Tag Archives: Black

Mary J. Blige, Angela Bassett & Forest Whitaker’s Official Flicks From “Black Nativity” + Malinda Williams CO-HOSTING Aspire’s New TALK SHOW “Exhale”

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New stills from the upcoming film Black Nativity starring Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, and Mary J. Blige have been released. See the official photos inside and find out about ASPIRE’s New "Exhale" talk show with co-host Malinda Williams.

New stills from the set of the film Black Nativity (November 27th) just hit the net and we get to see singer Mary J. Blige in her role as a guardian angel…with a platinum ‘fro.

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Jennifer Hudson, who plays Naima (the mother of Langston) will also be among the musical talents who lend their voices to the film.  She’ll be joined by Nas, Luke James and Tyrese.

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The film will centered around Jacob Latimore’s Langston (shown above) who will discover the true meaning of faith, healing, and family during a Christmas visit to the home of his estranged relatives Reverend Cornell and Aretha Cobbs (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett).

 

And heading to the airwaves…..

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ASPIRE, the cable network started by entertainment mogul Magic Johnson, has announced the creation of a new talk show, "Exhale", targeting African American women.  Styled after ABC’s hit, "The View" the new chat fest will be on limited cable, instead of syndication, co-hosted by actress Malinda Williams, journalist Angela Burt-Murray, actress and comedian Erin Jackson, "Awkward Black Girl" creator Issa Rae, author Rene Syler.

Produced by Lynne Robinson and Black Robin Media, fans can expect to see the shows’ eight-episode first run will kick off in June, coinciding with the network’s one-year anniversary.  ‘Bird’ on a talk show?  This should be interesting….

Aspire’s General Manager Paul Butler spoke of the new gab fest saying, “We are thrilled to add ‘Exhale’ to our lineup of original programming. This fresh, hip and candid new series will enlighten audiences with its broad range of topics relevant to the community.”

Will you be watching?

Beyonce TEASES “The Mrs. Carter Show” Photos, RELEASES “Back To Black” REMAKE With Andre 3000

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Beyonce has just teased some carefully selected shots from her "The Mrs. Carter Show" World Tour.  See the "candids" inside and listen to her "Back To Black" remake with Andre 3000.

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Fan fans waiting for "The Mrs. Carter Show" to stop through their town, they can get a glimpse of Mrs. Carter in action, with a few carefully choreographed "candids" from her stop at the LG Arena in Birmingham, UK last night.

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Previously, we told you that Mrs. Carter had banned photographers from her live shows, and now the only professional pics you’ll see of her on-stage are those hand picked by her and her team.

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We imagine Bey knows exactly when she’ll be photographed and the show’s photographer, Frank Micelotta, knows exactly when to press "click". We don’t mind…it makes for a great picture.

 

And in new releases….

On his East Village radio show, producer Mark Ronson debuted the "Back To Black" remake that Beyonce and Andre 3000 created for The Great Gatsby soundtrack (May 7).  When asked what he thought about Bey and Andre remaking the Amy Winehouse track, he said, “I’m flattered and honored. I know Amy would be too."

Helmed by executive producer Jay-Z, the soundtrack will feature Fergie, Q-Tip, Lana Del Rey, Emeli Sandé, will.i.am, and others.

Cassie Goes All Black To Hit The Club In Miami

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Cassie hit up Bamboo nightclub in Miami last night.  And hit the carpet in a sexy all black look.  Check the pics inside….

The chick loves to party.  While her man Diddy was in Miami hosting Liv last night, Cassie was also in the southern city playing her "Ciroc Girl" role and partying at Bamboo for Snoop Dogg‘s DJ set:

 

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She rocked a cute black maxi dress with cutouts and sexy heels.

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And she posted a few pics of herself partying with friends.  Meanwhile, Cassie’s gearing up to release her RockAByeBaby mixtape on April 11th.

 

Photos via SPLASH/Instagram

SNEAK PEEK: Tyrese Previews His “Black Rose” Documentary Before Easter Release

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Tyrese Gibson is the jack of all trades these days.  The singer, actor, dad, and author is gearing up to release his own documentary about his life.  Check out the rags to riches preview inside…

He’s got the summer blockbuster Fast & The Furious 6 on deck, his latest album Open Invitation is in stores, his singing group TGT (with Tank & Ginuwine), a new book with Rev. Run called Manology, just wrapped the Black Nativity musical and is still in production for the Teddy Pendergrass biopic (where he stars as the late singer).  

Apparently, all that isn’t enough, because Tyrese–who’s also dad to 5-year-old daughter Shayla–just created a documentary about his life.  Can’t knock his hustle.

A Black Rose That Grew Through Concrete is all about Black Ty went from a boy growing up in Watts, Cali around drugs, prostitution and gangs, to becoming the Hollywood star that he is.  From talent shows, to modeling, to that career breaking Coca-Cola commercial, to a hit singing & movie career, he’s telling folks how he got here.

Ty told his fans, "You have never seen anything like this from me….This is my story…Realist shit I ever spoke…. I really did start from the bottom."

Check out the documentary trailer below:

The full length documentary will be out Easter Sunday, March 31st.
 

Photo: Instagram

Porsha Stewart — Talks Being A “Black Trophy Wife”, Her Stepson & Her Music Career

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Porsha Stewart is explaining why she’s proud to be the "black trophy wife" of her husband, Kordell.  And if Porsha’s newest charming statement isn’t enough, she’s also dishing on her music career she says she’s taking seriously, and explains why her stepson remains hidden on "Real Housewives of Atlanta"…

Everyone’s fave 265-days-a-year Housewife chatted up ABC News Radio about a few topics viewers have been wondering about.  Will she actually embark on a music career–seeing that her description of her voice was not hot, and we all know Kordell is trying to control her every move?   Will her stepson ever appear on the show?  And why she feels it’s OK to play the trophy wife role.

Why Her Stepson Syre Isn’t Featured on RHOA:
"He’s a nine-year-old little boy. He’s my stepson and I absolutely adore him. We did make the decision not to feature him on the show. [Real Housewives] is something that I decided to do and Kordell signed up to support me. Syre…doesn’t have a place on the show for me."

Why She’s Proud to Be a Trophy Wife:
"Being a trophy wife per se is not just about your outer looks. It’s about the man who has put you on the pedestal and him admiring you and thinking well enough of you to put you up there. And I think it’s important for our little girls to know that they can be a princesses and they can have it all…So I feel proud to represent — and I use the word lightly — the black trophy wife."

Explains Kordell’s Less Than Thrilled Reaction to Her Not Being Pregnant on Last Week’s Episode:
"With me suffering a miscarriage before that was difficult for both of us and…at that moment he doesn’t want to put too much pressure on it because he knows how much that means to me. And really when you’re trying to have a baby the best thing to do is to just not concentrate on it, just let it happen."

"I felt as a newlywed, you know a lot of times you go through things behind closed doors and you feel alone. And I just felt somewhere in there, me telling my story, would help someone."

On Her Music Career:
"I’m working on my sound so I’ve been working with different producers to get that together. It’s a very serious thing to me. It’s not just play play. I’m not just trying to put a one-hit wonder. I want my music to really represent me. So I’ve been taking it seriously here lately. I’ll be coming out with a project. …It’ll be about relationships for sure and it’ll just speak to that, speak to love and the struggles, and the ups and the downs and the great moments, all of that. It’ll be something that — a soundtrack to our life."

Gotta love that Porsha.  The "RHOA" finale and 3-part reunion special are airing soon on BRAVO….

 

SPEAK ON IT: Black Model On Naomi Campbell’s “The Face” Says She DOES NOT Identify As A Black Model

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On Naomi Campbell’s Oxygen reality show, "The Face" one model was asked if she identified as a "black" model, which made us wonder if the question of race should factor into how we view our jobs.  Speak on it inside….

On this week’s episode of "The Face," Wendy Williams interviewed the remaining models.   She asked contestant Devyn about how her race played a factor in the modeling.  When the model seemingly dismissed race as a factor, and Naomi was heard going off in the background, it made us want to ask if we should view our careers through the scope of race.  On the show, their exchange went as follows:

Wendy: Is it hard to be a black girl model?

Devyn: I don’t really consider myself to be a black girl model. I mean, I know what my ethnicity is, but I’m fair-skinned and I feel like I have an international look.

Wendy: So you don’t feel black.

Devyn: No, that’s not what I said, whatsoever.

Naomi Campbell (in the wings): What the f*ck does she mean? That’s a disgrace! She’s a black girl.

 

Devyn’s answer does raise an interesting question.  Does race play a part in the professional roles we play?  Is it offensive that Devyn just wants to be viewed as a "model" rather than a "black model"?  Or is it offensive that she’s dismissing being black as if it will be a negative strike against her?

Watch the controversial question and response here:

 

 

SPEAK ON IT….

 

Terrence Howard Says Black Media ATTACKED Him For Marrying An ASIAN Woman, Hints At HIATUS From Acting

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Terrence Howard hinting at taking a break from acting and vented his frustration over the backlash he received for marrying an Asian woman during his Dead Man Down promos.  Watch the interview inside……….

 

While doing the promo rounds for his latest flick, "Dead Man Down" (which opened at the box office this weekend with a disappointing $ 1.8 Million) Terrence Howard hinted at an "acting" break and blasted how he was ridiculed for marrying outside his race.  

He spoke about taking a break from movie/tv roles for a while because "I feel maybe I’ve done enough, I’ve played enough in these field.  And I would like to see what other mediums that I can aspire towards."

And when it came to talks of his bitter divorce, Terrence felt like he came out on the receiving end of a lot of hatred because he married outside of his race.

"We have a crab mentality where we try to pull each other down because of choices we’ve made.  Because I chose to marry an Asian woman instead of a Black woman.  I think as Black people we have to start helping each other and congratulating each other for being morally strong. And doing the right thing by that.  If you dont have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all."

Somethng tells me that’s not why he received hate. 

Watch the interview here:

EXCLUSIVE: “The Door” Director Ava DuVernay–Talks Historical Sundance Award & Telling TRUE STORIES About Black Life

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Award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay is helping usher in a new wave of Black directors and auteurs committed to creating realistic depictions of Black life.  And the up and comer’s got top YBF celebrity women and fashion houses like Gabrielle Union, Alfre Woodard and Miu Miu Prada already in her fold. 

 

Meet Ava inside to find out why, and her take on what’s missing on the big screen…

Indie director Ava DuVernay and her wonderfully shot depictions of African American life have been bubbling over since her directorial debut with the critically-acclaimed 2008 hip hop documentary, "This is The Life." But it was her 2012 historic win at the Sundance Film Festival for her second feature, Middle of Nowhere, that has help generate a much-needed buzz around Black film and their need for an audience.

She’s the perfect subject to close out our Black Making History campaign on the last day of Black History Month.  As the first black woman to win the Best Director prize at Sundance, Ava prides herself on telling realistic stories about Black life and creating a platform to help other storytellers. During an exclusive chat with TheYBF.com, Ava opened up about her journey and how Black audiences can access the films that tell the stories they desire to see.

Ava is a graduate of UCLA where she studied English and African American studies.  And she began her career as a studio publicist for tv shows like "Girlfriends" and movies like Dreamgirls and The Help.  So how did she make the leap?  She tells us, "Being on a film set and being around directors, I started to catch the buzz and I said to myself, ‘I can do that. I have stories to tell. I wanna to give it a shot.’"

But with bills to pay, Ava realized she needed to keep her full-time gig while exploring her newfound interest.  One year, she used her Christmas break to make a film (because she never went to film school, she considers that to be her first film). And with that…she became a full-fledged filmmaker.  

"There was a lot of fear around it (making films), but one of the things that helped me was that I did it gradually. I think a lot people think that when they have a dream it needs to be all or nothing right away.  And I think it was really powerful for me to keep my one foot in what I knew and just dip my toe in experimenting and following the dream."

So how’d she go about making the dream come true?

"I would write or direct things at night. I would go observe other directors on the weekend and I would still have my full time job as a publicist. I think that helped me when I look back."

Her advice to other artists chasing their dream is, "You don’t have to make a change cold turkey. You can do it gradually and then look up and you have gotten to where you are going."

And where Ava’s going and where she’s been shows quite an impressive journey.  In 2010 she directed three network documentaries in 2010 including "My Mic Sounds Nice" ( a definitive history of female hip hop artists) the "Essence Music Festival 2010" (documenting the nation’s largest annual African-American entertainment gathering) and "Faith Through The Storm" (about black women Katrina survivors). And 2011 saw the release of I Will Follow starring Salli-Richardson-Whitfield, which Ava wrote, produced and directed.

But it was her Sundance win for Middle of Nowhere, which tells the story of a black woman struggling to support her incarcerated husband, that brought international attention to her method of storytelling.  

And that win helped opened the door (literally) for a silent-film she produced for Miu Miu Prada called "The Door", starring Gabrielle Union and Alfre Woodard.  And it took the internet by storm.

When asked about her approach to films, she shared,

"I just want to tell true stories that deal with real Black people and not the most heightened and tragic moments. Those things do happen, but there are also parts of our lives where we struggle with the normal emotions of our heart like grief, fear, loyalty and love.  I feel like I see those things portrayed in films for mainstream culture but everything I see in Black films is heightened.  In my films I just try to show everyday black people living everyday lives that are spectacular just in their everydayness."

For folks who constantly complain about the current crop of Black films that normally see wide releases, Ava adds,  "The films that we want are there….but they are not getting to us easily. We have to demand them."

 

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Ava, who just won the prestigious John Cassavetes Award for ‘Middle of Nowhere’ this month (pictured above) at 2013 Independent Spirit Awards, shared that there are many more Black directors and filmmakers out there who are telling stories that deserve to be heard.  To help spread the word, she founded AFFRM, the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement, which aims to distribution independent African American films.

"There are a lot of these beautiful independent films by black directors that are so gorgeous but we can’t get larger audiences because people just don’t know about them. We want to get more Black people aware that there are great films out there and when they come to your city….you have to go see them and you have to tell people about them!"

It’s one thing to complain about the state of black film, and it’s another to recognize the importance and make history by doing something about it.  Follow Ava DuVernay on Twitter at @AVAETC.

Find out more about Black filmmakers and their movies online at AFFRM and on Twitter @affrm.

Check out the rest of the features in YBF’s Blacks Making History Campaign below:

Sam Fine, Makeup Guru

Johnny Wright, Personal Hairstylist to First Lady Michelle Obama

Rihana Gunn-Wright, 2013 Rhodes Scholar

Steve Stoute, Ad Executive

Kelis, Jill Scott, LisaRaye, NeNe & More Celebrate SOLANGE KNOWLES At BLACK WOMEN IN MUSIC Event

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Solange Knowles and all her fabulousness were honored at last night’s ESSENCE Women in Music event at Greystone Manor in L.A.  Check out all the YBF ladies who came out to support–Kelis, Jill Scott, LisaRaye, Estelle, KeKe Palmer, NeNe Leakes and plenty more–and their gorge purple carpet looks inside…

 

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Honoree Solange, who also performed, kept her signature look of a bold printed leg-baring dress and bold lip color.  This one is by London designer duo Susanne Ostwald and Ingvar Helgason.  And she paired her look with a hot pair of metallic and white-capped toe Nicholas Kirkwood pumps.  Fabulous as usual.

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During the event, Solo hit the stage to perform some of her new songs….and even got accompanied by Earth, Wind & Fire’s Verdine White! 

Jill Scott gushed about it all saying, "@solangeknowles is swag. Ok? She is swag."

Agreed.

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Speaking of the fab Jill Scott, she hit the carpet in a ruby red front slit Michael Costello (former Project Runway contestant) dress.  And she paired her look with sparkling pumps and a bold red lip.  Gorge.

 

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Leave it to Kelis to bring out a feisty look or the occasion.  She rocked thigh high black boots with a gold cap toe, a long snakeskin coat with a black & white dress. Lots going on, including that hair.  But that’s why we love her.

 

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"Single Ladies" star LisaRaye McCoy hit the event in a white (her signature) Tadashi Shoji white pintuck illusion dress.

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And snapped a pic with Kelis and actress Vanessa Williams.

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KeKe Palmer debuted her new curly hair with a sleek black dress. Loves it.

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Singer Dawn Richard rocked a silver & white geometric dress and her black Louboutin pumps.

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We adore Estelle’s look of printed red & white skinny pant trousers with a matching jacket. 

 

Tamia, who just made history as the first Canadian to be nominated for a GRAMMY in the R&B album category, hit up the event last night: 

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She kept it trendy in a Michael Costello mermaid leather skirt, Eleven Paris Biggie tee and an Alexander McQueen blazer.  Fab as always.

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Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell showed off her curves in a fuchsia dress.

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"Glee" star Amber Riley kept it pretty in pleated pink.

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Former "Charlie’s Angels" star Annie Illonzeh looked ready for spring in her tangerine pants and printed top.

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"Single Ladies" star and model Denise Vasi kept it chic in a head to toe black and sheer look.

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And singer Goapele went for the all black look as well.

Couples also took to the carpet ahead of the event:

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Eric Benet brought his wife Manuela Testolini to the event.

 

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And star of the upcoming Tyler Perry film, Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, Jurnee Smollett hit the carpet with her hubby Josiah Bell.  Cute.

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Naturi Naughton went for a little blue iridescence on the carpet.

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NeNe Leakes came out to support the ladies.

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Actress Sharon Leal attended the event with her boyfriend Paul Becker.  We’ll keep our comments to ourselves.

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Vanessa Williams and her killer gams are still hot.

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And speaking of killer legs…model Jessica White rocked a feminine tuxedo pants look for the occasion.  Fab times.

Congrats to additional honoree Lianne La Havas.

Pics: WENN

Honoree Janet Jackson Gets Svelte In Black AT NYC amfAR Gala

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Singer/Actress Janet Jackson hit the stage at the amfAR New York Gala Wednesday night in NYC to kick off Fall 2013 Fashion Week.  CHeck out why she was honored tonight by the organization inside….

At Cipriani Wall Street, Janet donned a sleek black open side/open back dress for the amfAR Gala.  It was a black tie affair where she, along with people like Heidi Klum, were honored for the work they have done in contributing to the fight against AIDS.

After hosting last year’s gala in Cannes and putting out a World AIDS Day PSA this past December, Janet was the honoree at tonight’s event.

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She also wrote a piece for CNN about focusing our prevention efforts on those communities that are disproportionately affected by HIV, such as black women.  Check out her PSA below: