The Break – How Much To Share/Moving Abroad

In this episode KC, Chris, Toria, Malcolm, Tash, Leisha, Shelby, Darralyn and Jamie continue their conversation about children, delving into how much we should share with them, while letting kids be kids. They also discuss traveling around and out of the country with your kids and why many black people are afraid to move abroad.

Please leave your comments and feedback below, or you can contact us via Twitter: @BLACKISONLINE Facebook: Black Is Magazine Email: Hotline: (323) 455-4219.

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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.


Culture Connection: West Indian American Day Carnival

Listen in as Brother Malcolm discusses his first time experiencing the West Indian American Day Carnival in New  York City during Labor Day Weekend! You can follow Malcolm on Twitter and Instagram @caliyalie.

For comments/questions about this episode call the hotline at (323) 455-4219!

Culture Connection: Recap of the National Black Theatre Festival

Listen in as Brother Malcolm takes us through his adventure last week at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina. Follow him for more bits of culture on Twitter @caliyalie. For comments or questions about this podcast, call the hotline at (323) 455-4219! Enjoy!


Photos courtesy of Anna Mae Lam Photography

Culture Connection: National Black Theatre Festival

This week I’m returning to LA from one of the most exhilarating and eye opening experiences I’ve had since CultureConnection UK, The National Black Theatre Festival ( ) in Winston-Salem, NC. Now celebrating its 13th year of gathering black theatre artists from across the nation (and a sprinkle from abroad),  this biennial convening is something that must be seen and experienced to be believed.

Firstly, imagine a small southern city that is completely taken over by a week long festival for, about and curated by black folks. As an Angeleno I can’t imagine thousands of black theatre artists taking over my beloved LA with their new plays, workshop readings and celebrity sightings galore, well celebrity sightings aside much of what I’ve seen in three days of this 7 day festival is extraordinary and truly historical. From honoring the legends of our field to providing a platform for our youth to engage their artistic sensibilities, The National Black Theatre Festival is truly as it tagline professes Black Theatre Holy Ground.

Next week I’ll be back on the podcast to give you a complete run down of the entire festival complete with reviews of plays, the city of Winston-Salem and of course the people watching! If you don’t know me by now, this is a serious hobby of mine, serious.

Until next week remember to make a career out  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.

Bro. Malcolm

LIVE PODCAST: The Verdict Is In – Now What?

Join the Black Is Break podcast team for a LIVE podcast episode this Friday, July 19th via Spreecast at 8 PM PST. The team will be discussing their responses to the Zimmerman trial and verdict, and more importantly discuss ideas for progression for Black Americans at this point. RSVP today to participate in the conversation and join our chat room.

Also, LA Babies, check in with our Facebook page frequently to stay abreast of #JusticeforTrayvon rallies happening around the city. Tonight, join the Black Life Matters organization in the valley from 6pm – midnight for a march through suburban neighborhoods. Come with peace in your heart and a hoodie on your head! The rally will begin on Ventura Blvd at Hayvenhurst and culminate on Cahuenga Blvd.

It’s time to STAND UP!

The Break: Mics Off!

In this Mics Off! edition of The Break, we discuss random topics including, Obama helping the black community, violence in Chicago, black on black crime, taking responsibility, and hoodrats getting tazered.

Contact Us: Email –; Twitter – @BLACKISONLINE; Facebook – Black Is Magazine; Voicemail – (323) 455-4219


Culture Connection- Gamal Palmer

Listen in as Brother Malcolm talks to visionary founder of Local Leaders / Global Lens (LLGL), Gamal Palmer. LLGL is producing a new generation of collaborative leaders and social impact entrepreneurs of color (Asian, Latino, Black and Native American) to address a variety of significant needs in communities of color. Using techniques of applied theater and community engagement, LLGL offers collaborative leadership development for Social justice advocates, educators and artists.


Culture Connection: Bryan Terrell Clark

Listen in as Brother Malcolm chats with actor, singer and songwriter Bryan Terrell Clark about growing up in Baltimore, his career and what it means to play the role of a musical icon in his Broadway debut.

For more information on Bryan visit his site:
Check out Motown The Musical on Broadway here: