Man Candy Monday | ‘Empire’s’ Bryshere Gray at ADL’s Walk Against Hate Fundraiseder

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The littlest Lyon left Cookie and Lucious home to command the stage in his hometown of Philly Sunday for Cookie’s Cookout  third annual Anti-Defamation League fundraiser–Walk Against Hate.

Bryshere Gray’s (aka Hakeem Lyon on FOX’s Empire) performance of old and new jams capped off a family-friendly day for the city of brotherly love.

 

The $25 registration fee for Walk Against Hate bought more than Bryshere turnin’ up onstage. In addition to the 2 mile walk around the Philly Navy Yard, there was a Diversity Expo with 50 non-profits including LGBTQ espousing tolerance and acceptance. Also face painting and magic show for the kiddies.

But nothing beats hearing “Drip Drop” live.

 

ADL’s Walk Against Hate, aiming to “protect the civil rights of all” raised $381,395 for their mission, research and programs like No Place for Hate, the A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute and Bearing Witness program.. There is still time to donate here.

‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Donates to Boys & Girls Club

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Just in case you weren’t paying attention, Jussie Smollett is winning in life. Not only is he really Pepsi’s new spokesman. It wasn’t all an act ladies and gents. He flew from Chi Town (where “Empire” is filmed) to ATL to accept keys to the city, and announce an “ambassadorship” with Sean John fashion line.

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Yep. They’re still around.

The ‘Empire’ star was honored in swanky Buckhead’s Lenox Hill Square alongside Sean John for his work on the Dream Big campaign, which partnered with the Boys and Girls Club in Atlanta.

Sean John returned the favor by donating $5000 to BGC and Jussie matched that amount. Then had a sit down with 10 lucky BGC members. He also had a meet and greet with all attendees, which according to Kiwi the Beauty was a pretty large crowd, and took pics with supporters.

The former Mighty Duck even squeezed in a trip to the Waffle House.

‘Empire’s’ Terrence Howard and Jamie Foxx Support Global Down Syndrome

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Terrence Howard took a timeout from dueling with Cookie Monster (the Empire version, because  the lovable blue creature  with an insatiable sweet tooth on Sesame Street has no enemies.) to play wingman to Jamie Foxx at the Global Down Syndrome Association’s annual fundraiser in Denver.

Not letting his suave fashion sense go to waste –Terrence came to play with that navy blue suit–he escorted Jamie’s sister, Deondra (who has Down Syndrome) down the catwalk at the Be Beautiful, Be Yourself fashion show. Judging by Deondra’s face she knows how fierce they look together.

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Not to be outdone, Denver Nugget Kenneth Faried (gotta love the man bun)  and his little dates werked the runway poses. I hear Ford models calling.

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Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx brought his youngest daughter in on the act. She escorted him down the aisle and brought two friends along.

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Yet, it was Terrence Howard who stole the show by bidding $5,000 on the first auction item, a glass of water. Wonder if the other items included free refills. We found some that didn’t. All money raised will go towards people with Down Syndrome

‘Empire’ Creator Lee Daniels Receives Humanitarian Award from NAN

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I’m on top of the world, ma

Brace yourself, Tavis Smiley.

The National Action Network held their ‘Keepers of the Dream Awards’ last night. An annual celebration to commemorate

Dr. King’s death, and support those that keep his principles alive. The honoree this year was Lee Daniels. The writer/director/producer/creator of the biggest show on network TV–Empire, as if you didn’t know– was given the Humanitarian award by Dame Helen Mirren, Martin Luther King III and Rev Al himself.

Don't you wish Cookie could have stepped in for Lee? Her speech knocked it outta the park for Lucious. Next time... Photo Image: Instagram

Don’t you wish Cookie could have stepped in for Lee? Her speech knocked it outta the park for Lucious. Next time…
Photo Image: Instagram

According to the NAN press release, Daniels was honored for bringing the usually taboo topics of mental illness and homophobia within the black community out of the shadows and into the sun.

Yet, it’s no secret that some people feel burned by the show’s impact.This week it’s Tavis Smiley. During an interview with Larry King, he hints at the show re-enforcing negative stereotypes–“crime, drug dealing”… Here we go again. Then goes on to say that he hopes more positive characters will pop up in season two.

In response, Lee told ET that Smiley was entitled to his opinion and thinks he’s very smart. However, he doesn’t think the Lyon family is no different to the Kennedy’s with their ambition.

This is no different than what Joe Kennedy did when he came over here with the Kennedys. And the idea that black people should be any different from white people says that we’re different. We’re the same.

I’m not sure that’s what Dr. King had in mind with his ‘I Have a Dream Speech’ but I commend him for displaying all facets of the Black experience. NEWS FLASH!! Not all of them are in a positive light. Just like The Sopranos doesn’t encompass the full tapestry of Italian Americans. Empire is no different for black people. It’s just a soap people, get over it.

Co-creator and writer Danny Strong received the Cultural Award for the Empire series. Judge Greg Mathis was awarded with the NAN Media Award.