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New York Public Library Acquires Personal Archive of Harry Belafonte

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The New York Public Library‘s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture has announced that it has acquired the personal archive of civil rights activist, entertainer, and producer Harry Belafonte.

Acquired with support from the Andrew W. MellonFord, and Open Society foundations, Danny and Manizeh Rimer, and the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, the collection includes four hundred linear feet of audiovisual materials, personal and professional papers, television scripts, and photo albums chronicling the entertainer’s life, activism, and career, from 1949 to the present. Highlights of the collection include Belafonte’s first recording, a 1949 acetate pressing that contains “Lean On Me”; scrapbooks of his press coverage from the 1940s, including performances in the Schomburg Center’s American Negro Theatre; papers and notes documenting his efforts in support of the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King, Jr., including the 1963 March on Washington; scripts of movies produced by and starring Belafonte; and cue cards with the lyrics of “We Are the World,” the signature celebrity charity effort of the 1980s, which Belafonte inspired and produced. Processing of the collection will be expedited, and items will be available to researchers in approximately fifteen months.

Belafonte has a longtime connection to the Schomburg Center and the New York Public Library, which in 2017 named its 115th Street branch after him.

“It is with great honor that I can announce Harry Belafonte’s return home to Harlem,” said Schomburg Center director Kevin Young. “This collection testifies to Belafonte’s unprecedented, over seventy-year public journey across black life and American life as a whole, starting with his time in the American Negro Theatre, which began in the basement of the Schomburg Center….Belafonte’s range is on view in this previously unseen material, from musician to movie producer, actor, to activist. His massive collection of clippings, music, and letters provides a great source to educate people of all ages about the importance of black life and its cultural contributions to American history — from the U.S. civil rights movement, the global human rights struggle, popular music, the history of African-American theater, television, and cinema, and American entertainment. As the New York Public Library celebrates its one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary and the Schomburg Center marks its ninety-fifth, the addition of Belafonte’s materials will help to continue the enrichment and education of the community for generations to come.”

“The Schomburg library in Harlem is one of the greatest gifts our city has bestowed on our community,” said Belafonte, who recently celebrated his ninety-third birthday. “It is deeply moving that this destination so critical to my life and well-being, from the days of my youth until now, should be the repository for much of my life’s work. I am honored.”

Schomburg Center Acquires American Icon Harry Belafonte’s Extensive Personal Archive.” New York Public Library Press Release 03/13/2020.

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Netflix Orders 10 Episodes of Animated ‘Good Times’ Series Co-Produced By Steph Curry

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Nationwide — Netflix has given a 10-episode, straight-to-series order to a new animated take on Norman Lear’s classic sitcom “Good Times.” Carl Jones, whose credits include animated series “The Boondocks” and “Black Dynamite,” as well as TBS’ Tracy Morgan star “The Last O.G.,” will create, showrun and executive produce the project.

The new animated series will follow “the Evans family as they navigate today’s world and contemporary social issues. Just as the original did years ago, ‘Good Times’ strives to remind us that with the love of our family, we can keep our heads above water.

Lear and his Act III Productions company are partnering with basketball star Steph Curry and his production company, Unanimous Media, as well as Seth MacFarlane and his shingle Fuzzy Door, to develop the show.

The original “Good Times” aired for six seasons on CBS, from 1974 to 1979, and was created by Eric Monte and Mike Evans, and developed by Lear. It was a spin-off of “Maude,” which in turn was a spin-off of Lear and Bud Yorkin’s “All in the Family.”

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Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air Reboot In The Works

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Remembering Chadwick Boseman

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By Marvel

Actor Chadwick Boseman, star of Marvel Studios’ groundbreaking film Black Panther, has passed away at the age of 43.

“We are all heartbroken by the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman—an extraordinary talent, and one of the most gentle and giving souls I have ever met,” said Robert A. Iger, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, The Walt Disney Company. “He brought enormous strength, dignity and depth to his groundbreaking role of Black Panther; shattering myths and stereotypes, becoming a long-awaited hero to millions around the world, and inspiring us all to dream bigger and demand more than the status quo. We mourn all that he was, as well as everything he was destined to become. For his friends and millions of fans, his absence from the screen is only eclipsed by his absence from our lives. All of us at Disney send our prayers and heartfelt condolences to his family.”

Boseman—who was also known to moviegoers for his acclaimed performances as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013), as James Brown in Get On Up (2014), and as Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017)—first appeared on screen in what would become his most iconic role in Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War. The highly anticipated Black Panther was released in 2018 and the film—and the nation of Wakanda in which the movie is set—quickly became a global cultural phenomenon, inspiring millions of fans around the globe. Boseman’s character was no ordinary Super Hero. He said, “T’Challa is smart. He’s a strategist and that has always been something that stood out to me, even in the comic books… He’s a world leader and with that comes the responsibility for an entire nation and considering its place in the world. That’s something that other Super Heroes don’t commonly have, but he must also uphold his legacy. It’s an interesting combination.”

In a statement, Kevin Feige, President, Marvel Studios and Chief Creative Officer, Marvel, said, “Chadwick’s passing is absolutely devastating. He was our T’Challa, our Black Panther, and our dear friend. Each time he stepped on set, he radiated charisma and joy, and each time he appeared on screen, he created something truly indelible. He embodied a lot of amazing people in his work, and nobody was better at bringing great men to life. He was as smart and kind and powerful and strong as any person he portrayed. Now he takes his place alongside them as an icon for the ages. The Marvel Studios family deeply mourns his loss, and we are grieving tonight with his family.”

Boseman returned to the role of Black Panther in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Chris Evans, who starred alongside Boseman in both films as Captain America, was among Boseman’s many co-stars who expressed their sadness over his passing tonight. “I’m absolutely devastated. This is beyond heartbreaking. Chadwick was special. A true original,” Evans said. “He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. Few performers have such power and versatility. He had so much amazing work still left to create. I’m endlessly grateful for our friendship. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest in power, King.”

Angela Bassett played T’Challa’s mother, Ramonda, in Black Panther, and she reflected on her strong connection to Boseman, which preceded the 2018 film. Bassett shared on Instagram tonight, “It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family. But what many don’t know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther. During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something. He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day. And here we were, years later as friends and colleagues, enjoying the most glorious night ever! We’d spent weeks prepping, working, sitting next to each other every morning in makeup chairs, preparing for the day together as mother and son. I am honored that we enjoyed that full circle experience. This young man’s dedication was awe-inspiring, his smile contagious, his talent unreal. So I pay tribute to a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother… ‘thou aren’t not dead but flown afar…’ All you possessed, Chadwick, you freely gave. Rest now, sweet prince. #WakandaForever”

Brie Larson, Boseman’s Avengers: Endgame co-star and star of Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel, shared, “Chadwick was someone who radiated power and peace. Who stood for so much more than himself. Who took the time to really see how you were doing and gave words of encouragement when you felt unsure. I’m honored to have the memories I have. The conversations, the laughter. My heart is with you and your family. You will be missed and never forgotten. Rest in power and peace my friend.”

Boseman’s family confirmed the news of his passing tonight, expressing their “immeasurable grief” and noting, “It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”

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