Keyshia Cole got me Rethinking this Younger Bae Thing

Niko Khale & Keyshia Cole 
By Mwabi Kaira

I  have never been interested in dating anyone younger than me. I’m talking two months younger and I’m disinterested. I’ve always preferred to date older, I’ll even go 15 years older. Recently, there has been a 29-year-old fella that’s been trying to get with your girl and I haven’t gone past flirting cause he’s 29. If we are calculating then he is only 10 years older than my son and the way my mind is set up, that’s all I’d think about if I ever agreed to his advances. Everyone has been telling me to get over it and get my cougar on but it’s just been one of those things I’ve refused to budge on until Keyshia Cole.

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The Confusion of Tyler Perry’s Acrimony


By Mwabi Kaira

When I saw the trailer for Tyler Perry’s Acrimony starring Taraji P. Henson, I didn’t immediately want to call up my girls and make a movie date. The trailer showed a woman scorned and out for revenge and that’s just not something that appeals to me. I’m one of those people who takes the Iyanla Vanzant Fix My Life approach to things like this. I prefer the ‘work on myself’ approach while sending the one who wronged me love and light believing that karma always works. But when I listened to Tyler Perry on the Essence Yes Girl podcast and he said there was a twist in the movie, and I saw some status updates saying that the movie wasn’t like the trailer, I decided to go and see it for myself.

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Tiffany Haddish and Tracy Morgan Bring the Laughs in 'The Last O.G.'

Tiffany Haddish & Tracy Morgan
By Mwabi Kaira

One thing people that do time wish for is a pause button. They want to come home from their bid and find things as they left them. In the new TBS sitcom The Last O.G. Tray (Tracy Morgan) is a Brooklyn hustler who gets busted for on-the corner activities that sends him away to prison for 15 years. The night he gets busted, he and his girl Shay (Tiffany Haddish) are cuddled on the couch watching Kelly Clarkson about to win American Idol. Shay laying on his chest and the laughter and jokes they share right when she is about to tell him something are not a strong enough pull to keep Tray from the corner when summoned. Shay begs him not to go but he does. She watches him get arrested from her window.

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Roxanne Roxanne: The Roxanne Shanté Story on Netflix!

Roxanne Shante via Getty Images
By Mwabi Kaira

Before Cardi B, Nikki Minaj, Remy Ma, Lil Kim, Eve, Foxy Brown, Queen Latifah, Salt & Pepper and every female rapper you can think of, there was Roxanne Shanté. 14-year-old Lolita Shanté Gooden released her debut single Roxanne Speaks Out in 1984 and became rap’s first female star. She released Roxanne Roxanne and The Real Roxanne and both albums hit the Billboard chart. The Queensbridge native had a gift for freestyling and her battles became epic both in the street and on wax; the Roxanne Wars were a yearlong saga that followed Roxanne and her rivals. Roxanne didn’t care who she battled and she commanded respect and made male rappers take notice.

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'From the Bottom Up' Season 3 Rebuilds With a New Cast

 Cast of 'From the Bottom Up' Season 3
 By Mwabi Kaira

The court of public opinion is tough. One misleading headline or wrong information can change a person’s whole life and there’s no convincing anyone of the truth once the untruth is out there. Our judicial system is even worse, you can serve your time but forever have the label follow you. We talk redemption but barely allow it. We are quick to throw people away instead of rehabilitating them and welcoming them back to society with no judgement.

BET Her’s From the Bottom Up takes black women who have been to the bottom and are making their way back to the top. In the Season 3 opener we meet new cast members Brandi Davis, Angela Stanton and Tamika Wright. Brandi and Angela served time in prison and are navigating their lives as convicted felons now that they are back home.

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Tiffany Haddish Keeps Her Word & Honors Her Father & Eritrea at the Oscars

Photo Tiffany Haddish at the 2018 Oscars
By Mwabi Kaira

It took years for Tiffany Haddish to find her Eritrean father, Tsihaye Reda Haddish, after a turbulent childhood that includes foster care. She didn’t give up her search and was happy to be reunited with him and connect as a young woman. Although everything between them wasn’t always smooth sailing, they established a relationship until his untimely death last year just as her Hollywood star was rising.

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Black Panther Blew Our Minds, Now What?

Photo via The Root
By Mwabi Kaira

It’s been days since I saw Black Panther and I’m still thinking about it. There was so much to digest and I know I’ll have to see it several more times to fully receive all the messaging and beauty of it all. Not since the history making November night in 2008 when Barack Obama became President have I witnessed black people come together and share excitement collectively. It was such a beautiful sight to witness and I know I will cherish this moment for the rest of my days.

The Rebirth of Brownstone’s Nicci Gilbert: From The Bottom Up


Nicci Gilbert 
By Mwabi Kaira

Twenty four years ago, Detroit native Nichole “Nicci” Gilbert burst onto the music scene with her powerhouse vocals. She, Monica "Mimi" Doby, and Charmayne Maxena "Maxee" Maxwell were the founding members of Grammy-nominated Brownstone, the first group signed to Michael Jackson’s MJJ Music record label. Brownstone had 2 successful albums that spawned the hits including “If You Love Me,” “Grapevyne,” “I Can’t Tell You Why,” and “5 Miles To Empty.” The group won a Billboard music award for “If You Love Me.”

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T.I. & Walmart Give Away Black Panther Tickets in ATL & It Was Lit!

T.I. & Family (photo: MichaelWalker/UmeekImages)
By Mwabi Kaira

Tip Harris aka rapper T.I. teamed up with Walmart to give away free tickets to an advance screening of Black Panther in Atlanta last night, and it was fiyah! Walmart chose to partner with T.I. because of his unwavering commitment to his community and because the movie was shot in Atlanta. Lucky ticket holders came to Regal Hollywood in Chamblee and filled 2 theaters while enjoying the movie in 3D. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms brought her family and joined Atlanta celebrities including T.I. and his family, television host and author Egypt, Sheree Whitfield of Real Housewives of Atlanta, Tye White of Greenleaf, and Ms. Juicy of Little Women, just to name a few...

Are We Here for the 90’s Sitcom Resurgence?


By Mwabi Kaira

Despite having so many choices of shows with people of color to watch on TV or streaming services these days, the internet exploded last week when there were hints about a Martin reboot coming back. It started with Martin’s fiance, Roberta Moradfar posting, “Got word from my fiancé that my favorite show may be coming back..." Martin responded with an eye emoji and the story took off. That was followed up by co-stars Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell-Martin, and Tichina Arnold being photographed after a lunch date. They were mum when asked about a reboot but Tisha was wearing an outfit with one of the show’s famous lines: “That Ain’t No Damn Puppy.”

Reaction has been mixed from twitter users being ecstatic and coming up with story lines to others being 100% against it and asking that such a classic show be left alone. 

Actress Tiffany Haddish Gets Emo Visiting Eritrean Relatives For The First Time

Friends Dionne & Precious with Tiffany Haddish in Eritrea via eastAFRO.com
By Mwabi Kaira

I laughed along with millions watching last summer’s blockbuster Girls Trip and discovered breakout star Tiffany Haddish. I didn’t remember seeing her in anything else before this and saw her everywhere after. Her Breakfast Club interview stood out the most to me; she had quite a story to tell that went beyond the jokes. When she said her father was from Eritrea, the small Northeast African country on the red sea coast, I was even more intrigued.

Netflix's 'Step Sisters' is a Lesson in What's Off Limits

Megalyn Echikunwoke & Naturi Naughton 
By Mwabi Kaira

I didn’t see the trailer for Step Sisters, a Netflix original film starring Megalyn Echikunwoke and Naturi Naughton when it hit the internet weeks ago but I heard the uproar. Black folks said no, nope, nah son, not today, and stop the madness to the storyline of a Black sorority president teaching a white sorority to step in order to save their chapter. The message was clear; leave our stuff alone and stop appropriating all we hold so dear.

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Lupita Nyong'o Celebrates Her Skin With Children's Book 'Sulwe'

Photo via filmsor.net
By Mwabi Kaira

In the ongoing conversation about skin hues and how uncomfortable the world seems to be with dark skin, Academy award winner Lupita Nyong’o has fared well and seems to have come through pretty unscathed since emerging in the public eye back in 2013. Other than former NBA player Gilbert Arenas dumb remarks about Lupita only being cute with the lights off, Lupita is a media darling and well loved and accepted. She is a red carpet favorite and always makes the best dressed lists. She has been on the cover of multiple magazines including Vogue, Elle, Essence, In Style, Marie Claire, Glamour, and was even named one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful while making the cover. She is the face of Lancome ads, and has dolls made in her likeness. Her poise and classiness are bar none and the fact that she has accomplished everything while celebrating her natural beauty make her the epitome of black girl magic.

Lupita will team with Simon & Schuster to write her debut children’s book “Sulwe."

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Must See TV: 'Black Lightning' and '9-1-1'

Nafessa Williams, Cress Williams, China Anne McClain
By Mwabi Kaira

It's been a long time since black audiences have had an actual variety of shows led by an entirely black cast or lead black actors to choose from. It feels like a 90’s resurgence right now and boy, does it feel great! These two shows are off to a great start and they are MUST SEE TV.

Proud Mary Entertains at the Box Office!

Taraji P. Henson
By Mwabi Kaira

When I first saw the Proud Mary trailer over the holidays I knew that this would be the movie that would take me back to the theaters. I hadn’t been to the movies since Girl’s Trip back in the summer. The trailer showed Taraji P. Henson being a badass, the poster was shaped like an afro and all I could think of was that this was going to be the updated female blaxploitation like Foxy Brown, Coffy, and Cleopatra Jones.

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Showtime's 'The Chi' Shows the Humanity of Chicago


The Chi Cast
By Mwabi Kaira

Chicago was known for deep dish pizza, the greatness of Michael Jordan as a Bulls player and the once upon a time genius of Kanye West until gun violence took over as its focal point. Some have suggested that the National Guard and The United Nations step in to help gun violence in the city. Two Chicago natives have had enough of hearing about the ills of their beloved hometown and have done something about it.

Emmy award winner Lena Waithe co-wrote the new Showtime series The Chi, and Grammy/Emmy and Oscar-winning rapper Common executive produced it to show a different narrative. Lena got the inspiration for the show after watching yet another news report about gun violence in the city. The Chi follows four working-class families on the South Side of Chicago as they face their highs and lows. Crime constantly threatens to destroy their worlds.

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Grown-ish Gives Us the Real on Millennial College Life

Yara Shahidi & the cast of Grown-ish
By Mwabi Kaira

Fans of the Johnson family on ABC’s hit show Black-ish now have Grown-ish to fall in love with. The oldest of the Johnson clan, Zoey played by Yara Shahidi, is off to college and a spin off is born just like Denise Huxtable of the Cosby Show. Denise went to Hillman, a fictional HBCU school in A Different World and Zoey goes the Higher Learning route (shout out to Malik, Deja and Fudge) and goes to California University of Liberal Arts where she is in the minority.

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Action Packed Film 'Down for Whatever' is Coming to TV One in 2018!

LeToya Luckett, Bre-Z, and Hosea Chanchez
By Mwabi Kaira

TV One recently announced production of the original film, 'Down for Whatever,' the network’s first film in the action-thriller genre. Written by Tim Folsome, the film is a 2017 American Black Film Festival  (ABFF) winning screenplay, that will star fan favorite and newly married LeToya Luckett as Tracy, a young successful doctor and her detective husband Mike will be played by Hosea Chanchez of 'The Game' fame. Production will take place in Atlanta, Georgia.

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5 Things Moms Are Teaching Their Sons About Rape


By Mwabi Kaira

When rape and sexual harassment claims were brought against Harvey Weinstein we knew it was a serious issue but were able to keep it “over there” until Lupita Nyong’o spoke out. It became an ‘us’ thing and we were on high alert. Then Terry Crews spoke out and it was hard to wrap our minds around a man of his stature being violated by another man in front of his wife. But since allegations have recently been brought against Russell Simmons the conversation has shifted to us. Nine women have accused the media mogul of sexual harassment and assault. Four of these women, Drew Dixon, Toni Sallie, Tina Baker and Sherri Hines have accused Simmons of rape and the NYPD has opened an investigation. In response, Russell has started his own hashtag #NotMe to state his innocence.

This is a teachable moment for our sons and we cannot ignore the important conversation that needs to be had. I have taught my sons about accountability since they were young in all areas of their lives including sex. I have many friends who are raising sons as well and I reached out to them to ask what they are teaching them about rape. Their sons range in age from 16 to 21 and are athletes, one plays in the league. We had a long discussion and this is what we are teaching our sons about what they should know about rape...

Taking A Stand: 'The Good Place' Actor Reveals He's DACA


Bambadjan Bamba 
By Mwabi Kaira

"The Sunday before the announcement, the President called a national day of prayer for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. So I posted on social media, “here’s one thing we can agree on.” Then a friend hit me up and said, ‘what are you agreeing with him for? He wants to cancel DACA!’ I thought, no way. Then sure enough, the following week they announced the cancellation. My heart sank. It was the same hopelessness that I felt before I got DACA. I looked at my daughter and I knew I had to do something." -Bambadjan Bamba

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