Gordon Parks Foundation Raises $1.3 Million, Honors Kareem Abdul-Jabbar And Kehinde Wiley

A whopping $ 1.3 million was raised by The Gordon Parks Foundation at the organization’s annual award dinner and auction on June 4. The Tuesday night event, held at Cipriani, honored former NBA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and artist Kehinde Wiley, who immortalized former President Barack Obama in a presidential portrait painting.

Both humanitarians have been paying it forward; Abdul-Jabbar with social activism and Wiley with his ‘art-ivism.’ The two icons were honored alongside Carol Sutton Lewis and William M. Lewis, Jr., Chelsea Clinton, and Raf Simons.

Kehinde Wiley

(Sarah Jones, BFA Images)


Other notable African Americans—including Gayle King, Danny Glover, Questlove, Amy Sherald, Dapper Dan, Coach K, and Carrie Mae Weems to name a few—gathered to celebrate the famed photographer’s legacy, honor those who carry a torch in his name, and support artistic and educational initiatives doing creative social justice work. Key speakers were Kathryn and Kenneth Chenault and Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys, and Tony Award-winner Sarah Jones.

Kehinde Wiley

(The Gordon Parks Awards Dinner, BFA)

“It’s nice to see that Gordon’s legacy is conveyed to many generations after his passing,” Abdul-Jabbar told BLACK ENTERPRISE. “His photographs exemplify and personify the civil rights movement.”

In February, ESPN reported, that the 7-foot-2 inch tall Hall of Famer auctioned four of his six championship rings for $ 1.2 million to benefit Skyhook, his own foundation that offers “STEM opportunities to underserved communities,” according to the organization’s website. The foundation is named after a shot Abdul-Jabbar perfected throughout his ball-playing days. The all-star athlete is adamant about serving children “a shot that can’t be blocked,” and auctioning the historic memorabilia, Abdul-Jabbar stated: “enabled me to give back in an important way.”



Wiley is shooting winning shots as well. Across the Atlantic, the famed artist rolled out Black Rock Senegal, an artist residency in Dakar, to bring together creatives, producing in a range disciplines, from around the world, to work together and shift the global narrative and perspective of Africa.

Kehinde Wiley

(Kehinde Wiley, Swizz Beatz, Sean Zanni/PMC)

In addition to honoring these leaders for their philanthropy and humanitarianism, artist and archivists Guadalupe Rosales and conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas were awarded the 2019 Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship. One hundred students received scholarships for their pursuit of the art forms bearing Parks’s “breadth and integrity,” as the Foundation puts it. Disciplines include photography, art history, African and African American studies visual art, and journalism The festivities didn’t stop there. Attendees also celebrated the 20th anniversary of Parks’ iconic photograph, A Great Day In Hip-Hop. Photographer and 2018 Gordon Parks Foundation honoree Jamel Shabazz, known for his documentary-styled images of Black urban life, recaptured the image with several hip-hop artist who were present for the original shoot — including Slick Rick, Pete Rock, Kool Keith, Questlove, Black Thought, Rah Digga, Grandmaster Kas, and hip-hop historian Fab Five Freddy and filmmaker Benny Boom. The cherry on top of the stunning evening was a stellar performance by The Roots.

Kehinde Wiley

(Black Thought, Kehinde Wiley, Swizz Beatz, Questlove, Sean Zanni/PMC)

The Gordon Parks Foundation was born out of great loss when the notable photographer transitioned in 2006. The foundation preserves Parks’s work and makes it accessible to the public. The arts organization has been supporting artists and funding arts initiatives with a focus on social justice since 2009. Each year since, funds are raised through auction and at The Gordon Parks Annual Awards Dinner And Auction where individuals are honored for their astounding contribution to the arts and social justice. In 2017, the foundation established the Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship to support creatives working in the same vein as Parks. To find out more about Gordon Parks and The Gordon Parks Foundation, click here.


Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


Best water parks in the world

Water parks are great for making adults feel like they’re kids again, and for making kids have a ton of fun. The whole family can splash around in the pool or set their pulses racing by enjoying the water slides. There are plenty of water parks all over the world, and we reckon we’ve discovered the best of the best. Check out these amazing water parks found across the globe.

Typhoon Lagoon – Florida, USA

Disney isn’t content with taking over the movie business and is pretty high up on the list of amazing water parks too. Typhoon Lagoon is considered the best water park in the United States and given the competition that’s pretty impressive. There are water attractions aplenty as everywhere you turn offers you thrills and spills.

Not only can you get your heart racing with the slides but there are wildlife attractions to bring you face to face with some amazing marine life. Shark Reef is where you’ll want to head to meet those animals, but that’s not all, there’s also a giant raft ride on Gangplank Falls. Then as if that wasn’t enough you can even take surf lessons in their wave pool.

Typhoon Lagoon

WetSide Water Park – Hervey Bay, Australia

Water parks bring in thousands of people every year, and for a relatively small fee, you can go inside and have the time of your life. One thing that sets the WetSide Water Park apart from the others is the fact that this Australian attraction is completely free for anyone wanting to visit.

It won’t cost a cent to enjoy most of the park which is based around educating people about water and the wildlife that lives in it. There is a small cost for those who want to ride the wave machine on a board, but for $ 6 you can’t really have an issue.

Waterbom Bali – Kuta, Indonesia

Indonesia has become a hotspot for backpackers in recent years, but there is plenty here for families too. Waterbom Bali has some of the most original rides found anywhere in the world, and the park really pushes the boundaries. You can enjoy the Water Blaster, where you take aim and fire water balloons at riders, or get competitive against a friend on the Twin Racers ride. There’s, of course, a lazy river to take in, plus Asia’s steepest slide.

Waterbom Bali

Siam Park – Tenerife, Spain

There can be no real dispute that Siam Park in Tenerife, Spain, is the greatest water park in the world. According to TripAdvisor, it has been the top water park in the world for five years in a row. There are plenty of adrenaline pumping slides and rides for people to get their pulses racing, but there’s so much more.

To contrast the thrilling attractions there are family-friendly areas and even some spots for peace and quiet. There are over 30 rides for guests to enjoy, meaning you’ll probably end up not doing any twice in one day there’s so much choice. Siam Park also has its own wave pool, and even holds a world record for the largest ever man-made wave.

These are some of the best places in the world to get wet and wild at a water park. If you can’t have fun or enjoy yourself at these amazing locations then perhaps water parks really aren’t your thing.

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How to see five UK national parks by public transport

For National Parks Fortnight we pick ways walkers can dodge the traffic and explore these areas in a more eco-friendly way

Jewelled by emerald islands, fringed by beautiful wooded shores and surrounded by grand hills and mountains, Loch Lomond – where the Scottish Highlands “begin” – often feels much further from civilisation than it actually is. Balloch, on the southern shores of the loch, is just a 50-minute train ride from Glasgow Queen Street. From there, a network of waterbuses links a constellation of points across Loch Lomond and its neighbour in the Trossachs, Loch Katrine, and they make getting around a joyful novelty.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian


Two Years After She Was Fired, Phaedra Parks Open To Returning To RHOA

Phaedra Parks says she is open to returning to “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” two years after her she was booted from the hit Bravo series.

“I never say never because that is very final and you never know what could happen,” she recently told Us Weekly at the Hustle & Soul season 3 premiere event in Miami Beach. “I am very happy. I am living my best life. I did for eight years.”

Phaedra went on to describe her time on the show as an “interesting experience.”

“I wouldn’t trade it and I don’t regret it. But I think life is about evolving,” she explained. “That was almost a decade of my life. My children were born on the show. I went on as a newlywed. Got divorced. Now I have a new boyfriend in my life and I am very happy.”

Parks was booted from show after she told Porsha Williams that Kandi Burruss and husband Todd Tucker allegedelly wanted to drug Porsha and have sex with her.

After the drug/rape allegations — which Kandi denied — Phaedra was fired from RHOA, and while she may be unsure about her return to the reality series, one of her former co-stars has made it clear that she wants her back on the show.

“I would love to have Phaedra back,” NeNe Leakes said on “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” in January. A source told Us that Leakes was really pushing hard for Phaedra “to be back on the show.”

In related news, we previously reported that Parks’ ex-husband, Apollo Nida, is getting out of prison sooner than expected, as a judge recently reduced his prison sentence by a full year.

Nida, 40, has been serving a 96-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud. But after Judge Charles A. Pannell Jr. cut the sentence down to 84 months, Apollo will now be released in August 2020. According to The Blast, he will be on probation for several years.

Around the time of his 2014 sentencing, Nida expressed his disappointment that Phaedra “didn’t even f—king show up for my sentencing. I’m still salty about that,” he said.

Parks — who shares two young sons with Apollo — filed for divorce in October 2014. The split wasn’t finalized until July 2017.

She is now boo’d up with Chicago radio host Tone Kapone.

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Black America Web


American national parks everyone must visit at some point


The United States of America is one of the most diverse countries in the world in regards to every aspect of human existence. The food is different from state to state, American citizens have varying accents, and the landscapes are all completely unique. Scattered amongst the towns, villages, and big cities of this country are various different national parks, and they all offer their own unique quirks. There are some that are perfect for hikers, there are others that require skis, and there are others that offer giant geysers that shoot boiling water into the air! These are the American national parks everyone must visit at some point.

Yosemite National Park – California

Yosemite National Park is perhaps one of the most famous national parks in the US, and for a good reason. With bounding waterfalls that cascade from giant rocks, ancient sequoia trees and granite cliffs that just can’t be found anywhere else, this national park truly does have to be seen to be believed. It’s the kind of place where you can camp overnight, and then wake up to endless views over the mountains and the beautiful trees.

Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona & Nevada

The Grand Canyon is one of the many wonders of the world, and it draws in countless visitors every single year. In fact, former POTUS Teddy Roosevelt once noted that this park is “one great sight which every American should see.” Over the years, the park has gained UNESCO World Heritage SIte status but is still available for visitors to explore on foot, up in the air, or even in the winding waters below. After all, why wouldn’t you want to white water raft through the Grand Canyon?

Everglades National Park – Florida

Florida is famous for its Everglades National Park, and it’s certainly one to tick off your bucket list. With 1.5 million acres worth of swampland, hiking trails, and beautiful waterscapes, it’s a paradise for those who love the outdoors and the natural environment. Of course, you can’t take a trip to the Everglades without heading out on a boat tour, which means you might catch a glimpse of the creatures that lurk beneath the water.

Zion National Park – Utah

Zion National Park is one of the most unique parks in the US, thanks to the unusual color of the rocks that stand within it. Filled with canyons, waterfalls, and rivers, this national park is a haven for hikers who want to explore the great outdoors. As if that wasn’t cool enough, Zion is also full of impressive wildlife, so you’ll probably want to remember your binoculars! You don’t want to miss the birds flying over the sandstone cliffs.

Although it’s so easy to base your US trip around big cities and cultural towns, we think it’s about time you looked beyond the skyscrapers and the colonial buildings. Outside the realms of civilization are incredible national parks that are just waiting for you to visit them. So, what are you waiting for?


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‘Will I get my tax refund? Are the national parks open?’ Your questions about the shutdown — answered

The partial federal government shutdown is now the longest ever — with no end in sight.

CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics


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Ho, Ho, Ho! This Christmas, Phaedra Parks Wants You To Keep Your Peach ‘Sweet & Fresh’ With These Products

Atlanta Junket For The New Warner Bros. Movie EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

It’s no secret that Phaedra Parks is the queen of side hustles. Not only is she a lawyer and a mortician, but she is now dabbling in the feminine products game.

Enter: My Healthy Peach.

According to TMZ, the former Real Housewives of Atlanta co-star is collaborating with Tatianna Knights RN, BSN, a labor and delivery nurse, for a new line to help women have “a nice juicy fresh peach and a sweet peach.”

“I am introducing a new product line. You know I’m known for my ‘badookadonk,’ but my new product line has to do something about…with your vagina,” Phaedra said during a recent gathering of friends at her Atlanta home for a “Ladies Night Out” event.

“So my new product line ‘The Healthy Peach,’ is about not having a tart peach,” the mother of two said. “I want the peaches to be sweet and fresh.”

“My Healthy Peach will make you juicy and sweet.

The line, which is free of sulfates, parabens and most harsh chemicals, seems to be doing well. According to the company’s website, the $ 12.50 box of wipes appear to be sold out.

In addition, it appears that Phaedra is making amends with her former cast mates, including Nene Leakes. Here’s a picture of her, Nene, Greg Leakes and Cynthia Bailey celebrating Nene’s birthday.

“#birthday#joy with @neneleakes @greggleakes@cynthiabailey10 @marlohampton@tammepha #reunited and it felt good 😜,” she wrote.

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo


“We keep in touch and we talk,” Phaedra revealed on a recent episode of TV One’s Sister Circle. “Her husband is going through Cancer, so I’ve been trying to support her.”

Phaedra also hinted that she is open to returning to RHOA–if asked.

“And you know never say never, it’s a new year who knows,” she offered. “But like I tell people I’m an old-fashioned girl and I have five degrees as we all know. So I really don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. I have companies, and jobs and businesses.”


Instagram Photo


Guess only time will tell if she returns to the Bravo hit show AND if these wipes will continue to keep selling out.


Black America Web


Why you should visit the United States national parks in any season


The national parks in the United States are some of the most beautiful places on Earth, but many people only visit them when the weather is good. We’re looking at why these parks are great to visit at any time of the year, no matter the weather.

The snow

Do you like when the snow comes and turns everything a brilliant shade of white? Snow is capable of turning even the bleakest of places into something pretty thanks to the white blankets it lays over everything. If you enjoy the beauty of the national parks then why not check them out after a snowfall? The national parks are already awe-inspiring but when covered in snow that beauty is taken to another level.


Ice climbing is becoming more popular and if you like to visit the parks to scale some of their rocks then why not increase the difficulty? Glacier National Park and Acadia National Park are ideal as you can find a challenge while enjoying the beauty offered by the parks. Winter doesn’t have to be the time of hibernation, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy nature without waiting for the fair weather.


Different species of wildlife thrive during different seasons. If you love heading to a national park to check out signs of wildlife, and to get closer to nature, then why not mix things up and visit at a different time of year? You’ll be more likely to see a different set of animals if you mix up when you visit the parks. It’s more likely you’ll spot animals like beavers and otters during the colder, wetter months.


Hitting the national parks in the middle of summer usually means you’re going to get good weather, but you might be denying yourself an awe-inspiring sight. As the winter snows melt they fuel the rivers and streams running through the parks, which means there is a greater chance to see the amazing waterfalls in action.

Yosemite falls are an iconic site in the California national park, but come too late and the water will practically have dried up already. Hitting up a national park in spring when the rains arrive mean you can see some of nature’s best water features in action before they fizzle out.

Beating the crowds

Unsurprisingly, summer is the most popular time for people visiting the national parks. If you don’t mind a bit of rain, or wrapping up a little warmer, then check them out earlier or later in the year. Fall is one of the best times of year to be surrounded by trees, and fewer people are stomping around the trails. That means you can enjoy the parks in relative peace, without every man, woman, child, and dog getting in the way.

The national parks in the United States don’t only open during the summer months, and they are there to be taken advantage of all year. Whether it’s avoiding people or enjoying the diversity, visiting the national parks in all seasons is a must.


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