Saturday Open Thread | Black Dancers Week : Misty Copeland

We cannot end Black Dancers Week without Misty Copeland – the first Black Lead Female Dancer of the American Ballet Theater.

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Misty Copeland Is Promoted to Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theater
JUNE 30, 2015

Misty Copeland was fast becoming the most famous ballerina in the United States — making the cover of Time magazine, being profiled by “60 Minutes,” growing into a social media sensation and dancing ballet’s biggest roles on some of its grandest stages. But another role eluded her: She was still not a principal dancer.

Until Tuesday, when Ms. Copeland became the first African-American woman to be named a principal in the 75-year history of American Ballet Theater.

Even as her promotion was celebrated by her many fans, it raised all-too-familiar questions about why African-American dancers, particularly women, remain so underrepresented at top ballet companies in the 21st century, despite the work of pioneering black dancers who broke racial barriers in the past. And it showed how media and communications have changed in dance, with Ms. Copeland deftly using modern tools — an online ad she made for Under Armour has been viewed more than 8 million times — to spread her fame far beyond traditional dance circles, drawing new audiences to ballet.

“I had moments of doubting myself, and wanting to quit, because I didn’t know that there would be a future for an African-American woman to make it to this level,” Ms. Copeland said at a news conference at the Metropolitan Opera House on Tuesday afternoon. “At the same time, it made me so hungry to push through, to carry the next generation. So it’s not me up here — and I’m constantly saying that — it’s everyone that came before me that got me to this position.”


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Fittingly, the moment of her promotion was captured on video and shared on Instagram. “Misty, take a bow,” Kevin McKenzie, Ballet Theater’s artistic director, could be seen saying, before colleagues congratulated Ms. Copeland, who seemed to be fighting back tears. Her promotion was lauded on social media by, among others, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Prince, who had featured her in a video.

Over the past year, whenever Ms. Copeland, 32, danced leading roles with Ballet Theater, her performances became events, drawing large, diverse, enthusiastic crowds to cheer her on at the Metropolitan Opera House, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. After she starred in “Swan Lake” with Ballet Theater last week — becoming the first African-American to do so with the company at the Met — the crowd of autograph-seekers was so large that it had to be moved away from the cramped area outside the stage door.

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Nelson George’s Film about Misty – ” A Ballerina’s Tale” is now out. You can watch it on ITunes, as well as rent it on Amazon.

For Black Principal Dancers, Rarefied Air

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Misty Copeland White House State Dinner

misty c on essence

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73 Responses to Saturday Open Thread | Black Dancers Week : Misty Copeland

  1. eliihass says:

    Here’s one of so many throwbacks that serve as quick reminders of some important stuff we may have forgotten about the journey of this historic presidency to the present day..

    This short video clip is pretty funny and cute but shows just how fun, uncontrived, brilliant and what a natural the young black non-political wife of the underdog Senator Obama was on the stump even very early on in the campaign..

    She was campaigning alone and still drawing record numbers of people at large venues…

    This young black woman – wife, mother, daughter – born and raised on the south side of Chicago, who had never run for or held political office and was as a matter of fact, completely leery of politics and those who inhabited and dabbled in it, proved to be for the Clinton campaign a surprisingly and infuriatingly effective and formidable counter to the longtime and supposedly master politician and 2-term Governor of Arkansas, and 2-term president of the United States –

    She spoke clearly..succinctly and with such passion, wisdom and insight – but what really set her apart was just how sincere, genuine and compelling she was – and how incredibly discerning she was especially of people, issues and society – she had it all well-pegged every time…She exuded a fearlessness, an irreverence – of power and supposedly powerful people – she was not intimidated nor was she going to let the bullies break her..

    This continues to be one of the reasons the Clintonistas – those who worship them and their mercenaries and payola allies on both sides – hate her – They hate and resent her still so much even though they’ve long since allowed themselves to not resent her husband any longer except in those moments when they resent his historic accomplishments they believe should have been hers…

    They’ll never ever forgive her for among other things, not cowering – or being sufficiently deferential or preferably, hurdled and quaking in a corner – and frankly, silent and invisible and kow-towing to the mythical ‘incomparable greatness’ of the Clintons – even as they slandered and tried their darndest to not only kneecap her husband, but permanently destroy him, his person, his character and reputation so that he’d never ever recover – and only for daring to challenge them..

    Where they’ve now come to terms with and if not entirely forgiven her husband the President, but more than sufficiently tolerate and to some extent embrace him now for so many reasons – the Clintons and their cronies will never ever forgive or embrace her… Besides the fact that she is in their mind beneath them as an unacceptably fully black woman who wasn’t even born into wealth, pedigree or privilege, nor does she have a white parent to positively dilute and elevate the blackness – she didn’t know her place – and still doesn’t (they’ve been working hard to show her!) – and she had the nerve to not only take them on, but to effortlessly and without even once mentioning them by name, successfully and effectively peel back the layers – that is when the Clintons themselves weren’t unwittingly doing it themselves – and didn’t completely expose themselves as they lost their cool during and especially in the waning days of Hillary’s 2008 candidacy…The PUMAs blame her entirely for Hillary’s loss and their missed opportunity of their first white woman president dreams..

    The irony that it was the Bush daughters (even after the hard and painful truths told during the campaign about their father) and never Chelsea Clinton, who embraced the Obama daughters…and that Chelsea Clinton was and remains as hostile as her parents, their cronies and the PUMAs, is really something… especially when you realize that no matter how racist, hurtful and offensive Donald trump continues to be, Ms Chelsea has publicly declared that her ‘friendship’ with Ivanka Trump remains treasured..

  2. rikyrah says:

    Donald Trump’s Lead Explained in Two Sentences
    An exclusive look at states where the GOP front-runner splits Republican voters along class and education lines

    The blue-col­lar wing of the Re­pub­lic­an primary elect­or­ate has con­sol­id­ated around one can­did­ate.
    The party’s white-col­lar wing re­mains frag­men­ted.

    That may be the most con­cise ex­plan­a­tion of the dy­nam­ic that has pro­pelled Don­ald Trump to a con­sist­ent and some­times com­mand­ing lead in the early stages of the GOP pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion con­test.

    Both na­tion­al and state polls show Trump open­ing a sub­stan­tial lead among Re­pub­lic­an voters without a col­lege edu­ca­tion al­most every­where. And in al­most all cases, Trump is win­ning more sup­port from non­col­lege Re­pub­lic­ans than any can­did­ate is at­tract­ing from Re­pub­lic­an voters with at least a four-year edu­ca­tion. “It’s a chal­lenge to Re­pub­lic­ans that nobody has con­sol­id­ated the col­lege-gradu­ate vote against Trump,” says Glen Bol­ger, a long­time GOP poll­ster skep­tic­al of the front-run­ner.

  3. eliihass says:

    And once again you see in the likes of David Plouffe, exactly what I’ve been trying to tell you my family for so long..

    These political opportunists ain’t worth sh*t.

    But most importantly, they condescend, downplay, diminish, demean, dismiss our black symbols, our black heroes, our black firsts, while they’ll practically publicly slobber and grovel as they exaggeratingly tout and pay out-sized homage to their mediocre own…One they themselves could barely find any redeeming qualities about – and couldn’t even recommend as V.P for their candidate because of her dubious character – and this, barely a few short years ago..

    This is why smart people look upon this whole politics thing as rubbish..And this is why so many of us are completely jaded..

  4. rikyrah says:

    Obama Breaks Down ‘Black Lives Matter’ During Panel on Criminal-Justice Reform
    While calling for strong, effective and fair law enforcement, the president spoke extensively on the intersection between race and the criminal-justice system.

    Posted: Oct. 23 2015 8:11 AM

    To President Barack Obama, the Black Lives Matter creed-turned-movement makes sense. Speaking on a panel on criminal justice, held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building Thursday, the president attempted to explain the difference between and relevancy of the BLM mantra versus the counter chants of “All lives matter.”

    “I think everybody understands all lives matter,” the president said. “I think the reason that the organizers used the phrase ‘Black lives matter’ was not because they said they were suggesting nobody else’s lives matter; rather, what they were suggesting was, there is a specific problem that is happening in the African-American community that’s not happening in other communities. And that is a legitimate issue that we’ve got to address.”

    The president underlined the necessity for strong and effective law enforcement and for safe communities, but also pointed out the realities that African-American communities face.

    “One of the ways of avoiding the politics of this and losing the moment is everybody just stepping back for a second and understanding that the African-American community is not just making this up, and it’s not just something being politicized; it’s real and there’s a history behind it. And we have to take it seriously,” he insisted.

    The president referenced times when he himself as a young man was driving and “got stopped and I didn’t know why,” as he spoke of racial bias and racial tensions.

  5. rikyrah says:

    But, they re-elected him.


    Gov. Sam Brownback in deep hole with Kansans

    Lots of numbers in a new statewide survey of Kansas from Fort Hays State University, but here’s the stunner:

    Only 18 percent of state residents said they were “very” or “somewhat satisfied” with GOP Gov. Sam Brownback.

    Kansas, in case there’s any misunderstanding, is a heavily Republican state.

    President Barack Obama, long a punching bag for Republicans, rated higher. Some 28 percent of respondents expressed satisfaction with the Democratic chief executive.

    Bob Beatty, a political scientist at Washburn University, told the Topeka Capital-Journal that Brownback’s poll numbers were “epic.

    “This could be some of the lowest approval ratings of any Kansas governor in history,” he said.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Feds Probe Russell Simmons’ RushCard After Glitch Blocks User Access
    Some users of the prepaid bank card complained they were unable to access funds for nearly two weeks.

    Posted: Oct. 24 2015 12:02 PM

    The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is investigating Russell Simmons’ prepaid debit card after a glitch blocked user access for nearly two weeks, according to Rolling Stone.

    Richard Cordray, director of the agency, said Friday he spoke to RushCard CEO Rick Savard to explain that the bureau “is prepared to use all appropriate tools at our disposal to help ensure that consumers obtain the relief that they deserve,” writes the publication.

    He said his workers are communicating with regulators at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Trade Commission “to ensure a comprehensive response that addresses the situation quickly and holds accountable all of the parties involved to make consumers whole,” the report says.
    Savard said in a statement Friday that the company is working to assist card holders, who are mostly low-income Americans without regular bank access.

  7. rikyrah says:

    ‘Sorry, Malia Obama’: Brown University Newspaper Apologizes After Students Post Photos Of Visit

    Noting that the college application process is stressful enough without the whole world watching, The Brown Daily Herald apologized this week on behalf of students who posted images of the first daughter’s recent campus tour at Brown University, creating a social media frenzy.

    The incident occurred last week after The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet, kicked off the media frenzy after obtaining a Snapchat photo showing 17-year-old Malia standing in front of cups arranged for a game of beer pong. She is not seen playing the game or drinking alcohol in the photo.

    …The editorial concludes that “Malia did not choose to grow up in the White House, and it is unfair that everything she does at just 17 years old is subject to such harsh scrutiny. While the chances of her selecting Brown have probably decreased since the publication of those articles, if she does ever come back to Brown, hopefully next time we will ‘have more chill.'”

    • eliihass says:

      More than anything, it casts a permanent shadow, suspicion, doubt and aspersion on the concept of happy, healthy, intact black marriages and families..

      It perpetuates the falsehood that happy, healthy, intact, committed black marriages and families are a myth…that even where they are said to exist, it’s ‘fake’ and put on…and that it’s only a matter of time before the ‘truth’ comes out, that they fall apart, or some lingering deep dark secrets and skeletons so stinky, come tumbling out to put the kibosh to the loving, committed marriage and close, strong family image..

      This by the same society and media that elevate and tout as perfect spouses in sacred marriages and great role models, couples who came together via adultery, and after years of well-documented destructive harmful habits ..

  8. rikyrah says:

    x @root_e
    Progressives insist a super smart black man who represented victims of police brutality in Chicago was less realistic about power than them.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Monie @MonieTalks_1
    Instead of yelling everywhere that the obstructionist Congress has pushed out its own incompetent Speaker, folks talking about naiveté.

    • rikyrah says:

      Monie @MonieTalks_1
      You had a continuation & focus on mass incarceration under WJC. Now the Left writes articles like its a new phenomenon. Ask HRC about that?

      • rikyrah says:

        Monie @MonieTalks_1
        And HRC is not off the hook for WJC’s record. LGBT “activists” bought tickets to heckle FLOTUS, and tried to play victim after the fact.

      • rikyrah says:

        Monie @MonieTalks_1
        When you think about anti-LGBT legislation that was signed by WJC, yet corrected by this administration, Maddow needs to sit down w/naive.

      • rikyrah says:

        Monie @MonieTalks_1
        @Jax6655 @Kennymack1971 Exactly. They can be angry, sit out elections, protest, fundraise. But now..there is too much at stake..bump that.

      • rikyrah says:

        Monie @MonieTalks_1
        We need to stop pretending like all these naive & distancing of PBO is genuine. It comes from the same place as “inadequate Black man.”

      • rikyrah says:

        Monie @MonieTalks_1
        Many on Left thought we differentiate between their condescension & that of GOP against PBO. We picked up all the whistles & kept a record

      • rikyrah says:

        Monie @MonieTalks_1
        @Kennymack1971 Maddow, the Professional left, purists, fundraisers, and make-up chair chasers are the ones who have turned me off for 2016.

      • rikyrah says:

        Monie @MonieTalks_1
        Maddow opens a show with “Was PBO naive?” She used a fake Oval Office on her show..does she want to really talk about what people think?

  10. rikyrah says:

    Mr. NFTG @Kennymack1971
    The “bewildered” President walked into the House GOPs retreat and left them stunned and humiliated. I mean… Come on.

    • rikyrah says:

      Mr. NFTG @Kennymack1971
      This “naive” “bewildered” President managed to get health care done where others failed (catch that dirt)

      • rikyrah says:

        Mr. NFTG @Kennymack1971
        An economy in free fall but the newly elected President promises to play hardball with the GOP in his first term? Okay.

      • rikyrah says:

        Mr. NFTG @Kennymack1971
        Imagine the Nation’s First Black President newly elected calling Republicans his enemies and that he was going to play harder ball w/them

    • rikyrah says:

      Mr. NFTG @Kennymack1971
      I feel the need to do the Seth Rollins curbstomp on this idea President Obama was “bewildered” or “naive” in his dealings with the GOP.

  11. rikyrah says:

    PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots
    Y’all need to get into @Kennymack1971 and @MonieTalks_1 TLs cuz they’re preaching truth about Progressive double standards re: PBO.

  12. rikyrah says:

    BWD @theonlyadult
    First, she need to get elected president. When she’ll have half of his achievements, maybe we can start talking.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Dessalines @Kiriende
    If Negro leaders lend their support without having her address 08 dog whistling then STFU abt being taken for granted b/c you are a chump.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Mr. NFTG @Kennymack1971
    I wish I could let this go. But Progressives and their double standards regarding this President irritate me too much.

  15. rikyrah says:


    NIGris Elba @hosienation
    Reese’s peanut butter cup is the best candy of all time. Fight me.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Monie @MonieTalks_1
    Just like PBO’s cling to guns and religion comment. HRC & some Democrats called him elitist and pounced on comments. Now she’s NRA enemy??

  17. rikyrah says:

    Brent Staples ✔ @BrentNYT
    Dominican gov’t attacks the novelist Junot Diaz for condemning ethnic cleansing aimed at Haitian-Dominicans

  18. rikyrah says:

    October 24, 2015 3:36 PM
    House Freedom Caucus Demands
    By Nancy LeTourneau

    It is looking likely that Rep. Paul Ryan will be elected Speaker of the House next week. Who knows what has transpired behind closed doors, but the word is that he and the Freedom Caucus reached a deal that won enough of them over for him to be elected.

    What we also know is that the Freedom Caucus designed a questionnaire for speaker candidates. Kevin Quealy and Carl Hulse have done us all a service by translating those demands from Congressional legalese into plain English.

    In looking at the list of 21 items, a lot of the things they are pushing for would simply undo the reforms instituted by Newt Gingrich that put power in the hands of the House Leadership – specifically the Speaker. In that way, they grant the insurgents continuing power to be disruptive.

    But there are a few things that would mean pretty immediate chaos. For example, item 13 asks: are you willing to hold the debt limit hostage until we prevail on other issues? Specifically, the Freedom Caucus wants “structural entitlement reforms” in the 2016 budget and the Default Prevention Act (which President Obama has promised to veto) included in any legislation that raises the debt ceiling.

    Given that the Treasury has informed Congress that the debt limit will be reached November 3rd – exactly one week after the House votes for a new Speaker – that doesn’t give Paul Ryan a lot of time to work this one out.

    Making that job even harder is item 7 which seeks to institutionalize the so-called “Hastert Rule.” It would require that Republicans consider only legislation that has the support of the majority of their party. That would eliminate the possibility for Ryan to develop a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats to raise the debt ceiling.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Ok, folks. Got my full-on ITIS going on right now. All week, I dreamt of the meal I had today. For my Chicago folks, I took myself to Lem’s and got me a Large tip/Hot link combo, hot & mild sauce.

    For the non-Chicagoans…Lem’s is a shack that sits in the middle of the street. No place to sit down..just get yourself in there – maybe 6 people can fit in there at a time, and get your order and go. Until about a year ago, Lem’s didn’t even take credit cards. So, you know what kind of place it is..


    Stuff’s so greasy, it’s seeping through the paperbag before you can get home.

    So, you get your Lem’s , another plate, paper towels, and babywipes….

    And, here comes the ITIS..LOL

    Sometimes, you just want the ITIS…

    My sister in Minnesota called while I was eating, and when I told her it was Lem’s, she was like, ‘ have a few tips for me.’


  20. rikyrah says:

    Liberal Librarian @Lib_Librarian
    The thing which gripes me about people like @maddow is that they’re great at criticizing but shit at working on solutions.

    • eliihass says:

      The loss of composure, constant apologies for asking largely soft, lame questions she still was afraid might sound ‘mean’, and morphing into some high school newspaper intern interviewing the local prom queen, was so embarrassing to say the least..

      Where were the hard-hitting, substantive questions that Ms Know-it-all with her smart, pointed commentaries and reenactments, is known for..?

      This interview showed Rachel Maddow’s immaturity and arrested development of sorts, not only as a person, but as a ‘journalist’..

  21. rikyrah says:

    The Disproportionate Risks of Driving While Black

    An examination of traffic stops and arrests in Greensboro, N.C., uncovered wide racial differences in measure after measure of police conduct.
    OCT. 24, 2015

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — Rufus Scales, 26 and black, was driving his younger brother Devin to his hair-cutting class in this genteel, leafy city when they heard the siren’s whoop and saw the blue light in the rearview mirror of their black pickup. Two police officers pulled them over for minor infractions that included expired plates and failing to hang a flag from a load of scrap metal in the pickup’s bed. But what happened next was nothing like a routine traffic stop.

    Uncertain whether to get out of the car, Rufus Scales said, he reached to restrain his brother from opening the door. A black officer stunned him with a Taser, he said, and a white officer yanked him from the driver’s seat. Temporarily paralyzed by the shock, he said, he fell face down, and the officer dragged him across the asphalt.

    Rufus Scales emerged from the encounter with four traffic tickets; a charge of assaulting an officer, later dismissed; a chipped tooth; and a split upper lip that required five stitches.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Fire Paul Ryan’? Rebel PACs Hit Republicans, and It Pays
    OCT. 23, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The petitions that started surfacing online over a year ago were as incendiary as they were urgent, begging recipients to sign up to “Boot Boehner,” “Dump McConnell,” “Drop a Truth-Bomb on Kevin McCarthy” and “Fire Paul Ryan.”

    The calls to oust Republican leaders in Congress did not come from Democrats. They came from conservative websites and bloggers who have helped stoke a grass-roots rebellion to make Congress more conservative, a fevered continuation of the six-year Tea Party movement.

    But these politically charged appeals to conservatives around the country were often accompanied by a solicitation for money, and the ultimate beneficiaries, records suggest, are the consultants who created the campaigns rather than the causes they are promoting.

    It is a practice that has accelerated with the explosion of social media. The latest example came on Wednesday with a new attack on Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, just a day after he said he was willing to serve as House speaker.

  23. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Keegan Stephan ‏@KeeganNYC 1h1 hour ago
    #RiseUpOctober march against police violence leaving Washington Square now.

    deray mckesson Retweeted
    Gretchen H. Kleinman ‏@GHKleinman
    Dr. Cornel West #RiseUpOctober. “We’re here to focus on the family, y’all” —->

    We are here because we have a deep love for those who are being abused by the police. Let’s don’t get it twisted. This is a love train. This is what the Isley Brothers call it: ‘A Caravan of Love.’ How many of y’all love the people? And, we’re here because we want to keep the families center stage.

    “Caravan of Love” Isley Brothers:

  24. [facebook url="" /]

  25. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. He heard the prayers lifted up for the Mexican people & had mercy. #HurricanePatricia

  26. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone:)

    Off to swim and run errands.

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