Priah Ferguson—An inspiration to young Black girls

priahwithmerecedes

THE COURIER’S MERECEDES J. WILLIAMS interviews Priah Ferguson, left, who plays Erica Sinclair on the Netflix show “Stranger Things.”

There’s clearly no age requirement for Black Girl Magic. In recent months, we have seen a 14-year-old movie producer (Marsai Martin) and a 94-year-old icon grace the cover of Time magazine (Cicely Tyson). Now, to join the ranks and sprinkle her own magic around the world is 12-year-old Priah Ferguson.

The breakout Netfl ix star is on the verge of appear-ing in her second season on the hit show, “Stranger Things,” which will be released on Independence Day. On June 21 here in Pittsburgh, I had a chance to sit down with Ferguson and chat about some things we can expect from her in the near future.

Ferguson also threw out the first pitch at PNC Park, where the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the San Diego Padres, 2-1. Ferguson might have been a good luck charm because the Bucs went on to sweep the three-game series.

On a press tour for the third season of the science fi ction thriller, Ferguson says viewers “can expect a bigger role” from her character, Erica Sinclair. This season, Ferguson de-clares that Erica and her group of friends are “on a mission.”

Ferguson, who has also appeared in the Em-my-award winning series “Atlanta,” prepared for this role. From listening to ‘80s music to rummag-ing through her grand-mother’s photo albums, she got a pulse of what it means to be a kid 35 years ago. “I have a little bit of Erica in me,” she said.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier, Priah Ferguson—An inspiration to young Black girls (Merecedes’ column July 3)

Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 Passes

MAYWEATHER

Fathom Events, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Mayweather Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime bring you the highly anticipated rematch between eleven-time world champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather and the dangerous, power-punching Marcos “El Chino” Maidana. After their thrilling fight earlier this year, which left sports fans clamoring for more, the two prizefighters will face each other again when Mayhem: Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 is broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to select movie theaters nationwide on Saturday, September 13th at 8:00 p.m.

This exciting rematch will undoubtedly test the skill and will of both fighters in this electrifying showdown that is set to finish that which was started the first time they met. Despite the brutal nature of their first meeting, Mayweather has chosen to give Maidana a chance to redeem himself and rightfully earn a victory against the undefeated champion by facing off in a rematch that is sure to bring mayhem to the ring!

Don’t miss it LIVE and on the Big Screen – where every seat is ringside!

I have tickets for the fight’s LIVE showing at Cinemark Robinson Twp.  If you’d like a pair of tickets, please comment below with your favorite boxing movie.  In true MSQ tradition, I’ll start with mine: The Hurricane (1999)

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

Draft Day

“Sometimes the correct path is the tortured one!” –Ali Parker (Jennifer Garner)

Draft Day

Although the Pittsburgh Steelers reign as the only NFL team with six Super Bowl championships, one of our biggest rivalries, the Cleveland Browns, cleaned up nicely for Draft Day. The sport comedy stars Kevin Costner as Sonny Weaver, Jr., General Manager for the Browns who makes the 2014 Draft Day a crazy once when he makes a few risky deals. Draft Day’s other first round acting picks are Frank Langella, Sam Elliott, Terry Crews, Denis Leary, Josh Pence, with a special appearance from Sean “Diddy” Combs.

Die hard Steelers fans please do not fret because there were a few Steel City plugs. And yes, the movie production company could have easily made the movie about Blitzburgh. But according to many reports, even the Buffalo Bills were kicked to the curb because Ohio has cheaper production costs, so it was either the Browns or the Bengals.

Draft Day’s imagery was on point; clear, crisp, and colorful. If the deep, bright orange from the Browns franchise did not stand out, the cool spilt screens whenever two characters were talking would have done it. Of course Draft Day for NFL team executives means that you are constantly on the phone bartering and sweet-talking. So when these phone conversations occur the actors spill over into the other set or screen. Granting, it’s difficult to describe, but it was pretty impressive and innovative.

Draft Day Spilt Screen

If you were not truly inspired last year with Chadwick Boseman’s performance legendary baseballer Jackie Robinson in 42, then you are delusional. Nonetheless, Boseman inspiringly plays another athlete, Vontae Mack, in Draft Day. Mack is a humble yet effective Southern defensive football player who is fighting for his spot on the Browns’ roster. Boseman, along with other young Black actors like Michael B. Jordan, Jaden Smith, and Tristan Wilds, have hit the movie scene with a vengeance, displaying strength and great appeal.

I love Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner together. They were like the underdog couple. Rightfully, women are supposed to meet a nice guy, get to know him, get married, have children, and live happily ever after. Realistically, it does not always work out like that. In Draft Day that is exactly what happened with Sonny Weaver and Ali Parker. Between work ethics around fraternizing and personal grief, the biggest task is for the two to come to a common understanding about their relationship. Costner is a charming as he was in The Bodyguard (1992), and Garner has proven herself as the adorable girl from around the corner.

4 STARS: An awesome football and family story about a smaller city built on tradition and sports similar to Pittsburgh.

Draft Day 2

Throwback Movie of the Month- Love & Basketball (March 2013)

This is NOT and I repeat this IS NOT my favorite movie of all time…but there’s no denying that it’s a classic!

As a movie connoisseur, it’s safe to stay that any hopeless romantic who also has a love for the unruly game of basketball should have this movie in their DVD collection. The rules to LOVE and BASKETBALL are similar:

1.) Know your opponents next move

Monica Wright (Sanaa Latham) knew her opponent, Quincy McCall (Omar Epps), since childhood. Like many longtime friends, she knew what to expect from him. She expected that he would be intrigued by the cheap paper invitation he received for the school dance. She expected that Quincy would succumb to the pressures of college basketball. She expected that he would follow in his father’s footsteps to be a successful basketball player. She even expected that their love, despite how much life had driven them apart, would eventually bring them back together.

2.) Expect Anything

When life is going really good, expect that almost anything can happen. The unexpected occurrences don’t necessarily have to permanently incapacitate you but they can derail the plans a little bit. Towards the end of the movie, Quincy, as a 5-year benchwarmer on the Los Angeles Lakers,

3.) Accept the Loss to Prepare for a Bigger Win

Quincy McCall had to lose his current love, fiancée Kyra (Tyra Banks), in order to regain his true love Monica Wright. Love is a tricky war. Many battles are lost in hopes of gaining the overall victory. We must realize that life and love are not as simple as playing a 1-on-1 pickup game with your soul mate. Love, even in its prettiest settings, takes a lot of fighting and perseverance. To win the war, you have to lose some of the biggest battles.
You might not have to purchase the movie on DVD because it’s always on BET. But if it’s up to Wal-Mart, the DVD is probably already in the $5 bin. I believe once BET plays any movie it depreciates its value and forces Wal-Mart to move it to the $5 bin. In the end, grabbing it from Wal-Mart might be a little cheaper than paying your cable. I know my Netflix subscription is!

3.5 STARS: No matter what the sport, physical limitations, or unforseen element, we all at one point in time have fought for L.O.V.E

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