President Proclaims June as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month

A Proclamation By The President Of The United States Of America

For centuries, the United States and nations in the Caribbean have grown alongside each other as partners in progress. Separated by sea but united by a yearning for independence, our countries won the right to chart their own destinies after generations of colonial rule. Time and again, we have led the way to a brighter future together — from lifting the stains of slavery and segregation to widening the circle of opportunity for our sons and daughters.

National Caribbean-American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate those enduring achievements. It is also a chance to recognize men and women who trace their roots to the Caribbean. Through every chapter of our Nation’s history, Caribbean Americans have made our country stronger — reshaping our politics and reigniting the arts, spurring our movements and answering the call to serve. Caribbean traditions have enriched our own, and woven new threads into our cultural fabric. Again and again, Caribbean immigrants and their descendants have reaffirmed America’s promise as a land of opportunity — a place where no matter who you are or where you come from, you can make it if you try.

Together, as a Nation of immigrants, we will keep writing that story. And alongside our partners throughout the Caribbean, we will keep working to achieve inclusive economic growth, access to clean and affordable energy, enhanced security, and lasting opportunity for all our people. As we honor Caribbean Americans this month, let us strengthen the ties that bind us as members of the Pan American community, and let us resolve to carry them forward in the years ahead.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2013 as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. I encourage all Americans to celebrate the history and culture of Caribbean Americans with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.


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La Mafia Performances to Resume in June

La Mafia sent a press release today announcing that they are resuming their performances, starting with one on June 8th in Midland. The 26th Annual West Texas Ford Dealers Mex-Tex Family Fiesta is hosted by the Midland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and will be held at the Centennial Plaza in Downtown Midland. It is a two day event on June 7-8, 2013.


Joining La Mafia on stage earlier in the day will be Destino, La Sombra, David DeAnda y Xelencia and Stefani Montiel.
On June 7th, bands scheduled to perform are Grupo Maldad, Juan P. Moreno and Austin’s AJ Castillo. There is a variety of activities listed for each day.
According to the chamber’s website, the planned activities are family friendly.
For more updates on the schedule and informtion on tickets for this event where you can hear La Mafia back on stage for their fans, visit and
Liz Lopez

Zeale Performs in New Orleans Friday, May 31st

zeale 5.31.2013 New Orleans

Zeale [some fans on front] IMG_9715

Zeale has performed nationwide on his tours and was a featured performer during the SXSW Music Festival in March in Austin, Texas this year.  Here he performs to a packed venue, The Stage on 6th, in the heart of downtown Austin.  Photo credit: Liz Lopez, Liz’s Lenzwork


Zeale Release Hope Dies and Performs in New Orleans

Hope Dies [single on itunes]_170x170-75

Hope Dies (feat. Patricia Lynn) – Single

Genres: Hip-Hop/Rap, Music, Rock

Zeale [banner] IMG_9722

Zeale performed during the SXSW 2013 Music Festival at The Stage on 6th

Photo credit: Liz Lopez, Liz’s Lenzwork

zeale 5.31.2013 New Orleans

If you are in the New Orleans area tonight, do not miss his gig over at

The Howling Wolf


Liz Lopez

Now You See Me Hits Theaters with All It’s Magic

I have been viewing the trailer for Now You See Me for quite a while now, and have been anxiously awaiting it in theaters, especially with the cast involved with this production.

Now You See Me poster

As with anyone who expects good entertainment from those who perform in the art of false impression, I expected to really be thrilled with this story of four illusionists known as The Four Horsemen (composed of three men and one woman). I liked the film, but I did not walk out as thrilled as I had expected. I do not know if the trailer itself has given me a false impression, or my expectations were way, way above what is delivered. It certainly did not turn out to be a predictable story for me and that definitely is very pleasing. I may not necessarily like the outcome or ending once the film is winding up, but the fact that I did not anticipate the next step is good. I really want to believe in this film and I think film fans will do so too when they lay down their cash for almost two hours of entertainment.

Freeman and Caine still [NYSM]

[L] Morgan Freeman and [R] Michael Caine in a scene from Now You See Me

The film is directed by Louis Leterrier from a story by Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt, who also wrote the screenplay with Ed Solomon.

 Mark Ruffalo Melanie [airplane still]

Mélanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds) and Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers) are agents (an FBI agent and an Interpol detective) who are determined to discover who is behind the series of heists.

J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) and Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) gain plenty of fame when they unite with their skills and conduct some really great performances and the heists that end up with showers of money on their audiences. The question remains, who is it that wants them together for these assignments and why?

The film also includes Common, Jose Garcia, and a slew of uncredited agents and audience members who follow the team of illusionists. Will you be the next one they take from or the next one to be lucky enough to receive?

Jesse Eisenberg [premiere] IMDb

Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Zombieland) poses during the New York premiere

Now You See Me is in theaters on May 31st

Liz Lopez

Rating B-

Source: Summit Entertainment

Film Festival Favorite, Love is All You Need Arrives in Austin This Weekend

 Love is all You Need was an Official Selection of the Venice Film Festival (Out of competition), as well as the Toronto International Film Festival last year. It has been in theaters internationally since then and I am so glad that Sony Pictures Classics is distributing the film in US theaters as of this month.

poster on IMDb

Lucky for Austin and surrounding area film fans, the Regal Arbor Theater is host for this award winning film as of May 31st. Love is all You Need is an engaging story with mature themes that viewers of all ages will be able to enjoy and consider a time well spent in the theater.


Love is all You Need is directed by Susanne Bier, based on the the story she wrote with Anders Thomas Jensen and features Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm, who was nominated in the Best Actress category of several festivals where it has screened since September. When the story begins, these two characters are not at the happiest point of their life and their initial meeting is certainly not love at first sight. The uncomfortable situation becomes even moreso when they discover that their respective child is about to be married to each other.


The relationship begins to change for the bride’s Mom and the groom’s Dad after spending several days in Italy preparing for the wedding and celebrating for days ahead (or so it seems to me in the film). As they change their attitude about life and each other, so it goes for other couples in the film. I think it is a very good mix of humor, drama and romance without being totally bombarded with explicit scenes. The sexual scenes that are in the film are very much a part of the film that the informs the viewer about how this will alter the course of the character’s relationships. I am trying hard not to spoil scenes here, but the word “crash” comes to mind now.

I walked out of the theater very happy with the entire package; story, performances, music and cinematography. I do not mind sub-titles in the least, but it is in English and does have sub-titles for the languages spoken as they travel in Europe. The award winning writer and director has another hit in my book and is one I totally endorse as you decide where to spend your movie bucks this weekend. It’s amore!

Liz Lopez

Rating A

Source: Sony Pictures Classics


After Earth Arrives in Theaters Today

After Earth poster with 5.31.2013

It does not seem like it was 2006 when I first saw Jaden Smith on the big screen with his father, Will, in The Pursuit of Happyness and the father/son actors earned many fans. The young actor went on to be seen in such films as The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Karate Kid.

After Earth [still 1] standing

Now seven years later, it is Jaden who has the leading role in After Earth, a story penned by his father for them and pitched to M. Night Shyamalan, who directs the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Gary Whitta. While I do like the overall story for the film, I did not go into the film expecting to be surprised by anything I did not already anticipate – the teen character steps up to the challenge and he succeeds. Period.

This is not to say I dismiss the film; on the contrary, it is a good family film on the basis of the story itself between a father and his teen son, but After Earth is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for sci-fi action, violence and some disturbing images. It is a good idea to seriously consider not taking anyone to this film who does not like viewing animals in a dangerous situation, or viewing those that do not survive an attack from a predator that is trained to destroy. The film is set in a time when Earth is not as we know it now, but how it is after it has been destroyed and all humans leave it behind. It may look lush and green, but do we really know what is out there?

The film is beautifully shot in many parts of the world to get the right scenes, including Humboldt Redwoods State Park in California, Costa Rica in Central America, near the Arenal Volcano and the Sarapiqui River through the La Selva Biological Research Station, the desert near Moab, Utah, glaciers in Iceland and  the Eiger in Switzerland. After Earth’s director of photography, Peter Suschitzky, is to be commended for the excellent cinematography that spans the globe.

Anxious to rise to the rank of the Rangers, a young teen, Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his father, Cypher (Will Smith) travel together for some quality time aboard a space ship and encounter problems. The closest place to land a ship in distress is the planet Earth that was no longer inhabited by humans. With so much death and damage upon the travelers, it is up to Kitai to get the needed instrument to call for help. It is just getting there that is the trick!

Liz Lopez

Rating B-

Source: Columbia Pictures