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Top Picks: New works by da Vinci, the story of Mildred and Richard Loving, and more

Dion releases new songs, StoryCorps tells the tale of a couple who met because of a wrong e-mail address, filmmaker Shukree Hassan Tilghman explains why Black History Month should be a relic of the past, and more top picks.

February 10, 2012



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Can't get to London to see the latest sold-out show at The National Gallery? Head over Feb. 16 to one of more than 400 movie theaters stateside to catch a curated tour of Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan. See fathomevents.com for details.

Love in a time of ... Jim Crow

The Loving Story is the extraordinary tale of a mixed-race couple in 1960s Virginia who was exiled from the state under Jim Crow anti-miscegenation laws. The little known civil rights struggle of Mildred and Richard Loving went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 overturned all such laws across the country. The documentary airs Feb. 14 on HBO.

Wanderin' no more

You know who's never stopped being the coolest dude on the planet? Here's a hint: He roams around, around, around. You guessed it. Dion, The Wanderer. Yes, he's still around. And, oh yes ... he's still cool (and blue) on Tank Full of Blues, a great new collection of mostly self-penned songs. Dion is in elastic, commanding voice throughout, and his guitar chops are sharper than ever. His lyrics aren't too shabby either: "You tell me what you got now/ I'll tell you what you've lost/look out your window/gone like mornin' frost." The man's still got it.

E-mail love

StoryCorps, a national project that encourages people to record the stories of their lives, created an animated film of how one couple met online. To R.P. Salazar, with Love (http://youtu.be/Nf3MM7jzkZw) retells the tale of Ruben P. Salazar, in Texas, who mistakenly received an e-mail meant for Rachel P. Salazar, in Thailand. He forwarded the message to her and added a friendly question about what the weather was like there, and the two began talking. It's a tale that ends well.

Abolished but not gone

Slavery by Another Name, on PBS Feb. 13, tells how even as slavery came to an end in the South in 1865, thousands of African-Americans were pulled back into forced labor in a system in which men were arrested, compelled to work without pay, and repeatedly bought and sold. Tolerated by both the North and South, forced labor lasted well into the 20th century. The film is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas Blackmon and is narrated by Laurence Fishburne.

History for everyone

Also on Feb. 16 (use your DVR), find out why Black History Month should be a relic of the past. Shukree Hassan Tilghman, an African-American filmmaker, is on a tongue-in-cheek, cross-country campaign to end the designation, because, as this PBS "Independent Lens" film, More Than a Month, suggests, every day should include everyone who is part of America's history.

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