Why did images of white, nuclear families dominate television in the 1950s? Why has it taken nearly 70 years for images of a diverse America—featuring people of color, immigrants, women as independent social beings—to appear on prime time television? Challenging the longstanding belief that what appeared on television screens in the 1950s and after resulted from some social consensus, The Broadcast 41 addresses these and other questions by telling two intersecting stories.
Not only were parts of Shirley Graham's opera Tom-Tom performed last month, Boston's Castle of our Skins, producer of concerts and other cultural programming that celebrates Black excellence in classical music, just filled its inaugural Shirley Graham creative-in-residence position, which was awarded to composer and scholar
Shirley Graham's opera Tom-Tom, the first opera written and produced by an African American woman, will be the subject of a Caramoor Summer Music Festival exploration this summer, with a live performance, as well as live-streaming of the event.
Belafonte talks about how difficult it was for politically engaged performers of the era to voice their opinions and beliefs. Despite this, Lena Horne wrote outspoken articles about racism in media for the Harlem newspaper, The People's Voice, like the one below:
The Times Square concert venue The Town Hall has created a prize to honor activism and art that will be named after Broadcast 41 member Lena Horne
Honoring those who "promote awareness and create social change," the Lena Horne Prize for Artists Creating Social Impact will be awarded in February. A $100,000 donation will be given to a charity of the winner's choice.
Next week at SUNY Plattsburgh, a two night event about the brilliant Uta Hagen, titled "The Artistry and Politics of Uta Hagen--A Centennial Celebration of Her Life." You can listen to a piece about the event here.