Veteran director and actor, Ken Johnson, on the Challenge of Teaching Theater in a Pandemic

As schools debate re-opening, even as the COVID crisis reaches another peak, teachers are still struggling with the dynamics of online education. Rarely discussed is the particular challenge of teaching the arts — classes that often are not part of a standard core curriculum, but unique to the experience of the teachers who teach them. …

Bryan Monroe, father, journalist, good friend, passed away last week. His full life and career have been eulogized elegantly by many on Twitter and in the pages of publications where he once worked. They speak for themselves. However, his participation in one particular moment in media history and Black culture deserves recognition.

Bryan took over as editor-in-chief at Ebony Magazine just following the death of its visionary founder, John H Johnson, and at the peak of the company’s ongoing battle between old and new. I’m not sure I ever heard the story about how he got there, why he was…

You’ll hear it a thousand times, but yes, we need to talk about a Secretary of Culture — again

There’s no art in this White House. There’s no literature, no poetry, no music… We are rudderless and joyless. We have lost the cultural aspects of society that make America great.” — Bruce Springsteen

Over the next few weeks, some version of this article will be written by a hundred different opinion writers and arts advocates. But it can’t be said enough, so here is another for the heck of it.

Days before President Obama stood for inauguration the first time…

We Are Losing Our Hold on the Thing We Cherish Most

Illustration Credit: Vox Media

When our backs are against the wall, and we are plagued by an insurmountable obstacle or an unrelenting foe, Americans tend to put our hopes in three things — God, Karma and Democracy, and the assumption that one, or a combination of them, will eventually deliver justice.

God and Karma, the two least in our control, have proven over the history of humankind that they are the most reliable, though almost never on our preferred timeline.

But Democracy, and particularly American Democracy, lacks the track record that justifies our…

The Weirdness of Trying to Explain Howard University and Black Excellence to an Often Clueless Press

By Eric Easter

At least half a dozen times since January of this year, I’ve fielded phone calls form major media outlets asking if I would provide some insight into Howard University during the time that Sen. Kamala Harris was a student. That makes me one of a group of several 1980’s Howard friends who frequently get the same queries.

In my case, that’s mostly accidental.

After running into Senator Harris a few times in airports and having a casual strategy chat with one of her staffers, I somehow made it onto an unofficial list of people the campaign refers…

Naked Spouses in Your Zoom Background. Lack of Privacy. How will Lockdown Impact Interior Design?

Twenty years ago when my wife and I decided to renovate a 120-year old Victorian brownstone we had many tough choices to make. First among them was whether to preserve or deconstruct the maze of rooms that mark the style of the period, or update to a more modern living. When research found that much of the old designs were about lifestyle of the period, it made it much easier to tear down some things and keep others, with the result being a hybrid of privacy-focused walls and flow-focused openings.

We’ve debated that decision over the years whenever we thought…

Would a More Colorful Hollywood Foreign Press Association Change Anything?

The celebrities showed up. The media is still talking about the outfits , the wins and the Zoom speeches. “Winner of a Golden Globe” is being put on posters, IMDB and bios. A smattering of favorites won big. Now it’s all over, and in all likelihood the momentary scrutiny of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) that was the undercurrent of the 2021 Golden Globes Awards celebration won’t bring many changes before we start having the same conversation next year.

Why do the Golden Globes always get a pass? Well, partly because when it’s not awards season. nobody really cares…

Wall Street was rocked by a deceptively simple act. A coordinated and enthusiastic force of small-time investors forced manipulative hedge fund bigwigs to take deep losses and by doing some manipulation of their own and pushing their collective resources toward a single stock, GameStop.

It was the stock version of the old adage “ If everybody just gave a dollar, then (fill in the blank),” made into reality and with the technology to make it happen.

In the effort to make it all go away, the financial industry shut them down temporarily, saving themselves, but also exposing how many ways…

A Parting Note

When we launched 99Days our intent was to broaden the discussion around the turbulent last gasp of annus horribilis 2020 and what we had already assumed would be an alarming introduction into 2021 (though we had no idea how alarming). The goal was to move the conversation beyond the day to day/tit for tat/“watch what happens” coverage being practiced, in our opinion, by the vast majority of the mainstream media outlets

So we pulled together a loosely knit, relatively impromptu gathering of independent writers of color given the task to remind people that there are more important issues than Donald…

Eric Easter

Producer. Writer. Creator. Media Exec. @ericeaster

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