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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...

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

First Lady Michelle Obama: Banding Together To Serve US Military Dads

buzzz worthy. . .

Two days before Father’s Day, I visited U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza, our military installation in northern Italy that is home to thousands of American service members and their families. For most Americans, the fathers and families who serve here probably aren’t very well known. Their incredible service often just doesn’t make it onto our radar.
So often, when we think of our men and women in uniform, we think of troops serving in a combat zone; families living on bases in California, Texas or North Carolina; or maybe a friend or neighbor who serves in the National Guard or Reserves.
But the fact is that we’ve got tens of thousands of military families stationed overseas in places like Germany, Korea and Japan. So this fall, thousands of military kids will start the school year on another continent, just hoping to make a few friends. Thousands of military spouses will put their careers on hold to move halfway around the world, worrying about whether they can keep their skills current for the job hunt when they return home.
For these families, being stationed overseas means they have to learn new customs and languages, and find their way around new parts of the world. For those at Vicenza, daily tasks like picking up supplies in town, taking a bus or planning a family outing can be a lot more complicated than they are back home. When a child has a fever or takes a fall, they have to speak to the doctor through a translator at the emergency room. When something happens back in America – a wedding, a funeral, a medical crisis – it takes a lot of time and money to get back to their families.
On top of all the usual challenges of leaving home and adjusting to a new culture, our troops in these places can be called at any moment to respond to threats or crises, often with just a few hours of lead time. And when that happens, their families serve right alongside them. Yet they never complain or ask for any special favors. They endure the stress of those deployments with courage and grace, celebrating milestones, birthdays and holidays with an empty place at the table. 
That was certainly the case in Vicenza where, just a few days before I arrived, many of the troops had recently deployed to Eastern Europe for three or four months. So Sunday, on a day when families across the country are spending time with Dad – cooking him his favorite meal, writing notes in those construction-paper cards, maybe getting together with Grandpa, too – many of the kids at Vicenza will be thousands of miles away from their dads.
We did our best to make their Father’s Day weekend special, teaming up with USO, Disney, Blue Star Families, Operation Shower and Glam4Good to hold a barbeque, give new books to kids on base and surprise expecting mothers with gifts for them and their babies. 
But supporting our military families simply cannot be just a one-day event. We need to serve these families every day, all year round. That’s why, four years ago, Dr. Jill Biden and I started Joining Forces, a nationwide effort to rally all Americans to honor and support our veterans, troops and their families.
And on this Father’s Day weekend, I want to challenge all Americans to ask themselves what they can do for our military families, especially those stationed overseas. You can start by going to JoiningForces.gov or reaching out to organizations like USO and Blue Star Families that support our military families.
These families have given us so much – even if we don’t always see their service and sacrifice on TV or in the news. That’s why, as first lady, I’m working as hard as I can to honor their commitment and dedication to this country. It’s why I intend to keep serving these families long after my time as first lady ends. And it’s why I’m going to ensure that whoever follows our family into the White House continues to honor these incredible families – not just with words, but with real action that makes a difference in their lives.
So, this Father’s Day, I hope all Americans will join me in this effort – because together, we can serve our military families as well as they have served us. 

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82nd Annual Academy Awards filled with historic firsts for women, coinciding with women's history month

Actress/Comedian/Night show host Mo'nique joined a short list of exceptional African American Academy Award winning actresses last night, becoming the fifth to do so 70 years after the first Oscar was awarded to Hattie McDaniel for her portrayal of a housekeeper in "Gone with the Wind." Award show co-host, Steve Martin joked that comedians don't win Oscars. Proving him and all others who doubted her ability wrong, in her acceptance speech Mo'nique, who played an abusive mother in "Precious: Based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire", clung to the Oscar and thanked The Academy for not engaging in backroom politics and Hattie McDaniels for paving the way. Fellow comedian Robin Williams presented the award to the 42-year-old.

In homage to McDaniel, Mo-Nique wore a white flower in her hair and a royal blue gown along with the other actresses associated with the movie (Gabriel Sidibe, Mariah Carey, even Oprah, one of the film's biggest supporters wore a blue dress) because that's the color McDaniel wore when she received the top prize in acting.

Other African American women to win in the supporting actress category are Jennifer Hudson for "Dreamgirls" (2006) and Whoopi Goldberg for "Ghost" (1990). Halle Berry was voted best actress for "Monster's Ball" in 2001.

Screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher became the first African American to win an Oscar for his work on 'Precious.'

Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman in history to win an Oscar for Best Director last night for her film, The Hurt Locker.
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Friday, June 19, 2015

Statement by the President on the Observance of Juneteenth

buzzz worthy. . .

On this day 150 years ago, more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the slaves of Galveston, Texas finally received word that the Civil War was over.  They were free.   A century and a half later, Americans still recognize this occasion, Juneteenth, as a symbolic milestone on our journey toward a more perfect union.  At churches and in parks, lined up for parades and gathered around the barbecue pit, communities come together and celebrate the enduring promise of our country: that all of us are created equal. 

Yet this year, our celebrations are tinged with sorrow.  Our prayers are with the nine members of the Mother Emanuel community -- nine members of our American family -- whose God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were so cruelly snatched away.  Our hearts go out to their families, their friends, and the entire city of Charleston. 

We don't have to look far to see that racism and bigotry, hate and intolerance, are still all too alive in our world.  Just as the slaves of Galveston knew that emancipation is only the first step toward true freedom, just as those who crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge 50 years ago knew their march was far from finished, our work remains undone.  For as long as people still hate each other for nothing more than the color of their skin - and so long as it remains far too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun - we cannot honestly say that our country is living up to its highest ideals.  But Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory, or an acceptance of the way things are.  Instead, it's a celebration of progress.  It's an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, things do get better.  America can change. 

So no matter our color or our creed, no matter where we come from or who we love, today is a day to find joy in the face of sorrow, to count our blessings and hold the ones we love a little closer.  And tomorrow is a day to keep marching. 

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buzzz worthy. . .

On Saturday, June 20, 2015, GRAMMY® nominated, Stellar Award-winning recording artist, television star and clothing designer, Kierra Sheard, will launch the website for her new clothing line, Eleven60. The online shop, www.MyEleven60.com, will go live at midnight and shoppers will be able to pre-order select items from Eleven60’s premiere fall / winter collection and take advantage of special offers. The full line will make its debut later in the year.

Eleven60 is a ready-to-wear clothing line offering stylish, yet affordable apparel for the modern, plus sized woman. Kierra has always been passionate about fashion and she saw a void in the industry as it relates to plus sized women. She says, “It’s a clothing line that compliments the thick woman. While being a full figured woman, I’ve found it hard to find quality high fashion trends in my size. But no more skimpy clothes! And no more muumuus! Since the average American woman is plus size, I should be able to healthily, and fabulously, own it!”
Eleven60 is not Kierra’s first foray into fashion. She created a hosiery line, Sheers by Sheard, in 2014 which is available at select Walgreens stores. 

In addition to the launch of Eleven60, Kierra is currently touring the U.S. promoting her fifth studio album, Graceland, and her latest single “Flaws”. She’ll also be back as a judge for the eighth season of the hit competition show Sunday Best, which is premiering on BET on Sunday, July 19th.
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Thursday, June 18, 2015


buzzz worthy. . .#weareworthfightingfor

June 18, 2015 (Houston, TX) - Today it is Charleston, SC, but in the last several months it has been Ferguson, Cleveland, Staten Island and so many others.  There is a constant barrage of images that continue to devalue the African American community. 

In response to hate crimes, social and civil injustice and outright killings of unarmed young men,  Wilson wanted a way to bring people together to share visual messages for our community and our young people that WE are valuable, treasured and worth fighting for. 

The multi-media #WEAreWorthFightingFor initiative encourages parents, community leaders and pastors to write letters and video messages to post on social media that will offer expressions of our strength and unity.  With the goal of creating an overwhelming show of messages of love and empowerment,  #WEAreWorthFightingFor is a way to emphasize our importance and value despite the negative images and stories that are proliferating the news in recent days. 

In the wake of recent events,  Brian's feelings have run the gamut from frustration to anger and to fear for his children's welfare.  He wanted to create a physical reminder that could be lasting and treasured so he sat down and wrote a letter.  Here's an excerpt to Brian's letter to his son, Joshua:

I am writing this letter because I love you dearly, and you are so valuable and special to me. There has been a lot of news lately about young black males being gunned down or killed by people in authority or people who were afraid of them because of the color of their skin.  ...  The explanations for these murders defy logic....Given this climate, I am writing to affirm your worth not only to me but to the entire world ... You are destined to be a champion and a leader, and I want you to shut out all of the images that have been crafted for profit and power that contradict what I am telling you... Yes there will be pain, but it will not defeat you. You will keep pushing past it and it will make you stronger.

"This moment of transparency and honesty was needed not only for my children, but for many across the nation," said Wilson. 

Join the #WeAreWorthFightingFor campaign sending messages to our young men and women.  Please  write a letter and/or record a brief video message to your child, or any young person in your life (i.e. a nephew, a mentee, a sister, etc.) that offers words of support, love and empowerment. 

We will be kicking off the campaign on Father's Day (June 21st) and I encourage you to share the letter or video on your social networks using the hashtag #WeAreWorthFightingFor and #WorthFightingFor.

Ways To Join #WeAreWorthFightingFor:
  1. Write a letter to your child (or young person in your life or to your whole community). Describe the value that they have and affirm the many talents and gifts God has bestowed upon your children or write an open letter to your community expressing the importance of Black Lives 
  2. Take a picture reading the letter to your child, your child reading the letter, or holding the letter, etc. 
  3. Record a video stating the following below (10-15 secs):  My name is (Insert Name) and this is my child (insert name). Today I let him/her know that regardless of what the media shows, he/she destined for greatness - join me and write a letter to YOUR child because together, we ARE worth fighting for
  4. Post the video on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the hashtag #WeAreWorthFightingFor
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Judge Mablean's HUF Awards honor unung fathers this weekend

buzzz worthy. . .

On Saturday,June 20, The Mablean Ephriam Foundation presents the annual Honoring Unsung Fathers Awards & Scholarship Brunch. Celebrating the Unsung Fathers in the community, in addition to the Father’s Day Awards, the foundation will present (15) scholarships to students in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Celebrities such as Tamala Jones (ABC’s Castle), Denise Boutte’ (TV One’s For The Love of Ruth and Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns), RenĂ©e Lawless (Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots), Shari Headley (Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots), and Wendell James (OWN’s Raising Whitley) will present the winning father’s with awards. In addition to these awards, Judge Mablean and the MEF Board of Director will make a special presentation to the Founder’s Awardee; Flex Alexander (OWN’s Flex & Shanice) and Board of Director’s Awardee; George Gibbs (Community Affairs Manager, UPS-West Region). Live entertainment, featuring performance by, Tramaine Hawkins (Gospel Grammy Award Winner) and Mike Phillips (Jazz Saxophonist). 
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Jackson's Rainbow Push calls on the White House for a conference on racism

buzzz worthy. . .

NEEDED:  A WH Conference On Racial Justice – Racism Deserves A Remedy

June 18, 2015, Chicago, IL -- Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. -- Not unlike the four little girls killed in a church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, today the nation and the world are saddened and outraged at the hatred and senseless killing of nine African Americans in the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina – including its pastor and a state senator.  Over three decades ago Operation PUSH held its national convention centered in this church and I did two televised Firing Line interviews with William F. Buckley there.

And, not unlike the economic and political context of Birmingham, the nation and its leadership are still failing to see, understand and come to grips with the underlying economic and political circumstances that led to such a tragedy.  This young white man, whoever he is, did not originate terrorism.  He is merely reflecting decades and centuries of institutional and active political terrorism.  There were 164 lynching's of African Americans between 1877 and 1950 in South Carolina.

The shooting in Charleston is the result and the product of a protracted political genocide resulting from institutionalized racism, centuries of dehumanization and the current denial of economic and political equality of opportunity.  Today everyone is outraged at the killings, but there is not the same outrage that African Americans are number one in infant mortality, in life expectancy, in unemployment, in cheap wages, in access to capital and denial of bank loans, in imprisonment, in segregated housing and home foreclosures, in segregated and underfunded public schools, in poverty, in heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, mental health issues, HIV/AIDS and the lack of access to health care and more.  We ignore this institutionalized state of terror and the resulting racial fears at our peril.

There is an urgency to identify and arrest this individual before he hurts anyone else, but there is not the same urgency to identify and arrest the current economic and political conditions – the institutional racism and structural injustices – before anyone else gets hurt.  Today in South Carolina, a historically Black university, South Carolina State, is on the verge of closing, but I don’t see the same urgency to save it by the Governor and the South Carolina legislature.  Gov. Nikki Haley appropriately asked South Carolinians to pray for the victims and their families of these killings and decried violence at religious institutions, but she denies poor people access to health care by refusing to accept Medicaid monies under the Affordable Care Act - which is jeopardizing the economic viability of the state’s hospitals and costing South Carolinians thousands of jobs - and she still flies the Confederate Flag on the Capitol grounds.

But these injustices and indifferences are not just limited to South Carolina.  They’re national in scope!  We need a White House Conference on racial justice and urban policy to make sure no one else is being hurt because of economic, political and leadership indifference or lack of vision of what needs to be done!  Racism deserves a remedy.

The Charleston police chief said, “We will put all effort, we will put all resources and we will put all of our energy into finding this individual who committed this crime tonight."  We need the President, the Congress, the 50 Governors and state legislatures to put the same effort, resources and energy into ending the crime of racism, economic injustice and political denial throughout the nation.  We’ve had enough Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Walter Scott killings.  We’ve had enough infant mortality deaths.  We’ve had enough unemployment – always at least twice the rate of Whites.
We’ve had enough of segregated and inadequately funded educational opportunities.  We’ve had enough lack of access to capital.  We’ve had enough lack of access to health care.  We’ve had enough of homelessness and home foreclosures. We need prayer and we need hope, but we also need a political commitment and a financial budget committed to ending this protracted political genocide.
We need leadership with a vision for racial justice.  We need an investment for economic justice – the current rising tide hasn’t lifted all boats.  And we need fairness in political representation.  That’s what we need if we are ever going to put an end to the protracted political genocide of which African Americans have been the victims for nearly 400 years in the United States.  We deserve equal economic and political opportunity.  We deserve equal justice under the law.
As the AP reported, “the Emmanuel AME church is a historic African-American church that traces its roots to 1816, when several churches split from Charleston's Methodist Episcopal church.  One of its founders, Denmark Vesey, tried to organize a slave revolt in 1822.  He was caught, and white landowners had his church burned in revenge.  Parishioners worshipped underground until after the Civil War.”
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President Obama's Statement on the Shootings in South Carolina

buzzz worthy. . .

Attempting to avoid politicizing a tragedy, President Barack Obama addressed murders that took place during bible study  last night at a South Carolina church in a press conference today. 

Saying he and First Lady Obama knew slain pastor, Sen. Clementa Pinckney and others at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, President Obama mentioned this is a time to mourn, but implicated gun control as a central problem of this tragedy. In summary, he also noted the frequency of mass killings in the U.S. and said the it does not happen in other major countries in the world.

Following is an excerpt from the press conference: "To say our thoughts and prayers are with them. . .doesn't say enough to convey they heartache, sadness and the anger we feel. Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy. Mother Emmanuel is ore than a church this si a sacred place in the history f Charleston and the history of America. . . .Until the investigation is complete I am constrained about the this case. I have had ot make statements like this too many times. We don't have all the facts, but we know innocent people were killed because someone who wanted to do harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. . .The fact that this took place in a black church also raises questions about a dark part of our history. . .The good news is that I am confident that the outcry of unity and love. . . across Charleston. . indicates the degree of which the old vestiges of hatred can be overcome."

The full transcript from the press conference follows in its entirety:

 Good afternoon, everybody.  This morning, I spoke with, and Vice President Biden spoke with, Mayor Joe Riley and other leaders of Charleston to express our deep sorrow over the senseless murders that took place last night.
Michelle and I know several members of Emanuel AME Church.  We knew their pastor, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight others, gathered in prayer and fellowship and was murdered last night.  And to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families, and their community doesn’t say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel. 
Any death of this sort is a tragedy.  Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy.  There is something particularly heartbreaking about the death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace, in a place of worship. 
Mother Emanuel is, in fact, more than a church.  This is a place of worship that was founded by African Americans seeking liberty.  This is a church that was burned to the ground because its worshipers worked to end slavery.  When there were laws banning all-black church gatherings, they conducted services in secret.  When there was a nonviolent movement to bring our country closer in line with our highest ideals, some of our brightest leaders spoke and led marches from this church’s steps.  This is a sacred place in the history of Charleston and in the history of America.
The FBI is now on the scene with local police, and more of the Bureau’s best are on the way to join them.  The Attorney General has announced plans for the FBI to open a hate crime investigation.  We understand that the suspect is in custody.  And I’ll let the best of law enforcement do its work to make sure that justice is served.
Until the investigation is complete, I’m necessarily constrained in terms of talking about the details of the case.  But I don’t need to be constrained about the emotions that tragedies like this raise.  I’ve had to make statements like this too many times.  Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times.  We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.  Now is the time for mourning and for healing. 
But let’s be clear:  At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.  It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.  And it is in our power to do something about it.  I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now.  But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it.  And at some point it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it, and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.
The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history.  This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked.  And we know that hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals.
The good news is I am confident that the outpouring of unity and strength and fellowship and love across Charleston today, from all races, from all faiths, from all places of worship indicates the degree to which those old vestiges of hatred can be overcome.  That, certainly, was Dr. King’s hope just over 50 years ago, after four little girls were killed in a bombing in a black church in Birmingham, Alabama. 
He said they lived meaningful lives, and they died nobly.  “They say to each of us,” Dr. King said, “black and white alike, that we must substitute courage for caution.  They say to us that we must be concerned not merely with [about] who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.  Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American Dream.
“And if one will hold on, he will discover that God walks with him, and that God is able to lift you from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope, and transform dark and desolate valleys into sunlit paths of inner peace.”
Reverend Pinckney and his congregation understood that spirit.  Their Christian faith compelled them to reach out not just to members of their congregation, or to members of their own communities, but to all in need.  They opened their doors to strangers who might enter a church in search of healing or redemption. 
Mother Emanuel church and its congregation have risen before –- from flames, from an earthquake, from other dark times -– to give hope to generations of Charlestonians.  And with our prayers and our love, and the buoyancy of hope, it will rise again now as a place of peace.
Thank you.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Veteran Entertainment publicist Angelo Ellerbe's educates on the establishment, significance and evolution of Black Music Month

buzzz worthy. . .#blackmusicmonth

June is the official month set aside as Black Music Month. 

From the bowels of slave ships, to the fields of the Carolinas  to muddy Mississippi River, the music of African Americans has always been a a part of Black life  and has been embraced throughout the world. In consideration of the vast musical contributions of African Americans and  global impact of Black music, there are not enough days in one month to justly celebrate it.  So says veteran entertainment publicist Angelo Ellerbe in an article he penned.  Ellerbe believes we  should spend more time learning about it, as well as supporting and preserving Black music so that its creators receive the economic blessing, credit and honor they deserve. The Slice completely concurs and encourages you to share this insightful article.

Celebrating Black Music Month 365 Days

By Angelo Ellerbe

Many listeners of popular music decry that the music is missing messages and meaning these days. Others claim that culture vultures have taken over vital elements of Black music from blues to jazz, R&B and even Hip Hop. In each era, from the traditional music of Africa that found its way to North America and Europe via the slave trade, to James Brown reminding a generation to be Black and proud-music has held both the message and the means for people to empower themselves. Power could include utilizing the music veterans and their skills to shepherd the seemingly out of control youth in the industry today. Power includes new, young artists making the most of multi-million dollar recording contracts and international exposure to say something to motivate and galvanize this era-as Black music has done for centuries.

It was out of the tumultuous 1960's and the war torn years of the early 70's that Black music emerged to raise its fist and stir an entire nation into self-pride and Black power. It was on the tail end of this movement in 1979, that intrepid musicians and industry executives Dyana Williams, Kenny Gamble, and Ed Wright developed the idea to celebrate with a month dedicated to the impact of black music. The trio successfully lobbied former President Jimmy Carter to recognize the world-altering contributions of black music.  Chaka Fattah, as US-Representative, sponsored House Resolution 509 in 2000, which acknowledges the importance of Black music on the economy.
In 2009, President Barack Obama went a step further when he made June, African American Music Appreciation Month, set to commemorate Black "musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters [who] have made enormous contributions to our culture." Since its launch, Black Music Month has grown into what actually should be-- just the beginning of a daily campaign to bring this art form to the forefront as a marker of historic, economic, and social importance. This must be the frame but not the finish of an ongoing recognition that is not swept under the rug, like some veterans of Black music, once the month's deadline has expired. 

The messages of our forebearers lead them to roads of freedom, while the messages of Nina Simone or Odetta, James Brown and The Last Poets... all spoke to our souls about what it meant to fight for that freedom-this era's responsibility is to not sleep on that great torch that has been passed.
For the cultures who have so admired and respected Black music so as to emulate it, there should be an additional amount of ongoing education about what lies within the hearts of the African turned Americans that make the music we all love, and what it will take to preserve those messages for future generations.
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Monday, June 15, 2015


buzzz worthy. . .

Silver Spring, MD - TV One's award-winning series Unsung, returns with an all-new season of hitmakers and game changers starting Wednesday, June 3rd at 8PM/ET.

This season is filled with trailblazing artists that dominated the charts, pushed the boundaries of their genre and inspired legions of fans with their legendary sound. Viewers will be able to reflect on the lives of innovative, soul stirring singers of the 60s and 70s including Ike Turner, Otis Redding and the Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown as well as return to hip-hop's golden age with Kid 'n Play, DJ Quik and Xscape. In a special episode, Unsung Revisited, viewers will receive an update on artists, including Full Force, Zapp & Roger, Sylvester, and Miki Howard, who following their features on the series, have experienced profound changes to their lives and legacy.

Check out the programming schedule for the remainder of the month
Wednesday, June 17, 8PM/ET - DJ Quik
DJ Quik became one of hip hop's most legendary rapper/producers of the 90's with classics like "Tonite" and "Born and Raised in Compton" that continue to get airplay today. This prolific producer has crafted hits for artists as varied as Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Shaquille O'Neal and Tony!Toni!Tone!. DJ Quik rose to great success despite surviving a life filled with hardships including his days growing up in the notorious streets of Compton, to battling depression, serving jail time and even putting his equipment on sale to retire from the hip-hop game. Today, the self-proclaimed "Americaz Most Complete Artist" continues to thrive on and off the stage.
Wednesday, June 24, 8PM/ET - Chuck Brown and the Story of Go-Go
The undisputed Godfather of Go-Go music is the renowned Chuck Brown. Growing up in the impoverished nation's capital, Brown, found himself in prison for eight years after a murder conviction. Brown turned his life around and emerged as a guitarist and singer who helped craft a genre that blended the sounds of funk, blues, salsa, gospel and soul into "the beat" which is now Go-Go. Early pioneers like The Young Senators, Black Heat and Trouble Funk developed a signature style that reflected Washington, D.C.'s African American culture, while inspiring second generation bands like The Junk Yard Band, Rare Essence, and Experience Unlimited (aka E.U.).
Wednesday, July 1, 8PM/ET - Unsung Revisited
In this unique episode, Unsung revisits four artists - Full Force, Zapp & Roger, Sylvester, and Miki Howard - to uncover how their lives have been affected by the award-winning series. The story of Sylvester, the legendary singer who died in 1988, was resurrected on Broadway thanks to a producer -alongside Sheryl Lee Ralph - who was moved by his Unsung profile. The Troutman family reveals how their family dynamic changed after discussing the tragic deaths of Roger and Larry Troutman. Miki Howard depicts her new life as a jazz and R&B singer after her career was revitalized by her episode. And the George brothers, Lou, B-Fine, and Paul Anthony, discuss the latest chapter in Paul's courageous fight against the disease that nearly cost his life and the joyful album it inspired.
Wednesday, July 8, 8PM/ET - Xscape
In 1993, Xscape rose to the top of the charts with three platinum albums that included number one hits "Just Kickin' It," "Understanding" and "Who Can I Run To?" Composed of sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott and classmates Kandi Burruss and Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, they formed a sisterhood as strong as their sound. As a group, Xscape frequently struggled for respect as their raw talent took a backseat to the music industry's emphasis on looks and glamour. By their third album, their sisterhood had imploded. Since their breakup in 1998, attempts to reunite the group have failed with lingering bitterness and deep seeded anger playing out on public forums.
Wednesday, July 15, 8PM/ET - Kid 'n Play
Kid 'n Play exploded on the rap scene in the late 80's and redefined the game with their fun loving party anthems like "2 Hype" and "Rolling with Kid 'n Play." Additionally, they established a look and style that crossed age and color lines. After starring in the cult classic hit film "House Party," they became media sensations, appearing in TV commercials and their own Saturday morning cartoon. When their squeaky clean image lost favor to emerging hard core rap artists, they found themselves on the outside of the business. The rise and fall of fame carried a sobering cost for their personal lives as well. Recently, the lifelong friends decided to reunite and bring the fun back to the party.
Unsung is narrated by actor Gary Anthony Williams and is Executive Produced by Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Frank Sinton of A. Smith & Co. Productions for TV One. Mark Rowland is Co-Executive Producer. Lamar Chase is Producer and Jubba Seyyid is Executive in Charge of Production for TV One. D'Angela Proctor is Head of Original Programming and Production for the network.

Read more at http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2015/05/27/tv-ones-black-music-month-kicks-off-with-a-new-season-of-unsung-premiering-wednesday-june-3-at-8pm-et-639110/20150527tvone01/#kp5ZckEeKSEqdW0t.99
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Rhythm & Blues Foundation to hold Spring Fundraiser Mixer

buzzz worthy. . .

On Tuesday, June 23, 2015 The Rhythm & Blues Foundation will be hosting its first Black Music Month after work fundraiser of the year, "Soul of the 90's: An R&B Tribute", at the luxurious Attic Rooftop Lounge in Times Square. Music Mogul, Michael Bivins, of Bell Biv Devoe fame, will be anchoring a stellar lineup of special guest hosts that includes 90's super groups Allure ("Enjoy Yourself" "All Cried Out") and Intro ("Love Thang"). An all 90's soundtrack by celebrity DJ's Jon Quick and DJ Commish will be provided.

Founded in 1988, the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, Inc., (the Foundation) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the historical and cultural
preservation of Rhythm & Blues music, and recognition of contributions of its participants to our musical heritage. The Foundation provides financial and medical assistance, educational outreach, performance opportunities, and archival activities to support its constituents and fulfill its mission.

Michael Bivins stated the following in reference to his involvement with the fundraising event... "The rhythm of music is what makes us feel good and when we celebrate the era of the 90's, it takes us to a place where many artists' careers took off and gave us a time period we still need today for the soul of music! Support the Rhythm & Blues foundation and bring your party spirit. Let's have a night of music and charity!"

Damon Williams, Chairman of the Board for the Rhythm & Blues Foundation further added "The Rhythm and Blues Foundation is honored that R&B artists from the 90's are getting together to support our mission of preserving the legacy of R&B music. This tribute and fundraiser will help the Foundation continue its programs that help artists and educate the world about the impact of R&B music."Super producer Kashif, along with Dedra N. Tate, Louise West, Esq., Ted Reid, Lance Hope, Matt Middleton Esq., Steve Pamon, and Thomas Lytle are amongst a legendary group of industry veterans and NYC tastemakers lending their support as members of the host committee for this historic event.
Do join us at The Rhythm & Blues Foundation Spring Fundraising Mixer on 
June 23, 2015 at The Attic in Midtown [http://www.theattic-nyc.com]. The event is open to the public from 5pm - 11pm and 100% of the proceeds will be going to the foundation's Doc Pomus Fund and Operating fund .

Early Bird Tickets - 15.00   Early Bird VIP Tickets 35.00
Early Bird Tickets will be sold up until 2 weeks before the event.
Advance Tickets - 20.00  VIP  50.00
Advance Tickets will be sold until 12pm the day of the event.
General Admission at the door - 25.00.  NO VIP sold at the door.
Only 75 VIP tickets will be available for purchase. 

Remember,100% of the proceeds are going to the foundation's Doc Pomus fund and Operating fund,but also consider a direct donation of any amount, particularly if you are unable to attend. Thanks for supporting the music and music makers we all love!

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buzzz worthy. . .



Los Angeles, CA -- June 15, 2015 -- Comedian Jordan Carlos will headline his very own one-hour special as part of Bounce TV's popular, family-friendly original comedy series "Off The Chain." "Off The Chain: Jordan Carlos" premieres tomorrow, June 16 at 9/8pm CT. "Off The Chain" features some of the most hilarious African-American comedians on the stand-up scene. For season three, Bounce TV turns over the microphone to one comic per show, expanding to an hour-long format.   As a result of the series' enthusiastic audience response, Bounce TV recently announced that "Off The Chain" has been renewed for a fourth season, set to debut in 2016. 
Carlos, who is best known for his hilarious commentary for MTV2's hit series Guy Code and MTV's sister show Girl Code, takes the OTC stage by storm, discussing everything from dating life to the trials of new fatherhood, with comical observations in his quirky, hipster fashion that millennials audiences have come to enjoy.

He also appeared in the MTV2 series Guy Court as well as The Eric Andre Show for Adult Swim. Carlos starred on the MTV series I Just Want My Pants Back and co-wrote and co-hosted Comedy Central.com's Indecision 2012. He was recently nominated as Best Male Comic of the Year by ECNY (Emerging Comedians of New York) and was one of the "New Faces" at a recent Montreal Comedy Festival.

The third season premiere of OFF THE CHAIN - headlined by Actress/Comedienne Kim Coles - was seen by more than 1.7 million people during its premiere week. Other top comedians featured this season include Rodney Perry, Cocoa Brown, Michael Colyar and Rudy Rush among others. 
Tune in for OFF THE CHAIN with Jordan Carlos Tuesday, June 16 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Pres. Obama approves deployment of over 400 troops to Iraq

buzzz worthy. . .

Press Secretary Josh Ernest announced on Wednesday that President Obama has authorized the deployment of an additional 450 US troops to help train and support Iraqi security forces to effectively fight  persistent ISIS aggression. Earnest says he President made this decision after a request for assitane from Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and upon the recommendation of Secretary Carter and Chairman Dempsey, with the unanimous support of his national security team. 

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