*Things happen in life due to one of three reasons: They happen on purpose, by accident or by Devine design.
It was on purpose that I signed a NAACP petition urging the Department of Justice to file charges against George Zimmerman for violating the civil rights of Trayvon Martin when he shot and killed Martin in February 2012 then was acquitted of criminal wrongdoing last July. As a result, NAACP president Benjamin Jealous invited me and others to the Nation’s Capital for the 50th anniversary celebration of the March on Washington last week. But I had to decline.
As a flight attendant I have little to no control over what cities I fly to and from. And on August 28th I was scheduled to work. But what I didn’t realize until later is that I would be in Memphis; the city where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated five years after his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. The fact that I happened to be in Memphis of all places on the very day of the 50th anniversary of MLK’s momentus March on Washington where the largest celebration in his honor behind the one in the Nation’s Capital would be – I believe – was by Devine design.
I grew up in Knoxville, TN. I’ve been to Memphis countless times before. But I never had been to the National Civil Rights Museum. The site of the Lorraine Motel where King was assassinated, and the boarding house overlooking the motel where convicted killer James Earl Ray rented a room to pull the trigger, were converted into the museum. And just since last fall visitors to the museum are allowed on the balcony in the very spot where King stood when he was gunned down. I stood in the exact spot. And I saw the bathroom in the boarding house from where Ray is believed to have fired the bullet that took the life of one of the world’s most prolific leaders.
No matter how many pictures I’ve seen of the motel, the room where King stayed or the balcony where he took his last breath nothing for me compares to being there myself.
If you’ve not been to the National Civil Rights Museum in downtown Memphis, it’s worth the trip and the $10 price of admission. Sure, I would’ve gone to Washington, D.C. for the celebration if I could have. But Devine intervention put me in Memphis for an experience I couldn’t have gotten any other place. And for that I am grateful.
Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. For questions, comments and speaking inquiries contact her at email@example.com.
Forest Whitaker attending the Closing Ceremony and ‘Zulu’ screening during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes.
(May 26, 2013
*Forest Whitaker is in negotiations to play Martin Luther King in director Paul Greengrass’ MLK biopic “Memphis,” according to TheWrap.com.
The film will follow Dr. King’s final days as he struggles to balance his personal life and the civil rights movement, as well as his eventual assassination at the hands of James Earl Ray in April 1968.
Additionally, it’s thought the biopic will focus on the events leading up to his final protest in Memphis, Tennessee and also the aftermath of his death as the FBI mounts a manhunt to find his killer.
“Memphis” is rumored to be filming in a documentary-style format, similar to Greengrass’ 9/11 drama “United 93.” The biopic has long been in the works, originally being set up at Universal, but it will now be made independently with financing from Abu Dhabi-based Veritas Films.
Dr. King’s family previously objected to Greengrass’ proposed film about the civil rights leader because of his warts-and-all approach to telling his life story. The family is developing their own biopic with Dreamworks.
Whitaker, who earned an Oscar for his role as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in 2006′s “The Last King of Scotland,” is next set to star in historical drama “The Butler.”
*44-years after his assassination, there’s a lot of interest in Martin Luther King Jr. by filmmakers.
At one point last year “Memphis” was one of 5 MLK productions in the pipeline … all at varying stages of development.
The bottom line is that only ONE of the five projects has the backing of the King estate. That would be the undertaking from the Oprah Winfrey/HBO/Steven Spielberg/DreamWorks coalition
Hold on. Not so fast. Now it appears that “Memphis” is back on track after being in limbo for the past year or so, according to Shadow and Act.
“Last we wrote about the Paul Greengrass-directed MLK assassination pic, “Memphis,” which was once a sure-thing, the studio backing it, Universal
Pictures, had backed out of financing and distributing the film.
“Why? Word on the street was that there was pressure from the MLK estate (and Andrew Young’s objections) to call off the project, because they were unhappy with the script.”
Read/learn more at KingProgram.net.
Montego Glover of the Broadway musical “Memphis”
*Alcon has acquired rights to the Tony Award-winning musical “Memphis” and will bring it to the big screen, likely through Warner Bros, where Alcon is based, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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Mark Gordon and Molly Smith are producing the film, which revolves around the relationship between a white radio DJ and an African American aspiring singer in segregated Tennessee in the 1950s.
Joe DiPietro, who wrote the book and co-wrote the lyrics with David Bryan, will pen the script. Its 1,166-performance Broadway run ended earlier this year. It was first staged in 2003 at the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Mass., and TheatreWorks in Mountain View, Calif. It opened on Broadway on Oct. 19, 2009, and won four Tony Awards including best musical in 2010.The production is now touring the United States.
The stage version of Memphis is loosely based on disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s.
Memphis star Montego Glover
*Tony Award-winning musical Memphis is saying farewell to Broadway.
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The show – inspired by late radio legend Dewey Phillips, one of the first white disc jockeys to broadcast soul music in the 1950s – will have its final curtain call on Aug. 5, following 30 preview performances and 1,166 regular stagings at Manhattan’s Shubert Theatre.
Producers tell the Associated Press they have yet to recoup initial investments, but hope to do so by the end of its New York run.
Memphis, which won Best Musical at the 2010 Tony Awards, will continue touring the U.S. for a second year, and there are plans to take the production to London’s West End.
Cornelius Banks was arrested for the rape and torture of three men in Memphis, Tenn., during a 9-hour home invasion.
*The most bizarre crimes are happening and this one is shocking and utterly disgusting.
The people breaking in homes these days are not just there to steal material belongings anymore, they want to inflict injury and/or pain on the residents of the home.
Three men in Memphis, Tennessee, were assaulted in their home by four home invaders. The words robber or burglar doesn’t really reflect what these animals have done.
The men that invaded the home, raped, beat, and tortured the men living inside the home.
According to the report from WMCTV: (more…)