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Year in Review: Arts

12/31/2008, 8:36 a.m.
Melissa McClinton, Miss Black Massachusetts 2008, earned first runner-up honors at the...

                    Melissa McClinton, Miss Black Massachusetts 2008, earned first runner-up honors at the 2008 Miss Black USA Pageant, held in July 2008 in Las Vegas. The Boston Latin School graduate has been competing in beauty pageants since 2000, owns a bachelor’s degree and has worked as a journalist and filmmaker. (Hosea Johnson photo)

                    Actress Ruby Dee (center) is joined by Lisa Simmons, founder and director of the Color of Film Collaborative (left) and Terri Brown of ACT Roxbury after the awards ceremony of last summer’s 10th Annual Roxbury Film Festival. Dee starred in “Steam,” the festival’s closing night selection. (Don West photo)


                    Local designer Prajje Jean-Baptiste (above) showcased the talents of several local fashion up-and-comers at the Boston Fashion Exposé in September 2008. (Photo courtesy of www.prajjecouture.com)


                     The cover of the April 2008 edition of Vogue magazine, featuring NBA star LeBron James and supermodel Gisele Bundchen, raised more than a few eyebrows. At the time, some argued that the image perpetuated racial stereotypes. (Image courtesy of Vogue)

                    In February 2008, Northeastern University’s Blackman Theatre played host to “Break! The Urban Funk Spectacular,” a high-octane extravaganza of hip-hop inspired entertainment. (Photo courtesy of Northeastern University)

                    (From left): Poet Thomas Sayers Ellis, funk legend Bootsy Collins, Berklee College of Music Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Lawrence J. Simpson, Bootsy’s wife Patti Collins and Kellie Knight pose for a photo following “A Conversation with Bootsy Collins,” held in February 2008 at the Berklee Performance Center. (Tony Irving photo)


                    Nona Hendryx smiles from the stage during her October 2008 performance, part of Berklee’s Women In Rock residency at the Berklee Performance Center. The one-time gathering of influential and groundbreaking African American female musicians featured original music by Hendryx, Siedah Garrett, Joyce Kennedy, Cindy Blackman, Meshell Ndegeocello and Felicia Collins. (Tony Irving photo)


                    Brandishing a plastic sword and clad in crown and jeans, Parkway Academy of Technology and Health 11th-grader Marques Latimore plays Macbeth, the titular character in Shakespeare’s legendary play, during a performance at the West Roxbury Educational Complex Auditorium. (Daniela Caride photo)

                    On April 4, 2008, Boston University and The Poetry Society of America hosted “40 Years of Inspiration: The Cultural Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.,” a reading and discussion about artistic and cultural achievements in the years since Dr. King’s 1968 assassination. (From left): Moderator Callie Crossley, hip-hop icon Chuck D and poet Sonia Sanchez. (Tony Irving photo)

                    Pianist/composer Ramsey Lewis charms the crowd during the Legends of Jazz Tour at Worcester’s Hanover Theater for the Performing Arts on June 14, 2008. (Kevin T. Cox photo)

                    More than 150 people turned out to see noted poet, playwright and activist Amiri Baraka when he appeared at the Roxbury Center for the Arts at Hibernian Hall on Feb. 28, 2008. (Photo courtesy of Kelley Chunn and Associates)

                    Jason Bowen (right) returned to the stage alongside Amy Russ (left) in New Repertory Theatre’s production of Molière’s “The Misanthrope.” (Photo courtesy of New Repertory Theatre)

                    Stephanie Robinson, a lecturer at Harvard Law School and the president and CEO of the Jamestown Project, was named one of two winners of a sought-after biweekly commentary slot on the syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show” in September 2008. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Robinson)

                    Former Boston journalist and author Janet Langhart Cohen (left) converses with Robbie McCauley, associate professor of performing arts at Emerson College, about the college’s presentation of “Anne and Emmett,” Langhart Cohen’s one-act play. McCauley directed the April 2008 reading at the college’s Semel Theater. (Photo courtesy of Emerson College)

                    Tavis Smiley (left) and Dr. Cornel West (center) talk with Kim McLarin, host of WGBH’s “Basic Black,” in this shot from an episode taped in 2008 that will air in February 2009. Smiley was in town to receive the Du Bois Medal, an annual award given by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. (Tanit Sakakini photo)

                    Comedian and author Bill Cosby (left) emphasizes a point during a presentation last spring as Dr. Alvin Poussaint (right) listens. The two appeared the week of March 31, 2008, at a discussion and signing of their book, “Come On People: On the Path from Victims to Victors,” hosted by the Museum of African American History and hosted at the Walsh Theater. (Don West photo)


                    Author James McBride last year published the novel “Song Yet Sung,” which takes a critical look at today’s hip-hop culture through the eyes of a slave seeking freedom by navigating the perilous Underground Railroad. McBride is an accomplished musician and author who worked all over the country as a journalist for several years, writing for a number of publications, including the Boston Globe. (Sarah Leen photo)