Book Examines Black Women’s Stardom
Dorothy Dandridge was the first black woman nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. Almost a half century passed before another black woman — Halle Berry — won the award. They and three others — Pam Grier, Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey — are subjects of the new book “Divas on Screen: Black Women in American Film.” “These women have pushed the racial boundaries for audiences, setting new standards for beauty and body type,” said author Mia Mask. She took on the book because, while black male stars are now enjoying huge success, little has been written about their female counterparts — as performers who can headline a film, said Mask, who teaches film and drama at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Dandridge was nominated for her lead role as the hedonistic factory worker in the 1954 classic “Carmen Jones,” alongside Harry Belafonte. (Continue Reading…)

Farrakhan: Don’t Be ‘Pacified’ by Obama Election
Minister Louis Farrakhan on Sunday urged his followers not to become complacent by President Barack Obama’s election and to work to repair communities. The 76-year-old Nation of Islam leader said in a speech commemorating the 14th anniversary of the Million Man March that people shouldn’t become pacified by the election of the first black president. “This can pacify you and lull you to sleep in a dangerous time, making you think that we live in a post-racial America — when the opposite is true,” he said to loud applause. The Chicago-based Nation of Islam has embraced black nationalism since its founding in the 1930s, and has used Obama’s election as a launching point for celebration, intellectual discussion and a call to action. (Continue Reading…)

Churches Denounce African Children as ‘Witches’
The nine-year-old boy lay on a bloodstained hospital sheet crawling with ants, staring blindly at the wall. His family pastor had accused him of being a witch, and his father then tried to force acid down his throat as an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning away his face and eyes. The emaciated boy barely had strength left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him — Mount Zion Lighthouse. A month later, he died.The nine-year-old boy lay on a bloodstained hospital sheet crawling with ants, staring blindly at the wall. His family pastor had accused him of being a witch, and his father then tried to force acid down his throat as an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning away his face and eyes. The emaciated boy barely had strength left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him — Mount Zion Lighthouse. A month later, he died. (Continue Reading…)

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