Mahershala Ali will continue his streak of taking on diverse role thanks to his upcoming part in the HBO limited series Unruly.
According Deadline, Ali will play boxing legend Jack Johnson in the six-part limited series. The show will be produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman‘s Playtone and it will be written by Dominique Morisseau. It’s based on the 2005 PBS documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson — which was produced and directed by Ken Burns — and its companion book by Geoffrey C. Ward.
Ali has mentioned many times before that his “dream role” on-screen would be Johnson. He once played the athlete in the stage production of The Great White Hope in 2000.
Unruly is characterized as an “unapologetically Black, no-holds-barred telling of Jack Johnson (Ali), the world’s first Black Heavyweight Boxing Champion,” according to Deadline. “This bold exploration depicts the champion’s rise to athletic greatness and the costs he paid for his skin and defiance, which created a blueprint for Black resistance in every justice movement for generations to come.”
Ali will also executive produce Unruly under his production company Know Wonder alongside his wife Amatus Karim Ali and their producing partner Mimi Valdes.
Ali will definitely have no problem taking on the role, considering he’s showed off his acting talent in various roles. The 46-year-old is already set to play Blade in the upcoming Marvel movie. Check out more of his diverse characters and looks below.
The Black Information Network (BIN) launched today as the first and only 24/7 comprehensive national audio news service dedicated to providing objective, accurate and trusted news for the people, by the people.
Led by President Tony Coles, BIN is an independent freestanding business unit financed by iHeartMedia that aims to provide national news to Black America while also building relationships with those outside the community to foster communication, accountability and a deeper understanding of key issues.
BIN’s launch is the culmination of discussions with iHeart that began last year when they recognized the need for a 24/7 national and local all-news service focused on the Black community.
A study conducted with Black listeners found that 83% believe a platform like BIN provides a key service that they can’t get from news radio or TV today.
The newly launched service will have a unique partner-supported business model to ensure its growth as an important new platform for Black journalism and trusted news.
Its national Founding Partners include Sony, Lowe’s, GEICO, Verizon, McDonald’s, Bank of America and 23andMe that will financially support BIN without the daily pressure of ratings.
BIN is distributed nationally through the iHeartRadio app and across broadcast radio stations in markets including Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle and many more, with additional local markets being added over the next 60 days.
In addition, it will be the official news service for iHeartMedia’s 90+ Hip-Hop, R&B and Gospel stations.
After years of speculation, August Alsina is coming clean about his relationship with Jada-Pinkett Smith . In an interview August filmed with “The Breakfast Club” co-host Angela Yee, Alsina said all the guessing games about the true nature of his and Pinkett-Smith’s relationship cost him a lot — both personally and professionally.
In the interview Alsina spoke about wanting to be his authentic self and not live in fear. He spoke about how his sister never being able to live without fear pushed him to want to live life to the fullest.
Perhaps the most shocking part of the interview (besides his hair) had to be when August opened up about his dealings with the Smith family. Yee raised the question to Alsina noting how his song “Nunya” led to people believing, ‘Okay August is dating Jada Pinkett-Smith’ before asking point blank:
“So what was the real situation with Jada Pinkett-Smith because I don’t know if you were pursuing her or if you guys had just a close family type relationship and I would love for you to shed light on that.”
“Here’s what I’ll say,” August responded. “People can have whatever ideas that they like, but what I’m not okay with is my character being in question. When certain things are questionable that I know is not me, or that I know I haven’t done, contrary to what some people may believe, I’m not a trouble maker. I don’t like drama. Drama actually makes me nauseous and I also don’t think it’s ever important for people to know what I do, who I sleep with, who I date, right? But in this instance it’s very different, because as I said there are so many people side-eyeing me and looking at me questionable about it. I’ve lost money, friendships, relationships behind it, and I think it’s because people don’t necessarily know the truth, but I’ve done nothing wrong.”
After establishing that he isn’t the person people believed him to be by potentially interfering in a marriage, he expressed his love for the Smith family, saying, “I love those people. Literally — like my family. I don’t have a bad thing to say about them. They are beautiful people. When something starts affecting my life and not only affecting my life but affecting my wellness, my well-being and also starts to block my heart. My heart space is blocked. I don’t really have a choice but to express my truth.”
His truth, he says, is that with Will’s blessing, he deeply loved Jada Pinkett-Smith.
“I actually sat down with Will and had a conversation,” August described. “Due to the transformation from their marriage to life partnership that they’ve spoken on several times, and it not involving romanticism, he gave me his blessing. I totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life and I truly and really really deeply loved and have a ton of love for her. I devoted myself to it. I gave my full self to it. So much so to the point that I can die right now and be okay with knowing that I truly gave myself to somebody. I really loved a person. I experienced that and know what that feels like, and some people never experience that in this lifetime, so I know that I am completely blessed. This conversation is difficult because there’s so much that people don’t understand, but once it starts to affect me and my livelihood, I have to speak up about my truth and stand on my ten with anything that may come along with it.”
WOW. That love Jada put on him sounds pretty powerful.
Angela Yee also asked August if he felt disappointed that Jada never addressed it, considering he lost out on a lot of opportunities, but he refused to place any blame.
“I really can’t even… I never can get into the thought of that, because I’m only responsible for myself right?” August responded. “I’m only responsible for what I do. When I’m repressing and suppressing things and it starts to affect me, I have to address it. I just always stayed silent because I never wanted to be the person to cause confusion.”
WELP. There you have it. Do you think that Will or Jada will respond to August’s interview? Do you think people will accept his admission and not think badly about him? What do you think the public’s response will be.
In bada$$ news…
A former Uber and Apple exec has a shiny new gig.
Bozoma Saint John, the former head of Global Consumer Marketing for Apple Music who stole the show at Apple’s 2016 streaming service presentation before becoming Uber’s Chief Branding Officer, has a new role.
Netflix has appointed Bozoma a.k.a “Boz” to be its new Chief Marketing Officer after leaving Endeavor, where she has served as CMO since 2018. Deadline reports that Bozoma will replace Jackie Lee-Joe, who held the position, is leaving the company for personal reasons. She has been in Australia with her family since the start of the pandemic.
“Bozoma Saint John is an exceptional marketer who understands how to drive conversations around popular culture better than almost anyone,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos to Deadline in a statement. “As we bring more great stories to our members around the world, she’ll define and lead our next exciting phase of creativity and connection with consumers.”
“I’m thrilled to join Netflix, especially at a time when storytelling is critical to our global, societal well-being,” Bozoma told Deadline in a statement. “I feel honored to contribute my experience to an already dynamic legacy, and to continue driving engagement in the future.”
Bozoma also made the announcement official on social media.
One thing about Bozoma Saint John—sis is gonna GET a job, okay?
Bozoma previously served as the Senior Vice President of Global Marketing for Beats and the Director of Global and Music Entertainment at Pepsi.
Congrats to her!
In addition to onboarding Bozoma, Netflix is announcing a $100 million commitment to support Black communities in the U.S. CNBC reports that $25 million is already being moved to a new fund called the Black Economic Development Initiative, investing in “Black financial institutions serving low and moderate-income communities and Black community development corporations in the U.S.,” the company said. It added $10 million will go to Hope Credit Union to fuel economic opportunity in underserved communities across the Deep South.
The move comes after Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, donated $120 million to historically Black colleges and universities.
Shoutout to Netflix for once again doing it BIG.
Deron Williams hasn’t played in an NBA game since 2017, he hasn’t played for the Brooklyn Nets since 2015. Despite both of these statements being true, Williams has been collecting checks from the Nets, and in fact, the last installment from the BK team comes today.
Deron Williams originally signed a five-year $98 million contract in 2012. At the time, he was considered one of the best point guards in the game and was coming off of three straight All-Star selections. But, the deal quickly proved to be a disaster.
Williams was traded from the Utah Jazz to the Brooklyn Nets in the midst of the 2010-11 season. The next season, 2011-12, would be his best season yet, averaging a career-high in points with 21 and still dishing out nine assists a game. Plus, that season also capped off the last of the three All-Star games he would appear in.
Deron Williams’ payday with the Nets ends today. His contract was stretched over the past 5 seasons at around $5.5 million per year. #Nets
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) June 30, 2020
Following that season, the Nets believed in him and gave him a big payday in the form of a five-year, $98-million. But his play began to decline so much so, the Nets decided to waive him despite having two years and $48 million left on his contract. In the CBA, there’s a provision to allow a team to stretch the salary of a player they waive to the point they can pay him just 5.5 million over the last five years. That was instead of paying him roughly $24 million for remaining years.
The Nets’ crosstown rivals pulled a similar move with Joakim Noah when he got into a spat with then-head coach Jeff Hornacek. He’d already been given a four-year, $72 million contract in 2016 by Phil Jackson, but all the Knicks ever got out of the veteran center was 53 games in which he averaged 4.6 points and 7.9 rebounds.
Williams wound up going on to sign with the Dallas Mavericks to receive $14 million over two seasons before finishing his career coming off the bench for the 2017 Cleveland Cavaliers.
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The Beatle, who usually stages a major street party in Los Angeles to mark his birthday each year, will instead be doing a virtual celebration.
Jojo Siwa is responding to backlash she’s received for a circus-themed music video which features a dancer who appears to be wearing blackface.
Recent country shows have caused a rift in the industry as several prominent artists have vocally expressed their dismay.
As expected, Jordan announced a bunch of new kicks that will be available to cop come September– and there are even some exclusive options for the women in your life. Save for the Air Jordan I HI OG CO.JP, which was initially released in 2001 exclusively in Japan, the rest of the collection gives us fresh takes on some of the most iconic silhouettes, including 1s, 3s, 5s, 6s, 12s, and 14s.
The standouts are, of course, the aforementioned 1s, but good luck getting your hands on a pair of green suede 5s with a black sole and yellow highlights that are nearly identical to the Oregon Ducks edition.
“Continuing the celebration of the Air Jordan V 30th anniversary…the model also includes the OG lace lock and translucent outsole and is completed by a woven jock tag on the heel,” explains Nike.
Another, is the 13s with green suede along the sides and heel that are fit to be a Ray Allen PE. If green isn’t your vibe, there’s also the 14s with royal blue detailing or the indigo-dyed 12s that are strikingly similar to the Obsidians.
The real winners of this collection are the women or men with small enough feet. Those who fit the bill will have the ability to purchase a pair of 1s that are reminiscent of 2019’s Satin Black Toes remixed with a genuine leather snakeskin pattern. But the pair that most people will wish came in bigger sizes is the white and cement grey 3s with yellow detailing that Jordan has dubbed laser orange. To round out the woman collection is a heavily remixed pair of 6s with more materials then we can name and positive messages on the sock liner that read “Be Kind,” “Embrace Uniqueness” and “Spread Love.”
Peep detailed shots of the entire collection below as we await official release dates.
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Singer-songwriter Benny Mardones, whose hit “Into the Night” twice hit the top 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100, dies at age 73.
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