Politically active actress and Voto Latino founder Rosario Dawson shares her desire to help others in a special series for Newsweek.

“I really want to be doing meaningful things. I think that comes with being 29. That’s a natural progression,” Dawson writes in the weekly magazine. “I was walking in marches with my mom when I was 10, back when Al Sharpton still wore sweatsuits.”

The Eagle Eye star, who grew up in a New York City “squat,” adds, “It took a long time for me to realize how to commit that celebrity value to something that I really believed in. I don’t want to just be the spokesperson for something; I want to be affected by it as well.”

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R&B singer Robin Thicke doesn’t bite his tongue on race in music and movies in an interview with the Miami Herald.

In regards to his wife, actress Paula Patton’s career, Thicke says, “She being African-American gets one script out of every 10 that a white girl would get because…they’re just not looking for a black actress in this role.”

While he says it’s not that way for every role, he does explain that filmmakers say, “‘We want a white girl. We’re sure of that.’ So she has to deal with that a lot. And when you live with somebody you see that world in a different way than I would have ever seen.”

But being a white boy with soul in the R&B world, Thicke, who released his new album Something Else last week, knows how it feels to stick “out like a sore thumb.”

“I do find that doors are closed because the color of my skin, but doors are also open because of the color of my skin,” he explains. “And doors are closed on a lot of other people, and I’m definitely not the victim in this society, that’s for sure.”

As for the future of race in America, the gorgeous singer says, “I think with Barack Obama running for president we’re learning very quickly that race is still at the forefront of people’s minds. Nowadays, just because they changed the laws doesn’t mean they changed the whispers. Nowadays, racism is in the whispering and it’s in the connotations.”

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Grammy-winning singer and Dancing with the Stars contestant Toni Braxton turns 41 on Tuesday.

The stunning songstress, who is a heart disease survivor and a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, was recently diagnosed with microvascular angina–a disease where tiny blood vessels bringing blood to the heart become blocked.

But the fearless beauty isn’t letting her ailment stop her from living: “I was so afraid just to jump, dance, and live life, so I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to get over my fears.”

Happy Birthday, Toni!

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Hollywood heavy hitters Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith and Sidney Poitier were on hand at a huge bash to celebrate and witness the unveiling of filmmaker Tyler Perry’s new multi-million dollar film and television studio in southwest Atlanta on Saturday.

The more than 200,000 square foot production complex is housed in a former Delta Air Lines’ business center and features sound stages named after some of the most influential African American entertainers of the twentieth century -Quincy Jones, Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and Cicely Tyson.

The momentous occasion was marred only slightly by Writers Guild of America picketers outside the celebratory party protesting against the recent firing of four writers from Perry’s TV sitcom House of Payne.

Perry is the first African American to open a major film and television studio and plans to shoot his TBS sitcoms House of Payne and Meet The Browns at the new complex.

PHOTO: AP

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