Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone is a song performed by Motown recording act The Undisputed Truth. It was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong in 1971, and released as a single in May 1972. Later in 1972, Whitfield took Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone and remade it as a 12-minute track for the Temptations. Continue reading
Dance Theatre of Harlem’s iconic Firebird places the Russian folk tale about a magical bird that triumphs over evil in an exotic Caribbean setting. John Taras’ choreography to Stravinsky’s familiar score was further enlivened by sets and costumes by Geoffrey Holder. The 1982 DTH production was a tremendous worldwide success.
Comedian Adele Givens show off her poetic acumen Continue reading
Redd Foxx‘s first and only HBO Special from 1978. Filmed in Las Vegas, this show is representative of his style of risqué “Adults Only” double entendre humor that sold millions of party records beginning in the late 1950s. Continue reading
In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement is a concert hosted by President and Mrs. Obama featuring songs from the Civil Rights Movement as well as readings from famous Civil Rights speeches and writings with participants including Bob Dylan, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and more. Continue reading
Purlie is a musical with a book by Ossie Davis, Phillip Rose and Peter Udell, lyrics by Udell and music by Gary Geld and choreography by Louis Johnson. It is based on Davis’s 1961 play Purlie Victorious, which was later made into the 1963 film Gone Are the Days! and which included many of the original Broadway cast, including Davis, Ruby Dee, Alan Alda, Beah Richards, Godfrey Cambridge and Sorrell Booke.
Purlie is set in an era when Jim Crow laws still were in effect in the American South. Its focus is on the dynamic traveling preacher Purlie Victorious Judson, who returns to his small Georgia town hoping to save Big Bethel, the community’s church, and emancipate the cotton pickers who work on oppressive Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee’s platation. With the assistance of Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins, Purlie hopes to pry loose from Cotchipee an inheritance due his long-lost cousin and use the money to achieve his goals. Also playing a part in Purlie’s plans is Cotchipee’s son Charlie, who ultimately proves to be far more fair-minded than his Simon Legree –like father and who saves the church from destruction with an act of defiance that has dire consequences for the tyrannical Cap’n.
Purlie is a musical with a book by Ossie Davis, Phillip Rose and Peter Udell
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs Revelations, Chroma, Grace, and Takademe in this 2015 rebroadcast. Continue reading
Stand up comedian Lawanda Page, who is best known as Aunt Esther on TV’s Sanford And Son, was a popular performer at the Apollo Theater in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Jennifer Lewis the mother of Black Hollywood share some mother wit- Georgia, let’s flip the Senate! Continue reading
Comedian Tracy Morgan in his 2010 Comedy Central Special where he shares a parody of Erykah Badu‘s song Call Tyrone. Continue reading