Coffee Talk: Jussie Smollett Joins Sister Jurnee in New TV Drama About the Underground Railroad

Plus: Jill Scott teams up with Hallmark for a new scholarship, season two of "Empire" began filming, Beyoncé to headline Made in America, Shaun Robinson leaves 'Access Hollywood,' and more!

Taylor Lewis Jun, 25, 2015

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Everyone's favorite brother-sister duo is cable-bound! WGN just announced that Jussie Smollett would be starring alongside his little sis, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, in the network's newest series, Underground, a dramatic thriller about the Underground Railroad. We are so here for that. [Hollywood Reporter]

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Beyoncé and The Weeknd will headline the 3rd annual Made in America Festival in Philadelphia this September. J. Cole, Big Sean and Nick Jonas are among the other singers performing at the festival. Bey, we'll see you on September 5. [Entertainment Weekly]

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Bobbi Kristina and Nick Gordon

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Calling all Cookie Monsters! Fox's breakout hit, Empire, started filming season two, and we are all rejoicing. We got our first glimpse courtesy of Lee Daniels, who Instagrammed a pic of he, Terrence Howard and Chris Rock, who is playing an inmate locked up alongside Lucious Lyon. Only 90 more days until it's premiere (but who's counting?)! [Deadline]

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Beginning next year, African-Americans will be able to easily access ancestral slavery records via a free online database. The Smithsonian Museum is partnering with a variety of organizations to digitize record's collected by the Freedmen's Bureau, a 19th century organization that obtained slave records in 1865. More than 4,000,000 records are expected to be online by late 2016. [The Guardian]

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Shaun Robinson is hanging up her Access Hollywood mic and moving on to her next chapter. After 16 years, the entertainment host will pursue her passion to inspire and empower young women. "It's this journey I have been on for years, and I'm ready to explore where that journey will take me," she said. Congrats, Shaun! Here's to you. [People]

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Jilly from Philly is bringing her prowess to Hallmark. The singer just announced that she and her organization, Blues Babe, was teaming up with the greeting card company to found a new scholarship program that would award two $10,000 to creative writing students. "To be able to give inner-city students the opportunity to receive a scholarship and pursue a career in writing is phenomenal," Scott said in a press release. [Madame Noire]


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