The Grio

4-year-old shoots himself just 2 days and a few...

4-year-old shoots himself just 2 days and a few miles from 3-year-old who did the same

theGrio REPORT - 4-year-old Codrick Beal was staying overnight with a family friend while his mother, Ashley Beal, was out celebrating her birthday.
Justice Department to make Ferguson announcements...

Justice Department to make Ferguson announcements soon

theGrio REPORT - It's been six months since the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown sparked protests across the country, and the U.S. Justice Department is finally ready to release its findings.
Phylicia Rashad and Raven-Symoné to play gay...

Phylicia Rashad and Raven-Symoné to play gay characters on TV

theGRIO REPORT - Legendary ladies of The Cosby Show, Phylicia Rashad and Raven-Symoné are both set to play lesbian characters on TV series...
Kanye West announces new album title, reveals...

Kanye West announces new album title, reveals cover art

On Saturday night, Kanye West wanted fans to be prepared for some big news. He tweeted out “New Album title….” five minutes before the announcement of “So Help Me God,” along with the new album’s cover art.

The announcement comes …

Anonymous and Black Lives Matter activists urge...

Anonymous and Black Lives Matter activists urge the shutdown of Homan Square’s facility

theGrio REPORT - Over 100 activists from groups like the hacktivist collective Anonymous and the Black Lives Matter movement gathered on Saturday to protest the Homan Square facility.
Keyshia Cole puts cheating husband on blast,...

Keyshia Cole puts cheating husband on blast, posts his text messages on Instagram

theGRIO REPORT - Singer Keyshia Cole put her cheating husband on blast, after finding text messages he was sending to...

Black Enterprise

Anthony Mason, Former New York Knicks Baller, Dies

Anthony Mason, Former New York Knicks Baller, Dies

Knicks veteran is best known for helping team reach 1994 NBA Finals, with star players…
Social Media Week Lagos Connects Africa for...

Social Media Week Lagos Connects Africa for Awareness and Innovation

As Social Media Week continues globally, check out updates from Lagos, Nigeria, on "Upwardly Mobile:…
TGIF Restaurant Sued for Race Discrimination

TGIF Restaurant Sued for Race Discrimination

A TGI Fridays eatery in Manhattan is facing a lawsuit after ten black former employees…
Entrepreneurs Summit: Kim Wales Shares How...

Entrepreneurs Summit: Kim Wales Shares How Crowdfunding Has ‘Democratized’ Getting Capital

When it comes to crowdfunding, Kim Wales, founder and CEO of Wales Capital is set…
U.S. Anti-Terroist Regulations Cut Money...

U.S. Anti-Terroist Regulations Cut Money Transfers to Somalia

A U.S. attempt to control terrorists has led to a dilemma among Somali families. “Regulations intended…
This Day In History – Tiger Flowers Wins...

This Day In History – Tiger Flowers Wins Middleweight Boxing Title

On this day in 1926, Theodore “Tiger” Flowers became the first African American middleweight boxing…

The Root

Calif. School’s Black-Only Assembly Causes...

Calif. School’s Black-Only Assembly Causes Uproar

School officials at a Benicia, Calif., middle school are apologizing after a teacher held a "black students only" Black History Month assembly, KTVU reports.

Police: Texas 4-Year-Old Dead After Accidental...

Police: Texas 4-Year-Old Dead After Accidental Shooting

A small child lost his life over the weekend after reportedly finding a loaded gun in his babysitter’s home and somehow shooting himself, KHOU 11 reports.

Jussie Smollett Signs to Columbia Records

Jussie Smollett Signs to Columbia Records

Jussie Smollett’s life is about to imitate his art. The Empire star has signed a record deal with Columbia Records. Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon on Empire, showcases his singing skills on a weekly basis and can definitely sing. Smollett revealed his record deal to Entertainment Weekly.

Graphic Video Captures LAPD Officers Fatally...

Graphic Video Captures LAPD Officers Fatally Shooting Homeless Man

On Sunday, footage of a homeless man being shot and killed during a confrontation with Los Angeles police was posted to several social media sites and has many viewers wondering if the incident merited lethal force. 

Cathay Williams: She Pretended to Be a Man to...

Cathay Williams: She Pretended to Be a Man to Enlist as a Buffalo Soldier

Who was the first (and only) female buffalo soldier?

Pittsburgh’s Police Chief—the...

Pittsburgh’s Police Chief—the #EndWhiteSilence Twitpic Cop—Isn’t What He’s Cracked Up to Be

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay was praised across the nation when he was photographed on New Year’s Eve holding a sign that said, “I resolve to challenge racism @ work #EndWhiteSilence.” It provided stark contrast to the incompetence of cops in Ferguson, Mo., the belligerence of police unions in New York and the hostility that many departments were showing in the wake of nationwide #BlackLivesMatter protests against police brutality.

Black Voices (Huffington Post)

America Never Abolished Slavery

America Never Abolished Slavery

This past Black History Month, millions of students were told the story of how America abolished slavery 150 years ago with ratification of the 13th Amendment. The story draws an upward trajectory of racial equality in America from the abolition of slavery to Brown v. Board of Education to the Civil Rights Act to the election of President Obama.

The problem is the story isn't true. We never actually abolished slavery. The 13th Amendment states:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.


"...except as a punishment for crime..." This phrase gets ignored in America's telling of its slavery story. The 13th Amendment did not abolish slavery but rather moved it from the plantation to the prison. In 2015, the 2 million (largely Black) people incarcerated in America are legally considered slaves under the Constitution. As a result, they can and are forced to work for pennies an hour with the profits going to counties, states and private corporations including Target, Revlon and Whole Foods. In fact, there are more Black people enslaved today than in 1800.

This is no accident. In The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander lays out how a system of Jim Crow replaced slavery and later how a system of mass incarceration rose to replace Jim Crow. During Reconstruction, Southern states quickly took advantage of the 13th Amendment's slavery loophole by arresting Black people for minor crimes such as unemployment, loitering or gambling, and selling them to private employers through the convict lease system. Today, the majority of Black people enslaved in prisons were arrested for drug crimes. Even though Black people use drugs at the same rate as White people, they are incarcerated for drug crimes at 20 to 50 times the rate of White people in some states.

This is not to say that we have not made progress since 1865. Through acts of courage and solidarity, African-Americans have fought back against white supremacy for the past 150 years. Incarcerated people have not been hapless victims but rather have organized and actively resisted for decades. Last week, immigrants at a private prison in Raymondville, Texas engaged in direct actions over a two-day period protesting inhumane conditions, forcing a shutdown of part of the prison. The protests build on a tradition of prison activism from the Angola Three in Louisiana to the tragic Attica Prison takeover in 1971.

It is critical that immigrants have joined in resistance to the prison industrial complex. Detention of immigrants facing deportation in jails and private prisons and immigrants prosecuted for attempting to enter the United States are the fastest growing segment of the prison system. Every year, over 400,000 immigrants are detained in an immigration detention system where many work long days sometimes being paid nothing or if they are lucky, 12 cents per hour. Other immigrants work for basic necessities like food, blankets or a few minutes of extra sunlight. This is true even though the 13th Amendment does not permit slavery for people being held for immigration violations, which are considered civil not criminal offenses. In two states, immigrants have sued demanding fair pay and safe working conditions.

Although the prison industrial complex was seemingly designed for the wholesale incarceration of Black communities, Asian Pacific Islanders and other non-Black people of color are trapped in the same system. Southeast Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Latino/s are all incarcerated at disproportionate rates. However, we cannot achieve liberation until we address anti-black racism in our own communities and build connections between our struggles, those of African-Americans, and slavery.

This year, the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment, it is time to truly abolish slavery in America.

This post was co-authored with Anoop Prasad and and Winnie Kao.
Hollywood's Diversity Problem Starts At The Top,...

Hollywood's Diversity Problem Starts At The Top, UCLA Report Finds

Hollywood’s diversity problem is far from shocking. Over the past few years, studies have highlighted the profitability of diverse casting and the lack of minority representation both in film and television. But a new study, released by UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, goes one step further to pinpoint the root of the problem.

Overwhelming white and male executives coupled with predominantly white rosters in the industry’s top three talent agencies are mainly to blame for the lack of diversity Hollywood, according to the university’s “2015 Hollywood Diversity Report.”

This is the second annual study exploring diversity in Hollywood released by UCLA. This year’s report shows findings after surveying the top 200 films in 2012 and 2013, as well as every broadcast, cable and digital TV series during that same time period.

The study was authored by Dr. Darnell Hunt and Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón, both of whom concluded the report by expressing how diversity in the industry is a top-down problem.

“Because of the high risk associated with the typical project — most new television shows fail, most films underperform — individual stakeholders in the industry (typically white and male) look to surround themselves with other individuals with whom they feel comfortable, with whom they feel they have the best prospects for producing a successful project,” the authors wrote. “These latter individuals, of course, tend to think and look like the former, thereby reproducing an industry culture that routinely devalues the talent of minorities and women.”

When the study looked into film studios’ executive ranks in 2013, 94 percent of CEOs and/or chairs and 92 percent of senior management were white. Television executives didn’t prove significantly more diverse either. The report found that 96 percent of chairs and/or CEOs and 93 percent of senior management were white.

The notable power and role of the talent agencies, or “gatekeepers,” when it comes to TV and film diversity was also covered.

Looking into the rosters of the industry’s three dominant talent agencies (all unnamed in the report), minority film directors and writers remain largely underrepresented. And only 12.2 percent of minority film leads in 2013 were represented by the these agencies.

Minority television show creators are also underrepresented in the leading talent agencies, and only 5.6 percent of minority broadcast scripted leads were represented by the top three talent agencies.

The authors noted how the relationship between studio executives and talent agencies prevents more diverse talent from reaching television and film.

“The talent agencies tell us they are in the business of selling to the networks and studios the kinds of packaged projects they demand,” the study reads. “Networks and studios — whose executive suites are almost exclusively white and male — ironically suggest that packaged projects could be more inclusive were it not for overly narrow talent rosters.”

Guilds, they added, were also partially to blame for not finding ways to increase access and professional development for both minorities and women.

Time Warner executive director of diversity and corporate social responsibility Jonathan Bean recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter and agreed that executive attitudes have a major ripple effects in the industry.

"I don't believe it's malicious," Beane told THR. "It's just that people have a better eye for talent when it looks like them and has the same background as them."

The Hollywood Reporter also noted that the study was financed by six majors studios and networks, including Time Warner, and the study’s authors are expected to present it to executives from each sponsor.

Overall, the report found that representation of both women and minorities is increasing in television and film, but at a highly unsatisfactory pace. Television was significantly more diverse than film, and its future also seems notably brighter since the report did not include the diversity seen in the 2014-2015 TV season, with shows like “How To Get Away With Murder,” “Empire,” “Jane The Virgin” and “Fresh Off The Boat.”

Ramón recently told NPR that the success of these series are the best motivators for diversity in Hollywood.

"Whenever [TV networks] see a formula that works and makes money, they want to also replicate that," Ramón told NPR. "And so right now they do see that certain diverse shows with black female leads, that those are selling. And so you can see that some of the pilots are trying to replicate that."
Michael Jordan Fails Yet Again To Win 'Richest...

Michael Jordan Fails Yet Again To Win 'Richest Person In The World' Title

Forbes reported Monday that former NBA superstar Michael Jordan has failed for the 29th straight year to become the richest person in the world.

It may be hard to believe, but it’s true: The man who is quite literally the Michael Jordan of basketball has only now even earned the title of billionaire and is still tens of billions of dollars away from even getting close to making the global financial playoffs. In fact, there are 1,740 people standing in his way of his “richest person in the world” title -- which begs the obvious question: Michael Jordan is only the 1,741th richest person in the world?!

To add insult to injury, 289 people not named Michael Jordan earned the exact same “new billionaire” distinction just this year. This sort of pedestrian play is obviously not what we have come to expect from the greatest to ever lace them up. But with Jordan, 52, past his financial prime and entering the twilight years of his business career, it appears he may have never come close to earning the title we can only imagine he so desperately covets: world champion of money-making.

The Jordan camp is already dismissing the rankings, referring to them as nothing more than “financial guesstimates” in a tersely worded statement provided to ESPN.com, which is just so perfectly Jordan-esque, is it not?

Really, it's not hard to imagine the ultra-competitive Jordan scrolling through the Forbes rankings at this very second and jotting down the names of the NBA owners ranked above him underneath the phrase “ENEMIES LIST,” which we assume would be scribbled in blood. (Jordan owns nearly all of the sort-of-good Charlotte Hornets.)

No word from Jordan’s financial team about if they will tank during the upcoming financial season in order to earn a higher draft pick in next year's draft.
The Obstacle Course

The Obstacle Course

The country’s largest state university system says it doesn’t discriminate against former prison inmates. Applicants say otherwise.
White on White Crime: An Unspoken Tragedy

White on White Crime: An Unspoken Tragedy

If you've been paying any attention to the news lately, you should have seen this talk show clip where an award-winning crime author brazenly declares that white on white crime does not exist.



The ugly truth is white on white crime does exist. It is a growing pandemic in the white community, and if we don't call attention to this problem soon, there will be no more white people left to run the world.

Most of the conversation surrounding crime involves black people, who selfishly take all of the credit for being criminals. Blacks are notorious for being called thugs and gangsters, but the real MVPs (Most Violent People) are whites. Everyday in cities across the country, people die at the hands of white people. What's more, they're killing their own kind. According to the US Department of Justice statistics, 84 percent of white people killed every year are killed by other whites. In 2011, there were more cases of whites killing whites than there were of blacks killing blacks. Between 1980 to 2008, a majority (53.3 percent) of gang-related murders were committed by white people, with a majority of the homicide victims being white as well.

In America, whites commit the majority of crimes. What's even more troubling is that they are also responsible for a vast majority of violent crimes. In 2013, whites led all other groups in aggravated assault, larceny-theft, arson, weapons-carrying, and vandalism. When it comes to sexual assault, whites take the forcible rape cake. They are also more likely to kill children, the elderly, family members, their significant others, and even themselves! They commit more sex-related crimes, gang related crimes, and are more likely to kill at their places of employment. In 2013, an estimated 10,076 people died in the U.S. due to drunk driving crashes. Driving while drunk is almost exclusively a white crime because everyone knows black people prefer to drink on their porches or inside their homes.

So why is white on white crime so prevalent, one may ask? Is it the music they listen to? Is it the white divorce rate, resulting in more white children coming from broken homes? Perhaps it's the TV shows they watch or the violent sports they play. More than likely, it is a combination of all of those things, with the exact root cause unclear. What is clear, though, is that not enough people are talking about the crime plaguing the white community. We need to spread the word, holding protests and demonstrations that call attention to this growing matter. Because, after all---white lives matter, too.
Why We Still Need a Selma

Why We Still Need a Selma

One week after Alabama state troopers bludgeoned civil rights demonstrators on the Edmund Pettus Bridge outside Selma on March 7, 1965 a visibly shaken Lyndon Johnson called for and addressed a joint session of Congress. His message was clear. His administration would pull out all stops to pass a voting rights bill which was the objective of the Selma marches. Five months later, the bill became the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. The act ignited an explosion in the number of black, Hispanic, Asian, women and Native American voters and the election of thousands of their number to local state and federal offices. The jewel in the crown in the Act was the election in 2008 of President Obama.

In the fifty years since the Selma march and the passage of the Act, a succession of GOP leaders, state legislators, girded by various federal court decisions, and the reflexive rightist four, and sometimes, five U.S. Supreme Court justices, have waged relentless war on the Act. The deal in the initial passage of the Act was that it be renewed every 25 years.

When the Act came up for renewal in 1981, hardline ultraconservatives in the administration of then President Reagan made loud threats to push Reagan to oppose its renewal. They were just that, idle threats. Reagan with no fanfare signed the renewal legislation. When the Act came up for renewal again in 2006, the threats to thwart the law, turned into a mini-movement in Congress to delay or even block passage. A pack of House Republicans stalled the legislation for more than a week and demanded that hearings be held.

The standard attack line has always been that it punishes the South for past voting discrimination sins, and that the thousands of black and Hispanic legislators in the South, Southwest and West is supreme proof that the crude, naked race based voter suppression ploys was a thing of a long gone past. Bush signed the renewal order. But the GOP had served notice that the early saber rattle against the Act was a just a warm-up for a full throttle frontal assault. The GOP pecked at eroding the Act with the rash of photo identifications laws that the GOP governors and GOP controlled state legislatures enacted in recent years. The aim was to discourage and damp down the number of minority and poor voters that overwhelmingly vote Democratic.

Then enter the Supreme Court. In the Shelby County v. Holder case in 2013, the Alabama county claimed the Act is outdated, discriminatory, and a blatant federal intrusion into state's rights. The lawsuit explicitly wants the centerpiece of the Act, Section 5 dumped. This is the provision that mandates that states get "preclearance" from the Justice Department before making any changes in voting procedures. State attorneys general in several states have endorsed the Alabama County's challenge. Chief Justice John Roberts bluntly said that things have changed in the South and that blacks supposedly vote everywhere in the South without any barriers or prohibitions. Clarence Thomas, to no surprise, went even further and flatly called Section 5 of the Act unconstitutional and left no doubt if and when he had the chance he'd knock the Act out completely. The provision was scrapped.

GOP-controlled legislatures in six states in the South and Southwest where voting rights procedures were covered by that part of the act wasted no time in passing a slew of restrictive voting laws that the VRA had previously blocked. This brought the total to more than 20 states that have passed tough voting restrictions, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Even though black and Hispanic voters did vote in big numbers in the 2012 election, in many districts they still had to stand in endless lines, have their IDs thoroughly scrutinized, had no bilingual ballots, found voting hours shortened, and had to file time consuming legal challenges in state and federal courts to get injunctions to stop the more onerous of the voter suppression laws from being enforced.

This was only part of the story of the roadblocks the GOP has thrown up. A study by the Alliance for Justice, a Washington D.C. based, public interest group, documented legions of complaints and challenges filed by the Justice Department and voting rights groups to discriminatory changes that county registrars have made to eliminate or narrow down the number of voters in predominantly minority districts. The tales of supposed massive voter fraud egged on by civil rights, voter rights advocacy groups and orchestrated by the Democrats has been just that, self-serving tales. There is no evidence to support any of the GOP charges of massive voter hanky-panky.

Fifty years after the bloody Selma march shocked Johnson and the nation into taking fast track action to right a glaring historic wrong, namely the denial of the right to vote to millions in America, that right is still under intense assault. This is why we still need a Selma today.

--

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. His forthcoming book is: From King to Obama: Witness to a Turbulent History (Middle Passage Press) .

He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is host of the weekly Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour heard weekly on the nationally network broadcast Hutchinson Newsmaker Network.
Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson

BET

Michael Jordan Debuts on Forbes' Billionaires List

Michael Jordan Debuts on Forbes' Billionaires List



Charlotte Hornets owner has estimated worth of $1 billion.
Obama to Focus on Civil Rights Struggles Past and...

Obama to Focus on Civil Rights Struggles Past and Present



President plans a speech for Saturday in Selma.
Cleveland: Tamir Rice Died Because of His Own...

Cleveland: Tamir Rice Died Because of His Own Actions



City claims he didn't "exercise due care to avoid injury."
DHS Funding Chaos Highlights Republican Discord

DHS Funding Chaos Highlights Republican Discord



Homeland Security Department is in danger of shutting down.
Kanye West to Speak at Oxford University

Kanye West to Speak at Oxford University



Yeezy goes back to college.
7 Things We Learned From Kobe Bryant's Documentary

7 Things We Learned From Kobe Bryant's Documentary



A rare candid moment with the Black Mamba.

Black America Web - State of Black America

H. Hartford Brookins Dies

H. Hartford Brookins Dies

Romney Faces Tough Questions from Black Leaders

Romney Faces Tough Questions from Black Leaders

2010 Census Missed More Than 1.5 Million...

2010 Census Missed More Than 1.5 Million Minorities

Toxins Poison Florida Community

Toxins Poison Florida Community

VIDEO: Man Puts Child in Washer Machine,...

VIDEO: Man Puts Child in Washer Machine, Babysitter Watches

UCLA Medical Center Stung by Lawsuit

UCLA Medical Center Stung by Lawsuit