Viola Davis Talks Growing Up Poor and Hungry, Nas Rocks ‘The Tonight Show’ & More

by | April 8, 2014 at 4:22 PM | Black Entertainment, Can't Stop Watching, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Viola Davis shares personal passion with Ellen DeGeneres. (Photo: The Ellen DeGeneres Show)

There’s plenty of black entertainment news to report today including Viola Davis opening up to Ellen DeGeneres about her rough childhood and Nas having a Monday night jam session with Q-Tip and The Roots. Plus, find out which cancelled VH1 show found a home on Centric and other hot (and not) items.

Viola Davis’ new passion. I had no idea that lovely actress Viola Davis grew up in extreme poverty. So poor that the Academy Award-nominated actress “rummaged in the garbage cans” and “stole from the local store constantly” to get food as a child, she shared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” today. That’s why she teamed with the “Hunger Is” campaign to help eradicate childhood hunger, which affects 1 in 5, or 17 million, children in this country. Yes, the United States. “I was one of those kids ’cause I grew up in abject poverty. I did everything you could possibly imagine to get food,” Viola, 48, tells Ellen, calling childhood hunger America’s “dirty little secret.” Wow, Viola! i commend her for taking a stance on this issue, particularly because it’s one with which she can personally relate. Watch the video below to learn more about Viola’s passion and see the cool way Ellen is helping out and how you can, too.

Nas, Q-Tip and The Roots Perform on “The Tonight Show.” Nas plus Q-Tip plus The Roots all jamming together! Can it get any better?! I think Nas is one of the most gifted emcees ever and it was a treat to see him with Q-Tip (I love A Tribe Called Quest) and The Roots (I’ve loved them since they’re album “Do You Want More?!!!??!” dropped in ’94) perform “One Love” and “The World is Yours” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” I haven’t seen Nas perform (I know, right) but I’ve seen Q-Tip with Tribe–and interviewed them–and have seen The Roots perform a few times since ’96. The reason for this jam session? To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Nas’ debut CD, “Illmatic” (it officially turns 20 on April 19),” and promote his new CD, “Illmatic XX,” which releases on April 15.  Check out the mini-collabo, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy, below.

Nas, Q-Tip & The Roots perform “One Love”

Nas, Q-Tip & The Roots perform “The World is Yours”

On my watchlist? What I’m tuning in to see and what I’ll catch up with XFINITY On Demand…
“The Following”: Did Mandy successfully get away from Joe Carroll and his house of psychos? It airs Mondays at 9 p.m. EST on Fox. Watch it here.
“Grimm”: Missed this one over the weekend, too. Will see if Nick will decide to be in Monroe and Rosalee’s wedding. It airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on ABC. Watch it here.

The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not
HOT: Tia Mowry Hardrict on the cover of the May issue of “Women’s Running” magazine (Go girl!).
NOT: Nigerian-Cameroonian pop star Dencia, who bleaches her skin and hocks a skin whitening product, dissing Lupita Nyong’o for repping Lancome (Chile, please…)

HOT: BET’s station Centric picking up “Single Ladies” after VH1 (also a sister station) axed the show after three seasons (Sure fans are happy).
NOT: B.B. King being heckled by fans ( I know he’s older–88, to be exact–and some erratic behavior was reported, but c’mon, he’s a senior! True “fans” wouldn’t heckle you. IJS.).

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.