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Globetrotter Legend Meadowlark Lemon

The Harlem Globetrotter star, and favorite of millions of young fans has passed.

Meadowlark Lemon, Harlem Globetrotter Who Played Basketball and Pranks With Virtuosity, Dies at 83

Meadowlark Lemon, whose halfcourt hook shots, no-look behind-the-back passes and vivid clowning were marquee features of the feel-good traveling basketball show known as the Harlem Globetrotters for nearly a quarter-century, died on Sunday in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he lived. He was 83.

The death was confirmed by his wife, Cynthia Lemon.

A gifted athlete with an entertainer’s hunger for the spotlight, Lemon, who dreamed of playing for the Globetrotters as a boy in North Carolina, joined the team in 1954, not long after leaving the Army. Within a few years, he had assumed the central role of showman, taking over from Reece Tatum, whom everyone called Goose, the Trotters’ long-reigning clown prince. Tatum was a superb ballplayer whose on-court gags — or reams, as the players called them — had established the team’s reputation for laugh-inducing wizardry at a championship level.

This was a time, however, when the Trotters were known not merely for their comedy routines and basketball legerdemain; they were also a formidable competitive team. Their victory over the Minneapolis Lakers in 1948 was instrumental in integrating the National Basketball Association, and a decade later their owner, Abe Saperstein, signed a 7-footer out of the University of Kansas to a one-year contract before he was eligible for the N.B.A.: Wilt Chamberlain.

By then, Lemon, who was 6 feet 3 inches and slender, was the team’s leading light, such a star that he played center while Chamberlain played guard.

Lemon was a slick ballhandler and a virtuoso passer, and he specialized in the long-distance hook, a trick shot he made with remarkable regularity. But it was his charisma and comic bravado that made him perhaps the most famous Globetrotter. For 22 years, until he left the team in 1978, Lemon was the Trotters’ ringmaster, directing their basketball circus from the pivot. He imitated Tatum’s reams, like spying on the opposition’s huddle, and added his own.

He chased referees with a bucket and surprised them with a shower of confetti instead of water. He dribbled above his head and walked with exaggerated steps. He mimicked a hitter in the batter’s box and, with teammates, pantomimed a baseball game. And both to torment the opposing team — as time went on, it was often a hired squad of foils — and to amuse the appreciative spectators, he laughed and he teased and he chattered and he smiled; like Tatum, he talked most of the time he was on the court.

The Trotters played in mammoth arenas and on dirt courts in African villages. They played in Rome before the pope; they played in Moscow during the Cold War before the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. In the United States, they played in small towns and big cities, in Madison Square Garden, in high school gyms, in cleared-out auditoriums — even on the floor of a drained swimming pool. They performed their most entertaining ball-handling tricks, accompanied by their signature tune “Sweet Georgia Brown,” on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

Through it all, Lemon became “an American institution like the Washington Monument or the Statue of Liberty” whose “uniform will one day hang in the Smithsonian right next to Lindbergh’s airplane,” as the Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray once described him.

Significantly, Lemon’s time with the Globetrotters paralleled the rise of the N.B.A. When he joined the team, the Globetrotters were still better known than, and played for bigger crowds than, the Knicks and the Boston Celtics. When he left, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were about to enter the N.B.A. and propel it to worldwide popularity. In between, the league became thoroughly accommodating to black players, competing with the Globetrotters for their services and eventually usurping the Trotters as the most viable employer of top black basketball talent.

Partly as a result, the Globetrotters became less of a competitive basketball team and more of an entertainment troupe through the 1960s and ’70s. They became television stars, hosting variety specials and playing themselves on shows like “The White Shadow” and a made-for-TV “Gilligan’s Island” movie; they inspired a Saturday morning cartoon show…Read More Here

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2015 in Giant Negros

 

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Nina Simone “Biopic” Controversy

This is a strange one. A “biopic” done by RLJE, whose chairman (and BET founder) is Robert L. Johnson somehow cast a HIspanic woman to play the lead role as iconic singer Nina Simone. Not that Zoe Saldana is a bad, or unqualified actress – but the role seems to be a major, major stretch.

Starting with Zoe, vs two shots of Nina –

Now…Apparently with the help of makeup and prosthetics, Zoe looks like this in the movie…

Not seeing any resemblance at all here folks…

Nina Simone biopic starring Zoe Saldana to be released in December

The long-anticipated Nina Simone biopic, starring Zoe Saldana as the iconic singer-songwriter and civil rights activist, is finally coming to theaters.

RLJ Entertainment announced that it has acquired North American rights to Nina, and the film will be released this December.

“I had the special privilege early in my career of working with Ms. Simone while coordinating a performance for former D.C. Delegate Walter E. Fauntroy and knowing first-hand of her major contribution to the soul and emotion of the Civil Rights Movement,” RLJE chairman and BET founder Robert L. Johnson said in a statement. “I look forward as I am sure many others will, to her story and legacy being made available by RLJ Entertainment to consumers on various media platforms in the coming months.”

Written and directed by newcomer Cynthia Mort, Nina follows the rise of the legendary American vocalist, a 15-time Grammy nominee known for iconic standards like “My Baby Just Cares For Me,” “Feeling Good,” and “To Be Young Gifted and Black.” Her struggles to balance her career and her activism left her living alone in France, feeling isolated from her own country. It was there that she met Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo), who became her assistant.

Nina’s release has been delayed for several years, with casting changes, public controversy, and even a lawsuit. Mary J. Blige was originally attached to star as Simone back in 2010, but she dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. She was replaced by Saldana, but some criticized the new casting, saying that Saldana, who is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, was too petite and light-skinned to play Simone. The film’s release was delayed further when Mort herself filed a lawsuit against the production company last year.

Simone’s daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, has also criticizedNina, choosing instead to work on this year’s Netflix documentary about her mother, What Happened, Miss Simone? 

Quite frankly, other than in vocal talent – I am not even feeling it on Mary J. Blige playing NIna…But at least Blige’s sultry voice puts her one step ahead of Zoe, who is not a singer.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2015 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Black Podcasters Replacing Talk Radio

When I saw this one, my initial thought was “Podcasting”…How 90’s!” However there is obviously a gap not being filled by commercial radio, with worldwide reach, and a low cost of entry for the ‘caster…And an audience, principally of Millennial connecteds.

This obviously is the author’s take on the best black Podcasts, and go to the site to see the rest.

11 Black Podcasts Leading The Golden Age Of Audio

You could say that we’re experiencing a kind of renaissance in podcasting. While mainstays like Radiolab, This American Life (and wildly popular spinoff, Serial) have driven the world of storytelling and conversation, a new crop of interesting, innovative, and engaging podcast shows have emerged in the last couple years. Among those new shows are podcasts hosted by black people who are introducing interesting perspectives in the still very white, very male podcasting world.

There are countless podcasts with black hosts on politics and pop culture that are changing the game, but below are 11 shows that exemplify the current Golden Age of black podcasting:

1. The Read

It’s safe to say that no “best podcasts” list would be complete without The Read, so let’s just get this one out the way. Hosted by YouTuber Kid Fury and his BFF, writer Crissle West, each weekly show features hot topics, listener letters, and a “read” where the pair cuss out everything from f***kboys to rude Best Buy workers. If you’re not listening to this show already, why?  The duo perfectly balances hilarious pop culture commentary with observations on real-life issues like police brutality.

3. Black Girls Talking

On this podcast, four intelligent and endlessly witty black women (Alesia, Fatima, Aurelia and Ramou) meet up for topical conversations on pop culture, politics, and race. It’s a simple but powerful format, and the ladies have had amazing guests come through to chat, including journalist Janet Mock and comedienne Charla Lauriston.

4. Black Girl Nerds

Black Girl Nerds fills a much-ignored niche in the podcasting world, appealing to black women everywhere who love all things geeky. An offshoot of the blog of the same name created by Jamie Broadnax, the show generally delves into an eclectic range of topics. On any given week Broadnax and guests may discuss Afrofuturism, Sleepy Hollow, cosplaying while black, and Jem nostalgia. It’s a fun, badly-needed reminder that not all black women are alike.

6. The Combat Jack Show

The Combat Jack show is the number one hip-hop podcast, and rightly so. Each week a wide array of personalities including Talib Kweli, Deray McKesson, Feminista Jones, and Marc Lamont Hill are brought on to discuss the latest in current events. What makes this show so great is that it highlights the fact that hip-hop culture is bigger than just music — it’s also political.

7. For Colored Nerds

For Colored Nerds adds another perspective to the black nerd dialogue, as best friends Brittany and Eric get together every week to discuss nerd culture from both a male and female perspective. But it’s not just nerdism that the pair focus on — in the above episode, for instance, they have a fascinating conversation about finding and keeping mentor-mentee relationships for black people in the creative world.

Check the all out,you may become a fan.

 

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Elizabeth Taylor Engaged to Black Man

Husband number 9? 10?

Elizabeth Taylor Engaged To Jason Winters: Taylor To Marry For The Ninth Time

Elizabeth Taylor is engaged to be married for the ninth time, Us Weekly reports.

Taylor, 78, recently got engaged to Jason Winters, 49, of Sterling Winters Management, a source tells the magazine. The couple has yet to confirm the news.

“It’s no secret that they’ve been together forever and are in love, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they were engaged,” another source said. “Right now they are keeping it between them.”

It appears Taylor and Winters have been dating for several years, as Getty has pictures of them doing red carpets together since 2007.

“Jason Winters is one of the most wonderful men I’ve ever known and that’s why I love him,” Taylor told Liz Smith in 2007. “He bought us a beautiful house in Hawaii and we visit it as often as possible.”

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2010 in Nawwwwww!

 

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