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Cruel Comics

I often find the comic Maakies very crude and in poor taste.

First I want to say that I enjoy reading the City Paper each week, but I often find the comic Maakies very crude and in poor taste. That is my personal issue, but I feel compelled to express how I feel at this time. I am enclosing such an example from your current issue (Jan. 1).

I belong to PETA and am not overly radical, but this illustration is really disgusting. Who needs to see an animal chained up and be stabbed? Many of my friends (non-PETA) had the same reaction and now have less respect for Tony Millionaire. Thank you for your kind attention.

John Shields


Class Act

I read Andrew Zaleski’s article (“Father of a Nation,” Film, Dec. 25, 2013) and enjoyed reading it. Zaleski is to be congratulated for his serious portraiture in words of Nelson Mandela’s life history.

To be sure, I have not seen the movie Long Walk to Freedom, directed by Justin Chadwick. However, I have seen movie clips on my television set.

Idris Elba has acted a wonderful portrayal of Nelson Mandela. I enjoyed the scene where Nelson Mandela is giving a speech from the dock on April 20, 1964 in the Rivonia trial.

In Nelson Mandela’s book Conversations with Myself, I have read the words he spoke at the Rivonia trial. These are the words that I shall always cherish in my Afrocentric feminist’s heart:

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

When I saw those powerful words of Nelson Mandela being spoken by Idris Elba in Long Walk to Freedom with a voice that was spiritually purposed and solid in textural vocal harmony to the real voice of the African Nelson Mandela’s voice, I was deeply moved to tears of cleansing joy.

Idris Elba is an elegant black man, and his intelligence is illustrated in his acting skills. He is a human manuscript full of language that will be with us for years to come—in my opinion, so should it be.

Black men are doing great works of art in the movie industry. The son of Nigerian immigrants Chiwetel Ejiofor did a great acting job in 12 Years a Slave, I believe. Will there be a black male actor on the new season of Downton Abbey? Check it out!

In my mind’s vision, I can see Paul Robeson (1989-1976) smiling in heaven for the artistic acting achievements of Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor for their outstanding movie appearances.

In my opinion, the spirit is willing if black folks don’t give up on themselves. We must keep trying, without fear.

Larnell Custis Butler


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