Terry McMillan talks new book, ‘Who Asked You?’

This month, New York Times bestselling author Terry McMillan returns with her latest novel, Who Asked You? It’s a stirring look at a slew of issues plaguing the African-American community (including the mass incarceration of Black males and interracial marriage), centered around a working-class grandmother forced to raise her two grandsons who were abandoned by their drug-addicted mother.

In typical fashion, McMillan tells the story through the lens of characters that are rich and real and flawed – an especially remarkable feat considering she writes from the perspective of 15 different people, including an eight-year-old boy. It’s a testament to her mastery of the craft, and even with a portfolio that spans the last 26 years and includes the pop-culture phenomenon Waiting to Exhale, Who Asked You? is one of McMillan’s best.

“I got a lot from telling this story, and I’m very proud of it,” she told MadameNoire in a recent interview. “So if folks don’t like it, too bad.”

We don’t think that’s going to be a problem.

Here, in other highlights from our chat, McMillan discusses the industry that made her famous and the future of African-American fiction

Magic Johnson, Angela Bassett among first ‘Arsenio Hall Show’ guests

Chris Tucker, Ice Cube, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and Angela Bassett are among the big names who will join Arsenio Hall during the first week of his new show, The Arsenio Hall Show.

“My first week of guests offers a taste of pop culture and represents the mix of talent I hope to have on my show every week,” Hall said.

Hall will host a mix of athletes, celebrities, actors and musicians during the new late night show.

Nas, Mac Miller, Earth, Wind & Fire and Emblem3 are the musical guests set to perform during the show’s first week.

During September Paula Patton, Djimon Hounsou, Seth Green, Russell Simmons, Big Sean and 2 Chainz will appear on the new talk show.

“I am honored to welcome friends, both old and new, to my show,” Hall said.  ”My goal is to have fun, make people laugh, and send viewers to bed with a smile on their face.”

The show premieres nationwide September 9.

The Merge Summit Returns For Fifth Year August 22-24, 2013 Merging Faith and Entertainment

Mary J. Blige and Angela Bassett As Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz

Lifetime will kick off Black History Month in February with the film Betty & Coretta, starring Angela Bassett and Mary J. Blige.

The movie is executive produced by Blige and also stars Malik Yoba, and Lindsay Owen Pierre.

Focusing on the extraordinary women behind the two men who would change history, Betty & Coretta tells the similar true stories of Coretta Scott King (Bassett), wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (played by Yoba) and Dr. Betty Shabazz (Blige), wife of Malcolm X (who is played by Pierre).

“When their husbands were tragically assassinated, these two women not only inherited the mantle of the civil rights movement in America, each also found herself to be a single mother who had to find a way to raise and support her children with no husband or father, resulting in a relationship like no other that spanned more than three decades,” reps for Lifetime said in a press release.

Betty & Coretta will premiere on Lifetime Saturday February 2 at 8/7c.

Back 2 School “Stop the Violence” Tour Begins

It’s that time of the year again. Back 2 School is right around the corner as we heat up some markets with great surprises. The Back 2 School Stop the Violence “Think Education: Put God First” was created by Dorean Edwards and has taken place in Los Angeles for over 10 years. Last year a new branch of the tour Back 2 School “Stop the Violence” Youth Empowerment Conference & Concert was produced in Miami Florida  and it was a slam dunk!  Bishop Noel Jones has served as the Executive Producer of the youth conference since its inception in Los Angeles. The Conference & Concert gained its success over the years with the support of several sponsors and notable celebrities like Nick Cannon, Angela Bassett, Chris Tucker, Fantasia, Steve Harvey, Terry Crews & Tichina Arnold from the hit series “Everybody Hates Chris” just to name a few.

This year the partnered companies are coming together with First AME Zion Church in Brooklyn, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami and Deeper Life Christian Center in Tampa Florida to produce this fun-filled event that brings together both celebrities and the community with a fully charged and energetic day of fellowship, education and entertainment. This annual program has been designed to present businesses, music, ministries and educational seminars/workshops along with an ‘industry mix’ panel. Then for donating their time, each special guest is saluted for their outstanding commitment and involvement.

This year’s roster includes notable names like Music Producer/Icon Kurtis Blow, Rev. Stephen Pogue out of Los Angeles, Virginia Montaque VP of 100 Women Black Coalition, Senator Eric Adams, Umar Abdullah Johnson (relative of late Frederick Douglas), Artist Tonya Baker, James Hall & Choir, Peter Bailey (Author of Trick Daddy’s new book “Magic City”, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson and many more. Check out www.youthbacktoschool.com for more information and how to register for your city.