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Gail Choice

Stories by Gail

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Steve Harvey at the Apollo and coming to Los Angeles

Emmy Award-winning comedian and talk show host Steve Harvey is on the move. Mark your calendars for Monday, Dec. 5 when Harvey hosts “Showtime at the Apollo” on the Fox Network. The show will repeat Saturday, Dec. 31 from 8 to 10pm; and he’s moving to Los Angeles with a whole new show and new look. But first, join Harvey for an unforgettable homecoming at the Legendary Apollo Theater.

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TV One: ‘TV Winter Onederland’

TV ONE is on fire! Keeping its promise to “Represent,” TV ONE presents its “TV Winter ONEDERLAND” of holiday programming. Get ready for original movies, an “Unsung Thanksgiving Day” marathon,“Rickey Smiley For Real” marathon, and a three-day, 100+ “A Very Unsung Christmas” marathon and much more.

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Holiday Movie Countdown

Okay, get ready to mark your calendars because here are the upcoming holiday movies you don’t want to miss. As always my focus is on those movies that star and or feature Black performers, and this year we’ve got some heavy hitters, hidden history, powerful dramas and outrageous comedies from the major studios.

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Celia Cruz—Queen of Salsa

Cuban-American singer Celia Cruz goes down in history as one of the most popular salsa performers of all time. Known as the “Queen of Salsa” Cruz has made more than 75 albums including 23 that went gold, and won several Grammys and Latin Grammys.

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Theresa Harris—‘The Beautiful Maid’

When it comes to Black entertainment history in Hollywood, you should always be prepared to learn something new. A good place to start is the Turner Classic Movie Channel. TCM sometimes features those pioneering Black stars that you may or may not have heard of, opening you up to a whole new era of Black stars, who despite the odds, made an imprint on Hollywood and then got lost in the racial divide.

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Viceland: A new window to the world

There is so much on TV that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all the channels and what they offer. I channel surf on a regular basis, and if something catches my attention I check it out.

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Now on DVD and Netflix

For those of you who like to collect DVDs, be it for entertainment or for historic purposes, there are several out this month worth purchasing for your library.

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The T.D. Jakes Show on OWN

Have you checked out Bishop T.D. Jakes’ new talk show on OWN? It is a powerful heartwarming and interesting look at the human condition and how we learn to cope, fight, and get past the darkness.

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‘Films with a Purpose’ leads to ‘Forgiveness’

Films with a Purpose” (FWAP) Innovative Fund, is Sandra Evers-Manley’s latest groundbreaking non-profit project that opens channels of opportunity to diverse independent and student filmmakers, giving them the opportunity to tell their stories their way, straight from the heart.

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The Merge Summit—Hallelujah!

Hearing The Good Word framed in a Hollywood perspective is simply life altering and amazingly uplifting. That’s exactly what you walked away with at The Merge Summit held recently in Downtown Los Angeles at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

Nate Parker: A cautionary tale

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This is a cautionary tale about how your past can come back to haunt you. It’s the stuff Hollywood films are made of, only this is real life. Nate Parker (“Beyond the Lights” 2014), (“The Great Debaters” 2007) wrote, directed, produced and stars in the film

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TV One: Represent

Founder and owner of TV One, Cathy Hughes is taking on the ‘big boys’ — the networks. TV One is coming out with more outstanding programming that plays right into the heart of her target audience, Black Americans who know what they like and what they want to see.

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Edna Sims ESP PR-In Demand

It’s not very common for a public rrelations firm to share the headlines with their client, but in this case it makes perfect sense. Edna Sims, owner of ESP Public Relations, recently became the first African American publicist to represent Hollywood’s The Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors.

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Emmy nominations taking on diversity

The 2016 Emmy Nominations are in and Black performers have something to shout about. Twenty-one Black actors and actresses have been nominated in a total of 16 acting categories, from comedies to dramas.

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Is “The Great White Way” seeing things in color these days? If you watched the 70th Annual Tony Awards you’d think so. To begin with, “Hamilton” led the race with 11 awards out of an historic 16 nominations.

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Is Black television history repeating itself?

Things change only to remain the same. Is that what’s taking place today in the world of Network TV?

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Salute! Black women in Hollywood

In honor of Women’s History Month, I’m taking the opportunity to recognize and salute actresses that have helped pave the way for today’s television and film stars.

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Underground: A new telling of the Old South

On Wednesday, WGN America premiered the first episode of the 10-part series “Underground.”

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”Black is beautiful.” “Black power,” and “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”—for this writer, these

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NAACP Image Awards—rock steady

Live Feb. 5, the 47th annual NAACP Image Awards will celebrate and honor Black performers

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DollVision

Black Dolls: A Renaissance?

Parents of Black children have a particular challenge when it comes

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T & T white hot holidays

So, who or what is “T & T,” and what do I mean by white hot holidays?

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‘Straight Outta Compton’ Oscar buzz

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“I don’t want people to feel like we got lucky,” said Jason Mitchell, the subject of an increasing amount of best supporting actor Oscar buzz for his portrayal of the late hip-hop artist Eazy-E in Universal’s “Straight Outta Compton.” “For lack of a better expression, we worked our asses off,” added the young star.

Black Latinas straddle color line: Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month

What’s it like to be Black and Latina in Hollywood? We won’t truly get an idea until somebody makes a movie about it, or creates a television series.

Hollywood’s Black power

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The immortal James Brown said it best: “I don’t want nobody to give me nothing, open up the door and I’ll get it myself.”

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History making 2015 Emmy Awards

“In my mind, I see a line and over that line I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful White women with their arms stretched out to me over that line. But I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.”

‘War Room’: Faith-based power

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The faith-based film “War Room” surprised Hollywood observers by coming in second place in the box office race behind the smash hit “Straight Outta Compton” which grossed $13.2 million this past weekend. And in the number three slot, Tom Cruise's action-packed film “Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation” came in at $8.3 million.

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Great expectations for the 2015 Emmy Awards

Since the nominees for the 67th Emmy Awards were announced last week, butterflies have filled the stomachs of Hollywood. In the eight years that I’ve reported on the Emmys, this marks the first time I can’t profile all of the nominees. It’s not that I don’t want to; I simply don’t have the space because there are to many Blacks.

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HBO’s ‘Bessie’ premieres Saturday

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On Saturday May 16, HBO will premiere the highly anticipated drama “Bessie” starring the very versatile and talented Queen Latifah as the legendary Blues singer Bessie Smith. This may be Latifah’s most challenging role in her outstanding career. Queen Latifah says she worked with a singing coach who trained her to sing in Smith’s register.

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Motown the Musical: experience of a lifetime

You might need seat belts if you’re planning to attend “Motown the Musical.” I guarantee you, you will not be able to contain yourself. And, if you’re a dignified theater goer, you will be forced to raise your hand in a hallelujah manner, sway in your seat, or just yell out with the rest of the theater goers. Yeah, it’s just that hot, moving and utterly wonderful.

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‘Annie’ a must-see Christmas movie

Don’t know how many of you remember the old comic strip “Little Orphan Annie.” I do, and I loved reading about her adventures. I remember liking her hair, big, red…I even think it predated the Afro. I remember billionaire Oliver Warbucks and I liked the dog Sandy, Annie’s constant companion. I also remember when it went to Broadway, I knew I’d never see it because for me Broadway was a world away.

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‘Beyond the Lights’—Magnificent!

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“Beyond the Lights” will make you believe in love all over again. And what’s so unique about this film is that it’s about Black love.

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ABC’s “Black-ish” controversy

ABC’s freshman sit-com “Black-ish” debuted Wednesday giving viewers the opportunity to better understand the show’s title and exactly what it means. Maybe, just maybe taking the edge off of its somewhat controversial title, and the promotional spot that has Tracee Ellis Ross proclaiming that her hair and big ass should be enough to register her as a Black woman.

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‘From the Rough’ is a great family movie

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Now in theaters is the inspiring and true story of a woman who just wouldn’t accept ‘no’ for an answer. From the Rough tells an unexpected story of courage, drive, and a sport that didn’t appear to have room for a Black, female coach.

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“Belle” A love story that helped change a nation

Belle is one of those movies that hits you like a lightning bolt; totally unexpected and electrifies every part of your body.

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‘Real Housewives of Atlanta;’ what a mess

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The Real Housewives of Atlanta is the only reality show I look at on a regular basis. It’s not for the drama, but to watch how these sisters are going after their dreams, taking advantage of their ‘moment in the spotlight’ and really putting in some hard work to do it. From Phaedra Parks going to school to be an undertaker, Kandi Burruss writing and performing in her own musical featuring Gerald Levert, to NeNe Leakes on Dancing with the Stars, they are truly hustling.

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Gospel Singer Jessica Reedy: “Better”

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Gospel Singer Jessica Reedy is doing so much “Better” these days than in years past.

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Lupita Nyong’o: Skin Game

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The buzz is somewhat tapering off regarding the success of the Oscar winning Best Picture 12 Years a Slave, but the impact of the movie and what it implies still has Hollywood movers and shakers buzzing. The two lead characters, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Solomon Northup) and Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actress, Lupita Nyong’o, are cashing in on their good fortune

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Tammi-Mac: ‘Bag Lady’

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If you’re like most people, you come with a lot of baggage; old hurts that won’t go away, anger, bitterness and stupidity…and that’s just for starters. Actress and radio personality Tammi-Mac is one such person. Yes, she makes you laugh with her quick wit and sassy comebacks, but sister-girl once carried an incredible load of baggage that weighed her down almost to the point of self-destruction. Now she’s ready to help you shed your baggage in the only way an incredible talent can; through her own story, Bag Lady.

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Tyler Perry’s ‘Single Moms Club’

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If you’re a single mom, or were reared by a single mom, this movie is for you. Even if you’re not a single mom, or reared by one, do yourself a favor and see this film.

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Jason Mott: Man Behind ABC’s “Resurrection”

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You may be wondering who is Jason Mott? Mott is a writer...one heck of a writer. And Monday, March 9 Mott’s debut novel, “The Returned” will be unleashed to the world in the form of the dramatic series “Resurrection” on ABC.

PAFF Panel: Hollywood Stories; faith in action

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The Pan African Film Festival is in full swing from now until Monday, February 17 at the new Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills 15 at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

PAFF-Get Ready, Get Ready!

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The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) takes center stage today so make sure to visit the PAFF website at www.paff.org, get all the information you need regarding screening times, special events, activities and more.

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Critic bashes ‘12 Years a Slave’

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Congratulations to “12 Years a Slave” for winning Best Motion Picture in the Drama category beating “Captain Phillips,” “Gravity,” “Philomena” and “Rush.”

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SNL’s new face of comedy: Sasheer Zamata

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Get ready for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” new face of comedy. To be more exact, new Black female face of comedy. Sasheer Zamata was recently selected to fill the void of a Black female presence on the long-running series after actress/comedian Maya Rudolph left some six years ago.

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Black female comics; the invisible woman?

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There is a very short list of notable Black comediennes who have reached the superstardom level, and only Academy award winner Whoopi Goldberg comes to mind immediately.

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Holiday Movies

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Mark your calendars for the onslaught of 2013 Holiday movies that are coming your way. “The Best Man Holiday” got the Christmas season off to a great start. Because of its success, Hollywood movers and shakers will no longer snub their noses at films that have a storyline and Black cast, the movie demonstrated that we too have a story to tell, and people are willing to pay money to see it.

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Hollywood underestimates “The Best Man Holiday”

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It came as no surprise to Black audiences that “The Best Man Holiday” was a box office winner, but to mainstream critics and the Hollywood hierarchy it apparently was a big surprise.

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The Best Man Holiday

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In 1999, director Malcom D. Lee ushered in the film “The Best Man” which became the “must see” movie of the time. It was funny, touching and reflected a part of the young African American lifestyle without guns a blazing, and Black mothers crying for their dead sons.

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The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

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Hopefully you’ve been able to view Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” on PBS. The series began Oct. 22 and will conclude Nov. 26.

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