Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
Television personality Rolonda Watts recently held a star-studded, red-carpet holiday event to benefit “Our Children of the Troops,” an organization that donates clothing and school materials to children whose parents are deployed. Guests brought books and toys to be donated to military children during the holiday season. “I recently asked a soldier who was about to be deployed overseas what we on the home front could do to support their families left behind,” said Watts. “Without hesitation the soldier replied, ‘Be Santa for my children.’ [I gathered] my Hollywood troops to support “Our Children of the Troops,” by joining my friends in donating big sacks of books and toys at my holiday party.” Watts’ event was sponsored by Naya Restaurant & Lounge and her company, Watts Works Productions. Celebrity guests included Loretta Devine, Hill Harper, Judge Joe Brown, and many more.
Journalist Cynthia Horner, who has been Hip Hop Weekly’s editor-at-large since the magazine was created in 2006, has been appointed its editor-in-chief. Horner was formerly the editor-in-chief and editorial director of Right On!, the first nationally published magazine for African American celebrities and their teenage fans, and over the course of her career she has interviewed almost every African American superstar entertainer, including Michael Jackson, Prince, Janet Jackson, Queen Latifah, and others. Horner is a recipient of the “Journalist of the Year” award from the International Association of African American Music, and has received countless awards and citations for her contributions to the music industry. “It is an honor to accept this title and position,” said Horner. “I have been involved with Hip Hop Weekly since its inception, and I am looking forward to utilizing my vast knowledge in the areas of entertainment, fashion, beauty and news to enhance the Hip Hop Weekly brand. Hip Hop Weekly is a unique hybrid of music and entertainment with fast-breaking news articles inside. There are many stories to tell and we will effectively continue to do so by putting our own spin on these stories.”
Hip Hop artist Common recently visited the Eagle Academy for Young Men to check with students and teachers and tour the campus with founding principal David C. Banks. The Eagle Academy for Young Men is a network of three all-boys public schools in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn. A fourth school will open in Newark, N.J., in 2012. The Eagle educational model is designed to empower inner city young men so they can achieve their promise as students, family members and engaged citizens. Like Eagle Academy, Common is dedicated to empowering youth in underserved communities through his Common Ground Foundation, which works to find and develop tomorrow’s leaders through programs that promote holistic leadership and education. His visit to the Eagle Academy came one day before the release of his new album, “The Dreamer/The Believer.”