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November 21, 2014

REPORT: Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson In Talks To Resign

Darren Wilson
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Bill Cosby's Arizona Show Canceled

Bill Cosby
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ferguson Police Arrest Demonstrators In Confrontation

Ferugson Protests
Andrew Burton via Getty Images

Holder Announces New Guide For Police Ahead Of Ferguson Decision

Holder
Justice Department

Read The Full Text Of Obama's Immigration Speech

Barack Obama
ASSOCIATED PRESS

NAACP Blasts Nevada Speaker-Elect's Racial Comments

Ira Hansen
ASSOCIATED PRESS

An Anti-Gay 'Christmas Gift' On The Way For Uganda?

Uganda Gay
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former Wrestling Superstar Struggles As Double Amputee

Kamala
Bleacher Report

This Is What School Districts Are Doing To Prepare For The Ferguson Verdict

Normandy Schools
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Raven-Symone Speaks Out Against Rumors That Bill Cosby Assaulted Her

Raven Symone
Imeh Akpanudosen via Getty Images

This 5-Year-Old Gives Homeless Kids Care Packages That Make Them Feel Right At Home

Jayla Newson
Today Show

Facts On Stop And Frisk Reform That Shatter Right-Wing Media Fears

Bill

'Urban Militia' Group Offers Bounty For Location Of Officer Darren Wilson

Darren Wilson
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Cosby Controversy: 6 Signs Of Rape Culture

Bill Cosby
Brad Barket/Invision/AP

Police Arrest 6 Protesters In St. Louis

Police Arrest Protesters St Louis
Scott Olson via Getty Images

Ferguson and the 'Us vs. Them' Illusion

Ferguson Police Protesters
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Calling Nevada's Incoming Speaker Racist And Sexist Would Be A Huge Understatement

Ira Hansen
ASSOCIATED PRESS

'The Minority Report With Larry Wilmore' Has A New Name

Larry Wilmore
Frederick M. Brown via Getty Images

Daniel Handler's Offensive NBA Jokes Prove Book Industry Has A Long Way To Go

Lemony Snicket
David Livingston via Getty Images

Rand Paul Honestly Thinks He's Congress' Biggest Defender Of Minority Rights

Rand Paul
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Violence in Post-Verdict Ferguson: What We Should Be Worried About

Ferguson Protests
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Man Who Spent 39 Years In Prison To Be Freed After Witness Admits He Lied

Ricky Jackson
ASSOCIATED PRESS

NFL Star Finds Wallet, Goes To Owner's House To Return It

Marshawn Lynch
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Jane Doe 10 From Cosby Case Goes Public With Claims

Cosby Serignese
Getty/Courtesy of Therese Serignese

Ballerina Of Our Dreams Misty Copeland Is Getting A Reality Show

Misty Copeland
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Florida Cops On What Ferguson Can Learn From Trayvon

Trayvon Martin
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Getting Beyond Ferguson

Ferguson Police
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Rape Accusations Against Bill Cosby Must Not Be Ignored

Bill Cosby
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Standing Your Ground in Journalism, Even When Diversity Isn't Valued

Racism Newsroom
David Joyner via Getty Images

Black-Owned Food Trucks Give New Meaning to Meals on Wheels

Goodies Frozen Custard
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Meet The Teach For America Official Charged With Bringing Change To Ferguson And Beyond

Brittany Ferguson
Emily Kassie

Sharpton: Activists In Ferguson Are Ready

Rev Al Sharpton
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Why One Ferguson Store Owner Refuses To Board Up His Windows

Ferguson Store Owner
Emily Kassie

Study Shows White Americans Draw Distinctions Between African-Americans And Blacks

Naacp
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mo'ne Davis Has A Memoir Coming Soon -- And She's Only 13

Mone Davis
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Reflections on Ol' Dirty Bastard Ten Years Later: ODB as a Microcosm of American Inequality

Ol Dirty Bastard
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Racial Disparity In Ferguson Arrests Is Big, But Not As Big As Other Places

Ferguson Police
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Motown Singer Jimmy Ruffin Dead At Age 78

Jimmy Ruffin
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Corporate Buyout: Why Legacy Civil Rights Groups Are on the Wrong Side of History

Net Neutrality
Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Unique Love Story About a Ugandan Transgender Woman

Jonnyvonwallstromcleo
Jonny von Wallstrom

Will The National Guard Really Help Keep Peace In Ferguson?

National Guard Ferguson
Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Wall Street's Lack Of Diversity Is Putting Us At Risk Of Another Crisis

Wall Street Traders
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Liberian-American Health Care Workers Join Fight Against Ebola

Minnesota Nurses Ebola
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hard Time: Lessons From a Maximum-Security Prison

Behind Bars
Halfdark via Getty Images

Tanzania Is Uprooting 40,000 People For The Most Despicable Reason

Tanzania Masai
Chris Jackson via Getty Images

Ferguson Remains On Edge Ahead Of Grand Jury Decision

Ferguson
Getty

Students Walk Out Of School To Protest Racist Tweet They Believe Was Sent By Administrator

Student Protest
13 News Now

Justice Department Probe Of Ferguson Police Could Spur Broad Change

Eric Holder

Missouri Executes Killer For 1994 Murder Of Gas Station Attendant

Leon Taylor
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ferguson Protesters Fear Police Crackdown After Grand Jury Decision

Ferguson
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Human Toll of 'Stop and Frisk'

185494998
Getty

By Soledad O'Brien

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Don't Tell This 'Scandal' Star He Isn't 'Black Enough'

Joe Morton
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Listen To Two New Beyonce Songs

Beyonce
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

What Street Style Looks Like Around The World

Street Style
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These Celebrity Drawings Are So Realistic, You'll Think They're Photos

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Wyclef
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MC Lyte Among Honorees At Annual Women's Empowerment Event

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LL Cool J, Chaka Khan Honor Quincy Jones At Ebony Gala

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'No More Drama' AND No Female Friends For MJB's Husband

Mary J Blige
Stephen Lovekin via Getty Images

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Bye Felicia
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Mahershala Ali
Imeh Akpanudosen via Getty Images

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Tyler James Williams
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Todd Williamson/Invision/AP

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Beyonc
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Greg Allen/Invision/AP

EBONY To Honor Top 100 Black Influencers Of 2014

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Taylor Hill via Getty Images

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Victoria Will/Invision/AP

Fela! on Broadway: Hip-Hop & Hollywood A-Listers to Add Boost

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Fela! On Broadway: Hip Hop & Hollywood A-Listers To Add Boost

Hip-hop royalty is returning to Broadway.

Following in the same vein as Russell Simmons' Tony Award-winning turn with 'Def Jam on Broadway' and Sean 'Diddy' Combs' big splash in Kenny Leon's revival of 'A Raisin in the Sun,' Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith are taking on the Great White Way.

Contract talks have been going on for weeks between the hip-hop and Hollywood A-listers and the 'Fela!' creative team, and today, Richard Kornberg, Billy Zavelson and Tommy Wesley officially announced that the trio has joined the production team of the musical, which chronicles the life of African musician and political activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

The glitzy partnership will hopefully bring in the same star power that Oprah Winfrey's name did for 'The Color Purple' in 2005.

Late last year, The Roots drummer Ahmir '?uestlove' Thompson appealed to 200 of his entertainment industry colleagues via e-mail blast to attend the sold-out limited run of the off-Broadway musical

"It's uncut. It's true to the vision. It's amazing! There is no option. I expect death to be the only reason why you did not see this production," he wrote in his letter.

He closed the plea with: "Get off your ass and see this now."

Now that the show is headed to Broadway, it has been given an $11 million makeover and is set to open at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on Nov. 23.

Beloved Tony Award winner Lillias White joined the cast as Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, the late Afrobeat legend's mother.

And when Sahr Ngaujah -- who mastered the complex lead role when the show debuted off-Broadway, last year -- isn't working his magic on the masses, Kevin Mambo (right), a two-time Daytime Emmy Award winner takes over the role.


Thompson, whose reach has only expanded since The Roots became the house band for Jimmy Fallon's late-night television show, continued to make an impassioned plea for more of his celebrity friends to invest in and support the show, and it seems his calls have been answered.

The addition of Jay-Z and the Smiths could boost ticket sales, which have been reportedly low thus far.

"My job is to be the mouthpiece that can at least catch the ear of a power player for Hollywood and the industry," Thompson, who is also a producer on 'Fela!,' said.

Getting Carter, with whom he has collaborated with, to give 'Fela!' a chance wasn't too difficult a task, thanks to the interests of the Brooklyn MC's superstar wife.

"This play really hit Beyonce in the gut, which in turn really hit [Jay-Z] in the gut, and he was excited about it."

Alicia Keys was also confirmed to have seen 'Fela!' at Thompson's urging.

Similarly, hip-hop star K'naan, who says "Broadway will never be the same now," after having an early look at the show encouraged Mos Def -- who starred in the critically acclaimed play 'Topdog/Underdog' -- and Nas to check it out.

The show's lead producer, Stephen Hendel, said that "these prominent celebrities are also approaching us because they want to be involved in bringing something important and new to the culture."

As previously reported, Tony Award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones serves as the show's creative force.



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