‘This Is America' Seals Glover's Rep as Protest Artist
5/16/2018 12:12:28 PM

By Jesse J. Holland   WASHINGTON—It's been called a moving testament to modern times and an unflinching exploration of the wretched past experienced by African-Americans. Donald Glover's “This Is America,” a music video that depicts gun violence amid a mélange of racism, Negro minstrel shows, police brutality and mass killing, not only touched off a national debate, it affirmed Glover's place in the pantheon of artists who reveal uncomfortable truths about race through their work. “The themes ain't new but this brings it...

Soul and R&B Legend Wonder: Kanye Slavery Comments ‘Foolishness'
5/16/2018 11:31:14 AM

WEST HOLLYWOOD—Stevie Wonder has called out Kanye West for saying slavery is a choice, calling the idea “foolishness” and likening it to Holocaust denial. Wonder brought up West without prompting during an interview Thursday after a show at a West Hollywood club. “There's been a lot of talk about what was said by Kanye,” Wonder said. “I want people to understand that the truth is the truth and a lie is a lie. “We all know that slavery was not a choice,” he went on. “So I just think that people need to understand that if...

Ryan Coogler Reflects on Tsunami That Is 'Black Panther'
5/16/2018 11:30:24 AM

By Jake Coyle   CANNES, France—At the Cannes Film Festival last week, filmmaker Ryan Coogler reflected on the historic sensation of “Black Panther” and the changes he hopes it might effect on the movie business. Noting that Hollywood theories can't be challenged “if you don't have anything that disproves it,” Coogler said in a conversation on stage that he hopes “Black Panther” is the groundbreaking force many say it is, disproving the old myths that Black films “don't travel overseas.”  “I...

Protesters: Black People Should Hold R. Kelly Accountable
5/16/2018 11:09:06 AM

By Tom Foreman Jr.   GREENSBORO, N.C.—A defiant R. Kelly took the stage last Friday night in North Carolina, in spite of efforts to silence him over his treatment of women, and had barely begun performing when the bone-rattling background beat stopped playing. “I've been through a lot of (expletive)” this week, he said. He thanked his fans, “for y'all to fight for me all these years.” He said someone had asked him to tone down his act. And then he launched into his sexually suggestive repertoire. At one point, he rubbed a fan's...

Aerosmith Packs 'em in at New Orleans Jazz Fest
5/8/2018 10:54:18 PM

NEW ORLEANS—Aerosmith drew a huge crowd and smaller but still packed crowds boogied to Cage the Elephant, Delbert McClinton and Anita Baker and a rousing mix of other musical acts as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival wound up its next-to-last day. Once a relatively small affair, the festival now in its 49th year draws hundreds of thousands of people to a 7-day celebration of all things music, reflecting the rich diversity of a river city now celebrating its tri-centennial. There was jazz, of course, but also Cajun, zydeco, roots rock, African rhythms, Latin groups and...

Elderly Woman Settles Pageant Fall Lawsuit
5/8/2018 10:51:18 PM

LOS ANGELES—A woman in her late 70s has reached a settlement of her lawsuit in which she alleged negligence by the producer of the Miss Latina Cosmopolitan pageant caused the injuries she suffered after tripping and falling to the stage floor while competing in a competition for seniors in 2016. Attorney Luan Phan filed court papers on April 12 in Los Angeles Superior Court stating that plaintiff Ana Maria Gomez's lawsuit was resolved. No terms were divulged. Gomez filed the personal injury suit in November 2016. She named as defendants pageant producer Luis Valdivia and...

Wife: Cosby Convicted by 'Mob Justice, not Real Justice'
5/8/2018 10:48:03 PM

By Michael R. Sisak   PHILADELPHIA—Bill Cosby's wife called last week for a criminal investigation into the suburban Philadelphia prosecutor behind his sexual assault conviction, saying the case that could put the 80-year-old comedian in prison for the rest of his life was “mob justice, not real justice” and a “tragedy.” Camille Cosby made her first comments on the verdict in a three-page statement sent to the media through a family spokesman, as institutions from Hollywood to Madison Avenue continued to wipe away the remnants of his...

Man in Black’s Boyhood Home Makes National Historic Register
5/8/2018 10:47:00 PM

DYESS, Ark.—The Man in Black's boyhood home has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program announced Friday that the home in Dyess where country music icon Johnny Cash lived from age 3 through high school has been added to the register. Dyess is a small Arkansas town close to the Tennessee border. The five-room farmhouse was built in 1934 as part of the Dyess Resettlement Colony by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the house is owned by Arkansas State...

Welcome to the Partisan Fury, Michelle Wolf
5/3/2018 11:46:53 AM

By David Bauder   NEW YORK—White House Correspondents Association roaster Michelle Wolf joins a club with likes of Kathy Griffin, Khizr Khan, Stormy Daniels and David Hogg—little-known or unknown figures who suddenly became surrogates for the hyper-partisan rhetorical warfare of the Trump era. President Trump tweeted his disgust at Wolf's weekend routine on Monday, she was a hot topic on “The View” and the subject of a long and loud CNN exchange between Chris Cuomo and a conservative official. Journalists wondered if the annual WHCA dinner...

Time's Up Takes Aim at R. Kelly Over Sex Misconduct Claims
5/3/2018 11:45:58 AM

By Nekesa Mumbi Moody   NEW YORK—The Time's Up campaign is taking aim at R. Kelly over allegations he has sexually abused women. The organization devoted to helping women in the aftermath of sexual abuse issued a statement Monday urging further investigation into Kelly's behavior, which has come under closer scrutiny over the last year as women have come forward to accuse him of everything from sexual coercion to physical abuse. Kelly has denied such charges. “We demand appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly's...