‘A Direct Assault On Freedom’ – Politicians, Entertainers& Businesses Strongly React To ‘Leaked’ Opinion Draft Overturning Roe v. Wade

News broke that the majority of the Supreme Court had privately voted to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion right ruling after a draft opinion leaked online. The leaked document has been a confirmed, causing disarray in the Supreme Court and STRONG social media backlash from politicians, entertainers, influencers and more. Deets inside…

Breaking news about the future of women’s rights broke right in the middle of the Met Gala festivities.

On Monday, a leaked document revealed the majority of the Supreme Court privately voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling, leaving the legalization of abortion up to individual states to decide and in what circumstances. The 1973 landmark ruling ensured a woman had a choice in terminating a pregnancy in the first trimester.

Politico obtained the draft opinion, marking an unprecedented moment in the court’s modern history. The court confirmed the authenticity of the leaked draft and Chief Justice John Roberts said he had ordered an investigation into what he called an "egregious breach of trust."

“Until now, a leak of this kind would have been unthinkable,” said Peter G. Verniero, a former justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. “The protocol of our highest court has been seriously ruptured. The leaking itself reflects another sad step toward casting the court as a political body, which, whatever your preferred jurisprudence, is most unhealthy for the rule of law.”

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, there will no longer be a nationwide constitutional right to legally have an abortion and it’s predicted at least 26 states are “certain or likely” to ban abortion. Women living in states where abortions are banned will have to travel to a state to have the procedure done IF they can afford to do so. And if laws in their home state are not passed that penalize women who do this.

It’s important to note, an actual opinion isn’t due on any case at this time. This could be a draft being formulated for a “what if” situation, and being worked on in advance with law clerks in his office.

It’s also important to note, if you are a person who is vehemently against the striking down of Roe v. Wade (which secures women’s right to choose and women’s right to privacy – not just including abortion but for ALL medical and some non medical situations), but believe Supreme Court appointments are insignificant, here is the proof to prove you wrong. Throughout history, The US Supreme Court can and has struck down entire federal laws – with the stroke of a pen – affecting the lives of specific groups of Americans. From slavery to Jim Crow to voting rights. It is why those who understand politics know that the Supreme Court is arguably the most powerful branch of government.

President Joe Biden blasted the draft opinion and warned that same-sex marriage and birth control are at risk if the court follows through.

Madame Vice President Kamala Harris called the private draft "a direct assault on freedom" in a tweet:

 

If the court overturns Roe v. Wade, it will be a direct assault on freedom.

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 4, 2022

 

Forever President Barack Obama & Forever First Lady Michelle Obama said the ruling “would be a blow not just to women, but to all of us who believe that in a free society, there are limits to how much the government can encroach on our personal lives," in a statement.

 

Here’s my statement with Michelle on the draft Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. pic.twitter.com/xBJJkLYGlQ

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 3, 2022

 

We’ve rounded up more strong reactions from politicians, celebs and more below:

 

If you are upset that #RoeVWade is about to be overturned by the Supreme Court but you didn’t vote in 2016 or you voted for Trump because you didn’t like the smart lady, YOU did this w/your apathy or your decision to choose an imp for President. YOU gave him THREE SCOTUS seats.

— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) May 3, 2022

 

 

Abolish the filibuster. Codify Roe. Expand the Supreme Court. Protect abortion rights by any means necessary.

We need all of the above. This is an emergency.

— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) May 3, 2022

 

 

If there is one thing you read about Roe v Wade being overturned, make it this. https://t.co/n9dA5Jslwo

— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) May 4, 2022

 

 

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross)

 

 

Folks on here saying this will energize “women” voters are blatantly ignoring that majority of Black, Latina, Asian and Indigenous women voted against Republicans, and majority of white women voted for despite Rs explicit promise to end Roe. So, what are you really saying?

— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) May 3, 2022

 

 

‘I am angry:’ Senator Elizabeth Warren reacts outside the U.S. Supreme Court hours after the leak of a draft opinion from the court that would overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision pic.twitter.com/dhSa2ENrv7

— Reuters (@Reuters) May 4, 2022

 

 

I was shocked to wake up to the news this morning. A reversal of Roe v. Wade would set us back 50 years and disproportionately impact the most vulnerable women in society.

I support a woman’s right to make their own decisions about their health care.

— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2022

 

 

Not surprising. But still outrageous.

This decision is a direct assault on the dignity, rights, & lives of women, not to mention decades of settled law. It will kill and subjugate women even as a vast majority of Americans think abortion should be legal. What an utter disgrace. https://t.co/TNo1IX3Tl4

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 3, 2022

 

 

Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights.

An extreme wing of the Supreme Court may seek to deny that fundamental truth.

They may try to force their views on a country where 70% of people want Roe upheld.

We will not be quiet and we will not go back.

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 3, 2022

 

 

It is a fundamental right for a woman to make her own health decisions. We must protect the right to choose and codify Roe v Wade into law.

— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) May 3, 2022

 

 

I’m in the membership office as Dominique is contacting NAN women leaders across the country about the Roe v. Wade leak that was released. NAN supports women’s rights to choose. pic.twitter.com/1AEuJE6nUn

— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) May 4, 2022

 

 

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by Chuck D (@mrchuckd_pe)

 

 

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by D’Angela S. Pitts, MD (@drangieang)

”The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg shared a strong reaction to the Supreme Court draft, speaking about her own teenage abortion experience in an essay for The Choices We Made.

”Women, when they decide something is not right for them, they’ll take it into their own hands," she began. "Well, we got tired over tripping over women in bathrooms — public bathrooms — who were giving themselves abortions because there was nowhere safe, nowhere clean, nowhere to go. This law came about because people wanted people to have somewhere safe and somewhere clean." 

She declared, “This is not a religious issue, this is a human issue."

Peep the clip below:

Several companies have come forward to help staff in red states bypass abortion bans, including Amazon, Citigroup, Yelp, Uber and Lyft.

Photos: Ben Von Klemperer/Shutterstock

Viola Davis Calls Harsh Michelle Obama Portrayal Criticism ‘Incredibly Hurtful,’ Says ‘Critics Absolutely Serve No Purpose’

Viola Davis is speaking out about the harsh criticism she has been receiving online over her portrayal of Forever First Lady Michelle Obama in the new SHOWTIME series, "The First Lady." She admitted the backlash is hurtful, but noted critics (seemingly online critics) don’t serve a purpose. More of what she had to say about it all inside…

 

SHOWTIME’s “The First Lady” has been met with criticism involving Oscar winner Viola Davis portrayal of Forever First Lady Michelle Obama. And there are a lot of folks who AREN’T feeling it.

Although she has been named one of the 25 greatest actors of the century by The NY Times, the veteran actress said portraying Forever First Lady Michelle Obama in the new political drama series was STRESSFUL.

Now it seems the reactions to her performance are just as stressful.

During an interview with the BBC, the FENCES star admitted that it’s “incredibly hurtful when people say negative things about your work.” Being an actor, she knows backlash and criticism is an “occupational hazard” of acting. Sometimes people love your work and other times, they simply hate it.

"How do you move on from the hurt, from failure?" the 56-year-old asked. "But you have to. Not everything is going to be an awards-worthy performance."

Social media users called Viola’s portrayal of Mrs. Obama “exaggerated,” “unnecessary” and “borderline insulting” due to the way she pursed her lips and facial expressions.

Check out some of the tweets below:

 

I love Viola Davis but they gotta shut this whole thing down! This is supposed to be Michelle Obama? pic.twitter.com/ZGYitBPUu8

— Fuckie Chinster (@DailyBruise2) April 20, 2022

 

 

Viola Davis playing Michelle Obama in #TheFirstLady is no different than this pic.twitter.com/38ov3LFj91

— kevikev (@KevCoke6) April 25, 2022

 

I know the muscles in Viola Davis’ face was tired after all this pic.twitter.com/j7PM4bFvis

— De’Andre (@DreTha_Truth) April 18, 2022

 

 

Viola Davis saw Michelle Obama do the lips thing once , and ran with it pic.twitter.com/qN6F20GH3I

— achumile mtwebana (@achumilem1) April 21, 2022

 

 

Nobody:
Viola davis playing Michelle Obama: pic.twitter.com/F16q78k3nQ

— DAHI (@Dahi______) April 18, 2022

 

 

While it may be hurtful to read and hear online critics pick apart her performance, she said there’s no need for them to be “nasty” about it. She then responds to “critics” which seems more like she’s clapping back at trolls online rather than professional film critics.

"Critics absolutely serve no purpose. And I’m not saying that to be nasty either,” she said. "They always feel like they’re telling you something that you don’t know. Somehow that you’re living a life that you’re surrounded by people who lie to you and ‘I’m going to be the person that leans in and tells you the truth’. So it gives them an opportunity to be cruel to you."

“But ultimately I feel like it is my job as a leader to make bold choices. Win or fail it is my duty to do that,” she continued.

Viola – who is also an executive producer of the series –  said portraying Lady O was "almost impossible," noting, "Either you’re doing too much or not enough," she noted.

As of now, she doesn’t know how Mrs. Obama feels about her performance. "I don’t have any personal contact with Michelle Obama," she said.

Last year, the “How To Get Away With Murder” star shared how terrified she was after accepting the role because she wants to portray Lady O perfectly – to her satisfaction.

“And it’s terrifying because … sometimes someone doesn’t live up to whatever image you have in your head. But when they do live up to the image, it’s quite frightening," she said at the time.

The 10-episode series will also star Dakota Fanning as Susan Elizabeth Ford, O-T Fagbenle as former President Barack Obama, Regina Taylor as Mrs. Obama’s mother Marian Shields Robinson, and Judy Greer as Nancy Howe.

Episode 3 of ”The First Lady” premieres Sunday, May 1st on SHOWTIME.

Photo: Polifoto/Depsoitphotos

Anxious Viola Davis Says She’s Hiding From Michelle Obama After Playing Her In ‘The First Lady’, Opens Up About Other Black Actors Saying She’s Not ‘Classically Beautiful’

Portraying Michelle Obama was almost too much for veteran actress Viola Davis, understandably. Deets on how stressed she got over the role, plus what she revealed about the harsh entertainment industry inside…

Anytime an actor is tasked with portraying a real person on the screen, it can be stressful. It’s even more stressful when the person they’re portraying is still alive. And then, it’s Forever First Lady MICHELLE OBAMA we’re talking about it – the epitome of Black Excellence. Naturally, anyone would be stressed under those circumstances – even Oscar winner Viola Davis.

Although she has been named one of the 25 greatest actors of the century by The NY Times, the 56-year-old said portraying Forever First Lady Michelle Obama in the upcoming political drama series “The First Lady” was STRESSFUL.

 

And the #EMMY goes to….#ViolaDavis!

The trailer for SHOWTIME’s #TheFirstLady was just released and Viola totally nails FLOTUS #MichelleObama.

More about the upcoming series when you click the link in bio or tap the sticker in Stories! https://t.co/5Q2kB9LvgJ pic.twitter.com/4Fy9eE3Ygd

— YBF CHIC (@TheYBF) February 19, 2022

 

"That’s crazy how good you are at this… it’s not just the voice you have down, it’s the walking? It’s crazy how much you became Michelle Obama,” late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel said to his guest.

”And I’m glad it’s over!" Viola, who is also producing the series, reacted. Ha!

"I mean, the stress. Because everybody loves Michelle Obama. They know what she sounds like, they know what she looks like. And I’m like, ‘I don’t want Michelle Obama calling me, cussing me out.’ "

These days, Viola is hilariously ducking FLOTUS ahead of the series’ SHOWTIME premiere.

"I’m hiding from Michelle. I’m hiding in my house," she joked. 

Last year, the “How To Get Away With Murder” star shared how terrified she was after accepting the role because she wants to portray Lady O perfectly – to her satisfaction.

”And it’s terrifying because … sometimes someone doesn’t live up to whatever image you have in your head. But when they do live up to the image, it’s quite frightening," she said at the time.

The 10-episode series will also star Dakota Fanning as Susan Elizabeth Ford, O-T Fagbenle as former President Barack Obama, Regina Taylor as Mrs. Obama’s mother Marian Shields Robinson, and Judy Greer as Nancy Howe.

Watch her full interview – where she talks about getting her 11-year-old daughter an iPhone – below:

“The First Lady premieres this Sunday, April 17th at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.

Excerpts from Viola Davis’ upcoming memoir “Finding Me,” have started trickling in online before its premiere April 26th. In the book, the FENCES shared how she received criticism about her looks – not just from casting directors – but fellow black actors as well. From being called “ugly” during childhood while watching Juilliard turn students into “perfect white actors,” Viola has always felt pressure to look a certain way.

After she was cast as the lead for “How To Get Away With Murder,” the EMMY winner said she her physical appearance was harshly judged by other Black actors due to her dark skin. The actress shared in a piece for The New York Times that a friend called her up after overhearing other Black actors/actress say “she wasn’t pretty enough to pull it off.”

Although she has dealt with folks just being downright disgusting towards her, she said that hurt even more since it was coming from her peers.

Well, she shut EVERYONE up. Despite the negative comments about her playing the role, she morphed into the best Annalise Keating we could have ever imagined, which earned her a historic EMMY for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She was the first Black woman to ever win the award.

Take that!

Watch a special clip featuring Viola as FLOTUS and the official trailer below:

Photo: Cubankite/Shutterstock

Donald Glover Dishes On ‘Atlanta’ Season 4 Being The Final Season + Viola Davis Totally Nails FLOTUS Michelle Obama In New Series

“Atlanta” Season 4 will be the final season for the hit FX series. Creator/star Donald Glover dishes on the end of the series and what his original plans were for the show.

Also, new flicks of Viola Davis as FLOTUS Michelle Obama just hit the Internet and Viola has Mrs. Obama’s mannerisms down to a T! Get it all inside…

Welp. We can’t say we didn’t see this coming.

The EMMY winning FX series “Atlanta” will be coming to an end with Season 4. The announcement was made by FX CEO John Landgraf during a presentation at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

During the panel, “Atlanta” creator, star and executive producer Donald Glover explained why he’s at peace with ended the critically-acclaimed show after its fourth season.

”To be honest, I wanted to end it after Season 2, and I think we had talked about that for a minute," said Donald. 

To reiterate, Donald said his mega 8-figure, multi-year deal with Amazon Studios didn’t have anything to do with ending the series. 

“When the conditions are right for something to happen, it happens, and when they’re not, it doesn’t. The story was always supposed to be what it was.”

The series last aired almost four years ago (May 2018) and have fans been vocal about the wait. In an effort to get the new seasons out as fast as possible, Donald and the cast filmed Season 3 & 4 back-to-back in London. It wasn’t all though.

“Atlanta” co-writers Stefani Robinson and Stephen Glover (Donald’s brother) alleged they were racially harassed while filming in London. And it happened their first night at the new location. 

”This group of people walks up. And maybe one of them kind of notices Donald or recognizes him. And she stops and they start asking if they know anywhere around here to get something to drink. I think we were talking to them for a second. It’s this girl and two or three guys,” Stephen explained at the TCA.

One of the guys that was with the girl accused the writing team of being able to break into a closed bar because “you guys all carry hammers,” which is slang for guns.

“Mind you, all of the writers on ‘Atlanta’ are Black. So, he’s making a reference that we all have hammers, and we can just break into this place, which we kind of ignored,” Stephen said.

SMH. We aren’t surprised. 

The 10-episode third season will finally premiere on March 24th on FX. For the first time, “Atlanta” episodes will be available to stream the next day on Hulu.

“The new season is everything you’ve come to expect from Atlanta, which is to say, expect the unexpected. Sit back and enjoy the trip,” FX CEO John Landgraf said during the panel.

Check out the Season 3 trailer below:

At least fans can be assured it won’t take years for Season 4 to drop since they’ve already shot it.

In other TV news…

Viola Davis becomes Michelle Obama in trailer for ‘The First Lady’ anthology series https://t.co/ice9qsy4QX pic.twitter.com/Uh9NILSSnf

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 17, 2022

And the EMMY goes to…..Viola Davis!

Listen, Oscar & EMMY winning actress Viola Davis understood the assignment when it was time to portray our Forever First Lady Michelle Obama in SHOWTIME’s upcoming anthology series, “The First Lady,” which is set to premiere this Spring. Viola is also executive producing the project.

 

Playing the extraordinary @MichelleObama was no small task but an honor of a lifetime. #TheFirstLady premieres April 17 on @Showtime. pic.twitter.com/ntiUOcYGrw

— Viola Davis (@violadavis) February 17, 2022

 

Entertainment Weekly has the deets:

EW obtained exclusive first looks of Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Gillian Anderson as first ladies Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt in the limited series from showrunner Cathy Schulman (Crash) and director Susanne Bier (The Undoing).

The show’s first season will focus on the personal and political lives of Obama, Ford, and Roosevelt, tracing "their journeys to Washington through an enlightening intimacy," according to Showtime.

"I feel very protective of Michelle," said Viola, who revealed she studied the first lady’s 2020 Netflix doc to perfect her gestures. "It’s our job as actors not to judge whoever we are portraying, but I ended up thinking she’s just dope."

 

The iconic @violadavis and @OTFagbenle as Michelle and Barack Obama in #TheFirstLady on @Showtime. Get their awards ready!!! pic.twitter.com/drvoGmStSy

— Meech (@MediumSizeMeech) February 17, 2022

I can’t wait to see Viola Davis play Michelle Obama! I know she’s going to do her justice! pic.twitter.com/T5cB3EPYEa

— 5 Miles to Messy (@AshleyShyMiller) February 19, 2022

And she NAILED IT!

Peep the full trailer below: 

In 2015, Viola made HERstory when she became the first Black actress to ever win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Based on these pictures, she’ll likely do it again! 

”The First Lady” series premieres April 17th at 9 PM/EST on SHOWTIME. No question we’ll be tuned in.

Photo: DFree/Shutterstock

Nicki Minaj Call’s Husband’s Rape Accuser A Liar In Harassment Suit + Rumors Swirl Nicki Isn’t Legally Married To Kenneth Petty After Court Hearing On Her B’Day

Nicki Minaj has some words for her husband’s rape accuser – who is currently suing her. The NYC raptures claims the rape accuser – Jennifer Hough – is all CAP. The legal documents were filed after Nicki appeared in a Zoom hearing (on her 39th birthday) for the intimidation lawsuit where it was alleged it was revealed she’s not legally married to Kenneth Petty. Oh? More inside…

Nicki Minaj’s celebrated her 39th birthday this week and it was many things.

If you haven’t heard, Nicki and her husband, Kenneth Petty, are being sued by Jennifer Hough (Kenneth’s rape accuser) with claims of witness intimidation, emotional distress, harassment, assault and battery.

The QUEEN raptress is calling CAP on Jennifer’s claims that she and her legal team harassed her to recant attempted rape claim in new legal documents. In her response, Nicki claims Jennifer’s lawsuit is nothing more than a money grab.

TMZ reports:

The crux of their argument lies in a couple different inconsistencies they say lie within Hough’s account of things — namely, her claiming she had to change her phone number due to the alleged harassment she was receiving from Nicki, plus the claim Nicki’s team had reached out to her brother with a $500k offer if she recanted in a written statement.

 

On the phone issue ..,. Nicki’s attorney says Hough actually texted Nicki after claiming she needed to change her number and move back in June 2020 to block Nicki and her people from contacting her. Nicki says the text read "US Marshalls are asking questions!!!" The lawyer draws a conclusion from this — Hough wasn’t actually trying to hide her number from Nicki at all (contrary to what she alleges). Nicki’s team thinks it makes it clear she wasn’t scared and is just looking for a payday.

There’s also the issue of an interview Hough gave earlier this year, which the attorney says differs from what she alleged in court docs. In the interview, NM’s lawyer says Hough noted her brother told her somebody had reached out with a $500k offer if she talked to a lawyer repping Petty. NM’s lawyer said the allegation in the lawsuit that Nicki was behind the offer is merely speculation that gave her a reason to try to sue Nicki.

Bottom line … Nicki’s lawyer says this woman was looking to score a quick buck from Minaj, and is now twisting the tale to do so.

Chile….

On December 8th …

 

 
 

 

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…the Pink Friday raptress celebrated her 39th birthday. While it was a joyous occasion, sis had to handle some legal business on her special day.

 

All these white men are scaring me on the call…I think I should leave before they come get me pic.twitter.com/N69Uq6YtQd

— ReturnEraPt2 (@Ohhnobackagain) December 8, 2021

According to court documents, the “Chun-Li” raptress attended a Zoom call for a virtual hearing in Jennifer’s pending case…on her birthday.

The Barbz and Nicki haters were tweeting during the hearing. Apparently, some Barbz were playing music loudly during the hearing and the courts ended up muting them.

 

Barbz being ignorant per usual playing Nicki Minaj songs on the court hearing…

— ReturnEraPt2 (@Ohhnobackagain) December 8, 2021

 

 

not the Barbz playing Nicki Minaj music on the zoom hearing conference line

— .jae (@BLOWthisJAE_) December 8, 2021

 

This is NOT the final hearing for Nicki Minaj and Kenneth Petty vs Jennifer Hough. This hearing is because both defendants ignored the subpoena passed the date they were suppose to answer like they’re above the law.

If granted, it’s over today if she doesn’t the trial CONTINUES. pic.twitter.com/xkNNuGlI0i

— CARDI DROP THE ALBUM (@ToriLoves2SeeIt) December 8, 2021

 

Some fans even recorded the call, but took the recordings down in fear of being prosecuted.

During the hearing, it’s alleged Nicki Minaj is not even legally married to her son’s father, Kenneth Petty. Not only that, it was allegedly revealed Nicki’s husband has FIVE children with five other women and that she’s baby mama #6. Allegedly.

In July 2019, TMZ reported Nicki & Kenneth got a marriage license, however, their information came from “sources with knowledge.” As of now, a marriage license hasn’t been found.  

It’s also alleged Nicki attended a second hearing involving her father’s hit-and run case. On Valentine’s Day Weekend, Nicki’s 64-year-old father, Robert Maraj, was fatally struck in a hit-and-run accident in New York.

Despite the drama, the Head Barb took to Instagram to share gifts she received on her birthday, including a gift that’s seemingly from Barack & Michelle Obama’s daughter, Malia Obama. She shared a quick video of a wrapped gift and the tag, which said “Malia.”

Peep all Nicki’s gifts below:

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by TheYBF (@theybf_daily)

It appears Beyonce also gave Nicki some Ivy Park for her birthday:

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by Barbie (@nickiminaj)

In the meantime, Nicki and her son Papa Bear are spending all the time they can with Kenneth during the holidays before he goes before a judge again.

Kenneth "Zoo" Petty pleaded guilty during a virtual court hearing on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender in California in September. You’ll recall, the 43-year-old, struck a plea deal with the feds last month. However, he could still end up behind bars.

Mr. Petty agreed to plead guilty to one count of failing to register as a sex offender in California. In return, the feds will reportedly seek a sentence towards the low end of the guidelines. The maximum sentence allowed for the crime is 10 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release.

His sentencing is scheduled for January 24, 2022.

Happy Birthday, Nicki.

Photo: Nicki’s IG 

Barack Obama’s 44×60 B’Day Bash: POTUS Cuts A Rug, Bomb Performances & Appearances By The Carters, H.E.R., Erykah Badu, Common & The Roots

Forever president Barack Obama celebrated his 60th birthday with an epic bash on Martha’s Vineyard. Celebs guests and performers included Beyoncé, Jay-Z, H.E.R., Erykah Badu, Common, The Roots, and more.

Watch POTUS cut a rug and more inside…

Martha’s Vineyard was LIT over the weekend as several celebs jetted to the island to celebrate forever president Barack Obama‘s 60th birthday, which is August 4th.

The "44×60" bash (a reference to the 44th president’s 60th birthday) was held on the grounds of Barack & Michelle Obama‘s 29-acre estate, which they purchased in 2019 for $11.75 million. Due to the Delta Variant of COVID-19 rising, the star-studded affair was reportedly scaled back as it was originally planned for 600 guests. The intimate, outdoor affiar ended up hosting 200 of his closest family and friends.

A source told PageSix Obama’s b’day bash took precautions to prevent it turning into a superspreader event. All guests had to submit a negative PCR test beforehand. Also, there was a medical professional acting as “COVID coordinator,” and masks were handed out during the Saturday evening festivities.

Although these precautions were put in place, folks have been sounding off about Obama throwing a "pandemic party" and how its hypocritical of him to throw a bash as the Delta Variant is spreading. The birthday bash was held outside with tents set up for guests to stand under.

According to the CDC and state guidelines, guests are not required to be masked up while outside at the party.

Gold napkins, masks and backstage passes with 44×60 embroidered on them were handed out to guests. Bathroom amenities included antiperspirant wipes, a lint roller and Advil, according to the pictures.

TJ Chapman – manager of artist Trap Beckham – shared a picture of the gold napkins from the bash:

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by TJ Chapman | TJ’s DJ’s (@tjsdjs)

The Obamas and friends were entertained with bomb performances by H.E.R., Common, Erykah Badu, John Legend, and The Roots. Peep some of the performance lineup below:

 

 
 

 

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The vibes were just right. Forever POTUS was seen cutting a rug on the dance floor with H.E.R. as Erykah Badu shared an inside sneak peek of "Obama ‘n em" on her IG Stories. Swipe through below to see his moves:

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by TheYBF (@theybf_daily)

Other celeb guests included Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, Chrissy Teigen, Jennifer Hudon, Don Cheadle, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Colbert and John Kerry.

As of now, there haven’t been any pictures of Bey & Jay at the party. However, someone snapped a quick flick of them out and about on Martha’s Vineyard:

“”
6 | Beyoncé JAY-Z 60 Barack Obama Martha’s Vineyard Island pic.twitter.com/zVrLxghzAP

— BeyoncéThailand (@BeyonceThailand) August 9, 2021

Below are a few flicks The Wades & Chrissy shared before stepping out to the party:

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by TheYBF (@theybf_daily)

After pictures and videos from the bash began cirulating online, it appears Obama’s camp asked folks to delete the images and videos. H.E.R.’s post with Mr. & Mrs. Obama at the party is no longer on her Instagram account. DJ D-Nice shared an IG post about people respecting other people’s privacy. He turned the comments off on the post:

 

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by D-Nice (@dnice)

 

It looks like everyone – including the birthday boy – had a good time! Fun times.

Photo: H.E.R.’s IG

COLLEGE CATCH UP: This Year’s Graduates & Decision Day Stars Bring Back The University Vibes

It’s the college catch up! 2020 put a damper on the college festivities, but things are coming back around this year. Celebrate with this year’s college grads and upcoming freshman inside…

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic put a major strain on all of the college activities that were to come. Commencement ceremonies had to be canceled to follow COVID-19 guidelines that were put in place to lower the spread of the virus. Social gatherings were forbidden, so large events like graduations, weddings, concerts, etc. were all put on pause. It was a mess. High School and college grads missed out on walking across the stage before their family and friends to celebrate their huge accomplishment.

Well, things are slowly getting back to normal as COVID-19 mandates are being lifted across the nation allowing people to gather for things like graduations and weddings.

DJ D-Nice’s daughter, Ashli Lyric Jones, J.D, just wrapped her law school journey where she received her law degree from Penn State Dickinson Law. Sis pushed through a whole pandemic to receive her degree and her pops was uber proud of her.

 

 
 

 

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”I remember picking my daughter up from daycare one day. I was livid when I walked into the facility and the kids were watching Judge Joe Brown,” he wrote. “My daughter was 5 years old at the time and that’s when she first said that she wanted to become an attorney. Yesterday, she had her final class and will graduate from law school in less than two weeks. Congrats, @ashlilyric! The world is yours! Proud dad!”

Ha!

 

 

 
 

 

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Ashli – who is also a Spelman grad & a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – thanked everyone in her life who helped her along the way as she was studying for her law degree.

 

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by Ashli Lyric, J.D.(@ashlilyric)

 

"It truly takes a village. Shout out to my amazing family and friends (pictured & not pictured) who supported me every step of the way,” she wrote. “My law school journey was far from easy. I had bad anxiety and doubted myself often. These people made it easier. They loved me and supported me every step of the way.”

”To my parents: Thank you for everything. Thank you for guiding me and teaching me the importance of education. Thank you for the motivational talks and for not letting me quit. I love you all so much.

To my sisters: You both know how much I love you. I have your back always.

To my family: Thank you for always pushing me to be great.

To my friends: Thank you for being patient when I’m absent. Thank you for listening to every complaint. Thank you for wiping every tear.

Law school adjourned."

Aww!

 

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by Ashli Lyric, J.D. (@ashlilyric)

 

Major congrats!

Now, she’s preparing to pass the bar exam:

As for another grad…

 

 
 

 

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Madame Vice President Kamala Harris took to Instagram to pay tribute to her step-daughter Ella Emoff for graduating from the Parsons School of Design.

 

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by Shereé Whitfield (@shereewhitfield)

 

Former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Sheree Whitefield’s youngest daughter, Kaleigh Whitfield, recently graduated summa cum laude from Howard University! It’s unclear if Sheree actually attended the commencement ceremony based on her IG post, but she made sure to show her daughter love for accomplishing a big feat.

”Proud momma for sure…..can’t put in words what these kids mean to me! Only missing my super smart, gorgeous baby girl @kaleighwhitfield_ …..she’s in DC! #Graduated yesterday #summacumlaude from Howard University and I couldn’t be more PROUD, EXCITED AND AMAZED to have mothered these three INCREDIBLE young adults,” she wrote. “Each have graduated from an #hbcu …TSU, MOREHOUSE COLLEGE and now HOWARD UNIVERSITY. I cant wait to continue to watch u guys flourish and ur growth. U guys have so much to do and show this world! #momfirst #happymothersday”

Now, we can’t forget the high school grads who are headed to college:

 

 

 
 

 

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Summer Chamblin – daughter of celebrity stylist June Ambrose – graduated high school a year early (at the age of 16) and is planning to major in the business of beauty and fragrance and minor in business management and entrepreneurship at The Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. She received an academic scholarship to the private school.

”In honor of #collegedecisionday I will finally be sharing where I’m attending college this fall,” Summer wrote on IG. “I found out last fall I had enough credits to graduate high school a year early at 16! A few months later, I was accepted into SCAD with an academic honors scholarship and SCAD achievement honor scholarship! I intend to major in the business of beauty and fragrance and minor in business management and entrepreneurship. I’m so excited to share this new chapter of my life with you all. #scad #2025 #graduation #classof2021”

 

 

 
 

 

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Congrats!

The acceptance letters for ”Euphoria” star Storm Reid have been rolling in and she has been sharing her reaction to the acceptance notifications. The Wrinkle In Time actress has been accepted to attend the University of Southern California and Spelman College (an HBCU).

Peep her emotional reactions below:

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by Storm Reid (@stormreid)

 

“I’ve been on set allllllll day, and I wanted to wait to get home to open this,” she captioned the video. “Was a ball of nerves all day. I got my first college acceptance two weeks ago, but I’ve been waiting on this one for a hot minute. WE GOT INTO USC BABY."

 

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by Storm Reid (@stormreid)

 

Congrats!

 

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama)

 

Forever FLOTUS Michelle Obama posted up some words of wisdom to celebrate College Signing Day. Our Forever FLOTUS loves sharing gems with the next generation of leaders and we love her for it.

”Happy #CollegeSigningDay! I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how proud I am of each and every one of you celebrating today,” Mrs Obama wrote.

”Today, we’re recognizing your hard work and dedication as you take this next step on your journey to and through higher education. And I know this hasn’t been the easiest year, but I’ve been so inspired that, despite all of the obstacles in your way, you pushed through it all. Getting your education is an incredible accomplishment, especially when you think about how it wasn’t that long ago that so many students were denied the opportunity to do so.”

”This year, I’m wearing a shirt from Clark Atlanta University, one of our incredible historically Black colleges and universities. So whether you’re going to a community college, trade school, university, or joining the military, I could not be more proud of you. Make sure to share where you’re planning to go this fall using #CollegeSigningDay. Then click the link in my bio at 2pm ET to join @BetterMakeRoom and me for our virtual celebration featuring some very special guests and student performances!”

Gotta love her.

And for all of our Fab Ones still rocking out in college, we’re leaving this here below for you:

 

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by Yara (يارا‎) Shahidi (@yarashahidi)

 

We know you all are glad final exams are over.

CONGRATS to all of the grads!

Photos: D-Nice’s IG/Storm’s IG

Forever FLOTUS Michelle Obama Opens Up About How She Coped With ‘Low Grade Depression’

Forever First Lady Michelle Obama drops new gems during an interview with late night talk show host Stephen Colbert where she opens up about her battle with “low grade depression” during the pandemic. More inside…

One thing about our Forever First Lady Michelle Obama – she’s going to bless us with some gems to help us navigate life.

Mrs. Obama recently appeared on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” where she opened about her own struggle with depression. Not that we find any joy in Lady O experiencing depression, but it does help to know that she’s going through the same feelings and emotions we’re all going through as we try to figure out our new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check out A Late Show tonight for my interview with former First Lady and current Michelle Obama, Michelle Obama! pic.twitter.com/r5nV7xC6So

— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) May 11, 2021

 

“This is a part of life,” Mrs. Obama said. “Nobody rides life on a high, and I think it’s important for young people to know that you know it’s like, no, you’re not going to feel great all the time.”

Mrs. Obama said she protects her peace by turning off “the noise that is upsetting.” She said she had to stop reading all of the feeds that are fueling her anxiety. And she mentioned she did this while serving as First Lady.

“I pull back from it. I surround myself with things that make me feel good: Family, friends, walks, exercise. So when I talk to my kids about that, I try to urge them to understand that the valleys are temporary and so are the peaks. They can be temporary. And they have to be prepared to handle the highs and the lows," she said.

The Harvard Law School graduate explained how when she showers and gets dressed for the day, it helped with her having a better mood overall.

“Having a schedule, even in quarantine, was something that I did. I woke up, I took a shower, I worked out, I got dressed every day,” Obama said. “There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t do that, because it’s just the doing that gets you out of the funk.

“I find that if I spend the whole day in a sour mood, lights out in the bed, the next day I’ll feel the same way,” she added. “But if I get up and I shower … something might happen in the course of me doing something that really knocks me into a positive place. So I try to fight the tendency to sort of wallow in my low," she said. “Don’t wallow in your low, Stephen.”

Noted.

Peep the clip below:

TONIGHT! Former First Lady @MichelleObama shares how she coped with low-grade depression over the past year and how she wants to help people discover the things that bring them calm and peace. #LSSC pic.twitter.com/2pRCpN9M7B

— A Late Show (@colbertlateshow) May 12, 2021

And she’s right. Life will definitely take you through ups and downs where you can learn how to appreciate the highs and how to push through the lows.

Mrs. O dropped some relationship gems for young couples:

Young couples should listen to this wisdom from @MichelleObama on her long-lasting marriage. #LSSC pic.twitter.com/vSgE44JWIM

— A Late Show (@colbertlateshow) May 12, 2021

Our generous queen talked about how she doesn’t have any plans on slowing down on her philanthropic efforts:

Don’t expect @MichelleObama to slow down on her philanthropy anytime soon. #LSSC https://t.co/qqrEHoJAJi pic.twitter.com/2BFZmXfc2Q

— A Late Show (@colbertlateshow) May 12, 2021

Does the Chi-town native prefer deep dish or thin crust pizza?

Chicago native @MichelleObama chooses between deep dish or thin crust pizza. #LSSC https://t.co/jFCIK8S9a7 pic.twitter.com/yRYxHxAHHE

— A Late Show (@colbertlateshow) May 12, 2021

The 57-year-old fly chick also played Stephen in Wastepaper Basketball:

The Obamas vs. @StephenAtHome in Wastepaper Basketball

cc: @BarackObama & @MichelleObama #LSSC pic.twitter.com/MAfJ1Acr37

— A Late Show (@colbertlateshow) May 12, 2021

Ha! 

Check out more clips from her interview below:

Love her!

Photo: EPG_EuroPhotoGraphics/Shutterstock.com

‘Little Fires Everywhere’ Star Lexi Underwood Cast As Malia Obama In ‘The First Lady’

“Little Fires Everywhere” star Lexi Underwood just nabbed a gig of a lifetime. She’ll be starring as Malia Obama in an upcoming anthology series titled, “The Frist Lady.” More inside…

More Obamas? Yes, please!

SHOWTIME has a new anthology series about former First Ladies of the United States. And Malia Obama has been casted!

”Little Fires Everywhere” star Lexi Underwood – who plays Kerry Washington’s on-screen daughter – has been chosen to play First Daughter Malia Obama. She’ll star opposite Oscar winner Viola Davis, who will portray Forever FLOTUS Michelle Obama, and British actor O.T. Fagbenle, who will star as Forever POTUS Barack Obama.

Lexi’s role as the eldest Obama daughter is described as "open minded and intelligent," someone who "pushes her parents to make socially conscious decisions."

”Sitting in so much gratitude,” Lexi wrote on Instagram. “@michelleobama you and the entire Obama family are the epitome of excellence and will forever be my First Family. Malia, I am humbled and honored to tell your story. Thank you @violadavis @showtime & my phenomenal team @creativeartistsagency, Untitled Entertainment, & @independentpublicrelations for making my dreams come true ! I can’t believe I get to work with so many incredible humans”

Aww! She also expressed her gratitude on Twitter: 

 

Sitting in so much gratitude. @MichelleObama you and the entire Obama family are the epitome of excellence. Malia, I am humbled and honored to tell your story. https://t.co/ke1CoiwYSV

— Lexi Underwood (@LexiCUnderwood) March 10, 2021

 

By the way, Viola Davis will also serve as an executive producer for the series along her husband Julius Tennon and Andrew Wang of JuVee Productions. Bird Box director Susanne Bier has been tapped to direct and she’s also an executive producer. “The First Lady” is written and executive produced by Aaron Cooley. 

We’ll keep you posted when the series is set to premiere.

Photos: Lexi’s IG/MEGA

Michelle Obama Reveals She’s ‘Moving Toward Retirement’ + Forever Flotus Set To Be Inducted Into National Women’s Hall of Fame!

To live a life as full as Forever First Lady Michelle Obama, it’s no wonder she’s moving towards setting up her life for more R&R. She recently dished about making plans towards retirement. And the news comes on the heels of an announcement that she will be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. More inside….

Michelle Obama is ready for retirement! And we can’t blame her after all she has accomplished thus far. Advocate, author, lawyer, mom, wife, ICON and 44th First Lady of the United States – yeah, she definitely deserves some rest and relaxation.

 

 

 
 

 

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Our Forever First Lady is featured on the cover of the newest issue of PEOPLE magazine. And, of course, she looks amazing as ever.

 

 

 
 

 

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In the cover story, FLOTUS reflected on her COVID-year, which included unexpected blessings, she revealed her new quarantine hobbies and what she plans to build for the next generation of leaders, advocates and activists to take over.

Stepping out of the limelight is coming sooner, rather than later for Mrs. O. She said she’s making plays to move toward retirement and she can’t wait to “chase summer" with her husband/Forever President Barack Obama.

"I’ve been telling my daughters I’m moving toward retirement right now, [selectively] picking projects and chasing summer," Mrs. Obama revealed. "Barack and I never want to experience winter again. We’re building the foundation for somebody else to continue the work so we can retire and be with each other — and Barack can golf too much, and I can tease him about golfing too much because he’s got nothing else to do."

Ha! As much as the Obamas have done for the nation, they certainly deserve a break to enjoy one another and do whatever is they want to do.

During quarantine, Mrs. O picked up a few new hobbies, which include knitting and swimming.

"Knitting is a forever proposition You don’t master knitting, because once you make a scarf, there’s the blanket. And once you do the blanket, you’ve got to do the hat, the socks. … I could go on about knitting!" she said.

"Over quarantine, I actually did teach myself how to be a better lap swimmer, because what I’m finding in my old age is that the high-impact stuff that I used to do, as I’m approaching 60, it just doesn’t work. So I thought, well, swimming is one of those low-impact, good cardio things," Mrs. Obama shared. "I worked myself up to almost a mile of swimming laps. Now, can I do that right this second? No. But this summer, I’m getting back into the pool."

With her daughters Malia (22) and Sasha (19) returning home due to the pandemic, Mrs. Obama shared how they quickly burst her “empty nest” bubble.

"Our girls were supposed to have emptied out of my nest," Mrs. Obama explains. "I was sort of celebrating that they were out building their lives and allowing me the emotional space to let them go. Well, they’re back!"

Ha!

As for Sasha & Malia Obama’s new hobbies, she revealed they’ve really gotten into cooking.

”They love the freedom of being in the kitchen, creating, experimenting,” she said.

Speaking of cooking…

 

So excited that Waffles + Mochi comes out on Netflix next week—and in collaboration with @PHAnews, our Pass the Love campaign will seek to address food insecurity by providing more than one million meals to families in need. Hope you’ll get involved: https://t.co/MH3Kz48dtl pic.twitter.com/xM9hJwUYjx

— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) March 10, 2021

 

 

The “Becoming” author will play the neighborhood grocer in Netflix’s upcoming cooking series, “Waffles + Mochi,” where she’ll be cooking up some healthy eats alongside puppets and guest chefs. It’s a show for kids, but she said adults will enjoy it as well – even if the kiddies aren’t around.

"I’m basically being myself," she said. "The entire concept is fun … an adventure."

 

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by People Magazine (@people)

 

Sweet. You can read more of her interview here.

Also…

 

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by National Women’s Hall of Fame (@womenofthehall)

 

Forever FLOTUS will be inducted into the U.S. National Women’s Hall of Fame this year. The organization made the special announcement on International Women’s Day. Perfect timing.

“Advocate, author, lawyer, and 44th First Lady of the United States—the first Black person to serve in the role—Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most influential and iconic women of the 21st century,” the National Women’s Hall of Fame said in a news release.

“During her eight years as First Lady, Michelle Obama helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, transforming the White House into the ‘People’s House.’ Since leaving the White House, she has continued to have a profound public impact.”

Again, Mrs. Obama’s resume speaks for itself as she has created multiple advocacy groups and programs, including the Let’s Move! program focused on ending childhood obesity, the Reach Higher initiative to help students discover better job opportunities, the Joining Forces organization for veterans and Let Girls Learn, a program to support adolescent girls’ education.

Mrs. O also won a Grammy award last year for Best Spoken Word Album. After Michelle and her husband Forever President Barack Obama inked a deal with Spotify, she premiered The Michelle Obama Podcast, last summer.

And to keep it 100, she’s just a BOSS!

Other inductees include, Rebecca Halstead, who has had a decorated military career, poet and author Joy Harjo, PepsiCo’s first female CEO Indra Nooyi, soccer legend Mia Hamm and artist Judy Chicago. Best-selling author Octavia E. Butler, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and activist Emily Howland will be posthumously inducted.

This year’s induction ceremony is set to go down (in-person with COVID-19 protocols) October 2nd at the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, N.Y.

 

Photo: Michelle’s IG

A Nervous Zaya Wade Asked Michelle Obama Advice For Teens During One-On-One Q&A

Zaya Wade missed school for a chance of a lifetime! She got the chance to interview one of her idols, Forever First Lady Michelle Obama. Find out what advice Mrs. O gave Zaya and other teens inside…

Talk about a conversation of a lifetime!

Zaya Wade is only 13 years old, but she’s already using her platform to represent teens who relate to her way of life.

It’s not everyday you get to hope on a video conference with Forever First Lady Michelle Obama. Well, that happened for Zaya (transdaughter of retired NBA star Dwyane Wade). She was SO nervous during the virtual Q&A. It was cute watching her calm herself down as FLOTUS greeted her when they hopped on the conference call.

"I’m so nervous. I’m meeting an idol. I’m literally meeting an idol," said Zaya. "I’ve been preparing for this moment for so long."

Apparently, Zaya had to miss a class or two for the virtual Q&A, but we’re talking Michelle Obama here!

"I hear you’re slotting me in between school, so I feel very special," FLOTUS joked. "Ask your teacher for forgiveness from me because you’re doing me a favor."

And the teacher better do that favor. Ha.

After getting more comfortable, Zaya kicked off the Q&A asking FLOTUS for advice that she would give teens "who want to be themselves and thrive like you have and currently are."

"Well, like you have and currently are," the “Becoming” author said to Zaya. "I am just so proud of you, you know, being just an amazing role model and embracing your truth."

The most important gem Mrs. O dropped was to remind teens that they have to “be patient with yourself” when it comes to learning who you are.

"All young people are trying on different versions, different voices, they’re learning more about their intellect, they’re learning about what they love, what they’re good at, what they like. This is the period of exploration."

Agree. The 57-year-old lawyer then turned it over to Zaya, asking her what advice she would give teens to find themselves. Last year, the then 12-year-old came out as transgender and was met with backlash. Despite the controversy, D. Wade & his wife Gabrielle Union have been 1,000% supportive parents for Zaya.

"We all think that we thrive with people who are just like us, but I think getting a different perspective from someone else who isn’t like you really helps," Zaya said. "That definitely helped me in becoming me and defining my truth."

Peep their conversation below:

 

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by Zaya Wade (@zayawade)

 

”So glad I got to talk about Becoming for teens readers with an idol of mine,” Zaya wrote on Instagram. “Make sure you check out @michelleobama new book Becoming! Link in my stories.”

 

 

 
 

 

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Come through interview skills.

Not only can Zaya handle an interview with a living icon, it appears she has acting talents as well. It doesn’t hurt that actress Gabrielle Union is her step-mother. Watch their Ten Things I Hate About You TikTok below:

 

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by BCK:Celeb Kids & More (@officialbck)

 

Get it.

Photo: IG Screenshot

Barack Obama & Ava DuVernay Will Deliver & Engage In Much-Needed Discussions In Their New Spotify Podcasts, Respectively

Barack Obama and Ava DuVernay are taking their talents to Spotify for their own podcasts, respectively. Find out what our forever president and fab directress has cooking up inside…

Spotify nabbed some entertainment heavy hitters to launch new podcasts for your listening pleasure.

Forever President Barack Obama will be teaming up with legendary musician Bruce Springsteen for some legend talk about music, fatherhood, sports, life experiences, how they’re dealing with today’s issues and more in their new podcast series, “Renegades: Born in the USA.”

In the trailer Obama posted on his Twitter account, POTUS and Bruce meet up at the singer’s recording studio at his New Jersey home. The twosome opened up about their childhoods where Obama revealed his father left him at the age of 2 and returned when he was 10, but was only there for a month. With his father being absent for the majority of his life, President O said there was no way for him to feel a connection with him because he felt like a stranger.

Last year, I sat down with my good friend Bruce @Springsteen for a long and meaningful conversation that touched on so much of what we’re all dealing with these days. I’m excited to share it with you over the next few weeks: https://t.co/sQACD08AWx pic.twitter.com/biMoxCLhAG

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 22, 2021

On the surface, Barack and Bruce may not seem like they have a lot in common. Despite their very different backgrounds, the 59-year-old politician and the 71-year-old musician found common ground in the idea of America and this is what they explore in the new podcast.

Peep the trailer above.

”Renegades: Born in the USA” is the second podcast series to come out of POTUS and First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2019 deal with Spotify. The inaugural series, “The Michelle Obama Podcast,” was hosted by FLOTUS and was launched via Higher Ground production last July.

The first two episodes of “Renegades: Born in the USA” is currently streaming on Spotify.

Spotify is also working with Barack & Michelle’s Higher Ground production company on another podcast, “Tell Them I Am,” which compiles stories from Muslim voices and will debut throughout Ramadan.

As for another new Spotify podcast…

Ava DuVernay has also hopped in the Spotify podcast game.

After inking a multi-year deal with the streaming service in January, the "When They See Us" director’s first podcast will be an unscripted series about high profile cases of police brutality centered on the Law Enforcement Accountability Project (LEAP), which Ava launched last year.

"For Elijah and Breonna and George and Sandra and Philando and too many more. We can’t allow police who kill to disappear, unknown. It’s called qualified immunity and it’s a dark place. LEAP FILES will try keep a light on those dark places," she wrote on Instagram.

Each episode will explore a new case of police brutality and explore the “blue wall of silence” that surrounds officers that are accused of murdering unarmed black civilians, zeroing in on the lack of repercussions and accountability despite fatal wrongdoing.

“One of the things that defines artists is our curiosity — always wanting to learn more, reach further,” said Ava. “And so this is a non-scripted project called The LEAP Files. We analyze high-profile cases that have been in the news as it relates to police brutality against black people. This podcast pulls back the curtain.”

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by Ava DuVernay (@ava)

Variety shared more deets about what’s set to come down the pipeline via Ava’s deal with Spotify:

Spotify and DuVernay will develop and produce exclusive original audio programming through Array, DuVernay’s multiplatform arts and social impact collective, in concert with Spotify’s Gimlet studio. The scripted and unscripted narrative podcasts will “amplify a variety of voices and perspectives,” according to Spotify. The slate will be overseen by Array Filmworks president Sarah Bremner.

Bring it on! We love a good podcast around these parts.

 

Photos: Rob DeMartin/Spotify via AP/Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock.com

INAUGURATION DAY! Biden & Harris Sworn In + The Obamas Were A Major Flex + Heroic Capitol Officer Escorts VP Harris + Dior 1s Sneakers Trend

We’ve rounded up all of the Inauguration Day festivities from Biden/Harris getting sworn in, to the Obamas shutting ish down, love being shown to Eugene Goodman – the heroic Black Capitol police officer during the riot, to Dior x Air Jordan 1s trending on social media. Get it all inside…

 

A spirit of unity filled the air in Washington, D.C. today two weeks after turmoil erupted when Trump supporters carried out a violent attack against the U.S. Capitol. It was a peaceful transfer of power to kick off a new era in America.

Joe Biden was sworn in and became the 46th president of the United States. He used a 19th century family Bible to be sworn in. The huge Bible is a family heirloom that has been in the Biden family since 1893.

In his inaugural address, President Biden called for the American people to come together after four years of division.

"Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path," Biden said. "We have to be different than this. America has to be better than this. I will be a president for all Americans," Biden said. "I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as those who did."

Watch Biden be sworn in and his inaugural speech below:

Biden also put up his first social media post as President:

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by President Joe Biden (@potus)

”Let’s get to work,” Biden captioned a picture of himself.

Kamala Harris was sworn in as the Vice President of the United States, making history as the first Black person, first South Asian-American and first woman to ever hold the office. She’s also the first HBCU grad and first member of a Black sorority to do so.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor – the first woman of color to serve on the Supreme Court – administered the oath. VP Harris used two Bibles to be sworn in. One belonged to family friend Regina Shelton (whom Harris views as a surrogate mother). The second Bible was previously owned by the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court Justice and Harris’ lifelong political role model.

Watch Madame VP Harris get sworn in below:

Woot!

And here are Kamala’s first social media posts as Vice President:

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by Vice President Kamala Harris (@vp)

 

 
 

 

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A post shared by Vice President Kamala Harris (@vp)

Forever President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were an entire FLEX!

The power couple looked like royalty as they made their grand entrance:

 

 
 

 

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It’s the Kamala Harris Michelle Obama #Inauguration fist bump for me!pic.twitter.com/9h2kW1odYY

— It’s Madam Vice President Harris to YOU! (@flywithkamala) January 20, 2021

 

 

The Obama-Biden Presidential fist bump pic.twitter.com/3oQ5OWubCs

— gifdsports (@gifdsports) January 20, 2021

 

Fist bumps for everyone!

Jennifer Lopez hit the stage to perform a melody of “This Land Is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful” along with a little “Let’s Get Loud” thrown in. Peep her performance below:

Let’s get loud… for our next president and vice president of the United States!

Thank you @JLo for coming and being a part of this historic moment! #InaugurationDay pic.twitter.com/nNNtqk7pRC

— Biden Inaugural Committee (@BidenInaugural) January 20, 2021

Lady Gaga served up a performance of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Check it:

Here’s Lady Gaga’s stunning National Anthem in full.#InaugurationDay pic.twitter.com/kox1wGXlK4

— The Recount (@therecount) January 20, 2021

After the inauguration ceremony, President Biden & Madame VP Harris traveled from the U.S. Capitol to the Arlington National Cemetery to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Biden-Harris was joined by former Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton, and the former first ladies.

Then, everyone hopped into limos for the inaugural parade, followed by the family walk to the White House:

President Biden, first lady Dr. Jill Biden and their family walk to the White House during the inaugural parade.⁠

Doug Mills / The New York Times via AP pic.twitter.com/l7ZJYtMQog

— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 20, 2021

 

WATCH: President Joe Biden runs over to NBC News’ Al Roker on final portion of the inaugural parade. @AlRoker: “How does it feel, Mr. President?”@JoeBiden: “It feels good.” pic.twitter.com/XcvU9xUW3H

— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 20, 2021

 

The inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue featured drumlines from the University of Delaware and Howard University to honor the alma maters of the new president and vice president. Howard’s Band was LIT:

WATCH: Howard University’s Showtime Marching Band escorts VP Harris to the White House. pic.twitter.com/v9GhrWBOgN

— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 20, 2021

Kamala Harri’s great-nieces – Amara & Leela Ajagu – wore matching coats to honor her at the inauguration.

 

 
 

 

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Kamala’s great-nieces (daughters of her niece Meena Harris) wore custom fur coats that looked similar to the one their great-aunt wore in a throwback picture. Swipe above and peep the pics below.

Vice President Kamala Harris with her nieces and family walking to the White House #Inauguration pic.twitter.com/mF423oCqqr

— Stephanie Guerilus (@qsteph) January 20, 2021

 

Adorbs!

Speaking of Kamala’s family…

Love it VP KAMALA Harris’ nieces and her brother in law with the inauguration drip pic.twitter.com/l34MFtOgVw

— TUNA?!? Iont Eat No Dammm Tuna (@Org_Marsha) January 21, 2021

Nikolas Ajagu, the partner of Vice President Kamala Harris’ niece, Meena, rocked a pair of d Dior x Air Jordan 1 sneakers, which are limited edition and have been reselling for over $10,0000. Once sneaker heads caught the coveted sneakers, Dior 1s started trending on Twitter.

Yes smh

— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) January 20, 2021

The entire sneaker community when they saw a pair of Dior 1s in the inauguration #InaugurationDay pic.twitter.com/OZFeaTfYLY

— Le Quack (@akaSosa13) January 20, 2021

 

Ha!

Also…

 

 
 

 

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Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman – who defended the Capitol building and the Congresspeople inside during the Insurrection – escorted VP Kamala Harris into today’s Inauguration. He has also received a promotion to Deputy Sergeant at Arms.

The man who saved the Senate.

Standing ovation and cheers for a true hero, Officer Eugene Goodman. pic.twitter.com/MtmQIr6gZk

— Rep. Jason Crow (@RepJasonCrow) January 20, 2021

A true hero.

In case you missed, you can watch Inauguration Day in its entirety below:

Photos: Carolyn Kaster/ Saul Loeb/ Patrick Semansky/Jonathan Ernst/Pool Photo via AP

At Just 22-Years-Old Amanda Gorman Is The Youngest Inaugural Poet In U.S. History, Pays Homage To Poet Icon Maya Angelou

Talk about a breath of fresh air of #BlackGirlMagic! 22-year-old Amanda Gorman delivered a poem that amazed the world and she also paid homage to poet icon Maya Angelou, who came before her. Celebrate this bomb YBFer inside…

What a wonderful day to be a black woman! Watching all of the women take center stage during Inauguration Day warmed our hearts.

After four years of turmoil, the light at the end of the tunnel has arrived. And it came as a 22-year-old Los Angeles native.

Amanda Gorman took the stage as President Joe Biden’s inaugural poet and she made HERstory. The 22-year-old YBF literary star became the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history today at President Joe Biden & VP Kamala Harris swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol. She’s also the first national poet laureate in America, gaining the title in 2014.

She delivered an empowering poem titled, “The Hill We Climb.” 

Now, she’s a part of a small group of poets who have been called on to help mark a presidential inauguration, including Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, Miller Williams, Elizabeth Alexander and Richard Blanco.

The young poet followed in the footsteps of late literary icon Maya Angelou, who delivered her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the first inauguration of President Bill Clinton on January 20, 1993. Amanda paid homage to Maya Angelou by accessorizing her Inauguration Day look with a ring shaped like a caged bird, a tribute to Angelou’s famous poem, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise! Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou is cheering—and so am I. pic.twitter.com/I5HLE0qbPs

— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 20, 2021

Turns out, media mogul Oprah gifted the ring – along with a pair of earrings – for Amanda to wear with her Prada look to carry out a tradition. Lady O’s bestie/”CBS This Morning” co-anchor Gayle King spilled the tea about how the tribute came about during CBS News’ live broadcast:

"Maya [Angelou] did Bill Clinton’s address. She reached out to Amanda because [Winfrey] bought Maya her coat that she wore that day," King explained. "She said, ‘I’d like to get a coat for you to carry on that tradition.’"

"[Gorman] said, ‘I’ve already picked out my coat. It’s yellow. It’s my favorite color.’" So instead of a coat, Winfrey gave Gorman earrings and "a ring that’s shaped like a caged bird" as a tribute to Angelou’s ionic poem, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."

Nice!

In her poem, Amanda – a recent graduate of Harvard University – called for “unity” and she didn’t shy away from addressing the violent insurrection against the Capitol two weeks ago.

"We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it. Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.And this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, It can never be permanently defeated.

“We lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside,” she said.

Amanda delivered words that invoked hope and a sense of purpose during a time where Americans are struggling to live a normal life during the COVID-19 pandemic, police brutality and partisan division. She did an amazing job.

Watch her moving poem below:

Forever First Lady Michelle Obama gave Amanda a big hug after her poem:

Former first lady Michelle Obama hugs Amanda Gorman, who made history today as the youngest poet in recent history to read at a presidential inauguration: https://t.co/2pnC6CISOp pic.twitter.com/GUr5LUkRnm

— ABC News (@ABC) January 20, 2021

Amanda nabbed pics with Forever President Barack Obama Forever FLOTUS, former president Bill Clinton & former First Lady Hillary Clinton. And she was freaking out:

Aww! We feel you, girl!

After delivering her poem, she thanked Oprah for the special gift on Twitter:

Thank you! I would be nowhere without the women whose footsteps I dance in. While reciting my poem, I wore a ring with a caged bird—a gift from @Oprah for the occasion , to symbolize Maya Angelou, a previous inaugural poet. Here’s to the women who have climbed my hills before. https://t.co/5Tegd20sko

— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) January 20, 2021

A grateful queen.

Check out this interview Amanda did with “CBS This Morning” where she talked about how powerful poetry can be in politics below:

"Poetry is a weapon" – a favorite @TheAmandaGorman quote from our interview today on @CBSThisMorning – she certainly used it as a weapon today (in the best way) at the #Inauguration2021 #AmandaGorman #JoeBiden pic.twitter.com/WVCNkht8Kj

— Anthony Mason (@AnthonyMasonCBS) January 20, 2021

We’ll be keeping an eye on her!

Photos: Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP

Trump Says ‘We Will Be Back In Some Form’ As He Exits White House For Florida, Speaks Lies On The Tarmac, No Traditional Handover

Trump is finally GONE! As Inauguration Day kicks off, Trump and his wife Melania lands in Florida. Before leaving, he gave his final address to the nation, promising “we will be back in some form.” More inside…

Finally! The day has come where Trump is no longer the President of the United States.

Before the Inauguration Day festivities kicked off, Trump bid farewell to Washington at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before boarding Air Force Once with his wife Melania to make their way to Florida. By the time President Joe Biden made his way to the U.S. Capitol, Trump’s plane had landed in Mar-a-Lago.

Following a 21-gun salute, Trump started off his speech:

“This is a great, great country. It is my greatest honor and privilege to have been your president,” Trump said as his supporters chanted, “Thank you, Trump!” Trump’s daughter, Ivanka fought back tears as she listened to her father give his final speech as President.

“I will always fight for you,” Trump continued. “I will be watching. I will be listening. And I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better. I wish the new administration great luck and great success. I think they’ll have great success. They have the foundation to do something really spectacular.”

Trump then hinted a possible political comeback.

“We will be back in some form,” and he told his supporters, “Have a good life.”

Please don’t come back. We need the impeachment trial to convict Trump a second time, so we don’t have to worry about this vile man ever holding public office again. After inciting a violent mob to attack the U.S. Capitol because he felt the election was stolen should be enough reason why he should never hold office again.

Peep his speech above.

Trump and Melania hopped on Air Force One shortly before 9 a.m. for their final flight on the presidential aircraft. Woot! They touched down at Palm Beach International Airport in South Florida just before 11 a.m. They made their way to Palm Beach to Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago Club.

Watch them board the aircraft above.

Before Inauguration day, Trump said he wasn’t going to attend the ceremony. Right now, the nuclear “football” – which has all the nuclear war security codes – is still with Trump in Florida. There’s actually multiple footballs. A military aide accompanied Trump to Florida where he/she will receive one of the “footballs” at noon exactly. According to NBC News, another military aide with a second nuclear football will hand over the authority to Joe Biden once he is sworn in.

 

Michelle Obama graciously hosted Melania Trump at the White House immediately after 2016 election to ensure a smooth transition.
Melania Trump has done absolutely nothing for Dr. Jill Biden.
Some people are givers, others takers: pic.twitter.com/lBYWe32wkR

— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) January 18, 2021

 

As Melania leaves the White House, she received the worst final popularity rating ever for a first lady in U.S. history. BLOOP!

CNN reports:

The latest CNN/SSRS poll had Trump’s favorable rating at 42% to a 47% unfavorable rating. The 47% is the highest unfavorable rating we ever recorded for Trump. It’s also amazingly high from a historical perspective.

The average first lady’s final popularity rating before Trump was 71% with an unpopularity rating of 21%. That means the average net popularity rating for these first ladies was +50 points.

Forever First Lady Michelle Obama received a 69% favorable rating (and so did Laura Bush), which is about average for departing first ladies. Hmph.

Also, before Trump left, he made sure to wipe out the White House of items he didn’t bring to the White House. Even picture frames:

 

 

 
 

 

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Trump has been accused of looting the White House during his departure.

 

Abraham Lincoln bust … White House … 2:09pm pic.twitter.com/V56sPU81Yy

— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) January 14, 2021

 

A picture of man – likely one of Trump’s staff members – walking out of the White House carrying an Abraham Lincoln bust went viral. It’s believed the art is a part of White House property instead of something Trump owned personally.

We wonder what else he took before leaving…

That military aide better check to make sure everything that needs to be in that nuclear “football” is there.

With all that said, Deuces to that man. 

Photo: AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez

We Are 100 Days Away From The Most Critical Election Of Our Lifetime & Michelle Obama Reminds Folks Of What Needs To Happen

Forever First Lady Michelle Obama reminds us we’re only 100 days away from the 2020 presidential election and she wants to make sure we’re all registered to vote so we can flex our political power. More inside…

Forever First Lady Michelle Obama isn’t in the White House anymore, however, she’s all about encouraging young people to have their voices heard at the polls.

This election is likely the most critical election in our lifetime. The United States can’t stand another four years of the Trump administration, so Mrs. Obama is doing her part to encourage young people to get out and vote.

Today marks 100 days from the General Election.

When We All Vote released a video message from Michelle Obama calling on all eligible voters to get registered, organized and take action with When We All Vote. In the video message, Mrs. Obama announced that When We All Vote is launching a Week of Action from September 20th to 27th to mobilize a national network of volunteers around voter registration and turnout.

When We All Vote has registered more than 100,000 people to vote, and set a goal to register over 100,000 more in the lead up to the General Election. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, nationwide there has been a dip in voter registration and When We All Vote is working diligently to help fill the gap as a digitally focused organization.

”Because every American deserves to have their voice heard at the ballot box… every American deserves to have a say in the future of this country we all love,” Mrs. Obama said in her video message. "So keep that foot on the gas! First, let’s make sure everyone we know is registered and ready to vote come November.

"Then, take it a step further by signing up at WhenWeAllVote.org to participate in our Week of Action this September. That’s when we’ll be activating our nationwide network of volunteers to get engaged and get more people registered to vote than ever before.

"I hope you’ll join us. We’ve only got 100 days left… and we’ve got to direct every ounce of energy we have into making sure everyone we know understands the importance of their voice and their vote. I know that you all understand that… let’s make sure that everyone in our communities does, too"

Get into it below:

November 2020 is right around the corner. If you’re not already, you can register to vote HERE

Want more Michelle Obama in your life? Her new podcast is set to drop July 29th and her first guest is her husband, Forever President Barack Obama

 

 
 

 

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I’m so excited to kick off my podcast on Wednesday—with Barack as my very first guest! We’ll be talking about our connections to our communities, particularly what our responsibilities are in this current moment. Throughout this first season, I’ll be having more conversations like this one with the people closest to me. My mother and brother stop by, as does my friend and mentor, Valerie Jarrett. You’ll also hear from many of my girlfriends, the women who’ve always been there with a shoulder to lean on, a perspective to think about, or simply an open line to vent to. In this time of social distancing, it’s more important than ever to invest in the relationships that make us who we are. And I hope the #MichelleObamaPodcast can be a place for you all to dig deeper inside your own lives and relationships, and start up some of these conversations with one another as well. I can’t wait for you all to listen starting on 7/29!

A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on Jul 24, 2020 at 5:57am PDT

BONUS:

On this day in 2016, Michelle Obama sparked backlash by truthfully stating that the White House was built by enslaved people. To overcome racial inequality, we must confront our history. Share this #racialinjustice https://t.co/g0zsWKf6xe

— Equal Justice Initiative (@eji_org) July 26, 2020

On this day in 2016, Mrs. O shared her feelings about living in the White House, which was was built by slaves, and that sparked controversy.  And we love her for it.

Photo: Hunter Crenian/Shutterstock.com

PAYING TRIBUTE: The Obamas, Oprah, Kamala Harris, Mariah Carey, John Legend, Ava DuVernay & More Continue To Salute Civil Rights Icon John Lewis

Celebs flocked to social media after hearing about the passing of civil rights icon John Lewis, who passed away after a battle with cancer. Peep reactions from Barack and Michelle Obama, Oprah, Kamala Harris, Mariah Carey and more…

2020 took another icon from us.

On July 17th, civil rights legend and United States Representative John Lewis died at the age of 80 after a battle with cancer. He was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in December 2019.

“I have been in some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now. This month in a routine medical visit, and subsequent tests, doctors discovered Stage IV pancreatic cancer. This diagnosis has been reconfirmed,” Rep. Lewis wrote announcing his diagnosis.

The nation suffered a huge lost when Congressman Lewis passed away over the weekend. Like he said, he has been fighting for freedom, equality, and basic human rights for the black community his entire life. Congressman Lewis – who represented Georgia’s 5th Congressional District for over 30 years – marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965 in Selma, Alabama and became one of the most famed civil rights leaders. Rep. Lewis was never scared and never backed down. From being beat down in Selma to going head-to-head against Donald Trump in recent years, Rep. Lewis was a fighter for equal change and he did so until his last breath. And for that, we are grateful!

After learning about his death, celebs flocked to social media to pay tribute and express their condolences to the Lewis Family.

Forever President Barack Obama and forever First Lady Michelle Obama paid tribute to the civil rights icon:

 

 

 
 

 

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Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders—to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise.

A post shared by Barack Obama (@barackobama) on Jul 17, 2020 at 11:48pm PDT

 

 

 

 
 

 

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I’ve spent the morning reading tributes to the extraordinary life and legacy of John Lewis. And I’m awed by the way that, in eight decades filled with such weight and consequence, he also managed to keep things simple and light. For him, the pursuit of lofty goals like justice and righteousness was about just doing what’s right. His epic life story rightly fills the pages of biographies and college textbooks, yet he also chose to publish it as a comic book. And even as he spent a lifetime marching, and sitting in, and getting arrested, his feet kept on dancing. Congressman Lewis shows us that while the struggle and pain is all too real, fighting for each other—and paving the way toward something better for our kids and grandkids—can and should be a source of real and lasting joy. May God bless his memory. And as we keep marching, may his defiant, delighted smile urge us onward.

A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on Jul 18, 2020 at 9:38am PDT

 

Media mogul Oprah, Sen. Kamala Harris, Mariah Carey, directress Ava DuVernay, John Legend, and tons more paid tribute to Rep. Lewis:

 

 

 
 

 

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Last week when there were false rumors of Congressman John Lewis’ passing, Gayle and I called and were able to speak with him. He sounded weak but was surprisingly more alert than we expected. I had a final chance to tell him what I’ve said every time I’ve been in his presence: “Thank you for your courage leading the fight for Freedom. My life as it is would not have been possible without you.” I know for sure he heard me. I felt good about that. He understood and was so gracious. This is one of his last interviews we recently did during the Covid quarantine about his new @johnlewisdoc #GoodTrouble. Thank you for showing us and teaching us what getting into “good trouble” looks like.

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on Jul 18, 2020 at 8:48am PDT

 

 

John Lewis was an icon who fought with every ounce of his being to advance the cause of civil rights for all Americans. I’m devastated for his family, friends, staff—and all those whose lives he touched.

My friend, thank you for showing the world what #GoodTrouble looks like. pic.twitter.com/cvG8nSJCW5

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 18, 2020

 

 

Today we have lost a heroes’ Hero.. Thank you God for John Lewis’s life of service. Let us continue to try to walk his walk of truth. Rest in Power. pic.twitter.com/9YZVC7e95Y

— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) July 18, 2020

 

 

From the private video stash. A glimpse of Congressman Lewis in the Oval. During our SELMA visit. Back when the White House was occupied by sane people who believed in justice and dignity. Grateful that the Congressman saw the dream of a Black President realized in his lifetime. pic.twitter.com/NvFaLTMvNJ

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 18, 2020

 

 

As utterly heartbreaking as today is, I’m granting myself a bit of solace by imagining the combined welcome party for both Reverend C.T. Vivian and Representative John Lewis on the other side.

And my friends, that is a party.

— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) July 18, 2020

 

 

Thank you John Lewis for being a warrior for justice. Thank you for loving us so much that you devoted and risked your life to bring us closer to freedom. As we mourn and remember his incredible life, let’s rededicate ourselves to carrying on his legacy.

— John Legend (@johnlegend) July 18, 2020

 

 

So much love, honor and respect for John Lewis. Although we never met, I’ve always admired your courage. Rest In Peace Mr. Lewis. We got it from here… pic.twitter.com/jVrjHLKH1p

— Ice Cube (@icecube) July 18, 2020

 

 

God has welcomed @repjohnlewis home. Defender of justice. Champion of right. Our conscience, he was a griot of this modern age, one who saw its hatred but fought ever towards the light. And never once did he begrudge sharing its beauty. I loved him & will miss him. #JohnLewis pic.twitter.com/XNbiEsClQl

— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) July 18, 2020

 

 

Heartbroken by the loss of two incredible leaders Reverend C.T. Vivian and Congressman John Lewis both dedicated their lives to the fight for racial equity and for that we are forever, gratefully, indebted #RIP pic.twitter.com/cC9K1n8Guv

— Yara shahidi (@YaraShahidi) July 18, 2020

 

 

John Lewis gave all he had to redeem America’s unmet promise of equality and justice for all, and to create a place for us to build a more perfect union together. In so doing he became the conscience of the nation.

— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) July 18, 2020

 

 

We have more work to do but we would not be where are without John Lewis. May he rest in power, and may we humbly and boldly walk in his footsteps. pic.twitter.com/GNCj6ARh17

— Muriel Bowser (@MurielBowser) July 18, 2020

 

May our fearless civil rights leader rest in peace!

Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock.com

Viola Davis Makes SEVERAL Points For Vanity Fair’s First Cover Shot By Black Photographer, Doubles Down On Why She Regrets Starring In ‘The Help’

Viola Davis covers the newest issue of Vanity Fair. The cover and spread was shot by the publication’s first ever black photographer, Dario Calmese. More inside…

 

 

 

 
 

 

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Presenting our July/August cover star: @ViolaDavis. Last month, the Oscar winner took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd—but she’s no stranger to fighting for what’s right. As a Black woman in Hollywood, she’s spent her career doing it: “My entire life has been a protest,” Davis says. “My production company is my protest. Me not wearing a wig at the Oscars in 2012 was my protest. It is a part of my voice, just like introducing myself to you and saying, ‘Hello, my name is Viola Davis.’” Davis was photographed by @dario.studio—the first Black photographer to shoot a Vanity Fair cover. At the link in bio, Davis speaks with V.F. about her extraordinary journey out of poverty and into the stubbornly unequal Hollywood system. Story by @soniasaraiya Photographed by @dario.studio Styled by @elizabethstewart1 Coatdress @maxmara Earrings @pomellato

A post shared by Vanity Fair (@vanityfair) on Jul 14, 2020 at 4:02am PDT

 

Viola Davis makes history with her new cover for the latest issue of Vanity Fair that hits newsstands July 21st. Viola’s July/August 2020 issue is the first Vanity Fair cover ever shot by a black photographer. And it’s STUNNING.

Dario Calmese is the first Black photographer to shoot a Vanity Fair cover. Woot!

Dario is a St. Louis native who built his brand from the bottom, working out of an art studio in the South Bronx for almost a decade. He received his Master’s degree from School of Visual Arts.

Viola Davis for V.F. July/August 2020. Photographs by Dario Calmese. The cover marks the first V.F. cover shot by a Black photographer. https://t.co/izJBKTFrt7 pic.twitter.com/SeUdZkQwoO

— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) July 14, 2020

“To the best of our knowledge, it is the first Vanity Fair cover made by a Black photographer,” Radhika Jones wrote in her July-August editor’s letter. “Calmese describes his cover concept as “a re-creation of the Louis Agassiz slave portraits taken in the 1800s—the back, the welts. This image reclaims that narrative, transmuting the white gaze on Black suffering into the Black gaze of grace, elegance, and beauty.”

In the cover story (where she was interviewed by writer Sonia Saraiya on Juneteenth), the Oscar winning actress opened up again about why she regrets starring in “The Help.”

”There’s no one who’s not entertained by The Help. But there’s a part of me that feels like I betrayed myself, and my people, because I was in a movie that wasn’t ready to [tell the whole truth.],” she said. “I cannot tell you the love I have for these women, and the love they have for me. But with any movie—are people ready for the truth?”

The actress/producer – who became the first Black woman ever to win an Emmy for lead actress in a drama for "How to Get Away With Murder" – even called out Vanity Fair for their lack of diversity.

“They’ve had a problem in the past with putting Black women on the covers,” she said of the publication, which appointed Radhika Jones, its first non-White editrix, in 2017.

“But that’s a lot of magazines, that’s a lot of beauty campaigns,” Davis continued. “There’s a real absence of dark-skinned Black women. When you couple that with what’s going on in our culture, and how they treat Black women, you have a double whammy. You are putting us in a complete cloak of invisibility.”

And with that, she perfectly explains why purely her existence is a protest in itself.

“My entire life has been a protest,” Davis says. “My production company is my protest. Me not wearing a wig at the Oscars in 2012 was my protest. It is a part of my voice, just like introducing myself to you and saying, ‘Hello, my name is Viola Davis.’”

 

 
 

 

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“Not a lot of narratives are also invested in our humanity,” says @ViolaDavis, who’s set to star as Michelle Obama and blues legend Ma Rainey in upcoming projects. “They’re invested in the idea of what it means to be Black, but…it’s catering to the white audience. The white audience at the most can sit and get an academic lesson into how we are. Then they leave the movie theater and they talk about what it meant. They’re not moved by who we were.” At the link in bio, the Academy Award winner speaks to @soniasaraiya about championing Black stories, her journey to Hollywood, and what she hopes her company, JuVee Productions, will provide to young non-white actors. Story by @soniasaraiya Photographed by @dario.studio Styled by @elizabethstewart1 Gown: @alexandermcqueen Earrings: @jenniferfisherjewelry Cuff: @celine Makeup: @lorealparis

A post shared by Vanity Fair (@vanityfair) on Jul 14, 2020 at 7:09am PDT

The "How To Get Away With Murder" actresses also discussed the recent racial justice protests, her upcoming role portraying Michelle Obama, her impoverished upbringing in Rhode Island, and more. You can read it all here.

Viola’s cover hits newsstands on July 21.

Photos: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com

PROM IS TONIGHT! Michelle Obama & MTV’s Virtual Prom-athon Will Be LIT! Chloe x Halle, Tory Lanez & More Performing!

Prom is tonight! Michelle Obama and MTV will be hosting a LIT virtual prom for high schoolers who can’t attend their proms in person. And they’ll be rocking out to a nice line up of performances, which include Chloe x Halle, Tory Lanez and more. Find out how to tune in inside…

Prom is tonight!

High schoolers across the nation will be logging in virtually to turn up for Prom-athon! And the virtual event will feature several special performances.

DJ Khaled will take the reins as ‘Prom Boss’ and kick off an epic night of performances from Chloe x Halle, DJ Pauly D and KYLE with special appearances from Bebe Rexha, Becky G, When We All Vote Ambassador Fat Joe and Co-Chair Janelle Monáe, Mr. Quarantine Radio himself Tory Lanez and more, plus tutorials from Julianne Hough (dance), internet sensation Bretman Rock (glam) and celebrity stylist Chris Appleton (hair).

Woot!

In partnership with Michelle Obama’s nonpartisan organization, When We All Vote, MTV’s Prom-athon looks to celebrate the Class of 2020, whose proms and graduations have all been canceled due to COVID-19, with a special focus on commemorating another important milestone for young people this year: registering and voting in the national election in November.

The 24-hour star-studded event will kick off with an all-day on-air takeover on MTV featuring prom-themed throwback movies, including 17 Again, Bring It On, Clueless and Grease, and short-form original content highlighting the winning schools and students of the 2020 Prom Challenge for creating the most creative nonpartisan voter registration efforts in the country.

Following the takeover, MTV and When We All Vote’s Prom-athon will stream live tonight at 9PM ET/PT on MTV YouTube and will be featured on MTV’s platforms globally.

Last week, Forever First Lady surprised student leaders from the 20 winning high schools in a private Zoom call, where they learned about their win and received congratulations for their efforts and impact of the work. Additionally, she announced that the 24-hour star-studded MTV event would bring students from across the country together.

Before COVID-19, twenty high schools with the most creative and impactful voter registration programs were going to be selected to win $5,000 to fund their proms and/or their nonpartisan voter registration efforts. The pandemic came in and changed those plans, but Mrs. O and MTV are making it happen anyway!

Peep the cute clip below:

Have fun tonight, grads!

 

 

Photos: Hunter Crenian/Shutterstock.com

Beyoncé Will Speak To The Grads For YouTube’s ‘Dear Class Of 2020’ Virtual Commencement + Performances By Lizzo, Meg, Doja Cat & More!

Class of 2020 will be treated to a special message from Beyoncé along with a fire line up of performances from Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat and more! Deets inside…

We already told you President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be delivering speeches for YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” virtual commencement. It’s the only event where both Mr. & Mrs. Obama will deliver commencement speeches.

Now, YouTube has announced new speakers and performers – and yes – Beyoncé is now on the roster. Mrs. Carter will deliver an inspirational message to the 2020 class.

Throughout the YouTube Originals special, graduates will enjoy musical performances from artists like Lizzo, Chloe x Halle and several more artists. Following the symbolic graduation cap toss, the celebration will continue with a grad night party hosted by YouTube Music, including performances by Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat and more.

There’s also a ton of new guest appearances, including Lala Anthony, Misty Copeland, Kevin Durant, Janelle Monáe, Billy Porter, Yara Shahidi, Michael Strahan, Ciara & Russell Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Cast of "Euphoria," and tons more. They’ll join an impressive list of previously announced inspirational leaders and celebrities, including Kerry Washington, Kelly Rowland, Zendaya, Alicia Keys, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and more.

In “Dear Class of 2020,” people from around the world will join the class of 2020 as a singular community to celebrate their resilience, and the endless possibilities of their future. The virtual event with a festival-style lineup will combine classic commencement day themes with a diverse array of entertainment that will capture all of the emotions of graduation including pride, hope, optimism, and camaraderie. Mrs. Obama’s Reach Higher initiative will host a full hour of content and kick-off this celebration. Woot!

If you’re a graduating student who would like to participate in the event can upload their own video through the “Dear Class of 2020” website, which features several calls to action for students to partake in.

The deadline for all submissions is Friday, May 22nd.

The "Dear Class of 2020" live stream will start at 3pm EST/12pm PST on June 6th.

Congrats grads!

Photo: IG

 

SURPRISE! Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ Documentary Is Coming To Netflix Next Month!

Now THIS is the surprise we needed. A documentary that follows Michelle Obama on her “Becoming” book tour will be released on Netflix next month. More inside…

Ok, so we knew Forever President Barack Obama and Forever First Lady Michelle Obama – who run Higher Ground Productions – inked a major production deal with Netflix. What we didn’t know was that a documentary featuring FLOTUS was coming down the pipeline!

FLOTUS will be featured in “Becoming,” a documentary that will highlight Mrs. O as she travels to 34 cities on her book tour. “Becoming” is directed by Oscar nominated cinematographer Nadia Hallgren and it will be available to stream on May 6th.

 

 
 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

I’m excited to let you know that on May 6, @Netflix will release BECOMING, a documentary film directed by Nadia Hallgren that looks at my life and the experiences I had while touring following the release of my memoir. Those months I spent traveling—meeting and connecting with people in cities across the globe—drove home the idea that what we share in common is deep and real and can’t be messed with. In groups large and small, young and old, unique and united, we came together and shared stories, filling those spaces with our joys, worries, and dreams. We processed the past and imagined a better future. In talking about the idea of ‘becoming,’ many of us dared to say our hopes out loud. I treasure the memories and that sense of connection now more than ever, as we struggle together to weather this pandemic, as we care for our loved ones, and cope with loss, confusion, and uncertainty. It’s hard these days to feel grounded or hopeful, but I hope that like me, you’ll find joy and a bit of respite in what Nadia has made. Because she’s a rare talent, someone whose intelligence and compassion for others comes through in every frame she shoots. Most importantly, she understands the meaning of community, the power of community, and her work is magically able to depict it. As many of you know, I’m a hugger. My whole life, I’ve seen it as the most natural and equalizing gesture one human can make toward another—the easiest way of saying, “I’m here for you.” And this is one of the toughest parts of our new reality: Things that once felt simple—going to see a friend, sitting with someone who is hurting, embracing someone new—are now not simple at all. But I’m here for you. And I know you are here for one another. Even as we can no longer safely gather we need to stay open and able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. Empathy is our lifeline here. Let’s use it to redirect our attention toward what matters most, and find ways to better remake the world in the image of our hopes. Even in hard times, our stories help cement our values and strengthen our connections. Sharing them shows us the way forward. I love and miss you all. #IAmBecoming

A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on Apr 27, 2020 at 10:00am PDT

 

FLOTUS shared the good news on her IG account, writing: 

"Those months I spent traveling—meeting and connecting with people in cities across the globe—drove home the idea that what we share in common is deep and real and can’t be messed with. In groups large and small, young and old, unique and united, we came together and shared stories, filling those spaces with our joys, worries, and dreams. We processed the past and imagined a better future. In talking about the idea of ‘becoming,’ many of us dared to say our hopes out loud," Mrs Obama wrote in a caption on her IG account. "I treasure the memories and that sense of connection now more than ever, as we struggle together to weather this pandemic, as we care for our loved ones, and cope with loss, confusion, and uncertainty.

"It’s hard these days to feel grounded or hopeful, but I hope that like me, you’ll find joy and a bit of respite in what Nadia has made. Because she’s a rare talent, someone whose intelligence and compassion for others comes through in every frame she shoots. Most importantly, she understands the meaning of community, the power of community, and her work is magically able to depict it."

 

Peep the trailer below:

Watch party, anyone?

Photo: Netflix

Todrick Hall – B

[Verse 1]
Yo yo
Who was doing all the cookin’
Doing all the cleanin’
Who was making sure the cookies’ always good for eatin’
Who was there putting it down every evening
Even when when you was leavin’ for no reason each time your phone was ringin’
And who was there making your friends wish that they could be you
The game was done, you is a bum
I ain’t finna feed you
Take the shit out of the Benz you ain’t got the key too
I don’t need you, kiss my ass while I pack and leave

[Pre-Chorus]
Oh honey you fucked up real big this time
Never get another bitch lookin’ this fine
Don’t let the doorknob hit you
Take your sidechick with you
Tick-tock
Kick rocks, rocks

[Chorus]
Bitch I was you B, bitch I was your Yoncé
Bitch I was you B, bitch I was your Yoncé
Bitch I was you B, bitch I was your Yoncé
Bitch I was, bitch I was, bitch I, bitch I was your Yoncé

[Verse 2]
Bitch I was a ten
Bitch you was a five (nah four)
Bitch I was a win, pussy most niggas would die for
Bitch I had you in position she couldn’t apply for
Why you have to lie for (oooh)
I’m bored
Bitch I’m louboutin, I ain’t fucking with payless no more
I’m a G6, I ain’t flying with Southwest no more
Bitch your ass is broke, I ain’t looking to impress no more
Bitch I was your marilyn you can’t blow up my dress no more

[Pre-Chorus]
Could’ve been your Madonna, now who gon’ tell yo mama
You lost a bomb ass bitch killing like Rihanna, hair like Arianna, thick like a grown Moana
Hope you happy with Melania cuz’ you lost Michelle Obama
(Hahahaha eat it)

[Chorus]
Bitch I was you B, bitch I was your Yoncé (I was your Yoncé)
Bitch I was you B, bitch I was your Yoncé (I was your Yoncé)
Bitch I was you B, bitch I was your Yoncé (Bitch, I was your Yoncé)
Bitch I was, bitch I was, bitch I, bitch I was your Yoncé

[Outro]
Oh honey you fucked up real big this time
Never get another bitch lookin’ this fine
Don’t let the doorknob hit you
Take your sidechick with you
Tick-tock
Kick rocks, rocks

Common – The Day Women Took Over (feat. BJ The Chicago Kid) (Black America Again Album)

[Verse 1: Common]
There’s something ’bout this day that seem good to me
When niggas I ain’t like is showin’ love to me
Good food and the mood and the hood is free
Peace and free is the frequency
This is the day women took over
No longer over your shoulder do you have to look over
Imagine, war is now over
Mothers get medals for being courageous soldiers
On dollars, it’s Michelle Obama, Oprah and Rosa
The mayor, the shah is Liz Dozier
Hoods feel safer, families feel closer
We all drunk in love with no need to be sober
Ladies get their hair done, and men, we notice
You get high grade Indian weaves, at the lowest
Prices, chivalry is no longer lifeless
We openin’ doors and pullin’ out chairs again
Things are merry and there’s more marryin’
Monthly free doses of Motrin and Valerian
For your menstrual, it’s no more minstral shows
Depictin’ women as ignorant simple hoes
It’s more love songs on the radio
Respect for the ladies, you can hear it in the flow
Egos aside, for each other we rise
Since they done give us a life, the whole world feel alive

[Chorus: BJ The Chicago Kid]
Oh, when women take over the world
Oh, every woman, boy and girl
Oh, maybe one day, we will see
Peace and unity the way it’s meant to be

[Verse 2: Common]
The day women took over, let it continue
Now women get paid as much as men do
Dr. Angelou’s lookin’ from Heaven’s window
Tellin’ young girls phenomenal woman is in you
Body is a temple, men don’t prey
Mother earth’s arms around you sayin’ it’s okay
Toilet seats down, that’s a no-brainer
Monuments in Washington of Fanny Lou Hamer
Harriet, a soldier of truth is marchin’ on
Women preachers and world leaders, it now the norm
Healthcare, payin’ for nails, jails and fill-ins
Intellectual buildin’, intersexual healin’
No stickin’ movers, and no quick shooters
After 15 minutes, callin’ you a Uber
The New World Order is fathers lovin’ their daughters
And baby’s mamas supported and ladies gettin’ courted
In court, kids can’t be tried as adults
And women, they called bitches because they a boss
In all shapes and sizes, beauty is recognized
Goddess and queens is what we use to describe
Now Michelle Alexander wrote the new constitution
Beyoncé made the music for the revolution
Imagine it, a world more compassionate
The balance of the feminine and masculine, I’m askin’ if

[Chorus: BJ The Chicago Kid]
Oh, what if women took over the world
Oh, every woman, boy and girl
Oh, maybe one day, we will see
Peace and unity the way it’s meant to be

Common – The Day Women Took Over lyrics

[Verse 1: Common]
There’s something ’bout this day that seem good to me
When people I ain’t like is showin’ love to me
Good food and the mood and the hood is free
Peace and free is the frequency
This is the day women took over
No longer over your shoulder do you have to look over
Imagine, war is now over
Mothers get medals for being courageous soldiers
On dollars, it’s Michelle Obama, Oprah and Rosa
The mayor, the shah is Liz Dozier
Hoods feel safer, families feel closer
We all drunk in love with no need to be sober
Ladies get their hair done, and men, we notice
You get high grade Indian weaves, at the lowest
Prices, chivalry is no longer lifeless
We openin’ doors and pullin’ out chairs again
Things are merry, there’s more marryin’
Monthly free doses of Motrin and Valerian
For your menstrual, it’s no more minstral shows
Depictin’ women as ignorant simple hoes
It’s more love songs from the radio
Respect for the ladies, you can hear it in the flow
Egos aside, for each other we rise
Since they done give us a life, the whole world feel alive

[Chorus: Bilal]
Oh, when women take over the world
Oh, every woman, boy and girl
Oh, maybe one day, we will see
Peace and unity the way it’s meant to be

[Verse 2: Common]
The day women took over, let it continue
Now women get paid as much as men do
Dr. Angelou’s lookin’ from Heaven’s window
Tellin’ young girls phenomenal woman is in you
Body is a temple, men don’t pray
Mother earth’s arms around you sayin’ it’s okay
Toilet seats down, that’s a no-brainer
Monuments in Washington of Fanny Lou Hamer
Harriet, a soldier of truth is marchin’ on
Women preachers and world leaders, it now the norm
Healthcare, payin’ for nails, jails and fill-ins
Intellectual buildin’, intersexual healin’
No stickin’ movers, and no quick shooters
After 15 minutes, callin’ you a Uber
The New World Order is fathers lovin’ their daughters
And baby’s mamas supported and ladies gettin’ courted
In court, kids can’t be tried as adults
And women, they called B’s because they a boss
In all shapes and sizes, beauty is recognized
Goddess and queens is what we use to describe
Now Michelle Alexander wrote the new constitution
Beyoncé made the music for the revolution
Imagine it, a world more compassionate
The malice of the feminine and masculine, I’m askin’ if

[Chorus: Bilal]
Oh, what if women took over the world
Oh, every woman, boy and girl
Oh, maybe one day, we will see
Peace and unity the way it’s meant to be

Common – The Day Women Took Over

[Verse 1: Common]
There’s something ’bout this day that seem good to me
When people I ain’t like is showin’ love to me
Good food and the mood and the hood is free
Peace and free is the frequency
This is the day women took over
No longer over your shoulder do you have to look over
Imagine, war is now over
Mothers get medals for being courageous soldiers
On dollars, it’s Michelle Obama, Oprah and Rosa
The mayor, the shah is Liz Dozier
Hoods feel safer, families feel closer
We all drunk in love with no need to be sober
Ladies get their hair done, and men, we notice
You get high grade Indian weaves, at the lowest
Prices, chivalry is no longer lifeless
We openin’ doors and pullin’ out chairs again
Things are merry, there’s more marryin’
Monthly free doses of Motrin and Valerian
For your menstrual, it’s no more minstral shows
Depictin’ women as ignorant simple hoes
It’s more love songs from the radio
Respect for the ladies, you can hear it in the flow
Egos aside, for each other we rise
Since they done give us a life, the whole world feel alive

[Chorus: Bilal]
Oh, when women take over the world
Oh, every woman, boy and girl
Oh, maybe one day, we will see
Peace and unity the way it’s meant to be
[Verse 2: Common]
The day women took over, let it continue
Now women get paid as much as men do
Dr. Angelou’s lookin’ from Heaven’s window
Tellin’ young girls phenomenal woman is in you
Body is a temple, men don’t pray
Mother earth’s arms around you sayin’ it’s okay
Toilet seats down, that’s a no-brainer
Monuments in Washington of Fanny Lou Hamer
Harriet, a soldier of truth is marchin’ on
Women preachers and world leaders, it now the norm
Healthcare, payin’ for nails, jails and fill-ins
Intellectual buildin’, intersexual healin’
No stickin’ movers, and no quick shooters
After 15 minutes, callin’ you a Uber
The New World Order is fathers lovin’ their daughters
And baby’s mamas supported and ladies gettin’ courted
In court, kids can’t be tried as adults
And women, they called B’s because they a boss
In all shapes and sizes, beauty is recognized
Goddess and queens is what we use to describe
Now Michelle Alexander wrote the new constitution
Beyoncé made the music for the revolution
Imagine it, a world more compassionate
The malice of the feminine and masculine, I’m askin’ if

[Chorus: Bilal]
Oh, what if women took over the world
Oh, every woman, boy and girl
Oh, maybe one day, we will see
Peace and unity the way it’s meant to be