In the new book American Tapestry: The Story of
the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama, Rachel L. Swarns uncovers
the family history of the first African-American first lady of the
US, the first in that role to be the descendant of slaves. At
the same time, she reveals the complexities of Black life in America.
For American Tapestry not only reflects the lives of four generations of
a Black family, it also reflects the cultural and political history of
This year has been an exciting one for Black actors, directors,
producers and playwrights to showcase their talents and broaden their
expertise on The Great White Way. The 2011 – 2012 season was also
especially pleasing for theatergoers, who were offered a range of
narratives in regard to Black life.
Last night, actress and opera singer Audra McDonald took home the Tony
award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Bess in
George Gershwin’s classic Porgy & Bess. The big win marks the fifth
Tony Award for the 41-year old Broadway veteran. She is now tied with
Angela Lansbury and Julie Harris as the third actress in history to hold
five Tony Awards.
The New York Times is reporting that the National Black Theater, a
leading cultural arts center in Harlem, is financially in the clear
after enduring years of turbulent neighborhood and internal disputes
that threatened to shutter its doors.