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15 Year-Old Jaylen Bledsoe Builds IT Company Now Worth $3.5M [VIDEO]

September 4, 2013 - How many people can say they earned their first million before being old enough to drive? Jaylen Bledsoe, 15, of Gazelwood, Mo., is among the lucky few.

The high school sophomore founded his own tech company, which specializes in web design and other IT services, Bledsoe Technologies, at the ripe age of 13 years old. In just over two years the tech titan managed to expand his small business — run by two people — into a global venture worth $3.5 million, employing 150 contracted workers.  Read more at

Category: General


Divided Senate Poses Deep Challenges In Syria Debacle

September 5, 2013 - A Senate panel’s deep divide over giving President Barack Obama the authority to use U.S. military force against Syria underscores the commander-in-chief’s challenge in persuading skeptical lawmakers and wary allies to back greater intervention in an intractable civil war.

The administration was pressing ahead Thursday with its full-scale sales job, holding another round of closed-door meetings for members of Congress about its intelligence on Syria. On another continent, Obama was certain to face questions from world leaders when he arrives in St. Petersburg, Russia, for an economic summit.  Read more at

Category: General


School Sends Girl, 7, Home Over Her ‘Distracting Dreadlocks’

September 4, 2013 - A 7-year-old Tulsa girl was sent home form her elementary school because her dreadlocks were too much of a distraction, Fox 23 News Tulsa reports.

Terrance Parker said Deborah Brown Community School officials “hassled” him about Tiana‘s dreadlocks, until he was told his daughter could no longer attend classes. She didn’t look “presentable, Parker said he was told.  Read more at

Category: General


Magic Johnson, Angela Bassett among first ‘Arsenio Hall Show’ guests

September 4, 2013 - Chris Tucker, Ice Cube, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and Angela Bassett are among the big names who will join Arsenio Hall during the first week of his new show, The Arsenio Hall Show.

“My first week of guests offers a taste of pop culture and represents the mix of talent I hope to have on my show every week,” Hall said.  Read more at

Category: General


Authorities Searching for Florida Naval Officer Who Vanished

September 4, 2013 - Although African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, we account for 33 percent of the missing in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database. Cases involving African Americans also tend to receive less media coverage than missing Whites, with missing men of color getting even less attention.  Read more at

Category: General


‘Boardwalk Empire’ embraces black characters in season 4

Sept. 4, 2013 - Boardwalk Empire is back this Sunday and this season it appears to blacker than ever before.

Fans of the acclaimed HBO gangster drama are giddy with anticipation for the show’s fourth season, since the last season was the bloody culmination of numerous story-lines, savage twists, a quicker pace and more action than the previous two seasons combined. Read more at

Category: General


Development proposal near St. Pete’s Boyd Hill worries environmentalists

September 1, 2013 - Within the city limits, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve is as remote as it gets. The 245-acre city park is home to osprey, gopher tortoises and, in the park’s wetter areas, otters. It’s situated in the heart of the city’s south side between the southern shore of Lake Maggiore and the Lakewood Estates neighborhood.

“Boyd Hill is unique,” said Gabriel Vargas, a member of Friends of Boyd Hill, which provides volunteer and financial support for environmental education and advocacy at the park. “It’s highly unusual to have this much green space in the middle of a city.”  Read more at

Category: General


Cleveland Kidnapper, Rapist Ariel Castro Found Dead In Prison Cell [VIDEO]

September 4, 2013 - Ariel Castro, 53, the former Cleveland bus driver convicted of raping and kidnapping Amanda Berry, 27, Gina Dejesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, was found hanging in his prison cell at the Correction Reception Center in Orient, Ohio. His death is being reported as a suicide. Read more at

Category: General


Charlotte pastor: "Only white people" at front door of church

September 3, 2013 - Controversy has sparked at a north Charlotte church after a pastor sent an email asking that "only white people" stand at the front door to greet the congregation.

A viewer contacted WBTV after getting an email from Pastor Makeda Pennycooke, an African-American woman, at Freedom House Church along Salome Church Road.  Read more at

Category: General


Evelyn Lozada: Chad Hit Me When I Told Him I Didn’t Want Kids

September 3, 2013 - During last night’s airing of “Basketball Wives Miami,” Evelyn Lozada told her therapist what set off the chain of events that lead up to Chad Johnson assaulting her last year.

Lozada said she and Johnson always had their issues, so when they were arguing about their marriage back in August of 2012, it was nothing new. At some point during their argument, Lozada said she “would never bring kids into this (marriage).” It was these words that enraged him, Lozada claims. “It was like he blacked,” she told the therapist. Lozada went on to say that he hit her in the face while inside of a vehicle.  Read more at

Category: General


Lamar Odom Hires O.J.’s Lawyer Robert Shapiro To Assist In DUI Case

September 3, 2013 - NBA veteran player Lamar Odom (pictured left), who’s had a heap of troubles recently from alleged drug use to a DUI arrest to alleged marriage problems, has reportedly sought the legal services of big gun Robert Shapiro (pictured) who initially led the infamous 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial, according to TMZ.


Odom recently got cuffed last Friday on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  A San Fernando Valley highway patrolman pulled the 6’10″ baller over for allegedly driving erratically in a “serpentine manner.”  Odom reportedly continued to drive even after several attempts to pull him over to the side were made by law enforcement.  When Odom reportedly did stop the car, a California highway patrol report stated that Odom showed ”objective signs of intoxication and was unable to perform field sobriety tests as explained and demonstrated.”  Read more at

Category: General


Dunkin’ Donuts Apologizes For ‘Racist’ Blackface Ad

Popular donut chain Dunkin’ Donuts recently came under fire for an advertisement that was released in Thailand, featuring a woman in blackface makeup sporting bright pink lips, a beehive hairdo, and holding a half eaten chocolate donut. Dunkin’ Donuts, which touted its latest charcoal donut line, was harshly criticized for its “bizarre and racist” campaign by the Human Rights Watch (HRW), one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights.  Read more at

Category: General


Tyler Perry Lays Hands On T.D. Jakes

September 3, 2013 - Tyler Perry has never been one to hide his religious convictions underneath his sleeves, so no one was really surprised when he caught the Spirit as he stood before T.D. Jakes‘ congregation at Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas this past Sunday.

Evoking the cadence of a Baptist preacher, Perry began his testimony discussing the power of favor. He then went on to share how he was unaware of a youth center project Jake’s church was spearheading. Read more at

Category: General


Sheryl Underwood Slams 'Nappy' 'Afro' Hair

September 2, 2013 - On an "encore presentation" of her CBS show The Talk that aired Aug. 30, Underwood railed against "nappy" "Afro" hair during a discussion about Heidi Klum saving her children's hair after it had been cut. Klum's children with ex-husband Seal have "huge Afros," as she described them.

Upon hearing that Klum saves their hair, Underwood responded, "Why would you save Afro hair?" She went on to imply that nobody wants that type of hair, saying that you never hear of a woman in a hair shop asking for that "curly, nappy, beady" hair.  Read more at

Category: General

KKK, NAACP Leaders In Wyoming Have Historic Meeting

September 3, 2013 - Leaders from branches of the Ku Klux Klan and the NAACP had a historic meeting in Casper, Wyoming on Saturday to discuss recent acts of violence against black men and the distribution of KKK pamphlets in the area.

Jimmy Simmons, president of the Casper branch of the NAACP, had reached out to John Abarr of the United Klans of America about meeting in June, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. The two didn't meet until several ground rules were established, including an agreement to meet under heavy security.  Read more at

Category: General


Barack Obama Arrives In Stockholm For 3 Days Of Meetings With Swedish Leaders (VIDEO)

September 4, 2013 - President Barack Obama is opening a three-day overseas trip with a stop in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Air Force One touched down Wednesday morning after an overnight flight from Washington.  Read more at

Category: General


Sharpton Rips GOP Furor Over Obama's Foot on Desk

September 4, 2013 - MSNBC's Al Sharpton mocked the GOP for complaints about an image of President Obama with his foot on the desk in the Oval Office, apparently while discussing the crisis in Syria. Sharpton described it as eagerness on the part of Republican leaders to find fault with the president at every turn.  Read more at

Category: General

Griot Drum Scholarship contest, tickets and sponsorships

The Griot Drum contest and banquet help fund thousands of dollars in scholarships to student journalists of color with a connection to the Tampa Bay area. This year’s applications must be postmarked by Sept. 16, 2013. For eligibility requirements, entry forms and other details, visit or contact Dalia Colon, TBABJ’s Scholarship Coordinator, at 813-419-2490 or via email at

Scholarship recipients will be honored during the 2013 Griot Drum Awards & Scholarship Banquet, which gathers 250 of the area’s most important journalists, business leaders, educators and media figures – the most influential audience in town.

Gala tickets cost $30 for TBABJ members, $35 for non-members or $300 for a table of eight. Make your purchases at

If you or your organization would like to make a tax-deductible sponsorship donation, please visit for details. Contact Camille C. Spencer at 813-230-4967 or via email at with questions.

Category: General


FAMU's Marching 100 Band Back At Football Game After Suspension

September 1, 2013 - Nearly two years after a drum major's hazing death silenced the music at Florida A&M football games, the famed Marching 100 band returned to the field Sunday with its familiar booms, drum rattles and other tones for the school's season-opener.

It was the band's first game appearance since a season-long suspension. The scrutiny following Robert Champion's 2011 death thrust the school into the national spotlight and led to more than a dozen arrests and the resignation of top officials. Read more at

Category: General


Dennis Rodman in North Korea to visit his ‘friend’ Kim Jong Un

September 3, 2013 - Former NBA star Dennis Rodman landed Tuesday in North Korea and said he plans to hang out with authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un, have a good time and maybe bridge some cultural gaps — but not be a diplomat.

Rodman was greeted at Pyongyang’s airport by Son Kwang Ho, vice-chairman of North Korea’s Olympic Committee, just days after Pyongyang rejected a visit by a U.S. envoy who had hoped to bring home Kenneth Bae, an American missionary jailed there. The North abruptly called off the official visit because it said the U.S. had ruined the atmosphere for talks by holding a drill over South Korea with nuclear-capable B-52 bombers.  Read more at

Category: General

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