Justin Theroux Discusses Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Legacy In ‘On The Basis Of Sex’ | PeopleTV

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Tony Cornelius Opens Up About His Father’s Suicide and Keeping the ‘Soul Train’ Legacy Alive

Love, peace, and soul

“I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace, and soul!”

That was the signature line that Donald “Don” Cornelius recited when closing out Soul Train, a groundbreaking weekly broadcast that revolutionized television. For black folks in the ’70s, “love, peace, and soul” became a mantra that personified their hopes and dreams for true freedom, while the iconic musical showcase introduced a mainstream audience to the rhythm, creativity, and talent within the African American community. It also served as a vehicle for economic empowerment for Cornelius, the show’s creator, executive producer, and original host.

After serving in the U.S. Marines, working a variety of odd jobs, and getting a gig as a local radio host in Chicago, Cornelius launched Soul Train in Chicago in 1970. By 1971, the show moved to Los Angeles and became a nationally syndicated sensation that ran up until 2006. In addition to highlighting famed African American singers and local teenage dancers, Soul Train became a brand that spawned Soul Train Records in 1975, The Soul Train Music Awards, and the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards.

Tragically, Cornelius committed suicide in 2012 at the age of 75. Now, his son, Anthony “Tony” Cornelius, is helping to shed light on his father’s journey in creating one of the longest-running shows in TV history through a new series called American Soul. The 10-episode series, which premieres on BET Feb. 5, offers viewers who grew up watching Soul Train a captivating dose of nostalgia while introducing a new generation to a program that changed the course of black history.

Don’s Soul 

Soul Train

Actor Sinqua Walls as Don Cornelius from BET’s “American Soul” (Photo: Daniel McFadden/BET)

“Little known fact: my father always wanted to do a Soul Train movie,” said Anthony, who serves as one of the executive producers on the series, to BLACK ENTERPRISE.

According to the show’s description, American Soul unfolds the trials and tribulations that his father encountered while creating Soul Train “against the backdrop of an unforgiving Hollywood in the 1970s.” It also chronicles the “rise and fall” that he took in his personal life.

The series opens with a chilling scene of Cornelius’ last moments on earth on Feb. 1, 2012. That day changed Anthony’s life and outlook on mental illness. “I always thought suicide was for people who could not handle life—never even imagining that one day I would actually be talking about it…and experience someone in my family who committed suicide.”

The tragedy and a subsequent conversation he had with Stevie Wonder moved him to launch The Don Cornelius Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization that works to identify and support programs that provide awareness, prevention, and support for those contemplating suicide along with support to those who have lost loved ones from suicide. “I spoke to him days after my father’s death and he gave me some inspiration to stand up and talk about it,” he recalled of his conversation with the legendary singer.

Anthony was also appointed last year to sit on the board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, where he advocates for mental health. According to the American Psychiatric Association, only one-third of black Americans who need mental healthcare receive it, while lack of culturally competent counseling deters many from seeking care.

“Many times, a lot of black men don’t have anywhere to turn. We struggle with our feelings,” said Anthony. “A lot of black folks go to the church for their soothing of their mental capacity, which is fine, but many times it gets even more complicated,” he added. “There are professionals out there who can diagnose the problem. It’s about education.”

American Soul gives viewers a look at some of the warning signs of someone in mental distress by presenting a different side of Cornelius and the empire he built.

“My father’s legacy will continue to live on—it’s living right now,” he said.

American Soul

Kelly Price

Still of Kelly Price as Brianne Clarke from BET’s “American Soul” (Annette Brown/BET)

Grammy-nominated R&B singer Kelly Price says starring in American Soul is a full circle moment for her. After releasing her debut album in 1998, she made her television debut on Soul Train. At the time, her hit single “Friend of Mine” had charted as No. 1 on the U.S. R&B chart, however, her label was apprehensive to reveal her appearance due to her weight and dark complexion. “I had a No. 1 record in the country and nobody had seen what I looked like,” Price told BE. “The first time everybody got a chance to see me was on Soul Train on a Saturday morning,” she says. “Don Cornelius was the first person to present me to the world on a national stage.”

Price also received her first award as a singer and songwriter at the 1999 Soul Train Music Awards. “Now, the first time that people will actually see me take on a chunky acting role will be a part of the telling of the Don Cornelius story.”

Sinqua Walls, who portrays Cornelius in American Soul, says he is carrying the Soul Train legacy “with a tremendous amount of pride.” He recognizes Cornelius as more than just an iconic TV host, but also as an entrepreneur and a visionary. “We always say, when you have a dream, follow it and don’t let anyone detract from it. And Don is a testament to that. Not only did he do it as a man creating a TV show, but he did it as a black man in 1970s trying to pitch a show that no one had ever done before to an audience that didn’t always want to see him. And he stayed steadfast in his dreams.”

American Soul kicks off on Tuesday, February 5 at 9 p.m. ET on BET.



 


Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Feb. 5, 2019, for clarity.

The post Tony Cornelius Opens Up About His Father’s Suicide and Keeping the ‘Soul Train’ Legacy Alive appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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A Day On to Celebrate Martin Luther King’s Legacy

For the 15th consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente physicians, dentists and staff are celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day by making it a “day on” rather than a day off in Oregon and Southern Washington. They’re rolling up their sleeves in remembrance of Dr. King’s commitment to community service.

From January 15th through January 25, more than 1,200 Kaiser Permanente Northwest employees, friends, and family members will volunteer at 50 events throughout the Pacific Northwest.

“Our employees are actively involved in the community all year round, and they come out in full force to make a difference on this special day of service,” said Ruth Williams-Brinkley, regional president for Kaiser Permanente of the Northwest.

“I’m proud that so many members of our team have chosen to celebrate the legacy and spirit of Dr. King as we continue to recognize the importance of living his principles every day.”

Kaiser Permanente’s largest event will take place at Harold Oliver and Parklane elementary schools in Gresham, Oregon. More than 350 volunteers will work together to create a bright and welcoming place for students to learn. Building beautification projects will include maintenance, painting and repairs.

As part of the event, Kaiser Permanente will make a $ 180,000 to support the Rosewood Initiative, a community-building effort that supports wellness, education and economic opportunity in Gresham’s Rosewood neighborhood.

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Led Zeppelin’s Controversial Legacy: Thievery, Underage Groupies and the ‘Mud-Shark Incident’

Robert Knight Archive via Getty

Led Zeppelin released their earth-shattering debut album on Jan. 12, 1969, announcing the quartet as the harbingers of the sort of epic hard rock that would become a force unto itself in the decade to come. The band was famously derided as obnoxious music for lunkheads by many critics during its early peak, but proved to be extraordinarily popular and unforeseeably enduring. For many, Led Zeppelin is the greatest hard rock band of all time—maybe the greatest rock band in any discipline. But this band, born out of the Yardbirds and bolstered by the blues, has a legacy that can’t easily be reduced to just Page’s big riffs and Bonham’s drums and Plant’s wail. Fifty years later, what Led Zeppelin represented is something more damning than most of us would like to admit.

The band’s musical heritage, its public image and its extensive influence are all indissolubly connected to some of the most damning clichés of classic rock: a pilfering of the blues, a penchant for hedonistic excess, the romanticizing of a ‘70s “groupie” culture that preyed on naïve, sometimes-underage girls—its all a part of what Zeppelin was. And it all makes their legacy continuously and increasingly polarizing.

Rock music was rapidly changing in 1969. A decade that had begun with several of rock & roll’s stars of the ‘50s suddenly and unceremoniously removed from the forefront of popular music (Little Richard a minister, Chuck Berry in prison, Buddy Holly dead at 22), was ending with an entire generation of artists who’d been elevated to a level of cultural import that landed them at the center of national dialogues on everything from long hair to Vietnam. Charles Manson and Woodstock would both become flashpoints that summer, but early in the year, a loud self-titled debut by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham provided as clear an indication as any as to where rock was going.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Enduring Legacy of Frank Miller’s ‘Batman: Year One’

Questionable directorial ventures aside (he directed a poorly received version of Will Eisner’s comic book, The Spiritand the big-screen follow-up to Sin City), nobody can dispute the huge mark left by legendary writer Frank Miller on the world of pop culture. Not only did he bring Marvel’s Daredevil back from the brink when he created Elektra, and go on to define his noir style of comic-book storytelling through series such as Sin City, The Spirit, and Ronin, but he is also the man largely responsible for transforming DC’s Caped Crusader into the stoic, Kevin Conroy-voiced defender that’s become so iconic today.

You see, throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Batman had started to drift away from stark vigilantism into more colourful territory. It wasn’t until 1986 that he finally returned to his darker, more serious roots in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, a four-issue miniseries. Centring on an alternate-universe Batman who is much older and closer to losing his sense of honour and morality, this grim tale proved so successful that one year later, Frank Miller treated readers to another run — one that is now considered a classic.

Batman: Year One is the story that soft-rebooted the world’s greatest detective for a whole new generation of comic book fans. Many were familiar with the events of Crime Alley and Bruce Wayne’s general reasons for donning the cowl, sure — but we were yet to see those early, difficult years of his career as Batman. Miller wanted to take the character in a new, grounded direction. This gritty tone has proven so influential, it continues to inspire the Batman mythos across multiple media today.

The Dark Knight Trilogy – the Gordon/Batman Relationship


You could almost rename Nolan’s first movie ‘Bromance Begins’.

Part of what made Batman: Year One so revolutionary was Frank Miller’s decision to explore Batman’s beginnings in parallel to James Gordon‘s origins. A relocated detective who’s yet to become the police commissioner dedicated to uprooting the city’s deeply ingrained crime epidemic, Jim Gordon’s bond with Wayne develops across a period of 12 months as the duo learns that Gotham needs a special kind of approach if it is to be saved.

This dynamic is central to Christopher Nolan’s entire Dark Knight trilogy, but is perhaps most prevalent in 2005’s Batman Begins. Screenwriter David S. Goyer lifted the story of Bruce Wayne’s long absence from Gotham following his parents’ death directly from Batman: Year One, allowing the film to explore just how corrupt the police force becomes during this time. The eye-to-eye relationship between Gordon and Batman subtly bubbles to the surface as the fearsome twosome begin their crusade against crime. It comes to fruition during the emotional conclusion of The Dark Knight Riseswhere Gordon’s influence on Batman in his pursuit of justice is deliberately and calculatedly reinforced.

Batman: Zero Year – Vigilantism in the Early Years


Scott Snyder’s Zero Year featured a younger Batman that looked and moved differently than ever before.

Scott Snyder’s tenure writing Batman – epically brought to life by Greg Capullo’s illustrative efforts – is full of memorable storylines and deconstructs the character’s history. How do you follow up the game-changing Court of Owls storyline, though? Seemingly, by doing as Frank Miller did, and going back to the time when The Dark Knight was first starting out. Zero Year is a clear nod to Year One’s title and treatment of Batman. This 2013 comic book arc has since replaced Year One as Batman’s in-continuity origin, but respectfully so by flipping specific elements on their heads.

Spread across three specific segments in Secret City, Dark City, and Savage City, Batman: Zero Year follows the Caped Crusader during his time without the cape – where he was more ‘rough and tumble’ in his fight against ground-level criminals like the Red Hood gang and a pre-riddle obsessed Edward Nygma. Contradictory to Miller’s original series, however, is how Gotham itself is depicted. Far from the dank, gothic structures we’re so used to seeing in Batman media, in Zero Year, Capullo envisions it as a bright and vibrant metropolis worth saving.

From here we get to see plenty of quiet, introspective moments in which Bruce is forced — convincingly — to consider the risks in taking up the Batman mantle, as well as come to terms with the trauma of his parents’ death for the first time since his return to Gotham. Zero Year is a smart retelling of the Batman origin story that heightens almost every event that happens thereafter. So much so that certain elements are set to be adapted for the forthcoming fifth season of Gotham.

Batman: Arkham Origins – First Encounters with Notable Villains


Arkham Origins let Batman wreak havoc on enemies who were unaware he existed.

Faced with the tough task of developing a follow-up to Rocksteady’s acclaimed 2011 video game Batman: Arkham City, the new team at WB Games Montreal saw the sense in going back to Batman’s early timeline to progress the series. Set several years prior to the events of the original Batman: Arkham Asylum, the aptly named Arkham Origins was proposed as a “year two” game that would centre on The Dark Knight’s early days, acting almost as a companion piece to Batman: Year One, despite being set in the game-specific Arkham-verse continuity.

Batman: Arkham Origins never directly references Frank Miller’s run, but its presence is most definitely felt; whether it’s in the initial mistrust between Batman and James Gordon, or how it uses the opportunity to depict Batman’s first interactions with some of the most celebrated comic book villains in Bane, Deathstroke, and The Joker. The developers also took the chance to shed light on some of the lesser-known members of the Bat’s rogues’ gallery, those that would never dare get the chance to shine on the big screen — like Firefly, Copperhead, and Black Mask.

While certainly capable of thwarting the eight assassins chasing him down for the bounty placed on his head throughout the game’s main campaign, Arkham Origins’ younger, inexperienced, and slightly more vulnerable Batman can be traced back to Frank Miller’s classic comic book tale.

5 Times Dystopian TV and Film Fiction Became Real-Life Dystopian Fact

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Photo Flashback: Broadway Gypsies Take Center Stage at 2018 Legacy Robe Ceremonies!

The gifts have been opened, the feasts have been eaten and the merriment has been had. As the holiday season comes to a close and we countdown the final days of the year, we’re getting ready to ring in 2019 by looking back. Relive the magic of the Broadway Legacy Robe with photos from the 2018 ceremonies below
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Harry Winston jeweler buys ‘Pink Legacy’ diamond for record $50 million: Christie’s

The “Pink Legacy”, a diamond weighing just under 19 carats, fetched a record 50.375 million Swiss francs ($ 50 million), purchased by U.S.-based luxury jeweler Harry Winston, Christie’s said on Tuesday.


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Your Money, Your Life: Episode 1 – “Achieving Financial Freedom and Leaving A Financial Legacy”

“Your Money, Your Life” is our new money podcast sponsored by Prudential. Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. hosts this special series with a lineup of great guests including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., Founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, President & CEO, Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance.

Episode 1

“Achieving Financial Freedom and Leaving A Financial Legacy”

Learn how gaining freedom from debt and controlling your spending forms the foundation for your financial wellness and wealth-creation potential, with Guest DeForest B. Soaries Jr, Founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement.

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The post Your Money, Your Life: Episode 1 – “Achieving Financial Freedom and Leaving A Financial Legacy” appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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The Business of Entertainment: Reflecting on Janet Jackson’s Almost 30-Year Legacy

The year was 1989. Janet Jackson, the youngest member of the multi-platinum selling, globally known, Jackson tribe, was on her way to attaining the legendary status of her brother, and releasing her now-classic fourth album Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814. It was a year ripe with many other albums that would go on to become classics. Madonna’s Like A Prayer album was burning up the charts alongside the likes of George Michael’s Faith, Bobby Brown’s Don’t Be Cruel, Milli Vanilli’s All or Nothing (pre lip-sync scandal), Soul II Soul’s Keep on Moving, and Prince’s contributions to the soundtrack of Tim Burton’s Batman film, among others. But in August of 1989, a month before Rhythm Nation was released, Janet released the lead single to the album, “Miss You Much.” The track quickly ascended the charts, becoming her second No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and sitting at the throne for four weeks—longer than any other single that year. The song also has the distinction of being the second-biggest selling song of 1989. 

In Brooklyn, during 1989, I was a very precocious boy. Though, still a child at the time, I lived and breathed pop culture in all of it 80’s loveliness. I watched the teenagers in my neighborhood dance in the streets to Janet’s music, doing their best to mimic her precise movements; often falling far short of her grace. Nonetheless, there we were, black and brown boys and girls, men and women, dancing to “Miss Jackson, if ya nasty.” We spent so many days trying to emulate her dance moves, and nearly breaking our teeth in the process. At the end of the “Miss You Much” video, when Janet calls “That’s the end?” followed by a deep and throaty collective, “No!” Janet does a chair routine, leading two other male dancers, with the ease and skills of the pro she is. We were riveted by her every move, in awe that she moved as well as Michael; possessing an energy, conviction, and fluidity that was distinctly her own.

The Background

Janet’s “Miss You Much” video was the first of three songs that made up the Rhythm Nation long-form video. The other two were “The Knowledge” and another of Janet’s classic songs and videos, “Rhythm Nation,” the single. With this album, Janet continued to prove to her naysayers— the critics and some of her jealous and insecure rivals who insisted she was a studio star and didn’t have the talents of her brother— they were wrong and that she was a bona fide star here to stay.

Rhythm Nation proved to be an excellent follow up to her breakthrough album, Control. Control is a black “womanist” manifesto that not only put Janet on the map, but it also gave young black women an assertive voice in music that many of Janet’s peers—Anita Baker, Sade, Whitney Houston, to name a few—weren’t doing at the time. She was a tough-talking, streetwise sistah who wasn’t asking for respect from men, she was demanding it. It was early in her career as a songwriter, but the elements of who Janet was showed through perfectly. 

In Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits (2002), Jimmy Jam explained that the label desperately wanted a Control II. They wanted Janet, Jimmy, and Terry (the creative hive mind) to repeat the same concept a second time while also throwing in some salacious gossip about her family. Jackson vehemently opposed the idea of a direct sequel to Control, stating in a Jet magazine interview in 1989: “That’s what I didn’t want to do. I wanted to do something that I really believed in and that I really felt strong about.” And that’s exactly what she did.

Rhythm Nation took on a slightly different narrative. It was Janet still taking control, but it was her way of also talking about things prevalent at the time like drugs, crime, and violence in the inner city that deeply affected young black and brown youth. However, never once did she forsake her sexuality or the need for a person to have fun. The album cohesively contains it all: The feel-good tracks (“Escapade,” “Alright”), the socio-political songs (“State of the World,” “Living in A World,” “The Knowledge”) and what Janet album would be complete without her sexy songs (“Waiting For Tonight”).

The Stats and Legacy

Rhythm Nation proved to be a global smash, reaching the top five, or top 10 of many worldwide charts. The album reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 in America and stayed there for four weeks. It also reached No. 1 in Australia, the top five in Canada and the UK, and the top 10 in Japan and New Zealand. All seven of the released singles charted in all of the major markets of the world with the massive success in Japan, Australia, and the UK. But it was in America that the singles had their greatest successes. All seven reached the top five of the Billboard charts, with the lowest charting song, “Alright” charting at No. 4. Four of the singles reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts: Miss You Much,” “Escapade,” “Black Cat,” and “Love Will Never Do (Without You).”

The Rhythm Nation tour was a trek for nine months that made stops in North America, Europe, and Asia and is still the highest grossing debut tour of all time. The Telegram and Gazette reported that over 2 million patrons attended the tour with many of the dates becoming instant sell outs. No artist has yet to beat her touring record. It was the only tour from a female artist in 1990 that made the top 10 of Pollstars touring numbers, eclipsing her rival Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour.  When numbers are adjusted for inflation, there is still no debut tour that has toppled Rhythm Nation from this long-standing record

Rhythm Nation stands the test of time. Without Rhythm Nation and what has come forth from it—the songs, videos, choreography, tour—many of today’s artist wouldn’t have anything to inspire them. Watch any music video from male and female artist and you will see how they incorporate moves, rhythms, and even themes into their work that Janet mastered decades before, and in most cases—better. So the next time you want to know why Janet is so lauded, listen to the Rhythm Nation album and find out. Tune into her videos. Watch the precise choreography that she and her dancers expertly execute.

 

 

 

The post The Business of Entertainment: Reflecting on Janet Jackson’s Almost 30-Year Legacy appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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