RECLAIM YOUR TIME! JOIN THE POWER RISING SUMMIT IN ATLANTA, GA; FEBRUARY 22 – 25, 2018

On February 22 – 25, 2018, Black women of all backgrounds, experience, and expression will gather for Power Rising: Building an Agenda for Black Women an historic summit that will build an actionable agenda that leverages our individual and collective power and influence for the advancement of ourselves, our families, our communities and our future. The Summit will be organized around five key pillars of activism and engagement: Business & Economic Empowerment; Culture, Community, and Society; Education, Technology, and Innovation; Health & Wellness; and Political Empowerment. Not since the Combahee River Collective statement was written some 40 years ago have Black women gathered to create an agenda that explicitly addresses the unique intersectionality of Black women. Join us in Atlanta, GA, February 22 – 25, 2018.
Black women are reclaiming our time and activating our political power just as we have at critical moments throughout our history. We are making strides in every sector, from policy to politics, from the classroom to the boardroom, in front of the camera and behind the scenes. For example, In the most recent elections from Minneapolis to Charlotte to Framingham, as we saw, Black women had impressive wins in City council, mayoral and state legislative races; and again Black women voters turned out in record numbers helping ensure decisive victories in New Jersey and Virginia. But for too long the generational concerns of concerns of Black women and girls continue to be under – prioritized and ignored–often lumped into broader conversations without the necessary focus from decision makers. The Power Rising Summit will provide a space for Black women to turn power into action and create a strategic, actionable agenda to be implemented in our communities and nationally that leverages our social, political, professional, cultural and economic power and influence for the betterment of ourselves, our families, our communities, and our future.
Visit www.powerrising.org for information on how to register to attend the Power Rising Summit.

CULT CLASSIC “SET IT OFF” TAKES A HEART POUNDING RIDE STARRING DA BRAT IN HER THEATRICAL DEBUT


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Many popular books and movies have made been converted into stage plays so fans can see the story told live on stage. Now the 90’s cult classic that hit the big screen and made household names of four fearless women will coming to a stage near you. SET IT OFF will be premiering in Atlanta from March 9th – 11th at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and in Washington DC immediately after.

Je’Caryous Johnson presents SET IT OFF centers on four childhood friends who spent a lifetime struggling to move away from the mean streets of their neighborhood. The system stole their dreams and now the four are determined to steal them back. As one grapples with the possibility of losing her only child, the foursome find themselves on the edge of desperation. With their world in turmoil and their backs against the wall, they decide to seek their fortune – literally. Targeting the banks of Los Angeles (the bank robbery capital of the world), Cleo, Stony, Tisean and Frankie rob the city’s most vulnerable financial institutions. Flush with cash, they discover that mo’ money equals mo’ problems.

The stage adaptation of SET IT OFF is written, directed and produced by Je’Caryous Johnson. The original story boasted one of the most superb casts ever assembled in a movie – Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, Jada Pinkett Smith and Kimberly Elise as well as an equally powerful, platinum selling, chart-topping, cut straight to heart musical soundtrack. Songs from hit makers like En Vogue, Brandy, Tamia, Bone, Thugs-n-Harmony, Busta Rhymes and Goodie Mob to legendary music icons like Gladys Knight and Chaka Khan were all featured on the SET IT OFF soundtrack. For its time and even today, the movie and music were a black culture phenomenon.

“Without a doubt, this will be one of the greatest stage plays ever seen in the urban theatre market,” stated Johnson. “From the type of action and to the movement on stage, it will be nothing short of jaw dropping. This will be the first piece of my career that will stretch me to the limits of what can be done and seen by our urban audience. I will be recreating the same intensity, same passion and same shock and awe, breathtaking moments that made this movie resonate with millions of people.” 

 As intense and moving as the story line was, it was also met with an equally marvelous cast and their chemistry. To keep intact the raw authenticity and penetrable moments displayed in the story, Johnson had to cast a major force in one of the leading iconic roles from the film. So, there was none other than multi-platinum selling rapper DA BRAT to fit the bill. She will be bringing to life the iconic role that Queen Latifah played in the original hit movie–Cleopatra “Cleo” Sims.

DA BRAT is undoubtedly one of the most lyrically laced and greatest female rappers of all time and the first female solo rapper to go platinum. From hit songs like “Funkdafied” to “Ladies’ Night (Not Tonight)” with Lil’ Kim, Left-Eye of TLC, Angie Martinez and Missy Elliott to the remix of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” and “What Chu Like” with Tyrese, Chicago raptress Shawntae Harris, better known as DA BRAT is one of the most successful, multi-faceted female entertainers today. From being the ultimate performer on stage to hosting a hit nationally syndicated talk show on the FOX Network, DISH NATION, a hit syndicated radio show “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show” to even starring in and making guest appearances on numerous TV shows, FOX’s Empire, WE TV’s Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta, TV One’s Rickey Smiley For Real and Lifetime’s The Rap Game, DA BRAT’S star continues to shine bright and now she has set her sights on the theatrical stage.

SET IT OFF is my FAVORITE movie of all time,” said DA BRAT. “When they were casting the film, I was with The William Morris Agency and got the opportunity to read for a role in the movie, but I didn’t get it. I found the script in my old trunk of things that I had accumulated over the years and said to myself ‘if I ever get a chance to be a part of a sequel, I would do it in a heartbeat.’ Then I ran into one of the producers of the play this past fall that saw me at my sister’s birthday party and told me about the stage version they were looking to mount, but only if I would be a part of it. I couldn’t let it get away from me twice and had to jump at the chance. Je’Caryous Johnson presents SET IT OFF is a dream come true for me and I’m honored to bring it to fans across the country.” 

An unforgettable hit movie, iconic characters and an on the edge of your seat action-packed story-line makes Je’Caryous Johnson presents SET IT OFF the most highly anticipated stage play to hit urban theatre.

Tickets for SET IT OFF will go on sale Friday, February 2nd for Atlanta, GA and Washington, DC engagement which is scheduled for March 16th – 18th at the Warner Theatre in Downtown DC. For more information, go to jecaryous.com and purchase your tickets here

INVITE: 'MOBItalks ATL' w/ Gee Smalls, David Bridgeforth & More on Jan. 19



Following the successful launch of their personal and professional development series in New York City, Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative (MOBI) comes to Atlanta! Hosted by Founder and OUT 100 Honoree, DaShawn Usher, and actor, Julian Walker ("Being Mary Jane"), MOBItalks Atlanta will feature special guest speakers at the 2018 National African American MSM Leadership Conference on Health Disparities and Social Justice on Friday, January 19th from 6 - 8pm.

Join Co-Founder of the Gentleman’s Foundation, Gee Smalls; Actor/Model, Rico Pruitt; DBQ Magazine Founder, David Bridgeforth; ANTM’s Devin LJ Clark and Publicist Vaughn Alvarez, for impactful discussions surrounding sexuality, creative expression, and self care.
EVENT DETAILS
Friday, January 19, 2018
6pm - 8pm ET
Atlanta Renaissance Concourse Hotel - Concourse A
1 Hartsfield Center Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30354

SPEAKERS:
Gee Smalls - Co-Founder of The Gentleman's Foundation, Life Coach, Dating & Relationship Coach
David Bridgeforth - Founder of DBQ Magazine & Coverboy Condoms
Rico Pruitt Actor & Model
Vaughn Alvarez -CEO of CR8 Agency. Publicist for Atlanta Black Gay Pride & The Gentlemen’s Foundation
Devin LJ Clark - Former ANTM Model and I AM MODEL Management Owner 

HORIZON THEATRE PRESENTS: THE BALLAD OF KLOOK AND VINETTE


Horizon Theatre is excied to announce it's most talked about production, The Ballad of Klook and Vinette playing Januray 19th through February 18th. 

Klook is a drifter who’s tired of drifting. Vinette is on the run but she doesn’t know what’s chasing her. Together, they make a tentative stab at love and reach for hope until the past catches up to the future and smacks it in the face. Tough, tender, funny, poignant, The Ballad of Klook and Vinette will grab you from the inside out. Horizon kicks off its 2018 season with this love story set against poetry and jazz in its highly anticipated American premiere. Soulful music combined with a witty, moving story makes this a mesmerizing theater experience. 

 Click here to get your tickets!

THE WINNERS OF THE 49th NAACP IMAGE AWARDS ANNOUNCED DURING LIVE BROADCAST ON TV ONE

The winners of the 49th NAACP Image Awards were announced tonight during the live broadcast from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium which aired on TV One (see complete winners list below). The two-hour live special was hosted by Anthony Anderson and opened with a powerful moment in support of #TIMESUP featuring Angela Robinson, Kerry Washington, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Laverne Cox, Lena Waithe and Tracee Ellis Ross. There was a live pre-show from the red carpet hosted by Terrence J with special correspondent, Tanika Ray.


Kerry Washington
Tracee Ellis Ross
Halle Berry
 Ava DuVernay was honored as the NAACP Entertainer of the Year. NAACP Chairman Leon W. Russell presented the NAACP Chairman’s Award to William Lucy, NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson presented the NAACP President’s Award to Danny Glover and several members of the Memphis Sanitation “I Am A Man” Workers were also in attendance – they were presented with the NAACP Vanguard Award earlier in the week during a press conference at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN. Charlie Wilson was honored with the Music Makes a Difference honor which is bestowed upon an individual within the recording industry who has achieved worthwhile success and inspiration for civic engagement, criminal justice, education, economic opportunity, or criminal justice.

 In addition, some of the biggest names in film, television and music appeared in the LIVE telecast including: Sterling K. Brown, Halle Berry, Mary J. Blige, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Issae Rae, Mandy Moore, Chadwick Boseman, Terry Crews, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Angela Rye, Danai Gurira, Isaiah Washington, Jacob Latimore, Jay Pharoah, Jemele Hill, Josh Gad, Loretta Devine, Meta Golding, Michael Smith, Tyler James Williams, Omari Hardwick, Ava DuVernay, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Chris Sullivan, Sonequa Martin-Green, Judge Greg Mathis and Mike Colter.

 The 49th NAACP Image Awards production team included Executive Producers Reginald Hudlin and Phil Gurin, Tony McCuin as Director, Byron Phillips as Producer, and Robin Reinhardt as Talent Producer.

 The winners of the 49th NAACP Image Awards in the non-televised categories were announced during a gala dinner celebration that took place Sunday, January 14, 2018, at the Pasadena Conference Center – the event was hosted by The Real’s Adrienne Houghton, Loni Love, Jeannie Mai and Tamera Mowry-Housley.

 The NAACP Image Awards is the premiere multicultural awards show. It celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film, and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.

 Nominees for the NAACP Image Awards are determined by the number of entries received by the deadline. To be eligible, projects must have had a national distribution date between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017. From those entries, a nominating committee selects five nominees in each of the 56 categories. To determine the winners, the members of the NAACP vote via a secured online site. The results are tabulated by the Image Awards auditors, Bert Smith & Co., and the results are confidential until the envelope is opened LIVE on stage during the TV One telecast.


LOOK WHO'S ON WENDY WILLIAMS...RICKEY SMILEY!



Rickey Smiley visits The Wendy Williams Show to Debut His Memoir "Stand By Your Truth: and The Run For Your Life" Thursday, January 18, 2018


TV ONE PREMIERES HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED SOCIAL JUSTICE LIMITED SERIES “TWO SIDES” ON MONDAY, JANUARY 22 AT 10 P.M. ET

DRU HILL RELEASES CHRISTMAS EP "CHRISTMAS IN BALTIMORE," AVAILABLE NOW


Whenever you hear that Dru Hill has new music its always a good thing and now they're proud to announce the upcoming release of their first full Christmas EP, Christmas in Baltimore!

The 8-track project was produced by Grammy-winning writer/producer Troy Taylor on their signature label, Dru Hill Entertainment. Highly anticipated, Christmas in Baltimore marks Dru Hill's fifth studio project. It precedes another brand new studio album to be released in 2018. For the EP, Taylor and the super-soulful vocalists of Dru Hill have come together to give fans Christmas like they've never heard it before! From the classic "Silent Night" to the modern and slightly explicit "Tis the Season," it's literally an album you'll have to download to believe.

"We've always wanted to do a Christmas album, and we knew our fans have been waiting," says the group, "This year, it just all came together and we decided to invite everybody in for that authentic Baltimore holiday experience...you won't find another Christmas album like this, we guarantee it."

A snippet of its first radio single, "Favorite Time of the Year" was released on the group's official Instagram page on November 10th to rave reviews. Fans have been waiting eagerly since the teaser and were finally able to bring the long awaited music home with their November 24threlease.

As they continue to celebrate Christmas with their fans, they also have more exciting surprises in store for 2018!! A new album is on the horizon.


Kevin Hart's Laugh Out Loud To Launch new Comedy Channel With SiriusXM

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Laugh Out Loud, the comedy brand and multi-platform network created by Kevin Hart and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), and SiriusXM (NASDAQ: SIRI) today announced an agreement to launch a new fulltime comedy channel with Hart, one of the top comedians working today. The channel extends the Laugh Out Loud brand to radio for the first time, reaching SiriusXM's more than 32 million subscribers.

The new channel, which launches early next year, will feature a weekly show hosted by Hart. Considered one of the world's top comedians, Hart will also handpick a selection of diverse comedic voices to create, produce and star on the channel's wide range of comedy programming.

"I am very excited to create a channel on SiriusXM that will be home to new frontiers in comedy," said Hart. "After launching our Laugh Out Loud video network, which is off to a fast start, our goal is to make the world laugh by reaching people wherever they are. SiriusXM is the perfect partner to introduce a whole new audience to our Laugh Out Loud brand. The world will soon discover that - believe it or not - I'm even funnier on radio."

"Kevin Hart is an unparalleled entertainer. SiriusXM is excited to have Kevin create a new channel that showcases his many talents and features other comedy voices chosen by Kevin. Our subscribers will love it," said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM. "We are also very proud Kevin has chosen SiriusXM as his audio home and look forward to seeing what he has in store for this channel. Stay tuned."

Laugh Out Loud launched its multi-platform network and streaming video service in August, bringing fans original scripted and unscripted comedy series, stand-up specials, licensed programming, and live broadcasts. In the first 30 days, the service was downloaded more than 500,000 times and catapulted into the top three of Apple iOS' entertainment app rankings. For more, visit LaughOutLoud.com.

SUNDANCE INSTITUTE SELECTS DATARI TURNER PRODUCTIONS FILM 'A BOY. A GIRL. A DREAM' FOR 2018 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

Indie film starring Meagan Good and Omari Hardwick is Turner's sixth selection at the prestigious festival

Datari Turner Productions  is proud to announce that its latest film, A Boy. A Girl. A Dream has been selected for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival taking place in Park City, Utah.

Directed by Qasim Basir and starring Omari Hardwick (Starz' "Power"), Meagan Good (Hulu's upcoming "Foxy Brown"), Jay Ellis (HBO's "Insecure"), and Kenya Barris (ABC's "black-ish"),  A Boy. A Girl. A Dream -- a romantic drama set on the night of the 2016 presidential election -- will play in the NEXT section of the festival, a category of films that take an "innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling."
A Boy. A Girl. A Dream marks producer Datari Turner's sixth film at Sundance. Previous DTP-produced selections were Gook (Winner of the NEXT Audience Award in 2017), Ten Thousand Saints (2015), Luv (2012), Another Happy Day (2011) and Salvation Boulevard (2011).

"I am thrilled to be returning to Sundance to present a film that I wholeheartedly believe will inspire audiences to pursue their dreams," says Turner. "I've dedicated my career to producing unique stories that are told from a variety of perspectives. I'm proud of 'A Boy. A Girl. A Dream' and the story that Qasim brought to life."

One of the most prolific independent producers in film and television, Turner has produced 30 films and over 100 hours of original programming for networks such as WEtv, BET, TV One, Starz and Oxygen. He is creator of the hit WE tv franchise "Growing Up Hip Hop" and has worked with Academy Award winners Jennifer Connolly, Common, Marisa Tomei, Ellen Burstyn as well as nominees Ethan Hawke, James Franco, and Ruby Dee.

Possessing a keen eye for talent, Turner gave actors  Ryan Destiny ("Star") and Michael Rainey Jr ("Power") their big screen debuts and cast rapper Common in his first lead film role (Luv).

Datari recently signed a first-look deal with Entertainment One to produce original, unscripted programming for the studio.