Harmon, Rodney Alexander
Jason Pollock -Huff Post Black Voices
In August of 2014, an unarmed 18-year-old boy named Michael Brown was killed by a police officer named Darren Wilson.
Like many in America, that day truly changed my life forever. That day the world shifted a bit and started rotating in a slightly different direction. The winds changed and since that day we have seen some pretty historic things taking place around America.
I’ve spent a lot of time and energy in the past year focusing on these issues and working overtime to figure out what my contribution to this world-changing event would be.
Today, I’m announcing the next feature film I’ll be directing. It is my hope is this project can help clear up some of the misunderstanding around what took place on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.
My new film is going to take a deep dive into how an unarmed boy in sandals and shorts with his hands up, according to killer himself, could be executed in the street without any repercussions. This event has haunted me, as I know it has haunted many others. I needed to find out the truth! So I set out on a yearlong investigation of the facts, and what I have found needs to be seen and heard by the world.
Our campaign is simply called FERGUSON COVER-UP. We are launching an IndieGogo page today here: http://bit.ly/FergusonCoverUp — with a trailer featured below.
Today is the first day of what we know will be an important conversation around an event that sparked a movement in St. Louis and around the world. I realize this movement has been growing for a long time, but it’s undeniable that things changed after Ferguson burned. We need to ensure that the history of what took place there is correct, and this film will be our contribution to that effort.
FERGUSON COVER-UP isn’t about the burning of Ferguson; it’s the why it did. It’s about why so many took to the streets and it will show the injustice that took place to Michael Brown on that hot summer day last August.
From the very moment that Michael’s body hit the pavement that day a carefully crafted campaign of misinformation, manipulation, and outright lying has taken place by the Ferguson Police Department, the St Louis Police Department, and the St Louis Prosecutor’s office.
The 24/7 right wing media have constantly perpetuated these lies, and they were so well crafted that they tricked CNN and many other outlets into falsely reporting the issue over and over again.
Sadly, because of all this distortion, the average American thinks that justice was served to Michael Brown and his family, and that Darren Wilson should be a free man. These views could not be further from the truth.
I have assembled a dedicated group of Ferguson activists, who have been following every detail of this case. We have joined forces to show America what really happened that day.
Through archival footage, shot footage, and my production team’s exhaustive research, this film will show how the Ferguson Police Department ignored key evidence and worked with the prosecutor to cover this all up. This film will explain the corrupt nature of witness 40, who was used by the Prosecutor in the grand jury process, even though Bob McCulloch knew she was lying under oath about witnessing the shooting. We will also show the manipulative and racist way that the Fergusonn police department leaked evidence to smear Michael’s name, and so many more turns the case took away from justice.
The film will also detail the story of racism and white supremacy in the Ferguson area so that everyone can understand that the protests that took place in the wake of Michael’s death were not just a random incident, but a straw breaking a camel’s back after hundreds of years of racism in the region.
Please check out our Indiegogo page here, with even more info http://bit.ly/FergusonCoverUp. We will also be launching FergusonCoverUp.com in the a few days. Get ready for that, because when that site launches, it’s going to change the game.
FERGUSON COVER-UP will blow the roof off the current narrative which America and the world has been fed around this story. People need to get the truth about this internationally relevant story, and this film will be the counter-narrative that everyone needs to hear.
Aaron Barksdale -Huff Post Black Voices
Black stars are taking over TV this fall and we can’t wait.
Discussions surrounding diversity in the media have finally reached a critical mass, and it’s still evident that not everyone in the industry knows what diversity really means (we’re looking at you Matt Damon). But more importantly, black and brown people are finally being represented in a variety of genres from sci-fi to comedy in new and returning series.
These diverse shows and the actors that star in them are also getting the award recognition they deserve including the Emmy-nominated performance of Taraji P. Henson as the wildly entertaining Cookie Lyon on “Empire” and Emmy-winner Viola Davis’s dynamic portrayal of Annalise Keating on “How To Get Away With Murder.”
Here are 15 shows with black cast-members that we can’t wait to see dominate this fall.
“How To Get Away With Murder”
“American Horror Story Hotel”
“Truth Be Told”
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”
(TriceEdneyWire.com) — U.S. businessman Michel Desaedeleer, whose dealings in ‘blood diamonds’ which were shown in the 2006 movie of the same name, starring Djimond Hounsou and Leonardo DiCaprio, was pulled him off a plane and arrested by police in Malaga, Spain, for alleged war crimes and enslavement in the African country of Sierra Leone.
Desaedeleer, 64, was flying to New York, where he lives, when police took him to custody in late August.
Police arrested Desaedeleer on August 31 after five former diamond-mine slaves filed a complaint against him in January 2011.
“This is the very first time that a businessman has been arrested for his alleged involvement in the international crimes of both pillaging blood diamonds and enslaving civilians,” reported Civitas Maxima, an independent legal representative of victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization helped build a case against Desaedeleer, who also is a citizen of Belgian. Civitas Maxima called enslavement a crime against humanity and pillaging blood diamonds a war crime.
Desaedeleer allegedly collaborated with rebel leader Foday Sankoh who gave him a monopoly on all gold and diamond mining in the rebel-controlled areas of Sierra Leone. With his offshore company BECA, Desaedeleer forced enslaved civilians to mine for diamonds in Sierra Leone’s eastern district of Kono between 1999 and 2001. Later, he is alleged to have attempted to sell the territory back to Sierra Leone for $10 million.
The diamond trade, according to U.N. estimates, was valued at between $25 and $125 million each year, most of which was spent on weapons and war material. Blood diamonds were sold to finance an insurgency, an invading army’s war efforts or a warlord’s activity.
Civitas Maxima worked with the Center for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL) in Freetown, preparing the case against Desaedeleer, which took several years.
Ibrahim Tommy, executive director of CARL, said, “This is another significant step forward in our collective efforts at ensuring accountability for the crimes that occurred during the conflict in Sierra Leone. No one should be allowed to get away with participating in serious offenses such as enslaving people and forcing them to mine for diamonds.”
Desaedeleer’s name was mentioned in a 2000 United Nations report. He denied any wrongdoing, telling Newsweek magazine that year he had a legitimate contract for exclusive mining and development of diamonds in parts of Sierra Leone controlled by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and saying all his actions were above board.
“This is a landmark case, the first of its kind, and it will help to raise awareness of the pivotal role played by financial actors in the trade of mineral resources that fuel armed conflicts in Africa and elsewhere,” said Alain Werner, Civitas Maxima director.
More than 50,000 people died in the conflict. The diamonds were sent to former President Charles Taylor of Liberia, who used the proceeds to finance weapons purchases for the rebels.
Unregulated mining came up again this week when torrential rains over the past weekend submerged several bridges and highways, stranding thousands of traders. Significantly, the bridge linking the eastern Kenema district to the capital is out of service.
A local leader says many villages in the surrounding area may also have been submerged. Seventy houses have been washed away, according to Umaru Fofana, a local reporter.
September 21, 2015 Ald. Milele A. Coggs
A graduate of North Division High School has earned a scholarship as the winner of the 7th annual Freedom Scholarship Essay Contest, Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs announced today.
Selected from entries sent to the Alderwoman’s office, the winner is Takiya Eiland, a second year college student majoring in criminal justice at Central State Univesity. She is also a former member of the City of Milwaukee Youth Council.
Alderwoman Coggs said the winning essay incorporated a thoughtful reflection on the fight for freedom with ideas on how to combat and prevent prejudice, discrimination and violence in our world today. “We are still fighting to make freedom and justice realities for all,” Ald. Coggs said. “This young woman symbolizes the new generation of young leaders who are working to make these goals possible with the freedom movements of the past as their guide.”
In her essay, Ms. Eiland wrote: “When people are taught about their culture, history, and what it took to get to where we are today: they are more likely to appreciate the world today and pass what they know down to even more generations.”
Ms. Eiland will receive a $500 scholarship award.
Brittany Dandy –Blackenterprise.com
Whitney White (better known to her millions of followers as Naptural85) has been dominating YouTube since 2008, when she chopped off her relaxed air and decided to document it’s growth. When White started making videos, YouTube wasn’t yet monetized and she wasn’t getting paid by sponsors either. White made natural hair videos out of a simple passion for her hair.
“The thing about YouTube is that it wasn’t a career back then. It was just a bunch of weirdos,” White told Business Insider. “If I told anyone I made videos on YouTube, they’d look at me like I was crazy.”
YouTube has become, not only a community for like-minded black women to come and share beauty tips and explore their natural mane, its also a place where they are able to earn a living by assisting major brands in navigating the natural hair world. White’s love for the hobby paid off. According to Business Insider, White now make twice as much as a YouTuber than she did as an entry level graphic designer.
The black hair industry is now a $2.7 billion business and has seen a 7% increase since 2013, according to a 2015 report by market research firm Mintel, and can expect “more robust growth” in the next five years.
White tells Business Insider that her partnership with hair mecca Carol’s Daughter, is one of her most cherished relationships. But even when she’s taking on sponsored deals, White makes sure to remain transparent and authentic to the products that she likes.
“I try not to promote anything I wouldn’t personally purchase,” says White. “I’ve turned down a lot of money … I’ve turned down deals from huge companies … because I didn’t like the ingredients in the product.”
To learn more about White and her YouTube empire, head over to Business Insider and check out one of her videos below.
A healthy heart is everything, but did you know that 1 in 5 Americans have hearts five years older than their age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? Although our bodies age over time, there are small things we all can do to improve our heart health and a proper diet is a great place to start. Here are five foods that will make your heart smile.
Click here for link to post from Blackdoctor.org.
It’s a second win for Uzo Aduba for her role in Orange is the New Black, and last night, the actress was overtly emotional as she accepted the win.
The 34-year-old was sure to thank everyone who got her there, tearfully saying of her fellow cast members, her agents and her lawyers that “I love you mostly because you let me be me.”
Aduba emotionally called out show creator Jenji Kohan in particular, saying, “I love you so much. I appreciate you for putting belief back in my heart. Thank you for making this show, for creating this space, for creating a platform.”
Click here for full post.
Charlotte Alfred -Huff Post World Post
A military coup threw Burkina Faso back into political turmoil this week, less than a year after a popular uprising ousted a long-serving autocrat and brought hopes of democratic change in the West African nation.
The country was preparing for its first democratic elections, scheduled for Oct. 11, since popular protests ended the 27-year rule of former President Blaise Compaore last October.
But on Wednesday, soldiers burst into a cabinet meeting and took the country’s interim President Michel Kafando, Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida and two government ministers captive.
The coup leaders, calling themselves the National Council for Democracy, appeared on Burkinabe television on Thursday to announce that they had taken power. Thousands poured onto the streets around the country to protest the coup.
“I am worried and against the putschists. We are demonstrating because we want the [democratic] transition process to unfold,” protester Aissata Kabor told Reuters.
The junta said Friday they had freed Kafando and his ministers, but were keeping Zida under house arrest. Protests against the power grab continued in cities around the country, and union leaders announced a nationwide strike.
Here’s the story behind the dramatic turn of events in Burkina Faso, and what it means for the country and the rest of the Africa.
Who’s behind the coup?
The coup was carried out by members of the presidential guard, known by its French acronym RSP. As the BBC’s Lamine Konkobo explains, the elite unit was set up for self-protection by Compaore and is seen as still loyal to the former president.
The RSP frequently operates independently from other forces, and it was not yet clear how much support they had from the rest of the military.
Compaore is living in exile in the Ivory Coast. He has so far kept silent on the coup and the junta denied he was in any way involved, although some fear he could be quietly planning to stage a comeback.
Whatever Compaore’s role, the seizure of power was led by his closest political ally. Gen. Gilbert Diendere, named Thursday as chairman of the so-called National Council for Democracy, was Compaore’s right-hand man during his nearly three decades of autocratic rule.
“He became Compaore’s shadow,” Rinaldo Depagne, West Africa project director for the International Crisis Group, told Reuters. “He’s kind of a Burkinabe J. Edgar Hoover. Diendere is a master of intelligence, information, organisation and control.”
What do they want?
The generals claimed to be acting in the interest of the country, saying that the upcoming elections would be too divisive because Compaore’s supporters were barred from running. The transitional government passed an electoral law in April blocking members of Compaore’s Congress for Democracy and Progress party — and anyone who supported his bid to extend his rule last year — from elected office.
However, the unit may have had even more pressing concerns — to stop the interim government disbanding it. Two days before the coup, the government’s national reconciliation commission had recommended the RSP be dissolved and its members integrated into the national force, saying it had become “an army within an army.”
Tensions between the RSP and the transitional government had been brewing for months. Senior RSP officers demanded that Prime Minister Zida resign in June after he called for the unit to be disbanded. Zida, a former RSP commander himself, expressed concern that he was under threat, and began to moderate his criticism of the RSP.
The unit is controversial on many fronts. The regular army resents the privileges and money lavished on the elite guard under the previous president. Human rights groups accuse it of having used excessive force during the peaceful uprising of 2014, in which at least 24 people were killed. Thousands of protesters attended rallies against the RSP in Burkina Faso earlier this year, accusing the unit of meddling in politics and intimidating the general population.
What happens next?
The generals have pledged not to stay in power long and said they will just oversee preparations for more inclusive elections. Analysts, however, say it’s unlikely elections will go ahead as scheduled. Politicians and civil society have reacted in outrage.
The speaker of the transitional parliament, Cheriff Sy, declared himself the country’s leader Thursday, and urged the rest of the military not to support the coup.
Regional leaders rushed to negotiate a way out of the crisis. Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal and Thomas Boni Yayi of Benin, representing the Economic Community of West African States, arrived in the country on Friday to oversee mediation efforts.
History suggests that this coup may not last long, Denver University research fellow Jonathan Pinckney writes in Foreign Policy. The combination of massive public protests and political opposition, as seen in Burkina Faso, has in the past stopped the military uniting behind coup leaders, he explains. And the RSP, a force of around only 1,300, will need the rest of the military’s support to keep control of the country.
Even so, there is no simple way to resolve the crisis, as neither side has much willingness to negotiate, International Crisis Group West Africa Analyst Cynthia Ohayon points out. She does believe public opposition and international pressure will eventually force a solution, but argues that it may take some time.
Will the effects of the coup be felt outside the country?
Burkina Faso is a close military ally of the U.S. and France in their fight against extremist militants in the region, including Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Qaeda linked groups in Mali. So, world powers have an interest in preserving their alliance, and ensuring the country remains stable.
More immediately, the coup is also a symbolic setback for Africans struggling for democratic change across the continent. The peaceful ouster of Compaore last year gave hope to democracy advocates in several African countries — including Angola, Benin and the Democratic Republic of Congo — where long-standing leaders continue to cling to power. Some protesters predicted a “Black Spring” in Africa.
The coup hurts all African democrats, Ohayon explains: