All Articles Tagged "morgan freeman"

Penny For Your Thoughts: On Drugs, Evil And The Murder Of Morgan Freeman’s Granddaughter

August 18th, 2015 - By Penny Wrenn
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E'Dena Hines murder

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The death of Morgan Freeman’s step-granddaughter, E’Dena Hines, saddened me–and it also scared the crap out of me.

Hines was found dead on St. Nicholas Avenue in Washington Heights in New York City, which is not far from where I used to live in Harlem. Apparently, her live-in boyfriend stabbed her to death (she was stabbed more than a dozen times, bless her heart) while reportedly performing a quasi-exorcism that may have been the result of a drug-induced psychotic break.

The boyfriend, Lamar Davenport, allegedly chanted “Get out, devils! I cast you out, devils! In the name of Jesus Christ, I cast you out!” as he plunged a knife into Hines’ chest repeatedly.

Aside from Hines’ story being tragic (she was young, beautiful and talented with a bright future ahead of her), it’s also particularly alarming to me because it involves two of my biggest fears: drugs and the devil. 

Now, if you will, please allow me to explain these personal hangups, breaking them down fear by fear.

Fear #1: The Devil

If my mother is reading this, she’s probably cringing and thinking something like “Penny, I told you to stop being afraid of the devil!” But to me, the devil is the bogeyman of Christianity. He haunts your family, your plans, your love life, your health, your bank account–he seeks to destroy all of it.

Obvious disclaimer: I’m not a preacher, and this isn’t scriptural interpretation. I know there will be some verse-memorizing scholars reading this who will lambaste me in the comments. And that’s fine. Either way, I don’t like talking about the devil. I’m not the person who’ll say “the devil is a liar” or “that ain’t nothing but the devil” or “tell the devil to ___.” The devil doesn’t have a starring role in my personal faith drama.

Because I don’t like to dwell on the existence and activity of the devil, I’ve also never been fond of discussions about the presence of evil (demons and/or evil spirits) in this world.

Some years ago, I witnessed the first part of an amateur exorcism of sorts. I didn’t sign up for the experience, it just kind of happened among a group of fellow church folks one day. One of the young men in our church had been visibly distraught for days, and some presumed that he was possessed though no one used the p-word. All I remember is that someone had holy oil, and someone else began yelling indecipherable words, then the young man’s body began writhing as people held him down.

Of course, I was like, “Oh, hell no….” and quietly left the scene.

To this, I don’t know if the events that night were real or, perhaps, I do believe they were real (at least to the people enacting them). But I certainly don’t think they were reasonable.

Fear #2: Drugs

My second fear dates back to college.

For nearly all of the few (or so) occasions that I smoked marijuana in college, I believed I would die before sunrise. After experiencing such a high level of paranoia whenever I partook of the drug, I was less and less likely to want to smoke again. 

Not to mention that, in college, I knew a young woman who was a regular weed smoker and who appeared to gradually lose her sense of reality. She talked about receiving messages and instructions from voices on the TV and radio, and the instructions always seemed to have something to do with me. The voices told her to remove my parents’ wedding picture from the bookshelf in my room and display it on her own windowsill instead. They told her to take my backpack, which had all my textbooks and notebooks, and leave it on the steps of a church as a donation.

I’m not saying weed makes people crazy. But if you Google “marijuana” and “mental illness” you’ll find reports that suggest that weed may not be the chill drug we all think it is. You will also find a study that links marijuana use to schizophrenia.

For many years, I’ve been managing depression and bipolar depression. I’m often haunted by the prospect that one of these days I will lose my mind. (And God only knows what that might look like.) Believing that I already have a tenuous grasp on my mental well-being, I have mostly eschewed drugs, not for any moral reason but as a self-preservation exercise to keep my psyche intact.  So, when I read that E’Dena Hines’ boyfriend was “in the throes of a drug-induced psychosis,” I thought “There but for the grace of God…”

Even if you’ve never had thoughts of hurting a fly, you don’t know what dubious, or downright horrific ideas will come to you when your mind breaks. Whether it’s stealing your friend’s backpack or stabbing your girlfriend. And that is scary as hell.


E’Dena Hines’ Live-In Boyfriend Was Trying To Perform An Exorcism, Charged With Her Murder

August 17th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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e'dena hines feat

Source: AP Images

Over the weekend, we told you about the tragic death of E’Dena Hines, actor Morgan Freeman’s step grand-daughter. At the time of publication, we didn’t have many details.

Sadly, they are disturbing.

When Hines’ death was reported in the media, police had already arrested a 30-year-old man in connection with her death. Turns out, he was not a stranger to her. He was her live-in boyfriend Lamar Davenport.

Hines, 33, was found on Sunday in the street near the apartment the two shared together in Washington Heights.

Davenport, 30, was seen by others attacking Hines yelling, “Get out devils. I cast you out, devils.”

On Sunday, Davenport was arrested for her murder and transferred to a hospital to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

Today, according to Raw Story, he was officially charged with second-degree murder.

He’s still in the hospital, under evaluation.

The Daily Beat reports that Davenport was identified by his best friend Ray Rosario. He said he hadn’t noticed anything unusual about Davenport the night before when he had dinner with the couple. He said that both Hines and Davenport seemed to be more happy than he’d ever seen them.

 “I’m still trying to come to grips with what happened. I’m caught between the hate I have for him, my love for him being my brother, and my heart breaking for her.”

Morgan Freeman always acknowledged E’Dena as his granddaughter, despite being divorced from her grandmother, his first wife Jeanette Adair Bradshaw, in 1979. He wrote a message via his Facebook to all those who had expressed support or sent condolences.

“I want to acknowledge the tremendous outpouring of love and support my family has received regarding the tragic and senseless passing of my granddaughter Edena Hines. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Hines studied acting at New York University and was an actor, writing and acting instructor.

She returned to New York specifically to star in an independent sitcom.

Morgan Freeman’s Step Granddaughter Stabbed To Death In New York

August 16th, 2015 - By Ashley Monaé
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Getty Images

Getty Images

E’dena Hines, the step-granddaughter of Morgan Freeman, was stabbed to death early Sunday (Aug. 16) morning, PEOPLE has confirmed.

Responding officers found the 33-year-old lying in the street outside her home on the 400 block of W. 162nd Street at about 3 a.m. She was suffering from multiple stab wounds to her torso. The NYPD took a 30-year-old man into custody at the scene, where he was then taken to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. Hines was taken to Harlem Hospital by EMS, where she was pronounced dead.

In a statement, Freeman reflected his granddaughter’s talent and spirit:

“The world will never know her artistry and talent, and how much she had to offer,” he said. “Her friends and family were fortunate enough to have known what she meant as a person.

Hines was the granddaughter of Freeman’s first wife. She was also studying acting at New York University’s prestigious Graduate Acting Program. She also taught “under-exposed youths” in Memphis, Tennessee.

The investigation is ongoing.


10 Celebrities Who Prove You Can Find Success Later In Life

August 21st, 2014 - By Taylor Gordon
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As the years tick by, do you worry that your window of success is closing?

Do you compare yourself to successful people younger than you and feel depressed?

Stop! You’re capable of pursuing your dreams right now at any age. Many successful artists and business visionaries changed careers or produced their most notable work later in life. Check out these 10 celebrity examples for inspiration.

WIN A $250 Gift Card In The #LucyMovieMN Giveaway!

July 22nd, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

On July 25, Morgan Freeman hits the silver screen with the beautiful Scarlett Johansson in the new Universal Pictures science-fiction film, Lucy. 

If you haven’t seen the previews for this action-thriller yet, the flick tracks Lucy (Scarlett Johansson), a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic. Sounds good, right? Well here’s something even better. We’re giving you a chance to win a $250 gift card just by showing support for this new movie on Twitter.

For details on how to enter, check out the widget below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

On Their Grown Man: 15 Of The Sexiest Salt And Pepper Celebrities

July 4th, 2014 - By Julia Austin
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Finely groomed gray-haired men are proof that as males age, they just look more distinguished, more elegant and, in general, more like they’d know how to make you feel like a woman. Here are 15 salt and pepper celebrities we wouldn’t mind growing older with (if they were all single).

 Guillermo Proano/

Guillermo Proano/

Dennis Haysbert

Everything about this man says distinguished gentleman and though it’s sometimes hard to believe celebrity endorsements, whenever we hear him on AllState commercials we really do feel like we’re in good hands.

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making of “Lean On Me”

June 23rd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Warner Bros

Source: Warner Bros

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Lawrence Young covering “Fair Eastside,” the school song in the now classic movie, Lean On Me. And then I wondered, have I done a “Bet You Didn’t Know” article for this fan favorite? I had not. So it’s about time. And as luck would have it, 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the film. You know the plot, you love the soundtrack and Morgan Freeman’s portrayal of Joe Clark is something iconic. But we bet you didn’t know these behind the scenes secrets. Check them out on the following pages.

Here’s What Morgan Freeman & Don Lemon Had To Say About Race Issues & Wealth Inequality Last Night

June 5th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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don lemon morgan freemanMorgan Freeman paid a visit to CNN last night to speak with Don Lemon about his new show on the Science Channel, Through the Wormhole. But the conversation turned to race issues and income inequality and that’s when things got a little… sigh.

Don Lemon moved the discussion in this direction by pointing out the focus that President Obama and the Democrats have right now on income inequality. When asked if he thought this was a good thing, Freeman said it was “a great idea.”

“We have a much more vibrant society when we don’t have such a vast chasm between the haves and have-nots,” said Freeman, adding that society needs the middle class to buy all the things the rich are producing.

“Do you think race plays a part in wealth distribution?” Lemon continued. “No,” said Freeman, point blank. “Why would race have anything to do with it? We’re proof. Just stick with it. Put your mind to what you want to do and go for that. It’s kind of like religion to me. It’s a good excuse for not getting there.”

The conversation then turns to race more broadly, at which point Lemon says he talks about race because of the “news cycle,” “…”But sometimes I just get so tired of talking about it, I want to just go, ‘this is over, can we move on?’” To which Freeman responds, “And if you talk about it, it exists.”

Race would most certainly be an issue whether we talk about it or not. In fact, taking about what ails society is what forces people to think about bias, inequality and stereotypes in order to correct wrong-headed thinking and injustice. Every day it seems there’s new evidence that shows bias is impacting a person’s ability to get a job, a small business loan, or the pay they deserve.

And as for the two of them being proof that race doesn’t impact wealth distribution, it’s clear that they are the exception and not the rule.

“As for the question of race and inequality, the success of people like Freeman and Lemon notwithstanding, a sharp divide between whites and nonwhites does exist today, and by some measures has gotten worse,” reports Mediaite. “According to census data, in 1967 median household income for white, non-Hispanic households was 43% higher than it was for black households. But 2011, the divide had increased to 72%.”

Feel free to keep the conversation going in the comments.

Tribute Fail: Public Sign In India Mistakes Morgan Freeman For Nelson Mandela

December 20th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

From BlackVoices

A public sign in India, aimed at paying tribute to Nelson Mandela, flopped when passersby noted that it used a photo of actor Morgan Freeman instead of the late South African president.

The memorial to Mandela was placed in the city of Coimbatore and paid for by a local cloth merchant, according to the Agence France-Presse. It featured a large photo of Freeman alongside smaller photos of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr.

The text of the poster, written in Tamil, read (via a Huffington Post translation):

Among today’s politicians who cannot think beyond the next election cycle, Nelson Mandela was a leader who thought of the well-being of future generations. He went to join Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King on 5.12.13. We bow down to him, proud to have lived during his time on earth and praise his message of love, non-violence and sacrifice. “The farmer may sleep, but the seeds he planted never will.”

Read more of this interesting mistake at

“12 Years A Slave,” The Character Of Patsey, And Why I Wish Death To The Term “Negro Bed Wench”

October 25th, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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12 years a slave

Mid-way through 12 Years A Slave, I started to ask myself, “Who exactly is this film about?” Was it about Solomon Northup (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor), later renamed Platt, the talented violinist and free black man, kidnapped and sold into slavery? Or was it really about Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o), the jet black enslaved cotton picker and bed warmer of the Epps plantation, who had never tasted freedom in her life and probably never did long after Northup stopped being a slave?

If you ask me, it’s Patsey.

[This post contains spoilers, so be advised]

Throughout the film (by way of Northup’s own memoir), we learn that Patsey is a favorite of Massa Edward Epps (Michael Fassbender) and a thorn in the side of Mary (Sarah Paulson), the mistress of the house. In one scene she is receiving special accolades from massa himself for once again, out-picking all the other field hands, including the men, by picking almost double the quantities of barrels of cotton. A few scenes later, we see Patsey dancing center in a circle of other enslaved black men and women, who all have been roused from slumber in the middle of the night to dance a jig, play music and entertain their owner. Massa Epps pays special attention to her, which causes Mistress Mary to fly into a jealous rage and bash a defenseless Patsey in the face with a cognac goblet, barely missing her right eye. Then the Massa and Mistress argue over her body – literally and figuratively speaking – as she lay howling on the floor in pain and agony.

The scene brought a slight chuckle from a small handful in the mostly black audience at the screening I attended here in Philly. Perhaps the chuckle, which seemed out of context, was out of discomfort at what was, thus far, a truly heavy-handed film. However, the light-heartedness, which some were taking from what they were seeing, became even more ill-fitting when in the next scene, as Massa Epps chases Northup around the plantation for daring to hold Patsey’s secret from him, someone in the row behind me, chuckled and then opined loud enough for others around her to hear, “Patsey musta put it on Massa…”

Even though what we were watching on screen is probably a very accurate depiction of what many of our people experienced through the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, you can sort of understand the cavalier nature in the way some of the descendants relate. First one, some of us feel as if we are so far removed from the atrocities of being treated like actual property that the images on the screen are just as foreign as if this was a film about life on another planet. And secondly, and probably most importantly, we really haven’t done a good job as a country, nor a community, in telling the truth – and the entire truth – about the founding of this great nation of ours. And it might be with intent as it seems that most folks want to forget about slavery all together. Even Morgan Freeman said recently in an interview with The Daily Beast, about why he’s not going to see 12 Years,“I don’t want my anger quotient exacerbated, you know? Things are bad enough as they are. I don’t want to keep punching myself in the face with it.” And this is coming from a guy who played a man whose sole character’s motivation was to drive around and be a hired companion to some ole’ racist lady named Miss Daisy.

However, our continued desire to forget the past is also why we have this black Tea Partier equating food stamps to the scraps from the master’s table. Or why renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson thinks that giving people public healthcare is akin to slavery. And it is also the reason why we have so many of our own folks believing that the enslavement of black women was of less importance or severity as what happened to black men. That black women had options including using their “sexual prowess,” aka vag*nas to somehow escape the worst of it. This collective twisted consciousness of black women and enslavement can be seen within the thinking of social commentaries done by the likes of Touré, who once remarked about the “brilliance” of enslaved black women, who “were sharp enough to trade that good-good for status or liberation.” It can also be seen through the viewing of the Russell Simmons-backed Harriet Tubman sex tape, which turned rape into some whimsical caper, in which Tubman too used her body for extra perks, like starting the Underground Railroad. And it can also been seen through the often divisive screed of Tariq Nasheed, film producer and so-called historian behind the popular documentary series Hidden Colors, who troll the Internets with his declaration of death to the “negro bed wench.” According to Nasheed, who has led several discussions on the term, including this most recent Ustream-cast entitled Tariq Nasheed Challenges the Bed Wench Movement, a modern-day Negro Bed Wench models herself after her predecessors during slavery, who he alleges volunteered to sleep with Massa in exchange for special perks and favor. He also suggests that it was the Negro Bed Wench, who actually liked slavery (because of all the free stuff she got) and snitched on the other slaves, who were trying to escape to freedom.

These Sally Hemings/Thomas Jefferson romance fantasies, which folks like to conjure up about black enslaved women offer a distorted and revisionist version to the harsh realities of what it meant to be chattel. There was no free will in slavery. An enslaved black man or woman had no more control over their lives than livestock having a say in if and when it will become hamburger meat. And although some were fortunate enough to figure out a route to freedom, the only choice most ancestors had was life or death. Everything else was out of your control, including what could or could not happen to your body. And as noted by writer Shafiqah Hudson in this essay about the use of the term to berate both the Olivia Pope character on Scandal and the real life female viewers who enjoy the show: “Controlling Black women’s behavior through name-calling and shaming is nothing new. Invoking something as somber and tragic as slavery to do it, while also nothing new, is shameful.”