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Artist Profiles

Artist Profiles - Vocalist Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson was born February 20, 1937. She is a singer with more than 70 albums, and three Grammy Awards. She has been labeled a singer of blues, jazz, cabaret and pop; a "consummate actress"; and "the complete entertainer." The title she prefers, however, is song stylist. From the age of 15 until she graduated from West High School, at age 17 she was unsure of her future as an entertainer. She went on to spend time at Ohio's Central State College. (now Central State University)

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The U.K.'s jazz scene is flourishing these days thanks, in part, to the young artists pumping it with new life. We Out Here, the latest compilation project from DJ and producer Gilles Peterson's indie label Brownswood Recordings, is a fitting proclamation of ownership from the contemporaries who are adding color to the landscape.

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At the National Portrait Gallery in Washington today, the subjects of two new paintings helped with their unveiling.

Medical ethicist and journalist Harriet Washington details the abusive medical practices to which African-Americans have been subjected.

Washington begins her shocking history in the colonial period, when owners would hire out or sell slaves to physicians for use as guinea pigs in medical experiments. Into the 19th century, black cadavers were routinely exploited for profit by whites who shipped them to medical schools for dissection and to museums and traveling shows for casual public display.

William Caesar Warfield was a noted African-American bass-baritone concert artist who had an extensive career that included major roles in two Hollywood films as well as stints on stage and on television. Probably no one ever performed “Ol’ Man River” from Jerome Kern’s Show Boat more times than Warfield, who performed it in several languages.

Brand new portraits of former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama — wearing matching calm, strong expressions — were revealed on Monday at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Kehinde Wiley painted Barack Obama sitting in a chair, elbows in his knees, leaning forward with an intense expression. The background, typical of a Wiley painting, is a riotous pattern of intense green foliage.

"Pretty sharp," Obama said with a grin.

In 1938, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster — two Jewish kids from Cleveland who were reading the alarming news coming out of Europe — created precisely the hero necessary to put things right: an impossibly strong and nigh-invulnerable paragon of virtue and butt-kicking they called Superman. He could have ended Hitler's advance with a snap of his fingers — and he definitely would have, if only he weren't a creature of pure fantasy.

She says she was born doing it. He says a schoolboy crush got him interested. Years later, their mutual love for their shared art form has brought them critical acclaim, awards, magazine covers — and each other.

Recently, an online survey asked me to name African women scientists I admired. I found myself struggling — even though I'm a Kenyan entomologist, researching sustainable ways to feed our expanding population amid a changing climate. I thought to myself, why are there so few of us?

I was wrong: We are not few at all. Twitter proved it.

The website Levers in Heels, which features African women in STEM, in January called on the internet to tweet the names of African women scientists. People shared hundreds.

Black History Month is a time when a lot of people remember firsts, such as Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice. Now, the film awards season has given us two new names to join those ranks.

Mudbound director Dee Rees is the first black woman nominated for an Oscar in Best Adapted Screenplay. Singer and actor Mary J. Blige is the first anyone — ever — to be nominated for both an acting performance and an original song in the same film.

Black Panther's Mythical Home May Not Be So Mythical After All

Feb 10, 2018

Editor's Note: This story was originally published in May 2016 and has been updated.

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Dr. John ‘Turk’ Logan hosts "Déjà vu," a new three-hour long program with a mixture of Urban/Jazz music.

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