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

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    black celebrities

    At this year's annual Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards (CFDA) fashion rebel Lady Gaga picked up the Fashion Icon Award, beautiful models accompanied their favorite designers and fashion conscious celebrities dressed up to celebrate one of the biggest nights in fashion. Check out what some of the best dressed attendees wore.



     

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    From the Hollywood Reporter
    :

    Add author to Jennifer Hudson's resume.

    The Academy Award-winning actress and singer has inked a deal with Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Group, to pen a memoir detailing her struggles with weight.

    The still-untitled book, due in January 2012, will also expand on how she shed 80 lbs.

    Hudson has had her share of weight ups and downs.

    Dubbed "the big girl" as a contestant on season 3 of American Idol, she transformed her body for her Oscar-winning turn as Effie in Dreamgirls by gaining more than 20 lbs.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the New York Times
    :

    Tiger Woods announced Tuesday that he will not play in the United States Open next week at the Congressional Country Club near Washington.

    Woods, who has been trying to rehabilitate his left knee and Achilles' tendon, both of which were injured when he hit a shot during the third round of the Masters, said the injuries have not sufficiently improved.

    "I am extremely disappointed that I won't be playing in the U.S. Open," Woods said in a statement posted on his Web site. "But it's time for me to listen to my doctors and focus on the future. I was hopeful that I could play, but if I did, I risk further damage to my left leg.

    Read more here.

     

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    Jesse Friedman

    From The Grio:

    Some may have called Dr. Andy Kirschner of Bala Cynwyd crazy last summer for putting his faith in a 9-year-old self-taught computer wiz.

    Kirschner handed a stack of video discs and a piece of paper with a plan to 9-year-old Jesse Friedman asking him to develop a new iPad application promoting techniques for back and neck care, according to a press release.


    In early March, Kirschner's faith in Friedman was justified when, according to a press release, Back Together Interactive launched in the iTunes store.

    The application features over 90 minutes of video detailing techniques that couples and partners can use on each other to reduce or eliminate neck and back pain, the release states.

    Friedman used several programs including: Microsoft Publisher, Adobe Dreamweaver, Handbrake, and Phonegap to create the application. In a statement, the wiz kid said, "The app was really fun to produce."

    Read more here

     

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  • 06/07/11--11:05: Happy Birthday, Prince
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    Prince

    Today Prince turns 53-years-old, which is as good a reason as any to go back to one of my favorite moments in his very long and illustrious career.

    Anyone who has followed the Super Bowl halftime show throughout the years knows the National Football League designates this time to celebrate the more conservative side of America. When the NFL tried to get risque in 2004 by asking Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake to perform together there ended up being a "wardrobe malfunction," causing many conservatives to have a field day. So for the next two years the NFL played it safe ,inviting Paul McCartney in 2005 and The Rolling Stones in 2006.
    When the news broke that Prince was going to perform in 2007 at Super Bowl XLI, those who remembered what happened with Jackson and Timberlake snickered. If they thought those two artists were controversial, wait until they got a load of the man who wrote the lyrics to the song "Insatiable Lover" and wore high heels without shame.

    But as you can see below, Prince's performance ended up being decent enough that I'm pretty sure no parents had to put their hands over their children's eyes. There was the unintentional comedy of him wearing a hair net the entire time, and the questionably phallic moment of the silhouette he cast as he rocked out during his guitar solo on "Purple Rain." But other than that, Prince's halftime show is a landmark moment in his career. It proved no matter how controversial and racy he has been throughout the years, Prince Rogers Nelson's music is an American treasure.


     

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    From the Root:

    Black Enterprise is highlighting a recent study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce which asks whether getting a college education is worth the investment? Shereisa Ngo reports that the study investigates the economic value of 171 college majors and then goes even deeper to provide a breakdown of the highest and lowest-paying degrees by sex and race. Some of the careers that paid the most for African-Americans included Computer Networking and Telecommunications ($54,000), Architects ($55,000) and Medical Technologies Technicians ($55,000).

    What we found interesting was the disparity in pay between Whites and blacks. For instance, while the average African-American architect makes $55,000, his white counterpart makes $65,000. While general engineering pays African-Americans $60,000 per year, White Americans in that field average $76,000. African-American computer scientists earn $61,000 while White American computer scientists earn $80,000. Interesting.

    Read more here.

     

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    From BET
    :

    In the television show 'Law and Order: L.A'., the county's top law enforcement officer is a white man.

    If Jackie Lacey, the current second-in-command in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, and a recently-announced candidate for election next year as the county's first woman and African-American district attorney wins the job, the TV show's producers may have to flip their script.

    If chosen, Lacey will succeed her boss, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, who is retiring and supports her election, as the lead prosecutor.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the Huffington Post
    :

    President Barack Obama insisted Tuesday that the country is not at risk of slipping into a double-dip recession, but he conceded he does not know whether a sudden slowdown in job growth is a blip or an indication of a longer, more worrisome trend. The president said the nation is on a solid but uneven path to recovery and the key is to "not panic."

    "I am concerned about the fact that the recovery that we're on is not producing jobs as quickly as I want it to happen," Obama said at a joint news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "Obviously we're experiencing some headwinds."

    Obama spoke amid a wave of short-term negative economic news, including a sharp drop in the number of jobs added in America in May after employment growth had shown strong signs for three straight months. Obama said the economy is rebounding well from a disastrous blow dating to 2008 even though millions still endure hard times. He promoted continuing steps already taken, like tax breaks for business investment, and his familiar longer term agenda of debt reduction and spending on education, infrastructure and energy research.


    Read more here.

     

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    From Deadline Hollywood:

    After two-and-a-half seasons, Laurence Fishburne is leaving CSI. The Oscar-nominated actor's deal on the show was up and he opted not to renew it. He is expected to return to features full-time. It was a major coup for CBS to land Fishburne as a successor to original star William Petersen who left the series in December 2008. But when he last renewed his contract for CSI last May, Fishburne only did it for one season.

    Read more here.

     

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    "I'm not talking about the history of black people, of African Americans. I'm talking about at this point right now... I don't know of organizations and groups like Focus on the Family and such anti-gay organizations who are putting up so much money - millions and millions of dollars - into stopping me from, you know, being black or telling me I can't exercise my blackness. There's no equality. There's no equality for the LGBT community."


    -- Stand-up comedienne and actress Wanda Sykes opens up on facing adversity in the gay community. (Piers Morgan Tonight)

     

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    From The Root:

    From headstands to "Namaste," these yogis have taken the ancient discipline and made it an integral part of their lives.

    russell simmons

    Russell Simmons
    :
    Co-founder of the legendary hip-hop label Def Jam and the clothing line Phat Farm, and producer of many movies and TV series, Simmons is the archetypal multiformat black entertainment mogul. Since 2000 he's also added "devout yogi" to his résumé. Simmons meditates each day and has a vigorous, 90-minute daily yoga regimen. His studies at the famous Jivamukti Yoga Center inspired him to adopt a vegan diet. He is eager to spread the word via DVDs and a yoga scholarship through his endeavor Global Grind.
    kerry washinton

    Kerry Washington

    For many, yoga means a series of arduous, if not grueling, poses. For Washington -- the star of movies such as Night Catches Us and The Last King of Scotland, as well as the acclaimed Broadway play Race -- yoga is most important when taken off the mat. A core tenet of her activism is the Buddhist prayer "May all beings everywhere be happy and free. And may my practice of yoga contribute to that happiness and that freedom."



    lebron james
    LeBron James:
    NBA legends from Kareem Abdul Jabbar to Shaquille O'Neal have practiced yoga, but few as enthusiastically as two-time MVP James. He began practicing two years ago to counter the imbalances in his body resulting from a pro ball career: strong in certain areas and weaker in others. Yoga gave him flexibility and calm. In 2009 James took a vicious fall in which he rolled head over heels. He credited his yoga practice -- especially the shoulder-stand pose -- with enabling him to avoid serious injury.

    Read the rest of the list here.

     

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    Ellis Cose, The End of Anger

    Have you heard the news? Black people are not that angry anymore.

    Best-selling author Ellis Cose posits a strong argument in his new book, 'The End of Anger,' that a new generation of black men and women are looking at race a lot differently than their elders.

    In an excerpt published on TheRoot.com, Cose writes, "Months of sifting through data had convinced me that today's African-American achievers are significantly more hopeful than their parents. They are more likely to believe the American promise, and less likely to see barriers blocking their way."
    But Cose says his study does not mean young people - in the case of his study, those born between 1970-1995 - think we're living in a colorblind utopia. "I'm not saying racism is over or that it will be over in my lifetime," he explains. "I don't expect it to be." A recent study by the Applied Research Center, one of the leading think tanks on race, supported Cose's theory. Based on a group of millennials (aged 18-30) from the Los Angeles area, a large majority in the study believed race mattered in various aspects of society such as employment and immigration, and in the criminal justice and education systems.

    Cose based his thesis on a study he did with African-American alumni at Harvard Business School, and alumni from A Better Chance, a program that sends exceptional young people of color to some of the most prestigious secondary schools in the country. People filled out some 500-plus questionnaires and Cose conducted more than 200 interviews. He focused on the upper echelon of educational achievement because few are more credentialed for a career in the business world than a Harvard MBA. "It lets you know what is possible for the most well-prepared African-Americans in this society," Cose said.


    Participants were divided into three categories: Generation 1 Fighters (born in 1944 or before); Generation 2 Dreamers (born between 1945 and 1969); Generation 3 Believers (born between 1970 and 1995). He labeled their white counterparts Generation 1 Hostiles, Generation 2 Neutrals and Generation 3 Allies, though he says he only interviewed whites and did not give them a questionnaire.

    So my peers and I are "believers," or those who, according to Cose, "came of age in an era when Jim Crow was ancient history and explicit expressions of racism were universally condemned." We talked to a few fellow members of Gen3, to get their thoughts on Cose's research and to find out if we're really living in less angry times. Also, a few words with the author himself about racism today.

    Akiba Solomon, 36, 'Gender Matters' columnist for Colorlines.com: "I know plenty of sisters, when they get incredibly angry, and they're in a corporate environment, they're going to take a walk, take a deep breath, they'll say 'I'm too blessed to be stressed' and maybe post something on Facebook. They're still angry and they're still acutely aware at the racist micro-aggressions, but the way they protest is different."

    Chloe Hilliard, 30, editorial director, TheLoop21.com: "Our generation has been taught since we were kids, you have to work twice as hard as your white counterparts because you have to dispel those myths that are attached with our skin color. When you first get your foot in the door, you should work twice as hard, it shouldn't have to be because of your skin color, but it's crucial when you are a person of color in a non-minority work environment because sadly there are cultural issues in the workplace. It's no secret that if you're African-American, especially a young professional, you need to know how to operate in the white world."

    Latoya Peterson, 27, owner and editor of Racialicious.com: "What you have now is, if you look at venture capitalists, they won't say, "I don't give money to blacks." They won't say, "Black people don't belong here." They will say, "You know the type of company that we find is successful is young, white, male, Harvard student." So there's a different type of exclusion and it does have an effect on the work place. People have kind of stopped expecting to see black faces."

    Anslem Samuel, 34, senior producer at BlackEnterprise.com: "I don't accept racism but I expect it, if that makes sense. I go into situations, I know I'm black and I know America is a country built on blacks being slaves. Other races are above, that's the structure of this country. With that, even if I'm wearing a suit and tie, when I walk into a certain area or any circle I walk into, I expect to be looked at a certain way or to be viewed a certain way."

    Ellis Cose, 59, author of 'The End of Anger': "I'm not sure there ever was a way to define a racist person and because there wasn't, I think it's almost a useless word nowadays. What do you mean when you talk about someone who's racist? What's in their heart or some moral issue? It means so many different things to so many different people, and there's so many different layers that I basically think it's lost it's utility as a descriptor of anything."

     

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    Queen Latifah, CoverGirl, Set It Off, Just Wright, Last Holiday, Beauty Shop, Common, Djimon Honsou, LL Cool J, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Vivica A. Fox

    There was a message in "U.N.I.T.Y." - the first single on Queen Latifah's 1993 album, 'Black Reign' - and it was loud and clear: No one was going to be calling Latifah or any other woman the b-word.

    Message received.

    I had a thing for the Queen, so not only was I going to stop myself from using the word, I was going to enforce not using it on her behalf to all my friends. When you're a young boy and you have a crush on a woman, you do things for her like get behind whatever cause she's pushing.
    For years, Queen Latifah was my idea of eye candy, but even then I knew this wasn't a conventional notion amongst my peers. This was the early-mid 1990s, I was in middle school and most of my friends agreed Lark Voorheis ("Lisa Turtle" on 'Saved By The Bell') was the dream girl.

    But my dreams were different.

    I wasn't ashamed to share my affections for the Queen. Even though my friends never said she was unattractive, it seemed understood that a crush on her was a stretch. Anyone with a working pair of eyes could see that she didn't have a Halle Berry type of frame. Watching her on my television screen, though, she seemed to tower over most of her more petite female co-stars. But back then, my eyes were drawn to her face and that radiant smile of hers.

    Post-pubescence, I grew to appreciate Latifah for something beyond aesthetics. She is a modern day renaissance woman - so unapologetic about her beauty, her sexuality and her work as an actress, that it's almost impossible not to respect her.


    Way before Lauryn Hill was doing the rap-sing thing, Latifah was busting mics with a pit bull like flow, and then pulling back to reveal a soft, Sunday-morning type of voice on songs like "Just Another Day" and the aforementioned "U.N.I.T.Y.." Her hit sitcom, 'Living Single' was 'Sex and The City' before such a show existed (and yes, if I had a choice to go out on a date with Regina, Maxine, Synclaire or Latifah's character Khadijah, I'd have chosen Khadijah), and her role as the thugged-out Cleopatra Sims in 'Set It Off' made me believe women were just as capable of robbing banks as men.

    But what I learned to appreciate most about Latifah is her understated and subtle embrace of being a different kind of beauty. With all the talk these days of how black women are somehow less attractive, Latifah finds a way to dispel such superfluous notions not by being gratuitous but by making choices that show a woman her size with her skin color is just as beautiful as any other woman, including her more popular and conventionally beautiful peers like Beyoncé and Halle Berry.

    Ten years ago, it was Latifah who became one of the faces of CoverGirl when she was given her own make up line called The Queen Collection, which is specifically targeted towards women of color. Consider also, her movie roles and the way she's proven herself to be a believable leading lady in spite of the insistent rumors about her sexuality.


    More often than not, Latifah is playing the romantic lead in many of her films and usually with a heartthrob love interest. In the 2005 flick, 'Beauty Shop,' she plays the love interest opposite Djimon Hounsou. In the 2006 romantic comedy, 'Last Holiday,' Latifah stars as a woman who ends up living happily ever after with LL Cool J's character.

    The most pronounced statement of all was in her 2010 film, 'Just Wright'. Another romantic comedy, Latifah's role as a basketball-loving physical therapist who eventually lands in the arms of the hotshot basketball stud (played by the rapper, Common), not only turned up the volume on all the sexuality rumors, but also sparked criticism over the believability of the premise. In 'Just Wright,' Common's character is at first in love with Latifah's best friend, played by the unarguable beauty, Paula Patton.

    When Patton's character reveals herself to be a superficial gold digger, Common realizes Latifah is the one he really wants. A lot of critics found it unbelievable that any man would choose a woman who looks like Latifah over a woman who looks like Paula Patton.

    But as someone who has had a crush on Latifah for nearly 20 years, I would have made the same choice.

    http://xml.channel.aol.com/xmlpublisher/fetch.v2.xml?option=expand_relative_urls&dataUrlNodes=uiConfig,feedConfig,entry&id=701018&pid=701017&uts=1251211270
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    Queen Latifah Pictures
    Queen Latifah has been in the music game for 20 years and has conquered it as well as that of acting, and entrepreneurship. Indeed, she should claim her royal status. Check her out!
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    From The New York Times:

    Maeling Tapp remembers the moment three years ago when she saw her mother and sisters wearing their coil-prone hair in its natural state and decided that she, too, would stop slathering caustic paste onto her scalp to burn her own similarly textured locks into straight submission.

    "Unfortunately, after four months I relaxed my hair again because I just didn't know what I was doing," said Ms. Tapp, 25, a Ph.D. candidate in materials science and engineering at Georgia Tech.

    "Going natural" is the term used by many African-American women who decide to stop chemically processing, or relaxing, their hair. It's a move that can be fraught with confusion, missteps and sometimes pain, as the 2009 Chris Rock documentary "Good Hair" attested.

    Many women with Afro-textured hair have not seen it in its unadulterated state since childhood. And even some who are acquainted with the texture of their untreated tresses are not comfortable styling their hair in ways they believe are fashionable and appropriate for them. Figuring out which of the countless hair-care tools and products on the market might work can make the undertaking even more overwhelming.

    Tired of expensive, time-consuming salon visits, many would-be "naturals" are searching YouTube for inspiration, instruction and other people who have made peace with their kinks and curls.

    Ms. Tapp said that watching videos there inspired her to pick up the camera herself and create a YouTube channel, Natural Chica.

    Read more here.

     

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  • 06/08/11--08:17: Raven Symone's Adorable Afro
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    raven symone

    At Simon G. Jewelry's Exclusive "Summer Soiree" this weekend, Raven Symone was track-free and showed off her natural hair. Her pink frilly one-shoulder dress was an easy, summery choice, but her lovely Afro, dressed up with a sweet bow headband, was the highlight of her look.





    Full Look

    raven symone

     

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    From the Huffington Post
    :

    President Obama on Wednesday appeared to raise the possibility that the administration would release oil from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve to provide relief to Americans grappling with high gas prices.

    Speaking at a gathering of personal finance writers at the White House, Obama suggested the conflict in Libya has removed large enough flows of oil from the global supply to perhaps justify a release of oil from the nation's emergency stockpile to address soaring prices.

    "My general view has been that the strategic petroleum reserve is to be used when you don't have just short term fluctuations in the market, but where you have a disruption," Obama said. "Libya has taken 125 million barrels off the market. We're examining broadly what that means in terms of the oil market."

    The violence in Libya has frozen output from a country that once produced about 1.5 million barrels of oil a day, or 1.8 percent of the world's supply. The stalled production began in late February and has shown no signs of abating.

    Read more here.

     

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    kanye west fashion

    Kanye West never shies away from the limelight and his ostentatious style follows suit with his extroverted personality. Today (June 8), West celebrates his 34th birthday. Let's look back at some of the trends that might have raised eyebrows, but that West wore with bravado.


    kanye west
    The Half Open Shirt
    Whether he's wearing a V-neck tee or a woman's designer shirt, the rapper likes a little breathing room and has no reservations about wearing his shirts partially open. He might actually prefer it.


    Kanye West
    Multiple Gold Chains
    The 80s trend is alive and well in West's closet and he's not hesitant about piling on the gold chains. The more the merrier in his book and somehow he pulls it off, Jesus pieces and all.

    Kanye West
    Stunna Shades

    Indoors or outdoors, West is in a pair of designer shades. Celebrities wear sunglasses less to protect their eyes from the sun as to give the effect of concealing their identity. West lives in his sunglasses. He popularized the shutter shades and is always wearing a fly pair of Raybans and Porsche Carreras.


    Kanye West
    Excessive Louis Vuitton
    He doesn't call himself the "Louis Vuitton don" for nothing. Kanye West wanted to intern for the fashion house and is downright obsessed with the luxury brand. Whether he's rocking a coin purse, oversized scarf or belt, guy loves his Louis.

    Kanye West
    Loafers

    Kanye took the Grandpa slipper trend to another level. He dresses his loafers up and down with jeans or slacks, and managed to update the frumpy style with his own twist.

     

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    Earlier this year, comedienne and co-host on 'The View' Sherri Shepherd announced that she had become engaged to writer Lamar Sally. Her engagement came months after an appearance on "Faceoff,", an ABC Nightline special featuring a panel of black men, including actor Hill Harper, in which she discussed her prior marriage and divorce, as well as the hardships she faced as a black woman seeking a husband.

    Shepherd has also talked openly about her struggles with her weight on 'The View,' so perhaps it comes as no surprise that she lied about her waist size while shopping for her wedding dress.

    Recently, when picking out her Rivini wedding dress, Shepherd says she gave the designer "my fantasy size," and that she has now started the South Beach Diet so she can fit into it.

    "I still have this fantasy that I'm going to be a size two. I'm hesitant to give everybody my real size," Shepherd told PopEater while flashing her 3-carat princess-cut diamond-and-platinum engagement ring earlier this year.



    In 2009, she was motivated to lose weight because of her son. "My mom passed away at 41 from diabetic complications - I want to be here for my son," Shepherd told Chris Cuomo on Good Morning America.' After hard work exercising and dieting, Shepherd debuted her bikini body on 'The View.' Since then, though, she has gained back the weight she lost and more.

    "Elisabeth [Hasselbeck] told me to tell the truth, but I lied," said Shepherd. "So I'm going to the gym and starting Zumba tomorrow."

    She's also practicing a choreographed dance to a Chris Brown song for the reception, and awaiting co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck's robot dancing solo. "Elisabeth has a robot solo. She does a very sexy robot, so I cannot wait to get that going!"

    Shepherd's six-year-old son Jeffrey will be walking his mom down the aisle to help calm her nerves. "Yes, I'm very nervous. It's the second time - I want to do it right!"


     

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    From the Huffington Post:

    For adolescents growing up in a Timor-Leste neighborhood notorious for gang fights and youth violence, hitting the books and shooting some hoops can go a long way.

    The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), which provides humanitarian assistance to children in developing countries, reports on how their peace-building program is empowering young men and women to pursue their dreams. Through sports and life skills classes, teens acquire the knowledge and healthy attitudes that will allow them to effectively address the challenges they face.

    A UNICEF-supported and inspiring young woman shares her dreams of becoming a basketball player and escaping hardship through her pursuit of education.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the New York Times:

    Last weekend, like seemingly half the country, I took my son to see "X-Men: First Class," the latest, and best, big-screen incarnation of the popular comic book franchise.


    My son and I represent two generations of X-fans. I came of age in the '80s and '90s and can still recall when Xavier's students were lords of the Underground, and the phrase "comic book movie" conjured absurd images of David Hasselhoff donning an eye patch. The boy is of the present era, where the geeks and nerds throne and Hollywood is compelled to seriously contemplate the cinematic potential of B-listers Namor, Luke Cage and Ant-Man. Still, we were united across the ages in our love for the X-Men - patron-saints of the persecuted and the champions of freaks and pariahs across the globe.

    In print, the X-Men are an elite team culled from a superpowered species of human. The mutants, as they are dubbed, are generally handled roughly by the rest of humanity and singled out for everything from enslavement to internment camps to genocide.

    As if to ram the allegory home, the X-Men, for much of their history, have hailed from across the spectrum of human existence. Over the decades, there have been gay X-Men, patrician X-Men, Jewish X-Men, Aboriginal X-Men, black X-Men with silver mohawks, X-Men hailing from Russia, Kentucky coal country, orphanages and a nightmarish future.

    Read more here.

     

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