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Watch Sneak Peek of ‘Iyanla: Fix My Life’ feat. LHHH star Hazel-E (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

This weekend’s episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life is a game changer and one for the books! It features award winning spiritual life coach Iyanla Vanzant confronting former Love and Hip Hop Hollywood star Hazel-E over some controversial comments she made about other Black women on social media.

Hazel-E rose to fame on the popular VH1 reality series Love and Hip Hop Hollywood. However, as her star began to rise with the show’s ratings, her haters grew louder, putting her insecurities to the test. Eventually, Hazel-E publicly imploded on social media with a series of unhinged, racist rants that led to her dismissal from the series. Following her departure, Hazel-E pursued a music career that featured provocative lyrics and music videos — once again attracting fame for all the wrong reasons. In the episode, Hazel- E is hoping to unmask her own vicious cycle of negative behavior and find better ways to express herself in an effort to grow up the dysfunctional little girl that still lives within her.

Special guests also include singer-songwriter Estelle, actress Chrystale Wilson (“The Player’s Club”), actress Raven Goodwin (“Being Mary Jane”) and media personality Rashan Ali (“Sister Circle Live”).

Take a look below:

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/OWN

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Recap Renegade Respect

RC attends ‘Conversation’ with #BlackLivesMatter Co-Founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

I had the distinct pleasure of supporting my sister in media, Rose Scott of WABE 90.1, Monday night for a conversation she hosted with #BlackLivesMatter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors. The event took place at Atlanta’s historic Jimmy Carter Center and was free and open to the public.

Khan-Cullors is on a nationwide tour promoting her new book, When They Call You a Terrorist, which is being described as a “poetic memoir and reflection on humanity.” While she and the other co-founders of the movement—Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi—have been labeled “a threat to America,” Khan-Cullors see there defiant push for truth and equality through #BlackLivesMatter as an expression of love for Black people who have been criminalized far too long by systems of racism and hate.

“Black Lives Matter, when we first started felt like a deep expression of love. It felt like a deep expression of care and generosity and rage and disgust. But it wasn’t contained. We couldn’t contain it. There were no logic models for it. There were no 501 c3 goals. It was raw and necessary,” said Khan-Cullors to the packed audience.

The #BlackLivesMatter Movement began as a hashtag response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in the Summer of 2013. Garza responded to the devastating news with a social media post and caption that read: “Our Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter.” Cullors followed that up with the now famous “#BlackLivesMatter.”

Since that time, the trio have gone on to help fight injustice towards Black people around the world. Their scope has also expanded to spotlighting the marginalization of other minority groups including LGBTQ and Transgender. Khan-Cullors is also pulling back the curtains on recent issues of hospital neglect towards African-American women after a near death experience she had during her recent pregnancy.

“The complete neglect of Black women in hospitals is disgusting. It’s disturbing…I remember one of my last visits before I ended up having my c-section, I called my midwives and told them I was having anxiety every time I had to go to the hospital,” said Khan-Cullors. “I want to do more research and see if this is common and if this happens to all women or just Black women. It made me realize how little support Black women get when we’re literally giving birth to the world.”

Patrice Khan-Cullors will be appearing in Chicago tonight speaking about her book with the Black Youth Project 100’s Charlene Carruthers.

See more photos below from the event and click here to purchase your copy:

Dryer Buzz’s Yalanda Lattimore +

A Seat at the Table‘s Denene Millner + daughter

Rose Scott +Patrisse Khan-Cullors

Patrisse Khan-Cullors

Rose Scott +Patrisse Khan-Cullors + Mary Hooks 

Patrisse Khan-Cullors + Mary Hooks 

Patrisse Khan-Cullors signing books

Yalanda Lattimore + Rose Scott 

Patrisse Khan-Cullors Denene Millner

Ray Cornelius + Rose Scott

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

Lee Daniels working on new series about Black women journalists

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Award-winning producer and director Lee Daniels is working on a new series about journalism. According to the ESSENCE podcast “Yes, Girl!,” Daniels want to shed some light on the world of media from a black woman’s perspective.

“I’m so misunderstood and it drives me batshit,” he told ESSENCE. “So let me just take a moment to flip the table. It’s [the series] about black journalism, women in journalism.”

No word yet on who may star in the show or the show’s synopsis as Daniels remained silent on those details.  RC will keep you posted as this story continues to develop.

Who would you like to see in a Lee Daniels’ drama?

Photo Credit: Xboxonezon.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

GPB’s ‘A Seat at the Table’ to debut 6/18 [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Renowned broadcast journalist and former Atlanta news anchor Monica Pearson is teaming up with journalist and author Denene Millner and entertainment attorney Christine White for a brand new talk show on Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) titled “A Seat the Table.” The series, which is inspired by Solange‘s Grammy-winning album of the same name, debuts on Sunday, June 18 at 6:30 p.m. EST.

“A Seat at the Table” is being described as “a weekly series that discusses the diverse experiences, perspectives and challenges of African-American women.” The trio will talk candidly about topics ranging from national news, family, kids, careers and medicine to sexuality, beauty, fashion and relationships. The “no filter” program will cut through the silence and engage viewers in a conversation that will be enlightening and entertaining.

I had a chance to meet the ladies this week during a private press luncheon at the GPB Studios where Pearson was excited about returning to television and viewers getting an opportunity to meet the “real” woman behind the camera.

“I came out of retirement to do this because I always had to keep my thoughts to myself. Now there were viewers who thought that I had shared my thoughts by the way I moved or raised my eyebrows but this gives me an opportunity for people to see me as more than a reader and more as a reporter, said Pearson, who left television in 2012 after being Atlanta’s first female and first minority news anchor.

Millner is an award-winning journalist and was been named by BlackVoices.com as one of the 40 Most Influential Black Female Writers. She was the co-writer for Steve Harvey‘s hugely popular Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man and wrote the novelization of the screenplay for both “Dreamgirls” and “Sparkle.”

White is a Spelman College graduate who has build a very successful career as an entertainment attorney and cultural economist. Passionate about activism and Black entrepreneurship, White co-founded the Influencer Coalition (icATL), a political organization composed of entertainment industry professionals in the state of Georgia.

Click here to see the ladies tackle the controversial issue of “Body Image” and stay tuned for my exclusive interview with them for a future edition of #UPFRONT.

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Recap

Lincoln honors Aja Naomi King during ESSENCE’s ‘Black Women in Hollywood’ Event [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Check out photos from ESSENCE Magazine’s recent “Black Women in Hollywood” event that was held at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA prior to the Academy Awards. The event was a huge success and was powered by The Lincoln Motor Company.

This year’s event celebrated black excellence in film and honored singer and breakout actress Janelle Monáe, producer Issa Rae, “Black-Ish” star Yara Shaidi and “How To Get Away With Murder” actress Aja Naomi King, who was presented the Lincoln Shining Star Award by her co-stars Viola Davis and Alfred Enoch.

Kenya Freeman, lead designer for Sylvia Mollie created custom dresses inspired Lincoln Black Label for Lincoln Art of Arrival contest winner, Adeola Bakre, and Lincoln Blogger Bar host and author Demetria Lucas D’Oyley. The designs pulled inspiration from Black Label themes Rhapsody in Blue (Bakre) and Center Stage (D’Oyley).

“This year’s honorees embodied class and elegance similar to our flagship vehicle, the all-new Lincoln Continental,” said Raj Register, multicultural communications manager, Lincoln.

Celebrities like Broadway star Cynthia Ervio, TV, stage and film icon Loretta Devine, trans superstar Laverne Cox and dancing legend Debbie Allen arrived to the star-studded event in the latest lineup of Lincoln vehicles including 2017 Lincoln MKZ and Continental.  See more pics below of the stars posing in front of the all-new Lincoln Continental including actress Meagan Good, celebrity stylist June Ambrose and more!

Meagan Good

Gabrielle Union

June Ambrose 

Dawn-Lyne Gardner

Photo Credits: PictureGroup

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Recap

First Look at Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer & Janelle Monae in space drama ‘Hidden Figures’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the above FIRST LOOK photo of Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer in the forthcoming movie “Hidden Figures.” I spotted the picture of the ladies on the “Because of Them We Can” Facebook page.

As previously reported, “Hidden Figures” stars the trio as mathematicians Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson and Katherine Johnson, who served as the brains behind America’s race against Russia to put a man in space. The women quickly rose the ranks of NASA and were known as “human computers.” Rounding out the cast is Kevin Costner Kirsten DunstMahershala Ali and my friend Maria Howell.

“Hidden Figures” is based on the upcoming book “Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race” written by Margot Lee Shetterly and will be published this fall. The film is currently being shot in Atlanta, GA and arrives in theaters on January 13, 2017.

Check out the full picture below which features the cast their real life characters:

12936607_981906901859195_1099438090983728723_n-2Photo Credit: Facebook/Because of Them We Can

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RC Exclusive - Ent

EBONY features ‘Full-Figured Fabulousness’ with its ‘Body Brigade’ Issue

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

For the first time in a long time, EBONY is featuring four fabulous full-figured models on the cover of its magazine. These voluptuous beauties look absolutely fly in their military gear for the “Body Brigade” Issue.

The superstar models include Grammy-winning singer and former “R&B Diva” star Chrisette Michele, “Orange is the New Black” and “Color Purple” actress Danielle Brooks, R&B siren Jazmine Sullivan and plus-size blogger Gabi Fresh.

Inside the ladies dish with EBONY writer Tomika Anderson about body image, Black Women and self acceptance.

“I never knew I was “Curvy” until I was asked “what’s it like to be a curvy girl in the music industry”. Our bodies occur to people more than they occur to us and sometimes we have to stop and sit to talk about them. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and when the issue of curves is deleted, we will all just celebrate beauty,” said Michele on her Instagram.

Check out the amazing cover below:

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Photo Credits: EBONY.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

ESSENCE to Salute Debbie Allen, Tracee Ellis Ross and Nina Shaw

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Dance icon and acclaimed TV producer Debbie Allen, “black-ish” star and fashionista Tracee Ellis Ross and entertainment attorney Nina Shaw are all being honored at this year’s “ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards.”

The star-studded primetime television event will air as part of OWN’s Black History Month programming on Saturday, February 27 at 10 p.m. The annual event spotlights key African-American women who are pushing the limits, raising the bar and breaking through barriers in both film and television.  Allen will receive the Legend Award while Shaw is up for the Lincoln Power Award and Ross will be given the Fierce & Fearless Award.

“We are pleased to once again partner with OWN to elevate the images of Black women in Hollywood,” noted ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks.  “This Awards Season, as diversity in Hollywood dominates the conversation, ESSENCE is proud to continue the tradition of recognizing the talents and contributions of dynamic women such as Tracee Ellis Ross, Debbie Allen and Nina Shaw, who are on the leading edge of creating, performing and inspiring us all through their craft.”

The event will also include a performance by acclaimed R&B artist Leon Bridges, as well as appearances by Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes, Nick Cannon, Ryan Coogler, Zendaya and more.  It will also feature exclusive backstage interviews, red-carpet highlights and intimate reflections from some of the most extraordinary African-American women in film and television.

This year’s event honors the “The Power of our Presence” and is being held at the famed Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California

CONGRATS LADIES!

Photo Credit: ESSENCE.com

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Recap

RC talks to Regina Hall & Tracey Edmonds about Lifetime’s ‘With This Ring’ (VIDEO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Lifetime’s new romantic comedy, “With This Ring” premieres tonight at 8 p.m. EST and I had the distinct pleasure of chatting with the film’s leading lady, Regina Hall as well as one of the film’s executive producers, Tracey Edmonds, earlier this week.

“With This Ring” is based on the hugely popular book, “The Vow,” and tells the story of three career driven friends who decide to make a vow to get married or at least engaged within a year. In addition to Hall, Ring also stars Jill Scott, Eve, Brooklyn Sudano, Deion Sanders, Brian White, Jason George and Stephen Bishop.  The book was written by and based on the real lives and relationships of Denene Miller, Angela Burt Murray and Mitzi Miller. Although, the original story was conceived over a decade ago, Edmonds says the relationship issues these characters face are still relevant today.

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“The themes are still the same and the issues are still the same. You still have these amazing fabulous women out there that for whatever reason are still single.”

According to Edmonds, she started working on the project in late 2008, early 2009 after she was given the book to read by the film’s other executive producer Gabrielle Union. They brought the project to Lifetime but after a few regime changes at the network and a few false starts; they weren’t able to get production rolling until last summer. For Edmonds, it’s a project she says was worth the wait and one she hopes audiences will enjoy.

“The book itself is such a page turner and I could so relate to these four women that were depicted in the book because they reminded me so much of myself and my four girlfriends. We felt that the stories were very relatable to today’s women and that they would embrace these characters.”

Hall, who has enjoyed a string of hit romantic comedies including “Think Like a Man,” “The Best Man” and “About Last Night,” stars as the film’s lead, Trista. She revealed that she immediately wanted to be a part of the project once she found out the producing team and after reading the script.

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“Originally it started with the script. I read it and thought it was smart and poignant. I loved the characters and then when I found out who was behind the film like Tracey and Gabrielle. That really made a big difference because I knew it would be shot and done with integrity.”

Hall, who also confessed that she has taken a similar vow with her close friends, says she really enjoyed the “sisterly” bonds that were created  on and off the set with her fellow actresses and producers.

Regina and Tracey

“I think the film is about friendships which is one of the things I loved about working with these ladies.  I felt that we genuinely liked each other and I loved talking to Tracey. I found out that I had way more in common with her and the other ladies, which is an amazing type of situation to work in.”
Edmonds adds, “Off camera and on the screen, we completely experienced sisterhood. It was really a beautiful thing that took place on the set. You had Jill, Regina, Eve, Brooklyn and I, all bonding and sharing secrets about ourselves and talking about health and beauty tips and men. (LOL). We just really bonded.”

Check out a sneak peek of  “With This Ring” below and don’t forget to tune in tonight for the premiere at 8 p.m. EST on Lifetime.

[youtube id=”RsNFJbyaUM0″ width=”600″ height=”350″]

Photo Credits: Lifetime.com and ChristalRocks.com

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Recap

Pharrell Williams covers EBONY for ‘Men’s Issue’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Grammy winning-producer Pharrell Williams covers the November “Men’s Issue” of EBONY. The überly talented musical phenom, who enjoyed overwhelming success this year with the single “Happy,” opens up about racism, Ferguson and much more. Williams also addresses why he loves Black women despite the negative press he received earlier this year for not having an African-American woman on the cover of his latest album. G.I.R.L.

“I love Black women. If you don’t think I love Black women, then you don’t understand me. I have obsessed over Black women since the days of Jayne Kennedy, Beverly Peele and Roshumba Williams. Those are the women I daydreamed about growing up.”

EBONY featuring Pharrell Williams is available on newsstands now!

Source

Photo Credit: EBONY.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

Kat Graham, Crystal Fox, A.J. Johnson & more honored at ‘Untold Stories’ Luncheon (PHOTOS)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The Black Women Film Network (BWFN) presented its annual “Untold Stories Awards” and Scholarship Luncheon yesterday at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta.  Established in 1997, BWFN is a non-profit with the mission of increasing the numbers of women of all cultures in the film industry and related areas. The organization seeks to preserve the voice of Black women, and unheard part of Black History, through programs that empower and educate.

This year’s honorees included multi-faceted entertainer Katerina Graham, veteran actress and wellness/life coach to the stars A. J. JohnsonThe Have and the Have Nots  actress Crystal Fox, UPSCALE  and CEO of Bronner Brothers Inc. Bernard Bronner and The Weather Channels’s Kashira Alexander.  Media mavens Jocelyn Dorsey (editorial director of WSB TV2), Deidre McDonald (artistic director, BronzeLens Film Festival) and Evelyn Mims (community relations director, WXIA-TV) were also honored for their countless years of service to the city of Atlanta.

A scholarship was presented to Temple University film student Gabriela Watson Aurazo. Additional attendees included Ebony Steele (Dish Nation/Rickey Smiley Morning Show), Traci Blackwell (VP Programming, The CW) , Kysha Cameron (CEO, Ryan Cameron Foundation), Sheila Bronner (Publisher, UPSCALE) and Adrene Ashford (owner, House of Adrene).

Egypt Sherrod from HGTV’s “Property Virgins” and 11 Alive News anchor Karyn Greer co-hosted the event with music provided by DJ Salah Ananse.

Check out some photos below:

A.J. Johnson (carpet) 2.jpg QW Katerina Graham carpet rsz.jpg QW

 Honorees A.J. Johnson and Kat Graham

BWFN Board Members - Deidre McDonald, Heather Hawes, Traci Blackwell, Donald Woodard.jpg QW

 Honoree Deidra McDonald with BWFN boardmembers Heather Hawes, Traci Blackwell and Donald Woodard

Egypt Sherrod (HGTV) and husband DJ Fadelf rsz.jpg QW

 Property Virgin’s  Egypt Sherrod with husband DJ Fadelph

Evelyn Mims (Atlanta & Co) - Kysha Cameron (Ryan Cameron Foundation).jpg QW

Honoree Evelyn Mims with Kysha Cameron

A.J. Johnson with Danyelle Carter 2.jpg QW

Honoree A.J. Johnson with Danyelle Carter

Karyn Greer - Sheryl Gripper - Sue Ross.jpg QW

Karyn Greer with Sheryl Gripper and photo griot Sue Ross

Tomika DePriest (BWFN Chair) - Sheila Bronner (Upscale) rsz.jpg QW

BWFN Chair Tomika DePriest with Shelia Bronner

Photo Credit: Chris Mitchell