- Autopsy shows St. Louis officer shot Vonderrit...
Autopsy shows St. Louis officer shot Vonderrit Myers eight timesST. LOUIS (AP) — An 18-year-old killed earlier this month by an off-duty St. Louis police officer was shot eight times, including six times from behind, said a forensic pathologist who performed an independent autopsy Thursday...
- Sources: NYPD hatchet attacker may have been ISIS...
Sources: NYPD hatchet attacker may have been ISIS supporterThe hatchet-wielding man who attacked four New York Police Department officers earlier today and was then shot dead by police may have had ties to ISIS, sources tell Vocativ.
- San Francisco inmates receive 125 computer tablets
San Francisco inmates receive 125 computer tabletstheGRIO REPORT - This week, more than 100 computer tablets were distributed to inmates at San Francisco County jails as part of a new pilot program...
- D’Angelo looks unrecognizable during recent...
D’Angelo looks unrecognizable during recent performancetheGRIO REPORT - D'Angelo made a recent appearance at 'Soulfest' in Melbourne, Australia and looked unrecognizable...
- Donald Trump thinks Obama should ‘resign’...
Donald Trump thinks Obama should ‘resign’ over EbolatheGRIO REPORT - Real Estate mogul Donald Trump went on an insane Twitter rant again President Obama after hearing the news that New York City had it's first confirmed case of Ebola....
- Notre Dame freshman football player dating porn...
Notre Dame freshman football player dating porn star Lisa AnntheGRIO REPORT - Freshman Notre Dame wide receiver Justin Brent has appeared in three games this season, with no catches. Does dating a porn star count?
- America’s Most Economically Diverse Top Colleges
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- Warner Bros. Partners With Reginald Hudlin For...
Warner Bros. Partners With Reginald Hudlin For ‘Static Shock’ Live-Action SeriesWarner Bros. is attempting to be the loud kid in the room, especially after Marvel’s…
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Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Awards Honors Black Girls Code FounderAt the 2014 Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Awards 10 talented honorees including Black Girls Code…
- Autopsy Shows Michael Brown Was Shot At Close...
Autopsy Shows Michael Brown Was Shot At Close RangeThe unarmed black teen who was killed by a white police officer and has sparked…
- WATCH: ‘Dear White People’ Advocates For...
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- NYPD Cop, Attacked by Man With Hatchet, in...
NYPD Cop, Attacked by Man With Hatchet, in Critical Condition
One New York police officer is in critical condition after being attacked by a hatchet-bearing man in Queens on Thursday, New York City Police Department officials confirmed, according to NY1.
- Here Are 5 Funny Promos for Dear White People,...
Here Are 5 Funny Promos for Dear White People, Which Opens in Theaters Nationwide Today
First Justin Simien’s new film, Dear White People, made the film festival rounds. Then it won big at Sundance. And if you happen to live in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., or Los Angeles, you got a chance to see the film last week in theaters.
- Houston Man Charged With Raping Teen and Toddler,...
Houston Man Charged With Raping Teen and Toddler, Both of Whom Now Have HIV
A Houston sex offender is now facing serious charges of sexual assault after he allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl and a 23-month-old toddler, both of whom now have HIV, among other sexually transmitted diseases, Click2Houston reports.
- Watch: NYPD Officer, Thinking Fellow Cop Is a...
Watch: NYPD Officer, Thinking Fellow Cop Is a Suspect, Kicks Him in the Head
A plainclothes New York City police officer kicked his undercover colleague in the head with a force that reverberated through a video taken by a professional photographer who shot the footage after he happened upon the scene after stepping off a train, DNAinfo New York reports.
- Cleveland Browns’ Hawkins Jokingly Kicks Out...
Cleveland Browns’ Hawkins Jokingly Kicks Out 2-Year-Old Son for Liking Bengals’ Players
Only Andrew Hawkins fans are allowed in Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins’ house.
- Scandal Recap: Everyone’s Gone Mad
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Let’s discuss how Olivia Pope and her friends flew over the cuckoo’s nest on Thursday night’s Scandal.
- The Maverick Genius of John R. Gordon
The Maverick Genius of John R. Gordon
John R. Gordon (image courtesy of Team Angelica Press)
The maverick genius of John R. Gordon lies in the fact that he does so many things so well. He is an incredibly gifted novelist and playwright and an award-winning screenwriter, editor, visual artist and publisher. This astonishing list of accomplishments is anchored by modesty and an elegant, razor-sharp approach to every creative project that he takes on.
The last few years have been fruitful ones for Gordon, who, with powerhouse filmmaker and playwright Rikki Beadle-Blair, has set up the critically acclaimed Team Angelica Press, a publishing firm in London dedicated to outsider artists and writers, especially LGBT voices of color.
His latest novel, Souljah, focuses on the life of a gay former child soldier and his harrowing experience of exile in South London. Gordon did extensive research for the novel, and what became clear to him was how any of us can be programmed to commit appalling acts. Souljah, he says, "is the exact opposite and repudiation of Heart of Darkness narratives which 'other' those who commit such acts." He adds:
I was also struck by a discourse that arose after the notorious murder of ten-year-old African schoolboy Damilola Taylor [in South London in 2000], that his gentleness and implicit effeminacy made him a target, and so he could be seen as a victim of homophobia. Souljah is about defiance, finding yourself and fighting back.
Gordon grew up around books and always thought of writing as something natural. He says:
In the blank suburbs of my childhood, I had no subject, no content, and so was initially drawn to fantasy -- Mervyn Peake, Tolkien and Lovecraft. In my teens, as I realized I was gay, in psychological analogue I began obsessively to read radical '50s and '60s black writers -- Richard Wright, Stokeley Carmichael, Amiri Baraka, Huey Newton, Chester Himes and, above all, James Baldwin, who became my model as both a writer and an activist. To me race and sexuality are in permanent dynamic analogic interplay: The latter doesn't exist without the former, and this is embodied in all my work.
Other writerly influences he cites are Faulkner, Chandler, Burroughs, Capote and Genet.
As an editor, he says, he is most interested in original voices:
Otherwise, in a world already groaning with books, why bother? I'm currently very excited to be reading a novel by a young gay writer in Nigeria about the fallout from the homophobic laws there. You then have to see if you can work with the writer to push them to realize their vision as strongly as possible, [and] also to inhabit their mindset so your editorial suggestions serve and amplify that vision. It's a particular skill, and quite an odd one to have, given the definiteness of my own prose voice.
Having just published an extraordinary and powerful anthology of gay, black British writing that features essays, poems, fiction and memoirs from some of the brightest talent in the UK, Gordon is also actively involved in discovering and mentoring new exciting playwrights. He says:
We try to empower unheard voices -- black, Asian, Muslim, disabled, street-level, LGBT -- and push our writers through a grueling process of rewrites and table reads with excellent actors, which instantly lays bare whether a line, a scene, a character works. Ridiculous as it sounds, the fact that we have basically a 50-50 mix of men and women is still radical in theater.
His mission statement as the co-publisher of Team Angelica Press is simple: "Starting small, we aim to punch above our weight." He explains:
We're looking for outsider, maverick voices with a particular emphasis on the queer of color. Your own book, Fairytales for Lost Children, is a good example of the work we want to bring out. And next spring we publish Roz Kaveney's roman-à-clef account of her rackety life as a trans woman in New York and Chicago in the late 1970s, Tiny Pieces of Skull.
Ambition, drive, graft and risk taking married with imagination make for a potent cocktail, and John R. Gordon and his creative team know this. Here's to many more years of literary and artistic excellence.
John R. Gordon's novel Souljah (Team Angelica Press) is out now and available on Amazon. The anthology he co-edited with Rikki Beadle-Blair, Black and Gay in the UK (Team Angelica Press) is also out now and available on Amazon. You can connect with John R. Gordon via Twitter.
- Attorney General Eric Holder 'Exasperated' By...
Attorney General Eric Holder 'Exasperated' By Leaks In Michael Brown Case
(Updates with further comments from Holder)
By Julia Edwards
WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday that he expects the Justice Department's investigation into the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, to be complete by the time he leaves office.
Holder, who was speaking at a news event in Los Angeles, last month announced his resignation but said he would not leave until his replacement was chosen and confirmed by the Senate. The Obama administration is expected to announce a nominee to replace him by the end of the year.
Brown's death sparked angry protests across the St. Louis suburb and has drawn global attention to race relations in the United States.
Holder's legacy as attorney general, a position he has held since the start of the Obama administration, has been largely shaped by his vocal advocacy for racial justice.
Holder also said he was "exasperated" to see leaks earlier this week from the grand jury reviewing the case locally. The leaked information indicated that Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, was acting in self-defense.
"It appears that people are somehow trying to shape public opinion," Holder said.
In addition to the criminal investigation into Wilson's actions, the Justice Department is also conducting a civil investigation into the patterns and practices of the Ferguson Police Department. (Reporting by Julia Edwards; Editing by Sandra Maler and Eric Beech)
- How To Replace Your Makeup With Skin Care
How To Replace Your Makeup With Skin CareIf this season's no-makeup makeup obsession is any indication, then bare, yet clear faces are not just desirable -- they're downright trendy. But, what if you (like most of us) don't have the skin to get in on the whole fresh-and-flawless thing?
- First Generation College Students: The Optimist
First Generation College Students: The OptimistKeresoma, or “Soma” Leio comes from a tightly knit Samoan family. Through high school, he lived in a small three-bedroom home in south Los Angeles with nine other members of his extended family. The living room couch was his bed.
As a student at Paramount High School, Leio was very involved in extracurriculars: he was a two-sport athlete, president of the school’s Pacific Islanders Club, played drums for his church band and was an avid Haka warrior dancer.
- Tommy Davidson: People Care About Hannibal...
Tommy Davidson: People Care About Hannibal Buress' Bill Cosby Takedown Because Of RaceComedian Hannibal Buress' scathing stand-up set lambasting "rapist" Bill Cosby made headlines last week, but "In Living Color" alum Tommy Davidson thinks there’s a racial element to all the attention.
In a HuffPost Live interview on Friday, Davidson weighed in on Buress’ set, during which he brought up the multiple allegations of sexual abuse that have marred Cosby’s reputation.
"It seems like the media only picks up on African Americans when they have these public beefs,” he told host Marc Lamont Hill. "You never see, like, Woody Allen saying something about Mel Brooks. And even if they did, there’s never a headline."
When it came to the motivation behind Buress’ bit, Davidson said the move was "not really" a publicity stunt, but he remained cynical.
"It works for [Buress] though. ... This weekend everybody knows who he is," he said.
Click here to check out the full HuffPost Live interview with comedian Tommy Davidson.
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- Beyond 42: Jackie Robinson and the Quest for...
Beyond 42: Jackie Robinson and the Quest for Racial JusticeWhen the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants take the field Friday night for Game 3 of the World Series, it is unlikely that viewers will be thinking of Jackie Robinson or Ferguson, Missouri. Yet, Ferguson is a little over a three and half-hours drive from Kansas City, where Jackie Robinson began his baseball career; he started in the Negro Leagues as a member of the Kansas City Monarchs. October 24, 2014 marks the 42nd anniversary of Robinson's death -- significant because that is the number that Robinson wore. It is a number that has been universally retired throughout baseball in tribute to the way he helped to transform the game and the nation.
Just nine days before his death, on October 15, 1972, Robinson himself attended a World Series game that included a ceremony to honor the then 25th Anniversary of his historic accomplishment. In what proved to be his final public engagement, Robinson pressed baseball officials to do more to foster integration: "I'd like to live to see a black manager," he noted in his televised remarks, "I'd like to live to see the day when there's a black man coaching at third base."
Today some of those dreams have been realized, even as Black representation in baseball as a whole continues to plummet. According to a 2014 report, the percentage of black players has dropped to its lowest number since integration, standing at 8.3% down from 26% in 1979. Last month, one of those African Americans, Seattle Mariners Manager Lloyd McClendon, linked the decline in black participation with fewer opportunities for African Americans to pick up the game in financially strapped and racially stratified inner cities. Clearly as baseball legend Hank Aaron observed in May of 2013, "Jackie certainly would be disappointed in the way things are today."
This observation extends beyond baseball when once considers the nation's failure to tackle other racial and economic disparities that were important to Robinson. The "historical" Jack Robinson was a man who cared far more deeply about social justice than many realize and spent the better part of his post-baseball life working toward achieving equality for all people. Given where we find ourselves at this moment in the nation's history, Robinson's legacy in these arenas should speak as powerfully to us as his record of achievement on the baseball diamond. Although Robinson can speak to us across time on a variety of issues, I would like to focus on two: education and police community relations that continue to haunt us.
Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia but grew up in Pasadena, California. His mother instilled in him a deep respect for the value of education -- a respect that segregation helped to erode. Struggling to meet the financial burden of paying for his education and despite his athletic prowess, Robinson left UCLA shorty before completing his studies. In his autobiography, I Never Had It Made, Robinson recalled leaving because "I was convinced that no amount of education would help a black man get a job. I felt like I was living in an academic and athletic dream world."
Nevertheless, Robinson remained a staunch supporter of ensuring the broadest accesses to education for all throughout his life. It is unlikely that he would be happy with the present state of affairs in the United States and efforts to undercut funding for public schools. In spite of the rhetoric of corporate education reformers, our nation's schools remain largely segregated. A persistent achievement gap, especially on high stakes standardized tests, mocks so-called reformers desire to achieve true equity.
The disillusionment Robinson experienced was fueled partially by the knowledge that in spite of earning a college degree, very little opportunity awaited him as a person of color. It is the same disillusionment many students presently face in a climate where high stakes testing and cuts to funding for music and the arts, not to mention vocational training, erode the value of a high school diploma. Perhaps, more importantly, given Robinson's experience, high stakes testing may cut access to universities for students of color who continue to struggle on such standardized measures of achievement and who are not gifted athletes eligible for athletic scholarships. Students may also see less value in completing school when the vast majority of jobs since the economic recovery have emerged in low wage sectors for positions in which neither a high school nor college diploma is necessary or required.
It is equally important to acknowledge Jackie Robinson's view of the problem of police community relations. Although considered primarily a sports hero, Robinson participated in the Civil Rights Movement. Columns he wrote for several newspapers, including the Amsterdam News, regularly weighed in on issues of race and criminal justice. Shortly before a wave of urban unrest swept Harlem over the killing of an unarmed 15-year-old named James Powell by a police lieutenant in July of 1964 Robinson published a piece, "Watch That Brutality" in which he cautioned city officials that police brutality would "not be tolerated by the Negro and Puerto Rican people of New York City." Robinson challenged officials' record of excessive force, "There has been too much of it and unless it is seriously curtailed, there can be serious and crucial times ahead for the city."
Those words ring true today as protesters continue to demonstrate on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri to demand justice in the murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown and the myriad social, economic, and political factors that continue to contribute to racial inequality in America.
As many of us enjoy the grand spectacle of athletic competition on display at the World Series we would do well to remember that America's pastime is not invitation to close our eyes to this injustice and inequality but renew our resolve to fight it, as Jackie Robinson did, in the hopes of helping our nation reach its highest moral and democratic potential.
- This Day in Black History: Oct. 25, 1997
This Day in Black History: Oct. 25, 1997
Philadelphia hosted the Million Woman March.
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Boxing champ offers words of encouragement to MMG rapper.
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Bernard Hopkins: "I'm Competing Against Myself
Legendary boxer defies Father Time once again.
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- Dallas Nurse Receives Thanks, Hug From Obama
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Nina Pham is Ebola free, officials say.
- What We Know About the Nigerian Abductions
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Residents say 25 more girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram.
- H. Hartford Brookins Dies
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- Romney Faces Tough Questions from Black Leaders
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