Ameer Baraka is many things: a model for Master P‘s No Limit Apparel brand, an actor in the acclaimed HBO drama series Treme and FOX‘s “The Unit”, a producer, a director, a fitness enthusiast…and a man with a criminal history. Now, the 36-year old is taking on the role of a lifetime―himself. It sounds like the easiest part to play in front of a camera, but the reality is completely different.
The story he’s telling isn’t just his own, but those stories of hundreds of children in New Orleans who are on the fast-track to a life in prison, without redemption, without hope. Having experienced first-hand the worst society has to offer, Baraka has risen above his past and more importantly, wants his rising tide to lift the spirits, hopes and dreams of every young man and woman who thinks they have no alternatives.
His web series “N.O.L.A. Life,” co-produced by Danny Garcia (What She Wants For Christmas, Who Did I Marry?) and Baraka himself, dares to show it all. The documentary series, described as “the truest, grittiest, most realistic depiction of New Orleans life ever filmed,” explains not only how life is for the young men and women on the streets, but more importantly how that life can be different.
As a young man, Baraka experienced the hardship of growing up without a father. A mother and grandmother can provide love, but as he notes, “A woman cannot raise a man.” Without the strength, without the discipline afforded by a positive male role model, living in the Calliope housing development, he fell into a life of drugs, crime, and violence by age fourteen.
It wasn’t until he landed in prison and met older, reformed convicts who saw something special in him that he learned the secret to breaking this vicious cycle. Preaching at children does not work―mentoring them does.
Two years’ experience running a mentoring program at Booker T. Washington School in New Orleans backs him up. Considered some of the highest-risk youth in the state, Baraka’s engagement brings real results to a setting long thought beyond repair.
Reaching out to the intelligent young minds he sees before him, Baraka challenges them to channel their energies and impulses in positive directions and faith-based initiatives, and the results speak for themselves: drug use, fights, suspensions and expulsions at Booker T. Washington are down across the board.
To further these ends, he created the Ameer Baraka Give A Hand Fund, which provides financial assistance to children so they can attend school in better areas of New Orleans. Visit his website at http://kingbaraka.com to learn more about his life and work.
On Saturday, March 16th at 9pm, you will see and hear Ameer Baraka’s powerful story on Oprah Winfrey‘s OWN Network show, “Blackboard Wars”. You will get to know Ameer and the young men and women he mentors and engages every day. And you will come to believe, just as he does, that one man really can change the world.
Animal Planet’s Hillbilly Handfishin‘ competitor Daniel James III has come a long way from doing fishing with his feet, because the reality competition star, who knew nothing about sticking his foot in fish holes to lure a fish to bite his foot and pull them out of the water has landed himself a new series.
The funeral home owner and mortician has parlayed his craft into a reality series spin-off that takes you into the world of the dead and what happens behind the scene in a Mortuary.
Sounds dark yet interesting right?
Well Daniel is a very interesting man to speak with. Daniel recently sat down with CelebNMusic247 to talk about the ins and outs of Animal Planet’s Hillbilly Handfishin’.
He tells us how Animal Planet flew him out to a remote location and just told him to go for it! He had no background in Handfishin, but he was interested in going for it. However, Daniel is most known for being the loudest screamer when fishing on the show. The clip has become an Internet sensation which landed him his own reality series.
Are you ready to get in the water and do some Hillbilly Handfishin’?
Lil Mama as Left Eye ….that’s what the word is on the street. Lil Mama who will forever be remembered as the chic that crashed Jay Z and Ms. Screamy Keys performance of “Empire State Of Mind” has been cast as Left Eye in the Vh1 biopic. I’m not sure of Lil Mama’s acting skills but I absolutely loved her as a judge on America’s Best Dance Crew.
Lil Mama has that ability to reach into herself and display her exuberance human like ability when placed on a panel, which most older artist haven’t developed yet. Lil Mama is currently in the studio with MC Lyte so look for that.
Love when women reach out to uplift one another ….we need to see more of that ……..
Do you think Lil Mama resembles Left Eye and can pull it off?
Hit maker and singer Ne-Yo is being sued by his non muthaf*ckin factor, once claimed, wanna be baby mama for a breach in their agreement that called for hush hush in the case of who’s your baby daddy, cause the test revealed that he is NOT that baby’s father.
Ne-Yo’s former baby mama (we’ll explain) is FUMING after the singer went on VH1 and blabbed about their baby drama — and now she’s hired mega attorney Gloria Allred to make him pay.
It’s a pretty complicated story … Ne-Yo used to have a relationship with a woman named Jesseca White. During their time together, Jesseca had a baby which Ne-Yo thought was his … turns out, it wasn’t.
The couple reached a settlement agreement in 2009 in which Ne-Yo coughed up $575,000 to Jesseca, who in turn officially said the kid wasn’t his. Ne-Yo was originally listed on the birth certificate as the father, but his name was later removed.
As part of the deal, both sides agreed to a confidentiality clause, promising to never go public with the info. Fast forward to September 2012 … Ne-Yo did an interview with VH1′s “Behind the Music” and spilled the beans on the whole sordid ordeal.
Now, Gloria Allred has fired off a letter to Ne-Yo accusing him of breaking the agreement. Allred claims that because Ne-Yo falsely painted Jesseca as a harlot who lied, broke his heart and then vanished … Jesseca has been defamed, ridiculed and harassed.
According to the letter, Jesseca has been unable to work, was forced to file for state aid, suffers from mental anguish and is “beset by nausea, vomiting and hair loss” thanks to Ne-Yo’s remarks.
Jesseca is asking Ne-Yo to settle the matter amicably out of court (cough, cough $$$$) … otherwise she’ll be forced to pursue more serious legal options.
We reached out to Ne-Yo’s rep — so far, no word back.
Mjj says, Jesseca you silly rabbit tricks are for kids, you got caught, he put you on blast….deal with it.
Spike “Do The Right Thing” Lee says Django Unchained a Tarantino flick starring Jaime Fox is disrespectful to his ancestors and he is NOT going to see it. Spike spoke with Vibe TV where he expressed his views about the slave movie, in other words who needs to see that, when you can watch Roots day and night on Bet.
Spike goes on to say ”I can’t speak on it, cause I’m not going to see it. I’m not seeing it. I’m only going to say, ‘It would be disrespectful to my ancestors to see that film.’”
“That’s the only thing I’m going to say. I can’t disrespect my ancestors. I can’t do it. I can’t do it. Now that’s me. I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody but myself. I can’t do it.”……………..watch below and weigh in
Mashonda the former Ms Swizz Beatz took to twitter to dispel the ish that was coming out of Alicia Keys mouth during her interview with Jet. Keys provided a timeline of when she first hooked up with Swizz Beatz.
Alicia Keys insists that she hooked up with Swizz after Swizz and Mashonda were separated, but Mashonda paints a different picture. Some years have passed but somehow the discussion of the timeline of when, where, and who did what seems to reoccur…
Seems like someones conscious is eating at them…hint hint AK, and although one moves on and the pain lightens up, you still never forget the day and circumstances of when another chic partakes in the demise of one’s marriage.
Alicia would like to woe back her fans and convince them that she is not a home wrecker…must not be good for sales, while Mashonda on the other hand will not forget or let the fans forget what she calls the truth….Keys stealing her man, having a baby by him, and then marrying him….insult to injury.
Chris Brown and Keri Hilson are expanding their brand. They have both inked deals with Wilhelmina International in their Artist Management Division. The company will assist the two artists in taking over the Fashion and Beauty sector via endorsements.
Brown nor Hilson are signed to modeling contracts yet, but after Brown’s Prestige photo shoot, and Hilson’s camera ready beauty they clearly have the goods to pull it off. “Art and style has always played a significant role in my life — it’s evolved with me throughout my career,” said Chris in a statement with Taylor Hendrich, director of Wilhelmina Men, adding, “Chris Brown is a…multifaceted artist with a unique take on style, and we are excited to translate and extend his brand.”
This is a new and exciting venture for both of them and we wish them the best.
Steel Magnolias TV remake debut might be postponed if Victoria L. White, the executive producer of the 1989 film has it her way. She wants to be credited for her work and cashed out.
White went to a judge to put a halt on the movie just days away from its big debut. According to Victoria, Sony pictures made an agreement with her prior to this film that she would receive proceeds on any film that coincides with her original film.
Victoria L. White — executive producer of the 1989 film starring Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, and Shirley MacLaine — filed suit (on Monday) against Sony Pictures and Lifetime Television … which is producing the new TV movie starring Queen Latifah, Jill Scott and Phylicia Rashad. In the documents, White claims she has a “Television agreement” that entitles her to a co-producer or co-executive producer credit on any TV project based on her hit film.
According to the suit, White also says she’s entitled to some cash for the Lifetime remake — including a $15,000 fee, plus up to 3.75% of net profits from the movie. White further alleges Sony is fully aware of her TV deal … because it gave her a co-producer credit and compensation the first time this happened. For those who don’t remember (as in all of us), there was already a 1992 CBS TV movie based on “Steel Magnolias.” White is suing for compensation on the Lifetime remake — and she wants an injunction to stop the film from airing … unless she gets her on-screen credit.