Angela Means, aka “Felicia” in ‘Friday,’ Now Owns and Runs Vegan Spot, Jackfruit Cafe

Jackfruit Cafe owner Angela Means (@angiemeanskaaya/twitter)

by Gowri Chandra via laweekly.com

Angela Means made it in entertainment. She walked runways for Jean-Paul Gaultier and Betsey Johnson, did stand-up and opened for Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx and Sinbad, and appeared in the Nickelodeon show Cousin Skeeter and the movie Friday. (She’s Felicia.)

If you already think she sounds like a Renaissance woman just from that, check this out: She’s currently unleashing her creativity at the King’s Donuts on Crenshaw Boulevard in the Jefferson Park area of Los Angeles. Means is using the kitchen there to operate a plant-based restaurant called Jackfruit Cafe.

“All I can say is that the spirit led me. And now I have a vegan cafe in the ’hood.” That’s the short version. The longer version involves a lifetime love of cooking, a football-playing son (soon-to-be pro athletes eat so much food) and a family tragedy that jump-started Means’ interested in health.

Although she always loved to cook and enjoyed plant-based cuisine — she was vegetarian as a kid, and is now vegan — she’d never considered combining these two passions professionally until several years ago. She had stopped pursuing acting roles when her son was born so she could focus on raising him; when he got older, she started experimenting with cooking gigs. With no prior professional experience, she got hired as a personal chef and then moved on to preparing her own line of raw puddings and desserts. She started selling them at RAWkin Juice in Burbank, where she’s now a shareholder.

Last year, Means stumbled upon King’s Donuts. The space wasn’t even for rent, but she felt like it was meant to be hers. Her instincts panned out, and she opened Jackfruit Cafe on Sept. 1.

Jackfruit tacos, clockwise from top left: American barbecue, Korean barbecue, Jamaican jerk, Thai green curry (photo: Gowri Chandra)

Means reports a pretty warm reception right off the bat. “People were like, ‘Oh my God, thank you. Where have you been?’” she says. “People are waking up now, watching films like What the Health. A lot of younger people are getting their older relatives to come in.”

Means describes her cuisine as soul food, and it has global influences. The Thai green curry jackfruit is rich with coconut milk and garlic and galangal. There are Jamaican jerk flavors and plays on Korean barbecue. If you’ve never had jackfruit, know that, despite the name, it doesn’t have to be sweet. When canned and brined, it’s perfect for savory dishes and shreds very much like pulled pork or crab. (There’s a cornmeal-crusted vegan fish cake on the menu that is a standout. It comes with a side of tartar sauce — vegan, of course.) You can get the jackfruit in tacos, slathered in hot sauce and slaw, or with rice and beans and collards. Prices hover around $9 for most plates.

When asked how she came up with the jackfruit concept, Means says, like so many other adventures in her life, it came to her. Now 54, she often works 13- to 14-hour days, seven days a week. (Her schedule happily fits around that of the doughnut maker, who comes in for the night just as she’s closing up.) Jackfruit Cafe is currently a one-woman show, but Means plans to bringing on prep help after the new year.

She says she couldn’t be happier. “I leave here and I can’t wait to get back. I love what I’m doing.”

2959 Crenshaw Blvd., Jefferson Park, Los Angeles, CA; (818) 694-3050, jackfruitcafe.com.

Source: http://www.laweekly.com/restaurants/felicia-from-friday-now-runs-the-vegan-jackfruit-cafe-out-of-a-kings-donut-in-jefferson-park-8829611

FASHION: Solange Knowles Partners With Calvin Klein for New Ad Campaign

Solange Calvin Klein ad (photo via instagram.com)

via blackamericaweb.com

Solange and several of her musical friends are starring in a new advertising campaign for Calvin Klein. Sporting a denim Trucker jacket and high-waisted jeans, the singer appears in one of the images with fellow musicians Dev Hynes, Kelela, Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek and Kindness’ Adam Bainbridge for the photo shoot.

The artists were handpicked by Solange to promote the idea of family and unity for the brand.

“Big love to @calvinklein , raf simons, and the whole Calvin team for this moment of celebrating my musical family, and for capturing us so authentically us,” Solange wrote in an Instagram post of the ad.

The singer, 31, wore the brand’s signature underwear in another image from the campaign.

vibes in #MYCALVINS @CalvinKlein by @willyvanderperre

A post shared by Solange (@saintrecords) on

R.I.P. Della Reese, 86, Singer and ‘Touched by an Angel’ Star

Ms. Reese performed in concert in 2001 as part of Detroit 300, a festival celebrating the city’s 300th anniversary. As a singer, she had her first big hit record in 1957, with the romantic ballad “And That Reminds Me.” (Credit: Paul Warner/Associated Press)

by Anita Gates via nytimes.com

Della Reese, the husky-voiced singer and actress who spent almost a decade playing a down-to-earth heavenly messenger on the CBS series “Touched by an Angel” and became an ordained minister in real life, died on Sunday night at her home in Encino, Calif. She was 86.

Her death was confirmed by her manager, Lynda Bensky. She did not specify the cause but said that Ms. Reese had diabetes.

Ms. Reese had been under contract to Jubilee Records for three years when, in 1957, she had her first big hit record, the romantic ballad “And That Reminds Me.”

Named the year’s most promising “girl singer” by Billboard, Variety and Cash Box, she was soon making regular appearances on the leading television variety shows of the day. Her biggest hit was “Don’t You Know” — adapted from “Musetta’s Waltz,” an aria from “La Bohème” — which reached No. 2 on the Billboard singles chart in 1959.

But she became best known as an actress, particularly in the sentimental drama series “Touched by an Angel,” which had its premiere in 1994 and evolved into one of prime time’s top-rated shows. It placed in the Nielsen Top 10 from 1996 to 2000, with an average of more than 20 million weekly viewers at one point.

In the show, Ms. Reese, by then in her 60s, was cast as Tess, a stern but loving supervisor of angels who guided a softhearted and less experienced angel, Monica (Roma Downey), in helping humans at crossroads in their lives. The series told reassuring stories of forgiveness and second chances with mild irreverence. (“You get your little angel butt back to the city,” Tess told Monica in one episode.)

Ms. Reese contended that no career switch was involved. “Every time I sang the blues, I wasn’t blue,” she said in a 2008 interview for the Archive of American Television, alluding to her emotional connections and delivery as a vocalist. “I was already acting.”

Ms. Reese’s religious faith was a major influence in her career. In 1996 she told The Chicago Tribune that she had consulted with God about whether to sign on for “Angel.” “As clearly as I hear you,” she said, “I heard him say: ‘You can do this. I want you to do this, and you can retire in 10 years.’ ”

The series lasted nine years, and she continued to act for another decade after that.

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“Girls Trip” Star Tiffany Haddish Sets Two Movies With New Line and Universal

Tiffany Haddish (via vanity fair.com)

by Justin Kroll via Variety.com

After making history as the first black female stand-up comedian to host “Saturday Night Live,” Tiffany Haddish is looking to continue to stay busy by landing lead roles in New Line’s “The Kitchen” and Universal’s “The Temp.”

Haddish is in talks to join the ensemble of “The Kitchen,” which is the directorial debut for “Straight Outta Compton” screenwriter Andrea Berloff, who is also writing the script. The film is based on the comic book series by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle for Vertigo from DC Entertainment. The series has gained a cult following since debuting in 2014 to critical acclaim. The Irish mafia story is set in Hell’s Kitchen, N.Y., in the 1970s. When the FBI comes in and does a sweep of the mob, several men are arrested. Their wives end up taking over and running the business much more viciously than the men ever did.

“The Temp,” which is set to be produced by Will Packer, who also produced the hit comedy “Girls Trip” featuring Haddish’s breakout performance.

Universal acquired the original pitch for “The Temp” from Dana Fox, who will also write the female-driven comedy. Fox will produce alongside Packer who will produce through his Universal-based Will Packer Productions. Will Packer Productions’ James Lopez will also produce and Haddish will serve as executive producer.

Haddish’s other upcoming projects include starring alongside Tracy Morgan in TBS’ “The Last OG,” which will be released in 2018; she recently wrapped production on Universal’s “Night School” opposite Kevin Hart. She also has “Limited Partners” in development with Paramount, which she will star in and serve as an executive producer on the project as well.

Outside of her film and TV projects, she is also set to release her book “The Last Black Unicorn,” which comes out Dec. 5, and just announced 2018 dates for her new stand-up tour “She Ready.”

To read full article, go to: http://variety.com/2017/film/news/tiffany-haddish-girls-trip-new-line-universal-1202614732/

Colin Kaepernick is Named GQ Magazine’s ‘Citizen of the Year’

(Photo: GQ and Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

via thegrio.com

GQ Magazine has just named Colin Kaepernick as its “Citizen of the Year.” In a special December issue of the magazine, Kaepernick paired with GQ as well as ten of his closest allies and friends to “reclaim the narrative of his protest.” The magazine calls Kaepernick “the man who became the movement” and referenced the fact that, four years ago, Kaepernick had been on the cover as one of the rising stars in American football.

“In 2013, Colin Kaepernick was on the cover of this magazine because he was one of the best football players in the world. In 2017, Colin Kaepernick is on GQ‘s cover once again—but this time it is because he isn’t playing football. And it’s not because he’s hurt, or because he’s broken any rules, or because he’s not good enough,” GQ wrote in the piece.

The piece also noted:

HE IS STILL, TO THIS DAY, ONE OF THE MOST GIFTED QUARTERBACKS ON EARTH. AND YET HE HAS BEEN LOCKED OUT OF THE GAME HE LOVES—BLACKBALLED—BECAUSE OF ONE SIMPLE GESTURE: HE KNELT DURING THE PLAYING OF OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM. AND HE DID IT FOR A CLEAR REASON, ONE THAT HAS BEEN LOST IN THE YEARLONG STORM THAT FOLLOWED. HE DID IT TO PROTEST SYSTEMIC OPPRESSION AND, MORE SPECIFICALLY, AS HE SAID REPEATEDLY AT THE TIME, POLICE BRUTALITY TOWARD BLACK PEOPLE.

But rather than speaking for himself about his protests, Kaepernick has vowed to keep his silence on the matter, and instead, the piece features ten people close to the former 49ers quarterback who spoke about what the protest means to them and what we can do, as a nation, to keep speaking out against injustice.

Check out the feature here.

Source: http://thegrio.com/2017/11/13/colin-kaepernick-gq-citizen-of-the-year/

Morehouse Student Julien Turner Goes Viral With “XY Cell Life,” Extra Credit Rap Video for Biology Class (VIDEO)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

(image via YouTube screenshot)

Enterprising Morehouse College student and filmmaker Julien Turner went viral this week when he posted his extra credit assignment for biology class on Twitter and YouTube. “XY Cell Life” is a rap video explaining the different phases cells go through, what they are comprised up and how they operate. For those (like me) who grew up on Schoolhouse Rock or for those who love hip hop – or both – watch the above because you most definitely will enjoy.

On YouTube, Julien credits Dreadhead Films, LLC, a film production company he co-owns with 15-yr. old teenage brother Justen Turner, and their mission is to “entertain, inspire, and uplift” with their original content. You can check out other projects of the Turner Brothers at www.dreadheadfilms.com, or Vimeo at Dreadhead Films. Twitter: JuicyJu11 Instagram: K1ngJu

Not sure what his professor gave him, but on the internet? A+! Go Julien!

 

Executive Producer and Star Gabrielle Union’s ‘Bad Boys’ Spinoff Series Scores Production Commitment at NBC

CREDIT: MEDIAPUNCH/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

by Joe Otterson via variety.com

A planned “Bad Boys” spinoff series starring Gabrielle Union has landed at NBC with a pilot production commitment. Union will star as Syd Burnett, her character from “Bad Boys 2,” who was last seen in Miami taking down a drug cartel. As an LAPD detective, she can now pursue all the pleasures Los Angeles has to offer and leave her past behind. But things will get complicated when her new partner, Nancy McKenna, learns that Syd’s unapologetic lifestyle may be masking a greater personal secret.

Union will also serve as an executive producer in addition to starring. The drama series will be written and executive produced by Brandon Sonnier and Brandon Margolis, who previously worked together on NBC’s “The Blacklist.” Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the “Bad Boys” films, will executive produce along with Jonathan Littman, KristieAnne Reed, Jeff Gaspin, Jeff Morrone, Doug Belgrad.

Sony Pictures Television Studios will produce in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Primary Wave Entertainment, and 2.0 Entertainment. News of the development of this series comes as Union prepares to wrap up her role in BET’s “Being Mary Jane,” which wrapped up its fourth season in September. Union stars as successful broadcast journalist Mary Jane Paul. The network announced that the show will end its run in 2018 with a two-hour finale movie.

Source: ‘Bad Boys’ Spinoff Series Starring Gabrielle Union Scores Production Commitment at NBC – Variety