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    UPTOWN_serena_williams_heroDon’t get it twisted. Serena Williams‘ heroism extends way beyond the tennis court, and she isn’t one to be messed with — even when facing a thief.

    On Wednesday, the world’s No. 1 tennis player explained on Facebook how she thwarted a man who tried to steal her mobile phone in a Chinese restaurant.

    While eating, Williams said she noticed the man was hanging around her and making her uncomfortable. She says her phone was resting in a chair near her.

    “He was there too long,” she wrote. “Is he a customer? I thought ‘Is he waiting on the bathroom?’ Nonetheless I tried to shake this eerie feeling. However, I kept watching him from the corner of my eye.”

    But Williams’ instincts were correct, however, because she says the man grabbed her phone and made a quick beeline for the exit.

    The alleged thief didn’t realize the 34-year-old powerhouse would make chase.

    “Omg that dude took my phone,” shouted Williams, who added that she leapt up to follow the man.

    “He began to run but I was too fast,” she wrote. “I was upon him in a flash!

    “In the most menacing yet calm no nonsense voice I could muster I kindly asked him if he ‘accidentally’ took the wrong phone.

    “He stumbled on his words probably not expecting this to happen. Eventually he said: ‘Gosh you know what I did! It was so confusing in there. I must have grabbed the wrong phone.'”

    Williams, with phone in hand, says she received a standing ovation when she returned to the restaurant.

    “I was proud. I just showed every man in there I can stand up to bullies and other men — it was a win for the ladies!” she added.

    “Just because you are a lady don’t be afraid to step up to any challenge and not be a victim but a hero!”

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    “My issue is if we’re going to be realistic here. Right? And we’re going to be really honest, this is The Real … If I went on national television and said something like that about Caucasians. I can assure you no one would ever invite me back to SNL. I probably would not be allowed to do very much of anything. I’d probably be blacklisted. And I just think it’s unfair that he gets to say these things and yet we applaud him and we give him a platform … a platform to insult, a platform to … to be a fool and a platform to almost, like, applaud his ignorance and the comments he makes.”

    — Adrienne Bailon sounds off on Donald Trump hosting Saturday Night Live on Saturday, Nov. 7th, while co-hosting The Real on Nov 6th. She’s not alone in her sentiments regarding Trump hosting SNL. Protesters voiced their outrage outside NBC’s SNL studio in New York on Nov. 4th, during a demonstration dubbed “Dump Trump.” In addition, Latino protesters are also shining a light on another issue regarding SNL: the sketch comedy show hasn’t committed to featuring Latina cast members. In fact, its Latina characters, lately, have been played by Cecily Strong, who isn’t Latina.

    Do you agree with Adrienne? Watch Adrienne tell it like it is below.

    [Images: Instagram]

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    Flakka, another new synthetic drug spreading across the United States, gives users superhuman strength but has also proven deadly.

    The $5 drug is similar to bath salts, causing dizziness and delusions. It draws users in by giving them a feeling of being unstoppable, according to PIX11, a New York-based news outlet.

    “This is poison. No different than taking rat poison,” James Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the New York DEA field office, said to the news outlet.

    Hunt says Flakka causes “crazy strength” and as many as four police officers could be necessary to restrain someone high on the drug.

    The drug mimics methamphetamine and is a replica of cocaine, but can be a silent killer.

    “It’s an agitated state, causes heart attacks, paranoia, schizophrenia,” Hunt said.

    New York hospitals are reportedly admitting about 150 synthetic drug patients per week. But Florida is seen as ground zero for Flakka, which is manufactured in China and India and can be purchased online.

    Legislators are seeking to make laws open ended, because as soon as the laws banning the chemicals are passed, crooked chemists make new versions of the drug.

    Flakka is Spanish slang for “enticing woman.”

    [Image: DEA]

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    Inspirationally Crafted

    Enter to win $250 in the Uptown and Kia Inspirationally Crafted #GameChanger Sweepstakes! Are you fulfilling your dreams, inspiring others, remaking yourself or changing the game in your field or community?

    Share how you are an inspirationally crafted #GameChanger in a social media post on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #GameChanger for more chances to win!

    Tag @UptownMagazine so that we can share your story!

    Contest Rules

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    Columns in front of the University of Missouri building in Columbia, Mo.

    The University of Missouri system’s president Tim Wolfe resigned Monday morning amid campus protests that included a faculty walkout, a hunger strike, and a refusal to participate in team activities by football players who said he had done little to combat a racist campus environment, reports USA Today.

    Wolfe announced his resignation at a Board of Curators meeting, which had convened to discuss the growing crisis on the Columbia, Mo. campus.

    “I am resigning as president of the University Missouri system,” he said, according to USA Today. “My motivation in making this decision comes from a love of Columbia where I grew up and the state of Missouri. I thought and prayed over this decision. It is the right thing to do … The frustration and anger I see is real and I don’t doubt it for a second.”

    Before Wolfe made his resignation announcement, the faculty group had announced plans to stage a walkout Monday. On Saturday, more than 30 football players announced they wouldn’t participate in team activities while Wolfe was president. They joined the protest after graduate student Jonathan Butler went on a hunger strike one week ago.

    The undergraduate student government also called for Wolfe’s resignation:

    “As the Executive Cabinet of the undergraduate student government, representing the 27,000 undergraduates at the University of Missouri’s flagship institution, we formally demand the immediate removal of the UM System President Tim Wolfe,” the student association wrote in a letter to the Board of Curators, which oversees the University of Missouri’s four statewide campuses.

    In their letter on Monday, student government leaders called out the university administration’s “silence” after a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, as increasing tensions on campus:

    “In August 2014, the University of Missouri met the shooting of Michael Brown with silence. In the following months, our students were left stranded, forced to face an increase in tension and inequality with no systemic support. Over the last 16 months, the quality of life for our students has only worsened.”

    [Main image: Shutterstock]

    Numerous Black students, including student government president Payton Head, have said white students have called them racial slurs in the past months. A swastika scrolled in feces was also discovered recently in a dormitory bathroom, reports the news outlet.

    Wolfe said the culpability fell on him for not addressing the situation before it grew uncontrollable, but also blamed a breakdown in communication with students on campus.

    “Why did we get to this very difficult situation? ” Wolfe said. “It is my belief we stopped listening to each other.”

    “This is only the first step! More change is to come!!” Butler wrote on Twitter.

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    Get in the right mental health space for holiday season with a pre-holiday luxury retreat designed to detoxify your body and uplift your spirit.

    Enjoy daily morning yoga with authorized Ashtanga teacher Lara Land, plus two evening yoga + mediation sessions, a Salsa class, and trip to a Mayan sweat lodge with Mayan clay treatment and a day tour the famous Mayan ruins of Cobá. Feast on fresh meals customized to your needs. Plenty of coffee, tea, and a night of moctails and apps designed just for you!

    Amansala is an Eco-Chic Resort + Spa in Tulum Mexico. Stay at this stunning beach front property and experience the Signature architecture feeling driftwood, mosaics, river rocks, smooth cement and thatched roof with staircases that wave together the various spaces within the resort.

    Room Options:
    **prices listed are for FOUR nights and include meals & other perks listed above**

    Deluxe Beachview King: $1968.40 (private) $1584.20 (each shared)
    – Beach front king with a large terrace

    Semi-Seaview King: $1787.60 (private) $1471.20 (each shared)
    – small terrace upstairs, second floor

    Better Beachview Doubles: $1606.80
    – very large room, top floor w/ 2 flights of stairs, great views

    Double Occupancy: $1471.20
    – all rooms are spacious and large, some have better views than others, 2 queen beds, no terrace

    Triple Occupancy: $1358.20
    – large room, 3 beds, garden view

    Non-Beachfront Queen Small: $1516.40
    – small economy private rooms, not on beach

    Standard King: $1606.80 (private) $1358.20 (each shared)
    – located in the back of the property, rooms are new and very nice, garden view, 2 beds

    See!tulum-yoga-retreat/c1sga for more information.

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    Last night, season eight of The Real Housewives of Atlanta premiered and didn’t disappoint in the drama department.

    The returning peaches — Phaedra Parks, Cynthia Bailey, Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, and Porsha Williams — attempted to be on their best behavior, giving each other phony kisses and fake hellos, but you know there’s always shade in The A. Things became messy really quickly, even without the original peach, NeNe Leakes. (You’ll have to wait until later in the season for her highly-anticipated return.)

    From revelations about one peachy husband to a little bundle of joy, here are the highlights from the RHOA season eight premiere …

    Kenya firmly cemented herself as the resident villian by going after returning housewife Sheree Whitfield, while attending Cynthia’s eyewear launch. As usual, Kenya had her nose where it didn’t belong and the topic of there incident (which almost became a physical altercation with Sheree wanting to throw her drink on Kenya) was Chateau Sheree, which years later still isn’t complete.

    Peter Thomas, Cynthia’s husband, was also a target of Kenya. She confronted him about a video that surfaced online in which Peter appears to be cheating on Cynthia. Peter exploded and drama ensued with Marlo Hampton surprisingly being the cooler head and voice of reason. Back when the video was revealed, both Peter and Cynthia responded, here and here, respectively.


    Much of the drama on the RHOA premiere centered around Cynthia and she revealed that her troubles, the “cheating” video and him spending a lot of time away, with Peter are also in the bedroom. Her sister Malorie attempted to help Cynthia get to the root of their marital issues:

    “Are you still in love with him,” Malorie asks. “Yes, I am in love with him still,” Bailey responds.

    “But are you attracted to Peter,” Malorie continues. “Yeah, I am attracted to him,” Bailey says.

    “Even with his clothes off?” Bailey responds with a simple and direct “No.”

    “Physical attraction is important but I am more attracted to Peter’s mind,” she says.

    Woah, that’s a revelation no man wants aired on national television.

    [Image: BravoTV]


    Kandi and Todd Tucker are having a baby, but … workaholic Kandi can’t or won’t slow down. OB/GYN Dr. Jackie, of Married to Medicine, cautioned her patient, “Any time you’re over 35 years old, they say it’s a high-risk pregnancy.” In her confessional, Kandi made it clear in her confessional that she and Todd are hoping for a boy because they both already have daughters. “I’m not going to lie. If we have a girl, we’re probably gonna try again.” They employed IVF to conceive after trying in vain the natural way.

    [Image: BravoTV]

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    From vacationing to creating magic to throwing shade, here’s how stars like Vivica Fox, Naomi Campbell, and Gabrielle Union captured their weekend fun through Instagram.

    Instagram Photo

    Cynthia Bailey was 40 and fabulous at her eyewear launch, which aired on the premiere of season eight of RHOA last night.

    Instagram Photo

    Ciara showed off what she’s working with while highlighting her new hobby.

    Instagram Photo

    Zendaya, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Kerry Washington shared a magical moment at the 2015 Bill of Rights Dinner hosted by ACLU SoCal.

    Instagram Photo

    Vivica Fox hit up Watch What Happens Live, where she insinuated 50 Cent is gay.

    Instagram Photo

    Kevin Hart and his family celebrated at Medieval Times.

    Instagram Photo

    Speaking of Hart, Drake has no time for his lectures.

    Instagram Photo

    Gabrielle Union celebrated her 43rd birthday with husband Dwyane Wade during a School Daze-theme party.

    Instagram Photo

    The ATL crew is back together for a sequel.

    Instagram Photo

    Naomi Campbell and Kim Kardashian attend the LACMA 2015 Art+Film Gala in Los Angeles.

    Instagram Photo

    Teyana Taylor shows off her new engagement ring from fiance Iman Shumpert, who proposed during their baby shower.

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    Courtesy of HelloBeautiful

    When it comes to my passion for justice for African-Americans in this country, I’m often asked a puzzling question.

    “You’re not American,” people say. “Why should you care?”

    As an African woman, it’s true: I am not an African-American. But this is my home now and of course I care about the place I live and the people who look like me.

    Furthermore, when I step out in public, without knowing details about my identity, no one knows I am a Nigerian girl who has lived away from her homeland for most of her life. Ultimately, in those moments, what I am is another Black face in the crowd.

    Continue reading at HelloBeautiful

    [Image: Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images/Getty]

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    Joset Wright-Lacy

    A lawyer by trade and now President of the National Minority Supplier Development Council by choice, Joset Wright-Lacy presides over the largest corporate membership organization in the world dedicated to the development of minority business.

    When I spoke with her, I could immediately feel the passion that she had for this business and her organization. That passion can be traced back to her days as a lawyer when she had the responsibility of responding to RFP from the government. Early on she saw the value in including MBE’s in the procurement process and she took a personal interest in helping them grow their business.

    Not one to mince words, I was not surprised at all as our conversation deepened and I took a look into the mind of a leader who tells it like it is!

    Keep reading below to see how Wright-Lacy talks business — straight, no chaser.

    UPTOWNProfessional: What has been the biggest challenge as it relates to supplier diversity and working with the organization’s corporate partners?

    Joset Wright-Lacy: I would say a lack of clarity around diversity and inclusion issues and the understanding that diversity and inclusion and supplier diversity are two totally separate things. Each one needs its own strategy but often companies refer to them interchangeably.
    Most may not realize this, but supplier diversity actually came before diversity and inclusion. D&I became prominent in the early 90’s – supplier diversity preceded that by decades! Somehow the two never linked up properly from a business perspective and that’s where I feel there is a disconnect and lack of clarity, language and purpose behind each initiative.

    UP: What do you say to companies who want to become certified but are intimidated by the process?

    JWL: I am very straight forward with companies who would like to be certified. They have to be ready. Corporate members are not going to change their process to accommodate those who are not ready to compete. The first thing I tell them is to make sure that they have their financial statements in order. You wouldn’t believe the number of small businesses that want to be included in the procurement process who have no financials to speak of. Some feel that just because they are minority-owned that it automatically qualifies them to be considered for corporate business. I need to manage their expectations from the onset. Our organization does quite a bit to prepare these businesses to respond to the needs of corporate America as it relates to supplier diversity but the reality is some just aren’t ready. We offer pre-certification workshops and others methods to help guide them through the certification process. It’s in our interest to see them get certified and we do everything we can do ensure that happens.

    UP: What do you see as an emerging trend in the supplier diversity space?

    JWL: I see a complete conversion of diversity and inclusion and supplier diversity. Corporate tends to put them both in one bucket because it’s just easier to manage that way. Keeping that in mind, I also believe there will be a bigger shift to include other diverse groups such as veterans, women, LGBT, and other groups in the supplier diversity equation.
    We should be clear that while they are in fact diverse, they are not minority. From our perspective minority means historically underrepresented, underutilized ethnic groups. But as I stated earlier, the tide is shifting and soon many other groups will be in play.

    UP: What do you say to people who feel that some businesses are getting certified under false pretenses – meaning that it’s really a majority business but they find a minority as the “front” person for certification purposes?

    JWLBelieve it or not, that’s not as big an issue as some would make you believe. When we do find out that this may have occurred, we do a thorough investigation and take corrective action such as decertifying the company. Of course, we have had some instances where this has happened and oftentimes it’s other legitimately certified MBE’s who come and tell us what’s going on. You have to earn this certification – we take this process seriously. It’s unfortunate that some MBE’s would even allow themselves to be used that way, but the reality is that is does happen and we are always mindful and watchful and positioned to deal with it when it occurs.

    UP:What is the growth strategy for the NMSDC?

    JWL: We are actually in the 4th year of a 5 year plan. First we want to build better programs. We want to make sure that we are engaging our corporate members and also helping to develop capabilities and help influence leadership. Next,  we want to make sure that we continue to get the MBE’s ready to meet the needs of our corporate members. Our members pay us to help them find qualified MBE’s they can effectively plug into their supply chain system and they are counting on us to lead them in the right direction. We also want to enhance the role of the NMSDC by proactively identifying strategic opportunities. We have a chance to be a catalyst just by getting better sense of who we are as an organization as well as having a better understanding of our value proposition.

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  • 11/10/15--03:56: Get It Sharaya J.
  • UPTOWN_sharaya_j

    Beauty: Paul Innis (; Styling by: David De La Cruz; All clothing by: ESOSA New York at Satine; Boutique LA

    By Satchel B. Jester

    In a world of carbon-copied cuteness, filtered realness and tap-for-sound talent, Sharaya J. makes us long for that old thing back and she’s obliged to give us something we can feel. After earning her industry stripes as a sought after dancer among pop titans Rihanna, Ciara, Alicia Keys and Jay Z, the Hawaiian-born, Jersey City-raised performer was destined to come center stage. After witnessing her “go in on an eight-count,” her now mentor, boss and biggest fan, Missy Elliott, recognized her star quality and committed to help her shine. “Missy was very direct and told me ‘I’m in the business of working with superstars.'”

    Now, after introducing her BANJI (Be Authentic Never Jeopardize Individuality) movement (do yourself a favor and YouTube her), becoming the face of Alexander Wang’s T by Alexander Wang campaign, choreographing her jaw-dropping videos and having her debut album ready for takeoff, the pretty-faced, swaggy superstar is ready to pick up where Biggie, Wu-Tang and Salt N Pepa left off. “I’m ready to rock and I’ve taken my time with this album, so I know it’ll be exactly what I want the world to get from me. Hopefully, people will love it, but if they don’t, they’ll have no choice but to appreciate it.” Get into it.

    [Image: Gail Hadani (]

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  • 11/10/15--03:57: Passion Player Ty Hunter
  • UPTOWN_ty_hunterBy Isoul H. Harris

    Ty Hunter has achieved stardom for dressing Queen Bey, but there’s more. Now, with a white-hot clothing line, he’s succeeding as a designer one good vibe at a time.

    When did you know that Destiny’s Child was going to make history?
    When we were in Japan at its version of MTV’s TRL. The artists and hosts were in this clear globe, and the audience was on each other’s shoulders cramped all around, singing with the “Survivor” video. It showed me what kind of impact the group had and were about to have on the world.

    What is the difference between fashion and style?
    The world tries to make it two different things, but it really isn’t. I find people more fashionable with their own style. Style is up to you as the individual, and from there fashion is created. Fashion is the idea, and “style” is the presentation.

    You started your own clothing line, With+Passion last year with much fanfare. How did it come about?
    With+Passion was born from social media. I have a pretty big following and we all vibe off of positivity, which is where the yellow on the the pieces come from. When you think of positivity, you think of light or the sun. I realized that we were a movement, which makes you think of strength—and that’s where the exclamation points come from. When I walk into the room, I want to make a powerful and positive statement.

    Describe your personal style.
    It’s all about comfort. I like patterns, but I also like simplicity. My favorites are accessories. One ac-cent can change the entire look of the outfit. My style evolves, but I have a few staples I can’t live without.

    How does fatherhood influence your life?
    Fatherhood changes your entire way of living. My daughter is 20 and in college. She never really sees me as successful. I’m just “Dad” to her. She keeps me in check! She is my greatest treasure.

    What has been the best moment of your career so far?
    The Obama Inaugural Ball, which still gives me chills. I witnessed history. President and First Lady Obama are some of the greatest people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.

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    Pamela EllisWhen I first spoke with Pamela Ellis back in 2014, I was immediately impressed with her ambition and drive. We spoke for hours about human resources and the changing landscape of the professional.

    Having worked in corporate HR in my former life, I knew the intricacies involved in selecting the right vendor or contractor that would help preserve the integrity of a company’s internal processes and procedures.

    As I spoke with Ellis about her management consulting firm, Smahrt Solutions, I learned something just as interesting – she started a non-profit called The Smahrt Girl Foundation.

    UPTOWNProfessional: Tell our readers a little bit about your company, Smahrt Solutions
    Pamela Ellis: Smahrt Solutions is an award winning technology solutions provider to Fortune 500 companies and public sector entities. Smahrt provides solutions that will streamline business, processes, reduce overhead cost and allow companies to manage data and secure business intelligence.

    UP: What motivated you to start the Smahrt Girl Foundation? Why is mentoring teen girls an important initiative for you?
    PE: The Smahrt Girl Foundation was inspired by my desire to leave a legacy for teen girls growing up in rural and urban communities that lack the necessary resources such as mentoring, experiences and exposure to opportunities that will empower them to excel beyond their circumstance and live the life of their dreams.

    This initiative is extremely important to me because I was that girl. I understand first-hand the challenges faced by teen girls in small town and urban under-resourced communities. The foundation exist because of a promise I made to myself and to God. That promise was that when I made it through I would lay a pathway for other girls. I would be the help that I so desperately needed but couldn’t find.

    UP: Dressing the Dream is one of your Foundation’s signature events. Talk a little bit about its genesis and how it impacts the Houston community.
    PE: Dressing the Dreams has grown to be one of the largest Prom Dress Giveaways in Texas. What makes our program unique is that it’s not about the dress. Girls don’t just show up and get a dress.

    Girls are required to attend an etiquette training workshop, and an empowerment speaking series prior to receiving the dress. Girls are allowed to shop with their parents or a friend in a make-shift boutique for a dress, shoes, and accessories. They receive a free meal, free giveaways and hair and make-up lessons during the event.

    The purpose of the event is to relieve high school seniors of the financial burden of prom so they can focus on more important things that come up during that time. It’s also about bringing girls into awareness of their inner power and guidance in making good decisions that will impact their lives down the road.

    UP: What is your growth strategy for the Foundation and what partnerships would you like to explore?
    PE: Our growth strategy includes expanding our programs to other states in the next 5 years. We are also looking at deploying a fundraising program that will not only provide an opportunity for girls to assist with raising funds for scholarships, it will also provide an opportunity for teen girls to earn cash on a part-time basis while attending school.

    UP: Many Fortune 500 companies make contributions to Foundations such as yours, how to do you plan to connect with these companies to expand your footprint?
    PE: We are reaching out to fortune 500 companies to market our program. We specifically seek companies that have a business presence in the very areas we serve. We’ve had a few provide support and sponsorships for various events. However, our goal is to get long-term financial sponsorship for our programs such as the Summer Camp, College Bound and Career Planning series.

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    UPTOWN_beautiful_womanBy Joane Amay

    This fall it’s about the flawless finish. Now, more than ever, there are more options for your skin tones. From the lightest sand to the darkest ebony, these brands will have you covered.








    [Main image: Shutterstock]

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    Every model worth her stilettos walked the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show last night. Take a peek at Angels Jasmine Tookes, Maria Borges, and more celebrities before the show airs on Dec. 8th at 10 p.m. EST on CBS.

    Instagram Photo

    Models Leila Nda, Leomie Anderson, Maria Borges, and Jasmine Tookes prepped all day before hitting the runway.

    Instagram Photo

    Tookes is ready for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show after-party after walking in a sexy lingerie get-up.

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    Borges doesn’t need long locks to feel sexy on the runway.

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    Sharam Diniz “felt” and looked amazing on the VS runway.

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    Angela Simmons poses with Diniz and Daniela Braga.

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    Nick Cannon and Tyson Beckford worked the pink theme in pink suits.

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    Beckford reunited with “big brother” Cuba Gooding Jr. during the festivities.

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    Anderson couldn’t contain her excitement while walking the catwalk.

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    This Joan Smalls moment was indeed MAJOR!

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    Although the look is stunning, nothing detracts from Cindy Bruna’s kilo watt smile.

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    Bottoms up!

    Instagram Photo

    And that’s a wrap!

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    UPTOWN_jazmin_sullivan2By Noah Chamblee

    Jazmin Sullivan writes intensely personal songs about love and heartbreak, but here she opens up about what’s most important: what she drinks at home.

    What is your pre-going out ritual?
    I like to soak in a bath with natural oils or salts. It soothes my mind and helps me to focus on what I’m about to get into. Spending time on getting ready is fun for me! I love natural products like coconut oil for my skin, and my Clarisonic scrubbing brush is a must to exfoliate my face. I also use a milk cleanser afterwards.

    What are you sipping on while getting ready?
    Lately, I’ve been into white wines and Malibu rum with orange juice.

    Do you have a home bar?
    My home bar is limited right now because I have a few friends who seem to keep it that way! But I love the idea of it being well-stocked. I actually just moved into a new place and I am decorating. The theme is Moroccan.

    What is your bar stocked with?
    Once it’s finally set up, it will be stocked with all types of wines, and some of my favorite liquors like D’usse, Malibu and Ciroc.

    What do you and your girls do on a night out?
    Usually my friends and I will go out to dinner (one of my favorite restaurants is Phillipe Chow) and then we’ll end back up at one of our places where we’ll maybe invite a few more friends over.

    What was the motivation for your latest album, Reality Show? As always, your lyrics seem deeply personal.
    With Reality Show I wanted to tell stories about women based on our realities and the times we are living in. I’m always very honest in my writing and I think women appreciate that from me. So much of today’s music is superficial, but that’s not how I write. I tell stories that are true to me, or that are reflections of relationships I see around me.

    What do you typically drink on a date?
    If and when I get the opportunity to go out on dates, I will drink something light, maybe a glass of a nice white wine, so I can be fully present with whom I’m on the date with.

    What musical figure would you like to party with for a night of drinking and debauchery?
    Back in the day Prince. He was so interesting to me!

    He had the most unique style and taste in music. I feel like we would really get along!

    What’s next for you?
    I’ll be starting to work on a new album soon. I’m interested in acting as well so there may be roles in a film or TV show soon. The sky’s the limit! Right now, I’m focused on touring and performing. I head to Australia for the first time in October for a series of festivals called “Soul Fest.” I’m so excited.

    What philosophy do you live by?
    For life, pay attention to your inner voice, because that’s the real you. And life is short, so live and do what makes you happy!

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    President Obama spoke from Arlington National Cemetery to honor veterans on the holiday to celebrate their service and sacrifice — Veterans’ Day! Obama focused on helping vets return to the workforce after they’re no longer in the military or are serving in the reserves. Click over to to learn why Rob Diamond, the White House’s Director of Private Sector Engagement, is proud to be a veteran working in Obama’s administration, and how Obama has proven his commitment to veterans throughout his time in office.

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    UPTOWN Weddings

    Be a part of UPTOWN’s 5th Annual Weddings & Travel issue!

    Brides! Grooms! Newlyweds! Lend us your … IMAGES!

    We’re prepping for our amazing 2015 Weddings issue, filled to the brim with beautiful gowns, gorgeous cakes, and a front-pew view of the latest celebrity nuptials! The only thing we’re missing is YOU!

    Send us your elegant, sophisticated, well-posed shots, as well as fun candid photos of your big day and you may be featured in our very special WEDDING ALBUM devoted to our fabulous readers and their one-of-a-kind fetes! When choosing your photos, think outside the box: a veil in the wind, a stolen glance, guests dancing with their hands in the air! We’re talking artistic, frame-worthy moments–so make ’em good.

    All you have to do is complete the form below and upload your high-resolution shots. Images must be a minimum of 300 dpi. Don’t know how to check? If your photo is more than 1.2MB, there’s a good chance that the resolution is high enough. If not, ask your photographer to send you a high-resolution version.

    Your wedding must have occurred in the past two years. Please include the below information when submitting your photos:

    • Name of bride and groom
    • City in which the wedding took place
    • Venue and date of wedding
    • Where and how you met
    • How long you dated before marrying

    Note: Please don’t send us your wedding photos if you aren’t still married. It’ll just be awkward for everybody.

    Images are due by this Monday, November 16.

    Questions or problems? Click to email us.

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  • 11/12/15--07:40: Sir John: The Eye Wonder
  • UPTOWN_sir_johnBy Joane Amay

    Sir John, the self-proclaimed eye guru, loves starting off with the statement-makers. “When we look at people, we have an emotional connection that comes through the eyes,” shares the Atlanta native. “Eyeliner is a fun and easy way to make a big change. It photographs well and makes everyone’s eyes look larger and more expressive.” Fittingly, his favorite look for day is Sophia Loren-inspired.

    “Take a waterproof pencil and line the upper water line of your eye (this will make lashes appear thicker and gorgeous),” he continues. “Next, draw a thinner line on the upper lid. Finish off with a matte, taupe brown on the lips.”

    For evenings, he suggests switching it up with a smokey eye. “A pencil and shadow of a similar color, like plum, give a great, edgy look. Line your eyes and pack a bit of shadow onto the lid on top of the liner. Balance it off by applying a glossy balm on lips for a sheer wash of color.”










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  • 11/12/15--08:33: All Eyes On Elijah Blake
  • UPTOWN_elijah_blake
    By Brittany Grimes

    You’re already a fan of Elijah Blake—you just don’t know it yet. If you’ve ever cried to Usher’s “Climax” or jammed to Rihanna’s “No Love Allowed” (and other hits from Nas, Alicia Keys or Mary J. Blige), then you are crushing on Blake’s skills. Crediting the four walls of his church and, of course, Michael Jackson as inspiration, the Dominican Republic-born but Florida-bred singer/songwriter released his first solo project, Diamonds and Shadows, this June, under legendary producer No I.D.’s ARTium venture with Def Jam Records.

    In an industry where excess rules, Blake, 24, unabashedly leans on his spirituality for survival. “I grew up in church and my mom is a praying woman. At one of the most critical points in my career, I just prayed about it. I didn’t eat for three days, went on a fast and my dad did it with me in support. After we finished, I had emails from several music execs reaching out to connect with me.”

    Blake flew to New York with a song and a dream. “After meeting with Usher, he jokingly asked why I was there. I said, ‘I’m here to write for you.’ He said, ‘Wrong answer. We’re here to make history.'” And that they did: “Climax” won a Grammy in 2013 for Best R&B Performance.

    The fresh-faced, Spanglish-speaking crooner is heavily influenced by his roots, his surroundings and his heart. “We rock, we party, we live and we love,” he admits. “Writing Rihanna’s ‘No Love Allowed’ is one of my best examples. It knocked and we talked a lot of sh*t!”

    With his first album finally in flight, Blake does not plan to just simply glide through. He’s worked too hard to get here. “I slept on Trey Songz’s sofa at 16 to learn the nuances of writing. But, now it’s my time to take the mic. I’ve got my shoes laced tight to make sure I don’t miss any steps and did I mention that my voice is sick? It’s game time and I’m going for the championship.”

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