Sunday, July 21, 2024

Cool: Howard University to Rename Fine Arts School for Chadwick Boseman Per New Dean Phylicia Rashad


T’Challa will now be king of fine arts!

Howard University is renaming its Fine Arts school for late actor Chadwick Boseman, a star graduate. It will be known as Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.

The announcement was made the new dean, the great Phylicia Rashad. This is so cool, now I want to go there!

In a statement, Boseman’s widow, Simone Ledward-Boseman said:

“I am extremely pleased that Howard University has chosen to honor my husband in this way and elated that Ms. Rashad has accepted the role as Dean,” she said. “Chad was a very proud Bison — both Howard and Ms. Rashad played integral roles in his journey as an artist. The re-establishment of the College of Fine Arts brings this part of his story full-circle and ensures that his legacy will continue to inspire young storytellers for years to come.”

Bosman’s family said:

“His time at Howard University helped shape both the man and the artist that he became, committed to truth, integrity, and a determination to transform the world through the power of storytelling. We are confident that under the dynamic leadership of his former professor and mentor the indomitable Phylicia Rashad that the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts will inspire artistic scholars for many generations.”

In addition to the renaming the college for Boseman, The Walt Disney Company’s executive chairman Bob Iger will lead fundraising efforts to build a new facility for the college and an endowment in the “Black Panther” star’s name.

There’s always a caveat to these things, however. The new independent college will also house the Cathy Hughes School of Communications and the University’s television and radio stations, WHUT-TV and WHUR 96.3 FM, creating a dynamic, one-stop complex for the arts and journalism combined.

I wonder if the students will know that Hughes, head of Radio One, a network of Black radio stations, has done everything she can to block income for famous (and many not so) Black performers by preventing a royalty income from radio play for performers. Radio One wants to play Motown, Stax, Atlantic and other classic soul songs for free, forever. I doubt that will be in the curriculum.

Well, we must take the bitter with the sweet.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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