Posts by CarlitaPitts:
Earlier this week, nearly 200 people filled the Oprah Winfrey Theater in the National Museum of African American Museum of History and Culture to listen to Pete Souza, former Chief White House photographer for President Barack Obama, talk about his book: “Obama: An Intimate Portrait.”
During the event, Souza brought President Obama’s political journey to life as he presented a collection of presidential and personal photos that were taken since he met him in 2005 when Obama began serving in the U.S. Senate.
Souza told attendees that he took over 1.9 million photos during Obama’s presidency and that it was hard to narrow down his favorites. However, D.C. media, VIPs and museum members had the opportunity to hear Souza tell the narrative of the Obama administration while showing some of the most iconic moments during his time at the White House.
Everyone in attendance were taken on an emotional journey together as Souza told stories while showing images of his best and worst times in office. Some of the photos and stories highlighted were: the former president diving in the snow with his daughters Sasha and Malia in DC during “Snowmaggedon”; body-surfing while on vacation in Hawaii; playing a game of basketball with one of his aides; watching the Osama Bin Laden raid in the Situation room; singing Amazing Grace during his eulogy for former South Carolina state senator, Rev. Clementa Pinckney; writing personal notes to the parents who lost children during the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and his final moments in the White House.
It was a wonderful experience to see significant behind-the-scenes images of the president’s daily encounters with the public, interactions with his administration, all while balancing being a great father and a loving husband.
Be sure to grab your copy of “Obama: An Intimate Portrait” to see for yourself.
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In celebration of the series premiere of Marlon, comedian Marlon Wayans and NBC hosted a private press dinner and screening on Wednesday evening at Busboys and Poets.
During the event, members of the press enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, drinks and an opportunity to participate in a family-style roundtable discussion while watching the premiere of the first two episodes of Marlon.
We spotted The YBF’s Jamishia Smith, public relations’ professionals Simona Noce, Candice Nicole and Mercy Chikowore along with morning show host Danni Starr.
During the discussion, Marlon explained the inspiration behind creating his show, why he chose NBC, and working with actress Essence Atkins. He also said he hopes Marlon will inspire men to be active fathers.
“You want to know why our prisons are filled with young black men? I’m willing to bet most of them didn’t have a positive male role model in their lives,” he said at the dinner. “A father, a black man — any man. Without my father, I wouldn’t be the man I am.”
“It is important to not just your kids, but to your legacy and your community [to be a good father]. You want to build up your community? Father your children,” Marlon added.
The series features him as an attentive — somewhat juvenile — single father who is co-parenting his two young children with his mature and very put-together ex-wife, Ashley, played by Essence. Marlon also stars Baltimore’s own Bresha Webb.
While his fatherly advice may often be misguided, and he sometimes lets his own outsized personality and unpredictable Internet superstardom get in his way, for Marlon, family always comes first.
Check out Marlon on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.
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WeTV hosted an exclusive panel discussion and screening of their hit show, “Growing Up Hip Hop” last Thursday at the National Museum of African American History & Culture.
Hundreds of attendees filled the Oprah Winfrey Theater to hear the cast of “Growing Up Hip Hop” and their legendary parents talk about the cultural impact of hip hop.
The panelists included: Angela and Vanessa Simmons, Master P, Romeo Miller, Sandra Denton “Pepa”, Dame Dash, Boogie Dash and Kristinia DeBarge.
During the panel discussion, attendees also got the opportunity to view snippets of the season 3 premiere of “Growing Up Hip Hop.”
The Fab Empire caught up with some of the cast to talk about the new season of GUHH, their favorite places to hang out in DC and what’s next.
“We love DC,” says Vanessa Simmons. “But we really love, love, loved the museum. It is so amazing. We didn’t even get the chance to see all of the exhibits we wanted to see, including the Emmitt Till exhibit. We will definitely return to DC so we can see more.”
Angela Simmons, however, really enjoys our restaurants. “I’ve been to so many restaurants with good food, I can’t even remember them all,” she said.
We also caught up with Master P and Romeo Miller. “I love all the cajun and creole restaurants DC has,” says Master P. “I am a big seafood guy. Give me some crawfish, crabs and catfish and I’m good.”
Romeo Miller, however, reflected on how DC has contributed to his career. “DC has been a big part of my career. My first concert was here; it was at Six Flags. I’ll never forget that. Do you know how big that is, to have a concert at Six Flags as a young kid? It was so amazing.”
Master P and Romeo also told The Fab Empire about what their currently working on.
“After my role on Empire, I have really been focused on being an actor. I have six movies coming out later this year,” Romeo says.
He also mentioned that the No Limit Reunion Tour, which kicked off in New Orleans during the Essence Music Festival, will be headed to other cities this year. The reunion tour includes our faves including Master P, Mia X, Silk the Shocker, Mystikal and more.
“You all should also be on the lookout for the “No Limit” biopic, which is coming out real soon,” Master P added. “Things are looking good for No Limit Records.”
After the screening and panel discussion, WeTV hosted a big reception to celebrate the new season. The attendees had a chance to mix and mingle with the entire cast and the opportunity to do an afterhours tour of the museum. It was an amazing event.
Be sure to check out “Growing Up Hip Hop” on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on WeTV.
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2017 is shaping up to be a great year for black cinema and the D.C. premiere of “Girl’s Trip,” held earlier this week, proved it.
The evening started with a private reception at 701 Restaurant (701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW). The audience, which consisted of media professionals and D.C. VIPs, were greeted at the door with signature drinks, a curated menu with New Orleans style cuisine and the sounds of a brass band.
The attendees also got the opportunity to chat and take photos with one of the stars of the film, D.C.’s own Regina Hall.
The screening, hosted by NBC Universal and Comcast, was held at the Burke Theater.
It brought out hundreds of attendees, including D.C. notables such as CNN political commentator Symone Sanders, political activist Janaye Ingram, and former White House executive David Johns.
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The screening kicked-off with a Q&A discussion with Regina, who also engaged the crowd in a game of “Never Have I Ever.” Oh boy!
“Girls Trip” is a hilarious and witty summer comedy, centered on four friends who met in college and reunite after falling out of touch.
Ryan (Regina Hall), a successful writer, was invited to Essence Festival for business and thought it was a great time to get her old crew, Sasha (Queen Latifah), Lisa (Jada Pinkett-Smith) and Dina (Tiffany Haddish) – aka The Flossy Posse – back together again for a girl’s trip.
During the trip, however, the women experience numerous challenges, and are forced to navigate through them while creating memories that will last a lifetime.
It’s a dope film for black women and even men who know what it’s like to wild out.
Go see “Girls Trip” when it comes out on Friday, June 21.
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Starz hosted a red carpet premiere and after party last night to celebrate “Power’s” upcoming season at the Newseum. To say that it was the hottest event in town would be a huge understatement.
The star-studded event brought out hundreds of people, including the entire cast of “Power,” and “The Real Housewives of Potomac” stars Gizelle Bryant, Karen Huger Thompson, Robyn Dixon and Monique Samuels.
Washington Wizards baller John Wall, radio personality Russ Parr, Jeff Johnson, Maggy Francois, Paul Wharton and many, many more also were spotted.
The Fab Empire briefly caught up with Lala Anthony, who plays LaKeisha Grant on the series, and asked her what surprises we can expect from the show this season.
“Whoa! If you thought that seasons 1 through 3 were crazy, just wait until you see season 4. This is, in my opinion, the best season ever. It just gets crazier and crazier and I can’t wait for you all to see it,” she gushed.
We also caught up with Michael Rainey, Jr., who plays little Tariq, and he told us how his character will change this season.
“Now that Ghost has been arrested, Tariqis wild this season. I mean really, really wild,” he hinted. “You all will be surprised to see how wild he really is.”
After the screening, Starz hosted an after party. Fab Award winner DJ Quicksilva was on the wheels and kept the party on their feet.
We had the opportunity to view the first episode of season 4 and we couldn’t agree with Lala more! This season will be crazy!
Season 4 of Power premieres Sunday, June 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Starz. You don’t want to miss it.
Photo credit: Photo by Aaron J./RedCarpetImages.net/Carlita Pitts
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Ford partnered with Essence Magazine to present “My City 4 Ways” to DC — an event featuring music, art and style celebrating DMV culture on Sunday.
The celebration, held at Long View Art Gallery, was hosted by “The Real’s” Loni Love along with celebrity stylist and designer Ty Hunter. It also featured a musical performance by D.C.’s own Ginuwine.
Guests were treated to the DMV’s finest in food, wine, art, culture and test rides and drives in Ford cars.
The room was packed with media, socialites, VIPs and D.C. elite.
We spotted journalists Jawn Murray, Demetria Lucas D’Oyley, and Paul Wharton, Robin and Andrea McBride, owners of Truvee Wine, and PR executive Humble Hill, just to name a few.
Check out some of the photos below:
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Just hours before the Broccoli City Festival brought Solange and others to D.C., media, VIPs, change makers and sustainability supporters attended a VIP dinner at Brasserie Beck (11o1 K Street NW) on Friday night, hosted by the Toyota Green Initiative (TGI).
The evening featured green eats, clean drinks and engaging conversation about sustainability and community service in the African-American community.
Among the attendees were journalist Jawn Murray, blogger Nicole Kane, Stic Man of Dead Prez, music executive Mali Hunter, Turning Natural Juice Bar founder Jerri Evans, The Fab Empire’s own Mia Fields-Hall and Toyota executives Mia Phillips and Berna Rivera.
Great night at the @ToyotaUSA Green Initiative VIP Dinner in DC. Fun conversation with Toyota executives Mia Phillips & Berna Riveira; got to meet the Stic.Man (@sticrbg) of the legendary Dead Prez; and music executive Mali Hunter (@iam_mali). Thanks to Sheila Eldridge & the amazing team at @WeAreMilesAhead for inviting me. #ToyotaGreen #BCFest2017 #GoingPlaces #Toyota #RedCarpet #Influencer #ToyotaShowcase #DeadPrez
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The event opened up with welcome remarks provided by the TGI Coalition, who discussed the importance of green living and how Toyota is a driving force in improving African-American communities.
Throughout the evening guests sipped on green juice provided by D.C.’s own Turning Natural, a special tasting menu curated by Brasserie Beck and pies compliments of Justice of the Pies.
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Fox hosted a private screening Tuesday of its highly anticipated new series, “Shots Fired” at the Newseum (555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW).
Over 500 Media invitees, VIP’s and D.C. tastemakers filled the theater to preview the new show.
Before that, however, there were a number of special guests and VIP’s in attendance mingling. We spotted White House Correspondent for AURN, April Ryan, political strategist Angela Rye, retired NFL athlete Clinton Portis, musician Wes Felton, journalist Jawn Murray, radio host and TV commentator Mo Ivory, attorney/TV personality Kendell Renee Kelly, Fox 5 DC reporter Tisha Lewis and many more.
“Shots Fired,” written and directed by Reggie and Gina Prince Bythewood, centers on the shooting of a white college student by a black police officer, played by Mack Wilds.
The shooting then uncovers another shooting not investigated by the small town police department, which brings seasoned investigator Ashe Akino, played by Sanna Lathan to town. She brings with her Stephan James‘ Preston Terry.
After the cocktail hour, guests screened an episode of the show. They were then treated to a panel discussion, featuring the cast, led by April Ryan.
The series premieres March 22 at 8/7c on FOX.
Photo credit: Mike James
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Nearly 3000 people attended the star-studded “Peace Ball” at the mecca of black culture — The African American Museum of History & Culture Thursday night.
The non-partisan event, hosted by Busboys and Poets‘ owner Andy Shallal, started back in 2009 and was created to recognize the social progress that’s been made over the past few years. Officially titled, “Voices of Hope and Resistance,” the event brought out activists, dignitaries, artists and individuals who share the common goal of looking past political differences and finding ways to come together in solidarity.
The mood of the event was celebratory, yet motivational at the same time. The evening featured speeches and performances about activism from entertainers, journalists, activists, and politicians such as Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.); poet Sonia Sanchez, political commentators Melissa Harris-Perry, Amy Goodman, and Van Jones; actors Ashley Judd and our beloved Danny Glover; author Alice Walker; Alicia Garza, Founder of the Black Lives Matter movement; and the legendary activist and scholar Angela Davis.
The highlights of the evening included performances from Esperanza Spalding and Solange Knowles. Solange, who headlined the event, performed “anthems of resistance,” as appropriately titled by Angela Davis.
Sol Angel performed songs from her album “A Seat at the Table,” including “Rise,” “Weary,” “Mad,” “Don’t Touch My Hair,” and my favorite song on the album “Cranes in the Sky.”
Esperanza performed with the assistance of Afro Blue, Howard University’s premiere choir.
Still, what we loved to see at the ball was all of D.C. tastemakers come and show out. Here’s who we spotted, looking fabulous.
When you interview someone on a redcarpet and on the radio then march next to them in front of the White House #NoDAPL, then exchange a mutual respect at #PeaceBallDC you become FAMILY! Thx for the kind words @revyearwood I will continue our revolution✊🏾
A photo posted by BRITT WATERS (@itsbrittwaters) on
Picture Perfect! Our Family Editor @missnocepr pretty much ran the whole DC last night! As usual she ran & rocked the #RedCarpet and looked absolutely amazing while doing it! And what’s better than one editor?? Two Editors!! Our Bridal Editor @mrs.nassy Jackie Nassy #KiltIt in her gorgeous black gown!! Basically the entire #Squad is serving! What an awesome night! #squadgoals #theeditorscircle #officialistMag #peaceballdc #peaceball #womeninmedia #womeninbusiness #womeninentertainment #womeninPR #indieMag #writersofinstagram #journalist
A photo posted by The Officialist Magazine (@officialistmag) on
Mr. Glover liked this pic better… because I’m showing teeth he said!!😂😂 also met Ashley Judd Angela Davis Esperanza Spaulding and Solange Knowles… stayed in the moment and did not take many pics but it was truly a fun night… . . #peaceball #peaceballdc #peaceball2017 #busboysandpoets #nmaahc #inaugurationeve #dc #dcliving #dcnights #DannyGlover #viplounge #backstage #peaceandresistance
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Allied Marketing hosted a private screening last Thursday of “Almost Christmas” at Regal Gallery Cinemas in Chinatown. D.C.
Tastemakers and VIPs filled the theater to see the highly anticipated holiday comedy with an all-star cast including Gabrielle Union, Danny Glover, Kimberly Elise, Mo’Nique, Nicole Ari Parker, Omar Epps, Jesse Usher, J.B. Smoove, Keri Hilson, DC Young Fly and Romany Malco.
The film follows Walter (Glover), the beloved patriarch of the family, who invites his dysfunctional family to gather for five days over the Christmas holiday — for the first time — since the passing of their mother over a year ago.
Of course, as with most families, it doesn’t take long before the fighting, teasing and competition to begin, especially once secrets are revealed and marriages are tested.
Eventually, the family finds a way to honor their mother and grant their father his Christmas wish –of the family coming together and getting along.
Although you will see the plot developments of this movie a mile away, it is an enjoyable dramedy reminiscent of past urban holiday classics like “This Christmas”. It is guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and then laugh some more.
“Almost Christmas” opens nationwide on Nov. 11.
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