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TV movie tackles race relations

In honor of Black History Month, the Disney Channel is airing the original movie The Color of Friendship. It's based on a real event and addresses the issue of race relations through the friendship of two teenage girls. In 1977 an African-American congressman and his family opened their home to a South African exchange student. Expecting a student of color, they were surprised when a white South African arrived. She was surprised, too. The student was a product of the apartheid system that viewed black people as second-class citizens. The situation challenged them with lessons about racism and tolerance. The Color of Friendship airs Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 8:55 p.m. with replay dates throughout the month.

Store offers bird encounter

If you attend the grand opening of the new PetsMart store in Tampa, you'll see some amazing birds of prey (but they're not for sale). A turkey vulture, red-tailed hawk and American kestrel will be at the store Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The visiting birds were found injured in the wild and rehabilitated but cannot return to their home. The store is at 12835 Citrus Plaza Drive, across the street from the Citrus Town Center mall.

And he can act, too!

Lance Bass of 'N Sync makes his acting debut as a romantic leading man tonight on the WB show 7th Heaven at 8 p.m. A contemporary family drama, 7th Heaven is about a minister, his wife and their seven children. In the episode, Lance kisses Beverly Mitchell, who plays Lucy on the show.

The spotlight is on Freddie

After catching Hollywood's eye with last year's hit movie She's All That and completing three films in six months, Freddie Prinze Jr. is eager to slow down. The 23-year-old actor is all over the place these days. He recently hosted Saturday Night Live, appears on the cover of this month's Seventeen magazine, is the featured star on Cosmo Girl magazine's sticker page and was named "Male Hottie of the Year" in the Teen Choice Awards last year. His new movie, Down To You, is in theaters now. "I make movies for the same reason I think people go to see movies," he said. "To escape reality for a while. It's the only place where I can fly the spaceship, pitch the winning game and get the girl and live happily ever after."

_ Hot Stuff is compiled from staff and wire reports

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