Aug 31, 2020
Topics: Million Man March, TLC, Friday, UPN (Bonus Artist: Luck
2. President: Bill Clinton
3. Jan - The WB Television Network
and The United Paramount Network (UPN) launches.
4. Mar - Yahoo! was incorporated
and soon became the first popular online directory and search
engine on the World Wide Web.
5. Mar - Mississippi ratifies the
Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the
abolition of slavery. The amendment was nationally ratified in
1865. Until February 7, 2013, the state of Mississippi had never
submitted the required documentation to ratify the Thirteenth
Amendment, meaning it never officially abolished slavery.
6. Mar - Eric Lynn Wright
(September 7, 1964 – March 26, 1995), known professionally as
Eazy-E is suddenly hospitalized, diagnosed with AIDS, and dies due
to its complications.
7. Apr - Oklahoma City bombing:
168 people, including 8 Federal Marshals and 19 children, are
killed at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Timothy McVeigh
and one of his accomplices, Terry Nichols, set off the bomb.
8. May - In Culpeper, Virginia,
actor Christopher Reeve is paralyzed from the neck down after
falling from his horse in a riding competition. [See - “Superman
9. Sep - Rock and Roll Hall of
10. Oct - The Million Man March is
held in Washington, D.C. The event was conceived by Nation of Islam
leader Louis Farrakhan.
11. Dec - The presidents of
Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia sign a peace treaty in Paris, ending a
12. Music Snapshots
13. #1 "Gangsta's Paradise",
Coolio featuring L.V.
14. #2 "Waterfalls", TLC
15. #3 "Creep", TLC
16. Record of the Year: "Kiss From
a Rose", Seal
17. Album of the Year: Jagged
Little Pill, Alanis Morissette
18. Song of the Year: "Kiss From a
19. Best New Artist: Hootie &
20. Best Female R&B: Anita
Baker for "I Apologize"
21. Best Male R&B: Stevie
Wonder for "For Your Love"
22. Best R&B Performance by a
Duo or Group: TLC for "Creep"
23. Best R&B Song: Stevie
Wonder (songwriter) for "For Your Love"
24. Best R&B Album: TLC for
25. Best Rap Solo: "Gangsta's
26. Best Rap Performance by a Duo
or Group: "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By",
Method Man featuring Mary J. Blige
27. Best Rap Album: Poverty's
Paradise, Naughty by Nature
28. Movie Snapshots
29. #1 Die Hard with a
30. #2 Toy Story
31. #3 Apollo 13
32. Notables: Higher Learning,
Major Payne, Bad Boys, New Jersey Drive, Friday, Braveheart, Batman
Forever, Pocahontas, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie,
Clueless, Waterworld, Mortal Kombat, The Tuskegee Airmen, The Usual
Suspects, Seven, Dead Presidents, The American President, Casino,
Money Train, Heat, Waiting to Exhale.
33. TV Snapshots
34. Top TV Shows
35. #1 ER
36. #2 Seinfeld
37. #3 Friends
38. Debuts: The Wayans Bros. (WB),
The Parent 'Hood (WB), Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (still
airing), In the House
39. Economic Snapshots
40. Income = 35.9k (Previously
41. House = 113.1K (119)
42. Car = 15.5k (12.5)
43. Rent = 550 (533)
44. Harvard = 26.2k (24.9)
45. Movie = 4.35 (4)
46. Gas = 1.12 (1.09)
47. Stamp .32 (.29)
48. Social Scene: Million Man
49. A political demonstration in
Washington, D.C., on Oct. 16, 1995, to promote African American
unity and family values. Estimates of the number of marchers, most
of whom were African American men, ranged from 400,000 to nearly
1.1 million, ranking it among the largest gatherings of its kind in
50. Several African American
leaders did not support the march, including Mary Frances Berry,
chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and Rep. John
Lewis, the latter of whom saw Farrakhan’s message as an effort to
52. Featured Speaker: Louis
Farrakhan, @62 yrs old
53. Born Louis Eugene Wolcott on
May 11, 1933, in New York City, New York, to Sarah Mae Manning and
Percival Clark. His parents separated even before he was
54. He did not know his biological
father and was brought up by his stepfather Louis Wolcott. The
death of his stepfather in 1936 led to the relocation of his family
to Boston, Massachusetts.
55. From an early age, he received
rigorous training in violin, so much so that by the time he turned
13 he had mastered the instrument and was playing along with the
‘Boston College Orchestra’ and ‘Boston Civic Symphony.’
56. In his first year as a
teenager, he became one of the first black performers to appear on
the ‘Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour. ‘The following year, he had
two national level victories under his belt.
57. He attended the prestigious
‘Boston Latin School’ after which he was admitted to ‘English High
School. ‘After graduating from ‘English High School,’ he enrolled
for a three-year course at the ‘Winston-Salem Teachers College’ on
a track scholarship.
58. Starting from the 1950s, he
pursued a career in music. He recorded several calypso albums under
the pseudonym ‘The Charmer. ‘He toured frequently since the release
of his first album. In 1955, he organized a show titled ‘Calypso
Follies’ in Chicago.
59. Interestingly, one of his
songs remained a chartbuster and on top of the ‘Billboard Chart’
for five years in a row.
60. It was while pursuing his
professional music career that he was first exposed to the
teachings of ‘Nation of Islam’ through his friend and saxophonist
61. Later, Elijah Muhammad invited
him to attend the Nation of Islam’s annual ‘Saviours' Day’ address.
Inspired by the discourse, he resolved to be a member of ‘Nation of
Islam’ (NOI) in 1955. (@22)
62. He fulfilled all the
requirements to become a registered Muslim/ registered believer/
registered laborer of NOI. Subsequently, he received an approval by
the NOI headquarter in July 1955.
63. Initially known by the name
Louis X, his name was later changed to the ‘holy name’ Louis
Farrakhan. A derivative of the Arabic word furqan, which means "The
Criterion". He gave up on a music career and dedicated his life to
the ‘Nation of Islam.’
64. Within a span of nine months,
he worked his way up and started serving as the assistant minister
to Malcolm X, who was heading the Muhammad’s Temple of Islam in
Boston at that time.
65. He was soon made the minister
as Malcom X was shifted to the Temple of Muhammad in Harlem, New
York. Farrakhan replaced Malcom X as the minister at the Boston
66. Malcolm X was assassinated on
21 February 1965 and Farrakhan profited from it as he was appointed
to two prominent positions in NOI. (@32)
67. He was appointed to the chair
of the minister of the influential Harlem Mosque in 1965, a
position which he held until 1975. Furthermore, he became the
national spokesman and representative of NOI and served in this
position until Elijah Muhammad’s death in 1975.
68. In 1975, the Nation's
leadership chose Wallace Muhammad, also known as Warith Deen
Mohammad, the fifth of Elijah Muhammad's sons, not Farrakhan, as
the new Supreme Minister.
69. Though Farrakhan remained a
loyalist of the Muhammad clan for some time, in 1977 he withdrew
his support from the organization and rebuilt the original ‘Nation
of Islam’ which had been established by its founders.
70. Soon after its foundation, he
started a weekly newspaper by the name ‘The Final Call, Inc.’ The
objective of this initiation was to communicate his views and
thoughts to the supporters and members.
71. Two years later, along with
his supporters, he organized the first ‘Saviours’ Day’ convention
in Chicago. His group promised to walk by the principles of Elijah
72. Throughout his leadership, he
blamed the Jewish community and other ethnic and racial groups for
the sufferings endured by African Americans.
73. In October of 1995, he planned
a broad coalition, intending to assemble about one million men in
Washington DC for the ‘Million Man March.’
74. At the convention, he was the
keynote speaker along with distinguished African American
intellectuals, such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King III, Cornel
West, Jesse Jackson, and Benjamin Chavis.
75. Question: Who else could pull
this off today? Where have our leaders gone? (Besides Obama)
76. Music Scene
77. #1 "Gangsta's Paradise",
Coolio featuring L.V.
78. #2 "Waterfalls", TLC
79. #3 "Creep", TLC
80. #4 "Kiss from a Rose",
81. #5 "On Bended Knee", Boyz II
82. #6 "Another Night", Real
83. #7 "Fantasy", Mariah
84. #9 "Don't Take It Personal
(Just One of Dem Days)", Monica
85. #10 "This Is How We Do It",
86. #11 "I Know", Dionne
87. #12 "Water Runs Dry", Boyz II
88. #13 "Freak Like Me", Adina
89. #15 "I Can Love You Like
90. #18 "Boombastic" / "In the
91. #20 "You Gotta Be",
92. #21 "You Are Not Alone",
93. #23 "One More Chance", The
94. #24 "Here Comes the
Hotstepper", Ini Kamoze
95. #25 "Candy Rain", Soul for
96. #27 "I Believe", Blessid Union
97. #28 "Red Light Special",
98. #29 "Runaway", Janet
99. #31 "Colors of the Wind",
100. #32 "Someone to Love", Jon
101. #34 "If You Love Me",
102. #36 "I Got 5 on It",
103. #37 "Baby", Brandy
104. #40 "He's Mine",
106. Jan - My Life, Mary J.
107. Feb - Cocktails, Too
108. Mar - Safe + Sound, DJ
109. Apr - Me Against the World,
110. Apr - Friday,
111. Jun - Poverty's Paradise,
Naughty by Nature
112. Jul - HIStory: Past, Present
and Future, Book I, Michael Jackson
113. Jul - Operation Stackola,
114. Aug - The Show, the After
Party, the Hotel, Jodeci
115. Aug - E. 1999 Eternal, Bone
116. Sep - The Show,
117. Oct - 4,5,6, Kool G Rap
118. Oct - Daydream, Mariah
119. Oct - Doe or Die, AZ
120. Nov - Dogg Food, Tha Dogg
121. Dec - R. Kelly, R.
122. Dec - Waiting to Exhale,
124. Featured Artists: TLC
125. Tionne Tenese Watkins (@25)
was born on April 26, 1970, in Des Moines, Iowa, into a family of
African American, Native American and Irish descent. Both her
parents, James and Gayle Watkins, were musicians and singers.
126. Her parents divorced when she
was three years old. Thereafter, she was raised by her mother, who
taught her to be “confident and independent”. At the age of nine,
they moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where her maternal grandmother used
127. As a child, she was diagnosed
with sickle cell anemia (SCA), as a result of which, she had to
spend a lot of time in hospitals.
128. As a teenager, she began
working as a hair model, eventually serving as a manicurist and
shampoo girl at a popular Atlanta hair salon.
129. In 1990, (@20) Tionne Watkins
heard that a teenager named Crystal Clear was planning to open an
all-girls group like Bell Biv DeVoe, having a tomboyish, hip-hop
image. Eventually, she appeared for an audition and joined the
three-member band, the third one being Lisa Lopes.
130. Calling themselves ‘2nd
Nature’, they soon started working with Jermaine Dupri and Rico
Wade on demo tape material.
131. Meanwhile, Watkins met Perri
"Pebbles" Reid, the owner of the management and production company,
Pebbitone, and managed to arrange an audition with her.
132. Impressed by the girls, Reid
arranged an audition with the local record label, LaFace Records,
co-founded by her then husband Antonio Reid and Kenneth “Babyface”
Edmund. She also changed the group’s name to TLC with ‘T’
representing Tionne, ‘L’ Lisa, and ‘C’ Crystal.
133. Although Antonio Reid was
impressed by Watkins and Lopes, he did not approve of Clear, who
was eventually replaced by Rozonda Thomas in April 1991. Very soon,
Watkins became "T-Boz", Lopes became "Left-Eye", and Thomas became
"Chilli”, so that ‘TLC’ continued to be the acronym of their
134. Their debut album,
'Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip' was released on February 25, 1992,
by LaFace Records. It peaked at number 14 on the US Billboard 200,
selling six million copies worldwide, and was certified quadruple
135. 'Ooooooohhh... On the TLC
Tip' scored three top-ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100 with
‘Baby-Baby-Baby’ peaking at number two, ‘Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg’ at
number six and ‘What About Your Friends’ at number seven. Moreover,
‘Baby-Baby-Baby’ also peaked at number one at Billboard's Hot
R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks.
136. In 1993, the group started
working on their second album, ‘CrazySexyCool’. But because of
Lisa’s personal problems, it took time to complete and was
ultimately released on September 15, 1994.
137. Certified Diamond, the album
was a huge success, peaking at the 3rd position on the US Billboard
200. It sold over 11 million copies in the United States alone. The
album was nominated for six Grammy Awards, out of which it won two
and helped TLC to become the second-best selling girl group of all
138. Billboard named them the
‘Artist of the Year’ at the Billboard Music Awards. The album also
appeared on Rolling Stone Magazine’s ’500 Greatest Albums of All
139. Despite the success, TLC was
forced to file for bankruptcy because of poor contracts they had
signed in 1991. Eventually, the group signed a new contract with
the same company and went back to work.
140. Rozonda Ocelian Thomas (@24)
was born on 27th February 1971 in Atlanta, Georgia to Abdul Ali and
Ava Thomas. Her mother is of African American as well as Native
American descent, while her father is of East Indian and Middle
Eastern Background. She was raised by a single mother and did not
meet her father until she was 25.
141. Thomas studied at Benjamin E.
Mays High School, from where she graduated in 1989. Soon she
started working as a back-up dancer for the R&B group Damian
142. In 1991, (@20) Rozonda Thomas
joined the pop group TLC.
143. Lisa Nicole Lopes (@24) was
born on May 27, 1971, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her father was
Ronald Lopes Sr., a staff sergeant in the US Army, and her mother
was Wanda Denise, a seamstress. She was of Cape Verdean, Mexican,
American, African and Portuguese descent. She was the eldest of
three siblings. Her parents divorced when she was in school.
Following this, she was raised by her paternal grandmother.
144. At the age of five, she began
playing the piano and eventually started composing songs over the
next few years. She studied at the Philadelphia School for
145. In late 1990, having heard of
an open casting call for a new girl group through her
then-boyfriend, Lopes moved to Atlanta to audition.
146. Lopes’ personal life, though,
was marred by her rocky relationship with football great Andre
Rison, and in 1994, she was arrested for burning down his
147. In 2000, she began her
solo-project ‘Supernova’ which was set to be released in August
2001. However, the date was postponed repeatedly. It was eventually
broadcast over the internet in 2002. The album was yet to be
released formally and a fourth TLC project was in the making, when
Lopes met with a tragic car accident in 2002 which unfortunately
put an end to her life. she was just 30 years old.
148. Question: Is the WAP
149. Movie Scene: Friday 1995
150. (Links and Resources: Strong
Black Legends: John Witherspoon; "John Witherspoon's Style of
Comedy was Timeless," Justin Tinsley, The Undefeated; Gene Siskel's
review, Chicago Tribune; Desson Howe's review, Washington Post;
"After 20 Years, Friday Is (Still) The Most Important Film Ever
Made About The Hood," Kelley L. Carter, BuzzFeed; "John Witherspoon
Made Every Scene Better," Rembert Brown, New York Times; Review by
Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly. - Find additional episodes,
leave a comment, or make a donation to support the podcast at
152. Gene Siskel: For all of the
shouting, mugging and rap music, a surprisingly dull comic yarn
about a young man (Ice Cube) trying to survive in the 'hood.
Colorful characters abound, but nothing ties them together. I knew
the picture was in trouble when its first gag involved an old lady
spewing obscenities. (Rating: 1 star)
153. By Desson Howe, Washington
Post Staff Writer - April 28, 1995: "Friday," a comedy starring Ice
Cube and Chris Tucker, is dirty, offensive, infantile and may
launch a few sanctimonious opinion columns. And I mean that in the
nicest way. The movie, which shamelessly hawks its own "Friday"
music video at the beginning and eschews political correctness
whenever possible, happens to be incredibly funny.
154. After 20 Years, “Friday” Is
(Still) The Most Important Film Ever Made About The Hood: - Kelley
L. Carter, BuzzFeed News Reporter. Posted April 20, 2015.
155. “...Todd Boyd, a professor at
the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts as
well as screenwriter and producer of the 1999 coming-of-age drama
The Wood, says that Friday didn't just add an element of comedy to
depictions of everyday life in black neighborhoods, it spawned a
new genre — the hood comedy.
156. “The film demonstrated that
black life was not all drugs, violence, dysfunction, and pathology
— yet instead of offering a Cosby Show-like fantasy, Friday put
these issues in context, finding humor in the everyday lives of
regular black people,” he explains. “Since the 1970s, Hollywood has
always looked favorably upon low-budget black films that produce
high profit margins at the box office. Friday expanded the
representation of the hood into the realm of comedy and achieved
box office success at the same time.”
157. Other hood comedies that
followed include: 1996’s satire Don’t Be a Menace While Drinking
Your Juice in the Hood, 1998’s The Player’s Club (Cube wrote and
directed it), 2001’s How High, and 2002’s Barbershop, the latter of
which Cube starred in.
158. Question: Friday or Carwash?
- Chris Tucker or Mike Epps?
159. TV Scene
160. “Was UPN Black America’s Last
Hope for a Black Sitcom-Friendly Broadcast Television Network?”
April 20, 2017 - https://shadowandact.com
161. “...Since ABC’s "Black-ish"
debuted this fall, it has drawn numerous comparisons to "The Cosby
Show" — and I have questions. I wonder why the majority of essays
and critiques jumped to a show that has been off-air for 22 years.
Although few television shows rivaled the mainstream popularity of
Bill Cosby’s chef d’oeuvre, plenty of Black sitcoms have filled its
gap since its 1992 finale. Does no one remember the quasi-Black
glory of United Paramount Network (UPN)? And can there ever be
another like it?
162. From 1995 to 2006 UPN was the
home for over 10 concurrently running Black sitcoms (and a handful
of dramas). Given the sheer volume of programming, that’s
remarkable in and of itself. But perhaps what is more noteworthy
than the number of shows is the range of Black life they
163. "All of Us," produced by Will
and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment, centered on a
blended family of two divorced spouses and their significant
others. The Essence Atkins and Rachel True-helmed "Half & Half"
explored the relationship between two estranged half-sisters.
"Moesha" was UPN’s most successful sitcom during its five-year run
and introduced America to another beloved, nuclear Black family
besides the Huxtables. Other notable UPN sitcoms included "One on
One," "The Parkers," "Eve," and "Malcolm & Eddie."
164. UPN actively sought
programming aimed for Black audiences at a time when Black
mainstays from the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) were
waning. "Family Matters" was cancelled from ABC’s coveted TGIF
lineup in 1998. Fox declined to extend Martin Lawrence’s
eponymously named sitcom the previous year. The major networks were
beginning to narrow their viewership to exclude all-Black casting
on their sitcoms. Not only were Black actors finding work on shows
sold to UPN, but established Black producer-writers like Eunetta T.
Boone and Ralph Farquhar found a home as well.
165. Despite—and maybe because
of—its friendliness to Black programming, UPN suffered from a
reputation as a sub-par network. The ratings for their sitcoms
often scraped the bottom of the Nielsen barrel. UPN is remembered
more for its utter failures ("Homeboys in Outer Space") and ignored
when we fondly recall the glory of "Girlfriends."
166. “UPN took the rejects. UPN
was 'the Black channel,'” we joke. UPN may not have been perfect,
but it gave Black audiences so much to choose from without feeling
as if one show had to represent the totality of Blackness.
167. Accordingly, "Black-ish" has
a lot riding on its success. Black audiences tune in hoping big
wigs take notice and order more Black sitcoms. But it is telling
that major networks began a “blackout” of successful Black cast
shows in the late 90s and The CW essentially did the same a decade
168. "Black-ish" could be the
start of another heyday for Black sitcoms. We reach backward to
"The Cosby Show" because we love it best and we always will. But in
doing so, we ignore the stable of Black shows that kept us laughing
long after The Huxtables faded to black. However, the success of
"Black-ish" will remain singular until executives reexamine their
beliefs about African American audiences; we need them, like UPN
once did, to give us a chance. I just hope it doesn’t take another
169. Other Notable UPN Shows:
Everybody Hates Chris 2005 / Girlfriends 2000 / All of Us 2003 /
Moesha 1996 / The Parkers 1999 / Malcolm and Eddie 1996 / In The
House 1995 / Between Brothers 1997 /
170. Other Notable WB Shows: The
WB The Wayans Brothers 1995 / The Parent 'Hood 1995 / Steve Harvey
Show 1996 / The Jamie Foxx Show 1996 / Smart Guy 1997 / MIB
Animated 1997 / The PJs 1999
171. Question: What the hell is
wrong with BET?
172. Vote: Best/most
important/favorite pop culture item from 1995?