| Jan 9, 2014
| 12:41 PM
Amiri Baraka died Thursday after weeks of failing health, a family spokeperson confirmed. He was 79.
A playwright, poet, critic and activist, Baraka was one of the most prominent and controversial African American voices in the world of American...
| Dec 9, 2013
| 6:00 AM
Time was when Christmas movies were as reliably white as a North Pole winter. Such holiday classics as "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street" came to define the American cultural psyche during the holidays for decades. Later films set around...
| Nov 25, 2013
A child is born, a family is healed, and a sermon on forgiveness is delivered with sledgehammer subtlety in "Black Nativity," a bold but clumsy attempt to bring Langston Hughes' popular musical to life onscreen. You have to admire the earnest, nakedly...
| Sep 8, 2013
| 6:17 PM
Brian Dolinar's new book, "The Negro in Illinois: The WPA Papers," was released this summer, and if the title sounds dated it's because the book began its long road to publication in the late 1930s but was sidelined by two formidable obstacles —...
| Sep 20, 2013
| 4:32 PM
This week marked the 50th anniversary remembrance of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. — a notorious, racially motivated crime that killed four little girls and helped gain support for the passage of the Civil...
| Nov 30, 2013
| 11:35 AM
Black Friday arrived at the box office this Thanksgiving weekend with moviegoers showing sustained appetite for leftovers. In its second weekend in theaters, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is on a course to not only come in first; it may...
| Nov 27, 2013
| 3:11 PM
It may not thaw the hold that “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” has on the box office, but Walt Disney Pictures will be turning up the heat with “Frozen,” its new 3-D computer-animated musical.
Entering the Thanksgiving holiday...
| Nov 30, 2013
| 2:30 PM
Move over, Frosty. A quixotic snowman who longs to experience summer handily steals the show in "Frozen," Disney's 53rd in-house animated feature and one of its most classical, with a Hans Christian Andersen pedigree, a full-fledged...
| Dec 1, 2013
| 10:40 AM
The holiday box office exploded this weekend as both "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and "Frozen" topped records held by "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" for the biggest three-day and five-day Thanksgiving weekend grosses.
Generating a studio-...
| Nov 26, 2013
** (out of four)
Around the holidays, you could go to church or you could go to “Black Nativity,” a 90-minute sermon posing as a movie.
There’s nothing wrong with a film advocating gratitude and forgiveness, of course. But written...
| Oct 15, 2013
| 6:30 PM
Whether you call them "specialty films" or "adult dramas" or "alternatives to blockbusters," it's clear that 2013 is an exceptionally exciting year for films that quicken the pulses of movie fans and ratchet up the stakes for the annual awards season...