Queen Latifah Nabs Third Screen Actors Guild Award

Bessie

All hail the Queen!

Queen Latifah just took home the Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for her role in HBO’s Bessie.

“I’m in shock right now,” Latifah said in her acceptance speech. “Thank you so much!”

Latifah continued in the hopes of inspiring others to pursue their dreams no matter what.

“I hope that anyone out there who does not come in the package people say you should,” Latifah added. “Keep fighting for it. Flip those rocks over. Keep pushing, keep turning. You can do it. You build your own boxes, not people. So knock that thing away, and do you!”

Latifah is a veteran when it comes to the SAG Awards—the multi-talented actress snagged her first award in 2003 for her role in Chicago, and then again in 2008 for Life Support.

Congrats, Queen Latifah!

 

 

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Feature: Victoria Coker

Victoria Coker

Victoria Coker whom owns  ClredContent aims to become the premier source for quality black web series. The platform was created to amplify the voices of black media creators by showcasing narratives from a variety of genres, including: comedy, romance, and action. We believe that by creating a place for black people to share their stories the community will be empowered. ClredContent.com is a part of the CLRED Media, Inc.

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Nikki Woods’ Keys to Success: Build Your Brand and Become a Legacy

nikki-woods

BlackEnterprise.com recently had the pleasure of meeting media personality, entrepreneur, and current Senior Producer for The Tom Joyner Morning Show – Nikki Woods(@NikkiWoods).

The Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS) is the #1 syndicated urban morning show in the nation, reaching over 8 million people daily. Beginning her career almost twenty years ago in television, and later transitioning to radio, Nikki is also an on-air contributor to the TJMS. Her previous endeavors led to TV and radio shows in Boston, Connecticut, St. Louis, Chicago, and Dallas, where her current position is at the TJMS.

[Related: 7 Facts You Should Know About Venus Williams Off The Court Business Smarts]

Nikki has managed to give 100% to the TJMS, as well as a 100% to her own team at Nikki Woods Media. Balance between the two is a result of recognizing the value-add both teams give each other. Nikki Woods Media was birthed 7 years ago, when businesses truly began to develop platforms on social media. Nikki Woods Media is a tool which assists people with creating their own platform to build their brand, their business, and reach their goals.

Nikki shared some strategies that helped to formulate her success:

Success Requires a Certain Level of Persistence
You will experience being told ‘no.’ Instead of taking it as a ‘no,’ consider it a ‘not now’ and remain persistent if it’s something you really want. In her career, Nikki has benefited from remaining determined, not giving up and pursuing her goals. Although she experienced fear, (Nikki believes there’s always that little clinch in your stomach when someone entrusts you to do something) she kept going. Instead of being afraid of failing, operate in a space of faith and continue to push forward!

Always Be a Student
Resist getting to the point where you think you know everything. Don’t become comfortable where you are, but be willing to elevate your level of excellence. You’re only as strong as your support system, so surround yourself with people that support you and will challenge you to succeed. Be open to learn and glean from the resources around you. Mentors in Nikki’s life included her father Elroy Smith, who gave her the first position she had; Bonnie Deshong, both a competitor and a mentor; along with others such as Tom Joyner from the TJMS.

Preparation and Flexibility
Some say, “Always be prepared.” Others say, “Just go with the flow!” Nikki says both. She believes you should definitely work and prepare, but sometimes done is better than perfect. Don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in preparing that you neglect to even start. Nikki maintains a consistent and constant level of learning so she is prepared at every moment, but she’s not preparing to the point that she’s not producing. Entrepreneurs must possess the ability to be prepared yet flexible, expecting the unexpected. By being tested and challenged, Nikki has mastered those skills and grown because of it. There were times she realized she couldn’t stay on her current course – she had to shift.

Business Should Be About Building a Legacy
Nikki’s company philosophy is that writing a book is the most efficient way to grow your brand, your business, and build your speaking platform. This is the fastest way to be seen as an expert, which is why she is currently working on her second collaboration book project. The first book, titled Shift, features twenty women sharing stores of strength, courage, and succeeding against the odds. Nikki is building a legacy by building her brand and investing in the success of others like you.

Nikki Woods empowers others to create more by telling their own stories.  Learn how you can become a best- selling author on her website wannabeanauthor.com.

 

 

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Stephanie Ready Becomes First Full-Time Female NBA Analyst

Stephanie-Ready

FOX Sports Southeast has announced that Stephanie Ready will be moving from sideline reporter for the Charlotte Hornets to game analyst, alongside Dell Curry and Eric Collins. While other women, including Ann Meyers and Nancy Lieberman, have served as occasional analysts for the NBA, Ready will be the league’s first full-time female analyst.

“I am thrilled – I’m over the moon with excitement,” she tells NBA.com. “When I was a coach and considered getting into television, this was the job that I wanted. This was the reason that I got into sports broadcasting, because I wanted to be a game analyst.”

[Related: Dwyane Wade Talks Brand Innovation and Product Development]

Ready grew up in the suburbs of Maryland and attended Coppin State University in Baltimore, where she played on the women’s basketball team and later helped with recruiting and coaching for the men’s team. Afterwards, she moved to the NBA Development League and worked as an assistant coach for the Greenville Groove in South Carolina, until the team folded.

After doing a bit of broadcasting and sending her tapes to ESPN, Ready received a call to broadcast for women’s sports. That work led her to eventually get into men’s sports and link with Bob Johnson’s new team in Charlotte, to do local reporting there. Working as a sideline reporter and host of Hornets Live, this will be Ready’s 12th season with Charlotte, except this time she will have a full-time seat at the analyst booth.

“Even though I’ve done it all these years – some college games and some NBA games on a fill-in basis – this will be the first time I get to focus primarily on the job that I love the most in television. I couldn’t be more excited,” she said.

 

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Feature: Luenell

Luenell

Luenell is a force of nature. This talented comedienne, actress and singer, was born in Tollette, Arkansas, a town whose population barely registers with the U.S. census. At the tender age of 10, she caught the acting bug after seeing the plays South Pacific and Ain’t S’posed to Die a Natural Death. She enrolled in theatre classes at the grade school level and continued to study through college and cut her teeth at the Oakland Ensemble Theatre.

In March of 1995, Luenell’s mom passed away and one month later  she discovered she was pregnant. Some months later, a beautiful daughter Da’Nelle was born and she is the joy of her life, her “miracle child” as Luenell puts it.

Not long after this however, Luenell got a rude awakening. Luenell was sentenced to 365 days in jail for a series of indiscretions taken while working at a bank months earlier. It played out like an episode of Lil’ Kim on Court TV. She eventually served just over 4 months.

These days, Luenell’s life is on track. Her star continues to rise due to her appearances in television, film and music videos.  Best know for her breakthrough role as the “hooker with the heart of gold” in the blockbuster comedy of 2006 “Borat” – Luenell is recognized by both mainstream AND urban sectors of the population. Her two-year tour and DVD appearances in “Katt Williams American Hustle” have created an almost cult-like following.

Luenell had an amazing 2012 with appearances in three #1 feature films – “Think Like A Man” with Arielle Kebell and Meagan Good, 3D animated hit “Hotel Transylvania” with Adam Sandler, and “Taken 2″ with Liam Neeson. She also starred in the hilarious comedy “That’s My Boy” with Adam Sandler and Leighton Meester.

Luenell hasn’t been short on television appearances either with recent episodes of “The Middle” and “Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” as well as stand-up appearances on “Snoop Dog’s Bad Girls of Comedy” on SHOWTIME and “Stand-up In Stilettos” on the TV Guide Network.

Luenell is living her dream.  With such an intriguing past, one would wonder how can she be so funny, but it’s just that…life.  Her reputation as a comic superstar continues to flourish, “…comedy demolition machine” (EURweb report) “a sidesplitting high wired act without a net…” (Scoop LA), “…comedy to die for.” (Metro LA)  “…one of the top 25 funniest people in LA (Los Angeles Magazine) and the accolades continue to roll.

 

 

 

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Danielle Brooks to Star in Broadway’s The Color Purple

Danielle Brooks

As many are anticipating the upcoming new season of Orange is The New Black, Danielle Brooks fans will be elated to know that the star has landed a new role in Broadway’s The Color Purple.

According to Variety, Brooks will play the role of Sofia, which was portrayed by Oprah Winfrey in the film. Winfrey will serve as the producer this time around, as she did in 2005 when the production first hit Broadway. Brooks, who is known for her role as Tastee on OITNB, will make her Broadway debut alongside Jennifer Hudson, who was cast as Shug Avery, and British actress, Cynthia Erivo, who was cast as Celie.

Brooks, who’s been making major strides as an actress since starring on OITNB, is soon to be featured in the upcoming animated Angry Birds movie. And though she doesn’t have much professional musical experience, she tells Variety she’s been singing all her life. “I grew up singing in church as a little girl,” she revealed. The actress expects to film the fourth season of Orange is the New Black while appearing in The Color Purple, which starts performances in November.

For more information about Brooks’ appearance in The Color Purple, visit Variety.

 

 

 

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Feature: Grace Gealey

Grace G

Famous for playing Anika Calhoun on the musical soap opera Empire, Gealey is also known for her professional theatrical work, which includes performances in off Broadway and Chicago productions of Venus Flytrap and Tartuffe.

She received an undergraduate degree in Theater from the University at South Florida and an MFA in Acting from the University of California, Irvine.

Empire, which began airing on the Fox network in 2015, marked her television debut.

The child of deaf parents, she was born in Butler, Pennsylvania, and raised primarily in the Cayman Islands.

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