Culture Connection – Same Old Narratives

In this episode Brother Maclolm is joined by KC & Chris to talk about the film based on the story of the Ten Commandments, Exodus: Gods and Kings, and discuss if America is ready for non-white majority narratives in film. This conversation stems from the article Lucy: Why I’m Tired of Seeing White People on the Big ScreenMalcolm and KC aslo have a moment over the name James.

Please leave your comments and feedback below, or reach Brother Malcolm directly at:

Twitter: @caliyalie


Hotline: (323) 455-4219

Culture Connection – Commencement, Conference & SOULNIC

In this episode Brother Malcolm talks about getting to hear President Obama speak live in person at the UC Irvine commencement, his time attending the Theatre Communication Group National Conference in San Diego and the upcoming SOULNIC event on the 4th of July in Downtown Los Angeles.

Please leave your comments and feedback below, or reach Brother Malcolm directly at:

Twitter: @caliyalie


Hotline: (323) 455-4219

Culture Connection – Interview w/ Ashley Sky Walker

Photographer Ashley Sky Walker

Brother Malcolm chats with photographer and fashion buff Ashley Sky Walker. A gifted artist, Walker has a gorgeous eye for juxtaposing urban elements with human emotion. Listen in as he talks about his start in fashion with Diane Von Furstenberg, his alma mater Howard University and his recent shoot for Essence magazine.

Connect with Ashley at:

Ashley Sky Walker Photography

Twitter: @ashleyskywalker

Tumblr: Instant Elation

Please leave your comments and feedback below, or reach Brother Malcolm directly at:

Twitter: @caliyalie


Hotline: (323) 455-4219


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Culture Connection – You Should Know Them!

Have you ever stumbled upon a YouTube video via social media that made you say, “Wow, I’ve never heard of her or him?” Yeah? Me too! I love the internet for its unfailing ability to drop us all into the rabbit hole of never ending research, funny videos and ubiquitous “10 things you need to know about being the best you” or is it “5 habits of highly successful people” who can keep up? The point is every day is another opportunity to discover something or someone new online and today is no different.

This week on Culture Connection we introduce you to 7 artists and organizations you should be aware of.  I promise you,  these folks will surely give you Culture Vulture street cred!

Kehinde Wiley- Is an artist whose work must be experienced in person.  I’ve seen his colorful, stately portraits of young men of color. Massive in their presentation and yet oh so intimate in your presence, Wiley’s subjects stare at you as if they’ve been purposely enshrined as a reminder that their existence in the world is to never be forgotten.

Shana Tucker- Will change how you categorize a soul singer.  In fact she categorizes her uniquely lush warmth of tone and impeccable musicianship as Chamber Soul. Currently the only African American woman in Cirque du Soleil’s Ká,  you’ll quickly fall in love with her music like I did!

Universes– On the verge of their 20th anniversary, New Yorkers and Americans alike owe a debt of gratitude to this fearless ensemble for their passion for telling truths of voices that seem to be left out of mainstream conversations. Universes is simply a beacon.

Azure Antoinette- When you’re referred to as the “Maya Angelou of the millennial generation” what more is there to say. Ladies and gentlemen I introduce to some and present to others a poet for our time.

Imani Winds- Considered to be the premier wind quintet in North America, this ensemble of all hues of black, brown – genders, female and male- boasting a quality of sound only described in one word, exquisite!

Jeffrey Page- A name you should remember and never forget. One of the most gifted dance artists in the performing arts and commercial dance world, Mr. Page has a resume that is impressive to put it lightly.  Fela! The Musical, Beyoncé’s go-to choreographer, “So You Think You Can Dance” Emmy Nominee and recently choreographer for Tony-nominated Violet starring Sutton Foster.  Like I said never forget!

Sphinx- When your tag line is “Transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts” you had me at “hello!” The Sphinx Organization is the truest of American organizations. Founded by violinist Aaron P. Dworkin “to help overcome the cultural stereotype of classical music, and to encourage the participation of Blacks and Latinos in the field,” I dare you to not be impressed by the indelible impression being left by this awe-inspiring institution.

That’s it for this week! Please remember to “Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Until next week, Peace!

Brother Malcolm

Culture Connection – different words for the same thing

Brother Malcolm jumps back in after a refreshing spring break to discuss different words for the same thing, a poignant play by Kimber Lee that looks at the human condition.

Please leave your comments and feedback below, or you may contact Brother Malcolm via:

Twitter: @CaliYalie


Hotline: (323) 455-4219

Culture Connection – Interview w/ Morgan Rhodes (Throwback)

In this throwback episode of Culture Connection, we bring you Brother Malcolm’s interview with DJ and music programmer, Morgan Rhodes, host of KPFK’s (FM 90.7) The Listening StationBrother Malcolm and Morgan chat about current music genres, the crucial role of independent radio, and why Black people should embrace a variety of musical styles.

Please leave your comments and feedback below, or you may contact Brother Malcolm via:

Twitter: @CaliYalie


Hotline: (323) 455-4219

Culture Connection – Celebrating Ms. Edna E. Tatum

Listen in as Brother Malcolm reflects on the impact that legendary radio broadcaster Edna E. Tatum had on his life and the world. Known to many as “The Voice”, Ms. Tatum’s life and career was a strong influence in Brother Malcolm’s creation of the Culture Connection podcast.

Please leave your comments and feedback below, or you may contact Brother Malcolm via:

Twitter: @CaliYalie


Hotline: (323) 455-4219

Culture Connection: 2014 Spring Arts Preview

I stuck my head out the window this morning and spring kissed me bang in the face.            -Langston Hughes

I don’t know about you but spring has to be one of the greatest moments we experience as human beings. It’s the time when we say good riddance to the cold of winter, the literal the figurative (praying hands clasped for those East Coast and Midwest folks, your winter sometimes over stays its welcome) and hello to a world of re birthing beauty in nature, longer days, approaching summer and yes the Spring Arts Preview on Culture Connection!

Spring this year is March 20 – June 1 and there is much to be excited about here in Los Angeles but also across the country and the globe. While we here at Culture Connection usually lean towards shedding light on local events, I encourage our Culture Connection faithful to tell us about other events happening in your region. Feel free to leave a comment with a shout out for an exciting cultural event in your hood and we’ll be sure to give you a shout out next week!

So without further ado I present to you Brother Malcolm’s picks for the coolest must see, hear or go to events of spring 2014!


March 12- 30 Paul Robeson at the Ebony Repertory Theatre is a must see event! Starring two time Emmy award winner, and Broadway star Keith David, Paul Robeson is a trip down the life of the iconic humanitarian and artist activist of the same name. Robeson challenged the America he called home and was once adored by only to become an expatriate because of his uncompromising stance on injustices in 20th century America.

April 9- 19 Peter Brook/ Théâtre Des Bouffes- Du Nord: The Suit is another opportunity to see a stunning piece of theatre. The Tony and Emmy Award winning legendary English director Peter Brook brings his brilliance to UCLA’s Freud playhouse in what can only be describe as a tour de force production! Du Nord: The Suit is a tragic tale of betrayal and resentment as a scorned husband takes out his anger, pain and frustration on his wife.

Set in apartheid-era South Africa, Brook’s innovative staging integrates live musicians performing African melodies and Schubert lieder. The original novel The Suit, written by Themba, was banned in his native country as he was exiled during apartheid.


March 27 Imani Winds featuring Simon Shaheen: Zafir Project will be a highlight of the spring season for me. Considered North America’s premiere wind quintet, I first heard this exquisite group of black musicians in New York almost a decade ago, where they forever changed my life.  Imani Winds has established itself as one of the most successful chamber music ensembles in the United States. Since 1997, the Grammy-nominated quintet has taken a unique path, carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming, adventurous collaboration and inspirational Outreach programs. Check out this YouTube video of the ensemble.

May 12  Welcome to Dillaville Tour I’m sure there are more than a fair share of J-Dilla fans out there which means you probably should not miss this tribute to him. Slated to perform at LA’s own, El Rey is Bizarre Ride Live (featuring Slimkid3 & Fatlip formerly of The Pharcyde) & Slum Village. 

May 31- June 1 Bruno Mars and Pharrell Williams in concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I have two words to describe this concert, happy treasure.


Now- July 20 Fútbol: The Beautiful Game is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s (LACMA) intriguing look at football and its significance in cultures around the globe. I’m particularly excited that Los Angeles native and Yale School of Art graduate Kehinde Wiley is featured in this thrilling examination of the world’s most popular sport. Don’t miss it!

Now- Summer The California African American Museum (CAAM) has several noteworthy curated exhibitions worth taking the whole family to visit. Of particular note is A Memoir in Movement: Carmen de Lavallade & Geoffrey Holder and QUESTION BRIDGE: Black Males. Both exhibits left me speechless with an artist’s divine ability to present black humanity as just that, human. The best part is admission is complimentary. Do yourself a favor and go!


March 27-30 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Nuff said.


April 5 The KJLH Women’s Health Forum is critically important and a must attend for all who desire to learn best practices for physical and mental wellness. Hosted by beloved radio station Radio Free 102.3FM, this year’s theme is A Beautiful Outside starts with a Healthy Inside! and ain’t that the truth. Chock full of opportunities for screenings, speakers and important health information this is a mandatory event for all the Culture Connection ladies! The event is free and online registration is open till March 28. Carpe diem!

That’s it for this week! Please remember to make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in. – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Until next week, Peace!

Brother Malcolm


Culture Connection: A Century of Humanity

Last Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of attending Center Theatre Group’s Third Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition (AWMC)-Regional Semi-Finals.  An inspiring evening filled with, artistic promise, genuine displays of community and a greater vision of what the American theatre can look like. The AWMC is a commitment to Wilson that his words shall not be forgotten by future generations. I was moved and touched by this awesome occasion and impressed by the courage of 12 semi-finalists from across southern California High Schools, all hoping for that once in a lifetime opportunity to perform their monologue at the finals, on Broadway In New York, NY!

The competition is open to high school students from participating cities. The winners at the regional level will travel to the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway to participate in a weekend devoted to Wilson, exploring Broadway and New York City, and the final round of the competition (May 3-6, 2014).

Students perform a two to three minute monologue from any of the plays in August Wilson’s Century Cycle. The panel of judges will be comprised of theatre professionals from their respective communities. For the Los Angeles semi-finals our judges were Wren T.  Brown, Anita Dashiel, Robert Gossett, Joe Morton, Shana Waterman and William Allen Young.

First, second and third place receive scholarships in the amount of $1500, $750, $500, respectively. All finalists will receive a hardbound anthology of all ten of August Wilson’s plays. Check out this trailer for the documentary about the competition.

The AWMC started from a desire by Kenny Leon( Artistic Director of True Colors Theatre in Atlanta) and Todd Kreidler( August Wilson’s longtime dramaturg and friend) to introduce the genius of Wilson to a new generation.  If you’re not familiar with Mr. Wilson, I urge you to become acquainted with his words, with his genius, with his America.  Check out his New York Times Obituary that includes links to all the reviews of his plays, slideshows with production stills and features on one of America’s finest dramatists.

The only American playwright to write an entire 10 play cycle also known as the Century Cycle, about a culture’s progression over 100 years, Wilson’s plays have changed the theatrical cannon and have given opportunities for black actors where none previously existed. The plays are as follows:

Time Period- Play (Written)

1904 – Gem of the Ocean (2003)

1911 – Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (1984)

1927 – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (1982)

1936 – The Piano Lesson (1986)

1948 – Seven Guitars (1995)

1957 – Fences (1983)

1969 – Two Trains Running (1990)

1977 – Jitney (1979)

1985 – King Hedley II (2001)

1997 – Radio Golf (2003)

In 1996 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles August Wilson’s Seven Guitars was the first professional play I had ever seen and it changed my life. It starred Keith David, Viola Davis, Roger Robinson, Michele Shay, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tommy Hollis and Rosalyn Coleman. Who knew these giants in the theatre would go on to have Tony, Oscar and Emmy winning careers! Who knew that in 1996 a young black man from South Central Los Angeles, would see his people on stage, pursue it as his career, eventually meet and know half that cast personally and work with them professionally. God did, and here I am 16 years later, making a career of humanity. Committing myself to the noble struggle for equal rights. Making a better person of myself, a greater nation of my country and a finer world to live in.