Icon Profiles

Willis Richardson, prolific but often ignored playwright

It ceases to be a surprise where the African-American presence might pop up in today’s news.
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Wilfred DeFour, a valiant and vital Tuskegee Airman

Walk the streets of Harlem, chat with the vendors or stop off at the Apollo Theater and say hello to Billy Mitchell, “Mr. Apollo,” and you can catch up on all the news you might have missed in the papers, ...
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Dr. Pearl Primus, choreographer, dancer and anthropologist

When word spread that the great dancer and choreographer Arthur Mitchell had passed, I was reminded of another dancer and choreographer, Pearl Eileen Primus, who preceded him on the stage with almost the same prominence and acclaim.
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Mama Imani Humphrey, an educator, activist and Kwanzaa authority

Funny how memories circle back on you, reminding you of treasured moments, especially those spent with advocates of freedom and justice.
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Despite a misstep as a teen, Kyler Murray is this year’s Heisman winner

Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, the quarterback of the Oklahoma Sooners, now famous in his own right, has joined the ranks of celebrities and athletes who have had past tweets come back to haunt them.
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Eunice Hunton Carter, a unique attorney and crime fighter

It was a pleasant surprise to learn that Addie Hunton, who I profiled in the Classroom two years ago, had a legacy that was prominently extended two generations.
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Cuba Gooding Jr. is Billy Flynn in ‘Chicago’ and director of ‘Bayou Caviar’

Cuba Gooding Jr. has a larger-than-life personality, so it’s not a stretch that he was cast as Billy Flynn, the smooth-talking lawyer in the prohibition-era musical, “Chicago,” with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Ebb ...
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Joyce Theater hosts world premiere of ‘The Tenant’

Dance, it’s said, is the hidden language of the soul. Celebrating the pure joy of it, the Joyce Theater will debut James Whiteside’s newest work, “The Tenant.” Considered ballet’s most daring principal artist and known for his theatrical and technical ...

ABT’s African-American soloist Calvin Royal III continues a legacy

Even before he became American Ballet Theatre’s only African-American male soloist, when he was still a member of the corps de ballet, Calvin Royal III’s presence onstage seemed to command attention. Whether he was one of a group of dancers ...
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Barry Jenkins confesses about ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’

On a muggy day that felt more like August than October, Oscar winner Barry Jenkins took to the stage for New York Film Festival’s free talk to give details about his highly anticipated film, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” based ...
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‘Beale Street’ director, cast on the Apollo’s red carpet

The excitement was palpable on the red carpet Tuesday night, Oct. 9, at the Apollo theater! Journalists, filmmaker Barry Jenkins and his cast and film fans in general descended on the historic venue for the United States premiere of the ...
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Post festival jazz happenings in South Africa

After the Joy of Jazz fest, Kevin Naidoo, the owner of The Orbit jazz club, a major Johannesburg jazz venue, had a “post jam session” for the remaining musicians in the city, as well as festival participants and local jazzheads. ...
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Solange announces new album

The multifaceted artist extraordinaire Solange Knowles has announced details of her new album. Billboard reported, “Her currently untitled fifth album, set to be released sometime this fall, promises new sounds from the R&B singer.” “There is a lot of jazz ...
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My first custom tailored suit in the US

How we dress represents, to many, who we are. And a man’s best option is, and will always be, a suit. But unlike some other men’s apparels, the fitting of a suit can mean the difference between heaven and hell. ...
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The Apollo presents ‘Say It Loud’ Oct. 20

The legend James Brown had a very hard life, like most Black people who grew up in the United States of America. His mother left their family and his father sent him to live with his aunt in South Carolina, ...
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