Shaw ’nuff: … Bernie was the guy my mom figured I should model myself after when I first decided on journalism as a career. I think she’s still a little mad that I didn’t want to be on television. Reese Schonfeld remembers a Bernie story. (via Romenesko)
What was No. 1 the day you were born?: … Go find out. For me here, it was Carole King’s “It’s Too Late.” In the U.K., it was the Middle of the Road’s “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.”
On Thursday, March 1, participating restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds to support the work of San Francisco Women Against Rape, a grassroots, majority women of color rape crisis center committed to anti-oppression as an integral part of our work.
Hey, hey, hey!: … OK, OK, I just had to get it out of my system. *naah, naah, naah, gonna have a good time … *
Comedian Bill Cosby, whose popularity never stretched to the big screen, will resurrect his “Fat Albert” personality for a live-action feature.
The Twentieth Century Fox project will be based on Cosby’s standup comedy monologues about his childhood in Philadelphia. It will blend hip-hop music, humor and topical social and personal issues.
“Bill Cosby and Fat Albert are national treasures, though Bill’s the thinner of the two,” mused Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman Tom Rothman.
Cosby, who co-wrote the script with Charles Kipps, and will executive produce with his wife, Camille Cosby, has been pursued for feature rights for years by a bevy of studios, but only now decided to proceed.
While “Albert” will be a new screen entity, the character has already enjoyed a long run in a TV toon. Show, dubbed “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids” and later “The New Fat Albert Show,” was a CBS Saturday morning staple from 1972-84.
A spot for African-American news and views: … is After 7.
Autonomous Post-Materialist: … thy name is George, or so says the survey.
ABC News rOOlz!: … because my favorite anchorman ever gets his props. (I used to listen to him on the radio and see on TV when I was growing up in D.C. Roll over Peter Jennings, and tell Sam Donaldson the news …
NEW YORK (Variety) – ABC News has named Derek McGinty anchor of its overnight newscast “World News Now.”
McGinty, who will co-anchor with Alison Stewart, replaces Anderson Cooper, who ankled in October to host ABC’s reality series “The Mole.” He will also report for other ABC News programs.
McGinty joins ABC News from WJLA, the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C., where he has been co-host of “Capital Sunday,” a weekly news interview program that he’ll continue to host. He is also a regular substitute anchor on WJLA’s newscast. In addition to his duties for ABC and WJLA, McGinty serves as a correspondent for HBO’s “Real Sports.”
Prior to joining WJLA, McGinty was a correspondent for the CBS newsmagazine “Public Eye With Bryant Gumbel.” He was also the host of “Straight Talk With Derek McGinty” on PBS.
A(ll the) rage in Harlem: … and hell, with Clinton’s luck running the way it is now, he may wind up depressing property values further (irritating already peeved longtime residents).
Harlem is in some ways unique because of its history and symbolic importance in black culture, a fact that seems to heighten the response to change there. But similar changes have been playing out in varying degrees in neighborhoods elsewhere, from Fort Greene in Brooklyn to parts of the South Side of Chicago and sections of Detroit. George Galster, a professor of urban affairs at Wayne State University in Detroit, said that in that city, “You hear black community leaders literally saying the following thing: `Now that we have made the city worth something, they want it back.’ ” During the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, he said, “Blacks saw whites fleeing a sinking ship. But, by golly, it near completely sunk, and in the 1990’s it has actually started to rise in the water. And blacks take pride in that. And now they say, ‘Gee, wouldn’t you know it? Now the rats want back on board the ship.’ ”
Attitudes in Harlem vary from household to household, individual to individual. It is impossible to generalize about the opinions of homeowners and renters, old timers and newcomers, business owners and customers. All that can be said is that views about the implications of Harlem’s revival are widely mixed.
“Some feel if it’s not overwhelming, it is good because it does bring some diversity to the community,” said Lionel McIntyre, director of the Urban Technical Assistance Project, part of the urban planning program at Columbia University. “Some feel that black folks just can’t have anything: ‘Every time you look around, they want it’ � that kind of sentiment. Then there is cautiousness about what is the real intent. Does it stop at reaching a racial mix or go to one group taking over the other?”
Mary Pattillo, an assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and a former Harlem resident, said: “If Harlem becomes integrated, is it still Harlem in the way everybody says Harlem and has a vision of it? My personal opinion is, I would like Harlem to stay a black neighborhood and a strong black cultural space. But my political and policy opinion is that I know that segregation allows neighborhoods to be strangled.”
What is happening in Harlem differs in several ways from integration of the more familiar black-to-white form. For example, when black people moved into white neighborhoods, there were in most cases little income or class differences between the two groups. But when middle- or upper-middle-class people move into lower-income, minority communities, what takes place is as much class � as racial � integration.
Whereas whites may have feared that the arrival of black neighbors would provoke white flight and depress property values, residents of gentrifying neighborhoods fear rising property values will force them out. If they do not believe they are under the risk of actual displacement, they may worry about a loss of political control and the erosion of customs, rituals and institutions � what Monique Taylor calls “a way of living in black communities.”
TV blackout: … Robert F. Moss breaks down America’s must-flee TV.
A RECENT episode of “The P.J.’s,” the foam-animated WB series set in the projects, ended with two boys reflecting on the duplicitous ways of their elders. “Promise me we’ll never grow old,” implores the first. The other replies, “The statistics are in our favor.” This acerbic observation on the mortality rate among ghetto youth might just as well be a projection of the life expectancy of the black sitcom. As television celebrates Black History Month with tributes blaring from every channel, any weekly comedy series devoted to black subject matter seems imperiled by cultural Darwinism. (No black dramatic series has ever succeeded, though Showtime’s “Soul Food,” renewed for a second season, is off to a strong start.) …
You can’t really travel from the Hilton-Jacobs Projects of “The P.J.’s” to the chic, affluent Los Angeles of “Girlfriends” without culture shock. Sometimes dismissed as a black “Sex and the City,” the show has a creative metabolism all its own. The lead character, Joan, is a high-powered lawyer who spends most of her kick-back time with her pals: Maya, her secretary; Toni, a real estate broker; and Lynn, an intellectual who is perpetually adrift. The characters are varied and well defined, the scripts are witty and the stories unapologetically embrace an elite black lifestyle.
“I wanted to show African-American women who are dynamic and multilayered,” said the creator of “Girlfriends,” Mara Brock Akil, “and that women of today want it all.” A second goal is to broach racial subtopics “in a funny way that can also create water cooler discussion or debate.” One episode has Lynn, who is half white, conclude that this mix makes her a “complex woman.” Toni, who normally speaks only the crispest standard English, retorts, “I hate to break it to you, complex woman, but in America, you black.”
I spent my Saturday: … in the company of newfound friends.