Image Credit: marian-anderson.com
"Finally today, let's end the program on a high note. Today marks 75 years since Marian Anderson, the African-American contralto, took to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to sing.
Anderson was supposed to sing at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall, but she was barred from performing there because she was black."
"Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences (DAAS) students have a lot to be happy about today. In addition to dazzling web viewers with their now-viral rendition of Pharrell’s hit single, the kids got a huge gift from Ellen today: $50,000!
According to DAAS CEO Maurice G. Morton, 80 percent of the schools’ students live at or below the poverty line, and 98 percent of them qualify for free or reduced lunch. While many schools have shuttered their arts programs, DAAS uses music and art to ensure their students stay engaged and motivated to learn."
"The 369th Infantry Regiment served 191 days under enemy fire in Europe. They returned home one of the most decorated American units of World War I.
"The French called them the 'Men of Bronze' out of respect, and the Germans called them the 'Harlem Hellfighters' out of fear," explains Max Brooks, author of The Harlem Hellfighters, a new graphic novel about the first African-American infantry unit to fight in World War I."
"A new report released last Thursday sheds some light on the state of Black women. Although Black women are becoming more involved politically and are more educated and financially stable, there are still areas of improvement.
As they have from the beginning of their experience in America, Black women lead all women in labor force participation rates. Even as mothers of small children, Black women are overwhelmingly likely to work."
"But there may be some who wonder exactly why 007 producers have picked Chiwetel Ejiofor to play the bad guy in the film's upcoming Sam Mendes-directed sequel.
Ejiofor is now best known for his turn in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, as the captured African-American free man, Solomon Northup. He has generally ploughed his career furrow in British independent cinema, or in supporting roles in Hollywood fare such as 2012 or American Gangster, though he did play a decent-enough bad guy in Alfonso Cuarón's gripping dystopian thriller, Children of Men."
"Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o announced on Thursday that she’s become the new face of Lancôme cosmetics. She’ll join the beauty company’s other ambassadors, Kate Winslet and Julia Roberts. Advertisements featuring the breakout star of “12 Years a Slave” will begin airing in September."
"Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have acquired all U.S. and Canadian rights to “Dear White People,” which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Written and directed by Justin Simien, “Dear White People” follows the stories of four black students at Winchester University, where a riot breaks out over a popular ‘African American’ themed party thrown by a white fraternity."
"At 17, Tavi Gevinson is already the queen of today’s girl-power intelligentsia. She rose to fame at just 12 through her personal fashion blog, Style Rookie. The world watched as she posted daily photos of her eccentric outfits, taken on her parent’s porch in Illinois, and blogged with a touching insight about pop culture, school dances and the emotional landscape of teenhood. Soon she was being seen at fashion weeks dressed like a “grandmother on ecstasy” (her words)."
"Not everyone is jumping on Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In Foundation and its PSA campaign to ban the word “bossy,” as it’s frequently used to describe and diminish ambitious women, even if Beyonce is a part of it.
The legendary bell hooks is giving women some advice when it comes to the “bossy”. hooks’ #bossyandproud campaign is letting women know it’s alright to stand up for yourself and to rid yourself of respectability politics."
"Kosisochukwu Nnebe is Nigerian-Canadian who’s latest project is currently on display at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts as part of their Black History Month program until March 30. Nnebe’s project focuses on the identity of the modern black woman."
"The Boondocks creator is bringing Black Jesus to Adult Swim.
The Turner-owned network has picked up a new half-hour live-action comedy series called Black Jesus from Aaron McGruder, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively."
"Before hip-hop became a musical genre, it was a form of expression — and an escape — for its early creators in the Bronx.
Now some of those elders of the genre want to underscore its Bronx roots by opening a hip-hop museum inside the Kingsbridge Armory, a long-empty fortress that is being redeveloped into a national ice sports center. The museum — to be called the Universal Hip Hop Museum — would utilize interactive technology to provide a comprehensive look at hip-hop, including its historical and cultural roots and the contributions of break dancers and disc jockeys, according to museum organizers."
"Filmmaker Janks Morton and the folks over at Black and Married With Kids are at it again. In the latest episode of the web series, Truths You Won’t Believe, Morton shares yet another startling fact about Black women the media continues to ignore.
Despite the misconceptions and stereotypes about African American women, we are making great strides in education. In addition to half of all Black women ages 18-24 pursuing higher degrees, Black women are beating out ALL other groups, no matter the race or gender, when it comes to overall college enrollment."
"So after watching the trailer a couple of times Wednesday night, I came away feeling not totally worried about the forthcoming Annie remake. Quvenzhané Wallis looks like she’ll inhabit the title role more than capably — showing her ask “What’s the hustle?” was a nice touch to include this early — and Jamie Foxx (as Michael Bloomberg stand-in Benjamin Stacks) and Rose Byrne (as his girl Friday, uh, Grace) came off well in this trailer."
"Heben Nigatu: When Lupita Nyong’o ascended those steps in a dress she’s described as “Nairobi blue,” I drew in my breath and held it. When she said, “It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s,” I gasped and had to take a seat — which was funny because I was already sitting down. I wasn’t just watching an actress winning an award for a critically acclaimed film. I felt however briefly, however distantly, I was watching my sister, gold lit, calling on the names of her ancestors while America looked on."
"2014. This, we are told, is the year female rappers are going to break their way back into the mainstream, ending a long period of silence for women in the industry. Now, it's true that many people had high hopes for 2013, too. And 2012 was also said to be promising. But 2014, with anticipated releases from a bevy of up-and-coming women artists and a couple of established veterans, is going to be different. That's certainly the hope anyway, and the narrative, once again, as we head into the spring of a new year."
"Oprah sees Dr. Maya Angelou as a mother, a sister and a friend. It's a relationship that began nearly 40 years ago when Oprah, then a young reporter, asked the literary icon for an interview, promising to take no more than 5 minutes.
Dr. Angelou agreed to the interview only because of Oprah's persistence and was impressed by her questions and interviewing style. But the poet became particularly intrigued by the curious young woman in front of her when she realized that Oprah had kept the interview to five minutes on the dot."
"Dr. Shirley Jackson is an American physicist. She received her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973, becoming the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate at MIT in nuclear physics. Currently, Jackson is the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y."
"Tony Award winning actress Audra McDonald will have her name in Broadway lights more than once this year. On the heels of announcing her role in the revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Night, Mother with Oprah Winfrey, McDonald is set to play Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill."
"A photo campaign highlighting the faces and voices of black students at Harvard College. Our voices often go unheard on this campus, our experiences are devalued, our presence is questioned-- this project is our way of speaking back, of claiming this campus, of standing up to say: We are here. This place is ours. We, TOO, are Harvard. The #itooamharvard photo campaign is inspired by I, Too, Am Harvard, a play based on interviews with members of the black community exploring and affirming our diverse experiences as black students at Harvard College. The original play premieres on Friday March 7th, 2014 at 7 PM in Lowell Lecture Hall on the campus of Harvard College. facebook.com/itooamharvard @iTooAmHarvard #itooamharvard 97039"