In celebration of Black History Month I’m paying tribute to 28 contemporary history makers. These people have inspired me throughout my life, as well as today, and are making a positive impact on our world.
One of entertainment’s true black cultural icons has passed away. Ever since childhood, my life was touched by the presence, of Geoffrey Holder. From commercials to film to actually meeting him, Holder has unquestionably influenced, encouraged and inspired dynamics of my life, that led me to choose pursuing the world of entertainment and writing as a career. A true giant in stature and in life, I am honored to have been in his presence and humbled, by the advice he rendered.
I’m always impressed when intellect and wealth meet humanity. The initiatives and efforts of Bill and Melinda Gates in the realms of education, health, hunger and global economics are astounding. Oprah Winfrey’s school in Africa for girls; how she’s put young men through college here in the United States; and her “Legends Ball” where she honored Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou and Ruby Dee, among others, before they left this earth will forever amaze me.
James Garner stood tall along side singers Joan Baez, group Peter, Paul & Mary, Odetta Holmes, Mahalia Jackosn and Bob Dylan, joining A-List actors Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, Charlton Heston, Paul Newman & wife Joanne Woodward, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Diahann Carroll, Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, Sidney Poitier, Maya Angelou, Josephine Baker, Sammy Davis, Jr., opera singer Marian Anderson, baseball legend Jackie Robinson and writer James Baldwin at the Civil Rights Movement’s “March on Washington.”
The loss of National Treasures evokes thoughts of one’s own mortality and legacy. THEY DID THEIR WORK; THEY’VE LEFT THEIR MARKS ON THE PLANET; TOUCHED THE LIVES OF MILLIONS! How much time do we/ I have left? What will we/ I leave behind? My/ our child (ren) and/ or future children? This blog, a Facebook post? I believe those of us still here… STILL HAVE STUFF TO DO.
Noted author and scholar Ethel Morgan Smith sat down with the Museum Of UnCut Funk and shared her thoughts on some of the greatest female writers during the Black Arts Movement and her personal stories growing up in the South and living and studying in Germany. Smith captures her experiences in her self published books From Whence Cometh My Help: The African American Community at Hollins College and Reflections of the Other: Being Black in Germany. Our interview with Ethel is below. Thank you Ethel.
I remember rushing to my computer to order my copy of Women Of Blaxploitation the minute I learned this book had been published. I felt as if there was someone else who “got it”… about one of the greatest times in Black cinematic history and the impact that Black women had in these films.
Rosalind Cash was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on December 31, 1938. As a young woman, she took off with only $20 in her pocket to seek her fame and fortune in New York City. At first things were difficult: “I had a cold-water one-room apartment in Harlem sharing a kitchen I didn’t dare use because of the rats,” she told The Guardian. But Cash attended the City College of New York, and managed to ferret out the first stirrings of independent black theater in the city. She made her stage debut in 1958 in a production at the Harlem YMCA, performing in a play by Langston Hughes called Soul Gone Home.