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John H

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John H last won the day on November 1 2011

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About John H

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  1. The Help has enjoyed a three week run as the most popular movie in the country. After avoiding it I finally went to see it. It's what I called a "liberal conscience film" in my recent book Faces in the Mirror: Oscar Micheaux and Spike Lee. These films, The Defiant Ones, In the Heat of the Night, Odds Against Tomorrow, Edge of the City, and a dozen like them were popular in the 1950's and 60's. The Help is a well-meaning throw-back in that respect. As in the typical liberal conscience film, the main struggle occurs in the heart/soul/mind of the white protagonist as she tries to overcome racism,

  3. Obama Derangement Syndrome---ODS—is a new category of mental illness recently added to the DSM, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the mental health profession's official catalogue. It is a disease afflicting conservative Republicans primarily. The symptoms of ODS are (1) an absolute conviction that anything said by Barack Obama-- “there are 24 hours in a day”, “the earth is round”, “water is wet”-- must be opposed and damned as the utterances of ‘the most radical president in American history’, (2) the condemnation of Obama for not buying into demonstrably absurd
  4. The third party candidate would not be elected and you would probably tip the election to the republican candidate---thereby opening up the gates of hell. Think 2000 and Ralph Nader's candidacy which helped tip the contest to Bush---I've seen that movie before---We've taken that ride before---let's not do it again. JH
  5. I worked like a dog for him. I was standing on the mall inauguration day along with tens of thousands of others, thrilled at the prospect of the dawn of a new age. It was not simply that he was the first black man with a serious chance of being elected president. I would have been the first one in line to vote against a Clarence Thomas or a Michael Steele. He spoke in the language of a progressive who would fight to make the United States a fairer place—who would fight for universal health care, for public works programs that would put people back to work fixing road and bridges, for laws that
  6. @jrhow2/twitterThe republican attack on public sector union workers is also an attack on blacks. Black public sector union members are a key part of the black middle class. They are the teachers, the hospital workers, the garbage collectors, the social workers, the janitors, the secretaries. At a time when the economic ladder has been pulled out from under so many, we all have a stake in fighting for those still able to support the businesses, churches, and other institutions that sustain the life and vitality of black communities. I marched in my first picket line 50 years ago. None of can sa
  7. We have to select candidates from the choices WE ACTUALLY HAVE. The choice in 2008 was Obama-Biden or McCain-Palin. Is anyone prepared to say honestly say they would be okay with a Sarah Palin being a heart beat away from the presidency? John Howard http://www.facesinthemirror.com
  8. I recently did some work on my family tree, tracing the Howard line on my father's side back to my great grandmother, Pinneta, born a slave in Tarboro County, North Carolina in 1854. In the course of doing this I came to know who my forebears were and to understand the times in which they lived. This on-going quest to uncover the family past has deepened my knowledge of black history and given me a more sophisticated understaning of the complex era in which we live.If anyone is thinking of exploring their family tree I would be happy to give them some pointers.
  9. The acting in Micheaux's silent films is comparable to the acting in Hollywood silent films of the period. Compare BODY AND SOUL to any Hollywood silent film released at that time. The acting in his sound films is inferior to that in major Hollywood studios of the time altough not that differnt than what you would find in Hollwyood poverty row studios (PRC, Monogram,etc) b-movie sound films.
  10. Clarence Thomas believes we should follow the Constitution as originally written. The Constitution as originally written contained three clasues protecting slavery. Under that Constitution Clarence could have been sold along with the farm animals and the furnitutre. Is Clarence a genius, or what? John Howard
  11. March 25th will be the 60th anniversary of the death of Oscar Micheaux, the first major African-American film-maker. Within Our Gates and Body and Soul (with Paul Robeson) are his best films, in my opinion. Try to see them if you have not already done so, or if you have---see tham again. My recent book FACES IN THE MIRROR: OSCAR MICHEAUX AND SPIKE LEE compares our two greatest directors. John Howard My link
  12. Ntozake Shange’s choreo/play FOR COLORED GIRLS, on which the film is based, views the world from the perspective of a group of black women. If Perry had changed that in bringing the play to the screen he would truly have done damage to a great work. Of course, the film presents the world from the perspective of those women. What else would one have expected Perry to do? The major female characters (with a couple of exceptions) are those that were in the choreo/play, the dialogue they speak at critical moments in their sagas is taken from the choreo/play, many of the crises that are fleshed out
  13. By now the crowd of people slamming Tyler Perry’s movies and television programs as minstrel shows could fill a large theater. One critic of his film version of FOR COLORED GIRLS called him ‘the king of coonery’. These people are, of course, wrong. Historically, minstrel shows flourished from the mid 19th century through the early 20th century. They were, for the most part, the products of white showmen using white performers in black face and were directed, overwhelmingly, at white audiences. Their function was to justify cradle to grave segregation, sanctified in law and enforced by violen
  14. Chrishayden: You ask:"How can you separate out mysogyny against black women from mysogyny against women?" It's easy. By any measure, by any yard stick, by any metric one cares to apply, black women have been and still are dealt with much more harshly, with more contempt and disdain in this society than white women. If anyone has evidence to the contrary I would like them to present it. But in any event, my initial comments were about criticims of FOR COLORED GIRLS for presenting negative images of black males, and I would reinterate my initial observation: Any film telling stories of rela
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