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Last updated by Cousin Ed Jun 4, 2011.



Young, Black, and Fabulous

#ESSENCEFEST: Keke Palmer, Sevyn Streeter & More Honor Ava DuVernay & Others At McDonald’s 365Black Awards

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The 2015 ESSENCE Festival is underway and poppin’ in New Orleans. The YBF folks fabulously made their way to the 12th annual McDonald’s 365Black Awards. Peep their arrivals and some behind-the-scene flicks inside….

Keke Palmer, who's starring on the upcoming FOX thriller "Scream Queens," stopped on the golden carpet to pose it up in a strapless Victoria Beckham LBD and Tamara Mellon shoes at the 365Black Awards during Essence Festival 2015 in New Orleans this weekend. The YBF chick was tapped to host the ceremony along with E! News co-anchor Terrence J.

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Before hitting the stage, the 21-year-old and her crew put on a few last minute touches after she slipped into a sassy Mychael Knight look and Tamara Mellon shoes. Hot.

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She was all smiles posing it up with her co-host TJ.

YBF stars have gathered at the Convention Center to honor and celebrate positive contributions being made to strengthen the African American community. And one of our faves was to be honored:

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SELMA directress Ava DuVernay was honored for her extraordinary work she has done in Hollywood. While accepting her Arts & Entertainment award, she cleared up those rumors circulating that she would be directing the upcoming Marvel flick Black Panther. Find out what she said HERE.

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Hottie Sevyn Streeter worked the carpet in black cutout gown (for a dose of sexy) with some bling to make it pop.

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After the carpet, she hit the stage to sing with gospel singer Smokie Norful to celebrate and pay tribute to the honorees. She captioned, "Had the pleasure of singing with pastor @smokienorful for #365black today! such an honor"

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Sevyn's boyfriend B.o.B. was also there to hit the stage for performance.

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Newlywed and sexy actor Lance Gross was also in attendance. Before heading inside he snapped it up with equally sexy, Chi-town bred Common. So fine.

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Later, the "Crisis" star hit the stage to present alongside “The Game” star Wendy Raquel Robinson.

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Former mayor of New Orleans & CEO/president of National Urban League Marc Morial was honored. He snapped it up with Wendy and Common backstage.

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“black•ish” cuties Marcus Scribner and Yara Shahidi were all smiles on the carpet. Love her hair!

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"Glee" star Amber Riley hit the carpet in a cute printed look.

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“Flex & Shanice” reality stars Flex Alexander and Shanice made their way to event after speaking on a marriage panel with Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin.

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“Being Mary Jane” Salli Richardson-Whitfield and her husband actor Dondre Whitfield brought the coupledom fab.

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TV One anchor Roland Martin and his wife Jacquie were also in the mix.

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And Sevyn, Smokie, Shanice and Amber tore the house down with their vocals.


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Usher was spotted in rehersals (rocking his low-top Yeezy Boost 350 sneakers) before he rocks the main stage Saturday night. Even more fun times ahead...


Photos: Paras Griffin/Soul Brother/Keke's IG/Sevyn's IG/Essence's IG

Malia Obama Landed A Cool Ass Summer Internship....With Lena Dunham's "Girls"

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Malia Obama is back to interning in the tv & film industry this summer.  The YBF Chick was just spotted on the set in Brooklyn. Check out who her boss will be this summer inside...

She may be a First Daughter of the United States, but chick has to get a summer job/internship just like every other teen. But we're sure every other teen's summer gig isn't as bomb this one.

Malia Obama, who turns 17-years-old on Independence Day, will be calling Lena Dunham her boss this summer.  The fab teen was just spotted hanging out on the Williamsburg set (at Aurora Ristorante) of HBO's "Girls."  We're told she will be behind the camera...not in front of it.

Check it:

Page Six reports the gorgeous teen, who looked casually cute in cutoff shorts and sneakers, was the only Obama on the set.  Other sources said she's definitely interning, much like she did on Halle Berry's show "Extant" last year. 

The fifth season of "Girls" premiere early 2016.

Her summer internships have definitely trumped any of our ice cream stand j-o-b's.


Photos: Page Six via AP Images/Getty

IN THE MOTHERLAND: Erykah Badu Rocks ESSENCE Magazine Cover + Ava DuVernay Addresses ‘Black Panther’ Rumors

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Erykah Badu is gracing the cover of ESSENCE Magazine. And it’s globally fab. Come inside to see Ms. Badu pose it up in the motherland and find out what Ava DuVernay says about directing the upcoming Marvel flick Black Panther inside….

Neo-soul songstress Erykah Badu shows off her eclectic style on a new magazine cover. And she’s serving in wild prints, feathers and her signature top hat.

The Grammy winning singer is posing it up in the motherland… Africa. Come through queen!

While we’re not sure if this is a special edition cover or next month’s issue, one thing’s for sure, chick looks amazing.

Speaking of top hats, the multi-platinum selling artist dished to VOGUE recently that she always keeps at least six hats with her when she travels. She said,

“Accessories really are everything for me. I travel with a black body bag full of them when I’m on tour. I’ll threw in my Yoruba beads, my Maasai beads—and there’s space for six hats in my hat box.”

And why does she like to rock hats so much?

“I’ve always enjoyed dressing my head, whether it’s head wraps, hats, or wigs, I’m not sure why. I think that’s just where my mojo lives.”

Stay tuned for more pics from her spread if/when they become available.

In rumor control news....

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After much speculation, directress Ava DuVernay finally revealed whether or not she will be directing Marvel’s upcoming superhero film Black Panther, led by the sexy Chadwick Boseman.

You’ll recall, sources (allegedly close to the set) said the SELMA director would be helming the upcoming thriller, BUT….it was only HALF true. It turns out, she did meet with Marvel execs about directing the film, but she decided to turn it down after creative differences.

As she took the stage to receive an award at the 365 Awards during the ESSENCE Festival, she said,

“I guess I'll declare my independence from this rumor on 4th of July weekend and Essence weekend. I'm not signing on to direct Black Panther,” she added. “I think I’ll just say we had different ideas about what the story would be. Marvel has a certain way of doing things and I think they’re fantastic and a lot of people love what they do. I loved that they reached out to me.”

She said it’s best she walk away from the project now, than to argue creative differences later. She explained,

“I loved meeting Chadwick and writers and all the Marvel execs,” said DuVernay. “In the end, it comes down to story and perspective. And we just didn't see eye to eye. Better for me to realize that now than cite creative differences later.”

So will she be catching the film when it hits theaters?

“I love the character of Black Panther, the nation of Wakanda and all that that could be visually. I wish them well and will be first in line to see it."

There you have it.

The fab directress also talked about a pilot she shot for CBS that ultimately got turned down due to the Baltimore uprising. She said,

“We turned it in the week of the Baltimore uprising, and we had an uprising in our piece when we filmed it,” she said. “I think they thought it was a little close to real life. But I had an absolute ball making it.”

Ava is currently working on a new original series which she will write, direct and executive produce.  It's titled, "Queen Sugar" and it's set to air on the OWN Network. We're SO here for it.


Photos: Getty/Britni Danielle's Facebook

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