Showing posts with label African-American star. Show all posts
Showing posts with label African-American star. Show all posts

Thursday, February 7, 2019

2019 Essence Black Women in Hollywood Has Kelly Rowland as Host

Kelly Rowland Set to Host 2019 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards

#BlackWomeninHollywood Celebrating Art + Activism

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Singer / actress, Kelly Rowland, has been confirmed to host the 12th annual ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards in Beverly Hills, CA. ESSENCE, the number one media, technology and commerce company serving Black women, will celebrate the artistry and activism of actress Amandla Stenberg (“The Hate U Give”), actress/singer and author Jenifer Lewis (“Black-ish”), actress KiKi Layne (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) and actress Regina Hall (“Support The Girls”) at its annual Oscar-week luncheon on Thursday, February 21, 2019.

Grammy® Award-winning Kelly Rowland is making a splash in Hollywood with her role as Gladys Knight in the new BET series, “AMERICAN SOUL,” the untold story of Don Cornelius and the struggle to make the dream of Soul Train come true.

“I’m so honored to host this year’s ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards and shine a light on four exceptional women for their art and social activism,” said Kelly Rowland. “With this phenomenal Oscar-week celebration, ESSENCE creates a special place that elevates the beauty, power and magic of Black women.”

Stay tuned to for highlights and behind-the-scenes access to the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @essence #BlackWomeninHollywood. Join in the discussion on Facebook.

The ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards is presented by The Ford Motor Company and sponsored by AT&T, Inc., L’Oréal, Walmart, Geico and Warner Bros.

About ESSENCE Communications Inc.
ESSENCE Communications is the number one media, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women and inspires a global audience of more than 17 million through diverse storytelling and immersive original content. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, experiential and online, ESSENCE encompasses its signature magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; as well as live events, including Black Women in Music, Black Women in Hollywood, Street Style and the ESSENCE Festival. Essence Communications is owned by Essence Ventures, an independent Black-owned, technology-driven company focused on merging content, community and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of people of color.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

BET Announces "Black Girls Rock! 2016" Honorees; Including "The Walking Dead's" Danai Gurira

Rihanna, Shonda Rhimes, Gladys Knight, Danai Gurira, Amandla Stenberg, and Black Lives Matter Founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi Celebrated for Their Black Girl Magic™ as This Year’s “Black Girls Rock!™” 2016 Celebrants

Brandy, Monica, Jazmine Sullivan, Andra Day, Marsha Ambrosius, Corinne Bailey Rae and Living Legend Celebrant Gladys Knight Confirmed to Rock the Stage During “Black Girls Rock!™” 2016

Hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black Girls Rock!™” Will Tape April 1, 2016 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BET Networks is thrilled to reveal the empowering celebrants of “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” 2016:

  • Rihanna, Rock Star Award
  • Shonda Rhimes, Shot Caller Award
  • Gladys Knight, Living Legend Award
  • Danai Guira, Star Power Award
  • Amandla Stenberg, Young, Gifted & Black
  • Black Lives Matter Founders: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, Community Change
  • Agent Award

Additionally, Brandy, Monica, Jazmine Sullivan, Andra Day, Marsha Ambrosius, Corinne Bailey Rae will be hitting the stage as performers for “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” 2016 along with “Living Legend” Celebrant Gladys Knight gracing the stage for an unforgettable performance. This year the dynamic “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” movement, founded by Beverly Bond, celebrates its 10 year anniversary and its sixth televised broadcast on BET Networks. The NAACP Award winning “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” on BET continues to represent a revolutionary landmark in media as it delivers edifying, entertaining and inspiring content honoring the nexus of achievements made by powerful Black women and girls. Tracee Ellis Ross will return as host of the event at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center located in downtown Newark, New Jersey. Tune in to watch “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” 2016 on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 8:00 P.M./ET.

This years’ presenters for “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” 2016 will feature exceptional Black women who rock including BET’s “Chasing Destiny” star Kelly Rowland, songstresses Erykah Badu, Dionne Warwick, Spiritual Life coach Iyanla Vanzant, activist Bethann Hardison and actresses Naturi Naughton, Tatyana Ali, Teyonah Parris and Yara Shahidi.

Coca-Cola® is this year’s sponsor of the M.A.D (Making A Difference) GIRLS, an honor bestowed upon young girls who strive for excellence within their communities. Each year, “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” celebrates dynamic young women and girls who have been recognized as change agents due to their resolve to come up with enterprises and ideas that promote progressive change in their communities. The 2016 “Making a Difference” a.k.a. “M.A.D. GIRLS,” are Marley Dias, Maya Penn and Haile Thomas, young women who remind us that there is not an age requirement for community action and social responsibility.

For updates or more information about BLACK GIRLS ROCK! ™ visit and

Join the conversation on social media by logging on to our social media platforms:

• On Twitter by using hashtag: #BlackGirlsRock; follow us @BET and @BLACKGIRLSROCK

• On Facebook by liking the fan pages at and

• On Instagram @betnetworks and @BLACKGIRLSROCK

Founded by celebrity DJ, model and executive producer, Beverly Bond, BLACK GIRLS ROCK! ™ is a multifaceted movement dedicated to shifting the culture of media images depicting Black women and girls. Since 2006, BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™ has been committed to empowering women through media and enriching girls through leadership, education, and positive identity development programs. For additional information on BLACK GIRLS ROCK! ™, visit

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions:, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States. It is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey -- where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. As New Jersey’s Town Square, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists, while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted over seven million visitors (including more than one million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. Visit or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC for more information.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Essence Empowerment Experience Welcomes Stellar Line-Up of African-American Women

The Nation’s Largest Gathering of African-American Women Welcomes Tyra Banks, Misty Copeland, Patina Miller, Iyanla Vanzant & More to the Empowerment Experience Stage at the 2016 ESSENCE Festival

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Time Inc.’s (NYSE:TIME) ESSENCE Festival New Orleans announces its star-studded daytime lineup for the signature event’s ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage, taking place Fourth of July Weekend, July 1–3, 2016, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.

Free and open to the public, the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage will feature conversations and keynote addresses with influencers such as Tyra Banks, Misty Copeland, Cookie Johnson, Iyanla Vanzant, Terry McMillan, Phaedra Parks and Rev. Al Sharpton, plus performances from Tony© Award winner Patina Miller, Travis Greene, Tasha Paige Lockhart, Kierra Sheard and Yolanda Adams, who will lead an All-Star Gospel Tribute to the Clark Sisters sponsored by Walmart. Additional speakers and talent to be announced soon.

“The ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage remains the heartbeat of Festival weekend with its diverse and impactful programming aimed at enlightening and inspiring our community,” said ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. De Luca. “The current social climate has brought to light highly important issues, and we plan to continue these conversations at this year’s ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans. Not only will our programming emphasize topics such as love and relationships, personal finance and entrepreneurship, but we will also take a deeper look into our community’s most pressing political concerns to prepare ourselves for the upcoming presidential election.”

In addition to conversations on the 2016 election, the Empowerment Experience Stage provides a national strategy session for the day-to-day lives of ESSENCE’s community of 14 million women. Talent will address a wide range of topics, including: Creating Your Dream Business, Leading with Purpose, Protecting Our Daughters & Sons, and Building Your Own Brand.

Last year’s successful “Hour of Power” will return to the ESSENCE Empowerment Stage on Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2, when emerging and established talent will perform roof-raising inspirational music.

The ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage offers curated content from ESSENCE's editorial team, extending conversations that have moved from the page and screen to the stage. The daytime experience culminates on Sunday with an all-star, soul-stirring gospel tribute to the chart-topping group the Clark Sisters. For a full lineup of this year’s daytime speakers and artists, visit

For more information, visit ESSENCE Festival Join the festival community on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2016 ESSENCE Festival on Facebook. Media applications for the 2016 ESSENCE Festival New Orleans are now live. Please visit here for more information and to submit your application to cover both Daytime and Nighttime events.

The 2016 ESSENCE FESTIVAL is executive produced by ESSENCE Festivals LLC, a division of ESSENCE Communications Inc., and is produced by Solomon Group. GeChar is the executive producer of the 2016 ESSENCE Empowerment Experience.

Sponsors of the 2016 ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola, major sponsors Ford, McDonald’s, State Farm, Walmart and official Beauty & Style Sponsor ESSENCE Beauty Box.

About Essence Communications Inc.
Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events and online. The company’s flagship publication, Essence magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women, generating brand extensions, such as the Essence Festival, Essence Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 45 years, Essence, which has a brand reach of 14.2 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women’s lives. Additional information about ECI and Essence is available at

About Time Inc.
Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is one of the world's leading media companies, with a monthly global print audience of over 120 million and worldwide digital properties that attract more than 150 million visitors each month, including over 60 websites. Our influential brands include People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Time, Real Simple and Southern Living, as well as more than 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Serena Williams the Subject of New EPIX Documentary

EPIX Serves Up Original Documentary ‘Serena’

Set to Make Its World Television Premiere on June 22, 2016 at 8pm ET/PT, 7C

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Premium TV network EPIX® announced today that the EPIX Original Documentary Serena, an intimate portrait of 4-time Olympic Gold Medalist and International sports icon Serena Williams, will make its World Television Premiere on EPIX on June 22, 2016 at 8pm ET/PT, 7C. The feature-length documentary provides viewers with unprecedented access inside the world of the athlete-designer-businesswoman, including day-in-the-life interactions with her family and friends, plus her most trusted colleagues and fiercest competitors. Shot verité style – Serena explores the pressures that come with being number one in the world, and Williams unflinching commitment and drive to succeed, ultimately emphasizing the humanity under all of her accomplishments.

Mark S. Greenberg, President and CEO of EPIX, said: “Serena is a personal journey during which we are privileged to follow one woman’s incredible march to achieve a level of greatness that so few tennis players have achieved in the history of the sport. The film presents us with a captivating vision of this world-class athlete while offering the viewer rare insight into what makes Serena Williams the person she is beyond the court. Serena transcends the world of tennis and is sure to fascinate viewers across the country.”

Remarked Serena Williams: "2015 was a defining time in my life and career. I think my story will be relatable to audiences whether you love tennis or not. It’s a story of perseverance, failure and triumph. It’s the most intimate I’ve ever allowed myself to be on film. It was a scary but ultimately really gratifying experience, which I’m hoping inspires others to pursue their dreams. I’m really grateful to EPIX for this incredible opportunity and the care they’ve shown me. Can’t wait for you all to see it."

For Serena, the documentary team was provided unparalleled access. Viewers will be witness to the external pressures and vulnerabilities Williams faces in her quest to achieve four Grand Slams in a row (a “Serena Slam”), and her losses at the 2015 U.S. Open and 2016 Australian Open. In addition, the film takes an unprecedented look at Williams’ life off the court as the filmmakers capture intimate and unguarded moments with her family and inner circle of coaches, trainers and friends.

Join the conversation about Serena on Twitter with #Serena and visit

Serena, an EPIX Original Documentary is produced by Matthew Goldberg and Brandon Carroll – Film 45, and directed by Ryan White. The executive producer is Peter Berg. Jocelyn Diaz, Ross Bernard and Jill Burkhart are the executive producers for EPIX. Valerie Bishop is the producer for EPIX.

For photos and more information about EPIX programming log on to:

About EPIX
EPIX is a premium entertainment network delivering the latest movie releases, the biggest classic film franchises, original documentaries, comedy and music events on TV, on demand, online and on digital devices. Launched in October 2009, EPIX has pioneered the development and proliferation of “TV Everywhere.” It was the first premium network to provide multi-platform access to its content online at and to launch on Xbox, PlayStation®, Android phones and tablets, and Roku® players. EPIX is also available across Chromecast, Apple® iPhones® and iPads®, Android TV and more and is the only premium service providing all its programming on all platforms, delivering more movies than any other premium network, with thousands of titles available for streaming.

EPIX is a joint venture between Viacom Inc., its Paramount Pictures unit, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM). Through relationships with cable, satellite and telco partners, EPIX is available to over 50 million homes nationwide. For more information about EPIX, go Follow EPIX on Twitter @EpixHD ( and on Facebook (, YouTube (, Instagram (, Google+ (, Pinterest ( and Vine (


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Storm Collectibles Transform Mike Tyson and Dennis Rodman into Toys


New Dennis Rodman “Bad Boy” Special Edition Available Now; Mike Tyson “Olympic” Figure Debuts Early Next Year!!

Irvine, CA – Bluefin, the leading North American distributor of toys, collectibles, and hobby merchandise from Japan, Hong Kong and more, is proud to welcome its newest partner – Hong Kong-based Storm Collectibles – and the debut of a pair of new, realistic 1/6 scale collectible figures.

New from Storm Collectibles and available now for purchase and Bluefin pre-order are realistic 1/6 scale pose-able figures of basketball legend and pop culture provocateur, Dennis Rodman, depicted in his “Bad Boy” wrestling attire, and heavyweight boxing champ, Mike Tyson, depicted in his early years when he fought for the U.S. Junior Olympic team. The Mike Tyson “Olympic” figure will be a limited edition product and a Bluefin exclusive.

Each Storm Collectibles 1/6 figure features a lifelike, extremely accurate facial design, capturing all the nuances and expressions of these legendary pop culture personalities. The figures are also fully articulated with moveable arms and legs and each set comes with a variety of alternate hands, feet and other accessories to create endless posing possibilities.

Dennis Rodman is available now with Mike Tyson coming out in February of 2016. They can be purchased through various retailers.

Mike Tyson 1/6 “Olympic” Edition
Height: Approx. 12 inches · MSRP: $255.00 · Available: February 2016

Mike Tyson, the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA, and IBF heavyweight titles at the age of 20. Tyson won gold medals at the 1981 and 1982 Junior Olympics and holds the Junior Olympic record for the fastest knockout ever (8 seconds). Tyson also won every bout at the Junior Olympics by knockout. This new exclusive figure captures Tyson’s outfit from the Junior Olympics, just as he was ready to explode onto the international stage, and comes with a variety accessories to recreate all of his iconic moments.

Dennis Rodman 1/6 “Bad Boy” Special Edition
Height: Approx. 13 inches · MSRP: $250.00 · Available Now

The Dennis Rodman “Bad Boy” Special Edition captures Dennis Rodman in his “baddest” look yet, as seen when he took to professional wrestling! During this period he teamed up with Hollywood Hogan to create one of the most memorable and wildest tag team moments in pro wrestling history and shocked the world!

About Storm Collectibles:
Storm Collectibles, a Hong Kong based company, was established in 2007 as a one-stop-source for action figures – we design, produce and distribute high quality, collectible 1/12th, 1/6th and 1/4th scale action figures and statues. We have a great passion for collectibles and our vision is focused on creating authentic, fully realized likenesses for each collectible figure. Storm Collectibles's official licensing partners are; Warner Bros., Capcom USA / Japan, Bruce Lee Enterprise, Mike Tyson, and Hulk Hogan. We simply give collectors what they’re looking for. Additional information is available at:

About Bluefin:
Based in Irvine, CA, Bluefin built its reputation as a leading distributor of Japanese toys, collectibles, novelty and hobby products. In recent years, Bluefin has grown to include a range of high quality collectible lines from the United States, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore and established itself as the official North American consumer products and retail development partner for Studio Ghibli. Selling to thousands of specialty, chain and independent stores, Bluefin is an official North American distributor for Bandai Hobby, Kotobukiya and Capcom, is the sole provider of Bandai Tamashii Nations products, and is also the exclusive and official distributor for Beast Kingdom, Comicave, Mr. Hobby, Groove’s Pullip dolls, SEN-TI-NEL and X-Plus. Bluefin also represents TruForce Collectibles products worldwide. Additional information is available at:


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Common and John Legend to Perform "Glory" at 87th Oscars

Oscar® Nominees Common And John Legend To Perform Together At The Oscars®

Musical artists Common and John Legend will perform their Oscar®-nominated song “Glory” at the 87th Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, 2015 live on ABC.

“Common and John Legend are artists who have always lifted our spirits and made us think,” said Zadan and Meron. “The Oscar stage is that much more profound because of their presence and we welcome them.”

“Glory,” written by John Stephens (a.k.a. John Legend) and Lonnie Lynn (a.k.a. Common) for the film “Selma,” is nominated for Original Song. The four other nominated songs are “Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie,” “Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights,” “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from “Glen Campbell...I’ll Be Me” and “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again.”

Common won a Grammy® in 2002 for Best R&B Song for “Love Of My Life (An Ode To Hip Hop),” and in 2007 for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for “Southside,” with Kanye West. His many acting credits include the films “American Gangster,” “Wanted,” “Date Night” and “Selma,” in which he plays the role of Civil Rights leader James Bevel.

Legend is a nine time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter.  His critically acclaimed debut album, “Get Lifted,”scored multiple Grammy Awards in 2006, including Best R&B Album, Best New Artist and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.  The follow up was the platinum-selling “Once Again,” which garnered a Best Male R&B Performance nod.  Legend’s most recent highly acclaimed fourth studio album, “Love in the Future,” scored two Grammy  nominations and features his break out hit, “All of Me,” which is his highest selling and charting song to date and also earned a 2015 Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance.

The 87th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscars, produced by Zadan and Meron, also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.


Saturday, January 24, 2015


HARPCOLLINS – @HarperCollins

AUTHOR: Scott Saul
ISBN: 978-0-06-212330-5; hardcover (December 9, 2014)
608pp, B&W, $27.99 U.S.

Richard Pryor (1940 to 2005) was an American comedian, actor, writer, and filmmaker.  He was best known for his work as a stage comic or stand-up comedian.  Actor and comedian Bob Newhart once called Pryor “the seminal comedian of the last 50 years.”

Becoming Richard Pryor is a biography of Pryor, written by Scott Saul.  Saul, an associate professor of English at the University of California–Berkeley, is the author of Freedom Is, Freedom Ain't: Jazz and the Making of the Sixties.  Saul has also written for Harper's Magazine, the New York Times, and the Nation, among other publications.

In the “Author's Note” to his book, Saul says that “Pryor revolutionized American comedy with his improvisational approach, his frank talk about sex and race, and the new psychological depth that he brought to the stage.”  One of the groundbreaking things about Pryor's comedy was that it was often autobiographical; the genius and complexities of his act was born from the story of his life.

Saul says that “For all his openness about his life onstage, he [Pryor] was guarded about the facts of it offstage.”  Pryor was standoffish with reporters, and, according to Saul, both Pryor and his elder relatives did what they could to make things difficult for people seeking to write biographies of Pryor.

Saul also describes how Becoming Richard Pryor is different from previous biographies and biographical efforts concerning Pryor.  First, Richard and the elder Pryor were dead by the time Saul began his research for this book in 2007.  [Pyror died in 2006.]  Also, the younger Pryor relatives were willing to share memories, pictures, papers, and other documentations with Saul.  Secondly, Saul says that he approached Pryor as a “historical figure,” so he used a “historian's tools” like research paperwork, and official documents to reconstruct Pryor's life so that he could “unpack its meaning.”  Saul writes that by working like a historian, he was able to follow Pryor's life from month to month, and, in some instances, even day to day.

Thirdly, and finally, Saul says Becoming Richard Pryor is different because its aim is to “... trace, meticulously, Pryor's evolution as an artist.”  Saul traces this evolution up to the point of the release of Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979), which may be the most celebrated, if not greatest stand-up comedy performance and comedy concert film of all time.  Saul is right:  Live in Concert (by influence, inspiration, and homage) may have created more stand-up comics (both good and bad) than any other film in history.

So how is Becoming Richard Pryor?  Is it any good.  Is it interesting?  I am reluctant to call Becoming Richard Pryor “fascinating,” as that word seems inadequate to describe either Saul's book or his subject, Richard Pryor.  I know it sounds crazy considering that Becoming Richard Pryor is built on so many words – over 600 pages densely packed with words, but words don't really describe this book.  Becoming Richard Pryor has to be experienced directly by a reader, to be read in order to truly understand the depth of detail by which Saul tells the story of Pryor.

In fact, the story begins decades before Pryor was born (as Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor on December 1, 1940), so that Saul can talk about Pryor's beloved paternal grandmother, His “Mama,” Maria Carter Bryant – later Maria Pryor.  Saul also goes into details about Pyror's relatives' lives before Pryor was born in 1940.  Later, Saul takes us through a journey of Pryor growing up and becoming a budding performer as a child.  Then, he takes us through Pryor's travels as his learned, gathered, and constantly evolved.

It is a long journey to Richard Pryor: Live in Concert.  As big as this book, it is shocking to consider that Saul does not follow Pyror's life and career into the 1980s, when he experienced his greatest financial success as a film actor and movie star.  The 1980s also marked the beginning of Pryor's battle with multiple sclerosis (MS).  That battle along with Pryor's death on December 20, 2005 are discussed in the book's epilogue.

I am glad Scott Saul used the epilogue to discuss that last quarter century of Pryor's life.  What Saul presents is so grand in scope and so intimately and realistically detailed that I don't think I could read much more.  Becoming Richard Pryor is a great Hollywood biography and a masterfully work of history about an important figure in American arts and culture.

Is Becoming Richard Pryor a must read?  Well, as Pryor himself might say, “Hell yeah, m**********r!  So fans and students of American comedy, of American film, and of African-American arts and entertainment must read Becoming Richard Pryor.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

The text is copyright © 2015 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

"Real Husbands of Hollywood" Returns Tuesday, January 6th, 2015 on BET

Kevin Hart and Duane Martin star in the Winter 2015 return episode of "Real Husbands of Hollywood" Tuesday, January 6th at 10:00 P.M. ET/PT. Photo credit: BET Networks/Tyler Golden

Single Black Male: Duane Martin Moves in with Kevin Hart on the Winter Return of "Real Husbands of Hollywood"

Nelly Hits the Studio with R&B Divas Tamar Braxton and Elle Varner

New Episodes of “Real Husbands of Hollywood” Return Tuesday, January 6th at 10:00 P.M. ET/PT

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It may be cold outside, but things are heating up on the Winter 2015 return of "REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD". After her weekend in jail, Tisha Campbell Martin kicks Duane Martin out, so Duane promptly moves himself in to Kevin's penthouse. Kevin Hart's protests don't survive the hotty masseuses, posh butler and high-profile negotiations Duane is making. But when Tisha proves incapable of managing domestic life, Kevin refuses to give Duane back. Who will get custody of Duane?

Meanwhile, Nelly writes a hit song for girlfriend Bridgette (Erica Ash), but she reverts to her homicidal tendencies when Nelly doesn’t keep his word. Will Nelly survive Bridgette’s wrath?

R&B singers Tamar Braxton and Elle Varner guest star.

New episodes of "REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD" air Tuesdays at 10 P.M. ET/PT in January, beginning January 6th, 2015.

For video sneak peeks and first looks of "REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD" visit the official page at

Viewers can also find series updates on Facebook by liking the fan page at Also, join the conversation about the show on Twitter by using hashtag: #BETRealHusbands; follow the show for all updates & special surprises @BETRealHusbands.

Clip Link:


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Neil deGrasse Tyson Launches Speaking Tour in 2015

Announcing Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson U.S. Speaking Tour

Best-Selling Author and Host of COSMOS to Appear in LA, D.C., Chicago and More Tickets On Sale June 13

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Innovation Arts & Entertainment is proud to announce that Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Best Selling Author, and the Director of the Hayden Planetarium, will be appearing on a six-city U.S. speaking tour. The tour will be produced by Innovation Arts and Entertainment. Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has guided the Ship of the Imagination to transport viewers to the nucleus of an atom, and the farthest reaches of the universe as he explores humanity’s quest for understanding. The tour begins January 26, 2015 in Madison, WI, with dates also confirmed at Los Angeles’ Pantages Theatre and Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre, among others.

Tickets are on sale Friday, June 13 and available at

Each family-friendly event features an engaging multi-media presentation bringing the expanses of modern science direct to audience members, and engages them in a Q&A that rivals the presentation itself. In the past, he’s been asked a myriad of questions about everything from television appearances and space elevators to parenting advice. He often takes questions from children since he is fascinated with young ones who are interested in science.

The New York City native is host of StarTalk Radio and FOX’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (season finale airs June 8); he is a New York Times bestselling author of 10 books and is also a frequent guest on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. President Bush appointed Tyson in 2001 and 2004 to serve on commissions studying the future of the U.S. aerospace industry and the implementation of the U.S. space exploration policy, respectively. Tyson is also the recipient of 18 honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given by NASA to non-government citizens.

For more information and tickets, visit

A confirmed list of tour dates follows:
City - Date - Venue
Madison, WI - Monday, January 26 - Overture Center
Chicago, IL - Tuesday, January 27 - Auditorium Theatre
Denver, CO - Friday, January 30 - Temple Hoyne Buell
Los Angeles, CA - Monday, February 09 - Pantages Theatre
San Francisco, CA - Tuesday, February 10 - Orpheum Theatre
Washington D.C. - Thursday, February 26 - DAR Constitution Hall

More dates and cities will be announced in the coming weeks.

Innovation Arts & Entertainment (IAE) is a boutique producer of unique live entertainment experiences featuring intelligent, articulate, and engaging artists and authors. IAE is proud to be currently producing the United States book tour for Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Current and past tours featured David Sedaris, Anthony Bourdain, Garrison Keillor, & William Shatner to audiences across North America.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou Has Died at 86

Maya Angelou, the American author and poet, has died today (Wednesday, May 28, 2014).  She was 86-years-old.  The African-American author was also a civil rights activist.  A witness to the Jim Crow South, her most famous work may be I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Angelou was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for her first book of poetry (Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie).  She won three Grammy Awards for her spoken word performances.

This New York Times obituary has details of her life, photographs, and video.  Negromancer sends condolences to her family and friends.  Rest in Peace, Ms. Angelou.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Review: "The Original Kings of Comedy" - Remembering Bernie Mac

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 3 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
Running time:  115 minutes (1 hour, 55 minutes)
MPAA – R for language and sex related humor
DIRECTOR:  Spike Lee
PRODUCERS:  David Gale, Walter Latham, and Spike Lee
EDITOR:  Barry Alexander Brown
Image Award nominee


Starring:  Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac

The subject of this movie review is The Original Kings of Comedy, a 2000 concert film and documentary from director Spike Lee.  This stand-up comedy film featured Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac, who at the time, were probably the four major African-American stand-up comedians.

First, I must note that I liked half this movie – the half with Bernie Mac and Cedric the Entertainer.  I like D.L. Hughley as a political and social commentator, but not so much as a stand-up comic.  I have mixed feelings about Steve Harvey, and I’ll leave it at that.

For two years in the late 90’s into early 2000, comedians Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac toured the United States in a comedy show called “The Original Kings of Comedy.”  Director Spike Lee (Malcolm X) captured a two-night performance by the “Kings” in Charlotte, North Carolina on digital film, which became the documentary/concert film, The Original Kings of Comedy.

All four of the performances have film and television backgrounds in addition to their stage work, but they are best known to and most liked by urban i.e. African-American audiences.  In fact, the huge success of the concert tour so surprised mainstream i.e. white news media that the tour was the subject of numerous stories.  Those writers expressed shock at how the Kings played to packed houses, but there wasn’t really a secret to their success.  Tickets prices were cheap (usually around 10 bucks), and tours of King’s were kind of geared toward the so-called urban audience are rare.  Some concert venues consider large gatherings of African-Americans a security risk and demand exorbitant insurance coverage from tour promoters.

I can only hope that the Charlotte shows were not indicative of the tour as a whole.  Much of the performances were thoroughly dry and not funny.  It’s hard to chose between who was worse - tour “host” Steve Harvey (of TV’s “The Steve Harvey Show”) or D.L. Hughley (of TV’s “The Hughleys”).  The audience seemed to like them.  Maybe it was a black thing, or perhaps a certain “class” of black thing – not so monolithic, after all, eh?

Cedric the Entertainer and Bernie Mac were hilarious, especially Mac.  They are gifted both as comedians and storytellers, something that is important for all the Richard Pryor wannabees to remember.  Pryor just didn’t tell jokes; he told hilarious, often uproarious, stories.  Many of the profanity junkies that currently pass for comedians would do best to understand what made Pryor so funny and why he enormously crossed over to white audiences.  Cedric and Mac are funny storytellers, and their humor, laced with tales about black folks, actually reaches to a larger segment of the black population.  In fact, a lot of people from different backgrounds can relate to Bernie’s tales, which is why he has the most diverse work history as an entertainer of all the “Kings.”

Much of the comedy here deals with black culture, black folks, black people’s habits, black people who grew up in the 70’s versus young blacks of the 90’s, old school versus hip hop, and, of course white people.  And they deal with white people rather stiffly.  It’s telling that many of the white faces in the audience were not smiling.  Some of the barbs against white folks were mean, and mostly not funny.  When Redd Foxx, Pryor, and Eddie Murphy joked about whites, it was funny and dead on true.  Mac approaches their touch.  The rest of these guys act as if they’d never met a white person.

Lee covers the stage, the audience, and to a lesser extent, the backstage very well – just enough directing not to take away from the main show.  The performances don’t live up to the hype.  I will recommend this to people who want to see the work of a fine entertainer, and that’s Bernie Mac.

5 of 10

2001 Image Awards:  1 nomination: “Outstanding Motion Picture”

Updated:  Friday, August 09, 2013

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Harry Belafonte Honored Tonight at 2012 Montreal Black Film Fest

The Legendary HARRY BELAFONTE Will Receive the 2012 Humanitarian Prize at the 8th Annual Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF)

The legendary Harry Belafonte will receive the Montreal International Black Film Festival's 2012 Humanitarian Prize on opening night, Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at Cinéma Impérial, at 7 p.m. The MIBFF is granting Belafonte this award for his amazing contributions to the Civil Rights Movements as well as for his incredible selfless and dedicated efforts in addressing injustice and inequality in whatever form they took, even at the risk of his own wellbeing. In other words, for making the world a much better place.

"It is a tremendous honour and a real privilege for all of us to welcome the living legend, Harry Belafonte, to Montreal and to honour him with the very first Montreal International Black Film Festival's 2012 Humanitarian Prize. Giving him this award is also an excellent way for us to recognize the true value of his spirit that goes far beyond the Award-winning singer and movie star everyone knows. His constant fight for human rights have allowed people from all over the world to believe, hope, break down barriers and achieve great things," said Fabienne Colas, president and founder of the MIBFF.

The tribute to Harry Belafonte on September 19 will be followed by the screening of the opening film, Darrell Roodt's WINNIE, presented by Global Montreal, co-produced by Equinoxe Films and starring Oscar- and Grammy-award-winning Jennifer Hudson and Oscar-nominated Terrence Howard.

The following day, Thursday, September 20, Mr. Belafonte is pleased to answer questions from the public following the special presentation of Susanne Rostock's bio-pic Sing your Song, which retraces the defining moments of Belafonte's life as an activist, singer and actor. This event will take place at Concordia University (Room H-110) at 7 p.m.

"The Montreal International Black Film Festival is more than just a festival. It exposes viewers to international Black realities through cinema and other forms of expression.We want the festival to be a place of inspiration, motivation and development for filmmakers, but also for individuals who want to further their professional and personal lives," stated Emile Castonguay, Programming Director and co-founder of the Festival.

Award-winning Harry Belafonte is as well-known for his social activism and pursuit of social justice as he is for his acting and musical talent. His album "Calypso" made him the first artist in history to sell more than one million LPs. He won a Tony award for his Broadway debut in "John Murray Anderson Almanac" and an Emmy for "An Evening with Belafonte," in which he was also the first Black network television producer. He was also awarded the National Medal for the Arts by President Clinton.

He has been equally recognized in the social justice arena, with honors such as The Albert Einstein Award from Yeshiva University, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize, and the Nelson Mandela Courage Award as well as awards from the American Jewish Congress, the NAACP, the City of Hope, Fight for Sight, The Urban League, The National Conference of Black Mayors, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, the ACLU, the State Department, the Boy Scouts of America, Hadassah International and the Peace Corps.

Over the decades, Mr. Belafonte has worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, and was the driving force behind the 1985 "We Are the World" project to help people affected by war, drought, and famine in Africa. He has served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and is a recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors for excellence in the performing arts. He currently resides in New York City with his wife Pamela, and has four children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchild.

The 8th annual MIBFF will take place from September 19 to 30, 2012, and is presented by Global Montreal.

Presented by Global Montreal, the Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) was created in 2005 by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, anon-profit organization dedicated to promoting Cinema, Art and Culture. The mission of the MIBFF is to stimulate the development of the independent film industry and to showcase more films on the realities of Blacks from around the world. The Festival wants to promote a different kind of cinema, cinema that hails from here and from abroad and that does not necessarily have the opportunity to grace the big screen, groundbreaking cinema that moves us, that raises awareness and that takes us all by surprise! The MIBFF wants to deal with issues and present works that raise questions, that provoke, that make us smile, that leave us perplexed, that shock us... A fresh new look at black cinema from the four corners of the globe.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

2012 Montreal International Black Film Festival Programming Unveiled


SEPTEMBER 19 - 30, 2012

Today, at the Cinémathèque québécoise, the 8th annual Montreal International Black Film Festival program was unveiled. The Festival is presented by Global Montreal, in collaboration with the Fabienne Colas Foundation, and will run from September 19 to 30, 2012.

The Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) is back with a diverse and exciting line-up featuring 115 films from nearly 40 countries! Moviegoers will have the chance to watch short-, mid- and feature-length films, documentaries, and narrative and animated films. Most films will be making their global, international, Canadian, or Québécois debut. In addition, a number of international celebrities will be appearing at the Festival.

The MIBFF's mission is to shed light on international Black realities, and this year's program is no exception. The 8th edition of the Festival features bold films that underscore the wealth of diversity and deserve to been seen by the public.

During twelve days of innovative cinema, actors and filmmakers from here and abroad will come to meet festival audiences and share their passion for the seventh art. And there's something for everyone! Productions are divided into ten categories: drama, art/poetry/music, comedy, Haiti, history/traditions, immigration/segregation, human conditions, animation, success and L'Afrique en mouvement (The Changing Face of Africa). Here is an overview of the Festival line up's top picks: Sing Your Song, Le Bonheur d'Elza, Lucky, How to Steal Two Million, LUV, Otelo Burning, Sonny Boy, Winnie, Dear Mandela, Alaskaland, From Zimbabwe to Santa Fe, Hotel Haiti, Ithemba, Slavery by Another Name, Surfing Soweto, The Carrier, The Central Park Five, The Girls in the Band, The Fourth World, The Three Way, Hopelessly in June, On the Wings of Men, MacPherson, and many more!

MIBFF is broadening its horizons and pushing boundaries! As an arena for debates on major social, cultural and economic issues, its programming is bolstered by renowned guests that have made their mark. Drawing on exceptional personal experiences, these guests bring enthusiasm and inspiration to the Festival. This year, the legendary Harry Belafonte, activist and award-winning actor and musician, will receive the 2012 Honorary Humanitarian Award. Stedman Graham, internationally-renowned speaker, executive and best-selling author, will be awarded the Career Excellence Award.

Sonia Benezra, star television and radio host who has been nominated for two Gémaux awards this fall for her show on Musimax, Bénézra reçoit, has been named spokesperson for the 8th edition of MIBFF. The Festival's honorary ambassador remains cultural reporter Francine Grimaldi.

Opening film - WINNIE and tribute to HARRY BELAFONTE - Presented by Global Montreal

Wednesday, September 19 at 7 p.m., at Cinéma Impérial, the joint Canadian (Equinoxe Films) and South African production WINNIE, directed by Darrell Roodt, will open the Festival, making its Québécois debut. Starring Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and Oscar nominee Terrence Howard, WINNIE is an intimate, in-depth and impartial film that tells the remarkable story of Winnie Mandela, one of the world's most famous female activists, by exploring both her personal and political life. Winnie Mandela is a complex historical figure, lauded for her role in the fight against apartheid led by her husband. But because of some questionable relationships, Winnie is an equally controversial personality. The director Darrell Roodt and producer Michael Mosca will be present at the opening.

Harry Belafonte, famous activist, musician and actor will be awarded the Festival's 2012 Honorary Humanitarian Award during the course of the evening.

Closing film - THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE - Presented by the Fabienne Colas Foundation
Sunday, September 30 at 7 p.m., at Cinéma Impérial, THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE, directed by Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sarah Burns, will close the festivities with its Québécois debut. In 1989, five Black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City's Central Park. They spent between six and thirteen years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned. Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, the film tells the story of this horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice. The director Sarah Burns and two of the film's five protagonists, Raymond Santana and Yusef Salaam, will be present.

Special presentation and talk with HARRY BELAFONTE
Thursday, September 20 at 7 p.m., at Concordia University (room H-110), the Harry Belafonte bio-pic, SING YOUR SONG, will be shown. Wonderfully archived, and told with a remarkable sense of intimacy, visual style, and musical panache, this inspiring biographical documentary surveys the life and times of singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte. From his rise to fame as a singer, inspired by Paul Robeson, and his experiences touring a segregated country, to his provocative crossover into Hollywood, Belafonte's ground-breaking career personifies the American Civil Rights Movement and made an impact on many other social justice movements. Belafonte is a tenacious, hands-on activist who worked intimately with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., mobilized celebrities for social justice, participated in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and took action to counter gang violence and the incarceration of youth. The movie will be followed by a talk given by none other than the film's star, living legend Harry Belafonte! Belafonte's appearance is an honor and a privilege for Montreal.

Conference and tribute to STEDMAN GRAHAM
On Thursday, September 27 at 7 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, best-selling author, internationally-renowned speaker, and successful executive, Stedman Graham will present his conference entitled The Nine-Step Plan for Success. He will also be awarded the Career Excellence Award. More than just a businessperson, Graham is also an educator and orator. He provides training to corporations and non-profit organizations on identity development, leadership, diversity, personal wellness and personal and professional branding. Graham has written eleven books, two of which have become New York Times best-sellers. He has always shown a commitment to youth and community and actively participates in leadership programs in South Africa. A big name coming to Montreal!

Cinémathèque special presentations
A brand new partnership with the Cinémathèque québécoise gives the Festival the opportunity to screen the powerful three-part documentary NOIRS DE FRANCE, which retraces the construction of the French Black identity, and gives a voice to the actors and inheritors of this story from 1889 to present day (Wednesday, Sept. 26, 6:30 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 28, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 29, 5 p.m.). The Cinémathèque will also present the L'Afrique en mouvement (The Changing Face of Africa) series on Friday, September 21 at 8:30 p.m., which brings together the work of African artists living both in Africa and in Diaspora.

An evening of Haitian cinema at La Perle Retrouvée cultural centre
Haiti is a constant presence in the Festival's programming. This year, it will be featured in a 100% Haitian evening that will take place at the La Perle Retrouvée cultural centre on Saturday, September 22, starting at 7:30 p.m. We will be showing: cinema in a series of five films, JIJ JIJEM BYEN (Mr. Judge, be fair with me), directed by Carl Lafontant, in Créole (two with English subtitles), followed by a dance.

Movie Passes: The Festival is pleased to offer a $70 Movie Pass valid for 10 films, a $100 Movie-Buff Pass valid for all films shown at Cinéma du Parc, a $150 Movie Passport valid for all films (including the opening and closing films, as well as the tribute to Harry Belafonte), and a $300 Prestige Pass granting priority access to all Festival events, including events featuring Stedman Graham and Harry Belafonte.

Individual Tickets: Individual tickets are now available for $10 per screening at Cinéma du Parc or on the Festival website ( Tickets for opening and closing nights, and the special presentation and Harry Belafonte talk are available for $25 on the Festival website. Tickets for Stedman Graham's conference are available for $95 on the Festival's website.

Theatres: All films will be screened at Cinéma du Parc (3575, av. du Parc), except the opening and closing nights, including the Harry Belafonte tribute, which will take place at the Cinéma Impérial (1430, rue de Bleury). The screening of Sing Your Song and the talk with Harry Belafonte will take place in room H-110 at Concordia University (1455, boul. De Maisonneuve West). The conference and tribute to Stedman Graham will take place at the Hyatt Regency Montreal Hotel (1255, rue Jeanne-Mance). The four special screenings are at the Cinémathèque Québécoise (335, De Maisonneuve East) and the Haitian event is at the La Perle Retrouvée cultural centre (7655, 20e ave).

Presented by Global Montreal, the Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) was created in 2005 by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, anon-profit organization dedicated to promoting Cinema, Art and Culture. The mission of the MIBFF is to stimulate the development of the independent film industry and to showcase more films on the realities of Blacks from around the world. The Festival wants to promote a different kind of cinema, cinema that hails from here and from abroad and that does not necessarily have the opportunity to grace the big screen, groundbreaking cinema that moves us, that raises awareness and that takes us all by surprise! The MIBFF wants to deal with issues and present works that raise questions, that provoke, that make us smile, that leave us perplexed, that shock us... A fresh new look at black cinema from the four corners of the globe!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Actor Michael Clarke Duncan Dies at 54

Earlier this evening, I was saddened to hear about the passing of actor Michael Clarke Duncan.  Duncan apparently suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered, dying Monday morning at a hospital in Los Angeles. and The Wrap have obituaries.

Duncan is probably best known for his appearance in the 1999 Frank Darabont film, The Green Mile, for which he earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations.  Duncan played John Coffey, a man wrongly convicted of rape and murder. Coffey had supernatural powers in his hands that allowed him to heal and to even bring back the dead, and he strikes up a friendship with the character played by Tom Hanks, Paul Edgecomb.  Duncan also appeared in four films starring Bruce Willis, who became Duncan's friend after the two appeared in the 1998 blockbuster, Armageddon.

Negromancer offers ours condolences to Michael Clarke Duncan's family and friends.  Rest in peace, Mr. Duncan.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Saturday Night Live's Brand New Negro

I found this at's "Stay Tuned..." blog (which they got from the Washington Post):

NBC announced new Saturday Night Live cast members and one of them is Jay Pharoah, the first Black person added since 2003.  Pharoah is a 22-year-old comic from Chesapeake, Virginia who became an Internet sensation thanks to spoof videos that featured him doing dead-on impersonations of Denzel Washington, Charlie Murphy, and Eddie Murphy, among others.  Since Fred Armisen, who currently impersonates President Barack Obama, is leaving, is Pharoah SNL’s new Obama?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Lee Daniels at American Black Film Festival

AOL Black Voices' "BV on Movies" is reporting that Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels will be this year's honoree at the 14th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF).  The festival will be held in Miami from June 23-26.  Go here for more information on the festival.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On Lena Horne's Passing

As many of you know, iconic singer and actress Lena Horne died Sunday, May 9, 2010 at the age of 92.  I first became familiar with Horne through her appearance on the Sanford and Son episode "A Visit from Lena Horne" as herself (Season 2, Episode 12).  I admired her, but I'd being lying if I said that I was a big fan because I was not.

Most of Horne's film appearances were stand-alone sequences, in which she usually sang, that could be edited out without disrupting the films' story.  That was done to appease theatre owners and chains in the South that could not show black performers during the 1930s and 40s.

Associate Press writer Verena Dobnik offers this obituary via Yahoo.
At, April Woodard has an appreciation of Horne.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Negromancer News Bits and Bites: Queen Latifah Talks Being in Command

With her new movie, Just Wright, due in theatres this Friday, Queen Latifah gives this smallish interview to

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tyler Perry is Glenn Beck's Hero

Yep.  You'll have to go to AOL Black Voices' Black Spin blog to read this article.  I would prefer that it explain itself.  Still, Beck apparently said:

"How is it I don't know this man? How is it we are not friends?" said Beck who admitted to just recently seeing his first Tyler Perry movie.

"It's exactly the kind of movie that would make a lot of money. It is amazing -- he can't get it done so he sets up his own production company and he's wildly successful.... I just told the guys this morning that I want to meet him – I want to set up a meeting because from what little I know, we think exactly the same way."

No, wonders will never cease.  And this is Glenn Beck, so...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Charlie's Angels 3?! With Rihanna?!

According to this entry at's "What the Flick" blog (written by Clay Cane), actress/producer Drew Barrymore is working on a third installment of the Charlie's Angels film franchise, and apparently, singer Rihanna is being considered for a role as an Angel.