Sunday, January 31, 2010

Serena wins another Australian Open!

Serena Williams poses with the Daphne Akhurst Trophy after VICTORY IN HER WOMEN’S SINGLES FINAL MATCH against Belgian opponent Justine Henin at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Friday, January 30.

Serena, who is the #1 ranked Female Tennis player in the world, also took home another doubles victory with her older sister, Venus Williams

Miss Virginia wins Miss America Pageant 2010

A 22-year-old Virginia woman who said she once thought her only talent was singing is the nation's newest Miss America, emerging from a field of 53 contestants picked for their beauty, compassion and interview savvy.

Caressa Cameron, a broadcast journalism student at Virginia Commonwealth University, now plans a second year away from college as she travels extensively to raise money for charity and carry the 89-year-old pageant's crown.

"I hope to gain inspiration, I hope to gain momentum so that when this 365 days is over, I can shoot through the moon," Cameron told The Associated Press.

Cameron, the first black Miss America since Ericka Dunlap in 2005, says she wants to get a master's degree and eventually become a news anchor.

Cameron, the daughter of a background researcher for the government and a contractor, said she was inspired to compete in pageants at age 14, when Miss Virginia 2003 Nancy Redd visited her school.

"At that time, all I knew that I could do was sing — that's all I had," the Fredericksburg, Va., native said.

Cameron said that after that visit, she decided to try out for a school musical, which snowballed into more opportunities in the arts, drama and other areas.

"More doors and more doors continued to open," she said. "It's so important that we reach our young people, because there are so many young people that are at the very same crossroads that I was at."

"We need those people to let them know that just because your circumstances are a certain way, you don't have to succumb to them," she said. "You can do something amazing, like become Miss America."

Cameron won the title and a $50,000 scholarship Saturday night after strutting in a skintight yellow dress, belting Beyonce's "Listen" from "Dreamgirls" and advising parents to limit video games and television when asked about childhood obesity during an onstage interview.

"We need to get our kids back outside, playing with sticks in the street like I did when I was little," she said. "Expand your mind, go outside and get to see what this world is like."

Congrats Caressa!!!!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gabourney Sidibe covers March issue of Ebony

Precious Star Gabourey Sidibe is covering the pages of the March issue of Ebony. And she’s dishing on working with Mo’Nique and director Lee Daniels changing her life. Essence Magazine reports:

With the Academy Awards right around the corner, Ebony moved far beyond the silver screen to zero in on the power of the image as it relates to African-Americans. For this March issue, Precious star and first-time film actor Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe provides the essential backdrop to help examine what power really means. In a league of her own, she has definitely defied the “classic beauty” image in today’s movie industry. Yet, she possesses the kind of inner strength, courage and freedom that most of us would love to call our own.

“I wake up with myself every morning, so the only opinion that really matters is mine,” says Sidibe.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Did you know that this day is also known as the National Day of Service?

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?" And it is in that spirit that the National Day of Service takes place today, on a holiday celebrating a man who lived and died in service to others.

At the urging of President Barack Obama, all Americans are encouraged to roll up their sleeves today and volunteer to help others — as a way to honor Dr. King, and simply assist your fellow man.

"Recognizing that our Nation has yet to reach Dr. King's promised land is not an admission of defeat, but a call to action. In these challenging times, too many Americans face limited opportunities, but our capacity to support each other remains limitless," President Obama declared Friday in a proclamation related to MLK, Jr. Day and the National Day of Service.

For 365 ways to serve, click here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Zoe Kravitz in Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair spotlights its "Women to Watch for in 2010" and includes actress Zoe Kravitz. The 21-year-old daughter of rocker Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet has four films due out this year.

Gabby Sidibe shows her confidence

Golden Globe-nominated actress Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe recently posed for the February issue of Harpar’s Bazaar and spoke about her confidence and frustrations with the media.On doing the Harper’s Bazaar shoot:

On doing the Harper’s Bazaar shoot:
“I feel like a model. It justifies everyone in my life who told me I wouldn’t be anything until I lost weight. It justifies that little girl who cried because she didn’t think she could be in front of the camera. And it’s for other girls who feel like they can’t do this or that and feel like they’re not pretty and not worthy of having their photo taken.”

On her confidence:
“People always ask me, ‘You have so much confidence. Where did that come from?’ It came from me. One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl. I wear colors that I really like, I wear makeup that makes me feel pretty, and it really helps. It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see.”

On her frustration with some media synopsis’ of Precious:
“‘Gabby Sidibe is an overweight black girl who is illiterate and pregnant by her father,’” she parrots. “Look, I am black. I’m also overweight, but that’s not the point of the story. The point is the abuse and her bravery. This stuff happens to skinny people, to white people, to so many different people that they’ve missed the point if they say it’s about a fat girl.”

Are you kidding!!! H&M and Walmart destroy and trash unsold clothes!

This week the New York Times reported a disheartening story about two of the largest retail chains. You see, instead of taking unsold items to sample sales or donating them to people in need, H&M and Wal-Mart have been throwing them out in giant trash bags. And in the case that someone may stumble on these bags and try to keep or re-sell the items, these companies have gone ahead and slashed up garments, cut off the sleeves of coats, and sliced holes in shoes so they are unwearable.

This unsettling discovery was made by graduate student Cynthia Magnus outside the back entrance of H&M on 35th street in New York City. Just a few doors down, she also found hundreds of Wal-Mart tagged items with holes made in them that were dumped by a contractor. On December 7, she spotted 20 bags of clothing outside of H&M including, "gloves with the fingers cut off, warm socks, cute patent leather Mary Jane school shoes, maybe for fourth graders, with the instep cut up with a scissor, men’s jackets, slashed across the body and the arms. The puffy fiber fill was coming out in big white cotton balls.”

The New York Times points out that one-third of the city's population is poor, which makes this behavior not only wasteful and sad, but downright irresponsible. Wal-Mart spokeswoman, Melissa Hill, acted surprised that these items were found, claiming they typically donate all unworn merchandise to charity. When reporters went around the corner from H&M to a collections drop-off for charity organization New York Cares, spokesperson Colleen Farrell said, “We’d be glad to take unworn coats, and companies often send them to us."

After several days of no response from H&M, the company made a statement today, promising to stop destroying the garments at the midtown Manhattan location. They said they will donate the items to charity. H&M spokeswoman Nicole Christie said, "It will not happen again," and that the company would make sure none of the other locations would do so either. Hopefully that's the final word.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Do Something: New Year's Resolutions

It's that time again, when we reflect on the events of the past year with a mind to self improvement. Here are our 5 picks for this year's resolutions.

1) Get physically fit - for health's sake!
January is a very busy time in gyms and recreational centers, but most people sign up to sweat with weight loss in mind. If you want and need to lose weight then this is a noble resolution to make, but all of us can benefit from adopting a healthy fitness regimine. African-American teens are chronically "under-fit" and it is time that we all shaped up. Getting fit will increase your energy level, make your complexion glow, keep illness at bay, keep your mind sharp and yes, even make your clothes fit better. Give fitness a try, whether losing weight is among your goals or not, because being fit is great!

2) Give some of your time away - become a volunteer!
Now is the time to focus on our desire to help when the world seems determined to make us see how people cause hurt. There is great satisfaction in helping others, in doing something to somehow make the world a better place. In volunteering you can find out first hand how great it is to be among those who make a positive difference in this increasingly crazy world.

3) Study hard - plan for the future today!
It seems like an eternity has yet to pass before you have to worry about a career, but the clock is ticking faster than you realize. Before you know it you will be graduating into the adult world. Getting good grades now can help lay a solid foundation for you to make all of your dreams come true. By taking the time to do your best in school now you insure greater opportunities in life when you are an adult. The best favour the young you can do for the grown up you is make the extra effort to do well in school right now. Even if school is very difficult for you, even if you have a learning difference, you will always benefit from trying your very best.

4) Just say no! Stay away from drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.
At Teen Advice we spend a lot of time looking at the darker temptations of youth; drugs, alcohol and smoking. Almost every teen will cross paths with one of these "foes" before they become adults, the trick to beating them is to be prepared for them. When trying one of these vices most teens site peer pressure as the number one factor in influencing them to experiment. This year, resolve to beat peer pressure whenever, and where ever, it challenges you.

5) Lose weight if you need to, stay fit if you don't.
Youth and dieting is a very controversial issue. While obesity in children and teens is at an all time high in the Western world, the reality of eating disorders and unrealistic ideals can't be ignored. Some teens really do need to lose weight but many do not. How can you tell if you should go on a diet? We have eight questions you must ask yourself before going on any sort of weight loss program.

Friday, January 1, 2010