Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment and Sony Buy Film Rights to WWI Graphic Novel “The Harlem Hellfighters”
Sony has picked up rights to The Harlem Hellfighters, Max Brooks‘ upcoming graphic novel based on the true story of an African American WWI Army infantry unit. Caleeb Pinkett and James Lassiter will produce for Overbrook Entertainment. Hitting stores on April 1st via Broadway Books, The Harlem Hellfighters is based on the Army’s 369th infantry division, an African-American unit fighting in…
Obit of the Day: The Last Living Female Graduate of Morehouse College
Mary Cecilia Robinson wanted to attend Morehouse College. Located in Atlanta, Georgia with roots dating back to 1867, Morehouse - then and now - was a premiere liberal arts institution for black men in the United States*. But only for men. And yet, for four years, the college allowed women to attend courses through a short-lived extension program.
Ms. Robinson, who later married and became Mary Robinson Spivey, was one of 33 women who matriculated at the college during that time. And even among that small number of women, she stood out. While her female compatriots attended classes in the evening, Mrs. Spivey was the lone female student to have a daytime class schedule.
When asked how her experience was as the only women taking classes on the all-male campus, she replied that they got along fine, “If they had a problem with me, it was probably because I was a good student and made better grades than many of them.”
Mrs. Spivey was also only 15 years old when she began taking courses at Morehouse. Her mother spoke with the college administration and convinced them to allow her teenage daughter attend in the unusual circumstance. Mrs. Spivey graduated in 1933 when she was 19.
Years later, Morehouse College administrators became aware that Mrs. Spivey had had her diploma stolen. In 2011, Mrs. Spivey was invited to attend the commencement ceremonies and was given a new copy of the diploma, 78 years after she received the original.
At the time of her death on February 22, 2014, Mrs. Spivey was the last female graduates of Morehouse College who has accepted no women at its institution since the Class of 1933^.
Mary Robinson Spivey, who spent her career teaching in the Atlanta public schools, died at the age of 99.
Sources: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cascade (GA) Patch, Morehouse.edu, and Wikipedia
(Image of Mary Robinson Spivey receiving her diploma from Morehouse College President, Dr. Robert Michael Franklin. I could not identify the gentleman on the left, so any help would be appreciated. Copyright Morehouse College and courtesy of hbcudigest.com)
* Morehouse has a long list of honored alumni including Martin Luther King, Jr. (1948), Herman Cain (1962), Samuel L. Jackson (1972), and Spike Lee (1979). You can see a fuller list here.
^ Morehouse is located up the road from Spelman College, which is another legendary historically black college and is all-female. The two institutions have had a long-standing academic and business relationship. Interestingly Morehouse’s “sister school” is Bennett College in North Carolina.
HBO is releasing a 'Catch the Throne' mixtape with rap tributes to 'Game of Thrones' | Vulture -
There were the innocuous comments like Does his race really matter?” and “Who cares about his skin color? It’s his character that’s important!” Wonderful sentiments each, but ultimately if benignly ignorant of the social scaffolding that still places non-white characters at a disadvantage in mainstream media, as well as the need for representation among an audience filled with often overlooked people of color.
Worse, however, were the accusatory and the insulting: “You’re just projecting, stop it,” one person said, “Star Wars doesn’t need your PC trash” said others in one fashion or another, and “He doesn’t need to be black…“—as though that were the only alternative to being white—”…to be a baddass, people. Go watch Roots and stop trying to take Star Wars from white people.” was the response of one all too memorable commentator on Facebook which I had the personal displeasure to witness.
So, you see, when fans turn to people like [Lucasfilm VIP Pablo] Hidalgo, many aren’t just hoping for answers, they were hoping for a shield. They wanted to hear that it wasn’t just all in their heads, that they weren’t projecting. They wanted to hear that there was actually someone who represented them in this new series, and that they wouldn’t need to squint and tilt their heads to see themselves in a new Star Wars hero. They wanted to stand up proudly in the fandom and assert their feelings without fearing venom and fire for daring to think that a man of color could lead a Star Wars show. —
Mia Moretti on the new lead characters of color announced for Star Wars: Rebels. “Rebels, Kanan Jarrus, and the race factor” from Eleven-Thirty Eight.com.
"We need protagonists like Sabine. We need a powerful young Asian woman to stand for the oft-neglected Asian women in the vast and diverse Star Wars audience. To light a new fire in the hearts of young Asian children, and little girls of all sorts so that we might share Star Wars with them. We need a character who takes us back to the Mandalorians’ roots as an omni-inclusive culture of soldiers after the singularly white, nordic group The Clone Wars brought to television viewers. And we need a protagonist like Kanan, a strong man of color in whose heroics a wide range of fans can see a reflection of themselves. We need a character that can inspire fresh awe in young boys of color, someone who can show them that they too can be the heroes of a galaxy far, far away.”
Timbaland joins Fox hip-hop drama as songwriter | EW -
If this is anything like when T Bone Burnett did the music for the first season of Nashville, we’re looking at an excellent (and way more diverse) first season of television.