News To You: Drake At The Apollo, Joanne The Scammer Returns And More


You must have whiplash from all the headlines this week. From Kanye West blasting a Black woman in the name of white lives to the slew of celebrity divorce announcements–the first seven days of October were nothing short of spooky. 

While you recover, here are seven news stories you need to know before heading into the weekend.

Drake Is Making 11:11 Wishes Come True

Everyone’s favorite Canadian and Certified Lover Boy, Drake, will perform a special concert at the iconic Apollo Theater in Harlem on November 11.  

Spotify’s first artist to accumulate more than 70 billion streams, is the latest performer in a long line of legendary musicians to play the historic venue. Built in 1913, the theater mostly welcomed burlesque shows, some of which included integrated casts with black performers. Despite many closures and restorations, the Apollo stage has been graced by the likes of Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Richard Pryor to name a few.

The Honestly, Nevermind rapper announced the show on his Instagram. But there’s a catch. Fans can only secure tickets for the Sirius XM-sponsored event by listening to Sirius. 

The website states, “For a chance to win tickets to this event, scan the QR code to listen to Sound 42 (Ch. 42) on the SXM App anytime from now until 11 pm ET on October 26, 2022. Then watch for a pop-up message on how to enter.”

Black Entrepreneurs Day!

Speaking of the iconic Apollo Theater, on Oct. 27, Black Entrepreneur Day will also be hosted at the historic venue. Created by FUBU founder and Shark Tank Investor Daymond John, Black Entrepreneur Day was developed in 2020 to help the Black community in the wake of the turmoil caused by police brutality that year. 

John’s set out to not only empower his people, but also educate them with tangible opportunities for financial freedom. Last year’s event garnered 7 million viewers and gave away $250,000 through NAACP grants. This year will be bigger! The third annual event will include breakout sessions with Shaquille O’Neal, Tracee Ellis Ross, Venus Williams, and Spike Lee, and more. Viewers can also expect a performance from rapper Big Sean. 

The Chase-present event will begin at 7 p.m. EDT, and will be streamed on John’s Facebook page.  

Black business owners and entrepreneurs can apply for $25,000 grants from the NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur Grant program created by John, with the event website open for applications through 11:59 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 12. 

Charles Fuller Passes Away

Another literary giant has become an ancestor. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Charles Fuller died of natural causes in Toronto on Monday. He was 83.

A Philadelphia native and army veteran, his work often explored the harsh truths about racism in America. His critically acclaimed work “A Soldier’s Play” was published in 1982 and making Fuller the second Black playwright to win a Pulitzer. 

“A Soldier’s Play,” a mystery drama, focused on the tensions Black servicemen experienced on a segregated army base during a murder investigation. By 1984, “A Soldier’s Play” was adapted into a film starring Howard E. Rollins Jr., Adolph Caesar, Denzel Washington, David Alan Grier, Robert Townsend, and Patti LaBelle. 

Grier, remembered the late playwright in a tweet. “Rest n Peace Charles Fuller author of A Soldiers Play and the Oscar nominated screenplay of A Soldier’s Story,” he wrote. “Pulitzer Prize recipient and amazing and wonderful artist. It has been my greatest honour to perform his words on both stage and screen, his genius will be missed.”

The play is currently being adapted into a limited TV series. 

Lucky #3 For Lorenzo’s Frozen Pudding

A Chicago father-daughter duo’s frozen pudding line is now available at Walgreens.

Lorenzo and Genesis Bencivenga turned their 2011 side-hustle of homemade southern-style pudding into a full fledged business, Lorenzo’s Frozen Pudding

But this isn’t an overnight success story. The Bencivengas launched their business three times! 

By 2013, their pudding made it on the shelves of several local Chicago retailers. The demand for the delicious treats would prove to be too much for the duo, so they took a pause. In 2015, they restarted, and appeared in 50 stores. For a second time, the pair couldn’t keep up with the demand and lacked the back-end infrastructure for manufacturing and distribution. So, they shut down again. 

Determined, the Bencivengas revived their business again in 2020, but this time with the resources and knowledge they needed to push through. Miraculously, the business was able to restart at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Don’t forget this Black-owned business next time you stop by Walgreens. Check out Genesis’ testimony below:

Article continues after video.

WRBG Fest Is Lit 

Well-Read Black Girl Fest is back, but this time it’s headed to Chocolate city: D.C.

Well-Read Black Girl, is a digital literacy platform started by Glory Edim and is the ultimate Black girl book club dedicated to Black women writers. It includes the book club, a podcast and the festival. The community has amassed almost half a million followers online.  

Edim edited the Well-Read Black Girl anthology published in 2018. The forthcoming title, On Girlhood is a collection of short stories exploring the transition from Black girlhood to womanhood.  

The WRBG festival returns for the first in-person since 2019. The weekend long event will in include appearances from publishers, panels with emerging authors, and book-ish goodies it is sure to be a lit. Get it? Literature

This year’s opening keynote speaker is Tricia Hersey, founder of The Nap Ministry. Hersey will discuss her debut book, Rest Is Resistance, a manifesto for all of us who are sleep deprived, searching for justice, and longing to be liberated from the oppressive grip of Grind Culture. Bevy Smith, Alex Elle, and Denene Miller will also be in attendance.

A Family Matters Christmas

Laura and Harriet Winslow are on the screen again. Kind of.

Family Matters co-stars Kellie Shanygne Williams and Jo Marie Payton are reuniting for an upcoming holiday film that is sure to trigger a ton of nostalgia. A Family Matters Christmas (which ironically has no relation to the beloved sitcom) is set to be released on November 8. 

Directed by LaVern Whitt, the film centers around three bickering siblings who are paid a visit from Alternis, a Christmas spirit determined to teach them the true meaning of family. Holiday hijinks ensues when the siblings swap bodies with one another and experience life in each other’s shoes. The three must race against time to swap back before Christmas or their fates are sealed.

The film is truly a family affair; it features a few of Williams’ real-life relatives including her daughter Hannah Belle Jackson and her nephew Julius Terry. 

Check out the trailer below:

Article continues after video.

Joanne The Scammer’s Return

The Internet’s favorite caucasian woman who loves robbery and fraud is back!

On Thursday evening, Black-owned luxury handbag brand Brandon Blackwood posted a video announcing the Fall 2022 Collection release date. The video began with the heavy clunking of heels on a hardwood floor. The silhouette removes a brown fur coat and replaces it with a black floor-length fur coat. The camera pans up to reveal the coat reads in red print “Stop Playing With Me.”

Joanne the Scammer turns around and announces, “This caucasian b—-h is back.”

In the age of Vine, in the late ’10s the internet was gifted with Joanne the Scammer.  Joanne, who is really actor and comedian Branden Miller, always appeared in unlikely places, in a disheveled blonde wig, a long fur coat, smudged lipstick and would regulate in a way that only a Karen could. Joanne’s antics and affirmations instantly became iconic. For years the character delivered one-liners and viral memes. 

Then she was gone. In 2018, via video Miller announced his mother was battling cancer and he needed to take a hiatus. By 2019, he briefly returned to give fans an update. Miller announced on Twitter that his mother had passed and his life “went downhill.” He mentioned he was well, just focusing on his mental health and would return when he was ready. 

Joanne’s return paired with Blackwood’s Fall collection releasing on Oct. 21 at 12pm is exactly what we all need right now. 


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