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Loss of a Legend…Civil Rights Icon & Comedian, Dick Gregory, Has Passed…

Death rears its ugly head again, this time claiming one of the greatest men of the twentieth century, civil rights activist and comedian, Dick Gregory. He was 84.

The news was verified by The Hollywood Reporter.

[caption id="attachment_20262" align="aligncenter" width="444"]
Dick Gregory in 1966 before being arrested Dick Gregory in 1966 before being arrested[/caption]

“It is with enormous sadness that the Gregory family confirms that their father, comedic legend and civil rights activist Mr. Dick Gregory departed this earth tonight in Washington, D.C.,” his son, Christian Gregory said via a statement from his father’s rep. “The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

“He was one of the sweetest, smartest, most loving people one could ever know,” his publicist of 50 years, Steve Jaffe, tells THR. “I just hope that God is ready for some outrageously funny times.” A full statement and details of Gregory’s funeral will be released Sunday, Jaffe said.

According to an Aug. 17 statement written by his son, Gregory was recently hospitalized.

Dick Gregory dead

Dick Gregory was a pioneer in the comedic realm, becoming the first Black comedian to perform regularly in front of White audiences. His act consisted of social satires on racism and societal ills that hit all too close to home.

“When I started, a black comic couldn’t work a white nightclub. You could sing, you could dance, but you couldn’t stand flat-footed and talk — then the system would know how brilliant black folks was,” Gregory recalled in a 2016 interview.

Dick used his platform and reach to not only make audiences laugh, but fight for the civil rights of African-Americans. His autobiography entitled Nigger, details the pain, heartache, and triumph he and his wife endured during these trying times. It truly goes without saying that Mr. Gregory was a legend among legends right up there with the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King, and Bayard Rusting. We love and already miss you Mr. Gregory and the fight for equality and justice will carry on–FOREVER!

Written By: Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning

[caption id="attachment_20040" align="aligncenter" width="225"]michael j. fanning owner of hey mikey atl Follow me on Twitter/IG @HeyMikeyATL[/caption]

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Death rears its ugly head again, this time claiming one of the greatest men of the twentieth century, civil rights activist and comedian, Dick Gregory. He was 84.

The news was verified by The Hollywood Reporter.

Dick Gregory in 1966 before being arrested

Dick Gregory in 1966 before being arrested

“It is with enormous sadness that the Gregory family confirms that their father, comedic legend and civil rights activist Mr. Dick Gregory departed this earth tonight in Washington, D.C.,” his son, Christian Gregory said via a statement from his father’s rep. “The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

“He was one of the sweetest, smartest, most loving people one could ever know,” his publicist of 50 years, Steve Jaffe, tells THR. “I just hope that God is ready for some outrageously funny times.” A full statement and details of Gregory’s funeral will be released Sunday, Jaffe said.

According to an Aug. 17 statement written by his son, Gregory was recently hospitalized.

Dick Gregory dead

Dick Gregory was a pioneer in the comedic realm, becoming the first Black comedian to perform regularly in front of White audiences. His act consisted of social satires on racism and societal ills that hit all too close to home.

“When I started, a black comic couldn’t work a white nightclub. You could sing, you could dance, but you couldn’t stand flat-footed and talk — then the system would know how brilliant black folks was,” Gregory recalled in a 2016 interview.

Dick used his platform and reach to not only make audiences laugh, but fight for the civil rights of African-Americans. His autobiography entitled Nigger, details the pain, heartache, and triumph he and his wife endured during these trying times. It truly goes without saying that Mr. Gregory was a legend among legends right up there with the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King, and Bayard Rusting. We love and already miss you Mr. Gregory and the fight for equality and justice will carry on–FOREVER!

Written By: Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning

michael j. fanning owner of hey mikey atl

Follow me on Twitter/IG @HeyMikeyATL

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Television & Radio

“P” is For “Poppin’!” Starz’ “P-Valley” is FIRE!

Starz never fails to deliver with trendy, edgy, and sometimes risque programming. It’s latest series, “P-Valley” now takes the cake in the risque department as it explores the lives of a group of women working as strippers in the Deep South! Needless to say the “P” is for “Poppin’!”

Written by Katori Hall, “P-Valley” centers around “Autumn Night,” (Elarica Johnson) a young woman seemingly running for her life from an unknown assailant. In her running, and looking for work she comes across “Pussy Valley” (P-Valley) a backwoods strip club ran by the flamboyant and scheming, Uncle Clifford (Nico Annan).

Grade: A+

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starz p-valley review

Starz never fails to deliver with trendy, edgy, and sometimes risque programming. It’s latest series, “P-Valley” now takes the cake in the risque department as it explores the lives of a group of women working as strippers in the Deep South! Needless to say the “P” is for “Poppin’!”

starz p-valley review autumn night elarica johnson

Elarica Johnson as “Autumn Night”

Written by Katori Hall, “P-Valley” centers around “Autumn Night,” (Elarica Johnson) a young woman seemingly running for her life from an unknown assailant. In her running, and looking for work she comes across “Pussy Valley” (P-Valley) a backwoods strip club ran by the flamboyant and scheming, Uncle Clifford (Nico Annan).

Grade: A+

starz p-valley review uncle clifford nico annan

Nico Annon as “Uncle Clifford”

Autumn soon learns there are a lot of players and problems in P-Valley. Keyshawn (Shannon Thornton), a new mother back deals with domestic violence. Diamond (Tyler Lepley) a handsome security guard protects the club and strippers with a two-fisted approach.

starz p-valley review brandee evans mercedes

Brandee Evans as “Mercedes”

In the club, Clifford gives Autumn a job and has his star stripper, Mercedes (Brandee Evans), show her the ropes; hoping she will eventually replace Mercedes after she retires. Mercedes, however, has reservations about Autumn and is determined to focus on what brings her joy in life, while dealing with the shame and damnation her mother places on her for stripping. Meanwhile, a DL rapper Lil Murda (J. Alphonse Nicholson), tries to hustle Mercedes and Uncle Clifford into playing his new song while covering for his entourage’s antics.

starz p-valley review lil murda dl rapper J. Alphonse Nicholson

J. Alphonse Nicholson as “Lil Murda”

Elsewhere, a mysterious, seemingly goodhearted man, Andre (Parker Sawyers), secretly photographs the dancers and ongoing of P-Valley!

Starz granted us access to a screener of the first episode of the series and we are now hooked. The show is very much so a new “The Players Club” with a modern update, and LGBT friendliness. We cannot wait to see more of the series and what is in store for all of the characters.

We do know for sure our friend to the site, Toni Bryce, is set to appear in the fifth episode of the series! Let’s hope this sets her on track to become a series’ regular in Season 2–which we are sure Starz will greenlight!

You can catch the series premiere of “P-Valley,” tomorrow night, 9 PM EST only on Starz!

 

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Celebrity News

[FULL EPISODE] Will & Jada Pinkett-Smith Address August Alsina Rumors on “Red Table Talk!”

It seems like it has been an eternity, but Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith have finally addressed the August Alsina rumors on Facebook Watch’s “The Red Table Talk!” 

As you recall, singer August Alsina, revealed a couple of weeks ago that he and Jada were in a relationship WITH Will’s blessing in a sit down interview with “The Breakfast Club’s” Angela Yee. Now the celebrity couple are clearing the air, revealing that August and Jada actually were in a full-fledged relationship four years ago during a time she and Will were separated. 

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will smith jada pinkett-smith august alsina red table talk

It seems like it has been an eternity, but Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith have finally addressed the August Alsina rumors on Facebook Watch’s “The Red Table Talk!”

As you recall, singer August Alsina, revealed a couple of weeks ago that he and Jada were in a relationship WITH Will’s blessing in a sit down interview with “The Breakfast Club’s” Angela Yee. Now the celebrity couple are clearing the air, revealing that August and Jada actually were in a full-fledged relationship four years ago during a time she and Will were separated.

via People

august alsina jada pinkett-smith affair will smith

“One of the reasons I wanted to come to the table, the media, the headlines, we specifically never said anything,” Smith said as his wife sat across from him. “We were purposely never saying anything. We specifically never said anything. Coming to the table, we just felt like it got to the point where you gotta say something.”

Pinkett Smith added, “It’s a situation that I consider private. This is a very personal journey that became very public.”

“Four and a half years ago… I started a friendship with August and we actually became really, really good friends,” she continued. “And it all started with him just needing some help, me wanting to help his health, his mental state.”

The mother of two said the singer “was really sick” when she and Smith first met him through their son, Jaden.

“The outpouring for him from our family was initially about his health,” she said. “We found all those different resources to help pull him through and from there you and I were going through a very difficult time.”

Smith replied, “I was done with you.”

“We broke up,” she said, clarifying. “We decided that we were going to separate for a period of time.”

“And then what did you do, Jada?” Smith asked.

“From there as time went on I got into a different kind of entanglement with August. One thing I want to clean up… about you giving ‘permission’ which is… the only person that can give permission in that circumstance is myself,” she said.

Jada Pinkett Smith, August Alsina
Jada Pinkett Smith, August Alsina
She continued, “But what August was probably trying to communicate because I could see how he could see it as permission because we were separated amicably, and I think he wanted to make it clear he’s not a homewrecker because he’s not.”

Smith asked her to clarify what she meant by “entanglement,” to which she said, “Yes, it was a relationship absolutely.”

The Girls Trip star said she didn’t view her relationship with Alsina “as a transgression at all.”

“Through that particular journey, I learned so much about myself and was able to really confront a lot of emotional immaturity, emotional insecurity and I was really able to do some really deep healing,” Pinkett Smith said. “And as I came through and started to realize certain things about you and I, he decided to break all communication with me which was totally understandable. And I let that be and hadn’t talked to him since so it is a little weird that all this stuff is coming out now since this was several [years ago].”

Smith added, “For me, this was years ago.”

The two were able to repair their relationship with Pinkett Smith saying, “We have really gotten to that new place of unconditional love.”

The couple has been married since December 1997 and shares son Jaden, 22, and daughter Willow, 19.

Pinkett Smith previously teased the episode, tweeting, “There’s some healing that needs to happen…so I’m bringing myself to The Red Table.”

We are glad Will and Jada are wise enough to take control of this narrative and talk this out in the open. Honestly speculation has been eating at the couple’s stellar reputation. However, we would love for them to address the rumors of them being in an open marriage. Are they? Or aren’t they?

What did you think of this episode of “The Red Table Talk?” Sound off in the comments’ section below.

 

 

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Celebrity News

Mehcad Brooks Petitions Hollywood to Change Tarzan’s Racist Narrative

Tarzan has been known as the “King of The Jungle” for well over a century now. However, the origins of the character are steeped in anti-African and racist ideology in relation to Black people. 

Actor and former “Supergirl” star, Mehcad Brooks is calling out Hollywood on its historic portrayal of Tarzan. Mehcad took to his Instagram and alerting the industry and public the character needs a modern and realistic makeover.

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mehcad brooks tarzan

Tarzan has been known as the “King of The Jungle” for well over a century now. However, the origins of the character are steeped in anti-African and racist ideology in relation to Black people.

mehcad brooks

Mehcad Brooks

Actor and former “Supergirl” star, Mehcad Brooks is calling out Hollywood on its historic portrayal of Tarzan. Mehcad took to his Instagram and alerting the industry and public the character needs a modern and realistic makeover.

View this post on Instagram

Not only is Tarzan racist it has been used as an instrument of White Supremacy to inject the psychological poison of racial hierarchy, genocide, eugenics and anti-black politics for 108 years. Let’s talk about it. Author #EdgarRiceBurroughs was a known to be proud of his views on #eugenics , African #genocide and White skin being the key to absolute dominion over the world. He believed Blacks to be racially impure and should be exterminated and sterilized. #Tarzan is quoted introducing himself as a title“…The House of Tarzan, the killer of beasts and many black men.” The name “Tarzan” literally means “white skin” in the ape language Burroughs envisioned. Tarzan often boasted about #lynching Black Men for sport and honor and saves Jane from the “black ape rapist”. Tarzan was used as #racist propaganda to debase #Africa and Black People when #MarcusGarvey ‘s “Back To Africa” initiative was gaining support. Tarzan has been devastating to Black Culture and has even been linked to a rise in lynchings around the releases of its titles. @wbpictures Holla at me. Let’s get this right this time. Let’s #remaketarzan with a #BlackLead 🎥🍿🌴 #justakidfromaustin who wants to be #kingofthejungle ▪️We Are Here to Repair This ▪️ Enjoy these excerpts from #tonywalker a #diaspora historian and activist. ♾🙏🏾 . . . . . #mehcadbrooks #tarzan #antiracism #antiracist #blacktraumamatters #wearehere #strongblacklead #wbpictures #warnerbros #blm #blacklivesmatter #blackactors #blackhollywood #blackstoriesmatter

A post shared by Mehcad ᤅ (@mehcadbrooks) on

We did our own research and can confirm Mehcad’s allegations wholeheartedly. There are a number of articles posted below you can read for yourself. A New York high school even canceled its Tarzan musical due to the racist epithets and ideology of the character!

https://weareorlando.co.uk/page13.php

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/09/us/new-york-high-school-tarzan-racism-trnd/index.html

https://www.thehindu.com/thread/entertainment-variety/the-curious-connection-between-indias-republic-day-and-a-hoary-film-franchise-of-tarzan/article30666465.ece

Hollywood definitely has some work to do with some of its older franchises. We are glad Mehcad is bringing this to light. Honestly, we would not mind seeing him cast as the new Tarzan. He definitely has the build, skill, and credentials to be the true “King of The Jungle!”

 

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