Friday Open Thread | Black Women in Television: Oprah Winfrey

Cannot talk about Black women in television without mentioning Oprah Winfrey. I doubt that when she took the AM Chicago talk show gig that she could have believed that she would become OPRAH WINFREY.

Oprah created an entire new book on what it means to be Black and on television.


Oprah Winfrey-1

Oprah Gail Winfrey (born January 29, 1954) is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist.[1] Winfrey is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011.[5] Dubbed the “Queen of All Media”,[6] she has been ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century,[7] the greatest black philanthropist in American history,[8][9] and is currently (2015) North America’s only black billionaire.[10] Several assessments regard her as the most influential woman in the world.[11][12] In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama[13] and honorary doctorate degrees from Duke and Harvard.[14][15]

Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, saying she was raped at age nine and became pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy.[16] Sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime-talk-show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place,[17] she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated.

Credited with creating a more intimate confessional form of media communication,[18] she is thought to have popularized and revolutionized[18][19] the tabloid talk show genre pioneered by Phil Donahue,[18] which a Yale study says broke 20th-century taboos and allowed LGBT people to enter the mainstream.[20][21] By the mid-1990s she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality. Though criticized for unleashing a confession culture, promoting controversial self-help ideas,[22] and an emotion-centered approach,[23] she is often praised for overcoming adversity to become a benefactor to others.[24] From 2006 to 2008, her support of Barack Obama, by one estimate, delivered over a million votes in the close 2008 Democratic primary race.[25]

Oprah Winfrey-2

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Thursday Open Thread: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

To everyone and their families from all of us at 3CHICS:



Family Eating Thanksgiving Dinner --- Image by © Larry Williams/CORBIS

Family Eating Thanksgiving Dinner — Image by © Larry Williams/CORBIS

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The Laquan McDonald EXECUTION by the Chicago Police Department

laquan mcdonald


I will not put the video in the main post. It will be in the replies.

But, make no mistake, this young man was EXECUTED.

I would like to thank Liza for the hat tip to this story.

My questions are as follows:
1. Where is the original 9-1-1 call about Laquan. In it, it should state WHERE the person is calling from.
2. Linked to #1, does the original 9-1-1 call send the officers to the place where Laquan died,


Like I heard yesterday on WVON, Laquan’s cousin called into the station and stated that the ORIGINAL 9-1-1 call was from somewhere else, and that they picked up Laquan and took him NOT: a) to the police station, or, if they were concerned about some ‘drug incident’, b) to a local hospital…
But, to the location where they told him to get out of the car.

3. WHY would police officers take someone to a different location and tell them to get out of the car?

4. What happened to the footage from the Burger King?
5. Who signed for the footage from the Burger King?
6. Who had physical custody of the footage from the Burger King?
Police have to fill out reports for everything, so you’re telling me that they took custody of evidence and NOBODY had to fill out a report for it?
7. WHY did it take this long for charges to be brought up on the officer?
8. Does anyone remotely believe that charges would have been brought if not for the release of the video?


The article in question:

How Chicago tried to cover up a police execution
By Curtis Black | 20 hours ago

It was just about a year ago that a city whistleblower came to journalist Jamie Kalven and attorney Craig Futterman out of concern that Laquan McDonald’s shooting a few weeks earlier “wasn’t being vigorously investigated,” as Kalven recalls. The source told them “that there was a video and that it was horrific,” he said.

Without that whistleblower—and without that video—it’s highly unlikely that Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke would be facing first-degree murder charges today.

“When it was first reported it was a typical police shooting story,” Kalven said, where police claim self-defense and announce an investigation, and “at that point the story disappears.” And, typically, a year or 18 months later, the Independent Police Review Authority confirms the self-defense claim, and “by then no one remembers the initial incident.”

“There are an average of 50 police shootings of civilians every year in Chicago, and no one is ever charged,” said Futterman. “Without the video, this would have been just one more of 50 such incidents, where the police blotter defines the narrative and nothing changes.”

Last December, Kalven and Futterman issued a statement revealing the existence of a dash-cam video and calling for its release. Kalven tracked down a witness to the shooting, who said he and other witnesses had been “shooed away” from the scene with no statements or contact information taken.

In February, Kalven obtained a copy of McDonald’s autopsy, which contradicted the official story that McDonald had died of a single gunshot to the chest. In fact, he’d been shot 16 times—as Van Dyke unloaded his service revolver, execution style—while McDonald lay on the ground.

The next month, the City Council approved a $5 million settlement with McDonald’s family, whose attorneys had obtained the video. They said it showed McDonald walking away from police at the time of the shooting, contradicting the police story that he was threatening or had “lunged at” cops. The settlement included a provision keeping the video confidential.

The Rest of the story is at the link.

Posted in Criminal Justice, Institutional Racism, Justice, Open Thread, Police bruality, Police violence, Racial Profiling | Tagged , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Wednesday Open Thread | Black Women in Television: Isabel Sanford & Esther Rolle

You can’t talk about Black women in television in the 1970’s without talking about Weezie Jefferson and Florida Evans.
Weezie Jefferson was the first time I saw a Black woman on television that a) didn’t have to work and b) had her own maid. Florida Evans was the Black mother in the Projects, but she had a husband, and was a loving and devoted mother/wife.


Subjects: Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, Mike Evans (Top) Program: "The Jeffersons" Premiering: Saturday, Jan. 18, 8:30-9:00 PM, EST

Subjects: Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, Mike Evans (Top)
Program: “The Jeffersons”
Premiering: Saturday, Jan. 18, 8:30-9:00 PM, EST

The Jeffersons is an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from January 18, 1975, through July 2, 1985, lasting 11 seasons and a total of 253 episodes. The show was produced by the T.A.T. Communications Company from 1975 to 1982 and by Embassy Television from 1982 to 1985. The Jeffersons is one of the longest-running sitcoms in the history of American television.[1][2]

The show focuses on George and Louise Jefferson, an affluent African-American couple living in New York City. The show was launched as the second spin-off of All in the Family, on which the Jeffersons had been the neighbors of Archie and Edith Bunker.

the jeffersons-2

The show was the creation of prolific television producer Norman Lear. However, it was less sharply political in tone than some of his other shows. The Jeffersons eventually evolved into more of a traditional sitcom, relying more on the characters’ interactions with one another than on explicitly political dialogue or storylines. It did, however, tackle a few controversial topics, including racism, suicide, gun control and adult illiteracy. Also, the words “nigger” and “honky” were used occasionally, especially during the earlier seasons.

The Jeffersons had one spin-off, titled Checking In. The short-lived series was centered on the Jeffersons’ housekeeper, Florence. Checking In only lasted four episodes, after which Florence returned to The Jeffersons. The Jeffersons also shared continuity with the show E/R, which featured Lynne Moody, who made a guest appearance in one episode of The Jeffersons as George’s niece. Sherman Hemsley guest-starred as George in two episodes of the series, which lasted for one season.

the jeffersons-1

The show ended in controversy after CBS abruptly canceled the series without allowing for a proper series finale. The cast was not informed until after the July 2, 1985, episode “Red Robins”, and actor Sherman Hemsley said he found out that the show was canceled by reading it in the newspaper.[3] Sanford, who heard about the cancellation through her cousin who read about it in the tabloids, has publicly stated that she found the cancellation with no proper finale to be disrespectful on the network’s part.[4] The cast reunited in a stage play based on the sitcom. In the 1996 series finale of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the Jeffersons made a guest appearance and bought the house from the Banks family. In an episode of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne in 2011, Sherman Hemsley and Marla Gibbs reprised their roles of George Jefferson and Florence Johnston.

the jeffersons-5

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Tuesday Open Thread | Black Women on Television: Diahann Carroll as Julia & Dominique Deveraux

Diahann Carroll has blessed us twice with memorable roles for Black women on television.

In 1968, with Julia.
And, then again, in 1984 with Dominique Deveraux on Dynasty.
I wasn’t born when Julia came on, but I remember Dominique. I LOVED Dynasty. Loved it. And, to see this beautiful, elegant, dressed from head to toe, and going mano-a-mano with Alexis Carrington et al? Loved it.


<a href=" is an American sitcom notable for being one of the first weekly series to depict an African American woman in a non-stereotypical role. Previous television series featured African American lead characters, but the characters were usually servants. The show stars actress and singer Diahann Carroll, and ran for 86 episodes on NBC from September 17, 1968 to March 23, 1971. The series was produced by Savannah Productions, Inc., Hanncarr Productions, Inc., and 20th Century-Fox Television.

During pre-production, the proposed series title was Mama’s Man.[1] The series was also unique in that it was among the few situation comedies in the late 1960s that did not use a laugh track; however, 20th Century-Fox Television added them when the series was reissued for syndication and cable rebroadcasts in the late 1980s.


In Julia, Carroll played widowed single mother Julia Baker (her husband, Army Capt. Baker, an O-1 Bird Dog artillery spotter pilot had been shot down in Vietnam) who was a nurse in a doctor’s office at a large aerospace company. The doctor, Morton Chegley, was played by Lloyd Nolan, and Julia’s romantic interests by Paul Winfield and Fred Williamson. Julia’s son, Corey (Marc Copage) was approximately six to nine years old during the series run. He had barely known his father before he died. Corey’s best friend is Earl J. Waggedorn (called by that precise full name each and every time). The Waggedorns lived downstairs in the same apartment building, with Len (Hank Brandt), Marie (Betty Beaird), son Earl J. Waggedorn (Michael Link) and infant son.

The first two seasons included Nurse Hannah Yarby (Lurene Tuttle), who left to be married at the beginning of the third season, just as the clinic’s manager, Brockmeyer, ordered downsizing — and removal of minorities from employment. (Chegley let Yarby go but kept Julia in defiance of the manager’s edict.) The second and third season included Richard (Richard Steele) as a character some one or two years older than Corey. Chegley’s father, Dr. Norton Chegley (also played by Lloyd Nolan) made two appearances.



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Monday Open Thread | Black Women on Television: Ethel Waters & Louise Beavers as Beulah

We just had winter finales of some shows, and I was thinking about the evolution of Black women on television.


the beaulah show

The Beulah Show is an American situation-comedy series that ran on CBS Radio from 1945 to 1954, and on ABC Television from 1950 to 1952. The show is notable for being the first sitcom to star an African American actress. The show was controversial for its caricatures of African Americans.[1]

hattie as beulah


Originally portrayed by white actor Marlin Hurt, Beulah Brown first appeared in 1939 when Hurt introduced and played the character on the Hometown Incorporated radio series and in 1940 on NBC radio’s Show Boat series. In 1943, Beulah moved over to That’s Life and then became a supporting character on the popular Fibber McGee and Molly radio series in late 1944. In 1945, Beulah was spun off into her own radio show, The Marlin Hurt and Beulah Show, with Hurt still in the role. Beulah was employed as a housekeeper and cook for the Henderson family: father Harry, mother Alice and son Donnie. After Hurt died of a heart attack in 1946, he was replaced by another white actor, Bob Corley, and the series was retitled The Beulah Show.

When black actress Hattie McDaniel took over the role on November 24, 1947, she earned $1000 a week for the first season, doubled the ratings of the original series and pleased the NAACP which was elated to see a historic first: a black woman as the star of a network radio program.

McDaniel continued in the role until she became ill in 1952 and was replaced by Lillian Randolph, who was in turn replaced for the 1953-54 radio season by her sister, Amanda Randolph.

For most of the radio show’s run, the series ran as a 15-minute daily sitcom, a format popular among daytime serials.


In 1950, Roland Reed Productions adapted the property into a TV situation comedy for ABC, and the Beulah TV show ran for three seasons, Tuesday nights at 7:30 ET from October 3, 1950 to December 23, 1952.

Most of the comedy in the series derived from the fact that Beulah, referred to as “the queen of the kitchen”, has the ability to solve the problems that her employers cannot figure out. Other characters included Beulah’s boyfriend Bill Jackson, a handyman who is constantly proposing marriage, and Oriole, a befuddled maid for the family next door.

For at least the first season, the Beulah was filmed at a studio in the Bronx while Ethel Waters was simultaneously appearing on Broadway in The Member of the Wedding.[2]

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Donald Trump LIED about thousands cheering in New Jersey after 9/11

Posted in Current Events, Institutional Racism, Muslims, News, Open Thread, Politics, Racism, White Supremacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments