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.

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.

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.

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...

'The Princess and the Frog': Disney's Mixed Race Royalty

For what seems like forever, I have waited for The Princess and the Frog. This is the first Disney animated film about an African-American princess, and this delightful fairy tale couldn't come at a better time, what with the two little African-American princesses who live in the White House. The newest Disney royal is named Tiana, and she's a young woman with pools for eyes, a figure straight out of a fashion magazine, and a big dream. Tiana wants to own a restaurant—she makes a mean beignet—but she's so busy working to save money for it that she barely notices when a prince comes to her corner of 1920s New Orleans. Like every Disney prince, Naveen seems completely unattainable, though for reasons that have less to do with his station or his dreamy French accent than with our own, more modern concerns. Prince Naveen has a tannish complexion, but he clearly isn't African-American. My fear is that for many in the black community, the fairy tale may just end right there. (Article...

Q&A With Rep. James Clyburn

When the House of Representatives made the unusual move to pass a "resolution of disapproval" against Joe Wilson after his outburst during the president's speech on health care, it was House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina who led the charge. He spoke to NEWSWEEK's Allison Samuels. Excerpts: ...

Jada Pinkett Smith Plays Nurse

On a set in Inglewood, Calif., will Smith busts out of his trailer door and yells at the top of his lungs, "Woman, come rub my feet!" He's speaking, loudly and in jest, to his dynamo of a wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who proceeds to dismiss him by saying, "Don't pay that fool any attention—he has no sense." She should know. She is his boss. In a bit of role reversal, Smith is working on the set of his wife's new project, Hawthorne, a TNT drama about a nurse in your typically (make that stereotypically) chaotic urban hospital. Pinkett Smith, 37, is both the show's star and co–executive producer (along with Will). If the show succeeds, she will arguably become the most powerful black woman in prime-time TV. Before Hawthorne and HBO's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency debuted a few months ago (starring Jill Scott), it had been 35 years since an African-American woman was the lead in a TV drama (Teresa Graves in Get Christie Love!). (Story continued below...)None of this history is lost...