“Nigger Love A Watermelon Ha! Ha! Ha!” merits the distinction of the most racist song title in America. Released in March 1916 by Columbia Records, it was written by actor Harry C. Browne and played on the familiar depiction of black people as mindless beasts of burden greedily devouring slices of watermelon. I came across this gem while researching racial stereotypes. I was a bit conflicted on whether the song warranted a listen. Admittedly, though, beneath my righteous indignation, I was rather curious about how century-old, overt racism sounded and slightly amused by the farcical title. When I started the song, the music that tumbled from the speakers was that of the ever-recognizable jingle of the ice cream truck. Read more.
For nearly 50 years, John Conyers Jr. has represented Detroit in the House of Representatives. He is the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, a founder of the Congressional Black Caucus and the second-longest-serving member of Congress still holding office. But now he may be felled by a political mistake fit for an amateur: His petitions for re-election lack enough valid signatures. Read more.
In a move that should be of absolutely no surprise to anyone, Shonda Rhimes has signed a new 4-year deal extension with the networkshe calls home – ABC – which is said to be valued in the 8-figures! Well deserved, given how much money she’s likely made for Disney’s flagship TV powerhouse. This will keep Ms Rhimes at ABC until 2018. With 2 hit shows already on the channel’s primetime lineup (Grey’s Anatomy & Scandal), and at least one more ordered for next season (How To Get Away With Murder), she’ll certainly have enough to keep her busy for another 4 years. Read more.
Magic Johnson is going to pray for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. A day after Sterling’s fresh jabs at Johnson, the NBA legend told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Tuesday night that “I’m a God-fearing man and I’m going to pray for him and hope things work out for him.” Sterling received a lifetime ban from the NBA and a $2.5 million fine last month after audio recordings of him making racist comments were made public. Johnson, who Sterling mentioned in the recordings, declared in the aftermath that Sterling should no longer own a team. Read more.
It appears that Don Cheadle’s long-in-development Miles Davis project, is finally set to go into production, after years of uncertainty. In our last update on the project, last November, international film financing, sales and distribution company, IM Global, boarded the project, with plans to shop worldwide rights at the then American Film Market (AFM) in Los Angeles. And it looks like Cheadle may have finally secured funding for the film, which, as Don himself has said, will definitely not be a conventional biopic, instead calling it more of a “gangster movie,” suggesting that he will be taking some liberties with Miles Davis’ story. According to a press release I received today from the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Film Commission, the film is set to shoot in those areas, starting in July of this year. Read more.