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Entries by Brennan Williams

John Legend's Powerful NAACP Speech Highlights Hopes For 'Radical Change'

(1) Comments | Posted February 6, 2016 | 10:42 AM

John Legend’s commitment to social change was on full display during Friday’s 47th Annual NAACP Image Awards.

During his acceptance speech for the evening’s President's Award, Legend said that he is hopeful today’s generation will evoke change to the inequalities of America’s justice system.

“Today, communities of color are still being crushed by a criminal justice system that over-polices us, over-arrests us, over-incarcerates us, and disproportionately takes the lives of our young people because of the simple fact that our skin conjures the image of threat and violence,” he said.

“Despite the daunting problems we face I am hopeful that our generation will demand and achieve radical change in our lifetime.”

The Oscar Award-winner went on to encourage his peers in attendance to use their influence to support today’s social movements.

“Our predecessors marched, they wrote songs, they met with political leaders, they provided financial support,” he said. “Now, some will call you divisive for speaking out for a disenfranchised people. Some will call you a radical for calling for justice for all. Some will take offense when we have to assert that our lives should indeed matter, just as much as anyone else’s. Some will call you the real racist for daring to call out racial inequality. But they know better. And we certainly know better. We know that fighting for justice isn’t an act of hate, it’s an act of love.”

Check out John Legend’s empowering speech in its entirety in the clip above.

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Chris Rock: 'Black Women Get Paid Less Than Everybody In Hollywood'

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2016 | 12:57 PM

Chris Rock, who will host the much-maligned Oscars later this month, appears on Essence magazine’s annual Hollywood issue cover. The comedian, who has shared his thoughts on Hollywood's racial disparities in the past, opened up about witnessing the limited roles available to black women in...

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Lupita Nyong'o: #OscarsSoWhite Is 'A Symptom Of Something Else'

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 3:51 PM

Lupita Nyong'o won an Oscar two years ago for her role in “12 Years A Slave,” but the actress strongly believes that the Academy needs to address its diversity issue.

Last month, Nyong'o expressed her disappointment about the “lack of inclusion” at this year’s ceremony, and on Wednesday, the actress explained that problem doesn't start at the Oscars. 

"It’s a symptom of something else,” Nyong'o said during an interview with Today's Savannah Guthrie.

“I think what we are asking for is really for more stories to be told -- for inclusion in the stories that are told. And I think it’s good for all of us when we hear a diverse number of stories and are able to experience more diversity. It’s more reflective of the world we live in. And so, I think that’s what we ultimately want is a diversity of stories to be told.”

When Guthrie asked Nyong'o if there are certain roles that she wished would come her way, the "Star Wars" actress said that she has used her "weight" in Hollywood to push for stories she feels should come to life. 

 “I feel really grateful to be in the position that I find myself in, where I can find the little weight that I have to get stories that I feel are untold or yet to be told made and done,” she said. “So for example, with 'Eclipsed' this was something that I brought to the table, because it had moved me in a way that I wanted to perform it and share it with people. So I feel that’s the role that I can play. “

Check out more of Lupita Nyong'o’s interview in the clip above.

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Stacey Dash Applauds White Actor Set To Play Michael Jackson

(3) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 11:54 AM

Just when you thought Stacey Dash was finished addressing controversial topics, think again.

This time around, the “Clueless” star is offering her two cents on the backlash surrounding the casting of white actor Joseph Fiennes in the role of Michael Jackson...

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David Oyelowo: There's Too Many African Stories With 'White Saviors'

(2) Comments | Posted February 3, 2016 | 12:45 PM

David Oyelowo wants to show the world a...

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This Is What Kids Really Think About Stacey Dash's Comments On Black History

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2016 | 1:43 PM

"Is that even legal?" 

That's what one little boy said in regards to Stacey Dash's recent comments about getting rid of Black History Month which set off a wave of reactions -- even kids are outraged! 

Photographer Eunique Jones Gibson and the people behind the "Because of...

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Russell Simmons Joins Pledge To Provide One Million Water Bottles To Flint

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 4:25 PM

Russell Simmons, who last week called for the prosecution of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, is contributing to the recovery effort in Flint.

On Monday, Simmons teamed up with his prepaid debit card company, RushCard, to deliver 150,000 water bottles to local residents. He also attended a...

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Malcom-Jamal Warner: Recreating Famous Ford Bronco Chase Was 'Surreal'

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 3:11 PM

The Trial of the Century will finally make its small screen debut on Tuesday in FX’s new series "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson."

The 10-episode series, which stars Cuba Gooding Jr. (as O.J. Simpson), David Schwimmer (as Robert Kardashian), Sarah Paulson...

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Aretha Franklin: 'Ms. Patti Is Gonna Have To Move That Pie To The Side!'

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 12:15 PM

It appears Aretha Franklin wants a piece of Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pie success. Well, sort of.

During an interview with Detroit’s WDIV Local 4 news on Wednesday, Franklin was asked by a correspondent if she tried LaBelle’s popular Wal-Mart sweet potato...

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Russell Simmons Calls Out 'Environmental Racism' In Flint

(1) Comments | Posted January 28, 2016 | 2:20 PM

Russell Simmons has made it known that the factors that contributed to Flint’s lead-tainted water supply are beyond atrocious. 

In a preview clip from Friday’s episode of daytime talk show “The Real,” Simmons explained how poverty and racism factor into the city’s water crisis, and called for the prosecution of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

“We need the governor’s hands in cuffs. If this happened in Beverly Hills -- first of all they would’ve found out in two minutes, and everybody would’ve been in trouble,” Simmons said in the clip. “You can’t poison the whole community. Almost every kid may have brain damage. It’s worse than what people are saying. We gotta dig deeper into this.”

Since news surrounding the quality of Flint’s water supply emerged in 2014, many have expressed their frustrations with the lack of prevention and containment efforts and refer to the disaster as a “racial crisis” and “poverty crisis.” Simmons underscored that notion, calling the local government’s consideration for its residents as an example of “environmental racism.”

“The governor, what does he care,” he said. “First of all he’s a conservative governor, there’s black people there, they don’t vote for him, and they’re poor. So he just let it happened. And it would never happen in a community where people had wealth and influence.”

Check out more of Russell Simmons’ thoughts in the clip above.

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Tamar Braxton Says Michelle Obama Inspired Her

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2016 | 12:34 PM

Tamar Braxton’s interview with Michelle Obama on Tuesday’s episode of “The Real” has prompted the reality star to make an inspiring decision.  

After the interview, during which the First Lady promoted her “Better Make Room” education initiative, Braxton wrote in an Instagram post that the White House visit has inspired her to further her education.

“I'm going back to school y'all,” she wrote. “The one thing I learned on this trip is even if you are already successful… it's never too late for an education. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Encourage yourself and one another to be the best you.”

Braxton has previously spoken out about why empowering young women is so important to her both on her show and in a 2011 interview with Black Enterprise.

“One of my other passions is talking to and empowering young women by teaching them about self-esteem, the importance of education and choosing a [career path] for their lives,” she told the magazine. “I really enjoy doing things like that so right now speaking and empowering young women and helping them to be confident is something I’ve found I truly love and want to do more of in the future.”

Check out a portion of Michelle Obama’s interview on “The Real” in the clip above.

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Nick Cannon Says The Oscars Debate Is A Distraction From Other Important Issues

(1) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 4:45 PM

#SpokenSunday #Oscar #poetry #DontBeDistracted OscarDamn! Look what they did to Oscar.Nah, not...

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Gabrielle Union Says What We're All Thinking About Stacey Dash

(33) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 12:45 PM

Gabrielle Union is just like the rest of us: she can't even deal with Stacey Dash. 

At the Sundance Film Festival premiere of “The Birth of a Nation" on Monday, Union was asked by an Associated Press reporter to give her thoughts on Dash's controversial...

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Big Sean Wants To 'Heal' Flint's Youth With Latest Initiative

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2016 | 3:03 PM

Big Sean has joined the list of notable names helping out during Flint, Michigan’s water crisis.

This week the Detroit native launched the #HealFlintKids campaign through the fundraising website Crowdrise to help raise money to support the youth of Flint.

“Toxic water...

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In One Quote, Viola Davis Nails The Academy Awards' Diversity Issue

(18) Comments | Posted January 22, 2016 | 11:55 AM

Emmy Award-winner Viola Davis has some ideas for how to improve diversity at the Oscars.

In a red carpet interview before ELLE’s annual Women in Television Dinner on Wednesday, Davis told ET that the problem “is not with the Oscars," but with "the Hollywood movie-making system."


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The Time Eddie Murphy Almost Skipped The Oscars Due To Diversity

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2016 | 5:15 PM

Long before Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee said they wouldn't be attending this year's Academy Awards, Eddie Murphy considered snubbing the show for similar reasons.

While presenting the Best Picture award at the 60th annual Oscars in 1988, Murphy said that he was initially reluctant to attend that year due to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' repeated failure to honor black people. He changed his mind after a little convincing from his manager.

"I just feel that we have to be recognized as a people," he told the Oscars audience. "I just want you to know that I'm going to give this award, but black people will not ride the caboose of society, and we will not bring up the rear anymore. I want you [the Academy] to recognize us."

Murphy would decide not to show up many years later. In late 2011, he withdrew from hosting the 84th Academy Awards after close friend Brett Ratner withdrew as show producer of the upcoming ceremony. Ratner was under fire for an anti-gay slur he'd uttered during an Q&A session following a screening of the movie "Tower Heist."

Check out Eddie Murphy's 1988 remarks above.

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Aisha Tyler Says The Oscars Diversity Problem Is Bigger Than Race

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2016 | 3:09 PM

From hosting gigs on “The Talk” and “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” to landing a list of recurring roles on shows like “CSI” and “Criminal Minds,” Aisha Tyler has established a diverse career in entertainment.

During Wednesday night’s premiere episode of Khloé Kardashian’s...

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Meek Mill Makes Significant Move To Help Flint Residents

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2016 | 12:33 PM

The residents of Flint, Michigan are receiving a charitable gift from Nicki Minaj’s boyfriend Meek Mill.

According to TMZ, the 28-year-old rapper bestowed an undisclosed lump sum of money to the Flint Child and Family Health Development Fund and donated 60,000 bottles of...

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'Birth Of A Nation' Star Says Few Acting Roles For Black Men Have 'Integrity'

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2016 | 4:20 PM

Despite landing a role alongside the likes of Denzel Washington in "The Great Debaters" or his phenomenal performance in "The Secret Life of Bees," Nate Parker says the availability of quality acting roles for people of color are scarce.

In the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter, Parker expressed...

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Stacey Dash Is Apparently Really Confused About Segregation. Like Really.

(30) Comments | Posted January 20, 2016 | 11:42 AM

She's clueless.

Stacey Dash shared her thoughts on the backlash against this year’s Oscar nominations and why there shouldn't be a BET network nor Black History Month on Wednesday’s episode of "Fox & Friends."

The actress and Fox News contributor told host Steve Doocy: “We have to make up our minds. Either we want to have segregation or integration. And if we don't want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards where you're only awarded if you're black. If it were the other way around, we would be up in arms. It's a double standard.”

Dash then added this doozy: “There shouldn't be a Black History Month. You know? We're Americans. Period. That's it.”

All this comes a month after Dash was suspended from on-air reporting on the network after stating President Barack Obama doesn’t “give a s**t” about terrorism.

Check out more of Stacey Dash’s thoughts in the clip above.

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