Monthly Archives: April 2009


#1 R&B Song 1966:   “Get Ready,” the Temptations


Born:   Mabel Scott, 1915




1949   John Lee Hooker charted with “Hoogie Boogie,” which reached #9 R&B. Considering contracts an acquired taste he had not acquired, Hooker recorded for anyone with the money and between 1949 and 1954 he had seventy singles out on twenty-one labels under no less than ten very diverse names, such as Birmingham, Sma & His Magic Guitar, Little Pork Chops, Delta John, and the ever popular the Boogie Man.


1949   Billy Eckstine entered the R&B hit list with “Caravan,” reaching #14 and #27 pop. The singer/trombonist had his own band before going solo in 1947, a who’s who of legendary talent that included Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Gene Ammons. Including his band releases, “Mr. B,”  as he was respectfully known, had eighteen hits between 1944 and 1976.


1966   The Platters’ “I Love You 1,000 Times” charted, reaching #6 R&B and #31 pop, their first hit in four years.


1983   Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield), the crown prince of Chicago blues, died of a heart attack at his Chicago home while sleeping. The man who started out driving a truck for a Venetian-blind company had driven blues to a new level of acceptance with his resonant, deep voice and biting electric guitar style. Muddy was sixty-eight.

Rest in peace, Muddy. The postwar Chicago blues  scene would be unimaginable without your tremendous contributions. Here is my favourite Muddy Waters’ standard, the first track on the album Hard Again, a song that I sometimes consider to be the “National Anthem” of men the world over:



1990   Prince performed at Rupert’s Nightclub in Golden Valley, MN as a preview of his new Nude Tour. The show was also a fund-raiser, with the $100 admission going to the family of his bodyguard, who had died earlier in the month.


1994   James Brown performed “Get on Up” with Jeffrey Osborne, Jim Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Bruce Springsteen, and Magic Johnson, among others, at the inaugural night of the House of Blues, Los Angeles.


1994   The Staples Singers performed at the twenty-fifth annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

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April 30, 2009 ColorLines Direct. News and commentary from ColorLines magazine and RaceWire blog.

100 Days of Obama: Cheerleaders, Haters and Us
Was it the best of times, or the worst of times? And what can we do about it?
Stop by for the racial justice angle. There, you’ll find video by Tammy Johnson, audio of the Compact for Racial Justice Forum call “Race in Review: The First 100 Days,” a flyer “Obama’s 100-Day Climb toward Racial Justice,” and blog “What to Do in the Next 100 days.”
Your Community Calendar: May Day Events Happening Near You
RaceWire provides a list immigrant rights marches and rallies happening around the country this Friday, May 1, which is International Workers’ Day, but has become an annual day for immigrants, advocates and allies to take to the streets to demand fair and just immigration reform.
Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Change
Representatives of indigenous peoples from around the planet convened in Anchorage, Alaska last week to discuss the challenges that climate change poses to their communities.
10 Things to Do in the Next 100 Days
Once you’re ready to move on from all of this 100-Day Obama talk, Tammy Johnson tell us where to go from here to build a mandate for racial justice.
Dom Apollon, ARC’s Research Director, recaps this week’s ongoing Supreme Court saga with voting rights.
Right Flu, Wrong Swine
Channing Kennedy presents a modest proposal. Why not rename the swine flu the spring breaker flu?
What Does Specter’s Switch Mean for Racial Justice?
One of the most concrete ramifications of this development for the racial justice movement is around the Employee Free Choice Act, which would empower unions and help protect the economies of communities of color.

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Phone: 510-653-3415 :: Fax: 510-986-1062
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Mother worries about his safety after news report.

OQUAWKA, Ill. — For Bruce Ruberg, it’s a white man’s burden.

Practicing his freedom of speech and expression, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, may raise a few eyebrows in Oquawka, but Ruberg proudly displays the Ku Klux Klan’s flag on his yard, right next to a Confederate flag.

Ruberg, whose nickname is Rebel, would not say whether he is a member of the secret society.

It’s been there for five years, maybe even longer.

“I believe in what the Ku Klux Klan is trying to do for the simple fact that you got the NAACP, you got Black History Month, you got Ms. Black America and black colleges, but a white man says one thing about Mexicans or blacks and you’re instantly a racist,” Ruberg said.

Not until an apparent complaint about the flag surfaced did Ruberg become the center of attention when a Quad Cities television news crew came knocking on his door. Soon, his face and views flooded the local airwaves.

Ruberg agrees it’s a tough argument, but noted that the Klan of the past does not compare to the Klan of the present, which he said campaigns and fights for border security.

“I’m not a racist per se,” he said. “I just believe America needs to wake up, and we need to start watching our borders. This is crazy what’s going on here, and our government is not doing anything about it.”

One controversial issue the unmarried man has is his disapproval of interracial marriages, not specifically about the union, but the offspring.

“It’s just my opinion. If a black and a white want to get together, I have nothing against that,” Ruberg said. “It’s when they have a child. They have to think about that because who’s going to suffer from that: the child. The whites don’t want them, and the blacks don’t want them.”

His mother, Bette Ruberg, who also lives in Oquawka, noted she does not agree with the flag but insists her son is not a racist and is known across town as a regular guy.

She complained that the TV report depicted her son as a heartless racist, spreading hate in the community.

She fears for his safety.

“My problem is there’s a lot of blacks in Burlington, in Monmouth (Ill.) and in Galesburg (Ill.), and they all watch Channel 8 news,” Bette Ruberg said Tuesday. “And the first night that was aired there was a threat made that there was going to be four black guys that’s going to come here and beat Rebel up.”

Different views

For many, KKK does not stand for the organization but a reminder of a dark and brutal past where blacks were tortured, hung, beaten and left for dead by white supremacists.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Klan has experienced a surprising and troubling resurgence due to the successful exploitation of hot-button issues, including immigration, gay marriage and urban crime.

Growing Klan chapters continue to be active in the South, and there are only two Great Plains states where the defamation league says there is an active — and growing — Klan membership: Nebraska and Iowa.

“The meaning of the flag is hurtful,” said Burlington NAACP president John Herring regarding Ruberg’s display. “It depicts violence and hate that is reprehensible.”

Herring noted, however, that like all Americans, Ruberg is provided such rights.

“Personally, I would like to see those who utilize their freedom to do it in a more responsible way,” Herring said.

Being in the NAACP and active in civil rights causes, Herring said fights for equal rights have been brutal. Seeing the flag brings back dark images of the past, he said.

“Even though it’s lawful, it may not be expedient,” Herring said. “We need to quit displaying the negative … the offensive.”

Larry Hartman said his friend has flown a flag in his yard for years, and it did not seem to bother people in town.

He described Rebel Ruberg as someone who volunteers at games, gives his time to causes in town and has friends from other races and creeds.

“The biggest complaint he has right now is that there’s a lot more for people to worry about than what he is flying in his yard,” Hartman said. “It’s something he believes in, and he said he’s not going to take it down.”

Hartman recalled a time or two when the flag was stolen. It was returned after the culprits were caught, and Ruberg did not press charges.

“That’s just the way he is,” said Wava Smith, a neighbor. “He’s like a rebel. It does not make any difference to me as long as it does not cause any trouble.”

Strong beliefs

Ruberg has been flying a KKK flag for more than 15 years. The more obvious one, the one that caused all the attention, was placed there five years ago. He said he got the flag from the Klan.

“If anybody’s curious about how I feel, come to my door and ask me and I’ll tell you,” Ruberg said Tuesday.

He addressed his beliefs on interracial children, who he said face humiliation, ridicule and sometimes violence.

But his primary concern is border security.

“The way I’m looking at it, sir, is that we are catering to these Mexicans, the illegal ones even,” he explained. “If you can’t speak English, why are you here?”

Whites have the burden of being politically correct, Rebel Ruberg said, and that is why he is letting his opinion be known. He said it’s not fair that other races can take pride in celebrating their ethnic backgrounds.

“If it’s a white man, nobody cares,” he said. “Somebody needs to speak up for the white people.”

He also takes issue with minorities, particularly African-Americans, pointing out their ancestors’ suffering.

“They got equal rights now, but like anybody else, you give a little bit and they want more,” Rebel Ruberg said.

For the man, the battle is now more a sense of preserving his right. He does not condone violence against other races, nor does he sympathize with those who do.

He is proud of being white, just like blacks are proud of their heritage.

All he asks is that others respect his beliefs, just as he respects those of others.

But as long as his KKK flag waves in Oquawka, his white man’s burden continues.

Matt Ryerson/The Hawk Eye

A Ku Klux Klan flag flaps in the wind along with a Confederate flag Tuesday in the yard of Oquawka, Ill., resident Rebel Ruberg.

“I believe in what the Ku Klux Klan is trying to do for the simple fact that you got the NAACP, you got Black History Month, you got Ms. Black America and black colleges, but a white man says one thing about Mexicans or blacks and you’re instantly a racist,” Ruberg said.”
Depends on what you say.
Racist, inflammatory, words that disparage an entire group, or incite violence against a group, as well as pay homage to a flag that represents the Confederate state’s rights to perpetuate the “peculiar institution” and defend the destruction of Reconstruction, and the creation into law Jane Crow segregation, is right up their with hate speech.
Just because an American has the protection of the First Amendment, does not mean they have the right to spew forth invectives and malicious rhetoric. The First Amendment may protect racist vitriol, as it guarantees the right to speak freely, but, it does not protect one from making a complete racist ass of one’s self.
As for the  “I believe in what the Ku Klux Klan is trying to do……”
Anyone who believes in what the KKK is still trying to do in the 21ST Century has not only some serious racist issues going on, they also have some real psychological problems as well.
The KKK was a filthy, brutish group of anti-human monsters. Their shit stank then….and it still stinks, no matter how pretty and fancy they try to dress it up.
“One controversial issue the unmarried man has is his disapproval of interracial marriages, not specifically about the union, but the offspring.

“It’s just my opinion. If a black and a white want to get together, I have nothing against that,” Ruberg said. “It’s when they have a child. They have to think about that because who’s going to suffer from that: the child. The whites don’t want them, and the blacks don’t want them.”

True…the Whites (overwhelmingly) did not want them. It was good enough to procreate them into the world, but, not good enough to publicly acknowledge them to the world. Because of the rampant sexual defilement of thousands of Black women during Jane Crow segregation, many Whites walking around now have siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews they know nothing of. In present day America, many Whites still have antipathy towards Black people because the worship of whiteness, and denigration of blackness, is so deeply embedded into the psyches of Americans. The culture of America reinforces hatred of blackness and slavish worship of whiteness, so, latent, hidden racist beliefs certainly come to the fore where B/W hybrid children are concerned.
As for Blacks not wanting hybrids (the correct word to use, not bi-racial; first generation B/W bi-racials in 21ST Century America do not exist), it was a rare case where Blacks (overwhelmingly) spurned, abandoned, ignored and shunned hybrid children. The Black community was more likely to take in and care for a B/W hybrid more than White Daddy, White Grandpaw, White Uncle, etc. That caretaking of B/W children still pretty much still holds true, as often it is the Black Grandmother, aunt, etc., who is the primary caretaker of the children of B/W unions. Blacks of today would correctly be classified as multigenerational mixed-bloods since we cannot truly claim 100% black/African blood. Hell, we have lived in this country for over 450 years, so it is not possible for us to have remained pure black with all of the rape-mixing going on in America against her Black citizens.
As for Black colleges, they still exist because many Black students who attempt enrollment at predominantly White colleges face not having enough prerequisites/points to allow the entrance to many White colleges. Also, with many predominantly White colleges eradicating minority-based admissions, the need for Black colleges still holds.
And Black History Month.
If the so-called public school system of America was to include Black American’s history in textbooks the way they should, there would be no need for a Black History Month. But, America still shys away from her maltreatment of her Black citizens, so not much chance of Black Americans history being completely incorporated into elementary/junior high/senior high textbooks.
“My problem is there’s a lot of blacks in Burlington, in Monmouth (Ill.) and in Galesburg (Ill.), and they all watch Channel 8 news,” Bette Ruberg said Tuesday. “And the first night that was aired there was a threat made that there was going to be four black guys that’s going to come here and beat Rebel up.”
So, the people of Burlington have only one TV station in the whole town? Wow, that sucks. Where I live, we have at least 10 stations to choose from to get our various news sources. And where did she get the idea that all Black people in that town watch only Channel 8? Has she been conducting Gallup Polls on which TV station certain races watch? Has she been compiling Nielsen Ratings on whether it is Black men or Black women who watch Channel 8? What kind of fact-finding mission did she go on to back up that Black people watch Channel 8?
“And the first night that was aired there was a threat made that there was going to be four black guys that’s going to come here and beat Rebel up.”
“. . . .there was a threat made that there was going to be four black guys that’s going to come here and beat Rebel up.”
Just four Black guys? Must not be very many Black guys in that town? Must be that the rest of the Black guys are out trying to bring the services of some more TV stations to Burlington, instead of wasting their time on the likes of Rabid, er, excuse me, Rebel.
“Whites have the burden of being politically correct, Rebel Ruberg said, and that is why he is letting his opinion be known. He said it’s not fair that other races can take pride in celebrating their ethnic backgrounds.”
Whites have the burden, like everyone else, to face up to this country’s racist past. It is a sordid and sickening history, and acknowledging and facing up to that brutal past is the first step.
As for other races “taking pride in celebrating their ethnic backgrounds”, I do not see how any sane, rational human being can consider lynching, burning, torturing, raping, impregnating by force/coercion, enslaving, beating to death, segregating, starving, stereotyping, debasing, degrading another group of people because of their skin color can be considered something to be proud of, and that is what the Klan has always stood for. And still does.
There is nothing wrong with celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, the Festival of San Fermin (in and outside of America), Knights of Columbus, Oktoberfest, etc.. But, there is something psychologically wrong with a human who celebrates a flag and history that legally sanctioned and condoned the vicious annihilation of Black people.
“If it’s a white man, nobody cares,” he said. “Somebody needs to speak up for the white people.”
There are people who care. People do care for those who speak, walk, and live right. People do care for those who do not break the laws of the U.S. Constitution nor the Commandments of God’s law. No one has time for those who do not.
“He also takes issue with minorities, particularly African-Americans, pointing out their ancestors’ suffering.”
Of course he takes issue with Blacks. They, including Native Americans, have suffered through some sick sadistic shit in this country at the hands of White people. Filth, perversions, and abominations that would turn ones stomach. Those which have been wronged the most invoke the most fear in those who know their group has done the most horrific wrongs to that group, and that is why Black citizens to this day are hated so much by people like Ruberg. The legacy of slavery and segregation is still with us in unequal housing, disparity of the law, malignant myths and stereotypes, and wealth and wage gaps that continue to persist.
“They got equal rights now, but like anybody else, you give a little bit and they want more,” Rebel Ruberg said.


And that is all that Blacks have received in America…..”a little bit”:  scraps, crumbs, mollification, nullification, pacification.
Blackness has been stuffed into a never-ending vise of negativeness, while whiteness has been uplifted onto the pedestal of virtue and refinement, even with all that it has done in the name of race hatred. So, no, Black citizens want and desire what any citizen should have—-to be treated as equals, as citizens. Nothing more, nothing less.
“For the man, the battle is now more a sense of preserving his right. He does not condone violence against other races, nor does he sympathize with those who do.
He “does not condone violence against other races”, but he shows his respect and devotion to a group that has a bloodthirsty history of violence and destruction against Black citizens.
No way can anyone sympathize with such a man of such a morally bankrupt mentality.
“But as long as his KKK flag waves in Oquawka, his white man’s burden continues.
Want to get rid of that “white man’s burden”?
Stop condoning and supporting racist hate.
Then maybe you can relieve yourself of some of the burden of being the racist hater that you are.
Free speech?
Free speech is fine.
But that does not include the hatred and demonizing of other groups nor the mentally incapacited adoration of the worst racist organizaton that exists in America.


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By John Lee • Gannett Wisconsin Media • April 27, 2009


APPLETON — A self-professed white supremacist from Green Bay will serve a month in jail and two years of probation for the unprovoked attack on a black man in a Little Chute bar.

The sentence imposed last week on Michael J. Verhaagh, 33, by Outagamie County Judge Michael Gage added six months probation and 72 hours of community service to the agreement that had been worked out between Verhaagh’s attorney and the district attorney’s office.
Gage also ignored Verhaagh’s request to forego the jail sentence — he had spent 46 days in jail on the charge before getting bail money — because he is on an electronic bracelet as part of a jail sentence he is serving in Brown County on an unrelated charge.
Gage also ordered that the jail term begin immediately after the Brown County sentence ends May 31, and ordered that probation run consecutive to any other probation or parole terms he has.
Gage also ordered $1,200 restitution for the victim’s eye injury, and ordered him to write a letter of apology to the victim.
Verhaagh entered no-contest pleas to battery as a hate crime and disorderly conduct, and repeat offender charges were dismissed.
The criminal complaint said Verhaagh told other customers in the Pine Street Bar that he did not like people of other races, and displayed tattoos of a swastika and a likeness of Adolf Hitler.
Witnesses said he walked up unprovoked to the victim, punched him in the face and knocked him down.
“He strongly believes what he believes and that is not going to change in five minutes or five months or five years,” said Curtis Borsheim, an assistant district attorney.
Erica Bauer, Verhaagh’s attorney, said Verhaagh is apologetic for what happened and is embarrassed by his tattoos. She said he got them when he “got caught up with racists in his younger years.”
Gage told Verhaagh he was fortunate the victim’s injury was not more serious.
“I think the nature of the offense itself requires a consequence,” the judge said.
— John Lee writes for The Post-Crescent of Appleton.
“One month in jail.”
He attacks, without provocation, an unarmed Black man, injuring that man’s eye, causing medical bills, and lost of time and wages from the job for that Black man.
And for punishment, he only receives one month in jail and two years probation.
Were it not for plea-bargaining down (“entered no-contest pleas”), Verhaagh probably would have received a stiffer sentence.
Then again, that sentence probably would have been six months, or less, in jail.
Wonder what the sentence would have been if it were a Black woman who atacked a White man without provocation?

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#1 Song 1972:   “The First Time,” Roberta Flack


Born:   Duke Ellington, 1899; Big Jay McNeeley, 1927; Carl Gardner (the Coasters), 1928; Tammi Terrell (Thomasina Montgomery), 1946




1944   “G.I. Jive” by Louis Jordan charted, reaching #1 R&B for six weeks as well as #1 pop for two. Jordan’s recording’s hold the R&B record for most weeks at #1, an astounding 113 weeks.



1950   Johnny Otis & His Orchestra jumped on the R&B charts with “Cry Baby,” reaching #6. The vocals were done by Mel Walker & the Bluenotes (not Harold Melvin’s group).


1956   To capitalize on Elvis Presley’s revival hit of “Money, Honey,” Atlantic Records reissued Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters’ three-year-old original in both the pop and R&B markets.



1957   “The Negro disk jockey, once considered a rarity on the nation’s airwaves, has become almost commonplace in this day and age,” Ellis Waters stated today in the New Negro men’s magazine, Duke. The writer continued: “There are now more than 500 Negro platter spinners on the air across the nation.” He described disc jockeying as the “newest Negro industry,” a $250 million annual business.


1960   Sam Cooke began a week’s engagement at New York’s Apollo Theater.


1967   Cincy Birdsong (Patti LaBelle & the Blue Belles) made her stage debut as a replacement for Florence Ballard in the Supremes at the Hollywood Bowl in a benefit concert for the UCLA School of Music. Also performing was the Fifth Dimension.

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#1 R&B Song 1962:   “Mashed Potato Time,” Dee Dee Sharp


Born:   Emma Pought (the Bobbettes), 1942; Milan Williams (the Commodores), 1948




1956   The New York City doo-wop group the Willows entered the charts with the singing-group standard “Church Bells May Ring,” reaching #11 R&B and #62 pop.



1958   The Drifters recorded their classic “Drip Drop.” It was the last charter (#58 pop) for the original group.


1958   The Charts’ “You’re the Reason.” the Solitaires’ “No More Sorrows,” and the Spaniels’ “Tina” were all released today.




1961   The Flamingos, the Vibrations, the Miracles, Shep & the LimeLites, Jerry Butler, and Maxine Brown played Philadelphia’s Uptown Theater while the Del Vikings performed on American Bandstand, also in Philly.


1963   Ray Charles performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City.


1990   MC Hammer (Stanley Burrell) charted with the dance-rap classic “U Can’t Touch This,” reaching #1 R&B (#8 pop). In its first week on the charts it reached #28, the highest position a rap song had achieved up to that time. The song appropriated the entire baseline of Rick James’ “Superfreak,” but thanks to the tenacious pursuit of his publisher, Jay Warner, james soon wound up with 50 per cent of the ownership of the new song.


1991   Quincy Jones recorded his album Hallelujah!, a modern-day version of Handel’s Messiah, at A&M Studios in Hollywood. On hand to sing on the album were patti LaBelle and Stevie Wonder.


1995   Barry White performed at the Safari Park Garden Theater in Nairobi, Kenya, becoming the first Westerner to do so.

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Black women have put so much into their families, their communities, even this nation. Black women receive so little in return for all they contribute and work towards to make the world a better place for others. Well, Black women should do things for themselves as well, starting with their education. And what better way to do that than to seek out scholarships that so many young Black girls are eligible for.
The following are scholarships created specifically for Black females.
There is a world of learning and accomplishing out there that you can do, ladies.
Go for the gusto!
The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (NANBPWC) sponsors two African American female scholarships each year. This non-profit organization’s mission is to promote and protect the interests of African American women professionals and entrepreneurs. One of the ways the organization meets its mission is by providing college scholarships for African American women.
 NANBPWC that provides scholarships to black women whose interests lie in business and entrepreneurial studies.
The National Scholarship:
This African American scholarship is awarded to graduating high school seniors who have a cumulative grade point overage of 3.0 or better (4.0 scale). Applicant packages must include official high school transcripts, two letters of recommendation written on school letterhead, and an essay.
One letter of recommendation must be written by a school counselor or the principal. The other letter must be written from one of the student’s English, math, or science teachers. The essay must address the topic; “Why is Education Important to Me?”
To learn more about these scholarships, just conduct a free, college scholarship search at”
This black women scholarship program is for college sophomores and juniors who are majoring in journalism, economics, or a related field. The $1,000 scholarship program is open to US citizen African American women enrolled in an accredited college or university and have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher (4.0 scale).
Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis. Candidates must submit the official application form, along with two letters of recommendation, an essay, and an official college transcript.
The essay must explain how the applicant’s career plans are relevant to the scholarship program’s theme, which is “Black Women’s Hands Can Rock the World.” One letter of recommendation must be from one of the student’s professors or academic advisor. The other letter must be from an NANBPWC member.
Essence Scholars Program
For 35 years, ESSENCE has been the only magazine dedicated to reflecting Black women and their lives. That mission has not changed. It has, however, evolved along with the women for whom the magazine exists. Today’s ESSENCE speaks to a reader who is defined not by her age or income by her mind-set. Rather than addressing her as a woman with one interest, one style, and one perspective – we see her and speak to her as multidimensional. Time Warner Inc. acquired full ownership of ESSENCE Communications in 2005. ESSENCE and Time Warner share a commitment to serve the public, enrich people’s lives and strengthen communities around the world. ESSENCE, with the support of Time Warner and in partnership with UNCF, is proud to sponsor 5 scholarships to benefit African American women attending one of the UNCF member institutions, Hampton or Howard.
Jeanette Rankin Foundation Grants for Low-Income Women, which offers scholarships for black women who live in high-poverty areas, over 35 years of age, and demonstrate a vision that will change society:  
African American Women in Computer Science Scholarships
AAWCS is offering scholarship opportunities for African-American women enrolling in Computer and Information Sciences (CIS), Computer Engineering, or Mathematics at Florida A&M University.  For more information or to apply, click here.
There are two categories of awards:
  • The Dr. Arnita Young Boswell Scholarship is awarded to African American freshman, sophomore, junior or senior students enrolled in an accredited college or university. The eligibility requirements are outlined in the current annual application.A minimum of $1,000 will be granted per award. Students must apply annually.
  • The Dr. Wynetta A. Frazier “Sister to Sister” Scholarship is awarded to mature African American women (at least twenty-five years of age and older) who are returning to college without the support of a spouse. These candidates may have dropped out of college to seek employment or care for their children. The eligibility requirements are outlined in the current annual application.A minimum of two (2) $500.00 awards will be made annually based on competition, as outlined in the annual application.

For the past 27 years, BISA has been operating a successful scholarship program targeted for inner-city and financially needy young black high school women to attend colleges and universities across America. First criterion for selection is financial need, second, they demonstrate potential for academic growth and leadership and third, they are able to provide some clues about their career goals. BISA’s scholarship assistance program is clearly targeted for disenfranchised and economically disadvantaged young black women. Many of our young scholars (age 17 to 20 years old) are already parents.

BISA’s supportive services (hands-on-approach) are provided for each student over the entire two or four years of undergraduate study. These Services include: financial support, books, transportation, tutoring, mentoring, counseling (students and parents), networking among distinguished black women, on-site-visits, BISA’s books and calendars of distinguished black women, and monthly contacts by assigned BISA member. Each student is provided a (1) 800 number for easy access to BISA.

In 1995, BISA joined the Combined Federal Campaign and expanded its scholarship program to serve residents by initiating resident-partnership programs on campuses at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
BISA currently administers a $190,000 National Scholarship Program that helps to support 40 to 50 eligible students over a four-year time span. Students of the Washington, DC area are enrolled in the following colleges and universities: University of Maryland (College Park), North Carolina Central, Virginia State, Bennett College, Penn State, and Temple University.

Students in the following states are enrolled in colleges and universities as listed:

BISA continues to develop and implement the national scholarship program for financially needy and inner-city young black women. To ensure that supportive services are seamless, each of the college presidents at the partnership institutions has assigned a liaison to be a contact for BISA’s students. The liaisons update BISA about progress, grades, and participate in an annual teleconference addressing each student. A BISA member is also assigned to each student. These services are free to the students. BISA’s literature is also provided free to college liaisons, libraries, presidents, and distinguished women.  

The Black Women in Sport Foundation offers scholarships to currently matriculating college/university students:
There are plenty of scholarships that young Black women can apply for. Another good source to go to is and enter your profile. They will return a list of scholarships that you are eligible for and links to apply for them.
Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, a mentoring program, is also available for young Black women:
Business and Professional
Women’s Foundation
2012 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
Business and Professional Women’s
Scholarship for Black Women
Tel: (202) 296-9118
Eligible Inst.: US schools
Other sources for scholarships:
  1. UNCF Merck Science Initiative
  2. The Ron Brown Scholar Program
  3. American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Scholarships for Minority Accounting Students and Fellowships for Minority Doctoral Students
  4. Gates Millennium Scholarships for under-represented minorities in the disciplines of education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health, and the sciences
  5. Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship Program
  6. National Assoc. of Black Journalists Scholarships
  7. Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund
  8. General Motors Minority Engineering and Science Scholarship
  9. Microsoft General Scholarships, Women’s Scholarships, Underrepresented Minority Scholarships, and Scholarships for Students with Disabilities
  10. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Opportunities for Minority Students in Health Services Research
  11. The Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarships/
  12. American Political Science Association Minority Programs – Fellowships, Summer Institute, Recruitment Project, Mentoring Initiatives
  13. American Geological Institute Minority Geoscience Student Scholarships
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  16. Congressional BLack Caucus Foundation Scholarships
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  18. Development Fund for Black Students in Science and Technology Scholarships
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  20. The Siemens Teacher Scholarship initiative – encourages minority students to consider careers teaching math and science.
  21. HP Scholars – a scholarship opportunity for minority students interested in engineering
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  25. The Association of Black Women Physicians: Rebecca Lee, M.D. Scholarship Awards – provides assistance to women medical students who are residents of Southern California or enrolled in Southern California medical schools
  26. APS Scholarship for Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors
  27. American Chemical Society Scholars Program – Scholarships for underrepresented minority college students with financial need
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  1. 25 Scholarship Gateways from Black Excel
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  12. FinAid: The Smart Students Guide to Financial Aid (scholarships)
  13. CollegeNet’s Scholarship Database
  14. AFLCIO Union Plus Scholarship Database
  15. International Financial Aid and College Scholarship Search – IEFA is the premier resource for financial aid, college scholarship and grant information for US and international students wishing to study abroad.
  16. College Board Scholarship Search
  17. Burger King Scholarship Program – awards assist students who work part-time and excel academically
  18. Sports Scholarships and Internships
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  22. Maryland Artists Equity Foundation Visual Arts Scholarships
  23. USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Scholarships
  24. The Tom Joyner Foundation Full Ride Scholarship



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#1 R&B Song 1957:   “Lucille,” Little Richard


Born:   Maxine Brown (the Browns), 1932; Cuba Gooding (the Main Ingredient), 1944; Ann Peebles, 1947; Herb Murrell (the Stylistics), 1949




1960   The Biggest Show of Stars 1960 made a performance stop at the Lauderdale County Coliseum in Florence, AL, with performers including Little Anthony & the Imperials, Llyod Price, Clyde McPhatter, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, and the Coasters, among others.


1963   The Crystals soared onto the pop hit list with “Da Doo Ron Ron,” an eventual #3 classic.



1972   The Chi-Lites hit #1 pop and R&B with their career establishing “Oh, Girl.” Lead singer Eugene Record was the husband of soul singer Barbara Acklin.



1974   The Impressions charted with “Finally Got Myself Together,” reaching #1 R&B (#17 pop). It was their fourth and last #1 over eleven years, starting in 1963 with “It’s Alright.”


1984   Michael Jackson’s incredible success and airwave “overkill” had its detractors and among them was radio WWSH in Philadelphia, which declared a “No Michael Jackson” weekend.


 1990   B.B. King was hospitalized due to diabetes-related problems in Las Vegas. Within a month he would be back performing.


1991   Luther Vandross charted with “Power of Love/Love Power,” reaching #1 R&B and #4 pop. The backing vocalists included Darlene Love and Cissy Houston.



On April 20, Luther would have been 58 years old. Rest in peace, Luther. Rest in peace.


1993   Aretha Franklin’s first TV special was taped at New York’s Nederlander Theater  and featured duets with Bonnie Raitt on “Since You’ve Been Gone,” and “Natural Woman” with Raitt and Gloria Estefan. Also performing were Smokey Robinson (singing a duet with Aretha on “Just to See Her”) and Elton John.

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#1 R&B Song 1969:   “It’s Your Thing,” the Isley Brothers


Born:   “Ma” Rainey (Gertrude Pridgett),  1886; Blues guitarist Joseph Benjamin “J.B.” Hutto, 1926; Maurice Williams (the Zodiacs), 1938; Claudine Clark, 1941




1957   Harry Belafonte signed for the then-unheard-of sum of $1 million with RCA Records. Known as the King of Calypso, Belafonte was actually from the Bronx.


1969   Dorothy Morrison & the Edwin Hawkins Singers hit the pop charts with the pure gospel song “Oh Happy Day,” which broke all barriers on its way to #4 pop and million-seling status.



1975   Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “The Way We Were” charted, becoming their thirty-third of forty-two Top 100 singles. The same day, the quintessential disco hit “The Hustle,” the massive international hit, which is still played on dance floors and radio today, nearly 30 years after his death, by late, great Van McCoy, entered the hit list, rising to #1 pop and R&B.




Ah….”Do the Hustle.” It brings back such fond memories. They don’t make ’em like that anymore. The thrill is gone.


1075   Ben E. King peaked at #5 pop (#1 R&B) with “Supernatural Thing,” his first Top 5 solo pop hit in almost fourteen years. Ben had been without a label when Atlantic Records President Ahmet Ertegun saw him performing at a Miami nightclub and asked him to re-sign with the organization. All of the ex-Drifters hits had been with Atlantic’s subsidiary Atco Records from 1961 through 1969.



I can picture it right now with the image of Don Cornelius in my mind:  ““… and you can bet your last money, it’s all gonna be a stone gas, honey! I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!


File:Soul Train.png
Soul Train logo.


1990   Aretha Franklin, who failed to appear in the show Sing Mahalia, Sing was ordered by a New York judge to pay restitution in the amount of $209,364.


1991   Three former Temptations lead singers (Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, and Dennis Edwards) banded together to go on tour in England, performing tonight at the Newport Center, Newport, Gwent, Wales.


1993   Bobby Brown and a young dancer were fined $850 for public lewdness while simulating a sex act at Augusta-Richmond’s County Civic Center on January 13.


1994   R. Kelly and Salt-N-Pepa performed at the James L. Knight Center in Miami, FL.

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Published: April 25, 2009
Bea Arthur, who used her husky voice, commanding stature and flair for the comic jab to create two of the most endearing battle-axes in television history, Maude Findlay in the groundbreaking situation comedy “Maude” and Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls,” died Saturday at her home in Los Angeles. She was coy about her age, and sources give various dates for her birth, but a family spokesman, Dan Watt, said in an e-mail message she was 86.
April 26, 2009    
Bea Arthur, ‘Golden Girls’ Star, Dies at 86

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Bea Arthur in the show “Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends” at the Booth Theater in New York in January 2002. More Photos »

April 26, 2009    
Bea Arthur, ‘Golden Girls’ Star, Dies at 86


From left, Estelle Getty, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Betty White in the NBC television show ‘The Golden Girls’ in 1990. More Photos >



The cause was cancer, Mr. Watt said.
Ms. Arthur received 11 Emmy Award nominations, winning twice — in 1977 for “Maude” and in 1988 for “The Golden Girls.”
She was a seasoned and accomplished theater actress and singer before she became a television star and a celebrity in midcareer, and she won a Tony Award in 1966 for playing Angela Lansbury’s best friend, the drunken actress Vera Charles, in “Mame.”
But while she was successful on stage, on television she made history. “Maude,” which was created by Norman Lear as a spinoff from “All in the Family,” was broadcast on CBS during the most turbulent years of the women’s movement, from 1972-78, and in the person of its central character, it offered feminism less as a cause than as an entertainment.
Maude Findlay was a woman in her 40s living in the suburbs with her fourth husband, Walter (played by Bill Macy), her divorced daughter, Carol (Adrienne Barbeau), and a grandson. An unabashed liberal, a bit of a loudmouth and a tough broad with a soft heart, she was, in the parlance of the time, a liberated woman, who sometimes got herself into trouble with boilerplate biases just the way her cultural opposite number, Archie Bunker, did. She was given a formidable physicality by Ms. Arthur, who was 5 feet 9 ½ inches and spoke in a distinctively brassy contralto.
The show was considered a sitcom, but like “All in the Family,” it used comedy to take on serious personal issues and thorny social ones — alcoholism, drugs, infidelity.
“We tackled everything except hemorrhoids,” Ms. Arthur said, sounding much like Maude, in a 2001 interview with the Archive of American Television, a collection of video oral histories compiled by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
In the show’s first season, Maude, at the age of 47, learned she was pregnant; her distress was evident.
“Mother, what’s wrong? You’ve got to share this with me,” Carol says. Maude’s response is typical, with barbs aimed both inward and outward, delivered by Ms. Arthur with a flash of simultaneous anger, despair and humor: “Honey, I’d give anything to share it with you.”
The two-part episode was broadcast in November 1972, two months before Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that made abortion legal nationwide, was decided. By the episode’s conclusion, Maude, who lived in Westchester County in New York, where abortion was already permitted, had chosen to end the pregnancy. Two CBS affiliates refused to broadcast the program, and Ms. Arthur received a shower of angry mail.
“The reaction really knocked me for a loop,” she recalled in a 1978 interview in The New York Times. “I really hadn’t thought about the abortion issue one way or the other. The only thing we concerned ourselves with was: Was the show good? We thought we did it brilliantly; we were so very proud of not copping out with it.”
“The Golden Girls,” an immensely popular show that was broadcast on NBC from 1985-92 and can still be seen daily in reruns, broke ground in another way. Created by Susan Harris (who wrote the “Maude” abortion episode), it focused on four previously married women sharing a house in Miami, and with its emphasis on decidedly older characters, it ran counter to the conventional wisdom that youthful sex appeal was the key to ratings success.
Which is not to say “The Golden Girls” wasn’t sexy. Like “Maude,” it was a comedy that dealt with serious issues, especially those involved with aging, but also matters like gun control, gay rights and domestic violence. And like “Maude,” it could be bawdy. The women were all active daters and, to different degrees, openly randy. As Dorothy, Ms. Arthur was coiffed and clothed in a softer, more emphatically feminine manner than she had been in “Maude,” but she was no less sharp-tongued, and she and the show’s other stars — Rue McClanahan, Betty White and Estelle Getty (who, though younger than Ms. Arthur, played Dorothy’s mother) — were frequently praised for portraying the lives of older women as lively, uncertain, dramatic and passion-filled as those of college sorority sisters.
Familiarly known as Bea, Ms. Arthur was billed in the theater and on television as Beatrice, but the name was one she made up. She was born Bernice Frankel in New York City on May 13, 1922, according to Mr. Watt. But she preferred to be called B — “I changed the Bernice almost as soon as I heard it,” she said — and later expanded it to Beatrice because, she said, she imagined it would look lovely on a theater marquee. The name Arthur is a modified version of the name of her first husband, the screenwriter and producer Robert Alan Aurthur.
When she was a child, her family moved to Cambridge, Md., on the Eastern Shore, where her parents ran a small women’s clothing store, and she dreamed of being a chanteuse and an actress, and entertained her friends with imitations of Mae West. She attended Blackstone College, a two-year school in Virginia, and later studied to be a medical technician, then eventually moved to New York to study acting with Erwin Piscator at the Dramatic Workshop of the New School for Social Research. Among her classmates were Tony Curtis, Walter Matthau and the actor and director Gene Saks, whom she married in 1950. (He directed her in “Mame.”) They divorced in 1978; their two sons, Matthew and Daniel, survive her. She had two granddaughters.
Ms. Arthur worked regularly Off Broadway and in summer stock, appearing as Lucy Brown in Marc Blitzstein’s adaptation of “The Threepenny Opera” at the Theater de Lys in 1954.
And in 1955, in a well-received musical tidbit, “Shoestring Revue,” she was seen for the first time by the man who would become a lifelong friend and professional benefactor, Norman Lear.
She also sang in nightclubs and worked occasionally on television, appearing on “Kraft Television Theater” and other shows featuring live drama. On Broadway, in 1964, she played Yente, the matchmaker in “Fiddler on the Roof.” In the movies, she appeared in the comedy “Lovers and Other Strangers” (1970), and in a reprise of her stage performance as Vera Charles, she appeared in “Mame” (1974), again directed by her husband, this time alongside Lucille Ball.
In 1971, she was living in New York but visiting her husband, who was directing a movie, “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” in Los Angeles, when Mr. Lear persuaded her to do a guest spot on “All in the Family.” The role he created for her, Maude Findlay, was a cousin of Edith Bunker, Archie’s wife (Jean Stapleton), who arrives to care for the family when everyone gets sick. Her tart sparring with Archie (Carroll O’Connor, with whom she had worked on stage, in a play called “Ulysses in Nighttown”) was a hit with viewers. Almost immediately CBS ordered up a new series from Mr. Lear, with Ms. Arthur’s Maude at the center of it. It changed her life.
“I think we made television a little more adult,” Ms. Arthur said. “I really do.”
SOURCE:  The New York Times:
Published: April 24, 2009
The Rev. Timothy D. Wright, a Grammy-nominated gospel singer and composer who filled his recordings, and his Brooklyn church, with his rolling, booming baritone, died on Friday. He was 61 and lived in Roosevelt, N.Y., on Long Island.
Kevin Parry/WireImage

The Rev. Timothy D. Wright.


His death at a veterans’ hospital in the Bronx was confirmed by his son David.
Pastor Wright, the founder of the Grace Tabernacle Christian Center Church of God in Christ, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, had been hospitalized since July 4, when his car was struck head-on by a car going in the wrong direction on Interstate 80 near Loganton, Pa. His wife, Betty Wright, 58, the co-pastor of Grace Tabernacle, and their 14-year-old grandson, D. J. Wright, were killed. Known to many fans as “the godfather of gospel,” Pastor Wright recorded 12 albums and composed many of the songs on them. His 1994 album, “Come Thou Almighty King,” recorded with the New York Fellowship Mass Choir, reached the Top 20 on the Billboard gospel charts and was nominated for a Grammy for best traditional soul gospel album. Five years later Pastor Wright received another Grammy nomination in the same category for “Been There Done That,” recorded with the B/J Mass Choir and featuring Myrna Summers.
“He had a huge, raucous voice that he maintained well into his 50s, long after most such voices are shot,” Anthony Heilbut, author of “The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times” (Limelight Editions, 1997), said in an interview on Friday.
He also managed, Mr. Heilbut continued, “to split the difference between the older style that he was raised in — the rollicking shouts and bluesy moans of traditional gospel — with the more jazz- and pop-influenced sounds of contemporary gospel.”
“And he was not merely a singer and a choir director,” Mr. Heilbut added, “but well known as a composer of gospel songs.”
In 1976 Pastor Wright formed the Timothy Wright Concert Choir; among its albums were “Who’s on the Lord’s Side?” and “Do You Know the Light?” Previously, according to “Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Encyclopedia,” by Bill Carpenter, he had composed songs for musicians like Mattie Moss Clark and the Rev. Isaac Douglas.
Timothy Donald Wright was born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn on June 17, 1947. His father, John Cleveland Wright, was a Pentecostal minister. Besides his son David, Pastor Wright is survived by four other sons, Danny, Donny, Derrick and Dwayne; two brothers, James and L. C. Wright; and 13 grandchildren.
Timothy Wright was enraptured by gospel music as a youngster. At 12, he was playing piano for the choir at Washington Temple Church of God in Christ in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a large congregation led by the Rev. Frederick D. Washington. Timothy was a protégé of the pastor’s wife, Ernestine B. Washington, a renowned gospel singer known as “the songbird of the East.” By his early 20s, he was music director of Washington Temple Church. He was ordained by Pastor Washington in the late 1970s, and in 1990 he founded Grace Tabernacle.
Three years ago, during a convocation at his church, Pastor Wright recorded “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” It has since become known as the Katrina song. It tells of an old woman who lost everything in the 2005 hurricane but still held to her faith.
“He sang it in the old style,” Mr. Heilbut said, “because when times are bad, people keep returning to the old themes and beats.”
SOURCE:  The New York Times:
Published: April 24, 2009
Catherine Murray di Montezemolo, a fashion editor and fixture of Southampton society who helped shape the look of postwar American sportswear by promoting designers like Anne Fogarty and Claire McCardell in the pages of Vogue, died Wednesday in Greenport, N.Y. She was 83.
April 25, 2009    

Bill Cunningham/The New York Times

Catherine Murray di Montezemolo, at a benefit for Southampton Hospital in 2002.



Her death was caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, said her sister Patricia Murray Wood.
Mrs. di Montezemolo, known as Cathy, worked at Vogue for more than 30 years, many of them alongside Diana Vreeland. A mentor to designers, she championed their work and advised them on what looks she thought were right for the moment, though she also made her displeasure known if she thought something was vulgar or depraved. Those standards, her friends said, were probably a result of her strict Roman Catholic upbringing in Southampton.
Catherine Bradley Murray was born on Sept. 18, 1925, the fourth of seven children of John Francis and Jeanne Durand Murray. Her father was a commissioner of the Port of New York Authority, as it was then known. Her grandfather, Thomas E. Murray, was an electrical engineer whose multiplicity of inventions rivaled Thomas Edison’s. One was the radiator model used throughout the Empire State Building. His fortune enabled the Murrays to be among the earliest summer residents of Southampton, where they owned several adjoining properties.
Mrs. di Montezemolo’s upbringing was both privileged and stylish. She was hired at Vogue, where many of her friends worked, around 1943, when she was 18, after she graduated from the Convent of the Holy Child in Suffern, N.Y. Good-looking and athletic — she was one of the first dedicated students of Joseph Pilates — she married Alessandro di Montezemolo, an Italian nobleman who ran the risk and insurance subsidiary of the Marsh & McLennan Companies and was later its chairman, in 1958.
Besides Mrs. Wood, Mrs. Montezemolo is survived by two other sisters Jeanne Vanderbilt and Elizabeth Conniff. Mr. di Montezemolo died in 2003.
At one point, the di Montezemolos owned three homes in Southampton in addition to several apartments of varying styles in Manhattan, but Mrs. di Montezemolo was known for a lack of pretension. Indeed, she liked things that looked imperfect, and kept her hair its naturally white shade, giving her a distinctive look in photographs from the 1960s, when she would sometimes wear outlandish clothes or a big black straw hat to the office.
Lauren Hutton recalled in a 1994 interview that in her early days as a model, Eileen Ford, her agent, wanted her to fix the gap in her teeth and straighten her nose. But Mrs. di Montezemolo, who often championed young models, told Ms. Hutton not to bother and to go see Mrs. Vreeland right away.
“Cathy knew that Vreeland liked odd-looking girls,” Ms. Hutton said in the interview.
Mrs. di Montezemolo was also one of the first to spot the talent of the designer Giorgio Sant’Angelo in the early 1960s. She showed some of his colored Lucite bracelets to Mrs. Vreeland, who pushed him to expand into ready-to-wear.
Donald Brooks, Anne Fogarty, Sydney Wragge and many other designers counted on her eye.
“She would go to the designers’ ateliers and help them with their designs,” recalled Polly Mellen, who, when she first worked at Vogue, shared an office with Mrs. di Montezemolo. “Cathy was really a voice for the designers, without pumping herself up.”
Mrs. di Montezemolo was also the original college editor of Vogue, said Gillis MacGill Addison, a former fashion model who remained close to her. For much of her career she championed designers who made clothes for young women and students.
After she left Vogue in the late 1970s, Mrs. di Montezemolo worked briefly for an advertising agency and also designed her own collection, called Noi, in Milan. In the 1980s, she was the fashion director for Lord & Taylor until her retirement to Southampton, where she remained active in charities; she was a board member of Southampton Hospital and the Southampton Fresh Air Home.
SOURCE:  The New York Times:
Published: April 24, 2009
Jack Cardiff, an Oscar-winning British cinematographer and director who drew inspiration from Rembrandt’s use of light and shadow to convey his visions and those of directors like Hitchcock, as well as the allure of actresses like Monroe, died on Wednesday at his home in Ely, England. He was 94.
April 24, 2009    

Richard Drew/Associated Press

Jack Cardiff with his Oscar.

April 24, 2009    

George Cannon/Eagle-Lion Films, via Photofest

Jack Cardiff was cinematographer of the film “The Red Shoes.”



The British Film Institute announced his death.
Mr. Cardiff nurtured a love for vivid color that began with boyhood awe at the paintings of the masters and flowered when he was chosen by the Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation as the first technician to shoot a British film in the new medium. That movie was “Wings of the Morning” (1937), starring Henry Fonda.
He then used color to devastating effect in films directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Their 1947 picture “Black Narcissus,” which told the sexually tense story of a group of nuns in the Himalayas, displayed an extreme contrast between red and green that Mr. Cardiff said was inspired by van Gogh. He won an Academy Award for cinematography for that movie.
“The Red Shoes,” which came out the next year, was even more daring in its visual presentation. It contained a 15-minute ballet sequence in which he changed the speed of a camera to make it appear that a dancer was hovering in the air before landing. Another magical moment came when a newspaper morphed into a dancing man.
Other films for which Mr. Cardiff was credited as cinematographer, photographer or director of photography included “Under Capricorn” (1949), “The Black Rose” (1950), “The African Queen” (1951), “The Magic Box” (1952), “The Barefoot Contessa” (1954), “War and Peace” (1956), “The Prince and the Showgirl” (1957), “Legend of the Lost” (1957) and “The Vikings” (1958).
He worked with a dazzling array of stars that included Marlene Dietrich, Laurence Olivier, Errol Flynn and Ava Gardner, and was particularly known for his ability to bring out the special facets of beauty in fabulous-looking women. According to an article in The London Evening Standard in 2000, Marilyn Monroe once wrote him: “Dear Jack, If only I could be the way you have created me! I love you, Marilyn.”
Mr. Cardiff directed 15 pictures, mainly in the 1960s and ’70s, including his adaptation of D. H. Lawrence’s “Sons and Lovers,” for which he was won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Academy Award. Freddie Francis won an Oscar for the film’s cinematography.
Mr. Cardiff was nominated for Academy Awards in cinematography for “War and Peace” and “Fanny” (1962). In 2001 he received an honorary Oscar for his life’s work. He was the first cinematographer to be honored for artistic achievement rather than technical merit.
He also had the distinction of directing the only movie ever to use a process called Smell-O-Vision: “Scent of Mystery” (1960). The process injected 30 different smells into a theater’s seats when triggered by the soundtrack. It didn’t work very well.
One movie Mr. Cardiff directed has maintained a persistent cult following, despite initial pans by many critics. It is “The Girl on a Motorcycle” (1968), which tells the story of a woman (played by the singer Marianne Faithfull, who was Mick Jagger’s girlfriend at the time) who leaves her meek husband, wearing only a fur-lined leather jumpsuit, to ride across Europe and meet up with the lover who gave her the motorcycle as a wedding present. Even critics who hated the film praised Mr. Cardiff’s photography.
Mr. Cardiff’s parents were vaudeville performers who were on tour when he was born in Yarmouth, England, on Sept. 18, 1914. He soon appeared onstage himself. He made his first movie appearance at age 4 in “My Son, My Son” (1918) and acted regularly in silent films as a child. His education was spotty, as his family moved every week or so and he had to keep switching schools. He began visiting art museums when he was around 9 and was first captivated by Rembrandt, then Caravaggio, then the Impressionists, whose love affair with light entranced him.
He gravitated from acting to working as a member of the crew for directors including Alexander Korda and Alfred Hitchcock. He had risen to second-unit cameraman when Mr. Powell noticed him and hired him to photograph his next film. That did not happen for three years, but Mr. Cardiff did shoot that film, “A Matter of Life and Death” (1946).
At one point in the filming Mr. Powell said he wished he could come up with a different look. Mr. Cardiff promptly asked him to look through the camera and then went to the front and breathed on the lens so that it went foggy. The effect was a gradual coming into focus. “Michael was absolutely delighted,” Mr. Cardiff said in an interview with The Independent in 2005.
When Technicolor came to England to recruit an English person to learn how to use its new technique, Mr. Cardiff was asked to apply. He acknowledged that his technical knowledge was meager, but was able to answer immediately when asked, “Which side of the face did Rembrandt light?”
It was a complete guess, he said in an interview with the British actor Paul Merton, but he pointed to a side and said, “Except when he does etchings; then it’s the other side.” He got the job.
Mr. Cardiff is survived by his wife, Nikki, their son, Mason, and his sons John, Rodney and Peter from a previous marriage.
In the 1970s and ’80s Mr. Cardiff returned to cinematography, including action pictures with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. During the filming of “Rambo: First Blood Part II” (1985), Mr. Stallone told Mr. Cardiff where to position a light. Later, privately, Mr. Cardiff firmly told the actor never to advise him on lighting again, The Guardian reported in 2001.
“I’m sorry,” Mr. Stallone said. “I’m out of line. I’m out of line.”
SOURCE: The New York Times:
Published: April 24, 2009
Ken Annakin, a film director with a flair for both light comedy and sweeping action films, a combination he melded in what may be his most famous movie, “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines,” died Wednesday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 94.
April 24, 2009    

Ken Annakin

April 24, 2009    

Walt Disney Productions

From left, Tommy Kirk, Dorothy McGuire, John Mills and James MacArthur in Disney’s “Swiss Family Robinson.”



He died of natural causes, said his daughter, Deborah Peters.
Starting as a cameraman in Britain on training films for the Royal Air Force in World War II, Mr. Annakin went on to direct more than 40 feature films for the British screen and Hollywood.
His 1965 comedy about the early days of aviation, the full title of which is “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew From London to Paris in 25 Hours 11 Minutes,” starred Stuart Whitman as an American flier racing for a prize awarded by a British newspaper. It intertwined romance, cheating and international conflicts with soaring flight scenes. It earned Mr. Annakin an Oscar nomination, with Jack Davies, for best screenplay.
Comedies were Mr. Annakin’s specialty in his early directing days. One hit from those years was “Miranda” (1948), with Glynis Johns as a mermaid caught by a doctor on a fishing trip; her tail reappears whenever she gets wet. In 1948 and ’49 Mr. Annakin directed a series of films about a down-to-earth British family, the Huggetts.
One of the first live-action Disney movies was Mr. Annakin’s “Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men,” with Richard Todd as Robin Hood. Shot in England and released in the United States in 1952, it entered many more childhood memories when it was shown on television in 1955. Another Disney film directed by Mr. Annakin was the 1960 version of “Swiss Family Robinson,” with John Mills, Dorothy McGuire and James MacArthur.
Some of Mr. Annakin’s work was more serious. In 1957 he directed “Across the Bridge,” in which Rod Steiger played a Wall Street swindler hiding in Mexico using the identity of a man he had murdered. Mr. Annakin’s daughter said “Across the Bridge” was her father’s favorite film.
In 1962 Mr. Annakin was one of the four directors of “The Longest Day,” the sprawling World War II epic about the invasion of Normandy. He directed the scenes involving British and French troops. In 1965 he was the sole director of “Battle of the Bulge,” with Henry Fonda.
Among Mr. Annakin’s other directing credits are “The Biggest Bundle of Them All” (1968), a comedy heist movie set in Italy; “The Call of the Wild” (1972), starring Charlton Heston; and “The Pirate Movie” (1982), an adaptation of “The Pirates of Penzance” starring Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins.
Kenneth Cooper Annakin was born in Beverley, in Yorkshire, England, on Aug. 10, 1914. His daughter said he was an only child who left his parents as a teenager and never told her his parents’ names. Besides his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 49 years, the former Pauline Carter; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
After dropping out of school, Mr. Annakin traveled to Australia, New Zealand and the United States. He returned to England and sold insurance and cars, then joined the RAF.
In 2002 Queen Elizabeth named Mr. Annakin an officer of the Order of the British Empire.
SOURCE: The New York Times:
Published: April 24, 2009
Santha Rama Rau, an Indian-born, Western-educated journalist whose work helped demystify the Indian subcontinent for American readers in the decades after World War II and India’s independence, died Tuesday in Amenia, N.Y. She was 86 and lived in Amenia, in Dutchess County, and in Manhattan.
United Press International, circa 1962

Santha Rama Rau



The cause was cardiopulmonary failure, said her son, Jai Bowers.
Ms. Rama Rau wrote novels and adapted the E. M. Forster novel “A Passage to India” for the stage, but she was largely a travel writer, a chronicler of journeys in Asia, Africa and the former Soviet Union for publications like The New Yorker, Harper’s, Holiday and The New York Times Magazine. Many of her stories, written with stylish simplicity in the first person, were collected as books that read almost as autobiography. The titles included “East of Home” (1950), “View to the Southeast” (1957) and “My Russian Journey” (1959). She also wrote an autobiography, “Gifts of Passage” (1961), that reads like almost like a travelogue.
“It is a short but extraordinarily dramatic flight,” she wrote in that book, of a trip from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to Kabul, Afghanistan. “The Hindu Kush is the wildest and most forbidding part of the Himalayas, so high that the plane flies between, not over, the mountains, and from the cabin you look up to see the snow-capped, treacherous peaks.
Below you is a harsh and bony map of precipitous valleys and rocky ravines — a landscape utterly without comfort, and on too immense a scale to be anything but daunting.”
Her best known works were about her home country, including “This Is India” (1953), a tour through the Indian landscape and the Indian psyche, and a Time-Life cookbook, “The Cooking of India” (1970).
“Our job — those of us lucky to have lived in these two countries — is to interpret them to one another,” she said in an interview with The Wichita Beacon in Kansas after the publication of “This Is India.” “If we can make ourselves — the Indians — real people to the Americans, we shall have done more than our politicians are able to do.”
Vasanthi Rama Rau was born in Madras, India, on Jan 24, 1923. Her father, Sir Benegal Rama Rau, was a high-ranking civil servant in India’s finance department who later became ambassador to Japan and to the United States. Her mother, Dhanvanthi Rama Rau, was a crusader for women’s reproductive rights and a founder of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
When Santha was a girl, her father was stationed in England. It was a trip back to India at 16, with her mother and her sister, Premila, that inspired her first book, “Home to India,” published in 1945, shortly after she graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
Though a youthful book, it immediately established the voice of an educated discoverer — observant, amused, self-deprecating, instructive without being pedantic — that would characterize her work even when she matured:
“The first words my grandmother said to me when I returned to Bombay after 10 years’ absence were, ‘My dear child, where in India will we find a husband tall enough for you?’
“ ‘I don’t think I need to worry about that for some time,’ I suggested. ‘I’m only 16.’
“ ‘That’s nearly twice as old as I was on my wedding day.’ ”
After her 1977 marriage to Gurdon Wattles, a legal officer at the United Nations, she was known in her private life as Santha Rama Rau Wattles. He died in 1995. A previous marriage, to Faubion Bowers, a linguist and writer who was an expert on Kabuki, the stylized classical theater of Japan, ended in divorce. Both marriages afforded her the opportunity to travel widely.
“They had a vagabond type of existence,” her son, Mr. Bowers, said of his parents, though he acknowledged they were affluent vagabonds.
In addition to her son, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., she is survived by four stepchildren: Stuart Scadron-Wattles of Seattle, Joshua Wattles of Los Angeles, Arabella Wattles Teal of Washington and Katherine Wattles of Athens; a granddaughter; and four stepgrandchildren.
Ms. Rama Rau’s adaptation of “A Passage to India,” Forster’s 1924 novel about the impact of colonialism on both the British and the Indians, was endorsed by Forster himself. It played successfully on the West End in London, ran for 109 performances on Broadway in 1962 and was used by the director David Lean as source material his 1984 film. Her work on it was central to what she understood to be her responsibility, her family said — namely to explain herself and India to a world that was curious about both.
“She was such an unusual person,” said her stepdaughter Ms. Teal, “that there was almost no occasion on which she didn’t attract attention, just by being herself.”
SOURCE: The New York Times:

by Jean Kever Houston Chronicle

April 22, 2009, 7:27PM

Vernon G. Henry, whose work as an urban planner left its mark on Houston and the suburban cities that surround it, died Sunday. He was 74.

Henry worked on a number of area subdivisions and shopping centers, including parts of Kingwood and the Woodlands and the Town and Country Shopping Center. His firm also developed the master plan for the redevelopment of Midtown.


But those who knew him say his true legacy isn’t the buildings and streets he helped design, but the environments he worked to create. He was involved in civic organizations including Trees for Houston, the Park People, the Houston Parks Green Ribbon Committee and the Houston Zoo.


Henry understood that planning doesn’t happen in a vacuum, said his son, Paul Henry.


“You’re thinking about how people will use this space, and that led him into what he was passionate about — trees, animals, the whole of Houston.”


He then translated that passion into action, said Win Campbell, a long-time Houston Zoo board member who met Henry and his wife, Mary Lou Henry, almost 30 years ago.


“He cared so much about the city and all its civic projects,” Campbell said. “A lot of people sign up for positions and board posts, and then they don’t participate. He always participated.”


Henry began work at the Houston Planning Department while he was still a student at the University of Houston’s College of Architecture. He went on to design several buildings, but Mary Lou Henry said that his true calling was planning. The couple met when both worked at the planning department in the 1960s and later worked together at their consulting firm, Vernon G. Henry & Associates.


One of Henry’s first forays into public planning came when he worked on the city’s push for zoning regulations in 1961. He argued that the city would benefit from the imposed order.


Many people disagreed . Henry once returned to his home in Bellaire to discover a cross had been burned in the yard, Mary Lou Henry said.


And in the end, she said, he came to believe the city was better off without zoning.

That did not mean he advocated a hands-off approach. In 1999, he and his firm developed the first master plan for the Houston Parks Department, calling for far more, and better developed, green space.


Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Bradshaw-Carter Funeral Home, 1734 West Alabama. Burial will follow at Glenwood Cemetery.


In addition to his wife and son, Henry is survived by his daughter-in-law, Kristin, his sister, Reba Speights, sister-in-law Carol and her husband, Bruce Bryant of Mandeville, La., and numerous nieces and nephews.


SOURCE:  The Houston Chronicle


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