The Grio

North Korea threatens to “blow up” the White...

North Korea threatens to “blow up” the White House over Sony film

Sony’s new movie The Interview continues to be the source of international controversy.

In an angry post published by the state news agency KCNA, Korean authorities have threatened more attacks against the U.S. government and other American institutions in the …

World’s 10 Most Popular Bible Verses of 2014

World’s 10 Most Popular Bible Verses of 2014

YouVersion is an app that markets itself as “a simple, ad-free Bible that brings God’s Word into your daily life”. And now they’ve used their consumer data to create a year end analysis of which scriptures 164 million users shared …

Hacker group Anonymous targets Iggy Azalea for...

Hacker group Anonymous targets Iggy Azalea for “misappropriating black culture”

In the wake of Azealia Banks' candid interview with Hot 97 - she and Iggy Azalea are once again entrenched in a war of words on Twitter.
Muhammad Ali hospitalized with pneumonia

Muhammad Ali hospitalized with pneumonia

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Boxing great Muhammad Ali was hospitalized with a mild case of pneumonia that was caught early and should result in a short hospital stay, an Ali spokesman said Saturday night.

The three-time world heavyweight champion, who …

NYPD turns back on Mayor de Blasio at cop killing...

NYPD turns back on Mayor de Blasio at cop killing press conference

Tempers are flaring after 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, shot and killed Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu execution style outside of the Tompkins Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant yesterday.
James Woods and Stacey Dash blame...

James Woods and Stacey Dash blame ‘PigSharpton’ and deBlasio for ‘jihad’ on cops

Actor James Woods appears to have gone full crackpot on Twitter this morning, blaming the shooting deaths of two NYPD officers on Al Sharpton and Mayor Bill deBlasio. The series of tweets are from his verified Twitter account @RealJamesWoods.…

Black Enterprise

United States In Talks To End Embargo Against Cuba

United States In Talks To End Embargo Against Cuba

With President Barack Obama final term in office, the Commander-in-Chief attempts to formalize his legacy…
Lifetime to Release Destiny’s Child Biopic

Lifetime to Release Destiny’s Child Biopic

Amid the Sony scandal, an email regarding former Destiny’s Child manager Matthew Knowles pitching a…
Civil Rights Group Starts Petition to Get Sony...

Civil Rights Group Starts Petition to Get Sony Executive Fired

Civil rights group, ColorOfChange.org, has started an online petition to get Sony executive, Amy Pascal,…
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Pens Open Letter...

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Pens Open Letter About Race, Ferguson And Injustice

Starbucks CEO is an advocate for taking on big issues with even bigger solutions. Howard…
George Stinney: Pronounced Innocent 70 Years...

George Stinney: Pronounced Innocent 70 Years After His Death

George Stinney was 14-years-old at the time of his execution in 1944. 70 years ago,…
The Obama’s Open Up About Their Personal...

The Obama’s Open Up About Their Personal Experiences With Racism

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama get candid about their personal encounters with racial…

The Root

The 1st Black Man to See the Baby Jesus

The 1st Black Man to See the Baby Jesus

Editor’s note: This was first published on Dec. 24, 2012. For those who are wondering about the retro title of this black-history series, please take a moment to learn about historian Joel A. Rogers, author of the 1934 book 100 Amazing Facts About the Negro With Complete Proof, to whom these “amazing facts” are an homage.

Report: Muhammad Ali Hospitalized With Pneumonia

Report: Muhammad Ali Hospitalized With Pneumonia

Muhammad Ali, the famed 72-year-old boxer and activist, was admitted to an undisclosed hospital Saturday with pneumonia, with a good prognosis for recovery, his spokesman Bob Gunnell said, according to CNN.

Russell Wilson, Professional football player

Russell Wilson, Professional football player

All eyes were on the young quarterback as he led his brash, upstart Seattle Seahawks to a decisive (see: crushing) Super Bowl XLVIII win, the second African-American QB to do so—though he’s glad it’s not all about race. Wilson, who infamously outplayed the legendary Peyton Manning and coolly showered at halftime, is a case study in how belief in oneself (he was chosen in the third round of the NFL draft, many say because of his height, which at 5 feet 11 inches was thought to be too short for a quarterback), laser-like focus and a bit of humility can take you a long way. “I’m still learning and I’m still on a constant quest for knowledge,” he says.

Window Snyder, Computer and network security...

Window Snyder, Computer and network security expert

Self described “geek girl” Mwende Window Snyder comes to the tech world honestly. As the daughter of two software engineers, she learned to program BASIC at her Kenyan mother’s knee at 5 years old. Two years ago, Snyder was hired by Apple as its senior product manager for security, helping the tech behemoth stave off cyber threats from hackers. Snyder has worked in security for both Mozilla and Microsoft, where she is credited with leading Microsoft into the open-source market. Snyder is also co-author of 2004’s Threat Modeling, now a standard protocol in any security application.

Hakeem Jeffries

Hakeem Jeffries

This summer, U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries joined other New York congressmen in asking the Justice Department to investigate the choking death of Eric Garner at the hands of New York City police officers. “My mantra as a public servant is to get things accomplished,” Jeffries said upon his election to the U.S. House of Representatives two years ago. As a member of a bipartisan task force on over-criminalization, Jeffries is poised to shape the debate over how the criminal code adversely affects people of color. The congressman already is tackling more of the same issues that marked his time in the New York State Assembly, where he passed a significant bill to help dismantle New York’s notorious “stop and frisk” program.

Zerlina Maxwell, writer, political analyst,...

Zerlina Maxwell, writer, political analyst, activist

Zerlina Maxwell, outspoken and unbowed political analyst and feminist, is a testament to the disruptive power of social media. So much so that her frequent tweets during the 2012 presidential campaign helped her become a regular cable news pundit. Her most prominent work of late, though, concerns rape culture—namely, how the burden of stopping rape and changing rape culture must shift from women to men. In 2014, her #RapeCultureIsWhen hashtag won a Maggie Award for Media Excellence from Planned Parenthood, and her Twitter account was recognized by Time magazine as one of the best to follow. Maxwell’s thoughts on feminism, politics and policy appear in outlets as diverse as MSNBC and Ebony.com, and she is a frequent speaker on college campuses.

Black Voices (Huffington Post)

Fallout From Ferguson: The Biggest Opportunity...

Fallout From Ferguson: The Biggest Opportunity For Our Society

In times of struggle many seasoned leaders remind the parties involved of the Chinese symbol for the word "crisis." This symbol combines two words: danger and opportunity. The aftermath of the Ferguson situation presents both a dangerous reescalation of racial tension in America and an opportunity.

This opportunity consists of changing the conversation about community in America, an issue larger in scope than black youth, police tactics, and race relations. It's an opportunity to define how we choose to live our lives in community.

***


The author Peter Block, in his masterful book Community: The Structure Of Belonging, writes about two different types communities. The first one is the stuck community.

The overriding characteristic of the stuck community is the decision to broadcast all the reasons we have to be afraid. This is a kind of advertising that exploits the fear we have of violence, of the urban core, of terrorism, of African-Americans and other ethnic groups, of immigrants, of those who are poor or undereducated, of other religions, and of other countries.


Block goes on to say, "When there is a human tragedy, most of the energy goes into finding who was to blame. There is a retributive search for responsibility and a corresponding defense from the players claiming their innocence."

It sounds as though this piece was written about Ferguson, though the book came out in 2009. We live in a stuck community, and I'm concerned that flash points, such as Ferguson, have the potential impact of deepening our stuckness.

Most of the news stories I've see about Ferguson market and sell fear, and many of the community reactions to the events focus on blame and retribution. This deeply concerns me because blame doesn't heal and revenge doesn't satisfy.

This isn't at all to discount accountability. When death occurs all parties involved must open themselves to review and scrutiny. And then we must move forward, and how we move forward makes all the difference.

***


The other kind of community that Block describes is the restorative community. This is the community that focuses on what it can accomplish.

Block writes:

Restoration is created by the kinds of conversations we initiate with each other. These conversations are the leverage point for an alternative future. The core question that underlies each conversation is "What can we create together?" Shifting the context from retribution to restoration will occur through language that moves in the following directions: from problems to possibility; from fear and fault to gifts, generosity, and abundance; from law and oversight to social fabric and chosen accountability; from corporation and systems to associational life; and from leaders to citizens.


The Ferguson situation contains an abundance of mystery and ambiguity as to what literally happened. People can assign blame in a dozen different directions, to individuals, groups, organizations, systems, and entire nations. And what do we have after all that blame and finger-pointing? Festering wounds that, if we're lucky, scab over until the next problem arises.

We citizens have the power to change the conversation. We have the choice to focus on possibility. We have the ability to unstick ourselves.

***


It won't be easy. We've been conditioned by the government, media, and even our own base instincts to point fingers when we're upset. "If it bleeds, it leads," is a media axiom that stands squarely in the way of what's possible.

Yet nothing that's worth having is easy to get.

In order to do this we must step into a more comprehensive view of our society. We must accept that we all have faults and we all have gifts. We must believe that everyone can strive to be better and everyone is a human being deserving respect. We must see that the systems we live in are broken and flawed and these same systems work in most cases. We must acknowledge that being a police office is an incredibly difficult job that combines danger, sensitivity, and split-second decision making and being a police officer is about engaging a community as much as it is enforcing its laws. And finally, we must embrace the reality that different racial groups in this country have unique challenges and responsibilities; we're not all the exact same.
We get better by facing the totality of our community, not just the parts that fit neatly into our own individual narrative. We improve when we decide to heal our individual wounds, which may come from our individual circumstances or from broad social forces. We make a positive difference when we choose to open ourselves to disconfirming data and challenge ourselves to question our deeply held assumptions.

We can choose to win an argument or make a better world.

***


What could Ferguson, Missouri look like in two years? What's its possibility? We often flock to cities devastated by natural disasters in order to clean up, rebuild, and restore. Sometimes we even make these cities better than they were before the disaster. Why don't we do the same in Ferguson? We can.

If not in Ferguson, then do it in your community.

I challenge you to do one of four things in the next seven days:

  1. Go to Ferguson, Missouri, not to protest but to restore. Engage with the citizenry, meet the politicians, or just be a positive presence.

  2. Talk to your local politicians about what a restorative community would look like where you live. Call your city council members or other civic leaders. Challenge them to consider what's possible.

  3. Talk to someone whom you believe has an opposing opinion to yours about what happened in Ferguson. Suspend your assumptions. Ask questions. Show curiosity.

  4. Use social media to share your hopes about what good can from from these difficult events. Use the hashtag #FergusonForward.


As flawed as America may be, it has a better track record of engaging its population than most other spots on Earth. America was initially conceived as a nation defined by civic engagement on a scale never before seen, and since it has slowly (sometimes painfully) expanded the groups that get to participate.

We must keep the movement going. We are a good country that can be better. It will be hard.

We've all seen in the last week how events in Ferguson can create danger in our society. I challenge you to identify, and assert, how events in Ferguson also create opportunity.

This post was originally featured on the Good Men Project.
Chris Christie Wants Obama To Demand That Cuba...

Chris Christie Wants Obama To Demand That Cuba Return Cop Killer To U.S.

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie disagrees with President Obama's decision to normalize relations with Cuba and wants the president to demand the immediate return of a convicted cop killer from the country "before any further consideration of restoration of diplomatic relations with the Cuban government."

In a letter sent to the White House Friday and made public by his office Sunday, Christie pressed for the return of Joanne Chesimard, who was convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973 during a gunbattle after being stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike. Chesimard was found guilty but escaped from prison and eventually fled to Cuba, where she was granted asylum by Fidel Castro. She is now living as Assata Shakur and is the first woman placed on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist List.

Christie said Cuba's decision to grant Chesimard asylum "is an affront to every resident of our state, our country, and in particular, the men and women of the New Jersey State Police, who have tirelessly tried to bring this killer back to justice."

Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House's National Security Council, said it will "continue to press in our engagement with the Cuban government for the return of U.S. fugitives in Cuba to pursue justice for the victims of their crimes."

Christie expressed "profound disagreement" with the president's decision, but he said the moment marked an opportunity for Cuba to prove it's serious about change.

"I do not share your view that restoring diplomatic relations without a clear commitment from the Cuban government of the steps they will take to reverse decades of human rights violations will result in a better and more just Cuba for its people," Christie wrote. "However, despite my profound disagreement with this decision, I believe there is an opportunity for Cuba and its government to show the American people it is serious about change."

Christie has generally been reluctant to weigh in on contentious foreign policy issues as he mulls a run for president in 2016.

Other potential Republican candidates, most notably Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, have been publicly disputing one another's opposing stances.
David Schwimmer Will Play Robert Kardashian In...

David Schwimmer Will Play Robert Kardashian In O.J. Simpson Miniseries

Ryan Murphy's real-crime anthology series "American Crime Story" has finally found its lawyer.

David Schwimmer is the latest actor to join "The People v. O.J. Simpson," the first season of the upcoming series that will follow Simpson's 1995 murder trial. The "Friends" alum will portray Robert Kardashian, Simpson's friend and lawyer during the case. The 10-episode first season will star Cuba Gooding Jr. as the former football player and Sarah Paulson as head prosecutor Marcia Clark.

The season will tell the story from the perspective of the lawyers and recount the police department's history with the African-American community in Los Angeles at the time. The first episode will be directed by Murphy, who will also co-executive produce with Brad Falchuk.

For more, head to The Hollywood Reporter.
Homeless Persons Memorial Day Honors Dignity,...

Homeless Persons Memorial Day Honors Dignity, Worth Of People Without Shelter Whom We've Lost

Sunday marks National Homeless Person's Memorial Day, commemorated on the longest night of the year.

The event and awareness day honors the thousands of homeless people who have died and serves as a reminder of the innumerable hardships and risks people living without shelter face.

Advocates hope that the designated memorial day will encourage health care providers, community organizations, and social service agencies to combine forces in order to more effectively address the needs of this population.

At the same time though, supporters see declaring the names of the dead of equal importance, to remind society of their dignity and worth.

While homelessness is on the decline in the U.S., the more than 578,000 homeless people living without permanent shelter face critical challenges. Homeless individuals face violent attacks and, compared to the general population, are at greater risk for chronic illness, poor mental health, and substance abuse, according to the CDC.

Last year, homeless people experienced a 23 percent surge in targeted attacks compared to the number of assaults in 2012, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH).

One of the drivers of these assaults, experts say, is the criminalization of homelessness.

"Cities continue to crack down on the homeless population by enforcing laws and creating a hostile attitude toward the homeless population," Michael Stoops, NCH director of community organizing, told The Huffington Post in March when the preliminary figures were released.

Now that winter has set in, homeless people are also at a heightened risk of developing hypothermia and freezing to death.

Though hypothermia can set in anywhere between 32 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, many emergency shelters don’t open their doors until well after the thermometer drops to that point, a NCH survey released in February found.

Winter shelters in Des Moines, Iowa, for example, don’t open until the thermometer plummets to 20 degrees.

But people aren't freezing to death just in characteristically frigid places.

In one week last winter, seven homeless people died on the streets in California from possible hypothermia, according to ABC7.

One of those casualties was Joe White, 50, who didn’t want to burden his mother and couldn’t get a spot at a shelter, ABC7 reported.

After waiting for months, the Hayward, California man finally climbed to the second spot on a list for permanent housing.

But he was found dead, likely from hypothermia, before he could get his chance to move indoors.

Several hundred people commemorated their own local version of Homeless Persons Memorial Day on Thursday night in Philadelphia to remember 149 people who were homeless or formerly homeless and died in the last year, Philly.com reported.

“[When movie stars die, their passing is] ‘mourned by millions,’ The Rev. Domenic Rossi said, according to Philly.com. “[As for the homeless], ‘God remembers them, and in God's name, so do we.’”

Find out more about Homeless Person's Memorial Day and what you can do here.


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Nicki Minaj's 'The Pinkprint Movie' Will Make...

Nicki Minaj's 'The Pinkprint Movie' Will Make Your Heart Ache

Nicki Minaj's new breakup film has arrived. In "The Pinkprint Movie," the artist combines tracks off her new album "Pinkprint" to tell the story of a relationship holding on by its last threads. The video -- which is divided into parts "The Crying Game," "I Lied," and "Grand Piano"-- captures the accompanying feelings of heartbreak with aplomb. It lasts sixteen minutes, so make sure to have a box of tissues ready before hitting play. On the not so sad side, Minaj's vocals have never sounded better.

Some speculate that the short film is inspired by Minaj's real-life breakup with her longtime boyfriend Safaree Samuels. Though Minaj has not said that the video is based on their relationship, Minaj got emotional with Power 105.1's Angie Martinez when discussing the split in a radio interview last week:

"I've never been single for the past 15 years of my life," she said.

"I don't even know how I'm gonna function without that person in my life. I've never lived my life as a famous person without him. So I don't even know how to really function. I tell my girlfriends, my best friends, but sometimes I still want to tell him stuff and get his opinion, cause..."

The "Anaconda" singer then took a break in the interview after getting visibly upset. Watch Minaj's the full interview with Power 105.1 here.
A Definitive List Of Holiday Candles, Ranked

A Definitive List Of Holiday Candles, Ranked

Every season has its definitive, nostalgia-inducing scent. In summer, it's the balmy combination of warm air, sunscreen and barbecue; come spring you're likely to get a whiff of fresh air and fresh laundry. It's harder, though, to pinpoint winter's signature scent. There is that distinct smell of firewood permeating people's homes or the baked good wafting from someone's oven or another. But you could also say the fragrance of winter is the ever-present scent of freshly-cut pine.

We aren't ones to pass up a challenge here at HuffPost Home, so we rounded up 20 home fragrances that claim to embody all the things about winter that we love, and put them to the test: What is the most authentic holiday home fragrance out there?

To determine the most Christmas-y scented candle money can buy, we had our editors rate each one on the following:

How likely is this fragrance to...

... Evoke holiday cheer
... Take me back to childhood holidays
... Make me want to cozy up next to it on a chilly winter night
... Smell like the holiday ingredient it promises

Naturally, we couldn't test every candle, diffuser or air freshener on the market, but here's how the ones we did test ranked:



Have something to say? Check out HuffPost Home on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

**

Are you an architect, designer or blogger and would like to get your work seen on HuffPost Home? Reach out to us at homesubmissions@huffingtonpost.com with the subject line "Project submission." (All PR pitches sent to this address will be ignored.)

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Q-Tip Gives Iggy Azalea a Hip Hop History Lesson

Q-Tip Gives Iggy Azalea a Hip Hop History Lesson



Rap veteran schools “Fancy” rapper in a series of tweets.
Anonymous Threatens Iggy Azalea on Twitter

Anonymous Threatens Iggy Azalea on Twitter



Hacker group demands an apology from “Fancy” rapper.
Run-D.M.C. Producer Larry Smith Dies at 63

Run-D.M.C. Producer Larry Smith Dies at 63



Hip hop loses one of its trailblazing talents.
Obama Says Blacks Are Better Off Now Than Six...

Obama Says Blacks Are Better Off Now Than Six Years Ago



President ends year-end presser with a question about race.
Commentary: The Young New Face of Black Leadership

Commentary: The Young New Face of Black Leadership



Millennials are setting their own rules to affect change.
Best NBA Instagram Photos of the Week

Best NBA Instagram Photos of the Week



Pics of James Harden, Russell Westbrook and more.

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