I am not clapping for Moonlight just because I am Black.

25 years from now, a new generation will still have no clue who August Wilson or Katharine Johnson are. However, they will have a “classic” Best Picture still popping up. It will use pretty arthouse shots and soaring classical music to show them Black women were crackheads who neglected and abused their sons to grow up into sexually-conflicted drug dealers who fight not to hate them for it. Continue reading

A fitting end to Women’s History Month: Dr. Terri Francis talks of Josephine Baker & the burlesque

Dr. Terri Francis will be in Chicago this Friday night April 1 at 7PM for a screening and conversation with Kevin Jerome Everson at Black Cinema House! For those unable to make it, please enjoy and share this Women’s History Month Q & A with her on Josephine Baker, Black women in film, and “the burlesque.” Continue reading

“I am not sure there was a better place”… Part 3 of Q & A with Dr. Sharony Green on “Fancy Girls,” women and more in American history

“I think as more scholars and laymen are courageous enough to tell and discuss these messy stories, the stain will be there although inside a larger narrative. The stain is the multi-layered pain. The stain is also complacency with old stories that rightly emphasize real oppression, although to the exclusion of evidence that complicates the oppression.” -Sharony Green…from the final installment of her interview for her recently-released book, Remember Me to Miss Louisa: Hidden Black-White Intimacies in Antebellum America (Northern Illinois University Press; 2015; $24.95; ISBN: 978-0-87580-723-2). Continue reading

Billy Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life

The gospel-influenced and classically-trained pianist and composer is in renaissance of interest and celebration thanks to the establishment of Billy Strayhorn Songs in 1997. The family-owned company’s efforts include marking the centennial of his birth in 2015. The Bill Strayhorn Foundation, Inc’s is committed to deepening appreciation for jazz music in general, starting with Strayhorn. Now longtime fans and new discoverers can enjoy Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life, a fine biographical coffee table book available from Bolden Books/Agate Publishing in Chicago. Continue reading