Welcome to the Family

Welcome to the Family

Release Date 9/26/15; TV One
Genre:   Comedy
Rating:  NR
Studio:  TV One
Director:  Alton Glass

Cast:  Kali Hawk (Stella), Quinton (B.J. Britt), Valarie Pettiford, Telma Hopkins, James Black, Chelsea Tavares, Glenn Plummer, and Brooklyn McLinn.

Story:  Welcome to the Family centers on Stella, an internet producer who has to learn how to balance her personal and professional lives. She utilizes her family reunion to not only reveal her engagement to fiancée Quinton but also to prove she can host her own web series. Stella is blinded by her own ambition, as each family member’s antics and escapades hit the World Wide Web. Caught up in the world of media mania and surrounded by a crazy cast of relatives, Stella learns that her fiancée Quinton is her cousin. Captured by cameras for the world to see, the couple’s relationship is thrown into turmoil as Stella’s web series turns into a social media hit. Source: Broadway World; Photo source: TVOne.

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If Not For His Grace

If Not For His GraceRelease Date 9/28/15; DVD
Genre:  Drama/Inspirational
Rating:  Unknown
Running Time:  87 mins.
Studio(s):  Dennis Rowe Productions, Intrepid Entertainment Group
Director:  Dennis Rowe
Cast:  Michael Williams (Reverend William Randolph), Tammy Townsend (Ruth Randolph), Derek Butler (Chris Randolph), Aaron D. Spears (Pastor Fort), Kia Shaw (Jacqueline Randolph),Tony Grant (Tarington).

Story:  The Randolph family is the pillar of a neighborhood in an urban Los Angeles community, and Rev. William Randolph is the glue that holds the family together. His wife Ruth depends on her husband for guidance and support, while 10-year-old Jacqueline loves being “Daddy’s little girl” and 16-year-old Christopher has aspirations to follow in his father’s footsteps as a preacher.

However, their once-safe neighborhood is beginning to deal with the influx of gangs, drugs, and homelessness. Rev. Randolph leads the charge to keep the neighborhood peaceful before a tragedy threatens to tear their loving family and their community apart. Sources: Christian Film Database.

Trailer: 

Carter High

Carter HighRelease Date:  10/30/15 (In Theaters – Limited); 11/7/15 (In Theaters – Nationwide)
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Running Time:  Unknown
Studio(s):  Sweet Chariot Productions, PlayNow enterprise, Tycor International Film Company.
Director:  Arthur Muhammad
Cast:  Vivica A. Fox (Mrs. James), Charles S. Dutton (Coach James), Pooch Hall (Coach Vonner), David Banner (Royce West), Reginald C. Hayes (Mr. Russeau), Robert Hayes (Gary), Aundre Dean (Derric), Lynn Andrews III (Keith).

Story:  Carter High is the emotional, gripping and ultimately uplifting true story of the powerhouse 1988 Carter High School Football Team from Dallas, Texas. Carter has to overcome tremendous difficulties to reach their ultimate goal of winning a state championship. As parents and community leaders come together to support the youth through their hardships, the team becomes the hero of the community.

The film is being produced by former Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders defensive end Greg Ellis and directed by former Carter player Arthur Muhammad. Source: thecarterhighmovie.com (official site); IMDB.

Trailer:

 

Richard Maurice

Richard Danal Maurice was born in Matanzas, Cuba on June 14, 1893. In 1903, Maurice immigrated to the United States. He lived in Detroit, where he eventually owned and operated a tailor’s shop.

Nobody's Children

In July 1920, he founded The Maurice Film Company which released two feature films, made several years apart. Our Christianity a/k/a Nobody’s Children, the company’s first feature, premiered at E.B. Dudley’s Vaudette Theatre in Detroit on September 27, 1920. Very little is known about the release of Eleven P.M., Maurice’s second feature, which survives in a choppy, silent print. Like Oscar Micheaux, Maurice wrote, produced and directed the two films that bore his company’s name. He even starred in both productions, but did not meet with the success of the better known Micheaux.

It is believed that Maurice’s involvement in the motion picture industry lasted at least until the early 1930s because he’s listed as a motion picture producer in the 1930 U.S. Census.

In 1940, Maurice became involved in dining-car service as a waiter for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in New York City. Following his move three years later to the New York Central Railroad in the same capacity, he helped found the Dining Car and Railroad Food Workers union, local 370.

In 1946, Maurice began to have major disagreements with the union. His dissatisfaction culminated in an op-ed piece published in the Amsterdam News in which he accused the union leadership of being ineffective in representing the rights of rank-and-file workers.

It is believed that he was married to Vivian Maurice, who also appeared with him in the film Nobody’s Children.

There is no information available regarding Richard Maurice’s date and cause of death.

Filmography
Eleven P.M. (1928)
Nobody’s Children (1920)

Source(s): Wikipedia; American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913-1929.  Photo Source:  The Digital Library of Georgia/The University of Georgia Libraries.

Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson pic 1Jack Johnson, nicknamed “the Galveston Giant,” was the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion. John Arthur “Jack” Johnson was born on March 31, 1878, in Galveston, Texas. The son of ex-slaves and the third of nine children, Johnson possessed an air of confidence and drive to exceed beyond the impoverished life his parents had known. After a few years of school, Johnson went to work as a laborer to help support his family.

By the age of 16, Johnson was on his own, travelling to New York and later Boston before returning to his hometown. Johnson’s first fight came around this time. His opponent was a fellow longshoreman, and while the purse wasn’t much—just $1.50—Johnson jumped at the chance and won the fight. By the early 1900s, the 6’2″ Johnson, had made a name for himself in the black boxing circuit and had his sights set on the world heavyweight title, which was held by white boxer Jim Jeffries. But Jeffries refused to fight Johnson and he wasn’t alone for white boxers would not spar with their black counterparts.

Jack Johnson pic 2But Johnson’s talents and bravado were too hard to ignore. Finally, on December 26, 1908, the flamboyant Johnson, who often taunted his opponents as he beat them, got his shot at the title when champion Tommy Burns agreed to fight Johnson after promoters guaranteed him $30,000. The fight took place in Australia and lasted until the 14th round, when police stepped in and ended it. Johnson was named the winner. The victory came five years after Johnson had won the World Colored Heavyweight Championship.

From there, Johnson continued his calls for Jeffries to step into the ring with him. On July 4, 1910, Jeffries finally did. Dubbed the “Fight of the Century,” more than 22,000 eager fans turned out for the bout, held in Reno, Nevada. After 15 rounds, Johnson came away victorious, affirming his domain over boxing and further angering white boxing fans.

Jack Johnson pic 3For the fight, Johnson earned a purse of $117,000. After whipping Jeffries, Johnson didn’t fight for two years, but he made waves out of the ring. He married three white women and consorted with many others. Six months after the Jeffries fight, he married Etta Terry Duryea, a white divorced Brooklyn socialite whom it was alleged, he physically abused and who killed herself in a fit of depression.

It would be five years after fighting Jeffries before Johnson relinquished the heavyweight title, when he fell to Jess Willard in a 26-round bout in Havana, Cuba. “The Galveston Giant,” was among the greatest of heavyweights and had an astonishing career. The Ring Record Book lists his record as 79-8 with 46 knockouts, 12 draws and 14 no-decisions.

As Johnson became a bigger name in the sport of boxing, he also became a bigger target for a white America that longed to see him ruined. He had transformed himself from the docks of Galveston, Texas, into early 20th-century glitterati. He had his own jazz band, owned a Chicago nightclub, acted on stage and in movies (see filmography below), drove flashy sports cars, reputedly walked his pet leopard while sipping champagne, flaunted gold teeth that went with his gold-handled walking stick and boasted of his conquests of whites — both in and out of the ring. Johnson loved to brandish his wealth and his disdain for racial rules. Jack Johnson pic 4But trouble was always lurking. In 1912, he was convicted of violating the Mann Act for bringing his white girlfriend across state lines before their marriage. Sentenced to prison, he fled to Europe, remaining there as a fugitive for seven years. In Paris, he took on a series of matches against wrestlers and fought exhibitions in Buenos Aires for measly purses. Johnson returned to the United States in 1920 and ultimately served out his sentence.

If Johnson lived in the fast lane, he died there literally — in an automobile accident in Raleigh, N.C., on June 10, 1946. He was 68. Eight years later, he became a charter member of the Boxing Hall of Fame.

The play “The Great White Hope” and the subsequent film The Great White Hope (1970) are based on Johnson’s life and the brutal racism he faced as both the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion of the world and as a black man with a white wife.

Filmography
The Black Thunderbolt (1922)
For His Mother’s Sake (1922)
As the World Rolls On (1921)

Sources: Biography, ESPN.com, IMDB.  Photo Source(s): Biography; Documentary.org; sjgsports.com; 40acresandacubicle.

Nobody’s Children

a/k/a OUR CHRISTIANITY
a/k/a OUR CHRISTIANITY AND NOBODY’S CHILD
a/k/a OUR CHRISTIANITY AND NOBODY’S CHILDREN

Nobody's Children article

Details
Year of Release: 1920
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  N/A
Runtime:  Unknown
Black & White
Silent
Studio:  Maurice Film Co.
Producer:  Richard Maurice
Director:  Richard Maurice

Cast
Richard Maurice
Jacques Farmer
Joe Green
Alex Griffin
Max Johnson
Vivian Maurice
Howard Nelson

Synopsis

A brother and sister are persecuted by their evil stepfather, who kidnaps the girl and imprisons her. A fight between the boy and the stepfather leads to the stepfather’s death.  The boy is arrested and sentenced to death for the crime. His cellmate helps him escape, and he is eventually exonerated, pardoned, and reunited with his sister.

Notes
This film is considered lost.

Photo Source: The Digital Library of Georgia/The University of Georgia Libraries. Source(s): TCM, IMDB

As The World Rolls On

a/k/a The Heart of Jack Johnson

as the world rolls on

Details
Year of Release: 1921
Genre: Drama
Rating: N/A
Runtime:  Unknown
Black & White
Silent
Studio: Andlauer Production Company
Producer: Unknown
Director: Unknown

Cast
Jack Johnson (Himself)
Blanche Thompson (Molly Moran)
Reed Thomas (Joe Walker)
Walter Simpson (Tom Atkins)

Synopsis

Industrious Joe Walker competes for the hand of Molly Moran. Joe’s rival for Molly’s affection is the vicious bully and gang leader Tom Atkins, who enjoys beating up on the weaker, smaller Joe. One day, as Joe is going home from work, his route takes him through a park where Tom and his gang are waiting. Fortunately, former heavyweight champ, Jack Johnson, is also in the park. Hearing Joe’s cries for help, Johnson goes to his aid. After Jack has finished with them, the rowdies lay stretched out on the ground.

Johnson offers to train Joe, convincing him to give up cigarettes and teaching him “physical and breathing exercises.” Under Johnson’s instructions Joe becomes a healthy man and an athlete.

About this time the National Colored League baseball games are in progress at the ball park. In a game between the Kansas City Monarchs and the Detroit Stars (actual scenes) the captain of the Monarchs, sprains his arm and due to illness and injuries to his pitching staff, is in desperate need of a pitcher.  Knowing Joe’s ability as an amateur pitcher, he appeals to Joe to finish the game. Joe agrees, puts on a uniform, pitches a wonderful game and hits the winning home run in the ninth inning.

A few weeks later at the Clover Leaf Club’s annual masquerade ball, Tom, jealous because of the attention Joe is showing Molly, schemes to get Joe out of the way. He has Joe beaten up, but Molly overhears the plot, denounces Tom and rushes to Joe.

Tom, decides on another scheme, and frames Molly for robbery. His plan is successful and Molly is arrested. At the trial a small boy saves Molly from conviction by identifying Tom as the guilty one. Tom tries to escape from the courtroom, but Joe goes after him. Joe catches up with Tom and as a result of the training he received from Jack Johnson is able to beat Tom to the ground.

Later, Joe and Molly get married and go to Johnson’s home for his blessing. Johnson gives them a check for $1,000 as a nest egg. As the world rolls on, six years later Molly, Joe and their family live happily in a pleasant home.

Notes
The working title was The Heart of Jack Johnson.

A New York Times article reported that the film contained “footage of an all-black Kansas team in the background.”  As the World Rolls On featured footage of actual NNL games involving the Kansas City Monarchs, Detroit Stars, and Chicago American Giants. The games are integrated into the plot, and Negro league players, notably Sam Crawford, Bruce Petway, and Cristóbal Torriente, had roles in the film.

This film is believed to be lost.

Source(s): agatetype.typepad.com; TCM.

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