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IN MEMORIAM: Groundbreaking Actress Diahann Carroll Dies at 84

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Carroll starred as nurse Julia Baker in “Julia,” the hit NBC show that aired from 1968 to 1971. The show represented the first time a Black person – man or woman – was cast as in the title role of a show, portraying a character that wasn’t a maid or other type of domestic worker. “For a hundred years we have been prevented from seeing accurate images of ourselves and we’re all overconcerned and overreacting,” Carroll said in a 1968 interview with TV Guide.

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Carroll starred as nurse Julia Baker in “Julia,” the hit NBC show that aired from 1968 to 1971. The program aired on NBC from 1968 to 1971. (Photo: NBC Television / Wikimedia Commons)

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Diahann Carroll, the trailblazing actress and first Black woman to star in a non-servant role in a television series has died.

She was 84.

Carroll starred as nurse Julia Baker in “Julia,” the hit NBC show that aired from 1968 to 1971.

The show represented the first time a Black person – man or woman – was cast as in the title role of a show, portraying a character that wasn’t a maid or other type of domestic worker.

“For a hundred years we have been prevented from seeing accurate images of ourselves and we’re all overconcerned and overreacting,” Carroll said in a 1968 interview with TV Guide.

“The needs of the White writer go to the superhuman being. At the moment, we are presenting the White Negro. And he has very little Negro-ness,” Carroll stated.

Prior to “Julia,” Carroll starred in the Broadway musical, “No Strings,” for which she earned a Tony Award for best actress in 1962.

In perhaps her most memorable role, Carroll earned an Oscar nomination for best actress in the James Earl Jones-led motion picture, “Claudine.”

She later starred in the hit nighttime soap opera, “Dynasty,” and made recurring appearances on “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “A Different World.”

In 2011, Carroll was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

“The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) salutes the living legacy of Diahann Carroll, may she rest in peace,” said NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

The NNPA is a trade association representing the broad expanse of African American-owned newspapers and media companies that make up the Black Press of America.

“Diahann Carroll was a courageous trailblazer, freedom-fighting sister leader in film, on stage, the TV screen, and in the African American community,” Chavis stated.

“God bless and long live the irrepressible spirit of Diahann Carroll.”

Several prominent celebrities also saluted Carroll on social media.

“Diahann Carroll you taught us so much,” tweeted actress, dancer and director Debbie Allen. “We are stronger, more beautiful and risk takers because of you. We will forever sing your praises and speak your name,” Allen wrote.

Famed film director Ava DuVernay wrote that Carroll “walked this earth for 84 years and broke ground with every footstep.”

DuVernay noted that Carroll was an icon.

“One of the all-time greats. She blazed trails through dense forests and elegantly left diamonds along the path for the rest of us to follow. Extraordinary life. Thank you, Ms. Carroll,” DuVernay wrote.

According to NBC News, Carroll is survived by her daughter, Kay, and grandchildren, August and Sydney.

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Bob Marley, One Love Film: A Cinematic Triumph Transforming Lives and Communities Across Jamaica and Beyond

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The oldest son of the reggae legend provided a thoughtful reflection on the emotional and psychological impact of the threats and challenges his father faced. He highlighted the challenge of balancing honesty and entertainment in depicting the life of a cultural icon, shedding light on the reflective character portrayed in the film.
The post Bob Marley, One Love Film: A Cinematic Triumph Transforming Lives and Communities Across Jamaica and Beyond first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

In an exclusive interview with the Black Press of America’s Let It Be Known morning show, Ziggy Marley, the son of reggae legend Bob Marley, opened up about the profound impact of the hit new movie “Bob Marley, One Love.” Beyond its role as a cinematic journey into the iconic musician’s life, the film has emerged as a catalyst for transformative change, touching the lives of individuals and communities in Jamaica and extending its positive influence beyond geographical boundaries.

The 30-minute discussion delved into the meticulous process of selecting collaborators for the movie, with Ziggy Marley emphasizing the importance of humility and a community-focused approach. The quest for authenticity in portraying Bob Marley’s life meant assembling a team that “respected the culture, ensuring a collective effort devoid of individual egos,” Marley asserted.

The oldest son of the reggae legend provided a thoughtful reflection on the emotional and psychological impact of the threats and challenges his father faced. He highlighted the challenge of balancing honesty and entertainment in depicting the life of a cultural icon, shedding light on the reflective character portrayed in the film.

Marley also discussed the movie’s impact on Jamaica, including its commercial success, job opportunities, and charitable contributions to the communities where it was filmed. He shared insights into the timing and inspiration for the film, underscoring the spiritual lineage of Bob Marley’s music and its relevance in promoting unity and love in today’s world.

Expanding on the positive outcomes of the film, Marley provided detailed accounts of the tangible benefits reaped by local communities. The studio behind the film spearheaded the construction of a new outdoor pavilion at a school aimed at providing a conducive learning environment for children during hot summers, which stood out as a significant accomplishment.

Moreover, the film’s production team played a pivotal role in fostering economic growth, generating employment opportunities, and catalyzing the opening of shops and stores within the community. Ziggy expressed his joy at witnessing the positive transformation, noting that the film brought economic prosperity and a tangible sense of peace to the once tumultuous community.

The timing of the film’s release became a focal point of discussion, with Ziggy highlighting that it wasn’t a premeditated decision but a response to the present moment. Despite difficulties like strikes that caused delays, Ziggy emphasized the family’s trust in the universe’s timing as they explored the idea of making a movie about Bob Marley.

In essence, “Bob Marley, One Love” transcends its cinematic role, becoming a symbol of positive change and community development and a testament to the enduring legacy of Bob Marley, resonating far beyond the realms of the silver screen.

The post Bob Marley, One Love Film: A Cinematic Triumph Transforming Lives and Communities Across Jamaica and Beyond first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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OP-ED: An Agenda for Black America 2024

NNPA NEWSWIRE — An effective strategy to overcome poverty in Black America is to increase homeownership and prevent racial hypersegregation. President Biden has pursued some regulatory actions to address housing discrimination, but improving access to homeownership will require greater efforts to reduce inflation so Black Americans can save and get out from under the burden of high interest rates.
The post OP-ED: An Agenda for Black America 2024 first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By: Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.

President Joe Biden will make his State of the Union address on March 7. As a veteran civil rights leader committed to improving public safety and unlocking economic prosperity in our communities, there are a few policies I hope the president will address.

There also is one I hope he will leave — permanently — on the cutting room floor.

That policy is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed prohibition on the sale of menthol cigarettes. Local law enforcement would oversee executing this ban and because Black Americans who smoke are more likely to choose menthol cigarettes, the Biden administration’s proposed rule will result in more, potentially violent encounters between cops and people of color.

In other words: the FDA’s proposal runs directly counter to President Biden’s attempts to address crime and reform law enforcement practices to better protect Black Americans and other communities of color. Crime is rising especially in many urban centers. The proposed FDA rule change will lead to underground and illicit transactions that will only contribute to more crime and more negative interactions between law enforcement and communities of color.

We cannot leave our communities unprotected. At the same time, I recognize that Black and Brown individuals account for 68.7% of the people in prison and 44% of the people killed by police in the United States. To reduce these numbers, we need to change the culture and premise of policing.

It is estimated that, in several cities, less than 5% of an officer’s time is spent fighting violent crime. Police are still expected to respond to 911 calls, even if these calls have nothing to do with a crime. That requirement is part of the problem. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, people with mental illness are more than 10 times as likely to experience the use of force in interactions with law enforcement than those without mental illnesses. Calling 911 when a person is having a manic episode should not be a matter of life and death, but, too often, it is.

Instead of issuing regulations that will require law enforcement to tackle yet another public health matter, President Biden should make it clear how he intends to help communities take the burden for nonviolent public safety matters off law enforcement’s shoulders. Enhancing funding for substance abuse, mental health, and housing counselors, for example, will keep more people out of jail and prevent police violence.

To further improve outcomes for people of color, President Biden should issue a bold plan to increase Black homeownership. Last year, the National Association of Realtors reported that while 72.7% of white Americans own their own homes, only 44% of Black Americans do. Black homeownership has only increased 0.4% in the past decade.

An effective strategy to overcome poverty in Black America is to increase homeownership and prevent racial hypersegregation. President Biden has pursued some regulatory actions to address housing discrimination, but improving access to homeownership will require greater efforts to reduce inflation so Black Americans can save and get out from under the burden of high interest rates.

Finally, President Biden should continue to request additional federal funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The gap in funding between predominantly white institutions and HBCUs is not the result of smaller endowments. It is the result of systemic underfunding by state lawmakers. According to an Inside Higher Ed report, the country’s historically Black land-grant universities have been underfunded by their states by a total of $13 billion. HBCUs are a springboard toward success. They constitute only 3% of four-year U.S. colleges, but their graduates account for 80% of all Black judges, 50% of Black lawyers, and 50% of Black doctors.

National polls indicate African Americans do not want their votes to be taken for granted in 2024.  President Biden now has a strategic opportunity to engender trust, promote more inclusive public policies, and commit to helping our communities improve the quality of life.

The post OP-ED: An Agenda for Black America 2024 first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Black Owned AND Black Focused

“In the Black Network,” a streaming platform showcasing Black culture, launched by former Fox Soul General Manager James …
The post Black Owned AND Black Focused first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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“In the Black Network,” a streaming platform showcasing Black culture, launched by former Fox Soul General Manager James …

The post Black Owned AND Black Focused first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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