Anthony Bourdain’s Message of Tolerance Continues On After His Death

CNN

Anthony Bourdain had, arguably, the best job in the world. Traveling across the world to try new foods and, more importantly, learn about local culture and politics for his show Parts Unknown afforded the former chef turned bestselling author a certain worldview that left an indelible mark on his legacy. The first of the final episodes of his travel series will premiere Sept. 23 on CNN.

The season 12 premiere, screened at the Tribeca TV Festival, focuses on Bourdain’s travels to Kenya with guest W. Kamau Bell (of United Shades of America). Over local dishes like fried whole tilapia and goat’s head soup, Bell and Bourdain learn about some of the issues plaguing Kenya, like the dominance of secondhand clothes from the U.S. absolutely decimating the Kenyan textile industry, and the delicate balance local wildlife conservatories must maintain between indigenous tribes and international efforts.

While some—most notably the president—continue to view the African continent as a primitive “shithole” devoid of real culture, Bell, himself of African descent, said during a panel after the screening that Bourdain’s approach toward filming the Kenya episode couldn’t have been more different. “He did not see it as one big country. He saw it as lots of different places,” Bell said. “And he was really read into all the issues in ways that most people who do shows like this just aren’t.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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CBS’ Julie Chen Leaves ‘The Talk’ In Taped Message

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Julie Chen has left the cast of the CBS daytime show “The Talk” a week after her husband, CBS Corp. boss Leslie Moonves, was ousted from the company due to sexual misconduct charges.

Chen announced her decision via a taped message on the show Tuesday, saying she needed to spend more time at home with her husband and their son. She appeared from the set of “Big Brother,” the prime-time CBS show where she is the host.

Chen made no mention of the case involving Moonves. She appeared to fight back tears when she thanked crew members.

One of her co-hosts, Sara Gilbert, said “we love you, Julie,” after the taped message was over and just before the show concluded.

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President Trump Says Nike’s Colin Kaepernick Ad Sends a ‘Terrible Message’

President Donald Trump said Nike‘s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick as the face of its new “Just Do It” ad campaign sends a “terrible message.”

“I think it’s a terrible message,” Trump told conservative news site The Daily Caller. “Nike is a tenant of mine. They pay a lot of rent.”

Trump was referring to Niketown, Nike’s current flagship store in New York City. The company previously announced plans to close down the location and open a different flagship store in the city.

Trump also added: “In another way, it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do, but I personally am on a different side of it.”

Trump’s comments on Tuesday come after Nike revealed Kaepernick in its new “Just Do It” campaign. Kaepernick, who became the symbol of NFL protests after kneeling during the national anthem two years ago, tweeted an image from the campaign with the slogan, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” on Monday.

Kaepernick is not currently signed with any NFL team and has filed a grievance claiming the league’s owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his protests. His kneeling during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality and racial injustice sparked a wave of protests from several other NFL players. Some players have knelt during the anthem, others have held up a first – commonly considered a symbol of black power.

The NFL protests have become a polarizing topic, with Trump repeatedly speaking out against players who kneel during the national anthem, including calling for them to be fired. He has also feuded with Kaepernick, claiming that the NFL’s declining ratings were due to the quarterback’s kneeling protests.

 

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John McCain’s final message for the President

John McCain and President Donald Trump are not done with one another yet.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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The Real Message Of Hemingway’s ‘New’ Story

The publication of Ernest Hemingway’s 1956 short story, “A Room on the Garden Side,” in the current issue of The Strand Magazine, a literary quarterly, has generated widespread interest. Until now “A Room on the Garden Side” was available only through the Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

“A Room on the Garden Side” is a find for anyone interested in Hemingway, but what is surprising about the story, which is set during World War II, is how much it speaks to the present moment when America’s obligations to other nations, especially our European allies, have been thrown into question by the Trump administration.

The turning point in “A Room on the Garden Side” comes when Robert, the story’s narrator and a Hemingway stand-in who, like Hemingway, is called “Papa,” explains why he is engaged in combat that he might easily avoid. Robert’s explanation for the obligation he feels to take part in the war reflects the life he has chosen for himself, and the art of “A Room on the Garden Side” lies in the way we are gradually brought to identify with Robert.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Will Smith Had the Sweetest Message for Jada Pinkett Smith–See Some of Their Best Red Carpet Moments Together

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith It should go without saying that Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are one of Hollywood’s best and brightest power couples. He’s a fresh prince and she’ll never let us look at…

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Alexis Ohanian Posts Heartfelt Message To Serena Williams After Wimbledon Loss

(AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Serena Williams has been balancing mommy duties,with her 10-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia, and training for her 10th return to the Wimbledon stage. Although the tennis superstar had high hopes of winning, she lost to Germany’s Angelique Kerber leaving her short of a record-tying 24 Grand Slam title with tennis pioneer Margaret Court.

While fans took to social media to share encouraging words to Serena, her husband, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, posted a heartfelt message to his Instagram assuring her that he’s proud of her and more trophies are on the way.

Instagram Photo

 

After her loss, a visibly moved Williams shared her disappointment but said she was playing for all the moms:

 

Do you expect Serena to win another major championship before she retires?

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Stephen Curry sends a message to LeBron and rest of NBA

Right now, the state of the NBA can be distilled into one sentence. Even after the Lakers signed LeBron James, with a potential Kawhi Leonard trade hanging over everything, with the Rockets having pushed Golden State to 7 games sans-Chris Paul in the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors are still the team to beat. Stephen…
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Frustrated senators send the President a strong message with their votes on tariffs

For the second day in a row, the Senate pushed back on President Donald Trump, showing stiff resistance to his key policy decisions on tariffs and NATO even as the President is at a summit in Europe wrestling with allies over those same issues.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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House of Cards Has a Fourth of July Message From the New President Underwood

This Fourth of July, the new President Underwood wants you to give thanks to… her.

Robin Wright returns as newly minted Commander-in-Chief Claire Underwood in the new promo for House of Cards‘ final season.

“Happy Independence Day… to me!” she says in the video, released on July 4. This was followed by “#MyTurn,” noting it’s finally Claire’s turn to take the White House after five seasons of Frank Underwood fighting for the throne.

The sixth and last season of the Netflix drama began production earlier this year ahead of an expected premiere this year. Season 5 finished with Frank stepping down as President of the United States with Claire stepping up in his place.

Kevin Spacey was supposed to return for the final season, but the sexual assault allegations against him from multiple men, including actor Anthony Rapp, prompted his firing. (Spacey apologized to Rapp, but stated he didn’t remember the alleged encounter. He denied other allegations and announced in November that he was seeking “evaluation and treatment.”)

Now season 6 will focus on Claire. Wright will be joined by Greg Kinnear, Diane Lane, Michael Kelly, Jayne Atkinson, Patricia Clarkson, Constance Zimmer, Derek Cecil, Campbell Scott, Boris McGiver, and Cody Fern.

This article originally appeared on Ew.com


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Trump’s midterm message gets spark from progressive rhetoric

The rest of the political world is easing down for the July Fourth holiday, but President Donald Trump is in the middle of a midterm election preview, juicing his political base and baiting Democrats as “radical” leftists who are soft on crime and immigration.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Message to Black Board Members: Speak Out and Make a Difference

John Rogers and James Bell not only represent two of America’s most powerful corporate directors but the unwavering, outspoken advocates for diversity and inclusion among board members. Rogers, chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments L.L.C. (No. 1 on the be asset managers list with $ 11 billion in assets under management), serves on the boards of S&P 500 companies McDonald’s and Exelon and is co-founder of the annual Black Corporate Directors Conference, which brings together scores of African American corporate directors to grapple with such issues. Bell, the retired EVP, Corporate President, and CFO of Boeing and corporate director on the boards of JPMorgan Chase, Dow Chemical, and Apple, has been vocal about the underrepresentation of African Americans within major corporations and as part of public forums.

Black Board Members and Business Leaders Need to Take Stand and Demand Parity in Corporate America

BE recently had the opportunity to hold an in-depth discussion with these two on effective corporate governance. In their Q&A with Editor-in-Chief Derek T. Dingle, they reviewed everything from continued imbalance in the boardroom to the need for African Americans—from seasoned corporate directors to individual investors—to take a stand and demand parity in corporate America.

Black Enterprise: In developing this year’s list of the Most Powerful Black Corporate Directors, we reviewed the entire universe of the S&P 500 and found 40% did not have black board members. When we evaluated the S&P 300 last year, the percentage was 30%. From your vantage point, why is there such a great disparity?

John Rogers: When you go from 300 companies to the entire S&P 500, part of the issue is that smaller companies don’t feel the same pressure to diversify their boards. I spent 34 years investing in small and mid-sized companies, and when I talk to those management teams about the lack of diversity on their management team or boards, they’ll say, “No one’s ever challenged me on this issue.” The larger companies are used to being challenged.
be: So how do you diversify the boards of those companies?

board members

John Rogers

James Bell: The smaller companies just don’t think it’s a priority. Maybe it’s a lack of awareness. Maybe they don’t feel their customer base demands it because they’re B2B. Those companies are suppliers to big companies where diversity is a priority. We have to put pressure on the larger companies to look at their supply base to make sure that their diversity initiatives flow down to them. If you’re on the board, you have a great opportunity to do that.

BE: So you’re making the case that suppliers should embrace the same policy as their corporate customers as it relates to diversity, including having African American corporate directors.

Bell: Exactly. I think it’s fair to ask that your whole supply base value diversity, and then you should hold them accountable.

Rogers: When James was the CFO and interim CEO of Boeing, he made sure those suppliers were working with minority businesses and putting pressure on them. I’ve also seen that happen with [former McDonald’s CEO] Don Thompson, who would often meet with local suppliers throughout the United States. If he saw that their workforce and boards were not diverse, he reminded them that McDonald’s was an important customer, and the next time he came to visit he was expecting to see a diverse workforce and leadership group.

Lack of Black Board Members in Silicon Valley

BE: We have had a huge focus on tech. When we started our list, Apple did not have an African American board member. Now, James is on the board. Google/Alphabet didn’t have an African American board member. TIAA CEO Roger Ferguson is now a corporate director. But still there’s no African Americans on the boards of Amazon, Netflix, and Intel. Given today’s environment, why do we still see such resistance in that sector to African American board representation?

Bell: Either their customer base hasn’t made it a priority or they don’t understand the value of diversity in the organization. If your market is global, most of the people around the world are people of color. All of those companies sell products in the black community so I would think they would want to look like the markets they serve from top to bottom.

board members

James A. Bell

BE: John, each year, you hold the Black Corporate Directors Conference. One approach shared has been for directors to meet with CEOs and nominating committee heads to push for more black board members among their peer groups. What has been the outcome?

Rogers: I’ve been involved with boards with robust diversity programs, wonderful spending programs, minority professional services companies … just great history. Then you wonder whether those folks on that board are exporting it to other institutions.

You don’t see enough CEOs who are leading organizations that are doing the right things; taking those practices and then pressuring, pushing, nudging, and encouraging other CEOs to do exactly the same thing.

BE: Both of you have made diversity a priority on the boards in which you serve. Do you believe all black board members should have that mandate as part of their board service?

Rogers: We started the Black Corporate Directors Conference 15 years ago to exactly address this issue. We were getting more African Americans on corporate boards but we weren’t fighting for the civil rights agenda once in the boardroom. Too often, we were just happy to be there. We were uncomfortable making the white leadership uncomfortable. So we sort of sat there and, in effect, gave cover for the status quo to stay the same.

“We Have a Responsibility to Fight for Our Community…”

What we do every year is bring in what we call the “Conscience of the Conference,” someone [like Harry Belafonte, Rep. John Lewis, Rev. Jesse Jackson] to remind those of us who have been fortunate to be on a corporate board that we have a responsibility to fight for our community once we’re in the boardroom. If we don’t speak out nothing will change, because the traditional leadership has other agendas. They’re worried about profit margins, growth rates, and all the rest. They’re not thinking about us unless we remind them of how important it is, and hold them accountable for the commitment and promises they’ve made about diversity and inclusion. If I’m on a board, I’m helping management teams do their job by reminding them to live up to those values and commitments.

Bell: John has also had current board members speak to this topic at the conference, and specifically me last year. I really thought it was interesting, some of the questions I got about when is a good time to bring up diversity in the boardroom. And I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ Anytime. When you’re talking about the strategic plan, when you’re talking about a big debt deal, when you’re talking about any aspect of strategy, we should be thinking about inclusion. We should think about how we can keep differentiating ourselves from our competition. It should be part of the discussion just like the return on investment.

BE: I am struck by a recurring theme at the conference of courage. It surprised me since it is an assemblage of some of the most powerful people in global business, black or white.

Rogers: I was fortunate in my career to get to know Maynard Jackson very, very well. The late mayor of Atlanta made such an impact throughout his career around diversity and inclusion. Right before he passed away, he was talking on diversity and inclusion issues and the fact that he felt too many of us who were getting on boards had a chance to make a difference but weren’t doing it. He said they had this “scared Negro disease.” He talked about that so thoughtfully. And one of the directors got up at the end of the conference and said, “I think I was afflicted with that disease.”

We remind people that it does take courage to speak out to make a difference. It’s so much easier to make people comfortable, accept the check and be there. But we have a responsibility.

So when we’re on governance committees or nominating committees making decisions about prospective board members—whether it’s a nonprofit or corporate board—we must make sure that individual has a history of fighting for our community. It’s not enough that they come from a big company, had a nice career path, and got the right title. They need to be vetted on what they’ve done to make a difference in our community before I’m going to suggest that person go on the board. That’s really something that we just don’t do enough.

“Only 60% of the S&P 500 have African Americans on Boards”

Bell: That’s so important. You mentioned that only 60% of the S&P 500 have African Americans on boards. For most of those companies, only one. In some cases, you may have two. So when you get down to it, it has to be the right one. On average, boards have 10 to 12 people. So if you don’t have one of color that’s speaking up on the right things then you don’t have anybody that’s leading that charge. John says it’s a responsibility; I believe it’s an obligation. It’s not about us just saying, “Well, I don’t want to carry the weight. I don’t think I should be the one that stands up.” It’s about having an obligation to make sure this subject is talked about in an objective and sensitive way. But it’s not just a moral application of it; it does make good business sense.

BE: So what roles should investors and asset management firms play?

Rogers: Lay investors often invest directly in mutual fund companies or sit on investment committees of their church, university, or 401(k) plan at work. So they can ask all those people buying asset management services to demand that those asset managers be more progressive. They do it when it comes to socially responsible investing. Individual investors pushed their asset managers to divest from South Africa, which was something that was very important 40 years ago, or not to invest in tobacco stocks, or [to focus on] the environment. They know how to push on those issues and asset managers listen and companies respond. So we can do the same thing when it comes to race and diversity and inclusion.

If we as asset managers demand that our companies look like America and live up to the values they say they care about, they will change. Unfortunately, most money managers are not asking those questions. They talk about profit margins and growth, and what’s happening with the stock price and valuation, but not pressing that management team on those issues.

That’s something that’s very distinctive about Ariel. We push hard on the companies we invest in to be diverse, and we’ve had a lot of success with getting African Americans on boards and into leadership roles by pushing companies to do the right thing.

Why African American Board Representation Matters

BE: That begs another question. Why should the average consumer or employee, who is far removed from the boardroom, care about African American board representation? How does it have a direct impact on their lives?

Bell: A lot of those average consumers are people of color, and people like them should have opportunities in these companies. As John said earlier, we’re not asking for something special or a disproportionate share. We just want these companies to look like the rest of America. They do business with these communities and people that buy their products ought to get some benefit. I mean, why should you go to a store every week and spend a substantial amount of your money, and not look around to see if people of color work there? And if they don’t, why wouldn’t you ask yourself should I still support this store, or ask management “Why don’t you have people of color working here?”

BE: Are there other access points to diversify the pipeline?

Rogers: Private equity now is so dominant in today’s economy. These giant companies literally control hundreds of companies and have 500,000 or a million employees. And often their customers are the biggest public pension funds, biggest college endowments, hiring firms like Blackstone and KKR. No one has been asking those private equity companies, until recently, about lack of diversity in their management teams and boards of the companies they control. The private equity firms determine who will be the first eight to 10 board members on those companies before they go public.

African Americans are often in charge of public pension funds. If we demand that the private equity firms not only be diverse but diversify the boards and management teams of companies they control, we can make a difference.

Bell: Diversity programs within large companies are so important. You have to make sure that we’re getting enough people that would have the fundamental requirements to compete to be on these boards or to be considered for them. You’re going to always have a gap on these big company boards because we don’t have enough senior executives coming from the large companies. That’s a problem we’ve got to fix.

Rogers: We have to ask these questions, not only pushing for stronger minority businesses but stronger minority leadership in majority companies, particularly professional services. We can create a whole opportunity set for people of color to join boards in the next generation.

The post Message to Black Board Members: Speak Out and Make a Difference appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Ezinma mixes hip-hop and classical music to send a bold message about blackness

Ezinma mixes hip-hop and classical music to send a bold message about blackness


Ezinma mixes hip-hop and classical music to send a bold message about blackness

The hype of Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance was palpable even as I watched via grainy cell phone video. Millions of eyes fell on Queen Bey that night — but as the opening medley dipped into a poignant place with Beyoncé crooning the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” her musicians stole my focus. Eight string players framed her center stage. And they were all women of color.

As most of Bey’s army burst into fiery, marching band-inspired choreography, the string players maintained steady bow strokes and graceful swaying, anchoring the poignant hymn’s emotional core. One of the violinists that night was Ezinma: situated front-right, she stared boldly ahead as Beyoncé held a long note, thrusting her bow overhead like a torch. She told me earlier that the fact that she played among fellow musicians of color — when she herself did not meet any black string players until age 13 — was not lost on her.

“Up until then, I had never seen anyone who looks like me playing the violin,” she said of a pivotal summer music camp. “I didn’t realize how bizarre it was to not see anyone who looks like you when you’re doing something that you love so much.”

Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

Like many New York City-based musicians, Ezinma’s art took her underground — literally. The first time I browsed her YouTube videos and found one shot on the W train, I gasped. As a former New Yorker, my initial question was, “How did she find an empty subway car?” Quickly, my focus veered elsewhere. Standing in the middle of the car, Ezinma (pronounced Eh-ZEE-ma) balanced as the train sped out of Canal Street station. The stunning violinist took four steps forward, gazed into the lens with a piercing swagger, and brought her instrument to her chin. Against a hypnotic beat, she performed a cover of Post Malone’s hip-hop banger “Rockstar.” It’s a surprising twist to hear the lyrics “I’ve been fuckin’ hoes and poppin’ pillies / Man, I feel just like a rockstar” replaced by Ezinma’s honeyed violin lines. As the song built, she seethed with a quiet, simmering energy. The butterscotch coils gathered atop her crown bounced with her movement; her painted fingernails flew across the strings. However, perhaps the most striking thing about Ezinma is her sound.

There’s a confidence to the violinist, producer, and composer’s performances that took root early on. “You don’t see a lot of little black girls playing the violin,” she told me. She spoke on a bus on the way back to Coachella for its second weekend, her voice low yet warm over the phone. “I think a part of me always felt a little bit detached, or as if I didn’t quite fit in.” Ezinma began violin at age four. Like me, she learned via the Suzuki Method, an international music curriculum designed with young children in mind. “I loved that I would put in the work and see results,” she recalled. Her biracial heritage exposed her to an eclectic world, like mine did. Growing up, cultural aspects from either side of my bloodline mingled as one; I didn’t realize for years that it was unnatural for Filipino lumpia to share a plate with Scandinavian kringle and sarmice, Serbian cabbage rolls. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska to professor parents — a black Guyanese father and a German-American mother — Ezinma cultivated passions for seemingly disparate music types. She played in school and youth orchestras and competed in junior classical competitions. But she also entered bluegrass fiddling contests. Her father, a big music fan, immersed her in funk, reggae, jazz, and Caribbean soca. Elsewhere, she soaked up hip-hop and trap, taking to artists like A$ AP Ferg and Beyoncé.

Johnny Nunez / Getty Images

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where being mixed-race is far from rare. For Ezinma, where the only other Guyanese person she knew just happened to live next door, things were different. “Especially being from Nebraska, I didn’t encounter very many non-white or non-Asian violinists until I was a teenager,” she told me. Ezinma said she often felt the need to defend her blackness. Some people — both black and white — were perplexed by her presence in an orchestra. There was a sense that this wasn’t “what black people do.”

One middle school experience was a pivotal lightbulb moment. As in most orchestras, one’s chair placement is important; stronger players sit closer to the conductor. After discovering that her teacher made her third chair, Ezinma was confused. “I went home and I was like, ‘Dad, I know I’m better than them,’” she said. Her father’s response opened her eyes: “People are not going to see you for what your talent is. People are going to see you for the way that you look…Because of that, you have to work so much harder than everyone else.” This convinced her to dispute her position. Discovering that her orchestra had a system for contesting such placements — à la the college marching band movie Drumline — she challenged the second chair to a blind test. They recorded themselves playing the same piece on cassette tapes. After, their peers judged and voted. “I won unanimously,” Ezinma said. She added that the process was positive; the girl she surpassed is still a friend. From there, she also challenged and won the first chair.

“I learned there is so much discrimination in ways that I wasn’t aware of as a kid. I was pretty naïve,” she said.

This assertive spirit drives much of Ezinma’s music-making today. At its core is a bold expression of her identity. There’s also a sense of declaring her right to create the music she wants — which, at first, is not quite what it seems. A closer listen to Ezinma’s hip-hop covers reveals that they’re not just string versions of Drake songs, but intricate arrangements born from classical training. Like her own identity, they blend myriad elements. In one video, she plays a catchy mashup of “Despacito” and “Shape of You,” nimbly switching between the first’s infectious Reggaeton melody and the second’s samba-inflected syncopation. In another, she revamps “Bodak Yellow” with an elegant lilt; the fierce jam becomes a lush orchestration. Like more musicians these days, where versatility is a smart career move, Ezinma is used to switching hats. She’s performed with Stevie Wonder, British pop group Clean Bandit, and Mac Miller. A conservatory graduate, she also plays plenty of classical gigs, and has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

Visibility is vital in classical music. While more crossover artists and musicians of color are emerging, there is still a gulf. According to a 2016 report by the Sphinx Organization, which aims to increase arts diversity, only 4.3% of American orchestra members are black or Latino. When Ezinma does youth outreach to schools and communities of color, she gives young players references, mentioning other artists to check out. It’s something she didn’t receive herself growing up. “At the time, I don’t think there was an awareness of how isolated a young person of color who’s learning a string instrument might feel,” she said.

With this lack of diversity in classical music, there’s a line wedged between classical and hip-hop. While it’s more common for chart-topping hits to meld several genre elements — folk, pop, funk, or dance — Ezinma still observes bewilderment and discomfort from some classical music fans about hip-hop, and vice versa. Tired stereotypes still exist: that classical music is “stuffy” or “boring,” while hip-hop is a “low-brow,” un-elevated art form — still marginalized in mainstream media. The divisions are ironic, Ezinma added, especially since hip-hop tracks that sample classical pieces can work on a sonic level. “It’s like, ‘Wow! This is such a proper, big orchestral sound,’” she said, citing artists like J. Cole and Meek Mill. “It just sounds epic.”

Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

Ezinma makes a point to happily bridge what others view as separate, so it’s no surprise that her debut album, out August 11th, arose from her duality. Key of Black Minor opens a door between classical and hip-hop. In doing so, it’s also a symbolic declaration of Enzima’s biracial identity (“It’s really a celebration of my blackness,” she said). She sounds excited as she speaks, which is something I relate to. As someone who is often referred to in segments — as “half-Filipino” or “half-white,” as if I comprise only fragments of an identity — it’s affirming to see being biracial presented as an alloy. There isn’t a partition between my two “halves.” Despite the attention her YouTube trap covers have garnered, Ezinma said it was important to present this idea within her own compositions. Don’t expect classical spins on trap songs — she posited that fans may be surprised at how classical-heavy the 11 tracks are. “Putting out an album of covers might be more popular, but I think that the first thing that you present the world should be your own and yourself,” she said.

Ezinma’s two co-producers are Anthony Barfield and Orrin Wilson of Velocity Music. Like her, they are classical conservatory trained. Ezinma largely conceived and co-produced several tracks in hotel rooms while on tour, the three collaborating to create an organic hybrid. The album’s lodestone is her composition “Black Minor Symphony.” A nod to tradition, it follows the structure of a four-movement violin concerto. But it interweaves plenty of trap beats and unusual sounds. The last movement is a key example: It opens with a tempest of trilling violins and includes playful Mozart references. However, a hip-hop beat underpins everything. Another track is an homage to her “bluegrass head” mother. It’s a free-flowing fiddle piece galvanized with high-hats and 808s. The fusion makes it gel both in clubs and traditional concert venues, Ezinma insisted. Fans of one genre could leave with an appreciation for the other. Her music fusion is an ever-evolving process: she hopes to visit Guyana one day and explore its folk tunes to deepen her connection to her father’s side.

More than a doorway between classical and hip-hop, Ezinma hopes her work is a racial conduit, too. It’s a place to ruminate on what it means to be mixed — a niche where listeners can explore the sound as not two genres coming together, but as an entirely new form. As a biracial woman, the declaration that being mixed is a valid whole entity — and not something defined only by its disparate parts — is powerful. “It was really important to just declare my voice,” Ezinma told me. “It’s a completely open lane.”

The post Ezinma mixes hip-hop and classical music to send a bold message about blackness appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Dwayne Johnson Shares Incredibly Sweet Mother’s Day Message For S.O. Lauren Hashian – Check It Out!

Dwayne Johnson took to social media to celebrate his girlfriend and baby mama Lauren Hashian on Mother’s Day, less than a month after they welcomed a baby girl together. He posted a picture of his beloved in bed with their […]
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Ryan Reynolds As Deadpool Hilariously Ruins Hugh Jackman’s Birthday Message

“When you’re trying to record a heartfelt birthday message …. but are interrupted by the least greatest showman.”
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Anderson Cooper: Is Trump sending a message to Cohen?

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Mattis: Assad didn’t get the message last year

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Dean Unglert Shares Cryptic Message About Love After Lesley Murphy Split

Dean Unglert is doing some serious reflecting. The Bachelor Winter Games star wrote a cryptic Instagram post on Saturday, April 7, one day after the news broke that he had reportedly split from Bachelor alum Lesley Murphy.

Unglert, 26, and Murphy, 30, called it quits after four months together due to the distance between them, E! News reported. While the pair has not yet confirmed the news, The Bachelorette vet did hint at it on social media.

“Growing up as a kid I had a crude but utopian idea of what love is. I always had this idea that no matter what you did, no matter how you act, as long as you’re true to yourself and act in good conscious, your path would lead you to the one person on this planet you’re meant to be with,” Unglert captioned the photo of himself. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that although everyone DESERVES love, it’s not something we’re entitled to. Love takes work. Love is compromise. Love is earned. I still have a lot of work to do on myself, a lot to prove to myself, before I’m ready for something like that.”

Unglert started his TV journey for love during Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette then went on to Bachelor in Paradise where he found himself in a love triangle with Danielle Lombard and Kristina Schulman. However, he appeared to find real love during The Bachelor: Winter Games. Following the season, Unglert gave Murphy a key to his place.

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What Break Up? Big Sean Sends Heartfelt Message To Girlfriend Jhené Before Turning Up At Her 30th Birthday Party

A few days ago, social media “tried it” as rumors circulated that alternative R&B’s favorite couple had gone their separate ways. After a gossip site reported the “One Man Can Change The World” rapper was spotted on a secret date …

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Got the message? Your brainwaves will tell

A new technique will allow for a more accurate diagnosis of patients who cannot actively participate in a speech understanding test because they’re too young, for instance, or because they’re in a coma. In the longer term, the method also holds potential for the development of smart hearing devices.
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Mariah Carey Has A Message For Fergie

Fergie‘s rendition of The National Anthem at the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend has everyone talking, including Mariah Carey.

No one really knows what to make of what Fergie did to The National Anthem. Her version was slow, a little jazzy, and entirely perplexing.

Having been through her own notable performance flubs, Mariah passively suggested that Fergie ignore her critics.

When TMZ.com asked what advice she had for Fergie, who is facing an onslaught of hate for performance, Mariah simply said, “Darling, nobody needs to listen to that.”

Is there really any better advice on this matter? Probably not.

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Sister Kim’s not-so-warm message, Hillary needs to move on and other comments

From the right: Kim Yo-Jong’s Not-So-‘Warm’ Message As part of what CNN declared “a gold-medal-winning diplomatic performance,” at the Olympics, Kim Yo-Jong, sister of North Korea’s leader, left what the network termed a “warm message” in the South Korean president’s guestbook. Which Ethan Epstein at The Weekly Standard considers an interesting way to describe “a…
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Mailbag: What Message Is Hall of Fame Sending with Recent Inductees?

Will Roger Federer skip the French Open? What does the Hall of Fame consider barometers of success? Should we know more about Novak Djokovic’s injury? That and more in this week’s Mailbag.

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Kandi Burruss Stands With Mo’Nique In A Touching Throwback Message

RHOA’ peach Kandi Burruss posted some touching words for comedian Mo’Nique amid backlash for her generally unsupported boycott of Netflix.

Three weeks ago, Mo posted on Instagram asking fans to boycott the streaming service after they reportedly offered her a meager $ 500K for a comedy special on the platform.

Despite #MeToo and #TimesUp movements pushing for equal pay for women, particularly women of color, Mo’Nique’s request for support has gone relatively unheard among her peers.

Just recently, fellow comedian Gary Owen took Mo’Nique to task after she publicly criticized mega-producer Will Packer.

“Own your sh-t,” Owen said in a recent social media rant.

But Kandi is standing beside Mo, asking her followers to send the actress positive energy.

“With all the drama that’s been coming at Monique lately I figured I’d send some positive vibes when I came across this pic with her,” she captioned the 13-year-old photo:

Instagram Photo

Sisterhood, for real.

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Jessica Biel’s Birthday Message to Justin Timberlake Is Officially the Cutest

Longtime fans of Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake know it’s not uncommon for these two to profess their love for each other via social media (or to poke a bit of fun, either). Well, Biel’s most recent post keeps with the theme and is the perfect mix of the two—humorous but oh so sweet.

She took to Instagram to wish her husband, who officially turned 37 yesterday, a happy birthday, and her message to him is so sweet. “A picture says a thousand words. And thank goodness because there aren’t enough to express ALL the aspects of my love and respect for you,” she captioned the photo. But wait, there’s more…

“Here’s to a spectacular year ahead. I’m so proud of all you’ve accomplished and all that is ahead for you. Plus you’re a super hot dad. A ninja dad. A kiddie teeth brushing, Jedi sleep mind tricking, intimidating dad voice disciplining SUPER HOT DAD. I love you, you hot dad. I’m here, right by your side, OG fan girl #1. Happy birthday, my beloved. Now go crush it this weekend at SB LII.” Read on to see her sweet post in full.

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Ruben Santiago-Hudson Loves The Message From ‘The Quad’

BET’s The Quad is well into it’s second season and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities inspired show is tackling much needed issues like the lack of funding in these institutions. Cecil Diamond the band director played by Ruben Santiago-Hudson has been making some serious waves this season.

“We jump right on it because it’s a very important issue. We have a great writing staff,” explained Santiago-Hudson. “The real essential things that we need to have our eyes on as the African-American community.”

Aside from The Quad, people are also familiar with Santiago-Hudson from his Broadway talent. Sherri Shepherd wanted to know if was up to anything in that world.

“I’m directing two plays working on them at the same time,” expressed Santiago Hudson.

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Mo’Nique Versus Netflix: Focus On The Message, Not The Messenger

Mo’Nique has been catching hell, especially from much of Black Twitter, over the past several days.

In a video widely circulated on social media, the Oscar Award-winning actress and comedian has called for a boycott of Netflix after accusing the streaming service of gender- and race-based pay gaps. It reportedly initially offered Mo’Nique $ 500,000 for a comedy special, while Amy Schumer was offered $ 11 million (negotiated up to $ 13 million) and Dave Chappelle was offered $ 20 million. (Comedian Wanda Sykes later tweeted—expressing support for Mo’Nique—that Netflix offered her less than $ 250,000, which she passed on, landing a more satisfactory deal with Epix.)

Mo’Nique’s grievances and her approach to dealing with it have fallen on largely unsympathetic ears, with people pointing to her reputation for being difficult to work with and burning bridges with everyone from Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, and Lee Daniels to BET. Many charge her and her husband Sidney Hicks with mismanaging her career and diminishing demand for her talent since her Oscar-winning turn in the film Precious.

Let’s assume that all of this is absolutely true. I don’t care. I am not mad at Mo’Nique at all.

If she was a white male actor with the exact same personality, reputation, and résumé, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. (Don’t even get me started on the personalities, behaviors, and attitudes of Hollywood decision-makers, the overwhelming majority of whom are white and male.) I’m not saying Mo’Nique deserves Chris Rock money. But if she doesn’t assert her value, who will?

There are two sides to why men get paid more than women and white people get paid more than black people for the same work.

1. Race and gender discrimination.

2. Women and African Americans have been conditioned to passively accept what’s offered, while white males have been conditioned to assertively pursue the best offer they can get, without regard to merit or qualifications—or past behavior. (Exhibit A: President Donald Trump.) Unlike white males, women and African Americans are not automatically assumed to be qualified and to merit opportunities.

The more you ask for, the more you get, whether you actually deserve it or not. Personally, I wouldn’t pay Dave Chappelle money to Mo’Nique, but she should be applauded for fighting for it, not attacked.

However, all of that is beside the point.

The house is on fire, and too many are worried about whether Mo’Nique sounded the alarm in just the right way or for the right reasons. Even if she doesn’t get a penny of what she’s demanding, it is Netflix and the rest of the industry that should be the focus, when it comes to opportunities and compensation for black female comedians, including Wanda Sykes, Aisha Tyler, and too many others to count, past and present. Piling on with criticism of Mo’Nique’s undeservedness or poor negotiation strategy is beside the point. Netflix should not get off the hook.

We need to consider and focus on the larger picture and pattern raised by Mo’Nique, no matter how undeserving or unstrategic she might be with her calling out Netflix. Black female comedians don’t get starring roles in sitcoms offered to people like Roseanne Barr or Kevin James, nor are they cast in the lead film roles enjoyed by the likes of Amy Schumer or Kevin Hart. (By the way, Barr’s eponymous show Roseanne is being revived by ABC on March 27, after two decades off the air, with the lead character as a Trump supporter, like the actor portraying her.)

Our focus should not be on how messy Mo’Nique is alleged to be, but the larger issue, which is not new. Saturday Night Live just had its first black female comedian as a host, Tiffany Haddish—in 20-freaking-17! And don’t even get me started on the hellish abuse Leslie Jones endured for the crime of being cast in the all-female Ghostbusters reboot. We should be far more upset about that than about Mo’Nique calling for a boycott.

Holding Netflix accountable does not require following calls for a boycott or even standing up for Mo’Nique. (I admit: She’s not Rosa Parks.) It means holding their feet to the fire on the larger issue: If not Mo’Nique, and apparently, not Wanda Sykes, what black female comedians will Netflix, and the entertainment industry in general, value and compensate accordingly?

If this turns into a big payday for Leslie Jones, Tiffany Haddish, and others, I’m all good with Mo’Nique raising the issue, no matter how questionable her approach.

Eyes on the prize, people. Eyes on the prize.

Let me add: In my opinion, Wanda Sykes is off-the-chain hilarious, and not just to black people. She should be making money hand over fist, as in millions. (I feel the same way about Leslie Jones.) How does Netflix offer her even less than Mo’Nique? I’m glad she got satisfaction with Epix, but where are her leading comedic roles in television and film projects? I’m not getting people’s insistence on defending Netflix and the industry as a whole. They’ve done nothing to deserve the benefit of the doubt. As for Netflix’s multiyear deal with uber-producer Shonda Rhimes, I call that a good start—nothing more.

The post Mo’Nique Versus Netflix: Focus On The Message, Not The Messenger appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Lucy Hale Deletes And Reposts Message Suggesting She Was Sexually Assaulted – Decides ‘This Needs To Be Heard’

Star of popular show Pretty Little Liars Lucy Hale took to social media to share an ambiguous message that openly talked about a terrifying experience and how it affected her emotionally and mentally. The star seemed to suggest that she was […]
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Bella Thorne’s Powerful Message to Abuse Survivors

The actress Bella Thorne, who disclosed this weekend that she was sexually abused “from the day I can remember” until the age of 14, has posted a tearful video in which she thanks fellow victims of abuse for sharing their stories.

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‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Has A Message For Baby Boomers: Trust

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers from Star Wars: The Last JediProceed with caution.

Odds are if you’ve seen The Last Jedalready, your immediate concerns are how its unresolved storylines will play out in 2019’s Episode IXOr, you’re thinking about that moment with Leia or one of the epic lightsaber showdowns that colored the film.

What you’re probably not thinking about is an underlying message. And I bet you didn’t think that The Last Jedi has parallels to the current world, or that two generations of Star Wars fans could learn a thing of two from it.


star wars the last jedi rey the force
Just feeling this one out…

An Exercise in Trust

The Last Jedi tells the story of many people’s struggles, but there are two pairs in the film’s focus. The first, Luke Skywalker and Rey. The other, Supreme Leader Snoke and Kylo Ren. Both are caught in cycle of mistrust and frustration, with teachers mistrusting (would-be) disciples and struggling in a power balance.

When Rey first goes to Luke, she does so because the Resistance needs help. What Rey doesn’t realize is her stubbornness to get Luke to come with her isn’t just for the Resistance — it’s for herself, too. Rey feels the Force growing within her and wants Luke to teach her how to use it. She looks to him for guidance. And when he refuses to teach her and says he’d rather his knowledge die with him, Rey fights this. She vows to not fail him, and be the pupil he hoped to have in Ben Solo.

Kylo Ren — Ben Solo — is desperate to prove to Snoke that he has what it takes to become the next Darth Vader. But Snoke, rightfully, has his doubts. In communicating with Rey, the cracks in his resolve to be dark widen. Snoke tried to use Kylo Ren’s pain to antagonize and manipulate his power. By finally having someone listen to and understand his pain in Rey, he begins to, in a way, mellow out. But Snoke, who sees Kylo Ren’s power and selfishly wants to use it for his own purposes, pushes the young man to his limits in an attempt to bend him to his will.


Rey is every young person looking for a mentor for guidance.

In both cases, the older generation — Luke, Snoke — don’t trust the new, upcoming generation —  Rey, Kylo Ren — to make good choices. So they hold fast to control of the situation in a way that will produce an outcome favorable to them. Luckily, both Rey and Ren fight this.

Pass It Along

At the core of these two struggles in aging generations — veterans and teachers — needing to know when to and be willing to hand over the reins and pass their knowledge onto future generations. And they have to do so trusting that new blood will make the right choices, both for the world and for themselves. It’s a tale about what happens when you don’t bring in new students, or mentor eager new people. As your knowledge dies out with you the world is that much poorer — and in the case of Luke in The Last Jedi, could have made things much much worse for the side of the Light.

Fear caused Luke to hold out. He was scared he would train Rey and she would also succumb to the darkness — a selfish thought as he based it off his own experiences with Ben Solo. But it’s not for Luke to decide when the Jedi die out. It’s for him to give Rey enough information for her to make her own choice. And in the end, Luke decides to pass it along and trust — to pretty great success.

Snoke, on the other hand, was selfish but also impatient. He told Kylo Ren exactly what to do and when he didn’t do it immediately, threw more punishing challenges in his way — like asking him to execute Rey. He also, in the end, nearly bypassed Kylo Ren completely, telling Rey that maybe she was the powerful Force-wielder he is looking for. Snoke doesn’t want to pass his knowledge and strength to a new generation — he wants to control is with a minion who will shut up and listen.


Kylo Ren feels he already knows everything he has to, and because of this he will struggle.

Because of this, Kylo Ren — like some young millennials who thinks they already know everything — will struggle the most on his quest. He thinks he knows better than anyone and because of that, he will not learn from any mistakes he may make. Rey, on the other hand, had a teacher who understood the need to pass it along and trust. She will thrive.

In a way, you can look at the generation holding Luke and Snoke as the baby boomers of America. The current economic and political climate is heavily slanted in their favor in many sectors, because most have sought to protect their own interests and are too scared to trust a younger generation with our future. It’s unfortunate because that younger generation is the future, and it will be on them — like it is on Rey and her friends now — to inevitably clean up the mess created by a group unwilling to let go.

I’m not saying The Last Jedi  is definitely political commentary. But it presents a powerful messages about students and teachers, and generations trusting in one another to make the world — or universe — a better place.

The post ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Has A Message For Baby Boomers: Trust appeared first on Fandom powered by Wikia.

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Alabama’s Nathan Mathis Found His Lesbian Daughter Dead. His Message to Roy Moore in Defeat: ‘You Better Pray For Forgiveness’

The morning after Roy Moore’s loss, Nathan Mathis was in the mood to celebrate, though quietly with the memory of his beloved lesbian daughter Patti at the forefront of his mind.

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Chris Jericho Sends Message to Kenny Omega in Surprise Appearance

Fans looking forward to seeing Chris Jericho take on Kenny Omega at the Tokyo Dome on January 4th got a sneak peak of what's to come on Monday. At the World Tag League Finals in Fukuoka, Jericho formally introduced himself to Omega after he helped the Young Bucks take down Rocky Romero, Sho and Yoh in a six-man tag team match.

Jericho first made an appearance in a pre-recorded video

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Chris Jericho Sends Message to Kenny Omega in Surprise Appearance

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Anderson Cooper: Trump embraced racist bullies’ message

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Scientists take risk sending secret message to aliens

If the “truth is out there,” scientists are determined to find it – so much so that they’ve spent a message into space trying to contact aliens. But a response could take 25 years – if it comes at all. Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) International sent an encoded message into space using radio waves known…
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A schoolboy’s wishes came true after a cheeky message he launched on a balloon got this reply

When kids from an Anerley school released hundreds of messages on balloons into the sky they weren’t sure if anyone would reply.

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Elisabeth Moss’s Emmys outfit had a secret message hidden on it

Those Emmys really make her outfit pop

elisabeth moss emmys outfit
Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Words by Gabriela Herstik

From the editors of HelloGiggles

At Sunday’s Emmys, Hollywood’s boldest and brightest dressed up and hit the red carpet. We saw plenty of glam fashion statements and touching speeches but, of course, there were some surprise political moments as well. Although you wouldn’t know it by looking at her, Elisabeth Moss’s Emmys outfit had a secret message written on it. And no, it wasn’t on her stunning baby pink Prabal Gurung gown. The secret message Elisabeth wore was hidden in an unexpected place that’s inspiring us to pen our own words of protest next time we hit the town.

You’ll have to guess what the other shoe says…. our note to the patriarchy #teamresistance

A post shared by Karla Welch (@karlawelchstylist) on

The message Elisabeth was wearing was actually written on the sole of her pink pumps.

While we only got to see that one pump said ‘off’, we can guess what the other one says. Coupled with a caption that says this was a note to the patriarchy – we’re even more sure of our hunch.

elisabeth moss emmys outfit

Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Not only is this a pointed message, but it could also be a reference to Elisabeth’s character on The Handmaid’s Tale, for which she won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. On the show, Elisabeth plays Offred, so the ‘off’ may be a witty call to her character. And since the show directly challenges the patriarchy as a system of oppression, we have even more reason to believe in this double-edged message.

We can’t deny that we love this whole outfit, but in our opinion, the shoes really make the statement.

The post Elisabeth Moss’s Emmys outfit had a secret message hidden on it appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Anna Faris sends a heartfelt message to fans following her split from Chris Pratt

And it’s pretty emotional.

chris pratt anna faris

It was announced last week that Chris Pratt and Anna Faris are separating, with the couple confirming their divorce after eight years of marriage.

The actors, who share a four-year-old son together, took to their social media pages last week to issue a joint statement, breaking the news to their fans and followers.

‘We are sad to announce we are legally separating. We tried hard for a long time, and we’re really disappointed.’

The statement continued: ‘Our son has two parents who love him very much and for his sake we want to keep this situation as private as possible moving forward.’

Rex

Both Chris and Anna have remained quiet since the news broke, keeping relatively low profiles, but with one of the 40-year-old actress’ podcast episodes airing today, Anna took the opportunity to speak out to her fans.

While the podcast episodes are pre-taped, with this episode featuring Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, Anna added a recording to the start of this week’s episode to thank her fans and friends for their support and love.

‘Hey dear listeners, I just want to thank you all so much for all the love I’ve been receiving,’ she opened the podcast. ‘I truly love you.’

This week also saw Chris Pratt speak out publicly for the first time since the split, attending the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday and accepting the Sci-Fi Movie Actor award for his role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. 

‘Wow, thank you! I love you too,’ he announced to the crowd after being presented the award by Stranger Things actress Mille Bobby Brown. ‘Thank you.’

The post Anna Faris sends a heartfelt message to fans following her split from Chris Pratt appeared first on Marie Claire.

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See Barack Obama’s Empowering Video Message at Chance the Rapper Concert

Barack Obama delivered an empowering video message to attendees of Chance the Rapper's surprise concert Saturday night, a free gig the rapper planned after

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: See Barack Obama’s Empowering Video Message at Chance the Rapper Concert

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Woman sent frantic Facebook message during alleged rape in her home

A woman allegedly raped in her own home sent a frantic message to friends on Facebook because her phone didn’t have signal to call cops, a court heard. Darren Whelband is said to have broken into the woman’s home in North Devon, England, where there was no mobile coverage and the landline was broken. The…
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Gwyneth Paltrow’s Birthday Message to Moses Martin Is the Sweetest Mother-Son Moment You’ll See All Day

Gwyneth Paltrow, Moses, InstagramHappy birthday, Moses Martin!
As Gwyneth Paltrow’s son–who she co-parents with ex Chris Martin–turned another year older on Saturday, the Goop lifestyle guru couldn’t help but…

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This Guy Hid A Secret Proposal Message In Love Letters To His Girlfriend

When Tim and Candice started dating in 2013, they immediately began exchanging handwritten love letters back and forth. 

Little did Candice know that when Tim popped the question years later, those sweet letters would play a key role in his master proposal plan.

In December 2015, Tim surprised Candice with a trip to Hamilton Island in Queensland, Australia. She woke up one morning to find that Tim had decorated their place with romantic details like rose petals and candles.

What’s more, all of the love notes from throughout their relationship were laid out on a table in the living room. They read each one together, reminiscing about all of the happy memories. Then Tim arranged the letters in such a way to reveal a special message.

The first letter of each note spelled out the words “Will you marry me?”

“I instantly burst out in tears of joy as my mind could not comprehend how someone could love me so much,” Candice told HowHeAsked

The first love letter was written within the first week of the couple’s relationship. Evidently, Tim very quickly realized Candice was the one. 

“We were friends for three and a half years before we started dating and I liked her that entire time,” Tim told The Huffington Post. 

In October 2016, the couple tied the knot at Deckhouse Woolwich in Sydney, Australia. On the big day, Tim surprised his bride yet again, this time with a song he had written her two months into their relationship. 

“Tim is always like this,” Candice told Daily Mail Australia. “He’s genuinely a thoughtful and romantic kind of guy.” 

For more on this proposal, head over to HowHeAsked

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Donald Trump Sends A Valentine’s Day Message To The One He Loves Most

When you’re the leader of a nation, sometimes you say or do things you later regret. Look no further than Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s relationship. The two have an interesting bond. First they are in a relationship, then they’re not in a relationship ― it’s complicated.

But this Valentine’s Day, Trump hasn’t forgotten who is number one in his heart.* Love you, Putie.

*Himself not included, since his heart is technically inside him.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Burnt-Out Art Student Tells Off Professor With Message Hiding In Plain Sight

A college student has turned the act of telling someone off into an art form.

Lama Ali, who attends school in Virginia, had three final assignments due on the same day for her fashion drawing class. Exhausted after working on one painting for seven hours straight, the 20-year-old decided to include a message in American Sign Language to her professor:

“You got me fucked up,” a bunch of hands in the painting spell out in ASL, interwoven among the female figures.

“Honestly the idea just came to me while I was finishing up the piece,” Ali told The Huffington Post. “I was looking at it and thought, ‘This could really use something else.’ And then the idea struck me: Why not secretly express how I was feeling while struggling at the library at 4 a.m.?”

Ali, who does not know ASL, told HuffPost she taught herself a little bit just for this particular assignment.

“You know it’s bad when you have to learn a whole other language to express how done you are,” she said.

Once the fashion design major had finished her masterpiece, she posted it to Twitter on Dec. 7, where it has received over 113,000 likes and 48,000 retweets. And people really love her unbridled level of full-on pettiness.

“As petty as the idea was, I was actually really excited to make this piece,” Ali said. “Because I really felt like I was making something that showed my creativity and emotion rather than just completing the assignment.”

But, pettiness aside, most people straight up love it:

Ali said that she decided to use sign language because she wanted the message to be there, but not be immediately clear. She also wanted to practice drawing hands, so ASL seemed like a great way of marrying both those ideas.

“I remembered seeing a post on Tumblr long ago with a similar phrase in sign, and I thought the letters would look cool with the figures on the painting.”

Inspired by the post, she decided to look up the letters in ASL to spell out the message. Someone on Twitter even did the good work of circling them in the painting:

Ali told HuffPost that when she finally presented the piece to her professor in her class, he absolutely loved it.

“Most of my friends in class actually knew about the secret message, so I was really surprised when no one laughed or blew my cover during critique.”

She also admits that her professor still doesn’t know about the message, despite her post getting so much attention.

“The last time I checked, he still had no clue,” she said.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Catherine Zeta-Jones Sends A Message To Paparazzi With Her Sexy Bikini Pics

Catherine Zeta-Jones took a page from the Selena Gomez playbook and hit back at paparazzi who crashed her vacation and snapped some unflattering pics of her. 

On Wednesday, the “Chicago” star posted a photo collage on Instagram featuring two pics of her in a black bikini. She looks great, of course. (And that scenery is making us extremely jealous.)

“Pissed the paparazzi photographed my ass, thus sharing the photographs my husband took of my ass. Always a better option for viewing,” wrote Zeta-Jones, 47, in her caption. 

Pissed the paparazzi photographed my ass, thus sharing the photographs my husband took of my ass. Always a better option for viewing .

A photo posted by Catherine Zeta-Jones (@catherinezetajones) on

The actress and her husband, Michael Douglas, are currently on vacation in Mexico for the Thanksgiving holiday. When he wasn’t snapping photos of his gorgeous wife, the “Wall Street” actor shared a couple pics of his own on Facebook. 

“Spending turkey day and giving thanks with the family in beautiful Mexico. Happy Thanksgiving!!!” he wrote.  

We’d say they’re having a happy Thanksgiving, indeed. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Louis C.K. Gets The Best Father’s Day Message From His TV Daughter

If any grumpy, balding, middle-aged dad is going to earn admiration from his kid, it’s going to be Louis C.K.

Hadley Delany, who plays one of the comedian’s daughters on “Louie,” had a Father’s Day message for her show-biz pop. It beats Hallmark treacle any day.

“You taught me the most important rule of all: never, ever get fat,” she says in a Made Man video posted last week.

Later in the clip, she asks, “What other dad would catch their daughter smoking pot and then take her out for burgers? That’s like an irresponsible level of cool.”

Hey, nobody said the guy was Ward Cleaver.

Check out the full video above. And a belated happy Father’s Day to all of you other stand-up dads, even if you don’t do standup.

H/T Uproxx

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Four Years Wiser, My Message for This Year’s Graduates

A little over four years ago, in one of my last articles for Holy Cross’ student newspaper, The Crusader, I offered a reflection — a “graduation message”, if you will — for my fellow Crusaders, the class of 2011.

Inspired by graduation season, I recently reread it and was reminded of how much my life has changed since then. Now four years into the “real” and working world, long gone are the “all-nighters”, the month-long vacations and the clearly defined sense of purpose that studying provides.

2015-05-26-1432673655-915447-IMG_7307.jpg

What remains, however, is a lesson I had learned and shared at the near end of my college experience:

“I have come to learn and to believe that in every met expectation and unforeseen surprise, every accomplishment and failure, in every loss and gain, every victory and defeat, in every mistake and intention, and in every realized dream and unfulfilled hope, there is always a lesson — always an opportunity to learn something about yourself or about life, and always something to take away and remember for the future.

Sometimes, as I have come to learn, the lesson stares us square in the face, other times it is more obscure and requires a bit more awareness and faith. But, if anything, I have come to learn that it is always there, waiting to be discovered and acknowledged.”

I still believe this to be true. I might add, however, that it is equally important to remember that life is a continual process of growth and discovery — and that the moment we think we have “figured it all out” or learned all our lessons is typically when life will remind us, with a gentle touch or forceful push, that much remains for us to learn.

My friend and I used to joke throughout our four years at Holy Cross that “one day everything will be ok.” It became our secret six-word mantra the two of us shared, helping us to cope with the endless pressure and stress of an intense academic environment, not to mention our sometimes challenging social dilemmas.

Little did we know how mistaken we were — not in our youthful optimistic attitude, but in our naive belief that once we graduated and settled into a job, once we “made it on our own,” all would be right with the world, our fear and anxiety dissipating into eternal contentment.

In fact, it was a little over a year ago while talking on the phone that we laughed at our “six letter phrase” and agreed that while some days can feel like that “aha” moment, there will always be days that leave one feeling troubled and ill at ease.

But, it’s not that I don’t think we can ever find peace, joy or contentment. On the contrary, I think that the realization and acceptance of life as a journey — as something that we can never fully understand, master or even control — may actually be the first important step toward finding those very things.

As easy as it is for us to convince ourselves that “once I get to this point…” or “if only I could…” or “maybe if I do this…” then “everything will be ok”, it is a dangerous, crippling mentality and perpetual cycle of thought that prevents us from fully realizing that happiness is not some outside force that comes to us, but is, rather, something we must create and choose for ourselves.

Our focus, then, should not be on trying to “figure it all out.” It should be on finding ways to be more accepting of the place we are currently in — and looking for lessons that we can call upon for guidance in the future.

There are certainly days (weeks, months, maybe even years) when everything just seems right, when things have fallen into place and are running seamlessly. But, not all days are going to be like that. Nor should we expect them to. And that’s ok.

And so, four years wiser, my message to this year’s graduates is this:

You will likely face, in the coming months and years, a series of circumstances, decisions, questions and doubts that will test your confidence in yourself and those around you.

You will likely be met with challenges you may have expected, and those that you could never have anticipated – and while you will be able to successfully navigate some on your own, others will likely require the guidance and perspective of a loving parent or friend.

You will undoubtedly have moments of success and celebration, moments of failure and discouragement and maybe moments of utter despair.

You may even come to question yourself, your relationship with others and your role in the world around you.

And you will probably spend a good amount of time trying to figure out what exactly you want to do, or should do with your life.

2015-05-26-1432673769-3051927-photo70.jpg

But, instead of looking at these as obstacles — as something you have to suffer through in order to be “ok” — relish them. Accept them. Embrace them. And…learn from them. Only then can we realize and accept that we are the arbiters of our life and our contentment, and that everything can be ok right now if we allow it to be.

As the Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke — recognized as “one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets” — so eloquently wrote:

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

Congratulations to all 2015 graduates! Live your questions.

Also check out these 5 life wisdom books for college graduates, along with 7 inspirational quotes for the 7 days of the week.

You can also read my full graduation article from May 2011 here.

This post originally appeared on Katharine’s blog All Things Good. Follow All Things Good on Facebook and Twitter.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Chuck Hagel Includes Gay Sailor’s Proposal In Holiday Message

Well, this is a lovely statement of solidarity for the holidays.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his wife Lilibet released a holiday message to men and women of the Defense Department last week that included an image of MM2 2nd Class Jerrel Revels’ proposal to his boyfriend Dylan Kirchner.

This viral gay marriage proposal happened in 2013, just two short years after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

A gay military couple has reportedly never before been included in the Defense Secretary’s holiday message for the troops.

Check out the video above!

(h/t Towleroad)
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“God’s Not Dead” Keeps Its Message Alive

Movie Review Jackie K Cooper
“God’s Not Dead” (Pure Flix)

“God’s Not Dead” is the latest entry in the Christian/family entertainment market. Directed by Harold Cronk, the movie sends a strong Christian message while being entertaining at the same time. The cast is largely full of lesser known actors with the exception of Kevin Sorbo and Willie Robertson, but all involved play their roles with competence.

The plot involves a college freshman named Josh (Shane Harper) who signs up for a Philosophy class taught by Professor Radisson (Sorbo). On the first day of class Radisson, an atheist, asks the class to sign a statement that “God is dead” so they can skip over that philosophical argument. It must be unanimous by all class members. Josh refuses to sign the statement so Radisson tells him he can have twenty minutes or so in each class session in order to sway the class members to his side. Then there will be a vote by the class as to which side is right.

The challenge is taken though Josh’s parents and his girlfriend (Cassidy Gifford) ask him to just let it go. He researches his belief and does a magnificent job of going head to heads with the professor. Of course this stunning ability to debate such a complex issue strains credibility, but in this movie anything is possible.

There are side issues in this movie involving a young woman facing cancer, another woman trying to convince her atheist boyfriend to accept her Christian beliefs, a third woman going against her parents in order to pronounce her faith. There are a lot of challenges in being a Christian and this movie projects a variety of them.

Sorbo is effective as the atheist professor and Harper is strong as the dedicated Christian student. Willie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty: fame appears as himself in order to make a statement about his beliefs. There is also a solid performance from Tricia LaFache as the young woman with cancer. The musical group Newsboys appear as themselves at the end of the film to present some uplifting songs.

The movie is rated PG for adult themes.

“God’s Not Dead” is not a movie that will appeal to everyone. It is definitely aimed at Christian believers. Still the dramatic context of the script and the talent of the cast could make it entertaining for anyone. It is a bit overdone in the presentation of its message but not as extreme as it could have been.

I scored “God’s Not Dead” a living 6 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper
www.jackiekcooper.com
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