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Monthly Archives May 2010

Hollywood Legend Lena Horne Dies at 92

The legendary singer and actress Lena Horne died Sunday at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. The 92 year-old entertainer started her six-decade career as a chorus girl at Harlem's Cotton Club during the depression in 1933 and later went on to star in Hollywood musicals including "Stormy Weather," in which she sang the signature song and became most known for. She became the first black person to appear on the cover of a movie magazine, Motion Picture, as her appearance was deemed "safe" and "acceptable" by white Hollywood. "I was unique in that I was a kind of black that white people could accept," Horne once said. "I was their daydream. I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked." Born in Brooklyn to a upward middle-class family, her grandmother, a prominent member of the Urban League and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, enrolled her in the NAACP at the young age of 2. But Horne did not play an active role in race relations until 1945 when she turned her back on POW German soldiers to sing to Black American soldiers who were seated in back of them. In the early '60s, Horne became more active in the civil-rights movement, participating in a meeting with prominent blacks in 1963 with then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy in the wake of violence in Birmingham, Ala., and singing at civil rights rallies. Horne was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient in 1984, and received a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 1998.
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Long Island Paper Depicts Obamas as Sanford and Son, Calls it “Satire”

New York's Long Island weekly newspaper, Smithtown Messenger, published a photo spread entitled "Before and After" of the past five presidential couples and the Obamas at the beginning and end of their respective presidential terms. The piece would've been clever had not the paper chosen to depict the Obamas "after" as Esther (LaWanda Pages) and Fred Sanford (Redd Foxx) from the early 1970s sitcom Sanford and Son. After accusations of racism, publisher Phillip Sciarello defended the piece as satire but said the newspaper would run a retraction in its next edition. The NAACP's Long Island regional director Tracey Edwards described the piece as "despicable and disrespectful. If this was intended as satire, it misses the mark." Hazel N. Dukes, president of the state NAACP conference said in a statement on Wednesday, "it is simply shocking and outrageous that such a blatantly racist ad would run in any paper, much less an official paper of Suffolk County," Dukes said. "New Yorkers of all races and ethnicity are disgusted by it and reject it." If satire is meant to be witty, even ironic, or at least exaggerate a bit of truth, Blindie thinks that the Smithtown Messenger definitely missed the mark -Esther is not Fred Sanford's wife but his bickering sister-in-law and the only similarities between them and the Obamas is their race. The satire relies upon the stereotype that black people are of a depressed economic class, bicker frequently, and are generally comedic because of that.
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Monthly Archives May 2010

Hollywood Legend Lena Horne Dies at 92

The legendary singer and actress Lena Horne died Sunday at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. The 92 year-old entertainer started her six-decade career as a chorus girl at Harlem's Cotton Club during the depression in 1933 and later went on to star in Hollywood musicals including "Stormy Weather," in which she sang the signature song and became most known for. She became the first black person to appear on the cover of a movie magazine, Motion Picture, as her appearance was deemed "safe" and "acceptable" by white Hollywood. "I was unique in that I was a kind of black that white people could accept," Horne once said. "I was their daydream. I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked." Born in Brooklyn to a upward middle-class family, her grandmother, a prominent member of the Urban League and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, enrolled her in the NAACP at the young age of 2. But Horne did not play an active role in race relations until 1945 when she turned her back on POW German soldiers to sing to Black American soldiers who were seated in back of them. In the early '60s, Horne became more active in the civil-rights movement, participating in a meeting with prominent blacks in 1963 with then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy in the wake of violence in Birmingham, Ala., and singing at civil rights rallies. Horne was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient in 1984, and received a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 1998.
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Long Island Paper Depicts Obamas as Sanford and Son, Calls it “Satire”

New York's Long Island weekly newspaper, Smithtown Messenger, published a photo spread entitled "Before and After" of the past five presidential couples and the Obamas at the beginning and end of their respective presidential terms. The piece would've been clever had not the paper chosen to depict the Obamas "after" as Esther (LaWanda Pages) and Fred Sanford (Redd Foxx) from the early 1970s sitcom Sanford and Son. After accusations of racism, publisher Phillip Sciarello defended the piece as satire but said the newspaper would run a retraction in its next edition. The NAACP's Long Island regional director Tracey Edwards described the piece as "despicable and disrespectful. If this was intended as satire, it misses the mark." Hazel N. Dukes, president of the state NAACP conference said in a statement on Wednesday, "it is simply shocking and outrageous that such a blatantly racist ad would run in any paper, much less an official paper of Suffolk County," Dukes said. "New Yorkers of all races and ethnicity are disgusted by it and reject it." If satire is meant to be witty, even ironic, or at least exaggerate a bit of truth, Blindie thinks that the Smithtown Messenger definitely missed the mark -Esther is not Fred Sanford's wife but his bickering sister-in-law and the only similarities between them and the Obamas is their race. The satire relies upon the stereotype that black people are of a depressed economic class, bicker frequently, and are generally comedic because of that.
Read More