‘Girls Trip’ and Other High-Grossing, Black-Directed Movies

moviesmovies (Image: Instagram/malcolmdlee)


Despite seeing a 12% downturn in box office tickets this summer, Girls Trip, a film celebrating black sisterhood, has earned $100 million. This makes the comedy the first movie with an African American cast, director, and writers to reach this benchmark. As a result, the film’s director, Malcolm D. Lee, has joined 11 other African American directors who’ve achieved such a landmark, domestically.

Back in 2013, Lee’s Best Man Holiday earned $30 million during its opening weekend but only $70 million in total domestic gross. Still, the director told BlackFilm.com that he remained confident that he would eventually reach the “century club.”

“I thought it would be possible at some point in my career. There was talk that it could have happened with Best Man Holiday and I loved our release date, but we were sandwiched between Thor: The Dark World and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in a very busy holiday season. I thought it could possibly happen there, but this is certainly the one that I thought could possibly happen. I’m grateful that the fans came out and supported it. They got me to the century club,” Lee said.

In honor of Lee’s milestone achievement, here’s a look at five other high-grossing movies directed by African American filmmakers.


The Fate of the Furious – Directed by F. Gary Gray 


Following its release in April, The Fate of the Furious earned a whopping $225 million in the U.S. in less than a week. The film, which was directed by F. Gary Gray, went on to gross $541 million around the world, making it the biggest worldwide film opening since 2002.

This is not the only film that Gray directed to tip over the $100 million mark. Straight Outta Compton (2015) raked in $161 million in a mere nine days while The Italian Job (2003) made $106.1 million over the course of a little more than three months.


Get Out – Directed by Jordan Peele


Jordan Peele’s socially conscious horror flick Get Out grossed $117 million in just 16 days, making Peele the first African American writer and director to earn over $100 million at the box office with a debut feature film. Just as impressive is the fact that the comedian-turned-filmmaker made the movie on a shoestring budget of $4.5 million. Altogether, Get Out grossed a total of $175 million, which is a hell of an ROI!


Stir Crazy – Directed by Sidney Poitier


Legendary filmmaker Sidney Poitier is the first black director to make a film that earned over $100 million following the release of Stir Crazy in 1980. The film was also the third-highest-grossing move that entire year.


Fantastic Four – Directed by Tim Story


Tim Story’s 2005 Fantastic Four was a commercial success that earned $154 million domestically in 10 days and a gross income of over $330 million around the world. Story also directed the sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), which made $131 million in the U.S.



Creed – Directed by Ryan Coogler


Ryan Coogler was only 29 years old when he released Creed in November 2015, a spin-off and sequel to the Rocky film franchise. The film earned $30.1 million in its opening weekend and ended up grossing $42.6 million within five days. Its earning tipped over the $100 million benchmark in 38 days.



Other black directors whose films topped $100M in the U.S. include Keenan Ivory Wayans for Scary Movie (2000), which grossed $157 million; John Singleton, whose 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) earned $127 million; and Clark Johnson for S.W.A.T (2003), which earned $116 million. (See a full list at BlackFilm.com.)

Despite these examples of high-earning films made by black directors, the amount of diversity in Hollywood remains scarce. According to a report published by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, only 10% of films were directed by a person of color. Diversity is profitable, but when will Hollywood get the picture?



Black Men XCEL: BE Circulation Director Celebrates A Father’s Legacy

Johann Alleyne-Morris on Black Men XCEL

In recognition of our very first Black Men XCEL Summit, celebrating the best of black male achievement, the Black Enterprise staff is sharing their stories of the men who’ve had an extraordinary impact in their own lives…

Johann Alleyne-Morris on Black Men XCEL Circulation Marketing Director Johann Alleyne-Morris (Photo by Seimond London)


Who is the man in your life who’s inspired you to excel?

My dad, Dennis Daniel.

How would you describe the impact he’s had on you?

It was an ironic impact. I never grew up with my dad in my life. For years I blamed him for all of the “wrongs” that happened or the things he never taught me—until I became an adult. I took an honest step back and looked at all of the amazing things he achieved as a professional and the sacrifices he made. He was the director of air traffic control for the entire airport, which took him away from the household and from being a dad a lot. But because of it, we had private schooling and access to things that most kids in Guyana didn’t. The impact of that shaped my path in life, it showed me what is really important in my life and what not to sacrifice in my life.

What’s your fondest memory of him?

The memory that sticks with me the most of my dad happened while we were on a bus. There was a gentleman sitting across from us who was smoking a cigarette. My dad politely asked him to put the cigarette out because there were kids on the bus, to which the individual responded no. At a mere 5′ 5″, but he seemed 6′ 5″ at the time, my dad slapped the cigarette out of his hand and told him in a few not-so-nice words where he could put the cigarette. At that moment my dad showed me a lesson he never had to explain to me: Never back down from the things you believe in despite any obstacles or challenges.

What’s the biggest lesson he taught you?

To never give up and never make excuses when things are not going right in your life. He taught me to stand up and face my challenges head-on. He didn’t start with much, but he was able to make a good life for himself. And he never allowed anyone to say they couldn’t do something, considering the battles he faced when he passed away from Parkinson’s, which was the one battle he couldn’t win.

What are you doing to make him proud?

Continuing his legacy—learning from his mistakes and creating another exciting chapter of our family tree.


Register now for the Black Men XCEL Summit and
join us for a celebration of black men!

Black Men XCEL: BE Executive Administrator Celebrates A Brother’s Love

Yvianne Hyacinthe on Black Men XCEL

In recognition of our very first Black Men XCEL Summit, celebrating the best of black male achievement, the Black Enterprise staff is sharing their stories of the men who’ve had an extraordinary impact in their own lives…

Yvianne Hyacinthe on Black Men XCEL Executive Administrator to Multimedia Sales Yvianne Hyacinthe (Photo by Seimond London)


Who is the man in your life who’s inspired you to excel?

My younger brother, Hayden Hyacinthe, besides my father and husband, is the man in my life who has inspired me to become the mother and woman that I am today.

How would you describe the impact he’s had on you?

Hayden impacted my life by showing me from a very young age that no one should take advantage of another just because they are genuinely a nice person. He saw how others took advantage of my kindness and took it for weakness. Once I moved out of my parents’ home at the age of 20, and got a roommate from college to share an apartment with, he was so protective of my every move.

What’s your fondest memory of him? 

My fondest memory of Hayden is how he always called me—on a daily basis—to make sure I was taking care of myself since I no longer lived at home. He wanted to make sure I ate, which I barely did because I wasn’t a very great cook at the time; my mom always did the cooking at home.


Hayden Hyacinthe


What’s the biggest lesson he taught you? 

The biggest lesson Hayden taught me was to feel the freedom to express my needs and my hurts without ever having to raise my voice or get angry because he said it takes away from being happy. Life may be difficult or unpredictable at times but we have control of it and should know how to maneuver the obstacles in it. He showed me that I should always be loved unconditionally and no less. He told me never to lose track of who I am and always remember where I came from and never let anyone make me feel less of a human being because I am a beautiful person inside and out.

What are you doing to make him proud?

I do the best that I can on a daily basis to live the way he feels I should. He emphasizes always that we have one life to live, and he wants me to live it to the fullest. And to also remember that our mom is no longer with us, therefore I am the one who replaces her and should be a positive example for all my younger cousins as well as my daughters and granddaughter. He continues to make sure I take my medication for hypertension because he says if I can prevent having another stroke, I should do as my doctor prescribes—and I do. As a matter of fact, every day at work at 11:00 a.m. when I take my medication, Hayden is the first person that comes to mind.


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Black Men XCEL: BE Education Editor Celebrates An Uncle’s Intellect

Robin White Goode on Black Men XCEL

In recognition of our very first Black Men XCEL Summit, celebrating the best of black male achievement, the Black Enterprise staff is sharing their stories of the men who’ve had an extraordinary impact in their own lives…

Robin White Goode on Black Men XCEL Black Enterprise Education Editor Robin White Goode (Photo by Seimond London)


Who is the man in your life who’s inspired you to excel?

Besides my father, that would be my Uncle Herby, my father’s oldest brother and also my godfather. He was a brilliant man who earned a Ph.D. in psychology in the ’70s and taught at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He was and is the most intellectual man I’ve ever known. To this day he is the person I measure other smart, accomplished people against, and no one else has matched my Uncle Herby. I don’t think that’s just my hero worship of him either; he was truly a thoughtful and humane and deeply intellectual man. He was a man who read to his children and who took a genuine interest in his younger siblings (he was the oldest of five) and their families. He continues to be very much a kind of lodestar for me. If he were alive today, he’d be 97.

How would you describe the impact he’s had on you?

Uncle Herb was a Quaker—one of the few black Quakers. Because of his influence I chose a Quaker (though nonsectarian) college, Earlham College in Indiana. He had always given me “permission” to be myself in a way that I didn’t experience in my own home (although I did grow up in a loving home). For example, I am naturally somewhat shy and although I love to sing I rarely sing in front of others. But I remember once Uncle Herby asking me to sing a short chorus in front of him, my aunt, and two cousins, his sons—and I did. It just seemed OK to do—there wasn’t any space for silly bashfulness. I don’t know why, but he had that effect on me. He was also a proud black man but had friends of all races. I’ve tried to emulate that in my own life.

What’s the biggest lesson he taught you?

First, fearlessness. He set an example of bold, authentic living by pursuing a terminal degree and also a rich avocational life. For example, he swam regularly and also took art and sculpture classes. He sculpted a bust of his father, my grandfather, whom we all called Pop, that my father still has today. He lived a vibrant, creative life that I found inspiring. Second, he taught me not to set artificial limits around myself, but to be open to people and experiences—to vigorous living. Third, to care about others. All my uncles were great, but he was the only one who took a sustained interest in my well-being and who included me in the activities of his own family.

What are you doing to make him proud?

Not enough! His own sons graduated from Harvard and are now medical doctors—I’m piddling along as an education editor. But seriously, I think what would make him proudest would be for me to be my authentic self, to be courageous (still working on that one), and to continue pursuing the things that delight and thrill me. I also think that when I look out for my nieces, nephews, and their children, I’m following his example.


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Meet the 2017 BE Modern Men: Week 2

Cornell Belcher of the 2017 BE Modern Men

Did you miss any of our second week of BE Modern Men for 2017? 

This year’s 100 Men of Distinction continue to inspire with their stories, this time sharing the best advice they’ve ever received. Our second set of 10 honorees kicks off with political pollster Cornell Belcher and also includes men who are spreading the benefits of a vegan lifestyle, spreading the Gospel through hip-hop, spreading the joy of reading to children, and spreading a message of hope to the streets.

BE Modern Man Cornell Belcher Cornell Belcher


Meet ‘The Democracy Disruptor’ Cornell Belcher


Best advice: “If you don’t know the answer, simply say you don’t know the answer.” 

Read his full profile here.


BE Modern Man John Lewis Bad Ass Vegan John Lewis (Photo by Nicole Kent)


Meet ‘The Bad Ass Vegan’ John Lewis

Health Consultant / CEO and founder of Bad Ass Vegan

Best advice: “‘Impossible is just a big word used by small men.’ Meaning nothing is impossible and if you are willing to work for it and grind for it, then it shall be.”

Read his full profile here.


BE Modern Man Tony Simmons Tony Simmons aka DJ Tony Tone (Photo by Nialah Baker)


Meet ‘The Christian Hip-Hop DJ’ Tony Simmons

DJ / Radio Personality

Best advice: “There is so much advice that I get because I listen and watch. But one thing that comes to mind is when people show you who they are, believe them.”

Read his full profile here.


BE Modern Man Vaughn L. McKoy Vaughn L. McKoy (Photo by Christian Del Rosario)


Meet ‘Mr. Empowerment’ Vaughn L. McKoy

Attorney / Speaker 

Best advice: “Loyalty above all else but honesty.”

Read his full profile here.


BE Modern Man Othell J. Miller Othell J. Miller (Photo by Jaded Baracaldo)


Meet ‘Mr. Theater’ Othell J. Miller

Teacher / Actor

Best advice: “Don’t keep your product or service in the lab forever trying to make it perfect. Put it out and let the market offer feedback on how to refine it.”

Read his full profile here.


BE Modern Man Kenneth Braswell Kenneth Braswell (Photo by Joseph El-Wise Noisette)


Meet ‘Mr. Real Dads Read’ Kenneth Braswell

Executive Director, Fathers Inc.

Best advice: “The best advice I received was from Coretta Scott King while honoring her at the first annual Black and Latino Achievers Banquet in Albany, New York. While signing one of Dr. King’s children’s books for a friend, she noticed an error in one of the dates for the Selma March. She paused and began to tell me how important it was to protect your name; that it was my responsibility to protect who I am by being a man of integrity, truth, and transparency. That means it is also important to make sure people spell and say your name correctly. She stressed to me that anything out of the context of truth is an inaccurate representation of who I am.”

Read his full profile here.


BE Modern Man Kalan Laws Kalan Laws (Photo by Janae Anderson)


Meet ‘Mr. Dope’ Kalan Laws

Professor / Fashion Stylist and Blogger

Best advice: “Let love guide you! My initial understanding of that statement was from a romantic context; however, as I have grown, so has the life of that piece of wisdom. I know now that being guided by love is not meant to be a statement of folly or whimsical emotional decision making, but a statement that requires one to love themselves in a way that reflects honor, intention, and forthrightness, and love others the same.”

Read his full profile here.


BE Modern Man Cleamon Moorer Jr. Dr. Cleamon Moorer Jr.


Meet ‘Mr. Higher Learning’ Dr. Cleamon Moorer Jr.

Dean, College of Business, Baker College 

Best advice: “The best advice that I ever received came from my father: ‘Son, don’t stop on the hill, go all the way to the mountaintop.’”

Read his full profile here.


BE Modern Man Jahi Rawlings Jahi Rawlings (Photo by Stan Johnson)


Meet ‘Mr. Sports & Entertainment’ Jahi Rawlings

Founder and CEO, Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League

Best advice: “Never give up. The tough times prepare you for success.”

Read his full profile here.


BE Modern Man Frank E. Brady Frank E. Brady (Photo by Jay Kemp)


Meet ‘The Hope Dealer’ Frank E. Brady

Spoken Word Artist / Dream Director, The Future Project

Best advice: “‘Your gift will make room for you and bring you before great men, keep allowing the Lord to order your steps.’ —Raymond T. Cash” 

Read his full profile here.



It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.

Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the first-ever Black Men XCEL Summit, Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Hearing Aid Care and Maintenance

Millions of Americans deal every day with some type of hearing loss. Although this this product is tiny, is can be expensive, therefore requiring information to correctly preserve its function and situation. Millions of Americans still depend on these gadgets that are little to create a difference in their own life.

Within the years, some key improvements have been created by hearing products. In reality, it is often noted time, the unit have been created to be smaller and more successful over that the digital hearing-aid was stated in in the 1950s and the littlest one to-day can create outcomes that are huge. To the device, directional microphones were put in the starting in their design to enable the wearer to concentrate on one-on-one conversation as well as the capacity to converse in places. As you can suppose, these versions weren’t as helpful as suppliers and those to day discontinued their production till about the 1990s where engineering actually took a flip for the better.

Hearing-aid technologies provide a range of possibilities, meeting the requirements of variety of folks, today. Some are more complicated or more costly than the others, but these digital or gadgets nonetheless need the assist of an experienced audiologist to select the correct item and proper-fitting. The price of the gadget can surpass $5 and can commence below $2,000. Combined with the installation comes good care, which may help keep it operating precisely and extend the life span of the hearing-aid. They’re an expense for particular.

As an expense, care makes your funds go quite a distance. Understanding repair, clear and the way to store your hearing aids in Oklahoma City will keep it working as it absolutely was meant to and might avoid the need for recurring repairs over time. First, in regards to the shell, the the top of hearing aid ought to be stored clear. Aids typically have particles from oil or dirt in the grooves. Using an absence of treatment, possibly are functioning precisely or perhaps not fitting precisely. Chemical and water cleaners needs to be avoided in your hearing aid. Tissue or a moist fabric needs to be watchfully utilized to wipe down the hearing aid. Many kits contain a brush that will be of good use for earwax buildup. The microphone is acutely fragile also it’s essential never to poke the port. During cleansing, the microphone should constantly be facing the ground as well as the brush that is provided ought to be used. Wax buildup could be prevented by daily cleansing together with the brush .

In the event you have any queries or need further help on the appropriate cleansing techniques, it’s recommended that you simply ask your audiologist. They are the specialists in this area and will gladly evaluate these procedures along with one to ensure effective hearing aid performance. As it pertains to moisture, a hearing aid can lengthen their life and drying container or a support package will assist keep dampness from building-up inside the hearing aids. Be certain before putting them in a great spot so that you can help them as long as they possibly can to consider the batteries from the hearing-aid. This, also, will extend battery life. Signs of batteries are scratchy sounds output, distortion, improved suggestions, intermittence or odd and uncommon sounds like static. As some batteries might only last a week or two proper battery treatment demands program everyday or weekly screening. It’s recommended that a spare battery that ought to also be stored in a great location is usually carried by a person using a hearing aid.

Although batteries nowadays are made to last considerably longer lengthier than in the immediate past, drying is advised with all the use of possibly a forced-air blower (no, maybe not a blow dryer) or a can of compressed-air such as the kinds employed to clear a key pad. Moisture can occur from even sweat or rain. Climatic circumstances and your activity level are a couple of the most frequent identified variables impacting dampness buildup. People with people who sweat or high ranges of bodily physical exercise are susceptible to moisture problems as it pertains with their hearing devices. Likewise, residing in locations of large humidity can also irritate its performance. Whether from external or internal sources, moisture ought to be averted as most useful you are able to. Some aids will stand as much as moisture than the others. Consult your audiologist to determine whether they advise drying containers or particular dry help kits and also discuss your particular lifestyle together. Your audiologist can assist you pick the correct aid that’ll support your present lifestyle in the event that you are a bodily individual and danger more perspiration than the others. This, subsequently, will assist you get the most from the hearing aid.

Many folks are interested in the common whole life of a hearing system. Their longevity depends on the sort of help in addition to good care they’ve gotten. Problem fixing care and methods can aid prolong the life span of course, of the gadget. For the most portion, the hearing aids of today’s are excessively trustworthy, long-lasting and powerful. Things might go incorrect, but it is possible to save time plus money in the end by avoiding pricey and serious repairs, when you care for them properly. Information on appropriate treatment is a potent device in this circumstance. Not only are hearing aids heading to boost the standard of life, however they’re worth the additional treatment which they require.


Black Men XCEL: Rae Holliday Inspires BE Researcher to Pursue Her Dreams

Rae Holliday of the 2017 BE Modern Men

In recognition of our very first Black Men XCEL Summit, celebrating the best of black male achievement, the Black Enterprise staff is sharing their stories of the men who’ve had an extraordinary impact on their own lives…

Tiamari Whitted on Black Men XCEL Freelance Researcher Tiamari Whitted


Who is the man in your life who’s inspired you to excel?

Rae Holliday

How would you describe the impact he’s had on you?

The impact he had on me was to encourage me to follow my dreams and to never give up no matter how long it takes you—age does not matter.

What’s your fondest memory of him?

Going to his first workshop, it was not your regular workshop. We were all supposed to meet at one location but something happened and we ended up going to an Irish pub not far from where we were supposed to meet originally. Rae went on to share his journey with us on how he got started, and I was just amazed at how he accomplished so much in such a short period and that he had hiccups as well but that didn’t stop him. The two stories that stuck out to me were 1. when he met Beyoncé and she knew who he was and 2. the story of how someone very close to him passed but she passed with her dreams not being heard. When he said that, it really touched me. I don’t want to leave this world not living my dreams and without taking a risk to accomplish them.

After the workshop, I was able to sit down with him and tell him my story and he looked at me and said, ‘I want to do a one-on-one consultation.’ Inside I was so thrilled and excited, but I kept calm. We finally met up about a month after the workshop and the consultation was an eye opener. He answered every single question I had. Rae Holliday is the most humble man I met in the entertainment industry; it blew me away how nice he was.

Rae Holliday of the 2017 BE Modern Men Rae Holliday (Photo by James Anthony)


What’s the biggest lesson he taught you?

To not be afraid. And that it’s OK to start over. You don’t have to know everything to get started, just do it and if you fail, get back up and try again.

What are you doing to make him proud?

I went back to school to obtain my M.B.A. in media management. And I landed my first media job in publishing. I’m a freelancer, but it’s a start, and I’m not stopping until all my dreams are fulfilled.


Register now for the Black Men XCEL Summit and join us for a celebration of black men!

Are Fibroids Holding You Back From Achieving Your Professional and Personal Dreams?

Gessie Thompson, fibroid coach

I am one of the 80% of black women affected by fibroids by age 50. I was diagnosed with fibroids—smooth muscle tumors that form in the uterus—in 2001 at the age of 30.

Gessie Thompson, fibroids coach Gessie Thompson


From that moment on, I began a 14-year battle to overcome fibroids, the resulting infertility, and a litany of other medical challenges. The road to my healing was a long and grueling one that included:

  • 10 surgeries—five of them for fibroids
  • 5 in-vitro fertilization cycles
  • 1 heart-wrenching miscarriage
  • 120+ days combined in the hospital
  • a high-risk pregnancy that resulted in my unborn baby fighting the fibroids that were siphoning off her blood supply at 21 weeks in utero
  • my heart stopping on the delivery table
  • and, thankfully, Nia, our miracle baby, being born at 2.5 lbs and 14 inches!

While our family enjoyed a storybook ending, my heart aches for families who are still fighting fibroids and infertility. Many of these women have their personal and professional lives derailed by infertility, hemorrhaging, life-threatening anemia, debilitating cramps, embarrassing incontinence, and so much more.

As I struggled to find out why these foreign masses kept invading my body, I grew frustrated as gynecologists repeatedly told me that the cause is unknown. Furthermore, little to no research was/is being done to unearth the answer. But one word kept popping up in my findings—estrogen. While doctors hesitated to name it as the root cause, they did agree that estrogen fuels the growth of fibroids.

In 2015, I was introduced to the work of Aboriginal Medical Association naturopathic physicians Dr. Amsu Anpu and Dr. Amun Neb. While other doctors seemed unsure, they unequivocally asserted that estrogen dominance is the root cause of reproductive diseases such as fibroids, infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and more.

Through my partnership with Dr. Amsu and Dr. Amun, we co-founded the holistic 90-Day Hope Beyond Fibroids Elimination Program. And using the four parts of our program—coaching, diet, herbal supplements, and medical qigong—we have helped women eliminate up to 50 documented fibroids, infertility after 12 years, and more without surgery. Here are two critical things every woman battling fibroids and infertility should know:

The Process:


Estrogen dominance develops in our bodies through…

  • Stress stemming from high-pressure working and living, spiritual and emotional factors, tidal waves of the toxin cortisol into our bodies.

  • Diets rich in estrogen. Some of the super foods that many of us trust, like green tea, flaxseeds, spinach, wheatgrass, and more, are actually growing our fibroids!
  • Pollutants, including:
  1. Prescription drugs, such as contraceptive pills and other estrogen-based synthetic drugs.
  2. Pesticides that make food products grow quickly also fuel our bodies with toxins.
  3. BPA plastics; Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disruptor, which interferes with the production, secretion, transport, action, function, and elimination of natural hormones. We unknowingly expose ourselves to them every day.
  4. Products that contain toxins we ingest through our nasal passages and skin, such as beauty and cleaning products.

The Solution:


A lifestyle of healing that reduces stress, starves the body of estrogen, and incorporates the right kinds of movement and exercises.


I cannot imagine what my life would be like today if I’d allowed the pain of my process to stop my pursuit of motherhood. One of the greatest lessons learned on my journey of healing was that I had to stop being superwoman and start prioritizing my spiritual, emotional, and physical health. It’s time you do the same.


Hope Beyond Fibroids CEO Gessie Thompson coaches women to heal their wombs from fibroids and infertility holistically. From diet to stress management, her Hope Beyond Fibroids Elimination Program teaches lifestyle changes that have resulted in documented cases of women eliminating up to 50 fibroids and one mother giving birth to her miracle baby after being unable to conceive for 12 years!  Learn more at HopeBeyondFibroids.com.

7 Healing Charlottesville Tweets From Business and Political Leaders

Many remain stunned at the display of hate, racial intolerance, and a brutal act of violence that held the Virginia city of Charlottesville under siege this past weekend.

(Image: Twitter/@jxsonturner)


People are flocking to social media seeking some sort of answers as to why racism still continues to plague American society and to express their frustrations, dismay, and outrage.

Barack Obama and other leaders from the business, political, and media worlds, expressed some of the most powerful and poignant thoughts about the turbulence at Charlottesville on their Twitter feeds:



Diallo Riddle Talks ‘Silicon Valley’ and New Show ‘Marlon’

Diallo Riddle Photography: Ricky Middlesworth Grooming: Andrea Pezzillo Styling: Michael Mann

Diallo Riddle has had a very extensive career getting his start on shows like Chocolate News on Comedy Central and writing from 2008–2012 on the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. 

Black Enterprise recently caught up with Riddle to discuss his reoccurring role on HBO’s Silicon Valley, where he played Paul the attorney to CEO Gavin Belson, (Matt Ross), providing legal counsel for the over-the-top tech company Hooli and his new show, Marlon, where he stars alongside Marlon Wayans, the unstoppable, larger-than-life personality and unpredictable internet superstar.

Diallo Riddle Photography: Ricky Middlesworth Grooming: Andrea Pezzillo Styling: Michael Mann (Image: Ricky Middlesworth Grooming: Andrea Pezzillo Styling: Michael Mann)


How much research did you have to do in regard to portraying Paul’s character on HBO’s Silicon Valley?

I did probably more research than I needed to. I have a friend who is a corporate lawyer for a company like Hooli who actually was in on the big startup phase so I quizzed him every night about things that I could ad-lib, things that I could say, because I didn’t have to audition for that part, they really liked my audition for another part, so they really just handed me that part, but the lawyer talk is its own language. Whenever you play a lawyer, whenever you play a doctor, you just want to make sure that you speak with the cadence of the people in those fields would speak with.

It was a lot of prep and I do like to over prepare but in the end, the one thing that I do enjoy about that character is that, as time went on, he got to be the straight man of the scene to Gavin Belson’s absurd character. So as time [went] on, Gavin became more and more absurd and I got to just sort of just give my facial expression and say something back to him in a deadpan manner. I really do love playing the straight man. I love playing the character that’s sort of just standing back watching a character destroy himself.

Tell me more about the Marlon show and what the audience should expect from it. 

Easily one of the best jobs of my life and I thank Marlon so much for it. I mean like literally, he’s the nicest guy. It’s easy to forget that he himself has been famous for two decades and it keeps him very balanced in a weird way.

The show takes on a serious divorce but, it handles it in a way that I think makes it a show that can be enjoyed by the entire family. In the show, Marlon and Essence Atkins play a husband and wife who got divorced but they’re still seeing each other all the time because they want the children to have a very traditional childhood.

It’s based a lot on Marlon’s real life marital situation where the marriage didn’t work out but, they still see each other all the time because Marlon wants to be a part of the kid’s lives and there is a certain looseness and there’s a certain casual informality to the way that the couple still interacts with one another so what you see is a very non-traditional family set-up but a lot of the traditional family love.

I think it’s a family show and it’s funny and it’s Marlon being Marlon and it’s based on his real life. Even the character I play Stevie is based on a real life guy, who I’ve met that’s just sort of a really quirky character.

In the show, Marlon plays a guy who’s made his money by being a new media star so he’s one of those guys who’s got millions of subscribers on YouTube and that’s sort of how he makes his living and he has a friend who suggested to him ages ago that this was coming and that this is how he should make his money so he owes my character that bit of loyalty, also, they went to college together.

Beyond that, I’m a complete leech. Like, I’m just a guy who’s sleeping on his couch, I’m borrowing his clothes. [Laughs] He turns to me as a confidant only when he can’t turn to Essence’s character and my advice is terrible, so really I’m just a guy that’s surfing along on a wave of goodwill that I earned when I gave him a good suggestion about two years ago.

Marlon premieres at 9 pm ET/PT with two back-to-back episodes on Wednesday, Aug. 16.