Regina King ties record for most acting Emmys won by a Black performer

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Regina King accepting Emmy while holding the emmy in hand

“Watchmen’s” Regina King made history at the 72nd Emmy Awards Sunday.

King’s win for lead actress in a limited series or movie for her portrayal of Angela Abar (a.k.a. Sister Night) in the HBO superhero drama is her fourth career Emmy. This ties the record held by Alfre Woodard for most acting Emmys won by a Black performer.

Created by David Lindelof, “Watchmen” is based on the acclaimed comic book series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons but is not a direct adaptation. It is more like a sequel that follows new characters such as King’s Sister Night.

This “allowed me to tap into all those things I think are just wonderful about being a Black woman,” King previously told The Times. “[T]he blueprint that was the inspiration for Angela was probably every Black woman that ever was.”

In addition to being recognized for her performance in “Watchmen,” King has previously won the lead actress in a limited series or movie Emmy in 2018 for “Seven Seconds.” In 2015 and 2016 she won in the supporting actress in a limited series or movie category for her performances in “American Crime” (playing different characters each time). King has five career Emmy nominations so far.

Woodard, who has earned 17 Primetime Emmy nods, won in 1984, 1987, 1997 and 2003. These recognitions were in the supporting actress in a drama series category for “Hill Street Blues,” guest performer in a drama series (before there were gender-specific categories) for “L.A. Law,” lead actress in a miniseries or special for “Miss Evers’ Boys” and guest actress in a drama series for “The Practice.”

The other Black actors with four Emmy wins each are Chris Rock and Bill Cosby, but their awards include non-performance categories. Rock has won three Emmys in writing categories (1997, 1999 and 2009) in addition to his variety, music or comedy special win in 1997 for “Chris Rock: Bring The Pain.” Cosby, who is currently serving time after being convicted of sexual assault in 2018, won three consecutive lead drama series actor Emmys for “I Spy” (1966-1968) and in the variety or musical program category in 1969 for “The Bill Cosby Special.”

Continue on to the LA Times to read the complete article.

KING RICHARD

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Based on a true story. Richard Williams, father of legendary tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams, shows family and perseverance can achieve the impossible and impact the world.

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The New Trailer for ‘Bel-Air,’ Peacock’s Dramatic Reimagining of ‘Fresh Prince’ Has Arrived

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Will Smith pictured in front of a purple backdrop while smiling away from the camera

Will Smith returns as executive producer on the dramatic reboot of the show that made him a TV star.

Peacock released the first full-length trailer on Monday for “Bel Air,” a drama reboot of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” that will debut on the streaming service Super Bowl Sunday.

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” was one of the biggest sitcoms of the 1990s and turned rapper Will Smith into a TV star. In the series, Smith portrayed a street-savvy teen from West Philadelphia, who is sent to live in the luxurious hills of Bel-Air with his aunt and uncle after he got in “one little fight.”

Now, “Bel-Air,” which has Smith as executive producer, gives the story of “Fresh Prince” a dramatic twist and a contemporary setting, with newcomer Jabari Banks playing Will.

“With this dramatic reimagining, we wanted to create a show that stands on its own while honoring the spirit and innovation of the original series,” series director/co-writer Morgan Cooper said.

“Because ‘Bel-Air’ is a drama, we’re able to really peel back the layers of these characters and themes in a way that you simply couldn’t do 30 years ago in the half-hour sitcom format. We’re able to go have tough conversations that challenge perspectives.”

Cooper is an executive producer with Smith and showrunners T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson, as well as Terence Carter, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez, Malcolm Spellman, Quincy Jones, Benny Medina, and Andy & Susan Borowitz.

Peacock will release the first three episodes of “Bel-Air” on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 13, with new episodes being released weekly.

Read the original article posted on The Wrap.

Sidney Poitier, Oscar-winning actor and Hollywood’s first Black movie star, dies at 94

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Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier, whose elegant bearing and principled onscreen characters made him Hollywood’s first Black movie star and the first Black man to win the best actor Oscar, has died. He was 94.

Clint Watson, press secretary for the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, confirmed to CNN that Poitier died Thursday evening.

Poitier overcame an impoverished background in the Bahamas and a thick island accent to rise to the top of his profession at a time when prominent roles for Black actors were rare. He won the Oscar for 1963’s “Lilies of the Field,” in which he played an itinerant laborer who helps a group of White nuns build a chapel.

Many of his best-known films explored racial tensions as Americans were grappling with social changes wrought by the civil rights movement. In 1967 alone, he appeared as a Philadelphia detective fighting bigotry in small-town Mississippi in “In the Heat of the Night” and a doctor who wins over his White fiancée’s skeptical parents in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”

Poitier’s movies struggled for distribution in the South, and his choice of roles was limited to what White-run studios would produce. Racial taboos, for example, precluded him from most romantic parts. But his dignified roles helped audiences of the 1950s and 1960s envision Black people not just as servants but as doctors, teachers and detectives.

At the same time, as the lone Black leading man in 1960s Hollywood, he came under tremendous scrutiny. He was too often hailed as a noble symbol of his race and endured criticism from some Black people who said he had betrayed them by taking sanitized roles and pandering to Whites.

Read the complete article posted on CNN.

Michelle Obama’s guest appearance on ‘Black-ish’ excites fans while also serving a purpose

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Michelle Obama Smiling at the camera in a white sweater and blue jean pants

By Kyle Moss, Yahoo! Entertainment

On the eighth and final season premiere of Black-ish Tuesday, Michelle Obama made a guest appearance after the show’s main characters attended an event for When We All Vote, an organization that Obama founded to help register and turn out voters across the country.

What began as Andre (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross)’s chance encounter with the former first lady turned into a casual dinner at the Johnson house.

Obama’s main scene mostly consisted of the rest of Dre and Bow’s family interrupting with attempts to try and impress her. And there were also a few moments of conversation among Obama, Dre and Bow about what it’s like having teenage kids.

“When our girls were that age, you should have seen how they rolled their eyes, especially at their father,” Obama said during the episode.

But clearly the cameo for Obama, who was personally asked to appear on the show by Ross herself, was all about getting the word out about voter registration. And while it was subtle within the episode, Obama reiterated the objective with a tweet after the show aired, reminding people to get themselves and others registered.

Meanwhile, viewers on Twitter celebrated Obama’s appearance on the hit series with plenty of praise and even a few requests like, “Please decide to be president in 2024” and “I too would like to invite you over for dinner.”

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Entertainment.

Why Beyoncé and Jay-Z Are on Track to Make History at 2022 Oscars

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jay-z on track to make history at the oscars with beyonce

By Gabrielle Chung, NBC

It may just be Oscar gold everything for Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

The powerhouse couple is one step closer to becoming Oscar nominees after they were both named in the shortlist for the best original song category at the upcoming 94th Academy Awards. The list of 15 contenders, which was announced on Dec. 21, recognized Beyoncé’s “Be Alive” from “King Richard” and “Guns Go Bang,” Jay-Z’s collaboration with Kid Cudi, from “The Harder They Fall.”

If Beyoncé and Jay-Z are nominated, it will be the first time in Oscars history that a married couple will face off against one another in the same category, according to Variety and Billboard.

Other stars who landed on this year’s shortlist include Billie Eilish and Finneas for “No Time to Die” from the latest James Bond film of the same name; Lin-Manuel Miranda for “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto”; and Ariana Grande for “Just Look Up,” her collab with Kid Cudi from the “Don’t Look Up” soundtrack.

Last year’s winner H.E.R. also made the shortlist, as well as songwriter Diane Warren, who has been nominated 12 times in the best original song category without a single win.

Voting for nominations will take place between Jan. 27 and Feb. 1, and fans will see if Beyoncé and Jay-Z will make history when nominees are announced on Feb. 8. Queen Bey was previously shortlisted for “Spirit” from “The Lion King,” but neither she nor Jay-Z has been nominated for an Academy Award.

The 2022 Oscars shortlists come hot on the heels of news that Beyoncé and her three children with Jay-Z — Blue Ivy, 9, and 4-year-old twins Sir and Rumi — will be featured in a new theme song for her mother Tina Knowles’ upcoming Facebook Watch series, “Talks With Mama Tina.”

“I loved filming this show and sitting down with so many amazing people because we got to have such honest heartfelt conversations and I got to make them my famous GUMBO!” Tina shared alongside a trailer of the show. “Thank you to my baby @beyonce and my beautiful grand babies for making this special theme song for the show. Are you guys ready to watch?”

Click here to read the full article on NBC.

Not Only Is Candace Parker Really Good at Basketball, but She’s an Amazing Mom With Another Baby on the Way

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Candace Parker on the red carpet standing and smiling at the camera

By Jay Connor, The Root

It’s hard to top a year that includes becoming the first woman to grace the cover of NBA 2K, dropping a new dope-ass footwear and apparel collection with Adidas, and bringing your hometown Chicago Sky its first WNBA title. But would Candace Parker be Candace Parker if she didn’t continue to outdo herself?

On Tuesday, the two-time WNBA MVP took to Instagram to reveal that not only has she been married for two years to her wife, Anya Petrakova, but the happy couple is expecting their first child together, per People. (Parker has a 12-year-old daughter, Lailaa, from a previous relationship with former NBA player Sheldon Williams.)

“Happy Anniversary Моя жена! 2 years ago, I got to marry my best friend in front of our close family and friends. My heart could have exploded. I cried like a baby,” she captioned pictures of their wedding. “To know me or you is to know our love. This journey hasn’t been easy. I am proud of us and what we have built and who we have grown to become both individually and together.

“Thank you for always loving Lailaa as your own, being my calm, my support, my voice of reason, my laughs, my cuddles, my dance in the rain, my happy, my home. Thanks for constantly challenging me and telling me when I’m wrong 🙄. I LOVE YOU🐞 I appreciate you, I value you and what we have.”

She continued, “We’ve always dreamed of growing our family….it’s surreal that we now have a baby on the way! Lailaa is pumped to be a big sister! You couldn’t be more beautiful! Glowing, while understanding that I have to constantly love, kiss, and talk to your belly AND yes… play Jay-Z for the baby (Goose knows “Song Cry” already by heart😜 !) I can’t wait to embark on this next chapter in life with you!”

Click here to read the full article on The Root.

Black Women Gamers Aren’t Unicorns — They’re The Future

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Gamer Girl and founder of Black Girl Gamers

By Jay-Ann Lopez

Many people still think that being a gamer and a Black woman is a juxtaposition. It’s not. We’re not unicorns. Just like in any other industry, there are content creators, industry professionals, and consumers, and Black women can be found in all of these categories — but they’re often overlooked, underestimated, or outright ignored. So Black women are taking their spot in gaming for themselves.

If you’re not familiar with gaming, let me briefly explain how we got here. Gaming started with simplistic classics like Pong, and in their infancy, games were aimed at a broad audience who just wanted to play and have fun. But after the video game crash in the 1980s, the industry essentially said, “Fuck it, let’s just focus on white men and boys.” And after decades of game creation and marketing geared toward men, here we are in 2021, with the majority of the highest paid gamers being white men. Not to mention that the workforce in the industry is also dominated by white men. According to jobs site Zippia, 72% of video game developers in the US are men, and 72% of developers are also white. And unfortunately, with this came the foundation of a toxic misogynistic culture, which companies overlooked and sometimes encouraged with their early marketing — just look at one ‘90s Playstation advertisement.

As the social climate changed to become more critical and vocal about racism, sexism, homophobia, and discrimination, some companies have vowed to change, but only after hitting rock bottom. In July, a lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard by the California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleged the company long facilitated an environment of harassment, discrimination, and a toxic “‘frat boy’ workplace culture.” The suit led to an outpour of horror stories on social media that exposed what often happens behind game creation. Some triple-A companies have started to hire experienced chief diversity officers, who slowly but surely hope to tackle the ingrained bias internally and in their games.

But many gaming companies are still struggling to hire, and retain, Black employees which means, beyond the marketing, the culture isn’t progressing. Just 6% of video game developers in the US are Black, according to Zippia, so it doesn’t take long to look under the surface and see the dust is still under the rug. Brands are still enabling toxic content creators or work environments where marginalized people can feel as though they are collateral damage as we’ve seen with recent revelations about Activision. There’s still so much to do, and it seems the industry only reacts to current events, such as the murder of George Floyd, rather than plan for a better future. Despite changing demographics and efforts from within to create more inclusive spaces, Black women still aren’t visible and have long been ostracized, ignored, and underpaid.

The space is democratizing. But rather than the companies that make millions, it’s creators-turned-entrepreneurs who are doing the necessary work to address the lack of transparency and seemingly unclosable gaps in gaming.

Click here to read the full article on Refinery29.

Rihanna honored as ‘national hero’ of Barbados

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By Lisa Respers France, CNN

Rihanna’s homeland wants her to continue to “shine bright like a diamond.”

The singer was honored Monday in her native Barbados during its presidential inauguration, which served to mark the country becoming a republic.
Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley told the crowd, “On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you the designee for national hero of Barbados, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty.”
“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation by your works, by your actions, and to do credit wherever you shall go,” Mottley said.

The makeup and fashion mogul was appointed as an ambassador of Barbados in 2018.

According to a statement from the Barbados Government Information Office released at the time, the position gives the celeb “specific responsibility for promoting education, tourism, and investment for the island.”

She also became one of the Caribbean island country’s cultural ambassadors in 2008, doing promotional work for its tourism ministry.

In a move that received a great deal of support in the country, Barbados formally cut ties with the British monarchy by becoming a republic almost 400 years after the first English ship arrived on the most easterly of the Caribbean islands.

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

Beyoncé’s Daughter Blue Ivy Carter Is Dad Jay-Z’s Mini-Me in This Rare Video of Her Rapping

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Blue Ivy drinking out of a straw and a an award trophy

By Julia Teti, Yahoo! Entertainment

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree in Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s family. The mega-stars have been married for more than a decade and share three children together, including their eldest child Blue Ivy Carter. As the 9-year-old has gotten older, fans of the music industry titans have watched Blue follow in her mom and dad’s footsteps. And she proved once again that she’s seriously her dad’s mini-me when she rapped during Jay-Z’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2021 induction video tribute.

The video featured a star-studded ensemble of who’s who in the world of entertainment and music. Naturally, Jay-Z’s wife kicked things off, reciting some of her husband’s most memorable lyrics. The video included shout-outs from the likes of Common, Regina King, and even LeBron James among a bevy of other famous faces. We think, however, the best cameo was saved for last when Blue popped up on screen.

“Congrats S. Carter, ghost writer. You paid the right price, so we just made your hits tighter,” Blue recited at the end of the clip, before letting out the cutest laugh. The lyrics Blue rapped — along with a number of words recited by Jay-Z’s collaborators and friends — were from one of his most famous songs. Blue’s lyrics were a clean version of the words from Jay-Z’s 1998 track “Ride Or Die.”

Between her looks and her Grammy win for “Brown Skin Girl,” Blue Ivy Carter is becoming the perfect combination of her two famous parents. We’ve loved watching the couple’s eldest child come into her own, and we can only imagine how she’s going to take over the music industry in the years to come!

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Entertainment.

Simone Biles Details the Trusted Tool She Uses to Help Combat Her Anxiety

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Simone Biles posing on gymnatict floormat after performance smiling with hand in the air

By People

Simone Biles is developing tools to deal with anxiety, thanks to the help of a trusted therapist.

While appearing virtually at the Child Mind Institute’s annual Child Advocacy Award dinner in New York City on Tuesday to accept the inaugural Trailblazer Award, Biles — who has been outspoken about mental health, especially in the wake of a challenging Tokyo Olympic Games — said she hopes to be “a voice for the voiceless.”

In doing so, Biles is being candid about what helps her through difficult moments.

“I do keep close contact with my therapist, I love that,” Biles, 24, said in a PEOPLE exclusive clip from the dinner. “And it’s super exciting so hopefully more people are open to going to therapy and knowing that they’re there for you and not to harm you.”

Part of what Biles’ therapist has encouraged her to do is keep a worry journal.

“I have pretty bad anxiety sometimes so she tells me in my worry journal to put from 12 to 1 p.m. — that’s the time I’ve selected — and anything I’ve written down in my worry journal, I use that hour to worry about the things then,” Biles explained. “And usually by the time 12 or 1 [p.m.] comes, I’ve already forgotten about all my worries so that kind of is a tool that helps me.”

Biles, in general, said she’s learned “to not give up, to move forward and keep pushing,” over the years, even when facing the unimaginable. She said she now sees happiness as, “Just waking up and having a positive outlook on life in general and to know that you’re blessed with another day.”

The athlete was in conversation with Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, president and medical director of the Child Mind Institute. In a press release, Koplewicz said “Simone Biles bravely showed children and the entire world this year that mental health and wellbeing should be made a priority and a foundation for everything else we do in life. The Child Mind Institute is pleased to present her with the inaugural Trailblazer Award for her courageousness and strength in using her global platform to tell young people that it’s critical to speak up and get help.”

During this year’s Summer Games, Biles removed herself from four out of five gymnastics event finals due to a case of the “twisties” — a disorienting condition that athletes can experience when they lose air awareness, putting them at risk for injury when they land.

The Olympian explained at the time that she withdrew to focus on her mental health, saying on social media that her “mind & body are simply not in sync.”

Biles ended up returning to the competition to participate in the balance beam final, for which she won bronze. The athlete also took home a silver in the team all-around final.

Click here to read the full article on People.

Will Smith Says Venus and Serena Williams ‘Cried All the Way Through’ King Richard: ‘They Loved It’

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Will smith playing kin richard in upcoming movie about the williams sisters

By Benjamin VanHoose, People

Will Smith waited on pins and needles to hear Venus and Serena Williams’ reaction to his onscreen performance as their father.

In King Richard, out Nov. 19, the Oscar nominee plays Richard Williams, the dad and childhood tennis coach of the famous athlete sisters. While appearing on The Tonight Show Tuesday, Smith recalled being nervous to find out what Venus, 41, and Serena, 40, thought of the final movie.

“Venus and Serena were really excited about the possibility. And they said that they would potentially be executive producers and they would walk us through the whole process, but they were going to withhold whether or not they put their names on the film until they saw it,” said Smith.

“So then I get the call that Venus and Serena are walking into the theater to see the film,” he continued. “It’s the worst two hours ever. The worst two hours. Because you spent so much time creating these things, and there is literally only one audience when you do it. … You hope that they like it.”

Fortunately, the stars enjoyed the movie, Smith said: “Venus and Serena cried all the way through. They loved it.”

Earlier this month, Smith and the Williams sisters spoke with Entertainment Weekly about King Richard, praising the story, which follows the family’s start in the sport and their rise to ground-breaking champions status. Venus and Serena are played by actresses Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, respectively.

“When we heard that Will wanted to do it, it was like, ‘Oh my God this movie is going to be the real deal.’ Whatever film he’s in, it’s the real deal. We got the sense of this is gonna be big, this is gonna be a serious film,” Venus said.

Click here to read the full article on People.

Usher’s New Look Non-Profit Receives $500,000 Grant for Financial Literacy Programs

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Usher on stage discussing his new look financial literacy program

, Revolt

Usher’s New Look (UNL), a non-profit organization founded by the R&B superstar in 1999, recently announced that it has received a hefty donation. The Truist Foundation has given UNL $500,000 to support its high school leadership program, specifically its financial literacy initiatives, according to a press release.

The $500,000 is the latest amount given to UNL by the Truist Foundation, which has already handed out a total of $1.5 million over five years to help the company’s mission.

“Breaking the cycle of poverty and debt is tantamount to the future success of young people, particularly in these challenging times where we see that there are currently 16 million children living in poverty today,” said Careshia Moore, president and CEO of Usher’s New Look in the press release. “This is, therefore, a proud moment for Usher’s New Look, and we are so very grateful to Truist Foundation for this transformational grant that will enable us to further our mission and touch the lives of hundreds of young people, helping them prepare for their futures while uplifting themselves and their communities at the same time.”

The Truist Foundation was formed in 2019 after the merger of BB&T and Suntrust Banks. The Foundation’ purpose, according to its website, is to inspire and build better lives and communities by partnering directly with nonprofit organizations that support wealth building for historically excluded communities. Led by President Lynette Bell, Truist Foundation aims to build career pathways to economic mobility and strengthen small businesses. After awarding the $500,000 to UNL, Bell reaffirmed her commitment to the organization and programs like it in the press release.

“Truist Foundation is committed to helping Usher’s New Look advance its mission by empowering young people with access to financial wellness to help them make choices throughout their lives,” Bell said. “Ushers New Look shares in our purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Their dedication and proven track record in guiding and developing the talent and skills of young people is unparalleled.”

Globally, UNL has served more than 50,000 youth, according to stats listed on its website. UNL’s high school program offers workshops and how-to sessions, covering a variety of topics such as talent exploration, preparing for college, workforce development, servant leadership, entrepreneurship, budgeting, credit and debt, savings, investing, and more.

Click here to read the full article on Revolt.

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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. From Day One
    February 9, 2022
  3. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  4. From Day One
    February 22, 2022
  5. From Day One
    February 22, 2022
  6. CSUN Center on Disabilities 2022 Conference
    March 13, 2022 - March 18, 2022
  7. NOBLE 2022 William R. Bracey Winter CEO Symposium
    March 17, 2022 - March 19, 2022
  8. From Day One
    March 29, 2022
  9. From Day One
    April 12, 2022
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    May 10, 2022