Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

When Shirley Temple Met Bojangles

from the columnists.com

America lost perhaps its most famous child star in cinematic history when Shirley Temple Black passed away last week. Shirley Temple rose to fame in the 1930s at the height of the Great Depression and entertained audiences with her charm and smile. But it was her relationship with Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson that was unique to not only Hollywood, but America at that time as well.

Bill Robinson, better known by his stage name of 'Bojangles,' was a well known tap dancer in the early 20th Century. He played before white and black audiences alike, while making a living literally on his feet. When he first began working with Shirley Temple, 'Bojangles' was already in his 50s and had been a legendary tap dancer at that point. The pairing between 'Bojangles' and Shirley Temple would not be without its critics however.

Though 'Bojangles' and Shirley Temple shined well together on the big screen, their roles were anything but equal. 'Bojangles' -- true to the form of how Hollywood viewed blacks at the time -- often got stuck playing Shirley Temple's butler. His singing and dancing may invoke some unkind parallels to the stereotypical roles another famous black actor at the time, Stepin' Fetchit, had to play, but it's worth remembering that these guys were at least getting work. In 2001, Gregory Hines would go on to portray 'Bojangles' in a movie by the same name. Below is the famous stairwell dance scene between Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson and Shirley Temple.  R.I.P. to both.

Friday, February 14, 2014

One Man Goes The Distance To Prove His Love

This being Valentine's Day, here's a video that shows one man's dedication to his woman. Donald is very much in love with Taewoo, and is set on walking across a bed of hot coals to prove just how much he loves her. The clip is from the South African TV show All You Need Is Love.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I'm Not Laurence Fishburne! I'm The Other Black Guy. Sam Jackson Makes Sure Local TV Reporter Knows Who He Is

In a hilarious interview where a local KTLA reporter mistakes Samuel L. Jackson for Laurence Fishburne, Sam Jackson makes sure to set the man straight.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

James Earl Jones On Overcoming Obstacles

"I feel no flattery when people speak of my voice. I'm simply grateful that I found a way to work around my impairment. Once a stutterer, always a stutterer. If I get any credit for the way I sound, I accept it in the name of those of us who are impaired."

                                                                                     - James Earl Jones, 1993

From Playbill.com

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Remembering Komla Dumor

It's not often that the passing of a journalist elicits mourning among people across two continents, but the reaction to Komla Dumor's death speaks to the impact he had not just in the news industry, but on the people he covered as well.

From NPR.org

Komla Dumor passed away last month due to a heart attack. At the time of his death he had been the Africa business reporter for BBC Television in London, where he had worked since moving from Ghana in 2006. It was in Ghana that Komla won the 2003 Journalist of the Year Award.

Vanity Fair's Hollywood Cover

Courtesy: Vanity Fair & US Magazine

Saturday, February 1, 2014

She's Back! Little Girl in Cheerios Ad Returns for Super Bowl

Cheerios is back with an ad that follows up the controversial commercial released last year that featured an interracial family. I wrote about the controversy last year. This ad features the same actors and gives a subtle nudge to the critics. The simplest stories can have the most powerful messages. Bravo, General Mills.