The Grio

‘Real World’ alum David Broom sings recipes...

‘Real World’ alum David Broom sings recipes on YouTube as ‘Chef Showtime’

theGRIO REPORT - A former castmate on the 2000 MTV reality series Real World has resurfaced as a singing YouTube chef...
Jamie Foxx, Tina Knowles get down to ‘Gold...

Jamie Foxx, Tina Knowles get down to ‘Gold Digger’

theGRIO REPORT - During a recent Jamie Foxx concert in New York City, Tina Knowles hopped up on stage and began to dance with the singer and actor...
Officials paint over Michael Brown mural in...

Officials paint over Michael Brown mural in Trenton

theGRIO REPORT - Two weeks ago, a mural was painted in Trenton, New Jersey depicting Michael Brown in an American-themed graduation cap and gown with the description: "Sagging pants is not probable cause."...
New twist on Rapunzel in indie film ‘Rapunzel...

New twist on Rapunzel in indie film ‘Rapunzel Jackson’

theGRIO REPORT - A new twist on the classic fairytale Rapunzel is seeking support on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe. The independent film, titled Rapunzel Jackson, is seeking $10,000...
Serena Williams rolls in WTA Finals opener

Serena Williams rolls in WTA Finals opener

SINGAPORE (AP) — A new venue, an injury-hit preparation and insults from a top sports official — none of it could stop Serena Williams' winning streak at the WTA Finals...
Comedian Hannibal Buress calls Bill Cosby a...

Comedian Hannibal Buress calls Bill Cosby a rapist during stand-up routine

theGRIO REPORT - Comedian Hannibal Buress called Bill Cosby a rapist during a portion of his stand-up set in Philadelphia last week.

Black Enterprise

Frans Johansson Prepares to Inspire at Plunge...

Frans Johansson Prepares to Inspire at Plunge Conference

With November less than two weeks away, Black Enterprise and Film Life are gearing up…
Comedian Hannibal Buress Calls Bill Cosby ‘A...

Comedian Hannibal Buress Calls Bill Cosby ‘A Rapist’

Funny man Hannibal Buress commands a stage whenever his presence is felt from state to…
[REACTIONS] Beauty Business Boss Moves: L’Oreal...

[REACTIONS] Beauty Business Boss Moves: L’Oreal Acquires Carol’s Daughter

Beauty giant L'Oreal has acquired Carol's Daughter, founded by Lisa Price, for an undisclosed amount,…
National Association of Black Journalists Loses...

National Association of Black Journalists Loses Support of CNN

NABJ's president, Bob Butler, loses support of CNN after criticizing their lack of diversity after…
Maryland Voters Walk Out On President Obama

Maryland Voters Walk Out On President Obama

President Obama making a rare appearance to support Maryland democratic gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown just…
WHO Declares Nigeria & Senegal Ebola Free

WHO Declares Nigeria & Senegal Ebola Free

When it comes to handling Ebola, some western nations may well be served taking a…

The Root

LGBTQ Benefits: What Are Your Rights?

LGBTQ Benefits: What Are Your Rights?

Black Woman Behind Wasabi-Ginger Potato Chips...

Black Woman Behind Wasabi-Ginger Potato Chips Takes Home Grand Prize

Meneko Spigner McBeth's bank account is about to have quite a few additional zeros.

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, and she is a frequent speaker on college campuses.

Black Voices (Huffington Post)

Official Autopsy Shows Michael Brown Had...

Official Autopsy Shows Michael Brown Had Close-Range Wound To His Hand, Marijuana In System

The official autopsy on Michael Brown shows that he was shot in the hand at close range, according to an analysis of the findings by two experts not involved directly in the case. The accompanying toxicology report shows he had been using marijuana.
Botched Robbery or Hate Crime?

Botched Robbery or Hate Crime?

Over the past two weeks, community members in Los Angeles have held a vigils to mourn the death and celebrate the life of Aniya "Ray Ray" Parker. The murder of Ms. Parker marked the eighth homicide of a transgender woman of color reported in the U.S. since June. She was shot in the head and killed as she was fleeing from three men who had confronted her on a sidewalk in Hollywood.

Los Angeles Police Department officers immediately told news reporters at the scene that this tragic incident appeared to be a "robbery gone bad." Within hours, local media ran headlines of a transgender person killed in a "botched robbery." The police, they reported, were not considering this a hate crime but simply a random "robbery gone sideways." These accounts were echoed in national reports, even from LGBT news sources.

Local community members and activists responded with an adamantly different perspective on what happened: This was not a robbery, in fact, they left the purse behind," one resident told reporters. "This is a cold-blooded hate crime and this type of violence needs to end."

A surveillance video of the incident showed the assailants engaging in a verbal exchange with Ms. Parker and then physically assaulting her. Ms. Parker fled and was shot as she ran across the street, not during a struggle for her belongings. When the video was shown on local television news, it strengthened community members' resolve that this was not a "botched robbery" but a hate crime against an individual from a marginalized and too-often-targeted community.

According to the newest hate-crime statistics released last week by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, the number of incidents against transgender people jumped by nearly 46 percent last year, and the majority of the victims were people of color. Just as staggering, the report revealed that 100 percent of those crimes were violent.

The tragic murder of Ms. Parker and the frenzy of news reports in the aftermath have elevated concerns around the investigation and handling of violent crimes against trans people and illuminated misconceptions regarding the role of law enforcement.

During the investigation, it is not law enforcement's role to decide whether or not this murder was a hate crime. That is largely up to the district attorney when suspects are arrested and charged. As stated by LAPD Detective Scott Masterson in response to another recent LGBT homicide, "The hate crime aspect doesn't come into play until we're meeting with the district attorney. A hate crime is determined by the evidence. It's what we can prove, not what we think."

Whether a crime is deemed a "hate crime" is based on the specific motivation of the perpetrators. In California, any crime may be deemed a "hate crime" if it was "committed, in whole or in part, because of one or more ... actual or perceived characteristics of the victim."

While it is not law enforcement's role to conclude whether or not this was a hate crime, it is part of their job to thoroughly investigate crimes. An informed perspective around the victim's identity and the broader context of the crime should act as guidance. This recent homicide involved a victim who was part of a vulnerable population disproportionately experiencing hate violence: African-American trans women.

It appears that an understanding of Ms. Parker's identity within the broader context of violence fueled by transphobia, homophobia, sexism and racism in our society has been missed. When asked by a reporter at the vigil for Ms. Parker about whether this was a hate crime, an LAPD captain remarked, "Just because of a person's lifestyle and they're a victim of a violent crime, it doesn't necessarily make it a hate crime." Detectives repeatedly expressed that the trans community should not be concerned about their safety in the wake of this murder. Unfortunately, these statements convey a lack of awareness about the trans community and the threats of violence we live with every day.

Being transgender is not merely a "lifestyle." An acknowledgement of our identities and experiences is a prerequisite for recognizing hate crimes and investigating how and why hate-motivated violence happens. Moreover, in cases such as this one, law enforcement have an opportunity to build trust with a historically marginalized population, which ultimately will improve investigations and community safety.

Ms. Parker may have indeed been targeted for a robbery, as the investigators have indicated, but why was she chosen as a victim? And why did the violence escalate to such brutality? While I am not advocating that we jump to the conclusion that the murder of Ms. Parker was a hate crime, the possibility that her transgender identity or her race, or both, were motivating factors should be a critical component of the investigation.

The current investigative premise seems to be: A crime is not a hate crime until proven otherwise. When the victim is a trans woman of color, this approach flies in the face of our current reality. I propose a different approach for law enforcement: A violent crime against a transgender person should be investigated under the presumption that it was motivated by anti-transgender bias and hatred, until the evidence shows otherwise.

Critical consideration of a crime's context should guide the investigative process and how law enforcement agencies think about and talk about incidents such as this one. With video footage clearly showing that perpetrators engaged in a violent interaction with a trans woman and shot her as she was running away, this investigation should be guided by the real possibility that Aniya Parker's murder was, indeed, a hate crime.
Ferguson Protesters Anticipate Bad News In...

Ferguson Protesters Anticipate Bad News In Michael Brown Case

FERGUSON, Mo. -- Demonstrators calling for the arrest of Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in August, are anticipating that the officer will not be charged. Many of them are predicting widespread protests if the grand jury reviewing the case decides to acquit Wilson.

A crowd of around 100 gathered Monday along South Florissant Road, with many calling for the arrest of Wilson, who killed Brown in this St. Louis suburb on Aug. 9. Two demonstrators, one of whom was a state senator, were taken into custody outside the Ferguson Police Department after they blocked the street and refused to move.

Wilson's case is under review by a St. Louis County grand jury, which has until January 2015 to decide whether or not to indict Wilson. The jury is receiving evidence about the case on the same schedule as the police, who are investigating separately.

As the protests, which began shortly after Brown's death, stretch into the fall, the crowds have thinned, the national media presence has faded, and hot cocoa and tea have replaced the bottles of ice-cold water that were seen during the early days of the demonstrations. Gone, too, are the military-style police vehicles that were widely seen as an over-the-top reaction to many of the protests; the vehicles have been replaced by police officers wearing normal uniforms.

On Monday, however, in the parking lot across from the police station, protesters recited chants such as “Mike Brown means … We got to fight back!” Many of the demonstrators, as well as officials in Ferguson, are preparing for news about Wilson's fate that could reignite massive demonstrations in the town. The protesters widely believe that Wilson will not be indicted. That belief has been strengthened by an account in The New York Times that indicated some forensic evidence backed up Wilson's account of his initial struggle with Brown.

“It’s going to be a war because they’re not going to indict him,” said one protester, who declined to provide her name.

Early in the evening, Missouri state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed and a young man named Jefonte Nelson were arrested outside the Ferguson Police Department. Brian Schellman, a spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department, said in a statement that both Nasheed and Nelson were told they were in violation of a Ferguson ordinance and were asked "numerous times" to move out of the street.

"After both subjects remained in the street, failing to comply, officers took both subjects into custody without incident," Schellman said.

Nasheed and Nelson were charged with walking in a roadway where sidewalks are accessible. Video captured by protesters on the scene showed them being taken into custody. They were later taken to jail in the nearby town of St. Ann's and released late Tuesday morning.

Many of the protesters told The Huffington Post they were not impressed with Nasheed’s arrest, which some described as a publicity stunt. "We may have to do civil disobedience within the next two to three weeks. We may have to do that," Nasheed said upon her release from jail. She claimed that she wanted to send a message that people should not engage in violent protest. Yet Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said Nasheed had a 9 mm handgun on her when she was taken into custody.

When one minister with a megaphone tried to update the crowd about Nasheed’s arrest, he was interrupted by other protesters on the scene.

“We don’t care about Senator Nasheed. We care about the people that get arrested that have been out here every day,” a protester yelled.

Several members of the media were caught in the crossfire of the demonstrations: One local cameraman was confronted about what protesters said was inaccurate coverage of a prior protest outside the St. Louis Rams game on Sunday, and a CNN reporter was shouted down by protesters during a live shot.

On Tuesday evening, Ferguson residents will gather behind closed doors for the latest in a series of meetings hosted by a division of the Justice Department that helps soothe tensions in divided communities. The subject of the meeting? "A Roadmap for Growth: Where do we go from here?"

The answer for now, it seems, depends on what the grand jury decides to do in Wilson's case.
Ebola Survivors Are Feared, Even Though They're...

Ebola Survivors Are Feared, Even Though They're Instrumental In Stopping The Disease

In Sierra Leone, 76 percent of households said they would not welcome someone who was infected with Ebola back into their community -- even if that person has recovered -- according to a UNICEF study.

Those survivors being discriminated against, however, could be impactful players in stopping the epidemic and caring for those who are infected -- particularly children.

As Reuters reported last week, survivors can play vital roles on the frontline of the epidemic because of their built-in immunity to the disease, Sierra Leone officials said. Ebola survivors -- "who can provide [infected] children with the love, care and attention they so badly need," according to UNICEF's Roeland Monasch -- can alleviate parents and care workers wanting to aid ailing loved ones, but also hesitant to put themselves at risk of contracting Ebola.

Alhaji Moijue Kaikai, Sierra Leone's social welfare minister, is one of the voices advocating to put an end to the stigma and utilize survivors in combating the epidemic.

"People who have survived Ebola give hope to others who are still fighting the disease," he said last Thursday, according to Reuters. "We need to accept survivors and welcome them back to our families and our communities."

Regional efforts have begun following the minister's wishes.

As a means of both ending the stigma and helping survivors deal with the psychological aftermath of the disease, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs -- with support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF -- has organized a series of gatherings over the next several months uniting Ebola survivors to share their experiences and discuss ways of helping infected community members. The first meeting brought together 35 survivors in Kenema, a hard-hit city in Sierra Leone, last week, according to UNICEF.

The World Health Organization (WHO) -- which announced on Tuesday it hopes to test two experimental versions of an Ebola vaccine as early as January, the Associated Press reported -- has tallied more than 4,500 deaths since the outbreak began roughly 10 months ago, mostly in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. On Oct. 14, the organization claimed there could be 10,000 new cases of the disease per week in about two months, if global leaders fail to improve the dire situation.

Support UNICEF's efforts to combat Ebola through the fundraising widget below.

Read more from HuffPost on Ebola:
The Uncensored Reality Of Covering Ebola As A Journalist
All The Times The World Tried To Warn Us
Why We Won't Have An Ebola Vaccine For Years
The Most Destructive Ebola Myths, Debunked
What Actually Happens When A Person Is Infected

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CaCee Cobb Pregnant, Expecting Second Child With...

CaCee Cobb Pregnant, Expecting Second Child With Donald Faison

CaCee Cobb and her husband Donald Faison are expecting their second child together!
Rikers Island Inmate Says He Was Beaten And...

Rikers Island Inmate Says He Was Beaten And Sodomized By Guard

NEW YORK -- In the latest horror story to emerge from New York’s largest jail, an inmate claims a guard tied him to a hospital bed before beating and sodomizing him with a nightstick.

Bishme Ayers, 25, was arrested on an assault charge in July and brought to Rikers Island, according to the New York Daily News. On his second day there, he went into an epileptic seizure. Ayers was taken by guards to Jacoby Hospital in the Bronx, where he was handcuffed to the hospital bed and assaulted by one of the guards, according to his lawyer, Michael Braverman.

“He starts punching me,” Ayers told the New York Daily News on Tuesday. “My right arm was handcuffed to the railing, so he got a white sheet and tied my left arm to my right arm, so my arm was across my face.”

“Then he started beating me up with the (baton) on my lower body, my legs,” Ayers continued. “Then all of a sudden he shoved something in my rectum. I’m screaming, I’m crying. I’m begging for somebody to help me. He leaves the room and I’m still screaming.”

Ayers has filed an official notice of his intent to sue the city over the assault, Braverman told The Huffington Post on Tuesday.

“There are medical records that document the event,” Braverman said. “A rape kit was done, which we believe shows physical findings consistent with something being inserted into the rectum.”

Terry Raskyn, a spokesperson for the Bronx County District Attorney's office, said the case has been brought to their attention and they are looking into it.

Braverman said his client believes the attack was revenge for another lawsuit he filed against the city over an earlier alleged assault by Rikers Island guards. In 2008, Ayers reportedly was serving a three-and-a-half year sentence for assault when he complained about conditions at the jail. The complaint led guards to beat him, he argued in that lawsuit.

Court records show that lawsuit was settled out of court in 2011 for an undisclosed sum.

Ayers told the Daily News that his assailant in July mentioned the earlier lawsuit while beating him. “You like snitching on my officers?” the guard said, according to Ayers. “Don’t act like you don’t know who we are.”

Braverman said Ayers is now in counseling.

A spokesman for New York City's Department of Correction told The Huffington Post in a statement Tuesday that “although we cannot comment on specific planned litigation, Commissioner [Joseph] Ponte has no tolerance for violence at the Department of Correction, where the safety of inmates and staff is a top priority."

Ayers’ allegations come in the wake of a scathing Department of Justice report on the “culture of violence” on Rikers Island. The report, released in August, described the "rampant use of unnecessary and excessive force" against inmates in the prison, as well as the overreliance on solitary confinement as a form of punishment. Although the DOJ report focused specifically on 16- and 17-year-old inmates, it speculated that conditions were just as bad, if not worse, for adult inmates like Ayers.

Braverman said he handles a lot of lawsuits from former Rikers inmates, and that the DOJ report didn’t surprise him one bit. “I see cases every week where there's some type of claimed abuse,” he said, though he added that Ayers’ assault was one of the worst he’s seen.

Three high-profile inmate deaths over the last three years have also drawn attention to conditions on Rikers Island, as did the tragic story of 16-year-old Kalief Browder, who was on Rikers for three and a half years on a robbery charge that was later dismissed.

Commissioner Joseph Ponte was hired earlier this year by Mayor Bill de Blasio to bring sweeping reforms to Rikers Island, the country’s second largest jail facility. At a city council hearing earlier this month, Ponte told lawmakers that he plans on ending solitary confinement for 16- and 17-year-old inmates by the end of the year, and that his department is installing more security cameras across the island to document the behavior of both inmates and guards.

Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified Michael Braverman as Michael Beaverman. We regret the error.


This Day in Black History: Oct. 22, 1936

This Day in Black History: Oct. 22, 1936

Black Panthers Party co-founder Bobby Seale was born.
Justice Is Served for Jordan Davis

Justice Is Served for Jordan Davis

Jordan Davis's family gets what they've been waiting for.
Man Tells President "Don't Touch My...

Man Tells President "Don't Touch My Girl"

The president handles an awkward moment with swag.
Samarria Brevard Talks Opening Doors for Female...

Samarria Brevard Talks Opening Doors for Female Pro Skaters catches up with the women's skateboarding champ.
Angel Hooper, 6, Killed Buying Gum in Kansas City...

Angel Hooper, 6, Killed Buying Gum in Kansas City Drive-By

Local police vow to find those responsible.
Turning 26 Soon? Start Shopping for Health...

Turning 26 Soon? Start Shopping for Health Insurance Now

The health insurance marketplace reopens on Nov. 15.

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