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    UPTOWN_taraji_henson_kelvin_hayden

    Taraji P. Henson was photographed in Miami Monday with football player Kelvin Hayden on her arm. This news comes as a shock because Taraji is notoriously private when it comes to her love life. The couple strolled the beach head-in-hand. Taraji wore an Emilio Pucci bikini with matching colorful shorts. She accessorized with a Chanel tote and sunglasses. Hayden showed off his muscular physique in red board shorts and a backwards cap. OK, enough of the obvious. Who exactly is Taraji’s new man?

    Get to know Kelvin Hayden through our list of facts and bit of speculation.

    • Hayden is rumored to be in a committed relationship — with another woman.
    • His full name is Kelvin Darnell Hayden, Jr.
    • He’s from Chicago.
    • The 32 year old was born on July 23, 1982, which makes him 12 years Taraji’s junior.
    • Hayden was drafted into the NFL in 2005.
    • He’s played for the Indianapolis Colts, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Chicago Bears.
    • His first career interception resulted in a touchdown for the Indianapolis Colts during Super Bowl XLI.
    • Hayden is currently a free agent.
    • He has no problem expressing on Instagram his love for his mom Lynette Hayden and respect for God.
    • He has children, including a son, who plays football for the Eagles in Oak Forest, Ill.
    • Although, Taraji’s new man is a football player, he has love for the NBA, golf, and boxing.
    • In 2012, he was engaged to an unidentified woman.

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    Instagram Photo

    The “Dabbing Santa” sweatshirt was such a hot item for Christmas that 2 Chainz (right) made $2 million from sales.

    The festive sweatshirt, which costs $34.99, features Santa Claus performing the popular Hip Hop dance known as dabbing, and is one of several “ugly Christmas sweaters” 38-year-old 2 Chainz sells on his webstore.

    “Me and my team were trying to come up with some successful designs to get our merch moving,” the rapper told Forbes. “We took the dab, which is a trend, and we just turned it into a business. We played around with a few designs. We realized what my fan base wants to see.”

    The sweatshirt was so popular that 2 Chainz had to assemble a staff of 70 to keep up with demand.

    He donated a portion of the proceeds through his T.R.U. Foundation. According to the rapper whose real name is Tauheed Epps, some of the proceeds went to paying a year’s rent and providing new furniture for a disabled veteran and buying a minivan for a family that lost its home in a house fire.

    “We’re creating our own way to give back, to do something for people,” he told Forbes. “We’ll trickle down to the kids and lead by example. Like I say, actions speak louder than words. We could have spent this money on possessions, but giving a family that needs it will actually go further for them and for me.”

    Source


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    UPTOWN_bill_cosby

    The Montgomery County, Penn. district attorney charged Bill Cosby with sexual assault Wednesday in relation to a 2004 accusation, reports CNN.

    This is the first time Cosby has been charged since the multiple accusations of drugging and sexually assaulting women arose. The embattled comedian denies all wrongdoing, and even filed a counter-suit this month against seven women who accused him of sexual assault and sued him for defamation.

    Prosecutors decided to charge Cosby “because it was the right thing to do” after looking at all the evidence in the 2004 investigation, Montgomery County prosecutor Kevin Steele said, reports the news outlet.

    Although Steele didn’t name the victim, details of the case parallel the allegations Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee at the time who was the first person to accuse Cosby of sexual assault publicly, made against Cosby in 2004. She said Cosby drugged and fondled her in January of that year. At the time, prosecutors declined to charge Cosby, citing insufficient evidence.

    In 2006, Cosby and Constand settled a civil case.

    Pennsylvania has a 12-year statute of limitations for sexual assault cases. That time will expire on this case early next year.

    During the civil suit, Cosby admitted procuring prescription Quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with, according to unsealed documents.

    The prosecutor said the woman said she was “frozen, paralyzed, unable to move” during the alleged assault, and therefore was unable to give consent to sexual activity. It’s still unclear which pills were used on the victim, but the prosecutor says wine was also provided.

    Source


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    Aretha Franklin performed the King/Goffin/Wexler 1967 classic “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors. The ceremony was held on Dec. 6th but broadcast Tuesday, Dec. 29th. Before Aretha had finished the first verse, President Barack Obama was wiping away tears. And to top off the entire performance, Aretha chucks her mink fur at the end.

    UPTOWN_barack_michelle_obama_kennedy_center

    [Image: CBS]


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    We lost some major players, notables, and legends from the worlds of sports, music, Hollywood, and activism. Here are the celebrity deaths of 2015.

    UPTOWN_bobbi_kristina_brown
    Bobbi Kristina Brown, 22
    Date of death: July 26, 2015
    Cause of death: Unknown but sealed
    Claim to fame: Daughter of the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown

    stuart scott
    Stuart Scott, 49
    Date of death: Jan. 4, 2015
    Cause of death: Cancer
    Claim to fame: ESPN anchor and sportscaster

    ben-e-king
    Ben E. King, 76
    Date of death: April 30, 2015
    Cause of death: Natural causes
    Claim to fame: Former member of the Drifters; best known for his 1961 hit “Stand By Me”


    Marque Lynch, 34
    Date of death: Dec. 6, 2015
    Cause of death: Unknown
    Claim to fame: Former Mouseketeer on All New Mickey Mouse Club

    Uptown_Percy-Sledge
    Percy Sledge, 74
    Date of death: April 14, 2015
    Cause of death: Liver cancer
    Claim to fame: Most famous for singing “When a Man Loves a Woman”; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee

    Uptown_CharmayneMaxwell
    Charmayne Maxwell, 46
    Date of death: Feb. 28, 2015
    Cause of death: Freak accident attributed to a fall
    Claim to fame: One-third of the ’90s R&B group Brownstone

    ErrolBrown_Victor-Blackman-630x420
    Errol Brown, 71
    Date of death: May 6, 2015
    Cause of death: Live cancer
    Claim to fame: Lead singer of Hot Chocoloate, which is most known for singing “You Sexy Thing”

    Ahmad Real Givens
    Ahmad “Real” Givens, 33
    Date of death: Feb. 21, 2015
    Cause of death: Colon cancer
    Claim to fame: Starred in Real Chance of Love with brother


    Edward Brooke, 95
    Date of death: Jan. 31, 2015
    Cause of death: Natural causes
    Claim to fame: In 1966 became the first African American to be elected by popular vote to the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction

    UPTOWN_tuskegee_airmen_huntley_shambrey
    Clarence E. Huntley Jr., 91 (left); Joseph Shambrey, 91 (right)
    Date of death: Jan. 5, 2015
    Cause of death: Natural causes
    Claims to fame: Joined the Tuskegee Airmen’s 100th Fighter Squadron together; remained life-long friends

    RELATED: Two Tuskegee Airmen Pass Away on the Same Day

    uptown andrae crouch
    Andraé Crouch, 72
    Date of death: Jan. 8, 2015
    Cause of death: Heart attack
    Claim to fame: Gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, record producer, and pastor


    Clifford Adams, 62
    Date of death: Jan. 12, 2015
    Cause of death: Liver cancer
    Claim to fame: Trombonist for Kool and the Gang; also toured with the Stylistics and Patti LaBelle


    Ernie Banks, 83
    Date of death: Jan. 23, 2015
    Cause of death: Heart attack
    Claim to fame: Chicago Cubs’ first black player and an ambassador for baseball; recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom


    Charlie Sifford, 92
    Date of death: Feb. 3, 2015
    Cause of death: Stroke
    Claim to fame: First Black golfer to play on the PGA Tour


    Anne Moody, 74
    Date of death: Feb. 5, 2015
    Cause of death: Suffered from dementia
    Claim to fame: One of the courageous civil rights activists who demanded service at a Mississippi Woolworth’s lunch counter in 1963; remembered for her memoir Coming of Age in Mississippi


    Jerome Kersey, 52
    Date of death: Feb. 18, 2015
    Cause of death: Blood clot in lungs
    Claim to fame: Talented small forward in the NBA; helped the San Antonio Spurs win an NBA title


    Clark Terry, 94
    Date of death: Feb. 21, 2015
    Cause of death: Natural causes
    Claim to fame: Jazz trumpeter played with Duke Ellington and on The Tonight Show


    Earl Lloyd, 86
    Date of death: Feb. 26, 2015
    Cause of death: Disease
    Claim to fame: First Black professional basketball player to appear in an NBA game

    Anthony-Mason-B
    Anthony Mason, 48
    Date of death: Feb. 28, 2015
    Cause of death: Congestive heart failure
    Claim to fame: New York Knick who helped the team reach the 1994 NBA finals


    Minnie Miñoso, 89
    Date of death: March 1, 2015
    Cause of death: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    Claim to fame: Major League Baseball’s first Black Latino player


    Windell Middlebrooks, 36
    Date of death: March 9, 2015
    Cause of death: Blood clot in lungs
    Claim to fame: TV actor most known for appearing in Miller High Life commercials


    Alton “Ben” Powers, 64
    Date of death: April 6, 2015
    Cause of death: Liver cancer
    Claim to fame: Played Thelma’s husband on Good Times


    Johnny Kemp, 55
    Date of death: April 16, 2015
    Cause of death: Undetermined
    Claim to fame: Singer of the ’80s hit “Just Got Paid”


    Calvin Peete, 71
    Date of death: April 29, 2015
    Cause of death: Lung cancer
    Claim to fame: 12-time PGA Tour Title winner; inspiration to other Black professional golfers

    BB King at the 2014 Big Blues Bender
    B.B. King, 89
    Date of death: May 14, 2015
    Cause of death: Vascular dementia
    Claim to fame: Legendary blues man


    Ortheia Barnes-Kennerly, 70
    Date of death: May 15, 2015
    Cause of death: Congestive heart failure
    Claim to fame: R&B singer who opened for Motown legends, like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye


    Adrian Robinson, 25
    Date of death: May 16, 2015
    Cause of death: suicide by hanging
    Claim to fame: Former NFL linebacker


    Louis Johnson, 60
    Date of death: May 21, 2015
    Cause of death: Undetermined
    Claim to fame: One-half of Brothers Johnson; Michael Jackson’s bassist


    Marques Haynes, 89
    Date of death: May 22, 2015
    Cause of death: Natural causes
    Claim to fame: Harlem Globetrotter who was known as the greatest basketball dribbler ever

    Comedian Reynaldo Rey Dies At 75
    Reynaldo Rey, 75
    Date of death: May 28, 2015
    Cause of death: Stroke
    Claim to fame: Actor, comedian, and television personality remembered for his roles on 227 and in Friday


    Ornette Coleman, 85
    Date of death: June 11, 2015
    Cause of death: Cardiac arrest
    Claim to fame: Jazz saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter, and composer

    Clementa Pinckney
    Sen. Clementa Pinckney, 41
    Date of death: June 17, 2015
    Cause of death: Pinckney and eight others were shot down during a Bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC
    Claim to fame: Pinckney was a South Carolina state senator, a reverend, and pastor of Emanuel A.M.E. Church


    Charlie Sanders, 68
    Date of death: July 2, 2015
    Cause of death: Cancer
    Claim to fame: NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver who played for the Detroit Lions


    Sean Price, 43
    Date of death: August 8, 2015
    Cause of death: Unknown, died in his sleep
    Claim to fame: Part of the hip-hop group Heltah Skeltah

    UPTOWN_julian_bond
    Julian Bond, 75
    Date of death: August 15, 2015
    Cause of death: Cardiovascular disease
    Claim to fame: Civil rights activist


    Emma Didlake, 110
    Date of death: August 16, 2015
    Cause of death: Natural causes
    Claim to fame: The nation’s oldest living veteran; served in World War II; honored by President Obama in July 2015


    Louis Stokes, 90
    Date of death: August 18, 2015
    Cause of death: Lung cancer
    Claim to fame: Ohio first Black congressman


    Kyle Jean-Baptiste, 21
    Date of death: August 21, 2015
    Cause of death: Fell from a Brooklyn fire escape
    Claim to fame: The rising Broadway star was the first Black actor to play the lead role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables


    Frank E. Petersen, 83
    Date of death: August 25, 2015
    Cause of death: Lung cancer
    Claim to fame: First Black aviator and general in the Marine Corps


    Amelia Boynton Robinson, 104
    Date of death: August 26, 2015
    Cause of death: Stroke
    Claim to fame: Voting rights activist who marched in Selma, Ala. on “Bloody Sunday,” March 7, 1965; state troopers beat her unconscious in an attempt to stop the march to the state capital


    Darryl Dawkins, 58
    Date of death: August 27, 2015
    Cause of death: Heart attack
    Claim to fame: NBA player nicknamed “Chocolate Thunder”; known for having a slam dunk so powerful he shattered backboards

    UPTOWN_moses_malone
    Moses Malone, 60
    Date of death: September 13, 2015
    Cause of death: Coronary artery disease
    Claim to fame: Remembered as one of basketball’s top rebounders


    Sam Sarpong, 40
    Date of death: October 26, 2015
    Cause of death: Jumped off a bridge
    Claim to fame: Former MTV host


    Hank Williams, 50
    Date of death: November 15, 2015
    Cause of death: Complications of pneumonia
    Claim to fame: Technology entrepreneur and tech-industry diversity advocate


    Milton Pitts Crenchaw, 96
    Date of death: November 17, 2015
    Cause of death: Cardiovascular disease and pneumonia
    Claim to fame: Trained the Tuskegee Airmen to fly combat missions


    Cynthia Robinson, 71
    Date of death: November 23, 2015
    Cause of death: Cancer
    Claim to fame: trumpeter; co-founder of Sly and the Family Stone


    Melvin Williams, 73
    Date of death: December 3, 2015
    Cause of death: Cancer
    Claim to fame: Former Baltimore drug kingpin-turned-actor known for his role on HBO’s The Wire


    John Williams, 53
    Date of death: December 11, 2015
    Cause of death: Cancer
    Claim to fame: Nicknamed “Hot Rod” while playing in the NBA; power forward who played with the Cleveland Cavaliers for nine years


    Leander Shaw, 85
    Date of death: December 14, 2015
    Cause of death: Lengthy illness
    Claim to fame: First Black chief justice on the Florida Supreme Court


    Ozell Sutton, 90
    Date of death: December 19, 2015
    Cause of death: Unannounced
    Claim to fame: Marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma; civil rights activist


    Dr. Robert B. Hayling, 86
    Date of death: December 20, 2015
    Cause of death: Undetermined
    Claim to fame: One of “the St. Augustine Four” who were imprisoned in the 1960s for demanding service at a Woolworth’s lunch counter


    William Guest, 74
    Date of death: December 24, 2105
    Cause of death: Congestive heart failure
    Claim to fame: One of Gladys Knight’s Pips


    Dave Henderson, 57
    Date of death: December 27, 2015
    Cause of death: Heart attack
    Claim to fame: 14-year Major League Baseball veteran; hit the home run that helped the Boston Red Sox go to the World Series in 1986

    UPTOWN_meadowlark_lemon
    Meadowlark Lemon, 83
    Date of death: December 27, 2015
    Cause of death: Unannounced
    Claim to fame: Played 24 seasons with the Harlem Globetrotters


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    UPTOWN_natalie_cole

    R&B singer Natalie Cole passed away the night of Thursday, Dec. 31st at age 65.

    The singer followed her legendary father Nat King Cole into the music business and had hits such as “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” and “Unforgettable.”

    The cause of death is congestive heart failure. However, Cole struggled in recent years with complications of a kidney transplant and Hepatitis C, which is linked to her earlier drug abuse.

    Cole was 15 when her father died in 1965, and she launched her singing career a decade later.

    RELATED: Gone But Not Forgotten: Celebrity Deaths Of 2015

    Source


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    From lighting up Miami to giggling with a handsome boy to going nude to getting engaged, here’s how the stars spent New Year’s Weekend and documented the revelry on the ‘Gram.

    Instagram Photo

    Serena Williams shared the highlights and one low moment of 2015.

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    Willow Smith seemingly surprised herself with a selfie.

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    Claudia Jordan and her squad spent New Year’s Day on South Beach in Miami Beach.

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    Usher rang in the new year with family and friends like Stevie Wonder.

    Instagram Photo

    Ciara and Baby Future welcomed 2016 with all laughs.

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    Jordin Sparks took the stage with Earth, Wind & Fire for Pitbull‘s New Year’s Eve celebration in Miami.

    Instagram Photo

    Tyson Beckford spent New Year’s Eve and Day in Jamaica … getting a head-to-toe tan.

    Instagram Photo

    Instagram Photo

    Drake performed at Miami’s E11even on New Year’s Eve.

    Instagram Photo

    Instagram Photo

    Sean Combs lit up Miami with his #CirocTheNewYear party.

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    Keshia Knight-Pulliam and Edgerton “Ed” Hartwell, ex-husband of Lisa Wu of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, became engaged.


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    UPTOWN_jay_morrisonJay Morrison‘s climb from a childhood of poverty and teenage trouble to a multi-millionaire real estate investor and celebrity realtor is in some ways the quintessential American success story. What makes the 34-year-old truly remarkable, however, is his commitment to “bridging the wealth gap” in the African American community and providing a blueprint for others to follow in his footsteps. Morrison is the founder of the Jay Morrison Academy, an online wealth building school. UPTOWN spoke with Morrison to learn more about his vision and how he is increasing financial literacy among African Americans.

    UM: What is the Jay Morrison Academy?
    Morrison: We are a leading educational platform teaching financial literacy and wealth building. The Jay Morrison Academy (commonly referred to by students as JMA) offers courses in credit mastery, residential and commercial real estate, business startup, stocks and finance and business mastery–that’s a comprehensive curriculum. It is a solution to the lack of financial literacy that the average American home, especially the African American demographic, suffers from. We chose to be an online school, so that we are accessible to anyone regardless of location. JMA is committed to putting real tools in people’s hands.

    UM: How is it different from other online schools or courses?
    Morrison: The Jay Morrison Academy is unique because many other wealth building educational offerings are niche, focusing on one specific area. But what good is learning about real estate if you are still in the dark about how credit works? We’ve encompassed all the areas of knowledge that one needs in order to gain financial stability. Our courses are affordable and each lesson is concise, because we understand the people who need our curriculum are stretched for time and resources. We are also the first online academy to specifically target African Americans with a financial literacy curriculum; because we are a black-owned institution and I personally come from the neighborhood, JMA understands where the gaps are and how we can bridge them.

    UM: When did you start and what have been your accomplishments?
    Morrison: I founded JMA in late 2013 and our first classes began in January 2014. Already, we’ve had nearly 5,000 students enrolled in the academy and there’s been an astounding success rate. Our students say that not only is the information presented in a clear, relatable way, but they can retain and apply the knowledge immediately. One of our first students, Roylanda McClinton, is a single mother who owns a hair salon in Detroit. She completed one year of courses, following the curriculum precisely, and she went on to close five real estate deals in that first year. Now, in addition to the money she made flipping houses, she also has a steady stream of rental income from another property. These kinds of success stories are exactly why I started JMA.

    UM: Why is the academy so important for the African American community?
    Morrison: We all know that historically, African Americans have suffered from a lack of access to financial knowledge and resources. For the overwhelming majority of us financial literacy and wealth building is not something we have been taught at home, in high school or in college. So we must ask ourselves, where do we learn it? How can we systematically be taught this information? My answer was to create our own financial literacy and wealth building institution. Statistically, we’re in last place as it relates to family wealth; we have the highest unemployment rate, the least percentage of homeowners and have the lowest percentage of business ownership. When we have owned, we haven’t done so with the intention of building wealth but just for survival. You simply can’t play a game when you don’t know the rules. JMA’s curriculum has been designed to bridge the wealth gap and teach African Americans the rules of financial literacy and wealth building that other groups have had handed down for generations. My goal is our community having the knowledge base that will allow us to create, sustain and pass down new wealth.

    UPTOWN_family_new_home

    UM: How did you get into this?
    Morrison: I got my start in real estate and I was always motivated to share that knowledge with my community. I was going back and forth between my real estate job in America’s richest zip code and doing volunteer speaking engagements in Newark public schools, and the disparity helped me see exactly what our people are missing and what other communities are taking advantage of. I wanted to be a modern-day Robin Hood, so I wrote a book, Hip Hop 2 Homeowners, and started doing appearances on TV, radio and in-person speaking engagements. I thought I was solving the problem at that point but I started getting literally thousands of emails asking for more education and mentoring. I knew there was no way for me to personally mentor everyone and a book or an interview simply wasn’t enough. I was inspired to create a school in order to package and present all the information that people needed. I could have done classes in New Jersey, but the poverty found in the African American community wasn’t a local problem, so we made it accessible to students throughout the world.

    UM: What is the future of the Jay Morrison Academy?
    Morrison: We’re constantly growing and reaching more and more people who want to find financial stability, people who are looking for alternative ways to build wealth. We’ve added new courses to our curriculum and we are working on obtaining state and federal accreditation as well. Last year, JMA attracted the attention of Young Jeezy and our mission motivated him to donate $1 million to fund scholarships–we call it the “Another Way Out” program–for students from the ‘hood who never thought they had any other options. In the near future we will have a brick-and-mortar location for hands-on training along with an upcoming financial literacy and wealth building national tour. It’s a constant process of growth.

    [Image: Shutterstock]


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    Instagram Photo

     

    Jaden Smith, the 17-year-old who’s cooler than almost everyone you know, has just made fashion history. The son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith is the first male to front a womenswear campaign.

    Creative director Nicolas Ghesquière posted images from the 2016 Louis Vuitton spring/summer ad campaign this weekend.

    In the photos, Jaden, who doesn’t subscribe to gender roles, wears a skirt and other pieces from the brand. He’s accompanied by female models Rianne Van Rompaey, Sarah Brannon, and Jean Campbell.

    Instagram Photo

    Jaden’s sister Willow Smith is also a model and signed a contract with The Society agency in September.


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    UPTOWN_lauryn_hill_fhny1
    Columbia, S.C. brought in the New Year with the music of Grammy Award winner Lauryn Hill, who headlined the fifth annual Famously Hot New Year Celebration (#FHNY).

    UPTOWN_lauryn_hill_fhny2
    Hill took the stage in front of the S.C. State House in Columbia and performed an amazing show and encore that included new tracks from her Christmas Day-release A Cradle in Bethlehem and some of her familiar hits, like “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and “Killing Me Softly.”

    UPTOWN_lauryn_hill_fhny4
    #FHNY revelers were not only treated to the free concert, but also “the most colossal New Year’s Eve fireworks in the two Carolinas” and other family-friendly activities. In exchange, attendees brought “cash and check donations for the Governor-endorsed One SC Flood Relief Fund, and non-perishable and canned goods for Harvest Hope Food Bank, a major resource of families in need post-SC flood,” according to a press release.

    UPTOWN_lauryn_hill_fhny3
    Now you know where you need to be come Dec. 31, 2016 — Columbia, South Carolina!

    RELATED: Lauryn Hill To Perform NYE Where Confederate Flag Stood

    [Images: Jeff Blake]


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    UPTOWN_weddins_travel_cover_2016

    As Editor in Chief Isoul Harris explained in the UPTOWN Weddings & Travel issue Editor’s Letter, “Both [weddings and travel] are synonymous with change, movement and the proverbial fresh start.” So as you embark on the new journey that is 2016, let UPTOWN guide you through the promise of happiness weddings bring and the excitement and anticipation that propel wanderlust.

    The UPTOWN Weddings & Travel issue is currently available for free download for on iTunes and here. Here’s a sample of what to expect in the issue:

    • The Album“: Here we celebrate some of our favorite nuptials with images of the bride and groom.
    • Band Together“: Beverly Hills jeweler Chris Aire creates the rings of his and her dreams.
    • Dressed to Thrill“: We highlight a showstopper gown for the bride with
      beauty and bravado.
    • Jungle Love“: Celebrity couple Michael Jai White and Gillian Waters marry in Thailand.
    • Kissing St. Kitts“: This West Indian paradise is meant for newlyweds.
    • Peeling Back Panama“: If all you know is Noriega and the canal, fasten your seat belts. This city of high-rises, rain forests and ruins is unforgettable.

    About the UPTOWN Weddings & Travel issue cover couple:

    Dr. Tracy Paul and Philip Desgranges met in 2010 at a friend’s party and were married September 9, 2014 at Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church in the Bronx. Tracy graduated from Yale University and received her medical degree from Columbia University. Philip graduated from Boston University and received his law degree from New York University.


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  • 01/05/16--08:36: The Wedding Album 2016
  • Celebrating some of our favorite nuptials.

    UPTOWN_kaci_brandon

    Kaci and Brandon

    UPTOWN_brandy_thomas_pickens
    Brandy and Thomas Pickens

    UPTOWN_lashonda_donald_crawford
    Lashonda and Donald Crawford

    UPTOWN_jatae_stephen_beard
    Jatae and Stephen Beard

    UPTOWN_akia_michael_ng
    Akia and Michael Ng

    UPTOWN_belinda_james_daughirty
    Belinda and James Daughrity

    UPTOWN_sybil_ned_parker
    Sybil and Ned Parker

    UPTOWN_jason_brownley_ryan_esanat
    Jason Brownley and Ryan Ensenat

    UPTOWN_cheryl_john_rosa
    Cheryl and John Rosa

    RELATED: Download A Gratis Copy Of The UPTOWN Weddings & Travel Issue


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    UPTOWN_beyonce_sarah_baartman

    “[Beyoncé] lacks the basic human dignity to be worthy of writing Sarah’s story, let alone playing the part. Why Sarah Baartman? Why not a story about an indigenous American woman? I can only see arrogance in her attempt to tell a story that is not hers to tell.”

    — South African Chief Jean Burgess of the Ghonaqua First Peoples reacts to the idea of Beyoncé writing and starring in a biopic about Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman, a South African woman who was forced to perform “native” dances and music under the name Hottentot Venus in Europe, while wearing a flesh-colored suit that showed off her large butt. The film, which might just be a tabloid rumor, is expected to chronicle Baartman’s enslavement, her trial to stop performing against her will that she lost, and her eventual escape. In African Queen: the Real Life of the Hottentot Venus, author Rachel Holmes writes that Baartman died a destitute prostitute after escaping her enslavers and her remains were put on display at the Museum of Natural History in New York. Do you think Beyoncé should have the responsibility of telling Baartman’s story?

    Source


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    UPTOWN_barack_obama
    Courtesy of the Associated Press:

    President Barack Obama, at one point wiping tears from his cheek, unveiled his plan Tuesday to tighten control and enforcement of firearms in the U.S., using his presidential powers in the absence of legal changes he implored Congress to pass.

    Obama accused the gun lobby of taking Congress hostage, but said “they cannot hold America hostage.” He insisted it was possible to uphold the Second Amendment while doing something to tackle the frequency of mass shootings in the U.S. that he said had become “the new normal.”

    “This is not a plot to take away everybody’s guns,” Obama said in a ceremony in the East Room. “You pass a background check, you purchase a firearm. The problem is some gun sellers have been operating under a different set of rules.”

    Obama wiped tears away as he recalled the 20 first-graders killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He paid tribute to the parents, some of whom gathered for the ceremony, who he said had never imagined their child’s life would be cut short by a bullet.

    “Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,” Obama said.

    At the centerpiece of Obama’s plan is a more sweeping definition of gun dealers that the administration hopes will expand the number of sales subject to background checks. Under current law, only federally licensed gun dealers must conduct background checks on buyers. But at gun shows, websites and flea markets, sellers often skirt that requirement by declining to register as licensed dealers.

    Continue reading

    [Image: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin]


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    Mixing up a great cocktail and raising a toast was at the heart of Uptown and Seagram’s The Art of the Mix Event where tastemakers gathered to enjoy libations featuring Seagram’s Ginger Ale and mixed up by Atlanta’s hottest mixologists Mike Jones, Tokiwa Sears, Navarro Carr and Michael Charles. The Seagram’s Ginger Ale cocktails created by the quartet were featured in a mixology competition and included delicious drinks such as the Seagram’s Cranberry Smash, Jack and Seagram’s Ginger and Seagram’s Strawberry Basil Mojito. Navarro Carr was crowned winner of Art Of The Mix Atlanta.

    Uptown and Seagram's Art Of The Mix Atlanta EventMixologists Mike Jones, Navarro Carr, Tokiwa Sears and Michael Charles at the Uptown and Seagram’s Art Of The Mix event in Atlanta.

    Uptown and Seagram's Art Of The Mix Atlanta Event

    Navarro Carr was crowned winner of the mixology competition at Uptown and Seagram’s Art Of The Mix event in Atlanta and was saluted by Tokiwa Sears.

    Uptown and Seagram's Art Of The Mix Atlanta EventMixologist Michael Charles creating cocktails made with Seagram’s Ginger Ale at Uptown and Seagram’s Art Of The Mix event in Atlanta.

    Uptown and Seagram's Art Of The Mix Atlanta EventUptown Magazine Co-Ceo Leonard Burnett Jr. and guest.

    Uptown and Seagram's Art Of The Mix Atlanta EventMixologist Tokiwa Sears.

    Uptown and Seagram's Art Of The Mix Atlanta Event

    Uptown and Seagram's Art Of The Mix Atlanta Event

    Uptown and Seagram's Art Of The Mix Atlanta Event

    Uptown and Seagram's Art Of The Mix Atlanta Event

    Uptown and Seagram's Art Of The Mix Atlanta EventUptown and Seagram’s Art Of The Mix featured mixologists Mike Jones, Navarro Carr, Tokiwa Sears and Michael Charles.

     


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    UPTOWN_kandi_burruss_todd_tucker
    At 8:42 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 Kandi Burruss and husband Todd Tucker welcomed a 7 lbs., 6 oz. baby boy.

    “Todd and I have been waiting so long for his delivery and he is so very perfect,” said Kandi to People.

    UPTOWN_kandi_burruss_baby_hand

    [Image: People]

    Todd and Kandi, who is 39 years old, had difficulty conceiving. She allowed Bravo to chronicle their fertility process on The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

    Both are also parents of daughters from previous relationships.

    Another “Bravolebrity,” Dr. Jackie Walters of Married to Medicine, was Kandi’s OB/GYN.


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    Martha’s Vineyard island, known to be a summer retreat for the Obamas, the Clintons and Spike Lee … and reminiscent of lobster rolls and beach parties … adds laughter to the list of vacation memories with its annual Martha’s Vineyard Comedy Fest.

    In August—when African-American cultural pride is at its height—the “Fest” will take center stage as it hosts its sixth year as one of the island’s premiere summer events.  The 2016 lineup of performers will showcase some of the hottest comedians on the circuit, including Damon Williams, Tony Roberts, Rudy Rush, Gary “G. Thang” Johnson, Vanessa Fraction, Marvin Dixon and John Henton.

    For the past five years, the Fest has garnered rave reviews from both Vineyard vacationers, locals and sponsors—all of whom were gratified with the versatile brand of comedy that our audiences appreciates.

    But, the Fest is much more than a comedy event. It’s truly one the island’s few social experiences that bolsters social interaction and unity among middle- to upper-class African-Americans. There is no summer enclave outside of Martha’s Vineyard where you can find an abundance of high-profile African-American professionals, politicians, actors, writers, athletes and business owners who congregate to enjoy galleries, live music, films, theater, dance, speaker series and, of course, comedy in such a wonderfully casual environment.

    “Reaching the six-year milestone of showcasing a wide-range of nationally acclaimed comedians is a major accomplishment,” said the Fest’s Managing Partner Steve Capers, who added that ongoing corporate support from UPTOWN, HBO and Redd’s Apple Ale has successfully established the Fest as a refreshing newcomer within a decades-old tradition of African-American culture on the island.

    About Martha’s Vineyard Comedy Fest:

    The stage is set for Centric TV, UPTOWN magazine, HBO and Burrell Vodka to present the 6th Annual Martha’s Vineyard Comedy Fest, a series of shows that feature an all-star cast of comedians at the Lampost in Oak BluffS — Martha’s Vineyard’s premiere night spot. To learn more about the Martha’s Vineyard Comedy Fest, please contact Steve Capers at steve.capers@knock-knockproductions.com or at 646-535-3177.  In addition, pleasevisit us online at marthasvineyardcomedyfest.com.


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    Jean-Ralph Thurin is one of the few Black, luxury, bridal designers and his latest inspiration pays homage to the sex and elegance of the Bond Girl.

    UPTOWN_jean_ralph_thurin_bridal_gown

    “This gown is from my Spring 2016 Collection and it is inspired by my love of the James Bond films. I have seen each of them 200 times. This off-the-shoulder, drop waist ball gown with tulle pleating and Swarovski beading details is named after the Bond girl Dominique ‘Domino’ Dorval (portrayed by the former Miss France, Claudine Auger) from the fourth film, Thunderball (1965). Domino was sexy, but, as most Bond Girls are, she was equally as sophisticated. I designed this gown with her jet-set, sex appeal in mind.” -– JEAN-RALPH THURIN

    $10,500 | Available at Flagship Store in Sommerville, NJ | JeanRalphThurin.com

    RELATED: Download A Gratis Copy Of The UPTOWN Weddings & Travel Issue


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  • 01/06/16--10:11: Aisle Access: Band Together
  • Beverly Hills jeweler Chris Aire knows that the ring means everything.

    UPTOWN_mens_chris_aire_ringFOR HIM
    Manly Wedding Band in 950 platinum featuring square cut diamonds.
    $42,500.00

    UPTOWN_womens_chris_aire_ringFOR HER
    Hollywood Glam Engagement ring in 950 platinum featuring 8.00 carat emerald cut center diamond and princess cut diamond accents.
    $180,000.00
    ChrisAire.com

    RELATED: Download A Gratis Copy Of The UPTOWN Weddings & Travel Issue


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    UPTOWN_2016_celeb_marriages_babies

    2016 has already brought the engagement of Keshia Knight-Pulliam and Ed Hartwell and the birth of Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker’s son, but who else is expected to tie the knot and/or birth a baby? Here are the 2016 celebrity weddings & babies …

    Instagram Photo

    Kevin Hart revealed in September that he and fiancee Eniko Parrish have set an Aug. 8, 2016 wedding date.

    Instagram Photo

    Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill might have to put a hold on their weddings since he’s facing prison time for violating probation.

    UPTOWN_robert_pattinson_fka_twigs
    FKA Twigs and Robert Pattinson went public with their relationship in May of 2015, but their wedding is still delayed. Let’s hope they get it together soon and walk down the aisle in 2016.

    UPTOWN_kendrick_lamar_whitney_alford
    Fame apparently hasn’t changed Kendrick Lamar. He’s expected to tie the knot with his high school sweetheart Whitney Alford.

    Instagram Photo

    It’s a good thing reality personality Draya Michele and NFLer Orlando Scandrick became re-engaged in August because she’s expecting their first child together, a boy, in April.

    Instagram Photo

    Instagram Photo

    T.I.’s wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris shared the news that the couple who has been married since 2010 are expecting their third child together. Tiny has a daughter from another relationship, and T.I. has two sons and a daughter from previous relationships.

    Instagram Photo

    Melanie Fiona and boyfriend Jared Cotter announced in November that they are expecting their first child.

    Instagram Photo

    Maybe it’s Chrissy Teigen’s personality or the genuine love she shares with John Legend, but it seems everyone is excited for their baby girl as if she’s theirs.

    Instagram Photo

    Instagram Photo

    Chris and Adrienne Bosh are expecting twins in the spring. They have one daughter already, Dylan Skye Bosh. Chris has another daughter, Trinity, from a previous relationship.

    Instagram Photo

    Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood stars Omarion and girlfriend Apryl Jones are expecting another child together, after she gave birth to a son in 2014.

    Instagram Photo

    Jojo Simmons and his girlfriend Tanice are expecting a baby girl in February. This will be Rev. Run’s second grandchild.

    Instagram Photo

    Instagram Photo

    Ne-Yo and fiancee Crystal Renay will become parents to a son in 2016.

    RELATED: The Wedding Album 2016


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