GS NEWS ROOM, #1 FIRST WITH REAL NEWS
June 19, 2021 UPDATE!!... “Obamacare” upheld ...... Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame ....... BAD DAD REHAB: THE NEXT SESSION .......... June 19, 2021 UPDATE!!...Juneteenth a Federal Holiday ...........
News News News News News News News News News
Thursday morning proponents of “Obamacare” got some very good news. The US Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, saying that red states challenging the law in the case lacked standing. The vote — which leaves the Obama-era health care law intact and preserves healthcare coverage for millions of Americans — was 7-2. California v. Texas was the Supreme Court’s third challenge of the Affordable Care Act. The case, filed by a coalition of states led by Texas, challenged the “individual mandate” provision, in which people faced a tax penalty if they did not buy health insurance. https://youtu.be/ocukZESXito
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will reportedly make an announcement Thursday declaring racism a public health crisis in Chicago. Mayor Lightfoot will be joined by Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady for the declaration, according to ABC7 Chicago. The announcement comes after CDPH released a study earlier this week showing Black Chicagoans have a shorter life expectancy. On average in 2017 Blacks in the city lived 71.4 years, while non-Blacks lived 80.6 years. The report cited the factors as chronic diseases, homicides, infant mortality, HIV, flu and other infections and opioid overdoses. http://www.gospel-spotlight.com
Hollywood veteran Rita Moreno says she is “disappointed” in herself for defending Lin-Manuel Miranda against criticism over the colorism in the film adaptation of his Tony-winning musical, “In the Heights.”Moreno initially pushed back against critics of the film’s creators for its lack of Afro-Latinx representation in major roles. “You can never do right, it seems,” Moreno said in a Tuesday interview with “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert. “This is the man who literally has brought Latino-ness and Puerto Rican-ness to America. I couldn’t do it. I would love to say I did, but I couldn’t. Lin-Manuel has done that really singlehandedly and I’m thrilled to pieces, and I’m proud that he produced my documentary [Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It].” https://twitter.com/i/status/1404980532069478403
R&B multi-platinum, Grammy award-winning crooner Anthony Hamilton got with radio and TV personality Jazmyn Summers, rockin’ his trademark fedora – at the swimming pool with his kids – to give us an early look into new music dropping in September with co-signers Rick Ross, John Legend and more. “I’m excited about it. It’s a great body of work. Jermaine Dupri came through with a great single” Hamilton says. https://youtu.be/MftuiA56LCM
Being the first known transgender person ordained by a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship-affiliated congregation, Laura Bethany Buchleiter said she now can live fully into her calling to share the gospel in genuine and counter-cultural ways. “Where I would start is authenticity, and I think Christ models authenticity for us,” said Buchleiter, 49, who was ordained May 23 at University Baptist Church in Bloomington, Ind. “He was authentically divine and authentically human, and he was so authentic it caught everybody around him off guard.” In 2014, CBF-affiliated Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., reaffirmed the ordination of a woman previously ordained as a man, but Buchleiter’s ceremony, which was attended by 40 people including two of her three children, makes her the first known transgender person to be ordained as a minister in a Fellowship church.
Messengers to the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting approved a broad resolution on the Bible’s sufficiency regarding race and racial reconciliation Tuesday (June 15) but chose not to address specifically the contentious issue of critical race theory. Because of a lack of time, the committee tabled a resolution that would have affirmed the “Christian ideal of citizenship” under the Lordship of Jesus and would have condemned the January invasion of the U.S. Capitol as “inconsistent with faithful Christian citizenship.” The Resolutions Committee chose not to address the issue of critical race theory (CRT) in the first SBC annual meeting since the passage of a 2019 resolution on CRT and intersectionality developed into a divisive point of contention during the last two years.
A foul-mouthed Brooklyn bigot, after hurling racial insults at a Black mother of two, dumped red pepper flakes on the face of the woman’s infant daughter during a hate-fueled spree in a local pizzeria, police said Wednesday. The unprovoked white attacker swore at the 35-year-old woman before shaking the pepper into the face of the mom’s 5-month-old daughter. The Black woman, a single mother and licensed realtor, said the unhinged assailant’s vile rant targeted both her kids. She asked that her name not be used out of fear of retaliation. “She said ‘F— your baby, n—-r,’” the woman recounted Wednesday to the Daily News in her Brooklyn apartment. “To my 4-year-old, she called him a n—-r and said ‘Get out of this country.’”
New York City is naming 16 parks for prominent Black Americans, and it’s just in time for Juneteenth. As CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon reports, one by one, the names of 16 city parks were unveiled Wednesday. The unveiling is part of an ongoing initiative by the Parks Department that’s meant to honor the Black American experience. “We had to do something to show solidarity with the Black community and really address some of the systemic racism were experienced all of our lives,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.
Born from the collaboration of Amazon’s Black Employee Network and a coalition of strategic partners, the Black Business Accelerator (BBA) wants to build equity and sustainable growth for Black-owned businesses. Specifically, the initiative targets barriers to access such as access to capital, mentorship, and growth opportunities. The BBA will provide financial support, business education and mentorship, and marketing and promotion of their brands and products as third-party sellers on Amazon.com. Amazon has formed strategic partnerships with the Minority Business Development Agency and U.S. Black Chambers Inc. These organizations will support BBA by leading community engagement and helping provide participants with mentorship, business development, training and educational resources to lead them to success.
Onovughakpor “Onovu” Otitigbe is living out her wildest dreams – and leaving her mark along the way. At 18 years old, Onovu will graduate at the top of her class from Albany High School, becoming the school’s first Black valedictorian in its 152-year history. Her near-perfect GPA, combined with her impressive list of extracurriculars, helped pave Onovu’s path to Harvard University, where this fall she’ll study biomedical engineering and neuroscience on a pre-med track.
The Hampton Roads Community Foundation plans to pay out $1 million to 30 Black-run nonprofits in the region in one of the first acts of its new racial equity fund. Facebook had given the money last year to the Norfolk-based foundation, which was one of 20 nationwide to receive funding through a program set up by the social network. On Wednesday, the foundation announced that 30 local organizations will receive the $1 million through Black Community Partnership Fund grants paid out over two years. The grants range from $5,000 to $50,000 each. A total of 66 organizations had applied. Recipients include Portsmouth Volunteers for the Homeless, TWP–The Youth Movement, the Southside Boys and Girls Club, the Mosaic Steel Orchestra, Beauty for Ashes Contemporary School of Dance and more.
Graves from five erased Black or mostly Black cemeteries have been discovered throughout Tampa Bay in recent years, but the issue is not unique to this area. Such burial grounds have been found throughout the nation. So, a team of University of South Florida professors and doctoral students created the Black Cemetery Network website at blackcemeterynetwork.org to serve as a hub for the movement to bring dignity to those cemeteries.
More than five decades after Cleveland became the first, followed by Cincinnati, Detroit and virtually every other major city in the Midwest and Northeast, Pittsburgh is finally poised to join their ranks and make history this fall by electing a Black mayor. The all-but-certain victory of state Rep. Ed Gainey (D) comes as the once-battered former steel town, these days dubbed one of America’s most livable cities, looks hard at the racial inequities that have meant vastly different experiences and opportunities for its African American residents. Gainey’s campaign this spring reflected such soul-searching, especially in the wake of nationwide protests over police force in communities of color.
The U.S. Senate passed a bill Tuesday to recognize June 19, or Juneteenth, as an official holiday. It passed with unanimous consent without a roll call vote or objections from the chamber. The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act heads to the House for approval. If it passes and President Joe Biden signs it into law, every federal employee will be granted a day off to commemorate June 19, 1865, the day enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, discovered President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed enslaved African Americans in rebel states 2½ years earlier. The day is also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, reintroduced the bill in February to designate Juneteenth a federal holiday.
The House on Wednesday passed a bill to make Juneteenth or June 19th, the date in 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom, a national holiday. The Senate passed the bill on Tuesday, and now President Joe Biden is set to sign the legislation into law Thursday to make Juneteenth the 12th federal holiday, Chicago Tribune reports. The House voted 415-14 on Wednesday, with all votes against it coming from Republicans. “It has been a long journey,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Houston and author of the bill, said on the floor. “This bill and this day is about freedom.”
A faith-based nonprofit champion of social justice, holy activism and civil righteousness will commemorate Juneteenth, Saturday, June 19 and, at the same time, shine a light on modern-day slavery. From Ferguson, Missouri to Fredericksburg, Virginia, the nonprofit Civil Righteousness is offering, food, fellowship, music and dance to mark Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of slavery’s end in the United States. A banquet in Ferguson, called Let Freedom Ring, will honor the day that slaves in Galveston, Texas learned of their freedom. Another event in Fredericksburg will shine a light on the long road to freedom for victims of sexual exploitation.
Filmed in Greece and Turkey in the cities of the original 7 Churches, Times of Fire dives into the intense political, social and philosophical complexities of each city and church in the first century. These highly charged regions propelled the flames of persecution, which took the lives of countless believers and exiled the Apostle John to the island of Patmos. As each city is visited, fascinating connections are made to unlock the mysteries of the text in Revelation, providing clues that are relevant today. Timothy Mahoney of Thinking Man Films and Director of The Patterns of Evidence series will join with Millenium-Production’s Producer and Filmmaker, Christophe Hanauer, for the global release of the documentary feature film, Times of Fire – The 7 Churches of Revelation.
Could you forgive someone who murdered your family member? Or was an MIA parent? Absent, neglectful or abusive fathers can leave lifetime scars. The Streets Were My Father depicts three sons who experienced it all, and have turned their corners in dramatic, inspiring ways. Lee Habeeb and Our American Stories produced this moving documentary about journeys from hopelessness to redemption. It releases on SalemNow.com on Father’s Day, June 20. Fatherless homes correlate with numerous societal blights, including poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, crime, behavioral problems, and more. This film’s three male subjects knew it all too well.
An Ohio woman has learned one tough lesson in life, you can’t have it your way at McDonald’s. Brian Allen was inside the McDonald’s in Ravenna, Ohio when Cherysse Helena Cleveland became irate after staffers refused to give her a slushie mixed with all the available flavors. https://www.facebook.com/1212524785/videos/10226014349164614/
”Oh my god. Married life feels 1,000 percent different than when we were dating, in the greatest way,” Jeannie Mai said about being wifed up to rapper Jeezy, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “I loved our dating life because we really spent such concentrated quality time getting to know each other and making sure that we were right for each other,” she added, “And now being married, it’s even more handled with such delicacy and such thoughtfulness, because we’re in our 40s and we both grew up in households that weren’t healthy marriages. We have never seen what that looks like.” PEOPLE reports, the newlyweds, who tied the knot in March, have been embracing the changes in their relationship to foster a healthy marriage.
Showtime has dropped a new clip from the forthcoming Rick James documentary titled “Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James.” The Showtime film will take an “intimate yet propulsive look at Rick James, one of rock, funk and R&B’s most legendary and often under-appreciated figures”. https://youtu.be/b1d6_uSlbo4
The banking structure in the United States is decades upon decades old. As a system, it’s designed as much for business profits as it is for storing the nation’s cash. Those profits are partly derived by various fees from customers such as overdrafts, ATM usage, and upcharges on interest rates based on a single late payment. People with less money in the system somehow end up paying even higher fees. However, as a fresh alternative, Fair, a multilingual Neobank and final-spotl
ight.comncial services platform, is set to revolutionize the industry. This new fintech banking startup aims to reduce the racial wealth and opportunity gaps that exist. By naming award-winning communications veteran and multicultural engagement strategist, Toni Harrison as its Chief Marketing Officer, Fair introduces a trailblazing African American female as their new C-Suite executive. Harrison is the perfect fit for a company seeking to introduce innovative solutions to an age-old system.
Cedric The Entertainer has fired back at accusations that he stole a joke from fellow comedian Katt Williams. Williams recently appeared on The Morning Hustle radio show and revealed how “crushed” he was when Ced used his joke about parking a spaceship Cadillac during the Kings Of Comedy tour in 2000. https://youtu.be/fiTC8GfBFSE
Nick Cannon has added two more babies to his growing collection of offspring, as he and DJ Abby De La Rosa have welcomed twin boys. On Wednesday, De La Rosa posted a video to Instagram of herself in a hospital bed cradling the newborns who were born on June 14. “Welcome to the world Zion Mixolydian Cannon & ZIllion Heir Cannon,” she wrote in the post, adding the hashtags “my world” and “twin boys.” https://www.instagram.com/hiabbydelarosa/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=e40d81b8-c97a-40fb-9ef8-93091d28e24c
Nina Parker, co-host of E!’s “Nightly Pop,” who launched her own clothing line for curvy women in May, has added new pieces to the collection for June. the TV personality’s Nina Parker Collection sells exclusively at Macy’s and includes tops, dusters, dresses and jogging separates, with some designs featuring peek-a-boo shoulders and waist exposures – all available in bright colors, animal prints and sequins. Following the rollout of designs in May and June, several pieces sold out immediately. Parker said that she will add new styles to the line every month beginning in August.
Paramount Pictures today announced that on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021, it will be offering fans of A QUIET PLACE a one-night-only double feature, offering two movies for the price of one regular standard movie ticket. This Double Feature is a chance to relive the original film in select theatres and experience the latest installment, the critically-acclaimed box office hit A QUIET PLACE PART II, in conjunction with the first-ever Cinema Week. Additionally, there will be a special introduction by writer, director and star John Krasinski before the start of the first film. https://youtu.be/WR7cc5t7tv8
Tavis Smiley is set to launch KBLA Talk 1580 on June 19, Juneteenth, dubbed the first “Unapologetically Progressive” Black-owned and operated, talk radio station in Southern California. Starting this Saturday, June 19, to commemorate Juneteenth, it will convert from Spanish-language programming to presumably serve as a talk radio station catering to the Black community — relating to the prominent display of the historic Watts Towers in its logo. However, the word “progressive” suggests Smiley has bigger sights than just African Americans and the bill keeps rolling! http://www.gospel-spotlight.com
Commissioner Dale Holness over the weekend issued a proclamation declaring June 11th Kodak Black Day, in honor of the rapper and one-time inmate who was born and raised in Broward County’s Pompano Beach. The proclamation detailed Kodak’s charitable work over the years, as well as a list of his personal accomplishments, which were lobbied to former President Donald Trump in 2020 and led to his clemency. Prior to the announcement, Kodak attended a charity basketball game in Coral Springs that ended up raising $5,000 to benefit the Lippman Youth Shelter. https://youtu.be/sKIpjCczqTQ
A Kenyan doctor was awarded a $2.75 million verdict last month by a Florida jury but a week later, a judge vacated the judgment against Adventist Health System hospital, the state’s second-largest employer. Dr. Baiywo Rop sued Adventist for discriminating against him because of his race and national origin. His superiors also falsely accused him of drug abuse, the doctor alleged. http://www.gospel-spotlight.com
Kevin Hart has fired back at Bill Maher after the TV host slammed him for calling out “white power and white privilege.” The war of words was sparked following Hart’s interview with the NY Times. The comedian touched on white privilege and police brutality, saying “You’re witnessing white power and privilege at an all-time high.” https://youtu.be/fB9KVYAdYwg
On any given day there are stories so wild and unbelievable, you have to do a double take to make sure they’re true—and this latest outrageous story involving #Walgreens definitely fits into that category. A local San Francisco Walgreens was the site of a robbery in broad daylight by a man who entered the store on a bicycle with a garbage bag and took whatever he wanted…all while he was being filmed. https://www.instagram.com/p/CQKbxrDhmFb/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=embed_video_watch_again
WE tv’s hit series “Beyond the Pole” returns this week which finds Angel explaining that she wants to quit dancing for the sake of her mental health. https://youtu.be/UsKlZfER8tk
It’s #13 now. It went from #15 to #13. May get the #1 spot,” said J. Brown, Billboard Chart-topping R&B singer/songwriter, has a hit on his hands with “Vibe.” “I wanted to do something different…been doing ballads and wanted to take it up a notch…to have fun, instead of the same ole’ same ole’.” https://youtu.be/ZLefxKavF0w
On any given day there are stories so wild and unbelievable, you have to do a double take to make sure they’re true—and this latest outrageous story involving #Walgreens definitely fits into that category. A local San Francisco Walgreens was the site of a robbery in broad daylight by a man who entered the store on a bicycle with a garbage bag and took whatever he wanted…all while he was being filmed. https://www.instagram.com/p/CQKbxrDhmFb/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=embed_video_watch_again
The family of a Georgia man killed during a no-knock raid is seeking answers while likening his death to the state-sanctioned death of Breonna Taylor. On December 17, Johnny Bolton, 49, was killed after he was awoken by members of the Marietta Cobb Smyrna Organized Crime Task Force and the Cobb County Sherriff’s Office SWAT team around 4:40 a.m.as they attempted to stage a narcotics raid. The apartment Bolton lived in served as an informal boarding house, according to family members and Zack Greenamyre, one of the family’s lawyers. A woman and her teenage daughter occupied one bedroom in the two-bedroom apartment, while another woman slept in the second bedroom. On the morning of the raid after police burst into the apartment, Bolton raised up from the couch he was sleeping on in the living room of the apartment and held up his hands. He was struck twice in the chest and later died from his injuries.
Bolton’s family claims law enforcement officials have been less than forthcoming regarding what led to his untimely death, especially after finding out that Bolton was not among the three people named in the warrant. “For almost six months, we gave them quiet,” Bolton’s sister Daphne Bolton told The Associated Press. “That lets me know that’s not what gets a response.”
Certain offenders do not qualify for retroactive re-sentencing under the First Step Act according to a new Supreme Court decision. Released Monday, the unanimous decision found the wording of the statute did not allow for the relief sought by the defendant. Under the decision, certain low-level offenders sentenced for crack-cocaine possession do not qualify for reduced sentencing. The intent of the co-sponsors of the bipartisan may have been for the law to apply to these offenders but the statute does not reflect that intent. According to the Court, as written, the First Step Act’s provision for reduced sentencing only applies to people convicted of an offense that triggers a mandatory minimum. The case Terry v. United States drew bipartisan support in urging the court to make it right. Under the decision, certain low-level offenders sentenced for crack-cocaine possession do not qualify for reduced sentencing. The intent of the co-sponsors of the bipartisan may have been for the law to apply to these offenders but the statute does not reflect that intent.
Ed Litton, the relatively unknown senior pastor of Redemption Church in Saraland, Alabama, defeated two preeminent rivals to be elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention during a session of the SBC’s annual meeting Tuesday (June 15). Litton has made racial reconciliation a hallmark of his work since at least the 2014 riots after the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Litton’s election is considered a defeat for hard right conservatives in the Southern Baptist Convention’s recent battles over race, sexual abuse and gender roles.
A judge on Tuesday cleared the way for Harvey Weinstein to be extradited to California from New York to face rape and sexual assault charges, nearly a year after Los Angeles prosecutors first sought to move the convicted former movie producer. Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case in Buffalo, New York, rejected arguments by Weinstein’s legal team that the paperwork for the move had not been done, and that Weinstein, 69, should stay in New York to get needed medical care.
Two of the original stars will participate in Broadway’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” starting October 5th. Jeff Daniels and Celia Keenan-Bolger will again play Atticus Finch and his daughter, Scout. The racial theme cited in the show will be even more meaningful considering the outcry against racial and social injustice across the nation stemming from the George Floyd’s death. Keenan-Bolger, referring to the play’s exploration of ingrained racism, says, “I think since I last performed the play, the story of our country has changed. And what a beautiful gift to be a part of something that is interested in continuing to go back and investigate the story of who we are as a country and the story that we choose to believe about ourselves and the story that we need to change for ourselves. I just think it feels like such an opportunity to not only revisit the play, but to revisit the themes that the play and the book we’re trying to examine in the first place.”
NBA Hall of Famer and TNT sports analyst Charles Barkley blasted his “bosses” at TNT, which includes CNN president Jeff Zucker, over cancel culture, telling 106.7 The Fan’s “Grant and Danny” show that “you can’t even have fun nowadays” when covering sports. Barkley railed against “politically correct people” during the Monday radio appearance, blaming them for taking the fun out of his show, “Inside the NBA,” and vowed to leave TNT in a few years when he turns 60.
The cast and crew of HBO’s “Insecure” has wrapped filming on the final season. As reported by Urban Hollywood 411, on Friday, the series filmed the final scenes for the upcoming fifth season. “Insecure” star and creator Issa Rae shared photos from the set in a tweet that she captioned: “Today is my last day shooting #InsecureHBO,” Rae wrote. “Said goodbye to some of my favorite people on Earth, on and off screen, this past week. Never imagined all the doors this would open. Forever grateful to those who paved the way for us to do us,” she added. Emmy-nominated Issa Rae announced earlier this year that her acclaimed series would end after its upcoming fifth season
Zoë Kravitz will make her directorial debut with the thriller “Pussy Island” starring Channing Tatum. According to Deadline, the story centers on a young waitress who infiltrates a philanthropist and tech mogul’s private island, which has more to it than meets the eye. Tatum will portray billionaire tech mogul Slater King. Kravtiz co-wrote the script with E.T. Feigenbaum of “High Fidelity.” Meanwhile, the actress will next star as Catwoman in “The Batman” starring Robert Pattinson, with Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon and Colin Farrell as the Penguin. https://youtu.be/NLOp_6uPccQ
Tessica Brown, the woman who made national headlines following her Gorilla Glue hair incident, plans to come out with her very own line of haircare products! According to TMZ, Brown is set to drop her new business this Wednesday. Her new products are called “Forever Hair,” and draws inspiration from her own sticky situation. She reportedly told the outlet that she wanted to create products for folks suffering from hair loss and damage because she knows firsthand how that feels. However, her new $14 hairspray will hold a ponytail like glue, but without the nightmare side effects, she infamously endured, the news site notes. She’s also selling a $13 edge control along with growth drops for $18.
On Tuesday a judge dismissed the murder charges against Simone Biles’ brother, Tevin Biles-Thomas. Following the ruling, a woman stood up and rushed toward Biles-Thomas, yelling “you have to be f—— kidding me.” “I’m going to kill you,” she said. The Cuyahoga County Court confirmed in a statement that “a person in the gallery charged toward the defendant” after the ruling and thanked the sheriff’s department for its assistance. The woman was identified as Johnson’s mother by Joseph Patituce, one of Biles-Thomas’ defense attorneys.
Chancellor Lee Adams, who was in his mother womb when she was fatally shot by his father, former NFL player Rae Carruth, is now a high school graduate, WBTV News reports. Chancellor’s mother, Cherica Adams, was eight months pregnant with her son on Nov. 16, 1999, when she was shot four times by a gunman hired by Carruth, who did not want Adams to have the baby. Adams managed to survive long enough to call 911, name her killer and give birth to Chancellor before slipping into a coma and passing away one month later. https://youtu.be/hpdaq4kVey4
The Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would make Juneteenth, or June 19th, the date in 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom, a national holiday. The bill now heads to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to easily pass then on to President Joe Biden for signature into law. “Making Juneteenth a federal holiday is a major step forward to recognize the wrongs of the past,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., as reported by Yahoo. “But we must continue to work to ensure equal justice and fulfill the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation and our Constitution.” https://youtu.be/8mH0zi-hLVU
The third season of WE tv’s “Love After Lockup,” which returns this week with an ALL-NEW group of couples and cons, checkout the exclusive clip. https://youtu.be/Lv9mMu35vEI
Footage has surfaced of Minneapolis protesters detaining a driver after he plowed his car through the crowd, killing one woman and injuring another on Sunday. The group of people were gathered for a vigil against police brutality after U.S. Marshals fatally shot Winston Boogie Smith Jr., a Black man, earlier this month. The driver steered his car through the crowd at a high rate of speed. http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshh68FAAO1tGinr36Q4
Just the mention of slavery evokes a sense of anxiety, unlike many other topics. However, the fact is this ugly institution is woven into the fabric of American History, and to deny its truths and continue to cover up its past would be like making shoes without soles. This is exactly what has been happening in the incomplete history of America for centuries. And now, it has become the forefront of discussion and protest at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hannah-Jones was awarded the Pulitzer in 2020 for her essay about the topic and it has since faced enormous scrutiny from historians, and conservative politicians alike due to its perceived controversy. Nikole Hannah-Jones is set to begin her new position as a professor with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill on July 1, 2021, and yet unlike others who have served in the position at the University, she has not been granted tenure.
Julien’s Auctions the world-record breaking auction house to the stars’ held an annual three-day music extravaganza on Friday, June 11th, Saturday, June 12th and Sunday, June 13th 2021, attended by a global audience of music fans, investors and collectors bidding live in person, on the phone, and online for over 1,000 coveted pieces of music history at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills and online. A marquee lineup of instruments, memorabilia, wardrobe and personal property owned and used by the greatest 20th and 21st century’s pop culture icons from rock and roll, pop, soul, R&B, rap and beyond dazzled the podium including Prince, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Kurt Cobain, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Elton John, Cher, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Jimi Hendrix, Bernie Taupin, Tom Petty, Tupac Shakur, Whitney Houston, The Doors, Little Richard, and others. A sensational 1994 blue Cloud guitar made by Andy Beech and commissioned and owned by music titan Prince rocked the stage once again. This iconic instrument whose design is instantly synonymous with the rock royalty of Prince sold for $281,250, nearly five times its original estimate of $60,000 and includes a “Paisley Park” inventory tag on the neck plate, a hard case with a laminated tag that reads: “PRN Productions.
Paul Pogba is the latest soccer superstar to overtly snub official sponsors after the France player removed a bottle of Heineken placed in front of him at a Euro 2020 press conference. The move followed soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo removing a bottle of Coke from his presser. Pogba, a devout Muslim, was seen moving the beer bottle from the table directly in front of him as he took questions under media obligations following France’s opening victory over Germany on Tuesday night. For Muslims, alcohol is “haram” or forbidden. https://youtu.be/rRJK8KeQM5E
Marla Gibbs, Margaret Theresa Bradley, born June 14, 1931) is an actress, singer, comedian, writer and television producer, whose career spans five decades celebrated her 90th birthday at Peter Georges’ Conference Room Restaurant & Bar in Playa Vista, CA. The party was sponsored by family friend and businessman Henry Woods, founder of HNW International Corporation, an international Consulting/Connector Firm, along with Lemuel Daniels, Peter George, and others. n all-star cast of Marla’s friends and children that attend the birthday celebration included; Beverly Todd, Judy Pace, Earnest Harden, Jr., Kathleen Bradley, Sheila Frazier, former State Senator Diane Watson, Jackee Harry, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Tico Wells, Attorney Frank K. Wheaton, and Marla’s children; Angela, Amil, Dorian, and Jordan Gibbs. A host of politicians presented proclamations and kind words to Marla, present were Mayor James Butts, Councilmember Curren Price, Jr, Senator Sydney Kamlager, along with representatives for Congresswoman Karen Bass, Mayor Eric Garcetti, LA Supervisor Janice Hahn, and Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson.
After being accused of mocking George Floyd in videos of a recent traffic stop, YouTuber and rapper CJ So Cool addresses the backlash and tells Black people to be nice and comply with police, and they too can walk unscathed from a traffic stop. Earlier today (June 14), the Youtuber was pulled over for driving 140 miles per hour in a 65-MPH zone with his Lamborghini. While the cop ran his information, CJ filmed himself and pretended to sob, while saying, “Please don’t shoot me bro. I got kids.” After fans caught his video, he went live to address claims of him mocking George Floyd and other Black men and women who’ve been victims of police brutality.
Another mysterious in-custody death prompts calls of an investigation after William Harvey, a 60-year-old Savannah, Georgia, Black man was found hanged in a police interrogation room. Five officers were fired on Monday in the wake of Harvey’s death after he was found unconscious with injuries to his neck caused by a pair of Harvey’s shoelaces on April 2. Officers attempted life-saving measures; however, Harvey died as a result of his injuries, according to a statement released by the Savannah Police Department. Harvey was apprehended in relation to an aggravated assault investigation and taken to the SPD interrogation room at their headquarters. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation ruled his death a suicide, but Harvey’s family accuses law enforcement of foul play. Their suspicions grew after they were told no video evidence existed of Harvey’s alone time in the interrogation room.
The standout couple from Netflix’s dating series “Love Is Blind” share their love advice for the modern world, the ups and downs they’ve experienced during their first years of marriage, and exclusive behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the pods in their new book, “Leap of Faith.” When Cameron Hamilton and Lauren Speed locked eyes for the first time, they were already engaged. That’s how the show works. They had no idea what to expect, having fallen in love across the divider of their pods on the unconventional reality show. While they never expected to find their life partner through the experiment, Lauren and Cameron became living proof that love is indeed blind.
NBA fans were losing their minds on social media on Wednesday morning as they digested the surprise news that star point guard Chris Paul would miss his team’s crucial upcoming playoffs games “indefinitely” because he’s been placed in the league’s COVID-19 protocol. That means that the Phoenix Suns’ starting point guard was somehow exposed to COVID-19 at some point between sweeping the Denver Nuggets during a pivotal Game 4 on Sunday and Wednesday morning when Shams Charania of the Athletic broke the news.
Questions about the development flooded social media timelines: How did he come to be exposed? Was it when he jumped in the stands and hugged his family after winning Game 4? If so, shouldn’t his teammates and coaches also be placed on the same protocol since Paul was exposed to them? But one question, in particular, stood out: Is Chris Paul vaccinated? According to Baxter Holmes of ESPN, the NBA has loosened its COVID-19 restrictions for players, coaches and team staff who have been fully vaccinated.
TV One's highly anticipated film, BAD DAD REHAB: THE NEXT SESSION, premieres this Sunday, June 20 at 8 P.M. ET/7C. Building off of the success of the franchise's first production, Bad Dad Rehab, The film features a brand-new cast that includes legendary rapper Antonio “Big Daddy Kane” Hardy (Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, Dead Heist) as Owen, Lamman Rucker (“Greenleaf”, “Why Did I Get Married”) as Mr. Arnold, Blue Kimble (“Monogamy,” “Ruthless”) as Chauncey, Onyekwere Eme-Akwari (“Queen of the South”) as Marshall, Carlo Mendez (“90210,” “Parks and Recreation”) as Hosea, Chrystale Wilson (“The Rich and the Ruthless”) as Marjory. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBCDArI20-o
A first-of-its-kind tribute to the trailblazing artists, iconic entertainers, and legendary luminaries who have impacted both Black culture and the community at large, the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame (BMEWOF) will officially induct its inaugural class of honorees this June, during Black Music Month. The formal induction ceremony will take place in Atlanta, GA on June 17, 2021. The inaugural class of inductees were selected from the BMEWOF's list of 38 nominees in the categories of Foundational Inductees, Legacy Artists, Mainstream Mogul, Gospel Female, Gospel Male, HipHop Female, HipHop Male, Mainstream Female and Mainstream Male. The BMEWOF Foundational Inductees are James Brown, Otis Redding, Quincy D. Jones, and Stevie Wonder. They will be joined by Michael Jackson (Legacy Artists), Sean Love Combs (Mainstream Mogul), Shirley Caesar (Gospel Female), Kirk Franklin (Gospel Male), Missy Elliott (Hip Hop Female), Outkast (Hip Hop Male), Beyoncé (Mainstream Female), and Usher Raymond IV (Mainstream Male).
The 6th Annual Black Music Honors special airs nationally on Saturday, June 19 at 1:00pm EST on Bounce TV and will commemorate Juneteenth, an annual holiday that honors the end of slavery in the United States. The awards ceremony is in national broadcast syndication across the country and airs during Black Music Month. Viewers can see the exciting special in key markets such as Los Angeles at 10am PT on KABC (ABC), in Atlanta at 5pm ET on WATL (MNT), in Philadelphia at 2pm ET on WPSG (CW), and in Chicago on Sunday, June 20 at 7pm CT on WGN (IND), among others. Emmy® Award-winning talk show host, comedienne and author Loni Love hosts the star-studded two-hour special which will honor artists and musicians who have influenced and made significant contributions to American music. Performers include Cece Winans, Montell Jordan, Jacquees, After 7, Syleena Johnson, Pleasure P, Stokley, Avery*Sunshine, J. Moss, Q Parker, Bahamadia, Chrisette Michele, Jac Ross, Mumu Fresh, Kevin Ross, Theresa Tha Songbird, and Zacardi Cortez. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ1m7gXwrXA
In a society where taking the perfect selfie is almost as important as healthcare, Marketing & Brand Strategist Mary Seats (famously known as Mz. Skittlez) has opened a selfie museum in the heart of Atlanta. The 19 station museum is a haven for the everyday creative to capture unique content, purchase fly gear, generate new business ideas, or simply flick it up! The Gurl Mobb Museum is located in Optimist Lofts (2115 Piedmont Rd NE, Suite 1202, Atlanta, GA 30324) and is open Wednesday through Saturday 11AM to 9PM, and Sundays from 11AM to 6PM.
NeNe Leakes recently dished with blogger Michelle “ATLien” Brown about her relationship with former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast members and ongoing rumors surrounding the reality TV series. She also revealed that none of the RHOA cast showed up at the grand opening of her new lounge called Linnethia Lounge, which is located in upscale Duluth, Ga., about 15 minutes northeast of Atlanta. https://youtu.be/ezK6D6Prnk0
Monday, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the co-creator of the film “In The Heights,” took to Twitter to address criticism of the film’s casting. In particular, it’s been noted that only light-skinned actors were cast in the roles of the musical’s main Latinx characters. “I hear that, without sufficient dark-skinned Afro-Latino representation, the world feels extractive of the community we wanted so much to represent with pride and joy,” Miranda replied. “In trying to paint a mosaic of this community, we fell short. I’m truly sorry.”The film, which had a disappointing debut at the box office this past weekend, is a version of the very successful Broadway musical. It of course is set in NYC’s Washington Heights neighborhood, but only includes Afro-Latinx performers in background and dance roles. https://youtu.be/U0CL-ZSuCrQ
A biopic about late-great comedian Bernie Mac is in the works, as it was recently announced at the 2021 Tribeca Festival. Je’Niece McCullough, Mac’s daughter, has shared who she thinks should portray her father in the film. Speaking to TMZ, McCullough said John Legend‘s production company, Get Lifted, and Mac’s estate will head the project. The first is Aldis Hodge — known for his roles on “Leverage” and in “Hidden Figures” — because Je’Niece says he’s a great actor with a similar complexion to Bernie. He also played MC Ren in “Straight Outta Compton” and more recently, NFL legend Jim Brown in “One Night in Miami.” She also has an out-of-the-box option if producers want to portray Bernie in his younger years, and he’s a YouTube star. His name is Mark Phillips, and Je’Niece tells us her daughter loves him, and always says how much he reminds her of Bernie.
Rapper T-Pain revealed in a recent interview with “The 85 South Show,” that he wanted to work with Nicki Minaj in 2007 when she was an up-and-coming artist but she turned him down. “She was like, ‘Hey, I’m an artist too and I’m working on my sh*t, so ya know, baby chill,’” he said. T-Pain goes on to admit that he may have been all up in his feelings at the moment. “Maybe I was in love with Nicki Minaj,” T-Pain confessed. Minaj saw the interview posted on The Shade Room and she responded in the comments. “I don’t remember this AT ALL but it DEF sound like smthn I would say. omg what was I thinking? He was already a rlly big artist. I was still underground. Chileeeeee I used to b buggin yo I was under so much pressure to deliver,” she wrote.
Chrissy Teigen has issued yet another apology for being a Twitter troll and a cyberbully. This apology comes nearly a month after Bloomingdale’s canceled a promotional deal with the cookbook author “at the 11th hour because of her explosive cyberbullying scandal,” with Courtney Stodden, Page Six reported. Macy’s also dropped Teigen’s “Cravings by Chrissy” cookware line from its website. The fallout began after Stodden, now 26, revealed that the former model encouraged her to kill herself in private Twitter messages when she was 16 years old. Teigen apologized in May, writing on Twitter, “Not a lot of people are lucky enough to be held accountable for all their past bulls–t in front of the entire world. I’m mortified and sad at who I used to be.” She added, “I was an insecure, attention-seeking troll. I am ashamed and completely embarrassed at my behavior but that… is nothing compared to how I made Courtney feel.”
A reporter with Houston’s Fox News affiliate said during a live broadcast Monday that “Fox Corp.” was muzzling her — and announced that she would be going to far-right group Project Veritas with behind-the-scenes recordings. “I want to let you the viewers know that Fox Corp. has been muzzling me to keep certain information from you,” said Ivory Hecker, a 32-year-old general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor with Fox 26 Houston. “From what I am gathering, I am not the only reporter being subjected to this. I am going to be releasing some recordings about what goes on behind the scenes at Fox, because it applies to you, the viewers.” https://youtu.be/htaIFQELqaM
It’s never about how many times you fall, or how many try to keep you down, or even the reason why you feel more than it’s about your relentless rebound to prevail regardless of your past. Talk host, Travis Smiley is a perfect example of what it means to do this, as he buys Arthur Liu’s Multicultural Radio Broadcasting. According to RBR, Smiley was ordered to pay PBS $2.6 million for allegedly violating a morals clause in multiple sexual harassment cases last August. He was also fired by BET earlier in his career which ignited him becoming a household name. RBR reports that the deal is valued at $7.15 million. A $357,500 escrow deposit has been made and is being held by Patrick Communications, the buyer’s representative.
A 2013 video of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has resurfaced showing him flirting with a Latina reporter. Orlando Silva of Fadeaway World writes, “Just like he’s savage with some of his takes, the 53-year-old is wild when he flirts.” He goes on to note that Smith was “ready to risk it all” while talking to host Brhitney Decamps. https://youtu.be/VbEVWas9_p4
The owners of a Washington, D.C., bar said they have “terminated, with immediate effect, the independent security vendor hired to protect our guests during Pride Week.” The move comes after a video surfaced showing security at Nellie’s Sports Bar dragging a Black woman down a flight of stairs by her hair. A protest was held outside the establishment located in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington D.C. We previously reported, the demonstration, which began around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, included dozens of people shouting and holding signs outside the popular LGBTQ+ bar. Keisha Young, 22, of Maryland, told WUSA9 that she was the woman seen being dragged out of Nellie’s in that viral video on Instagram. https://youtu.be/27ZZ1QtIRfI
The Indianapolis police officer who shot and killed Dreasjon Reed last year is suing the National Football League over its campaign intended to “honor victims of systemic racism, victims of police misconduct, and social justice heroes.” MPD officer De’Joure Mercer’s complaint, filed Monday in the federal Southern District of Indiana, targets website posts and video produced by the NFL that highlight Reed and other civil rights figures killed by police. Mercer’s lawyers take issue with that language, writing in the complaint: “The (v)ideo gives rise to the inference, implication, and imputation that Mercer committed occupational misconduct and even criminal acts during the May 6 (e)ncounter with Reed, similar to that which were inflicted upon George Floyd. This inference, implication, and imputation is false because Mercer committed no such acts.”
The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Three Republicans — Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — voted with Democrats to confirm with a 53-44 vote. Graham conceded that although Jackson has “a different philosophy” than him, “I think she’s qualified for the job.”
For the second year in a row, ESSENCE Studios presents Dear Black Men—an all-male summit that salutes the contributions of our brothers who speak vulnerably about their respective experiences as family men, community advocates and leaders of this generation. Through a series of candid conversations and engaging dialogue with some of today’s leading voices, Dear Black Men will uplift and inspire viewers during this virtual gathering that will put a spotlight on the impactful work of men within their homes, industries and organizations. It will all take place on Father’s Day weekend, Friday, June 18th, and will stream on ESSENCEStudios.com from 7-9 PM (ET). During the virtual summit, a variety of topics will be addressed including wealth building, emotional and physical wellness and more.
Celebrate good times this summer as Robert ‘Kool’ Bell, founder of the Grammy Award winning Kool & the Gang will host the second annual Kool Kids Foundation Golf Tournament. The event will take place on Tuesday, July 13th 2021 at the Cedar Hill Golf & Country Club, located at 100 Walnut Street in Livingston, NJ. Celebrity athletes and entertainers will be attending this star-studded golf outing – John Starks, Charles Oakley, Ken Griffey, Sr., Hisham Tawfiq (from NBC-TV’S “The Blacklist”), OJ Anderson, Anthony Avent, Jeff Nelson, Stephane Matteau, Howard Cross, Rodney Hampton, Stephen Baker, Lewis Tillman, George Rogers, Brian Kelly and Mark Bavaro.
More than 66 years after Brown vs. the Board of Education mandated the desegregation of public schools, some Black students in Mississippi still are fighting Jim Crow era practices by school administrators. At least four families claimed their high school seniors have been cheated out of valedictorian and salutatorian honors. The latest incident happened at West Point High School where Layla Temple and Ikeria Washington were forced to share their respective Val and Sal status with two White students after their parents complained and bullied educators into a questionable grade point average recount. https://youtu.be/Isc36QC9Zss
Love and Hip-Hop star Erica Mena filed for divorce last month from Safaree Samuels, but her estranged husband is putting up a big fight over child custody. Just recently, Safaree claimed that he was afraid Erica Mena won’t allow him to be present for the birth of their second child so he wants to take his fight to court. He has also refused to give her full custody of their daughter and unborn child. According to TMZ, Erica Mena now claims that all this drama surrounding their divorce is at least part of the reason she’s landed in the hospital during her pregnancy. Erica noted that Safaree has “failed to be involved in her care or to visit her at the hospital during her most recent stay, where she remained overnight for many days related to her pregnancy.” In docs, obtained by TMZ, Erica also claims Safaree’s latest request for shared custody of their children is only being done “in hopes of obtaining ‘good publicity’ and painting [Erica] as the instigator, while in actuality, [Erica’s] the only parent ensuring the parties’ children’s safety and acting in their best interest.”
Southern Baptists in Nashville for the denomination’s 2021 annual meeting heard a strong plea for gospel unity from Dallas pastor Tony Evans. The author of several books focused on God’s kingdom kicked off the 2-day Send Conference held prior to the business meeting. The conference, sponsored by the North American and International Mission Boards, also featured worship artists CeCe Winans, Michael W. Smith, and Crowder. Evans started with message with an extended football metaphor, explaining that there are three teams on the field during a game—the two competing against each other, and the team of officials charged with governing the game. https://twitter.com/i/status/1404291401869824000
In Kwame Kilpatrick’s first public event since his release from prison, the former mayor of Detroit preached to the crowd Sunday at the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church. Kilpatrick spoke to the building of Christ’s church, second chances, the beginning of his own ministry and being from the “real Detroit.” https://youtu.be/YZHoJmBAIM0
Brandy Fisher-Blood has joined Walt Disney Animation Studios as the head of Diversity & Inclusion Strategies and will report to Walt Disney Animation Studios President Clark Spencer. Fisher-Blood will be responsible for overseeing diversity and inclusion efforts across Walt Disney Studios and will serve as the primary strategic consultant to Walt Disney’s business leaders, HR partners, and creative leaders including directors, producers, and production leadership. She will also provide expertise on best inclusion practices and help enhance Walt Disney’s inclusion commitment both inside and outside the company. Fisher-Blood said the appointment is a dream come true to work for the company that had its first Black princess when she was eight years old.
Black CPAs across the country are celebrating the one-year anniversary of the National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants (NSBCPA). Chartered on June 8th, NSBCPA was organized to increase the number of Black CPAs and provide resources for members to thrive in the profession. According to the organization’s website, Black CPAs are the most underrepresented group within the CPA profession. Surveys have shown that less than 1% of CPAs are Black. Also, there are less than 3% of Black staff at public accounting firms.
A Black woman, for the first time, will become a chief federal judge in Mississippi. The state has two federal court districts — northern and southern. Court officials say U.S. District Judge Debra M. Brown will become the chief judge of the northern district during a ceremony Friday in Greenville. She will receive the gavel from U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock, who remains on the federal bench but is ending a seven-year term in the top spot in the district. Brown was nominated to the federal bench in 2013 by then-President Barack Obama.
Minnesota’s first Black-owned juice bar was broken into overnight, forcing it to close just days after its grand opening. Catiesha Pierson, the owner of The Dripping Root, had to do what no small business owner wants to do on Friday, sending customers away as she focused on cleaning up after an early morning break in. “I’m not going to let something like that ruin my shine or happiness for the amazing thing that’s been built and surrounded by community,” Pierson told FOX 9. The Dripping Root’s security camera captured video of the vandalism in progress. Two suspects, apparently targeting cash, shattered the juice bar’s front glass window, making a mess. Since the juice bar is cashless, the thieves did not get away with much before police arrived.
It was a little more than three years ago that Brennan Walker was nearly killed asking for directions to high school. “It doesn’t mentally impact me as much as it used to, but I think about the events every day,” he said. Brennan will walk Saturday as a graduate entering young adulthood – and he admitted he’s a little nervous about it. Those nerves are a far cry compared to what he experienced when he was 14 years old. That was when Jeff Zeigler, who is white, fired at him with a shotgun, assuming he was a burglar. The case made national news. Zeigler was sentenced to four to 10 years in prison.
The Brooklyn mother who allegedly threw her two young children — including a newborn baby who is now in grave condition — out of her second-floor window is facing attempted murder charges, police said. Dejhanay Jarrell, 24, was charged on Saturday with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault, two counts of reckless endangerment and acting in a manner dangerous to a child younger than 17, according to police. Jarrell allegedly tossed her naked kids from the fire escape of her Rockaway Parkway apartment at about 11 a.m. Saturday, before jumping to the ground and continuing to harm the newborn girl, according to police and witnesses. Carl Chin, who lives in a row house adjoining the apartment building’s courtyard, rushed to wrestle the baby out of the mother’s arms. “She grabbed hold of the two kids and proceeded to hurt them more,” Chin told The Post on Saturday.
Hollywood fashion expert, VIP personal shopper and commentator Joseph “Joe” Katz brings you in-depth interviews with celebrities and influencers about their style and personal experiences on his Podcast and Vodcast (video podcast) program called The Katz Walk. He also shares the best beauty and lifestyle tips and tricks to help you look and feel your best. In this episode of The Katz Walk, Joseph takes you inside the world of Grammy winner and artist Lecrae. In this episode you can listen to Lecrae talk honestly and truthfully in this very heartfelt interview about his music career, rise to music success and of course his fashion. https://youtu.be/ws-Ss5fLIMY
Artist-producer-entrepreneur Andre “Dr. Dre” Young and music producer and entrepreneur Jimmy Iovine joined Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner Monday to announce a joint effort to launch a new high school in South Los Angeles. A release from the LAUSD said the school’s curriculum will build on USC Iovine and Young Academy’s groundbreaking approach — which combines design, business and technology with hands-on, real-world learning to help develop young leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. The school, known as Regional High School #1 until the official naming process is completed, will be co-located on the Audubon Middle School campus and serve up to 124 students when it opens in Fall 2022, the LAUSD said.
As 2021 Pride Month continues, history has officially been made by our current Vice President #KamalaHarris. During a recent appearance at Capital Pride in Washington, D.C. accompanied by her husband, Kamala Harris made history as the first sitting U.S. Vice President to ever march at a pride event! NBC Washington reports, Vice President Kamala Harris, a long and openly supportive ally for the LGBTQ+ community, surprised those in attendance at the Capital Pride March in Washington, D.C. earlier today. However, her appearance wasn’t just one of support, it was also historic—as VP Harris has now become the very first sitting U.S. Vice President in history to ever march at a pride event. Wearing a bright pink blazer, jeans and a T-shirt that read “love is love,” VP Harris (along with her husband Doug Emhoff) marched alongside the crowd waving and cheering “Happy Pride” as the marchers headed to Freedom Plaza
Opponents to critical race theory in public schools aren’t just pushing policy changes. Some are going after Black elected officials and community leaders for supporting equity in public education. The Chandler Unified School District, in the southeastern section of the Phoenix metropolitan area, is among the latest districts caught in the middle of the battle over critical race theory. Whipped up into a frenzy, “concerned” citizens and parents submitted comments objecting to critical race theory ahead of a board meeting Thursday. The Arizona Mirror chronicled the right-wing influence running through both the anti-mask and critical race theory opposition across several school districts. Led by Steven Tyler Daniels, a member of the Patriot Party and the Purple for Parents group, school districts in the surrounding area have been under siege with hype about a made-up problem. https://youtu.be/XG8wOMUU7hw
A new decision from a federal judge could jeopardize historic debt relief for Black farmers and other farmers of color. Judge William Griesbach of Wisconsin’s Eastern District issued a temporary restraining order Thursday, preventing the Biden administration from releasing long-awaited funds. Griesbach found in favor of the plaintiffs stating the challenge had a likelihood of succeeding on the claim’s merits. A conservative law firm, known for exploiting technicalities to the detriment of historically disenfranchised communities, represents the white farmers. Challenges to affirmative action policies often use similar logic. From their viewpoint, it doesn’t matter that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) has an established history of denying Black and other farmers of color the same equal protection for generations.
As a person of color in America, it is not a surprise that at any given time and in any given space you can go from being an innocent, uninvolved citizen to a criminal suspect almost instantaneously. From random and unnecessary stop and frisk that are disproportionately administered to Black and Latino people, to the racial profiling that happens anywhere a non-person of color thinks you don’t belong it can get exhausting trying to prove your innocence. Despite the fact that Senator Cory Booker went to school in a wealthy area of Northern California where mostly white people reside called Palo Alto, he was still victim to the prejudice. According to Black Enterprise, Booker recalls a time where he was essentially held at gunpoint with the negligent misconception that he’d stolen the car that was registered in his name. “It seemed like half the police force came out and they kept me, sitting in my car, screaming at me commands,” the New Jersey senator shared. “And ultimately, the only excuse they gave me was that I fit the description of somebody that they were looking for.”
Throughout her entire career actress Sanaa Lathan has brought powerful and memorable characters to life on the silver screen and she will continue to use her artistry to tell poignant stories from the director’s chair. According to Deadline, Lathan will direct a film adaptation for one of author Angie Thomas’ novels. The film—which will be the first feature film that Lathan has directed—is inspired by Thomas’ book On the Come Up. The novel captures the coming of age story of a 16-year-old aspiring rapper named Bri. It delves into her journey as she navigates grief following the loss of her father and deals with a flawed school system and financial burdens.
The National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations on behalf of our affiliate groups proclaim our unwavering support of our Native American brethren by supporting the passage of the Remove the Stain Act. The Act pursues rescinding Medals of Honor awarded to those American soldiers who perpetrated the act of massacring 200 noncombatant young men, women, and children of the Lakota Tribe at Wounded Knee Creek. The Act would serve as a step in recognizing the tragedy of the Era with truth serving as the foundation toward Peace and Justice.https://youtu.be/BtkRjKbMO08
Rapstress Megan Thee Stallion is investing in the futures of the next generation of innovators and visionaries. According to KPRC 2 Houston, the Houston native will provide a student with a full-ride scholarship to Long Island University’s Roc Nation School of Music, Sports and Entertainment. The Grammy award-winning music artist, Megan Pete, took to Instagram to share that she is covering four years of education-related expenses for an individual aspiring to pursue their degree. She hopes to help them cultivate a solid foundation for success. “I’m helping my hotties pursue their dreams,” she wrote in a post. “Education has always been important to me so I’ll be funding a full-ride scholarship for the Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment at LIU. All four years – PAID!” The deadline for scholarship submissions is July 15.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner now owns the rights to Russell Duncan’s novel “Freedom Shore: Tunis Campbell and Georgia Freedmen” reports Deadline via MSN News. Warner is set to star and produce this marvelous project. However, no writer has been assigned, just yet. A little back story of the novel: “Freedom’s Shore“ vividly depicts the incredible story of Tunis Campbell, a Northern abolitionist minister who became Senator and Vice President of the Republican Party of Georgia after the Civil War to help freed slaves transition to free men and women.
In a rare interview (with Bustle), #LoriHarvey is opening up about her love life, and why she’s so public with her relationship with actor Michael B. Jordan. She first reflected on her previous engagement with soccer player Memphis Depay, who she was engaged to in 2017 before calling it quits the following year. She said of their romance, “I grew up a lot and I learned a lot from that relationship. And so, I think just as I’ve gotten older and developed as a woman, I’ve taken that knowledge with me: learning what I like, what I don’t like, and just applying that to where I’m at now.” Since then, she’s been linked to the likes of Diddy, Trey Songz, Future, and her current boyfriend Michael B. Jordan, who she went public with earlier this year. She gushed about their relationship and said, We met actually a few years ago. We had some mutual friends. I think we met out, just in passing.” When asked about her first impression of him she giggled and said, “I was like, ‘He’s cute!’”
After a year of reckoning since the brutal murder of George Floyd low recruitment and increased retirement rates continue to uptick across police departments in the United States. In May MPR News reported that 105 officers left the Minneapolis Police Department last year, twice as many as normal. But a report by KSMP-TV found that the MPD swore in 632 officers, down 25 percent from 845 in 2020. A study by the Police Executive Research Forum obtained by the Associated Press shows the rate of retirement rose 45 percent at some law enforcement departments while hiring slowed by 5 percent in comparison to the previous year. 200 law enforcement agencies were surveyed in the study.
Alton Sterling‘s children accepted a $4.5 million settlement from the city of Baton Rouge, almost five years after their loved one was killed by law enforcement during the origins of the Black Lives Matter movement. In February council members voted to approve the settlement amount after months of deadlock over the settlement amount. The money will be allocated from the East Baton Rouge Parish’s insurance reserve funds, beginning with an initial payment of $1 million. The remaining monies will be distributed in equal installments over four years.
LeBron James had enough. During the press conference after Game 1 of the 2018 NBA finals, James was questioned repeatedly by about the mental state of J.R. Smith, whose final-seconds rebounding blunder contributed to a Cleveland Cavaliers overtime loss. Over 70 seconds and four questions, Schwartz probed for the inner workings of Smith’s mind, before James finally stood up, put on sunglasses, grabbed his briefcase and walked out through the gathered press corps. He uttered a single sentence: “Be better tomorrow.” It was not the first verbal tangle between reporter and sports star, and it will not be the last. Recently tennis star Naomi Osaka left the French Open for mental health issues exacerbated, she said, by facing questions at the tournament-required press conferences. These examples represent a fundamental struggle between athletes and those who cover them: interviews contested in a press room forum that feel more like a mixed-martial-arts octagon than Oprah’s couch. https://youtu.be/RWywq1yCtCs
Holding the number one spot on Billboard Magazine’s Gospel Charts for seven consecutive weeks, the Believe For It album takes on a second wind with the announcement of the “Believe For It Sunday” Campaign. The celebrated gospel singer, CeCe Winans, partners with Loop Community for a campaign designed to bring churches together to help spread the message of hope and encouragement. The goal of the campaign is to reach as many churches as possible with an invitation to participate in this unity driven event that will ignite great expectations for the future with the power of worship. The vision is to have worship teams inspire the masses with their rendition of “Believe For It” by recording the track from their churches, posting it to their social media pages and tagging #BFISunday and tag @CeCeWinans.
Guns are not toys and they never have been. How many more “accidental” incidents have to occur for the light bulb to finally click? It is the utmost heart breaking to report deaths that could have been avoided by common care, concern, and common sense, that is not common at all. According to TooFab, 24 year old Taniyria Holt, is facing possible manslaughter charges as she carelessly recorded herself parading a loaded gun that she did not own, and passing the gun to her sister, not knowing it was loaded, shot her in the face. This incident shut down a section of the Interstate 195 on Sunday evening, Miami Beach police initially believed the gunshot wound was self-inflicted. Yet, somewhat responsibly Holt waived her right to silence and explained what really happened. https://youtu.be/uapm9ArI7Qk
The horrible neighbor who allegedly shot a 6-year-old boy is back in police custody following a massive outcry over his initial release on a $10k cash bond. 6-year-old Coby was nearly killed when his neighbor Ryan Le-Nguyen allegedly opened fire as the kid picked up his bike from the sidewalk. Ryan Le-Nguyen, was reportedly pissed Coby and a friend had left their bikes in front of his home. The neighbor allegedly chased him with a sledgehammer, and then fired a gun, hitting him in the arm. Nguyen was arrested but then released after bonding out. The incident went down over the weekend in Ypsilanti, Michigan — about 35 miles outside Detroit. Prosecuting attorney Eli Savit told TMZ that the boy could have easily been killed in the incident and breaks down the argument he made Thursday in court to get bail increased to $100,000.
Demands for political loyalty. Disputes about racism. A fight between conservatives and ultraconservatives. It sounds like current debates within the Republican Party, but on Tuesday, thousands of Southern Baptists will gather in Nashville to vote on issues that will shape the massive denomination’s future, including the choice of its next president. More than 16,000 people are expected to attend the denomination’s annual meeting, probably the largest religious gathering since the pandemic, as well as the biggest Baptist meeting in decades. What is especially unusual about the meeting is infighting at the highest levels of leadership that has become public in recent weeks. New details released to news media outlets have shined a light on the backroom dealings of several of its high-profile leaders.
Chief Sheryl Victorian has made history in Waco as not only the first female, but also the first African American chief of police. We caught up with Victorian as she visited the Waco Police Museum. She stood admiring photos of those who served before her, opening the door for women like her to work for the department. She is pretty much living history herself, but that is not what brought her here. “So when I accepted the position with the Waco Police Department, I didn’t come here with the goal of making history as the first African American or the first female chief of police for this city. I came because the goals and the values of the agency of the city represent many of my own and for my aspirations of becoming a police chief.” said Chief Victorian.
Darnella Frazier, who was 17 when she recorded George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis last year, was awarded a special citation by the Pulitzer Board on Friday. The video played a major role in igniting a global protest movement against police violence, and was used as evidence in the trial of Floyd’s killer. Committee officials who give out the prestigious prize in journalism and the arts said Frazier’s recording highlighted “the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quests for truth and justice.” Frazier, who is Black, recently said she was proud of herself for recording Floyd’s murder even though it became a “traumatic life-changing experience” for her in the aftermath. Her video showed former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck. Chauvin held his knee there for nine minutes and 29 seconds.
The father of a black teen shot dead by police has joined-in demands to know what Black Lives Matter’s $90 million funds have been used for after its co-founder’s $3 million property portfolio was exposed. Michael Brown Sr – whose 18 year-old son Michael Brown was shot dead by a cop in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, added his name to the BLM 10 Plus movement. It is comprised of the original 10 Black Lives Matter chapters, and is seeking transparency and accountability from BLM about how its cash has been used. Co-founder Patrice Cullors resigned last month after her $3 million property portfolio was revealed, although those houses were bought with cash Cullors earned through public speaking and books she has written.
The Texas Supreme Court on Friday rejected a million-dollar libel lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Lubbock, finding in favor of religious organizations’ First Amendment rights. Former Deacon Jesus Guerrero sued the diocese for defamation in 2019 after it published his name on a list of members of the church who were credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. After hearing arguments in the case in January, the state high court ruled Friday that Guerrero lacked jurisdiction to bring the case.
USA Gymnastics announced Friday that Dianne Durham will be inducted into the 2021 Hall of Fame. Thirty-eight years ago, she became the first Black gymnast to win the senior national championship. Sadly, Durham died in February at the age of 52. Durham will be inducted alongside the 2004 U.S. men’s Olympic team and four individuals, including six-time world medalist Rebecca Bross, on June 26 in St. Louis. https://youtu.be/yowt3YfwIsU
Minister Robert Perkins has been a community leader for nearly 30 years. Now he is ready to take a seat at the political table: he is running for District Leader of the 61st Assembly District. Minister Perkins is in a contest against incumbent, Daniel Lavelle, who has held the position since 2013. In his press release announcing his candidacy, Perkins mentioned that he is the first African-American male District Leader candidate. http://www.gospel-spotlight.com
The 32nd annual New Orleans Film Festival will be held in-person this year. The event is scheduled for Nov. 5-21 at venues across the New Orleans area and will also include a virtual cinema. The virtual cinema will be accessible globally. This announcement was made by the New Orleans Film Society on Wednesday.
Helen Hunt celebrated the 25th anniversary of Jan de Bont’s massive 1996 disaster blockbuster “Twister” by revealing a sequel she pitched that never got made. During a recent episode of “Watch What Happens Live” hosted by Andy Cohen, Hunt said she showed interest in directing a sequel in June of 2020, right around the time a reboot was announced as in the works at Universal Pictures. (Via Insider.) Hunt, who currently stars on the upcoming Starz series “Blindspotting,” said she wanted to make a film with a multiracial cast, but that an unnamed studio rejected the idea. “I tried to get it made,” the “Mad About You” star told Cohen. “With Daveed [Diggs] and Rafael [Casal] and me writing it, and all Black and brown storm chasers, and they wouldn’t do it. I was going to direct it.”
John Legend’s production company, Get Lifted, has partnered with the Bernie Mac estate to make a biopic about the late comedian, Legend’s producing partner Mike Jackson revealed during a panel discussion at the 2021 Tribeca Festival. “We just partnered with Bernie Mac’s estate to cover Bernie Mac’s story,” Jackson said, seemingly surprising Legend as he said the info was “something that John doesn’t know about yet” and that he was “very excited about” the deal, which “just happened today.” “Look at you breaking news over here,” Legend said in response.
“Springsteen on Broadway” will return to Broadway beginning this summer. Bruce Springsteen’s one-man show will have a limited run at the St. James Theatre beginning June 26th with a tentative ending date for Sept. 4th. “Springsteen on Broadway” includes 15 songs and stories of his growing up in New Jersey. Some of his stories can be found in his autobiography. His one-man show debuted in 2017 but closed in late 2018. A filmed version can be found on Netflix. To be a part of the audience, one will be required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.
Chris Harrison the original host of “The Bachelor” is leaving. He was on hiatus from the franchise before his permanent departure was confirmed. Harrison has had a few run-ins but his biggest being the backlash he faced after he voiced support for Kirkconnell during an “Extra” interview last February with Rachel Lindsay. He apologized stating that he realized he had caused harm by “speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism.” Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment in a joint statement, expressed their thanks to Harrison for his “many contributions over the past 20 years and [we] wish him all the best on his new journey.” The current season of “The Bachelorette” is being hosted by former cast members Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe. As for his replacement, the producer and the network had no further comments.
She did it again. Carrie Underwood, who now has 23 CMT Awards, graciously accepted the honor bestowed upon her once again as the most decorated artist in the history of the CMT Awards. Thanks to her song “Hallelujah” which she collaborated with John Legend. Underwood gave credit to Legend for sending her the song which first appeared on her album “My Gift.” Underwood also performed with rock band NEEDTOBREATHE and other female stars. Other performers included: Grammy-winning R&B star H.E.R. and fellow guitar slayer Chris Stapleton; Gladys Knight with Mickey Guyton; Guyton with BRELAND. Linda Martell, who did not attend the show was honored as well. Lady A kicked off the show with Carly Pearce and Lindsay Ell, Ingrid Andress sang with pop singer-songwriter JP Saxe, while Miranda Lambert performed with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall. Hosts Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini also performed onstage and won awards.
Phyllis Hyman is one of the all-time brightest classic soul stars of the ’80s & 90s. Her authentic rhythm, flow, and divine connection to the people will finally be appropriately recognized on July 31. According to Soul Tracks, Soul Music Records will be honoring her with a deluxe 9-disc retrospective of her career titled Phyllis Hyman – Old Friend: The Deluxe Collection 1976-1998. https://youtu.be/dhCf2L2-jww
“It’s been short and fast,” said Paris born Contemporary Jazz guitarist Marc Antoine about his 25 year marriage to Rebecca, which is the motivation behind the release of his new album “Something About Her” (Shanachie Entertainment). “When everything goes well it doesn’t feel like 25 years. It’s like it just happened.” Throughout his career he has worked with three-time Grammy nominated saxophonist Sting, Cher, three-time Grammy nominated saxophonist Dave Koz and Rick Braun. His music can be heard in feature films, such as Get Shorty. https://youtu.be/t1SNaMBs91E
According to actor/producer/comedian Chris Rock, he has fired staffers who have had a problem listening to and being directed by women. “I was like, ‘How come he’s not doing… And then I realize, ‘Oh, [it’s because a woman asked him to do it],” he told Nicole Kidman, who was interviewing him for Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series. As far Rock is concerned, it was women who helped him in the early stages of his career, and when Kidman asked why he thinks it’s important to listen to women, his response was: “I don’t know, maybe my mother. When I started out as a comedian, women like Joy Behar and Susie Essman put me under their wing.” “I don’t know,” he added, “I have just always been around powerful women.
If you’re familiar with Safaree Samuels and Erica Mena then you know the couple is going through a difficult time in their very tenuous relationship. It was only a month ago they were spreading the news of a second child together, but more recently we learned that they are ending their marriage. Although the couple has been on and off, this time around could be different. On May 25, TMZ reported that Erica filed for divorce. Allegedly, Safaree was caught on camera dancing inappropriately with another woman. It’s now alleged that Samuels got another woman pregnant. He has supposedly impregnated another woman while his estranged wife carries their second child. As reported on Madamenoire a source close to the couple confirmed the news. However, so far, neither Safaree or Erica has addressed the claims.
One of legendary Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler’s sons and two of his former players described in detail Thursday how they were molested by the team’s longtime doctor and how Schembechler turned a blind eye when they told him about the alleged abuse, telling one to “toughen up” and punching his son in anger. Matt Schembechler, 62, and former Wolverines players Daniel Kwiatkowski and Gilvanni Johnson told similar stories about how Dr. Robert E. Anderson, who died in 2008, molested and digitally penetrated them during physical exams decades ago. They also talked about how Bo Schembechler, a Michigan icon whose statue stands outside a university building that bears his name, refused to protect them and allowed Anderson to continue abusing players and other patients for years. Anderson “was supported by a culture that placed the reputation of the university above the health and safety of the students,” Matt Schembechler said during a news conference in the Detroit suburb of Novi. “That is the culture that made my father a legend and placed his statue in front of Schembechler Hall.
Simone Biles fans will get the chance to see her record-breaking gymnastic skills in person! The 24-year-old Olympian will be headlining the Athleta Presents Gold Over America Tour, also presented by MagicSpace Entertainment and AEG, and tickets went on sale Friday. The 35-city tour kicks off in Tucson, Arizona, on Sept. 21, with stops along the way in Denver, Colorado, Los Angeles, California, Anaheim, California, Houston, Texas, Chicago, Illinois, Detroit, Michigan, Columbus, Ohio, Atlanta, Georgia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Newark, New Jersey, and Brooklyn, New York. It concludes in Boston, Massachusetts, on Nov. 7. Biles, who claimed her seventh all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, setting a new record for the most all-around titles ever for an American woman, might just be as excited as her fans for the tour, which is also sponsored by GK Elite and SPIETH America.
Novak Djokovic came from a set down in a spellbinding French Open semi-final to inflict only a third ever defeat on the Parisian clay for Rafa Nadal, moving through 3-6 6-3 7-6(4) 6-2 in front of mesmerised crowd on Friday. The two warriors produced superhuman tennis as the 58th duel between them arguably rivalled anything they had conjured against each other since they first locked horns in 2006. Nadal, bidding for a record-extending 14th French Open title, won the first five games and looked on course to repeat his drubbing of the Serb in last year’s final. But world number one Djokovic seized the momentum, winning the second set and then edging a pulsating 97-minute third set on a tiebreak, having saved a set point.
Shaquille O’Neal is a big man with a bigger heart. He has demonstrated this repeatedly, having incredible gestures with strangers who can’t believe this man just helped them get something they struggled to have. A couple of months ago, he helped a young man get an engagement ring. Prior to that, he had told the story of when he bought furniture for a lady whose house was burned down and more. https://fadeawayworld.net/.image/c_limit%2Ccs_srgb%2Cq_auto:good%2Cw_700/MTgxNjU3OTUyMjA4Mjk5Nzg5/shaq-burger.webp
The 69-year-old coach Nick Saban, college football’s highest paid coach, has agreed to a 3-year extended contract to run through the 2029 season with Alabama. The contract includes an $800,000 “contract completion benefit” after each contract year from 2022-25. He signed a new 8-year deal in 2018 worth at least $74.4 million, including $400,000 annual raises and three payments of $800,000 for completing contract years. That propelled him to the top as college football’s highest paid coach. Saban was scheduled to make $9.3 million last year, which placed him again at the top, according to USA Today’s database of college football salaries.
Naomi Osaka said she would not participate in the standard post-match news conferences during Roland Garros, citing her decision as a mental health matter because media questions can create self-doubt. Serena Williams says she can identify with Osaka and the anxiety one feels when dealing with news conference scrutiny. She admits to having experienced it frequently after matches. But, Williams says, media scrutiny has “made me stronger.” In responding to Osaka’s decision to withdraw and her admittance to struggling with long bouts of depression since winning a tumultuous final against Williams in the 2018 U.S. Open, Williams says, “I feel for Naomi. Not everyone is the same. I’m thick. Other people are thin. Everyone is different and everyone handles things differently. You just have to let her handle it the way she wants to and the best way she thinks she can. That’s the only thing I can say: I think she is doing the best she can.” How does Williams handle the media spotlight? Williams says when the glare becomes too intense, it is important to reach out for support. Talk to people and get things off your chest. When you can’t necessarily talk to family have someone you can talk to. You have to take the first step and let people know you need help.
According to CBS News via MSN, customers banking with the online bank: Ally, will no longer be charged a $25 overdraft fee no matter what type of account they hold, the company recently announced. In addition to the new policy, Ally said fees for insufficient funds disproportionately harm low-income households living paycheck to paycheck, especially in Black and Hispanic families. https://youtu.be/gcDjSDX2wcI
Eva Marcille is addressing a controversial moment in her final season of Bravo’s The Real #Housewives of Atlanta. The model and reality star appeared in seasons 10-12 of the popular Bravo series. During a phone call with star Cynthia Bailey in the 12th season, she referred to Kenya Moore and #PorshaWilliams as “nappy-headed,” sparking colorist accusations against her. Now, she has defended the term in an interview with Hello Beautiful saying: “Nappy head is something I say that I have and my daughter also has until we comb it out. I’m a Black woman and it is a colloquialism that we have used. You will not dictate, because your skin is a little darker than mine, what colloquialisms I can or cannot use.”
Two teenage brothers have been arrested for their involvement in a Memorial Day shootout that left toddler Ja’Tyri Brown and two others dead, WBRZ reports. David Williams, 19, and his 15-year-old brother were the latest suspects to be taken into custody, the Baton Rouge Police Department said. Two adults and another 15-year-old have already been apprehended. CCTV showed the suspects going into the pool area of an apartment complex, where they appeared to brawl with two males who were relaxing in lounge chairs. The two males were then shot. 18-month-old girl Ja’Tyri was fatally hit by a stray bullet, according to an arrest affidavit. Her grandmother, Hope Provost, told The Advocate: “I feel like my soul and world has been ripped out of my body. My grandbaby was my world. Everything I did was for my grandbaby.”
As the world economy awakens from the 15-month slumber caused by the pandemic, Deutsche Bank has launched a series of research articles to spark debate and discussion about pressing post-pandemic economic issues. On June 7, Deutsche Bank issued its first report of the new series, titled “Inflation: The defining macro story of this decade.” According to the report, “US macro policy and, indeed, the very role of government in the economy, is undergoing its biggest shift in direction in 40 years. In turn we are concerned that it will bring about uncomfortable levels of inflation.” That could be deemed an understatement considering that the U.S. economy is already experiencing “uncomfortable” inflation.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was known for many things prior to being caught masturbating on zoom during a work call with his former colleagues at The New Yorker.The analyst was once an assistant attorney for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn and rose to fame for his legal coverage at The New Yorker and a subsequent book detailing the O.J. Simpson trial. The book was later turned into the award-winning FX series, “The People vs. O.J. Simpson.” He joined CNN in the early 2000s where he later became the network’s chief legal analyst. But in an awkward and embarrassing turn of events, his respect and notoriety were overshadowed last October after news broke of the exposed zoom call. The events that followed included his termination from The New Yorker, a publication he worked at for 27 years, and an eight-month leave from CNN. “I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers,” Toobin said last year. “I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video.” Then, on Thursday, Toobin was welcomed back to CNN with open arms. appearring alongside anchor Alisyn Camerota on “CNN Newsroom.” https://twitter.com/i/status/1403061093824708611
The newly released autopsy report from an official medical examiner in North Carolina not only contradicts the “false” police narrative surrounding the deadly shooting of a Black man last month but also supports claims from his family that he was “executed,” civil rights lawyers representing his family said Thursday. The North Carolina State Medical Examiner’s Officer determined in a report released Thursday that Andrew Brown Jr. died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head while driving away from police officers in Elizabeth City on April 21 — the same conclusion previously reached following an independent autopsy commissioned by the attorneys representing his family. And though Brown’s family attorneys didn’t say so, the state autopsy’s findings also seemingly demonstrate the orchestration of a massive coverup that involved levels of law enforcement from the police on up to Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble’s office and possibly even the judge presiding over the case. “The autopsy results prove what we’ve always known to be true: Pasquotank County deputies executed Andrew Brown Jr. with a kill shot to the back of the head. The false narrative that DA Womble has attempted to weave is completely discredited by this autopsy report,” civil rights attorneys Ben Crump, Bakari Sellers, Harry Daniels and Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said in a statement.
A monument in an Oregon public park commemorating the only Black member of the Lewis and Clark expedition has been vandalized for the second time in three months. The most recent time took place Tuesday was captured on video by a witness who said she came upon a white woman spray-painting the monument’s base with unintelligible words. The monument in Mount Tabor Park in Portland features a bust of a slave named York who is credited with helping explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark traverse the U.S. beginning in 1804. A biker took photos of the white woman holding cans of spray paint with which she was vandalizing the bust. https://youtu.be/Cjh9Tw7ycVU
Louisiana State Police unit faces an internal investigation regarding the death of Ronald Greene, a Black motorist who was brutally assaulted and tased during his 2019 arrest. A secret panel of investigators will determine if officers are targeting Black motorists in the state, according to the Associated Press. Greene’s untimely death which catapulted into the national spotlight last month after the bodycam footage was released, is one of four incidents involving Black men that the panel will investigate. Another incident involves a motorist who was assaulted, tased, and hoisted by his braids, another was beaten while handcuffed and another sustained being hit 18 times with a flashlight. As many as a dozen white troopers from the Louisiana State Police Troop F unit face investigation, four of which were involved in Greene’s arrest. The unit has a documented history of excessive force and brutality accusations. Timing regarding how long the investigation will take is not yet known, but the panel began their review a few weeks ago, after the release of Greene’s arrest video.
Martha White, a freedom fighter of the last century died on June 5 at the age of 99, the Associated Press reports. White’s refusal to give up her seat on a crowded Baton Rouge, Lousisiana, bus after a hard day of work in 1953 helped launch a mass bus boycott in the capital city. White was later joined by another Black woman domestic worker and civil rights activist Rev. T.J. Jemison, who helped reinforce that White was within her legal right due to a recently passed ordinance that desegregated buses.
A high school principal in High Point, North Carolina is enjoying sudden fame after video of him surprising the graduating class with an acapella rendition of “I Will Always Love You” went viral. Seniors at T. Wingate Andrews High School in High Point appeared to have no idea that their principal, Marcus Gause, was about to break out in song. The clip begins with Gause near the end of the Dolly Parton classic made famous by Whitney Houston. “And I hope you have all you dream of,” he belted, as students and their guests cheered him on. https://youtu.be/9OlTs-oW8c0
A Kenyan innovator, Kenneth Guantai, who has developed electric tuk-tuk (auto-rickshaws) and handcarts, hopes to mass-produce them in December 2021, after receiving orders from several East African countries. “I have received proposals from business people in countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo who want me to set up assembly lines,” Guantai told Zenger News. Six years since he first assembled his inventions, he says has done an in-depth market analysis that will change the perception of using hand-pulled carts and petrol-powered tuk-tuks.
Dr. Dre is officially single again, TMZ reports. A judge on Thursday finalized his divorce from Nicole Young, ending their 24-year marriage. The two will now go into legal battle over their prenup as they begin to sort out their finances. Young wants the judge to make the prenup void, and has claimed that Dre agreed with her. However, Dre, who is worth at least $800 million, said he never said any such thing and that the prenup remains in effect. So far, he has had to give Young $2 million a month in temporary spousal support. Young first filed for divorce in June 2020 and since then she has alleged that Dre abused her, which the rapper denied, according to Complex.
“Friday Night Vibes™,” a new 52-week movie destination that spotlights feel-good comedies, action-packed blockbusters and culturally significant storytelling inclusive of diverse voices, kicks off on Friday, June 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on TBS with its first in-studio guest Snoop Dogg and the broadcast of “Creed” and “Creed 2.” The Doggfather will join hosts Tiffany Haddish (“The Last O.G.,” “Girls Trip”) and Deon Cole (“Black-ish,” “Grown-ish”) to launch the year-round celebration of all things for the culture, as well as commemorate and honor Juneteenth and Father’s Day.
Laugh Out Loud, the multi-platform comedy brand founded by Kevin Hart, and Wheelhouse Entertainment has announced the launch of new comedy competition series LYFT COMICS. Produced by LOL Studios and Wheelhouse’s Spoke Studios in partnership with Lyft Entertainment, the six-episode season will debut across LOL’s OTT Network and partner channels. In LYFT COMICS, up-and-coming comedians go head-to-head in a competition that takes the comedy show on the road. In each episode, two comics—undercover as Lyft drivers (in separate cars)—try out their material on unsuspecting passengers, seeing whose set can bring in the most laughs from the back seat. With just three rides each, the comedians compete to see who can get the most laughs—and best star ratings—while en route to their final destinations. At the end of each episode, the comedian with the highest cumulative rating is crowned winner by Kevin Hart. https://youtu.be/527fh_DUeeo
Fifty years ago, Roberta Flack released her third studio album, Quiet Fire, just six months after Marvin Gaye’s groundbreaking masterpiece, What’s Going On came out in May 1971. At the time, the nation’s emotions were heated and raw with the Vietnam War raging and the Civil Rights movement bringing racial injustice, societal inequality and the ugly truth behind police brutality to the forefront of the American consciousness. While recording Quiet Fire, a studio engineer quietly captured Flack and her band in a moment of inspiration as they reflected on Gaye’s still-true-to-life hit. This never-before-released track appears on Songs for You, Vol. 1 which becomes available on Record Store Day’s first drop date, Saturday, June 12, at participating independent record stores across the United States. Songs for You, Vol. 2 will be available on July 17. To find a record store near you, visit recordstoreday.com.
Migos debuted their new song “Avalanche” during a virtual visit to “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Wednesday. The track, which channels the Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” is off their new album “Culture III,” released today (June 11). In honor of the song’s inspiration, Quavo, Offset and Takeoff all donned Temptations-like black suits and hats for the performance, which was recorded remotely in an undisclosed studio and featured a full live band. https://youtu.be/n4LTSXaNVlE
Snoop Dogg has announced the official appointment of Shante Broadus to his executive team as his official manager. As a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, Shante oversees Boss Lady Entertainment (BLE) and began her career by managing the early part of her husband, Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., aka Snoop Dogg’s career. In her new role, Shante will bring her vast, multi-dimensional expertise to expand Snoop Dogg’s existing ventures, as well as cultivate and fortify all upcoming partnership deals across the cannabis, spirits, gaming, music, brand partnerships, touring, licensing and TV/film space. Additionally, Shante will oversee the media arm of Snoop Dogg’s empire, diGGital doGG – home to exclusive mobile apps, video games and a proprietary animation pipeline.
Shock G (of Digital Underground) was found dead in a hotel room in Tampa back in April. At the time, the cause of death was unclear but Shock’s father said authorities were going to conduct an autopsy. Shock G, was the lead artist for the pioneering hip-hop group Digital Underground. He was best known for his alter ego, “Humpty Hump,” in the group’s famous 1989 song and dance. He was only 57 years old. According to the latest update by TMZ, a Hillsborough County inspector general has revealed the cause of death — sharing that he died from a deadly mixture of drugs and alcohol. (Fentanyl and Meth)
According to police report based on an eyewitness account and that of the car driver, actor Kevin Clark was hit by a car while riding his bicycle east along Logan Boulevard in Chicago. When emergency first responders got to the scene of the accident, they found Clark pinned under his car. He was rushed to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center where he died shortly after. Fellow actor Jack Black who starred with Clark in the 2003 movie “School of Rock,” expressed his condolences via tweet stating how devastating and unexpected Clark’s death was: “Sending love to his family and the whole School of Rock community,” he tweeted.
Gina Prince-Bythewood has been tapped to direct MGM’s sci-fi thriller “Exoplanet” after the studio secured the rights to adapt Minnie Schedeen’s short story into a feature. Deadline reports, Matt Tolmach (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Venom, Morbius) and David Manpearl are attached to produce for Matt Tolmach Productions. Schedeen will adapt her short story for the screen. According to the report, the logline is being kept under wraps. “I am so thrilled to be reuniting again with Gina Prince-Bythewood. The opportunity to work with her on Love and Basketball was an incredible experience and to have a chance to work with her again is hugely exciting,” said Michael De Luca, MGM’s Film Group chairman.
The Academy Awards is getting down to some serious business “as usual.” Plans are in place for hosting the 94th Oscars on March 27, 2022. The show will return to the Dolby Theatre for its ABC broadcast. Extras such as the Governors Awards and the Nominees Luncheon which were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic plague are back on the schedule. The Governors Award is set for January 15th and the Nominees Luncheon for March 7th. Nominations are set to be announced February 8th. Why so late in the year? Because other major events such as the 2022 Olympics and the Super Bowl are scheduled for February. Also, NBC has announced it will not air the Golden Globes in 2022 and this is good for the Oscars as the Golden Globes has taken some of the spotlight away from the Oscars.
Ray J recently appeared on Respectfully Justin, co-hosted by Justin LaBoy & Justin Dior Combs. While there, he opened up about how he had Princess Love wait six months before he had sex with her. And yes, you read that right–he claims he made her wait! Justin LaBoy kicked off the interaction with a question: “Truth or shot: you ever flew a girl out and she didn’t let you hit? Imma start with Ray [J].” In response, Ray J claimed: “[When] I was in my situation with my beautiful wife, I didn’t want to hit on the first night. I wanted to stretch it, just because it’s different. Six, seven months–’til they can’t take it no more.”
Former American sports journalist Jason Whitlock believes Americans have the capacity to be abolitionists of fear. And that’s why he returned to the reporting world to start “Fearless”: a platform that will showcase his podcast of the same name, and eventually, a writing vertical. In an op-ed published on The Blaze, Whitlock wrote, “On the surface, Fearless will look a little different from the rest of the Blaze Media family. But our love of country will be just as strong, our appreciation for this nation’s founding documents just as sincere, and our search for liberating truths just as intense.” To bolster the Fearless announcement, the op-ed focused on the ways in which fear has embedded itself into everyday life of Americans—most notable in social media, the recent unraveling of racial climate and cancel culture.
A top Australian swimmer will skip out on the Tokyo Olympics because she says she’s had enough of “misogynistic perverts” in her sport. Maddie Groves, a 26-year-old who won two silver medals at the 2016 Rio Games, had been due to compete in Australia’s Olympic trials this weekend. She announced her decision to pull out on Instagram, followed by a full-on Twitter blast: “Let this be a lesson to all misogynistic perverts in sport and their boot lickers—You can no longer exploit young women and girls, body shame or medically gaslight them and then expect them to represent you so you can earn your annual bonus. Time’s UP.” Groves said in a tweet last December that she’d complained several years ago about a man in the sport who’d creeped her out by staring at her in her swimsuit. Reacting to the latest news, Swimming Australia said it had “reached out to Maddie” after that tweet but she’d refused to provide details. “Nor do we have any previous complaints on record from Maddie,” the governing body added.
Activists in Minneapolis are calling for Ramona Dohman to step down as head of the U.S. Marshals Service in the state over the handling of the fatal police shooting of Winston Smith Jr., a father of three. Smith’s death has sparked several days of protests and backlash over the marshals not wearing body cameras during the encounter. As reported by The Root, “investigators said there is no video evidence available to determine what led up to the shooting. Not only were the task force members not wearing body-cams, but they aren’t allowed to wear them,” the outlet writes. https://youtu.be/SFLHQOHGhEs
Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden embarked on their first foreign trips this week, in order to cultivate relationships with allies around the world. Travel was delayed for the Biden-Harris administration for obvious reasons, as the pandemic continues to affect everyday life for not just Americans, but citizens across the globe. In Africa specifically, citizens are suffering due to a shortage of around 700 million doses. Over the last week, the issue has become more pressing as the World Health Organization disseminated the dire news regarding the shortage. “It is extremely concerning and at times frustrating,” Africa CDC Director Dr. John Nkengasong told the Associated Press on Wednesday.
Former Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed just moved the needle to enter the city’s closely watched mayoral race after Keisha Lance Bottoms announced she would not seek reelection. On Tuesday Reed filed official paperwork to enter the field of candidates which includes City Councilman Antonio Brown, Atlanta attorney Sharon Gay, and Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore.
Georgia faith leaders have not backed down in the fight for voting rights. Gathering Tuesday steps from the state capitol, faith leaders and legislators called for action. Joined by members of the Georgia Legislative Black caucus, faith leaders led those gathered Tuesday in prayer and a call to action on both the For the People Act and the John Lewis Advancement Act in Liberty Plaza, across the street from the state capitol on Tuesday. Among them, Rev. Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Coretta Scott King and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoke about the fight’s urgency in 2021. “My father reminds us that power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice,” King said. “And justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.” King challenged the Senate to find a “win-win pathway” to passing proposed democracy reforms and undoing new voter suppression laws.
There could be a new senator in Florida. And her name is Val Demings. Marco Rubio immediately lashed out at Demings in apparent fear after the Democratic Congresswoman formally announced on Wednesday that she’s coming for the Republican’s seat in the U.S. Senate next year. Demings released an expertly produced campaign video that explained why a sitting Congresswoman is running for Senate. Without mentioning Rubio’s name once, Demings clearly got under his skin by contrasting her self-described energetic passion for serving the people with what she called weariness and fatigue displayed by the Republican Senator.
No longer burdened by keeping up the pretense of bipartisanship, former President Barack Obama says that some right-wing media feed off fear. In an interview Monday with Anderson Cooper, Obama discussed the topic of race and the difficulty some white Americans seem to have with reconciling their pride in America and immoral acts done in its name. He also said part of the problem is certain right-wing media outlets that fan the flames and cause confusion.
MediaCo Holding Inc. (NASDAQ: MDIA), owner of HOT 97, WBLS, and Fairway Outdoor, announced today that Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay has been named Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1, 2021. Mr. Lindsay most recently served as Executive Vice President, Urban One. He brings over twenty years of successful leadership experience across media, television, and advertising to MediaCo. As CEO, Lindsay will be responsible for setting MediaCo's overall strategic vision and expanding its radio and outdoor divisions with an emphasis on transforming the digital business.
ANTHONY ONEAL AND KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY ON THE TABLE Sis said, "If you don't know how to spend or budget your money [and time], people will know how to spend both of them very well for you." You do not want to miss the "6 Ways to Secure the Bag" episode on The Table with Anthony ONeal and Kierra Sheard-Kelly! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Deyjh46VFW4
Praise and Worship hit Anthem writer and GRAMMY-nominated artist Todd Dulaney returns with all-new music inspired spontaneously by the written word of God through his highly anticipated live album Anthems & Glory available where music is sold and streamed digitally on Friday, June 11th. Recorded live at All Nations Worship Assembly in Chicago, this new body of music finds Dulaney leading listeners literally back to the scriptures for hope, comfort, answers, instructions, and everything to live life according to the Bible. Anthems & Glory features a collective of 17 tracks and a stellar line-up of special guests that include Kierra Sheard, David Wilford, Todd Galberth, Smokie Norful, Tamela Mann, Apostle Matthew Stevenson and Tim Bush. Hear Todd Dulaney in His Own Words In The Gospel Spotlight...... http://www.gospel-spotlight.com/todddulaney_intvw.htm
Tasha Cobbs Leonard's "In Spite Of Me" Goes #1! “Huge Thank you to My amazing husband for producing the sound of Royalty! To my label for always believing in me and working tirelessly to make things happen. To my radio team for believing in what I’ve been chosen to carry and helping me take it to the world! To 𝐆𝐎𝐒𝐏𝐄𝐋 𝐑𝐀𝐃𝐈𝐎 for working so hard to keep GOSPEL MUSIC alive!!!” – Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Look Up! Clearwater Music Festival is back for its fourth year this Saturday, June 12, after taking a year off in 2020. This year’s return christens Clearwater’s newly revamped Crest Lake Park. This year’s festival has a packed lineup and features special guest three-time Grammy Award-winning gospel artist and talk show host Evangelist Dorinda Clark-Cole.
Jor'Dan Armstrong, Gospel music's freshest voice, drops his new song today, June 11 to all digital platforms. "My God," which premiered just last month on Radio One, was immediately catapulted to Billboard's Most Added Chart.
Gary Owen hit up the “Wendy Show” to promote his latest film “The House Next Door: Meet The Blacks 2,” and at one point during the conversation, he dropped a bombshell about his divorce from Kenya Duke. https://youtu.be/_RhVmBpH1z4
Fox Soul and Black Enterprise have joined forces to roll out a slate of original programming highlighting Black creatives. BlackFilm.com reports, the first original series from the new partnership is the Economic Equity and Racial Justice Town Hall, One Year After George Floyd: Has Corporate America Made Good on its Economic Equity Pledges?, which is set to premiere June 10 on the Fox Soul platform. Hosted by Manulife, panelists will include CNN Political Commentator Bakari Sellers, Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump, Vice President of Talent Management at Manulife Tara John, Founder of Black Executive CMO Alliance Jerri DeVard, Infor Chairman Charles Phillips, and President & CEO Executive Leadership Council Michael C. Hyter, according to the report.
Tyra Myricks, the daughter of hip-hop icon Jam Master Jay, has joined forces with the daughter of the late Biggie Smalls to bring New York-style pizza to the West Coast. Tyra appeared on Thursday’s “TMZ Live,” and revealed their secret ingredient — real NY water in their dough. The eatery is also planning to have a members-only cannabis lounge in the back, according to the report. “The more I thought about how to bring that New York theme to Los Angeles, I felt, who represents New York more than Biggie Smalls?,” Myricks told Business Insider. https://www.tmz.com/videos/2021-06-10-061021-tyra-myricks-1136593/
Halle Berry recently responded to a Twitter user who asked how she felt about being referenced in “damn near every rap song.” The actress retweeted the user’s post and added the caption “I love it.” As noted by Complex, everyone from Kanye West (“New Workout Plan”) to J. Cole (“Higher”) to Kendrick Lamar (“Money Trees”) have mentioned Berry in their songs. The Hollywood veteran recently shared a clip of her appearance on Hot Ones where she was asked about her favorite artist/rap song in which she is mentioned. “I think of these references, like my children, in a way,” she responded. “There’s no way I could pick one. I love all these artists. I’m always flattered when any one of them include me, and that they still remember me, or even know who I am. So, to pick one would be like picking my daughter over my son. I love them all.”
Comedian Danny Rouhier, who is a co-host with Grant Paulsen on 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C., has gone viral over a video on Twitter showing his impression of Charles Barkley. His impersonation of Barkley breaking down the first half of the Nuggets-Blazers game is spot on, and the best part is the way he keeps butchering the names of players. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5HSBQqlUW0
Did Kanye West really move on from Kim Kardashian with supermodel Irina Shayk? The rapper was seen with Irina Shayk in Provence, France as he celebrated his 44th birthday yesterday (June 9th). They were spotted smiling and walking together near a luxury boutique hotel (in France) with friends. They were also alone in some moments, appearing to look like a couple, according to a TMZ report. “Kanye West is now secretly dating Irina Shayk aka Bradley Cooper’s baby mama.” The gossip site replied back and alluded that the pair aren’t officially a couple but there’s still something going on between them. The site has confirmed reports that they’re together, but it’s not clear how serious they are.
Taraji P. Henson has joined the cast of “Annie Live!” as orphanage boss Miss Hannigan. “Carol Burnett, who brought Miss Hannigan to life in the classic 1982 movie, is someone I have studied and idolized as far back as I can remember,” said Henson. “So when the opportunity came to me to join NBC and this incredible group of producers, I jumped! Carol, I hope to do you proud!” Susan Rovner, chairman of entertainment content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, added: “When we decided to bring back NBC’s holiday musical tradition, we were looking for something that was critically acclaimed and universally beloved — and while that’s definitely the case with ‘Annie,’ it absolutely applies to Taraji as well.” “Watching her take on this iconic role will be a thrill that has all the makings of must-watch television.”
Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) and Laugh Out Loud, the multi-platform comedy brand, today announced Kevin Hart’s comedy action series, ‘Die Hart,’ will return to The Roku Channel for a second season titled, ‘Die Harter.’ Following the series premiere on May 20, the greenlight is the first Roku Original renewal for The Roku Channel. ‘Die Hart’ had a spectacular weekend debut, with a record number of households streaming the series. https://youtu.be/UU5YWgLZK-k
Keke Palmer is showcasing the range of her dynamic acting skills on the Facebook Watch series “Turnt Up with the Taylors.” Per The Hollywood Reporter, the series is “a satirical take on the reality genre about a family navigating the future of their Taylor Time reality show after daughter Chelsea “Barbie” Taylor (a character Palmer created on Instagram) decides to break free for solo fame,” the outlet writes. Palmer plays all five parts in addition to co-creating, co-writing and producing the eight-episode shortform comedy series. The actress recently opened up to THR about playing multiple roles on the show and which character is her personal favorite. https://www.instagram.com/p/CPtdLRVAO0I/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=embed_video_watch_again
Mariah Carey reportedly parted ways with JAY-Z’s Roc Nation because she wants to work with a smaller team of managers. TMZ reports that we’re told at Roc, artists like Mariah could have 20 or more people working on her team in various departments — marketing, social media, music, merchandise, etc. — and she simply felt it was time to pare down to a more intimate team. Our sources say there was no “explosive argument” between the 2 music legends as reported by some outlets — something Mariah shot down on Twitter.
The Smollett sibling duo continue to bring their keen design flavor to CLEO TV this Saturday, June 12th at 9 p.m. ET/8C on LIVING BY DESIGN WITH JAKE AND JAZZ. As they perform to revitalize homes, they also celebrate their trendy renovations with delectable recipes from the Smollett family. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6uFnXmv__4
Tituss Burgess has come to the defense of his “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” co-star Ellie Kemper after she caught major heat for participating in a debutante ball as a teen that was hosted by an organization with an “unquestionably racist, sexist, and elitist past.” Kemper was named the queen of the ball with ties to white supremacy. The Broadway star, 42, publicly apologized this week on Instagram after photos surfaced of her being crowned at the St. Louis’ Veiled Prophet Ball in 1999. The “Office” alum said that she didn’t know the history of the debutante ball at the time. “I was old enough to have educated myself before getting involved,” she said. “I unequivocally deplore, denounce, and reject white supremacy. At the same time, I acknowledge that because of my race and my privilege, I am the beneficiary of a system that has dispensed unequal justice and unequal rewards.” Burgess told Page Six that he has spoken to Kemper, saying “My Ellie is doing wonderful. Ellie’s great.” He reposted Kemper’s apology on his Instagram account, writing alongside it: “I love my Ellie. Oh, & P.S. Next time, just ask me, I’ll tell ya what to do.”
Logan Paul has responded to the theory that Floyd Mayweather Jr. held him up after knocking him out during their exhibition fight on Sunday night. “Make no mistake, he got a lot of good punches in. I got f—ed up (with) a couple of shots,” Paul added. “I didn’t know my face could make that shape. But I never rocked, never blacked out, never got knocked out. He didn’t hold me up. He tried to take me out and he couldn’t.” https://youtu.be/aONT7atzqfw
Following four years of border crackdowns, endless legal fights and racially charged rhetoric by President Trump, immigration advocates had hopes that the new Democratic administration would bring a more compassionate and open-armed approach to immigration, particularly toward asylum seekers fleeing troubled Central America. But when Vice President Kamala Harris gave a high-profile speech Monday in Guatemala, in which she told would-be immigrants from Central America “do not come” to the United States, her words instantly provoked ripples of anger and concern among immigrant rights groups and progressives. Many took to social media and the airwaves condemning Harris’ blunt rhetoric as “disappointing” and “tone-deaf.” Among the critics was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who defended the rights of asylum seekers and lambasted decades of U.S. foreign policy for “contributing to regime change and destabilization in Latin America.” https://youtu.be/rGZXW97Euxw
Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is expected to preach a message of redemption at the city’s Historic Little Rock Baptist Church on Sunday. Kilpatrick, 51, said he “dropped to his knees” in January when he learned former President Donald Trump was freeing him after serving seven years of a 28-year sentence for corruption. “I dropped to my knees, I thanked God, and I promised Him that I would stay faithful to Him,” he told Deadline Detroit. “And I went to sleep.” https://youtu.be/4iw1_Ej4OC4
President Joe Biden’s son Hunter repeatedly called his white attorney the N-word in a series of texts in 2018 and 2019. The newly unearthed messages were reportedly lifted from Hunter’s abandoned laptop and first reported by Daily Mail.com. New York Post reports, in an exchange on Dec. 13, 2018, Hunter asked Chicago-based corporate attorney George Mesires, who is white, “How much money do I owe you” before adding “Becaause [sic] n—a you better not be charging me Hennessy rates” “That made me snarf my coffee,” replied Mesires. “I just made that phrase up, by the way,” Hunter responded, adding, “I should have [h]ad your lineage.” “Apparently you do,” answered Mesires, before Hunter responded: “That’s what I’m saying ni …”
Chicago police are investigating after video of three women twerking atop a moving Chicago police SUV went viral over the weekend. The clip showed the squad vehicle inching through a crowd of people on the street as three women climbed onto the hood and roof. They then began twerking to the screams and delight of the crowd gathered around. The video showed one woman on her hands and knees on the hood with her rear facing the windshield while another stood on the hood directly in front of the windshield, bent over and holding onto the roof. A third woman was doing her thing while on her hands and knees on the roof. https://youtu.be/cWD3ZD35YE0
Life coach Diosa Chiqui went viral last week for the way she taught her two daughters about the lasting effects of bullying. The TikTok video begins with Chiqui holding up a sheet of paper in front of her daughters Alayn and Neelia. “Say mean things to this paper,” she tells them in the video, posted on April 15. “You’re ugly,” says one of her daughters. “You don’t have no friends,” says the other. “You’re fat!” continues the first. “That’s why your mom doesn’t love you,” and “You smell like dog food!” were other insults they chose to hurl at the paper. With each insult, Chiqui crumpled the paper a little more, until it was in a ball. She then asked them to apologize to the paper. When both girls said, “I’m sorry,” Chiqui unraveled the paper and held up the wrinkled sheet. “Is it fixed?” she asked her children. When they responded, “No,” she then told them, “This is why you don’t bully.” The video quickly amassed 2.8 million likes on TikTok. https://www.instagram.com/p/CObQrwMg2Aq/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=embed_video_watch_again
A youth pastor and Christian camp director who was accused of inappropriately touching 21 girls is suing the Amherst megachurch that hired a lawyer to investigate the allegations. Wayne S. Aarum, who runs the Circle C Ranch in Delevan, claimed in a defamation lawsuit filed this week that The Chapel and its executive pastor, John Camardo, engaged in a “sustained campaign of … false and malicious accusations” against Aarum that hurt his reputation. Aarum is seeking $3.1 million in damages. An internal investigation earlier this year by Texas attorney Kimberlee Norris found 21 women who alleged Aarum touched them inappropriately when they were teenagers or young women. The inappropriate behavior included stroking legs and touching clothed breasts and genital areas, according to a letter Norris sent to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.
The parents of an 8-year-old girl who was shot and killed near the site where Rayshard Brooks had been shot several weeks earlier filed a lawsuit Monday against the city of Atlanta and others. Secoriea Turner was slain on July 4, 2020, while riding in an SUV with her mother and a friend of her mother, near the Wendy’s restaurant where Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, was killed by a white police officer on June 12. The lawsuit filed by Charmaine Turner and Secoriey Williamson says city leaders showed negligence in failing to remove armed vigilantes who gathered at the site along with peaceful protesters, which created a dangerous situation that led to Secoriea’s death. “Secoriea should be here. None of what we’re doing will ever bring our baby back. Her life is priceless,” Turner said during a news conference Monday. “We deserve justice. Someone needs to be held accountable.”
The filming of Mission: Impossible 7 has been shut down after one or more members of the production team in the United Kingdom tested positive for COVID-19. The temporary halt to filming of the latest installment of the Tom Cruise franchise comes six months after audio of the star berating the crew for not wearing masks leaked out. The Hollywood Reporter says work on the movie is stopped for 14 days while those affected go into quarantine.
Tyler Perry is not bidding farewell to Madea after all. The prolific creator and producer is bringing his iconic character to Netflix. Perry is planning a 12th installment of the film franchise, A Madea Homecoming, for a 2022 debut on the streaming service. The feature will be shot at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, where the multihyphenate films most of his projects. The character of Madea was first introduced onstage in the 1999 play I Can Do Bad All by Myself. Since then, she’s been at the center of other theater productions and dozens of films, TV shows and even a book. In 2019, Perry, then 49 years of age, talked about retiring the Madea character as he premiered A Madea Family Funeral. “I don’t want to be her age playing her, so it was time to shut it down and move on. I’ve got some other things I want to do, and in this next 50, I’m going to do something different,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
Linda Martell, one of the pioneers for Black acts in country music and the first Black woman to perform solo at the Grand Ole Opry, will be honored at the 2021 CMT Music Awards. The 86-year-old will receive the CMT Equal Play Award at Wednesday night’s show. Mickey Guyton, who this year became the first solo Black woman nominated for a country Grammy Award, will present the honor to Martell, while Black artists including Darius Rucker, Rissi Palmer and Rhiannon Giddens will congratulate the legend in a video package highlighting her career. Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Nettles, last year’s CMT Equal Play Award recipient, will also honor Martell.
Former #RHOP star #MoniqueSamuels is calling out Bravo for the alleged ill-treatment the network put her through. Samuels previously announced that she would not be returning to RHOP for any upcoming seasons. Her decision seemingly came after she got into a physical altercation with co-star Candiace Dillard Bassett on the most recently aired season (season 5). During a recent interview, Monique Samuels alleged that Bravo has tried to ban her from doing press following her fight with her former co-star and exit from the show. She said.
WE tv’s hit series “Beyond the Pole” returns this week and we have an exclusive clip of the new episode — which finds the girls sharing their craziest stripping stories. https://youtu.be/XLCZZHgog80
The California man accused of murdering his wife and then propping up her dead body on a couch as their kids opened Christmas presents, was convicted in April of second-degree murder. On Friday, William Wallace was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the 2011 death of 26-year-old Za’Zell Preston. He was reportedly given credit for the nine years he has already served. The Mercury News reported, Wallace, 39, allegedly killed his wife during an argument on Christmas Eve 2011. Wallace had a history of violence against Preston and he threatened to kill her on multiple occasions. The victim was studying to become a domestic violence counselor at the time of her death. https://youtu.be/CIKiR_RYqwA
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has won the NBA regular-season MVP, a person with knowledge of the voting confirmed to USA TODAY Sports, marking the first time in 21 years that a definitive center won the award. “I’m not objective certainly, but he’s having an historical year,” Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly told USA TODAY Sports in late April. “I’ve never seen a more difficult player to guard. He’s the best passer in the NBA. He has an ability to step out and consistently make 3s. He’s got 15 moves in the post. You never know what he’s going to pull out.” The Nuggets touted Jokic’s credentials all season long for numerous reasons. They have considered Jokic to be the NBA’s best passing big man.
Jim Fassel, whose bold guarantee of a playoff bid late in the 2000 season seemingly catapulted the New York Giants to a spot in the Super Bowl, has died. He was 71. The Giants said Tuesday that family friends informed them of his death. Son John Fassel, special teams coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, confirmed the death to the Los Angeles Times. He told the newspaper his father was taken to a Las Vegas hospital with chest pains and died while being treated Monday.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis are not expected to play for Team USA in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics due to “their terrible seasons of injuries,” according to The Athletic’s Joe Vardon. The two Los Angeles Lakers superstars each missed significant time during the 2020-21 NBA season. James sat out of 20 straight games after suffering a high ankle sprain on March 20 against the Atlanta Hawks, while Davis only appeared in 36 regular-season games as he dealt with calf and Achilles injuries. Then in the first round of the 2021 NBA playoffs, Davis suffered a groin strain, which caused him to miss one game and knocked him out of two others, as the defending-champion Lakers were eliminated by the Phoenix Suns.
GHESKIO, a leading Haitian public health nonprofit, has named Haitian-born actor Jimmy Jean-Louis as its first Ambassador. Since 1982, GHESKIO has provided health and social support services for hundreds of thousands of Haitians, all at no cost. Best known for its treatment and care for people with HIV and tuberculosis, GHESKIO’s groundbreaking research has influenced public health policies worldwide, including those of the World Health Organization and the United Nations.
It started with a beat and then new inspiration. That’s what marked the return to music for Central Ohio’s own Mekka Don, the former Buckeye, turned rapper, turned entrepreneur. That beat evolved into his new single and video, out Tuesday, “Still Dope.” “When somethings in your heart, it kind of comes to you naturally, especially as a writer,” Mekka Don said. https://youtu.be/gV2OmkDV_9s
In a final vote of 66-63, the Senate confirmed Julien Xavier Neals on Tuesday, securing his transition to a judicial position in the federal courts. Neals, 56, currently serves as County Counsel and Acting County Administrator for Bergen County, New Jersey, and was the first judicial nominee of President Joe Biden’s administration. With the vote passage Neals will preside on the bench of the U.S. District Court of New Jersey for the rest of his lifetime.
The phrase “guilty by association” was hard to ignore after a high school principal in Colorado decided to quit weeks after a photo of several of her students re-enacting the horrific murder of George Floyd went viral last month. Mead High School Principal Rachael Ayers would not provide a reason when asked by the Boulder Daily Camera whether her resignation was prompted by the racist photo scandal. The photo, which was first posted to Snapchat, showed three unidentified students, including one person wearing Blackface lying on the ground with another individual kneeling on his neck. The photo was captioned with the words, “Bye bye seniors.”
A school official in Boston has stepped down from her position on a powerful committee after text messages about “white racists” were made public more than a year after they were sent. The text messages were exchanged during a committee meeting and were made in reference to white parents of students in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. Lorna Rivera, who is a professor of women’s studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, was a member of the Boston Schools Committee until she recently learned that the text messages she exchanged with another committee member had been leaked. The meeting in question lasted for more than nine hours and has previously prompted another committee member to step down over his own racial controversy. “Best school committee meeting ever,” Oliver-Dávila texted to Rivera. She added, “I’m trying not to cry,” because of what the Globe called “the outpouring of support” for a proposal to eliminate the requirement of standardized testing for admission to the city’s schools. That’s when Rivera replied: “Wait until the white racists start yelling at us.” Oliver-Dávila responded with, “Whatever. They’re delusional.” She later texted, “I hate WR,” referring to West Roxbury, which is among the top wealthiest neighborhoods in Boston. Rivera all but replied that she did, too. “Sick of Westie whites,” Rivera texted back. “Me too. I really feel like saying that,” Oliver-Dávila agreed. Both Rivera and Oliver-Dávila have apologized, and Rivera told the Globe she “was never seeking any political power.” Following that same meeting in which the text messages were exchanged, then-Boston Schools Committee Chairman Michael Loconto abruptly resigned after he was caught on a hot mic making fun of the way Asian names sound.
As the school year comes to a close across the country, marking the end of a difficult transition period for many students who had to return to the classroom after months of distance learning, racist encounters in classrooms have continued to peak. One such instance pertains to 14-year-old twins Emzayia and Zyeshauwne Feazell, in Spokane, Washington, who say they were subjugated to humiliation after their social studies teacher required their class to clean cotton for a class project while learning about the cotton gin. Administration officials have launched an investigation into the matter which occurred at Sacajawea Middle School on May 3. “I was shocked that a teacher would bring a box of cotton into a class and tell them to pick it clean so she could teach us how slaves were back then,” Emzayia told KXLY. The girls went home that day defeated and reported their experience to their mother Brandi Feazell who sprung into action immediately. Brandi told the outlet that after she scheduled a meeting with the school’s assistant principal to discuss her concerns, her concerns only grew larger. Brandi claims the assistant principal Taylor Skidmore, suggested that the girls be “segregated” from the other students. She said she felt Skidmore downplayed her complaint and incredulously defended the actions of the teacher. Instead, Brandi withdrew her children from the school in order to preserve what sense of peace they had left.
”It’s my first role as feature film director,” said Elaine Bogan, a DreamWorks director that started at DreamWorks Animation in 2005 as a storyboard artist (Riders of Berk). The feature film Elaine is talking about is the animation Spirit Untamed – in theatres via Universal Pictures. “There were so many challenges, a massive amount of people. We were halfway through and received the message to work from home. We had to do it in our living rooms. But through separation we came together.” https://youtu.be/9jG1nnQGpdI
Pharrell Williams is giving back to his home state in a major way. The award-winning artist and producer announced that he will be opening multiple private schools in Virginia, according to The Virginian Pilot. The first school, Yellowhab, is scheduled to open its doors in Norfolk’s Ghent neighborhood this fall. It’s the namesake of the Virginia Beach native’s nonprofit organization YELLOW” paired with “Hab”, which is a nod to the Mars habitat in The Martian film. This location was selected after multiple families were displaced because of housing segregation and the upcoming redevelopment of three local public housing areas.
The exclusive clip from the upcoming action thriller “Rogue Hostage,” starring Tyrese Gibson, John Malkovich, Michael Jai White, Christopher Backus, Luna Lauren Velez, and Holly Taylor. The film centers on single father and former Marine Kyle Snowden (Gibson) who must save his daughter and other hostages from a dangerous criminal who has trapped them inside a neighborhood store owned by Kyle’s polarizing stepfather, Congressman Sam Nelson (Malkovich). https://youtu.be/XpGwijVm4wU
The 2021 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) runs June 9-20th. It kicks off with “In the Heights” as its opening movie. The TFF will close with the world premiere of an untitled Dave Chappelle-produced documentary exploring the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and the revival of the Black Lives Matter movement last summer through the lens of a small Ohio community. The Juneteenth Immersive Program that uses technology to make one think about societal issues through an entirely different lens. A stand-out piece within Immersive will be Breonna’s Garden, an AR experience created in collaboration with Ju’Niyah Palmer to honor the life of her sister, Breonna Taylor. An inaugural presentation of The Harry Belafonte Voices for Social Justice Award. The first recipient of this award will be Stacey Abrams, honored for her outstanding leadership, service, and commitment to fighting social injustice. https://youtu.be/bRD1xr-dmfQ
Teyana Taylor has made history as the first Black woman to top Maxim’s Hot 100 list. On Monday, the model and singer shared a few photos from the publication’s July/August cover shoot, writing, “Somebody pinch me!!!!” The 30-year-old mother and wife to NBA star Iman Shumpert said “Stepping back in front of the lens has been a journey of self-reflection and self-confidence,” she wrote in the post’s caption. “Living up to [the] name and title of this shoot wholeheartedly made me nervous.” Taylor added, “As an entrepreneur, wife, a busy mother of two & working behind the lens in my director bag I tend to hide behind my sweats & vintage tees, My “Spike Tey” glasses, and whatever hairstyle I’ve mustered up that day,” she said. “So as you can see I don’t have much time to be and feel sexy. This particular day was dope because it made me see another side of myself.”
Katt Williams is accusing fellow comedian Cedric the Entertainer of stealing his material. During a recent interview with The Morning Hustle radio show Katt Williams, 49, revealed how “crushed” he was when his joke was allegedly stolen by Cedric the Entertainer, 57, who was more known at the time, for the Kings Of Comedy tour. “When it initially happen to me it crushed me just because the comedian was already bigger and more famous than me and he took my closing joke and made it his closing joke on Kings Of Comedy.” He continued, “The reason it hit so bad was that I was in the theater. I paid my money to go see Kings Of Comedy and to see my joke being there and not me was about as disrespectful as it gets in our craft. I really took it really personally with Cedric the Entertainer at that time.”
Al Roker’s eldest daughter Courtney married actor Wesley Laga on Friday, June 4 at The Ashford Estate in New Jersey. “Last night was beyond anything I could ever imagine,” Courtney captioned a few portraits of their wedding on Instagram. “I celebrated my love for my husband, and felt the love from everyone. My heart is filled with happiness and filled with joy. And I gotta say my husbands dance moves aint to shabby. Now on to the honeymoon.” Roker also shared a series of photos from the event on his Instagram feed. “A perfect magical evening being there for the marriage of my first princess @ouichefroker and @djweslaga with @debrobertsabc and #maidofhonor @cleilapatra and #groomsman @nick.roker155,” he wrote in the caption.
The god of mischief is making waves with the upcoming release of Disney Plus‘ new series, “Loki!“ The six episode series, based on Thor’s brother, is not a prequel, but more of a variant of the character’s history. social media is buzzing ahead of Wednesday's premiere.
Virginia Union University (VUU) will launch the Hezekiah Walker Center for Gospel Music at Virginia Union University. The academic Center is the first of its kind in the United States. It will provide education and resources to help musicians and budding gospel artists to learn the cultural and business aspects of gospel music and the industry. Courses will be available to all VUU students and a variety of certification courses related to work in the industry will also be available to the general public. Walker, a second-year student of the Virginia Union University’s Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology said, “the strong theological training I’ve received here at Virginia Union during the past two years has helped to shape my ministry.” He continued, “My goal is to give back to the school that has poured so much into me, by helping emerging gospel artists learn the business, as well as theological aspects of the gospel music industry.”
Water Pollution Control Authority and Inland Wetlands Agency and Conservation Commission member Steven King Jr. is set to be sworn in tonight as the first Black to serve on the Town Council, local officials said. Democrats at tonight’s council meeting are expected to nominate King to serve out the remainder of Councilwoman Mary Justine Hockenberry’s term. Hockenberry resigned on May 3 because she hopes to open her own seamstress business next month. The full council must vote to approve his appointment. Mayor Andrew Paterna said with King on the council it's a critical step in increasing diversity in the town.
Tara McKennie on Saturday was promoted to brigadier general in the Alabama Air National Guard. McKennie is both the first woman to be a general in the Alabama Air National Guard and the first Black woman to be a general officer in either component of the Alabama National Guard. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey attended the ceremony on Saturday and praised McKennie on Twitter: “Congratulations Brigadier General Tara McKennie on your promotion! You have truly made history being both the first female and first African American General Officer for the Alabama National Guard. Thank you for your service to sweet home Alabama. Flag of United States #GuardItAL@AlabamaNG.”
O’Neil Rowe went viral on TikTok a little over a year ago. Now, he’s a full-time content creator. Rowe created a dance challenge that about 1 million people imitated on TikTok, a social media platform with more than 100 million monthly U.S. users where people share stories and remake each other’s dances and audio clips. As he gained followers, the 20 year old realized he could cash in on his popularity, as more brands flock to TikTok. Around the same time, Atlanta social media manager Keith Dorsey was creating a TikTok house he calls The Collab Crib where creators can live together and make video content. TikTok houses have become a trend on the West Coast, matching social media influencers with brands looking to advertise on the platform.
Racial disparities plaguing the healthcare community are spilling over into the hospice and palliative care segments. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) recently updated its “Black and African-American Outreach Guide” for the first time in 14 years. It did so after finding the number of Black Medicare beneficiaries receiving hospice has been static over the past few years. In 2018, 8.2% of the 1.49 million Medicare beneficiaries who received hospice care were Black, according to a study by NHPCO. The percentage remained static in 2020, even though the number of beneficiaries receiving hospice care increased to 1.55 million.
Naomi Osaka has officially withdrawn from the bett1open grass court tournament next week in Berlin, an event she had intended to compete in as a warm-up before Wimbledon. Her absence reflects uncertainty about whether she will compete at Wimbledon this month. “We have received notification Naomi Osaka cannot start in Berlin,” the tournament organisers said. “After consulting her management, she will take a break.” Osaka has returned home to the US since she withdrew from the French Open last week due to the effect on her mental health following the firestorm around her decision not to conduct media duties at the tournament. It is believed she will decide whether or not to compete at Wimbledon in the coming days.
Rookie cornerback Cameron Kinley‘s request to delay his U.S. Navy commission to play in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been denied. Kinley is being required by the Navy to commission as an ensign and is not permitted to appeal the decision, which was not explained, Divine Sports and Entertainment, which represents Kinley, said in a statement. Kinley, a team captain at Navy and class president, signed as an undrafted free agent with the Buccaneers and participated in the team’s rookie minicamp, with the Navy’s permission.
YouTuber Logan Paul somehow survived and went the distance – that’s the entire eight rounds – with Floyd Mayweather Sunday night in a special exhibition bout at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. Mayweather landed the majority of a combined 73 punches thrown. Once the larger Paul realized that Mayweather was to quick for him to land a punch, his strategy shifted to tying Mayweather up for the eight rounds. At one point, it appeared that Mayweather knocked out Paul, but kept him upright so that he could go the distance. That clip went viral.
Sunday, the 24-year-old gymnast won her seventh-straight all-around title at the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Ft. Worth, Texas. With this seventh win, the athlete remains undefeated at the nationals since 2013. This now makes her the first American woman to win the title seven times! According to @nbcsports, Simone has won every all-around competition she has entered dating back to 2013. She was previously tied with Clara Schroth Lomady, who won her titles between 1945 and 1952. Now she is tied with Alfred Jochim, for most wins by any American.
Kevin Hart is taking fans behind the scenes of the world of muscle cars, with his new series that premiered Friday, July 2 only on the MotorTrend App. The series titled “Kevin Hart’s Muscle Car Crew,” is an automotive-themed adventure show that will follow Kevin Hart and The Plastic Cup Boyz as they experience America’s classic car culture. Learning along the way from the nation’s best car builders and attending car shows/events from local ones in small towns to the most popular ones like SEMA in Las Vegas. The group will try to upgrade, repair, or restore their cars to make them the best they can be.
Today, Def Jam announced that Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., professionally known as Snoop Dogg, a global superstar, entrepreneur, and cultural icon, is joining the label as Executive Creative and Strategic Consultant, a new role that will allow him to strategically work across the label’s executive team and artist roster. With an immediate focus on A&R and creative development, Snoop Dogg is joining Def Jam as a senior strategic advisor, based in Los Angeles and reporting to Universal Music Group Chairman & CEO Sir Lucian Grainge and Def Jam interim Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Harleston.
Steffanie Rivers on (CRT). Critical Race Theory (CRT) is gaining traction in diversity training classes among school districts, colleges and in corporate America. CRT is the idea that American institutions are inherently designed to maintain economic, political and social inequalities. These inequities propel and protect White people at the expense of everyone else, especially African-Americans. Some detractors are against CRT being publicly discussed, because the best way for the theory to go unchallenged is to ignore that it exists. Those who don’t want critical race theory included in course curriculums claim they don’t want people to develop White guilt. GOD forbid White people get confronted with their White privilege hypocrisies! Critical race theory doesn’t have to be proven with examples that are decades old. CRT can be proven as reality with examples from last week!
Coming off of her heartfelt popular song “Don’t Take My Life,” Aya Ito is bringing “Something New.” Her latest single on SmashTown Records, was written with the anticipation of being able to travel again after more than a year of having to stay home, virtual events, rescheduling or canceling family/friend gatherings, etc. https://soundcloud.com/ayaitothealbum/something-new?utm_source=clipboard&utm_campaign=wtshare&utm_medium=widget&utm_content=https%253A%252F%252Fsoundcloud.com%252Fayaitothealbum%252Fsomething-new
PJ Nilaja Patterson, a 43-year-old Florida man who beat an iguana to death, now faces 5 years in prison after a judge rejected his defense of the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law — a rule adopted 16 years ago that allows a person who is under attack and reasonably fears death or great bodily harm to use deadly force, even if they could retreat to safety. However, in Patterson’s case the recipient of deadly force was an animal. It’s reported that on September 2, 2020, Patterson was arrested in Lake Worth after allegedly beating, dragging and kicking a 3-foot iguana and killing it. In his felony animal cruelty case, Patterson claimed self-defense, citing that he feared for his life when the animal attacked him. It should be noted that under state law, people are allowed to kill iguanas, an invasive species, in a quick and humane manner. However, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen rejected Patterson’s “Stand Your Ground” claim after prosecutors stated he savagely beat, tormented, tortured, and killed” the 3-foot iguana in a half-hour attack caught on surveillance video. They say the iguana never “posed any real threat” and that Patterson “was not justified in his actions when he kicked this defenseless animal at least 17 times causing its death.” Now, Patterson faces up to 5 years in prison if convicted.
Bishop Leonard Scott drop "Great I Am."https://spaces.hightail.com/space/WFBXD8wEWX/files/fi-587f9d3d-8eb2-4012-a071-3e576b84f69f/fv-2ed895a2-0e66-47b1-8908-df99115ea82b/Great%20I%20Am_RADIO%20EDIT%202%20(320).mp3
Buzzing recording artist Nikea Marie announces the highly anticipated release of her single "I Believe In Me" scheduled for June 18th. The Arlington VA based artist recently landed a distribution deal with IndieBlu Music Digital Distribution, apart of the Entertainment One Music Nashville. "I Believe In Me" presents the listener with a new sound that feels like a burst of fresh air. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-WIXISO4wM
Ajahni Perrin has released his first single "Of Thee I Sing" which is not only a dynamic musical masterwork but is a lyrical expression of the heart of a man who desires the holistic well-being of God's people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEaxbEt5oAw
A new episode of the true crime docu-series Sins of The City airs this Thursday, June 10 at 9 p.m. ET/8C on TV One. This week, the series recounts the brutal murder of a beloved NBA player. Various experts, community leaders, family members, and the like, provide real-life perspective and insight into the cities profiled this season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ytG0FzGH1o
THOMAS WARREN JR current single, "Expected End," is a self-penned affirmation that explains God’s intention for his people to reach their destiny. This song is taken from his debut project, "Brand New." Warren’s debut project was released after more than 25 years in the industry. "Brand New" is both a declaration and a proclamation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuHwF5ntXo0
Gospel Artist and Instrumentalist Andrea René Williams releases her first EP, Soul Oasis: The Instrumentals. A collection of uplifting and reflective tunes, the four-song EP is currently available on Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify and everywhere where music is streamed or sold online. The Gospel Spotlight's Andrea Rene' Williams In Her Own Words...http://www.gospel-spotlight.com/andrearenewilliams_intvw.htm
TaMyya J releases a powerful faith-inspiring single "HEAVENLY.” This is a single from her “Love For Your Name" album written and produced by Fred “Uncle Freddie” Jerkins of DarkChild Gospel. The Love For Your Name CD has garnered TaMyya J multiple awards and chart topping positions since its release. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpxLDL0x-r4
Billboard Music Award winners, Dove Award winners and 12x Stellar nominees Maverick City Music embark on their first-ever tour this fall, with eclectic shows that will feature electrifying performances with collective members Dante Bowe, Chandler Moore, Naomi Raine, Joe L. Barnes, Aaron Moses and more. CDC-suggested Covid-related protocols will be observed. Due to popular demand, new arena dates and cities have been added, with select dates set to feature GRAMMY® winner Lecrae.
In the two years since releasing their debut EP, Maverick City Vol. 1, the group has already notched multiple Billboard No. 1 albums and singles, earned a pair of Dove Award nominations, racked up more than 300 million streams across platforms, and amassed more than a million subscribers on YouTube.
An anti-Trump PAC said it placed a $185,000 ad buy with Fox News for its minute-long Spot that shows the Capitol Police and DC’s Metropolitan Police talking to the media and testifying before Congress about the events of Jan. 6, including how they were doused with bear spray and called “traitors.” Fox News refused to air it. But it found a new home Monday night with MSNBC’s Brian Williams, who played it during his show “The 11th Hour” … for free. https://twitter.com/i/status/1402118426307350528
Journalist Jemele Hill slammed Sen. Joe Manchin on Monday over his refusal to support the ‘For the People Act’ or ending the filibuster. NBC News writes, “At issue is the fate of the House-passed For the People Act that would remake American elections from start to finish. It would force states to offer at least 15 days of early voting, universal access to mail-in voting and same-day registration for federal races. It’d make Election Day a national holiday, too.” Sen. Manchin, D-W.Va., said Sunday that he will not vote for the bill primarily because the GOP disapproves of it. He noted the reasons for his opposition in an op-ed published over the weekend in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
As thousands of fans around the world are wishing Kanye West a happy 44th birthday, his estranged wife (Kim Kardashian) has also decided to do the same despite their pending divorce. The “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” star took to Instagram Tuesday morning to share a short but sweet message to her husband of nearly seven years. She said over a photo of her and Kanye with their kids: “Happy Birthday. Love U for life!” The numerous tributes to West speak to their amiability since Kim officially filed for divorce in February, though Page Six broke the news in early January that the marriage had dissolved beyond repair.
Kim Kardashian says she feels like a “failure” after her third marriage to Kanye West turned out to not have the happily-ever-after ending she had hoped for. Kim and Kanye announced they were calling it quits in February. According to the legal docs obtained by PEOPLE, West is requesting joint legal and physical custody of their four children: daughters North, 7, and Chicago, 3, and sons Saint, 5, and Psalm, who turns 2 in May. The hip-hop star also wants spousal support for either person to be terminated. Sources tell HollywoodLife that Ye was slow to respond to the filing because he wanted to fix the marriage. https://youtu.be/0lEBV3M_dww
Tiffany Haddish is reportedly being offered between $2 million and $3 million for the follow-up book to her 2017 best-seller, “The Last Black Unicorn.” In the new book, sources said there are some hilarious showbiz stories — including an alleged incident when Haddish “drank marijuana tea with Sharon Stone.” But when Stone tried to convince Haddish to join Jane Fonda’s climate protest on the steps of the Capitol at the time, Haddish told Stone that she couldn’t because “they’ll never let me out of jail.”
Aja Naomi King is celebrating her post-childbirth body in a series of photos she posted on social media. The “How to Get Away with Murder” actress, 36, took to Instagram Sunday to share a backyard photoshoot. “No, this is not a pregnancy Before picture,” she wrote in the caption of herself in a two-piece body revealing outfit. Aja shared her pregnancy news in March, writing “I really can’t begin to express the fullness of our immense joy to be welcoming a baby into our family,” she wrote on Instagram at the time, referring to the unborn child as her “beautiful little rainbow baby.” https://www.instagram.com/ajanaomi_king/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=a38326c3-4840-4cdd-a6e9-d2c13fe56bc5
The newest season of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Potomac” is set to air on July 11 but in the meantime, Candiace Dillard-Bassett has shared her belief that fans of the show don’t criticize fellow castmate Ashely Darby because she’s light-skinned. As reported by MadameNoire, it all started June 6 when Instagram’s @alltruetea posted a video recap of some of RHOP’s wildest arguments. IG user @1classyladydc commented underneath the post, “This reel shows how reckless Ashley’s mouth has been and still is. Yet Candiace was the villain and ganged up on by so many fans. It’s crazy how Ashley was in my opinion worse but people want to ignore that. I wonder why????🤔 ” Dillard replied to the comment, claiming she receives more backlash from viewers than Ashley due to colorism. She wrote, “Because she’s light-skinned. There. It was said. I said it. Now, let’s see how fast it gets around.”
Tina Lawson has responded to the overanalyzing of her son-in-law JAY-Z rubbing Beyoncé’s legs courtside at basketball games. As reported by MadameNoire, the fan account @hova_bey.carter posted the initial image of Jay grabbing his wife’s legs in public. The outlet writes, “Instead of folks recognizing the pattern, taking it for what it is and moving on, a few people attempted to theorize about why he might be doing that. A few people suggested that Beyoncé has social anxiety and these leg grabs are Jay Z’s way of calming her down.” Bey’s mother Tina weighed in on that theory when she re-shared the collage of images along with the following statement: “When you love someone and like them you just want to touch them ! Me and Richard are always touching even if it’s just our feet ! Yeah!! That’s what you do !❤ For those of you who don’t understand , Try it sometimes it works !! Human Touch is how you stay connected!!❤ So comical people saying she has anxiety in public and that’s why he touches her ! Lord people !!!! Yal can turn something good and healthy into something That it’s not !!! Stop that!!!!! ❤. BTW if someone has anxiety then it is great for their partner to touch them to calm and reassure them. That’s a beautiful thing . It just happens to be not the case here. ❤” https://www.instagram.com/mstinalawson/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=8054f507-fd4a-408a-a628-1e855ca8b22e
Megan Thee Stallion has been on a brief break from social media but returned on Monday to tease the upcoming release of her new single, “Thot Sh*t,” which arrives Friday, June 11. Uproxx reports, the rapper spent the last two months on a social media hiatus, calling it a “period of regeneration.” In a tweet announcing the break, she wrote “Megan Thee Stallion is recharging! Due to the demands of the Hot Girl lifestyle has now entered a period of regeneration to prepare for what’s next. ….In her absence; mgmt will manage all social posting on behalf of Thee Hot Girl Coach. [[Thee Hotties]] lead a brave //RESISTANCE in anticipation for the return of their Fearless Captain,” the post read. https://www.instagram.com/theestallion/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=2bb9696e-e4cd-47c9-967c-dd5144af681c
BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) is proud to celebrate the 2021 BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards, honoring some of today’s legendary and rising Gospel music luminaries. The Gospel Song of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Publisher of the Year and the 20 most-performed songs of the previous year were announced today on BMI.com and across the company’s social media platforms. “Deliver Me (This Is My Exodus),” written by Donald Lawrence and Sir the Baptist, was awarded Song of the Year. Kanye West was named Songwriter of the Year for penning three of the award-winning Gospel songs “Hands On,” “On God” and “Selah” from his highly celebrated ninth studio album "Jesus Is King." Publisher of the Year went to Songs of Kobalt Music Publishing for representing three of BMI’s 20 most-performed Gospel songs including “I Made It Out,” written and performed by Pastor John P. Kee, featuring Zacardi Cortez, “Keep The Faith,” written and performed by Charles Jenkins and “Won’t Let Go,” written and performed by Travis Greene. BMI also paid homage to the 20 Most Performed Gospel Songs of the Year (2020). This year’s talented group of songwriters includes 19 first-time Trailblazer Award winners including Zacardi Cortez, Cydel C. Young, Renee Spearman, Terrence “Pusha T” Thorton, Natalie Lauren Simms, Allison Jeffrey LaValley, and more.
BET “Sunday Best” alum Latice Crawford’s new EP, THE CURE, is available now. The transparent and motivational EP is concrete proof of Latice's ability to deliver melodic and soulful messages to listeners and followers of Christ. THE CURE is available now on all major digital retail and streaming outlets. "This new music I'm releasing is all about our common symptoms (our temptations, struggles, stumbling blocks on our journey, those pills we use to maintain or fill our voids.) My hope is that my music will simply help us identify our stuff, see that we all have the same issues, and that we all use a variation of the same resources. I hope that we can judge less, and come together to see, and ultimately find our common source, the cure, Jesus Christ," Latice Crawford shares.
Highlighting of the 11 panelists confirmed for the 22nd annual Los Angeles “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference via Zoom from 1-3pmPT continues with Jazz saxophonist Dr. Marion Meadows, currently promoting his latest album release “Twice as Nice” (Shanachie) featuring Grammy winning Paul Brown, keyboardists Jeff Lorber and Chris “Big Dog” Davis. Meadows will be part of the Professional Industry Panel that will be available to speak to attendees about the entertainment business during the conference’s “Q&A Session.” https://youtu.be/6RU0zBjDuVk
Clarence Williams III, who’s best known for his role as “Linc Hayes” of ‘The Mod Squad,’ and roles in ‘Half Baked,’ ‘Tales From The Hood,’ ‘Purple Rain,’ and ‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka,’ has sadly passed away at 81 of colon caner. The actor would go on to star in the aforementioned roles, plus: ’52 Pick-Up,’ ‘Reindeer Games,’ ‘Sugar Hill,’ ‘The Legend of 1900,’ and more.
T.B. Joshua, an influential and controversial evangelist, has died. He was 57. The Nigerian preacher died shortly after conducting a live broadcast on Saturday, according to his official Facebook page. “God has taken His servant Prophet TB Joshua home – as it should be by divine will,” a post on the page read. “His last moments on earth were spent in the service of God. This is what he was born for, lived for and died for.” His death reportedly came hours after speaking at a meeting for Emmanuel TV, the broadcast arm of the church he founded—Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN).
A Benedict College football player has died in a crash on Interstate 77, the school confirmed. The college issued a statement Sunday saying that Marlon Black died early Sunday morning, adding that the Benedict College family was “heartbroken.” In the statement, the school said Black was a defensive tackle for the Tigers football team and wore jersey number 55. He was a sophomore transfer student from Tennessee State University and played in a scrimmage game against North Greenville. The school said he was majoring in sports management.
Actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner has come a long way since starring as Theo Huxtable, the likable and quick-witted kid on the long-running classic television series “The Cosby Show.” The show aired for eight consecutive seasons on NBC beginning in 1984. Following “The Cosby Show,” Warner’s career has taken some interesting pathways in Hollywood. In addition to securing an array of acting roles, he has also procured opportunities as a director, producer, musician, and poet. On the personal side, he is a relatively new father. Warner currently stars as cardiothoracic surgeon AJ Austin on the medical drama “The Resident.” The Fox series follows the lives and duties of Austin and other staff members at Chastain Park Memorial Hospital. Filmed in Atlanta, the show is now in its fourth season. https://youtu.be/6C5K4xuRK9M
Gary Owen’s estranged wife Kenya Duke took to social media to blast the comedian after he uploaded a photo of himself in a t-shirt that read “bread-winner.” As reported by MadameNoire, Duke posted a lengthy response under the post, noting that she was more of the breadwinner throughout their 23 years together. She also claims Gary has not provided any emotional or financial support to their family since April.
Katt Williams has shared his thoughts on audiences being too sensitive for comedy these days, and he takes issue with comedians being canceled. Speaking to Joe Budden on his June 4 podcast, Williams dished about his upcoming film, “The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2,” before the conversation turned to comedy’s relationship with the internet, TMZ reports. “Where do you stand on comics’ ability to be comics without judgment and repercussions from cancel culture?” Budden asked Williams. “Some of these things are for the benefit of everything. Nobody likes the speed limit, but it’s necessary. Nobody likes the shoulder of the road, but it’s there for a reason,” Williams said. “My point is, [people] weren’t all that extremely funny back when they could say whatever they wanted to say. At the end of the day, there’s no cancel culture. Cancellation doesn’t have its own culture.”
Jazmine Bonnett, owner of Blossom Bathhouse in Sacramento, is speaking out about her violent encounter with a racist white male who vandalized her store. CBS 13 Sacramento reports that Bonnett walking to her car to pay the parking meter when she was confronted by Ross Wolfer, 55, who called her the N-word, prompting the woman to ran back to her store for safety in an effort to get away from him. https://youtu.be/srt92oeN19E
Detroit police officers were injured and multiple people were arrested following a brawl outside Greektown Casino this weekend. A video posted on social media showed complete chaos as cops attempted to break up a fight involving dozens of people. Vastly outnumbered, law enforcement in the fight can be seen wrestling with several people. Some officers who were spotted handcuffing suspects in the video were still being swarmed by other people. https://youtu.be/4__NFyeAg1o
A Florida man threw a 2-month-old boy in the direction of police at the end of a wild vehicle chase near Vero Beach. A deputy caught the boy, who was unharmed, according to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, according to NBC News. John Henry James III was in jail with no bail Saturday booked on multiple charges, including battery on an officer and child abuse, according to inmate records. One allegation, aggravated battery on a pregnant woman, means his bail has been revoked, the records indicate. https://youtu.be/i_NeQecrYjs
A Texas mom was arrested for allegedly posing as her 13-year-old daughter during a nearly entire day of middle school, all in an attempt to expose the school’s lax security. Casey Garcia, 30, dressed as the teen – complete with a hoodie, backpack and facemask – and blended in with students at the unnamed school in San Elizario. Footage showed that no one appeared to notice that she wasn’t her daughter, Julie, until seventh period at the end of the school day, Garcia said in the videos, which were reported by Insider. “I’ve been here all day, face-to-face with teachers,” she said in one of the videos. “Do I look like a seventh-grader? No? Cool. Awesome.” https://youtu.be/cKoP9UieGDw
Former NFL player Herschel Walker, whom former President Trump has encouraged to mount a Senate bid in Georgia, skipped the state GOP’s convention over the weekend, punting on a key opportunity to lay the groundwork for a campaign. Walker’s absence from the gathering, which was reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is likely to raise some eyebrows. He’s already said publicly that he is considering a Senate run in 2022, when Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) will be back on the ballot. And Trump has already suggested that Walker would have his endorsement should he get into the race. The Georgia Senate race, which is expected to be among the most competitive of the 2022 midterm cycle, has already drawn several candidates.
This year’s Fortune 500 list was a record-breaking affair for female CEOs, with 41 woman-run companies making the cut. The annual list, which ranks America’s largest companies, also made history as two African American female CEOs made the list for the first time — Rosalind Brewer of Walgreens Boots Alliance and Thasunda Brown Duckett of TIAA. Prior to Brewer and Duckett, the only other African American woman to run a Fortune 500 company, on a permanent basis, was Ursula Burns, the former CEO of Xerox who stepped down in 2017. Burns, now the chairwoman of VEON and a member of Uber’s board of directors, became a trailblazer throughout her career as the first African American woman to run an S&P 500 company.
On a patch of hard land, steps from an aging one-room schoolhouse, a white gravestone spells the name of the man who never left. Randolph C. Snead Sr., Dec 8 1939 Mar 22 2021. Decades before his death, Snead sat inside the 20-by-30-foot Cornland School learning math and other subjects. His aunt, Ethel, buried a few rows down from him in the family plot, also attended. The sturdy structure still stands on his family’s property. For years, the pre-Rosenwald school built for the education of African Americans sat vacant, but a push by Snead’s wife, local historians, community members, a city councilwoman, state delegates and congressmen has breathed new life into the building. This summer, the school will be uprooted from its historic perch, put on a truck and hauled to the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp. It will become a museum and the centerpiece of a $9 million historic center that will showcase exhibits on the underground railroad and maroon communities and an outdoor classroom. The city council unanimously voted to accept a $3 million grant last week from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources that will help build a visitor center, parking and exhibits. The city set aside $400,000 last year for the school’s relocation.
At the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic, two enterprising African-American women saw an opportunity to capitalize on their passion for stylish glasses and created their company from scratch. Tracey Vontelle Green and Nancey Harris of Brooklyn, New York, chose to venture into unchartered waters of the eyewear manufacturing industry during a time when most companies were shutting down. They launched Vontélle in October 2020, hoping to bring a unique style to the marketplace. Before this venture, they did extensive research to gain an understanding of what their target consumer was looking for in urban contemporary eyewear. https://youtu.be/qNLL_SDCkGg
Kevon Chisholm and his 14-year old son, Kamari, are back for the second year to teach an online summer camp that helps young African Americans, ages 12-21, learn about investing in the stock market, cryptocurrency, real estate, and more. The camp, Junior WallStreeters: Empowering Youth with Financial Wellness, will teach students life-long financial education skills and discipline through 10 lessons with an emphasis on African American history and culture. Kevon, who is Executive Director of Junior Wallstreeters, Inc, comments: “In addition to topics like budgeting, banking, and investing in the stock market, our camp goes beyond others by exploring community wealth building through investment clubs. Simply put, our goal is to teach financial knowledge to eliminate the wealth gap by showing young people how to properly use money as a tool.”
Black Restaurant Week started in Northeastern states last week on June 4. Pittsburgh is joining the “No Crumb Left Behind” campaign. The nationwide tour is hoping to drive attention to those Black-owned businesses impacted by the pandemic. It runs through next Sunday, June 13. https://cbsloc.al/2Rt9Mzr
Gov. John Bel Edwards has created a new award to commemorate Louisiana‘s only Black governor and to acknowledge the contributions of African American leaders in the state. The Democratic governor and the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus held the first P.B.S. Pinchback breakfast Thursday and gave the P.B.S. Legacy Award to retired Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson, the first Black person and second woman to hold that position. The event was created to mark the legacy of Pinchback, a Black man who briefly served as Louisiana’s governor during Reconstruction. This year is the 100th anniversary of Pinchback’s death. “The recognition of Gov. Pinchback’s importance in history is long overdue,” Edwards said in a statement calling it “an honor” to give Johnson the first P.B.S. Legacy Award.
Ex-FLOTUS Michelle Obama shared her graduation photo of herself online. In a long congratulatory caption, commending the class of 2021 for their achievements during a challenging year spent indoors.⠀Obama eloquently opened up about her time as a graduate. She expressed that although she looked forward to the future, there were always lingering doubts. Obama spoke about education one more… expanding on her experience as a woman of color attending Princeton. Of course, as is well known, Obama did and continues to keep collecting many achievements under her belt. However, she emphasized that this road wasn’t easy, empathizing with the class of 2021. https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/3001373/times-square-new-york-city/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=be125394-7f06-485d-a086-9aa57f4eacac
Portia Twidt Said She Would Rather Quit her job Than Return to the Office and 49% of Millennials and Gen Zers Say the Same: She Says Not to Let Boomers Pull a Power Play and Make You Come Into the Office for Something that is not necessary; She Was Called Into the Office for a 6-minute Meeting and She Spent More Time to Get Ready for the Meeting Than She Spent at the Office. A six-minute meeting drove Portia Twidt to quit her job. While companies from Google to Ford Motor Co. and Citigroup Inc. have promised greater flexibility, many chief executives have publicly extolled the importance of being in offices. Some have lamented the perils of remote work, saying it diminishes collaboration and company culture. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon said at a recent conference that it doesn’t work “for those who want to hustle.” It’s still early to say how the post-pandemic work environment will look. Only about 28% of U.S. office workers are back at their buildings, according to an index of 10 metro areas compiled by security company Kastle Systems. Many employers are still being lenient with policies as the virus lingers, vaccinations continue to roll out and childcare situations remain erratic.
Nickelodeon, owned by ViacomCBS, has cast its first openly transgender teenage actor to star in a live-action kids’ series. The 13-year-old Sasha Cohen, who was born female but now identifies as male, will appear in the June 19 episode of “Danger Force,” according to Variety. Cohen also co-wrote and directed the episode. Cohen’s appearance in the series comes less than two years after actor Michael D. Cohen — no relation — came out as transgender. Born female, Cohen transitioned to identifying as male some 20 years ago. “I had never felt comfortable about who I am, and I always thoughts that I would never play a transgender role,” said Sasha Cohen. “But there are so many kids out there who need to see someone like them — a role model who has the ability to put themselves out there.” The younger Cohen landed the gig after participating in the Trans Youth Acting Challenge, which Michael D. Cohen launched in December.
Britney Spears has made no secret of the fact that she believes in the healing powers of crystals in many of her quirky Instagram posts over the past year. However, on Friday, the 39-year-old pop star really went deep into the subject as she posted a lengthy caption claiming rocks ‘have a lot of intellect we don’t know about’ while revealing that crystals have brought her comfort during ‘difficult times.’ Britney posted a snap featuring a collection of rocks that she said had been assembled by singer Hilary Duff’s children, which prompted her musings on the subject. ‘OK, so @hilaryduff’s kids did this,’ the singer began. ‘I think it’s way cool… I always collected crystals… as a small child and my parents honestly thought it was weird that I’d disappear and they’d find me looking for rocks and crystals in people’s driveways!’
Serena Williams turns 40 in September, and no one knows how many more French Open appearances she will make, as this year’s tournament ended for her on Sunday. Williams fell way behind and could not put together a comeback against a much younger and less-experienced opponent in the fourth round at Roland Garros, losing 6-3, 7-5 to Elena Rybakina — who wasn’t even born when the American made her tournament debut in 1998.
DJ Nicholas drops "Earth Lord." Album drops July 10! #abnormaldecibels https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOaXBF44ia4
CELEBRATE ANTHEMS & GLORY ALBUM RELEASE WITH TODD DULANEY ON FRIDAY, JUNE 11TH AT FREEDOM HILLSIDE CHURCH IN CHICAGO http://www.gospel-spotlight.com/todddulaney_intvw.htm
Vice President Kamala Harris has become the highest-ranking Black woman government official in U.S. history to make a foreign trip. Guatemala literally rolled out the red carpet as the first woman and first Black vice president of the United States touched down on Sunday for her maiden trip abroad for President Joe Biden‘s administration to address the immigration crisis at America’s southern border. The trip is part of Harris’ duties as assigned by Biden to figure out how to effectively — and humanely — handle the influx of migrants seeking citizenship following the massive failure in that arena by President Donald Trump and his administration, which separated families at the border, caged the children and deported the adults.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin doesn’t believe in progress if Republicans won’t support it. At least that’s what he says in his latest op-ed for his hometown paper. Claiming that voting in favor of the For the People Act is to support a “partisan” effort, Manchin spits in the face of voters who fought hard to protect the remnants of American Democracy. Protecting the right to vote should be a bipartisan effort, and yet here we are with one party actively working to block access to the ballot. Also, Manchin denying the concerted effort of Republicans to undermine voting rights doesn’t make it any less of a reality. Reporting from Mother Jones showed the executive director of Heritage Action, the sister organization of the Heritage Foundation, bragging about working with Republican legislators to pass anti-voting rights laws.
The Hampton NAACP is holding a meeting Monday to introduce new Police Chief Mark Talbot, the city’s first ever Black police chief. The Zoom meeting starts at 7 p.m. Talbot, who’s coming from Norristown, Pennsylvania, will officially start on July 6. He was the “top choice after each round of the comprehensive interview process, which included more than 35 community leaders and staff,” said Hampton City Manager Mary Bunting.
Filmmaker Ben Proudfoot, fresh from an Academy Award nomination, is heading to the Tribeca Film Festival with his latest short documentary, The Queen of Basketball, the remarkable story of Lusia “Lucy” Harris. Harris’s name may not be familiar, but Proudfoot describes her as “one of the most important American athletes of the 20th century.” She attended Delta State University in her native Mississippi, leading the women’s basketball team to three national titles from 1975-1977. And she scored the first basket in women’s Olympic basketball competition at the 1976 games in Montreal. But her greatest athletic distinction undoubtedly must be this: In 1977 Harris became the first and only woman officially drafted by the NBA, when the New Orleans Jazz selected her for their team.
The road ahead of triathlete Sika Henry hadn’t been an easy one. She suffered a serious bike crash in 2019. The pandemic put races on hold. But on May 2, the 37-year-old Montclair native made history — becoming the first Black woman in the United States to achieve pro status, earning her USA Triathlon Elite license. She follows in the steps of Max Fennell of Pennsylvania, who in 2014 became the first African-American triathlete to get his pro card. African Americans make up just a tiny percentage of triathletes, according to professional associations. Of the 12,293 respondents to USA Triathlon’s 2016 membership survey, just 120 described themselves as African American. The overwhelming majority, 10,379, were white.
Hopewell Township Police Officer Sara Erwin created the Facebook post that would get her fired on June 1, 2020. George Floyd was killed one week earlier in Minneapolis, prompting protests across the country. The issue of American policing was again at the forefront of the nation, and so was the Black Lives Matter movement. Erwin called Black Lives Matter protesters, “terrorists.” Her supervisor in the patrol unit, Sgt. Mandy Grey, liked the post with the “love” button the same day, and made a similar post later on June 1, in which she called Black Lives Matter a “terrorist group.” It was not until June 8 that an internal affairs investigation commenced against Grey and Erwin, spurred by an old fashioned tip: an anonymous letter sent to the police chief with a printed copy of Erwin’s post. It said the officer’s post could be a violation of departmental policies.
Black families may be reluctant to send their children back to Los Angeles Unified schools, after more than a year of coronavirus-induced virtual learning, because they feel the nation’s second largest school district is plagued by systemic racism, according to a new report from an educational advocacy group. Speak UP, a parent group that advocates for improved and equitable public education, released a report Monday, June 7, about how racial bias affects Black students at LAUSD. The report took into account responses from focus groups, analyses of district data and surveys, and the results from its own survey of 500 LAUSD parents, including 96 Black parents. Nearly two-thirds of Black parents said they did not want to send their children back to school.
Mega-church Pastor Rick Warren, who has led Saddleback Church for 42 years, announced Sunday he is retiring and a search is launching this week for a successor to lead the church that serves a global audience of more than 40,000 people. Warren, 67, told his congregation on Sunday, June 6, the search is not the end but the “beginning of the beginning.” He will serve as lead pastor until a successor is settled in place. “That’s always been my goal, to serve God’s Purpose in my generation,” Warren said in a video to his congregation. “God has given me the privilege to serve multiple generations.” Warren said his successor will take the lead role and he will step back into a less “visible position as founding pastor.”
Russell Moore, who recently resigned as the Southern Baptist Convention’s chief ethicist, has also moved on from the nation’s largest Protestant denomination personally, attending a Tennessee church that is not affiliated with the SBC. T.J. Tims, lead pastor of Immanuel Nashville, announced Tuesday (June 1) on social media that Moore is now the church’s minister in residence.
The parents of an 8-year-old Ohio boy who killed himself after being bullied repeatedly at school reached a tentative $3 million settlement that calls for anti-bullying reforms in the school district. Third-grader Gabriel Taye was a student at Carson Elementary school, where his parents claim he was subjected to repeated bullying. The relentless harassment prompted the boy to take his own life on Jan. 26, 2017. He was found dead two days after being knocked unconscious by fellow classmates, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by his family against Cincinnati Public Schools in 2017, ABC News reports.
Lil Durk‘s older brother, OTF DThang, was fatally shot this weekend outside a club in Chicago. Lil Durk, 28, founder of the Only the Family record label, is known for songs such as “Still Trappin’” and “Should’ve Ducked.” He has worked with hip hop artists including Future, Kevin Gates and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. Durk has lost a handful of friends and loved ones recently, including his labelmate King Von, who was shot and killed last year in Atlanta. Additionally, a producer he often collaborated with called Turn Me Up Josh died last week.
Earlier it was reported that Mariah Carey split with her management team at Roc Nation after an “explosive meeting” with Jay-Z. According to The Sun, the stars had a “huge fight” about the future of Carey’s career, which reportedly led her to seek new management. However, it appears the two remain on good terms despite the rumors. Madame Carey took to Twitter on Monday to shut down claims of a fallout while sharing a video clip from her 1999 collabo with Jay-Z, “Heartbreaker.” “The only ‘explosive’ situation I’d ever ‘get into’ with Hov is a creative tangent, such as our #1 song ‘Heartbreaker’!!” tweeted Carey before referencing Jay-Z’s “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” lyric. “To the people who make up these lies I say ‘Poof! –Vamoose, sonofa*****’!” https://twitter.com/i/status/1401925854389751809
Monday marks what would have been the 63rd birthday of Prince, the performer who preferred purple and paisley and left behind decades of chart-topping, timeless musical hits before his untimely demise more than five years ago. Sadly, as the world celebrates Prince’s life, many of his fans are also likely mourning the life of Clarence Williams III, the ubiquitous character actor whose portrayal of Prince’s father in the 1984 movie, “Purple Rain.” Williams died Friday, just days before Prince’s birthday, further linking them together. The musical genius passed away on April 21, 2016, but he certainly has not left the world of pop culture. He’s had a number of posthumous awards bestowed upon him, including receiving a major honor from the University of Minnesota in 2019. The institution—which is based in his hometown—awarded him with an honorary degree for his contributions to the music industry and the city of Minneapolis.
In honor of Black Music Appreciation Month and Juneteenth, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is rolling out a series of special events and digital content. “The Rock Hall brings together and gives voice to people of all backgrounds and beliefs through music year-round,” said Greg Harris, CEO & President, Rock Hall. “Find your voice with us through our June programming as we celebrate Black musical trailblazers.” Reckoning & Requiem: LaVern Baker & Cultural Appropriation: Tune into the Rock Hall’s YouTube channel on June 17 at 7 p.m. EST. Juneteenth Celebrations: Saturday, June 19 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Rock Hall plaza. t’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope & Empowerment”: Music can create change, inspire, and sustain revolutions and movements. The Rock Hall’s inspiring exhibit shares the stories behind songs and artists that were at the center of movements and Black liberation, including What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye, Fight The Power by Public Enemy, to Freedom by Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar, to name a few.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have done it again. They are now parents to a new baby. This time it’s a girl to be a sister to baby Archie. “It is with great joy that Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcome their daughter, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world,” read a statement from the couple Sunday. “Lili was born on Friday, June 4 at 11:40 a.m. in the trusted care of the doctors and staff at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA.” The baby girl weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces, and is named after Queen Elizabeth II and the late Princess Diana, according to a press secretary for the Meghan and Harry. https://youtu.be/JFMmREAoRLo
One of the teens involved in a high-profile carjacking that claimed the life of a Washington, D.C. food delivery driver received sentencing on Friday and will be committed to the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services until she turns 21, FOX 5 DC reports. A judge handed down the punishment after the girl, who recently turned 16, pleaded guilty to felony murder. A 13-year-old who assisted the girl during the March incident plead guilty to second-degree murder on Thursday and will face sentencing in July. She could also face the same maximum sentence as her counterpart. Prosecutors from the D.C. attorney general’s office worked to drop other charges associated with the case in return for a plea deal.
The man responsible for Monday’s attack on an Asian American woman has been charged for his crime. The suspect identified as Alexander Wright has been arrested and charged with assault as a hate crime and other counts, CBS New York reports. Investigators say Wright was found with what looks like the drug K2 when they detained him. They also believe the 48-year-old, who has been arrested 17 times — eight this year — lives in a homeless shelter.
Facebook broke the head-scratching news on Friday that it will suspend Donald Trump‘s accounts until early 2023, citing that it was punishment for his insistence in stoking the fires that led to a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol earlier this year. The timeline is in response to the platform’s Oversight Board announcing t it would determine a specific amount of time for Trump’s ban. In response to the Facebook news, Trump released two absurd statements on Friday. “Facebook’s ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75m people, plus many others, who voted for us,” he said in a statement issued from his Save America political action committee, “They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win. Our country can’t take this abuse anymore!” The latter declared he will not invite Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to any friend-oriented White House dinners, confirming he believes the White House is within his grasp for a second time.
A Black Republican and former U.S. Congressman who is among the QAnon conspiracy theorists who believe Donald Trump was the victim of election fraud is set to leave his post of leading the GOP in Texas to reportedly consider a run for governor next year. Allen West, who represented Florida in Congress for one term and unsuccessfully tried to get the first Black president impeached, will be stepping down as chairman of the Texas Republican Party on Friday, less than a year after assuming the position. He said it was his “distinct honor to serve as Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.”
F. Lee Bailey the high-profile celebrity lawyer who died Thursday at the age of 87 was part of the Dream Team of lawyers defending O.J. Simpson against murder charges for allegedly killing his estranged wife and her lover in Southern California 27 years ago in what was at the time billed as “The Trial of the Century.” Simpson offered condolences upon hearing news of Bailey’s death. https://twitter.com/i/status/1400524646068326402
The hits keep on coming for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As UNC continues to process the national blowback for denying tenure to award-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, a Black professor and highly sought chemist declined a position with the university. Citing the Board of Trustees’ treatment of Hannah-Jones, professor Lisa Jones removed her name from consideration. Inside Higher Ed reported Jones found the decision to defer tenure for Hannah Jones “disheartening.” She also took aim at the UNC’s alleged commitment to diversity. “It does not seem in line with a school that says it is interested in diversity,” wrote Jones. “Although I know this decision may not reflect the view of the school’s faculty, I will say that I cannot see myself accepting a position at a university where this decision stands. Reports show the chemistry department tried to lure Jones away from her current position as associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. The chemistry faculty alerted the UNC chancellor to the negative impact on faculty recruitment.
From films and television shows to initiatives that sit at the intersection of the arts and social justice, filmmaker Ava DuVernay has been dedicated to amplifying the voices and stories of marginalized communities and she is taking her efforts further. According to Deadline, DuVernay has joined forces with Google for the creation of a grant centered on empowering underrepresented creatives. The $500,000 fund—dubbed the Array + Google Feature Film Grant—will financially support recipients as they embark on a journey of creating a full-length feature project. The initiative was cultivated as part of a larger effort by DuVernay’s Array imprint to drive inclusivity within the arts and entertainment space forward.
In this social media age, we’re more likely to hear the typical rumors and/ or “he say, she say” narratives more often than not. Yet, these most recent allegations about Martin Lawrence from actor/comedian Chris Williams were much more on the believable side of things. Williams, the younger brother of actress Vanessa Williams took social media on a whirlwind of a journey as he expressed great regret and disappointment with his first guest star role on the show Martin. His detailed Instagram post, including video of a specific scene, quickly turned into viral reposts on Twitter after his vivid accounts of the disrespect and unprofessionalism on set from Lawrence, caught the public’s attention. https://www.instagram.com/p/CLYPBIfJ1j9/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=embed_video_watch_again
Twenty-year-old breakout Christian artist Cade Thompson drew inspiration for his new single “New Normal” from his experiencing fear when a potential active shooter was at his high school in 2018 in his senior. Undoubtedly, panic rippled through the hearts of all the students, especially Cade, who could not reach his parents to alert them of the threat. Thankfully, the situation proved to be a false alarm, and he was able to go home safely, yet, the event triggered Cade’s deep-seated anxiety. https://youtu.be/o_nC3pUNFv0
Embracing the NFT World with not one but Fifteen unique collectible NFT’s for auction providing comedic content crafted directly from the acclaimed diabolical dark comedy “Stealing Chaplin” featuring Mr. Las Vegas Himself Wayne Newton. Very much poised to launch as a bidding frenzy in the vein of the “Charlie Bit My Finger” today as these fifteen NFT’s pulled directly from this new independent gem go live. The groundbreaking “Stealing Chaplin” NFT auction offering fifteen NFT’s crafted from this comedy hit is unheard of in the film world and will be the first of its kind to cross into the astronomically successful financial NFT space. https://youtu.be/d8RgXf8b4zg
Home to the largest Confederate memorial in the country, the state of Georgia took another leap in whitewashing history. The majority-white Georgia Board of Education passed a resolution declaring slavery and racism are inconsistent with America. Calling an emergency meeting, the state board of education met Thursday to weigh in on critical race theory. A manufactured crisis of conservative origin, K-12 public school students are not learning critical race theory. YouTube comments during the meeting questioned the validity of the so-called emergency. The resolution adopted similar language as proposals in Republican-controlled legislatures across the country.
The late legendary musician Muddy Waters played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of blues music and efforts to preserve an integral piece of his story are moving forward. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, his former residence has been given preliminary landmark status. The historic home—which is nestled in the heart of South Side’s North Kenwood community—was constructed in 1891. Waters, whose real name is McKinley Morganfield, moved from Mississippi to Chicago during the Great Migration and began to lay the foundation for his storied career. Morganfield went from playing music at house parties to becoming a fixture in the Chicago club scene. The release of songs like “I Feel Like Going Home” catapulted him to success and in the 50s and 60s he solidified himself as a power player in the music industry. He moved into the home located at 4339 S. Lake Park Ave. in 1954 and resided there with his family for 19 years. The residence served as a backdrop for significant parts of his journey. It was in this home where he raised generations of his family. The house was also a gathering place for other influential musicians including Chuck Berry and Otis Spann.
Serena Williams has quietly been inching closer to making tennis history amid all the drama surrounding Naomi Osaka‘s withdrawal from the French Open. While much of the discussion surrounding the French Open has been about players’ mental health and the mandatory media duties that have played a role in the former for Osaka – and rightfully so — one aspect that has seemingly been overlooked is that winning the tournament would give Williams an equal number of the record 24 Grand Slam victories that’s been held for decades.
Music icon Jody Watley, one of the architects of 21st century pop stopped by The Tamron Hall Show to talk about her iconic looks everyone has come to know and love, her expanding signature home line, complete with candles and fragrances, “The Jody Watley Experience” display coming to the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) in Nashville and more! https://youtu.be/fL7Za5waqls
Amid backlash from the Courtney Stodden bullying controversy, it’s reported that Chrissy Teigen, 35, has exited Mindy Kaling‘s Netflix show “Never Have I Ever,” a comedy following a first-generation Indian American teen, Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan). In the show, Teigen was set to voice a role in one episode on the series’ second season. Reports emphasize that Teigen did not get fired, but peacefully dropped out of her planned voice role. http://www.gospel-spotlight.com
On the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Tom Hanks is encouraging people to educate themselves on the dark event that he says is commonly ignored and “too often left out” of American history. The Oklahoma Historical Society refers to it as “the single worst incident of racial violence in American history.” Hanks, who considers himself a “lay historian” through his education, personal research and work in “historically based entertainment,” said he “never read a page of any school history book” on the massacre. That changed nearly a century later when the prolific actor came across a 2020 New York Times article following the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. “My experience was common: History was mostly written by white people about white people like me, while the history of Black people — including the horrors of Tulsa — was too often left out,” Hanks, 64, wrote in a guest essay for the Times Friday. “Until relatively recently, the entertainment industry, which helps shape what is history and what is forgotten, did the same. That includes projects of mine.”
A New York City gallery that was founded to pay tribute to the 1921 Oklahoma race massacre was vandalized multiple times this week — including on May 31, the deadly event’s 100-year anniversary. At a press conference on Thursday, the owner of the Black Wall Street Gallery said its logo was smeared with white paint, which was discovered by a security guard on Monday morning. The next day, graffiti was discovered on a window. “We are neither shocked nor surprised that merely three days after opening on 26 Mercer Street, in celebration of our ancestors, that we would find a literal whitewashing of Black Wall Street on our front window,” owner and director Ricco Wright said on Thursday. In a Facebook post, the gallery said the New York Police Department initially claimed that the incident did not constitute hate speech despite the fact that this occurred on the centennial anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
The upcoming annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention promises to be a reckoning for the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. Data released in May shows it has lost 2.3 million members since 2006. Despite efforts to beef up evangelism, a drop in membership of 2% in 2018-2019 represents the largest single-year decline in more than a century. This year’s meeting, the first in the post-Trump era, will also be the first since some headline-making departures from the denomination. Last month, its chief ethicist, Russell Moore, resigned. In March, bestselling author and speaker Beth Moore made waves by denouncing her membership and cutting her ties with the SBC’s publishing arm, Lifeway Christian Resources. The Rev. Dwight McKissic, a prominent Texas pastor, seems to be standing on the threshold. In her March 5 interview with Religion News Service, Beth Moore was blunt: “I am still a Baptist, but I can no longer identify with Southern Baptists.” Moore is no liberal renegade. She has described herself as “pro-life from conception to grave.” And she has operated within the SBC’s restrictions on women serving in the role of pastors, despite being one of its most sought-after speakers.
One night in 1858, Carter Dowling, an enslaved Black man forced to work without pay at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Northern Virginia, made the brave decision to escape. He made it to Philadelphia, where he met the famed abolitionist William Still. He then continued north to Canada and, after the Civil War, returned to Washington, D.C., where he was able to open a bank account for his children. He eventually went on to work as a labor organizer in Buffalo. To this day, Mr. Dowling’s family line continues. And, most likely for one of the first times in American history, his descendants could receive cash payments for his forced labor. In February, the Virginia Theological Seminary began handing out cash payments to the descendants of Black Americans who were forced to work there during the time of slavery and Jim Crow. The program is among the first of its kind. Though other institutions have created atonement programs, such as scholarships and housing vouchers for Black people, few, if any, have provided cash.
A Milwaukee woman accused of killing a man who allegedly sexually assaulted her and other underage girls is entitled to an appeal using a certain type of defense strategy, a Wisconsin court ruled this week. Chrystul Kizer, who was 17 when prosecutors say she killed Randall Volar III and set fire to his home in 2018, may be able to employ a state law adopted in 2008 and known as “affirmative defense,” which means what she is accused of doing was a “direct result” of being a human trafficking victim. Kizer was charged with five felonies, including first-degree intentional homicide. She was underage when she said Volar, 34, sexually assaulted her. Kizer, now 20, came forward publicly in a 2019 Washington Post interview from jail and said she acted in self-defense. “I didn’t intentionally try to do this,” she said. Kizer is awaiting trial following her release from the Kenosha County Jail last June after the case drew interest from community groups and celebrities, and supporters helped raise her $400,000 bail, which was lowered from $1 million. Her situation also drew comparisons to that of Cyntoia Brown, who was convicted as a teenager of murdering a man she said had hired her for sex and was released from prison in 2019 after then-Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam commuted her life sentence.
A Worcester Police officer and a 14-year-old boy drowned in Green Hill Pond on Friday afternoon. The police officer, 38-year-old Enmanuel “Manny” Familia, was attempting to save the boy. Police responded to the pond after 911 callers reported three children struggling in the water. Five officers immediately jumped into the pond. “Two kids were in the water trying to hold onto each other in the water when I got here, screaming that they couldn’t swim and that there was somebody else under,” witness Sheryl Lamonda told WBZ. One officer came out of the water with two kids he had rescued. They were transported to the hospital. Lamonda said another officer was in the water and people on shore were directing him to where the missing boy was. “He just went right under,” Lamonda said. A dive team pulled Officer Familia from the pond and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The search continued for the missing teen for hours until a dive team finally recovered his body. He has not been identified.
When she suited up in cap and gown to accept her diploma from Calvin University last month, Claire Murashima felt proud of her bachelor’s degree in marketing management. But to Murashima and to many of her fellow graduates, her more singular and unexpected achievement was having navigated her senior year while serving as the first openly gay student body president in the history of the landmark Christian university in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The raven-haired 22-year-old, who grew up attending evangelical churches in California and North Carolina and identifies as queer or bisexual, filled her post at the 145-year-old school by taking principled stands about her sexual orientation, while maintaining — or at least seeking — the respect of her mostly straight peers and elders.
Tampa State Rep. Fentrice Driskell is making history as the first Black woman elected to lead the Florida House Democrats. She will take the reins in the 2024-2026 term. Driskell won Tampa’s District 63 in 2018 by about 5,000 votes. And her current term expires in 2022, which means she’d need to win reelection in the swing district to become leader. But at 42, the Winter Haven-born lawyer is a rising star in state politics. She said becoming leader-designate is an honor and shows the world is paying more attention to Black women and the role they play in politics.
Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti had been searching for a way to properly salute Ozzie Newsome since he stepped down as the team’s general manager three years ago. Bisciotti came up with an idea that not only impacts the lives of Baltimore students but also touches on Newsome’s childhood. Bisciotti told ESPN that he and his wife are making a $4 million gift in Newsome’s name to Maryland’s historically Black colleges and universities. The Ozzie Newsome Scholars Program will fund scholarships for Baltimore City Public Schools graduates who attend an HBCU in Maryland. “It gives me this great feeling for the next 30 years that I’m going to be running into accomplished people all over Baltimore and Maryland and they’re going to introduce themselves as Ozzie Newsome Scholars,’ Bisciotti told ESPN. “It’s like I’m planting a seed that will flourish.”
The Senior Bowl and the NFL will hold a pre-draft combine for top prospects from historically Black colleges and universities next January. The inaugural HBCU combine, scheduled for Jan. 28-29 in 2022, will be similar to the NFL combine with interviews and on-field and medical evaluations. It will be held at the University of South Alabama and feature select players from four HBCU conferences — the Southwestern Athletic Conference, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference — and other HBCU institutions. The first scheduled HBCU combine was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott‘s Rottweiler dog has been acting up again; someone new is claiming the animal violently attacked them. In a new lawsuit Brandon Williams an employee of Bliss Pet Resort says Elliott’s Rottweiler viciously bit him on March 25, 2021. Williams says he was working for the pet resort in Prosper, Texas when he encountered the three dogs Elliott had boarded. Williams says he was taking the Rottweiler and two pit bulls out because nature was calling for them when out of nowhere, Elliott’s Rottweiler attacked. Williams says the dog seized his right arm, clamped down, and threw him to the ground. Williams claims the bite was so ferocious, he needed stitches and was “seriously injured.” Williams is now suing Elliott and Bliss Pet Resort … seeking more than $250,000, but less than $1 million. In response to the lawsuit, Elliott’s attorney,Frank Salzano, sent this statement to TMZ Sports: “Mr. Elliott and his representatives were very surprised to learn of Mr. Williams’ complaint, particularly given that Bliss Pet Spa indicated at the time of the incident that this was not uncommon and was being handled under standard spa protocol. Mr. Elliott will address this matter accordingly.”
Actor, writer, producer, director and executive Issa Rae can now add superhero to her resume. The “Insecure” star and industry multi-hyphenate has joined the cast of the sequel to 2018’s Oscar-winning animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” as Jessica Drew, better known as Spider-Woman. Rae joins returning voice actors Shameik Moore (as main hero Miles Morales) and Hailee Steinfeld (as Gwen Stacy, a.k.a. Spider-Gwen). In April, Variety reported exclusively that Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson will be directing the feature, with producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller also credited as writers on the screenplay, along with David Callaham.
Premier Productions reveals the worship event of the summer as Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe and Bethel Music featuring Brian and Jenn Johnson and Jonathan and Melissa Helser and more share the stage on tour for the first time ever in summer 2021. Dante Bowe and Brandon Lake of Bethel Music will join the tour for select dates, as well as Josh Baldwin, David Funk and Emmy Rose of Bethel Music. https://youtu.be/zMCPn_HZq30
Us Again,” Disney’s newest animated short, is a seven-minute movie with no dialogue but tons of meaning. The story of an aged couple finding their youth again is told through music, dance and animation! “Us Again,” Disney’s newest animated short, is a seven-minute movie with no dialogue but tons of meaning. The story of an aged couple finding their youth again is told through music, dance and animation! The main characters, an African-American woman named Dot and her Japanese-American husband, Art, share a love that transcends time. Composer Pinar Toprak shared how she hoped her score communicated that.
Vanessa Bryant’s eldest daughter just hit a major academic milestone! On Friday, Vanessa shared photos and videos from her 18-year-old daughter Natalia Bryant‘s high school graduation, writing on Instagram that her family is “so proud” of the teen. “Yay! Congratulations Natalia!!!! ” Vanessa, 39, captioned a photo of her daughter in her graduation robe and cap. In another post, Vanessa showed a close-up of Natalia’s graduation cap, which had been decorated with in the colors of the University of Southern California, where Natalia is headed in the fall.
It’s an effort to expand access to coronavirus vaccines: provide shots at the barbershop. As part of a White House initiative, the National Association of County and City Health Officials is planning to help train Black-owned barbershops and hair salons to provide accurate vaccination information and even provide vaccines where possible, Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive officer of NACCHO, told CNN on Wednesday. The Biden administration said Wednesday it is teaming up with several organizations — the Black Coalition Against COVID, the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity and the SheaMoisture company — to launch an initiative called “Shots at the Shop” to engage Black-owned barbershops and beauty salons nationwide in efforts to promote vaccine education and outreach on a local level. The White House said throughout the month of June, each participating shop will help share information about vaccines with customers, display educational materials, and some will even host on-site vaccination events in partnership with local providers.
Vanessa Bryant took to social media this week to call out Nike for producing a sneaker that she designed for her late daughter Gianna without her consent. In an Instagram statement posted on Thursday Vanessa said she “worked hard” on the black-and-white “MAMBACITA” sneakers, which, as reported by PEOPLE, are an exclusive colorway of Kobe’s iconic design. “It was going to be called the MAMBACITA shoe as an exclusive black and white colorway on her daddy’s shoes,” she wrote in an Instagram post on Thursday. “I picked the colors in honor of her uniform, the inside pattern, Kobe and Gigi on the back in gold instead of Kobe’s signature, the inside shoe details (butterfly, wings, halo), etc.” “The MAMBACITA shoes are NOT approved for sale,” Vanessa continued, noting that Nike has not sent her any pairs of the shoes.
Christopher Walker’s defense attorney made the announcement Thursday after the family requested that they speak with the family of Pop Smoke. Attorney Christopher Darden added that Pop Smoke’s family may not be ready to meet with Walker’s family due to the sensitive nature involving both of their sons. “The Walker family has asked me to contact the victim’s family so that they might speak privately. I hope to reach out to the family soon. They might need time. I will also understand if the family is not inclined to have that conversation. Everything we have done and said has been done and said while keeping in mind the great respect we have for the victim and the victim’s family.” Darden told the New York Daily News. The slain rapper’s mother, Audrey Jackson, said in response that she doesn’t have time to make a decision due to her career obligations as a teacher as the school year is coming to a close
“Real Housewives of Atlanta” alum Phaedra Parks revealed on Instagram that her car was broken into — allegedly by “2 guys” who stole multiple items from inside the vehicle! While sharing a photo of herself posing beside the damaged car on Wednesday, she asked that her followers message her if they “have any info” on the situation. Before that she explained, “Tonight at exactly 7:02 pm during daylight, someone (2 guys) broke into my car on Miami Circle exactly 11 minutes after I got out to drop off an item,” she captioned her post. The 47-year-old revealed that among the items that were stolen was a gift from RHOA star Porsha Williams. “They jumped through the passenger window and broke my glove compartment, which was empty, and he took the gold glitter backpack @porsha4real gave to me for my birthday, which had my Canon camera in it with my sons’ recent graduation pictures on the memory card,” she continued. “You can’t see in my car. I have 360 limo tint, the items they took are sentimental to me,” she added.
A little over a year has passed since the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in a Georgia town shocked the nation, and rocked his loved ones to their core. But even in the midst of grappling with the tragedy and fighting to secure justice, Arbery’s big sister, Jasmine Arbery, managed to secure a victory for them both. In May the mother of one celebrated reaching her second collegiate milestone after earning her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Albany State University. Jasmine, who previously completed her bachelor’s degree at ASU, was ranked at the top of the psychology department. With a series of photos posted to Instagram, Jasmine shared how arduous the journey to her second degree had truly been.
She is a mother of five and a grandmother of four, but people can’t believe it when they see Ellen Ector these days, especially if she’s in a bikini at age 68! Those who have known Ector for more than 12 years remember her as an overweight social worker. Ector agrees. “I had five children, and I was overweight,” she admits. “I took a pic of myself and I looked horrible. I had all gut and butt. “But after five children, what do you expect.” Ector did what others didn’t expect; she changed her eating habits, started to exercise, and watched the weight begin to come off. She said she started feeling more energetic, as well. Ector ultimately left her job as a social worker and pursued serious fitness training in 2009, reports Black Doctor.org. After her eye-popping transformation, Ector wanted to pass her exercise and eating regimen to other women, especially African Americans. What followed was a new career for Ector and Lana, her daughter and business partner. The two now have a series of DVDs for women called “Black Girls Workout Too!” “The DVDs,” said Ector, “is for all women who want to lose weight.
After the emergence of Alex Haley’s Roots, many Black families dug deep in search of their own lost family trees. Author Jean Perry’s family was no different, and she was all ears to the stories that were unearthed. By sitting and listening to the stories told by her elders, Perry was able to craft a retelling of her grandfather’s history as an enslaved person who ended up serving as a valet to the plantation owner’s son. “Mozay of Pepperwick” is a quick but fulfilling read, appropriate for middle school students but easily enjoyed by readers of all ages. It is not only a homage to Perry’s family history, but also contains many historically accurate accounts as well as characters who existed in real life. “My grandfather, Mose Perry, was a slave in South Carolina, and was assigned as a valet and companion to the plantation owner’s son. Because he was in that position, he was given seven years of education. During lessons, my grandfather often knew the answer when the planter’s son didn’t, but he was not allowed to raise his hand. Once I heard that story, my imagination just took off,” Perry relates. Readers will be interested to note that Perry originally created many of the African parables found within the story, which serve as metaphoric and sometimes metaphysical plot points throughout Mozay’s journey. Her original pieces add an additional layer of authenticity to her historical fiction, but her writing remains approachable, making it a classic read that is an easy first pick for instructors looking for books on the topic.
The 6th Annual Black Music Honors will be televised in national broadcast syndication in key markets such as New York on June 5, 2021 at 3:00 PM ET on WPIX and in Baltimore on June 6, 2021 at 3:00 PM ET on WBFF this weekend. This year’s presentation kicks off Black Music Month and commemorates Juneteenth and airs Saturday, June 19 at 1:00 PM ET on Bounce TV. The honorees for this year’s Black Music Honors includes multiple Grammy® Award-nominated R&B legend Angie Stone, Ginuwine, Marvin Sapp and Ramsey Lewis. The National Museum of African American Music will be honored with the Legacy Award.Performers include Cece Winans, Montell Jordan, Jacquees, After 7, Syleena Johnson, Pleasure P, Stokley, Avery Sunshine, J. Moss, Q Parker, Bahamadia, Chrisette Michele, Jac Ross, Mumu Fresh, Kevin Ross, Theresa Tha Songbird, and Zacardi Cortez.
Each June, music fans around the world come together to celebrate the indelible influence that Black musicians have made on culture with Black Music Month. To mark the month, Amazon Music has worked to put together a brand-new slate of content that honors the legacy of the Black artists whose music soundtracks our lives and defines our culture. Today, a new performance from two-time GRAMMY-nominee Koryn Hawthorne, "Falling in Love with Jesus," an Amazon Original song with Koryn's soulful take on the Jonathan Butler classic, has kicked off Amazon Music's new series of releases that honors Black Music Month. The song is available now on their Gospel Now playlist. Koryn Hawthorne-"Falling in Love with Jesus" http://amzn.to/KorynHawthorne
In celebration of Juneteenth, the team at Apple Music put together a collection of songs that honor the experiences of Black people of the past, the present and the future. The major outlet tapped the Gospel GOAT Kirk Franklin to release "Overcome 2021”. https://music.apple.com/fj/album/overcome-2021/1567241777
The Smollett sibling duo continue to bring their keen design flavor to CLEO TV this Saturday, May 29 at 9 p.m. ET/8C on LIVING BY DESIGN WITH JAKE AND JAZZ. As they perform to revitalize homes, they also celebrate their trendy renovations with delectable recipes from the Smollett family. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJIUftwFZR4
JOIN CHEF SUNNY ANDERSON AS SHE SHARES GERMAN-INSPIRED DISHES ON COOKING FOR REAL WITH SUNNY ANDERSON, AIRING MONDAYS AT 9 P.M. ET/8C
Stellar Award winning and Grammy nominated siblings, The Walls Group, are this generation’s most culturally relevant gospel crew. Members Darrel, Rhea, Alic and Ahjah have been making a major impact in the music industry for over a decade and are still discovering new and bold ways to use their voice. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/i6lc9gj58cxa0xd/AACBYK4zVaFdPR3O5QLF2IGBa?dl=0
Black Writers Weekend’s hybrid experience will stream online and take place in the Sweet Auburn District in Atlanta, GA from Thursday, June 10th to Sunday, June 13th, 2021. The festival which is powered by AAMBC Inc has amplified black creative voices for over 13 years through literacy programs and events furthermore contributing to the elevation of Black excellence.
BET “Sunday Best” alum Latice Crawford’s new EP, THE CURE, is available now. The transparent and motivational EP is concrete proof of Latice's ability to deliver melodic and soulful messages to listeners and followers of Christ. THE CURE is available now on all major digital retail and streaming outlets. Something Something from Latice Crawford... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW6YvZz5_xQ
The Black College Expo and the Los Angeles Urban League will award over $100,000.00 to high school students during the “2021 Black High School Graduation: Rites of Passage” Virtual Ceremony on Friday, June 4, 2021, at 4 pm Pacific Standard Time (PST). The celebration will showcase academic achievers and obstacle-overcomers who are “stars” of the Black community. Students, nationwide, will share their high school achievements and receive financial awards during this virtual ceremony. Yo-Yo, Uzo Aduba, Kel Mitchell, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Marcus Scribner and Shaun Robinson will join a stellar list of celebrities who’ll be empowering and inspiring Black High School students during their one-of- a-kind Rites Of Passage celebration.
Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Monica joined SiriusXM Urban View’s “The Mike Muse Show” to discuss her new series “Infamy; When Fame Turns Deadly” which premieres June 7 on VH1. During the interview the star spoke with host Mike Muse about living in a hotel room for ten months after her divorce, and realizing the importance of “space and solace” for her and her kids once the pandemic hit. https://youtu.be/quhRE-lV9Qg
The court accepts the existence of God every time a witness swears to tell the truth,” says Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson) in defense of Arne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor) in “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.” Warren went on to say, “I think it’s about time [the court] accepts the existence of the devil.” Hell yeah! I believe. And why I scurried out of the dark theater after “The Conjuring” not knowing what or who could be lurking in the dark. Although it was a private screening, the few of us who attended were inside a huge multi-plex where any demon could have slipped past security. https://youtu.be/tLFnRAzcaEc
Former Destiny’s Child member LeToya Luckett has joined the cast of Lee Daniels’ upcoming Fox drama “Our Kind of People.” The singer is set to star opposite “Chicago Med” alum Yaya DaCosta and Morris Chestnut. Actress, director, producer, and acting coach, Tasha Smith has been tapped to direct the pilot and second episode of the upcoming FOX drama, which is inspired by the book by Laurence Otis Graham.
It appears as though Cuba Gooding Jr. decided to ignore a civil lawsuit against him–and lost as a result! Back in late 2019, bartender Natasha Ashworth sued the actor for allegedly attempting to grope her repeatedly while working at TAO Downtown Nightclub in Manhattan. However, Cuba Gooding Jr. never went about hiring a civil defense attorney or filing any court paperwork. Due to his failure to respond, Natasha Ashworth requested a default judgement back in January 2021. For context, a default judgement is when the court decides on a ruling without the non-cooperating party’s input. On Wednesday (June 2nd), Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Alexander Tisch granted Natasha Ashworth‘s default judgement request for her assault and battery accusation. Resultingly, a civil trial to determine what Ashworth should be awarded for her ordeals with Cuba Gooding Jr. is the next step. In response to the default judgement, Cuba Gooding Jr.‘s criminal defense attorney–who was not working this civil case–commented … “The claim is baseless and the judgment is worthless.”
A 1990 interview between Whitney Houston and Byron Allen has resurfaced, during which the late singer revealed that Hollywood legend Robert De Niro once tried to shoot his shot. De’Niro has long had a thing for Black women. He is also a father of six children from three different women, all of them are Black women. https://youtu.be/hmL9O5Lz6a0
An earlier report noted that Michael B. Jordan will make his directorial debut with “Creed III” for MGM. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jordan will reprise his role as Adonis “Donnie” Johnson Creed and also produce the film. He shared the exciting news on his Instagram Stories, writing “Excited is an understatement!” So who will be Adonis Creed’s opponent in the ring? According to Deadline, it could be actor Jonathan Majors. https://youtu.be/LAnn29j8F1w
Girls Trip star Tiffany Haddish will produce and star in a game 1 biopic about 3x Olympic Gold-winning track and field athlete Florence Griffith Joyner (“Flo-Jo”), which was one of the actress’ heroes growing up. Haddish will play Flo-Jo, in a feature that tells the story of the Olympian’s remarkable life and untimely death, showcasing her historic feats, but also her enduring impact on the entire world of sports and in the communities that needed her help and inspiration the most. Therese Andrews, EVP of Production at game1, is spearheading the entire project.
For King & Country, the Grammy-winning band led by Australian brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, and Monarch Media are teaming for two movies projects. The feature documentary Return to Sydney: The For King & Country Journey will chronicle the Australian brothers and their sister, singer-songwriter Rebecca St. James, returning home after conquering the music world and earning a dozen honors, including Grammys and Billboard Music Awards.
Minneapolis supporters of George Floyd were outraged, shocked, and concerned Thursday after city crews enacted orders to remove large portions of the memorial commemorating Floyd in order to reopen street traffic. The decision to move barricades at the corner of 38th and Chicago occurs one week after Floyd’s death anniversary and one day after Derek Chauvin, the cop who murdered Floyd, proposed probation and prison time equal to time already served prior to his sentencing hearing on June 25.
Friday, Facebook said it will suspend former President Donald Trump‘s account for at least two years. The firm plans to suspend Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts two years, beginning on the initial suspension date of January 7, 2021. They made the official decision after concluding that he [allegedly] stoked violence ahead of the deadly Jan.6 insurrection. They noted that it will only be reinstated “if conditions permit,” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, wrote in a blog post Friday, “We are today announcing new enforcement protocols to be applied in exceptional cases such as this, and we are confirming the time-bound penalty consistent with those protocols which we are applying to Mr. Trump’s accounts.”
Buckingham Palace has responded to reports that ethnic minorities and foreigners were barred from office jobs during the 1960s. The Guardian reported Thursday, citing documents in Britain’s National Archives, that heads of staff were prejudiced in hiring practices. According to the report, up until the 1960’s, Buckingham Palace banned people of color from holding certain positions within Queen Elizabeth II’s royal household. Even today, the queen’s house remains exempt from U.K. laws that prevent race and sex discrimination. https://youtu.be/7jQmUcLrbjU
Mo’Nique is not backing down from comments she made on social media last week, in which she noted her frustration with seeing Black women wearing pajamas and bonnets in public. After stirring up debate, the Oscar-winning actress returned to Instagram to explain why she was compelled to deliver the message in the first place. “The post that I did Friday in reference to us being the best us that we can be, it rubbed some people wrong, but I want to share this with yall,” Mo began in a video posted Tuesday. “There were two people in my life that had I taken a different attitude, I could have felt they was rubbing me wrong. But I’m glad I took the attitude of appreciation and gratitude because they tapped me. And that was Patti LaBelle and Margaret Avery.” She went on to say, “I’m glad those two women love me enough that they would go out of their way to talk to me in a way that aunties, mommas, big sisters talk to their little sisters, nieces, grandbabies, [and] daughters. I was grateful for that because it allowed me to [feel] about things differently. Never once did I think those women were trying to be offensive, nasty, or mean. I thought it was nothing but love.”
Video showing “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Widow Von’Du’s recent domestic violence arrest, where she takes an offered vape from a bystander while handcuffed, has gone viral. Von’Du was booked for first and second degree domestic assault after allegedly knocking her partner out cold, leaving him in need of 14 stitches in his face and head. https://www.tmz.com/videos/2021-06-02-060221-widow-von-du-1132719/
The 25th Anniversary of the WNBA couldn’t be off to a better start. Viewership is up 74% on ABC and ESPN this season. This season the Los Angeles Sparks are bringing a different look to the court. The team has been almost completely revamped from the 2020 season. For wing/guard Brittney Sykes entering her fifth year in the W, that means new challenges and personal goals. Sykes came to the Sparks in a trade before the 2020 season from the Atlanta Dream. https://youtu.be/HZqmkxIOPuA
TV One has announced its slate of programming for Black Music Month, which includes encore episodes of its documentary series “Unsung.” Urban Hollywood 411 reports, the cable network will bring back episodes of Unsung featuring Shanice, Lloyd, Hezekiah Walker, Marvin Sapp, Chanté Moore and others. The June lineup will also feature performances from Alicia Keys: Live in LA; Black Star Live At The Vienne Jazz Festival, and Gregory Porter Live at Nice Jazz Festival.
A dancer caught fire at a birthday party that Sean “Diddy” Combs hosted for Quality Control Music CEO Pierre “Pee” Thomas at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre on Wednesday night. “There were dancers on tables wearing feathered skirts, and one dropped down to get her eagle on and caught on fire from a candle,” a spy told Page Six. “Nothing was left but her string thong. She was panicking and quickly extinguished.” Guests included Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, Angela Simmons, Bow Wow, Ray J Marlo Hampton, T.I. and Tiny and Pee’s girl group, City Girls, performed. https://youtu.be/9GsP2TcfPsY
Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year sentence for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted in April of the murder of George Floyd. Chauvin, a white man, was found guilty on April 20 on all counts of murdering Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis on May 25 2020 by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes until he died. A jury convicted Chauvin of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Last month, his attorney filed court documents seeking a new trial. Defense Attorney Eric Nelson has asked for less than the 15-year maximum in state sentencing guidelines or probation.
Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter spoke at a Memorial Day event in Hudson, Ohio, but the mic went out during a very specific segment of his address. He thought a technical glitch had caused his mic to stop working as he explained the role Black people played in establishing Memorial Day. But no. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, organizers cut his mic on purpose because they didn’t want him talking about that at their event. https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/national/veterans-microphone-cut-off-while-speaking-about-black-history-of-memorial-day/2021/06/02/d9bd3a5b-5805-4419-9b04-787487e90849_video.html
Kylee D. Allen an 11-year-old actress dish about her breakthrough role in Amazon’s “The Underground Railroad,” series directed by Barry Jenkins. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead, the historical fiction narrative is about a woman’s journey escaping slavery. Kylee portrays ‘Molly,’ one of the three children featured in this powerful story which was adapted by Academy Award-winning producer/director Barry Jenkins. https://player.vimeo.com/video/557796219
Evelyn Lozada has announced that she’s quitting “Basketball Wives” after nine seasons. Lozada has starred in every season of the hit VH1 show since it debuted in 2010. “I think that it’s time for me to open up the universe to other things,” she told E!’s “Just the Sip” podcast, as reported by Page Six. “It’s been a hard decision because I could [continue to appear on the show] with my eyes closed.” “But at the same time I think it’s so difficult and it takes so much energy and it’s not the most positive energy and I just open up to the universe to allow other things to flow in,” she added.
Anthony Mackie began trending Wednesday night shortly after popping up to introduce Captain America at the opening ceremony for Marvel’s new AVENGERS CAMPUS, which officially opens for visitors today at Disney California Adventure. Mackie, who went from playing Sam Wilson, to Falcon, to Captain America in the Marvel universe, thrilled fans watching online when he appeared on stage carrying Captain America’s shield……unsheathed it, and then handed the shield to the theme park’s Captain America – a moment that quickly went viral.
Since the birth of this nation, no Black woman has ever served as governor in the United States. But South Carolina Democratic state Sen. Mia McLeod believes she will be the first, despite the fact that Democrats haven’t been elected to a statewide office there in 15 years. https://youtu.be/TyBHSDbAjsE
Black Lives Matter activist Bree Newsome called out white Americans whose families stole land and property from Black Americans post-slavery. “Amazing how white people commit atrocities in one generation & then they just disappear from existence,” she said in a series of tweets calling for reparations. “No descendants, no names, no current wealth or land holdings that can be identified as a result of the atrocity. Only Black survivors exist with living memory, apparently,” Newsome added. “White violence has driven Black migration across the country and led to significant loss of land and wealth, but we can’t identify to whose hands specific plots of land and subsequent wealth was transferred? The current class of wealthy white people have no connection? Hmm,” she wrote in a second tweet. Newsome famously scaled a flagpole to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state capital in Columbia.
ESSENCE, the leading and only 100% Black-owned media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities, announces its stellar talent line-up for its 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture Presented by Coca-Cola—the world’s largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience. Incorporating virtual for the second year in light of the pandemic, this year’s event will live up to its theme of “Live Loud” by featuring exciting content across all of its stages centered around culture, equity and celebration. The star-studded lineup will feature performances by: Jazmine Sullivan, DJ Khaled & Friends, Ne-Yo, Tank, Michelle Williams, Kirk Franklin, Davido and D-Nice. The Festival’s powerful interactive sessions will also showcase Mary J. Blige, Angela Yee, Adrienne Bailon, Sarah Jakes Roberts, Tracy G., Tiana Major9, Big Freedia, Miss Lawrence, Supacent, Shantrelle P. Lewis, Jesseca Dupart and more. The Festival will stream on ESSENCEStudios.com and ESSENCE.com—Friday-Sunday over two weekends, June 25-27 and July 2-4.
Lady Voncile Belcher's Volume 2 release drops on June 18th, 2021. Be on the Lookout.
British media personality Piers Morgan is catching heat for calling tennis champion Naomi Osaka a “spoiled brat” over her decision to withdraw from the French Open on Sunday. “Ms Osaka is also an arrogant spoiled brat whose fame and fortune appears to have inflated her ego to gigantic proportions,” Morgan wrote in his May 31 column for the Daily Mail. “What’s not meaningless is her frankly contemptible attempt to avoid legitimate media scrutiny by weaponizing mental health to justify her boycott.” Morgan then reminded everyone of his obsession with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle by comparing Osaka to the royal couple.
A resurfaced clip of Venus Williams’ father calling out a reporter during an interview when she was a teenager has gone viral after Naomi Osaka’s decision to withdraw from the French Open. https://twitter.com/i/status/1399449008599441416
When Venus was recently asked for her thoughts on Osaka’s withdrawal, she explained how she and her sister Serena Williams have dealt with media scrutiny. https://twitter.com/i/status/1399973962009001989
Brad Stevens got promoted from head coach of the Boston Celtics to president of basketball operations for the team even despite having no front-office experience in his basketball career, CBS reports. While some sports fans were here for the new change, some people were not, including ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith. https://www.instagram.com/p/CPqQqQMBpa2/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=embed_video_watch_again
Dreezy has responded to the fan reaction over a video of her boyfriend attacking a man during their trip to Mexico. The viral clip shows R&B singer Jacquees attacking a man, and it was filmed by a fan watching from a balcony. As reported by Uproxx, Chicago rapper Dreezy quickly logged onto Instagram to explain the situation on Live. She claims Jacquees was defending her after an altercation between the two men escalated.
WE tv’s jaw-dropping series “Beyond the Pole” returns for an explosive season two set to premiere Thursday, June 3 at 10 PM ET, and we have an exclusive clip of the new episode — which finds Gigi talking about her start as a dancer. . https://youtu.be/q2bk59IYDy4
”Before killing George Floyd, Derek Chauvin evaded accountability for at least 17 complaints, thanks to the egregious protections in his police union contract,” said Robert Reich, the Democratic former Labor Secretary under President Clinton and current co-founder of Inequality Media. “Let’s get one thing straight: This is not what unions were created to do.” https://youtu.be/uBurfrfdSFM
Darren Bryant, 29, was sworn in on May 11 in the Cook County village just outside Chicago – home to celebrities such as Dwyane Wade and Keke Palmer – and in doing so became not just the youngest African American mayor to hold office in Robbins, but the entire state of Illinois. “It’s a surreal moment,” Bryant told “Good Morning America.” “This is the people’s victory more so than mine and I think ‘humbling’ is the best word to describe how I feel right now.” https://youtu.be/YMAu34iMgqA
Jason Mitchell is not letting his legal woes slow him down. Mitchell is set to star in and executive produce the upcoming feature film “Everything is Both” from Endure Films & Media, Urban Hollywood 411 reports. Mitchell and his former “The Chi” co-star Barton Fitzpatrick will star in the film alongside actress Stakiah Washington, who is making her feature film debut on the project. Urban Hollywood 411 reports, the movie tells the story of a young woman named Dysha, played by Washington, who finds herself on the run and is forced to put her trust in a mysterious stranger to escape danger and pull off the biggest score of her life.
Sugar Ray Leonard has listed his custom-built Pacific Palisades estate and it could be yours for $46.5 million. As reported by the New York Post, the retired boxer and his wife, Bernadette Leonard, built the 16,773 square foot home over 20 years ago. It was first listed in 2019 for $52 million. The estate boasts seven bedrooms in the main house, a two-story guest house, scenic mountain views, a two-story family room, formal living room and dining room, a gym, screening room, gourmet kitchen and solarium, according to the report.
The Critics Choice Association (CCA) and nonfiction producers’ organization NPACT unveiled today the nominees for the third annual Critics Choice Real TV Awards, which recognize excellence in nonfiction, unscripted and reality programming across broadcast, cable and streaming platforms. Alex Trebek will be honored posthumously with this year’s Impact Award, which recognizes an outstanding individual for career excellence and the positive impact they have made on the world of nonfiction content. Mr. Trebek and his legacy epitomize what the Impact Award was created to honor.
The prosecutors who led and secured Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction will also cover the case against Kim Potter, the former police officer who killed Daunte Wright. In a statement released by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, he confirmed that he will be taking over the prosecution of the former Brooklyn Center police officer. Potter was charged with fatally shooting Wright after she mistook her gun for a taser during a routine traffic stop in April.
Tuesday during the first meeting of the state’s task force to study proposals for reparations for African Americans, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that his state is moving forward with efforts to create “a more equitable and inclusive future for all.” As The Hill reported, just last year the democratic governor signed a bill approving the task force that will consider paying reparations for slavery. The statute requires a task force to make recommendations for lawmakers to address the findings by July 2023. It is expected to include details on what form of compensation lawmakers should authorize, as well as who should receive those funds, the news site notes.
When Texas Democrats walked out on a sham vote on voting rights over the Memorial Day weekend, they issued a challenge to their federal counterparts. As reported by The Washington Post, progressive Texas legislators see a national response as necessary in order to combat current attacks at the state level. Responding to the call to action, President Joe Biden announced Vice President Kamala Harris would take on the voting rights fight. Biden has previously stated Harris will focus on the urgent needs of the moment in her role as vice president.
One of the main focus points in the tragic death of Ma’Khia Bryant,16, pinpointed how the foster care system failed to protect her prior to the fatal police shooting on the premises of her foster home. Since that time, Ma’Khia’s family and supporters have urged Ohio officials to launch a probe into the state’s foster care system, specifically in regards to her experience. Three U.S. lawmakers penned a letter backing the family’s request by asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate Ma’Khia’s time as a ward of the state under the jurisdiction of Franklin County Children Services.
The president of an NBA franchise long associated with being the whitest team in the league has abruptly stepped down just one week after making questionable comments on the topic of racism. While the decision for Danny Ainge to retire from his lofty post with the Boston Celtics is not necessarily linked to his recent and inexplicable insistence that he never heard players talk about racism in Boston, the timing of his departure can’t be overlooked, even in the hours after the team ended a season that fell well short of expectations.
Candace Owens is moving full steam ahead with her weekly foolery and pretentious, anti-Black outbursts, this time taking aim at tennis champion Naomi Osaka. On Memorial Day, a day which was supposed to be housed in reverence, Owens used her Twitter platform to lash out at Osaka over her decision to prioritize her mental health and withdraw from the French Open after voicing that the press demands inhibited her wellness. However, in a matter of hours, Owens quickly reversed her sentiments, largely due to the incessant Twitter dragging she received. The optics didn’t go over and many resorted to giving Owens the same energy that she inflicts on others especially when she should have used the moment to support another young Black woman who was suffering from mental illness and exhaustion.
Earlier this spring, the city of Evanston, Illinois, become a symbol of hope during a long storied effort to ensure the federal government disseminates reparations to the descendants of chattel slavery. Bolstered by the first $10 million in revenue from the city’s cannabis tax, Evanston became the first city in the United States to enact reparations, signaling interest from other cities like Asheville, North Carolina, and Amherst, Massachusetts. The reparations rollout included several phases, the first of which would provide $25,000 to Black residents who were victims of housing discrimination. The funds would be allocated towards home improvement costs, down payments, closing cost assistance, and mortgage payments.
President Joe Biden is expected to lay out a series of ventures aimed towards reversing the wealth gap between Black and white Americans on Tuesday during a speech to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. He is also expected to visit the historic site and spend time with survivors and descendants. Biden is the first sitting president to visit the Greenwood, Oklahoma, neighborhood, home to the descendants of Black Americans who were slaughtered in one of the largest race-fueled hate crimes, claiming the lives of over 300 Black community members while also abolishing a prosperous economic Black business district. Tuesday Biden’s address coverd several initiatives which include redirecting federal purchasing power to distribute aid to minority-owned businesses, allocating $10 billion to help rebuild disenfranchised communities which often house majority Black populations. Biden also plans to direct $15 billion to help boost transportation in areas that have historically faced difficulty with access to public transit.
A new episode of the true crime docu-series Sins of The City airs this Thursday, June 3 at 9 p.m. ET/8C on TV One. This week, the series spotlights an unexpected robbery ring involving a local Dallas football team. Various experts, community leaders, family members, and the like, provide real-life perspective and insight into the cities profiled this season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85jFCch8xc0
Celebrated singer-songwriter Brian Courtney Wilson earns second Billboard Number 1 song with the compelling ballad "Still." The song topped both the Billboard Gospel Songs chart and Mediabase Gospel Airplay chart, this week. The title track to Wilson's well-received fifth album has connected to audiences with a timeless and necessary, and reassuring message about God's continued presence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS8S8ztVDmU&feature=youtu.be
On Tuesday (06-01-21), at the site of the worst destruction in American history, of a Black community, a bustling economy and its people, President Joe Biden marked the commemoration of the Tulsa Race Massacre. It was 100 years ago this week that White mobs killed hundreds of Black citizens, injured thousands more and destroyed a once-thriving business district and neighborhoods. https://youtu.be/UhaSURuTEvQ
ESPN has added popular broadcaster Brian Custer as the new SportsCenter host, and he will also call college football and basketball for the network. MSN reports, Emmy-winning Custer, 49, most recently worked at Fox Sports after a 10-year stint at SNY. He spent time in Dallas covering the Cowboys and Mavericks, and also serves as host for Showtime Championship Boxing, which he will continue after his move to ESPN.
When Wendy Williams dropped in at Caroline’s comedy club Thursday, comedian Miss Jones and radio personality Angela Yee were also in the house — and per Page Six, both wanted to “take the opportunity to memorialize the chance meeting of three queens of the airwaves,” the outlet writes. According to sources, however, Williams wasn’t having it. Miss Jones took out her phone and asked comic Donnell Rawling if they could step onstage for a moment to take the photo. “Come on, Donnell,” she said. “I want to take a picture with the ladies of radio.” But onlookers were stunned when Williams refused to leave her seat. But Yee and Jones climbed onstage for the shot, where they warmly embraced each other. The night was Caroline’s first event in months after being shut down because of COVID.
A U.S. Airman stationed at Hurlburt Field in Okaloosa County, Florida, allegedly used a dating app to connect with an 11-year-old girl and then traveled to Alabama where he raped her. Keith Williams, 25, has been charged with first-degree rape, traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act and electronic solicitation of a child, PEOPLE reports. The Northwest Florida Daily News reports that an investigation was launched after the victim’s father intercepted a friend request from Williams to his daughter. The father, pretending to be his daughter, responded with “Do I know you?” he wrote on Feb. 12, according to the affidavit. Williams responded with “(Name redacted) from Badoo?” He then detailed what the victim was wearing the day they allegedly had sex in her backyard in Decatur. “Ima definitely marry you in the future lol,” Williams wrote. When confronted by her parents, she admitted that the encounter happened in October 2020. Authorities believe Williams “traveled to Decatur and engaged in an unlawful sex act with the child.” He was arrested in Florida on April 20 and extradited to Decatur. He was released on a $60,000 bond at the end of May. Williams was reportedly placed in the custody of the Air Force and has been barred from leaving Alabama, according to the report.
Sabrina Peterson, the woman who inspired a slew of women to come forward with allegations that T.I. and his wife Tiny (Tameka Cottle) drugged and raped them, has reacted to the rapper playing down her apology request. Sabrina, who used to be a family friend of T.I and Tiny, revealed that she’s willing to drop her lawsuit against the couple, whom she also accused of sexual assault, if they apologize to her. However, Tip has made it clear that she’ll be waiting until hell freezes over for his apology. The hip-hop star took to Instagram to post a picture of himself laughing while at Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ party, along with the caption “An Apology???? -Drako voice #WhatItsComeTo.”
Raven-Symoné is sharing her weight loss journey with her fans and followers on social media and she recently posted a clip on Instagram in which she proudly celebrates losing 28 pounds. Yahoo reports, while her announcement was met with support from her fans, the former Disney star did catch a bit of heat from people who prefer that she embraces being big. “Just so you guys know, I am 28 lbs. down. I lost a s— ton of weight,” Raven stated in the video, in which she is seen riding in a car alongside her wife, Miranda Pearman-Maday. “Pounds down, pounds down. Check out the chin,” she added. “You see that chin? If you all watch ‘Raven’s Home’ literally right now, and then come on this live and see this joint, I got a whole different face going on. It’s a whole pounds down journey.” https://www.instagram.com/ravensymone/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=94d22936-82c9-4d97-8adf-eddf62c324e1
An exclusive clip from the upcoming drama feature “Under The Stadium Lights,” starring Milo Gibson, Abigail Hawk, Acoryé White, Carter Redwood, Germain Arroyo, Adrian Favela, Eddie George, Glenn Morshower – with Noel G. and Laurence Fishburne. The film is a true story about the ’09 Abilene High School Football team. It is based on the nonfiction book “Brother’s Keeper” by Al Pickett and Chad Mitchell. https://youtu.be/N0BLGvkn8lw
The first trailer for Mary J. Blige’s long-awaited documentary is here. “Mary J. Blige’s My Life” – arriving June 25 on Amazon Prime, from Oscar-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth – reveals the demons and blessings that inspired Blige’s heartbreaking 1994 masterpiece, “My Life,” a collection of powerful confessionals about her battles with abuse, depression and addiction that forged a profound and enduring connection with millions of fans around the globe. https://youtu.be/EeaCZt31hVA
During Tuesday night’s episode of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” Luann de Lesseps asked new cast member Eboni K. Williams to leave her house after a heated exchange got racial. Their argument started amid Ramona Singer and Leah McSweeney’s ongoing dispute over whether it’s proper to discuss sex candidly with friends. Luann said that using vulgar words did not align with their conservative values. Eboni countered: “I don’t subscribe to the fact that to use those words means you’re unclassy or not a lady.” “It has nothing to do with class, it has to do with education,” Luann, 56, replied. Eboni, the show’s first Black Housewife, declared that she had “more education than anybody at this table” and that she was the “most educated person in this group” yet felt perfectly fine discussing sex. Luann became offended.
Alexis Sims, founder and CEO of Leaf Me, an online houseplant boutique, has announced her biggest accomplishment yet since she launched back in March 2020. Her company has just released the first-ever Black-owned plant fertilizer brand. It’s called The Growth Elixir. Leaf Me began as an answer to a social barrier that prevents many individuals in low-income communities of color from seeking help, specifically where mental health is in need. Through a horticultural lens, Alexis has provided a basis where those who are struggling during such a trying time in history can find guidance and stability through plants. Her online plant boutique provides a range of tropical plants that can be delivered directly to your home [if you live in the tri-county area near Detroit], plant lover clothing, and a variety of accessories to help you care for your green friends.
Oregon lawmakers voted unanimously Tuesday to recognize Juneteenth, a day recognizing the Emancipation Proclamation, as a state holiday every June 19, starting in 2022. The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, the day enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, were told President Abraham Lincoln had freed people held in bondage in rebel states two years earlier. The passage of the bill, introduced by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown earlier this year, falls on the same day as the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, when hundreds of Black residents of Tulsa, Oklahoma were attacked or killed by a white mob.
Barack and Michelle Obama have a new series coming to Netflix aimed at educating children on United States civics lessons. Titled “We the People,” the 10-episode series will feature three-minute music videos “that covers a range of basic U.S. civics lessons in not-so-basic ways,” according to the press release. https://youtu.be/MLomtcM4-j4
Motherhood is seriously calling for Tiffany Haddish. Speaking with “Entertainment Tonight,” the actress said that she has completed the parenting classes required to go through the adoption process. “I really wanted to be a foster parent, but because I’m at a certain level of success, my lawyer suggested that it’s probably best to just adopt, and I’m on that process now,” the 41-year-old comedian told ET’s Kevin Frazier. “I want to get somebody that’s five and up. You know, already knows how to use the restroom, already knows how to talk, already knows how to communicate. All I want to do is pour knowledge in … get them ready for the big, bad world. That’s what I want to do.” https://media-cldnry.s-nbcnews.com/image/upload/t_focal-760x428,f_auto,q_auto:best/mpx/2704722219/2021_06/1622637033393_tdy_pop_8a_haddish_adopting_210602_1920x1080.jpg
Lady Gaga divulged horrific details about a rape by a predator producer at 19 that left her pregnant and led her to suffer a “total psychotic break” years later. The Manhattan-born pop superstar revealed the hell she suffered as a young artist in the first episode of “The Me You Can’t See,” Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry’s new Apple TV+ series that debuted Friday. During the emotional interview, the 35-year-old Oscar and Grammy-winning artist recalled when a male music producer, whom she did not name, told her to take her clothes off.
B.J. Thomas, Grammy Hall of Fame inductee and award-winning country, pop and gospel singer behind hits including “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head” and “Hooked on a Feeling,” died on May 29, 2021, at his home in Arlington, Texas, representatives confirm. He was 78 and died of complications of stage 4 lung cancer, diagnosed in March.
A former NASA space shuttle commander indicted on reckless murder charges in the traffic deaths of two girls pleaded guilty to reduced charges Thursday nearly five years after the crash. James Halsell Jr., 64, of Huntsville, pleaded guilty to two manslaughter and two assault charges during a hearing in which relatives of the victims wore shirts emblazoned with images of 11-year-old Niomi Deona James and 13-year-old Jayla Latrick Parler, killed when a car driven by Halsell slammed into one driven by their father in rural Tuscaloosa County. While Halsell could have received 20 years for each manslaughter charge and 10 years for each assault charge, a judge agreed to probation and ordered him to spend four years in prison without early release followed by 10 years on supervised release.
A Mississippi high school was blasted on social media after word got out on the two sets of students claiming the valedictorian and salutatorian titles. On May 24, Ikeria Washington and Layla Temple were named the valedictorian and salutatorian of West Point Consolidated School District, according to BNC TV. However, shortly after the two Black female students were set to be awarded for their academic achievements, the school decided to change its ranking and recognize both with the highest Quality Point Average (QPA) and Grade Point Average (GPA). While Washington and Temple have the two highest QPAs in the graduating class, two other White students had the highest GPAs, resulting in four students being recognized by the school as valedictorian and salutatorian.
A high school senior in Louisiana was able to walk across the graduation stage to receive his diploma thanks to the generosity of a quick-thinking teacher. Daverius Peters was almost barred from his high school’s graduation ceremony on May 19 for wearing sneakers instead of the school’s mandated dress shoes, the Washington Post reported. Outside the convention center, a nervous Peters reportedly spotted a familiar, friendly face: John Butler, a paraeducator at the school and a popular staff member among the students. His daughter, Jaelyn, was also graduating from Hahnville. Peters quickly approached Butler and asked for help.
The Philadelphia 76ers announced Wednesday that superstar center Joel Embiid has a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee after taking an awkward fall during Game 4 of the first-round playoff series against the Washington Wizards on Monday night. The Sixers said the injury will be treated not with surgery but with a physical therapy and treatment program. Embiid will not play in Game 5 on Wednesday night and is day-to-day going forward. The Sixers lead 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that managing potential swelling and pain in the knee will play a significant part in how soon Embiid will be able to return to the floor.
Music icon Babyface has dropped new music under his young alter ego called “Lil BayFace.” The singer shared a first look at the computer-generation photo that accompanies the release of his early demo work as a rising songwriter. https://www.instagram.com/babyface/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=d19b545e-5b13-42c9-bd68-c3304b97d6d0
RCA Inspiration has garnered two nominations for the upcoming 2021 BET Awards in the category for the Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel / Inspirational Award. Sixteen-time GRAMMY® award-winning artist, songwriter and producer Kirk Franklin is nominated for his powerful song “Strong God” (Fo Yo Soul/RCA), and multiple award-winning Gospel superstar Marvin Sapp is nominated for his poignant single “Thank You for It All.” MBK/RCA artist and platinum hitmaker H.E.R. is also nominated in the Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel / Inspirational Award category for her empowering hit "Hold Us Together," which was featured on the soundtrack of the Disney+ film Safety. An uplifting duet version recorded by H.E.R. and platinum Christian artist Tauren Wells called “Hold Us Together (Hope Mix)” (RCA/Provident Entertainment), has been released to Christian Hot AC/CHR radio and Christian AC radio. The BET Awards will be holding its ceremony live at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday June 27th, airing on BET at 8 pm/7c, and will simulcast internationally on BET Africa and MTV Brazil.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of The New York Times’ controversial “1619 Project,” is considering legal action against the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill after losing her tenure offer. “I had no desire to bring turmoil or a political firestorm to the university that I love, but I am obligated to fight back against a wave of anti-democratic suppression that seeks to prohibit the free exchange of ideas, silence Black voices and chill free speech,” Hannah-Jones said in a statement Friday, HuffPost reports. https://youtu.be/EgBo1aBaKvU
Hundreds gathered outside the historic Vernon African Methodist Episcopal Church in Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood on Monday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. https://youtu.be/D-_YNuW6pEc
After that mass shooting in Miami over the Memorial Day Weekend that left at least two people dead and more than 20 others injured, authorities are offering $130,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. “This is unacceptable,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters. “We should be remembering those who are lost, who’ve served our country, and instead, here we are standing, once again, for a terrible tragedy. https://youtu.be/BRqDIVjxoLw
Mo’Nique hit up social media to deliver a message to Black women who choose to look a hot mess in public. The Oscar-winning actress says she is sick of seeing Black women wearing pajamas and bonnets in public, and I co-sign her message. The “Precious” star was compelled to address this troubling trend after seeing young Black women at the airport looking trifling. ”As we began to walk through the airport, I saw so many – actually too many to count and too many for me to tap – but, I saw so many of our young sistas in head bonnets, scarves, slippers, pajamas, blankets wrapped around them…and this is how they are showing up to the airport,” she said. https://youtu.be/I9EkzcjVKFU
A former Southwest Airlines pilot has been sentenced to one year of probation after he allegedly watched porn and exposed his genitals to a female officer on a flight. The incident occurred on August 10, 2020, during a flight from Philadelphia to Orlando. Federal prosecutors said Michael Haak, 60, “disrobed” once the plane reached cruising altitude, and got out of the pilot’s seat and began watching porno on a laptop computer in the cockpit, the New York Post reported. “This is not the kind of aberrant behavior that anyone should accept,” the prosecutor added. Haak, who retired after the incident, was charged in April and pleaded guilty to committing a lewd, indecent or obscene act in a public place.
Houston-area hospital is being sued by more than 100 employees for requiring all staff to get vaccinated for COVID-19. According to ABC News, 117 employees joined a lawsuit that was filed on Friday in Montgomery County. The suit alleges the Houston Methodist hospital is “illegally requiring its employees to be injected with an experimental vaccine as a condition of employment.” The network, which has more than 26,000 employees across eight hospitals, gave workers a deadline of June 7 to get the vaccine, according to the report. Staffers who refuse to voluntarily take the drug risk suspension and termination. https://twitter.com/i/status/1395778918737580033
“Real Housewives of Potomac” star Gizelle Bryant has revealed that the thrill is finally gone between her and her pastor ex Jamal Bryant. Gazelle made the announcement during an appearance on The Breakfast Club, along with her RHOP co-star Robyn Dixon. The Bryants divorced in 2009 over Jamal’s alleged infidelity, and there were whispers that the two reunited to rekindle the love only for the sake of the RHOP reality series. “We were working on us getting back to together … but he lives in Atlanta [and] I live in Maryland … with the pandemic we just realized it’s not the right time,” Gizelle revealed, adding “it’s just not going to work.” https://youtu.be/zDL8vrVzwQg
Tessica Brown, aka “Gorilla Glue Girl,” has sent cease and desist letters to several people over a viral song called “Bad Idea (Gorilla Glue Girl Remix),” which uses her voice on the song. TMZ reports that the track has been taken off social media and streaming platforms amid her dispute with the individuals/entities using her likeness. https://youtu.be/CUaZkn0KmFI
Dallas rapper Lil Loaded, best known for the 2019 viral track “6locc 6a6y” that just last week went gold, has died at the age of 20. Ashkan Mehryari, attorney for Lil Loaded, Dashawn Robertson, confirmed the rapper’s passing in an email to Billboard on Monday night (May 31). He said the death was a result of suicide. Lil Loaded released his latest music through Epic Records. Upon hearing about “6locc 6a6y” being certified gold by the RIAA, he proudly shared the news on Instagram May 27 and wrote, “dopest fanbase on earth. https://youtu.be/H3c0F3oGZ4I
Jay Z has revealed that his mother was not down with him rapping about her sexuality on the track “Smile” off his studio album 4:44. Gloria Carter allegedly begged her famous son not to release the song. She eventually changed her mind and responded to the track with a poem she wrote that Jigga included on the record. “It changed the dynamic of our relationship,” Jay said during an appearance on The Shop: Uninterrupted, with host LeBron James and guest Bad Bunny. https://youtu.be/SSumXG5_rs8
Sony will be opening the Kendrick Brothers’ new documentary Show Me the Father on Sept. 10, while the studio has dated a 10th anniversary re-release of the filmmakers’ Courageous for Oct. 15. Show Me the Father explores the fatherhood of God. “Everyone has a father story, but not everyone has learned how to redeem it for their own good and the good of others,” said executive producer Stephen Kendrick. “Even though fatherlessness is directly connected to so much brokenness in today’s world, we wanted to go beyond traditional documentaries and show how God is the perfect Father and can amazingly provide the love and healing to anyone at any stage in life.”
OneOf is a new green NFT platform built specifically for the music community. With an aim to break down economic barriers to entry, the platform serves to connect fans and collectors of any level with their favorite artists. Built on the Tezos blockchain protocol, one of the longest-running Proof of Stake protocols, OneOf’s mission is to be a long-term marketplace that offers crucial solutions for artists and fans eager to explore the exploding world of NFTs. OneOf has been designed to be extremely easy to use and environmentally sustainable: minting an NFT on OneOf using the Tezos blockchain uses over 2 million times less energy than other networks such as Ethereum, and requires the same energy as sending out a tweet. Deeply committed to a sustainable blockchain future, OneOf will also donate a percentage of its platform revenue from every sale to either a charity of the artist’s choice, or an environmental cause partner.
A woman faces charges of public intoxication after she allegedly entered a restricted area of the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and had a meltdown at the gate. The viral footage, shared by Kevin Durio, shows the white woman angrily demanding to speak to “the manager of the airport” after she was denied boarding on a flight. She rants and raves around the gate, pointing at an officer who was trying to escort her out and asking other passengers, “Who saw him choke me to the ground?” https://globalnews.ca/video/rd/7e843488-bf07-11eb-be30-0242ac110007/?jwsource=cl
One hundred years ago this week, one of the worst incidents of white violence in American history led to the death of as many as 300 Black people in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and an unfathomable amount of property destruction with intergenerational consequences. White anger over the false accusation of a Black teenager led to a violent mob destroying over 35 blocks of the Greenwood neighborhood otherwise known as “Black Wall Street,” leaving thousands of people homeless and numerous businesses destroyed over an 18-hour period from May 31 to June 1 of 1921. It’s estimated that $1.8M of economic damage was caused, as entire blocks were razed that contained Black businesses from law offices to cabarets. One might learn about this history and see it as a momentary tragedy. But this underestimates the full story, which was the destruction of massive intergenerational wealth and opportunity. By 2021, this $1.8M would’ve grown to $45B.
Simone Gordon doesn’t have to worry about a byzantine legislative process to get Covid-19 relief to families she sees struggling. She has Facebook and Instagram. Since March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the country, Gordon, a single mother from New Jersey, has turned the social media groups she once relied on for help herself into a multistate operation that targets needs large and small. She has marshaled hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and dozens of volunteers to fill in the gaps of Covid-19 government assistance while granting “wish lists” for holidays and paying off tuition bills. And for that, she earned the nickname she used for her new nonprofit: “the Black Fairy Godmother.”
The turning point for Marcus Baskerville came one morning when he was driving down the highway, and heard on the radio about the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor. Joining a street protest wasn’t his style, but what could he, as one of the few Black brewers in America, do to make a statement? His answer? Create a beer called Black is Beautiful and share the recipe with brewers across the country. It’s a call to breweries within the United States to participate in a collaborative effort. They would brew a stout, [then] release 100% of those proceeds to local organizations, charities, foundations that support equality, inclusion and social justice reform,” he says. With that high-minded genesis, Baskerville thought it would have limited appeal among his fellow brewers. But at last count, nearly 1,200 breweries in all states are making Black is Beautiful, as well as brewers in 22 different countries, such as Japan, China, Germany, Guatemala and Rwanda. And Walmart recently announced that it is selling Black is Beautiful beer in 300 stores nationwide.
J.B. Stradford was a pillar of Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood in 1921. He owned several businesses and his Stradford Hotel was one of the largest Black-owned hotels in the United States. It all vanished in the space of a couple of days. Today, Stradford’s great grandson is a well known Black investor in the modern Wall Street, and he remembers the emotional – and financial – impact the riots had on his family. “Over time, we think it would have compounded to over $100 million,” says John W. Rogers Jr., who is co-CEO of Ariel Investments, reflecting on the wealth that his family could have accrued. Black Wall Street was a commercial center, with restaurants, movie theaters, and barber shops, and according to Rogers, “Every profession was represented there.” What made Greenwood so special is the money stayed in the community. Everyone did business with each other.
In 2017 Fawn Weaver began bottling Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey as a passion project to honor Nearest Green, the formerly enslaved distiller who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. Four years later, her bourbon has sold nearly 1.5 million bottles, according to a recent report in The Spirits Business. Uncle Nearest is now the nation’s fastest-growing whiskey brand, according to the drinks-market analysis firm IWSR. It’s a testament not just to the quality, but also to the power of an inclusive brand with a compelling story. Tuesday, Ms. Weaver, the company’s founder and chief executive, went a step further toward diversifying an industry long dominated by white men, as the company announced the creation of a $50 million investment fund aimed at helping minority-owned spirits businesses grow. The announcement was timed to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
The mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma, apologized on Monday for the city’s role in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, which is marking its 100th anniversary. The rioting killed 37 and left 35 city blocks burnt down and more than 800 injured. Historians believe around 300 Black residents may have actually been killed, after a violent mob of white residents ransacked the city’s Greenwood District, a booming Black business community then known as “Black Wall Street.” This week, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum called it “the worst moment in our city’s history” and in a statement he apologized for the city’s role and its failure to make amends with the victims and their families over the last century.
Stars across the sports world are standing behind Naomi Osaka. Monday, the reigning U.S. Open and Australian Open singles champion announced she was withdrawing from the French Open. Ahead of the tennis tournament’s start, Osaka announced she wouldn’t be doing press during the championship in an effort to preserve her mental health. On Sunday, Osaka picked up her first win and a $15,000 fine for not participating in media requirements. In the wake of her announcement, Osaka’s famous friends and fans showed her their support. Serena Williams spoke out during a post-match news conference on Monday. “I feel for Naomi. Not everyone is the same. I’m thick. Other people are thin. Everyone is different and everyone handles things differently. You just have to let her handle it the way she wants to and the best way she thinks she can. That’s the only thing I can say: I think she is doing the best she can,” she said, according to the Associated Press.
Naomi Osaka received support from her country Japan, her sponsors, leading sporting figures and tennis fans on Tuesday after the world number two withdrew from the French Open in a row about media duties, saying she had been suffering from depression and anxiety. One of the biggest names in sport, Osaka stunned the tennis world when she pulled out of the Grand Slam on Monday after being fined and threatened with expulsion for declining to face the media after her first-round match on Sunday.
Nike is standing behind Naomi Osaka. The sportswear giant, which sponsors the tennis star, 23, reacted in a statement to Osaka’s decision to withdraw from the 2021 French Open after being fined for not participating in post-match interviews during the Grand Slam tournament. Nike told PEOPLE, “Our thoughts are with Naomi. We support her and recognize her courage in sharing her own mental health experience.” Ahead of the tennis tournament’s start, Osaka announced she wouldn’t be doing press during the championship in an effort to preserve her mental health. On Sunday, Osaka picked up her first win and a $15,000 fine for not participating in media requirements.
Miami Dade police are investigating a deadly mass shooting that left more than 20 people injured in what detectives described as a “targeted act of violence.” Authorities said two people have died as a result of their injuries. “This is a despicable act of gun violence,” said Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez. “A cowardly act.” According to police, the shooting took place after a birthday party for a local rapper. Victims were rushed to several hospitals in Miami Dade and Broward counties, some in their personal vehicles, according to police. https://youtu.be/EgUDTypGEvM
Eric Riddick spent nearly 30 years behind bars for a murder he says he did not commit. But on Friday, he walked free. “I feel great, I feel great,” Riddick, 51, said as he left a Philadelphia courthouse. “They say it takes a village to raise a child. I guess it takes a village to raise justice, too,” he went on to say, adding that the rush of emotions was “overwhelming.” In recent years, his case attracted greater national attention and several key people advocated for his release, including a prominent hip-hop artist and a sympathetic city councilman. In the summer of 1992, Riddick was convicted of murdering his childhood friend William Catlett based on the testimony of a single eyewitness, and was sentenced to life in prison. His case was first brought to the attention of NBC News by the rapper and activist Meek Mill, who says he met Riddick when he was sent to the same prison for probation violations. Riddick’s mother, Christine, has fought for her son for years, knocking on doors at City Hall and fiercely advocating for his release since virtually the day he was convicted.
With Memorial Day upon us, there may not be any better time to salute the memorials and monuments that were erected across the nation to specifically commemorate the contributions of Black troops that served in the American military. Friday, a memorial to one of the most renowned Black troops in American history was put back on public display following a multi-million dollar renovation that was completed just in time for this year’s Memorial Day. The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment — which movie fans may remember was immortalized on the big screen in the Academy Award-nominated film, “Glory,” starring Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman — can now be appreciated in person with visits to the Boston Common public park in Boston.
Having to explain senseless, horrific events to a child is one of the most daunting prospects a parent ever has to experience in their lifetimes. To explain the inexplicable, to explain to a child the inhumane acts committed by a segment of one population on another, while in many ways personally processing the effects of those acts, which continue to present day, is a nightmare much of world’s population will never experience. Dr. Tamecca Rogers has attempted to tackle this nearly impossible prospect in her writings with her son Keith Ross. It’s called: “A Promise Deferred, The Massacre of Black Wall Street.” The book, crafted for children, presents, with illustrations by Arushan Art, a vivid picture of the senseless tragedy that took place in 18 hours between May 31st and June 1st in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Naomi Osaka was fined $15,000 by Grand Slam organizers for skipping a news conference following her first-round win at the French Open on Sunday, and was also warned of possible expulsion from Roland Garros and future majors if she fails to meet her media commitments. In the run up to the claycourt major, the world number two announced she would boycott news conferences while in Paris to raise awareness of players’ mental well-being, saying the nature of questions from journalists is like “kicking a person when they are down”.
All Nations International Founder Floyd Lee McClung Jr., global missions leader, bestselling author and international speaker, died on Saturday, May 29, in Cape Town, South Africa. He had battled an extended illness since 2016, which had left him incapacitated, hospitalized and unable to speak for more than five years. He was 75.
Patrisse Cullors, who co-founded Black Lives Matter and has served as its executive director, will be stepping down from that position, the group announced Thursday. At the same time, Black Lives Matter introduced the appointments of two new senior executives who will be serving in an interim capacity following Cullors’ departure. As Cullors steps down, Makani Themba, Chief Strategist at Higher Ground Change Strategies, and Monifa Bandele, Chief Operating Officer at Time’s Up Foundation, will be stepping up during the period of transition “until the organization finds a new permanent team,” Black Lives Matter said. Themba said she is eager to get started.
Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna was arrested Saturday after Sandy Springs officers reported seeing him choke his wife, throw her against a wall and strike her with the cast on his broken fingers. A 911 caller requested officers at a Windsor Cove home due to an assault in progress, Sgt. Salvador Ortega said late Saturday. When officers arrived at the home, they heard screaming from inside the home and the front door was open, Ortega said. “Officers entered the residence through the open door and witnessed the suspect grabbing the victim by the neck and throwing her against a wall,” Ortega said in an emailed statement. “Officers were able to immediately take the suspect into custody without further incident. In addition to the strangulation attempts, the suspect also struck the victim with his arm which has a cast from a previous injury.” Police charged Ozuna, 30, with aggravated assault by strangulation and family violence, jail records showed. He was being held without bond Sunday at the Fulton County jail. Ozuna is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday.
Meet Dalen Spratt, Juwan Mass and Marcus Harvey. They are the hosts of Discovery +’s new series “Ghost Brothers: Lights Out” and they’re changing the face of paranormal investigative shows. Spratt, Mass and Harvey are the first Black paranormal investigators on TV. They are stepping into a new realm, pun intended, in Black content.
Just days ahead of a widely promoted commemorative event surrounding the Tulsa Race Massacre‘s 100-year anniversary, the Tulsa Race Commission announced the cancellation of its “Rise and Remember” centennial celebration. Local news reported the commission provided little explanation for the cancellation, citing unexpected circumstances in fulfilling the commission’s “high expectations” for the commemorative event. https://youtu.be/ccxnot7R73s
Swiss Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier was airlifted to hospital following a three-bike crash during qualifying. Dupasquier, 19, was struck by another bike after falling and slid along the track in an incident that saw the session at Mugello, Italy red flagged. He was still being attended to by medics on the circuit over half an hour after the incident, before being flown to hospital. Organisers said that he was “taken to hospital in Florence to undergo tests.”
The mother of a shooting victim who became paralyzed in 2019 is now suing the estate of Daunte Wright claiming he was the shooter. Two years before Daunte Wright was shot and killed during a traffic stop, a lawsuit claims that he was involving in the shooting of 16-year-old Caleb Livingston. The lawsuit filed by Livingston’s mother says he was shot in the head at a Minneapolis gas station on May 14, 2019, and it has left him with permanent physical and mental disabilities. However, Wright was not criminally charged for the shooting but civil court documentations allege that all “evidence generated to date reveals that the perpetrator of this crime was Daunte Wright. Wright and Livingston were childhood friends and the lawsuit added that the pair had a physical altercation in which Wright lost the fight in front of other people which allegedly was a motive for the shooting.
Discovered harmonizing on the streets of New York by legendary producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Solo is thankful for its Motown-like intro into the music industry. Live instrumentation and focus on vocals and songwriting makes it more suited for the golden era of R&B. They released their self-titled album in 1995 that went gold, thanks to hits such as “Heaven,” “Where Do You Want Me To Put It,” and a cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” https://youtu.be/_C5zv6j4HP0
Mississippi police have sparked outrage after four of their white police officers and dogs posed for a picture with a Black suspect that they had just caught. The Prentiss Police Department cops took the picture after they arrested Eric Boykin for bank robbery. He can be seen smiling in the image.
Killed nearly three months before the world learned George Floyd‘s name, Manuel Ellis’ case finally moves forward. On Thursday, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced his office filed felony charges against the officers. The Tacoma News Tribune reported that of the five officers with reported involvement in Ellis’ killing, only three were charged. Officers Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins face second-degree murder charges. Ferguson also charged Timothy Rankine with first-degree manslaughter. The three officers previously served in the Army. And all five Tacoma officers remain on paid administrative leave. Video shows officers restraining Ellis, 33, with a chokehold, prompting him to repeat, “I can’t breathe.” The chokehold was applied with a knee, similar to Floyd’s murder. He died in police custody on March 3, 2020.
The public has finally learned what Falynn Guobadia can expect to get from her divorce settlement. Real Housewives of Atlanta star Falynn Guobadia and her soon-to-be ex-husband Simon Guobadia publicly announced their split back in April. Then, a couple of weeks following their April announcement, Simon Guobadia and Porsha Williams revealed that they were engaged after only one month of dating. Shortly thereafter, Simon Guobadia put the home he shared with Falynn Guobadia on the market for just under $5 million. Reportedly, Falynn had until Friday, May 28 to vacate the premises. Now, it looks like the exes have come to a mutual agreement regarding their divorce settlement. Their final settlement wound up enforcing their prenuptial agreement and waived Falynn‘s rights to alimony. Per their agreement, Falynn is reportedly entitled to a portion of the proceeds from a property she and Simon Guobadia shared. It’s unclear how much the property in question was sold for, but Simon ultimately coughed up $153,725.34. Additionally, Simon paid Falynn $50,000 in an equitable division payment.
Gavin MacLeod, the veteran supporting actor who achieved fame as sardonic TV news writer Murray Slaughter on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and stardom playing cheerful Capt. Stubing on “The Love Boat,” has died. He was 90. MacLeod died early Saturday at his home in Palm Desert, California, said Stephanie Steele Zalin, his stepdaughter. She attributed his death to his age, saying he had been well until very recently. “He had one of the most amazing, fun blasts of a life of anybody I know. He enjoyed every minute of it,” Steele Zalin said. “I don’t even think in his wildest dreams he dreamt of the life that he ended up having and creating.” She called him the “best, sweetest, purest guy.” Ed Asner, who played opposite MacLeod on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” said on Twitter that “my heart is broken. Gavin was my brother, my partner in crime (and food) and my comic conspirator.”
Home renovation stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have come under fire online for a donation the couple made toward a family member’s campaign for a local school board. Chip donated $1,000 to his sister, Shannon Braun, to support her run for a spot on the board of the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District, per The Dallas Morning News. When media got wind of the gift, critics sounded off against the Christian couple, alleging the monetary donation directly supported Braun’s views on critical race theory (the idea that racism is a social construct embedded in systems and policies). In a recent campaign post, Braun condemned the theory, saying the focus will be instead on a return of teaching “academics.” https://www.facebook.com/ShannonBraunForGCISD/photos/a.142482884556370/157954996342492/?type=3
In London, police have charged Cameron Deriggs, 18, over the shooting of Sasha Johnson, a Black Lives Matter activist, who as of Friday, was still in critical condition. Johnson, 27, was shot in the head at a house party in South London last Sunday. Police don’t believe she was specifically targeted. Meanwhile, London’s Metropolitan Police said Deriggs has been charged with conspiracy to murder in connection with the shooting. Deriggs was among five men arrested Wednesday on suspicion of attempted murder in the case. He and two others were also arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class B drugs. A 17-year-old, was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon and possession with intent to supply Class A drugs. The fifth man, 25, was arrested on suspicion of affray (fighting in public) and failing to stop for police. https://youtu.be/ftK0K3vNLdA
A Baton Rouge family will receive a one-time settlement of $35,000 after officers strip-searched a teenager during a traffic stop. https://youtu.be/nBtmXaAxs-8
A Georgia man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for firing an assault-style rifle at a Georgia State Patrol trooper. Timothy Carruth, 25, was fleeing a traffic stop on Jan. 22, 2020, in Ga. As reported by the Altana Journal-Constitution, a GSP trooper used his patrol car to disable Carruth’s Toyota Camry when he sped away. His vehicle became stuck in a ditch following the PIT maneuver, according to the report. When the trooper tried to get Carruth to exit the vehicle he emerged with an AK-47 and opened fire, officials said. He then ran into a nearby pasture and disappeared into some woods. https://youtu.be/XftrRwui1x0
Ava DuVernay is adding the title “Dr” to her name. The award-winning director was awarded an honorary Doctorate degree from Yale University. She is now considered to be a Doctor of Fine Arts. Yale released a statement as a tribute to DuVernay. “Creator and critic, you portray the richness and variety of human experience from all angles. By elevating others, you bring new stories into focus and amplify voices we need to hear.” The statement continued, “Hollywood maverick, for challenging us to reckon with our past and our present, and for working to change both industry and society, Yale is pleased to confer on you this Doctor of Fine Arts degree.”
The queen of hip-hop soul Mary J. Blige has landed a spot on the Apollo Theater Walk of Fame. As CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported, there was some “real love” for nine-time Grammy winner Mary J. Blige as she was inducted into the Apollo Walk of Fame Friday morning. “My very first time performing here at the Apollo, I was not on stage as myself. I was on stage singing background for Jeff Redd. And from there on, it was all history,” Blige said. https://cbsloc.al/2ToGumi
In “A Quiet Place Part II,” actors Djimon Hounsou and Millicent Simmonds both seek survival in a world inhabited by deadly aliens. In the real world, Hounsou and Simmonds share similar social sensibilities. Since “Amistad,” Hounsou has always been on a quest to try and reshape the universal visual representation of Africa in onscreen. The Benin native told me five years ago he had established his own production company, Fanaticus Entertainment, to create content on a global scale to counteract the demonization of Black people. Last year Simmonds established her own line of face masks. The Millie Smile Mask collection includes a unique style of mask. https://youtu.be/BpdDN9d9Jio
ESPN’s Stephen A Smith is the latest to be pulled into Kwame Brown’s orbit. During Thursday’s episode of his ESPN+ show “Stephen A.’s World,” Smith first made it clear that he was coming for Brown “the player,” not Brown “the man.” He then defended Brown’s targets – Gilbert Arenas, Matt Barnes, Dr. Boyce Watkins, Charlamagne tha God and ESPN colleague Michael Wilbon – saying they all were also critical of Brown’s skills on the court, not his personal life. https://youtu.be/YnCnxA-whqI
Jodie Turner-Smith is speaking out about the backlash over being cast as former Queen of England, Anne Boleyn. he “Queen & Slim” star plays Anne Boleyn in a three-part drama that will air on the ViacomCBS-backed U.K. broadcaster Channel 5 U.K. Directed by Lynsey Miller and penned by Eve Hedderwick Turner, the psychological series will detail the final months of the life of King Henry VIII’s second wife. https://youtu.be/-r4A9dVwIjQ
Flute-playing soul-jazz phenomenon Ragan Whiteside has releasesed a brand-new single titled “Off The Cuff” on the Randis Music label (scroll down to HEAR it). The flirty new groove, co-written by Whiteside with her husband, noted producer Dennis Johnson, and veteran producer/keyboardist Bob Baldwin, is from her yet-to-be-titled 2022 album. “Off The Cuff” is available on all digital download and streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes Store, Tidal, Deezer, YouTube, Pandora, and more. https://youtu.be/CyfoNrTZzkM
The names Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff are iconic and this year are celebrating the founding of their label 50 years ago. The music that Gamble and Huff masterminded at Philadelphia International Records, beginning in 1971, is legendary. Fifty years later, Gamble and Huff can bask in the fact that while the music was created and recorded in Philadelphia, the Sound of Philadelphia became the music heard worldwide. The artists signed to the legendary label are too many to name. However, the shortlist includes “The O’Jays,” “Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes,” “Patti LaBelle,” Phyllis Hyman, Teddy Pendergrass, Billy Paul, “The Intruders,” and dozens and dozens of others. To commemorate the 50-year anniversary of Philadelphia International Records, both Deluxe CD and LP Box sets will be released this year. During Black Music Month in June, there will be a focus on the recordings of the women of Philadelphia International, including Phyllis Hyman, “The Jones Girls,” and “Three Degrees.” https://youtu.be/pUKblOmUMx0
“I fell in love with it…love the chords,” said Ashley Pater about her single “Stuck on You.” The Canadian Contemporary Pop singer, songwriter and pianist give credit to her parents for encouraging her to make those chords into a song. I agree with them, it’s a musically powerful piece. “The first verse is soft,” Pater said. She continued on about the “Stuck on You” single, relating the soft beginning of the song and its powerful rolling ending to living a simple life that is interrupted by the rolling challenges of the pandemic. https://youtu.be/L7oHeahzjiU
Regé-Jean Page is opening up about his mega-popular role in #Bridgerton, and speculation that he’s taking on a role in the upcoming Black Panther sequel. The breakout star of Netflix’s Bridgerton, played Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings. The record-breaking series aired in 82 million households around the world when it debuted. Media pandemonium occurred when it was announced that the 31-year-old British-Zimbabwean wouldn’t be returning to the show. After the announcement of his departure from the well-loved show, #Regé-Jean Page took to Instagram with a message: “The ride of a lifetime. It’s been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to be your Duke. h
Pastor Robert Booth was a man of faith with a gift for music that he used to serve others. “He was a great man of God who just had a heart for all people. It did not matter who you are,” Dwayne Waden Jr. said. Booth started Hood Holiness Church a few months ago with the goal of ending violence. Waden Jr. served as his associate pastor. The two men used Christian rap music and street ministry to spread the gospel. Just last week, Booth officially became ordained as a pastor and proposed to his girlfriend during the ceremony. The future of the ministry seemed bright until days later. Pastor Booth was shot and killed outside his home on Tuesday night. “We started talking about wedding planning on Sunday, and here we go. His family is having to plan a funeral a few days later,” Brandon Smith said. Smith is a longtime friend who said the pastor walked up to some young people wearing black ski masks in his neighborhood. “He probably looked at those boys and saw himself,” Waden Jr. said. “He wasn’t encouraging gang violence. He wasn’t selling dope. He was preaching the word of God. That’s it. And they just took his life.” High Point Police are searching for two suspects and a burgundy SUV.
A beloved White House butler who has served 10 presidential administrations during his career is retiring after 47 years. William “Buddy” Carter is wrapping up nearly five decades of working at the Blair House and the White House at the end of this week, according to CNN. Former first lady Michelle Obama thanked Carter for all his service by sharing a photo on Instagram Friday of her and former President Barack Obama with Carter from their eight-year stint in the White House. The current occupants of the White House, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, also thanked Carter for his service. https://www.instagram.com/p/CPbDfQ0rPde/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=27845d9e-8e04-4e10-a621-138f917ae8d5
A bill that would limit hair discrimination in schools is now headed to Gov. JB Pritzker’s desk. Senate Bill 817 focuses on students of color whose hairstyles have been discriminated against in the past. It would protect the right of students to wear their hair in styles “historically associated with race, ethnicity, or hair texture including braids, dreadlocks, and twists.” There has been much debate about the impact on private schools and how this could affect their traditions. This bill only addresses school dress codes, not regulations for school sports based on safety.
Diamond Robinson, as Fox 2 Detroit, reported, was using her phone on Thursday (05- 27-21) in her neighborhood of Eastpointe and as she walked up and down her block, a new resident – a white woman – asked her to lower her voice or end the call altogether. Robinson’s response was tell the person to “get out of my face” and continued with her call. And yep, Well, the new neighbor called the cops. https://youtu.be/u1EM2gQZm-Q
If you live in Cali and missed the news, here it is. On Thursday, California launched a $116.5 million lottery to incentivize residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19. With this move, the USA’s largest and wealthiest state joins a slew of others offering cash prizes to residents to encourage them to get the vaccine. California’s governor, Gov. Gavin Newsom dubbed the program, “Vax for the Win.” With the announcement, the Golden State is now offering the largest jackpot out of all states that have employed such a program.
Following the release of additional bodycam footage showing the last moments of Matthew Zadok Williams, a 35-year-old Georgia man who was fatally shot by police on April 12, his family is again refuting claims that officers acted lawfully in the moments leading up to and following his death. “We’re living in a nightmare,” said Williams’ sister, Hahnah. “Never would I have thought that my brother would be a hashtag,” she said. Williams’ sister’s statement comes after the family met with DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston on Wednesday morning, urging for transparency and accountability. They believe he was suffering from a mental health crisis and was falsely identified as a dangerous, homeless person prior to officers responding to the scene. “We are very hopeful after our meeting with Sherry Boston and we really appreciate her taking this meeting with us…but our family wants justice,” Hahnah continued. “He was murdered. We want to be clear about that and we want justice.”
Bill Cosby‘s petition for parole was denied earlier this month, a result that his spokesperson said was expected because the disgraced comedian refuses to admit guilt for the sex crime he has been convicted of. The Pennsylvania Parole Board confirmed the denial of Cosby’s petition happened on May 11 and said in a statement that the prisoner did not comply with requirements that are part of the pre-parole-petitioning process. In particular, Cosby did not participate in therapy for people convicted of violent sexual crimes. In fact, the Pennsylvania Parole Board said, if Cosby wants to be considered for parole again, he needs to complete therapy, Reuters reported.
Tennis champ Naomi Osaka has made clear that will not take part in any press conferences during the French Open. Four-time Grand Slam winner and No. 2-ranked women’s tennis player announced her decision on social media saying she wanted to focus on her mental health, TMZ reports. “I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one,” the 23-year-old wrote. “We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I’m not just going to subject myself to people that doubt me.”
Connecticut Sun head coach and general manager Curt Miller was fined $10,000 and suspended for one game after his “inappropriate and offensive” comment toward Las Vegas Aces star Liz Cambage during a game on Sunday. Following the Sun’s 76-65 win over the Aces, Cambage took to social media to call out Miller in a video for criticizing her weight. During Sunday’s game, Miller complained to a WNBA official about a call, saying Cambage weighs “300 pounds.” Cambage noted in her video that she’s 6 feet, 8 inches tall, and weighs 235 pounds. “I will never let a man disrespect me, ever, ever, ever, especially a little White one,” she said. “Don’t ever try to disrespect me or another woman in the league,” the Australian player said. Miller apologized in a statement on Monday.
Wednesday night, things got a little out of control after a fan threw popcorn at Wizards guard Russell Westbrook. In a clip shared by multiple outlets, during Game 2, won by the Sixers, a fan poured the snack at Westbrook, who was leaving the game with an ankle injury. Westbrook was extremely upset and even had to be restrained by Wizards staff. Many people called out the fan on Twitter on Wednesday night for his childish move including LeBron James. He tweeted, “By the way, WE AS THE PLAYERS wanna see who threw that popcorn on Russ while he was leaving the game tonight with a injury!! There’s cameras all over arenas so there’s no excuse!” LeBron said.
Tiger Woods is in a familiar place: extensive rehabilitation. That was the gist of his comments in a brief interview with Golf Digest, the first he has done since being involved in a serious one-car crash in Southern California on Feb. 23 that left him hospitalized for nearly a month. “This has been an entirely different animal,” Woods said of his crash injuries. “I understand more of the rehab processes because of my past injuries, but this was more painful than anything I have ever experienced.” Woods declined to answer a question about whether he hoped to play golf again.
Adam Vinatieri was an NFL kicker for 24 seasons, and the 48-year-old will not add to that figure, as he announced his retirement Wednesday on The Pat McAfee Show. https://twitter.com/i/status/1397626787501330432
While there are plenty of fans who want to see Tim Tebow have success in Jacksonville, there are also some people questioning why the Jaguars would even bring him in at this stage in his career. NBA legend Charles Barkley happens to be one of those critics. Barkley spoke about Tebow’s comeback story this week during an appearance on ESPN Chicago show ‘Waddle and Silvy.’ He just doesn’t see the Heisman Trophy winner picking up a new position at 33 years old. “To think he can just come pick up another position. I just think, I think you’re just being disrespectful to jocks, saying ‘Oh, I haven’t been playing football, but I can come and be a pro at it.’ I just think that’s impossible personally,” Barkley said, via Saturday Down South.
In highlighting the 11 panelists confirmed for the 22nd annual Los Angeles “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference via Zoom from 1-3pmPT, Judge Dedra Davis, a 22-year veteran entertainment attorney now serving Houston as a judge of its 270th District Court will take part. Judge Davis will be part of the Professional Industry Panel that will be available to speak to attendees during the conference’s “Q&A Session.” The Professional Industry Panel will also judge the conference’s “National Talent Competition.”
Los Angeles civil rights leaders will hold a press conference and protest at the home of Greg Geiser, the multi-millionaire CEO of Wedgewood Inc., in Manhattan Beach. The company seeks to foreclose on the Inglewood home of Marie Riggins, an elderly 82 year old widow an African-American homeowner. The foreclosure grab is part of a continuing pattern by white corporate real estate companies to oust distressed Black homeowners from their homes in Inglewood and South L.A. “Corporate real estate firms continue to grab homes of distressed Black homeowners such as Mrs Riggins in Inglewood and South L.A. at fire sale prices,” says Najee Ali, President Project Islamic Hope. “They have refused to negotiate or accept offers from the homeowners. Their predatory practice further shrinks an already shrunken and costly home market for African-Americans.”
The Smollett sibling duo continue to bring their keen design flavor to CLEO TV this Saturday, May 29 at 9 p.m. ET/8C on LIVING BY DESIGN WITH JAKE AND JAZZ. As they perform to revitalize homes, they also celebrate their trendy renovations with delectable recipes from the Smollett family. This week on LIVING BY DESIGN WITH JAKE AND JAZZ , Stefany and Fredrick want to separate kid's toys from the adult space. Jake builds a storage bench, and Jazz decorates the fireplace and living space. For the reveal, Jake makes vegan Fajita Mexican Pizzas, and Jazz fry’s Vegan Sweet Potato Churros. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJIUftwFZR4
JOIN CHEF SUNNY ANDERSON AS SHE SHARES GERMAN-INSPIRED DISHES ON COOKING FOR REAL WITH SUNNY ANDERSON, AIRING MONDAYS AT 9 P.M. ET/8C
A "singers-singer," Jor'Dan Armstrong, a multi-hyphenate talent, catapulted to popularity in 2018 with a series of BLSD EP releases, will release new music this summer. He will kick off an audacious summer release schedule with the world premiere of "My God," today on the nationally syndicated Willie Moore Jr. Show. https://lnk.to/MyGodSingle
Start your weekend with this NEW electrifying Praise & Worship song, “Come A Little Closer,” by Todd Dulaney featuring Kierra Sheard. https://soundcloud.com/lightrecords-1/todd-dulaney-come-a-little-closer-ft-kierra-sheard
CR8 Agency Publicist Kri Peck is taking a break from building his client's brands, to building his very own. Today, he launched his luxury skin care line titled, KRI SKIN. The four product line is dedicated to eradicating acne, hyperpigmentation, and acne scars. Having struggled with insecurities with his own skin, Kri was motivated to finding a solution and helping others to do the same. KRI SKIN is available exclusively at www.kriskin.com. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq_-sXBw60g
Travis Greene and DOE. Good And Loved hit #1 on the Gospel Airplay Chart and Mediabase’s Gospel Chart this week! Watch their video from the 2020 Stellar Gospel Music Awards. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H07LBkbGlfM
WATCH BLUE MIRACLE NOW ON NETFLIX The movie tells the incredible true story of Casa Hogar, the Mexican boys’ home that entered the world's biggest fishing tournament to rescue their orphanage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXHCBnT3d4k&feature=youtu.be
The musician who provided the vocals for the late 1980s R&B group, Milli Vanilli, which was fronted by Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus has passed.T he Real Milli Vanilli singer John Davis who sang on notorious pop duo’s hit “Girl You Know It’s True” dies from COVID aged 66.
The legendary Master P has officially received an honorary doctorate degree from Lincoln University. Percy Miller, known professionally as Master P, can officially add another accomplishment to the list. The legendary business mogul recently received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Lincoln University, alongside 400 graduates. In addition to Miller, JAY-Z’s mother Gloria Carter also received an honorary degree, as did author/professor Michael Eric Dyson and professor Charles V. Hamilton.
Thirteen years after securing the historic papers of Martin Luther King Jr., Morehouse College has scored another important trove that chronicles the civil rights movement. On Wednesday, the college announced that the family of Joseph and Evelyn Lowery has donated their official and personal papers, photographs, documents, writings, speeches, notes, travel diaries and other mementos to the Atlanta historic Black college and university. While the full extent of the collection isn’t known yet, it could be monumental. The Lowerys, who were married for 63 years, started several civil and human rights organizations and were each instrumental in several major initiatives.
Three Nigerian students who once were kidnapped or had a family member killed by Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria have graduated from American universities this spring. Joy Bishara and Lydia Pogu recently earned degrees from Southeastern University in Florida, while Zion Faye earned a master’s degree from Keck Graduate Institute in California. These educational achievements represent a new milestone in the life of the Nigerians whose future seemed all but shattered not long ago when Boko Haram terrorists — who have an avowed hatred for Western education and a desire to create a caliphate in Northern Nigeria — stormed the residence and school of the girls and left their trademark sorrow, tears and blood on their trail.
Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand have announced their latest grants to three institutions at the forefront of cultivating the Black experience to the wider public: the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture ($3 million over three years), Morehouse College ($1 million over two years) and the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting ($1 million over two years). https://youtu.be/DcGTywW-QzU
A conservative media outlet filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Mayor Lori Lightfoot over her decision this month to grant interviews only to reporters of color to mark her two-year anniversary in office. Judicial Watch, another conservative organization, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation and reporter Thomas Catenacci, who covers labor, the economy and politics. Lightfoot announced last week that she would only grant interview requests from reporters of color “on the occasion of the two-year anniversary” of her inauguration. The Daily Caller’s lawsuit wrongly suggests Lightfoot had announced an ongoing policy. The complaint alleges that Lightfoot has since granted at least one interview request from a self-identified Latino reporter but denied or failed to respond to interview requests from white reporters, including Catenacci.
Israel rejected outright a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution creating a commission of inquiry in response to accusations of war crimes. It’s the first time the UNHRC created a permanent fact-finding commission against a UN member state. “Today’s shameful decision is yet another example of the UN Human Rights Council’s blatant anti-Israel obsession. Once again, an immoral automatic majority at the Council whitewashes a genocidal terrorist organization that deliberately targets Israeli civilians while turning Gaza’s civilians into human shields,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. “This while depicting as the ‘guilty party’ a democracy acting legitimately to protect its citizens from thousands of indiscriminate rocket attacks. This travesty makes a mockery of international law and encourages terrorists worldwide,” Netanyahu added.
Brittany Bowens — the mother of slain 4-year-old Maleah Davis — took her time to say how Derion Vence was at the root of her grief. She looked at him, clad in an orange Harris County Jail jumpsuit, and cried in silence Thursday as a bailiff in the 180th District Court fetched her a box of tissues. And then, for the first time in public since her daughter’s heart-wrenching 2019 disappearance, she spoke. Destroyed were future memories of prom nights, dates and weddings, Bowens said. “I will never forgive you,” were the words that Bowens aimed at her former fiance. “You have taken away the purest love I have ever known.” Bowens begged of him one thing: To know the truth of what happened to her child. “I deserve to know,” she continued. Vence said nothing.
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors is stepping down as executive director of the organization amid controversy over her $3 million property portfolio. Cullors, who has been at the helm of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation for nearly six years, announced the news on Thursday. The 37-year-old activist told The Associated Press that she is leaving to focus on other projects, including the upcoming release of her second book and a multi-year TV development deal with Warner Bros. ‘I’ve created the infrastructure and the support, and the necessary bones and foundation, so that I can leave,’ Cullors stated. ‘It feels like the time is right.’ However, her departure comes after it was revealed last month that she has amassed a $3 million property portfolio, despite describing herself as a trained Marxist”.
CNN’s chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju had an unwelcome guest appear in his live shot on Thursday while filming a stand-up at the US Capitol. Raju tweeted a clip showing the moment he gets bugged out by a very large cicada. The insect can be seen crawling up his suit and onto the back of his neck. He doesn’t seem to notice until a few seconds later. It’s not clear if someone in his earpiece told him that he had a bug on him, but shortly after he reacts and flicks the insect out of his hair while screaming out in profanity. “Do I have more on me?” Raju asks. “Are they in my hair?,” he asks, before punctuating the exchange with more profanity, which was bleeped out. “Where the f*** are the cicadas coming from?!” Raju added.”
Judge Joe Brown appearing on Kwame Brown’s YouTube channel “Bust Life,” got really candid, really quickly. The 73-year-old former TV judge had thoughts on everyone from Cardi B to Lizzo, to Charlamagne tha God and The Breakfast Club, to CNN, which he referred to as the “Negro Network.” https://youtu.be/6y2wBX7WrHg
Award-winning artist, actress and entrepreneur Kierra Sheard-Kelly has teamed up with contemporary Worship group Red Rocks Worship and Essential Worship, to co-release their new performance of “Something Has to Break (Live).” Delivering an ascending worship experience of her #1 hit single, Kierra paired up to create this new powerful live performance together with the worship group, whose ministry is based out of the Denver, Colorado-based Red Rocks Church. Releasing the digital single and live video of their performance, “Something Has to Break (Live)” is available via all major digital providers on Friday May 28th, with the video also available via Essential Worship’s YouTube channel. Kierra Sheard-Kelly + Red Rocks Worship: “Something Has to Break (Live)” [Video] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6Q1ZwYSkDw
A suspected white supremacist on trial for fraud in Tennessee has claimed without proof that the Black judge presiding over his trial is a so-called reverse racist and must recuse himself because of that alleged bias against people suspected of white-collar crimes. Mark Hazelwood, the former head of a major fuel and trucking company based out of Knoxville, is gearing up for his retrial on charges he conspired to defraud other trucking firms out of millions of dollars. The retrial was granted after the U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier allowed audio recordings of Hazelwood using racist slurs with other executives at the Pilot Co. when he worked there.
Juan Williams, the longtime liberal co-host of Fox News’ late-afternoon panel show The Five, announced on-air Wednesday that he was leaving the program. According to multiple sources familiar with the matter, one major driver of Williams’ sudden departure from the highly-rated opinion show was his run-ins with colleague Greg Gutfeld, who had wanted The Five to return to studio and felt Williams was the main reason they were filming remotely. A Fox News spokesperson denied that “Gutfeld had anything to do with the move whatsoever” and referred to a statement from the showrunner Megan Albano who explained that Juan wanted to stay in D.C.
Kelly Clarkson will be taking over Ellen DeGeneres’ coveted time slot after the veteran host’s talk show comes to an end next year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Kelly Clarkson Show premiered in 2019 and has been steadily growing in popularity, having already secured a renewal with NBCUniversal Syndication Studios through 2023. Clarkson will now take over DeGeneres’ daytime slot in fall of 2022, which would likely mark her fourth season. The 39-year-old, who got her start on American Idol, has impressive ratings for a new show, thanks to a rotating roster of celebrity guests and Clarkson pulling out all the stops for her audience by singing.
Iyanla Vanzant is set to end her popular “Fix My Life” series after ten seasons on OWN. The network aired a special finale with Vanzant speaking about some of her most memorable episodes, including one featuring a grandmother who challenged her daughter’s mothering skills. It was the first episode that aired and Vanzant said it stands out because the family dynamic mirrored her own, as reported by MadameNoire. https://youtu.be/PnhGyiAQ67w
After a nearly five-year legal battle, a judge has decided to grant Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie equal custody over their children, Page Six reports. Judge John Ouderkirk, a private judge hired to manage the case, made his decision after hearing witness testimonies and interviews between social workers and the couple’s children, a source familiar with the matter told Page Six. “Brad was just trying to have more time with his kids—and it has been clear that Angie has done everything possible to prevent this,” they said. “This trial lasted for several months and there were a f–k ton of witnesses, experts, therapists and other people who have been with the kids and around them, and the decision was based on this.”
Leading the 21st BET Awards with seven nominations each are Megan Thee Stallion and DaBaby. The BET Awards 2021 will air live on Sunday, June 27 on BET at 8pm E/P. The show was a virtual event last year during the pandemic, but this year it will be presented in front of a live but VACCINATED audience.
A teacher in Oklahoma is disappointed with Gov. Kevin Stitt after one of her summer classes was canceled due to the state’s House Bill 1775, which bans educators from teaching certain concepts of race and racism. Melissa Smith told KOCO 5 that she’s taught classes on race for six years, but House Bill 1775 has caused her to lose a class she was supposed to teach this summer at Oklahoma City Community College. The recently signed legislation restricts what can be taught about racial divisions through history in Oklahoma classrooms. https://youtu.be/bsoH-eMPVpY
Porsha Williams says she is planning three weddings with Simon Guobadia. The “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star shared the news during an episode of “Dish Nation,” noting that the first wedding ceremony will be a native law and custom ceremony, as reported by MadameNoire. They are also planning a traditional American wedding and one at a home Guobadia owns in another country. “He’s African so we will have our native law and custom ceremony and a regular wedding, and then we’ll have another wedding at one of the houses that are out of the country,” Williams told her co-hosts. When Williams and Guobadia announced their engagement, her fans had many questions as he is still married to his estranged wife/Williams’ RHOA co-star Falynn Guobadia.
This week’s episode of WE tv’s “Growing Up Hip Hop,” finds Angela Simmons moving out to LA and her brother Jo Jo questioning her motives for buying property on the West Coast. While JoJo thinks it has to do with her new love interest, Angela makes clear that her new man is not the only reason why she wants to soak up the sun in the City of Angels. Meanwhile, Jo Jo reveals he is planning a big surprise for his wife Tanice. https://youtu.be/DrX6e1xwcuk
A Philadelphia 76ers fan added insult to injury Wednesday night during their team’s playoff matchup against the Washington Wizards, dumping popcorn on the Wizards’ Russell Westbrook as he walked off the court to seek treatment. The former NBA MVP appeared incensed at the gesture, but coaching staff stopped him from going into the stands. Others in the crowd pointed to the offending fan, according to video of the incident.
While it may be an unpopular opinion among players around the league, Trevor Lawrence is happy to see Tim Tebow rejoin the NFL ranks. Tebow’s roster spot isn’t guaranteed, but he’s already earned the approval of this year’s No. 1 overall pick. “He looks great,” Lawrence said on the AP Pro Football Podcast, per ESPN. “He’s just a guy that you want to be around. Character is awesome. Had a few conversations with him and I can already tell, and [he’s] just a hard worker. No one is going to work harder than him. Those are the kind of guys you want in your locker room and you want to be around every day. And then I’m excited to see what he can do on the field as well. We got in a few days and he looks great. He’s in awesome shape.”
Kyrie Irving’s recent comments about racism in Boston have fans of the NBA’s Celtics extra resentful despite their adamant refusal to accept the reality that, yes, in case anyone thought otherwise, anti-Black racism is still very much a thing in that city. Irving, who played in Boston for two unremarkable seasons, and his Brooklyn Nets teammates are set to play the Celtics on Friday night in Game 3 of their first-round playoffs series. The Nets easily routed the Celtics in the first two games. After the second game Tuesday night, though, Irving — when asked — publicly expressed hope that his return to Boston isn’t tainted by fans being racist. And the response by Bostonians and local media has been very telling.
TV One celebrates Black Music Month with original programming and musical performances. Its original documentary, THE BEAT DON'T STOP, will kick off the month of greatness on Thursday, June 3 at 8 P.M. ET/7C, followed by UNSUNG: Dru Hill and UNSUNG: Xscape at 10 P.M. ET/9C. Additionally, during Black Music Month, TV One will feature more highlights from its acclaimed signature series, UNSUNG, as well as musical performances such as Alicia Keys: Live in LA, Black Star Live At The Vienne Jazz Festival and Gregory Porter Live at Nice Jazz Festival.
Grammy Nominated & Stellar Award Winning Gospel Hit-Maker REV. LUTHER BARNES Scores Three Stellar Nominations: Choir Of The Year, Traditional Male Artist Of The Year and Traditional Choir Of The Year. Hear Luther Barnes In His Own Words In The Gospel Spotlight..... http://www.gospel-spotlight.com/Luther_Barnes_intvw.htm
Hillsong Atlanta launches after several months of successful worship events that have drawn 2,200 in-person attendance and more than 30,000 people online, setting the church up for a major launch weekend on June 6 at the Atlanta Events Center with special guests and Hillsong Global Senior Pastors, Brian and Bobbie Houston. Artists like Lecrae, Mack Brock, Natalie Grant, Andy Mineo, Todd Galberth, Chante Cann and more have been part of the widely popular pre-launch worship nights, setting the tone for the diverse world-class worship music that will be a hallmark of Hillsong Atlanta. In fact, diversity and multiculturalism is at the heart of Hillsong Atlanta in every way. Lead Pastor of Hillsong Atlanta Sam Collier is partnering with Facebook and the online website Lightworkers to augment and transcend the traditional church model. After a year of virtual services as a stopgap method for some churches, Collier’s embrace of a simultaneous fully digital and fully physical approach, with major outside partnerships, is a first.
More information is coming out about the life and loss of iconic rapper #DMX. Earl Simmons, didn’t leave behind enough money to care for his 15 children — some of whom are still minors. Here’s the deal: After selling more than 74 million albums and appearing in multiple movies through the span of his career, DMX’s estate could be less than $1 million; possibly less than $50,000, court documents filed by his children allege, according to Yahoo! News. Five of DMX’s 15 children filed separate court documents. His daughters Sasha Simmons and Jada Oden first filed documents on May 10, alleging his estate is worth less than $50,000. His sons Xavier, Tacoma, and Sean Simmons then filed documents on May 21, claiming his estate is worth less than $1 million. Both sides are hoping to be named administrators in the late rapper’s estate.
Jada Pinkett Smith and her daughter Willow got matching tattoos on Red Table Talk this week. Mom and daughter were joined by Jada’s mother/co-host Adrienne Banfield-Norris who also got inked up by iconic tattoo artist Dr. Woo. As reported by PEOPLE, during the session, Willow, 20, recalled how her father, Will Smith, reacted when she got her first tattoo. “He was actually the one that I was most nervous about,” Willow said. “I showed my mom the art for my half-sleeve three weeks before I got it. But I didn’t tell my dad.” When she eventually showed Will her new ink, he responded: “I showed it to him and he said, ‘Everything is in divine order. Your path is your path and I love you,'” Willow shared. https://twitter.com/i/status/1397584250673586180
The internet is currently intrigued with Amber Rose because she reached out to a woman to confirm whether she used to have a relationship with Amber’s baby daddy Alexander “AE” Edwards. As reported by AceShowbiz, Amber reached out to the woman in a private message before deleting it. “Hey boo just came across ur message but can’t see it,” Amber told the woman, who later shared the conversation on TikTok. Denying Amber’s claims, the woman said, “Hey i don’t recall sending you any message.” Amber replied, “You did you must’ve deleted it. All good.” She went on to say, “I know you talked to Alex before. I’m not trippin babe. I didn’t recognize you by your profile picture until you opened up your page. I was being nosy and looked through his blocked list on his phone. You came up. Then I found ur page and saw that you sent me a message. Didn’t know if you were trying to tell me something?”
City leaders and local artists launched LA for All, a multilingual PSA campaign led by the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department (LA Civil Rights) to share resources for reporting hate crimes and hate incidents, as well as celebrate diversity, belonging and inclusion in Los Angeles. “LA for All reaffirms what Los Angeles is and can be at our best: a place where everybody belongs and where no one should face discrimination, bigotry, or violence because of who they are, what they look like, who they love, or what they believe,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.
”Jersey Mike’s Karen” is going viral for her violent meltdown in a Southern California shop when an employee got her order wrong. https://youtu.be/uZ4tFts3Wno
“Black artists were not allowed to sing operatic solos at the MET (Metropolitan Opera House)…it wasn’t until (Leontyne) Price was a prominent Soprano Prima Donna…the 60’s…not that long ago,” said Broadway soprano operatic vocalist Cheryl Warfield about the Classical music industry and the reason why she developed the “Dynamic Divas” series that highlights three women of color Prima Donna operatic vocalists and her “Fachs & Figures: A Retrospective of the Careers of Cheryl Warfield” project – the next dated March 31st (Eventbrite.com). The last mentioned is a live-stream fundraiser to benefit the Goddard Riverside students of the Performing Arts Conservatory for the under-privileged kids of Upper-Westside, New York.
Charleston County has agreed to pay $10 million to the family of Jamal Sutherland, who died after being pepper-sprayed and tasered by police in January, The New York Times reports. Sutherland had initially been at a mental health facility, Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health, but was arrested and taken to Al Cannon Detention Center after he allegedly assaulted a staff worker. One day after his arrest, officers tried to get him out of his cell for a court hearing, but when Sutherland did not want to leave his cell, the officers pepper-sprayed him. He told the officers “I can’t breathe,” but they continued to Taser him anyway, and an officer even put a knee on his back, a video of the incident shows. The settlement comes on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death, and follows other major settlements, including a $10 million settlement for Andre Hill, a Black man who was killed by a police officer last year. The officers involved in Sutherland’s death, Sgt. Lindsay Fickett and Detention Deputy Brian Houle, have been fired but a pending investigation will determine whether the two should face criminal charges.
Travis Greene garners his fifth #1 hit single at Gospel radio, with “Good and Loved” feat. DOE hitting #1 on two Gospel radio charts. The radio track hits #1 on the latest charts for Billboard’s Gospel Airplay Chart and the MediaBase Gospel Chart. Originally featured on his chart-topping album Broken Record, Greene recorded a new version on this radio track for “Good and Loved,” which he taped for the 2020 Stellar Awards in a duet with DOE. In their duet performance, the two multi-GRAMMY® nominated singers also displayed their instrumental skills playing guitars and piano. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H07LBkbGlfM
To kick off Black Music Month, Café Mocha, the #1 nationally syndicated radio show for ‘women of color,’ presents the Salute THEM Awards ‘soundtrack of our lives’ broadcasting Sunday, June 6 at 10:00 P.M ET on BNC.TV from the new National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) in Nashville. The awards event, sponsored by AARP and Toyota with musical alliances NMAAM, Essence Festival and Living Legends Foundation, will be co-hosted by Café Mocha Gracie Award Winners Loni Love, Yo-Yo and “Ain’t Too Proud” Broadway star Saint Aubyn. https://facebook.us19.list-manage.com/track/click?u=03270e5fb8d65204361e530a2&id=be11158404&e=136c74e292
Author Terry McMillan shut down her Twitter account after being bullied by members of the LGBTQ community for commenting on the way celebrities come out. McMillian famously sued her young Jamaican husband Jonathan Plummer in 2007 for fraud after he came out as gay. Over the weekend Terry deactivated her Twitter after being harassed for writing: “I don’t understand why celebrities have to announce their sexuality. Just be who you are.” And with that, the bullies within the LGBTQ community began until she quit social media altogether, Rhymes With Snitch reports. One reader commented, “Girl stfu and just eat your food. You got a Waiting to Exhale tv series about to take off, please dont fck up your bag.” https://youtu.be/kKgnbmDpsy0
Ray J reportedly won $17,000 playing a penny-slot game called “Buffalo” at a San Miguel casino in L.A. According to TMZ, the “Wait A Minute” singer spent $100 on the digital game. The outlet writes, “He played the slots because he considers himself an old man now, and that’s what old folks do. BTW … he’s 40.” “Ray has retired his days as a big gambler on table games, particularly roulette … and his most recent lucky streak is probably a sign that’s a good idea.” It’s not like he needs money … Ray’s Raycon earbuds have reportedly earned him a fortune.
T-Pain has inked a deal with LiveXLive Media’s podcast platform PodcastOne, and the rapper will soon launch Nappy Boy Radio, a podcast and video podcast series. Deadline reports, the series, which will launch on June 3, will feature conversations between T-Pain and some of his celebrity/influencer pals, including Peyton List, Xolo Maridueña, Jacob Bertrand, and Joe Seo from Cobra Kai, Mike Tyson, Lil Jon, Steve-O, Jazzy Pha and Slim Jxmmi.
Scottie Pippen’s ex-wife Larsa Pippen has joined OnlyFans amid her drama with ex-lover Malik Beasley. As reported by Page Six, “The “Real Housewives of Miami” alum, 46, posted a promotional video to Instagram on Monday showing her in some of the sexy shots that she plans to share on the NSFW subscription-based platform. https://twitter.com/i/status/1396950311504424963
Vivica A. Fox chopped it up with VladTV this week and opened up about why her marriage to Christopher “Sixx-Nine” Harvest ended in 2002. The veteran actress said she curbed Harvest after his music career took a deep dive and she became the sole financial provider in the household. “Everyone was having their Cinderella day and I just wanted one too to be very honest with you. Why the marriage didn’t last a long time is ’cause I didn’t take the time to get to know him. I felt peer pressure.” Vivica and Harvest dated when he was a member of an R&B group.
Tuesday, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley publicly apologized to his estranged wife Montana Yao for cutting out on her and their 2-year-old son while he dated Larsa Pippen last year. Yao filed for divorce amid the cheating scandal but she accepted her hubby’s apology this week and the couple is said to be working on mending their marriage. Meanwhile, Pippen and Yao got into a heated exchange on social media following Beasley’s apology message, which he shared on his Instagram account.
Tuesday, an Ohio judge declared a mistrial in the murder case of Tevin Biles-Thomas, the brother of famed Olympian Simone Biles. According to The Associated Press, the move came after jurors received copies of legal briefs they were not supposed to see. The evidence included a motion discussing whether Tevin acted in self-defense when he shot three people at a New Year’s Eve party in 2018. An earlier report noted that Biles-Thomas was charged with multiple counts of murder, involuntary manslaughter, and felonious assault, along with one count of perjury for the fatal shooting at an Airbnb rental property that left three men dead and two others injured, MSN reported.
Law enforcement officials in London arrested five men Tuesday on suspicion of attempted murder of Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson. The suspects include a 17-year-old who was detained on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon and possession with the intent to supply drugs; three men aged 18, 19, and 28, who were arrested on suspicion of group fighting and possession with intent to sell; and a 25-year-old man who was arrested after a car chase for group fighting and failing to stop for police, CNN reports.
Saniyya Dennis, a 19-year-old honor student at Buffalo State College in New York has been missing since April, but her family is not resigned to giving up on finding her and bringing her home. In early May Erie County District Attorney John Flynn announced his office believed Saniyya died of apparent suicide near Niagara Falls after reviewing text exchanges phone records, surveillance footage and interviewing friends she reportedly contacted who said she expressed thoughts of self-harm. “An exhaustive search and review of the evidence has been done and it appears that this poor girl took her own life,” Flynn told reporters. “Without a body, without an autopsy being done, we’re never going to definitively know. All I can do is present you with what I have and what I presented … everything that I had … to her parents.” However Saniyya’s family refuses to give up their fight and challenge the evidence and claims Flynn made during his announcement.
A former college basketball star has been arrested on suspicion of killing an elderly relative of his over the weekend in Detroit. Keith Appling, who was a four-year member of the Michigan State University men’s basketball team from 2010-2014, was taken into custody on Monday after a manhunt following what police described as a family dispute turned deadly. The Detroit News reported that one of Appling’s relatives told police that he shot a different relative — an unidentified 66-year-old-man — after the two of them had a verbal altercation early Saturday night. Appling reportedly shot the relative dead at the victim’s home in Detroit and dropped the gun after another relative forced it out of his hand. He then fled in a car before being arrested Monday morning about 57 miles west of Detroit in the town of Chelsea. The Detroit Free Press reported that a gun was recovered during the arrest.
Prince Harry will “go deeper” into his mental health struggles in yet another collaborative project with Oprah Winfrey. The redheaded royal, 39, announced on his Archewell site on Wednesday that he’ll follow up his and Winfrey’s Apple TV+ series, “The Me You Can’t See,” with a town hall discussion titled “The Me You Can’t See: A Path Forward.” Harry said the follow-up program, which premieres Friday, will “go deeper” into the stories of the initial docuseries’ subjects and feature experts issuing guidance, so “together they begin to answer the critical question: Where do we go from here?”
Chadwick Boseman was best known to audiences for his work onscreen, playing iconic figures like Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall and the Black Panther. But offscreen, he was known as a proud Howard Bison. Howard University announced today that the newly re-established college of fine arts, led by Dean Phylicia Rashad, will be named the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts in honor of the late actor and distinguished alumnus.
Samuel E. Wright, the actor who voiced Sebastian in “The Little Mermaid,” has died. He was 74. The news of his death was confirmed in a Facebook post on Tuesday by his hometown Montgomery, N.Y. It did not confirm his cause of death.
James Bond has a new home: Amazon and MGM announced a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire MGM for $8.45 billion. MGM, founded in 1924, complements Amazon Studios, which has primarily focused on producing TV programming, the companies said. Amazon will help “preserve MGM’s heritage and catalog of films” and provide customers with greater access to these existing works, the companies added.
A Los Angeles toddler has been accepted into Mensa — the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. Kashe Quest is just two years old, going on three, and has an IQ of 146, while the average IQ in America is 100. Currently, Quest is the youngest member of American Mensa. “We started to notice her memory was really great. She just picked up things really fast and she was really interested in learning. At about 17, 18 months, she had recognized all the alphabet, numbers, colors, and shapes,” said Sukhjit Athwal, Kashe’s mother. Kashe can also identify all 50 states by shape and location on a map. She is learning Spanish, knows over 50 signs in sign language, can count to 100, can identify elements on the periodic table by their symbols and is even learning to read.
Broadway has long known that Black professionals are underrepresented backstage and in leadership positions in the commercial theater industry — but now a new initiative from a group of Broadway producers, the Theatre Leadership Project, aims to change that. “There seems to be this notion that if you are a Black person or a person of color working in the theater field, then the commercial world is not for you. You are forced to go into the nonprofit arena,” said Travis LeMont Ballenger, one of the founding members of TTLP. He spoke on the latest episode of Variety‘s theater podcast, “Stagecraft,” appearing with Leah Harris, the new project’s program manager, to discuss the current state of representation on Broadway and how TTLP is hoping to change things.
An employee opened fire Wednesday at a California rail yard serving Silicon Valley, killing eight people before ending his own life, authorities said. The suspect was an employee of the Valley Transportation Authority, which provides bus, light rail and other transit services throughout Santa Clara County, the largest county in the Bay Area, Santa Clara County sheriff’s authorities said. The attacker was identified as 57-year-old Sam Cassidy, according to two law enforcement officials. Investigators offered no immediate word on a possible motive.
The Great One is headed to TNT, The Post has learned. Wayne Gretzky will be a lead analyst on Turner’s premier studio show after agreeing to a contract that will pay him in the neighborhood of $3 million per season, according to sources. The 60-year-old announced Tuesday he was stepping down as vice chairman of the Edmonton Oilers after the Jets swept them out of the Stanley Cup playoffs Monday.
History was made inside of the White House briefing room today as principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stepped to the podium and delivered her first official press briefing. In doing so, she becomes the first-ever openly gay woman and the second Black woman to address the White House press corp. https://youtu.be/FU0HrIrvzWU
Kim Kardashian has always been transparent about her life which is why it comes as no surprise that she’s revealing that she failed her first year bar exam. In a sneak peek of Thursday’s episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians, ” Kim, 40, opens up about her exam to her sisters and admits that her latest defeat is taking a toll on her dreams of being a lawyer.
Dylann Roof, the white supremacist convicted of murdering nine members of Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in 2015, is appealing to have his sentence overturned. Roof’s defense attorneys are playing the “he’s mentally ill” card, and, per New York Daily News, have asked that his sentence be suspended until a “proper competency evaluation” can be conducted. They argue that Roof should not have been sentenced to death due to his “mental illness”. https://youtu.be/mxu06fz7ucg
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is facing 22 civil cases stemming from sexual assault and/or sexual misconduct allegations. One of the top young quarterbacks in the NFL, the 25-year-old Watson now faces an uncertain future in the league months after he requested a trade from the Texans. Recent reports suggest that Watson is facing a “multi-game suspension” for the 2021 season regardless of what happens in the court of law. Under the current collective bargaining agreement, the NFL has an ability to suspend players even in the absence of criminal charges being filed or a guilty verdict.
Compton Mayor Aja Brown, members of the city council, city attorney, and residents of Compton will hold a press conference Wed., May 26 at 11 a.m. at city hall to announce the filing of a Claim for Damages against LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Compton Station Captain LaTonya Clark, and unknown Los Angeles County Sheriff Department Deputies and personnel employed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department and County of Los Angeles.
The 16th Annual Gamma Zeta Boulé Foundation L.A.M.P. Mentor Program Scholarship Celebration will be held on Saturday, May 29, 2021 from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM, in a VIRTUAL environment. Eight African American male high school graduating seniors will be awarded scholarships to assist in their college matriculation. his year history was made as three seniors were named Boulé Scholars, the country’s highest level of distinction awarded by the oldest Black Greek-lettered fraternal organization, Sigma Pi Phi (The Boulé).
The aftermath of being in jail and continuing to prove innocence to maintain freedom creates eye opening experiences that we as an audience often overlook. As reported in the Sybil Wilkes February 15 What You Need To Know newsletter, Diamonds Ford shot at what was believed to be an intruder then called 911 when officers serving a warrant failed to properly identify themselves. Ford and her now husband Anthony Gantt are still facing charges from the September 2020 incident. https://youtu.be/r11n8johAnQ
Last Wednesday (May 19th), LeBron James squared off against the Golden State Warriors for a standard game. However, two days before, LeBron James hosted an event for his tequila brand–Lobos 1707–that was attended by numerous stars, including Drake and Michael B. Jordan. Ultimately, this caused speculation regarding whether the NBA star would be suspended for this COVID violation. Discussing the incident with ESPN on Friday (May 21st), a league spokesperson stated: “It’s a violation of the agreed upon protocols, and, as we have in other comparable instances around the league, it has been addressed with the team.” Shortly thereafter, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that sources claimed LeBron would not be suspended for the violation because the event was not deemed a COVID risk. Thus, the NBA allowed LeBron to play in Game 1 of the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns this past Sunday (May 23rd).
“Mike Tyson: The Knockout” will put viewers ringside for the main event that will chronicle the former champion’s climb, crash and comeback, from his difficult childhood to becoming undisputed world champion to his 1992 rape conviction and his personal struggles. Through the lens of his life’s extreme highs and lows, the two-part primetime event will examine some of the most pressing questions about resilience and reinvention. https://youtu.be/vxXVEfQLWEM
Tracee Ellis Ross is speaking out about the societal pressure for women to get married and have children — especially if they are women of a certain age. In a new interview with Marie Claire, the actress talked about feeling pressured to find a man and settle down. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E1mSNuLVIAIj5UA?format=jpg&name=small
On the one-year anniversary marking the day that their loved one was killed in a harrowing act of police violence, George Floyd‘s family met with President Joe Biden and congressional leaders to mark the solemn moment. According to family attorney Ben Crump spoke with NBC News, the day begin with the family sitting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prior to visiting the White House. The visit comes amidst another push for meaningful law enforcement reform as it stalls in the Senate. Earlier this year President Biden urged lawmakers to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act prior to Floyd’s death anniversary, a move that advocacy organization and some activists believe made a first step towards abolishing law enforcement practices and policies which seek to prevent accountability when Black community members are routinely targeted and often killed by those who vow to serve and protect.
As the world begins easing out of the most stressful time of our lives, Family Federation for World Peace and Unification USA invites you to join us for the Peace Starts With Me: Peace & Blessing virtual celebration June 5, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Let the Blessing revive your life, your family, and the world. Experience the grandeur of a stadium show from the comfort of your home. Featuring performances by Grammy award-winning talent including Gospel star Hezekiah Walker, Yolanda Adams, Israel Haughton, Joann Rosario Condrey, The Soul Children of Chicago and Kim Burrell. With words of inspiration from Bishop Noel Jones of the City of Refuge Church and The Mother of Peace, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. The Marriage Blessing is a worldwide tradition where couples dedicate, or re-dedicate, their marriage to a greater purpose and God. In response to the breakdown of traditional marriage, the Marriage Blessing offers a way to build a world of stronger marriages and healthier families. Rededicate, celebrate and receive the anointing of God upon your couple and family.
SAN FRANKLIN has been described as a vocal powerhouse and an anointed force in music and ministry. Her debut solo album THE FREE PROJECT is her musical ambition to inspire and lead people to freedom and liberty. What is undeniable is that with every opportunity she is impacting people and culture by shifting atmospheres and changing lives. Her current single "I Choose Free" is a defining song that she conveys with both passion and power. "I Choose Free" is an anthem of expectation and an emblem of emancipation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvToaLXKwPY&feature=youtu.be
In a case of questionable timing at best, the top prosecutor in Louisville announced on Tuesday that his office would not bring charges against the police officers and members of the military who gunned down a Black man attending a demonstration peacefully protesting against George Floyd‘s murder. The announcement came as the nation paused to observe the one-year anniversary of the heinous police murder of Floyd in Minneapolis. Jefferson Commonwealth Attorney Thomas B. Wine confirmed that the Louisville police officers and Kentucky National Guardsmen who killed David “YaYa” McAtee nearly one year ago would not be facing any kind of criminal charges for their roles in a shooting that can only be described as questionable. The shooting was described as justified. McAtee, 53, was a barbecue chef and restaurant owner in Louisville who had come to be known in part for serving police officers free meals. When he was shot on June 1, none of the body cameras worn by the officers involved were turned on. McAtee’s body reportedly lay in the street for 12 hours.
Darnella Frazier, the teenager who filmed former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s fatal encounter with George Floyd last May, reflected on the tragedy on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death. Darnella Frazier, the teenager who filmed former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s fatal encounter with George Floyd last May, reflected on the tragedy on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death. “I didn’t know this man from a can of paint, but I knew his life mattered. I knew that he was in pain. I knew that he was another black man in danger with no power. I was only 17 at the time, just a normal day for me walking my 9-year-old cousin to the corner store, not even prepared for what I was about to see, not even knowing my life was going to change on this exact day in those exact moments… it did. It changed me. It changed how I viewed life. It made me realize how dangerous it is to be Black in America … A part of my childhood was taken from me,” she continued. Frazier also indicated she has no regrets about sharing her cellphone footage with the world.
Doc Rivers’ emotional reaction to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, just three months after the gruesome police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, went viral and represented the frustrations of those who watched video of both incidents, and countless others showing unarmed black people being killed by white police officers. https://youtu.be/aQ78YoIXI5o
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today a special one-hour programming event presented by Procter & Gamble as a part of its 'Widen the Screen' initiative, "OWN and P&G Present: Widen The Screen - A Fuller View of Black Life" premiering on Tuesday, May 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. This special presentation is hosted by Oprah Winfrey and features short films and new content by Black creators that celebrate Black stories and the expansiveness of Black life, while honoring the anniversary of the tragic murder of George Floyd. The program will include a special airing of Tangled Roots, Ballet After Dark, and Gloves Off from the Queen Collective documentary film series, followed by a sneak preview of the four new Queen Collective films that will premiere in June 2021 during the Tribeca Film Festival.
Atlanta Hawks vice president and former NBAer Dominique Wilkins says he was turned away from a popular Buckhead restaurant due to racism. It happened at Le Bilboquet, a French bistro in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. “In my many years in the world, I’ve eaten at some of the greatest restaurants in the world, but never have I felt prejudice or been turned away because of the color of my skin, until today,” he wrote on Twitter. Wilkins said staff at Le Bilboquet refused him service over his designer casual clothing. “We sincerely apologize to Dominique Wilkins for the events that occurred on May 22,” the restaurant said in a statement. “No patron of our restaurants should be made to feel unwelcome or less than, and for that we are deeply sorry. It was never our intention to make Mr. Wilkins – or anyone else for that matter – feel that way at our restaurant.” Management says staffers will be re-trained and changes will be made to the dress code policy.
The reconciliation between Erica Mena and Safaree Samuels was short-lived because the reality TV star has revealed that she’s raising their child alone, and is expected to do the same with the baby she’s currently carrying. TMZ reports that on Friday, Mena filed for divorce after less than 2 years of marriage. According to the outlet, “Erica is asking for primary physical custody of their 1-year-old daughter, Safire, but she’s willing to share joint legal custody with Safaree. She’s also indicated she wants child support, plus … exclusive use of the home they currently share,” TMZ writes. Earlier this month, Safaree and his estranged wife announced that they are expecting baby #2! The “Love & Hip Hop” stars shared the exciting news via an Instagram post showing off Mena’s baby bump.
The second season of Tyler Perry’s “Assisted Living” kicks off TONIGHT (May 25) at 9 PM ET/PT on BET and BET Her. The comedy is the #1 new scripted series for African Americans P18-49, P25-54, and P2+ on cable for broadcast season 20-21. Fans have shown so much love for the show that BET has green-lit “Assisted Living” for a third season.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has hinted that he has no plans on staying with the team. When asked if he’s going back to the Falcons during the “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed” show on FS1, Jones said, “I’m out of there.” Jones was reportedly spotted wearing a Dallas Cowboys T-shirt but made clear that he doesn’t want to play for the team, 11 Alive reports. “I ain’t going to Dallas, I never thought of going to Dallas,” Jones said. https://twitter.com/i/status/1396855165450342410
Executive Chef Liz Rogers has launched her own ice cream brand called Creamalicious, making hers the only Black-owned ice cream company in mass production. Some of the flavors are named after Rogers’ family members with recipes rooted in Black culture.
“The desserts have history that people don’t know about, like the red velvet cake,” Rogers said. “It was considered the celebration cake when African Americans got their freedom back. You have the white cake which is a white southern cake that was considered a peace offering. Each flavor has a story.”
Walmart says an “external bad actor” is responsible for a number of fake accounts that generated emails using the company’s domain that addressed recipients with a racial slur. According to CBS News, those behind the attack created new accounts for people whose emails were not previously identified by the company as belonging to Walmart customers, automatically sending a “Welcome to Walmart, N**ger” email. The company’s internal systems were not breached, and the retailer said it was able to stop more of the emails from being sent. https://youtu.be/7ghhFtNr710
Atlanta police are searching for a man who reportedly stole rapper Akon’s vehicle Tuesday from an Atlanta gas station. Police say the artist was pumping gas at the QuikTrip on Sidney Marcus Boulevard in Buckhead just after midnight. Moments later, a man hopped into Akon’s Range Rover and sped off. https://youtu.be/VViBl554Z8A
”Cruella” is the new Disney live-action film exploring Cruella del Vil – the villain from the animated classic “101 Dalmatians” origin story. Emma Stone (“La La Land”) stars in the leading role – set in 1970s London during the punk rock revolution, a young grifter named Estella is trying to break into the fashion industry. She builds a life on the London streets with the help of two young thieves, Joel Fry (Jasper) and Paul Walter Hauser (Horace), who appreciate her appetite for mischief. Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of fashion legend Baroness von Hellman, played by two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson (“Howards End,” “Sense & Sensibility”). But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable, and revenge-bent Cruella.
Luther Campbell a.k.a. Uncle Luke of 2 Live Crew fame is speaking out about being snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The hip-hop icon took to his social media accounts to address the fact that his group was not among the 2021 class that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced earlier this month. The Miami rapper wrote over the weekend, “S**t another year of not getting inducted to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.” Ace Showbiz reports, “to be able to be considered for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an artist or act must be 25 years removed from their first recording,” the outlet writes. 2 Live Crew is definitely eligible as their debut album” The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are” was released in 1986.
It appears Chuck D and Flavor Flav remain at odds because the leader of famed hip-hop group Public Enemy is ready to squash the beef and get back to work. Chuck D addressed the issue further during his chat with Talib Kweli on the People’s Party podcast. https://youtu.be/uMmTTbWpL9c
BET will assemble an R&B supergroup on the upcoming reality series “BET Presents The Encore.” The network said the competition series will feature familiar faces from the R&B world, as reported by Urban Hollywood 411. BET.com reports, among those involved include Shamari DeVoe of Blaque, Irish Grinstead and LeMisha Grinstead from 702, Nivea Nash and Felisha King of Cherish, Fallon King and Pamela Long from the group Total, Aubrey O’ Day from Danity Kane, and Kiely Williams of 3LW have signed for the show. The outlet describes the series as “a one-of-a-kind music experiment” featuring “solo female artists and groups from the 1990s and 2000s to form the ultimate R&B supergroup.
Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard tripled down on his “Logo Lillard” nickname and then some Monday night during his team’s playoff game against the Denver Nuggets. First the numbers. Lillard earned his second 30-point first half of his playoff career on Monday and became the only player with multiple 30-point first halves in the playoffs over the last 15 seasons. He had 8 triples at halftime, tying Vince Carter’s all-time NBA Playoffs record for threes in a half.
One of the 3-pointers, this one from deep inside the Nuggets logo, went viral. https://youtu.be/xFHjeFswasE
Former NBA star and Atlanta-area resident Shaquille O’Neal has been known to help out his neighbors from time to time, even spontaneously. The NBA Hall-of-Famer showed generosity Friday in the form of providing kids in Henry County with new shoes. Soles4Souls partnered with The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation and Reebok to distribute 500 new pairs of shoes to kids. Shaq visited Wesley Lakes Elementary School, a McDonough Title I school, saying he is happy to put a smile on kids’ faces at the end of the school year. “It’s all about the kids,” O’Neal said. “The two things that really hurt me this year were seeing 40 million people out of work, and I hate seeing kids who don’t have what they need.”
Singer and actress Darlene Love—who has hit songs like “He’s A Rebel” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” and contributions to tunes by Dionne Warwick and Marvin Gaye—talks with Sisters From AARP about her life, the importance of family, and how we can embrace aging. At 79, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee also is preparing to accept honors from the Salute THEM Awards on June 6 (presented by AARP and Toyota North America), which celebrates Black creatives. RSVP, and share your comments on aging well and family connections!
Moms of Black Boys United for Social Change, Inc. (M.O.B.B. United for Social Change), an online community of nearly 200,000 moms with 15 local chapters nationwide advocating for fair and just treatment of Black boys and men in American society, remains on the front lines of the fight against racial injustice. Today, M.O.B.B. United remembers George Floyd, whose tragic murder at the hands of Minnesota police one year ago ignited a worldwide outcry against police brutality of Blacks in America, and the organization continues to forge ahead in the fight for justice and police reform. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUKkgnJGaNI&feature=youtu.be
A new episode of the true crime docu-series Sins of The City airs this Thursday, May 27 at 9 p.m. ET/8C on TV One. This week, Atlanta's Dekalb County Sheriff Department stands the trial of public opinion in the murder of veteran officer and Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown. Various experts, community leaders, family members, and the like, provide real-life perspective and insight into the cities profiled this season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t5jyHnv-C4
Kristen Clarke on Tuesday became the first Black woman and first woman overall to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division since its creation in 1957. Clarke was confirmed following a drawn-out process that stalled for months. Clarke’s nomination advanced on May 13 following a Senate Judiciary Committee vote to get her to this point. Committee members split the vote 11-11 to advance the process to the Senate floor for a confirmation vote. Supporters of Clarke expect another uphill battle during the final stage of the process.
Much of Clarke’s confirmation process has been mired in stonewalling orchestrated mainly by Senate Republicans who believe Clarke is too radical to lead the division which oversees law enforcement policies and procedures. Their numerous attempts to invalidate and disqualify her experiences stems form Clarke’s history as a transformative social justice lawyer and leader. After the committee vote earlier this month, civil rights leaders hailed Clarke’s experience and urged the Senate to move in the right direction.
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump called into SiriusXM’s The Joe Madison Show on May 25, 2021, one year to the day after George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, to renew the call for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and detail the Floyd family’s plans to meet with President Biden and other leaders in Washington, DC.
Drake brought his three-year-old son Adonis onstage as the Canadian superstar was named artist of the decade at the Billboard Music Awards, and people are thanking Pusha T for the precious father/son moment. In 2018, Pusha T revealed during their rap beef that Drake had fathered a child with French artist Sophie Brussaux and the Toronto-born star later confirmed the news on his album Scorpion. Many folks online thought Drake was forced to finally acknowledge his son publicly only after being outed by his rival. https://lnkd.in/epCbmmu
Central City Productions revealed the nominees in 28 categories for the 36th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, which will be taped on Saturday, July 10, at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, TN. "We're extremely pleased and proud to present our 36th annual Stellar Awards, appropriately themed 'Lighting the Way with Our Faith, Music and Family," remarked Don Jackson, Founder of the Stellar Awards and Chairman of Central City Productions, Inc. . This year's recipient of the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement is The Clark Sisters. Lady Tramaine Hawkins will be honored with the Aretha Franklin Icon Award, Pastor Shirley Caesar will receive the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award, Bishop Dr. Leonard Scott is tapped to receive the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award and Black Smoke Music Founder Kerry Douglas, Skip Barrett and Teresa Hairston will be inducted into the Stellar Honors Hall of Fame. Millennial Gospel superstar Jonathan McReynolds, co-host of the 35th Annual Stellar Awards, tops the list of nominees this year with eight nominations.
Grammy-nominated singers and songwriters Juan Winans and Lisa Winans, along with actress-singer Deborah Joy Winans are making big moves in music and entertainment, a natural as a third-generation member of the world-renowned Winans Family. This week, Juan and Lisa Winans’ No. 1 Billboard gospel single, “It Belongs To Me,” was nominated for New Artist Of The Year and Duo/Chorus Group Of The Year by the 36th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards. The DARE Records release, recorded by Juan and his wife, Lisa also features his uncle, Marvin L. Winans, and remains in the Top 5 on Billboard’s Gospel Recurrent chart. And just this week, the brand-new DARE Records urban inspirational single, “Never On My Own” by Juan Winans featuring his sister, Deborah Joy Winans, is off to a great start at national streaming and broadcast outlets.
After a record year of BIG wins and unforgettable performances, Alabama singer, songwriter and megachurch leader Pastor Mike Jr. returns to this year's Stellar Awards with seven nominations including Rap Hip Hop Gospel Album, Album of the Year, Urban Inspirational Performance and the coveted Artist of the Year nominations.
"This should be no surprise to any of us", says Blacksmoke Music Worldwide CEO Kerry Douglas with humility. Pastor Mike, Jr. dared to show us that God still does BIG things, he kept telling us God is about to blow your minds. That song resonated with people all over this country. He went to the Stellars and won Best New Artist. We released Freedom Session, I Got It was the follow up, and it not only hit number one on the Gospel radio charts, it is making its way up the urban charts. Pastor Mike, Jr. lives out loud and bold, he takes God at his word, This is his season and his moment and we are just running over with joy.
A white Red Cross worker who was filmed hugging an African migrant says she’s being harassed by racists online over the imagery. Luna Reyes, 20, was forced to set her social media accounts to private after video/photos of her and the migrant sparked a wave of racist and sexist abuse, per MSN. According to reports, the migrant swam from Morocco to Ceuta last week. When Reyes approached the exhausted Senegalese man and offered him a bottle of water, he broke down and clung to her.
Charlamagne Tha God caught major heat over the weekend from veteran NBA player Kwane Brown after the popular radio DJ shared some harsh truths about Brown’s family on The Breakfast Club. https://twitter.com/i/status/1395151812034957313
Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee’s divorce was finalized more than a decade ago, but they may have to face each other in court once again. The music executive, 63, sued the model, 46, and her husband, Tim Leissner, last week for allegedly attempting to fraudulently transfer Simmons’ nearly four million Celsius shares to their accounts to help pay for Leissner’s legal and bail fees stemming from a 2018 money laundering case, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court documents obtained by Page Six on Friday. https://youtu.be/1ZPuBGevQLo
DJ Funkmaster Flex recently made time to remind folks that Power 105.1 radio personality Charlamagne tha God got away with raping a 15-year-old girl when he was in his ’20s. MadameNoire reports, on his show last week, Funk Flex played an audio clip of a woman saying that Charlamagne raped her daughter Jessica Reid in 2001 and that he was “getting away with it.” “If he was going to be a friend to us he came to us and said don’t worry nothing is going to happen to her and I’ll make sure she’ll be safe,” the distraught mother said in a 2018 interview on The Star Report. “He alluded us to believe and trust in him and then he turns around and violates my daughter by raping and drugging her and then…he gets away with it.” Reid said she didn’t allow her daughter to testify in the trial against Charlamagne because she didn’t want her to relive the trauma. https://youtu.be/kCjm8a9ixeA
Jamie Masada, the owner and founder of the iconic Laugh Factory comedy club in Hollywood, tells TMZ that several A-listers are set to honor Paul Mooney with a special show on Thursday at 3 PM. Eddie Murphy and Kevin Hart are among the many who have been contacted to attend. We’re told Tiffany Haddish is not able to attend because of work but will send in a special video tribute to be played during the event. Paul’s twin sons — comedians Dwayne and Daryl — will also be there … with the list of special guests expected only to grow.
Jamie says he envisions guests doing a little stand-up (duh), sharing their best Paul Mooney stories and more. Paul was a regular at the famed Hollywood location. In fact … Jamie tells us he still remembers Paul being one of the very first comedians on opening night in 1979. https://youtu.be/cRFlgrMzWP8
CNN host Van Jones weighed in on Kim Kardashian’s future as a fellow attorney now that she is three years into her pursuit of becoming a lawyer. During an interview on the Ellen Degeneres show, Jones said, “She’s doing amazing. I think she has used her platform to help people behind bars.” He added, “Her dad was a lawyer and she always wanted to be a lawyer,” he explained. “Once she got a taste of what she could do using her platform, using her brain, she hasn’t let up, so I think she’s going to be an unbelievable attorney. She’s already I think one of the best advocates that we have in criminal justice.” Jones, 52, and Kardashian, 40, have previously worked together on criminal justice reform.
Actress Samira Wiley is opening up about the challenges of motherhood. The “Handmaid’s Tale” star and her wife Lauren Morelli announced the birth of their daughter George Elizabeth on Mother’s Day. The couple announced on social media that the child was born on April 11, 2021. Wiley dished with CBS This Morning about some of her scarier moments of parenting so far, admitting that she is “so tired” and “terrified” in her new role, per MSN. https://youtu.be/MVhW5-rFEv0
The global health crisis has exacerbated financial woes for many individuals and Delaware State University is on a mission to ensure the school’s recent graduates aren’t burdened by the weight of debt. According to People, the Dover-based HBCU recently announced it would eliminate the student loan debt for students who were significantly impacted by the pandemic. DSU will cancel over $700,000 in student loans for over 220 students through the American Rescue Plan Act that was enacted by President Joe Biden and his administration. Under the $1.9 trillion plan, funds were allotted for student debt cancellation, grants and scholarships.
Renowned playwright and activist Lorraine Hansberry’s contributions to the arts will forever be embedded in the fabric of history and an effort to preserve a significant element of her journey has moved forward. According to Broadway World, the visionary’s former New York City residence has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The home—where Hansberry dwelled between the years of 1953 and 1960—is located at 337 Bleecker Street; in the heart of the Greenwich Village neighborhood. The residence served as the backdrop for Hansberry’s evolution as a pivotal figure. Her time there was one of both professional and personal progression as she made triumphs in her career and explored and embraced her homosexuality. In the space, she penned A Raisin in the Sun which made it to the Ethel Barrymore Theater stage, making her the first African American woman playwright to have her work performed on Broadway. She used the proceeds she earned from the play to acquire the residential building in 1960.
The Student Freedom Initiative (SFI) has announced that networking giant Cisco will give $150 million in order to aid historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The aid will take the form of $100 million in networking, security, and collaboration technologies, including ongoing technical support with help from cloud security services provider American Virtual Cloud (AVC) Technologies, in order to facilitate advancements to HBCU technology infrastructure and cybersecurity systems. The remaining $50 million will act as an anchor investment to support the Student Freedom Initiative over the next four years. That $50 million investment will allow for the financing of the college educations of 500 HBCU students every year.
According to the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks star is furthering his efforts to support small Black-owned businesses and nonprofits throughout the country. Last year Holiday announced he would donate a portion of his 2019-2020 season salary to grassroots nonprofit organizations centered on social justice, HBCUs and businesses created by Black entrepreneurs. He and his wife Olympic gold medalist Lauren Holiday created the Jrue and Lauren Holiday Social Justice Impact Fund; an initiative designed to provide funding and support for foundations and businesses in underserved communities within the Greater Milwaukee area, New Orleans, Indianapolis and Los Angeles. After witnessing the fund’s impact the Holidays announced they’re opening a second round of funding. As part of the next round, they are distributing up to $1 million in grants.
Morgan and Bode Miller are expecting a baby girl! On Sunday, the couple hosted a fiesta-themed party to reveal the sex of their baby on the way at their home in Orange County, California, with close family and friends. And on Monday, they announced the big reveal on the Today show. “We are so excited,” the Millers tell PEOPLE after finding out they will be welcoming a daughter this fall.
In early May, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced at a news conference that she would not seek a second term. Her announcement was a surprise to many. “This has been my highest honor to serve as mayor of this city,” she said. “It is abundantly clear to me that it is time to pass the baton on to someone else.” https://youtu.be/mNtH_J6j2ms
Holly Robinson Peete returns as Billie Blessing for another installment from the “Morning Show Mysteries” titled “Murder Ever After,” airing Sunday night (May 23) on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. https://youtu.be/Q7EWUMGv890
Imagine being in the situation an Illinois man found himself when police allegedly mistook the ashes of the grieving dad’s 2-year-old daughter for drugs and basically dumped them, according to reports. “No, no, no, bro, that’s my daughter!” Dartavius Barnes said on video from a Springfield police bodycam, obtained by WICS, the Springfield ABC affiliate. Barnes was pulled over last year, and is now suing the Springfield police department and the Illinois city. https://youtu.be/VTI_sbYXnA0
Tuesday, President Joe Biden will host the family of George Floyd at the White House to mark the one-year anniversary of his death at the hands of police. White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the news of Friday but didn’t offer further details on his plans. Biden first met with the Floyd family back in June 2020 in Houston to offer condolences ahead of George Floyd’s funeral. The President has spoken to members of the family over the past year, and recently talked with George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, after a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing.
The divorce proceedings between comedian Gary Owen and his estranged wife, Kenya Duke, are heating up. Reports claim that Gary Owen has stopped all communications with his-soon-to-be ex-wife and isn’t answering her texts regarding their finances. According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Kenya Duke writes that Gary Owen won’t respond to her messages, “to try and work out an arrangement for the payment of our household debt.” She continues, “While I was hoping to come to an amicable agreement with my husband … he has unfortunately left me with no choice but to file this RFO for Support. Gary and I have been married for over seventeen years. Twenty-three years ago, I left my promising career as an account manager to solely support Gary and his career.”
It seems that Houston doctors are trying to figure out why a handful of people hospitalized with COVID-19 develop massively enlarged tongues. The condition is called macroglossia. It makes it impossible for patients to eat and talk. Fortunately, Dr. James Melville with the UTHealth School of Dentistry has become a specialist in dealing with the condition. He has performed surgeries to help patients regain use of their tongues. https://youtu.be/SyC2bpXFnMk
Black culture will never be erased with a docu-series like this! According to their press release, Netflix is taking you on a journey to learn how African American cuisine shaped America in “High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America,” which is adapted from food historian Jessica B Harris’ book of the same name. https://youtu.be/7wsEdxt1Ico
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Hip Hop legends Nas, LL Cool J, Fat Joe, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, City Council Member Diana Ayala, numerous city agencies, and hip hop luminaries took part in the official groundbreaking event for the first phase of Bronx Point. Bronx Point’s first phase will deliver 542 units of permanently affordable housing to the Lower Concourse neighborhood, along with approximately 2.8 acres of public open space. Additionally, the project will deliver an array of cultural and community-focused programming, including the permanent home of the Universal Hip Hop Museum,
Glasses Malone new single “‘6 ‘N the Mornin’,” has the West Coast buzzing because it has put two legends on the same track who ironically never collaborated before — Ice-T and Snoop Dogg — along with the future of West Coast music, Ty Dolla $ign. https://youtu.be/gjPqltOrNjY
“Take Out Girl” is about a young Tera Wong, who is a victim of her circumstances. She wants a better life for herself and her family, but she, like many minorities, is stuck just trying to survive her day to day life. Weighed down with stereotypes, financial woes, trying to maintain a family business and trying to find her place in the world, Tera makes some choices that drastically change the course of her life and the life of her family. https://youtu.be/N2fUk1qvnhY
In early April, “The Ohio Players” were honored when a former stretch of Hillcrest Avenue in Dayton, Ohio, was renamed “Ohio Players Way.” According to WHIO TV 7 in Dayton, fans, family, and friends were on hand for the event, as surviving members of one of the world’s funkiest groups were honored with the name change. https://youtu.be/wbcOSpx0xDI
Historically Black colleges and universities throughout the country are making significant strides when it comes to fundraising this year. Fisk University recently received a multi million-dollar donation, marking the largest gift in the institution’s 155-year history. The $2.5 million endowment—which was provided by philanthropists Amy and Frank Garrison—will go towards the creation of a scholarship fund and an endowed chair at Fisk’s John Lewis Center for Social Justice that honors the legacy of activist and former Fisk student Diane Nash.
Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam has been dedicated to leveling the playing field for women of color in the realm of entrepreneurship and she’s teaming up with Mielle Organics to empower the next generation of women founders. According to AfroTech, the Newark native has been appointed to serve as the organic haircare brand’s Global Education Ambassador. The Black-owned brand—which recently celebrated its 7-year anniversary—has been putting the focus on transcending its impact beyond the hair industry. The company has joined forces with the Newark Business Hub and Rutgers University for the creation of the Global Certificate Program scholarship fund which is designed to use education and entrepreneurship as vessels to empower Black women.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will lead the investigation into the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, a Black motorist who was shot and killed in Brooklyn Center by a white officer, Kim Potter, at the height of racial tension surrounding the Derek Chauvin murder trial. Activists have pushed for either an independent prosecutor or Ellison’s office to overtake the investigation after the conviction of Chauvin, a case Ellison spearheaded as attorney general.
The sister of Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old Fort Worth, Texas woman who was fatally shot by police in 2019, filed a $10M wrongful death lawsuit, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Ashley Carr filed the suit on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas – Fort Worth Division. It names the city of Fort Worth, as well as Mayor Betsy Price, former police chief Ed Krauss, and Aaron Dean, the officer who took her life, as complicit figures in her sister’s death. The suit is separate from a federal wrongful death suit filed by the Jefferson side of Atatiana’s family last fall. Dean was indicted on murder charges in December 2019 and is scheduled to face trial in August over the fatal shooting due to COVID-19 delays.
A crowd of protesters gathered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Thursday in a solidarity protest over the tenure denial of Pulitzer prize-winning investigative journalist, Nikole Hannah-Jones. The group was organized by the Chapel Hill – Carrboro NAACP chapter along with the Carolina Black Caucus. Demonstrators including students, faculty and community members, gathered prior to the Board of Trustee’s meeting with signs of support which read, “1619…2021 Same Struggle,” and “I can give you 1,169 reasons why Hannah-Jones should be tenured.” Much of the misogynoir aimed at Hannah-Jones stems from her riveting investigative work, The 1619 Project, which delved further into the origins of America’s dark foundation, chattel slavery.
The capital city of Virginia this week got one step closer to making the country’s first Black-owned casino a reality. Richmond recommended the ONE Casino + Resort to advance to a referendum on casino gaming during Election Day on Nov. 2, the city announced Thursday. The ONE Casino & Resort was proposed by Urban One Inc., a Black-owned business that runs media organizations across the country and is a licensed casino operator in the state of Maryland. Urban One ventured into a partnership with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment to propose a $517 million casino resort in South Richmond. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said he agreed with the city’s Resort Casino Evaluation Panel recommendation for ONE Casino + Resort to advance in the gaming process.
Olympic champion Lee Evans, who set a world record while winning the gold medal running for the 400-meter race in the infamous 1968 Summer Olympic Games, has died. Evans died May 19 at a hospital in Nigeria at the age of 74, the Washington Post reported. Evans reportedly suffered a stroke the week before he died. Evans excelled during the height of the civil rights movement and about six months after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. While he was accepting his medal, Evans wore a black beret to match his black socks and raised his fist.
Candace Owens has had her card pulled yet again. With her 15 minutes of hateful infamy quickly dwindling, the sunken conservative white supremacist who typically jumps at the chance to spew her anti-Black venom has selectively set her spiteful sights on Chrissy Teigen, who has come under fire over a cyberbullying scandal that involves a person dying by suicide. As a result — and to Owens’ despicable delight — Teigan has lost a series of lucrative endorsement deals. But, Owens wants everybody to believe, she would be “happier” if Teigan apologized for her words. Owens’ goal is always self-promotion in hopes of maintaining her loosening grasp on the few remaining shreds of relevancy she’s been swinging from since her beloved Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. Marlow Stern, the senior entertainment editor for the Daily Beast, has tweeted evidence of — yep, you guessed it — Candace Owens mocking Meghan Markle for having suicidal thoughts and calling Kurt Cobain “stupid” for taking his own life. Owens also had some choice words about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide.
Now, we can finally see the brutality for ourselves because the body cam footage of Ronald Greene‘s fatal arrest in Louisiana has been released. It shows him screaming for mercy as he gets kicked, dragged and tased. https://media-cldnry.s-nbcnews.com/image/upload/t_focal-760x428,f_auto,q_auto:best/mpx/2704722219/2021_05/1621643805623_nn_bal_ronald_greene_new_body_cam_footage_210521_1920x1080.jpg
Officer, Chris Hollingsworth, was also recorded admitting at least 3 other cops were restraining Greene while they mercilessly beat him. Hours after finding out he was going to be suspended, Hollingsworth died in a fatal car crash. The Greene family’s filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit, and the Dept. of Justice was conducting its own investigation of the incident. https://twitter.com/i/status/1311782531163881474
In early May, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced at a news conference that she would not seek a second term. Her announcement was a surprise to many. “This has been my highest honor to serve as mayor of this city,” she said. “It is abundantly clear to me that it is time to pass the baton on to someone else.” https://youtu.be/mNtH_J6j2ms
Prince Harry is getting real about what he experienced in the days after his mother, Princess Diana’s tragic passing. He opened up about it with Oprah Winfrey during their wide-ranging interview for their Apple TV+ docuseries, “The Me You Can’t See,” which aims to remove stereotypes about mental health. https://youtu.be/N6y3_aVzqeY
Prince Harry opens up about his experience with the media as a senior member of the British royal family in the new Apple TV+ series “The Me You Can’t See.” The Duke of Sussex says he and his wife, Meghan Markle, were constantly being attacked and harassed by the U.K. press, and when he went to his family for help dealing with the stress of it all, his pleas were “met with total silence.” https://twitter.com/i/status/1395761294649790466
BET will honor the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death with a three-night event of news specials that will highlight the impact his case had on American society. The 3-part series will kick off Tuesday, May 25, with the “Bars and Ballads for George Floyd” event featuring Jon Batiste, Nas, former U.N. ambassador Andrew Young, singer and Anthony Hamilton, Civil Rights leader and Color of Change President Rashad Robinson, actor Michael K. Williams, rapper Bun B, rapper/activist Trae tha Truth and others. https://twitter.com/i/status/1393914304320221189
After officially signing his contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, the quarterback-turned-tight-end continued to be a hot topic, with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith saying his return after a six year absence (when Colin Kaepernick has yet to be brought back for a tryout) is an example of “white privilege.” “We see someone of a different ilk, a different ethnicity getting opportunities that we know we would never get. That’s where the words white privilege come in,” Smith said Thursday on “First Take.” ” … There’s no way to eradicate white privilege without white individuals giving up some of their privilege.” https://youtu.be/Phx20gHhYsg
The National Association of Black Journalists released a statement Thursday in response to Nikole Hannah-Jones, the founder of the 1619 Project, losing her tenure offer at her alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The university previously announced Hannah-Jones would teach in the Knight Chair position, which comes with the expectation of tenure. The reversal came after racist conservatives whined about the “1619 Project,” which is an examination of slavery in America and how it shaped nearly all aspects of society. According to NC Policy Watch, the University of North Carolina’s board of trustees decided not to approve Hannah-Jones’ tenure. She is instead under consideration for a fixed five-year contract as a professor of practice, according to reports. https://youtu.be/7xzNyrFhzew
Rap Life, Apple Music’s industry leading hip-hop playlist, presents Rap Life Live Atlanta available May 21st at 2:00p PST, only on Apple Music. The second installment of the essential series will feature exclusive performances by chart-topping artists Moneybagg Yo, Saweetie, and Lil Durk. https://youtu.be/1RHY_qrQU58
Quincy Jones is known for working with greats in the music industry. But one person he refused to collaborate with was late singer Elvis Presley. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter for its “THR Icons” series, Quincy Jones was asked if he ever worked with Elvis Presley. He said, “No. I wouldn’t work with him.” As for why not, Quincy Jones explained, “I was writing for [orchestra leader] Tommy Dorsey, oh God, back then in the ’50s. And Elvis came in, and Tommy said, ‘I don’t want to play with him.’ He was a racist mother — I’m going to shut up now. But every time I saw Elvis, he was being coached by [“Don’t Be Cruel” songwriter] Otis Blackwell, telling him how to sing.”
Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott are back together but apparently, it’s not an “exclusive” relationship. Sources close to the couple tell TMZ that they are dating again but both have agreed they can date other people. Kylie and Travis were together celebrating his 30th birthday in Miami back in April. They were kissing and hugging while partying at a Miami nightclub. Just recently, the couple took their daughter, Stormi, to Disneyland Tuesday, and just before that, they even did a triple date night with the Biebers and Kendall Jenner and Devin Booker, adding to all the recent signs they’re together again. With both agreeing to get back together but with a non-exclusive couple arrangement, the source says both are 100% cool with that.
Kimora Lee has responded to her ex-husband Russell Simmons’ lawsuit against her and her husband Tim Leissner. Simmons is suing the couple for allegedly using some of Simmons’ shares of his Celsius Energy Drink company to pay for Leissner’s attorney fees in his fraud case. “Kimora and her children are shocked by the extortive harassment coming from her ex-husband, Russell Simmons, who has decided to sue her for shares and dividends of Celsius stock in which Kimora and Tim Leissner invested millions of dollars,” Kimora’s legal team tells PEOPLE in a statement. “This is an ill-advised attempt by Russell to use the legal system to access funds he is in no way entitled to, and which his own legal team confirms Russell did not pay for.”
Simone Biles, in all of her GOATness, just stuck a landing on the vault that no female gymnast has ever managed to do during a competition. And she landed it twice. During a practice session for Saturday’s U.S. Classic in Indianapolis, the 24-year-old USA gymnastics standout nailed the Yurchenko double pike, an insanely challenging move named after Soviet gymnast Natalia Yurchenko, who introduced the concept of a round-off back handspring entry onto the vault before performing a series of twists and flips off of it. The Yurchenko double pike that Biles nailed starts with the roundoff back handspring to the vault, then doing a double pike (2 straight-legged flips) off the vault. https://youtu.be/qHTNO9ZPE0s
Jill Biden reportedly slammed Kamala Harris after a tense 2019 debate between the former Senator and Joe Biden. According to the new book “Battle for the Soul,” Jill Biden vented “Go f— yourself” while on a call with supporters after Harris questioned Biden’s record on race during a June 2019 Democratic presidential debate. “With what he cares about, what he fights for, what he’s committed to, you get up there and call him a racist without basis?” Biden said on a call with “close supporters” about a week after the debate, according to an excerpt of The Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere’s forthcoming book. “Go f— yourself,” Jill Biden added.
“Many books will be written on the 2020 campaign, with countless retellings of events — some accurate, some inaccurate,” first lady’s press secretary, Michael LaRosa told Politico Playbook in a statement. “The First Lady and her team do not plan to comment on any of them.” https://youtu.be/ykHmWb7Kvys
Big Sean’s 7-bedroom Mediterranean estate is decorated with intention. Thanks to Architectural Digest, we got the grand tour of the sleek and spacious Beverly Hills home, which includes a music studio, soaring ceilings, and a resort-style backyard outfitted with a limestone swimming pool, heated spa, and a fireplace. The rap artist was sure to provide each space with items that bring about peace, reflection and creativity. https://youtu.be/r2utu87JDC4
The luxury property in Los Angeles, dubbed “The One.” is the latest spec mansion from movie producer turned real estate developer Nile Niami. The home sits on five acres and is surrounded on three sides by a moat. “The One” has 21 bedrooms and 42 bathrooms. It is made up of four separate structures. The main house is 74,000 square feet. The master suite is 5,500 square feet and reportedly has several bathrooms, two walk-in closets, and its own infinity pool. The garage can house 30 cars. The home also has a four-lane bowling alley, a movie theatre that seats 30, a private nightclub, and a philanthropy wing designed to host charity galas for up to 200 people. There’s also a 10,000-square-foot sky deck and five swimming pools. https://youtu.be/bz1mG7S6HH0
“I love fashion,’ said model/actress Erin Emanii Cain. Also a business woman who owns a record label and beauty/retail shop, Erin returns to her modeling and acting career after a nine year absence for her family. “I missed it…my kids said, ‘you should go back and do it again.’ Especially with the pandemic, there is nothing else to do.” So Erin built a team, found representation and went back at it, but this time with experience to help direct her path. Soon after, Cain secured the cover of BX25 Magazine and a feature in GEI Magazine’s Swimsuit and Lingerie Edition. She was also cast as an actress in a soon to be released 2021 film project titled Eloise.
During an emotional intro to her new Apple TV+ series “The Me You Can’t See,” co-created by Prince Harry, Oprah Winfrey opens up about her childhood trauma. In the new docuseries, which began streaming yesterday (05-21-21), explores mental health through testimonials by a number of people from different walks of life, including superstar Lady Gaga and Glenn Close.
In the first episode, Oprah opens up about being raped for years as a child by an older cousin: “At nine and 10 and 11 and 12 years old, I was raped by my 19-year-old cousin,” Winfrey said. “I didn’t know what rape was, I certainly wasn’t aware of the word. I had no idea what sex was, I had no idea where babies came from. I didn’t even know what was happening to me, and I kept that secret.” She went on to say: “It’s just something that I accepted, that a girl-child isn’t safe in a world full of men.”
Newly released bodycam footage shows a black suspect scream ‘I’m your brother, I’m scared!’ while being beaten, tasered and dragged by his feet by white troopers in a arrest that ended in his death. The clip, of Ronald Greene’s May 2019 arrest in Monroe County, Louisiana, depicts what happened when state troopers pulled Greene over after the 49-year-old barber led them on a 115 mile-per-hour chase. He died in an ambulance after suffering a cardiac during the arrest. https://youtu.be/mIBmT8JU1LM
On the first Wednesday in May, as the centennial of the Tulsa massacre approached, the Rev. Robert R.A. Turner stood outside Tulsa City Hall with his megaphone, as he does every week. “Tulsa, you will reap what you sow and that which you have done unto the least of these my children, Jesus said, you have done also unto me,” said Turner, 38, the pastor of Historic Vernon African Methodist Episcopal Church, captured on a video posted on Facebook. “We come here to say, for your own benefit, you ought to do reparations not tomorrow, not even next week, not next month, not next year, but we demand reparations now!” Turner’s Vernon AME is one of the plaintiffs in a suit filed in September that calls for the city of Tulsa and other defendants to pay reparations to relatives of victims and survivors of the May 31, 1921, massacre that destroyed a part of town known as “Black Wall Street.”
*Viola Fletcher, who at 107 is the oldest living survivor of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, testified Wednesday before a House subcommittee studying legal remedies to atone for the damage that a white violent mob did to a thriving Black Tulsa neighborhood then known as “Black Wall Street.” https://youtu.be/i3L1e90L9cE
Hillsong founder Brian Houston said cheating pastor Carl Lentz was ‘narcissistic’ but admits he created a culture in the church where there is ‘one rule for celebrities’ and one for everyone else. Houston spoke to Savannah Guthrie for the Today show on Wednesday in his first interview since a wave of scandals hit the celebrity-adored megachurch. Among them are Carl’s affair with a Brooklyn woman and a series of claims from former staffers and parishioners that the church fostered an environment where they were bullied and exploited, Houston said. https://twitter.com/i/status/1394996255030382600
Cornell Students 4 Black Lives, a student-led organization that last year formed a diverse coalition of more than 290 social, cultural and professional organizations, was awarded the 26th annual James A. Perkins Prize for Interracial and Intercultural Peace and Harmony during a virtual ceremony May 6. Each year, the Perkins Prize is awarded to a Cornell program, organization or event making the most significant contribution to furthering the ideal of the university community while respecting values of diversity.
The NAACP has launched an initiative that works to limit pandemic and systemic disparities among the Black community within the United States. According to the NAACP, federal data shows that African Americans have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and in addition to health implications, their community is also hit hard by economic and social implications. The “COVID. KNOW MORE.” campaign is designed to offer up-to-date research, resources, and impactful stories that help Black Americans navigate the pandemic and protect their loved ones from infection as public health mandates are loosened.
Russell Moore, the embattled Southern Baptist ethicist and “Never Trumper,” is resigning as president of his denomination’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Religion News Service has learned. Moore will be joining the staff of Christianity Today — the leading evangelical magazine, founded by the late evangelist Billy Graham — as a public theologian. In his new role, Moore will help launch a Public Theology Project and will serve as its leader, said Tim Dalrymple, president and CEO of Christianity Today. That project will host events and gatherings about public theology and publish content, including Moore’s writing and his Signposts podcast.
The University of Texas has hired the first Black director of the Longhorn marching band one month after it announced the band will be required to perform “The Eyes of Texas” school song that has drawn sharp criticism over racist elements in its past. Cliff Croomes, assistant director of bands at LSU, will take over the Longhorn Band at his alma mater starting June 1, Texas announced Wednesday. He replaces Scott Hanna, who had been in the role since 2015. Croomes is the 15th director of the band that was founded in 1900.
The Baylor University Board of Regents approved guiding principles for the university’s treatment of LGBTQ students Friday and tasked President Linda Livingstone and the administration with providing the students with more support, which might include a new student group. The regents met this week, approving the measure along with plans to renovate dorms and start construction on a large welcome center.
Last year energized a movement that demands the United States to recognize the pervasive social injustices against the African American community. It also provided underrepresented communities with an opportunity to tell their own stories and reclaim their place in American history. For food writer and sommelier Stephen Satterfield, the founder of Whetstone, a print magazine and media company dedicated to food origins and culture, that meant telling the origin story of African American food. https://youtu.be/7wsEdxt1Ico
Twitter Inc’s (TWTR.N) image-cropping algorithm has a problematic bias toward excluding Black people and men, the company said in new research on Wednesday, adding that “how to crop an image is a decision best made by people.” The study by three of its machine learning researchers was conducted after user criticism last year about image previews in posts excluding Black people’s faces. It found an 8% difference from demographic parity in favor of women, and a 4% favor toward white individuals.
A Black judge will replace the white 18th Judicial District judge who was censured by the Colorado Supreme Court in April and resigned after she used a racial slur while on the job. Three Black candidates have been named as finalists for Judge Natalie Chase’s job. Gov. Jared Polis will select one to fill the vacancy on the bench. The Colorado Judicial Department on Wednesday named Arapahoe County Court Judge Cheryl Ann Rowles-Stokes and attorneys Marques Ivey and Cajardo Lindsey as finalists for the judgeship.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, the founder of the 1619 Project, has lost her alma mater’s offer for tenure and is instead under consideration for a fixed five-year contract as a professor of practice. NC Policy Watch reported on the change Wednesday amid a wave of criticism of her work. According to the outlet, the University of North Carolina’s board of trustees decided not to approve Hannah-Jones’ tenure – which effectively translates into a career-long appointment – despite support from faculty. Susan King, dean of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, reportedly called the decision “disappointing” and said she was afraid it would create a “chilling effect.”
The Biden administration’s efforts to provide $4 billion in debt relief to minority farmers is encountering stiff resistance from banks, which are complaining that the government initiative to pay off the loans of borrowers who have faced decades of financial discrimination will cut into their profits and hurt investors. The debt relief was approved as part of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package that Congress passed in March and was intended to make amends for the discrimination that Black and other nonwhite farmers have faced from lenders and the United States Department of Agriculture over the years. But no money has yet gone out the door.
Ietef Vita had planned to spend most of 2020 on the road, promoting Biomimicz, the album he had released on his #plantbasedrecords label in January. But the pandemic cut those plans short, says Vita, known to his fans as “DJ Cavem Moetavation” and “Chef Ietef.” He was playing in Berkeley, Calif., on Feb. 29, and “literally got out of town right before they shut the whole country down,” recalls the 34-year-old vegan rapper, who has performed for the Obamas and is known as the father of eco-hip-hop. “It was scary.” Suddenly sidelined at his metro Denver home with his wife, Alkemia Earth, a plant-based lifestyle coach, and three daughters, Vita struggled to pivot. Eventually, he accepted that he would need to stay put and, as the saying goes, bloom where he was planted.
A week that’s been chock full of musical movie trailers just hit a high note. The first official trailer for Respect, the highly anticipated Aretha Franklin biopic from MGM starring American Idol finalist and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, just dropped. https://youtu.be/qTtxoz3OIlU
Salma Hayek is opening up about her battle with COVID-19, revealing she didn’t think she’d survive it. The 54-year-old actress is featured on the latest cover of Variety where she shared that over the past year she’s been recovering after testing positive for the virus fairly early on in the pandemic. She told the outlet that she decided to keep her battle with COVID a secret until now. Hayek said that her condition escalated to a point where she was put on oxygen and spent about seven weeks isolated in a room of her house. “My doctor begged me to go to the hospital because it was so bad,” she explained. “I said, ‘No, thank you. I’d rather die at home.'”
Charles Barkley has given $1,000 apiece to the more than 200 employees of a city school system in his native Alabama. The former Auburn and NBA basketball star graduated from Leeds High School in 1981. The monetary gifts are going to each Leeds City School system employee. The announcement was made Tuesday on Facebook. The Leeds City Schools page says it’s the latest show of support from Barkley. According to the post, Barkley has provided more than $3 million in scholarships to Leeds graduates over the past 30 years. “We are humbled and wish to express our sincere gratitude to Charles Barkley for providing a $1,000 gift to each and every Leeds City Schools employee for going the extra mile this school year,” the Facebook post said. “Being a school employee is tough, but driving a bus, teaching, coaching, or working in the cafeteria, all while maintaining safety protocols, has been a daunting task during a worldwide pandemic.”
Taraji P. Henson is expanding on her mission to connect Black Americans with the mental health resources they need with a new campaign to help Black students combat racial bias in the classroom. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the actress announced the launch of The Unspoken Curriculum, a mental health campaign that provides a safe place for children to discuss mental health issues in the schools and aid them in combating distress in classrooms from racial bias. The inspiration for the six-week program came to the actress from the devastating events of the past year — ongoing instances of police brutality, the mounting number of racist attacks, and COVID-19’s tragic impact on Black communities
Tears flowed from both Billy Porter and Tamron Hall Wednesday as the two chatted about the actor’s private 14-year battle with HIV, which he revealed late Tuesday in a Hollywood Reporter feature. https://youtu.be/w-mQc7gknmI
Tiffany Haddish makes her return to TBS this summer as the host of “Friday Night Vibes,” a weekly movie showcase that will feature wrap-around segments with the comedian, a DJ and surprise guests. The new 52-week double feature destination will spotlight “feel-good comedies, action-packed blockbusters and culturally significant storytelling inclusive of diverse voices,” notes TBS. It kicks off on Friday, June 18 at 7:30pm ET/PT. https://youtu.be/INRyZIlaMNY
Morgan and Bode Miller are expanding their family. PEOPLE exclusively announces that the couple, who wed in 2012, are expecting a baby. “We’re finally on our last pregnancy,” Bode says as Morgan, who is due in November and plans to have a home birth, adds: “We’re at the finish line.” They are parents to sons Nash, 6, Easton, 2, 18-month-old twins Asher and Aksel, and daughter Emeline, who drowned at 19 months old in June 2018. Bode is also dad to daughter Dace, 13, and son Nate, 8, from two previous relationships.
Rockabye Baby will release ‘Lullaby Renditions of What’s Going On’ on May 21st, the 50th anniversary (down to the day) of Marvin Gaye’s trailblazing album. https://youtu.be/2Yzij8HoM3U
President Joe Biden has nominated Catherine Lhamon to lead the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, according to a White House official. Lhamon held the same position in the Obama administration.https://youtu.be/3EccEbSyWL0
The Indian Covid variant has spread to 48 countries and every continent except Antarctica despite travel restrictions being in place, it has been revealed. The ‘variant of concern’ – B.1.617.2, which is believed to be more infectious than previous strains, has been ‘confirmed’ in 44 countries and ‘detected’ in four more, UK heath security chief Dr Jenny Harries said Tuesday. Data from genetic sequencing libraries show the variant is now widespread across Europe and is spreading in North America as well as parts of east Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Some 2,915 cases of the variant have now been identified in the UK — up from the 2,323 declared on Monday – which is the highest figure in the world, including India.
A young woman targeted by a married Hillsong Church leader who sent her photos of his bulging manhood claims church officials were aware of his lecherous behavior but didn’t acknowledge it until the scandal became public. ‘They already knew about it,’ Lezeth, 30, a former Hillsong member who wished to be identified by her first name only, told DailyMail.com in her first interview since the story broke last month. ‘I think they were just waiting to see if it got out. If it didn’t, they’d just keep going on as if nothing happened – which is what we’re finding to be a common thing with Hillsong.’ Darnell Barrett, 32, resigned as creative director of Hillsong’s New Jersey chapter on April 27, citing ‘infidelities’ in his marriage. It was the same day DailyMail.com had approached him for comment at the West Orange, New Jersey home he shares with his wife.
Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law the so-called “heartbeat ban” abortion bill which stops abortions at the onset of a fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy. While speaking about this new law, Mr. Abbott said, “Our creator endowed us with the right to life and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion.” He added: “In Texas, we work to save those lives. And that’s exactly what the Texas legislature did this session,” CNN quotes.
Florida Rep. Val Demings is planning to run for the U.S. Senate, taking on Republican Sen. Marco Rubio next year. “I would’ve supported her running for governor, but this is the right fit for her and for us,” said former Florida chief financial officer Alex Sink. “She’s going to draw a contrast between who she is and how she represents Florida vs. Marco Rubio, who a lot of people where I live never see him.”
Russell Simmons is suing his ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons and her husband, Tim Leissner, for allegedly using some of Simmons’ shares of his Celsius Energy Drink company to pay for Leissner’s attorney fees. Leissner is currently facing a series of federal charges, including conspiracy to launder money in a separate case. “Tim Leissner was chairman of Goldman Sachs’ Southeast Asia business, but he resigned in 2016 and was subsequently subpoenaed by the U.S. Justice Department as part of a probe into the disappearance of billions of dollars from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB that was designed to boost the country’s economy and for which he helped raise money” the outlet writes.
Braxton Family Values” star Towanda Braxton is speaking out about co-parenting with her ex-husband Andre Carter and the status of her engagement to her new boo-thang, Sean Hall. Braxton and Carter married in 2004 and called it quits in 2017. The highs and lows of their marriage were documented on the Braxton family’s reality show and now that their union is over, Towanda claims her ex is currently a non-factor in the lives of their children. She refers to Andre as her “wasband.” Braxton opened up about her personal life with Tami Roman on her new show, “Get Into It With Tami Roman.”https://youtu.be/zBlBqu8i7JU
Millionaire pastor Joel Osteen is catching her over his appearance on Monday’s “Today” episode, during which he encouraged people who are less fortunate than him to be grateful for all the things they have, rather than what they lack. TheWrap, reported when asked by “Today” hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb about how he maintains a peaceful state of mind each day, Osteen stated that it all comes down to showing gratitude. “I think you need to have some time to just come back to a place of peace where you’re grateful,” Osteen said. “Think about what’s right, not what’s wrong. Focus on what you do have, not what you don’t have.”
A new documentary will explore the disturbing case of suspected white supremacists Jennifer Hart and Sarah Hart, a married couple who abused and killed their six adopted Black children via murder-suicide. arkis Hart, 19, and Jeremiah and Abigail Hart, both 14. Devonte Hart, 15, Hannah Hart, 16, and Sierra Hart, 12, died when Jennifer drove their SUV off a cliff March 26, 2018, on the Pacific Coast Highway in California. An image of Devonte Hart went viral in 2014 when a photographer snapped him hugging a police officer with tears streaming down his face during a protest in Portland, Oregon, over the police killing of Michael Brown.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) is catching heat from local journalists over her decision to grant one-on-one media interviews only to people of color to cover her two-year anniversary in office. Mary Ann Ahern, who is white and a political reporter for NBC 5 Chicago, tweeted about the move on Tuesday. “Absolutely, they told me only Black and brown journalists are getting one-on-one interviews,” she told The Hill. Lightfoot confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that she is “exclusively providing one-on-one interviews with journalists of color.” “I have been struck since my first day on the campaign trail in 2018 by the overwhelming whiteness and maleness of Chicago media outlets, editorial boards, the political press corps, and yes, the City Hall press corps specifically,” Lightfoot wrote.
Michelle Williams appeared on “Good Morning America” Thursday morning to promote her new book and she also opened up about her mental health journey. The 41-year-old singer, best known as a member of Destiny’s Child, spoke candidly about how she wasn’t officially diagnosed with depression until later in life. When GMA co-host Robin Roberts asked what prompted her to seek professional help, Williams said, “I found help when my responses — just the anger and the irritability and the bitterness — was just out of character for me.” “And I just sought some help and that’s when I got a diagnosis in my 30s that it was in fact depression,” she continued. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E0pddHKWEAYRNkB?format=jpg&name=small
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle celebrated their third wedding anniversary on May 19 and they marked the milestone by paying it forward. In a statement shared on their Archewell website on Wednesday, the couple announced plans to build a Community Relief Center in Mumbai, India, as the country is reportedly being ravished by the coronavirus. As reported by PEOPLE, the effort is through their partnership with World Central Kitchen, which is run by celebrity chef José Andrés. The non-profit feeds those in need during times of crisis.
A vicious beatdown occurred at a Little Caesars pizzeria in Augusta, GA Monday and the only person who tried to intervene was the victim’s presumed toddler daughter, who was pulled away to safety by bystanders so that the fighting could continue. https://twitter.com/i/status/1394484509509185539
Provident Entertainment celebrates 23 nominations for the 36th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, with 10 artists nominated in 17 categories, including the major categories of Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Albertina Walker Female Artist of the Year, Duo/Chorus Group of the Year, New Artist of the Year, and Album of the Year. Releases from Kierra Sheard, Mali Music, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin, All Nations Music, Travis Greene, Le’Andria Johnson, Koryn Hawthorne, Melvin Crispell, III, and KB all garnered nominations for the upcoming awards, covering the range of Contemporary and Traditional Gospel, as well as Urban/Inspirational, and Rap Hip Hop categories.
The season finale of TV One’s original, docu-series' UNSUNG is slated to air this Sunday, May 23. UNSUNG will tell the tale of The Jones Girls at 9 p.m. ET/8C.The R&B sister Shirley Jones shares the story of success and how their legacy lives on to present day. This season, fans were treated to a sneak-peek look at episodes with the new digital series, Unwind with Syleena Johnson. Each episode was published on TVOne.TV and TV One’s social media platforms. Syleena reacted to clips, shared anecdotes, and provided cocktail recipes for viewers to unwind to as they watched both UNSUNG and UNCENSORED. Each episode was ended with her reminding viewers of their chance to win a $250 Amazon gift card. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri0N1Q__26I
Bryan Popin’s "Beautiful Savior" Featuring Tasha Page Lockhart is the #1 Gospel Song On Billboard’s Gospel Airplay and Mediabase Gospel Radio Charts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJLd8IqQ4Z0
During Covid-19 we've all had to pivot, change directions, and set on a different course. For Lecrae, that change of direction took him back to where he began with Reach Records. In this exclusive with Variety and candid video, Lecrae reveals the inspiration behind why he chose to return to his indie roots and shares valuable advice that aspiring or even established artist should consider. For the multi Grammy Award-winning platinum selling artist, success and reaching #1 on the charts actually happened before he signed with a major! Lecrae released Anomaly, his 7th studio album (Sept 2014) on Reach Records. The album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard Top 200 Charts and simultaneously at No. 1 on the Top Gospel Album chart, marking the first time that any artist had ever topped both the 200 and Gospel charts. Anomaly won Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year at the 2015 GMA Dove Awards and Rap, Hip Hop Gospel CD of the Year at the 2015 Stellar Awards. His freestyle at BET Cypher in 2011 was one of the first times the music industry took notice. Now a New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker, thought leader, philanthropist, and Co-Owner/President of Reach Records, Lecrae has evolved into being a catalyst for restoration in faith, music, and popular culture.
Producer / Songwriter Derrick ‘Doc’ Pearson and his music has become a staple at the top of the charts! His success began in 1989 with his Billboard # 1 R&B single composition ‘Have You Had Your Love Today’ for the OJays. Later, he continued his Billboard chart success with 3 consecutive Billboard Top 10 Gospel Album chart projects (his 2014 ‘It’s Alright featuring Al Johnson’, 2015 ‘No Greater Love’, and 2017 ‘I Still Do: Songs for A Biblical Marriage’). The first single, “A Family Man”, is a funky foot stomping instrumental musical romp featuring ‘Doc’ Pearson’s classic base and keyboard stylings. “A Family Man’ is complimented by an entertaining animated music video, ‘A Family Man’ (The Family Version), which is wrapping up production and soon to be released for viewing and streaming on YouTube, Vevo and other TV and video platforms. http://www.gospel-spotlight.com/derrick_doc_pearson_intvw.htm
Melrose Media announced today that they are event producing the six-time Grammy award winning genre bending pioneers Black Eyed Peas who are set for an exclusive 4K interactive streaming experience June 11th on BEPLIVE.COM. This show will be the Black Eyed Peas first show in support of their 2020 platinum selling album Translation, which even during the pandemic found success in a series of chart-topping singles, collectively winning numerous award nominations, as well as gold, platinum, and diamond certifications globally and sparking viral TikTok challenges. The concert will not only feature Black Eyed Peas original members will.i.am, Taboo, apl.de.ap in their first live performance with an audience since Covid-19, but will also feature some unique surprises that fans will not want to miss.
Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) today announced it will debut “Roku Originals” on The Roku Channel on May 20, in celebration of Streaming Day. The Roku Originals launch lineup, which features 30 titles, includes award-winning and scripted series, such as “Die Hart,” “#FreeRayshawn” and “Reno 911!,” documentaries, such as “Blackballed” and “Big Rad Wolf,” and alternative and reality programming, including “Punk’d” and “Chrissy’s Court.” Roku Originals will be available exclusively on The Roku Channel in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. https://youtu.be/QuMIPIGN7Ug
What does season 14 of The Real #Housewives of #Atlanta have in store for audiences? Looks like the RHOA fans’ demands appear to have been heard, as the series is allegedly getting a cast shake-up for their next season! A source says that this shake-up is in response to the show’s drop in ratings. “The ratings weren’t the best this past season, so they need to do something to help get more viewers.”
This is the chilling moment four-year-old Cash Gernon was snatched from his bed early Saturday morning just two hours before he was found stabbed to death and dumped on a street in Dallas, Texas. Home surveillance footage obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com shows suspect Darriynn Brown, 18, allegedly breaking into the home just before 5am and making off with the toddler as he slept alongside his twin brother Carter. DailyMail.com can also reveal Brown was captured on camera a second time as he returned to the scene at sunrise in an apparent attempt to kidnap the other boy. https://cbsloc.al/3tSC9Ex
F9 is the ninth chapter in the Fast & Furious Saga, which has endured for two decades and has earned more than $5 billion around the world. Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto is leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty and his son, little Brian, but they know that danger always lurks just over their peaceful horizon. This time, that threat will force Dom to confront the sins of his past if he’s going to save those he loves most. His crew joins together to stop a world-shattering plot led by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they’ve ever encountered: a man who also happens to be Dom’s forsaken brother, Jakob (John Cena, the upcoming The Suicide Squad). https://youtu.be/72SMEK7auUE
It’s reported that the manslaughter case for Kim Potter, 48, the ex-officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota who murdered Daunte Wright, 20, is headed to trial before the end of this year in December. Potter is facing a second-degree manslaughter charge for the fatal shooting of the young Black man she killed during a traffic stop on April 11, 2021. Although Potter believed she wielded her taser and yelled out, “Taser! Taser! Taser!” during the incident, she pulled her gun and fired a single shot, fatally striking Wright. Potter resigned days after the fatal encounter, was eventually arrested, and was later released on $100,000 bond.
Two Black men with intellectual disabilities have been awarded $75 million by a jury in North Carolina due to their wrongful conviction and death sentence for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in 1983. The Raleigh News & Observer, reports brothers Henry McCollum and Leon Brown each spent 31 years in jail for a crime they did not commit. Both men will now collect $31 million each, $1 million for every year they spent in prison, according to the report. https://youtu.be/-HjySqLiLIU
FAMLI, Inc presented Walk a Mile for Malcolm in the hopes of honoring the legacy of human rights advocate Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz), by adding his name to a 5-mile stretch of LA’s Crenshaw Blvd. Torrence Brannon-Reese, Founding Director and Board Member, FAMLI Inc, was joined by a broad coalition of local businesses, leaders, property owners, educators and residents for a Press Conference to urge Los Angeles City Councilmembers to join them in adding Malcolm X Blvd. to a five mile stretch of Crenshaw Blvd.
With the countdown to when Fantasia Barrino gives birth to her and husband Kendall Taylor‘s first child together, they held a baby shower for their unborn child on Sunday (05-16-21). The baby shower had everything from pink outfits to cute baby gifts, pink cakes, friends, family, love, and laughter. Fantasia ensured her fans were not left out of the event as she shared proceedings and moments with them on Instagram.
WE tv’s “Growing Up Hip Hop,” finds Vanessa Simmons concerned that her sister Angela might be moving too fast with her new love interest, Daniel. And with the ongoing COVID pandemic making it challenging for the family to meet him, Vanessa understandably has questions. https://youtu.be/T029b4r5ezo
The present initiative by Republican legislatures across the nation to restrict the teaching of race issues – particularly black American history – is a blatant attempt to rewrite history. This attempt to rewrite history is an initiative by certain Americans to avoid responsibility for pain, suffering, and damage done to black Americans through slavery and government authorized segregation, discrimination, and systemic racism. The fact that this assault on the true history of race in America is a coordinated effort by Republican controlled state legislatures is extremely troubling. This thinly veiled attempt to rewrite history is a slap in the face of truth, justice, and equality. A deeper understanding of the motives of these state legislatures is revealed in Solving The Race Issue In America” by H. J. Harris.
Billy Porter takes a long deep breath. “I have to start in 2007,” he says, having settled in across the table. He’s here, at Little Owl in the West Village, to get something off his chest — something that’s been shrouded in secrecy so long, he can barely remember life before.“In June of that year,” he continues, a ball of nerves, even if the performer in him refuses to let on, “I was diagnosed HIV-positive.” In the 14 years since, the Emmy-winning star of Pose has told next to no one, fearing marginalization and retaliation in an industry that hasn’t always been kind to him. Instead, the 51-year-old, who has cultivated a fervent fan base in recent years on the basis of his talent and authenticity, says he’s been using Pray Tell, his HIV-positive character on the FX series, as his proxy. “I was able to say everything that I wanted to say through a surrogate,” he reveals, acknowledging that nobody involved with the show had any idea he was drawing from his own life.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is joining the Manhattan district attorney’s office in a criminal investigation of the Trump Organization, her office announced Tuesday. The AG office’s investigation into the Trump Organization, which began in 2019, will also continue as a civil probe, but the office recently informed Trump Organization officials of the criminal component. https://youtu.be/YKNXxWlHIpk
The St. Louis attorney who ran out onto his front lawn last summer to point guns at Black Lives Matter protesters who were simply marching through the neighborhood is now running for a U.S. Senate seat. Mark McCloskey, who brandished a rifle at protesters alongside his handgun toting wife outside of their Central West End mansion, announced his run to represent Missouri in the U.S. Senate Tuesday on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program. https://youtu.be/CIpGHDCzpns
Michelle Obama’s former secret service agent Evy Poumpouras says an upsetting part of her previous job was not being able to protect the former first lady from racial slurs or signs while on duty. “As the first Black First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Obama had to withstand certain kinds of disparagement that none of her predecessors ever faced,” Poumpouras wrote in her 2020 memoir Becoming Bulletproof. “I was on her protective detail when we were driving to a school to deliver a speech; we passed someone on a bridge holding up a shockingly racist sign directed at her.” “I remember feeling outraged – after all, it was part of our job to protect the first family mentally as well as physically. But if the First Lady saw the sign, she gave no indication of it,” she added. https://youtu.be/k0BewQjOhNM
According to journalist/vlogger Roland Martin’s post on Instagram, comedic legend Paul Mooney has transitioned: “His cousin, Rudy Ealy, just called me from Paul’s phone and said he passed away two hours ago after suffering a heart attack at his home in Oakland. He was 79. Rudy Ealy told me that Paul had been suffering with dementia for some time and had been living with him. Rudy said Oakland paramedics valiantly tried to save him after suffering a heart attack this AM. We will pay tribute to him tonight on #RolandMartinUnfiltered at 6 pm EST”New York Attorney General Letitia James is joining the Manhattan district attorney’s office in a criminal investigation of the Trump Organization, her office announced Tuesday. The AG office’s investigation into the Trump Organization, which began in 2019, will also continue as a civil probe, but the office recently informed Trump Organization officials of the criminal component. https://youtu.be/YKNXxWlHIpk
The St. Louis attorney who ran out onto his front lawn last summer to point guns at Black Lives Matter protesters who were simply marching through the neighborhood is now running for a U.S. Senate seat. Mark McCloskey, who brandished a rifle at protesters alongside his handgun toting wife outside of their Central West End mansion, announced his run to represent Missouri in the U.S. Senate Tuesday on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program. https://youtu.be/CIpGHDCzpns
Michelle Obama’s former secret service agent Evy Poumpouras says an upsetting part of her previous job was not being able to protect the former first lady from racial slurs or signs while on duty. “As the first Black First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Obama had to withstand certain kinds of disparagement that none of her predecessors ever faced,” Poumpouras wrote in her 2020 memoir Becoming Bulletproof. “I was on her protective detail when we were driving to a school to deliver a speech; we passed someone on a bridge holding up a shockingly racist sign directed at her.” “I remember feeling outraged – after all, it was part of our job to protect the first family mentally as well as physically. But if the First Lady saw the sign, she gave no indication of it,” she added. https://youtu.be/k0BewQjOhNM
Lil Jon has landed his own home renovation series on HGTV. The show titled “Lil Jon Wants To Do What?” is slated to air this summer and will follow the Atlanta rapper as he “offers skeptical homeowners startlingly unconventional renovation ideas that seem impossible to execute,” according to a release. Jon and his co-host Anitra Mecadon of the DIY Network show, “Mega Dens” are reportedly shooting this month around Atlanta, Page Six reports.
Attorneys for Los Angeles County claim Vanessa Bryant is going too far in her lawsuit filed over the four LA County Sheriff’s deputies who allegedly shared graphic images of the helicopter crash site where her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianni and seven others died in January 2020. The Los Angeles Times reports, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter ruled in March that Vanessa could obtain the deputies’ names and add them to her lawsuit against the sheriff’s department and county over the handling of Kobe’s crash investigation. The L.A. County lawyers pushed to keep the names sealed to protect the deputies from online threats and harassment. The names were eventually released as part of Vanessa’s amended lawsuit.
Sci-fi fans will be thrilled to know that John Boyega is officially on board for a sequel to his hit alien feature “Attack the Block.” “Attack The Block 2” has been announced with original writer/director Joe Cornish, and the news comes a decade after the 2011 sci-fi film turned out to be a surprise hit. The plot remains under wraps, but what we do know is that Boyega is said to return as ‘Moses’—who battled aliens in the first film to protect South London from an invasion. The actor will co-produce through his UpperRoom Productions. https://youtu.be/m0ntk1o4V3k
Rapper Mulatto appears to have officially changed her stage name after catching heat for using a rap name that was once used to define mixed-race children from the slave era when Black people were treated like livestock and raped by their white slave owners.
The family of George Floyd and Floyd family attorney, Ben Crump, is calling for the termination of a Los Angeles Police officer who mocked the death of George Floyd. They also want to publicly thank and commend Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore who has no objection to that officer being fired for allegedly sharing a Valentine-style meme of George Floyd’s face and the line, “You take my breath away.” Ben Crump, an attorney for Floyd’s family praised Moore’s recommendation, saying the officer had demonstrated unacceptable biases by sharing the image.
The 5th annual “Imagination Lunchbox International Children’s Film Festival” (ILICFF) to be held Saturday, August 7, 2021 from 1-3pm EST where accepted short film entries will be screened and compete to be one of four award winners – “Best Films Made BY Kids,” “Best Film Made FOR Kids,” “Film Festival Choice,” and the “Most Uplifting Film.”
Sunday evening, TV One hosted the third annual URBAN ONE HONORS award show, we have the highlights. https://youtu.be/pAJdanqJeQ0
Sunday evening, TV One hosted the third annual URBAN ONE HONORS award show, we have the highlights. https://youtu.be/0GbF9Mq-uvs
Chrissy Teigen’s cookware line had already been dropped by Target following her bullying scandal. Now, it appears that another big company is following suit. According to Page Six citing The Sun, it appears Macy’s has also scrubbed the former supermodel’s Cravings by Chrissy Teigen line as it was marked “unavailable” on the company’s website by early Sunday. Now, although the Cravings line still registers in the search box, the news site notes that it appeared to be completely offline, with a message telling shoppers, “We couldn’t find a match for your search.” This all comes as Teigen issued an “apology” for her attacks on fellow model Courtney Stodden, who accused her of encouraging suicide.
On Monday (May 17) Dana Walden, chairman of Entertainment, Walt Disney Television, announced Onyx Collective, a new content brand on Hulu designed to curate a slate of premium entertainment by creators of color and underrepresented voices. Onyx Collective will be led by Tara Duncan, who has been spearheading this effort since it was announced last year, while also continuing her role as president of Freeform.
A Video of a young Palestinian teen rapping original bars over Eminem’s “Cleaning Out My Closet” while walking through the ruins of his neighborhood has gone viral. https://youtu.be/L75dal6w2FA
The Social Gloves: Battle of the Platforms is a one-of-a-kind, unprecedented live Pay Per View global entertainment event featuring a boxing competition with Austin McBroom (founder of The ACE Family) and Bryce Hall, with other top social stars on the fight card, including DDG, Deji, FaZe Jarvis, Michael Le, Nate Wyatt, Tanner Fox, Tayler Holder and a lineup of A-List music artists.
Grammy-nominated pop soul singer & actor MAJOR. celebrates the 5-year anniversary of his chart-topping hit single, Why I Love You. A trailblazer in his own lane, MAJOR. will be celebrating the milestone with his fans and music peers on Thursday, May 20th for Why I Love. In recognition of the song, a special commemoration from hometown Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner, will be presented to MAJOR., making May 20th“MAJOR. Why I Love You” Day. h
The killing of Andrew Brown Jr. to be justified, the Pasquotank County, North Carolina district attorney announced on Tuesday. Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed Brown on April 21 in Elizabeth City when they tried to serve him with an arrest warrant on felony drug charges. An independent autopsy released by Brown’s family revealed that he died from a gunshot wound to the back of his head. https://youtu.be/VXueZ88pFZk
T.I. and Tiny’s sex trafficking controversy has taken yet another interesting turn, as the rapper is now at the center of an LAPD probe. One of the accusers said she was “drugged, forced to take tons of molly and X, and sex-trafficked in three states” including Nevada and Florida. “There is an active investigation into Clifford Harris,” Officer William Cooper of the LAPD told Deadline. The outlet notes that the LAPD would not confirm whether Tiny Harris was also being investigated. The LAPD probe has been underway for the past several weeks, according to the report.
Congratulations to Naomi Campbell , she is the mother of a baby girl according to reports! Via Instagram, the world-renowned supermodel/actress, 50, welcomed her first baby, sharing a pic of her hand holding the infant’s feet. “A beautiful little blessing has chosen me to be her mother,” Campbell captioned the Tuesday post. “So honoured to have this gentle soul in my life there are no words to describe the lifelong bond that I now share with you my angel. There is no greater love.” https://www.instagram.com/p/CPA-OI0JwBp/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=a1c80ef1-5bdc-4551-b36a-320e5b739325
Chris Rock is speaking out about the often annoying cancel culture movement and how it’s “disrespectful” to artists and fans. Speaking with The Breakfast Club, Rock explained to hosts Angela Yee and DJ Envy why “canceling” a comedian is not a good look. “It’s weird when you’re a comedian because when your audience doesn’t laugh, we get the message. Like you don’t have to cancel us. … They’re not laughing,” Rock said. “Our feelings hurt. … I don’t understand why people feel the need to go beyond that.” https://youtu.be/oizF7SREEaI
Snoop Dogg has teamed with NBCUniversal to develop a pair series that the hip-hop icon will star in for its streaming service Peacock. Deadline reports, one of the show’s centers on the world’s dumbest criminals, and is currently in development. The news was revealed at NBCUniversal’s Upfronts presentation by Kevin Hart, who called the rapper “the man, the myth and the legend.” The comedian also revealed that he and Snoop will also be hosting a comedy sports news show that is also in development, according to the report. Hart said he is “working on some more hilarious content that will be coming to you soon,” as part of a multi-year deal he inked with the Peacock last year.
The NYPD has been banned from the New York City Pride parade until at least 2025. The organization says prohibiting law enforcement will make participants feel safer. “Give the mic back. Hand it over to the people that started this movement, and that’s trans people of color who started this. And we have to give them that space back and that space has to be safe for them,” said David Correa, the interim executive director of NYC Pride, as reported by Complex.
Former Navy Lt. Ryan Graves is yet another government official speaking out about the existence of UFOs. Speaking to 60 Minutes, Graves said he has seen unidentified flying objects in restricted airspace near Virginia Beach almost every day for two years. These are the same UFOs that the Pentagon confirmed in April are the real deal. “I am worried, frankly. You know, if these were tactical jets from another country that were hanging out up there, it would be a massive issue,” Graves said. “But because it looks slightly different, we’re not willing to actually look at the problem in the face. We’re happy to just ignore the fact that these are out there, watching us every day.” Graves also noted that some of the unidentified aircrafts could be highly advanced tech from Russia or China.
A month after Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors caught major heat for dropping $3 million on several posh homes in the U.S., she’s speaking out about racism in the housing market — saying black homeowners help “disrupt white supremacy.” Saturday, Khan-Cullors shared to her Instagram page an NPR story addressing the “racist architecture of homeownership” writing: “Thank you @npr for highlighting the history of racism inside of the housing market and why Black homeownership has always been a way to disrupt white supremacy.”
Saturday, the late Kobe Bryant was Posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame by his widow, Vanessa Bryant with a very emotional speech about her beloved husband’s career. Ace Showbiz, reports on Sunday (May 16), a woman named Anansa, who says she's a best friend of Kobe's sister Shaya, shared a lengthy statement by Shaya about her brother’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction. In the comment section, she responded to a user who said Kobe’s parents chose not to attend the ceremony. “His parents didn’t just chose not to go to the HOF. His parents were totally disrespected at his memorial,” Anansa replied. She claims Kobe’s father Joe Bryant and mother Pamela Cox Bryant were not invited by Vanessa to attend the event. “They weren’t personally invited to the HOF,” she said.
The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., Dr. Jerry Young, president is pleased to announce a national education awareness campaign entitled “Turn Obesity Around” focused on educating our member congregations and communities we serve about the adverse impact of obesity and diabetes on the quality and quantity of their lives. We are delighted to partner with Novo Nordisk, a Danish multinational pharmaceutical company. We look forward to a great partnership and in expanding our health efforts in a larger capacity as we journey together.
A Louisiana megachurch has been accused of forcing teenagers who attended their $5,000 Christian leadership program to exercise until they were sick or soiled themselves. The ‘220i’ leadership scheme, run by Bethany Church between 2005 and 2013, is also said to have staged fight nights between attendees and allowed homophobic and racist slurs. Other accusations leveled at the 10 month long camp include the fat shaming of interns with regular weigh ins and those deemed overweight being ‘called out publicly and put on restricted diets’.
Marvel superhero Black Panther went on display at Madame Tussauds in London on Friday, the latest addition at the wax figure museum ahead of its re-opening next week. The king of the fictional Wakanda is dressed in his distinctive Black Panther suit, with an inbuilt “vibranium effect” which makes the outfit light up in purple when visitors touch it. Vibranium is the metal mined in Wakanda in the Marvel comic. The figure joins the “Marvel’s Hall of Heroes” at the attraction, which re-opens its doors on Monday as England eases into the next phase out of lockdown. On Thursday, the museum said it has moved waxwork models of Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who left their royal duties last year and moved to Los Angeles, to its new Awards Party zone. The figures previously stood with other members of the royal family.
Richard Montañez, 62, has made a career from his remarkable story – writing two books, giving $50,000-a-time motivational speeches, and selling the rights of his book for a biopic. Yet on Sunday The Los Angles Times reported that his story is not what it seems. They found inconsistencies with the timeline, and spoke to people who worked on the product at the time, and denied Montañez’s role. Frito Lays held an investigation in 2018, and concluded that the ‘urban legend’ is not the whole story.
The evangelical indie rock scene of the 1990s can be difficult to explain. A rebellious, unhinged underground movement that emerged from megachurch basements and religious colleges? A generation of musicians who broke ties with conservative Christianity but maintained a fan base built through youth groups and Young Life? You kind of had to be there.
Each year, millions of Americans deal with the reality of mental illness and this year with the ongoing pandemic, focusing on mental health is needed now more than ever. Provident Entertainment is leaning into Mental Health Awareness Month by partnering with Vibrant Emotional Health for a "Band Together" special virtual event to raise awareness around the struggles of mental health and the help that is available for everyone. The online concert will premiere on May 20th at 7:30 PM Central on YouTube, simultaneously streaming across the artists and label channels. Artists involved in "Band Together" include Provident Entertainment's CAIN, Casting Crowns, DOE, I AM THEY, Koryn Hawthorne, Lydia Laird, Matt Maher, Matthew West and Zach Williams, as well as Adarga Entertainment Group artist Twice Música and RECORDS artist Lathan Warlick.
Damon Weaver, the student reporter who gained national attention when he interviewed President Barack Obama at the White House in 2009, has died at the age of 23. Weaver’s family shared the news and revealed that died of natural causes on May 1. Further details were not released but his sister, Candace Hardy, told the Palm Beach Post that he had been studying communications at Albany State University in Georgia.
The Rev. Franklin Graham says a potential 2024 presidential bid by Donald Trump would “be a very tough thing to do,” the prominent Christian leader told “Axios on HBO." Why it matters: Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, was among Trump’s earliest and most prominent evangelical defenders. Graham told “Axios on HBO” that a Trump comeback would be difficult because of his advancing age and eating habits.
When former Dallas County prosecutor Richard E. Jackson put two homeless Black men on trial in 2000 for the murder of a local pastor, he allegedly withheld evidence that could have cleared them. Witnesses couldn’t pick the suspects out of a lineup, neither of the men matched descriptions provided to investigators, and prosecutors had brokered secret deals with jailhouse informants for favorable testimony, appeals court papers would later show. In separate trials, jurors heard none of it. Jackson got his convictions, and Dennis Allen and Stanley Mozee were sentenced to life in prison. Only after the Innocence Project and Jackson’s successors were the men exonerated, 14 years later. Now, after two decades of legal wrangling, Jackson has been disbarred from practicing law in Texas.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face meetings were halted and conducting business virtually became the new normal. Tel Aviv-based VidiPlus created a solution. It just came out with cross-platform, virtual presentation software to make video conferencing more compelling, offering 3D visuals, slideshows, web browsers and videos appearing in real time next to the presenter in the same frame. https://youtu.be/JAWMo23oQGA
Rafa Nadal warmed up for the French Open with a battling 7-5 1-6 6-3 win over world number one Novak Djokovic as the Spaniard claimed a record-extending 10th Italian Open title in Rome on Sunday in the latest chapter of their rivalry. After a mid-match wobble, Nadal turned up the heat in the decisive moments of his 57th meeting with top seed Djokovic – the pair’s ninth in Rome – to secure the victory over the defending champion in two hours and 49 minutes.
Reach Records has signed on to executive produce the soundtrack for the new Netflix film, Blue Miracle, set to debut globally on the streaming platform starting May 27, 2021. The soundtrack features original music from Reach Records artists including LECRAE, GAWVI, WHATUPRG, and more and will release across DSPs the same day as the film. The feature film stars Dennis Quaid, Jimmy Gonzales, Anthony Gonzalez, Raymond Cruz, Nathan Arenas, Miguel Angel Garcia, Isaac Arellanes, Steve Gutierrez, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Fernanda Urrejola, Silverio Palacios with Bruce McGill. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXHCBnT3d4k
Apple TV+ today unveiled the official trailer for “The Me You Can’t See,” from co-creators and executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex. The film offering a glimpse into the diverse stories of mental health and emotional well-being in the new documentary series, premiering this Friday, May 21 on Apple TV+. https://youtu.be/dWevopoBmAE
Social justice activist Tamika Mallory believes society prefers to ignore Black women, which is why the police killings of Breonna Taylor and Ma’Khia Bryant received a negative public reaction. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3666773203428989
Hip-hop producer Mally Mall has been busted for allegedly running a prostitution business in Las Vegas, and now he’s facing 33 months in prison. Mall, 45, (real name Jamal Rashid) has famously worked with Snoop Dogg, Nick Cannon and Chris Brown and was featured on “Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood”. The FBI investigated him in 2014 after learning he “persuaded, induced, enticed and caused” hundreds of women to engage in prostitution across state lines, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. http://www.gospel-spotlight.com
Kim Kardashian marked Janet Jackson’s 55th birthday on Sunday by plunking down $25,000 to buy the singer’s iconic outfit from her 1993 music video for “If.” Kardashian’s winning bid amount was confirmed by a tweet from Julien’s Auctions, who partnered with Jackson for the sale, titled ““Iconic Treasures From the Legendary Career and Life of Janet Jackson.” More than 1000 of her personal items were on the block, including the custom-made “If” ensemble featuring a custom-made cropped suede top with artificial bone detailing, along with black lace-up front pants. https://youtu.be/BTSd4vqnMwo
Nicki Minaj claims she has never used drugs, despite some fans accusing her of acting a tad bit crackheadish over the years. During a recent livestream, fans of the hip-hop star noted her continuous sniffling and called her out about rumors of cocaine abuse. Minaj responded to the chatter hours after the stream ended and made clear that she is not a druggie. “I don’t know if it’s just me, but I wouldn’t be embarrassed about any f*ckin drugs I did, that’s why I talk about the motherf*ckin drugs I do in my motherf*ckin music,” she said. “Always have, always f*ckin will. If I’m off em, I’m off em [child], but I want to make this clear so open everybody’s ears, clear your ears out. I have never, ever in my life with my hands on Jesus Christ, and y’all know how I feel about my Lord and savior. Never in my life, ever, not even once sniffed coke. Ever.”
About a decade ago, Samantha Ofole-Prince got a message from a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Ofole-Prince, who is Black, grew up in the United Kingdom, and had been writing entertainment stories from Los Angeles for publications in the U.K., Africa and the Caribbean. The HFPA member — whom Ofole-Prince declined to identify in order to protect her from controversy — wanted to meet. At the meeting, the woman said the group was looking to recruit Black members, and asked Ofole-Prince if she would be interested in joining. “How many do you have?” Ofole-Prince asked. “We don’t have any at the moment, unfortunately,” the member replied. “It’s very embarrassing for us.” The organization’s failure to recruit Black members now threatens its existence. A coalition of publicists has organized a boycott campaign, and Netflix, WarnerMedia, Amazon, and other entertainment companies are refusing to work with the group.
Tatyana Ali is sharing details about how her first pregnancy was quite a traumatic experience. Speaking to SheKnows for its Fourth Trimester digital issue, Ali recalls the emergency c-section she had for the birth of her now-4-year-old son Edward “Aszi” in September 2016. Aszi spent a week in the NICU. The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” alum, 42, said it was a “very traumatic” process and was her first experience with the “institutional bias” that Black women often encounter, as reported by PEOPLE. http://www.gospel-spotlight.com
Lakeith Stanfield is speaking out once more about the backlash over him moderating a Clubhouse room in which users allegedly engaged in anti-Semitic rhetoric. Complex reports, Stanfield served as moderator during a discussion on Clubhouse earlier this month, where participants reportedly compared Jewish people to Satanists and termites. Some users also praised Hitler and noted that Jews financed the slave trade. Stanfield told the Daily Beast that he was not familiar with the teachings of Farrakhan (who the dominant society considers anti-Semitic), so the actor was intrigued by the clubhouse chatroom. “I was curious to kind of educate myself more on the topic,” he said.
Rapper Tee Grizzley took to social media recently to encourage fellow artists to get life insurance to protect their families and assets. “So look, right. As rappers, as successful Black men from the trenches, bro. We the number one target and we the least prepared, you feel me? So, I feel like everybody should have life insurance. I need everybody to go get life insurance if you ain’t got it. If you got kids, I need you to get a will set up, bro, for your kids, bro,” he stated in an Instagram Live session, as reported by Love B. Scott. Grizzley’s message to rappers to invest in life insurance follows the release of his new album “Built for Whatever,” which featured an appearance from the late King Von.
Kwame Brown came for fellow NBA vets Gilbert Arenas, Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes for talking bad about him on a podcast. Brown went after the trio one by one in response to Arenas’ recent appearance on Barnes and Jackson’s podcast, All the Smoke, where Arenas – who played with Brown on the Washington Wizards – said Michael Jordan (Wizards vice president of basketball operations and minority owner at the time) broke Brown’s confidence and turned him into a bust. Brown started off by recalling anecdotes about Arenas running afoul of “real DC n**gas” in local clubs, then went on to question his blackness. https://youtu.be/Ei6WE7GL82U
Sunday evening, TV One hosted the third annual URBAN ONE HONORS award show, which was simulcasted for the first time on its sister network CLEO TV. Celebrating the exemplary accomplishments of African American women, the special was hosted by Grammy-Award-winning gospel artist Erica Campbell and award-winning journalist, author, and syndicated columnist Roland Martin. Honorees included Stacey Abrams, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Dr. Ala Stanford, Rosalind Brewer and Robin Rue Simmons. https://www.youtube.com/embed/RZJ8Tg7edTk
A senior Palestinian militant commander has been killed in an Israeli airstrike, the country’s air force has claimed, following a night of heavy bombardment that saw more than a hundred bombs dropped on Gaza. Hussam Abu Harbid, commander of the Northern Division of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), was killed in a strike on Monday, according to the Israeli air force as airstrikes continued into Monday afternoon. Harbid was behind rocket attacks against Israel including several launched on the first day of the most-recent clashes, the Israeli air force said, and had been a commander within PIJ for at least 15 years. News of Harbid’s death – which has not been confirmed by PIJ – was followed by a flurry of rocket fire from inside Gaza at cities in southern Israel, which left at least eight people wounded.
The global pandemic isn’t over yet despite high Covid vaccination rates in some countries, the head of the World Health Organization warned on Monday, days after the CDC told fully vaccinated Americans they can go without masks in most places. “There is a huge disconnect growing where in some countries with the highest vaccination rates, there appears to be a mindset that the pandemic is over, while others are experiencing huge waves of infections,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a news conference from the agency’s Geneva headquarters. “The pandemic is a long way far from over,” he warned. “It will not be over anywhere until it’s over everywhere.”
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear arguments in a major abortion case from Mississippi that could roll back limits on abortion laws cemented by the landmark reproductive rights case Roe v. Wade. The case will be the first major abortion dispute to test all three of former President Donald Trump’s appointees to the top court, including its newest member, Justice Amy Coney Barrett.The top court announced in an order that it will hear the dispute, Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 19-1392. The court will hear the case in its term beginning in October and a decision is likely to come by June 2022.
The Rev. Olu Brown of Fulton County’s prominent Impact Church announced on Sunday that he plans to retire as lead pastor. His retirement from the progressive church takes effect in June 2022. Brown, a native of Lufkin, Texas, said he is leaving to pursue entrepreneurial and consulting opportunities full time with churches, businesses and nonprofits. Brown, 43, founded the Sylvan Road church in East Point 14 years ago with an initial 25 “Impacters.” Currently, Impact has a weekly attendance of 5,000.
Apart from holding in-person commencement ceremonies for the USC classes of 2020 and 2021, the university on Friday also marked a unique moment in its history. Among those graduating was Tianna Shaw-Wakeman, who became the university’s first Black valedictorian, according to a tweet from USC After earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Shaw-Wakeman is now also graduating with her master’s in social entrepreneurship from the USC Marshall School of Business. Speaking before the graduating class, she expressed what her accomplishment meant. “This revelation stands as a testament, albeit small, to both how far we’ve come as an institution, as a country … and how far we have to go,” she said.
When George Floyd was murdered nearly one year ago, how society talked about race shifted. For many engineers and educators, it was the first time the terms “racial bias” and “racial inequities” were openly discussed on university campuses. During the Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty Diversity Committee event “Fostering Diversity: Lessons from Recent Events and Making Change Happen,” a panel of some of the most prominent Black engineers and educators in the nation discussed how Floyd’s murder sparked urgent societal conversations about racial inequity. The panelists, reflecting on stark demographic disparities that exist within engineering, said STEM educators must support and expand diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field. Russ Joseph, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and of computer science, moderated the panel.
A plane from Honolulu landed in Johannesburg earlier this month and offloaded a plastic-wrapped coffin carrying the body of Lindani Myeni, a South African rugby player, aspiring singer and father. In the airport’s cargo terminal, a youth contingent from the African National Congress party waved a “Black Lives Matter” banner emblazoned with his smiling face. His widow, Lindsay Myeni, a white American from Hawaii, cradled their 6-month-old daughter and kept watch over their 2-year-old son, while Mr. Myeni’s South African family held onto one another in grief. Mr. Myeni, 29, died in Honolulu after he was shot in a confrontation with the police outside a suburban house he had inexplicably entered, and then left, on the night of April 14. Unarmed, he was wearing a traditional Zulu headband with a tuft of fur at the forehead and, his wife later discovered, he had left his shoes in his car.
Sen. LaTonya Johnson first learned about the Wisconsin Capitol’s small, temporary exhibit on Black history when a Republican leader of the state’s powerful budget committee referenced it Thursday as he justified excluding extra funding for the Black Historical Society from the budget. Now, the display represents something bigger to Johnson, the only Black lawmaker on the Legislature’s 16-member Joint Finance Committee. “They equate us, our issues, the struggles that we have in the state, with being small enough — or not important enough — to fit into a small glass display,” the Milwaukee Democrat said in an interview Thursday. Her comments came after finance committee members in their second round of budget votes this week declined to move forward with a $169,000 increase over the next two years for the Black Historical Society, which operates a Milwaukee museum.
Less than half of the gas stations in metro Atlanta were dry Monday as the Colonial Pipeline continued to ramp up from a shutdown forced by a ransomware attack. Unfortunately, it looks as if it’s gonna take a few more more days, and possibly up to a week, for tanker trucks to replenish the stations, according to analyst Allison Mac, an analyst with GasBuddy. "We’re talking about only 27% of stations in the area having fuel as of last Thursday, Mac said."
Snoop Dogg’s daughter, Cori Broadus, took to Instagram over the weekend to speak out about her mental health struggles. She even admitted to once trying to take her own life. “The last few weeks my mental has not been so great at one point I tried to end my life but you & my family really give me a purpose to live & helped me realize Iife is much more than materialistic things & you gotta just keep pushing through the bullshit,” she wrote. The “you” she is referring to is boyfriend, Wayne Deuce, who is seen in several pictures she posted on social media. Cori’s message comes during Mental Health Awareness Month, and the theme this year is “You Are Not Alone.”
The Clubhouse audio app is being sued for trademark infringement by an Arizona company running “TheClubhouse.” Alpha Exploration Co., which launched Clubhouse, reportedly hasn’t trademarked the name, and the complaint seeks to prohibit the company from using the name for its app. “It is interesting that Clubhouse, a company valued at $4 billion, has no registered trademark and appears not to have even applied for registration in the US,” said Christine Haight Farley, a professor at American University Washington College of Law, as reported by MSN.
Boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. appeared in Miami earlier this month to help promote his upcoming pay-per-view boxing match against Logan Paul. While speaking to reporters, Paul’s young brother, Jake Paul, confronted Mayweather and snatched his hat off his head. Mayweather became so irate with the YouTuber that he chased Jake down and repeatedly threatened to kill him. Jake later took to social media to note that he intended to take Floyd’s cap to get under his skin. https://twitter.com/i/status/1390409292830973954
Israel claims to have shared ‘smoking gun’ evidence with the US that Hamas used the destroyed building that housed The Associated Press and Al Jazeera in Gaza City, as news organizations demand answers. Government officials said the Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu shared a ‘smoking gun’ with US President Joe Biden in their phone call on Saturday. A source close to Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said: ‘We showed them the smoking gun proving Hamas worked out of that building’. He added Biden had ‘found the explanation satisfactory’, without providing details of the evidence.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Sunday defended her agency’s abrupt reversal on face mask wearing but did little to clear up lingering confusing caused by the change in policy. She also said those who are not vaccinated must still wear face coverings and it would be done on the ‘honor system.’ ‘The honor system is to be honest with yourself. If you are vaccinated, we are saying you are safe, you can take off your mask, and you are not at risk of severe disease or hospitalization from COVID-19. If you are not vaccinated, you are not safe. Please go get vaccinated or continue to wear your mask,’ she said on Fox News Sunday. Walensky said the order change came because the science has ‘really just evolved’ regarding how protected vaccinated people are from getting COVID-19.
Families of victims from the decades-old deadly police bombing of a Black liberation group’s headquarters in Philadelphia experienced a whirlwind this week with reports of a new injustice from the city-sanctioned violence. Partial human remains from the bombing against the MOVE organization discovered a few years earlier have were destroyed by a city official, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced on Thursday. But in a turn of events, a city employee said they defied the order to destroy the remains. Late Friday evening it was revealed the remains thought to be destroyed by the Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley were actually still intact. Earlier in the day, the Associated Press reported that Farley learned of the remains in 2017. According to a city statement, Farley claims to have acted without the knowledge of any other city leadership.
Rapper and actor Jaden Smith is furthering his efforts to combat food insecurity. According to Variety, he’s opening an eatery that will provide free food for the homeless. Two years ago, the “Icon” music artist tapped into the power of paying it forward for his 21st birthday and brought a pop-up vegan food truck to Downtown Los Angeles that distributed free nutritious meals to individuals battling homelessness and food scarcity. His new venture is an extension of his I Love You Restaurant initiative; a movement designed to provide sustainable meal options for underserved communities.
Two San Diego police officers are under investigation after cellphone video captured them repeatedly punching a Black man during an arrest in the La Jolla neighborhood this week. The investigation was announced late Wednesday hours after Jesse Evans, 34, allegedly urinated in public, according to the San Diego Police Department. A woman who recorded the incident, Nicole Bansal, told the The Washington Post that the officers’ response to the situation, which saw police punching him in his face, head and legs, appeared to be “excessive and unnecessary” for a man she believes to be homeless. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/05/15/san-diego-police-punch-homeless/
Vancouver police have apologized after five officers wrongly handcuffed and detained a retired black judge while he was out on his morning walk. Selwyn Romilly – who made history as the first black judge appointed to British Columbia’s Supreme Court back in 1995 – was strolling along the Stanley Park foreshore on Friday morning when cops pounced. They claimed Romilly matched the appearance of a dark-skinned assault suspect aged between 40 and 50 who was lurking in the area. Romilly is 81 years old.
The death of a Black man after police used pepper spray and Tasers on him in a South Carolina jail has stirred outrage as well as widespread calls for changes to the treatment of people in custody suffering from mental illness. Video footage released late on Thursday shows sheriff’s deputies in Charleston County extracting the man, Jamal Sutherland, from his jail cell on Jan. 5, first using pepper spray on him, and then Tasers while he screams out in pain. He was declared dead soon after, and the graphic video spurred denunciations on Friday of the officers’ response.
On Friday at the end of his show, “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon,” the host shocked and surprised his audience by announcing that the program was ending. Here’s the deal. He’s getting his own branded show. “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” is now “Don Lemon Tonight.” https://youtu.be/vmYlw_X2BGM
It’s almost over for ABC’s “Black-ish.” It’s been renewed for one more season, it’s 8th, then it’s history. The news of the show’s future was announced Friday morning by it’s creator and executive producer Kenya Barris on social media. “This show has changed my life in so many ways and I am so proud of the conversations we’ve started along the way, Barris posted” https://www.instagram.com/p/CO2-5RBH0Za/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=embed_video_watch_again
Actress/director/comedian and television host Aisha Tyler is helming tonight’s (May 16) season finale episode of “Fear The Walking Dead.” https://youtu.be/z3MmAxiIQjk
As Israel sends air and ground troops into Gaza in violation of international law, more people in the United States, from members of Congress to Jewish American organizations, are speaking out against it. Constituencies whom the Israeli state has traditionally looked to for support are in rebellion. Trever Noah https://youtu.be/NeZ4yXyzUG0
Lil’ Kim has a story to tell about her life, and this fall, the world will have an opportunity to read about it in the icon’s forthcoming book, titled “The Queen Bee.” News of the book, which will be released on Nov. 2, was announced recently by the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop legend. https://www.instagram.com/lilkimthequeenbee/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=d1ee0139-b40c-4439-a0a8-398a8dfc0cef
STARZ is airing a brand new comedy series called “Run The World” with an exciting all-black cast. After such success with “P-Valley” and “Power,” it definitely makes sense. The series will debut this Sunday, May 16 on STARZ so make sure you tune in. I know we will be. Last but not least, Tosin Morohunfola had his own words of advice for healthy relationships in your life.
After pledging to invest in minority enterprises, Constellation Brands made its first move, taking a stake in a Black-owned rosé company. Constellation, through its venture capital arm, is now backing La Fête du Rosé as part of its push to support Black, Latinx and minority-owned firms with $100 million by 2030. The company’s goal is to grow the reach of rosé, which is popular among women, La Fête du Rosé founder Donae Burston told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Friday.
Black-led nonprofits that work to enrich the lives of predominantly Black communities. The Black Community Leaders Fund will launch with $1.8 million, which includes a $1 million contribution from Facebook. The tech giant has committed $20 million to 20 organizations around the country as part of an effort to support Black communities and selected Philadelphia Foundation as one of its recipients.
In the United States, an astounding 17% of Black women are in the process of starting or running new businesses. That’s compared to just 10% of white women, and 15% of white men. Yet despite this early lead, only 3% of Black women are running mature businesses. To understand why this steep drop off occurs, and how to combat it, we analyzed data from interviews with more than 12,000 people, nearly 1,700 of whom identified as entrepreneurs and nearly 1,200 of whom own established businesses. The research was part of our work with the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, an annual comprehensive survey of entrepreneurship rates and attributes, conducted in more than 120 economies since 1999. The large-scale survey is administered by academic research teams in each economy; we represent the U.S. team.
Why is Broadway selling tickets now but will not open until the fall? Selling tickets now allows producers to gauge interest in their shows. The number of tickets sold reflects the interest of movie-goers as the coronavirus pandemic is still looming out there. Once producers get the number of tickets sold, they can better plan. Those shows that are low in ticket number may need more advertising. Producers are hoping that by the fall the number of tourists visiting New York and thus, the number visiting the theaters, will have increased as Broadway thrives on tourists. Tourists made up two-thirds of the people visiting before the coronavirus pandemic.
Candace Owens is continuing her takedown of Chrissy Teigen, labeling her a Hollywood ‘predator’ similar to Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein who has publicly victimized women for years. Owens tweeted (insets) on Friday that Teigen has been able to get away with ‘victimizing’ people for years because she was ‘protected by Hollywood.’ Owens, 32, has recently unearthed vile tweets Teigen, 35, made in the past as she accused the model of ‘hypocrisy’ after apologizing to Courtney Stodden.
Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was inducted posthumously to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, as the class of 2020 was enshrined after months of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The five-time NBA champion died last year aged 41 in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter and seven others. Bryant’s widow Vanessa, who started dating Kobe when she was 17, offered an acceptance on his behalf as presenter Michael Jordan stood nearby. “Dear Kobe, thank you for being the best husband and father you could possibly be,” she said. “Thank you for never giving up on us. Thank you for all of your hard work.” https://youtu.be/TTA7RCxP1mU
Israeli troops were fighting on three fronts on Friday night into Saturday as West Bank protests saw their first fatalities, the death toll in Gaza rose past 130, and a Hezbollah fighter from Lebanon was shot dead by IDF forces. Turmoil from the battle between Israel and Hamas spilled over into the West Bank on Friday, sparking the most widespread Palestinian protests in years as hundreds of young demonstrators in multiple towns clashed with Israeli troops, who shot and killed at least 11 people.
The family of an unarmed Black man who was fatally shot within seconds of being seen by a white police officer will receive the largest settlement in the history of Columbus, Ohio. Andre Hill‘s family will be paid $10 million by the city of Columbus, which has a notorious police department that’s been under heavy scrutiny following a spate of controversial killings of Black people in recent months. As part of the settlement, the city will rename a local gym after Hill that he used to frequent.
The Associated Press reported that Columbus officials acknowledged, “No amount of money will ever bring Andre Hill back to his family.” The lawyers representing Hill’s family welcomed the settlement as a step toward receiving justice for the shooting.
Defense lawyers are fighting to keep certain phone calls made in jail by Ahmaud Arbery‘s accused killer from being used as evidence in the upcoming murder trial in Brunswick, Georgia. Gregory McMichael his son, Travis and friend William “Roddie” Bryan, are accused of murdering Arbery. “You’ve heard the saying that no good deed goes unpunished?” Gregory McMichael asked, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which reported there are “thousands of hours of jailhouse phone calls” his lawyer is trying to exclude from the case. “Yeah, that’s the shining example right there,” Gregory McMichael’s brother affirms. Gregory McMichael’s lawyer tried his best to spin the “good deed” comment while in court Thursday. “The state believes he is saying the good deed was killing Ahmaud Arbery, but that is not what he meant,” attorney Franklin Hogue argued about Gregory McMichael’s words. “He meant the good deed was patrolling his neighborhood and the punishment is him now being in jail charged with his death.”
Attorney Benjamin Crump has represented the families and victims of some of the most prominent civil rights cases in the country, ranging from the shooting of Trayvon Martin to the murder of George Floyd. Those cases, and his strategy of bringing those stories to the media, have resulted in death threats, which he takes seriously, he tells senior contributor Ted Koppel in an interview for “CBS Sunday Morning” to be broadcast May 16. “I never take the death threats for granted. When we get them, we report them to the FBI,” Crump told Koppel. https://twitter.com/i/status/1392902752821448706
Spelman College will name its Performing Arts Center after alumna LaTanya Richardson Jackson, who credits the Atlanta school with launching her acclaimed acting career, and her movie star husband, Samuel L. Jackson. https://youtu.be/vFEwOJSmcJA
Freshman U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock announced nearly $85 million in funding that they’ve secured for Georgia’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This funding was made through the American Rescue Plan and at least half of the funds must go directly to student aid. The money will go towards helping students and families battle the economic distress due to the pandemic.https://youtu.be/j4t7VZZPGIM
Actress, director, producer and acting coach, Tasha Smith has been tapped to direct the pilot and second episode of the upcoming FOX drama, “Our Kind of People,” inspired by the book by Laurence Otis Graham. Deadline reports, written by and produced by Karin Gist and Lee Daniels, the series is inspired by Lawrence Otis Graham’s critically praised book “Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class.” Deadline writes that the show follows “strong-willed, single mom Angela Vaughn as she sets out to reclaim her family’s name and make an impact with her revolutionary haircare line that highlights the innate, natural beauty of black women. But she soon discovers a dark secret about her mother’s past that will turn her world upside-down and shake up this community forever.” https://twitter.com/i/status/1291727459893690373
Gary Owen‘s soon to be ex-wife, Kenya Duke, is letting it known that she expects a steady check every month ’cause she claims he is Mr. Money Man and and she wants what’s she thinks is rightful share. Duke recently filed legal docs asking for spousal support from Gary … and she’s looking to get PAID … every month. In court documents, Kenya Duke has filed for $44,000 a month in spousal support … she claims it’s the amount Gary Owen would normally deposit in her account to pay credit cards and finance her personal spending. https://youtu.be/MzBGDkWS6JI
A new business is opening soon in Lafayette with the goal of helping and informing expectant parents in the area. Baby Catcher Birth Center is set to officially open at the end of July, and when it does it will be the first Black-owned freestanding birth center in the state. Owner Shatamia Webb, a Lafayette native, says one of her biggest fears when giving birth was going to a hospital and not coming out. She decided to have both of her children at home, and then made it her mission to help all future parents feel more informed about birth and their options. She’s been a midwife and doing home births for four years.
Relentless Church will celebrate its three-year anniversary with a special Sunday service on May 16, 2021.The service will include a moment of pastoral appreciation for Pastors John and Aventer Gray and award-winning songwriter, Rich Tolbert Jr., will be featured as the special guest worship artist. In 2018, on Mother’s Day, Relentless Church held its first service at its home campus on Haywood Road. Sunday’s service will celebrate and recognize the Church’s commitment to serving the spiritual livelihoods of Greenville community and beyond.
Dr. Debbye Turner Bell was crowned Miss America in 1990. However, there is more to her story than what may meet the eye. According to a press release, her inspirational memoir called Courageous Faith: A Lifelong Pursuit of Faith Over Fear will be released on Aug. 3, 2021. Turner Bell reportedly shares some brow-raising details from her life, in addition to 10 factors for success and faith-based life lessons. According to the book’s synopsis, Lifelong Pursuit of Faith Over Fear is not just an inspirational memoir, but a self-help guide on persevering in the face of adversity.
Chief Executive magazine today announced that Ken Frazier, Chairman and CEO of Merck, has been named 2021 Chief Executive of the Year by his peer CEOs. Frazier was selected by an independent committee that recognized his exceptional long-term leadership: a decade of unprecedented transformation and growth at Merck—with powerful results for shareholders, patients and society.
The NFL is coming under growing pressure from critics who say its landmark concussion settlement treats ex-players differently based on race, making it more difficult for Black retirees to get payouts. Critics argue the settlement amounts to a form of systemic racism because it uses race-based criteria for neuropsychologists to assess whether Black and white former players have valid dementia-related claims stemming from their professional football careers. The concept of using different statistical curves based on race, known as “race-norming,” is inherently controversial. It is also the subject of a lawsuit by two ex-players, Kevin Henry, a lineman for eight seasons in the NFL, and Najeh Davenport, a running back for seven seasons, who sued the league last year for race discrimination.
Any new music from the legendary Isley Brothers or Earth, Wind & Fire is nothing short of amazing. Both R&B musical units have been around for decades: The Isley Brothers since 1954 and Earth, Wind & Fire since 1969. While something new musically from either group would be special, something collaboratively would be super-incredible. The iconic groups are recording new music –together. The idea came to fruition after both groups matched up recently on “Verzuz” in a musical duel of songs and performances. https://youtu.be/QE3GI_cxs5U
Nicki Minaj is finally speaking out about the death of her father, who was killed in a hit-and-run in February. Robert Maraj, 64, died after being struck by a driver who fled the scene without calling for emergency help or aiding the victim. Less than a week later, Charles Polevich turned himself in to authorities and was charged with killing Maraj. Sharing a lengthy letter to fans on her website Friday, Nicki Minaj admitted that her father’s passing “has been the most devastating loss of my life.” “Tho I can’t really bring myself to discuss the passing of my father as yet; I can say it has been the most devastating loss of my life,” she wrote, as reported by PEOPLE. “I find myself wanting to call him all the time. More so now that he’s gone. Life is funny that way.” https://youtu.be/Z5sjRbtqTcI
Rapper J. Cole dropped the track “Let Go My Hand” from his newly released album The Off-Season where he addressed his rumored 2013 altercation with Diddy at a MTV Video Music Awards after-party in New York City. Rumor has it that Diddy tried to throw a drink on Kendrick Lamar after hearing his controversial “King of New York” line on Big Sean’s “Control.” Cole tried to intervene and got into a scuffle with Puff. It was said that Cole was allegedly kicked out of the party after the incident.
Don Lemon‘s announcement that Friday night was the “last night” of him hosting “CNN Tonight,” the show he’s helmed since 2014. However, in a later Twitter video, he clarified that he was not leaving the network. https://twitter.com/i/status/1393404393408679937
P.D. Blackmon’s family-friendly brand has expanded its catalog into a collection of designer companion books. The Land of Boo ‘Brand Boo’ series continues its fantastic character-driven journey with 3 additional books that include ‘OCEAN BLUE’ Notebook, ‘LAND OF BOO FANTASY’ Characters Journal, and the ‘LAND OF BOO LOST GIRLS’ Collection Notebook. The notebooks and journal are unique keepsakes featuring ZeaZoo & The Land of Boo characters – The Lost Girls, Queen of Soul, Bubbles the Whale, Magnolia Butterfly, and the beloved King Fish. ‘Ocean Blue’ has a delightful day at the beach theme on every page creating a personal stationery look and feel. The diary-designed, ‘Land of Boo Fantasy’ journal allows the reader to jump in and write about their favorite characters or meaningful parts of The Land of Boo story.
Capitalizing on a year with huge audience drivers, including two Olympics and the Super Bowl, NBC heads into the 2021-22 season with a winning year-round programming strategy that highlights dominant dramas in the fall, doubles down on comedies in midseason and pairs powerhouse unscripted shows with big tentpole event programming. “Our program strategy for NBC is singularly focused on driving growth by capturing audiences with can’t-miss event television and keeping them on the network with immersive scripted series,” said Frances Berwick, Chairman, Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “We are leaning into pieces of the legacy that work, but not being precious about experimenting with things that can benefit from a change.”
“When I first saw it, I thought it was hilarious,” said actor Steven Littles about “Miss Dee’s Kitchen” – a stage-play turned comedy series. “There’s a character named Jody. I said I want to be him! I want to stretch my comedic muscles.” The “Miss Dee’s Kitchen” production is the creation of Katrina Walker – executive producer of the series. It was a successful stage play that is taking a natural progression onto the screen in a television production – currently being shot. “Miss Dee was my mama (Demetria),” said Katrina, a native of Ohio. Walker said her mother’s kitchen was always full with people from the neighborhood needing Miss Dee. She continued, “I grew up in a close-knit community. She was that go-to woman. If you bust your head, she would fit it…sew it up. Everyone was welcome. The door was always unlocked. She filled a lot of shoes. She’d even take your blood pressure.”
Frank McCrae may not have been a household name, but the character actor had so many roles on TV and film that his face was seemingly ubiquitous — especially to Black folks. Unfortunately, his daughter announced his death to Variety and said he suffered a heart attack before he died last month at his home in California. He was 80 years old. https://twitter.com/i/status/1390663799565389828
The Smollett sibling duo continue to bring their keen design flavor to CLEO TV this Saturday, May 15 at 9 p.m. ET/8C on LIVING BY DESIGN WITH JAKE AND JAZZ. As they perform revitalize homes, they also celebrate their trendy renovations with delectable recipes from the Smollett family. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Orngn3-Sn54
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today a new episode of the Emmy award-winning OWN Spotlight series “Black Women OWN The Conversation” premiering on Tuesday, May 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. Per press release, the special episode features an audience of Black women in an in-depth conversation regarding mental health and trauma impacting the Black community led by Oprah Winfrey, Adrienne Bankert and Jotaka Eaddy featuring special guests California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and Activist and Educator Dr. Dena Simmons. https://youtu.be/1ETeYocrlww
This week’s episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” has been scrapped by HBO after the host tested positive for COVID-19. According to Deadline, Bill Maher, who is vaccinated and asymptomatic, tested positive during the network’s weekly PCR testing ahead of the show.
Prince Harry has dropped another bombshell about his relationship with Prince Charles and how his father raised him. Speaking on Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast this week, Harry claimed Charles handed down to him a “cycle” of “genetic pain and suffering,” as reported by Page Six. https://youtu.be/HdwlF1P6Vno
Dr. Steve Perry on Iyanla Vanzant’s “Fix My Life.” https://youtu.be/IjIPH0v9c54
A street in New Jersey will be renamed after The Isley Brothers this summer. WHUR, Teaneck Street in New Jersey was the home to Ron and Rudolph Isley and was the namesake for their record label, “T-Neck Records.” On June 24, the street will be renamed after the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers.
Charles Barkley has been known to cramp up while working on “Inside the NBA,” but Thursday night’s attack may have been the first since Shaquille O’Neal joined the panel. The analysts were in a commercial break when the cramps suddenly hit. Barkley stood up, to try stretching them out. That’s when the 7 foot 4 retired NBA center sprung into action. Shaq walked over to his colleague, put his hands under Chuck’s butt and began punching at the left upper-thigh cramp, and trying to massage out the one in his right upper-thigh. The taped footage was played twice for the viewing audience after the commercial break, and host Ernie Johnson could barely contain himself while giving the play by play each time.
Mel B has teamed up with charity Women’s Aid for a new project, which is titled “Love Should Not Hurt” by classical composer Fabio D’Andrea — a powerful yet harrowing short film to highlight the reality of domestic violence. In the video, released on Friday, the Spice Girls singer plays the role of a woman seemingly living a wonderful charmed life in a mansion but behind closed doors, she’s being battered and held captive by her partner who is played by Sam Mackay. At the end of the short film, Mel’s character is shown all bruised up as she attempts to flee. As TMZ notes, the film has some people drawing connections to the singer’s past.
Eric Holder, the alleged killer of Nipsey Hussle, has reportedly been appointed a new defense attorney, Aaron Jansen, who made his first appearance in court this week. Holder refused to leave his cell for the May 11 hearing, “prompting the judge in his case to further push back his pre-trial hearing,” the outlet writes. Jansen reportedly informed the judge that he hasn’t had the chance to talk to his client but noted that Holder will be ready before the end of the year. Judge Jacke made clear that Holder will be forcibly removed from his cell to attend his hearing.
Global spiritual leader, thought provoker and celebrated author, GRAMMY®-recognized, Stellar Award-winning artist Charles Jenkins, was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity from the historic Beulah Heights University in Atlanta, GA for his innovative leadership, and comprehensive impact, not just in the community of believers, but beyond the church. Beulah Heights University is proud to honor Dr. Jenkins for his unprecedented work and is equally excited to announce a leadership program that will focus on Succession & Transition beginning Fall 2021. The Certificate Program has been developed by Dr. Jenkins in partnership with the academic leadership of Beulah Heights. The program will equip leaders, students, churches, nonprofit organizations, and beyond with knowledge, ability, and strategy necessary to navigate organizational transitions, and succession planning which will increase the sustainability and success of organizations. Jenkins’ latest book Seasons is a guide for leaders and organizations considering transition and succession. The book will also serve as a textbook for the coursework for the program launching in the Fall of this year.
The expected signing of a white former NFL player who hasn’t played pro football in nearly a decade and was widely regarded as a failure during his time in the league has renewed outrage sparked over the apparent refusal to give Colin Kaepernick a second chance on the gridiron. Tim Tebow, who hasn’t competed in an NFL regular-season game since the 2012 season — four years longer than when Kaepernick last played — is reportedly going to sign a one-year contract with his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars to play tight end, a position he has never played before on any level of competition.
Nearly five years have elapsed since quarterback Colin Kaepernick was last on an NFL roster, and many have voiced their desire for the signal-caller to ultimately strike a new deal with a team despite his ongoing absence. Add Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner to that list, who said during an interview with TMZ on Wednesday that he believes that Kaepernick should have another shot in the league given his resume. “I think that he should have an opportunity,” Warner told the publication when encountered at Los Angeles International Airport. “”When he got out of the game, he was as good as a lot of quarterbacks in this league. And, that’s the bottom line.”
Republicans are more focused on not feeling bad about being racist than just not being racist. Claims that discussions about racism, sexism and other forms of oppression are divisive or make people feel bad have nothing to do with education. Following this national trend, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a new law that prioritizes feelings over progress. House Bill 1775 relies on a distorted framing of Critical Race Theory to prevent “mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling” in higher education institutions. The bill also prohibits teaching on race or sex as inherently superior traits.
How did Billy Graham become the most famous evangelist in America? Does he deserve blame for paving the way for the religious right? How should we see his place in America’s political and spiritual history? The PBS series “American Experience” explores these questions in a fascinating two-hour documentary premiering Monday (May 17), offering an authoritative look at Graham’s life and ministry, from his beginnings as a dairy farmer’s son from Charlotte, North Carolina, to his death in February 2018 at age 99.
Eight members of the New York Yankees — seven coaches and support staffers, plus shortstop Gleyber Torres — have tested positive for the coronavirus over the past three days, even though all of them were fully vaccinated. The news came as the Centers for Disease Control said Thursday that fully vaccinated Americans no longer have to wear masks indoors or outdoors in most cases. “With regard to the Yankees, we obviously need to learn more about that situation. My understanding is that six of the seven infections were indeed asymptomatic infections, and we will look to more data from that report to understand what happened there,” CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky said at a news conference.
Disney is revamping its 20-year-old animated series “The Proud Family” and the reboot will center on two multiethnic, gay dads and their adopted teenage daughter, who is a racial activist. The entertainment brand announced the show, “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder,” via social media Wednesday. The fathers, Barry and Randall Leibowitz-Jenkins, will be voiced by Billy Porter and Zachary Quinto — both of whom are gay — while the daughter, Maya, will be voiced by Keke Palmer.
“It’s so nice to hear children’s voices in here again,” said Richard Stewart, immersed in a field trip of about 20 kids standing in his home on Pocahontas Island. Stewart’s house doubles as a Black History Museum that chronicles the island’s history as the “oldest Black community in the United States.” It was the home of free Blacks as early as the 1800s, achieving prosperity and esteem. About 700 historical pieces are packed within the house’s walls. Children filed through hallways piled to the ceiling in artifacts and old news clippings showing the island’s past – old steel shackles, a replica slave ship and information on historical figures like Gabriel Prosser, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, and John Rolfe. The field trippers from Cultural Roots Cooperative are visiting Stewart for the third time since 2018. This time they have a special gift – a check for $3,500, the largest donation Stewart says anyone has ever given for the Black History Museum.
A Bartlesville woman who is believed to be the oldest survivor of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre observed a birthday Monday, with several celebrities and public figures pitching in to help her celebrate. Viola Fletcher, who turned 107, was greeted with a series of personal video messages, including from actors Danny Glover and Piper Perabo, musician Michael Stipe and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, among others. “For you showing strength, letting the world know of truths that tried to be buried — today we celebrate your love and your light,” Booker said. “You are touching generations not yet born.” “We love you,” Glover said. “We are your children who will continue the fight with you, alongside you.”
As a native of South Carolina, Joseph M. Grant recalls the memory of living through segregation and surviving to thrive throughout his higher education journey and career. Now, at age 70, he is proud to be graduating from Howard University as part of the Class of 2021 with his doctorate in political science with a focus on American government and Black politics.
To put it in terms he himself would not use, reading is LeVar Burton‘s brand. It’s been almost 40 years since he started introducing young viewers to the joys of books as the host of Reading Rainbow, and he’s still reading aloud to anyone who will listen (including many who grew up on the PBS show). When the pandemic shutdown began, he hosted thrice-weekly livestreams reading stories to his Twitter followers and has done the same on his podcast LeVar Burton Reads since 2017. To talk to him about reading is, in many ways, to talk to him about himself. So perhaps the most surprising thing about his new book club is that it hasn’t existed until now. The LeVar Burton Book Club launches Tuesday via the “social reading app” Fable, with selections handpicked by the actor.
Nail polish brand Àuda.B recently launched at luxury department store chain Nordstrom. This is the first Black-owned vegan nail polish brand to partner with the department store. The gel-like nail lacquer is also 10-free, gluten-free, and PETA-certified. Nordstrom carries 17 of Àuda.B’s best-selling colors ($18 each) curated specifically for Nordstrom, with color names such as #Blackgirlmagic, Bad Girls Shut It Down, Front Row, and Rich Boss Lady. The brand also offers its Jetsetter Nail Polish Top Coat ($20) and Glam Nail Care Kit ($125) featuring five essential polishes including the top coat, base coat, cuticle oil, and two neutral polish colors.
At St. Charles West High School, one of the best teachers may just be a student. “He just has a heart for people,” said Yolanda Curry, the school counselor. Joshua Nelson, 18, is getting ready to graduate. “I plan to go to Southeast Missouri State and go into their pre-optometry program. I’ll be majoring in bio-medical sciences,” he said. What Josh didn’t say is that SEMO offered him a scholarship. That will happen when you’re an excellent student, a three-year varsity basketball player and president of the school’s Multi-Cultural Achievement Committee. Josh saved up more than $1,000 for college but since he earned a scholarship, he’s decided to use his savings to help another student go to college. http://www.gospel-spotlight.com
Adrienne Bailon weighed in on the controversy surrounding Porsha Williams’ engagement to Simon Guobadia — the ex-husband of her RHOA costar Falynn Guobadia. During a new episode of “The Real”, Bailon defended Porsha’s right to love who she chooses. “This is my take on the whole situation: if Falynn doesn’t have a problem with it, why should we?” Adrienne told the other co-hosts, as reported by Ace Showbiz. She then noted Falynn’s alleged infidelity, adding “If Falynn has moved on, his ex-wife has moved on, and she’s doing her thing, then let’s move on.”
T.I. and Tiny’s sex trafficking controversy has taken an interesting turn, as rapper Nelly has now been dragged into the scandal. An earlier report noted that the number of alleged victims accusing T.I. and Tiny of allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting them continues to grow. One of them said she was “drugged, forced to take tons of molly and X, and sex-trafficked in three states” including Nevada and Florida. Per Ace Showbiz, in an audio post detailing the alleged sexual abuse done by the couple, one of the accusers claimed she was forced to have sex with Nelly, back in 2014.
Judah Band drops new single "I Will Praise"......https://www.dropbox.com/sh/43j1t90ejv87jys/AAC4fDkLXO9h3pzz7p7zenYba?dl=0
Evana is a San Francisco based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Through all her musical experiences, Evana has found a connection to God through music and aims to express this connection and strengthen the fight against evil in her new single “Spiritual Weapons of War.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nbph79Oxlg
TV One is slated to premiere a new true crime docu-series Sins of The City this Thursday, May 13 at 9 p.m. ET/8C. The season lead-in will discuss the execution of George Floyd and the impact his death had on the city of Minneapolis. Various experts, community leaders, family members, and the like, provide real-life perspective and insight into the cities profiled this season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miL0Lvc_sHE
Be sure to catch Le’Andria performing at the Urban One Honors this Sunday on TV ONE & Cleo TV! This year's theme is “Women Leading the Change'' and it will be hosted by Roland Martin and Erica Campbell. We are excited to celebrate Black women and organizations whose work significantly impacts society and culture. Watch it this Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 9P/8C
TV One honors the late icon DMX this Sunday night, with a special episode of its hit autobiographical series UNCENSORED featuring the late rappers final interview on Sunday, May 16 at 8 p.m. ET/7C; followed by the annual URBAN ONE HONORS hosted by Erica Campbell and Roland Martin at 9 p.m. ET/8C. In a tribute UNCENSORED SPECIAL: DMX THE ICON, airing Monday, May 17th at 10/9c on TV One, friends and family of DMX reflect on his legacy. With chart topping music and iconic performances across film and television, DMX made a lasting impact on the lives of everyone who experienced his genius. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWo0F9UYeI8
In celebration of Black Music Month, BNC and Café Mocha, the #1 nationally syndicated radio show for ‘women of color,’ announced today the Salute THEM Awards ‘soundtrack of our lives’ will broadcast on BNC Sunday, June 6 at 10:00 P.M. ET. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUjb8Li-KLk
The star-studded Season 1 of The Good Words with Kirk Franklin Podcast gave us candid conversations with many guests including Kelly Rowland, H.E.R., Steve Harvey, and Tabitha Brown. https://link.chtbl.com/R_lzTd-m
Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the nomination of Kristen Clarke, in hopes she will be confirmed to become the first woman and first Black woman to formally lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division since its creation in 1957. Committee members split the vote 11-11 to advance the process to the Senate floor for a confirmation vote. Supporters of Clarke expect another uphill battle during the final stage of the process.
Several first responders are going to be held accountable for taking and distributing pictures from the horrific crash site where Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others died. So far, two firefighters are set to be fired for their actions. In the docs, obtained by TMZ, Vanessa Bryant’s legal team says they received paperwork from the fire department’s own internal investigation and found that they’d sent 2 firefighters “intention to discharge” letters because they’d taken pics at the scene. It was noted that one of the firefighters, according to the docs, was just a safety officer there to secure the scene that day, but took graphic shots of the victims’ remains.
Attorneys and supporters of Pamela Turner, a Black woman who was shot by a Texas officer during a May 2019 fatal encounter, are gathering on Thursday to reinvigorate justice efforts around her wrongful death. Turner’s advocates which include her family, their lawyers Ben Crump and Devon M. Jacob, along with the families of of Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Sandra Bland, Robbie Taylor, Joshua Feast, George Floyd, and Jacob Blake Jr., will gather in Baytown on the second anniversary of her death.
A Black man has been charged with manslaughter for fatally punching an elderly man 50 years his senior who used a racist slur that prompted the violence earlier this month in central Florida. Corey Pujols, who is Black, was working as a store manager at a Dunkin Donuts in Tampa on May 4 when the unidentified 77-year-old customer reportedly took umbrage at the quality of service in the drive-thru. After employees