All Articles Tagged "london"

UK Women Allegedly Denied Entry To A Night Club Because They Were “Too Black”

October 31st, 2015 - By Ashley Monaé
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Just one month after a group of black women were turned away from a London nightclub for being “too dark” and “too fat,” another shocking story as such from across the pond has brewed.

According to the New York Daily News, a group of eleven British women are claiming that they were denied entry to a nightclub because they were “too black.” Apparently, the Bambu Bar in Birmingham wasn’t too thrilled when the ladies arrived, quickly turning them away at the door after they drove nearly 100 miles to the venue.

One of the girls in the group, Jess Gregory, 26, said that security told them the club did not want any more black people inside. However, the club is denying the accusation.

“The (manager) pointed to two of the lighter-skinned girls who were with us and said they could probably get in, Gregory said, as reported by Mirror Online. “Then another friend spoke to the doorman who said there was no point in standing in the queue because they didn’t let groups of black people in as there would be too many in the club.” “Basically the rest of us were told we were too black to come in. It was appalling.”

Gregory went on to describe the incident as a “tainted” and “surreal,” as she planned the night out in celebration of her friend’s birthday. “We felt offended and it was embarrassing.” After leaving the Bambu, the group of girls ended up partying at a nearby club called Mist, where their entry was granted with no issues.

According to a spokesman for Bambu Bar the group of black females’ story was false, saying the club “never discriminates on the basis of age, race or religion.” He also offered that the club was just too busy to allow entry for any other partygoers.

“Our front of house team is nothing but professional at all times and have been commended on numerous occasions for this by the local licensing team, said the spokesperson.” “As a venue of 500 capacity, we have over 1000 potential customers attempting to gain entry to our popular events and it is inevitable that people will be refused entry.”

Just like the story we reported last month, this story continues to show just how ridiculous people can be when it comes to racism. When I first saw the picture of girls, the first thing I noticed was the light complexion of their skin. “Too black?” I thought to myself. Then again, the way they see skin color in every country is different. But still, this isn’t the time of the Civil Rights era, but reading Gregory’s account sounded all too familiar, especially when she recalled the rest of her friends being too black to come in.

There have been times I myself have come across this same notion while partying at various venues in New York and Los Angeles – they are sticklers for who enters their clubs. Recently, during a trip to Los Angeles, I visited a popular, bi-coastal night club with three friends: one Venezuelan guy, two light-skinned black girls, and myself, a dark skin female. Clearly we had come on what some would call “white night” because the line that was wrapped around with a predominately white crowd – I’d say I saw three black women at the most.

Honestly, we only came because we were close friends with someone who knew the performer, but as I watched girls that looked like me anxiously stand in line and be turned away immediately it was sickening. My friends and I entered after being summoned by a PR girl who had our names on the list, but I still felt uncomfortable most of the night after watching what went down, thinking that could have been me if I wasn’t on the list already.

While I have never witnessed saying that someone was “too black,” I have heard that either a girl was a little too overweight or just not good looking enough to enter the club.  I understand that owners want to uphold a certain caliber and prestige to their establishments, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of someone’s feelings over something so petty…don’t you think?



Rihanna’s Fight With Retailer Topshop Over Using Unauthorized Image Finally Resolved

January 23rd, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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UPDATE: The wheels of justice turn slowly, but finally Rihanna has proven victorious over a company selling her image on a t-shirt without her permission.

Her legal dispute was with retailer Topshop ended when three UK judges at the Court of Appeal agreed with an earlier High Court ruling that “selling the tank top could deceive some shoppers and Rihanna’s fans into thinking she endorsed the item of clothing,” reports Business Insider.

Although celebrities in the UK have no legal right to control how their images are used, if a product is marketed in such a way that may suggest the celebrity endorsed it, this could be a case of an unauthorized use of a trademark or image rights.

The lawsuit went back to 2013 when Rihanna initially won her case in the High Court and Topshop was told to stop selling clothing with the singer’s image. Topshop appealed last year, arguing there is a long tradition of retailers using celebrities’ images, such as Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix. It was this appeal that was just overturned in court.

Update by Ann Brown

Original story posted July 31, 2013

From The Grio

A British judge has ruled in favor of the singer Rihanna, who sued retailer Topshop for selling a T-shirt bearing her image without permission.

High Court Justice Colin Birss says buyers were likely deceived by believing she had authorized its sale.

Birss says the sales represented a loss of Rihanna’s reputation in the fashion realm, where the singer has been trying to carve out a name as a designer. She has a clothing line in her name at a rival store.

Read more at 

12 Years A Slave’ Director Steve McQueen Named Ambassador For Anti-Slavery International

February 2nd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From HelloBeautiful

Steve McQueens work on awards-season favorite12 Years A Slavehas caught the attention the worlds oldest human rights organization.

According toreports, the famed director was named an ambassador for Anti-Slavery International this Black History Month. The committee, which works to remind the world that slavery is not just a thing of the past, was set up in 1839 to lobby against the phenomenon.

McQueen accepted the honor in his hometown of London on Monday. Right now, there are Solomon Northups in every region of the world who have been taken away from their families and placed in slavery, he said at the charitys headquarters.

Read more on Steve McQueens accomplishment at

We’ll Take Care Of You, Boo! Idris Elba Rushed To The Hospital After Suffering Asthma Attack

November 3rd, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Idris Elba

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Don’t worry, ladies, everything is fine now, but late Saturday afternoon, word got out that actor Idris Elba had been rushed to the hospital and women around the world (okay, a lot of women on social media) were inconsolable (I’m going for high drama here, just go with it).

The actor was on a flight that was scheduled to leave from London and arrive in Johannesburg when his attack hit and he was taken off the plane. Elba was then rushed to the hospital to be treated for what was, seemingly, a very serious asthma attack.

Idris was headed to South Africa to promote his new movie, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, where he stars as Nelson Mandela. He missed the day of press and spent the rest of his time in the UK hospital recovering.

Thankfully, all seems well and Idris Elba was released and is expected to appear at another red carpet event later today, according to The Daily Mail.

I’m not sure that anyone was aware that he suffered from such serious asthma issues. The hope, I’m sure, is that his attacks don’t start coming more frequently, as Idris Elba is about to be a very busy man: the United States release date for Long Walk To Freedom is scheduled for November 29th.

If he needs any further treatment when he comes to the U.S., I’m sure some of you, especially our readers in the medical field, will make yourselves available!

Get It! Warsan Shire Named London’s First Young, Poet Laureate

October 7th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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warsan shire

Source: Flickr

These days, every fifth, conscious black person you meet is a self proclaimed poet. The spoken word movement has become over saturated. You know the cadence. You’ve heard the finger snaps. Should we blame Russell Simmons? I don’t know. But I say all that to say that even though poetry and spoken word have become a bit of a commercialized, there are still real poets out there. And as they say, “cream always rises to the top.” Which is the case for Warsan Shire, who was recently named London’s first young poet laureate. I first stumbled across Shire’s name on Tumblr and have subsequently dug everything I’ve read from her.

Shire, 24, is a Kenyan-born Somali poet, writer, editor and educator based in London. She’s read her work all over the world including places like South Africa, Italy, Germany, Canada and Kenya. She published her debut book, Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth, in 2011. Shire’s name was chosen from a list of six young poets. According to the BBC, she will spend the next year creating work that reflects “the ever-changing city,” starting with a residency at the Houses of Parliament. The announcement was made on National Poetry Day, October 3rd, during an event at Parliament.

Shire’s tenure as a poet laureate is a part of poetry and spoken word program Spoke. It seeks to offer people the opportunity to watch, perform and develop careers in spoken word and poetry performance in and around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Dennis Hone, chief executive of the park said, “I congratulate all those who took part and have shown London is blessed with some really talented poets. It is our vision for east London to be a thriving cultural district and Warsan as the first Young Poet Laureate for London will play a key part in that transformation.”

Congratulations to Warsan! This is a huge accomplishment. And at such a young age? Phenomenal.

“It’s Time To Pop Something Out”: Eve Talks Kids, DMX, Stevie J, And Why She Only Seems To Date Rich Men On “Wendy”

May 17th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Ready or not, Eve is back and she’s been looking pretty amazing these days. She’s been making her rounds, doing photoshoots and interviews to promote her new album, Lip Lock, her first album since 2002’s Eve-Olution. She did try and put out an album between the 11 years that she’s been on hiatus, and unfortunately it got shelved because the execs her label weren’t feeling it: “I was supposed to put out an album after “Tambourine, which was 2004, 2006, but it got shelved. I think my album wasn’t what the execs wanted and they just put it on the shelf.”

So knowing that, Eve had to battle for a few years to get away from Interscope, and after signing another bad deal, she had to battle for another year to get out of that contract, and she’s finally settled and released new music on her own independent label, From The Rib Music.

The 34-year-old rapper, who now lives in London with her man Maximillion Cooper, sat down with Wendy Williams to talk about more than just music, including love, babies, and DMX:

On whether or not DMX is on her new album and how she feels about his public struggles:

“He’s not on this album, but I love X. We don’t talk or call each other, anything like that…I love him, I love him.

When Wendy asked Eve if she watched DMX’s appearance on Iyanla: Fix My Life, this is what she had to say:

“Poor X. I didn’t watch it. I don’t watch anything actually. He’s been on a few things, I just don’t watch it. I can’t….But if he ever needed me, I’d be there.”

Speaking on her penchant for dating “nothing but money,” including millionaire Maximillion Cooper:

“You know what, there’s a certain lifestyle I think that I want to live. I’m going to do it on my own. I work hard. I work my butt of. But at the same time, I just, I don’t want to be with somebody I got to take care of. I’ll do it on my own, it doesn’t matter with the man though.”

On her past messing with Stevie J in the late ’90s and early ’00s and responding to the idea of it being “craziness”:

“It was. I think as ladies, we’ve all had the unfortunate…ugh [turns up face]. I can’t even continue it. I was young, it was what it was. God is good. I’m here where I am and I’m happy in love.”

The state of the rap game right now, including  her thoughts on the “femcees” out currently:

“I think there’s a lot of really cool girls out right now. I wish there were more girls, that’s my only complaint. But I think Nicki’s doing her thing, I think Azealia Banks is doing her thing. It’s Angel Haze. There’s a lot of girls coming up. We just need more.”

So what about marriage and babies next? Is she ready?

“Oh, it’s time to pop something out. Let me not pretend, okay!”

Check out Eve’s full interview with Wendy Williams on the next page and let us know what you think about her comments!

“I Have On My Press On Nails Right Now”: Beyonce Talks Cuba, Her Movie “Epic” & Blue Ivy

May 6th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: ABC

Source: ABC

Whether you’re a member of the BeyHive or you could use a little less Beyonce in your life, you have to admit that the girl works hard. In between her sold out shows in London, a hoarse sounding Beyonce sat down to talk to “Good Morning America” correspondent, Amy Robach, about the controversy surrounding her recent anniversary trip to Cuba, her role as Blue Ivy’s protector and enjoying the simple things like press on nails.

Check out the excerpts below.

Her trip to Cuba

“It was such a beautiful trip; I met some incredible children, visited some incredible entrepreneurs, I learned so much about so many people and the country and it was actually quite shocking.”

The simple things

“At the end of the day, you’re the same exact person. I still like the simple things. I have on my press on nails right now.I just feel like you know at the end of the day, my goals and my dreams are the same. I just want happiness, I want great friends and great family.”

Blue Ivy and plans to have more kids

“I would like more children. I think my daughter needs some company. I definitely loved being a big sister. At some point when it’s supposed to happen.  My biggest job in the world is to protect my daughter. And I am very protective. I just want to make sure that she can have a healthy, safe normal life  I feel really, really just lucky that I can still do what I love and have way bigger meaning. That’s to be her mother.”

On the next page, watch as Beyonce explains why her role as Queen Tara caused her to cry.

TV Alert! Are You Ready For The Drama That Was Rihanna’s “777” Tour?

May 5th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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(Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

Even if you’re not, it’s coming to television and should be interesting.

If you’ll recall, last year, Rihanna invited 150 journalists and bloggers as well as 50 fans with her on a “quick” tour to support her album Unapologetic. It was called “777” because she did seven shows in seven countries in seven days. Madness, right?


After only a couple of days, many of the people on the planes praised and slammed all the debauchery on the plane. Rihanna is well known for her heavy touring schedule so while it may not have been much for her, it proved a bit much for those who came along for the ride.

In the trailer for the documentary that airs on Monday, May 6th on Fox, you see some people doing “confessionals” in which they admit that it could be considered fun but it is a lot on the body.

You can hear Rihanna in a voiceover saying, “Why did I think this was a good idea?” That was probably the question on everyone’s mind, including the  air staff, because rumors swirled that tempers clashed quite often on the week-long trip.

Check out the documentary clip below. Will you be checking out “777?” Would you have joined in on that tour experience?

How Sick! London Mother Forces 14 Year Old Daughter To Get Pregnant

April 30th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Most mothers would be horrified at the news that their teenage daughter was pregnant. But one London woman encouraged her 14 year old adoptive daughter get pregnant. And not only did she encourage it, she practically forced the young teenager to inseminate herself with sp*erm she’d purchased over the internet several times a day over the course of 2-3 years.

The daughter, who was a virgin, gave birth at 16 years old after having a miscarriage at 14. In a case that was kept secret from the public, the girl, whose identity has been concealed to protect her privacy, testified that because her adoptive mother was so domineering, she was scared to tell her no.

The mother, who adopted children three children from abroad, recruited her daughter, to get pregnant when she was denied the ability to adopt a fourth child. The woman couldn’t get pregnant because of a medical condition and underwent an elective sterilization procedure years ago.

She was married when she adopted her first two children and divorced when she adopted the last. The court claimed that the woman isolated the children by homeschooling them and keeping the oldest two away from their adoptive father, her ex husband, for 10 years.

The daughter told investigators she was pretty shocked when her mother asked her to willingly get pregnant but also thought, “if I do this … maybe she will love me more.” She also said “feelings of gratitude for my adoption influenced how I behaved.”

The mother wanted a girl, so she made her daughter use painful douches containing lemon juice and vinegar and eat certain foods which she  believed would  affect the baby’s gender.

Over the years there were several instances where the authorities and child welfare services were called out to the house when neighbors complained of the mother’s inappropriate behavior toward the children like cussing them out, isolating them from peers and leaving them in the home alone while she was being treated in the hospital for a month.

Each time, the authorities found that there was no cause for concern. A case review of the authority’s findings are being published next month.

The mother’s evil and selfish plot was only discovered after midwives reported her aggressive and insensitive behavior during her daughter’s labor. The midwives say that mother tried to prevent the daughter from breastfeeding the baby saying, “we don’t want any of that attachment thing.” They also noticed how the daughter hesitated when handing the baby over to her mother. They called child protective services when the mother attempted to remove the baby from the ward.

After reviewing the case, a welfare provisions and family division judge, Mr Justice Jackson included his reaction in his decision saying “…an abiding sense of disbelief that a parent could behave in such a wicked and selfish way towards a vulnerable child.”

The mother is now serving five years in prison for child cruelty.

Obviously, there are a lot of emotional scars this young mother will have to deal with now that her “mother” is gone and she’ll have to raise this child by herself. We’re hoping and praying that she gets the therapy and help she needs; preferably from the state that failed to protect her in the first place.

What do you make of this case? Did the child protective service agencies drop the ball? Do you think this woman should have been sentenced to more time?

The Film “Dreams Of A Life” Makes Me Wonder: What’s Really Sad About Dying Alone?

April 3rd, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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Over the weekend, I watched the film “Dreams of a Life”; which is that docudrama about the British black woman, who went three years before anyone noticed that she had died.

You all may recall press about this film and its true story sometime last year but if not, the woman’s name was Joyce Carol Vincent and she died in her London apartment sometime in 2003. Her decomposing skeletal remains were found in 2006 by some county officials, who were sent to evict her. When Joyce’s body was found, her electricity was still functioning (she died in front of the television, which was still on) and a mountain of mail was found behind her front door. After an investigation, it was discovered that Vincent died of natural causes sometime around Christmas. And around her skeleton were Christmas gifts she was in the process of wrapping at the time of her demise.

What’s most mystifying about this story is that Vincent, who was only 38 at the time of her passing, was for all intents and purposes a very attractive and seemingly well-liked young woman. And yet somehow she went unnoticed from society for years and not even her friends, coworkers, or family members had been concerned about her whereabouts from the time she died to the time that she was discovered. I could go on and on about this film, but I don’t want to ruin it for you. But if you’re inclined to learn more, you can check it out yourself on Netflix.

Anyway, when the press about this film first began to circulate, I recall getting into an intense debate with a number of folks, who pitied Vincent. I mean she died…*gasp*…all by herself. No one – not a family member, not a loved one, not even a concerned nosy neighbor was there to hold and gently caress her hand as she slid off into the light. One of my sister-in-laws even told me that she got emotional upon reading about how her body was discovered and angrily blamed the family members and other people in her life for not being there. “How uncaring and selfish can you be to not check in on her from time to time? I mean to not even call her around the holidays? She must have had some sort of mental illness because being alone is not healthy. And if that was my sister I would force her to stay in contact with me,” my sister-in-law told me.

I get the profound sadness of it all. Nobody should have to die young. Likewise, nobody should have to feel alone if they don’t want to. However, I don’t blame her family and friends, and I especially don’t pity Vincent either. I think that she made a conscious decision to separate herself from people and I think the people in her life did their best to honor and respect her lifestyle choice. There are true introverts among us; people who actual enjoy their own company – at least more than they do the people in their lives. I know that may be hard for some folks like my sister-in-law to understand, especially since we live in a society – heck a world – which places high value on how successful you are at engaging others socially. Yet, recent research suggests that a-third to a half of all Americans are introverts. And more than likely, their penchant for privacy has less to do with any type of personality disorder like being shy or anti-social, but rather a desire for a less-stimulating environment.

Again, without giving too much of the film away, I will say that I got the impression that Vincent was not only an introvert, but also a free-spirit. She was not only likable, but her friends, ex-boyfriends and other acquaintances always regarded her as the life of the party. Yet most of her friends didn’t fret when she disappeared because she had a history of moving around from place to place and basically drifting in and out of people’s lives. In some respects, I have the same behavior patterns. Despite living literally two blocks away from my younger brother and his family, I might see or speak to them once a month. And even less frequent for the rest of my family. In fact, I haven’t done a holiday dinner in years and quite honestly, don’t even miss it. I hate telephones, so the only time I speak with my friends is when we meet up for an outing (excluding emergencies of course). And yet when I am around them, I can be extremely fun and a barrel full of laughs. As much as I love the people in my family, I also love privacy – to work; to think and basically let me become my sole priority. So when my family and friends don’t hear from me in a while, they think I’m off alone on one of my life adventures and they know that when I’m ready, I’ll come around, which makes me wonder what the heck was my sister-in-law talking about because she never calls me on holidays – not that I would answer the phone anyway.

One thing to learn from the story is that you can’t control the how and the whens of death. Whether she was holding her family members’ hands or dying alone, no one could go on that journey except Vincent. And while for many people in the world, the fear of being – if not dying – alone is what keeps them in bad relationships – whether they be with a significant other, a family member or even in your career, it would seem that Vincent didn’t think too much about those prospects despite whatever medical condition she had. And although she made some mistakes along the way (including one with an abusive boyfriend), she was too busy living life on her own terms. I am just speculating here, but I would like to think that Vincent would have been less concerned with being alone and more concerned about the prospect of dying around the wrong people. Besides, who cares how and when your body is found; you’re dead. It’s not like you are using it anymore.