January 16, 2020

Aries 

MAR 21 - APR 19 

You might feel like hiding something from your sweetheart this week. It doesn't have to be anything negative -- in fact, it seems like you're trying to surprise him or her. You might be arranging a special event in their honor or simply want to do something really special in order to lift up the love of your life. A financial boost on Wednesday will give you the money you need to make this happen. If you're single, you might have a secret crush on someone you know you can't be with. Don't go overboard in the fantasy.

  

Taurus 

APR 20 - MAY 20 

You're definitely in the mood for love this week! Venus moves into romantic Pisces and, on Wednesday, she'll be at a perfect angle to Uranus, now in your sign. This is sure to add some adrenaline and passion to your love life. You might think you've got nothing going on and then suddenly ... BAM! ... you find out someone is really into you. This person is likely to be in your social circle already, but it could also be a total stranger who manages to slide into your DMs and takes you by surprise. You'll want to explore!

 

Gemini 

MAY 21 - JUN 20 

Your sweetheart might present you with an unexpected opportunity this week that will help promote you professionally. This could be a connection that he or she makes for you, an introduction, or a financial investment into a business you want to launch. Another possibility is that you will find out, seemingly from nowhere, that a VIP connected to your career has major romantic interest in you. The feelings are likely to be mutual. What are you going to do about it?

 

Cancer 

JUN 21 - JUL 22 

You might be extremely open about your love life this week on social media -- much more than you normally are. Posting pics of you and your sweetheart holding hands, kissing, or even announcing that you are an official item are all possibilities. You might also decide to learn about an unusual topic such as Astrology, Numerology, or another fascinating metaphysical subject with your partner. The two of you will dive right into it together and truly enjoy the experience!

  

Leo 

JUL 23 - AUG 22 

Thinking about going into business with your sweetheart? Guess what -- it's actually a great idea! Your partner might be the missing link in the career path you're trying to build. He or she may have a unique skillset that will help you succeed beyond your wildest dreams. Trust it! He or she might also be the money behind the muscle as you do all the work while your partner writes all the checks. Whatever arrangement you make, know that the two of you are likely to truly complement each other in this endeavor. And that spells success!

 

Virgo 

AUG 23 - SEP 22 

You and your partner could make a snap decision to travel abroad together and, if you do, then you can be sure it will add to the romantic excitement in your connection. You might also suddenly create a legal partnership with your significant other, either business-wise or through marriage. If you're single, then you could easily meet someone you know is true relationship material out of the blue this week. How? Not to worry. All you need to do is live your life -- the person you're meant to get to know will suddenly appear, as if by magic.

  

Libra 

SEP 23 - OCT 22 

You'll remember how important sex is for your overall health this week. If your intimate life has been lacking or unfulfilling in any way, it's likely that you'll be able to find out the reason behind it now. Much to your surprise, it may have more to do with your physical well-being than you originally expected. Something as simple as not getting enough sleep or taking certain medications are likely to be the culprit behind any libido problem or sexual dysfunction. Happily, once you find out the cause, it'll be an easy fix. You'll be feeling great (in more ways than one!) in no time.

  

Scorpio 

OCT 23 - NOV 21 

On Monday, Venus moves into your true love sector for the first time in about a year. Until February 7, you can look forward to happier romantic times with your sweetheart, or potentially meeting the next love of your life if you're single. On Wednesday, Venus will make a perfect link to Uranus, the planet of surprise, now in your partnership sector. Your mate can easily shock you on this day with a gesture of love that you never expected. There might also be sudden but happy news that the two of you will want to celebrate. Perhaps a baby is on the way. Congratulations!

  

Sagittarius 

NOV 22 - DEC 21 

If you just started dating someone, then this week you might decide to introduce your sweetheart to your family, your colleagues, or both! Alternatively, it's possible that your lover will help you out in a home-related project such as a renovation, decorating, or anything in between. You'll enjoy spending time together making your house prettier and more comfortable to live in. You might even be thinking about moving in together. Single? Trust a family member or colleague who insists on setting you up with someone. You have nothing to lose.

  

Capricorn 

DEC 22 - JAN 19 

If you're looking for love, then you might not need to look very far at all. In fact, romance might be in your own backyard. It's possible that one of your neighbors will suddenly reveal that he or she has romantic feelings for you. Although you will initially be surprised, you're very likely to reciprocate them and will want to explore the mutual chemistry. This could lead to an incredible connection, so don't deny those positive vibes! If you're in a relationship, you and your sweetheart might suddenly have the baby talk, and baby-making action may soon follow...

  

Aquarius 

JAN 20 - FEB 18 

If you and your partner are considering an investment in real estate together, then you should absolutely go for it. Not only will you make money, but you'll also somehow manage to become closer to each other as you pursue this endeavor. You might even suddenly decide to move if you are already living with each other. A second home is also an option, or you may both agree to rent out a portion of your home together to make extra money. You'll be pleased with the results.

  

Pisces 

FEB 19 - MAR 20

Venus moves into your sign on Monday, granting you an incredible edge in matters of the heart through February 7. If single, this will enhance your natural powers of attraction. As Venus makes a beautiful link to Uranus on Wednesday, it is possible that you'll meet a new love interest out of the blue. This person might be sitting on the train next to you during your commute or might be a new neighbor in the building you live in. Stimulating conversation will only add to the instant chemistry you'll feel. Amazing!

Category: Arts & Culture

January 16, 2020 

By Brittany K. Jackson 

Contributing Writer 

 

“It’s hard to find a killer when everyone’s a crook” is the moniker that describes NBC’s newest show, Briarpatch, a murder mystery meets killer feminine energy and kick-a** content.

 

The anthology series’ has a literary origin written by Ross Thomas and features the leading role as a man, but Briarpatch program creator Andy Greenwald had other plans, imploring veteran actress Rosario Dawson to take reign as the lead in the NBC series. Referenced by the cast as a “modern-day murder mystery, Dawson stars as Allegra Dill, a seasoned criminal investigator who’s ready to face her fears and find out who killed her beloved sister. Returning to her roots in San Bonifacio, Texas, Dawson’s character is set to turn the town upside down with drilling truth and a unique twist of thrill, mystery, crime and pulp fiction. 

 

In an exclusive, I asked the Luke Cage actress just how important this character is for her as a woman of color being casted in a lead investigative role. Dawson says she believes “representation is important, but also ownership” and that serving as not only the lead, but as a producer, all while having a female director on the project added to the overall vision.

 

“We’re just people who are contributing our talents, and our experience and our ideas and having spaces where that is respected,” Dawson added.

 

Dawson also credits Greenwald for having the wherewithal to change the scope of stories generally sculpted for highly predictable candidates, white men.

 

“We’ve seen the murder mystery with the white guy, over and over and over again. We’ve seen him be able to grapple with the loss of family members, but I couldn’t think of anytime I’ve seen a woman do it,” Dawson proclaimed.

 

Highlighting the 100 years that women’s suffrage has been enacted and the recent 400-year anniversary of slavery, Dawson says “we’re still pushing for equality”. “I think that there are a lot of stories, a lot of perspectives and narratives that need shifting,” she said. “The controls of our culture have been dominated for a very long time, from a very specific perspective and now with how much things have changed, with technology and with access and the spaces that need more and more content, there’s just different voices that are allowed to rise,” Dawson continued. “We’re no longer going, ‘you need to create what that is,’ it’s actually, ‘you tell your own story’, I don’t have to tell it from my perspective for you.”

 

Dawson added that “culture precedes legislation” and that we must “continue to push back on the gate keepers of culture” in order to change how women and people of color are represented in the boardroom, the studios, in the arts and with whom gives the green light.

 

You can catch Dawson fighting crime this fall on NBC’s USA Network.

Category: Arts & Culture

January 16, 2020 

By Keith L. Alexander 

NNPA Newswire 

 

Inside the illuminated MGM National Harbor towering over the Potomac River, the 3,000-seat theater slowly fills with African Americans donned in tuxedos and gowns as Hollywood’s and New York’s top entertainers mix with some of Washington, D.C.’s bourgeoisie including politicians and business leaders. All have gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Urban One Inc., the nation’s largest distributor of news and entertainment aimed solely at Black consumers, which also includes the largest African American owned TV network.

 

The media company that for decades was known as Radio One Inc. for its stable of radio stations across the country, changed its name in 2017 to Urban One, a new name that reflects, its owners believe, its channeled mission of providing media content to urban audiences via all forms of media through its divisions including radio, television programming with its TV One cable network and now the Internet.

 

Still at the helm of Urban One is the legendary woman with the mic, camera and now computer keyboard is the company’s founder and chairwoman, Cathy Hughes.

 

On this night, the 72-year-old energetic and spirited Hughes is also serving as co-host for the 40th anniversary Urban One Honors awards show with comedian Chris Tucker, which is scheduled to air on Hughes’s TV One network Jan. 20.

 

The show, however, is already running late before it even began. Taping was supposed to begin 20 minutes or so ago. But people are still slowly filling their seats. Then, to a round of staccato applause and without an introduction, Hughes, with her broad smile, walked onto the stage. She apologized for the late start. The staffing at the entrances of the MGM, she said, have been slow in allowing audience members through the doors. “But I’ll take care of this,” she said while putting a finger in the air.

 

Hughes disappears backstage. And within 10 minutes, as if a dam burst, audience members began rushing into the theater to their seats. Minutes later, the orchestra begins playing and Hughes and Tucker walk on stage arm-in-arm to begin the two-hour show.

 

No one messes with Cathy Hughes, especially when she is their boss. That’s right, in addition to the various entertainment companies, Urban One also owns nearly seven percent of the $1.4 billion, MGM casino, hotel and resort, a purchase the company made when the resort opened three years ago.

 

As the nation celebrates the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this month, those who knew King well, say Hughes and Urban One are the epitome of King’s dream.

 

Dr. Benjamin Chavis, who worked as a youth leader for King in the 1960s, said Hughes was able to break through the historically, White, male-controlled world of media ownership and create her own media company that she uses to not only to reach millions of people around the world to ensure that the voices of African Americans continue to be shared and visible.

 

“Urban One continues to fulfill Dr. King’s dream,” Chavis said. “The best way to celebrate Black history is to make more history. Cathy Hughes continues to make Black history.” Chavis is now head of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, made up of more than 200 Black-owned newspapers across the country.

 

The Hughes media story is well known. She began her career in 1969 at an AM radio station in her native Omaha, but left for Washington, D.C. when she was offered a job as a lecturer at Howard University. In 1973, Hughes was named general sales manager of WHUR, Howard’s FM radio station. Two years later, Hughes was promoted to general manager. There she created the late night, slow-jam formatted staple called “The Quiet Storm” a signature sound that expanded to radio stations around the country. In that short time, Hughes had taken annual revenues at the station from $250,000 to more than $3.5 million.

 

In 1979, Hughes and then-husband, Dewey Hughes, sought financing to purchase their own radio station and were rejected by 32 banks until 1980 when they secured lending to buy WOL-AM, a tiny Washington, D.C. station located in Northeast Washington.

That first station led to the acquisitions of dozens of radio stations around the country. Then in 2004, with her son Alfred C. Liggins III, a Wharton School of Business MBA graduate, as chief executive officer his mother’s company, Radio One branched into television by creating TV One, a cable network reaching more than 40 million African American TV households.

 

In 2017, TV One changed its name to Urban One after it acquired a collection of Internet media websites, now known as iOne Digital, that focus on news, sports and entertainment stories about and for Black audiences.

 

 

Today, Urban One is worth, according to Wall Street estimates based on stock price of about $98 million. The company boasts of reaching 59 million households, 22 million listeners, 40 million video streams, 20 million unique Web visitors. It owns 57 broadcast stations in 15 urban markets, two cable networks and some 80 websites. Hughes works closely with her son who she credits with diversifying Urban One beyond radio and TV.

 

“This company has a commitment to serving our audience that is evidenced beyond just the mission of making money. It is to build an organization that represents the needs and interests of a community that for the majority of this country’s history, hasn’t had a voice to fight for it,” Liggins, 54, said recently.

 

Throughout the night, at the star-studded awards at the MGM, the influence that Hughes has garnered over the four decades was repeatedly echoed by those who took the stage.

 

Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott surrounded on stage by other rap legends, Lil Kim and Da Brat, became emotional during her acceptance speech.

She described Hughes as “bold, fierce, strong, innovative (and) a visionary.” Elliott said a “big” part of her success was due to Urban One. “We are all chosen, but there are certain people chosen to be a vessel,” Elliott said of Hughes.

 

During his acceptance speech, actor and singer, Jamie Foxx spoke of when he and director and writer, Quentin Tarantino, were making the 2012 “Django Unchained,” they were concerned about the use of the N-word in the film and how audiences would receive the racist word. Foxx told the audience that he told Tarantino “the only person who could help them” ensure audiences would not be put off by the repeated use of the racist word would be Hughes.

 

So, the two asked Hughes to come to the movie set so she could see the filming and hear the vision behind it. Foxx said they needed Hughes’s “blessing” knowing that her influence with audiences could ultimately make or break the film.

 

When he took the stage, Broadway, film and TV performer, Billy Porter described how being celebrated by a Black media company in front of a predominately Black audience, was unusual for out, gay Black entertainers. “As a Black, queer man in the world, this is such a special day for me. I never felt welcomed. Today in this space, for the first time in my life, I feel like I am a part of this community,” Porter said grabbing Hughes’s hand as she joined him on stage.

 

During his acceptance speech, Chance the Rapper described Hughes – or Miss H. as he calls her - as a “trailblazer” and a “maverick” who, he said, “built an entire industry, for us.”

 

Hughes says she plans to continue to build and rebuild the media industry as the technology changes how Black households receive their information and entertainment. 

 

“Today, we reach 92 percent of Black households,” Hughes added. “We plan to get to 100 percent.”

 

“If the Black audience that we serve decides that they want to receive our messages via carrier pigeon, then I’m getting ready to go into the bird business. I don’t know what it will take in the future in order to reach that goal. That will depend on what advances occur in technology.”

 

Urban One’s plan, Hughes says, is to ensure the company will be at the center, the premiere go-to media outlet for Black households.

 

“It’s important for us to have Black-owned and controlled, particularly in the media, business ventures, nobody is going to tell our stories from our perspective, except us,” she said.  “Nobody is going to do that for us. Why should they or would they? It’s our responsibility to do that.”

Category: Arts & Culture

January 09, 2020 

By Brittany K. Jackson 

Contributing Writer 

 

Recently, the Sentinel attended the Los Angeles screening of “Just Mercy,” the critically acclaimed film detailing the raw truths and stark biases found in America’s criminal justice system. Starring Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan and Oscar award-winning actor Jamie Foxx, “Just Mercy” trails the journey of Bryan Stevenson (Jordan), a young Black lawyer and Harvard graduate who makes it his life’s mission to vindicate the wrongfully accused and underrepresented and Walter McMillan (Foxx), a Black man from Alabama, who in 1987, was wrongfully convicted for the notorious murder of an 18-year old girl.

 

Held at the Cinemark Theater in Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw, the star-studded and action-packed event also included appearances from co-stars Karan Kendrick, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Brie Larson, along with special appearances from actors Morris Chestnut and Elise Neal. Laker legend Kobe Bryant and emcee legend, Terrence J also made a grand entrance, serving as the night’s hosts.

 

In the film, you’ll find that Stevenson and McMillan initially present many polarities, but when their worlds collide, the pair find an unorthodox and sometimes inhumane ways that their plight as Black men and desire for justice is the same.

 

Jordan, also known for starring in “Fruitvale Station” and “Creed” says the film fits a trajectory that forces communities of color to take ownership of their narrative and use it to embrace change.  Jordan says for so long, people of color have felt intimidated, paralyzed and stuck when they speak up for justice and don’t see results. “I feel like Bryan Stevenson’s message, who he is, is fighting for the things that we care about, the things that we’re actively fighting for all the time on social media,” Jordan said.

 

Jordan says that “through solidarity, through community, demanding answers from broken systems and identifying leaders like Bryan Stevenson,” people of color are in better position to overcome cyclical trauma. “There’s a lot of things that need to happen in order to overcome hundreds and hundreds of years of systemic oppression. We’re in the infancy stages of that, so we’ll see what happens,” Jordan proclaimed.

 

Bryan Stevenson also agrees with this sentiment, declaring that justice must be met with a higher level of reckoning and accountability in communities of color. “We’re going to have to do something about access to justice,” Stevenson said. “We have a system that treats you better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent and that has to change,” he continued.

 

Stevenson says we must “commit to telling the truth about our history of racial inequality” and that not doing so has “created the smog in the air we’re breathing in.” “We’ve not really talked about the legacy of slavery and its impact on our nation. We haven’t talked about the terrorism and lynching that brought Black people to communities like L.A. and Oakland. We haven’t really dealt with the presumption of dangerousness and guilt that gets assigned to Black people.”

 

Foxx, who’s committed a lifetime to creating art that speaks truth, such as in the films “Ray” and “Django,” says “‘Just Mercy’ and Bryan Stevenson is so important because it’s real.”

 

“It’s not fictitious, it’s not a social media campaign; Michael B. Jordan, what he did in ‘Fruitvale Station’ was amazing because that narrative touched us, then he takes that same narrative into ‘Black Panther’ on a bigger stage. He could have done any movie that he wanted to do, instead he did something that was important to us,” Foxx said. 

 

Foxx also encouraged audiences not to get “fatigued” when it comes to the fight for justice.

 

“Come see this wonderful film, be entertained by it. There are some incredible performances and afterwards, it’s going to make you feel a certain kind of way, you’re going to want to get up and do your thing,” he stated.

 

Actress Karan Kendrick stars as wife Minnie McMillan in the film and says that in America, “we have somehow normalized the trauma of Black and Brown people” and her goal was to bring the depth of that trauma to the forefront. 

 

“Minnie McMillan is still with us and I thought well, she’ll see this, and what do I want her to feel? For me it was about her feeling seen, and heard and understood and not marginalized, not judged for the choices that she was making; and hopefully em­braced as a human being, not as a strong Black woman,” Kendrick said.

 

“That’s a part of who she is, but as a person she’s had to endure this trauma for herself, for her husband and for her family. Minnie McMillan has every reason to walk away but she chooses to stand,” Kendrick continued.

 

The Sentinel also caught up with O’Shea Jackson Jr., who portrays a unique role in the film, bound to a jail cell while serving a 30-year sentence on death row. Jackson’s Jr.’s character lends to the attitude of hope, finding solace in a place not intended for freedom, truth or redemption.

 

When asked what advice he would offer to young men of color who’ve experienced generational cycles of oppression, Jackson Jr. said simply, to strengthen the mind. 

 

“You have to build your knowledge and have a better understanding of things, or you’ll just go into the world blindly. You can’t always go off emotion,” he said.

 

“The heart can’t get what it wants all the time. If the heart had a good idea, it’d be called the brain,” he uttered jokingly. “You have to look before you leap a little bit and you have to make sure you’re educated on the rules of the game because you won’t even know when you’re losing,” Jackson Jr. concluded.

 

“Just Mercy” is set to hit theatres nationwide on January 10, 2020. For exclusive interviews with the cast and crew, visit www.lasentinel.net.

Category: Arts & Culture

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