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Black theater success is reshaping one of America’s whitest fields

theatrediversity 600The theater world has long been considered one of the most elite—and least diverse—in American culture. And as I've previously covered for The Root, at present there are only a handful of African-American Broadway producers, despite the fact that 46 new shows opened last season.

Over the years, though, there have been occasional African-American playwriting successes. Lorraine Hansberry was the first black female writer to have a show—the classic "A Raisin in the Sun," produced on Broadway—and it recently returned to Broadway, 55 years after its debut, with Denzel Washington now as the star.

August Wilson became the first black playwright to win a Tony Award for best play in 1987. But when Playbill, the publication best known for publishing Broadway programs, attempted to compile a list of influential black playwrights in the late '90s, the number of those with actual Broadway productions or mainstream crossover success of any kind was uncomfortably small.

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‘We have to heal ourselves from the inside out’

SampsonDavis 600A 2014 call to action reverberated through the Cook Convention during the 38th annual Freedom Fund Gala hosted by the Memphis Branch NAACP.

"We all have an obligation to give back. There is more that can be done. Get involved," said keynote speaker Dr. Sampson Davis. "We have to heal ourselves from the inside out."

A physician, author and founder of The Three Doctors Foundation, Dr. Davis' notoriety rocketed after a visit to the "Oprah Winfrey Show" with his two childhood friends, who made a pact to become doctors.

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Briefs & Things

briefthing 600Multicultural Job Fair accepting registration

Mid-South area job seekers will have the chance to connect with local businesses at the inaugural Multicultural Job Fair on April 13 from noon until 6 p.m. at the Hilton Memphis at 939 Ridge Lake Blvd.

The event is hosted by ContigoCreative, a Memphis-based Multicultural marketing and public relations firm. Independent Bank, Copeland Coaching and the Workforce Investment will conduct career development workshops offering assistance with resume development, interview skills, proper attire, branding yourself, social media and financial responsibility.

The Memphis Public Library will offer access to its JobLINC Bus for all attendees to use computers and job boards.

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Congressmen link with Hip Hop Caucus to change the face of climate change

climate 600(NewsOne) – Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.), both members of the Congressional Black Caucus, are hoping to change the face of climate change by educating Black colleges and universities on its detrimental effects on African-American communities, reports The Hill.

The two congressmen are joining the efforts of the Hip Hop Caucus to fight back against a deeply entrenched stereotype that the environment is not an important issue for Black America.

"When you think of environmentalists, people think of, quite frankly, some white person, probably wearing Birkenstocks or something and tying themselves to a tree," Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said Friday during a press call.

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