A&E, Black History Month, For the Record, Music / February 27, 2019 Betty Boop: Inspired by a Black Jazz Singer

By T’Keyah Hayes Betty Boop is widely recognized as one of the most notable cartoon characters and one of the first cartoonized American sex symbols. Her vocal trademark, “Boop Oop A Doop,” and her contoured figure in a form-fitting dress traces back to a black woman by the name of Esther Jones. Esther “Baby Esther”...

A&E, Black History Month, Music / February 21, 2019 Gladys Bentley: Testing the Limits in Entertainment

February commemorates the annual celebration of Black History Month, which highlights the important contributions by people of African descent. Each year, however, we discover that there are many more black individuals and groups that significantly contributed to today’s world, yet remain unacknowledged in today’s history lessons. Black people have made (and continue to make) considerable...

A&E, Fact-Checks, Music / September 19, 2016 #nomakeup with a little help?

Alicia Keys launched a movement after she published a letter on Lena Dunham’s blog, Lenny, in May, stating that she has had enough of wearing makeup everyday. Her reason is simple: “I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my...

A&E, Fact-Checks, Music, News / September 18, 2016 George Clinton on the Mothership, the Smithsonian — and Funk

The Mothership is the space vehicle of George Clinton aka Mr. Funkenstein and his wingmen of Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication. As part of the Parliament-Funkadelic theory, it existed as a fictional vehicle of funk arrival to engage fans who were down with the P-Funk movement. After the success of his hit “Chocolate City,” Clinton says, the Mothership was later developed into a physical...

A&E, Enduring Myths, Music, News / June 8, 2016 His Purple Badness: 5 Conspiracy Theories About Prince

Beyoncé and Jay Z aren’t the only ones in the center of speculation about the Illuminati. Such talk has swirled around Prince, too. Inquiring minds also wonder whether Prince died from “chemtrail flu” from planes on April 21 —despite the autopsy report citing an accidental overdose of the synthetic opioid Fentanyl. Then there are those who say...

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...

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