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‘Black Is King’ Co-director Blitz Bazawule to Direct ‘The Color Purple’ Feature Musical



Blitz Bazawule
Blitz Bazawule - SCAD aTVfest 2020 - "Cherish The Day"


*The co-director of Beyoncé’s Disney+ visual album “Black Is King,” is set to direct a movie musical based on the Tony-winning Broadway reimagining of Alice Walker’s 1982 novel “The Color Purple.”

Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders, and Quincy Jones are reportedly behind the project for Warner Bros. Director Blitz Bazawule reportedly caught their attention with his movie “The Burial Of Kojo” on Netflix.  The film won Best Narrative Feature (World Cinema) at Urbanworld Film Festival. It also won the Grand Prize at the 2019 Luxor African Film Festival in Egypt.

“We were all blown away by Blitz’s unique vision as a director and look forward to seeing how he brings the next evolution of this beloved story to life,” Winfrey tells Deadline..

READ MORE: Oprah’s Voting Message / Company Gets Election Day Off … with Pay! / WATCH

Marcus Gardley is writing the screenplay, with music by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray.

EPs are Walker, Rebecca Walker, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Carla Gardini and Mara Jacobs, according to the report.

Spielberg directed the 1985 film “The Color Purple” starring Winfrey, Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg, which Jones produced. 

Spielberg is producing Bazawule’s musical alongside Winfrey. His film adaptation received 11 Oscar-nominations. Winfrey made her feature debut in the original movie and earned a Supporting Actress Oscar nom. The media mogul, Jones and Sanders also produced the Broadway musical.

Cynthia Erivo portrayed Celie in the 2015 revival, and won the Tony Award for lead actress in a musical.

Bazawule co-directed Beyoncé’s visual album Black Is King,” alongside the singer and Emmanuel Adjei.

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Alyson Williams’ New Release ‘Summer Nights in Harlem’ is Now Available / LISTEN



Alyson Williams1 (sheet music)

*Longtime R&B/soul singer, entrepreneur and radio personality Alyson Williams unveils her latest release, the single “Summer Nights in Harlem.

The veteran singer brings a jazzy, mature, grown-folks vibe to “Summer Nights In Harlem” as well as sweet sultriness to the accompanying “flip-side,” the ballad, “The Romance Of You”. It’s the sound Ms. Williams has been known for, dating back to her years when she was the first R&B singer signed to Russell Simmons’ Def Jam Records during the 1980’s.

“Producer Maurice Lynch was putting together a Harlem jazz review and was referred to me by a mutual friend,” says Alyson. “After we completed the show, he offered two songs for me to record – ‘Summer Nights In Harlem’ and ‘The Romance Of You’. I loved both tunes and offered to cut them with top notch veterans in the music industry – keyboardist Ray Chew (musical director for ABC-TV’s Dancing With The Stars), longtime sax man Kirk Whalum as well as Grammy Award winning bassist Christian McBride.”

Alyson’s “Summer Nights In Harlem” is available on Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora.

Entrepreneur, philanthropist and radio host, are just a few of the hats renowned Harlem raised recording artist Alyson Williams wears. With a voice so hauntingly pure, Alyson is able to transport you to your very own utopia while effortlessly showcasing she really can do it all.

INSIGHTFUL STORY: 50 Plus Fall/Winter Films Produced, Directed By … Or Featuring Black Talent in Prominent Roles

Alyson Wiliams (silver gown)

Growing up, Alyson was surrounded by and exposed to great music. Her father – celebrated Jazz trumpeter and bandleader, Bobby Booker – was a major influence in her life. It was at four years old, when Alyson first demonstrated her stage talents. With a strong passion for performing, Alyson was inspired to study dance under the supervision of Arthur Mitchell, founder of The Dance Theatre of Harlem. She also studied with Alvin Ailey and performed with numerous other dance companies with the determination to enhance her skills. After years of hard work and dedication to perfecting her craft, Alyson was granted a scholarship to Marymount Manhattan College. She later attended City University of New York, as a member of the Aaron Davis Center for the Performing Arts Program and studied under John Lewis, of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

While in college, Alyson joined the I.N.C.A. (Institute of New Cinema Artists) headed by Ruby Dee, Ozzie Davis and Cliff Frazier. Through I.N.C.A., Alyson was awarded an internship to work side by side with Benny Ashburn, manager of the world famous Commodores. Before she knew it, she was singing background in the studio with iconic artists such as Melba Moore, Evelyn Champagne King and Kurtis Blow. After a plethora of collaborations with Kurtis Blow, Alyson became the quintessential “hook girl” for the rap and hip hop genre. Alyson’s internship turned out to be life changing. In a short amount of time, her talent was recognized. Alyson became an in-demand studio session singer. She also became a featured member of the 80’s vocal group High Fashion on Capitol Records.

Alyson Willi8ams (at mic)

Following her path of success, Alyson instantly grabbed the attention of Def Jam Records CEO Russell Simmons and became the first female R&B artist to sign with the label. As a founding member of Def Jam, Alyson helped to further Russell’s vision. Fueled by excitement and passion, Alyson recorded two albums on Columbia/OBR (Original Black Records) and remained with the label when the company was acquired by Sony Music Entertainment. Her first album, “Raw”, spent an impressive 67 weeks on the Billboard charts, matched only by Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” and went gold in the UK. Altogether, the album produced four top 5 singles, one being the sultry hit, “Just Call My Name”. Her second album, self-titled Alyson Williams, featured songs produced by Al B. Sure and Babyface as well as featured many chart topping singles.

After finding success as a recording artist at such a young age, Alyson was inspired to return to her roots of theatre arts and dance and successfully performed in more than a dozen musical stage plays touring across the country. Aspiring to take her acting to the next level, Alyson pursued Broadway and starred in “Rollin on the TOBA,” “One Mo Time” and the “25th Anniversary Revival of the Wiz” directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner, George Faison. After landing several prestigious roles, Alyson’s comedic timing, characteristics and true talent once again did not go unnoticed. She soon landed a gig at the country’s most iconic comedy club, Caroline’s as well as the starring role of “Power Woman” in “Menopause the Musical.” Alyson has appeared in numerous musical revues and stage plays both on and off Broadway working with seasoned professionals such as, Lynn Whitfield, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Carl Payne, Hawthorne James, Clifton Powell, Melba Moore, Maurice Hines, Oba Babatunde, Kim Whitley, Eddie Levert and The Whispers. With every performance, Alyson is motivated to perfect her craft and become greater.

Alyson Williams (hand on head)

Never one to let grass grow under her feet, after leaving Def Jam, Alyson began to embrace her entrepreneurial side while still practicing her love for music. Alyson collaborated with award winning producer, Marcus Johnson and together they produced Alyson’s third solo album titled, “It’s About Time.” When it comes to entrepreneurship, Alyson is no stranger to confidently pursuing her dreams. With an innate business mindset and a heart of gold, Alyson launched her own production company, A.W.P. – A Woman’s Prerogative – which allows Alyson to write musical stage plays, books, television treatments, produce concert series and much more.

While music will always be Alyson’s deepest passion, she’s equally passionate in regards to encouraging community involvement and hosting. Annually, Alyson serves as mistress of ceremonies for the Aldeco Awards, the National R&B Music Society and Jazzmobile’s Great Jazz On The Great Hill in Central Park. Alyson’s hosting skills are well polished and have been sought out by Harry Belafonte, Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson – just to name a few.

Alyson Williams (white)

When Alyson is not performing sold out shows, “Nuttin’ But The Blues”, “Old Friends”, “Divapalooza” and “The Alyson Williams Experience” – which have been featured at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the Blue Note, Blues Alley, the Metropolitan Room, 54 Below, Red Rooster, Minton’s, the Iridium Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Coca-Cola Room and the Yokohama Tower – she taps into her philanthropic side. Inspired by the magnetic relationship she shared with her dear friend Dr. Angelou, Alyson is a mentor for children and young adults. She works in the public and charter school systems as well as offers vocal coaching and artist development for new and up & coming artists.

Blessed with an impeccable and soulful voice, Alyson is well respected by industry royalty and fans worldwide for her genuine heart, innovative mind, and honest lyrics. Her ambition and determination to create her own opportunities is precisely why she is successful, admired by many and is the next bankable brand. Love and light, peace and blessings, miracles and music all define the Alyson Williams experience.

Summer Nights In Harlem is available now on:











PR/Media Contact
Angelo A. Ellerbee
Double XXposure Media Relations
[email protected]


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THE REAL Welcomes Senator Kamala Harris! Also, Miles Brown Drops In



Kamala Harris (the real)

*On Wednesday, Oct. 28, the hosts of The Real welcome back Vice Presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris! Senator Harris talks about the run-up to Election Day as the country turns out to vote in record numbers. She discusses whether the long voter lines are due to that record-breaking early turnout or voter suppression? And she reveals her opinion about the “wholly illegitimate process” of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Co-host Garcelle Beauvais shares her thoughts the new additions to the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Kathy Hilton and Crystal Kung Minkoff, the first-ever Asian American cast member.

Miles Brown stops in to talk about black-ish and his debut album, We The Future. He also explains why his favorite superhero (and possible Halloween costume) is Miles Morales, the first Black/Latino Spiderman.

And the ladies have opinions on why it’s best to be yourself at the beginning of a relationship, so that later it doesn’t appear that you’ve changed!

And when you’re the most successful person in a Black family, are you obligated to provide financial support for your relatives? Co-host Loni Love feels that it’s hard enough for Black people to become successful in the first place, making this a larger societal problem.

Sen. Kamala Harris: Are Long Voter Lines A Sign of Democracy Or Voter Suppression?

Sen. Kamala Harris On The “Wholly Illegitimate Process” Of Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation

Garcelle Shares Her Thoughts On Her New RHOBH Co-Stars!

black-ish’s Miles Brown On His Favorite Superhero, Miles Morales

When You’re The Successful Black Person In Your Family, Are You Obligated To Lend Everyone Money?

Sen. Kamala Harris On The “Wholly Illegitimate Process” Of Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation

Senator Kamala Harris: I voted against her confirmation for a lot of reasons. One – I think it’s been a wholly illegitimate process. Tens of millions of people are voting right now, and they are – the majority of Americans are saying, “Let us make the decision about who will be the next president, and then let that person fill this lifetime appointment to the United State Supreme Court.” A vacancy left by the great Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who fought for women, fought for equality, fought for fairness. So there is that. But what’s at stake is her track record is really clear on the issue of a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body, which is that her track record tells us, including that Donald Trump told us he would only appoint people who want to get rid of Roe v. Wade. If we get rid of Roe v. Wade, that means getting rid of a woman’s right to make a decision about her own body. And I think we all know, look, it should be her decision, to make with her significant other, to make with her priest, or her pastor, or her rabbi. To make with whomever she needs to consult, including her physician, to make the right decision for herself. Donald Trump and Mike Pence shouldn’t be making that decision for her. These are the kinds of things that are at stake and that’s why this presidential election is so important. Because if there becomes another opening on that Supreme Court, we need to make sure that we balance that out with Justices who will follow precedent including Roe v. Wade, which says a woman has a right to make decisions about her own body.



Twitter: @TheRealDaytime






THE REAL is a live daily, one-hour, two-time NAACP Image Award-winning and Emmy®-nominated talk show now in its seventh season on Fox Television Stations and in national syndication (check local listings), with a rebroadcast on cable network Bounce. The bold, diverse and outspoken hosts, Garcelle Beauvais and Emmy® Award-winners Adrienne Houghton, Loni Love and Jeannie Mai, all frankly say what women are actually thinking. Their unique perspectives are brought to life through candid conversations about their personal lives, current events, beauty, fashion and relationships (nothing is off limits). Unlike other talk shows, THE REAL hosts are admittedly a “work in progress,” and fearlessly invite viewers to reflect on their own lives and opinions. Fresh points of view, youthful energy and passion have made THE REAL a platform for multicultural women. Produced by Telepictures Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, THE REAL is led by Executive Producer, Rachel Miskowiec (Good Morning America, Katie, The Tyra Banks Show, Judge Hatchett, The Ricki Lake Show) and Co-Executive Producer Tenia Watson (Judge Mathis, Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court, WGN-TV Morning News, Just Keke, The Test) and shot in Los Angeles, California.

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Jemele Hill Recalls Toxic Culture at ESPN, ‘Battling and Hating’ Are Common [VIDEO]



Jemele Hill

*Former ESPN SportsCenter anchors Jemele Hill and Cari Champion joined Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris for the latest installment of “Red Table Talk.”

The ladies gathered for a conversation about mean girls and women supporting other women at work.

“I can count on my hands how many friends I’ve had that have never been jealous of me in any moment or tried to throw me under the bus, and [Jemele] was truly one of them,” Champion said.

Hill and Champion recently launched their own series on Vice TV called “Cari and Jemele: Stick to Sports.”

READ MORE: Jemele Hill and Cari Champion Make History for Black Women on Late-Night Television

When Champion joined ESPN, Hill — who had already been there for 6 years — had to school her on the toxic workplace culture. 

“I just had seen too many situations, especially there at ESPN, where people really started battling and hating each other and it turned out it was really over nothing,” Hill said. “As Black women, we can’t afford to do that. As it is, it’s hard enough once we get into that room, once we get to that position, we’re bringing a whole bunch of battles with us, right? So what do I look like with this woman who’s come to ESPN, getting this position, being her enemy?”

Hill exited ESPN amid the backlash over a series of tweets she posted in 2017 calling President Donald Trump a “white supremacist.” Trump responded by demanding ESPN fire Hill. 

“No one had her back. No one. I can count on my hands how many people had her back within the system,” Champion told Red Table Talk about the network’s reaction to Hill’s comments. 

Champion continued, “This woman had made this company millions and given them street credibility. They had put her in a position to win and survive and thrive, and one hint of controversy and they took that all away from her. While she left on her own accord, because she couldn’t thrive there for her own mental, you know, sanity—the way that they treated her … I have never seen anything like it in my life.”

Watch the full episode of Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk via the clip above.

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TV Calendar: Coming to Small Screens