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Jada Pinkett Smith defends Beyoncé’s Chime for Change concert costume

Jada Pinkett Smith defends Beyoncé’s  Chime for Change  concert costume

Beyoncé was criticized last summer by black entertainment legend Harry Belafonte for not doing enough to help others with her success. Her involvement in a new organization, Chime for Change, might be her answer to this critique. But some think her latest performance on behalf of the charity may have inadvertently harmed the group she seeks to uplift.

A new initiative, Chime for Change is aimed at empowering women and girls around the world, focusing on the areas of "Education, Health and Justice," according to its web site. Beyoncé has recently given greatly to the cause.

Launched with co-founders Salma Hayek, noted actress and producer, and Frida Giannini, the creative director of Gucci, Chime for Change held its first major concert on June 1 in London, "Chime For Change: The Sound Of Change Live." This star-studded concert drew megawatt power players, such as Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, who appeared before a crowd of 50,000.

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  • Written by Alexis Garrett Stodghill/theGrio

Into the heart of Congo

Into the heart of Congo

World-renowned chef, author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, June 9, at 8 p.m. CT. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.

"Good food is going to be a challenge soon, so we take the opportunity to fill up on what we can," Anthony Bourdain says, fueling up at a local restaurant before leaving Goma. This city in the Democratic Republic of Congo lies at the foot of the Nyiragongo Volcano and has a population of about one million people – many of whom are internally displaced.

Grilled chicken, ugali and piri piri pepper make "a pretty nice meal," Bourdain finds.

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  • Written by Sarah LeTrent/CNN

Chance encounter yields evening with ‘ageless’ Tony Bennett

Chance encounter yields evening with ‘ageless’ Tony Bennett

I regularly capture the images of the Memphis Botanic Garden's "Live at the Garden" concert series. Last Sunday night (June 2), legendary singer of jazz, poplar music, standards and show tunes Tony Bennett performed before an almost sellout crowd.

I looked around to see if any African Americans were in the crowd. There were not many but among them was three generations of one family –Valerie Jackson-Collins; her mom, Velma H. Whitelo; and her son, Randall J. Jackson, who attends Georgetown College in Kentucky.

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  • Written by Warren Roseborough

Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly previews - 06/06/2013

Kam’s Kapsules: Weekly previews - 06/06/2013

For movies opening June 7, 2013

BIG BUDGET FILMS

"The Internship" (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, partying and crude humor) Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson co-star in this buddy comedy as a couple of downsized salesmen desperate to reinvent themselves in the Digital Age who find themselves competing against some tech-savvy, young geeks for jobs at Google. With John Goodman, Rose Byrne and Max Minghella.

"The Purge" (R for profanity and disturbing violence) Futuristic sci-fi thriller set in the U.S. where all criminal activity, including murder, is legal for one day a year. Plot revolves around a man's (Ethan Hawke) attempt to protect his family from harm when an intruder breaks into their well-fortified gated community during the period of state-sanctioned slaughter. With Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane and Max Burkholder.

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“I’m a guy” who really loved the 2013 Sisterhood Showcase

“I’m a guy” who really loved the 2013 Sisterhood Showcase

WHAT'S HAPPENING MYRON: If you did not leave last weekend's Sisterhood Showcase at the Cook Convention Center with something you needed, you must not have looked hard enough.

From jewelry, to perfumes and colognes as well as clothing and accessories, there was actually something for everyone. This was the marketplace of all marketplaces. I even did a little bit of shopping myself.

And what would the sisterhood showcase be without the entertainment? But what is it about Eric Benet that makes women lose their minds? Many minds were lost as this guy took the stage on Saturday evening. I don't really understand it...I'm a guy.

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Rochelle Aytes The ‘Mistresses’ interview

Rochelle Aytes The ‘Mistresses’ interview

Born in New York on May 17, 1976, Rochelle Aytes is quickly establishing herself as one of Hollywood's brightest starlets with an impressive film and television career on the rise. Rochelle is now starring on "Mistresses," ABC's new, nighttime soap opera that premiered June 3.

Based on the British TV series of the same name, the show co-stars Alyssa Milano, Jess Macallan and Yunjin Kim. It is a provocative, thrilling, drama that finds four women with scandalous romantic lives caught in storms of excitement and self-discovery, secrecy and betrayal, and at the mercy of the complex relationships they've created.

Rochelle plays the lead role of April, a young widow raising two daughters and running a high-end linen shop on Robertson Boulevard.

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The black film renaissance of 2013

The black film renaissance of 2013

It looks like people will have to stop complaining about the lack of African-American stories on screen as 2013 ushers in as many as 10 new black films between summer and the end of the year, writes Michael Cieply in the New York Times.

Writes Cieply:

"Black filmmakers say the wave of 2013 releases was built in large part on the creativity that has flourished on the independent-film circuit, which has become a laboratory of sorts for more prominent African-American-themed productions. Writers and directors have been sharpening their skills on indie films the last several years while waiting for big distributors to regain interest.

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  • Written by The Root

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