Posted inMusic

Funk War

Ohio Players, Average White Band New Regal Theater, December 9 When I first heard about New Regal Theater’s “battle of the bands” between the Ohio Players and Average White Band, I chuckled. What battle? It would be more like a slaughter. The Ohio Players were among the founders of funk; what could a bunch of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ethnic City: so this is Kwanzaa

“Kwanzaa does not substitute for Christmas,” says Oba William King. An actor and poet, King has organized the third annual Poetic Kwanzaa Celebration, an evening of poetry, music, and dance. “We’re not looking for replacements. It’s an African American end-of-the-year, harvest celebration gathering family and reflecting on the year’s accomplishments. It doesn’t compete with Hanukkah […]

Posted inMusic

The Hair Connection

ME’SHELL NDEGEOCELLO Park West, September 16 Think about the most commercially successful African American female singers today. Who comes to mind? Janet Jackson? Whitney Houston? Maybe En Vogue? Is it significant that these are also the most thoroughly weaved and wigged sistas you’ve ever seen? (I know Janet is sporting long golden brown braids now, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lecture Notes: exposing the Ethiopian holocaust

There were two holocausts. The one that is acknowledged and commemorated and the one that has long been hidden: the Ethiopian holocaust. “Mussolini attached spraying mechanisms to planes that the pope blessed and sprayed poisonous mustard gas over Ethiopia,” says Imani Nyah, organizer of the Ethiopian Holocaust Remembrance Committee. “This happened three years before the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

African Imports

Clustered together at the corner of State and Oak in a hodgepodge uncharacteristic of the Gold Coast is a corrective-shoe store, a grammar school, and an Italian restaurant. Directly across from the school’s playground stands another Gold Coast oddity: a shop displaying cowrie-shell necklaces, neon-colored embroidered T-shirts, and yellow mudcloth vests and hats. Accented with […]