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The star-studded Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, is set for a December release date.



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It's slated to follow the story of the legendary singer's rise to stardom from singing in her father's church to becoming a global icon.

Jennifer Hudson stars as Aretha Franklin and Marlon Wayans as Ted White. Forest Whitaker, Heather Headley, Mary J. Blige and more also play pivotal roles in the upcoming film.

via: https://mywlas.com/trailer-jennifer-hudson-stars-as-aretha-franklin-in-respect-biopic-video


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MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Kansas State football players say they will boycott all team activities until administrators create a policy that would allow a student to be expelled for "openly racist, threatening or disrespectful actions."

The move that most players announced Saturday on social media follows a tweet by a student about the death of George Floyd that prompted outrage on campus.

"We are demanding that Kansas State University put a policy in place that allows a student to be dismissed for displaying openly racist, threatening or disrespectful actions toward a student or groups of students," the players said in the letter they posted. "We have resolved that we cannot play, practice or meet until these demands are heard and actions taken. We love Kansas State, but we must stand together and protect all students moving forward."

Late Sunday, coach Chris Klieman tweeted his support: "Racism is NOT welcome at KSTATE now or in the future. ... I am excited to help every player unite for the solution NOW, so that that we can come together stronger than ever. Black Lives Matter."

On Thursday, one month after Floyd, a Black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck for nearly eight minutes, student Jaden McNeil tweeted, "Congratulations to George Floyd on being drug free for an entire month!"

University officials have said they are exploring their options for action after the tweet. University President Richard Myers said Friday that "divisive statements do not represent for the values of our university."

McNeil describes himself as the founder of a conservative group called America First Students, which Kansas State says is not currently registered on the campus because of a lack of membership. America First Students had already drawn the ire of students for past statements made by McNeil.

McNeil has previously said America First Students is a "mainstream, Christian, conservative organization that supports President Donald Trump."

The statement from football players Saturday came a day after a pair of Kansas State basketball players and a handful of football players threatened a boycott if the university didn't take action. A number of college athletes around the country have used their influence to push for social justice since Floyd's death.

Kansas State football players aren't currently participating in any practices or workouts because team activities were suspended earlier this month after a coronavirus outbreak within the team. Summer workouts are expected to resume July 13.

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via: https://mywlas.com/k-state-players-announce-boycott-after-students-floyd-tweet


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Maybe she thinks her husband Bill Cosby was trying to buy NBC too?

Camille Cosby has broken her silence and shared her thoughts regarding the legal ordeal of her husband Bill Cosby, currently serving time behind bars for a 2004 sexual assault case.

In the new interview, Cosby is in full support of an upcoming appeal in her husband's case, and suggested that the #MeToo movement that took down Mr. Cosby is rooted in racism.

In an interview with ABC News, Mrs. Cosby, 76, spoke directly about her husband's pending appeal in her first public speaking event in over six years. Reacting to the news that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to portions of Mr. Cosby's appeal argument, stating she was "pleased" by the news and shared her reaction.

"My first reaction is hopefulness, possibilities," Cosby said to ABC News Prime anchor Linsey Davis from her Massachusetts home. "The state's highest court has said, 'Wait a minute. There are some problems here. They can be considered for an appeal.'"

Pivoting the conversation towards the #MeToo movement, Mrs. Cosby has little to no sympathy for those gathered under the banner seeking justice for alleged acts of sexual assault they suffered from.

First of all, I don't care what they feel," Cosby said in the interview.

The #MeToo movement and movements like them have intentional ignorance pertaining to the history of particular white women, not all white women, but particular white women, who have from the very beginning, pertaining to the enslavement of African people, accused black males of sexual assault without any proof whatsoever, no proof, anywhere on the face of the earth," she added.

Mrs. Cosby continued with, "And by ignoring that history, they have put out a lie in itself and that is, 'Because I'm female, I'm telling the truth.' Well, history disproves that as well, and gender has never, ever equated with truth. So, they need to clean up their acts."

Watch Camille Cosby's interview with ABC News below.



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via: https://mywlas.com/camille-cosby-speaks-out-in-support-of-husband-bill-cosby


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"Hidden no more, we will continue to recognize the contributions of women, African Americans, and people of all backgrounds who have made Nasa's successful history of exploration possible."- NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

NASA engineer and mathematician Mary W. Jackson is finally getting her just due.

On Wednesday (Jun 24) NASA announced plans to rename their headquarters located in Washington DC after the first Black female aerospace engineer Mary W. Jackson. Jackson, who was the agency's first American American female engineer in 1958, opened up opportunities for countless women of color in STEM who followed in her footsteps.

"Mary W. Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space. Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology," Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement to CBS News. "Today, we proudly announce the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building."

NASA took to social media with the special announcement writing, "Our headquarters building in Washington, D.C., will be named after Mary W. Jackson, the first African-American female engineer at NASA. She started in research and later moved into the personnel field, working to ensure equal opportunity in hiring and promotion."

Last year, Nasa renamed the street outside its headquarters as Hidden Figures Way.

"Hidden no more, we will continue to recognize the contributions of women, African Americans, and people of all backgrounds who have made Nasa's successful history of exploration possible," Mr. Bridenstine continued."Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology."

Jackson's career, along with those of other pioneering black NASA scientists including Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan, became widely recognized after the publication of Margot Lee Shetterly's 2016 book, "Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race." In the subsequent film Hidden Figures, Jackson was played by award-winning musician and actress Janelle MonĂ¡e.

via: https://mywlas.com/nasa-announces-washington-dc-headquarters-will-be-named-after-mary-w-jackson


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FBI Says Noose In Bubba Wallace's NASCAR Garage Was Old

   

The FBI released preliminary findings from its investigation into a noose found in the garage of NASCAR's highest-ranked Black driver, and it came across as the equivalent of a shrug of indifference.

The symbol of racist hate associated with lynchings was found in the garage stall Bubba Wallace Jr. was using ahead of a race in Alabama this past weekend. NASCAR condemned it and the FBI announced it was beginning its own probe. But no federal crime was committed, the FBI said. The federal law enforcement agency went so far as to say that noose wasn't even new and had been in that location for months.

Therefore, the FBI announced, it was closing the case and moving on.

Nevermind where the noose came from. Nevermind that the noose just happened to be discovered days after Wallace successfully pressured NASCAR to abandon the Confederate Flag it had been flying above all its races for decades. Nevermind that banning that flag generated resentment among at least one driver, who decided he would quit driving altogether in support of the flag

It was an interesting and unexpected turn of events one day after Wallace led dozens of his NASCAR racing colleagues on a symbolic lap around the track at the Talladega Superspeedway in an effort to promote racial unity and harmony.

The FBI's announcement came hours after Wallace tweeted his thanks to fans.

The noose was reported as a series of suspected lynchings of Black and brown men took place in recent weeks. That was in addition to the ongoing protests against racism and police violence following multiple killings of Black people by law enforcement.

The noose was found Sunday, prompting NASCAR to announce that it was "angry and outraged, and cannot state strongly enough how seriously we take this heinous act."

Shortly after NASCAR's announcement, Watson issued his own comments decrying the noose and saying the apparent threat wouldn't deter him from trying to rid racism from his chosen profession.

"Today's despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism," Wallace said in a brief statement released on social media "Over the last several weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the support from people across the NASCAR industry including other drivers and team members in the garage. Together, our sport has made a commitment to driving real change and championing a community that is accepting and welcoming of everyone. Nothing is more important and we will not be deterred by the reprehensible actions of those who seek to spread hate. As my mother told me today, 'They are just trying to scare you.' This will not break me, I will not give in nor will I back down. I will continue to proudly stand for what I believe in."

The noose incident followed the abrupt resignation of one NASCAR driver who didn't like the Confederate Flag being removed from races. Ray Ciccarelli announced June 10 that he would leave NASCAR at the end of the season. He said on Facebook that it's "been a fun ride and dream come true," but if this is the direction NASCAR is headed, he will not partake in NASCAR races after the 2020 season is done. The Truck Series driver who has won exactly zero races ever said he doesn't condone kneeling during the national anthem and he doesn't believe in "taken people right [sic] to fly what ever [sic] flag they love."

Racism and NASCAR seem to have an inseparable bond. It was only in April when Kyle Larson had to find out the hard way that saying the N-word has consequences after the now-former NASCAR drivercouldn't resist the urge to say it during an online video gaming session that was streaming live over the internet. "You can't hear me? Hey, n-gger," Larson said for seemingly no reason other than his own apparent implicit racism. The other players online told Larson they heard what he said, but, perhaps more tellingly, none of them condemned him for it.

For full context, NASCAR has a lengthy history of racist discrimination against Black people, including its historic $225 million settlement in 2008 with a former official who accused the car racing association of racial discrimination and sexual harassment. Vibe documented just how white of a sport NASCAR racing actually is. "NASCAR has both the whitest viewership - an estimated 94 percent, to the 92 percent of the National Hockey League - and the whitest group of participants of any American sport by percentage," Jay Scott Smith reported last year. He noted that NASCAR racing was significantly whiter than even the NHL, which had 25 Black players out of nearly 700 total.

via: https://mywlas.com/fbi-says-noose-in-bubba-wallaces-nascar-garage-was-old


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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - In a stunning decision that could test the legal framework of #MeToo cases, comedian Bill Cosby has won the right to fight his 2018 sexual assault conviction in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The 82-year-old Cosby has been imprisoned in suburban Philadelphia for nearly two years after a jury convicted him of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home in 2004. He's serving a three- to 10-year sentence.

The Supreme Court has agreed to review two aspects of the case, including the judge's decision to let prosecutors call five other accusers to testify about long-ago encounters with the once-powerful actor and comedian. Cosby's lawyers have long challenged that testimony as remote and unreliable. The court will also consider, as it weighs the scope of the testimony allowed, whether the jury should have heard evidence that Cosby had given quaaludes to women in the past.

Secondly, the court will examine Cosby's argument that he had an agreement with a former prosecutor that he would never be charged in the case. Cosby has said he relied on that agreement before agreeing to testify in the trial accuser's civil lawsuit.

Those issues have been at the heart of the case since Cosby was charged in December 2015, days before the 12-year state of limitations expired. Prosecutors in Montgomery County had reopened the case that year after The Associated Press fought to unseal portions of Cosby's decade-old deposition testimony in accuser Andrea Constand's sex assault and defamation lawsuit against Cosby, which he had settled in 2006.

Dozens of other accusers had come forward since then to accuse Cosby, long beloved as "America's Dad" because of his hit 1980s sitcom, of similar misconduct. Montgomery County Judge Stephen O'Neill allowed just one of them to testify at Cosby's first trial in 2017, which ended with an acquittal.

But a year later, after the #MeToo movement exploded in the wake of reporting on Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, the judge allowed five other accusers to testify at the retrial. The jury convicted Cosby on all three felony sex-assault counts.

Lawyer Brian W. Perry argued in the appeal that letting other accusers testify "flips constitutional jurisprudence on its head, and the 'presumption of guilt,' rather than the presumption of innocence, becomes the premise."

Spokesman Andrew Wyatt said Cosby was "extremely thankful" the court would hear the case. He said the decision comes as demonstrators across the nation protest the death of Black people at the hands of police and expose the "corruption that lies within the criminal justice system."

"As we have all stated, the false conviction of Bill Cosby is so much bigger than him - it's about the destruction of ALL Black people and people of color in America," Wyatt said in a statement.

Cosby's lawyers also challenged his classification as a sexually violent predator subject to lifetime supervision. The actor, who insists he had a consensual encounter with accuser Constand, has said he would never express remorse to the parole board.

The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they have been victims of sexual assault without their permission, which Constand has granted.

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via: https://mywlas.com/bill-cosby-granted-appeal-in-pennsylvania-sex-assault-case


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Comedian, actor, author, and radio host D.L. Hughley revealed on Saturday night that he has tested positive for COVID-19, one day after the Original King of Comedy and host of The DL Hughley Show fainted during a performance in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday night.

In a message shared to Instagram, Hughley said he was being treated for extreme exhaustion and dehydration and that the positive test for COVID "blew him away."

"I'm what they call asymptomatic," Hughley said. "I didn't have any symptoms, I didn't have flu-like symptoms, difficulty of breath, I didn't have a low-grade fever. Apparently, I just lost consciousness. In addition to all the other stuff you gotta look out for, if your ass pass out on stage - you probably need to get tested."

Hughley will be in quarantine but plans to continue to do his show remotely.

Watch Hughley's message to fans below.



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via: https://mywlas.com/d-l-hughley-reveals-covid-19-diagnosis-day-after-fainting-on-stage


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(CNN)Two people were shot dead and 12 others hurt early Monday at an "impromptu block party" in North Carolina, Deputy Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said.

"Several shooters discharged dozens of shots into the crowd," the CMPD said in a statement.

Officers responded to a call of a pedestrian hit around 12:30 a.m., when they heard gunshots, the statement said. When they got to the scene, officers found a woman with a gunshot wound lying in Beatties Ford Road with a gunshot wound. She died at the scene, the release said.

CNN affiliate WBTV reported "hundreds of people" were in the streets.

Eight others were shot and taken to a hospital, where one of them died, police said.

In addition, five people were struck by vehicles and received injuries that were not life threatening, police said. They were treated at Clemmons Medical Center - Novant Health.

Jennings said the gathering was an extension of a Juneteenth celebration earlier in the week.

"The results of it just kind of got out of hand, and it was something that we never want to see either as a community or as a police department, so it's very, very unfortunate situation," he said.

This story is developing. WLAS is working to get additional details.

via: https://mywlas.com/2-killed-and-12-injured-in-north-carolina-shooting-at-block-party-police-say


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Tom Joyner Feeling "Good" After Having Mini-Stroke

   

Radio pioneer Tom Joyner is feeling "good" after suffering a mini-stroke in late April, he exclusively tells BlackAmericaWeb.com.

Reports emerged of the medical event after the information was leaked on social media on Saturday, June 13. However, Joyner experienced the stroke over 6 weeks ago while boxing with his longtime trainer during quarantine at home.

"I was like everybody, in quarantine, but instead of just sitting in the house, being bored and stuff, I worked on my health because I figured what are the chances of me catching the virus and then after that, how can I enhance my chances of me beating the virus if I do catch it."

According to Joyner, his efforts in the ring are what triggered the stroke. Now, he is at home rehabbing and if you could guess it, he plans on getting in the ring again.

"I want to fight Tyson," he reveals assuredly.

Tyson recently announced he is willing to get back in the ring for charity - and Joyner wants to throw his name in on the list of potential contenders to benefit his foundation.

The Tom Joyner Foundation has been greatly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. With the postponement of Joyner's annual cruise, the funds are down.

"95% of all the money that we donate to scholarships comes from the cruise." Adding, "We don't have the money to do the scholarships and do the good work the foundation does," he explained.

If his desire to fight Tyson isn't proof enough, Joyner is feeling really well and is back to his normal daily routines.

Most recently, Joyner participated in a 2-week online web series with his former co-host Sybil Wilkes. The web series occurred live online between June 1 - 12.

He continues enjoying his retirement in Miami which includes bingeing his favorite TV series; keeping abreast of the latest news; and of course, managing the Tom Joyner Foundation.

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via: https://mywlas.com/tom-joyner-feeling-good-after-having-mini-stroke


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ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks in the back after the fleeing man pointed a stun gun in his direction will be charged with felony murder and 10 other charges, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Garrett Rolfe kicked Brooks while he lay on the ground and the officer with him, Devin Brosnan, stood on Brooks' shoulder as he struggled for life after a confrontation Friday night, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said at a news conference.

Rolfe had already been fired after he fatally shot Brooks, 27, on Friday night. Brosnan, who will be charged with aggravated assault and other crimes, had been placed on administrative leave.

Brooks' widow, Tomika Miller, attended the news conference along with her lawyers, Justin Miller and L. Chris Stewart.

The news came as Republicans on Capitol Hill unveiled a package of police reform measures and the movement to get rid of Confederate movements and other racially offensive symbols reached America's breakfast table, with the maker of Aunt Jemima syrup and pancake mix dropping the 131-year-old brand.

The shooting sparked new demonstrations in Georgia's capital against police brutality, after occasionally turbulent protests in response to George Floyd's death in Minneapolis had largely simmered down. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned less than 24 hours after Brooks died.

Police were called to a Wendy's fast food restaurant over complaints of a car blocking the drive-thru lane. An officer found Brooks asleep behind the wheel of the car and called for another officer to do field sobriety testing.

Police body camera video shows Brooks and officers having a relatively calm and respectful conversation for more than 40 minutes before things rapidly turned violent. Brooks wrestled with officers, snatched one of their stun guns and turned and pointed it at one of them as he ran through the parking lot.

An autopsy found that Brooks was shot twice in the back.

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via: https://mywlas.com/officer-who-shot-rayshard-brooks-charged-with-felony-murder


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