Culture Connection: Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Listen in as Malcolm discusses the film, Lee Daniels’ The Butler with Chris and KC Lehman, the performances by the stellar cast, and its depiction of American history. You can follow Malcolm on Twitter for more bites of culture @caliyalie.

For more information about this episode, please call the hotline at (323) 455-4219!

The Break: The Scottsboro Boys (PODCAST)

Listen in as KC and the family discuss their recent field trip to see the controversial musical, The Scottsboro Boys, based off of the 1931 historic incident in Scottsboro, Alabama. Podcast guests include Chris Lehman, Arian White, and Tash Moseley.

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

Track: “Golden Diva” by Flying Lotus

Culture Connection: Artistic POV of the UK

Culture vultures, it’s been three weeks since Malcolm left for the UK and he’s having such an amazing time! Check out this slideshow of some of the cultural events and attractions he’s had a chance to check out! We have so much in store for you upon his return to the States! Enjoy!

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LA EVENTS: The Scottsboro Boys

The final collaboration by musical theatre giants Kander & Ebb is their most daring, original and rewarding.

The Scottsboro Boys will have you tapping your toes and screaming for justice as the tables are turned on one of the most infamous events in American history: nine African American men accused of a crime they did not commit.  This wildly entertaining show shocks and delights, and reverberates with glorious music, inspired storytelling, innovative staging and extraordinary performances. You’ll rejoice at the emotionally-charged power of The Scottsboro Boys. Five-time Tony Award®-winner Susan Stroman (The Producers) directs and choreographs with a book by David Thompson (Chicago revival) and music and lyrics by John Kander & Fred Ebb.

Tickets on sale now through Center Theatre Group!

Culture Connection: Holding On To Our Artistic History

In this episode, Brother Malcolm explains why it’s important we maintain the history of Black artistry – and pass it on – so future generations know more about its origins and the forerunners of today’s pop icons.

For comments or questions on this episode, please call the hotline at (323) 455-4219!

Photos by Anna Mae Lam Photography

The Break: Django Unchained Part I (PODCAST)

Listen in to the first part of this installment as KC and the fam review and dissect Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie Django Unchained and discuss the dramatization of slavery, the series Roots, commentary by filmmaker Spike Lee, and our kids relationship (or lack therof) to American history. Podcast guests include Chris Lehman, Toria Williams, Malcolm Darrell, Darius Gray, Leisha Mack and special guest, Merc80!

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

Culture Connection: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Earlier this week we celebrated the 106th anniversary of the first Black fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Now, Brother Malcolm, with special guest Chris Lehman, discuss their relationship with the organization and the impact it has had on their lives as members.

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


Congratulations Mr. President!

Last night, Mr. Lehman and I sat with friends at one of our favorite restaurants in our community, Post & Beam and watched election results come in. The collective enthusiasm in the space made the reelection of Barack Hussein Obama that much more exciting. The entire BI family wishes him well on his second term and will continue to support him as he works through one of the toughest social and economic times in our country’s history.

What we can’t ignore is how clearly divided our country remains in 2012. The foundation of inequality on which this country is built remains deeply rooted in the soul of the country itself; the response of some to a Black president in office has made that distinction clear. As much as we like to relegate many of the acts that have made the United States infamous as being in the past, like William Faulker said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

However, last night’s reelection affirms what most people of color know to be true: collectively we are not the minority, but the majority and together we can make our voices heard. This country, and specifically those that cleave to traditions and beliefs of old have much to consider and adapt to, because times truly are a-changin’.

Congratulations Obama – we still believe in you.


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Movers & Shakers: Ted Hayes

Listen in as John Wood has a passionate,vigorous chat with activist and author, Ted Hayes. Hayes is also an advocate for the homeless, an avid cricket player, and formerly an outspoken Black Republican. Listen in as he and Wood discuss “chattel” slaves, the state of the Black community today, immigration, and the problems of Black culture.*


*The statements made by Mr. Hayes do not reflect the thoughts and beliefs of the Black Is team.

Excellence Personified: Gabby Douglas

Gymnastics is one of those sports that I won’t miss during the Olympics, and this year with 16-year old Gabrielle Douglas on the American team, I’ve been glued to the television for their performances. We all watched with bated breath as on July 31st, Douglas and her teammates, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber, won the team all-around gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympic But yesterday, August 2nd, was the cherry on top as Douglas won the gold medal in the individual all-around, becoming the first African-American woman and first woman of color to win the event. She is also the first American gymnast ever to win both the team and individual all-around gold at the same Olympics. Perhaps the best is still to come, as Douglas is scheduled to take part in the finals of uneven bars on August 6th and balance beam on August 7th.

What does this tell us about excellence? Truthfully, that it stands within our reach, and any reason for not trying to make contact with it lives as an excuse. Gabby Douglas doesn’t come from a remarkable background; there is no indication of her family being superior in wealth or education. What we do know is she had the type of familial support that encouraged, sacrificed, and rallied around her talent and desire to become who she stands as today. In addition to that, Gabby’s determination and focus on her own goals have her in the midst of an elite group of athletes at the age of 16. She has nowhere to go but up. 

I see Gabby Douglas as an example to myself as a parent and educator to continue to support and encourage all children to strive for excellence. Our backgrounds, culture, and race do not define or provide limits to our abilities. It is our ability to dream that determines our futures really, for it we can see where we want to be we can create that life for ourselves.

Today, I won’t concentrate on the ignorant portrayals of Black women specifically in mass media because beyond them stands a girl, Gabby Douglas, whose light is so bright it blocks all else out. Gabby, we are proud of your for setting an example for us, and for making history out of your passion. Thank you for reminding us that in order to be excellent, all we need to do it go for the gold.