City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

“America I Am” seeking civil rights artifacts in Atlanta

“America I AM: The African American Imprint,” a new exhibit to open at the Atlanta Civic Center next month, covers 500 years of history with 15,000 square feet and nearly 300 artifacts. But now that the show is moving to Atlanta, its producers are looking for even more.

John Fleming, the exhibition’s executive producer, told Buzz Wednesday that they’ve got artifacts from the Atlanta University Center and local civil rights leaders already, but they’d love to add more three-dimensional objects from the civil rights era.

It’s not that they’re rare — “rare” would be clothes worn by slaves, which they’re still searching for, Fleming said — but objects that might be sitting in people’s basements and attics, instead of being loaned out by museums.

The key that locked Martin Luther King Junior in a Birmingham jail cell in 1963 is part of "America I AM."

Other artifacts to be featured in the exhibit include the doors to the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, the typewriter Alex Haley used to write “Roots” and sports memorabilia from Michael Jordan, Arthur Ashe and Muhammad Ali. On Wednesday, Fleming showed off the purple guitar Prince played during the 2006 Super Bowl in Miami, the hood W.E.B. Du Bois wore to receive his Harvard Ph.D. in 1895 and the key that locked Martin Luther King Jr. in a Birmingham jail cell in 1963.

The exhibit was the vision of broadcaster and author Tavis Smiley, and is meant to rintegrate African American history more clearly into America’s history, Fleming said. Producers spent two years organizing 500 years worth of history, and Atlanta is the second city to host the exhibition. (The first was Philadelphia.)

“You begin by being overwhelmed,” Fleming said. “How do we assemble all of those images, thousands of images, hundreds of artifacts? You start thinking ‘How can we even fill 15,000 square feet?’ Then we think ‘Why don’t we have 5,000 more?’”

If you’ve got an artifact to loan to “America I AM,” contact exhibition officials at 513-455-7121.

“America I AM” will run June 12 through Sept. 6 at the Atlanta Civic Center, 395 Piedmont Ave. Tickets went on sale Wednesday through Ticketmaster and cost $12 for adults, $5 for ages 6 to 17 and $8 for people older than 65 and groups of 10 or more. Wal-Mart stores in Georgia will sell discounted tickets starting June 1.

Jermaine Dupri inks his love for Janet Jackson

Let’s just say this romance had better last.

Jermaine Dupri now permanently carries his devotion to Janet Jackson close to his heart — or, rather, just opposite it.

The Atlantan has Jackson’s image — her hands clasped prayer-like, head covered in a Madonna-esque pose — inked along his lower right side, from chest to waistband. Of course, Dupri can’t show it off unless he lifts his arm.

It’ll be some laser scar if this relationship fails. Wanna see? MediaTakeOut has photos.

Ludacris’ Straits Restaurant celebrates first year

Banana Blossom Salad at Straits

Ludacris may have trotted all over the world, but Friday, he’ll be high stylin’ it with Jane Fonda and mayor Shirley Franklin at the first-year anniversary of Straits Restaurant, the rap raconteur’s first foray as a restaurateur.

The evening includes a four-course dinner with Fonda and Franklin in tow — both are expected to attend via red carpet from 6 to 7 p.m., with the Grammy-winning rapper giving a nod to actress and mayor in a ceremony scheduled for 7:15.

The restaurant was recently featured in a 10-page glossy spread in Food & Wine magazine, and has fostered a rep as a solid place for Singaporean cuisine. (Meridith Ford Goldman’s AJC review awarded it three stars last year.)

Diners can enjoy the exotic flavors and spices of modern Singaporean cuisine at a special four-course seated dinner for $50 per person including entertainment by Fishhawk and a ceremonial dragon dance. Reservations can be made at or by calling the restaurant at 404-877-1283. Straits is located at 793 Juniper Street, N.E.

“Make Me A Supermodel” host Tyson Beckford at the W Atlanta Midtown, sporting a black-and-white plaid shirt, white vest, skinny black jeans — and a mohawk. Kourtney Kardashian at the W, too, over the weekend, in a black hat and a long striped black-and-white wrap sweater. One woman was overheard telling Kardashian that she didn’t realize she was “tiny.”
Celebrity Birthdays

Singer Ron Isley of the Isley Brothers is 68. Guitarist Hilton Valentine of The Animals is 66. Actor Richard Hatch (”Battlestar Galactica”) is 64. Keyboardist Bill Champlin of Chicago is 62. Actress Carol Potter (”Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Sunset Beach”) is 61. Singer Leo Sayer is 61. Comedian-turned-politician Al Franken is 58. Actor Mr. T is 57. Drummer Stan Lynch of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is 54. Actor Judge Reinhold is 52. Actor Brent Briscoe (”Mulholland Drive,” “A Simple Plan”) is 48. Actress Lisa Edelstein (”House”) of 41. Actress Fairuza Balk (”The Waterboy”) is 35. Rapper Havoc of Mobb Deep is 35. Actress Ashlie Brillault (”Lizzie McGuire”) is 22. Actress Sarah Ramos (”American Dreams”) is 18.

Contributing: Meridith Ford Goldman, Kent A. Miles and news services.

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2 comments Add your comment

Denise Christian

September 12th, 2009
12:25 am

This is for Mr Smiley my name is Denise Christian i’am from South Bend In. my dad the late rev Dave S Davis had the 4 series of the ebony 1700-1965 its something my dad had as long as i remember and i’am tells the whole story in such a beautiful way we were so rich in our heritage. i plan to right a book and call it 1914 the year my dad was born. its great thing your doing Mr Smiley i have had the same dream come to me i would love to share my artifacts please contact me @678-598-7946


December 7th, 2009
7:51 pm

Enter your comments here Alex Haley retired from the United States Coast Guard as a Chief Journalist. Mr. Haley was the first African American Journalist in the Coast Guard. I am selling 3 items that belonged to Alex Haley. The first item is a Silver Plated Plate en framed which has written on it Bi-Centennial Celebration, August 4, 1990, Coast Guard Committee which was the Coast Guard’s 200th Bi-Centennial. The second item is a print by Gary W. Odark 1989 with a small plate under it which reads Presented to Alex Haley By Grand Haven , Ferrisburg and Springlake August 4, 1990. Also a personalized note written to me and signed by Mr. Haley. Please only serious inquiries. Please e-mail for more details and pricing. The 3 items will be sold together. Thank you I received this items in person from Mr. Haley.