Politics

THE WORD | Bryan Michael Cox Claims Jay-Z Told Jermaine Dupri to Turn Down a Similar NFL Deal

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Hip Hop Icon Jay-Z has been all over the news recently after holding a press conference with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announcing a multi-year partnership with the professional sports league, in which the 49-year-old rapper will consult on the halftime show and work with the league’s activism campaign, Inspire Change.
The controversy around the business move is not only centered around the NFL’s problematic relationship with its players of color, but also JAY Z’s own public statements damning the organization, even declining an invite to perform at the Super Bowl. 

“I said no to the Superbowl, you need me, I don't need you
Every night we in the endzone, tell the NFL we in stadiums too” Jayz. The Carters APESHIT

Shortly after the news initially broke, Grammy award-winning songwriter/producer Bryan Michael Cox – credited with some of the biggest R&B hits of the last 20 years (Mariah Carey, Usher, Mary J. Blige) revealed that his longtime friend and fellow Urban hitmaker Jermaine Dupri was offered a deal similar to Hov’s by the NFL a year ago.

Cox says Jay personally contacted JD and told him to decline the very deal (to co-produce the Super Bowl) he’s now signed.  View Cox’s remarks below and let us know what you think.

SKIP TO THE 14:35 MARK TO HEAR COX’S REMARKS:

THE WORD | Big Sean Gifts $100K Recording Studio To Detroit Boys & Girls Club

Big Sean's latest Detroit investment was already humming with action Saturday, as eager neighborhood kids filled his new production studio on the city's west side.

“Detroit is such a musical city, soulful city,” he said. “And there are so many kids that have the talent but just don’t have to resources to record.” Big Sean, according to the Detroit press

Big Sean made the donation during his second annual DON (Detroit’s On Now) Weekend.

The rapper's $100,000 facility at the Dick & Sandy Dauch Boys & Girls Club had them donning headphones, manning audio workstations, tinkering with DJ controllers, and running the lighting gear on a small performance stage. Big Sean looked on smiling as young singers and dancers covered songs by Lizzo and others.

Funded by his Sean Anderson Foundation, the remodeled space follows a fully equipped recording studio he opened at his alma mater Cass Tech in 2015.

“The west side of Detroit is my old neighborhood," he said Saturday, an afternoon full of selfies and hugs with young fans as he unveiled the facility. "It’s a full-circle moment when your neighborhood supports you and holds you high, and you’re in a position to be able to hold it up in your own way and take it further.”


THE WORD | Illinois passes law requiring LGBT history curriculum be taught in schools

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed legislation ensuring state schools teach the role and contributions of LGBT people in American history.

Pritzker signed off on House Bill 346, which was recently passed by state House earlier this year, last Friday.

The law requires all schools in the state include "the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State" in official textbooks.

The state’s Board of Education is also required to publish a list of the textbooks authorized to be purchased under the law annually. 

“Each public school district and state-recognized, non-public school shall, subject to appropriations for that purpose, receive a per pupil grant for the purchase of secular and non-discriminatory textbooks,” the bill text reads.

According to The Hill State Sen. Heather Steans (D) gave the following statement

“The bill also includes a section that allows the department to adopt rules "as necessary" for the implementation the law and “to ensure the religious neutrality of the textbook block grant program. One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints.” An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community,”

“It is my hope that teaching students about the valuable contributions LGBTQ individuals have made throughout history will create a safer environment with fewer incidents of harassment,” Steans also said. “LGBTQ children and teenagers will also be able to gain new role models who share life experiences with them.”


Gov. Pritzker's said, "The LGBTQ community won't just have a seat at the table, they will be equal partners in the fight to make equality a lived reality for all."

New Jersey, California, and Colorado have also embraced the new LGBT school curriculum.

Check out the reaction on Twitter:

THE WORD | JAY-Z and Roc Nation has inked a deal with the N.F.L.

Just a year ago, on the “Apes- - -” single, Jay-Z said, “I said no to the Super Bowl/You need me/I don’t need you.”Turns out, he might be right about the league needing him.

The NFL is forming a partnership with HipHop mogul Jay-Z. This deal will put him in charge of managing some entertainment options for the league and will tie into the sport’s social justice endeavors.

The partnership will make Roc Nation a co-producer of the Super Bowl halftime show, but does not contain a provision for him to be the halftime performer.

“He was very quick to say that he does not want this to be about him performing, that it was broader than that,” Goodell said in an interview. “It quickly went beyond that. Do I hope he’ll perform in the Super Bowl sometime in the next several years? Yes. But I think we’ll all know if that time comes. He’ll know in particular.” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

Jay Z believes that Roc Nation will have the freedom under the partnership to produce the kind of entertainment that it wants. In a quote from the Washington Post he said the following

“I think we have autonomy,” Carter said. “I anticipate that there will be a lot of — with any big organization, in this building right here we have internal problems. Anything that’s new is going to go through its growing pains. We put what we want to do on the table. The NFL agreed to it. So we’re gonna proceed with that as if we have a partnership.”

In terms of the activism portion of the agreement, it will be tied to the league’s current “Inspire Change” program announced in January. That initiative, which works with the Players Coalition, focuses on education and economic advancement, police and community relations and criminal justice reform.

THE WORD | MALCOLM X & BUMPY JOHNSON RELATIONSHIP DISPLAYED IN NEW GODFATHER OF HARLEM TRAILER

 Premium network EPIX released a new teaser trailer for the highly anticipated new series, GODFATHER OF HARLEM. The 10-episode, hour-long drama series is inspired by the story of infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Forest Whitaker), who in the early 1960s returned from ten years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles. With the streets controlled by the Italian mob, Bumpy must take on the Genovese crime family to regain control. During the brutal battle, he forms an alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X (Nigél Thatch) – catching Malcolm’s political rise in the crosshairs of social upheaval and a mob war that threatens to tear the city apart. The two join forces to manage the social upheaval and mob war that looms. In the trailer, Malcolm X says to Johnson, “You have guns, but I have an army.”

GODFATHER OF HARLEM is a collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement during one of the most tumultuous times in American history.

GODFATHER OF HARLEM PREMIERES SEPTEMBER 29AT 10 PM PT/ETON EPIX



THE WORD | JET & EBONY MAGAZINES AUCTIONED OFF FOR $30 MILLION AND DONATED TO NATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM

Four Foundations Team Up to Buy the Historic Archives of ‘Ebony’ Magazine for $30 Million in a Bankruptcy Sale. The foundations will donate the archive to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture as well as the Getty Research Institute.

Isaac Sutton,  Muhammad Ali and the sports journalist Howard Cosell backstage before the taping of “The Muhammad Ali Variety Special”  (1975). Photo courtesy of Johnson Publishing Company.

Isaac Sutton, Muhammad Ali and the sports journalist Howard Cosell backstage before the taping of “The Muhammad Ali Variety Special” (1975). Photo courtesy of Johnson Publishing Company.

G. Marshall Wilson, Adam Clayton Powell and Malcolm X attend the New York City school boycott rally in March 1964. Photo courtesy of Johnson Publishing Company.

G. Marshall Wilson, Adam Clayton Powell and Malcolm X attend the New York City school boycott rally in March 1964. Photo courtesy of Johnson Publishing Company.

Moneta Sleet Jr.,  Martin Luther King Jr., surrounded by his family, holding the Nobel Peace Prize medal  (1964). Photo courtesy Johnson Publishing Company

Moneta Sleet Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., surrounded by his family, holding the Nobel Peace Prize medal (1964). Photo courtesy Johnson Publishing Company

Thurgood and Cecilia Marshall with their son Thurgood Marshall Jr. after his birth in 1956.

Thurgood and Cecilia Marshall with their son Thurgood Marshall Jr. after his birth in 1956.

Founded in 1942 by John H. Johnson and once the country’s largest African American-owned publishing firm, Johnson Publishing launched Ebony magazine in 1945 and its sister publication Jet in 1951. But Johnson died in 2005, and the company has struggled for at least a decade, first attempting to sell its archives back in 2015. At the time, they were appraised at $46 million. The company sold off Ebony and Jet the following year, and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in April.

“The Johnson Publishing archives are an essential part of American history and have been critical in telling the extraordinary stories of African American culture for decades,” said Capital Holdings V in a statement in April, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. “We want to be sure the archives are protected for generations to come.”

READ MORE AT ARTNET

THE WORD | Are President Donald Trump's Comments Racist? "Infestation" He Means "Black And Brown People"


Is President Donald Trump Comments Racist? CNN host Victor Blackwell responded to President Trump's tweets about Baltimore city being infested by rats in an attack on House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummiings (D-MD) in the above monologue delivered Saturday.

According to CNN host Victor Blackwell When the President Tweets About Baltimore:

"Infestation" He Means "Black And Brown People"


THE WORD | A$AP ROCKY CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL ASSAULT, WILL REMAIN IN SWEDISH JAIL

A$AP Rocky has been charged with assault after a confrontation in Stockholm in June, prosecutors said.

Swedish public prosecutor Daniel Suneson claims A$AP Rocky and two other men assaulted the victim by kicking and beating him with a whole or part of a glass bottle, according to court documents seen by CNN.

All three have been charged for their involvement in the brawl and will remain in custody until the trial, which will begin on Tuesday.

"It is worth noting that I have had access to a greater amount of material than that which has previously been available on the internet. In addition to video material, the injured party's statements have been supported by witness statements," Suneson said.

The prosecutor is relying on cell phone videos, surveillance video from the Grand Hotel and a burger restaurant, text messages from A$AP Rocky's body guard where he talks about the assault and where they say they've recorded it and texts from the assistant's phone.

Footage posted by TMZ and others posted by A$AP Rocky of the brawl have been at the heart of the investigation.

A panel of 4 judges will hear the case, and at least 3 of them must decide an assault was committed for a conviction. If it's a tie, the prosecutor can ask for a new trial. If Rocky is convicted, a judge will decide the sentence a week later.

THE WORD | Meek Mill is now officially off probation after 11 years. Annouces new partnership with Jay z

Today Meek Mill scored a major victory in court when he was granted a new trial in his 2008 case which has dragged on for 11 years now.

A panel of judges handed down their decision Wednesday in Pennsylvania Superior Court -- saying Meek does in fact deserve a new trial, with a new jury and most importantly a new judge who ISN'T Judge Genece Brinkley... who many believe had it out for Meek.

Today has been a blessed day for the Philly rapper, he also announced his new joint venture with his mentor Jay Z. His Dreamchasers Records has entered a joint venture with RocNation.

THE WORD |Mexican drug lord "El Chapo" was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years and was ordered to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture

Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo, was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison, ending one of modern history’s most brutal and notorious criminal careers.

Judge Brian M. Cogan said the “overwhelming evil” of Mr. Guzmán’s crimes were apparent. Besides giving him a life sentence plus 30 years, he ordered the drug lord to pay $12.6 billion in restitution.

El Chapo Guzman spoke publicly for the first time since his conviction on Wednesday, complaining to a judge that his incarceration at a Manhattan lockup has been absolute “torture” before being sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.

“I’ve been forced to drink unsanitary water. I’ve been denied access to fresh air and sunlight. The only sunlight I have in my cell comes through in the air vent,” the 62-year-old convicted drug kingpin told Brooklyn federal Judge Brian Cogan ahead of his sentencing.

Though he’ll return to the MCC for now, Guzman will soon be assigned to a new home by the Bureau of Prisons — likely at ADX Florence, the US’s only supermax lockup in Colorado — where he’ll remain for the rest of his life.

Guzman, whose nickname means “Shorty,” has twice escaped prison in Mexico, once by hiding in a laundry cart and the second time by slipping through a mile-long tunnel his cohorts built leading to his prison cell.

THE WORD | Sadie Roberts-Joseph, founder of an African American history museum, is found dead in the trunk of a car

A beloved activist and founder of an African-American museum in Baton Rouge was found dead in the trunk of a car, CNN affiliate WBRZ reported.

The body of Sadie Roberts-Joseph, 75, was located Friday but it wasn't immediately clear what led officers to the car. The cause of her death is still unknown, police told the station.

The vehicle was about 3 miles from her home, CNN affiliate WAFB reported.

No clear motive has been released, at the moment keep her family in your prayers.

THE WORD | BLACK TWITTER IS NOT IN FAVOR OF THIS FREE ASAP ROCKY PETITION. THEY CAN'T "RELATE' TO IT.

Rapper ASAP Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers) is currently sitting in a Swedish jail after he was involved in a street brawl in Stockholm earlier this month. Now, his celeb friends are boycotting, signing petitions, and calling out injustice in his defense. They allege he has been denied the right to fair representation and that he's being held in "inhumane conditions." He filed an appeal on Monday (July 8th), but it was denied, so the Swedish court ordered him to spend two weeks in pre-trial detention while police investigate the incident.

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People haven't forgot about the time he turned a blind eye to racial injustices a few years ago. In 2015, ASAP made some comments about Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter movement that rubbed people the WRONG way. The Harlem took twitter to defend his comments in a series of now deleted tweets.

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Black Twitter didn’t think his “apology” was sincere enough. The Bad Girl of Blogging Diamond Dosage sparked a conversation via twitter that got people talking, and the rest of black twitter chimed in as well.

MORE FROM BLACK TWITTER:




THE WORD | FAMOUS YOUTUBER FOUND DEAD

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The New York Police Department confirmed on Tuesday that a body found on the evening of June 24 has been positively identified as Daniel Desmond Amofah also known as Etika, a famous youtuber. Amofah was 29 years old. He had been considered missing since June 19, when authorities found and recovered his belongings, including his cellphone and identification. Prior to Etika being found, earlier this week he posted a video stating that he was sorry for not letting the people who care in & that it was too late. Then that is when days later Erika’s body was found.

 https://www.instagram.com/p/BzJ3hhGHjyd/?igshid=18zcdq1wvhxn9

May Etika rest In Peace ❤️Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Amofah 🙏🏽

THE WORD | Barack and Michelle Obama Have Signed A Multi-Year Podcast Deal With Spotify.

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Barack and Michelle Obama's production ( Higher Ground) company will start working with Spotify to produce podcasts. Under the partnership, the Obamas will “develop, produce, and lend their voices to select podcasts,” Spotify said in the announcement, noting that “wide-ranging topics” will be covered. The company did not specify what those might be. The first podcasts from Higher Ground Audio are likely to debut in 2020 at the earliest. Higher Ground and Spotify said they would announce the specifics later

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"We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation,” Barack Obama noted in a statement. “It helps us build connections with each other and open ourselves up to new ideas. We’re excited about Higher Ground Audio because podcasts offer an extraordinary opportunity to foster productive dialogue, make people smile and make people think, and, hopefully, bring us all a little closer together.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeEI3RjBNGl/?igshid=1xpz9wvlahw3i


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Michelle Obama said: “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to amplify voices that are too often ignored or silenced altogether, and through Spotify, we can share those stories with the world. Our hope is that through compelling, inspirational storytelling, Higher Ground Audio will not only produce engaging podcasts, but help people connect emotionally and open up their minds—and their hearts.”

https://instagram.com/michelleobama?igshid=1islsoh8x8ts0

This a great thing for the Obama’s & We are more then positive the world can’t wait to see what this podcast has in store.

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THE WORD | Philadelphia Court Grants Meek Mill New Hearing In 2008 Case

Meek Mill and his fight against the Philadelphia court system and Judge Genece Brinkley has took a turn for the best. The Philadelphia rapper will reportedly now get an opportunity to fight his 2008 conviction on gun and drug charges.

After fighting for years, trying to get an appeal, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has granted his request with a hearing set for July 16. Meek Mill is questioning the credibility of officer Reginald Graham after he was featured in a list of cops that have been involved in corrupt behavior.

He has previously been on probation for the conviction, and then sentenced to two-to-four years in prison after Judge Brinkley ruled that he violated probation for popping a wheelie in New York City.



THE WORD | Billionaire Robert F. Smith pledges to pay off Morehouse College Class of 2019′s student loans

Billionaire investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith had a special announcement during his commencement speech at Morehouse College in Atlanta on May 19. The gift is estimated to be worth $40 million. Smith received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse today and was the class' commencement speaker.

“This is my class and I know my class will pay this forward,” Smith said in his remarks.

Smith is the founder, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners and is considered one of the wealthiest Black entrepreneurs today. His company, which has an estimated $14 billion in capital, was listed as No. 1 on Black Enterprise’s annual list of the most successful black-owned companies. He’s also made Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans, and in 2017 was named by Forbes as one of the 100 greatest living business minds.

THE WORD | Arnold Schwarzenegger Responds after being attacked at South Africa event

Arnold Schwarzenegger was attacked on Saturday in South Africa during the fourth annual Arnold Classic Africa competition.

The actor and former governor of California, was speaking with fans and signing autographs at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg when a man leaped in the air and kicked the actor in the back. According to a statement put out by the event, Schwarzenegger will not be pressing charges.

THE WORD | Alabama Passes Near-Total Abortion Ban

On Tuesday night the Alabama senate passed a bill that would almost completely ban abortion. Under the law, women will not be able to get an abortion after 6 weeks of being pregnant, which is when most women find out that they are even carrying a baby.

The ban would also sentence any doctor who gets caught performing an abortion to prison for up to 99 years. It is said that other states are passing similar bills in hopes to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The bill would only allow abortion in cases of when the mother’s life is in jeopardy and doesn’t allow exemptions for incest or rape victims.

According to CNN, American Civil Rights Union of Alabama Executive Director Randall Marshall said that his organization would join with the national ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthood of Southeast to challenge the bill in court within "a few weeks" should it become law.




 








THE WORD | Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot meets with Ivanka Trump at White House

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot arrived at the White House Tuesday, kicking off three days of meetings in the nation’s capital.

She started by meeting with Ivanka Trump at the White House. Lightfoot and the president’s daughter, a senior White House adviser, discussed workforce development, vocational education, economic revitalization, parole reform and crime prevention, among other topics. Lightfoot also met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top congressional leaders.

Lightfoot was not scheduled to meet with the president.

On Wednesday…

The mayor-elect attended a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus with her fundraiser at a government affairs group. Lightfoot encouraged the CBC’s members during a closed-door meeting to visit Chicago during next year’s Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee.

“Once I take office, my responsibility is to be the chief ambassador for our great city and make sure that people really know the true nature of what’s happening in Chicago and not just screaming headlines that may be tweeted out by a certain someone,” Lightfoot said at an evening news conference, making a clear reference to President Donald Trump.

Her last public meeting of the day was with DeFazio, the transportation chairman, at his office in the Rayburn building, where Lightfoot said she worked as a young staffer making $12,000 per year after college.

“Where I came from, being here in the big city and really being away from home for a lengthy period of time and being on my own was a very big deal,” Lightfoot said.

On Thursday she met with the Chicago and the rest of the Illinois congressional delegation at lunch and breakfast in addition to one-on-ones with Democratic Illinois Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin.

THE WORD | Social media is Outraged after Rio Vista Officer Body Slams Woman

Social media is outraged and a use of force investigation is underway after cell phones recorded a woman being body slammed to the ground by a Rio Vista police officer.

The Rio Vista Police Department moved quickly after cell phone footage of the body slam went viral, releasing eight body camera videos of the traffic stop just two days after it happened, reports the Sacramento Bee.

It all began as a traffic stop a block away from home for a couple of siblings and a brother-in-law. The family of the young woman explained to FOX40 they were just coming back from a quick Sunday evening errand.

"Went to go to the store to pick up some sour cream and some cheese for our tacos," said Monaisha Thomas.

They say the officer who approached the car appeared irritated from the start.

Responding to the call, Deshaunna Payne and her daughter, Cherish Thomas, pulled up in a second car. Body cam footage from one officer show Payne and Thomas yelling at officers, demanding to know why some of the first car’s occupants had been arrested. They later go back into their cars briefly, emerging with their cell phones out to record the interaction.

"Like he came to do something and he wanted it done, so he's gonna get it done," Thomas told FOX40. "I felt like he was hoping that we weren't complying."

An internal investigation will be conducted into the incident, according to the news release, which the department says is standard procedure in a use-of-force incident.