Archive for August, 2011

Off-Topic Tuesday,or, The Dilemma

Posted in Uncategorized on August 30, 2011 by ctgalaw

Hattie McDaniel  picture, image, poster

When I read the book Gone With the Wind, I was fascinated by the role of “Mammy,” and like everyone in the position to give it professional consideration, I naturally felt I could create in it something distinctive and unique.

Hattie McDaniel, New York Amsterdam News, May 20, 1939

The dilemma of the Negro actor still exists.  He is perplexed—two audiences, white and black.  What shall he do if he wants to move to higher things?

Clarence Muse, The Dilemma of the Negro Actor, 1934

Clarence Muse was a lawyer who developed a thriving career as an actor, screenwriter, director and composer in the early 1900s.  He is known as the first Black actor to star in a film (Broken Earth, 1936)

. .  . I really felt like if I read as much as I could, I’d have something maybe nuanced in my performance that could provide some further authenticity. . .

(The talented and beautiful) Viola Davis, The Seattle Times, August 2011  (referencing her role in the movie, The Help)

 

 

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney Un-Blog(tm).  All Rights Reserved.  And I will sue.  Ha!

“The Help,” or, Updating the Real Story Behind “The Help”

Posted in Uncategorized on August 29, 2011 by ctgalaw

Earlier this month I posted about the lawsuit filed by Ablene Cooper, a Black Jackson, Mississippi maid who claims (in a lawsuit) that “The Help” author Kathryn Stockett has without permission and or compensation, used her life {Ablene Cooper} story in the creation of the main character in her book.

“The Help” as you know, is about the relationship between White families in Mississippi and the Black maids who worked for them in the 1960s.  The book offers an almost lighthearted treatment of Black-White relations during what some critics consider to be the most tumultuous time in the American Civil Rights struggle.

Some have even likened “The Help” and Kathryn Stockett to a White, female southern writer of the 1930s,—— Margaret Mitchell and her seminal pro-Confederate classic, “Gone With The Wind.”

Quickly:  Ablene Cooper was/is the Jackson, Mississippi maid to Kathryn Stockett’s brother.  Ablene Cooper and Kathryn Stockett have met.  Kathryn Stockett when writing her bestselling book was aware (to some extent) of Ablene Cooper’s “story.”

Ablene Cooper claims that Kathryn Stockett has improperly (i.e. without permission and or compensation) incorporated her “story” into her bestselling book and hugely popular movie.  As of today, box office receipts for “The Help”——$40,000,000 and counting.

Ablene Cooper, as a result of the above allegations filed in February, a $75,000 lawsuit against Kathryn Stockett.

#

THE UPDATE……..

1.  On Tuesday, August 16th, Hinds County (Mississippi) Circuit Judge Tommie Green dismissed the lawsuit stating that the 1 year statute of limitations elapsed.  Translation:  The merits of the case was not considered (i.e. because of the running of the 1 year statute, the court was precluded from deciding on the veracity of Ablene Cooper’s allegations).

2.  Immediately after hearing the judge’s decision to dismiss her suit, Ablene Cooper left the courthouse in tears.  She stated through tears that “…..She’s a liar.  She did it.  She knows she did it.”  Stockett was not in court during the proceedings.

3.  On Thursday, August 19th, Edward Sander’s, Ablene Cooper’s attorney, asked the judge to reconsider the lawsuit.  The motion for reconsideration stated in part that the 1 year clock did not start clicking until the summer of 2010 when Ablene Cooper read “The Help” for the first time.

4. Sanders argued that his client did not read the book sooner because in a handwritten note Stockett assured Cooper that despite the similarity in names (Aibileen Clark—the name of the maid in “The Help”), the character wasn’t based on Cooper.

5.  Cooper stated that she trusted Stockett and  did not read the book sooner based on Stockett’s assertions in the handwritten note.  Translation:  “Had I not relied on Kathryn Stockett’s misrepresentation(s) in her handwritten note, I would have read the book sooner and would have as a result of the blatant similarities, filed my lawsuit well within the 1 year statute of limitations.”

6.  The judge has the motion in hand.   And of course, The Recovering Attorney will keep you posted!

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney Un-Blog(tm).  All Rights Reserved.  And I will sue.  Ha!

Wordless Wednesday on Thursday,or, Harlem Street Scenes Past and Present

Posted in Uncategorized on August 25, 2011 by ctgalaw

Lovin’ the images!  In the past, on The Recovering Attorney Un-Blog(tm), I’ve posted the iconic photographs of the late Harlem Renaissance photographer extraordinaire, James Vanderzee.

Vanderzee’s photos though capturing the beauty, confidence and aspirations of its Harlem subjects, were predominately studio potraits.  In stark contrast, the above black and white 1940s images are actual street images of Harlem residents going about their everyday lives.

As a proud Harlem native, I’ve always heard stories (as told by my parents and grandparents) of how Harlemnites of the 1940s through 1960s,  would not dare venture onto the Grand Boulevards without being properly and elegantly attired (my parents and grandparents were part of the well-dressed set–I love their old photos).

For men:  Suit, tie, dress coat, hat ( I’m certain that those hats quickly came off when entering a room!); polished shoes.  Women:  Hair (isn’t it always about the hair? *le sigh*), if not freshly  coiffed, a sharp chapeau would be in order, flirty dresses or skirts, pantyhose, fashionable heels (perhaps I.Miller) topped off with a fur collared coat (weather permitting of course).  Children:  Just as fashionable as the parents!

My mother further shared that if a young lady went out earlier in the day–she would not consider returning in the afternoon in the same ensemble.  Hmmmmm.  Really?

Well, famed fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh beautifully recaptured the Harlem Street Style of the 1940s using the photogenic actress Zoe Saldana as his muse.  Photographed on the streets of Harlem for the September 2009 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, it appears as if Saldana, in the true Harlem Street Style of the day, changed up that outfit (notice that the men are donning the same attire in Photo I and Photo II)!—it appears as if my mother was right about the 2 outfit a day requirement.  Ha!

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney Un-Blog(tm).  All Rights Reserved.  And I will sue.  Ha!

A Legend Has Left Us……………and you know that The Recovering Attorney has a personal story to share

Posted in Uncategorized on August 23, 2011 by ctgalaw

Nickolas Ashford one-half of the singing, song writing and just stunningly fantastic duo of Ashford & Simpson, has died.  Nick, the legendary Motown artist passed away in New York City on Monday at the age of 70 from throat cancer.

My all time favorite singing duo, Ashford & Simpson was a prolific song writing team.  Nick and Val (that’s  just how we referred to the two) penned the soundtrack of so many lives:  “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand,” I’m Every Woman,” and their breakout hit of 1966, “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” made popular by Ray Charles.

Nick came to New York City by way of South Carolina, by way of Michigan in the 1960s.  Like the many talented, ambitious artists before him, he found his way to the village of Harlem where at the White Rock Baptist Church he met the love of his life and singing and songwriting partner, Valerie Simpson.  And the rest my Dear Readers is music (and loving relationship) history.

I am so happy that I had the opportunity to experience the music and love that was Ashford & Simpson when I saw them in concert at Radio City Music Hall during their “Solid As A Rock” heyday.

Though Nick and I were never formally introduced, when in passing, Nick was always courteous and a gentleman…….

It was in the late 1980s when I first encountered Nick Ashford on the streets of New York City.  Mr. Recovering Attorney and I (engaged at the time) were zipping up Third Avenue in his brand new champagne colored 300SD Turbo-Diesel Mercedes-Benz.

When stopped at a traffic light on 72nd street, a tall, handsome Black man (with flowing locks) walking a well-groomed, dignified Airedale passed in front of our car.  We did a double take at this suave, put together dude and he in turn glanced into the car of this handsome, put together young couple.  Ha!  We all smiled (Nick actually waved), acknowledging one another’s presence and we kept it moving!

Fast forward a decade.  Mr. Recovering Attorney and I (now happily married), came to know through professional contacts, Nick and Val’s next door neighbors on East 61st.  Nick and Val owned (and still own) the townhouse connected to that of our friends.  When leaving the home of our friends one evening, we again encountered Nick (it was always Nick—never “ran into” Val).  He smiled and we smiled.   And lastly……

In 2007, during the early days of July, Precious Child II and I were strolling down 61st on our way to Bloomies.  I was pointing out to PCII the townhouses of Nick and Val, Bill and Camille and our former business associates—all neighbors on one tree-lined street on the Upper East Side of New York City.  And lo and behold.  Who is coming straight at us wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat, a white tee-shirt, a pair of khakis, REIish sport sandals, carrying a white, nondescript plastic shopping bag?  Why Nick Ashford of course!!!!  Nick smiled, gestured to tip his hat and Nick and I for the third and final time, acknowledged each other’s presence on the streets of New York City.

I send out my condolences to Valerie and his family.  The loss must be unbearable.

*…….and for love’s sake each mistake—-awwww you forgave!………….*

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney Un-Blog(tm).  All Rights Reserved.  And I will sue.  Ha!

Off-Topic Tuesday, or, And Now For the Reveal……….

Posted in Uncategorized on August 23, 2011 by ctgalaw

The answer to The Recovering Attorney’s “Who Said That?” question (please see yesterday’s post):  Spike Lee.  The opinionated filmmaker and voracious New York Knicks fan shared with the world via Twitter, his recent, brief encounter with the President.  At the time of the friendly exchange, Lee and President Obama were at the Martha’s Vineyard home of Harvard law professor, Charles Ogletree.

It must be nice.  Ha!

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney Un-Blog(tm).  All Rights Reserved.  And I will sue.  Ha!

WHO SAID THAT?, or, The Recovering Attorney Is Asking You!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 22, 2011 by ctgalaw

The Vineyard in August.  While the rest of the USA is hot, humid and sticky, one can count on the sea breezes, relaxed atmosphere (some day visitors might appear slighty “uptight”–it is the Vineyard after all….ha!) and sense of community found on Martha’s Vineyard.

As a teenager, young bride and new mother, I too, enjoyed The Vineyard a time or two or three.  Hop in the car, head up I95 and you are transported to paradise in a matter of hours.  Oh how I miss my Northeastern access to the Cape!

Well, the Cape is “trending” this week.  I wonder why (*wink* *wink*)?  I do hear tell that a certain VIP (and family) is spending (what I hope to be) a relaxing end of summer vacay.  And unless you have been under a rock you know that everyone and their brother, step-sister and play cousin has offered an opinion on the expediency of this VIP’s 10 day holiday. . . . . . . But I fooled you!

You thought that The Recovering Attorney was going to offer up her $0.02 on the matter.  NOPE  (you may wish to click on over to    http://www.jackandjillpolitics.com/ for real, insightful conversation on that subject).  However, I will provide a series of tweets where a certain celebrity shared with his followers his brief encounter with the POTUS while attending an exclusive reception hosted by Harvard professor and President Obama family friend, Charles Ogletree:

Just talked to President Obama here at Reception on Martha’s Island.  Bukoo Black Folks here at Oak Bluffs.”

“In a HELLA quick conversation with President Obama I told him he will continue to have my support, and he needs to take off the kid gloves.”

“CNN can spin it anyway they want.  I support Obama, in the 15 seconds I had, I told him that he should take off the kid gloves.  NOT NEGATIVE.”

It’s apparent by the caps in the last tweet, that the tweeter received some push back from CNN, his followers, POTUS supporters; and the http://www.  Well, my Dear Readers what celebrity provided the above repartee?  I will provide a hint:  Like Hollywood A-Lister Jack Nicholson, this celebrity holds down the fort court here on the east coast (I think I just gave the answer away.  Ha!)!

Tune in tomorrow Dear Readers for the reveal!

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney Un-Blog(tm).  All Rights Reserved.  And I will sue.  Ha!

Wordless Wednesday—–ON THURSDAY!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 18, 2011 by ctgalaw

Take a gander at the above ad.  In case you are unable to observe the particulars, allow me…….

The ad features a handsome, well-groomed Black man (not a problem so far, right?) holding and preparing to hurl the head of what appears to be  a man of a color (from my vantage point–please keep in mind that my eyes are of a certain age, ha!) sporting a full-blown, natural afro (not a problem), bearded with a slight grimace/growl on his face (“Houston we may have a problem” now).

The ad’s tagline:  “Look like you give a damn…..Re-Civilize yourself.”

So I ask my Dear Readers:   Is the ad a

I.   Diss against Black men (Black women, Black children, etc.)

II.   Part of this summer’s apparent (now) trifecta of questionable health and beauty ads–think the va-jay-jay and beauty bar ads,  A

III. Clever marketing stunt–heck, The Recovering Attorney is posting about it, ha! OR

IV.  All of the above

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney Un-Blog(tm).  All Rights Reserved.  And I will sue.  Ha!