- Created on 12 November 2013
When the going gets tough, the tough get going is an affirmation that has always applied to Black women and a new report released by the Center for American Progress has the numbers to prove it.
Despite continued racial disparities and inequities in healthcare, education, politics and unemployment, Black women are the fastest-growing entrepreneurs in the United States, starting businesses at six times the national average.
- Created on 11 November 2013
New Documentary 'The Trials Of Muhammad Ali' Spotlight's Boxing Legend's Life In Chicago (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Much is known about Muhammad Ali's triumphs as a boxer -- "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee," The Heavyweight Champion of the World, "The Greatest" -- but a new documentary focuses on the trials he endured as well.
"The Trials Of Muhammad Ali," the latest documentary from Chicago-based Kartemquin Films ("Hoop Dreams," "The Interrupters") explores the boxer's life as he was transitioning from Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. to Muhammad Ali -- much of which happens during Ali's time living in Chicago.
(See more photos of Muhammad Ali's life in Chicago below.)
Siegel said in a recent interview "Trials" explores a part of the Ali's life that's often glossed-over in sports documentaries, the exile which he calls "the most important period of his life."
Ali met both his first wife (to whom he was married just 18 months) and his second wife, Khalilah Ali (nee Belinda Boyd) in Chicago.
Ali's second wife, a Chicago native born into the Nation of Islam (she changed her named after their marriage in 1967) was a deeply influential figure in Ali's life despite being almost a decade younger when she married him at age 17.
As "Trials" follows Ali's life from a Kentucky boxing champ to a follower of Nation of Islam leader, Elijah Muhammad, to his battle with the U.S. government over his conscientious objector status that ultimately led to the Supreme Court.
In addition to revealing an intimate look at Ali's life living in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood, "The Trials of Muhammad Ali" mines long-forgotten slices of the legend's past (including his stint as a college speaker and the star of the Broadway play, "Buck White").
- Created on 11 November 2013
Richard Overton (pictured) must have done quite a number of right things in his very long life because at 107 years young, he still has a sober mind, walks without a cane, drives a car, and is so healthy, he doesn’t even need to take one pill! Last Thursday, the World War II Army veteran was honored at an Austin, Texas, pre-Veteran’s Day event honoring him and another veteran, Ken Wallingford, 65, who spent 10 months in a tiger’s cage as a Vietnam prisoner of war, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Overton was lauded for his contributions as a WWII soldier who served in the South Pacific. The more than 100 attendees gave the vet a standing ovation as he was given a box of cigars. “I’ve gotten so many letters and so many thank yous, and I enjoy every bit of it, but I’m still going to enjoy some more,” said the centenarian who is meeting with President Barack Obama on Monday for breakfast then a wreath laying.
After the Bastrop County, Texas, native left the army, he first worked a stint as a furniture salesman then switched gears to become an employee for the state in the Treasurer’s Office.
- Created on 11 November 2013
A white anti-gay activist won a local election after leading voters to believe he is African American.
Dave Wilson, who unsuccessfully ran for Houston mayor in 2011, narrowly won a seat on the Houston Community College Board of Trustees after pretending to be black in his predominantly African American district
- Created on 08 November 2013
Despite several star turns by African-American actresses on the small screen of late, longstanding television institution “Saturday Night Live” has an alarming lack of Black women in their performing troupe.
With recent comments from cast members Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah bringing the situation to light, “SNL” finds itself on the opposite end of a relentless campaign spearheaded by Color Of Change.org executive director Rashad Robinson.
Robinson joined Roland Martin‘s “NewsOneNow” show Thursday morning to discuss his ultimatum to meet with “SNL” and NBC executives, and the next steps of his fight to bring much-needed diversity to the program.
Robinson made demands to meet with SNL producer Lorne Michaels on Wednesday, telling Martin that the efforts of his organization, coupled with the galvanized outcry of others, helped facilitate a discussion that continued on Thursday.
“We heard from SNL and we heard from NBC. We actually have a meeting today with senior executives from NBC to discuss this matter,” shared Robinson. “We also have a face-to-face meetings scheduled for later this month out in L.A. with senior executives.”
“We know this wouldn’t have happened without folks all around the country really speaking up and standing up. The fact of the matter is, this isn’t a question of whether or not Black folks can laugh at themselves or be a part of the joke. This is about whether or not we’re going to be at the table and can be in on the joke,” Robinson added.
Robinson made it clear that the campaign is about more than SNL. He hopes that the discussions sparked by the Color Of Change campaign will help Black comediennes and actresses, along with writers and show producers, get a fair shot at gaining exposure on shows like “SNL” and beyond. Robinson was also certain to state that the campaign isn’t ending because of the traction made with the recent talks.
Martin made mention of “SNL” stars that have used the sketch comedy show as a launching pad for careers that went well beyond their humble starts. Big names such as Steve Martin, the late John Belushi, Eddie Murphy and Tina Fey among others were mentioned, with the host linking how “SNL” helped to expand their opportunities. Robinson responded to that point as well.
“Lorne Michaels is the gatekeeper,” said Robinson. “For 39 years, he’s been able to tap people on the shoulders and get to decide who’s funny and who’s not, to be the arbitrator of that, and as a result, who has opportunities for greater careers and who doesn’t.”
“So the question for us as consumers, as advocates, as people who hold those in power accountable is for those who have the opportunity as gatekeepers, what are doing to expand the pie [so that] more people have opportunities,” continued Robinson.