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Oprah Winfrey: Opportunist or Changed Heart?

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Oprah Winfrey has been called out after arranging an interview with Ava DuVernay and The Exonerated Five. Labeled an opportunist hypocrite, social media users were quick to remind Winfrey she has dirty hands. The once revered “Queen of All Media” was a part of the firestorm that vilified the young boys in the press.

It requires a certain level of maneuvering and comfort with exploitation to make gains in hoarding such wealth. When the tactics used in financial moves are often employed in all facets of their lives, billionaires never amass their wealth unsullied. We would be remiss to believe that Oprah Winfrey would be exempt from that cutthroat behavior and curious to see that ways it has snaked through her life. Having once supported the arrest of the five Black and Latino boys that were snatched from Harlem and convicted of the rape of a White woman in Central Park, Oprah has changed her stance. But this recent outpouring of support has left millions wondering if Oprah has an ulterior motive.

Interviewing The Central Park Jogger

In 2002, the April edition of O, The Oprah Magazine, featured an interview with none other than the Central Park Jogger herself. Assaulted in 1989, the investment banker who experienced the brutality of a serial rapist and murderer Matias Reyes recounted the attack with Oprah. Shocked by her remarkable recovery, Oprah could not believe what the jogger had to say about how she came to terms with what she endured.

Central Park Jogger: “After reflecting on how amazing my recovery was, I thought, “There’s got to be something else going on here.” Another thing that may have helped my healing was that I didn’t harbor resentment toward the boys who attacked me.”

Oprah: “That seems impossible to me. I harbor resentment – and I just read about it in the paper.”

O, The Oprah Magazine, April 2002

If this interview had taken place in the months immediately following the trial and unjust conviction of the now Exonerated Five, it would be almost understandable. However, Oprah expresses that she was actively harboring resentment toward McCray, Richardson, Salaam, Santana, and Wise in 2002, just eight months before they would be exonerated. Oprah went on, repeating the details of the jogger’s assault, almost in an effort to convince her to be outraged, yet the survivor maintained her stance.

Central Park Jogger: “I focused on all the positives. And I realized I has seen both the best and the worst of humanity.”

Oprah: “After you were raped, sodomized, beaten with a pipe, dragged, and left for dead, you can honestly say you looked at those boys in the courtroom and harbored no resentment?”

Central Park Jogger: “Right.”

O, The Oprah Magazine, April 2002

Righting Wrongs?

So why, after holding such anger and resentment, would Oprah executive produce the Netflix limited series When They See Us? Calling her endorsement disingenuous, Oprah’s detractors say she’s just riding a wave. After being complicit in spreading malicious information surrounding the case, Oprah has suddenly decided to focus on the truth. But, until she owns her part in preaching the false narrative of The Exonerated Five’s guilt, many are unwilling to hear her speak. The pseudo-revolutionary act of amplifying the voices of the downtrodden 30 years after the damage has already been done is not worthy of applause.

Food for thought: Because people with wealth view each other with a different lense, is it possible Oprah’s change of heart is influenced by the net worth of The Exonerated Five? Does her decision to find value in their lives stem from their vindication and million-dollar payout for the gross injustice? Or has she just latched on because supporting the marginalized is “in” right now?

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Basketball Wives, Colorism, & The Negative Depictions of Black Women. Time We Call it Out.

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The State of Basketball Wives In a Nutshell

Basketball Wives is on its eighth season and their eighth episode and nothing has changed over the course of the show. As a viewer, who has watched the show since the Royce and Suzie days, the drama has escalated to something that is absolutely unacceptable. They have enabled bullying, they have stated racist comments, and helped colorism flourish. This is not a reach, there are several examples of this and I will elaborate on them later on in this post. Quite frankly, I am beyond dispirited by the deplorable behavior, Evelyn Lozada, Shaunie O’Neal, Feby Torres, and even Malaysia Pargo have shown over time and specifically this season. Yes, Jennifer Williams & Jackie Christie have done their share of foul things too.

Timeline

Let’s look at the timeline of the show. Where do I even begin?

Well, the first season of Basketball Wives (Miami) introduced us to Royce Reed who was a former dancer for an NBA team and an entrepreneur with her own dance company. Royce spoke her mind. She was not dressing like them, she was not participating in the same activities as them, and she didn’t kiss their ass. Furthermore, Evelyn and Jennifer would constantly throw jabs at Royce on the way she looked and the way she dressed. They ostracized her in many ways and she then became the outcast. This is bullying.

Tanya Woods

Next, let’s take a look at the LA branch. Do you guys remember Tanya Williams? Probably not, she didn’t stay too long.

The ladies found her irritating because she was “boring”. I guess having a great vocabulary makes you boring. They also were upset that she did not break up a fight (Malaysia vs Laura). Tanya was flabbergasted that there was a fight happening in front of her. Which makes sense because she is usually around women who have class. Moreover, during an interview she did with Loop 21 back in 2013, she eluded to the fact that there are not many black women behind the scenes encouraging resolution or more positive depictions. As a result, this lets me know that Shaunie O’Neal does not care about the depictions of black women. Yes, these ladies do not represent all black women, but why even have them acting like fools on TV.

Let’s now fast forward to the last season of Basketball Wives and this current season.

OG is a new member of the show, she is a proud Nigerian and she plays professional women’s football. OG reminds me of Royce because she is not quick to agree with the ladies and she formulates her own opinions. Let’s be clear though, OG has not been perfect but for the most part, she has shown viewers that she may be the only real and genuine one on the show.

In recent episodes, OG interfered with some family business between Cece and Kristen, which is never okay. However, what is really not okay with me, is the fact that the other ladies specifically Evelyn, Malaysia, and Shaunie have been having some selective outrage. A couple of seasons ago Evelyn was having conversations with Jackie’s daughter about Jackie, and Shaunie enabled the behavior by not checking Evelyn. So what is the difference?

This season, we have Feby and she recently moved to LA to become more independent and work on her music career. Feby already begins to start issues with OG for absolutely no reason but to fit in with the ladies dislike for OG. Now get this, Feby in one episode was talking so terribly about OG with the other ladies and talking about the way she looks and everything else you can imagine. Feby even wasted her time to write a rap song mentioning OG and then lied about it. When OG confronts Feby, OG gets labeled “aggressive”.

Colorism OR Mean Girls OR Both?

Now doesn’t this rhetoric sound like white people describing black people who speak their mind or have strong passions? Evelyn is able to throw tables, throw drinks, and call Cece “Lee Lee” and yet her behavior is never reprimanded. But you know why? It s because of the blatant colorism towards OG on this show, that I can’t stand. When Latinas or light skin women get angry it is sexy or it is justified compared to when black women or darker skin women get angry, it is deemed “aggressive”.

Some may argue that Kristen, Jennifer, and Malaysia are dark skin and don’t get the treatment. However, Malaysia has gotten plastic surgery to gain European features. Let’s be real. Jennifer and Kristen don’t have strong features and they fit Evelyn and Shaunie’s aesthetic. Not to mention, Kristen referred to OG as Kunta Kinte and the ladies laughed. The words they use to describe OG have never been used before towards any other castmate in Basketball Wives history. Lastly, just because you are dark skin girl does not exempt you from making colorist comments.

Royce, Tanya, and OG are beautiful dark skin women with natural features that did not fit their expectations. Let’s keep that in mind.

I think it’s mean girl bullying and colorism all intertwined. Let me know what you all think. Very curious if anyone feels this way.

Now, I understand that this is reality TV and you should expect some mess. However, it makes the show interesting and impactful if there is some type of resolution. Instead, the drama and the antics accumulate and grow into a disgusting narrative.

A couple of seasons ago, Shaunie said Maylasia had no substance.

Shaunie, sis this whole show has no substance.

Thoughts?

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Flop or Bop? Hot Girl Summer Gets Mixed Reviews

Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj have finally released the song of the season, “Hot Girl Summer”. The rappers penned the track after linking up in late July and teasing the collaboration through Instagram Live.

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Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj have finally released the song of the season, “Hot Girl Summer”. The rappers penned the track after linking up in late July and teasing the collaboration through Instagram Live.

“Don’t run from me, friend!” Hot Girl Summer is already making waves as the first female rap collaboration to snatch the number one spot on the iTunes charts. Produced by Juicy J, the bad chick anthem celebrating women living unapologetically features Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla Sign. Initially expected to release August 2nd, Megan updated her fans that they’d have to wait for the track. But was the delay worth it? According to social media reactions, the decision is split.

While the track currently has overwhelmingly positive reception on YouTube, these Twitter streets are telling a different story. Users aren’t entirely disappointed by the collab, but say that they just expected a bit more from the addition of a powerhouse like Nicki Minaj. Still, others are enjoying the song as a fun, dance track and can’t wait to see how DJs mix it in the club. Although some people are scrutinizing the verses of the two rappers, other’s are calling for unity. Referencing the fallout from the Motorsport collab, one user stated, “Y’all will not nitpick every bar to see who was better and throw unnecessary shade.” I have to agree!

Have you listened to “Hot Girl Summer” yet? What do you think: flop or bop?

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Fan Favorites and Newcomers Join Coming 2 America Lineup

A sequel 31 years in the making, Coming 2 America has a star studded cast. Along with Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, the long awaited sequel boasts the return of James Earl Jones and Paul Bates as well as the addition of Wesley Snipes.

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A sequel 31 years in the making, Coming 2 America has a star studded cast. Along with Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, the long awaited sequel boasts the return of James Earl Jones and Paul Bates as well as the addition of Wesley Snipes.

The Coming to America sequel is still in production, but it’s gaining traction among fans because of its adventurous casting. Joining the lineup are veteran actors and some of out newest favorites. Wesley Snipes, KiKi Layne, and Rick Ross are all set to appear in the comedy. With a speculated release date of August 2020, fans will have to wait to see how it all comes together. But for now we have limited details for the actors roles.

Of course, Murphy, Hall, Jones, and Bates will be reprising their roles from the 1988 rom-com. But Wesley Snipes has been cast as a character from a family we’ve seen before. The Izzi family, remembered for Vanessa Bell Calloway’s performance as the gorgeous-but-subservient Imani Izzi, is getting a new member. Snipes will be assuming the role of General Izzi, a man who rules a nation that neighbors Zamunda. Few details are known about what roles KiKi Layne and Rick Ross are expected to fill, but the storyline has been leaked.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Coming 2 America is about Akeem’s return to the United States in a search for his long-lost son. The film is directed by John Landis, who Murphy has been famously at odds with. You can read the details of their feud below.

Are you excited for Coming 2 America or are you bored with nostalgia films?

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