Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Los Angeles - This year will hold a special place in the heart of actress/ choreographer Lisa Ruffin as she once again produces her annual Little Miss African American Scholarship Pageant. This will not only be the pageant's "Sweet Sixteen" celebration, but the young participants now have very special real life role models to look up to with Sasha and Malia Obama in the White House!
"This year holds tremendous excitement for us," offers Ruffin. "As adults, we have diligently told our little misses, for over a decade now, that they can be anything they want to be. The sky is the limit. And now, with 16 years under our belt, we not only have an African American President, but also two real life Little Misses as his daughters. The symbolism this holds for us is indescribable!"
The Little Miss African American Scholarship pageant has consistently emphasized brains over beauty, positively impacting the lives of hundreds of impressionable young girls over the years. This year's event will be held Sunday, August 16, 2009 at the Universal Sheraton Hotel at 4:00 p.m. with Red Carpet to take place at 3:00 p.m. The Universal Sheraton Hotel is located at 333 Universal Hollywood Drive in Universal City, CA.
In addition to a pageantry of intelligent young women, aged 6-12, a host of celebrity talent will serve as judges, making the event a most memorable one for everyone involved. Last year's celebrity participants included Emmy nominated actress, Chandra Wilson (ABC's Grey's Anatomy), World Boxing Champion Laila Ali, and James Pickens Jr. (ABC's Grey's Anatomy) with rapper LL Cool J making a surprise appearance.
LMAA is a non-profit educational program designed to showcase the creative and academic talents of young girls living in urban centers throughout the country. The pageant provides an early introduction to the arts and training in public speaking, while promoting individual creativity and stimulating a heightened cultural understanding. It is the largest scholarship pageant for African American girls of this age group.
Created by Lisa Ruffin in 1993, LMAA has raised thousands of dollars towards the educational aspirations of its participants as well as their families. Thousands of lives have been touched and changed through the program.
To learn more about LMAA, visit: www.littlemissafricanamerican.com.
Saigon's phenomenal body of mixtape work and creative talent quickly gained popularity in the underground circuit and on the internet, as he has been listed in many "Artist to Watch" columns (including Time magazine) and graced the covers of a variety hip-hop publications throughout the early to mid -2000s. In recent years, Saigon has become more recognizable to the mainstream due in large part to his recurring role in the popular HBO series "Entourage" and his charitable efforts to support the children of incarcerated parents through his nonprofit foundation Abandoned Nation, which was established in 2000 and also helped him and associated artists pursue their music careers.
His latest album "All in a Day's Work" was recorded in 24 hours, put out in week, and heralded as a groundbreaking digital release, setting an impressive stage for Saigon's newest project. Building off of the same forward-thinking approach that recently helped "All in a Day's Work" bridge the gap between mixtapes and studio albums, Saigon explained his landmark efforts with burgeoning new media outfit Amalgam Digital:
" I'm enjoying my experience with Amalgam Digital and being creative to give music to my fans without all the bullshit. It's a new way of thinking and it feels good to partner with an innovative company that's ahead of its curve. I'm excited to get this album out!"
His self-produced "For Some P**** " details the lengths some men will go for the chase and will serve as the lead single from "Warning Shots 2," with the remix featuring up-and-coming artist O.J. Da Juiceman, who was recently highlighted as an artist to watch in Vibe Magazine's June issue. The single's clean version, "For Some Cookie," will be targeted for mainstream media circuits, and it will be promoted through a "What Would You Do for the Cookie?" game show launched by Amalgam Digital. Despite the radio-friendly single, Saigon assures fans that his newest album, which features contributions from famed superproducer Just Blaze (who has worked with the likes of Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, etc.), will deliver the same street-geared music that he has built his career around. With his song "Spit" recently featured in the newest edition of the award-winning Grand Theft Auto video game series and his creative range virtually limitless, both Saigon and Amalgam Digital are confident that "Warning Shots 2" will reinforce the innovation and sheer dedication displayed on his past projects.
Saigon - "Warning Shot 2" (Amalgam Digital)
01. Nothing Comes Easy
02. That's Not What's Up Feat. G.Soul
03. Fatherhood (Rayne Dior) feat Lokz
04. All Around The World Feat G.Soul
05. For Some P*ssy Part 1 feat O.J. Da Juiceman
06. Cookies & Milk Introducing Young Boombaya & A.P.
07. Be On Time
08. G Optified (Tommy Tee's Theme Sampler)
09. F*ck Me, F*ck You Feat Quan And Ransom
10. Rusty Gunz feat. Lil Fame from M.O.P.
11. Aye Aye Aye N*gga
12. Who Can Get Busy feat Grand Puba
13. Copping Pleas
14. For Some P*ssy Part 2
15. Saiiiiii Outro
16. Gotta Believe It
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
New Album by Hip Hop Supergroup Slaughterhouse (Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Crooked I and Royce Da 5'9") Dropping Soon!
The group's first single, "The One" can be heard now at radio and the video for "The One" is being played on MTV Jams.
The sum of Slaughterhouse's parts is incredible. Jersey City, NJ's Joe Budden, a former Def Jam signee who rarely holds his tongue, is one of Hip-Hop's most controversial, yet lyrically gifted artists. Detroit, MI's Royce Da 5'9" came up with Eminem out of the Detroit rap scene as a steel witted MC and has carved out a renowned solo career independently. Brooklyn, NY's Joel Ortiz, formerly an Aftermath Records signee, has been long considered the torchbearer for Latin MCs in the footsteps of the late Big Pun. Long Beach, CA's Crooked I, the West Coast representative of the crew, is a former Death Row signee whose musical output over the years, despite the lack of a proper release, is unrivaled.
The group came together only 10 short months ago when Joe Budden was working on a song for his Halfway House album and enlisted the services of Crooked I, Joell Ortiz and Royce Da 5'9" for a song called "Slaughterhouse." Inspired by the vibe of track and the immediate chemistry of the four rappers, a plan was immediately made to form the super-group. Several songs and a handful of viral videos later only created increased demand and curiosity from fans. Hip-hop heads demanded to hear more! And now they'll be able to.
Slaughterhouse features production by The Alchemist, Streetrunner, DJ Khalil and Denaun Porter.
Slaughterhouse is currently touring, on both the Rock The Bells tour and on a club tour around the RTB's dates.
For frequent video updates, go to www.youtube.com/joebuddentv or www.youtube.com/KochRecords
Fans can also follow the guys on Twitter:
In the spirit of coalition building and community support, Hip Hop Congress has partnered with such groups as the Umojafest P.E.A.C.E. Center, Dope Emporium, Seattle Hip-Hop Youth Council, 206 Zulu, Global Fam, B-Girl Media, the Bassmeant, Mothers Outreach Movement, Reclaim the Media, Urban Teachers Network, Silicon Valley DeBug, Hip Hop Without Borders, 2nd Nature, Women's Economic Agenda Project, Women In Transition, the Poor Peoples' Economic Human Rights Campaign, Obese Productions, SportnLife, and more. The conference will be hosted at Umojafest P.E.A.C.E Center, Garfield Teen Life Center, Hidmo, and other neighborhood institutions in the Central District of Seattle.
Through trainings, film screenings, and workshops ranging from "Marketing in the Digital Age" to "Hip Hop and Healthcare," the conference will provide tools for artists and entrepreneurs to strengthen independent Hip Hop economy, as well as provide strategies for using Hip Hop as an platform for Human Rights advocacy, education, community organizing, and youth leadership development.
"Hip Hop is social glue for today's youth," said Seattle Hip Hop Youth Council member J-Infinite, "It's something that the majority of us have in common and can relate to, so we use it to teach a positive message. It's a tool for empowerment." Seattle mayoral candidate Wyking Garrett and Umojafest P.E.A.C.E Center co-founder added, " It's time for Hip Hop to focus its energy on the healing and building of communities from which it came. Hip Hop can lead the way."
::Thursday Workshops Include:: Filmmaking :: Hip Hop without Borders- International Coalition Building :: Hip Hop in the Green Economy :: Youth Center Building:: Shaping the Hip Hop Electorate :: Movement and Culture :: Hip Hop and Healthcare :: How to Write Grants :: Working with Incarcerated Youth :: Youth Organizing :: Self-Management for Artists :: How to Organize Your Own Tour :: Starting and Building your Hip Hop Business, Plus more!
::Friday Workshops Include:: Hip Hop without Borders :: Hip Hop and the Green Economy :: Taking the Money: Ethics in the Movement :: Urban Teacher's Network :: Vibrational Realities :: Marketing Hip Hop in the Digital Age :: From Campus to Community :: Bloggers Roundtable :: Facilitating Quality Youth Programs :: Q&A with Jacka & Umojafest Hip Hop Rally :: Plus more!
"The New Muslim Cool" SPECIAL FEATURE
"The Beat" feat. Rahman Jamaal, 2003 Sundance
"Masizakeh" a documentary film by Scott Macklin about hip hop & education in South Africa.
"Coolout Network" presented by local Hip Hop historian Georgio Brown
::Special Guest Artists in attendance::
Akil of Jurassic 5, The Jacka of Mob Figaz, Raashan Ahmad of Crown City Rockers, DLabrie, Knox Fam, Quanstar, Toki Wright, Black Stax, Dee.aLe of DMS, Penny Pinchin Records, Skurge, Stress, YDMC, Darkside, Mic Crenshaw, Wyzdom, Sellasie, Shamako Noble, Suntonio Bandanaz, Block Teamsters Union and more...
DUCK DOWN SIGNS TO BLUE SCHOLARS: Blue Scholars partner with Duck Down Records for a modern day record deal
On August 25, 2009 Blue Scholars will release "OOF!" their newest collaborative multi-media project and the first release to be distributed through their new venture. On September 1st, they will re-issue their 2007 album "Bayani", which has already sold over 20,000 units. Bayani Redux will include one brand new track and two songs that were previously available only via digital retail outlets. There will also be a brand new full-length Blue Scholars album and other projects coming soon.
The sales and distribution model developed by the group for their upcoming releases will allow them to maintain complete ownership of their music and total control over how it is marketed, sold, and even given away.
Instead of signing a standard artist/record label deal, Blue Scholars hired the label Duck Down to run point on marketing for all of their upcoming releases. As a major player in the current and ever-changing record label industry, Duck Down Records saw this deal as an opportunity to get creative and experiment with strategies for record labels to continue evolving as viable businesses.
Dru Ha, CEO of Duck Down Records states, "I believe Blue Scholars is positioned to be one of the next important groups, not just in hip hop, but in music worldwide, and I want Duck Down to be a part of that. They bring their progressive ideas not just to their music and lyrics, but also in the way they think about and do their business."
Duck Down's current distribution partner, E1 Entertainment, the largest independent distributor in the United States, will handle distribution of Blue Scholars' physical product. Digital sales and distribution will go through Tunecore. Direct-to-fan marketing and sales will be developed by the members of Blue Scholars themselves, using Topspin web marketing tools.
Says Geo, of Blue Scholars, "After weighing all the options, remaining independent is without question, the best look. Duck Down shares that vision and their track record speaks for itself. With them, we get that national and international push while still owning and controlling our music. "
To finance all the upcoming projects, Blue Scholars have formed a strategic brand relationship with Seattle independent coffee company, Caffe Vita. The coffee company will also play a role in the sales and distribution plan by selling upcoming albums in all of their retail outlets and marketing the releases via their online presence.
Blue Scholars DJ/ Producer Sabzi says in regard to their partnership with Caffe Vita - "their innovative marketing, their justice and equity in business practices, and their premiere quality of product and presentation, make Caffe Vita an ideal brand to partner with. I intend to do with our music what Vita does with their coffee."
"Coffee is both International and local, it effects the lives of millions, and it has tremendous ability to generate culture. We believe strongly in the work of the Blue Scholars and their power to look beyond the basic commodity that music has become. We are honored that Sabzi and Geo see that Vita is striving for the same goals."Mike McConnell, founder Caffe Vita
Blue Scholars have sold over 60,000 albums and played over 400 live shows. They have developed a dedicated following in the Northwest (selling over 4,000 tickets for each of their last few Seattle performances) and have shared the stage with an impressive list of nationally acclaimed artists such as Kanye West, Q-Tip, De La Soul, Immortal Technique, Hieroglyphics, GZA of Wu-Tang Clan, Matisyahu, Zion-I, Flobots and the Coup.
To learn more about Blue Scholars and download a free track off their upcoming OOF! EP in stores August 25th visit: WWW.BLUESCHOLARS.COM
For more information on Blue Scholars' partners visit:
Duck Down Records: www.duckdown.com
Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting Company: www.caffevita.com
Topspin Media: www.topspinmedia.com
Atlanta's Boss Chick Rasheeda & Block Starz Music Drop New Official Mixtape "Certified"
The wait is over for "Certified", the new Block Starz Music (BSM) promotional release from D-LO Entertainment’s first lady, Rasheeda, which is now available for exclusive free download at BSM's website, www.blocktstarzmusic.com.
"Certified" features Rasheeda's blazing hot single, "Boss Chick", and a who's who of female southern all stars, including Diamond ("Show Out"), Shawnna ("Juicy Like A Peach"), Jacki-O ("Boss Chick"), and former Xscape member Kandi Burruss ("Never Wanna Leave"), "Certified" is presented by UK's premier deejay and 2009 SEA Winner for "Best Mixtape Host", DJ Ames.
Block Starz Music's last three mixtape projects (Diamond's "Can't Tell Me Nuthin'", Swazy Styles' "Hustle Life: The Prequel" and Throwback's "What’s High?") since June are on pace to do over 100,000 downloads and if the initial reaction - almost 2 million MySpace plays - to "Boss Chick" is any indication, "Certified" is poised to become BSM’s most successful mixtape release to date.
Download the new mixtape release, "Certified", from Rasheeda at www.blockstarzmusic.com and be on the lookout for her fifth studio album, "Certified Hot Chick", on August 18 from D-Lo Entertainment.
To learn more about Rasheeda, visit www.myspace.com/rasheedagapeach
1. Rasheeda Intro
ABOUT BLOCK STARZ MUSIC
Def Jux Presents Vol. 4 In-Stores September 1st; Super Group,'The WeatherMen'. Releases First Single For Compilation
The group is a merging of artists who continue to push the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in hip hop in both the mainstream and in the genre itself. Within their own careers, The Weathermen are all accomplished musicians and successful independent artists known for their fierce dedication to the craft and fearless innovation of style and sound, as a collective they are simply a monster.
Over a decade out since it's formation the group has undergone some personnel change and with the loss of Camu Tao the project has taken on a new meaning to both the artists and fans alike. Camu was a touchstone in the lives of many of The Weathermen, a great friend, and an inexplicably talented MC/ producer, his passing has galvanized the crew. With new resolve and purpose The Weathermen have officially taken to the studio to finally justify its cult-like following. Featured on DJXp4, 'Reports of A Possible Kidnapping' is the first song from their long threatened collaborative album 'THE NEW LEFT' (being recorded now). 'Reports Of A Possible Kidnapping', features indie rap giants Aesop Rock, El-p, and Cage (with an intro by the late great Camu Tao) and is produced by Aesop Rock and El-p.
The Weathermen – Reports Of A Possible Kidnapping
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Monday, July 27, 2009
Attack Media Group is pleased to announce the new release by pop/urban act ZOLO, a universal single which is breaking down barriers worldwide, entitled “Computer Freak“. ZOLO’s arrangements of songs are hip, clever and mind blowing, may be best described as "Kid Cudi meets Lady Gaga." ZOLO’s music proves that “good” music of any kind can be modernized without taking away from its traditional value.
ZOLO produces his songs as if he were “eagle“ soaring to new heights with every song. He says, "I wanted the music to have a fun, modern edge. The songs are cool but not too hot, they‘re just right."
“ZOLO” better known as Dolla Bill from Doughla City was born in London, England, and at the tender age of six, moved to Brooklyn, NYC. His mid-teen years saw him relocate to Toronto, Canada. The split of his parents played a big impact on his life during the “hard years”. ZOLO, then poured his energy into sports, he found a love for soccer and had many accomplishments and received multiple scholarships.
But there was still a void in his life and he ventured into writing poems and songs at the age of 17. Shortly thereafter he joined the group “Doughla City” in 2006. This was the birth of the artist “Dolla Bill”. The “Doughla City” Trio had a rapid success among their peers and even south of the boarder.
During this adventure the trio opened up for multiple platinum selling artists: Julez Santana, Rick Ross and Guerilla Zoe just to name a few. As the groups success hit its peak; they hit a stumbling block and each member decided to go there separate ways. Just when things couldn’t get any worse, ZOLO had to come to terms with the passing of his father. During this difficult time, he turned to music as a tool to express his sorrow and grief. It is this life altering tragedy that sprung the manifestation of “ZOLO”, (ZOLO meaning: unrestrained behaviour, chaos and without companion). ZOLO took a strong interest in pop music culture, with influences from artists such as Justin Timberlake. MGMT, Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Kid Cudi and created a unique, fresh, cocky sound that is like no other.
# # #
To Download a broadcast quality MP3 of “Computer Freak” (Radio Edit) http://www.zshare.net/audio/630260434898fb88/
Sunday, July 26, 2009
CORNELL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY AND HBCU LIBRARY ALLIANCE AWARDED GRANT TO SUSTAIN HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY DIGITAL COLLECTIONS
Students in an architecture class at Tuskegee Normal College c1930's. Courtesy of Tuskegee University Archives.
Ithaca, NY (BlackNews.com) - Cornell University Library (CUL), in cooperation with the HBCU Library Alliance, is pleased to announce that it has received a grant for $375,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant will support a two-year project aimed at promoting sustainability for the production of digital collections at dozens of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the country.
The project, called "Building Collections, Building Services, and Building Sustainability III: A Sustainable Framework for the HBCU Library Alliance," will expand the number of HBCU digital collections for research and teaching; create a business plan for HBCU Library Alliance digital initiatives and programs; and host an online workshop devoted to digital services.
"Developing sustainable digital collections provides a public forum for knowledge that was virtually hidden from public view. By opening the doors to it, we're enabling a new dialogue on American history and the African-American experience," said Anne R. Kenney, Cornell's Carl A. Kroch University Librarian. "We are happy that The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has chosen to continue its support of our collaboration."
Cornell University, HBCU Library Alliance, and Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center will provide administrative, staffing and logistical support for the 24-month initiative.
"This collaborative project supports the goals of the HBCU Library Alliance, because it strengthens the way in which our libraries support the academic programs of the historically black colleges and universities," said Loretta Parham, chair of the HBCU Library Alliance.
Since 2005, CUL has partnered with the Alliance, a coalition of HBCU library deans and directors working to strengthen the role of libraries on historically black campuses and expand access to their resources. During the first two phases of the project, Cornell University Library trained 23 HBCU library staff in building digital collections. The result of that training is a searchable group of more than 7,000 digital images from the archives of 20 HBCUs.
"We're moving into a critical third phase of our collaboration, which aims to ensure the sustainability of HBCU digital initiatives for many years to come," said Ira Revels, associate librarian at Cornell and project manager.
The HBCU digital collection "A Digital Collection Celebrating the Founding of the Historically Black College and University" fosters research and teaching of scholars specializing in African-American Studies, the American South, American Democracy, cultural pluralism and other related disciplines.
"This opportunity to sustain our rich collection of historic images enables libraries of the HBCU Library Alliance to preserve the imprint that historically black colleges and universities have made on American society," said Janice Franklin, chair of the Alliance's Committee on Digitization.
To learn more about the program, visit http://hbcudigitallibrary.auctr.edu
About Cornell University Library
One of the leading academic research libraries in the United States, Cornell University Library is a highly valued partner in teaching, research and learning at Cornell University. The Library offers cutting-edge programs and a full spectrum of services, rare books and manuscripts and a growing network of digital resources. The Library's outstanding collections -- from medieval manuscripts to hip hop and from ancient Chinese texts to comic books -- preserve the past and pave the way for future scholarship. To learn more about Cornell University Library, visit http://library.cornell.edu
About the HBCU Library Alliance
The HBCU Library Alliance is a consortium that promotes collaboration of information professionals and excellence in library leadership and services to enhance member resources and programs. To learn more about the HBCU Library Alliance, visit http://hbculibraries.org/index.html
For more news about the Cornell University Library, go to news.library.cornell.edu
This year’s “A Great Day In Harlem” will kick off with “Relieve The Stress” exercise session at 9:30 AM. This event is part of HARLEM WEEK’s on-going healthy living, healthy eating campaign. This will be followed by the festive “Family Unity Day” cultural festival. This event, which takes place from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM, is an enjoyable cultural experience where the entire family can take pleasure in a variety of artistic expressions. This portion of the day will conclude with “A Harlem Gospel Caravan.” This spirit filled segment, which takes place at 3:00 PM, includes a special performance by Hezekiah Walker, Karen Clark-Sherif & Kierra “KiKi “Sheard; and a variety of choirs and spirit field gospel performers.
For fashion enthusiasts, the steps of the Ulysses S. Grant National Park once again transform to one big runway as HARLEM WEEK celebrates the best in urban style during its “Fashion Fusion” fashion show. Join the Harlem Fashion Initiative team as they host this vibrant outdoor extravaganza which will include some of New York’s freshest faces displaying some of the hottest fashion and accessories by a variety of cutting-edge designer. This year’s designers are: Her Game 2; Ox Lunden; Douglas Says; Duane Fish; Vaughn Jereaux; Raphael Higgins; Courtney Washington & Henry N. Jackson.
The festive day will end with a salute honoring “the 25th Anniversary of WBLS and the 50th Anniversary of Motown” during the annual Sunday Classic Concert. This segment will include a variety of musical tributes.
The four-part “Great Day In Harlem” is just one of the many events comprising HARLEM WEEK’s 35th Anniversary. Other activities during the month-long celebration include the Economic Development Award Luncheon, a college fair, an auto show, and a children’s festival. Come discover the treasures of a proud community. Discover Harlem. For further information about the excitement and culture that is HARLEM WEEK, log on to www.HarlemDiscover.com or call (212) 862-8477
It was not until the current mortgage meltdown that the world realized the greed and corruption that was woven into the very fabric of the mortgage industry, but for Shirin that realization came over 6 years ago when she entered the mortgage industry. While researching the future of the industry she had just entered, she discovered Predatory Lending, also known as unfair lending practices, and what it was costing hard working Americans. Over 9 billion dollars in hard earned equity was reported to be lost each year due to predatory lending practices. Many families are victims today and still do not realize they are paying too much on their mortgage.
Released White House statistics showed that over 50% of American Families were paying a higher interest rate on their mortgage, than they qualified for, losing thousands of dollars each year in equity. HMDA stats showed the average African American and Hispanic family, with good credit scores received a 2-3% higher interest rate on their mortgage than a Caucasian buyer with the same credit. The United States Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (or HMDA, pronounced HUM-duh) was passed in 1975. It requires financial institutions to maintain and annually disclose data about home purchases, home purchase pre-approvals, home improvement, and refinance applications involving 1 to 4 unit and multifamily dwellings. On a $300,000 loan, a family who pays 2% more would lose $700 per month and over pay by $300,000 in interest over 30 years. This must stop!
"I knew that consumers were being set up to fail, when banks offered incentives to brokers to put consumers into negative amortization loans and adjustable mortgages. The more of a prepayment penalty was added onto a loan, the higher the rate or the margin, the more money loan officers and brokers made. Such mortgages were so attractive to lenders because they were attractive to their investors who purchased loans based on future earnings. This means if a consumer enters into a 2 year 7% mortgage, the investor hoped in two years the rate would go up and bring in more money. Little did the investors know that the lenders in the United States were putting people into loans they could not afford, making what investors thought to be solid investments in mortgage back securities nothing but toxic assets."
Shirin began the journey to save the dream by launching Fair Community Lending Services Inc, in 2003 with her best friend Lynn Davis. FCLS, Inc. is a company that connects consumers with fair brokers and lenders who followed strict guidelines in order to protect consumers. She began to reach out to media, organizations, non profits and faith based groups in order to reach the public, and arm them with the education to make wise choices when buying a home or other Real Estate. If she spoke to one or to millions, she would be there to educate them about their credit, the types of loan programs available, budgeting, understanding the buying process and tips on identifying predatory lending loans that are offered to them.
A major part of Shirin's ability to reach millions over the past 6 years has been minority broadcasters, who supported Shirin's message and put her on the air on a regular basis. Josefa Salinas has been a major part of that education. She teamed up with Shirin within the first month of her launch in 2003 and began to utilize her airwaves, on Hot 92 Jamz in Los Angeles, to help families save their homes. "From the very first show, the phone lines didn't stop ringing", comments Josefa Salinas. "My listeners realized they were victims of predatory lending and so did I."
"I, too, was overwhelmed when I did my first show," comments Shirin. "Victims of predatory lending were calling and emailing me in record numbers for help. Many were about to sign their paperwork with a predatory lender or broker, and realized that they were victims after hearing the show. I was making a difference by reaching people and I started to save homes. I cannot imagine not doing what I do today," continues Shirin Sharkawi, who stays up answering emails into the late hours of the night, from struggling homeowners, emailing her on her community website at www.savetheamericandream.tv. "I get emails with headings like 'HELP ME' all the time. Americans are struggling so badly and we must do something about this.
On July 4, 2009, American Independence Day, Shirin Sharkawi took the next step in her journey with the release of her new book, Save The America Dream: How to Modify Your Mortgage and Rebuild Your Credit. The "how to" manual can be purchased as either an E-book or a Workbook and walks families through the step-by-step process of a loan modification. The book is simple to understand, and will teach consumers at any stage of their loan modification or foreclosure process what they need to know to have the best chance at either saving their home or avoiding foreclosure with other alternatives such short sales or deid in lieu of foreclosure. The book also takes things a step further, by helping consumers learn how to rebuild their credit after setbacks, and what it takes to buy a home after foreclosure and bankruptcy. "Credit is the key to wealth building, comments Shirin, and without solid credit, families will always pay more for cars, homes, credit cards and be locked out of building wealth."
Consumers are often not getting loan modifications because they don't know how to prepare, and they get caught off guard when interviewed by the bank. There are key numbers the bank wants to see and there are hardships they will accept. The other major and key issue we are facing is that the same predators who put consumers in such situations in the first place, are now opening up Loan Modification Companies and scamming already hurting families out of their money and at times their homes. "There is no way Americans can continue to take such hits without any regulations or there will be nothing left," comments Shirin.
As many families struggle to save their homes, some families struggle to put food on the table; that is why $2.00 from each book will go to food banks across the United States and towards transitional houses for displaced families.
The American Dream is worth saving and regardless of our color, age or race, "home is where the heart is" and the dream to attain one is something we can all relate to.
It is Shirin's goal and mission that Americans will come together through this difficult time to help each other find solutions and resources. If this financial crisis has taught us all something is that our neighbor's success does affect our own and we are not only connected individually but globally as well.
Other Contributors to the book are Warren Ballentine, Attorney and nationally syndicated talk show host, Andrew Kish, certified credit counselor and mortgage broker; Jamie Blake Hill, First Time Homebuyers.
Order your book today at www.savethedreambook.com and help save the American dream of homeownership.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Filmed before a spirited crowd in Phoenix, AZ, the night before this year's NBA All-Star Game, the Original King of Comedy Cedric The Entertainer performs 30 minutes of his latest material in between comedy sets by fellow comedians such as Tommy Davidson (In Living Color), Kevin Hart (Soul Plane), Aries Spears (Mad TV), and DeRay Davis (Scary Movie 4). The hysterical 88 minute DVD features celebrity cameos by Katt Williams, Nelly & Ashanti and includes uproarious backstage commentary from each comedian.
The ALL-STAR COMEDY JAM series recaptures the spirit of past successful franchises like The Kings of Comedy series, and features some of today's hottest urban comics. It also provides the up-and-coming comedians with an opportunity to showcase their creativity and perform alongside the stalwarts of comedy.
On his partnership with Shaquille O'Neal, Clanagan says, "I am thrilled to collaborate with one of the NBA's most distinguished athletes on these multi-star live comedy events. This partnership will help expand Codeblack's reach into television and further cement our desire to both develop and produce exciting entertainment projects."
Given Shaquille O'Neal's entrepreneurial endeavors this project marks a natural evolution of his brand. "I am excited to partner with a veteran like Jeff Clanagan and I am thrilled to be venturing into the comedy and television world."
The highly anticipated second installment of the ALL STAR COMEDY SERIES was filmed live at the 13th annual American Black Film Festival in Miami. Comedy genius DL Hughley was the host of this stand-up special alongside some of the industry's most talented and sought after comedians - Earthquake, Arnez J, Lavell Crawford and Melanie Comarcho.
For more information on All-Star Comedy Jam, visit www.allstarcomedyjam.com. ###
ABOUT CODEBLACK ENTERTAINMENT LLC
Codeblack Enterprises LLC is the first African American-owned new media & entertainment company. Codeblack Enterprises' reach is all-encompassing, from production and national distribution of feature films to its innovative e-commerce arm. The company's portfolio consists of Codeblack Entertainment and Codeblack Interactive. Codeblack Entertainment is the first African American-owned film studio, engaged in the business of producing, acquiring, marketing and distributing quality content to today's urban consumer across a variety of traditional and digital platforms. The studio, which is both independent and vertically integrated, was created out of the necessity for the positive representation of African Americans in film. Codeblack Interactive focuses on distributing content across digitally interactive platforms, including global distribution to mobile and digital carriers such as Codeblack TV, a broadband on-demand channel, by which viewers can download, stream and deliver Codeblack properties over the internet. The company's home on the Web is http://www.codeblack.com/default.aspx.
Friday, July 24, 2009
MAKE A MARK IN THE COMMUNITY
BY HOSTING A FREE COMMUNITY DAY ON JULY 25TH!
WHO: DR. CREFLO A. DOLLAR, PASTOR TAFFI DOLLAR, among others
WHAT: COMMUNITY DAY IN COLLEGE PARK
(Sponsored by World Changers Church International)
WHEN: SATURDAY, JULY 25, 2009
TIME: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
WHERE: World Changers Church International, 2500 Burdett Road, College Park GA
WHY: In a time where the economic downturn has affected many families across the world, Dr. Creflo A. Dollar, Pastor Taffi Dollar and World Changers Church International (WCCI) are committed to making a difference in the lives of their church, community and the world! On Saturday, July 25th beginning at 12:00pm, WCCI will host a Free Community Day filled with giveaways, entertainment, food and fun! To prepare for school, kids will be given backpacks, pens and other school supplies to ease the burden of parents who made be going through financially hard time. In addition, health screenings for all ages will be available but proper immunization records must be on hand in order to get the shots that may be needed.
Reinforcing the empowering messages of the 2009 CHANGE Convention, Dr. Dollar not only talks about making a change, he and the WCCI congregation put love into action. So come out on July 25th and enjoy an afternoon of delight!
19th Annual Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Theatre Awards Will Be Hosted by Loretta Devine
Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) - The Beverly Hills/Hollywood branch of the NAACP is celebrating their 100 years anniversary and is proud to announce this year's host, NAACP Award-Winner Loretta Devine (Broadway's "Dreamgirls") for the 19th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards. Past awards shows have traditionally been held in June immediately following the BET Awards, but for this year's slogan "A Salute To Black Theatre", will ring true on Monday, August 31, 2009 at 7 p.m. at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Theatre located at 7920 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California. This year's distinguished honorees include: Audra McDonald (Tony Award-Winner/Grammy Award-Winner) for Trailblazer Award, Tichina Arnold (CW's "Everybody Hates Chris") for the Spirit Award plus the Lifetime Achievement, President's and Community Service Award which will be announced at a later date. Presenter appearances can be expected by Hill Harper ("CSI Miami"), Hosea Chanchez (CW's "The Game"), Brian White (Universal Pictures' "Fighting" and "Stomp The Yard"), James Avery (NBC's "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"), Elise Neal (UPN's "All of Us"), and many more. The nominees for this year's Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Theatre Awards include: Nilaja Sun ("No Child...") and Michole Briana White ("Of Equal Measure" and "Two Trains Running") nominated for the Best Lead Female Role (Equity); Daniel Beaty ("Emergency"), Russel Homsby ("Two Trains Running") and Glynn Turman ("Two Trains Running") nominated for Best Lead Male Role (Equity). In addition, Charles Randolph-Wright ("Emergency"), Leigh Silverman ("Of Equal Measure"), and Israel Hicks ("Two Trains Running") are nominated for Best Director (Equity). Additional nominations include: Best Lead Female (Local), Best Lead Male (Local), Best Director (Local), Best Choreography, Best Costumes, Best Director of a Musical, Best Ensemble Cast, and Best Lighting. The prestigious star-studded gala is produced in an effort to honor thespians of color among the best in the field of entertainment. The award show and two-day festival provides a platform for thespians to express their craft and share their contributions with an audience of their peers, the community and other individuals who crave live theatre in the 'City of Angels'. This year's festival will be at the NEW LATC theatre in Los Angeles on July 29-30th. "This year's Theatre Festival will feature workshops on acting, directing, play-writing, dancing and mounting the 'One Person Show'. A special children's workshop/play-shop has been added along with the '10-minute-play'," states Executive Producer Tia Boyd. The 19th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards will be sponsored by Honda, Verizon and the Los Angeles 8th District Office of Bernard C. Parks. For ticket purchases or more information, visit www.bhwdnaacptheatreawards.com
(L-R) Willis Edwards, Brian White, Elise Neal, Hosea Chanchez, Tia Boyd, Ron Hasson
Photo Credit: Arnold Turner
Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) - The Beverly Hills/Hollywood branch of the NAACP is celebrating their 100 years anniversary and is proud to announce this year's host, NAACP Award-Winner Loretta Devine (Broadway's "Dreamgirls") for the 19th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards. Past awards shows have traditionally been held in June immediately following the BET Awards, but for this year's slogan "A Salute To Black Theatre", will ring true on Monday, August 31, 2009 at 7 p.m. at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Theatre located at 7920 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California.
This year's distinguished honorees include: Audra McDonald (Tony Award-Winner/Grammy Award-Winner) for Trailblazer Award, Tichina Arnold (CW's "Everybody Hates Chris") for the Spirit Award plus the Lifetime Achievement, President's and Community Service Award which will be announced at a later date. Presenter appearances can be expected by Hill Harper ("CSI Miami"), Hosea Chanchez (CW's "The Game"), Brian White (Universal Pictures' "Fighting" and "Stomp The Yard"), James Avery (NBC's "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"), Elise Neal (UPN's "All of Us"), and many more.
The nominees for this year's Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Theatre Awards include: Nilaja Sun ("No Child...") and Michole Briana White ("Of Equal Measure" and "Two Trains Running") nominated for the Best Lead Female Role (Equity); Daniel Beaty ("Emergency"), Russel Homsby ("Two Trains Running") and Glynn Turman ("Two Trains Running") nominated for Best Lead Male Role (Equity). In addition, Charles Randolph-Wright ("Emergency"), Leigh Silverman ("Of Equal Measure"), and Israel Hicks ("Two Trains Running") are nominated for Best Director (Equity). Additional nominations include: Best Lead Female (Local), Best Lead Male (Local), Best Director (Local), Best Choreography, Best Costumes, Best Director of a Musical, Best Ensemble Cast, and Best Lighting.
The prestigious star-studded gala is produced in an effort to honor thespians of color among the best in the field of entertainment. The award show and two-day festival provides a platform for thespians to express their craft and share their contributions with an audience of their peers, the community and other individuals who crave live theatre in the 'City of Angels'. This year's festival will be at the NEW LATC theatre in Los Angeles on July 29-30th.
"This year's Theatre Festival will feature workshops on acting, directing, play-writing, dancing and mounting the 'One Person Show'. A special children's workshop/play-shop has been added along with the '10-minute-play'," states Executive Producer Tia Boyd.
The 19th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards will be sponsored by Honda, Verizon and the Los Angeles 8th District Office of Bernard C. Parks.
For ticket purchases or more information, visit www.bhwdnaacptheatreawards.com
LADY LUCK DOES A DISAPPEARING ACT
Author - Michelle Larks
Bolingbrook, IL (BlackNews.com) - Author Michelle Larks' seventh book, 'Til Debt Do Us Part, was released on June 30, 2009 by Urban Books.
'Til Debt Do Us Part details the rise and subsequent fall of the lead soprano of a Chicago church. Raised and nurtured in a stable upper middle classed family, the only daughter of professionals, life was easy for Nichole Singleton, with a voice like an angel, a job she adores, and a church she has called home since her teens. While Jeffrey, Nichole's loving husband, has control over the life they are living, Nichole still feels blessed...until her gambling "hobby" turns into a personal cross to bear that threatens to destroy her marriage.
Through her trials and tribulations, will Nichole remember to put her trust in God and reaffirm her faith in the Lord, or will she see her marriage and gambling habit as bigger than even the God she serves?
'Til Debt Do Us Part is a heartrending tale about a woman on the verge of losing everything that she holds near and dear. Secrets, lies, deceit and ultimately forgiveness of self and others are interspersed throughout the story. The book 'Til Debt Do Us Part culminates with a healing and cleansing of the soul.
"In typical fashion, Michelle Larks has composed a rich, multi-layered tale with compelling, three-dimensional characters whose inherent appeal is universal."
-- Raw Sistaz Book Club (5 Stars)
"This book will encourage you and help you understand that we are not along in our struggles and if we ask help will be there."
-- A Chicago Reader (5 Stars)
"This story deals with an addiction that is brought on by a woman not facing what is truly bothering her. Another recommend read by author Michelle Larks."
-- ARC Book Club Inc. (5 stars)
About the Author:
A former student of the University of Illinois, Chicago Campus, Larks resides in the Chicago land area, She is married and the mother of two daughters. She has written A Myriad of Emotions, Crisis Mode, Mirrored Images, Who's Your Daddy, Keeping Misery Company and The Legacies. Michelle has just finished a manuscript titled Faith due to be released in May 2010. Please visit Michelle on the web at: www.MichelleLarks.com
LIL TROUBLE RELEASED HIT SINGLE "GET SERVED", DEBUT ALBUM COMING SOON
So if you want to be a rapper but your skillz ain't right, you are definitely going to have a problem. Luckily, this is not the case for Tennessee-based rapper Lil Trouble. As a lyricist, Lil Trouble stands alone as both his messages and delivery speak to an audience of incredible magnitude, combining the essence of Hip-Hop with hard hitting beats and lyrics.
Trouble's upcoming debut album "Iron Chef" is poised to capture the ears of every listener aching to hear what Hip-Hop has been missing. His freshman album is set to release this summer on Gorilla Movement Ent.
In today's culture where sex, drugs, politics, violence and money dominate the music industry, Lil Trouble comes with an incredible sound based on what’s hot without conforming to unenthusiastic Hip-Hop trends. He is ready to embed his name in the Hip-Hop game with his razor sharp flow and impeccable lyrics which have established him as one of the hottest up-n-coming acts in the world of Hip-Hop.
The first single "Get Served" is available for free download now. You will quickly hear that Trouble’s beat selection is top-notch and his debut album "Iron Chef" is promised to fill a much needed void in Hip-Hop at a time when positive and progressive messages are needed.
LIL TROUBLE IS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS
EXAS EVANGELISM ALLIANCE MINISTRIES SET TO LAUNCH "THE KING OF GLORY MOVEMENT" AT RECEPTION AND INAUGURATION OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Evangelist D Tyler Brown, President
Pastor Cynthia Wesley, Chief Financial Officer
Houston, TX (BlackNews.com) - Launch of "The King of Glory Movement" by Texas Evangelism Alliance Ministries is set to take place at reception and inauguration of its board of directors on Saturday, August 1, 2009 at Holiday Inn Houston South Loop, 8111 Kirby Drive, Houston, Texas from 3pm to 5pm Central Time. Invited guests are welcome.
Established on July 1, 2009 by its founders, Evangelist D Tyler Brown, a native of Bastrop, Louisiana and Pastor Cynthia Wesley, a native of Dallas, Texas, the Texas Evangelism Alliance Ministries ("TEAM") serves in the field of helps and marketplace ministry. TEAM supports the initiative introduced by Jesus Christ who said "I came not to be served but to serve." The five-member board of directors also include: Apostle Eartha Wright of Dallas, Texas; Evangelist Gwendolyn Davis of Fresno, Texas and Prophetess Queen Esther Phillips of Houston. TEAM exists to fulfill the Great Commission by serving others.
TEAM's mission takes The King of Glory Movement throughout the State of Texas and the world evangelizing and glorifying Jesus Christ. American Church Lists, http://americanchurchlists.com, recent report reveals Texas as the state with the largest number of churches in the United States at 27,505. Many churches and ministries need assistance to reach lost souls and spread the good news. TEAM will provide free of charge limited press releases, promotional flyers, quarterly newsletters, discount services and schedule events based on ministry needs of its members such as fellowship gatherings at grocery store cafés, coffee shops, restaurants, reception in hotel lobbies, connecting at airport terminals, workshops, seminars, conferences, revivals, anointed crusades and more. This is the King of Glory Movement!
About Texas Evangelism Alliance Ministries: a multi-cultural, multi-dimensional, non-denominational, non-profit organization that serves its members across many platforms by making room for spiritual gifts in marketplace ministries (business, education and government), and community outreach. Filing application for tax-exempt status is planned. Evangelist D Tyler Brown and Pastor Cynthia Wesley are available for interviews. Find out more about Texas Evangelism Alliance Ministries at http://txevangelism.ning.com or call 713-504-3092.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
EXECUTIVE TRACI BLACKWELL PROMOTED TO VICE PRESIDENT, CURRENT PROGRAMMING AT THE CW
Blackwell Tapped To Oversee New Dramas Vampire Diaries and Life Unexpected, Continues Work on Hit Series 90210
The CW network's Traci Blackwell has been promoted to Vice President of Current Programming. Blackwell is responsible for day-to-day production of some of the network's top primetime shows, including 90210, One Tree Hilland the upcoming Vampire Diaries.
Photo credit: Malcolm Ali
The University of Southern California African American Cinema Society hosted an on-campus panel discussion about writing and directing for television, featuring several of the most successful African American producers, directors and executives working in the industry today. Pictured left to right: Codie Brooks, USCAACS; Seith Mann, director (Heroes, Entourage, Grey's Anatomy); Mara Brock Akil, executive producer (The Game, Girlfriends); Salim Akil, writer/director/executive producer (Soul Food, The Game); and Traci Blackwell, VP, Current Programming, The CW (90210, One Tree Hill, Vampire Diaries).
Photo Credit: Courtesy of FrontPage Communications
Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) - Television executive Traci Lynn Blackwell has been promoted to Vice President of Current Programs at The CW network. Blackwell's appointment comes on the heels of her success overseeing some of The CW's highest-rated shows, including breakout hit drama 90210, One Tree Hill and Supernatural. The network recently announced a new slate of shows including the highly-anticipated dramasVampire Diaries and Life Unexpected, which Traci will also add to her roster of popular primetime shows.
In her new role, Blackwell continues to act as the network liaison overseeing day-to-day production for scripted programs 90210, One Tree Hill, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries and Life Unexpected, reporting to Executive Vice President Michael Roberts. She is responsible for identifying writers, directors and significant creative personnel, as well as managing creative on stories, scripts and cuts, among other duties.
Blackwell's 10-year track record of success at the network also includes shepherding comedies Everybody Hates Chris and The Game; award-winning series Girlfriends, which ended its run after 8 seasons; Eve, starring the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop sensation; and Half and Half, which now appear in syndication.
Traci cultivated her expertise in network TV programming working for UPN. During her stint there, Blackwell worked on the production of several sitcoms, such as The Parkers and Moesha. Traci began her career at UPN as assistant to then-President of Entertainment Tom Nunan, who served as a mentor and encouraged her aspiration to become a current programming executive.
Prior to UPN, Blackwell worked as an assistant to director/producer and former BET President of Programming Reginald Hudlin. She assisted him on projects including "The Great White Hype" and "Cosmic Slop."
Traci is a native of Silver Spring, Maryland and earned a bachelor's degree in English from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA.