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

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    From the New York Times:

    Prince Twins Seven-Seven, a prominent Nigerian artist and leading representative of the Oshogbo School, whose brightly colored, intricately patterned paintings evoked the world of Yoruba folklore and religion, died on June 16 in Ibadan, Nigeria. He was 67. The cause was complications of a stroke, Harriet B. Schiffer, his dealer, said.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the Los Angeles Times:

    Maj. Gen. Ronald Bailey has assumed command of the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Division, the first African American to command the oldest, largest and most decorated division in the Marine Corps. In a tradition-laden ceremony Thursday, Bailey assumed command from Maj. Gen. Michael Regner, who will command Marine forces in South Korea.

    Read more here.

     

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    From Finding Dulcinea:

    Arthur Ashe accomplished a great many firsts in his tennis career. He was the first African-American to win the National Junior Indoor tennis title and the first to be selected to the U.S. Davis Cup team. In 1968, he became the first black man to win the U.S. Open, doing so as an amateur in the first year the tournament allowed professional players.

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    From Mediaite:

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain appeared on The Today Show and reiterated much of his campaign talking points including that he is a problem-solver in business and "a real black man" who is prepared to lead. Yet NBC's Savannah Guthrie took issue with Cain touting that his lack of political experience was actually a good thing.


    Read more here.

     

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  • 07/05/11--04:44: Beyonce In Vogue Italia
  • Filed under: ,

    beyonce

    Beyonce continues to promote her latest album '4' making numerous television and awards show appearances and gracing the cover of countless magazines including the July 2011 issue of Vogue Italia. For her spread Beyonce was shot by noted photographer Francesco Carrozzini and styled in lux furs and Tom Ford gowns.



    Beyonce


    beyonce


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    Beyonce

     

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    Spike Lee was recently feted at an ad industry event and honored with a lifetime achievement award for corporate brand-building. But building the brand known as Spike Lee may have been his biggest accomplishment.

    It's hard to remember now, but there was a time when the idea of the Air Jordan --- the extravagantly colored Nike sneaker bearing the name of a certain bald basketball hero --- was a novel, audacious idea. (Michael Jordan initially scoffed at the idea of wearing the shoes, saying they'd make him look like a clown, and the NBA went so far as to ban them. ) That reaction by the league --- and some iconic TV ads directed by Lee --- helped make Michael Jordan and Nike totems of countercultural cool. (Jordan and Nike as upstarts thumbing their noses at the corporate status quo? That was clearly a long time ago.)

    So too it is with Lee. We take his ubiquity --- hollering at the opposing team at Knicks games, public speaking, weighing in on the political issues of the day, and yes, directing provocative films --- as a given, as if that stuff is par for the course for temperamental indie film directors whose movies are not all that lucrative. But Lee has remained part of the cultural conversation because of shrewd self-promotion, and it all started with those Nike ads, in which he played the fast-talking, pushy basketball fan Mars Blackmon alongside Jordan.



    Those early commercials helped transform the struggling film director into a media mainstay complete with his own catchphrase. ("It's gotta be the shoes!") "I can't define [my brand]," Lee said at the event. "But I knew early on, I'd have to create some kind of persona behind my name, because companies weren't going to spend millions of dollars to promote my films... Do The Right Thing opened same day as Batman... We can't take out full page ads in The New York Times the same day Batman opens... so we had to do other stuff."

    Lee has complained that he still struggles to get funding for his film projects, despite the success of 2006's Inside Man, his biggest box office hit. (He's still keeping busy with ad work, most recently for MSNBC's "Lean Forward" campaign.) Which makes you wonder if Lee's built his persona --- the irascible, perpetually aggrieved perfectionist who's hard to work with --- a little too well.

     

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    From Kiplinger:

    On June 8, the White House invited 23 journalists from leading personal-finance sites for a first-of-its-kind summit. The goal: translate important issues for the economy out of Washington-speak and into practical, pocketbook terms that everyday Americans who get their financial information online can understand.


    Kiplinger.com asked President Barack Obama to reveal the one piece of personal financial advice that he had found most useful in his own life -- a question rarely, if ever, asked of presidents. Turns out he has four pieces of advice that we at Kiplinger espouse all the time:

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    From Black Enterprise:
    Some of Wall Street's largest financial services powerhouses, including Goldman Sachs Inc., Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc., helped save Carver Federal Bancorp Inc. from a possible shutdown or takeover by injecting $55 million of fresh capital into the nation's largest Black-owned bank.
    Carver, No. 1 on the BE Banks list with $744 million in assets, announced last night that it raised the money from an investment group that includes Goldman and Morgan Stanley-which agreed to put in $15 million each-and Citigroup and Prudential Insurance Company of America-which invested $10 million each. Investments of $2 million each by American Express Co. and First Republic Bank, and $1 million by the National Community Fund round out the capital raising team for Harlem-based Carver, parent of Carver Federal Savings Bank.

    -Read More here.

     

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    Zoe Saldana

    From Shadow and Act:

    Zoe Saldana is reportedly one of three actresses (Scarlett Johansson and Melanie Thierry) being the other two, who are being considered for parts in Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle's art heist thriller titled Trance.

    Read More Here

     

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    From the Hollywood Reporter:

    Kanye West and Jay-Z's long-awaited Watch the Throne album is one step closer to a release date and, as of the evening of July 3, fans can preorder it via West's official site and the newly created www.watchthethrone.com.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the Huffington Post:

    Clayton Hill, a former member of the Nation of Islam and currently incarcerated at a federal prison in Chicago, has come forward and told HipHopDX.com that he played an accessory to the murder of rapper Notorious BIG after the fact, and knows who the shot and killed the rapper.

    Read more here.

     

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    From Entertainment Weekly:

    We've already heard word that Mariah Carey is expected to participate in Simon Cowell's U.S. premiere season of The X Factor in some capacity. Now, sources are saying that Carey might stay on to mentor the contestants throughout the season.

    Read more here.

     

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    From The Atlanta Post
    :

    In recent years it seems that Hollywood has finally started to recognize not just the amazing talent of some of today's top Black actors, but also their bank-ability at the box office. Black male leads have started to command big bucks in the entertainment industry, and it looks as if they will only become more powerful as mainstream audiences continue showing them big love. These heavy hitters are starring in some of the silver screen's hottest blockbusters, grabbing the most desired roles, and flexing their talents all the way to the bank. Check out the industry's highest paid Black leading men, who are lighting up Tinseltown while happily stuffing their pockets.

    Read More Here.

     

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    From CNN:

    I'll be honest, I love reality TV. Actually it's one of my guilty pleasure past times. Even before 'Basketball Wives' I had my favorites, and I watched them faithfully. There is something appealing about seeing people deal with real life drama as you're watching. Now, as executive producer of 'Basketball Wives,' I know that's not exactly how it happens, but it's still fun to watch. What isn't so fun to watch, however, is this new generation of reality TV. It seems to be more about the drama and less about the storyline. That concerns me, especially now that I'm producing a reality show.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the Huffington Post:

    While speaking with Idris Bello and hearing about his numerous accomplishments, one begins to feel a bit lazy in comparison. Though he only just graduated from Rice University's business school, Bello has amassed a laundry list of awards and fellowships that barely fit on one page.

    Read more here.

     

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    Amber RoseFrom The Grio:

    Since nude pictures of Amber Rose surfaced last week, Rose has been put on the defensive.

    The graphic, NSFW pictures, which depict her posing nude in high heels and touching herself, apparently in the privacy of her home, were leaked to MediaTakeout.com, a celebrity gossip site.

    Many have been quick to judge and shame Rose in the aftermath of their release, suggesting that the pictures prove something new or unsightly about her or her career. At the same time, they fail to acknowledge that there's little difference between posing provocatively in a magazine, for which she has achieved praise and compensation, and posing fully nude in the manner that Rose has done in the leaked pics. Their contradictory opinion shows that her current predicament is symptomatic of a culture in which we reward women for being as sexy as possible, but look down on them or judge them for actually having sex.

    Read more at The Grio.

     

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    Nearly a week after New York City police clashed with concertgoers following an album release party last Wednesday for DJ Pete Rock and the rap group Smif-n-Wessun, the artists joined a group of activists, fans and politicians on the steps of City Hall to protest what they called police "wilding" and abuse.

    "We're saying to y'all, and y'all better listen," New York City Councilman Charles Barron said from the lectern. "It's not only going to be a long hot summer for us, it's going to be a long hot summer for everybody because were not going to take this kind of stuff."

    "Don't put us to the point where we have to figure out our own way of protecting ourselves," Barron said to the crowd of a few dozen that had gathered. "Because we have a God given right to protect us from anyone who vamps on us."

    Witnesses and the artists themselves said the police swarmed the crowd after last week's concert without provocation, cursing, pushing people to the ground and beating a few with fists and batons. They point to video footage shot by fans as proof of the violence they said was doled out by police.

    Five people were arrested, four of whom face felony charges that include assault, inciting to riot, disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration.

    The police said that the officers arrived at the scene shortly after midnight in response to a call from private security at the club, Tammany Hall on the Lower East Side, to assist with overcrowding inside. When officers got there, a large fight was in progress. As the police instructed people to leave the crowded venue, one patron refused and began to resist arrest and call for others to help him fight with the police, according to Paul Browne, a police spokesman. He said a group then turned on the officers, and the "police used appropriate force in effecting arrests of violent individuals who fought with officers."

    In a statement released the day after the fracas, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said that "police officers had every right to defend themselves against individuals assaulting them, and used appropriate force in doing so. They also protected civilians who were being pelted with bottles at the outset, as they responded to the location at request of the club's own security."

    But the sense of security and safety was lost on those who witnessed the melee and "police rioting" that ensued.

    "Mothers were there, aunts, uncles, families," Pete Rock said after the press conference. "I'm just hoping and praying like I'm supposed to do. I hope and pray that we do get justice. We deserve justice. It was an attack not just on the culture but on human beings who were not starting trouble, who were not fighting, just enjoying a good party."

    He said that he believes the police judged too quickly that the party was a gangster rap party, which he said it was not, and treated concertgoers accordingly.

    "I'm just here to say this definitely has to stop, hip hop is not the problem," he said. "I just want to say for the other families and the other people out there who went through this with us on Tuesday, is to be strong and we'll get through this and one day this will stop."

    Kenneth Montgomery, a lawyer for the five people arrested that night, known as the Monumental 5 in homage to the project, Monumental, for which the party was being thrown, said that a lawsuit against the city and the police department is possible.

    But right now Montgomery and others are pushing to have the charges against those arrested dropped. One of them, Gabriel Diaz, stood on the steps behind the podium with visible bruises and scrapes on his face and his neck in a brace. Louis Pena, also charged and roughed up by the police was there too, as was Pete Rock's daughter, Jade, 24, (pictured below) who said she was knocked to the ground while protecting her mother from police blows.



    "I think about all of the who can't stand up here to speak, all of the people that passed away or were killed as a result of police brutality, I just hope everyone watching stands up and does something about it," said Everett, who also was arrested that night.

    Charles Barron, the city councilman and a former Black Panther, called on young black and Hispanic men to stand up for themselves and their community against police brutality and injustice.

    "We're sick and tired of appealing to the justice system, that we call the injustice system," Barron said. "I want to say this for black men and Latino brothers, we ain't going to take but so much of you putting your hands on our women... were not going to take that but so many times. You can't keep roughing up our mothers and daughters and murdering our grandmothers, like Eleanor Bumpurs."

    "Drop the charges and charge the police," Barron urged, to cheers. "Not a single victim who was there committed a crime, not one. Not a single victim of this police riot had a weapon on them. Not a single one. I saw the tape and I can tell what happened when they put on those gloves and told you to disperse. They were ready to riot."

    As the crowd thinned and the politicians, cameras and microphones slowly disappeared, Everett talked about the toll the incident has taken on her and the trust she once had in the police.

    "It leaves you really confused," she said. "You know what cops are supposed to do, protect and serve. Now, I'd be lying if I said every time I see a police officer or a police car I don't get the jitters or get nervous," she said. "You don't really understand it fully until you experience it yourself or witness it up close and personal."

     

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    Autum Ashante

    As you may recall, Autum Ashante is the remarkable 13-year-old we covered recently after being accepted to the University of Connecticut. The Daily News now reports that the university has rescinded their offer of enrollment leaving the Ashante family devastated. After two weeks of basking in the glow of her achievement, Autum and her father now have to figure out what's next for the young genius.


    Autum was on track to relocate to Connecticut and start freshman year of college, the culmination of hard work and encouragement from her father, Ben Ashante,who home-schooled the young lady. Last week in the Daily News he was quoted as having said "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."

    Now Autum's dream has been put on hold, after Ben Ashante received a call from school officials who said they felt Autumn was not academically ready. He said his daughter was "devastated" after she received the news and can find no basis for the decision.

    Autum and her dad remain undaunted by this turn of events, and are going to continue planning a move to Connecticut to look into other options.

     

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    Heidi DurrowAmericans are checking more boxes under the race category on their census forms, which is further complicating America's muddled conversations about race and identity. Some multiracial authors are penning acclaimed books about growing up as mixed-race people. In the process, they're blowing up neat narratives about who gets to belong to which groups, and how race is actually lived.
    "I want more complexity around the topic of race, not less, in examining the idea that pure blackness or pure whiteness or pure anything exists," the author Danzy Senna told the New York Times. Senna wrote the much-acclaimed 1998 novel, Caucasia, which focuses on the lives of two biracial sisters --- one who looks black and the other who could pass for white --- and the divergent paths they follow as they try to explore their identities. (Senna herself identifies as both black and biracial.)
    Of course, authors of both black and non-black heritage are nothing new. Few people would have thought of Frederick Douglass or Malcolm X as mixed-race: any blackness in their backgrounds made them black, full-stop. But it's a different world when Barack Obama --- himself a biracial author who has written about being raised by a white mother and white grandparents --- can exercise a choice over how he wants to identify. (He listed himself as an African his census form.)
    "We are saying we are the American experience," Heidi Durrow, the author of the bestseller The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, told the Times. "There is nothing exclusive about this club at all."

    While these authors may be tackling issues of identity and belonging in their pages, how might these new understanding of race play out on the shelves? Black authors and readers have long lamented that the books they're looking for are relegated to the "urban" section of bookstores, a clumsy catch-all that often includes everything from Steve Harvey's relationship advice books to science fiction written by Octavia Butler. But complicating the conversation about what black authors look like might also change what it means to write and publish a "black book."

     

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    Ice Cube may have started his career as one of the most controversial hip hop artist in America, however the West Coast MC has since evolved into a multi-talented entrepreneur.

    Cube's proven track record of success has been tapped as part of VH1's latest installment in their long running series, Behind the Music. Below check out an exclusive sneak peek of Behind the Music: Ice Cube, which premieres July 6 at 10 PM/EST.





     

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