Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison is America’s first lady of literature. Her books encompass black American history but live and breathe in the present, rich in vivid characters, haunted by ghosts. Born poor in Ohio in 1931, she passed yesterday at the age of 88 from pneumonia. She tells Alan Yentob how her father hated whites so much he wouldn’t let them in the house. Her masterpiece, Beloved, shows the horrors of slavery perhaps better than any other artwork. She talks as she writes – with warmth and wit.
Bill Traylor is a self-taught artist born in Alabama in a 1854.
His life spanned slavery, Reconstruction and Jim Crow- he never lived to experience any civil rights or freedoms that white Americans were handed at that time. Read More
The official portraits of former United States President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama were unveiled at an emotional and historic ceremony at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. on Monday morning.
The stunning depiction of President Obama, by artist Kehinde Wiley, and of his wife, by Amy Sherald, drew gasps and applause as each subject and artist together removed the black veils covering the portraits for a dramatic reveal.
Both Wiley and Sherald faced an unprecedented and monumental task: to capture the first African Americans elected to serve as president and first lady in a building built by slaves. But neither artists’ brush failed under the weight of history. The portraits are deft, thoughtful comments on race and representation in America that also provide an intimate encounter with the psyche of their individual subjects
Michael Jordan, considered the best basketball player of all time, has just joined the billionaires’ club.
Jordan is one of the 290 new billionaires on Forbes’ annual list of the world’s richest people. He’s certainly one of the most recognizable names on the list.
Jordan amassed his $1 billion fortune partly through his endorsement deal with Nike (NKE). The Jordan brand by Nike brought in an estimated $2.25 billion in 2013, which earned the 52 year-old athlete $90 million.
But it was Jordan’s ownership of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team that catapulted him into the billionaire’s ranks this year. NBA teams soared in value after Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft (, Tech30) CEO, paid $2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Excerpt from October 17, 1971 interview with Michael Parkinson
THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI investigates its extraordinary and often complex subject’s life outside the boxing ring. From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, to his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War in the name of protesting racial inequality, to his global humanitarian work, Muhammad Ali remains an inspiring and controversial figure. Outspoken and passionate in his beliefs, Ali found himself in the center of America’s controversies over race, religion, and war. From Kartemquin Films – makers of such acclaimed documentaries as HOOP DREAMS and THE INTERRUPTERS – and Oscar-nominated director Bill Siegel (THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND), THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI examines how one of the most celebrated sports champions of the 20th century risked his fame and fortune to follow his faith and conscience.