James Earl Jones

Recent Articles

Playwright Lesli Lee dies at age 83

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Lesli Lee, one of America’s most significant Black playwrights prior to the emergence of August Wilson, died January 20 in Manhattan at 83 of congestive heart failure. Lee is best known for his Obie Award-winning and Tony-nominated drama about middle-class life, The First Breeze of Summer (Negro Ensemble Company). The original cast included company founder Douglas Turner Ward, Frances Foster and Moses Gunn. Not until Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Fuller and later Wilson was another African American author similarly accomplished. A 2008 revival of The First Breeze of Summer (Signature Theatre Company), directed by noted actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson, won honors at the prestigious Audelco Awards. Continue Reading →

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Being ‘the Only One’ can render one invisible

 

 

 

The little boy in the 1974 movie Claudine told James Earl Jones’ character that he wanted to be invisible. When asked why, the frustrated youngest son of Diahann Carroll’s character simply replied that since his older siblings regularly ignore him, he might just as well be invisible. This reporter can easily relate to that boy, because I too am invisible — but not because I want to be. When I became a reporter in the mid-1970s, I reluctantly accepted the experience of being snubbed as some so-called rite of passage, of paying my media dues. However, five decades-plus later, I am still getting cold shoulders too often from persons who aren’t half my age or experience and who couldn’t spell “journalist” without help from a computerized spell check. Continue Reading →

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