Black America

The Grio

  1. Web series ‘Little Apple’ tells story of girl growing up in gentrified Harlem - Little Apple is a new self-titled web series that tackles real-life issues of a young Black girl growing up in a changing neighborhood.
  2. Jury deadlocks in cop’s murder retrial in shooting of Sam DuBose - The Hamilton County jury announced that it couldn't reach a verdict on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in Officer Ray Tensing's trial.
  3. Michael Brown’s family settles wrongful death lawsuit for over $1M - The insurance company for the city of Ferguson, Missouri, paid $1.5 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michael Brown's parents.
  4. Trump appoints man who called Obama ‘Kenyan creampie’ to senior position - President Donald Trump is raising eyebrows for appointing a man who previously called Barack Obama a "Kenyan creampie" to a senior level position.
  5. Leslie Jones has secret boyfriend: ‘I don’t want everybody bothering him’ - Leslie Jones has a new man in her life, but don't expect to see him out in public anytime soon.

Black America Web

  1. Trinidad Cardona “Jennifer” [NEW MUSIC] - Trinidad Cardona's 80s and 90s R&B influences are evident in the first few seconds of "Jennifer."
  2. A 2nd Mistrial: Jury Deadlocks In Ohio Cop’s Murder Retrial - CINCINNATI (AP) — A mistrial was declared Friday in the murder retrial of a white University of Cincinnati police officer after the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on charges in the fatal traffic stop shooting of an unarmed black motorist. The Hamilton County jury had deliberated more than 30 hours over five days after […]
  3. Black Washington Student Posts Emotional Video Against Racist Bullying - A Black elementary school student in Bellevue, Washington posted a viral Facebook video about racist bullies, who called her "Nutella" and "servant," in hopes of helping students who are targeted by their peers.
  4. Queen Latifah & Jada Pinkett Smith Jamming Out To Prince Is The Best Thing On The Internet Today - Black girls just wanna have fun.
  5. What The Heck Is Volumptuate? Damon Williams Explains - 06/23/17 – Leave it to Damon Williams to come up with a new word. Like on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Sign Up For Our Newsletter!

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. Why It Took 75 Years For My Grandpa To Have His Graduation Party -

    The night of my Grandpa Homer’s high school graduation, he was living in the barracks of a detention center in California with his mom, his sister and thousands of other Japanese-Americans imprisoned during World War II.

    Last weekend, he finally got the graduation party he missed out on all those years ago.

    My mom had received Grandpa’s diploma by mail from his old school district in Oregon, and she saved it for a family get-together the day before Father’s Day. She asked my aunt and uncle to bring my cousin’s mortarboard cap, and the family came over and played “Pomp and Circumstance” at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

    “It kind of took me by surprise,” Grandpa told me later. “[Your mother] said, ‘I have something for you,’ and someone gave me the cap and I opened the package and saw my diploma and said, ‘Oh my god!’

    Someone gave me the cap and I opened the package and saw my diploma and said, ‘Oh my god!’
    Homer Yasui, 92

    Seventy-five years ago, Grandpa lost his chance to walk onstage in his cap and gown with the rest of his class. On May 13, 1942, he, his mother and his little sister Yuka were rounded up with other Japanese-Americans in Hood River, Oregon, and put on trains to what was then called an “assembly center” in Pinedale, California ― a hastily converted detention facility where thousands of Japanese-Americans were temporarily imprisoned before being sent to more permanent prison camps around the country.

    Grandpa was 17 then, and a typical American teenager. The military instructed everyone to bring only what they could carry, so he packed a baseball mitt and baseball hat. He remembers thinking it was “kind of stupid” that everyone at the station was formally dressed.

    Grandpa’s senior class was scheduled to graduate the following month, but by then, he and all the other young Japanese-Americans in the Hood River Valley, along with their families, had become prisoners of their own government.

    Not that he was bothered much at the time. For years, Grandpa would joke about the “freedom” he had behind barbed wire, first at Pinedale and then at a “relocation center” in Tule Lake, California. No longer forced to work all summer on the family farm, he could smoke, play poker and chase girls.

    The FBI had already taken his father away, shortly after the Pearl Harbor bombing in 1941. (Grandpa’s father, Masuo Yasui, wouldn’t be released until 1946, and was never actually charged with a crime.) Grandpa’s older brother Min was forced to endure months of solitary confinement for deliberately breaking a discriminatory wartime curfew. But for Grandpa, the injustice of his family’s ordeal didn’t really register until years later.

    “I was so dumb in those days. I wasn’t worldly,” Grandpa said. “I also said, ‘Well, I’m in camp, OK.’ I never thought about my civil liberties being denied me and all that. Most people my age never thought about it.”

    He eventually settled into a job as a hospital orderly, where he remembers tending to a white boy with terrible burns. With no big cities nearby, the prison camp at Tule Lake was the closest option for medical care in an emergency. The young man yelled that he didn’t want to be treated by “Jap” doctors. Ultimately, he succumbed to his injuries and died.

    The boy’s death made an impression on my grandfather, and he told us all the story years later. Once he left Tule Lake, he went on to graduate from the University of Denver and then Hahnemann Medical School and Hospital in Philadelphia. He married my grandmother, Miki, and became a surgeon.

    “The only graduation I ever participated in was my medical school graduation,” Grandpa told me. “I got my cap and gown, and Miki saw me and she blew a gasket, because a bunch of us doctors didn’t even have the sense to get our gowns pressed.”

    He has one graduation photo from that day, taken by an itinerant street photographer. “We’re all dressed alike and we look real crummy,” he said.

    In the years and decades that followed World War II, America’s consensus that people like my grandfather had been imprisoned “for their own protection” or “for the good of the country” began to erode. (But that sentiment lives on, as evidenced by the 2016 presidential campaign and its aftermath.)

    Grandpa’s sister Michi triumphantly returned to the University of Oregon in 1984 to accept her college diploma ― decades after she was barred from her own graduation ceremony because of the military curfew imposed on Japanese-Americans. She was in her 60s at the time.

    In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act, acknowledging that the imprisonment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans was based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.”

    And in November 2015, Grandpa and his sister Yuka met President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the White House. There, among Hollywood stars, trailblazing scientists and sports icons, Obama awarded their brother Min a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom for challenging the U.S. government’s wartime policies all the way to the Supreme Court.

    Grandpa shook the president’s hand and got a hug from the first lady. He said it was one of the proudest moments of his life.

    Compared to that, maybe it wasn’t such a big deal when Grandpa got a message from Hood River Valley High School this year, offering him a chance to come back for an official graduation ceremony. He declined, because at 92, he wanted to stay home with Grandma and take it easy.

    I asked Grandpa about the invitation and whether he thought it meant his hometown had taken a step forward. He chalked it up to his brother Min being recognized as an “exemplary citizen.”

    “I think Hood River’s very late in doing this,” he said, “because many colleges have done this earlier, and cities like Seattle and Los Angeles recognized their mistakes after 30 or 40 years. And it took Hood River 75 years.”

    “But that’s great,” he added. “Better late than never, while some of us are still alive to tell the tale.”

    Listen to Homer tell the more of the Yasui family’s story on the podcast “Hear in the Gorge,” produced by Sarah Fox.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  2. Craig David On His Unstoppable Rise As One Of Britain’s Biggest Black Music Stars -

    Craig David spoke his career into existence when he titled his debut album “Born To Do It.”

    The British-born singer came on the scene in 2000 with a soulful single titled “7 Days,” breaking into the booming R&B era of the early aughts with a song that carried the smooth melodies and sensual lyrics that defined the genre at the time. His second single, “Fill Me In,” which came with a faster tempo, dropped shortly after to much fanfare.  

    With the release of several other bangers like “Walking Away” and “Rendezvous,” David’s popularity rapidly grew. Although he was just 18 years old when his first album dropped, he proved that he had the appeal to quickly amass a legion of fans worldwide while selling millions of records.

    Within months of the album’s debut, David had become a superstar ― and over the years, he has effectively cemented his status as one of Britain’s biggest black music stars. 

    Arena shows so soon. Fired up & ready to go @lukedyson

    A post shared by Craig David (@craigdavid) on

    David’s debut album was a powerful and well-executed project that truly catapulted his career, which has spanned nearly two decades, six studio albums, countless collaborations and endless sold-out shows in cities across the world.

    The singer, who was based in the U.K. throughout much of his life, was named the 2017 British Male Solo Artist for the influence of his latest album, “Following My Intuition.” Now, he splits his time between England and Miami, traveling to perform at packed venues and build better connections with audiences around the globe. In light of June being Black Music Month, HuffPost spoke to the star during his recent tour stop in New York about his evolution over the years and just how much of a roller coaster ride his journey to success has been.

    “The ride I’ve been on has been amazing because there’s been a lot of character-building,” David told HuffPost in an interview at the New York office for Sony, his record label. “What are you really doing this for and where are you going? You ask those questions and when you answer them honestly, I realize that the only thing I ever really loved is being in the studio and making music and going out and performing and positively impacting people’s lives.”

    For David, life is all about the journey and the experiences that build the memories, connections and foundation that help to define who he is ― and, perhaps more importantly, who he wants to become. 

    “It used to be about getting from one place to the destination and always looking for the next thing ― which is great, that’s drive and passion for what you do,” he said. “But one thing I’ve learned over the last 16 years is that it’s about the journey. It’s OK to have the goals, but what was fun was leading toward it.” 

    David’s journey has indeed been a remarkable one ― but he said his success is simply a result of him learning to listen to his heart and better believe in his abilities to provide unforgettable musical experiences. This new approach led him to title his latest album “Following My Intuition.” The 18-track album was released last September and boasts a repertoire of songs that reflect various styles of music like pop, garage and EDM. There are upbeat singles like “16,” featuring Justin Beiber, which mashes together his classic hit “Fill Me In” with “Where Are Ü Now.” And then there are soothing numbers like “Got It Good” with music star Kaytranada. 

    While many of the songs are a departure from the slower-paced R&B ballads he was known for on his first album, David said he enjoys the process of experimenting with and evolving his musical style by exploring new songs with new artists and identifying new ways to express himself. Whatever the case, staying true to himself remains his top priority.

    “Authenticity comes up to me as being the key to everything that I’m experiencing now and maybe in the earlier parts of my career, which was a very dynamic moment,” he said. “It’s been a roller coaster ride … but it’s all come down to authenticity. It’s like as soon as I start to follow my intuition ― yes, that is a pun ― that’s when it all started to happen.”

    “[Growing up] I was exposed to a lot of R&B, a lot of hip-hop, a lot of dance, I was hearing this mix of music, I was very aware,” he added, going on to explain what makes “Following My Intuition” so special for him: “When I made the album, it connected on such a level that I never expected.”

    ‪Listening to the album getting prepared for the arena tour next year is getting me way too excited #FMI

    A post shared by Craig David (@craigdavid) on

    David’s deep love for music also led him to dabble in DJ’ing, which he said has always been a passion of his. In fact, he frequently hosted lavish personal parties at his mansion in Miami, which quickly drew plenty of buzz and helped to establish his early start as a DJ. He has since mastered the skill of DJing to create TS5, a stage name he established for himself in 2013 for all of his live sets and singing performances.  

    “TS5 is an experience,” he said. “It’s everything I’ve learned in the last 16 years as a life performer, all encapsulated with what I learned when I was doing vinyl mixing in clubs back before I released ‘Born To Do It.’”

    TS5 is now a large component of David’s presence at his concerts. He DJs and sings at the same time, and opts to use a “very simplified situation” in regard to performance equipment. There are no dancers or elaborate stage props ― merely a small DJ booth and a mic ― making for a much more intimate and personal experience.  

    “It’s very hands-on and my thing is not to stay behind the booth, but to come out of the booth,” he said. “It’s a performance, a live performance and an open format of what I’m gonna play. I want to keep your attention for every single minute I’m on that stage.”  

    “I want to give 110 percent onstage,” he added. “I just feel like I want to give everything on that stage and in the studio. No regrets, no would’ve, could’ve, should’ve, I’ve got to give it everything.” 

    I attended his show that evening following the interview, and David delivered on his word. By mixing his own vocals, songs and instrumentals with classic throwback songs from artists like Whitney Houston and TLC, David dominates onstage and does not disappoint. And if selling back-to-back sold-out shows isn’t any indication of his current success as a performer, simply check out a clip from a recent show and note the rousing crowd reaction:

    So ready✨Who's coming to my @TS5 shows this summer? ☀️ #TS5

    A post shared by Craig David (@craigdavid) on

    David said he wouldn’t be the artist he is today if it weren’t for the influences from classic R&B legends including Boyz II Men and R. Kelly. He also credits rappers like Biggie, Big Pun and Tupac for the inspiration they have given him. As for more contemporary artists he admires, David mentioned Drake ― and while he notes that “a lot of people compare me to him,” he said he’s “never seen it like a competition.”

    David did admit, however, that he has his sights set on building more traction with American fans and expanding his exposure in cities around the country. This year alone, he has already sold out several shows in the States and is returning in October for more performances.

    “I’m coming for you, Miami, I’m coming for you, Madison Square Garden,” he said with confidence ― and if his unstoppable rise so far is any indication, David only has more dreams to accomplish. 

    “I know, first hand, that when I do something and I actually have conviction with it and I just go, special things happen,” he said. “It’s a force to be reckoned with when you speak on it, act on it and you keep it going.”

    “You’ve got to follow your intuition,” I said, to which he replied with a smile: “You know the drill.”

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  3. Kenya's Giving Free Sanitary Pads To Schoolgirls Who Can't Afford Them -

    Menstruation is a natural and unavoidable part of most girls’ lives. But for many young girls in Kenya, it was a stressful inconvenience that often interferes with education and perpetuates a cycle of poverty – until now.

    Young Kenyan activists have long highlighted the problem of a lack of access to sanitary pads for girls. The inability to purchase the pads prompted girls to either skip school when they had their periods or create protection out of uncomfortable materials. In response to their campaign, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed an act on Wednesday, which requires the government to provide a sufficient amount of quality sanitary pads – free of charge – to state schools. 

    “I feel so happy that the government…is taking the step towards making Kenya a better place for all girls,” Joyce, 14, said in a statement through Plan International, a nonprofit that works to protect vulnerable children. “Now girls will never miss school again because of their periods.” 

    In Kenya, about 65 percent of women and girls can’t afford sanitary pads. The price of one package of sanitary napkins is equivalent to an unskilled worker’s daily wage. Most women need two packets per cycle, according to a report from Afri-Can Trust, which helped developed a low-cost, reusable sanitary pad. 

    Girls in Kenya already faced a number of unique hurdles when it came to going to school consistently. The task of collecting water for the family, for example, typically falls on the shoulder of women and girls. Not being able to buy a basic hygiene product only compounds the issues they face.

    In 2012, an average of 30 to 40 percent of girls in Kenya reported missing days of school because they didn’t have access to pads when they were menstruating, according to studies conducted by Huru International, a group that works to keep marginalized African girls in school. 

    When girls regularly fall behind in school, they’re more likely to drop out, which can lead to early pregnancies or marriage and lower wages in the long run, Huru International noted in a report. 

    Some menstruating girls who were desperate for protection would use whatever resources they had available to make their own pads. Some used tissue paper or old clothes, according to Plan International. One teenager said she wrapped a sock around her underwear, the BBC reported. 

    Kenyatta’s decision builds upon years of progress toward making menstruation hygiene products more affordable. 

    A decade ago, Kenya stopped taxing sanitary products – something the U.S. still continues to do. Since 2011, the government has been setting aside funds to distribute sanitary pads to underserved girls. It has budgeted $5 million for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, up from $4 million compared to the last fiscal year, according to the BBC. 

    Management teams at schools will be responsible for buying and distributing the pads.

    “This is a pioneering step, which will ensure that more girls can secure their right to a quality education,” Lennart Reinius, Plan International’s Kenya country director, said in a statement. “It also shows that when girls speak up, they can become champions of change.”

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  4. The 20 Funniest Tweets From Women This Week -

    The ladies of Twitter never fail to brighten our days with their brilliant ― but succinct ― wisdom. Each week, HuffPost Women rounds up hilarious 140-character musings. For this week’s great tweets from women, scroll through the list below. Then visit our Funniest Tweets From Women page for our past collections.

    Sign up for our Funniest Tweets Of The Week newsletter here.

    -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

  5. The Complicated Role Race Plays In The 'Bachelor In Paradise' Scandal -

    The “Bachelor” franchise’s longtime problems with race have been cast into a harsh spotlight in the past couple of weeks. With rumors swirling over alleged on-set sexual misconduct between a black male and a white woman, both members of the summer spin-off “Bachelor in Paradise” cast, many viewers have been left unsettled by dueling narratives that play into the most damaging stereotypes about black men and about women.

    Warner Bros., which produces the series, put out a statement this week saying that the investigation had been concluded and no evidence of misconduct had been found. Though no charges were filed against the man in question and the show has now resumed filming, the event left a trail of news articles about the man’s purported misconduct and about the woman’s speculated sexual promiscuity. 

    While, in recent years, the problems with slut-shaming and victim-blaming of alleged assault victims have drawn attention from mainstream media outlets, audiences like the predominantly white Bachelor Nation have less frequently been asked to confront how race plays a role in how we react to allegations of rape.

    Historically speaking...when accusations have been made against black men for the rape of white women, and these panics and fears ensue, there’s very often no correlation between the actual incidence of rape and the hysteria around it.
    Carina Ray, Professor of African and Afro-American Studies

    To get some historical perspective on the particular issues raised by sexual assault cases involving black men and white women, HuffPost’s “Here to Make Friends” podcast chatted with Carina Ray, an Associate Professor of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University, and author of Crossing the Color Line: Race, Sex, and the Contested Politics of Colonialism in Ghana.

    “Historically speaking [...] when accusations have been made against black men for the rape of white women, and these panics and fears ensue, there’s very often no correlation between the actual incidence of rape and the hysteria around it,” Ray said, pointing to the notorious case of Emmett Till, a black boy who was brutally murdered after he was alleged to have whistled at a white woman. “There’s this huge gap between reality and perception that has historically contextualized this question.” 

    Black men have, in many historical and contemporary contexts, been falsely depicted or assumed to be sexual threats to white female virtue ― a racist perception that has endangered the lives of black men. Conversely, she added, white men have long enjoyed relative impunity for sexual aggression, especially when women of color, and black women in particular, are the victims. 

    In an email, Ray elaborated on the point, saying, “We also need to interrogate the presumptions that underline how victimhood is defined and assessed. It’s quite telling that we proceed under the assumption that she is the victim and he’s the perpetrator,” she wrote. “But if we understand the history we must also understand that black men have often been the victim in these rape allegation cases. That is to say that it’s not a question of being cleared, but rather of the very real and often heinous consequences that the accusation itself results in. That might be something that the show’s producers need to think about ― the disparate outcomes that black and white men will face when something like this occurs.” 

    Try to move beyond a question of, 'does the history of interracial rape and the way in which black men have often been unfairly accused of rape...say something definitive about what happened in this case.'
    Carina Ray, Professor of African and Afro-American Studies

    On the podcast, Ray also emphasized that placing the event in context does not mean we can extrapolate exactly what happened in a given incident ― what’s more important, she explained, is understanding the prejudices and baggage that may be influencing our perception and working to counteract them.

    “Try to move beyond a question of, does the history of interracial rape and the way in which black men have often been unfairly accused of rape, does that actually say something definitive about what happened in this case,” Ray said. “Instead of doing that, just say, how has that history influenced how people view this particular case?”

    To hear more of the conversation, and an interview on the legal aspects of the case with civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom, check out the latest episode of “Here to Make Friends”:

     Subscribe to Here To Make Friends: Apple Podcasts / Acast / RadioPublic / Google Play / Stitcher / RSS

    Do people love “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise,” or do they love to hate these shows? It’s unclear. But here at “Here to Make Friends,” we both love and love to hate them — and we love to snarkily dissect each episode in vivid detail. Podcast edited by Nick Offenberg.

    Want more “Bachelor” stories in your life? Sign up for HuffPost’s Entertainment email for extra hot goss about The Bachelor, his 30 bachelorettes, and the most dramatic rose ceremonies ever. The newsletter will also serve you up some juicy celeb news, hilarious late-night bits, awards coverage and more. Sign up for the newsletter here.

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