Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 3
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
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Black Power Greets Uncle Tom in McCarter World Premiere, Exploring Surprising Muhammad Ali-Stepin Fetchit Alliance

Donald Gilpin

In May 1965, two days before his heavyweight title defense against Sonny Liston, brash 23-year-old Muhammad Ali, recent convert to the Nation of Islam, welcomed to his training camp as a “secret strategist” the 62-year-old Stepin Fetchit, born Lincoln Perry, film star of the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s who was known for his demeaning character portrayals of the white man’s most negative stereotypes of black people. In an era of rising black pride and black power, exemplified by Ali (formerly Cassius Clay), Stepin Fetchit’s appearance in Ali’s entourage was a curious phenomenon.

William Scheide’s Birthday Celebration: “Music, the Arts Council, and Bill”

Nancy Plum

Most people are probably glad that birthdays only come once a year; one does not always want to be reminded of the years ticking by. However in Princeton, music lovers surely wish that scholar William Scheide had a birthday every week, given the celebrations which have been presented in the past few years. Mr. Scheide turned 96 this month, and Princeton was able to celebrate in grand style with him last Tuesday night with a tribute to turn-of-the-19th-century Vienna. Conductor Mark Laycock led the visiting Wiener KammerOrchester in a program of Mozart and Schubert featuring guest pianist George-Emmanuel Lazaridis. As with previous Scheide birthday celebrations, Tuesday night’s performance in Richardson Auditorium doubled as a fund-raiser for a local organization, in this case the Arts Council of Princeton’s $5 million Campaign for the Future.

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