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Rachel Dolezal gave lectures on ‘nappiness’ and ‘the brown paper bag test’, once told student she didn’t look ‘Hispanic enough’

June 13, 2015 - Rachel Dolezal, president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP, may not have been born black, but according to family and former students, she fully committed to acting like she was. 

On the heels of the controversy surrounding her ethnic background, a video from February has been uncovered of the Eastern Washington University professor giving a lecture on the history of black hair, nappiness, and her own experiences. Read more at theroot.com.

Category: General

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Court Blocks Release of Albert Woodfox, Angola 3 Member in Solitary Confinement for Over 40 Years

June 13, 2014 - Albert Woodfox, who has spent more that 40 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana prisons, was cautiously hopeful when a federal judge ordered his release earlier this week, his attorney said.

But his hopes were dashed Friday when the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued an order continuing to block his release, the report says. Woodfox, 68, who is under a third indictment for the 1972 murder of a prison guard, will remain behind bars while the court weighs an appeal filed by Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, writes the news outlet. Read more at nola.com.

Category: General

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Jason Whitlock Is Out as Head of ESPN’s New Race and Sports Website

June 13, 2015 - Just weeks before a scheduled launch of a new website about the intersection of sports and race, commentator Jason Whitlock was replaced Friday as head of ESPN’s The Undefeated.

Leon Carter, the site’s editorial director, will replace him on an interim basis, the report says.

The Undefeated was built largely around Whitlock, who has written for years about race and sports. He had been previously fired from ESPN in 2006, notes The Times. Read more at nytimes.com.

Category: General

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Ben Carson Says Gay Rights Shouldn’t Be Compared To Civil Rights

June 13, 2015 - Presidential hopeful Ben Carson placed another thorn in his campaign when he stated he was irritated by the comparisons between gay and civil rights.

The GOP candidate spoke out on Wednesday during Fox News’ “Special Report.” Carson, who previously apologized for saying that being gay was a choice, said LGBT people haven’t faced the same troubles as African-Americans. After his remarks spread, Carson spoke to CNN, stating that everyone faces discrimination, but didn’t confirm if the LGBT fits into his list of those discriminated groups. Read more at cnn.com.

Category: General

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Study Reveals African-Americans Acquire The Most Student Loan Debt

June 13, 2015 - African-American students are paying a big price when it comes to achieving higher education; according to a new report, Blacks acquire the most student loan debt.

The National Center for Education Statistics released new numbers that show how much debt African-American students collect and how the numbers compare to other races, Mic reports. Not only have African-American students borrowed more from lenders, only 15.8 percent graduate debt-free, unlike their White counterparts at a high of 32.5 percent. African-American students also graduate with a debt higher than $30,500 at 43.1 percent. White students graduate with that particular debt at 25.4 percent. Read more at newsone.com.

Category: General

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Mary Mary Singer Erica Campbell Addresses Sexuality In Christianity With Empowerment Campaign

June 13, 2015 - Gospel singer Erica Campbell is aiming to contribute to the discussion of sexuality in Christianity through her new women’s empowerment movement, “More Than Pretty.”

During a recent interview with The Huffington Post, the Grammy Award winner explained that she was inspired to create the campaign due to her passion for educating young girls about their bodies and “God’s design to love and intimacy.” Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Anger And Grief At Vigil For Kalief Browder

June 13, 2015 - A vigil Thursday evening for Kalief Browder -- the young Bronx man who died by suicide this week after spending his teenage years in jail without a trial -- started with a prayer.

"We’re here for one reason and one reason only," Rev. Jackie Lewis told a crowd of about 100 people from the steps the Manhattan Detention Complex. "We’re here to grieve. We’re here to grieve the loss of a particular life, Kalief Browder, who began to die the day he was arrested at 16, and incarcerated and held for 1,000 days without due process." Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Tyrese, Rev Run to host relationship talk show on OWN

June 12, 2015 - Tyrese Gibson and Rev Run are springboarding off of the success of their book Manology to bring a relationship talk show to OWN.

The yet-to-be-named eight-episode show will take place in front of a studio audience.

Celebrity guests will be invited for relationship discussions, and the two hosts will attempt to answer any and all questions about everything from love to sex. The show will also aim to leverage social media for question and answer topics as well. Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Cleveland Judge Finds Probable Cause for Charges in Tamir Rice’s Shooting Death

June 12, 2015 - A Cleveland judge has found probable cause to charge Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

According to the report, after reviewing the facts of the November shooting that has spurred nationwide debate, Judge Ronald Adrine said he thinks prosecutors should move forward with the charges against the officers involved. Read more at theroot.com.

Category: General

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Demetrius Blackwell Pleads Not Guilty in High-Profile Fatal Police Shooting

June 12, 2015 - At his arraignment, Demetrius Blackwell told a Queens, N.Y., judge Thursday that he’s not guilty of the first-degree murder of New York City Police Officer Brian Moore. His attorney is considering an insanity defense, according to WABC News.

A short time earlier Thursday, a grand jury delivered a 12-count indictment, which included attempted murder of Moore’s partner, Police Officer Erik Jensen. The 35-year-old defendant faces a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole if convicted. Read more at nydailynews.com.

Category: General

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Rikers Guard Kicked Inmate to Death, Plotted With Others to Lie: Federal Prosecutors

June 11, 2015 - A Rikers Island guard is facing charges of conspiring with two other guards to lie about kicking an inmate to death in 2012, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday. Prosecutors also announced two arrests and a guilty plea.

According to the report, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said that Brian Coll, a former guard at the New York City jail complex, and a current correction officer, Byron Taylor, had been arrested in relation to the death of Ronald Spear. Their arrests follow a federal investigation prompted by state authorities’ decision not to bring charges in the case. Read more at theroot.com.

Category: General

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This Poet's Powerful Explanation Of 'Black Privilege' Will Give You Chills

June 12, 2015 - “Black privilege is a myth, is a joke, is a punchline, is a time a teacher asks a little boy what he wanted to be when he grew up and he said alive.”

This is just one of the chilling and painfully honest statements poet Crystal Valentine delivered at the finals of the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in April. Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Nile Rodgers On How The 'Blurred Lines' Case Will Affect The Music Business

June 12, 2015 - In the months following a ruling that determined Robin Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell Williams copied Marvin Gaye’s "Got to Give It Up" in their 2013 hit “Blurred Lines", many have questioned how the case will affect future compositions.

In speaking with The Financial Times in March, Williams said the decision “handicaps” any artist who makes something out of inspiration of a previous creation. "If we lose our freedom to be inspired, we're going to look up one day and the entertainment industry as we know it will be frozen in litigation," he said. Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Obama: Sasha And Malia Work A Lot Harder Than I Did As A Kid

June 12, 2015 - President Barack Obama admitted in a recent interview that he thinks his two teenage daughters work harder than he did as a kid.

"The truth is the girls are wonderful," Obama told "Extra." "You know they work hard, they work a lot harder than I ever did when I was a kid."

"Most importantly, they're kind, they're respectful, they don't have an attitude," he said. "Partly because maybe my mother-in-law was here, you know we say we don't want to see any attitude out of them. And they've been terrific." Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Boko Haram Burns Down Nigerian Villages, Kills Farmers

June 12, 2015 - Boko Haram extremists have burned down six northeast Nigerian villages and killed 37 people near the insurgents' Sambisa Forest stronghold, a survivor said Friday.

Ahmed Ajimi, a fighter in the anti-Boko Haram Nigerian Vigilante Group, said many victims of Wednesday night's attacks were farmers who had recently returned home after soldiers earlier this year forced the extremists out of the area where they had declared an Islamic caliphate. Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Michelle Obama Remembers Slain Teen Hadiya Pendleton at Chicago Graduation

June 11, 2015 - It has been two years since Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old Chicago honor student who marched in President Barack Obama’s inaugural parade, succumbed to gunshot wounds after being caught in the crossfire during a gang shooting.

However, according to the New York Times, friends, family and even her school have not forgotten the majorette. An empty chair was draped in purple and with flowers to honor her at King College Prep High School’s commencement Tuesday. Her family was presented with a cap, gown and class ring as the student body mourned and celebrated the young teen. Read more at nytimes.com.

Category: General

Black College Student’s Death In Georgia Police Custody Ruled A Homicide

June 11, 2015 - The death of a 21-year-old Nigerian college student in an isolation cell in Savannah, Georgia on New Year’s Day has been ruled a homicide by Chatham County coroner William Wessinger, according to CNN.

The cause of death for Matthew Ajibade is listed as blunt force trauma, a combination of several things, including “abrasions, lacerations, skin injuries about the head and some other areas of the body. There was some small amount of blood inside the skull case,” the report says. Read more at newsone.com.

Category: General

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Welcome back Atwater’s

June 11, 2015 - For the past 60 years, there has been an Atwater cooking up delicious food somewhere in St. Pete. The late Elzo Atwater, Sr. and wife Mattie purchased the Harlem Restaurant on 22nd Street from Wilbur and Annie Wright back in 1965. Together they ran the restaurant until 1977 when they purchased the building on Ninth Street, which is now Martin Luther King Jr. Street, and opened up Atwater’s Cafeteria.  Read more at theweeklychallenger.com.

Category: General

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BB&T Hillsborough market president joins Tampa Housing Authority board

June 11, 2015 - Mayor Bob Buckhorn named Bemetra Simmonsto serve as a commissioner on the board of theTampa Housing Authority.

Simmons is Hillsborough market president at Branch Banking & Trust and was a Tampa Bay Business Journal Up & Comer in 2013.

BB&T (NYSE: BBT) is among the largest banks in Tampa Bay, and had 14 offices and $635 million in deposits in Hillsborough County as of June 30, 2014, the most recent date for which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has information available. Read more at bizjournals.com.

Category: General

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Carrollwood barbecue restaurant owner dies in motorcycle crash

June 11, 2015 - Alex Cooks Sr., whose generosity over the past 15 years has steered more than 20,000 bicycles to needy children and whose secret recipe left Carrollwood barbecue lovers smacking their lips and licking their fingers, succumbed Tuesday to injuries from a motorcycle crash the day before. He was 49. 

Cooks, of Tampa, was known for his friendly way in his eatery and at his charity. Read more at tbo.com.

Category: General