Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vogue issue featuring all black models sells out globally!


As reported by UK news source The Guardian, in the past four weeks, the July Issue of Italian Vogue has caused such a phenomenal demand at news-stands in Britain and the United States that Condé Nast, the publisher, has rushed to reprint and distribute 40,000 more copies.

Conceived by editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani, and shot by Steven Meisel from a roster of 18 new, established and former stars, the July 'black issue' sold out in Britain on arrival. Borders bookstores in the country have reported that demand was up 654% from the previous issue.

"It has been unprecedented, a sensation, although that wasn't the aim," said Jonathan Newhouse, chairman of Condé Nast International. Here in the States, the issue is shrink-wrapped and stickered with the words "First Reprint. The Most Wanted Issue Ever."

Disney's The Princess and the Frog



Disney released the teaser trailer for their 48th animated musical “The Princess and the Frog” this week. The film based off the classic fairy tale The Frog Princess, is set in New Orleans during the 1920s with Disney’s first Black princess Tiana. The movie is set to hit theaters on Christmas of 2009…

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Trailer: Tyler Perry's A Family That Preys


The Family That Preys is an upcoming 2008 comedy-drama film written and directed by Tyler Perry, who also co-produced and co-stars. The film starring Alfre Woodard, Kathy Bates, Sanaa Lathan.

The film focuses on "two families from different sides of the tracks that become intimately involved in love and business". All I can say about this is that this is going to be SOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOD!!!! The release date is set for September!!!

Victoria's Secret Pink Adds HBCU's to their college apparel line



When Victoria’s Secret Pink rolled out its nationwide collegiate collection in June, featuring the names and logos of some 33 universities on sweats, hoodies, football tees, and totes, the promotion didn’t include any historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). This fall, the brand plans to include five HBCUs in the second phase of its collegiate collection.

Pink, a collection of loungewear geared toward young, college-aged women, first appeared in Victoria’s Secret stores in 2004. The first HBCU schools that will roll off the Pink line will be Howard University, Florida A&M University, Hampton University, North Carolina A&T University, and Southern University.

“Black consumers are loyal to those companies and brands that are loyal to them,” says McGhee Williams Osse, co-CEO of Burrell Communications. “African American consumers want to be recognized and respected by corporations where we spend money, and those corporations [must remember] that they are competing for our dollars.”

“From a trend standpoint, I would say [black schools are] a very viable audience for Victoria’s Secret,” Osse says. “It is the type of retail operation that young, socially active, fashion-involved, African American women would be attracted to."

African-American girls off to India for a lesson in life


by Liz Bowie
www.baltimoresun.com

A summer journey to India for three girls from an inner-city Baltimore school began simply, in an after-school club that devoted itself to helping other people.

Today, three of the members of the club will take the next step when they board a plane to India that will take them on a three-week international volunteer program. The girls, who have never been on a plane or out of the country before, will learn about the culture of India, help build a school in a rural town there and teach games to children.

Their high school history teacher, Cheree Davis, started them on the road when she formed the after-school club through an Oprah Winfrey organization called O Ambassadors. The world history teacher said she has always believed that students should volunteer their time in some way.

Once the club was going well last school year, she said, the members were offered the opportunity to apply to go on a trip to another country. The three friends, who will all begin their junior year this fall, said they spent hours filling out the application and writing an essay about why they wanted to go to India and what they believed they could get out of it. The deadline came as they studied for midterms and the High School Assessments. LaKeisha's computer at home crashed, and she stayed up all night completing the information. "It was overwhelming," Indigo said.

Once the three were accepted, they really had to get to work, Davis said. O Ambassadors provided scholarships, but the students still had to raise thousands of dollars for their trip.

They did everything they could think of to promote the cause. Their principal agreed to dress up as a woman if the student body raised $3,000. (They didn't quite make the challenge.) Another teacher sponsored Cookie Friday, when she would sell home-baked cookies to students. Davis said she also received a $4,000 donation from the Vanguard Justice Society, a nonprofit group of local African-American law enforcement officers. In the end, the school was able to raise more than $6,000, Davis said.

"It has taken a long time and a lot of patience," Indigo said.

The girls said they hope to gain leadership skills in India that they will use next year to persuade other students to become more involved in service projects. "I think this will be a huge impact [on me]," LaKeisha said. She said she wants students in her school to explore the world at least through her India experiences and to understand "there is more to life than West Baltimore."

Christin's mother said she wanted her daughter to travel abroad and had been looking at a summer program for a year from now. "I think it will teach the kids how lucky and blessed they are to be living in the United States," said Gwendyln Morris.

New Music: Alicia Keys-Superwoman

Friday, July 25, 2008

New study shows girls measure up to boys in every grade and more enroll in advanced classes



Sixteen years after Barbie dolls declared, "Math class is tough!" girls are proving that when it comes to math they are just as tough as boys.

In the largest study of its kind, girls measured up to boys in every grade, from second through 11th. The research was released Thursday in the journal Science. Parents and teachers persist in thinking boys are simply better at math, said Janet Hyde, the University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher who led the study. And girls who grow up believing it wind up avoiding harder math classes.

"It keeps girls and women out of a lot of careers, particularly high-prestige, lucrative careers in science and technology," Hyde said.

"I've always said I want to be a scientist or maybe an accountant someday," 10-year-old Cara Geiger told CBS News correspondent Kelly Wallace.

While nearly as many women as men have undergraduate college degrees in math, women are still far behind in areas like physics and engineering, reports Wallace. But in primary and secondary school, girls have caught up, with researchers attributing that advance to increasing numbers of girls taking advanced math classes such as calculus.

FAMU offering scholarships to African-American females interested in computer science


The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Computer Information Sciences (CIS) Program, housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant valued at $552,000 dedicated to recruiting minority women to computer science and information technology disciplines.

“The numbers are staggering,” said Jason T. Black, Ph. D., assistant professor in CIS. “The latest data shows that out of all U.S. entering freshmen declaring a major in computer science, African-American women made up only 3.3 percent. The fact is that women are not choosing technology, and this is a dangerous predicament. When you couple that with the fact that it is estimated that 75 percent of all jobs by the year 2020 will require a technology background, it becomes a crisis call.”

The program, entitled African-American Women in Computer Science, (AAWCS), is a four-year program that provides scholarships and other assistance to women who express a financial need and an interest in computer science or information technology. AAWCS, created by Black, also the principal investigator for the program, and Edward L. Jones, Ph. D., chair of the CIS program, will directly address the dismal number of minority women, particularly African-American women that pursue degrees in computer science or information technology.

Women who apply to AAWCS will be accepted based on financial need, and will be awarded a scholarship of between $3,000 and $5,000 per semester. In addition to the funding, the women will participate in CIS departmental clubs and organizations, such as the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Club, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and the CIS Mentoring Organization (CISMO). AAWCS scholars will also be involved in other STEM programs, such as the Florida/Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (FGLSAMP) scholarship program, and the Students and Technology in Academia, Research and Service (STARS) Alliance, both NSF-funded programs.

An added benefit to the students is the conference participation, where selected AAWCS scholars will be chosen to attend two national conferences, paid for by the grant, each year, such as the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing and the National Conference of Women in Information Technology (NCWIT).

The AAWCS program begins operation on July 1 and will run until June 30, 2012. Applications for the program can be requested by contacting Black at jblack@cis.famu.edu or (850) 412-7354.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Simmons sisters launch Girl Scout sneaker

Angela and Vanessa Simmons’ Pastry division of Run Athletics will launch a new line of products benefiting the Girls Scouts of the USA, the company announced July 16th.

The Pastry Thin Mint Collection, consisting of women’s and kids shoes and a backpack, hits specialty retail stores across the country today, including Finish Line, Underground Station and Lady Foot Locker. A take on Pastry’s “Fab Cookie” sneaker, the Thin Mint Shoe will be available in chocolate and white, and incorporates the Girl Scout philosophy, scripted on the shoe’s outsole. The women’s shoe will retail around $70 with the kid’s version available for $45 and the coordinating backpack going for around $65.

"Our relationship with the Girl Scouts is deeply meaningful to us," explained Vanessa Simmons. "To have the opportunity to further support their efforts of empowering young women with the creation of the Thin Mint Collection is very special."

A portion of all proceeds from sales of the Thin Mint Collection will go directly to the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., the premier leadership organization serving 3.6 million girls and adult members across the country.

The Thin Mint Collection continues the relationship established between the Simmons sisters and the Girls Scouts Organization in 2007. Vanessa and Angela joined the organization as spokespersons for the “Make Girls Scouts Your Business” initiative, which encourages girls to participate in the various Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy programs.

Rihanna covers In Style Magazine


Rihanna poses on the cover of In Style's August issue. The R&B ingenue has become a style icon, thanks to her trademark hair and funky style.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rocsi walks off 106 & Park


Wondering why 106 & Park's had a parade of guest hosts recently? Well, sources say Rocsi quit! Watch the video where fellow co-host Terrance teases Rocsi which ultimately causes her to leave the stage during live broadcast. Can you say harassment? He seems sooooo immature. It is also rumored he's on the way out the door soon too. I think it's time for some new hosts anyway! Any suggestions?

View the video here!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys to star in new movie, "The Secret Lives of Bees"


Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson has signed to star in a movie adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's acclaimed 2003 novel "The Secret Life of Bees."

Hudson, who won an Oscar for "Dreamgirls", will play the friend of the film's central character, a 14-year-old girl who runs away from her abusive father and is taken in by a trio of bee-keeping sisters.

Queen Latifah and British actress Sophie Okonedo, nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 for "Hotel Rwanda" would play two of the sisters, while singer-actress Alicia Keys will play the third.

The release date of the film is set to be October 15th. I'm really looking forward to this one... make sure you all check it out!

Photo: www.cocoalounge.com

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New Music: Solange Knowles' I Decided (Pt. 1)



Solange Knowles is back on the scene with a new video for her latest endeavor, SoL-AngeL and The Hadley St. Dreams. I have yet to hear the album but I'm feeling this new video. I'm glad that she decided to step out and be different. I'm not sure her skills are as refined as her big sis but, hey, do what you do girl! I am definitely not mad at her! The song reminds me a little of The Supremes with a modern twist and the video is a brief visual history lesson. Because it is unique, I am giving it the Shenique thumbs up!