Essence to Honor Issa Rae, Janelle Monae, Aja Naomi King and Yara Shahidi at Black Women in Hollywood Awards

(photo via shadowandact.com)

(Issa Rae, Aja Naomi King, Janelle Monae, Yara Shahidi (photo via shadowandact.com)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Essence, the nation’s preeminent brand for African-American women, will commemorate the 10th anniversary of its “Black Women in Hollywood Awards” by shifting from a daytime luncheon to an evening gala for the first time.

The Awards & Gala will honor Hollywood’s “Next Generation”— young women who are excelling and elevating their crafts—including actress/musician Janelle Monáe (Breakthrough Award); groundbreaking “Insecure” actress/writer/producer Issa Rae (Vanguard Award); “How To Get Away With Murder” Yale-educated actress Aja Naomi King (Lincoln Shining Star Award); and “Black-ish” actress Yara Shahidi (Generation Next).

Actress/Producer Gabrielle Union will serve as the program’s host and the red carpet ceremony will be held at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA, on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

“For the past decade, the “Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards” have paid homage to our modern image-makers—both in front of the camera and behind the scenes,” said Essence Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. De Luca. “This past year has been an exceptional one for diversity in film and television, and with the incredible contributions of Janelle, Issa, Aja and Yara, it is fitting that our 10th anniversary will honor the future of Hollywood and its continued steps on the path to inclusion.”

Also for the first time, internationally acclaimed visual artist and filmmaker Mickalene Thomas will be infusing the event with her elaborate imagery celebrating the power of female beauty as a facet of women’s empowerment.

To check out highlights and behind-the-scenes access to the “Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards & Gala,” go to Essence.comFacebookTwitter or Instagram @essence #BlackWomeninHollywood.

Kelly Rowland’s New Makeup Line Will Celebrate ‘Chocolate Girls’

Kelly Rowland (EDWARD BERTHELOT VIA GETTY IMAGES)

article by Taryn Finley via huffingtonpost.com

Kelly Rowland’s new makeup line will cater to women with darker complexions.  Makeup options can be scarce for those blessed with a bit more melanin than others. Luckily, Kelly Rowland has a solution for the dark brown beauties out there.

The Grammy award-winning artist announced to Essence on Monday that she’ll be launching a makeup line which specifically caters to women with darker complexions.

“My makeup artist Sheika Daley and I are actually starting a makeup line we’re making sure we make, well, we’re starting off with lashes and then we’re going to have it grow for all women,” Rowland told . “But definitely making sure we have our chocolate girls covered. Gotta get the chocolate girls in there! We have to have that, you know. I think Iman has done a beautiful makeup line and I want to do it too!”

Rowland’s line will join a growing number of products that ensure darker skin tones don’t get overlooked in the beauty world, including Cocoa SwatchesQueen by CoverGirl, among others.

To read more, go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kelly-rowlands-new-makeup-line-will-celebrate-chocolate-girls_us_56f3f9bbe4b02c402f6693b6?utm_hp_ref=black-voices&

Walt Disney World Resorts, Essence and Steve Harvey Host 9th Annual Disney Dreamers Academy, Inspire 100 U.S. High School Students to “Dream Big”

Disney Dreamers Academy Class of 2016 (photo by Gregg Newton)

Disney Dreamers Academy Class of 2016 (photo by Gregg Newton)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Walt Disney World Resorts, in conjunction with Essence Magazine and comedian Steve Harvey, recently hosted its 9th Annual Disney Dreamers Academy in Orlando, Florida.  After selecting from thousands of applications, Disney rewarded 100 U.S. high school students and their chaperones with a four-day seminar (March 3-6) geared towards inspiring, exposing and guiding them on how to achieve their dreams.

Disney Dreamers learning how to build rides in Imagineering workshop (photo courtesy of Disney)

Disney Dreamers in Imagineering workshop (photo courtesy of Disney)

After kicking off the long weekend leading a parade down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom and being welcomed by Walt Disney World President George Kalogridis, Walt Disney World Vice President and Executive Champion  Tracey Powell, Essence Editor-At-Large Mikki Taylor, gospel singer Yolanda Adams and host Steve Harvey, the Dreamers are immersed in intensive sessions with motivational speakers such as Jonathan Sprinkles and Capital Prep School Founder and Principal Dr. Steve Perry to help them understand how to overcome obstacles, learn from failures and how to work hard to make their dreams become reality.

Additionally, the Walt Disney World theme parks become vibrant “classrooms,” where Dreamers participate in hands-on, intensive “Deep Dive” workshops led by industry experts. Covering a myriad of career paths ranging from animation to imagineering to marine biology, the Deep Dives do more than expose students to a career choice; they bring to life an opportunity that otherwise might seem distant or impossible.

2016 Disney Dreamer Deja Kirk (photo courtesy of Disney)

2016 Disney Dreamer Deja Kirk (photo courtesy of Disney)

Celebrities such as MC Lyte, Tamera Mowery, Loni Love, Lance Gross, Lamman Rucker, Silento and film producer Will Packer also gave their personal time and shared their knowledge with the Dreamers on what it takes to gain and maintain an unconventional career.

“It has literally been so amazing,” said Dreamer Deja Kirk from Oklahoma City, who is interested in becoming an elasmobranchologist (a marine biologist who specializes in sharks and rays).  “I’m not one to be corny at all, I’m usually a very stoic person, so for me to be so excited about this is really huge.  Even if you don’t know what you’re going to do, just getting the general exposure to everything I feel like not only am I prepared to pursue my career, if I were to change it in any way I still have a really good foundation for whatever I want to do.”

This week, Good Black News will be bringing you even more stories from this unique event, including spotlights on several Dreamers, perspectives from their parents, as well as interviews with some of the dedicated professionals who gave their time and wisdom to DDA this year.

To learn more about Disney Dreamers Academy, go to: https://www.disneydreamersacademy.com or https://www.facebook.com/DisneyDreamersAcademy/

 

2016 ESSENCE Festival Lineup Revealed: Kendrick Lamar, Mariah Carey, Maxwell, and More!

ESSENCE Festival 2016article by Taylor Lewis via essence.com

It’s four months out from this year’s ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans, and ESSENCE has just revealed its first look at the 2016 lineup.

For the 22nd year, ESSENCE Fest is bringing sure-to-be-lit nighttime concerts featuring more than 30 of today’s hottest hip-hop and R&B stars. This year’s lineup is a mix of old and new: soul and R&B, hip hop and pop—from Kendrick Lamar to Mariah Carey to Maxwell to Lion Babe.

“The ESSENCE Festival is back in New Orleans with an extraordinary roster of the biggest names and best performers in entertainment—from global music icons to the industry’s rising stars,” said ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks. “We are welcoming Mariah Carey, Kendrick Lamar and Maxwell to headline the Superdome main stage. In addition, we will be embracing newcomers like Leon Bridges, Jeremih, Lion Babe, Dej Loaf and The Internet, as well as fan favorite Charlie Wilson for the ultimate cultural experience in New Orleans this July 4th weekend.”

Click through to see a full list of performers, and be sure to check back for updates.

Get your tickets here.

To read original article, go to: http://www.essence.com/2016/03/01/2016-essence-festival-lineup-revealed-kendrick-mariah-maxwell-oh-my

Debbie Allen, Tracee Ellis Ross and Nina Shaw To Be Honored At ESSENCE’s Black Women in Hollywood Event

BWIH 2016

Nina Shaw, Tracee Ellis Ross and Debbie Allen (photo via essence.com)

From Essence.com:  ESSENCE is gearing up to honor and celebrate three bright talents in entertainment for our 9th annual Black Women in Hollywood event.

Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross will take home the Fierce & Fearless award, iconic director, producer and actress Debbie Allen is being honored with the Legend award, and entertainment attorney Nina Shaw will be presented with the Lincoln Power award.

In a climate where the conversation surrounding the roles, contributions and recognition of African-Americans in Hollywood is heavily charged, ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. De Luca points out the importance of the event.

“We are delighted to continue the tradition of honoring exceptionally talented women who are making significant contributions as creators and performers in Hollywood. At a time when the conversation about diversity in Hollywood remains prevalent, recognizing the indomitable power and presence of Tracee Ellis Ross, Debbie Allen and Nina Shaw at our annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon embraces an inclusive and diverse Hollywood community.”

The Black star power doesn’t end with the phenomenal honorees! The event will also feature appearances by Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes, Nick Cannon, Ryan Coogler and Zendaya to name a few.

Fans can get full access to the event by tuning into the live stream on ESSENCE.com starting at 12:15 p.m. PT/3:15 p.m ET on February 25.

Black Women in Hollywood be televised as an ESSENCE and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network special airing Saturday, February 27 at 10 p.m ET/PT on OWN.