The Grio

Mark Whitaker says he was ‘wrong’ not...

Mark Whitaker says he was ‘wrong’ not addressing allegations in Cosby biography

theGRIO REPORT - Mark Whitaker, the author of the biography Cosby: His Life and Times sent out a tweet indicating he was wrong to not pursue the sexual assault allegations further in his book...
Michael Brown’s father: ‘I feel empty’

Michael Brown’s father: ‘I feel empty’

theGRIO REPORT - Less than 24 hours after a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson in the shooting death of his son Michael Brown, Michael Brown Sr. spoke exclusively to MSNBC's Rev. Al Sharpton Tuesday...
Cleveland police to release surveillance video of...

Cleveland police to release surveillance video of 12-year-old shot over toy gun

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland police planned to release surveillance video from an officer’s fatal shooting of a 12-year-old boy who turned out to be carrying a replica gun.

A department spokeswoman said video and audio evidence would be released Wednesday …

Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran suspended for...

Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran suspended for ‘anti-gay’ book

theGRIO REPORT - An Atlanta fire chief has been suspended for publishing a book that makes anti-gay comments. The book, titled Who Told You That You Are Naked?, was written and published by Kelvin Cochran in 2013...
8 positive things you can do in response to...

8 positive things you can do in response to Ferguson

theGRIO REPORT - Monday, a grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown sparked protests across the country. Here are eight positive things you can do in reaction to the verdict...
President Obama: Grand jury decision not an...

President Obama: Grand jury decision not an ‘excuse for violence’ in Ferguson

CHICAGO (AP) — President Barack Obama sharply rebuked protesters Tuesday night for racially charged violence in Missouri, saying there was no excuse for burning buildings, torching cars and destroying other property after a grand jury declined to indict the white police officer who shot a black teenager...

Black Enterprise

Al Sharpton Responds to Ferguson Grand Jury...

Al Sharpton Responds to Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

Rev. Al Sharpton traveled to Ferguson to hold a press conference in response to the…
Lincoln University President Resigns

Lincoln University President Resigns

Lincoln University President Robert Jennings announces his resignation
Iconic Artist and Humanitarian Annie Lee Dies at...

Iconic Artist and Humanitarian Annie Lee Dies at 79

Artist Annie Lee passed away on November 24th at age 79, leaving behind her daughter,…
Darren Wilson Can Still Face Consequences Despite...

Darren Wilson Can Still Face Consequences Despite Grand Jury Decision

Despite the grand jury's decision to not file charges against Darren Wilson, the officer can…
LGBT Civil Rights Group Reacts To Missouri Grand...

LGBT Civil Rights Group Reacts To Missouri Grand Jury Decision

Source: NBJC The National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to empowering…
[PERSPECTIVES]: Bill Cosby: Innocent or Guilty?

[PERSPECTIVES]: Bill Cosby: Innocent or Guilty?

Whether the allegations about Bill Cosby are true or false, the star does have a…

The Root

Darren Wilson and Wife Expecting a Child; Would...

Darren Wilson and Wife Expecting a Child; Would Love to Teach on Use of Force  

Being a police officer was the job of his life. He thought that he would work for 30 years and then make sergeant and then retire. But Aug. 9 changed all of that for Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown.

Hispanic and Arab Americans Want Their Own Racial...

Hispanic and Arab Americans Want Their Own Racial Categories on the 2020 Census

Civil rights groups are on different pages about the proposed changes that census officials might make to the racial and ethnic categories that appear on the 2020 Census.

Obama: I Will Veto Permanent Tax Breaks for...

Obama: I Will Veto Permanent Tax Breaks for Corporations

President Barack Obama vowed Tuesday to veto a package of tax breaks that Republicans send his way if they don’t alter the parts that provide “permanent tax breaks for businesses,” the New York Times reports.

44 Arrested as Tension in Ferguson Grows

44 Arrested as Tension in Ferguson Grows

The second day of protests continued in Ferguson, Mo., as police arrested some 44 people, but authorities considered Tuesday’s protests to be more calm overall, and attributed that to the some 2,000 National Guard troops deployed to the St. Louis suburb.

Reporter Alleges That Bill Cosby Leaked Story...

Reporter Alleges That Bill Cosby Leaked Story About Daughter’s Drug Problems

For the last couple of weeks, women have been coming out of the woodwork with allegations of sexual assault at the hands of Bill Cosby. So far the total number is at least 15, but a reporter is now divulging that America’s formerly most-loved TV dad wasn’t exactly Cliff Huxtable when it came to his own daughter.

Ferguson Rioters Loot Store Michael Brown...

Ferguson Rioters Loot Store Michael Brown Allegedly Robbed

On Aug. 9, the day Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Mo., by Police Officer Darren Wilson, it was alleged that Brown stole cigars from Ferguson Market and Liquor. Although the store owner never filed a police report, and neither the store owner nor any of the store employees called police, Ferguson police still issued a warrant for the videotape.

Black Voices (Huffington Post)

Positive Role Models, Safe Communities Linked To...

Positive Role Models, Safe Communities Linked To Better Mental Health For Poor Teens

Poor teens who feel positively about their community may be protected from some of the damaging effects of poverty on mental health, according to new research on teenagers living in impoverished neighborhoods around the world.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health surveyed 2,400 low-income adolescents (ages 15 to 19) in five cities: Baltimore, Maryland; New Delhi, India; Ibadan, Nigeria; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Shanghai, China. Their findings were published in five reports that made up a special supplement to the December 2014 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Researchers asked the young people how they felt about their physical environment and whether they felt they had positive adult role models to offer social support. Teens were also asked about health issues they faced, including mental health problems like depression. They reported issues like teen pregnancy, violence, depression, post-traumatic stress, HIV and suicide attempts.

While the teens came from around the world, the researchers found that the relative wealth of their home countries was not correlated with better mental health outcomes. Rather, a combination of having positive adult role models and a favorable perception of their neighborhood made a teen more likely to report better mental health.

In Baltimore, for example, teens did not feel safe, even in their homes. They also reported seeing violence in their neighborhood and felt they lacked positive adult role models. Baltimore respondents reported high levels of depressive symptoms, including post-traumatic stress and thoughts of suicide.

In comparison, despite rampant poverty in India, the adolescents in the study from New Delhi felt safe in their homes and weren't exposed to much violence. These teens reported lower levels of depression than the other teens surveyed.

"If there is nobody giving you positive support, and then you look outside and there are rats and garbage -- it's those two layers just reinforcing each other," said Kristin Mmari, an assistant professor in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School and a co-author of the study. "Does anybody care about me? They look out their windows. They are afraid. They don't feel safe. It's that combination of factors that is affecting them."

"I think it's not so much the country income level, it's really the environment. What neighborhood are you living in? How do you perceive that neighborhood?" Mmari said.

In the graph below, respondents ranked how they felt about their community's physical environment, considering factors like inadequate sanitation, overcrowded buildings and violence levels. Adolescents from Shanghai and Ibadan gave their communities more favorable ratings, while adolescents from New Delhi and Johannesburg gave their neighborhoods low rankings.

According to a female respondent from Johannesburg:

The thing is that where we stay, you will hear a person screaming from being beaten up in the middle of the night and there is also break-ins.

A male respondent from Baltimore reported similar violence:

There ain't nowhere to be safe, tell you the truth. All I'm saying is it's not even safe to even walk around by yourself at a certain time, even though you don't have a curfew. It's not. Three years I got banked [beaten] so many times it doesn't make no damn sense.

The graph below maps social cohesion, or how connected each individual felt to his or her community. Adolescents in Baltimore and Johannesburg ranked their level of social cohesion lower than adolescents in the other cities, listing a lack of community involvement and dearth of positive adult role models in their lives as reasons they didn't feel connected.

According to a female respondent from Baltimore:

A lot of the parents are out here on drugs. So, the kids are being raised by themselves.

A Johannesburg respondent reported a similar lack of adult guidance:

We find that most of them are coming from single headed families where there is only one parent and the other party is not there. So they are very vulnerable.

Researchers found that a combination of these two key factors -- physical environment and social environment -- could be affecting the mental health of the adolescent respondents. In the graph below, respondents from Johannesburg and female respondents from Baltimore reported experiencing high levels of depressive symptoms. According to Mmari, in neighborhoods where both physical environment and social environments are considered poor, negative health outcomes become much more prevalent.

"[Baltimore and Johannesburg] had the highest percentage of adolescents growing up without two parents, and in the qualitative findings, they talked about not having a whole lot of positive adults in their lives. In addition, adolescents in those two sites were more likely to rate their physical environment as very poor," Mmari said. "The interaction that these two domains have with each other is really important."

These findings, however, only represent the youth experience in one neighborhood per city, and can't necessarily be extrapolated to represent the experience of poor young people on a city-wide level. Mmari said she this is one of the limitations of the study. "What I would love to do is have more neighborhoods in each of these cities," she said. "How do these neighborhoods vary? In turn, how do their health outcomes vary, within the same city?"
Why Do Black Men Die With Their Hands Up?

Why Do Black Men Die With Their Hands Up?

I remember September 21, 2011 remarkably well. I remember sitting in my dorm room, frantically refreshing Twitter to see whether or not, by some miracle, justice would be served, and a man would go home to his family.

He didn't.

What was significant to me was that I was suddenly hit with the realization that in a few weeks, months or years, no one would remember any of this. No one would remember his name. He, and the treatment he received would fade into obscurity, like all those before him, and all those to come.

So I sat on my dorm room bed and promised to not forget Troy Davis.

I haven't yet, but you probably have.

The paradox of race in America MSNBC

Trayvon Martin. Tamir Rice. Rodney King. Jordan Davis. Oscar Grant. Pearl Pearson. DeShawn Currie. Sean Bell. Kenneth Chamberlain. Ronald Madison. James Brissette. Kelly Thomas. Edgar Vargas Arzate. Eric Garner. Kajieme Powell. John Crawford. Ezell Ford. Dante Parker. Malice Green. Amadou Diallo. Abner Louima. Prince Jones. Henry Glover. Ramarley Graham. Shem Walker. Kendrec McDade.

How many names do you remember? How many have you even heard of?

How many more do you need to read before you believe that a pattern exists?

There is no point debating facts or law, reviewing case points or legal strategy (although arguments here would be plentiful). It doesn't matter. What matters is that there will come a day, far too soon, when you won't remember Michael Brown. What matters is that one demographic will likely remember this for longer than another. What matters is that, after a few articles are shared and a few tweets are sent, Michael Brown's name will not be said until he is used as an example in the next police shooting of a black man.

Instead of narrowing in on the "case of the day," we should be disturbed by the fact that none of us really expected an indictment. We should be bothered by our justice system being a place where hope cannot exist for minorities. We should be outraged by the collective selective memory of society.

Why are black men dying with their hands in the air?

Because some of you might remember Michael Brown the way I remember Troy Davis, but most of you won't. And if you won't, why would the law?
Chris Rock Ranks The 'Top Five' Comedies,...

Chris Rock Ranks The 'Top Five' Comedies, Stand-ups, And Movie Cameos | Inside Movies |

n his new movie, Top Five, out Dec. 5, Chris Rock plays a movie star whose already-fading career is about to crumble on the day he’s being interviewed by a savvy New York Times reporter ­(Rosario Dawson) about his comedy career, his ambitious new Oscar-bait movie about the Haitian revolution, and his imminent nuptials to a reality star. She accompanies him to his old neighborhood, where he and his friends kill time arguing about their top five rappers.
What Your Black Friend Might Think but Not Say...

What Your Black Friend Might Think but Not Say About Ferguson

I was 21 when I consciously made the choice in my heart and mind: racism doesn't apply to me. My outcomes are my own. I convinced myself that by sheer willpower I could make myself the exception to the rule.

There were examples of people who've done this; more by the day. I saw no reason why I couldn't be one of them.

In witnessing the current outcome of the Ferguson trial, I am now more acutely aware of the context and atmosphere in which my exceptionality must occur.

This was brought home in a very personal way earlier this year when two of my closest friends and I got into a sticky exchange about race.

An off-color remark was made. Another parried in exchange. Feelings were hurt by all. What happened in 60 seconds has taken several months to repair in friendships that are over six years long.

This is now the 395th year since the beginning of the slave trade in America that as a culture black people are receiving the message through the justice system: your life does not matter.

As much as I choose to believe my life does matter, this is the climate in which my choice is occurring.

In college I took three different classes simultaneously on race-class-gender and matrices of power. By the end of that semester I could tell you how as a black woman I was screwed when it came to my life mattering.

Needless to say, I very quickly gave up that line of academic inquiry. I ceased studying matrices of power and how/why they work to oppress and began ardently studying personal power and how it works to create freedom. I wanted to know how I could have a fulfilling life -- in spite of what the statistics say.

For all groups who have experienced systematic oppression, individuals on track for success face a string of impossible choices to solidify an already tenuous existence, let alone successful life.
I say tenuous because in moments like this and like the one I had earlier this year with friends, it is made plain: success or failure never happens in a bubble. I need these friends in my life. I also trust that they need me.

However in witnessing the situation unfold in Ferguson, the question I (and I suspect many black people) quietly ask themselves The Day After is this:

Do they actually need me? When "they" look at "me" does my life matter to "them?"

I am both praying that my life does matter and I am terrified to know the truth.

I'd love to believe that Ferguson is an isolated incident. However as I consider the perceptions of me by non-black gate-keepers to power in my industry (in moments when history repeats itself) I wonder do they quietly ask themselves things like:
Where does she stand?
Is she an angry black woman?
Is she hung up on her race?
Does she actually believe that racism is real?
Why are black people so upset?

Unspoken questions. All signifiers that we're ready on both sides to put down the historical inheritance passed down to us that whispers: "Notice how she's not like you. You may not want to share with her. Her life doesn't matter as much as yours."

I'm well aware that I live in a rather safe, highly-liberal/progressive, east coast entrepreneurial bubble.

And for those of us in this bubble, this thought may not be what you'd consciously choose to believe. (It's certainly not what my friends consciously chose to believe despite the wounding remark made. I know because I asked.)

However the tension you may even feel reading this is a sign that you may be ready to take the goggles off. (Because the truth is -- they are not you.)

The tension I feel writing this is a sign that I am ready to take them off too. I don't want to look at my friends and see a nebulous "they."

It's a sign that we're all ready to see the person in front of us as the gift they are.

I don't want to be the exception to the rule. I want to destroy the rule.

The reality has set in -- I can't "will" myself out of this one alone.

Because while Oprah, Obama and Chenault are real... so is this:
82 percent of non-black men on this dating site show some bias against black women.
76 percent of all millionaires in the U.S. are white. Latinos, Black people and Asian people are at 8 percent each.
While 1 in 10 of all U.S. workers are documented entrepreneurs, businesses owned by Black people have documented lower sales.

My studies in personal power have taught me that the beginning of our power begins in the mind with the choice of what we focus on.

But in moments like these it's incredibly clear: It's more than what *I* put my attention on that will create a different conversation about race and justice in the United States. It's about what *we* put *our* attention on. In each moment of purchase, click-through "swipe," and share.

I still choose to believe that this shift can be made in a moment. It just needs to be made in *every* moment for the conversation around race to change.

Will it continue to be easy to see one culture and it's history as the butt of a joke? The lives that don't really matter? That shouldn't be taken so seriously?

While I know the painful words exchanged between my friends and I were said in "jest" they are indicative of an under-examined social framework begging for public discourse and healing.

If my friends and I are the micro...
Ferguson is the macro.

It's the same conversation waiting to be had: what do my choices say about what I actually believe about race?

Our individual choices matter. It's our individual choices that change the collective conversation.
I offer this prayer for all who know they matter but aren't sure how to make a difference today.

Let me do good work.
Let my work speak for itself.
Let me live long enough to leave my gift behind when I'm gone.
Let me become capable of the kind of relationships that make it possible.
Let what was only a possibility to me become the new normal for those just like me.
Until the day we all agree: all human life matters. Every human life has a purpose.


Kristen Domingue is a speaker and blogger on the topics of personal brand development and living a purposeful life at

For practical tools about serving others well, building a purposeful brand, and having more fulfilling life and work, join her free newsletter.
Former Model And Restaurateur B. Smith Goes...

Former Model And Restaurateur B. Smith Goes Missing In Hamptons

Pioneering former model and restaurateur B. Smith has gone missing in the Hamptons.
Black Men Don't Need a Guardian Angel. Who We...

Black Men Don't Need a Guardian Angel. Who We Need Is Our Guardian Slave.

From 12 to 50 it's assumed we're packing, assumed that like the Hulk or zombies we possess superhuman, virtually unstoppable destructive power. So where an average citizen may disagree, even argue and berate a police officer, treating them as the public servant that they indeed are, a black man, if he wishes to continue living, must channel his ancestors. His slave ancestors. He needs to forget there is a black president and remember that the default position of cops, cop wannabes like George Zimmerman, and the population at large is to view him as a perpetual deadly threat.

Our slave ancestors understood this acutely. They understood that paddyrollers, the armed militias employed to ensure wandering slaves returned to their plantations, were all too willing to use lethal force. Every slave in the South knew to make no sudden movement, keep your head down, show your pass, mumble something deferential regardless the uncivil tone of the inquisitor and move along. That survivalist wisdom was passed along for generations as the role of the paddyroller was assumed more by local police officers than the Klan.

And I remembered that wisdom that was passed on to me by my grandfather and father every time I was followed by security guards through Toys R Us as a teenager in Hamden, CT, pulled over in my car in my twenties merely to check my ID in Palm Beach, FL, or stopped by a young cop to again show ID in my thirties in Santa Monica, CA.

Each time after the unreasonable stop I was left shaking and ashamed that I hadn't talked back, asserted my constitutional rights as an equal citizen under the law. But my inner guardian slave reminded me it wasn't worth it. That cop was armed with lethal force, a predisposition to see me as a threat, and a long-standing system behind him built to ensure that whatever he did to me would end without consequence.

In the 1970s, when I was first learning this lesson, the spilt blood of the Civil Rights movement was still fresh. Today, in a world of black presidents, electric cars and talking iPhones, it's so hard to convince young black men, like my 13-year-old son, that if a police officer merely perceives you are a lethal threat, he is explicitly allowed to shoot you dead. However, since the mere combination of your sex, race and age ensures that you are perceived as a threat, police officers are authorized to kill you Q.E.D.

So what I have to drill into him, since I want him to continue to live, is to listen to his Guardian Slave and be preternaturally polite and respectful no matter how ugly and unreasonable the policeman's demand.

Then at least he'll probably only be tased.


Thanksgiving Dinner: How Many Calories Are on...

Thanksgiving Dinner: How Many Calories Are on Your Plate?

How to cut down calories and walk them off after dinner.
Russian Envoy: Ferguson Shows US Racial Problems

Russian Envoy: Ferguson Shows US Racial Problems

Global leaders condemn Darren Wilson verdict.
Cosby Biographer Apologizes for Ignoring Rape...

Cosby Biographer Apologizes for Ignoring Rape Allegations

Plus, tabloid claims star sold out his daughter.
The Warm Up: Rihanna Previews New Song on...

The Warm Up: Rihanna Previews New Song on Instagram

The latest news in music, celeb and pop culture.
Ferguson Aftermath: Scenes From Protests Across...

Ferguson Aftermath: Scenes From Protests Across the Nation

A look at rallies in St. Louis, Oakland and other cities.
Sports Buzz: Washington Redskins Bench Robert...

Sports Buzz: Washington Redskins Bench Robert Griffin III

Plus, J.R. Smith connects Black Friday to slavery.

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