September 12, 2013 |
TORONTO - Watching Steve McQueen's achingly brilliant "12 Years a Slave" at the Toronto International Film Festival, I was struck by many things. The film's artistry - script, performances, imagery - is significant. The movie is beautifully, painfully wrought at every turn. But in a larger sense, it stands as a striking testament to how much the texture and tenor of conversations about race have changed through the prism of film in the years since Barack Obama took office. Quite simply there are more movies that specifically address black-white friction in modern terms - the many shades of human interaction more starkly framed by the color of one's skin.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 28, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Bills are cascading out of the Legislature in free-fall as lawmakers race to adjournment for the year, most measures headed for the governor with little debate. It's the annual sprint to "do something" - to make a mark, regardless of how faint. Not all the bills, however, are as innocuous as they're treated. One such measure, granted final passage last week by the state Assembly, would substantially change California's court system by allowing noncitizen legal immigrants to serve on juries.
August 26, 2013 |
For the Oxford-born, Nigeria-raised David Oyelowo, the last few years have been a profoundly deep - and sometimes harrowing - dive into the African American experience. The actor has played a Tuskegee airman in George Lucas' "Red Tails," a U.S. cavalryman in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," and a Southern preacher in "The Help. " But things really got intense when he had to endure abuse at a segregated lunch counter and mobs of Klansmen for his part as a civil rights activist in "Lee Daniels' The Butler.
August 24, 2013 |
In 1928, William Nickerson Jr., along with Norman Houston and George Beavers, founded the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Los Angeles to provide insurance to black people unable to purchase policies from white-owned institutions. The company flourished, evolving into one of the largest black-owned insurance companies west of the Mississippi. Through the years, the company amassed an extensive assemblage of African American art, one of the biggest corporate-owned collections in the nation.
August 21, 2013 |
FT. MEADE, Md. - Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, the junior intelligence analyst who came to signify a new era of massive security breaches in the Internet age, was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in prison for leaking a vast trove of military and diplomatic secrets to WikiLeaks. He could be eligible for release in seven years. So ended a high-profile case that sparked a heated debate about whether the Obama administration is prosecuting whistle-blowers rather than protecting them, a dispute fueled by a flood of recent disclosures documenting the secret surveillance of Americans' telephone and Internet data.
August 7, 2013 |
Historian and Harvard University scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. can still remember how moved and inspired he was as a high school senior watching a documentary about black American history narrated by Bill Cosby. The film was a key in launching his elite career as an educator and filmmaker. But Gates, who is also the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, said the comprehensive story of African Americans dating from before the arrival of slaves to the present day has rarely been told, particularly in schools.
August 1, 2013 |
As a teenager in the 1960s, Cheryl Boone Isaacs would often spend summers visiting her older brother, an advertising and publicity executive at United Artists in New York City. He would leave her in a screening room to watch movies all day long, fueling her love of film - and a career ambition. After graduating from Whittier College, she landed a job at Columbia Pictures as a film publicist. She remembers pinching herself when she first walked onto the studio lot, then in Burbank.
July 31, 2013 |
Veteran Hollywood marketer Cheryl Boone Isaacs has been elected the first African American president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that hands out the film industry's Oscars each year. Isaacs, a longtime academy insider who most recently held the job of first vice president, will serve a one-year term with eligibility to stay in the role for three additional years. She was elected Tuesday evening by the academy's 48-member board of governors over Rob Friedman, a board member and Lionsgate motion picture group co-chair.
July 30, 2013 |
Veteran Hollywood marketer Cheryl Boone Isaacs has been elected the first African American president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that hands out the Oscars each year. Isaacs, a longtime academy insider who most recently held the job of first vice president, will serve a one-year term with eligibility to stay in the role for three additional years. She was elected Tuesday evening over governor Rob Friedman, Lionsgate motion picture group co-chair, by the academy's 48-member board of governors.
July 27, 2013 |
On Maryland's Eastern Shore, a previously untold story of free African Americans is being told through newly discovered bits of glass, shards of pottery and oyster shells. Piece by piece, archaeologists and historians from two universities and the local community are uncovering the history of The Hill, a part of the town of Easton believed to be the earliest community of free blacks in the United States, dating to 1790. It also could have been the largest community of free blacks in the Chesapeake region.