Lebron James: Five Humongous Charitable Donations

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Lebron James is an NBA superstar but also a generous philanthropist. The professional basketball player especially gives back to his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

James makes a lot of money in basketball but also in endorsement deals. He never forgets his humble beginnings and is always ready to give to those in need and causes that he believes in.

When Lebron was born in Akron, Ohio on December 30, 1984, his mother Gloria was just 16 years old. She raised him well despite being so young and having to work many jobs. When Lebron was 9 years old, Gloria had him move in with Frank Waller and his family for stability. Waller was the local youth basketball coach and got Lebron interested in the sport.

Lebron excelled at basketball. He was a star player at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron where his nickname was “King James”. The NBA noticed and the media promoted him as the next NBA superstar. Lebron was instantly snatched up as the first draft pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He won Rookie of the Year in 2004, and helped lead the team to is first finals in 2007. When Lebron became a free agent, the big question was: would he stay with the Cavs?

ESPN promoted Lebrons dilemma in 2010 with a one hour special entitled “The Decision”. Lebron was reluctant to do the special but decided to donate the profits to charity. Sadly for Cleveland fans, Lebron chose to play for the Miami Heat. Despite some backlash about his disloyalty to his hometown, the money from the special was a big reward because it raised more than $3 million for charity and the special was watched by 10 million people. Lebron gave most of the money to Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the country and the rest to other charities with similar interests in helping children.

Lebron had a successful run with the Miami Heat. He helped the Heat win NBA Championships in 2012 and He was named NBA MVP in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. Lebron also won Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. Happily for Cleveland, Lebron returned to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers and led them to the NBA Championship win for the 2016 season.

Lebron has never let his fame go to his head. He set up the Lebron James Family Foundation. The foundation raises and donates money for several charities. These include Boys and Girls Clubs of America, After-School All-Stars, the Children’s Defense Fund, Gabriel’s Angle Foundation and ONEXONE.

Here are 5 of the biggest charities that Lebron James donates to:

After-School All-Stars
Lebron’s Foundation began the After-School All-Stars for the children of his hometown, Akron. The Foundation has raised money and donated to the charity for many years. It began as a bike-a-thon, “Wheels For Education” to raise money for children in Akron to have help with education and a place to go after school. It developed into a program to help “at risk” children of Akron in a variety of ways. The program provides mentoring and help with education as well as extracurricular activities. The goal is to keep kids in school and encourage them to graduate. It begins in the third grade when students need to reach state standards to move up to the fourth grade.

The program provides reading and math help for children who need the mentoring and discourages them from dropping out of school before graduating. Overall, Lebron’s Foundation has raised over $40 million for the program. Recently, Lebon teamed with the University of Akron to provide scholarships. The children must participate in the program and parents are encouraged to participate. Lebron is very involved with the program. When he cannot be there, he connects with the children via social media. The program currently sponsors over 800 children. The first graduating class will be in 2021. The scholarship covers $9500 annual college tuition for each student. Lebron hopes to extend the program throughout the state of Ohio.

Muhammad Ali: A Force For Change
Most recently, Lebron James donated money for the exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s exhibit honoring boxing legend Muhammad Ali. The exhibit entitled “Muhammad Ali: A Force For Change” spans two parts of the museum honoring Ali, one celebrating his stellar boxing career and one celebrating his social activism. Lebron donated $2.5 million to the exhibit, joining Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson in contributing. Lebrom has said that Ali was an important inspiration to him as an athlete but also as a champion of justice. Lebron admired the boxing legend, who passed away in June 2016 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease, for Ali’s passion, goals and morals during and after the civil rights movement.

Boys and Girls Club of America
Lebron James designated $2.5 million of the proceeds from ESPN’s “The Decision” special to Boys and Girls Clubs of America. While in Miami, Lebron was very involved in Miami’s club. The club helps give all children equal opportunities and provides after school mentoring and activities. Lebron and his wife designed and donated furniture to the Miami club through Home Court Furniture. They replaced the roof and fixed up the children’s work space. They donated 1000 new computers to 59 Boys and Girls Clubs throughout America.

Children’s Defense Fund
The Children’s Defense Fund started in 1973. Its purpose is to be a voice for children’s rights and make sure that all children are treated equally and fairly. Lebron James’ Foundation is a major contributor to the non profit organization. As with the After-School All-Stars, the program focuses on “at risk” children who come from poor backgrounds and helps these children complete their education.

ONEXONE
ONEXONE also focuses on the support of children. Their mission includes taking care of children by helping them with the 5 pillars: hunger, health, education, water and play. Like After-School All-Stars, the organization uses donations to provide help to those children who need it and encourages them by giving them hope and a sense of pride. The program provides healthy breakfasts in schools, water, medical help, educational help and after school activities. As with most of Lebron’s charitable causes, he especially gives back to the children. His Foundation is a major donator to ONEXONE. Clearly, Lebron James never forgot the humble beginnings he came from. Without the help and encouragement of mentors like his mother and the Waller family, Lebron may not have had the opportunity to achieve the success he has. His talent as a basketball player and his humanitarian spirit have inspired Lebron to give back. He never let his ego get in the way of giving back to those who inspired him and to the children.

Continue on to Money Inc. to read the complete article.

JUST MERCY

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JUST MERCY is a powerful true story that follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his battle for justice as he defends a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence.

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#JustMercy

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Netflix Premieres First Ever Documentary About Black Women CEOs

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Black women CEOs and entrepreneurs are the stars of the newest Netflix documentary called She Did That. Filmmaker and blogger Renae L. Bluitt created the documentary to promote a more accurate representation in the media of Black female business owners.

She Did That is Bluitt’s first cinematic project, and as a digital content creator and PR consultant, she has been writing about the entrepreneurial pursuits of Black women on her blog, In Her Shoes, for nearly a decade. But now the topic is being brought to the world’s attention via the world’s most popular streaming service.

The film revolves around the lives of four Black women entrepreneurs, their journeys, and how they face issues such as the funding gap for Black women. Inspired by #BlackGirlMagic, Bluitt wanted to show how Black women turn challenges into opportunities and become an inspiration to the next generation.

“As the fastest group of entrepreneurs in this country, [Black women] are literally turning water into wine in spite of the many obstacles we face on our entrepreneurial journeys. This film was created to let the world know what it really takes to be a successful Black woman entrepreneur in this world. Platforms like social media only show us the results and the highlights, but “She Did That” pulls back the curtain to reveal how and why we do it,” Bluitt told Forbes.

She Did That highlights the perseverance and determination of Lisa Price, the founder of hair care brand Carol’s Daughter; Melissa Butler, the founder of beauty brand The Lip Bar; Tonya Rapley, the founder of My Fab Finance; and Luvvie Ajayi, a New York Times best-selling author, speaker and digital strategist.

For the project, Bluitt intentionally hired a camera crew of Black women as well as production staff, assistants, and researchers for filming locations. In addition, after almost 2 years of filming, the documentary premiered at a sold-out screening event at ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans. It has since been screened at several HBCUs and other cities in partnership with organizations that cater to Black women.

Bluitt said she is overwhelmed with the opportunity to partner with Netflix. Now with a wider audience, she hopes that the film willl touch more Black women’s lives.

“I want women to know that even the most successful women in business have experienced the challenges and obstacles they face while building their brands. We all make mistakes, learn from them, and stop to refuel or keep going even stronger. I want women to know they are not alone in their fears and the biggest takeaway is this – if the women in this film can do it, you can do it, too!”

Stream it now on Netflix by visiting netflix.com/title/81194454

Continue on to Black Business to read the complete article.

NAACP Announced the Winners of the 51st NAACP Image Awards Hosted by Anthony Anderson on Saturday, February 22nd

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Rihanna, dresed in a floy purple dress, accepts her award on stage at the NAACP Image Awards ceremony

Rihanna Received the President’s Award and U.S. Congressman and Civil Rights Leader John Lewis was Honored with the NAACP Chairman’s Award during the Live Ceremony.

The Star Studded Evening Featured Appearances from Angela Bassett, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jamie Foxx, Tiffany Haddish, Deon Cole, Janelle Monae, Jill Scott, Lena Waithe, Leslie Odom Jr., Lizzo, Lynn Whitfield, Marsai Martin, Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Sterling K. Brown, Tamron Hall, Tichina Arnold, Winston Duke, Yara Shahidi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Robin Thede, Brie Larson, Chloe Bailey and Harold Perrineau, with powerful Performances by Jill Scott and H.E.R. with Skip Marley.

The NAACP celebrated the stellar achievements of the 51st NAACP Image Awards winners during a special ceremony which was broadcasted live on BET Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 8 p.m./7 p.m. CT from the Pasadena Civic Center Auditorium. Winners of the night included Lizzo (Entertainer of the Year), Angela Bassett (Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series – “9-1-1”), Jamie Foxx (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture – “Just Mercy”), Lupita Nyong’o (Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture – “Us”), Marsai Martin (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture – “Little”), Tracee Ellis Ross (Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – “black-ish”) and “Just Mercy” (Outstanding Motion Picture).

During the ceremony, NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, presented global music and fashion icon, business entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Rihanna, with the President’s Award which is presented in recognition of a special achievement and distinguished public service.

Rihanna accepted the award saying “Thank you to the NAACP for all of your efforts to ensure equality for our communities. Thank you for celebrating our strength and tenacity. We’ve been denied opportunities since the beginning of time. Still, we prevail. so I’m honored. Imagine what we can do together. Thank you for this honor.”

U.S. Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis (D-GA), was recognized with the NAACP Chairman’s Award during the ceremony and sent in a special video accepting the award.

Jill Scott took to the stage with an electric performance of “Do You Remember” and “Is It The Way” and Skip Marley joined H.E.R for a medley of “Slide”, “Slow Down” and “Turn THe Lights Down Low”.

Additional guests in attendance included Brie Larson, Chloe Bailey, Deon Cole, Elaine Welteroth, Harold Perrineau, Janelle Monae, Lena Waithe, Leslie Odom Jr., Logan Browning, Lukka Sabbatt, Lynn Whitfield, Octavia Spencer, Robin Thede, Shahidi Wright Joseph, Sterling K. Brown, Tamron Hall, Tichina Arnold, Tiffany Haddish, Winston Dukes, Yara Shahidi, Yvette Nicole Brown.

See the full list of winners from the 51st NAACP Image Awards telecast below:

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series

Tracee Ellis Ross – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series

Angela Bassett – “9-1-1” (FOX)

MOTION PICTURE CATEGORIES

Outstanding Motion Picture

“Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

Michael B. Jordan – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

Lupita Nyong’o – “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Jamie Foxx – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Marsai Martin – “Little” (Universal Pictures)

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

Lizzo

Previously announced winners

TELEVISION CATEGORIES

Outstanding Comedy Series

“black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Deon Cole – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Marsai Martin – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Drama Series

“Greenleaf” (OWN)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series

Omari Hardwick – “Power” (Starz)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Harold Perrineau – “Claws” (TNT)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Lynn Whitfield – “Greenleaf” (OWN)

Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

When They See Us (Netflix)

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

Jharrel Jerome – “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

Niecy Nash – “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special)

“Unsung” (TV One)

Outstanding Talk Series

“Red Table Talk” (Facebook Watch)

Outstanding Reality Program/Reality Competition Series/Game Show

“Rhythm + Flow” (Netflix)

Outstanding Variety (Series or Special)

“Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” (Netflix)

Outstanding Children’s Program

“Family Reunion” (Netflix)

Continue on to NAACP to read the complete announcement.

Michelle Obama Is On Her Way To Becoming An EGOT

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Our forever FLOTUS Michelle Obama is officially a member of the Grammy family, and on her way to the coveted EGOT status, meaning she’s earned an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award.

On Sunday, Obama won Best Spoken Word Album for the audio recording of her New York Times bestselling memoir, Becoming, which chronicles her life, from her childhood in Chicago to her days in the White House. Released in 2018, the book has held a place on the bestsellers list for 58 weeks.

The Best Spoken Word Album award goes to noteworthy audiobooks, storytelling and poetry recordings. Other nominees in the category included, National Poetry Slam winner Sekou Andrews and the Beastie Boys. Although Obama wasn’t there to collect her golden gramophone, jazz singer and fellow Grammy winner Esperanza Spaulding graciously accepted it on her behalf.

Snagging this honor from the recording academy puts Obama in good company with Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King Jr. and her husband Barack Obama. The former president is a two-time Grammy winner for Dreams From My Father (2006) and The Audacity of Hope (2008).

Obama is the second first lady to add the Best Spoken Word trophy to her mantle. In 1997, Hillary Clinton received the award for the audiobook of It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us.

Although this is Obama’s first Grammy win, in 2012 she landed a nod for her audiobook American Grown. But she didn’t actually record the audio for that book.

Snagging this honor from the recording academy puts Obama in good company with Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King Jr. and her husband Barack Obama. The former president is a two-time Grammy winner for Dreams From My Father (2006) and The Audacity of Hope (2008).

Obama is the second first lady to add the Best Spoken Word trophy to her mantle. In 1997, Hillary Clinton received the award for the audiobook of It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us.

Although this is Obama’s first Grammy win, in 2012 she landed a nod for her audiobook American Grown. But she didn’t actually record the audio for that book.

Fans must wait until the Oscars on Sunday, February 9 to see if Obama gets another step closer to the small group of celebrities enjoying rare EGOT air. There’s only 15 people who have the honor, and only two Black entertainers—Whoopi Goldberg and John Legend.

Continue on to Essence to read the complete article.

Spike Lee is first black person to lead Cannes Film Festival jury

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Spike Lee pictured in cap and giving the peace sign

Acclaimed director Spike Lee will head to this year’s Cannes Film Festival as the first black president of its jury. “I’m honored to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named President of the Cannes Jury and of a main film festival,” the “Do The Right Thing” director said in a statement.

“My biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere,” Lee continued. “I was shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time.”

The festival’s organizers said they are looking forward to seeing how Lee injects his personality “to shake things up” at May’s event. “Spike Lee’s perspective is more valuable than ever. Cannes is a natural homeland and a global sounding board for those who (re)awaken minds and question our stances and fixed ideas,” festival organizers said in a statement.

The New York native, who works almost exclusively on his own screenplays, first formed a relationship with the prestigious festival back in 1986, when he presented his first feature film “She’s Gotta Have It.” Since then, Lee has presented six films at Cannes: “Do The Right Thing,” “Jungle Fever,” “Girl 6,” “Summer of Sam,” “Ten Minutes Older” and “BlacKkKlansman.”

Continue on to CBS News to read the complete article.

Missy Elliott, Stevie Nicks, Tame Impala, Miley Cyrus Top Governors Ball Lineup

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Missy Elliott

New York’s Governors Ball has announced the lineup for its 10th annual festival, coming June 7, 2020 to New York City, and it’s a wide mix of styles, genres and eras: Missy Elliott — making her first major NYC performance in over a decade — Tame Impala, Stevie Nicks, Vampire Weekend, Solange, Miley Cyrus, Flume, Ellie Goulding, H.E.R., Swae Lee, Rufus Du Sol, Portugal. The Man, Foals, Summer Walker, Jon Bellion, Khruangbin, Carly Rae Jepsen, Maren Morris, Of Monsters and Men, Milky Chance, Bleachers, Banks and many more.

Not for nothing, the festival features several female headliners, unlike the recently announced Coachella lineup.

While the lineup features many strong performers, Elliott’s rare appearance could be this year’s highlight: While she has performed and dropped music sporadically over the past 15 years — last summer’s “Iconography” EP was her first non-single release since 2005 —  she is a roof-raising live performer, and this festival spot is likely to feature stellar choreography and a relentless barrage of her hits.

Continue on to Variety to read the complete article and view the full line up.

51st NAACP Image Awards Nominations Announced

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5ist Image Awards collage of nominees

The nominees for the 51st NAACP Image Awards were announced recently at a joint press conference with Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP and Connie Orlando, Executive Vice-President, Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy. The winners will be revealed during the two-hour LIVE TV special airing on BET Networks on Saturday, February 22, 2020 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m.CT.

Netflix leads the television category nominations with 30, with an additional 12 nominations in the motion picture categories for a total of 42. RCA Records leads in the music recording categories with 14, followed by Columbia Records and BMG, respectively, with seven. Universal Pictures leads the motion picture categories with 15 nominations, and Penguin Random House has 8 nominations followed by HarperCollins with four in the literary categories.

“Representation across entertainment and the arts has profound meaning and unparalleled power to shape perceptions, influence culture, and galvanize communities,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “This year’s nominees have conveyed a wide range of authentic stories and experiences that have resonated with many, and we’re proud to continue celebrating their outstanding achievements and performances.”

“This is a historic occasion for BET Networks, and we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate our network’s 40th anniversary in conjunction with this milestone moment of hosting the NAACP Image Awards,” said Scott Mills, President of BET Networks. “It is our distinct privilege to be able to acknowledge contributions of talent in TV, music, movies and literature and we look forward to celebrating these contributions next month.”
The NAACP Image Awards honors the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature, and film and also recognizes individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. The Image Awards previously aired on TV One.

In previous years, Image Awards attendees included Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, Anthony Anderson, Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore, Halle Berry, Common, Dwayne Johnson, Steve Harvey, Audra Day, John Legend, Lena Waithe, Tracee Ellis Ross, David Oyelowo, Laverne Cox, Octavia Spencer, Issa Rae, Trevor Noah, Terry Crews, Yara Shahidi, Danai Gurira, Jacob Latimore, Jay Pharoah, Jemele Hill, Josh Gad, Loretta Devine, Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Meta Golding, Michael Smith, Tyler James Williams, Ava DuVernay, Chadwick Boseman, and many more.

Voting is now open to the public to determine the winners of the 51stNAACP IMAGE AWARDS by visiting www.naacpimageawards.net– Winners will be revealed during the 51stNAACP Image Awards telecast. For all information and the latest news, please visit the official NAACP Image Awards website at www.naacpimageawards.net or on Facebook at naacpimageawards and Twitter @naacpimageaward (#NAACPImageAwards).

The complete list of categories and nominees for the 51stNAACP Image Awards follows:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Angela Bassett
Billy Porter
Lizzo
Regina King
Tyler Perry

TELEVISION CATEGORIES

Outstanding Comedy Series

“Ballers” (HBO)
“black-ish” (ABC)
“Dear White People” (Netflix)
“grown-ish” (Freeform)
“theNeighborhood” (CBS)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson – “black-ish” (ABC)
Cedric The Entertainer – “theNeighborhood” (CBS)
Don Cheadle – “Black Monday” (Showtime)
Dwayne Johnson – “Ballers” (HBO)
Tracy Morgan – “The Last O.G.” (TBS)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series

Logan Browning – “Dear White People” (Netflix)
Jill Scott – “First Wives Club” (BET+)
Tiffany Haddish – “The Last O.G.” (TBS)
Tracee Ellis Ross – “black-ish” (ABC)
Yara Shahidi – “grown-ish” (Freeform)

Continue on to Ebony to read the complete article.

Cynthia Erivo could become the youngest EGOT winner

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Cynthia Erivo on the red carpet at the Premiere of HBO's "The Outsider"

Cynthia Erivo is one step closer to EGOT status with an Oscar nomination for her turn as the iconic freedom fighter and suffragist Harriet Tubman in Kasi Lemmons’ ‘Harriet.’

British actress Cynthia Erivo was nominated for her first Oscar on Monday morning for her performance as the iconic freedom fighter and abolitionist Harriet Tubman in Kasi Lemmons’ “Harriet.”

The stage and screen actress (along with powerhouse singer — she is also nominated in the original song category) also earned Golden Globe, SAG and Critics’ Choice nominations for the role.

And while BAFTA controversially snubbed acting nominees of color entirely, the ceremony still asked her to perform (she declined).

Erivo was the only person of color nominated for an acting Oscar this year.

“Harriet,” distributed by Focus Features, exceeded box office forecasts when it opened in November, debuting to $12 million on its way to $43 million to date in global ticket sales. It marks the first feature leading role for Erivo, who stole scenes in 2018’s “Widows” and “Bad Times at the El Royale.”

She was first approached about “Harriet” while in the midst of a Tony-winning turn in the Broadway production of “The Color Purple.” The production is also responsible for her subsequent Grammy (for the cast recording) and Daytime Emmy (for a cast performance on NBC’s “Today”) wins. (For those who don’t want to count Daytime Emmys in EGOT status, Erivo will also headline the upcoming limited series “Genius: Aretha” for National Geographic. And playing music singer Aretha Franklin could put her in Primetime Emmy contention as well.)

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

Tiffany Haddish Stars in ‘Like a Boss,’ in Theaters Today

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Like a Boss premiere photo of the cast, including Tiffany Hassish, pose on the pink carpet

Tiffany Haddish is her usual hilarious self in the new film Like a Boss, which recently opened across the nation. In it, Mia (Haddish) and her best friend, Mel (Rose Byrne), are living their best lives running the own cosmetics company they’ve built from the ground up.

Unfortunately, however, they’re in over their heads financially and the prospect of a big buyout offer from a notorious titan of the cosmetics industry, Claire Luna (Salma Hayek), proves too tempting to pass up, which puts Mel and Mia’s lifelong friendship in jeopardy. The beauty business is about to get ugly.

The Paramount Pictures film, directed by Miguel Arteta and executive produced by Haddish and Nicolas Stern, also stars Billy Porter, Jennifer Coolidge, Ari Graynor, Natasha Rothwell, Jessica St. Clair and Karan Soni.

Watch the Trailer!

Continue on to Ebony to read the complete article.

11-year-old ballerina dances into history as 1st black lead in NYC Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’

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Charlotte Nebres smiling holding a large Nutcracker

Four years ago, Misty Copeland became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre’s 75-year history. Now, an 11-year-old girl is also breaking barriers as the star of the New York City Ballet’s holiday production of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker.”

In a story first reported by The New York Times, Charlotte Nebres, a student at the School of American Ballet, danced her way into ballet history as New York City Ballet’s first black Marie, the young heroine of a show that dates back to 1954.

The annual production also includes a diverse cast of other young leads this season, including Tanner Quirk, Marie’s Prince in the ballet, who is half-Chinese; Sophia Thomopoulos, the ballet’s second casting of Marie, who is half-Korean and half-Greek; and Kai Misra-Stone, Sophia’s Prince, who is half-South Asian.

“It’s pretty amazing to be not only representing S.A.B., but also representing all of our cultures,” Nebres told “The New York Times.” “There might be a little boy or girl in the audience seeing that and saying, ‘Hey, I can do that too.'”

Charlotte, who was just 6 years old when Copeland became the first female African American principal at American Ballet Theater, recalled being inspired when she saw Copeland perform for the first time.

“I saw her perform and she was just so inspiring and so beautiful,” she told The New York Times. “When I saw someone who looked like me on stage, I thought, ‘That’s amazing.’ She was representing me and all the people like me.”

Charlotte Nebres in Ballet outfit holding on to ballet bar with her coachCharlotte, whose mother’s family is from Trinidad while her father’s side of the family is from the Philippines, is becoming a trailblazer herself with the role of Marie.

For Charlotte’s mother, Danielle Nebres, the experience for her daughter is a meaningful one, because she was also a dancer growing up.

Nebres, who described Charlotte as quiet and artistic, said, “You don’t know what people are seeing in your child, and they are definitely seeing something in her.”

Although Charlotte is making waves being cast as Marie, the 11-year-old is just enjoying the moment and doing what she loves most: dancing.

Continue on to ABC News to read the complete article.

Idris Elba knows how to spend his downtime

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Idris Elba sittting casually, smiling with one hand on his knee

I’m an only child, and growing up it was a constant challenge to entertain myself. I’ve been keeping busy my whole life: I’m primarily an actor, but I’ve been DJing since I was a teenager. I’m a producer and a director. I’ve done fashion collaborations, and I have a music label.

Imagine you’re a farmer with a piece of land, and you’re growing crops. Some vegetables need a full cycle to grow, others grow quicker. You realize you have to juggle each one’s seasonal pattern. That’s how I think of my projects. I like having some variety, so I could be in a few episodes of something funny [like The Office] and then do something more serious [such as Luther or 2021’s The Suicide Squad]. Or I could act [Hobbs & Shaw], and direct [Yardie], and DJ. I have an incredible assistant, Marsha, who keeps everything on track. Every night, she texts me the plan for the next day. It took us a while to find our system, but it’s bulletproof now. We used to do a phone call, but that didn’t work as well. WhatsApp is easier.

I don’t think in terms of minutes or hours or days or dates, especially because I’m traveling between time zones. My home base is London, but I could be working anywhere around the world. I pretty much know my schedule for the whole year, and I think of it in terms of blocks of time, where each project is a block.

Clubs and festivals are busier in the summer, and this season was a really busy one for me. I played Coachella for the first time. I’m part of a wave of producers and DJs who adopted a smaller, more nimble studio model. Instead of producing in a big room, I’ve adopted a series of laptops, phones, apps, iPads, headphones that I can take anywhere. I’m a real tech head.

Time he gets up: Between 6 and 8 a.m.

First thing he does in the morning: “I pick up my phone and check my messages. Then I’ll get up, sit on the edge of the bed for a little bit, take the day in, and take a shower.”

How he handles social media: “I’ve been trying to wean myself off. I used to post a lot more, but it’s been putting me off lately. And Twitter’s just not how I want to receive my news. I read the news aggregated on my iPad, but I can’t check it constantly—I’m not proud of it, but it’s true—because it makes me feel depressed.”

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Tyler Perry will cover medical expenses for couple stranded in Mexico

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Tyler Perry is footing the bill for an Atlanta couple who was forced to remain in Mexico after they were unable to pay a $14,000 medical bill.

Stephen Johnson and his fiance Tori Austin were traveling on a Carnival cruise ship when he was diagnosed with pancreatitis and diabetes, according to multiple reports. He fell into a diabetic coma, prompting staff on the ship to send him to the hospital in the Mexican port city of Progreso.

WGLC reported that the couple didn’t have medical or travel insurance and was unable to pay the ensuing medical bill. They claimed that efforts to set up a payment plan were rejected, forcing the hospital to lock the doors and windows and monitor them in an effort to discourage them from leaving until they found a way to pay up.

A source told Fox News that Perry took notice of the story and has agreed to pay the man’s medical bill as well as the couple’s travel expenses home so that they may leave the hospital once doctors give Johnson the all-clear on his health.

“Today I am thankful for and will always be thankful for Tyler Perry,” Austin wrote on Facebook. “My mom also was a huge fan of his.

People reports that Austin previously wrote on Facebook that Stephen has several ulcers that need to be treated before it’s safe for him to travel. In an update on Facebook, Austin previously notes that neither she nor Johnson blames Carnival in any way for the incident. In fact, they praised the staff’s efforts to ensure his safety.

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