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John Legend’s new film looks at what’s wrong with schools
The women swoon and the men admire the vast musical talents on display when John Legend plies his trade on the piano, but with his latest project, the Philadelphia native is showing himself to be a great humanitarian, too. Legend, 31, worked with documentary director Davis Guggenheim, who won an Academy Award for his global warming documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ for the new film ‘Waiting for Superman.’ It examines innovative efforts to reform schools in several cities, such as Washington, D.C., Harlem and Los Angeles. On working with Guggenheim, Legend said: “We were going to meet with Davis to see if he wanted to direct it,” Legend said. “When my manager met with him, he was like, `Uh, I’m already making this film. This film you’re talking about, I’m already making it, and it’ll be done in three months.'” (Continue Reading…)

Jasmina Anema dies of Leukemia at age 6
Jasmina Anema, the spirited 6-year-old New York girl whose courageous fight against leukemia won her visits and praise from Rihanna and President Obama, died on Wednesday night. Her mother, Thea Anema, made the announcement in a blog she’d set up to keep her thousands of well-wishers up to date on Jasmina’s condition, posting on the leukemia support site Caring Bridge, “Today, January 27, at 10:55 p.m., Jasmina lost her fight against leukemia,” according to People magazine. (Continue Reading…)

Matthews’ remark exposes complexity of ‘transcending race’
Five little words — “I forgot he was black” — have exposed a contradiction in the idea of a post-racial nation. The comment came from MSNBC host Chris Matthews after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech Wednesday. “He is post-racial, by all appearances,” the liberal host said on the air. “I forgot he was black tonight for an hour. You know, he’s gone a long way to become a leader of this country, and past so much history, in just a year or two. I mean, it’s something we don’t even think about.” The staunch Obama supporter meant it as praise, but it caused a rapid furor, with many calling the quote a troubling sign that blackness is viewed — perhaps unconsciously — as a handicap that still needs to be overcome. (Continue Reading…)

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  • so do americans us the word “verboten”?