Movies (54)

*Did you know that there is a museum that is preserving the soil from sites where people from the Black community were killed by lynching? Why are they doing this, you ask? Because they want to help America acknowledge the fact that it has brutality because of racism in its past.

In this museum, you can find jars with an array of browns. It contains richly red clay which owes its color to the blood of Black men and women breaking their backs while working from sunrise to way past sundown. Not only is the blood of lynching victims deeply absorbed in this soil but also their sweat and tears. The very sweat and tears of people that were humiliated and deprived during the years of Jim Crow!

Bryan Stevenson, who works at this museum, identified that the soil that is stored in this museum acts as a powerful medium for conveying Black history. He also said that the soil represents the lives of many victims that were never given a proper burial and were met with violent and unspeakable deaths. They are being honored in this museum and this is exactly what the Equal Justice Initiative wants to bring forward in the Legacy Museum and Memorial in Montgomery.

Even some descendants of the people who are named over the jars have traveled great distances to make the sad sojourn and catch a glimpse of their ancestors’ remains. The movement has been able to document about 4,400 people who were lynched across 35 states. Most of these were from Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia between the period of 1877 and 1950.

People haven’t learned to talk about lynching or the racist history of the nation in an open and honest manner. This is because of how difficult it is to face this horrid past and acknowledge the brutality that was faced by our ancestors. Now this museum aims to shed a light on this dark period of American history, make people understand our complete history and provide the courage to absorb it.

While sharing his aim of using the museum to give context to the current struggle, Stevenson aptly said, “That’s because while this soil may surround us in death, it also is the place to plant seeds of hope for a new beginning.”


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*For the first time ever the 2018 E! People’s Choice Awards was put on by E! Entertainment for its 44th year. It’s the only major award show that allows the public to vote entirely for their favorite categories in film, TV, music and everything pop culture and EURweb was there.

First up on the carpet was “This Is Us” star Susan Kelechi Watson who discussed her recent photo shoot with Glamour and the show’s latest season.

“The majority of us felt like this is going to be one of our best seasons,” she told yours truly, Rocky Harris. “I love where we’re going with Vietnam, with exploring depression, exploring Randall’s campaign and Beth losing her job just all these issues – fertility – so much is going on this season. It’s exciting.” Watson also shared that it was her first time being on the cover of a magazine.

Comedian and Chicago native Lil Rel Howery stepped on the People’s Choice red carpet for his very first time.

“I like going to awards shows, it’s very interesting. I actually enjoy the show. It’s always who you’re sitting next to.” He also added his feelings on now being a part of the people’s favorites crew. “It’s a peace of mind thing. It’s hard when you start to become a celebrity or whatever that is and everything that comes with it. But I’ve been handling it well,” said Howery.


“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star Terry Crews has been outspoken about several social issues. He took the time to give his thoughts on gun control and how he uses his celebrity to promote non-violence.

“My thing is no one should be able to fear that this [mass shootings] would happen to them in America. There’s got to be a way to uphold the constitution and also make sure you don’t wipe out the civilization,” said Crews.

His wife, Rebecca King-Crews, chimed in saying, “Massive assault weapons shouldn’t be sold to individuals. Why are they doing this?”

The awards took place Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. See the complete winners list here.

Source: https: //

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*It was 2 months ago when we reported that a Dallas police officer entered the apartment of Botham Jean and shot and killed him because she supposedly thought he was an intruder in HER unit?

Now, Dallas’ new district attorney wants to charge former police officer Amber Guyger for murder.

“It’s not wanting to be the district attorney,” John Creuzot said. “It’s about wanting to implement change.”

After defeating Republican Faith Johnson, who had held the position since 2016 after being appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott, Creuzot – the District-Attorney Elect – will be sworn in January 1, 2019. Creuzot said first on his to-do list will be some training for his prosecutors.

“There are a lot of good prosecutors in the Dallas County District Attorney’s office who want to do the right thing. They just haven’t been shown what the right thing is,” he said to local reporters.

Johnson received criticism for the handling of Guyger, who was subsequently terminated from the Dallas police department and charged with manslaughter. Many believed a murder charge should’ve been handed down. Creuzot said if the case hasn’t been tried by the time he takes office then that’ll be the first thing on his docket.

“I don’t know any police reports. I don’t know any forensic reports, but based on what I have seen, manslaughter is an inappropriate charge, based on the circumstances as I understand them,” said Creuzot. “Once I get in there and I get everything in front of me and it appears the most appropriate charge is murder, then that’s the charge we will go forward with.”


Guyger’s manslaughter charge rejuvenated conversation police are often given preferential treatment even in murders of innocent people, something Creuzot is well aware of.

“They need to be held accountable like anyone else. 99.9 percent of our police officers are great people and doing it for the right reason, but there are going to be those individuals out there who are going to shoot and hurt and kill someone and they need to be held accountable just like you and I would be held accountable,” he said.

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*Talk about effing stuff up. That’s the situation with Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green.

Because things are so heated with Green as a result of his confrontation with teammate Kevin Durant, the Warriors decided to suspended him (Green) without pay for Tuesday night’s game versus the Atlanta Hawks.

Here’s the backstory: Green exchanged words with Kevin Durant after losing the ball just before the end of regulation Monday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Well, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of, the confrontation between Green and Durant didn’t end on the court. Nope, they were jawing at each other after the game in the locker room.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Green reportedly “challenged” Durant about his upcoming free agency and the argument remained a “simmering issue” Tuesday.

Green is also said to have called Durant “a bitch” several times, per Yahoo’s Chris Haynes. The usually quiet Klay Thompson spoke up to his teammates and “stressed the importance of sticking together.”

Charania added that the Warriors decided Green would have to sit to “cool off.”

You would think the team, now 11-3, wouldfn’t be trippin’ on a 121-116 overtime loss to the Clippers, but the fighting between two of the teams’ biggest stars is a problem that needs to nipped in the bud … if possible.


Here’s how the Bleacher Report puts it in context: Durant is in his third season with Golden State and has helped the squad win the NBA title in each of the last two years, but he is still an outsider compared to the core of Green, Thompson and Stephen Curry. Green has been with the Dubs since 2012, when he was drafted 35th overall in the second round.

So yeah, Green and Durant don’t have to be the best of friends to take win another championship, but if they become outright enemies, that will affect everything and all bets are off.

Meanwhile, down in SoCal, the Lakers and LeBron are watching with interest and are no doubt letting Durant know where he would be more than welcome.


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*People are still dealing with the passing of comic visionary Stan Lee who died from as yet unannounced causes on Monday at the age of 95.

One of those people is Rev. Al Sharpton who counts Lee as a pioneer at the height of the civil rights movement. As proof, he points to “Black Panther.”

TMZ caught up to Sharpton on Capitol Hill on Tuesday and got his take on the legendary Marvel Universe creator’s death.

“You gotta remember Stan Lee was not a Johnny-come-lately … when a lot of us were putting pressure in the 90s all the way up to now about Hollywood … he always dealt with inclusion. Look at ‘Black Panther.’ Look at what he did with a lot of comic strips,” said Sharpton.

The Rev. added:

“He was an inclusive, die-hard kind of person that felt long before it became fashionable that Hollywood outta include all Americans.”


In essence Sharpton noted that Lee -was no stranger to tackling politically sensitive issues in his comic books and created the Black Panther, the first black superhero back in 1966!

That, Sharpton says, was highly impactful in shaping the mind of kids back in the day. He says it’s a hell of an accomplishment.

In other news about Stan Lee, in New Zealand, the Gisborne Herald used a photo of Stan Lee, but misidentified him in print writing: “Characters first, superheroes next: Spike Lee dies at 95.”

Well, as we all know, Spike Lee is very much alive and kicking at age 61.


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*Lord have mercy, who is this in a heap of trouble?! It’s none other than attorney Michael Avenatti, who became famous for representing Stormy Daniels in her battle with President Trump. Avenatti was arrested this afternoon for felony domestic violence. However, he has been released and even held a brief news conference.

“I have never struck a woman. I will never strike a woman.” He added he’s looking forward to the investigation and is confident he’ll be “fully exonerated,” Avenatti told reporters.

Check out the video above for more from Avenatti.

Here’s what TMZ reported earlier:

Our law enforcement sources say Avenatti was arrested Wednesday after a woman filed a felony DV report. We’re told her face was “swollen and bruised” with “red marks” on both cheeks.

Our sources say the alleged incident occurred Tuesday night, but there was another confrontation Wednesday between the two at an exclusive apartment building in the Century City area of L.A.

We’re told Wednesday afternoon the woman was on the sidewalk on her cellphone with sunglasses covering her eyes, sobbing and screaming on the phone, “I can’t believe you did this to me.  I’m going to get a restraining order against you.”

We’re told security brought her inside the building, took her upstairs and Michael showed up 5 minutes later and ran into the building. He screamed repeatedly, “She hit me first.” We’re told he angrily added, “This is bulls***, this is f***ing bulls***.”  We’re told he tried getting into the elevator but security denied him access.

Cops showed up and escorted Avenatti into a corner of the apartment lobby and spoke with him for 5 to 10 minutes and then took him into custody.

A law enforcement source says on Tuesday, Avenatti “kicked her out of the apartment” and that’s when the alleged domestic violence occurred. We’re told she went back to the apartment on Wednesday to retrieve her belongings and called police to stand by in case things got heated.

If this doesn’t make Donald Trump’s day, we don’t know what will.


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*Robert Bailey, 67, the Manhattan man who won the largest jackpot in New York Lottery history came forward Wednesday to claim a Powerball ticket worth $343.9 million.

Bailey, a retired federal employee, purchased the ticket at the West Harlem Deli on Fifth Avenue shortly before the Oct. 27 drawing. He chose the lump sum payment and will take home a little more than $125 million after taxes, CBS2 reported.

“A family member gave me the numbers over 25 years ago and I faithfully play them,” Bailey said. “I buy my tickets at three or four different stores. It was raining that day so I went to the deli to get out of the rain and I bought my ticket there.”

OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Jill Scott: Singer Explains Why She Simulates Sex Acts During Concert [LISTEN]


Bailey said he was shocked when he checked his ticket online.

“I said to myself, ‘These look like my numbers.’ I tried to remain calm and sat down to watch some shows I had on my DVR. I didn’t sleep the rest of the night,” he said.

The winning numbers were 8, 12, 13, 19, 27 and the Powerball 4. Bailey split the $687 million jackpot with 51-year-old Lerynne West, of Iowa, the report states.

Bailey took his time coming forward because he made the smart move of securing a lawyer and financial adviser.

“I’m blessed,” Bailey said. “I’m still somewhat in shock. I’m happy. I’m taking my time.”

He’s also shared how he plans to spend some of the money. 

 “I’m gonna get a house, especially for my mother. God bless her, she’s still around. I definitely want to travel a little bit and hopefully, I make some good investments that will work for me and my family.”

He also intends to keep playing the lottery.

“It’s a good life-changer. I plan to do the right thing with the money,” Bailey said. “I will continue to playing my numbers until this train runs out.”


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*Wait a minute, Nancy Pelosi! We know YOU are convinced that you have enough votes from your Democratic colleagues to be Speaker of the House, but you might want to slow your roll. It might not be as easy as you think.

Apparently not every Democrat in Congress is down with you. Take Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) for instance. She  is all but announcing her intention to run for House speaker against Pelosi. She tested the waters Thursday by slamming Pelosi and putting race at the forefront of her campaign.

Here More via Huff Post:

While she stopped short of officially throwing her hat in the ring during a sit-down interview with HuffPost, Fudge said she’s been “overwhelmed” by the number of people reaching out to support her potential speaker bid. She thinks the the opposition to Pelosi in the caucus is much greater than the 17 Democrats who have signed a letter saying they won’t support Pelosi to be speaker, and Fudge said if the vote were held today, Pelosi would be well short of the numbers.

“I don’t hate Nancy. I think Nancy has been a very good leader,” Fudge told HuffPost. “I just think it’s time for a new one.”

But you could be forgiven for thinking Fudge hates Pelosi. During the course of our interview, the former Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman made it clear she thinks Pelosi has not been a vocal enough advocate for African Americans in Congress, she dismissed suggestions that Pelosi had led Democrats back to the majority, and she painted herself as equally liberal as Pelosi.

“I don’t have a pitch because at this point I’ve not decided I’m going to run,” Fudge said, “but I would say this: My concern about the caucus is the same concern I have about the country. Just as there is this undertone of racism in the country, there’s also that in our caucus.”


Fudge pointed to Pelosi’s refusal to endorse in the race for Majority Whip, a race between current No. 3 Democrat ― and CBC stalwart ― Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), and Dianna DeGette (D-Colo.).

“But she wants our endorsements?” Fudge said of Pelosi. “Who has she endorsed?”

“We’re not feeling the love,” Fudge added.

Fudge pushed back on suggestions that she may just be a stalking horse candidate for Clyburn or another CBC member to mount a speaker bid ― someone like Clyburn, current CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.), or Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). She said anyone who thinks that doesn’t know her very well, and she shot down a suggestion that her toying with a speaker run could also be about combatting a narrative that it is a bunch of misogynist white men who are trying to dethrone Pelosi ― or that the Pelosi opposition is coming exclusively from moderates.

Oh yeah, this is going to get real interesting. Get the rest of the story at HuffPost.

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*What do you think will classify us as a “good black person?” Black people are one of the most ambitious and talented races here in America. But because of the lack of opportunities, their spirits get crushed from time to time.

It is said that no matter what your zip code or color is, you can make it in America. They even say that all those videos of assault and abuse on news networks is because of bad parenting or bad behavior. Even some unknown pathology about poverty is blamed now and then. What if we told you that all these are lies?

The legacy of racism still prevails in the country and people of color are impacted by this every day. “Better decisions make better people” is a fantasy that has been embedded into our community as a whole. No matter how much you thrive in the community, you suffering will only be based on your color. We’ve all known this for quite a while.

The people who thrive in the community and avoid speaking about racial issues are the ones who are resorting to what the whites call a “good negro.” By doing this, these people are allowing their white friends to deny that discrimination happens or is in fact commonplace in society. They’d rather blame it on problems like education and economic status.

Even when you resort to the life of a “good black person,” you will still face the indignities of being pulled over to show your I.D. or getting picked at the airport for a random screening. People will also automatically assume that you are uneducated or financially challenged. If you don’t think this is the case, you should notice the sudden tension in an area when you shed your ‘white clothes’ walk in dressed as the other black ‘types’.

It is the responsibility of the “good blacks’” to set an example for the rest of their community and change these perceptions. People should know that if a black person commits an offense, it is not a race thing, but a poverty thing. People shouldn’t just assume that you’re “exactly like the others.”

All we want as a community is fairness – not justice. If we get fairness, we wouldn’t need justice. Imagine a future where our children won’t be safe. Would being a good black person be enough then?


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There is a huge development going down at ABC Television network. Channing Dungey, president of entertainment for ABC, leaving. She’ll be replaced by Karey Burke, who is currently the head of Freeform original programming development.

Dungey oversaw ABC Entertainment since February 2016 and had been with the company since 2004 when she joined ABC Studios as vice president of drama development. With her at the helm, shows like “American Idol,” “Roseanne” and “The Good Doctor,” moved the network from fourth place among 18- to 49-year-olds to a three-way tie for second last season, according to Adweek.

While ABC quickly canceled “Roseanne,” it’s No. 1 show, in May after its star, Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet, Dungey told Adweek that in looking back on the debacle: “I don’t know that there’s anything we could have done differently.”

She added:

“I still am glad we made the show and brought this group of people together, because I’m hopeful that [Barr-free spinoff] ‘The Conners’ is going to continue this legacy in a new and different way,” she said at the time.


OK, but what’s up with Dungey leaving her position? So far no one’s talking. But could it have something to do with her decision to can Roseanne Barr? Hmm, maybe, but we just don’t know at this point.

Meanwhile, Dungey is holding her head high because of what she achieved on her watch.

“I’m incredibly proud of what the team and I have accomplished over the years and all the meaningful and impactful programming we’ve developed,” Dungey, who will stay on in a transition period, said in a statement. “This job has been the highlight of my career. While I’ve loved every moment, and knew I could call ABC home for many years to come, I’m excited to tackle new challenges.”

Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger in a statement: “I’m grateful to Channing for her significant contributions and unwavering dedication to the success of ABC over the past 14 years. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to work with and mentor Channing; her curiosity, passion and creativity will ensure she is successful in whatever path she chooses going forward.”

There’s obviously a lot more to this story and we’ll be certain to pass along whatever we find out when we get the deets.
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Kim Porter’s son, Quincy, just posted a message about his late mother, saying …

“I am broken…& the only thing that makes sense right now is that you were way too good for this silly world we live in. I love you so much MOMMY. Please give Mee-Maw the biggest hug and kiss for me.”

Quincy, who’s an actor with a featured role on Fox’s “Star,” is Kim’s son from her relationship with Al B. Sure. Diddy took him in as his own at a young age.

Earlier we reported …

*Ever since the sudden passing of Kim Porter on Thursday (11-15-18), we’ve been waiting to hear from Sean “Diddy” Combs about the passing of the mother of three of his children.

Via Instagram, Combs has finally addressed the issue.

“For the last three days I’ve been trying to wake up out of this nightmare.” Diddy wrote. “But I haven’t.”

Combs added:

“I don’t know what I’m going to do without you baby. I miss you so much. Today I’m going to pay tribute to you, I’m going to try and find the words to explain our unexplainable relationship.”

He concluded with these thoughts:

“We were more than best friends, we were more than soulmates. WE WERE SOME OTHER SHIT!! And I miss you so much. Super Black Love .”


By the way, that’s SWV’s song “When U Cry” playing in the background.

Porter and Combs had three children together: 20-year-old son Christian and 11-year-old twin daughters D’Lila Star and Jessie James.

As we reported earlier, according to the L.A. County Coroner, Porter was pronounced dead at her home at 11:40 AM.

So far the investigation into Porter’s cause of death has left investigators completed baffled as to why she died suddenly at the age of 47.



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*Los Gatos, Ca based Netflix Inc. has announced  that Vernā Myers is joining the company as Vice President, Inclusion Strategy. In this newly-created role, Vernā will help devise and implement strategies that integrate cultural diversity, inclusion and equity into all aspects of Netflix’s operations worldwide. For the past two decades, through The Vernā Myers Company, she has consulted with a wide range of major corporations and organizations on how to help eradicate barriers based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other differences and to make more just, compassionate, and productive work environments.

“Having worked closely with Vernā as a consultant on a range of organizational issues, we are thrilled that she has agreed to bring her talents to this new and important role,” said Jessica Neal, Netflix Chief Talent Officer. “As a global company dedicated to attracting the best people and representing a broad range of perspectives, Vernā will be an invaluable champion of our efforts to build a culture where all employees thrive.”

“I have been a longtime fan of the inclusive and diverse programming and talent at Netflix, and then I got a chance to meet the people behind the screen. I was so impressed by their mission, their excellence, and decision to take their inclusion and diversity efforts to a higher level,” Vernā Myers said. “I am so excited and look forward to collaborating all across Netflix to establish bold innovative frameworks and practices that will attract, fully develop, and sustain high performing diverse teams.”

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Vernā is also the author of Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing and What If I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People. She has been an active speaker at TED and has also contributed to numerous publications including Refinery29The AtlanticForbes, and the Harvard Business Review.

About Netflix
Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with over 130 million memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.


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*NEW YORK –– Slick Rick, hip-hop’s greatest storyteller, and The Black Eyed Peas – whose crossover over appeal has generated sales of more than 40 million units worldwide – share a new song and video, “Constant Part 1 & 2,” released globally today across all DSPs. Rick, who celebrates the 30th anniversary of his landmark The Great Adventures of Slick Rick in November, appears in the video.

“Constant Part 1 & 2” is the fourth Black Eyed Peas (sans Fergie) single this year. Directed by and Ernst Weber, the clip marks the first Slick Rick-Black Eyes Peas collaboration. In the past, the band sampled the emcee’s song “The Ruler’s Back” for (2005’s “Don’t Lie,” as well as “Children’s Story (2010’s “The Beginning) and “The Show” (2015’s “Yesterday”). “Constant” interpolates a line from Rick’s classic “La-di-da-di,” and a conscious message is delivered via warm, jazzy boom-bap and hip-house.

Earlier this year Kanye West and Nas exchanged verses about police brutality over Rick’s four-word sample from “Children’s Story,” (“Cops shot the kid…”), which has become the most sampled song in hip-hop history.

Kerry Smalls


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*Aretha Franklin’s pre-funeral concert in Detroit took place last night and Patti LaBelle gave an incredibly moving performance.

LaBelle sang her hit song “You Are My Friend,” and belted what turned out to be one of the best tributes of the night. Other acts including The Four Tops and Johnny Gill also hit the stage at Chene Park Amphitheatre.

As we reported, 23 acts were originally slated to perform Thursday, including big names like the Four Tops, Gladys Knight, Johnny Gill, Ron Isley and lots of others. Gladys’ rep later clarified she wouldn’t be performing, but would be in attendance.


The Four Tops performed “Bernadette,” “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” and “Reach Out, I’ll Be There.”

What’s noteworthy is that these stars committed to the show as they’re all took care of their own travel and lodging expenses, according to a document obtained by TMZ.

Aretha’s actual home going service is happening today, and features additional headliners including Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande, among others.


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*Oh wow, we can only wonder what set Bow Wow off last night. According to TMZ, the rapper and unemployed actor went left while shooting a segment for “Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta.” He attacked his camera crew and damaged thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

Production sources say a shoot for “Growing Up Hip Hop” was going down Thursday night at the Westside Cultural Arts Center when he allegedly snapped. The report says Bow Wow shifted from calm cool and collected to a person no one recognized … and it’s unclear why.

Sources say in a fit of rage, Bow Wow started shattering gear … busting three cameras in the process. The rapper also attacked anyone who tried to step in and stop him.

Yes, cops were called to the scene, but no word yet if anyone was arrested.

The event at the Cultural Arts Center was a party for Da Brat — who recently got off of probation — we’re told she may have been involved in the melee too.

HipHopDX reports that acording to production sources, the apparent meltdown took place at Atlanta’s Westside Cultural Arts Center during an Off Probation Party for Da Brat (who arrived in inmate garb and handcuffed!).


You might be interested to know that in a post uploaded to his Instagram stories on Friday (August 31), the 31-year-old addressed the incident.

“Stop fucking over reacting and stop with the sympathy texts to my [phone],” he wrote. “Yall are not the therapist so stop acting like one. I got this. Thanks.”

By the way, the rapper has a previous public breakdown in his recent past.

Just about a month ago, he threatened to quit his career to work at GameStop. Bow Wow then revealed he was “cash apping all my money away today” for those who want “free money.”

There’s got to be video of him going off. It’s only a matter of time before it’s releasde.

Story developing …


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*Earlier (on 08-31-18), EURweb is provided live coverage of Aretha Franklin‘s home going services at Greater Grace Temple in her hometown of Detroit.

Now, you can watch it again. In its entirety.

Speakers at her services included former President Bill Clinton, Rev. Jesse Jackson and the legendary Smokey Robinson.

Her services included performances by stars as Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill and Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande (see below). Franklin handpicked Hudson to play her in an upcoming biopic. Faith Hill performed a duet with Franklin for 2011’s “A Woman Falling Out of Love.” And Stevie Wonder, a dear friend of Franklin’s for decades, was among the final guests to visit her before she died of pancreatic cancer on Aug. 16.


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*It was incorrectly reported by several media outlets that Gladys Knight has the same kind of cancer that Aretha Franklin succumbed to, pancreatic cancer. However, the singer’s spokesperson set the record straight with a statement to the Detroit Free Press.

“She’s healthy. Someone must have misinterpreted,” said Javier Delgado, a publicist with JDS PR, which represents the onetime Motown star.

The issue regarding Knight’s health started trending online after the 74-year-old singer spoke to reporters about Franklin before entering Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple for Friday’s funeral.

Knight talked about the last time she had spoken to her “sister” Franklin while staying at the same hotel:

“So we got to talking and everything, and at that time we shared the fact that we had the same disease,” said Knight. She did not elaborate and that’s what started the speculation. This is another instance that shows how words matter.


Later, Knight’s publicist, Jay Schwartz, put out a statement from Knight explaining the earlier comment.

“I’d like to clarify that Aretha and I discussed both of us having cancer, mine was stage 1 breast cancer and hers was pancreatic. Due to early detection, I am cancer free and grateful for that. It is unfortunate that on a day we should be celebrating Aretha’s life and massive contribution to our world, a reporter who did not relay accurate information has missed the message. I send my love to the entire Franklin family and my gratitude to them for sharing such an extraordinary person with us.”

USA Today notes that Knight was an unannounced addition to the funeral proceedings, and performed two songs near the end of the services: “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”


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*It’s time for some more apologizing that includes Ariana Grande … again. But this time, it’s from the bishop who officiated Aretha franklin’s funeral. Bishop Charles H. Ellis III has apologized Friday to the singer for how he touched her onstage and a joke he made about her name.

If you was watching, you saw the bishop awkwardly greet Grande on stage after she performed “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Images of the moment showed Ellis’ hand holding Grande well above her waist, with his fingers pressing against one side of her chest.

He apologized in an interview with The Associated Press at the cemetery where Franklin was interred late Friday.

“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast. … I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her,” Ellis said. “Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize.”

He said he hugged all the performers during Friday’s eight-hour service.

“I hug all the female artists and the male artists,” Ellis said. “Everybody that was up, I shook their hands and hugged them. That’s what we are all about in the church. We are all about love.”

“The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin,” the preacher added


Many people posted close-up images of the moment on Twitter, tagging it #RespectAriana.

Ellis also apologized to Grande, her fans and Hispanic community for making a joke about seeing her name on the program and thinking it was a new item on the Taco Bell menu.

“I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community,” Ellis said. “When you’re doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there.”

Ellis’ touching of Grande overshadowed some criticism earlier in the ceremony concerning the short dress Grande wore for her performance. Numerous people posted criticisms online that the dress was too short for church.

“#ArianaGrande don’t know the below the knee rule for the pulpit in the black church. Somebody hand her a lap hanky and a choir robe. Bless her heart,” tweeted one, Tenisha Taylor Bell.


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*Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul’s home going service can best be described as a combination of a revival, political rally, motivational talk, musical tributes, roast and of course worship. Presenters from the world of entertainment, sports, politics, business, and just friends came together on one stage to celebrate not only Franklin’s musical talents but her activism and the many lives she touched.

Franklin died Aug. 16 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76.

The service held at Greater Grace Temple was presided over by Bishop Charles H. Ellis, 111 who is also a long time family friend. Lining the street to the Church on Seven Mile road was a sea of over 100 Pink Cadillacs. Ellis and his wife Crisette Ellis thought up the idea. The cars arrived post arrival of Franklin, but as the funeral procession left for the cemetery they were four deep. Cristine Ellis is national sales for Mary Kay Cosmetic. So she didn’t have to go far to find owners of Pink Cadillacs. The company uses pink colored Cadillacs as a sales incentive for reaching what it calls “Grand Achiever” level of sales.

They came from across the nation suited in their signature outfits. They even had a special section in the Church. But there was some vintage Cadillacs on display. Bringing your car meant you would get entrance into the funeral.

The day kicked-off with the fourth and final viewing of the week which was held between 8:30-9:30AM – Two days of public at The Charles H. Wright Museum on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by another public viewing on Thursday at New Bethel Church. The Queen had clothing change for each of these viewing. For this final viewing she wore a gold lame dress and her gold Christian Louboutine Shoes – the red soles. Ever a signature of a Diva. Everything from the arrangement of the flowers that surround the 24 karat gold plated casket, which was similar to the one of Michael Jackson and James Brown, to the arrangements of the pastel colored roses that surround the casket was flawless.

In the foyer of the church attendees had the chance to see to floral arrangements sent by stars from around the World. The Miracles and The Four Tops arrangement was very dramatic, Mariah Carey’s White Roses formed into a cross was much photographed. Rod Steward, Elton John, Barbara Streisand, and Jimmy Fallon are just a few of the major stars from around the world who sent flowers. Oddly enough the arrangement sent on behalf of Diana Ross was more suitable as a tabletop. Franklin’s casket was surrounded by pastel roses and a Bleeding Heart from her grandchildren.

The program was to scheduled to start at 10AM but the family procession didn’t get going until 11:30AM. I clocked out the recessional at 7:15PM. The expression time flies when you are having fun or in this case inspired, uplifted and entertained.

The family and friends procession officially kicked off the service. Also leading the processional were funeral directors from around the country. This was a special touch organized by the Swanson Funeral Home. The program organized by the Franklin Family will be remembered as historic and talked about as the standard for a celebrity funeral. Gwen Quinn was the publicist for the family and knew how to draw media from around the globe.


Bishop T.D. Jakes (Potter’s House) was one of several pastors from across the country who knew Aretha Franklin or her Father C.L. Franklin. He read passages from the Bible. Jakes was one of the few members of the clergy that stuck to his allotted time. His eloquent reading from the Old Testament set the tone for what was ahead. He said, “She was classy enough to sing on the most prominent stages in the world, but she was home girl enough to make potato salad and fry some chicken. In a class all by herself.”

Faith Hill whose rendition of “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” was panned by some, but one singer who also performed said the sound system may have been off.

Local, state and national politicians told stories of how Franklin, a Detroit native, was a national treasure. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said that he will send a bill to city council to rename Chene Park, which he said was one of her favorite places in the world, to be renamed Aretha Franklin Park. It seems Council President Brenda Jones also had the same idea and was introducing a resolution also changing the name permanently. She also announced that a portion of a city street is going to be renamed Aretha Franklin Way.

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) talked about how she received a surprise phone call from Franklin after becoming mayor of Southfield, Mich. This was Franklin’s style. Franklin wanted Lawrence to attend an upcoming event so she picked up the phone and called her. Lawrence was in shock and responded, “No, excuse me, ma’am, you mean Aretha Franklin, like the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin?” She said Franklin was very supportive of women politicians. Lawrence is part of a group of lawmakers, including Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), who introduced legislation to award Franklin posthumously with a Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest civilian honors.

Also attending the event was Sheila Jackson Lee and Maxine Waters who got numerous applause.

The cast of Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and The Have Nots got a standing ovation just for walking into the sanctuary. Perry said the show was Franklin’s favorite. The cast attended The People’s Tribute to the Queen the previous night and had fans going selfie crazy. They had front row seats at the funeral. Perry was also one of the speakers.

Ariana Grande had the twitter world working overtimes because of her attire. But one woman said “she was dressed like most young women of her generation.” She had her fiancé Pete Davidson in tow. It was reported that her old flame Big Sean was also in the house. She performed “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” After her musical tribute, Bishop Ellis embraced her and remarked that he thought an Ariana Grande was a new item on the Taco Bell menu. Her fans didn’t see the joke. He also had to issue and apology for this and in an interview with The Associated Press at the cemetery where Franklin was interred late Friday about touching her.

“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast. … I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her,” Ellis said. “Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize.”

He said he hugged all the performers during Friday’s eight-hour service.

“I hugged all the female artists and the male artists,” Ellis said. “Everybody that was up, I shook their hands and hugged them. That’s what we are all about in the church. We are all about love.”

The Clark Sisters from Detroit brought the program back to its gospel roots. Their rich harmonies on the song “Is My Living In Vain” had the church on their feet.

Vanessa Bell Armstrong and the Williams Brothers, another Detroit group, gave the audience old school gospel.

Aretha Franklin’s grandchildren and nieces, Vaughn, Victorie, Jordan and Cristal Franklin was a reminder to all that she was not just an entertainer, but a mother, sister, grandmother and aunt. While she had a very public musical life, her personal life was off limits. The next generation of the Franklins talked about what it meant to have Franklin as a Grandmother and aunt. In the words of Victorie, “she was just my grandma.”

Former president, George W. Bush who honored Aretha with a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, sent a letter on behalf of himself and his wife that was read during the acknowledgments and condolences.

Going off the printed program schedule, Smokey Robinson looked GQ handsome and 30 years younger. He didn’t perform, but crooned a few bars from a song he wrote for another production. Robinson said in one of their last conversations, Franklin told him about the movie that’s in development about her life and asked who he thought should play him. He didn’t reveakl what he may have told Aretha, however, Robinson said: “I know you’re up there and you’re celebrating with your family, and all our neighborhood friends who have gone, and you’re going to be one of the featured voices in the choir of angels, because you’d have to be.”

A operatic presentation by Alice Mcallister Tillman singing “Ave Maria” was a reminder that Queen of Soul could sing any kind of music. Over and over through the program speaker mention her versatility and the fact that she was in a league of her own.

Eric Holder, former U.S. Attorney General talked about how he first met Aretha – like many – she just called him on the phone. This was her style to call public figures to complement them on their accomplishment. Many becoming lifelong friends. To cap his presentation he choose Aretha Franklin’s “Until You Come Back To Me (That What I’m Gonna do).”

Franklin’s son Edward Franklin who sometime performed with her was another family member who made a presentation. His vocal choice was Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me.”

Pastor Shirley Caesar in a silver lame evening gown dazzled the audience and had them dancing on the stage, in the pews and aisle. It was old school revival. She performed with Tasha Cobbs-Leonard. She even had Minister Louis Farrakhan who was seated on the podium swaying to praises. He stayed for the entire program on stage but did not make presentation.

Celebrity Judge – who is a real retired Judge – Greg Mathis told the audience of how his relationship with the Queen of Soul started with his political activism working with Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Reverend Al Sharpton read a letter on behalf of the former President Barrack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama. He also talked about Franklin’s generosity to his organization. He said she once sent him a check to help his organization. He called to thank her and told Franklin that he had framed the check. Franklin replied: “don’t you have a photo copy machine because you need to cash that check.” Sharpton mentioned how he misspelled “respect” while discussing Franklin on his TV show. Fans called him out about this error. He said that he needed to “correct President Trump and teach him what it means. “Trump said, ‘She used to work for me,’” Sharpton explained. “No, she used to perform for you. She worked for us.”

Chaka Khan who flew in Oprah Winfrey’s former hair and makeup artist Reggie Wells brought the house down with the gospel song “How I Got over.” In a slinky black sheath with a large taffeta duster she looked stunning with a fan for special effects. She gave the audience all the drama of a seasoned Diva. She came back for an encore. The only performer on the program to do so.

Ron Isley remarked he should have brought his brothers and the band His musical tribute was his “Eye Is On The Sparrow.” He grew up with Franklin and you could hear the sorrow in his voice.

Rev Jesse Jackson, founder/president of Rainbow Push Coalition was one of many from the clergy who used their tribute as a call to action to get people to vote. He said that we stand in line for a viewing but can’t stand in line to vote. Former President Bill Clinton along with his wife Hillary Clinton had the audience in stitches with his rememberance of the Queen of Soul.

“I was so happy when I got here and the casket was still open, I got to think: ‘I wonder what my friend has on today’.”

He added “You could say that Hillary and I went to college and law school with Aretha,” Clinton said at the time, “because there was scarcely a day when we didn’t listen to one of her songs.”

Clinton ended his remarks by holding his cellphone, playing Franklin’s “Think” up to the microphone.

The two “American Idol” alumni were both looking slim and trim held their own in the musical tributes. Fantasia Barrino-Taylor looked stunning in a black Sheath with a bolero jacket topped off with a fascinator hat. She sang “You’ve Got A Friend.” Jennifer Hudson also looking slim and wore a peplum jacket over a pencil slim skirt. She also sported a fascinator. Her musical tribute was “Amazing Grace.” Both performed in the latter part of the day but brought it on strong.

Cicely Tyson’s hat was a speech in itself. The 91-year-old actress read a version of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “When Malindy Sings,” subbing Aretha for Malindy. She still got it.

Clive Davis, Chief Creative Officer, Sony Music talked about his 30 year musical relationship with Franklin. He also shined a light on her activism quoting her as saying “I have the money. I get it from black people and I want to use it in ways that will always help our people.’ He is planning a tribute this fall to Franklin.

Bishop Paul Morton and Yolanda Adams took the traditioaln spiritual “Mary Don’t You Weep” to a whole new level for me and had the stage stomping like a drill team in high gear. Adams says she is working on a new album.

Former NBA player and NBA broadcaster Isiah Thomas (Detroit Pistons) says he became friends with Franklin when he played in Detroit. He also reflected on how he was introduced to Franklin’s music by his mother. He said that depending on what song his mother was playing told him what was going on with his mother and father’s relationship.

Tyler Perry shared the same scenario about how Franklin music was the music of his youth.

Michael Eric Dyson, professor of sociology, Georgetown University came to the podium fired up and said The Queen Of Soul is the Queen of Our Soul, He summed up the event as the most spiritual expression of Blackness.

Gladys Knight another singer who has slimmed down sung “You’ll never Walk Alone.” She was one of the few who didn’t use the Aretha Franklin Choir or Orchestra to back-up her singing.

The Rev. Jasper Williams Jr., a pastor from Atlanta’s Salem Baptist Church delivered the eulogy and talked about Aretha Franklin’s activism being an issue with her father. Franklin paid to get Angela Davis out of Jail. He said Aretha told her Father that Davis was a woman and didn’t need to be in jail.

But Williams who is known as a pastor’s pastor devoted a lot of time talking about black parenting and “black on black” crime.

Stevie Wonder stood playing a harmonica solo. While his address was about praising Franklin’s music uplifting people, he also commented on Williams’ statement regarding Black Lives Matter. He said that Black lives do matter and he is committed to making this world a better place.

“We can talk about all the things that are wrong, and there are many,” Wonder said. “But the only thing that can deliver us is love.”

His musical tribute was “As” from his 1976 album “Songs in the Key of Life.” They many not have been gospel music but the church rocked. His back ups … Jenifer Lewis, Dottie Peoples and Angie Stone learned that afternoon they would accompany Stevie.

Jennifer Holliday in a bright purple suite with rhinestones’ with the Aretha Franklin Celebration Choir closed out the ceremony with a performance of “Climbing Higher Mountains.”

This service will be talked about years later and the event of the century.


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*Singer/rapper(?) T-Pain and his bodyguard found themselves being detained for a while by Atlanta police when they tried to go through a security checkpoint with a gun at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Friday (08-31-18).

According to police, the gun was found in a backpack belonging to T-Pain, (real name: Faheem Rashad Najm). Investigators say the bag was being carried by his bodyguard, Carlos Aleili Flores.

T-Pain and Flores were taken to the airport police precinct while officers investigated.

In a statement, police said the entertainer confirmed owning the firearm, provided a valid permit to carry and the weapon was returned to him. The statement said no charges were filed against either man.

However, according to police, an investigation continues to determine if Flores will face charges for possession of a weapon at a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint.

Watch T-Pain’s video ab ovee for his explanation as to what happened.


In other entertainment news, she may have been killed off on Starz’s “Power,” but Donshea Hopkins‘ career is alive and well. In fact, reports Page Six, she has already bagged and filmed her next as Bobbi Kristina Brown in BET’s upcoming “The Bobby Brown Story.”

“It’s kind of a tear-jerker,” she said of the tragic tale while at Black Girls Rock!

“I feel like everyone looked at her as just the daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown instead of an actual person.”

Miss Donesha also added: “Playing her was such a great experience — it was an honor to be her and to learn more about her as a person.”


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