Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Value of History? Priceless

There are many treasure troves of African American history and culture on the East Coast. TheMoorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University and Harlem's Schomburg Center for Research and Culture are the most prominent ones that come to mind.

But a little known gem is located right here in Philly. It's the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, housed at Temple University.

The collection is lauded as the fifth largest assemblage of black historical materials in the nation. But in many ways, it has been taken for granted by Temple.

The Blockson Collection is the subject of my column this week. If you're ever in Philly, make it your business to check it out.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Out Of Africa

Madonna is due to explain her side in her unseemly adoption of a Malawian boy today on Oprah.

As I explain in this week's column, I'm not hating on the the Material Mom.

But there's something about the way she procured little David Banta -- calling ahead, as if she was ordering fast food, having her assistant hustle the baby through the airport with his head covered with a hoodie -- that is downright shady.

Sure, it could be that her mega-celebrity prevents her doing things the conventional way, but you can help but feel like the whole thing is a little distasteful.

Hey Madonna, did you want fries with that?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

An interview with Tavis Smiley

Tavis Smiley

Author and political commentator Tavis Smiley stopped by today to share a few words with our readers. Listen to an excerpt from our podcast interview about the importance of giving back. More from the interview

Read an excerpt from "What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America"

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Too Phat For The Runway

The healthy body image is abnormally skewed when designers consider pop diva Beyonce, who rocks more curves than Lombard Street, too fat to work the catwalk.

This is one of the issues examined in this week's column.

Me thinks the designers have mixed up their homonyms. Beyonce's not too fat for the runway, she's too phat for the runway.

Friday, October 06, 2006

R.I.P. Cleo

As Cleopatra Jones, Tamara Dobson was the baddest sistah to kick some butt this side of Pam Grier.

She was 6-foot-2, sultry and strong. She made me proud to be an amazon.

She died of multiple sclerosis this week at 59. She will be missed.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Where'd I Put Those Marching Boots?

It looks like The Boondocks is no longer. Aaron McGruder's desire to focus on his animated TV show means we no longer get our daily dose of truth to power punchlines served up by the Freemans -- Huey, Riley and Granddad.

I commiserate further in this week's column.

The revolution may not have been televised, but thanks to The Boondocks, at least it was comic stripped.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Silencing the Messenger

You Monday Night Football diehards probably didn't realize that Eyes on the Prize, the critically acclaimed documentary on the civil rights movement, aired Monday night on PBS and continues on successive Mondays through Oct. 16 from 9 to 11 p.m.

Ever since Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction, the FCC has gotten petty over what's considered indecent and threatens to censor Prize for potentially threatening language, as my colleague, Gail Shister, reported.

You would think, that after numerous beatings and threats to his life, SNCC leader James Forman can at least be excused for saying "f*ck," and his story wouldn't be slapped with a potential $350,000 fine over 40 years later.