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‘Dutchman’: Black men and white women, controversial onstage – and, still, in real life?

‘Dutchman’: Black men and white women, controversial onstage – and, still, in real life?

When Amiri Baraka's best-known play, "Dutchman," opened in 1964, it was critically acclaimed and quite controversial. At the height of the civil rights movement, while black Americans were struggling for the right to vote and attend the same schools as white Americans, here was a play depicting a sexually aggressive white woman attempting to seduce and ruin a black man.

With lynching and other forms of race-related violence in America often inspired by an obsessive fear of black men exploiting white women sexually, it was as though "Dutchman" tossed a grenade right at the very ideology that has long fueled American racism.

In honor of the play's 50th anniversary, the National Black Theatre and Classical Theatre of Harlem co-produced a revival that opened last week. Its star, TV veteran Sharif Atkins, talked to The Root about the play's significance and why the subject of a black man and white woman sexually entangled is still a turbulent topic.

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  • Written by Keli Goff/The Root

Oprah & Bishop Jakes – raising the roof, again!

Oprah & Bishop Jakes – raising the roof, again!

CHICAGO – Oprah and Bishop T.D. Jakes come together for a follow up, "roof-raising" conversation in an all-new episode of "Oprah Lifeclass" on how to unleash the power of your natural instinct

The episode airs on Sunday (May 11th) at 8 p.m. CT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Throughout the conversation, Oprah and Jakes "raise the roof" with inspirational messages on how to become the highest vision of yourself and never settle for status quo; plus, Jakes shows viewers that their natural instincts are really "the treasure map to their souls' satisfaction."

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  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom

Report: Dr. Dre to sell Beats Electronics to Apple

Report: Dr. Dre to sell Beats Electronics to Apple

Tech giant Apple is currently in negotiations to buy Beats Electronics, the company that produce the uber-popular "Beats by Dre" headphones and was founded by rapper Dr. Dre and record producer Jimmy Iovine in a $3.2 billion deal, according to several reports.

Reports from The Financial Times, Bloomberg, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal all confirm the negotiations and according to Business Insider, the deal could be announced as early as next week.

Beats Electronics produces a variety of audio products, including the Beats Pill portable wireless speakers. According to Business Insider, Beats recently launched Beats Music, a music streaming service.

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  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom

‘What the Word Be: Why Black English Is the King’s (James) English.’

‘What the Word Be: Why Black English Is the King’s (James) English.’

When most people talk about the "King's English," they're referring to a very proper, aristocratic way of speaking in terms of grammar and syntax. That style is far afield from the uniquely African-American phraseology also known as Ebonics.

In fact, the pros and cons of teaching black English has been the subject of debate in recent years, with detractors arguing that it has no place either in the classroom or in polite society. Those naysayers might rethink that position after perusing "What the Word Be: Why Black English Is the King's (James) English. "

For, according to its author, Diane Proctor Reeder, the roots of Ebonics can readily be found in the King James Bible, the text employed by most slave masters to teach Africans English. To prove her point, Reeder simply quotes from scripture, such as "Surely the people is grass," which is found in Isaiah 40:7.

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‘Jet’ magazine ends print issues

‘Jet’ magazine ends print issues

If it's not in JET, it didn't happen."

The popular catchphrase for one of the nation's premiere black publications is keeping their promise as they end their print issues and transition to digital publishing in June.

For 63 years, JET magazine has delivered the biggest and most breaking news as it pertains to black America. It currently ranks as the third leading publication in the African-American market following Essence and Ebony.

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  • Written by Lilly Workneh/theGrio

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules: OPENING THIS WEEK

For movies opening May 9, 2014

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"Chef" (R for profanity and sexual references) Jon Favreau wrote, directed and stars in this kitchen sink comedy as a cook who quits his job at a fancy restaurant in L.A. before returning to his Miami roots to operate his own food truck while reconciling differences with his estranged ex (Sofia Vergara). Cast includes Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Robert Downey Jr., Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale and Amy Sedaris.

"Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return" (PG for scary images and scenes of peril) Animated sequel to The Wizard of Oz finds Dorothy (Lea Michele) venturing back to the Emerald City where she joins forces with a princess (Megan Hilty), an owl (Oliver Platt), a tugboat (Patrick Stewart) and a marshmallow (Hugh Dancy) after she finds the Scarecrow (Dan Aykroyd), Tin Man (Kelsey Grammer) and Cowardly Lion (Jim Belushi) under the spell of a wicked Court Jester (Martin Short). Voice cast features Bernadette Peters as Glinda the good witch, Tacey Adams as Auntie Em and Michael Krawic as Uncle Henry.

 

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The question no one is asking Donald Sterling

The question no one is asking Donald Sterling

Why would a white racist have sex with a person of color?

That's the question that few people in the media want to raise, let alone address. But it is an age-old contradiction not limited to Donald Sterling, the hate spewing soon-to-be former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Beginning with slavery in the original colonies – even earlier in Africa with the arrival of European colonizers – white men have forced themselves on black women. Caucasian men from Thomas Jefferson on the left to South Carolina senator and longtime arch-segregationist Strom Thurmond on the right have projected one image in public while having sex – even children – with black women under the cover of darkness. They were talking white (superiority ) while sleeping black.

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  • Written by George E. Curry/NNPA Columnist

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