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‘Black Panther’ director Ryan Coogler’s emotional letter thanking fans will make you happy cry

February 21, 2018 - 

Ryan Coogler, the director of Marvel blockbuster Black Panther has written a love letter to fans that is sure to make everyone who loved the film love him too. Coogler’s letter is so good that we have to post the whole thing in its entirety. 

I am struggling to find the words to express my gratitude at this moment, but I will try. Filmmaking is a team sport. And our team was made up amazing people from all over the world who believed in this story. Deep down we all hoped that people would come to see a film about a fictional country on the continent of Africa, made up of a cast of people of African descent. Visit www.thegrio.com for full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations

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‘Black Panther’ earned $25.2 million on first night in theaters and is poised to break records

February 19, 2018 - Black Panther’s release is already making history with the all-black cast debuting at $25.2 million in theaters last night. According to the NY Daily News, Marvel’s Black Panther is already putting up heroic numbers at the box office. The movie’s success is a close second behind Avengers: Age of Ultron which earned $27.5 million when it debuted in 2015. The film was already positioned to exceed everyone’s expectations when Fandango confirmed that only three films ever had outsold it in pre-sales. But it did more than surpass expectations, becoming the top-selling pre-sales superhero movie in Fandango history. Visit www.thegrio.com for full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations

Senators

Thurston, Rouson, Powell move to boost FAMU’s recurring funding by $4.5M

February 19, 2018 -  A late budget amendment in the Florida Senate sponsored by Sen. Perry E. Thurston, Jr. and supported by Sen. Darryl Rouson and Sen. Bobby Powell boosted recurring revenue for Florida A&M University up by $4,500,000, taking it from the originally approved $70,592,150 to a total of $75,092,150. The Florida Senate adopted the amendment on Wednesday, February 7th. The amendment transferred $6,000,000 from the “Startup and Enhancement Grants for Programs of Excellence” to “FAMU Operational Support.” It then shifted $1,500,000 from “FAMU Operational Support” to nonrecurring money for “Startup and Enhancement Grants for Programs of Excellence.” That $75,092,150 would be a $1,132,699 boost over the $73,959,451 for general revenue that FAMU received for 2017-2018.

The Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives are still a far way off from a budget deal. The House voted to cut general revenue at FAMU down to $60,171,856, which would be a painful $13,787,595 reduction from what FAMU had last year.

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations

Black Panther fans serve up Black Excellence in theaters everywhere

February 19, 2018 - Black Panther is already slaying the box office with an estimated $25 million haul Thursday night. The movie‘s fans aren’t just showing up to the theater – they’re showing out. Here’s some of the best pics from what will be a completely wild Wakanda weekend.

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations

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Princeton president ‘respects’ professor’s decision to use N-Word during lecture

February 15, 2018 -  A Princeton University professor canceled a course he teaches on cultural freedoms and hate speech after his use of a racial slur during a class discussion led some students to walk out. Colleagues say Professor Emeritus Lawrence Rosen has often used the slur during lectures on free speech. They say this is the first time he’s received such a negative response from students. A small group of students walked out of Rosen’s anthropology class on Feb. 6 after he used the slur three times, according to DailyPrincetonian.com, the university’s student newspaper which first reported Rosen’s comments. Rosen asked the class “Which is more provocative: A white man walks up to a black man and punches him in the nose, or a white man walks up to a black man and calls him (the racial slur)?”

Rosen refused a demand from several students to apologize and argued with at least one student. Two students later filed a complaint with school officials. Click here to read full article. 

 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations

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Tyrone Middle School math teacher Jessie Boyce named Outstanding Educator

February 14, 2018 - Jessie Boyce, a mathematics teacher at Tyrone Middle School, was named the Pinellas County Schools Outstanding Educator of the Year. The announcement was made Wednesday night at the Evening of Excellence held at St. Petersburg’s Mahaffey Theater.

 Boyce has been teaching for 10 years, the last five at Tyrone Middle School. She has taught both math and science but most recently has been teaching sixth-grade math. Boyce helped start a one-to-one technology initiative as Tyrone Middle transitioned to the Center for Innovation and Digital Learning. As part of the Pinellas Innovates initiative, she has spearheaded personalized learning and flexible seating in the county. Boyce writes, provides training, speaks at conferences and blogs about education and ways to bring innovation into the classroom. To learn more about all Outstanding Educator finalists, visit the PCS Newsroom.  

Category: General

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Barack and Michelle Obama react to presidential portrait unveilings at National Gallery

February 12, 2018 - 

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are back in the spotlight after unveiling their official presidential portraits at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The former U.S. President and First Lady were in awe after seeing their likeness immortalized in art form, and both delivered heartfelt speeches during the momentous occasion. Michelle Obama’s portrait was painted by Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald, while Yale painter Kehinde Wiley pulled off his unique interpretation of Barack Obama. Both artists were handpicked by the Obamas. Click here for the full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations

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Jabil to Build New Headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida

February 12, 2018 - 

Jabil will expand operations at its current site at Roosevelt Boulevard and Dr.  Martin Luther King Street North via a partnership with the City of St. Petersburg. “Jabil has been committed to St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay area for 30 years,” said Jabil CEO  Mark Mondello. “The new campus will bring our local employees together on a single, safe, modern, environmentally friendly campus.” While many other locations were considered, the current St. Petersburg campus has been selected as the preferred site and will be finalized once all of the necessary governmental approvals are reached. The City of St. Petersburg; Pinellas County; the St. Petersburg Chamber and Economic Development Corporation; and the Tampa Bay area have all been supportive in this process. Click here to read full article. 

Category: Business

Unknown

Philadelphia Eagles players are already boycotting Trump White House visit

After winning the Super Bowl on Sunday night, the Philadelphia Eagles are now set to visit the White House to celebrate their victory. But not all of the Eagles are going. On Monday, safety Malcolm Jenkins told CNN, “I personally do not anticipate attending.” Defensive end Chris Long, who boycotted last year’s White House visit with the Patriots, said he plans to sit out this year as well.

“No, I’m not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?” he said during an interview on Pardon My Take Podcast last Sunday when asked whether he would go this time. LeGarrette Blount, also a former Patriot, skipped last year too. “I just don’t feel welcome into that house. I’m just gonna leave it at that,” he said at the time.

–#FreeMeekMill revived after Eagles use the rapper’s song for Super Bowl entrance–

Trump v. the NFL Click here for full article. 

 

Category: Business

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Michelle Obama’s advice for coping in Trump’s America: ‘All we have is hope’

February 6, 2018 - Former First Lady Michelle Obama sat down with Ellen DeGeneres for her first TV interview since she left the White House and reminded us all why we miss her so much. In the interview, DeGeneres asked Obama how people could deal with the “very scary” world under President Donald Trump. The former First Lady admitted that there were many people who were scared, but other people don’t see their fears. “People are afraid,” she said. “But then there are people who feel good about the direction of the country. So that’s what makes this country complicated, because it’s made up of so many different people from different backgrounds. We are this mosh pit of society and sometimes there’s a rub.” “But the thing that we have to remember, the thing I learned in the eight years that I was in the White House, was that what we do every day in our lives, the good things that we do every day — and we know we do it — we show empathy, we care for each other. We do have a lot in common,” she said. “That’s what it means to lead with hope and not fear. And that’s all we have, is hope.” Visit www.thegrio.com for full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations

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‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman on being called the n-word and driving by KKK rallies while filming

February 5, 2018 - Chadwick Boseman has now come forward to say the reporter was mistaken and that her drove by the KKK rallies during the filming of Captain America not Black Panther. Please see his statement below. Driving home from the set of the Blackest film ever created (that’s Black Panther), Chadwick Boseman says he passed by Ku Klux Klan rallies. When the actor, who is cast as the titular character in the movie, had off-days from shooting Black Panther in Atlanta, Boseman would drive  the two hours to see his family in Anderson, SC. The actor told Mr.Porter.com about the surreal experience of going from an afro-futuristic world to a current reality of throwback racism. Click here for full article. 

 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations

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Florida consumers haven’t been this confident for more than 15 years, survey says

Floridians are starting 2018 with their sunniest consumer outlook in 16 years, according to research from the University of Florida. Consumer sentiment rose to a score of 99.8 on a scale that tops out at 150. That’s a level not seen since March 2002, when consumer confidence was even a little higher at 102 points. Residents surveyed in January felt slightly better than they did the previous month about where their personal finances stand compared to year ago. They had stronger positive outlooks about what their finances should be like a year from now, as well as how they expect the U.S. economy to fare a year from now and five years from now. They were a little less optimistic than they were the month before that now is a good time to buy an appliance or other big-ticket household item. Visit www.tampabay.com for full article. 

Category: Business

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Jemele Hill releases statement explaining her departure from ‘SportsCenter’

January 31, 2018 - Jemele Hill did it her way. The now former ESPN SportsCenter anchor set the record straight on why she is leaving to join The Undefeated. Hill tweeted out a brief statement Friday, putting rumors that she was demoted to rest. Joining The Undefeated was Hill’s decision, she says, because she wanted to return to “reporting, writing and commentary.” Click here for full article. 

 

Category: Business

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The story behind the kente cloth worn by Black members of Congress at Trump’s SOTU

January 31, 2018 - Black members of Congress made sure they would be heard last night, even if President Donald Trump was doing all the talking. Members of the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) wore brightly colored yellow, green, black and red kente cloth accents to President Trump’s first State of the Union address, as a sign of defiance against his “sh*thole* comments about African and Caribbean countries. Click here for full article.

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations

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Nashville Creates Community Land Trust To Stem Gentrification

January 29, 2018 - Nashville is creating the city's first community land trust, the Mayor's office announced Tuesday. The trust will buy up property, maintain partial ownership and keep it affordable for generations of owners. To do this, the city says it will use its Barnes Housing Trust Fundto partner with The Housing Fund, a local non-profit. Together, they will buy up a stock of properties and put them in a land trust. This a tool used by a number of cities around the country to thwart gentrification. Chicago, Seattle, New York, all have community land trusts. “If Nashville is going to close the housing needs gap, we are going to have to be bold and innovative in our solutions to build, preserve, and maintain our supply of affordable housing,” said Nashville's Mayor Megan Barry. Click here for full article.

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations

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Black Trump supporter and HUD staffer calls April Ryan ‘Miss Piggy’ in Twitter war

January 25, 2018 -  On Wednesday, a staffer at a regional Housing and Urban Development office for New York and New Jersey got into a heated war of words with White House correspondent April Ryan. HUD staffer Lynne Patton launched the petty personal attack against the esteemed reporter and CNN contributor on Twitter in response to Ryan’s claim that she and other reporters had been receiving death threats due to Donald Trump‘s continued attacks on the media. Visit www.thegrio.com for full article.

Category: Media Community

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Denzel Washington, Mary J. Blige, Jordan Peele, Daniel Kaluuya & more Nab Oscar Noms

January 24, 2018 - Tiffany Haddish and Andy Serkis announced the nominees for the 90th Academy Awards on Tuesday morning from and we’re pretty excited about the long list of black celebs who nabbed the coveted nominations. Haddish and Serkis were joined by a few more celebs including Priyanka Chopra, Selma Hayek, Rosario Dawson, Michelle Rodriguez and Zoe Saldana, while they ran through all 24 categories of the annual awards show that honors the year’s best films and performances. The two-part, announcement presentation is a bit of a departure from the usual format of the usual format of announcing Oscar contenders and aired live from LA’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The list of nominees is also a departure from the norm, with way more African Americans nominated than we’re used to seeing. Black folks showed up in several categories, suggesting the Academy has finally taken notice of the multitude of #BlackExcellence in the film world. Visit www.thegrio.com for full article.

 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations

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Omarosa has a new job and we’re not surprised

January 24, 2018 - According to TMZ, Omarosa will be joining the likes of Diddy, Jay Leno, and Magic Johnson working for the American Program Bureau. She will reportedly be asking $50,000 per speech. The bureau’s founder, Robert P. Walker, told TMZthat they wanted to book 10 appearances for Omarosa over the next three months. “Since it’s Black History Month and Women’s History Month, I’m sure Omarosa will be in high demand, as she has always been,” Walker said. Click here for full article.

Category: Media Community

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ON A ROLL: Sterling K. Brown & ‘This Is Us’ win big at SAG Awards

January 23, 2018 - The SAG Awards are underway and Sterling K. Brown has continued his winning streak! The This Is Us star nabbed the honor of Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series for his role of Randall Pearson on NBC’s hit show; marking the first time a black actor has won a SAG Award in the category. He delivered another amazing speech, this time taking time to shout out his beautiful and talented wife, Ryan Michelle Bathe. “I love actors so much, I decided to marry one,” he said. “You’re the best scene partner a brother’s ever had.” He also joked about his onscreen “white family” while sharing the love for his cast mates. Click here for full article. 

Category: History, Art & Culture Organizations

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Florida braces for long government shutdown

January 23, 2018 - As a dysfunctional Washington stumbled past the midnight deadline and into a shutdown of the federal government, state officials scrambled to prepare for its impacts across Florida. Gov. Scott's office declined to say what kind of contingency plans it has ready to implement in a shutdown. The last federal government shutdown, in early October 2013, had serious effects on routine government services. While monthly Social Security checks won't be interrupted, a trip to the Everglades should probably be postponed. Visit www.floridatrend.com for full article. 

Category: General

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