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Keyshia Cole, Cee-Lo Green, Monica & More Rejuvenate Miami's Overtown Music & Arts Festival

The 7th annuval Overton Festival was lit. 

Decades ago, Miami’s Historic Overtown attracted the most legendary musicians like Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and The Impressions. Over the last seven years, the city which was once known as “Miami’s Little Broadway” --- in partnership with Headliner Marketing Group --- has brought out the best of today’s revered singers to the streets of “The Magic City.” During the 2017 Overtown Music & Arts Festival, they took it to the max with a lineup of all-star performers.

The all-ages crowd felt the wrath of the sun’s vicious rays as thousands of concertgoers roamed the streets of Overtown between the main stage and the Youth Zone sponsored by T.E.E.S (Teens Exercising Extraordinary Success). The kiddies got to play in a bounce house, make their own works of art, and catch vibrant, dance performances at the Youth Zone stage. On the other side of the festival, the grown folks got to enjoy rare sets from a mixture of internationally known artists from various musical backgrounds.

The show was an authentic journey through decades of historic Hip-Hop, R&B, Reggae, and Latin music. Revered musician Tito Puente, Jr made his return to the main stage along with singer Melina La Muñeca to perform a medley of songs from his late father Tito Puente and Celia Cruz. Reggae legends Inner Circle followed up with a full band behind them to bring classics like “Bad Boys” to life.

Baltimore duo Ruff Endz made their return to Miami after officially reuniting last year. David Chance and Dante Jordan both rocked all-white ensembles as they performed their hits “No More” and “Somebody to Love You.” The throwbacks jams continued as RL of Next performed solo renditions of the group’s classics like “Too Close” and more.

“So Gone” singer Monica arrived on the scene to serve as the host with the most. She got to introduce the remaining acts, and put on a show of her own by performing a capella versions of her classics like “For You I Will” and more.

Afterwards, she brought out Keyshia Cole, who came out dressed for the blazing hot occasion in a vibrant, floral dress and her bright pink adidas sneakers. She sang treasured records like “Love” and “Enough Of No Love” while enticing the crowd with her memorizing dance moves. Her fans roared with cheers when she hit that high note while performing her favorite part on Diddy’s “Last Night.”

Cee-Lo Green had just stepped off a plane from Europe before he arrived to the festival.  Although he prepared himself by rocking a Maroon tank top and matching shorts, the heat had the Goodie Mob crooner sweating profusely before he hit the stage. But that didn't stop him from closing out the show with a bang. Since he made the move from Atlanta to Miami earlier this year, Green was proud to be performing in one of the most cultured areas in the city. He began his set by saluting Miami bass and 2 Live Crew co-founder Fresh Kid Ice. After performing his verse on Trick Daddy’s “In Da Wind,” he moved on to his more popular hits like “It’s Alright” and “Forget You.”

Much like decades ago, the streets of Overtown were overflowing with people in town to see their favorite musicians perform live. The residents were able to unwind and recharge from their everyday struggles as various genres of music filled the air. Meanwhile the outsiders were soaking up the artistic culture of the city in peace, and gave it the love it always deserved.

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Will Smith Celebrates 25th Anniversary Of ‘Bad Boys’

Will Smith celebrated the 25-year anniversary of Bad Boys on Tuesday (April 7) with a special shout out to his co-star, Martin Lawrence, and the film’s director, Michael Bey, and producer, Jerry Bruckheimer.

“Today is 25 years since the first ‘Bad Boys’ came out!!! We really putting this ‘for life’ thing to the test,” Smith captioned a video of him and Lawrence promoting the film in 1995 along with their recent Bad Boys for Life promo run.

 

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Today is 25 years since the first @badboys came out!! We really putting this “for life” thing to the test @martinlawrence 🙂 @michaelbay @jerrybruckheimer

A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith) on Apr 7, 2020 at 12:03pm PDT

The first Bad Boys film was a box office hit raking in more than $140 million. The 2003 sequel nearly doubled the numbers of its predecessor.

Lawrence and Smith reprised their roles as detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Barnett in Bad Boys for Life, which grossed $425 million worldwide.

Speaking to VIBE during the film’s premier in January, the duo revealed the secret to maintaining a flow on screen after all these years. “A great deal of respect and love for each other,” said Lawrence.

Smith noted that their friendship contributes to why they work so well together. “You can’t really love somebody you don’t understand. If you don’t known what makes them laugh, what makes them cry, if you don’t understand what somebody needs, you can’t really love them and that’s what I was noticing about the two of us, we just understand each other.”

Watch the full interview below.

 

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Barack Obama Marks World Health Day With A Message For Healthcare Workers

In honor of World Health Day on Tuesday (April 7), former President Barack Obama sent out a message of gratitude to health care workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We owe a profound debt of gratitude to all our medical professionals,” tweeted the onetime commander in chief. “They’re still giving their all for us every day, at great risk to themselves and we can’t thank them enough for their brevity and their service.”

It’s World Health Day, and we owe a profound debt of gratitude to all our medical professionals. They’re still giving their all for us every day, at great risk to themselves, and we can’t thank them enough for their bravery and their service.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 7, 2020

With more than 18 million workers across the U.S., healthcare remains the fastest growing industry in the U.S. economy. Many healthcare professionals remain on the front lines caring for patients battling coronavirus, despite facing an increased risk of catching the viral disease due to a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The American Hospital Association launched a campaign to secure 1 million masks for health care workers, including doctors, nurses and caregivers of COVID-19 patients. “Our health care heroes on the front lines have an immediate need for personal protective equipment and we have to push on all cylinders to get these items produced and into the field,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack.

The AHA is one of many efforts to get PPE to workers in need. McDonalds vowed to donate 1 million N95 masks to health care workers in Chicago, Apple announced a donation of 10 million masks to the medical community, Nordstrom has commissioned its tailors to sew masks, and Nike is making full face-shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to protect healthcare workers against COVID-19.

NBA legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, donated 900 pairs of goggles to health care professionals in Southern California, Future and his The FreeWishes Foundation are also donating masks to hospital workers. A school in Baltimore City donated over 150 gloves and masks to the University of Maryland Medical Center, and a multiple Brooklyn schools banded together to donate gloves, goggles and hand sanitizer to local hospitals in desperate need of supplies.

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A woman wearing a protective mask is seen in Union Square on March 9, 2020 in New York City. There are now 20 confirmed coronavirus cases in the city including a 7-year-old girl in the Bronx.
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African-Americans Are At A Greater Risk To Contract Coronavirus

Racial disparities in coronavirus deaths are now coming to light due to the overwhelming amount of African-Americans dying from COVID-19.

Weeks after warnings from lawmakers and health officials, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams confirmed Tuesday (April 7) that African-Americans were at greater risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. "I and many black Americans are at higher risk for COVID, which is why we need everyone to do their part to slow the spread,” he said. Adams explained that Black Americans with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease are more prone to having the virus in addition to lack of access to proper health care.

In an op-ed for The New York Times titled "The Racial Time Bomb in the Covid-19 Crisis," Charles M. Blow compared the growing concern to the early days of the H.I.V./AIDS crisis affecting people of color. "On some level, H.I.V. is ravaging the South because Southern states have made a policy decision not to care in a sufficient way because the people suffering are poor and black," he said while pointing out the stark similarities in how both life-changing moments haven't provided the demographic with the right resources.

Numbers between race and ethnicity for the virus are limited but Stat News reports Black people in Illinois, made up 29% of confirmed cases and 41% of deaths as of Monday morning, but only make up 15% of the state’s population. ProPublica also points out how Black people make up nearly half of the 941 cases in Milwaukee County and 81% of its 27 deaths–but the population is 26% African-American.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention distributes data on age, gender, and location of COVID-19 patients but not their race or ethnicity. On Tuesday, CDC spokesman Scott Pauley responded to the data about race and ethnicity around the coronavirus. “Unfortunately, case report forms are often missing important data, including race and ethnicity," he said. "To address this and other data gaps, supplementary surveillance systems are being stood up to better capture ethnicity and race data, as well as other key demographic or clinical information.”

In a letter written by Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren with  Ayanna Pressley and Robin L. Kelly to Health and Human Services (HHS), the group called for the correct information to avoid the gap from getting larger.

“The C.D.C. is currently failing to collect and publicly report on the racial and ethnic demographic information of patients tested for and affected by Covid-19," the letter reads. "Our concerns echo those from some physicians: that decisions to test individuals for the novel coronavirus may be ‘more vulnerable to the implicit biases that every patient and medical professional carry around with them,’ potentially causing ‘black communities and other underserved groups … [to] disproportionately mis[s] out on getting tested for Covid-19. Although Covid-19 does not discriminate along racial or ethnic lines, existing racial disparities and inequities in health outcomes and health care access may mean that the nation’s response to preventing and mitigating its harms will not be felt equally in every community.”

It was also announced New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Melissa DeRosa, the top aide for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, promised to release data that reflects ethnicity and race as well. But as DeRosa revealed, hospitals in the Albany area haven't reported on the race of COVID-19 victims.

“The hospitals actually don’t report the race information directly to the state,” said DeRosa via The New York Post. “So what we end up doing on the back-end is calling the coroners’ offices around the state, after the death has been reported, so there has been a lag.“We understand people want that information. We want that information, too.”

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