BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS:  African American Museum opens in South Carolina

[adrotate banner="54"]

By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

After some two decades in the making, the much-anticipated International African American Museum (with the empowering acronym IAAM) has opened in Charleston, South Carolina, with a series of events in the historic city.

As a public ceremony hosted by “The Breakfast Club” co-host and Moncks Corner, South Carolina, native Charlamagne Tha God kicked off in Marion Square, a more private gathering was being held on the museum grounds.

Security was extra tight as rumors had it that President Joe Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris might show up. No worries: Former President Barack and former first lady Michelle Obama sent video remarks about the site located at Gadsden’s Wharf where some estimates state that nearly 90% of African Americans can trace their lineage.

Bebe Winans was on hand to deliver a rendition of the national anthem that would have made Marvin Gaye proud, while Beaufort, S.C.-born, Season 12 “American Idol” winner Candice Glover displayed her perfect pitch by flawlessly singing “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.”

Actor, director and Howard University Dean Phylicia Rashad, with familial ties to the region, talked about how it might have taken 20 years to design and build, adding: “But let’s face it, it was thousands of centuries in the making. Our African-American heritage certainly predates American slavery and oppression. The honest history and truth will now be shared openly and freely.”

She was followed by Charleston mayors past and present, Joe Riley (an early museum visionary and advocate whose vision led him to toil for the museum’s possibility two decades ago) and John Tecklenburg, respectively.

The ceremony was also blessed with other musical contributions, original poetry from author and poet Nikky Finney, a video message from NASA’s pioneer Charles F. Bolden Jr., live statements from Rep. James Clyburn, IAAM President & CEO Tonya M. Matthews, and former Spelman College and Bennett College President Johnnetta B. Cole. Upon looking at that beautiful and haunting view, Cole spoke of feeling the fear and bewilderment of what it must have been like for the estimated 100,000 enslaved Africans as they arrived right at the site between 1783 and 1807.

A tranquil, meditative space with obelisks and an infinity shore recognizing diasporic points beyond was in the mindset of landscape architect Walter J. Hood of Oakland-based Hood Design Studio.

While sitting on some remarkably comfortable, huge wooden chairs of his design, Hood spoke of how global warming’s effects on the indigenous vegetation caused some delays. He’ll next take his tremendous skills to Jacksonville, Florida’s upcoming Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing Park, commemorating the anthem written in 1900 by James Weldon Johnson and put to song by his brother, John Rosamond Johnson.

Inside the museum is an amazing collection of artifacts, jaw-dropping art, family history resources, state-of-the-art screens, and an epic, cinematic art installation called “SEEKING: A Gullah Geechee Story” by prolific filmmaker Julie Dash (“Daughters of the Dust”) with cinematography by Bradford Young.

Destination-bound visitors can learn more at 

‘BOUT TIME: Angela Bassett and Mel Brooks are among the motion picture dignitaries announced as receiving honorary Oscars at the 14th annual Governors Awards Nov. 18 at the Fairmont Century Plaza.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame selections for 2024 are in. Posthumously leading the list are Chadwick Boseman and Otis ReddingKerry WashingtonCarl WeathersSheryl Lee RalphMichelle YeohToni BraxtonBrandy Norwood, Darius RuckerAndre “Dr. Dre” YoungMario LopezAngie MartinezKen JeongChris Pine and Gal Gadot are also in this class.

CLIPPETTES: John Legend is writing the music and lyrics for a new Broadway-bound musical adaptation of the vintage race drama “Imitation of Life.” Lynn Nottage will write this version of Fannie Hurst’s novel, which has been adapted for two film versions. Liesl Tommy, who directed the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect,” will do the same for this stage iteration … 

Speaking of Franklin, the aforementioned “Queen of Soul’s” legacy will be front and center as the Academy Museum presents a special screening of the award-winning film “Amazing Grace” at 4 p.m. July 1 as part of its “Summer of Music” series. Afterwards, a vibrant, post-screening conversation with producers Alan Elliott and Tirrell D. Whittley, and LA’s New Temple Missionary Baptist Church choir members Mary HallEsther McIsaac and Bobby Washington, moderated by Jacqueline Stewart, is scheduled 

Loved hearing the news that the season finale of FX’s “Dave,” starring Dave Burd, has been released on YouTube for all to see. It was one of this year’s best television episodes and it tried to avoid spoilers of its guest stars for maximum enjoyment. And yes, GaTa should get an Emmy nomination for his work on this show … 

Gloria Molina Grand Park’s Fourth of July Block Party will honor hip-hop’s 50th anniversary with BahamadiaChali 2na, DJ Cut ChemistMedusaGeorgia Anne MuldrowJessa Calderon, the Beat Junkies and much more from 4 to 9:30 p.m.

TASTY QUIP: “I wanted to try something different. I wanted to try something that felt like instant love it or hate it. In ‘The Wire’ and ‘Luther’ it’s kind of like a slow build into the character. With this guy, he’s in a situation and he’s right in there. And you’re thinking to yourself, ‘What would I do if I was him?’ So I was really attracted to that. I want this to be a water cooler moment. I just wanted it to be fun, like ‘Did you see that? That was very well done.” – IDRIS ELBA to the Hollywood Reporter on his new series “Hijack,” now streaming on Apple TV+

TC ON TV: June 30 – “Essence Fest Primetime” (Hulu): Livestreaming from New Orleans with host Deon Cole and guest DJ Clark Kent. Ms. Lauryn Hill will celebrate in performance the 25th anniversary of her landmark album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” Also on the bill: Ari LennoxJanelle MonaeJuvenileJagged Edge, TemsTobe NwigweDoug E. FreshBig Daddy KaneSlick RickEPMD and KRS-One. “You Are Here” (AMC): Colman Domingo takes us on an intimate tour of the cities, places and hidden spots that hold special meaning in his life story. Tonight he revisits New York City and Chicago.

July 1 — “Essence Fest Primetime” (Hulu): Affion Crockett and Spice Adams host with guest DJ Kid Capri. Tonight’s entertainers include Missy ElliottJill ScottCoco JonesMonicaJermaine Dupri, LudacrisT.I.Lil JonBig Boi, Gucci ManeIce CubeIce-TDJ QuikE-40Lady of RageJJ Fad and Yo-Yo.

July 2 – “Delicious Miss Brown (Food): Kardea Brown is “Cooking Through History” in the season eight finale. “Essence Fest Primetime” (Hulu): Janelle James (“Abbott Elementary”) hosts with guest DJ Spinderella. The lineup hasMegan Thee StallionEveSalt-N-PepaRemy MaTrinaWizKidKizz DanielMuni LongMia X and more.

July 4 – “Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular” (NBC): Tina Turner will be tributed during the display with a score produced by Ray Chew and performances by LL Cool JAshantiJa RuleJelly RollBebe Rexha and others. Zuri Hall (“Access Hollywood”) co-hosts. “A Capitol Fourth 2023” (PBS): Has “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” Tony Award-winner Adrienne Warren’s homage, BabyfaceBoyz II MenChicagoBelinda CarlisleRenee FlemingThe Muppets, host Alfonso Ribeiro and more.

July 5 – “Wham!” (Netflix): Through archival interviews and footage, George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley relive the arc of their Wham! career, from 70s best buds to 80s pop icons.

END QUOTE: “I have a responsibility, not only as a journalist but as an American, to tell the truth and to abide by the promises of the Constitution. Because the Constitution says a ‘more perfect union,’ not a ‘perfect union.’ I’m not a perfect person. No one is. I don’t believe in platforming liars and bigots, and insurrectionists and election-deniers and putting them on the same footing as people who are telling the truth, people who are fighting for what’s right, people who are abiding by the Constitution. I think that would be a dereliction of journalistic duty to do those sorts of things.”  – Former CNN anchor DON LEMON to ABC24 Memphis

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly 1 million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.

[adrotate banner="53"]

Must Read

[adrotate banner="55"]