A&E, Big Brotha / April 24, 2016 Strange Casting: On Zoë Saldana and Authenticity in Hollywood

By Marc Rivers Even if they don’t look the part, white actors usually do not have to defend being chosen for their roles — as Zoë Saldana is being forced to do for her starring role in the new Nina Simone biopic. The tall and glamorous Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were hardly dead ringers...

A&E, Big Brotha, Music, Opinion / April 3, 2016 Black Actresses Ready for Love

By Marc Rivers Rita Hayworth serenades a nightclub audience with the Latin-tinged love song “Amado Mio” in one of the most famous scenes in“Gilda.” A spotlight caresses her body; the rhinestones on her pearly white dress twinkle like stars. The soft lighting makes her glow. The rest of the audience sits in shadow; all eyes...

A&E, Big Brotha, Opinion / February 28, 2016 The Complicated Love Affair With The Oscars

 won’t be watching the Oscars on Sunday. For the second year in a row, every acting nominee is white. It is the first time that there have been two straight years of all-white nominees since 1995 to 1996, just three years after I was born. Jesse Jackson called for a boycott of the 1996 ceremony....

A&E, Big Brotha, Music / February 14, 2016 TBT Radio – Podcast #3

We’re BAAACK for podcast #3! We are super excited and will keep it simple – All we talked about was Beyonce’s “Formation.”  

A&E, Big Brotha, Music, Opinion / November 20, 2015 Songs for Peace

It was a Saturday morning in Paris. Memorials were hung and candles lit at the Bataclan Concert Hall, which saw the greatest carnage from a terrorist attack the night before that left 129 dead. As hundreds of mourners gathered, an unknown musician set up a piano, a peace sign painted on its lid, sat down...

A&E, Big Brotha, Music, Opinion / November 8, 2015 Black Violin Challenges Stereotypes in “Stereotypes”

Despite a rich history of classical black composers and musicians, black people are far from ubiquitous in classical music. And hip-hop, in which black people are ubiquitous, seems to operate in a world still separate from classical. Essayist and journalist David Samuels called Kanye West “the Mozart of American music” In a 2012 article in...

Big Brotha

The Complicated Love Affair With The Oscars
A&E, Big Brotha, Opinion

The Complicated Love Affair With The Oscars

 won’t be watching the Oscars on Sunday. For the second year in a row, every acting nominee is white. It is the first time that there have been two straight years of all-white nominees since 1995 to 1996, just three years after I was born. Jesse Jackson called for a boycott of the 1996 ceremony….

Songs for Peace
A&E, Big Brotha, Music, Opinion

Songs for Peace

It was a Saturday morning in Paris. Memorials were hung and candles lit at the Bataclan Concert Hall, which saw the greatest carnage from a terrorist attack the night before that left 129 dead. As hundreds of mourners gathered, an unknown musician set up a piano, a peace sign painted on its lid, sat down…

Black Actresses Ready for Love
A&E, Big Brotha, Music, Opinion

Black Actresses Ready for Love

By Marc Rivers Rita Hayworth serenades a nightclub audience with the Latin-tinged love song “Amado Mio” in one of the most famous scenes in“Gilda.” A spotlight caresses her body; the rhinestones on her pearly white dress twinkle like stars. The soft lighting makes her glow. The rest of the audience sits in shadow; all eyes…

The Complicated Love Affair With The Oscars
A&E, Big Brotha, Opinion

The Complicated Love Affair With The Oscars

 won’t be watching the Oscars on Sunday. For the second year in a row, every acting nominee is white. It is the first time that there have been two straight years of all-white nominees since 1995 to 1996, just three years after I was born. Jesse Jackson called for a boycott of the 1996 ceremony….

Songs for Peace
A&E, Big Brotha, Music, Opinion

Songs for Peace

It was a Saturday morning in Paris. Memorials were hung and candles lit at the Bataclan Concert Hall, which saw the greatest carnage from a terrorist attack the night before that left 129 dead. As hundreds of mourners gathered, an unknown musician set up a piano, a peace sign painted on its lid, sat down…