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

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    Though the feud between Spike Lee and Tyler Perry seems to have quieted down some, two actors who have worked with both directors - Tasha Smith with Tyler Perry, and Laz Alonso with Spike Lee - have now weighed in on the much publicized rift. Smith and Alonso co-star in the new film 'Jumping The Broom,' and spoke to the press on Tuesday night over a dinner at New York's Pranna.

    "They both are two different men with two different perspectives in life," said Smith, who starred in Perry's 'Why Did I Get Married Too?' last year and is co-starring in Perry's new TV sitcom, 'For Better Or Worse.' "You would love to see them collaborate and create."

    As far-fetched as that may sound, Perry made a similar suggestion last week when he guested on 'The Mo'Nique Show' to promote his current film, 'Madea' Big Happy Family.' "He's a brilliant filmmaker," Perry said of Lee. "There's a lot of things that he could share with me, but for some reason we don't do that."

    For his part, Lee is not entirely unaccustomed to collaborating with other directors. His 1995 crime thriller 'Clockers,' which Lee directed, was produced by legendary director Martin Scorsese.

    Alonso, who starred in Lee's 2008 war drama, 'Miracle At St. Anna' and considers the director a "very, very good friend," defended Lee's outspoken nature. "Spike can be opinionated about everyone," Alonso said. "When we worked on 'Miracle At St. Anna,' he was very opinionated about Clint Eastwood." Lee and Eastwood memorably feuded after Lee called out Eastwood for not casting any black actors in his World War II films 'Flags of Our Fathers' and "Letters From Iwo Jima.'

    "I don't criticize [Lee] for who he is and I don't criticize Tyler for what Tyler does," Alonso continued. "I feel that they are both necessary when it comes to what black film and black Hollywood is. They both portray a different image of black America that needs to be seen and needs to be heard."

    The feud between Lee and Perry began over two years ago. In a 2009 interview with Ed Gordon on 'Our World with Black Enterprise', Lee, who has denied any feud with Perry, said of Perry's work, "for me, just the imagery is troubling." Ever since then, Perry has often been asked numerous questions about Lee's remarks and at an April 19 press conference for 'Madea's Big Happy Family' said, "I'm so sick of hearing about damn Spike Lee. Spike can go straight to hell!"

    Perry toned down his rhetoric during his appearance on 'Mo'Nique,' saying he was willing to have a face-to-face talk with Lee. As for the possibility of Lee and Perry working together one day, actor and comedian Mike Epps, who was also on hand at the 'Jumping The Broom' press conference, jokingly said, "That'll be a cold day in hell."


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    As the final season of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' comes to a close, Winfrey is making a concerted effort to dedicate the last episodes to significant social topics and notable people. On today's (May 4) show, Winfrey - who plans to focus exclusively on running her newly launched OWN Network after the show ends on May 25 - has invited 178 of the original Freedom Riders to appear as special guests.

    Their appearance marks the 50th anniversary of the first Freedom Ride in 1961, when a group of civil rights activists journeyed by bus from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans in an effort to gauge the effects of Boynton v. Virginia, a U.S. Supreme Court case in which the court deemed the segregation of public transportation unconstitutional. Among the original Freedom Riders was U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who will be one of Winfrey's guests today. Of the Freedom Riders, Winfrey says: "Life would be different were it not for them."


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    By Ben Shpigel for The New York Times: DETROIT - Derek Jeter's 100th at-bat of the season came in the eighth inning Monday night against the Tigers, in a situation that over the years had all but defined his career with the Yankees. With two outs, the score tied and the go-ahead run on third base, Jeter strode to the plate, confident as ever.

    He tapped meekly back to the pitcher, ending the rally. In that, it wasn't all that much different from many of the 99 at-bats that preceded it.

    Jeter, five weeks into what is shaping up to be the most closely scrutinized of his 17 seasons with the Yankees, is hitting .250 - some 60 points off his career average, and 20 points lower than his disturbingly unimpressive average of last season. He had no home runs and only two extra-base hits of any kind, both doubles. The only offensive category in which he leads the major leagues is infield hits - and, well, it isn't his speed that accounts for that.

    The intensity, even obsession, with which Jeter's performance in 2011 is being followed was assured from the moment he, 36 years old and coming off his worst offensive season, was signed to a three-year, $51 million contract. Many believed his days as a truly effective hitter had passed, and that the Yankees, worried about their public image, were merely paying him as reward for his past accomplishments and sterling reputation.

    Aware that Jeter's every at-bat was being dissected and debated, Joe Girardi, the manager of the Yankees, in early April asked for calm and fairness: Give Jeter 100 or 150 at-bats, Girardi said, before even thinking about drawing any conclusions.

    Drawing conclusions, after 100 at-bats, or even 200, can be perilous. There are several stars, players still securely in their prime, who are off to horrible starts this season. It happens in baseball virtually every season.

    Read more at here.


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    By Darryl Fears for The Washington Post: A historic black church that has sat on the same corner in LeDroit Park for 99 years has become the first African American church in the District to rely on renewable solar energy for electrical power.

    Florida Avenue Baptist's installation of 44 solar panels was hailed at a ribbon-cutting Tuesday by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and other government officials as a breakthrough in the black community, where the clean-energy divide mirrors its well-known high-tech digital divide with the white community.

    "This is an important first," said Jackson, whose agency recently started a faith-based initiative to increase clean-energy awareness among religious groups. "They're saying: We're going to take the lead in helping African American homes to become energy efficient."

    The church's pastor, the Rev. Earl D. Trent Jr., said the panels' installation, by a North Carolina-based company in March, was important not only because the church will save money on its $3,000 monthly electric bill from Pepco but also because it will reduce "dirty" coal-fired energy and enable him to establish a "green ministry" that could awaken churchgoers who know little to nothing about clean energy and its benefits.

    African Americans tend to live in older, less energy-efficient homes equipped with older appliances and, therefore, have higher energy bills.

    According to "Energy Democracy," a 2010 report by the Center for Social Inclusion, African Americans spent an average of $1,439 on electric bills in 2008, more than what Latino and Asian Americans spent, and significantly higher than what white Americans paid.

    "We want to be a model for green energy," Trent said in an earlier interview. "I've gotten calls from pastors who want to find out how they can do this," he added, raising his hope that the renewable-energy divide can be bridged.

    African American churches have historically led social change in black communities, raising awareness of civil rights in the past and now, possibly, environmental justice, Trent said. Helping to lower coal-energy production, even marginally, at power plants is a symbolic step in a nation where, he said, many black people live near such plants and their smokestacks.

    "African Americans have more sources of pollution in their neighborhoods than others," Jackson said, standing on the roof of the church near Howard University Hospital as the sun beat down. "We have mercury, neurotoxins building up in our bodies . . . mothers pass it to children. We have . . . developmental disorders. All that comes back to this," she said, pointing to the row of solar panels.

    Read more here.


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    summer dresses

    No need to break the bank to keep cool and look hot this summer. Check out some of your favorite retail stores for some great deals on cute summer dresses.


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    Michelle Obama Dances to Beyonce's 'Move Your Body' on 'Let's Move' Campaign

    So if you've read any of my earlier posts about First Lady Michelle Obama, you know that I am a serious fan. Who doesn't love Mrs. Obama's message to children to get fit and stay healthy?

    Mrs. Obama's latest stop for her "Let's Move" campaign shows her getting her groove on with students to Beyonce's "Move Your Body" song.

    Watch below:

    Mrs. Obama loves the kids, and we love her!


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    By Kelli Martin for Clutch Magazine: Back in the day, you could turn to just about any major TV network and see predominantly- or all-Black casts on primetime shows. Now, those casts have . . . well, just about faded to black. Game over.

    Turn on the small screen today. Rather than casts of brown, you'll peep mostly-white ensembles, with chocolate sprinkles-but in unprecedented numbers.

    When it comes to scripted TV shows, is it better to be in the mix or be the whole enchilada?

    In the 90s, all-Black casts, predominantly-Black ensembles, and casts with Black main characters were everywhere on network TV's primetime dramas and comedies: Good Times, The Jeffersons, The Cosby Show, A Different World, Martin, Eve, Living Single, Everybody Hates Chris, Girlfriends. And though I'd like to forget Malcolm and Eddie and Homeboys in Outer Space, they represented too.

    Nielsen recently reported that African-Americans have the highest TV-watching rate in comparison to other ethnicities. That average is 7 hours 12 minutes each day-above the national average of 5 hours 11 minutes.

    With so much tube time, you'd think mostly-Black casts would abound, right? Not so. When it comes to the major networks AMC, CBS, NBC, FOX and THE CW, here's the not-so-good news: there are far fewer brown faces on each show. The good news: we abound, alright, on many more shows overall. From Grey's Anatomy to Gossip Girl, from SVU to CSI, from Desperate Housewives to Parenthood and many more, African-Americans are sprinkled throughout current ensemble casts in unprecedented numbers.

    Read more here.


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    Lil JonFrom CitysBest Atlanta: I somehow knew Lil Jon wasn't "all crunk all the time." So it's been refreshing to watch him on "Celebrity Apprentice" and really see his softer, more professional side. He's been showing major love for his hometown of Atlanta, too, and picked Atlanta's United Methodist Children's Home to receive his earnings on the show ($80,000 so far). According to our friends over at the Decatur-Avondale Estates Patch, Lil Jon says he chose the charity "because it's a personal thing for me," and released a statement saying, "My family took in some foster kids when I was young, so I know the importance. Every kid deserves a good home, and the best opportunities."

    Find out about his experience on the Apprentice and how his love of strip club dining here


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    Beyonce has teamed up with First Lady Michelle Obama to help with the anti-childhood obesity "Let's Move" campaign, and today (May 3) she popped into PS/MS 161 in New York City's Harlem to get the students on board with developing healthy eating habits and an exercise routine. Check out the video and photos from Beyonce's surprise visit.

    Beyonce and the kids showed off their dance moves for New York City School Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott in Harlem while Michelle Obama was busy doing "The Dougie" and "The Running Man" at the Alice Deal Middle School in Tenleytown, Washington D.C.


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    Obama Says He Won't Release bin Laden Death Photo

    From the Associated Press:

    President Barack Obama said Wednesday he's decided not to release death photos of terrorist Osama bin Laden because their graphic nature could incite violence and create national security risks for the United States.

    "There's no doubt we killed Osama bin Laden," the president said in an interview with CBS News, and there was no need to release the photographs or gloat. "There's no need to spike the football," he said.

    The president said that for anyone who doesn't believe bin Laden is dead, "we don't think that a photograph in and of itself is going to make any difference."

    "There are going to be some folks who deny it. The fact of the matter is you won't see bin Laden walking on this earth again," said Obama.

    The president made his comments in an interview Wednesday with CBS' "60 Minutes". Presidential spokesman Jay Carney (pictured) read the president's quotes to reporters in the White House briefing room, ahead of the program's airing.

    Read more here.


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    Our friends at New York Magazine say: Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon announced this afternoon that their twins are named Monroe and Moroccan Scott Cannon. Daughter Monroe, named after Marilyn Monroe, does not have a middle name. Son Moroccan - Moroccan! - is not in fact named for the nation of Morocco, but rather for the room in Carey and Cannon's home that is bedecked in Moroccan decor.

    We here at BV say: Awesome.

    Read more at New York Magazine.


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    As the world continues to come to grips with the death of Osama bin Laden on President Barack Obama's watch, some politicians like Sarah Palin are refusing to recognize the President's role in the takedown.

    During her speech at a recent fundraiser in Colorado, the former Governor of Alaska minced no words in crediting Obama's precursor, George W. Bush, for the execution of the fallen al-Qaeda leader.

    "Yesterday was a testament to the military's dedication in relentlessly hunting down an enemy through many years of war," she said to a crowd of spectators at Colorado Christian University. "And we thank our president. ... We thank President Bush for having made the right calls to set up this victory."

    After a brief silent pause, the audience exploded into cheers and a round of applause.

    Monday's event didn't quite jibe with the potential Republican candidate's initial response. She released a statement via Facebook on Sunday night immediately following the breaking news.

    "Americans tonight are united in celebration and gratitude," she wrote. "God bless all the brave men and women in our military and our intelligence services who contributed to carrying out the successful mission to bring bin Laden to justice and who laid the groundwork over the years to make this victory possible... May God bless our troops and our intelligence services, and God bless America!"

    If Palin does in fact decide that she will run as a 2012 presidential candidate, she may want to revise her campaign strategy. According to a recent Gallup poll, suggest that roughly two-thirds (60%) of Americans would not vote for Palin during the next election.

    That telling statistic puts the 'New York Times' best-selling author in the same company as another possible 2012 candidate, Donald Trump. According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, just nine percent of likely voters said they were excited about a Trump candidacy, while 58 percent of voters said they wouldn't vote for the mogul under any circumstances.

    "Sarah Palin and Donald Trump suffer from the reality that, as our mothers told us, 'You never get a second chance to make a first impression,' " said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll. "You could call this the 'no way' measure."


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    Do you know any 15-year-olds who are on their way to Harvard?

    Meet Saheela Ibraheem (pictured), a senior at Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, N.J.

    Crediting her parents, who are Nigerian immigrants, for her academic achievements -- her father is said to have stayed up at night teaching her subjects not found at school -- Saheela's exceptional journey began as a 6th grader at Conackamack Middle School in Piscataway, N.J.
    While there, Saheela asked to be moved to a higher-level class because she was passionate about math. Instead, the school decided to skip her a grade.

    But this would be just the beginning.

    Saheela realized early on that her public school still wasn't doing it for her; consequently, the zealous student moved to Wardlaw-Hartridge, a private school, and skipped freshman year to land in 10th grade. Her new school would end up being the right place for Saheela, giving her the bandwith to feel challenged and excel. Wardlaw-Hartridge Director of Development William Jenkins says:

    "She's learned and she's very smart. But she keeps pushing herself."

    But this is not just the story of a student who has mastered education. Saheela takes the concept of stimulating the mind and body to a whole other level.

    From the Star-Ledger:

    "She is a three-sport athlete, playing outfield for the school's softball team, defender on the soccer team, and swimming relays and 50-meter races for the swim team. She also sings alto in the school choir, plays trombone in the school band and serves as president of the school's investment club, which teaches students about the stock market by investing in virtual stocks."

    And she is just getting started.

    Last year, Saheela applied to 14 colleges and universities that spanned the nation with a "grade point average (between a 96 and 97 on a 100-point scale) and her 2,340 SAT score (a perfect 800 on the math section, a 790 in writing and a 750 in reading)."

    California Institute of Technology, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Williams College, Stanford, University of Chicago, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Washington University in St. Louis all accepted her.

    Surprise, surprise, Saheela chose Harvard and wants to major in either neurobiology and neuroscience in order to study how the brain works.

    Of her accomplishments, Saheela only had this to say:

    I try my best in everything I do," Saheela said. "Anyone who's motivated can work wonders."

    I am dumbfounded by Saheela's success. If she is like this as a teen, what will she accomplish as a full-fledged adult? Kudos to her family for doing such a fine job raising a balanced, ambitious child. As a fellow parent, that is not an easy thing to do.

    Just a few months ago, the phenomenon of Amy Chua's Tiger Mom overwhelmed the airwaves as people discussed the strategy of raising a successful child. The Tiger Mom ideology tauted all work and no play, with everything -- consciously or unconsciously -- focusing on being the best academic student.

    Saheela's parents, though, allowed their daughter (and other children who also attend the same school as Saheela) to have a more balanced existence, encouraging her in academics and extracurricular activities.

    How impressive!

    Wednesday morning, The Root broke a story about the small surge of pornography in Africa. I'm not sure if this is something that is being condoned or vilified, but the real point of the piece is to say that young poverty-stricken kids are now starting to look at the porno industry as a ticket out of indigency.

    From The Root:

    "In dedicated apartments, young women watch movies to learn every kind of caress, sexual positions and Western-style pornographic techniques. The 'teachers' do not hesitate to show the girls how to do things right. ... They also test men's and women's abilities."

    One South African self-described 23-year-old porno star Palesa Mbau sees African involvement in the porno industry as a step toward black empowerment:

    "I am getting proud because it is a black [pornographic movie]," says Mbau. "That is raising black empowerment because the porn films that you [commonly] see in South Africa are all white."


    As black people, I don't know why we often use false and negative touchstones as inspiration. As I read about the African porno industry, I felt sick to my stomach. As if we already don't have enough problems to deal with, now we want to encourage our young men and women to join in the dubious porno industry.

    Couldn't any of them come up with something better than that
    ? What with all the STDs and HIV/AIDs affecting black people all over the globe, this is the best we can come up with?

    Someone needs to tell all of our children that the mind is the only real ticket from hunger. That lasting success and solid bank accounts comes to those who study. That the human beings who made an indelible impact on society were the ones who pushed themselves to think, question and know.

    Stories such as Saheela's show what happens when we choose our minds as the vehicle to experience all that life has to offer.

    Congratulations, Saheela!


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  • 05/04/11--16:26: Creating a Mood Board
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    mood board

    In need of some inspiration? We show you how to create a mood board and get your home project started.

    Home makeovers -- even just a small redo -- can be tons of fun. Although, with so many colors and patterns, you can find yourself spinning with options. An easy solution is creating a mood board to get your ideas and inspirations in order. Many decorators and designers put this tool in use to give their projects direction, and you can do the same.

    mood board

    Photo: Nikki Pepper

    What You Will Need:
    A blank board
    Gluestick (tape will work also)
    Magazines and catalogs
    Fabric samples, paint chips (optional)

    mood board

    The beginning of my mood board. Photo: Nikki Pepper

    - Start with just a blank piece of construction board or cardboard. I used a flap from an old cardboard box, so don't drive yourself crazy finding the perfect piece. Any scrap will do since you will be covering it.

    - Get creative. Think about what you love. It doesn't have to be home-related. I added an image of Chanel perfume because I liked the rich, gold tone. For this mood board, I started with the gold and white floral paper. I liked the natural element of the flowers, and it made me want to create a cheery, springtime display. From there, I went through my pile of magazines and catalogs clipping anything that caught my eye. A theme of vibrant colors and bold flowers emerged.

    - I clipped a few phrases too, don't feel like you have to stick to images. I included "10 Finds for $50 or Less" as a personal reminder not to get too pricey with my project. The nest, birds, and butterflies gave me a sense of spring, and I loved the strong colors.

    mood board

    Arranging clippings to create my mood board. Photo: Nikki Pepper

    - Arrange your images on your board. Overlap images to give a collage effect and tape or glue in place.

    mood board

    Mood board complete. Time to start decorating! Photo: Nikki Pepper

    - Take a look at your finished mood board. Take a look at the overall theme of your board. Mine has lots of warm, rich colors and nature images. This will give you an idea of what palette and style to take your home project in. How's that for inspiration!


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    Kara Walker has never been one to shy away from controversy, and as her latest work will attest, the artist is not afraid to make audiences uncomfortable either. With two shows running concurrently in New York City -- 'Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi's Blue Tale' at Lehmann Maupin Gallery; 'Dust Jackets for the Niggerati- and Supporting Dissertations, Drawing Submitted Ruefully by Dr. Kara E. Walker' at Sikemma Jenkins & Co - Walker is once again flooring audiences with pieces that bring to mind the country's difficult history with slavery and racism.

    At Lehmann Maupin, the exhibit centers on a 17-minute shadow puppet narrative about Miss Pipi, a white Southern woman who lures one of her husband's slaves into a tryst, though the young man attempts to resist. "Of the videos I've done, I've never focused or thought about the mythology around the white Southern female body," said Walker, who has incorporated film or video into her shows since 2004. "I was thinking about that caricature of white feminine purity, added to that, scenes of sexuality, desire, co-optation, love and the ease with which the body and all of those kind of goals can be destroyed."

    The word "destroyed" is an apt description of what happens to all of the characters lives in the film. It is classic Walker - heart wrenching, eye opening and honest.

    The Lehmann exhibit runs concurrently with Walker's show at the Sikkema Jenkins & Co gallery. There, Walker shows a vast, 43-piece collection of graphite works on paper and hand-printed texts, a comic book-esque tale of black identity and the journey from its rural roots in America to the "New Negro" identity in urban areas.

    For Walker, both shows are consistent with her reputation as an artist who shocks-and-awes her audience, and who holds nothing back when she tackles difficult subjects such as womanhood and racism. But although Walker is aware of her reputation as an artist whose work gets people buzzing, she does not pander to audiences thirsty for controversy. "I can't really help it," Walker said. "I generally enjoy work that gets me in an uncomfortable spot, that gets me questioning my ideas, my beliefs or my allegiance to types of imagery, my thought process."

    With the kind of name recognition enjoyed by few of her contemporaries, the former MacArthur Genius grant recipient makes an effort to educate the unfamiliar that flock to her shows. She knows the cultural pull of art exhibits, and the polarizing, yet broad appeal of conversations about race. Those two factors make her work somewhat accessible to a large swath of people -- the kind who may think a Kara Walker show is a highbrow date. As she says, her work operates on a variety of levels, often at the same time. "Some of it is very pop culture, populist, in the conversation around race in America as we sort of have and a part of it really isn't at all," she said. "A part of it is thinking about the nature of images and abstraction and high-flatulent nonsense that artists talk about."

    Walker took trips down to the Mississippi Delta region to do research and find inspiration for these shows. However, 'Without Sanctuary,' an exhibition and book featuring lynching photos once distributed as souvenirs and postcards, also influenced her. "It was shocking to a lot of people," Walker recalled. "It stuck with me for a while because on the one hand, it got me thinking about the power of imagery and representation of black body, and the inherent violence of that representation, but also, it had me wondering what's my take."

    Currently on display through June 4, Walker's take in both exhibits is brutal, something she's unapologetic about. Though she's aware her work draws the attention of art aficionados she is always aware that many fans of her work are not entirely fluent in the world of contemporary art. Balancing both can be tricky, she says. "I have a little populism in me, but I do feel it's misplaced sometimes."

    She tells the story of a one-off puppet show she once did, and a woman who read about her in 'Essence' magazine brought her mother and her kids to attend. "I was like, 'I don't know if you want to bring your kids,'" Walker said with a laugh. "I don't even bring my kids."


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    The Detroit Free Press reports that Gov. Rick Snyder appointed retired General Motors executive Roy S. Roberts to become the next emergency manager for the Detroit Public Schools, ending weeks of rumors and speculation.

    Snyder said he wanted a candidate from the Detroit area and called the 72-year-old Bloomfield Hills resident a team builder with perfect qualifications.

    "We have someone who blends that best balance -- business skills sets, community skills sets and someone so well-respected. So I'm very excited to have Roy on board."

    Roberts made history as the highest-ranking African-American executive at GM before he retired in 2000. He said he agreed to take the job because of the autonomy given under a new state law and his belief in the governor's genuine commitment to improving education.

    Roberts will replace Robert Bobb, who took the job in March 2009. He'll transition out during the next few weeks. DPS has a budget deficit of $327 million, up from $219 million in 2009, and about 1% of graduates are college-ready, compared with 16% statewide.

    "It's going to take a hell of a lot work," Roberts said. "It's going to take a lot of people to get this done and I want to be at the focal point of making sure we bring the people to the party."

    'This is what I want to do'

    The new emergency manager for Detroit Public Schools may be the district's seventh leader in six years, but he's the only one named executive of the year by a national magazine and who received the American Success Award, presented to him by President George Bush in the White House Rose Garden.

    Roy S. Roberts, a former General Motors executive and Muskegon native, brings obvious reputation and managerial expertise to the job. But those who know him say he possesses a strong belief that education and hard work are key gateways to success for individuals and for cities. He brings a love of Detroit to the new job, he and others said.

    And at 72, he doesn't need the money and he's not looking for another job.

    Read more at The Detroit Free Press.


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    celebrity couple

    For months Ciara and Amar'e Stoudemire have been rumored as a couple, and now it seems like the two want to confirm they're an item. At the 2011 Candie's Event to Prevent Benefit Gala in New York City on May 3, the singer and Knicks forward arrived together and their fashion choices were a slam dunk. Ciara wore a white chiffon summer dress with Christian Louboutin black pumps, and Stoudemire looked great in in his grey blazer, matching tie and perfectly pleated pants.

    Talking to the Press
    ciara; amare stoudemire; amar'e stoudemire

    ciara; candies foundation 2011

    ama're; amare stoudemire


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    Maya Angelou

    Dr. Maya Angelou's (pictured left) second cookbook, "Great Food All Day Long: Cook Splendidly, Eat Smart," was profiled on ABC's "Good Morning America" Thursday morning.

    Exploring Dr. Angelou's signature recipes for roasted chicken -- as well as sumptuous meals such as "Mixed-Up Tamale Pie," "All Day and Night Cornbread" and "Sweet Potatoes McMillan" -- Robin Roberts (pictured) held a delightful conversation with the author at her New York residence. Speaking effortlessly in her award-winning prose, Dr. Angelou said:

    "I find great delight in bringing together certain ingredients. Having respect for the ingredients, understanding what fire will do to these ingredients.

    "So it's a wonderful treat to me to cook well and to serve beautifully and to eat carefully."

    And obviously, her ornate words are also experienced throughout the book, where she employs autobiographical explanations for how these life-long recipes came to be.

    Dr. Angelou shared a number of helpful tips (also in the book) about cooking with Roberts, including:

    "Take your time. If you don't have time to cook the thing, then don't cook it."


    "I'd really like to encourage cooks to dare, dare. If you can read, you can cook, but to be a good cook, a serious cook, which is what I call myself, it means I dare something."

    For Dr. Angelou, eating doesn't have to be a ritual of punishment, where one consistently denies herself the most decadent melody of ingredients. Instead, Dr. Angelou heralds that all of her dishes can be eaten throughout the day in small portions, which is how she achieved a 50-pound weight loss.

    "The truth is, for your own health, and the health of your children, you need to start yesterday in cooking splendidly and eating smart."

    Watch one of this country's best national treasures showcase her recipes here -- beware, though, it will make you hungry:


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    paula patton; paula patton baby

    Celebrities flock to comedienne Chelsea Handler's late night talk show 'Chelsea Lately' to promote their latest projects and crack a few jokes. But sometimes the jokes hit a little too close to home. The leading lady of the upcoming film 'Jumping the Broom' Paula Patton sat down with Handler and talked about her career and family including husband Robin Thicke. But when the subject of her blonde haired blue eyed son Julian came up, it seemed like Handler hit a nerve.

    "He's blond, he has blue eyes. It's crazy. Everybody's like, did you have anything to do with this? They think we like adopted a Russian child...and everyday I'm like he's gonna get blacker, no look," Patton said.

    She was all smiles chatting with Handler, but it's a bit sad that she's mistaken for her son's nanny, as Handler was quick to point out.

    What's so comical and cute about someone confusing a famous actress with "the help"? Patton isn't the only mother to have experienced this case of mistaken identity. Several publications like 'Essence,' 'The New York Times' and NPR have reported on the issue.

    Patton went on to explain that "blackness takes time" and "a tan is coming in, the hair's curlier, I'm telling you."


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    Our newsroom compatriots at The Huffington Post are keeping close tabs on Obama's visit to Ground Zero, check it:

    WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Ground Zero and meet with 9/11 families and first responders when he visits Thursday.

    From the heart of the shocking terror strike on America, Obama will try to bury the memory of Osama bin Laden by honoring those who died in the fiery Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. In private talks with families and a somber ceremony at ground zero, Obama is out to let New York have its own moment of justice.

    Following the death of bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, Obama plans to mark the occasion by visiting the most famous site of bin Laden's destruction.

    The president invited former President George W. Bush to accompany him, but Bush declined. The al-Qaida attack, which killed about 3,000 people, occurred in the early months of Bush's presidency in 2001.

    Bush spokesman David Sherzer said earlier this week the former president appreciated the offer to attend but has chosen to remain out of the spotlight during his post-presidency. He added that Bush celebrates bin Laden's death as an "important victory in the war on terror."

    The White House says Obama's trip will include a private meeting with family members of 9/11 victims, a meeting with first responders that will be open to some news coverage, and a wreath-laying at the 9/11 memorial.

    On Thursday, the Obama administration announced that it would not release photos of a slain bin Laden so the world could see some proof of death. The president said he would not risk giving propaganda to extremists or gloat by publicizing grotesque photos of a terrorist leader shot in the head.

    Read more at The Huffington Post.


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