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Black Entertainment, Money, Style and Beauty Blogs - Black Voices

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    Aussie Antionette BinfordAussie Antionette Binford, Black and Missing

    Case Type: Endangered
    Date of Birth: January 1, 1958
    Missing Date: November 25, 1993
    Age Now: 53
    Missing City: Phoenix
    Missing State: Arizona
    Case Number: 30760329
    Gender: Female
    Race: Black
    Complexion: Medium
    Height: 5-1
    Weight: 120
    Hair Color: Black
    Hair Length: Shoulder Length
    Eye Color: Brown
    Wear Glasses or Contacts: No

    Location Last Seen: Unknown.

    Circumstances of Disappearance: Binford was last seen at approximately 6 a.m. by a family member getting in to a possible small white two door vehicle with a white male.

    Last Seen Wearing: Black collarless 3/4"-sleeve dress shirt that has ruffles on the cuffs and buttons up the back, pink miniskirt

    Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Missing right index finger. Tattoo of the name "Michael" on back of right shoulder.

    If you have information, regarding the whereabouts of Aussie Antionette Binford, please contact the Black and Missing Foundation's tip line.


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    Bob Marley's Family Wins 300K from Crooked Company

    A federal judge has provided Bob Marley's family a sweet redemption song by ruling that a Nevada company stole the likeness of the reggae legend to make and sell clothing and toys.

    Now the Marley estate will get $300,000 in damages from the company, Avela, and its owner Leo Valencia.

    The Marley estate might make even more money from this judgment. Once U.S. District Judge Philip Pro finds out how much profit Avela made from using Marley's likeness, he could award the family additional damages.

    The decision is clearly a victory for Marley's heirs, who have seen the image of the reggae music king attached to virtually every product you can imagine.

    In September, Marley's heirs lost a major copyright case against record producers that gave Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group control over five classic Marley albums -- 'Catch a Fire,' 'Burnin,' 'Natty Dread,' 'Rastaman Vibrations' and 'Exodus.'

    The copyright value of the albums has been estimated in the tens of millions of dollars.

    It's a little sad that a man who created some of the most important music ever is being reduced to commodity -- the subject of an ongoing tug-of-war between his family and people trying to make money off his genius.

    I hope that every story written about this situation attracts a few curious people to listen to the masterful music making of Bob Marley and the original Wailers, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.

    That way, they will hear what all the fuss is about.


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    Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has modified his financial disclosures over the past 13 years to include the employment of his wife, Virginia. In his annual filings, Thomas had previously omitted his wife's income from Hillsdale College, the Heritage Foundation and Republican Leaders in the House. The information was required
    on reports Thomas is expected to file annually as a condition for being on the Supreme Court.

    Whether Thomas intended to be deceptive with the omissions is not clear. However, many claim that his wife's affiliations were common knowledge and that he'd simply misunderstood the rules. At the same time, the filing modification reignites conversation about the depth of his wife's activism within the Republican Party.

    A few months ago, Virginia Thomas' affiliation with the Tea Party was noted by the media. She has also appeared on Fox News and other national media outlets, citing the "tyranny" of President Barack Obama. She used half a million dollars to launch Liberty Central, a nonpartisan Educational group that claims to teach "Founding Principles-limited government, personal responsibility, individual liberty, free enterprise, and national security."

    Virginia Thomas' work with the Tea Party certainly serves to undermine the credibility of her husband's alleged impartiality on the Supreme Court. But some would say that there wasn't much credibility in the first place, at least as it pertains to Thomas' status as an African American judge. Nearly everything that Thomas represents is a reminder that the fight for equality goes deeper than the color of one's skin and that if we are deceived by one-dimensional measures of blackness, we are always going to end up disappointed.

    Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and a Scholarship in Action Resident of the Institute for Black Public Policy. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.


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    Within recent days, casting of ABC's rebooted series, 'Charlie's Angels,' has started to take shape, with the hiring of Annie Ilonzeh and most recently, Dania Ramirez.

    Ironically, both ladies appeared together in an episode of HBO's 'Entourage,' where they played employees of Turtle, played by Jerry Ferrara.

    Produced by Sony Pictures TV and Drew Barrymore's Flower Films, 'Charlie's Angels' is a modern take on the Angels set in Miami and centers on a new trio of young and sexy private eyes - Kate, Abby and Marisa - working for a wealthy mystery man.

    Ilonzeh, who's currently on the long running soap opera 'General Hospital' as Edward Quartermaine's great-granddaughter, Maya Ward, was the first person cast in pilot as Kate, a very smart and very athletic ex-cop and a master of martial arts. stated that she is the most serious of our 3 Angels but also knows how to let her hair down and have a great time.

    While it hasn't been confirmed by the actress,her management, or the network, celebrity make-up artist Wendi Lynn Avignone recently tweeted that Dania Ramirez was also in the cast.

    "Dania and I worked together on @Heroes and we r "Charlies Angels!"

    The post was later deleted.

    Robert Wagner has been confirmed to provide the voice of Charlie.

    The original series, about three women (Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, and Jaclyn Smith) who work for a private investigation agency, ran on ABC from 1976 to 1981 and was one of the most successful series of the 1970s.

    Here's the episode in which Ilonzeh and Ramirez appeared on Entourage.


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    Steve Harvey Attacked by Ex-Wife

    Over the course of the weekend Steve Harvey's name became a trending topic stemming from a series of Youtube videos finding his ex-wife, Mary Shackelford Harvey, making shocking claims against the 'King of Comedy.'

    In the viral videos, Harvey's former spouse is seen revealing that her ex-husband was a serial cheater and left her with nothing, including taking custody of their 15-year-old son Wynton following their 2005 divorce.

    "He turned my son against me, had me evicted from our house," she said. "I woke up, and everything was gone."

    So what's all the talk about six years later?

    According to People, Shackleford says Harvey is currently suing her in Texas, which is why she is now speaking up. "In Steve's opinion, I was responsible when Oprah [Winfrey] did not give him a TV show," she shared. "I'm being sued for that. That is why I'm saying what I have to say."

    Harvey's lawyer, Bobbie Edmonds, released a statement in response saying they were "appalled and aware of the videos and other fabricated documents."

    According to Edmonds, the videos "contained false, misleading, derogatory, disparaging, malicious, explicit and slanderous information," which led them to be "saddened" that Mary "has resorted to such devious and selfish behavior, with a reckless disregard for their minor son, her adult son and Mr. Harvey's other children."

    He asserted that there are "court orders and permanent injunctions which prohibit either party from discussing and releasing information [about the marriage and divorce] on the Internet and to the media."

    "We are taking the necessary legal steps to rectify this matter to the full extent of the law," he assured, "and we will be seeking contempt and sanctions against her for such reprehensible and callous disregard for the court orders.

    "Mr. Harvey cannot personally respond to these assertions, documents and videos due to the existing court gag orders," the attorney concluded.

    But the burgeoning media darling took to the radio airwaves this morning (Jan. 24) during a segment on his nationally syndicated radio program, 'The Steve Harvey Show' to clear up any misconceptions. The show shared the taping exclusively with

    "I know the truth," declared Harvey to his listening audience. "But the matter is, the part that's hurtful in this is my wife and children had to be drugged [sic] into this. If you're going to be vindictive go ahead and aim it at me, but my son is coming in the room crying. And that's also her son. So why you would do this?

    "And I don't even understand the purpose of it," he continued. "I mean, I got you mad 12 years ago, that's what we're doing now? And here's the thing that my father always taught me. He said, 'Son there's three sides to every story. It's their side, it's your side, and it's the truth.' And the truth 'gon come out. Because see, once you go public then you allow people to start asking some other types of questions.

    "So, I'm just more concerned about my son, who I happen to have total custody of, rights to all education and everything. He's with us on the ship today. And he doesn't deserve to have to answer questions like this from his friends. And it's just being inconsiderate of your own child.

    "A lot of it is lies, but ... a lot of celebrities get dogged out and pitched about and then there's no repercussions behind the person who's doing the pitching," Harvey lamented on the airwaves.

    "Here's my job as a father to my son, I have taught him to be respectful of his mother and women overall. That's what I've taught him. What he can't do is see me going out making particular accusations and rants. It is still his mother and I'm his father," he continued. "And it's my job to raise him the right way. If I have custody of the child, which you have to wonder how that happened, then my job is to teach him by example. And he's crying through this whole thing because his friends called and his sister found it on the internet at the same time. And it's just horrible. But it is what it is, I'm good. I appreciate all the support ... the people that's going to hate you they're just looking for something to hate you for anyway. You could do me all you want, I don't care what you say about me. But my wife and kids are off limits, I tell people all the time."

    The multimedia personality went on to express his thoughts on his ex-wife's motives for bringing the accusations to light. "I mean it's simple, she's just keeping a promise that they made. 'I'm going to divorce you and I'm going to ruin you,'" he stated, referring to what some spurned spouses say during a divorce. "That's the promise that was made... But, Wynton's with us and he's doing well. If you want to pray for us then pray for Wynton. But things will be dealt with in the proper fashion this time. This time it'll get dealt with in the proper fashion."


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    Ted Williams on a Road to Ruin

    Outside of getting off the streets and the initial burst of celebrity, little has gone right for Mr. Golden Voice Ted Williams.

    After his awkward televised reunion with his mother, Williams went on the Dr. Phil Show and had his many personal demons exposed to the world.

    Then a fight with one of his daughters caused Los Angeles police officers to be called to settle him down.

    But the worst news for Williams, 53, came out over this weekend when he checked himself out of the Origins Recovery Center in South Texas after only two weeks of counseling for drug and alcohol dependency.

    Entering drug counseling was the only positive to come out of Williams' appearance on the Dr. Phil Show. The broadcast featured Williams' estranged children who painted an unflattering portrait of the former street beggar with the deep voice.

    It didn't take a soothsayer to see that unless Williams underwent a deep personal transformation, he was likely to end up right back in the same type of trouble (homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, street life) that has plagued most of his life.

    In getting discovered by an Ohio newspaper reporter and being propelled to Internet stardom, Williams hit the lottery of sorts. Too bad that on his road to ruin, Williams seems destined to fritter it all away.


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    Flavor Flav and Kanye West

    Gone are the days when opening a celebrity restaurant meant creating a high-class joint like Diddy's Justin's or Britney Spears' now defunct Nyla. Today's brightest stars are just as likely to invest in a place that serves up burgers and fries. Perhaps a foray into fine dining is too much of a financial risk, and stars looking to parlay their brands into secure income streams are wise to take the populist route. At least that has been the business direction taken recently by Jay-Z, Kanye West and now Flava Fav.

    Yes. Today is the inaugural day for Flava Flav's new chicken joint, Flav's Fried Chicken. According to the Associated Press, Flav actually has a culinary degree and previous restaurant experience. Who knew? We all thought Flav was just a walking stereotype, but we were wrong. Perhaps this aging pop star won't merely strengthen the negative association of fried chicken with blacks through his venture. Maybe through Flav's Fried Chicken, Flava Flav will actually become a positive role model in the realm of business, cancelling out some of his public foolishness. After a string of successful reality shows, he seems to be doing something right in terms of expanding his brand. To our horror, we might have something to learn from him.

    But not all low brow investments made by the musically inclined play out as beautifully. As Flava Flav joins Jay-Z as another rapper betting on chicken, Jay's former protege Kanye West has much less happy food news. Over in Chicago, West has just closed one of the Fat Burger locations he owns, which was part of a plan to open several franchises. Local Chicago news site reports:

    After only a year and a half, Fatburger in suburban Orland Park has closed down.

    KW Foods, LLC, rapper Kanye West's company, opened the restaurant to much fanfare in 2008.

    James Newell, Fatburger's director of operations, pointed to the recent financial performance of the store as the reason the store closed, "It's unfortunate, but we hope to have a presence in Orland Park again in the future."

    Kanye West's other Fatburger location, near 95th & Western in the city's Beverly neighborhood, remains open for business.

    So while West is not completely out of the burger game, he has not had the success he probably expected. It's easy to believe that owning something akin to a McDonald's is like printing money, but nothing in business is guarenteed. And if you are a man with a reputation like Kanye's, it can be hard to make money no matter how solid a franchise brand is. Why?

    Looking at the comments on the article on his restaurant's demise, it's pretty clear that Kanye's image as an egomaniac did not endear the restaurant to the local community. One commenter made his opposition to West clear: "As much as I hate seeing another business close in OP.....I couldn't support a Kayne West business either. Supporting his business was like giving my ok to his self-righteous ego and all those who think that type of behavior is acceptable." This statement illustrates how West's bad boy brand, while it might work for fans of his music, does not mix with the midwesterners he wants to woo as customers. Kanye's public outbursts and other abrasive antics have rubbed the common crowd so wrong, that the average joe wants nothing to do with his comfort food. And there is a money lesson there.

    If you are going to expand your brand, it makes sense to do so in alignment with what your brand already successfully represents. Flava Flav and Jay-Z are both fun-loving and well-liked, although in very different ways. Finger foods fit well with their easy-going personas. But Kanye is such an extreme aesthete with strong opinions -- I can understand why someone would not want to eat a burger associated with him. For West, a fine dining business would make more sense, because his refinement and vocal, critical approach to all matters of taste would be appreciated by the audience he already attracts.

    This goes to show that it pays to expand your brand along the outlines of what your public already appreciates about you, whether your public might be one of millions like Flava Flav, or the much smaller crowd that you serve in your daily life. It might be strange at first to think of rappers getting into fast food, but when you think about it in those terms, for Flavor Flav and Jay, it makes sense. Kanye on the other hand might want to look into investing in very snooty, yet highly profitable, exclusive restaurants.

    What do you think of this trend? If you were to open a restaurant to "expand your brand," what type of place would it be?

    Leave your comments below!


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    Rahm Emanuel Does Not Meet Residency Requirements to Run For Chicago Mayor

    In a major blow to Rahm Emanuel's pursuit to become mayor of Chicago, an Illinois appellate court panel ruled Monday that he does not meet residency requirements, ending months of speculation and heated debates.

    The smoldering issue exploded after a panel determined 2 to 1 that Rahm Emanuel does not meet residency requirements for eligible candidates, according to the Chicago News Cooperative. The decision could lead to the election of the city's first black mayor in nearly two decades. Former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun is in third place and is the consensus candidate for the city's black power brokers.

    "We conclude that the candidate neither meets the municipal code's requirement that he has 'resided' in Chicago for the year preceding the election in which he seeks to participate nor falls within any exception to the requirement," the whole court wrote in its decision, according to the News Cooperative.

    While Emanuel's attorneys vowed to fight the decision and appeal it to the Illinois Supreme Court, the Chicago Board of Elections will print ballots without his name for the February 22 vote. His lawyers filed papers late Monday with the Supreme court to grant a stay to permit Emanuel's name to be printed on the ballot. The Board of Elections is expected to respond by the end of the week, officials said.

    Judges Shelvin Louise Marie Hall and Thomas Hoffman ruled that Emanuel does not meet requirements to represent Chicago as mayor. His lawyers tirelessly argued that he was exempt from residency requirements under a special election code provision designed for U.S. servicemen and women because of his work as White House chief of staff, a federal position. The code provides that those in the military can maintain their residency status as long as they are on federal business.

    The panel disagreed.

    The decision is being hailed as a victory for his competitors. Emanuel, whose election coffers are filled with four times the amount of money raised by any candidate, holds a commanding lead, polls show. But now, the lead respectively falls to City Clerk Miguel del Valle, Braun, Gery Chico, Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins and William Walls.

    Still, Emanuel remained upbeat as he campaigned at a downtown restaurant.

    "I have no doubt that we will, in the end, prevail at this effort,'' Emanuel said, according to the News Cooperative. "As father always used to say, 'Nothing is ever easy in life.' This is just one turn in the road.''


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    This season on 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta,' Alabama-born model Cynthia Bailey has her share of ups and downs. Much of the storyline for this former Essence magazine cover girl and single mother revolves around her nuptials to entrepreneur Peter Thomas. Bailey opened up about her dwindling finances in the midst of planning her lavish wedding, and things got really ugly when the couple discussed their money problems with actor and New York Times bestselling author Hill Harper. chatted up the 43-year-old statuesque beauty to discuss all the hype surrounding her marriage, and we got the lowdown on just how "real" she is. It seems like the perfect time to talk about your role on 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta.' You've definitely had a transition on the show this season.
    Cynthia Bailey: I was really happy with how they rolled me out. They rolled me out really slow. We do end with the wedding, and from this point on you see a lot of me and maybe more than you want to. For my first time doing it, it was good to have a slow transition.

    BV: There are so many questions people have regarding your relationship with Peter. We see you two fighting about money and things get heated. How does that make you feel watching it back?
    CB: Those are not my favorite things to watch because there is so much emotion there. We have a great relationship, but we're going through a crazy financial crisis while shooting the show and having the wedding. We lost the restaurant and everything was happening at the same time. We both deal with things differently. I feel like I'm a worrier. I don't know anybody who wasn't affected by the recession. We didn't have to be forthcoming, but I didn't want to sign up for the show and try to hide that. It would've taken way too much energy. Some people on the show don't always say, 'My money isn't right,' or 'I can't afford this. I can't afford this car.'

    BV: Some people are buying Aston Martins, right?
    CB: Right, exactly! I feel like I've had an amazing life, and I never thought I would not have money, but going through this with my partner was difficult, but very humbling. I don't think he dealt with it in a good way. He was a complete a**hole a lot of days. It would have been easier for us to act nicely, but we just kept it real. I would walk away like, 'Why did you have to act like that?' I know it looks crazy. There are things that I watch and I say, 'What the hell?' but you have to realize you saw 10 minutes of a three-hour shoot. I don't have any control of editing. But in this house with Peter Thomas it's a 50-50 venture, and he isn't controlling anything more than that.

    BV: Your relationship is definitely different from Nene and Gregg's. What are your thoughts on that?
    CB: I do try to let Peter be dominant -- not saying Nene doesn't, but I think Nene comes across more dominant in that relationship, and I don't know if that is actually the case. She comes across more dominant in terms of the show.

    BV: Let's keep it real. You have the only real strong-willed husband on the show. Phaedra's husband, Apollo, follows suit with what she says, too.
    CB: I think Phaedra has a lot of control in that relationship. It comes across like that on the show. I'm not trying to be negative with my castmates, but the dynamics of those three marriages are very different. I think with mine and Peter's, he is the man in the relationship. I give him that respect. I think he is a complete jackass sometimes, but he wants to handle things well and to be able to pay for things and not stress me out about anything, but that just wasn't our situation. I wish we could've been balling out the whole season, but it didn't happen that way.

    BV: Another thing that some people love about you, Cynthia, is how you've showed this whole phenomenon in which women give their men money to build their careers and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. Do you regret giving Peter money for the restaurant?
    CB: I support Peter's vision and who he is. I supported his decision. I didn't say I was going to partner with him. I said, 'Oh you need this? I am going to give you that.' It was a business transaction. That was his thing, and I was doing my thing. I thought no matter how much I was in love, I need to get my money back and they didn't have anything to do with each other. I may be 60 and say, 'Are you going to give me that money back from Uptown from 30 years ago?' When you say I need to borrow it, it's a loan. A loan is a loan. Nothing changed we just got married. I still want it back.

    BV: Wait. You still asked him whether he was going to give you the money back?
    CB: Yes! I just asked him yesterday. I don't know when I am getting that money back, but he's going to have to give me something.

    BV: A lot of people think you should work out your financial challenges before tying the knot. Many people believe a relationship can't last with something so major causing disagreements before a wedding.
    CB: When we started the process, our wedding wasn't so expensive that we couldn't do it. The more involved in the planning I was the more I wanted it. Who wants to go through tastings and menus and then go to the courthouse? I've never been married before. I just wanted it. It's mine to want. We just had problems in the end.

    BV: Did you cringe watching the episodes as they aired?
    CB: Last week, I got so much response from people. I got hit up by lots of broke people in the world. A lot of people think I am strong for putting this out there and you can't please everyone. Do I want to watch that episode from last week again? Hell no! I'm like fast-forward every time it is on. This wasn't a movie. This is really my life and it was not fun. It was very stressful and we were really trying to figure out how we were going to pull this off.

    BV: Besides Gregg and Nene's relationship, this has been one of the realest moments this season. There's been so much phony stuff in the 'Housewives' franchise. Do you think it is hard for many of the ladies to keep it real?
    CB: All of us have our story. It does a really good job of showing who we really are. At the same time, I just think that for me I never wanted to put out anything that wasn't me. I was careful with how I put myself out there. The wedding was supposed to be a fun thing and not the most stressful four months of my life. I didn't want to do the show without being real, and I wanted to do me. Peter wasn't supposed to be a big part of my storyline.

    BV: People first thought you were crazy with Nene and the friend contract. Is this something you give your friends on a regular? Have you done this before?
    CB: No, but all of my other friends have said, 'I've known you for 25 years and you haven't given me a friend contract.' So, the friend contract has taken on a life of its own. I will say that people deal with drama and stress in different ways. I am not confrontational, but I felt like Nene is my friend on the show and off the show. We are friends for real. She is my girl although she threw me under the bus with the friend contract and Kim. I was genuinely upset and thought this was going to make her laugh. It didn't happen that way. People said I was a stalker and in love with her and watching that was just as hard as watching me and Peter.

    BV: Nene and Kim have now fallen out and have Twitter beef. Do you think they have taken it too far?
    CB: I can't call it with Kim and Nene. I know Nene better than I know Kim. I don't know what the whole basis is for that friendship, but if it wasn't a real friendship I see how easily something like that could come apart. I think they really have a love-hate relationship, and it wouldn't surprise me if they don't speak again or if they speak again next week. You have to wait to see what happens next weekend. I really can't call it. I think Kim and Kandi are really friends outside of the show.

    BV: You all just filmed the reunion. Have a lot of things changed since the season aired?
    CB: You never get to see interviews where the girls are talking to the camera, so I can do a scene and they could be perfectly sweet to me the whole time and in the interview run me over with an 18-wheeler. I've seen the whole season, and I was blown away by some things people said. As far as the reunion show, I couldn't get there fast enough because I had a lot of things I wanted to address, and I knew that this is the time for me to sit down and really talk about what I was feeling or not checking for.

    BV: Well, we know you had your wedding and some of the girls were talking s**t about you at your wedding? So that had to come up at the reunion, right?
    CB: I felt like this, and this comes up in the reunion, as a new housewife on the show, picking on people in a fun way is fine and when you decide to go in and talk about someone in a mean way about their financial situation and you don't know what tomorrow holds for your own financial situation, that's not what the show is about. I feel like I can sleep well at night knowing I didn't say anything on the show that I couldn't say to someone to their face. I feel great with what I put out there. It's a choice. I took that personally. They knew I was going through a hard time financially and just wanted to have my little wedding. Some of the things were hurtful.

    BV: Generally speaking, though, you're happy with how the wedding turned out, right?
    CB: I loved the way the wedding turned out except maybe I would not have invited some people hating on me who could've stayed at home. I don't think anyone wants to walk down the aisle with a bunch of haters.

    BV: Do you think after the reunion you can be friends with some of those ladies again? Or is that not possible?
    CB: I have good relationships with some of the ladies on the show. The only person on the show that I have a friendship with and I go to her house is Nene. Matter of fact, I was at her house at Christmas. Noelle and Peter were out of town and I was home Christmas Day, so I actually spent Christmas with Gregg and Bryson and Bryce. Nene came and got me even though it was snowing. Nene is the only one I really got to know and who I can call a friend. I look forward to getting to know some of the other ladies next season. A lot of them don't know me and I don't know them.

    BV: You've shared your wedding pictures with Essence magazine and are gracing the cover of Uptown magazine. How does it feel to share your wedding with these African American publications?
    CB: A lot of people are excited about the TV wedding. I think we give a great TV wedding and did our thing. It's something that I am proud of. It's on a TV show. I am excited and Peter is excited. We had a lot of interest in our pictures, and Essence was a no-brainer because they have been completely supportive of my whole modeling career. My first booking in New York when I was getting off the plane from Alabama was for Essence magazine. So in giving the exclusive, Essence was family and has always been supportive so I will support anything that they do.

    BV: Would you do spin-off show with Peter?
    CB: I am open. I don't think this reality TV thing is going anywhere. I think something about us and not five other women would be great for me. I know we are an interesting couple. We are an odd couple and that's a show within itself. I am open to it and I get it, especially with the Kardashians and their show about their family being successful, I'm in it now. The thing about becoming famous is you can't become un-famous. It just happens overnight.

    BV: Are you still modeling and do you think you would open up another business with Peter?
    CB: Yes and yes. I am still modeling. I'm supposed to shoot a Macy's commercial in New York and my modeling career is going great. I gave it a backseat while I was shooting because my schedule was more demanding than I thought it was going to be, but as soon as we wrapped, I was back in New York and that's going strong. Peter is opening up a smaller bar/lounge. It's tiny and not far from the house. He's been doing this his whole life, and it's very different from Uptown. He's hoping to have it open by March.

    BV: How are you going to do things different with the restaurant?
    CB: Uptown was huge and could hold 500 people. This place can maybe hold 100 people. It's a smaller undertaking and less expensive. It's a tapas kind of place. We're not taking on this big thing. This is a baby thing he could do in his sleep and now everyone wants to go to Uptown since they saw it on the show, but hopefully we will get them to the new bar/lounge.

    The season finale of 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' airs January 30 at 10 p.m. EST on Bravo.,feedConfig,entry&id=777016&pid=777015&uts=1258497972

    Reality Bites

    Terrell Owens
    Affiliation: 'The T.O. Show' on VH1
    Side note: Alabama's very own football star simply known as "T.O." -- literally let it all hang out for the photo shoot promoting his new reality series, in July 2009. The show revolves around his life off the field as he searches for love, repair family relationships and make the move from Dallas to Buffalo.


    Ray Cunningham
    Affiliation: 'College Hill: Virginia State University' on BET
    Side note: One of the more memorable characters from the Black Entertainment Television network reality ranks, Cunningham has become an openly gay LGBT advocate, budding actor and busy blogger, who was featured in Adam Bouska's groundbreaking NoH8 Campaign, which assembled California notables responding to the state's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. Cunningham was also cast in acclaimed filmmaker Maurice Jamal's new forthcoming TV project 'Friends and Lovers.'

    Adam Bouska

    Miss New York
    Affiliation:'Flavor of Love' and 'I Love New York' on VH1
    Side note: The upstate New York drama queen competed for hip-hop hype-man Flavor Flav's love twice and was rejected both times.

    MC Hammer
    Affiliation: 'Hammertime' on A&E
    Side note: Stanley Kirk Burrell seems to have done it all: Joined the navy; won Grammy Awards; danced for KFC popcorn chicken; fathered six children; wiggled his manhood in a Speedo bikini on a music video; went bankrupt; became a preacher; and now doing reality TV. 'Hammertime' is a look inside the family life of the man formerly known as one of the riches entertainers of his era.


    Keyshia Cole
    Affiliation: 'The Way It Is' on BET
    Side note: In an interview, thuggish ruggish rap icon Young Jeezy claimed that the hip-hop soul songstress asked him to marry her but he turned her down.

    Affiliation: 'Charm School' on VH1
    Side note: While promoting the movie 'Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins,' Mo'Nique told Oprah Winfrey that co-star Martin Lawrence once gave her invaluable advice about show business.

    Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth
    Affiliation: 'The Apprentice' on NBC and 'The Surreal Life' on VH1
    Side note:The former White House staffer proudly became the superbitch of reality TV.

    Tyra Banks
    Affiliation: 'America's Next Top Model' on UPN and The CW
    Side note: A supermodel of the highest degree, the Inglewood, Los Angeles native sought power behind the scenes and inked a lucrative deal to produce projects for Warner Bros. Television.

    Snoop Dogg
    Affiliation: 'Snoop Dogg's Father Hood' on E!
    Side note: In March 2008, Snoop released his ninth solo album 'Ego Trippin.'

    Harlem Heights
    Affiliation: BET's latest reality show revolving around young, black, urban professionals.
    Side note: Created by MTV industry insiders Randolph Sturrup and Kurt Williamson, the show features a diverse cast of eight young adults from various backgrounds with Harlem as its backdrop.


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    While many of us know who the leading black basketball and football players happen to be, we are rarely exposed to the leading Computer Scientists, Mathematicians and Physicists. Most importantly, far too many of us don't know that there is an entire organization of African American male PhDs called "Brothers of the Academy" who do scholarly work in a multitude of important fields. The media would be quick to feature these men if they were committing crimes, busting rhymes or dunking basketballs, but black males should be more readily celebrated when we are hitting the books, working our butts off and establishing sustainable institutions within the African American community. They road to black liberation goes directly through a town called "Educationville," so our black scholars should assume an important role in courageous and meaningful African American leadership.

    Ladies and gentleman, meet Professor Juan Gilbert. I've observed Juan as President of Brothers of the Academy for the past several years, and I can say with complete certainty that he is one of the most focused, dedicated, reliable and capable leaders in black America today. Juan not only runs BOTA, but he has also raised millions to fund his own computer science lab at Clemson University and at even before the age of 40, has served as the "academic father" for a large number of black Computer Science PhDs. He is one of the very best in his field and has created an independent infrastructure which allows him to be the captain of his own destiny. It is for that reason that Professor Juan Gilbert is today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices:

    1) What is your name and what do you do?

    My name is Dr. Juan E. Gilbert. I am a Professor and Chair of the Human-Centered Computing Division within the School of Computing at Clemson University where I direct the Human-Centered Computing Lab. Human-Centered Computing (HCC) is focused on understanding how to design, build and evaluate computational technologies as they relate to the human condition and how these technologies affect society. My research lab's motto is "We build innovative solutions to real world problems". We are a very applied research group that works on issues that have real world impact. For example, we have active research projects that address electronic voting, affirmative action, texting while driving, broadening participation in computing and culturally relevant learning and computing just to name a few.

    I am also the President of Brothers of the Academy.

    2) Tell us about BOTA and the mission of the organization.

    The primary objective of Brothers of the Academy, is to nurture productive, yet collaborative scholarship particularly toward the desired end of promotion and tenure among the members in tenure track positions and to foster collegial networks and relationships among the members. BOTA accomplishes this by making connections between our members with respect to our shared research interests as well as our shared vision for uplifting African-American scholarship. BOTA is one of three components that make up our institute. BOTA is the collaborative research and mentoring component. The Center for African-American Research and Policy (CAARP), is the research component and the African-American Think Tank is the third component that brings the first two components together. The Think Tank is a meeting we host at various sites across the country to promote scholar activism. Scholar activism is the application of our research to the benefit of our communities. This is where research becomes practice.

    3) Tell us about your scholarly work and your academic background.

    I have a BS degree from Miami University in Systems Analysis, a MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati. My scholarly work resides within the field of Human-Centered Computing (HCC). All of the work we do in my research lab integrates people, technology, and sometimes culture and policy. For example, Prime III is an electronic voting system we developed in my research lab. Prime III uses a multimodal user interface design to allow people to vote. People can vote by touching a touch screen and/or using their voice through a headset. This unique interaction design was developed in my research lab. Prime III is the worlds most accessible voting technology. People that can't see, hear, read and even people without arms can all privately and independently vote on the same machine as anyone else.

    Another research project in my lab is the African-American Distributed Multiple Learning Styles System (AADMLSS, pronounced 'adam-less') uses culture to teach kids algebra. Specifically, AADMLSS defines culture as who we are are and what we do. "Who we are" is defined as the things or attributes about us that are not easily changed, i.e. race/ethnicity, gender, age, etc. "What we do" is defined as the things we regularly participate in or practice, i.e religion, video games, etc. When we did an analysis of a group of African-American kids in Chicago about their culture, we discovered they consume a great deal of video games and hip-hop music. Therefore, we made the decision to try to teach these kids algebra using hip-hop and video-game animations. You can see samples at this link. We tested our solutions with the kids and they loved them! The kids initially thought they couldn't do math and they didn't like math; however, after using our lessons, they said, "I would like math if it was taught this way" Another example of our research is called Applications Quest (AQ). Applications Quest is a data mining and analysis tool I created to address affirmative action. What? Yes, I developed software that has solved the debate on the use of race/ethnicity, gender, natural origin, etc. in university admissions and hiring. This software tool adheres to all judicial decisions on the use of race in admissions. In other words, AQ can produce a more holistically diverse admissions class in a fraction of the time as any hiring committee without giving preference to race. You can read about Applications Quest here.

    You can see additional examples of our work here.

    4) What are some of the challenges you've seen for African American scholars in predominantly white universities and HBCUs?

    The challenges are mostly related to culture. I have seen many examples where we (African-American faculty) struggle with cultural differences. The biggest example is our research. If you do research on African-Americans, it's not as valued. This can hurt academics when tenure and promotion time comes. I think some of our non-Black colleagues don't appreciate the value of doing research on African-Americans and this can diminish our reputation within the department. I don't agree with the notion that research on African-Americans is not as valuable; however, it is what it is.

    Another challenge I often see is that we (African-American scholars) haven't been trained to be researchers. It has been documented that African-Americans publish fewer articles in graduate school versus our White and Asian counterparts even at the same institutions within the same departments. I believe this occurs because we are trained to be "teachers" not "researchers". As such, when we get an academic job and we are expected to be researchers first and teachers second, we experience some difficulty in meeting the expectations of the tenure and promotion committee. There are other challenges, but these are the two that I encounter the most.

    5) Do you have any advice for young people who want to follow in your footsteps?

    Certainly! Follow your passion! Do what you love to do so that it doesn't feel like work, it feels like play. I love what I do and I love the direction of my research. It takes a lot of hard work, time and dedication to make it in the academy. If you are going to invest that amount of time and effort into something, you better love it. Make your work your passion and you can achieve all the things you desire.

    6) Is there anything else you'd like to share with our AOL Black Voices audience?

    Just keepin' it real, don't forget where you come from and better yet, don't forget who you are. I am not saying, you have to remain in the hood when you "make it", but I am saying don't act like you made it on your own, even if you did make it on your own, people went before you to make it a possibility for you to make it on your own. I hold all of my students accountable for more than research and teaching. All of them must have a social conscious. They all must care about other people and they must work towards making society better. I would encourage all of you to find your passion and find a way to help someone other than yourself.

    Successful people take advantage of opportunities. Achievers create opportunities for others ... be an Achiever!

    Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the bookBlack American Money To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. To suggest a subject for a Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight, please click here.


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    Detroiters Relieved Possible Serial Rapist Is Off the Streets (Photo credit: The home on Lansdowne where Raynard Coleman was taken into custody by Detroit Police)

    Safety is somewhat restored for women walking the streets and waiting for buses on Detroit's Northeast side. The man suspected to be the criminal behind the series of rape attacks since January 1st was arraigned on formal charges this afternoon.

    "There's no person in the Metro-area that this didn't touch," Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. said.

    Raynard Coleman, 31, is being held on multiple charges of criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping. If convicted, he faces multiple life sentences. His previous criminal history includes assault with intent to murder and robbery. He served 14 years in prison for his last criminal offense and was released on parole in 2009.

    Police picked up Coleman last Wednesday at an Eastside home (pictured above) on Lansdowne Street after several tips and forensic evidence allegedly connected him to the assaults. He was identified in a line-up by six of the seven victimized women. Godbee noted that science was significant in the investigation.

    "We had done everything in our investigative power, our deployment strategies, soliciting tips in the community but the last critical piece was the science," he said.

    The rape spree ignited communal terror and the victory of catching the suspect is reassuring for residents in the area.

    Cassie Ray and Lanora Daniels on Detroit's NorthEastside at a bus stop

    Cassie Ray, 15, and Lanora Daniels, 15, live in the neighborhood and walk home from a nearby high school, Denby, everyday.

    "I'm so glad they got him because he could be doing a lot more things," Daniels said.

    The young ladies said knowing a rapist was on the loose was unnerving and did affect their choices to go out.

    "I didn't even want to leave the house a lot," Ray said. "I couldn't even go to my little sister's party."

    Denby's assistant principal, Dedria Willis, said speculations about the rapist prompted students to get to school on time. The high school followed protocol mandated by Detroit Public School Financial Manager Robert Bob to alert students of safety precautions during that time.

    "Most of Denby felt relieved but they are still on their p's and q's because one criminal is off the street but we still have more," Willis said.

    In addition to Detroit Public School police patrolling, she said it would also be helpful to get rid of the abandoned homes in the area.

    "It's abandoned homes right across the street," she said. "I wish the city would do something to it; like tear it down. It aids crimes and it aids students to skip."

    Most of the women assaulted were reportedly taken to abandoned structures after being abducted from nearby bus stops.

    While Coleman awaits his due process, Detroit police and community leaders are esteemed at their speedy collaborative efforts to secure city streets. At an earlier news conference, Godbee joked that he and other officers will finally get some sleep.

    Jazmine Steele is a freelance journalist in the city of Detroit. She can be reached on twitter @ jazzsteele.


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    When I read about the case of Kelly Williams-Bolar, I find myself confused. The 40-year old Ohio mother of two is being sent to jail for using her father's address to send her two daughters to a school in a better district. Williams-Bolar lives in a housing project in Akron, Ohio and had sent her children to school in Copley Township using her father's address.

    Williams-Bolar's father, Edward Wiliams, is also being charged with fourth-degree grand theft for stealing over $30,000 in school services for the two girls. Williams-Bolar herself will spend 10 days in jail and have three years of probation. Also, the judge in the case, Patricia Cosgrove, made it clear that she was using Williams-Bolar to set an example for other parents who consider doing the same thing. The judge went out of her way to tell the woman that she gave her jail time "so that others who think they might defraud the school system perhaps will think twice.''

    Besides being a single mom, Williams-Bolar was going to school part-time to hopefully get a better job as a teacher. The judge noted that because Williams-Bolar has been convicted of a felony, she will no longer be allowed to teach in the state of Ohio. Therefore, the punishment that she and her girls will face is set to last a lifetime.

    The Kelly Williams-Bolar case strikes a chord with quite a few people in the black community for a few reasons. Most directly, a lot of kids can remember their own mothers doing the same thing to try to break the cycle of poverty that so many of us confront as children. Inner city schools are inadequately funded, so many parents have no choice when it comes to finding ways to get their kids a good education. Some of the children I mentor attended poorly performing inner city schools and even though they did what they were told, most of them were unprepared for college after graduation and had never even done any homework.

    One has to also wonder why there is a $30,000 funding differential between the school that Williams-Bolar sent her children to and the one that was in her district. Logic seems to imply that if funding were roughly proportionate between the two districts, it would simply be a wash, where one school's spending could be compensated by another school's savings. But this is not the case in a world where far too many people of color are locked in to the horrible schools in their districts, as our elected officials continue to ignore the problem. Many of these schools don't have books or quality teachers, while the kids in the suburbs are given everything they need to be successful. The idea that citizens are now being put in jail for attempting to access educational equality is nothing short of being Jim Crow-like in nature.

    Black family economic inequality also plays a huge role in this case. It's hard to imagine that the judge would have been compelled to make an example out of Williams-Bolar were she not a poor single mother from the projects. If she were a wealthy woman from the suburbs, she would have been able to afford the kinds of attorneys that keep people out of jail, and she also would not have been forced to break the law in order to help her girls get access to a good school. This case just stinks to high heaven.

    Dr. Martin Luther King reminded us many years ago that a moral man/woman has the right to violate unjust laws. Ms. Williams-Bolar's decision to break the law of educational apartheid to give her daughters a better future is no different from those who broke the law to teach slaves how to read. Access to education should be a fundamental American right, but as it stands, being poor has now become a crime, especially if you have the audacity to demand equality.

    Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and a Scholarship in Action Resident of the Institute for Black Public Policy. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.


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    Oprah Winfrey: Meet My Half-Sister Patricia reported exclusively yesterday an hour before the big reveal that Oprah Winfrey would announce on her syndicated talk show, 'The Oprah Winfrey Show,' that she had a half-sister.

    (Read: 'Oprah Winfrey: Big Reveal is Long-Lost Sister.')

    On the emotional episode, that the 56-year-old host called "one of the greatest surprises" of her life, Winfrey introduced the world to her younger sister Patricia.

    The story goes that Patricia was given up for adoption by Winfrey's mother, Vernita Lee, at birth. Winfrey, who was 9 years old at the time, was living with other relatives and never knew her mom was pregnant.

    Patricia went into the foster care system and was eventually adopted. She describes her childhood as "difficult" and decided to search for her biological family at the urging of her two children, Andre and Aquarius.

    Patricia got a package from the state of Wisconsin with information on her biological family, but was told that her birth mother did not want to meet her. Patricia them saw Lee in an interview on the local news, and the information Lee shared about her deceased children was eerily similar to the results Patricia found in the family package.

    In 2007, Patricia came to the realization that Lee was definitely her mother and Winfrey was her half-sister. She kept the discovery quiet while she made numOprah Winfrey & mom Vernita Leeerous attempts to meet her biological family.

    "Since I have been a person known in the public, there have been few times that I have been anywhere and not been sold out. There have been few times that you can bring anybody into your life and not have that person in some way betray you or use you or take advantage of you. What is so extraordinary about Patricia and Andre and Aquarius is that they have known this secret since 2007. She had tried and tried again to get responses from my mother and other people in the family and she never once thought to go to the press," a tearful Winfrey said.

    Winfrey's two other siblings - a brother Jeffrey and a sister also named Patricia - are both deceased. She admitted that learning of the second Patricia left her "speechless."

    "For the most part, my life has been an open book and on the show I think I've seen about everything, and I thought nothing could surprise me anymore, but let me tell you I was wrong," she explained.

    During an untelevised post-show discussion with her audience, the Kosciusko, Miss.-bred media mogul confessed that she and Patricia have not had a lot of time to get acquainted because shortly after their initial meeting on Thanksgiving, Winfrey left to shoot her show in Australia.

    Patricia and Oprah

    Winfrey stressed that she wants their relationship to build organically.

    "I am a strong believer at meeting people where there are, not in what you wish could happen," she said. "I don't feel like I've been reunited with a long lost sister, because I didn't know I had one. It's about building a relationship, woman to woman, out of respect -- mutual respect. First you start with friendship and then you grow to love somebody. I already love her for her character and already respect her for the person that she's shown herself to be. Relationships are about building something and not about what you have in your head. That's what I have learned from all of the people who've been on the show in past years."

    The Emmy-winning talk show host confessed that discussing the family matter on camera with her mother was one of the greatest challenges of her career.

    "That little interview that I did, it was one of the toughest things I've ever done! Trying to get my own mother to talk Oprah Winfreyabout this was very freeing for me. I understood a lot of things just in that little time," she revealed.

    And though Winfrey recognizes that her mom's response to Patricia isn't the reaction akin to most TV family reunions, she understands that her mother's shame hasn't allowed her to become free of the guilt of abandoning her child in 1963.

    "When I left my mother, I was thinking about my whole interview and why she was so shut down and so closed with Patricia. There's Patricia, you can feel her yearning for her mother -- our mother -- to say something. You can see her yearning for that and Vernita not giving it to her. Then I realized she can't! She can't give it to her because she has not been freed of the shame. Maybe this will do this for our mother, and maybe not. It'll take a while," she expressed.

    Winfrey concluded: "My relationship with Patricia has nothing to do with how my mother chooses to react or doesn't choose to react. My mother is pretty shut down in many ways. Part of the reason she is probably shut down is because she's carried this secret and who knows how many others she's carried! But that shouldn't affect the way I behave with her or behave with Patricia and the rest of the family."

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    Nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards were announced today by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak and Oscar-winning actress and Academy member Mo'Nique.

    'The King's Speech' led the pack with 12 nominations, followed by 'True Grit' with 10 nods.

    Competing for Best Picture will 'Black Swan,' 'The Fighter,' 'Inception,' 'The Kids Are All Right,' 'The King's Speech,' '127 Hours,' 'The Social Network,' 'Toy Story 3,' 'True Grit' and 'Winter's Bone.'

    The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

    Complete List of 2011 Oscar Nominations:

    Best Picture

    'Black Swan' Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
    'The Fighter' David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
    'Inception' Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
    'The Kids Are All Right' Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
    'The King's Speech' Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
    '127 Hours' Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
    'The Social Network' Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
    'Toy Story 3' Darla K. Anderson, Producer
    'True Grit' Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
    'Winter's Bone' Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

    Actor in a Leading Role

    Javier Bardem in 'Biutiful'
    Jeff Bridges in 'True Grit'
    Jesse Eisenberg in 'The Social Network'
    Colin Firth in 'The King's Speech'
    James Franco in '127 Hours'

    Actor in a Supporting Role

    Christian Bale in 'The Fighter'
    John Hawkes in 'Winter's Bone'
    Jeremy Renner in 'The Town'
    Mark Ruffalo in 'The Kids Are All Right'
    Geoffrey Rush in 'The King's Speech'

    Actress in a Leading Role

    Annette Bening in 'The Kids Are All Right'
    Nicole Kidman in 'Rabbit Hole'
    Jennifer Lawrence in 'Winter's Bone'
    Natalie Portman in 'Black Swan'
    Michelle Williams in 'Blue Valentine'

    Actress in a Supporting Role

    Amy Adams in 'The Fighter'
    Helena Bonham Carter in 'The King's Speech'
    Melissa Leo in 'The Fighter'
    Hailee Steinfeld in 'True Grit'
    Jacki Weaver in 'Animal Kingdom'

    Animated Feature Film

    'How to Train Your Dragon' Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
    'The Illusionist' Sylvain Chomet
    'Toy Story 3' Lee Unkrich

    Art Direction

    'Alice in Wonderland'
    Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
    'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1'
    Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
    Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
    "The King's Speech"
    Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
    "True Grit"
    Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh


    'Black Swan' Matthew Libatique
    'Inception' Wally Pfister
    'The King's Speech' Danny Cohen
    'The Social Network' Jeff Cronenweth
    'True Grit' Roger Deakins

    Costume Design

    'Alice in Wonderland' Colleen Atwood
    'I Am Love' Antonella Cannarozzi
    'The King's Speech" Jenny Beavan
    'The Tempest" Sandy Powell
    'True Grit" Mary Zophres


    'Black Swan' Darren Aronofsky
    'The Fighter' David O. Russell
    'The King's Speech' Tom Hooper
    'The Social Network' David Fincher
    'True Grit' Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

    Documentary (Feature)

    'Exit through the Gift Shop' Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
    'Gasland' Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
    'Inside Job' Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
    'Restrepo' Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
    'Waste Land' Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

    Documentary (Short Subject)

    'Killing in the Name' Nominees to be determined
    'Poster Girl' Nominees to be determined
    'Strangers No More' Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
    'Sun Come Up' Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
    'The Warriors of Qiugang' Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

    Film Editing

    'Black Swan' Andrew Weisblum
    'The Fighter' Pamela Martin
    'The King's Speech' Tariq Anwar
    '127 Hours' Jon Harris
    'The Social Network' Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

    Foreign Language Film

    'Biutiful' Mexico
    'Dogtooth' Greece
    'In a Better World' Denmark
    'Incendies' Canada
    'Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)' Algeria


    'Barney's Version' Adrien Morot
    'The Way Back' Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
    'The Wolfman' Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

    Music (Original Score)

    'How to Train Your Dragon' John Powell
    'Inception' Hans Zimmer
    'The King's Speech' Alexandre Desplat
    '127 Hours' A.R. Rahman
    'The Social Network' Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

    Music (Original Song)

    'Coming Home' from "Country Strong" Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
    'I See the Light' from "Tangled" Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
    'If I Rise' from "127 Hours" Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
    'We Belong Together' from "Toy Story 3" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

    Short Film (Animated)

    'Day & Night' Teddy Newton
    'The Gruffalo' Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
    'Let's Pollute' Geefwee Boedoe
    'The Lost Thing' Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
    'Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)' Bastien Dubois

    Short Film (Live Action)

    'The Confession' Tanel Toom
    'The Crush' Michael Creagh
    'God of Love' Luke Matheny
    'Na Wewe' Ivan Goldschmidt
    'Wish 143' Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

    Sound Editing

    'Inception' Richard King
    'Toy Story 3' Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
    'Tron: Legacy' Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
    'True Grit' Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
    'Unstoppable' Mark P. Stoeckinger

    Sound Mixing

    'Inception' Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
    'The King's Speech' Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
    'Salt' Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
    'The Social Network' Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
    'True Grit' Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

    Visual Effects

    'Alice in Wonderland' Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
    'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1' Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
    'Hereafter' Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
    'Inception' Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
    'Iron Man 2' Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

    Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

    '127 Hours' Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
    'The Social Network' Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
    'Toy Story 3' Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
    'True Grit' Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
    'Winter's Bone' Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

    Writing (Original Screenplay)

    'Another Year' Written by Mike Leigh
    'The Fighter' Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson;
    Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
    'Inception' Written by Christopher Nolan
    'The Kids Are All Right' Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
    'The King's Speech' Screenplay by David Seidler


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    Ann Pettway

    Suspect Ann Pettway (pictured), who stands accused of snatching Carlina White from Harlem Hospital's pediatric ward 23 years ago is being held without bail on kidnapping charges Monday in federal court in Manhattan.

    The 44-year-old woman gave herself up Saturday to FBI officials in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and admitted to being "truly sorry," according to a criminal complaint filed Monday. Pettway was wanted on a warrant from North Carolina, where she was on probation over an embezzlement conviction.

    Police reports reveal that Pettway had suffered several miscarriages and had convinced herself that she would never become a Mother. Pettway admitted to taking White when she was just 19 days old from the hospital back in 1987 and went on to tell law enforcement that no one even attempted to stop her during the kidnapping.

    Pettway recounted her story to police about how she posed as a nurse, took White (who had a raging fever) from her parents and then pretended to take her in for treatment. When Pettway exited the hospital with the baby, she took a train to Bridgeport. Pettway then managed to convince friends and family that she had actually given birth to White.

    The woman told investigators that she made several attempts to create a fake birth certificate, but that it didn't quite look real enough to fool folks. Pettway gave White the name Nejdra Nance and raised her along with her natural son. No one questioned the woman about White -- not even family members.

    Pettway's own brother said that he thought White belonged to his sister:

    "Why should I think twice about it? She just was a baby, just a baby," Kapell Pettway told ABC News.

    Yet, while no one suspected Pettway of foul play surrounding the alleged birth of her daughter, White did have suspicions that plagued her.

    The young woman who has accused her kidnapper of physical and emotional mistreatment throughout her childhood. White has said that she always felt like a foreigner within her family and couldn't find her birth certificate or social security card, which stopped her from being able to get a driver's license because she had no documents that supported her existence. The 23-year-old also took note of the fact that she resembled no one in her family, which piqued her curiosity about her background even more.

    After contacting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, White eventually found her biological mother Joy White by sending her baby photos of herself for Joy to examine. Joy contacted the New York Police Department and the ball rolled from there.

    The White family never gave up hope that their long-lost relative would eventually find her way back to the family:

    "I have my piece, I have my whole puzzle. I can't make up for the lost time but I can take care of right now, Carlina's dad Carl Tyson told NBC's Today Show.

    Meanwhile, if convicted, Pettway faces a sentence of life in prison, a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. .


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    The Spark With Amanda Diva

    This week on 'The Spark,' legendary actor and song and dance man Ben Vereen ('Roots,' 'Idlewild,' 'All That Jazz') sits down with host Amanda Diva to discuss how he's managed to be so multifaceted, his thoughts on the current images of blackness in entertainment, his new project 'Stepping Out' (dropping on Feb. 15) and more.

    Also, Deev gives her hilarious take on VH1's 'Basketball Wives' and in 'Things I Learned This Week,' she talks about Obama's speech in Arizona, the new astrological signs and comedian Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes.


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    Spike Lee, Arne Duncan to Recruit Black Male Teachers

    Spike Lee (pictured), whose mother, Jacqueline Carroll, was an educator, and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be traveling to Morehouse College on Jan. 31 in an effort to encourage more minorities to pursue teaching careers.The focus is specifically on male teachers of color.

    The event will be a town hall meeting, where recruiters will be present to court diverse and highly qualified teachers. Following the event, Duncan and others will announce a plan to recruit, train and place 800,000 male African American teachers by 2015, according to a press release.

    Duncan will be touring historically black colleges in an effort to recruit black males, who currently make up 2 percent of the teaching population.

    There's no doubt that we need more qualified black teachers in the public school system, but it's hard to recruit students to the teaching profession because of its low paying. And yet schools -- mostly charter schools -- that are headed by black men have proved successful.

    Will having more black men teachers help solve the problem of poor student achievement in the black community? According to studies, the number of fathers actively involved in their children's lives has decreased dramatically over the past two decades. This has affected boys and girls, both in and out of school, emotionally and academically. At school, though, like in the workforce, you have to achieve no matter who your boss is.

    I think the focus should be on making the curriculum more culturally reflective of blacks' contributions and achievements in this country. It wouldn't matter who was teaching it if black male or female children felt that what they were learning was culturally relevant.

    In Baltimore, a predominantly black city, a survey conducted in 2001 by a task force revealed that only one in five Maryland schools taught students about African American culture.

    When the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture opened a few years ago, it looked to remedy that problem by incorporating the museum's exhibitions into the curriculum of all Maryland public schools, a first-of-its-kind partnership in the country for students in grades 4 through 8. This is a good start in an effort to remedy this problem.

    But it's long overdue.


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    If you're in a fashion rut and bored by your winter wardrobe, get a jolt of creativity from the runway. Look to designers known for their playful, fun approach to fashion for inspiration and shake up your stale style by recreating their runway looks for less.

    While every woman can appreciate the timeless style of Diane von Furstenburg clothing, not everyone can afford her pricey duds. The designer ignored the typical idea that winter clothing should be bland and colorless, instead showing a bright, young look on the runway for fall/winter (above). She paired a bold blue patterned dress with an edgy metallic jacket for extra "wow" factor.

    Style this runway look your way by adding a glitzy jacket to a fabulous blue print dress, and be sure to throw in a pair of warm tights, metallic accessories and strappy black pumps.

    1. Charlotte Russe Printed Dress ($33, 2. Spiegel Metallic Leather Jacket ($60, 3. Forever 21 Earrings ($6.80, 4. Gap Tights ($16.80, 5. Via Spiga Lace-up Pumps ($114.90, 6. Forever 21 Bangles ($4.80,

    Want to feel powerful when you head to work? Well look no further than Elie Tahari, who sent a strong career look down the runway for winter. Basic black trousers and a feminine blouse are the perfect corporate contrast to a dynamic fur collared jacket.

    1. French Connection Blouse ($40, 2. Old Navy Earrings ($7.50, 3. Faux Fur Vest ($52, 4. Platform Booties ($27.80, 5. Charlotte Russe Trousers ($30, 6. Bedstu Belt ($47.20, 7.Hive & Honey Button Ring ($14.97,

    Recreate this look at home by adding a winter proof twist. Instead of a tank, add a black long sleeved blouse with a warm and cozy furry black vest and straight leg trousers. A pair of suede booties, funky jewelry and a detailed belt complete the look.


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    The gunman who allegedly shot and killed six people and severely wounded Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others in Tucson, Ariz., pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges.

    Jared Loughner (pictured), 22, entered court with his wrists chained to his waist and was closely watched by a squadron of eight U.S. marshals.

    Giffords has made remarkable progress in her recovery from a point-blank shot to her forehead.

    The AP writes:

    Loughner's hearing Monday did not offer any indication of a defense strategy. His attorney, Judy Clarke, said she wasn't raising issues of competency "at this time" after the judge asked whether there was any question about her client's ability to understand the case against him.

    If Clarke uses mental competency questions as a defense and is successful, Loughner could be sent to a mental health facility instead of being sentenced to prison or death. The federal murder charges Loughner faces carry a potential death penalty, which require a painstaking process under Justice Department rules.

    This entire process sickens me. It's not just the horrendous nature of Loughner's crimes but the dance we keep going through in this country as mass shootings become a way of life.

    Usually, the gunman has killed himself or been shot dead by authorities. In this case, Loughner was tackled and taken in alive.

    Even if Loughner is convicted and faces the death penalty that will do nothing to stop the next mass killing. We refuse to take the simple step of addressing our gun laws.

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called for better enforcement of the gun laws we already have on the books.

    Arizona Shooter Jared L. Loughner

    The New York Daily News writes:

    Specifically, the mayor said the list of names checked before gun purchases needs to be complete. It must include all felony convicts, and people with histories of domestic violence, drug abuse and mental illness - all of whom have been prohibited from buying guns since the 1968 law.

    Bloomberg said that 10 states don't even contribute names of people with mental illness to the list, while the entire database has little more than 2,000 names of drug abusers. Bloomberg also called for background checks to be conducted before every gun purchase, sales online sales and at gun shows. Many such sales are now exempt from background checks.

    "If we are going to prevent guns from falling into the hands of violent criminals, the mentally unstable and other already prohibited dangerous persons, we need a comprehensive national background check system with no loopholes," Bloomberg said.

    "The state of our union includes the tragic reality that 34 Americans are murdered with guns every single day and most of them are purchased or possessed illegally," Bloomberg added.


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    Steve Harvey took to his nationally syndicated radio show yesterday (Jan.24) to address salacious allegations his ex-wife, Mary Shackelford's posted via YouTube videos about the 'King of Comedy' being a serial cheater who left her for his current wife, Marjorie Bridges Harvey.

    Since their 2005 divorce, Shackelford claimed that she now has nothing, as Harvey also has full custody of their 15-year-old son, Wynton.

    Now, the New York Times Bestselling author's current wife has retained an attorney to fight the allegations that she was the other woman, something that she said has left her both "shocked and dismayed."

    Mrs. Harvey is pursuing a lawsuit against Shackelford.

    "As a wife and a mother, I cannot stand back and allow the defamation of my character or actions that will malign my family," the philanthropist said in a statement released through her attorney C. Anthony Mulrain, exclusively relaesed to

    "So, I will do what I need to do to the greatest extent of the law."

    Shackelford claimed she found emails and text messages between her 'Family Feud' talk show host ex-husband and Marjorie and that after she expressed a desire to get a divorce, he left and fled to New York City to be with Marjorie.

    "The part that's hurtful in this is my wife and children had to be drugged [sic] into this," a frustrated Harvey said on-air. "If you're going to be vindictive go ahead and aim it at me, but my son is coming in the room crying and that's also her son, so why would you do this?"

    The current Mrs. Harvey, who called the three viral videos "malicious and baseless," stated that "the posting is nothing more than a sad attempt by Mary to make herself relevant in the eyes of the media."

    Mrs. Harvey is looking forward to making her case in court.

    As previously reported, Shackleford said her ex-spouse is currently suing her in Texas, which is why she is now speaking up.

    Mr. Harvey has been urged to not personally respond to allegations as not to be held in contempt of the court's gag orders imposed on him and Shackleford.

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