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    Andre_Cole
    On Tuesday evening, a Missouri inmate was executed for killing a man over child support payments 16 years ago.

    Andre Cole, 52, was put to death by lethal injection, the third executed inmate this year in Missouri. Despite numerous appeals, including one claiming Cole was mentally ill and unfit for execution, the U.S. Supreme Court proceeded to execute the man. On the day of Cole’s death, Governor Jay Nixon refused a clemency petition that raised concerns about the fact that Cole, a Black man, was convicted and sentenced by an all-White jury.

    The crime occurred when Cole and wife of 11 years, Terri, with whom he had two children, divorced. The couple battled over visitation and he was upset about child support payments, authorities said.

    Three years later, Cole was $3,000 behind in child support. Attorney General Chris Koster said in a statement: “Cole became angry when he learned that payroll withholding order was issued to his employer. Koster recounted Cole’s chilling pledge. “Before I give her another dime, I’ll kill (her),” Cole allegedly told co-workers, according to Koster.

    Hours after the frst paycheck deduction, Cole forced his way into his ex-wife’s home by throwing a tire jack through a glass door, Koster said. He was confronted by Anthony Curtis, a friend who was visiting.

    Cole used a kitchen knife to repeatedly stab Curtis, then Terri Cole. Curtis died, but Terri survived.

    After fleeing the state, he surrendered 33 days later. During his murder trial, Cole said he did not bring a weapon into Terri’s home and that it was Curtis who initiated the attack with a knife. No relatives of Terri Cole or Anthony Curtis attended the execution.

    Andre Cole’s brother, DeAngelo Cole, 38, of Las Vegas, said the attack was out of character for his sibling, calling it a crime of passion. “It was a one-time thing,” Cole said. “He didn’t have a history of that kind of behavior.”

    Missouri is tied with Texas as the state with the most executed inmates in 2014 with 10. Missouri, who came under fire for its racially biased Ferguson Police Department and the Michael Brown shooting, has now executed 15 men since November 2013.

     


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    UPTOWN_bill-Cosby-Kenan-thompson

    During a stand-up comedy stint on Monday, Kenan Thompson spoke out about Bill Cosby‘s rape accusations, calling him a “monster.”

    The Saturday Night Live comedian performed at the University of Pittsburgh, dishing on his Nickolodeon days in the ’90s, weed usage and how disheartening it was to find out that Cosby, his comedy inspiration, seemingly transformed into a “monster.”

    According to the student newspaper, Thompson didn’t get too in-depth on the Cosby accusations, but a Redditor who is a student at the school did elaborate:

    “… He then talked about an odd remark Cosby made to him while filming, something like, ‘So Cosby pulled me aside and said that after the movie comes out, it’ll be so hard to keep the women off you, you’ll need two dicks.’ Then he brought, like, his mom to see Cosby and he was creepy and bounced her on his lap and said something about horse riding like a kiddie.

    Kenan got pretty real and just talked about what it feels like to have someone go from so commonly liked to being a piece of sh*t. He, like so many others, noticed kind of odd behavior awhile ago and just never put it all together. He said he wished someone had a recording or something so the guy can go to jail.”

    Thompson and Cosby both worked on the live-action Fat Albert flick, in which Thompson starred and Cosby produced.


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    UPTOWN_abercrombie-Fitch

    An Abercrombie & Fitch employee is speaking out against the retail chain claiming Black models were sent home early so they would not be seen during the CEO’s visit. The unidentified whistleblower also detailed “countless” alleged incidents of racism and discrimination at the store.

    The employee, who wrote anonymously about her experiences to XO Jane, claimed that visits from then CEO, Mike Jeffries, prompted managers to send select staff away until they had only the “thinnest, tallest and Whitest models.”

    “On one particularly horrifying instance, most of the Black models were sent home an hour early before their shifts ended and before Jeffries was scheduled to visit.”

    The student described “countless incidents” around Jeffries’ visits when Black employees were not allowed on the shop floor and anyone deemed not attractive enough was sent home.

    There was only one Black greeter in the large shop during one incident, and another Black model was told he did not get the job because he did not look “exotic” enough, the employee claimed.

    One model reported the discrimination to a confidential hotline for racism and an investigation was launched. The employee’s manager denied any racial bias and the investigation stalled because there wasn’t enough “substantial evidence” to prove that her actions were racially motivated.

    Jeffries, who resigned in December at age 70, infamously explained why his brand only stocked small sizes for women. “Good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people… a lot of people don’t belong (in our clothes), and they can’t belong,” he said.


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    Uptown_VStiv_Sterling

    A judge has ruled that V. Stiviano, the mistress of disgraced former L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, owes his estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, $2.6 million.

    On Tuesday, Judge Richard Fruin Jr. decided that the money and gifts given to Stiviano were community property as part of the Sterlings’ marriage. These gifts included a $1.8 million home, $800,000 in luxury cars and other cash gifts — all l which are to be turned over to the Sterling Family Trust.

    Stiviano argued that the gifts were given during a time when Donald and Shelly were separated, but the judge dismissed the claim.

    “Their marriage had difficulties,” Fruin wrote. “However, the parties continued to live together, to travel together, to hold parties together and to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries together.”

    During the trial, Stiviano also claimed that family members contributed to payments on the home, but after analyzing bank statements and ledgers from Sterlings’ company, the judge found that Donald alone had paid for the Los Angeles duplex.

    “Shelly’s thrilled with the decision,” said her attorney Pierce O’Donnell. “This is certainly a victory for the Sterling family, whose funds were dissipated by Donald to lavish millions of dollars of gifts on a conniving mistress.”

    However, the ruling is tentative and Stiviano’s attorney, Mac Nehoray, says he and his client intend to appeal the ruling. “We are very disappointed,” Nehoray said in a statement. “Judges are supposed to interpret the law not make them.”

    The judge said both parties have 15 days to file objections or ask for changes before the ruling is finalized.

    Source


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    Uptown_Tiffany Pollard

    Tiffany “New York” Pollard is back on reality TV, but this time it has nothing to do with Flavor Flav.

    The self-proclaimed “original queen of reality television” appeared on an episode of E!’s Botched on Tuesday night, a show that attempts to fix plastic surgery mishaps. Pollard claims that she’s been out of the spotlight because she’s missed opportunities due to her discomfort with her breasts.

    Uptown_TiffanyPollard

    “My breasts are jacked up, they’re saggy … My breasts are unhappy,” she said on the show.

    Pollard says she was inspired to get implants after seeing Dolly Parton when she was younger. “When I saw that white chick come on the screen, you know with her blonde hair, her tiny waist and her big tits, I said that’s going to be me one day.”

    Botched doctors Paul Nassif and Terry Dubrow, who have appeared with their wives on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Real Housewives of Orange County respectively, told her she would need a lot of surgery to correct the damage from her two previous implant procedures.

    “When I got my own show, I went to Beverly Hills and I consulted with one of the finest doctors and he told me I could go as big as I wanted to go,” she recalled. “I let him go super huge on my cones. When I woke up, I was in so much pain and discomfort. I feel cheated.”

    Fortunately, Pollard was pleased with the results that Nassif and Dubrow were able to obtain and intends to renew her celebrity, now comfortable with her body. Watch a snippet of the show below.

     


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    uptown_aaron_hernandez_2015

    Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been found guilty of first-degree murder regarding the death of semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd.  The 25-year-old was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    The murder trial lasted over two months and included 132 witnesses. The trial centered on the shooting of 27-year-old Lloyd, whose body was found in a ditch near Hernandez’s North Attleboro, Massachusetts home in 2013. Lloyd had been shot six times. The gun used in the crime was never recovered.

    Prosecutors concluded that Hernandez’s reason for the murder was that Lloyd had been communicating with people whom Hernadez did not like.

    The most talked-about moment of the trial was when Hernandez’s fiance, Shayanna Jenkins, took the stand and described a box that Hernandez told her to discard. He asked her to dispose of it after Lloyd’s body had been found. She said she took it to a trash dump, although she claimed she could not recall the location. Jenkins also said that he did not tell her what was inside of the box, and she did not look herself.

    Jenkins did mention that the box smelled like cannabis, and the defense team said Hernandez was likely attempting to hide his use of marijuana, which is a banned substance in the NFL. The team also revealed that Lloyd was Hernandez’s drug supplier.

    But authorities said that the box likely contained the .45 caliber Glock that was used to shoot Lloyd.

    uptown+ursula_ward_2015

    Jenkins, who is the sister of Lloyd’s girlfriend, Shaneah, was granted immunity for testifying. After the verdict was announced, Shaneah and Lloyd’s mother, Ursula Ward, cried while seated near each other.

    “Odin was my first, best gift I ever received,” Ward told the judge. “I thank God [for] every second and every day of my son’s life that I spent with him.”

    She also said that she has forgiven Hernandez and the other two people involved, who will have separate trials.

    “I forgive the hands of the people who had a hand in my son’s murder, either before or after,” Ward said.

    Hernandez maintained a blank appearance throughout the announcements of his guilt. Once his sentence was read, he was seen mouthing the words, “It’s OK,” to his tearful fiance and mother.

    The defense admitted that Hernandez was, in fact, present at the crime scene, but that he did not kill Lloyd himself.


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    Uptown_Zoe-Kravitz-eating-disorders
    Zoe Kravitz
    might be one of the most sought-after women these days by men all over the country, but there was a time in her life when, despite what others saw, she didn’t see beauty when she looked in a mirror. The 26-year-old daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet recently discussed body image and revealed that she used to suffer from eating disorders.

    Zoe’s high school eating disorder was so severe that it affected her monthly menstruation. “I was so thin that I wasn’t getting my period,” she told Marie Claire. “Part of me didn’t want to gain the weight back, which was really scary. People were like, ‘You look so good!’ I was like, ‘Oh, my God,’ that is disturbing.”

    Zoe, whose parents are often singled out for their sex appeal, has grown up in the public eye, but she doesn’t solely blame fame for her struggles with body image.

    “I had a really hard time when I was 16, 17, 18. I started with the eating disorder in high school,” Zoe told Complex, admitting that she had a hard time loving herself. “I think it was part of being a woman, and being surrounded by [fame]. I don’t think it was about the fame, but I think it was definitely about being around that world, seeing that world. I felt pressured.”

     


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    1E08F66D
    Bow Wow, who now goes by his government name, Shad Moss, might already be a married man with a daughter, but he still lives in his mom’s basement. Fortunately, the situation is not the same as the movie Baby Boy, as he, his mom Teresa Caldwell, and his rumored wife Erica Mena, live together in his purchased Atlanta home, which has eight bedrooms. Since the place is so big, the two can easily go days without seeing each other, and anything he does in the basement is virtually soundless to Caldwell all the way upstairs.

    “It just makes sense. First of all the house is too big, but I want to make sure my mom is comfortable forever. I remember when I first moved to Atlanta and Jermaine Dupri had the same situation. He took part of the house and his mom had the whole rest of it. I said then that I wanted to have the same set up,” Shad explained to People Magazine.


    He also said that he’s able to entertain multiple guests in the basement, and not disturb his mother. “It’s like I have a condo downstairs. I’ve had 100 people there and my mom has been asleep and has never heard the music, screaming, laughter, or drinking. I mean full blown house parties downstairs while she is in the bed asleep. So I’m staying right here,” he explained.

    While some might think starting a marriage with an in-law in the home is a recipe for disaster, Shad is focusing on the benefits. “There’s times where I’ll be down there for three days and we don’t see each other, so it’s like I’m out of town even when I’m here,” he said. “I just come up the stairs and say, ‘What up, mom?’”

    Although Atlanta is his main nest, Shad also has a place in L.A. with Erica, while he’s co-starring in CSI: Cyber.

    Source


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    Uptown_Nicki-Meek-engaged
    It looks like Nicki Minaj will be walking down the aisle sooner rather than later, as Meek Mill has reportedly proposed to her. The two have been publicly dating for a few months, but the Philadelphia rapper has wasted no time making sure he’s able to call her his wife in the near future. The female MC stirred up speculation of their engagement after posting a photo to her Instagram of a huge yellow diamond rock on her left hand, along with a caption including a ring emoji, yellow heart, a diamond, and plenty of heart-eyed faces.

    Despite the fact that some have thought of it as a marketing stunt, E! News reports that an insider revealed the engagement gossip is true.

    “Both Meek and Nicki have been spending amazing quality time together lately and have gotten extremely close these past few months,” the anonymous insider shared. “It may seem like it all is happening very quickly, but Nicki and Meek are in this 100. They truly love each other.”

    Meek also hinted about putting an official ring on Nicki, as he captioned a few Instagram posts writing, “Can’t b playing games with life….. Go get it.”

    The two still haven’t confirmed that they are engaged with an official announcement, but Nicki isn’t exactly one to keep her relationship with Meek out of clear view on her social media.

    Source


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    uptown_azealia_banks_jesse_bradford_2015

    Did Azealia Banks find love at Coachella this year? That’s what some are speculating, as the candid rapper was seen by several spectators at the event with actor Jesse Bradford.

    Bradford is best known for his role on the 2000 cheerleading film Bring It On, where he starred alongside Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union.  He also starred in the teen thriller, Swimfan. He is currently part of the cast of the TV series, Sequestered.

    Banks posted pictures of herself with the hunky actor on Instagram while the two attended Coachella festivities together.  Bradford, 35, was even seen waiting stageside for the 23-year-old as she performed her set at the music and arts festival.

    Reportedly,  the two were at the Nylon Midnight Garden party last Friday. The source said they both looked “super cute” together, as they were holding hands and hugging all night.

    uptown_jesse_bradford_tweet_2014

    Last year, Bradford showed his affection for Banks when he tweeted, “I prefer my azaleas less Iggy and more Banks.”

    The “212” rapper recently described what kind of man she desires, but she also mentioned that she would need to do a little modification on her part before she could get what she truly wants.

    “I want a really smart man, who has a lot of silly jokes and stuff. I have to tone it down if I want to get that,” she said to Billboard in their April issue. 

    Could Bradford be the one she tones down for?


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  • 04/16/15--08:17: Tax Troubled Celebrities
  • Uptown_celebtaxes

    Yesterday was Tax Day–oh joy. For those who hadn’t gotten their taxes squared away, it was a day filled with frantic scrambling to meet the deadline.

    Taxes seem like a mundane part of life, so people may forget that celebrities also have to pay up. Even more surprising to many is how often they get it horribly wrong. Here is a slew of celebs who have owed the IRS huge sums of money for not getting their taxes in.

    Uptown_solange

    Solange Knowles

    Solange was hit with a tax lien in December in the past year. Three days after she married longtime boyfriend Alan Ferguson, TMZ broke the news that she owed the IRS over $50,000 for unpaid taxes between the years of 2010 and 2012. The singer, DJ and Puma Art Director/Creative Consultant apparently had no clue. She hilariously responded to the news on Twitter: “Well thanks for letting me know, lol. Shiiiiiiiiiit (Pronounced *She-it).”

    Uptown_JaRule

    Ja Rule

    The rapper failed to file taxes to the tune of over $1.1 million. In 2011, he was sentenced to two years in prison for admitting that he failed to file for money earned from 2004 to 2006.

    9th Annual Alfred Mann Foundation "Innovation And Inspiration" Gala

    Sinbad

    The comedian has filed for bankruptcy twice: once in 2009 and again in 2013. The 90’s sitcom star claimed to have debts of approximately $11 million in 2013, about $8 million of which was money owed in back taxes.

    Uptown_weezy

    Lil Wayne

    The Young Money rapper owed a whole lot of money to the IRS in 2014: a whopping $12 million. The large amount stems from unpaid taxes in 2011 and 2012. The rapper had issues with taxes in the past, owing $7 million for 2008-2009. However, that debt was cleared in 2012.

    Uptown_KellyRowland

    Kelly Rowland

    In 2010, the singer was $100,000 behind on her taxes.

    Uptown_LionelRichie

    Lionel Richie

    Richie found out that he owed $1.1 million in back taxes in 2012. But as of August 2014, his debt had been paid and he is current.

    Uptown_RobnPaula

    Robin Thicke 

    When he was still married to ex-wife Paula Patton in 2012, the couple ran into some tax issues. They owed nearly half a million dollars in federal taxes. However, the lien was lifted later that same year.

    Uptown_MJB

    Mary J. Blige

    Mary was hit with a tax lien in February 2013 for over $900,000. She was able to square away the mess in May of last year. However, she still reportedly owes $3.4 million for back income taxes.

    Chanel - Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2010

    Prince

    The music icon failed to comply with a tax summons issued by French tax authorities. The summons regarded concerts the singer had headlined in France tax years 2009 and 2010.

    Wesley Snipes,Billy Martin

    Wesley Snipes

    The top dog of celebrity tax evasion is definitely Wesley Snipes. In 2006, the actor was charged with one count of conspiring to defraud the United States government. He was acquitted of the charge, but found guilty of failing to file federal income tax returns. Snipes battled with the courts to get the conviction appealed, but ultimately wound up going to jail in 2010 to serve a three-year sentence. He was released in April 2013.


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    UPTOWN_shonda-rhimes

     

    Shonda Rhimes is not here for repetitive talks of diversity in television anymore.

    Rhimes, best known for being ABC’s primetime silver screen mastermind with top-rated series Grey’s Anaromy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder under her belt, received praise from the National Association of Broadcasters on Monday. The luncheon honored Rhimes, inducting her into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, but Rhimes’ comments during her acceptance speech stood out:

    “Everyone makes a big deal about how I broke all these barriers in terms of diversity, so I know that I have to talk about it.

    In Shondaland, our shows look like how the world looks. Everyone can see themselves when they turn on the TV on Thursday nights on ABC. To me that was not some difficult, brave, special decision I made. It was a human one, because I am a human. It wasn’t something we had to bravely fight for, because ABC is also full of humans.

    This is not the Jim Crow south. We’re not ignorant, so why wouldn’t we [cast that way]? I still can’t believe I get asked about it all the time, as if being normal, TV looking like the normal world, is an innovation.”

    This isn’t the first time Rhimes addressed her role in creating diversity. She blasted a Deadline diversity article as “ignorant” and she called out a controversial New York Times article.


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    UPTOWN_tamar-Braxton-Vince-Herbert

    A former nanny for Tamar Braxton and husband Vince Herbert is suing the couple for unpaid fees for watching their -year-old son. The nanny, who’s name has not been revealed, is suing the couple for $161,000 dollars for caring for their son during Braxton’s Love & War Tour. 

    She also claims “The Real” co-host and Herbert, a famed music producer, insisted on a no-contract agreement, and has failed to pay the full agreed upon amount. The two, who also have a reality show, Tamar and Vince on WeTV, is allegedly in debt to the nanny for $18,750 in regular wages and $120,150 for overtime wages.

    According to court documents, she and her lawyer “requested payroll and personnel records but the employer has refused to produce them within 21 days of our request…”

    Braxton nor Herbert has spoken out about the lawsuit. But this isn’t the first time they’ve been accused of stiffing an employee. In 2014, Braxton was sued by former stylist DiAndre Tristan who claims the “Love and War” singer didn’t pay him for his services, either.


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    shutterstock_232011595

    Photo credit: Shutterstock

    If you read enough relationship blogs on the internet, you will be very familiar with the term “independent women” and you’ll also be familiar with the idea that most men today are intimidated by the strength these women possess. Well, that myth is mostly bullshit, and seeing as I’ve personally been involved in this ongoing debate for far too long, I think it’s time to inject some sanity and a healthy dose of reality into this conversation so we can begin to bridge the gap that divides us. Ladies, men are not scared or intimidated by a woman who is independent – we just NEED to know that a woman has the ability to be happily interdependent.

    First, let’s address why the colloquial term “independent woman” is constantly misused. When we speak about independence, what many people fail to realize is that there are many different types of independence (financial, emotional, mental, professional, etc.), some of which most adult males simply expect a woman to have. I’m not a baller with a multi-million dollar salary so I know that I will be residing in a two-income household with my future-wife, which means her professional independence is a must. It is imperative that she has her own career and her own dreams that bring  happiness, because I don’t have any damn clue on how to provide that for a grown woman. Plus, it’s sexy as hell to know that your woman has drive and ambition.

    But, I will admit in saying I don’t want a woman who is 100% emotionally independent, to the point where she doesn’t really need my love or affection in her life. Some women will call that male weakness, but I simply want an enduring and powerful love based on mutually deep affection, not just liking someone a lot which is just a step above tolerance. As a grown man, I’m not afraid to say that I will NEED my wife, and I can’t see myself being with a woman who is above saying she needs me too.

    And that brings us to happiness.

    I can’t oversimplify this comment enough: Men just want to be with a woman that makes him happy. It’s really not that much more complex than that.

    Your degrees, your bank account, your condo, your job title are all cool, but that doesn’t necessarily make a man enjoy your specific company. Aside from physical traits, It’s your personality, your sense of humor, your ability to free-up yourself and have fun, and your attitude that makes a man want to be with you. If your approach to dating is predicated on showing a dude how strong and independent you are, then you truly aren’t interested in kicking back and having fun with us, you are out here turning dating into a civil war. Even if you’ve been through a lot of shit with other men in the past, which gives you the right to be wary, men aren’t going to consider building a life with a woman who can’t simply enjoy just being with them.

    See , when I think about my ideal relationship, I think about my parents and many other strong marriages that I’ve seen stand the test of time. While my parents have enjoyed gainful employment, my father wasn’t always the breadwinner and sometimes he was unemployed while being supported by my mother and vice versa. They never complained about who made less and they never boastfully beat their chest because they had a higher salary than the other person. They have always been a team, through and through, and that has never restricted their ability to be independent in their own ways.

    And finally, that leads us to interdependence. If you read the works of Paul C. Brunson, you’re probably very familiar with this term already. But for those who are not, it basically refers to a mutual dependence between two things (or people in this case). Two independent people can be interdependent in a relationship and a marriage without it restricting that persons individuality, autonomy or intellectual profundity to be dependent.

    Let me finish with this analogy. If I’m about to paddle across a huge body of water in a small canoe that can only fit another person, I definitely want someone who is skilled at rowing their own canoe. It proves that they are self-sufficient and they have all the skills I would want in a potential partner. But while vetting them, I would also want to know that the person will save me if I fall overboard because I know damn well I will save them. I want to know that if I get injured and I can’t row for a bit, that they can take over and row the ship without barking at me about “Not pulling my own weight” when clearly I’m injured. I want to know that when we are stuck in fog in the middle of the night, that person will be able to try and help us figure a way out of the predicament instead of saying, “I knew I should’ve stayed in my own damn canoe!” And that essentially is what men are looking for from independent women. Many of us EXPECT women to be self-sufficient in 2015, but if you don’t know how to be part of a successful team, then you truly need to be alone.

    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.


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    uptown_west_hart_cox

    Time Magazine‘s annual list of “The 100 Most Influential People” is here. The issue covers everyone from entertainers, world leaders, and other experts in their respective fields who are making a notable mark in society.  The article features Kanye West—who is pictured on the cover— game-changing comedian Kevin Hart, ground-breaking actress Laverne Cox, and other Black figures who have all eyes on them as they live life on their own terms and affect a plethora of people around the world.

    Take a look at some of the most influential Black celebrities, artists, and businesspersons named to Time’s 2015 list.

    uptown_time_kanye_west

    Kanye West- Music Artist/Fashion Designer

    “Kanye’s belief in himself and his incredible tenacity—he performed his first single with his jaw wired shut—got him to where he is today. And he fought for his place in the cultural pantheon with a purpose.” — Elon Musk

    uptown_time_audra_mcdonald

    Audra McDonald- Actress/Singer

    “I had the pleasure of getting to know Audra during our time on NBC’s telecast of The Sound of Music Live! and I can honestly say that simply being in her presence was a gift. She is mesmerizing.” — Carrie Underwood

    uptown_time_laverne_cox

    Laverne Cox- Actress/Transgender Advocate

    “She’s done so many amazing things—not just acting on Orange Is the New Black but also loving herself enough to share her story with the world. She’s a pioneer for our community.” — Jazz Jennings

    uptown_time_bryan_stevenson

    Bryan Stevenson- Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative

    “For decades, he has dedicated himself to fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal-­justice system with the perfect combination of unwavering passion and idealism.” — Serena Williams

    uptown_time_kevin_hart

    Kevin Hart- Actor/Comedian

    “In Kevin’s comedy, there’s the minute observations of Jerry Seinfeld, the family-oriented storytelling of Bill Cosby and the open-wound honesty of Richard Pryor. But mostly there’s a lot of Kevin Hart.” — Chris Rock

    uptown_time_chimamanda_ngozi_adichi

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi- Author

    “A MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, Adichie writes of the complex aftermath of Nigeria’s colonial history and her nation’s rise to prominence in an era when immigration to the West no longer means a one-way ticket.” — Radhika Jones

    uptown_time_kira_orange_jones

    Kira Orange Jones- Executive Director of Teach For America – Greater New Orleans-Louisiana Delta

    “After an influx of charter nonprofits [in New Orleans], the distinction between charter and public schools was virtually eliminated: all are empowered to run themselves and compete for students. Kira Orange Jones, a Bronx native, was one of the critical engines of innovation.” — Walter Isaacson

    uptown_time_lee_daniels

     Lee Daniels- Director

    “And now with the runaway success of Fox’s Empire, his seductive new hip-hop drama, it seems like there is nothing Lee can’t do. He is taking us all on an uninhibited, bodacious ride, bringing in new viewers each week at a pace that is unheard of in today’s television landscape.” — Oprah Winfrey

    uptown_time_mellody_hobson

    Mellody Hobson- Businesswoman/Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dreamworks Animation

    “From her efforts as president of Ariel Investments to her work in my presidential campaign, Mellody exudes a cheerful confidence that makes people want to follow her. She has said her goals are to do well, surrounded by interesting people, and change the world for the better.” — Bill Bradley

    1877730_CA_0522_misty_01_CMC

    Misty Copeland- Ballet Dancer/Author

    “Her story—of overcoming personal and physical challenges to become a soloist at the American Ballet Theatre—is the story of someone who followed her dreams and refused to give up. In that way, she is a model for all young girls.” — Nadia Comaneci

    uptown_time_chris_ofili

    Chris Ofili- Painter

    “In his work, he seeks to speak to political issues; his is a social imperative. He asks questions about our time through intoxicating visual compositions that examine peripheral modernities and enable us to make sense of our world.” — David Adjaye

     

    See the full list of Time’s Most 100 Influential People here.


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    Uptown_KeKe-Palmer-wendy-willias

    This week, the internet was buzzing when it appeared that KeKe Palmer made an inappropriate comment about Tia Mowry-Hardrict’s husband Cory Hardrict. The former Sister, Sister actress reacted to the gossip with a tweet that read, “Saying you like married men in interviews [is] not cute. Just saying.” Thursday, KeKe visited The Wendy Williams Show and addressed the apparent miscommunication. KeKe explained her comment and her friendly relationship with Cory.

    “I’m sorry to be laughing at this, but it is very funny to me because it’s all so twisted. Everything got misconstrued. What happened was, I’ve known Cory since I was 10-years-old. He auditioned for Akeelah and the Bee to play my big brother in the film,” KeKe said before addressing the issue at hand. “In the interview, I was talking about how the whole Brotherly Love cast, we kind of grew up together…I was like ‘I’ve known Cory since I was 10 and I was like I’m going to marry this man,’ as a 10-year-old. It was me quoting how I was as a kid.”

    She also mentioned how she is a fan of both Cory and Tia, stating, “Cory is great, but that’s not my style, but I do love Cory. I do love Cory and Tia.”


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    Uptown_Cam'Ron-no-snitching

    Back in 2007, Cam’Ron made headlines everywhere, and went down in hip-hop history, for arguing the “no snitching” rule meant that he would never call the cops, even while living next to a serial killer. Over the years, many have given him the side-eye for the debate, but the Purple Haze rapper has finally addressed his point in a more insightful light. During a roundtable discussion on The Nightly Show, Cam sat down with host Larry Wilmore, comedian Chris Distefano, and Mayor Ras Baraka, where they discussed the “no snitching” rule in-depth.

    “I’m still not saying anything,” insisted Cam’Ron before going on to finally elaborate. “It’s about where you’re living at. Just because you snitch doesn’t mean [the defendant] is going to get convicted. Now you’re snitching on somebody who has to go through a court process, go through trial…and then comes out on the street and looks at you like, ‘That was you who told on me.’”

    Larry then began his “Keep It 100″ segment and asked a tough hypothetical question to each panelist. He asked Cam’Ron if he would alert authorities if, “Somebody in your immediate family kills somebody and kills somebody you know, kills your boy.” Cam responded, “I’ll just answer with this,” proceeding to make a hilarious face.


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    UPTOWN_white-teen-chili fest-officers

    Three Texas cops are under investigation for allowing an under aged, white teenager go after she beat them in a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Must be nice.

    In an incident that can easily be linked to white privilege, a cell phone video caught the officers not issuing a citation to a white teen girl over the weekend at the Chilifest country music festival near Texas A&M University. The footage showed the unidentified college student react in shock and relief after her “rock” beats an officer’s “scissors.” All three officers proceeded to walk away as the drunken woman celebrates.

    “I have seen the video and can only say that this is unacceptable and unprofessional conduct by these officers,” said Dennis Gaas, constable for Burleson County Precinct 2, who hired the officers to work traffic patrol. There wasn’t enough officers to cover the popular event, so an additional 100 cops were hired from other departments.

    Officers issued 113 citations over the weekend and arrested 44 people, according to Gaas, and were given discretion whether or not to issue citations, but he disapproved of the way these officers decided the outcome of the case: “(Playing) games to get someone out of a ticket, I have a problem with that.”

    He said the three officers, whose names were not released, have been told they are not allowed to work Chilifest again.


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    Uptown_Walter-scott-shooting-video-

    The man who captured the shocking footage of Walter Scott‘s fatal shooting by a South Carolina police officer is now charging news outlets $10,000 for the video. According to the NY Times, cease and desist letters were issued out from publicity company Markson Sparks to outlets around the world this week, calling for $10,000 for the use of the original footage captured by Feidin Santana.

    The outlet reports that the fee was as much a surprise to Santana as it was to media professionals.”He later recalled that his lawyer mentioned something about charging for it, but said he did not understand. The lawyer, Todd Rutherford, said it was only fair for Mr. Santana to start getting paid for something that news outlets benefited from. Copyright experts agreed that although news agencies are allowed to use even copyrighted material under what is called “fair use” clauses in the law, that time period has passed.

    Reports say that the issue could change if the video is used in court for the trial of Officer Michael Slager, who is currently being held in jail on murder charges. The NY Times said that they have used the video but have yet to receive a cease and desist letter from the company. An executive of the company said that the fee is negotiable, but another source revealed that media outlets were being charged a one-time fee of $10,000.

    Source


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    amandla-stenberg

    Actress Amandla Stenberg, who played Rue in the first installment of the blockbuster movie trilogy The Hunger Games, used a school history project as a platform to put some of the biggest names in pop music on blast for exploiting Black culture.

    In a video she titles “Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows,” the 16-year-old actress eloquently walks us through a timeline of how Black culture and style have been appropriated by White celebrities in mainstream music. She pinpoints artists like Madonna, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus for rampantly stealing cultural signifiers like cornrows, grills and twerking to gain an edge.

    “[In the 2010s], pop stars and icons adopted Black culture as a way of being edgy and gaining attention,” she said. “In 2013, Miley Cyrus twerks and uses Black women as props, and then in 2014, in one of her videos called This Is How We Do, Katy Perry uses Ebonics and hand gestures and eats watermelons while wearing cornrows before cutting inexplicably to a picture of Aretha Franklin. So as you can see, cultural appropriation was rampant.”

    To further drive the point home, the video also features a short clip of rapper Azealia Banks’ interview with New York radio station Hot 97, during which Azealia described this phenomenon as “a cultural smudging” that condescends Black youth while uplifting Whites.

    Stenberg ended the video with a compelling question: “What would America be like if we loved Black people as much as we love Black culture?’”


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