Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: Black Lives Matter Movement

Curtains Up! How Broadway Is Coming Back From Its Longest Shutdown.

Curtains Up! How Broadway Is Coming Back From Its Longest Shutdown.

LifeStyle
A Positive Test Before Opening NightIt was a half-hour before curtain on the night of Sept. 2, and the company of “Waitress,” led by Sara Bareilles, had gathered onstage at the Ethel Barrymore Theater for one of those kooky theater rituals — an opening night ceremony at which the chorus member with the most Broadway credits runs three circular laps in a quilted robe, inviting other actors to touch it before visiting each dressing room to bestow a blessing.The “Waitress” legacy robe ceremony was even odder than usual. The robe recipient, Anastacia McCleskey, was not present: she had tested positive for the coronavirus, though vaccinated, and was isolating at home.What to do? Theater artists are nothing if not resourceful, so another cast member placed a FaceTime call to McCleskey, and then,...
Adam Pendleton Is Rethinking the Museum

Adam Pendleton Is Rethinking the Museum

LifeStyle
The Marron Atrium of the Museum of Modern Art is a big, awkward space, a hollow that rises from the second to the sixth floor. Since opening amid MoMA’s 2004 expansion, it has hosted many projects — but few as complex as “Who Is Queen?” by Adam Pendleton, which arrives on Sept. 18.Over several months, the artist has built three black scaffold structures 60 feet high, off the walls, like an endoskeleton. Each forms a layered, irregular grid, with internal ladders and landings. The ensemble fires off references — De Stijl, Le Corbusier’s Unités d’Habitation, Manhattan tenements. But the use of lumber — two-by-fours and so on — evokes humble home-building, and the overlaps where planks are bolted together generate a kind of shimmer and rhythm.Pendleton, 37, is best known as a painter of abstr...
Facebook Apologizes After A.I. Puts ‘Primates’ Label on Video of Black Men

Facebook Apologizes After A.I. Puts ‘Primates’ Label on Video of Black Men

Technology
Facebook users who recently watched a video from a British tabloid featuring Black men saw an automated prompt from the social network that asked if they would like to “keep seeing videos about Primates,” causing the company to investigate and disable the artificial intelligence-powered feature that pushed the message.On Friday, Facebook apologized for what it called “an unacceptable error” and said it was looking into the recommendation feature to “prevent this from happening again.”The video, dated June 27, 2020, was by The Daily Mail and featured clips of Black men in altercations with white civilians and police officers. It had no connection to monkeys or primates.Darci Groves, a former content design manager at Facebook, said a friend had recently sent her a screenshot of the prompt. ...
Broadway Power Brokers Pledge Diversity Changes as Theaters Reopen

Broadway Power Brokers Pledge Diversity Changes as Theaters Reopen

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“This is a movement that is going to make change, and we’re happy to be part of it,” said Robert E. Wankel, chairman and chief executive of the Shubert Organization.The document’s signatories are committing to changes that would affect many aspects of the theater business, from casting to hair care. But Broadway is a highly unionized work force, and the only labor unions that signed the agreement are those representing actors, stage managers, makeup artists and hairstylists.That leaves some conspicuous gaps — there is pervasive concern about low levels of diversity among Broadway stagehands, musicians and design teams, for example — and the leadership of Black Theater United said that although the group has endorsements from individuals working in those areas, it will continue to work to w...
The Liberty’s Role in Making W.N.B.A. Players ‘Top Dogs’ of Activism

The Liberty’s Role in Making W.N.B.A. Players ‘Top Dogs’ of Activism

Sports
“He’s a year older than me, he’s 6’8,” strong — he could be seen as a threat,” Stokes said. “They asked, ‘Will you be OK with that?’ That just kind of hit home. He’s goofy, funny, just wants to joke and have fun, but in the eyes of someone else he could be really intimidating just because of his physical appearance and that’s something scary to think about.”Allen was raised in Melbourne, Australia, and an injury during her rookie season limited her time in the United States to about one month. The 2016 season was her second year in the league, and she mostly listened as Cash and other veterans like Tanisha Wright led locker room discussions about race in America.Later in July 2016, during a team meeting in Washington, Allen finally spoke up, which she now somewhat regrets.The Liberty were ...
Movie Museum Rethinks Exhibitions in Response to a Changing World

Movie Museum Rethinks Exhibitions in Response to a Changing World

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LOS ANGELES — How do you make a museum about an industry even as that industry is changing? How do you represent a history when that history is full of omissions?This is the challenge facing the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which has been in the works since 2012 and — after several delays, the most recent of which was caused by the pandemic — is finally scheduled to open on the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard in September.While the 300,000-square-foot, $482 million museum, designed by Renzo Piano, has been under construction, the movie business has been going through a process of deconstruction, brought about by seismic social movements like #OscarsSoWhite, #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. Recognition of the obstacles faced by female directors, Asian American actors and...
The Human Toll of Bearing Witness

The Human Toll of Bearing Witness

Technology
This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it weekdays.Bystander smartphone videos, like the one that Darnella Frazier took a year ago of the murder of George Floyd, have provided powerful documentation of acts of racism or police brutality. Phones and social media have also empowered people to tell their own stories and helped bring more attention to the mistreatment of Black Americans.But Allissa V. Richardson, a professor of journalism and communication at the University of Southern California, says that it’s enough already.Videos like the ones of the deaths of Floyd and Eric Garner in 2014 are important legal and historical records, Dr. Richardson said, but those videos can repeatedly re-expose crime victims, their family members and witnesses to th...
It’s My Job to Watch. With George Floyd’s Death, I Had to Look Away.

It’s My Job to Watch. With George Floyd’s Death, I Had to Look Away.

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I’ve never watched the video of George Floyd’s murder. My decision wasn’t premeditated or preordained, but rather an improvised refusal. I did not want to be another spectator of that oldest of American rituals: the killing of a Black person in public.My resistance was not heroic; I’ve just learned not to trust what I see. My doubt started 30 years ago when I, like much of the country, saw another recording, this time a videotape in which four white officers of the Los Angeles Police Department mercilessly beat Rodney King on the side of a San Fernando Valley street. During my senior year of high school, my mainly white classmates and I argued about the case. I believed the grainy black and white footage, shot on a home video camera by George Holliday, a 31-year-old white plumber, to be in...
Black Pound Day Aims to Support U.K. Black-Owned Businesses

Black Pound Day Aims to Support U.K. Black-Owned Businesses

Business
LONDON — For Aimée Felone, whose children’s bookstore in London stocks tales with ethnically diverse characters, the Black Lives Matter protests last summer were, in a word, overwhelming.“We had attention like we’ve never had before,” Ms. Felone said. People across the country clamored for books about antiracism and sought out Black-owned businesses like her store, Round Table Books, as a way to help reverse years of economic racial inequality. In early June, the store’s sales went through the roof.But pandemic restrictions had shuttered the store’s warehouse. After two weeks, the four-person team was struggling to fulfill online orders. A publishing company affiliated with the bookstore, which Ms. Felone also co-founded, sold out of every book it had published. New customers grew impatien...
Oscars 2021 Recap: The Best and Worst Moments

Oscars 2021 Recap: The Best and Worst Moments

LifeStyle
The 93rd Academy Awards were already shaping up to be unusual — delayed because of the pandemic and featuring movies that, for the most part, bypassed theaters for streaming. Then the producers, including Steven Soderbergh and Stacey Sher, were asked to shake up the show. That they did, setting it at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and upending the order of awards so that best picture was announced earlier than usual and best actor was the last to be revealed. While “Nomadland” won best picture as pundits predicted, hopes were high for a sweep by actors of color, only to be dashed late in the evening.All told, it was one of the odder Oscar nights in memory. Here are the highs and lows as we saw them.Most Cinematic EntranceThe opening set expectations high: The camera followed the fir...