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The 43rd NAACP Image Award Luncheon

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A Review

By Lea Michelle Cash –

On the morning of February 11, 2012, celebrities, the media, event sponsor executives, family and friends gathered to honor those nominated for their outstanding achievement in television, recording, literature and motion pictures.

What I enjoyed best about this special occasion held at the Beverly Hills Hotel was something I never paid attention to before. It hit me right in the heart as I witnessed the joy of many behind the scenes African American—we call them script and movie writers.

For me, it began with Jayda Brown, an eight-year-old with a dream to become a television reporter and actress. She interviewed celebrities as they walked down the red carpet.

Her eyes were sparkling and her smile lit up the room, as she and her interviewee connected under one theme - the power of having a dream. The power of a dream grew bigger and wider as I heard the word throughout the morning perhaps over two hundred times - I stopped counting when I got to eighty.

This year’s hosts were Keegan-Michael and Jordan Peele from Comedy Central’s Key & Peele. The celebrity nominees who attended were Loretta Devine, Alfre Woodard, Anika Noni Rose, Chandra Wilson, Keke Palmer, Louis Gossett, Jr. Tatyana Ali, Craig Robinson, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Omari Hardwick, and many others.

The additional guests were the big dreamers. The executive producer and writer of “Criminal Minds,” Janine Sherman Barrois who was nominated for “Outstanding Writing on a Dramatic Series.”

Nominated for “Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture, Theatrical or Television,” were Elizabeth Hunter (Jumping the Broom), Zoanne Clack (Grey’s Anatomy), Mara Brock Akail (The Game) and Erika L. Green (The Mentalist).

An amazing special performance was provided by Tyler James Williams (Every Body Hates Chris), Coco Jones (Radio Disney N. B. T) and Trevor Jackson (Eureka), stars of the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie “Let It Shine”. This movie is a rousing modern day story set in the world of hip-hop, rap and gospel music and based on the classic Cyrano de Bergerac love triangle, expressing the importance of staying true to oneself. “Let It Shine” premieres in June 2012 on the Disney Channel.

This year the 43rd NAACP Image Awards has returned to its original broadcasting station, NBC in a two-hour live television celebration on Friday, February 17, 2012, showcasing the best achievements and performances of people of color in the arts featuring a starstudded lineup of performers, winners and presenters.

The legendary George Lucas will receive the prestigious NAACP Vanguard Award for against all odds making a movie, “Red Tails” that increases understanding and awareness of racial and social issues.

One Of Comedy's Greatest Duos, Cheech & Chong Return to San Manuel

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Cheech & Chong: Get It Legal Tour with Special Guest Shelby Chong Reunite in the I.E.

San Manuel Indian Nation – Thursday, March 15, 2012, San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino welcomes the Cheech & Chong: Get It Legal Tour with Special Guest Shelby Chong. Tickets are on sale today and available at Ticketmaster.com and the San Manuel Box Office for $25, $35 and $45.

On the short list of comedy’s all-time greatest duos, Cheech & Chong have been making people laugh until they cry since breaking out in the seventies with immortal routines like “Basketball Jones.” Thirty-plus years later, and after releasing classic films like “Up in Smoke,” the legends are back on-stage once again.

Cheech & Chong: Get It Legal tour is the follow-up to their reunion tour, Cheech & Chong: Light Up America, in which they performed together for the first time in over 25 years. Their performance in San Antonio, Texas was filmed and released as Cheech and Chong’s: Hey Watch This.

Successful beyond their wildest dreams, Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong defined an era with their hilariously irreverent, satirical, counter-culture, no-holdsbarred comedy routines. They represent a lifestyle and are the originators of the “stoner film” as a genre. Their resume includes the success of nine hit comedy albums and eight hit films, box office records, and multiple Grammy® Award nominations.

Cheech, from the barrios of East L.A., and Chong, a Canadian native, met in Vancouver, Canada at a club that Chong owned. Two years later, when the club shut down, the duo teamed up and set out on long road trips performing one-night stands, finally ending up in California because they were tired of cold weather. They performed all over L.A. and were discovered while performing at The Troubadour by a record executive and were eventually signed.

Every Thursday night with headliner entertainment, San Manuel gives away $1,000 just for seeing the show. To be eligible to win, guests only need a ticket to the show, a Club Serrano card and to be 21 or older. Guests can enter beginning at noon on such days. Three drawings will be held on those nights: $250 at 7:20 p.m., $250 at 10:00 p.m. and $500 at 11:00 p.m.

Winners must be present.

Note: Doors open at 6:30pm. Must be 21 to enter Casino. Please gamble responsibly.

Delta Sigma Theta Holds Red Carpet Screening of 'Red Tails'

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By Lea Michelle Cash –

Imagine you had the talent and training to fly an airplane, protect your country, represent freedom for all—then experience racism, discrimination and against all odds become the best flying pilot that your country has ever known. Welcome to the world of The Tuskegee Airmen—World War II American heroes.

The red carpet was recently rolled out Hollywood style at the Ontario Mills Theatres, which never looked better. The VIP red carpet premier fundraiser for the Pomona Valley Delta Sigma Thetas was an absolute success and the members were over the moon. This was the first event for newly positioned Arts & Letter Chairs Michelle Westbrook and Betty Williams.

All their hard work paid off as people showed up from all walks of life to honor their heroes in person. “It truly is a beautiful sight to see,” said Westbrook. “And I had so much fun planning this event.”

Eight legends, original Tuskegee Airnen, visited the theatre to meet and greet, autograph copies of their book, take pictures and to receive all the love and accolades hundreds of moviegoers bestowed upon them. The movie “Red Tails” has been a dream and finally a reality for the remaining original Tuskegee Airmen who are all elderly and counting their blessings.

The large movie theatre at Ontario Mills, seating 400 was completely sold out. Tuskegee Airman, Sgt Buford Johnson, 84 said, “We are all pretty happy with the movie and the fact that we have a legacy to leave behind for youngster to be inspired to learn how to fly. It really means a lot to be recognized for our work. We were the best in our country and in the world.”

The other original Tuskegee Airmen who attended the premier were Levi Thornhill, Isham “Rusty” Burns, John Riley, Sr., Robert Friend, Robert Higginbotham. Harlan Q. Leonard, Jr., and Theodore Lumpkin.

Predestined Entertainment Presented Matchmaker

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Kristian Vasquez, BVN Intern –

Predestined Entertainment presented “Matchmaker” at the Fox Theater in Riverside Saturday evening. The romantic comedy starred actor Tony Grant, comedian Lester Barrie, singer Brian Hurst, and recording artist Yvette Williams.

“As God continues to bless me,” Grant states, “I’ll continue to use that to bless his people.”

Grant plans to further his career with several upcoming projects. His album “Access Granted” is set for release this year and he will be working with Tyler Perry in his newest project “Madea Goes to Work.”

Barrie stated this will be his final year doing stand-up comedy and will focus on his first occupation which is pastoring. He began ministering in 1987 and continued in 2006.

“It’s not a first love,” Barrie explained, “it’s a calling… I’ve been doing clean comedy and the point is to walk in that calling.”

Hurst also explained he will set his efforts on ministering his church. “I don’t consider myself an actor, more a singer,” he said. “It takes so much effort and time,” he continued. He founded the Destiny Worship Center in 2009.

Williams continues her career as a singer and stated that as an actress, “the only challenge is to absorb your character.”

Each actor of the play was referred to the CEO of Predestined Entertainment and director Tamera Hill. Hill delightfully explained that as an African American female playwright, “it feels great to be able to set the trend.” In reference to God Hill said, “I give him all the praise and the glory.”

Matchmaker is scheduled to be shown February 18th at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles, March 10th at the Fox Theater in Bakersfield, and March 30th at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach.

Fox Performing Arts Presents Joe and Chanté Moore

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The Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside is thrilled to present, back by overwhelming demand, the sultry R&B song stylings of two internationally-acclaimed artists, Joe with his special guest Chante Moore on Friday, February 10 at 8pm (Doors open at 7pm) at the Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Avenue in Riverside.

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or at the Fox Performing Arts Center Box Office which is located at 3801 Mission Inn Avenue in Riverside.

Ticket Prices range from $39 - $79 in addition to 23 (limited) VIP Seats at $89.

The Box Office is open Monday -Friday from Noon to 6:00 PM, Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and on all show days from 10:00 AM to Show Time.

The Box Office Phone number is: 951-779-9800.

JOE is an accomplished vocalist of smooth and sultry R&B productions with occasional hip-hop beats, and his extensive background in gospel music has allowed him to produce his albums as well as sing on them. A native of Georgia, Joe later moved to Opelika, Alabama; since he was the son of two preachers, he spent much time in church singing, playing guitar, and even directing the choir. Influenced early on by gospel stars like the Winans, Commissioned, and Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Joe grew to love soul legends Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye plus contemporary stars Bobby Brown and Keith Sweat.

Joe graduated from high school and continued to sing and write music while working at occasional temporary jobs. Finally, he traveled to New Jersey, hoping to make connections in the music industry. While working at a gospel record store and continuing his music education through a local church, he met producer Vincent Herbert and recorded a three-song demo tape. He signed to Polygram and in 1993 released his album debut, Everything. Joe also appeared on the soundtrack to Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, and moved to Jive/RCA for his second album, 1997's All That I Am. The single "Don't Wanna Be a Player" hit the Top 40, thanks to its exposure on the soundtrack of Booty Call. While All That I Am went platinum, Joe remixed a duet by Tina Turner and Barry White, "Never in Your Dreams"; he also produced and wrote for the debut albums of Ideal and Deja Groove.

In 1999, Joe appeared on Mariah Carey's "Thank God I Found You" single (from Rainbow) and caught yet another break from a soundtrack appearance, this time with "I Wanna Know" from The Wood. Released as a single in the fall, "I Wanna Know" languished in the lower reaches of the charts until suddenly catching fire in early 2000; the single reached the R&B Top Five in March, setting the stage for Joe's next album, the multi-platinum My Name Is Joe. Despite never achieving that level of sales again, his releases throughout the remainder of the decade -- Better Days (2001), And Then... (2003), Ain't Nothin' Like Me (2007), Joe Thomas, New Man (2008), and Signature (2009) -- were solid full-lengths. Each one reached the Top Ten of the R&B chart. His first release of the 2010s was The Good, the Bad, the Sexy (2011), featuring four productions from Brandon “B.A.M.” Alexander. John Bush, Rovi.

CHANTE MOORE is a critically acclaimed R&B & Gospel singer born February 17, in San Francisco, California. She came from a musical family singing at home and at church. She and her family moved to San Diego when she was 12-years-old. In 1991 Chante was signed to MCA records under the Silas label imprint.

In 1992 her first album “Precious” (Loves Taken Over & It’s Alright) went gold. Her second albums came out in 1994 “A Love Supreme” (Old School Lovin’) and in 1999 “This Moment Is Mine” (Chante’s Got A Man) was nominated for a Grammy.

1992 NAACP nomination for Outstanding New Artist and won the award in 1996 for the “Waiting to Exhale” Soundtrack. In 1996 Chante was nominated and won an American Music Award for the “Waiting to Exhale” soundtrack.

In 2000 her hit song Chante’s Got A Man was nominated for a Single Of The Year- Female. That single was certified Gold by the RIAA for selling over 500,000 copies in USA.

In 2002, Chante won a Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single for “Contagious” featuring The Isley Brothers and R. Kelly.

Chante has recorded with several platinum and Grammy Award winning artist including; Kenny G, Bony James, Price, R.Kelly, Isley Brothers, George Duke, El Debarge and many others. In 2004, a “20th Century Masters” greatest hits collection was released with some of Chante’s most memorable songs, demonstrating Chante’s 8-octave vocal range.

In 2004 Chante signed to Arista Records and released covers of duets entitled “Things That Lovers do”. And in 2006 a 2nd album entitled Covered/Uncovered of duets was released, a double-CD of gospel and R&B love songs.

In 2007, Chante starred in the stage play “By Any Means Necessary,” along with Tisha Campbell, D. Hollister and Shar Jackson. In 2008, Moore released a solo album entitled “Love The Woman”. In the summer of 2009 Chante appeared in Jim & Gina Pickens live stage production of Otis Sallid’s Gospel! Gospel! Gospel!

Chante is currently performing across the country and working on new music to be released in 2012.

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