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

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    Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick ('Total Recall,' 'Minority Report' and 'Blade Runner'), 'The Adjustment Bureau,' which stars Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Michael Kelly, and Terence Stamp, isn't your typical sci-fi time-travel film.

    While the same "boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, and boy-gets-girl-again" plot is in play, this mind-blowing, thought provoking, romantic thriller leaves a lot to the imagination. It ends with surprising results that's enough to keep the audience entertained.

    Damon plays David Norris, an young, uprising politician who meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas (played by Emily Blunt) on the night of his election.

    Little does he know that there's a higher force, with several men known as 'The Adjustment Bureau,' who feel that David is destined for greatness, and that his relationship with Elise will compromise that path.

    With the help of a conflicted Bureau member (played by Mackie), David must decide his fate in determining what's best for him: a successful career in politics or being with the love of his life.

    Directed by George Nolfi, the sci-fi genre may be the draw to bring in fans, but it's the romantic element that holds the film together. Damon and Blount have a great chemistry on-screen, and their characters' chance encounter, with a well-written dialogue, is something that some may be able relate to.

    Unlike 2010's Oscar nominated film, 'Inception,' here's a film, where the issue of fate is not confusing, but examined and leaves the audience wondering if their life is where it's supposed to be. As one of the members of the Adjustment Bureau, Mackie does a great job being a supporting guide to Damon.

    Along with a supporting cast that also includes 'Mad Men's' John Slattery as another bureau member and Terence Stamp as the group's enforcer, 'The Adjustment Bureau,' is a spellbinding drama that remains accessible and highly entertaining.

     

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    "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."

    March 3, in celebration of its winning motto for 40 years, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) hosted its first 'A Mind Is...' Gala. The event, held at New York City's Marriot Hotel, in the heart of Times Square, brought out such recognizable faces as Pharrell Williams, Lola Ogunnaike, Marc Morial, Jacque Reid and Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Roberta Flack, who took the crowd down memory lane with the songs'The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face' and 'Killing Me Softly.'

    The night commenced with a performance of 'Life Ev'ry Voice and Sing' by the Johnson C. Smith University Singers and introductions by the master of ceremonies, WNBC 4 New York anchor David Ushery. On hand to talk about the organization's 40 years of service was UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax.

    UNCF is the nation's largest minority education organization. With its aim to serve the youth, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country.

    On the importance of the UNCF, Flack, 74, stated, "The UNCF does such good work. Historically. Can you imagine the years that they have put in to testify to that?"

    Shortly after Flack's performance, the UNCF Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to former UNCF executive director Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., who spoke about the creation of the UNCF motto and its subsequent PSA campaign.

     

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    Tyra Banks

    From Black Web 2.0:

    This month the ubiquitous Tyra Banks is set to debut her latest effort in total media domination. The multi-hyphenate Banks, in partnership with Demand Media, will launch the fashion, beauty and style site TypeF on March 15th.


    There hasn't been much revealed about the website, but what is known about TypeF is that it will be a beauty portal that will be customizable to the user, meaning that each user's experience will be different. These sentiments are in line with Banks' ongoing goal of expanding the definitions of beauty. This also isn't the first time that Banks has taken to the web to further expand her brand. In 2009, Banks launched an online fashion magazine, Tyra: Beauty Inside and Out. By the look of things, it seems that the magazine will be phased into TypeF completely.

    Read the rest on: Black Web 2.0



     

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    Klansmen Don't Belong on License Plates


    It's an open and shut case of what's right against what's wrong -- no Klansman, much less a founding member of the hate organization - should ever be honored.

    So it is incredible to me that the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) can seriously propose that former Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest get his likeness placed on license plates in Mississippi to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

    Somebody please tell me these Civil War nuts are joking.

    Forrest fought against the Union, so he was a traitor.

    Forrest was a slave trader before the Civil War, so he was an enemy of freedom.

    Forrest had his troops massacre black Union Army servicemen and white Unionists who had surrendered at the Battle of Fort Pillow, so he was a war criminal.

    Forrest murdered innocent blacks during the Reconstruction in the South, so he was a domestic terrorist.

    Did I miss anything?


    The fact that the confederate veterans could even publicly propose to honor Bedford is a slap in the face to every black person in America.

    As a journalist, I'm a big free speech advocate. But the rantings of the SCV really strain all logic defense of that right.

    The group is dedicated to memory of the treasonous Confederacy. And it doesn't matter how brave Forrest was on the battlefield or the military strategies he developed. He was a criminal worthy of the gallows, pure and simple.

    Some folks trying to clean up Forrest's image say that towards the end of his life, Forrest gave a speech to a group of blacks fighting for racial harmony. Bedford gave what newspapers described a friendly speech and even accepted a bouquet of flowers from a black woman.

    What a guy?

    Sorry but a lifetime of of murder, treason and race hatred can't be erased by a speech to a black group.

    Forrest's name is on dozens of historical markers in his home state of Tennessee. An effort to strip his name from each and every one would be a worthwhile campaign.


     

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    Don Lemon Interviews Rodney King

    On March 3, 1991, Rodney King was just someone driving too fast, after enjoying too much good cheer with his friends. Stacey Coon, Lawrence Powell, Ted Briseno, Tim Wynn and Rolando Solano were just LAPD cops. George Holliday was just somebody trying out his new-fangled video camera. Then came a car chase on the Foothills Freeway in Los Angeles. By March 4, 1991, all of these people became symbols of America's modern failure to confront its ugliest goblin -- racism.

    CNN reporter Don Lemon writes the first draft of this troubled history with his documentary 'Race and Rage - The Beating of Rodney King,' debuting Friday, March 4 at 8:00p.m. ET and PT on CNN. CNN is the only major U.S. news outlet to interview King on the 20th anniversary of his assault by LAPD officers.

    I had a chance to speak with Don Lemon on the afternoon before his documentary would air. Speaking from CNN's Atlanta headquarters, Lemon affirmed the conflict inherent in remaining a dispassionate reporter examining King's beating, the Simi Valley jury acquittal and the riot of 1992, while being a black man in America. He wants audiences to draw their own conclusions from the documentary. Yet Lemon also states that anyone, black or white, could understand the outrage.


    "When you look at the [Holliday] video and see someone unarmed, surrounded and beaten so severely, you have to ask: Does anyone deserve that? Well, the jury in the first trial said yes." The verdict thus "catalyzed" forces already lurking in Los Angeles: frustration over a police department deemed by minorities to be racist and out of control, and blacks and whites existing "in two totally different worlds." While Lemon decries the riot as both unjustifiable and self-destructive, he says such a massive lashing out was not surprising given the collective pain of the black community.

    Reginald Denny, the white truck driver who was beaten by criminals on camera in footage that rivals George Holliday's tape in impact, became the symbol for the ugly side of that pain. Lemon points out, however, out that that people of all races and ethnic groups, not just black folks, were looting and destroying property. Nevertheless , the story comes back to King, and our continued inability "to talk about race."

    Like Denny, Rodney King struggles to leave the past behind. That's difficult, Lemon admits, given the iconic nature of the Holliday video for blacks and whites alike. The video clearly was the genesis of the citizen journalism trend that, twenty years later, has exploded through social media worldwide. Lemon also admits that King has become another metaphor -- that of our imperfect recovery from the video and the riot. "Rodney King is human," he says, noting the victim's continued issues with drugs, alcohol and family problems. But with regard to what happened on the Foothills Freeway, however, "[King's] always admitted he should have stopped his car."


    We have a black president of the United States, yet police abuse and brutality continues. Still, Lemon sees a bright spot at least with regard to the LAPD and law enforcement nationwide. "No police force wants a 'Rodney King moment' and most have made great strides in diversity and dialog. Coon and his cohorts didn't talk to CNN, nor would Denny. Lemon says that like King, they just want to be the anonymous people they were on March 3, 1991, rather than the symbols they'd become following day. Like America's coming to terms with race, achieving that wish has proved difficult, if not impossible.

    Watch 'Race and Rage - The Beating of Rodney King,' debuting Friday, March 4 at 8:00p.m. ET and PT on CNN and in subsequent airings.


    Professor Christopher Chambers on AOL Black VoicesProfessor Christopher Chambers is the author of the Angela Bivens series of mystery novels, and has published short fiction and comic books, including a graphic anthology. Chambers is also a contributor to Russia Today, MSNBC's The Grio and The Root.com. You can find his personal musings on his blog Nat Turner's Revenge. Professor Christopher Chambers is on the faculty of the University of Maryland/UMUC.

     

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    Miami Central Senior High School was on the verge of being closed down just a few years ago. Today, it has seen increases of 40 percent in writing and a graduation rate that jumped to 63 percent from a bottom of the barrel 36 percent. The school received a $785,000 School Improvement Grant from the Department of Education and the praise of President Obama.

    "You are proving the naysayers wrong - you are proving that progress is possible," Obama said. "There is always plenty of naysayers out there who will say it's not even possible, who say that turning around failing school means just throwing good money after bad, who say too many of these schools are beyond repair, who say we ought to give up on those schools and focus on places that have more breaks and have a little more going for them. Here's what I say. I say I am not willing to give up on any child in America."

    That's the message Obama is sending to every school aged kid in America as he kicks off "Education Month." The federal government is using the school improvement grants to rejuvenate schools like Miami Central Senior High.

    Last year, the Department of Education gave out $3.5 billion worth of the grants. This year the Obama administration will increase the grants by $545 million. They requires schools to take solid steps to turn around their schools by adopting one of four models:

    • Turnaround Model:Replace the principal, screen existing school staff, and rehire no more than half the teachers; adopt a new governance structure; and improve the school through curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies.
    • Restart Model:Convert a school or close it and re-open it as a charter school or under an education management organization.
    • School Closure:Close the school and send the students to higher-achieving schools in the district.
    • Transformation Model:Replace the principal and improve the school through comprehensive curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and engaging the community and families

    "A good education equals a good job. If we want more good news on the jobs front, then we've got to make more investments in education. As a nation, making these investments -- in education, in innovation, in infrastructure -- all of them are essential," Obama said.

    The president also used this as an opportunity to talk about how now is not the time to cut things that can help the country grow. Educating our young people is one of those things.

    "If we want more good news on the jobs front then we've got to make more investments in education,'' Mr. Obama told students in a crowded gymnasium. He went on, "I want everybody to understand: Our job is not just to cut. Even as we find ways to cut spending what we can't do is cut back on investments like education.''

    The president is right. If our country is to be successful, it starts with education. We won't have the people with the necessary skills to run the country if our schools are failing. Before we get down to making budget cuts, it's important to have our priorities in order.

     

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    Stars really made up for the dearth of black people at last week's Oscars tonight at the 42nd Annual NAACP Image Awards! From Wayne Brady's opening song to Prince presenting an award to the illustrious Halle Berry, the Image Awards were full of surprises. However, it was the red carpet style that had us glued to the tv!

    Check out our gallery of some of the night's big red carpet hits and misses.

     

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    Tonight's '42nd annual NAACP Image Awards' was a star-studded affair that brought together some of the most notable personalities in entertainment to Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium. From Angela Bassett and Anthony Mackie to LL Cool J and Regina King, the stars came out in full force.

    Tyler Perry, who garnered the most Image Award nominations in the categories of film and television, was the big winner of the night, racking up awards for Outstanding Motion Picture and Outstanding Director in a Motion Picture for the film 'For Colored Girls.' In accepting the award for Outstanding Motion Picture, Perry thanked the choreopoem's original author Ntozake Shange, whose play the film was adapted from. With the cast of 'For Colored Girls' standing behind him, the 'Madea Goes to Jail' director also spoke about a challenge in making the film, stating that the difficulty was in bringing the film to audiences that might not be familiar with the work. Perry also made sure to thank black women for their continued support of his work.



    Some of the other highlights of the show included the presentation of the President's Award to Colin Powell and surprise guest Prince, who presented the award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture to Halle Berry for her role in 'Frankie & Alice.'

    Below is a complete list of winners:

    TELEVISION

    Comedy Series

    30 Rock (NBC)
    Are We There Yet? (TBS)
    Glee (FOX)
    Modern Family (ABC)
    Tyler Perry's House of Payne (TBS)

    Actor in a Comedy Series

    David Mann - Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns (TBS)
    Dule Hill - Psych (USA)
    LaVan Davis - Tyler Perry's House of Payne (TBS)
    Phil Morris - Love That Girl! (TV One)
    Terry Crews - "Are We There Yet?" (TBS)

    Actress in a Comedy Series

    Cassi Davis - Tyler Perry's House of Payne (TBS)
    Essence Atkins - Are We There Yet? (TBS)
    Salli Richardson-Whitfield - Eureka (Syfy)
    Tatyana Ali - Love That Girl! (TV One)
    Vanessa L. Williams - Desperate Housewives (ABC)

    Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

    Craig Robinson - The Office (NBC)
    Ice Cube - Are We There Yet? (TBS)
    Lamman Rucker - Meet the Browns (TBS)
    Lance Gross - Tyler Perry's House of Payne (TBS)
    Tracy Morgan - 30 Rock (NBC)

    Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

    Amber Riley - Glee (FOX)
    Anna Deavere Smith - Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
    Keshia Knight Pulliam - Tyler Perry's House of Payne (TBS)
    Sofia Vergara - Modern Family (ABC)
    Viola Davis - United States of Tara (Showtime)

    Drama Series

    Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC)
    Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
    HawthoRNe (TNT)
    Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit (NBC)
    Treme (HBO)

    Actor in a Drama Series

    Anthony Anderson - Law & Order (NBC)
    Blair Underwood - The Event (NBC)
    Hill Harper - CSI: NY (CBS)
    Laurence Fishburne - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS)
    LL Cool J - NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)

    Actress in a Drama Series

    Chandra Wilson - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
    Gu-Gu Mbatha-Raw - Undercovers (NBC)
    Jada Pinkett-Smith - HawthoRNe (TNT)
    Regina King - Southland (TNT)
    Wendy Davis - Army Wives (Lifetime)

    Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

    Andre Braughner - Men of a Certain Age (TNT)
    Giancarlo Esposito - Breaking Bad (AMC)
    James Pickens, Jr. - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
    Nelsan Ellis - True Blood (HBO)
    Terrence Howard - Law & Order: Los Angeles (NBC)

    Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

    Alfre Woodard - Memphis Beat (TNT)
    Sandra Oh - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
    Sara Ramirez - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
    S. Epatha Merkerson - Law & Order (NBC)
    Vanessa Bell Calloway - HawthoRNe (TNT)

    Television Movie - Miniseries or Dramatic Special

    America: The Story of Us (Part 4) (History)
    Filling the Gap (PBS)
    Luther (BBC America)
    Sins of the Mother (Lifetime Movie Network)
    The Wronged Man (Lifetime Movie Network)

    Actor in a Television Movie - Miniseries or Dramatic Special

    Benito Martinez - Lies in Plain Sight (Lifetime Movie Network)
    Idris Elba - Luther (BBC America)
    Jon Seda - The Pacific (HBO)
    Mahershalalhashbaz Ali - The Wronged Man (Lifetime Movie Network)
    Michael Jai White - One Angry Juror (Lifetime Movie Network)

    Actress in a Television Movie - Mini-Series or Dramatic Special

    Jill Scott - Sins of the Mother (Lifetime Movie Network)
    Lucy Liu - Marry Me (Lifetime Movie Network)
    Rosie Perez - Lies in Plain Sight (Lifetime Movie Network)
    Tamera Mowry - Double Wedding (Lifetime Movie Network)
    Tia Mowry - Double Wedding (Lifetime Movie Network)

    Actor in a Daytime Drama Series

    Aaron D. Spears - The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
    Cornelius Smith, Jr. - All My Children (ABC)
    Darnell Williams - All My Children (ABC)
    Rodney Saulsberry - The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)

    Actress in a Daytime Drama Series

    Debbi Morgan - All My Children (ABC)
    Julia Pace Mitchell - The Young and the Restless (CBS)
    Tatyana Ali - The Young and the Restless (CBS)
    Tonya Lee Williams - The Young and the Restless (CBS)
    Yvette Freeman - The Bold and Beautiful (CBS)

    News/Information - Series or Special

    A Conversation with President Obama - (BET, CMT, MTV)
    Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN)
    The Judge Mathis Show (Syndicated)
    Unsung (TV One)
    Washington Watch with Roland Martin (TV One)

    Talk Series

    Conversations with Ed Gordon (BET Networks)
    Larry King Live (CNN)
    The Mo'Nique Show (BET Networks)
    The View (ABC)
    TV One on One with Cathy Hughes (TV One)

    Reality Series

    American Idol (FOX)
    America's Next Top Model (The CW)
    Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
    Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)
    Sunday Best (BET Networks)

    Variety - Series or Special

    2010 Best Honors (BET Networks)
    Beyonce: I AM...WORLD TOUR (ABC)
    Black Girls Rock! (BET Networks)
    TV One Night Only: Live from the Essence Music Festival (TV One)
    UNCF An Evening of Stars Tribute to Lionel Richie (Syndicated)

    Children's Program

    Brave New Voices 2010 (HBO)
    Dora the Explorer (Nickelodeon)
    The Backyardigans (Nickelodeon)
    True Jackson, VP (Nickelodeon)
    Wizards of Waverly Place (Disney Channel)

    Performance in Youth/Children's Program - Series or Special

    KeKe Palmer - True Jackson, VP (Nickelodeon)
    Lance Robertson - Yo Gabba Gabba: Baby (Nickelodeon)
    Nick Cannon - TeenNick Halo Awards 2010 (TeenNick)
    Selena Gomez - Wizards of Waverly Place (Disney Channel)
    Victoria Justice - Victorious (Nickelodeon)

    RECORDING

    New Artist

    B.o.B (Rebel Rock/Grand Hustle/Atlantic)
    Bruno Mars (Elektra Records)
    Jason Derulo (Warner Bros. Records)
    Nicki Minaj (Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Motown)
    Willow (Roc Nation/Columbia Records)

    Male Artist

    Cee Lo Green (Elektra Records)
    Jay-Z (Roc Nation/Def Jam)
    Kanye West (Island Def Jam Music Group)
    Ne-Yo (Island Def Jam Music Group)
    Usher (Laface/Jive Records)

    Female Artist

    Chrisette Michele (Island Def Jam Music Group)
    Corinne Bailey Rae (Capitol Records)
    Mary J. Blige (Geffen Records/Matriarch)
    Rihanna (Island Def Jam Music Group)
    Sade (Epic Records)

    Duo, Group, or Collaboration

    Diddy-Dirty Money (Bad Boy/Interscope)
    Eminem & Rihanna (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope)
    Herbie Hancock feat. India Arie, Chaka Khan and others (Hancock Music)
    John Legend and The Roots (Columbia Records)
    The Black Eyed Peas (Interscope)

    Jazz Album

    Dee Dee Bridgewater Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love from Dee Dee - Dee Dee Bridgwater (EmArcy/Decca Label Group/DDB Records)
    From Billie Holiday to Edith Piaf: Live in Marciac - The Wynton Marsalis Quintet & Richard (The Orchard)
    Geri Allen & Timeline Live - Geri Allen & Timeline Live (Motema Music)
    The Imagine Project - Herbie Hancock (Hancock Music)
    VOCAbuLarieS - Bobby McFerrin (Universal Music Group/Decca/Emarcy)

    Gospel Album - Traditional or Contemporary

    Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter III - Kirk Whalum (Rendezvous Music/Mack Avenue Records)
    Here I Am - Marvin Sapp (Verity Gospel Music Group)
    Just Love Deluxe - Brian Courtney Wilson (Music World Gospel)
    Master Plan - Tamela Mann (TillyMann)
    You Are Not Alone - Marvin Sapp (ANTI Records)

    World Music Album

    Hymns for Rebel Soul - Rocky Dawuni (Aquarian Records)
    Oyo - Angelique Kidjo (Razor & Tie)
    The Imagine Project - Herbie Hancock (Hancock Music)
    The Sound of Sunshine - Michael Franti (EMI Music)
    VOCAbuLarieS - Bobby McFerrin (Universal Music Group/Decca/Emarcy)

    Music Video

    Fistful of Tears - Maxwell (Columbia Records)
    Solider of Love - Sade (Epic Records)
    Un-thinkable (I'm Ready) - Alicia Keys (J Records)
    Whip My Hair - Willow (Roc Nation/Columbia Records)
    Why Don't You Love Me - Beyonce Knowles (Columbia Records)

    Song

    Bittersweet - Fantasia (J Records)
    Fistful of Tears - Maxwell (Columbia Records)
    Forget You - Cee-Lo Green (Elektra Records)
    Soldier of Love - Sade (Epic Records)
    Un-thinkable (I'm Ready) - Alicia Keys (J Records)

    Album

    My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West (Island Def Jam Music Group)
    Now and Then - Smokey Robinson (Saguaro Road/Cracker Barrel/Robso Records)
    Raymond vs. Raymond - Usher (Laface/Jive Records)
    Soldier of Love - Sade (Epic Records)
    WakeUp! - John Legend and The Roots (Columbia Records)

    LITERATURE

    Literary Work - Fiction

    A Taste of Honey - Jabari Asim (Broadway Books)
    Getting to Happy - Terry McMillan (Penguin Group)
    Glorious - Bernice L. McFadden (Akashic Books)
    Till You Hear From Me - Pearl Cleage (Ballantine Books/One World)
    Wench - Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Amistad)

    Literary Work -Non-Fiction

    Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority - Tom Burrell (SmileyBooks)
    Handson the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts of Women in SNCC - Editors: Faith S. Holsaert, Judy Richardson, Martha Prescod Norman Noonan, Betty Garman Robinson, Jean Smith Young, Dorothy M. Zellner (University of Illinois Press)
    Surviving and Thriving 365 Days in Black Economic History - Dr. Julianne Malveaux (Last Word Productions, Inc.)
    The History of White People - Nell Irvin Painter (W.W. Norton & Company)
    The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - Michelle Alexander (The New Press)

    Literary Work - Debut Author

    Wench - Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Amistad)
    The Girl Who Fell From the Sky - Heidi Durrow (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)
    The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration - Isabel Wilkerson (Random House)
    Beneath the Lion's Gaze - Maaza Mengiste (W.W. Norton & Company)
    Forest Gate - Peter Akinti (Free Press/Simon & Schuster)

    Literary Work - Biography/Auto-Biography

    Conversations with Myself - Ruth Hobday, Nelson Mandela (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
    Decoded - Jay-Z (Spiegel & Gran, a Division of Random House)
    Extraordinary, Ordinary People - Condoleezza Rice (Crown Archetype)
    I'm Still Standing: From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen - My Journey Home - Shoshana Johnson, Mary Doyle (Touchstone, An Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
    You Don't Know Me: Reflections of My Father, Ray Charles - Ray Charles Robinson, Jr. (Crown)

    Literary Work - Instructional

    A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie: And Other Lessons for Succeeding in Life - Antwone Fisher (Touchstone, An Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
    Diet-Free For Life: A Revolutionary Food, Fitness, and Mindset Makeover to Maximize Fat Loss - Robert Ferguson (Penguin Group USA, Perigee Hardcover)
    If it Takes A Village, Build One: How I Found Meaning Through a Life of Service and 100+ Ways You Can Too - Malaak Compton-Rock (Crown Archetype)
    The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life's Storms - Kirk Franklin (Gotham Books)
    The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women - Elaine Meryl Brown, Rhonda McLean, Marsha Haygood (Ballantine Books/One World)

    Literary Work - Poetry

    100 Best African-American Poems - Nikki Giovanni (Sourcebooks MediaFusion)
    Hard Times Require Furious Dancing - Alice Walker (Author), Shiloh McCloud (Illustrator) (New World Library)
    Holding Company - Major Jackson (W.W. Norton & Company)
    Stuck On the Marrow - Camille T. Dungy (Red Hen Press)
    White Egrets - Derek Walcott (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

    Literary Work - Children

    Grandma's Gift - Eric Velasquez (Bloomsbury USA Children's Books)
    Mama Miti: Wangai Maathai and the Tree of Kenya - Donna Jo Napoli (Author), Kadir Nelson (Illustrator) (Paul Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing)
    My Brother Charlie - Holly Robinson Peete, Ryan Elizabeth Peete (Authors) , Shane W. Evans (Illustrator) (Scholastic Press)
    Side By Side/Lado a Lado: The Story of Delores Huerta and Cesar Chavez - Monica Brown (Author), Joe Cepada (Illustrator) (Harper Collins Children's Books)

    Literary Work - Youth/Teens

    Condoleezza Rice A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me - Condoleezza Rice (Random House Children's Books)
    Lockdown - Walter Dean Myers (Harper Collins Children's Books)
    Malcolm X: I Believe in the Brotherhood of Men, All Men - Jeff Burlingame (Enslow Publishers, Inc.)
    Out of My Mind - Sharon Draper (Atheneum Young Reader)
    One Crazy Summer - Rita Williams-Garcia (Harper Collins Children's Books)

    MOTION PICTURE

    Motion Picture

    For Colored Girls (Lionsgate/34th Street Films)
    Just Wright (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
    The Book of Eli (Warner Bros. Pictures)
    The Kids Are All Right (Focus Features)
    Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? (Lionsgate)

    Actor in a Motion Picture

    Anthony Mackie - Night Catches Us (Magnolia Pictures)
    Common - Just Wright (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
    Denzel Washington - The Book of Eli (Warner Bros. Pictures)
    Jaden Smith - The Karate Kid (Columbia Pictures)
    Morgan Freeman - Red (Summit Entertainment)

    Actress in a Motion Picture

    Halle Berry - Frankie & Alice (Freestyle Releasing)
    Janet Jackson - Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? (Lionsgate)
    Kerry Washington - Night Catches Us (Magnolia Pictures)
    Queen Latifah - Just Wright (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
    Zoe Saldana - The Losers (Warner Bros. Pictures)

    Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

    Don Cheale - Brooklyn's Finest (Overture Films)
    Idris Elba - Takers (Screen Gems)
    Justin Timberlake - The Social Network (Columbia Pictures)
    Michael Ealy - For Colored Girls (Lionsgate/34th Street Films)
    Samuel L. Jackson - Mother and Child (Sony Picture Classics)

    Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

    Anika Noni Rose - For Colored Girls (Lionsgate/34th Street Films)
    Kimberly Elise - For Colored Girls (Lionsgate/34th Street Films)
    Phylicia Rashad - For Colored Girls (Lionsgate/34th Street Films)
    Jill Scott - Why Did I Get Married Too? (Lionsgate)
    Whoopi Goldberg - For Colored Girls (Lionsgate/34th Street Films)

    Independent Motion Picture

    Conviction (Fox Searchlight Pictures
    Frankie & Alice (Freestyle Releasing)
    La Mission (Screen Media Ventures)
    Mother and Child (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Night Catches Us (Magnolia Pictures)

    Foreign Motion Picture

    A Barefoot Dream (Showbox/Mediaplex)
    Biutiful (Roadside Atrtractions)
    Four Lions (Drafthouse Films)
    Mother (Magnolia Pictures)
    Outside the Law (Tessalit Productions)

    Documentary - Theatrical or Television

    For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots (PBS)
    Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel (Metaphor Films)
    If God is Willing and the Creek Don't Rise (HBO)
    Waiting for Superman (Paramount Vantage)
    William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe (POV)
    WRITING

    Writing in a Comedy Series

    Aaron McGruder - The Boondocks -The Fund-Raiser (Cartoon Network)
    Daniel Chun - The Office - Nepotism (NBC)
    Kenny Smith - Pair of Kings - Where the Wild Kings Are (Disney XD)
    Myra J. - Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns - Meet the Racist (TBS)
    Vali Chandrasekaran - 30 Rock - Khonani (NBC)

    Writing in a Drama Series

    Alexander Woo - True Blood - "It Hurts Me Too" (HBO)
    Janine Sherman Barrois - Criminal Minds - "Remembrance of Things Past (CBS)
    Judith McCreary - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - "Disabled" (NBC)
    Leyani Diaz, Venessa Rojas - The Event - "Loyalty" (NBC)
    Shonda Rhimes - Private Practice - "Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King?" (ABC)


    Writing in a Motion Picture (Theatrical or Television)

    Cheryl Edwards, Marko King, Mary King, Jonathan Walters, Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse - Frankie & Alice (Freestyle Releasing)
    Michael C. Martin - Brooklyn's Finest (Overture Films)
    Michael Elliot - Just Wright (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
    Rodrigo Garcia - Mother and Child (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Tyler Perry - Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? (Lionsgate)


    Directing in a Comedy Series

    Joe Morton - Eureka -Stoned (Syfy)
    Justin Lin - Community - Modern Warfare (NBC)
    Ken Whittingham - 30 Rock -Anna Howard Shaw Day (NBC)
    Kevin Rodney Sullivan - Modern Family -Game Changer (ABC)
    Michael Schultz - Chuck" -Chuck vs. "The Couch Lock (NBC)

    Directing in a Drama Series

    Felix Acala - Southland - "What Makes Sammy Run" (TNT)
    Millicent Shelton - Men of a Certain Age - "Go with the Flow" (TNT)
    Paris Barclay - In Treatment - "Sunil: Week 6" (HBO)
    Seith Mann - Friday Night Lights - "Injury List" (DirecTV/NBC)
    Stephen L. Williams - Undercovers - "Instructions" (NBC)

    Directing in a Motion Picture -Theatrical or Television

    Geoffrey Sax - Frankie & Alice (Freestyle Releasing)
    George Tillman, Jr. - Faster (CBS Films)
    Tanya Hamilton - Night Catches Us (Magnolia Pictures)
    The Hughes Brothers - The Book of Eli (Warner Bros. Pictures)
    Tyler Perry - For Colored Girls (Lionsgate/34th Street Films)

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    Black Music Notes Jan. 19

    1/24/10: Kanye West
    In the midst of promoting his forthcoming album, 'Watch the Throne' alongside Jay-Z, Kanye West has also announced details about his next solo effort. The 33-year-old superstar took to his Twitter page to reveal his big music plans for the next coming months. "I'll be back this summer," he wrote. "Watch the Throne coming in 2 months! My new album coming this summer." In addition, West is also set to close this year's annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival on April 17.

    Black Music Notes Jan. 19

    1/19/10: Diddy / Janelle Monae
    In celebration of this year's annual Grammy Awards Essence magazine and Sean "Diddy" Combs are teaming up to recognize Grammy nominee Janelle Monae at the 2nd annual Essence Black Women in Music. The exclusive, invite-only, event is scheduled to take place during Grammy week and is hosted by Essence.com Managing Editor Emil Wilbekin, Joy Bryant and Taraji P. Henson. "Janelle Monae is a remarkable creative force and a passionately talented young performer, who perfectly personifies ESSENCE as the 'voice and soul' of Black women," said Wilbekin. "As fans around the world continue to embrace Janelle's artistic vision, we are recognizing her tremendous influence among her peers with a salute to her contributions at the 2nd annual ESSENCE Black Women in Music event."

    Black Music Notes Jan. 19

    1/19/10: Snoop Dogg
    Last month international hip hop star Snoop Dogg released his latest single, 'Wet' in honor of Prince William's engagement announcement. And this week the self-proclaimed "Doggfather" officially announced the release date of his 11th studio album, 'Doggumentary,' will hit stores on Mar. 29. In support of the forthcoming opus, Snoop will be hitting the road for the 'Get Wet' tour. The 'Get Wet' tour begins January 18 in San Francisco and concludes Feb. 25 in West Virginia.

    Black Music Notes Jan. 19

    1/12/10: Boosty Collins
    Iconic Funk bassist Boosty Collins is set to release his first new studio project in five years, 'The Funk Capital of the World' on April 26. On Collins' latest effort he chose to tap into an all-star lineup of collaborators including former Parliament Funkadelic member George Clinton, rappers Snoop Dogg, Chuck D, and Ice Cube among others. "There are real messages on this album that I wanted to share," explains Collins, "whose soul-deep rhythms and layered melodies are punctuated by lyrics that range from meditations on the nature of truth and spiritual transcendence, to blissed-out joy."

    Black Music Notes Jan. 19

    1/12/10: Corinne Bailey Rae
    Just in time for Valentine's Day, Corinne Bailey Rae is paying homage to some of her favorite musicians with the release of 'The Love EP.' The Grammy nominee's five track opus finds Bailey Rae covering Prince's 'I Wanna Be Your Lover,' Bob Marley's 'Is This Love,' Paul McCartney's 'My Love,' Sly & The Family Stone's 'Que Sera, Sera,' and Belly's 'Low Red Moon.' Corinne Bailey Rae's 'The Love EP' hits stores Jan. 25.

    Black Music Notes Jan. 19

    1/10/10: Janet Jackson
    As previously reported by Black Music Notes, Janet Jackson is set to kick off her intimate 35-city 'Janet Jackson Number Ones, Up Close and Personal' international tour in Singapore on Feb. 7. In addition to Jackson's global trek, the platinum-selling singer will begin the North America leg on Mar. 7 in Chicago. During each show one lucky fan will have the chance to accompany Janet as one of her VIP guests. "I'm asking my fans and their friends, Parents, relatives, neighbors and teachers to nominate five people to qualify as one of the 20 under 20 in each place I will perform," she said in a statement. "At each concert the 20 people chosen and the person who nominated them will be VIP guests at my show. " Janet Jackson's North American tour concludes on April 23 in Las Vegas.

    Black Music Notes Jan. 19

    1/10/10: Rihanna
    International Pop star Rihanna recently made history in the UK by becoming the first female artist to score five #1 singles in consecutive years. Her current single 'What's My Name' landed at the number one spot on the Singles Chart last week surpassing Elvis Presley, who previously held the record for his span of #1 hits from 1957 to 1963.

    Black Music Notes Jan. 19

    1/7/10: Nicki Minaj
    Nicki Minaj has overcome all critics and disbelievers of her debut opus, 'Pink Friday.' The critically acclaimed album has reached platinum status within six weeks of its release, outpacing Kanye West's 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' which was also released on Nov. 22. To date, 'Pink Friday' remains the #2 Rap Album and the #4 Album in the country on Billboard's 200 charts.

    Black Music Notes Jan. 19

    1/7/10: Cee Lo Green, Sade, Michael Jackson
    In preparation of the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards, set to take place on Feb. 13, comes the release of the 2011 Grammy Nominees album. The Jan. 25 release highlights 19 songs from various artists who are up for nominations this year including Cee Lo Green ('Forget You'), B.o.B ('Nothin On You'), Sade ('Babyfather'), and Michael Jackson ('This Is It') among others. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the album will benefit the MusiCares Foundation and the Grammy Foundation.

    Black Music Notes Jan. 19

    12/29/10: Janet Jackson
    Good news for Janet Jackson fans of Southeast Asia. The multi-talented Pop singer will kick off her 35-city tour in Singapore on Feb. 7. Jackson will perform tracks from her 2009 greatest hits album, 'Number Ones' and plans on dedicating a song during each tour stop, which she promises will be "more intimate and more personal" than ever before. "It's not about effects, it's not an extravaganza, it's not about being as big as in the past," she said. "This one is all about you and me. I love you Singapore. Let's go!" Tickets for Janet Jackson Number Ones, Up Close and Personal tour go on sale Jan. 7.

    Black Music Notes Jan. 19



     

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    Since we started the Curvy Girl's Guide series, there has been quite a bit of controversy over the term "curvy" and what the word really means.

    Is "curvy" just a polite, politically-correct way of saying "fat"?

    Does it refer only to black women?

    Does being anything over an 8 mean that a woman is sitting on her couch all day, stuffing her face with fast food while letting her treadmill collect dust?


    Simply: no, no and no.




    "Curvy" certainly includes those ladies who are plus-sized - actress Mo'Nique is a great example. However, it can also apply to a woman who may be widely considered to be of average size, or even small, but who has a very womanly shape (think: Beyonce, Alicia Keys) and goes beyond the current Hollywood ideal that anything over a size 4 is "questionable". In fact, the term "curvy" can even be used to describe women who are otherwise thin but wear a little extra weight in particular areas of the body, i.e. Kim Kardashian.

    When we use "curvy", know that it is meant to encompass a number of different body types and shapes, not simply the all-around ample. Even when your waist is a 0, it takes many hours of shopping, tailoring, and finagling to fit a shirt or dress over a DDD chest. Some women can wear bikini tops with ease but find themselves visiting specialty shops for bottoms that will fully cover their ample derrieres!

    And while hours of exercise and dieting will give you toned arms, legs, and six-pack abs, genetics are a killer and, without the help of surgery, those breasts and booty just won't go away. So why not praise the woman blessed with abundant assets with an article series focused on the best fabric cuts for her special areas?

    The word "curvy" is not reserved only for black women, either. We've already used the example of Kim Kardashian, but there are several other non-black women who can be considered "curvy", including actresses Scarlett Johansson, Salma Hayek and actress and former Miss World, Indian beauty Aishwarya Rai.

    To settle the dispute once and for all, here's a gallery of a variety of bodacious beauties - both black and non-black - and what earns them the "curvy" title.

     

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    It's about time celebs started doing more with their hair! This week, instead of the usual long, wavy looks, celebrities are going for cute bobs, chic updos, and glam side-sweeps. We love them! Check out our best hairstyles of the week.


    Actress Tessa Thompson is great at rocking the side-sweep to events, and this time she pinned it up in back and left just a few curls in the front. Classic!
    Tina Turner was front row at Giorgio Armani during Milan Fashion Week looking cuter than ever.
    Erica Atkins-Campbell of Mary Mary at Backstage Creations Celebrity Retreat at the 42nd Annual NAACP Image Awards
    Radio personality K. Foxx goes adorably wild and natural at the VH1 "Love & Hip Hop" New York premiere.

    At the NAACP Image Awards Nominees' Pre-Show Gala, actress Joyful Drake wears her wavy locks half up, half down, and all cute.
    Actress Jennia Fredrique rocks a cute, high updo.

    Who's rocking your favorite hairstyle this week? Tell us!

     

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    One of the most important events in my early life as a photographer occurred in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1965, when I chanced upon a clutch of over 280 5"x7" glass plate negatives. Glass plate negatives? Before digital images and even before film, images were often captured on plates of glass coated with photographic emulsion.Stumbled upon at a garage sale, the negatives contained a number of city views of Lincoln including some circa 1915 construction photos. I made a few selected prints of the city scenes and sold them to people in Lincoln. Thus, my first sales as a photographer were from someone else's negatives. Further inspection of the glass plates revealed that most of the photographs were of people and most of the people were African American.

    As a kid fresh out of high school, somehow I knew the images were important but I didn't have the resources for further exploration. I packed the negatives away in shoeboxes and stored them in my parents' basement. A couple years later I was off to California to pursue my dream of becoming a professional photographer. Over the next three decades the weighty shoeboxes traveled with me wherever I moved.

    In the spring of 1999 my mother was reading an article in the Lincoln newspaper about a researcher who found 36 glass negatives in a closet in Lincoln. They were superbly crafted images of Lincoln's African-American community. The photographer was identified as Earl McWilliams, a light-skinned African American with red hair, who was employed at a photo studio in Lincoln. My mother clipped the article and sent it to me with a note saying, "Don't you have some old glass negatives?" Indeed I did. 280 of them. And by the same photographer.

    The re-discovery of my negatives coupled with the other 36 negatives set off a firestorm of activity. Multi-page illustrated articles ran in the newspaper. Newsweek picked up on the story. The Governor of Nebraska declared March 22nd "Earl McWilliams Day." My shoe boxes of negatives were deemed a state treasure.

    After all the press died down, Lincoln historian Edward Zimmer, who was involved with trying to identify some of the locations, dates, and people in the photographs, was interviewing a couple of older women who were living in Lincoln at the time the photographs were taken.

    The women distinctly remembered another African-American man named Johnny Johnson traveling around Lincoln in a horse and buggy and a camera taking pictures of the community. Alas, the problem of pinning Johnson as the sole photographer is that he appears in a number of the photographs. Did Johnson have help or work as part of a team?

    What is known for sure is that the last verifiable date of the photographs (mid-1920's) coincides with the date Earl McWilliams left Lincoln for Colorado and hence to San Francisco, where he died in 1960. What is also known is that Earl McWilliams was related to acclaimed Harlem Renaissance photographer James Van Der Zee. Is it just a coincidence that both men were photographers?

    Many of the photographs also contain white people. Did Earl McWilliams' demeanor, standing in the community, or light skin allow him to move back and forth between the black and white communities? Did Johnson man the camera while Earl posed the subjects? McWilliams' mother once told an interviewer, "Earl, he knew how to make people smile."

    After close to five decades I'm still stumped by Earl McWilliams. No photographs of him have emerged. He was married at least three times. Are there any surviving children? I interviewed his niece in Riverside, Calif. She told put me onto the Van Der Zee connection. She kept telling me that Earl was "different" without telling me what "different" meant. I keep plugging away thinking that somewhere, sometime I'll stumble onto more information.

    Every time I pull out the boxes of glass negatives they make me smile, not just for their historical importance, but from a very personal one: They were a springboard that helped launch my career as a professional photographer. So I say thank you Earl and Johnny, my life would be very different without you.

    Below are a selection of the images and stories Earl and Johnny captured, way back when.


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    Douglas Keister
    Life in Lincoln, Nebraska
    Douglas Keister Photo

    Douglas Keister

    Life in Lincoln, Nebraska

    Douglas Keister

    Life in Lincoln, Nebraska

    Douglas Keister

    Life in Lincoln, Nebraska

    Douglas Keister

    Life in Lincoln, Nebraska

    Douglas Keister

    Life in Lincoln, Nebraska

    Douglas Keister

    Life in Lincoln, Nebraska

    Douglas Keister

    Life in Lincoln, Nebraska

    Douglas Keister

    Life in Lincoln, Nebraska

    Douglas Keister





    Douglas R. Keister has authored and co-authored 39 photo-driven books, including Lincoln in Black and White: 1910-1925, which profiles his glass negative collection.

    Douglas will be giving a lecture on this collection at a photography event in March, and he has made a Youtube which details his adventure. To find out more about Doug's work and to read his blog, visit Red Room.

     

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    Marcus Minifee was of interest to me for a spotlight, primarily because he represents the thousands of African Americans across the country who are doing big things with their companies. He's not an entrepeneur, but he has achieved an admirable degree of professional success. While he is a highly successful executive in his own right, he is a reflection of the struggles and triumphs of millions of black folks seeking to navigate the complexities of corporate America. It is due to his push for personal success that Marcus Minifee is today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices:

    What is your name, and what do you do?

    My name is Marcus Minifee. I am the National Account Marketing Manager for adidas America based in NYC. I develop and implement integrated marketing campaigns for key national and regional accounts, including consumer promotions, in-store events and visual merchandising.

    What is your educational and professional background?

    I'm born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. I attended Bradley University in Peoria, IL where I received a BA degree in psychology and a minor in Spanish. I later attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I received a MS in sport management and sport psychology. I have 15+ years of sales and marketing experience with the Chicago Bulls, Kraft Foods, Pepsi-Cola North America, and adidas America.

    You have a very diverse and extensive marketing background working with businesses ranging from Kraft Foods to the Chicago Bulls. Are there core marketing strategies that never change no matter who or what you are promoting? Please share with entrepreneurs what one key is to promoting their business.

    I have had the good fortune to work in marketing with some great brands and companies. Marketing principles remain the same no matter what business you're in, but communication vehicles and tactics sometimes change depending on what company and consumer you are trying to reach. My advice to everyone is to "KNOW YOUR CONSUMER." Base all sales and marketing programs on a strong foundation of consumer insight.

    What is the biggest challenge you have ever encountered in your 15 years of marketing experience? How did you overcome it, and could anything have been done to avoid it?

    While at Pepsi-Cola North America, I was a part of a 3,300+ person company-wide corporate downsizing. This, along with the death of my Mother in the same month, was by far the hardest thing I ever had to deal with in my personal and professional career. I developed a strategy and plan of attack for my next career move. Figure out what you want to do, what companies you want to work for, and reach out to people that can help you achieve those objectives. I never truly realized the true power of networking until I started my job search from Pepsi to adidas America. Some lay-offs are totally unavoidable, but do all you can to make yourself as indispensable as possible. The more value you add to your team and company....the more difficult it will be for them to consider letting you go.

    Among other various networks that you are a part of, you are a member of the Black Alumni Network of University of Illinois at Urbana and The Alumni of Bradley University. Do you feel that it is beneficial for people already established in the workforce to stay active with alumni organizations, and if so, why?

    It's definitely important to stay connected and never forget where you come. It's our responsibility to forge a path as best we can and bring as many people with us as possible.

    Do you have any advice for aspiring young African Americans who wish to follow in your footsteps?

    My advice would be to take a step back and create a clear objective and strategy for your career. Gain as much experience as possible, no matter how big or small. The 3 month internship you take in your industry of choice could put you directly in front of the hiring manager that will propel your career down the road. Work hard and sell "YOUR" brand as much as possible in a tactful, personable way.

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

    I truly appreciate the opportunity to share some of my background with Dr. Boyce Watkins, it is truly an honor. Good luck to everyone in all future endeavors, and God Bless.

    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. To follow Dr. Boyce on Facebook, please click here.

     

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    Allen Iverson
    According to the super-popular black celebrity gossip site Young, Black & Fabulous, The Denver Post is reporting that former NBA star Allen Iverson is facing foreclosure. From The Denver Post:

    Former Nuggets star Allen Iverson's Cherry Hills mega-mansion is under contract and expected to close on April 8, but not before Iverson quit paying the mortgage.

    Iverson, who bought the 6,848-square-foot six-bedroom, nine-bathroom spread for $3.875 million in January 2008, let the property in the Buell Mansion subdivision slip into foreclosure on an outstanding balance of $2,572,914 owed to Wells Fargo Bank, according to a Notice of Election and Demand for Sale filed Feb. 28 in Arapahoe County.

    Luxury real estate expert Edie Marks, who represents a buyer slated to purchase the Iverson estate, said the property went under contract before Iverson defaulted on the loan. The sale is expected to close in early April for a price that "was close" to the asking price of $2.85 million, Marks said.

    With this recent turn of events, what happens to the pending sale? It can still go through as planned, but someone is going to be on the hook for attorneys fees, foreclosure costs and default interest, according to Denver real estate attorney Alan D. Sweetbaum - and that someone likely will be Iverson.

    "I'm surprised that Iverson did that, but the sale can still occur," Sweetbaum said. "It's unusual, and (Iverson) will (likely) end up throwing away $10,000 on attorneys fees alone. He could pay or the buyer could pay the amount that hasn't been paid to reinstate the loan."



    Please read the rest on The Denver Post.

    Iverson had to take a humbling career move by taking a job in Turkey, and apparently this change is affecting his financial stability. It is great that he has been able to unload this house that he cannot afford -- let's hope the deal goes through on terms that create a win-win resolution for all involved.


     

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    Tea Partying Republican Michele Bachmann Says Obama Runs a 'Gangster Government'

    Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn, pictured) is standing by her reference to the Obama Administration as a "gangster government."

    Bachmann, who is the founder of the Tea Party Caucus, said:

    "I don't take back my statement on gangster government. I think that there have been actions that have been taken by this government that I think are corrupt."



    Related Article





    Bachmann's "gangster" assertion relates to $105 billion that was included in the health care law for its implementation. Bachmann said that the White House should apologize for providing the funding and accuses the Obama Administration of widespread corruption.

    What's interesting about Bachmann's remark is the term "gangster" in reference to our nation's first black president, which brings a quick psychological reference to gang bangers and gangster rap and obviously sends a racist signal.

    Even the liberal TV show host Bill Maher, once said that he expected that the first black president would hold meetings with a gun in hand and shoot those who disagreed with him. So whether you're referring to liberals or conservatives, stereotypes of black males as dirty, corrupt and violent human beings continue to persist.

    You cannot disconnect these readily available perceptions from the fact that our government has continuously passed laws leading to the mass incarceration of hundreds of thousands of African-American men, in spite of the fact that there is evidence that government policy actually helped create and fuel the crack-cocaine epidemic.

    I personally deal with the "angry black man" stereotype at Syracuse University (where my work as a black public scholar is more likely to lead to punishment than reward), and millions of black boys deal with these stereotypes when they are disproportionately disciplined, suspended and expelled within the public school system.

    The bottom line is that the black male, to some extent, is America's sociological cockroach: Unless he is playing a sport, providing entertainment or committing a crime, he is felt by some to be "out of his place."

    President Barack Obama has committed the ultimate crime in the eyes of Michele Bachmann by not just becoming president of the United States, but by running the country in a manner that is not in alignment with the way she sees the world.

    With that said, Bachmann's choice of words are rather unfortunate and reminds us of the latent and subtle racism that the Tea Party brings to the table. The Tea Partiers are not racist because of their disagreement with Obama (I disagree with him all the time), but because they do not have the desire to disagree with him respectfully.

    It's one thing to say that a president's policies are counter-productive and another thing to compare him to a gang banger. As an elected representative, Bachmann disrespects herself and her constituents by making her comments in such a hurtful and immature manner.

    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. To follow Dr. Boyce on Facebook, please click here.

     

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    Ex-NFL Star Lawrence Taylor Can't Meet Child Support Payments for Ailing Daughter


    Football legend Lawrence Taylor, who was caught last year with his pants down in a scandal that involved the solicitation of a 16-year-old, prostitution and third-degree rape charges is now reportedly asking to have his child support payments lowered for one of his children.

    Taylor claims he simply cannot afford the child support payment of $456 for his 13-year-old chronically ill daughter Erielle, whom by the way, he has never met.


    The former New York Giants Hall of Famer appeared in a New Jersey Family Court Friday to tell the judge that he can barely meet the support demand that is in place now and an increase is just out of the question:

    "My income is generated solely by my popularity as a celebrity," he says in the Bergen County filing. "The fact that I last played in 1993 and legal problems in Rockland County . . . have severely diminished my ability to obtain income. I have no college degree or special skills other than athletics," he notes.

    The child's mother, Ebony Washington, is seeking to raise his child support payments.

    According to Washington, since Erielle's birth, Taylor hasn't bothered to visit her and he's let the child's medical insurance lapse. Erielle has Crohn's disease, which causes inflammation of the digestive tract. Since their daughter has to remain under a physician's watchful eye for her debilitating condition, health insurance is a dire necessity.

    Taylor, who has seven children, only acknowledges four - three with his first wife, Linda, and an out-of-wedlock son, Brandon, born in 1991.

    In January, Taylor was sentenced to six years' probation, after he admitted paying a 16-year-old runaway for sex.

    Here's my take, if you can afford to solicit prostitutes, then you can certainly meet your half of an obligation to put food on the table and maintain a roof over the heads of your children.

    You made them, you should be legally responsible for the care of your kids, planned or unplanned. Since Taylor isn't providing his daughter with emotional support, he should at least man up and make sure his daughter is taken care of financially.



     

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    Grammy-winning recording artist and actor Marc Anthony, who appeared as a guest star in two episodes of TNT's 'Hawthorne,' has now been added to the cast as a regular, joining Jada Pinkett Smith.

    Anthony will reprise the newly expanded role of police detective Nick Renata in the powerful drama series, which stars and is executive-produced by Pinkett Smith.

    Anthony joins the the third season of the show just as Pinkett Smith's Christina Hawthorne, chief nursing officer of James River Hospital, struggles with news that she is pregnant. The two developed a strong bond last season while Renata investigated a pair of criminal cases involving the hospital. But Christina, whose on-again, off-again romance with Dr. Tom Wakefield (played by Michael Vartan), has been a mess of mixed signals and bad timing, told Nick she was not ready to jump into a new relationship.

    Besides being a successful recording artist, Anthony's acting career includes roles in Martin Scorsese's 'Bringing Out the Dead' and Tony Scott's 'Man on Fire.' Starring opposite wife Jennifer Lopez, Anthony played Puerto Rican salsa pioneer Héctor Lavoe in Leon Ichaso's biopic 'El Cantante.' He also starred opposite Salma Hayak in the television film 'In the Time of the Butterflies.' In 1997, Anthony made his Broadway debut in Paul Simon's musical 'The Capeman.'

    'Hawthorne' premiered on TNT in summer 2009. Last summer, the second season averaged 3.7 million viewers and ranked as one of cable's top scripted series among women.

    The series is scheduled to return for its third season this June.

     

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    Congressional Black Caucus Member Alcee Hastings Accused of Sexual Harassment

    United States Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Democrat from Florida, has been accused of sexual harassment.

    Winsome Packer claims the harassment took place between 2008 and 2010 when Hastings co-chaired the Helsinki Commission, an independent U.S. government agency in Europe.

    Packer filed the suit against Hastings and the commission. According to the suit, Packer was subjected to "unwelcome sexual advances," "unwelcome touching" and retaliation.

    When she complained, Packer says she was forced to endure more harassment and then threatened with termination.

    "Mr. Hastings' intention was crystal clear: he was sexually attracted to Ms. Packer, wanted a sexual relationship with her, and would help progress her career if she acquiesced to his sexual advances," the complaint reads.

    Hastings allegedly made Packer extremely uncomfortable with a litany of sexual advances. According to the suit, Hastings asked to stay in her apartment, hugged her in a sexually intimidating way, invited her multiple times to his hotel room and made sexual comments to Packer, at one point allegedly asking in public: "What kind of underwear are you wearing?"

    Hastings, a senior member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic Chairman of the Florida Delegation emphatically denied the charges in a statement.

    "I have never sexually harassed anyone. In fact, I am insulted that these ludicrous allegations are being made against me. When all the facts are known in this case, the prevailing sentiment will be, 'How bizarre!'" Hasting wrote. "I will win this lawsuit. That is a certainty. In a race with a lie, the truth always wins. And when the truth comes to light and the personal agendas of my accusers are exposed, I will be vindicated."

    Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that is a party to the suit thinks otherwise.

    "The allegations against Alcee Hastings as detailed in this complaint are outrageous. Is Congress so far gone that its members think they can get away with the most base sexual harassment of staff! For two years Hastings subjected Ms. Packer to a never-ending barrage of unwanted sexual advances. And when Ms. Packer tried, time and again, to put a stop to it, he resorted to threats and intimidation to force her compliance," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

    "Even after Hastings' behavior caused Ms. Packer's physical collapse, he would not relent. We look forward to holding Alcee Hastings and the other defendants accountable for their unlawful behavior in court," he added.

    It's interesting that Judicial Watch is also a party to the suit. They announced the suit at their headquarters this morning and have said that Hastings and other superiors used the fact that she was a Republican working for a Democratically controlled commission to intimidate her.

    Sexual harassment is a serious charge. Men and women have the right to earn a living without being sexually harassed.

    And Hastings is no angel. He was impeached as a federal judge for bribery and perjury by the House and removed from office by the Senate, only the sixth judge in history to suffer that fate.

    However, the involvement of this conservative watchdog group lends cause for concern. The inclusion of politics and political standings in these charges only complicates issues. I hope a fair and impartial hearing of this case brings the facts to light.


     

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    mike huckabee natalie portman

    Mike Huckabee is officially on a roll.

    At New York radio station WOR on Monday, the former governor of Arkansas and candidate in the 2008 presidential election added flames to the Birther Movement by claiming that President Barack Obama's upbringing in Kenya skewed his views of the British:

    "One thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, (is) very different than the average American," said Huckabee.

    While he later claimed that he "mis-spoke" his thinly veiled accusation of Mauism, which is anti-colonial-or anti-white sentiment, it was a clear attempt at describing Obama as "not one of us."

    His asinine statement was an echo of Newt Gingrich in 2010:

    "Obama is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president."

    "I think he worked very hard at being a person who is normal, reasonable, moderate, bipartisan, transparent, accommodating -- none of which was true," Gingrich continues. "In the Alinksy tradition, he was being the person he needed to be in order to achieve the position he needed to achieve. ... He was authentically dishonest."


    On a radio show on Wednesday, Huckabee told host Bryan Fischer that "most" single Mothers are "poor and uneducated," calling out actress Natalie Portman for "glamorizing" illegitimate pregnancy:

    "One of the things that's troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, 'Hey look, you know, we're having children, we're not married, but we're having these children, and they're doing just fine.'

    "But there aren't really a lot of single Moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie. And I think it gives a distorted image that, yes, not everybody hires nannies and caretakers and nurses.

    "Most single Moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that's the story that we're not seeing, and it's unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out-of-children wedlock."

    Ironically, he had no problem supporting Bristol Palin's "brave choice" in 2008, when she became pregnant at 17 years old, but the political backlash for actually chatising her for "glamourizing" teen pregnancy would have been too severe - better to stick to Obama-loving Hollywood, right?

    Huckabee further underscores who he's actually referring to when he references the statistic that more African-American children are born out of wedlock than any other ethnicity.

    Translation: Natalie Portman is a wealthy, Hollywood actress, with an Ivy League education, who can afford to take care of her children, while the rest of these Welfare Queens will be milking the government:

    "Stop it, Natalie! You're making the Negroes think they can live this way, and they can't!"

    When Barack Obama was elected the 44th POTUS, I knew the United States would continue to face the racial stratification within our society that became even more evident during the election process.

    What does amaze me, though, is the level of scorn, condescension and undiluted bigotry that has come to the surface, as all things "black" continue to be examined under a microscope.

    It is true that 69 percent of African-American children are born out of wedlock , and while not the 75 percent Huckabee claimed, it is still exorbitantly high. It is also true that 90% percent of TANF recipients are single mother households.

    That's where the grain of truth in Huckabee's message ends.

    Though the highest percentage of funds were distributed to African Americans (34.2%), white Americans received 31.5%. According to the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, 25.8% of African-Americans and 25.3% of Hispanics live below the poverty line, compared to 12.5% of Asians and only 9.4% of whites.

    What this proves is that while the media is quick to point out the disproportionality in the percentage of African-American women receiving abortions, and having children out of wedlock, the fact that white women are financially more secure, yet receive the lion's share of federal funds, flies largely under the radar.

    Former assistant Labor secretary, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, author of, "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action," predicted in a memo to President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 that an increase in fatherless children would result in increasing school failure, criminal delinquency, and joblessness. Sadly, all these have come to pass; however, Huckabee smoothly blends truth and stereotypes to suggest that black single mothers are draining the system, when that is a blatant lie.

    Not only that, Moynihan noted that marriage is also declining among whites, and that white children born out of wedlock is increasing. Startling information that could easily be missed behind all the prejudicial propaganda Huckabee felt compelled to share with America. Even more interesting is that while the rate of African-American children born out of wedlock is high, white children in the same familial structure are more likely to be disadvantaged than black or Hispanic children.

    "The consequences of family disruption are smaller for disadvantaged black and Hispanic children than for disadvantaged white children, both in terms of percentage points and in terms of proportionate effects," write Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur in their 1994 book, Growing Up With a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps.

    "The chances that a white girl from an advantaged background will become a teen mother is five times as high," the authors continue, "and the chances a white child will drop out of high school is three times as high, if the parents do not live together."

    So let's see here: More single white women abusing the system, and more white children facing adverse consequences as a result of absent fathers and poverty, yet Huckabee felt the need to put the lives of African-American women and children underneath the microscope.

    Again, single Mothers, specifically African-American Mothers, are being dissected on the table of social science, and for nothing more than political capital.


    We can evaluate the statistics and discuss the disproportionate ratio of single black Mothers vs. married Mothers, but the fact remains that by sheer virtue of their number, white Americans are the major recipients of the social programs that conservatives would like to see cut.

    Yes, it makes it easier to put a black face on poverty, but it is dishonest. It is not a race issue, it is a class issue, and the fact that Mike Huckabee has resorted to race baiting and pandering to further his own political agenda speaks volumes of his character.

     

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    For years, Kevin Frazier has lent his reporting to two of television's biggest entertainment shows, 'Entertainment Tonight' and "The Insider.'

    Today, CBS announced that the former ESPN 'SportsCenter' host has been named the new co-anchor of 'The Insider.' He will work alongside 'The Insider' anchor Lara Spencer.
    Frazier will be the first African-American male to host a daily entertainment news show on a major television network - an opportunity he doesn't take lightly.

    "I'm really exciting," he told BlackVoices.com today.

    "It's an amazing opportunity and there has not been an African-American male hosting a show like this before. It's a female-dominated genre and so that's why you haven't seen African-American males in this genre. It's a little historic and it's a great responsibility more than a great opportunity."

    He added, "I hope I will bring a unique perspective. I was with 'Entertainment Tonight' for seven years, and it's amazing to be a part of the monstrous team. I cherish it and I love it, and the funny thing is I don't even move offices. I keep the same office and go to the same studio, but just do a different show. I'm still around the same people."

    Executive Producer of CBS Television Distribution's 'Entertainment Tonight' and 'The Insider' Linda Bell Blue spoke highly about Frazier and his new position.

    "Kevin has been an integral part of the ET/Insider family for seven years. He is one of the most respected correspondents in entertainment news with incredible sources and connections that will be put to good use as co-anchor of The Insider,' " Blue said.

    Since joining 'Entertainment Tonight' in 2004, Frazier, who cofounded an online urban entertainment news site hiphollywood.com, has covered many high-profile entertainment stories and historical events both in Hollywood and around the world. He has also served as co-anchor of the weekend show.

     

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    White House Commencement Challenge Deadline Looms


    The deadline for the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge, a novel national competition that will reward a lucky high school with a presidential visit, is just five days away so interested schools need to get busy - now.

    The 2011 Commencement Challenge invites public high schools to show how their school is preparing them for college and a career.


    The winning school will earn a visit from President Barack Obama at its commencement this spring.

    Obama has set a goal of graduating the highest proportion of college students in the world by 2020.

    Applying for the 2011 Commencement Challenge requires three short essays and data that is available from each school to show how they are preparing their students for college and a career while establishing a culture of student success and academic excellence.

    Last year, Kalamazoo Central in western Michigan beat out more than 1,000 schools to win the competition.

     

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