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Erin Aubry

Shakespeare in his Pocket

Gordon Parks is a photojournalist, art photographer, author, composer and director best known for his groundbreaking films The Learning Tree and the original Shaft. A 30-year retrospective of his photography, “Half Past Autumn: The Art of Gordon Parks,” is currently showing at the California African-American Museum through December 30. On......
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Call of the Wild

What did the L.A. director of The Darker Face of the Earth think when the show, scripted by a former American poet laureate, debuted in Oregon four years ago? Truthfully, not much. “I had heard of Rita Dove, but had never followed her work,” confesses Anthony J. Haney, whose own......

Blue Like Me

The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line. --W.E.B Du Bois, 1903 The overriding experience of the black American has been grief and sorrow and no man can change that fact. His grief has been realistic and appropriate. What people have so earned a period of......

Grand Expectations

Sweetie and I had been dating almost a year when he announced that we were going to make a pilgrimage to the Grand Canyon. He had been there once, on a motorcycle caravan, and described that first view with a solemnity reserved for his guitars. I was thrilled; I’d lived......

Freakshow Bro’s

Photo by D. Stevens Seven years ago, Albert and Allen Hughes’ first film took a savage and unsentimental — and ultimately soulless — look at thug life in L.A. Menace II Society, a piece of irredeemable urban pornography, solidified a new genre of youth flick in which authentic street language......

Bowl Over

The Holiday Bowl, an institution on Crenshaw Boulevard and a unique outpost of cultural exchange for 42 years in metropolitan Los Angeles, has been sold and is closing its doors on Sunday, though a community group is vowing to fight for its preservation. The sprawling bowling alley and coffee shop,......

Damn the Eulogies

With all due respect to abiding faith and greater rewards, it‘s rough being dead. You can’t stick up for yourself. You can‘t raise a protest when those least deserving to have been in your company show up at your memorial service, so eager for their turn at the podium they......
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Turn the Music Up: Richard Fulton, 1944–2000

Photo by Robert Hale In the end, Richard Fulton got back exactly what he put out. As the proprietor of the seminal jazz coffeehouse Fifth Street Dick’s lay dying in a hospice in a nondescript South Bay town, his legions of friends, fans and admirers — many cultivated over the......

Float On

Photo by Anne Fishbein Forest Whitaker is talking heatedly about hip-hop. The actor and director best known for a screen persona that is at once affable and introspective, cerebral and gently solicitous, is sitting in a Beverly Hills hotel suite passionately detailing his idea that hip-hop is the latest manifestation......
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Total World Domination

Photo by Larry Hirshowitz We seem to be in the midst of a global L.A. fashion moment. Designers who once may have mumbled their West Coast address under their breath now declare it with the same insouciance so artfully reflected in their clothes. But not to worry, none of the......
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