Mandela Long Walk to Freedom (***1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic You’d think the life and times of Nelson Mandela, the man who saved South Africa from the evils of apartheid, had already been thoroughly documented. However, that’s not the case. Sure the media covered the interminable prison sentence ended by worldwide economic/political pressure, the inauguration of South Africa’s first […]

Black Nativity

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic “When a mother bestows a name on her child, it reveals her hopes.” Black Nativity, a celebrated “gospel song-play” by acclaimed poet/novelist/playwright Langston Hughes, was first staged in the 1950s with Alvin Ailey and Carmen De Lavallade. Director/writer Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) adapts that piece into a modern, urban […]

The Best Man Holiday (***)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic Running into old friends often brings up mixed feelings. Fond recollections. Unfinished business. Bad memories. Petty rivalries. Insecurities. Unrequited love. That’s the range of emotions and dynamics in this follow-up film to the 1999 romantic comedy The Best Man. Fourteen years later this gaggle of educated, bourgeoisie friends still […]

An American Promise Shines at the 2013 New York Film Festival

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic As the New York Film Festival kicked off its 51st year, African heritage films were few and far between, but exceptional. 12 Years A Slave stole the spotlight as it leads the Oscar race for Best Picture. The thought-provoking documentaryAmerican Promise is the modern-day bookend to a movie like […]


By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic In a banner year for filmmaking, black films, filmmakers, screenwriters and actors thrived. You can enjoy their movies, and those of other people who showcased their talent in 2013, by hitting the theaters this holiday season or seeing films on DVD or VOD. 12 Years a Slave (****) – […]

Puerto Rico – A Wedding Location with Honeymoon Possibilities

A trip to my godson’s wedding reminded me, an African American travel writer, that the reason I’ve loved Puerto Rico for so many years is not just the quiet life, endless beaches, delectable food, tasty rum and Medalla beer, but the people. The wedding I attended put everything in perspective again. And a trip around […]

Toronto: Dining and Daytrippin’ Around the International Film Festival

Thousand of film lovers travel to Toronto every year to witness the latest crop of Oscar®-caliber films at the Toronto International Film Festival. In between screening compelling dramas like 12 Years a Slave (2013 People’s Choice Winner), thrilling sci-fi films like Gravity and foreign language epics like The Liberator (Libertador), attendees find time to eat […]

Miami: Discover Luxury Hotels Off The Beaten Path

Vacationers, by the thousands, flock to South Beach crowding the streets, hotels and restaurants. But if you prefer a luxury Miami vacation, away from the throngs, you can find swank havens in Mid Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, Aventura and on Fisher Island. Swank, wellness-orientated hotels. Beverly Hills-caliber accommodations. Golf resorts with championship courses. Private island […]

Lee Daniel’s The Butler (****)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic It’s about time. Finally a major-release film about the African American struggle for equality, told from a black man’s perspective. Why has it taken Hollywood (aka the film industry) so long to do the right thing? Eugene Allen served eight presidents, Truman to Reagan, over 36 years in various […]

Fruitvale Station (***1/2)

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic If you don’t live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you might only know the rudiments of this tragic event and subsequent upheaval: Black man, in handcuffs, shot in back by white police officer in Bay Area Rapid Transit train station. Protests. Riots. Unrest. This thoughtful, methodical and contemporary […]