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Beyoncé Balances Motherhood With Her Work And Still Feels Sexy

Dec. 31, 2013 - "Just because you become a mother, doesn't mean you lose who you are." Beyoncé's newest featurette about the making of her self-titled album starts off strong, and it's no wonder -- the superstar has been an icon of female empowerment since she was a teen.

In the video, Beyoncé talks about how her experience as a new mother to Blue Ivy Carter, her daughter with husband Jay-Z, shaped her artistic decisions for the album and the song "Yoncé/Partition" in particular. With a voice reminiscent of her 2008 alter ego Sasha Fierce, she describes her work as both an escape and a statement. Read more at huffingtopost.com.

Category: General

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‘The Cultural Impact of Kanye West’ Textbook Coming In March

Dec. 31, 2013 - Whether you love him or hate him, almost everyone can agree that Kanye West is a media figure with aloud voice and great influence. Author Julius Bailey seems to agree, as he’s releasing an honest to goodness textbook about the infamous emcee/producer.

“The Cultural Impact of Kanye West” will weigh in on the cultural impact that West’s work has had over the course of the last decade and will look at the “moral and social implications of West’s words, images, and music in the broader context of Western civilization’s preconceived ideas…,” according toAmazon.com. Read more at theurbandaily.com.

Category: General

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Boy, 8, with cerebral palsy drafted by Memphis Grizzlies

Dec. 31, 2013 - Charvis Brewer, an 8-year-old super-fan of the Memphis Grizzlies, has bragging rights that most children can only dream about.

On Sunday, the basketball team drafted Charvis as its newest and youngest member. The ceremony, complete with a mock press conference, team photograph and visit to the locker room, was orchestrated by Make-A-Wish, a non-profit wish-granting organization for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Pot, guns and paparazzi: New laws run gamut in US

Dec. 30, 2013 - The new year is bringing a host of new laws taking effect in January or thereabouts. A look at some state and local laws that are making news:

ALCOHOL AND MARIJUANA

COLORADO, MAINE AND WASHINGTON: Colorado pot stores open Jan. 1 as retailers usher in the nation’s first legal recreational pot industry. Sales in Washington, which also legalized recreational marijuana, are expected to start later in the year. The laws still fly in the face of federal drug rules, but the federal government has said it’s not going to fight to shut down potshops for now. Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Family asks for help finding missing woman in Michigan

Dec. 30, 2013 - A mother from Kissimmee, Florida is pleading for help in finding her adult daughter who has been missing from Kalamazoo, Michigan since early December. Dr. Teleka Patrick’s car was found abandoned in Indiana on December 5th. Her mother, Irene Patrick, has been to Michigan and Indiana to post fliers to try and find her daughter. Each search has left the family with more questions than answers. Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Redskins fire coach Mike Shanahan after 3-13 season

Dec. 30, 2013 - Mike Shanahan’s plan to restore order, professionalism and consistent success to the Washington Redskins disintegrated quickly in 2013, costing him his job Monday a day after the team finished a 3-13 season.

Shanahan was fired after a morning meeting with owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen at Redskins Park, a formality expected for several weeks as the losses mounted and tension rose among Shanahan, Snyder and franchise player Robert Griffin III. Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Robin Roberts acknowledges same-sex relationship in Facebook message

Dec. 30, 2013 - Robin Roberts thanked her longtime girlfriend, Amber Laign, in a year-end post published Sunday on the ABC News anchor’s Facebook page.

The message, which follows Roberts’ battle with a life-threatening illness, is the first time the “Good Morning America” anchor has publicly acknowledged her 10-year, same-sex relationship with Laign, a massage therapist from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Roberts’ post was confirmed by ABC News spokeswoman Heather Riley. Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Forget Duck Dynasty; There Are Important Civil Rights Battles to Fight

Dec. 30, 2013 - When the PR director of a digital-media company tweeted a racist remark about AIDS in Africa before boarding a flight from the United States to South Africa, thousands of Twitter followers tracked her flight. Thousands pressured cable channel A&E to suspend reality star Phil Robertson from his popular show, Duck Dynasty, after the publication of an interview in GQ magazine in which he made homophobic remarks and insisted that black people were happy under Jim Crow. Read more at theroot.com.

Category: General

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Oklahoma Woman Receives Good Fortune After Returning $800

Dec. 30, 2013 - Teriasia Dean, a retail makeup artist from Oklahoma, said she was only doing the right thing this week when she returned a Coach purse containing $800, after finding it in the parking lot of her apartment complex, media reports show.

"It wasn’t my bag. It wasn’t my stuff. That’s not my belongings; Teriasia Dean’s name was not on any of those cards," she said, according to the Oklahoma Star. Read more at theroot.com.

Category: General

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Jobless-Benefits Cutoff: Happy New Year From Congress!

Dec. 30, 2013 - When you’ve lost your unemployment benefits, like more than a million Americansthis past weekend, there’s not much to look forward to in the current political environment. Members of Congress, convinced that they did enough to extinguish a do-nothing narrative, bounced quickly to enjoy their trees full of gifts and dining tables lined with gut-busting delicacies. And while you may have looked to the first family for public consolation, President Obama spent less than an obligatory minute on the topic during an hourlong presser—right before he skipped out of town for a warm, well-fed Hawaii vacation. Read more at theroot.com.

Category: General

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Who Legalized Arming Black Men to Kill Confederates?

Dec. 30, 2013 - New Year’s Day not only marks the turning of the calendar; it is the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was the turning point of the American Civil War. Those who keep Jan. 1, 1863, in their hearts usually reflect on the first part of President Lincoln’s equation for victory: freeing, by executive order, the slaves behind Confederate lines. Caveats mattered then and now: The order left untouched slaves in the border states and other carve-outs in Louisiana and Virginia, 48 counties of which had been “designated” West Virginia. Read more at theroot.com.

Category: General

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Carmen Fariña Tapped To Lead New York City Public Schools Under Bill De Blasio

Dec. 30, 2013 - With just days before he begins his term as New York City's new mayor, Bill de Blasio (D) on Monday named longtime educator Carmen Fariña to lead the nation's largest school system. The mayor-elect made the announcement at a press conference at Brooklyn's William Alexander Middle School, where his two children attended.

The job gives Fariña, 70, a broad mandate to remake one of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's signature sweeping changes to the city of New York. Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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What's the Deal With Auld Lang Syne?

Dec. 30, 2013 - Fun Fact: Many of us will start out the New Year babbling incoherently at the top of our lungs.

"Should old acquaintance be forgot and something blah blah blah!!!"

Auld Lang Syne. That mournful, ecstatic, glassy-eyed dirge that greets every New Year with equal parts melancholy and excitement. Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Longtime St. Petersburg administrator Clarence Scott to leave City Hall

December 27, 2013 - As Rick Kriseman prepares to become St. Petersburg's mayor on Thursday, another longtime administrator resigned from the city's payroll after 29 years.

Clarence Scott III, who joined the city in 1984, announced his departure on Friday. He headed Leisure and Community Services, which encompasses parks, libraries, golf courses and housing and community development. His last day is Dec. 31, said Gary Cornwell, human resources director.  Read more at tampabay.com.

Category: General

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POTUS & First Lady: ‘Kwanzaa Celebrates African-American Culture’

December 26, 2013 - President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama issued a statement to Black families around the nation celebrating Kwanzaa this year.

Michelle and I extend our best wishes to all those celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today marks the beginning of the week-long celebration of African American culture through family activities and community festivities that bring attention to Kwanzaa’s seven principles of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. Though each principle represents the essence of this holiday, they also represent the shared values that bind us as Americans.

As families and communities across our country come together today to light the Kinara, our family sends our hopes for a prosperous and healthy new year.  Read more at newsone.com.

Category: General

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Ohio Teacher Suspended After Telling Student, “We Do Not Need Another Black President”

December 26, 2013 - Ohio teacher, Gil Voigt, has been suspended without pay for allegedly making racially offensive remarks to a student, reports The Cincinnati Enquirer.

The 13-year-veteran teacher at Fairfield Freshman School, was accused of telling a black student, “We don’t need another black president,” after the boy expressed his aspiration to be president. The board suspended Voigt Monday night without pay, the first step needed for termination, says Fairfield City Schools Board President Dan Murray.  Read more at newsone.com.

Category: General

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Kanye West promises silence in 2014

December 27, 2013 - Kanye West has revealed his new year’s resolution for 2014 — to stop talking for “six months, at least.”

The outspoken artist routinely is criticized and ridiculed for his public rants and seemingly tone-deaf interviews.  Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Jesse Jackson: Phil Robertson's Words More Offensive Than Rosa Parks' Bus Driver

December 26, 2013 - Reverend Jesse Jackson had harsh words for "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson on Wednesday, calling Robertson's remarks in a recent GQ interview "more offensive" than the bus driver who told Rosa Parks she had to move to the back.

In an interview with GQ magazine this month in which he compared homosexuality to bestiality, Robertson also claimed that the Jim Crow-era South wasn't so bad for African Americans.  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Serena Williams Wins AP’s Athlete Of The Year Award For The 3rd Time!

December 26, 2013 - Serena Williams’ 2013 winning streak continues.

With 55 of 96 votes, the tennis superstar was recently voted the Associated Press’ Female Athlete of the Year! This was her third time receiving the honor, following wins in 2009 and 2002.  Read more at hellobeautiful.com.

Category: General

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Rick Kriseman swearing-in to be bigger, more visible than past ceremonies

December 26, 2013 - When Rick Kriseman takes the oath of office Thursday to become mayor, it will be a made-for-television event.

City workers will erect a stage and risers for photographers. A choir will woo the crowd. Besides providing security, 15 police officers will direct traffic and close the street in front of City Hall.  Read more at tampabay.com.

Category: General