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

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    Macy Gray Israel Racial Slurs

    Soulful R&B singer Macy Gray might have put her size 12 foot in her mouth when she asked her Facebook fans whether she should follow through with her plans to perform in a series of concerts in Tel Aviv.

    Gray was undecided about her tour because of the "disgusting" way the Israeli government treats Palestinians.

    But surely she was not prepared for the backlash she received for voicing her opinion, including racial slurs directed toward her and African Americans in general.

    Gray posted the following on her Facebook page:

    "I'm getting a lot of letters from activists urging/begging me to boycott by NOT performing in protest of Apartheid against the Palestinians," she wrote. "What the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinians is disgusting, but I wana go. I gotta lotta fans there I dont want to cancel on and I don't know how my NOT going changes anything. What do you think? Stay or go?"

    In response to her post, she received more than 4,000 highly impassioned responses including those below [comments edited for profanity]:

    THe ugly ni**ers are joining the Darfurians entering here. All of you go away. wedontwantyou

    Go find whoever is going to shag you you f***ing wh**e. Every piece of garbage opens their c**t on us. muslimit

    Another "afro american." Nice name that the ni**ers made for themselves. Max

    Who wants you? You look like a monkey. Mikhal

    It's really disgusting that Israel is going to see black!!! music. Disgusting. Contaminates your soul. Ayela

    Don't come we don't need your ugly fat a** here. Dude

    Amidst all the hate, Gray made the decision to go through with her scheduled concerts. Via Twitter she tweeted the following:

    "Dear Israel fans. Me and the band will be there in 20 days. Can't wait. See you then. Peace."

    Countless entertainers have found themselves under pressure to boycott Israel, because of its heated relations with Palestinians. However, Gray performed in Israel in 2008 and 2009 and also performed in Caesarea in 2000, so she is no stranger to the region.

    Other performers have opted to cancel concerts due to the more than six decades of conflict between the rival territories.

    Singer Elvis Costello canceled his planned concerts in Israel last summer because of what he called the "grave and complex" sensitivities. Earlier this month, Johnny Depp's wife, French singer and actress Vanessa Paradis, decided not to perform in a concert scheduled to take place on Feb. 10. There was speculation that Paradis, who said her concert clashed with a prior meeting, was in no uncertain terms politically motivated to skip out on the concert date.

    Regardless of Macy Gray's feelings on the Israel-Palestine conflict, she recognizes that she is an entertainer and is still going to meet her obligation to the people of that region. She has the right to her opinion and no one's opinion should draw such harsh responses or racial slurs.




     

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    In an interview that will air Wednesday on CNN's 'Piers Morgan Tonight,' megachurch pastor Joel Osteen declares that homosexuality is a sin based on his understanding of Christian scripture.

    In response to Morgan's direct question, "Is homosexuality a sin?" Osteen had this to say:

    "Yes, I've always believed, Piers, the scripture shows that it's a sin."

    Osteen continued by saying that he had no desire to "bash" homosexuality or play the role of judge. He was then pressed further on the issue by Morgan who brought up his friend, Elton John, who recently had a surrogate child with his partner, David Furnish.

    "Why are they sinners in your eyes?" he asked. Osteen's response:

    "Well, it's strictly back to what the scripture says. I mean, I can't grab one part and say God wants you to be blessed and live an abundant life, and not grab the other part that says, you know what? You know, live that kind of life. So it comes back to the scripture. I'm not the judge. You know, God didn't tell me to go around judging everybody."

    Source: Huffington Post



    Kevin Eason is a freelance editorial cartoonist and illustrator from New Jersey. His brand of satire covers news events in politics, entertainment, sports and much more. Follow him on Facebook.

     

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    Ice-T's Son Arrested for Exposing Himself

    Actor and former gangsta rapper Ice-T may want to maintain some "Law & Order" in his household. The celeb's teenage son Tracy "Little Ice" Marrow Jr. was arrested during the wee hours Monday morning outside a Van Nuys, Calif., strip club and charged with public indecency.



    Apparently, the 19-year-old had visited a popular strip club and reportedly received a few lap dances. According to published reports, Little Ice either stepped outside to use the bathroom al fresco or relieved himself from all of his "pent up excitement." Either way, someone called the LAPD and it was on and popping!

    Interestingly enough, Ice-T, whose real name is Tracy Morrow, was just behind bars last July, when he was pulled over and arrested for driving without insurance. The star of the hit TV police drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" eventually fought the charge and was able to prove that he did in fact have insurance when police stopped him.

    In the meantime, Marrow Jr., who, is set to appear in the upcoming reality show called "The Real Teens of Hollywood," was released on $5,000 bail.



     

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    Dr. Conrad Murray Pleads Not Guilty



    With the words, "I am an innocent man, your honor," Dr. Conrad Murray provided the opening verse in what promises to be the most-watched celebrity trial in years as Murray faces manslaughter charges in the death of Michael Jackson.



    Related Articles



    Judge Michael Pastor ruled earlier this month that there was enough evidence to force Murray to stand trial which will start in late March.

    Murray faces four years in prison if convicted.

    If disclosures from the preliminary hearing are true, Murray may have an uphill battle showing he was a competent medical professional.


    For example, during the frantic scene to revive Jackson, Murray allegedly asked if anyone present knew CPR. He also said that it was the first time he had given mouth-to-mouth to a patient, according to Faheem Muhammad, a Jackson security official who testified during the preliminary hearing.

    Another potential problem for Murray comes in the timeline of Jackson's death. Murray waited 21 minutes before calling 911 and failed to tell paramedics he had given the performer propofol, a powerful anesthetic believed to have killed Jackson.

    Prosecutors will likely hammer Murray with questions surrounding why he choose to call Jackson's personal assistant and send text messages instead of getting immediate aid for the stricken singer.

    Murray will also have to fight against testimony provided by paramedic Richard Senneff, who testified he had a gut feeling that Murray wasn't telling the truth when asked about the circumstances of Jackson's death.

    There is no debate the world lost a great entertainer June 25, 2009, when Jackson died.

    There will be great debate starting March 28th to determine whether Dr. Conrad Murray was responsible.

    He clearly has a lot of explaining to do.

     



     

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    Deadly Polio Returns to Angola
    If you want an example of why developed countries like the United States have to help poor countries to advance, look at the story of how polio has regained a foothold in Angola.

    World health experts believed the fatal disease spread by contact with fecal matter had been eradicated since the U.N. World Health Organization started a successful vaccine plan in the late 1980's.

    Since 2000, fewer than 2,000 cases were reported - and the number stayed level.

    But civil war in Angola has caused a refugee crisis in and around the capital of Luanda. And the crumbling infrastructure there has caused a sanitation crisis and a rebirth of the disease.






    Now Angola is believed to have one of the largest polio epidemics in Africa. But vaccinations, clean water, safe hygiene and better infrastructure are keys to beating the polio outbreak.

    The Angolan government, UNICEF, WHO and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are all working to immunize children considered to be at risk. But it shouldn't be left only to these organizations to help get vaccines distributed.

    Last year, an airline passenger from the Dominican Republic nearly caused a panic when health authorities thought he transmitted cholera after arriving in Miami. Similar scares have occurred with air passengers thought to be carrying pandemic flu, tuberculosis and measles.

    With the way people can easily cross oceans and borders, it's in the self-interest of all nations to help keep diseases like polio at bay.


     

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    Let's face it: New Year's Resolutions usually last until March at the latest. January welcomes packed gyms, fervent job hunts, and a meal plan that's anything but easy to stick to. This year, why not opt for a healthier, more realistic approach to eating? Skip the superdiet and try these healthier options to some of your favorite dishes. And remember: always in moderation.

    INSTEAD OF: Chowder. Any Chowder.
    TRY: Butternut Squash Soup

    A warm bowl of soup is great on a winter day, but have you ever considered just how fatty your favorite creamy soup can be? It's hard to imagine, but a "creamy" soup doesn't necessarily have to contain cream. Butternut squash is fat free, cholesterol free, and packed with fiber, potassium, and folate. Just a cup of the stuff is half your daily dose of Vitamin C alone, so a big bowl of soup for lunch might have you at Popeye status by dinnertime.


    INGREDIENTS

    1 large butternut squash
    2 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
    1/4 c. olive oil
    2 tsp. dried basil
    2 tsp. dried rosemary
    salt and pepper to taste


    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

    * Peel squash and cut into small 1/2" - 1"chunks, discarding seeds and stem. toss in herbs, spices and olive oil, spread onto a baking sheet, and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until super tender.
    * Throw roasted squash in a blender or food processor. REMOVE THE TOP AND COVER WITH A DISH TOWEL. Seriously. The steam will give you a face full of hot orange mush, and it will not feel nice.
    * Puree squash until smooth, transfer contents to a saucepan, stir in broth, and heat until warmed throughout. Serve. Top with pecans, parmesan, or fresh herbs, if you prefer.

    INSTEAD OF: Macaroni and Cheese
    TRY: Israeli Couscous with Feta and Herbs

    A huge, greasy heaping of mac and cheese is the highlight of a holiday dinner, but it's definitely not your best choice of side dish all year 'round. Israeli couscous is a wheat-based pasta that's bigger and more moist than regular couscous, its grainy counterpart. It's filling enough to be eaten as a whole meal or in small portions as a side dish with a lean protein, like chicken breast.

    Instead of a fatty, cheesy sauce, a bit of low-fat feta and a light, lemony dressing make this a great dinner option or served cold with your leftover lunch. Most importantly, this dish takes only 10 minutes to make!

    INGREDIENTS

    1 1/4 c. israeli couscous
    2 1/2 c. vegetable broth
    1 c. chopped tomatoes
    1/2 c. crumbled feta
    1/2 c. fresh dill, roughly chopped

    dressing:
    1 tbsp. olive oil
    1/4 c. lemon juice
    1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
    1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
    salt and pepper to taste (try starting with 1/4 tsp. of each)

    * Cook the couscous according to package, using the broth instead of water.
    * While couscous is cooking, chop the tomatoes and herbs and mix the dressing.
    * Add warm couscous to a large bowl. Add tomatoes, feta and dill, drizzle with dressing, and toss. Serve.

    INSTEAD OF: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
    TRY: Braised Brussels Sprouts with Shrimp

    Let's be honest, everything's better with bacon. But there's one thing that isn't: your heart. While bacon goes with everything from breakfast dishes to even chocolate, your cholesterol level is going up with every greasy, artery-clogging strip. Most think that pancetta (Italian bacon) is to brussels sprouts as peas are to carrots, but why not please your body (and your pork-free dinner guests) with a lighter alternative?

    Brussels sprouts are low in calories and high in fiber, protein, and vitamin C. Eating just a cup and a half at least twice a week can lower your risk of cancer, improve thyroid function, and potentially improve DNA stability, according to a recent study.

    INGREDIENTS

    2 c. brussels sprouts, quartered
    1/4 c. white wine
    1 shallot, chopped
    1 large garlic clove, chopped (about 2 1/2 tsp)
    1 c. chicken or vegetable broth
    2 c. shrimp
    2 tsp. old bay seasoning
    salt and pepper to taste

    * Season shrimp with salt, pepper and old bay and set aside.
    * In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and add shallots and garlic. Cook until translucent but not browning, about 3 minutes.
    * Add brussels sprouts and cook until slightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in wine and cook until wine has reduced some, another 3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and shrimp. Bring contents to a boil, then cover and simmer until liquid has reduced, about 20 minutes. Serve drizzled with lemon juice or sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

    INSTEAD OF: Blueberry Cobbler
    TRY: Blueberry-Quark Bars

    A warm slice of blueberry pie or cobbler will rock your world, but after a huge dinner, you're only adding calories to your belly. Instead of using heavy cream in your dessert, try quark. Quark is a soft, low-fat, low-sodium cheese that has a taste and consistency not unlike sour cream. In terms of taste, it's not the best for eating alone, but when baked, it gives your desserts and biscuits a fluffy, moist texture.

    Blueberries, on the other hand, have more antioxidants than any other fruit. While antioxidants are amazing for your immune system, blueberries are also great for reducing body fat, aiding digestion, and promoting eye, brain, urinary tract and heart health.

    By making this sweet, tangy dessert in a muffin pan, you can observe exactly how much you're eating and control your portions. They also make a cute housewarming gift.

    INGREDIENTS

    1 3oz. pkg blueberries (about 2 cups)
    1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
    juice of half a lemon
    1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
    1/2 c. sugar
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1 1/2 sticks butter
    zest of 1 orange
    1/2 c. quark

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    * In one bowl, mix the cornstarch, blueberries, and lemon and set aside.
    * Blend dry ingredients, then add butter in cubes. Blend with a fork until a fluffy crumble is made. Set aside 1/2 c. of the crumble and mix the quark into the other portion. Press mixture into a greased baking pan or muffin tins. Add a layer of blueberry blend, top with crumble, and bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown.

    What are your favorite meal substitutions?

    For more recipes, go to gastronoms.net.

     

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    When the nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards were announced this morning, there were many names that were left off the list, but most notably, the exclusion of any African Americans in the 24 categories.

    Among the omitted were Halle Berry, who received a Golden Globe nod for her acclaimed performance in 'Frankie and Alice,' and John Legend, who wrote and sung the song 'Shine' for the documentary 'Waiting for Superman.'

    A majority of critics had voted 'Superman' as the best doc of 2010 and yet it failed to make the nomination cut.

    While Tyler Perry's 'For Colored Girls' didn't received the best of positive reviews with a 33% approval rating from the movie critics website Rotten Tomatoes, many people singled out Kimberly Elise's performance and hoped that she would have landed a nod.

    This is a far cry from the 2010 Oscars, when African Americans accounted for nine nominations. Lee Daniels' film, 'Precious' grabbed six nods, and took home wins for Best Supporting Actress (Mo'Nique) and adapted screenplay (Geoffrey Fletcher). Roger Ross Williams won the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) for the film 'Music by Prudence.' Morgan Freeman was nominated for Best Actor for playing South African civil rights leader Nelson Mandela in 'Invictus,' and Broderick Johnson received a nod for co-producing 'The Blind Side.'

    The three wins were the most since 2002 when Halle Berry and Denzel Washington won for 'Monster's Ball,' and 'Training Day,' respectively, and Sidney Poitier recieved an Honorary Award for "for his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence."

    Ironically, it was Oscar winner Mo'Nique who helped announced this year's nominees today.

    Competing for Best Picture will be '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.'

    Outside of Rashida Jones, who's in 'The Social Network,' and fashion model/actress Yaya DaCosta, who's in 'The Kids Are All Right,' there aren't any blacks in the eight other films nominated for Best Picture.

    Speaking of the two ladies mentioned, voters for the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards failed to include them with the ensemble list from their respected films when nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture were announced.

    The last time less blacks were nominated was in 1995, when Don Cheadle was snubbed for his performance in 'Devil in a Blue Dress,' and 'Waiting For Exhale' received no recognition for any of the actresses in the film despite its success at the box office. Singer James Ingram shared a nomination with Carole Bayer Sager, James Newton Howard and Patty Smyth for the song 'Look What Love Has Done' from the film 'Junior.'

    Some people may say that 2010 was the worst year for Black Cinema, with a majority of big studio films such as 'Just Wright,' 'Brooklyn's Finest,' and 'Our Family Wedding' generating negative reviews and flopping at the box office.

    That being said, why didn't any of those "bad" films get a Razzie Award nomination, which gives out awards for the worst in cinema?

    Is this a sign of a total black out? Or is this business as usual?





     

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    Financial Reform

    When President Obama signed financial reform into law in 2010, a key goal was to create a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPB -- an agency that would have broad powers to regulate everything from payday loans and mortgages to credit cards. Equally important, the CFPB would be charged with reining in predatory lending and putting and end to the financial abuses that led to the recent mortgage meltdown and ongoing credit crunch.

    But six months before the CFPB makes it official debut -- on July 21, 2011 -- the agency is already facing a number of potential threats that could prove worrisome for consumers, especially minorities. According to a coalition of consumer advocates and civil rights groups, which on Friday released a progress report on the efforts thus far to get the CFPB up and running, the government has done a good job to date in preparing for the CFPB's upcoming launch. However, members of the coalition expressed serious concerns over issues which might impair the agency's ability to carry out its consumer protection mandates.


    Nancy Dirkin, executive vice president of the Leadership Conference Education Fund, said it has been "extremely disturbing" to hear some politicians and others questioning funding to the CFPB and potentially "undermining" the CFPB's independence by granting veto power to other agencies.

    Earlier this week, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R., Texas) sent a four-page letter to Elizabeth Warren, who is currently charged with readying the CFPB for its launch, expressing concerns that Republicans have with the CFPB. Among other things, Neugebauer questioned the CFPB's $200 million in annual funding. But Dirkin said keeping adequate support for CFPB would be critical in reining in lending abuses.


    According to Dirkin, for years the civil rights community has decried the "deceptive and predatory tactics that Wall Street and the big banks were using to grow rich at the expense of Main Street .... especially communities of color." Nevertheless "it took a near meltdown for Congress to heed those warnings," Dirkin said in a conference call with reporters Friday.

    During the economic downturn, "many African Americans and Latinos lost jobs, homes, and savings," Dirkin said, adding: "It will take years for those communities to recover," even though Wall Street has already largely recovered, in terms of profits and bonuses. Keeping funding intact for the CFBP is vital to "curbing the excesses of the big banks and credit card companies," she said.

    Financial reform, officially called the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, will impact consumers in many ways. With the new law, virtually all financial transactions consumers makes with banks -- such as filling out a home loan application or applying for a credit card -- will in some way be subjected to scrutiny by the CFPB. So consumer advocates are watching closely to see not only whom President Obama will name to head the agency, but also how efficiently the agency is operating in the meantime.

    Travis Plunkett, legislative director at the Consumer Federation of America, offered an assessment of initial efforts by CFPB "to stand the agency up and make it functional." Plunkett gave the CFPB high marks so far for hiring qualified staff; creating solid enforcement procedure; establishing key systems (such as an Internet portal, which will launch in a few weeks); and proposing a structure that will allow the agency to fulfill its research, policy and educational goals.

    For all its progress thus far, Pamela Banks, senior attorney with Consumers Union, nonetheless urged the CFPB to be vigilant in addressing several issues, including mortgage servicing, overdraft protection and prepaid cards. Citing the foreclosure robo-signing scandal and the "failure of loan modifications" in the U.S., Banks said: "Our system of mortgage servicing is broken and needs to be fixed." Many institutions "favor foreclosure over home preservation," she said, adding that today's overdraft protection programs from many banks are likewise "simply predatory" and that prepaid cards are often loaded with "unfair fees."

    Janis Bowdler, director of the Wealth-Building Policy Project at The National Council of La Raza, echoed Dirkin's sentiments, saying a strong CFPB was critical to protecting the public. She also said that in the long-run the CFPB will need to address a number of issues that are of importance "to women and communities of color." Among the issues she highlighted were:

    -Enforcing the Credit Card Act passed in 2009, and making sure that deceptive marketing practices by some banks were halted.
    -Reining in abuses in areas of high cost lending, such as payday lending and auto title lending.
    -Peventing predatory mortgages.
    -Scrutinizing the credit reporting system in the U.S.

    Data from the Federal Reserve and elsewhere have shown that blacks, especially black women, were two to three times more likely to receive predatory home loans during the mortgage boom, even if those black women had good credit and solid finances. In some cases, predatory lending prevailed; in other cases, it was just outright fraud inflicted upon unsuspecting consumers.

    "We want the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be strong, well-funded and able to (outwit) scammers," Bowdler said, adding that financial con artists have typically been "one step ahead of regulation."



    Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, an award-winning financial news journalist and former Wall Street Journal reporter for CNBC, has been featured in the Washington Post, USA Today, and the New York Times, as well as magazines ranging from Essence and Redbook to Black Enterprise and Smart Money. Check out her New York Times best seller 'Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom.'

     

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    Exclusive: Friend of Accused Detroit Rapist Says He Was The 'Perfect Gentleman'

    It's hard for Stanisha Hester to believe accusations that 31-year-old Raynard Deshawn Coleman may be the serial rapist on Detroit's northeast side. Coleman was her childhood friend.

    "When I heard of that on Facebook it was like a shock because he was one of the sweetest guys," she said. "He was very respectful. If he did do this maybe he started drugs or something that had his mind wrapped up but when he was around me he was always a gentleman."

    Hester and Coleman grew up in the same east Detroit neighborhood and attended the same elementary school. They corresponded while he was incarcerated for 14 years. Even then, she didn't see him as the 14-year-old convicted felon on assault and robbery charges.

    "Back then, it probably was like peer pressure and him just hanging with the wrong crowd," she said. "He was hanging with older guys and maybe it was that. When he was in school he wasn't like the thug or hardcore guy."

    After Coleman's 2009 release from prison, Hester spent time helping him look for jobs by driving him to interviews or giving him bus fare if she couldn't drive him. The two talked on the phone everyday.

    "We talked about if we were going to be together. I told him at the time I didn't want that."

    Hester says she was involved with someone else at the time and was not interested in a romantic relationship with Coleman but did remain friends with him. On occasion he visited her house.

    "When he came over, he spent the night and never tried to force himself on me," she said. "I just know him as the gentleman he was with me."



    Mother of Detroit Serial Rapist Suspect Talks to FOX 2: MyFoxDETROIT.com



    As a friend, Hester said she wanted to help Coleman get back on his feet because he was really excited to start his life over.

    "He was talking like he was glad he's out with his family and he's going to stay out; he's going to try to do right; he's not going to sell drugs," she said. "He never talked negative. He always stayed positive."

    After a few months of getting reacquainted with Coleman, Hester moved out of the neighborhood and lost touch with him. She said she saw him a couple times in 2010; once at a Michigan Works employment office and a couple times at a nightclub they frequented. Each time they saw each other she said he appeared to be that same guy trying to better his life.

    "He had a couple interviews but they always denied him because of his felony charges," she said. "He was saying 'I'm not used to depending on nobody'."

    Coleman would also still try to pursue a serious relationship with Hester and although she never entertained his advances, she understood his desire to progress their friendship.

    "I was one of his first girlfriends and I kept in touch while he was locked up," she said. "When I told him we couldn't be together he didn't get upset like most guys do. He was like can we try to work on a friendship and once I get myself together can we try then."

    The last time Hester saw Coleman was August 2010 at the night club, Club Z. True to form he greeted her, asked for her new contact information and if they could go on a date.

    "He was laid-back," she said. "He wasn't like the young guys rowdy in the club. He was just sitting in the corner with his drink."

    The positive, respectful, consistent, hardworking man Hester thought she knew is back in jail, awaiting trial, facing multiple life sentences for sexual misconduct and kidnapping. She still can't believe it.

    Jazmine Steele is a freelance journalist in the city of Detroit. She is the arts and culture reporter for The Michigan Citizen Newspaper and founder of www.NoBaddNews.com She can be reached on Twitter @jazzsteele


     

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    Kobe Bryant First Athlete to Be Immortalized at Mann Chinese Theater

    Whenever a tourist heads out to Los Angeles, one of the things on the list of things to do, next to visiting the Hollywood sign and the Walk of Fame, is visiting the Mann Chinese Theater. It's the theater where many a movie star hosts premiere parties for a new film. Out in front of the venue are the hands and feet imprints of stars like Marilyn Monroe, Brad Pitt, John Wayne, Arnold Schwarzenegger among others.

    Now Kobe Bryant is the next celeb to have his feet and hands enshrined at the theater, making him the first athlete to have the honor. "To be a part of such elite company is a tremendous honor," Bryant said in a statement. "I'm proud to be the first athlete to be recognized."


    Bryant will, however, be getting his acting on soon though. Apparently Kobe Bean will be working with director Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids, Sin City) on a short film to promote his new shoe, Zoom Kobe VI. Check out a couple of teasers of the upcoming project:







     

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    Herschel Walker, 48, Says He Can Play in the NFL AgainFor past couple of years, former NFL running back Herschel Walker has been steadily training in the mixed martial arts world. He's currently 1-0 in his short MMA career and is gearing up for his next fight on January 29 in the Strikeforce MMA league. But in a press conference to promote the fight, Walker told reporters that he's considering an NFL comeback.

    "I know I can play," Walker. "If I continue to stay in the shape I'm in now, I know I can play when I'm 50. Right now, if you asked if I can play today, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind I can play football today, that I can help out a team today. I 100 percent guarantee you I can help a football team out."

    He also said that he's in better shape than he was in his 20s and last year when the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, a stat that NFL coaches salivate over. Walker played for Dallas, Minnesota, Philly, and the New York Giants through his 12-year career before retiring in 1997. He was selected to the Pro Bowl twice in his career and ranked eighth in all-purpose yards with 18,168.


    "I still say I may try out for football again and show people I can do that, because I want to be the George Foreman of football and come back and do it one more time," he said.

     

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    I was impressed with Gisele Marcus from the very first day we spoke. She has enough energy to light up Las Vegas and an intense drive to succeed in corporate America. She has done assignments around the world, most recently in South Africa, and has been identified as a rising star in executive circles. She also came from humble beginnings, growing up in a single parent household in Harlem, with a mother who pushed hard for Gisele to have a better life. In fact, her mother's story reminded me of that of Kelly Williams-Bolar, the woman was sent to jail for sending her kids to a school outside their district. I don't care what the law says, there's nothing unethical about a mother fighting to give her children hope for the future. Just like the days of slavery, there remain systemic barriers to keep our kids away from opportunity, but also like our ancestors, good mothers don't allow anything to keep us away from our dreams. It is for her dogged pursuit of excellence and the remarkable example she sets for young black women that Gisele Marcus is today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices.


    What is your name and what do you do for a living?

    My name is Gisele Marcus and I am a Strategic Customer Business Director with a career at Johnson Controls, a global diversified company in the building and automotive industries. Many of the world's largest companies rely on us in 125 countries to manage 1.5 billion square feet of their commercial real estate. I have responsibility for improving the methods we use to strategically manage our customer relationships for the Americas. This includes, but is not limited to, collaborating with our Fortune 500 clients to set and ensure execution of joint strategic plans, ensuring resources from our corporate operational excellence team are made available to our clients as needed, and ensuring innovative solutions and cost saving ideas are delivered to the customers we serve.Tell us about your educational background and professional success.

    I have a B.S. degree from the Whitman School of Business at Syracuse University as well as an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business.

    My professional success started early. While in my 20s I was a director at the regional Bell operating company in the Midwest, Ameritech. While there, I had roles of increasing responsibility from a manager leading a team of 70 high-performing professionals in the development of a new product offering to the role of director of Customer Operations for the wholesale division. The manager role afforded me the opportunity to present this new product offering before a commissioner of the FCC. This role also resulted in my name as author on two patents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. As the result of a merger with SBC, and the elimination of duplicate roles, I received a golden parachute offer (that would have afforded me the opportunity to be in semi-retirement mode for three years) to leave Ameritech/SBC. This provided the opportunity to pursue my passion of entrepreneurship for two years. During this time I was part of the Runner's Club, an entrepreneurial development program in Chicago that trains people of color to run multi-million dollar businesses. While in his program I pursued the opportunity to acquire a small manufacturing company. Due to the market conditions at this time, this dream was deferred and followed by my return to Corporate America.

    I have worked for Johnson Controls for the past 8 years, and have been a leader in five different roles ranging from establishing and executing a client retention program, running a $20M+ business, and leading the operational mobilization efforts of a new client within our facility management business valued at $100M+ in South Africa during a one-year expatriate assignment. Currently I am part of the executive leadership team of our Americas facility management/real estate business. It has been exciting and I have enjoyed the diversity of the roles offered to me by my company.

    What was it like as a black woman from Harlem attending the Harvard Business School?

    African Americans represent about 5% of a Harvard Business School class. This was not a challenge as most African Americans in business are accustomed to being the only African -American, or one of a few, within a corporate setting. Nevertheless, having illustrious classmates like the godson of the President of the Ivory Coast, the son of Stephen Covey, and a descendent of the John D. Rockefeller family (yes, I had a Rockefeller in my section) was quite impressive. At Syracuse University, a great deal of my classmates who were African American were from urban settings, such as New York City, like me. However, Harvard had students of color from the suburbs, urban areas, and the continent of Africa. This type of diversity was new to me. It afforded me the opportunity to truly see how where we are from truly affects who we become.

    What are your goals and plans for the future?

    From a corporate perspective, I have aspirations of climbing the corporate ladder to run a 100M+ business. From a community perspective I have a passion to encourage African Americans to consider foster care and/or adoption of children that are wards of the State. According to the Annie Casey Foundation, in 2006 there were 733,051 children in the foster care system across the United States. The majority of them are African American. I have had success in mentoring girls, to be productive members of society, who are a part of this statistic. As a result I believe that we need to take responsibility for our kids that are in this system. If not us, then who? If not now, then when? Since there is a phenomenon that hurt people, hurt people, we either pay now by investing time in these young people or we pay later for the challenges that some of these children face in terms of the costs of health care, drug addiction, incarceration and the like as these young people become adults. This problem needs to be addressed by us and for us.

    Is there any advice you'd like to share with other young African Americans seeking to replicate your success?

    I would share several points of advice to other young African Americans:

    First, do not be afraid to apply to a top-tier educational institution or for a challenging role within an organization. Never count yourself out. You do not know whether you will be accepted until you try. Remember that your competition is polishing their applications and submitting them, as you ponder and potentially miss the opportunity of success. Know that your competition may not be certain of acceptance either, but they take the chance and allow the system to make the decision for them.

    Second, do not give in to negative stereotypes that others may present. Be resilient about your career and your beliefs. I was told that because I was a black girl from a divorced home in Harlem, raised by my mother, that I would not make it, that I would not succeed, and that I should settle for being an administrative assistant. (I was a secretarial studies major in high school). There is nothing wrong with being an administrative assistant if that is what you desire to be. Actually that is how I made great money in the summers while pursuing my college education. However, I had career dreams, goals, and annual targets to move in another direction. If I would have listened to the rubbish of naysayers, my outcome would be very different than what I share with you today.

    Finally, remember that to whom much is given, much is required. Though I have not completed the final chapter of who I want to be from both a career and community activist perspective, I am proud of my accomplishments to date. I give both time and money to causes that aid the less fortunate. Why? Because many of us, whether we want to admit it or not, are one action away from having no shelter, food, or clothing or alternatively a lifestyle that is a stark contrast to the one we have today. Be good to others in need. It will come back to you.

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

    To enhance your career development efforts, consider hiring a leadership coach. Find out if your company would invest in this effort and include it as part of your development plan. It will alter the outcomes of your business life positively. I have had a Leadership Coach for the past five years-- Patricia Perkins of Exodus Coaching. She has enabled me to turn on my full potential, helped me experience improved relationships with peers and leaders, and kept me mindful of watching out for obstacles and preparing for greatness in numerous transitions including, but not limited to a corporate move, and an international assignment, and taking on roles of increasing responsibility. The lessons have been invaluable and life changing.


    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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    Another jukebox musical is making its way to The Great White Way.

    Following in the footsteps of the wildly popular Jerry Lee Lewis-based musical 'Million Dollar Quarter,' a new tuner, titled 'Baby It's You!' is set to tale the stage at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre this spring and will set out to tell the story of the force behind the girl group phenomenon of the late 1950s music scene.

    Florence Greenberg is largely recognized as the first female powerhouse in the music industry. She founded record companies long before women were allowed to do anything in record company boardrooms outside of serving coffee.

    Long before America fell in love with the hit-making sounds of The Supremes and The Beatles, Greenberg discovered one of the greatest girl-groups of all time, The Shirelles, at her daughter's high school in New Jersey.

    The success of the girl group craze took Greenberg from being a New Jersey housewife to trailblazing recording industry mogul, creating the independent house of hits that was Scepter Records
    Comprised of Shirley Owens, Doris Coley, Beverly Lee, and Addie 'Micki' Harris,The Shirelles' string of hits include 'Baby It's You,' 'Mama Said,' 'Foolish Little Girl' and the chart-topping pop hits 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow' and 'Soldier Boy' and 'Sha La La.' Greenberg and Scepter Records also launched the careers of The Isley Brothers, B.J. Thomas, The Kingsmen, Chuck Jackson, Burt Bacharach, Hal David, and Dionne Warwick.
    Conceived and co-directed by Floyd Mutrux, 'Baby, It's You!' will star Tony Award winner Beth Leavel as Greenberg, and a treasure trove of promising Broadway upstarts as the other colorful cast of characters.

    According to a production rep, preview performances begin March 26, with the official opening set for April 27.

    Produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures and American Pop Anthology, the show has
    legendary music producer Richard Perry serving as consulting producer.



     

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    Black Is Back: RonReaco Lee Thanks Cable For Reviving Urban Sitcoms

    Actor RonReaco Lee has had roles on a bevy of shows like 'Sister, Sister,' 'The Shield,' 'In the Motherhood,' 'Do Not Disturb,' 'E.R.' and 'Girlfriends.'

    Now the 33-year-old actor stars on BET's breakout hit sitcom, 'Let's Stay Together,' the Queen Latifah-produced show described as an "urban 'Mad About You.'"

    The 30-minute series, which also stars Bert Belasco, Erica Hubbard, Joyful Drake and Nadine Ellis, became the number two show in BET history with a debut of 4.4 million viewers.

    "I'm thrilled by the strong numbers," Lee told BlackVoices.com. "My hope is that people will continue to check us out as we keep growing as a show."

    The actor, who also starred in Tyler Perry's 'Madea Goes To Jail,' shared that 'Let's Stay Together' is really going to evolve as the season continues.

    "At its core, 'Let's Stay Together' is a show about love and relationRonReaco Leeships. We'll continue to explore those dynamics in a funny yet real way. I don't want to give anything away, but know this, the writers are constantly sprinkling a little 'funk' on the story lines to keep things new," he offered.

    There are no Black sitcoms on network television, yet BET, TBS and now TV One are all enjoying success with the format on their channels. The Decatur, Illinois-bred actor believes that the cable networks understand the value of the urban-themed sitcom.

    "At the end of the day, it's lucrative," he began. "Cable networks have figured that out and God bless them for it! They're helping resuscitate the Black sitcom. We all grew up watching sitcoms and we all watched them slowly disappear. When 'The Game' wasn't renewed on the CW a couple of years ago, I had this feeling of, 'what do we do next?' It didn't take long for us to figure it out. First TBS with Tyler Perry and Ice Cube, then TV One with Martin Lawrence and now BET with Queen Latifah and the creators of 'The Game.'"

    'Let's Stay Together' shoots in Atlanta and Lee is enjoying being back in the city so much, he's contemplating relocating there from Los Angeles.

    Cast & producers of 'Let's   Stay Together' at BET Upfronts

    "I grew up in Atlanta and although the city has changed a lot in regards to its nightlife scene, it'll always be home to me. When I'm not working, I'm usually with my family and friends. Having said that, does a brotha get out and about in the 'A' every now and then and try and party like a rock star? Absolutely! There is fun to be had there and I try to indulge every now and then," he expressed, before adding: "Not too much though!"

    In addition to celebrating the success of his new show, Lee is also enjoying life as a newlywed. Shortly before production began on 'Let's Stay Together,' the actor wed his girlfriend Shea.

    "It's great," Lee beamed about married life. "It's been a little different in that I've been working. Grinding really! As soon as we jumped that broom, I was in Atlanta on the set of 'Let'sShea & RonReaco Lee Stay Together.' As soon as we wrapped, I was off traveling again for work. The biggest difference is that marriage has forced me to step up my game. It's not just about me anymore. I now have a family to take care of and that, well that changes the game."

    Lee is currently in Bogota, Colombia working on a movie for USA Networks.

    "It's actually a prequel to the show, 'Burn Notice.' It focuses on one of the lead characters on the show, Sam Axe played by Bruce Campbell. I portray a doctor that runs a medical clinic deep in the Amazon jungle. The clinic comes under attack and I'm forced to team up with Sam Axe to protect my patients. The project also stars Kiele Sanchez from AMC's 'The Glades' and is directed by Jeffery Donovan, the star of 'Burn Notice,'" he shared.




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    obama state of the union 2011 video, State of the Union Address 2011: President Obama Says America Must Rise to the Global Challenge

    With some Democrats and Republicans seated together, President Barack Obama delivered a State of the Union address that sought to unite the country behind the idea that America is in control of its own destiny.

    Obama called upon Democrats and Republicans to push measures that put America in the best position for success in an increasingly competitive global economy:

    "So yes, the world has changed. The competition for jobs is real, but this shouldn't discourage us. It should challenge us. Remember - for all the hits we've taken these last few years, for all the naysayers predicting our decline, America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world. No workers are more productive than ours. No country has more successful companies or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs. We are home to the world's best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any other place on Earth," Obama said.

    "The future is ours to win. But to get there, we can't just stand still. As Robert Kennedy told us, 'The future is not a gift. It is an achievement.' Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat. It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle and meet the demands of a new age," he added.

    The tone was also much more civil and it was likely due to the recent assassination attempt of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

    Democrats and Republicans not only sat together but applauded together. There were no mouthed words from Supreme Court Justices nor any rude outbursts from members of Congress. Obama gave a shout-out to the new Republican House Speaker John Boehner as well as to his fellow Democrat and Vice President Joe Biden.




    Addressing his hard fought victory for health care reform, Obama used a bit of humor to address Republicans who recently passed a meaningless repeal of the bill in the House:

    "Now, I have heard rumors that a few of you still have concerns about our new health care law. So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you," Obama said.

    "So I say to this chamber tonight, instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let's fix what needs fixing and let's move forward," he added.

    It was not a night for very specific proposals. Instead, Obama sought to set the tone and tempo for the nation by placing a set of highly aspirational goals on the table and laying out a basic road map for reaching those goals:

    "This is our generation's Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven't seen since the height of the Space Race. In a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal. We'll invest in biomedical research, information technology and especially clean energy technology - an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet and create countless new jobs for our people."

    President Obama also clearly staked out more centrist ground than his previous two years in office. While he addressed investing in infrastructure, innovation and education that could provide jobs, the president also talked about deficit reduction and lowering the corporate tax rate.

    African-Americans should be particularly excited about the parts of Obama's address that dealt with infrastructure building and job creation, Angela Glover Blackwell, founder and CEO of PolicyLink, a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity through policy solutions, told Aol. Black Voices in an interview.

    "We ought to be excited about the focus on education. Education is an area where we need to make a lot of progress. We need investments in good schools," said Blackwell. "Clean energy infrastructure and high-speed wireless are three areas for opportunities and growth for jobs."

    The challenge now is to legislate some of these goals into actuality.

    "I thought that the president tried to put things in a future context and talk about how we position for the future," said Blackwell. "I'd like to think of it as a blueprint. Now I'd like to take the blueprint and make sure all of it is filled in."

    Aol. Black Voices readers had a mostly positive response to the president's address on Facebook and Twitter.

    Carla Johnson-Turner thought the president was spot on about America's new place in the world:

    "China and India are now America's competition ... we must learn to work as a part of a larger world," she said.

    Others found the speech uplifting:

    "President Obama is painting a very positive picture for the country. Very motivational especially regarding education and where we need to go as a nation to really compete in this global economy," wrote Carole Paynter.


    Obama closed out his speech with grand words of hope.

    "We do big things," Obama said. "The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice. And tonight, more than two centuries later, it's because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong.

    "


     

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    HBO has released the trailer to their upcoming film, 'Sunset Limited,' starring Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones.

    Based on the play of the same name by eminent Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Cormac McCarthy, 'The Sunset Limited' is directed and executive produced by Tommy Lee Jones, written by McCarthy, produced by Barbara A. Hall, and is an HBO Films presentation of a Javelina Film Company production.

    The film is a searing two-character drama that mixes humor and pathos while examining the relationship between strangers who are brought together by desperate circumstances. Set in a New York tenement apartment, the story focuses on two very different men - a deeply religious black ex-con (Samuel L. Jackson) who thwarts the suicide attempt of an asocial white college professor (Tommy Lee Jones) who tried to throw himself in front of an oncoming subway train, The Sunset Limited. As the one attempts to connect on a rational, spiritual and emotional level, the other remains steadfast in his hard-earned despair. Locked in a philosophical debate, both passionately defend their personal credos and try to convert the other.

    The film marks the second collaboration between Jackson and Jones after 2000's 'Rules of Engagement.'

    'The Sunset Limited' will debut on Saturday, FEB. 12 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

     

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    You would presume that with all of their citations of the Constitution and remembrance of the founding fathers, Tea Party candidates would understand history at least a little bit. But that's apparently not the case with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) who said that the founding fathers ended slavery in the United States.

    In a recent speech in Iowa, Bachmann said that it was "the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States....Men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country."

    The problem for Bachmann is that John Quincy Adams died in 1848, 15 years before slavery was abolished with the Emancipation Proclamation. Also, most of the founding fathers did own slaves, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. In fact, one of the signers, James Monroe, executed 30 of his slaves after they tried to revolt for their freedom. George Washington also had teeth implanted into his mouth that were taken out of the mouths of his slaves.

    This is not the first time that members of the Tea Party have revealed that ignorance serves as as the driving force behind their peculiar political agenda. Just recently, Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin mistakenly cited North Korea as American allies. There was also Tea Party Candidate Christine O'Donnell, who didn't know that the First Amendment of the Constitution establishes the separation of church and state.

    Two great American traditions on which the Tea Party Express stands are that of racial animosity and lynch mob behavior. Former President Jimmy Carter noted that much of the anger being directed toward the nation's first black president, fueled by Tea Party interests, is largely driven by race.

    "I think people who are guilty of that kind of personal attack against Obama have been influenced to a major degree by a belief that he should not be president because he happens to be African American. It's a racist attitude, and my hope is and my expectation is that in the future both Democratic leaders and Republican leaders will take the initiative in condemning that kind of unprecedented attack on the president of the United States," Carter said.

    When it comes to understanding America's present, we must be honest about the nation's past. The founding fathers were amazing men who did great things, but they were also part of the collection of men and women who beat, raped, castrated, lynched and destroyed black families for over 400 years. So, within the context of my love and appreciation for America, I must also be clear in stating that the men and women who were presented in high school to me as great American heroes are not, cannot, shouldn't and won't ever be significant heroes of mine.


    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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    Think you have to be a size 2 to rock a super sexy waist belt? Think again. On the contrary, a belted waist can be a curvy girl's best friend. Nothing else accentuates the femininity of a woman's body more than a defined waist. And what is a voluptuous body if not overtly feminine? Therefore, there is no reason why bodacious beauties shouldn't feel free to gird often and well. Here are a few tips on how to use your curves to make the most out of this classic accessory.


    Before hitting the stores, there are a few rules of engagement that luscious ladies should remember in order to remain amongst the chic:

    1. Waist not, want not. Position your belt where your body curves in the most.

    Make sure that the belt you choose sits right at your natural waist or a little above it. So many curvy women cleave to looks that drape over the body, but the best way to make passersby yield to a dangerous set of curves is to highlight them! Slewing a belt loosely around your hips or the lower portion of your waist not only truncates you, but also creates a silhouette that is both boxy and ballooning on larger shapes. Here, singer Jill Scott defies the notion that a thinner belt can't work on a bigger girl.

    2. Coordinated is good. "Matchy" is bad.

    Stay current by keeping your other accessories simple. It's easy to want to color-coordinate a waist belt with a pump or bag. And, when done properly, this type of complementing can polish your overall look. However, as a general rule, it's best to steer clear of pairing your belt with plastic jewelry or anything that may read too "matchy." The goal is to look impeccable and cinched, never overdone or dated. Oprah bestie Gayle King found a cute, understated belt to subtly contrast her frilly dress and lengthy necklace.

    3. Be cinched, not restricted. Go skinny OR wide.

    Don't think you have to limit yourself to a particular belt width. Thick or skinny belts can look great on the ample set! It's all about knowing your shape. If you're busty or petite, thin belts may give you more proportion without swallowing up your frame. If you have a long torso, wide belts can streamline your figure by acting as a faux corset. Here, model Toccara cinches her tall frame with a wide belt, and the patent leather is a great contrast to her black shirt and black pleather leggings!


    HOT PICKS

    1. Try a little extra hardware for a modern twist on the Western trend. Get the look, no matter your budget:

    Runway: Gucci Horsebit Buckle Belt in Brown - $590, saks.com

    Your Way: Lauren by Ralph Lauren Toggle Ring Suede Belt in Purple - around $50, nordstrom.com


    2. Nothing beats the sex appeal of an exotic skin. Try it in a natural hue or with a pop of color:

    Runway: Oscar De La Renta Alligator-Embossed Leaf Belt - $750, neimanmarcus.com

    Your Way: Lauren by Ralph Lauren Stretch Croc Embossed Leather Belt - $38, macy's.com

    3. Add instant edge to your look with a studded piece:

    Runway: Sammi Blowout Belt - $225, shopbop.com

    Your Way: Michael Kors Studded Belt - $55, dillards.com

     

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    Michael Vick Gets First Endorsement Deal Since PrisonIt's been a pretty good year for Michael Vick professionally. He was able to get the starting spot for the Philadelphia Eagles, lead the team to the NFC East title and have some amazing comebacks throughout the season.

    And despite pushback from animal rights activists, Vick's play on the field and his off-field contributions in speaking at schools about his mistakes have earned him an endorsement deal with Unequal Technologies.


    Vick signed a two-year endorsement deal with Unequal Technologies, a provider of football pads that Vick wears.


    "We're real excited about it," Unequal Technologies CEO Rob Vito told the Associated Press. "Michael is good people. He paid his dues. President Obama reached out to him. He deserves an opportunity. This is what makes America so great. He's moved forward. He's a whole other person."

    Vick is the first spokesperson for the company, and although the terms of the deal weren't disclosed, Vito said that it's a "sizable" contract. The company is known for making shock-blocking sports pads, Vick wore them after returning from his injury during the season and he also wore a protective vest made by the company.


    "The Unequal Technology is a part of my game now, and I won't play without my Unequal," Vick said in a statement acquired by the Associated Press. "Unequal's protective power gives me a whole new level of confidence in my game. It makes me feel invincible."

     

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    Tonight the nation watched as President Obama provided the State of the Union address, speaking to all Americans about the need for unity, strength, and resilience. His wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, as usual, stood proudly and fashionably amongst the members of Congress, supporting the President and his commitment to creating a better America.Michelle Obama's look was chic and conservative, choosing a silver sheath dress by Rachel Roy that shone against the dark suits that filled the chamber. She added a fashionable twist to the simple look with an armful of lucite bangles and sophisticated drop earrings. Her most important accessory was the black and white lapel ribbon she wore in honor of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.


    Though there were serious issues and ideas that were addressed in tonight's speech, its safe to say that Michelle Obama's impressive style also inspires and motivates women across the nation.


    Related Michelle Obama articles:

    Michelle Obama Wears Alexander McQueen to State Dinner


    Michelle Obama at 2010 State of the Union Address in Isaac Mizrahi


    Michelle Obama Sparkles at 2010 State Dinner

     

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