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Archive for January, 2012

Obamas greet Tuskegee Airmen at “Red Tails” White House screening

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Tuskegee Airmen prior to a screening of  “Red Tails” in the Family Theater of the White House on Jan. 13.  Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Tuskegee Airmen prior to a screening of “Red Tails” in the Family Theater of the White House on Jan. 13. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greeted Tuskegee Airmen at a special screening of the movie “Red Tails” at the White House.

The event was held Friday.

“Red Tails,” which opens this Friday, tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black aviators to serve in the U.S. military. The George Lucas film stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Tristan Wilds, Nate Parker and Atlanta R&B star Ne-Yo.

The Atlanta Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen hosted an advance screening in Morrow last week. I attended and met several of the veterans. It was such an honor. Here’s the blog post about that event.

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

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Paula Deen: “I will never use a substitute for butter”

deenpic_1257441lPaula Deen says she hasn’t had a glass of sweet tea in years, but that diabetes will not keep her from using butter.

The Savannah chef and cookbook author, who has gone public with a type II diabetes diagnosis and will now become the endorser for a diabetes drug, said she is taking steps to improve her health. Giving up butter is not one of them.

“I will never use a substitute for butter,” she told Parade.com following her much-anticipated announcement that she does have diabetes. “Margarine is one molecule away from eating plastic.”

She says she will cut back, “but will I cut butter out of my life completely? No. I will take measurements to manage it.”

Sugar, of course, is the bigger issue in the case of a type II diabetes diagnosis. Deen says she has taken major steps to cut down on sugar.

“The first thing I did was give up sweet tea because I drank so much,” she told Parade. “I’d start drinking at lunchtime and wouldn’t set it down until I went to bed. When you calculate …

Continue reading Paula Deen: “I will never use a substitute for butter” »

T.I. performs at MLK event at Compound

Photo credit: Prince William and Zik

Photo credit: Prince William and Zik

Atlanta rapper T.I. paid tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during a weekend performance.

The artist performed several songs at the Hennessy VS MLK Weekend event held Saturday night at Compound nightclub. His set included  “Spend It,” “Can Get Me In Trouble” and “Rubber Band Man.”

The place was packed. The crowd included fellow Atlanta artist Big Boi, DJ Kid Capri and Lisa Wu Hartwell, a former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member.

During his performance T.I. took a moment to address Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and how important it is to keep the fallen civil rights leader’s legacy alive.

Former "Housewife" Lisa Wu Hartwell was on hand for the event. Photo credit: Prince William and Zik

Former "Housewife" Lisa Wu Hartwell was on hand for the event. Photo credit: Prince William and Zik

Big Boi was spotted in the crowd. Photo credit: Prince William and Zik

Big Boi was spotted in the crowd. Photo credit: Prince William and Zik

“We all need to remember Martin Luther King Jr. and never forget what he’s done for us,”  T.I. said.

No word on whether VH1 camera crews were on site to capture the …

Continue reading T.I. performs at MLK event at Compound »

Jay-Z promises to clean up lyrics in Blue Ivy’s honor

AP photo

AP photo

Rapper Jay-Z will clean up his lyrics in his brand-new baby Blue Ivy’s honor.

Shawn Carter, as he probably is known on the little one’s birth certificate, says he will no longer use the word “bitch,” and he will zealously defend his daughter from anyone who might hurl it her way one day.

The web site NME posted a poem in which Jay-Z elucidates his new pledge:

“Before I got in the game, made a change, and got rich/I didn’t think hard about using the word bitch/I rapped, I flipped it, I sold it, I lived it/Now with my daughter in this world I curse those that give it.”

Woe betide the person who slings epithets at his and Beyonce’s new baby. Jay-Z continues:

“No man will degrade her, or call her name. I’m so focused on your future, the degradation has passed. I wish you wealth, health and insight. Forever young you may pass. Blue Ivy Carter, my angel.”

Like they say, parenthood changes everything.

- Jennifer Brett/The …

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Young “Joyful Noise” star shares tale of dreams come true

Keke Palmer wants to be a positive role model for young people.

Keke Palmer wants to be a positive role model for young people.

“Joyful Noise,” which was filmed in metro Atlanta last year and opened today, is all about dreaming big.

Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton star as church members whose choir competes for a national title. Jeremy Jordan stars as Parton’s grandson, a teen with a troubled past but hopes for the future (not to mention a huge crush). Dexter Darden plays a boy with Asperger’s syndrome who knows he is different and longs to find his place in the world.

And Keke Palmer stars as Olivia, who is juggling a demanding mother (Latifah) and a persistent suitor (Jordan), along with the pressure of competition and plenty of family drama.

“I really was happy with the outcome,” Palmer said during an interview with local media at the Midtown W hotel on Thursday. During the discussion, the 18-year-old actress and singer, best known for her role in “Akeelah and the Bee,” revealed the sacrifices her family made on the hopes her career …

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Atlanta Tuskegee Airmen chapter enjoy “Red Tails” screening

Veterans Val Archer, left, and W.O. Smith were among the Tuskegee Airmen who attended the screening.

Veterans Val Archer, left, and W.O. Smith were among the Tuskegee Airmen who attended the screening.

The Tuskegee Airmen fought World War II on two fronts. Against the Germans, officially. Against racism within the ranks, too.

“You had to fight just to get in the fight,” said veteran Walter Robinson, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen’s Atlanta chapter. On Thursday night the group hosted an advance screening of “Red Tails,” the George Lucas film that tells the story of the first black aviators in the American military. The paint job on the back of the fighter pilots’ planes gave the Red Tails their nickname.

“It’s a real honor,” said veteran Val Archer, who served with the ground crew during his stint as one of the Tuskegee Airmen. “I think we’re pretty proud of who we are and our legacy.”

Archer grew up in Chicago and enlisted at age 15, thanks to a doctored birth certificate. He ended up serving for 13 years. He said his most terrifying moment during his military career came …

Continue reading Atlanta Tuskegee Airmen chapter enjoy “Red Tails” screening »

Report: Paula Deen to reveal she has diabetes

Paula Deen posed for this photo with Dantanna's Chef Tim Mastalski during her October visit to Atlanta.

Paula Deen posed for this photo with Dantanna's Chef Tim Mastalski during her October visit to Atlanta.

Food Network personality and cookbook author Paula Deen has type II diabetes and will soon go public with her condition, according to a report on The Daily website.

The butter-loving Savannah chef is not responding to questions about the report. Her most recent tweets include a links to a ham and bean soup recipe and question asking followers about their favorite Super Bowl recipes, although one recent tweet mentions a workout and includes a link to a photo of her on the treadmill.

(The Food Network’s most recent tweet, by the way:  “Get the best price of the season on @Paula_Deen’s Everything Pan http://ow.ly/8sQyl.”)

The Daily report quotes an anonymous source saying Deen is “going to have to start cooking healthier recipes,” and will soon become the celebrity endorser for a pharmaceutical company. (The company also did not respond to questions.) Sources also muse about …

Continue reading Report: Paula Deen to reveal she has diabetes »

Toni Braxton hospitalized

Toni Braxton at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame red carpet

Toni Braxton at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame red carpet

Singer turned reality television star Toni Braxton was hospitalized in Los Angeles this week due to a lupus flare-up, but she says she is OK.

The artist told TMZ that pain associated with her condition promoted the hospital visit, but that she is fine and thankful for the support of fans and family.

“I wanted to say thanks to all my fans for their support, as I have been experiencing some flare ups with my lupus which has me in the hospital for a few days.”

Braxton had been keeping a busy schedule and was in L.A. for a promotional event that she wasn’t able to attend. On Wednesday night, her sisters appeared at a WE channel event to promote the next season of “Braxton Family Values.”  Siblings Tamar, Trina, Towanda, Traci, along with their mother Evelyn, attended a dinner and screening at SLS Hotel, the show’s publicist told us. Toni had to miss the event due to her illness, and WE president Kim Martin read a statement …

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Things that make you go .. huh? The building that was chopped in half

This lovely building is a Georgia Power substation built to service the streetcars of Atlanta back in the day.

This lovely building is a Georgia Power substation built to service the streetcars of Atlanta back in the day.

Every other Tuesday I join AM 1690 host Larry Larson during his show Morning Ride, to talk about celebrities visiting Atlanta and movies being filmed here. The station is located in a pretty generic looking building on Spring Street near 14th Street that also houses Westwood College and the offices of assorted other firms.

The building next door has always intrigued me. It sort of looks like it has been chopped in half, doesn’t it?

It was.

After a mere two years of wondering about it I tracked down its history. It is a Georgia Power substation begun in 1925 and completed in 1926.

It looks so weird from the back. If it looks like it was chopped in half, that's because it was.

It looks so weird from the back. If it looks like it was chopped in half, that's because it was.

It was the first entirely automated substation in Atlanta – indeed, the entire South – and was originally built to service the streetcars that traveled Atlanta streets back then. Today it serves …

Continue reading Things that make you go .. huh? The building that was chopped in half »

Michelle Obama joins Twitter

The First Tweeters. Photo from http://inhabitat.com.

The First Tweeters. Photo from http://inhabitat.com.

First Lady Michelle Obama has just joined Twitter.

“We’re excited today to launch @michelleobama as a new way for you to connect with First Lady Michelle Obama and the President’s campaign,” the account posted at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday. That message was followed by: “This account will be managed by campaign staff, with any tweets from the First Lady herself signed “-mo.”

The account is following just a handful of others, including President Barack Obama’s which, like his wife’s is run by staff and signed “B.O.” when it is a tweet coming directly from him.

By Thursday night, Michelle Obama’s account had attracted nearly 200,000 followers. The President’s account has nearly 12 million. (How long before she catches him?)

About noon on Thursday, Mrs. Obama penned her first tweet: “Hi, everyone, and thanks for the warm welcome. Look forward to staying in touch with you here. -mo.”

Later on she tweeted a link to a site …

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