April 7th, 2015 would mark the 100th birthday, of the legendary Billie Holiday! Born on April 7th, 1915 in Philadelphia, her innovative vocal style has influenced a multitude of singers around the world, over the past century.
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.
We are busy getting our traveling exhibitions booked in museums around the country. There are more exhibitions to come, so stay tuned! We have reached a major milestone…drumroll from the funky drummer please…we have surpassed the quarter of a million mark…284,976 people have seen one of our funky Black history traveling exhibitions to date!!!
Last night was a historical one for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Headed by Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African-American to hold the position, diversity was exemplary at the Oscars. Hosted by the Fabulous Ellen DeGeneres, the list of winners and nominees was multi-cultural as well as valid, in that they made poignant statements regarding sexual; age; gender; class; and racial discrimination. This was the best thing about the winners and nominees of this year’s ceremony.
The Museum Of UnCut Funk is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Celebrating the 40th anniversaries of Blaxploitation films and films that starred Black actors during the Blaxploitation film genre. These films were released from January 1 – December 31, 1971 during the “Greatest Decade Ever” in Black cinematic history. Most of these movie posters are in the collection of The Museum Of UnCut Funk, with the exception of Black Chariot.
Stephen Whitty is a writer for The Star Ledger, the largest newspaper in New Jersey. Stephen has agreed to allow the Museum Of UnCut Funk to reprint a excerpt from his article.
As we prepare for the 43rd annual NAACP Images Awards, the Museum of UnCut Funk decided to take a trip down memory lane.
The nominees are in… this past Tuesday the annual Oscar nominations were announced. A lover of movies, I was always impressed by a show that honored the best of the best in film as a youth.
From 1970 to 1976, during the height of the Blaxploitation era, there were fourteen westerns made for public consumption. Some of these films never made it to a national audience and others haven’t been seen since their release. There were a few films that found box office success and were critically acclaimed by some of the toughest film critics.
In 2002, Will Smith and his production company bought the rights to Sidney Poitier’s Uptown Saturday Night.
Eartha Kitt established herself in film, theater, cabaret, music and on television. By the time she was 20, Eartha was a featured dancer and vocalist in the Katherine Dunham Dance Company Troupe and was touring Europe where she was seen by Orson Wells who was quoted as calling her “the most exciting woman in the world”.
Born in 1927, Sidney Poitier grew up in the small village of Cat Island, Bahamas. His father, a tomato farmer, moved the family to the capital Nassau, when Poitier was eleven. It was there that he first encountered cinema.
Without question, one of the most breathtaking beauties to emerge out of the 70’s “Blaxploitation” era was actress Vonetta McGee. This lovely sister, born in San Francisco on January 14, 1945, possessed the complete package; looks, talent and determination which should have made her a marquee name in Hollywood. Instead, this tantalizing, tan, and talented lady found herself in in the land of Blaxploitation, where her some would considerable her talents were laid to waste.
If you want to ease the minds of film fans about a remake you’re working on, just compare it to Ocean’s 11. That’s what Will Smith did back in 2002 when his production company bought the rights to Sidney Poitier’s Uptown Saturday Night with plans to do an all-star Black update on the 1974 classic that originally paired up Poitier and Bill Cosby.