November 12, 2015 |
OPPOSITION is growing against a Baltimore company's participation in building a $400 million casino and hotel in South Philadelphia's stadium district. A coalition of African-American leaders this morning has scheduled a news conference outside City Hall to call for City Council to hold a special hearing to probe allegations that the Cordish Cos. uses discriminatory policies to control the number of blacks that are allowed into the company's venues in Louisville, Ky., and Kansas City, Mo. Coalition members said they are also concerned that minority firms were not included when the state Gaming Control Board awarded the casino license to Cordish and its partner, Greenwood Racing Inc., last November.
October 15, 2015 |
The first thing that Mae Jemison, the first African American woman astronaut, saw through the window of the space shuttle Endeavor in 1992 was her hometown of Chicago. "I thought about that little girl who grew up wanting to go into space," she said. "And so, the first thing to happen to me there was this huge smile. " She wore that smile Tuesday morning into the gym of Kearny School at Sixth Street and Fairmount Avenue, where - greeted by children wearing neon construction-paper crowns dotted with stickers of spaceships and stars - she spoke about her experiences as an astronaut and her belief that "daring makes a difference.
September 15, 2015 |
With so much Philly Fringe activity happening in the city right now, what could possibly entice theatergoers out to the suburbs for People's Light's regular season opener, particularly if that show is Arthur Miller's All My Sons ? It's a great drama, sure, and a fine tribute to the centenary of Miller's birth , but it's hardly uncharted territory. However, for audiences who saw Kamilah Forbes' direction of August Wilson's Fences last season, the answer is obvious. Bringing back much of that cast, Forbes reframes Miller's classic tale of the American dream-turned-nightmare as a near companion piece to former New York Times culture critic Margo Jefferson's new memoir, Negroland . This African American cast brings to life the tightly proscribed culture of a rising postwar black middle class, secreting away the shameful, swallowing its pain, accepting nothing less than achievement, or overachievement.
September 11, 2015 |
When Ray Fussell was growing up, Saddlertown's two streets were made of dirt. But for Fussell and others with roots in Haddon Township's historically black hamlet - started by former slave Joshua Saddler in 1842 - Beechwood and Rhoads Avenues were paved with gold. "All of the people up and down the block left their doors unlocked," recalls Fussell, 85, describing Saddlertown's close-knit, extended-family ambience. The gentlemanly retired technician is one of three Saddler descendants living in the tucked-away neighborhood off MacArthur Boulevard.
July 3, 2015
NOW YOU SEE them, now you don't. Philadelphia has Mystique the Magician and Derek Lee of D&J Entertainment. But not a whole lot of other African-Americans make their living doing magic tricks. "Finding an African-American magician is like finding a needle in a haystack," Ran 'D Shine, 45, of Mount Airy, told me earlier this week. "We are out there, but it's hard to find us. " Come Saturday, it won't be hard at all. Five black magicians will perform at Shine's "Heart and Soul of Magic" show at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, 12th and Market streets.
July 2, 2015 |
Misty Copeland made ballet history Tuesday: She was promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. She is the first African American ballerina to achieve the highest rank at a premiere American company. Her promotion followed more than a week of "Misty Watch," which had ballet fans around the country speculating and hoping that Copeland, a hugely popular presence on stage, on social media, and in pop culture, was on the brink of achievement. Three female ABT principals - Julie Kent, Paloma Herrera, and Xiomara Reyes - retired in the spring, opening up room at the top. The time seemed particularly ripe after Copeland made her momentous June 24 ABT debut as white swan Odette and black swan Odile, the bifurcated lead in Swan Lake , often referred to as a "white ballet.
May 25, 2015 |
Jim Kenney, the what-you-see-is-what-you-get candidate, said you are going to get even more if he is elected mayor of Philadelphia in November. The former city councilman who engineered reduced penalties for minor marijuana possession pledged that police would stop issuing citations altogether for that offense: "It is a waste of time. It is a waste of money. " The critic of Mayor Nutter's distant relationship with City Council said that as mayor, he would invite Council President Darrell L. Clarke to seat his own financial experts at the table when the yearly budget is built.
May 16, 2015 |
With the Democratic primary for mayor five days away, former City Councilman James F. Kenney visited a predominantly African American neighborhood Thursday to pick up the endorsement of City Council President Darrell L. Clarke. Add Clarke to the list of influential African American elected officials backing Kenney, who is white, including Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco and State Rep. Dwight Evans. And there was also this on Thursday: The president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity praised Kenney while saying State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, who is African American, had botched his shot at becoming the city's next mayor.
May 4, 2015 |
With just over two weeks left until the Democratic mayoral primary, Britton Stewart's vote is still up for grabs. "The candidates all seem to have a lot to offer," the 47-year-old social worker from West Oak Lane said. "I just don't have a favorite yet. I have a little time. " That should keep more than one campaign manager up at night. Not that Stewart's ballot counts more than anyone else's. Rather, he is emblematic of other African American voters - who are expected to significantly influence the outcome of the May 19 primary - yet to decide whom to support.
April 30, 2015 |
JUNE 13, 2008, was a Friday - Friday the 13th - a day that lurks in the minds of the superstitious as a time when the evil forces that interfere with our destinies get free reign. Be that as it may, that particular Friday the 13th was bad news for hundreds of African-American parents because it was the day their cherished private school was forced to close. Ivy Leaf School, which began providing an education for African-American students at a reasonable cost from its founding in 1965, succumbed to economic forces beyond its control.