February 16, 2016
"OK ladies now let's get in formation . . . " And with that, Beyonce's controversial performance at Super Bowl 50 outside San Francisco was underway as she and her backup dancers marched onto the field at halftime in black leather jackets and ankle boots. The dancers had black berets pulled down over billowy afros, a signature look of the Black Panthers, as they, well, stood in formation. Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson was on the other side of the country in New York City wrapping up after a sold-out screening of his powerful, new film, "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.
August 20, 2015 |
Showtime is adapting Loving Day , the semiautobiographical novel by Philadelphia-born and -raised writer Mat Johnson, as a comedy about race. The critically acclaimed Loving Day is about biracial Warren Duffy, who returns to his hometown of Philadelphia from Wales when his life falls apart. He has inherited his late father's dilapidated - and potentially haunted - Germantown mansion and learns he has a teenage daughter who believes she is white. The title refers to the annual June 12 celebration marking the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia , which struck down all bans on interracial marriage.
September 5, 2014 |
How are African Americans represented in mass media? Discussions of race and media generally stop at that question. Two film screenings this month at the African American Museum in Philadelphia try to go beyond that question by looking at how different media can be used to air issues of concern to African American communities. The first, on Saturday, focuses on Islam in African American communities; the second, on Sept. 18, is about the explosion of African American news and cultural programming in the late 1960s.
December 24, 2013
PARTY CITY sells paper party supplies for Kwanzaa. You can pick up a Kwanzaa greeting card at a Hallmark store, or a book on the subject at Walmart. And who could forget celebrity chef Sandra Dee's blunder when she made a semi-homemade monstrosity that she called a Kwanzaa cake? (See video at phillydailynews.com.) But there are still a whole lot of folks, African-Americans included, who will give you a blank stare if you ask them about Kwanzaa. Many have never embraced the holiday, worried that it's somehow anti-Christian.
January 29, 2013
Museumgoers will have the opportunity to brush up on a lot of dramatic American history around town this spring, with major exhibitions and events covering the Civil War, U.S. spycraft, the countercultural epicenter of 1968, the antilynching writer Ida B. Wells, and the black presence on the Delaware River - as both cargo and seafarers. In addition, the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, which originally blasted through town two years ago, is back for a month from the end of March to the end of April.
June 2, 2012 |
Dance of the lowercase companies! Kate Watson-Wallacer and Jaamil Kosoko, dancer/choreographers who recently formed anonymous bodies, and Megan Bridge and Peter Price, who make up a team they call fidget, have paired up this weekend at Christ Church Neighborhood House. Both partnerships engage in dance theater, live music, on-site installation, multimedia, social justice and political themes, and audience involvement. In a trend that's been growing, if diminutively, they titled their show "us. " Another trend that's been around for a while has the performers on stage and going through their paces before the show begins.
April 3, 2011 |
The year 1965 was remarkable for Irene Hill-Smith. She spent 50 days in a South Jersey hospital after a car hit her as she was getting into a parked car. Her first hospital stint ended March 31, but she was hospitalized for complications from the injury Aug. 17. Despite all that, The Inquirer reported at the time, it was a year of accomplishments. She was elected president of the New Jersey NAACP, one of the first women so elected across the nation. And at the 1965 national NAACP convention, she was named president of the organization's Northeastern region, covering Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and all of New England.
December 21, 2010
I ASKED A 17-year-old I know what he thought about Kwanzaa and he said, "That Jewish holiday?" Uh, no. Clearly, his high school hasn't embraced the multicultural thing and isn't teaching students about the 44-year-old Afrocentric holiday. But I don't knock his ignorance because the truth is that Kwanzaa has never caught on with the majority of black Americans. At the same time, though, it has grown in mainstream acceptance as evidenced by the Kwanzaa postal stamps and greeting cards.
November 24, 2008
RE STAN Hochman's article on the 1968 summer Olympics: This may sound like "some kind of ill-conceived counterpoint," but I'm not going to be as proud of Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who raised their fists in protest at the '68 Summer Games when everybody and their grandmother was on the protest bandwagon doing the same thing. Or at least as proud as I was of George Foreman, who raised an American flag when nobody else had the guts to. And the next time you write an article and feel the need to throw a jab at a flag-waver, it's probably a good idea to not print it on Veterans Day. Neil Collins Havertown
March 19, 2008 |
The comments on racism of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., deemed so inflammatory that his former congregant Barack Obama was forced to address them, brought back a flood of memories for me. I was first exposed to "black liberation theology," the apparent basis for many of Wright's most biting remarks on race, while a student at, of all places, a small, predominantly white college in the Midwest. Baker University, the oldest four-year college in Kansas, had only about 800 students in 1971; fewer than 60 of us were African American, but that was the most black students ever at the school founded in 1858.