Allison Samuels

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.

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.

Travel: The Slave Castle of Ghana

It takes four hours on an un-air-conditioned minibus called a tro-tros to get from Accra, the capital of Ghana, to the town of Elmina. The drive is lovely, especially when the road dances above the beautiful Cape Coast and when it enters Elmina's twisty streets lined with palm trees and hundreds of people trading fish like we buy hamburgers at McDonald's.

Q&A: Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones—musician, producer, Oprah's BFF—has put his life (including his school report cards) into a coffee-table book: "The Complete Quincy Jones: My Journey and Passions.'' He spoke to Allison Samuels: You had a rough childhood.My dad worked as a carpenter for the black mob, called the Jones Brothers, who ran the South Side of Chicago.

Obama: Race Trumps Gender

A few of my more socially progressive girlfriends have expressed surprise and dismay that, as a woman, I seem to feel no particular allegiance to Hillary Clinton and her quest to become the first female president.

Lost In the Obama Era

Jesse Jackson can still get a crowd going—when he can find one. He appeared at a Los Angeles restaurant this fall, primed to discuss school dropout rates and home foreclosures.

Can Oprah Help Obama in Dixie?

They bonded during a flight from Chicago to Houston, musing over their odd-sounding names that begin with "O." It was a light-hearted moment between Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama during an otherwise serious mission in 2005 to comfort victims of Hurricane Katrina. "I think she saw his giving spirit and that really touched her," says Winfrey's friend, music legend Quincy Jones. "You can't fake the funk in those horrible circumstances."There's no faking that things are a bit funky for Obama...