Tag Archives: African-American Studies

Ann Roth Oscar Shoe-In for Ma Rainey’s Pitch Perfect Costumes

“Nothing wrong with having nice shoes.  A man gotta have some shoes to dance like this.”— Chadwick Boseman aka Levee in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Nicole’s nose.  Meryl’s caftan.  Tippy’s mink coat.  Brenda’s red fox coat.  Viola’s gold teeth and … Continue reading

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Marian Anderson’s Civil Rights Legacy Shapes Voice of Freedom on PBS

“She can sing from the top of the Washington Monument if she wants to.”–President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Quite remarkably, in 1939, President Rosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt raised their voices in support of singer Marian Anderson, repudiating the Daughters … Continue reading

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The Long Song Sings Slavery’s Truth on PBS

“If only my tale were so simple.” I will never forget how I felt in the days following ABC-TV’s 1977 broadcast of Roots, the dramatic miniseries adaptation of Alex Haley’s controversial novel.  Shock and shame come quickly to mind. As … Continue reading

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The Time Is Still Right for A Time for Burning

“Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.”–Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963. It’s hard for me to admit, but until recently, I never connected the dots between … Continue reading

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QuestTheDoc on PBS Champions Family Resilience

“Our society is incredibly polarized right now and, I believe, desperate for opportunities to connect across the various barriers that we think separate us: race, class, religion, geography, political party,” says filmmaker Jonathan Olshefski. “I want viewers to see themselves … Continue reading

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Celebrating Black History Month on HBO and PBS

As Black History Month draws to a close, what better day than Presidents’ Day 2018 to shine a light on African-Americans who’ve defied cultural, economic, sexist and, most especially, racist roadblocks in pursuit of higher education. Tonight, Monday, February 19, … Continue reading

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A Time for Burning Revisited at the Film Forum in NYC

Just a quick heads-up…encouraging my FrontRowCenter readers living in the New York metropolitan area to attend a highly anticipated screening and Q&A at Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, in New York City tonight, Tuesday, January 23, 2018. The landmark documentary, A … Continue reading

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Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes Feeling Heart Debuts on PBS

“We had her voice for as long as we really needed it, if we were wise enough to listen.” Actress/activist Ruby Dee makes that startlingly prophetic statement (Dee died in June 2014) about her lifelong friend and colleague at the … Continue reading

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Oprah Owns The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

“The story is about loss and identity, the power of knowing your own story and how it manifests itself inside of you,” says George C. Wolfe.  “It’s about the desire to know so that you can be a more complete human being.” … Continue reading

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Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise Debuts on PBS

I think it would be virtually impossible to make a lackluster film about writer, singer, dancer, actress, poet, director and social activist Maya Angelou. An electrifying presence in every medium she mastered, Dr. Angelou passed away in 2014. She was revered especially in … Continue reading

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