Report: Daniel Kaluuya will not appear in ‘Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever’

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

Award-winning actor Daniel Kaluuya will not reprise his role as W’kabi in the upcoming Marvel film Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever. 

Citing a Wednesday interview with the star for his role in Jordan Peele‘s Nope, Jacqueline Coley, of Rotten Tomatoes, tweeted the news. 

“BREAKING NEWS: Fresh from my NOPE interview with Daniel Kaluuya he did not reprise his role in #BlackPanther2 due to his schedule conflicts w/ #NOPE! It’s official he’s not in #BlackPantherWakandaForever,” Coley wrote.

Kaluuya starred as W’Kabi, the leader of the Border Tribe of Wakanda and childhood best friend to King T’Challa, played by late actor Chadwick Boseman.

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Quinta Brunson is “still speechless” after multiple Emmy nominations


Quinta Brunson‘s year keeps getting better and better. 

In reaction to her history-making accomplishment of becoming the first Black woman to earn three Emmy nominations in the comedy category for Abbott Elementary, she posted an emotional thank you note to fans of the hit show.

“Crying shaking and throwing up has new meaning to me because I real life did all three,” she tweeted Tuesday after the Television Academy announced the nominations for the 74th annual Emmy Awards. 

“Still speechless. Congrats to the entire staff and cast of Abbott Elementary. And I want to share this moment with all of the people who watch and love the show. Emmy nominated, baby!”

Brunson’s nominations include Outstanding Comedy Series, Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and Writing for a Comedy Series — all for Abbott, the ABC series founded by Brunson based on her real-life elementary school teacher in Philadelphia. 

Reacting to the show’s seven nominations, Brunson said in a release how honored she is to receive the high recognition. 

“What an honor to be nominated by the Television Academy. Creating this show has been the greatest gift and to have it recognized in this way is the dream,” she said. “It’s a joy we get to share with the amazing people who watched our first season. None of this would be possible without my incredible, supportive EP’s Justin HalpernRandall Einhorn & Patrick Schumacker, our incredible writers room, our insanely talented cast, and the hard-working teams at ABC and WBTV for helping to bring Abbott Elementary to life.”

She added, “Lastly, and most importantly, I want to thank teachers. Thanks for being our inspiration.”

The 74th Emmy Awards will be held live Monday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Kamala Harris speaks on “outrageous” decision to overturn Roe v. Wade at ‘Essence’ Fest

Vice President Kamala Harris participated in a “fireside chat” with actress Keke Palmer at the Essence Festival of Culture Saturday, where she spoke on important issues pertaining to women and the Black community.

Speaking on the “outrageous” decision to overturn Roe v. Wade — the law protecting the right for women to have an abortion — Harris shared her thoughts on the ruling’s implications and its effect on other personal topics like contraception and same-sex marriage.

“What else might be vulnerable that we otherwise thought was settled law?” she questioned.

She called the decision a “serious matter” — a phrase applauded by those in the audience a part of the Black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, of which Harris is a member. “It requires all of us to speak up, speak out and to be active,” Harris said. She added, “We have to recognize we’re a nation that was founded on certain principles that are grounded in the concept of freedom and liberty.”

Remembering the words of Coretta Scott King Harris said, “The fight for civil rights — which is the fight for freedom, the fight for liberty, the fight for justice — the fight for civil rights must be fought and won with each generation.”

In relation to the continued fight for freedom in America, Harris suggested two key points from King’s words: “The very nature of these fights is that whatever we gain, they will not necessarily be permanent.” And that, “you have to be vigilant.”

“Don’t be overwhelmed to the point that we are disheartened and we think that we can’t do anything about it,” she said. “It’s the nature of it that these gains will not be made. And so we must be vigilant and we must remember we are always going to have to fight to maintain these rights.”

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Juneteenth: a teachable moment of forgotten history

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While most Americans prepare to celebrate the country’s freedom on July 4, many Black people in the United States recognize June 19 as their independence day.

What’s widely known as Juneteenth, but also referred to as Jubilee Day or Black Independence Day, is the significant date in Black history when the last enslaved African Americans found out about their freedom. The news was delivered to Black people in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which lawfully marked the end of slavery for those of the Southern Confederate states.

With Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman to hold the second-highest office in the executive branch, by his side, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law last year, on June 17, 2021. But the African American community had been celebrating long before Juneteenth was made a federal holiday.

Those celebrations normally include music, food, and traditions such as the singing of the national Black anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” But some stars, like Naomi Raine of the Grammy-winning gospel group Maverick City Music, plan to commemorate the holiday differently this year. Raine will open up honest conversations with her children.

“I think everybody’s kind of evolving how they’re celebrating this holiday because some of it is just coming to light for many of us,” Raine told ABC Audio. “Now, it’s more about educating my children and letting them know the roots of our nation and talking about how freedom is for everybody.”

The country’s delayed acknowledgement of what has long been an erased part of American history encourages Black people to research and educate themselves on unknown facts about their ancestry.

The 157th anniversary of Juneteenth is this Sunday, June 19.

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Reflecting on Juneteenth, 157 years later

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On June 19, 1865, the news of the Emancipation Proclamation — a document issued by President Abraham Lincoln that freed enslaved Black Americans — first reached Galveston, Texas, two years after its signing. In honor of Juneteenth this Sunday, musicians and entertainment professionals share what the holiday means to them.

Emmy-winning actor Courtney B. Vance reflected on the resiliency of Black people in the United States.

“Our people are great, and we started with nothing and came into something,” he said. “And so any opportunity I have just to teach, starting with our children, about how great we are and how great our ancestors are and were– Yes, things may be difficult now, but when you go past the first Google page and just look and see what our people had to deal with and still they rose. Everywhere they looked was a no.”

Vance noted the creation of Juneteenth — a celebration born out of the struggle facing Black people — but also expressed hope.

“It’s a message for us all that sometimes life is difficult and it’s going to be trial. But if we just press on, there will be a victory.”

President Joe Biden signed Juneteenth into law June 17, 2021, making it a federal holiday. But it has been celebrated in the Black community for more than a century. Essence Magazine CEO Caroline Wanga shared her thoughts by asking, “If you think about how long it took for Juneteenth to happen, then what are the things that you currently aren’t celebrating that you should be that are already yours, that you don’t know about?”

In addition to the usual festivals and gatherings, Wanga suggests a different way to celebrate.

“That’s what I would love people to spend Juneteenth doing is recognizing that that holiday was about the last of us finding out that we were freer than we thought,” she said. “What I want us to do is never have to do Juneteenth again and celebrate all the things that are true about us that are already here right now that we just don’t know about. Go Google something and celebrate that on Juneteenth.” 

The 157th anniversary of Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Black Independence Day, is this Sunday, June 19.

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Jennifer Hudson could reach EGOT status this weekend

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Multitalented star Jennifer Hudson has already earned an Emmy, a Grammy and an Oscar for her work in entertainment over the course of the last two decades. The 40-year-old actress is one step closer to achieving EGOT status: she just has to win a Tony Award at Sunday’s ceremony.

Hudson is nominated as a producer for A Strange Loop, the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical written by Michael R. Jackson that follows a Black queer man who tries to write a musical while struggling with identity, among other things. The musical leads this year’s nominations with 11, including Best Musical, the category in which Hudson is recognized.

This year’s nod isn’t the first time Hudson’s name has been mentioned in Tony Awards conversations. After receiving zero nominations in 2016 for her highly regarded performance as Shug Avery in The Color Purple, the incident became known as one of the most infamous award show snubbs.

Previous wins that contribute to Hudson’s EGOT status include a Daytime Emmy for executive producing the 2020 animated film Baby Yaga; Grammys in 2017 for The Color Purple and in 2009 for Best Album; and an Academy Award in 2007 for Dreamgirls.

Should A Strange Fruit win Best Musical at the 75th annual show, which broadcasts live on CBS Sunday at 8 p.m., the American Idol alum will join a small list of EGOT winners, including John Legend and Whoopi Goldberg.

Other notable celebs one award away from the high ranking are Viola Davis, Common, Billy Porter and Cynthia Erivo.

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Cast of iconic ’90s sitcom Martin reunites for 90-minute special


The trailer for the upcoming BET+ special Martin: The Reunion dropped on Monday, and there’s a great chance that after watching the minute-long video you’ll need your tissues.

Joining one another on the iconic green couch from the classic ’90s show are cast members Martin LawrenceTisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold and Carl Anthony Payne II, who dedicate the upcoming 90-minute special to former castmate Thomas Mikal Ford, who died in 2016 at the age of 52. 

“This one’s for you, Tommy,” they say in sync before the trailer cuts to clips of past episodes of Martin. 

The reunion, hosted by comedian Affion Crockett, will take fans back to the beloved Martin living room set for an evening of answering questions, reminiscing and revisiting hilarious moments.

Upon initial news of the upcoming special, Lawrence said in a press release, “To be able to sit here 30 years later with this amazing cast that has had such an impact on pop culture is truly a blessing.” He added, “I am always humbled that the fans still want more of the show and its characters. I am looking forward to the reunion special.”

Also seen in the trailer is rapper Snoop Dogg, singer Brian McKnight and actor Tommy Davidson, all of whom appeared in episodes of Martin during the show’s five-season run from 1992 to 1997. 

Toward the end of the trailer, Crockett asks, “Will there be a Martin reboot?” That question, of course, goes unanswered for now, which most likely leaves viewers wanting to know how Lawrence will respond.

To find out, you’ll have to tune into Martin: The Reunion premiering on BET+ June 16.

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This Day in Black History: ’The Wire’ debuted 20 years ago

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On June 2, 2002, the groundbreaking series The Wire debuted on HBO. Due to its in-depth focus on Baltimore’s narcotics scene and its raw portrayal of the city’s drug trade, education, government and bureaucracy, the show was highly scrutinized by some. But to many others it is considered one of the most beloved and celebrated TV shows of the 21st century. 

The Wire spanned 60 episodes across five seasons on prime time television. The series’ creators, former police reporter David Simon and former cop Ed Burns, drew upon real-life experiences to craft complex, accurate storytelling that, to this day, influences and inspires similar projects. 

Some of today’s most celebrated stars trace their beginnings to The Wire — Golden Globe-winning actor Idris Elba is widely known for his role as antagonist Stringer Bell, while Creed star Michael B. Jordan got his start as a young Wallace in the series. The late Michael K. Williams received great praise for his portrayal of stickup man Omar Little, and Wood Harris is well known for his character, Avon Barksdale, a big-time Baltimore drug dealer. 

Twenty years later the show still garners critical acclaim, including the boastful but indisputable — as many critics refer to them — comments made by the creators themselves, who say they’re more than aware of The Wire’s cultural impact. 

“I told you so,” is a phrase Simon uses frequently in a New York Times’ article about the show’s legacy. Because, as Burns tells it, “this show will live forever.”

In honor of The Wire’s 20th anniversary, check out HBO’s official podcast episode, featuring Simon and Burns, narrated by Clifford “Method Man” Smith Jr

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LeVar Burton says he was “wrecked” by not getting ‘Jeopardy!’ hosting gig

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Ahead of his hosting duties for this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, LeVar Burton opened up about losing the bid to become the host of Jeopardy!. 

In an interview with Newsy, the Reading Rainbow alum says he was “not just disappointed but wrecked” by not getting the hosting job. 

“Experiencing a very public defeat, humiliation, if you will, was sobering,” he said. “I didn’t expect that I would not be their choice for host.”

Burton says he believes he was the best person for the job and claims the search for an Alex Trebek replacement was “fixed.”

“The truth is it was my favorite game show. It really was. I mean, I watched that show since I was in the third grade and Art Fleming was the host. And I honestly thought that I was well suited for it. As it turns out, it really wasn’t a competition, after all, the fix was in.”

On what the 65-year-old actor and host learned from the “humiliating” moment: “It reinforced my belief that everything happens for a reason, even if you cannot discern the reason in the moment. In the fullness of time, everything will be revealed.” He added, “I’m a firm believer in betting on myself, and I would encourage anyone and everyone out there to to believe.”

Regarding his upcoming hosting duties at the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee, airing live on ION and Bounce at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 2, Burton said, “I’m definitely one to go where I’m wanted and loathe to go where I’m not invited.”

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Two years after George Floyd’s death, authors of new autobiography aim to humanize him

Penguin Random House

On May 25, 2020, the world watched in shock as George Floyd laid on the ground, restrained under Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin‘s knee for nearly 10 minutes. Floyd was gasping for air and repeating his final words, “I can’t breathe.” Floyd’s death sparked a nationwide reckoning around social justice, police reform and systemic racism but the authors of a new biography say they set out to tell the story of the man behind the movement.

As recounted in His Name is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice, authors Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa embarked on an extensive research journey to humanize Floyd beyond his unknowingly impactful death.

“We knew that he was much more than the 10-minute video that everyone had seen … no one should be reduced to that,” Olorunnipa told ABC Audio. “He was a human being. He loved people. He was loved by people. And it was important for us to show his full humanity.”

With access to Floyd’s family members and close friends, and drawing on over 400 interviews, the authors’ findings include personal life details such as Floyd’s relation to a formerly affluent great-great-grandfather.

“I was surprised that there was actually great wealth in his family history,” Olorunnipa said, noting there were many revelations he found interesting. He described the grandfather’s story from “one of the wealthiest people in eastern North Carolina” to a poverty-stricken man whose descendants suffered the consequences of systemic racism.

Through that example and countless others, the authors were able to draw a direct line between Floyd’s life and the book’s other main focus: institutional racism in America.

As for Olorunnipa’s wishes for the book on the second anniversary of Floyd’s death, “We need to remember what it was about George Floyd’s death … that caused so many people to say, ‘This is not right.'”

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