March 1, 1992 |
While sitting in a darkened movie theater here the other night watching the stars of Thelma and Louise going on their sadistic rampage through the American Southwest, I thought to myself, "What must the Swedes think of Americans? Are they able to place this pageant of violence in some larger context? Do they understand that the United States is not some continuously unfolding series of outrages, rapes, shootings, and car chases?" The answer to that question is that, among the most impressionable people in this very sophisticated country, that is precisely what they think.
September 3, 1998
Images of an America The level of ignorance about . . . the rest of the world among Americans can only be matched by the influence that American culture - news, music, movies, dress and capitalist economy - has had on the rest of the world. James Macharia East African (Nairobi, Kenya), June 8-14, 1998 America is a soap bubble that has to be burst. Dari Milev Dragan Bulgarian avant-garde artist
March 9, 1987
Well, we have all just finished celebrating Black History Month. We've all ventured out of our little worlds one or two times in the past month to experience "black" art or "black" culture or learn about "black" history. I guess we all feel that we've done our share to recognize the "blacks" in our society. Now we can all go back to our little worlds and not have to think about anything that's "black" for another 11 months. To me, Black History Month is a joke. The fact that we have to set aside a special month to celebrate the history and the accomplishments and the contributions of people of African descent speaks horribly of our society.
March 26, 2001 |
Racial bigotry in Philadelphia seems to be getting worse, instead of better, and is causing a lot of people to leave the city in search of more peaceful places to live. I speak of the racial slurs I endure for being white where I am a minority. I live in the Olney section, and while words disparaging to blacks and minorities are not used, I hear hurtful words like "cracker," "whitey" and "white America. " I get dirty looks from neighbors. Kids in the neighborhood believe I am rich because my skin is lighter than theirs.
December 27, 2010
RE JENICE ARMSTRONG'S Dec. 21 column: Jenice, Kwanzaa is not a true holiday! It was made up by a lady from California who had strong desires to have a black celebration of some kind in this country. Kwanzaa is a nice idea for those who share its creator's feelings, but it is not truly part of the black American culture. Most black people know nothing about Swahili! Even though we have those who talk about slavery and how it stripped black Americans of their roots, we should not attempt to falsify ourselves into being what we are not. We are black Americans, and we have contributed to the American culture, in spite of the negatives of racism and slavery.
December 3, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - David Letterman's "stupid human tricks" and Top 10 lists are being vaulted into the ranks of cultural acclaim as the late-night comedian receives this year's Kennedy Center Honors with rock band Led Zeppelin and three other artists. Stars from New York, Hollywood, and the music world gathered Sunday in Washington to salute the comedian and the band, along with Dustin Hoffman, Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy, and ballerina Natalia Makarova. The honors are the nation's highest award for those who influenced American culture through the arts.
January 30, 2001 |
On Sunday, I, like millions of other football fans in the nation, went to a friend's house and enjoyed what has become a ritual of American culture: a Super Bowl party. Like many other hosts nationwide, my friends served a variety of good food. The menu included some ethnic cuisines, in this case Cajun gumbo over red beans and rice, as well as classic American hot dogs and spicy chicken wings. At our friend's house, there was a television tuned to the game in virtually every room.
March 1, 1999 |
If it is true, as it almost surely is, that behind every great man is an even greater woman, then it is probably also true that behind every great rock-and-roll act is a great manager. And in this sense, there was never a greater partnership than that between Elvis Presley and Col. Tom Parker. Both Elvis and the Colonel had roots stretching deep into the heart of American culture. Elvis, of course, was the only king this nation has ever had. As American as it comes - as American as the peanut butter and banana sandwiches he loved so well.
June 20, 2012 |
Philip Lapsansky, sweep of white hair curling over his brow, settles into his lair, a small, paper-stuffed, book-strewn, binder-choked office on the second floor of the Library Company of Philadelphia overlooking Locust Street. Lapsansky has toiled here for more than four decades, usually clad in sedately gaudy plaid shirts and art deco-esque ties (on this day the shirt is a navy blue, black, gold, winey red-striped number with "matching" serpentine-patterned red, white and black checked cravat)
January 10, 2002 |
The encyclopedist's lot is not an easy one. That's what Temple University professor Miles Orvell discovered when he signed on as senior editor of the Encyclopedia of American Studies. His task? To compress all of American culture, everything we've invented, done, been, thought - Coney Island and the Constitution, malls and Malcolm X, the atomic bomb and Andy Warhol - into just four volumes. "When we first started to think of this, we were quite daunted," said Orvell, 58, a man given to understatement.