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BET Presents ABFF Honors Tonight At 8pm EST!

This Evening Marks Another Momentous Occasion In African American Culture & Entertainment.  B.E.T. Presents The American Black Film And Festival Honors Which Took Place On Friday, February 17th In Los Angeles.  Among Many Actors, Actresses, & Filmmakers In Attendance, The Ceremony Was Hosted By Regina King, With Special Appearances By Cecily Tyson, Jay Ellis, Kofi Siroboe, Nia Long, Larenz Tate, Alexandra Shipp, Luke James, Kylie Bunbury And More.


Director & Acclaimed Actor Denzel Washington Was Honored With The “Hollywood Legacy Award.”   



Actress, Producer, And Musician Queen Latifah Was Presented With The “Entertainment Icon Award”

Actor & Artist Terrence Howard Is Presented With The “Excellence in the Arts Award”
Film Director & Producer F. Gary Gray Is Presented With The “Excellence in the Arts Award”
Issa Rae, Producer, Writer, & Actress, Received The “Rising Star Award” 

Maxwell, Dionne Farris & Other Graced The Stage Thru Performance.  Catch The ABFF Honors Tonight On B.E.T. February 22nd At 8:00pm Est.  Take A Look At Some Of The Video Highlights To See Just What’s In Store!


Issa Rae Receives The Rising Star Award At The American Black Film Festival Honors & Credits Social Media For Opportunities

Host Regina Hall Recalls Getting Over Heartbreak At The American Black Film Festival Honors

Cecily Tyson Speaks Highly Of Denzel & Shares How He Has Paved The Way For Many Generations To Come

Denzel Washington Receives “The Hollywood Legacy Award


Omari Hardwick Takes The Stage & Recites A Poetic Love Verse

Terrance Howard Receives “The Excellence In The Arts” Award At The American Black Film Festival And Speaks of Advice He Received From Denzel Washington & Sidney Poitier

New Edition Cast Takes The Audience Back With A Flawless Rendition of Bel Biv Devoe’s “Poison”


Recording Artist Common Brings The Audience To Their Feet With An Impromptu Freestyle At The American Black Film Festival Honors 



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Jesse Williams Speech At BET Awards Continues To Spark Controversy; Petition Launched To Fire The Actor From Grey’s Anatomy

It’s been a week since actor Jesse Williams received The Humanitarian Award at the 2016 B.E.T. Awards, and while a large majority of viewers were moved by his speech of dedication to Black women, the injustice within our country, and more–others are deeming it racist or merely all talk. Backstage the media room demographics were made up of both women & men of all ethnicities and ages, yet all journalist hailing from northern, southern, western, and eastern regions. The room grew silent during his speech on stage as it did for many in the comfort of their own homes. What I interpreted was nothing short of what I’d expect and hope to hear coming from the recipient of such a prestigious award. Collectively it was a breath of fresh air for us all to say the least. The honor itself is administered to those who put forth action behind their efforts & movements often making an impact within a forum provided, or to which act of whom they genuinely choose to participate. When Jesse Williams arrived backstage to continue the conversation, he received a standing ovation as we were all proud to be within his presence. We were eager to hear more of his plans and the changes he’d hope would result from all of the groundwork laid, and his speech that evening. I knew that his words would draw in the much needed discussion, but never did I foresee it spiraling into so many levels of debate from social media to the latest. Change.org has always been one of my favorite platforms but it’s most recent petition received is one that I most definitely won’t be participating in. It’s title is documented as: Sign the petition to fire, Jesse Williams, from Grey’s Anatomy for racist rant. I find it more than disturbing that at an awards designed to celebrate Black elegance, matters, and achievements we are simply unable to gather and do just that. In fact, I’m quite surprised that their hasn’t been more of an outcry over the new mini-series “Roots” all over my timelines. Maybe I have finally removed the overly outspoken leaving me to be less subject to those of certain views unless I go looking. Jesse William’s speech wasn’t designed to incite a racist movement against people of non-color, so why are some looking for what simply isn’t there? It was a reminder to those within the Black community, especially those of affluence, to be more involved and most importantly proactive. He couldn’t have chosen a more perfect time to speak on values or principles that we haven’t always put forth until it’s time to react to an unfortunate event. We should all ensure we are doing our just part to give back, lend a hand, and help one another in anyway that we possibly can. We should be educating ourselves on our American Civil Rights so we can properly address matters before they become a #Blacklivesmatter. Jesse speech was not too racist for television nor does he nowhere near deserve to be fired from his sitcom. His speech was just all too REAL for the acceptance of those who are naive to the data, the facts, and the direction in which our country has many-a-ways to go. What a poor argument this “petition” presents https://www.change.org/p/abc-sign-petition-to-fire-jesse-williams-from-grey-s-anatomy-for-racist-rant. I’ll be watching ABC closely to see how it all unfolds.

Here is a video of the Jesse Williams Q&A with media backstage.

It wasn’t all about the speeches that night.  We managed to catch some interviews & candid photos along the red carpet. Check out a few of those below. If you missed the 2016 B.E.T. Awards be sure to check with your local service provider to watch the re-broadcast.

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Photo Cred: @Onyx254

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The Connect: 6 Reasons Why You Didn’t Go Viral

As much as some of us may want to admit that the social media platforms have tarnished certain aspects of “the grind,” we cannot negate the fact that it has done wonders for many people who were either unknown, or simply looking to go about their reintroductions. I don’t believe it was anything your average joe was so much prepared for initially, but as the industry begin to shift to digital downloads, anyone who was paying attention to the trends started to notice the campaigns & mergers taking place. Gone were the days of needing the street team when with one instant share you could reach hundreds of thousands, who would then share with their thousands. It was and has been absolutely amazing. If it all seems so simple, then why would we rather make it hard?—Lauryn Hill.

Here are 6 reasons why you didn’t go viral…when you wanted to.

1. Your followers. I know I know. I can’t stand the instant need for the follows and gratification for likes. But it doesn’t hurt to at least have more than 50 friends on Facebook, especially when within those 50 are your family and close friends only. Not to say they won’t and don’t support you, but you’d be amazed at what networking and be-friending those of your target demographic can do for your brand. Notice that word demographic. If you are just an artist, you should be trying to find your fans. It is possible that you may have too many artists who like your fan page that are doing the exact same thing you are, versus not enough people who can simply enjoy the music. It’s all about having a good balance.  I’m always working towards bettering mine.

2. Your page is private. All of it! Now I’ll be the first to say that I keep a locked Instagram & FB but to be brutally honest, I haven’t been able to find away around it still not being visible. You’ll always have a lurker or two—yes even you with the 50 followers, but there are also some functions I actually enjoy now that allow me to share certain posts. I make use of these often and I highly suggest you do the same.

3. Your product lacks. Quality or presentation if not both. Whether you are sharing weight loss tips, how to crochet marley weave, your looks, or your hit single…something is off. People watch, read, share and enjoy things they gravitate towards. If it is not appealing to my eyes, ears, or serving a purpose, then simply put- it gets no love.

4. You’re inconsistent. One day you’re sharing your company and how you are so organized with life and all its glory, then the next day you’re exchanging in online drama, beefs, or worse…posting that you forgot to pay your bills. The drama part as you all like to say is “just you sharing who you are with the world,” and by all means that’s your prerogative. But when I’m ready to purchase my home, you better believe I know what realtor I WON’T be utilizing. Missing important bills can imply lack of dependability & an assumption you might miss deadlines. Keep that to yourself. No one is perfect, and I’m not endorsing a fake facade, however being mindful with your business posts equals you cant go wrong.

5. Your marketing is off. There is nothing worse than seeing someone releasing their album on Mother’s Day in celebration of Mothers everywhere. We totally cannot take you serious. We are most likely out having brunch or perhaps relaxing for once. You are selecting horrible times to promote or share your product that is non-related to the day’s events.  Please believe we know what you were aiming towards with the #mothersdaymix hashtag. This could be opportunity for an easy L (loss). Easter is coming up and I can assure you someone will be promoting to “buy their beats.” I highly doubt it will be the Jesus Has Risen or Easter Edition at that.

6. You’re a spammer. The minute I see I have been tagged with 99+ others is the moment I deflect completely away from the post all together. This is different however if you know the individuals and its welcomed. But 9 times out of 10, it isn’t. Some of you don’t even build up a brief repoire or greeting before you drop a bare link of spam in an inbox or on someone’s page. It’s highly annoying and some people will just delete or unfollow you. 15% of the spam I personally receive has been decent but not amazing. Clearly there’s a problem. Next time you want to go down your friends list to promote, try posting a status that reads, “New material, like If I can share it with you.” The support & real response might be much better. No one wants to look like they won’t at least try to hear you out when you’re nice about it.

In a nutshell, the secret to going Viral is there is no secret…and when I say “viral” I don’t necessarily mean Antoine Dodson or Daaaaammmnnn Daniel style. Most who went viral weren’t trying to initially.  When our sound bite from our radio broadcast made it all the way to TMZ we were quite shocked.  It happened organically.  The minute we actually tried a hand at it, is when it didn’t go as far as it could.  Not to mention that you can actually pay for your posts to be sponsored as you have always been able to. It’s the new wave of commercials.  Advertising 101.  Going viral is a post, or a share of material that people gravitate to, and feel a personal connection with the content being presented. When you go out shopping, you don’t mind purchasing an item that interest you. The same goes for social media. So whether it be for laughs & memes, the next chart topping single, or to land a business meeting with a multi-million dollar company, think supply & demand. Simply just post and watch your business grow and the magic happen.


*SEA artwork featured by JayDat Designs: Datflyerz@gmail.com*

Onyx• Queen of Killeen| Songwriter | Music Professional | Executive Producer & Host of Jermaine Dupri’s Global 14 the Cut | 2014 SEA Internet Hustler of the Year

(C) Mar 2016
(P) Mar 2016

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