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Colin Kaepernick And Dave Chappelle Honored With Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Award

For the culture.

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and beloved comedian Dave Chappelle were awarded by Harvard University on Thursday (Oct. 11) for their contributions to black history and culture.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Medal is crafted by the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research at the Ivy League institution. In the past, the Hutchins Center has awarded the honor to various black celebrities including Nas, LL Cool J, Ava DuVernay, and our very own VIBE founder Quincy Jones.

The other honorees are Kenneth Chenault, chairman and a managing director of General Catalyst; Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Pamela Joyner, founder of Avid Partners, LLC; psychologist and author Florence Ladd; Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; and artist Kehinde Wiley.

Former Harvard professor Cornel West introduced Kaepernick in his speech saying, “He was not simply content with being successful, he wanted to be great.” Kaepernick reportedly requested that folks take no snapshots or recordings during his remarks.

The athlete turned black liberation activist shared a story about visiting a high school football team in Oakland, California. “One of these brothers says, ‘We don't get to eat at home, so we're going to eat on the field,’” Kaepernick said. He stated that remark stuck with him, sharing, "It's our responsibility ... to uplift them, to empower them. Because if we don't, we become complicit in the problem."

He ended his speech saying, “Love is at the root of our resistance. It will fortify everything we do."

 

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Last night at Sanders Theatre, Colin Kaepernick, Dave Chappelle, Pamela J. Joyner, Bryan Stevenson, Shirley Ann Jackson, Florence C. Ladd, Kenneth I. Chenault, and Kehinde Wiley were honored with the distinguished W.E.B. Du Bois Medal.⠀ ⠀ The W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, named after the first African American scholar to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1895, honors those who have made contributions to African and African-American history and culture. Powerful, poignant speeches from presenters and honorees marked this year's ceremony. ⠀ ⠀ Human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson, M.P.P. ’85, J.D. ’85, L.L.D. ’15, who founded @eji_org, dedicated his award to “people who did so much more with so much less” and asked the audience to think of hope as “your superpower.” Comedian Dave Chappelle said he was humbled to be on stage with his fellow honorees: “You all make me want to be better,” he said. Athlete and social activist Colin Kaepernick said that people in positions of privilege and power have a responsibility to speak up for the powerless: “If we don’t, we become complicit. It is our duty to fight for them.”⠀ ⠀ Photo: Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

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READ MORE: Colin Kaepernick Has Trademarked His Face And Afro Because…Coins

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Former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama arrives on stage at an event at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School on December 03, 2018 in London, England. The former First Lady's memoir titled 'Becoming' has become the best selling book in the US of 2018 according to figures released by her publisher Penguin Random House.
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Michelle Obama To Release Guided Journal To Accompany Best-Selling Memoir 'Becoming'

After captivating the world with her best selling memoir Becoming, Former First Lady Michelle Obama has announced a guided journal for readers to pair with their personal journeys.

Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice, will serve as a self-help coach of sorts with over 150 inspiring questions and quotes that connect to key themes in her memoir. The journal will also help bring readers to terms with the importance of family and personal reflections as well as the goals they'd like to make a reality.

With the journal, Obama hopes readers will be encouraged to find value in their own personal journeys of becoming.

“I hope you’ll use this journal to write down your experiences, thoughts, and feelings, in all their imperfections, and without judgment…. We don’t have to remember everything," the intro reads. "But everything we remember has value.”

Released last year, Becoming was an instant hit with Obama's admires, reaching The New York Times Best Sellers List with over 11.5 million units sold worldwide. The release was also paired with a perfect world tour with Obama holding conversations around the memoir's elements with famous friends like Sarah Jessica Parker, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah Winfrey.

We also received the gift that is Obama stunting in golden Balenciaga boots.

Michelle Obama in thigh high, gold holographic Balenciaga boots. that's it. that's the tweet. pic.twitter.com/tOWgfDlKza

— Joppe DC (@joppe_dc) December 20, 2018

In an interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, Obama shared how personal Becoming was by comparing it to the conversations she would share with close friends.

"I'm talking about me, all of me, in a way that I do with my friends, my girlfriends," said. "Now I'm talking about it with the world. It's not that I'm nervous about my story but I hope that it inspires people and it encourages people and it starts a conversation."

Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice will be published Nov. 19 for U.S. and Canada residents.

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Jason Weaver attends the premiere Of Warner Bros. "Lottery Ticket" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on August 12, 2010 in Hollywood, California
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Jason Weaver Turned Down $2M In Exchange For Royalties For 'Lion King' Role

Jason Weaver knows the phrase "chess not checkers" very well. When the singer took part in Disney's The Lion King as a child, his mother made sure her child was set for life.

In an interview with VladTV, the actor/singer looked back on the role that taught him the importance of business in the entertainment industry. Weaver was Young Simba's singing voice, providing us with classics like "I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and “Hakuna Matata” from the 1994 film. During negotiations, Weaver says his mother refused a $2 million check and opted for a chance to get royalties instead.

"Disney had a reputation for re-releasing stuff. I think at that time they had put out Sleeping Beauty and some of their old catalog from when [Walt] Disney was alive," he said. "They were releasing that stuff when they were releasing the new Disney stuff, so she was able to see the playing field and go, ‘Wait a minute, this is going to make a lot of money over time, so what happens when my son turns 40? Is he going to be able to get a check for this when they eventually re-release this?’"

The $2 million offer was enticing, Weaver recalled. His mother could see the vision Disney had with The Lion King and wanted to be apart of it. "It was so we can play the long game. In her opinion, because that residual income that I generate is so helpful. I make sure I give my mother her just due to props because if she hadn't done that it would have been the biggest mistake off my business career."

Weaver noted how he's made well over $1.9 million since the release of the original film. In total, the film has grossed over $1 billion (including the 2002 IMAX re-release and the 2011 3D experience). The original songs were also re-recorded for the live-action version released this year. Weaver's recordings of the song were apart of the film's soundtrack which currently lives on streaming platforms.

Many have wondered why Weaver only provided the singing voice to Young Simba, but the actor explained to Shadow and Act this year how he had an opportunity to do the speaking voice.

"They actually did offer me the role and the director even called business affairs at Disney and was like 'Yo, did we close out our contract with Jonathan Taylor Thomas? Because I think we want to make the offer to Jason Weaver for the speaking roles,'" Weaver recalled. "And business affairs got back to him and was like 'Nah, we literally just closed the deal.'" At the time, Thomas starred in the comedy Home Improvement and was literally on the covers of every teen magazine out (RIP Tiger Beat.)

Weaver's film choices have landed him with the elite. Other roles include a young Michael Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream miniseries, Smart Guy, Lottery Ticket, ATL, Love For Sale, Drumline and Dysfunctional Friends. 

 

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We know that #JasonWeaver was the young singing voice for Simba in the original #TheLionKing, but why didn’t Disney give him the speaking role as well? @itsjasonweaver explained what happened to #ShadowAndAct. 👀 #jasonweaver #lionking #childactor #cast #animation #speakingrole

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Jussie Smollett's Alleged Fake Hate Crime Inspires New Episode Of 'Law & Order SVU'

No one is safe from dramatization on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Their recent season has pulled a bit of inspiration from today's very wild world of news–specifically Jussie Smollett's alleged hate crime that took place earlier this year.

In a clip from this week's new episode, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and the squad look into a case where mega pop star by the name of Mathis is assaulted in New York. But things don't add up leading to a bigger mystery for the team to solve.

As noted in the series, their plots are often "ripped from the headlines" with this being no exception. One can only think Jussie Smollett's alleged assault was brought up in the writer's room. Earlier this year, the former Empire actor claimed he was assaulted by two men in MAGA hats in Chicago. After an intense investigation by the Chicago police, it was revealed two associates of the actor's reportedly planned the attack with him. Smollet was charged with disorderly conduct but was later dropped in exchange for community service and a fine.

In the past, the series has borrowed other big moments from the headlines like Chris Brown's assault against Rihanna ("Funny Valentine," Season 14), the very insane case of Gypsy Rose Blanchard ("Pathological," Season 19), the trial of Casey Anthony ("Selfish," Season 10), the Brock Turner rape case ("Rape Interrupted," Season 18) and the mysterious murder of Jon Benet Ramsey ("Appearances," Season 4).

Watch the teaser below.

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