Cheddar Man, Black skin and all that…

Okay since it’s once again Black history month and folks are flipping out about genetic tests showing that Cheddar Man (the 10,000-year old skeletal remains of a native Briton) was dark-skinned, I figure this might be the appropriate time to lay this on you.

Senegalese scholar Cheikh Anta Diop tackled ALL of this back in his book Civilization or Barbarism. If I recall correctly, he believes this is how white skin evolved:

Continue reading Cheddar Man, Black skin and all that…


Philly Indie Film Awards Is a Winner!

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There were prizes all around – in front of the cameras, behind the cameras, and in the audience – at the 1st annual Philadelphia Independent Film Awards held Sunday, May 22 at International House in Philadelphia.

LGBT romantic comedy “Cassanova Was a Woman” directed by Kevin Arbouet took home the most prizes with Best Picture, Best Actress for Jezabel Montero as Cassanova (pictured left), and Best Supporting Actress for Carolann Valentino. Montero was there with other cast members including co-stars Margo Singaliese (Lola) and Chaz Mena (Fantasy Man).

Diemiruaya Deniran earned Best Director honors for helming the gritty, undercover cop drama “Diary of a Badman.” Peter Cilella co-starring as Officer McVitie in the satiric comedy “Driving While Black” won Best Supporting Actor. And Blake Scott Lewis took the prize for Best Actor as the heroin junkie Skyler in “Imperfect Sky.”

Two lucky audience members took home mink wraps courtesy of awards sponsor Zinman Furs and everyone who purchased a ticket walked away with complimentary swag bags filled with upscale goodies like Razac hair care products, Kissy Kosmetics and Primal Derma skin care products. And everyone enjoyed complimentary hors d’oeuvres from D&D Quality Catering, gourmet cupcakes from Tonya Sears of Totally Delicious Delicacies and fine wines courtesy of Got Wine of Bristol (PA).

Bu the biggest prize goes to the Philadelphia Independent Film Awards team. It took bravery to start something new in a city that has such a fine array of arts institutions. But the organization, headed by Founder Floyd Marshall Jr., Director Angelique Marshall, and Assistant Director Keyon N. Smith pulled it off with assists from Media Relations Manager Karen Waller Martin, Sponsorships Director Tascha Coleman, Strategic Consulting from Stephanie Cain and Demetre Pough Edwards, and yours truly Webmaster and Content Manager Terri L. Heard.

Visit the site to learn more about what you missed at the awards gala, join our mailing list to get alerts about upcoming 2016 events and the 2017 awards, and to see event photos that will posted in the coming days.

Terri L. Heard is a former TV Guide writer and assignment editor who lives and writes in Philadelphia, PA She is currently working on a feature-length screenplay, “Game Change,” which combines James Brown’s “The Big Payback” with the 2015 film “The Big Short.” Visit her online portfolio at


Excitement builds for the upcoming Philly Indie Awards

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Tinsel & Tine video interview screencap. Floyd Marshall (left) and Le Anne Lindsay (right). Video originally shot by Terri L. Heard.


Philadelphia Independent Film Awards founder Floyd Marshall sat down with Tinsel & Tine Editor-in-Chief Le Anne Lindsay (pictured above) to discuss the upcoming May 22 event honoring the best in independent filmmaking from around the world. Watch the video here: and read the article here: And visit the awards website – designed by yours truly! – here: Best Picture, Best International Film, Best Short Film, Best Documentary and Best Student Film nominees’ trailers are all up and viewable on the site. Don’t forget to get your tickets online through Eventbrite or PayPal.  Awards will be presented May 22 at International House, 3701 Chestnut Street, in Philadelphia, PA. Cocktail hour is at 6 pm and award presentations begin at 7 pm. Come celebrate with us!

Tubman on the $20? Good! But while we’re at it…

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Let’s put Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on a $25 bill!

Why not?

  1. Nobody would get bumped from a bill – Because we don’t currently have a $25 bill. This was my original rationale. Now of course with the Treasury’s announcement that Harriet Tubman will bump Andrew Jackson from the front of the $20 bill, the point is moot.
  2. It would be a reminder of how Black folks built the land of the free while in chains – This country sucked its wealth from the sweat on slaves’ backs (after they conveniently murdered the Native Americans and pushed them off their land; but that’s a point for another article). But the Confederacy used the image of slaves on its currency to promote its belief in their so-called “right” to subjugate human beings, so I don’t want to use such an image. I’d love to have an engraving of a Black Civil War regiment (and maybe I’ll add that to the back). But, rightly or wrongly, Martin Luther King Jr.’s image has come to stand for the entire 1960s Civil Rights Era that was pivotal to expanding African Americans’ access to justice and economic opportunity. So King it is.
  3. It’s a strong statement that the income inequality HAS to go – King stood for equal rights for all men – Black, white and everyone in between. Wall Street stands for anything but. Forcing folks to handle cash that has the face of a Black man whose legacy is as great and iconic as any face on Mt. Rushmore would go a long way toward driving that point home.
  4. He is an authentic Founding Father – Okay you can argue the point, but to ME the 1960s Civil Rights Movement was a third (albeit incomplete) revolution after the second revolution of the Civil War that ended slavery. That makes King a modern-era Founding Father to me.
  5. He has a Federal holiday named for him, a statue near the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and a national historic site in Atlanta, GA – What more does he need? The $25 King bill would put the icing on the cake. No, he never held public office, but neither did Martha Washington and she was on a silver certificate ages ago.  Come on, let’s complete the trifecta and make it official

Terri L. Heard is a former TV Guide writer and assignment editor who lives and writes in Philadelphia, PA She is currently working on a feature-length screenplay, “Game Change,” which combines James Brown’s “The Big Payback” with the 2015 film “The Big Short.” Visit her online portfolio at