When word gets out that Leslie King-Hammond is going to be in a city and is going to speak, lovers of art usually show up in ample numbers. They know that in the world of art history experts, she is a curator who knows her stuff.
King-Hammond, whose many accomplishments include having taught art history for 35 years at the Maryland Institute College of Art, was center stage over the weekend as the Dixon Gallery and Gardens opened its Winegardner Auditorium doors to dozens who came to see and hear her lectured on African Americans and Bible imagery.
From now through Jan. 5, the Dixon is home to the exhibit Ashe to Amen – African Americans and Biblical Imagery. It features the wealth and breadth of African-American artists' interpretations of Biblical stories and traditions in historic and contemporary art.
We were on our way to Live Tone Studios in Whitehaven. I was driving 23-year-old New Orleans native Trentin Hardrick to meet Memphis producers Sleepy and Taz, two people I knew could turn water into wine when it comes to making music.
I noticed that Trentin, aka Trigga-Trigga, didn't have any notepads or anything to write with. Watching an artist write verses and hooks on the spot in a studio is a norm in the management business. I asked Trentin, who was referred to me for management by his father, where was his song-filled note pad.
By way of his New Orleans drawl, Trentin said he had five albums written down in his head. I wondered whether I was wasting time and gas bringing this "unprepared" young man to the studio. I dropped that thought as soon as they put the music on. Right away I knew that I was witnessing someone with a gift.
For movies opening Oct. 25, 2013
"Bad Grandpa" (R for profanity, crude humor, graphic sexuality, frontal nudity and brief drug use) Stunt comedy featuring hidden cameras and starring Jackass' Johnny Knoxville as a cantankerous octogenarian who takes his impressionable, 8 year-old grandson (Jackson Nicholl) on a very eventful, cross-country road trip. With Spike Jonze, Georgina Cates and Brittany Mumford.
"The Counselor" (R for profanity, sexuality, graphic violence and grisly images) Three-time Oscar-nominee Ridley Scott directed this crime thriller based on a script by Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men) about an avaricious attorney moonlighting as a drug-dealer (Michael Fassbender) whose life spirals out of control. Cast includes Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo and Ruben Blades.
One of the greatest honors for anyone in the arts is to be chosen to receive a star on the fabled Hollywood Walk of Fame. The iconic singer/ songwriter Barry White is among the latest to be so honored.
Unfortunately, the honor came 10 years after his passing. His is star number 2506.
Among those present for the ceremony were his wife, Glodean White, Motown founder Berry Gordy, Motown songstress Brenda Holloway and producer Tony Cornelius, son of "Soul Train" creator/host Don Cornelius.
Barry White, with a deep voice and a romantic aura, emerged in 1973 with a No. 1 hit titled "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby" and became a major star instantaneously.
Essence magazine has just released the results of its Images of Black Women in Media study. Featured in the November issue of the magazine, the Essence study was conducted to provide a sounding board for confronting a growing crop of negative images of African-American women, while providing a message of hope for revitalizing contemporary views of them.
With the growing popularity of reality television featuring black women in weekly cat fights, and similar celebrity feuding via Twitter making headlines, it seems that the image of black women is under attack. After surveying over 1,200 black women, Essence discovered that they believe 93 percent of media outlets do an "okay" or "poor" job of representing them.
Some have questioned why African-American women should be concerned with how they are depicted by the mainstream.
I've been watching "Saturday Night Live" since way back to the days when the star of the show was pretty much Eddie Murphy. Of course comedian Garrett Morris came way before Murphy did. But I was born in 1973 and my memory only takes me back so far.
Murphy's Buckwheat, Gumby and Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood skits were classic. Post-Eddie there hasn't been much "diversity" on the show. He left in 1984, and to my viewing eyes there seems to have been a void ever since.
For years, I could not understand why there were rarely any African-American hosts on the show. The first I can remember was actually Eddie Murphy...and he was still a cast member at the time. This was back in 1982 when Nick Nolte was scheduled to host the show but became ill. Eddie had starred with Nolte in "48 Hours," so he was tapped to host the show as a last minute replacement.