The Grio

Former FAMU band member convicted in hazing death

Former FAMU band member convicted in hazing death

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida A&M band member accused of being the ringleader of a brutal hazing ritual known as “Crossing Bus C” that killed a drum major was convicted Friday of manslaughter and felony hazing.

Prosecutors said

Subway robbery suspect Zachary Torrance said...

Subway robbery suspect Zachary Torrance said ‘Jared diet’ didn’t work for him

theGRIO REPORT - An Alabama robbery suspect allegedly targeted several Subway restaurants because the "Jared diet" didn't work for him, according to WVTM-TV. The Hueytown Police Department released the surveillance video of Zachary Torrance...
Mother of inmate who baked to death in hot jail...

Mother of inmate who baked to death in hot jail cell receives settlement

NEW YORK (AP) — The city on Friday reached a $2.25 million settlement with the mother of a mentally ill, homeless former U.S. Marine who died earlier this year in a 101-degree jail cell, the comptroller said.

Jerome Murdough, 56,

Tiny Harris slams eye color haters: ‘I don’t...

Tiny Harris slams eye color haters: ‘I don’t have low self-esteem’

theGRIO REPORT - Tiny Harris is breaking her silence and defending her eye color change from dark brown to ice gray....
Officers visit Mystikal’s house for sex...

Officers visit Mystikal’s house for sex offenders compliance check-up

theGRIO REPORT - Rapper Mystikal was in rare form when he answered the door in his Superman boxers during a routine sex offender compliance check...
Mike Tyson says he was sexually abused as a child

Mike Tyson says he was sexually abused as a child

theGRIO REPORT - Mike Tyson is an open book these days. The former heavyweight champion shared seemingly everything about his life in his one-man show "Undisputed Truth." Earlier this week, Tyson revealed some more truth from his past - that he was sexually abused as a boy...

Black Enterprise

Top Twitter Reactions to Blue Ivy’s Halloween...

Top Twitter Reactions to Blue Ivy’s Halloween Costume

Blue Ivy, the darling of Jay Z and Beyonce, dressed up as Michael Jackson for…
Millennial Votes Are Seemingly Up For Grabs

Millennial Votes Are Seemingly Up For Grabs

Harvard Youth Poll finds over half of millennials that will be "definitely" voting prefer Republican-run…
9 Black Political Power Players You Should Know...

9 Black Political Power Players You Should Know for the Upcoming Election

With the November 4th elections on the way, we've rounded up black political power players…
OUTstanding CEOs: A Look At 10 Other Gay...

OUTstanding CEOs: A Look At 10 Other Gay Corporate Industry Leaders

Professional executive network OUT-Standing In Business came to mind instantly after Apple CEO Tim Cook…
Twitter Reactions To Apple CEO Tim Cook Coming...

Twitter Reactions To Apple CEO Tim Cook Coming Out As Gay

If you haven’t read our story documenting Apple CEO Tim Cook coming out and being…
United States Ranks Number 20 Globally for...

United States Ranks Number 20 Globally for Women’s Equality

The World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report details that the United States falls in…

The Root

Scandal Recap: 10 Life Lessons

Scandal Recap: 10 Life Lessons

In addition to causing emotional upheaval for #TeamFitz, #TeamJake and everyone in between, Thursday night’s episode also taught us 10 life lessons:

Columnist Fired After He Calls Michael Brown an...

Columnist Fired After He Calls Michael Brown an Animal That Had to Be Put Down  

A Charleston, W.Va., columnist has lost his job after referring to Michael Brown as an animal.

White Teacher Reportedly Tells Student That...

White Teacher Reportedly Tells Student That Killing All Black People Is on Her Bucket List

A student at Camden County High School in North Carolina was having lunch in the classroom when she began discussing with her teacher items on her bucket list.

40,000 Ga. Voter-Registration Applications Are...

40,000 Ga. Voter-Registration Applications Are Still MIA

In the ongoing saga of the estimated 40,000 voter-registration applications that went missing in Georgia, Brian Kemp, the secretary of state, initially said that he processed the missing applications and that the registrants (who are predominantly black and Hispanic) were now on the rolls and would be able to vote on Election Day.

Maine Nurse: Stop Ebola Quarantine or I’ll Sue

Maine Nurse: Stop Ebola Quarantine or I’ll Sue

They say the CIA ain't got nothin' on a woman with a plan.

Chef Carla Hall Uses Kickstarter to Open...

Chef Carla Hall Uses Kickstarter to Open Restaurant

Carla Hall has hit her Kickstarter goal to open her new eatery, according to the Associated Press.

Black Voices (Huffington Post)

Meet The Hulking Young Stars Of Senegal -- Male...

Meet The Hulking Young Stars Of Senegal -- Male Professional Wrestlers

In Senegal, professional wrestling reigns supreme. Seeing as it's the national sport, those who successfully practice lutte sénégalaise, or laamb, are considered heroes in their home country, treated like movie stars or royalty. Though unlike the WWE stars in America who transformed wrestling into an entertainment spectacle throughout the '90s, the burgeoning wrestling champions in Senegal are reaching new heights of popularity while attempting to maintain ties to their traditional folk roots.

Amsterdam-based photographer Ernst Coppejans recently spent several weeks shadowing the men and boys who are working to become the next big laamb champions. His portraits capture the hulking subjects on a beach in the small village of Yene where they train. Contorted and posed, mid-grapple or lounging by the sea, Coppejans' images demonstrate a different kind of masculinity.

ernst


The series, titled "Lutteur," began while Coppejans was traveling in West Africa, seeking to meet and photograph members of the gay community there. The resulting project, "Dans le Milieu," explores West Africa's laws that prohibit same sex relationships. While in Senegal, however, Coppejans became particularly fascinated with the wrestlers he saw on the beaches. After a bit of research, he decided to join the Senegalese hopefuls for a month, attending their tournaments and observing their practices.

"Champions are worshiped," Coppejans explained to The Huffington Post. "Many Senegalese boys train fanatically to make their dream, becoming a famous lutteur come true." The allure of fame and fortune from sport clearly crosses national borders. Talented lutteurs will wear talismans (gris-gris) and douse themselves in blessed liquid to better their chances of triumph, while connecting to the older folk rituals based on faith and luck. But while the majority of competitors make around $2,000 per season, the small percentage of elite winners can earn up to $100,000 per combat.

ersnt2


There is a mirage, a sort of dream, that the youth of the country are living,” Malick Thiandoum, a sports broadcaster for Senegalese Radio and Television, stated to The New York Times. “But we are in the process of telling them, ‘Be careful, because there is a gap between what you believe and reality.'"

Cappejans captures portraits of the wrestlers, clad in loincloth and shorts, before they've been fully enveloped by this reality. "What I love about this series is that it is all about hopes and dreams," he added. "Not many make it as a professional wrestler, but they sure are gonna try. It's a way out of poverty and a way to a better life."

ernst3


For more on the multinational world of wrestling, check out Laurent Goldstein's series on kushti here.

ernst4


ernst5


ernst6


ernst7


ernst8


ernst9


ersnt10


ernst11


ernst12


ernst13
Why I'm a Black Man Before I'm a Gay Man

Why I'm a Black Man Before I'm a Gay Man

I'm much more aware of my identity as a black man than my identity as a gay man. I don't think of them as competing identities, but in the context of perception and the world, they are binary. Even as a young boy, I remember my mom telling me, "Sometimes you will be treated differently, and it will not always be right." I didn't exactly get it then, but as I grew older, I learned that my mom was trying to teach me about awareness.

There's a certain type of painstakingly sharp and "always on" relentless awareness you just have to have as a black man in all spaces. It doesn't matter how many degrees you hold. It doesn't matter how much money you make. It doesn't matter where you live or what kind of car you drive; to some you're still a nigger, and that is the cold, hard truth about the world we live in today, and it's what my parents had to teach me growing up. I don't experience this with my identity as a gay man.

At any point and in any space, I can choose not to disclose my sexuality, and thus be perceived as "straight." My sexuality isn't integrated into the rest of my life unless I allow it to be. But I can't wake up and say, "I think I want to enjoy being a white man today." Good luck. I don't superimpose my race into all circumstances and spaces, but unlike my sexuality, it's integrated. The difference is that "superimposing" implies that I'm making the circumstance and/or space about my race, whereas "integrating" meaning that I'm aware of my race in that circumstance and/or space. I wasn't raised to lead with my race, and I don't care to think of myself as some galloping unicorn. But I'd be a fool to not be aware of my race and other people's responses to it. It's this unwavering sixth sense that makes me feel much more connected to my race than to my sexuality. For instance:

People don't cross the street to avoid that scary gay man walking toward them.

I don't fret over being labeled an angry gay man if I'm seen as too opinionated.

If I move into a certain neighborhood, I'm not concerned with residents thinking, "There goes the neighborhood and my property value; gay men are moving in."

Even beyond that, statistics tell a not-so-comical, chilling story about LGBTQ people of color and violence. According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Program's (NCAVP) Hate Violence Report, people of color, transgender people, and gender-nonconforming people experience higher rates of homicide, with 73 percent of the victims being people of color in 2012, with an overwhelming majority of those victims being black/African American (50 percent). Also, according to the report, LGBTQ people of color are 1.82 times as likely as white LGBTQ people to experience physical violence. So, yeah, everything is not so super when you're gay, at least gay and black.

As I've stated before, I don't navigate through the world with my race as my compass, and I don't use statistics as an exclusive benchmark, but they do create a heightened sense of awareness. I'm not a little boy anymore and realize that my mom wasn't just teaching me a lesson in race dynamics. She was also protecting me, because if I'm not aware, it could cost me my freedom or, worse, my life.

This piece first appeared on blackyouthproject.com.
New York City Can Finally Move Ahead With...

New York City Can Finally Move Ahead With Stop-And-Frisk Settlement

NEW YORK -- Lawmakers and advocates rejoiced Friday after a federal appeals court refused to allowNew York City police unions to intervene in the city’s sweeping stop-and-frisk settlement. The decision removed the last major obstacle for Mayor Bill de Blasio in reforming the police department's use of the tactic, and in fulfilling a campaign promise that helped him win the mayor's race a year ago.

“Today's ruling rejects the police unions' baseless attempts to obstruct stop-and-frisk reforms,” said Priscilla Gonzalez of the group Communities United for Police Reform. “The decision puts us on the road forward to engage in a citywide process to identify concrete changes that will protect the constitutional and civil rights of all New Yorkers.”

Last year, U.S. District Judge Schira Scheindlin ruled that the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk was unconstitutional and amounted to an “indirect policy of racial profiling.” She ordered remedies and a federal monitor to oversee the department.

Then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg appealed. But de Blasio dropped the appeal months later, after coming into office. The new mayor used Scheindlin’s ruling as a blueprint for a sweeping settlement that includes an independent monitor, a pilot program for police body cameras, and a process to repair police-community relations.

Two police unions -- the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the Detectives Endowment Association -- had sought to join the lawsuit, and block the settlement.

But on Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled unanimously that allowing the unions to join the lawsuit would effectively nullify New York City voters’ election of de Blasio, who had promised to drop Bloomberg’s appeal.

“Granting the unions’ motions in the wake of the November 2013 mayoral election would essentially condone a collateral attack on the democratic process and could erode the legitimacy of decisions made by the democratically‐elected representatives of the people,” the appeals court says in its decision.

“Now, after the unions’ unnecessary obstructionism, all New Yorkers can work together to end racially discriminatory policing and bring meaningful reform and accountability to the NYPD,” Baher Azmy, Center for Constitutional Rights legal director, said in a statement. The center was a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Jonathan Moore, an attorney who represented one of the plaintiffs, said the decision shows the police unions "have no real interest in this case."

“We look forward to working with the city and a variety of invited stakeholders -– including the unions –- to craft substantive remedies to decades of unconstitutional policing,” Moore said.

Pat Lynch, spokesperson for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said in a statement that the union would “continue to monitor actions taken in this process moving forward to ensure that they do not violate the rights of NYC police officers."

The number of police stops ballooned during Bloomberg’s 12 years as mayor. In 2011, the NYPD stopped New Yorkers nearly 700,000 times. Eighty-seven percent of those stopped were black or Latino, and the vast majority had done nothing wrong.

City council members who had been outspoken critics of stop-and-frisk said they were gratified by the ruling.

“I'm very pleased New York will now be able to move forward to heal frayed bonds of trust between police and communities and work together to keep the city safe while respecting the civil rights of all residents,” said Council Member Brad Lander. He and Council Member Jumaane Williams helped pass the Community Safety Act, aimed at reining in the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk.

Williams told HuffPost Friday that stop-and-frisk opponents “have won on every part of the spectrum -- legally on several occasions, in the ballot box, and by legislation.”

“So my hope is that [the police unions] finally become productive partners and move forward,” Williams said. “We want them to come to the table and they keep putting on boxing gloves."

The case will now be sent to U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres to implement the settlement.
Black-ish: Reimagining Blackness on...

Black-ish: Reimagining Blackness on Television

Black-ish, the new ABC sitcom created by Kenya Barris, really is one of the funniest shows on TV this season. I laughed my head off watching a marathon run of the first four episodes on demand. Now it's set to record each week on DVR. One of the things I really appreciate about Black-ish is that it takes universal issues and works them out through a genuinely African-American lens.

For example, in the pilot episode the father, Andre "Dre" Johnson, played by Anthony Anderson, is looking forward to a much-deserved promotion to Senior Vice President at a major marketing firm. He is surprised to find out he's been promoted to Senior Vice President of the Urban Division. We can all relate to wanting the promotion, but Anderson's challenge is particularly familiar within the black professional class. How do you jump the dreaded yet anticipated pigeonholing of your value and worth to an organization as a black person? How do you become just Senior VP -- not Senior VP of the Urban Division? How do you become human? The way Anderson works out this challenge is hilarious. I rolled with laughter even after the half-hour sitcom had reached its conclusion.

And then there's last week's episode, when the biracial mother, Rainbow, masterfully played by Tracee Ellis Ross, loses her young son, Jack, while shopping at a department store. It turns out Jack is hiding inside a clothes rack and is eventually found by a sympathetic officer. We can all relate to this situation. Children hide in department stores. I did the exact same thing to my own mother when I was about Jack's age. I hid between the racks at a Marshalls. But Rainbow and Dre's conundrum rears its head when they are confronted with the question: Will they spank their son? It seems simple enough, but it's not. This is a question not only of parenting but of tradition and culture.

In fact, each episode presents a universal situation that pushes a particular issue of culture within the African-American community. Ultimately, the situation presses the question: What does it means to be black?

Black-ish doesn't serve up the images and situations familiar to black poverty -- images that American consumers crave. Rather, Barris uncovers the truth of a class of black families barred from mass media since The Cosby Show. When the The Cosby Show went down, up came the flood of black buffoons -- cartoon caricatures playing stock characters from minstrel shows and "couch" dramas. (By the way, I call them "couch" dramas because the set is always anchored by a beat-up couch facing full-front, center-stage. Think Tyler Perry.)

Then, of course, there is the multibillion-dollar market for images, stories, and music that glorifies the black gangsta. Can I just say it was a very strange day when I realized my white and Asian Christian friends knew the names and music of black rappers way more than I did? That freaked me out. Why? Because I had bought the lie. To be black is to be gangsta -- or at least an expert on the latest gangsta hip-hop album, usually produced by a white company and performed by a black man who owns a few mansions in the "Hills" somewhere.

Black-ish is a departure from buffoonery and gangstas, unless it consciously takes a dig at the stereotypes. It is a much-needed peek at African-American humanity. These are the conversations we have around the dinner table at night. When poverty is removed from the equation, these are the human and cultural concerns that rise to the surface in our families.

People weren't sure Black-ish could reach a wide audience, but the pilot episode won its Wednesday-night time slot with more than 11 million viewers.

They say humor is funny when it strikes the audience as "true." One of the main critiques of The Cosby Show when it first aired was that it wasn't realistic. But my family, with two highly respected professional parents and a gaggle of high-achieving kids, sat down every Thursday night back in the 1980s and laughed ourselves silly because, in many ways, the Cosby family was our family. The Cosby Show became one of the most popular shows of all time. Because it was so specific, it reflected the humanity of us all.

At this moment in our nation's story, when the twisted soul of America is being revealed through the daily deaths of black men at the hands of officers carrying guns and unconscious bias, Black-ish should not be merely consumed: It should be administered by intravenous intervention.

If Trayvon Martin, John Crawford III, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, Jordan Davis, and Michael Brown tell us nothing else, we could learn from these unarmed middle-class black men that America needs to reimagine blackness -- to reimagine what it means to be human.

Lisa Sharon Harper is Senior Director of Mobilizing for Sojourners and co-author of Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith.
Aasif Mandvi Backs Michael Che After Insensitive...

Aasif Mandvi Backs Michael Che After Insensitive Instagram Post

Michael Che made headlines earlier in the week after comparing, in an Instagram post, women being catcalled to him being recognized as a celebrity in public. Che understandably received some backlash and offered a sarcastic apology Wednesday.

In a HuffPost Live interview Friday, comedian and fellow "Daily Show" colleague Aasif Mandvi backed Che, saying that sometimes being edgy goes a little far and Che meant no harm.

"I know Michael, he's a good guy," Mandvi told host Marc Lamont Hill. "I think he's probably just pushing the envelope of comedy."

Mandvi is set to return to the "Daily Show" soon, while Che just left his post there to become a co-anchor on "Weekend Update."

"When you're a standup comic, you get up and you try stuff, and you're always kind of seeing how far you can push things. And I think he did say something where he said, 'I was making fun of things that ... other people might consider sacred in some way,' or words to that effect, which then gave me an insight into what he was, I think, attempting to do, which was be a comic and talk about things in a way maybe the culture at large is uncomfortable with," Mandvi continued. "You do want to talk about things people are uncomfortable talking about, or it's too sacred or religion or whatever, and you want to push that envelope, so maybe he was doing that and his audience gave him the response that he got."

Watch the rest of the clip above, and catch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.

Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live's new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!
Students Ask Not To Be Called African-American;...

Students Ask Not To Be Called African-American; Teacher Allegedly Calls Them N-Word

Last week, an Illinois substitute teacher reportedly called a group of four middle school girls the N-word after they asked not to be called African-American.

The incident occurred at Jay Stream Middle School in the town of Carol Stream during an eighth-grade social studies class. When interviewed by local news outlet WMAQ, student Mea Thompson, who is of Jamaican descent, said they asked the teacher not to call them African-American since none of them are from Africa.

"She said, ‘It’s the politically correct term.' Then she said, 'Well, back then you guys would be considered the N-word,'" Thompson said, recalling the exchange. "We were so shocked and we were like, ‘What? Excuse me? That's not correct to call us that.' She was like, ‘Well, back then that’s what African-Americans were called.’”

The teacher allegedly used the N-word several times over the 80-minute class period.

“After the shock and hurt, I’m angry,” Thompson's mother, Shayna, said. “It’s a new world, and the people of the past that still hang onto hatred and bigotry don’t belong in this world anymore.”

When reached for comment, the District Superintendent William Shields said the events in the classroom are still unclear, but said the teacher would not be returning to the school.

“We’re finding that an awful lot of the accounts on the specific words and actions are extremely inconsistent, so it's very hard to judge this situation,” Shields told The Huffington Post. “We’re proud of the kids. We want them to be able to come to administrators and teachers to speak about issues of not feeling safe or secure. That being said ... we’re not having the substitute back because the substitute attempted to teach a lesson outside the curriculum, which we didn’t authorize.”

WMAQ readers took to the comments section to weigh in on the story.

"What justifies the use of the N-word in a classroom, regardless what takes place on TV or on the radio?" wrote one.

"What does the history of the N-word have to do with a child requesting to not be categorized in a certain way?" asked another. "She is Jamaican, not African-American."

BET

Health Rewind: Obesity, Breast Cancer Linked in...

Health Rewind: Obesity, Breast Cancer Linked in Black Women



Plus, Uber cars are offering flu shots.
Illinois Substitute Teacher Uses Racial Slurs on...

Illinois Substitute Teacher Uses Racial Slurs on Students



Woman confirmed the allegations and is banned from school.
When Women Say No: The Dangers of Street...

When Women Say No: The Dangers of Street Harassment



A viral video catches more than 100 catcalling encounters.
BET Wire: Don't Forget to Vote, Everybody!

BET Wire: Don't Forget to Vote, Everybody!



African-Americans can influence several key elections.
Rah Digga: You're Supposed to Write Your Own...

Rah Digga: You're Supposed to Write Your Own Rhymes



Rapper goes in on the culture, the business, and female MCs.
Chris Brown Talks Rihanna, Drake, and Inner...

Chris Brown Talks Rihanna, Drake, and Inner Demons on Hot 97



Singer says Rih dated his former rival to get back at him.

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