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Black news, entertainment, lifestyle and culture

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    UPTOWN_matt_damon

    Following a hailstorm of backlash for his comments about diversity in Hollywood during an episode of HBO’s Project Greenlight, Matt Damon has apologized.

    Damon debated with filmmaker Effie Brown, who produced Dear White People, about whether there needs to be diversity behind the camera, as well as in front of it.

    Brown wanted to choose either Leo Angelos, an Asian man, or Kristen Brancaccio, a white woman, to direct the film.

    “I would want to urge people to think about—whoever this director is, how they’re going to treat the character of Harmony,” she said, “the only Black character who’s a hooker who gets hit by her white pimp.”

    Damon disagreed.

    “When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show,” said Damon to argue his point that diverse directors aren’t necessary.

    Realizing the error of his thinking or perhaps that this controversy could negatively affect box office sales of The Martian, which is slated for release on Oct. 2nd, Damon apologized in a statement to Entertainment Weekly.

    “I believe deeply that there need to be more diverse filmmakers making movies. I love making movies. It’s what I have chosen to do with my life and I want every young person watching Project Greenlight to believe that filmmaking is a viable form of creative expression for them too. My comments were part of a much broader conversation about diversity in Hollywood and the fundamental nature of Project Greenlight which did not make the show. I am sorry that they offended some people, but, at the very least, I am happy that they started a conversation about diversity in Hollywood. That is an ongoing conversation that we all should be having.”

    However, as The Root points out, very few of Damon’s projects, including the Bourne series; True Grit; The Adjustment Bureau; We Bought a Zoo; and The Monument Men, have made an obvious commitment to diversity in front of and behind the camera.

    Also, Damon didn’t exactly apologize for his comments; he apologized that they offended “some people,” which leads one to assume he still believes there isn’t a need for diversity among filmmakers. And if that’s the case, we don’t need to support him.


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    UPTOWN_ahmed_mohamed

    The outpouring of support for Ahmed Mohamed, the Muslim teen who was arrested in Texas after teachers and police mistook his homemade clock for a bomb, has reached as far as the White House. President Barack Obama has invited the 14 year old to show his creation at the White House.

    Obama tweeted:

    But the teen who was escorted out of MacArthur High School in Irving, TX in handcuffs has also gained the attention of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, NASA, Hillary Clinton, and an MIT astrophysicist. All four have also invited Ahmed for a visit. Ahmed has even received job leads and an internship offer when he’s old enough. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, an astrophysicist and professor at MIT which is Ahmed’s dream school, told him to give her a call in a few years. NASA engineer Bobak Ferdowski said the same. Twitter offered him a potential internship:

    Ahmed was suspended from school until today, but says he has no plans of going back and is looking to transfer to another school.

    “I built a clock to impress my teacher but when I showed it to her she thought it was a threat to her so it was really sad that she took the wrong impression of it,” he said. Ahmed explained that he crafted the clock because he had the feeling “none of the teachers know what I can do” with technology.

    Irving Independent School District spokesperson Lesley Weaver said students and staff are encouraged to report any suspicious items or behavior, according to a statement to NBC5.

    “We will take all necessary precautions to protect our students and keep our school community as safe as possible,” Weaver said.

    Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd said at a press conference Wednesday that all charges in the “naive accident” were dropped and the case has been closed, adding “the reaction would have been the same regardless” of Ahmed’s race or religion.

    Ahmed says he doesn’t care that the school and police department haven’t issued him an apology for their Islamophobia and assuming he is a teen terrorist. Instead, he says he has been strengthened by the outpouring of support he’s received.

    Keep up with Ahmed Mohamed via the Twitter account, @IStandWithAhmed, and the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed.

    Source


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    Vogue‘s October cover features stunning actress Lupita N’yongo – her second. On the cover, she wears a Valentino Haute Couture dress. The fashion spread was shot in Paris by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.  

    lupita-nyongo-vogue-cover-october-2015-04

    A few highlights from the interview, and her fashion spread. On her first fashion memory:

    Her first memory of fashion was at age five, wearing her “very eighties red cord miniskirt with suspender straps. Presentation is extremely important in Kenya. You dress formally. You can’t just wear flip-flops. My mother always had her own style. She wore A-line, tea-length flowery dresses, very well fitting. Her nails were always perfectly done.” As a girl in Nairobi, Lupita recalls, “salons were a big feature in my life. We would go every two weeks to get our hair braided, washed, or treated. That’s where I read American, British, and a few African magazines.Then I would design my own clothes. In Kenya it’s much cheaper to get clothes made than to buy them. We would have everything run up by a tailor, or my aunt Kitty, who is very creative, would sew things for me.”

    lupita nyongo vogue oct 2015 blue On a brush with racism in college:

    At Hampshire, she says, “I realized that my skin color was making some people see me differently.” The moment this became apparent was in class, when Lupita wrote a paper on independent American film. After reading it, Lupita’s professor instructed her to go to the Writing Center to get help with her writing skills. But having looked over Lupita’s paper, the teacher at the center asked her, “Why are you here?” “I said, ‘Because my teacher said I should come,’ ” says Lupita. “And she said, ‘I could use this paper to teach the people who come here how to write.’ ” Puzzled, Lupita looked at two Caucasian students’ papers in class. Even though they were full of grammatical errors, these kids had not been given extra teaching. “And then I realized that there was maybe one other black person in the class, who had also been sent to the Writing Center.”

    lupita-nyongo-vogue-cover-october-2015-06

    On not being that special:

    When she was recently filming the Mira Nair–directed Queen of Katwe, the true story of a chess master raised in a Ugandan slum, she wore an A-line skirt and blouse every single day because that’s what her character wore. “One amazing thing about filming in Uganda was that on the first day of rehearsal we were all barefoot,” she remembers. “I looked down and all the feet were my complexion. That had not happened to me before. I was reminded that I’m actually not that special. There are lots of people in the world who look like me.”

    On having children:

    “But I think that will all be determined when I have that moment. When I have that man.” (On the subject of her love life, Lupita remains silent, but since she broke up with rapper K’naan in 2014, she hasn’t appeared to be seriously dating.)

    She also makes a surprising revelation about hair – her college side hustle was braiding and bantu knots – China bumps as she calls them.  Watch her in her element below.

    Images: Vogue.com

    – Colby C.


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    UPTOWN_tracee_ellis_ross

    “People make comments about my breasts online all the time. Stuff like, ‘You should wear a bra.’ The weird part is, I am wearing a bra! Sorry, I don’t have fake boobs, and I like where God placed mine. I never got the ‘This Is Where Breasts Should Be’ memo. I go to the Korean spa—you’re around all these other naked women—and I think how different we all are is neat. You can’t standardize bodies.”

    — Tracee Ellis Ross discusses body image with Glamour in an article titled “Tracee Ellis Ross’s Dos and Don’ts: How to Love, Live, and Look Your Best From the Black-ish Star.” The Black-ish star also addressed how she’s accepted the changes her physique underwent as she aged.

    “One minute we’re supposed to be flat-chested, the next we’re supposed to have big butts. Who the f–k can keep up? It’s a different picture every day, and it teaches us to be so focused on achieving the standards other people set that we have no time left to put toward giving ourselves the life we want. We’re all heading in the same direction anyway. I always had a thin frame, but when you hit 40 and eat french fries three days in a row, it’s like, ‘What happened?’ There are things about my body that I don’t love, but I’m not trying to look perfect every day—I’m trying to look like me!

    “My weight fluctuates. I have years where I wear a size 10, and years where I wear a size 4. On Girlfriends I kept complaining to the costumer, saying, ‘The cleaners are shrinking all my clothes.’ Finally she said, ‘I know that’s what you keep saying, but I want to be clear with you: Your body has changed, and we need to buy you bigger clothes.’ It took me out for a minute. In the context of our world, sizes 8 and 10 are teeny, but not for Hollywood. I had to ask myself, Do I want to be somebody who worries about what I’m eating? Or do I want to find a balance where I can be healthy and not consumed by that and maybe have to buy some larger pants? I bought new pants.”


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    Tamar Braxton has released the music video for “Angels & Demons,” the third single off her third studio album, Calling All Lovers, which will be released on Oct. 2nd. “Angel & Demons” was filmed in the Dominican Republic, featuring shots of Tamar with breathtaking waterfalls and exotic scenery. The video was directed by Darren Craig.


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    2015 fall tv premiere dates

    The fall TV season is upon us. Too often over the last couple of weeks, we’ve asked “When is Scandal back?  What about that new show with Morris Chestnut?” Keeping track of all the shows with black actors in a leading role is no easy feat.

    Between Scandal and Empire, Minority Report and Chicago Med, The Knick and The Walking Dead, we needed a calendar of our 20+ favorite returning and brand new television series with black actors for Fall 2015.

    Check out our list of Fall 2015 TV premiere dates.

    Saturday, September 19

    Iyanla: Fix My Life (OWN, 9 | 8c)

    Synopsis:

    In an emotional three-part season premiere, Iyanla works with two pastors in crisis. Their true lives as gay men have been hidden from their families and congregations by years of lies and secrets…and now it is time for the ultimate confession.


    Saturday, September 19

    Oprah: Where Are They Now? (OWN, 10 | 9C)

    Synopsis:

    Rediscover Oprah Show guests who made you laugh and cry, and see what has happened to some of the biggest newsmakers of all time. Upcoming episodes feature David Oyelowo and the real-life story behind his new movie. Plus, catch up with Danny Pintauro, the child star of Who’s The Boss?, actresses Debi Mazar and Lisa Rinna and more.


    Saturday, September 19

    Vet School (Nat Geo Wild, 10/9c)

    Synopsis:

    Go behind the scenes of Cornell University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and get an inside look at 1st and 4th year students like Aziza Glass. She’s about to enter her fourth year at Cornell vet school, and she’s chosen one of the hardest career courses they offer: a mixed animal practice.

    aziza glass vet school


    WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 20


    Monday, September 21

    Minority Report (FOX, 8 | 9c)

    Synopsis:

    MINORITY REPORT follows the unlikely partnership between a man haunted by the future and a cop (Meagan Good) haunted by her past, as they race to stop the worst crimes of the year 2065 before they happen.


    Wednesday, September 23

    Rosewood (FOX, 8 | 7c)

    Synopsis:
    Set against the vibrant backdrop of one of the world’s hottest cities – Miami – ROSEWOOD is the story of DR. BEAUMONT ROSEWOOD, JR. (Morris Chestnut, “Nurse Jackie,” “The Best Man” franchise), the city’s top private pathologist. Brilliant, cool with tons of charisma, Rosewood teams up with the tough-as-nails DETECTIVE ANNALISE VILLA (Jaina Lee Ortiz, “The After”), to uncover clues no one else sees and help the Miami PD solve the city’s most challenging cases. While she’s impressed by Rosewood’s incredible abilities, his constant optimism is more annoying than it is infectious. But somehow, week-to-week, this unlikely tag team will solve many crimes together.

    Wednesday, September 23

    Empire (FOX, 9 | 8c)

    Official synopsis for the Season 2 premiere The Devils Are Here:

    Season Two picks up three months after the shocking arrest and incarceration of Empire Entertainment head Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard). Still in federal lockup, Lucious is trying to run Empire from inside, while a headline-grabbing state prosecutor hangs her political ambitions on bringing him down – no matter what it takes. Meanwhile, Cookie stages a star-studded #FreeLucious concert in his support, while scheming with Andre, Hakeem, Anika and the business savvy Mimi Whiteman (guest star Marisa Tomei) to finalize the hostile takeover of Empire


    Wednesday, September 23

    Black-ish (ABC, 9:30 | 8:30c)

    In the season 2 premiere, Blackish goes there with one shocking word. The N-word.

     


    Wednesday, September 23

    Worst Cooks In America: Celebrity Edition (Travel Channel, 9 | 8c)

    Synopsis:

    Boot Camp will be graced for the first time ever with some of Tinseltown’s stars, who happen to need some serious lessons in cooking. Anne Burrell is back to serve as coach for the Red Team, with Rachael Ray signing on as coach for the Blue Team.

    Contestants include:
    Ellen Cleghorne, actress and comedian, best known as a cast member on Saturday Night Live
    Jaleel White, actor, producer and screenwriter, best known for portraying Steve Urkel on Family Matters
    Barry Williams, actor, best known for portraying Greg Brady on The Brady Bunch
    Chris Soules, farmer, and former contestant on the reality series The Bachelor
    Dean Cain, actor, best known for portraying Superman in the TV series Lois and Clark
    Jenni “JWoww” Farley, television personality, best known as a cast member on the reality series Jersey Shore
    Kendra Wilkinson, television personality, best known for appearing on the reality series The Girls Next Door and Kendra.


    Thursday, September 24

    Scandal (ABC, 9 | 8c)

    The official synopsis for the Season 5 premiere:

    Olivia and Fitz are back together again and enjoying every scandalous moment together while Cyrus, Mellie, and Huck are all still dealing with the aftermath of helping Command. Meanwhile, when a visit from the Queen of Caldonia and her family turns into a tragedy, Olivia is hired to make sure the Royal family’s private life stays private.


    Thursday, September 24

    How to Get Away With Murder (ABC, 10 | 9c)

    Official synopsis:

    Annalise and her students must move on with their lives as though nothing has happened, but the students are still reeling over Rebecca’s disappearance. Only Annalise and Frank know that Rebecca was murdered and the two are determined to find out who killed her. Meanwhile, Annalise decides she wants to take on a new client, a brother and sister who are accused of killing their parents. And an old friend surprises Annalise at home and teaches her a valuable lesson, on the highly anticipated season premiere of How to Get Away with Murder.


    Thursday, September 24

    The Player (NBC, 10/9c)

    Wesley Snipes and Philip Winchester star in this action-packed Las Vegas thriller about a high-stakes game played by an organization of the wealthy, from the producers of The Blacklist.


    WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 27


    Monday, September 28

    The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central, Weeknights @ 11/10c)


    Wednesday, September 30

    Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce (Fuse, 11 | 10c)

    Synopsis:

    Following the success of his first US tour, season 4 finds Big Freedia juggling a slew of new creative opportunities that could expand his empire just as health concerns could derail his career. While team prepares for a European tour, dancers Skip & Flash both pursue their own dreams, and Freedia’s ex-boyfriend Devon tries to win back his Queen.

    OCTOBER


    Thursday, October 1

    Sleepy Hollow (Fox, 9/8c Oct 1)

    FoxTV_SleepyHollow_KeyArt2_700x700_R1_v1


    October 7:
    American Horror Story: Hotel (FX)

    Check out this first look of the new season of American Horror Story, with a new creepy chapter debuting at Hotel Cortez.

    “In October, Angela Bassett will be making lots of trouble with Lady Gaga in the ballroom and elsewhere,” creator Ryan Murphy teased on Twitter.


    Sunday, October 11
    The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 | 8c)


    Friday, October 16:

    The Knick (Cinemax, 10p est)

    Synopsis:

    Clive Owen stars as Doctor John Thackery, a brilliant surgeon pioneering new methods in the field, despite his secret addiction to cocaine. He leads a team of doctors including his protégé Dr. Everett Gallinger; the young Dr. Bertie Chickering Jr. and Dr. Algernon Edwards (Andre Holland), a promising surgeon who’s been recently thrust upon him in this hospital drama set in 1900’s New York.


    Monday, October 26:

    Black Ink Crew: Chicago (VH1, 9/8c)

    Get More:
    Black Ink Crew: Chicago

    Synopsis:

    Watch as several talented tattoo artists look to find success at “9Mag” – a Chicago tattoo mecca for hip hop elites, celebrities and athletes.


    NOVEMBER


    Saturday, November 14

    Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s (OWN, 9/8c)

    sweetie pies 2015


    Saturday, November 14

    Raising Whitley (OWN, 10/9c)

    raising whitley 2015


    Tuesday, November 17

    Chicago Med (NBC, 9 | 8 c)

    Synopsis:

    “Chicago Med” is the newest installment of the compelling “Chicago” franchise – an emotional thrill ride through the day-to-day chaos of the city’s newest state-of-the-art trauma center and into the lives of the courageous doctors, nurses and staff who hold it all together. Cast include Sharon Goodwin (played by S. Epatha Merkerson, “Law & Order”), the venerable head of Chicago Med and April Sexton (played by Yaya DaCosta, “I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story”) is a smart, bold and intuitive ER nurse who is the lifeblood of the emergency room.


    Saturday, November 28

    Master P’s Family Empire (Reelz)

    Synopsis:

    Master P, whose real name is Percy Miller, is a single father who made it his mission to forge the Miller family empire—but with five kids ranging in age from nine to 25 it’s not always easy keeping his business interests in order, let alone keeping his kids on track. How will he manage his own projects along with the singing, modeling, acting and sports careers of his children without losing his mind? Master P’s Family Empire will give an inside look at how this single father skillfully juggles his roles as entrepreneur, philanthropist and hip-hop artist with his most important role: being a dad.


    DECEMBER

    Thursday, December 3

    The Wiz Live! (NBC, 8 | 7c)

    the wiz live

    Following Peter Pan and the Sound of Music, NBC presents another live musical for the holiday season and this one will have you easing on down the road. That’s right, a three hour long live presentation of The Wiz is coming to a television near you this December.


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    UPTOWN_azealia_banks

    Azealia Banks went H.A.M. on a Delta flight attendant after landing at LAX, calling him a “f–king f—ot” — and it’s all on video.

    Azealia’s tirade began when the flight from New York landed in Los Angeles around 1 a.m. Tuesday. She made a beeline for the door, but was blocked by a French couple who were seated ahead of her and were removing their bags from the overhead compartment.

    A witness told TMZ that Azealia tried to squeeze pass the couple, but the man put his hand out to block her. That’s apparently when Azealia went ballistic. She allegedly spat in the man’s face, punched him in the face, and clawed at his shirt.

    The flight attendant grabbed Azealia’s bag and told her to calm herself, TMZ reports. She, as a result, lost her balance, fell into a seat, and stood up in order to grab control her bag. That’s when she and the attendant began a tug-of-war for the bag, and a witness began recording the video.

    Azealia demanded her bag and to leave, and ultimately called the flight attendant the homophobic slur.

    Then, the co-pilot came out of the cockpit and informed Azealia that the police had been called. She bolted off the plane, dropping her mobile phone in the process.

    Police located her at the baggage claim, but fortunately for the outspoken rapper, the French couple decided not to press charges because that would impact their holiday.

    Azealia claimed the Frenchman hit her in the face. “I don’t tolerate bitchassness and I don’t tolerate men putting their hands on me,” she said.

    However, TMZ’s eyewitness insists the man never hit Azealia; he just put his hand up to stop her.

    A Delta representative told TMZ, “We are aware of the situation and are looking into it.”


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    bmj_season3_trailer

    Being Mary Jane fans are still not over last season’s cliffhanger finale.  But we have a preview of what’s to come for season three, debuting October 20 on BET at 9pm eastern.

    From BET:

    The third season of “Being Mary Jane” will find our favorite news anchor struggling to piece her life back together after the devastating car accident in last season’s finale. In an effort to move on after the crash, Mary Jane will cut ties with the two people responsible for the incident, her longtime best friend, Lisa, and her on-and-off-again ex-boyfriend, David. However, the driver of the other car, a down-on-her-luck bookstore owner named Cecilia, will have other plans. Meanwhile, Mary Jane finds herself sidelined at work when a beautiful young Latina anchor, Marisol, shines as her replacement, while she is out on medical leave. However, Mary Jane finds a way to save her job as Primetime anchor, but soon after leads herself to a “life cleanse” which causes her to rethink her actions. Yet just as things are finally looking up for her, a tragedy in the family will throw her world into chaos once more.

     

    Colby C.


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    lee daniels sean penn lawsuit 2015

    Sean Penn acknowledges some elements of his less-than-squeaky-clean past but one thing he won’t stand for is to be called a woman beater. And Lee Daniels is learning that lesson to the tune of $10M as he’s being sued by the Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Milk star.

    Tuesday, Penn filed a defamation suit in New York Supreme Court against the Empire creator, saying in part that the claims are “egregious on several levels.”

    The first part of the suit reads, “As a result of Penn’s status as a public figure, he has for years been the subject of scandalous, scurrilous, and baseless attacks. But Penn, like any citizen, has a right to defend himself and will no longer tolerate the reckless and malicious behavior of others, who seek to aggrandize themselves or their projects at his expense. Accordingly, and because of Daniels’ defamatory statements, Penn brings this action for monetary relief, and to deter Daniels and others from their defamatory actions.”

    The brouhaha started with comments Daniels made to the Hollywood Reporter, defending Terence Howard against how he’s been treated by the media compared to white actors accused of the same offenses.  “Ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some f—in’ demon,” Daniels said.

    Penn’s lawsuit addresses those comments as follows, “First in his purported defense of Howard, Daniels not only appears to acknowledge Howard’s guilt, he also seems to condone Howard’s misconduct,” noting that the Empire actor had been “arrested five time​s​ for violent acts against women.”

    Penn doesn’t shy away from mentioning his own brushes with the law but highlights that he’s never been arrested or convicted of domestic abuse.  He also questions the timing of Daniels’ comments, which came on the eve of the Emmy’s.

    Source, Source

    Colby C.


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  • 09/23/15--07:00: Our Music and Fashion Issue
  • uptown music fashion issue 2015


    uptown fall fashion 15 -1

    What is style? It’s class and mass. It’s luxury and louche. It’s doubt coated with confidence. It’s sexuality emerging from the shadows. Here, model and actress AzMarie Livingston, of the hit show Empire, ushers in the new glamorous life.

    Photography by Leonardo Corredor / Styling by Hope Mistere

    BLACK NEOPRENE DRESS BY LEKAuptown fall fashion 15 -3
    ISAIA TUX JACKET, TUXEDO PANTS, DRESS PANTS AND BOW TIE INC DRESS SHIRTS STRONG SUIT TUX JACKET; BAR III DRESS SHIRT ISAIA JACKET

    uptown fall fashion 15 -4

    SON JUNG WAN DRESS PERRY ELLIS PRINT SUIT INC WHITE DRESS SHIRT ISAIA PLAID WOOL TIE EIDOS GREEN TWEED BLAZER ISAIA BLACK PANTS COMBAT GENTLEMEN GREEN DRESS SHIRT

    uptown fall fashion 15 -7

    ST JOHN GOWN KONSTANTINA TZOVOLOU SHOES ISAIA TUXEDOS, TIES AND DRESS SHIRTS PERRY ELLIS MENS SHOES

    uptown fall fashion 15 -8

    OPPOSITE PAGE STRONG SUIT BLACK TUXEDO BAR III BLUE MENS DRESS SHIRT COMBAT GENTLEMEN BLUE TUXEDO ASYMPTOTE BLUE DOUBLE COLLAR DRESS SHIRT ISAIA BOW TIE AND POCKET SQUARES TIE BAR CHECK TIE

    uptown fall fashion 15 -9

    CHRISTOS COSTARELLOS BLACK LACE GOWN

    GLAM SQUAD: HAIR: BRYAN ZARAGOZA; MAKEUP: DAMIAN MONZILLO; GROOMER: EUGENE WILLIAMS;  STYLING ASSISTANTS: HOPE WHITE, PARIS WARREN, ERIN BENDER

    RELATED: Face Value: Empire’s AzMarie Livingston


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    azmarie livingston

    By Satchel B. Jester

    If you’ve been on the pop culture train at any point in the last decade and followed America’s Next Top Model (Cycle 18) or taken a bite out of the deliciously-guilty fruit called Empire, then you recognize the ridiculously beautiful, Milwaukee-born model gracing these pages. AzMarie Livingston is a walking contradiction with enviable cheekbones. Her presence is strong, yet soft. She’s both unapologetically loud and quiet. She plays the rambunctious and boyish “Chicken” (Hakeem’s best friend and DJ) on TV’s newest #1 show, but when she answers our early morning call, her sweetness is nearly oft-putting. “I feel privileged and honored by this opportunity,” she begins, and without pause—as if cued— the sass seeps through: “and, you know, I’m about to be fabulous on this cover, honey.”

    Yes, ma’am.

    uptown-azmarie livingston 2

    Livingston hasn’t always been able to approach her gift so confidently. “I’ve had an interesting relationship with the camera since about nine years old, “she remembers. “I was too young for a lot of work that came my way because I looked older. As I matured, I constantly heard the word ‘androgyny’. I was told I was masculine, but beautiful at the same time. I was confused.” But she soon realized that being an anomaly was her ticket to success. “I knew to take it and run, swiftly, and that charge lead me to my first ‘aha’ moment: speaking with (the fashion oracle) Bethann Hardison and being asked to come to New York City.”

    A few yeses, plenty of nos and a residence in London later, the twenty-something, rogue glamour girl is now living her wildest dreams. But, Livingston knows she’s truly only just begun. “I’m auditioning for films and modeling is picking back up, which makes me smile because I consider myself a supermodel. The world hasn’t even begun to get enough of me yet.” She pauses for effect. “There’s Beverly, Iman, Naomi and Tyra. And then there’s me, and trust, I can hold my own.”

    CREDITS: THIS PAGE SON JUNG WAN TROUSER SUIT; PREVIOUS PAGE: DANNY TABET BLACK SHEER AND BEADED GOWN KONSTANTINA TZOVOLOU TSTRAP SHOES

    RELATED: Our Music and Fashion Issue


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    UPTOWN_tisha_campbell_martin_steel_here

    Tisha Campbell-Martin is once again lending her voice to music and is sharing a personal message.

    Her new single “Steel Here” not only explores the theme of empowerment, but also resiliency, which Campbell-Martin knows quite a bit about having been able to forgive the rapist who assaulted her when she was three years old.

    Last year, Campbell-Martin revealed on the advice talk show, The Daily Helpline, that she had been raped at such a young age and offered advice to others who’ve had a similar experience. “You can no longer be a victim. You have to be victorious at this point … You are making a conscious decision to harm yourself, to hurt yourself and allow this person to still have dominion over your life. You can’t do that anymore.”

    Now, Campbell-Martin is sharing more of her experience. In the “Steel Here” music video, she wears a snippet of the apology letter her rapist sent her:

    Dear Beloved Tisha,
    This apology has been in my heart and on my mind for decades. For decades there has been a grieving pain within me coupled with an unending shame for my past behavior.

    Through a series of tweets, she explains how the letter helped her forgive. “The writing on my body and the man writing the letter reps the actual words of an apology letter I recently received from the person who violated me when I was 3 yrs old. By blessing me [with] the apology letter he allotted me the ability to be free and to forgive,” she tweeted.

    Campbell-Martin explains her strength through the lyrics of “Steel Here”:

    … I’m still resilient
    I’m always gonna be here
    Because I’m supposed to be here

    I’m owning my existence
    It’s a system of survival
    Because I’m my only rival
    Yes, I’m on a mission (put your seat belt on)
    I know I’m on assignment
    The stars are in alignment
    I’m ready for this!

    Black butterfly,
    Grab my paintbrush, got my canvas and I’ll paint the sky!
    I’m, I’m, I’m steel here!

    It’s clear that Campbell-Martin is committed to helping others in similar situations by discussing her own experience. Check out the music video for “Steel Here” below.


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    UPTOWN_viola_davis_variety_cover

    “It’s not just the award. It’s what it’s going to mean to young girls — young brown girls, especially. When they saw a physical manifestation of a dream, I felt like I had fulfilled a purpose.”

    — Viola Davis explains to Variety what it means to be the first Black woman to win the Emmy for lead actress in a drama series, in the new issue of the magazine she also covers. Davis also shared that she and Taraji P. Henson (Empire) were rooting for each other, despite both being nominated for the lead actress category.

    UPTOWN_viola_davis_variety

    “We just whispered to each other, ‘Whoever gets it, it’s great, it’s wonderful, and I love you.”

    Read Davis’ inspiring interview here.

    [Images: Jeff Minton for Variety]


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    UPTOWN_usher_grace_miguel

    Usher and Grace Miguel sure know how to keep a secret. The 36-year-old singer secretly wed his manager-turned-fiancee in the summer.

    Initially, the couple planned to exchange their vows in front of 100 guests in Atlanta, but ultimately decided to elope, according to a source speaking with Us Weekly. After their secret wedding, Usher and Miguel, 47, jetted off to Cuba and celebrated their honeymoon over the Labor Day weekend.

    Both Miguel and Usher shared photos from their Cuban honeymoon on Instagram.

    #HabanaCuba

    A photo posted by Gracie (@enmemetemps) on

    Usher and Miguel were engaged in January and have been dating since 2009. In October 2014, he gushed about his professional and personal relationship with Miguel. “I have an incredible partner and manager,” he said to Billboard. “She has helped me through some of the hardest times in my life and my career. She’s someone who’s been able to support and understand all of who I am. Not just as a dancer or as a performer or as a singer, but as a humanitarian and a business man and as a person.”

    The newlyweds will blend their families. Miguel has a teenage daughter named Leaf, and Usher has two sons, Naviyd Ely, 6, and Usher Raymond V, 7.


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    jeremy mcdole

    Ten years ago, Jeremy “Bam” McDole was shot in the back, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and restricted to a wheelchair.  On Wednesday, Jeremy McDole was blasted out of his wheelchair by a group of Delaware police officers.

    delaware man shot

    The officers claim McDole, 28,  was reaching for a gun and refused to comply with orders to put his hands up.  A video shows McDole rubbing his knees and trying to raise himself out of his chair before the four officers opened fire on him.

     

    WARNING: Graphic video

     

    Police Chief Bobby Cummings maintains that Jeremy “Bam” McDole was armed and a .38 caliber gun was found at his side.  His mother Phyllis McDole adamantly denies those claims.

    “He wasn’t bothering anybody. He didn’t have a weapon or anything,” she said. “He stood up and pulled his pants up and sat back down and put his hands on his lap and they opened fire on him.”

    “They shot my son so much he fell out of the wheelchair,” she continued tearfully. “He fell out the chair and on the ground. He wasn’t armed. He didn’t have a gun. He died by himself. He died alone.”

    Many believe the officers used unjustified force.  The four police officers names have not been released.  All have been placed on administrative leave.

    “I’m sorry for the officers and family of Mr. McDole, as this encounter unfortunately ended with the loss of his life,” said Cummings. “I know that this incident could impact police and community relations, therefore, I will ensure a thorough and transparent investigation will be conducted.”

     – Colby C.


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    halle berry mean tweet september 2015

     

    “Well, when they’re real, that happens.”

    Halle Berry on the Jimmy Kimmel Live Mean Tweets segment, unapologetically responding to a tweeter complaining that her boobs are lopsided.

    Below – watch her read and respond to the meanness, as well as reactions from George Clooney, The Rock and more.

     

    Colby C.


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    UPTOWN_terrell_dayAn Indianapolis teenager, who had been arrested for allegedly shoplifting at a Burlington Coat Factory, died in police custody after complaining he was having trouble breathing.

    According to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) reports viewed by WISH, police say Terrell Day, 18, complained he was having trouble breathing while in custody. Before his arrest, Day had run away from a Burlington loss prevention officer and was found hiding behind a bush at a nearby gas station.

    The police called for an ambulance, but EMS workers decided the officers could transport Day to the Arrestee Processing Center, according to WISH. Day’s condition continued to decline while he was in the police wagon, and he told police again that he was having trouble breathing. Officers once again called for a wagon, however IMPD says Day’s condition quickly deteriorated and he died.

    “Despite the best life-saving efforts by the EMS crew, the suspect died in the back of the ambulance,” reads an IMPD statement, according to WISH.

    Indianapolis EMS is investigating Day’s death while in police custody. “The Indianapolis EMS family would like to extend our sincere condolences,” said EMS Chief Charles Miramonti in a statement. “We have already launched a full internal investigation, and, at this time, are confident the highest level of response and care was provided.”

    According to WISH, the cause of Day’s death hasn’t been determined.

    Source

    [Image: Family photo via WTHR-TV]


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    UPTOWN_anthony_alvina_anderson

    Last week, we wondered for a hot minute why Anthony Anderson‘s son accompanied him to the Emmy Awards, instead of his wife. But we figured that’s just something celebrities do sometimes. Heck, maybe his wife Alvina Anderson, née Stewart, was busy. But everything makes sense now …

    A representative for Anthony confirmed Friday, Sept. 25th, that Alvina filed for divorce and the couple has been separated for some time now, as far back as April 2014, according to some reports.

    The Black-ish star wed his high school sweetheart in 1995, and they have two children together ages 19 and 15.

    According to TMZ, Alvina is seeking “joint legal custody of the minor and primary physical custody,” with Anthony being afforded “reasonable visitation.”

    She also wants spousal support. But might not get access to Anthony’s Black-ish money. She lists the date of their separation as April 1, 2014, which is before the hit TV show premiered.

    Anthony also hosts a Food Network program, Carnival Cravings with Anthony Anderson.


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    UPTOWN_george_zimmerman_trayvon_martin

    George Zimmerman continues to prove he has no remorse for stamping out Trayvon Martin‘s short life.

    An admirer of Zimmerman tweeted a photo of Martin’s corpse and captioned it: “Z-Man is a one man army.”

    Zimmerman retweeted the crime scene image to his 11,000 Twitter followers. This image was used as evidence in the murder trial in which Zimmerman was acquitted and shows investigators standing over Martin’s body.

    Twitter deleted the tweet by Sunday, but not before the retweet brought on a wave of renewed disgust for Zimmerman.

    Rapper and activist Talib Kweli tweeted:

    Both Zimmerman’s and his admirer’s Twitter accounts remain active.

    Zimmerman continues to ride his “fame” as a racist and often tweets inflammatory messages. The New York Daily News reports that “as of Monday morning, his most recent message shows a picture of President Obama above the caption, ‘If I had a race baiting President, He would look like this.'” He routinely calls Obama a racist.

    He continues to make reference to his killing Martin. Last month, he replied to a critic with: “We all know how it ended for the last moron that hit me. Give it a whirl cupcake.”

    Earlier this year, Zimmerman painted a Confederate battle flag in honor of an anti-Muslim gun seller. He now uses that image as his Twitter profile photo.


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    uptown rhoa kim fields

    After much back and forth, it seems Kim Fields is indeed joining the cast of Bravo’s hit Real Housewives franchise, The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Another new face will be that of former cheerleader, actress, and V-103 radio host Shamea Morton. Sheree Whitfield  returns for season 8 after a few seasons on the periphery.

    uptown rhoa season 8 supertease

    The rest of the ladies, Cynthia Bailey, Kandi Burruss, Phaedra Parks, Kenya Moore and Porsha Williams return with their own triumphs and tears (emphasis on the latter.)  Broken relationships, pregnancy woes, and friendships on the brink – just a day in the life of a Georgia peach.  Check out an exclusive first peek here:

    Real Housewives of Atlanta season 8 premieres on Bravo Sunday, November 8 at 8/7c.

    Colby C.


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