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Flex and Shanice talks with Prestige

Flex and Shanice season finale is a must see. Enjoy our Exclusive interview with them as well as a sneak peek from the Season Finale episode that airs on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) tonight Saturday Dec 20th  10pm EST.   Sylvia:   Well, hello, Flex and Shanice. It’s such a pleasure to have you as our special…

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Flex and Shanice season finale is a must see. Enjoy our Exclusive interview with them as well as a sneak peek from the Season Finale episode that airs on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) tonight Saturday Dec 20th  10pm EST.

 

Sylvia:   Well, hello, Flex and Shanice. It’s such a pleasure to have you as our special guests for segment of Prestige Magazine.                  

Shanice:    Hello, nice to be talking to you.

Sylvia:   Yes, we’re very excited for you guys. So, what we want to do is get a little background information on who Flex and Shanice are, just a little refresher for our readers.

Flex:   All right, well I am Flex Alexander, actor, stand-up comedian, used to be dancer way, way, way back in the day, and father, husband.

Shanice:   And producer.

Flex:   Yeah, produce, yes.

Shanice:   And I am Shanice, singer, Grammy-nominated, Broadway, I was the first African American to be 53. Ebony in Les Misérables on Broadway, actress, mother, proud wife, and, yeah, businesswoman.

Sylvia:   Okay, so we know that Saturday marks the season finale for the Flex & Shanice show on Oprah Winfrey’s network, so if we can digress just a little bit more to the beginning of the show and if you could tell us about the events that sparked this whole journey to the Flex & Shanice show.

Shanice:   It starts off, I don’t know, it’s starts off talking about what happened to my career. I don’t know if you saw our sneak preview thing that we did before the first episode with Babyface and the pilot, I sit down and talk to him about what happened because I used to be signed to his label, and another guy who worked at the company blamed my mom for my career ending the way it did. And Babyface went on doing the show, I said, “No, that’s not what it was.” So, throughout the season you see me telling my mom what was said and how I have to find new management and it’s time for me to move on and try new things.

Flex:   The overall overview is what we went through as a couple and family, making money and then things kind of hitting bottom and really just kind of starting all over, and just the support and the love we got from family and friends and we just continue to push on because at the time when things were going well everybody’s there, and as soon as things kind of tail off people disappear. And it was just a really tough journey back and we’re thankful to have pulled through everything, but the overview of what we’ve gone through is literally what 90 percent of America is going through with this financial climate. We’re just showing it, we’re human just like everybody else.

Shanice:   Right.             

Sylvia:   Okay, so how was it having to deal with those upsets and downfalls with your family and what methods were put into place to make sure that the family bond would not become unglued?

Flex:   We just prayed and we just said, “Hey, we know this isn’t going to be forever.” And when you love each other you just got to push through, you fight through it and, really, that’s what it was. It was just a big love movement, really, you know?

Shanice:   Yeah, we just had all come together and helped each other through our hardest times and we were just all there for each other and that’s how we made it through, and like you said, lots of prayer.            

Sylvia:   So you’ve allowed us, the fans, and the public into your private spaces and you’ve made us feel as if we were a part of the struggle, like you said, most of America are experiencing these types of struggles. And you also allowed us to see the joyous moments. Was it easy making the decision to let others into your private space and to see what was transpiring in your lives?

Flex:   It’s never easy, but I think we agreed to just do it.

Shanice:   And then it made it all worth it hearing the comments like people Tweeting us saying, “Wow, this helped me through my hardest times.” And the fact that we were able to by giving our testimony we were able to help others, so it made it all worth it, but in the beginning I was a little nervous because I didn’t know, it’s just scary for the first time telling the world your secrets. So, in the beginning I was a little nervous about it, but after the first episode and just hearing the comments and hearing how people said it helped them. I said, “Okay, I see why this was meant to happen, but not just for our own good but to help others.”              

Sylvia:   Yes. So, we’ve seen that there have been some great support groups, family and friends like you said, but was there ever a time when either of you felt as if there was not enough support there or if there was not enough from those who you’ve given to or supported during their struggles? In other words, were there many fair-weather friends that came about?

Flex:   Yeah, there were many fair-weather friends. There were too many fair-weather friends. Our family has been there, been solid, but there were many fair-weather friends and it hurt, but the other thing is it taught us who was really true and who wasn’t.                       

Sylvia:   And now that those struggles are becoming less and less do you see some of those same people that were not so supportive, basically your fair-weather friends, trying to make their way back into your lives now?

Flex:   Oh, yeah. We see some of that.

Shanice:   Yeah, we see some of that, but it was to be expected. I mean, we’ve been in the business long enough to know when things are good everyone is around, and when things kind of slow down everyone backs way. This isn’t the first time that I witnessed this. After 101 ended, Flex’s show, we had a bunch of people around us and then when that show ended we noticed right away people backed away, and even with my career. When my career slowed down I noticed people backed away from me and then when I met Flex and he had a TV show, then I had those same people trying to come back around. I’m so used to it, but it’s to be expected. But we know who are real friends and aren’t and we know what to look out for.

Sylvia:   Okay. So, Shanice, on the season finale with the previews we’re seeing that you’re flashing that beautiful smile, that’s the way we, the public, know you, that we’ve experienced over the years and it seems even more radiant now. Would you attribute that smile to being in your element? I mean, you’re singing, you’re recording, and being able to record with your friend Elvin Ross, and basically kind of being the stability of the family really coming back together again.

Shanice:   Oh, absolutely. Well, you know what, even during our hardest times, even when I wasn’t doing a whole lot I always tried to keep a smile on my face. I tried to smile through the pain, and Flex is a comedian so we laugh and make jokes and try to make things as fun as possible. Yeah, but it does help because I sing and what I believe is God put me on Earth to do is to sing, and I started singing melodies when I was a baby. So, I’ve been able to do what I love to do all over again and that puts even a bigger smile on my face, and working with some of the amazing producers like you mentioned Elvin, it’s a dream come true. It’s like starting all over again, it’s like a new beginning for me. So, yeah, that definitely puts an even bigger smile on my face.                  

Sylvia:   Flex, you’ve also been able to re-enter the world of comedy now embarking upon your tour. What kinds of emotions are you feeling and are you able, by being able to hit the stage again, and most important of all for your beautiful family after such a big struggle?

Flex:   It’s exciting to get back on the stage and just share my life and take people on the journey with me that have followed my career for years. So, it’s exciting for me, it’s an exciting time, and it’s given me so much material and stuff to talk about. I’m just excited to take people on this journey and to get back to doing what I really love.               

Sylvia:   Like you mentioned before we know that team work and the love that you guys have for each other, we can see it and it is very evident throughout your family. I know that that bond has been tried and tested, you going through the thick and the thin, but I know that’s been able to keep you focused as far as moving forward, so now as the season finale approaches, and we’ll get a chance to see it on December 20th, 10:00 o’clock for most of us I think, so as that approaches is there anything that you want to let the fans and the readers of Prestige Magazine know about what’s going to be transpiring without giving everything away?

Flex:   It’s going to be a love fest, get your tissues out, that’s all I’m going to say.                  

Shanice:   Yeah, you’re going to laugh, but you’re definitely, like you said, it’s going to take you on a little emotional rollercoaster ride, so get your tissue ready, that’s all I have to say also. I don’t want to give it away! But as you see on the preview my mom talks about possibly moving out of the house, so that gives you a little hint there, but it’s going to be something else, definitely get your tissue ready.

Sylvia:   Also, we know that, Shanice, you’ve been working on your music that’s possibly going to be used for The Haves and The Have Nots, and we’ve also mentioned that Flex is getting ready to do his tour, but are there any other new projects you’re working on or future projects that you would like to share with us?

Shanice:   Well, I have a new onesie line coming soon, that’s in the works because I know on the show I told everybody I’m addicted to my onesie that I sleep in. So, I started this whole new onesie movement, so I’m working on a line, and just more music. Next year, definitely a whole album. I put out two singles, “Gotta Blame Me” and “We Can Fly” is on iTunes right now, but it’s definitely more music and some touring. I’m going to be doing some live dates.                

Sylvia:   Very good. And for you, Flex?

Flex:   Just looking forward to getting on the road and I have a sitcom that I’m developing, and those two are really the main things that I’m focused on, my stand-up and getting my sitcom done and sold. So, you’ll be seeing that journey as well.               

Sylvia:   Okay, very good. And just a little recapping, we’re so proud of you guys and we really enjoy seeing your story unfold so far up until now for the season finale, and you’ve also shown us that you are no different from the rest of us. Everybody will experience some type of struggles in their lives and it takes the prayer and the commitment to be able to move through those things. So, one of the very things that Prestige Magazine readers and your fans would like to know is how can we continue to share in your lives like through social media? Would you like to give us a website, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter so that we can really keep up with you?

Flex:   You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter. It’s FlexAforeal for Twitter and Instagram.

Shanice:   And you can follow me on Twitter, Shaniceonline. Instagram, Shaniceonline, and then Facebook is Shanice Wilson.              

Sylvia:   Okay. And finally, is there anything else that you would like to say or reiterate for the fans of Prestige Magazine and the readers?

Shanice:   I just want to thank everybody for supporting us and for supporting the show and we’re just so excited to share our story with everyone. And keep pushing through! Don’t let nothing stop you, nothing. Did you have something you wanted to say, Flex?

Flex:   Just as well to keep pushing through, keep pushing through, and in time just smile through the pain, but you’ll get through it.

Shanice:   And just know the storm doesn’t last forever, you’ll always get through a storm. You never stay in a storm forever.            

Sylvia:   All right, so thank you once again so much for affording us this beautiful opportunity at Prestige Magazine. And we just pray for you guys, we pray for all of your endeavours, and we just wish you many, many, many blessings abundant as you continue to press on through your careers.

Shanice:   Thank you!               

Sylvia:   And just, Shanice, just continue to sing for us. Flex, continue to make us laugh, and we will be continuing to support you and follow you throughout your careers.

Shanice:   Thank you!

Flex:   Thank you.    

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Joe Biden named Sen. Kamala D. Harris as his running mate

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Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has chosen Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) as his running mate, elevating a former presidential candidate whose most electric campaign performance came when she criticized his record on school integration during a debate.

Harris will be the first Black woman and first Asian American to run for vice president, representing a historic choice at a moment when the country is grappling with its racial past and future. The announcement was made in a text and a tweet from Biden.

“Back when Kamala was Attorney General, she worked closely with Beau,” Biden tweeted, referring to his late son, then the attorney general of Delaware. “I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse. I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

Harris, 55, is the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants. The first-term senator previously served as San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general.

Her prosecutorial record has drawn attacks from party liberals, who have criticized her past stances as too harsh and contend that her record does not meet a moment when police misconduct has rocketed into the national conversation.

But Harris also has built a reputation in Washington as a sharp questioner in Senate hearings, particularly of Trump administration nominees. She has been a forceful advocate for Black families during the novel coronavirus pandemic, and she helped draft a bill ending qualified immunity for police.

Harris kicked off her presidential campaign little more than two years after joining the Senate, with an electrifying Oakland, Calif., rally that drew more than 22,000 supporters. But she struggled to define herself to voters, shifting from one message to the next. She failed to take off in the polls and dropped out in early December, citing financial problems.

Harris and Biden have known each other for several years, and Harris worked closely with Biden’s late son, Beau, when both served as attorneys general.

That made it all the more shocking to Biden and his team when, at the first Democratic primary debate, Harris went after Biden for his nostalgic talk about working with two segregationist senators.

“It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country,” Harris said during the debate. She also took Biden to task for his opposition to mandatory busing.

On the debate stage, she described a little girl who had benefited from her city’s busing program. “And that little girl was me,” she said. Within hours, her campaign was selling shirts emblazoned with the words and a childhood picture of Harris.

Biden’s wife, Jill, has described that moment as being “like a punch to the gut.” But since then, the two have publicly made up, with Harris acting as a surrogate for Biden and appearing with him and his wife in campaign events.

In a June appearance on the “Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” Harris jokingly defended her performance, saying: “It was a debate! The whole reason — literally, it was a debate. It was called a debate.”

“I’d be honored, if asked, and I’m honored to be a part of the conversation,” Harris told Colbert. “Honestly, let me just tell you something: I will do everything in my power, wherever I am, to help Joe Biden win.”

In late July, Biden was photographed with notes he had written to himself about Harris on his personal stationery. Included were: “talented,” “great help to campaign” and “do not hold grudges.”

Biden said on July 28 that he would name his running mate by the end of the first week of August, after extending his initial pledge to name the pick around Aug. 1. Aides then said it had slipped further. For weeks, advisers have been vetting the candidates in interviews and via extended searches into their backgrounds, records and personal experiences.

He had promised months ago to pick a woman, reflecting the dominance of female voters in the party and his effort to make a historic choice. Were he to win, the nominee would become the first female vice president.

The nominee also will come under heightened security because of Biden’s age; he will be 78 at the time of the next inauguration. Either he or his November opponent, President Trump, will be the oldest American president.

The selection process has been a mix of transparency and secrecy. While Biden has held his thoughts closely, with many allies saying he has been deliberately vague about his preferences, the parade of prospective candidates has played out publicly.

Several have broken with past practice and acknowledged an interest in the job; others, such as Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), have taken themselves out of the mix in a similarly public way.

Biden has sought the same kind of “simpatico” relationship with his pick that he shared with former president Barack Obama, in which he served as the last adviser on big administration decisions. He also has put a high premium on loyalty, according to those familiar with the search.

But his choice was also affected by events coursing across the nation.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) once looked like a front-runner, but the killing of George Floyd and other unarmed Black people put a spotlight on her record as a prosecutor, which has drawn criticism from Black activists. Klobuchar eventually removed herself from the running, saying that Biden should pick a woman of color for the ticket.

Biden also faced pressure to delay the pick until closer to the Democratic convention, which begins Aug. 17, to build a sense of momentum for an event that will largely be virtual, lacking the balloon-and-bunting atmosphere of the traditional convention celebrations.

In normal times, the two running mates would barnstorm around the country after the announcement, trying to lift the enthusiasm level of their own partisans and potentially attract new supporters. But Biden has held no large events since March, and has none planned.

The Democratic vice presidential nominee will formally be named at the national party convention, which will be largely virtual. The newly named nominee will debate Vice President Pence on Oct. 7 in Utah. The presidential debates — three are currently scheduled — will begin in September, barring any adjustments to the schedule. Two of them have already changed locations after the original host colleges determined it was unsafe to sponsor the event.

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U.S. Marines ID all 9 people killed in sea-tank sinking

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The U.S. Marine Corps has identified all nine people killed when a Marine landing craft sank in hundreds of feet of water off the Southern California coast.

Only one of their bodies was found, despite an intense days-long search involving helicopters and boats ranging from inflatables to a Navy destroyer.

Found at the scene was Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 20, of New Braunfels Texas. The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit announced on Sunday that the others, from California, Texas, Wisconsin and Oregon, are “presumed dead.”

They include: Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 19, of Corona, California; Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, California; Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin; U.S. Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, California; Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, 21, of Bend, Oregon; Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 23, of Harris, Texas; Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 19, of Portland, Oregon; and Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, of Riverside, California.

“Literally every asset we have available” was mobilized in the search for seven Marines and a Navy corpsman, Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said Friday.

They were aboard an amphibious assault vehicle that was heading back to a Navy ship Thursday evening after a routine training exercise when it began taking on water about a half-mile (0.8 kilometers) from Navy-owned San Clemente Island, off San Diego.

Other assault vehicles quickly responded but couldn’t stop the 26-ton, tank-like vehicle from quickly sinking, Osterman said.

“The assumption is that it went completely to the bottom” several hundred feet below, Osterman said. That was too deep for divers, and Navy and Coast Guard were discussing ways to reach the sunken vehicle to get a view inside it, Osterman said.

Seven other Marines were rescued from the water; two were in stable condition at a hospital, authorities said.

All the Marines were attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at nearby Camp Pendleton. They ranged in age from 19 to early 30s and all were wearing combat gear, including body armor, and flotation vests, Osterman said.

The vehicle, known as an AAV but nicknamed an “amtrac,” for “amphibious tractor” is used to take Marines and their gear from Navy ships to land.

The sunken craft, one of 13 involved in the exercise, was designed to be naturally buoyant and had three water-tight hatches and two large troop hatches, Osterman said.

The vehicles have been used since 1972, and continually refurbished. Marine Corps officials said Friday they did not know the age or other details of the one that sank.

The Marine Corps commandant, Gen. David Berger, suspended waterborne operations of more than 800 amphibious assault vehicles across the branch until the cause of the accident is determined.

This is the third time in recent years that Camp Pendleton Marines have been injured or died in amphibious assault vehicles during training exercises.

In 2017, 14 Marines and one Navy sailor were hospitalized after their vehicle hit a natural gas line, igniting a fire that engulfed the landing craft at Camp Pendleton.

In 2011, a Marine died when an amphibious assault vehicle in a training exercise sank offshore of the camp.

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Magic’s Jonathan Isaac stands for national anthem as teammates, opponents kneel

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Orlando Magic power forward Jonathan Isaac became the first NBA player to stand during the national anthem following the season restart … deciding against both kneeling and wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt.

The league’s coaches, refs and players — from LeBron James to Zion Williamson — have been using the anthem demonstrations to raise awareness as games pick back up in Orlando … a gesture that is being supported by NBA commish Adam Silver.

Isaac became the first player to choose to stand as the anthem was played before the Magic’s match-up with the Brooklyn Nets on Friday … while the rest of the team’s players and staffers took a knee.

It’s worth noting — Silver says everyone will have the option to kneel during the anthem without consequence … despite a league rule requiring players to stand.

The same goes for anyone who wishes to stand — no one is saying the players HAVE to kneel, either.

So far, Jonathan hasn’t commented on his decision to stand publicly — because the game is currently being played. But, when he does, we’ll update here.

Charles Barkley spoke about the demonstrations on Thursday during TNT’s “Inside The NBA,” saying, “The national anthem means different things to different people.”

“I’m glad these guys are unified. If people don’t kneel, they’re not a bad person. I want to make that perfectly clear. I’m glad they had unity, but if we have a guy who doesn’t want to kneel because the anthem means something to him, he should not be vilified.”

The Magic released a statement in support of the demonstration, saying, “The DeVos Family and the Orlando Magic organization fully supports Magic players who have chosen to leverage their professional platform to send a peaceful and powerful message condemning bigotry, racial injustice and the unwarranted use of violence by police, especially against people of color.”

“We are proud of the positive impact our players have made and join with them in the belief that sports can bring people together — bridging divides and promoting inclusion, equality, diversity and unity.”

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