In response to the high wattage, celebrity-sprinkled (Will Smith, Amy Winehouse, and Leona Lewis performed) pre-birthday concert bash held in London’s Hyde Park on June 27th to mark Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday, South Africa’s political party, the African National Congress, is bringing the celebration back to “the people.”

ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe says, “The people and the society made Mandela, not London or Houghton. That is why we want his birthday to be celebrated by the people.”

Mantashe has announced plans for a rally in Pretoria, South Africa on August 2nd that would include performances by local artists paying tribute to one of the key figures of the South African liberation struggle. This week also marks the 10-year anniversary of Mandela’s marriage to third wife Graca Machel, the former wife of Mozambique president Samora Machel.

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Yearning for more black date flicks? Well, the 12th annual American Black Film Festival is all over the case. The festival will be “Exploring Black Romance and Sexuality in American Cinema” on August 7th – 10th in Los Angeles and hosting the panel discussion, “Can We Get Some Love?”

Founder and producer, Jeff Friday, says they will be exploring the question, “Is Black romance taboo or too hot to handle?”

Reggie Scott, executive director of the festival adds, “There was a more than 20 year gap where there were no major films exploring black love and romance. We left off with Claudine and Mahogany in the 70’s and picked up with Waiting to Exhale and Love Jones in the 90s.”

Information and registration for the festival can be found at www.abff.com.

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When she turned toward the camera and delivered the line, “They f–king forgot my birthday,” in 1984’s Sixteen Candles, Molly Ringwald had our heart. Yes, we obsessed over Lisa Bonet’s style and sass on The Cosby Show, but it was Ringwald who was the every-girl you cheered for.

Now 40, the freckled face of ’80s teen angst is starring as a mom in ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Yes, it’s a far cry from her days as the It Girl of eclectic, vintage fashion.

“I never thought of myself as a style icon,” Ringwald told the Los Angeles Times. “I wore all that vintage because my parents kept me on an allowance, and so I shopped on Melrose. My style was based on necessity.”

As for Sixteen Candles? “I think that Sixteen Candles lends itself to [another film],” she says of a possible sequel. “It was such a Cinderella story. And I was interested to see what happened to this girl.”

We’re crossing our fingers!!!

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The King of the Fourth of July box office has become the first actor in Hollywood history with eight straight movies to rake in more than $100 million.

In his latest effort, the 39-year-old Oscar nominee plays an ambivalent superhero in Hancock, which made $107 million in the U.S. and another $78 million internationally.

“I don’t feel like there’s anything I can’t do, no movie I can’t make,” Smith told USA Today in June. “I feel like the next 10 years are going to be my sweet spot.”

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Is Spike Lee planning on traveling back in time to input some “Negro” actors in Clint Eastwood’s war films?

Actually, the acclaimed director is making a movie based on the book Time Traveler penned by one of the first African-American theoretical physicists, Dr. Ronald Mallett.

The book focuses on Mallet’s determination as a child to build a time machine and save his father from dying, which led to his pursuit of a career in physics.

Lee says, “[I’m] elated to have acquired the rights to a fantastic story on many levels, but also a father-and-son saga of loss and love.”

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