Ever since Olivia Pope came on the scene a couple of years ago she has dominated the social media news feeds of Urban America.  She has elements of many women we all know and it's great having a familiar face on television to look to.  When Mary Jane Paul emerged on the scene a year or so ago, things got real.  Now that Being Mary Jane is a full season in, and with Scandal three seasons in, we figured it was time to look at the women that are these characters.  Given the chance who would you choose to date, to be a friend to?  Who could you actually stand to be around?


The latest Jason Derulo album, Talk Dirty, is chock full of party anthems and “get hype” tracks. The album starts off with Jason’s new smash hit, "Talk Dirty" (featuring 2 Chainz), which has spent the last sixteen weeks near the top of Billboard’s “The Hot 100” and currently sits at number four. Derulo has brought in many other popular Hip-Hop artists to collaborate on this record, including Snoop Dogg, TYGA, Kid Ink, and Pitbull. 


There was a huge debate recently about the Mt. Rushmore of the NBA.  Choosing the four greatest players to have ever played the sport of basketball proved to be quite the challenge and there is still no clear and decisive agreement on just four. The Mt. Rushmore of Hip-Hop may prove to be just as difficult, but we figured we'd give it a try and see what the readers think.


It’s a Marlon Wayne’s movie what do want me to say? It was bleeping hilarious. Literally as soon as the movie started the theatre was roaring in laughter and I’m not even exaggerating. The opening scene was arguably the most funny (actually during the Q&A after the screening an audience member said it was his favorite part). Co-star Affion Crokett is one of the first characters you’re reintroduced to and he had my stomach hurting early. I’m going to just say that I would’ve liked to see more of him in the film. Hey, Marlon told us to be honest in our critiques. With that said though, the film still surpassed the expectations of a sequel. 


Who would have ever thought a shy girl from Beaufort, South Carolina would be American Idol's Season 12 winner. She's grown a lot since only being able to sing for her parents. Life has changed for Candice Glover. Her Season 12 win is actually her third attempt at auditioning for American Idol. She's proven that she believes in herself. It was nothing short of courage to be able to face many at a third shot on the show to prove that she had what it took to take home the crown, even if she didn't know for sure herself at the time. She's motivated so many to go after what they want and to never give up. WIth the recent release of her debut album, Music Speaks, and her single, "Cried," Glover continues to motivate women everywhere.  Read the full interview to get Candice Glover a little better...


Drew 32, writer, producer, videographer—you name it he has done it. His hands on approach to his brand of music is admirable. From the D to the world, with stops along the way as an opening act for Gym Class Heroes, Kendrick Lamar, and the New Boyz hasn't hurt. His performances at Sundance Film Festival and SXSW Music Conference have done wonders for his buzz, and odds are his production going forward will be just as stellar. Drew32 Recently released The Batch, an ode to his fans, and a teaser for what 2014 and beyond hold.  Judging by the attention his hit single “I Am King,” is getting along with his mantra, 'the more content, the better,' the future is very bright for this Greek-American artist.  Parlé with me as I introduce to you… Drew 32.


 
 

 

 

 

February is Black History Month and  here at Parlé Magazine although the focus is urban entertainment we want to take time out this month to highlight and focus on some of the people and events in Black History that oftentimes go unnoticed. Every day this month we'll highlight something new in hopes of reminding everyone that the journey continues.

Phillis Wheatley, a girl named after the ship that brought her from the continent where she was born, bought by prominent "progressive" John Wheatley as a servant for his wife, was known by many in "her" time, maybe as an insightful woman, as well as the first native African person to have some of their writing published.
Phillis, being adopted by a relatively "open-minded" family, and having a interest to do so, had learned enough by the time she was a young girl to display her ability to comprehend relatively "complex" literature and alike. The Wheatley's, having taken note of her inclination to literature and alike, "took stock" in her "learning", per say. With the mind that she had shaped with her countless experiences and thoughts, Phillis wrote her first poem that was to be published and appear in a newspaper called "The Newport Mercury" on December 21, 1767. A poem simply and seemingly "accurately" titled "On Messrs Hussey and Coffin":
“Did Fear and Danger so perplex your Mind,
As made you fearful of the Whistling Wind?
Was it not Boreas knit his angry Brow
Against you? or did Consideration bow?"
-Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley (1753 – December 5, 1784), a girl named after the ship that brought her from the continent where she was born (Senegal, Africa), bought by prominent "progressive" John Wheatley as a servant for his wife, was known by many in "her" time, maybe as an insightful woman, as well as the first native African person to have some of their writing published.

Read more: Phillis Wheatley - First Published African-American

With this winter’s frigid temperatures and barrage of snow and ice storms we can all show a healthy appreciation for heat. Just a couple of weeks ago 49 out of 50 states had snow on the ground, including Hawaii. Florida, the only state to escape the white flakes still experienced cold temperatures, with the resulting frost damaging many crops.  It’s at times like these that we must remember to be thankful to Alice Parker an African-American from Morristown, NJ who invented a gas heating furnace that provided central heating throughout a home or building.
Alice Parker’s brilliant idea was patented back in 1919 and has been invaluable in keeping homes warm, worldwide, since. This idea was not only innovative but it was convenient. No longer do we have to spend time going out to chop wood or buy it and schlep it home. Neither do we have to take risks by keeping fireplaces going through the night. Central heat is now a necessity and a fireplace a luxury.
Also consider that Alice Parker registered her patent as an African-American woman decades before the Women’s Liberation and Civil Rights movements. Do not let excuses pile up in your mind do not continue to manufacture them and express them. Many of the contributions that have been made by African-Americans have been against the odds and with numerous obstacles they could have made excuses for,  including race and gender.  So let us continue to contribute despite the odds because “Yes, we can“.

With this winter’s frigid temperatures and barrage of snow and ice storms we can all show a healthy appreciation for heat. Just a couple of weeks ago 49 out of 50 states had snow on the ground, including Hawaii. Florida, the only state to escape the white flakes still experienced cold temperatures, with the resulting frost damaging many crops.  It’s at times like these that we must remember to be thankful to Alice Parker an African-American from Morristown, NJ who invented a gas heating furnace that provided central heating throughout a home or building.

Read more: Alice H. Parker - True African American Heat

Charles Hamilton Houston was a renowned fighter for minority rights playing a role in nearly every case for Civil Rights between the years of 1930 and 1950. Houston was born in 1895 during a great deal of minority suppression. His father was a practicing lawyer and his mother a hairdresser. He contributes all his success to their desire for him to succeed and providing him with all the tools for success.
Despite being born during such suppressive times he proved triumphant in both his studies as well as his post graduate works. Houston studied at Amherst College in Massachusetts for an Artium Baccalaureatus (A.B.) Degree which he completed in 1915.  He was the only African American in his class and also graduated with the honor of valedictorian. From there Houston moved back to D.C. where he taught English and “Negro Literature” at Howard University for two years. As the year 1917 approached America found itself entering World War I. To avoid being drafted and having to possibly serve on the front line, Houston enlisted as an officer where he earned a position at the first Black officers’ training camp, Fort Des Moines in Iowa. Little did he know this step in his life shaped his future in fighting toward civil liberties and equal rights. After witnessing and being part of a prosecution of two black soldiers who were wrongly charged, Houston was quoted saying “the hate and scorn showered on Negro officers by our fellow Americans…convinced me there was no sense in dying for a world ruled by them. I made up my mind that I would never get caught again without knowing my rights; that if luck was with me, and I got through this war, I would study law and use my time fighting for men who could not strike back.” This was the turning point towards the fight for equal rights to all.
After arriving home in 1919 Houston set out to accomplish the goals he set while in the army. Houston enrolled into Harvard law school where after his first year he was elected to the prestigious Harvard Law Review; there he found his legal mentor Felix Frankfurter. After graduating with honors he pursued his doctorate in judicial science under Frankfurter. Houston later went on to work with his father after completing a one year fellowship in Madrid, Spain.
Houston’s first legal case before the U.S. Supreme Court dealt with a man convicted of rape in Oklahoma by an all-white jury and sentenced to death. Houston argued that because historically in Oklahoma Blacks had been denied jury placements based on their race, they were denied due process under the law. The Supreme Court agreed and Houston was the first African-American to successfully represent the NAACP before the highest court.
During his tenure with the NAACP Houston was praised for his work at picking cases to which would begin to erode segregation. Throughout his life he was a brilliant mentor and teacher to many young black law students; becoming a teacher and the Dean at Howard University. One of his greatest successes would come 4 years after his death when his star pupil, Thurgood Marshall, would win the case of Brown vs. Board of Education. This would be the turning point which Houston wanted to see happen through all his hard work towards ending discrimination.

Charles Hamilton Houston was a renowned fighter for minority rights playing a role in nearly every case for Civil Rights between the years of 1930 and 1950. Houston was born in 1895 during a great deal of minority suppression. His father was a practicing lawyer and his mother a hairdresser. He contributes all his success to their desire for him to succeed and providing him with all the tools for success.

Read more: Charles Hamilton Houston - Civil Rights Attorney

You know what time it is right? If you don’t know the time, look at a clock or your watch (not your mobile phone). Then consider the man who is referred to as the first African American intellectual, Mr. Benjamin Banneker.
Mr. Banneker’s story is so amazing to me because he did not have an education as such but taught himself for the most part.
Though self-taught he still participated in the surveying of the original boundaries of Washington DC during President George Washington’s administration. Participated is the key word. Some people give Banneker more credit than is due in this scenario, that bad game of telephone again. Still a nice little gig for a brother though, especially back then.
Though self-taught Banneker still wrote several almanacs the first of which is considered the first science book by an African American. Then Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson believed in the intellectual inferiority of slaves. I wonder if he changed his mind after he received one of the almanacs from Mr. Banneker.
Though self-taught this astronomer’s almanac did successfully predict a solar eclipse in 1798. Just thought I would throw the date in there so that you realize that he made these accomplishments to our history while slavery was still alive and strong. Yet is should also be noted that Benjamin Banneker was born free.
Just a couple of years ago the District of Columbia Government considered putting Benjamin Banneker’s image on the reverse of a 2009 commemorative quarter. Imagine that, and the quarter is one of the most used coins.
Though self taught Banneker constructed a clock after observing the workings of a pocket watch. This was not the first clock made in America but the clock did strike accurately for several decades from when he constructed it at 22 years old till he died.
Though he was self taught he was also respected as a mathematician even though he may have short changed himself as his chronic alcoholism was said to have contributed to his death. The reckless consumption of alcohol is still a serious problem but we do not have to follow the bad examples of a good man. At the same time if we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it right?
Let’s just give our Banneker best and get our face on some money. So if you can get into school then get educated but even if you can’t get into school, get educated. Because though self taught you can ….. and ….. and …………….

You know what time it is right? If you don’t know the time, look at a clock or your watch (not your mobile phone). Then consider the man who is referred to as the first African American intellectual, Mr. Benjamin Banneker.

Read more: The First African-American Intellectual - Benjamin Banneker

Let us give a hearty applause to the first African American cardiologist, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams.
Dr. Williams is credited with performing the first successful surgery on an organ we should all value more, the heart. James Cornish was stabbed in the chest in a bar fight but got a second lease on life (fifty more years) when Dr. Williams was able to stitch the pericardium of his still beating, yet bleeding heart. The successful open heart surgery was performed in 1893 long before heart surgery was accepted and established.
It so happens that February is not only Black History Month but is also American Heart Month. Studies have shown that heart disease and strokes are the top killers for African Americans, Native Americans, whites, and Hispanics. However, death rates from heart disease and stroke are highest among African Americans. Sadly, the statistics are not only a part of Black history, but also a part of our present reality. Please, let us eat better and exercise so that we can have a little more heart.
Dr. Williams also founded the first non-segregated hospital in America, which was named Provident. Provident would also be a first for hosting the first nursing school for African Americans. My mother and two sisters are nurses today so I personally thank Dr. Daniel Hale Williams for his contributions.

Let us give a hearty applause to the first African-American cardiologist, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams.

Read more: Dr. Daniel Hale Williams - First African American Cardiologist

Today’s black history moment will be dedicated to the first African-American First Lady, Mrs. President, Michelle Obama.
Mrs. Obama is to be applauded most of all for the Health movement that she is beginning. It is more than worthy of applause that we are engaging a program in an area where we have had a reckless neglect.  We have either been the #1 obese country in the world or very close to it for the past several decades. We are losing loved ones everyday whose lives may have been spared but for a change in diet. We can all agree it starts at home so let us cooperate and participate lest our children inherit our dis-eases based on diet like heart disease, diabetes, and etcetera. They learn by what they see us preparing and eating. Let us be humble enough to learn some new healthier habits, brave enough to try them, and strong enough to unlearn the previous habits.
People may say what they may. Mrs. Obama came from the South Side of Chicago yet was the salutatorian of her high school.  She has graced the halls of Princeton and Harvard Universities and now the White House. I really hope that the reader is able to see throughout the month that we have no excuses for not realizing our fullest potential. None. Jim Robinson her great- great grandfather on her father’s side was a slave in South Carolina. Melvinia Shields her great-great-great grandmother on her mother’s side was also a slave. They would have been proud to know that she did not squander her education but was on the honor roll all four years in high school. But, was it in either of their minds even a possibility, that in just a few generations their blood would be in the White House?
Mrs. Obama steps into the White House in her office of executive support to the President with a graduate degree, which makes her the third first lady in a row, to possess one.  Way to catch and carry the baton Mrs. President and continue to run your leg strong.

Today’s black history moment will be dedicated to the first African-American First Lady, Mrs. President, Michelle Obama.

Read more: Mrs. President, Michelle Obama

Before the power and ferocity of Venus and Serena Williams, there was the elegance and grace of Althea Gibson.  Born 25 August 1927, she showed a keen interest in tennis at a relatively early age.  At the age of 14, Gibson began taking tennis lessons at Harlem’s Cosmopolitan Club.  The rest, as they say, is history.
Under the tutelage of the legendary Dr. Hubert A. Eaton, Gibson began to sweep through the professional tour with the force of a hurricane.  One of the fiercest women to ever pick up a racquet, her majesty became the first Black woman to ever win Wimbledon (1957) and the US Open (1958).  She also grabbed the French Championships title at Roland Garros in 1956 and made quite a showing on the Australian tennis tournament circuit.
After capturing the US Open trophy, Mrs. Gibson retired from tennis, opting for a variety of non-sports related endeavours (including releasing an album entitled Althea Gibson Sings, appearing in the film The Horse Soldiers).  Her most notable post-tennis accomplishment, however, came in another of her sporting passions, golf.  In 1964, she became the first Black woman to join the Ladies’ Professional Golf Association (LPGA).
From her first days as a young woman at Harlem’s Cosmopolitan Club to her death on 23 September 2003, Althea Gibson set the standard for what a Black woman could achieve in America.  With undying grace and skill, she became the precursor to an age of dominance in the women’s game of tennis.

Before the power and ferocity of Venus and Serena Williams, there was the elegance and grace of Althea Gibson.  Born 25 August 1927, she showed a keen interest in tennis at a relatively early age.  At the age of 14, Gibson began taking tennis lessons at Harlem’s Cosmopolitan Club.  The rest, as they say, is history.  

Read more: Althea Gibson - Early Black Dominance in Sports

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