By AYA de LEON
I would have held my breath if I’d known. A couple weeks ago at preschool my daughter made an art project where she had to choose between paper doll forms of several colors.
I was at work that day. Perhaps I was standing in front of my students talking about racism, or gender bias, or the craft techniques that make a poem dazzling. I was oblivious to the fact that my daughter was taking a massive race/gender test at her preschool. What color doll to pick. They had beige, tan, light brown, dark brown.
So many of us are haunted by those studies in the sixties of black children, quoted for decades in literature and captured on video. Which is the pretty doll? The smart doll? The good doll? The loveable doll? Time and again, the children picked the white doll.
I’ve been vigilant. I don’t allow her to play with white dolls. Dora the Explorer is the lightest the dolls get in our house. Her books are heavily weighted toward stories of African heritage girls. I have even written a children’s book with photos of kids, adults and families with natural hair called Puffy: People Whose Hair Defies Gravity. Read more…
Amateur Night at the Apollo
The Final Amateur Night Showdown of the Year
SUPER TOP DOG 2013
Winner of Season-long Contest to Receive
$10,000 Grand Prize
Wednesday, November 27th at 7:30pm
Harlem, NY- November 26, 2012 – On Wednesday, November 27th, the world famous Apollo Theater presents the final showdown of the 2013 Amateur Night season – Super Top Dog. Hundreds of up-and-coming musicians, dancers, comedians and other entertainers have vied all season for the opportunity to compete on the legendary Apollo stage, home to musical icons such as Michael Jackson, James Brown and Lauryn Hill. The contestants competing in this Super Top Dog finale have won over the notoriously tough Apollo audience in three rounds of competitions to advance to this point. The winner will receive the title of Super Top Dog and a grand prize of $10,000. Read more…
Lil Cease Claims Biggie Wouldn’t Let Him
Meet Michael Jackson at
Cipha Sounds’ HipHop Improv
TAKE IT PERSONAL Will Feature Hip Hop’s Elite Each Show
New York, NY, October 1, 2013 -On Friday, September 27, 2013, Lil Cease was featured in the Hip Hop Improv Show – TAKE IT PERSONAL presented by Hot 97′s Cipha Sounds and Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), the top improv theater and school in NYC. Improvisers from Cipha Sounds’ team A Tribe Called YES (Neil Casey, Lydia Hensler, Christian Capozzoli, Phil Jackson, Shaun Diston, D’arcy Carden and Cipha Sounds) reenacted stories originally told by rapper Lil Cease.
During the show Lil Cease shared how Biggie wouldn’t allow him to join a studio cession with him and Michael Jackson. Cipha Sounds said, “I finally got to get Lil Cease back after all the years of verbal abuse on the road… LoL… He killed it with the Biggie stories. Best ever. “
Music was provided by DJ Drewski of Hot 97 and Sirius XM.
TAKE IT PERSONAL will continue every Friday at the legendary UCB Theater.
Special guests included Suroosh Alvi (Vice Magazine), Tami Roman (Basketballwives), Keith Nelson (AllHipHop.com), DJ Juanyto (Hot 97), Willy Dope of Par-City, and more.
AFROJACK TO RELEASE NEW SINGLE – “THE SPARK” FEATURING SPREE WILSON – OCT. 11th ON ISLAND RECORDS/WALL RECORDINGS
Island Records/Wall Recordings Grammy Award®-winning producer and DJ artist Afrojack will release his new single worldwide on October 11th, “The Spark” featuring Spree Wilson. The track will hit radio, and the video will premiere on VEVO/YouTube, simultaneously going up for sale at iTunes, all on October 11th.
“The Spark” showcases a different side to Afrojack, and gives a taste of what to expect from his forthcoming major label debut album – a blaze of infectious beats, larger than life production, killer pop hooks and euphoric melodies, a complete sonic assault on the senses.
Afrojack was signed to Island Records worldwide earlier this year, as the label took over promotion and sales in the U.S. for “As Your Friend” featuring Chris Brown, Afrojack‘s [then] new single on his self-owned label, Wall Recordings. Read more…
Signature Returns to Nashville, TN for Urban Soul Café Presents: Praise in the Park
September 11, 2013 (Los Angeles, CA)— Gospel artist group Signature is returning to Tennessee to spread the Gospel.They will be showcasing their talent Sept. 14 at Nashville’s Cumberland Park for Urban Soul Café Presents: Praise in the Park. This is a free event from 3pm-8pm featuring national and local artists.
Signature possesses a natural gift for music and is poised to standout with their new label, Birmingham Entertainment/ Epic Entity Music Group. Kristie; 25, Michelle; 23, and Bonnie; 26 are a multi-talented trio from Birmingham, AL, touching a broad spectrum of musical styles ranging from traditional to contemporary gospel. Other musical influences include Kim Burrell, The Clark Sisters and Beyoncé. Read more…
TLC SET TO RECEIVE LEGEND AWARD WITH TRIUMPHANT PERFORMANCE AT MTV VMAJ 2013
MTV Video Music Awards Japan Celebrates TLC’s 20th Anniversary And Contributions To Music
(Atlanta, GA) R&B super group TLC was unveiled to hit the stage of the MTV VMAJ 2013 with their first ever “Legend Award” in hand, the news was announced today by MTV Japan. The 12th annual MTV VMAJ 2013 takes place at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture on Saturday, June 22. The show will premiere on MTV Japan on Sunday, June 23 at 8PM (Tokyo), and will be broadcast worldwide on MTV channels at a later date with potential viewership expected to reach over half-billion households. Read more…
Apollo Theater To Induct Chaka Khan Into Apollo Legends Hall of Fame at Annual Spring Gala Concert…June 10, 2013
APOLLO THEATER TO INDUCT CHAKA KHAN INTO APOLLO LEGENDS HALL OF FAME AT ANNUAL SPRING GALA CONCERT MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2013
SPECIAL PERFORMANCES BY PATTI LABELLE and MARY J. BLIGE
TIME WARNER INC. TO RECEIVE CORPORATE AWARDFOR COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP ACCEPTED BY CHAIRMAN & CEO JEFF BEWKES PRESENTED BY SARAH JESSICA PARKER
PERCY E. SUTTON CIVIC LEADERSHIP AWARD PRESENTED TO CAROL’S DAUGHTER FOUNDER & PRESIDENT LISA PRICE
HARLEM, NY – April 11, 2013 – The Apollo Theater, a leading not-for-profit performing arts institution and one of the nation’s greatest cultural treasures, announced that its 8th Annual Spring Gala Concert will induct Chaka Khan into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame on Monday, June 10, 2013 in celebration of Ms. Khan’s 40th anniversary in the music business. This year’s program will include special tribute performances to the legendary singer by Apollo Legend Patti LaBelle and the incomparable Mary J. Blige.
by Ryan Mack
With all the media chatter about “Kim-YE” I thought it appropriate to discuss our own personal relationships. Yes…we all know that Kim and Kanye West are both multimillionaires, but do you know
the financial picture of the person you are dating?
Money should never be a divider in relationships yet the majority of all divorces are due to disagreements over financial matters. Why is this? It is my contention it is not the financial irresponsibility itself, because many of us including myself have made financial mistakes. However, it is the SURPRISE of that additional bank account loaded with money that was kept secret, that unknown poor credit score, or that irresponsible shopping addiction that causes financial turmoil and arguments in a relationship.
How do we solve this?
First, let me demonstrate a critical point by telling you this story: There was a little boy who saw an elderly man sitting on a bench with a dog. The little boy walked up to the man and said,
“Hey old man…does your dog bite?” Read more…
The Apollo Theater will present the second event in its newly launched Apollo Uptown Hall series with a FREE viewing party of the second presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday, October 16th at 7:30pm. Prior to screening the presidential debate, there will be a panel discussion with several respected political analysts, who will discuss issues important to the community, followed by a Q&A with the audience. The panel includes Esther Armah (WBAI-FM), Herb Boyd (The New York Amsterdam News), Michael Brendan Dougherty (The American Conservative), Mark Riley (WWRL 1600 AM), William Tucker [The American Spectator], and Armstrong Williams (SiriusXM’s The Power). The panel will be moderated by Christina Greer (Fordham University, Political Science Assistant Professor). Those interested can register in advance at apollotheater.org.
Following the panel discussion, Shannon LaNier (Black Enterprise Business Report) will lead the Q&A session, inviting the audience to participate in the dialogue. Preceding the event, there will be live entertainment from soul jazz violinist/vocalist, Charisa the Violin Diva, as well as music provided by RhythmAndSoulRadio.com’s DJ, The Legendary Chris Washington.
25th Anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Album BAD25 Celebrated With 9/18 Release Featuring Pitball, Afro Jack and More
25th Anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Landmark Album BAD25 Celebrated With September 18th Release
Newly Discovered Outtakes and Demos from BAD Album Recording Sessions to be Released Along With Remixes Featuring Pitball, Afro Jack, Speed Demon and Nero.
by Denene Millner
The fight over Michael Jackson’s children and estate has turned into a messy mess of an affair, with accusations of mama kidnapping, auntie slap boxing, brothers turning against sisters and cousins “rescuing” cousins, culminating with Katherine Jackson losing custody of Paris, Prince and Blanket, the children the King Of Pop willed her to take care of when he died.
Word is Katherine, no doubt shook by Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff’s order that Tito’s son, TJ Jackson, get temporary custody of Michael’s children, is back at her Calabasas estate after disappearing for an almost two week-long “visit” at daughter Rebbie’s Arizona home, where she’s been hanging with Janet, Jermaine and Randy—playing Uno and, according to her children, following her doctor’s orders to “rest.” Katherine is vowing through attorneys that she’ll fight to get the kids back into her care. Read more…
The Apollo Theater, one of the nation’s greatest cultural treasures, announced the lineup for its seventh annual Spring Gala Benefit Concert, at which they will induct Lionel Richie and the late Etta James into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame. Proceeds from the gala benefit, to be held on Monday, June 4, 2012, will go toward the non-profit Theater’s education and community engagement programs.
In addition to performances honoring Richie and James, this year’s program will include tributes to three musical icons that have passed this year. Ten-time GRAMMY® Winner Chaka Khan will perform a tribute to the late superstar Whitney Houston; Eddie Levert, in honor of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius; and Valerie Simpson for her husband and legendary songwriting partner Nick Ashford. The evening will be hosted by celebrated comedian and former host of Showtime at the Apollo, Sinbad, with American Idol’s Ray Chew serving as musical director.
The 14 year old sensation known to the world as King Drummer Boy has already accomplished more in a few years than most people have tried to do their whole lifetime. This amazing young man is part owner of his own record label, he can play 5 different instruments and he wrote and produced songs on his debut album. He is proving that just because you are young it’s never too early to start pursuing your dreams. Born, Thomas Harris Jr. he is focused on being a positive role model and making a difference in the world with his music. In a time when our children are being killed, abused and facing a laundry list of challenges that age them beyond their years, it’s refreshing to see an artist that is making age appropriate music while investing in his future and contributing to the music world. Read more…
By Davey D
Needless to say this has been a tough week.. I don’t care what anyone says or how hard they act death takes a toll especially when its unexpected..That’s been the case all this week as we lost 3 iconic figures.. and while I understand that commentator Andy Rooney, boxing great Joe Frazier and golden era rap star Heavy D weren’t family members or folks in our immediate circles, they were important backdrops to our world.. For many they help define it. Their deaths can’t easily be shook, nor should they be.
Heavy D was a big part of Hip Hop. He helped shape it… Prior to Heavy D overweight men both in Hip Hop and the world in general for the most part were depicted as cartoonish..I think back to the days of the Fat Boys and recall when they first came out in the mid 80s it was all about them being comedic. Read more…
The Pocono Mountains Film Festival (PMFF) a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization is gearing up to bring star power to the beautiful Pocono Mountains with the 9th Annual PMFF Screenings, Workshops and Celebrity Awards Dinner to benefit The Utopia House for battered women. Only registered ticket holders will be permitted to specific events during the festival weekend.
POCONO MOUNTAINS FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS DINNER
The PMFF celebrity awards dinner pays homage to the life and career of some of the most notable Film Stars and Entertainment Executives. During the festival, we will show a montage of the honorees work and accomplishments. Past honorees have included the late Jack Palance, Fred “the Hammer” Williamson, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Jackson, Cliff Robertson, Robert Vaughn and Roberta Flack. The PMFF Screenings, Workshops and Celebrity Awards will take place on Oct 21st & 22nd.
The 9th Annual Pocono Mountains Film Festival Celebrity Award Honorees will be:
The Apollo Theater announced today that it has named Onreé Gill to be the next Music Director for its signature talent competition, Amateur Night. Gill has worked with artists including Jay-Z, Jennifer Hudson, Prince, Missy Elliott, John Mayer, Beyonce Knowles, Paul Simon, Justin Timberlake, and Apollo Legend Stevie Wonder, and currently serves as Musical Director for Grammy-winning recording artist Alicia Keys.
Gill will lead the Apollo’s new house band—featuring bassist Alex Evans, drummer Ralph Rolle, and Matt Oestreicher on keyboard and guitar—at the Theater’s weekly Amateur Night, which continues to draw sell-out crowds more than 75 years after it debuted in 1934. Gill replaces former Amateur Night Music Director Ray Chew, who now serves as Music Director for “American Idol.”