Lifestyle News & Entertainment Pen to Pad 

Trae Tha Truth Rescues NBA Star, Others During Hurricane Harvey

“The Black Aquaman.” It’s what I’d dubbed Trae Tha Truth after watching footage of him rescuing evacuees from the vicious flooding of Hurricane Harvey. A comparison he laughed off by admitting he’s not the greatest swimmer. Yet there he was. No he’s not a superhero, but for years he’s played one of sorts, creating a number of charity initiatives and earning a key to the city in the process. During a recent interview with FOX 26, he explained how his own rescue had prompted him to return the favor to…

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Features Interviews Lifestyle Pen to Pad 

The Making of Opulence Houston

Opulence Houston returns for an even more lavish third year this December. In a city that boasts an event nearly every night of the week, the bar is high for those looking to create their own lane, yet that’s exactly what Brittney Mitchell did. Inspired by New Orleans’ long-running Zulu Ball, the Third Ward native has crafted a unique experience called “Opulence.” Set to return December 9 at Houston’s Ensemble Theater, Opulence has transformed from an intimate event to a highly anticipated black-tie affair, thanks in part to a vibe…

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Pen to Pad Politics 

Who Is Responsible for Gentrification In HBCU Neighborhoods?

Gentrification. A term coined during the 1960s, it’s a concept that’s become hotly contested in recent years, described by Webster’s dictionary as “the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.” The phenomenon has become a recurring theme across the country as urban areas once deemed unsuitable for affluent home buyers have become ground zero for new development. Many students attend Texas Southern University, a ninety-year old institution in Houston’s historic Third Ward area, in search of…

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Pen to Pad Politics 

Mississippi Judges Can No Longer Target Blacks & Others with Unfair Bail Practices

Time has passed and laws have been changed, yet the deck has remained stacked against many Black people and others minorities in Mississippi, with Black and brown bodies disproportionately funneled into a prison system eager for free labor. Plagued by legal woes, the state has been hit with a number of lawsuits regarding its treatment of African-American residents, including a suit filed by the ACLU that accused Madison County of designing checkpoints to create additional revenue via unwarranted searches and traffic tickets. It’s a practice that Jennifer Riley-Collins, executive director…

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Pen to Pad Politics 

GOP Trumpcare Bill Would Be a Dream for Wealthy Americans, a Nightmare for Everybody Else

For several years, the GOP has rallied around a common goal, namely, stripping health carefrom millions of citizens. Now, it looks as if they may be closer to success, with Senate Republicans unveiling a bill that will effectively chip away at the Affordable Care Act. It took months to debate and later implement the Affordable Care Act, a process Republicans have largely bypassed by putting their bill together in secret, refusing to share details with anyone but the 13 senators (all white men) tasked with writing it. Despite calling for transparency…

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Pen to Pad Reviews 

All Eyez On Me Shows Tupac’s Evolving Legacy

Biopics are notoriously hit or miss. For every Ray – there are a dozen others that never should have been made – a visual reminder that not every story can be accurately recreated on screen. When it comes to artists the bar is even higher, raised by the expectations of living family members and anxious fans. So when it comes to the memory of legends like Tupac Shakur, well, the stakes are even higher. Arguably one of hip-hop’s most enigmatic and outgoing personalities, for many the “California Love” artist was…

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Pen to Pad Politics 

Shooting of Republican Congressman Brings Out False Unity

  As of today, 281 Americans have been killed in mass shootings this year. The latest entry, for now, is James Hodgkinson, killed by authorities on June 14 after he opened fire at a Virginia baseball field. Members of the GOP were there to practice for the Congressional baseball game, an annual event that allows Republicans and Democrats to compete against one another to benefit three local charities: the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, the Washington Literacy Center and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. After reportedly asking if they were Republicans,…

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Gentleman Jack Real to Reel Tour Giving African American Filmmakers The Platform They Deserve

While last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy helped launch a national discussion about Hollywood’s lack of diversity, others have taken the issue into their own hands, choosing to change the narrative by writing and telling their own stories. Now black filmmakers are taking the issues into their own hands, thanks in part to initiatives like Jack Daniel’s innovative “Real to Reel” series, a nationwide competition created to highlight rising African-American directors. Led by Power star Omari Hardwick, Jack Daniel’s Gentleman competition is quickly turning into a platform for emerging filmmakers. “I am…

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Interviews Pen to Pad 

Angie Harmon @ 4th Annual UNICEF Audrey Hepburn Society Ball

Presented by the Southwest Regional office of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, I was live for the fourth annual UNICEF Audrey Hepburn® Society Ball. Created to raise funds for UNICEF’s work against child trafficking, the event was emceed by Great Day Houston host Deborah Duncan. Interviewing on behalf of Houston Style Magazine, before the evening began I spoke with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Grammy Award winning artist Michael Bolton and UNICEF’s own Nelson Bowman III. I also got to chat with actress Angie Harmon, who received the Spirit of Compassion…

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Interviews Pen to Pad 

Michael Bolton @ 4th Annual UNICEF Audrey Hepburn Society Ball

First published via Houston Style Magazine, June 2017 Presented by the Southwest Regional office of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, I was live for the fourth annual UNICEF Audrey Hepburn® Society Ball. Created to raise funds for UNICEF’s work against child trafficking, the event was emceed by Great Day Houston host Deborah Duncan. Interviewing on behalf of Houston Style Magazine, before the evening began I spoke with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Grammy Award winning artist Michael Bolton and UNICEF’s own Nelson Bowman III. I also got to chat with actress…

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