June 30, 2016 |
Pat Cleveland is absolutely lovely. But of course she is. Cleveland was one of the world's first supermodels, one of the first African American cover girls in the 1970s, and a favorite of the era's top designers: Bill Blass, Stephen Burrows, and Halston. So yes, at 66, it's not surprising that Cleveland still has a light voice, an easy smile. She appears not to have a care in the world. How does she stay so whimsical and full of joy? She keeps a "no-mad" existence. "You don't get mad. You keep it moving," Cleveland told me from her Willingboro home, her accent unmistakably New York, despite the years she spent living in London, Paris, and Milan.
June 7, 2016 |
THE BATTLE over race has reared its ugly head across the pond, and at stake is whether Hermione Granger must be white. Granger, as most of you probably know, is a fictional character from the world of Harry Potter, so she really can be anything your imagination wants her to be. The reason this is an issue now is because a new play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child , starts previews Tuesday night at London's Palace Theatre. The story picks up 19 years after the end of Deathly Hallows, and Entertainment Weekly reports the cast consists of Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley, Cherrelle Skeete as Hermione Granger's daughter Rose Granger-Weasley, Jamie Parker as Harry and Noma Dumezweni as Hermione.
March 25, 2016 |
An African American woman said Wednesday that two white detectives violated her civil rights by forcing her from her Southwest Philadelphia home and making her spend a night in a police district cell this month. Nicol Newman, 48, a social worker, said she had committed no crime. "It was insane," Newman said at a news conference at the local NAACP headquarters in North Philadelphia. She said she found the experience "demeaning and disrespectful. " A spokesman for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office declined to comment Wednesday.
February 3, 2016
PHILADELPHIA - Police were investigating an assault and possible abduction of a woman in Center City on Sunday morning. Around 6:30 a.m. in the 2000 block of Walnut Street, an unidentified black man and black woman got into an argument that turned violent, police said. The woman appeared to have been knocked unconscious and was put into a gray or silver Chrysler minivan with a license-plate number of JYH3639 that headed west on Walnut, police said. The van was captured in an apparent cellphone photo, which police made public Monday night.
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.