1 08, 2023

The music of my time, and, man, do I miss the voices

By |2023-08-08T16:50:44+00:00August 1st, 2023|Commentary, Entertainment|

I suspect cultural anthropologists of a certain age look back now and swear something awful happened to their music. They probably say their tastes got hijacked between the early 1970s and the millennium. But I can tell them precisely what was taken: real voices, real instruments and, well, real talent. At the turn of the ’70s, Baby Boomers turned up the

29 07, 2023

‘Coffy’ turns 50; its star, Pam Grier, aged well

By |2024-01-19T19:26:57+00:00July 29th, 2023|Commentary, Entertainment|

“Coffy” came on the scene at the right time. It was a movie that reversed the roles Black women played in “blaxploitation” movies. It also catapulted Pam Grier into stardom. Grier was all that Black (and white) moviegoers could ask for. They longed for a heroine to counter Ron O’Neal, Jim Brown and Fred Williamson, who drew audiences with their

8 02, 2022

Fred G., Lamont … Thanks for the memories

By |2022-02-10T16:10:20+00:00February 8th, 2022|Commentary, Entertainment, Race, Gender and Class|

The characters stick in our minds today just as they did in January 1972 when “Sanford and Son” debuted on NBC. The sitcom, modeled on the British series “Steptoe and Son,” demonstrated that an all-Black cast could hold its own in a TV market crowded with comedies. None of the others, however, had a star like “Sanford and Son.” In

10 01, 2022

Sydney Poitier: To Sir, with Love

By |2024-01-19T19:28:11+00:00January 10th, 2022|Commentary, Entertainment, Race, Gender and Class|

You get no reprieve from Death, who sneaks into people’s lives when they least expect him. Yet everybody knows Death awaits, and regardless of how fast you run from him, Death will catch you at some point. He caught Sydney Poitier on Friday. Poitier, 94 when he died, was one of the most gifted actors of his generation. I didn’t

6 12, 2021

‘King Richard’: Will Smith’s crowning achievement

By |2021-12-07T05:38:44+00:00December 6th, 2021|Commentary, Entertainment|

I never considered Will Smith a great actor. His on-screen polish was a bit too slick to cover films with true grit. His hilarious work with comic Martin Lawrence did entertain; and his efforts in movies with Gene Hackman and Tommy Lee Jones held appeal for me too. Yet Smith’s range seemed narrow, I thought. I thought wrong. For if

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