March 6, 2015 |
Critics pricked up their ears two years ago when screenwriter John Ridley, riding high on the critical acclaim of 12 Years a Slave , announced he was developing a TV drama. It would be a different kind of crime drama, he said. Ridley, who won an Oscar the following year, stayed true to his promise: American Crime , which premieres at 10 p.m. Thursday on ABC, is one of the most powerful and original dramas to grace the broadcast networks in years. If the first three episodes are any indication, it will rank with HBO's True Detective as the best TV series about crime in America.
October 17, 2014 |
I IMAGINE THAT Aretha Franklin educated many on what respect means and how to spell it. Her 1967 cover of an Otis Redding tune became popular at a time when civil rights in relation to race, class and gender were on the minds of many. She leaves no room for misunderstandings about what she wants. She just spells it out: "R-E-S-P-E-C-T. " No confusion. No metaphor. No nuthin'. "Give me my propers ," she demands. Give it to me. And, as with any good demand, therein also lies a threat: See what happens if you don't.
January 14, 2013
Sol Yurick, 87, whose street-gang novel The Warriors was adapted into a film of the same title that became a cult favorite, has died. His daughter, Susanna Yurick, said the author died of complications from lung cancer Jan. 5 at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan. A native and longtime resident of New York City, he drew upon his years working in the Welfare Department for The Warriors , his first book, which came out in 1965. The movie, released in 1979, was directed by Walter Hill and substantially changed from Mr. Yurick's book.
March 25, 2012
By Eric Goodman University of Nebraska Press. 288 pages. $18.95. Reviewed by John Shortino Within the first few pages of Twelfth and Race , Eric Goodman introduces many of his novel's major themes: racial tension, family secrets, parental abandonment, and the loss of identity. As the book opens, Lorraine, a young mother, leaves her family and mixed-race son, driven away in part by their rejection of her Puerto Rican boyfriend. Her son, Richard, grows up to have his identity stolen.
July 27, 2009
WAS THE police officer who arrested Henry Louis Gates in his Cambridge home a racist, or did Gates overreact to a cop just doing his job? Did President Obama make matters worse when he commented on the case during a Wednesday news conference, or did he make an important point? Is that conversation, being carried out over Internet, TV, radio and print, the same one that's being conducted in Philadelphia over the controversial Domelights Web site? A week after Gates was arrested, these questions - and what they mean in "post-racial" America - are still being hotly debated.
December 19, 2008 |
'The truth makes for a bad sermon. It tends to be confusing and have no clear conclusion. " So says Father Flynn from the pulpit of St. Nicholas, the Bronx church where this young and popular priest has set up shop in the fall of 1964. In Doubt , John Patrick Shanley's crisp, cogent adaptation of his own Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play (tellingly called Doubt, a Parable when it debuted in New York in 2004), the truth is left for the audience to decide. And while the conclusion isn't necessarily clear, it is unsettling.
November 5, 2008
WE HAVE HOPE. Of course, that word was the cornerstone of Barack Obama's campaign, but it took his historic victory yesterday to make us realize how much of it we have been missing. Steadily, over the years, we have felt the erosion of hope for a country united on the principles of democracy and fairness, a country that could once again lead the world based, not on military might, but on a steadfast defense of human rights. For so long, we have missed the hope that ordinary people could join together to bring about change.
June 11, 2008 |
IT CAN BE argued that the conventional and traditional institutions (family, schools, churches, business, government) are out of step with the needs of children and youth - specifically black children and youth. Many of the black youngsters whom I've worked with in Philadelphia over the last 15 years are nothing more than canaries in the coal mine who reflect the conditions in their environment, the physical and social toxins. The cumulative effect of the negatives and hassles in the world these young people live in has traumatized and stifled any resiliency that might help them overcome the odds.
May 13, 2007
Looking at how a candidate campaigns can offer clues as to what kind of leader he'd be. Philadelphians say they yearn for a leader who'll be mayor of the whole city, who'll rise above the grubby same-old, same-old at City Hall, who'll offer both vision and focus, who'll put city before self, who'll reach for new alliances with suburbs and Harrisburg. There's only one candidate in this race who has risen steadily in the polls by drawing support from all races and all neighborhoods, while the other candidates drooped.
April 13, 2007 |
The United States might not know who Russell Peters is, the Anglo Indian comedian from Canada whose snarky smarts, crackling characterizations of racial stereotypes, and well-heeled mimicry have made him the toast of the North (not to mention the rest of the planet) for nearly 20 years. But we're about to find out. Right after he wakes up. "I forgot we were supposed to talk until my brother knocked on my door," Peters says from the home in Toronto he shares with his sibling.