The 12th Annual George Lopez Celebrity Golf Classic Cinco de Mayo Party

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

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On May 5, George Lopez hosted a Cinco de Mayo party for his 12th Annual Celebrity Golf Classic for his Foundation.

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George Lopez created the foundation after in 2005 when he himself needed a transplant which was graciously given by his wife. The mission for the foundation is to create positive, permanent change for underprivileged children, adults and military families confronting challenges in education and health, as well as increasing community awareness about kidney disease and organ donation.

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“I am thankful for the kidney transplant I received in 2005, which has allowed me to pursue my two passions – playing golf and giving back to others less fortunate.” – George Lopez

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Each year his family and friends come together for the Celebrity Golf Classic to help raise awareness for kidney disease. Such a great fun event that brings awareness to a disease that affects some many people.

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In June, the foundation hosts a camp for children affected by kidney disease. Within this camp the children will experience a week-long summer session at a medical specialty camp for children that will learn new strategies of medical self-care, increase their self-confidence, and build supportive friendships with peers who have the same medical conditions.

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Everyone has someone in their life that has been affected by this disease, I know that I do. If you want to donate to this great organization you can via their website georgelopezfoundation.org.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN TAKES COP TO A NEW LEVEL IN ’21 BRIDGES’

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

Chadick Boseman follows up his iconic role in Black Panther with 21 Bridges, an action thriller where he plays a New York cop in search for justice after 8 cops were killed in a  robbery heist gone wrong.

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21 Bridges shows the lengths that a cop will go to to in order to find the killers. He shuts down all 21 bridges into Manhattan, stops trains, and cuts off the island from the rest of the world as he oversees a massive citywide manhunt. It’s personal for him, who had to deal with the trauma of having his police officer father murdered when he was a child.

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This is going to be one hell of a ride and excited to see Chadwick in this new role.

Check out the trailer below. 21 Bridges opens nationwide on July 12.

‘WHEN THEY SEE US’ Drops Official Trailer

 BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

30 years ago, today a woman was raped in Central Park and five teenagers of color were framed for it.

Netflix has just release the full trailer for Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us” a four-part series about the wrongly convicted Central Park Five.

Based on the true case of five teenagers of color, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit, the show follows the young men (Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise) in the spring of 1989 when they are first questioned about the brutal assault of a Caucasian female jogger in New York’s Central Park. The later part of the series will also see them as men, spanning 25 years and highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement they reached with the city of New York in 2014.

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The series stars Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Blair Underwood, Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar J. Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Dascha Polanco, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez and Asante Blackk.

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“When They See Us” launches on Netflix on May 31.

THE 50TH NAACP AWARDS RECAP

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

The NAACP Image Awards was a fantastic good time and always great celebrating what people of color bring to the table. The wins began at the non-televised dinner held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA and then continued on to the live show at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA.

Among the wins, the biggest went to Black Panther, individually as well as collectively. Chadwick Boseman, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. Michael B. Jordan, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. Danai Gurira, Outstanding Supporting Actress in in a Motion Picture. Ryan Coogler, Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture. Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture. Letitia Wright, Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture. Outstanding Soundtrack/Complilation. Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture. And finally, Outstanding Motion Picture. Way to go team. Such a phenomenal movie that deserves all the recognition it has received.

Black-ish was also among big winners for the night including Outstanding Comedy Series. Power took home the Outstanding Drama Series. Maxine Waters who received the Chariman’s Award gave us a thorough lesson in political affairs, while Jay-Z was honored with the Presidents Award and Beyonce’ took home Entertainer of the Year. It was a great night.

If you missed any of the action check out the replay on TV One.

FILM REVIEW: THE BEST OF ENEMIES

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

So, went to an advanced screening of The Best of Enemies. After the screening, there was a conversation with one of the stars of the film, Taraji P. Henson and the writer/director/producer Robin Bissell.

The true story of the unlikely relationship between Ann Atwater, an outspoken civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis, a local Ku Klux Klan leader. During the racially charged summer of 1971, Atwater and Ellis come together to co-chair a community summit on the desegregation of schools in Durham, N.C. The ensuing debate and battle soon lead to surprising revelations that change both of their lives forever.

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Let me start off and say that Taraji did a good job on this film and in this role. But, to be honest this was yet another “White Savior” film and it is clear that it was written by a White man. The movie was longer than it should have and spent too much time telling a one-sided story. The character arc was never developed for Ann Atwater, unless you read the back story on your own for her you did not know she was an activist. She was painted as a poor Black woman who just spoke up for her community. The only thing that you knew about her family is that she had a daughter that we didn’t see her interact with a lot. No back story or anything. But what you did get a lot of was C.P. Ellis and his back story. They spent a lot of time building his character, his family, and how he ticked. We knew that he had kids and a wife, the classic American family, while they painted Ann as a Black woman with a broken family because we didn’t know where her daughter’s father was. His wife, played by Anne Heche was instrumental in showing the human side of this KKK President and what led him to join. Showing that he had a bad, sad life and he was just looking to belong to something. Way to humanize a white supremacist and diminish what Ann was trying to do in the community back then. Thanks, but we don’t need a savior.

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Why do White writers always tell these stories from one point of view, it would be helpful to have a Black person during the writing process to have it balanced. The problem with Hollywood is they think these types of movies support the Black community when it does the exact opposite. But let me step off my soapbox and hope that in the future these stories are told from both perspectives and not just the one. But shout out to them for at least bring awareness to the story that people did not know that much about.

The Best of Enemies stars Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell and premieres in theaters on April 5.

WHEN THEY SEE US – NETFLIX

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

Ava DuVernay’s upcoming limited series on the brutal crime and false accusations of five teenagers that shocked NYC and the nation 30 years ago will be available to stream on Netflix on May 31. The four-part series formerly known as The Central Park Five will now be called When They See Us released an explosive trailer this morning. Just the title alone is powerful. For the many Black deaths that has spawned the Black Lives Matter movement, for the many false accusations of people of color over the years, When They See Us is a very fitting title.

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With this series Korey, Antron, Raymond, Kevin and Yusef get to tell their story of young people of color unjustly handled by the criminal justice system.

For those that are unfamiliar with the case, these five teens, four Black and one Hispanic were apprehended in connection to the assault and brutal rape of Trisha Meili, a White female jogger on the night of April 19, 1989. Before the trial began, the FBI tested the DNA of the rape kit and found that it did not match any of the boys but as fitting as the title suggests they were in the park so they must have done it, right? Regardless of the evidence to clear them the teens were convicted in 1990. In 2002, Matias Reyes, a convicted murder and serial rapist serving a life sentence in prison confessed to the crime and DNA evidence confirmed that he was indeed the attacker on the night in question. However, Reyes was not prosecuted for the rape and murder due to statute of limitations expiring by the time of his confession.

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The teens now men convictions were overturned in 2002. In 2003, they sued the City of New York for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination, and emotional distress. The city refused to settle for over a decade until new Mayor Bill de Blasio took office and supported the settlement, the city settled the case for $41 million in 2014 and their names were finally cleared.

This whole case and what’s happening in society has me singing the old Michael Jackson song “They Don’t Care About Us”.

Written and Directed by Ava DuVernay. This series will go beyond 1989 and what happened after.

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The series stars Emmy Award® Nominee Michael K. Williams, Academy Award® Nominee Vera Farmiga, Emmy Award® Winner John Leguizamo, Academy Award® Nominee and Emmy Award® Winner Felicity Huffman, Emmy Award® Nominee Niecy Nash, Emmy Award® Winner and two-time Golden Globe Nominee Blair Underwood, Emmy Award® and Grammy Award® Winner and Tony Award® Nominee Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez, and Asante Blackk.

Thank you Ava for continuing to expose the injustice of people of color.

THE HATE YOU GIVE Q&A

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

Had the opportunity to attend the screening of The Hate You Give to celebrate the film’s release on DVD, Blu-Ray and all digital platforms. This film gives an opportunity to start the conversation on race with those in your family, community and your friends. This film had me laughing and crying, but it also provoked feelings on how this could be changed and what we as a community can do to change the narrative. After the screening there was a great Q&A with Russell Hornsby and moderated by CNN commentator Symone Sanders. In these Trump days it is important to have this conversation and show your kids how to conduct themselves out on these streets because it will get real, real quick and then what.

If you have not seen this amazing film directed by George Tillman Jr. make sure you buy it or stream it wherever you get your movies.

THE HATE YOU GIVE

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

The Hate You Give is based on the New York Times Best Selling Novel by Angie Thomas. The story focuses on Starr (Amandla Stenberg) who witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a nervous White police officer that mistakes a hairbrush for a gun. Now, Starr faces pressures from all sides of the community urging her to step up. She must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.

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As protests around the killing mount, Starr slowly embraces activism. Enrolled at a predominately white private school, Starr tells the audience early on that she’s used to essentially splitting her personality in two, playing the non-threatening black girl around her white friends and then code-switching, with some awkwardness, back home in Garden Heights. Khalil’s death puts those two selves into conflict, and Stenberg beautifully plays that evolution, a girl whose carefully constructed notion of “normal” has been upended.

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This story comes at a time where we are in a place where senseless killings at the hands of the police are so relevant. This teen is faced with a huge responsibility, what do you do when you know that you need to fight for the rights of your friend? What do you do when your parents and those close to you don’t want you to stand up because of the climate and you can be a statistic yourself? So many decisions for Starr to contemplate. What would you do in this situation? This powerful movie takes us on an emotional journey of finding your voice and standing for what is right regardless of what people may say.

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Amandla Stenberg who people were not sure she was right for the role due to her light skin. The cover of the book shows a dark-skinned girl, so that is what everyone was envisioning in casting. But, she gives a breakout performance and proves them all wrong.

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“Over the past year I’ve heard concerns from my community around my casting as Starr in The Hate U Give and I want those who are worried to know they are seen and heard. Something that I love most about the black community is the accountability and expectation for greatness and consciousness that we maintain. I hope Angie’s perspective can alleviate those concerns, though I don’t expect it to address the age-old conundrum of colorism and I’m glad this conversation is being opened up. The lack of diversity within the black girl representation we’re finally getting is apparent and it’s NOT ENOUGH, and I understand my role in the quest for onscreen diversity and the sensitivity I must have towards the colorism that I do not experience. Do I aim to represent all black girls? Hell nah! Do I expect all black girls to feel represented by me? Absolutely not. We encompass a beautiful and expansive plethora of experiences, identities, and shades and it would be ridiculous to assume that I should or could represent all of us. I want my sisters to know I navigate my industry with an acute awareness of how my accessibility contributes to the representation I am granted. I do so with a vigilance concerning the commodification of blackness and not taking up space that doesn’t belong to me. My biggest hope is that this precarious game of give and take we play with the historically white institution of Hollywood for the sake of representation can only lead to the diversity we want and deserve. I want to see my mama on screen. And my niece. I want to see my friends, my peers… and all those who have given me the blessing of their support. Let’s continue to demand depictions that don’t placate European beauty standards. And after all, this if you still don’t mess with the casting, hey, that’s your prerogative! B​ut let’s show up to THUG for BLM, for rich and profound portrayals of contemporary black experience, for exploration of the nuance of bias, for black girl realness , for family, for gun control, for speaking up and out, for Philando, Tamir, Eric, Michael, Sandra and all the black lives that have been taken for no reason.” –Amandla Stenberg

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In select theatres on October 5 and nationwide on October 19. Check your area for showtimes.

THE PHENOMENON OF SCANDAL

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

When Scandal first premiered six years ago it was unlike any other show that was on TV at the time. It was a show that we would have a love/hate relationship with and we loved every minute of it. Scandal told stories boldly and unapologetically. That moment when we rooted for Olivia and Fitz and some later rooted for Olivia and Jake and we realized that she had a type; dating married men. Yes, Jake was married if you remember in Season Five we learned that he was married. Finally, that moment when we rooted for the White Hat and wanted to be a “Gladiator in A Suit” and get justice by any means necessary.

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The premiere of Scandal brought about a first, which we are experiencing a lot of these days. This drama helped bring in a new era of diversity on the small screen. Kerry Washington became the first African- American to be lead in a TV drama, something that hadn’t happen since 1974. She was also the first African-American woman in 18 years to be nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. This opened up the door for so many other African-American female leads, including Being Mary Jane with Gabrielle Union and another ShondaLand show How To Get Away with Murder with Viola Davis.

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As I am re-watching Scandal from the beginning I am loving how Shonda Rhimes has given opportunities for actors to act on not only one of her shows, but several. Kelly McCreary appeared in Season Three as a friend of Columbus Short before he was killed in the series. Kelly later landed on Grey’s Anatomy as the fierce bad-ass Dr. Maggie Pierce, half-sister of Meredith Grey. Jerrika Hinton appeared in Season One as a coroner and later landed on Grey’s Anatomy as the seemingly heartless intern Stephanie Edwards. Bellamy Young appeared in a cross-over event with Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice as a patient and we all know she ended up on Scandal as Mellie Grant: First Lady, Governor, and President. Scott Foley appeared as Teddy’s patient and later husband on Grey’s Anatomy and later moved on to be the none other than Command of B6313 on Scandal.

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Scandal has tackled so many issues that have impacted lots of lives. From military rape to Black Lives Matter this show has tackled it all. One of my favorite episodes is “Vermont is For Lovers”, Episode 308. Not only was it a great episode, it made TV history as well. It was the first primetime show with an African-American showrunner, Shonda Rhimes, first-time TV director at the time Ava Duvernay and lead Kerry Washington. The famous episode where Fitz and Olivia were on the outs and he flies her to Vermont to show her the house that he had built of her. Such a classic and touching episode for me because you really felt the love that he had for Olivia.

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“Deciding how to end a show is easy. Deciding when to finish is quite simple when the end date is years away. But actually, going through with it? Actually, standing up to say: This, is it? Not so much so. We are leaving everything on the table with this finale. We are going to handle the end the way we like to handle the important things in our Scandal family: all together, white hats on, Gladiators running full speed over a cliff.” – Shonda Rhimes

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Shonda never saw this show as a long lifespan. She always saw it as a season-seven show. Tonight, on ABC at 10 pm, Scandal will say its final goodbye and hang up the white hat for good; and the entire country will be watching and tweeting with the cast for the very last time. I will definitely miss the ride and rollercoaster that Shonda Rhimes gave us with this show.

Farewell Scandal and thank you to the cast and crew for such a great ride!

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UNSOLVED HISTORY: LIFE OF A KING

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

I had the opportunity and extreme honor to attend the private screening of the Unsolved History: Life of A King at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Visitor Center Theater on Sunday, March 25.

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I learned so much during the screening. I had no idea that Dr. King had a younger brother that was marching and fighting alongside him. So, this was all brand-new information for me while watching.

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UNSOLVED HISTORY: Life of A King, is the untold story of Alfred Daniel (A.D.) King, the younger brother of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This documentary explores the unanswered questions of A.D. King’s accidental drowning fifteen months after his brother Dr. King was assassinated​. You will hear exclusive interviews with King family members, including A.D. King’s oldest daughter and his wife as well as the people from the Civil Rights Movement that will speak first-hand about A.D. King.

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“Life of A King reveals the untold, undistorted truth at a time when people need to know authentic historical information.” ~Josetta Shrospshire, Co-Executive Producer and CEO of Positive Promotions Ltd.

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It was definitely emotional watching the documentary as his kids and wife talk about the man that ended up coming to the same demise as his brother. His son was the one that found him dead in the pool at their home in Atlanta. He remembers the police telling him that there was no water in his father’s lungs, which means he was dead before he entered the water. That in itself is traumatizing but eventually calling it an “accidental drowning” had to be devastating.

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Presented by Sunwise Media and Postive Promotions, the one-hour documentary narrated by Emmy-winning news reporter, Ed Gordon will air on WATL-TV, Channel 36 on Thursday, April 5 at 11pm and again on Saturday, April 7 at 5 pm.

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For additional air dates in your area visit sunwisemedia.com/unsolvedhistory.
Follow the movement: Facebook/Instagram: @unsolvedhistory