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Articles in the Black C-Listers Category

Black C-Listers, Celebutainment, Good Hair Gone Bad, Haterade, Jacko, Miscegenation, Music »

[5 Mar 2010 | 4 Comments | ]
This Week’s Love/Hate Relationship With Black Pop Culture

I don’t usually start with something I hate, but as you’ve surely heard by now hip-hop legend Guru is having serious health issues and is in the hospital after a string of crises involving a heart attack, asthma attack, and …

Black C-Listers, The Black Archives »

[4 Nov 2009 | 15 Comments | ]
My Five Favorite Things About Sesame Street

Sesame Street turns forty years old today, which is quite an achievement even though Muppets can't die and don't age. The real accomplishment is that the show is an iconic collection of stuff about childhood and learning about our world nice and early. My Five Favorite Things About Sesame Street are...


5. The Robinson Family. Sesame Street was originally created for black, disadvantaged pre-schoolers, so the black Robinson family was supposed to be the focus of the the show even before the Muppets became part of the cast. Gordon Robinson (Roscoe Orman, who has played Gordon since 1974) is a teacher and is wife Susan (Loretta Long) a nurse. Throughout the show's run we've met

Black C-Listers, Review »

[14 Oct 2009 | 5 Comments | ]
Black Dynamite is No Jive Turkey (Film Review)

Black Dynamite was simply the funniest movie I've seen this year. The blaxploitation spoof delivers everything from basic slapstick comedy to inside jokes about the black experience, and is all the more hilarious if, like me, you appreciate the outlandish nature of the spoof genre (Airplane!, Naked Gun), but also have a fascination with classics like Coffy, Shaft, and Black Caesar. Although the campy nature of 70's black film is the running gag and wears a bit thin over time, the movie is an ideally complete and accurate parody of a characteristically ridiculous, yet undeniably significant genre of black film - call it the I'm Gonna Git You Sucka of 2009.


Michael Jai White is

Black C-Listers, The Black Archives »

[8 Oct 2009 | 2 Comments | ]
Obscure Black C-Listers: The Black Dynamite Edition

I just caught a screening of the Michael Jai White blaxploitation spoof Black Dynamite, which hits theaters October 16 (I will provide a full review next week). Before I even got to the theater the cast list had my toes tingling with my usual passion for the Black C-Lister. Tommy Davidson and Arsenio Hall are well-known actors who've been hard to find in recent years, and I've already written about the exhibits of wackness that are Bokeem Woodbine and Miguel Nunez, but almost everyone else in the cast has been on my obscure actor radar since I started featuring the lesser known and praised black actor, so let's go!


Obba Babatunde is

Black C-Listers, Long Live the Colored Race!, The Black Archives »

[17 Sep 2009 | 5 Comments | ]
Everyone you've ever heard of died this summer, but so did someone you probably recognize by face but not by name. Zakes Mokae almost fits into the Obscure Black C-Lister category, and sadly instead of a timely post celebrating his career I have to write about him in memoriam after his passing last week.


Zakes Mokae was the African dude - Father Kani in Cry Freedom, Lettie's South African old flame on A Different World, Dr. Zeko in A Vampire In Brooklyn, and Big Kathy in A Rage In Harlem. Mokae had a recurring role on Oz and guest spots on Law & Order, Monk, and The X-Files. If you saw the extremely creepy Wes Craven movie The Serpent

Black C-Listers, Jacko, Now That's Dancing!, What the Eff? »

[16 Sep 2009 | 4 Comments | ]
“What The Eff?” Wednesday: Brother Franklin brofranklin There are three types of people on online: the kind who have never heard of Brother Franklin, the kind who have only seen him out of the corner of their eye once or twice, and the kind who watch his videos as often as possible just for a pick-me-up. The purpose of this post is to turn you into that last person, and as usual you'll either love me or hate me for it. First a primer: A few months ago a video of a man with a very special feeling about the Lord blazed across the internet. Please note that this video was posted in May, so the "Remember The Time" combination towards the end was completely

Black C-Listers, The Black Archives »

[28 Jul 2009 | 12 Comments | ]
Obscure Black C-Lister Redux: Bumper Robinson brI've never needed to repeat a Black C-Lister profile because there are still dozens of random actors I need to point out and discuss. But thanks to VH-1's recent heavy rotation of 1992's The Jacksons: An American Dream I've caught a glimpse or two of the TV movie with fresh eyes lately. In fact don't get me to lyin' - I squeal with anticipation whenever it comes on.

Black C-Listers, The Black Archives »

[17 Jun 2009 | 3 Comments | ]
Obscure Black C-Listers: John Lafayette


If it weren't for his pronounced overbite, John Lafayette would just blur into the crowd for me. I've always had a thing for men with overbites, so I only recently put his career together and realized that he's old enough to be my father -  nevermind his salt & pepper hair and tendency to play dad-types. His powerful voice and presence have made him perfect for bit parts in procedural dramas like The Closer, Cold Case, and Without A Trace, usually playing a concerned parent sick of the police giving him the run-around.

Black C-Listers, The Black Archives »

[10 Jun 2009 | 10 Comments | ]
Obscure Black C-Listers: Tyra Ferrell

Stop The Presses: What happened to Tyra Ferrell?


Bringing her theater background from New York to Los Angeles, Tyra Ferrell wet her feet with numerous small roles on early 1980's kid shows like Square One (a favorite of mine) and the notorious Afterschool Special. She also performed alongside late-80's bigtime actors like Denzel Washington and Sheryl Lee Ralph in The Mighty Quinn and had a recurring role on the larger-than-mainstream-life drama thirtysomething. Perhaps the crux of her career was the combo punch of roles in School Daze, Jungle Fever, and Boyz N Da Hood.

Black C-Listers »

[2 Jun 2009 | 3 Comments | ]
Obscure Black C-Listers: Phill Lewis


Phill Lewis' familiar face has been seen in roles ranging from frat boy to pimp to teacher and back. He's got a corny, straight-edge, wholesomeness to him that can turn on a dime to play edgier, meaner characters, but he also has a comedic streak.

Black C-Listers, The Black Archives, The Black Version »

[26 Mar 2009 | 13 Comments | ]
Obscure Black C-Listers: Dorian Harewood

Dorian Harewood epitomizes the problematic nature of the category “obscure black c-listers.” Yes, I know I’m the one responsible for its creation, but please allow me to re-explain what the term means because I’ve fielded numerous questions about it lately.…

Black C-Listers, The Black Archives »

[26 Feb 2009 | 12 Comments | ]


Lee Weaver may be the quintessential Obscure Black C-Lister; you’ve seen him dozens of times but could you ever even try to guess his name? His fifty years in television and film (125 credits!) is practically unparalleled, and he continues …

Black C-Listers, The Black Archives »

[29 Jan 2009 | 15 Comments | ]
Obscure Black C-Listers: Clifton Powell


I had to wait more than a year and a half to finally post about Clifton Powell because my blog cousin Invisible Woman beat me to it, calling him “the hardest working black man in show business” in …

Black C-Listers, The Black Archives »

[22 Jan 2009 | 6 Comments | ]
Obscure Black C-Listers: Melissa De Sousa


According to everything we  know about how Hollywood works for black women (to the extent that it works at all), Melissa De Sousa should be at least a B-lister. Of Panamanian descent, De Sousa attended New York’s High School of …

Black C-Listers, The Black Archives »

[18 Dec 2008 | 11 Comments | ]
Obscure Black C-Listers: T.K. Carter


What really happened to T.K. Carter? The Missing Person police are satisfied as long as IMDB.com lists a few recent credits for an actor, but Thembi is not. He broke into the industry at the age of twelve with a …