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Black news, entertainment, lifestyle and culture

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    The weekend was full of celebs giving back – and a little bit of fun of course. From the Global Citizen’s Festival to red moon sightings, here’s what your favorites were up to.

    First glance at tonight’s China State Dinner.

    A photo posted by First Lady Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

    Michelle Obama in the moments before the China State Dinner.

    Beyonce and Michelle Obama embrace onstage at the Global Citizen’s Festival.

    #KerryWashington and Friends #GlobalCitizen 09.26.15 -kw’s krew

    A video posted by Kerry Washington (@kerrywashington) on

    Kerry Washington was very busy at the Global Citizen’s Festival in New York City.

    Tichina Arnold out at a Lupus Walk in Los Angeles for her We win Foundation.

    “A lua brilhava vaidosa de si orgulhosa e prosa com que deus lhe deu…” -Clara Nunes

    A photo posted by Yaya DaCosta (@theyayadacosta) on

    Yaya Dacosta is enamored with last night’s red moon.

    I taught @artemchigvintse how to cook A photo posted by Patti LaBelle (@mspattilabelle) on

    Patti Labelle teaches DWTS’ Artem Chigvintsev some kitchen skills on her new Cooking Channel show Patti Labelle’s Place.

    Tyra Banks taking a selfie break while wearing her CEO hat.

    October 23rd! Last Witch Hunter A video posted by Vin Diesel (@vindiesel) on

    Vin Diesel is virtually unrecognizable in this promo for his new movie The Last Witch Hunter.

    Phaedra Parks celebrates at the Empowerment Party with Jane Fonda and Porsha Williams.

    Me, Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen #legends 😂😂😂 A photo posted by Terrence J (@iamterrencej) on

    Terrence J. parties it up in Miami with Scottie Pippen and Michael B. Jordan.

     

    Colby C.


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    UPTOWN_mount_erie_christian_academy_family

    Mount Erie Christian Academy in San Diego is no longer welcoming a 5-year-old girl because she has two mothers.

    KGTV reports that the child and her mothers anticipated her starting kindergarten with her friends at Mount Erie because she had previously attended preschool and summer school there, but they say she was barred from attending the school the Friday before Labor Day. A pastor told the parents that their lifestyle didn’t mesh with the institution’s religious beliefs.

    The school’s parent-and-student handbook, which was revised over the summer and was obtained by KGTV, declares the school’s right to “refuse admission of an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student.”

    The handbook continues, according to KGTV’s report, “This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, living in, condoning or supporting sexual immorality; practicing homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity; promoting such practices; or otherwise having the inability to support the moral principles of the school.”

    “It was heartbreaking,” said Sheena, one of the mothers who didn’t want her last name revealed, to the news station. “I didn’t finish the conversation with them when they took us in the room because I just, I didn’t want to look at them any longer. I just couldn’t believe that they did that.”

    “They told us, ‘Oh, this is not about your child,’ but it is about my child,” the stay-at-home mom added.

    The news station asked a woman who identified herself as Mount Erie’s director whether it was discriminatory to bar the young girl from attending the school because of her mothers, and she replied, “The Bible says homosexuality is a sin. We don’t condone any sinful lifestyles.”

    “If we knew from the beginning that this was unacceptable, they didn’t condone or believe in this, if it was such a big deal, we would have never started her off there,” Sheena countered. “I would never put my child’s emotional well-being in an unstable setting like that.”

    Although the mothers are seeking an attorney to bring a civil lawsuit against Mount Erie, the school does have a First Amendment right to deny membership based on religious beliefs.

    Sheena, however, says her family is ready to fight their case. “I want my baby to be safe when she grows up,” the mother said. “I don’t want her to ever have to be discriminated against because of her lifestyle. That’s not fair.”

    Source


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    UPTOWN_chris_royalty_brown_nia_guzman

    Chris Brown and Nia Guzman have reached a detente in the custody war regarding their daughter Royalty.

    According to sources close to the case, the parents have agreed to joint physical and legal custody. Brown will have unsupervised visits with the 1 year old 12 days each month.

    Brown and Guzman have also agreed on the baby’s name — Royalty Brown with no middle name.

    The proud father will also pay $2,500 per month in child support. He’s also paying the $15,000 in back child support he owes Guzman.

    Brown will also be responsible for paying for Royalty’s schooling, health insurance, medical bills, and nannies.

    According to TMZ‘s sources, Brown failed a drug test he submitted to during the custody hearing. He tested positive for cannabis and codeine, but he had a prescription for both.

    A judge will have to approve the settlement for it to be valid.


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    UPTOWN_microsoft_office_2016

    Life can get really hectic before you’re even aware of it, especially around the holidays. One minute you’re deciding whether to pass out candy on Halloween and the next you’re scrounging for a last-minute gift for an unexpected Christmas guest. But don’t fret! The newly-launched Microsoft Office 2016 will be your lifesaver. From the OneDrive cloud to holiday travel to seasonal budgets to holiday party planning to progressing at work, Office 2016 has you covered. Here are the ways Office 2016 will improve your life.

    UPTOWN_using_cloud

    OneDrive

    • Keep all your files in OneDrive, a free storage cloud.
    • OneDrive automatically backs up your camera roll.
    • OneDrive integrates seamlessly with the Office apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and Sway (an interactive new storytelling app in the Office portfolio).
    • The integration allows you to access your documents, images, and videos from nearly any Windows, iOS, or Android device.
    • OneDrive lets you work with colleagues at the same time using Office Online for free, so you can create, edit, and share documents from any device.

    [Image: Shutterstock]

    UPTOWN_travel_pics

    Holiday Travel

    • The Office suite makes traveling for work and pleasure less nerve-wracking.
    • Upload and save copies of your identification, boarding documents, and important addresses to OneNote, so they can easily be accessed with a simple Wi-Fi connection.
    • Or … Sync your OneDrive to all your devices prior to travel. Now you can access important travel documents with or without Wi-Fi.
    • Tired of relatives and friends asking you to text them a photo while on vacation? Create a shared OneDrive between your fellow travelers. Everyone will be able to upload and enjoy photos in real time.

    [Image: Shutterstock]

    UPTOWN_budgeting

    Seasonal Budgeting

    • Use Excel to outline specific budgets, so you will stay on track and keep within financial goals.
    • Set savings reminders. Let Outlook calendar remind you to scan for airline prices when they are cheapest. Rumor has it that airline fares tend to be cheapest on Tuesday afternoons.

    [Image: Shutterstock]

    UPTOWN_grocery_list

    Holiday Party Planning

    • Don’t leave a trip to the grocery store for the last minute. Calendar reminders in Outlook will keep you ahead of the supermarket shopping frenzy.
    • Using the OneNote mobile app, create shared grocery lists between your roommate, friend, or significant other to help you with shopping.
    • Make your invitations and save-the-dates this holiday’s most memorable by using Sway to create unique summonses that are easily shareable.

    [Image: Shutterstock]

    UPTOWN_expense_reports

    Progressing at Work

    • Create and submit expense reports with ease by using Office Lens to capture receipts on-the-go.
    • Decluttering your digital space is just as important as decluttering your desk. Use the tabs in OneNote to keep all your to-dos in one easy-to-access app.
    • Take advantage of Office 365’s co-authoring capability to make sure all your coworkers are on the same page (literally).
    • Did you know productivity declines around 3 p.m.? Set reminders in Outlook to step away from the computer screen for a stretch, walk, or coffee break.

    [Image: Shutterstock]


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    zachary and yvonne ervin gma

    Earlier this month, two brothers aged 22 and 17 tried to murder their parents. Christopher Ervin and Cameron Ervin reportedly put Xanax in their parents’ food then strangled, stabbed and beat them in their Atlanta area home on September 5.  Yesterday, the 50 year old victims, Zachary and Yvonne Ervin appeared on Good Morning America to discuss the ordeal.

    The parents insist their sons just had ‘bad moment.’

    “We forgive our boys because that was totally out of character for them. They’re not violent, they’ve never gotten in any type of trouble,” Yvonne Ervin said.

    “Just common teenagers,” her husband Zachary, added.

    According to AP, Yvonne Ervin called 911 to request help because her sons were trying to kill the couple.

    Officers said they found a bloody scene inside the home, and Zachary Ervin emerged from the garage covered in blood. Zachary Ervin told officers that he was struck in the head with a shotgun during the attack, and officers found a bloody shotgun in a basement bedroom, according to a police report.

    The brothers had also turned on the gas to the fireplace and lit a candle in a failed attempt to blow up the house, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter has said.

    Watch their interview here:

    Colby C.


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    No Text Is Worth A Life! It Can WaitPledge to keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone.

    Join UPTOWN to put an end to distracted driving. Please visit ItCanWait.com to take the pledge and  check out AT&T’s new videos that show the dangers of glancing at your phone while driving.

    Watch Fletcher’s Drive


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    UPTOWN_brittney_griner_glory_johnson_wedding

    If you examine the divorce proceedings between Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson from Griner’s perspective, then you would conclude that she’s winning. However, if you look at it from soon-to-be-mom Johnson’s perspective, their divorce is extremely messy.

    According to court documents recently obtained by TMZ, a judge has awarded Griner exclusive yet temporary use of their Arizona home, while they finalize the divorce.

    The ruling against Johnson took effect immediately, according to the documents, and she has to schedule an appointment with Griner in order to retrieve her personal effects.

    But Johnson must adhere to some restrictions. She only has 20 minutes to gather her belongings, including clothing, toiletries, and luggage. Also a police officer must accompany her to Griner’s home in order to prevent any illegal activity, as both WNBA stars were arrested for domestic violence earlier this year.

    UPTOWN_brittney_griner_glory_johnson_mug_shots

    Johnson and Griner ended their relationship 28 days after marrying on May 9, 2015. Their wedding took place after the very public domestic violence scandal.

    As alluded to above, Johnson is pregnant with twins, who are due in January. The wives disagree on whether Griner was involved in the planning of Johnson’s pregnancy. Johnson says she was; Griner says she wasn’t. Griner hasn’t revealed if she desires to be involved in the twins’ lives.


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    UPTOWN_michelle_obama

    “There is no boy at this age that is cute enough or interesting enough to stop you from getting your education. If I had worried about who liked me and who thought I was cute when I was your age, I wouldn’t be married to the president of the United States … You don’t want to look back when you’re 60 and regret that you just didn’t have the patience to push through these four years of mess. You’ll have opportunity, and you’ll have control of your life to make choices. And you won’t have to listen to your parents, because you’ll have a job and you’ll pay your own bills. You want that freedom. Freedom comes later. Now you invest. Now you put up with. Now you be patient. Because if you don’t do it now, then you’ll be living this cramped-up life for the rest of your life.”

    — Michelle Obama speaks to girls attending an event hosted by Glamour at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, as part of the Let Girls Learn campaign. The campaign has instituted the #62MillionGirls initiative, which aims to educate the 62 million girls worldwide who don’t have access to education. “If we want to end global poverty, if we want to improve the plight of our country, educating girls is the key to all of that. It just is,” explained the First Lady at the Sept. 29th event.


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    empire 2015

    When a TV format is doing well, you better believe there will be more of it to come.  Which means of course that the ratings juggernaut Empire will soon have a spin off, according to execs.

    Earlier this summer while on a press tour for the upcoming season, creator and producer Lee Daniels told the audience, “Without question, there will be [an Empire] spin-off,” even hinting at the possibility of a prequel focusing on Cookie Lyon.

    Yesterday, Vulture reported that Dana Walden 20th Century Fox TV Chairman & CEO revealed “if there’s a character … that feels original enough, has enough momentum and enough of a storytelling engine, we will definitely look to spin Empire off for next season.”

    Walden however, has different thoughts on the subject of the Empire spin off.  While the network is allegedly not rushing the creative process, she hinted the character that could become the focus of the new show, “would, in all likelihood, appear in the second half of this season.”

    Colby C.


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    uptown ben carson new hampshire speech 2015

    “They had no idea how adept we were at getting over those fences. I mean full speed ahead, never break stride, leap high into the fence, allow the momentum of your feet to swing you over the top, drop down on the other side all in one motion, and laugh at them because they couldn’t do that.

    Now, that was back in the day before they would shoot you.”

    – 2016 Presidential candidate Ben Carson talks about how he and friends would throw rocks at cars and get chased by the cops.

     


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    uptown kevin hart david beckham h&m

    Kevin Hart and David Beckham are an unlikely onscreen duo, but that didn’t stop H&M from teaming them up.  The two star in a hilarious new H&M commercial for their Modern Essentials collection (which launches online October 1 at hm.com).

    The premise of the commercial is how deeply Hart immerses himself into Beckham’s world to prepare for the lead role in the upcoming biopic “I, Beckham.” (Spoiler alert: he gets the part.)

    uptown david beckham kevin hart hm

    But what you have to see for yourself are the great lengths Hart goes through to truly become Beckham as he shadows the soccer star.  Of course part of really getting into character for the role means twinning…watch how Hart morphs into a chocolate mini-Beckham here:

     

     

    Colby C.


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    shonda-rhimes-825x580

     

    She’s been working nonstop but that’s not the reason behind Shonda Rhimes‘ dramatic 117 pound weight loss.  The Scandal and HTGAWM creator credits her three daughters with inspiring her to get healthier, telling Extra, “I just decided I was gonna get it together and get healthy; I have some little kids and I want to be around for them.”

    Admittedly the weight loss process was the opposite of joyful – Rhimes hated every step.

    “I changed everything I ate — and I hated all of that — and then I hate exercising and I did that, too, and I hated it the whole time,” she recalls.

    In addition to exercise and portion control (“I try to make it much less and smaller portions”), there was a somewhat unexpected benefit to her weight loss campaign.  She has less of a taste for cake and more of a taste for healthy stuff. “You change what your palate wants. I’m suddenly craving fish and salad,” Rhimes says.

    Colby C.


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    UPTOWN_ll_cool_j_najee_smith

    NYPD officers arrested L.L. Cool J‘s son, Najee Smith, 26, and three others, early Tuesday morning, after an altercation at an exclusive rooftop club in the Meatpacking District.

    The eldest son of the legendary rapper, NCIS: Los Angeles actor, and Lip Sync Battle host was celebrating his birthday Monday night at Catch Rooftop, where bottle service costs from $400 to more than $600 and tables can cost as much as $1,600. After becoming intoxicated, according to police, Smith caused a disturbance in the club. Security asked him to leave and he and his cohorts fought off the bouncers.

    “I didn’t do anything” and “This is bulls—” said Smith to cops after being arrested around 3:15 a.m. for criminal trespass.

    UPTOWN_najee_smith_arrested

    He was arraigned in Manhattan and released late Tuesday. As he left the court, two friends shielded him from the media while making obscene gestures, including spitting in a New York Daily News photographer’s face, reports the newspaper.

    L.L. Cool J wasn’t present during his son’s arraignment.

    Source


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    UPTOWN_bill_cosby_kenan_thompson_fat_albert

    Comedian Kenan Thompson revealed Tuesday that Bill Cosby allegedly gave him some odd advice when they were working on the Fat Albert movie.

    Speaking on the Late Night show with Seth Meyers, the Saturday Night Live star who’s impersonated Cosby in the past recalled the weird moment, “”He was like, ‘You know, life is good in the movies or whatever, but you just be ready because when this movie comes out, you’re going to need two d–ks because women are going to be all over you.'”

    Thompson said the unsolicited advice was bizarre coming from an entertainer he considered to be his mentor.

    “I’m sorry, Dr. Huxtable. What was that? I didn’t catch it,” he said.

    Thompson said that interaction was one of a few “little indicators” there was something odd about Cosby, whose reputation has steeply declined after dozens of women have accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting them.

    Thompson told Meyers that he brushed off Cosby’s “two d–ks” advice as typical guy banter.

    The day after Thompson’s interview, attorney Gloria Allred revealed three more Cosby accusers. Pamela Abeyta, Sharon Van Ert, and Lisa Christie detailed Cosby’s alleged sexual misconduct at a news conference Wednesday.

    Also this week Brown University became the third, after Marquette University and Fordham University, to rescind Cosby’s honorary degrees.


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    Will Smith at Comic-Con International 2015

    Big Will is back. Will Smith has teamed with Colombian band Bomba Estéreo on the remix to Fiesta, the title track from the group’s Latin Grammy nominated album.  The actor, who is gearing up for a press tour around his latest film Concussion, raps in decidedly Will-Smith fashion over a pulsing party track.  A new music video for the song was recently filmed in Los Angeles.  But until that’s released, here’s a taste of Smith’s newest effort.

     

    Colby C.


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    UPTOWN_ethel_jean_banks

    Here’s a lesson for anyone who enjoys eating ribs, especially at a family barbecue.

    Austin Police say they arrested Ethel Jean Banks, 61, after she attacked her brother for eating her barbecue ribs on Sept. 27th.

    The victim, whose name hasn’t been revealed, says he and Banks began to argue about the ribs. According to court documents, Banks charged at her brother with a butcher knife.

    The brother ran from the home and called 911.

    Police charged Banks with charged with aggravated assault, which is second-degree felony.

    Her brother says he didn’t know the barbecue ribs belonged to Banks.

    Source


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    UPTOWN_bill_cosby

    The LAPD has finished investigating Bill Cosby for allegedly sexually assaulting Chloe Goins in 2008 at the Playboy Mansion, and has turned over the results to the Los Angeles District Attorney to decide whether to charge embattled comedian.

    Goins says Cosby gave her a drink at a Playboy party and it caused her to pass out. She says she awoke to Cosby licking her toes and his pants were around his ankles. She says she was 18-years-old at the time.

    LAPD detectives investigated her claims after she made the alleged revelation.

    In the past, Cosby has denied assaulting Goins, saying he wasn’t even at the party.

    RELATED: Report: Cosby Tells Kenan Thompson He’ll Need “Two D–ks” In Hollywood [VIDEO]


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    Barack Obama, Rupert Murdoch, Ben Carson

    “Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide?  And much else.”

    Rupert Murdoch, businessman and 21st Century Fox executive chair, compares Ben Carson and Barack Obama‘s Blackness, lending his support to the former who apparently is the right kind of Black, before later backtracking on the statement.

    Colby C.


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    no doubt about it

    On last night’s episode of Empire, during Lucious’ welcome home party, Jamal Lyon and Pitbull took the stage to celebrate the newly released mogul’s freedom. But they were only halfway through their performance of “No Doubt About It” before they were upstaged by Cookie and Hakeem. (So rude.)

    Lucky for you, there is a video for the song so you can get a full dose of the high energy party track with vocals by Jussie Smollett and Pitbull. Consider this your afternoon pick-me-up.

     

    Colby C.


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    UPTOWN_ben_carson_a_more_perfect_union

    “Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating deceitful propaganda the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.”

    — Presidential hopeful Ben Carson wrote in his new book, A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties. A CNN presenter recently questioned the Christian and former neurosurgeon about his opinion on the Holocaust, “If there had been no gun control laws in Europe at that time, would six million Jews have been slaughtered?” Carson replied:

    “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed … I’m telling you that there is a reason that these dictatorial people take the guns first.”

    Source


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