Daily Archives: February 18, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama Meets With 11 Black History Month Essay Winners from England

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama talks with students from London February 18, 2010 at the White House in Washington, DC. Students from schools in the borough of Islington were rewarded with a trip to the United States sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in London. In April 2009, Mrs. Obama visited the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

AP~First Lady Michelle Obama has given a pep talk to visiting students from England, saying they have shown they aren’t afraid of hard work that will take them somewhere in life.

Mrs. Obama met with the group of 11 students at the White House on Thursday. They are from schools across the London borough of Islington and were rewarded with the trip to the U.S. for winning a Black History Month essay competition.

She urged them to make the most of this time. She called it “practice for the rest of your life.”

First Lady Michelle Obama hugs Sahar Abdulrahman as she greets students

One girl is a student at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington. Mrs. Obama spoke at the school during a visit to London last.

From the pool report: First Lady Michelle Obama hosted 11 school students – six girls, five boys – from schools across the London borough of Islington, in the Old Family Dining Room on Thursday morning.

The kids won an Islington Black History Month essay competition and were rewarded with the trip, sponsored by the US Embassy in London.

They sat around an oval-shaped wooden table, decorated with two glass bowls of shiny apples), nervously waiting for Flotus to arrive. Four teachers/adults sat on the side and one asked your pool to desist from asking questions, saying the kids were very excited and wanted to compose themselves.

Flotus entered at 11:03 and said “Hi everybody!” Then proceeded to go around the table and hug all the kids. How are you all doing? “Tell me about your trip. When did you get here?” she asked as she sat at the table.

She welcomed the kids and told them about the room they were in, saying the president hosted the king of Spain here the previous day. Oohs and aahs.

Flotus visited the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington in April 2009. One of the girls visiting today – Nanah Davies – is from that school and Flotus patted her on the back as she described that that visit was one of the highlights of her first year.

We’re living in a wonderful time where if you work hard… The opportunities are endless. That was true for me. Never did I realize that everything I did before would prepare me for being First Lady, but it did,” she said, stressing the importance of working hard at school.

Said that you don’t just wake up and be someone, says you have to work to become someone. Said her husband didn’t just wake up one day as president.

You’re going to trip and fall and slip along the way – he (the president) certainly did, I slipped a little less – don’t be afraid to be wrong, to get a few things wrong, but you’re learning, it’s all practice.”

Flotus encouraged them all to help other people, act as mentors.

Curtly Meijas talked about his essay, about his grandmother who emigrated from Trinidad to the UK.

The students were going on a tour of the White House afterwards.

The students attending were:

  • Abdul Hakim Abdullahi
  • Malcolm Atrobah
  • Degol Tesfai
  • Curtly Mejias
  • Care Ceven
  • Shenece Liburd
  • Ann Kirabo
  • Layla Mohamud
  • Sahar Adbulrahman
  • Nanah Colly Davies
  • Boji Alexandre Weirsangera

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under Black History Month, Change, Culture, Education, First Lady Michelle Obama, History, Holidays, Media and Entertainment, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, Young Men, Young Women

Dems near accord on health care bill

Reconciliation on the Table

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House and congressional leaders are preparing a detailed health care proposal designed to win passage without Republican support if GOP lawmakers fail to embrace bipartisan compromises at President Barack Obama’s summit next week. A senior White House official said Thursday that Democratic negotiators are resolving final differences in House and Senate health bills that passed last year with virtually no Republican help. The White House plans to post the proposals online by Monday morning, three days ahead of the Feb. 25 summit, which GOP leaders are approaching warily.

The comments signal that Obama and Congress’ Democratic leaders still plan to use assertive and sometimes controversial parliamentary powers to enact a far-reaching health care bill if no GOP lawmakers get on board.

source:

Senate support growing for public option via reconciliation
It began two days ago as a four-senator campaign urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , D-Nev., to tap the budget reconciliation process to create a public health insurance plan that would compete against private companies. Now 16 upper-chamber Democrats have signed their names in support of that strategy, according to boldprogressives.org, a liberal group that launched the campaign.

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Academy Award® Nominated: Star Trek

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, BuellBoy, Ogenec and TheLCster


On the day of James Kirk’s birth, his father dies on his ship in a last stand against a mysterious alien vessel. He was looking for Ambassador Spock, who is a child on Vulcan at that time, disdained by his neighbors for his half-human nature. Twenty years later, Kirk has grown into a young troublemaker inspired by Capt. Christopher Pike to fulfill his potential in Starfleet even as he annoys his instructors like young Lt. Spock. Suddenly, there is an emergency at Vulcan and the newly commissioned USS Enterprise is crewed with promising cadets like Nyota Uhura, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Chekov and even Kirk himself thanks to Leonard McCoy’s medical trickery. Together, this crew will have an adventure in the final frontier where the old legend is altered forever even as the new version of it is just beginning.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J.J. Abrams
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J.J. Abrams
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Damon Lindelof
Co-Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Witz
Associate Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Baronoff
Executive Producers . Jeffrey Chernov, Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Burk, and Roberto Orci

The cast includes: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Ben cross, Winona Ryder, Chris Hemsworkth, Jennifer Morrison, and Rachel Nichols

44D’s Reviews

TheLCster
As an aspiring nerd (no not geek, nerd, yes…there is a difference) I have been trying to break into the world of Star Trek in the traditional sense…watching it episode by episode, series by series. I take sci-fi very seriously! lol This new movie although entertaining feels like a ‘watered-down for the masses’ version of a topic that I know people spend their lifetime’s trying to perfect. Although I don’t speak Klingon, I respect the franchise and was disappointed at the simplistic (often trading true character growth and dynamic for witty one-liners) nature of some of the characters. I am glad, however, that at least a new generation of viewers will be introduced to the characters. Hopefully those who enjoyed the movie will research the series in the proper manner.

Ogenec
“No one does geek-pop chic better than J.J. Abrams. I never watched Alias (dunno why), but I am hooked — hooked! — on Lost and Fringe. Unlike many TV auteurs, J.J.’s vision adapts quite well to the big screen too: see, for example, MI:III, the best movie of the trilogy.

So I was really excited when I heard that J.J. would be doing the reboot of Star Trek. I knew it’d be edgy, yet fun. I knew it would mix in enough of the mythology for the hardcore Trekkies, but also introduce some fresh elements. And I knew there would be a very good mix of bombastic action sequences and intelligent dialogue. I knew all of that. And yet, I was completely blown away by the movie. The dialogue was even better than I’d hoped. The interplay between the characters (like Bones and Kirk, or Scotty and Kirk, and most importantly Kirk and Spock themselves) was just phenomenal. The action was totally kick-ass. In fact, I’m about to unleash my id by watching it again tonight with the subwoofers set to “Stun.” But, above all else, two things really endear this movie to me as a total keeper. The first is the subversion of the operating premise of the Kirk-Spock relationship, where Kirk is the impulsive one, and Spock is all logic and rationality. In the movie, Kirk proves himself to be quite the thinking man, and Spock gets very emotional. Man, I ate it up. You will too, on the off-chance that you haven’t seen this excellent movie yet.

The second is the casting of Chris Pine as Kirk. Sometimes you hear the casting choices and you go “Hell Naw!!! What were they thinking?!?!?” Most times, your concerns are well-founded. Think George Clooney as Batman — ’nuff said. But sometimes, you’re just totally wrong, and you have to admit it. So I admit it — Chris Pine is such an inspired choice for Kirk that he seems borne for the role, just as much as Daniel Craig is, to me, now the definitive James Bond. All I knew of Chris Pine was his role as a homicidal maniac in Smoking Aces. Fantastic role, and he’s obviously quite the actor. But I couldn’t see how THAT guy could pull off a Captain Kirk. Well, I’m extremely happy J.J. Abrams doesn’t listen to me. And, by the way, Eric Bana also is fantastic as Spock’s Romulan nemesis. In short, fantastic movie. Can’t wait for the sequel.”

Audiegrl
“Loved it. J.J. Abrams did a outstanding job of re-energizing the Star Trek franchise. With 21st century special effects, he really updated, the normally slow-moving action viewers were used to. Spock and Lt. Uhura hooking up? Brilliant…we get to see what made Spock who he is, and his ongoing struggle to determine if he was more human or vulcan. It was also good to learn why Doctor McCoy aka Bones, earned his nickname, saying…“My wife took everything in the divorce, all she left me was my bones.” Abrams successfully introduced the series to a new generation of Trekkies, somewhere out there, Gene Roddenberry is smiling 🙂

Did You Know?

Randy Pausch, a Carnegie-Mellon Computer Science professor (and “Star Trek” fan) who gained widespread fame as the author of a “Last Lecture” in which he discussed living the life of his dreams in the face of terminal pancreatic cancer, was invited by J.J. Abrams to appear as an extra in this film (he is the Kelvin officer who says “Captain, we have visual“). Pausch wrote in his blog about the experience, “I got a custom-made Star Trek uniform and my own station on the bridge, where I had lots of buttons and controls. I even got a LINE!!!!” Pausch died on July 25, 2008; his paycheck of $217.06 from working on the film was donated to charity.

While most Trekkies will have known this detail for decades, this is the first time that Uhura has been given a first name on screen: Nyota. Gene Roddenberry never came up with a first name for her, so many thought this meant she did not have one, although in literature, Uhura is often referred to as Nyota by her comrades, and she is also referred to as Nyota Uhura in the DC Comics publication “Who’s Who in Star Trek“. There are several nods to this history in the movie: first, when Kirk first meets (and hits on) Uhura in a bar and tells her, “if you don’t tell me your name, I’m gonna have to make one up,” and then when she refuses to tell Kirk her first name throughout the film.

Majel Barrett, the wife of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry, has a role in this film as the voice of the Enterprise computer. She completed her voice-over work two weeks before her death on December 18, 2008.

The Korean-American actor John Cho was initially uncertain about being cast as the Japanese-American officer Hikaru Sulu, but George Takei, who played Sulu in “Star Trek” (1966), encouraged him to take the role as Sulu was a character who represented all of Asia.

Four Nominations

Best Visual Effects
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best Makeup

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Academy Award® Nominated: Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

Posted by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy

Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
Lee Daniels’ Precious is a vibrant, honest and resoundingly hopeful film about the human capacity to grow and overcome.

Set in Harlem in 1987, it is the story of Claireece “Precious” Jones (Gabourey Sidibe), a sixteen-year-old African-American girl born into a life no one would want. She’s pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother (Mo’Nique), a poisonously angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically. School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write.

Precious may sometimes be down, but she is never out. Beneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her. Threatened with expulsion, Precious is offered the chance to transfer to an alternative school, Each One/Teach One. Precious doesn’t know the meaning of “alternative,” but her instincts tell her this is the chance she has been waiting for. In the literacy workshop taught by the patient yet firm Ms. Rain (Paula Patton), Precious begins a journey that will lead her from darkness, pain and powerlessness to light, love and self-determination.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lee Daniels
Screenwriter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Geoffrey Fletcher
Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness
Co-Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark G. Mathis
Executive Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry
Executive Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lisa Cortés and Tom Heller
Co-Executive Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Simone Sheffield
Associate Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Sforzini
Associate Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Asger Hussain
Director of Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Dunn, BSC
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Klotz
Costume Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marina Draghici
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mario Grigorov
Music Supervisor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lynn Fainchtein
Production Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roshelle Berliner

The cast includes: Mo’Nique, Gabourey Sidibe, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, and Lenny Kravitz, Stephanie Andujar, Chyna Lane, Amina Robinson, Xosha Roquemore, Angelic Zambrana, Aunt Dot, Nealla Gordon, Grace Hightower, Barret Isaiah Mindell, Kimberly Russell, Bill Sage, and Susan Taylor

44D’s Reviews

Audiegrl
First let me say, this was not an easy movie to watch. It’s a very intense film that deals with poverty, child abuse (mental, physical and sexual), and a broken education system. It hits you at a gut level and it becomes painfully obvious that the system has failed Claireece Precious Jones. From that point on, you can’t stop watching it, and rooting for her to overcome all of these obstacles. The performance by Gabourey Sidibe was incredibly powerful for a virtual unknown, and it’s easy to understand why she has decided to pursue a acting career. As for Mo’Nique’s performance as the abusive mother, lets just say she kept it so real…she scared me. In my book, both of these ladies deserve the awards they’ve been given so far, and the nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress from the Academy.

Did You Know?

Over 400 girls were interviewed from across the country for the part of Precious. Gabourey Sidibe was cast a mere six weeks before the start of shooting after being forced to the audition by friends.

Helen Mirren was originally cast as Mrs. Weiss, but dropped out. Mariah Carey was chosen as a replacement by director Lee Daniels only two days before the film went into production. Daniels has stated that he chose Carey based on her performance in Tennessee (2008), which he produced.

Oprah Winfrey said that when she saw the movie, it “split [her] open“, and that she immediately called Tyler Perry who gave her Lee Daniels’ number, so that she could call him and tell him she would do anything to promote the film. When she called him, he was onstage getting an award at the Sundance Film Festival. Oprah later stated that this film was why “we make movies“, and that she thought people might not “enjoy“, but would “appreciate this experience“.

This movie holds the record for averaging US$100,000 per screen in fewer than 50 US theaters.

Six Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Director
Best Actress~Gabourey Sidibe
Best Supporting Actress~Mo’Nique
Best in Adapted Screenplay
Best in Film Editing

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, African-Americans, Best Actress, Best Adap Screenplay, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Picture, Best Sup Actress, Books, Child Abuse/Molestation, Childhood Obesity, Children, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Hollywood, Pop Culture, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, US, Young Women

Nominated for Best Actress ~ Gabourey Sidibi ~Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy

Gabourey SidibeGabourey “Gabby” Sidibe was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Harlem. She is the daughter of R&B/Gospel singer Alice Tan Ridley . Gabourey was a student pursuing a degree in psychology when she was cast as the lead role ‘Precious’ in Lee Daniels film “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.”

For her role as ‘Precious,’ Gabourey received a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Actress. She also garnered Best Actress nominations from the Screen Actors Guild, Broadcast Film Critics, and British Academy of Film and Television Arts. The National Board of Review awarded her with the Breakthrough Performance Award and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival honored Gabourey with the Vanguard Award for “taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film.”

Gabourey Sidibe as Precious

Gabourey Sidibe as Precious

Since shooting Precious, Gabourey has filmed the Showtime comedic pilot “The Big C” opposite Laura Linney for acclaimed director Bill Condon. She also filmed the Sundance Lab film ‘Yelling to the Sky.’ While she never studied theater, she has spent time on stage, participating in plays put on by the Theater department of at Lehman College in the Bronx. She also appeared in the musical revue “Uptown Serenade,” in which she sang two Ella Fitzgerald songs. Though her acting career is a surprise to her, she is excited to pursue it and says the she has “fallen in love” with her work.

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Nominated for Best Supporting Actress ~ Mo’Nique ~ Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy

MoNiqueMo’Nique is a multi-media powerhouse whose consistent, extensive body of work has captivated audiences in stand up comedy, television, film and literature. The award winning comedienne’s career began 20 years ago after her brother dared her to take the stage for the first time in their hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. She received a standing ovation which instilled the confidence that led to performances on “Showtime at the Apollo,” HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam,” “Apollo Comedy Hour,” HBO’s “Snaps,” BET ‘s “Comic View,” The Montreal Comedy Festival and Uptown Comedy Club. Before long, the single mother of one decided it was time to step out on faith and quit her job at the phone company so she could become a star. The next is history.

In 1999, Mo’Nique’s career took a quantum leap once she landed the starring role as Nikki Parker on “The Parkers,” UPN’s hit television series about a single mom who attends college with her daughter. The celebrated family sitcom earned Mo’Nique several accolades, including four NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a comedy series in 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005. Mo’Nique was also the first female to host NBC’s nationally televised program, “Showtime at the Apollo” in 2002. She carried the legendary torch for three consecutive seasons. Other memorable television moments include appearances on “Ugly Betty,” “The Game,” “Nip/Tuck,” “The View,” and the BET Awards. Throughout all of her Hollywood success, Mo’Nique never strayed too far away from her comedic roots, which were born on the stage. One of her most notable performances to date is when she starred in the hit stand-up comedy film, The Queens of Comedy, which was released in 2002 by Paramount Home Entertainment and aired on the Showtime Network. The Queens of Comedy also toured the country, released an album of the same title, and went on to earn a GRAMMY nomination for Best Spoken Comedy Album.

Based on her overwhelming fan base of voluptuous women, Mo’Nique has always accepted her role as an influential voice and role model for big girls around the world. She not only embraced this position of purpose, but Mo’Nique also shared her personal perspectives, philosophies and frustrations through her New York Times best-selling book Skinny Women are Evil in 2003. She and co-author Sherri McGee McCovey released a follow-up called Skinny Cooks Can’t Be Trusted in 2006 before teaming up again in 2008 for the fictional teen novel, Beacon Hills High.

In 2005, Mo’Nique’s F.A.T. Chance was created, produced and hosted by Mo’Nique as an original program for the Oxygen channel. Not only was the broadcast America’s first full-figured reality beauty pageant but it was also the highest-rated show in the history of the cable network. In 2006, the show earned a NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Variety Special. The Fabulous and Thick competition continued for another two seasons with the third being entirely shot on location in Paris, France. Her relationship with Oxygen continued in 2006 when she hosted a documentary on female incarceration titled Mo’Nique: Behind Bars at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, Ohio. While there she also taped her groundbreaking stand up comedy special I Coulda Been Your Cellmate for Showtime television. This project was also released on DVD.

Mo'Nique as Mary Jones in Precious

Although Mo’Nique had done over a dozen movies prior to Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, her brutally honest portrayal of Mary Jones, a terrifying, mentally disturbed abusive mother, earned her the Special Jury Prize for Acting at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival as well as a most appreciated abundance of praise from several peers and critics. Other film credits include Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, Farce of the Penguins, Beerfest, Shadowboxer, Phat Girlz, Domino, Soul Plane, Hair Show, Three Strikes, Baby Boy, and Two Can Play That Game which earned her a NAACP Image Award Nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, and the Showtime tele-film Good Fences, opposite Whoopi Goldberg.

The concept for The Mo’Nique Show which started as a nationally syndicated radio show in 2008 eventually evolved into a late night talk show in 2009, that currently airs weeknights on Black Entertainment Television. The show pride’s itself on being a no judgment zone where urban legends, celebrities and other extraordinary people can make themselves at home in the penthouse while educating viewers and partying like never before. The program was created by Mo’Nique and her husband Sidney Hicks through their production company Hicks Media. The couple also serve as Executive Producers.

In the Fall of 2005, Mo’Nique experienced motherhood the second time around with the arrival of twin boys, David and Jonathan. Her 19 year-old son, Shalon, is a writer on The Mo’Nique Show

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, African-Americans, Best Sup Actress, Books, Child Abuse/Molestation, Childhood Obesity, Children, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Movies, Pundits (comics), Uncategorized, Video/YouTube, Women's Issues, Young Women

Little-Known Black History Fact: Clarence Otis Jr.

Posted by BuellBoy

Clarence Otis Jr.

Clarence Otis Jr.

Clarence Otis Jr. has become a household name in America. Well, families at least talk about and visit his chain of restaurants every day of the week.

Since 2004, Otis, 53, has served as the chief executive officer of Darden Restaurants – which includes Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse, The Capitol Grille and Bahama Breeze restaurants – and he is Black. It is the world’s largest company that owns and operates its own restaurants.

Business leaders have called Otis “the Barack Obama of the business world.”

Though they use them in his restaurants, Otis wasn’t raised with a silver spoon in his mouth. He grew up in Watts in the 1960’s, born to a father who dropped out of school and worked as a janitor, and a mother who was a homemaker. Otis was nine years old when the riots broke out in his neighborhood, killing 34 and injuring 1,000 residents. He watched friends turn to gangs for comfort, and a few perished. Fighting was inevitable for Otis, but he was tough. His father once said that his son would occasionally get into fights at school, but would never come home beat up.

Otis found his peace and strength at the library. His father would often drive the family through Beverly Hills to show them what was obtainable to them if they worked and studied hard. He gained a philosophy of appreciating people with passion and allowing others to be leaders around him.

As a result, Otis ranks high among the few African-American CEOs of Fortune 500 companies in America. He earned his bachelors from Williams College, then a law degree from Stanford. After hitting Wall Street, he got on board with several large companies, eventually landing at Darden Restaurants. Now, instead of serving customers as a waiter in an LAX airport restaurant, he’s serving 400 million meals worldwide through his 180,000 employees.

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