Featured Post

Pres. Obama and Trump let their guards down at White House

buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...


Breaking News

Friday, June 28, 2013

Fashion media for journalists, designers and bloggers launches

Cityblis.com  has launched the Cityblis Media Center - an online pressroom combining ecommerce and digital publishing.  This first-of-its kind online service gives reporters and journalists front row access to thousands of the world's best independent designers. Consolidating all digital content from high-resolution images to press releases into one central hub, the Media Center expands the international fashion platform to a whole new sector.

The idea is a combination of Reuters and Glam Media specifically developed for the fashion industry. "Cityblis is not just a fashion platform anymore.  With the launch of the Cityblis Media Center it is now also a full featured digital media hub", said Christopher Price, Chief Operating Officer.  "We are no longer just enabling our designers to sell more products; we are enabling them to brand their companies. And therein lies the value of the Media Center. No other company out there is offering this capability on such an international scale".

The Cityblis Media Center was developed in close collaboration with designers, journalists, bloggers and other media professionals.  The goal is twofold – Firstly, give every designer a voice in a much crowded space.  And secondly, enable journalists to filter the noise to discover content that is relevant to them.  Featuring advanced categories and filters the Media Center is divided up into six different sections to best deliver not only exclusive press releases but deliver the full story behind each brand. From high-resolution images, videos, live feeds, product launches, event invitations, samples and trending topics the Cityblis Media Center is the first place to go to get the best independent fashion news directly from the runway.

With designers like Sacha London and LASVIII Paris, the majority of Cityblis' invitation only community are already well-known brands in their own countries. Through Cityblis they have been able to reach new international customers. And with the introduction of the Media Center and over 20,000 invited media professionals, these brands will now be able to start branding themselves globally. 

The Cityblis Media Center is not only a powerful tool for designers. Journalists, bloggers and media professionals are able to publish links to their articles on the Cityblis Press Page to give readers another dimension to their Cityblis experience.  All articles are curated by reporters and readers, not by Cityblis ensuring an unbiased reporting of news.

"Imagine having a front row seat to New York Fashion Week - but instead of seeing it twice a year, we are bringing you new designers, new collections and new content daily", said Christopher Price. "Our vision is for every Cityblis designer to be a global brand and we will continue to build technology that enables our community to do exactly that".

Read more ...

Mary Mary thank fans for prayers

buzzz worthy. . .

 Even though the ladies of Mary Mary are still very much mourning the loss of their father Eddie Atkins earlier this week, they took time out to thank fans for their condolences.

The following message was released by their publicist:

Erica and Tina Campbell (Mary Mary) would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to all who have reached out to them during this difficult time. The ladies have been overwhelmed by the love and support of their peers, colleagues, fans, and friends and want to share the below message with you:

"Our dad was a powerful man. Our family had it's challenges but our love superseded it all. We had the opportunity to profess our love for our father. We were able to tell him how much we loved him, valued him, and how much life had helped us to understand the things that we couldn't for many years. Our dad was a man of immense physical and spiritual strength. He always covered us in prayer. He warned us when hardships were coming, taught us how to pray through, fight on, and overcome life's challenges. What better gift can a man give his family. Our family prayed and thanked God for our dad's life and healing on Monday night and God chose to give him the ultimate healing on Tuesday afternoon, which was a transfer from life on earth to life in Heaven. God sent him out better than we ever could've imagine and for that, we will be forever grateful. We love our daddy dearly, respect him highly, and will remember him always." 

- Tina and Erica Campbell
Read more ...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

LISTEN: Prince and Ledisi collaborate on new single (Review)

buzzz worthy. . .

 Mona Austin's 5 Sentence Review




Ain't Gonna Miss U When U're Gone is the latest offering from music impresario Prince and R&B star Ledisi from Prince's upcoming album, "Plectrum Electrum."  From the downbeat the vacuum of funktastic beats that nod the his hit "Nasty Girl" take you in and won't release you until the end.  (I'm not sure it let's you go even then.) The tale, told with a play on words about a lost lover called a "freak" and the bouncy  dance tune will keep you on your feet.  Snap, cap, wop and drop whatever you do, thank Prince Rogers Nelson (because that's who he is giving us; circa 1982) and Ledisi the for the funk.

Click the video above the hear the track.
Read more ...

BROOKLYN TABERNACLE CHOIR TO PERFORM SONGS FROM NEW CD “LOVE LEAD THE WAY” ON THE FOX NEW CHANNEL’S “FOX & FRIENDS” MORNING SHOW ON SUNDAY JULY 7, 2013 @8-10 AM




The Grammy Award winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir is booked to perform soul-stirring new songs on The Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” program on Sunday, July 7, 2013 @8-10 a.m. The appearance kicks off media promoting the choir’s new and 27th CD “Love Lead The Way” that hits stores everywhere two days later on July 9, 2013 via a distribution agreement with Nashville, TN-based New Day Christian Distribution.

The choir thrilled millions around the world (over a billion watched the televised event) when it dynamically belted out “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” at this year’s inaugural swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The digital single of the choir’s unique rendition peaked at #16 on Billboard’s Digital Gospel chart and it’s featured on the new fifteen-track CD that boasts the majestic orchestrations that have become the choir’s trademark. Their in-house team of writers composed most of the songs. There are soul-stirring ballads such as “Faithful to the End” and “Breathe,” as well as, up-tempo tracks like the title song and the rock-edged “Let Your Kingdom Come.” They also feature full-throttle hand-clappers such as “The Man” and “Working It Out.” The set is rounded out with new renditions of William McDowell’s #1 hit “I Won’t Go Back” and Preashea Hilliard’s “Oh, How We Love You.”

The 300-voice choir is a blend of ethnic and economic backgrounds, with members ranging from lawyers and doctors to former drug addicts.  Over the years, the choir has performed at major venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden. They’ve appeared on “Good Morning America” and other national television programs. Their amazing legacy includes six Grammy Awards, seven Dove Awards, two #1 Billboard charting CDs and over four million albums sold. 
Read more ...

Flashback:Coko talks balancing two careers and ‘Winning’ the gospel vs. secular music debate

buzzz worthy. . .

By Mona Austin



For many R&B singers who record gospel CDs, success in the mainstream does not beget success in gospel.  An exception to the rule, Coko Clemmons -- lead singer of popular 90s girl group SWV (I’m so Into You, Weak In the Knees) and gospel soloist -- is enjoying the best of both worlds.

"I don’t like to put myself in a box," she says about her decision to maintain a dual musical identity.
"I’m an artist who sings positive music."

Her musical influences were Patti LabelleShirley MurdockFreddie Jackson,Tramaine Hawkins and The Clark Sisters.

Following in her mother's footsteps and singing in a local gospel group in the early years, the Brooklyn-born artist released  “The Winner in Me,” her second solo gospel album on July 14 (landing at #4 on Billboard), a follow up to the Grammy and Stellar Award nominated “Grateful” she released in 2005.

The top of the charts was like home for the R&B singing sorors, SWV in their hey day and she says their fans are still faithful when they perform together today.

As a wife and mother of two boys --Jalen (6) and Jazz (13) –she says family comes first and manages her work schedule accordingly.  “I don’t ever stay out for months at a time like I used to do with SWV.. . .I go back and forth. . .I don’t want to miss out on my mommy time with them.  They miss me.  I miss them.  We have the computers.  We do video chat.  We do all of that!”

But she has also made some changes when she is on the stage. Coko is not oblivious to the perceived mixed messages that could be sent by doing both forms of music so she thought it was appropriate to remove some songs from the SWV performance repertoire during their last tour.

The unique role of having two successful singing careers simultaneously -- one in gospel, one in mainstream -- makes Coko's story central to the age-old gospel vs. secular music debate that ponders whether artists should only use their talents to praise God.

She says, ". . .I still do 'Weak in the Knees' because I’m married, I’m in love and I don’t see anything wrong with me doing a love song."

Neither does Grammy-award winning producer/songwriter P.J. Morton. The son of singer and Presiding Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church, Paul S. Morton, Sr., Morton has written a book entitled "Why Can't I Sing About Love?"  in which he argues that The Church has no biblical foundation for condemning secular music about life and love.

His perspective was the focus of a CNN story on secular vs. sacred music that included the opposing view of former R&B artist, minister/producer/singer Tye Tribbett who declares, "No man can serve two masters and at some point you're not going to be comfortable doing both."

Despite some people's criticism, Coko says, "I enjoy singing with SWV and by myself."

Coko and Morton are among a small army of other outspoken artists like Kelly PriceMichelle WilliamsAnthony Hamilton and Lil’ Mo, who cut their performance teeth in the church and have vacillated between the worlds of Gospel and R&B, but don't want to choose one over the other because they believe their ability to do either is a gift from God.

A reflection of her musical philosophy, Coko describes her latest, "Winner" as more urban and SWV-esque than her first Gospel CD.

Her favorite song is the title cut, "Winner in Me" which she says, ". . .talks about feeling down and out or not feeling the best about yourself, but realizing there is a winner and his name is Jesus and as long as you have him he’ll lead me and guide me where I need to be.”

Despite her choice to sing in “the world” and the “house of God” the songstress admits she has not experienced any direct resistance.

The Light Records artist said she has a singular goal in mind with “Winner”.

“I’m just trying to encourage people, uplift them and draw them to Christ and you’ll hear that message throughout the album,” she said.

Some would argue, this goal can be accomplished with or without mentioning the name of Jesus. Right or wrong, based on Coko’s success she seems to be winning the debate.

For more on the subject of inspirational vs. secular music see this week’s Jet Magazine cover story on BeBe and CeCe Winans who helped revolutionized gospel music by changing its sound.  In the same issue of Jet check out an additional article that features various artists in a head on discussion of the topic.

View the PJ Morton and Tye Tribbett on CNN click here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxwqDp7KBXQ

Published in The Vine Newspaper on November 16, 2006.
Read more ...

MUSICAL ICON STEVIE WONDER; AND RAP LEGEND SNOOP DOGG (AKA SNOOP LION) ADDED TO THE LINE-UP OF PERFORMERS AT THE BET AWARDS ‘13

buzzz worthy. . .

The BET Experience at L.A. LIVE; A Three-Day Event June 28 – 30, 2013 Includes Loads of Free, Fun Events, Concerts, Seminars, Celebrity Panels, Celebrity Basketball Game and Much More
BET Awards ‘13, Hosted by Chris Tucker / LIVE from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 8:00 PM* on BET Networks
The BET Awards ‘13 is shaping up to be a show of epic proportions, with many of today’s finest superstars taking the stage to make it one of the most memorable shows. Joining the list of top performers at this year’s show include the legendary singer, songwriter, musician and producer Stevie Wonder and multi-platinum artist Snoop Dogg AKA Snoop Lion. 
Over the course of his career, Stevie Wonder has amassed 32 #1 singles, and has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. Stevie has demonstrated extraordinary humanitarian and philanthropic leadership and is universally acknowledged as one of the most influential musicians in the world. Stevie has previously been honored by BET Networks for his outstanding contributions to music having received BET's Lifetime Achievement Award, induction into BET's Walk of Fame and last year being awarded the BET Honors Musical Arts Award.
Entertainment icon and multi-platinum artist Snoop Dogg AKA Snoop Lion, is one of the most well-known and respected hip-hop artists of all-time, with over 30 million albums sold worldwide. In 2012, he re-invented himself under the new alias, Snoop Lion, and released his twelfth studio album, a reggae album, Reincarnated, featuring other prominent artists including Drake, Akon, Busta Rhymes and Chris Brown.
For the fourth year in a row, BET Music Matters artists will have the distinction of gracing the BET AWARDS stage.  BET’s Music Matters will again cast the spotlight on new talent who are on their way to being the next BET superstars.  Austin Brown and Curtis Fields will take the stage during BET AWARDS ‘13 to give the world a sneak peek of their talents.
Austin Brown is a 27-year-old musician, singer, and songwriter based in Los Angeles, California. His stunning sound combines the soul and harmony of late 70s R&B with the rhythms of modern electronic pop.  Among his major influences are ground breaking music legends Prince, George Michael and his family, the Jacksons. 
Hailing from Montgomery, Alabama, Curtis Fields is a singer whose songs are the perfect blend of soul-searching and emotion.  While attending Fisk University he joined up with the Fisk Jubilee Singers and traveled the world to places as far-ranging as Africa, India and Spain.  Today, he is signed to Epic Records and working on his debut album.
Hosted by actor and comedian Chris Tucker, the BET Awards ‘13 will air live from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 30th at 8pm *ET/PT. The show will also include exciting performances by Mariah Carey, R. Kelly, Nicki Minaj, Miguel, India.Arie, Ciara, Chris Brown, and Kendrick Lamar, as well as leading Hollywood actresses Angela Bassett, Gabrielle Union, Paula Patton and La La Anthony, who were added to the talented line-up of presenters. Miami Heat basketball star Dwyane Wade will be honored with the Humanitarian Award presented by State Farm and R&B singer/songwriter Charlie Wilson will receive the prestigious Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year, the activity and excitement expands with the first ever BET Experience at L.A. LIVE!  This three-day festival filled with comedy, gospel and soulful music concerts, seminars, film screenings, “106 & PARK” tapings the BET We Got You Pavilion and so much more will build anticipation for the finest BET Awards show yet.
BET.com/BETAwards (http://www.bet.com/shows/bet-awards.html) is the official site for the BET Awards ‘13 and features content on nominees and award recipients. The microsite site will feature exciting interactive consumer elements and include information for ticket purchase, events, schedules and registration.
BET Mobile’s official BET AWARDS app is now available on iPhone and Android devices with exclusive photo, video and interactive content.
To download the app, visit:
http://www.bet.com/shows/bet-awards/2013/bet-awards-app.html
Join the conversation on social media by following BET’s multiple social media platforms, dedicated to the BET Awards:
On Twitter & Instagram: @BETAwards, Use hashtag: #BETAwards
On Facebook: facebook.com/TheBETAwards
On Tumblr: betawards.tumblr.com
The BET Awards ‘13 will premiere Tuesday, July 2nd at 7:00PM BST on BET’s international network in the UK and Africa, reaching more than 13 million households in 50+ countries.
Stephen G. Hill, BET’s President of Music Programming and Specials, and Lynne Harris Taylor, BET’s Vice President of Specials, will serve as Executive Producers for the BET AWARDS ‘13, in conjunction with Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment.
*All times are ET/PT.
Read more ...

SUMMER AND MUSIC PRESENTS THE OLMS (PETE YORN + J.D.KING) AND MORE


Song Preservation Society, The Blank Tapes, Mystic Rabbit and DJ Dennis Owens of The Good Foot to Round Out Lineup on July 20

Long Beach, CA – The culture and sustainability series Summer And Music (SAM) presents The Olms, Song Preservation Society, The Blank Tapes, Mystic Rabbit and DJ Dennis Owens on Saturday, July 20 from 4-9 p.m. The Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA), in partnership with The Pike at Rainbow Harbor, presents this free family-friendly summer concert on the lawn in front of the iconic Pike Ferris wheel (located at Pine Avenue and Shoreline Drive).
 
“For five years, we’ve said ‘there’s nothing better than summer and music.’ In fact, the only thing better may actually be SUN, summer and music,” states SAM co-founder Ashley Hectus, who helped establish the music series in 2009. She adds, “Everyone is encouraged to come on out to enjoy the event with their blankets, low back chairs and picnic fare to have some summer fun listening to great music.”
 
Fans in attendance will hear rising alternative rock bands, and organizers “are thrilled to present such phenomenal acts,” says Hectus. Headliners The Olms, the latest project by Pete Yorn and J.D. King, will perform songs from their self-titled album that “echo the emotional, sweeping sound of certain mid-Sixties pop tunes, with rich hooks and harmonies” as described by Rolling Stone. Since launching the project, The Olms have appeared on KCRW in-studio and on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
 
Song Preservation Society, an LA-based alt-folk acoustic trio known for their vocal harmonies and charismatic live performances, is often compared to Crosby, Stills & Nash or Paul Simon. And Rolling Stone writes that the sound of the Blank Tapes “evokes Belle and Sebastian, Pavement, and The Black Keys – in a San Fran coffeehouse.” 
 
This community-driven concert represents the strong partnership between its co-sponsors, DBLA and Pike at Rainbow Harbor. Explains Kraig Kojian, President & CEO of the DLBA, “Both the DBLA and the Pike strive to provide fun, family entertainment that encourages residents and visitors to explore all Downtown Long Beach has to offer.”
 
Food vendors will be on site as well as a beer garden sponsored by Auld Dubliner Irish Pub.  Free bike valet will be provided.
 
For more information about this show or the rest of the SAM series, call the DLBA at (562) 436.4259 or visit http://www.summerandmusic.com.
 
###
 
About Summer and Music: After four award-winning seasons, Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) is bringing Summer And Music (SAM)—the city’s homegrown, sustainable concerts series providing an entire summer of music to the public—back to the streets of Downtown Long Beach beginning in June. Three time winner of OC Weekly's “Best Music Festival”, SAM utilizes the skills and creativity of numerous downtown businesses and artists to showcase outstanding local talent at eco-conscious outdoor venues throughout the Downtown region. For more information, call the DLBA at (562) 436.4259 or visitwww.summerandmusic.com. Remaining 2013 SAM concerts include:
  • July 6th -- 5th Annual LB Funk Fest “Funk of July”
  • July 20th – Summer and Music Presents THE OLMS (Pete Yorn + J.D. King), THE BLANK TAPES, SONG PRESERVATION SOCIETY and MYSTIC RABBIT 
  • August 10th – Bicycle Drive-In - An evening of film, food and music
  • August 17th – Buskerfest – Annual celebration of local music in the East Village Arts District
Read more ...

INTERVIEW: Joe Madison chimes in on the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn a portion of the Voting Rights Act

buzzz worthy. . .

CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE OR CLICK HERE TO LISTEN.


Read more ...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Radio Host & Civil Rights Activist Joe Madison Interviews With Mona Austin of The Slice About Recent Supreme Court Ruling on the 1965 Voting Right Act

buzzz worthy. . .


Joe Madison say’s ‘It’s time to march.’


Read more ...

Nelson Mandela in critical condition on life support in South African hospital

buzzz worthy. . .

South African President Jacob Zuma told press  that Nelson Mandela was still in critical condition and doctors are doing everything they can to ensure he is comfortable Monday. The Country’s first black president Mandela was hospitalized in Pretoria South Africa  over the weekend with an unrelenting lung infection. This is Mandela’s 4th hospital stay since December.  Since Sunday his condition has remained critical and he is now reportedly on life support. Mandela spent 27 years in prison for fighting apartheid.  After his 1990 release he led to country into democracy.

The Mandela Family has asked the media to respect their privacy as the country and the world awaits further news on the beloved leader's declining condition.

President Obama is in South Africa today and is expected to try to visit Mr. Mandela.
Read more ...

DOMA overturned today; Statement by the President on the Supreme Court Ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act

buzzz worthy. . .




In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has struck down section 3 the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  The landmark ruling for gay rights references the 1996 law blocking federal recognition of same-sex marriages. Now same-sex couples will have the benefits and protections available to married couples under federal law.  

The ban on California's Proposition 8 that previous blocked gay marriage has now been lifted under this new ruling.
The decision was  written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.
President Obama has this to say. . .

Statement by the President on the Supreme Court Ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act

I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.  This was discrimination enshrined in law.  It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people.  The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it.  We are a people who declared that we are all created equal – and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. 

This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents’ marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better. 

So we welcome today’s decision, and I’ve directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.

On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital.  How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions.  Nothing about this decision – which applies only to civil marriages – changes that.  

The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts:  when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free. 

Read more ...

Singer Israel Houghton is doing a movie with Ja Rule, First release I'm In Love With A Church Girl" due this October



"I'm In Love With A Church Girl," the Debut Feature Film from Reverence Gospel Media, Opens October 18 

Film stars Jeff "Ja Rule" Atkins, Adrienne Bailon, Stephen Baldwin, Vincent Pastore and Michael Madsen; Gospel music superstar Israel Houghton is producer

Beverly Hills, CA - June 26, 2013 - Hollywood newcomer Reverence Gospel Media ("RGM") announced today that their first feature film, "I'M IN LOVE WITH A CHURCH GIRL," will open domestically on October 18, 2013 with an international release to follow.

Based on a true story, the film stars Jeff "Ja Rule" Atkins who, as a successful entrepreneur haunted by a criminal past and surrounded by old friends still "in the life," finds faith, redemption and inspiration when God puts a woman of faith (Adrienne Bailon) in his life. Rounding out the cast are Stephen Baldwin, Vincent Pastore, Michael Madsen, T-Bone, Martin Kove and TobyMac, with Steve Race directing.

"We are extremely pleased to have been able to put together such a world-class team for our very first film," said Galley Molina, CEO of Reverence Gospel Media. "When you start with the people at Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment, Geno Taylor at GVN Releasing, Cindy Bond at Mission Pictures, Corby Pons and Erik Lokkesmoe at Different Drummer - this is the team that will help us share this powerful story with audiences around the world."

Molina wrote "I'M IN LOVE WITH A CHURCH GIRL" and has produced the film alongside Christian music superstar and RGM vice president Israel Houghton, who also contributed to the "Church Girl" soundtrack.
  
Houghton, who also shares screenplay credit on Reverence Gospel Media's next two films, is a multiple Grammy, Stellar and Dove Award winner, and was honored most recently at the 2013 Grammys with the award for Best Christian Music Song. Israel is also a Worship Leader at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas - the largest congregation in the United States, where he serves alongside "America's Pastor" Joel Osteen.

"We feel extraordinarily blessed to have been able to make this movie and can't wait to see the impact it has on people's lives," said Houghton. "This is completely unlike any 'faith-based' movie anyone has ever seen. The characters face believable situations with real faith in a real God."

"I've seen this movie, and am both moved and inspired by the story, the characters, and the quality of both movie and music," said Donnie McClurkin, Grammy Award-winning Gospel artist and Senior Pastor of the Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, NY. "This is not what people have come to expect from Christian films, and I know it will resonate deeply with viewers - even those who would never have gone anywhere near a movie that touches on the subject of faith.

"I'M IN LOVE WITH A CHURCH GIRL" will be distributed in the United States by High Top Releasing.

For more about "I'M IN LOVE WITH A CHURCH GIRL," visitwww.iminlovewithachurchgirl.com
Read more ...

The father of Mary Mary has passed away

buzzz worthy. . .

Elder Eddie Adkins, the father of gospel duo Mary Mary, has passed away.  Word of his passing surfaced on Facebook yesterday.

Details are scarce at this point, but the Tweets from the Campbell sisters below are evidence of his passing:





Elder Adkins made several appearances on the WeTV docuseries  "Mary Mary" and was clearly a loving patriarch.

Erica and Tina told me in an NPR interview that their father's role as a street preacher during their younger years laid the foundation for their far-reaching style.

We will share more details as they become available.  This story is developing.

The Slice joins with fans and the gospel industry in extending our heartfelt condolences to Mary Mary for their loss.
Read more ...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Supreme Court Rules against portion of the Voting Right Act

buzzz worthy. . .



Today, the Supreme Court struck down a portion of the landmark Voting Rights Act (The Act) in a 5 to 4 decision. The court did not uphold Section 4 of the crucial 1965 Act which previously mandated the built-in approval process for nine of the most historically discriminating states (largely in the South) to get pre-approved on the federal level before changing their voting laws. This decision makes the entire Voting Rights Act vulnerable to future revisions. The Act, which was designed to prevent discrimination against minorites in the voting process, is one of the most significant pieces of legislation in American history. Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote, supported by Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Roberts did not deny the presence of discrimination in the voting process. "At the same time, voting discrimination still exists; no one doubts that. The question is whether the Act’s extraordinary measures, including its disparate treatment of the States, continue to satisfy constitutional requirements. As we put it a short time ago, “the Act imposes current burdens and must be justified by current needs.”

Now it is up to Congress to the law is still valid today.
Read more ...

Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' tackles color complexities among African Americans

buzzz worthy. . .



Documentary Director/Producer Bill Duke took cameras into everyday America in search of pointed, unfiltered and penetrating interviews with Black women of the darkest hues for their emotional expose’, “Dark Girls”. Two years in the making and slated to premier at the Toronto International Film Festival, “Dark Girls” pulls back our country’s curtain to reveal that the deep seated biases and hatreds of racism – within and outside of the Black American culture – remain bitterly entrenched.
Dark-skinned Black American women from all walks of life will be covered with a key focus trained tightly upon women struggling for upward mobility in the workplace of Corporate America. “These ladies broke it down to the degree that dark-skinned ‘sistas’ with ‘good’ hair vs. dark-skinned women with ‘kinky’ hair were given edges when it came time for coveted promotions.” Additional interviewees for “Dark Girls” include White men in loving intimate relationships with Black women that were passed over by “their own men,” as well as dark-skinned women of Latin and Panamanian background to bring a world perspective to the issue of dark vs. light.

Duke adds, “In the late `60s a famous psychological study was done in which a young Black girl was presented with a set of dolls. Every time the she was asked to point to the one that wasn’t pretty, not smart, etc., she pointed to the Black doll that looked just like her. In her mind, she was already indoctrinated. To watch her do that was heartbreaking and infuriating. CNN did the test again recently – decades later – with little progress. As the filmmakers behind ‘Dark Girls,’ our goal is to take that little girl’s finger off that doll
D. Channsin Berry who is the co-producer states of the film’s origin, “When Bill called me with the idea of a documentary about dark-skinned women, I was in right away. Being a dark-skinned Black man, like Bill, I have gone through similar traumas. Bill and I shared our similar experiences and immediately understood that we knew the best way to approach this.”
“In the early 2000s,” states a piece in The Hollywood Reporter, “blacks played 15% of roles in film andTV. Today, it has fallen to 13% … and black directors make up only 4% of the DGA.”
Bill announced in 2012 at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, that he was in the middle of developing two feature documentaries as follow ups to “Dark Girls.” “Yellow Brick Road” will look at the ‘colorism’ issue from the perspective of light skinned black women. The other documentary “What Is A Man?” will explore masculinity and manhood as it has transformed from the beginning of time to present day.

Read more ...