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

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    From the Huffington Post:

    When 26-year-old Destiny Mathis began campaigning for Barack Obama in 2008, her life was tough--but she had hope. After graduating at the top of her class in 2005, the Hobart, Ind. resident was raising two children on her own while working as a surgical technician. She was also helping her mother, who was battling cancer at the time.

    Read more here.

     

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    Filed under:

    Whoopi GoldbergFrom The Huffington Post:

    Whoopi Goldberg put Fox Business host Eric Bolling in his place for his comments about President Obama.

    Bolling got into hot water for criticizing a visit by an African leader to the White House by saying, "what's with all the hoods in the hizzouse?" He apologized for his comments on Monday night, but that didn't stop Goldberg from laying into him on Tuesday's "The View."



    Read the full story: The Huffington Post


     

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  • 06/15/11--05:43: Essential Area Rugs
  • Filed under:

    area rugs

    This weekend why not take a trip down to your nearest home and garden retailer to pick up a few new area rugs? They'll add a dash of color and make for a fun change. Check out these essential area rugs that can add just the right finishing touches to your home.

    The Welcome Mat

    Starting at your doorway, you can greet friends and family in a stylish way. Find a nice welcome mat to provide a friendly greeting and save your floors from dirty track marks.

    welcome mat
    The Hallway/Staircase Runner:
    In many homes, after the doorway the hallway and stairs (if applicable) are the first major focal points. Place a runner on either spaces to create a more polished effect.

    staircase runner

    The Living Room Showcase Rug:
    Folks spend a lot of time hanging out with family in the living room, so be sure the rug you choose for it reflects the energy that you bring to that space. Choose something that you like to look at, but that also draws attention to a specific spot in the room, whether it's a large sofa or a large cozy chair.
    area rug

    The Bedside Rug:
    A bedroom is the place of rest, and should reflect a sense of calm and peace. Keep your area rug in harmony with the rest of the room, and consider a nicely textured rug so that your feet will have a soft spot to land at the beginning and end of each day.
    bedroom; blue bedroom

     

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    Little is known about the chambermaid who said that French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her in a New York City hotel room last month. But details are beginning to emerge as lawyers and reporters dig deeper into the woman's background, uncovering bits and pieces of a life that began in a little village in the African country of Guinea.

    In a report by the 'New York Times' this morning, the woman's family described her as a shy, hardworking, Koran-observant widow and mother who made her way to the Bronx not long after the death of her husband.

    The woman, 32, has so far shied away from media attention as defense lawyers for Strauss-Kahn, who before his arrest was the head of the International Monetary Fund and a leading contender for the French presidency, allege that whatever sexual contact the two had was consensual, not forced, as prosecutors contend. Strauss-Kahn's defense team has also said in court papers that they have "substantial information" that could "gravely undermine her credibility," according to recently published news reports.

    In interviews with family back in Guinea (the family's home is pictured above), a largely Muslim country in West Africa, and with friends and former employers in New York, the 'Times' pulls together a somewhat incomplete bio, but one that so far is the most detailed picture of the woman. Its opening graphs read:

    She was born in a mud hut in an isolated hamlet in Africa with no electricity or running water, a 10-minute hike to the nearest road. Unschooled, she was married off to a distant cousin as a teenager, had a daughter and was soon widowed.

    "She is a village girl who didn't go to school to learn English, Greek, Portuguese, what have you," her older brother, Mamoudou, 49, told the Times. "All she learned was the Koran. Can you imagine how on earth she is suffering through this ordeal?"

    "The place where she is now," he added, "I don't even know where it is."

    At least one reader decried the tone of the story as patronizing and offensive and that the portrait painted of the woman is as little more than an "unschooled" peasant.

    In the end though, what this profile seems to do is further one of the larger themes of this somewhat international drama that is playing out in our theater of criminal justice: the word of a humble immigrant is being pitted against one of the most powerful men in the world, a wealthy white man accused of trying to rape a poor black woman.

    And as attorney's dig deeper into or defend this woman's character, and journalists pour over the alleged victim's once unremarkable life, the storyline and the perception of this woman's character will likely shift depending on who is telling the story.

     

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  • 06/15/11--05:59: The Faux Bob
  • Filed under: ,

    michelle obama

    First Lady Michelle Obama is known for constantly switching up her outfits, and lately she's been mixing things up with her hair. Since President Barack Obama was elected we've seen the First Lady in bobs, buns and chic ponytails, but at the "Joining Forces" panel she faked us out with her faux bob. She didn't make the big chop but with a few pins and a round brush, she had us convinced she snipped a few inches. Try out the look that celebs are wearing to experiment with shorter hair without the commitment.




    black actress

    Actresses Tika Sumpter and Rosario Dawson have also worn this hairstyle. Just brush out your hair and choose a middle or side part. Then take a few hair pins, roll the ends of your hair under and pin them to the base of your head. For extra flair, you can add a curl to the front or throughout, and you're done. Who knows, if you like the look enough maybe it will inspire you to make the big chop.
    rosario dawson

     

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    Before joining the US Supreme Court 20 years ago, then-appellate judge Clarence Thomas said that he wanted to sit on the highest court in the land to bring a level of empathy to defendants with tough backgrounds and hardscrabble lives.

    Thomas said back then that he had often gazed out from the courthouse window at arriving prisoners and would say to himself, "But for the grace of God, there go I."

    "So I can walk in their shoes and I could bring something different to the court," he said during his confirmation hearing.

    Fast-forward 20 years and Thomas' record shows an almost complete lack of empathy and near disdain for those kinds of defendants, according to story published in 'USA Today' this week.

    Per the story, Thomas has established a significant legacy on law, notably on cases involving prisoners. This spring, he dissented alone when the court threw out a harsh re-sentencing order for an Iowa drug dealer who earlier had won leniency, entered rehabilitation and turned his life around. Another example the story noted was the reversal of a $14 million civil rights judgment for a New Orleans death-row inmate whose prosecutors had concealed blood evidence that could have helped prove his innocence. Thomas wrote the court's opinion in that case.

    In another recent opinion, Thomas wrote against a convict in California who claimed that his lawyer was ineffective because the jury wasn't told about his childhood brain injuries, abuse and deprivation. In that case Thomas referred disapprovingly to an "infatuation with 'humanizing' the defendant."

    Justice Thomas has long been a pariah in the black community, lambasted as an Uncle Tom whose image as a Justice has largely been shaped by the Anita Hill scandal, his ultra-conservatism on the bench and reluctance to speak during court hearings. But Thomas' seeming disdain for defendants might also shape his ongoing legacy.

    "When he steps in the shoes of people," Stanford University law professor Jeffrey Fisher told the paper, "he's more likely to say tough-love is necessary and you have to take responsibility."

     

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    Jennifer Hudson

    Most folks would agree that Ms. Jennifer Hudson is on a roll this year. She lost 80 pounds with Weight Watchers, released her latest album, "I Remember Me," and is writing a weight-loss memoir set for release early next year. And at the 2nd Annual amfAR Inspiration Gala in New York, she looked radiant in her summery white Michael Kors dress, oversized statement earrings, smokey eyes and pearly pink lipstick.





    Full Length

    white dress



    In Action
    Jennifer Hudson













     

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    From Huffington Post:

    Republican state representatives in North Carolina voted to override Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue's veto of the state budget Wednesday morning, ensuring that a provision to strip all federal and state money from Planned Parenthood will take effect on July 1. North Carolina is now the third state, after Indiana and Kansas, to defund the family planning provider because it also provides abortions. Planned Parenthood of North Carolina (PPNC), which has nine clinics across the state, provides affordable birth control, preventative health care and family planning services to over 25,000 men and women. Without the $434,000 a year it usually receives in state and federal funds, Planned Parenthood says it will now have to axe its teen pregnancy prevention and adolescent parenting programs and force its low-income patients to pay out of pocket.

    Read more here.

     

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    Slave stories might become the new black in Hollywood.

    Today, the Shadow And Act film blog revealed that Paris-based Other Angle Pictures picked up a French slavery comedy for international distribution. 'Case Départ' is scheduled for a July 6 release in France and with the international distribution deal, there's the possibility that a remake could happen in Hollywood. According to an article in the film industry trade magazine, 'Variety,' executives at Other Angle say 'Case Départ' has "remake potential".

    The comedy is about two half-brothers, Joel and Regis (played by actors pictured above, Thomas Ngijol and Fabrice Eboué, respectively), who travel to the Caribbean to collect an inheritance from their dying father. They are given a document that chronicles their slave ancestry and in an effort to find out its worth, they accidentally destroy the document. Their aunt curses them and sends them back in time to the Transatlantic slavery period, where they are sold as slaves and must not only try to escape their conditions but also the year 1780. The trailer (shown below) is in French with no sub-titles, so those who don't understand the language may not be able to follow along, but there is a lighthearted feel to the clip and the slavery setting is clear.



    Case Départ (2011) Trailer by Afro-Style-Communication

    Meanwhile, a slave film closer to home was just given a release date. Indie-film blog, 'The Playlist' has announced the Quentin Tarantino-directed and written film about an escaped slave seeking revenge on his master in an effort to rescue his lover, 'Django Unchained,' is scheduled to come out on Christmas Day 2012. That's more than a year-and-a-half from now, but like most of Tarantino's films, this movie has been buzzed about from pretty much the moment Tarantino finished writing the screenplay.

    Not since Alex Haley's highly acclaimed miniseries 'Roots' premiered in 1977 have we seen an honest (much less funny) depiction of slave life on either the big or small screen (Oprah tried with 'Beloved' but missed the mark by about 50 yards). To this day, the Roots' finale remains the third highest rated U.S. television program ever. In 2003, comedian Dave Chappelle would drum up some controversy on his 'Chappelle's Show' when several sketches touched on slavery, including one (shown below) parodying 'Roots' entitled "Roots Outtakes."

    Whether a comedy or a drama, a remake or an original take, tackling the subject of slavery on film is going to be a challenge to any filmmaker or screenwriter. But the real test will ultimately rely on the audience. Even fairytale-esque black romantic comedies struggle to generate formidable box office revenue. We will have to wait and see if much darker and truer stories about the history of black folks in America will face the same dilemma.


    Chappelles Show
    Roots Outtakes
    www.comedycentral.com
    Buy Chappelle's Show DVDs Black Comedy True Hollywood Story

     

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  • 06/15/11--08:36: Trend Alert: Cork Heels
  • Filed under: ,

    sandals
    This summer put a cork in your sandals. Cork heels are everywhere this time of the year so be sure to stock on a few cute pairs to add to your ever expanding shoe collection.

     

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    From the Huffington Post:

    'Go the F**K To Sleep' by Adam Mansbach is probably the best children's book since 'Goodnight Moon,' and it only gets better when read by Samuel L. Jackson. In the introduction to the recording, the Hollywood favorite said that in his own experience reading stories to put kids to sleep just doesn't work. Jackson said he used to say "go the f*** to sleep" to his own daughter growing up.

    Read more here.

     

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  • 06/15/11--10:22: Too Short
  • Filed under:


    Too Short


    In the 1980s, when most hip-hop that didn't originate in East Coast cities like New York and Philadelphia was looked at skeptically, West Coast rap icon Too Short was slowly building a local buzz in the streets of Oakland.
    His twangy vocal tone, straight forward delivery and miminalist, bass-thumping 808 beats stood in deep contrast to rap's prevalent focus on complex lyrical patterns and metaphors. But by slinging mixtapes from his car trunk and rocking various parties in the Bay Area, Too Short (born Todd Shaw) quickly became a hometown hero.

    In 1983, Short released his first proper album 'Don't Stop Rappin' and in the subsequent two years, he recorded three other albums on the local label, 75 Girls. He kept his lyrical content in the raunchy realm inspired by street hustling and the pimp game. He released his 1986 album 'Born to Mack', which is considered a West Coast classic, on his own Dangerous Minds imprint and sold more than 50,000 units.

    Short had built up a local following so undeniable that the major labels came running. (It was a business strategy that Master P and artists from the Cash Money Records would do almost a decade later.) Jive Records quickly signed him up and re-released 'Born to Mack,' which featured the deliciously explicit hit 'Freaky Tales.' By 1988, when Jive released his fifth album, 'Life is...Too Short', the Oakland MC really capitalized on his cult status. The album sold more than 2 million copies, opening hip-hop to a new burgeoning rap scene in Northern California and cementing its embrace of pimp aesthetics.

    In an interview with Cocaine Blunts, he explained what that album meant to him: "To this day if anybody asks me, I always say 'Life Is Too Short' is my favorite too short album and that's because at that time I considered myself to be... there wasn't no big money or whatever, it was on the line. And I stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. I remember those days in the studio thinking to myself like 'this is the chance'. It's probably equivalent to a minor leaguer getting called up to the big leagues and doing good. 'Life is Too Short' album sold like 300,000 copies the first three weeks.

    Jive never even advertised em. The first thing they ever did to promote me was they printed up a poster that said something about 'Life Is Too Short - 300,000 sold in 3 weeks' and that's when RCA finally got behind me. RCA used to do all Jive's promotions back then. And it was no looking back, the album went gold, I went on tour with Eazy E and NWA, we toured the whole summer, got off tour, the album went platinum, it was just the moment. I never looked back after that, we did six platinum albums in a row in six years."

    His 1990 hit 'The Ghetto' was proof that Short could also sound just as convincing and vital talking about social ills as he did rhyming about women. And despite announcing a brief retire in 1996, his subsequent albums have all at least been certified gold, if not platinum. His 2006 album 'Blow The Whistle' showed that he could evolve with the times as it features the sound of the hyphy music movement popular at the time.

    In recent years, he's regarded as a respected veteran who can be relied on to provide great guest verses. He's made cameos on songs by Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Kim, among many others.

    Influenced...Snoop Dogg, Souls of Mischief, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, The Pack, Lil B the Based God, Cali Swag District, Odd Future, among others.






     

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  • 06/15/11--10:25: Sexiest Famous Dads
  • Filed under: ,

    black actors and musicians

    This Father's Day make sure you acknowledge the dads in your life, for sure, but also go ahead and take some time to swoon over our gallery of the sexiest famous fathers out there. They make us laugh, they make us cry, bop our heads and dream big. But let's be honest, it's their good looks that draw the biggest appeal.

     

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    Gay Marriage

    From The Washington Post:

    Hugh Hefner doesn't engender much sympathy. The twice married 85-year-old legendary porn purveyor goes through the day in silk robes and pajamas surrounded by scantily clad beautiful women way less than than half his age. But I will admit to a very small pang of sorrow for Hef after reading in the New York Post today how his bride-to-be, Crystal Harris, 25, was scheming to become a runaway bride for the sum of $500,000 and reality television fame. Kinda made me wonder why the so-called Defense of Marriage Act doesn't outlaw this kind of idiocy?

    Read the full post: The Washington Post

     

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    From the Huffington Post:

    June 16 is an emotional day for me. It was on a sunny June 16 in 1989 that my mother died in my arms while visiting relatives in Plainfield, N.J. Thus, every year around that time, my partner understands why I am a little more quiet and reserved. I pass by her picture in our living room and wonder what she would say about the choices I've made, what she and my daughters would do for fun, what advice she would give me for the daily challenges I wish I could call her about. Sometimes I really miss her voice. There is another voice that I will miss on this upcoming June 16. Tupac Shakur would be -- should be -- turning 40 this upcoming Thursday.



    Read more here.

    Check out a no holds barred investigation into the unsolved murders of the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur in the Nick Broomfield documentary titled, 'Biggie and Tupac.'

    Watch more free documentaries

     

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    From the New York Times:

    With the election of a black pastor to a senior position this week and a new action plan to increase ethnic diversity in its leadership, the Southern Baptist Convention has taken its most concrete steps yet to overcome a history of racial exclusion and to broaden its appeal in a changing American population. Fred Luter Jr., the widely admired pastor of a largely black church in New Orleans, was elected first vice president of the Convention at its annual conference in Phoenix on Tuesday, the highest position yet held by an African-American. Church leaders said Mr. Luter was the overwhelming favorite to be elected president at the assembly next year.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the New York Times:

    If there is one hard lesson we've learned since 9/11, it is the degree to which fear lurking just below the placid surface of everyday existence can poison the social climate. Fear of terrorism, fear of disease, fear of the Other, of the Unknown, is easy to instill and hard to dislodge. Instead of surrendering blindly to paranoia, one way of combating it is to confront the very things that scare us the most. Attending the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, which returns to New York for its annual run, Thursday through June 30 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater, is as good a way as any I can think of to quiet those fears. It is one thing to read about the conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America and quite another to see the faces and hear the voices of people, who, to reiterate a cliché, are really just like us.

    Read more here.

     

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    From Media Bistro:

    ABC's 'Good Morning America' is the latest network morning show to snag an interview with President Obama. Robin Roberts will interview the President, with the discussion airing on Friday's installment of the program. Additional excerpts will run that evening on 'ABC World News' and on 'This Week with Christiane Amanpour.'

    Read more here.

     

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    Filed under:

    nia long

    Nia Long is very pregnant with her second baby, BET reports. The actress, known for her roles in 'Boyz n the Hood,' 'Love Jones' and 'The Best Man,' already has 11-year-old son Massai Zhivagor.

    Long brought out her baby bump at the beach during a recent stay in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. And be sure to check her out in the critically acclaimed Moozlum, now on DVD. We can't wait to see the baby photos!

     

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    From indieWire:

    I first profiled this film in March on the old site; at the time, I couldn't find an official synopsis, so wasn't entirely sure what it was about; although I did post a teaser trailer that gave us some idea - a teaser that's since been taking down, but, thankfully, it was replaced with a new one, which I embedded below. As a recap... Shot last summer, but with no distributor yet, and thus no scheduled release date, the film, 'We The Party' (not to be confused with We The Peeples), was previewed at a February screening in Los Angeles, and was apparently well-received.

    Read more here.

     

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