and economic policy education and their connection. Here, she talks about her new book, “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy."


Kam Williams: Hi, Julianne, thanks for another opportunity to interview you.
Dr. Julianne Malveaux: Greetings, Kam. I hope you are well. Thanks for the opportunity to talk with you again.

KW: You're welcome. What inspired you to publish "Are We Better Off?"
JM: People will be talking about the Obama legacy for decades, and I wanted to include my voice in the analysis of this presidency. This is a column collection, or as one colleague called it, “history in real time,” recounting my perspective on the highs and lows of this presidency from an African-American perspective. More than simply a column collection, the book has a substantial introduction that frames the Obama presidency, explores the way Obama was treated by the political establishment and also how this first black president treated “his” people. In the epilogue, I use numbers to tell the story of African-American gains and losses during this presidency.

KW: How did you decide which articles to include in the book?
JM: Wow! That’s a great question. It was quite a process to narrow more than 400 columns down to 80. I write weekly, though, and I don’t always write about President Obama, so that was the easy elimination. Sometimes, I repeat myself, and that was a second elimination. I worked with a team, including a great editor who, as the project came together, suggested other additions and eliminations. It was a process.

KW: Well, are we better off after eight years of Obama?
JM: The economy is better than the one President Obama inherited, and unemployment is lower, but the unemployment rate gap remains large. Black child poverty is higher. As I write in the epilogue, “Yes we can. No he didn’t. President Obama didn’t push black people backward, but he missed the opportunity to move us forward.”

KW: In the Introduction, you ask, "How does President Obama treat his people?" before criticizing him for not reciprocating the overwhelming support he's received from the African-American electorate. You say, "He scolds instead of uplifts, and offers tepid gestures to our needs." What do you think he could have done in terms of jobs, housing and education?
JM: If some of the recovery money had gone to cities instead of states, the urban population, read "Black" and "Brown," would be better off with recovery jobs. While the banks got big bailouts, a sizeable chunk of African-American wealth evaporated because so many people lost homes. Some of the federal programs to help homeowners were never fully implemented. And President Obama’s pick of Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education was abysmal. Cutting HBCUs was unconscionable. Implementing new regulations on Parent Plus loans, which cost HBCUs 28,000 students, was hostile. At the same time, it is important to note that, except for his first two years, which were a missed opportunity, President Obama faced rabid opposition from the Republicans. Indeed, as soon as he took office, Senator Mitch McConnell announced that his top priority was to deny President Obama a second term. The president did introduce a jobs bill that could not clear Congress. The Republicans simply would not work with him.
KW: What about all the black-on-black violence in so many inner cities across the country. Do you really think the president could have put a dent in it from Washington, DC? After all, his own Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel, became Mayor of Chicago, and the body count has only escalated there?
JM: President Obama’s choice of Rahm Emmanuel as his Chief of Staff was questionable, and perhaps coverups around the police violence against black people in Chicago is reflective of Mr. Emmanuel’s values. Did Rahm Emmanuel serve President Obama or did he serve himself as he prepared to run for Mayor of Chicago? I don’t use the term black-on-black violence, since I’ve never heard the term white-on-white violence. Most violence is intra-racial, and much of the violence in African-American communities is a function of drug availability, joblessness and poverty. Obviously these conditions predate the Obama presidency and the president has limited ways to dent this violence. But funding war weapons in cities, as opposed to more community policing, is not the solution.

KW: What about the issue of blacks as the victims of violence by police and vigilantes like George Zimmerman? Do you think Obama could have done more for Trayvon Martin than to say that he could've been his son?
JM: President Obama did put together a task force on 21st Century Policing, led by Philadelphia police chief Charles Ramsey, to look at some of these issues after Ferguson. The Task Force didn’t produce any earth-shattering findings but it suggests that this matter is on the president’s radar screen. However, this is an issue that persists. In the first week of July, we already saw two black men killed by police in questionable circumstances, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in a Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Trayvon Martin could have been any of our sons, so I was not especially moved by that remark of President Obama’s. He intended, I think, to say that he took Trayvon’s death somewhat personally. He might have said more about “stand your ground” laws and how they give vigilantes a pass. And he might say more about these rogue cops and their license to kill. Although he was in Poland to participate in the NATO conference, President Obama did respond well to the back-to-back killings, as well as to the attacks on Dallas police officers that followed. I especially appreciated hearing the President affirm that “black lives matter” and that it means that some citizens are feeling more pain, and experiencing more negative effects than others, and he offered up the stats. He also indicated that black lives matter does not negate the fact that blue lives matter. He ably walked the tightrope, here, between affirming both black life and police life.

KW: It seems that Obama will be better remembered for LGBT than African-American civil rights. If Trayvon had been transgender, do you think the Attorney General would have charged George Zimmerman with a federal crime?
JM: Let me answer the question another way. The President became quite emotional about transgender student rights, threatening to pull Department of Education funds from school districts that do not comply with federal regulations. Black children are suspended from school three times more than white children are, and there is no evidence that black children are three times as unruly. Has the President ever threatened to pull the Department of Education dollars from a school with these disproportionate suspensions? African-Americans have rarely been the beneficiaries of Presidential rhetorical excess.

KW: When you interviewed Obama, his staff wouldn't let him talk about reparations. What did that tell you about him?
JM: This was in 2004, and it told me that President Obama intended to be very careful and noncontroversial in addressing race matters. It is now 2016, and I’m not sure that I’ve heard the President address that matter yet. I serve on the Institute of the Black World’s National Commission on African-American Reparations, and we have asked the President to, by executive order, establish a commission to study reparations. He can do this without Congressional approval. While I am not optimistic, I do hope that President Obama considers this in these waning months of his Presidency.

KW: In the book, you suspect that Obama's image as a community organizer in Chicago might be more a "manufactured mythology" than a "gritty reality." Have you done any research to determine whether he developed roots and maintained ties to folks he worked with in the hood?
JM: I’ve talked to dozens of Chicagoans who will only go off the record in talking about the manufactured mythology. The published record will show that many in Chicago have mixed feedback on the President’s role as organizer.

KW: You also talk about how outspoken critics of Obama, like Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West, have ended up ostracized by the black community. Do you think this has a had a chilling effect, and did it make you less willing to disagree with the President?
JM: Tavis Smiley lost lots of corporate support after he was critical of President Obama, and Dr. West has lost some esteem. I think that Smiley and West come at the President somewhat differently though, and find some of West’s criticism too personal and base to be credible. Still, the way they were treated has caused many to bridle their tongues when discussing President Obama. I had my own challenges with the Obamaites when, in 2008, appearing on a program with Tavis and Cornel, I gave then-candidate Obama’s nomination acceptance speech a B. At the time I was President of Bennett College for Women, and actually had disgruntled members of the public write my Board of Trustees and faculty, and address me in ugly and disparaging terms, including black women calling me the N-word. Ugliness does not bridle my tongue, and while some of the consequences of being an honest critic of this President have been unpleasant, I can manage. Don’t get me wrong. As I write in the book, I do not regret either of my votes for President Obama, nor my support of him when he ran for the Senate before that. I get excited as I ever did when I see that black man on Air Force One. But I won’t settle for symbolism, and our President’s record should be open for analysis.

KW: Do you think the African-American agenda might have been placed on the Obama administration's back burner because of a hesitancy on the part of black leaders to question or criticize the President?
JM: Absolutely! You will not get fed in your mama’s house if you do not bring your plate to the table. Some of our leadership has been so happy to be there that they haven’t pushed our agenda. I don’t know how many off the record conversations I’ve had with African-American leaders who would not be quoted and refused to make their sentiments public.

KW: What grade would you give Obama?
JM: Depending on the day of the week it varies. At the moment, though there are just a few months left in our President’s time in the Oval Office I’d like to give him an incomplete and hope he surprises me. Actually, overall he gets a solid B, but for his work with Black America he gets a low C, at best.

KW: AALBC.com founder Troy Johnson asks: What was the last book you read?
JM: I am addicted to the printed word, and my idea of a good time is a good book. So I had a read-a-thon over the 4th of You Lie weekend. Kindle First offered "The Daughter of Union County" by Francine Thomas Howard as a freebie, so I read it. Post-Reconstruction historical fiction that resonated. Then, I re-read "Twelve Years A Slave." It was my third read of that book. I first read it years ago, maybe in the '90s, again when the film came out. I could never see the movie after reading the book. This time, I just read it because I always want to read something about our people’s enslavement near the 4th. To keep it light, I also read Rolanda Watts’ "Destiny Lingers" She is a sisterfriend and I ran into her at Essence. Then, I finished Paul Taylor’s "The Next America." Taylor is the Executive VP at the Pew Research Center, and he uses their excellent data base to talk about the coming “generational showdown” which we are experiencing, at some level, in Black America.

KW: Was there a meaningful spiritual component to your childhood?
JM: More spiritual than religious. I describe myself as a “spiritual sampler,” raised Catholic, been Baptist, Methodist, and a Unity member. Always firmly believing in a higher power, I have also always been in search of a spiritual peace.

KW: Sherry Gillam would like to know what is the most important life lesson you've learned so far?
JM: I like to think that life lessons are learned and re-learned every day and take on importance at different times in life. In trying times, I like to remember that you have to keep walking because you can’t see what is around the corner.

KW: What's the craziest thing you've ever done?
JM: Do you really think I’m going to go on record telling you the craziest thing I’ve ever done. There’s a reel in my brain, and I think I’ll keep it there. No regrets, though.

KW: Finally, what’s in your wallet?
JM: A little money, a couple of credit cards, some ID, and a couple of scriptures on a 3x5 card. Matthew 17:20 and 1 Corinthians 16:9.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Julianne, and best of luck with the book.
JM: Thank you so much, Kam.




To order a copy of "Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy," visit: