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March 26, 2015

Deadline's Dangerous Take on Hollywood Diversity

Fox Empire FOX via Getty Images

It feels like Hollywood is finally starting to get what so many of us knew all along; audiences want to see diversity. Yet somehow, at this exciting moment of progress for the industry, Deadline Hollywood found it appropriate to publish what can only be described as a call for regression.

Colorado Lawmakers Use Slideshow With Racial Slurs When Pushing Bill For Native American Mascot Ban

Redskins Mascot
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Naturi Naughton On Her 'Frustrating' Experiences From Being A Black Woman In Hollywood

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Rapper Killer Mike Deplores Prosecution Of McKinley Phipps: 'We Must Stand With Artists Like Mac'

Killer Mike
David Lohr

White Man In St. Louis Tells Former Cardinal To ‘Go Back To Ferguson'

Curt Ford
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Family Of Anthony Hill, Unarmed Man Killed By Police, Launches Own Investigation

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WSBTV

Students Of Color Are Denied School Sports, Protestors Say

Student Protest
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Black America Is Just 72 Percent Equal To White America. In Some Areas, The Inequality Is Worse Than That.

Black American Flag
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USC Responds To Taraji P. Henson's Claims Of Her Son Being Racially Profiled

Taraji P Henson
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Global Black Voices
 

Double Vision: Meet the Pairs of Twins Who Are Revolutionizing African Fashion (PHOTOS)

Jumeaux Twins
urbanbushbabes

Ferguson Police Shooting Suspect Didn't Fire Gun: Attorney

Ferguson Police Shooting
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Watch Obama Geek Out About 'The Wire' And Criminal Justice Reform With David Simon

Barack Obama
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

How These Former Inmates Are Fighting For Prison Reform

Black Men In Jail Orange
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Video Shows Cops Brutally Beating Unarmed Black Man In Michigan

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Serena Williams Remakes Beyonce Video, Continues To Win At Life

Serena
YouTube

Fleece Force: How Police And Courts Around Ferguson Bully Residents And Collect Millions

Municipal Courts
Emily Kassie / The Huffington Post

Chelsea Handler Says Bill Cosby Tried To 'Cosby' Her

Chelsea Handler
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Hundreds Attend Funeral Of Unarmed Man Shot By Police

Tony Robinson
AP

Oklahoma Civil Rights Pioneer Nancy Davis Dies At 88

Nancy Randolph Davis
OTV/Oklahoma Oral History Research Program

Deadline Piece On TV Diversity Slammed As 'Ignorant'

Scandal Abc
Nicole Wilder via Getty Images

Ex-Oklahoma Frat Brother Levi Pettit Promises To Be Leader Against Racism

Levi
Twitter

Ex-DA Apologizes To Exonerated Man He Put On Death Row

Glenn Ford
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Prosecutor Used Hip-Hop As A Weapon To Convict Mac Phipps

Mac Rap Album 2
YouTube / Family Photo

Charges For Pot In Colorado Have Plummeted, But Racial Disparities Still Persist

Marijuana Arrests
Getty

Disgraced Ex-NFL Star's High School Strips All Mention Of Him

Twitter
Twitter

Starbucks Was Always Going To End #RaceTogether Cups After A Week

Starbucks Cup
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Miss Universe Japan Faces Criticism That She Is Not Japanese Enough

Japan
Instagram.com/missuniversejapan

Ben Carson Compares 'Troublemakers' In Ferguson To Islamist Fighters In Syria

Ben Carson
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Fighting To Reclaim The Future Of Oakland's Young Black Men

Black Male School Writing
John Howard via Getty Images

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Whatever Happened To Meshell Ndegeocello?

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Karrueche Tran Opens Up About Her Love Triangle With Chris Brown And Rihanna

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Watch Mariah Carey Casually Sing Along To Her Greatest Hits

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Cookie Heads To 'SNL'

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This $12.95 Million Penthouse Is The Clear Answer To Your 'Empire' Withdrawals

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Rihanna Is Releasing Some New Music On Thursday

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Fox Is Suing 'Empire Distribution' To Protect Its Rights To 'Empire'

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'Ethnic' Actors Aren't Stealing White Roles: The Racist, Clueless Backlash To TV's Greatest Season Begins

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Idris Elba Eyed For Villain Role In 'Star Trek 3'

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Kevin Hart And Will Ferrell Address 'Get Hard' Criticism

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Kelly Rowland Gets Real About The Pressures Of Raising A Black Son In America

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Vivica A. Fox Returns For 'Independence Day 2'

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Broadway Actress Tonya Pinkins Is 'One Tough Broad'

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Jay Z Paternity Case Nears Shock Settlement

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Will Ferrell Says Racist Frat Song 'A Real Argument For Getting Rid' Of Fraternities Altogether

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Kanye West Is The Centerpiece Of Kelly Rowland's Vision Board

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'Kimmy Schmidt' Star Says Race Controversy Is 'Ridiculous'

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Black Music Notes June 1

    6/1/09: Minnie Riperton
    A very fitting homage will be paid to late, great songbird Minnie Riperton when a new batch of the acclaimed TV One docu-series 'Unsung' hits the small screen this month. Best known for her signature ballad 'Lovin' You,' the Chicago-born singer/songwriter's career and life were cut short after a three-year battle with breast cancer in the late 1970s. After Riperton's cancer diagnosis, she went public instead of retreating, serving as a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. . She was only 31 years old when she died at the prime of her career. 'Unsung' premieres June 7 at 8 PM ET, repeating at 11 PM, as well as Thursday, June 11 at 10 PM and Friday, June 12 at noon and midnight.

    Wire Image

    6/1/09: Grace Jones
    The one and only Grace Jones has been tapped to perform live at the 'We Love' festival in Ibiza on Aug. 9. For the first time ever, the 'Pull Up To The Bumper' singer will grace the Spanish island's celebrated summer concert series, as part of the Wall Of Sound recording company's 15th anniversary. Last year, festival organizers bought The Chemical Brothers back to the Ibiza after a ten-year hiatus. This year, they are ready for Amazing Grace, who recently released a new music project titled 'Hurricane' on the United Kingdom based label. "We are putting on a line-up to inspire and one that will take all lucky enough to be there on a journey they will never ever forget," Wall of Sound founder Mark Jones said.

    Getty Images

    5/28/09: Chaka Khan
    Fresh from a headlining gig at the 2009 St Lucia Jazz Festival, Chaka Khan is ready to take on the nation's capital. The 10-time Grammy Award winning diva will fill in for previously announce headliner Natalie Cole, who is recovering from a live saving kidney transplant surgery, at 'The 18th Annual Capital Jazz Fest' running June 5 - June 7. The 'I Feel For You' chanteuse will join a slew of noted musical acts at the lovely wooded setting of Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. According to a spokesperson for the event, the line-up includes performances by Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten, George Duke, Al Jarreau, Lalah Hathaway, Fourplay, Norman Brown, Roy Ayers, Will Downing, Kirk Whalum, Pieces of a Dream with special guest Phil Perry, Guitars & Saxes (f/ Jeff Lorber, Euge Groove, Jeff Golub and lady saxophone newcomer Jessy J) , Regina Belle, Marion Meadows and trumpeter Joey Sommerville.

    AFP/Getty Images

    5/28/09: Grandmaster Flash
    Grandmaster Flash will be honored with the Living Legend award at the Urban Music Awards USA 2009, set to be held at New York City's Highline Ballroom on July 17. According to a spokesperson for the event, more than 175,000 music fans across the world have voted online for the hip hop veteran to receive the honor. "Flash is an absolute legend and he remains an inspiration to the hip hop culture all together by flying the flag from its inception to the success it has become today," said Jordan Kensington, who is the C.E.O of Invincible Group & Founder of the Urban Music Awards. Nominees for the inaugural awards show include Amy Winehouse, Rihanna, Bobby Valentino, M.I.A, Day 26, The Dream, Estelle, Kat de Luna, Akon, Kanye West, Keri Hilson, Ne-Yo and Eminem.

    Getty Images

    5/21/09: Jay-Z
    Despite stepping down from his Def Jam presidency in late 2007, hip hop mogul Jay-Z has finally left the label as an artist. Rumors started surfacing online that the platinum-selling lyricist, who owed the label one last album, brought himself out of his contract for $5 million. "I can honestly say, working with Doug Morris and LA Reid has been a unique and fulfilling experience and I respect them immensely," he revealed to hip hop site Rap Radar. "I've been in the family for almost my entire career. Doug and I spoke directly and had one of the most unique 'negotiations' ever...I thank him for allowing me to be a completely independent artist. Not every artist can say they own or are given the opportunity to own all of their music."

    Frank Micelott, Getty Images

    5/19/09: Mary J. Blige
    Mary J. Blige recently expanded her brand by signing with The William Morris Agency. According to Variety, the diversified entertainment agency, which also represents Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Kanye West, and Prince (to name a few), will assist the Queen of Hip Hop Soul in all areas of her career including the expansion of her entertainment company, Matriarch Entertainment. This fall the Queen of Hip Hop Soul will make her feature film debut in Tyler Perry's 'I Can Do Bad All by Myself,' scheduled to hit theaters September 11. She can be heard in the trailers for the Oprah Winfrey-presented drama 'Precious,' due out in November.

    Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

    5/19/09: The Dream
    Following in the veins of fellow hip hop stars DMX and Tupac Shakur, singer-songwriter The Dream is planning on releasing his second album of 2009 entitled, 'Love King.' The R&B crooner, who recently released his certified gold album 'Love vs. Money' in March, revealed to Billboard magazine that he already has seven songs in the can and expects the album to hit stores in December. "I have to pace myself 'cause there's so much time between here and then," he said, "but the seven records I do have are timeless records. Whether they come out now or later it's not really going to matter what kind of records they are." In between recording sessions for 'Love King,' fans can now catch The Dream on tour with Keyshia Cole.

    Getty Images

    5/19/09: The Whispers
    After releasing classic hits such as 'In The Mood' and 'Rock Steady,'R&B stalwarts The Whispers are set to release their first gospel album on Kingdom Records. Grammy Award-winning gospel star Fred Hammond is expected to produce a bulk of the tracks. "We've been wanting to do this for ten years," explained founding member Nick Caldwell. "God has been really, really good to the Whispers. He was looking out for us even when we were ignoring Him. He allowed us to live long enough to do this inspirational CD that we want to use to inspire people to get closer to God." The as-yet-untitled anticipated album is tentatively scheduled for release later this year.

    5/19/09: Mariah Carey
    On May 23, Mariah Carey is set to perform a one-hour set at the opening of the most expensive resort in Europe, The Mardan. Carey alongside legendary British soul singer Tom Jones will reportedly be paid £1 million each to perform at the exclusive £926 million Turkey development, which features five acres of fresh water swimming pools and a sunken aquarium. Actress Sharon Stone and Paul McCartney are among the many guests invited to the 560 room hotel opening.

    Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

    5/19/09: Will Downing
    Overcoming his bout with the muscle disorder Polymyositis, Will Downing has set the stage to release is latest musical offering, 'Classique.' The balladeer's 14th album and second Peak Records project features his signature baritone vocals over 10 smooth-sensual tracks. Vocalist Phil Perry joins the 'After Tonight' singer for Marvin Gaye penned 'Baby I'm for Real.' Other album highlights include 'Love Suggestions,' 'More Time,' 'Something Special' and Barry White's classic hit 'I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More Baby.' 'Classique' hit stores June 16.

    Verve

Celebrity Look Alikes Vol. 5

    Karrine Steffans
    This 30-year-old New York Times best-selling author made a name for herself in the music industry as a music video model. After intimate relations with some of the biggest names in hip-hop, including Jay-Z, Ja Rule and Method Man, Steffans became known as "Superhead." The former adult-film star is currently working on her third book 'The Vixen Manuel: How To Find, Seduce & Keep The Man You Want.' You wouldn't believe which high-ranking officer of the court we think Steffans resembles.

    Judge Glenda Hatchett
    Judge Glenda Hatchett has starred on her own court television show for the past eight years. The Emory University School of Law grad also released a book 'Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say.' Before heading to television, Hatchett was a senior attorney at Delta Air Lines and the highest-ranking African American woman at the company. She also has the distinction of being Georgia's first African American chief presiding judge of a state court.

    Karrine Steffans / Judge Glenda Hatchett
    True, Judge Hatchett is a bit mature to pass for Steffan's sister, but they surely could be mistaken for mother and daughter. With their fair complexions, dark-brown hair, wide smiles and noses, they definitely resemble each other.

    Ciara
    These days, 23-year-old Ciara Princess Harris simply goes by Ciara. Raised in Atlanta, this R&B chart-topper, who once dated pint-size rapper Bow Wow, burst on the music scene in 2004 with 'Goodies.' Both her debut single and its follow-up 'Ciara: The Evolution' were platinum hits. She's currently wrapping up her new album 'Fantasy Ride' and will star in the upcoming film 'Mama, I Want to Sing.' But many have said she looks like a popular comedienne. Guess who?

    Wanda Sykes
    Comedienne and actress Wanda Sykes got her start as a writer for 'The Chris Rock Show.' And, though her two short-lived shows 'Wanda at Large' and 'Wanda Does It' haven't made her a television star, her more recent stint on the CBS sitcom 'The New Adventures of Old Christine' has been steady. In 2008, the stand-up comic "came out" as at a pro-gay marriage rally in Las Vegas.

    Ciara / Wanda Sykes
    They're not identical by any means, but Ciara and Wanda Sykes definitely favor one another. We aren't holding our breaths to see Wanda sport a dolled-up look like Ci-Ci, but with their similar noses and big brown eyes, the two ladies remind us of each other.

    Iman Crosson
    This 26-year-old Ohio native received a great deal of attention with his parody of President Barack Obama doing Beyonce's 'Single Ladies.' The YouTube clip 'If You Voted for Me' has scored nearly 2 million hits and landed Crosson an appearance on Entertainment Tonight. There's a certain banker who looks like the Dancing Obama. Can you take a guess?

    Al Reynolds
    Virginia native Al Reynolds is mostly known as the ex-husband of former plus-size talk show personality Star Jones. Their nuptials are rumored to have cost upward of $1 million dollars and became a public relations nightmare for 'The View.' Sadly, their union didn't last long. Jones filed for divorce in 2008. The former investment banker is currently finishing up his doctorate in organizational leadership and teaching at Florida Memorial University.

    Iman Crosson / Al Reynolds
    Talk about splitting image. It's easy to see how Iman Crosson might be mistaken for Al Reynolds over our President Barack Obama. The two light-skinned, handsome brothers both know how to hang a suit. And with such distinguished looks, if they can't pass for each other, they can pass for brothers.

    Kathie Lee Gifford
    Kathie Lee Gifford is best known for co-hosting the talk show 'Live with Regis and Kathie Lee,' alongside Regis Philbin for 15 years. In 2008, she returned to the small screen to host the fourth hour of NBC's 'Today' show.

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