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Stories by Jennifer Oliver O'Connell

Jennifer Oliver OConnell offers witty, insightful, and direct opinion, analysis and musings on local and national politics and popular culture, with occasional detours into reinvention, food, and Yoga. Jennifer also teaches Yoga, and coaches clients on careers and reinvention. You can keep up with what's in Jennifer's orbit through her As the Girl Turns website.

On the Red Carpet at the 23rd Annual MOVIEGUIDE® Awards

WASHINGTON, February 20, 2015 – The Movieguide® Awards honors the best family-friendly movies and television shows of the previous year. The Movieguide not only picks the best movies for mature audiences, but awards the $100,000 Epiphany Prizes for Most Inspiring Movie and TV program of the Year. This award is supported by a grant from ...

Black History Month 2015: Let’s promote a return to literacy

WASHINGTON, February 2, 2015 — This Black History Month has me re-reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Neale Hurston is one of my favorite authors, and the beauty and facility of the language she used still gives me pause and inspiration. Sadly, the richness of literacy exhibited by her and her contemporaries—like ...

The ‘American Sniper’ phenomenon and why Hollywood and the Left hate it

LOS ANGELES, January 29, 2015 − Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper,” the film about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s life and four Iraq military tours, has been taking down box office records right and left. According to Box Office Mojo, the film grossed $89 million in its first weekend, and another 64 million in its second weekend. ...

#BlackLivesMatter–a hashtag bandaid over the gaping wound of Black problems

LOS ANGELES, December 5, 2014—Just as the Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurGirls did absolutely nothing to affect the fate of the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram (most were married off or sold into slavery where they remain), the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter is another emotion-based, factually void outcry that will do little to resolve anything. This hashtag gained traction ...

Was the “Black Vote” instrumental in the Republican victory?

LOS ANGELES, November 7, 2014 — Dani McClain of The Nation rejects claims that the total rout suffered by the Democrats on November 4 had anything to do with a lack of Black voter turnout. “One place you can’t lay blame for the Democrats’ trouncing last night: at the feet of black voters. That demographic made up ...

Ferguson, fear and loathing: how Blacks are being motivated to vote in the mid-terms

LOS ANGELES, October 27, 2014—The Daily Beast’s Joshua DuBois asks, “Can Ferguson Swing the Election?” DuBois focuses on how the police officer shooting of Ferguson, Missouri teenager Michael Brown unveiled an issue of larger scope: low Black turnout in local elections produced the type of civic policies that set the stage for the Brown shooting. ...

Democrats desperate for Blacks to deliver in mid-term elections

LOS ANGELES, October 24, 2014 — With two weeks before the mid-term elections, Democrats are scrambling and befuddled. From the missteps of Alison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky, who three times dodged the question of whether she voted for President Obama; to Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, who was unable to name his favorite books and ...

Raven Symone’s statement reveals blacks’ problem with differences

LOS ANGELES, October 10, 2014—Actress Raven-Symoné was the subject of the Wednesday premiere of Oprah Winfrey’s “Where Are They Now?” She lit up a firestorm in the Blacksphere when she said, “I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American, I’m not African-American. I’m an American.” You could tell that Oprah really did not like Raven-Symoné saying ...

A lesson from Scotland for America on showing up to vote

LOS ANGELES, September 20, 2014 — Wednesday marked the 227th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution. The document remains the foundation of American law, a testament to the resiliency of that guiding document. But a survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center shows that only 36 percent of Americans can actually name ...

September 11, 2014

The Falling Man of 9-11: From memory to action

LOS ANGELES, September 12, 2014 — With the beheading of two American journalists by ISIS — or “Islamic State” as it now calls itself — and the terror organization’s declaration of jihad against America, the term “War on terror” is back in our vocabulary and our consciousness. That war began on September 11, 2001 with ...