05-20-2018  9:03 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

US Marshals, police arrest Vermont fugitive in Oregon

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The U.S. Marshals Service says a missing sex offender from Vermont has been arrested in Oregon.The Marshals say 55-year-old James Rivers was arrested May 16 in Cottage Grove, Oregon, by deputy marshals and local police. It's unclear if he has an attorney.Authorities...

Oregon State study says it's OK to eat placenta after all

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — First experts said eggs are bad for you, then they say it's OK to eat them. Is red wine good for your heart or will it give you breast cancer?Should you eat your placenta?Conflicting research about diets is nothing new, but applying the question to whether new mothers...

State sees need to reduce elk damage in the Skagit Valley

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Elk are easy to spot against the green backdrop of the Skagit Valley, where much of the resident North Cascades elk herd that has grown to an estimated 1,600 is found.For farmers in the area — especially those who grow grass for their cattle or to sell to...

Famed mini sub's control room to become future exhibit

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport has a new addition to its archives — the salvaged control room of the legendary, one-of-a-kind Cold War-era miniature submersible NR-1.Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy, conceived the idea for the...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering over a Native American that some say celebrates white supremacy has been dismantled by crews in southwestern Michigan's Kalamazoo.And at the University of Michigan, regents have voted...

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders...

Guess who's coming to Windsor? Royal ceremony weds cultures

BURLINGTON, New Jersey (AP) — With a gospel choir, black cellist and bishop, Oprah, Serena and Idris Elba in the audience and an African-American mother-of-the-bride, Saturday's wedding of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle was a blend of the solemn and the soulful.Guess who's...

ENTERTAINMENT

Broadcast networks go for milk-and-cookies comfort this fall

NEW YORK (AP) — If provocative, psyche-jangling shows like "The Handmaid's Tale" are your taste, head directly to streaming or cable. But if you're feeling the urge for milk-and-cookies comfort, broadcast television wants to help.The upcoming TV season will bring more sitcom nostalgia in the...

Met says it has evidence Levine abused or harassed 7 people

NEW YORK (AP) — The Metropolitan Opera said in court documents Friday that it found credible evidence that conductor James Levine engaged in sexually abusive or harassing conduct with seven people that included inappropriate touching and demands for sex acts over a 25-year period.The Met...

'13 Reasons Why' premiere canceled after Texas shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix canceled the premiere party for its second season of the teen drama "13 Reasons Why" because of a school shooting near Houston.The streaming service announced the cancellation hours before the scheduled premiere and red carpet event, citing the Friday morning...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump Jr. met with Mueller witness during campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump Jr. met during the 2016 campaign with a private military contractor and an...

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a...

British royal family thanks those who celebrated wedding

LONDON (AP) — The royal family, blessed with fantastic weather and a buoyant public mood at the royal...

Love and fire: Text of Michael Curry's royal wedding address

WINDSOR, England (AP) — And now in the name of our loving, liberating and life-giving God, Father, Son and...

Episcopal bishop Curry gives royal wedding an American flair

WINDSOR, England (AP) — Nothing quite captured the trans-Atlantic nature of Saturday's royal wedding as...

Markle's bridal gown work of Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller

LONDON (AP) — Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy is the master British designer behind the sleek silk...

Michael Jai White in Vigilante Diaries
By Kam Williams | The Skanner News

A highly trained martial artist and actor, Michael Jai White has broken barriers as a Hollywood star and international box office sensation. With his dynamic personality, agile abilities and physique of a bodybuilder, Michael has earned respect for his versatile talents both on and off screen.

Born November 10, 1967 in Brooklyn, New York, it was watching the film Five Fingers of Death that initiated Michael’s interest in the martial arts. At the tender age 7, he started taking weekly Japanese Jujitsu classes to stay focused while growing up on the tough streets of Brooklyn.

At 8, Michael’s family relocated to Bridgeport, Connecticut where he studied the Shotokan and Kyokushin forms of karate, earning his first black belt by 13. Upon graduating from Bridgeport’s Central High School, he went on to further his education, first attending Southern Connecticut and then UConn. While winning multiple championships as a national martial arts competitor, he became a Special Education teacher at Wilbur Cross Elementary School in Bridgeport.

Bitten by the acting bug, Michael began auditioning for commercials and acting gigs on weekends and during summer breaks while teaching. When he began landing jobs in commercials and guest-starring roles on television shows and films; he left teaching and moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career full-time.

Before long, he would go on to guest star on such hit television shows as Saved by the Bell, Martin, NYPD Blue, and CSI. Proving his acting ability, he would also be cast in the lead role of legendary boxer Mike Tyson in the HBO biopic, Tyson.

Michael was subsequently cast to play the title character in the movie Spawn which came with the distinction of being the first black superhero in a major motion picture. While he cemented his Hollywood status as a bonafide action star, more diverse roles emerged that allowed him to showcase his physical prowess as well as display his on-screen charisma and comedic ability in such films as Exit Wounds, Undisputed 2, Silver Hawk, Blood & Bone, Black Dynamite and Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married and Why Did I Get Married Too playing opposite Tasha Smith. The two would ignite such on-screen chemistry, they would go on to star together in the long running OWN Network series, For Better or Worse.

Michael resides in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Gillian White, and their three daughters. Here, he talks about his new movie, Vigilante Diaries, an action thriller starring Paul Sloan, and featuring Michael Madsen, Jason Mewes, Quinton Rampage Jackson and Danny Trejo.

 

Kam Williams: Hey Michael, thanks for another opportunity to speak with you.

Michael Jai White: My pleasure, Kam.

 

KW: What interested you in this crazy action film, Vigilante Diaries?

MJW: I was one of the players invited to the party, and I had fun at it. Paul Sloan, the picture's scriptwriter and lead actor, invited me to join the project, as did Christian Sesma, who directed it. And it became a really fun romp.

 

KW: You certainly had an impressive and diverse cast, with actors ranging from veteran actor Michael Madsen to Jason Mewes from the Kevin Smith movies to action stars like like you and Danny Trejo of Machete. How were you all assembled?

MJW: Well, it started out as a web series, and then they turned it into a full-length feature film. .

 

KW: Tell me a little about the guy you play, Barrington?

MJW: He's sort of a rogue CIA Agent who's pulling strings all over the place, You can't tell if he's a good guy or a bad guy. I think that's indicative of all the characters. It's kind of a dark comedy. [Chuckles] The good thing about the movie is that you just can't tell where it's going to go.

 

KW: I won't spoil the ending of the film, but let me say I was definitely shocked by one of the surprising developments involving your character.

MJW: Yeah. It's one of those movies where you find yourself saying, "Wait a minute. Where are we now?" It's an action movie that's not trying to pretend to be anything other than that.

 

KW: Does the movie have a message, or should people just sit back and enjoy the action?

MJW: I'd say just sit back and enjoy the action, and also the laughs, because there's a lot of funny stuff in the movie as well.

 

 

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you'd like to star in?

michael jai white blood and boneMichael Jai White plays a plays an ex-con who takes the underground fighting world by storm in his quest to fulfill a promise to a dead friend in "Blood and Bone"MJW: Wow! There are probably several of them. I made my attempt to redo Hard Times [the Charles Bronson classic from 1975]. I called it Blood and Bone. And there are certain other classic films I'd love to see again, but under a different name.

 

KW: Ling-Ju Yen asks: What is your earliest childhood memory?

MJW: Well, the first movie I ever saw was Five Fingers of Death, which was really the first kung fu movie sent to the United States. It freaked me out because people were pulling out adversaries' eyeballs. I ran out of the theater, and my brothers and cousins had to come get me. So, it's amazing that I would study martial arts years later, because that certainly freaked me out at first. .

 

KW: What type of dietary regimen do you follow to stay in such good shape?

MJW: I basically eat fish and vegetables, pretty much the pescatarian route.

 

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

MJW: A constant work in progress.

 

KW: What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

MJW: At 16, I traveled across the country by Greyhound bus.

 

KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?

MJW: Fairness. I just wish there was fairness overall. And you know what? I also wish for honesty.

 

KW: Larry Greenberg asks: Do you have a favorite movie monster?

MJW: Gamera, the giant, flying mutant turtle.

 

KW: The Anthony Mackie question: Is there anything that you promised yourself you’d do if you became famous, that you still haven’t done yet?

MJW: Boy, these are great questions. I'm a former Special Ed teacher, and I plan to do more in the country's public schools system. I definitely intend to help with policies in the inner-city school system. That's something I haven't done yet., but I'm going to.

 

KW: Finally, what’s in your wallet?

MJW: Two credit cards, my driver's license and 20 bucks.

 

KW: Thanks again for the time, Michael, and best of luck with the film.

MJW: Thank you, Kam.

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