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‘Dutchman’: Black men and white women, controversial onstage – and, still, in real life?

Dutchman 600When Amiri Baraka's best-known play, "Dutchman," opened in 1964, it was critically acclaimed and quite controversial. At the height of the civil rights movement, while black Americans were struggling for the right to vote and attend the same schools as white Americans, here was a play depicting a sexually aggressive white woman attempting to seduce and ruin a black man.

With lynching and other forms of race-related violence in America often inspired by an obsessive fear of black men exploiting white women sexually, it was as though "Dutchman" tossed a grenade right at the very ideology that has long fueled American racism.

In honor of the play's 50th anniversary, the National Black Theatre and Classical Theatre of Harlem co-produced a revival that opened last week. Its star, TV veteran Sharif Atkins, talked to The Root about the play's significance and why the subject of a black man and white woman sexually entangled is still a turbulent topic.

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Oprah & Bishop Jakes – raising the roof, again!

oprahjakes 600CHICAGO – Oprah and Bishop T.D. Jakes come together for a follow up, "roof-raising" conversation in an all-new episode of "Oprah Lifeclass" on how to unleash the power of your natural instinct

The episode airs on Sunday (May 11th) at 8 p.m. CT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Throughout the conversation, Oprah and Jakes "raise the roof" with inspirational messages on how to become the highest vision of yourself and never settle for status quo; plus, Jakes shows viewers that their natural instincts are really "the treasure map to their souls' satisfaction."

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Ecumenical lunch serves dialogue to African-American church leaders and RNC

RNCLunch 600Here's the picture: An ecumenical lunch between members of several historically African-American church denominations and members of the Republican National Committee.

OK, pencil in African-American pastors from non-denominational churches, color in the Catfish Cabin and frame the whole thing in Memphis.

That's the scenario that came into view on Wednesday (March 7th), thanks in large part to Pastor Chester Berryhill and his wife Vivian, president of the National Coalition of Pastors' Spouses. They organized the lunch to welcome RNC members, who were in Memphis for the RNC's annual spring meeting.

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Who do Republicans like Rand Paul actually represent?

GAHardaway 600(G.A. Hardaway, a Democrat, represents the 93rd District in the Tennessee General Assembly, including part of Shelby County and the City of Memphis. He is currently the Secretary of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators. On Friday, he released this commentary.)

Today, in my beloved Memphis, the Republican National Committee is continuing their spring meeting. Among the various decisions being made and events taking place is one of particular interest to me: a luncheon featuring a keynote speech from Kentucky Tea Party senator Rand Paul.

That Sen. Paul is speaking at a GOP luncheon is not at all notable; what is notable is that he is doing it here in Memphis, not one mile from the place where, on April 4, 1968, our city and our country was forever changed.

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NBA names Dick Parsons interim CEO of LA Clippers

Richard Parsons_600The NBA has named Dick Parsons interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers.

League Commissioner Adam Silver announced Friday that the former Citigroup chairman, Time Warner chairman and CEO will take the position, effective immediately.

"I believe the hiring of Dick Parsons will bring extraordinary leadership and immediate stability to the Clippers organization," Silver said, according to a recent press release. "Dick's credentials as a proven chief executive speak for themselves, and I am extremely grateful he accepted this responsibility."

 

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