Being a teenager is a time when many people take foolish risks and act stupid. In the world I came from, that was OK. Because I was white and privileged, I had time and space to grapple with my problems and the chance to fulfill my promise. Michael Brown, black and male, never will.
The current public debate and wave of articles about how colleges can do a better job of providing access to students from low-income families reminds me that for over a century, most colleges have had an affirmative action policy for rich, well-connected white kids. It is called "legacy" admissions.
In supporting Mike Brown, Washington NFL players spotlight need for solidarity for all races, not just one or some.
I'm white. Male. In my 30s. College Educated. From Iowa. I also teach African American Literature at a public high school in Los Angeles. Telling that to people I have just met usually gets a second look.
It doesn't much matter whether Donald Trump had a hand in blowing off Obama from his golf outing or not. The pattern of disrespect and denigration of Obama has been long set in stone. The golf snub is just the latest incident to fit the pattern.
It's next to impossible to get through the home-buying experience completely unscathed. Maybe you accidentally buy a house with mold in the basement (like I did) or you snag a condo across the street from what will soon be a multi-year redevelopment project.
I have learned a lot of really important things from my white friends. But I have also learned a lot of irrelevant things from my white friends. And although the learning appears to be irrelevant, this insider knowledge has come in quite handy, particularly in social situations.
When so called "reformers" like Campbell Brown try to make the case that tenure extends teachers an unfair guarantee of employment unlike other public servants, she is more than stretching the truth.
The reason for Robert McCullough's foot drag on or outright refusal to prosecute Darren Wilson strikes to the heart of why he and other prosecutors either won't prosecute officers or invariably blow the case against them the rare times they do.
"Ready to Die" is a multifaceted masterpiece, but its driving force is Biggie's supplication for America to recognize a young black man wrought with the fear and rage of existing in a life rooted in continuing stagnation.
My mother's parting words were about tear gas. 'If you're hit by some and can't breathe and your eyes begin to burn, cover your face with this cloth,' she said. It was 1968 and my family was living in Washington, D.C., where I was born.
Whether you're a first-time buyer or you've been around the block a few times, there are certain home buying mistakes that trip people up time and time again.
On one side of this discussion are those who are holding up the shooting of Michael Brown as an example of the racial inequality in this country and in the justice system in particular. On the other side of this discussion are those who see racism as a hoax to be disproved.
His latest project is a labor of love for him -- it's a documentary called Keep On Keepin' On that pays tribute to his mentor, trumpet legend Clark Terry as the 93-year-old struggles with failing health while still teaching another generation of musicians.
This move could result in the release of thousands of low-level federal inmates caught up in the drug war. For a president who, hitherto, had the most conservative pardon record in recent history (e.g. in Obama's first term, he pardoned 1 in 50 applicants, while Ronald Reagan pardoned 1 in 3), such a shift is noteworthy.
What is the company culture around Roger Goodell's NFL? It's profiting out of glamorizing lawbreakers.
It seems there hasn't been this many black journalists on TV since Trayvon Martin and therein lies the problem. Diversity in the newsroom is not only a necessity but needs to be constant.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Maggie while she prepared to make her return to the runway and open one of the most highly anticipated shows of the season -- Michael Kors.
Showtime's hit comedy series 'Nurse Jackie' starring Edie Falco returns for a third season this week, and brings with it Anna Deavere Smith, who comes back to play Gloria Akalitus, the old-guard, by-the-book ER administrator.
The Baltimore native and noted playwright, whose career spans more than 20 years and has included several critically acclaimed one-woman shows, such as 'Fires in the Mirror' and 'Twilight: Los Angeles,' is currently midrun with 'Let Me Down Easy' at the Philadelphia Theater Company.
The play tells the human side of the health-care story now unwinding in politics, by bringing to light questions about the human body, the resilience of the spirit and the price of care.
S. Epatha Merkerson, who spent 17 seasons playing NYPD Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on the long-running NBC police procedural drama series 'Law & Order' until the show was cancelled in 2010, will be returning to TV on CBS' untitled Susannah Grant supernatural medical drama pilot.
Jonathan Demme ('Beloved,' 'The Manchurian Candidate') is directing the pilot, which centers on Michael (played by Patrick Wilson), an ultra-competitive surgeon whose life is changed forever when his ex-wife (played by Jennifer Ehle), a doctor running a free clinic, dies and begins teaching him what life is all about from the hereafter. Merkerson will play Michael's assistant, Rita, stated Deadline.com.
Comedy legend Eddie Murphy will be honored as the recipient of the inaugural Comedy Icon Award at The Comedy Awards, the first-ever multinetwork, multiplatform event dedicated to honoring and celebrating the world of comedy.
The distinguished award will be presented annually to a modern icon -- an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to comedy and whose impact and innovations have changed the landscape and inspired future generations of entertainers.
Murphy will be honored for his work in stand-up, sketch, film and television, among other numerous pioneering achievements.
Boris Kodjoe has been cast in the ABC pilot 'Georgetown,' an ensemble drama about young staffers on Capitol Hill.
The hour-long project, written by Will Fetters, is described as a sexy soap centered around the young people behind the power brokers of Washington, D.C. It centers on Andrew Pierce (played by Jimmy Wolk), an effortlessly charming and brilliant Yale graduate and the youngest presidential speech writer on record who was once idealistic but is now cynical as he sees how compromise has eroded the administration's promise.
Kodjoe will play the Democratic president's fiercely intelligent senior adviser, stated Deadline.com.
Kodjoe's last TV series, the J.J Abrams' NBC spy drama 'Undercovers,' which paired him with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, was canceled in 2010 after low ratings. Only 11 of 13 episodes aired.
HBO has picked up the U.S. TV rights for the documentary 'Sing Your Song,' which tells the rich story of the life of Harry Belafonte.
Directed by filmmaker Susanne Rostock, the film will debut in Fall 2011, exclusively on HBO.
Inspired by singer and actor Paul Robeson, Belafonte rose to fame as a singer, despite trying tours across a segregated country, and his provocative crossover into mainstream Hollywood. Belafonte's groundbreaking career personifies the American civil rights movement, while impacting many other developments in social justice.
'Sing Your Song' reveals Belafonte as a tenacious hands-on activist, who worked intimately with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., mobilized celebrities for social justice, participated in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and took action to counter gang violence, prisons and the incarceration of youth.
Actor Brandon T. Jackson, who's currently gracing the big screen opposite Martin Lawrence in 'Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son,' has been tapped as the male lead opposite Minnie Driver in CBS' buddy P.I. pilot 'Hail Mary.'
The series centers on Mary Beth Baker (played by Driver), a suburban single mom in Atlanta who, after her teen son gets killed, teams up with her son's best friend, KZ (played by Jackson), a fast-talking con artist from the streets, to solve her son's murder and other crimes, stated Deadline.com.
Grammy-winning recording artist and actor Marc Anthony, who appeared as a guest star in two episodes of TNT's 'Hawthorne,' has now been added to the cast as a regular, joining Jada Pinkett Smith.
Anthony will reprise the newly expanded role of police detective Nick Renata in the powerful drama series, which stars and is executive-produced by Pinkett Smith.
Anthony joins the the third season of the show just as Pinkett Smith's Christina Hawthorne, chief nursing officer of James River Hospital, struggles with news that she is pregnant. The two developed a strong bond last season while Renata investigated a pair of criminal cases involving the hospital. But Christina, whose on-again, off-again romance with Dr. Tom Wakefield (played by Michael Vartan), has been a mess of mixed signals and bad timing, told Nick she was not ready to jump into a new relationship.
For some actors, stardom comes either on their very first film, which may have been in a blockbuster, or in a lead role. For others, fame comes gradually, after some growing pains and paying their dues in the business.
After appearing in small roles on sitcoms and films, such as 'Jarhead,' 'Stomp The Yard,' and 'This Christmas,' actor Laz Alonso finally got his big break when Spike Lee cast him opposite Michael Ealy and Derek Luke in the war film, 'Miracle at St. Anna.'
While the film didn't do big numbers at the box office, it was enough for Alonso to be seen in a bigger spotlight than his previous gigs.
Maybe it's the economy, or maybe it's just actors diversifying their portfolio, but there seems to be a growing trend of Academy Award-caliber thespians -- such as Laurence Fishburne (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Terrence Howard (Law & Order: Los Angeles), Kathy Bates ('Harry's Law') and Forest Whitaker ('Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior' ) -- taking jobs on television.
Taraji P. Henson is the latest acclaimed actress to sign up for the boob tube.
The 'Curious Case of Benjamin Button' star has been cast in producer J.J Abrams' new CBS drama series, 'Person of Interest.'
According to New York magazine, the series tells the story of an ex-CIA agent who is recruited by a crazy billionaire to help fight crime in New York City.
Already cast in the series is Michael Emerson, who last starred in Abram' other show, 'Lost.' He will play the billionaire, while Henson will play a female detective named Carter on the series.
Kerry Washington and Columbus Short are set to star in 'Grey's Anatomy's creator Shonda Rhimes' new pilot for ABC, 'In Crisis.'
The pilot will based on the career of famous crisis management consultant Judy Smith. It revolves around the life and work of professional fixer Olivia Price (played by Washington) and her dysfunctional staff. Olivia Price is described as something of a legend, a formidable, driven, insightful, intuitive and fearless woman. Short will play a lawyer on her team, stated Deadline.com.