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Cecilia Smith

Stories by Cecilia

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Creed II Hits the Mark as Jordan Climbs Back Into the Ring

Two things still ring true in America; we love an underdog and a damn good comeback story, items that helped propel the original Rocky into cinematic history. Based on a familiar tale of rags-to-riches mixed with redemption, it’s the film that almost wasn’t, after Hollywood initially balked at the idea of a (then) unknown Sylvester Stallone in the title role.

The Bad Girl of Comedy Gets Candid: Luenell Brings the Heat On & Off the Stage

It’s a November evening in Houston, yet the air is deceptively mild, as a small line begins to form outside of the Houston Improv. Weaving through the crowd and into the building - conversations fade in and out - with some eagerly remembering past shows, and others just ready for a good laugh.

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Actor Kedrick Brown Brings His Own Seat to the Table

Two years ago actor Kedrick Brown was steadily carving out a name for himself, delivering a string of impressive performances in Greenleaf, American Crime, Survivor’s Remorse, Underground and more. Since then the Straight Outta Compton actor has kept that same hunger, landing supporting roles in everything from Black Lightning to the Spike Lee produced Tales From the Hood 2, now available on Netflix. Sitting down with Houston Style again it’s clear that Brown’s passion for his craft has only grown, as he revealed how he’s working to inspire a new generation of actors.

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Linda Johnson Rice Talks About Ebony’s Legacy, the Shift in the Industry, and More

A monthly lifestyle publication, Ebony Magazine has been shining a light on Black entertainment and experiences in America since 1945, earning a place in media history as a major player in the publishing game. No stranger to the industry, since taking over the helm from her late father - founder, John H. Johnson - media mogul Linda Johnson Rice has helped steer the organization into a new era; eventually rising to become the Chair and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, the powerhouse also responsible for introducing JET Magazine to the world.

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JMBLYA Returns to Houston With a Bang

Three things are officially back in Texas: crawfish, patio weather, and of course, festival season – which unofficially kicked off with Austin’s annual SXSW showcases in March. Over the May 4th weekend the Lone Star State hosted yet another successful event, bringing three days of music to Austin, Dallas, and finally, Houston via the popular JMBLYA festival.

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Camp Kammok Elevates Camping With Annual Retreat

While some live for camping, it’s just not for everyone. From unpredictable weather conditions to various bugs and critters, some people simply prefer the comforts of home versus the great outdoors. Well, I love a good adventure, so I jumped at the chance to cover Camp Kammok, making the trek to Burnet, Texas in search of Reveille Peak Ranch.

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Behind the Scenes of Cirque du Soleil Corteo: High Stakes & Rewards With Jackson "Kaj" Kanukai

One of Cirque du Soleil’s most beloved productions, after wrapping up an exclusive six-performance run at Houston’s Toyota Center, many are wondering just how the masterful performers behind Corteo do it. Featuring 51 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors from across the globe, the theatrical masterpiece has become a fan favorite.

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Fashion & Charity Come Alive At "INCEPTION at the Mansion"

Fashion is alive and well in Houston, bursting with emerging designers and models ready to make their imprint on the Bayou City. I was able to witness this for myself, as Houston native and rising designer Jamel Hawk revealed his 2018 Fall/Winter collection during “INCEPTION at the Mansion,” a charity fashion show created to benefit two worthy causes: Houston Children’s Charity and the No Excuses Foundation.

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Black Panther Pounces On The Screen With Style, Class & Wit

Let’s get straight to the point: when it comes to a Black Panther film, it’s about damn time. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966 - just a few months before the Black Panther Party was founded - his story starts in Wakanda, a fictional African kingdom rich in technology and an almost indestructible material called vibranium, the same thing found in Captain America’s shield.

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Trae Tha Truth Rescues NBA Star, Others During Hurricane Harvey

Trae Tha Truth sprung into action after being rescued during Hurricane Harvey. The Houston legend managed to rescue more than a few dozen citizens during the week, including an emerging NBA star.

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Bryson Tiller To Set It Off In Houston

Fame rarely comes overnight - a reality most artists are forced to accept early on - but for Kentucky native Bryson Tiller, failure has never been an option. Since debuting his infectious T R A P S O U L album in 2015, he’s been a busy man, ruling the airwaves with hits like “Don’t” and “Exchange.”

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All Eyez On Me Shows Tupac’s Evolving Legacy

Biopics are notoriously hit or miss. For every Ray – there are a dozen others that never should have been made - a visual reminder that not every story can be accurately recreated on screen. When it comes to artists the bar is even higher, raised by the expectations of living family members and anxious fans. So when it comes to the memory of legends like Tupac Shakur, well, the stakes are even higher.

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Gentleman Jack Real to Reel Tour Giving African American Filmmakers The Platform They Deserve

While last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy helped launch a national discussion about Hollywood’s lack of diversity, others have taken the issue into their own hands, choosing to change the narrative by writing and telling their own stories.

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Houston Spotlight: The Al Rucker Foundation

Sometimes when the cards are stacked against you, you have to reshuffle the deck. For entrepreneur Al Rucker, shifting his cards has meant constantly evolving; becoming one of Houston’s most prominent entrepreneurs his chief goal.

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Wearable Protection: Aubry Lane Handbags

Pepper spray, a taser or even a concealed handgun; when it comes to self-defense there are plenty of options, but what happens if you’re armed with nothing more than a cell phone? During an emergency, would you have enough time to reach your phone and dial for help?

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Aubry Lane Hangbags Fuse Fashion With Technology

Aubry Lane Handbags not only want to be stylish, they want to be the best being technologically savvy for all.

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Kiana Dancie Talks Comedy, Life And Her New Book

Kiana Dancie returns to Houston, just as opinionated and funny as ever.

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Stays True To The Original

Those looking for clues into Marvel entries like Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War won’t find any major revelations in the second installment of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - and that’s okay. Choosing instead to focus on the thrills and elements that made the original a smash, the crew returns to discover the origins of Peter Jason Quill’s (Chris Pratt) birth.

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America’s Diversity Gets Reflected in New Disney Films

The creator of the magical world of Disney, like many other figures in American history, Walt Disney was a complicated soul. An entire generation grew up with Mickey Mouse and company, as the Disney name expanded into a global brand. But despite the success, the brand has not been exempt from criticism, thanks in part to racist characters and tired stereotypes once seen in hits like 1941’s Dumbo or the blatantly offensive, Songs of the South.

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Demi Lovato Take Control of the Houston Rodeo

On Tuesday night, songstress Demi Lovato made a triumphant return to RodeoHouston’s famous rotating stage.

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Jordin Sparks Pumps It Up At the NFL Experience: Play 360 Kids Day

Before the Patriots completed the biggest upset in NFL history, it was the kids turn to take the field; as over 1,000 Houston area kids flooded into the George R. Brown Convention Center for “NFL Experience: Play 360 Kids Day.” Held during this year’s “NFL Experience Driven by Genesis” festivities, students were given the opportunity to spend time with some of their favorite NFL players as they took part in quarterback challenge games, mobility drills and more.

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SuperBOLD Luncheon Celebrates & Embraces Women BOSSES

All it takes is an idea, and the tenacity to see it through.

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SuperBOLD

Whether juggling the demands of a career, a growing family or even both, it’s nearly impossible to find a healthy balance between work and home but us women are resilient and we seem to be able to accomplish the task with stride. We take risks each and every day; risks to create and build the life we want to lead. Venturing out into entrepreneurship is a difficult decision, requiring tenacity as well as the ability to accept that failure is, at times, inevitable. However, when our dreams come to fruition and it is successful, what an amazing feeling of accomplishment!

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Staycation 2017: Boardwalk Inn, Kemah Boardwalk

Once Halloween creeps around the corner life seems to kick into overdrive as fun and spooky costumes quickly give way to the wonderful smells of Thanksgiving dinner. As many dash to the delights of wrapping your loved ones’ gifts and placing twinkling lights on Christmas trees.

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Event Recap: 2016 World AIDS Day Luncheon

For years, AIDS Foundation Houston has been a dedicated ally in the fight to eradicate the HIV/AIDs virus, providing invaluable services and support for those in the Houston area. On December 5th, the organization continued their push for awareness, bringing the city together for its annual “World AIDS Day Luncheon” with a crowd that included Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, former Mayor Annise Parker and more.

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2016 Chicks With Class Holiday Brunch

Houston based organization Chicks With Class has quickly become a “tween” go-to resource for its commitment to promoting positive body image and personal development thanks to the hard work of its founder, Margo Baines.

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Born Identity Project Launches #VolunteerDay at Houston's Historic Goffney Community Garden

The Born Identity Project used a beautiful weekend in the city to give back to one of Houston's more historic gardens.

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TV Johnny & Paul Wall Open The Largest Johnny Dang & Co. Store In Houston

Johnny Dang aka "TV Johnny" and Paul Wall opened up their largest store yet - a 14,000 sq. foot sprawl located on the Richmond strip Saturday.

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Kedrick Brown Talks "Surviving Compton" & More

Once deemed the “most dangerous group in the world", NWA's "Straight Outta Compton" biography became a blockbuster movie, exploring the complex rise and eventual splintering of the former West Coast juggernaut. Although the movie opened to favorable critic reviews, the omission of certain details such as the notorious assault of journalist Dee Barnes, became ammunition for certain key players that had been removed from the storyline.

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Kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month With Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria Debuts Her Fashion Line at The Limited – Galleria

Eva Longoria’s star power crosses not only television & film but into modeling, becoming a spokeswoman, an activist and more. The Texas bombshell with the quick wit and easygoing personality is capable of any type of transition. Whether it be the two years she played Isabella Braña on The Young & The Restless or the show-stealing turn as Gabrielle Solis on Desperate Housewives, Longoria is an already made woman, with even more goals and passions set on her plate.

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Eva Longoria Debuts Her Fashion Line at The Limited – Galleria

Eva Longoria’s star power crosses not only television & film but into modeling, becoming a spokeswoman, an activist and more. The Texas bombshell with the quick wit and easygoing personality is capable of any type of transition. Whether it be the two years she played Isabella Braña on The Young & The Restless or the show-stealing turn as Gabrielle Solis on Desperate Housewives, Longoria is an already made woman, with even more goals and passions set on her plate.

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Morris Chestnut & Regina Hall: On Staying Power & When The Bough Breaks

Regina Hall & Morris Chestnut give us the inside scoop on opportunities in Hollywood as well as their upcoming film, When The Bough Breaks.

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#ConversationsWithCecilia: Colin Kaepernick Doesn't Need Your Approval To Be American

Colin Kaepernick's stance against the National Anthem has raised plenty of ire and conversations from both sides. What's clear is this - everyone's colors are showing.

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Iceman Nick Turns His Birthday into a Lifestyle with Boosie Badazz, Plies & More

International jeweler Iceman Nick took in a star-studded birthday bash with performances from Boosie Badazz, Plies & a few special guests.

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The Conversation Continues: Lawful Gun Safety Vs Unjust Loss Of Life

Earlier this week the Republican National Convention set its sights upon Cleveland, Ohio. The city, known nationally for its decades long sports title drought had been experiencing its most fruitful summer in ages. The Cavaliers had won the NBA title; its native son almost single-handedly ending their sports suffering. The large banner displaying the city’s name on his back was the visage of many Ohioans: hope.

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Paul Campbell On Blazing Their Own Path

It's never too late to transform a dream into reality, something that group Paul Campbell knows all too well. After spending several years crafting their careers individually, singers Terrill Paul and Tim Campbell came together to form the rising duo.

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Marvel Aims High and Wins With Captain America: Civil War

In the latest in the series of Marvel films, Captain America: Civil War, the team finds themselves in conflict with one another following an international disaster.

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The Rudy Rush Hour Comedy Show Brings Laughs to the Houston Arena

Despite being relatively new to Houston airwaves, 93.7 personality Rudy Rush is well known within the comedy circuit, having hosted “Showtime at the Apollo” and growing a fan base during his time on “The Doug Banks Morning Show.”

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Little Big Town Makes a Big Splash at the Houston Rodeo

When it comes to the wildly successful Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, there’s very little that can keep Texans away. One of the largest livestock and exhibition shows in the nation, last year alone over two million people attended Houston’s signature event.

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New App Uses Celebrity Masks To Create Unique Experience

The Dynamite app promises 42-second videos where users can literally be, whoever they want.

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Behind the Music: Chinara Butler Discusses The Legacy of Pimp C & More Ahead Of “Long Live The Pimp”

If “heavy is the head that wears the crown,” imagine that of one forced to wear it in the king’s absence. Having stood firmly behind the throne of the man largely considered the “Underground King of the South,” for Chinara Butler the 2007 death of Pimp C meant the loss of her better half.

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The Rudy Rush Hour Volume 3: 'An Ashy Larry Christmas' At the Houston Improv

Comedian and radio personality Rudy Rush to host the third installment of The Rudy Rush Hour.

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The UNCF Delivers A Night To Remember With Its Annual 'A Mind Is...' Gala

The United Negro College Fund held its annual gala in Houston on November 21, 2015.

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The Rudy Rush Hour Vol 2

Volume 2 of the Rudy Rush Comedy Show series brought a packed house and tons of laughter to the Houston Improv.

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Exclusive: Empire's Newest Latina Star, Jamila Velazquez, On Her Romance with Hakeem and Music Career

With a face that’s hard to forget and an infectious personality that’s even harder to ignore, actress Jamila Velazquez has appeared on everything from Law & Order: SVU to ABC Family’s Twisted, all before she’s turned 21-years-old. Her profile has only brightened in recent months after joining the cast of Empire as Laura Calleros, instantly catching the eye of Bryshere Gray’s character Hakeem.

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Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Lil Keke and ZRo Headline Salute to the SLAB Tour in Houston

Despite being from the West Coast, I’ve learned to appreciate Texas’ unique sound during my time here. Much like the Bay Area, it’s a distinct scene bursting full of both undiscovered and solidified talent.Despite being from the West Coast, I’ve learned to appreciate Texas’ unique sound during my time here. Much like the Bay Area, it’s a distinct scene bursting full of both undiscovered and solidified talent. As hype as I get while watching Too Short perform, or when the remix of Luniz’ “I Got 5 On It,” comes on, I’ve always imagined that nothing compares to hearing a hometown hero live.

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Exclusive: Empire's Newest Latina Star, Jamila Velazquez, On Her Romance With Hakeem and Music Career

Latina breakout star, Jamila Velazquez, speaks with Houston Style on her music career, landing a role on Empire, and working with Tiraji P. Henson.

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Cedric The Entertainer Tackles Diabetes in Houston With Step On Up Campaign

While he may forever be known to most as one of the "Original Kings of Comedy," whether it be The Steve Harvey Show or his hilarious turn in Barbershop, there's little that comedian and actor Cedric the Entertainer hasn't already accomplished. Now he's added spokesman to his already impressive resume, using his massive platform to inform others about the dangers of diabetic nerve pain (also known as "diabetic peripheral neuropathy) through a campaign called "Step On Up".

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Poindexter Dental Declared a Historically Protected Landmark

Another outstanding accomplishment for Poindexter Dental as the City of Houston and the Harris County Historical Commission designated the distinguished practice as the “First Historically Protected Landmark”

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Straight Outta Compton: How The West Coast Changed The Game

"Straight Outta Compton" film review.

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