October 23, 2014 |
WHEN OPERA star Kathleen Battle performs in Philadelphia Friday, she won't be singing Handel or Mozart. Instead, her lyric soprano will ring out in spirituals, such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Glory, Glory Hallelujah. " "Many times, what gets commented on is the spirituals only," Battle, 66, said in a recent interview. "Sometimes you want someone to comment on your Schubert, as well. People are drawn to the spiritual. It has a universal appeal. " The Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall will host "Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey - An Evening with Kathleen Battle," marking Battle's first performance in Philadelphia since 2003.
October 17, 2014 |
In a wide-ranging lecture on the Underground Railroad, which brought thousands of slaves to freedom in the 19th century, historian Charles Blockson said Wednesday that the role of Philadelphia cannot be overlooked. "Philadelphia was a major terminal on the Underground Railroad, because of its location as a seaport and so forth," Blockson told about 70 people at Temple University's Sullivan Hall. Inside the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, an archive of historical materials he has gathered over 70 of his 80 years, Blockson spoke for more than an hour about the network of safe houses and "conductors" that helped runaway slaves from the South make their way north to freedom.
October 21, 2013 |
Small-town Auburn very probably is the oldest tourist destination in central New York, and 2013 is likely to be a banner year for this Finger Lakes gem. Even President Obama, the most notable recent visitor, stayed overnight in August during an upstate bus tour. His itinerary brought droves of reporters to Auburn, which bills itself as "history's hometown. " The city is basking in the reflected glory of two milestones. First, this is the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, which brought the release of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, featuring Auburn's favorite son, William Seward, who was secretary of state in the Lincoln administration.
August 17, 2013 |
Responding to outrage from fans and civil rights leaders, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has removed a satirical video called the Harriet Tubman Sex Tape from his All Def Digital YouTube channel. The vid starred an actress playing abolitionist hero Harriet Tubman having sex with a man she addresses as her "Massa" so he'd let her run the Underground Railroad. Simmons has posted an apology on Globalgrind.com. "I'm a very liberal person with thick skin," he writes. "My first impression of the Harriet Tubman piece was that it was about what one of the actors said in the video, that 162 years later, there's still tremendous injustice.
October 4, 2012
Earlier this year, author Karen E. Quinones Miller found out that Walmart wouldn't be carrying her semiautobiographical book on its shelves. The reason? There were concerns that the book's title, An Angry-Ass Black Woman , might offend some of the retail giant's customers. Given Walmart's reach, a lot of authors would have picked a new title and maybe rejiggered things for the sake of book sales. Not Miller. Her decision wouldn't surprise anybody who knows Miller - or anybody who's actually read her work.
March 10, 2010 |
For bibliophile and educator Charles Blockson, the mute, simple evidence of abolitionist Harriet Tubman's life - photographs, dinner utensils, hymnal - possess a personal power, a resonance that flows over decades. He has maintained stewardship of these fragile relics for years, holding them, he says, in trust. Now the moment has come to place them before the larger world. Today, Blockson will transfer his collection of 39 Tubman artifacts to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture, expected to open in Washington in 2015, and Rep. Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.)
April 20, 2007 |
THANK YOU, Cathy Hughes, Alfred Liggins and TV One for replaying Alex Haley's "Roots: the Saga of an American Family" last week. Thanks to two of the most powerful African-Americans in media and this cable and satellite TV network, there was some sanity on the airwaves in the midst of last week's Imus madness. As most of the nation was captivated by the expulsion of Don Imus from CBS and MSNBC after referring to members of the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed ho's," many Americans, myself included, were also watching TV One's commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the 1977 TV adaptation of "Roots.
October 11, 2005 |
Growing up in a predominantly white culture, they didn't talk about it much outside the home. And when they did talk about it, they were not always believed. "People who knew me all my life never knew," said Sidney Taylor, president of the African American Historical and Cultural Society of Bucks County. And now, as plans to honor the contributions of black Americans to the borough of Bristol are moving forward, Louise Davis, secretary-treasurer of the society and Taylor's cousin, worries it may seem self-serving that the sculpture they have chosen to sit on the banks of the Delaware depicts their relative - Harriet Ross Tubman, the famous conductor of the Underground Railroad.
October 14, 2002 |
Ten days ago, under a blazing autumn sun, schoolchildren and adults gathered outside the historic Peter Mott House in Lawnside as part of the 15-day Harriet Tubman and William Still Underground Railroad Walk Across New Jersey. Stopping each day at sites where runaway slaves found refuge on their flight to freedom, this 180-mile trek from Greenwich to Jersey City celebrated both the runaways and the people who helped them. Harriet Tubman was born about 1820, one of 11 children of slave parents in Maryland.
February 24, 2002 |
The swamps and forests of Dorchester County on Maryland's Eastern Shore are so murky and dense that it's hard to believe a young woman traveled through them. At night. With a huge bounty on her head. To see this forbidding terrain is to realize how much Harriet Tubman was willing to risk for freedom - her own and other slaves'. This is where Tubman was born and where she began her perilous Underground Railroad journeys, which took her and eventually 300 others to freedom. In recent years, there has been a renewed fascination with Tubman, one of the greatest conductors on the Underground Railroad.