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

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    From indieWire:

    Sergio's post earlier today (Can A Serious Film Be Made About American Slavery?), reminded me of an editorial/survey I posted on the old Shadow And Act site, back in the fall of 2009, titled Was Roots Enough? Slavery And The Holocaust In American Movies. I reposted it below, since a lot of you weren't readers of the site at the time, as a companion piece to Sergio's, looking at the matter from a different angle. The title should give you some clues as to what my approach was.

    Read more here.

     

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    Autum Ashante

    There's a new star rising on Pelham Parkway and her name is Autum Shante.

    This young prodigy is on the road to doing something extraordinary. This fall, she's heading to the University of Connecticut for her freshman year, at the amazing age of thirteen.

    Autum has got a lot going for her. She speaks no less than three different languages (Arabic, Swahili, and Spanish), is an accomplished performer of spoken word at various venues around the country, and scored 149 on an IQ test, higher than most college students.

    Her father, Ben Ashante, recognized Autum's talents early on and opted for homeschooling. Having retired early, Ben was able to dedicate himself to his daughter's education full time. He also enlisted the help of the community, including local retired teachers.

    "What she's doing is groundbreaking but this is not about vanity," he said. "It's about setting the tone for other black and Latino children who will come behind her. They're always being told they are underachievers. We want to show this can be done."

    Mr. Ashante said in a recent statement to the Daily News that he wants his child to be a role model for others, especially Black and Latino young people.

    With the public school system failing in various cities across the country, especially in Black and Latino neighborhoods, Autum Ashanti's story may inspire more parents to home school their children.

    Congratulations, Autum!

     

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    OJ SimpsonFrom The Grio:

    There were rumors flooding the media that Oprah Winfrey had landed a jailhouse murder confession from O.J. Simpson. According to the Daily Mail via the National Enquirer, the NFL player turned actor turned murder suspect was ready to admit to killing his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994.

    On June 12, 1994, Brown and Goldman were found dead outside her home. Simpson was tried for the double-murder and was acquitted. At a recent convention, Oprah said such a confession was her dream: "And I am going to make that happen people," she said. "I don't just want the interview. I want the interview on the condition that you are ready, Mr. Simpson."

    Read more here.

     

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    From The Root
    :

    Things have not been working out for the Congressional Black Caucus. Between its 43 members, this year the organization has introduced 40 different jobs bills to address the national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent (and 16.2 percent for African Americans in particular). They've met twice with President Obama on the issue. But their legislative efforts haven't gained enough support to pass through Congress. So they've decided to sidestep the usual tactics with a new approach: hitting the road for a multicity jobs tour.

    Learn more here.

     

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    Michelle Obama and Desmond Tutu demonstrate push ups


    Don't think Michelle Obama's trip to South Africa with her daughters Sasha and Malia meant taking a break from sharing her passion for health and fitness. Yesterday, while meeting with dozens of South African kids at the new Cape Town Stadium, Michelle imparted these words of wisdom: "It's hard to have an impact if you're not in the best condition possible."

    To prove her point, she got Archbishop Desmond Tutu to do a little flexing of his own for the young crowd.

    You know you're a big deal when you can get historic icons to drop and give you twenty. Go 'head, Michelle!


    See more photos of Michelle Obama's trip to South Africa and meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu here.

     

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    Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has joined other conservatives in using high unemployment rates among African-Americans as a bid against President Obama, saying that the president has performed so poorly that blacks will vote Republican in 2012.

    "No administration in modern times has failed younger blacks more than the Obama administration," said Gingrich during the keynote speech at the Maryland GOP's annual Red, White & Blue banquet in Baltimore.

    Gingrich cited high unemployment rates among African-American teenagers and said that the black vote is ripe for the picking.

    "Think of the social catastrophe of 41% of a community not being able to find a job. But we have to have the courage to walk into that neighborhood, to talk to that preacher, to visit that small business, to talk to that mother. And we have to have a convincing case that we actually know how to create jobs," he said, as reported on talkingpointsmemo.com. "The morning they believe that, you're going to see margins in percents you never dreamed of decide there's a better future," Gingrich said. "It takes courage, it takes hard work, it takes discipline and it's doable."

    Gingrich stepped in it earlier by calling Obama "the food stamp president," but said that if elected he would be a "paycheck president." Gingrich, a former Speaker of the House, invoked the phrase again during Thursday's speech, adding a bit of nuance, suggesting that blacks might have a come-to-Jesus moment this election and distance themselves from the president.

    "I will bet you there is not a single precinct in this state in which the majority will pick for their children food stamps over paychecks," he said.

    Gingrich's remarks ring similar to those of Rep. Michele Bachmann, who is also running for the Republican presidential nomination and told a group at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans last week that Obama "has failed the African-American community" for not doing more to bolster employment rates.

    Gingrich has a long history of making what some have seen as patronizing, bigoted or outright racists remarks about minorities, women and the LGBT communities.

    An article last year on mediamatters.org chronicled what it called "Newt Gingrich's history of bigoted remarks," from over the years.

    Here's just a taste:

    In August Gingrich compared the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero to Nazis erecting a sign near the Holocaust Museum or a Japanese memorial near Pearl Harbor.

    In 2007 he said that bilingual education teaches "the language of living in a ghetto."

    And in 1995 he said that women were not fit for front line combat in the trenches because "they get infections."

    One of the more offensive of Gingrich's comments came in a 1994 interview with The New York Times, in which he proposed that the government should abandon giving poor young mothers welfare and instead start building more orphanages.

    And during a radio show earlier this week with host Laura Ingraham, Gingrich criticized First Lady Michelle Obama's trip to Africa, again invoking black unemployment:

    "Well you know when you had 45% African-American teenage unemployment in January in the United States, it would have been nice for the president to have focused on bringing that hope and optimism to young Americans as well as young Africans."

     

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    David Bruton

    From NPR
    :

    As the NFL tries working through its lockout, one professional football player decided to teach youth from grades one through 12. In April, Denver Broncos safety David Bruton became a substitute social studies and math teacher at Jane Chance Elementary School and Miamisburg High School (his alma mater) in Ohio.

    Bruton says he got the idea from his high school coach and teachers. Why did they think he was teacher material? Bruton says maybe it was because he performed well during his own high school and college years, and he had what it took to be a role model. His patience and persistence also helps, he says.

    Read more
    here.

     

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    Check out what celebrities turned heads with their fashion sense this week. Choose your favorite look and get inspiration for your next outfit.

     

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  • 06/24/11--11:12: 2 Live Crew
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    2 Live Crew


    Like its contemporaries N.W.A. and Ice-T, Miami's 2 Live Crew emerged as one of hip-hop's most controversial groups. Transforming lewd party songs into cultural lighting rods, the group was at the center of one of music's contentious First Amendment debates.

    Though the group is mostly linked with Miami, its earliest incarnation has roots in California with original members Fresh Kidd Ice (Chris Wong Won), DJ Mister Mixx (David Hobbs) and Amazing V (Yuri Veliot). After the crew's first song 'Revelation' became popular in Florida, they moved to Miami.

    Soon after, Brother Marquis (Mark Ross) joined the fold, replacing Amazing V, and local music impresario Luther Campbell signed the act to his Luke Skyywalker label. Campbell, who also doubled as their manager, joined the group eventually and guided it into doing rap music with graphic sexual content and uptempo Miami bass sound.

    Their 1986 debut, 'The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are' featured raunchy tunes like 'We Want Some P*ssy' and 'Throw the D.' By the time their sophomore record, 'Move Something,' dropped in 1987, Campbell decided to release 'clean' and 'dirty' versions.

    But it wasn't until 1989's 'As Nasty As They Wanna Be' that 2 Live Crew really started causing a stir. In particular, local religious activist Jack Thompson led the charge to get the album deemed obscene by Florida state law. He succeeded when in June 1990, a district court judge handed down his verdict, making it illegal to sell the album in the state. 2 Live Crew members were arrested at subsequent live shows and a media circus ensued.

    Scholar Henry Louis Gates even got involved to argue on the group's behalf. And surprisingly, the album sold more than two million copies nationwide, with curious parents and angsty teens wanting to understand (and listen to) what all the fuss was about.

    By 1992, the obscene charged was overturned by Supreme Court decision, but the group emerged as a signifier of how far rap lyrics could go. As a result, the group has inspired generations of strip club rap.

    Recently, Campbell has attempted to change his image in failed Miami mayoral bid. The group was honored at last year's VH1 Hip-Hop Honors awards ceremony.

    Influenced...Ludacris, Khia, Pitbull, Lil Jon, Trina, Trick Daddy, Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, among others.





    2010 VH1 Hip-Hop Honors performance:

     

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    Zoe Saldana will star in the upcoming action flick Colombiana this summer. The actress recently posed for Harper's Bazzaar Russia's July/August issue sporting pale blue eyeshadow, red lips and bohemian attire from Gucci, Oscar de la Renta and Dolce & Gabbana. Maybe blue eyeshadow isn't so bad after all.










     

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    As the birds continue to chirp across city parks and students begin their summer vacation, the time has come for families to spend some quality time outdoors. If you're in the New York City metropolitan area this weekend, feel free to take a stroll over to Central Park's Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (located inside the Park on 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues) for the Family Fishing Celebration. The free-of-charge Saturday event, taking place from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM, will feature various interactive activities. Including a build-a-fish craft, catch-and-release fishing, microscopic explorations of the Harlem Meer, and a Global Water Day dance performance featuring the Zendora Dance Company. No advance registration is required. Read more.

     

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    From the Huffington Post:

    Gay couples and proponents of gay rights have a reason to celebrate tonight, as the New York State Senate has passed a bill that allows same sex marriage. New York will be the sixth, and largest, state in the union to adopt gay marriage. Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law at 11:15pm on Friday, which means the law will take effect on July 24, 2011.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the New York Times:

    Daniel Sullivan plants a hot kiss smack in the middle of his captivating production of the thorny "All's Well That Ends Well" for Shakespeare in the Park. Acts of osculation have of course been known to sweep people off their feet. But Mr. Sullivan ingeniously uses this one to ground his audience and to stabilize an uneasy play. You see, no one watching this comedy, which opened Saturday night at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, is likely to have felt comfortable with the progress of its central romance thus far. That's between Helena (a wonderful Annie Parisse), our resourceful heroine, and Bertram (Andre Holland), the unworthy object of her affections, who has just wed her against his will. Now this arrogant titled twit - who doesn't know a good thing when he sees it - is rushing off to war, before even consummating the marriage, and poor Helena is reduced to begging him for a farewell lip-lock.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the Washington Post:

    When Tyson Gay pulled out of the 100 and 200 meters at the U.S. track and field championships last week, black clouds all but settled over the American sprint world. Track aficionados lamented the loss of the only serious U.S. challenger to Jamaican Usain Bolt at the world track and field championships in Daegu, South Korea, this summer. Walter Dix considered that thinking utter nonsense. After quietly wrapping up an impressive U.S. title double Sunday with a victory in the men's 200-meter final, he boldly declared that he is the guy who will bring down Bolt.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the Commercial Appeal:

    Bishop J.O. Patterson Jr., the prominent politician and clergyman who became the first African-American to occupy the office of mayor of Memphis, died Saturday afternoon. The 76-year-old bishop of the Church of God in Christ died at Methodist University Hospital from an unknown illness.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the Atlantic:

    President Obama is about to have another Africa moment -- and possibly his most difficult since entering office. In his 1995 autobiography, 'Dreams from My Father,' Obama defines his American identity through his search for his long-gone Kenyan father. In the end, Obama's encounter with the motherland only reinforces his Americanness. While, as he has said, "I have the blood of Africa within me," his mind is firmly rooted in the New World.

    Read more here.

     

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    Check out who landed on our best and worst dressed list for this year's BET Awards.


     

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  • 06/27/11--06:11: BV's Fourth of July Playlist
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    It's that time of the year again, when barbecues blaze and fireworks dazzle. And, of course, you have to have the right music to groove to. We gathered some of our favorite summer songs - past and present - to create a special Fourth of July playlist for y'all. Enjoy!








     

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    Rocawear
    isn't the hip-hop clothing line it used to be. Shawn 'Jay Z' Carter is pushing to give the brand a new and more mainstream look WWD reports.

    "We are a great American brand. We don't envision ourselves as an urban brand or streetwear brand," Jay-Z said. "We wanted to show people how we've evolved and repositioned ourselves, without abandoning our original DNA."

    A new pop-up store in New York City's Soho will introduce this new push and aims to attract a broader range of shoppers with a new advertising campaign in the works. The campaign will be a compilation of 37 short videos from a variety of musicians, poets and artists to represent the relaunch.

    Jay-Z is nothing if not constantly evolving both with his style and sound. The young rapper who used to write verses about "big pimpin' is now a New York Times bestselling author with a net worth estimated at more than $450 million.

    The Rocawear revamp comes at a time when popular artists like Lil Wayne are eager to boast their rap-rock sound, and the concept of a "black" clothing line targeted exclusively toward African Americans, as formerly seen in Karl Kani and FUBU, is out of fashion.

    Rocawear now seeks to represent a broader appeal. "When I played the Glastonbury music festival, people said a hip-hop artist couldn't play a rock festival," said Jay-Z. "But culture isn't segmented like that anymore. There's so much cross-pollinization and the same thing is true for clothes."

     

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    Perhaps the most explosive and explicit example of police brutality in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina took place on September 4, 2005, when a group of officers gunned down six unarmed civilians on the Danziger Bridge in eastern New Orleans.


    Nearly six years later, the trial of five current and former NOPD officers is now underway in federal court in New Orleans. Four of the officers accused in the case are charged with civil rights violations for the shooting, which killed two, including a teenager and a mentally handicapped man, and left four others severely wounded.

    Those officers and a retired homicide detective are also charged with various federal crimes for allegedly covering up the incident and repeatedly lying to investigators. Officers falsely reported that they had been taking fire from a number of people at the bridge when they arrived.

    In prior court testimony, officers have admitted to firing on two groups of people who were crossing the bridge that Sunday morning, using handguns, automatic assault rifles and a shotgun. One group was the family of James Brissette, 19. The other was Ronald Madison, 40, and his brother Lance (pictured above). Brissette was shot and killed while members of his family were injured. Officers also admitted to killing Ronald Madison. An officer shot him in the back with a shotgun and then kicked while he lay dying. His brother Lance Madison was then arrested for allegedly resisting arrest, though chargers were later dropped.



    The defendants include former officer Robert Faulcon, who resigned from the department shortly after Katrina; Sgt. Kenneth Bowen; Sgt. Robert Gisevius; officer Anthony Villavaso; and retired Sgt. Arthur Kaufman.

    To read more about the trial and learn about the deadly turn of events that lead to the shooting click here.

     

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