By Chris Witherspoon –theGrio.com
Crazy Eyes can really sing, y’all.
Orange is the New Black star Uzo Aduba treated the audience of The View to an impromptu operatic performance Wednesday.
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By Chris Witherspoon –theGrio.com
Kim Fields, better known to some as Tootie from The Facts of Life, is reportedly joining the cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Over the past few weeks, rumors have circulated that the former Living Single cast member was in negotiations to become the new Atlanta peach.
Today, sources have revealed exclusively to PerezHilton.com that Fields will join season 8 of the RHOA.
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Steve Harvey is TV game show’s new king.
For the first time, Family Feud reached the number one spot for syndication ratings for a game show.
Although the show has come close to this honor before, tying with “Jeopardy” for the title, this year is the first since the Nielsen People-Meters’ establishment in 1987 that “Family Feud” has surpassed “Wheel of Fortune.” Also in contention was the show “Judge Judy.”
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By the Grio
New music from Janet Jackson? Yes, please.
The singer released a new single, “No Sleep,” Monday morning via Twitter. The post indicates the new song is dedicated to, in Janet’s words, “My Love.”
“You missing me, I’m missing you,” Jackson sings in the track’s chorus. “Whenever we meet, we ain’t gonna get no sleep.”
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By Chris Witherspoon –theGrio
Taraji P. Henson graces the cover of July’s Allure magazine, and in it, she opens up about everything from her dating life to her beloved Empire character, Cookie Lyon.
Henson opens up on her hard and fast rule of not dating her co-stars.
“I always wanted to be known for my work. Not who I dated. Not who I slept with…. I have a gift, and my gift is acting,” Henson says. “I started in the business at 26 with a kid, so I was smart enough to know reality from fantasy. I didn’t want to blur the lines. This is a job that I have to do. I cannot get caught up in it. And if I sleep with these guys, why would they want to work with me again?” Why wouldn’t they? “The conquest is up,” she says.
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By Brennan Williams -Huff Post Black Voices
In the latest installment of AOL’s MAKERS series, Ava DuVernay, the director of “Selma,” shared her thoughts on the disparity of women in film, and why there’s now a greater opportunity for women to break into the industry.
“This industry is no longer what it used to be. The gatekeeper’s gates are rusting,” DuVernay said during the interview. “There are new ways to do things. New ways to shoot, new ways to monetize, new ways to distribute, new audiences to find, new ways to communicate with them that don’t require some old man telling you ‘you can do it.’ So now that’s the case, and we know it’s the case, we need to begin.”
The UCLA alum went on to explain why she’s proud to be defined as a “black woman filmmaker,” in spite of other filmmakers who may be ashamed of the title.
“I know and I’ve heard of people saying, ‘I don’t want to be defined as a woman filmmaker’ or ‘I don’t want to be defined as a black filmmaker,’ all good with me, but I want to be defined as a ‘black woman filmmaker,’ because that’s the lens through which I’m working,” she said.
“That is my gaze. I’m proud of it. I don’t feel like it’s any less or limiting. I’m a black woman filmmaker and my films are just as valid as the white man filmmaker and whoever else,” she added.
Lucy McCalmont. -Huff Post Black Voices
Fifteen years ago, the 2000 release of “Love & Basketball,” redefined what was considered a sports movie by bypassing the genre altogether.
For many athletes, the story of Monica and Quincy, childhood neighbors (portrayed by actors Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps) who grew up playing basketball and falling in love, resonated so much. On screen was the heartbreak and passion of sports and love — with some strip basketball and a beautiful game of one-on-one thrown in for good measure.
Furthermore, for many women, we finally saw in Monica a character unlike any other. A woman that wasn’t delicate, but rather, could hold her own on the court and trash talk with the best. And yes, still fall in love with the boy next door. It also transcended race and unlike many of its contemporaries, was embraced by a broader audience.
A smaller-budget film and a directorial debut for its writer, Gina Prince-Bythewood, “Love & Basketball” has endured as a classic and favorite among audiences, crossing beyond gender, race and sports.
To mark the movie’s 15th anniversary, The Huffington Post spoke to some of those behind the film about its legacy and what it took to make such a realistic basketball movie, that became much more than a sports film.
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June 12, 2015
Ms. Pittershawn Palmer
Media Strategy Director
NEW YORK, NY (BlackNews.com) — The QBR Wheatley Book Awards
recognizes the best African American books and writers in Fiction,
Nonfiction, Poetry, and Children’s books. The Wheatley Legacy Award is given to deserving authors whose body of work transcends time, race and culture. This years recipients are poet, writer, activist Nikki
Giovanni and award-winning childrens book illustrator Jerry Pinkney.
The Wheatley Book Awards will take place on the campus of Columbia
University on Friday, July 17th from 7p.m. to 9 p.m. Seating is free but
reservations are required. Reservations can be secured by visiting
ABOUT THE 2015 LEGACY AWARD RECIPIENTS:
NIKKI GIOVANNI gained fame in the late 1960s as one of the foremost authors of the Black Arts Movement. One of the world’s most well-known African American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator, Ms. Giovannis work includes poetry anthologies, poetry recordings, and nonfiction essays, and covers topics ranging from race and social issues to children’s literature. She has won numerous awards, including the Langston Hughes Medal, the NAACP Image Award, and has been nominated for a Grammy Award. Influenced by the civil rights and Black Power movements of the period, her early work provided a strong, militant African-American perspective. Over subsequent decades, her works discussed social issues, human relationships, and hip-hop.
JERRY PINKNEY won the 2010 Caldecott Medal for U.S. picture book
illustration, recognizing The Lion & the Mouse, a version of Aesop’s
fable that he also wrote. He also has five Caldecott Honors, five
Coretta Scott King Awards, four New York Times Best Illustrated Awards, four Gold and four Silver medals from the Society of Illustrators, and the Boston GlobeHorn Book Award for John Henry. For his contribution as a children’s illustrator, Pinkney was the U.S. nominee in 1998 for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest international recognition for creators of children’s books. In 1977, the United States Postal Service commissioned Mr. Pinkney to create the first nine postage stamps for the Black Heritage stamp series.
ABOUT THE HARLEM BOOK FAIR:
Now in its 17th year, the Harlem Book Fair is the nations largest and
most respected African American book festival. Televised annually by
C-Span’s BookTV and attended by thousands, the Harlem Book Fair features acclaimed authors, panel discussions, writing workshops, and more.
For additional information on the Wheatley Awards or the Harlem Book Fair, contact Pittershawn Palmer at 914-231-6778.
Russell Wilson and Ciara are back on, after taking a break last month from their relationship. And on Saturday evening, when they went to the White House for dinner, they were all over social media proclaiming their affection.
“Dancing at The @WhiteHouse to Prince & Stevie Wonder w/ my lady @Ciara,” the Seattle Seahawks quarterback wrote on Instagram. “Thanks Mr. President & First Lady! #IsntSheLovely #Blessed.”
In another Instagram picture, in which Ciara was sitting in his lap, Russel wrote, “P.Y.T.” That stands for “pretty young thing.”
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By Safon Floyd. –Blackenterprise.com
Now that you’re in full swing with ABFF, it’s time to really dive in and learn from the best of the best in the industry with the powerful Master Class series. At 9:00 am Karen Horne, VP, programming talent development & inclusion with NBC Entertainment & Universal Television, will lead Master Class: Writing for Television. Please keep in mind that a separate ticket will be required for this event.
If you’ve yet to get around to registering, for ABFF there is no need to worry. Registation will be open at the NY Hilton: West Promenade from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.
If you’re one of the 20 pre-selected applicants, today you will enjoy the NBC TV Hosting Workshop hosted at the NBC Headquarters.
Producer Roger Bobb will offer his expertise to the Master Class series with Fundamentals of Independent Film Production, hosted at the HBO Theatre from 12:15 pm-2:15 pm. After learning all you can here, swing over to the NY Hilton Grand Ballroom East where Gayle King will moderate a conversation with ABFF’s 2015 Ambassador, Academy Award nominee, and star of “Empire” actress, Taraji Henson.
Following A Conversation with Taraji P. Henson, will be the World Premiere of “Runaway Island,”courtesy of TV One. This is an ABFF Spotlight Screening and will be followed by a talk-back with director Diane Houston and cast members, Lorraine Toussaint, Aisha Hines, and Thomas Jones at the AMC Empire 25.
Another spotlight screening you may want to catch today would be the New York Premiere of ”In My Father’s House” featuring Che “Rhymefest” Smith, Brian Tillman, and Donnie Smith. “In My Father’s House” will screen at 4:20 pm at AMC Empire 25.
“An Unexpected History: The Story of Hennessy and African Americans” will screen at 6:15 pm and will be immediately followed by a talk-back and private reception.
Please note that films will be screening all day (11:00 am-10:00 pm) today, tomorrow, and Sunday. Screenings will take place at the AMC 25 in theaters 12 and 13. For a complete list of the narrative, documentary, short, spotlight, and webisodes to screen, along with times, theaters, and to purchase tickets, be sure to visit https://www.amctheatres.com/.
Two main events today that you won’t want to miss–Tasha Smith’s Master Class Acting Workshop, and The Men of TNT conversation. The Men of TNT is an uncensored conversation with the men of TNT’s summer of drama: Joe Morton, Charles Parnell, Jocko Sims, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Please be advised that tickets to the acting workshop must be purchased separately and may be found at abff.com.
Today is a big day, as it’s the ABFF Comedy Wings Competition Finals. Check out the four talented finalists competing to win the 2015 title of Funniest New Comic. The competition will be held in the NY Hilton Grand Ballroom East at 8:30 pm.
After a long and productive day, unwind at the ABFF Night Cap Mixer. This mixer will take place at the Lobby bar at the NY Hilton and is presented to you by The Swirl Group.
There are tons of talks, classes, screenings, and parties to catch throughout the weekend at ABFF. For more information, and to remain in the loop, be sure to download the BE Events app, available via iOS and Android. Use the BE Events app to register for ABFF and enter to win a trip for two to the ABFF 20th anniversary in 2016—exciting stuff.
For complete coverage of the 2015 American Black Film Festival, visit www.blackenterprise.com/tag/abff/ or follow along on social media using #ABFF2015. For more information on the films, schedules, and activities, download the BE Events app on iTunes or Google Play.