Recent Articles

Maya Angelou April 4, 1928 — May 28, 2014

How does one pay adequate tribute to the legacy of Maya Angelou, the beloved historic icon and cultural treasure who passed away on May 28? Her enduring presence as an enlightening, empowering beacon to which the hearts and minds of Black women faithfully were drawn, after all, marked her as an individual of inestimable consequence whose like we quite probably will never see again. Dr. Angelou, nee Marguerite Annie Johnson, advanced from an auspicious literary debut, publishing her first autobiography I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings with the aid of James Baldwin, who would become a lifelong friend, to a titanic career that spanned more than a half century. Her accomplishments included, in far from a complete listing, a film rendition of the book starring Diahann Carroll and Ruby Dee; six more autobiographies; acting turns in The Richard Pryor Special?, Poetic Justice with Janet Jackson, and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion; as well as stints directing (Down In The Delta, starring Alfre Woodward, featuring Al Freeman, Jr), producing (Sister, Sister with Rosalind Cash, Diahann Carroll and Paul Winfield), and scoring film soundtracks (For Love of Ivy, starring Sidney Poitier). She is best known for her vast volume of poetry, most notably “On the Pulse of Morning,” which she recited at President Bill Clinton’s 1994 inauguration. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Godmother of rock to get her due — Rosetta Tharpe the focus of PBS documentary

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


A new documentary that celebrates one of the most influential but largely unknown musicians of the 20th Century, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, premieres later this month on PBS. American Masters opens its 27th season nationally with Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll nationally on Friday, February 22 on PBS. TPT Channel 2 is scheduled to air the documentary on Monday, February 25 at 9 pm. Tharpe (1915-1973), was born in Arkansas, and raised in Chicago by her evangelist mother, where she developed her distinctive performing style singing in church. She briefly left the church for show business at age 23, and performed in the Cotton Club in New York City. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,