2018 The National Board Of Review Annual Awards Gala
Getty Images

Lupita Nyong’o Publishing Children’s Book That Celebrates Melanin

Shook is an understatement. 

Academy Award-winning actress and star of the highly anticipated Black Panther movie, Lupita Nyong’o is set to publish her debut children’s book “Sulwe” with Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers out January 2019.

Nyong’o is sticking to her roots as “Sulwe” means “star” in her native language of Luo. Additionally, in the name of all things lovely and melanin-related the story follows the journey of a 5-year-old girl growing up in Kenya, who has the darkest complexion of anyone in her family; which makes her uncomfortable and intent on finding a way to lighten her skin. After talking to her mother and taking a journey in the night, Sulwe helps to recognize her beauty.

Over the years, the 12 Years a Slave actress has been very vocal about her own personal journey with acceptance of her skin complexion and has even called out Grazia Magazine for photoshopping out her natural kinky hair on its cover. Nyong’o hopes the book will plant a seed in a child’s mind and allow for later lessons that children “don’t necessarily recognize when they are reading the books,” Nyong’o said to The New York Times.

Reading with her mother was critical in her development and journey to self-acceptance, says Nyong’o. Her own issues with her complexion began as she realized people describe her lighter-skinned sister as "pretty and brown."

In a 2014 speech, Nyong’o addressed her insecurities about her darker skin complexion and delivered a memorable speech about the importance of representation in Hollywood and beyond. Most importantly, she cited a fan who decided against whitening her skin after seeing Nyong’o's success.

Skin bleaching and whitening have become more present in recent years as fans have called out celebrities like Sammy Sosa and Azealia Banks for altering their skin complexion.

Nyong’o hopes to target children aged 5 to 7 years old with her book because “you learn all the things that you spend the rest of your life trying to unlearn” around this time. Ultimately, she wants this to go beyond just her name and help children realize their beauty.

Shoutout to Lupita for spreading more #blackboyjoy and #blackgirlmagic.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

Erykah Badu Denies Producers Contacted Her For 'Surviving R. Kelly'

Erykah Badu is hitting back against dream hampton after she claimed that producers of Surviving R. Kelly contacted the singer to appear in the Lifetime docuseries. Badu claims that she was never contacted, and would like hampton to provide the receipts or apologize.

It all started when a fan pointed out that Badu and R. Kelly worked with one another years ago, which is why she allegedly chose not to be apart of the docuseries. Erykah rejected that comment, stating that she had never worked with him on music or declined to appear in the documentary.

Hampton stepped in by claiming that a producer attempted to contact Badu, but did not receive a response. "I asked Producer T. Farris to contact @fatbellybella to be in doc because I wanted clarity on two things: 1) a quote attributed to her, 'No one has done more for Black people than R. Kelly' & 2) what she was thinking when she called him her "brother" at Soul Train Awards," dream tweeted.

Badu quickly responded: No ma’am. I WAS NOT EVER contacted by anyone to be in [email protected] You know that’s not true. I wasn’t a necessary component. You had all the right people, the ones close to the situation...But for now, produce this “producer’s” request or... APOLOGIZE. It’s simple."

Badu and hampton's latest back and forth comes only days after the neo-soul artist was criticized for seemingly defending R. Kelly amid his sexual abuse allegations at a concert in Chicago. She later clarified her remarks about the disgraced singer, saying that she did not approve of his actions, but believed he was deserving of love and assistance.

Check out Badu and hampton's exchange below.

I asked Producer T. Farris to contact @fatbellybella to be in doc because I wanted clarity on two things: 1) a quote attributed to her, "No one has done more for Black people than R. Kelly" & 2) what she was thinking when she called him her "brother" at Soul Train Awards. https://t.co/yYBvP8bBIj

— dream hampton (@dreamhampton) January 22, 2019

No ma’am. I WAS NOT EVER contacted by anyone to be in [email protected] You know that’s not true. I wasn’t a necessary component. You had all the right people, the ones close to the situation...But for now, produce this “producer’s” request or... APOLOGIZE. It’s simple. https://t.co/cgBcpPePMI

— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) January 23, 2019

Continue Reading
MICHAEL CAMPANELLA

Judge Removes Tekashi 6ix9ine's Lawyer From Racketeering Case

Tekashi 6ix9ine is in need of new legal representation. A judge has reportedly removed one of 6ix9ine's lawyers from his racketeering case ahead of his trial, XXL reports. The decision was made during a pre-trial conference on Tuesday (Jan. 22).

The presiding Judge Paul A. Engelmayer ruled that the 6ix9ine's lawyer, Lance Lazarro, would have to be removed from the case due to a potential conflict of interest. Lazarro reportedly represented Tekashi's co-defendants, Faheem "Crippy" Walter and Kifano "Shotti" Jordan before representing 6ix9ine in his racketeering case.

During the conference, Engelmayer stated that he was upset that Lazarro had not disclosed his relationship with the co-defendants previously. Lazarro reportedly represented Walter for a gang assault charge in Oct. 2018 and Jordan for numerous charges in 2009 and 2015. He explained that he didn't think the matter was important to mention.  Judge Engelmayer responded by noting that it wasn't the attorney's place to determine whether his previous work was significant.

Lazzaro will not be able to act as Tekashi's lawyer until he sends letters detailing the extent of his relationships with Walter and Jordan. If the judge finds no conflict of interest, Lazarro will be able to return as an acting attorney for Tekashi. Dawn Florio will continue as part of Tekashi's legal team.

As previously reported, the "Stoopid" artist, Walter, and Jordan are awaiting trial for a racketeering case. Tekashi pleaded not guilty to the federal charges in Nov. 2018. If convicted, he could face a life sentence in prison. His trial date is slated to begin on Sept. 4.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Drake And Odell Backham Jr. Sued For Orchestrating Violent Attack On Man

Drake and NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. are reportedly being sued for allegedly orchestrating a violent attack on a man in a West Hollywood club, TMZ reports. According to court docs obtained by the celeb site, Bennett Sipes is accusing Drake and Beckham of telling their entourage to beat him up after a brief confrontation.

Sipes claims the incident occurred in the VIP section of the Delilah nightclub after he began to argue with Drizzy, Beckham, Kourtney Kardashian's ex-boyfriend Younes Benjima, and the rest of their crew. A source close to the incident claims Sipes was "talking smack" at the time. When he attempted to exit the area, Sipes alleges that Drake gave him the "cut throat" gesture.

When the victim entered the bathroom, he was attack by Benjima and Drake and Beckham's friends. The whole fight was caught on video, showing Benjima throwing the first punch at Sipes. Drake and OBJ are also seen on camera watching from a distance.

Sipes reportedly filed a police report following the incident, but dropped it shortly after. He is suing OBJ, Drake, Delilah and others other for an undisclosed amount.

Check out footage from the attack below.

Continue Reading

Top Stories