Reginald Hudlin – Filmmaker to Broadcasting Executive

Reginald Hudlin

In 1983, Reginald Hudlin received his B.A. degree from Harvard University where his senior thesis project was the first version of the film, House Party. Hudlin was supported as an artist-in-residence by the Illinois Arts Council from 1984 to 1985.

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Earl Graves, Sr. – Extraordinary Entrepreneur

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After receiving a B.A. in economics from Morgan State University Earl Graves, Sr. served two years in the Army, followed by a three year stint as Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s administrative assistant. After Kennedy’s assassination Graves entered the business arena, where he was to realize unprecedented success.

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Cathy Hughes – A Rags to Riches Story

Founder of Radio One, TV One, and Interactive One

Cathy Hughes – Founder of Radio One, TV One, and Interactive One

Beginning her career in radio in 1969, Cathy Hughes’ first position was with KOWH, a black radio station in Omaha. Her successes there prompted the Howard University School of Communications to offer her a position as a lecturer and as Assistant to the Dean of Communications.

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Susan Taylor – From Cosmetics to Publishing

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In her early twenties, young entrepreneur Susan Taylor started Nequai Cosmetics, one of the first companies to create beauty products for African American women. Although her product line was well received in African American communities and in the Caribbean, Taylor was interested in expanding her career. She heard that Essence Magazine, a fledgling publication catering to African American women, was looking for a beauty editor.

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Jim Tilman – Aviation and Journalism Trailblazer

ImageJim Tilmon served in the United States Army Corps of Engineers for eight years, earning the rank of captain. His interest in flying carried him from the U.S. Army to American Airlines in 1965, where he became the airline’s third African American commercial pilot and the country’s fifth. Tilmon spent twenty-nine years with American Airlines before retiring; his talent earned him the Captain’s Chair Award from American Airlines; inspired United Airlines to grant him the title of honorary captain; and compelled the FAA to name an aviator’s navigation point after him.

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Johnathan Rodgers – Sports Journalist Turned Chief Executive

Johnathan Rodgers

Johnathan Rodgers

In 1967, Johnathan Rodgers received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalistic Studies from the University of California – Berkeley. While studying at Berkeley, he was sports editor of the campus newspaper, a member of the football team and pledged to the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

From 1967 until 1968, Rodgers worked at Sports Illustrated Magazine. He was the first African American journalist hired by the publication. His beat included track and field and college basketball. His article, “The Plight of the Black Athlete,” highlighted the struggles African American athletes encountered in both the college and professional arenas. From 1968 until 1969, Rodgers served as the editor of urban affairs for Newsweek Magazine.

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I tweeted through the Oscars last night and enjoyed hilarious and entertaining dialogue with my Twitter friends for about three hours. Then this popped up in my timeline and the laughs and entertainment went out the window. As a (former) avid Onion follower I was repulsed that they would use such vocabulary in the first place and in reference to a young African American female. I was already upset by the AP reporter’s apparent laziness and disregard for her name by telling the 9-year old actress she was “just going to call her Annie” because she couldn’t pronounce Quvenzhane (kwa-VENG-ah-nay). Then there was Kelly Osbourne on the E! Red Carpet calling her “Lil Q.” Oh yes, and Seth MacFarlane made some off-color jokes about her as well. But The Onion put the icing and dynamite candles on the cake, struck the match and let it rip! So many Tweeters from celebrities, bloggers and the average joe expressed their outrage. Yet it took The Onion until about 11:00 AM (CST) the following day to even address it or issue an apology. Many were defending the news satire publication by saying people didn’t get that it was satirical and shouldn’t be taken seriously. Others said it had nothing to do with race. But when you put all of these elements together leading up to the deplorable comment, you have to examine deeper and question whether or not there was some hint of racism, sexism and age discrimination all wrapped up in one big ball of mess. What do you think? Was Quvenzhane Wallis targeted because of her age, color or gender? How did you feel when you learned of this incident?

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85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals C

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