Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at claycane@gmail.com.


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    Thursday, February 26, 2009

    Check out my interview with the legendary Diahanna Carroll for BET.com. Diahann talks Halle Berry, Dorothy Dandridge, Hollywood and more. She also stomps the madness of some people who were offended at Halle's role in Monster's Ball.

    Diahann Carroll reflects on "Claudine'

    There are some parts of the interview didn't make the cut, like the exchange we did about Diana Ross. I love how she admits she was the "old" thought. Read below.

    In your biography, you said you saw Diana Ross driving down the street, moving in your neighborhood, and said, "There's go the neighborhood." I was curious to know, where did that come from - did you and Diana Ross not get along or what do that mean?
    Well, you do know there is some disadvantages to being young... you have to wait awhile. I was living in Beverly Hills and I was doing Julia, a television series. I think I integrated the neighborhood. When I was growing up, and most of us remember Detroit was a very dangerous place. I understand that in the city of Detroit at one point there were more guns than in the entire United States. So your take on Detroit is not what my take was on Detroit. That's where all of those wonderful hit songs came out of, Detroit, which was known for not being a safe place, kind of dangerous. The major success that happened in Detroit was Motown. When I saw Diana Ross, I think the description was in a yellow convertible, so if you put all those things together -- Detroit, Diana Ross, what I had to go through to integrate Beverly Hills in the sixties when I came out to do Julia... I hope it becomes a little more clear to you. It was actually said as a joke but it was not really totally joke, it was a double edged sword. Now what do you get out of that?

    I think what you're saying is the idea of what Diana Ross represented, coming from Detroit, Motown - you were the first black person in Beverly Hills. She represented something different.
    A different point of view.

    A different point of view! So, it was nothing personal about Diana Ross.
    I think I had met her once, yes. But, it was really an entire comment about a period of time in our history -- this was a change, her arrival. That's really what the comment was about. I was the old thought, holding onto something that had been a part of cultivating who I was. It was time to let go of that thought because here was something new that was represented by the recording industry, Motown and Detroit.

    Also, after I told Diahann Carroll how the gay community supported her she said, "It's very important to me. I've always felt that the gay community was very much on my side, but I like to hear it again. Thank you

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    Posted by Clay :: 10:07 AM :: 22 comments

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