As Black History Month comes and goes, television shows that foster black pride also come and go. I understand that many black men attached their self worth and their manhood to the character Bill Cosby made famous. In retrospect, I do not believe we need to look at television to give us our self worth.
The White House group's agenda was deep--with racial concerns about criminal justice, agriculture, education, health care and economic development when African American leaders met with President Barack Obama last week.
Students (young and older) respond to instruction in the way that is expected of them. If taught as if they are slow, students will conform to that perception. Imagine what would happen if we treated all students, from the earliest years through their post-secondary studies, as if there were geniuses inside, simply waiting for recognition.
The ugly truth is white on white crime does exist. It is a growing pandemic in the white community, and if we don't call attention to this problem soon, there will be no more white people left to run the world.
Fitz is an extremely aggressive individual, and I often get scared watching his interactions with both Mellie and Olivia, but somehow the show still paints him as the victim, the "good guy," and I really don't think it is okay.
Fifty years after the bloody Selma march shocked Johnson and the nation into taking fast track action to right a glaring historic wrong, namely the denial of the right to vote to millions in America, that right is still under intense assault. This is why we still need a Selma today.
There is only one person who can determine how far you can go in life -- you. Always remember that what you tell yourself and believe about yourself will be the truth.
Ol Parker is back as the screenwriter, and John Madden returns as the director. Both try to give this sequel the same feel as the first, but they've run out of ideas. Buying a new hotel seems like a giddy capitalistic exploit.
Much like the great Sammy Davis, Jr., the unicycle ensemble from the South Bronx beat the naysayers and racists, as well as the pitfalls of their neighborhood with their talent. They achieved this while breaking down barriers and leaving a smooth trail of unicycle tracks for others, like myself, to follow.
We'll know #BlackLivesMatter when the sites of our tragedies become true places of triumph. Let Ferguson be a start.
Watching Common and John Legend make history in what was an emotionally moving performance of "Glory," and win the Academy Award for Best Original Song was more than I could have dreamed. Everything else paled in comparison, and it wasn't long before we called it a night.
While overall rates of disconnection from society are likely to trend down as the nation recovers from the Great Recession, history suggests that disconnected young men of color are in danger of being permanently left behind, and this has implications for future generations.
The U.S. economy created 257,000 jobs in January. While this is a positive sign, shouldn't the Department of Labor be more nuanced in their job creation calculations? Wouldn't a better indicator be to delineate between jobs and quality jobs? But this raises the question of what constitutes a quality job.
In the theatre world, there are ordinary roles, and then there are roles of a lifetime. Harriet Tubman is among the latter.
Advocacy alone has limited value. Institutions must be led by competent executives and they must produce graduates with a credential that has value in the market place. HBCUs do not deserve support just because of their existence; they deserve the support of their alumni because of what they have done, are doing and are capable of doing.
Too many of us have not been good to our HBCUs, but time and dwindling resources are moving faster than our own individual maturity. And for the HBCUs which need the support, the time for harvest is now; even from unyielding crops like me.
I truly hope Obama ignores the noise and pushes the EPA to set a strong standard that will adequately protect public health based on the science, which is what the Clean Air Act requires.
All loans are not created equal, and in recent years the personal loan has become a great option for people to use. However, you might be wondering just what makes a personal loan different from a traditional loan from your bank.
There's an increasing number of black actors landing choice roles on daytime soaps. And they're not serving anyone, playing anyone's best friend or struggling in secondary roles.
From the Hubbard family on ABC's 'All My Children,' the Evans clan on 'One Life to Live' and the Winters family on 'The Young and the Restless,' the actors have primary parts and are showcasing their skills.
Take Julia Pace Mitchell, who plays the feisty Sofia Dupre on 'Y&R,' the former right-hand woman to billionaire Tucker McCall and fiancée of Malcolm Winters.
In the few months that Mitchell has been on the show, she's shown toughness and vulnerability. Her performance has garnered an NAACP Image Award nomination for outstanding actress in a daytime drama series. And we are rooting for her.
As the daughter of actress Judy Pace and actor Don Mitchell, and stepdaughter of baseball great Curt Flood, the Los Angeles resident definitely has the genes to make it in this tough business.
"I've always been an actor," Mitchell told BlackVoices.com earlier this week. "That's been my trade. I was in the theater in New York. I've done Broadway, lots of regional theater and then my first feature that got a lot of talk was 'Notorious' where I played Jan. I was Biggie's baby mom. I've always pursued my love for the arts. I've been dancing on the table since I was little. That kind of thing."
Between filming 'Faster' with Dwayne Johnson and doing theater in Los Angeles, Mitchell found herself a steady gig where audiences can see her blossoming skills. BV recently caught up with Mitchell. Excerpts from the interview are below.
It's very rare to see a casting call for a black actress to be on a soap opera. How did you land the gig?
Julia Pace Mitchell: Honestly, I was just as surprised when I got the audition because a lot of times, from my type, you don't even get the opportunity to audition for soaps. So at first I was like, "Really? Okay." Then I went in, and I kept getting called back, and it kind of clicked for me on the third time that I might really have a chance to book this job. I was so grateful that CBS opened a door for me to be able to represent a different kind of woman on the soap. They have, I think, five or six actors under contract right now.
Prior to your casting, were you a fan of the show?
JPM: Oh, I was. My sister was an even bigger fan. She was like, "Oh, my God!" She was telling me the whole Neil and Malcolm back story, so she talked me through it. I'm a really big fan now.
How would you describe Sofia?
JPM: I would say that she's actually been changing just in the seven months that she's been on the air. I hate to use the word "bossy," but I definitely think that she's bossy. She's a big boss. She's running things in her relationship and in her business life. She recently got fired from the company, but I think she might be trying to get her way back into her job through her relationship with Tucker. I'll describe her as sensitive. A lot of black women on television get to play one note a lot. Either you're sassy and bossy and that's it. But you get to see Sofia's soft side with her fiancée.
You get to act with some veterans who have been in the game for more than 20 years. What's the joy of learning from Stephen Nichols, Kristoff St. John and Darius McCrary?
JPM: The one thing that I can say about Kristoff is that he will be acting so silly and playing around right before the take and as soon as it's time to shoot, he just drops into his character so fast and is so professional that he's like a completely different person. His personality is very different than Neil's and it's just really great to see him transform. I've been soaking it all up. It's really an honor to be a part of it and bring what I bring to the group.
Besides this group of guys, 'Y&R' has also brought other new blacks on the show with the casting of Angell Conwell and Evan Parke.
JPM: Yeah, and the funny thing is that Evan and I met just the other day in the dressing room. I hadn't seen them at all because we live on two different sides of Genoa City. Hopefully our stories will start to intertwine a little bit, but I can't give too much away. Angell is just beautiful.
Your story line is starting to grow, which is great because in a short period of time you've been given a lot to do.
JPM: Things have heated up a little bit between Sofia, Malcolm and Neil. Me and Malcolm are on the outs, and that's all I'll say.
Your parents are well known for the work they've done. What kind of influence did they have on?
JPM: My mother has been super-supportive. My sister has been super-supportive. Basically it's just a business. It's like the family business. It's not a hobby. This is what we do for a living. So the level of respect for it. I'm not really a partier or hanging out too late when I know I have to shoot the next day. I take it just like my job, and I've always had that respect for it. Even my stepfather, he played professional baseball – Curt Flood. He looked at his job in the same way. He said, "I have to put on my costume." That was his baseball uniform. It was about the business of playing baseball. So, everyone is an entertainer.
Looking at your background, I see that you are one hard working woman! How do you find the time to do films and theater?
JPM: This year I have decided not to go on the road. It's the first time since I was 16 that I've been still, and that I've been in one place for this long. I haven't done any other projects in a while. I'm doing the show and my play that I wrote, 'The Hills Above the Hood'. I decided I'm just going to chill out and focus on 'Y & R' for as long as they'll have me. If anybody wants to let CBS know they're happy about having all of us brown people on, they can go to CBS.com and send letters and tell them because I really do think that they listen to the fans.
Congratulations on your recent nomination. Are you excited about the Image Awards ?
JPM: I am so excited. I'm very excited that I get to meet all the other nominees. I don't know what I'm going to wear. It's like every young actress's dream to get to put on the beautiful dress and just be recognized for the work.
What do you tell your actor friends who are still looking for work and may want to consider doing soaps after seeing the success you've had so far?
JPM: I'd say the average things, like get an agent, send in your head shot and resume. For any person, I would say study your craft. When I was auditioning, I started watching the shows on YouTube.com. When you're audition for 'The Young and the Restless' it's different than when you audition for 'CSI.' TV shows have styles, and you have to kind of learn the style that you're going in for.