In offering tribute to Toni Morrison, speakers from Oprah Winfrey to Fran Lebowitz on Thursday each shared a very different, but equally special portrait of the late Nobel laureate, who died in August at 88.
Angela Davis remembered a dear friend who as a Random House editor helped launch her writing career and would jot down notes for what became the classic "Song of Solomon" as she cooked eggs for her family. Lebowitz marveled at Morrison's seemingly photographic memory of the bad reviews she had received. Poet Kevin Young once went to the movies ("The Five Heartbeats") with her and otherwise proudly sat at her feet. Winfrey spoke of Morrison's majestic, sometimes intimidating presence, and of the complexity of her work, novels such as "Beloved" for which a single reading was not enough. She also acknowledged that her heroine, so down to earth on some occasions, was well aware that she really was Toni Morrison.
"She told me once, 'I've always known I was gallant,'" Winfrey confided to thousands gathered at sundown at Manhattan's historic Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where more than 30 years earlier Morrison had been among those saying goodbye to James Baldwin. "Who says that? Who even goes there?"
With its massive rose window and nave ceiling reaching more than 100 feet, the cathedral was suitably grand for an author who may well endure as the essential American literary voice of her time, one who universalized the stories of black Americans and raised American prose to poetic heights. Attendees were young and old, of diverse genders and races, members of the publishing world and longtime fans. They filled the front seats, and the back seats. Some sat quietly through the roughly 100-minute ceremony, others murmured, affirmed and cheered out loud.
Speakers stood in the cathedral's pulpit and hailed the spirit of Morrison. Jesmyn Ward, a two-time National Book Award winner, outlined the long history of how blacks had been robbed and usurped and called Morrison a kind of prophet who found a wandering people "in the desert of the self" and saved them, deeming them "worthy to be heard." Author Edwidge Danticat, fondly speaking of Morrison's smoking a cigarette at the Louvre in Paris, noted her identities as a mother, grandmother, sister, editor and teacher, and now, in her passing, an ancestor.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, not even born when Morrison published her debut novel "The Bluest Eyes," acknowledged his jealousy that some got to know her so well. Morrison's impact on him was through her printed words. He spoke of being startled by the landmark "Black Book," a scrapbook of black American life that his father kept in the family's bookstore in the 1970s. He praised the economy and poetry of her language, her sense of humor and the wisdom of what he called "grown folks literature."
Coates, 44, best known for his prize-winning meditation on race and police violence "Between the World and Me," called Morrison a challenge for other writers, the "queen of them all." One of her messages was, he said, "Black is beautiful, but it ain't always pretty."
Words on Thursday were interspersed with music, from the dreamlike saxophone solo of David Murray to singer-pianist Andy Bey's reflective take on "Someone to Watch Over Me." But the deepest music was in the words of Morrison, in a passage from "Song of Solomon" — selected by Winfrey — about the power and possibility of land.
"'You see?' the farm said to them. 'See? See what you can do? Never mind you can't tell one letter from another, never mind you born a slave, never mind you lose your name, never mind your daddy dead, never mind nothing. Here, this here, is what a man can do if he puts his mind to it and his back into it," Winfrey read, her voice rising into a fierce chant.
"Grab it! Grab this land! Take it, hold it, my brothers, make it, my brothers, shake it, squeeze it, turn it, twist it, beat it, kick it, kiss it, whip it, stomp it, dig it, plow it, seed it, reap it, rent it, buy it, sell it, own it, build it, multiply it, and pass it on — can you hear me? Pass it on!"
Although it is not a mega event like World Cup or any other regional tournament, the Board of Control for Cricket in India made every possible arrangement to make the match memorable.
There may have no formal opening or concluding ceremony, but there will have a musical show where legendary singer Runa Laila will mesmerize the audience her songs.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly at a press conference in Kolkata on Wednesday revealed that the audience will have the opportunity to enjoy the melodious voice of one of the best-known singers in South Asia.
Indian music director, singer and composer Jeet Ganguly will also perform at the Eden Gardens, BCCI boss Ganguly told the media.
The first day of the Kolkata Test will start with Para-trooping by the Indian Army who will land at the match venue to hand over the balls to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee and the captains of both the teams, he said.
The first-ever pink-ball test of the subcontinent will take place in Kolkata on Friday between the two neighbouring countries.
Renowned Bangladeshi singer, musician and actor Tahsan Rahman Khan has announced joining as the latest member of Mostafa Sarwar Farooki’s upcoming film “No Land's Man”.
Tahsan recently revealed a surprising new look of himself with a ‘Van Dyke’ styled moustache and beard, and revealed his character name ‘Masud’ for the film on his official Facebook page and Instagram account.
This is the second time Tahsan persuaded his passion for acting in films. The talented actor debuted in Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Raz‘s ‘Jodi Ekdin’, released in March 2019.
The eighth feature film of Mostafa Sarwar Farooki and second of his ‘identity series’ (first one is being ‘Saturday Afternoon’), the much anticipated “No Lands Man” has already created buzz for casting the star of critically-commercially successful movie ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ and Netflix’ series ‘Sacred Games’, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, earlier this year.
Alongside with Tahsan and Nawazuddin S iddiqui, the debuting Australian actor Megan Mitchell is also a confirmed name for the lead roles.
Siddiqui will also produce the movie under the banner of his production house ‘Magic If Films’, alongside award-winning US producer Shrihari Sathe, director Mostafa SarwarFarooki, actor NusratImrose Tisha, Square Group Director Anjan Chowdhury and Bongo.
A long-awaited and critically acclaimed project for its vision, “No Land’s Man” won the Motion Picture Association of America and Asia Pacific Screen Awards’ Script Development fund in 2014 and also became part of the Asian Project Market at Busan, South Korea. The film was also chosen as the best project at India’s Film Bazaar, the same year.
K-pop supergroup SuperM and singer BoA will perform at a Global Citizen event in Asia as part of a massive multi-continent concert next year.
The advocacy organization says the performers will join the lineup of Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream in Seoul, South Korea, on Sept. 26, 2020. The event is a part of a yearlong initiative to achieve the United Nations' Global Goals to end poverty and tackle climate change.
The goal is to secure $350 billion for the next 10 years.
The 10-hour concert will span five locations. It will be broadcast live from Seoul, New York City, Lagos, Nigeria, and other cities in Latin America and Europe.
Performers in other locations include Alicia Keys, H.E.R., Miley Cyrus, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica.
"Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner" host David Chang says he understands why critics are comparing his new show to work done by his late friend and colleague Anthony Bourdain. Chang's show fuses food and travel as did Bourdain's "Parts Unknown.''
"I don't know how you couldn't," said Chang. "He was a pretty significant person in my life. But whether we were successful or not, the last thing we would ever want to do is to not be respectful and pay homage. ... The whole thing was hard to do, for obvious reasons. But we tried very hard and we were very aware of trying to make it a different show."
Bourdain, a chef and author, was known for using culinary traditions as a storytelling tool to explore cultures around the globe in his CNN series, "Parts Unknown." He killed himself in 2018.
Perhaps what's most different about Chang's new Netflix series is the sweet and occasionally salty chef himself. His empire includes restaurants, cookbooks and now two Netflix shows. The first, "Ugly Delicious," debuted in 2018.
The first four episodes of "Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner'' pair Chang with celebrities as they explore a city — Chrissy Teigen in Marrakesh, Kate McKinnon in Phnom Penh, Seth Rogen in Vancouver and Lena Waithe in Los Angeles.
It's with the history-making Waithe — the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy screenwriting — where things get most interesting. Their conversation in a no-frills, suburban Los Angeles diner turns to lack of representation of minority groups in mainstream America. Waithe is gay. Chang's parents immigrated from Korea in the '60s.
Representation is an important subject for Chang. In September, he told a Washington Post interviewer that the ethnic food aisles in grocery stores are "the last bastion of racism'' in retail America.
In talking to The Associated Press, Chang presented an example. "Why should my hot sauce be in an ethnic food aisle, but Tabasco is in a main aisle?"
In terms of availability and information, however, this is a golden age of food, Chang said. Consumers, manufacturers and the culinary industry are better informed than ever.
But the ripples from climate change could lead to a "different kind of food system,'' he said.
"We may eat things differently,'' he said. "My dad used to tell me, man, 'When I got an orange once a year, that was the greatest day of my life.'... And we may have to go back to that. And I don't know what that looks like. But we can't get whatever we want anymore."
There's also been personal change for Chang as he and his wife, Grace, became parents with the birth of their son, Hugo.
"Everyone says, 'it changes your life,' and I'm trying to find how to find a better balance," Chang said. "I'm a work in progress, man. And working a lot is what I know how to do. And I do know that soon I'm going to have to learn how not to work so hard."