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September 1, 2014, 5:18 am

Panel examines Blacks in film

Are you captivated or frustrated by ABC's hit drama "Scandal?" Does the buzz and hearsay surrounding "Django" have you ready to join Spike Lee in his latest tirade?

These and other issues will be addressed when the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) presents "Monitoring Hollywood 2013: Black Actors Unchained? From the Silver Screen to Television, Have We Come Far or Gone Backwards?," a panel discussion taking place on Feb. 20, 7-9 p.m. The annual event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at Community College of Philadelphia's Center for Business & Industry located at 18th & Callowhill Sts, lecture Hall, second floor. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.          

" 'Django' really got people talking, for better or for worse, and of course you know Spike Lee was very upset about it," said PABJ Vice-President Monica Peters. "It was a discussion that needed to be had, but also, I just noticed that whenever there was a discussion about 'Django,' there wasn't someone who could put a proper historical analysis to it to verify if what happened in that film - was it factual, or was it fiction? I kind of felt that that was missing from the dialogue.

"And of course we're going to be talking about 'Scandal,' Peters continued. "The reason why we're going to be talking about 'Scandal' is mainly because the controversy has been, 'Is this a groundbreaking role for Kerry Washington?' in that I think she's the second Black woman in television history to have a show that a Black woman is the lead character. Or is the character that she plays, does it portray Black women in a bad light?

Topics will also include "reality" television and the "housewives" franchises, as well as the "color casting" controversy surrounding the upcoming Nina Simone biopic. The event, co-sponsored by the Community College of Philadelphia, will be moderated by Al Butler, host of "Midday with Al Butler," WURD 900 AM. Panelists include:

• Charing Ball: Journalist (Madame Noire, The Atlanta Post, The Grio, The Root, Clutch Magazine)

• Michael Coard: Activist/Attorney: Radio show host, Court Radio on WURD 900AM, Philadelphia Magazine/Philly Post contributor

• Nikia Dillard - Actor: ("Night Catches Us," starring Kerry Washington and Anthony Mackie; "Law Abiding Citizen" with Jamie Foxx)

• Q-Deezy: Radio personality, host of "The Q Deezy Show" on Hot 107.9 FM Philly.

• Rakia Reynolds; President of Philadelphia Chapter, Women in Film & Television, contributor Uptown Magazine, owner of Skai Blue Media.    

• Kimberly C. Roberts: Arts & Entertainment Reporter, Philadelphia Tribune.

RSVP is encouraged at


Contact entertainment reporter Kimberly C. Roberts at (215) 893-5753 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .