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Am GRATEFUL to the New York Association of Black Journalists (NYABJ) for honoring me a couple of months ago as one of its Trailblazers alongside Robert Anthony, Eric V. Tait, Lena Sherrod and Audrey Edwards. A BLESSING! A couple of months later, I'm grateful AGAIN to NYABJ fam, President Mike Michael J. Feeney and the many Board and committee members – including Cheryl Wills; Diane Patrick; Christina Carrega; et al for inviting me to attend the 25th ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP & AWARDS BANQUET. Late, great WNBC reporter Bob Teague was honored as well as veteran TV journalist Randall Pinkston (Lifetime Achievement Award). And a WHO’S WHO of journalism and media were in the house to recognize the work of NYC journalists while being entertained by the one-and-only MISS Rhonda Ross (daughter of Diana Ross & Berry Gordy). Rhonda sang "Killing Me Softly" by the great Roberta Flac,! As always, WONDERFUL!


David Ushery, WNBC Anchor

Carol Jenkins, Former WNBC Anchor & Presenter

Norma Quarles, Former NBC/CNN Anchor & Presenter


Toure, Co-Host, MSNBC “The Cycle” Honoree

Bill McCreary, Former Fox 5 Anchor & Presenter

Vanessa Bush, Editor-In-Chief, Essence Magazine

Patrik Henry Bass, Sr. Editor, Essence Magazine

Michelle Miller, National Correspondent, CBS News

David Rhodes, President, CBS News

Cheryl Wills, Anchor/Author, NY1 News (NYABJ Dinner Chair)

Diane King, Anchor, NY1 News (Dinner Host)

Larry Mullins, Anchor, 1010 WINS (Dinner Host)

Dan Bowens, Reporter, Fox News

Ruschell Boone, Reporter, NY1 News

Dean Meminger, Reporter, NY1 News

....and a HOST OF OTHER NABJ FAM!!!!

An advocacy group established in 1976, the New York Association of Black Journalists provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members. NYABJ is an affiliate of NABJ, the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation. I LOVE NYABJ!



Shout out to two brothers who’ve been great to me in my journey as a pop culture expert – each having booked me on their shows to discuss all sorts of topics: (1) ED GORDON - Ed Gordon Media announced today the syndication of Conversations with Ed Gordon, a quarterly, one hour special with award-winning journalist and renowned interviewer, Ed Gordon, serving as host and executive producer. The specials will be aired nationally, including on all ten NBC owned and operated affiliates. The first special begins airing April 28, 2013. Specific airdates, times and markets can be found on http://www.edgordon.net/conversations.htm. Gordon is known for in-depth and exclusive interviews. I got the chance to do his roundtable at “Our World with Black Enterprise” a time or two as seen excerpted inside this comp reel: (2) TJ HOLMES – As he’s announced that he’s inside his what’s next (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/13/tj-holmes-ending-relationship-bet-future-career-plans_n_3266492.html), I want to thank he and his team for having me on “DON’T SLEEP – HOSTED BY TJ HOLMES” several times. I'm most proud of being invited to participate in the post-election-day show. On that episdoe, I waxed philosophical and political alongside MSNBC's Toure and rapper The Game who noted he was a fan of my blog: http://www.bet.com/video/dont-sleep/highlights/2012/sleep-talkers-don-t-sleep-121-12021.html. And here’s a behind-the-scenes look at that appearance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrBjpOe854Y. CONGRATS GENTLEMEN on all of your success and - as you climb - continuing to lift back and let some of us share the spotlight. You both make me proud to spell my demographic: B-L-A-C-K M-A-N!






It’s DRUMS ALONG THE HUDSON time again this Sunday, May 19th in NYC! This is put on annually by my friend, producer Carl Nelson. I'll introduce the performers/acts on the main stage during the afternoon portion of the day (as I have several times before when DRUMS catches me actually in town:







Drums Along The Hudson is a Native American and multi-cultural family oriented festival on May 19th, 2013 at Inwood Hill Park, 218st. & Indian road in Manhattan.



This event is FREE to the public and Co sponsored by lotus Music & Dance & the New York City Parks Department. The festival includes a Native American Pow-Wow, exhibitions of world dance and drumming traditions as well as Native American crafts and international cuisines. It combines a celebration of Native Heritage,culture and art with the diversity of New York City.




We also honor two individuals or organizations for their contribution to humanitarian or environmental services. It is an all day event from 11:00 am to 6;00 pm. AND SO MUCH FUN! I hope you’ll come out and join us!







I decided to pop by the launch of my friends Nathan Hale Williams' & Tammy Ford's soon-to-be-weekly networking event at Hudson Bond on 215 W 40th btw 7th & 8th Avs.



PLEASE come and join us the next time!!! Congrats Nathan and Tammie! Fun and POWER NETWORKING to boot!!! WIN WIN!



Among others this most recent time, I saw my friends ENTERTAINER BUTTAFLY SOUL and MISS TONYA GIDDENS the creator and executive producer of the Ms. Full Figured HBCU Pageant™. She is also the Beauty director of Full Figured Fashion Week®. You can access the pageant website here:






And for Full Figured Fashion Week:


ww.fffweek.com. BIZ BOND is scheduled to be back in JUNE! Don't miss it!







 Enjoyed a fight party at BFFs Mara Schiavocampo and her hubby Tommie Porter’s home!





GREAT FOOD! GREAT FOLKS (including NABJ buddy Nekesa Moody and my boo boo Sidra Smith).






Enjoyed a BDAY PAJAMA PARTY for our friend, model Bobby Roache (at his pad). Dear friend Q (hairstylist guru) and many others were in the house to toast the birthday boy! HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOBBY!





Enjoyed rooftop cocktails at The Empire Hotel (overlooking the Lincoln Center Plaza) with our dear friends Jason and Marlynn.





Great to catch up with them!  ALWAYS!






You know I love "Merrell's LEGENDS ball for some of the Black gay elite of NYC" (and our friends). This year's RuPaul's Drag Race Finale viewing party was no exception as we enjoyed the company ...of cosmetics mogul/make-up artist AJ Crimson; hairstylist superstar Chuckie Amos; Publisher of DBQ Magazine, Derrick Bridgeforth; Wendy Williams' FAB stylist Memsor; casting director Adrian Wells; and a host of other dear friends. Merrell is Wendy Williams' makeup artist and cosmetics icon his own right in the industry. He is quite the muse du jour for me as he takes his brand to the next level. Great set (and fried chicken a la Merrell), as always. But we were hoping for Alaska to win. Some of us got to celebrate Wendy on her new book “Ask Wendy”! Worth noting, my partner Ant is the primary producer of "Ask Wendy", even though the book is a separate, albeit co-branded, effort. Graciously, Wendy autographed the first advance copy of the book to Ant some months ago as  a THANK YOU for all he does on the daily for the franchise and the show. CONGRATS, WENDY! This is my kinda' book! LOL!




Finally saw “Kinky Boots”! You know I’ve been yapping about it and consider Billy Porter one of my FAVORITE SOUL SINGERs! I FINALLY SAW IT AND LOVED IT! “Kinky Boots” which received 13 TONY nods (The Cyndi Lauper-scored "Kinky Boots," which earned a leading 13 Tony nominations. British import "Matilda: The Musical" has 12.




"Kinky Boots" is based on the 2005 British movie about a real-life shoe factory that struggles until it finds new life in fetish footwear. Lauper's songs and a story by Harvey Fierstein have made it a crowd-pleaser. Fierstein; one of my TOTAL FAV SINGERS Billy Porter; and Stark Sands as well as Annaleigh Ashford are nominated for “Kinky Boots”)! IT’S WONDERFUL!




CONGRATS to dear friend, fine artist Taha Clayton on his latest project: "Round Zero", an Exhibition of Paintings by Tim Okamura, Jerome Lagarrigue, Taha Clayton, & Joseph Adolphe in NY! "Round Zero," a fine art exhibition, featuring four contemporary painters, will be on view May 13–17th* at the Art Director’s Club in Manhattan. Tim Okamura, Jerome Lagarrigue, Taha Clayton and Joseph Adolphe will exhibit their latest work in a boxing-themed collection curated by Dexter Wimberly. The exhibition also serves as the culmination of more than two years of documentation of these artists' creative journey by film-maker Jeff Martini, for an upcoming feature entitled "HEAVYWEIGHTPAINT," a segment of which will be shot at the events. A portion of proceeds went to the Brotherhood / Sister Sol, a Harlem-based youth organization.  Artworks created by students from "Bro/Sis" were also on display at the event. (http://heavyweightpaint.com/) and (http://www.brotherhood-sistersol.org/)








Lonette McKee is appearing on an MMC Web Channel near you! Legendary Entertainer Lonette McKee Partners with Midnight Media Capture (MMC) a la my good girlfriend Nicole Franklin (and her fellow Executive Producer Giovanna Aguilar) to Engage Audiences with Her Story, 'The Lonette McKee Files,' and Performers with ‘Actors Empowered.’ Both appearances are Web-based at www.MidnightMediaCapture.com




It’s ‘The Lonette McKee Files,’ an On Demand podcast series in which she shares her story of growing up, from a child musical prodigy to a distinguished actress, in the entertainment industry. Lonette also joins a stellar line up of media professionals on MMC Presents Summer 2013 Sessions, a series of online professional workshops dedicated to the storytelling process, from writing to directing to performing, launching on MMC’s online channel in June. Her first offering,‘Actors Empowered,’ is a 6-week online webinar enabling talent across the world to learn the tools of the trade from a Hollywood veteran. Lonette is excited about this new venture and says that The Lonette McKee Files will engage her fans and capture new audiences—a global community of storytellers and entertainment aficionados—with personal anecdotes, including the segment “What Happens When,” during which she poses compelling real-life situations to her followers based on her own experiences. Lonette states she values MMC because they are a cutting-edge, forward-thinking company that is able to reach audiences around the world through their Web platform, and with highly defined content that mixes storytelling and marketing. She is confident that this synergy serves as an opportunity for her generation of entertainment professionals to couple their experience with technology into new ventures for empowering new generations of performers—storytellers. “It would serve us to get on the new wave of technology so we can share the stories, knowledge and wisdom that only come with veteran years of experience,” Lonette states.

‘The Lonette McKee Files’ has rolled out as podcasts for purchase at $2.99 on MMC’s online channe.



‘Actors Empowered’ course begins June 3, 2013. For more information, visit http://midnightmediacapture.com/.  You can sign up right now by clicking this link:








Shout out to my friend Ed Roebuck who hipped me to this event he’s been working on: Composer, pianist and jazz legend Ramsey Lewis and his Electric Band will perform at The City College of New York’s Aaron Davis Hall for the first time in a special Father’s Day Weekend Celebration 7 p.m. Friday, June 14. Jazz greats Henry Johnson (guitar), Joshua Ramos (bass) and Charles Heath (drums) will join Ramsey in this extraordinary concert. “A Father’s Day Weekend Celebration with Ramsey Lewis” will take place at Aaron Davis Hall, West 135th Street and Convent Avenue on The City College campus. Tickets are: $30 and $40 (reserved seating).


For more information and ticket sales visit: www.adhatccny.org or call Aaron Davis Hall Box office at 212.650.6900. “We all know Harlem is so important to the world of jazz and to perform in Harlem at Aaron Davis Hall is a true delight,” states Mr. Lewis. “Just in time for the first days of summer and Father’s Day.” “Ramsey Lewis is a class act and I’m so happy he will perform at Aaron Davis Hall,” states Aaron Davis Hall Managing Director Gregory Shanck. “We’ve had world legends on our stage and this is one more creative giant I’m so proud to have perform at Aaron Davis Hall.”



A Father’s Day Weekend Celebration with Ramsey Lewis



Featuring: Ramsey Lewis & The Electric Band



With Henry Johnson (guitar), Joshua Ramos (bass) and Charles Heath (drums)



Friday, June 14, 2013



7 p.m.∙ Showtime



6:30 p.m. ∙ Doors Open






Price: $30 and $40 (reserved seating)



Visit: www.adhatccny.org



Call: 212.650.6900



Aaron Davis Hall



West 135th Street & Convent Avenue



On the campus of The City College of New York



New York, NY 10031






Bus: M11, M18, M100 or M101 to 135th Street



Subway: 1 to 137th Street; A, B, C or D to 145th Street



Driving: Free parking at West 133rd Street & Convent Avenue or parking on the street






Y’all know “…THE LIFE OF RILEY…” LOVES MINORITEES: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2007/5/22/girlfriends-and-minoritees-are-doing-it-and-well.html. Well, guess what? MINORITEES IS RELOADING! IN THE WORDS OF THE NEW CAMPAIGN: “Nine years ago, people from all walks of life started falling in love with Minoritees. Minoritees revolutionized the way we look at, and break down, stereotypes by giving the world a candid and clever way of wearing their heart on their sleeve. Born from the streets of New York City, Minoritees represents the voice of a generation that is as multi-cultural and unique as The Big Apple herself. Worn by the likes of Janet Jackson, Denzel Washington, P!nk, RuPaul, and Shakira to name a few, the Minoritees brand started by reclaiming the iconic image of an afro-pick to symbolize freedom and strength no matter what race, gender or religion you identify with. Like any road worth travelling, Minoritees has seen its ups and downs. We’ve grown from street fairs to Macy’s stores and beyond, always representing the strength, individuality and pride that make up our fan base. Minoritees braved some super-storms, barely surviving an economic meltdown which resulting in the loss of jobs, substantial revenue due to the closing of stores and vendors which financially crippled the company and its operations. And so, after much soul searching by it’s founder and encouragement from it’s loyal fan base; In 2013, we’re renewing our commitment to you by going back to basics with clothing, products and a lifestyle that is as loud, proud and fearless as you are. We ask for your participation and support by spreading the word about our re-birth and by participating in our incentive-driven Kickstarter campaign that will help with our re-launch. We promise you with utmost certainty a renewal of focus and commitment to customer service and appreciation and a quality product. Expect a brand new website launch in Memorial Day 2013, new designs, a streamlined quality line of apparel and lifestyle products, sleek new packaging, limited editions re-issues of classic Minoritees collections and a robust integration of multi-format social networking. So thank you, for making the past nine years the adventure of a lifetime. We look forward to celebrating new victories and overcoming new challenges with you, as we reboot from scratch with little more than our heart, vision and a legacy to preserve and enhance. Sincerely, MINORITEES”














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