Oscars Diversity Campaign Will Take Time as Protest Widens

Steve Gorman and Piya Sinha-Roy

Amid an outcry against a field of Oscar-nominated performers lacking a single person of color for a second straight year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a sweeping affirmative action program on Friday, pledging to double female and minority membership by 2020. But host Chris Rock will not step away from the high-profile job, the show's producer Reginald Hudlin said last Saturday.

Republicans, Democrats Prepare for Supreme Court Battle After Scalia's Death

Doina Chiacu and Lawrence Hurley

Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates hardened their positions on Sunday on blocking a move by President Barack Obama to fill the seat left by the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a lifetime appointment that would help decide some of the most divisive issues facing Americans. The next justice could tilt the balance of the nation's highest court, which was left with four conservatives and four liberals. 

Slouching Towards Joan Didion in Tracy Daugherty’s ‘Last Love Song’

Lee Polevoi

Joan Didion has written at least one iconic novel, Play It As It Lays, and several groundbreaking works of nonfiction, including the essay collections, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, and The White Album. As definitive impressionistic works of the 1960s, they should endure well into the future. Probably Didion is best known for her late-career memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking. In this book (later adapted for, of all things, the Broadway stage), she recounts the harrowing experience of losing her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, and their beloved adopted daughter, Quintana Roo.

Cuba in Waiting: Capitalism (and Reforms) Have Not Arrived

Louis Nevaer

Six months after the United States and Cuba resumed full diplomatic relations, the expectation that the resumption of ties would encourage changes in Cuban society has not been met. On the contrary, the Raúl Castro’s regime has increased arbitrary arrests of dissidents and brutal attacks on the Ladies in White, a pacifist group of wives and mothers of the arrested who march through the streets dressed in white and in silence, dampening hopes of the exhausted Cuban nation that change would finally arrive.

Trump and Cruz Are the GOP's Worst Nightmare

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The election walk-over for presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is the nightmare that has haunted the GOP party leaders from the moment that Trump and Cruz declared their candidacies. Both men are the most polarizing presidential ticket candidates since Sarah Palin turned the GOP White House bid into a running Comedy Central riff. This election go-round it’s far worse than when Palin was on the ticket in 2008 and later made some soundings about a 2012 presidential bid. 

The World of Political Correctness, According to Chinese Students

Matt Moir

 Hundreds of thousands of Chinese students are witness to the culture war between liberal student activists battling against what they see as a racist, patriarchal and sexist culture, and their critics, convinced that universities are becoming less hotbeds of vigorous debate, but places where hypersensitive students are coddled, and unpopular views are effectively squelched. As is the case with any group of students, the views of Chinese nationals toward cultural appropriation, trigger warnings and other hot-button campus issues reflect the full spectrum of opinion.

Picasso’s Sculpture Show at MOMA – The Artist’s Giant Playpen

Sandra Bertrand

Occupying the entire fourth floor galleries, the exhibit allows the spectator to experience many enthralling works in the round, returning to re-examine, question, and wonder at the prolific, unstoppable genius of the man.   A handy takeaway pamphlet with sketches and accompanying descriptions eliminates the need for wall notes.  This reinvention of gallery space to accommodate approximately 140 sculptures is the handiwork of curators Ann Temkin and Anne Umland, with the assistance of Virginie Perdrisot, Curator of Sculptures and Ceramics at the Musee National Picasso in Paris. 

Hillary Clinton Has African-American Support, But Can She Keep It?

Nigel Roberts

With the recession now in the rearview mirror, black people want to be part of the nation’s economic recovery. Hillary Clinton proposes a menu of solutions to raise incomes for struggling families. They range from tax cuts for child care to encouraging corporations to share their rising profits with workers. In an interview with The Root, Clinton’s senior policy adviser, Maya Harris, underscored the candidate’s plan to “unleash small-business growth.” Harris says black women, who represent the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs, would benefit.

How Pop Art Icon Peter Max Became the Quintessential American Artist

Kristin Sancken

Max’s studio is a massive 10,000 square foot loft on the Upper West Side of Manhattan filled with  photographs of the artist with every president from Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George Bush and, of course, Barack Obama. The rest of the space is filled with paintings of patriotic icons and pop culture subjects: athletes, the New York City skyline, sporting events, even Taylor Swift have somehow come to find refuge in Max’s work. 

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