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‘Vida’ on Starz: A Sip and Paint Celebration of Love – Photos/Paintings: LOOK!



*Earlier this week a celebration of life, creativity and love occured in Los Angeles.  It was a celebration of not only the new season of “Vida” on Starz, but also a nod towards diversity in TV.

Season 2 of “Vida” will continue the story of two sisters who return to their now gentrified hometown of East Los Angeles, to run their late mother’s bar.

What makes “Vida” stand out in the endless new shows available to audiences, is rather than just having a few characters that identify as LGBTQ as a peripheral theme,  from its very first episode, in its very first season, Vida has woven these characters into the framework of its storylines. From the moment, Emma, who has been estranged from her mother, finds out that after her mother’s death, Eddy, her mother’s “roommate,” was actually her mother’s wife, there are issues that real people, with these real lives can understand in a way that has not been told before.

The first season deals with loss, family, change and differences, ending with Eddy, the widow, beaten up in a homophobic attack.  So, what stood out to me, at the Starz “Sip & Paint” event held at Valentine, in downtown Los Angeles, was not only the name of the venue, with its “connotations” of love, but also the fans that lined up for the event.

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Fans of ‘Vida’ at exhibit: Carylyn Cardoza, Irene Diaz and Yuliana Salinas

I met Carylyn Cardoza, Irene Diaz and Yuliana Salinas, and asked them why they were super fans of this show.  What I saw, as they answered, was joy, pride and pure love. They related. They saw people that not only looked like them on television, but also they related to the stories that are being told on Vida, the cultural awareness that is identifiable on the show, the familiarity of “spanglish” in their day to day lives, and most importantly, being accepted as queer and loved upon.

A lot of stuff that happens in the show, happens in neighborhoods that these girls can relate to.  Dealing with homophobia, transphobia, racism all whilst a community is being gentrified, is real life.  It translates. We see in our society people being bullied, harassed and/or attacked for their identities, so being able to celebrate love, in its truest form on this day, was not only extremely special, but also empowering.

All walks of life showed up to support the Season 2 premiere of Vida at the Valentine event space.  It was a celebration of different sameness. However we identify, our love is the same. Our humanness is the same, our issues are the same and it’s important to recognize that the narrative that has always been told, is not the ONLY narrative there is.  We can celebrate our different sameness, through various points of views and thus, gain a broader understanding of what it means to live, love and embrace this thing we call “LIFE!”

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Artist Levi Ponce

I also spoke to Levi Ponce, a local Los Angeles Latin artist, showcasing his work at the Starz, Vida “Sip and Paint” event.  Levi talked about how he grew up with a dad that painted signs and how his love of painting developed from that. Levi talked about what Vida has embraced…opportunity, which Levi can relate to.  Opportunity for Latin artists to be creative, to be part of a community and to live and love their truths. So, when he talked about his art and the opportunity to showcase it, I could see the joy it brought in creating a legacy that can be shared with the world.

Vida is allowing people to embrace who they are.  It is allowing people to not have to explain their very existence, while it continues to explore family dynamics, romance, neighborhoods and the intricacies of the Latin American experience and queer communities.  We all live in diversity. Vida explores that. It celebrates that. It educates us about it and it is a show, that no matter who you are, it smartly engages you and makes you feel part of this global community, through the eyes of this one East L.A., gentrified, LGBTQ, Latin area.

vida - binge the new season

“Vida” Season 2 premiered Thursday May, 23, 2019 with all 10 half-hour episodes available on the Starz app and Starz On-Demand.  The series will broadcast its linear premiere Sunday May 26 at 8pm, airing weekly.

Created and executive produced by Tanya Saracho, Vida stars Melissa Barrera, Mishel Prada, Ser Anzoategui, Chelsea Rendon, Carlos Miranda and new addition, Roberta Colindrez.  Season 2 will also welcome Raul Castillo and Adrian Gonzalez as guest stars.

*Photos by Linda Antwi

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The Virtual United Negro College Fund Tour Heads to NY, DC & NJ on Fri & Sat-Nov. 20 & 21 (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)




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*African American students interested in going to college can attend the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Fall 2020 virtual Empower Me Tour. Set for this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21, 2020), New York, District of Columbia, and New Jersey will be repped. (This year’s tour kicked off earlier this month in Wisconsin and Illinois). To register, go here.

The Empower Me Tour is an extension of the goals of the UNCF. Founded in 1944, the UNCF, a non-profit, has raised more than $5 billion and helped more than 500,000 students attend 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The EUR caught up with Stacey Lee, the tour’s director for four years, who discussed the importance of the event.

“The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of education support to minority students,” said Lee. “The Empowerment Tour has been executed for the past 12 years and last year along we offered over $12 million dollars in scholarships.”

MORE NEWS/RELATED: BMEE Authors: Urgent Steps Are Necessary to Address Implicit Bias in Early Education  

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Stacey Lee, director of the Empower Me Tour. (Photo credit: UNCF)

Lee continued, “I think the great thing is that during these times, even with COVID-19, is that a number of corporations (Wells Fargo/P&/FedEx/Disney/Goldman Sachs) and donors have really been providing opportunity and financial access to our schools and students.”

The tour is packed with information and resources so that students and parents have the right tools to make informed decisions.

“It’s a free event that provides educational support, scholarships, interviews with colleges, empowerment, and information on how to get to and through college. We also provide this information for parents as well. We have a parent section that focuses on financial aid and the things you need to get your students to college.”

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Source: Empower Me Tour

Lee continued, “Sometimes we have students that don’t realize that they can attend college. They can receive scholarships. Some of them don’t even know what an HBCU is. So, it’s inspirational for me to see these students receive this information and the excitement that’s around this tour.”

In addition to college information, panel sessions on issues affecting the community will also take place. Legendary rapper Bun B will be part of a special My Black Is Beautiful panel. The panel will have discussions with girls and boys and the MC will lead the male portion.

“It’s about empowerment,” Bun B told the EUR. “It’s vital for us to lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices. We just talk about now what that role is in this COVID world. And with everything that we are seeing with young Black men on television, we want to keep them motivated and centered. We want to make sure that they are not discouraged in this moment.”

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Legendary rapper Bun B is a panelist at the Empower Me Tour. (Photo credit: UNCF)

Ever since Kamala Harris threw her hat into the presidential race and elected vice president of the United States, a spotlight has shined on the fact that she’s an HBCU grad (Howard University) and member of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. These facts are not lost on the UNCF.

“Kamala has really boosted people’s awareness about HBCUs and (African American sororities) and the type of people that come out of HBCUs. HBCUS have also provided so many people from science, mathematics, and engineering programs (STEM).”

Bun B added, “We have more than enough examples to show you how beneficial an education from an HBCU can be. So, there is no reason to not be a part of an HBCU because the world is just as available to you as it is for anyone else attending any other type of university.”

Register for the virtual Empower Me Tour on November 20 & 21, 2020 here. Spring tour dates will be announced soon. For general information on the United Negro College Fund, go here.

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(Photo credit: UNCF)

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Apple News

New Music Buzz: Jazzy Rita Shelby’s ‘Goodbye 2020’



Goodbye 2020 Jazzy Rita Shelby
Goodbye 2020 Jazzy Rita Shelby

After all that’s happened this year, it’s time to say Goodbye 2020. New single available by Jazzy Rita Shelby at most digital platforms.

*SB Music presents “Goodbye 2020” a new single for the times we are in.

“Goodbye 2020” is performed by Jazzy Rita Shelby and written by Miss Shelby (ASCAP) and Eddie Lawrence Miller (BMI).

It’s the perfect anthem to end a year that has impacted the globe.

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Jazzy Rita Shelby is fed up with this year and elated about her new single “Goodbye 2020.” Avail now from SB Music (Written by L. Shelby & E. Miller)

EURweb’s Jazzy Rita is also a prolific lyricist who has teamed up with Eddie Miller for “Goodbye 2020” because it was timely and convenient for the birth of a song such as this.

Eddie Miller is a coveted keyboardist & vocalist who performs regularly with Brian Culbertson and he’s the Rhodes Festival musical director. Jazzy Rita rose to notoriety as host & performer at The Starlight Jazz Serenade, an annual benefit concert in North Hollywood with an A list of stars.  As a teen Miss Shelby was inspired to write songs by the legendary David Porter.

This year has been a year like no other.  “Goodbye 2020” is an ode to the world for the year that we have seen and the hope that lies ahead.  Radio Programmers click here for adds.

MORE NEWS: THE REAL: The Ladies’ Experience With Stereotypes in Hollywood. Plus, Cheryl Hines Is Here!

“Goodbye 2020” is released on the SB Music label and was recorded at Wishing Wells Studio in Canoga Park, CA.  Willie Daniels and Mildred Black perform background vocals along with Jazzy Rita.  The video is produced & directed by Jazzy Rita (LaRita Shelby), filmed & edited by Reggie Simon of Simon Vision Media, with wardrobe styling by Jazzy Rita and Poet Roni Girl’s Army Couture.  “Goodbye 2020” is available on most digital platforms.  Click here to listen on Spotify.


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Apple News

Celebrate Halloween with ‘Spell’ Starring Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine and John Beasley / WATCH




Spell - poster

*Today/TONIGHT is Halloween and what could be a more perfect way to celebrate than with the release of SPELL? Enjoy the clips below to get you in the spooky spirit!

Omari Hardwick (“Power,” Sorry to Bother You), Loretta Devine (“Black-ish,” Crash) and John Beasley (The Sum of All FearsThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) star in the terrifying thriller SPELL, coming to Premium Video-On-Demand and Digital today October 30 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

While flying to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia, an intense storm causes Marquis (Omari Hardwick) to lose control of the plane carrying him and his family.  He awakens wounded, alone and trapped in Ms. Eloise’s (Loretta Devine) attic, who claims she can nurse him back to health with the Boogity, a Hoodoo figure she has made from his blood and skin. Unable to call for help, Marquis desperately tries to outwit and break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.

WHOA! READ THIS: Disabled Siblings Found Living with Dead Body of Mother Decomposing Under Pile of Clothes

DIRECTED BY | Mark Tonderai


STARRING | Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine, John Beasley

AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS | Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, DirecTV, VUDU, Xfinity, FandangoNOW and more.

Rating | R – violence, disturbing/bloody images, and language







Paige Theall


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