Archive | Coronavirus RSS feed for this section

Back to School 2020

6 Sep

Must-See TV: ‘The Sit-In’

24 May

For one week in February 1968, Harry Belafonte hosted “The Tonight Show,” then the highest-rated late night television show. Belafonte’s guests included Robert F. Kenney, Bill Cosby, Lena Horne, Nipsey Russell, Paul Newman, Wilt Chamberlain, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Sidney Poitier and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

A documentary about that magical week of interviews and performances, “The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show,” was scheduled to be screened at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. But along came the coronavirus. Variety reports:

It was 1968, war was raging and racial tensions in America were at a boiling point, dividing the nation. In February, Harry Belafonte stepped in for Johnny Carson to host “The Tonight Show.” It was a monumental moment in which an African American would be the frontman of the most dominant program in late night — and perhaps all of TV — for an entire week. Guests included Lena Horne, Paul Newman, Aretha Franklin, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

The doc was scheduled to screen in April at the Tribeca Film Festival, not far from where “The Tonight Show” was filmed in the ’60s, with an after-film discussion that was to have included Belafonte’s daughter, Gina. “We were so excited,” says Richen. “It’s a New York story, and I’m a New Yorker.”

But as with many eagerly anticipated independent films this year, the movie’s launchpad disappeared when the festival was canceled due to the coronavirus, making it a work about the events of yesterday informing today — trumped by the health crisis of the moment.

Read more

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Virtual Concert

17 May

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is presenting a virtual concert to showcase the Museum’s broad community of artists. Curated by Artistic Directors Jon Batiste and Christian McBride, the concert will feature performances by pianist Batiste, bassist McBride, vocalist Catherine Russell, among other artists.

National Jazz Museum CRIB Collective Virtual Concert

The concert will be held on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 7:00 pm ET on Facebook Live. To reserve a spot, go here.

To support the CRIB Collective Concert Series and other programming at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, text “Jazz” to 41444 or donate here.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia

3 May

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is fiddling with black lives. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that more than 80 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients were black. The New York Times reported:

As Georgia reopens many businesses over objections from President Trump and others, a new study illustrates the high rates of coronavirus infection among black people in the state.

The report, released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that more than four-fifths of hospitalized coronavirus patients in the study were black. They were not more likely than other groups to die from the disease or to require a ventilator. Still, of the 297 patients in the study whose race and ethnicity were known, 83.2 percent were black.

“That is a very high rate of infections,” said Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, a cancer surgeon and the president of Howard University, who was not involved in the C.D.C. report. He said the high percentage of blacks in the study likely reflects the patients’ occupations.

“A lot of it may come from the fact that African-Americans are essential employees in our system,” he said, adding, “Everything from bus drivers to health care workers and cleaning services, they are on the front line, and therefore are far more likely to be exposed.”

Since Kemp made his devilish decision, there have been 4,799 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 263 additional deaths.