Cappuccino Soul

Cappuccino Soul

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bittersweet with MFSB/TSOP

This song gets me everytime. First it makes me want to cry -- then it makes me want to dance. Here's Mother Father Sister Brother (the Sound of Philadelphia) playing "Bittersweet."

Monday, June 23, 2014

Journey on Beauty and Compliments

One should be as cautious when receiving the compliment 'you have a good heart' as one should be when they are told 'you have a nice body'.

Both are nice to hear. Both are flattering. Both have the potential to be coming from someone who seeks to exploit one or the other.

Either way, be aware but not paranoid. A rose is still a rose no matter what its beauty evokes. Bloom regardless.

- journey

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Great Ruby Dee: A True Mother Sister

Here's my tribute to the great Ruby Dee -- the actress who pierced you every time you watched her in a dramatic role -- like Mother Sister in Do The Right Thing, Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, and Lucinda Purify in Jungle Fever. I posted the article below back when she was nominated for an Oscar Award in 2008 for her role as the mother of drug lord, Frank Lucas (played by Denzel Washington). 

Rest easy, Ms. Dee. You worked hard during your illustrious career as an actress and you fought hard as a civil rights activist for all of us. We love and appreciate you!
Originally Posted February 23, 2008

I will be highly disappointed if this woman right here doesn't win the Oscar for her role in the film American Gangster. Ruby Dee is nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category along with Cate Blanchett, Saoirse Ronan, Amy Ryan, and Tilda Swinson.
Dee is one of America's finest actors and has paved the way for many of our country's African American artists. The level of excellence that she and her husband Ossie Davis gave to some of Spike Lee's films is phenomenal.

I respect her not only for her great acting abilities, but also for her work as an activist, and her great teaching talents. She taught me and I will never forget the lessons I learned from her.

Check out what I wrote about Ms. Dee in my personal essay titled "Listening to Nina Simone," which first appeared in The Writers Loft magazine called The Trunk:

I took a solo performance class with Ruby Dee at Hunter College in New York City. From her I learned to always have a purpose when performing or creating any type of artistic project. Ms. Dee screamed at me when I was rehearsing a piece for an upcoming show. “Speak the words!” she said. She was telling me to give it all I had. I’ve been trying to do that ever since. And I’ve got nothin’ but love for her husband, the late Ossie Davis, who would lovingly fill in for his wife and teach her class when she had other engagements. His advice about performing and the arts was always as solid as hers.

Also, read a Variety magazine article about Dee here.

Here are two interesting answers that Dee gave to the reporter:

What's your favorite film? A Raisin in the Sun
(This is, of course, one of the film's that Dee herself helped to make golden.)

What do you want in a director? "I'm an actor who appreciates direction. I respect the fact that a director has studied the text and the road map of work before us, the subtleties, interconnections, underpinnings. ... His job is to paint the entire picture and knows all the colors that have to be in it."

Here's this master actress playing one of the best roles she had during her glorious career. She plays the mother of Gator, a strung out crack addict, in Jungle Fever. As always, when she and her husband Ossie worked together, it was always a joy to behold.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

I Admire

"When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people; as I grow older I admire kind people."
                                -- Abraham Joshua Heschel