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The Great Debaters Still Holding On… Monica’s Special Message to A New York Newspaper

peters-pic.jpgIn case you all were wondering, to date as of January 31, 2008, The Great Debaters has grossed 29, 279,308 at the box office.

**Big up to the film critic from the major NYC “arts” newspaper who “borrowed” my angle for my First Sunday film review for your website. Next time I will post my original post and post your “borrowed” version to show the world that you are not that original. Shame on you. You are supposed to be writing for one of the best publications in the world.

Have a great day!


January 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Kennedy’s and Babies Back Barack!


“I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.”….Caroline Kennedy speaking on her support for Barack Obama.

The influential and powerful Kennedy dynasty supports Barack Obama for President. For those of you who don’t know that is MAJOR. This is definitely a major blow to the Clinton campaign. Apparently the Kennedy’s are fed up with the Clinton’s injecting race into the campaign. Ted Kennedy is also upset about Bill and Hilary’s remarks about Dr. Martin Luther King and his legacy. I’m just fed up with Bill and Hilary’s arrogant attitude like they are entitled to the Black vote. Quite frustrating.

Love this photo. Even babies are for Obama!


January 29, 2008 Posted by | politics, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Routing for Ruby!..Takes Home Sag Award. Will She Take the Oscar?

Actress, legend and icon Ruby Dee won the SAG Award for Best a Actress in a Supporting Role for her role as Denzel Washington’s mother in American Gangster. She is also nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role! Ruby says that her late husband, actor Ossie Davis is “working on things up there.” Go Ruby!


January 28, 2008 Posted by | American Film, Black Film, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Queen Takes Home SAG Award Too!

Queen Latifah took home the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for her role as Ana Wallace, an AIDS activist who is HIV positive, in HBO’s “Life Support.” All hail the queen.

*Legend, icon and actress Ruby Dee takes home SAG Award too. See post below.


January 27, 2008 Posted by | American Film, Black Film | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chris Rock Finds His Roots and Cries on Oprah

By Monica Medinachris-rock-cries-on-oprah.jpg

First I must say, that it’s refreshing to see a man cry. It’s good for men to show their emotions. Chris Rock was on Oprah talking about the upcoming series that will air on PBS called “African American Lives 2” hosted by Henry Louis Gates. On the series, Chris discovers that his great-great-grandfather, Julius Caesar Tinghman, went from being a slave to serving in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War. Tinghman also was elected into the South Carolina legislature at 27 years old. He went from being a slave to owning 65 acres of land when he died in 1917.

Chris became choked up. “It’s weird how you don’t realize what low expectations you have for yourself until somebody shows you what your people have actually accomplished. It made me a little sad because I always considered myself so lucky. Yes, there’s a lot of luck with the success … but when you see that people before you managed to make it, you feel like maybe it’s your birthright or destiny. We as black people don’t feel that we’re destined to do anything but bad.”

AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2 airs Wednesdays, February 6-13, 2008, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET on PBS.

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Television, thegritsncheesedish | , , , , | Leave a comment

Coming to 1/28: Triple Play! Deborah Gregory, Miasha, Alicia M. Rivers

Exclusive Interviews Coming to the website on 1/28

Best-selling authors Deborah Gregory, Miasha

and Jolie Magazine Editor-n-Chief Alicia M. Rivers


GritsnCheese has an awesome line up of interviews hitting on Monday 1/28. (Or who knows we may put them up earlier, hint hint).

Deborah Gregory author of the mega hit novel series Cheetah Girls talks about growing up in NYC foster care system.  She also gives the scoop on the business side of turning books into movies!

Best-Selling Author Miasha talks about her successful and phenomenal career as an author and her new novel hitting in March “Sistah For Sale.” She gives the scoop on good and bad book deals, why she didn’t take her first offer from Terri Woods and her advice to authors who hate on “urban street literature.”

Alicia M. Rivers, Editor-n-Chief of Jolie Magazine talks all things beauty, her career in the publishing industry and lots more.  She also discusses the natural vs. enhanced beauty controversy.

Read the website and the blog here everyday. You never want to miss a dish of grits!

January 23, 2008 Posted by | books, monica medina, thegritsncheesedish, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honoring His Memory: Dr. Martin Luther King

Honoring The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King
Honor his legacy everyday, not just today.

January 21, 2008 Posted by | thegritsncheesedish, world news | , , , | Leave a comment

FILM REVIEW: Is “First Sunday” Worth The Money?

first-sunday.jpgBy Monica Medina

When I hosted David E. Talbert’s advance screening last week, David urged the audience to support good Black films. Black filmmakers today are at odds as to what constitutes “good black film.”  For the record, I think David E. Talbert is a talented filmmaker.  I’m not the one to try to take food out of someones mouth. Plus it seems like these are the only types of films that are keeping our legendary and underrated Black actresses employed. So, I’ll tread lightly. The premise of the film is about two friends Durell played by Ice Cube and Lee John played by Tracy Morgan who are up dire straights and plan to rob a church. The underlying story line is about Ice Cube’s character robbing the church so he can avoid having his son and his “baby mother” played by Regina Hall from being forced to move down South. But the blaring stereotypes at times override the positive message that the filmmaker is trying to convey. Simply put, “First Sunday” is not a great or bad movie. It is just “ok”, although I did laugh throughout the movie. Tracy Morgan’s character “Lee John” who was abandoned as a child is the saving grace of the film. I can say that Tracy’s character actually has some depth which may result in some more film offers for him. I admire the filmmaker David E. Talbert’s zest to make films that integrate inspirational messages. However, I don’t understand the need for stereotypical images. What I’ve learned from this movie is that what is funny depends upon the audience group. If you are a fan of inspirational plays you may think this film is funny. For others, First Sunday may be viewed as nothing more than predictable humor that pokes fun and magnifies stereotypes about the Black Church and Black people. One particular scene that some may find funny but many may find offensive is when Kat Williams tells an overweight church-member in the midst of the church hold up, “Not to worry because he [Ice Cube’s character] doesn’t have that many bullets.” No, I’m not a big woman, but it is commonplace in inspirational films and plays to make a big darkskinned women the brunt of the jokes. If a white filmmaker were to do that we would be outraged. I’ll stop right there. However, I believe that director, filmmaker and playwright David E. Talbert is talented and has an even brighter future ahead of him.  I laughed throughout the movie, but often times felt bad about doing so.

Is “First Sunday” worth the money? I would say if you are going out to the movies, go see “The Great Debaters.” Then go see “First Sunday” if those types of films tickle your fancy.

January 8, 2008 Posted by | Black Film, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Random Thoughts: Gladys & Ron Got the Best Soul Food

Random Thoughts
by Monica Medina

This is one of my favorite restaurants in the country. Gladys & Ron’s Chicken & Waffles in Atlanta is some of the best soul food I’ve ever had. I checked out the one on Peachtree Street. I didn’t want to leave!

No Gladys did not put me up to this. I just love their food! Sometimes I’m tempted to just jump on a plane to Atlanta just to taste some of that good soul food!

Gladys & Ron’s Chicken & Waffles is one of the best things that ever happened to me (smile).


January 5, 2008 Posted by | Restaurants, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Agent of Change” Takes Iowa. Wins by Landslide.

Barack Obama wins the Iowa caucus at 38%. John Edwards comes in 2nd place with 30% and Hilary comes in third with 29%. Barack is the first African-American to ever win the Iowa caucus.


January 4, 2008 Posted by | politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment