keke-palmer-3003.jpgPalmer Already a Seasoned Veteran
Talking to Keke Palmer, it’s easy to forget she’s only 14. She speaks in machine gun-like blasts of words — rat-a-tat-tat — that end as abruptly as they begin, with tidy wrap-up sentences that seem to say: Oh, I almost forgot this is an interview. Next question. And her talk is littered with words like “all my life” and “since I was young.” Shut your eyes and you’d think you were sitting beside a wizened veteran. But when you review the actress’ body of work, it’s clear she is a veteran. It’s hard to believe she’s packed so much into a career that spans a mere five years. If you know her name, it is likely because of Akeelah and the Bee (2006), in which she starred as a young girl (what else?) who rises from troubled circumstances to compete in a national spelling bee. But her rapid ascent began with a small role in Ice Cube’s Barbershop 2: Back in Business. (Continue Reading…)

Hip-Hop Republicans?
As Rick Warren’s Saddleback presidential faith forum approached last Saturday, I ran to the store before it closed to pick up a few items. At the register, the conversation quickly turned from my purchases to politics. The problem with politics, the white male cashier said with more than a hint of cynical frustration, was politicians, especially Republican politicians. Republicans, he continued, could not relate to everyday people—folks who struggled with everyday issues like child care, crime and education. Republicans, he concluded, didn’t have much contact with real people. I smiled politely. As a survivor of a violent crime and a former single father who graduated from college at 30 while caring for two young children, I related more than he may have imagined. I told him I was a card-carrying Republican. I ended the conversation respectfully, letting him know that I had to attend a meeting for volunteers of the Domestic Violence Speakers’ Bureau. (Continue Reading…)

Wells Fargo Pledges $1B in Loans to African Americans
Wells Fargo & Co. is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its African American Business Services program with a pledge to lend another $1 billion to African American business owners by 2018. The San Francisco-based bank (NYSE: WFC) had set a goal to deliver $1 billion by 2010, but met that mark earlier this year, officials said Thursday. As a result, they earmarked another $1 billion for the program. Wells Fargo also will sponsor the National Black MBA Association Entrepreneurial Institute. The institute, scheduled for Sept. 17 at the group’s conference in Washington, offers sessions led by business management experts. (Continue Reading…)

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