Category: Opinion Written by Dr. Jason Johnson
TOP PICK--Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner, the No. 1 overall pick the WNBA draft, speaks during a news conference April 20, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
by Jason Johnson
Last Wednesday during a press conference the #1 Draft pick in the WNBA, Brittney Griner did the unspeakable. She casually, matter of factly and openly came out as gay in her first press conference as a professional basketball player.
Last Updated on Sunday, 21 April 2013 16:45
Category: National Written by Associated Press
HEALING SERVICE--President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attend the "Healing Our City: An Interfaith Service" at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, April 18, dedicated to those who were gravely wounded or killed in Monday’s bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
by Julie Pace
AP White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON (AP) — For President Barack Obama, one of his most wrenching White House weeks saw the fresh specter of terrorism and the first crushing political defeat of his new term, and the more emotional side of a leader often criticized for appearing clinical or detached.
Last Updated on Sunday, 21 April 2013 15:45
THE AVENGERS (Marvel Photo)
by Christian Morrow
Courier Staff Writer
If you were trawling the Twitterverse last week—and you were on your toes-- you may have seen the since deleted tweet Morris Chestnut posted saying “It’s time to get familiar with the Black Panther character.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 17:24
Category: Entertainment Written by Associated Press
STAR POWER--Jennifer Hudson performs at the Grammy's on the Hill Awards at The Hamilton on Wednesday, April 17 in Washington. (Photo by Nick Wass/Invision/AP)
by Brett Zonger
WASHINGTON (AP) — The music industry honored the Library of Congress with a special Grammy Award on Wednesday night for its work over the past decade to preserve historic audio recordings, along with honors for Jennifer Hudson.
The Recording Academy presented its Grammys on the Hill Award to the library at an event in Washington, featuring appearances by producer Clive Davis, singer Yolanda Adams and others. The group honored Hudson with a Recording Artist Coalition Award for her charity work and saluted York Community High School near Chicago for its outstanding music program.
Hudson said being recognized for her charitable work stands apart from all her other awards.
"It makes it the most prestigious award to be acknowledged for trying to make a difference," she told The Associated Press. "It's OK to be a celebrity, but the things that matter are when you can change someone's life or help someone."
Librarian of Congress James Billington said he was delighted that the library's preservation work was being honored — but he never expected to win any kind of Grammy.
"I can't even carry a tune, so the thought that I'm being awarded a Grammy will amaze everyone who moves slightly away from me whenever I start singing," he told The Associated Press.
Billington said preservation of the nation's cultural heritage is one of the most neglected issues.
"We are kind of a throw-away society," he said. "We're tremendous at creating things in this country with our freedoms and our richness and variety of forms of cultural expression, but we seem to think things will last forever."
Songwriter Kara DioGuardi said the library's preservation work is critical.
"These are songs that are going to be played for generations to come," she said.
Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said hundreds of musicians will visit Capitol Hill on Thursday to urge lawmakers to protect copyrights for the creators of music and ensure they get paid for their work in the digital age.
California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House majority whip, joined Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer to show support Wednesday night. The guiding premise for intellectual property protections, Hoyer said, is "thou shalt not steal."
The Grammys on the Hill Awards are meant to connect the music industry with the world of policy and politics in Washington.
Daryl Friedman, the Recording Academy's chief lobbyist in Washington, said the library's National Recording Registry goes beyond its practical purpose of ensuring that recordings are preserved for generations to come.
"It raises the profile of great American recordings from all genres, even spoken word, great speeches, great music," he said.
The Grammy Foundation pushed for legislation in Congress more than 10 years ago to create the preservation program at the library. So far, 375 audio recordings have been preserved through the program for their historic, artistic or cultural significance. This year's inductees include Simon and Garfunkel's album "Sounds of Silence" and Chubby Checker's dance hit "The Twist."
The recordings are housed at the library's Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation built partially in a bunker in Culpeper, Va. The facility houses more than 6 million items, including about 3.5 million sound recordings.
Past honorees have included Garth Brooks, Don Henley, Vice President Joe Biden, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and California Rep. Darrell Issa for supporting music policies.
Friedman said Hudson has stood out for supporting her own charities, as well as the Grammy Foundation and its work.
"She is an outstanding vocalist, of course, an amazing actress, but also really a committed philanthropist," he said. "It's just her generous heart, her spirit and her talent."
After accepting her award, Hudson performed "Hallelujah" and applauded efforts in Washington to keep music education alive in schools. She said that made all the difference for her, long before "American Idol" and her Oscar and Grammy Award.
"I didn't want to go to any class but music, and so because of music, I had perfect attendance every year," she told the crowd.
Producer Clive Davis, who presented the award to Hudson, said he wanted people to know about her heart and her talent. Hudson is still a new artist, and her upcoming third studio album will be special, Davis said.
"I think it's going to break her through worldwide," he said.
Grammy Awards: http://www.grammy.org/
Follow Brett Zongker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat
Last Updated on Friday, 19 April 2013 16:22
Category: People Written by Associated Press
RESTING AT HOME--This image released by ABC shows anchor Robin Roberts during a broadcast of "Good Morning America," Wednesday, Feb. 20,in New York. (AP Photo/ABC, Heidi Gutman)
NEW YORK (AP) — Robin Roberts is resting at home and off "Good Morning America" this week after another hospital stay as part of her recuperation from a rare blood disease.
The ABC News morning show host said she felt ill last week while on vacation and was told to return to New York and go to the hospital to fight off an infection. She's home now, and posted on Facebook on Thursday that she's feeling much better.
Roberts underwent a bone marrow transplant last September to treat MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease. She was off work for five months before returning in February on a part-time basis to the top-rated network morning show.
She said she planned to be back on "Good Morning America" next week.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 11:44
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