Wednesday, July 17, 2013

It's Been a While But I Feel Compelled............

It has been a while since I have posted anything to this blog but in light of the recent events, I feel compelled to share my feelings. The verdict does not bother me. The news coverage does not bother me. Even some of the testimonies of the jurors after the trial does not bother me. The thing that bothers me the most is the perception of some of a 17 year old child. A lot of people are saying on mutliple blogs and comment sections of articles that he was not a child. He should not have attacked Zimmerman or  he attacked him and he got what he deserved. It deeply saddens me to hear these sort of things. I was very upset at first but now I am just sad. It has come to the point that a black 17 year old kid is viewed as an equal life threat to a 29 year old man that is carrying a gun. Again, the perception of some is the thing that saddens me the most. For some, there is no empathy or benefit of the doubt for a 17 year old black kid versus an adult. For some, there is no expectation for a 29 year old man with a gun to make better decisions than a 17 year old kid without a gun. Nobody deserves to be attacked, everybody has the right to defend themselves but in my humble opinion, nobody deserved to die in that situation. I think so many people are pre-programmed to believe what George Zimmerman did is normal that it has become normal and that is the problem.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Orleans actor Anthony Mackie brings New Orleans to the stage at the Oscars

New Orleans native and 'Hurt Locker' actor Anthony Mackie, top right, celebrates the film's Best Picture Oscar onstage at the Kodak Theatre on Sunday (March 7) with co-stars Jeremy Renner and Brian Geraghty, director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal.

Two days before attending his first Oscars ceremony, New Orleans actor and "Hurt Locker" star Anthony Mackie was playing it cool.

The New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts grad admitted being excited about attending the Academy Awards on behalf of his nine-times-nominated film, of course, but there was an easy, restrained quality to his voice as he said it.

"It's been a whirlwind," he said, sincerely but nonchalantly. "We definitely didn't know what to expect when signing on to all of this, but 'Hurt Locker' has kind of come full circle, so we're just riding the wave."

By Sunday night, under the glare of the flashbulbs lining the red carpet in front of Hollywood's Kodak Theatre, that facade began melting away.

"I'm too excited," he told red-carpet host Robert Osborne in a near-shout upon arriving at the mob-scene that is a pre-Oscar tradition. "My first Academy Awards ceremony. The Saints won the Super Bowl. It couldn't get any better."

A little bit more than three and a half hours later, it got better.

New Orleans actor Anthony Mackie, in a scene from 'The Hurt Locker.'


Name: Anthony Mackie

Age: 30

Resides: Splits time between New Orleans and New York

Roles you remember: Sgt. J.T. Sanborn in "The Hurt Locker" (2009); Tupac Shakur in "Notorious" (2009); Frank in "Half Nelson" (2006); and Shawrelle Berry in "Million Dollar Baby" (2004); Papa Doc in "8 Mile" (2002)

Now playing: Playwright Martin McDonagh's black comedy "A Behanding in Spokane," with Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell, now playing on Broadway

Coming soon: The films "The Adjusment Bureau," co-starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, and based on the short story "Adjustment Team" by Philip K. Dick; and the locally shot "Bolden!," in which he plays legendary New Orleans musician Buddy Bolden.

In his words: Watch Mackie talk about "The Hurt Locker" in a online video. "The Hurt Locker," the acclaimed indie about the pressure-cooker lives of a three-man U.S. bomb squad in Iraq, was named the best picture of 2009 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. And, finally, Mackie let the moment take him away.

TV cameras watched as he leapt from his seat and lifted co-star Brian Geraghty off the ground in an enthusiastic embrace. The cameras watched as Mackie and Geraghty, along with co-star and best actor nominee Jeremy Renner, rushed the stage. As director Kathryn Bigelow accepted the movie's sixth Oscar of the night, the three men stood behind her, their arms around each other's shoulders -- brothers in arms -- and beamed and hooted and reveled in the moment.

Yeah, it's been a whirlwind all right, and a long road from the 30-year-old Mackie's youth in New Orleans' 7th Ward.

"It was a quintessential New Orleans childhood," he said. "Played in my school band from elementary to high school. Went to NOCCA (and Warren Easton Senior High), went fishing in City Park -- a typical New Orleans childhood."

But he wasn't exactly a typical kid. He could act, this one. After NOCCA, it was on to Juilliard and a string of roles that earned him notice on the New York stage. Just like that, a film career was born, bringing praise nearly every step of the way, in films such as "Half Nelson" and another best picture winner, "Million Dollar Baby."

Then came "The Hurt Locker," a little film about a big subject, shot in the scorching Jordanian desert about three miles from the Iraq border.

"It was twice as intense (making the film) as it is watching it," Mackie said. "It was just so hot and so unpredictable. ... But we had a good time -- we tried to have as much of a good time as we could. We had a lot of Iraqi refugees working on the film, and they really gave us the insight of what was going on at the time of the war in Iraq."

What was really unpredictable is that their little film caught on with critics while hitting the film-festival circuit in late 2008 and early 2009. "Nobody expected it," Mackie said. "We knew we were all there for the right reasons and to make a good film, but nobody knew it would be accepted the way it has been. It's truly been a surprise for everybody involved."

As much as critics have gushed about the film -- it has earned a score of 94 on the movie-review aggregator, and a 91 percent "fresh" rating at -- audiences have shied from it, as they have from most movies dealing with the war in Iraq. Worldwide, the film made just $16 million -- $100 million less than "Alice in Wonderland" made in just its opening weekend, and almost $2 billion less than James Cameron's "Avatar," its major competition at the Oscars, has grossed to date.

New Orleans actor Anthony Mackie hits the red carpet at the 82nd annual Academy Awards.

"It definitely says a lot at this stage in my career to be going to the Oscars for a film that's nominated for best picture, and (with) a co-star that is nominated for best actor," Mackie said. "It says a lot for everything we put into the film and the relationships that we made making the film."

As evidenced by their Oscar-night pose on the Kodak Theatre stage, those relationships only strengthened as awards season had the movie's stars tuxing up nearly every other week to collect more hardware. "It's funny when you get to see the same group of people over and over again, you instantly become cohorts, you instantly become friends, because you realize you're all on the same path," he said.

The awards season commotion only adds to an already busy time for Mackie. This summer, he co-stars with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in Universal Pictures' big-budget sci-fi romance "The Adjustment Bureau," based on a Philip K. Dick story. Before that, he played seminal New Orleans jazzman Buddy Bolden in the biopic "Bolden!," shot partially in New Orleans but which has yet to land a distribution deal. He also continues working to get a passion project off the ground, a movie about barrier-breaking Olympic athlete Jesse Owens, which Mackie will produce and star in.

And just three nights before the Oscars, he opened playwright Martin McDonagh's new Broadway play -- "A Behanding in Spokane" -- with Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell. That kept him in New York until the morning of the Oscars, when he hopped a cross-country flight to Hollywood for Sunday night's show. Monday morning, it was back to New York.

To put it simply, he said: "It's been a whirlwind adventure."

Despite it all, Mackie's still a New Orleanian through and through. Although he moved to New York some years ago to focus on his film and stage career, his family still lives in New Orleans. Two years ago, he said, he bought his own place here.

"When I'm not working, I'm in New Orleans," he said, calling from New York. "I keep my place here because I do most of my work out of New York. So when I'm not here (in New York), I'm in New Orleans. When I'm not in New Orleans, I'm here."

Anthony Mackie, right, makes a curtain call after a production of 'A Behanding in Spokane,' the Broadway play in which he appears with, from left, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockell and Zoe Kazan.

Whether or not he's working, you can find him in New Orleans on Saints game days. He's a season-ticket holder and a passionate fan -- so much so that he flies in for every home game.

It was Mackie, in fact, who was responsible for New England Patriots fan and "Adjustment Bureau" co-star Damon wearing a Saints jersey on a recent appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman." It was the result of a bet that would have seen Mackie trumpeting the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady on "The View" if the 2010 NFL post-season had gone differently.

"(But) we have bragging rights," he said. "I don't care if we lose every game next season. I keep telling people you can't take it away from us until you take it away from us."

He's talking about the Lombardi Trophy, of course, not the Oscar, or that memorable Oscar-night moment when he and his "Hurt Locker" band of brothers got to take the stage.

That's something that can never be taken away.

By Mike Scott, The Times-Picayune

March 13, 2010, 5:00AM

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I don't know how many people have heard the story of Jamar Pinkney. If you haven't you can read it by clicking here. Basically Jamar Pinkney found out that his 15 year old son molested a 3 year old girl. He made his son strip naked and marched him to an empty lot where he ordered his son on his knees and executed him. He did this after hearing the pleas of his son and his wife. I believe the father could not live with having a child molester as a son.

As I've stated on my other blog I do not believe a human should decide the life and death of another human being, not matter how heinous the crime may be. Can I say I wouldn't do the same thing in this man's shoes? I don't know. He may have been in a temporary state of insanity. I could never imagine if my son was spineless enough to take advantage of a toddler. Who knows what type of monster this boy could have grown up to become (assuming he wouldn't have had some type of therapy or intervention).

The person I feel for the most in this situation is Lazette Cherry, the mother of the boy and wife of Jamar Pinkney. She has basically lost her son and husband in the blink of an eye. She has gone on record as saying:

"I called and told his father this isn't something you sweep under the rug,"

Even though she did the right thing by telling her husband, in retrospect I would imagine she probably wishes she told her husband at a later point or in a different manner. This is a sad situation because essentially two lives have been lost over two senseless acts.

Do you think Jamar Pinkney was wrong for taking the law into his own hands? Would you have done the same?

Friday, November 13, 2009


American essayist, philosopher, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said "Each man has his own vocation; his talent is his call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him."

The substance of this quote can apply to nearly any aspect of life and in any profession. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, barbers, sports whatever the profession, an individual realizes they have some degree of talent and then work to develop their skill set. The athlete who works hard becomes a world famous player and the best in his sport. The doctor who works hard becomes a world renowned surgeon.

Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Johnny Cochran.............. what do they all have in common? All had talent and developed it to be successful. Far more important than developing their talent is the fact that they were fortunate enough to not get in their own way while developing that talent.

What do I mean by this? Far too many times we have witnessed people who have talents one can only dream of; yet they are unable to get out of the way to allow the talent to blossom.

Thunder Collins was a University of Nebraska running back. As a  high school senior he rushed for over 1,110 yards. He was a Junior College All American and was recruited by several large universities.

Today, Thunder Collins is a convicted killer sentenced to life in prison with an additional 110 years for other counts. Thunder Collins provides a prime example of how we get in the way of our talents and close the space that Emerson spoke of.

Thunder Collins (Univ of Nebraska), Lawrence Phillips (Univ of Nebraska), Cecil Collins (LSU), and Maurice Clarett (Ohio State) are all bad exmaples of young black men with endless potential and are all currently incarcerated. Why is this?

If a man’s talent is his calling, why are their life changing obstacles placed before him that prevent him from reaching his calling?

Monday, November 9, 2009


I am only trying to bring light to things that may seem gray to people. I am in no way trying to bash the practices or views of others. The views below and in the Gray Area Series have been compiled over the years. They have previously been expressed by me and those around me, both male and female. I am currently dating and things are going very well.

Have you ever wondered, “What’s the best way to tell a woman I’m not interested?” Or ladies, have you ever wondered the same in terms of a man? I don’t think there is an easy way to say no, but there is a hard way to say yes. Saying yes with intentions of doing the opposite is a very hard way to say yes. True, sometimes, no isn’t good enough, but I was always brought up…no means no. Weren’t you?

Let’s extend this “No” for a moment. If you’re looking for a job, and a recruiter calls you and tells you about this job that seems interesting on the surface. You ask additional questions and then you tell the recruiter to set you up for a phone interview with the hiring manager. Once the manager calls you, you make a quick assessment and determine 1) you’re not interested and would rather wait it out for something better 2) you’re interested.

Let’s examine the above with the following assumptions:
This job matches or is better than what your resume would offer you
The company is not a fortune 500 company
The benefits of this job a far greater that any of your previous jobs
You’re currently unemployed
You have no complaints with the look and feel of the company’s website.

~You’re not interested and rather wait it out for something better
If you haven’t had a job in a few months or have been from job to job over the last year, why would you pass on a job with so much to offer? Why would you feel more inclined with justifying why you’re not working, when you’ve had this opportunity come along? (Haven’t you heard this before, “there aren’t any good available women around.” “There aren’t any good available men around.”)

Well, it’s obvious that those who pass up on this job are so used to the state their in, they don’t recognize the difference between the genuine gold in front of them and something that’s gold plated. True this job isn’t with a Fortune 500 company, but you won’t have to be stuffed in a small cubicle with your manager watching your every move. With a Fortune 500 company, you won’t be able to access the internet and you’re only allowed 30 minutes for lunch. But, hey, that’s the life of those employed by some a fortune 500 companies. That’s what you want, right? Or, that’s what you deserve?

The company wants you...but you’re not interested anymore. I’m sure you would tell the recruiter “No, I’m not interested in this position.” Correct? And if he keeps asking you about the job, you would continue to tell him no, right? No ambiguity there. Maybe you would tell him you’re interested, and when the company calls to make you an offer…you wouldn’t answer right? Would you? Have you?

What’s worse, saying no, or saying yes and really meaning no? Let’s not speak of things we don’t really want…like a good woman (fellas)….like a good man (ladies). Let’s not say we want a Good Company when we really want a Good Fortune 500 Company. Let’s not say no and mean yes or say yes and mean no. A yes, is a yes, and a no is a no…there’s nothing in between. “No” Gray! I’m sure the company who wants you would appreciate it (wink wink).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Blackboard Experience: It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

Some of the stories that I share are for inspiration, overall uplifting and celebration of things that people may do in the black community that may get overlooked. I try my best to bring light to these great contributions or achievements from people. However, some of my stories comes from absolute outrage or an experience that really compels me to share what I see, think and thought at the time that this was going on.


On Saturday, Oct. 31, which was Halloween, I went to a Halloween party. This party was nothing special. It was just normal everyday costume party. Nothing ridiculous or out of the ordinary happened. It was my experience stopping at the gas station that struck a nerve in me. I stopped at the gas station to get a pack of gum. As I was walking into the gas station, I noticed there were about 5 to 6 black kids hanging out around and in the convenience store.

 Now, to some people, this may not be a big deal but to me, it was an extremely big deal. This black male who was between 17- 21 years old by my guess asked me if I smoked weed. Initially, I thought that he was looking for weed and then I realized that he was trying to sell me weed. The first time he asked me I did not turn around because I did not think he was talking to me. Then again, when I was leaving out, he asked me again. I answered short and abruptly,

“Nah dog.”

As I was walking out I noticed two girls were part of the five people hanging around. I was not able to determine if the cashier was black or some sort of foreigner. However, I did notice that the glass between him and I was at least 4 inches thick.

 These are some questions I begin to ask myself:


Why is this kid in a convenience store owned by a foreigner hanging out in the store and not buying anything and trying to sell me weed? It is 9:00 pm or a Friday night. Isn’t there a School Halloween Dance, football or basketball game going on? Isn’t there a girl you could take to the movies? Couldn’t you be at a job? Isn’t there something else you could be doing with your time? Also, what were the girls doing there? Are they trying to hang around the guy that is selling weed? Is that cool?


How did this become something to do for this kid? What motivates him to hang at a store away from home? Is he hanging away from home because his parents will be upset at home if they caught him selling in the neighborhood? Is his parents even around? How can’t this kid be doing 100 other things?


When did this become acceptable? When did people who own stores allow people to loiter in and around their property selling weed? Doesn’t that affect their business? Are they scared to tell this kid something because he may cause harm to them?


What should I have down? Should I have tried to talk to him and ask him his situation and offer him help? Would he have looked at me driving a Toyota Camry and said, “What the hell will I listen to him for?” Would he have gotten upset with me if I tried to interfere?Well, I don’t know because I walked out without a word or even a look. I went to my party and although this was on my mind, I still had fun and followed my normal routine.

Here are my questions to you:

Should I even be complaining about this considering that I did or said nothing?
Are we responsible for this disturbing behavior?
Can this pattern of behavior be stopped and if so, how long will it take?

Lastly, the collective thoughts of people who may think about these things are extremely important to me. If you have any comments or concerns or anything on this matter, please comment because it takes a village to raise a child.

"It takes a village to raise a child" originated from the Nigerian Igbo culture and proverb "Ora na azu nwa" which means it takes the community/village to raise a child. The Igbo's also name their children "Nwa ora" which means child of the community. It has been in existence in Africa for centuries.

Dario Mobley

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Role Model

Not ideal but at least they tried

In today's society where only 3 out of 100 black males entering kindergarten will graduate from
college it's imperative that we as individuals do all that we can to buck this trend.
Every 5 seconds during the school day, a black public school student is suspended. Every 46 seconds during the school day, a black high school student drops out. Those of us that have achieved higher education and have "made something" of ourselves have a responsibility to lift as we climb and become bridge builders for our youth. If we don't then I fear that blacks in America, especially black males, will become a lost cause.


An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim-
That sullen stream had no fears for him;
But he turned, when he reached the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,
"You are wasting strength in building here.
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way.
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build you the bridge at the eventide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head.
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
"There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for


We must not only think of ourselves but those who will come behind us. In this day and age there are so many pitfalls that can trip the youth in their journey to becoming successful and well rounded adults. I'm not going to be the one to blame BET, entertainers or movies for this. Growing up I watched a lot of violence on television and I listened to a lot of rap music. I believe that I turned out the way I did because I had plenty of positive role models in my life that taught me the value of getting a good education and living life on the straight and narrow. These role models weren't just my parents, they were teachers, coaches and parents of friends.
My mission to you is think about what you can do to help someone who may or may not have been in your shoes. If you already have and are doing what you can to help the cause then kudos to you.
National Center for Education Statistics. (2001). The Condition of Education,
2001. U.S. Department of Education.

U.S. Department of Education. (1999). Hope for Urban Education: A Study of
Nine High-Performing, High-Poverty, Urban Elementary Schools. U.S. Department of