Coffee Talk: Denzel Washington, Common to Speak At HBCU Graduations

Plus: Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King return to host Black Girls Rock, Uzo Aduba preps to run in the Boston Marathon, Michael Sam criticized for dating a white man, and more.

Jolie A. Doggett Mar, 12, 2015

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Colleges and universities are prepping the podium for big named commencement speakers as graduation season rolls around. Common and Denzel Washington have already been booked to speak at two HBCUs in May. Common will deliver an address at Winston-Salem University in North Carolina while Washington will be speaking at Dillard University in New Orleans. [Black Enterprise]

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The girls are back! Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King are returning for the fifth year in a row to host BET's Black Girls Rock! awards show in April. “It’s wonderful to be back co-hosting ‘BLACK GIRLS ROCK! with my dear friend Tracee and working alongside all my friends at BET and BGR," King said. [Clutch]

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Massachuaettes native Uzo Aduba is returning to her home state to run the Boston Marathon. The Orange Is the New Black star is gearing up to run no less than 26 miles in unpredictable weather but it's all for a good cause. "It's not the finish line I think about," she said. "It's the number of thank-you's to these amazing souls I know who I get to speak to in my dreams." Aduba is close to reaching her $4,000 fundraising goal to benefit the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research. [People]

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Michael Sam made history when he publicly came out as a gay man during the NFL draft. Now, it would seem as if there's a controversy surrounding the race of man he loves.

"My fiancé gave me the strength [to come out]. The challenge I get now is, 'Why are you not dating a gay black guy?'" Sam said. "'Why are you dating a white guy?' Why would I do that? Why would I leave someone I fell in love with and have been through so many challenges with?” [Huffington Post]

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W. Kamau Bell is combining racial justice and comedy in a new TV special. CNN announced they ordered a new series in which Bell will travel the country and show the diverse and colorful definitions of America." [Colorlines]

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Drake has decided to lend a helping hand after he heard about a troubled high school in Philadelphia. He donated $75,000 to build a new creative space at Strawberry Mansion High where students could practice and record music. 

"This is about you. This is about your principal. This is about your future," Drake said to school officials. "I love you. I care about you. I want to see you succeed." [Huffington Post]