It took a minute to grow on me, but Fantasia’s new song “Lose to Win” is actually one of my favorite songs out right now. As always with every great song, you can almost look behind the music and find a portal into the singer’s heart and soul.
Now with Fantasia, you don’t have to look very far. She proudly puts that portal on display for the entire world to see. Since winning “American Idol” back in 2004, we have watched her evolve into a Grammy-winning performer, but not without her share of “self-inflicted” troubles. Most of those troubles related to her boyfriend, Antwan Cook.
In 2010, Cook’s ex-wife, Paula, accused Fantasia of knowingly pursuing a relationship with her husband despite knowledge of their existing marriage. Fantasia’s version is that she began seeing Cook after he separated.
Not convinced, Paula sued Fantasia under North Carolina’s Alienation of Affections Law, which allows the abandoned spouse to file a suit against the individual responsible for the failure of the marriage. A judge later ruled in Fantasia’s favor.
Also in 2010, Fantasia was hospitalized after overdosing on aspirin and an unknown sleep aid. While it was first reported that her injuries weren’t life threatening – she was suffering from dehydration and exhaustion at the time – it was later classified as a suicide attempt.
Fantasia eventually owned up to the incident, saying that she didn’t care about anything and simply wanted out. In late 2011, she announced her pregnancy and gave birth to her second child. Yes, Cook was the father.
The April cover of Sister 2 Sister Magazine features Fantasia, who recently revealed to Jamie Foster Brown that she and Cook are no longer together. She acknowledges “learning from the disappointment and growing from the experience,” telling Brown that, “If I don’t love myself, then I can’t be in a relationship.”
That sounds like winning to me.
On another note
Although we’re scheduled to have some unwanted visitors in town this weekend (read KKK), there are enough things going on to keep your focus elsewhere.
This Friday night, Brothers 7 presents the first Urban Hang Suite of 2013 at the all-new Flirt Night Club located at 3659 S. Mendenhall. Doors open at 10 p.m. You can find out more information at brothers7.com.
Then on Saturday, there’s The TakeOver from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Pearl’s Oyster House located at 299 South Main. You can find all the details on their Facebook page.
And of course, there’s the What’s Happening Myron Book Club Meeting at T.J. Mulligans, 362 North Main, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. This month’s book is “The Best Kept Secret” by Kimberla Lawson Roby. If you haven’t read the book, don’t worry, just come on out and see what we are all about.
Also, Jae Henderson will be the local featured author. Admission is always free and the first 25 ladies receive a free gift courtesy of my friends at Ampro and Kingdom Kreations Day Spa.
I hope to see you somewhere over the weekend. Until then, that’s what’s happening!
by Myron Mays, Special to the NNPA from the Tri-State Defender
(Got an event you’d like for me to cover or attend? Email me at Myron@whatshappening myron.com)
Karen Braithwaite's 4-year-old daughter, Georgia, wanted a Black Barbie-themed party for her fifth birthday.
While shopping for supplies, the 40-year-old mother from Harlem found there were no cups, tablecloths, napkins, banners or decorations for a black Barbie-themed party.
In response to her findings, Braithwaite organized an online petition on Change.org as a call-to-action for the makers of Barbie, Mattel, to diversify their line of products.
"Even though it seems like a small thing, featuring the white Barbie so prominently on the banners, cups, napkins, plates, party favors, and invitations, while relegating the 'ethnic' Barbies to near-invisible cameos sends a clear—and troubling—message to young girls," the petition reads.
According to an email received by The Observer, Mattel spokesman Alan Hilowitz responded to the petition in an effort to defend the company's efforts on diversifying its products and willing to speak with consumers on the topic.
"We work closely with various partners to develop and distribute Barbie-themed products, such as party supplies, and we will be sharing this valuable feedback with them to start conversations and evaluate the business," Hilowitz said. "We listen carefully to our consumers and take all feedback seriously."
The first black Barbie was introduced to stores in 1968.
In 2009, Mattel introduced its first black Barbie doll line that featured fuller lips, a wider nose and more distinctive cheek bones.
"There's a longstanding notion that little girls of color need to have their self-image reinforced by things they see around them, and it can be really damaging to a little girl to see an image that's so far from anything she is," Braithwaite told The Observer.
The petition has so received more than 2,600 signatures.
By Catherine Witherspoon
A judge has granted founding members of the group exclusive rights to the name “En Vogue,” according to TMZ and legal documents stemming from a legal war amongst the once super-popular female R&B group.
According to a judge, Cindy Herron and Terry Ellis are the only two members that can use the name “En Vogue” while on tour and performing.
The two sued former band mates Maxine Jones and Dawn Robinson in 2012 for the rights to use the name, in addition to $1 million in damages, claiming they were touring under the “En Vogue” name illegally after the quartet broke up.
Original owners of the LLC, Cindy and Terry, were not awarded any money.
The uproar concerning the recent divorce scandal involving Kordell and Porsha Stewart shocked more than the Real Housewives of Atlanta cast and fans of the show, but fans of love too.
Although few people were surprised to learn of yet another reality TV couple joining the growing list of stars whose marriage is reportedly ending, it was disappointing to learn of a good-looking and seemingly happy couple's marriage biting the dust.
However, reality TV did not send the two to divorce court. It is the idea the two thought they could try to infuse two different generations into marriage while flagrantly ignoring the truth behind the notion "you can't and don't try to change a person" that did it.
The infusion of a man seeking a traditional marriage with a woman who has ambition, youth and is attractive is the real reason the pair's likely divorce is such a hot topic of discussion.
Truth be told, it was not that Kordell was controlling and Porsha was young and immature, it is because Kordell represents the values strong men had in the day's women and men of this present generation know very little about.
On the other hand, Porsha represents the women of a different time who feel they are more than just a hottie with a body. Instead, they are beautiful women who feel they can have it all and still take care of house and home.
Regardless of what the majority sees on the show, the real show is their love personifying the conflict in generational standards with new-aged ideas while trying to blatantly ignore that obvious truth— it ain't working and seldom works without someone denying themselves their personal pursuit of happiness in an effort to please the other.
The Stewarts knew they loved each other. They even knew they loved each other from two completely different worlds. What they chose not to do and accept was that they could not change the one they fell in love with and infuse the two loves without confusion.
So, instead of scandalizing and trivializing their marriage, consider the evolution of love and how men and women view one of the most important roles and the biggest decision of a person's life and that is marriage.
Additionally, what role will we play and are willing to play in love? And how strong is your love? Is it the type that cannot be dissolved by reality TV? I would hope so.
A tangential note in a recent BBC article about potential Kimye baby names noted a possibly blasphemous, but apparently "funny" rumored title for Kanye West's upcoming album.
“Mixed emotions greet reports that Kanye West is considering calling his first child North. It’s a good joke, from a slightly unexpected source (neither the rapper nor his possibly even more famous partner, Kim Kardashian, are best known for their self-deprecating sallies, although the title Kanye is supposed to be contemplating for his new album, I Am God, is said to be ‘half tongue-in-cheek’).”
Tongue-in-cheek? Right. The name is actually pretty funny and the fact that so many "news" outlets have jumped on what absolutely has to be a joke Kim and Kanye are playing (the kid's name would be North West, get it?) is hilarious in itself, but "I Am God?" Really, Yeezy?
The possible title gained more credibility when The Roots' drummer Questlove seemed to get behind the title on Twitter.
I Am God…. (you’ll get it later)
— Questo of The Roots (@questlove) March 25, 2013
I sincerely hope we do.
Michael Ealy Talks About Life, Being Typecast and Whether We'll See Him in Any More Pop Divas VideosWritten by Atlanta Daily World
Michael Ealy’s feature films include “Think Like a Man,” “Barbershop,” “Seven Pounds,” “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “Never Die Alone,” “For Colored Girls,” “Miracle at St. Anna,” “Takers” and “Underworld: Awakening.” In 2007, he received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his role in Showtime’s “Sleeper Cell.” Meanwhile, on TV, he’s appeared in ABC’s “Flash Forward” and CBS’s “The Good Wife.”
Here, the versatile thespian talks about starring in “Unconditional,” an inspirational, faith-based feature. In this bittersweet tale of redemption, he portrays Papa Joe Bradford, a real-life role model who, despite kidney disease, teams with a recently-widowed, childhood friend (Lynn Collins) to make a difference in the lives of needy kids in Nashville.
Los Angeles Sentinel (LAS): Hey Michael. Thanks for another interview.
Michael Ealy: I’m good, How are ya?
LAS: What interested you in Unconditional?
ME: It started with the script. I kind of fell in love with some of the miraculous, lyrical and poetic nature of the writing. Ultimately, I still had to respond to the role. And I did respond to the character. The fact that this guy was a real person, someone who, after turning his own life around, was doing everything in his power to influence the development of youth in his neighborhood made me feel like this was an important movie to do.
LAS: Did you get to meet the real Papa Joe Bradford in the process of making the movie?
ME: Yes, sir, and we’re still good friends to this day.
LAS: Editor/legist Patricia Turnier says she loves your performance in Think Like a Man because you made your character really believable. She asks: What does Papa Joe’s philanthropy mean to you?
ME: It’s tough for me to see Papa Joe as a philanthropist because I generally think of philanthropy on a grander scale. For instance, I consider Bill Cosby a philanthropist because of all the colleges and charities he supports. I see Papa Joe as more grassroots. With him, it’s not so much about big changes as it is about an individual’s daily effort. It’s a lot like what a teacher does. When I visit a school, and students get excited, I always tell them, “It’s not me you should be listening to, it’s your teachers, because they’re here every day.” It’s that sort of commitment that Papa made, even though he had his own family, seven kids. Yet, he still finds the time to be daddy to a lot of other children, too. He’s there on a daily basis. I can’t give that. That means a lot. That is special. That is extraordinary.
LAS: Patricia goes on to say that friendship is one of the main themes in Unconditional where the lead character reconnects with an old friend. She’s wondering whether you have a best friend with whom you would like to reconnect.
ME: No, me and my three best friends from childhood never stopped being boys.
LAS: Patricia also recognizes you as the love interest in music videos by both Beyonce’ and Mariah Carey. She wonders whether you plan to play the hunk again opposite a pop diva in another upcoming video.
ME: No, not really.
LAS: On a similar note, children’s book author Irene Smalls asks: Is being so good-looking ever a drawback because people try to typecast you in your career?
ME: [Chuckles] Yes.
LAS: Irene would also like to know what’s up next for you.
ME: I am about to start shooting the remake of About Last Night, an adaptation of David Mamet’s play Sexual Perversity in Chicago.
LAS: Is there any question no one ever asks that you wish someone would?
ME: If you could change anything about yourself, what would that be?
LAS: Last time we spoke, I asked you to come up with a generic Michael Ealy question. Did you think of one yet?
ME: Yeah, if you could talk to anyone who has passed on, who would that be and what would you say?
LAS: Great, thanks. The Pastor Alex Kendrick question: What motivates you at this stage of your career?
ME: Good question. It’s important to me to start challenging myself more as an artist. I’d like to try different genres, and not always take the popular role or the favorite part. I’m highly motivated to be flexible. I don’t always have to play the picture’s moral compass. And I also want to have a lot more fun.
LAS: What would make your life easier?
ME: [LOL] What would make my life easier would be being able to keep my private life private as long as possible.
LAS: Thanks again for the time, Michael, and best of luck with the film.
ME: Alright, Kam, I appreciate it, man.
by Kam Williams, Special to the NNPA from the Los Angeles Sentinel
(YourBlackWorld.com)–Just a few days ago, it was announced by Michael Baisden that he was leaving his popular radio show. The announcement stunned listeners, since the show was doing so well. It also appeared that Baisden was leaving on his own accord, and that he would have a few days to say goodbye to listeners before heading off the air.
But these reports are being contradicted by Access Atlanta, who says that Baisden has been locked out of his studio and can’t even finish out the show on his own terms. Here is the original tweet that Baisden sent out to the public:
"At 3pm ET today, Michael and George (Willborn) will begin saying goodbye after 10 years on radio. Tell everyone to tune in and call in to show some love for the most thought provoking, funny, and socially active shows ever to come to radio!"
Baisden’s tune changed later on when it was revealed that he’d been locked out of the studio and couldn’t come in to properly finish off the show before leaving:
"In the words of Rodney King, 'Can’t we all get along?' Just because we couldn’t come to an agreement is no reason to deprive the listeners, our affiliates, and our advertisers of only 9 days to say goodbye and show our appreciation.
All their action does is make me more determined than ever to come back! And next time there will be no middlemen between me, my affiliates, and my listeners. Lesson learned!
I’ll miss you family, stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for my daily inspiration post and updates on the return of The MB Show! The journey continues!!!"
Radio Facts claims that the negotiations between Baisden and Cumulus did not go well and that they are upset that he released information to the public before getting their permission to do so. Negotiations were still pending, but it appears that Baisden walked away from the table.
Baisden said more about the situation on his Facebook page:
"Who would have ever thought that a Black man from the South Side of Chicago, with no college degree, no formal training in radio, TV, or writing, and the youngest son to a single 17 year-old teenaged mother with three children, would one day lead civil rights protest and help to elect the first Black President. Life is truly amazing!
I am proud of what I have accomplished with my life and look forward to what is to come next. Life is full of new beginnings, whether it’s a new relationship or a new business venture; change is the one constant…and we must learn to embrace it.
For years I’ve encouraged you to step out on faith to live your dream, to never compromise your principles, and most importantly, not to be afraid to try something new, but above all else, dare to be different. Well, it’s time for me to practice what I preach!
When I began writing books in 1993, my only goal was to have a positive impact and challenge people to think outside the box. In 1995 I took that leap of faith and left my job with a four-year-old child to support, three thousand dollars in my pocket, and a dream. And as strange as this may sound, there was never a doubt in my mind that I would make it.
Call it cockiness or confidence, but I was determined that no force on earth was going to stop me from realizing my dreams. And after five best selling books, two stage plays, two televisions shows, three DVDs, and one of the most successful radio programs in history, I’m just getting started!
No, it was not my intention to leave radio, I had plans for The Michael Baisden Live Tour, my 10-year anniversary party in DC in July, and I was looking forward to being on the air this summer to get justice for Trayvon Martin and his family.
But sometimes fate, the universe, God, or however you want to label that undeniable force, has it’s own plans. Someone once told me that the greatest experiences in life are unplanned ones. I guess I’m about to test that theory."
We wish Michael the best of luck in his new endeavors. We’re sure they will be successful.
Special to the NNPA from the New Pittsburgh Courier
Rapper Gucci Mane is again being sought by Atlanta police. The Atlanta native, whose real name is Radric Davis, was accused of hitting a man over the head with a bottle of champagne for reasons unknown.
An arrest warrant for aggravated assault was issued for Davis after James Lettley, of Fort Hood, Texas, said Gucci Mane hit him with the champagne bottle while he was attempting to get a picture with the rapper. The alleged event happened at Harlem Nights Ultra Lounge near downtown Atlanta. Gucci Mane was there promoting a mixtape release.
Lettley, 32, said Saturday he wanted to get a picture with the rapper and was talking to a security guard when he was hit March 16.
“Once he struck me in my head, I looked at him in a state of shock and looked at him like ‘why?’” Lettley said. He said he was then hit in his face by a second man and left the club, according to The Associated Press.
Police said the assault caused a severe gash to Lettley’s head.
He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and told sources that he had to get 10 stitches. Police said the rapper may have taken off in a white Chevrolet Tahoe.
AP reported that it was unclear if the rapper has an attorney.
It's that time of the year again. It's March Madness time. We've got CBSSports.com blogger Adena Andrews talking about the tournament, Cinderella stories and who to put in the Final Four of your bracket for the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
The Atlanta City Council voted 11-4 Monday night to approve funding of a $1 billion retractable-roof stadium in downtown Atlanta for the Falcons. Notoriously skeptical of public financing for stadiums, "Field of Schemes" co-author Neil deMause talks about what the agreement means and why, even after covering stadium projects since the mid-1990s, Atlanta's deal was still a surprise to him.