Television and Film Have a Role to Play in Repairing a Fractured America

Despite the Bitterness Splintering the Nation, History Shows We’re “All in the Family"

In American memory, if not always in reality, television and film once played a unifying role. During the Great Depression, decadent Hollywood productions delivered welcome diversion. At the dawn of rock n’ roll, Elvis and The Beatles landed in living rooms across America via The Ed Sullivan Show. During the upheavals of the ‘60s and ‘70s, Walter Cronkite functioned as a reassuring and trustworthy pater familias. And in the 1980s, Michael Jackson moonwalked his way onto screens large and small, criss-crossing ethnic boundaries. But gradually, as shopping mall cineplexes …

More In: Hollywood

Los Angeles, Late 1980s

My knee-high lace-up moccasins made me
forget the nights my mother was lost in vodka.
I walked deep in the gunk of Hollywood.
The stretch of sidewalk glittered. Vendors
sold …

L.A.’s Forgotten Avenue of the Athletes

Thirty-Two Grimy Bronze Plaques Are All That Remain of a Grand Vision to Create a Walk of Fame for Sports

Walking along Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles the other day I stumbled across an old acquaintance. On a small bronze plaque embedded into the sidewalk was the name Jimmy …

With Free State of Jones, Hollywood’s Civil War Comes Closer to History’s

Pop Culture May Finally Be Ready to Surrender the Myth of a Noble, Confederate Lost Cause

The setting is the piney woods of Civil War Jones County, Mississippi. The white farmer Newt Knight leads a band of deserters against Confederate forces. An enslaved woman, Rachel, lends …

America’s First ‘Indian’ TV Star Was a Black Man from Missouri

Stymied by Hollywood Racism, Korla Pandit Reinvented Himself as a Mystical Brahmin Pianist

Turning on the TV in Los Angeles in 1949, you might have come face-to-face with a young man in a jeweled turban with a dreamy gaze accentuated by dark eye …