Farewell, my brother. Like Ali in that iconic clip, you appeared on our horizon first as a distant glimmer of hope, gradually growing into the star you became and deserved to be. A good omen. And a harbinger of good things to come.
This film is a beautiful legacy. It sheds light on a very gifted man who, like many creative people, was raised under difficult circumstances in an underserved area of Pittsburgh. All of his plays were "doors" into the black experience, and from many eras of the American story.
Last week Woody Allen finally "broke his silence" regarding his casting of or, lack of African-Americans. Why the world felt it necessary to hold the director of "Scoop" and "Cassandra's Dream" accountable for the lack of African-Americans in cinema is a little beyond me.
There was something happening out there -- mostly in New York, I gathered, as a little black girl growing up on Chicago's South Side in the 50s. I didn't understand it, but I could see and feel it, whenever I saw Ruby Dee on TV or the big screen.
When Othello was first performed by William Shakespeare's theatre group the King's Men, at London's Whitehall Palace on November 1, 1604, the role of the Moor was played by white actor Richard Burbage in blackface make-up.
I try hard in my daily life not to engage in uncomfortable situations regarding race. But it is impossible for me to ignore the statistics regarding the number of people of color honored in the history of the Emmys.