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New Obama Initiative Stresses Equal Access To Good Teachers

July 7, 2014 - The Obama administration will announce plans on Monday to enforce a long-ignored federal mandate: a decade-old requirement that states give students of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds equal access to good teachers.  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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More Than 60 Nigerian Girls And Women Escape Kidnappers

July 6, 2014 - More than 60 girls and women kidnapped by Nigeria's Boko Haram have escaped their captors, a security source told Agence France Presse on Sunday.

The women who escaped had been abducted from Kummabza village in late June. Boko Haram is still holding more than 200 schoolgirls abducted about two months ago from a school in Chibok.  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Scandal's Columbus Short Arrested for Public Intoxication

July 5, 2014 - Columbus Short has found himself in trouble with the law yet again after getting arrested on Friday (July 4) for public intoxication.

The 31-year-old former Scandal actor was partying on the Fourth of July at the Katy Trail Ice House in Dallas. He had been running up a tab for four hours when security thought he was about to leave without paying and confronted him, according to TMZ.  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

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Prince Returns For Essence's 20th Celebration (PHOTOS)

July 6, 2014 - Uttering his signature, "We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life," Prince opened his set for the 20th celebration of the Essence Festival and showed thousands Friday why a 10-year wait isn't a bad thing.

As the first licks of "Let's Go Crazy," rang throughout the Superdome, thousands in the audience — already on their feet in anticipation — stayed there until the final rifts of "Purple Rain" left the air.  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Chicago’s Surge Of Holiday Weekend Violence Ends In 60 Shot, 9 Dead

July 7, 2014 - While many enjoyed celebrating Independence Day all across the nation, Chicago’s violence raged on with a vengeance that left 60 wounded and nine dead from gun wounds, according to ABC 7 News.

The first reported shooting took place in the wee hours of Friday morning, when 34-year-old Corey Hudson was hanging out with a friend on the street.  A car pulled up and someone inside reportedly opened fire on the young man, killing him instantly.  Read more at newsone.com.

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Sentencing Nears For Former New Orleans Mayor

July 7, 2014 - Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s steep descent from the days when he was seen as a fresh-faced reformer continues this week when he is sentenced in federal court on 20 criminal charges counts including bribery, money laundering and fraud.

Defense attorney Robert Jenkins will ask for leniency when Nagin – a Democrat who served from 2002-2010 – stands before U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan on Wednesday. In court papers, Jenkins says the 20-plus years sought by prosecutors amount to a “life sentence” for the 58-year-old Nagin and would deprive his teenage daughter of her father.  Read more at newsone.com.

Category: General

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Tamron Hall: ‘Essence made me confident in black beauty’

July 5, 2014 - Entertainment editor for TheGrio.com, Chris Witherspoon joined TJ Holmes on MSNBC live from the Essence Festival in New Orleans and weighed in on the various events taking place.

Holmes and Witherspoon discussed Prince’s epic headlining performance that happened last night at The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which consisted of some of his biggest hits, including “Let’s Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry,” “Little Red Corvette,” and “Purple Rain.”  Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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‘First kid’ Malia Obama celebrates Sweet 16

July 4, 2014 - Malia Obama celebrates her sweet sixteen Friday, July 4, as our nation celebrates Independence Day. The oldest of two daughters, Malia started her birthday celebration earlier this week with a trip to Disneyland with a friend, reports E! Online. The teen recently attended her first prom in May and had the opportunity to work on the set on CBS’ upcoming new series Extant, starring Halle Berry, in June. Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Obama suggests Tim Howard shave his beard during congratulatory call

July 4, 2014 - President Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel took a couple moments out of their busy schedules Wednesday to call the USMNT goalie Tim Howard and the team’s captain Clint Dempsey.

The president congratulated them on their World Cup showing and even joked with Howard about his newfound fame. The U.S. was eliminated from the World Cup Tuesday following a loss to Belgium. Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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TheGrio’s artist spotlight: Tinashe talks ’2 On’ and love for Janet Jackson

July 4, 2014 - Have you heard of Tinashe? You will soon.

The 21-year-old L.A. singer has been making moves on the R&B charts largely due to her popular debut single “2 On,” featuring TDE artist Schoolboy Q.

“2 On’s” video features Tinashe’s dance moves in a studio, and her vocals are authentic, making her a dual threat like her inspiration, Janet Jackson. Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Obama To Highlight Positive Side Of Immigration Debate At Citizenship Ceremony

July 4, 2014 - President Barack Obama plans to highlight a positive side of the immigration debate by presiding over an Independence Day citizenship ceremony for service members who signed up to defend the U.S. even though they weren't American citizens.

A total of 25 members of the Armed Forces will spend the Fourth of July as American citizens after the deputy secretary for homeland security delivers the oath of allegiance at a White House ceremony on Friday. Read more at thehuffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Montel Williams Condemns Congress For Neglect Of Veterans' Issues

July 4, 2014 - Montel Williams may no longer host his own talk show, but he’s not keeping quiet, especially amidst the political turmoil and scandal surrounding American Veterans Affairs.

The Marine veteran and retired naval officer shared his passionate stance for veterans’ rights, Tuesday on HuffPost Live. Clearly outraged by the lack of action taken by thousands of self-proclaimed supporters nationwide, Williams reminded viewers that former soldiers die “twenty a day, like a ticking clock.” Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Hobby Lobby Ruling Opens the Door to ‘Method Discrimination’ for Black Women

July 4, 2014 - Apologists for the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling this week in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores are fond of pointing out that the arts and crafts retail chain includes 16 forms of contraception under its health insurance plan and excludes only four. And by framing this as corporate benevolence, Hobby Lobby and the court have effectively opened the door to “method discrimination”—by which employers can limit their employees’ contraceptive choices to those that align with their beliefs. Read more at theroot.com.

Category: General

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‘What Would Jesus Do?’ Well ... Tyler Perry Owns That

July 4, 2014 - Tyler Perry just won the rights to use the popular phrase "What Would Jesus Do," the Hollywood Reporter reports.

The actor, director and screenwriter insisted that he wasn't looking for exclusive ownership of or rights to the word "Jesus" beyond that '90s quip, the entertainment site notes. Read more at theroot.com.

Category: General

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The Meaning of the 4th of July Now

July 4, 2014 -What, to a black American in the age of Barack Obama, is the Fourth of July? I answer: the day that reveals to him, more than any other, how much America owes to blacks and their struggle for freedom. If it hadn't been for people like Frederick Douglass, this would not be a country worth living in. The lofty ideals of the Founding Fathers would have been no more than stirring but empty rhetoric. Read more at theroot.com.

Category: General

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Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Leads to More Than $5,400,000 in Donations

July 4, 2014 - The pot of gold at the end of Reading Rainbow is somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.4 million.

At the end of May, executive producer and host LeVar Burton launched the Kickstarter campaign in hopes of creating a Web version of the popular PBS show. He saw its initial goal of $1 million reached just hours after its launch. Now, some 28 days later, with more than 100,000 backers, Entrepreneur magazine notes that the campaign has broken the record for most individual contributors. Read more at theroot.com.

Category: General

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The School-to-Prison Pipeline: How Our Educational System Creates Inmates

July 4, 2014 - There’s been lots of talk about the school-to-prison pipeline over the past few years. Lots of people wringing their hands over what to do about kids, particularly Black boys, who leave school early and are eventually funneled in to the U.S. prison system, where as you read this, there are 840,000 Black males. Read more at newsone.com.

Category: General

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Walter Dean Myers dead at 76

July 3, 2014 - Walter Dean Myers, a best-selling and prolific children’s author and tireless champion of literacy and education, has died. He was 76.

Myers, a longtime resident of Jersey City, New Jersey, died Tuesday at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan after a brief illness, publisher HarperCollins announced. Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Prince Leads an All-Star Lineup at the Essence Music Festival

July 3, 2014 - It seems fitting that the Essence Festival—which has hosted and broken some of the biggest names in black music for the past 20 years—would have the man who at one point was so big that he used only a symbol as his moniker to headline the 20th-anniversary installment of the three-day musical free-for-all.

The Purple One, aka Purple Majesty, aka that symbol that looks like a cross made from a downward pointing arrow and a curvy trumpet, aka Prince, is headlining the 20th anniversary of the musical extension of the magazine that is arguably considered the African-American woman’s bible. Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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78-Year Old Jailed Over $500 Debt

July 3, 2014 - Debtor prisons are supposed to be a thing of the past so how did this elderly man end up in jail? Iheanyi D. Okoroafor, a 78-year old retiree living in South Hadley, MA., was imprisoned for a $508.27 bill, according to the Boston Globe. On June 11, Judge Robert S. Murphy Jr. sentenced Okoroafor to thirty days in jail for failing to pay a small claims order from a heating contractor. Read more at theroot.com.

Category: General

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