To mark World Book Day on Thursday, an annual festival celebrating books and reading, children dress up as their favourite characters and interview their respective authors. Hetty Feather and Diamond interview Jacqueline Wilson; Varjak Paw chats to SF Said; and Barry Loser quizzes Jim Smith. Watch the video
Would Nyong’o be on Hollywood’s radar at all if not for her discovery by Steve McQueen, an Afro-British director of Trinidadian and Grenadian descent? To be more blunt: Would an American director have felt comfortable casting a woman of Nyong’o’s hue as the leading lady of a major Hollywood film? A quick look back at film history and a discussion with an expert on skin color in American culture indicates that this is unlikely.
For starters, there has never been a black actress of Nyong’o’s ebony skin tone to ascend to Hollywood A-list status. And among those black actresses who have succeeded in Hollywood with deeper skin tones, like Grace Jones, they have not been positioned as leading ladies or, more specifically, objects of affection. Those roles have been concentrated among fairer actresses and those with more traditionally Eurocentric features, including Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll, Pam Grier, Shari Belafonte, Rae Dawn Chong, Cynda Williams, Halle Berry, Rosario Dawson, Thandie Newton, Zoe Saldana, Rashida Jones and Paula Patton—a number of whom also identify as biracial or multiracial. On the small screen, at least, Gabrielle Union and Kerry Washington have enjoyed recent breakthroughs, but while neither woman is fair-skinned, they might not always be described as dark, either.
Had an American been at the helm of 12 Years a Slave, it seems unlikely that Nyong’o or someone who looks like her would have been cast.
Writer Keli Goff at The Root states, “If Afro-Brit Steve McQueen hadn’t made the Oscar-nominated film, a lighter-skinned actress might have been cast in the role of Patsey.”
Read more from her op-ed titeld “Why an African-American Director Wouldn’t Have Cast Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave”.
Balance of Power: A Throne for an African Prince — Events & Exhibitions at The Detroit Institute of Arts
Balance of Power: A Throne for an African Prince
According to Yoruba oral history, artist Olówè of Ise (about 1870–1938) could sculpt a person’s likeness on the spot—without looking at the wood he was carving. In his day, Olówè was the most sought-after artist for Yoruba royalty. Kings from far and wide called on him to sculpt the decorations that filled their palaces. Today, Western museums consider his works priceless.
This special exhibition spotlights a single extraordinary work by Olówè: a throne he made for Prince Ilori, heir apparent of the town of Isè in southwestern Nigeria. This exhibition is organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Support has been provided by the Walter Gibbs Endowment Fund.
image: Olówè of Ise (about 1870–1938), Chief’s Throne, about 1930, wood. Museum Purchase, Ernest and Rosemarie Kanzler Foundation Fund, and with funds from Robert B. Jacobs. DIA no. 2008.47
- See more at: http://www.dia.org/calendar/exhibition.aspx?id=4104&iid=#sthash.jbOeoEHb.dpuf
My name is Ella. My name is not Ford, or Chrysler or GM. I’m talking about being able to buy food and provide rent and heat. I’m not talking about furnishing an office. Or making more or having a larger profit margin. I’m talking about sustaining my life.
KING CITY, Calif. (AP) — Residents of a California farming town were grappling Wednesday with the feeling that their trust has been violated after learning the acting police chief and a handful of officers were charged with crimes including selling or giving away the impounded cars of poor Hispanic residents.…
Tuesday’s arrests, which also included a former police chief, came after a six-month probe of the police department launched in September when a visiting investigator — there to check out a homicide — heard from numerous sources that the community didn’t trust its police department.
By this week, authorities said they had enough evidence to arrest a total of six people linked to the department for a variety of crimes ranging from bribery to making criminal threats. They were all quickly released on bail.
"Ordinary citizens, again and again, told us they didn’t trust the police," said acting chief assistant Monterey County District Attorney Terry Spitz. "There are more investigations underway."
Tow shop owner Brian Miller; his brother, acting police chief Bruce Miller; and Sgt. Bobby Carillo were scheduled to be arraigned Monday on bribery charges after authorities said vehicles impounded from Hispanic immigrants were funneled to the tow yard then sold or given away.
I am actually astonished that that the bolded happened. Like, a visiting investigator pricked their ears up when they heard that the latino community didn’t trust the police… and they actually investigated?
In tribute to Valentine’s Day, we’ll be recommending a different unconventional love story for each week in the month of February. This week: Paul Thomas Anderson’s neo-noir Hard Eight, .
Though he’s filmed just one movie that could explicitly be described as a romance, director Paul Thomas Anderson has explored love, in all its forms, in films like Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and The Master. But anyone who wants to see the roots of the themes he would explore with such depth and complexity in his later work should look all the way back to his first feature, 1997’s Hard Eight, which shows exactly what love and loyalty can make people do.
Hard Eight follows Sydney, an old-school gambler played by Philip Baker Hall. When Sydney happens to encounter John — a broke, hopeless young man played by John C. Reilly — he decides to take the younger man under his wing, teaching him the trick to making a living by hopping from casino to casino. As John remakes himself in his mentor’s image, Sydney takes another lost cause under his wing: Clementine, a struggling cocktail waitress played by Gwyneth Paltrow. But as the unlikely trio take their tentative steps toward a better life in Reno, the forces of both bad judgment and bad luck threaten to crash down on them.
On paper, the engine of Hard Eight's story turns on the messy, impulsive relationship of John and Clementine, which ends up cranking the narrative into high gear after the film's bouncier, more character-driven first half. But the real core of Hard Eight's story is the surrogate father-son relationship that develops between Sydney and John, which retains its tenderness even as the deep flaws inherent in both men become more apparent. Hard Eight is both a fascinating character study and a tense crime thriller — but in the end, the thing that stands out most is its beating heart.
Watch a trailer for Hard Eight here.
Our people were and are so much more than just a European title that they have tried to use as the international term for royalty