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Sports Talk / Deadspin Article: "NFL's Big Threat is Apathy"
« on: February 14, 2018, 12:45:14 pm »

Biggest Threat Is Apathy

Lindsey Adler

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

One Sunday this season I forgot to watch the NFL. There were some errands to be done, probably, or maybe I was elbows-deep in some stupid binge-watch fugue state. It’s not important, really. What’s notable is not what else was on my plate, but that it was more important to me than watching a football game. At some point in the last few seasons I’ve felt my interest in the sport slowly drain away, with each football Sunday becoming less of a capital-e Event and more of a low-impact way to pass some time throughout the fall and winter.

It’s probably best that I refrain from the NFL, although I can’t say in good faith that doing so was an ethical decision on my part, or even one I was aware of making. If I have children one day, I’d like to tell them I acted on principle and turned away from a sport so detrimental to the people who break their bodies across brief and brutal careers that mostly serve to enrich their billionaire employers. I’d love to be a person who could sit here and write one of those righteous, correct, semi-insufferable essays on Why I Can No Longer Watch The NFL With A Clean Conscience, but I’m not. I want to love football, and I don’t want to give up the part of me that has allowed the game to stand in for other interests—for regional pride, and for some sense of family nostalgia. I am not ready to give up the game just yet, but I am feeling increasingly certain that it’s happening anyway, with or without my conscious consent or active participation.

I believe that people like me are a bigger risk to the sport’s future than the people who draw a principled line at the league’s handling of CTE or its response to player protests against racial injustice during the National Anthem. I know quite a few people who fall into the camp of people disturbed by brain trauma, and a few who seem to have tentatively walked away given the implicit blackballing of Colin Kaepernick. The only person I’ve met personally who said he gave up the game because of the kneeling during the anthem was a guy whose dog was sniffing my dog’s butt on Super Bowl Sunday. I don’t imagine I’d agree with that man on much more than the relative merits of dogs, but in a sense I admire people willing to walk away from something they love because they believe it’s wrong not to do so. It’s the righteous way to be.

But eventually, I think there will be more people like me, who over time become slightly bored with the game and maybe the league, and then just fade away slowly. It’s one thing for the NFL to try to recapture the fans that have given up the game for specific reasons, but it’s another to try to rekindle the passion of consumers gone apathetic.

The Wall Street Journal wrote about the NFL’s dilemma ahead of the Super Bowl, selling a WSJ/NBC joint poll as “[depicting] a developing nightmare for the National Football League: Its core audience is losing interest rapidly, a potential threat to the league’s dominant role in American culture.”

“Adults who report following the NFL closely has dropped 9% since 2014, the poll finds. More alarming for the league, however, is the makeup of the people moving away from the NFL in large numbers: Just 51% of men aged 18 to 49 say they follow the NFL closely, down from 75% four years ago. The poll did not ask respondents why their interest changed. The Journal/NBC News poll interviewed 900 adults from Jan. 13-17. The margin of error for the full sample was plus or minus 3.27 percentage points.”

The piece went on to detail various reasons this could be the case, and chances are you already know those. But for me, there’s not one specific incident I can point to to say this, this is why I no longer love the NFL.

It’s the brain damage and CTE, certainly. It’s the gross labor, class, and racial dynamics that turn men into mostly disposable pawns, exploited as they make their way through the NCAA grinder and exploited again in the NFL, where they at last earn a wildly suppressed salary. It’s the simple fact that my favorite team, the 49ers, have been not just bad, but very, very boring over the last few seasons. It’s the fact that I left the Bay Area for New York and have been taken away from the culture of my team and am no longer in the television market for their boring-ass games. It’s the fact that writing about sports inevitably dulls the sensation of watching them. It’s the fact that to some extent, through maturation, I no longer need my interest in the game to prop up who I am or dictate how I relate to the world around me.

Or maybe my problem is the NFL’s constant, churning administrative drama. That constant underlying churn is the league’s least-favorite word: a distraction from the game at hand. But it’s probably not the catch rule. That can be fixed, I think.

When I watched the Super Bowl, I was hoping to see Tom Brady be humbled. I was also thinking about the flow of the game, and the way the lack of punts presented a whole New Football, one where the game moved along handily and drama was sustained from down to down. But I also wondered about the people across the country gathered in groups to watch this one game. I wondered where my interest was on the spectrum of those fans, and where I was on the continuum of “do not under any circumstances talk to me during the game” people and the “I’m just here for the chips and dip” people.

I know where I used to be. I was a nightmare to watch a 49ers game with, to the point where I preferred to watch games alone. I once shamefully yelled at someone who tried to talk to me during a playoff game. I called in sick to work after the 2014 NFC Championship loss. I wore an Aldon Smith jersey on my third date with my boyfriend; when the game was over I went into the bathroom at the bar to cry because I knew Jim Harbaugh was going to get fired and the team would plunge back into the darkness. It was fun! It was probably very humiliating! But it was fun! Or, anyway, it was exciting.

Football was, for a fairly brief period of time, something about me. Every waking moment during the season was defined first and foremost by my love of football and the 49ers, even if, admittedly, I’m not all that expert in the particulars of the game. But it’s a social game, and it’s America’s Sport for now, and like most people I know who remain obsessed with sports into adulthood, continuing to care about it had a lot to do with my feelings about my family.

But now, as I find myself moving further from football as an anchor of my identity, I wonder whether I’d be able to walk—or drift—away from football if it had remained a consistent lifelong passion. Would I even have these feelings of conflict? Would they be stronger? Do I feel fairly ready to quit watching the NFL because in time I’ve realized the 49ers have nothing to do with my family at all? Am I still holding on, to the extent I am, because I’m still not ready to give up the wispy, stubborn family ties I have fashioned around this sport?

The first independently reported feature I ever wrote was about a man named Joseph Chernach who killed himself at age 25 and was found to have CTE. He played football throughout high school. His mother is now one of the moms at the forefront of a CTE awareness campaign. His brother still loves the Packers. The New York Times rewrote the story and I screamed into a pillow. For a young reporter without access to players or credentials, the CTE beat is accessible; people want to tell their stories, and most of the professional football media is busy writing about professional football. Over the next couple of years I spoke to innumerable wives and mothers and children of men who’d given their minds and bodies to the game, leaving their loved ones suffering in the wake.

Only a handful of those interviews ever made it to print, but they are inescapable in my mind when I watch the NFL. Each hit a man takes on the field is an injury against his loved ones, too. I think of the players who post beautiful photos of their families on Instagram, and wonder what the future will look like for those small kids and the women who manage the home. I ask in interviews if these players will allow their own kids to play the game, or I listen for it in other people’s interviews. I wonder why, if they say no, they allow themselves to suffer through a game to which they wouldn’t subject their kids. I wonder what forces could possibly outweigh the still-early but supremely alarming research and testimonies on what football does to a body. I wince now more than I used to; the legal hit that knocked Brandin Cooks out of the Super Bowl made me nauseous.

But it’s not just that. Increasingly during the season I wonder about the league’s distribution of access to its product outside of prime-time and regional matchups.

In my other time, I mostly focus on baseball. For a relatively small fee, I can watch every single out of market game on, regardless of my time zone or local cable package. It’s something I wish would come to football, not in the form of the expensive Sunday Ticket, which would require me to change my cable subscription entirely, but in some way that was easier to use. To watch the 49ers in New York, I have only a few options. I can hope that they’re playing a local team or wind up in the 4 p.m. national game, I can stream the game illegally, or I can hope they show up on Red Zone consistently (hahaha). It’s pretty hard to stay invested in a bad team under those circumstances, and the promise of neutral fandom doesn’t do much for me, personally.

I’ve talked about this privately many times over the course of the last year, but never expected to write it all out. Mostly, though, I know there are people out there like me—people who, despite their otherwise reasonable moral inclinations, just do not quite want to quit football. It’s an inherently shameful position, a compromise with myself and not an especially honorable one at that. But it’s where I am now, and it’s what I think about when I sit down to watch a game.

The 49ers should have some fun stuff cooking next season, especially now with Jimmy Garoppolo locked up to a big, glimmering contract, but I predict that within a few years I will slide further down the ranks of football fanatics to become a person who tunes in casually throughout the season, and makes time during the playoffs. I don’t think I have it in me to give it up altogether—as a nation full of viewers saw during the Super Bowl, football can still be very, very fun—but I don’t have much faith in that same passion, that same spark reigniting after being worn down to an ember. I want to love football, despite my better instincts, but for now, it just won’t let me.

Producing / LeBron James to produce House Party remake?
« on: February 13, 2018, 01:37:04 pm »
Uhhh.... "fake news", Mr. Reggie?  Or....?   :o

LeBron James To Produce "House Party" Remake

February 13, 2018 | 12:40 PM

by Kyle Eustice

LeBron James To Produce "House Party" Remake
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

 NBA superstar LeBron James has signed up to produce a remake of the ’90s Kid ‘n Play film House Party, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Atlanta writers Stephen Glover (Donald Glover’s brother) and Jamal Olori are reportedly writing the screenplay.

“This is definitely not a reboot,” James said. “It’s an entirely new look for a classic movie. Everyone I grew up with loved House Party. To partner with this creative team to bring a new House Party to a new generation is unbelievable.”

James’ SpringHill Entertainment partner Maverick Carter hinted James might have a role in the film.

“There’s no plan for it now, but he’s a fantastic actor, and if he wants a role, Stephen will find a great role to put him in,” Carter explained.

They’re also eyeing artists to contribute to the film’s soundtrack.

“We’re trying out some ideas for musicians to be cast in and to be a part of the project,” he said.

The original House Party was released in 1990 to critical acclaim. The subsequent sequels, House Party 2 and House Party 3, followed in 1991 and 1994, respectively.
LeBron James to Produce 'House Party' Reboot for New Line (Exclusive)

 6:00 AM PST 2/13/2018  by  Tatiana Siegel   






Jason Miller/Getty Images

LeBron James

'Atlanta' writers Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori are penning the screenplay.

As Los Angeles hosts its first NBA All-Star shindig in seven years, LeBron James is prepping a Hollywood bash of his own.

The megastar and his SpringHill Entertainment partner, Maverick Carter, are producing a new House  Party, which will revive the Kid ’n Play–fronted New Line comedy franchise that started in 1990 and was followed by sequels in 1991 and 1994. Atlanta’s Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori will pen the screenplay.

“This is definitely not a reboot. It’s an entirely new look for a classic movie,” James tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Everyone I grew up with loved House Party. To partner with this creative team to bring a new House Party to a new generation is unbelievable.”

Fans can expect a star-studded soundtrack, perhaps even James’ good pal Drake, with whom SpringHill is collaborating on Netflix’s crime drama, Top Boy, and Vince Carter doc The Carter Effect.

“We’re trying out some ideas for musicians to be cast in and to be a part of the project,” says Carter, who adds that a cameo by James, in high demand since his well-received performance in Universal’s Trainwreck, also remains a possibility. “There’s no plan for it now, but he’s a fantastic actor, and if he wants a role, Stephen will find a great role to put him in,” adds Carter.

Warner Bros.–based SpringHill is eyeing House Party as the Survivor’s Remorse banner’s first narrative feature, with its Space Jam  remake “a ways off,” says Carter. The films join a SpringHill slate that also includes Netflix’s limited series about entrepreneur and activist Madam C.J. Walker, starring and executive produced by Octavia Spencer; Starz’s docuseries Warriors of Liberty City, about a Florida youth football team that has produced more than 40 NFL players; and NBC game show The Wall, which just wrapped its second season.

James, 33, is leading the pack among a group of hoops stars leveraging their appeal in Hollywood. Kobe Bryant is an Oscar nominee for doc short Dear Basketball, while Forest Whitaker, Nina Yang Bongiovi and Jason Samuels are producing an authorized doc about Stephon Marbury’s surprising second act as a basketball god in China (Coodie Simmons and Chike Ozah are directing). Even less expected: Steve Nash is producing an untitled feature about the rise of ecstasy and the rave culture in Reagan-era Texas. Says the film’s producer, Braxton Pope: "Steve has great taste and is serious in a sustained way about film and creative content. He's been an ideal partner.”

In The News / Danielle Herrington new SI Swimsuit Cover Model
« on: February 13, 2018, 12:42:52 pm »
Very cool, kudos to Ms. Herrington, continued success!

'Sports Illustrated' reveals Danielle Herrington as swimsuit cover model

Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY SportsPublished 9:08 a.m. ET Feb. 13, 2018 | Updated 12:42 p.m. ET Feb. 13, 2018

Danielle Herrington will be the third black woman to be featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, joining Tyra Banks and Beyonce. Buzz60's Sam Berman has the full story. Buzz60


(Photo: Ben Watts, AP)








Danielle Herrington was revealed as 2018's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model on Tuesday. She becomes just the third black woman to appear on the cover of the magazine, joining Tyra Banks (1997) and Beyonce (2005).

The 24-year-old first appeared in the magazine's swimsuit issue last year, and she was photographed this year wearing a pink bikini at Harbour Island, Bahamas. SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day called Herrington a "natural brand ambassador."

SI shared an Instagram video of Herrington learning from Banks that she was on the 2018 cover.

"I can't even believe I'm saying this. I am the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model," Herrington told SI. "I can't wait for everyone to see it. I'm emotional, but I just want to say thank you to everyone who believed in me. I put in so much work for this, and I'm feeling very accomplished, happy and excited."

MORE: Who is Danielle Herrington? 5 things about the 'Sports Illustrated' swimsuit cover star

MORE: Special 'Sports Illustrated' swimsuit spread lets models express themselves

In The News / Mr. Reggie Spotlighted in XFinity Comcast Commercial
« on: February 09, 2018, 08:31:53 am »

hey, very cool!!
Mr. Reggie, how were you approached to participate?

In celebration of Black History Month, Comcast launched a new short film directed by Andre Wilkins that puts a spotlight on some of the talented contributors behind America’s favorite superhero stories, shows and movies. “Groundbreakers: Heroes Behind The Mask” is a 12-minute short film that includes interviews with:
Phillip Boutte, Jr. costume illustrator for films: Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther”, Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” and Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Justice League”

Cheo Hodari Coker showrunner of the popular series “Marvel’s Luke Cage” on Netflix

Dr. Sheena Howard award-winning author of “Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation”

Alitha E. Martinez, comic book illustrator best known for her work drawing Marvel’s “Iron Man” and contributed drawings to comic book series, ‘World of Wakanda’

Reginald Hudlin, film writer, director and producer with credits including “Marshall” and the graphic novel “Black Panther: The Complete Collection”

Floyd Norman, Disney’s first African American animator with credits including “Mulan” and “The Jungle Book”; subject of the documentary ‘An Animated Life’

Phil LaMarr, voice over artist for several characters in the DC Comics Animated Universe and Star Wars: Rebels

Ciara Renee, actress – currently starring as ‘Hawkgirl’ on the CW’s “Legends of Tomorrow”

Technology / Far Cry Five- First Trump Era Survival Game?
« on: February 08, 2018, 06:41:36 pm »
! No longer available

I stumbled across this on Youtube, looking for something else and this played as an ad. 

WOW.  WOW.  WTF...

This is a little too on the nose for me, with the references to fundamentalist rural cults, geez....

I don't have any current gaming systems, but I'd be tempted to buy one to check this game out.

This is just nuts, I wouldn't have figured a video game company would dare to actually come out with something like this.. lol..

Feel The Funk / Best Buy, others to stop selling CDs
« on: February 07, 2018, 11:59:21 am »


Well, I guess this leaves Amazon and the independent music stores... maybe?

Best Buy is abandoning the humble CD and will no longer sell them in its stores starting on July 1st, 2018, reports Billboard. The move comes as CD sales continue to decline; revenue from digital music downloads eclipsed it back in 2014.

Target, on the other hand, says it will only sell music CDs under a consignment basis, shifting inventory risk back to the labels. That means Target would only pay labels for CDs when customers buy them, rather than buying the CDs in bulk and paying for shipments of unsold CDs back to the label for credit.

In a statement emailed to The Verge, Target said:

“Entertainment has been and continues to be an important part of Target’s brand. We are committed to working closely with our partners to bring the latest movies and music titles, along with exclusive content, to our guests.

“The changes we’re evaluating to our operating model, which shows a continued investment in our Entertainment business, reflect a broader shift in the industry and consumer behavior. We have nothing more to share at this time.”

Despite no longer selling CDs, Best Buy will still sell vinyl for the next two years, which Billboard says is part of a commitment it made to vendors. Sources suggested that Best Buy’s music CD arm was only generating $40 million annually.

As we’ve previously reported, during the first half of 2017, streaming services accounted for 62 percent of revenue from the US music market. The decline of CD sales has also sparked Warner Music Group to offer voluntary buyouts to its 130 staff working in physical product, according to Billboard.

It’s not surprising that we’re no longer buying CDs — at least not for new music. The best-selling CD in 2016 was a Mozart boxset, which contained 200 CDs that were individually counted as a separate sale. Users who don’t buy music prefer to stream it via services like Spotify and Apple Music, and gadget makers aren’t really making CD players anymore.

There’s still hope, though: vinyl has seen a resurgence in recent years, as has the cassette tape. And even though there aren’t a lot of new cassette players on the market, artists are still finding ways to release music through physical mediums (or at least a mix of both). For example, Korean artist G-Dragon released his latest album via USB drive.

Vox Populi / First black Lt. Governor of Louisiana-- Rediscovered
« on: February 05, 2018, 01:12:08 pm »

How Louisiana Buried the History of the Nation’s First Black Lieutenant Governor

Laine Kaplan-Levenson

Back in 1976, when Brian Mitchell was eight years old, a teacher in his Louisiana school system asked if anyone in the class was related to a famous figure from the state’s history. Mitchell, who had spent his childhood listening to family stories, said he was related to the legendary Oscar James Dunn. But according to Mitchell, his teacher had no idea who that was. “He’s the first black Lieutenant Governor, not just for Louisiana, but for the entire nation,” Mitchell remembers saying. “There’s never been a black lieutenant governor of Louisiana,” his teacher replied.

But there was, and he was Mitchell’s great great great-uncle. “As I child, I’d spend my days after school with my great-grandmother,” Mitchell recalls. And her family stories “always sort of lead to important patriarchs or matriarchs,” including Dunn. Now Mitchell is an assistant professor of history at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and he’s spent much of his career studying Dunn so future teachers don’t make the same mistake his did some four decades ago.
“There’s never been a black lieutenant governor of Louisiana,” his teacher said.

As New Orleans has been in the national spotlight over the removal of four city monuments—all erected after the end of Reconstruction, years after the Civil War, to reassert white power—Mitchell is bringing attention to a monument of is ancestor that was intended to be built. It was supposed to honor Reconstruction’s success, and it featured a prominent black politician named Oscar James Dunn, who during his relatively short life wrestled with white politicians over civil rights.

Dunn was supposed to be a hero: Around the time he suffered an untimely and mysterious death, a journalist wrote, “There will be three pictures that hang in the home of every African-American … Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Oscar James Dunn.” Thanks to some historical amnesia, and a smear campaign against Dunn, that didn’t end up being true.

Dunn was born in New Orleans around 1822 to an enslaved mother. She fell in love with a free man of color named James who bought her and her two children for $800 in 1831. By the time Oscar James Dunn turned 11, he was free: “That changes Dunn’s life forever,” Mitchell says. Now the young Dunn could go to school—and he was good at school. He learned a trade (plastering) and he was excellent at that, too. Dunn grew up to become the head of the black Masonic Lodges in Louisiana, a powerful civic force working on education and youth initiatives for free blacks in the state. Then the Civil War ended, and the Reconstruction era began.

Around this time, “African-Americans are all over the South,” Mitchell says. “They’re released and people need their labor for agriculture.” Dunn opened an office to cater to their needs, and used his education to write contracts for recently released enslaved people, so they could work on plantations without being cheated.

Dunn made sure these newly free people actually got paid for their labor, and he was quite good at that, too—which inspired those close to him to suggest he might make a good politician. Around that time, people of color freed prior to the Emancipation Proclamation (like Dunn) were beginning to enter politics. Dunn ran for office: he was elected to be Louisiana’s Lieutenant governor in 1868.

Dunn was a member of what was known as the Radical Republican party. “They were the progressive party that was trying to extend civil rights to African Americans, especially in the South,” says Nick Weldon, who works for the Historic New Orleans Collection, a museum and research center. Weldon discovered Dunn’s history as he was going through some of his historical documents. He recently found quotes from the New Orleans Times where local Democrats described Dunn, their political opponent, and the “the taint of honesty and of scrupulous regard for the official properties,” which was a “serious drawback in innervating a reproach on the lieutenant governor.”

“He did a lot against a lot of pressure, and in a pretty hostile environment.”

“Basically, they’re like, he is so fair-minded and scrupulous that it’s annoying,” Weldon says.

Dunn used such bipartisan respect to advance his career: “He became a big proponent for universal male suffrage” as well as civil rights legislation and the integration of public schools, according to Weldon. “He did a lot against a lot of pressure, and in a pretty hostile environment.”

“Hostile” is one way to put it. The Louisiana governor at the time was a man named Henry Warmoth, a white, 20-something Republican from New York. Three years after the Civil War ended, in 1868, he and Dunn were elected on the same ticket. Dunn was two decades older than Governor Warmoth, and at first Dunn believed, perhaps naively, that this young Yankee wanted equality between white Louisianans and their black counterparts. But then Governor Warmoth betrayed Lieutenant Governor Dunn.

“When it actually came time for him to sign a bill that would protect blacks,” Brian Mitchell says, “he says no.” The governor vetoed a bill that would have penalized bus and business owners who did not provide equal services to both races.

When Governor Warmoth refused to sign this civil rights bill, it divided the Republican party. Despite the fact that that both Dunn and Warmoth were members of the same party, they found themselves in direct competition over the most explosive issues of the time. There was a Dunn camp and a Warmoth camp at the time; they had separate police forces, seperate conventions.

“It was complete chaos,” Weldon says. “There was no order.”

Warmoth began to lose power. The Democrats, once Souther Confederates, didn’t accept Governor Warmoth because they saw him as a “carpetbagger,” a foreign leader with little local interest. The Radical Republicans, and in particular the black members of the party, realized quickly that Governor Warmoth was working against their interests. By 1872 another gubernatorial election was on the horizon, and there was talk amongst these factions of impeaching Warmoth.

Meanwhile, Dunn’s career was going well—and if Warmoth were to be impeached, he would become the first black governor in the country. Rumors started flying around the state that that the president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, was considering Dunn as his vice president after Dunn visited the capitol. And then, in November of 1871, Dunn went to a public dinner. Two days later, he was dead.

And then, in November of 1871, Dunn went to a public dinner. Two days later, he was dead.

According Mitchell, Dunn fell violently ill soon after attending the dinner, vomiting, shivering, and falling unconscious. He called a few close friends, says Mitchell, but there wasn’t much they could do. “And there is speculation that he may have been, as they say, ‘dosed’” with poison.

Nick Weldon says Dunn’s death was a “shock to the city.” The official cause of death: congestion of the brain and lungs, technically classified as natural causes. But many people, Weldon included, say Dunn’s symptoms were consistent with arsenic poisoning. And four out of the seven doctors who examined the lieutenant governor refused to sign off on the official cause of death.

But, says, Mitchell, “we really just don’t know what happened to Dunn.” His immediate family refused an autopsy, so we’ll never know whether he was poisoned by political rivals. It remains something of a historical mystery. “There have probably been more papers on Dunn’s death than on Dunn’s life,” Mitchell notes.

Dunn died at the age of 49, at the height of his political career. The city was in shock. “Over 50,000 people turned out for the funeral. It’s called the largest in New Orleans’ history,” Mitchell says. “The composition of the crowd was made up of every facet of New Orleans society, black and white. And I always point out that it’s probably one of the oldest second lines in New Orleans history. There are jazz bands that are there.”

The mourners included most of Dunn’s political rivals—the men who could have poisoned him. Governor Warmoth, of all people, was a pallbearer. The second line stretched a mile long, from the intersection of Claiborne and Canal (where Dunn’s house is) to Magazine street. It proceeded to the cemetery. “To say he was well loved in the city would have been an understatement,” Mitchell says.

But that regard was never memorialized the way white Confederate heroes were. Weldon says $10,000 was dedicated to create a monument of Dunn in an act signed by the governor—a couple hundred thousand, in today’s money—but it was never spent. Today, we don’t even really know why. “All I know is that it isn’t there,” Mitchell says.

But he has found evidence of a movement to discredit Dunn: an old drawing from that era of a Mardi Gras ball, where the Krewe of Comus dressed their king up as an ape to mock the lieutenant governor. “I argue,” says Mitchell, “that it’s at this point that revisionists start trying to take over the narrative and rewrite Dunn as a villain instead of a hero in American history.”

“By taking down Dunn, they were able to reinforce notions of black inferiority in Louisiana.”

“When you see this somewhat rising African-American political star at the time of all this strife … The guy dies and pretty much with him was all the gains that he had fought for: Civil rights, suffrage, integration in public schools,” Weldon says.

“Reconstruction started to go away after that. At the same time, the Ku Klux Klan is just getting started. The White League is just getting started,” Weldon says.

“By taking down Dunn, they were able to reinforce notions of black inferiority in Louisiana,” Mitchell points out.

So two decades after Dunn died, instead of building a monument for a formerly enslaved man who could have become the vice president, a monument goes up in Liberty Place to honor a white supremacist group, the Crescent City white League.

“All of this progress that was made gets immediately wiped off the slate,” Weldon says. But a hundred years later, Dunn’s descendant, Brian Mitchell, goes to elementary school in New Orleans, where his teacher tells him his ancestor never existed. “My entire life I went to classes, and I loved history. And I heard about Manifest Destiny and I heard about the melting pot, and none of these things seem to explain my condition as an African-American in the United States,” he says. “But Dunn did.”
In our conversation, I asked Mitchell if he thought the scrapped monument to Dunn would have made a difference in how well-known the politician was. “Most certainly,” he said.

This feature is part of Splinter’s project to recruit local, embedded reporters, essayists, and photographers across the country. It was adapted from the TriPod: New Orleans at 300 podcast. Read more from our Think Local series here.

Feel The Funk / RIP Dennis Edwards - Temptations
« on: February 02, 2018, 04:14:12 pm »

Alas, another legend gone...  :(

I hope that there are local tribute events.

BET Awards, whenever they air, need to do something big.

Other Comics / Saladin Ahmed, "Elena Abbott" mini series
« on: January 22, 2018, 06:19:24 am »

Marvel's 'Black Bolt' writer Saladin Ahmed has a new comic, 'Abbott,' set in 1972 Detroit

Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press Pop Culture CriticPublished 7:01 a.m. ET Jan. 21, 2018 | Updated 9:52 a.m. ET Jan. 21, 2018

This uber-contemporary house in Bloomfield Township has long, startling sight lines inside, with exotic components like etched glass and zebra wood and dramatic interior architecture.Wochit, Wochit


(Photo: Elaine Cromie, Special to the Detroit Free Pres)









Whether she’s arriving at a crime scene, standing up to her boss or just listening at home to John Coltrane albums, Elena Abbott is cool.

So cool that the fictional newspaper reporter is the title character of a new comic book series set in 1972's “two Detroits: one white, one black” — a place where “the former would rather leave the city than truly share it with the latter.”

A comic tackling sociopolitical-economic issues and featuring a strong woman of color? That immediately makes “Abbott,” which will debut Jan. 24, a standout.

It’s also the first comic book creation of metro Detroit author Saladin Ahmed, who has emerged as one of the more sought-after fantasy/sci-fi/superhero writers on the contemporary pop-culture scene. 

Read more:

Detroit's Antietam restaurant announces that it's closing

Journey, Def Leppard team up for Comerica Park concert, U.S. tour

In 2017, Ahmed's assignments included contributing a short story for a book connected to the movie “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and writing his first comic book, "Black Bolt," a highly acclaimed new Marvel series.

His next project will be writing “Exiles,” a Marvel franchise reboot, this one featuring a superhero team that includes a version of Valkyrie inspired by actress Tessa Thompson’s portrayal in the hit movie “Thor: Ragnarok.”

Ahmed will be signing copies of the first issue of “Abbott" at Detroit’s Vault of Midnight store Saturday. Published by Boom! Studios, it's the story of a female journalist of color who investigates a chain of grisly crimes ignored by the cops and perpetrated by “a dark magical force — the same force that murdered her husband 10 years ago.”

Employed by the scrappy Detroit Daily (in one panel, she walks past the former Detroit Free Press and Detroit News buildings to reach its gritty offices), Abbott lives and works in a city that’s undergoing major changes in the complicated era after the 1967 riot.

Images from "Abbott," the new comic book series created by Saladin Ahmed. It's set in 1972 Detroit.
Images from "Abbott," the new comic book series created by Saladin Ahmed. It's set in 1972 Detroit. (Photo: Boom! Studios)

 “Abbott” is relevant not just to Detroit’s history but also to its current struggle to balance the downtown revival with the needs of financially struggling neighborhoods. It also connects to themes like the importance of investigative journalism and the contemporary women's movement.

“Give Abbott a chance. She might be a woman, but I tell you she’s a natural newsman,” her editor barks in the first issue.

'This one stuck with me'

Ahmed's work, complemented by that of artist Sami Kivela, weaves the real with the supernatural in ways that should make for a captivating five-issue series of comics that will run through May. A collected edition of “Abbott” is planned for 2019.

“It’s pretty solidly in a certain genre of paranormal investigator, going back from ‘The X-Files’ to the 1970s show ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker,’ ” says Ahmed, who drew inspiration for the main character from several sources, including his late great-grandmother, who worked half a century ago as a private detective and union organizer.

”Usually, these kind of ideas kind of pop up in one’s head. You kind of think about it. I tweet about it and make a joke or two, and then it disappears. This one stuck with me,” says Ahmed.

The author didn’t set out to make his tale a treatise on contemporary politics in the Donald Trump era.

“I don’t try and write comics that are: ‘This is my commentary on what’s happening this month.’ But inevitably, a lot of the political things and racial and gender ones, all those sorts of questions, there’s going to be echoes of what’s happening right now. I mean, Nixon was president at that time. There are automatic echoes,” he says with a smile.

"Abbott #1" will be available Wednesday.
"Abbott #1" will be available Wednesday. (Photo: Boom! Studios)

Eric Harburn, who’s Ahmed’s editor at Boom! Studios, says he reached out to the writer after coming across "Throne of the Crescent Moon," his acclaimed 2012 fantasy novel, and his work for “Black Bolt.”

“Saladin is one of the most exciting emerging talents that we’ve seen in the past few years, both on the prose and fiction side, but also with his debut with 'Black Bolt.' It was one of the best ideas in 2017 in comics. He had this idea that was bubbling in him (for ‘Abbott’). ... Once we heard about it, we were all in.”

Harburn, who grew up outside Flint, also is pleased that Detroit is used in a credible, evocative way as a location for "Abbott."

“It’s a setting ripe for drama. ... It’s grounded in the real Detroit in a real 1970s era and climate.”

Son of Dearborn

Ahmed, 42, is the son of Ismael Ahmed, the founder of ACCESS and Concert of Colors and a former director of the Michigan Department of Human Services. He grew up in the Arab-American community in Dearborn and is an alumnus of Henry Ford Community College, the University of Michigan and Brooklyn College. He wrote poetry and short stories before breaking through with “Throne of the Crescent Moon,” which earned a nomination for a prestigious Hugo Awards, the Oscar of science fiction writing.

“It’s ‘Arabian Nights’ meets ‘Lord of the Rings’ — that’s one of the elevator Hollywood pitches you might give it,” Ahmed said in a previous Free Press interview.

The novel led to Marvel approaching him about writing "Black Bolt,” which became a critical success and ended up making Entertainment Weekly's best-of-2017 list for comic books.

Although Black Bolt premiered in 1965 in a “Fantastic Four” issue, this was the character's first solo comic series. The project is not related to the recent CW misfire “Marvel's Inhumans” (also featuring the same character).

Entertainment Weekly praised "Black Bolt," writing: “For his debut Marvel comic, novelist Saladin Ahmed has demonstrated a fluency with comic history and a sureness of purpose. By putting the Inhuman king Black Bolt inside a hellish space prison, Ahmed explores superheroes’ often-problematic relationship to the prison system. After all, if Black Bolt is trapped in this space jail innocently, maybe his fellow prisoners don’t deserve it either."

Ahmed is now involved with “Exiles,” a Marvel reboot that he describes as a team of diverse superheroes drawn from alternate realities. It will contain a version of Valkyrie inspired by Thompson’s character in ”Thor: Ragnarok,” along with an older version of Ms. Marvel and a cartoon baby Wolverine. The first issue is due April 11.

Recently, Ahmed’s crowded plate also included writing one of four interconnected stories for the December 2017 book “Star Wars: Canto Bight,” which focuses on the casino city from “The Last Jedi.” The stories all occur on the same evening at the interstellar Las Vegas whose “opulent facade hides underlying danger,” as Nerdist described.

Ahmed expresses gratitude for the opportunities he's getting and scrupulously avoids sounding as if he now has it made as a writer. Asked whether recent high-profile projects have increased his sense of work security, he says: “Noooo! ”If anything, getting a toe into the franchise world ... has really made me aware of how insecure it all is.”

There's no guarantee, he insists, that the work will keep coming. That's one reason he is doing independent projects like "Abbott."

“I think any successful writer nowadays has three different things going at any (given) time. You kind of have to.”

For now, Ahmed is busy with writing for print and edging closer toward projects involving big and small screens. “Very few people end up being lucky enough” to do that, he stresses. ”I would love to write TV and movies, and I’m taking some steps that are more than exploration, but not quite actual gigs.”

Don’t be surprised if they become a reality. An “Abbott” original series set and filmed in Detroit certainly would be a nice addition to all of the Marvel and DC shows now airing and streaming.

Elena Abbott deserves no less.

Contact Detroit Free Press pop culture writer Julie Hinds: 313-222-6427 or

"Abbott #1" book signing with Saladin Ahmed

1 p.m. Sat.

Vault of Midnight's Detroit location at 1226 Library St.

"Abbott" will be available at retail comic shops starting Wednesday and at

Vox Populi / Viola Davis Women's March Speech
« on: January 21, 2018, 09:32:18 am »
go, Viola!

 :-* :-*

! No longer available

Hudlin TV / 2018 NAACP Image Awards
« on: January 15, 2018, 07:33:57 pm »

Jordan Peele, Kendrick Lamar, SZA & Mary J. Blige Win NAACP Image Awards

January 15, 2018 | 3:46 PM

by Daniela Evgenivna

Jordan Peele, Kendrick Lamar, SZA & Mary J. Blige Win NAACP Image Awards
Earl Gibson III/Getty Images



 1 

Jordan Peele, Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Mary J. Blige, and LL Cool J are all winners at the 49th NAACP Image Awards, which air Monday (January 15). The ceremony is to be held at Pasadena Civic Auditorium, and while the results of 47 categories were announced Sunday (January 14), the remaining nine winners will be honored in the telecast.

K. Dot was chosen for three awards: Outstanding Album for DAMN., Outstanding Duo for “Loyalty” featuring Rihanna, and Outstanding Contemporary Song with “HUMBLE.”

After a fruitful 2017 with the release of her debut studio album Ctrl, fellow TDE member SZA took home the award for Outstanding New Artist.

Fresh off multiple Golden Globe nominations and a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, Mary J. Blige won for Outstanding Female Artist. Meanwhile, LL Cool J is being recognized not for his music, but for his television work, winning for Outstanding Host in a Reality Competition award for his hosting of Lip Sync Battle on Spike.

Other winners of the evening include Jordan Peele for Get Out and Tiffany Haddish for Girls Trip. The award show honors African-American achievement in Arts and Entertainment, specifically Film, Television, Literature, and Music, and has been presented annually since 1967.

See more of the awards below or on the NAACP Image Awards website.


Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Idris Elba, “THOR: Ragnarok”

Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Tiffany Haddish, “Girls Trip”

Independent Motion Picture: “Detroit”

Documentary: “STEP”

Writing: Jordan Peele, “Get Out”

Directing in a Motion Picture: Jordan Peele, “Get Out”


New Artist: SZA

Male Artist: Bruno Mars

Female Artist: Mary J. Blige

Duo, Group or Collaboration: Kendrick Lamar feat. Rihanna

Jazz Album: “Petite Afrique,” Somi

Gospel/Christian Album: “Greenleaf Soundtrack Volume 2,” Greenleaf Soundtrack

Music Video/Visual Album: “That’s What I Like,” Bruno Mars

Song – Traditional: “That’s What I Like,” Bruno Mars

Album: “DAMN.,” Kendrick Lamar

Song – Contemporary: “HUMBLE.,” Kendrick Lamar


Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Jay Ellis, “Insecure”

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Marsai Martin, “‘black-ish”

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Joe Morton, “Scandal”

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Naturi Naughton, “Power”

Television Movie, Limited, Series or Dramatic Special: “The New Edition Story”

Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special: Idris Elba, “Guerrilla”

Actress in a Television Movie, Limited, Series or Dramatic Special: Queen Latifah, “Flint”

Directing in a Comedy Series: Anton Cropper, “‘black-ish”

Directing in a Dramatic Series: Carl Franklin, “13 Reasons Why”

Directing in a Television Movie or Special: Allen Hughes, “The Defiant Ones”

News/information Series or Special: “Unsung”

Documentary: “The 44th President: In His Own Words”

Talk Series: “The Real”

Reality Program/Reality Competition Series: “The Manns”

Variety or Game Show Series or Special: “Lip Sync Battle”

Children’s Program: “Doc McStuffins”

Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited Series): Caleb McLaughlin, “Stranger Things”

Host in a Talk or News/Information Series or Special: Roland Martin, “News One Now”

Host in a Reality/Reality Competition, Game Show or Variety Series or Special: LL Cool J, “Lip Sync Battle” (Spike)

Character Voice-Over Performance: Tiffany Haddish, “Legends of Chamberlain Heights”

Writing in a Comedy Series: Janine Barrois, “Claws

Writing in a Dramatic Series: Gina Prince-Bythewood, “Shots Fired”

Writing in a Television Movie or Special: Abdul Williams, “The New Edition Story”


Fiction: “The Annotated African American Folktales,” Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Editor),Maria Tatar (Editor), (Liveright Publishing Corporation)

Non-Fiction: “Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies,” Dick Gregory

Debut Author: “No One Is Coming to Save Us,” Stephanie Powell Watts

Biography or Autobiography: “Becoming Ms. Burton, From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women,” Susan Burton and Cari Lynn

Instructional: “The Awakened Woman: Remembering & Reigniting our Sacred Dreams,” Dr. Tererai Trent

Poetry: “Incendiary Art: Poems,” Patricia Smith

Children: “Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History ,” Vashti Harrison

Youth and Teens: “Clayton Byrd Goes Underground,” Rita Williams-Garcia, author and Frank Morrison illustrator

Other Comics / Conan comics Return to Marvel
« on: January 12, 2018, 05:57:03 pm »
There's no excuse.  Marvel should hire Christopher Priest to be the main Conan writer.  He did a well-received run back in the 1980s.

Marvel corporate should also look into buying the Conan character this time around.  They really should have bought the character decades ago.

Conan Returns to Marvel

Published Jan 12, 2018 By Tucker Chet Markus


The adventure begins in January 2019!

Today, Marvel Entertainment and Conan Properties International are excited to announce the iconic CONAN franchise will make its grand return to Marvel next year.

With over 650 issues from 1970 to 2000, Marvel brought fans the adventures of Conan The Barbarian, Conan the Adventurer, Conan the Savage, and Savage Sword of Conan, among other popular titles.

“From Barry Windsor-Smith to John Buscema to Neal Adams, a legendary lineup of amazing artists brought Conan to life in the pages of Marvel comics,” said C.B. Cebulski, Editor-in-Chief of Marvel. “It’s a legacy we’re now going to live up to with the talent we have lined up for the Cimmerian barbarian’s homecoming in early 2019. We’re excited!”

Art by Esad Ribic

Art by Mike Deodato

“We’re thrilled to be working with Marvel and look forward to the new adventures in store for Conan,” said Fredrik Malmberg, President of Conan Properties International. “As the most well-known and creative publisher in the industry, we think Marvel is a great fit for our stories.”

With this deal, Marvel will again bring new and thrilling stories for Conan fans around the world. Details on upcoming comic book titles, collections, reprints, and creative teams will be shared at a later date.

Vox Populi / Ed Asner- new book, Trump, John Wayne
« on: January 11, 2018, 01:51:44 pm »

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast


Ed Asner Sounds Off on Republicans: They Want to ‘Destroy the Middle Class’

The legendary star of ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ dishes on his page-turner of a new book, ‘The Grouchy Historian,’ and much more.

Craig Modderno

If you don’t know who Ed Asner is, then you don’t know much about television.

Even die-hard Republicans have laughed at and been entertained by Lou Grant, the newspaper editor and longtime Democrat brought to life on the classic comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and later in the hour-long spinoff series. Besides being one of only two actors to win an Emmy for portraying the same character in a sitcom and a drama, the extremely affable Asner has earned more Emmys for his performances—seven total in four different shows—than any male actor in the history of television. And to millennials, he’s best known for playing Santa Claus in the Christmas classic Elf, and as the voice of crotchety Carl Frederickson in Pixar’s Up.

At 88, Asner, along with co-author Ed Weinberger, whose numerous credits include being a writer and producer for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, have written an excellent book titled The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs, about how he feels the GOP exploits our country’s Constitution. Both authors—including Asner, a longtime liberal activist—have clearly done their homework.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Asner opened up about his new book and life under President Trump.

What made you pen your book The Grouchy Historian now?

I thought of doing it for a long time. As a progressive, it’s a story I believe and believe in. If right-wingers truly understood what the Constitution meant they wouldn’t use it as a crutch every time they screw over the poor and the disenfranchised.

What group of people do you think misinterpret our Constitution the most?

The NRA is the worst offender. The Republican Party basically uses it to advance their own agenda, often at the expense of their own members. For example: a government needs to collect taxes in order to survive, but the recently passed tax bill in the Senate is so tilted towards the rich and corporations that some industry leaders, like the head of the largest coal company in America, predict it will bankrupt them.

Do you think President Trump could be impeached?

There’s the possibility certainly but it won’t happen until after Robert Mueller makes his final report. Let’s face it: Trump supporters like his jack-booted style. Teachers, low-paid wage earners and environmentalists—he doesn’t care about them unless Putin tells him to. I’ve never met Trump and I’m not eager to. Like many Republicans through the years he probably hates the fact I’ve made him laugh on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But if you didn’t love our beloved Mary and laughed at her sitcom, that’s just plain un-American.

As a World War II veteran, what do you think of President Trump dodging the Vietnam draft?

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[Laughs] He has his hand on the nuclear button and I don’t!

Do you believe Trump is an anti-Semite?

No. He might be, but how can he be because he counts on the Jews to lead Wall Street.

Are you afraid that Trump’s taunting of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un could lead to nuclear war?

I don’t think so. With Trump it’s theatrics, being a bully and a my-missile-is-bigger than-yours bravado. Trump will mouth off and provoke North Korea but he won’t be the first to fire.

As a former president of the Screen Actor’s Guild, do you think the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which recently expelled accused serial rapist Harvey Weinstein, should do the same to another alleged serial rapist in Bill Cosby as well as convicted teenage rapist Roman Polanski?

Cosby hasn’t been tried yet in court for his alleged sexual misconduct—but neither has Weinstein or President Trump. The Academy voted Polanski a best directing Oscar for a film he made overseas after he was convicted and fled the country. How to handle sexual harassment in any form now and in the future is an area, it seems, that demands our attention but has no easy legal or moral solution. Anybody can accuse a celebrity or politician of sexual misconduct and even if it didn’t happen, the damage has been done to their careers. This issue will soon affect all aspects of the workplace worldwide, if it hasn’t already. Let’s not adopt a witch-hunt mentality or use your power to take advantage of people trying to raise a family and pursue their dreams. After almost seven decades in show business, I can tell you nobody should have a naked audition alone with a member of the opposite sex in their hotel room.

What are your thoughts on the Republican Party endorsing and financing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore after several women alleged that he assaulted them as teenagers?

Moore had been discredited by judges from his own party up to that point.

What do you think the Democratic Party needs to do to take back Congress?

It needs to draw more attention to Republican discrepancies: what Republicans are doing to hurt anyone who isn’t rich, and emphasize how the laws they’re proposing are actually meant to destroy the middle class!

How do you feel about NFL players taking a knee during the pre-game National Anthem?

I applaud it. I was a tackle when I played football back then. Today’s NFL doesn’t care about—nor does it want to help—the players after they suffer a violent, life-altering injury. Do any players really think the NFL cares about their civil rights as opposed to the league’s sagging television ratings? The “Star-Spangled Banner” is a military drinking song that’s hard to sing. It should be replaced by “America the Beautiful,” which is an inspiring tune and shows the greatness of our country.

What was your relationship with John Wayne, who you co-starred opposite in the western El Dorado?

I wasn’t intimidated by him but he tested me during the filming. Even though he was amused by me in his later years, The Duke always greeted me with a friendly smile. I didn’t like his politics, but he was one of the most prepared, professional genuine movie stars I ever worked with. I suspect if he read that The Duke would be grinning and spinning in his grave at the same time!

Hudlin TV / Suicide Squad new animated movie
« on: January 11, 2018, 12:21:24 pm »

A DC animated veteran, Strong will reprise her role as the fan-favorite Harley Quinn, while Slater will voice Deadshot. They’re joined in the sprawling voice cast by Billy Brown as Bronze Tiger, Liam McIntyre as Captain Boomerang, Kristin Bauer van Straten as Killer Frost, Gideon Emery as Copperhead, Vanessa Williams as Amanda Waller (which Vanessa?), C. Thomas Howell as Zoom, Dania Ramirez as Scandal Savage, James Urbaniak as Professor Pyg, Julie Nathanson as Silver Banshee, Jim Pirri as Vandal Savage and Vertigo, Greg Grunberg as Maxum Steel, Dave Fennoy as Blockbuster and Tobias Whale, Cissy Jones as Knockout, Natalie Lander as Darma, Trevor Devall as Punch, Dave Boat as Harvey Dent/Two-Face and Matthew Mercer as Savage Gunman.

RELATED: Suicide Squad 2 to Start Filming in Fall 2018

In Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, Amanda Waller assembles Task Force X — Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Killer Frost, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn and Copperhead — to retrieve a powerful mystical object. However, they quickly learn there are other villains who seek the same prize, and they must win a deadly race to get it.

Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay will arrive this spring on Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

Feel The Funk / Love & HipHop Miami star gets record deal
« on: January 03, 2018, 06:59:01 pm »
Never heard of her, never seen the show.  Well, best of luck to her, lol..
 :-* :-* :-* :-*


WINNING: Love & Hip Hop Miami star Amara LaNegra inks multi-album record deal

The Afro-latina singer has already emerged as the show's breakout star

By Cortney Wills - 
January 3, 2018

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That didn’t take long.

This week, the world was introduced to a new batch of talent on Love & Hip Hop Miami, and it looks like the series’ breakout star is already making her mark on the music scene.

Amara La Negra is no newbie to the business, but she’s certainly on her way to megastar status. The brown-skinned beauty has been making big moves in the urban Latin space for years since she was a child star on Univision’s Sábado Gigante.

Now, she’s going mainstream thanks to her new show and new, multi-album record deal with Fast Life Entertainment and BMG.

— Alabama’s Doug Jones appoints Black ex-Obama official as chief of staff —

“I’m still in shock! At times, I am caught pinching myself because there is a part of me that still is in awe of being signed to a franchise that will heighten my success,” she said in a statement. “It is a feeling of a different level of hunger because I have prayed for this so much that it feels unreal! I am humbly honored to have a team that continues to believe in me. Having a pioneer in the music arena like Zach seeing the potential in my musical craft and talent. I am thankful for my team at Fast Life Ent. Worldwide and BMG for this opportunity as an artist. And I cannot wait for my fans to hear my new music.”

According to reports, Amara will be dropping new music early this year and is working with renowned producers Rock City, who have crafted hits for Nicki Minaj, Beyonce and Rihanna among others.

Looks like Cardi B may have some competition on her hands…

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