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    uptown_nick_gordon_dr_phil_2015

    Wednesday’s episode of “Dr. Phil” featured the intervention of Bobbi Kristina Brown‘s boyfriend, Nick Gordon.  Gordon—who claimed to have administered CPR on his girlfriend’s mother, Whitney Houston, and Bobbi Kristina, who remains in a coma at Emory hospital—displayed wildly erratic behavior while Dr. Phil McGraw convinced him that he needed to enter rehab.

    With his mother, Michelle, by his side, Gordon sat in front of Dr. Phil and continuously cried out “I miss Krissy” and “I miss Whitney.”  At times, he would look away from Dr. Phil while being questioned.  Several times he completely interrupted the television psychologist and begin speaking to his mother. On three separate occasions, he said he was finished with the interview and abruptly walked out of the room.

    Dr. Phil did not get many answers out of Gordon.  Many times,went on out-of-the-blue tangents.  At one point, he blurted out “I hate Bobby Brown,” speaking about Bobbi Kristina’s father.  At another time, he pointed at Dr. Phil while laughing and said “Oh my gosh, I made him more famous.”

    Gordon admitted that he was on Xanax and had been drinking heavily, as Dr. Phil suspected. The host informed both Michelle and Gordon that if he continues down the same path, he will be dead soon.

    “I think you definitely need to go to a medical supervisor,” Dr. Phil told Gordon.  “You can’t help Krissy like this. You’ve gotta get yourself cleaned up.”

    Throughout the episode, Gordon admitted that he was concerned about looking “weak” to the world. When Dr. Phil tells Gordon that he’s got to “man up,” the distraught young man got very defensive.

    “I’ve been strong for so many people for so long, so please, don’t tell me to man up,” he tells the host.

    Gordon appeared to want his innocence known to the public.  He lifted his sleeves up to reveal his tattoos of Bobbi Kristina’s name and Houston’s face and told the cameras to capture it.  He looked into the cameras and said, “I wanna let all you guys know I did everything possible in the world to protect them…even though we did, like, everything…”

    In the end, he agreed to go to a rehab located about three hours away from Atlanta.

    Dr. Phil mentioned that the Houston family reached out to his team and said that Gordon never performed CPR on Houston, who was found dead in a bathtub in 2012, similar to the way Bobbi Kristina was found unresponsive in January.


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    UPTOWN_tom-jackson

    After months of turmoil, backlash from community activists and protests sprinkled through the city, Ferguson, Missouri, Police Chief Tom Jackson announced his resignation on Wednesday. His resignation comes a week after the Justice Department issued its report exposing the city’s officers’ extreme racial bias while policing to raise revenue, including targeting Black residents for stops, tickets and warrants.

    Jackson’s decision to leave was first reported by Fox News, coming only a day after Ferguson’s city manager resigned, and two days after the city’s top municipal court judge also stepped down. He will receive a severance payment and health insurance for one year while a national search for his replacement is conducted.

    Meanwhile, the violence in the St. Louis suburbs continues to surge as two officers were shot in front of the police station during protests just after midnight, as tensions rose between police and minority groups. Dozens of protesters gathered in reaction to the announcement hours earlier of Chief Jackson’s resignation. The peaceful demonstration suddenly turned violent when the fatal shots rang out.

    An unidentified 7-year police veteran from Webster Groves, Missouri, was shot “at the high point” of his cheek, under his right eye. The bullet is now lodged behind one of his ears, according to St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, who called the senseless attack an “ambush.” The second wounded officer, who’s been on the force for 14 years from St. Louis County, was shot in the shoulder. Although their injuries are non-life threatening, their conditions are considered serious.

    Chief Belmar told reporters Thursday morning: “These police officers were standing there, and they were shot just because they were police officers.”


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    UPTOWN_thurgood-marshall-students-apple

     Thurgood Marshall College Fund students

    Apple continues to dominate headlines this week, after unveiling its innovative smart watch, with hefty price tags ranging from $350-$18,000 and a new round of sleek, light Macbooks. All tech products aside, the iPhone maker is partnering with several non-profit organizations on a multi-year, multi-million-dollar effort to increase technology jobs, specifically designed for women, minorities, and veterans.

    The $50 million funds will be used to create a database of computer science majors at HBCUs, while training both students and faculty, along with scholarship opportunities. Apple will also create a paid internship program for particularly promising students.

    The tech giant has teamed up with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a non-profit that supports students enrolled in public, Historically Black Colleges and Universities. These schools include North Carolina A&T State University, Howard University, and Grambling State University.

    In addition to college students, Apple has collaborated with the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), to help create broader opportunities for female technology workers.

    But Apple isn’t the only one putting its money where its mouth is. NCWIT is also funded by Google, Microsoft and Symantec. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund has received significant funds from Wal-Mart and the National Basketball Association. Earlier this year, Intel announced it will devote $300 million to science and technology education, primarily for girls and minorities.


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    UPTOWN_Lupita-Nyong'o-Common

    Step aside Rihanna and Leonardo DiCaprio, looks like the hottest new Hollywood couple is Common and 12 Years a Slave actress Lupita Nyong’o.

    The cat may have come out the bag after fans began tweeting yesterday evening of the two Academy Award winners enjoying an Off-Broadway show, Big Love.

    UPTOWN_Lupita-Nyongo-Common-Date-Tweets-3 UPTOWN_Lupita-Nyongo-Common-Date-Tweets-1

    Hours later, the tweets kept coming, but this time, from the view of the two actors having dinner and drinks.

    UPTOWN_Lupita-Nyongo-Common-Date-Tweets-4

    UPTOWN_Lupita-Nyongo-Common-Date-Tweets-2

    Now, this could be just a friendly night on the town, as the two share the same stylist, but the Chicago native stopped by Hot 97 radio’s Ebro In The Morning Show yesterday, commenting on his personal life:

    “I’m single. I go out on dates. I haven’t really found a woman that I’m just like, ‘OK, I’m gonna settle down.’ I ain’t out here wild, because I’m focused on stuff I’m doing, but it’s nice to go out on dates.”

    But we’ve got our eyes on these two.

     


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    uptown_palcohol

    Alcohol in a powdered form has just been approved by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and legalized as of Tuesday.  Mark Phillips is the brain behind this new substance he calls Palcohol.  He will be creating at least three versions of the powder to be sold in U.S. stores that will use powder from distilled Puerto Rican rum and distilled vodka, which can simply be mixed into water to create a cocktail.  But why would anyone need powdered alcohol?

    The Palcohol website mentions many handy uses, such as removing the “burden of carrying heavy bottles of liquid” for travelers, campers and hikers.  Airline companies can use the product to reduce the weight of alcohol bottles on planes. The powder can also be used as an antiseptic or as a “fuel source” for a vehicle, camping stove, or other figures, according to the site.

    But last year, Phillips outlined a different set of ways the powdered alcohol can be used.  His reasoning was very questionable to many.
    “What’s worse than going to a concert, sporting event, etc. and having to pay $10, $15, $20 for a mixed drink with tax and tip. Are you kidding me?! Take Palcohol into the venue and enjoy a mixed drink for a fraction of the cost.” the beverage law firm, Lehrman Beverage Law says.


    The firm also quoted the old version of the webpage as talking about the ease of sprinkling Palcohol on food:

    “We’ve been talking about drinks so far. But we have found adding Palcohol to food is so much fun. Sprinkle Palcohol on almost any dish and give it an extra kick. Some of our favorites are the Kamikaze in guacamole, Rum on a BBQ sandwich, Cosmo on a salad and Vodka on eggs in the morning to start your day off right. Experiment. Palcohol is great on so many foods. Remember, you have to add Palcohol AFTER a dish is cooked as the alcohol will burn off if you cook with it…and that defeats the whole purpose.”

    This year’s version of the cite also mentions the product being used in food.  It says that an ice-cream manufacturer is currently interested in mixing the substance into their ice-cream to make an “adult” version.
    The potentially troublesome uses for Palcohol are a part of the reason why it has taken about four years for it to be legalized.  One main concern about the product is that some users may snort it.  Phillips does not condone such behavior.
    “Our concern is to promote the responsible and legal use of the product,” he said.
    Another concern is that the product will be more easily accessible to those under the legal age to drink, but Phillips says the product will abide by the same rules as regular alcohol, meaning that it will not be permitted to be sold to underage drinkers.
    The flavors available in the U.S. will be cosmopolitan, mojito, and Powderita (the brand’s version of a margarita).  Lemon drop is still waiting to be approved. The package will contain one shot of alcohol.  It is expected to be sold wherever liquor is for sale beginning summer 2015.

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    Uptown_sigma-alpha-epsilon

    The SAE fraternity, the embattled brotherhood whose Oklahoma University members were caught on video reciting a racist chant, is under fire again. According to CNN, Seattle chapter SAEs reportedly made offensive remarks toward students during a University of Washington protest to raise awareness about racism. The president of the Black Student Union told the outlet, “People were called monkeys and apes by members of SAE.” The SAE chapter has denied using any “grossly insensitive comments” and refuted reports that the students in question were part of SAE.

    An investigation has been launched, and a preliminary report made by students points fingers at the fraternity for making the “grossly insensitive comments.” The school’s vice president of student life told the site, “If and when we can determine what occurred, we will take appropriate steps.”

    As to the reason why students didn’t react to the comments at the time that they were allegedly used – they wanted to focus on the mission at hand during the Black History Month protest. “At that time it was more important to continue marching…but that is not the only time. There are many of us who have those stories,” the BSU president said.

    Not only is the SAE chapter being accused of using racist language, but the fraternity brothers are also accused of not allowing Black students into their parties. After an investigation, it was determined that culprits sitting on the sidewalk near the house denied the minority students entrance, and not members of the frat.

    “We have determined this due to eyewitness accounts from our members viewing non-members of SAE yelling offensive comments on the sidewalk near our chapter house,” the VP of the Seattle chapter commented. “We were naturally concerned and shocked by these allegations, as we pride ourselves in the diversity of our chapter membership and racism is against the moral ethics of our local and national organization.”

    The University of Washington is continuing to look into any videos or photos from witnesses to figure out any other cases of possible racism on the campus.

    Source: CNN


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    uptown_rodner_figueroa

    On Wednesday, Univision host Rodner Figueroa said First Lady Michelle Obama looks like an ape.  The Spanish-language television network fired him almost immediately.

    The Emmy Award-winning host made the offensive remark on his program, “El Gordo y La Flaca.”  During a segment of the show where he discussed make-up on celebrities, a screen flashed some pictures of Obama, and the host said, “Michelle Obama looks like she is from the cast of the ‘Planet Of The Apes.'”

    On Thursday, Univision fired Figueroa.  The network also released a statement explaining their decision, via People en Español:

    “Yesterday during the entertainment program ‘El Gordo y La Flaca,’ Rodner Figueroa made some comments about First Lady Michelle Obama that were completely reprehensible and in no way a reflection of the values and opinions of Univision. As a result, Mr. Figueroa was fired immediately.”

    Figueroa has also released a statement claiming that he is not a racist, his father is Black, and he voted for Obama twice.  The letter was translated via Latin Times:

    “I offer my sincerest apologies for a comment that I made about the characterization a make-up artist made about you in the Univision entertainment program ‘El Gordo y La Flaca.’ I want to make it clear that I’m not racist and my comment wasn’t directed personally to you, but to the characterization of the artist, that left a lot to be desired. The clip in full context is proof.

    “I feel embarrassed, I ask for forgiveness, because there is no excuse for a professional like me to make those types of comments that can be interpreted as offensive and racist in a volatile moment that we live in our country. I take full responsibility for the lack of judgement in my part, but I can’t accept that I am being called a racist, being fired for that reason and being humiliated by Univision after working there for 17 years. I come from a bi-racial Latin family, with family members, like my father, who is Afro-Latino. I am the first presenter on Hispanic TV that is openly gay and I am an activist for causes that favor minorities that have been discriminated against just like me. I openly voted twice for your husband Barack Obama, because I consider him a great man that respects minorities, like me, in this country.

    “I worked on two Univision shows where I commented about celebrity style and looks, including the Royal Family and Latin first ladies, and I have never offended anybody because of their skin color, sexual orientation or nationality. I am a decent person, but I’m a human that makes mistakes like this one. Although the comment was unpleasant and out of line, I do not deserved being called a racist and I have to defend myself for respect and love to my family, my father, my fans and my community. I was notified verbally that due to a complaint from your office I was fired. And thanks to an information leak from Univision executives, I was condemned on social media, destroying my career in an unfair manner, without letting me know personally and without an investigation that would allow to clear up the situation. Again, I offer my humble forgiveness for the misinterpretation and I assume the responsibility.”

    Watch the video clip below.  Do you think his comments were out of line?


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    Jimmy Kimmel

    President Barack Obama is focused on a number of issues as he approaches the end of his term, but the busy Commander-in-Chief still made time to sit down for an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

    As a first-time guest, Obama was asked to comment on a number of topics including the recent police shootings in Ferguson, Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, the social etiquette he’s imparted on his daughters and of course, his awkward relationship with Kanye West.

    Drawing comparisons to the MLK-led march for voter rights in Selma 50 years ago, Obama addressed the recent shooting of two officers in Ferguson. “What was beautiful about Selma was reminding ourselves that real social change in this country so often has happened because ordinary people are willing, in a nonviolent fashion, have made their voices heard. What had been happening in Ferguson was oppressive and objectionable and worthy of protest, but there was no excuse for criminal acts,” he said.
    Uptown_Obama_ISIL

    The late night host also covered more lighthearted topics with the POTUS (who still uses a Blackberry, by the way) like rules for his daughters on social media. “They have their smart phones and they’re texting with their friends. They’re doing all the stuff that teenagers are doing. Michelle and I try to emphasize to them that they don’t want to be on TMZ.”

    Jimmy also grilled the president on his oft mentioned love/hate relationship with fellow Chicago native/rapper Kanye West. During a guest lecture at Oxford University, Kanye mentioned his relationship with Obama and that the POTUS has even called him personally once. “About six months ago, he came to an event and, look, I love his music and he’s incredibly creative. I don’t think I’ve got his home number,” joked the president.

    In true Jimmy Kimmel tradition, Obama participated in the “Mean Tweets” segment, reading out loud harsh critiques about his graying hair and “dad jeans.”


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    Uptown_Tiana-Teyana-Taylor-comparison

    The smash hit show Empire has gained enormous popularity since its premiere on Fox last month, and now the ratings are through the roof as it garners millions of viewers every week. The series has been compared to a couple of different people’s life stories in the music industry, and now Iman Shumpert believes that there is one character on the show, in particular, whose persona is much like that of his girlfriend, Teyana Taylor.

    Tiana is a character who was romantically linked to Hakeem Lyons on the show. She is an R&B singer, and according to the NBA player, awfully similar to Teyana.

    “They’re using my girl’s character, her style, her look and she’s not getting anything for it. They didn’t even change her name. They could have at least let my girl audition for the part instead of stealing her character completely,” he remarked to Cleveland.com. He also accuses producers of stealing some of his own swag for the character of Hakeem, saying, “And come on man, they’re really using a guy [Hakeem Lyon] with a flat-top like me. Come on. That’s ridiculous. They never called us. We were blindsided. We found out by our family and fans when the show aired.”

    According to Iman, Tey’s fans are upset about the alleged identity theft and have urged her to take legal action. “Her fans are more mad about it than I am. I’m a ball player, but that’s her field. That’s what she does. Me personally, I don’t plan on taking any action but I don’t know about her,” said Iman who later clarified some of the controversial statements.

    “We do not all feel that our lives are being copied/stolen. I apologize to the actors on the show because they’re just being professionals and don’t deserve slander; that’s not what I was trying to portray and I have to be more careful with my choice of words,” he told TMZ Sports. “I do not appreciate the writer using his questions with my answers to draw quotes like I was making these elaborate answers but that’s the media. The writer took a 2-3 min convo of locker room talk after a great team win and made it look like a sit down interview and it wasn’t. He twisted words to get the point that he wanted to get across”

    Source: Cleveland.com, TMZ Sports


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    Uptown_Ludacris-Eudoxie-marriage-baby

    Ludacris has already had two huge major milestones since 2015 started, as he entered the year as a newly-married man, and he is now expecting a child with his wife, Eudoxie. The two got quietly married at their home in Atlanta surrounded by just his mother, and now, the rapper is explaining why he decided not to do a bigger wedding.

    Calling into Chicago’s 107.5 to talk about his new upcoming album, Ludaversal, Ludacris answered the hosts questions about the ceremony, expecting a child with his new wife, and more.

    “I’d love to have a ceremony after about five years to celebrate actually being married for a certain amount of time. That’s just me,” said Luda, who shared his thoughts on the upcoming baby shower, too. He explained that he will not be attending Eudoxie’s baby shower, as the events are traditionally intended for women.

    “I don’t understand why we need to be there. Here’s the happy medium: I’m going to be outside smoking cigars with my homeboys,” he said.

    When it comes to making his marriage last, he told the radio hosts, “We’ve been through ups and downs like true relationships do. That’s my best friend at the end of the day. We’re going to try and Keith Sweat this thing, trying to ‘Make It Last Forever.’”

    In addition to speaking on his marriage, wedding, and baby shower, Luda also talked about the legacy of Paul Walker, who he worked with before Paul’s tragic death on the latest Furious 7 movie.

    Listen to the full interview from Ludacris here.


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    creflo

    Famed pastor Creflo Dollar is living up to his name these days. He apparently heard about all the great projects and dreams that have benefitted from crowd-funding sites like GoFundMe. So the televangelist decided to create his own for a very noble cause: to get his followers to fund a brand new $65 million airplane.

    Creflo’s church, The World Changers Church International, owned a private aircraft that recently suffered engine failure mid-flight. Luckily, no one onboard was injured and the plane landed safely. However Dollar, whose estimated net worth is $27 million, insists that the only way he can reach God’s people is tucked pretty inside the cabin of a $65 million Gulfstream G650 airplane.

    “The mission of Project G650 is to acquire a Gulfstream G650 airplane so that Pastors Creflo and Taffi and World Changers Church International can continue to blanket the globe with the Gospel of grace. We are believing for 200,000 people to give contributions of 300 US dollars or more to turn this dream into a reality — and allow us to retire the aircraft that served us well for many years,” Dollar’s appeal noted.
    Pastor_Creflo_Dollar

    The collection plate doesn’t stop there. Once enough funds are collected to buy the aircraft, Dollar and his ministry will continue to charge congregations he’s visiting a hefty fee for the plane’s fuel costs. Church representative Kayla Dollar said in an interview last year, “[Creflo] does not have a set honorarium now but he does just ask for half of his fuel to be paid while travelling and then anything else if you want to add just as a love offering, would be fine,” she explained. In the same interview, Dollar indicated that a flight to New York City from his base in College Park, Georgia would cost in the ballpark of $4,750.

    Maybe one of Dollar’s noble servants should tap him on the shoulder and inform him that Harsfield-Jackson International airport is still open for business. This isn’t the first time GoFundMe has been exploited for superficial gain. Just recently, a young woman set up a GoFundMe account to sponsor her trip Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas.


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    uptown bad celebrity photoshop

    When posing for an album cover, magazine shoot, or even a product ad, celebrities tend to get their bodies and faces Photoshopped to reflect society’s idea of perfection.  Many times, the alterations are so subtle that fans don’t even spot the changes. Still, these editing jobs convey the false idea that in real life, stars look just like a picture-perfect version of today’s beauty standards, with a thigh gap, smooth skin, distorted hue, and fiercely-defined curves.

    When a before picture surfaces, it often reminds us that the standards society sets for beauty are so unattainable that even celebrities can’t reach them – because the are just as real and beautifully flawed as the rest of us.

    Take a look at some of the most shocking and unnecessary celebrity photoshop jobs.

    uptown_beyonce_photoshop

    Thigh gaps are all the rage these days.  Many women and young girls probably looked at this picture of Beyoncé and envied her gap, but a closer look reveals that the space was more than likely created with bad editing.

    uptown_mariah_carey_photoshopped

    With 14 studio albums under her belt, songstress Mariah Carey has nothing to prove to the world. But with her latest album, Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse, the 45-year-old thought it would be best to use a thinner, bronzer, faker body to grace the cover.

    uptown_beyonce_photoshopped

    Here is another unrealistically altered picture of Beyoncé.  The repeat touch-up offender is seen with some stomach fat in the original photo, and a smoothly-curved belly in the other.

    uptown_gabourey_sidibe_elle_magazine_2010

    In 2010, adorable actress Gabourey Sidibe landed the cover of Elle magazine.  On sight, blogs immediately began accusing the magazine of lightening the “Precious” star’s ebony hue.

    uptown_serena_williams

    Everyone knows Serena Williams has killer curves, but this editing job defined the curve in her back and stomach area more.  The tennis champion’s make-up appears to be the work of a computer, too.

    uptown_rihanna_photoshop

    Barbadian beauty Rihanna is known for taking amazing pictures, and while this one looks nice, the left side of her face does not seem to be symmetrical to the right side.  Many have speculated that Glamour actually blended two separate pictures of the pop star’s face together, although the purpose for this edit is unknown.

    uptown_india_arie_photoshop

    As soon as the promo shoot pictures for India.Arie‘s 2013 single, “Cocoa Butter,” were released, fans lashed out at the self-love soul singer, accusing her of lightening her stunning cocoa complexion. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, she said she had not lightened her skin, although the photo was altered to give her skin a “golden” look.

    uptown_demi_moore

    At 51, Demi Moore looks more in-shape and wrinkle-free than a good majority of women her age.  But for this Helena Rubinstein ad on the left, her face not only looks artificially wrinkle-free, but it barely resembles the long-time actress.

    uptown_lady_gaga

    On the right, Lady Gaga looks like a regular girl.  On the left, the talented entertainer looks like a Versace mannequin.

    madonna1

    Like many other stars, Madonna is a repeat touch-up offender.  This is one of several pictures of the pop icon that have been edited to high heaven.


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    kerry mc_1

    Actress Kerry Washington is opening up about motherhood, what Olivia Pope means to her and everything in between in the April 2015 issue of Marie Claire. The interview was conducted by author and creator/star of HBO’s Girls Lena Dunham.

    Scandal‘s leading lady has led an extremely private personal life as her career has taken off over the past few years, remaining tight-lipped on her husband and transition to motherhood, and the 35-year old has her reasons. “Earlier in my career I was much more super-sharey,” she tells the glossy magazine. “There were moments when I wanted to process things that were happening to me more privately, and I didn’t have the space to do it, because once you let people in, they’re in and you don’t get to say, ‘Oh, I want this for myself.'”

    The Bronx native also shared a bit about her lead role as Olivia Pope in the wildly successful ABC series Scandal, telling Dunham, “I’m very respectful of Shonda [Rhimes]’ vision of who Olivia is, but she has said that she is informed by the choices I make. If we were waltzing, she’s definitely leading, and she picked the song, and she probably dressed us, but it is a waltz.”

    kerry mc_2

    As is typical with new moms, Kerry is very protective of her daughter Isabella and the values she instills in her. She infers that battling her own insecurities has helped her realize this. “I didn’t grow up thinking I was pretty; there was always a prettier girl than me. So I learned to be smart and tried to be funny and develop the inside of me, because I felt like that’s what I had.”

    When it comes to raising her daughter, the radiant Kerry said, “I just want her to know that she’s heard. Really heard, because I feel like that is what we all really want. When I think about any of the missteps in my life that I’ve made, all of which I’m grateful for, it’s because I just so wanted to be truly seen and heard for who I am and was afraid I wasn’t or wouldn’t be. I see you; I hear you; I’m with you as you are.”

    Building on the success of Scandal, Kerry was just confirmed to portray Anita Hill in a new telepic about the 1991 Clarence Thomas-Hill Supreme Court nomination which radically change the country’s climate around sexual harassment and victims’ rights.

    The April 2015 issue of Marie Claire is on newsstands now.


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    uptown rolls royce

    By Satchel B. Jester

    There are two words that instantly note the best of anything: Rolls-Royce. The brand, a portfolio of the world’s most stunning cars (if we dare reduce them to that title), presents its newest offerings: The Wraith and The Ghost Series II—vehicles that maintain the benchmark for rare, luxurious, high-profile savoir-faire on wheels. From detailed hand craftsmanship to bespoke customization, these machines are as Hollywood as red carpets and golden statues.

    The Wraith

    The Wraith has been deemed the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever built and thanks to its 6.6-litre twin turbo V12 engine, this monster’s top speed clocks in at 155mph and accelerating from 0 to 60 mph takes only 4.4 seconds (an eight-speed automatic transmission feeds the need for speed). Forget those now ubiquitous steering wheel paddles, instead a little button on the hand carved column stalk controls the gearbox, enabling the lower gears. On the road, this beauty clears 15 mpg city/highway and its distinguished profile is only heightened by the arch of an aristocratic grill and a long, stately front hood.

    Wood, leather and steel are the elements that make up the car’s universe and the doors open backwards because of intricate hinging. Opt for bespoke options including an illuminated or gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and glass rooftop. Throw in ambient lighting, reading lights and plush lambswool floor mats and you’re ready to roll with the heavyweights. The coup de grace: the impressive starlight headliner—a gathering of 1,400 tiny individual fiber optic lamps hand-woven into the roof lining to achieve the effect of a starpeppered sky.

    uptown rolls royce ghost series II

    The Ghost Series II

    Rolls-Royce has upped the ante on a previous model and crafted the perfect amalgam of effortless dynamism, modern luxury and industry-leading technology with the Ghost Series II. The re-sculpted headlights, with stunning, unbroken daytime running lights frame a new, more dynamic shape, giving it a distinct visual signature from the front. Subtle resculpting of the bumpers creates a stronger stance and a sense of extra width and height and the new optional 21-inch forged wheels and standard 19-inch wheels ensure that the model remains a perfectly executed, contemporary expression of opulence. With the same 6.6-litre V12 engine as its predecessor, the II sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds. The Ghost Series II also off ers a full suite of connectivity from multimedia streaming to live traffic information and an on-board WiFi network to bring third party devices online. Simply put: buckle up and ride out.


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    Last week I posted the above video on my Facebook page showing a young woman in a store clowning an extremely persistent dude who was hitting on her. This 15-second viral video became the talk of the week. Everyone and their mama had an opinion on these two. In one fell swoop, we ended up right smack in the middle of another street harassment debate — the same one I thought we were done with after the whole, Hollaback! video, in which a woman walked the streets of New York and harassment ensued.

    As the arguments raged all over social media again, my thoughts on the topic have remained the same since we last discussed this and even before then. If many women are uncomfortable with being approached on the street, then we as men need to adapt to this new situation and find better ways to talk to women. Some over-dramatic, ignorant-ass dudes always approach this topic from the “THIS IS GONNA BE THE END OF MALE/FEMALE INTERACTION!” perspective which is complete and utter bullshit. As a man who interacts with hundreds of women everyday as an event producer, I can guarantee that women are very much interested in meeting men — just not when they’re walking into their office, to their car, or from the grocer. So instead of castigating all the corny guys jumping into their feelings every time this debate rears its ugly head, I’m going to take this opportunity to help some fellas out. There are much better places to meet women without harassing them on the street.

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    1. Co-Ed Sports Leagues

    For some reason, many dudes assume that co-ed sports leagues will be full of aggressive, muscled-up lesbians, which would make it a pointless potential meeting spot, but that is typically far from the truth. Most women in co-ed leagues are simply just trying to lead healthy lifestyles and there’s no better way to get past a woman’s natural defenses than by playing with or against her in a sport. No matter if it’s flag football, kickball, soccer, or basketball,  a co-ed league is one of the best places to meet active, single women.

    [Image: Shutterstock]

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    2. Speed Dating

    Black men don’t speed date. Yes, it’s a generalization, but I’m more than comfortable making it. I know there are exceptions, but that is generally the rule that I’ve heard from every event organizer I’ve met from Atlanta to Toronto. I’m not sure what it is, but we tend to focus our time and attention on events that aren’t catered to matchmaking. Speed dating is a great way to meet someone because you get to vet a selection of different women in a short period of time.

    [Image: Shutterstock]

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    3. Networking Events

    Fellas, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret most women won’t admit. Young women attend networking events primarily for professional opportunities, but personal opportunities are a close second. If you find an event catered to a younger clientele (not Tyga-young, just more like “not married with kids” age), you will meet ambitious women who are interested in advancing their careers and possibly meeting a brother just as ambitious and full of potential as she is.

    [Image: Shutterstock]

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    4. Gym Classes

    Please notice that I said gym classes, and not just the gym period. That difference must be made because there are many women who are really not about the bullshit when they are working out. Not everyone is down with being approached mid-set by a stranger who wants to compliment them on their firm glutes. But, talking to a woman after a spinning class is awesome. The ice is prime to be broken and all you need to do is introduce yourself and go from there.

    [Image: Shutterstock]

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    5. Panel Events/Discussions

    This is the secret I’m going to let y’all Negroes in on today. If you want to meet a beautiful, intelligent woman at an event where you will be the only man in a sea of non-stop sexiness, attend a natural hair event. If you live in, or by, a major city with a somewhat diverse population, there’s a good chance there’s a natural hair event occurring in your city sometime soon. Ninety-nine point nine percent of these events are co-ed, but 99.9 percent of the time only women attend. And it doesn’t just have to be natural hair, it could be a panel event on creating a side hustle or becoming a teacher. Panel events are where the single women are.

    Truth be told, I could make this list 100 places longer, but I just simply want y’all to walk away from your computer knowing that street harassment is far from the best and the only place to interact with women. It’s time many of us up our game and stop complaining about the bullshit some women do to punk us. Let’s adapt and keep it moving.

    LAB

    Lincoln Anthony Blades blogs daily on his site ThisIsYourConscience.com, he’s an author of the book “You’re Not A Victim, You’re A Volunteer” and a weekly contributor for UPTOWN Magazine. He can be reached via Twitter @lincolnablades and on Facebook at This Is Your Conscience.

    [Image: Shutterstock]


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    Fox’s series Empire has become an overnight sensation partly because off its ability to deliver authenticity and touch on real-life issues such as homophobia, mental illness and interracial relationships. But lead stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson have clashing opinions on how to take ‘keeping it real’ even further.

    “I’m mad that we don’t say n—- in the show,” Howard told Entertainment Weekly. “Why is TV showing something different from the reality of the world? Why is there a thing called censorship that stops people from hearing everyday talk? We use n—- every day. It’s become part of a conversation. Why aren’t we using it in the show?”

    What’s interesting is that almost everyone involved in the show that has spoken out on this subject disagrees with Howard. TMZ caught up with Henson while she was being escorted to her car in Los Angeles and when asked for her take on incorporating the term in the script, she replied, “No, you would piss people off.”

    David Rambo, writer and co-executive producer for the show, agreed. “It’s a powerful word,” he said. “It came up a lot in our writers’ room. That would not be my call. That is like the one thing that other people on the staff who I would have much more confidence if they handled it.”

    Though this wouldn’t be the first time the N-word has been used on broadcast television, the show’s creators are majorly against using the word because of the negativity it carries.

    Sorry Terence, it doesn’t look like that word will be appearing in your script any time soon.


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    New York City police have identified a 32-year old man suspected of choking and beating 22-year old Lakeeya Walker, who is 9 weeks pregnant.  

    Walker is a custodian working for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). She was entering the Elliot housing projects in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan on assignment when the suspect opened the door for her and immediately went into a fit of rage when she failed to thank him for the kind gesture. Walker says the man then called her a f–ing ungrateful b—ch, threw a cup of coffee in her face, and choked her. Once the attacker threw Walker to the ground, she was beaten and kicked in the stomach.

    Walker believes that this wasn’t just some random attack, but that the assailant was sent by her co-worker with whom she had a previous dispute. She told ABC 7, “[The co-worker] stood right across the street the whole time and did nothing.” Walker also thinks it’s more than coincidental that the attacker, who she didn’t know, was aware that she was pregnant even though she is not yet showing.

    The police are looking for the suspect. In the meantime, NYCHA has assigned Walker to another housing project and spokesperson Shola Olatoye issued the following statement:

    “I’m deeply disturbed that one of our employees was the victim of a horrific assault, and relieved that both she and the baby are doing fine and she has safely returned home from the hospital. We are providing assistance to the employee and cooperating with the authorities as they investigate this appalling crime.”


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    Singer/actress Ashanti recently made an appearance on the Meredith Vieira Show and, in rare fashion, opened up about her breakup with rapper Nelly, with whom she shared a 10-year on-again-off-again relationship. She claims the underlying issue of it all came down to one factor: trust.

    “When people have their own insecurities, it allows them to act out of character,” the singer revealed to Viera. “I’ve been betrayed. Again, you just have to grow. You have to grow up; you have to accept responsibilities for the things that you do. I’m not a big fan of people being cowards. I think it’s really important to know yourself and understand what you want and get it.”

    You may be wondering, “What’s so cowardly about Nelly?” Well, Ashanti may be referring to the fact that, throughout their 10-year courtship, Nelly never publicly confirmed Ashanti as his girlfriend, much less took the initiative to settle down with the 34-year-old songstress. Immediately after their split, Nelly jumped into two very public relationships with model/actress Lashontae Heckard, and soon after, Floyd Mayweather’s ex-fiancee Shantel Jackson.



    UPTOWN Ashanti

    Despite said betrayal, Ashanti seems to be moving steadily along in her career, locking down roles in Army Wives, Law & Order: SVU and the musical drama Stuck. But she’s got another issue to deal with – a stalker!

    The man in question has stalked Ashanti since 2003 and has continued to harrass her even after going to jail for his actions.

    Ashanti has had to face the man, who represents himself during trials, in court several times. She says that it’s very troubling and upsetting to miss work to deal with the ongoing issue.


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    Most folks don’t look forward to tax time, even if they’re expecting a large refund, because it’s not exactly a fun experience to rehash your fiscal year. Numbers and dollar signs run together. Figuring out which deductions you’re allowed causes anxiety. And simply gathering all your necessary paperwork can suck up your free time. So it’s understandable why people, myself included, have a tendency to procrastinate filing their taxes until the last minute, April 15th — or later, eek. Fortunately, we still have just about a month to get it done, and it really doesn’t have to be a nerve-racking experience.

    UPTOWN_jeanette_pavini1To find out how to get through tax time with ease, I spoke with Coupons.com’s savings expert and a contributor to the Coupons.com blog Jeanette Pavini, who is also a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch. She advises consumers on how to save money and maintain a better lifestyle in a way that is easily implemented. When it comes to dollars and cents, Pavini knows what she’s talking about and has the Emmy Awards to prove it. Her money-saving segments were the mainstay to her 30-minute consumer show, The Real Deal, which aired on both CBS and NBC in San Francisco.

    Here are Jeanette Pavini’s tips for making tax time less stressful, how to stop procrastinating, and make the best of your tax refund.

    [Main image: Shutterstock]

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    General Tax Tips

    • When prepping your taxes, make a deadline for yourself (well before April 15th), and treat that designated deadline like it’s the real thing. Once you have your deadline, schedule time on your calendar to work on your taxes. For some, that means scheduling with your tax preparer, but even if you do your own taxes, schedule an appointment with yourself and treat it like the real thing.
    • The fastest way to receive your refund is to E-file your tax returns with direct deposit. You could get it within seven to 14 days as opposed to eight weeks for other methods. Check the status of your refund with the free IRS2Go mobile app.
    • The IRS will let you divide your refund between two or three accounts. That way you can put some in your checking and stash some in your savings.
    • By the end of 2014, the average tax refund was coming in at just under $2,800. That’s a substantial amount of money, so even if you want to put some towards a vacation or an Amazon gift card, investing just $500 towards one of these things could have some pretty amazing long-term potential:1. Put it towards retirement: Put $500 into a Roth IRA account at age 30 and by the time you retire at age 65, it could reach $5,338 (based on an expected rate of return of 7 percent), according to Bankrate.com’s Roth IRA calculator.
      2. Invest in your child’s education: Consider a 529 prepaid tuition plan. Basically it locks in tuition prices (for eligible schools) at whatever the current rate is.
      3. Give it forward: Find an organization that will match your donation. Not only will you feel good about your money doing some good, but you can potentially double its value.
      4. Get acquainted with the stock market: Some people think they can’t dive into the stock market with only $500, but that’s not true. It can be difficult to diversify with $500, but it’s still possible. Avoid individual stocks and go with an exchange traded fund (ETF). This will spread your $500 across multiple stocks and as an added bonus, fees are typically low.

    [Image: Shutterstock]

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    Financial Wellness & Safety

    • Shred your old documents! Tax season is the best time of year to buy a shredder because office supply stores usually include it in their tax season sales. It’s also a great time of year to find free community shredding events.
    • Start getting organized for next year’s taxes. For example, TurboTax ItsDeductible lets you track your charitable donations year-round, either online or through the mobile app. Then when it’s tax time, all your donations will be in one place, ready to be deducted.
    • Look for tax day freebies! Getting a refund isn’t the only positive thing to come out of tax season. Fast food restaurants love to offer tax day deals. From half-price drinks to free French fries, start checking for tax day freebies at the beginning of April. Some will require you to print out a coupon before you arrive so be sure to check Coupons.com for offers.

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    Specific Ways To Save

    • Check Coupons.com for additional savings you can use towards your e-filing services. For example, TurboTax has offered a 25 percent discount; H&R Block has offered a 20 percent discount on H&R Block Basic, Deluxe, or premium; and TaxBrain has offered $10 off an online tax service.
    • In addition to coupon codes, look for in-store coupons at Coupons.com. For example, H&R Block is offering $20 off of tax preparation for new clients with this printable coupon.
    • Also check Coupons.com for bonus offers. TurboTax is offering a bonus of 5 – 10 percent when you receive a portion or all of your refund as an Amazon.com gift card. For example, use TurboTax Deluxe, put $500 of your refund towards a gift card and they will throw on an extra $50.
      You can use the Amazon gift cards towards essentials like groceries, personal care items, and office supplies. That way your refund is going back into things you really need and you’re making the most of that extra 5-10 percent.
    • Many people like to use their refund to go on a much-needed post-tax season vacation. Check for coupon codes from Coupons.com to save even more on your seemingly “free” trip.
      1. Orbitz: Save an extra 15 percent off the best hotel deals
      2. Travelocity: 10 percent off participating hotels
      3. CheapOAir: Save up to $40

    [Images: Shutterstock/Shutterstock]

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    Deductions You Can’t Miss

    • If your child went to camp last year, it may be worth asking … Summer day camps may qualify for a tax credit if your child is under 13 years old and you had to enroll them in camp so you could work or look for work. Expenses for overnight camps do not count. This is part of the child and dependent care credit, which also can include after school programs, daycare, preschool, and other care-related expenses.
    • If you were on the job hunt, it may be worth asking … If you were looking for a job in the same field as your previous position, then you may qualify for itemized deductions. Mileage, airfare, employment agency or counseling fees, long distance calls, and postage may all be considered deductible expenses. Interview outfits and first-time job hunts don’t count, though.
    • If you work out of your home, it may be worth asking … If you regularly use part of your home exclusively for business, you may qualify for a home office deduction. Usually, this deduction is calculated based on the percentage of your home used for business purposes. Employees may also qualify if they use a home office for the convenience of their employer.
    • If you gave a little time or money to charity, it may be worth asking … It’s not just the big checks that count! Out-of-pockets expenses add up, and in some cases, qualify for a deduction. You may be able to deduct mileage (14 cents/mile), the buying and cleaning of uniforms, and materials used like stamps for a mailing.
    • Think you missed a credit or deduction? Even if you’ve already filed, you can still take a Second Look with H&R Block. They’ll look at old returns (up to three years back), look for missed credits and deductions, and re-file for you.

    Like these tax tips from Jeanette Pavini? We will catch up with her again soon for tips on saving while planning a wedding. In the meantime, check out her video reel and the TODAY show and Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family Show, where she is often featured as a guest contributor.

    [Image: Shutterstock]


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    The story of James Robertson, a diligent working man from Detroit, who walked 21 miles to and from work everyday warmed the hearts of America, including a local Toyota dealership that gifted him a 2015 cherry red Ford Taurus. In addition to his new wheels, Robertson, 56 , received over $350,000 in donations from a GoFundMe account after walking nearly a decade to his $10.55/hour job at a Rochester Mills, Michigan factory, which was only a 20 minute drive. But his tear-jerking story may not end in happily ever after, as his ex-girlfriend/former landlord Tanya Fox wants a cut of the donations he received from strangers.

    Fox, 60, claims the plastic-molding operator was “not a neat person” and left his apartment a mess “with grease up the walls” when he moved out after 15 years of living there. She’s been so adamant about getting a piece of his unexpected funds that Robertson issued a restraining order against her. Fox, who said the two discussed marriage at one point, insists she deserves something for putting up with him as a tenant and plans on fighting the order.

    “I’m not a threat to him, and no one in this house is a threat to him,” she told the Detroit Free Press.
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    Fox, who reportedly requested $65,000 from her ex, isn’t the only one who wants a piece of the pie. She’s reportedly one of many who has begged Robertson for money, even issuing threats since his newfound wealth. Roberston reportedly had to hire security to him on moving day, when he moved into a suburban Detroit apartment, because Fox and her son were reportedly harassing him. Before the restraining order, Robertson was already fearing for his life from envious neighbors who knew of awarded lump sum.

    While Fox and other acquaintances may be unable to collect from Robertson, he’s proven generous when he wants to be. Last month, he reportedly gave $300 to the Salvation Army during a radiothon fundraiser.

    “I feel like it’s this way — why should I enjoy all this by myself? I should share it,” he said.


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