It’s the Lowdown of Wicked Old Basin Street! And the Music That Made It Wicked! A gambling hall owner relocates from New Orleans to Chicago and entertains his patrons with hot jazz by Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Woody Herman & his Orchestra, and others. Continue reading
Lindy hop is the granddaddy of all swing dances, a blend of African and European dance influences that is both uniquely American… and now spans the globe. Lindy hop takes its name from the Charles Lindbergh’s flight to Paris in 1927.
If Tango is sultry, and Ballroom dancing is aloof, lindy hop is joyful and playful. Lindy has a grounded, flowing style that closely reflects its music — from the late 20s hot jazz to the early 40s big bands. Harlem, New York, and in particular the Savoy Ballroom (“The Home of Happy Feet”) is where the dance was developed and innovated from the 1920s onward. Based on earlier dances such as the Charleston, the Black Bottom and the Breakaway, the dance evolved and spread over the decades along with the new swing music.
Hellzapoppin’ (In Full Color)
And while the dance continues to evolve today, contemporary lindy hoppers still strive for that same spirit, inventiveness, and musicality of the pioneers of lindy hop like Norma Miller, Dean Collins, Frankie Manning and many more.
Sidney Poitier, in one of his most-celebrated roles, appears as Virgil Tibbs, a Philadelphia homicide detective who, while visiting a small Mississippi town, will find himself falsely arrested for a murder and then, in a strained collaboration with the town’s sheriff (Rod Steiger), stays on to help solve the murder. Continue reading
Chris Rock visits beauty salons and hairstyling battles, scientific laboratories and Indian temples to explore the way hairstyles impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships, and self-esteem of the black community in this exposé of comic proportions that only he could pull off. A raucous adventure prompted by Rock’s daughter approaching him and asking, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” Continue reading
Panther is a 1995 cinematic adaptation of Melvin Van Peeble’s novel Panther, produced and directed by Mario Van Peebles. The drama film portrays the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, tracing the organization from its founding through its decline in a compressed timeframe. It was the first narrative feature-film to depict the Black Panther Party. Continue reading
Slaves, a 1969 American drama film directed by Herbert Biberman, was entered into the 1969 Cannes Film Festival. The film stars Dionne Warwick (in her screen acting debut), Ossie Davis, Stephen Boyd and Barbra Ann Teer (founder of the new established the Harlem based National Black Theatre- 1968). Continue reading
Ruby Dee plays the escaped slave Harriet Tubman and her attempts to rescue enslaved family members and friends through the pre-Civil War Underground Railroad. aka “Go Down Moses.” With Brock Peters, Ossie Davis, Isabel Cooley and Ethel Waters.
Paris Is Burning deleted scenes and outakes including interview with Marcel Christian and footage of Avis Pendavis and Dorian Corey battling. Continue reading
Harlem Nights is a 1989 comedy-drama crime film starring Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor. The film also featured Michael Lerner, Danny Aiello, Redd Foxx (In his last film before his death in 1991), Della Reese and Murphy’s brother Charlie Murphy. Murphy and Pryor star as a team running a nightclub in late-1930s Harlem, New York while contending with gangsters and corrupt police officials. Continue reading
Rosewood (1997) a historical drama film directed by John Singleton. While based on historic events of the 1923 Rosewood massacre in Florida, when a white mob killed black people and destroyed their town, the film introduces fictional characters as well as other creative departures from historical accounts of the incident.