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Fraud Claims $500k grant meant for Black creatives Fraud Claims $500k grant meant for Black creatives

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“Trans-racial” Director Claims $500k Grant Meant for Black Artists

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“I went through the struggles of a black man” says White director born to Irish parents.

‘African born again’ theatre director, Anthony Ekundayo Lennon, has been awarded a paid traineeship from the Arts Council of England. Funded by a grant awarded to a “theatre practitioner of colour”, the £406,500 stipend translates to more than $531,000 that is for the “development of future BAME (Black Asian and minority ethnic) leaders”.

The Lies! The Lies!

Anthony insists that because of his appearance, touting features like curly hair and high cheekbones, he was the target of racist slurs. When he appeared in a 1990s episode of Everyman, a BBC series that focused on moral and religious issues, he discussed his racial identity. Quoting the synopsis:

“Anthony Lennon was born in Kilburn, West London. His parents both come from Ireland and are both indisputably white. Anthony now earns his living as a black actor, because ever since he was a child he has looked black. When his friends, who are mostly black, find out about his background, fierce debates invariably follow; about whether Anthony really can call himself black, and about what black skin means to those who are born black.”

When the question of his personal and professional experiences arise, Lennon displays a recent work history that is exclusively all-black. However, his beginnings in West London at the Cockpit Theatre were met with difficulty securing White roles. This led to his transition to more Black acting troupes.

Reigniting discussions around racial identity and in a similar fashion to Rachel Dolezal, Lennon has been scolded by fellow actors. Luke Elliot tells the Independent, he was “angry that Lennon was taking up the little resources that are awarded to Black artists”.

While he maintains that he is open and honest about his White ancestry, Lennon applied for the grant as “mixed heritage”. The adoption of a fake Nigerian surname also raises eyebrows. It is abundantly clear using a pseudo-African name, Lennon intends to continue exploiting his appearance to play up his racial ambiguity and cash out.

Do you think his history of working with and supporting Black creatives excuses his actions? Do you think he should have to forfeit the grant?

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Entertainment

The VMAs Are Coming! Performers, Nominations, and Early Mistakes

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The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards are set to air Monday August 26th and the hype is already building! With first time performances from Normani, Megan Thee Stallion, and Lizzo lined up as well as Missy Elliott’s Video Vanguard Award, fans are excited to see what surprises are in store.

The list for pre-show and main show performers is making the 2019 VMAs look promising! Megan The Stallion and her bionic knees are set to kick things off as a pre-show performer alongside singer/songwriter Ava Max and CNCO, a Latin American boy band. There’s no telling what song she’ll perform from her growing catalogue, but we know Megan will deliver a taste of that Hot Girl Summer energy. All eyes will be on the main stage when Normani steps up to perform her new hit single, “Motivation”. The choreography heavy performance and catchy song co-written by Ariana Grande is sure to be everyone’s favorite performance, especially if she can duplicate the basketball bit.

Lizzo is gearing up to perform her sleeper hit “Truth Hurts”. Originally released in 2017, the song has popped off recently, ascending the charts in the spring. With a remix hinted that will feature Da Baby, fans will just have to wait and see if she’ll bring him on stage. Also taking the main stage is H.E.R. The R&B songstress whose musical style is described as “downcast post-breakup material” has been nominated for “Could’ve Been” featuring Bryson Tiller, which she is likely to perform. Old Town rapper Lil Nas X is a main stage performer as well as Big Sean. While details of either of their performances have not leaked, Camila and Shawn Mendes can’t say the same.

Last night, Entertainment Weekly haphazardly released an article describing the fauxple’s (fake couple) onstage behavior. As you know, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes have been indulging in obvious and unconvincing PDA everywhere they go. Believed to be a staged relationship, the early release of this article is just icing on a stale cake. Neither party has commented on the mistake.

Easily the highlight of the night, Missy Elliott will be performing as she receives the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Thanking her fans and those who campaigned longest for her to receive the honor, Missy referenced the upcoming tribute during her most recent single, “Throw It Back.” With a midnight premiere, the new single is already being celebrated for its style and is sure to make it into the medley of songs she performs that night.

Are you looking forward to the VMAs this year?

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Hazel E’s Colorist Comments Start Marriage Boot Camp Brawl, Halts Production

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Looks like Hazel E’s mouth has gotten her into trouble yet again! The former Love and Hip Hop Hollywood cast mate and Shanda Denyce were involved in a brawl on the set of Marriage Boot Camp. Damaging furniture and requiring security to ease the tension, producers reportedly put a stop to filming the upcoming season. With the home on lockdown and news of the fight making the rounds, there’s only one question — who won?

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I love sweat shirts ☺️ @icon_moo ….

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What Started the Fight

In 2017, Hazel E went on Instagram to attack Brooke Valentine, Moniece Slaughter, Jess Hilarious, and others for being “mad [because] they couldn’t pass the brown paper bag test.” The post, which has long been removed, contained a collage of brown skin women and a caption filled with disdain:

“I see all you black a** b*tches that hate me! Stop bleaching your skin, and fix the inside first and maybe all you ho*s wouldn’t be so mad. Love the skin you in ladies… [it] takes a village to take me out, but what y’all fail to realize is I’m still on top, and none of you b*tches WILL EVER compare to me or be on my level. I got money in the streets, anybody lookin for a check hit me up. B*tches mad cuz they couldn’t pass the brown paper bag test. Yep I said it back on my business with my United Nations. Sorry mom you kept me away from these type of girls all my life, you said they would hate me because I’m light skin…you were right!”

At the time, Hazel’s comments were directed at women who were accusing of her then boyfriend, Rose Burgandy, of being gay and lying about his age. She also went on to attack the gay community by commenting beneath Rose Burgandy’s post, “Burn in hell just like God said in the Bible!” She later recanted, because her supporters are predominantly members of the LGBT+ community. But while social media had forgotten about her ignorant remarks, Shanda Denyce did not.

Shanda confronted Hazel over her colorist remarks which immediately began the fight. With the two women arguing, their respective partners, Willie Taylor of Day 26 and model Devon B, started fighting alongside them until security intervened. According to TMZ, a marble table was cracked, several chairs were destroyed, and a set of drapes were ripped from the wall of the Marriage Boot Camp residence.

After the fight, producers held an emergency meeting to discuss whether the season would continue filming. As news of the fight is spreading, supporters of Shanda have flocked to her comments to praise her for “plucking beaks”. Meanwhile, Hazel E’s comments are in shambles after her disgusting comments have resurfaced.

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Four Students Shot During Block Party Near Clark Atlanta University, No Casualties

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A block party for three prominent HBCUs ended in gunfire last night resulting in injuries for four female students. Around 10:30 PM, shots rang out near the Clark Atlanta University campus during a party to celebrate the beginning of classes.

Roughly 200 students from Clark Atlanta University, Spelman, and Morehouse were caught in the middle of a heated exchange at the Robert W. Woodruff Library. According to Atlanta Police Captain William Rucker, the confrontation was between two groups that were “targeting each other.” Leaving the unlucky students in the crossfire, two women from Clark and two from Spelman were injured.

Since the crime took place so close to student housing, many who attended the fete were unable to go home. The shooter(s) injured four women, shooting one in the chest, another in the leg, and leaving two others grazed by bullets. The students were treated at Grady Health System and there were no casualties. As police begin their search for suspects, they are hopeful surveillance footage from the library contains useful leads.

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