“When you believe in your clients and are working to help achieve justice, it makes you proud to go to work every day,” said Nierman. “We will continue to support Debanee and admire her tenacity and commitment to pursuing the whole truth about what transpired during that tragic night in Anguilla.” … [Read more...] about In Wake of People Magazine Cover Story, Red Banyan Pledges to Continue Efforts to Help Family Members of Casey MacPherson and Caleb Guillory Seek Justice
Originally composed as a meditation on gratitude in the midst of her own cancer recovery, Sage's song – inspired by popular meditation app Headspace – has taken on new resonance during Covid-19 and the protests against racial injustice, offering hope for a better tomorrow. Sage, who has been writing songs since she was in kindergarten, excitedly thanked listeners on social media: "I'm so grateful that people have been responding to this message of hope in challenging times. I am especially grateful that Morgan Sage was such a big part of the visualization of this song, and for her beautiful skating in the video. Thank you to everyone for continuing to show this kind of love & support – and for allowing me to continue on this beautiful musical journey." … [Read more...] about Rachael Sage’s Single Debuts on Billboard Chart at #40
You also wonder why — aside from the paychecks — she so often writes about celebrities. An essay in her previous collection, Changing My Mind (2009), recounted a trip to the Academy Awards without naming any actors or actresses: a neat literary stunt and surely an assignment impossible to resist. The approach to celebrity is personal in Feel Free, which includes profiles of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele and Jay-Z (Smith has two brothers: one a comedian, the other a rapper), as well as a speculative essay about Justin Bieber. Smith is drawn to Key and Peele as fellow biracial artists, as avatars of “nerd culture,” and for their “chameleonic” abilities as impressionists. The performers’ physicality, as well as their recourse to hair and makeup, is a tool the novelist, burdened with the duties of interiority, doesn’t have. With Jay-Z, her interest is in the arc of his career and his maturation from technical prodigy to master, with … [Read more...] about Will Zadie Smith Ever Feel Free?
A week ago, as protesters rallied around the world against systemic racism and police brutality, 12 board members of the National Book Critics Circle, an organization of some 800 critics that gives out a number of annual awards, began to draft a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Noting that the publishing industry has long been overwhelmingly white from top to bottom, they wrote of their “culpability in this system of erasure” of black and indigenous voices from the cultural conversation and outlined a series of steps that their organization could take to support critics of color and amplify their voices, such as expanding the organization’s mentorship program and establishing a diversity committee. Just 30 percent of last year’s winners and finalists were writers of color, they wrote: “We can and must do better.” … [Read more...] about The National Book Critics Circle Has Imploded
9. You can’t wait quite so long for everything to make sense. No show wants to be in the position Fox’s Empire found itself in when the onset of the coronavirus meant that the two episodes designed to tie up all the loose ends in its six-year run of OMG plot twists would never be shot. (Another long-runner, Supernatural, had its 15th and final season cut short but is hoping to resolve everything with a seven-episode mini-season late in the year.) Network shows are often in postproduction until just days before they air, so a sudden reversal of fortune, whether a sick crew member, a new quarantine, or a change of a state or city policy, could potentially stop a show with almost no notice. If that happens, it’s best not to go out on a cliffhanger. In 2020, real life is providing more than enough of those. … [Read more...] about Hollywood’s New Pandemic Protocols