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stephen johnson (mugshot)

Stephen Johnson: Miami Gardens Police Chief Fired After Arrest in Prostitution Sting

stephen johnson (mugshot)

Miami Gardens Police Chief Stephen Johnson, shown in this Broward County Sheriff’s Department booking photo.

*(Via Miami Herald) – Miami Gadens Police Chief Stephen Johnson, hired last May to rein in a department reeling from accusations of racial profiling, was fired Friday night after being arrested on a charge of soliciting a prostitute in Dania Beach.

Michael Wright, a detective and police department spokesman, said Johnson was arrested at a Dania Beach motel during a sting operation conducted by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. He said Johnson was immediately fired by City Manager Cameron Benson and that Assistant Police Chief Antonio Brooklen would take the helm in the interim.

The city released a statement late Friday saying, “We recently learned Chief Stephen Johnson has been arrested for solicitation of a prostitute. As a result, Mr. Johnson’s employment with the city of Miami Gardens has been terminated, effective immediately.”

Get the rest of this story at Miami Herald.
kendrick lamar & mary j blige

2015 Essence Festival Line Announces First-Round Performance Line-Up

Kevin Hart to Headline Thursday’s ‘Essence Now’ Playing Concert

kendrick lamar & mary j blige
*(New York, NY) – The annual ESSENCE Festival, now among the largest consumer live events in the country with more than 550,000 attendees, today revealed the first round of its all-star line-up of performers for the nighttime concerts at the 21st annual celebration, taking place in New Orleans, LA, from July 2-5.

“On the heels of the ESSENCE Festival’s epic 20th anniversary celebration in 2014, we’re delighted to announce a selection of the best artists and biggest names in entertainment who will take the stage at the Superdome this summer,’ said Essence President Michelle Ebanks. “From first-time Festival performer Kendrick Lamar to return appearances from fan favorites like Kevin Hart, Common and Mary J. Blige, the ESSENCE Festival offers the definitive entertainment and cultural experience for our passionate ESSENCE community every Fourth of July weekend.”

Artists confirmed to perform at the 2015 ESSENCE Festival nighttime concerts at the Superdome include:

• Kendrick Lamar, Mary J Blige, India.Arie, Trombone Shorty, Floetry, Common, Erykah Badu, Kool Moe Dee, Doug E. Fresh, Mystikal, Slick Rick, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Nico & Vinz, Lianne La Havas, Elle Varner, Esperanza Spalding, SZA, Dee-1, Tonya Bond Cannon, Leon Bridges, Andra Day, Kelly Price, Raheem DeVaughn, Mali Music, Eric Roberson, Teedra Moses, Avery*Sunshine, Kindred The Family Soul, Goapele, Robert Glasper, Tweet, Jeff Bradshaw, Bilal, Tank & The Bangas and more to be announced soon.

• Plus Kevin Hart to headline ESSENCE ‘Now Playing’ Concert, Thursday, July 2. Tickets go on-sale Wednesday, February 25.

• Comedians Nephew Tommy from The Steve Harvey Morning Show and Luenell to host Festival weekend.

For information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the ESSENCE FESTIVAL, visit ESSENCE Festival, join the Festival community: follow us on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2015 ESSENCE Festival on Facebook.

The 2015 ESSENCE FESTIVAL™ is executive produced by ESSENCE Festivals LLC, a division of ESSENCE Communications Inc. (ECI), and produced by Solomon Group. GeChar is the executive producer of the 2015 ESSENCE Empowerment Experience and Empower U.

Sponsors of the 2015 ESSENCE Festival include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors Ford, My Black Is Beautiful, and Verizon.

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online. The company’s flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, the Essence Book Club,, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 45 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of 13.4 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women’s lives. Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at

About Time Inc.:
Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is one of the world’s leading media companies, with a monthly global print audience of over 120 million and worldwide digital properties that attract more than 120 million visitors each month, including over 40 websites. Our influential brands include People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Time, Real Simple, Southern Living, Entertainment Weekly, Travel + Leisure, Cooking Light, Fortune and Food & Wine, as well as more than 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom such as Decanter and Horse & Hound. Time Inc. is home to celebrated events and franchises including the Fortune 500, Time 100, People’s Sexiest Man Alive, Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year, the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, the Essence Festival and the biennial Fortune Global Forum. Hundreds of thousands of people attended our live media events in 2014. We also provide content marketing, targeted local print and digital advertising programs, branded book publishing and marketing and support services, including subscription sales services for magazines and other products, retail distribution and marketing services and customer service and fulfillment services, for ourselves and third-party clients, including other magazine publishers.




source: Essence

anthony mason1

Former NY Knicks Player Anthony Mason Dies at 48

anthony mason

Anthony Mason, the 13-year NBA veteran who was diagnosed with congestive heart failure earlier this month, died on Saturday. He was 48

The NBA veteran was best known for playing for the New York Knicks from 1991 to 1996, and a Knicks spokesperson confirmed Mason’s death to ESPN.

“First, I want to thank all those who offered prayers and well-wishes for my Father, our family really appreciates it,” his son, Anthony Mason Jr., said Saturday.

“Overnight, New York City and the world lost a legend, a friend, a brother … but more than anything our father, Anthony Mason. As you all would expect our father — Big Mase — put up an incredible fight, dealing with a severe heart issue. I’m wishing this was something else I was writing, but Pops we’ve got to let you know we love you and know you’ll always be with us.”

Mason’s other son, Antoine, had said earlier this week that his father was “getting better” following multiple heart surgeries.

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant mourned the player via Twitter on Saturday, writing: “RIP.


Mo’Nique Claps Back At Lee Daniels for His ‘Blackballed’ Comments (Watch)

lee daniels & monique

*Uh oh, it looks like we’ve got a war of words or at the very least a big misunderstanding between Mo’Nique and Lee Daniels.

Mo’Nique is getting back at Daniels who – as we reported earlier – said she fell from grace in Hollywood for making unreasonable demands.

Reports say that the Oscar winning actress/comedian was being blackballed by the industry and Daniels’ comments seemed to verify that. However, Thursday night in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Mo claimed otherwise. She says she was offered parts in other films, but “they just didn’t make sense to me.”

She continued …

“It wasn’t that I was blackballed like Mr. Daniels said… the phone was ringing and the scripts were coming but the offers that were associated with them made me say ‘I can’t accept that,’” she explained, adding that taking such offers would have sent a negative message to other African-American women.

“If we continue to accept these low offers, how do we make a change?” she asked.

Yes, Mo’Nique watched Daniels, the man behind TV’s hottest show, “Empire,”  speak with Lemon and told the CNN newsman she was freaked out by what she saw and heard.

“It shocked me… I was yelling at the screen, ‘Don, please ask him what the demands were!’

She says there were no demands, but …

“There was a request from the movie studio that I fly to France for the Cannes Film Festival. I simply said, ‘I respectfully decline.’”

She explained that she was busy working on her late-night talk show on BET and had additional responsibilities as “a wife and a mommy.”

“I had a couple of days downtime and I wanted to spend that with my husband and my kids,” she said. However, Mo’Nique said the studio [Lionsgate] continued to pressure her with an offer to upgrade her hotel, but again she declined. When the third call came asking: “What is it going to take to get Mo’Nique to the Cannes Film Festival?” her husband, who served as her manager, asked: “Is there a number associated with it?”

Lionsgate responded that it would never pay for anyone to do promotional work for a movie, and Mo’Nique pointed out that she only received $50,000 for her role in “Precious.” She also hinted that perhaps there should have been compensation offered for travel to promote the movie.

“It really wasn’t about the money and I am not complaining because I signed up to do it [“Precious”] with my friend,” she said. “When the movie studio said we can’t pay you to do this, we didn’t have a problem with that.”

But that’s when trouble started brewing and reports came out that she was being “demanding and difficult,” she said.

At this point, Mo’Nique is concentrating on independent films. Her next project, as we’ve reported, is “Blackbird” with Isaiah Washington and is directed by Patrik Ian Polk.

“When we got it, we knew it was necessary we get involved, to have ownership of it and to tell this personal story,” she said of the film.


h/t: TheWrap


Mo’Nique Claps Back At Lee Daniels for His ‘Blackballed’ Comments (Watch)
daniel gibson

NBAer Daniel ‘Booby’ Gibson Celebrates Bday & Debuts New Career

Daniel Gibson

*We all know Daniel Gibson aka “Booby” as a professional basketball player who helped the Cleveland Cavalier’s make their way to the 2007 Eastern Conference finals.

We know he was married to artist Keyshia Cole and starred in “Keyshia and Daniel: Family First” in 2012.

What we didn’t know was that Booby is a true artist, with the back-stories and ambition of such.

Tonight as part of an event called “Booby’s World,” Daniel “Booby” Gibson will be making his debut as an artist and poet at his 28th birthday celebration  at H.O.M.E. in Beverly Hills, CA.

“Booby’s World” will have live entertainment, including special guests who will open for Gibson who will be performing his poetry work before the party begins.

And no, he isn’t a basketball player turned rapper or actor. He is taking on the title of poet. You read right! Daniel “Booby” Gibson is a poet. Why is the world just now learning of this? Well that’s because he has always been a “private writer.” “I would hide my poems in my shoe boxes,” he said. But now he is no longer hiding his other talent.

daniel gibson & keyshia cole

Daniel ‘Booby’ Gibson and ex-wife Keyshia Cole

He’s gone through the motions. He started out as a star guard in his college days at the University of Texas at Austin, and then was drafted to the NBA in 2006. Both are major accomplishments and he wasn’t able to share them with someone who was special to him, his grandmother.

“She died right before I went to college and into the NBA. She gave me the nickname [Booby]. It was very personal…more of a family nickname.” Just as we all do, as Gibson got older he kept his nickname to himself, until after she passed and a game changer. “Game six in the Eastern Conference,” he said, “that was a crazy game, the fans, and the whole arena was saying Booby. I felt like she was there. That’s why I proudly go by it.”

He has many things to be proud of. After dealing with another grandmother passing, an injury and not being able to fully compete at the level he wanted to in basketball AND a divorce all at once, he says all played a part in the process of finding his inner writer.

“I was in a very depressed mind frame for a period of time towards the end of my career. I needed to like break away from it. What people don’t know is I never tried out for another team. Teams called… Writing saved my life. It became my therapy when I wanted to disappear.”

He describes his newfound confidence in his abilities to write poetry as “divine.” At one point he the confidence lacked.

“I didn’t feel like I was this good of a writer, I didn’t feel like I had that level of talent prior to me falling into that dark place.” Falling into that dark place has given him a light brighter than before.

Gibson describes his poetry style as laid back and a back and forth between rap and just poetry.

“It’s rap, but I call it poeticizing. It’s like when I tell my stories about whatever is on my mind, I take you on a little trip. I just have a very unique way with words.” He says his delivery is captivating and his poems can be inspiring.

There has been some talk of Gibson also attempting a singing career, but he clarified where the musical aspect derived from. He says the musicians that heard his poetry say, “…[his poems] would make dope songs.” He went on to say that those “guys who do music began to teach me how to put my poetry to music and melodies, the whole nine.”

lebron & daniel gibson

LeBron James & Dan iel Gibson

He’s committed to his artistry as he is coming of age. He doesn’t want to be “boxed in” the category of only being a basketball player. He doesn’t want people to see him in other avenues and wondering why isn’t he dribbling a ball and shooting free throws.

“My whole movement is about not being afraid to do what’s in your heart. Not be afraid of what people might think of it or people might say. Sometimes they don’t, they won’t see your vision.” And when they don’t see your vision Booby says make them see it, go after it with a “mind-fight that you won’t be stopped. Once you get there they’ll understand.”

And for those who do not understand why he has gone to poetry and paused on basketball he says:

“right now at this moment art is in my heart. I want to be a great artist. At this point basketball is on the back burner. With teams still calling and me still having a love for the game, I wouldn’t completely dead the idea of it happening again, but at this point my focus is completely on my art.”

He has performed at a spot called Mike as a warm up. Of course any true artist would test out their skills to see how the crowd reacts in preparation of something great. Gibson says he aside from sharing his poetry at Mike he had to “address the elephant in the room” about him not playing basketball, “everybody was like damn, I get it, I get it after seeing it.”

Many more will be able to witness his artistry tonight at his birthday celebration of life, love, and charity. Some of the confirmed guests include singers Keyshia Cole, Eric Bellinger, and Kenny Lattimore and actors Lance Gross, Meagan Good.

WHAT:   Daniel “Booby” Gibson’s “Booby’s World” birthday celebration. Gibson will be performing his poetry work along with other special guest performers.

WHEN:   Tonight, Friday, February 27, 2015
Red Carpet -9:00pm-10:00pm (PST)
Event -10:00pm to 2:00am (PST)

Beverly Hills, CA 90210


NBAer Daniel ‘Booby’ Gibson Celebrates Bday & Debuts New Career
earl lloyd

Earl Lloyd, First Black Player in NBA, Dies at 86

earl lloyd
*(Via MSN News) – Earl Lloyd, the first African-American to play in the NBA, died Thursday in Detroit. He was 86.

Lloyd’s career wasn’t particularly spectacular — a 6’5 small forward he averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds over nine seasons — but his importance was bigger than basketball. Lloyd won the 1955 NBA championship with the Syracuse Nationals and also coached the Detroit Pistons in 1971-72. He was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor in 2003.

Lloyd was one of three black players to join the league at the beginning of the 1950-51 season alongside Chuck Cooper of the Celtics and Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton of the Knicks. The fact that Lloyd played before the other two was a matter of scheduling. Cooper passed away in 1984, Clifton in 1990.

Read/learn MORE at MSN News.