Tag: Michael Strahan

Cicely Tyson, Oprah Winfrey Recognize African American Achievements In TV During Paley Center Tribute

OPRAH WINFREY CICELY TYSON
Oprah Winfrey and Cicely Tyson at A Tribute To African-American Achievements In Television hosted by The Paley Center For Media at Cipriani Wall Street on May 13, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

The Paley Center for Media hosted a star-studded event Thursday evening celebrating the 35th anniversary of BET’s launch, as well as the groundbreaking achievements of African-Americans in television over the years.

The guest list was basically a who’s who of black America. Everyone from Oprah Winfrey, Cicely Tyson, Larry Wilmore, Tracee Ellis Ross, Lee Daniels, Kerry Washington, Michael Strahan and Phylicia Rashad. Winfrey kicked off the night with an opening monologue, during which she expressed her gratitude for the evolution of African-Americans contributing to some of today’s most successful shows on television.

“When I was growing up there were so few people of color on television, but when there was one of us we would end up missing it because we would be calling everybody else saying, ‘it’s coming on right now. Turn on ‘Ed Sullivan.’ It’s coming on,’” she said. “So part of the power of tonight’s event will be to appreciate and to honor our history as we continue to be an interval part of the entertainment industry.”

One of the evening’s many heartfelt moments occurred during Cicely Tyson’s speech in recognition of her illustrious career. The iconic actress went on to recall the time where she received backlash for her 1963 role as secretary Jane Foster on the CBS drama series “East Side/West Side.” The breakthrough role — which featured Tyson wearing a natural hair style — marked a first for a black actress and sparked a nationwide hair movement.

“This has been a wonderful evening and an emotional evening for me watching the positive strides we’ve taken over the years. We’re not there yet, but we’re going to get there,” Tyson declared. “I have been especially moved by the moments that were a flashback for me… when I first appeared on the air with a natural and received barrels of negative letters that had to do with the fact that I was disgracing the role of the image of black women when I was in a position to glorify it.”

“Well, finally at last I am ecstatic to say that we as a race of people have come to recognize and accept the fact that our pride and glory is our hair… that doesn’t mean you can’t wear your hair the way you want to.”

article by Brennan Williams via huffingtonpost.com

Kevin Hart Awards $50,000 Scholarships to Four Philly High School Seniors

Comedian Kevin Hart has teamed up with the United Negro College Fund to award four Philadelphia high school seniors $50,000 scholarships for their stellar academic performance.

Hart selected the students himself as a way to reward them for their high GPA’s and to alleviate some of the financial stress that a college education can cause.

“This is me stepping up to the plate and saying what you’re doing is dope,” Philly.com reports Hart saying. “You’re dope. You’ve got the opportunity to be the dopest of all dopetivity.”

The Philadelphia native posted a message on his Instagram Saturday congratulating the young scholars saying, “I love my city and I will continue to put on for my city…Congrats to the 4 seniors that I chose. Now go be great!!!!”

This isn’t the first time Hart has used his celebrity wealth and platform to give back to the next generation of young leaders. Last year, the funnyman donated $50,000 to Texas Southern University’s band after hearing that the Tom Joyner Foundation was raising money to help the band see TSU alumnus Michael Strahan inducted into the Football Hall of Fame.

The four winners of Hart’s scholarship will also be flown to Atlanta for the UNCF’s “An Evening of Stars” event hosted by Black-ish star Anthony Anderson. The show will air on BET April 26.

article by Courtney Connley via blackenterprise.com

Michael Strahan to Join ABC’s “Good Morning America”

Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan is in negotiations to join ABC’s Good Morning America. Strahan will remain cohost with Kelly Ripa of Live with Kelly and Michael, the Disney-distributed syndicated morning show. He’s expected to join the GMA ensemble in the studio a couple of times a week.

Strahan, a former NFL player, is also an analyst on Fox’s NFL Sunday. He was a surprise choice to fill Regis Philbin’s shoes opposite Ripa on Live in the fall of 2012. Since then, he’s been widely praised for his warmth and versatility on-air. The Disney parentage of Live and ABC makes it feasible for him to shuttle between the two morning shows.

Sources said GMA’s discussions with Strahan have been going on for months and are not tied to Josh Elliott’s recent departure for NBC Sports.

article via Variety.com

Russell Simmons Raises 1.5 Million Dollars for the Arts at Annual Art For Life Benefit

Russell Simmons raises 1.5 million dollars for the arts at annual Art For Life Benefit
Russell Simmons raises 1.5 million dollars for the arts at annual Art For Life Benefit. Michael Strahan, Nicole Murphy, Anthony Anderson, among others, were in attendance (photo by Nia Hamm)

Celebrities, activists, artists and media descended upon Bridgehampton, New York last Saturday July 28 to help raise more than $1.5 million — and counting — for Danny and Russell Simmons’ fourteenth annual Art For Life Benefit.  The event, held at Russell Simmons’ Fairview Farms East Hampton estate, helped to raise money for the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which provides arts education opportunities for inner-city youth.

“It’s very important that kids get a chance to practice and appreciate art,” Russell Simmons said of his inspiration for the benefit and organization, because, “it informs everything that we do. Nothing happens without creativity.”  Guests included Michael Strahan, Nicole Murphy, Anthony Anderson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Star Jones, Angela Simmons and more. Youthful new faces such as Skylar Diggins, Olivia Culpo, Nana Meriwether, Melanie Fiona and Tahira Jose were also seen on the scene to bring attention to the importance of promoting culture among our youth.

Soledad O’Brien hosted the gala, while special performances included Estelle, Rick Ross and Maxwell. There was even a surprise performance by Doug E. Fresh.  This year’s theme, ‘A Field of Dreams,’ highlighted the creativity of New York City youth and honored individuals in the community for their contributions, career achievements and philanthropic work.

Honorees included Samuel Englebardt and William D. Johnson of Demarest Films, writer Walter Mosley, Ann Pasternak of Creative Time and filmmaker Tyler Perry.  Attendees agreed that the arts are an integral part of any child’s upbringing. “As a parent I want them to be able to read. I want them to be able to write and do mathematics. That’s all really important. But they also, to be human beings, have to understand how to express themselves,” Soledad O’Brien said.  The final amount raised by the Art For Life Benefit the will be announced when the online auction, hosted by Charitybuzz, closes on August 7.

article by Nia Hamm via thegrio.com