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Filed under: General News — Ryann Hayman @ 9:46 am


Just where will Michelle Obama “get her hair did” while living in the White House? Hair stylists in the Washington D.C. area are already angling to secure the soon-to-be First Lady as a client, reports the Associated Press.


      “I’m going to be doing her hair!” says positive thinker Barry Fletcher, the 52-year-old owner of The Hair Palace Salon in Mitchellville, Md. He cites his experience in international hairstyling challenges and working with actress Halle Berry and singer Mya, a D.C. native.


       “This would pretty much validate all of my hard work and effort to get to a level where I could handle a powerful queen like the First Lady,” added Fletcher, who sent Michelle Obama a 17-minute DVD about himself.       

       Hairdresser Keith Harley of Keith Harley Hair & Scalp Clinic in Arlington, Va. uploaded his resume to President-elect Barack Obama’s Web site a month ago.       

       “It would be the highlight of my career. It would be an honor,” said 39-year-old Harley, who styles Black Entertainment Television chief executive Debra Lee.            

       Nicole Cober-Blake, the 37-year-old lawyer-turned-owner of D.C.’s Soul Day Spa and Salon, plans to get her name in the mix by sending Michelle Obama a welcome basket with bath gels, hair products and a robe. Cober-Blake said she’s excited about the possibility of having Obama experience the services at Soul, where she said they “treat everyone like a Michelle Obama.”      

       For election night, Michael “Rahni” Flowers of Van Cleef Hair Studio in Chicago — Obama’s stylist since she was 18 — did her hair. And for the Democratic National Convention, Obama turned to Chicago-native Johnny Wright of Frederic Fekkai’s Los Angeles salon.      

       “The thing about being the first lady, you’re only as fashionable as your last picture,” said Dennis Roche, 58, of D.C.’s Roche Salon, which has African-American-hair experts he said could style Obama. “This is kind of risky because of the fact that we all have bad hair days.”



Filed under: General News — Ryann Hayman @ 11:26 am
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Two different covers are being offered for the January issue of Essence magazine – one with President-elect Barack Obama, and one with his wife, Michelle.      

       Billed as a collector’s edition, the 56-page tribute to the nation’s first black president comes with an all-star lineup of contributors – from Bill Cosby to Maya Angelou – on what the election means for America.      

       “Obama’s win makes all of us stand taller and feel even more proud,” said Alicia Keys in the issue, on newsstands Dec. 12. “The voice of our generation will not be ignored.” — Alicia Keys,  Singer and Actress.

      To SEE the dual Essence covers, click over to our new EURthisNthat.com blog.


      The following are featured articles in the January 2009 issue:

• The Woman Beside Him: On January 20th Michelle LaVaughn Robinson-Obama will become our nation’s first lady. Author Paula J. Giddings reflects on the great woman behind the President-elect.  (page 76)

• The Malia and Sasha Effect: Malia 10, and Sasha 7, will be the youngest residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave since Amy Carter. Journalist Gwen Ifill reflects on the Obama girls and their bright future ahead.  (page 81)  

• Dear Mr. President…: Essence asked the young men of the Excellence Charter School of Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, to write—in their own words—letters to the new President-elect. What they wrote was nothing short of inspiring. (page 117)

• The Times of His Life:  Essence has featured an extensive timeline which features President-elect Barack Obama from a young child to the present. Included in this special section are photos of his wedding, his family, his run for Illinois State Senate, his presidential win and more.  (page72)

• The Perfect Storm:  From the venerable Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson reflects on the journey that became history—and how the race was won. (page 86)

• The Last Hurdle: Hannah Jane Hurdle-Toomey: Hannah Jane Hurdle-Tommey is the last surviving child of Andrew Jackson Hurdle, a slave for nearly 20 years. Connected to both slavery and a black president in her lifetime, she shares her hopes for America. (page 114) 

• Brother President:  On Election Night 2008, it became clear that Barack Obama had become a new icon for a generation of Black men who grew up with martyred leaders as their role models. Writer William Jelani Cobb reflects on what it means to America—and to the world—to see a Black man as president. (page 71)


Codeblack DVD on sale; Michelle covers Newsweek; lovefest during NY bridge event; twins jump on WH beds; Obama Elementary School; Verizon snoopers fired; weekly Democratic address November 25, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 2:14 pm
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Ebony/Jet Entertainment Group has teamed with Codeblack Entertainment for the Jan. 20 DVD release of a “Barack Obama: The Man and His Journey,” a documentary on the President-elect narrated by actor Blair Underwood. The release is timed to coincide with Obama’s inauguration. Following the Obama disc will be another documentary, “Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy,” featuring interviews with Bill Cosby, Chris Rock and Keenen Ivory Wayans, among others.


       *Michelle Obama graces the Dec. 1 cover of Newsweek (on newsstands today) under the heading “The Meaning of Michelle.”  Newsweek National Correspondent Allison Samuels writes in the cover story: “When her husband raises his hand to take the oath of office, Michelle will become the world’s most visible African- American woman. The new First Lady will have the chance to knock down ugly stereotypes about black women and educate the world about American black culture more generally. But perhaps more important — even apart from what her husband can do — Michelle has the power to change the way African-Americans see ourselves, our lives and our possibilities.”


       *An evening celebrating the rededication of New York’s Triborough Bridge as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge turned into a love-fest for the incoming U.S. president, reports the New York Daily News. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, who emceed, said that in the last few months, she’d felt like she was covering “a foreign country having its first-ever democratic election. … When was the last time we saw the whole world come into the streets dancing in celebration of America instead of demonstrating and burning the flag?” Archbishop Desmond Tutu hailed Obama for “bringing us the America that [RFK] dreamed of.” Sarah Jessica Parker said “It’s great to have a president who has the same gift for oratory as Robert Kennedy.” Alec Baldwin cautioned: “My hope is that people don’t see Obama’s victory as an end. We need to maintain a vigilance that he does the things he promised.”


      *First Lady Laura Bush and her twin daughters spill the beans about their recent role as White House tour guide to Michelle Obama, her two daughters and mother, Marian Robinson. Barbara and Jenna Bush showed off their bedrooms to Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7. “We helped them jump on the beds,” Barbara, 26, told People. “We used to jump on the beds when we were little, too.” Mrs. Bush added, “They’re really tall beds; you need to get a running start.” Michelle, meanwhile, wondered aloud about where they might install a toy closet to keep things tidy. Mrs. Robinson marveled at the “magnificence” of the place, said another person familiar with the details of the tour. “They all just said, ‘Oh my God, it’s just so beautiful!'”


       *Ludlum Elementary School in Long Island, NY’s Hempstead Union Free School District has been re-named in honor of President-elect Obama at a board meeting Thursday, at the request of numerous school students. “Just to watch these kids after the board voted on what they asked them to do, they were so elated,” school district superintendent Dr. Joseph Laria told ABC News. “You want to talk about ‘Yes we can?’ That was a lesson in democracy.” Effective immediately, Ludlum will now be known as Barack Obama Elementary School, following a decision by the board to adopt the resolution drafted by students and staff.


       *Verizon Wireless has fired employees it says snooped through billing records from an old cell phone used by President-elect Obama earlier this year, a source told CNN Friday. The fired employees were hired “to take care of customers,” the Verizon source said, but were not authorized to access customer records unless asked to do so by the customer. The source also said the employees in question could not have read text messages, if Obama sent or received them, and would not have been able to access the content of any voice mail messages, although they would have been able to see whether any had been left. The source would not say how many people were terminated but said “we now consider this matter closed.”


       President-elect Barack Obama promoted an economic plan Saturday he said would create 2.5 million jobs by rebuilding roads and bridges and modernizing schools while developing alternative energy sources and more efficient cars. “These aren’t just steps to pull ourselves out of this immediate crisis. These are the long-term investments in our economic future that have been ignored for far too long,” Obama said in the weekly Democratic radio address. Scroll down to watch.


Your Weekly Address from the President-elect (Nov. 21, 2008)


Michelle Obama’s backside; ‘American Gangster’ returns; Aretha on AMAs; Julian Bond steps down; Howard flirts; backtracking Baldwin; Sugar Hill lawsuit November 20, 2008


A black, female columnist at Salon.com has written an entire piece praising the derriere of Michelle Obama. “I’m a black woman who never thought I’d see a powerful, beautiful female with a body like mine in the White House. Then I saw Michelle Obama — and her booty!” writes Erin Aubry Kaplan “…Barack’s better half not only has stature but is statuesque. She has coruscating intelligence, beauty, style and — drumroll, please — a butt. (Yes, you read that right: I’m going to talk about the first lady’s butt.)” Continue reading here.   



        *R&B legend Aretha Franklin will present the first award of the night at the “2008 American Music Awards,” producer Larry Klein announced Wednesday. Also, Natasha Bedingfield will join Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, New Kids On The Block, Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Kanye West and many more performers (19 in total) at this year’s celebration. 


      *BET’s “American Gangster” docu-series returns tonight at 10pm (E/P) with the spotlight on the first and most famous director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover. Positioned as an avowed and implacable enemy of Communism, Hoover was often at odds with left-leaning Black leaders throughout his reign, including Marcus Garvey and Paul Robeson. During the tumultuous ‘60s decade, Hoover went even further, undertaking a virtual counter-revolution against the civil rights movement – with particular venom directed at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – and ultimately enabling the Bureau to create COINTELPRO. 


       *Veteran civil rights activist Julian Bond will not seek another term as chairman of the NAACP’s national board, saying the time is right to “let a new generation of leaders” take over the century-old organization. Bond, 68, has served as chairman since 1998. He announced Tuesday that his current one-year chairman’s term, which expires in February, will be his last, although he plans to remain on the board. “This is a time for renewal. We have dynamic new leadership. The country has a new president in Barack Obama; the organization has a new CEO in Benjamin Jealous, and we’ll soon have a new chairman of the NAACP Board,” Bond said in a statement. “The NAACP and the country are in good hands.”


      *The New York Post is reporting that Terrence Howard couldn’t keep his hands off of French model Noemie Lenoir during Friday night’s opening of the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami. After Mariah Carey performed, the two were spotted at hotel lounge Blade. A source told Page Six: “Terrence saw Noemie in the crowd and started singing to her. He came to see her the next night at the Victoria’s Secret show, and they like each other a lot.”


       *Republican Stephen Baldwin is now backtracking on his threat to leave the United States if Barack Obama wins the presidency. “The liberal Democrats who didn’t get that I was joking need to lighten up,” the born-again Christian told Page Six. “Obama is obviously talented and intelligent, and I have great respect for the man. He’s got my full support, and I’m gonna be praying for him and his administration.”


       *Sugar Hill Gang co-founder Joey Robinson is being sued by ex-bandmates Michael (Wonder Mike) Wright and Guy (Master G) O’Brien on claims that he owes them royalties. Wright and O’Brien, who’ve been touring as the Original Sugar Hill Gang, performed last weekend on CNN’s “D.L. Hughley Breaks the News.” Robinson tells the New York Daily News of the touring group:  “It’s really a sham to confuse the public.” He says he’ll sue them for encroaching on his trademarks.


OBAMA’S ’60 MINUTES’ SCORES BIG November 18, 2008

Filed under: General News — Ryann Hayman @ 11:00 am
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A record audience tuned in to CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday night to watch the first televised interview with Barack Obama and his wife Michelle since he was elected the 44th U.S. President.


       According to the Associated Press, Nielsen Media Research showed the program was seen by 25 million people, giving the news hour its highest overnight ratings since January 1999 and the most viewers of any prime-time show seen this season.      

       The ratings likely got a boost by the down-to-the-wire NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers that immediately preceded the show on the East coast. If you missed the “60 Minutes” interview, go here to view it.      

The Obamas being interviewed by Steve Croft on ’60 Minutes’




ABC Radio Networks has locked in a multi-year deal with Michael Baisden for his nationally-syndicated The Michael Baisden Show, currently the top-ranked Urban afternoon program in the country.      

        “Michael’s show has developed one of the most loyal audiences in radio today and his consistently strong ratings have made him a brand of choice for key advertisers,” said Jim Robinson, President of ABC Radio Networks. “Renewing our original agreement was a priority and positions us for substantial success in the years ahead.”       

       Baisden broadcast his show live from two of the presidential debates and President-elect Obama became a regular guest of the program through the primary season and months leading up to the general election. Baisden’s election results broadcast in Miami drew a live audience of more than 5,000 Florida voters and the show’s guests included Donna Brazile, Forrest Whittaker, Denzel Washington, Michelle Obama, Will Smith, Gayle King and Spike Lee.       

       “Our show has come so far in such a brief period of time yet I know the best days are still ahead of us,” said Baisden. “Connecting with my listeners and providing them a forum is what drives me each and every day. I’m thrilled to know I’ll be taking the program to the next level and reaching even more listeners with the same phenomenal team.”      

       The Michael Baisden Show launched in syndication with ABC in 2005 and has grown to 68 affiliates. It holds the number one position in its slot in key markets such as New York, Philadelphia, Detroit and Washington, D.C.



Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 11:41 am
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President-elect Barack Obama told journalist and Daddy’s Promise founder Ed Gordon he wants his daughters, Malia and Sasha, to “feel they can excel athletically, intellectually, politically, socially whatever passions they have I want them to be able to pursue.” 
      The full (video) statement can be seen on daddyspromise.com.

      “Obama, his wife Michelle and their two daughters have become the new face of the All-American Family,” Gordon said. “But, most importantly Barack Obama is showing by example that no matter how busy your life is there is always time to be a good father. The President-Elect will serve as a great role model for fathers!”
National Tour Continues

      Also, the Daddy’s Promise national church/college tour continues. After standing room only stops in Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. (special town hall at the Congressional Black Caucus), the tour visits Dallas and teams with Bishop T.D. Jakes and The Potter’s House. 

      Father and daughters (and the rest of the family) are invited to participate in a special night of celebration.  A salute to the special bond between fathers and daughters will take place November 14, 2008 at The Ruthe Jackson Center, 3113 S. Carrier Parkway, Grand Prairie, TX at 7 PM. 

Ed Gordon

      The evening will include a discussion of the importance of the father-daughter relationship lead by Gordon. Fathers will also take a symbolic pledge and dedicate a lifetime of love to their daughters.

      Also, Bounty paper towels will sponsor a fun “get to know your daughter” cooking demonstration conducted by famed TV cook Rahman Harper aka Chef Rock.  Rock was the third season winner of FOX TV’s Hell’s Kitchen.

      Other activities will include father and daughter portraits and an ice cream sundae station.
About Daddy’s Promise

Daddy’s Promise: A Lifetime of Love, a new nationwide initiative celebrating the bonds between African American fathers and daughters.  The brainchild of award-winning television journalist Ed Gordon, host of the nationally syndicated “Our World with Black Enterprise,” Daddy’s Promise is inspired by Gordon’s own relationship with his 14 year old daughter Taylor.  The initiative’s mission is to create a national dialogue within and between African American families about the responsibility and rewards of the father-daughter bond. It will provide guidance and encouragement for fathers to help their daughters grow into independent and accomplished young women.   

Proctor & Gamble’s Bounty brand is the title sponsor of Daddy’s Promise.  Ford Motor Company is sponsor of the Daddy’s Promise nationwide discussion tour, moderated by Gordon, and the initiative works in partnership with 100 Black Men of America, Inc.  Other key supporters include The National Urban League, the NAACP, R&B crooner Will Downing, and artist John Holyfield.