In Other People News:

Sydney Kamlager-Dove Announces 2024 Congressional Art Competition

Elgin Nelson

Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37) has launched student applications for California’s 37th District’s submission in the 2024 Congressional Art Competition, allowing high school students to submit original artworks for display in the Capitol. Submissions will be accepted until April 12, 2024, with the winner invited to celebrate in Washington, D.C. on June 27, 2024. Kamlager-Dove expressed excitement for the competition, emphasizing the district’s creative talent and the power of art in democracy. Accepted artworks include paintings, drawings, collages, prints, mixed media, computer-generated art, and photography, with guidelines provided. All entries must be original and adhere to U.S. copyright laws. For more information and deadlines, visit

Black Artists Triumph at Oscars

Elgin Nelson

Several prominent Black stars attended the 96th Academy Awards, held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, in hopes of taking home Oscar gold. Da’Vine Joy Randolph won Best Actress In A Supporting Role for her performance in “The Holdovers,” Cord Jefferson won Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) for “American Fiction,” and Kris Bowers won for Documentary Short Film for “The Last Repair Shop,” a documentary set in Los Angeles. Other nominated actors included Danielle Brooks, Sterling K. Brown, Colman Domingo, and Jeffrey Wright. Presenters included Zendaya, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Mahershala Ali, and Lupita Nyong’o, with a heartfelt performance by Grammy-winner Jon Batiste.

Actress Malinda Williams Launches Groundbreaking HBCU Coding Boot Camp

Elgin Nelson

Actress and entrepreneur Malinda Williams has launched the E.S.T.E.A.M. Project, a coding bootcamp for women currently enrolled at HBCUs, accepting applications until March 31, 2024. Held at Jackson State University’s campus from May 30 to June 2, 2024, the initiative, created through Williams’ non-profit Arise And Shine Foundation Inc., aims to empower women by providing coding and technical skills. The four-week program focuses on education initiatives, mentoring in entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (E.S.T.E.A.M), with participants mastering Apple’s SwiftUI programming language and engaging in inspiration-filled weekends, skill-building, and networking opportunities. Supported by Apple’s Community Education Initiative, the project provides hardware, scholarships, and professional learning assistance. Williams, through her foundation launched in 2023, seeks to empower underserved women, collaborating with educational institutions, corporations, and communities to promote their personal and professional growth.

Lenny Kravitz Honored, Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame 

Elgin Nelson

Legendary musician Lenny Kravitz is set to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, marking the 2,774th recipient in the Recording category. Known for his iconic albums such as “Let Love Rule” and “Five,” which earned him his first Grammy Award in 1998, Kravitz has also made notable contributions to film, with appearances in “Precious” (2009) and “The Hunger Games” (2012). The ceremony, scheduled for 11:30am in front of the Capitol Records Tower on Vine Street, will feature emcee Sibley Scoles and guest speakers including Kravitz’s daughter, Zoe, and Academy Award winner Denzel Washington. This accolade commemorates Kravitz’s enduring impact on the entertainment industry, underscoring his exceptional talent and influence on popular culture, while inspiring aspiring musicians and entertainers worldwide.

Beyoncé’s Father, Matthew Knowles, to Co-Teach African-American Music History Course at Pepperdine University

Elgin Nelson

Matthew Knowles, father of Beyoncé, is teaming up with Pepperdine University to offer a spring semester course titled “African American Aesthetic Culture From Spirituals to Hip Hop,” alongside English and film professor Joi Carr. The course, delving into the historical impact of African American music on society, will be guided by Knowles’ extensive experience as a music executive, entrepreneur, and educator, aiming to empower students with a deep understanding of the subject. Covering the evolution of African American musical contributions from slavery to contemporary hip-hop, Knowles seeks to counteract the miseducation surrounding Black history, particularly timely as some states seek to eliminate diverse historical teachings.

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