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Throwback Thursday-Coming To America (1988)

Once upon a time, Eddie Murphy was the king of the box office. His movies did well with audiences and critics. Sadly, those days seem to be long gone.

In 1988, Eddie Murphy entered the royalty/romance genre with Coming To America.

Prince Akeem (Murphy) is the heir to the throne of the fictional African kingdom of Zamunda.  He is 21 and of an age to marry. The only problem is that his wife has been chosen for him, but Akeem is not thrilled with the idea of this marriage. Breaking tradition, he travels to New York with his loyal aide Semmi (Arsenio Hall) to find a woman who would marry him for love, not because she has been chosen for him. Lisa McDowell (Shari Headley) works for her father at McDowell’s (not to be confused with McDonalds). She has a boyfriend, Darryl (Eriq La Salle), but is starting to spend her free time with Akeem, who has started working at McDowell’s. Akeem is trying to keep his real identity a secret, but that secret will not remain a secret for very long.

I like this movie. Breaking from the buddy cop movie genre that Murphy started in after he left Saturday Night Live, he plays Akeem with a combination of optimism and a sense of who he wants to be and who he wants to be with. The comedy in this movie comes from Hall and Murphy playing multiple characters, a feature that Murphy would later known for in movies like The Nutty Professor.  The royalty/romance genre is still, even in 2015, for the most part white, it’s nice to see African and African American characters portrayed on screen as they are in this movie.

I recommend it.

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Another Person’s Shoes

Port7

Let me begin by asking a question. Based upon the picture above, can you guess the city?

A. Miami

B. Honolulu

C. Tel Aviv

If your answer was C, then you are correct.

Let me tell you about the time I spent in Israel.

I have been there twice in my life. The first visit was as a teenager, the second was ten years later.

Israel is a small country, it’s no bigger than New Jersey.  But in it’s compactness lies it’s greatness.

The food is amazing. Instead of McDonalds and Burger King at every rest stop, they have falafel and schwarma. Breakfast is not just cereal and milk or a bagel with cream cheese. It’s salad and tuna and eggs.

The people are very friendly and as diverse as any large city in the United States.  The beaches are absolutely stunning. Walking barefoot into the Mediterranean sea while the North East Of the United States was engulfed in winter was heaven.

My two favorite   places to visit were the Western Wall and Masada. There is an energy around the Western Wall, as if there is a direct line to G-d. I was fortunate to climb Masada at dawn.  It was one of the most difficult experiences of my life, but also the most rewarding.  I have never seen a more beautiful sunrise than the one at Masada.

It’s no secret that the media distorts many things, including what is going on in Israel. There are many people who would happily see Israel wiped off the face of the earth.

I am going to end this post with a challenge. Regardless of your feelings or beliefs about Israel, I challenge you to visit Israel. See with your own eyes and make your own judgement. Whether or not your mind is changed, only time will tell.   But until you walk a mile in another person’s shoes, you can never truly understand them.

 

 

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