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First Look Images from ‘Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker’ [PHOTOS]

Netflix has released some new “first look” images and an official premiere date for the upcoming biopic about black hair icon and mogul—Madam C.J. Walker.

Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker debuts on March 20, and features Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer stars as the trailblazing African American haircare entrepreneur who was America’s first female self-made millionaire.

The project is inspired by the book, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker, which was written by Walker’s great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles. The Netflix original series is the first time Walker’s story has been showcased on the big screen.

Against all odds, Walker overcame post-slavery racial and gender biases, personal betrayals, and business rivalries to build a ground-breaking brand that revolutionized black haircare, as she simultaneously fought for social change.

The four-part limited series also stars Blair Underwood as her husband C.J. Walker, Tiffany Haddish as her daughter Lelia, Carmen Ejogo as Walker’s business rival Addie Munroe, Garrett Morris as Walker’s father-in-law, Kevin Carroll as her longtime lawyer Freeman Ransom and Bill Bellamy as Ransom’s cousin Sweetness.

Produced by SpringHill Entertainment and Wonder Street in association with Warner Bros. Television is helmed by co-showrunners Elle Johnson & Janine Sherman Barrois, along with writer and co-executive producer Nicole Jefferson Asher, directed by Kasi Lemmons and DeMane Davis, and executive produced by Janine Sherman Barrois, Elle Johnson, Maverick Carter, LeBron James, Octavia Spencer, Mark Holder, Christine Holder, Kasi Lemmons, and Jamal Henderson.

Will you be tuning in to watch Self Made?

PHOTO CREDITS: Netflix/Self Made

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UPDATE: Tiffany Haddish, Blair Underwood and more added to ‘Madam C.J. Walker’ Netflix Series

Octavia Spencer has added more star power to her upcoming Netflix series based on the life of Black millionaires Sarah Breedlove better known as Madam C.J. Walker. The project will now feature Tiffany Haddish, Blair Underwood, Carmen Ejogo, Garrett Morris and Kevin Carroll.

The four-part limited series is being described as “the untold, culturally important, and highly relevant story of black hair care pioneer and mogul Madam CJ Walker and how she overcame hostile turn-of-the-century America, epic rivalries, tumultuous marriages and family challenges to become America’s first black, self-made female millionaire.” It is inspired by the book, On Her Own Ground by A’Lelia Bundles, Walker’s great-great-granddaughter.

According to S&A, Haddish will star as “Lelia,” who is based on Walker’s daughter A’Lelia Walker. Underwood will star as “Charles James Walker,” who is based on Madam C.J.’s third husband Charles Joseph Walker. Morris will star as “Cleophus,” who is based on Walker’s father Owen Breedlove and Carroll will play “Ransom,” a pullman porter whose degrees in law and patents from Columbia University serves him well as a legal advisor to Walker. Ejogo will star as “Addie” and is based on Walker’s real life rival Annie Malone, who accused Walker of stealing her original formula for hair straightening and strengthening.

Janine Sherman Barrois and Elle Johnson are the showrunners, writers and executive producers for the series. Kasi Lemmons will direct and executive produce the pilot. The project is also being produced through LeBron James‘ Springhill Entertainment and ZeroGravity in association with Warner Bros. Television.

RC will keep you posted as this project continues to develop.

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Regina King, Chadwick Boseman, Beyoncé and more nominated for NAACP Entertainer of the Year

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

CONGRATS goes out to Beyoncé, Chadwick Boseman, Ryan Coogler, Regina King and LeBron James. They all have been nominated for the NAACP Image Awards “Entertainer of the Year.” Voting opened earlier today and ends on March 4. The big winner will be revealed during the two-hour special on Sunday, March 30.

In other related Image Award news, Congresswoman Maxine Waters will receive the coveted Chairman’s Award. It is given to individuals who demonstrate exemplary public service and use their distinct platforms to create agents of change. Leon W. Russell, Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors, will be presenting the award.


“I am honored to present the Chairman’s Award to Congresswoman Waters, considered to be one of the most powerful women in American politics today and an inspiration to many,” said Mr. Russell. “Her 43 years of public service, first in the California State Assembly and then in the US House of Representatives, have benefited countless Americans. Like other famous leaders, her legacy lives on through the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people, especially women, around the world every day.”

Congrats Auntie Maxine!

Photo Credit: NAACP/TV One

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Watch New Trailer for ‘Smallfoot’ featuring Zendaya, Common, Yara Shahidi and LeBron James (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the brand new trailer for Smallfoot featuring the voices of Zendaya, Common, Yara Shahidi and LeBron James.

Smallfoot turns a myth upside down when a bright young yeti, Migo (Channing Tatum) finds an elusive creature he thought didn’t exist—a human! News of this “smallfoot” throws the simple yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village!  Smallfoot also stars James Corden, Gina Rodriguez, Danny DeVito, Ely Henry and Jimmy Tatro.

The all new story about friendship, courage and the joy of discovery opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, September 28, 2018.

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Octavia Spencer to star as Madam C.J. Walker in a new Netflix Series

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Congratulations goes out to Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer. She is teaming up with NBA star LeBron James to produce a limited series on the life and legacy of hair and beauty icon Madam C.J. Walker.

According to S&A, the upcoming Netflix series is based on the book On Her Own Ground and focuses on how Walker became America’s first black self-made millionaire and black hair care pioneer.

Janine Sherman Barrois of Claws will serve as showrunner along with Elle Johnson and the series is being written by Nicole Asher. Black Nativity‘s Kasi Lemmons is directing the first episode and is also serving as executive producer.

The series is also being executive produced by Spencer and James along with Maverick Carter, Mark Holder and Christine Holder for Zero Gravity.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: Madam C.J. Walker Theatre

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STARZ focuses on Fashion, Hip Hop and more in Four New Docuseries

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht announced Friday that the network is adding unscripted programming to its larger portfolio of STARZ Originals by greenlighting four new docuseries that explore the criminal justice system, a youth sports program, the world of fashion and the legacy of hip-hop music on American culture.

Albrecht said, “Unique voices and storytelling are the hallmarks of the Starz programming strategy, and we are proud to announce our investment in these filmmakers and the stories they passionately want to tell. With each project, we will explore and better understand our collective cultural history.”

Check out the descriptions of each new program below:

“Wrong Man” is a six-part series that dives deep into the investigations that led to the conviction of three people who claim their innocence. It’s estimated that 1 in 25 prisoners in the U.S. are convicted for crimes they did not commit. With more than 2 million people in prison, that means a staggering 94,300 innocent people may be behind bars. Academy Award® and seven-time Emmy®-nominated and Peabody® and Emmy-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger will executive produce and direct.

“Warriors of Liberty City” docuseries from PGA-winning showrunner Evan Rosenfeld explores Liberty City – a crime-ridden neighborhood in Miami, Florida that is arguably the NFL’s largest football factory. The series follows a season with the Liberty City Warriors, a youth football program founded by an unlikely mentor: Luther Campbell, better known as “Uncle Luke” from the 2 Live Crew. Before Moonlight shook the Oscars, Liberty City was best known for some of the biggest names in football, including Devonta Freeman, Antonio Brown, Duke Johnson and Teddy Bridgewater. But it’s also a place synonymous with poverty and gun violence, and even more disturbing, in Liberty City, it’s now kids killing kids. Yet in the face of trauma and tragedy, football legends are born.  The series is executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter for SpringHill Entertainment.

“In Fashion” is an hour-long anthology series that will feature the world’s most compelling fashion designers working today. Combining biography and documentary storytelling, each episode will delve into the life and work of one iconic designer. We will follow them in the weeks leading up to a crucial moment in their career. Being immersed in their lives, we gain unique access into the way they work and the intimate stories of how they got to this place so many strive for but never achieve. Eli Frankel, Andrew Fried and Kelly Cutrone will executive produce.

“The Field” explores hip-hop and socio-political culture through the eyes of a city’s most prolific characters – past, present and future – capturing the essence of a city’s personality. Having shaped the culture from within, these characters tell their stories the way it really was, transporting the audience into the underbelly that composes the city, a place that is often seen but seldom accessed. It’s a series that showcases the hustle and determination of each city’s most iconic artists.  This series will also have an eye for maintaining the legacy of Worldstar Hip Hop late founder Lee “Q” Odenat, who was instrumental with the project’s creation and development.

Vice President of Original Programming Patrick McDonald is the Starz executive overseeing these docuseries.

Will you be watching?

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LeBron James is the ‘Greatest Living Athlete’ for GQ Magazine [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Is LeBron James the greatest living athlete? Well, according to GQ he is! The Cleveland Cavaliers mega-star is the latest celebrity to grace the magazine’s 60th anniversary edition and is part of their profile on the “World’s 50 Greatest Living Athletes.”

In the story, GQ puts a spotlight on LeBron’s undenial power moves on and off the court, his pop culture influence and his strong social media presence. He also opens up about his views on politics, #45 and racism in America.

“I have people around me, for the most part, that’ve been around me for a long time,” he told me. “So when you’ve been around people for a long time, there’s no sugarcoating, there’s no trying to put you higher than what you should be, there’s no yes-men or -women, there’s no gas. It’s just straight-up, raw, uncut, unfiltered knowledge, truth, passion.”

Check out more amazing photos of King James below + excerpts from the interview:

On would he ever run for President of the United States:

“I say no because of always having to be on someone else’s time. From the outside looking in, it seems like the president always has to be there—gotta be there. You really don’t have much ‘me time.’ I enjoy my ‘me time.’ The positive that I see from being the president… Well, not with the president we have right now, because there’s no positive with him, but the positive that I’ve seen is being able to inspire. Your word has command to it. If you’re speaking with a knowledgeable, caring, loving, passionate voice, then you can give the people of America and all over the world hope.”

On a celebrity’s responsibility…

“Nah, it’s my responsibility. I believe that I was put here for a higher cause. We have people, not only today but over the course of time, that have been in the higher positions that chose to do it and chose not to do it.”

On being famous and dealing with racism…

“It’s heavy when a situation occurs either with myself or with someone in a different city, i.e., Trayvon, Mike Brown. I have to go home and talk to my 13- and 10-year-old sons, even my 2-year-old daughter, about what it means to grow up being an African-American in America. Because no matter how great you become in life, no matter how wealthy you become, how people worship you, or what you do, if you are an African-American man or African-American woman, you will always be that.”

Photo Credits: GQ.com

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‘NAACP Image Awards’ adds more star power to live telecast!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

We’re about four days away from the live telecast of this year’s “NAACP Image Awards.” The TV One special will take place on Saturday, February 11 at 9 p.m. beginning with a red carpet at 7:30 p.m. that is hosted by ET’s Nischelle Turner and E!’s Terrence J with Tai Beauchamp and Chris Spencer as special correspondents.

The show is also adding more big names to its list of celebrity presenters including Tracee Ellis Ross, Mandy Moore, Adam Rodriguez, Rashida Jones, Bill Paxton, Brian White, Deon Cole, Jussie Smollett, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Justin Cornwell, Nick Kroll, Penny Johnson and Pooch Hall.

As previously announced, they will join presenters Taraji P. Henson, Sterling K. Brown, Octavia Spencer, Trevor Noah, Janelle Monae, Issa Rae, Mike Colter and Mykelti Williamson. Additional talent scheduled to attend includes: Denzel Washington, Dwayne Johnson, Kerry Washington, John Legend, Terrence Howard, Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, Keesha Sharp, Andra Day, Kofi Siriboe, Nate Parker, Niecy Nash, Omari Hardwick, Regina King, Rutina Wesley, Stephan James, Tika Sumpter and Uzo Aduba. Also expected are cast members from “Empire,” “This Is Us,” “Atlanta,” “The Carmichael Show,” “Power,” “black-ish,” “Queen Sugar” and more.

In addition, the NAACP “Entertainer of the Year” will be revealed. This special honor is bestowed upon an individual within the entertainment industry who has achieved notable success in multiple projects and mediums – the nominees are Beyoncé, Viola Davis, Regina King, Dwayne Johnson and Chance the Rapper.

Harvard Law Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. will be honored with the NAACP “Chairman’s Award” and Lonnie G. Bunch, III will receive the NAACP “President’s Award.” LeBron James was already presented with the NAACP “Jackie Robinson Sports Award.”

The NAACP Image Awards is hosted by “black-ish” star Anthony Anderson.

Will you be watching?

Photo Credit: NAACPImageAwards.net

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Taraji P. Henson, Sterling K. Brown & more to present at ‘Image Awards’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

“Hidden Figures” stars Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe and Octavia Spencer are scheduled to present at this year’s NAACP Image Awards which airs next Saturday, February 11 at 9 p.m. EST on TV One. The announcement comes on the heels of the trio taking home the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Also joining the ladies in presenting is Hollywood’s new “it” guy and “This Is Us” star, Sterling K. Brown as well as Issa Rae, Mike Colter, Trevor Noah and “Fences” actor Mykelti Williamson.

Other highlights of the show include NBA star LeBron James, who will be presented with the NAACP “Jackie Robinson Sports Award,” and Harvard Law professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. will be honored with the NAACP “Chairman’s Award.”

In addition, the NAACP “Entertainer of the Year” will be revealed. This special honor is bestowed upon an individual within the entertainment industry who has achieved notable success in multiple projects and mediums.

This year’s telecast is hosted by “black-ish” star Anthony Anderson and airs live on Saturday, February 11 at 9 p.m. on TV One.

Check out Taraji’s inspirational acceptance speech below at the SAG Awards:

https://youtu.be/zSs8OvtlJQs

Photo Credit: NAACP-Riverside.org

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‘Survivor’s Remorse’ renewed for Fourth Season #BOOYAH

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Congrats to the cast of “Survivor’s Remorse.” The hit Starz series has been renewed for a fourth season. According to the press release, season three of the show has seen record increases in its audience, averaging 2.9M viewers per episode among all reportable platforms, an increase of more than 20 percent above Season Two and 60 percent above Season One.

“I’m incredibly proud of the team at ‘Survivor’s Remorse’ and what we’ve built,” said LeBron James, who serves as one of the show’s executive producers. “The show grew so much this year, attracting new fans and reaching new levels of popularity. I want to thank all the fans who’ve made ‘Survivor’s Remorse’ a success and the team at Starz for all of their support.”

“We are thrilled to renew ‘Survivor’s Remorse’ for a fourth season,” said Carmi Zlotnik, managing director of Starz. “Critics have consistently called it one of the smartest and funniest comedies on television and we are delighted to see audiences embracing the characters and the storyline with that same enthusiasm. Mike O’Malley and his tremendously talented team of writers and actors boldly tackle today’s most pressing issues, from race, class, sex, and politics, to love and loss, but with such a deft touch that nothing ever feels heavy-handed. In the Calloways, O’Malley has created a modern family bound by heart and humor, who remain completely relatable despite dealing with the ‘pro-money and pro-problems’ that come with Cam’s position as one of the top basketball stars in the nation.”

“Survivor’s Remorse” is also executive produced by Mike O’Malley, Tom Werner and Maverick Carter for SpringHill Entertainment, Paul Wachter, Victor Levin and Hilton Smith.

Photo Credit: Released-date.info

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LeBron James to produce new reality series ‘Cleveland Hustles’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

NBA superstar LeBron James is expanding his media empire by executive producing a brand new unscripted series titled “Cleveland Hustles.”

According to CNBC, LeBron and his longtime friend and business partner Maverick Carter will give four aspiring local entrepreneurs the chance to realize their own dreams while also helping to revitalize a neighborhood in Cleveland. LeBron and Maverick will enlist the aid of four trusted business experts and associates, who will in turn invest in and mentor fledgling entrepreneurs who need a little jumpstart. In success, these four businesses will provide jobs and services for neighborhoods that desperately need investment.

“Cleveland Hustles” will premiere this summer and is produced by SpringHill Entertainment and Magical Elves.

Kudos LeBron!

Photo Credit: Sportsbuzzbusiness.fr
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AAFCA to honor ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ Will Smith, Teyonah Parris, Ryan Coogler & More!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) has released its full list winners for the 7th Annual AAFCA Awards, taking place on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, CA.

Top awards go out to Straight Outta Compton, Creed, Concussion and Spike Lee‘s newly released Chi-Raq. Actors Jason Mitchell, Michael B. Jordan, Teyonah Parris and Will Smith will also being recognized for their standout performances.

Others being recognized at next year’s festivities include Codeblack Entertainment CEO, Jeff Clanagan; director John Singleton; Maverick Carter and LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment. New York Times film critic, Manohla Dargis will receive the organization’s coveted Roger Ebert Award and HBO will also receive the AAFCA’s Cinema Vanguard Award.

“Our members found an interesting theme in many of the films released this year, giving a voice to communities who have generally been underserved and marginalized in society,” says AAFCA president Gil Robertson. “With movies like Straight Outta Compton, Chi-Raq, 3 1/2 Minutes and Dope, filmmakers brought to life many storylines that are a reflection of what’s happening in our world today, including the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Pictures like Carol and The Danish Girl, give voice to another community that is too often ridiculed and ignored by the status-quo. With Creed, the members of AAFCA found an opportunity to celebrate a film with “a” universal message of hope, honor and perseverance – something that everyone can embrace. Overall, it was a transformative year in cinema.”

Check out the complete list of 2015 AAFCA Awards winners below:

Best Picture: “Straight Outta Compton” (Universal Pictures)

Best Director: Ryan Coogler –“Creed” (Warner Bros.)

Best Ensemble: “Straight Outta Compton” (Universal Pictures)

Best Actor: Will Smith “Concussion” (Sony)

Best Actress: Teyonah Parris “Chi-Raq” (Roadside Attractions)

Best Supporting Actor: Jason Mitchell “Straight Outta Compton” (Universal Pictures)

Best Supporting Actress: Tessa Thompson “Creed” (Warner Bros.)

Best Independent Film: “Chi-Raq” (Roadside Attractions)

Best Screenplay: Rick Famuyiwa, “Dope” (Open Road Films)

Breakout Performance: Michael B. Jordan “Creed” (Warner Bros.)

Best Animation: “The Peanuts Movie” (20th Century Fox)

Best Documentary: “A Ballerina’s Tale” (Sundance Selects)

Best Song: “See You Again” Furious 7 (Atlantic Records)

Best TV Comedy: “Black-ish” (ABC)

Best TV Drama: “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)

Best Cable/New Media TV Show: “Survivor’s Remorse” (Starz)

AAFCA Top Ten Films of 2015 are as follows in order of distinction:

1. Straight Outta Compton (Universal Pictures)
2. Creed (Warner Bros.)
3. Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Bros.)
4. Beasts of No Nation (Netflix)
5. The Martian (20th Century Fox)
6. 3-1/2 Minutes/Dope (HBO/Open Road Films)
7. Chi-Raq (Roadside Attractions)
8. Carol (Weinstein Co.)
9. The Big Short (Paramount Pictures)
10. The Danish Girl (Focus Features)

Photo Credit: BlackFilm.com

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LeBron James scores a major deal with Warner Bros. #PowerPlay

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

LeBron James continues to make some major moves both on and off the basketball court. According to S&A, the NBA whiz is  the expanding his entertainment empire with a new partnership with Warner Bros. Entertainment. The lucrative deal will allow his production company, SpringHill Entertainment, to produce new projects for television, film, and original digital content.  The big news was announced by Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros.

“LeBron James has one of the most powerful, well-known brands in the world and we are excited to be in business with him and his partner, Maverick Carter, and SpringHill Entertainment,” said Tsujihara. “The combination of LeBron’s global media presence and Warner Bros.’ unmatched production and distribution expertise is a big win for fans everywhere. We’re excited to welcome LeBron and Maverick to the Warner Bros. family and look forward to partnering on incredible projects that will connect with consumers across a variety of platforms.”

“Connecting with my fans and telling meaningful stories have always been my passion. In everything I’ve done, from Nike commercials to Uninterrupted and Survivor’s Remorse, it’s always about connecting with people of all ages and providing unique content they can all enjoy,” said LeBron James. “And I’ve always loved movies, which makes Warner Bros. the ultimate partner to help us continue to push the envelope. I can’t wait to see what we come up with.”

SpringHill Entertainment is responsible for such projects as Disney’s Becoming series and STARZ’s Survivor’s Remorse.

CONGRATS!

Photo Credit: Showlove.co.za

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BET’s ‘2015 Players’ Awards’ is a slam dunk with fans & scores high ratings!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Hosted by funnyman and Saturday Night Live cast member Jay Pharoah at The Penn & Teller Theater in The Rio Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, “The Players’ Awards” celebrated and honored top NBA players, coaches and arenas.

Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) was the player of the night, winning two awards: “Clutch Performer” and “Hardest to Guard”. And Curry’s home court Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA took home the award for “Best Home Court Advantage”. While James Harden (Houston Rockets) took home the “Most Valuable Player” Award sponsored by Toyota®.

Allen Iverson graciously accepted the honor for “Gamer Changer” as well as humbled Ray Allen honored for “Man of the Year,” both celebrated for their outstanding career achievements and being influential both on and off the court. Additionally, President Obama taped a special message for his friend Ray Allen.

Viewers were treated to memorable performances throughout the night by Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Jason Derulo, Fifth Harmony, Monica, Kid Ink and DJ Khaled as the house DJ.

The complete list of “Top Vote Getters are:

Best Rookie: Andrew Wiggins

Best Defender: DeAndre Jordan

Global Impact Player: Pau Gasol

Clutch Performer: Stephen Curry

Coach You Most Want to Play For: Greg Popovich

Hardest to Guard: Stephen Curry

Best Home Court Advantage: Oracle Arena (Golden State)

Player You Secretly Wish was On Your Team:LeBron James

Most Valuable Player (Toyota sponsored): James Harden

Honors:

Man of the Year Award: Honoring Ray Allen

Game Changer Award: Honoring Allen Iverson

Source: BET