In and outside court, Smollett fights for reputation, career
As Jussie Smollett fights criminal charges that he lied to Chicago police about being the victim of an anti-gay, racist attack, his supporters are also working on a broader strategy: Ensuring the 39-year-old emerges from the scandal with his reputation and career intact, whatever the outcome of the trial.
Black History Month 2021 events planned for the Grand Rapids area
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Multiple Grand Rapids organizations are hosting events celebrating Black History Month, including featured speakers, community discussions, plays and exhibits throughout February. Black History Tour of Downtown Grand RapidsThe Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives (GRAAMA) is encouraging people to take a free interactive tour of the city’s civil rights history. Walkers are encouraged to use the free GR Walks app to be guided by podcasts narrated by Grand Rapids City Commissioner Joe Jones, who is also CEO and president of the Grand Rapids Urban League. A full list of Black History Month events hosted by GVSU can be found on their website. Read more:7 ways to celebrate Black History Month in KalamazooBlack History Month panel reflects on growing up as ‘Just a Kid from Ypsi’Artifacts being revealed as part of Black History Month celebration in Jacksonmlive.com
In 'Ma Rainey,' channeling the blues of August Wilson
Following “Fences” and “Ma Rainey,” he intends to continue adapting Wilson’s famed American Century Cycle, a 10-play series spanning each decade of the 20th century. All of Wilson's plays hum with the sorrowful beauty of the blues but “Ma Rainey" is soaked through. On a sweaty, summer day, a band has gathered at a white-owned recording studio to cut a new record with Ma Rainey (Davis), the pioneering “Mother of the Blues,” and an unapologetically liberated woman from the South. It’s Cutler and Slow Drag and Ma Rainey talking," says Wolfe. For Davis, Ma isn't a character she wants to let go of, or stop admiring.
Convention centers, museums become classrooms amid pandemic
Students from Hesston Middle School hold class at the Cross Winds Convention Center in Hesston, Kan., Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. Districts are setting up makeshift outdoor shelters, bringing in trailers to house classrooms and making use of otherwise empty spaces like museums. Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson is holding up the Hesston district’s plan as a model to be replicated. He said his visits to dozens of school districts revealed many were struggling regardless of whether they were offering in-person, virtual or hybrid instruction. However, some 1,100 New York City schools have been approved to spend part of their day outdoors.
Detroit’s Naomi Long Madgett, ‘godmother of African-American poetry,' dies at 97
DETROIT – Detroit is mourning the loss of award-winning poet Naomi Long Madgett. “She was indeed the godmother of African-American poetry.”This is from the Poetry Foundation:Born in Norfolk, Virginia, poet and publisher Naomi Cornelia Long Madgett grew up in East Orange, New Jersey. She earned a BA at Virginia State University (then Virginia State College), an M.Ed. Mentored by poet Langston Hughes, Madgett moved to Detroit in 1946. In her poetry, influenced by the work of Emily Dickinson, John Keats, and Langston Hughes, Madgett often engages themes of civil rights and African American spirituality.
About 100 years later, Harlem Renaissance impact still being celebrated
That might sound contradictory and impossible by math standards, but that partly explains the greatness of the Harlem Renaissance. The result was the birth of the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural, artistic, social and intellectual explosion that spanned the entire Roaring ’20s. One of his most recognized works was a poem called “Madam and the Minister,” which spoke of the mood toward religion in the Harlem Renaissance. One of the writers of the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston was a key contributor to a magazine called “Fire! There no doubt will be good celebrations in 2020, but, given the Harlem Renaissance was more than just a one-year movement, the tributes will be lasting for years to come.