October 21, 2015 |
I knew the statistics. I had made an odd peace with them. Those numbers were why I avoided watching Being Mary Jane , the BET drama that is one of a legion of shows featuring black leading ladies in prime time, including Scandal , How To Get Away With Murder , and Empire . But I caved. The pilot episode of Being Mary Jane opens with a statistic: "Forty-two percent of black women have never been married. " With that, I began to question whether I was a masochist.
June 17, 2015
ALTHOUGH LIFE isn't always black-and-white, Rachel Dolezal should be ashamed of herself for misrepresenting herself as something other than what she was. Her lie was bound to reveal itself, no matter how much liquid tanner she must have used to darken her naturally pale skin. It was only a matter of time until someone - maybe her hair braider or one of her siblings - was going to reveal to the world that she wasn't really African-American as she claimed. It wound up being her biological parents who outed her, revealing that Dolezal is, in fact, Caucasian.
May 31, 2015 |
The black woman can't come out first. No matter how beautiful or accomplished she is, she simply can't come out first. It's not racist, it's just bad TV. That, at least, is according to Quinn ( House of Cards ' Constance Zimmer), the acerbic executive producer of Everlasting , a Bachelor -type show at the heart of Lifetime's UnReal . Quinn is directing which suitors will be introduced first to their prince, a hunky Brit hotel magnate (Freddie Stroma) more interested in advertising his company than in finding love.
April 3, 2015 |
RAE MARIE WARNER was something of an oddity back in 1970: a black female Philadelphia police officer. In fact, there is every indication that Rae was the first African-American woman hired as a Philadelphia cop. The Police Department put her in the Juvenile Aid Division, as it did with all female police officers in those days. It didn't want them out on patrol. That policy has long been changed, and women today patrol the city streets along with the men. Rae Warner might have been one of the pioneers who helped bring about the change.
August 31, 2014 |
The worn, leather-bound diaries, each about the size of a smartphone, reveal a voice rarely found in print. In them, Emilie Davis, a young housekeeper and seamstress, chronicles her life as a free black woman in Philadelphia during the Civil War. "To day has bin a memorable day and i thank god i have bin sperd to see it," Davis wrote in an entry dated Jan. 1, 1863, the day the Emancipation Proclamation became official. It is the first sentence in a series that fills three pocket diaries, recounting Davis' life from 1863 to 1865.
May 30, 2014 |
She surprised people. She was tall, more than six feet. Her voice - sonorous, precise, pleased at its own beauty - surprised, too, almost as much as the words it spoke. Poet, memoirist, and public voice Maya Angelou, who died Wednesday at age 86 at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C., made a life of escaping expectations. "She lived an epic life," said poet and publisher Lamont B. Steptoe, "and her success was well-deserved for what she went through. " At a news conference Wednesday, Mayor Nutter said, "I've been a fan and admirer of hers for a long, long time . . . . She spoke to so many different people through poems.
May 5, 2014 |
Pennsylvania's top two Democrats called Saturday on state Treasurer Rob McCord to pull the racially charged attack ad he is airing against front-runner Tom Wolf in the gubernatorial primary. Former Gov. Ed Rendell said the television spot was "one of the worst I have ever seen," adding that it was a style of politics "that makes me ashamed to have been part of this business for most of my adult life. " McCord, in an emotional news conference, later said he would continue to use the ad, calling it a "teachable moment" about the moral need to confront racism.
May 5, 2014 |
NEW YORK - Tamron Hall made history early this year when she became the first black woman to coanchor Today 's news hours, joining Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, and Al Roker on the morning show's plush orange sofas. In an instant, the Temple University graduate - who is serious and to-the-point on MSNBC's NewsNation , and a compassionate listener on Investigation Discovery's Deadline Crime With Tamron Hall - added fun-loving and chatty to her on-air-personality arsenal.
December 13, 2013 |
IN A RECENT "Saturday Night Live" sketch, host Kerry Washington mocked the show's lack of an African-American female performer by having to play Michele Obama and Oprah and Beyonce , running on and off stage to change dresses and wigs. Well . . . Keenan Thompson may not have to play Whoopi Goldberg anymore, either. According to the Hollywood Reporter , SNL recently held two showcase auditions consisting entirely of African-American women. The goal: Get someone into the cast in January.
July 16, 2013
USUALLY, I'm with Stu Bykofsky 100 percent, because he is always firmly rooted in the real world. So, when he stepped off into la la land I was completely floored. In la la land, where you reside, Stu, you can con yourself into believing that you can raise a young black man just like you raise a young white man. But - news flash - he, as a young black male, will have to face a real world where there are going to be more than a few white folks who are not going to hesitate to let him know that he is indeed not a young white man. When he comes home with questions about why stop-and-frisk affects only him and not his little white friends, what are Angela and her husband going to tell him?