Black America

The Grio

  1. California Trump rally turns violent -

    A Make America Great Again rally turned violent in Huntington Beach, California this Saturday when an protestor was sprayed with pepper spray before being attacked by Trump supporters.

    The masked man was tackled to the ground by flag waving Trump …

  2. Georgetown employee finds out university sold his slave ancestor -

    Jeremy Alexander, an executive assistant in Georgetown’s office of technology commercialization, had his DNA tested in 2014 so that he could find his ancestors, and he was able to find his great-grandmother, Anna Jones, before he hit a dead end.…

  3. Designer Tory Burch sparks backlash with ‘Juju On That Beat’ remake -

    Tory Burch came under fire on Tuesday when they premiered an ad for their spring/summer 2017 collection.

    The ad features English model Poppy Delevingne, as well as two other white models, dancing along to Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall’s “Juju …

  4. Trump supporter shocked her husband is facing deportation -

    Roberto Beristain came into the United States from Mexico Nineteen years ago. He became the owner of Eddie’s Steak Shed in Granger, Indiana, and he has four children with his wife, all of whom were born in the United States.…

  5. Ed Sheeran admits ‘Shape Of You’ is influenced by ‘No Scrubs’, gives Kandi and Tiny credit -

    For weeks, people on social media have been pointing out the similarities between Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and TLC’s 1999 single “No Scrubs.”

    So, finally, Sheeran added Kandi Burruss and Tameka “Tiny” Cottle to the song credits for “Shape …

Black America Web

  1. Dr. Vanetta Rather On What’s Behind The Epidemic Of Missing Girls [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW] - Dr. Vanetta Rather talks about the connection between missing girls and sex trafficking.
  2. Pastor Jay: Focus On The Good Things About Ourselves [EXCLUSIVE] - Pastor Jay explains that we focus too hard on the things we don't like.
  3. Why Russ Parr Recommends NBC’s “Trial And Error” [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW] - Russ Parr is really enjoying NBC's new show, "Trial And Error."
  4. Marlon Wayans On Why He’s Not Hosting “America’s Got Talent” [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW] - Marlon Wayans explains why he's not hosting "America's Got Talent."
  5. Sisqó Explains Why He’s Suing Over “The Thong Song” [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW] - Sisqó explains why he was suing execs over royalties from "The Thong Song."

The Root

  1. Miss. Newspaper Announces Plans for ‘Gangbangers’ Rodeo’: ‘Bang, Bang, You’re Dead’ - Peter Rinaldi, owner and publisher of Miss-Lou Magazine and the Natchez Sun, has caused wide-spread anger with a racist column calling for black youth in Natchez, Miss. who may be involved in gang activity to go to a local park and murder each other for the amusement of observers. In Miss-Lou Magazine’s January 11-24, 2017 print […]
  2. The Art Speaks for Itself - Every year, our congressional representatives hold an art contest for students in their districts, with the prize being a yearlong exhibition at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. It typically does not cause a murmur. This year’s unanimous winner in Missouri’s 1st District was my friend David Pulphus, a quiet, gentle, unassuming student. David’s painting […]
  3. Fla. High School Students Protest to Make African-American History a Full-Year Course - Students at Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville, Fla., staged a sit-in earlier this week demanding a change in the way African-American history is taught in Duval County Public Schools, Action News Jax reports. The organizer of the sit-in, Angelina Roque, said that she and her other classmates wanted to protest because they believed that […]

Huffington Post – Black Voices

  1. Haunted By ‘Get Out’ -- But Not Because It’s A Horror Film -

    After watching the movie “Get Out” (only once unlike several friends who’ve already seen it 3 times), my eyes have been wide open. I am highly attuned and alert...and also confused. Have I, like the characters in the film, ever said incredibly offensive things to people of color in an effort to demonstrate just how “cool” and “liberated” I am? I certainly hope not, but the feeling I have now is that you can never be entirely too sure.


    The current box office hit has been labeled a “suspense” and “horror” film and is very reminiscent of The Stepford Wives in its depiction of mysterious characters who remind us of people we’ve actually known. Get Out highlights a nationwide problem: how White people regard and treat African Americans. Sometimes Caucasians go overboard in their attempts at flattery, just as the parents (played by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) of Rose (Alison Williams) do while welcoming her dark-skinned black boyfriend Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) to the family home. In stereotypical horror film fashion, there is frightening foreshadowing leading up to the family visit. When Chris reaches the estate grounds with Rose, the feel is old fashioned & the help also just happens to be black. They are Georgina and Walter (played by Betty Gabriel and Marcus Henderson) who seem robotic, eerily soulless and painstakingly devoted to their tasks. Rose’s dad makes a concerted effort to show just how open-minded he is and overdoes it in the most cringe-worthy way imaginable. Oh, the shit white people say...now sink into your movie chair.



    As a woman whose skin is pale, I came away pensive. In the resulting week, I’m more perplexed.



    Without spoiling Get Out, I will say that as a woman whose skin is pale, I came away pensive. In the resulting week, I’m more perplexed. The movie was incredibly powerful, but it highlighted for me how we can all make buffoons of ourselves in the face of diversity. In an ultra-PC environment ― that Donald Trump notoriously seems to shun ― there are several types of Americans. Among them are the blatant racists and of the other extreme, those who want to prove how un-racist they are that they end up overdoing it.


    The film may also have another message for its audience about Caucasians adopting black culture, glorifying it and even including parts of it as its own without acknowledging origins. Because I love pop culture, I’ll look there for examples: While Eminem frequently credits his predecessors and professional influences, do other white rappers pay homage to those who paved the way? When Tom Hanks youngest son talks like an African American in a video - despite the fact that we know he’s Rita and Tom’s son - is it fine to just chalk it up to immaturity? I also think of Rachel Dolezal who made the news and was so controversial. Was she disrespectful of African Americans or do we try to see her through an empathetic lens, a woman whose heart and mind were overly consumed with black culture and history?



    With interracial relationships, it is impossible to ignore that it’s not about cleaving to one culture but thoroughly examining both, not rushing in, and deciding how to honor respective roots.



    Furthermore, with interracial relationships, it is impossible to ignore that it’s not about cleaving to one culture but thoroughly examining both, not rushing in, and deciding how to honor respective roots. Do Caucasians take and take from black culture (frequently) and make it a white thing? This undoubtedly happens. I’m sure it’s a sensitive subject in the world of athletes and endorsement deals combined with public appearances.


    The Stepford Wives inspiration for Jordan Peele’s Get Out (yes, this is was the brainchild of the comedian who is part of the duo Key & Peele) is not only what makes it comedy, but what makes it completely tragic. Are white people depleting the richness of black culture – say, by taking an African American theme and watering it down in a film so it meets box office standards? Other films may spring to mind such as Steve Harvey’s Think Like A Man. Is that white male friend there to bring in white viewers and “normalize” things in Hollywood’s eyes? Can white people not relate to and be comfortable with an all-black group of guys?


    Get Out is almost like Scary Movie in the way it points out not only societal but horror film tropes. In the 1980s, when movies from Gremlins to Nightmare on Elm Street brought in viewers, black characters were often relegated to the sidelines, barely even minor supporting characters. Now, Get Out’s central figure is a black man paired with the extremely fair Rose - and the irony is not lost on viewers that the actress, Brian Williams’ daughter, is oh so white (exemplified further by her character Marnie on HBO’s Girls).


    There is even the hilarious black sidekick so often seen in movies, Chris’s friend played by comedian Lil Rey Howery ―The twist here is that the sidekick becomes a more prolific character as the film moves along.



    Coming out of Get Out, I was filled with questions. Have I been guilty of uttering any words that would be considered “micro-aggressions”...ever?



    Coming out of Get Out, I was filled with questions. Have I been guilty of uttering any words that would be considered “micro-aggressions”...ever? One particular story comes to mind: I told a woman of color that I could relate to her hair struggles because of my own naturally curly, coarse and stubborn locks. How wrong was that to say? A Trump supporter told me recently “I’m just sick of political correctness. You may not like Donald but I like that he’s finally saying exactly what’s on people’s minds!” Uh..no. I personally hate it, but there has to be a middle ground. I felt that the movie conveyed that we need to find that middle ground. We should behave naturally around people of color and respect people as people rather than pointing out the tone of their skin.


    We should not be isolating the only black person in the room, asking them about the “African American experience” (you’ll get it when you see Get Out). However, it’s all complicated because while we aren’t to make a big deal, we also need to be aware of things that come a friend’s way from other directions - ranging from awkward remarks that heighten awareness of race to slightly discriminating behavior to blatant profiling, bigotry, racism and hatred. We also need to be aware of a friend’s history.


    If you look at message boards and Facebook comments today, you’ll cringe while noting how some people don’t care or double-check their words. A few months back, a Facebook acquaintance made a comment in my feed about Obama being undignified. “He dropped the mic. He was Ghetto” she wrote. Ghetto?! I asked in horror as more people flew to my feed to point out how racist this woman sounded. “Of course you’re saying it’s racist,” she replied “because you don’t like what you hear.” She must have had a change of heart because moments later she deleted her comments and unfriended me. While her words were completely foreign and anathema to me, Get Out had me questioning my own. Have I ever bent over backwards so much to prove I wasn’t racist that it actually backfired to the point of seeming racist? I certainly hope not, but unlike our president, I don’t see anything wrong with checking my political correctness and reevaluating the way I speak.


    The movie leaves you with two sentiments: You can never be too observant and also, you totally can be...


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  2. Mindy Kaling Says Yes To Dinner Date With Sen. Cory Booker After 'Dissing Newark' -





    This is what romance looks like in the 21st century ― and we’re all for it. 


    It all began with a diss on Hulu’s “The Mindy Project” and ended with Mindy Kaling agreeing to go on a date with New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker


    On Tuesday’s episode, Kaling’s character Dr. Mindy Lahiri joked that she couldn’t believe Booker showed up to her party:


    “Cory Booker? I can’t believe he came. I guess anything to get out of Newark, huh?” 


    On Thursday, Booker tweeted at Kaling that he heard her “Mindy Project” character had dissed Newark and posted a link to a Vogue article on why it’s worth visiting. The senator made sure to keep the tweet light-hearted and was quite flirty with his use of emojis ― not to mention the fact he added “(I still ❤️ U”). 






    Kaling responded by assuring Booker that anything her character dislikes is actually cool:  






    And then something magical and rom-com worthy happened. He asked her out! On Twitter! 






    And. Then. She. Said. Yes. 






    Are you swooning yet?  


    As this was unfolding in real time PATH chimed in with its train schedule to ensure that this date actually happens. 










    So far no word on when the date will happen, but we wish them all the best. 


     


    Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Tracy Morgan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Moore, Padma Lakshmi and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Donate now and join us at 7 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 31 on Facebook Live. #standforrights2017

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  3. These Teachers Voted For Trump. Here's What They Think About His Proposed Education Cuts -

    Rebekah McClung, a civics and economics teacher in Virginia, thinks Donald Trump is doing a pretty good job as president. He hasn’t been perfect ― if it was up to her he would tone down the tweeting ― but overall, she rates him a 4 out of 5.


    Her satisfaction with the president includes his plans for schools, even though his proposed budget slashes $9 billion from federal education programs. After all, as a conservative, she doesn’t see the point in leaving children with a huge national debt, even if decreasing it comes at the expense of enrichment programs.


    “Really we’re just talking about building cultural centers and sending kids on field trips,” said McClung, referring to the defunding of 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which provide after-school and summer programs to more than 1.6 million children. “I don’t know – I don’t necessarily think that’s the responsibility of the federal government.”


    McClung’s view stands in contrast with many of the nation’s leading education groups and teachers unions who are decrying the proposed education budget. The American Federation of Teachers said Trump’s proposal “takes a meat cleaver to public education.” The nation’s former secretary of education John King said that the cuts will hurt all students, especially low-income and minority ones. But McClung says that the cuts seem like a necessary evil, even if “cutting a budget sucks, no matter what.”


    McClung isn’t alone, even if she might be in the minority of educators. Several other teachers who also voted for Trump told The Huffington Post that they are fine ― if not happy ― with the cost-cutting the president proposed for the U.S. Department of Education. While a few expressed hesitation with his pick for education secretary ― Betsy DeVos ― they said they have faith in the president’s judgment.


    The proposed budget slashes funding for a number of education programs ― including ones that provide after-school programming and teacher training  ― overall decreasing Education Department spending by over 13 percent. Still, the budget also adds money to charter schools as well as a nebulous school choice program for private institutions. It does not touch funding for special education, something which pleases McClung, who works in a public school.


    Her support is not without its caveats. If a private school choice program ― which could come in the form of vouchers ― ends up leading to more “miscommunication and more red tape,” then it’s not something she would support.


    “As far as the voucher program is concerned I can’t say I’m for or against it because I really have no idea what they’re talking about,” said McClung, explaining that the details for such a program are still unknown. 


    Kitty Sullivan has her own concerns about a private school choice program. Sullivan, who taught for 33 years in rural public schools in Florida and Georgia and now works for a university, does not see the point of increasing money for private school choice in rural areas. These areas might have only one public school system or one school for all students.


    “I’m afraid they won’t get the same opportunity to go to a private school,” said Sullivan of her former students.


    As far as the other budget cuts, Sullivan does not have a problem with an overall decrease in spending, although she is not specifically familiar with the programs Trump would be cutting and how it could impact students. She does have ideas, though, as to how existing money could be reallocated. More money needs to be invested in early childhood education, she said. If the budget cuts will mean any sort of redistribution of funds in this direction, then she’s for it.



    Whatever comes out of the Department of Education should not be happening. It’s a state and local issue.
    Dan, a history teacher who voted for Trump


    But none of the priorities in Trump’s budget impact the education issue that Sullivan most wants to see fixed: The Common Core State Standards and standardized testing. Sullivan voted for Trump, in part, because of his promise to rid states of the Common Core. Since taking office, Trump has conspicuously dropped the subject. Sullivan is hopeful that he will follow through.


    “If he doesn’t do this I’m going to not be happy,” Sullivan said. “I would say a lot of teachers are not going to be happy … Its gotten to the point where my teacher friends said they spend more time testing than teaching. They’re burned out on it.”



    Jeanne, a public school teacher in Ohio who did not want her last name published in an effort to keep politics out of her classroom, is similarly hopeful. Jeanne detests the Common Core and is confident that Trump will get rid of the standards “because he’s a man of his word.”


    While Jeanne has not studied the budget, she is supportive of the idea of general cuts. She sees a lot of wasted money in her own school and even some “lazy teachers.” Even though she cares deeply about public schools, she’s optimistic that injecting more competition into the public school system ― by way of more charter schools or voucher programs ― could help solve public school issues. 


    “I do believe that there will be public schools. We have to educate kids. We have to educate America. This might just be another avenue that would be good,” said Jeanne.


    But the views of Jeanne, Sullivan and McClung are nowhere close to that of Dan, a republican history teacher in Michigan. Dan doesn’t care what’s in the budget, because he doesn’t think the federal government should play any role in education.


    “It’s a department that constitutionally, shouldn’t exist. Whatever comes out of the department of education should not be happening. It’s a state and local issue,” said Dan, who did not want his last name released for fear of backlash against his views. 

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  4. Detroit Entrepreneur Seeks To Open Black-Owned Grocery Store -

    Although the city of Detroit is experiencing an electrifying period of urban revitalization, many residents believe that the city’s economic renaissance has yet to reach the neighborhoods outside of the downtown and midtown areas. Raphael Wright is looking to help change that.


    Wright, 28, is a local entrepreneur and investor from Detroit. He is the founder of Urban Plug L3C, an organization designed to build wealth within Detroit’s inner city through creating group investing platforms. 


    Wright is looking to take on his biggest venture yet: opening a black-owned grocery store on Detroit’s east side.


    “I’m still in Detroit. So I walk outside, I still see so many people struggling, particularly in the African-American community, so much poverty and no real accumulation of wealth in the inner cities,” Wright told HuffPost of the city, which is over 80 percent black. “It’s a graveyard. We want to introduce group investing to the black community in the inner city.”


    Wright and his partner, Theo Easter, decided to take matters into their own hands. “Our goal is to build up the inner city, particularly among our minority population,” Wright said. “But at this same time, we want to tackle social issues inside the community as well.” 


    One of the social issues they want to tackle is community wellness. Wright was diagnosed as diabetic at the age of 19. 


    “We both had a passion toward food and health. We both decided to help tackle the problem of food deserts in the inner city, so we wanted to create a grocery store,” Wright said. “For one, we wanted to provide high quality food in the inner city but wanted to also introduce our group investment platform through this venture.”


    Although Detroit’s status as a “food desert” is highly debated, it is difficult for the average resident without a car to get to a grocery store, due to issues of crime or lack of public transportation. Studies have found that food accessibility and the difficulty to obtain food is a serious problem in Detroit.



    Wright is currently raising money to fund the costs for a grocery store. He has raised over $11,000 so far through GoFundMe, but is looking to raise $100,000. 


    Programs like Motor City Match will help Wright refine his goals. Motor City Match, introduced in 2015, helps Detroit-based entrepreneurs find funding and real estate in order to grow their business in the city. 


    Wright earned a Motor City Match plan award, which gave him access to free business planning coursework that will eventually help guide his venture.


    “Motor City Match is a great tool for entrepreneurs in Detroit,” said Michael Rafferty, vice president of small business development for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. “It can help entrepreneurs with developing a business plan, selecting a real estate location within the city, securing funding, and a wealth of other tools.” 


    Motor City Match has awarded roughly $3 million in grants to more than 60 Detroit-based businesses and over 500 entrepreneurs, according to Crain’s Detroit Business.



    Wright plans to eventually open up this grocery store, build it up as a successful business, sell half of the store to community organizations and neighborhood associations, and then use those funds to eventually open a chain of grocery stores. 


    “We’ve kinda got like a three-year window,” he said. “The idea is that, in three years, we would have built this store up to what it needs to be while at the same time, while incorporating different media initiatives and different social projects, build this community up to a cohesive team and a corporate partnership.”


    Wright says the group investing methods other minority groups have encouraged him to pursue this grocery store. The Mexicantown neighborhood in southwest Detroit, for example, is a model of the burgeoning success of Latino-owned businesses within the city.


    “The methods that they have taken to stay together and keep their communities up and vibrant, we have studied those practices and strategies, and we want to apply them to the Black community,” he said. “The informal banking system that they have, the money pooling system, the way that they keep their neighborhoods clean and keep the businesses running and surviving.”


    Wright also has some advice for young entrepreneurs.


    “I want to let people know that you don’t have to turn to a life of crime, especially those that come from where we come from,” he said. “Pursue your ideas. Get a mentor. Keep your eyes and ears open.”

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  5. Dwight Howard Used To Eat 24 Candy Bars A Day. Here's How He Stopped. -





    Dwight Howard battled a severe candy habit for around a decade, ESPN reported earlier this week.


    According to Dr. Cate Shanahan, the Lakers’ nutritionist who uncovered Howard’s habit in early 2014 while he was with the team, the NBA player apparently consumed an average of 24 chocolate candy bars a day. People magazine estimated that equated to around 5,500 calories daily. 


    Shanahan told ESPN that because of Howard’s habit, the then 27-year-old NBA was sluggish on the court and had difficulty healing from injuries. He’d also begun experiencing tingling in his legs and fingers, which the nutritionist suspected was dysesthesia, a painful neurological sensation


    Professor Laura Schmidt of the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine told The Huffington Post that she’s surprised the NBA was unaware of the extent of Howard’s habit and how it affected his athletic performance. 


    “Shanahan was smart to start by cleaning up Howard’s food environment—that’s a critical first step,” Schmidt wrote via email. “Unfortunately you can’t exercise away the health harms of a poor diet. The health harms from excessive sugar intake range from fatty liver, to insulin sensitivity leading to diabetes and other cardiometabolic diseases.”


    She added, “Some of the sugar he consumed would have been mobilized immediately as energy for all of his activity, which hopefully mitigated some of the adverse effects.” 



    Howard was eventually able to quit his sugar habit by getting rid of all of his boxes of candy and going cold turkey, with the exception of pared-down peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.


    While most people won’t develop a dramatic 24-candy bar a day habit, eating a high level of sugar (which the American Heart Association classifies as 100 calories of refined sugar daily for women and 150 calories for men) can lead to problems like obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Unfortunately, problems with excessive sugar are all too common for Americans, according to Schmidt. 


    “The majority of Americans are overweight or obese—70 percent of us,” she told HuffPost. “Excess carbohydrate consumption is a leading cause of our obesity epidemic. What’s interesting about Howard is that he wasn’t getting all that added sugar in liquid form. Sugary drinks are the main way people get into trouble with excessive sugar intake.” 


    If you or someone you know is looking to cut down on sugar intake, Professor Schmidt offers six easy ways to curb your sweet habit. Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, a pediatric neurologist, told The Splendid Table she recommends incorporating more bitter foods into your diet, by way of fruit and veggie peels, dark chocolate, coffee and beer. 


    The HuffPost Lifestyle newsletter will make you happier and healthier, one email at a time. Sign up here.


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