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From the Rough (FILM REVIEW)

Jae Alan

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 From the Rough

Film Review by Kam Williams

     Taraji P. Henson Stars as Trailblazer in Inspirational Biopic

     Catana Starks was serving as the female swim coach at Tennessee State University (TSU), when she learned that the school’s Athletic Director, Kendrick Paulsen, Jr. (Henry Simmons), was planning to form a golf team. Since golf had always been her first love, she approached him about becoming the new squad’s head coach.

            Her first hurdle, however, was convincing him that despite being female, she’d be able to field and manage an all-male squad. Second, she’d have to fill the roster with some promising prospects.

            The latter might prove to be quite a challenge, since TSU, as an HBCU (Historically-Black College/University), had an overwhelmingly African-American student body. That might make it hard to recruit good golfers. Try naming me a good black one besides Tiger Woods.

            So, Catana had her work cut out for her when A.D. Paulsen did decide to give her a shot. She began by widening her search beyond the school’s normal pool of African-American candidates.

            She looked near and far, even overseas, and by the beginning of the season she‘d assembled a motley, international quintet comprised of an African-American, a Frenchman, a South Korean, an Australian and a Brit. While they all were talented, each arrived on campus carrying some sort of emotional baggage.

            Ji-Kyung (Justin Chon) is a wannabe gangsta who wears his pants and speaks Ebonic slang. Meanwhile, Bassam (Ben Youcef), an Algerian from Paris, is bitter about the fact that he had to matriculate in America because of discrimination against Arabs back in his homeland.

            Then there’s Edward (Tom Felton), an English juvenile delinquent with a criminal record. Rounding out the crew are Cameron (Paul Hodge), an Aussie with allergies, and Craig, a black kid suffering from the soft bigotry of low expectations.

            Of course, Catana proceeds to whip the boys into shape, intermittently turning to the sage school janitor (the late Michael Clarke Duncan) for advice whenever she feels the weight of the world on her shoulders. The flick also features an interracial romance between bad boy Ed and a Goody Two-Shoes (Letoya Luckett) on her way to medical school.

            So, unfolds From the Rough, an inspirational overcoming-the-odds biopic co-written and directed by Pierre Bagley. The tale of female empowerment unfolds in fairly formulaic fashion, which means it’s designed for youngsters unfamiliar with the shopworn sports genre.

            A well-deserved, if syrupy sweet, overdue tribute to an African-American role model and trailblazer.

 

Very Good (2.5 stars)

Rated PG for mild epithets and mature themes

Running time: 97 minutes

Distributor:  Freestyle Releasing

 

To see a trailer for From the Rough, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKYfKidQnOQ  

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A Look Inside New African American Museum in DC

Jae Alan

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U Street Urban History

Jae Alan

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A Look Back At U Street And Historic Washington DC

The images seen here are from Arcadia Publishing’s Greater U Street book by Paul K. Williams, published in 2002. It is available at local bookstores and retailers.

If you would like to purchase a copy online CLICK HERE

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Talking Hands Incorporated will host a workshop for modifying toy cars for children with disabilities | Saturday, Dec 10

Jae Alan

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Talking Hands Incorporated will host a workshop for modifying toy cars for children with disabilities

Prince George’s County Maryland. ¬– An Oregon State University professor will help volunteers, families and clinicians such as physical therapists modify toy ride-on cars for children with disabilities at a workshop on Saturday, December 10, 2016 in Prince George’s County.

The “Go Baby Go” program provides these modified toy cars to young children with disabilities so they can move around independently.

Sam Logan, who heads the Go Baby Go project at Oregon State University, will lead the workshop, which is being hosted/sponsored by Talking Hands Incorporated. Talking Hands Incorporated is
501 c 3 non-profit organization which educates, supports, advocates, and provides resources to families with special needs children.

The event will run from 9 am to 4 pm, and cars will be tested by the children around 2pm. The modified toy cars will be donated to Early Childhood Center in Prince George’s County.

The modified cars give children with spina bifida, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other mobility disabilities a chance to play and socialize with their peers more easily, said Logan, who is also an assistant professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU.

Being pushed in a stroller or being carried from one place to another is fundamentally different from having active control over one’s own exploration, which is where the developmental gains are seen, he said.

There are no commercially available devices for children with mobility issues to get around on their own; and power wheelchairs usually aren’t an option until the children are older. The modified cars provide them independence at a much younger age and at a relatively low cost.
Please consider sponsoring a modified toy car for $200. Or consider making a tax deductible donation to Talking Hands Incorporated so they can continue serving local families and children.

Note to editors:

Images and video are available:
Video from a past Go Baby Go event: https://youtu.be/6V9qmnGrBIA
A digital image of a child using a Go Baby Go car: https://flic.kr/p/qqYb7r

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