Arts

Soul of a Nation, America’s Art Dialogue with Race and Civil Rights

  By Rosemary Eng correspondent and photographer BlackmansStreet.Today   SAN FRANCISCO — After the shocking attack in Birmingham, Alabama, using fire hoses and police dogs on civil rights demonstrators in 1963, followed not long afterwards by the call for civil rights by the March on Washington for jobs and freedom, 15 New York African American artists debated whether they could[Read More…]

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Blacks changed country music

Ken Burns’ PBS documentary “Country Music,” which first aired this week and continues next week, spotlights DeFord Bailey, a black man, who was the first star of the Grand Ole Opry.  The documentary also explores the role African Americans played in the development of the county music, which is usually associated with whites, many of them racist as hell. Much[Read More…]

The late Jackie Wilson will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

The late Jackie “Mr. Excitement” Wilson will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at an upcoming ceremony. Rana Ghadban, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, will award the star on September 4 to John Wilson, Jackie Wilson’s son.   Harlene Harris Wilson, his widow, died in August. They will accept the star during a[Read More…]

Former U.S. Attorney named special prosecutor to handle the Jussie Smollett investigation

A Cook County judge on Friday appointed former U.S. Attorney Dan K. Webb as special prosecutor overseeing the Jussie Smollett investigation, according to the Chicago-based publication Injustice Watch. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael P. Toomin appointed Webb, who co-executive chairman of Winston & Strawn. In June Judge Toomin ordered an independent investigation into the handling of the charges against[Read More…]

Art is for our sake. Will a new exhibit help change our thinking about the criminal justice system?

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago opens its “Envisioning Justice” exhibit.   By Frederick H. Lowe BlackmansStreet.Today Dorothy Burge makes quilts, but they are not the multi-colored square creations you spread on your bed that look pretty and keep you warm at night. Burge makes quilts in the shape of black men, particularly of those who have been[Read More…]

Efforts are underway to save and restore Cab Calloway’s boyhood home in Baltimore

The childhood home of Cab Calloway, entertainer and bandleader, considered by many to be the first rapper, and his older sister, Blanche, the first woman to lead an all-male big band called “Her Joy Boys,” has escaped the wrecking ball for now and possibly forever. Baltimore officials wanted to demolish the boarded up rowhouse at 2216 Druid Hill Avenue and[Read More…]

Elton John, who is profiled in the biopic “Rocketman,” was the first white superstar to appear on “Soul Train”

Elton John, who is profiled in the biopic “Rocketman,” which opened Friday in movie theaters, is the first white superstar to appear as a guest on the iconic show “Soul Train.” Don Cornelius, “Soul Train”’ host and founder, said, “Welcome, soul brother,” to John when he strutted onto the set for the show broadcast May 17, 1975. I watched Soul[Read More…]

John Singleton, director of “Boyz n the Hood,” dies from a stroke

  Stroke kills or disables more black men than white men By Frederick H. Lowe BlackmansStreet.Today   John Singleton, who was nominated for an Oscar for his masterpiece “Boyz n the Hood,” died Monday after suffering a stroke, which occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off. Singleton’s death was announced by his family, which had been feuding[Read More…]