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Jada Pinkett Smith puts the Academy Awards on Blast

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Jada Pinkett Smith has voiced her opinion of the ‘Oscars so white’ feud in a very public way. The wife of Will Smith, 2016 Oscar snub nominee, released a two minute video Monday that voiced her opinion about the Academy Awards. In the video, Jaden and Willow’s mom, sat down calmly and spoke directly into a video monitor asking a question, “Is it time that people of color recognize, influence, that we have amassed that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?”

The actress continues by saying, “I ask the question, have we now come to a new time and place where we recognize that we can no longer beg for the love, acknowledge or respect of any group. That maybe it’s time that we recognize that if we love and respect, and acknowledge ourselves in a way in which we are asking others to do, that [that] is the place of true power.”

Smith says she believes, “The Academy has the right to acknowledge whomever they choose. To invite whomever they choose. And, now I think that it’s our responsibility [now] to make the change. Maybe it is time that we pull back our resources and we put them back into our communities, into our programs, and we make programs for ourselves and we make programs for ourselves that acknowledge us in ways that we see fit that are just as good as the so-called mainstream.”

She went on with more powerful words. She ended by acknowledging Chris Rock, who is set to host the Oscars for a second time. In her shout out to Rock, Smith said, “Hey Chris, I will not be at the Academy Awards and I won’t be watching, but I can’t think of a better man to do the job at hand this year but you my friend, good luck.” Smith acknowledged the viewers by saying, “And to the rest of you, nothing but love, always.”

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You can see the entire video here: https://www.facebook.com/jada/videos/10153983404106320/

 

 

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Acclaimed Filmmaker Spike Lee to Boycott Oscars

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Spike Lee at the premiere of his latest film, “Chi-Raq,” at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York.                                                                                                                                                                        Credit Charles Sykes/Invision, via Associated Press

Legendary Director Spike Lee will not attend the Oscars. The filmmaker is the latest in a long line of entertainment industry power houses to voice an opinion of the Academy Awards not recognizing people of color.

The outcry over African-American actors being snubbed from this year’s Oscars hopefuls has reached a breaking point, especially on social media where the hashtag, “Oscars So White” has brought more attention to the omission of black actors for the awards show.

On Monday, the director announced that he would not be attending the ceremony on Feb. 28.

Via Instagram, Lee asked how it was possible that there were no nominations for black actors for the second year running. After revealing that he nor his wife would attend the esteemed awards show, Lee added, “Dr. King said, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but he must take it because conscience tells him it’s right.”

The Hollywood legend accepted an honorary Oscar in November for his collective body of work. He did offer these words in the post, “I would like to thank President Cheryl Boone Isaacs and the Board of Governors of The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for awarding me an Honorary Oscar this past November. I am most appreciative. However my wife, Mrs. Tonya Lewis Lee and I will not be attending the Oscar ceremony this coming February. We cannot support it and mean no disrespect to my friends, host Chris Rock and Producer Reggie Hudlin, President Isaacs and The Academy.”

 

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First lady Michelle Obama Celebrates 52nd Birthday

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BIRTHDAY WISHES FOR THE FIRST LADY

 

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Michelle Obama is celebrating her birthday today. There’s no word from the White House on how she plans to mark her 52nd birthday, but whatever she decides to do we know she’ll do it with poise and class.  The Obamas will leave the White House on Jan. 20, 2017 — Inauguration Day for the next president.

We celebrate Michelle and wish her a Happy Birthday!

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Monster Jam Celebrity Night at Angel Stadium

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Celebrities rolled out to support Monster Jam in Anaheim.

Angel Stadium hosted Monster Jam on Saturday January 16, 2016 in Anaheim, California. Many celebrities were in the house. Guests got to enjoy a massive dirt track temporarily built in the stadium. The over-sized trucks with even bigger personalities were all part of Monster Jam, which is part entertainment and part competition. See pics below..

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Sharon Stone

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Garcelle Beauvais

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Julie Bowen

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Ryan Sheckler

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Dean McDermott and Kids – In This Photo: Dean McDermott, Liam McDermott, Stella McDermott, Hattie McDermott, Finn McDermott

 

Photos Courtesy of: Michael Kovac/Getty Images North America

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African American Film Marketplace: A Great Day in Black Hollywood (Report & Photos)

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The 22nd Edition of the festival runs from January 15-17, 2016

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*Los Angeles  – The 22rd African American Film Marketplace got underway on Friday, January 15, 2016 at the Harmony Gold Theater in Los Angeles. The festival continues until Sunday, January 17.

During the “A Great Day in Black Hollywood”, Opening Night ceremony, the BHERC paid tribute to Community Service Award Honoree LaRita Shelby, President’s Award Honoree Larry Chatman; and Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees, Ron Brewington, Julie Dash and Billy Woodberry. According to BHERC officials, “these five amazing, innovative and creative individuals have had remarkable and impactful careers that have touched the lives of individuals around the world through their work and commitment.”

The program included a welcome by John Forbes, Program Director for BHERC, William Allen Young (Code Black) served as the master of ceremonies for the evening.

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Vanessa Williams (Flash) introduced the lifetime honorees.

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Teenage Reporter Eshun Melvin and Vanessa Williams on Red Carpet

 

Korina Davis, a violinist student from California State University, Long Beach provided the music for the evening with renditions of pop music. The festival also featured students from Washington Preparatory and teacher Darryl MacCane were additional celebrities present on the Red Carpet.

Sandra J. Evers-Manly, President of the festival, said, “For the past 22 years, the African American Film Marketplace and S.E. Mainly Short Film Showcase has offered film lovers and professionals a rich program based on cultural quality and diversity, innovation, independence, and creativity. The success and national reputation of the Film Festival are firmly linked to these principles and goals.”

Founded in 1996 by Sandra Evers-Manly, the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center is a nonprofit, public benefit organization designed to advocate, educate, research, develop, and preserve the history and future of Blacks in film and television.  For complete information about the Festival, please visit www.BHERC.org.

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LaRita Shelby, Community Service Award Recipient

 

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Vanessa Williams greeting one of the students from Washington Preparatory
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Vanessa Williams and Julie Dash

 

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Sandra J. Evers-Manly, Founder and President
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Mary Mary Honored at BMI Trailblazers of Gospel

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Gospel music superstars siblings, Mary Mary, were celebrated at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors at the Rialto Center for the Arts last night in Atlanta, GA. Hosted by former Trailblazer recipient and renowned gospel singer-songwriter, Yolanda Adams, this special night paid tribute to the best in the Gospel music community. This inspirational event will air nationwide on TV One on February 19 at 8pm ET.

The invitation-only event was a harmonious blend of awe-inspiring performances and worship featuring the brightest young stars and iconic figures in Gospel music today. In addition to honoring Mary Mary, BMI’s Most Performed Gospel Song of the Year, “Amazing” by Ricky Dillard & New G featuring Tiff Joy, was also recognized. The GRAMMY-nominated single spent an astounding 30 weeks at #1 on Billboard Magazine’s Gospel Airplay chart and catapulted Tiff Joy into the spotlight.

BMI also recognized the Ten Most Performed Songs of the Year (2015): “But God,” co-written by Isaac Carree, Philip Cornish and Eric Dawkins and performed by Carree featuring James Fortune; “Different,” written by Kirk Franklin and performed by Tasha Page-Lockhart; “Help,” co-written by Hasben Jones and Harold Lily and performed by Erica Campbell featuring Lecrae; “I Can Only Imagine,” co-written by Israel Houghton and Meleasa Houghton and performed by Tamela Mann; “I Will Trust,” co-written by Philip Feaster, Calvin Rodgers, and Fred Hammond, who is the performer; “No Greater Love,” written by Aaron Lindsey and performed by Smokie Norful; “This Place,” written by Darrell Blair and performed by Tamela Mann; “War,” written and performed by Charles Jenkins; “We Are Victorious,” written and performed by Donnie McClurkin featuring Tye Tribbett; and “You Alone,” written by Michael McDowell and performed by the Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir.

Former Trailblazer recipient and renowned gospel singer-songwriter, Yolanda Adams, hosted the ceremony along with Mike O’Neill, BMI President and CEO and Catherine Brewton, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta.

BMI’s impressive roster of gospel songwriters includes Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Jessica Reedy, Marvin Sapp, Twinkie Clark, Donald Lawrence, Wess Morgan, Kim Burrell and many others.

Source: BMI

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BeBe and CeCe Winans Honored at BMI Trailblazers of Gospel

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Gospel music superstar siblings, BeBe & CeCe Winans, were celebrated at the BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors at the Rialto Center for the Arts in Atlanta, GA. Hosted by former Trailblazer recipient and renowned gospel singer-songwriter, Yolanda Adams, this special night paid tribute to the best in the Gospel music community. This inspirational event will air nationwide on TV One on February 19 at 8pm ET.

The invitation-only event was a harmonious blend of awe-inspiring performances and worship featuring the brightest young stars and iconic figures in Gospel music today. In addition to honoring BeBe & CeCe Winans, BMI’s Most Performed Gospel Song of the Year, “Amazing” by Ricky Dillard & New G featuring Tiff Joy, was also recognized. The GRAMMY-nominated single spent an astounding 30 weeks at #1 on Billboard Magazine’s Gospel Airplay chart and catapulted Tiff Joy into the spotlight.

BMI also recognized the Ten Most Performed Songs of the Year (2015): “But God,” co-written by Isaac Carree, Philip Cornish and Eric Dawkins and performed by Carree featuring James Fortune; “Different,” written by Kirk Franklin and performed by Tasha Page-Lockhart; “Help,” co-written by Hasben Jones and Harold Lily and performed by Erica Campbell featuring Lecrae; “I Can Only Imagine,” co-written by Israel Houghton and Meleasa Houghton and performed by Tamela Mann; “I Will Trust,” co-written by Philip Feaster, Calvin Rodgers, and Fred Hammond, who is the performer; “No Greater Love,” written by Aaron Lindsey and performed by Smokie Norful; “This Place,” written by Darrell Blair and performed by Tamela Mann; “War,” written and performed by Charles Jenkins; “We Are Victorious,” written and performed by Donnie McClurkin featuring Tye Tribbett; and “You Alone,” written by Michael McDowell and performed by the Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir.

The ceremony began with a breathtaking performance by Donald Lawrence of last year’s Song of the Year, “The Gift,” before moving to the evening’s musical tributes. Grammy–nominated singers Anita Wilson and Bryon Cage introduced the first Trailblazers of Gospel Music honorees, Mary Mary, followed by KeKe Wyatt’s explosive rendition of the duo’s “God in Me.” The tributes continued with uplifting performances by Y’Anna Crawley (“Heaven”), Tasha Cobbs and Kierra Sheard (“Can’t Give Up”), Tasha Page-Lockhart and Lisa Page-Brooks (“Go Get It”) and Tamela Mann (“Yesterday”) who all paid homage to the iconic sister act. After giving their acceptance speeches, Mary Mary rounded out the first half of the awards ceremony with an amazing performance of their pioneering debut hit single, “Shackles (Praise You),” to close out their tribute segment.

Actress Kim Fields introduced legendary sibling duo BeBe & CeCe Winans as the next Trailblazers of Gospel Music recipients. Their signature sound broke down barriers and paved the way for a whole new generation of Gospel artists. BeBe & CeCe’s tribute segment featured soulful performances by Tamia and Jonathan McReynolds (“Heaven/ It’s Ok”), Yolanda Adams and Brian Courtney Wilson (“Addictive Love”), Kelly Price (“In Return”), siblings Marvin and Debbie Winans (“Lost Without You”), and Deborah Cox and Fred Hammond (“Hold Up The Light”). BeBe & CeCe closed out their powerful tribute segment with a mesmerizing performance of their hit-single “Up Where We Belong” from their 1984 LP, Lord Lift Us Up.

Former Trailblazer recipient and renowned gospel singer-songwriter, Yolanda Adams, hosted the ceremony along with Mike O’Neill, BMI President and CEO and Catherine Brewton, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta.

BMI’s impressive roster of gospel songwriters includes Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Jessica Reedy, Marvin Sapp, Twinkie Clark, Donald Lawrence, Wess Morgan, Kim Burrell and many others.

Source: BMI