Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect

Recent Articles

All that Jazz

In the Paris of the 1920s and '30s, Chez Bricktop was one hot jazz club. As depicted in a delightful, bittersweet new musical , Bricktop (playing at Metro Stage in the D.C. area), the club was frequented by those who needed to be seen. There, European royalty met the monarchs of American music. "King" Sidney Bechet , the great New Orleans clarinetist, might sit only tables away from the Duke of Windsor -- a scene rendered impossible in the United States, thanks to Jim Crow. It was racism as much as anything else that first brought jazz to Paris, making Bricktop all the more special, owned as it was by the indefatigable href="http://www.aaregistry.com/african_american_history/1072/The_original_Bricktop_Ada_Smith">Ada "Bricktop" Smith, the African-American entertainer and entrepreneur who championed the careers of blues singer href="http://www.redhotjazz.com/hunter.html">Alberta Hunter and cabaret songbird href="http://www.aaregistry.com/african_american_history/1383/...

A "CLEAN" BILL OF HEALTH: BIDEN DECLARED TOO ARTICULATE BY WHITE GUYS.

A "CLEAN" BILL OF HEALTH: BIDEN DECLARED TOO ARTICULATE BY WHITE GUYS. Here in Washington we have this marvelous thing called C-SPAN Radio, which on Sundays airs all of the big political TV talk shows back to back, allowing one to do one's laundry, cook a duck or practice one's ukulele with the sound of self-important white men droning in the background. And so it is that I spend my Sundays. (Don't cry for me, Argentina...) Senator Joe Biden 's "unfortunate" comments last week about the presidential candidate from Illinois, Sen. Barack Obama (last discussed here by Garance ) proved to have legs, leaving a lot of white guys, and the occasional white gal (occasional is all we gals are allowed in world of punditry) to roll their eyes at Biden's apparent eccentric-uncle act, and then assert that the senator from Delaware is not a racist. Herein lies the problem: In the American media, if you say about an African-American something based on racial stereotypes that is not overtly malicious...

THANK YOU TO THE BLACK WOMEN OF VIRGINIA.

THANK YOU TO THE BLACK WOMEN OF VIRGINIA. The junior senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia, James Webb , is hardly my favorite freshman. (Feminists of my generation find it tough to forget his attack on the women attacked at the Tailhook convention in 1991.) However, there's no denying the effectiveness of his rebuttal to the State of the Union. He kept his message simple and strong, bringing the weight of his family's continuing military history to his reasoned denouncement of the war in Iraq. And his clearly articulated explanation of the economic injustices now endured on some level by most Americans was dead-on. Sticking to these two issues was smart stuff; let the Democratic presidential candidates take note. We would be remiss, however, to go on lauding Webb's response without expressing heartfelt thanks to the African-American women of Virginia, for it was they who made the difference in Webb's tight contest against the former Senator George Allen (known in some parts as...

DROP IN THE...

DROP IN THE BUCKET. More on the noblesse oblige theme. Did the president just applaud himself for getting AIDS drugs to 50,000 people on the continent of Africa? According to the U.N. , of the 900 million people on the continent, "an estimated 24.5 million people [in sub-Saharan Africa] were living with HIV at the end of 2005 and approximately 2.7 million new infections occurred during that year." Thank goodness that Africa's devastation at least gets some notice in a presidential address but, really, I think we could do a bit better at getting AIDS drugs to a continent deep in crisis. --Adele M. Stan

GOODNESS GRACIOUS. ...

GOODNESS GRACIOUS. Ah, the whir of helicopters overhead, the scent of freshly baked cookies wafting through the room in which I sit tonight, a mere three blocks from the chamber from which the president is delivering his sixth State of the Union address. The helicopters circle as a means of protection for the dignitaries there assembled; the cookies I've made as my own private celebration of the sight of the first woman Speaker of the House as she graces the big chair behind the presidential podium. They have a bittersweet character -- the cookies, that is -- appropriate to the moment. Here is where I suppose I should remark upon the gracious manner in which President George W. Bush greeted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , but I daresay the president's fawning, whether feigned or merely finessed, rang in my ears with the soft bigotry of noblesse oblige . When the current President Bush ascended to the leadership of the free world, I don't believe he was introduced in his official capacity...

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