Arts & Entertainment

'No Blue Memories' gives glimpse of Gwendolyn Brooks' literary life, legacy

0 By Darcel Rockett Poet. Teacher. Mentor. All are words synonymous with Gwendolyn Brooks. Born in Topeka, Kan., in 1917, Brooks made her name as a poet in Chicago. A Bronzeville resident, she grew up writing — writing about what she saw and heard in the street. In 1950, she was catapulted to national prominence when her second book of poetry, "Annie Allen," won a Pulitzer Prize. At the time, her community was a dense hotbed for African-American art and music. She is the subject of a new play, “No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks,” which will be staged in three performances this weekend at the Harold Washington...

Jazz-extraordinaire Al Smith takes center state at TJ&J's Oct 7

0 Staff Reporter MAYWOOD |  Jazz performer Al Smith, a multi-talented musician who's mastered three different saxophones, two flutes, and two clarinets, will lead his six-piece band, Intimate Contact, into T&JJ's for the first time this Saturday night October 7. Smith's national credits include ten years as lead sax for the Morris Ellis Orchestra as well as the Count Basie Orchestra and the Ray Charles Orchester. Luminaries he has played for include Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Eric Benet, The Spinners, Lou Rawls, the Temptations and Will Downing. Recipient of the 2015 Black Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Jazz...

Despite Twitter controversy, "Dear White People" is a sparkling, nuanced success

0 By ROBERT FELTON "Dear White People" is the latest successful television series based on a critically acclaimed film. After Fargo, Bates Motel, and Wet Hot American Summer, just to name a few, it manages to do what those shows did so well: expand on the ideas and themes of its source material, while staying true to the feel of their respective films. Before the show had even premiered, it had already been the focus on controversy by some accusing the show of “reverse racism.” These criticisms come from individuals who probably have yet to watch the show and therefore are unaware of how fair-minded it is in its...

Burning Sands: A critical movie review with part rant!

2 The Netflix film, Burning Sands (2017), is described online as: “Zurich Condoll (Trevor Jackson) is a student at Frederick Douglass University and is proud to be a pledge at a famous African-American fraternity. But anti-hazing rules have driven his Hell Week underground, and the veteran members of his fraternity have degenerated into a pack of vicious, drunken, sadistic louts.” Prior to recently being showcased on Netflix, Burning Sands premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Surrounding universities were invited to attend the premiere and participate in an academic “Questions & Answering” session following the...