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Ernest Owens
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Ernest Owens is an award-winning multimedia journalist. A graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, he launched a career in media as a talk radio show host for WQHS Radio and as a video producer and op-ed columnist for The Daily Pennsylvanian. Ernest has interned at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, NBC Philadelphia, and Philadelphia City Council. He is currently a contributing writer for USA Today & The Huffington Post, where he covers a variety of social issues regarding society, race, and entertainment. His work has been featured on Al Jazeera English, The Root, The Oprah Winfrey Network and other media outlets. He is a member of the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, National Association of Black Journalists, and the Online News Association. His writing and filmmaking has even been honored with the Gold Circle Award by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and a Finalist Award from the Tribeca Film Festival. He loves chatting with people on Twitter so toss a tweet to @MrErnestOwens and check out more of his multimedia at his personal website!

Entries by Ernest Owens

Kendrick Lamar, Lee Daniels, and Dismissing the Double Standards on Black Artistry

(3) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 2:23 PM

2015 has given us a great year thus far in black artistry and cultural expression.

On television, we have seen more of our stories being told by people who look like us, thanks to the incredible work of Shonda Rimes, Lee Daniels, and many more. Film has had its...

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Bound: Africans vs. African-Americans Is the Must See Film of 2015

(5) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 4:45 PM


"I believe that when you wrestle with your demons in public, they cease to haunt you in private," says writer, producer and director Peres Owino.

With her upcoming critically acclaimed debut, Bound: Africans vs. African Americans, Kenyan-born Owino attempts...

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Kanye West Doesn't Have All the Answers and Never Will

(9) Comments | Posted February 24, 2015 | 11:14 AM

I think I've made it clear again, again and again that Kanye West should not be the voice of our generation.

Sure, the multi-Grammy-award-winning hip-hop icon breaks records and has rightfully etched his presence in pop culture history, but what he has continued to...

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Dear Empire Critics, Stop Hating. You Just Don't Get It.

(121) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 3:59 PM


Dear Empire critics,

In a society that is currently more observant of media and entertainment pitfalls than ever before, sometimes we are too quick to judge. The speedy jolt of a tweet to pass prejudgment, or the too-full-of-assumptions Facebook essay to sound off...

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5 Real Ways to Actually Support Black-Owned Businesses

(29) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 9:41 PM

In the current national push for making black lives matter, economic support for black-owned businesses doesn't get its fair share of dialogue.

True, social justice and political activism can help solve many of the continuous problems facing our community, but what about economic growth and stability to help heal...

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Straight Women, Gay Men Are Friends, Not Accessories

(20) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 1:56 AM

As I explore various friend circles and niches, I have come to realize that some experiences keep recurring.

I was recently running a couple of errands downtown and made a quick trip to a department store. Smelling through a few colognes, a noticed a woman looking at me with absolute...

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Gay Black Men, It's Time to Do Away With 'Trade' and Down-Low Brothers in 2015

(48) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 11:43 AM

Yes, it's time to have this conversation.

To all my gay black brothers who are free and open with their sexuality, it's time to let go of dating the men in your lives who are not.

It's time to drop that "down-low" hook-up you met online who would not unlock...

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An Open Letter to Penn's Phi Delta Theta Fraternity for Their 'Beyonce' Blow-Up Doll Holiday Card

(8) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 4:07 PM


Dear members of the Pennsylvania Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Delta Fraternity at the University of Pennsylvania,

My name is Ernest Owens. Yes, that Ernest Owens.

I am a fellow Penn alum who has previously challenged neighboring white Greek fraternities...

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How to Not Make Ferguson a Folly

(0) Comments | Posted November 29, 2014 | 11:02 PM

It took me several days before I decided to speak on the verdict in Ferguson.

Personally, I purposely choose to step away from publicly writing about such similar issues because I always felt that it was expected for me to do so. Being a young black man in journalism automatically...

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Celebrities, Being a Feminist Isn't Just About Sex and Beauty

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 2:36 PM

I am a man and I am a proud feminist.

I support and defend the notion that people of all genders should have their fair share of opportunities to succeed. Whether it is eliminating the gender wage gap or debunking the sexist and ignorant biases that divide both sexes, I...

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5 Lessons Traveling to Africa Taught Me About Being Black in America

(829) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 4:42 PM


Recently, I had the pleasure of traveling to Ghana for 10 days to explore the history and culture of the region. And contrary to America's heightened fear that traveling to West Africa would give me Ebola, I am fortunate to reassure you that...

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Africa Redefined: How Dr. Kingsley Fletcher Is Leading a Continental Revival

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 4:25 PM


A large crowd assembles in Ghana. Not a voice interrupts as a familiar national figure graces the podium.

As he begins to debunk false hysterical myths about Africa, he also introduces his next innovative plan to help return the continent to global...

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Why Ebola Isn't Stopping Me From Going to Africa Right Now

(1) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 10:32 AM

I just turned 23 years old and I'm about to embark on a personal self-journey.

For the past few years, I have been awaiting an exploration to an African country that I personally felt was rich in heritage and would be spiritually rewarding. Although there were tons of countries...

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Dear Ernest, #3: How to Deal With a Campus Ex

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 11:59 AM

Question: Dear Ernest, I'm not sure if you answer questions pertaining to relationships on campus but I thought I might give it a try. I dated a girl for close to two years on campus. We hit it off very early when we first entered and got serious from the...
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5 People Who Aren't Helping Race Relations in 2014

(69) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 3:17 PM

This year, no one is safe when it comes to the ridiculous onslaught of ignorance about to people of color. Whether it was the media, celebrities, or members of our own community, the backwards advice and excuses for the degrading of our people was annoying. I write this top 5...

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Dear Ernest, #2: Let's Get Real About Campus Leadership

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 2:02 PM

Question: Dear Ernest, I feel like an underachiever right about now. My grades are great, but I feel like I don't have enough campus leadership positions. I don't care much for my student government, but I also really don't want to force myself to interact with people I don't really...
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Dear Ernest, #1: The College GPA Myth Exposed

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 2:53 PM

Question: Dear Ernest, I'm entering a new term and still feel frustrated with my freshman year GPA. I have been trying very hard to make it go up, but I feel as though my current classes are keeping me away from doing so. I'm not failing, but I don't feel...
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Kareemah El-Amin Sheds 'No Tears' in Spiritually Exceptional Debut Album

(3) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 6:17 PM


Her conversion was nothing short of a chance encounter between an open mind and a longing heart.

When Kareemah El-Amin became a Christian on November 17, 2010, she was not compelled to leave her devout Muslim roots from a dark...

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Please Shut Up About Iggy Azalea

(11) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 12:57 PM

This summer, I could not help but be annoyed with entertainment journalism. If we were not talking about Beyoncé for the umpteenth time, we were talking about Iggy Azalea. And while there were a few articles that had legitimate concerns about the reigning musical superstar, most...

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Interviewing the Gospel Ambassador: How Bobby Jones Impacted the Culture of Television

(1) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 2:52 PM


Standing atop a lightning stage dressed in a jeweled suit with custom designer shoes, an electrifying roar automatically fills the studio. It feels as though a rockstar has just surprised the crowd, but this is no new face. Since 1980, Dr. Bobby Jones...

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