Stories by Allison Samuels

  • Quentin Tarantino

    Tarantino Lets Loose

    How he’s shattering a genre with ‘Django Unchained’.
  • michelle-obama-NB10-main-tease

    Rumor Has It…

    What’s next for our incredibly popular first lady?
  • houston-fe01-2ndary

    Whitney's Private Hell

    A drug-using family. Heartbreaking dysfunction. Why no one could save Whitney Houston from herself.
  • scandal-divas-om02-sameuls

    Scandal's New Heroines

    This trio is keeping politicians’ secrets—and breaking ground at the same time.
  • mlk-last-hours-fe02

    Reliving MLK’s Last Hours

    A new Broadway drama with Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett recalls a fateful time.
  • Barack Obama

    The Black War Over Obama

    Could Cornel West’s fierce attacks on the president spell trouble in 2012?
  • magic-johnson-bio-slah.jpg

    I Survived

    When Magic Johnson famously announced he has HIV, it wasn't clear how long he'd live. Twenty years later, he tells of his struggles, fears, and triumphs.
  • tv-om03-wide

    Reality TV Trashes Black Women

    From Oxygen’s Bad Girls to Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise, the small screen is awash with black females who roll their eyes, bob their heads, snap their fingers, talk trash, and otherwise reinforce the ugly stereotype of the “angry black woman.”
  • oprah-sc60-hsmall

    Is Oprah’s Network Too White?

    Farah J. Griffin’s 82-year-old mother, Wilhelmenia, hasn’t missed an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" since it debuted nearly 20 years ago. So when Winfrey’s 24-hour Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) debuted on Jan. 1, Griffin upgraded her mother’s cable package so she could watch from her Philadelphia home. Only now, Griffin wants more for her money.
  • undercovers-tv-show-hsmall

    Where Are the Realistic Black TV Characters?

    After just one month on the air, NBC canceled the new spy drama "Undercovers." Some people blame the show’s writing, but it might have to do with something else: race. Though we have a black president in the White House, Hollywood is still neglecting black characters on the small screen.
  • janet-jackson-cu01-vl

    Janet Jackson: In Control

    Why do men always try to protect Michael’s little sister? With a new movie, look, and perspective on life after a painful year, Miss Jackson is serving notice: she can handle her own bruise control.
  • tease-gabby-sidibe-cover-girl

    Gabby Sidibe: Cover Girl?

    Let me make this point from the very top: Gabourey Sidibe is a wonderful actress. She was pitch-perfect as the abused and ultimately triumphant teenager in "Precious" and rightly deserved her Oscar nomination for best actress. Watching a smart and talented African-American woman get her due in these racially tense times is something that always makes me cheer.
  • alicia-keyes-privacy-hsmall

    The Case Against Celebrity Gossip

    As I sat under the hair dryer at my favorite salon perusing my regular supply of weekly entertainment glossies, I remarked out loud how breathtaking I thought singer Alicia Keys looked in her one-shoulder Vera Wang–designed wedding gown. On one particular tabloid cover, Keys seemed to glow as she kissed her new husband, Swizz Beatz, in front of a fabulous island. Usually a comment about a popular celebrity elicits an immediate response in my chatty salon. Not this day.
  • jada-pinkett-smith-karate-kid

    Women Are Gaining Power Behind the Camera

    Jada Pinkett Smith laughs knowingly when she discusses learning the “language of man” in her role as a producer, director, and actress in Tinseltown over the years. The petite star says one of the mistakes she has made and feels many other women commit in an effort to progress in the male-dominated world is trying too hard to be just one of the guys. “Early on I really think I attempted to be the loudest one in the room,” Pinkett Smith says.
  • How Henrietta Lacks Changed Medical History

    In 1951, doctors removed Henrietta Lacks's cells without her consent. More than half a century later, companies have made millions from her cell culture, while few of Lacks's descendants can even afford insurance.
  • Magic Johnson: Obama's 'Minority Czar'?

    Could African-Americans be the next constituency to turn away from Barack Obama? Polls show that the president still enjoys high approval ratings from black voters. But with unemployment hitting inner-city communities nearly twice as hard as the rest of the country, low rumblings of discontent are growing louder.Actor Danny Glover recently groused to The Daily Beast that "I don't see anything different" between Obama and George W. Bush on foreign policy. After Obama accepted Harry Reid's apology for his "Negro" remark, Georgetown scholar Michael Eric Dyson accused the president of running "from race like a black man runs from a cop." And last week, Princeton professor Cornel West blasted the president during a speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church. "Even with your foot on the brake, there are too many precious brothers and sisters under the bus," he said. "Where is the talk about poverty? We've got to protect him and respect him, but we've also got to correct him if the legacy of Martin...

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